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Sly Wren

GRRM Already Told Us the Tower of Joy Backstory: Wrong Joy, No Hiding, and Fight Elsewhere.

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10 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

I'm loving this line of reasoning you, @Seams and @AlaskanSandman are on.

I'd see the "bastard sword" as being Jon's halfway sword the one he wants: the true greatsword of his father that will give him a family name.

But this is really cool--the Mormonts, the Winter's Child--this could be a really interesting twist.

I know i probably didn't mention here yet, but i dont believe Rhaegar to be the father of Jon, not yet. More pushes me to Mance Rayder than Rhaegar. 

Everything talked about having to do with Bael, a Valyrian line in the North, Alysanne, Queen's Crown, Mance, the Horn of Winter, are all connected to Jon's Journey of self discovery. Rhaegar has nothing to do with his journey imo so far as i can see it.

Jon is told a legend that is mirroring his life, Bael the Bard. Jon isn't about to fight King beyond the Wall Rhaegar though, he fights Mance. Who refuses to throw his full force at Jon due to "Blood" as he answers Jon in one word. I think Mance was the Black Brother at Harrenhal and the Knight of the Laughing Tree. He and Rhaegar made some deal imo that all of this hinges on.

Songs and legends Mance should Know- The Night King, The Last Hero, Bael the Bard

Songs and legends Rhaegar should know- The Night King, The Last Hero, TPTWP, 

Rhaegar was a Harpist and Mance played the Flute, and their was a tournament of Singers at the Tourney to boot. Good chance these two men would have common interests. Good chance they would have spoke too, if Mance was sent with a request from the Watch to ask for supplies or something else, as we see men sent to K.L. in the current story asking for aid. I imagine going to Aerys II didn't seem like such a good idea, and Tywin was having a fit and left as Hand of the King. 

( Though i will give you that there is a window of chance that Rhaegar purposefully intended the slight and knows of Bael and Hardhome and did purposefully steal a Stark Maid. Though if this is indeed the scenario, we need a lot more pretext. What was the point behind stealing the first Stark Maid? Why was Valyria landing North of the Wall? Is this what woke the Others? What's Rhaegar's point in trying to duplicate this? I already mentioned above the silliness of Rhaegar's plan being to crown Jon or any of that. So we need a better idea of what Rhaegar's og plan was, then what his alternate plan became upon possibly stealing Lyanna.)

Otherwise im still leaning towards Mance as Jon's father and Rhaegar as Daenerys' father. Ice and Fire. The books are about them coming together, not about how ice and fire already came together imo.

Edited by AlaskanSandman

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Oh this is an interesting topic.  Best subject since Damsel in distress commented on the killing of Janos Slynt.  This is another discussion that could bring on a lot of thoughtful comments.  

Ashara danced and flirted with many guys at the Harrenhall tourney.  She was doing that to make someone jealous.  That is what her behavior indicates to me.  Ashara was enchanting that evening.  The author has had painful relationships with women during his youth and he was likely a witness to this kind of behavior.  I am going out on a limb that the man she really wanted was not one of the ones she was flirting with.  Oh and I can put a different spin for why Rhaegar gave the blue flowers to Lyanna instead of his wife.  Get this.  Rhaegar fights back by crowning a northern girl of lesser beauty to make Ashara jealous.  You see, crowning his wife is expected of him and doing so would not make Ashara jealous.  After all, she can rationalize in her head that he had to do it out of his official duty.  But to crown a northern girl instead!  That would kick Ashara's mental computer into overdrive.  Like, did he find another young thing?  Is the prince getting ready to dump me?  Have I gone too far and made him angry?  Things of that sort.  

What about Lyanna?  I have to say there are so many explanations for how she got there and the cause of her death.  The Kingsguard stayed loyal to King Aerys until their very last breath.  The only reason they would leave his side is by his own orders.  Rhaegar cannot order the Kingsguard to leave Aerys unguarded because they would prioritize.  Their priority is the protection of King Aerys and not the bastard accident of a disinherited prince.  It doesn't matter who Rhaegar knocked up.  The result is an illegitimate.  The Kingsguard would never leave the red keep because the man they are loyal to, Aerys, was there.  Prince Aegon was there, with his sister, Princess Rhaenys.  All of the important people that need protecting are in the capital city with Aerys.  I put forward that Rhaegar was using Lyanna, under orders from King Aerys.  He used her as a tool at Harrenhall.  Now he is using her to disrupt the alliance between the nobles houses of Stark and Baratheon.  The belief is true, Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna.  This is right in line with the stories of Bael taking a Stark lord's daughter and using her to inject his DNA into their family forever.  This fits with the more recent and closer example of Bealish kidnapping a Stark lord's daughter and using her as a tool to destroy the Starks and the Baratheons.  The first Bael used seduction.  The second Bael(ish) used trickery.  The in-between Bael used good, old fashioned kidnapping in an attempt to break the blood bond between Stark and Baratheon.  George is not about to perfectly mirror each case with the others.  But there are hints there.  The napper (not rapper) Bael takes a Stark woman to further his own ambitions.  Bael 1, to inject his DNA into a dying house.  To ensure there must always be a Stark at Winterfell.  Last names is a manmade invention.  Bael's children will be Stark by blood.  Bael 2, to protect the Targaryen family from two plotting families.  Bael 3, to rise up the political ladder and destroy the families who hurt him in the past.  Ned was willing to forgive Rhaegar just like he was willing to forgive Cersei.  Ned's capacity to forgive is commendable.  

 

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Rhaegar and Littlefinger are not bards but they used their own kind of music to lure the Stark girls.  Lyanna to me is a woman who loved her freedom.  Marriage is not what she wanted.  That role is too traditional.  I say Rhaegar lured her with freedom.  Freedom from the engagement she didn't want.  Lyanna didn't want to remain her family's puppet.  But women are puppets in that world and I suppose Rhaegar sort of used her in a way.  Petyr lured Sansa with power and high social standing.  Sansa always thought of life as a song and Petyr sang to her with songs of promise.  He promised to make her fantasies come true.  Bael sang songs of love and seduction to his Stark.  Jaquen promised revenge to Arya.  The FM play their own songs like radios do.

Edited by Bowen 747

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10 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Everything talked about having to do with Bael, a Valyrian line in the North, Alysanne, Queen's Crown, Mance, the Horn of Winter, are all connected to Jon's Journey of self discovery. Rhaegar has nothing to do with his journey imo so far as i can see it.

Jon is told a legend that is mirroring his life, Bael the Bard. Jon isn't about to fight King beyond the Wall Rhaegar though, he fights Mance. Who refuses to throw his full force at Jon due to "Blood" as he answers Jon in one word. I think Mance was the Black Brother at Harrenhal and the Knight of the Laughing Tree. He and Rhaegar made some deal imo that all of this hinges on.

...

Rhaegar was a Harpist and Mance played the Flute, and their was a tournament of Singers at the Tourney to boot. Good chance these two men would have common interests. Good chance they would have spoke too, if Mance was sent with a request from the Watch to ask for supplies or something else, as we see men sent to K.L. in the current story asking for aid.

...

Otherwise I'm still leaning towards Mance as Jon's father and Rhaegar as Daenerys' father. Ice and Fire. The books are about them coming together, not about how ice and fire already came together imo.

This got me thinking and a couple more things clicked into place. From Joffrey's wedding feast, where we also see a maid sniffling because of a song:

Grey-bearded Hamish the Harper announced that he would perform . . . "Lord Renly's Ride."

His fingers moved across the strings of the high harp, filling the throne room with sweet sound. . . .

Queen Margaery was teary-eyed by the end . . .

At Harrenhal, the dragon prince played a sad song that made the wolf maid sniffle. At Joffrey's wedding feast, Margaery is teary because of a sad and romantic song about her dead husband, Renly. The song includes Renly's ghost making a final appearance for a last kiss for his lady wife, giving Renly a sort of ghostly presence at the feast. Also, Renly's armor was part of a sort of "mystery knight" appearance at the Battle of the Blackwater and the man who wore the armor at that battle is present at the wedding feast - Ser Garlan Tyrell. So there is a "mystery knight" at the purple wedding (MK2), just as there was a mystery knight at Harrenhal (MK1).

My point is that this might support your idea that Mance is the Knight of the Laughing Tree: he is a singer and (if you are right about him being the black brother seeking recruits) part of the feast scene at Harrenhal. At Joffrey's wedding feast, the singer isn't the mystery knight but he sings about the mystery knight. Singers are truth-tellers in ASOIAF, and there is an important, indirect truth in the song about Renly's return.

I also find it persuasive that the black brother / Mance / MK1 would have been in cahoots with Rhaegar. Returning to the "Ser Garlan = mystery knight 2" evidence: the Tyrell family is all about roses in their House sigil, personal sigils for each son, the Queen of Thorns, etc. As Sly Wren has pointed out, Ser Loras gave a rose to Sansa at the Hand's Tourney and no one had a problem with it. Rhaegar is associated with roses at the Harrenhal tournament. Could the Tyrells as a team be reliving a notable moment of Rhaegar's past? And maybe carrying forward his spirit into current events?

I believe it is not coincidental that the name "Garlan Tyrell" can be anagrammed to make "Targaryen LLL" (although I'm not sure what the extra letters L represent, if anything). Many comments in this forum have explained the various motives of the Tyrell family for wanting to poison King Joffrey, but the Targaryens -- Rhaegar in particular -- would have a motive to beat all motives in bringing about the death of a young Lannister. If the Tyrells are intended to be "reborn" Targaryens, this echo of the Harrenhal feast is a big hint for the reader.

You know, Mance is supposed to be the son of a black brother of the Night's Watch. Craster, too. What if they are sons of Bloodraven and/or Maester Aemon? Craster regards Mance with contempt and does not recognize him as King Beyond the Wall. To me, the implication is that Craster thinks of himself as the king. Certainly his incest tradition seems like a warped echo of Targaryen family practices.

Back on the Queenscrown / Tower of Joy comparison:

I was thinking again about Bran, Meera and the others in the Queenscrown, and how they might be an echo of the effort to save the Targaryen heirs. I remembered that Maester Luwin's dying admonition to Osha was that Robb's heirs, Bran and Rickon, should not travel into hiding together. Could this be a parallel for Ser Willem Darry taking Viserys and Dany to Essos, while Rhaegar's surviving children were taken in another direction? Or maybe Darry really did have only Viserys and Dany came across the narrow sea at a later date. The "splitting heirs" strategy might also fit with the more recent switch of Gilly's baby with Dalla and Mance's baby.

I also recall that, when Osha and her traveling companions encountered Bran Stark alone in the woods near Winterfell, Osha wanted to kidnap Bran to take him to Mance, even though she must have just made a major effort to get below the Wall. Why doesn't she head straight for Mance with Rickon, once she has free reign to take him anywhere she wants to go? If Bran and/or his traveling companions represent the baby at or near the Tower of Joy, does Rickon represent Viserys? Or Young Griff / Aegon?

Maybe we can puzzle out this Rhaegar / Lyanna or Rhaegar / Ashara mystery by examining Bran and Rickon more closely.

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6 hours ago, Seams said:

This got me thinking and a couple more things clicked into place. From Joffrey's wedding feast, where we also see a maid sniffling because of a song:

Grey-bearded Hamish the Harper announced that he would perform . . . "Lord Renly's Ride."

His fingers moved across the strings of the high harp, filling the throne room with sweet sound. . . .

Queen Margaery was teary-eyed by the end . . .

At Harrenhal, the dragon prince played a sad song that made the wolf maid sniffle. At Joffrey's wedding feast, Margaery is teary because of a sad and romantic song about her dead husband, Renly. The song includes Renly's ghost making a final appearance for a last kiss for his lady wife, giving Renly a sort of ghostly presence at the feast. Also, Renly's armor was part of a sort of "mystery knight" appearance at the Battle of the Blackwater and the man who wore the armor at that battle is present at the wedding feast - Ser Garlan Tyrell. So there is a "mystery knight" at the purple wedding (MK2), just as there was a mystery knight at Harrenhal (MK1).

My point is that this might support your idea that Mance is the Knight of the Laughing Tree: he is a singer and (if you are right about him being the black brother seeking recruits) part of the feast scene at Harrenhal. At Joffrey's wedding feast, the singer isn't the mystery knight but he sings about the mystery knight. Singers are truth-tellers in ASOIAF, and there is an important, indirect truth in the song about Renly's return.

I also find it persuasive that the black brother / Mance / MK1 would have been in cahoots with Rhaegar. Returning to the "Ser Garlan = mystery knight 2" evidence: the Tyrell family is all about roses in their House sigil, personal sigils for each son, the Queen of Thorns, etc. As Sly Wren has pointed out, Ser Loras gave a rose to Sansa at the Hand's Tourney and no one had a problem with it. Rhaegar is associated with roses at the Harrenhal tournament. Could the Tyrells as a team be reliving a notable moment of Rhaegar's past? And maybe carrying forward his spirit into current events?

I believe it is not coincidental that the name "Garlan Tyrell" can be anagrammed to make "Targaryen LLL" (although I'm not sure what the extra letters L represent, if anything). Many comments in this forum have explained the various motives of the Tyrell family for wanting to poison King Joffrey, but the Targaryens -- Rhaegar in particular -- would have a motive to beat all motives in bringing about the death of a young Lannister. If the Tyrells are intended to be "reborn" Targaryens, this echo of the Harrenhal feast is a big hint for the reader.

You know, Mance is supposed to be the son of a black brother of the Night's Watch. Craster, too. What if they are sons of Bloodraven and/or Maester Aemon? Craster regards Mance with contempt and does not recognize him as King Beyond the Wall. To me, the implication is that Craster thinks of himself as the king. Certainly his incest tradition seems like a warped echo of Targaryen family practices.

Back on the Queenscrown / Tower of Joy comparison:

I was thinking again about Bran, Meera and the others in the Queenscrown, and how they might be an echo of the effort to save the Targaryen heirs. I remembered that Maester Luwin's dying admonition to Osha was that Robb's heirs, Bran and Rickon, should not travel into hiding together. Could this be a parallel for Ser Willem Darry taking Viserys and Dany to Essos, while Rhaegar's surviving children were taken in another direction? Or maybe Darry really did have only Viserys and Dany came across the narrow sea at a later date. The "splitting heirs" strategy might also fit with the more recent switch of Gilly's baby with Dalla and Mance's baby.

I also recall that, when Osha and her traveling companions encountered Bran Stark alone in the woods near Winterfell, Osha wanted to kidnap Bran to take him to Mance, even though she must have just made a major effort to get below the Wall. Why doesn't she head straight for Mance with Rickon, once she has free reign to take him anywhere she wants to go? If Bran and/or his traveling companions represent the baby at or near the Tower of Joy, does Rickon represent Viserys? Or Young Griff / Aegon?

Maybe we can puzzle out this Rhaegar / Lyanna or Rhaegar / Ashara mystery by examining Bran and Rickon more closely.

 

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Cersei V

She was ten when she finally saw her prince in the flesh, at the tourney her lord father had thrown to welcome King Aerys to the west. Viewing stands had been raised beneath the walls of Lannisport, and the cheers of the smallfolk had echoed off Casterly Rock like rolling thunder. They cheered Father twice as loudly as they cheered the king, the queen recalled, but only half as loudly as they cheered Prince Rhaegar.
Seventeen and new to knighthood, Rhaegar Targaryen had worn black plate over golden ringmail when he cantered onto the lists. Long streamers of red and gold and orange silk had floated behind his helm, like flames. Two of her uncles fell before his lance, along with a dozen of her father's finest jousters, the flower of the west. By night the prince played his silver harp and made her weep.

 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - The Griffin Reborn

"Of course, my lord."
Yet when they parted, Jon Connington did not go to the sept. Instead his steps led him up to the roof of the east tower, the tallest at Griffin's Roost. As he climbed he remembered past ascents—a hundred with his lord father, who liked to stand and look out over woods and crags and sea and know that all he saw belonged to House Connington, and one (only one!) with Rhaegar Targaryen. Prince Rhaegar was returning from Dorne, and he and his escort had lingered here a fortnight. He was so young then, and I was younger. Boys, the both of us. At the welcoming feast, the prince had taken up his silver-stringed harp and played for them. A song of love and doom, Jon Connington recalled, and every woman in the hall was weeping when he put down the harp. Not the men, of course. Particularly not his own father, whose only love was land. Lord Armond Connington spent the entire evening trying to win the prince to his side in his dispute with Lord Morrigen.
Im not sure how i feel about Lyanna crying over Rhaegar's song. Though i do wonder about the song he is singing. 
 
Quote

A Clash of Kings - Catelyn III

Across rain-sodden fields and stony ridges, she could see the great castle of Storm's End rearing up against the sky, its back to the unseen sea. Beneath that mass of pale grey stone, the encircling army of Lord Stannis Baratheon looked as small and insignificant as mice with banners.

The songs said that Storm's End had been raised in ancient days by Durran, the first Storm King, who had won the love of the fair Elenei, daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind. On the night of their wedding, Elenei had yielded her maidenhood to a mortal's love and thus doomed herself to a mortal's death, and her grieving parents had unleashed their wrath and sent the winds and waters to batter down Durran's hold.

Is it a deeper theme?
 
Quote

A Storm of Swords - Tyrion VIII

Collio began with his version of "The Dance of the Dragons," which was more properly a song for two singers, male and female. Tyrion suffered through it with a double helping of honey-ginger partridge and several cups of wine. A haunting ballad of two dying lovers amidst the Doom of Valyria might have pleased the hall more if Collio had not sung it in High Valyrian, which most of the guests could not speak. 
 
That's an interesting catch on Renly's armor! Garland is supposed to be pretty important too, Martin was surprised the show cut him due to his importance in his version. Garderners are already linked to Valyrian's possibly so the Tyrells having a deeper tie both past and present wouldn't surprise me, though definitely worth looking into more! You put out so much to process and relook at hahah :)
 
And yes very much to Craster and Mance, that very thought has crossed my mind too! Bloodraven being tied to Craster, who is possibly providing more White Walkers for the other side would not surprise me. I am deeply suspicious of Bloodraven given Bran meets him on the 13th chapter of ADWD. After Bran tells us of the Night's King who was the 13th L..C who served for 13 years  Bloodraven      239-252ac       13 years. (ignore my thread on Bloodraven, its a mess and needs to be redone. It was copy and pasted from notes that were a mess. I think there is an error in one of the datings for commander Qhorqyle. But basically Bloordraven mirrors the Last Hero who sought the help of the Cotf beyond the wall, and the Night King with his corpse bride sister and his 13 year reign as Lord Commander. Daughter is Melisandre? Bleeding Star? Sea-Star/BloodRaven? Azor Ahai who may be fighting their parent? I think so. Jon and Bran's fates worry me. Jon dies his 13th pov ch in ADWD. 
 
and i like where your going with Bran and Rickon in splitting them up. A lot to think about, reread, and rethink, thank you! 
 
Edited by AlaskanSandman

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6 hours ago, Seams said:

You know, Mance is supposed to be the son of a black brother of the Night's Watch. Craster, too. What if they are sons of Bloodraven and/or Maester Aemon? 

My point is that this might support your idea that Mance is the Knight of the Laughing Tree

 

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon II

Whitetree, the village was named on Sam's old maps. Jon did not think it much of a village. Four tumbledown one-room houses of unmortared stone surrounded an empty sheepfold and a well. The houses were roofed with sod, the windows shuttered with ragged pieces of hide. And above them loomed the pale limbs and dark red leaves of a monstrous great weirwood.
It was the biggest tree Jon Snow had ever seen, the trunk near eight feet wide, the branches spreading so far that the entire village was shaded beneath their canopy. The size did not disturb him so much as the face . . . the mouth especially, no simple carved slash, but a jagged hollow large enough to swallow a sheep.
 
Its amazing how much a still image of someone laughing and screaming look alike sometimes...
 
 
Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran II

"No one knew," said Meera, "but the mystery knight was short of stature, and clad in ill-fitting armor made up of bits and pieces. The device upon his shield was a heart tree of the old gods, a white weirwood with a laughing red face."
 
Why is the face red? 
Edited by AlaskanSandman

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OOOoooooooooo i know one thing Rhaegar could want from Mance Rayder that is possibly at the Wall. Dark Sister, confirmed to have been brought north by Bloodraven. TPTWP surely needs a magic sword?

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On September 16, 2018 at 6:58 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

Ice? :) Teasing a little but half serious haha or will no one take up the Stark sword of legend?

A fair point. Personally, I think Ice is a stand-in for the "Stark sword of legend"--Dawn: the sword I think was taken from the Night's King when he abused his power. 

I've also likes others' arguments that Ice was split in two in a literary reference to the Last Hero's sword breaking--thus making it so he needs another better one.

But I would love it if Ice gets back to the Starks.

All that said: Ice or any other sword doesn't innately bestow identity. In the novels, only one sword can only be wielded by one family and only by one worthy in the family: Dawn. It fits with what Jon has dreamed of since he was a kid: doing great deeds, earning the greatsword by worthiness, and then being called by his father's name. 

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On September 16, 2018 at 7:30 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

I know i probably didn't mention here yet, but i dont believe Rhaegar to be the father of Jon, not yet. More pushes me to Mance Rayder than Rhaegar. 

[snip]

Jon is told a legend that is mirroring his life, Bael the Bard. Jon isn't about to fight King beyond the Wall Rhaegar though, he fights Mance. Who refuses to throw his full force at Jon due to "Blood" as he answers Jon in one word. I think Mance was the Black Brother at Harrenhal and the Knight of the Laughing Tree. He and Rhaegar made some deal imo that all of this hinges on.

I'm liking the point about "blood"--though Ygritte makes the same point to Jon, that she and Jon share blood via Bael. And Mance is willing to haveJon killed by his men if Jon steps out of line on their Wall climbing "trust building" exersise.

On September 16, 2018 at 7:30 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

Rhaegar was a Harpist and Mance played the Flute, and their was a tournament of Singers at the Tourney to boot. Good chance these two men would have common interests. Good chance they would have spoke too, if Mance was sent with a request from the Watch to ask for supplies or something else, as we see men sent to K.L. in the current story asking for aid. I imagine going to Aerys II didn't seem like such a good idea, and Tywin was having a fit and left as Hand of the King. 

Why would a talk about supplies lead to more talk with the Prince? Just because of music? Especially if Rhaegar was in the midst of trying to plan a rebellion? Can you think of a parallel? I'm struggling to follow you here.

On September 16, 2018 at 7:30 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

( Though i will give you that there is a window of chance that Rhaegar purposefully intended the slight and knows of Bael and Hardhome and did purposefully steal a Stark Maid.

I do think Rhaegar might have known the rose was an insult, though I doubt it. And I doubt he took a Stark maid on purpose--I think he ended up with one and took advantage of the situation.

On September 16, 2018 at 7:30 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

What was the point behind stealing the first Stark Maid?

The story seems pretty clear in Ygritte's telling: to stick it to the Stark in Winterfell in the midst of a long feud. Could there be more? Of course--but I think Stonesnake might have the measure of Bael better than Ygritte: guy really might have been a raider and a raper. 

On September 16, 2018 at 7:30 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

 Is this what woke the Others?

Right now, I'm buying the theory that waking the Others was a long process--and that the Targs and fire and meddling with the Watch were part of it.

But I think the final moment was when a Stark of Winterfell (Night's King descendant) killed the Sword of the Morning (Day's King)--"As blue as the eyes of death" is a phrase that occurs nowhere else in the novels. Only in the moment before Ned fights Arthur.

On September 16, 2018 at 7:30 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

 So we need a better idea of what Rhaegar's og plan was, then what his alternate plan became upon possibly stealing Lyanna.

Agreed--though I think we have hints in what other Bael/Rhaegar figures do when they get Stark Maids--useful hostages and pawns.

On September 16, 2018 at 7:30 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

Otherwise im still leaning towards Mance as Jon's father and Rhaegar as Daenerys' father. Ice and Fire. The books are about them coming together, not about how ice and fire already came together imo.

I do think Rhaegar is likely to be Dany's father. Mance with Jon is harder--the logistics seem difficult. For instance: how does she end up associated with the 3 KG in Ned's dreams and memory?

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I can accept the black brother at Harrenhal being Mance.  Maybe, just maybe he jousted because Lyanna asked him to.  We know he's good at hiding his identity.   This guy has a connection to Lyanna.  Why else would he show an interest in the crypts while in the middle  of a dangerous mission for his Lord commander.  He wants to visit the grave of his beloved.

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22 hours ago, Enuma Elish said:

I am going out on a limb that the man she really wanted was not one of the ones she was flirting with.  Oh and I can put a different spin for why Rhaegar gave the blue flowers to Lyanna instead of his wife.  Get this.  Rhaegar fights back by crowning a northern girl of lesser beauty to make Ashara jealous.  You see, crowning his wife is expected of him and doing so would not make Ashara jealous.  After all, she can rationalize in her head that he had to do it out of his official duty.  But to crown a northern girl instead!  That would kick Ashara's mental computer into overdrive.  Like, did he find another young thing?  Is the prince getting ready to dump me?  Have I gone too far and made him angry?  Things of that sort.  

This would actually fit with the potential parallels between Lysa and Ashara. . . 

22 hours ago, Enuma Elish said:

I put forward that Rhaegar was using Lyanna, under orders from King Aerys.  He used her as a tool at Harrenhall.  Now he is using her to disrupt the alliance between the nobles houses of Stark and Baratheon.  The belief is true, Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna.  This is right in line with the stories of Bael taking a Stark lord's daughter and using her to inject his DNA into their family forever. 

I've made this argument myself--and thus think it has promise.

The big problem I ran into with my own argument? Rhaegar is willing to kill his father clear back at Duskendale. He's plotting against Aerys, not just meekly taking orders. . . can't see him doing this just for his father. Would have to be looking for a way to disrupt his devil daddy.

22 hours ago, Enuma Elish said:

Bael 2, to protect the Targaryen family from two plotting families. 

Maybe--but Rhaegar was plotting to depose and probably kill his dad. . . not trying to protect that part of his family at all.

I'm liking the "3 Baels" you note. But I think Rhaegar would be unlikely to plot with his father. With Tywin? Yes. But Aerys? Struggling to see that.

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20 hours ago, Bowen 747 said:

Rhaegar and Littlefinger are not bards but they used their own kind of music to lure the Stark girls.  Lyanna to me is a woman who loved her freedom.  Marriage is not what she wanted.  That role is too traditional.  I say Rhaegar lured her with freedom.  Freedom from the engagement she didn't want.  Lyanna didn't want to remain her family's puppet.  But women are puppets in that world and I suppose Rhaegar sort of used her in a way. 

1. With Rhaegar: Meera says the song, not the singer, made Lyanna sniffle. And Martin shows us Arya's reaction to a seductive singer just two chapters before Meera's tale. There, Arya is touched by memories of her family, being homesick for Sansa--so, her sadness is spurred by the song but has nothing to do with the singer. 

Seems like Martin didi that for a reason--to tell us about Lyanna's reaction.

2. We don't know Lyanna didn't want marriage per se, do we? Just that she was wary of Robert. 

3. And I do think Rhaegar used he as a puppet.

20 hours ago, Bowen 747 said:

Petyr lured Sansa with power and high social standing.  Sansa always thought of life as a song and Petyr sang to her with songs of promise.  He promised to make her fantasies come true.  Bael sang songs of love and seduction to his Stark.  Jaquen promised revenge to Arya.  The FM play their own songs like radios do.

1. Baelish may have tried to charm Sansa, but to get her into his power he: used a go-between to lie to her and gain her trust, then framed her for murder, putting a price on her head and guaranteeing she had no other recourse but to trust him. Then he took her name and her appearance.

That's not "love and seduction"--that blackmail by murder. 

2. Either way, can't see how the above examples make it likely Lyanna would be seduced by these tactics is Arya wasn't--and if Sansa had to be corralled and cornered into submission.

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5 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

1. With Rhaegar: Meera says the song, not the singer, made Lyanna sniffle. And Martin shows us Arya's reaction to a seductive singer just two chapters before Meera's tale. There, Arya is touched by memories of her family, being homesick for Sansa--so, her sadness is spurred by the song but has nothing to do with the singer. 

Seems like Martin didi that for a reason--to tell us about Lyanna's reaction.

2. We don't know Lyanna didn't want marriage per se, do we? Just that she was wary of Robert. 

3. And I do think Rhaegar used he as a puppet.

  1. No, we don't know if the singer as well as the song moved Lyanna. Given the power Ser Barristan tells us about Rhaegar's singing and his communication of his own feelings through song, it is not hard to see that it is possible for Lyanna to have been moved by Rhaegar, and not just his song. This I will give you. We have lots of evidence that Rhaegar loved Lyanna, and much less so that she loved him. That's to be expected given the mystery Martin has wrapped Lyanna's feelings. Crying at his singing might be one clue of those feelings, and her dying holding onto roses that suspiciously remind us of her crown of winter roses might be another. Perhaps Howland or Benjen will comeback and tell us.
  2. I would put it as more than wary. She judges his character and finds it lacking. Place this in the context of her oldest brother's behavior, and Lyanna has every reason to be much more than wary of powerful men who treat women as just the next release of their sexual need.
  3. I've put forward the idea that Rhaegar used Lyanna at Harrenhal to send a political message to the Starks, and the STAB bloc. By crowning her Queen of Love and Beauty, he states before all the assembled lords of Westeros that he has an interest in Lyanna, and that does not include her marrying Robert. Whether or not this is just a political message or motived by multiple different layers of meaning is another question. I don't find it hard to believe at all that Rhaegar was extremely attracted to Lyanna, and not just by her beauty. How can one not be drawn to a young woman who stands up for those who are bullied and ridiculed for who they are, not what they do? If Lyanna was the Knight of the Laughing Tree, which I think is true, and Rhaegar finds her secret out, then we have a whole other level of bravery and strength that a man who sees jaded, sycophantic behavior every day of his life must find - different? No, no puppet. Yes, as both a way of sending a political message while, perhaps, sending another personal message to Lyanna herself.

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1 hour ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

I can accept the black brother at Harrenhal being Mance.  Maybe, just maybe he jousted because Lyanna asked him to.  We know he's good at hiding his identity.   This guy has a connection to Lyanna.  Why else would he show an interest in the crypts while in the middle  of a dangerous mission for his Lord commander.  He wants to visit the grave of his beloved.

On the crypts--Mance has been digging up graves for a while, looking for something. No idea if he actually found it. Could be he's decided to come look in Winterfell.

Plus--those crypts are famous and unique. Far as I can tell, no one else in the novels has a crypt remotely like that.

Just seems like we've been shown other potential reasons for Mance to look in the crypts. . . .for now, at least.

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43 minutes ago, SFDanny said:
  1. No, we don't know if the singer as well as the song moved Lyanna. Given the power Ser Barristan tells us about Rhaegar's singing and his communication of his own feelings through song, it is not hard to see that it is possible for Lyanna to have been moved by Rhaegar, and not just his song. This I will give you. We have lots of evidence that Rhaegar loved Lyanna, and much less so that she loved him. That's to be expected given the mystery Martin has wrapped Lyanna's feelings. Crying at his singing might be one clue of those feelings, and her dying holding onto roses that suspiciously remind us of her crown of winter roses might be another. Perhaps Howland or Benjen will comeback and tell us.

1. Off topic--but I'm Hoping Howland and Benjen show up very soon. 

2. Barristan's assessment seems very likely to be dead on about Rhaegar's singing, given what we see of Cersei.

But Martin specifically shows Arya's reactions to Tom Sevenstrings--In Storm, Arya II, Husband says flat out that Tom sings to get women out of their small clothes. Tom fully admits it and brags about it. Then, in Storm Arya IV, Tom sings "a song so soft and sad" that Arya's immediately homesick for Sansa--nothing whatsoever about Tom.

Two chapters later, Meera tells us Rhaegar "played a song so sad it made the wolf maid sniffle."

Why on earth bother showing us that stuff about Arya and a seductive singer? Arya even meets Lady Smallwood in the same chapter, after hearing Tom sing--and learns that Lady Smallwood was Tom's lover. She meets the singer's lover, but is not seduced herself. Seems like there;s at least a chance Martin is showing us how wolf-maids react to singers vs. other women. . . .

43 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

2. I would put it as more than wary. She judges his character and finds it lacking. Place this in the context of her oldest brother's behavior, and Lyanna has every reason to be much more than wary of powerful men who treat women as just the next release of their sexual need.

Very fair. And it shows her astuteness about men at a really young age. 

43 minutes ago, SFDanny said:
  1. I've put forward the idea that Rhaegar used Lyanna at Harrenhal to send a political message to the Starks, and the STAB bloc. By crowning her Queen of Love and Beauty, he states before all the assembled lords of Westeros that he has an interest in Lyanna, and that does not include her marrying Robert.

Or--that he knows the marriage to Robert is political? Any reason that he must be laying claim to her himself, any more than Loras is laying claim to Sansa?

43 minutes ago, SFDanny said:
  1. Whether or not this is just a political message or motived by multiple different layers of meaning is another question. I don't find it hard to believe at all that Rhaegar was extremely attracted to Lyanna, and not just by her beauty. How can one not be drawn to a young woman who stands up for those who are bullied and ridiculed for who they are, not what they do?

Agreed--one issue I have: we're told women are attracted to Rhaegar. Less so that Rhaegar seems all that lusty. @Rufus Snow pointed out above that both Ned and Robert characterize Stannis as unlikely to go to brothels--the exact same assessment Ned makes of Rhaegar. 

If (and I fully admit it is an if) Rhaegar is more like Stannis romantically, the above might not have mattered.

43 minutes ago, SFDanny said:
  1. If Lyanna was the Knight of the Laughing Tree, which I think is true, and Rhaegar finds her secret out, then we have a whole other level of bravery and strength that a man who sees jaded, sycophantic behavior every day of his life must find - different? No, no puppet. Yes, as both a way of sending a political message while, perhaps, sending another personal message to Lyanna herself.

Or, he might see her and her family as a threat to his plans. He's willing to kill his dad at Duskendale. He's motivated. 

If Lyanna was the Knight, or if the Starks in general were suspected of being the Knight (regardless of confirmation), could see someone that motivated as worried about potential upstarts and complications.

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1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

I'm liking the point about "blood"--though Ygritte makes the same point to Jon, that she and Jon share blood via Bael. And Mance is willing to haveJon killed by his men if Jon steps out of line on their Wall climbing "trust building" exersise.

Yrgritte doesnt' parallel Jon and never words it to Jon as such. She round about tells Jon that the wildlings and Starks are blood yes, but Bael refused to fight his son at the wall and thus lost, same as Mance. 

 

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

Why would a talk about supplies lead to more talk with the Prince? Just because of music? Especially if Rhaegar was in the midst of trying to plan a rebellion? Can you think of a parallel? I'm struggling to follow you here.

Rhaegars not in the midst of planning a rebellion though, his father saw to that. 

Rhaegar would have met Mance when discovering the Night of the Laughing Tree at the least, and need Mance to step down so Rhaegar can win. Supplies and men is something Mance would have been sent south for first of all. Music and the Tourney and likely seeing Rhaegar play is just common ground for them once meeting. An ice breaker maybe or just a common hobby. I play guitar, so any one who plays guitar i can sit and chat with, and do. People who share interest tend to get along better than those that don't. A level of respect between them if you will. Mance would still want Lyanna crowned, and Rhaegar may still be asking Mance about his families sword that Rhaegar likely knows was taken North by Bloodraven. 

So they may have met before the unmasking of the Knight, or only at the Unmasking. And with Owen Merryweather, the hand of the King, likely in K.L. Rhaegar would be the next likely man to see. 

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

The story seems pretty clear in Ygritte's telling: to stick it to the Stark in Winterfell in the midst of a long feud. Could there be more? Of course--but I think Stonesnake might have the measure of Bael better than Ygritte: guy really might have been a raider and a raper. 

With everything about his name Bael and it's spelling, the likely timing he existed, his possible blood ties to Valyria, and House Stark, and the Lord Stark started it all by calling a then wildling (not king yet) a coward. I doubt it Bael was just some random raper and raider. Saying to Jon from Ygritte that they are blood is silly, no duh they are blood. They both come from the first men. So Bael is redundant under that logic imo

 

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

Agreed--though I think we have hints in what other Bael/Rhaegar figures do when they get Stark Maids--useful hostages and pawns.

.Yea, we're seeing those mirrors a little different haha Sansa (Lyanna) was given a rose by someone not interested in her, and taken by some one else entirely who didn't compete, Peter Baelish (means not Rhaegar as he gave the rose to some one he was not interested in). 

Same thing with Uthor of the Hightower and Maris the Maid. Same thing with Naerys and Aemon the Dragonknight. Etc. 

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

I do think Rhaegar is likely to be Dany's father. Mance with Jon is harder--the logistics seem difficult. For instance: how does she end up associated with the 3 KG in Ned's dreams and memory?

As GRRM said, its a fever dream and not to be taken literally. You even postulate that Lyanna was never at the Tower. If Daenerys is the child of Rhaegar and Ashara Dayne, then that is who the K.G. were guarding, not Lyanna and her child. Which would explain why Arthur Dayne would be there for sure.  That is the mirror to Alysanne and Queen's crown tower. Lyanna's is something to do with a crypt imo, hence Jon being drawn to the Crypts, hence Mance having his spearwives search for the entrance to the Crypts. Mance tasted the Dornishman's (Robert is a Marcher Lord, Marcher lords is the name given to the lords of the stormlands and the Reach within the Dornish Marches.) wife (Lyanna Stark). Which is the first thing he says to Jon, howd you like the song? To which Jon replies that he's heard it before. To which Mance looks at him and repeats the line, about tasting the Dornishman's wife before switching subjects quickly. 

I have a feeling Mance didn't know Lyanna had his child untill he saw Jon at Winterfell. Hence Lyanna's hiding. 

Though hey, i could be wrong :) 

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2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

 

Great input from everyone and interesting subjects for sure. I do really like seeing different takes on these things and the cool associations people make

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2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

A fair point. Personally, I think Ice is a stand-in for the "Stark sword of legend"--Dawn: the sword I think was taken from the Night's King when he abused his power. 

I've also likes others' arguments that Ice was split in two in a literary reference to the Last Hero's sword breaking--thus making it so he needs another better one.

But I would love it if Ice gets back to the Starks.

All that said: Ice or any other sword doesn't innately bestow identity. In the novels, only one sword can only be wielded by one family and only by one worthy in the family: Dawn. It fits with what Jon has dreamed of since he was a kid: doing great deeds, earning the greatsword by worthiness, and then being called by his father's name. 

Yea just more throwing it out there haha Their ancestral sword just makes me think of the Others, and with all the 13 stuff between Bran, Bloodraven, and Jon, i wouldn't be shocked. 

And Jon wielding the Hero's sword and having the typical Hero's journey seems off to me with GRRM. I also suspect that Daenerys will get that sword if any one. The likely hood of Dawn being brought up to Jon seems unlikely to me. Dany in her discovery of the Red Door, will be lead down that path i believe. Her story is that of Dorne, not Jon, he is of the North. 

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1 hour ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Mance tasted the Dornishman's (Robert is a Marcher Lord, Marcher lords is the name given to the lords of the stormlands and the Reach within the Dornish Marches.) wife (Lyanna Stark). Which is the first thing he says to Jon, howd you like the song? To which Jon replies that he's heard it before. To which Mance looks at him and repeats the line, about tasting the Dornishman's wife before switching subjects quickly. 

I think this is a stretch too far - Marchers and Dornishmen are opposite sides to one of Westeros' longest standing rivalries. I'd also disagree that Robert was a Marcher lord, as well. The marcher lords are those who lie along the border, like Dondarrion and Caron and some others.

My take is that the song is a Marcher song, as it is basically about fighting the Dornish and cuckolding them. The Marches are known for two things predominantly - their strong castles to defend against the Dornish, and their long, long ballads which " tell of brave skirmishes with cruel Dornishmen in the marches, "

So for Mance's 'Dornishman', I think you have to look elsewhere - there are plenty of REAL Dornishmen around :thumbsup:

1 hour ago, AlaskanSandman said:

And Jon wielding the Hero's sword and having the typical Hero's journey seems off to me with GRRM. I also suspect that Daenerys will get that sword if any one. The likely hood of Dawn being brought up to Jon seems unlikely to me. Dany in her discovery of the Red Door, will be lead down that path i believe. Her story is that of Dorne, not Jon, he is of the North. 

Yeah, I can see the logic there, if Dany does turn out to be the 'Dayne heiress'.

It also gets me wondering about Ice - we know one part is with Jaime for now, as 'Oathkeeper', but the other part - Widow's Wail? - where's that gone? Cos I was wondering if Ice being split into two might have something to say about the relationship between Blackfyre and Dark Sister. And if there's any 'dark sister' in the Ice family, I imagine it would be Arya, and maybe Lyanna in the previous generation...

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@Seams said:

Quote

...the youngest and favorite child of Alysanne, Gael, was nicknamed The Winter Child. I suspect that Gael was the child of Alysanne's lover, whoever he might have been, not of King Jaehaerys. (Although I have also wondered whether Alysanne had a baby while she was up north and left it to be raised by a noble family, ala Jon Snow.) Gael supposedly drowned herself after being seduced and abandoned by a traveling singer. To me, this sounds like an Ashara echo. There may also be a Bael allusion, as Gael rhymes with Bael.

The next time we see the Queenscrown is when Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor spend a night there after deciding against sleeping in the ruined inn nearby. What if this is a clue about why the King's Guard members were at the Tower of Joy?

For the purposes of his symbolic relations, GRRM often employs inversions. Thus, at the Tower of Joy the hostages (Lyanna and baby Jon) are on the inside of the tower, with the savior/s (Ned aided by Howland Reed) on the outside; whereas at Queenscrown the hostages (the silent old man and adult Jon) are on the outside, with the savior/s (Bran plus the Reeds) on the inside! Similarly, Jon is moving South, in contrast to Bran who is journeying North, with their paths fatefully crossing at Queenscrown. Bran goes under the Wall, while Jon climbs over it, etc.  

This kind of inversion is in line with what you've already identified on the 'Upstairs Downstairs' and 'Direwolves don't Cry' threads, in which one character's ascent is matched with another character's descent. 

The equivalent of the Kingsguard are therefore the Wildlings, who increasingly view Jon with suspicion, and advocate killing him. This would dovetail with the 'heretic' view that Lyanna and Jon were meant to be sacrificed by the Kingsguard on Rhaegar's orders in some kind of dragon-hatching, second-lifing blood magic ritual.

Accordingly, the execution scene of the old man, and the impending threat against Jon, reads like a ritual sacrifice, complete with the Magnar of Thenn uttering words in the old tongue, echoing all the other magical incantations with which GRRM so frequently plays -- culminating in a lightning intervention.

Quote

Perhaps they could have stayed at a place nearby (another inn?) but decided it was too vulnerable.

On a thread focused on the old man killed at that inn by Ygritte, I shared some ideas about the Queenscrown and the nearby inn.

My later thought was that the silent old, white-haired man at the inn represents Jon's direwolf, Ghost, and that his death is a sort of Aslan-type sacrifice to the White Witch, Ygritte. If the old man represents Ghost, however, he is part of a chain of symbols because my reading of the AGoT scene where Jon is the only one to hear the white wolf pup is that the white pup is the rebirth of the dead mother wolf, the one with the antler in her throat. The Lyanna imagery seems pretty strong.

 I am on board with @Voice's reasoning, as set forth in his thread 'Lyanna Stark A Gift from Old Gods.'

Quote

I know this sounds tenuous to anyone who doesn't read the books for their hidden symbolic meanings, but I think the gist of this is that Ygritte is killing "Lyanna," but at a nearby building or ruin, not at the tower. "Lyanna" makes that sacrifice (although the old man does not seem entirely resigned to this fate) so that Jon can escape.

If this is a correct interpretation, maybe Lyanna's bed of blood was not at the Tower of Joy, but was at a nearby ruin of some kind, maybe an inn.

Jon's escape from the wildlings is also facilitated by Bran's wolf, Summer. Is there an equivalent for Bran's wolf in the Tower of Joy scenario?

Ned plays the role of the wolf who rescues his nephew in the eleventh hour ('hour of the wolf..?!), but is too late to save Lyanna. 

Quote

Maybe this is Ashara, taking Lyanna's baby to safety while Lyanna is dying. I admit, this is largely speculation: if Ghost is Lyanna, then Summer might be the other mysterious young woman connected to the Rhaegar arc.

Does the fact that Bran and his traveling companions do not choose to sleep at the inn, thereby saving their own lives from a wildling attack, also become an echo for the Tower of Joy scene? There are four people in the Queenscrown tower - Bran and three people essentially assigned to guard him, as Robb's heir. Are Hodor, Jojen and Meera the equivalent of the three King's Guard members?

There's still a lot to puzzle out in these scenarios but I think the Queenscrown could offer a very useful set of hints about the Tower of Joy.

I agree.

Edited by ravenous reader

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