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must needs the rushes

Quick question for R+L=J believers.

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15 hours ago, must needs the rushes said:

I read it the other way, her asking about Ashara and him answering as he did, since Ashara was the focus of the paragraph preceding the question,

He did more than that. The Starks were not like other men. Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him "son" for all the north to see. When the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell, Jon and his wet nurse had already taken up residence.
 
That cut deep. Ned would not speak of the mother, not so much as a word, but a castle has no secrets, and Catelyn heard her maids repeating tales they heard from the lips of her husband's soldiers. They whispered of Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, deadliest of the seven knights of Aerys's Kingsguard, and of how their young lord had slain him in single combat. And they told how afterward Ned had carried Ser Arthur's sword back to the beautiful young sister who awaited him in a castle called Starfall on the shores of the Summer Sea. The Lady Ashara Dayne, tall and fair, with haunting violet eyes. It had taken her a fortnight to marshal her courage, but finally, in bed one night, Catelyn had asked her husband the truth of it, asked him to his face.
 
That was the only time in all their years that Ned had ever frightened her. "Never ask me about Jon," he said, cold as ice. "He is my blood, and that is all you need to know. And now I will learn where you heard that name, my lady." She had pledged to obey; she told him; and from that day on, the whispering had stopped, and Ashara Dayne's name was never heard in Winterfell again.
 

That middle paragraph starts with the continuation of Catelyn's thoughts of the previous paragraphs, which is why I included it. The phrase, "That cut deep," is talking about Jon.

If you were to cut/paste/print just the middle paragraph and give it to someone to read, the first thing they should question is the meaning of the "cut deep" phrase, because without the notations about Jon in the paragraph before, it makes no sense to the culmination of information included in the middle paragraph. The reader would be left asking, "what cut deep?", and you would have to respond, "oh, the Jon stuff," and the reader would say, "what Jon stuff?," and you would have to clarify by adding the Jon information back in- where it was in the first place.;)

 
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but I guess there is some ambiguity to what exactly her question was. 

Correct. We do not have her exact wording, but when the reader has all of the information in this scene, we can deduce Catelyn was asking about Jon, who was part of the thought process in Cat's memory salad.

@Faera it sounds as though you and I had a similar process in the discovery. I don't remember my true chronological Eureka! moments, but I will add that the description of Arya compared to Lyanna (emphasized with the Arya-Gendry relationship), really helped cue me in to Lyanna. I think, if I remember correctly, that it took me a bit longer to get the Rhaegar side, but I knew almost at once that Ned was not Jon's father and something was fishy with Ned's story. I think the in-world histories (Bael included) and the understanding of the free folk "stealing" tradition really led me to Rhaegar in particular. (all theory-wise)

Or something mixed up along these lines ^_^

Edited by The Fattest Leech
clarified a word

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1 hour ago, JS97 said:

Why would it fit Jon's story to be a Targ besides being a Stark. Jon being a Dayne as well as a Stark would in my opinion improve his story which resolves around fighting the battle for the Dawn not becoming a the king of Westeros.

Series' name is A Song of Ice and Fire. Ice, Snow, Winter generally represents North/Starks and Fire represents Targaryens, Dragons, Valyrians so by symbolism it fits if Jon's parents were a Targaryen and a Stark. And secondly why would Ned keep Jon's mother secret if mother was Ashara? He didn't stand back from facing Arthur at ToJ. What is he (Warden of the North) afraid of? Dayne's (A minor Dornish noble house) holding grudge. No one knows who Jon mother is even after seven books. There are only rumours but no confitmation. And a lot of talking about the issue so whoever she is, she is important. Given that tell me which parentage makes more sense. Ned and Ashara or Rhaegar and Lyanna.

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2 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I think he’s talking about Dany... since he’s recomending to Cersei basically exactly what happened to Dany... whom I believe he sent to exile since he couldn’t pass her off as a bastard like Jon due to the hair/eye color. This is Dany’s cup of ice, which the Undying refer too.

I don't think Ned had anything to do with Dany going into exile. She and Viserys went because Stannis was about to invade Dragonstone and their mother was dead. But yes I agree this bit is referencing Dany's fate. Again Ned is harking back to the events of the end of the rebellion and the consequences of them. Specifically in regards to children.  

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1 hour ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

No one knows who Jon mother is even after seven books.

what ? Did I miss 2 books ?

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6 hours ago, JS97 said:

This argument is really weak in my opinion (I know you probably have better arguments for R+L=J but I'm just using your quote to tackle this sentiment that is used more often to defend R+L=J). Why would it fit Jon's story to be a Targ besides being a Stark. Jon being a Dayne as well as a Stark would in my opinion improve his story which resolves around fighting the battle for the Dawn not becoming a the king of Westeros.

That isn't an argument. It is a statement.  The arguments, that I will repeat now: Aside from everything detailed in the citadel post about it, Jon being the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna would make him literally the song of ice and fire. Dayne parentage would not. The rumors of Ashara, the magical sword waiting for its special claimant, the son possibly related to the previous wielder of the sword, the lack of ability to speak with the potential mother, all red herrings.  While I do believe there is a connection between house stark and house dayne beyond the TOJ, it is probably ancient. My personal unsubstantiated  theory is that the children of the last hero scattered when he died, with some staying in his magical castle  winterfell and becoming the starks we know. Some took his bronze magical armor and headed to the vale to become the Royces while others took his magical sword (dawn) and headed as south as they could go. But, just like any theory of Jon's parentage other than R+L=J, my theory is baseless and borders on fan fic.

Edited by Dorian Martell's son

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Just now, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I don't think Ned had anything to do with Dany going into exile. She and Viserys went because Stannis was about to invade Dragonstone and their mother was dead. But yes I agree this bit is referencing Dany's fate. Again Ned is harking back to the events of the end of the rebellion and the consequences of them. Specifically in regards to children.  

And I think that children part is important... especially in conjunction with how Tywin treated Rhaegar’s children (boy and girl). This is why Ned’s promises become broken after Robert decides to send an assassin after Dany (we know the Usurpers knives were a lie and the wine merchant was the first). 

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Ned did not feign surprise; Robert's hatred of the Targaryens was a madness in him. He remembered the angry words they had exchanged when Tywin Lannister had presented Robert with the corpses of Rhaegar's wife and children as a token of fealty. Ned had named that murder; Robert called it war. When he had protested that the young prince and princess were no more than babes, his new-made king had replied, "I see no babes. Only dragonspawn." Not even Jon Arryn had been able to calm that storm. Eddard Stark had ridden out that very day in a cold rage, to fight the last battles of the war alone in the south. It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they had shared over her passing. 
This time, Ned resolved to keep his temper. "Your Grace, the girl is scarcely more than a child. You are no Tywin Lannister, to slaughter innocents." It was said that Rhaegar's little girl had cried as they dragged her from beneath her bed to face the swords. The boy had been no more than a babe in arms, yet Lord Tywin's soldiers had torn him from his mother's breast and dashed his head against a wall.

 

As in this time trying to save Rhaegar’s children...

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"Ser Barristan was a knight of the Kingsguard."
"Whereas Daenerys is a fourteen-year-old girl." Ned knew he was pushing this well past the point of wisdom, yet he could not keep silent. "Robert, I ask you, what did we rise against Aerys Targaryen for, if not to put an end to the murder of children?
"To put an end to Targaryens!" the king growled.

This is why he had to hide Jon, and why I think he exiled Dany.

When Ned visits Robert’s natural daughter...

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"Tell him that when you see him, milord, as it … as it please you. Tell him how beautiful she is."

"I will," Ned had promised her. That was his curse. Robert would swear undying love and forget them before evenfall, but Ned Stark kept his vows. He thought of the promises he'd made Lyanna as she lay dying, and the price he'd paid to keep them.

 

And finally Robert comes around on his death bed...

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 “Serve the boar at my funeral feast," Robert rasped. "Apple in its mouth, skin seared crisp. Eat the bastard. Don't care if you choke on him. Promise me, Ned."

"I promise." Promise me, Ned, Lyanna's voice echoed. 

"The girl," the king said. "Daenerys. Let her live. If you can, if it … not too late … talk to them … Varys, Littlefinger … don't let them kill her. And help my son, Ned. Make him be … better than me." He winced. "Gods have mercy."

 

But then after Varys says that those birds have flown...

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When he thought of his daughters, he would have wept gladly, but the tears would not come. Even now, he was a Stark of Winterfell, and his grief and his rage froze hard inside him.

When he kept very still, his leg did not hurt so much, so he did his best to lie unmoving. For how long he could not say. There was no sun and no moon. He could not see to mark the walls. Ned closed his eyes and opened them; it made no difference. He slept and woke and slept again. He did not know which was more painful, the waking or the sleeping. When he slept, he dreamed: dark disturbing dreams of blood and broken promises. When he woke, there was nothing to do but think, and his waking thoughts were worse than nightmares. The thought of Cat was as painful as a bed of nettles. He wondered where she was, what she was doing. He wondered whether he would ever see her again.

 

I’m getting sidetracked though, so I’ll leave this here...

 

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12 minutes ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

AGoT, ASoS (2 volumes), AFfC (2 volumes), ADwD (2 volumes) total 7 books.

Why did I even ask you ? 

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4 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I find this particularly hard to understand. How can you find one quote which is ambiguous more convincing than the mountain of evidence for R+L=J? I'm wondering if perhaps you have not seen/read all the evidence for R+L=J. As the quote basically shows that when Cat asked Ned about Ashara Dayne he dismissed her as irelivant to the thing he wished to hide and told her never to ask about Jon. 

I think also this quote provided by One-eye Misbehavin is pertinent. 

This is directly from Ned's own POV. It is followed by this from him. 

He does not go on to think about Ashara at any point. This quote refers to the killing of children. And the fact he does not do it. It's alluding to Jon's parentage and what happened to his siblings. GRRM reinforces this by having Ned's next sentance be that he's giving her kids more of a chance than her father gave Rhaegars children, and he states that Robert would follow her to the back end of beyond to punish her; insinuating kill her children. 

The scene closes with him left in the godswood after Cersei makes her when you play the game of thrones statement and he does not think of Ashara. One would think if she were indeed Jon's mother he might reflect upon that and her death at this point? 

And actually Ned does not think of Ashara at all throughout his entire POV. She is mentioned to him and yet he never dwells on her. His thoughts instead go to Rhaegar and promises and Lyanna pleading. 

GRRM has taken a conversation about Jon's mother and turned the discussion to events at the end of the rebellion and dead children here and I doubt that was accidental. 

Exactly.

 

If that was the case, that she specifically asked about Ashara, as others have said, it's a red herring in all likelihood, but that passage doesn't say that she specifically asked him about Ashara either. I find it more plausible that the rumors she was hearing led her to ask about Jon's parentage, specifically whom his mother might've been. Of course the passage doesn't specifically say that either, but the answer she remembers Ned giving her, leads me to believe that's what she asked. Something like "Is Ashara Dayne, Jon's mother". I don't think Ned would've been particularly upset about Catelyn specifically asking about Ashara, but more so the fact that she seems to be digging about, trying to figure out Jon's real parentage in the first place. As it shows Ned that after all this time, she still doesn't consider Jon being family and is disgusted of his presence in Winterfell, still........Man I sure used the term "specifically" a lot. Lol

 

 

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Series' name is A Song of Ice and Fire. Ice, Snow, Winter generally represents North/Starks and Fire represents Targaryens, Dragons, Valyrians so by symbolism it fits if Jon's parents were a Targaryen and a Stark. And secondly why would Ned keep Jon's mother secret if mother was Ashara? He didn't stand back from facing Arthur at ToJ. What is he (Warden of the North) afraid of? Dayne's (A minor Dornish noble house) holding grudge. No one knows who Jon mother is even after seven books. There are only rumours but no confitmation. And a lot of talking about the issue so whoever she is, she is important. Given that tell me which parentage makes more sense. Ned and Ashara or Rhaegar and Lyanna.

 

Yup.

 

Edited by RhaegoTheUnborn

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3 hours ago, JS97 said:

This argument is really weak in my opinion (I know you probably have better arguments for R+L=J but I'm just using your quote to tackle this sentiment that is used more often to defend R+L=J). Why would it fit Jon's story to be a Targ besides being a Stark. Jon being a Dayne as well as a Stark would in my opinion improve his story which resolves around fighting the battle for the Dawn not becoming a the king of Westeros.

The thing is, House Dayne is, storywise, a minor house, not all that important. In the books, they appear less often than, say, Mallister or Bracken, and are virtually tied with zo Loraq. On the fan boards, they might be hyped to ridiculous proportions (they're Westeros' Boba Fett), but in the books the author intends them to play a minor role.

House Targaryen, however, is relevant.

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24 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

@Faera it sounds as though you and I had a similar process in the discovery. I don't remember my true chronological Eureka! moments, but I will add that the description of Arya compared to Lyanna (emphasized with the Arya-Gendry relationship), really helped cue me in to Lyanna

 

Weirdly enough, I vaguely recall wondering if Lyanna had given birth quite early on because in the first chapter Ned says something like, "she was weakened with fever". I didn't necessarily think at that point her son was Jon but I agree that even on the first read there was something... odd. Miggling at me though it took me a while to get what it was. :huh: Then, when I read Ned's fever dream with the added detail that Lyanna was in a bed of blood. I vaguely remember flipping back to Ned's first chapter again and, again, my mind went back to several English queens like Elizabeth of York and again Jane Seymour who died from postpartum infections, so, I felt affirmed she died as a result of giving birth.

As for Jon being her son, it's funny because I definitely remember my spidey senses tingling when Ned told Arya that she is a lot like Lyanna was. It struck me mostly because of the time spend establishing how Jon and Arya look so alike, Cat's resentment about how Jon looked the most Stark-like of all the children, and Tyrion thinking of how Jon looks like his father. Then, when Ned thought about how Jon looked so much like himself at that age... and shortly after that fever dream... yeah, I think that was my inner "Miss Marple". 

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I think, if I remember correctly, that it took me a bit longer to get the Rhaegar side, but I knew almost at once that Ned was not Jon's father and something was fishy with Ned's story. I think the in-world histories (Bael included) and the understanding of the free folk "stealing" tradition really led me to Rhaegar in particular. (all theory-wise)

The Rhaegar thing didn't fully occur to me at the same time either. I think, I was too wrapped up in the Lyanna aspect to care. I can't even remember at what point while reading I started to think of Rhaegar as Jon's father because it didn't "hit" me like the Lyanna thing did. So, the Rhaegar thing took a while to sink in. Even when it did, I didn't really think about it like, "OMG! Jon is a Targaryen!" as much as I thought, "Wow, Ned really loved Jon and Lyanna to hide Rhaegar's son in plain sight like that."

But yes, the Bael story really did make me sit up, rub my hands together and think "oi oi!" Actually never thought about the stealing thing until you just said it, though. I like it! Especially since, if the story has any thread of truth, it means the Starks have wildling blood mixed in with the wolf's blood. ^_^

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4 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I find this particularly hard to understand. How can you find one quote which is ambiguous more convincing than the mountain of evidence for R+L=J? I'm wondering if perhaps you have not seen/read all the evidence for R+L=J. As the quote basically shows that when Cat asked Ned about Ashara Dayne he dismissed her as irelivant to the thing he wished to hide and told her never to ask about Jon. 

I think also this quote provided by One-eye Misbehavin is pertinent. 

This is directly from Ned's own POV. It is followed by this from him. 

He does not go on to think about Ashara at any point. This quote refers to the killing of children. And the fact he does not do it. It's alluding to Jon's parentage and what happened to his siblings. GRRM reinforces this by having Ned's next sentance be that he's giving her kids more of a chance than her father gave Rhaegars children, and he states that Robert would follow her to the back end of beyond to punish her; insinuating kill her children. 

The scene closes with him left in the godswood after Cersei makes her when you play the game of thrones statement and he does not think of Ashara. One would think if she were indeed Jon's mother he might reflect upon that and her death at this point? 

And actually Ned does not think of Ashara at all throughout his entire POV. She is mentioned to him and yet he never dwells on her. His thoughts instead go to Rhaegar and promises and Lyanna pleading. 

GRRM has taken a conversation about Jon's mother and turned the discussion to events at the end of the rebellion and dead children here and I doubt that was accidental. 

I think you misinterpreted. I firmly believe in R+L=J this quote by @Ilyana is how I feel as well and I’ll add I think Ned named Wylla (when he had to) simply bc Ashara was a probable youchy subject with Ned and he didn’t want her name associated with his after all the grief/circumstances 

11 hours ago, Ilyana said:

My take on it:

Ashara Dayne sacrificed herself for Jon's sake. She "committed suicide" /disappeared/, so it could be suggested she was Jon's mother, in case he started to look Targaryen.  It was smart and very needed solution, but imagine how Ned had felt about this. He hardly was able to swallow his own honor to pretend he fathered a bastard, so how utterly excruciating it must have been for him to drag an innocent lady into this.

Add to this all the other complications  -  Ned was in love with Ashara, she had a thing with Brandon, afterwards she was comforted by Ned and they got close with each other, probably even a marriage was in sight... And then Ned had to abandon all his dreams about Ashara to honor family obligations (and to win the war) and marry Catelyn Tully.

Still, when he found himself with Targaryen ticking bomb, he went to the person he knew he could trust -  Ashara Dayne. I can imagine it was her suggestion "you can pretend I'm the mother" - how he felt at that moment? Wasn't that what he has always wanted - Ashara  to be a mother to his violet/grey eyed children?            
 

Lady Ashara Dayne - dishonored by Brandon Stark, dumped by Eddard Stark, and yet still pretending to be dead so Lyanna Stark' child could be safe.

How could he have her name being discussed in his kitchens (and bed)? Yes, it was all for this exactly purpose, but  as long as Jon's eyes stay grey no way he would allowed it.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Nowy Tends said:

The tall and fair Lady Ashara with the stunted crannogman who got his ass kicked by three pimply squires?

Poor wounded boy. Ashara's motherly instinct kicked in. Same as in case with Lyanna. The only difference is that Lyanna was already betrothed, thus she didn't thought about Howland in romantic sense.

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1 hour ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

The thing is, House Dayne is, storywise, a minor house, not all that important. In the books, they appear less often than, say, Mallister or Bracken, and are virtually tied with zo Loraq. On the fan boards, they might be hyped to ridiculous proportions (they're Westeros' Boba Fett), but in the books the author intends them to play a minor role.

House Targaryen, however, is relevant.

You realize all the clones from the clone wars were clones of Boba Fett... so he had a small in story roll and a huge backstory impact. Like universe defining... I’m not sure that is the point you were trying to make.

I’m of the opinion that both Jon and Dany are Stark and Targ, Ice and Fire, and both are a mix. 

 It I agree it’s unlikely Ashara is either’s mom, mostly because why would anyone hide that, and why would it matter... but it’s better to explain that than resort to Star Wars metaphors in my humble opinion.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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1 hour ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

You realize all the clones from the clone wars were clones of Boba Fett... so he had a small in story roll and a huge backstory impact.

Not quite. They were clones of Jango Fett.

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9 minutes ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Not quite. They were clones of Jango Fett.

So his kid...even better parallel lol

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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5 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:
He did more than that. The Starks were not like other men. Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him "son" for all the north to see. When the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell, Jon and his wet nurse had already taken up residence.
 
That cut deep. Ned would not speak of the mother, not so much as a word, but a castle has no secrets, and Catelyn heard her maids repeating tales they heard from the lips of her husband's soldiers. They whispered of Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, deadliest of the seven knights of Aerys's Kingsguard, and of how their young lord had slain him in single combat. And they told how afterward Ned had carried Ser Arthur's sword back to the beautiful young sister who awaited him in a castle called Starfall on the shores of the Summer Sea. The Lady Ashara Dayne, tall and fair, with haunting violet eyes. It had taken her a fortnight to marshal her courage, but finally, in bed one night, Catelyn had asked her husband the truth of it, asked him to his face.
 
That was the only time in all their years that Ned had ever frightened her. "Never ask me about Jon," he said, cold as ice. "He is my blood, and that is all you need to know. And now I will learn where you heard that name, my lady." She had pledged to obey; she told him; and from that day on, the whispering had stopped, and Ashara Dayne's name was never heard in Winterfell again.
 

That middle paragraph starts with the continuation of Catelyn's thoughts of the previous paragraphs, which is why I included it. The phrase, "That cut deep," is talking about Jon.

If you were to cut/paste/print just the middle paragraph and give it to someone to read, the first thing they should question is the meaning of the "cut deep" phrase, because without the notations about Jon in the paragraph before, it makes no sense to the culmination of information included in the middle paragraph. The reader would be left asking, "what cut deep?", and you would have to respond, "oh, the Jon stuff," and the reader would say, "what Jon stuff?," and you would have to clarify by adding the Jon information back in- where it was in the first place.;)

 

Correct. We do not have her exact wording, but when the reader has all of the information in this scene, we can deduce Catelyn was asking about Jon, who was part of the thought process in Cat's memory salad.

 

That takes it a bit too far. "Ashara Dayne's name was never heard in Winterfell again" is a far stronger clue to the topic of conversation than "That cut deep" 

It doesn't say "Jon's parentage was never openly speculated about". It says "Ashara Dayne's name was never heard" , indicating that the topics are one in the same.

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4 hours ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

AGoT, ASoS (2 volumes), AFfC (2 volumes), ADwD (2 volumes) total 7 books.

ACoK was before ASoS, and there is no second volume for AFfC.

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6 minutes ago, must needs the rushes said:

That takes it a bit too far. "Ashara Dayne's name was never heard in Winterfell again" is a far stronger clue to the topic of conversation than "That cut deep" 

It doesn't say "Jon's parentage was never openly speculated about". It says "Ashara Dayne's name was never heard" , indicating that the topics are one in the same.

What I was responding to was you saying this, “I read it the other way, her asking about Ashara and him answering as he did, since Ashara was the focus of the paragraph preceding the question,”

This implies that Jon was not asked about or was not important to the question, to which we see is not true. Ned killed all rumors (and Ashara was part of that rumor) and questioning in his statement. 

Look, I get that you do not agree to RLJ, and that’s fine, but what gets me is when people try to essentially edit out book text because it threatens their preference. I’m not here to attempt to change your mind, but this can’t be used as “evidence” because it is literally filled with rumor and is not a complete picture of the situation. 

Rumors have a way of distorting many, many large issues in the story. This is not the only time. GRRM is such a gossip queen at heart. 

 

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