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John Suburbs

The KoLT and Subsequent Events

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A shout out to @kissdbyfire whose pointed questioning on another thread helped me clarify some things in my mind.

First, I'll start with some assumptions. Some of them are mentioned frequently on this board, others are new. So don't ask me for proof or evidence or anything because there is none, and if there was there wouldn't be any reason to even discuss these matters because they would all be plainly stated facts already. Also, if you think everything about these events has been explained completely in the POVs and the WB, that's fine. I'm proposing that there could be a secret history behind all this, as there is with so much else in the story.

Assumption 1: Lyanna Stark is the KoLT

Assumption 2: Virtually everybody, except maybe Barriston Selmy, knows that Lyanna is the KoLT.

Assumption 3: The three knights that the KoLT bested in the lists -- a Haigh, a Blount and a Frey -- were known Aerys loyalists.

Assumption 4: The tourney was a cover to plot the removal of Aerys and anointing Rhaegar as regent or the new king.

So let's begin. 

Aerys is in a bad spot here, even if he doesn't realize it at first. His initial reaction is to declare the KoLT as his enemy, and he appears certain that it is Jaime Lannister. He urges all his loyal knights to defeat him, but the next morning the KoLT is gone. This is actually a good thing for Aerys because if the KoLT were to be exposed in front of the crowd, he would be a laughing stock because his knights were beaten by a mere woman. So then he sends men, including Rhaegar, out to look for the knight but all they find are armor and a shield.

My suspicion is that Aerys eventually came to realize that Lyanna was the KoLT but continued to insist it was Jaime to save face. I also suspect that while his men were hunting for the KoLT, some were sent to bring Jaime back to the tourney. The KOLT appeared in the first two days of jousting, so Jaime might only be a day or two away at this point. Aerys, probably through Varys, has obtained the armor and shield and they were in some way intended to frame Jaime, like Glendon Flowers was at Whitewalls. Rhaegar, of course, spoiled the plan, probably knowingly, when he returned with the armor and shield saying he found them under a tree.

So now Aerys is seething, first at Lyanna for getting him into this fix, then at Rhaegar for depriving him of his way out. So when Rhaegar then gives the garland to Lyanna and "all the laughter died", we are supposed to believe this is because everyone was shocked that Rhaegar spurned his wife in favor of the wolf maid (something which Selmy seems to believe). But I think there is another explanation: the laughter died because everyone realized what Rhaegar had just done, basically outed Lyanna as the KoLT, snubbing Aerys in the process and now placing both himself and Lyanna in the king's crosshairs.

Then the tourney ends; everyone heads back home, except for Lyanna, apparently, who stays on at Harrenhal for some unexplained reason. A short time later, Rhaegar kidnaps Lyanna and the rest is history. My interpretation, however, goes like this: shortly after leaving, Aerys orders both Lyanna and Rhaegar taken. Both are brought to the RK and hidden separately by Varys so no one even knows they are there. Aerys then fathers a child on Lyanna, since he knows all about the prophecy that Rhaegar is trying to fulfill and he figures the PtwP could just as easily come from his loins as Rhaegar's. Meanwhile, Rhaegar is confined until the rebellion gets serious and Aerys springs him with the warning that unless he does exactly as told, he will be chained to the Iron Throne and watch while slowly, ever so slowly, his heir, his daughter and his wife are lowered into a big vat of wildfire, in that order.

Couple of details: Why would Hightower, Whent and Dayne still be at the ToJ even after both Aerys and Rhaegar are dead? I'm not entirely sure, but Dayne was said to be good friends with Rhaegar. Perhaps as part of his deal with Aerys, Rhaegar had his friend and their trusted companions looking out for Lyanna and the child, and none of them could be sure what Ned would do with either if he handed them over? Maybe they were all convinced that the child was the PtwP, which would override their duty to the protect the kings, first Aerys then Aegon and finally Viserys?

Even if the RLJ love story is all true, this still doesn't explain why three of the most noble KG in history would foreswear their vows to guard the king just to protect Rhaegar's by-blow. So all I can say at this point is that the motivations of these three knights has yet to be revealed.

Why would any of these KG, but particularly Hightower, countenance the seizing of Jaime in order to frame him? Assuming that they know of this plan, it could be that while they admired Jaime and thought he had the makings of a great knight someday, he is far too young and too untested to wear a white cloak. Plus, they probably didn't take kindly to the king making the appointment not on merit but to play political revenge games with Tywin. So setting up Jaime might be a way to get him de-cloaked in favor of someone more worthy.

Why wouldn't Lyanna have explained all of this to Ned before she died? We don't know how much time they had together, nor how lucid Lyanna was. She may only have had the strength to extract the promise, or maybe she felt it best if Ned did not know the whole story.

Why would Varys not have taken a greater interest in Jon, since it is inconceivable that Aerys could father a child on Lyanna without him knowing it? Varys can be inscrutable, but I would say that he either believed Ned's story that Lyanna died without issue and never connected the dots to Jon, or mayhaps he thought Jon's lineage could never be proven one way or another so he is of little consequence.

I hate long, endless, theorizing, so I'll end it here. Let the shredding begin.

 

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I like this. I want to add, if we assume your theory is true would Varys not have sent someone after Ned when he stormed off? I feel like he would have at least tried to have someone spy on Ned. So maybe Varys will end up knowing more than he has let on all this time. 

Also, I think that your entire theory could remain unchanged but the ToJ may still be somewhere else entirely. I just can't think of a good reason why Aerys would have sent Lyana there instead of say Dragonstone? Maybe because Dorne was his last best ally at that point? 

Ever since I heard about being wary of fever dreams etc. I am convinced there is a red herring somewhere in the ToJ information and it will actually be somewhere else entirely.

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10 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I like this. I want to add, if we assume your theory is true would Varys not have sent someone after Ned when he stormed off? I feel like he would have at least tried to have someone spy on Ned. So maybe Varys will end up knowing more than he has let on all this time. 

Also, I think that your entire theory could remain unchanged but the ToJ may still be somewhere else entirely. I just can't think of a good reason why Aerys would have sent Lyana there instead of say Dragonstone? Maybe because Dorne was his last best ally at that point? 

Ever since I heard about being wary of fever dreams etc. I am convinced there is a red herring somewhere in the ToJ information and it will actually be somewhere else entirely.

All Varys has are his little birds -- good at skulking around castles and citadels, but not so much out in open country.

I'm thinking it would be pretty hard for the ToJ to be somewhere else. People living in the area would certainly have known it was there, and then suddenly wasn't. And it's position overlooking the Prince's Pass also jibes with Ned returning Dawn to Starfall after the fight.

But here is another thought: mayhaps Lyanna was brought there not by the orders of the king but under some plot by the three KG? Mayhaps they were trying to get her to Starfall and she went into labor? I'll have to ponder that some.

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The only assumption I will disagree with is that everyone knew Lyanna was the KoLT.

My theory was that Rhaegar did discover Lyanna was the KoLT when Aerys sent him out to look for "him".  He asks why, she tells him the truth, he is wowed by her candor, compassion and skills, and they fell in love.   They agree to run away and you have Robert's rebellion.  They wed in secret, and have a baby.  The Kingsguard are there to protect Rhaegar's heir and new King now that Aerys is dead. 

Lyanna died from complications during childbirth.

 

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3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

A shout out to @kissdbyfire whose pointed questioning on another thread helped me clarify some things in my mind.

First, I'll start with some assumptions. Some of them are mentioned frequently on this board, others are new. So don't ask me for proof or evidence or anything because there is none, and if there was there wouldn't be any reason to even discuss these matters because they would all be plainly stated facts already. Also, if you think everything about these events has been explained completely in the POVs and the WB, that's fine. I'm proposing that there could be a secret history behind all this, as there is with so much else in the story.

Ahh, fanfic.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

A shout out to @kissdbyfire whose pointed questioning on another thread helped me clarify some things in my mind.

First, I'll start with some assumptions. Some of them are mentioned frequently on this board, others are new. So don't ask me for proof or evidence or anything because there is none, and if there was there wouldn't be any reason to even discuss these matters because they would all be plainly stated facts already.

I'd say it’s not as black and white as that. I will willingly say I don’t think there’s anything regarding Jon’s parentage that has been unequivocally settled. And no, I don’t take anything the abomination does as proof or confirmation of anything.  So everything we have is theories and ideas and speculation. But we do have numerous clues, hints, word plays, turns of phrase, etc etc etc to support some of these theories. And then there are other ideas put forth that have no other support than its creator stating, “You can’t say it’s impossible”.  The difference between the two is huge. 

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Also, if you think everything about these events has been explained completely in the POVs and the WB, that's fine. I'm proposing that there could be a secret history behind all this, as there is with so much else in the story.

Possible. In fact, quite likely. But keeping faith w/ the actual [many] clues and such we get pointing to R+L=J. In other words, I absolutely agree that we don’t know everything, and that there will be some surprises, just not pertaining to who Jon’s mum and dad are. 

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Assumption 1: Lyanna Stark is the KoLT

Assumption 2: Virtually everybody, except maybe Barriston Selmy, knows that Lyanna is the KoLT.

Assumption 3: The three knights that the KoLT bested in the lists -- a Haigh, a Blount and a Frey -- were known Aerys loyalists.

Assumption 4: The tourney was a cover to plot the removal of Aerys and anointing Rhaegar as regent or the new king.

So let's begin. 

Aerys is in a bad spot here, even if he doesn't realize it at first. His initial reaction is to declare the KoLT as his enemy, and he appears certain that it is Jaime Lannister. He urges all his loyal knights to defeat him, but the next morning the KoLT is gone. This is actually a good thing for Aerys because if the KoLT were to be exposed in front of the crowd, he would be a laughing stock because his knights were beaten by a mere woman. So then he sends men, including Rhaegar, out to look for the knight but all they find are armor and a shield.

Ok...

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My suspicion is that Aerys eventually came to realize that Lyanna was the KoLT but continued to insist it was Jaime to save face. I also suspect that while his men were hunting for the KoLT, some were sent to bring Jaime back to the tourney. The KOLT appeared in the first two days of jousting, so Jaime might only be a day or two away at this point. Aerys, probably through Varys, has obtained the armor and shield and they were in some way intended to frame Jaime, like Glendon Flowers was at Whitewalls. Rhaegar, of course, spoiled the plan, probably knowingly, when he returned with the armor and shield saying he found them under a tree.

And yet we have nothing pointing to anything like that at all happening. Not a once. So while I cannot say it’s impossible, why on earth Westeros should I even consider the possibility? Martin is not trying to create a mystery that can only be solved by a combination of equal parts of guessing and luck. 

For instance... Aerys and Varys find and hide the KotLT’s shield and armour, planning on fraiming Jaime, but Rhaegar stumbles upon the items and purposefully ruins Aerys’ plan by “officially” finding shield and armour? And the only thing supporting the idea is the fact that it isn’t impossible, and I can’t disprove it. 

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So now Aerys is seething, first at Lyanna for getting him into this fix, then at Rhaegar for depriving him of his way out. So when Rhaegar then gives the garland to Lyanna and "all the laughter died", we are supposed to believe this is because everyone was shocked that Rhaegar spurned his wife in favor of the wolf maid (something which Selmy seems to believe). But I think there is another explanation: the laughter died because everyone realized what Rhaegar had just done, basically outed Lyanna as the KoLT, snubbing Aerys in the process and now placing both himself and Lyanna in the king's crosshairs.

I really disagree here... the way it is written, it very much points to the laughter dying because of Elia and Rhaegar crowning another woman, etc. It’s not that some reacted to it, but everyone. People who were attending the event in general, “all the laughter died”. 

I don’t think Martin would have written the scene the way he did if what you’re proposing had happened. 

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Then the tourney ends; everyone heads back home, except for Lyanna, apparently, who stays on at Harrenhal for some unexplained reason.

For Brandon and Catelyn’s wedding at RR, maybe? 

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A short time later, Rhaegar kidnaps Lyanna and the rest is history. My interpretation, however, goes like this: shortly after leaving, Aerys orders both Lyanna and Rhaegar taken. Both are brought to the RK and hidden separately by Varys so no one even knows they are there. Aerys then fathers a child on Lyanna, since he knows all about the prophecy that Rhaegar is trying to fulfill and he figures the PtwP could just as easily come from his loins as Rhaegar's. Meanwhile, Rhaegar is confined until the rebellion gets serious and Aerys springs him with the warning that unless he does exactly as told, he will be chained to the Iron Throne and watch while slowly, ever so slowly, his heir, his daughter and his wife are lowered into a big vat of wildfire, in that order.

But this makes no sense at all. Again, there is nothing pointing to anything like that having ever happened. Ever. And I don’t really see Martin going for an such an asspull.  

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Couple of details: Why would Hightower, Whent and Dayne still be at the ToJ even after both Aerys and Rhaegar are dead? I'm not entirely sure, but Dayne was said to be good friends with Rhaegar.

Do you realise you’re answering some of your own questions here? The reason for the 3KG to be at the ToJ is actually one of the stronger clues pointing to R+L=J for me. And they’re there because that was their duty. And as we all know, the KG ‘s duty is to defend their king regardless the cost. 

 

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Perhaps as part of his deal with Aerys, Rhaegar had his friend and their trusted companions looking out for Lyanna and the child, and none of them could be sure what Ned would do with either if he handed them over?

You lost me? Aren’t Lyanna and her baby locked up somewhere in the RK? And what w/ Ned? So so lost right now. :dunce:

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Maybe they were all convinced that the child was the PtwP, which would override their duty to the protect the kings, first Aerys then Aegon and finally Viserys?

No. Their duty is to protect their king, not the Prince that was Promised, or the Sealord of Bravos, or Mary Poppins. 

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Even if the RLJ love story is all true, this still doesn't explain why three of the most noble KG in history would foreswear their vows to guard the king just to protect Rhaegar's by-blow.

You think the child was Rhaegar’s by-blow, but maybe the “three most honourable KGs” (to use your words) had some bit of info you (we) don’t possess yet? Just a thought. 

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So all I can say at this point is that the motivations of these three knights has yet to be revealed.

It has yet to be revealed officially, yes. Because it’s all there. There’s a reason we hear about Dayne’s honour and Hightower’s dutifulness, for instance. 

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Why would any of these KG, but particularly Hightower, countenance the seizing of Jaime in order to frame him?

Bingo! 

I :wub: @Dorian Martell's son

And the short answer is, he wouldn’t. Therefore, he was under no such orders. 

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Assuming that they know of this plan, it could be that while they admired Jaime and thought he had the makings of a great knight someday, he is far too young and too untested to wear a white cloak. Plus, they probably didn't take kindly to the king making the appointment not on merit but to play political revenge games with Tywin. So setting up Jaime might be a way to get him de-cloaked in favor of someone more worthy.

Again, can’t really agree w/ anything here. 

1 - the KG didn’t know about “the plan” b/c there was n o such plan.

2 - far worse have been appointed to the KG. They may not like Jaime’s appointment - even though the accounts we have point to the opposite -it’s not their place to act on it, and they know that. 

3 - when have we ever heard of KG being “de-cloaked” other than Selmy? And that happened for several reasons and not just because the greatest “KG ever” were pouting b/c they didn’t like Jaime’s appointment? 

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Why wouldn't Lyanna have explained all of this to Ned before she died? We don't know how much time they had together, nor how lucid Lyanna was. She may only have had the strength to extract the promise, or maybe she felt it best if Ned did not know the whole story.

Again, you’re answering your own questions. 

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Why would Varys not have taken a greater interest in Jon, since it is inconceivable that Aerys could father a child on Lyanna without him knowing it?

Bingo?

 

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Varys can be inscrutable, but I would say that he either believed Ned's story that Lyanna died without issue and never connected the dots to Jon, or mayhaps he thought Jon's lineage could never be proven one way or another so he is of little consequence.

Does Varys ever truly and fully believe anyone? Knowing and thinking it can’t be proven sounds about right, I think. 

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I hate long, endless, theorizing, so I'll end it here. Let the shredding begin.

 

Done and done. :P

Edited by kissdbyfire

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2 hours ago, Chris Mormont said:

The only assumption I will disagree with is that everyone knew Lyanna was the KoLT.

My theory was that Rhaegar did discover Lyanna was the KoLT when Aerys sent him out to look for "him".  He asks why, she tells him the truth, he is wowed by her candor, compassion and skills, and they fell in love.   They agree to run away and you have Robert's rebellion.  They wed in secret, and have a baby.  The Kingsguard are there to protect Rhaegar's heir and new King now that Aerys is dead. 

Lyanna died from complications during childbirth.

 

Certainly possible, but this still throws the KG's actions for a loop. By forsaking Aerys in favor of Jon, they are breaking a holy vow to protect the king, so they are little better than Jaime in this regard since they merely allowed the king to die rather than killed him outright.

Secondly, they are all followers of the seven, so I would think none of them would view this marriage as valid; therefore Jon is not Rhaegar's heir and is not the new king.

The only way I can see the three of them at the ToJ is if Aerys ordered them there, and he would not do this to protect Rhaegar's son, whether he is heir or no. But he would do it to protect his own son.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

Certainly possible, but this still throws the KG's actions for a loop. By forsaking Aerys in favor of Jon, they are breaking a holy vow to protect the king, so they are little better than Jaime in this regard since they merely allowed the king to die rather than killed him outright.

No, it doesn't. At the time the are presumably placed at ToJ by Rhaegar (remember Hightower was sent by Aerys to find Rhaegar and get him to return to KL, the others were with Rhaegar all along), Aerys had all the other KG guarding him. KG can and are regularly detached to guard other family members (Rhaegar for one, but many others, even bastards) rather than the King, and this is ok, so long as the King is still being protected.

Right up until the end of their lives, Rhaegar and Aerys were both still under the protection of the KG, thus allowing the three at ToJ to be there still fulfilling their vows.
After Aerys dies then their new King becomes Aegon (dead at the same time as Aerys), then any other legitimate heir of Rhaegar's, then Viserys. Viserys jumps ahead if  they are aware of Aerys naming him heir over Aegon and then depending on the exact wording Aerys used (if Aerys doesn't know Rhaegar has another legitimate child (which is likely, and, assuming the child is legit) then its possible he could have used wording that merely places Aegon below Viserys - but we have no idea what exactly happened).
It is very unlikely they would have heard of Aerys naming Viserys heir, given their location and isolation, and given the rapidity of other significant events happening all together.

When Rhaegar dies, how do they know? When do they know? What do they know? When Aerys (and Aegon) dies, how do they know? When do they know? What do they know?
What are their options to respond once they find out whatever they find out?
Think about these questions and realise that they do not live in a technological age of instant knowledge widely disseminated. They only know changes to the status quo when information finally gets to them, and they only know such things as are contained in the limited information they get.
They are not on the raven network (there are no ravens trained to fly to a long abandoned watchtower in the middle of nowhere). There must be some other interaction with the outside world - since the sack, since their answers to Ned clearly show they know at least some things that happened around the Trident and Sack.

So who is communicating with them? What have they been told? How did their contact learn what s/he told them? Where/from who did the information originate? What is relevant and important to the originators of the information? What is relevant and important to their contact?

We don't know any of these answers for sure.
My best guess is that they were receiving secret support from outside, perhaps through Ashara Dayne. My best guess is that the origins of the information they got were actually from the victorious rebels, disseminating the news of the Sack, the Trident and the deaths of Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon and ascension to the throne of King Robert. Because that information would be very quickly and very widely distributed by the victors, much more so than by the losers.
Which is unlikely to include any information about Viserys being named heir, as its not relevant to the victory/change of dynasty narrative, assuming the Rebels even knew.
So my best guess is that their contact didn't even know about the Viserys thing at that time. Therefore it wasn;ty in the information they received before Ned arrived.
(Its also reasonable that there may have been an earlier message about the Trident and the death of Rhaegar - again the victors being the most likely to be disseminating this information).

Maybe they did know more. Its possible their source was someone else who gave them other relevant information (like the raising of Viserys as heir). But that doesn't gel with their responses to Ned.
Their whole attitude and statements in the meeting with Ned reek of certitude that they are there in full honour, steadfastly and defiantly holding to their vows.

They may have broken no vows at all, and at worst are following their vows to the best of their knowledge.

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Secondly, they are all followers of the seven, so I would think none of them would view this marriage as valid; therefore Jon is not Rhaegar's heir and is not the new king.

No.
First, the doctrine of Exceptionalism is an accepted part of the Faith of the Seven by now. Targaryens can do things within the Faith that others can't including incest and multiple wives.
Second, we shouldn't assume that there hasn't been an annulment that they know about even if few others do (they've been with Rhaegar for a long time now, doing what exactly?) 
Third, they don't get to judge those they are responsible for. Even when they are clearly and plainly in the wrong (eg Aerys raping and hurting Rhaella).

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The only way I can see the three of them at the ToJ is if Aerys ordered them there, and he would not do this to protect Rhaegar's son, whether he is heir or no. But he would do it to protect his own son.

If you replace some false assumptions with data clues from the text and some clear thinking about circumstances, you'll get a different analysis.

Edited by corbon

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6 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

I'd say it’s not as black and white as that. I will willingly say I don’t think there’s anything regarding Jon’s parentage that has been unequivocally settled. And no, I don’t take anything the abomination does as proof or confirmation of anything.  So everything we have is theories and ideas and speculation. But we do have numerous clues, hints, word plays, turns of phrase, etc etc etc to support some of these theories. And then there are other ideas put forth that have no other support than its creator stating, “You can’t say it’s impossible”.  The difference between the two is huge. 

Possible. In fact, quite likely. But keeping faith w/ the actual [many] clues and such we get pointing to R+L=J. In other words, I absolutely agree that we don’t know everything, and that there will be some surprises, just not pertaining to who Jon’s mum and dad are. 

Ok...

And yet we have nothing pointing to anything like that at all happening. Not a once. So while I cannot say it’s impossible, why on earth Westeros should I even consider the possibility? Martin is not trying to create a mystery that can only be solved by a combination of equal parts of guessing and luck. 

For instance... Aerys and Varys find and hide the KotLT’s shield and armour, planning on fraiming Jaime, but Rhaegar stumbles upon the items and purposefully ruins Aerys’ plan by “officially” finding shield and armour? And the only thing supporting the idea is the fact that it isn’t impossible, and I can’t disprove it. 

Well that was kind of the point of this little exercise -- to find a possible explanation that still fits within the text. We have nothing pointing to anything like Rhaegar and Lyanna falling in love. Not a once. All the text is perfectly in sync on this point: Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna and brutally raped her over and over again. So why should we consider any other possibility? Why is Martin creating this mystery than can only be solved by guessing and luck?

10 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

I really disagree here... the way it is written, it very much points to the laughter dying because of Elia and Rhaegar crowning another woman, etc. It’s not that some reacted to it, but everyone. People who were attending the event in general, “all the laughter died”. 

Everything about the Arryn murder pointed to Cersei and/or Jaime doing it, right up to Pycelle telling Tyrion point blank that she wanted him dead because he knew . . . about . . . about . . .   And then suddenly we hit the text that threw that perception right out the Moon Door. It's kind of what good writers do, spring surprises on readers to keep things interesting. I mean, do you think anyone would be talking about Sherlock Holmes today if every book concluded that the murderer was the butler that everyone suspected from page 1?

15 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Do you realise you’re answering some of your own questions here? The reason for the 3KG to be at the ToJ is actually one of the stronger clues pointing to R+L=J for me. And they’re there because that was their duty. And as we all know, the KG ‘s duty is to defend their king regardless the cost. 

If it is their duty to defend their king, then why are they not at the Trident like Llewyn and Selmy? Why are they not in King's Landing where there king is? Why are three of the most formidable knights in the land sitting around guarding the results of Rhaegar's and Lyanna's mad lust while the king and the crown princes are being killed?

For me, this is the most compelling reason why Rhaegar is not Jon's father. But it does point strongly to Aerys because it is only on his orders, not mad rash Rhaegar's, that the KG would not be doing their sworn duty.

19 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

You lost me? Aren’t Lyanna and her baby locked up somewhere in the RK? And what w/ Ned? So so lost right now. :dunce:

Well, somehow they all wound up at the tower. How and why is still unknown. Above I speculate that Dayne may have been trying to get her to Starfall when she went into labor, but that's all I got.

21 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

No. Their duty is to protect their king, not the Prince that was Promised, or the Sealord of Bravos, or Mary Poppins. 

Well then why aren't they? The king is back at King's Landing with rebellion all around him.

23 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

You think the child was Rhaegar’s by-blow, but maybe the “three most honourable KGs” (to use your words) had some bit of info you (we) don’t possess yet? Just a thought. 

It has yet to be revealed officially, yes. Because it’s all there. There’s a reason we hear about Dayne’s honour and Hightower’s dutifulness, for instance. 

OK, so you're saying that Martin created a mystery that can only be solved by a combination of equal parts guessing and luck? Do you think this will require much of an asspull to explain? :D

Honor and dutifulness, which they tossed aside by forsaking their sacred vows and abandoning their king?

29 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Bingo! 

I :wub: @Dorian Martell's son

And the short answer is, he wouldn’t. Therefore, he was under no such orders. 

Again, can’t really agree w/ anything here. 

1 - the KG didn’t know about “the plan” b/c there was n o such plan.

2 - far worse have been appointed to the KG. They may not like Jaime’s appointment - even though the accounts we have point to the opposite -it’s not their place to act on it, and they know that. 

3 - when have we ever heard of KG being “de-cloaked” other than Selmy? And that happened for several reasons and not just because the greatest “KG ever” were pouting b/c they didn’t like Jaime’s appointment? 

I can't argue with anything here, other than to say you don't really know what they thought of it or what they believed. The only source we have for the honor and dutifulness of Dayne, Hightower and Whent, after all, is Ned, and he met them exactly two times in his life that we know of: at Harrenhal and the day he killed them.

In any event, whether it happened this way or not does not materially affect the overall claim that both Rhaegar and Lyanna were kidnapped by Aerys.

50 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Again, you’re answering your own questions. 

Well, I'll turn it around on you: why doesn't Lyanna tell Ned the truth about her "abduction"?

52 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Bingo?

Does Varys ever truly and fully believe anyone? Knowing and thinking it can’t be proven sounds about right, I think. 

It's not a question of proving it. It's the fact that Jon is Ice and Fire, and that Varys would know that Ned knows Jon is Ice and Fire and that Jon could be used to hurt or help whatever plans Varys may have for the future. So at the very least he would have sent someone to keep an eye on Jon growing up. But, of course, there is no indication that he did not do this, other than the fact that he never once mentions Jon, either to Ned or anyone else. As I said, inscrutable.

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9 minutes ago, corbon said:

No, it doesn't. At the time the are presumably placed at ToJ by Rhaegar (remember Hightower was sent by Aerys to find Rhaegar and get him to return to KL, the others were with Rhaegar all along), Aerys had all the other KG guarding him. KG can and are regularly detached to guard other family members (Rhaegar for one, but many others, even bastards) rather than the King, and this is ok, so long as the King is still being protected.

Right up until the end of their lives, Rhaegar and Aerys were both still under the protection of the KG, thus allowing the three at ToJ to be there still fulfilling their vows.
After Aerys dies then their new King becomes Aegon (dead at the same time as Aerys), then any other legitimate heir of Rhaegar's, then Viserys. Viserys jumps ahead if  they are aware of Aerys naming him heir over Aegon and then depending on the exact wording Aerys used (if Aerys doesn't know Rhaegar has another legitimate child (which is likely, and, assuming the child is legit) then its possible he could have used wording that merely places Aegon below Viserys - but we have no idea what exactly happened).
It is very unlikely they would have heard of Aerys naming Viserys heir, given their location and isolation, and given the rapidity of other significant events happening all together.

When Rhaegar dies, how do they know? When do they know? What do they know? When Aerys (and Aegon) dies, how do they know? When do they know? What do they know?
What are their options to respond once they find out whatever they find out?
Think about these questions and realise that they do not live in a technological age of instant knowledge widely disseminated. They only know changes to the status quo when information finally gets to them, and they only know such things as are contained in the limited information they get.
They are not on the raven network (there are no ravens trained to fly to a long abandoned watchtower in the middle of nowhere). There must be some other interaction with the outside world - since the sack, since their answers to Ned clearly show they know at least some things that happened around the Trident and Sack.

So who is communicating with them? What have they been told? How did their contact learn what s/he told them? Where/from who did the information originate? What is relevant and important to the originators of the information? What is relevant and important to their contact?

We don't know any of these answers for sure.
My best guess is that they were receiving secret support from outside, perhaps through Ashara Dayne. My best guess is that the origins of the information they got were actually from the victorious rebels, disseminating the news of the Sack, the Trident and the deaths of Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon and ascension to the throne of King Robert. Because that information would be very quickly and very widely distributed by the victors, much more so than by the losers.
Which is unlikely to include any information about Viserys being named heir, as its not relevant to the victory/change of dynasty narrative, assuming the Rebels even knew.
So my best guess is that their contact didn't even know about the Viserys thing at that time. Therefore it wasn;ty in the information they received before Ned arrived.
(Its also reasonable that there may have been an earlier message about the Trident and the death of Rhaegar - again the victors being the most likely to be disseminating this information).

Maybe they did know more. Its possible their source was someone else who gave them other relevant information (like the raising of Viserys as heir). But that doesn't gel with their responses to Ned.
Their whole attitude and statements in the meeting with Ned reek of certitude that they are there in full honour, steadfastly and defiantly holding to their vows.

They may have broken no vows at all, and at worst are following their vows to the best of their knowledge.

Varys is king, not Rhaegar. If they obey Rhaegar's command, and Rhaegar is plotting to depose the king, then they are forsaking the sacred vows they swore to protect their king. All three of these men are described as among the most honorable, chivalrous and puissant knights in the land, so the are committing a hugely treasonous act by abandoning the king at a time of mounting rebellion in order to follow the commands of the prince who is fomenting that rebellion.

The only way around this is if Aerys himself ordered them to guard Lyanna no matter what.

14 minutes ago, corbon said:

No.

First, the doctrine of Exceptionalism is an accepted part of the Faith of the Seven by now. Targaryens can do things within the Faith that others can't including incest and multiple wives.
Second, we shouldn't assume that there hasn't been an annulment that they know about even if few others do (they've been with Rhaegar for a long time now, doing what exactly?) 
Third, they don't get to judge those they are responsible for. Even when they are clearly and plainly in the wrong (eg Aerys raping and hurting Rhaella).

The DoE was used to let the Targs slide on the matter of marrying siblings. No Targ has taken multiple wives since Maegor the Cruel, and it produced a huge rift with the faith when he did. For Rhaegar to suddenly wed two women would certainly set all of the faithful on edge.

Only the High Septon could annul the marriage of a crown prince and princess, particularly after a new heir was born. Such a thing would launch an already troubled realm into a succession crisis, and then we would have to believe that the whole thing was done on the sly, to be revealed later?

They don't get to abandon their king on orders from the crown prince either. That is a violation of their sacred vows.

20 minutes ago, corbon said:

If you replace some false assumptions with data clues from the text and some clear thinking about circumstances, you'll get a different analysis.

 Somebody please show me all of these clues that say Lyanna and Rhaegar ran away together. What kind of clear thinking has the leading KG forsaking their holy vows to protect two hot-blooded teenagers who just set the realm on fire?

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5 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Well that was kind of the point of this little exercise -- to find a possible explanation that still fits within the text. We have nothing pointing to anything like Rhaegar and Lyanna falling in love. Not a once. All the text is perfectly in sync on this point: Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna and brutally raped her over and over again. So why should we consider any other possibility? Why is Martin creating this mystery than can only be solved by guessing and luck?

Thats a lie.
We do have a number of clues to Rhaegar and Lyanna falling in love. They are not direct and explicit statements, but they are pointers. We even have one from Robert himself, the king of the 1000x rapist claims, when, sad, scared and half drunk, he complains to Ned that even though he beat Rhaegar and avenged Lyanna, Rhaegar won and has Lyanna now. Thats an admission, unconsciously perhaps or maybe just self-truthful in a moment of vulnerability for a change (from the usual bluster), that Lyanna chose Rhaegar rather than that Rhaegar forced her. 

Rapists don't 'get their victims' in death. Lovers are reunited in death. Robert knows the truth even if he won't admit it.

5 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

If it is their duty to defend their king, then why are they not at the Trident like Llewyn and Selmy? Why are they not in King's Landing where there king is? Why are three of the most formidable knights in the land sitting around guarding the results of Rhaegar's and Lyanna's mad lust while the king and the crown princes are being killed?

Because defnding their king is their primary duty, but not their only one. And at the time they are detached, in fact all the way up to the Prices and king's deaths, there are other KG defending the King so the primary duty is fulfilled.
Just look at Arys Oakheart heading down to Dorne. Not doing much to protect Joffrey there is he? But thats all right, exactly as it is for the three at ToJ. Joffey has other KG protecting him meaning that Arys is not forsaking his vows when he follows orders and travels to Dorne with Myrcella.

5 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

For me, this is the most compelling reason why Rhaegar is not Jon's father. But it does point strongly to Aerys because it is only on his orders, not mad rash Rhaegar's, that the KG would not be doing their sworn duty.

But they are.

5 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

I can't argue with anything here, other than to say you don't really know what they thought of it or what they believed. The only source we have for the honor and dutifulness of Dayne, Hightower and Whent, after all, is Ned, and he met them exactly two times in his life that we know of: at Harrenhal and the day he killed them.

Another lie. We have many sources, not just Ned, for the honour and dutifulness of at least Dayne and Hightower. Jaime, Barristan, the general records it tWoIaF.
Not to mention Ned's recollection, in dream as it had been in life, of their own words.

5 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Well, I'll turn it around on you: why doesn't Lyanna tell Ned the truth about her "abduction"?

Who said she didn't? But what is Ned going to do? Go to war against Robert and his allies and own men for a nephew or bastard he hardly knows?

But that assumes she did. There is the whole dying thing to get over first.

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6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

So now Aerys is seething, first at Lyanna for getting him into this fix, then at Rhaegar for depriving him of his way out. So when Rhaegar then gives the garland to Lyanna and "all the laughter died", we are supposed to believe this is because everyone was shocked that Rhaegar spurned his wife in favor of the wolf maid (something which Selmy seems to believe). But I think there is another explanation: the laughter died because everyone realized what Rhaegar had just done, basically outed Lyanna as the KoLT, snubbing Aerys in the process and now placing both himself and Lyanna in the king's crosshairs.

I think it's very doubtful that everyone knew at the tourney that Lyanna was the KotLT, although I'm assuming the truth could have come out over the years. But I like the whole Knight of the Laughing Tree and laughter dying association going on here.

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 Then the tourney ends; everyone heads back home, except for Lyanna, apparently, who stays on at Harrenhal for some unexplained reason. A short time later, Rhaegar kidnaps Lyanna and the rest is history. My interpretation, however, goes like this: shortly after leaving, Aerys orders both Lyanna and Rhaegar taken. Both are brought to the RK and hidden separately by Varys so no one even knows they are there. Aerys then fathers a child on Lyanna, since he knows all about the prophecy that Rhaegar is trying to fulfill and he figures the PtwP could just as easily come from his loins as Rhaegar's. Meanwhile, Rhaegar is confined until the rebellion gets serious and Aerys springs him with the warning that unless he does exactly as told, he will be chained to the Iron Throne and watch while slowly, ever so slowly, his heir, his daughter and his wife are lowered into a big vat of wildfire, in that order.

The PtwP we are told was supposed to come from Aerys and Rhaella's line, not just Aerys's. Any child he and Rhaella had could have been the PtwP, any child Rhaegar, Dany or Viserys had could have been the PtwP. Aerys on his own, if we follow what the GoHH vision/prophecy would have been useless. If he could, then maybe he and Rhaella would have been spared their miserable marriage.

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Why would Varys not have taken a greater interest in Jon, since it is inconceivable that Aerys could father a child on Lyanna without him knowing it? Varys can be inscrutable, but I would say that he either believed Ned's story that Lyanna died without issue and never connected the dots to Jon, or mayhaps he thought Jon's lineage could never be proven one way or another so he is of little consequence.

I think Varys knows exactly what's up and I think he took interest in Jon. I actually have a post written in my documents that I'm going back and forth on.

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8 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Varys Aerys is king, not Rhaegar. If they obey Rhaegar's command, and Rhaegar is plotting to depose the king, then they are forsaking the sacred vows they swore to protect their king. All three of these men are described as among the most honorable, chivalrous and puissant knights in the land, so the are committing a hugely treasonous act by abandoning the king at a time of mounting rebellion in order to follow the commands of the prince who is fomenting that rebellion.

The only way around this is if Aerys himself ordered them to guard Lyanna no matter what.

You assume Rhaegar is plotting to depose the king. In fact he spoke of this as a road not taken to Jaime and clearly returns to KL not to depose Aerys but to take command of Aerys' army and defeat the rebellion and restore peace to the realm.
"When this is done I mean to call a council..." That means his first order of business is to restore peace under Aerys' rule. That's not treason, assuming that the KG are privy to this plan anyway.

The second part of the plan I can see your "claim" as being treasonous, but I don;t agree that this is accurate or reasonable as a claim. Aerys is clearly increasingly insane, and hurting both himself and his kingdom. 
A Mad King who harms both himself and his kingdom needs to be removed from power for his own protection. There are legal ways of doing this and they are not treason. 
It is possible for the KG to support this council and not be forswearing their oaths. They are protecting the King. His person, his family, his health, his well being, his legacy. Perhaps not his access to power, but that is not their vow, which is to "protect the king" (and his family etc), not to protect his access to absolute and unfettered abuse of power.

You keep making assumptions that contradict the text and then speaking in absolutes. Rhaegar is crown prince. He has 2 KG dedicated to protecting him, almost certainly at the command the the King himself. The king himself sent Hightower to find Rhaegar and get him to come back. It is not treason for them to follow lawful orders from Rhaegar, whom the King has set over them.

8 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

The DoE was used to let the Targs slide on the matter of marrying siblings. No Targ has taken multiple wives since Maegor the Cruel, and it produced a huge rift with the faith when he did. For Rhaegar to suddenly wed two women would certainly set all of the faithful on edge.

Only the High Septon could annul the marriage of a crown prince and princess, particularly after a new heir was born. Such a thing would launch an already troubled realm into a succession crisis, and then we would have to believe that the whole thing was done on the sly, to be revealed later?

They don't get to abandon their king on orders from the crown prince either. That is a violation of their sacred vows.

You are mostly making statements of opinion here, not facts. The rift with Maegar the Cruel was far more complicated than just dual wives. Incest is equally bad if not worse sin in the eyes of the Faith, so its not reasonable to assume they balked entirely at one and not the other, especially since that is not made clear anywhere.
You have no idea what Rhaegar believed to be possible and far less understanding of the religious, social and political implications of these things than he would have. 
We also have no idea what he was doing in the multiple months between Lyanna's 'abduction' and Hightower finding him. Nor have we seen any significant source inside Oldtown yet.

They didn't abandon their king, thats totally clear. 

8 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

 Somebody please show me all of these clues that say Lyanna and Rhaegar ran away together. What kind of clear thinking has the leading KG forsaking their holy vows to protect two hot-blooded teenagers who just set the realm on fire?

Hyperbolic nonsense doesn't help.
The evidence strongly suggest the KG at ToJ have not forsaken their vows.
Rhaegar is not a teenager, and is noted by those who knew him as dutiful above all. Nowhere is he shown as hotblooded.
Rhaegar and Lyanna didn't set the realm on fire. Aerys did, by murdering a whole bunch of senior nobles following an apparently fair, if poorly broached, grievance against the crown. Then ordering the deaths of more who were not involved.

Now, the clues. Remember these are clues, not bald statements. They are meant to be obscure and non-determinant. I may not get them all, these are just what I remember and can find.
1. Lyanna sniffling at the Princes, sad song, then dumping wine on Benjen's head when he teased her about it. Lyanna is a wild wolf-girl, not a romantic dreamer. Yet here we have precisely the sort of behaviour that you get from a young teen girl starting a crush. Its not love, but its a potential precurser.
2. The KotLT and Rhaegar 'finding only a shield' then awarding Lyanna QoLaB. Rhaegar is a highly intelligent and highly educated man. It should be extraordinarily easy for him, investigating, as instructed by Aerys to determine that Lyanna was KotLT. All he has to do is question the three squires  ("teach your squires honour"). So I think he found out it was she but protected her from Aerys. Again, not love, but the start of respect and admiration, on his part, and possibly a deepening of a crush on hers. 
You may put this one down to speculation. the foundation is entirely textual, but goes deeper with what we know.
3. Ned's reticence and occasional back answer when Robert talks of Lyanna and/or the Rebellion. Ned never agrees with Robert when Robert is ranting and Rhaegar or Targaryens or talking about Lyanna, he's just silent or careful about what he replies. Ned knows more than Robert does - he knew Lyanna better, found her after the fact before she died, may have more information from Benjen (if he knows more) or other sources. Robert is far distant from the action and the facts and doesn't care to learn more.
4. Lyanna having dead roses in her hand when she died - likely the original crown from Harrenhal - why else hold dead (black) roses. And only to be kept if it represented good memories (love) rather than bad memories (rape).
5. The sweetness of the blue rose growing in the ice wall - sweetness suggesting a loving origin rather than a horror origin of rape.
6. Ned's characterisation of Lyanna's wolf blood leading her to an early grave - indicating she was complicit and acting wildly/rashly/boldly in what cause her death. That fits with love, rather than abduction or rape.

There are probably more I've forgotten, many more, but I need to go get lunch.

I'm sure you'll have "answers" or rebuttals for most or all of these, of varying quality. The point is that they are clues, not definitive statements, and you claimed that there were no clues, nothing points to this, all the text was in sync about it being rape. 

 

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15 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Somebody please show me all of these clues that say Lyanna and Rhaegar ran away together. What kind of clear thinking has the leading KG forsaking their holy vows to protect two hot-blooded teenagers who just set the realm on fire?

Why? You don’t seem to see them as clues... like Selmy thinking about Rhaegar loving Lyanna, or Ned thinking that Rhaegar was an honourable man.

And yet, Aerys holding Rhaegar and Lyanna captive in the RK and fathering a child on Lyanna is plausible? 

Also, double standards much? You want people to provide evidence for something - even though we both know you will dismiss whatever evidence is given - but at the same time you say you can’t provide any type of textual support for your own ideas. 

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On the subject of Rhaegar and Lyanna, rape or love? I think, simply from a narrative point of view, it's important to note we are explicitly handed the rape story whereas we have to dig a little for the clues that suggest it was love. That strongly indicates to me, given the author's style of writing mystery, that it is the latter. And I think it's a rule of thumb that stands up throughout the series.

As for the debate about KoLT and ToJ. There is obviously a layer to the mystery that has not yet been revealed, by GRRM's own admission. Howland Reed connects both events, and I don't expect that to be merely coincidental. Personally, I think that suggests the extra layer will be related to the song of ice and fire as opposed to the game of thrones.

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17 hours ago, corbon said:

Thats a lie.
We do have a number of clues to Rhaegar and Lyanna falling in love. They are not direct and explicit statements, but they are pointers. We even have one from Robert himself, the king of the 1000x rapist claims, when, sad, scared and half drunk, he complains to Ned that even though he beat Rhaegar and avenged Lyanna, Rhaegar won and has Lyanna now. Thats an admission, unconsciously perhaps or maybe just self-truthful in a moment of vulnerability for a change (from the usual bluster), that Lyanna chose Rhaegar rather than that Rhaegar forced her. 

Rapists don't 'get their victims' in death. Lovers are reunited in death. Robert knows the truth even if he won't admit it.

Sorry, this is extremely sketchy. Robert is simply alluding to the fact that they are both dead and he is alive. To imagine that you know for certain what Robert unconsciously believes is not a clue; it's just searching for straws.

17 hours ago, corbon said:

Because defnding their king is their primary duty, but not their only one. And at the time they are detached, in fact all the way up to the Prices and king's deaths, there are other KG defending the King so the primary duty is fulfilled.

Just look at Arys Oakheart heading down to Dorne. Not doing much to protect Joffrey there is he? But thats all right, exactly as it is for the three at ToJ. Joffey has other KG protecting him meaning that Arys is not forsaking his vows when he follows orders and travels to Dorne with Myrcella.

Their holy vows, sworn before the gods, the entire court, the High Septon and the king, are to "protect the king and the royal family, to obey his commands, and to keep his secrets." Nowhere in any of that does it say they can disregard the king's command in favor of the crown prince. So the simple fact is that if the 3KG are at the ToJ at Rhaegar's behest and not the king's, then they have left his side without his leave and thus have forsaken their holy vows and committed an act of treason.

Now, this could very well be the case, but this would require us to assume just as many unproven facts as in my theory: that they are traitors, that Jon is a legitimate member of the royal family, that R&J did run away together . . . So spare me all this talk about lies. Your proposal is chock full of them.

Oakheart is with Myrcella in Dorne on the orders of the Queen Regent and the Hand, not the crown prince. There are also multiple KG still in the capital who can guard the king and the royal family day and night, as their code requires. This is not so with the 3KG, who left the king with only 1KG who cannot possible guard him day and night, and he is a mere boy with maybe a year in a white cloak, and both he and his father harbor personal grudges against the king.

17 hours ago, corbon said:

But they are.

Of course they are, but on who's orders? My proposal is perfectly consistent with the mad king acting madly, the KG, their vows . . . while yours has all these utterly unproven, assumptions about the noble prince suddenly acting madly, unknown loopholes in the KG's vows and secret dual-marriages.

17 hours ago, corbon said:

Another lie. We have many sources, not just Ned, for the honour and dutifulness of at least Dayne and Hightower. Jaime, Barristan, the general records it tWoIaF.

Not to mention Ned's recollection, in dream as it had been in life, of their own words.

Sorry, but no. Only Ned describes Dayne as "the finest knight I ever saw," which now that I look at it does not necessarily mean he thought him to be noble or honorable either, although these would certainly be qualities that Ned would use to judge his "fineness." Everybody else talks about his skill as a fighter and his magic sword.

But let's say that Dayne and the rest are paragons of knightly virtue and chivalry, what explains this decision to forsake their vows and abandon their king in his time of greatest need? Why is it that your theory has multiple people -- Rhaegar, the KG, even Aerys -- acting in the exact opposite way they should?

18 hours ago, corbon said:

Who said she didn't? But what is Ned going to do? Go to war against Robert and his allies and own men for a nephew or bastard he hardly knows?

But that assumes she did. There is the whole dying thing to get over first.

Well, that's the same answer I can give to my theory as well. Either she told him and Ned decided that it was best to cover it up, or she died before she could tell him the whole story and Ned remained clueless.

17 hours ago, corbon said:

You assume Rhaegar is plotting to depose the king. In fact he spoke of this as a road not taken to Jaime and clearly returns to KL not to depose Aerys but to take command of Aerys' army and defeat the rebellion and restore peace to the realm.
"When this is done I mean to call a council..." That means his first order of business is to restore peace under Aerys' rule. That's not treason, assuming that the KG are privy to this plan anyway.

The second part of the plan I can see your "claim" as being treasonous, but I don;t agree that this is accurate or reasonable as a claim. Aerys is clearly increasingly insane, and hurting both himself and his kingdom. 
A Mad King who harms both himself and his kingdom needs to be removed from power for his own protection. There are legal ways of doing this and they are not treason. 
It is possible for the KG to support this council and not be forswearing their oaths. They are protecting the King. His person, his family, his health, his well being, his legacy. Perhaps not his access to power, but that is not their vow, which is to "protect the king" (and his family etc), not to protect his access to absolute and unfettered abuse of power.

Wow, this is really stretching things. First off, a sitting Targaeryen king has never been deposed by council, not even the maddest of the mad like Maegor and Aegon III. The closest you get is the passing over of a possible legitimate heir, like Laenor Valaryon or Maegor, son of Aerion Brightflame. So sorry, but there is in fact no legally precedented way to do this in Westeros.

Secondly, no, it is not possible for the KG to support a council and not foreswear their oaths. Nowhere in any of the oaths that we've seen does it say, "unless a council says its OK or it is to protect the king from himself or the king is abusing his power."

17 hours ago, corbon said:

You keep making assumptions that contradict the text and then speaking in absolutes. Rhaegar is crown prince. He has 2 KG dedicated to protecting him, almost certainly at the command the the King himself. The king himself sent Hightower to find Rhaegar and get him to come back. It is not treason for them to follow lawful orders from Rhaegar, whom the King has set over them.

 The KING, has commanded the KG to protect the crown prince. The KING commands Hightower to retrieve Rhaegar. And now suddenly you have Rhaegar commanding the KG to attend to his own personal matters and leave the KING virtually unprotected? And they just obey this command without checking with the KING first, and then depart without his leave?

Sorry, friend, but no, no and no. This would be about as blatant a violation of their holy vows and the code of their sacred order as can be. If Joffrey were to order Selmy to travel across country on some personal errand, do you think he would just go and not clear it with the king first?

17 hours ago, corbon said:

You are mostly making statements of opinion here, not facts. The rift with Maegar the Cruel was far more complicated than just dual wives. Incest is equally bad if not worse sin in the eyes of the Faith, so its not reasonable to assume they balked entirely at one and not the other, especially since that is not made clear anywhere.

Sorry, but again, no, no and no. The DoE has never been used to justify multiple marriages because no Targaryen has ever tried one since Maegor. This is not an opinion, it's a fact. Every time the DoE has been invoked it has been to excuse the marriage of brother to sister. This is in perfect keeping with its basic tenant: the Valyrians follow the customs of Old Valyria, not the Andals, and while it was customary for Valyrians to wed brother and sister, it was not customary to practice polygamy. From the World Book:

Quote

Aegon had two trueborn siblings; an elder sister Visenya, and a younger sister, Rhaenys. It had long been the custom amongst the dragonlords of Valyria to wed brother to sister, to keep the bloodlines pure,  but Aegon took both of his sisters to bride. By tradition, he was expected to wed only his older sister, Visenya; the inclusion of Rhaenys as a second wife was unusual, but not without precedent.

So it has happened, but it is hardly a custom. So for Rhaegar to suddenly and secretly take another wife and expect the realm to be OK with this because of exceptionalism is an extremely rash act, completely out of character with the Rhaegar of people's memories. And it is utterly unimaginable that the KG would forsake their vows to go along with this plan because that is exactly what they would be doing if the king did not grant them leave to do so.

18 hours ago, corbon said:

You have no idea what Rhaegar believed to be possible and far less understanding of the religious, social and political implications of these things than he would have. 

We also have no idea what he was doing in the multiple months between Lyanna's 'abduction' and Hightower finding him. Nor have we seen any significant source inside Oldtown yet.

This is exactly my point. We have no idea what Rhaegar was thinking, where he was. So how can you possible claim with the utmost certainty that he and Lyanna ran off together?

18 hours ago, corbon said:

They didn't abandon their king, thats totally clear. 

They did. The facts are clear: the king was in King's Landing fighting for his life and they were hundreds of miles away guarding the results of some crazy scheme by the crown prince. Rationalize their vows all you will, but If they were not there on Aerys' orders, they abandoned him.

18 hours ago, corbon said:

Hyperbolic nonsense doesn't help.

The evidence strongly suggest the KG at ToJ have not forsaken their vows.
Rhaegar is not a teenager, and is noted by those who knew him as dutiful above all. Nowhere is he shown as hotblooded.
Rhaegar and Lyanna didn't set the realm on fire. Aerys did, by murdering a whole bunch of senior nobles following an apparently fair, if poorly broached, grievance against the crown. Then ordering the deaths of more who were not involved.

Facts are facts. You keep talking about evidence, but I have yet to see it. You have nothing but speculation, and even that leads to an endless series of contradictory conclusions. Rhaegaer is dutiful and level-headed, yet he runs off with Lyanna in this mad plan to produce a mythical hero, and somehow convinces three of the leading knights in the realm to foresake their holy vows and go along with it. This abduction is what set the world on fire; it's what precipitated all of the bloodshed, and your level-headed, dutiful Rhaegar would have to have know what the repercussions would be of abducting the daughter of a high lord who was already betrothed to another high lord. Sorry, but unless you can work out this conflict, even your theories don't hold any water: was Rhaegar sane, or was he mad?

18 hours ago, corbon said:

Now, the clues. Remember these are clues, not bald statements. They are meant to be obscure and non-determinant. I may not get them all, these are just what I remember and can find.

1. Lyanna sniffling at the Princes, sad song, then dumping wine on Benjen's head when he teased her about it. Lyanna is a wild wolf-girl, not a romantic dreamer. Yet here we have precisely the sort of behaviour that you get from a young teen girl starting a crush. Its not love, but its a potential precurser.
2. The KotLT and Rhaegar 'finding only a shield' then awarding Lyanna QoLaB. Rhaegar is a highly intelligent and highly educated man. It should be extraordinarily easy for him, investigating, as instructed by Aerys to determine that Lyanna was KotLT. All he has to do is question the three squires  ("teach your squires honour"). So I think he found out it was she but protected her from Aerys. Again, not love, but the start of respect and admiration, on his part, and possibly a deepening of a crush on hers. 
You may put this one down to speculation. the foundation is entirely textual, but goes deeper with what we know.
3. Ned's reticence and occasional back answer when Robert talks of Lyanna and/or the Rebellion. Ned never agrees with Robert when Robert is ranting and Rhaegar or Targaryens or talking about Lyanna, he's just silent or careful about what he replies. Ned knows more than Robert does - he knew Lyanna better, found her after the fact before she died, may have more information from Benjen (if he knows more) or other sources. Robert is far distant from the action and the facts and doesn't care to learn more.
4. Lyanna having dead roses in her hand when she died - likely the original crown from Harrenhal - why else hold dead (black) roses. And only to be kept if it represented good memories (love) rather than bad memories (rape).
5. The sweetness of the blue rose growing in the ice wall - sweetness suggesting a loving origin rather than a horror origin of rape.
6. Ned's characterisation of Lyanna's wolf blood leading her to an early grave - indicating she was complicit and acting wildly/rashly/boldly in what cause her death. That fits with love, rather than abduction or rape.

 

I guess I was hoping that someone would give me something concrete, but alas . . .

These are not clues, they are speculations. Lyanna cried, got sore at Benjen, she may have even had a crush on Rhaegar, and yes she may have been willing to run away with him. What doesn't fit is the idea that this noble, dutiful, intelligent crown prince would embark on such a crazy scheme, knowing how much trouble it is going to bring to the realm, or that the KG would simply follow the orders of the crown prince over the king in support of all this.

You "think" he found out and was trying to protect her. Thinking is not knowing, and it hardly counts as a clue. My theory goes deeper than what we know as well, and it remains perfectly consistent with all the characterizations of the major players in this drama.

Yes, Ned probably knows more, but in what way does this confirm your theory or dispute mine?

The roses are at least something concrete. Good job there. But we still have no idea where they came from. They may have been from the garland, which indeed would represent her love for Rhaegar, which she would cling to despite Aerys, knowing that Rhaegar was victimized too. But as you say, Jon has also been associated with roses, so maybe they were for him. As to it's sweetness, that's your own interpretation. To me, a lone blue rose growing out of a wall of ice is more tragic than sweet. The traditional interpretation of a blue rose is mystery or attainment of the impossible, which would apply to Jon more than Lyanna.

Ned could just as easily have been talking about the fact that she pulled the KoLT stunt in the first place rather than behaving like a proper lady, and they she had a penchant for riding off alone.

Sorry, but your fatal mistake is that you reach a conclusion that you are comfortable with and then view any and all text through that lens. The right way to do it is to consider all possible solutions, and then let facts either prove or disprove them until there is only one left. Right now, the evidence is too sketchy to rule anything out.

 

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20 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

We have nothing pointing to anything like Rhaegar and Lyanna falling in love. Not a once. All the text is perfectly in sync on this point: Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna and brutally raped her over and over again. So why should we consider any other possibility?

I disagree with this.

Using your own logic, there is no text evidence that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna.  This seems to be the conclusion several people jumped to when Lyanna went missing, but there is nothing to support it. 

The text supports the strong possibility of the 2 falling in love.  Lyanna crying when she hears Rhaegar sing at the feast and Rhaegar naming Lyanna the queen of love and beauty at the tourney. 

Furthermore, the text also points out that Lyanna was not 100% excited to marry Robert.  She had a conversation with Ned regarding Robert's child in the Vale, the fact that she doubted if he could ever be kept to one bed, and her opinion that love could not change a man's nature, is textual proof that she didn't appear to want to marry Robert.

 

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