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Heresy 210 and the Babes in the Wood

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The creatures created by ice and fire magic are both shadows. Both are an abuse of power. Both are typically used to do harm. And both require human life force for creation. The only difference is the strength and source of the light: flame and sun for fire, and reflected light for ice. The darker the shadow, the brighter the light. It's no indication of good or evil, because they're both evil.

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I see the shadows as weapons. Niether good nor evil, just tools to be used by the caster to intervene in sentient beings affairs.

I am gathering quotes that I think are subtext for the motivations and objectives of the Others. I think the bolded text in these two are central. The rest of the quotes are mainly the ones that focus on winter being the main incoming challenge.

Quote

Winter is coming,” Jon said at last, breaking the awkward silence, “and with it the white walkers. The Wall is where we stop them. The Wall was made to stop them … but the Wall must be manned. This discussion is at an end. We have much to do before the gate is opened. Tormund and his people will need to be fed and clothed and housed. Some are sick and will need nursing. Those will fall to you, Clydas. Save as many as you can.”

 

Quote

He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know."

 

Edited by Tucu

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How long did it take Ned to demolish the Toj?  How fast can you take out a large multistory stone building with just your hands? This could be a long laborous multiple year process, if it is even possible at all, or if it already had structural damage and he just pulled the whole thing over all at once.  As unlikely as that seems, a quick topple fits the story better than a long laborous process. 

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On 7/16/2018 at 8:58 PM, Frey family reunion said:

Ashara Dayne fits the bill pretty well.  She probably was pregnant around the time of Harrenhal

Well, there are two rumors in canon about her theoretical pregnancy --

1) She is Jon's mother (various sources)

2) She is the mother of a stillborn daughter who was born shortly before she killed herself (Selmy), which happened after Ned returned Dawn

Both of these stories thus feature her giving birth late in, or after, the Rebellion.  But Harrenhal happened about two years before that.

So unless she had two secret children, I'm not confident she was pregnant around the time of Harrenhal. 

Actually, I don't think she ever was pregnant.  Because Ned found her at Starfall shortly after the war, and we know the people at Starfall have quite a different idea about her: that she and Ned fell in love at Harrenhal, but there's no reference to a pregnancy (surely they would have noticed).  They also think that Jon's mother is Wylla.

Edited by JNR

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I've always thought the story of her suicide immediately after giving birth was suspect.  She was pregnant and then disappeared and that probably is what people remember. 

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

Well, there are two rumors in canon about her theoretical pregnancy --

1) She is Jon's mother (various sources)

2) She is the mother of a stillborn daughter who was born shortly before she killed herself (Selmy), which happened after Ned returned Dawn

Both of these stories thus feature her giving birth late in, or after, the Rebellion.  But Harrenhal happened about two years before that.

So unless she had two secret children, I'm not confident she was pregnant around the time of Harrenhal. 

Actually, I don't think she ever was pregnant.  Because Ned found her at Starfall shortly after the war, and we know the people at Starfall have quite a different idea about her: that she and Ned fell in love at Harrenhal, but there's no reference to a pregnancy (surely they would have noticed).  They also think that Jon's mother is Wylla.

IIRC, there's also an SSM that says she wasn't bound to one place during Robert's Rebellion.

 

One of the issues of the story that leads to problems later on is that GRRM has the same sense of distance as my wife ;)

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There's actually a lot of symbolism that goes along with jumping off of a tower, which is what is said that Ashara did upon hearing that Arthur was dead. A tower is the inversion of a well, which symbolically represents an access point for entering the afterlife - as well as the death/rebirth allegory that is seen frequently throughout ASOIAF. The tower leaping could be seen as evidence that the death of Ashara Dayne just means that she was reborn as Septa Lemore.

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2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

There's actually a lot of symbolism that goes along with jumping off of a tower, which is what is said that Ashara did upon hearing that Arthur was dead. A tower is the inversion of a well, which symbolically represents an access point for entering the afterlife - as well as the death/rebirth allegory that is seen frequently throughout ASOIAF. The tower leaping could be seen as evidence that the death of Ashara Dayne just means that she was reborn as Septa Lemore.

Arya has a tendency to bark at songs and stories that end being related to her...so who are the lady and prince is this song?:

Quote

He is a man of the Night's Watch, she thought, as he sang about some stupid lady throwing herself off some stupid tower because her stupid prince was dead. The lady should go kill the ones who killed her prince

Ashara and Rhaegar? Ashara and her child (a prince)?

Or is this some type of inversion and the lady did indeed kill the ones that killed her prince (by obtaining a promise from Ned). For a while I have been thinking about the possibility that the encounter at the ToJ is not the beggining of Ned's promise but the end of one part of it.

Edited by Tucu

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4 hours ago, alienarea said:

IIRC, there's also an SSM that says she wasn't bound to one place during Robert's Rebellion.

There is and while I can't reference it I have a distinct recollection that it was a positive statement clearly implying that she was moving about for a reason

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3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

There's actually a lot of symbolism that goes along with jumping off of a tower, which is what is said that Ashara did upon hearing that Arthur was dead. A tower is the inversion of a well, which symbolically represents an access point for entering the afterlife - as well as the death/rebirth allegory that is seen frequently throughout ASOIAF. The tower leaping could be seen as evidence that the death of Ashara Dayne just means that she was reborn as Septa Lemore.

Per Tuccu I'm sure the story related to a dead lover, not Ser Arthur and long before Septa Lemore tooled up the absence of a body was widely considered suspicious. 

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On 7/17/2018 at 3:58 AM, Frey family reunion said:

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.  

1. I would have expected a lady in waiting to stay with Elia and then escape KL with the Queen. At least within the wet nurse idea to use the relationship as an explanation.

2. there are actually 2 Ned-Ashara rumors going around: the one about Harrenhal and the one about Jon. And Ned's aggressive denial at least suggests that Ashara is somehow involved.

We also do not know much about the relationship between Lyanna and Ned. Why do we assume it was good ? 

3. There may be more than one reason to travel to Starfall. Somehow backtracking Ned's story makes it easier, as we know he went from the ToJ to Starfall. But it also raises the question how Ned would know that th Daynes are not hostile. Even a love affair would not lead to that conclusion.

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I think Ashara had to play Gilly's role in a baby swap. Leave her Stark looking child behind and take a Targ looking child to exile. Like Gilly she had to abandoned her unimportant/out-of-danger child. Jon kept "monster", Ned kept Jon.

Edited by Tucu

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8 hours ago, JNR said:

Well, there are two rumors in canon about her theoretical pregnancy --

1) She is Jon's mother (various sources)

2) She is the mother of a stillborn daughter who was born shortly before she killed herself (Selmy), which happened after Ned returned Dawn

Both of these stories thus feature her giving birth late in, or after, the Rebellion.  But Harrenhal happened about two years before that.

So unless she had two secret children, I'm not confident she was pregnant around the time of Harrenhal. 

Actually, I don't think she ever was pregnant.  Because Ned found her at Starfall shortly after the war, and we know the people at Starfall have quite a different idea about her: that she and Ned fell in love at Harrenhal, but there's no reference to a pregnancy (surely they would have noticed).  They also think that Jon's mother is Wylla.

According to Harwin, the rumor going around Winterfell was that Eddard and Ashara’s relationship took place around the time of the Harrenhal tourney while Brandon was still betrothed to Catelyn:

Quote

It was Harwin who rode up beside her, in the end...

”I’m not afraid,” she said.  “That boy Ned said...”

”Aye, he told me.  Lady Ashara Dayne.  It’s an old tale, that one.  I heard it once at Winterfell, when I was no older than you are now.”  He took hold of her bridle firmly and turned her horse around.  “I doubt there’s any truth to it.  But if there is, what of it?  When Ned met this Dornish lady, his brother Brandon was still alive, and it was him betrothed to Lady Carelyn, so there’s no stain on your father’s honor.  There’s nought like a tourney to make the blood run hot, so maybe some words were whispered in a tent of a night, who can say?  Words or kisses, maybe more, but where’s the harm in that?  Spring had come, or so they thought, and neither one of them was pledged.?

And Selmy seems to believe that Ashara’s “dishonor” happened at Harrenhal:

Quote

But Ashara’s daughter had been stillborn, and his fair lady had thrown herself from a tower soon after, mad with grief for the child she had lost, and perhaps for the man who had dishonored her at harrenhal as well.

And Harrenhal couldn’t have been two years before the rebellion.  Harrenhal happened during the False Spring which lasted only “two turns” (I assume two months) according to the World Book.  And also according to the World Book winter returned shortly before the close of the year (281).  It was sometime after the beginning of the year (unspecified) that Rhaegar captures Lyanna, and the rebellion starts sometime thereafter sometime in the year 282.  So my best guess is that if Ashara conceived, at Harrenhal, she would have given birth sometime during the rebellion, (or even immediately before) so she would have still been capable of serving as a wet nurse after the end of the rebellion, during the time of the tower of joy.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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2 hours ago, SirArthur said:

1. I would have expected a lady in waiting to stay with Elia and then escape KL with the Queen. At least within the wet nurse idea to use the relationship as an explanation.

2. there are actually 2 Ned-Ashara rumors going around: the one about Harrenhal and the one about Jon. And Ned's aggressive denial at least suggests that Ashara is somehow involved.

We also do not know much about the relationship between Lyanna and Ned. Why do we assume it was good ? 

3. There may be more than one reason to travel to Starfall. Somehow backtracking Ned's story makes it easier, as we know he went from the ToJ to Starfall. But it also raises the question how Ned would know that th Daynes are not hostile. Even a love affair would not lead to that conclusion.

1.  Perhaps Ashara Dayne was serving Elia by acting as a wet nurse to Elia’s son, the prince that was promised.

2.  Don’t you think both rumors are probably related?  The same people in Winterfell spreading the rumor that Jon is Ashara’s son are also spreading the rumor that Ned and Ashara conceived Jon during Harrenhal.  Which may be a good guess that despite Cat’s assumption, the rest of Winterfell may believe that Jon is a good bit older than Robb.

3.  If Ned is with Ashara when they return, he probably has a pretty good guess that he’s not going to return to a hostile reception.  Especially if he may also be returning Ashara’s child back safe and sound.

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:wub: Just stopping in to say hi. How are you all doing? Glad to see Heresy still going strong. To follow in the line with FFR though it may be a bit of a segue, I've always thought and still think its a matter of perspective. In this case, the only perspective that matters is Ned. Ned by his silence put Jon in a pretty sweet spot because there are several ideas on who Jon's mother could be. A fisherman's daughter at the beginning of Robert's rebellion, a supposed girlfriend he could have hooked up with at any time; as long as those on the outside had their notion no one with the exception of Cat is going to be concerned about Jon's true age.

This is where thinking from the perspective of a reader instead of a character is a disadvantage. As long as everyone thought Ned was Jon father and there were prospective mothers being flouted in actuality Ned could have hooked up with these women at any time, especially Ashara. Ned being thought of as Jon's father is all the protection Jon needs because there are enough women that Ned had dealings with for people to speculate. Therefore, and I've said this before the key is not trying to make a theory fit facts.

1. The whole bastards grow up faster is a huge clue. It was the only way to explain Jon's progress in relation to Robb. Everyone in WF who was around when Ned brought home knows Jon is older than Robb, Cat knows it too but there are pretenses too uphold. Keeping Jon in the dark about his true age was for Robb's benefit and really knowing that wasn't going to make Jon's life easier. 

2. Ned keeping things close to the chest is another huge clue. The man has told no one anything and I mean no one.he's just let everyone believe what they want regarding Jon's mother. And what people believe is based on rumors and assumptions. have happened at Harrenhall.No one is thinking Ned and Ashara could have hooked up any time after that.

3. Pegging down a time is out the window. In the story, if characters buy the FM story Jon is older than Robb. For those who buy Ashara then he was conceived at Harrenhal and definitely older than Robb. Based on what characters in the story believe given the women Ned was thought to have been with; Jon's conception could have occurred between Harrenhall and the beginning of Robert's rebellion. This is solely based on what characters think they know.

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As to your speculations about Catelyn and Ashara Dayne... sigh... needless to say, All Will Be Revealed in Good Time. I will give you this much, however; Ashara Dayne was not nailed to the floor in Starfall, as some of the fans who write me seem to assume. They have horses in Dorne too, you know. And boats (though not many of their own). As a matter of fact (a tiny tidbit from SOS), she was one of Princess Elia's lady companions in King's Landing, in the first few years after Elia married Rhaegar.

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Thanks, that's pretty much how I remembered it and a very broad hint that something was going on

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5 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

:wub: Just stopping in to say hi. How are you all doing? Glad to see Heresy still going strong. To follow in the line with FFR though it may be a bit of a segue, I've always thought and still think its a matter of perspective. In this case, the only perspective that matters is Ned. Ned by his silence put Jon in a pretty sweet spot because there are several ideas on who Jon's mother could be. A fisherman's daughter at the beginning of Robert's rebellion, a supposed girlfriend he could have hooked up with at any time; as long as those on the outside had their notion no one with the exception of Cat is going to be concerned about Jon's true age.

This is where thinking from the perspective of a reader instead of a character is a disadvantage. As long as everyone thought Ned was Jon father and there were prospective mothers being flouted in actuality Ned could have hooked up with these women at any time, especially Ashara. Ned being thought of as Jon's father is all the protection Jon needs because there are enough women that Ned had dealings with for people to speculate. Therefore, and I've said this before the key is not trying to make a theory fit facts.

1. The whole bastards grow up faster is a huge clue. It was the only way to explain Jon's progress in relation to Robb. Everyone in WF who was around when Ned brought home knows Jon is older than Robb, Cat knows it too but there are pretenses too uphold. Keeping Jon in the dark about his true age was for Robb's benefit and really knowing that wasn't going to make Jon's life easier. 

2. Ned keeping things close to the chest is another huge clue. The man has told no one anything and I mean no one.he's just let everyone believe what they want regarding Jon's mother. And what people believe is based on rumors and assumptions. have happened at Harrenhall.No one is thinking Ned and Ashara could have hooked up any time after that.

3. Pegging down a time is out the window. In the story, if characters buy the FM story Jon is older than Robb. For those who buy Ashara then he was conceived at Harrenhal and definitely older than Robb. Based on what characters in the story believe given the women Ned was thought to have been with; Jon's conception could have occurred between Harrenhall and the beginning of Robert's rebellion. This is solely based on what characters think they know.

At this point I don't really have a dog in this race, but historically older bastards have always been seen as a threat to younger but legitimate siblings, so I think its not only possible but likely that GRRM is setting this up for Jon being older than Robb. Of course even if he was the same age or even slightly younger than Robb, now that Robb has dropped off his perch Jon is unquestionably older than Bran and Rickon. 

So why would the fact that Jon might be older than Robb matter when they were both above ground? If Jon is older then GRRM has set this up for a reason that may have nothing to do with the Winterfell Succession

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As an out-of-universe approach:

GRRM messed up the timing. 

- if Ned had met Jon's mother during the rebellion, Jon is younger than Rob, but Ned would have cheated on Catelyn

- if Ned had sired Jon at/around Harrenhal Jon is older than Robb

- what does not fit at all: if Ned had had other women than Catelyn during the war (and as the Red Hot Chili Peppers tell "every man has certain needs") this would not have been a big deal until he decided to bring the bastard home. This, of course, angers Catelyn, because the other women is always present from now on. I fail to understand how this would make Eddard "the honorable Ned" unless it's mocking.

In story: for above reason's Ashara Dayne had to fake suicide and disappear. With her supposedly being Jon's mother and dead Ned can calm Catelyn a bit, no living rival, no lowborn chest, a flirt that started when she was bethroted to Brandon ...

Maybe Ashara told Ned the truth about Rhaegar and Lyanna during the rebellion and they set this up together? Ned doesn't seem to be the cunning type ...

 

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10 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

1.  Perhaps Ashara Dayne was serving Elia by acting as a wet nurse to Elia’s son, the prince that was promised.

2.  Don’t you think both rumors are probably related?  The same people in Winterfell spreading the rumor that Jon is Ashara’s son are also spreading the rumor that Ned and Ashara conceived Jon during Harrenhal.  Which may be a good guess that despite Cat’s assumption, the rest of Winterfell may believe that Jon is a good bit older than Robb.

3.  If Ned is with Ashara when they return, he probably has a pretty good guess that he’s not going to return to a hostile reception.  Especially if he may also be returning Ashara’s child back safe and sound.

regarding 1: I can see how Ashara wet nurses Aegon, Elia's son. And instead of retreating to Dragonstone, Elia decides to flee for Dorne. In that case Elia's Aegon is out there and it is not (f)Aegon.

regarding 2: I regard Harrenhal less as a rumor and more as a Selmy observation. Anyway, I wanted to point out that we have two different dates the rumors relate to. 

regarding 3: That is true. But where did he find Ashara ? At the ToJ, where only two rode away ?

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