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Sly Wren

Stark Maids Don’t Love Rhaegar/Bael Figures: A Meta-Critical Show vs. Tell

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Personally, I do think it likely that Dawn is, indeed the Lightbringer. But IMHO, it is entirely unnecessary for whoever ends up unlocking its full potential to have blood connection to the Daynes - which, BTW, the Targaryens have anyway, through Egg's mother Dyanna Dayne. In fact, I have long thought it likely that the Daynes were the caretakers of Dawn, because their distant ancestor used to be a companion of whoever inspired all the legends of the hero with the burning sword.

So, yes, the Daynes are important, both because they likely knew the truth about whatever happened at the Tower of Joy - though it is entirely possible that none of the family members who still survive do, anymore, unless there is somebody substantially older than Lady Allyria still around, _and_ because they likely retain some lore and legends about Dawn, which would allow the right person to re-awaken it at the right time.

I also find all  attempts to give Ned a valid reason to keep Jon's parentage secret from Cat if his father is not Rhaegar completely unpersuasive. Any alternatives really make Ned look like a selfish, egotistical jerk in my view, and while I am more critical of him than many, he was never _that_. And honestly, I would have preferred for Jon to be Ned's bastard - if only the whole initial set-up with Cat and Jon, complete with shipping him to the Wall the moment it became convenient, didn't completely destroy my view of  Ned as a good man of his class and society if this was the case.

And yes, I also think that Allyria is Ashara's "stillborn" daughter by a Stark - but I think that she is Brandon's rather than Ned's.

There is also one other thing that often crops up in the threads touching on Lyanna that bothers me intensely - and that's the habitual  assertion that she is responsible for Brandon's actions and deaths of him and their father (and also of his companions and theirs). I am sorry, but Brandon was an adult man, who chose to act in suicidally idiotic manner which caused all the tragedies. He _saw_ how crazy Aerys was at Harrenhal, for Pete's sake! I also find it pretty significant, that Jon Arryn didn rise in rebellion when his own nephew and heir was executed - could it be that he didn't think that Brandon and Co. were blameless?

The same applies, though to a lesser degree, to Rhaegar.

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5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Absolutely! But the window to introduce new information is closing. If vital elements are introduced too close to the big twists, then the pacing would suffer.

Agreed--I just don't think the new info will need to be "introduced." Just tied into already laid groundwork.

5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I'm not sure I like that theory. People always try to associate great natural events with something that is symbolically important to them, but most of the time that's just due to anthropocentric reasoning and lack of knowledge. It's how superstitions are born. :D

I think it would be more realistic (and a better message for the readers) if the return of the Others was decidedly NOT related to a big moment in Westerosi history. At the end of the day, the idea that a Stark killing a Dayne would awaken an ancient enemy thousands of miles away is still "magical bullshit".

But Martin himself has said the seasons in Westeros have a supernatural cause. And the Long Night does, too. So looking for that magic seems reasonable given what he's told us.

5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I don't think Dawn in itself matters, even if it was the original Lightbringer. If anything, it is meant to show us how much the story was distorted (the Last Hero is part of the mythology of the North, Azor Ahai is Essosi, yet the Daynes are from Dorne - something doesn't add up here).

1. If Dawn doesn't matter, Martin's spent an odd amount of reference to it--including bringing in Darkstar the story of Just Maid and Galladon of Morne. Seems like he's given himself plenty of set up if he wants to use it.

2. I do think the Last Hero story has been distorted--the the Last Hero turned into the Night's King and had to be put down by his "brother"--becoming a Day's king. And that the use of the sword was part of that: the Just Maid story insist the story should only be used against supernatural foes, never abused for power. And the Night's King seems to have abused power.

5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

The "human element" of the Azor Ahai story was that he had to sacrifice Nissa Nissa to create the weapon. If the sword already exists now and one can simply use it (as long as they're a "worthy" Dayne), that internal conflict is removed. On the other hand, if a sacrifice does need to be made to light the sword on fire, then the identity of the sword (and the wielder) is superfluous. The story would be just as compelling if Longclaw is used. You see what I'm trying to say?

I do--but that assumes the Lightbringer story is the story of a hero, vs. a tyrant trying to forge a perfect sword for abusing his power. I think Davos has the right of it when he thinks the story is awful. And I think the Lightbringer story got . . . revamped as "heroic." When it really wasn't.

5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I feel we are going a bit in circles with this. The markers are interesting enough to take a closer look, yes, and it's not impossible that George intended them the way you say, but I'm far from sold on them. The story has no obligation to offer a pay-off for these markers; indeed, it might feel more organic if it does not, because on a character level it would be unrealistic if all the Stark maids have the same preferences in love and faith.

All fair--and on the bolded: I agree. The characters have their own motivations. AND there are hints of each other's stories in each other's plot lines--at least I think so. 

5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I was saying there are plenty of hints in the books towards an R+L love relationship (as well as a few for a forceful one). You posited that they are misdirections, but if they aren't, the story would still feel organic. Neither of those scenarios would feel like it came out of the blue.

Agreed.

5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

The bastard child would have learned his lessons even if he wasn't special!

But that's what I was saying in the first place, his bastardy contributed to his character development, it's the "secretly special" blood that doesn't bring anything compelling to the table.

Yes--but we also know that the "special blood" of the Daynes is not enough: the Sword of the Morning title is never conferred until one is "worthy." Can go for generations without anyone wielding Dawn. The combo--learning and blood--creates the possibility.

Though I take your point on the cliche.

5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

If anything, it's more likely that Dawn is associated with the Others (perhaps one of their own blades, taken as trophy?)

It's described as "pale as milkglass", and we only see that word used four times in the series: once for Dawn, once for the ghost grass in Dothraki legends, once for the bones of a dying Other, and finally one time for some innocuous bottles. Here are the relevant three:

I bet it sounds a bit more ominous now! :P

Oh, yes--that's gotta be an option. And the Just Maid story strongly suggests the sword can be used "wrongly". And there's a strong case to be made that the Others aren't "evil." 

On the milkglass, I'd also add the Black Gate. Seems like we are getting clues that the Others,  Dawn, and the Black Gate are related and made/derived from weirwoods. 

5 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Wouldn't it be a cool inversion if it turns out Dawn was made with ice magic during the Long Night and Ice becomes the new burning sword Lightbringer? A song of ice and fire indeed...

Could be very cool, yes.

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12 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

It's possible, but it seems that the Bael tale is a wildling tale only.  I think it's doubtful that the Starks would pass this tale on from generation to generation, especially the version told by Ygritte.

The version told by Ygritte--yes, that I buy. 

But the version in general and fear/animosity towards Kings Beyond the Wall--this is very possible.

But only one of multiple options.

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1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

1. HA! I, too, am a frequent victim of autocorrect. :cheers: 

2. I'm liking this very, very much. I could definitely see Olenna and Rugen as being in cahoots. Could explain a few things with the Purple Wedding. Spiriting Aegon away will need more evidence, but I'm now going to be on the lookout.

But the  "coincidence" theory opens up one plausible reason for the Starks' weird reaction: they knew the Bael Tale and Rhaegar did not.

Ned hasn't told the tale to his children, but that does NOT mean his generation (Ned, Lyanna, Brandon, and Benjen) didn't know it.

And there are other tales he hasn't told them either--and some, like the Knight of the Laughing Tree and specifics of Arthur Dayne, seem like he's withheld those for a reason.

If Rhaegar stumbled into a mess that others took advantage of to eventually provoke a war. . . it could fit with some of the things Martin likes to do with "perfect storms."

Maybe.

I sometimes think characters like Ned/Olenna/JonCon hates Varys but depended on him for their plots and plans too - Varys has no hint about Jon not being Ned's bastard but discuss Daenerys' situation with Ned - Ned in return thinks about working with people he hates, Olenna says Varys is a man without the useless bit but still has ties to Varys, Jon Con hates the eunuch too yet Varys is the reason Aegon is safe. 

Would Aegon being at the Reach would explain why Robert attacked Ashford? Robert's moves at the beginning are Rhaegar focused since he starts his campaign with Summerhall where Rhaegar would visit, he knows the Prince has only few people with him and an easy target later turns to Ashford? Maybe he thinks the Reach is involved in some way? That would explain crown of Lyanna and the thorns underneath ;) 

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3 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

But Martin himself has said the seasons in Westeros have a supernatural cause. And the Long Night does, too. So looking for that magic seems reasonable given what he's told us.

A supernatural cause is fine, as long as it makes sense within the story. The idea that a Stark (or a Reed?) killing a Dayne would trigger the Long Night (with a decade and a half delay) remains absurd even if we take the magic of ASoIaF into consideration. I mean, if this is possible, what other rules are there? Do the squisher come if a Tyrell kills a Crabb? Do grumkins pop into existence if a Martell kills an Umber? :D

4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

If Dawn doesn't matter, Martin's spent an odd amount of reference to it--including bringing in Darkstar the story of Just Maid and Galladon of Morne. Seems like he's given himself plenty of set up if he wants to use it.

Dawn is referenced only 3 or 4 times in the series, and all in relation to the ToJ battle. That's hardly a lot. And all the Daynes combined are mentioned just as often as Boros Blount, according to https://asearchoficeandfire.com/ It's the cool factor that makes you exaggerate their presence.

I'm not saying it won't be important, but it could just as easily be an echo or a misdirection... Just like the Just Maid, which I don't believe to be the same as Dawn.

Spoiler

By the way, Dawn seems to have a counterpart in Nightfall, the valyrian steel longsword of House Harlaw (whose coat of arms is incidentally a silver scythe on black, evoking the Grim Reaper). Could it be that the new Lightbringer will have a counterpart as well? Since I am a firm believer that Oathkeeper will be this era's burning sword, I find it interesting that Euron might get his hands on Widow's Wail if that woman in Aeron's vision is Cersei.

 

4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

I do--but that assumes the Lightbringer story is the story of a hero, vs. a tyrant trying to forge a perfect sword for abusing his power. I think Davos has the right of it when he thinks the story is awful. And I think the Lightbringer story got . . . revamped as "heroic." When it really wasn't.

I agree. That's what makes the echoes of Azor Ahai so interesting in Stannis's story. Belief in the mythos justifies human sacrifice for some of the present day characters, and we get to witness how that affects them and those around them. Dawn being a readily available Lightbringer doesn't provide that, though.

4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Yes--but we also know that the "special blood" of the Daynes is not enough: the Sword of the Morning title is never conferred until one is "worthy." Can go for generations without anyone wielding Dawn. The combo--learning and blood--creates the possibility.

Though I take your point on the cliche.

Yeah, I can't warm up to this. The hero has to prove himself or herself "worthy" in half the folk tales that were ever written.

Take my Exodus suggestion for example. Under this scenario, Jon would have to choose between trying to save Winterfell and the North and trying to save his people. That's hard, that's human, and no magic is required, other than that already present in the story (the long winter and the Others, which can easily be a stand-in for climate change, political collapse, famine, etc.) His choice would echo Mance and Nymeria, who both had to lead people into exile, and it would invite comparisons with Stannis (who was clever enough to understand he had to put the real ahead of the crown, but probably won't be kind and flexible enough to put the people ahead of the realm). On top of that, there's just a drop of selfishness in there as well, since Jon would believe that Arya is in Braavos, and he probably would trade Winterfell for Arya.

Maybe you understand why I don't find the "Jon is worthy and/or special" narrative to be very compelling. I'm not excluding it, but... meh.

5 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

On the milkglass, I'd also add the Black Gate. Seems like we are getting clues that the Others,  Dawn, and the Black Gate are related and made/derived from weirwoods. 

Don't forget Nightfall! :D (in the spoiler tag above).

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22 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

You misunderstand me.  You stated as evidence that Rhaegar had shifted emphasis from his son Aegon, that the three kingsguards were protecting Lyanna and baby Jon at the tower of joy.  The problem is, we don’t have any evidence that Lyanna was at the tower of joy. The only thing “linking” her to the tower of joy is the chronology of Ned’s fever dream.  He dreams of the tower of joy, then the scene shifts and he dreams of Lyanna’s death.  Of course that doesn’t mean that in life those two events were actually linked in chronology and geography.

There’s an SSM out there somewhere, where George warned a fan about taking Ned’s fever dream too literally.  Which is odd, since Ned has an independent memory of the tower of joy, and he has an independent memory of Lyanna’s death.  The only part of his dream that isn’t corroborated by his memories, Is one event immediately following the other.

So while it may be tempting to assume that Ned would have traveled there to rescue his sister, that’s still a fairly big assumption based on the actual evidence we’re given.  Of course GRRM uses the fever dream to push us into coming to that conclusion, but we have to ask what is Martin’s motivation to do this?  Is it a clue or is it a misdirection?

The fact that both Ned and the Kingsguards seem fairly resigned to the fact that their meeting was a battle to the death, makes me think that perhaps Ned and company traveled to the tower of joy to prevent the kingsguards from carrying out their last assigned task.

Now was that Aegon at the Red Keep?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  My thought is if Rhaegar had Aegon switched, he wouldn’t have used Varys.

And I would also add that I’m not sure the Kingsguards were at the tower to protect anyone.  LIke I stated their “vow” may have been to carry out Rhaegar’s plans for his Prince that was Promised.

Eh, not bad, and it has always puzzled me that the World Book ends the RR section with Aerys' death but never tells us what happened to Lyanna.

But the fact remains that in Ned's dream:

Quote

As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called.

These two memories are not independent, they are intertwined.

And I believe the app says she was in the Tower, for whatever that's worth.

So it's not a bad theory, but at this point it suffers from a lack of evidence. But then again, so does virtually every other theory on this subject. :P

 

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1 minute ago, John Suburbs said:

These two memories are not independent, they are intertwined.

And I believe the app says she was in the Tower, for whatever that's worth.

So it's not a bad theory, but at this point it suffers from a lack of evidence. But then again, so does virtually every other theory on this subject. :P

In full agreement there.  And yes there is a segue between the two halves of the dream, but the segue itself is a bit surreal:

Quote

As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming.  "Eddard!" she called.  A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.

So Lyanna's screaming coincides with a clearly metaphysical portion of the dream.  It's like the two dreams are bleeding into each other.  Ned calls it an old dream so these clearly are two events that have Ned at least has subconsciously linked together.  I'm just not sure if they are linked together in time and space.

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7 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

But the  "coincidence" theory opens up one plausible reason for the Starks' weird reaction: they knew the Bael Tale and Rhaegar did not.

Sure.

However, I think without knowing a thing about Bael, it would still be quite possible for Rhaegar to have heard of winter roses, and to perceive them as perfectly suited to Lyanna Stark... who after all is a pretty girl from a place called Winterfell, in the north.  

That would be as natural a fit for her as a crown of golden roses for Cersei (or Margaery in the next generation).

So Rhaegar's thinking would be: "I'm going to guarantee winning this thing by ordering my KG to take a dive.  Then I'm going to name Lyanna the QoLaB, and to impress her even more, award her this crown of winter roses."

That wouldn't really be a coincidence, IMO, because to Rhaegar it just flows logically.  

On the other hand, if the crown were designed and created in advance without Rhaegar's input, and Rhaegar never had any idea he would win -- and thus, a crown of winter roses was chosen at random, and just so happened to wind up on the most appropriate girl's head?  That would be a coincidence.

It's also somewhat curious that after thinking about it for a decade and a half, zero characters ever seem to realize this coincidence -- "How did Rhaegar happen to have a crown of winter roses like that handy?"  But they don't realize lots of things.  Heh.

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I don't think we should read too much into the winter roses. "The year of the false spring" implies it was still fairly cold, so these were probably the prettiest flowers available in the season.

The only one who called them "rare and precious" was Ygritte, and she also took a towerhouse for a castle. What seems rare to a wildling may be readily available to any lord. The Starks grew winter roses at Winterfell, so why wouldn't they have them at Harrenhal, or somewhere else in the Riverlands? In a world with year-long winters, nobles would want to have flowers that bloom in the cold, no?

There's also the fact that the Bael story is an old folk tale. The value of the flower may have been exaggerated in order to romanticize the story. Indeed, that whole segment sounds like it could be apocryphal. The core of the tale is that Bael passed himself off as a musician, seduced a Stark maiden and stole her away from Winterfell. Asking for a flower as payment is not integral to the story and realistically speaking would only raise suspicion (Why would a singer ask for that? Wouldn't he need coin to buy food?).

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The "KG took a dive for Rhaegar" theory is unsupported by anything in the text, nor does it explain his showing against non-KG at Harrenhal, or against KG and non-KG in previous tourneys he is known to have participated and had success in.

Harrenhal Tourney in 281 AC

- defeated Brandon Stark
- defeated Lord Yohn Royce
- defeated Ser Arthur Dayne
- defeated Ser Barristan Selmy in the final tilt

Storm's End Tourney(s) between 276 and 281 AC

- defeated Lord Steffon Baratheon
- defeated Lord Jason Mallister
- defeated Oberyn Martell
- defeated a mystery knight that turned out to be Simon Toyne
- defeated Ser Arthur Dayne
- defeated by Ser Barristan Selmy in the final tilt

Lannisport Tourney in 276 AC

- defeated Ser Tygett Lannister
- defeated Gerion Lannister
- defeated Ser Barristan Selmy
- defeated by Ser Arthur Dayne in the final tilt

In other words, Rhaegar made it to the championship tilt of all three of the tourneys he is known to have participated in, losing his first to Arthur Dayne, losing his second to Barristan Selmy, and defeating Arthur and Barristan to win his third.

In fact, of then 10 matches Rhaegar is known to have had going into Harrenhal, he had won 8 of them, including against Arthur and Barristan, and his only 2 losses were those two championship tilts against Arthur and Barristan.

So Rhaegar was already 1-1 against both Arthur and Barristan going into Harrenhal, where he defeated them to go up 2-1 against each of them.

There is no reason to believe that the KG threw half their matches against Rhaegar in previous tourneys, nor any reason to believe that they threw their matches against him at the Harrenhal Tourney.

And if Rhaegar was legitimately capable of defeating them, as well as losing to them, in previous tourneys, there is no reason to believe that was incapable of defeating them at Harrenhal.

It remains to be seen whether there was anything unusual about the laurel of winter roses. For all we know, it could be pretty standard for a champion's laurel used to crown a queen of love and beauty to be made out of winter roses.

Even if they were not usually used for champion's laurels, a conspiracy is not necessary to explain why they were used in a tourney of "unrivaled magnificence," which offered prizes thrice as large as those given at the King's Landing Tourney staged by Lord Tywin Lannister in 272 AC, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the reign of King Aerys.

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On 1/18/2019 at 9:05 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

The "KG took a dive for Rhaegar" theory is unsupported by anything in the text

Reread what FFR wrote.  There's support; it's been discussed for years.

On 1/18/2019 at 9:05 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

there is no reason to believe that was incapable of defeating them at Harrenhal

Assuming you forgot to type "Rhaegar," nobody's suggested that as far as I can see. 

The idea is that he wanted to ensure he would win so as to similarly ensure he would be the one to award Lyanna a crown of winter roses that was clearly designed in advance to suit her, and did suit her, better than it could possibly have suited any of the other beautiful women at the tourney.

On 1/18/2019 at 9:05 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

It remains to be seen whether there was anything unusual about the laurel of winter roses. For all we know, it could be pretty standard for a champion's laurel used to crown a queen of love and beauty to be made out of winter roses.

Quite the convenient assumption that would be, and to use your phrase, unsupported by anything in the text.

Here's a challenge.  See if you can find any reference to winter roses, anywhere in the million and a half words of canon -- defined as the five novels plus D&E -- that is not directly associated with Stark maidens somehow.  Good luck.

 

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On January 17, 2019 at 11:27 AM, Jova Snow said:

I sometimes think characters like Ned/Olenna/JonCon hates Varys but depended on him for their plots and plans too - Varys has no hint about Jon not being Ned's bastard but discuss Daenerys' situation with Ned - Ned in return thinks about working with people he hates, Olenna says Varys is a man without the useless bit but still has ties to Varys, Jon Con hates the eunuch too yet Varys is the reason Aegon is safe. 

Oh yes--Varys is clearly one of the most useful and capable figures in the series. And the above underscores that he will work with almost anyone to achieve his aims.  

 

On January 17, 2019 at 11:27 AM, Jova Snow said:

Would Aegon being at the Reach would explain why Robert attacked Ashford? Robert's moves at the beginning are Rhaegar focused since he starts his campaign with Summerhall where Rhaegar would visit, he knows the Prince has only few people with him and an easy target later turns to Ashford? Maybe he thinks the Reach is involved in some way? That would explain crown of Lyanna and the thorns underneath ;)

I have to confess: the details of the battles in the Rebellion is an area of the novels I haven't got into. But can you think of any reason why Robert would think this? No one seems to suspect that the baby Gregor killed wasn't Aegon--until we meet fAegon. Robert seems convinced. . . 

As for the thorns underneath--I had read that as the promise of the crown was turned into something sinister. Or--when I'm out on a limb--Lyanna's beauty had thorns underneath. Like Ned tells Robert that he saw only Lyanna's beauty not the iron underneath.

But I'm liking the idea that Lyanna and Glenna perhaps have symbolic ties. . . . Is that where you are going?

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On January 17, 2019 at 10:23 AM, Maia said:

Personally, I do think it likely that Dawn is, indeed the Lightbringer. But IMHO, it is entirely unnecessary for whoever ends up unlocking its full potential to have blood connection to the Daynes - which, BTW, the Targaryens have anyway, through Egg's mother Dyanna Dayne. In fact, I have long thought it likely that the Daynes were the caretakers of Dawn, because their distant ancestor used to be a companion of whoever inspired all the legends of the hero with the burning sword.

Very possible--the way Starfall is described sound like it could be a "grail castle"--as @Kingmonkey has argued for a while.

As for the Dayne ancestor: right now, the World Book says the Sword of the Morning must be "of House Dayne"--not just a descendant. So, so far at least, sounds like the Sword of the Morning needs a Dayne parent. . . but that could obviously change.

On January 17, 2019 at 10:23 AM, Maia said:

So, yes, the Daynes are important, both because they likely knew the truth about whatever happened at the Tower of Joy - though it is entirely possible that none of the family members who still survive do, anymore, unless there is somebody substantially older than Lady Allyria still around, _and_ because they likely retain some lore and legends about Dawn, which would allow the right person to re-awaken it at the right time.

Agreed.

On January 17, 2019 at 10:23 AM, Maia said:

I also find all  attempts to give Ned a valid reason to keep Jon's parentage secret from Cat if his father is not Rhaegar completely unpersuasive. Any alternatives really make Ned look like a selfish, egotistical jerk in my view, and while I am more critical of him than many, he was never _that_. And honestly, I would have preferred for Jon to be Ned's bastard - if only the whole initial set-up with Cat and Jon, complete with shipping him to the Wall the moment it became convenient, didn't completely destroy my view of  Ned as a good man of his class and society if this was the case.

Keeping the info from Cat is baffling to me per se, Rhaegar or no Rhaegar. 

On January 17, 2019 at 10:23 AM, Maia said:

There is also one other thing that often crops up in the threads touching on Lyanna that bothers me intensely - and that's the habitual  assertion that she is responsible for Brandon's actions and deaths of him and their father (and also of his companions and theirs). I am sorry, but Brandon was an adult man, who chose to act in suicidally idiotic manner which caused all the tragedies. He _saw_ how crazy Aerys was at Harrenhal, for Pete's sake! I also find it pretty significant, that Jon Arryn didn rise in rebellion when his own nephew and heir was executed - could it be that he didn't think that Brandon and Co. were blameless?

Agreed on Brandon--though I do think Brandon was manipulated: he seems to get the news before Rickard did. I think that was on purpose and that he was told something awful--as we see with Lysa's letter, Jon's pink letter, even Sansa's letter to Robb. So, the "idiotic" manner: I think the news was intended to incite his idiocy and anger. Thus potentially provoking a fight with the crown. 

And Baelish used a similar trick years later: to provoke a Stark fight with the Lannisters.

And I think there's a good reason Arryn stayed out: he wanted power, too. I think there's a decent chance he, like Tywin, saw a war as a way to create opportunities for power.

And Baelish, too, learned that lesson.

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On January 17, 2019 at 3:37 PM, The Coconut God said:

A supernatural cause is fine, as long as it makes sense within the story. The idea that a Stark (or a Reed?) killing a Dayne would trigger the Long Night (with a decade and a half delay) remains absurd even if we take the magic of ASoIaF into consideration. I mean, if this is possible, what other rules are there? Do the squisher come if a Tyrell kills a Crabb? Do grumkins pop into existence if a Martell kills an Umber? :D

This is going down a rabbit hole you may not want to follow--but here goes: the story of the NIght's King is a story of overuse of power and breaking oaths. Just Maid story echoes that. And the first thing we see Ned teach his children? The importance of Justice and treating oath breakers in the old way. Something about this is really, really important to the story.

The Night's King (Stark) was put down. By a brother (Night's Watch or literal brother) and the ice-like, milkglass sword (Dawn) that looks like the Wall--that sword ends up at the other end of the continent. Until there's a fight to the tower: between A Night's King descendant and a Day's King. Result? A great summer. And what do long summers lead to, according to people in the books? Long Winters.

So, not random rules--breaking of oaths and life cycles and messing with magics--like the Night's King did.

How it all works--that's me speculating. But Martin has been laying the groundwork for these kinds of rules since the very first chapter--and arguably even from the prologue, when the Others examine Waymar's sword carefully before attacking. 

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Dawn is referenced only 3 or 4 times in the series, and all in relation to the ToJ battle. That's hardly a lot. And all the Daynes combined are mentioned just as often as Boros Blount, according to https://asearchoficeandfire.com/ It's the cool factor that makes you exaggerate their presence.

HA! I do think they are potentially cool. But they way they are mentioned--the ties to the Starks that aren't yet explained. The example and power or Arthur. The tragedy of Ashara--not yet explained. And the uniqueness of the sword--all for people presumed dead (unlike the very unfortunately still breathing Boros)--something is up.

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I'm not saying it won't be important, but it could just as easily be an echo or a misdirection... Just like the Just Maid, which I don't believe to be the same as Dawn.

Same as Dawn? No--any more than Brienne is the same as Arthur, despite the imagery around her. But a story tied to Dawn? Grown out of the Dawn legend? Yes. . . that seems possible. Especially given that the Last Hero's sword broke--so, what was his new one like. if the children, worshippers of weirwood, gave him one?

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I agree. That's what makes the echoes of Azor Ahai so interesting in Stannis's story. Belief in the mythos justifies human sacrifice for some of the present day characters, and we get to witness how that affects them and those around them. Dawn being a readily available Lightbringer doesn't provide that, though.

Unless the wielder, not the blade, is the one that really needs forging. And the story of Lightbringer is more about forging the blade. Ned teaches his boys that the man who passes sentence wields the sword: focus is on the kind of person/man you are. Not the blade: the man who wields it makes the blade an instrument of justice.

Like the story of Just Maid--that sword is only "just" if the wielder uses it justly. Otherwise, the sword's power is oppressive.

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Yeah, I can't warm up to this. The hero has to prove himself or herself "worthy" in half the folk tales that were ever written.

A very fair point. Though it is what Ned is trying to teach his boys at the story: how to wield power justly and worthily.

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Take my Exodus suggestion for example. Under this scenario, Jon would have to choose between trying to save Winterfell and the North and trying to save his people. That's hard, that's human, and no magic is required, other than that already present in the story (the long winter and the Others, which can easily be a stand-in for climate change, political collapse, famine, etc.) His choice would echo Mance and Nymeria, who both had to lead people into exile, and it would invite comparisons with Stannis (who was clever enough to understand he had to put the real ahead of the crown, but probably won't be kind and flexible enough to put the people ahead of the realm). On top of that, there's just a drop of selfishness in there as well, since Jon would believe that Arya is in Braavos, and he probably would trade Winterfell for Arya.

I'm liking this!!!!

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Maybe you understand why I don't find the "Jon is worthy and/or special" narrative to be very compelling. I'm not excluding it, but... meh.

HA! All fair. For me, the biggest "worthy" of Jon is Justice and keeping oaths. But . . . I do see how it looks cliche. Really, really. 

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Don't forget Nightfall! :D (in the spoiler tag above).

YUP! I've thought for a while that it's a reference to the Night's King like power hungriness and exploitation of the Iron Born. Shown by Harrenhal, too.

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't spell.

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On January 17, 2019 at 3:43 PM, John Suburbs said:

These two memories are not independent, they are intertwined.

Agreed--just depends on what intertwines them: Ned's dream of Lyanna in the crypts is intertwined with the roses, too: but her statue doesn't wear a rose crown in actual life. He hears her voice in the crypt dream, too. 

So, we are at least shown how the voice and roses at the tower could be associations, vs. literal.

@Frey family reunion:

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So Lyanna's screaming coincides with a clearly metaphysical portion of the dream.  It's like the two dreams are bleeding into each other.  Ned calls it an old dream so these clearly are two events that have Ned at least has subconsciously linked together.  I'm just not sure if they are linked together in time and space.

:agree:

On January 17, 2019 at 6:21 PM, JNR said:

Sure.

However, I think without knowing a thing about Bael, it would still be quite possible for Rhaegar to have heard of winter roses, and to perceive them as perfectly suited to Lyanna Stark... who after all is a pretty girl from a place called Winterfell, in the north.  

That would be as natural a fit for her as a crown of golden roses for Cersei (or Margaery in the next generation).

So Rhaegar's thinking would be: "I'm going to guarantee winning this thing by ordering my KG to take a dive.  Then I'm going to name Lyanna the QoLaB, and to impress her even more, award her this crown of winter roses."

That wouldn't really be a coincidence, IMO, because to Rhaegar it just flows logically.  

He could absolutely have heard of them--just seems unlikely that he planned this well in a advance. And the above assumes a motive we don't yet have.

And we also have the coincidence of Loras giving the roses--he'd have had a chance to have heard about Rhaegar's gift to Lyanna--but doesn't blink about giving Sansa a rose. And his motive doesn't seem to be impressing her--nearest I can guess, his motive is impressing the crowd and maybe Ned: currying favor with the new Hand.

So, could be crowning Lyanna was to impress the Starks--but, oops!!!

ETA: Going along with the idea that the roses fit a northern girl, could still fit with the Loras model: Rhaegar wanted to curry favor with some of the great houses that were either less friendly with the crown )the North had a history of rebelling). Or with great houses suspected of forming alliances--the marriage of Stark to Baratheon was unusual for Starks.

If so, Rhaegar didn't have many choices: Baratheons and Arryns didn't have young women to crown. And I think the Tullys weren't there. Lyanna's the one to give it to.

And the whole thing backfired because the Starks took it entirely the wrong way.

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On the other hand, if the crown were designed and created in advance without Rhaegar's input, and Rhaegar never had any idea he would win -- and thus, a crown of winter roses was chosen at random, and just so happened to wind up on the most appropriate girl's head?  That would be a coincidence.

Agreed--a horrible coincidence. Though I do think Rhaegar wanted to win for a reason and crowned her on purpose--would have crowned her no matter what, were the laurel plain roses, violets, daisies, or pork chops (a la Lady Gaga). 

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It's also somewhat curious that after thinking about it for a decade and a half, zero characters ever seem to realize this coincidence -- "How did Rhaegar happen to have a crown of winter roses like that handy?"  But they don't realize lots of things.  Heh.

"Heh" indeed. Some characters don't see things (Jaime thinks he failed Rhaegar when I think Rhaegar set Jaime up to fail). And some overthink--Tyrion gets Cersei dead wrong on Arryn.

A warning to all of us readers--all without giving us the next books (grumble).

Edited by Sly Wren

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2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Oh yes--Varys is clearly one of the most useful and capable figures in the series. And the above underscores that he will work with almost anyone to achieve his aims.  

 

I have to confess: the details of the battles in the Rebellion is an area of the novels I haven't got into. But can you think of any reason why Robert would think this? No one seems to suspect that the baby Gregor killed wasn't Aegon--until we meet fAegon. Robert seems convinced. . . 

As for the thorns underneath--I had read that as the promise of the crown was turned into something sinister. Or--when I'm out on a limb--Lyanna's beauty had thorns underneath. Like Ned tells Robert that he saw only Lyanna's beauty not the iron underneath.

But I'm liking the idea that Lyanna and Glenna perhaps have symbolic ties. . . . Is that where you are going?

I was thinking if Tyrell gold paid for the tourney of HH along with Lannister gold. Do you really think he is fake? I think Aegon is real and even if you don't I prefer if he was referred as Young Griff, actually Kevan says Tywin said the babe was Aegon and everyone believed but the moment Aegon lands the suspicion begins. 

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1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

The Night's King (Stark) was put down. By a brother (Night's Watch or literal brother) and the ice-like, milkglass sword (Dawn) that looks like the Wall ends up at the other end of the continent. Until there's a fight to the tower: between A Night's King descendant and a Day's King. Result? A great summer. And what do long summers lead to, according to people in the books? Long Winters.

 

Where can I read more about Dawn coming from the north rather than being forged from a meteorite that landed in Dorne?  Is it earlier in this thread or do I need to look elsewhere?

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1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

I was thinking if Tyrell gold paid for the tourney of HH along with Lannister gold. Do you really think he is fake? I think Aegon is real and even if you don't I prefer if he was referred as Young Griff, actually Kevan says Tywin said the babe was Aegon and everyone believed but the moment Aegon lands the suspicion begins. 

Hmmm. . . . Tywin was plotting with Rhaegar against Aerys and the Tyrells are Targ loyalists. . . working with them to fund Harrenhal could be a good way to get them on their side. I'm seeing some of the logic of this. 

We've got incidents in the World Book and novels. hinting at Rhaegar and Tywin's conspiring together. Are you thinking that the coins are the hint the Tyrells are in cahoots, too?

And I do think there's a very, very good chance that  fAegon is real. And I think Dany will end up killing him, her own brother. 

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2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

And the above assumes a motive we don't yet have.

You're right.  If Rhaegar arranged for both the crown and his power to award it, then he did evidently have motives/information in his head at that time that have not been published explicitly so far in the canon.

2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

And we also have the coincidence of Loras giving the roses--he'd have had a chance to have heard about Rhaegar's gift to Lyanna--but doesn't blink about giving Sansa a rose.

It's not a winter rose, though, and he gave roses to lots of girls:

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To the other maidens he had given white roses, but the one he plucked for her was red.

Every reference to winter roses in canon, no exceptions, is directly tied to Stark maidens. 

(Unless we count Dany's HOTU vision... but something tells me most people reading this post do see a close connection to Stark maidens there.) 

Also, if we want to draw a parallel with Rhaegar in the situation with Loras... not a crazy suggestion by any means IMO... why, that would seem to imply Rhaegar secretly preferred lovers of quite a different sort, wouldn't it?

 

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1 hour ago, White Ravens said:

Where can I read more about Dawn coming from the north rather than being forged from a meteorite that landed in Dorne?  Is it earlier in this thread or do I need to look elsewhere?

This is more @Voice's theory than mine.

He went into it on this forum here.

He went into it in more detail here, including the ideas on how the Others came back: http://thelasthearth.com/thread/386/ice-dawn-updated

 

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