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Heresy 210 and the Babes in the Wood

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39 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Wylla kinda looks and sounds like a combo of “why” and “Lyanna”, but we know Wylla is a 'real' person and Edric Dayne's wetnurse, not people speaking in code about Jon's mother.  Of course GRRM could have picked the name as a hint, but I'd assume authors go out of their way to avoid readers making that sort of inference.  I will never know why JRRT chose to name a character 'Saruman' and then try to surprise us that he is on Sauron's side.

Speaking for just myself, I wasn't asserting that Wylla was Lyanna. I think the Manderlys supplied Wylla as a wet-nurse after Lyanna died. The Fisherman's Daughter tale speaks of a bastard in the belly of the daughter, as well as bringing to our attention the Sister island chain in The Bite. If ever there was a blatant clue pointing out that Ned brought Lyanna to White Harbor we have: Sweetsister, Longsister, and Littlesister.

When Davos smuggles himself into White Harbor he meets a Wylla as well as many other Manderlys with first names that begin with W's: Wayman, Wylis, Wynafryd, and Wendel. Seems to me Wylla is most definitely a Manderly name.

I theorize that Ned brought an injured and pregnant Lyanna from the Vale, over The Bite, to White Harbor where she died of a mortified sword injury. The Manderlys provide Wylla as a wet-nurse and Ned brings the child and nurse with him to Winterfell to call his banners. This would have been prior to his wedding to Catelyn, and would explain how Jon was at Winterfell before Catelyn arrived with Robb. 

39 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Sam having no hair color description IMO rules out any possibility of him having an unusual hair color.  How lame would it be if GRRM tried to surprise us that Sam had Rhaegar's flowing silver and gold locks and no one noticed?  Sam is a tribute to Samwise Gamgee and as close a character to GRRM being in his own novels as we can get.  He might be important or do great things, but it would completely defeat his character building if he had a special bloodline or other 'God-given' abilities.  GRRM isn't going to write himself into his own novels as superman to come save the day.

I wouldn't eliminate Sam as being Aegon. His hair color could be dark like Elia's.

I think Rhaegar had enough opportunity to remove Aegon from Kings Landing, and Randyll Tarly could have been enlisted to raise the boy as his own. It would help explain why he didn't want Sam to inherit over Dicken. 

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It feels like I did this countless times already, but I can do it again:

I do not believe there was a child at the tower of joy because:

Either we take Ned's story at face value, there was a fight, only Ned and Howland Reed lived to ride away, Ned tore down the tower and built eight cairns. If Lyanna and a baby had been in the tower, the baby would have starved while Ned built the cairns, and Lyanna must have started to decompose. I often mock this by telling Ned and Howland rode into Starfall with a decomposing Lyanna and a starving baby. Somebody would remember this and tell it.

Or: Lyanna was at the Tower of Joy with a baby, and servants. To make it short: too many witnesses. Or, as Littlefinger said: somebody always tells.

What I came up with as an explanation: Let's assume Lyanna was already pregnant at Harrenhal (maybe Brandon, or Ned?). She tells Rhaegar, and being a perfect knight, he thinks of a solution. He asks Ashara to dance with Ned, and kidnaps/ runs away with Lyanna. Things happen, Lyanna gives birth at Starfall (Jon). In parallel, Ashara simulates a pregnancy to cover up. Rhaegar and Lyanna fall in love and she gets pregnant again. Robert kills Rhaegar, Lyanna dies at the ToW birthing her second child, some misfigured dragonspawn (which comes to life in Daenery's dragon eggs?). Ned knows of Jon ("Promise me"), rides to Starfall, picks him up, Ashara disappears.

I'm crazy, I know.

 

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Not crazy. I feel your theory is a touch too complicated even for this everyday tale of ordinary countryfolk, but I do very much agree we'll find there was no child in that tower

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2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

We've discussed Robert as Jon's father, but I just don't see it.  There isn't much evidence in the text, and the two seem to be as far apart personality wise as possible.  I picture Rhaegar as very much like Jon, although we never got his POV, and very few POVs from characters who knew him directly, so his personality could be anything.

From a time prespective there is really not much going for it, but also not much against it. The Jon at the ToJ idea is pretty weak (as only Ned and Howland rode away), so Lyanna could have been anywhere. 

Only when we accept Lyanna's meeting with Rhaegar as a kidnapping, the chances fade away.

2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

I'd love to see more speculation on the connection between House Dayne and Starfall,

Umh. I guess there are high cliffs and the sea near Starfall. The only interesting thing I can come up with is their proximity to most Gardener Houses. 

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1 hour ago, alienarea said:

What I came up with as an explanation: Let's assume Lyanna was already pregnant at Harrenhal (maybe Brandon, or Ned?). She tells Rhaegar, and being a perfect knight, he thinks of a solution. He asks Ashara to dance with Ned, and kidnaps/ runs away with Lyanna. Things happen, Lyanna gives birth at Starfall (Jon). In parallel, Ashara simulates a pregnancy to cover up. Rhaegar and Lyanna fall in love and she gets pregnant again. Robert kills Rhaegar, Lyanna dies at the ToW birthing her second child, some misfigured dragonspawn (which comes to life in Daenery's dragon eggs?). Ned knows of Jon ("Promise me"), rides to Starfall, picks him up, Ashara disappears.

I'm crazy, I know.

 

I had these thoughts before. But the first child always raises too many questions.

Edited by SirArthur

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8 hours ago, alienarea said:

It feels like I did this countless times already, but I can do it again:

I do not believe there was a child at the tower of joy because:

Either we take Ned's story at face value, there was a fight, only Ned and Howland Reed lived to ride away, Ned tore down the tower and built eight cairns. If Lyanna and a baby had been in the tower, the baby would have starved while Ned built the cairns, and Lyanna must have started to decompose. I often mock this by telling Ned and Howland rode into Starfall with a decomposing Lyanna and a starving baby. Somebody would remember this and tell it.

Or: Lyanna was at the Tower of Joy with a baby, and servants. To make it short: too many witnesses. Or, as Littlefinger said: somebody always tells.

What I came up with as an explanation: Let's assume Lyanna was already pregnant at Harrenhal (maybe Brandon, or Ned?). She tells Rhaegar, and being a perfect knight, he thinks of a solution. He asks Ashara to dance with Ned, and kidnaps/ runs away with Lyanna. Things happen, Lyanna gives birth at Starfall (Jon). In parallel, Ashara simulates a pregnancy to cover up. Rhaegar and Lyanna fall in love and she gets pregnant again. Robert kills Rhaegar, Lyanna dies at the ToW birthing her second child, some misfigured dragonspawn (which comes to life in Daenery's dragon eggs?). Ned knows of Jon ("Promise me"), rides to Starfall, picks him up, Ashara disappears.

I'm crazy, I know.

 

We don't know that Ned built the cairns the day of the fight.  He could have taken a baby and Dawn to Starfall and came back.  But if he was in a hurry, tearing down the tower is what would take the time, the cairns could be as simple as roughly diving the remains of the tower on top of the dead bodies. Something is definitely weird, Ned didn't have an obvious reason to demolish the tower, and should have returned the bodies or bones home as expected. 

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9 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Speaking for just myself, I wasn't asserting that Wylla was Lyanna. I think the Manderlys supplied Wylla as a wet-nurse after Lyanna died. The Fisherman's Daughter tale speaks of a bastard in the belly of the daughter, as well as bringing to our attention the Sister island chain in The Bite. If ever there was a blatant clue pointing out that Ned brought Lyanna to White Harbor we have: Sweetsister, Longsister, and Littlesister.

When Davos smuggles himself into White Harbor he meets a Wylla as well as many other Manderlys with first names that begin with W's: Wayman, Wylis, Wynafryd, and Wendel. Seems to me Wylla is most definitely a Manderly name.

I theorize that Ned brought an injured and pregnant Lyanna from the Vale, over The Bite, to White Harbor where she died of a mortified sword injury. The Manderlys provide Wylla as a wet-nurse and Ned brings the child and nurse with him to Winterfell to call his banners. 

We are told Wylla was a commoner, so we know she isn't a Manderly.  Lots of W Frey names, and other houses too. 

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7 hours ago, SirArthur said:

Umh. I guess there are high cliffs and the sea near Starfall. The only interesting thing I can come up with is their proximity to most Gardener Houses. 

The Dayne's named their heir after Ned Stark, and he shared a wet nurse with Jon.   They probably wouldn't know each other before the tower of Joy, and Ned was responsible for Arthur's death. 

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3 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

We don't know that Ned built the cairns the day of the fight.  He could have taken a baby and Dawn to Starfall and came back.  But if he was in a hurry, tearing down the tower is what would take the time, the cairns could be as simple as roughly diving the remains of the tower on top of the dead bodies. Something is definitely weird, Ned didn't have an obvious reason to demolish the tower, and should have returned the bodies or bones home as expected. 

Tearing down the tower and not returning the remains of his most trusted soldiers/friends suggests that something needs to be covered and should not be known.

The fact the Daynes named their heir after Ned and Jon shared a wetnurse with the heir raises the question whether they were reliefed that Ned killed Arthur Dayne?

What was wrong with Arthur Dayne?

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17 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Wylla kinda looks and sounds like a combo of “why” and “Lyanna”, but we know Wylla is a 'real' person and Edric Dayne's wetnurse, not people speaking in code about Jon's mother.  Of course GRRM could have picked the name as a hint, but I'd assume authors go out of their way to avoid readers making that sort of inference.  I will never know why JRRT chose to name a character 'Saruman' and then try to surprise us that he is on Sauron's side.

Do you mean that Wylla is a real person in relation to Edric Dayne's story of his wet nurse? I am not entirely trusting of Edric's story. Not that I think he is lying, but he could be mislead, just as I am unsure about believing his story about Ned and Ashara being in love. It's possible that there is more than one person that the name could apply to. As mentioned, there is a Wylla connected to House Manderly in the north, but also a Wylla connected to House Wyl in the past, a warrior woman, and there is also a Wylla Fenn, who was the woman who bore a Brandon Stark a bastard in the past named Lonnel Snow. I think all of those are meant to combine to us as hints.

We see Sansa take on the identity of Alayne Stone, and Arya takes on multiple names and identities while she is on the run. The same could be possible for Lyanna during the time that she was missing, and Wylla could be one of those false identities.

 

17 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Sam having no hair color description IMO rules out any possibility of him having an unusual hair color.  How lame would it be if GRRM tried to surprise us that Sam had Rhaegar's flowing silver and gold locks and no one noticed?  Sam is a tribute to Samwise Gamgee and as close a character to GRRM being in his own novels as we can get.  He might be important or do great things, but it would completely defeat his character building if he had a special bloodline or other 'God-given' abilities.  GRRM isn't going to write himself into his own novels as superman to come save the day.

Why would it defeat Sam's storyline or character to be from a special bloodline? If his story is true, then is mother is a Florent, and that is a special bloodline in itself. While I agree that it would seem odd for Sam to have silver hair and no one commenting on it, that doesn't mean it's not possible. Or for Sam to have the dark hair of the Martell's. And I do think that GRRM has said he feels that Samwise Gamgee is the true hero of LOTR, that doesn't mean Samwell Tarly can't be both from a special blood line and the hero of the story. I think GRRM characters are too complex to just think of him writing himself as Samwell Tarly or Tyrion Lannister, whom GRRM seems to love. Sam's storyline connects him to Jon, but also very importantly to Aemon Targaryen. Sam has much more to do with Targaryen's in this story that Jon has so far. Certainly, the many oddities that make me connect Sam to the Targaryen's might turn out to be nothing, but for now it's hard for me not to wonder about it.

 

17 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Lyanna was described as having more of the North than Ned, which explains this in Jon if she was his mother, regardless of Jon's father.

While Lyanna was described as having a touch of "wold blood", she is never described as having more of the north in her than Ned. Brandon had the "wolf blood" and Lyanna had a "touch" of it. That doesn't necessarily translate to North, although it could. Ned seems to understand that Rickard Stark translated "wolf blood" to wildness.  It all comes down to personal interpretation, I suppose. Ned never claims to have any "wolf blood" either, but he reacts at times with fury and rage and anger. I don't think Eddard Stark is immune from the "wolf blood" at all, and it lead him to an early grave at age 35.

 

17 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Baelon son of Jaehaerys

Pure speculation on my part, but I think Baelon Targaryen might be the father of Bael the Bard. Baelon Targaryen is one of the two children of Jaehaerys and Alysanne that are described with nicknames. Baelon is the Spring Prince and Gael Targaryen is known as the Winter Child. I think those nicknames are meant to draw our attention. Bael would be a fitting name for a child of Baelon and Gael. Gael Targaryen was reported to have been seduced and became pregnant, and I speculate that child could have been sired by her brother Baelon, although rumor is that she was seduced by a traveling singer. Even if Baelon was not the father, that Gael might have bore the son of a singer that she named Bael, who turned out to be a bard and a warrior is still an interesting concept.

I do think your list of Bael- type names is important to the story, and I always come back to Robert comparing Ned to Baelor the Blessed. There is a clue in that. Several of those Bael names seem some how connected to the Stark's, although I haven't solved exactly how.

 

3 hours ago, alienarea said:

Tearing down the tower and not returning the remains of his most trusted soldiers/friends suggests that something needs to be covered and should not be known.

The fact the Daynes named their heir after Ned and Jon shared a wetnurse with the heir raises the question whether they were reliefed that Ned killed Arthur Dayne?

What was wrong with Arthur Dayne?

Great questions. Arthur is presented by the little we have of him in the story as a perfect knight, which leads the skeptic in me to doubt just how perfect he might have been. That he is a great swordsman, I don't think we can dispute, but as to any other personality traits, I think we are left with little actual detail. Jaime praises him, but Jaime was looking at SAD with the eyes of a young man looking toward a great swordsman, and while Ned dreams of Arthur's sad smile, that really tells us nothing about the man. Bran says that Ned said SAD was the finest knight he ever saw which seems to speak well of SAD. However, Ned thought of Robert as a fine man and king, but Ned turns out to have been a bit blind to what Robert was actually capable of. 

 

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7 hours ago, St Daga said:

there is also a Wylla Fenn, who was the woman who bore a Brandon Stark a bastard in the past named Lonnel Snow.

Wow. The stuff you find! Wylla, Lyanna, Lonnel, Lon, Jon. I can just imagine how that thought process went!

7 hours ago, St Daga said:

Pure speculation on my part, but I think Baelon Targaryen might be the father of Bael the Bard. Baelon Targaryen is one of the two children of Jaehaerys and Alysanne that are described with nicknames. Baelon is the Spring Prince and Gael Targaryen is known as the Winter Child. I think those nicknames are meant to draw our attention. Bael would be a fitting name for a child of Baelon and Gael. Gael Targaryen was reported to have been seduced and became pregnant, and I speculate that child could have been sired by her brother Baelon, although rumor is that she was seduced by a traveling singer. Even if Baelon was not the father, that Gael might have bore the son of a singer that she named Bael, who turned out to be a bard and a warrior is still an interesting concept.

I do think your list of Bael- type names is important to the story, and I always come back to Robert comparing Ned to Baelor the Blessed. There is a clue in that. Several of those Bael names seem some how connected to the Stark's, although I haven't solved exactly how.

Again, amazing finds! These are meant to be clues, I feel sure of it. How would Bael get beyond the Wall though? One of the parents must have been a wildling, no?

11 hours ago, alienarea said:

Tearing down the tower and not returning the remains of his most trusted soldiers/friends suggests that something needs to be covered and should not be known.

The fact the Daynes named their heir after Ned and Jon shared a wetnurse with the heir raises the question whether they were reliefed that Ned killed Arthur Dayne?

What was wrong with Arthur Dayne?

I think Arthur became disillusioned with knighthood, gave up his cloak, and is still alive living with the common people. The Dayne's are rightfully grateful that Ned agreed to pretend that he killed him.

7 hours ago, St Daga said:

Great questions. Arthur is presented by the little we have of him in the story as a perfect knight, which leads the skeptic in me to doubt just how perfect he might have been. That he is a great swordsman, I don't think we can dispute, but as to any other personality traits, I think we are left with little actual detail. Jaime praises him, but Jaime was looking at SAD with the eyes of a young man looking toward a great swordsman, and while Ned dreams of Arthur's sad smile, that really tells us nothing about the man. Bran says that Ned said SAD was the finest knight he ever saw which seems to speak well of SAD. However, Ned thought of Robert as a fine man and king, but Ned turns out to have been a bit blind to what Robert was actually capable of. 

Yes to "sad", and disillusioned. A knight with a conscience. 

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6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Wow. The stuff you find! Wylla, Lyanna, Lonnel, Lon, Jon. I can just imagine how that thought process went!

Thanks! My mind is honestly a bit of an OCD/ADHD mess! Those things popped out to me when I first started looking over the lineage charts in the World Book. It seems too specific to not be a hint to us. That Brandon/Wylla/Lonnel connection is one of the reasons I think Brandon is the best possible father for Jon via Lyanna. Of course, that is based on the premise that Wylla is indeed Lyanna, which comes a lot from my speculation that Lyanna is Jon's mother, but Ned awkwardly naming Wylla as Jon's mother to Robert. It was Ned's way of both not lying but still evading the hard truth. My gut tells me it's Ned who is Jon's father, but  I see all three Stark brothers as possibilities, just depending on the time line.

 

6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Again, amazing finds! These are meant to be clues, I feel sure of it. How would Bael get beyond the Wall though? One of the parents must have been a wildling, no?

Well, I am unsure about how the baby might have got north, or if Bael wasn't a grown man by the time he joined the wildlings, much like we see with Mance. The World Book tells us that Gael was seduced by a singer, became pregnant and then drowned herself in the Blackwater Rush. It doesn't tell us if she bore that child or not. If she did have the child before her death, then perhaps it was sent north of the wall to hide or protect it, or at least was raised in safety. Of course, I am drawn to Baelon as being important for two reasons, his nickname the Spring Prince and his name starting with Bael-. It's also possible that Gael did not die, but the drowning was a ruse used to get her and her child out of Kings Landing.

However, it is possible that the singer that seduced her could have been a wildling, who might have taken the child north. That is something I had not considered. But the Bael name, as you had pointed out, sounds very Targaryen-like and that is hard to ignore.

I had also seen the thought a couple months back on this board that Gael was the bastard daughter of Alysanne and a Stark, hence her nickname being the Winter Child. It's a good thought too, but and could work depending on the time that Alysanne and Jaehaerys were in the north. That idea is based on the two reported separations between J&A during their marriage.

Something stands out about the idea of Spring and Winter having a child, and it rather mimic's the idea of fire and ice, or even what might have happened at Harrenhal that upset the season and caused winter to return for a couple months.

If Bael had Targaryen blood, it might be a way that a skinchanger type of gene could have been passed back into the Stark line. The Stark's wanted a marriage with the Targaryen's for a reason, and it seemed like they wanted a princess for their own house, and not to send a Stark female to the Targaryen's. It's one of the reasons that RLJ just doesn't fit for me, because of the gender difference. Of course, this depends on if skinchanging is passed via male/female genetics. Still, I think there was a marriage earlier than this between the Stark's and Targaryens, but I don't have much more than speculation, but I do think the Stark's carry some Targaryen blood.

 

6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I think Arthur became disillusioned with knighthood, gave up his cloak, and is still alive living with the common people. The Dayne's are rightfully grateful that Ned agreed to pretend that he killed him.

This is a possibility, although a strong part of me thinks that Arthur did die. I do speculate that if Arthur did survive the toj showdown, that he was sent to the wall, and assumed the identity of Qhorin Halfhand. I think Arthur's sword hand was wounded when battling Ned, and that is what ties him back to Qhorin. Mostly speculation but I do have a pile of notes that are trying to become a firm theory. If Arthur did live, it would be a reason to think that Dawn has not been given to a new Dayne to wield, because it's master still lives. I am also not certain how "good" of a guy Arthur is, but I do see him as a possible baby daddy for Jon. Arthur's smile is sad in Ned's dreams for some reason. I do think it's possible that Arthur could actually be Lem Lemoncloak, as was presented up thread. Much of the Dorne imagery I see around Lem that makes me think he is Lewyn Martell, could very well indicate he is Arthur Dayne.

 

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I just noticed the quote in @St Daga signature. I will add it to my list of quotes suggesting that the WW were the original NW.

Quote

Instead he followed the light, wending his way down the narrow aisles beneath barrel-vaulted ceilings. All in black, he was a shadow among shadows, dark of hair, long of face, grey of eye.

The current NW is just a cargo cult.

Edited by Tucu

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16 minutes ago, Tucu said:

I just noticed the quote in @St Daga signature. I will add it to my list of quotes suggesting that the WW were the original NW.

The current NW is just a cargo cult.

Davos and Melisandre said: 

Quote

 

“Shadow?” Davos felt his flesh prickling. “A shadow is a thing of darkness.”

“You are more ignorant than a child, ser knight. There are no shadows in the dark. Shadows are the servants of light, the children of fire. The brightest flame casts the darkest shadows.”

 

 

 

If Jon is a (black) shadow among (other black) shadows, he's a child of fire, but if he's among other children of fire then I concur with the conclusion that the entirety of the Watch are also "children" of fire. Where I differ is in making the leap to white walkers being the original Nights Watch. White Walkers are white shadows. Their light is the reflected light coming from the moon. It's a pale light and therefore not aligned with fire.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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20 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Davos and Melisandre said: 

If Jon is a (black) shadow among (other black) shadows, he's a child of fire, but if he's among other children of fire then I concur with the conclusion that the entirety of the Watch are also "children" of fire. Where I differ is in making the leap to white walkers being the original Nights Watch. White Walkers are white shadows. Their light is the reflected light coming from the moon. It's a pale light and therefore not aligned with fire.

I think that is just Mel's dualistic view of the world distorting reality. Coldhands says this when warning not to lit a fire in the haunted forest:

Quote

You cannot know what the light might summon from the darkness

In the northern view of the world light and darkness work together to produce shadows. The light is the trigger but the source is the darkness (Bran's mother milk afterwards).

I always like to contrast Mel's view with the Reeds' view in this quote:

Quote

Bran made a face at her. "But you just said you hated them."

Why can't it be both?" Meera reached up to pinch his nose.

"Because they're different," he insisted. "Like night and day, or ice and fire."

"If ice can burn," said Jojen in his solemn voice, "then love and hate can mate. Mountain or marsh, it makes no matter. The land is one."

 

Edited by Tucu

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On 7/14/2018 at 1:32 PM, Black Crow said:

Not crazy. I feel your theory is a touch too complicated even for this everyday tale of ordinary countryfolk, but I do very much agree we'll find there was no child in that tower

I agree that there was probably no child within the tower per se, as I believe the "tower" to be more a furnace with a chimney as opposed to a honeymoon suite or a nursery.  But my gut feeling is that there was at least one child and a wet nurse present in the vicinity, close enough that Stark and his fellowship had to go through the remaining Kingsguard to retrieve them.  After all if you tease the tower to be of some significance, like Lyanna's honeymoon suite/maternity ward, and you pull a misdirect, the misdirect better be of some significance to the overall plot.

For Eddard to personally travel there only with his close confidants implies that there was something there that needed to be close to vest.  So yes, if Lyanna had given birth to Jon via Rhaegar that would be a possibility.  But it seems to me that there are other possibilities as well.  There is a strong indication that Ashara Dayne was with child around this time period as well.  Considering Eddard's apparent relationship with Ashara, it wouldn't be out of the question that Ashara's child may have been the subject of a sacrifice at the tower, or Ashara was acting as a wet nurse to a potential child sacrifice at the tower, perhaps Rhaegar's son, the Prince that was Promised, or a child of Lyanna's or both.

And of course, if Rhaegar's son was brought to the tower for a potential sacrifice, and Eddard got wind of this, it too would explain why Eddard needed to keep this mission secret.  After he saw what happened to Rhaegar's daughter and the "pisswater prince" and Robert's positive reaction to it, any rescue mission of someone purporting to be Rhaegar's son would have had to be done without Robert's knowledge.  

If Ashara was present at the toj as a wet nurse or mother with her child, it would also explain Eddard's haste in traveling to Starfall.  And afterwards, Eddard gives the cover story that he had to go to Starfall to return "Dawn".  House Dayne keeps Ashara's part in this secret, and fakes her death, and Eddard for his part keeps quiet as well.  And later the Daynes in their gratitude name their heir after Ned.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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On 7/14/2018 at 1:23 PM, alienarea said:

It feels like I did this countless times already, but I can do it again:

I do not believe there was a child at the tower of joy because:

Either we take Ned's story at face value, there was a fight, only Ned and Howland Reed lived to ride away, Ned tore down the tower and built eight cairns. If Lyanna and a baby had been in the tower, the baby would have starved while Ned built the cairns, and Lyanna must have started to decompose. I often mock this by telling Ned and Howland rode into Starfall with a decomposing Lyanna and a starving baby. Somebody would remember this and tell it.

Or: Lyanna was at the Tower of Joy with a baby, and servants. To make it short: too many witnesses. Or, as Littlefinger said: somebody always tells.

What I came up with as an explanation: Let's assume Lyanna was already pregnant at Harrenhal (maybe Brandon, or Ned?). She tells Rhaegar, and being a perfect knight, he thinks of a solution. He asks Ashara to dance with Ned, and kidnaps/ runs away with Lyanna. Things happen, Lyanna gives birth at Starfall (Jon). In parallel, Ashara simulates a pregnancy to cover up. Rhaegar and Lyanna fall in love and she gets pregnant again. Robert kills Rhaegar, Lyanna dies at the ToW birthing her second child, some misfigured dragonspawn (which comes to life in Daenery's dragon eggs?). Ned knows of Jon ("Promise me"), rides to Starfall, picks him up, Ashara disappears.

I'm crazy, I know.

 

My thought is, if there was a child or children at the tower of joy, he/she/they would have been accompanied by one or more wet nurses that would have been in on Rhaegar's plan.  So we have a food source and probably some type of crude shelter such as a tent, which would have sufficed while Eddard tore down the toj.  

Ashara Dayne fits the bill pretty well.  She probably was pregnant around the time of Harrenhal, so the timing would have been right for her to have served as a wet nurse around the time of the toj.  She is the sister to Rhaegar's chief confidant, she is a lady in waiting for Elia, and at Harrenhal she seemed to hobnob with Rhaegar's other confidants: Jon Connington and Oberyn.  If Lyanna willingly became involved with Rhaegar and his inner circle, then Ashara is probably the one who would have brought her into the fold.  She apparently turned to Eddard after the Harrenhal tourney, and the rumor about Winterfell is that Eddard and Ashara had a relationship around the time of Harrenhal.  If she was with Eddard, then she may have also formed a relationship with Lyanna.

This may also be one of the the reasons that Eddard spoke with such venom, when Catelyn brought up Ashara's name.  I think Ashara and Eddard had a relationship, but I wonder if Ashara also betrayed his trust by getting Lyanna involved with Rhaegar and his cronies.

Ashara's involvement also explains why Eddard travels to Starfall after the toj.  I think returning Dawn was a cover story.  House Dayne than concocts the story about Ashara's death while she either becomes a silent sister, or more probably in my mind, travels to Asshai.  

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tucu said:

I think that is just Mel's dualistic view of the world distorting reality. Coldhands says this when warning not to lit a fire in the haunted forest:

In the northern view of the world light and darkness work together to produce shadows. The light is the trigger but the source is the darkness (Bran's mother milk afterwards).

I always like to contrast Mel's view with the Reeds' view in this quote:

 

Old Nan reported that the Others are drawn to the heat of life and red hot blood. If they can sense the warmth of the living, perhaps they see or feel the heat of flame?

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2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Old Nan reported that the Others are drawn to the heat of life and red hot blood. If they can sense the warmth of the living, perhaps they see or feel the heat of flame?

We've discussed this one before. It probably doesn't make and difference so far as the Walkers are concerned and Gared remember wanted to light a fire for protection, but on the other hand the wights seem to home in on heat signatures

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6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Old Nan reported that the Others are drawn to the heat of life and red hot blood. If they can sense the warmth of the living, perhaps they see or feel the heat of flame?

I always doubt parts of the Old Nan stories. She seems to be an unwilling propaganda agent for the Others; propagating the black legend that have kept the lands north of the Wall almost empty for thousands of years.

Quote

Old Nan nodded. “In that darkness, the Others came for the first time,” she said as her needles went click click click. “They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding their pale dead horses and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children.

The Others seems to be masters of compartmentalisation. Multiple people play their roles knowing little of the overall picture.

Edited by Tucu

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