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Sly Wren

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

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17 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Really? Way out there in the middle of nowhere while their king and their prince are fighting for their lives. What were they doing there?

Oh--I do think they were defending someone. But if the other Stark Maids in the story are any indication, Lyanna was a hostage (like Arya and Jon). If so, the KG aren't guarding her.

17 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Save his son and leave his wife and daughter for the slaughter? Does that sound like Rhaegar to you?

His son was the important one--TPTWP--and the easiest to get out. Babies are easier to pass off as each other.

But yes--it may have just been Varys. But we do not know how driven Rhaegar was: was he emotional? Or more like Stannis?

17 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Why would Jon have to be kept secret from the world if he was a Dayne?

Because he's Lyanna's son not by Robert. Robert's not angry that Rhaegar was a Targ. He hates Rhaegar and his family because he thinks Rhaegar took Lyanna from him. Any man who did that would incur that wrath--as would that man's family. And child--Ned broke from Robert because Robert condoned the murder of the children of the man he thinks took Lyanna.

17 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Why would either Rhaegar or Aerys think he is in need of this much protection out in the middle of nowhere. Why would Whent and Hightower choose to be here instead of protecting either their prince or their king as they are sworn to do?

If Jon is Arthur's, I do not think the KG are guarding Lyanna and her baby. They'd be protecting Rhaegar's child by another woman. 

17 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

And what possible relevance could a Stark-Dayne baby have in the denouement? 

The Sword of the Morning ending the Long Night. Day's King slays the Night's King--reversing what Ned did at the tower of joy, where a Night's King (Stark) killed a Day's King (Dayne).

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5 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Well, he apparently dispatched three of the most lethal kingsguard to protect Lyanna and her baby and then took another three to the Trident, leaving Elia and his other two children without any protection at all. Doesn't sound like the actions of a man who thinks his son is destined for great things anymore.

If both were the PtwPs or both sang the SoIaF, why give all protection to one and leave the other undefended?

Ah yes, the fever dream (fevre dream?), the house of cards so many theories are based on.  

Well we don’t really know what was the vow that bound the tied the three kingsguards to the tower of joy.  Perhaps it was a vow that they would sooner die than see fulfilled.  After all, Rhaegar may have left unfinished business behind.  What exactly does it mean to be a Prince (or Princess) that was Promised, or the “head” of a dragon?

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He said the sphinx was the riddle, not the riddler, whatever that meant. He asked Sam to read for him from a book by Septon Barth, whose writings had been burned during the reign of Baelor the Blessed. Once he woke up weeping. “The dragon must have three heads,” he wailed, “but I am too old and frail to be one of them. I should be with her, showing her the way, but my body has betrayed me.”

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The next evening they came upon a huge Valyrian sphinx crouched beside the road.  It had a dragon’s body and a woman’s face.

 

Edited by Frey family reunion

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5 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

A fair point--that could work. I really doubt Ned and Ashara were lovers, even though I want Ned to be Jon's father. But yes--that is possible.

I am not suggesting that Ned and Ashara are Jon's parents.  Either Ned is the father of the stillbirth mentioned by Barristan, or it is Allyria Dayne, who is more or less the right age.  Purely speculative, though.

5 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

And the Daynes don't just respect Ned. They nickname their heir after him--Martin named Edric Dayne in the Game Appendix--two whole books before Edric appeared. He names no other Martell bannermen by name--only Edric. And then draws a circle around his nickname for readers--that was intentional.

I see this a lot, but I don't necessarily think it is intended to honor Eddard Stark.  I'm not aware of any circle.  I will have to look.  If he was already planning to include him as a character, it might make sense to name him.

5 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

No--the World Book shows clearly that he was down for Tywin's plan to kill Aerys via the Darklyns' Defiance. 

I do think Tywin was the driving force behind starting the war using Lyanna, and that there's a good chance Rhaegar only found out about it after the fact--and then went along. But it does fit what we see of him in the World Book.

And even what we see in Jaime's POV: Rhaegar knows Jaime is completely freaked out. Jaime is not remotely equipped to deal with this mess--anyone can see that. Rhaegar could take Jaime with him. He could leave Darry or Barristan behind to help Jaime--true loyalists with plenty of experience. Instead, Rheagar leaves the most unstable and ill-equipped Kingsguard possible to protect Aerys. Even if Rhaegar was sure he'd win--that strongly suggests he didn't want Aerys well  protected. 

I'm a little sketchy on the World Book, to be honest.  I've read portions of it, but not all, and am not real familiar with it.

Who is Jaime supposed to be protecting Aerys from anyway.  Rhaegar is going into battle.  Aerys is in a castle surrounded by loyalists.  I also seem to remember seeing something about Aerys insisting on keeping Jaime close.

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8 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

snip

I can totally see Lyanna riding about and getting herself in trouble, though I have the feeling that Rickard was a much restrictive father than Ned and that there is a difference between leaving a child to her devices and doing so for a child-woman.

7 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Problem: we don't have any evidence that Rhaegar tended to behave this way. We have stories that the small folk loved him, but I couldn't find talk of his overt concern for them--please correct me if you've found what I could not.

We do - when Dany goes about saving the women from rape, Jorah says that this is what Rhaegar would do. Given that he couldn't have known Rhaegar personally, there must have been some common knowledge of this trait of his character.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Not stated that Rhaegar wanted Aerys dead to become king himself. But shown in the World Book:

Most of the small council were with the Hand outside Duskendale at this juncture, and several of them argued against Lord Tywin's plan on the grounds that such an attack would almost certainly goad Lord Darklyn into putting King Aerys to death. "He may or he may not," Tywin Lannister reportedly replied, "but if he does, we have a better king right here." Whereupon he raised a hand to indicate Prince Rhaegar. 

 

Scholars have debated ever since as to Lord Tywin's intent. Did he believe Lord Darklyn would back down? Or was he, in truth, willing, and perhaps even eager, to see Aerys die so that Prince Rhaegar might take the Iron Throne? World Book: The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II

It seems very, very unlikely that Tywin would say something that provocative in front of the small council without knowing that Rhaegar would go along with him. Very likely, they'd discussed this before meeting with the council. No, one way or another, Rhaegar is going along with Tywin's plan to kill Aerys via the Darklyns.

How early in the plan Rhaegar was brought in, we aren't told or shown. And Tywin did start early--he seems to have goaded the Darklyns into rebellion and goaded Aerys into going to talk with the Darklyns. I think there's a decent chance, given what we see at the Red Wedding, that Tywin gave the Darklyns "assurances" to goad them into taking Aerys. But wherever in the scenario Rhaegar became aware, he went along. To become king.

I fundamentally disagree here - while it is certainly possible that the two collaborated, it is in no way a given. Rhaegar would still become king whether he cooperated with Tywin or not, and he would still  owe it to Tywin. 

In fact, I'm not even sure if the bolded fully corresponds to Tywin's modus operandi - it seems more a Varys or LF thing to do. While Tywin is certainly  capable of cunning (see the Red Wedding plans) and letting people dig their own grave (the provocations in the Riverlands), I don't recall seeing him goad people so subtly.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Rhaegar only came back at the end. And we don't know if that was because he wanted to or got arm twisted into it. ETA: or if he had a crisis of conscience:

But one way or another, Rhaegar sat out the very vast majority of that war. As you say, we don't know for sure why, but given that he came back when sent for, and seems to have chosen who stayed behind--seems like Rhaegar had autonomy. 

That's it - we don't know. And we don't know if he had autonomy from the beginning, or gained one only because Aerys sorely needed him.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Okay--are you thinking of some specific clue in the story of this that I'm missing? 

No. I'm just trying to figure a character's stance and motivation: your family is involved in fighting with your spouse's family. Would you want your spouse to fight your family?

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

We know he was willing at Duskendale. And we know he was willing with the Rebellion. 

Negative on bot parts: We don't. We only assume.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Not sure I'm following you here--are you assuming he wasn't innately melancholy and serious from the time he was a child? He seems to have been like that through his entire life. . . so, why assume the above? Is there something specific you are thinking of?

It could be a trait of character, yes. But we know that he believed he was PTWP, and took his role very seriously, he completely changed his lifestyle in order to do his duty. Taking seriously one's role as a future saviour definitely takes a toll, especially if you are privy to some tragic details (sacrifice of others? self-sacrifice? direst consequences if you fail?). Furthermore, we don't know how he even learned - Barristan says that he read something, but what if he didn't read but dream it, as prophetic dreams run in the family? 

It has been speculated that Rhaegar either may have had the ability himself, or was in touch with someone who did - most likely, during the visits to Summerhall and GoHH is the suspect, to whom he paid in songs. When he returned with a new sad song, he sand about deaths of kings as if it was the deaths of all those he loved (loosely paraphrasing, I don't have the time to search it).

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

All fair--it's just we have so bloody few details. And I do think that's not what went on with Rhaegar and Lyanna--I don't think she was his lover. But I doubt Rhaegar was like that with any lover.

I doubt that Rhaegar had any true lover before Lyanna. If my interpretation is right, it was a first time for him, and that's why he handled it no better than the teenage Lyanna. The first time in his life that he was not deliberate and dutiful, and this natural and human state backfired so, so terribly.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

It bears comparison because it's with a Stark maid--Lyanna's niece. And from a man with a rose sigil covered in blue flowers. We have very, very little info on what was up with that crowning, but we do know that those things were there in a way. It thus fits better than the Jorah incident.

It's instances like this when I feel that you are being distracted by details, sorry.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

As Cersei's motive for killing Arryn is only inferred and then slowly revealed to Ned.

A lot is only slowly revealed to Ned what the reader already knows, the reveal for the sake of a character doesn't matter. We know LF pitted the Starks against the Lannisters and betrayed Ned, Sansa doesn't. The reveal is for us.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Yes--Martin presents it and then quickly pushes us against the first alternative, though it takes characters longer to get there. And both readers and characters get it wrong.

Not quickly in the least. Most people never got over the rape version in AGOT, the clues are veyr subtle there. The more explicit reveal came only with the HotU vision.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Completely fair. You've more than given me a fair hearing. :cheers:

Trying my best :cheers:

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

On the second bolded: I fully agree. And I never intended otherwise: the story works for the characters themselves. AND the markers give us info on the past. That's the premise. My apologies if I've messed that up.

I understand your premise, and fully agree. I just feel that sometimes you approach the echoes with too much certainty that you know which ones they are.

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@Sly Wren since you mentioned Aegon being saved - is it possible he was taken to the Reach as a baby? Last night I was thinking if Olenna was plotting with Varys instead of Littlefinger - Greenhand coins Olenna carries and the fact Rugen has one is certainly eye catching. And one of the biggest clues to find Sansa, her love for lemon cakes, is told to Tyrells by the eunuch. Olenna acts like the information isn't important at the time but when you hear rumors about Littlefinger spending every lemon in the Vale for a giant cake for his bastard daughter, you will know where to find Sansa. Maybe the reason Illyrio has Redwyne baby clothes is because Olenna smuggled baby Aegon with vine barrels? 

Edited by Jova Snow
Eugene is Rugen :)

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6 hours ago, Ygrain said:

I can totally see Lyanna riding about and getting herself in trouble, though I have the feeling that Rickard was a much restrictive father than Ned and that there is a difference between leaving a child to her devices and doing so for a child-woman.

@Ygrain

It is possible that Rickard was more restrictive of Lyanna than Ned was of Arya and Sansa, but that might not necessarily be the case.

Ned eventually allows Arya to keep Needle, and hires Syrio to train her, something Rickard might not have done or permitted with Lyanna. But that is only in the extreme and dangerous circumstances they found themselves in after arriving in King's Landing, following the traumatic experiences of their journey from Winterfell, after Ned recollects to Arya the similarities he sees between her and Lyanna, particularly the wildness and willfulness he sees as having contributed to Lyanna's early death.

At that point, after the heartsickness and weariness Ned had experienced during the four days that Arya was missing, after Robert's cowardly approach to dealing with what had transpired, and his capitulation to the Lannisters traveling in the same party as Ned and his family, and with the benefit of the hindsight of everything that happened with Lyanna, Ned appears to decide to take a different approach to dealing with those traits he sees in Arya.

For now Lyanna's presence in Rickard's party heading south from Winterfell to Riverrun for Brandon's wedding is speculative. Perhaps it will turn out that some other circumstance placed her in the Riverlands near Harrenhal at the time that she was abducted. But it seems plausible that she was there as part of her father's party, perhaps away from the main column, as Arya so frequently found herself on their journey to King's Landing.

And whatever the case, Lyanna had certainly ridden south the previous year with her brothers Brandon, Ned, and Benjen, and whatever their party consisted of, during which time she may have had chances to ride off from the main column with little or not supervision. She had certainly learned to go off on her own with Benjen to practice sword play enough to be capable of embarrassing three teenage squires who were presumably training openly with knights.

With her father's permission or behind his back, Lyanna practiced riding at rings to the extant that, if she was indeed the Knight of the Laughing Tree, she became capable of defeating three knights. And if she was truly the KOTLT, she probably did that without the foreknowledge or permission of her elder brothers. Even if she had been assigned guards in the aftermath of the Harrenhal Tourney, that might not have prevented her riding off from the main column at times, with or without them.

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14 hours ago, Nevets said:

I am not suggesting that Ned and Ashara are Jon's parents.  Either Ned is the father of the stillbirth mentioned by Barristan, or it is Allyria Dayne, who is more or less the right age.  Purely speculative, though.

Yes--the Allyria Dayne possibility is another of my favorites.

14 hours ago, Nevets said:

I see this a lot, but I don't necessarily think it is intended to honor Eddard Stark.  I'm not aware of any circle.  I will have to look.  If he was already planning to include him as a character, it might make sense to name him.

The "circle" is Arya's being struck when hearing Beric call him "Ned." 

Arya got goosebumps when Lord Beric said her father's name, but this Ned was only a boy, a fair-haired squire no more than ten or twelve. Storm, Arya VI

Why bother with this? Especially since the kid could be named anything? It makes more sense once we learn that Edric has been taught to respect the Starks and taught the stories about Jon Snow and Wylla--when those have been kept silent at Winterfell. 

No idea if the nickname is to "honor" Ned--but the Daynes are using the same nickname as the man who killed their literal chosen son. And teaching the heir to respect the man who killed their literal chosen son--something's up. We need more info, but something's up.

14 hours ago, Nevets said:

I'm a little sketchy on the World Book, to be honest.  I've read portions of it, but not all, and am not real familiar with it.

Don't blame you for not reading it. It's got some good info, but the novels are more engaging.

14 hours ago, Nevets said:

Who is Jaime supposed to be protecting Aerys from anyway.  Rhaegar is going into battle.  Aerys is in a castle surrounded by loyalists.  I also seem to remember seeing something about Aerys insisting on keeping Jaime close.

Aerys is unpopular and the country is at war. All sorts of things could go wrong--or they'd take all the KG into battle. And Jaime has already proven himself in battle, though he's just a kid.

And Aerys' loyalists aren't as potent as KG. Rhaegar does say Aerys wants Jaime close to ward off Tywin--but Rhaegar could have left another KG with Jaime. One with more experience and a more level head.

Bottom line: in that convo with Rhaegar, Jaime's making it dead clear he's in no shape to stay alone with Aerys. He's not Hightower or any of the rest--he's a scared, freaked out, disillusioned kid. Why does Rhaegar leave that KG there alone? One very plausible answer has to be that he doesn't want Aerys protected very well.

I agree with @Voice and others that there's a whopping good chance he knew Tywin was going march on KL--Tywin clearly planned that in advance. He got there awfully quick after the Trident. Fast than Ned did, and Ned's men were "chasing" the loyalists. Tywin was amassed and ready to march before the Trident was done--maybe even marching before it was done.

If the plan was for Tywin to take the city for Rhaegar (which i think it was), pretty sure Rhaegar thought Jaime was much more likely to turn Aerys over to Tywin than any of the other KG would be. Making deposing Aerys easier and less messy.

Though I think Tywin planned all along to go with whichever force one--always intended to play both sides. Rhaegar likely knew that, too. But thought he would win. 

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13 hours ago, Ygrain said:

I can totally see Lyanna riding about and getting herself in trouble, though I have the feeling that Rickard was a much restrictive father than Ned and that there is a difference between leaving a child to her devices and doing so for a child-woman.

Agreed. It's one of the reasons I think Lyanna may have been running from trouble--like Arya does. Only runs from her family when someone comes for her--and then ends up with relatively kind people who still keep her as a hostage: the brotherhood and even the Hound.

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We do - when Dany goes about saving the women from rape, Jorah says that this is what Rhaegar would do. Given that he couldn't have known Rhaegar personally, there must have been some common knowledge of this trait of his character.

Ah! I'd forgotten that. Very good point.

I will openly admit I'm prejudiced against Jorah's take on Rhaegar. He seems like a Rhaegar  fanboy to me. Whereas Barristan, who knew Rhaegar, is less "effusive" about Rhaegar than Jorah. So, I am pre-disposed to think Jorah may be imagining this about Rhaegar based on the kind of man Jorah thought he was--not too unlike Cersei. And I do think taking someone and hiding with her for a year is a bit different than Dany's move. But again, my prejudice could clearly be playing a role here.

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I fundamentally disagree here - while it is certainly possible that the two collaborated, it is in no way a given. Rhaegar would still become king whether he cooperated with Tywin or not, and he would still  owe it to Tywin. 

One way or another, Rhaegar made no attempt to push back on Tywin's plan. It's a really audacious thing for Tywin to say in front of the small council. And Rhaegar makes no pushback--really seems like Tywin had very good reason to know Rhaegar wouldn't object.

Plus, we do have hints that Tywin and Rhaegar were in cahoots--over marrying Cersei. How on earth is Tywin so sure that will come off when Aerys has been goading Tywin for years? One very plausible reason: Rhaegar was on board. 

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In fact, I'm not even sure if the bolded fully corresponds to Tywin's modus operandi - it seems more a Varys or LF thing to do. While Tywin is certainly  capable of cunning (see the Red Wedding plans) and letting people dig their own grave (the provocations in the Riverlands), I don't recall seeing him goad people so subtly.

Agreed it's like Varys and LF. I think Baelish studied Tywing closely. 

But the World Book makes a strong case that the Darklyns' request was not unreasonable, but Tywin rejected it anyway. And then: 

The Defiance of Duskendale began quietly enough. Lord Denys, seeing that Aerys's erratic behavior had begun to strain his relations with Lord Tywin, refused to pay the taxes expected of him and instead invited the king to come to Duskendale and hear his petition. It seems most unlikely that King Aerys would ever have considered accepting this invitation...until Lord Tywin advised him to refuse in the strongest possible terms, whereupon the king decided to accept, informing Grand Maester Pycelle and the small council that he meant to settle this matter himself and bring the defiant Darklyn to heel. World Book: The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II

I know nothing's set in stone, but that really sounds like Twyin orchestrated this mess--using other people's grievances to get his own enemy dead.

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That's it - we don't know. And we don't know if he had autonomy from the beginning, or gained one only because Aerys sorely needed him.

Fair enough--but he has autonomy over those KG. And we see the people who hold Stark Maids--they have autonomy. And we've never found out where Rhaegar was or what he was doing when he rode out and supposedly took Lyanna--sounds like Rhaegar had autonomy from the start. But we need more info.

I do think there's a decent chance his return may have been a crisis of conscience on Rhaegar's part: we see Stannis have one when Davos tells him he must fight for the realm, not just gain the throne. I've wondered if Arthur, champion of the small folk, might have chided Rhaegar similarly.  . . but that's clearly speculation. 

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No. I'm just trying to figure a character's stance and motivation: your family is involved in fighting with your spouse's family. Would you want your spouse to fight your family?

Maybe--but that's making a big assumption that Lyanna was family vs. a hostage like all of her nieces and her son.

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Negative on bot parts: We don't. We only assume.

But we have pretty decent evidence.

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It could be a trait of character, yes. But we know that he believed he was PTWP, and took his role very seriously, he completely changed his lifestyle in order to do his duty. Taking seriously one's role as a future saviour definitely takes a toll, especially if you are privy to some tragic details (sacrifice of others? self-sacrifice? direst consequences if you fail?). Furthermore, we don't know how he even learned - Barristan says that he read something, but what if he didn't read but dream it, as prophetic dreams run in the family?

True--I've been thinking it could be a lot like Stannis' beliefs. And we see how Stannis' failures weigh on him. How even his deliberate sacrifices/choices weigh on him--like the murder of Renly.

And I like the idea that Rhaegar may have had dreams. . . that would fit well.

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It has been speculated that Rhaegar either may have had the ability himself, or was in touch with someone who did - most likely, during the visits to Summerhall and GoHH is the suspect, to whom he paid in songs. When he returned with a new sad song, he sand about deaths of kings as if it was the deaths of all those he loved (loosely paraphrasing, I don't have the time to search it).

Makes a lot of sense.

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I doubt that Rhaegar had any true lover before Lyanna. If my interpretation is right, it was a first time for him, and that's why he handled it no better than the teenage Lyanna. The first time in his life that he was not deliberate and dutiful, and this natural and human state backfired so, so terribly.

Or, he really may not have been amorous. Like Stannis--he is obsessed with Mel--for a lot of reasons. And the Watch all know who the real Queen is for Stannis. But Stannis is never "amorous."

And Rhaegar, even by those who think he ran off with Lyanna, never seems to be described as amorous--assuming Lyanna was his lover. Or even if (as I think) Ashara was his lover. . . 

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It's instances like this when I feel that you are being distracted by details, sorry.

All fair--it's just that those details are tied to the very, very little we know about Lyanna. And Martin did not have to put them in to pursue Sansa's character development or the plot.

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A lot is only slowly revealed to Ned what the reader already knows, the reveal for the sake of a character doesn't matter. We know LF pitted the Starks against the Lannisters and betrayed Ned, Sansa doesn't. The reveal is for us.

Was typing my response when I realized I'm not sure what your are getting at with the bolded--any chance you'd elaborate?

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Not quickly in the least. Most people never got over the rape version in AGOT, the clues are veyr subtle there. The more explicit reveal came only with the HotU vision.

Hmmmm. . .  yes. This may be where the differences in readers come in. I thought he was pushing us hard towards the love scenario and away from unreasonable Robert pretty hard early on.

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Trying my best :cheers:

I understand your premise, and fully agree. I just feel that sometimes you approach the echoes with too much certainty that you know which ones they are.

Completely fair.:cheers:

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't spell.

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9 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

@Sly Wren since you mentioned Aegon being saved - is it possible he was taken to the Reach as a baby? Last night I was thinking if Olenna was plotting with Varys instead of Littlefinger - Greenhand coins Olenna carries and the fact Eugene has one is certainly eye catching. And one of the biggest clues to find Sansa, her love for lemon cakes, is told to Tyrells by the eunuch. Olenna acts like the information isn't important at the time but when you hear rumors about Littlefinger spending every lemon in the Vale for a giant cake for his bastard daughter, you will know where to find Sansa. Maybe the reason Illyrio has Redwyne baby clothes is because Olenna smuggled baby Aegon with vine barrels? 

Okay--I had not heard this. And It would be very intriguing, considering the Tyrells' wealth and original Targ loyalty.

On the bolded--any chance you'd elaborate?

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19 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Oh--I do think they were defending someone. But if the other Stark Maids in the story are any indication, Lyanna was a hostage (like Arya and Jon). If so, the KG aren't guarding her.

His son was the important one--TPTWP--and the easiest to get out. Babies are easier to pass off as each other.

But yes--it may have just been Varys. But we do not know how driven Rhaegar was: was he emotional? Or more like Stannis?

Because he's Lyanna's son not by Robert. Robert's not angry that Rhaegar was a Targ. He hates Rhaegar and his family because he thinks Rhaegar took Lyanna from him. Any man who did that would incur that wrath--as would that man's family. And child--Ned broke from Robert because Robert condoned the murder of the children of the man he thinks took Lyanna.

 

The Sword of the Morning ending the Long Night. Day's King slays the Night's King--reversing what Ned did at the tower of joy, where a Night's King (Stark) killed a Day's King (Dayne).

Lol, OK, a guard can have two functions: to protect someone from harm or to keep them under confinement. Either way, it begs the question why anyone felt the need to tie up three of the most lethal kingsguard to keep watch over a pregnant woman who is in a secret location hundreds of miles away from any conceivable danger.

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If Jon is Arthur's, I do not think the KG are guarding Lyanna and her baby. They'd be protecting Rhaegar's child by another woman. 

Sorry, you lost me. Jon is Arthur's child, not Rhaegar's. So Rhaegar has another woman in the ToJ giving birth to his child at the same time as Lyanna is birthing Dayne's?

I've heard the whole Arthur Dayne theory before, and it just doesn't fly with me. Anything is possible, but that only way a story called A Song of Ice and Fire makes any sense is if the child that sings the Song of Ice and Fire has blood that is derived from ice and fire. You get that with Jon being a Stark-Targ; you don't get that with him being a Start-Dayne. If this theory were correct, it would be A Song of Night and Day.

 

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1 minute ago, Sly Wren said:

I will openly admit I'm prejudice against Jorah's take on Rhaegar. He seems like a bit of a fanboy to me. Whereas Barristan, who knew Rhaegar, is less "effusive" about Rhaegar than Jorah. So, I am pre-disposed to think Jorah may be imagining this about Rhaegar. And I do think taking someone and hiding with her for a year is a bit different than Dany's move. But again, my prejudice my be playing a role here.

Barristan is pretty open about his positive view of Rhaegar, and his telling Daenerys that Rhaegar would be proud of her when she chose to avoid open war in the city rather than send Brazen Beasts into the pyramids echoes what Jorah tells her elsewhere.

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"Not now," she agreed. "One day. One day you must tell me all. The good and the bad. There is some good to be said of my father, surely?"

"There is, Your Grace. Of him, and those who came before him. Your grandfather Jaehaerys and his brother, their father Aegon, your mother . . . and Rhaegar. Him most of all." (ASOS: Daenerys VI)

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"Every man on that list has kin within the city. Sons and brothers, wives and daughters, mothers and fathers. Let my Brazen Beasts seize them. Their lives will win you back those ships."

"If I send the Brazen Beasts into the pyramids, it will mean open war inside the city. I have to trust in Hizdahr. I have to hope for peace." Dany held the parchment above a candle and watched the names go up in flame, while Skahaz glowered at her.

Afterward, Ser Barristan told her that her brother Rhaegar would have been proud of her. Dany remembered the words Ser Jorah had spoken at Astapor: Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died. (ADWD: Daenerys V)

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But no. That was not fair. He did his duty. Some nights, Ser Barristan wondered if he had not done that duty too well. He had sworn his vows before the eyes of gods and men, he could not in honor go against them … but the keeping of those vows had grown hard in the last years of King Aerys's reign. He had seen things that it pained him to recall, and more than once he wondered how much of the blood was on his own hands. If he had not gone into Duskendale to rescue Aerys from Lord Darklyn's dungeons, the king might well have died there as Tywin Lannister sacked the town. Then Prince Rhaegar would have ascended the Iron Throne, mayhaps to heal the realm. Duskendale had been his finest hour, yet the memory tasted bitter on his tongue.

It was his failures that haunted him at night, though. Jaehaerys, Aerys, Robert. Three dead kings. Rhaegar, who would have been a finer king than any of them. Princess Elia and the children. Aegon just a babe, Rhaenys with her kitten. Dead, every one, yet he still lived, who had sworn to protect them. And now Daenerys, his bright shining child queen. She is not dead. I will not believe it. (ADWD: The Queensguard)

 

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17 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Ah yes, the fever dream (fevre dream?), the house of cards so many theories are based on.  

Well we don’t really know what was the vow that bound the tied the three kingsguards to the tower of joy.  Perhaps it was a vow that they would sooner die than see fulfilled.  After all, Rhaegar may have left unfinished business behind.  What exactly does it mean to be a Prince (or Princess) that was Promised, or the “head” of a dragon?

 

The fact that Hightower, Whent and Dayne were at the ToJ is a matter of historical record. The conversation may have been a dream, but their presence is established fact -- unless you want to propose that all three of them, plus Ned's men, all went into secret exile so he could make up the whole story about the fight.

Also, the fact that Martell, Selmy and Darry fought on the Trident for Rhaegar is also an established fact, unless you want to suggest that whole story is a lie as well.

So regardless of whether the dream is literally or figuratively true, the fact remains: Rhaegar left his wife and children with zero kingsguard and with a mad king-father who was threatening to kill them if Lewyn broke faith. So whether you think Rhaegar sent the three to the ToJ or not, it doesn't appear that he was terribly concerned about his Aegon's future.

Did he have Varys swap the babe? Perhaps, but it would be the height of callousness for him to do that for his son while leaving his wife and daughter to their own. Varys could very easily have smuggled all three of them out of the capital.

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There is the possibility however unlikely that it wasn't love or rape but something else. Rhaegar being high on prophesy and somehow convincing Lyanna too of the need of an ice baby to save the world. Whatever, R+L=J is a given, however it came about.

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56 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Lol, OK, a guard can have two functions: to protect someone from harm or to keep them under confinement. Either way, it begs the question why anyone felt the need to tie up three of the most lethal kingsguard to keep watch over a pregnant woman who is in a secret location hundreds of miles away from any conceivable danger.

Whoops! I did not explain myself well: I do think the KG are guarding Rhaegar's mistress--who is not Lyanna. Lyanna is the hostage/pawn--like Jon, Arya, Sansa. Rhaegar, like Stannis and Mance, has another woman to bear his child. Someone from  his inner circle whom he can really trust.

Thus: the KG are guarding the mistress/wife/person (not Lyanna) and holding a hostage (Lyanna). The KG need to be there for the wife/mistress/person.

59 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Sorry, you lost me. Jon is Arthur's child, not Rhaegar's. So Rhaegar has another woman in the ToJ giving birth to his child at the same time as Lyanna is birthing Dayne's?

Okay--I go into this in more detail with evidence here.  But will fully understand if you look at it and think it's way too long.

Really short version:

  • Rhaegar's mistress is pregnant, not ready to give birth, but will eventually: Ashara pregnant with Dany.
  • Lyanna is the one giving birth.
  • Neither are in the tower of joy at the time of the fight--it was a stop on the way to a safer castle--Starfall. Like Sansa and Baelish's stop at the Drearfort (a tower of joy for Lysa) was a stop on the way to the Eyrie.
  • The KG know they can't defeat Ned's full force. Period. They have arranged a parlay--that explains why Ned brings such a tiny force. They meet in the Red Mountains at the tower. And the KG choose to fight instead of parlay.

That's roughly the current theory I currently subscribe to--likely to change at any moment. But that's it for now.

59 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

I've heard the whole Arthur Dayne theory before, and it just doesn't fly with me. Anything is possible, but that only way a story called A Song of Ice and Fire makes any sense is if the child that sings the Song of Ice and Fire has blood that is derived from ice and fire. You get that with Jon being a Stark-Targ; you don't get that with him being a Start-Dayne. If this theory were correct, it would be A Song of Night and Day.

On the bolded.

1. Why? Martin himself has said the "Song of Ice and Fire" is what future generations will call this era. So. . . why assume the bolded is the only way to make it make sense?

2. You also get it if Jon is Stark-Dayne: North and South. Ice and Fire. The two poles of Westeros.

3. You also get it if it's the era of Westeros facing its two greatest threats at once: Ice (Others and Long Night) and Fire (Dragons and Targs).

And there are probably other options, too.

But the Night/Day is well taken: since Day ends the Long Night. And the Night's King's "enemy" seems likely to be a Day's King.

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58 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Barristan is pretty open about his positive view of Rhaegar, and his telling Daenerys that Rhaegar would be proud of her when she chose to avoid open war in the city rather than send Brazen Beasts into the pyramids echoes what Jorah tells her elsewhere.

An excellent point. And I should have included in my argument that Barristan himself says he wasn't in Rhaegar's inner circle--but I take your point.

I would also note, however, a point I make in the OP: Tyrion knows Cersei really, really well. He knows the other potential players in Jon Arryn's murder pretty well, too--has quite a run in with Lysa. And he has an all-but-confession from Pycelle. He's dead sure he knows what Cersei did--he's wrong.

We are told by Barristan that he wasn't as close to Rhaegar. And wasn't in on his plans. And Jorah was even further out--given what we've seen of both Ned and Tyrion getting it wrong despite knowing the players well, we have good reason to think Barristan (and Jorah) may not have Rhaegar too well pegged.

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57 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

There is the possibility however unlikely that it wasn't love or rape but something else. Rhaegar being high on prophesy and somehow convincing Lyanna too of the need of an ice baby to save the world.

Any evidence Lyanna was at all like this? Or any Starks like this?

We do see women like this: Selyse and Lysa. Women who believe in a cause and thus willing to give up almost anything for the cause and a beloved. Mel kind of fits, too. 

But the Stark in that instance, Lyanna's likely son, rejects all of it: Jon is not interested. He's horrified. 

We even have hints of that cultic mindset in Lady Smallwood--her willingness to shelter the brotherhood, with Tom as her former lover. But Arya, Lyanna's look-alike-niece, is not buying. And the brotherhood isn't pushing anything as intense as "prophecy baby."

Whereas we see Lyanna want love and fidelity from Robert--and refusing to lie to herself about how well that might work.

Quote

Whatever, R+L=J is a given, however it came about.

Not yet.

Edited by Sly Wren

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28 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

An excellent point. And I should have included in my argument that Barristan himself says he wasn't in Rhaegar's inner circle--but I take your point.

I would also note, however, a point I make in the OP: Tyrion knows Cersei really, really well. He knows the other potential players in Jon Arryn's murder pretty well, too--has quite a run in with Lysa. And he has an all-but-confession from Pycelle. He's dead sure he knows what Cersei did--he's wrong.

We are told by Barristan that he wasn't as close to Rhaegar. And wasn't in on his plans. And Jorah was even further out--given what we've seen of both Ned and Tyrion getting it wrong despite knowing the players well, we have good reason to think Barristan (and Jorah) may not have Rhaegar too well pegged.

These are all very fair points. I have been thinking about Dayne as Jon’s dad as you propose. I have to say, nothing would please me more. There are two Targs I really like, Egg and Baelor Breakspear. So, yeah. :D

And even though we don’t really know that much about the last [known] Sword of the Morning, I will say the idea of him and Lyanna being Jon’s parents is enticing... still, when all is said and done we only have very little in terms of indisputable facts and have to go w/ limited actual info, I don’t really see anything fitting as well as R+L=J. 

All the doubts and iffy stuff in the text, all the possibilities it leaves open, are the distractions, the red herrings. 

Or I could be totally wrong. :P

Edited by kissdbyfire

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39 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Whoops! I did not explain myself well: I do think the KG are guarding Rhaegar's mistress--who is not Lyanna. Lyanna is the hostage/pawn--like Jon, Arya, Sansa. Rhaegar, like Stannis and Mance, has another woman to bear his child. Someone from  his inner circle whom he can really trust.

Thus: the KG are guarding the mistress/wife/person (not Lyanna) and holding a hostage (Lyanna). The KG need to be there for the wife/mistress/person.

Okay--I go into this in more detail with evidence here.  But will fully understand if you look at it and think it's way too long.

Really short version:

  • Rhaegar's mistress is pregnant, not ready to give birth, but will eventually: Ashara pregnant with Dany.
  • Lyanna is the one giving birth.
  • Neither are in the tower of joy at the time of the fight--it was a stop on the way to a safer castle--Starfall. Like Sansa and Baelish's stop at the Drearfort (a tower of joy for Lysa) was a stop on the way to the Eyrie.
  • The KG know they can't defeat Ned's full force. Period. They have arranged a parlay--that explains why Ned brings such a tiny force. They meet in the Red Mountains at the tower. And the KG choose to fight instead of parlay.

That's roughly the current theory I currently subscribe to--likely to change at any moment. But that's it for now.

On the bolded.

1. Why? Martin himself has said the "Song of Ice and Fire" is what future generations will call this era. So. . . why assume the bolded is the only way to make it make sense?

2. You also get it if Jon is Stark-Dayne: North and South. Ice and Fire. The two poles of Westeros.

3. You also get it if it's the era of Westeros facing its two greatest threats at once: Ice (Others and Long Night) and Fire (Dragons and Targs).

And there are probably other options, too.

But the Night/Day is well taken: since Day ends the Long Night. And the Night's King's "enemy" seems likely to be a Day's King.

Well, I got nothing more to add. Good luck with this. I liked the first part about the Arryn murder. I try to make that point over and over again, but most people still insist that however things appear to be on the page, then that's the way they are because Martin just doesn't play tricks with his readers. :rolleyes:

As for the rest though, sorry, I'm not buying it.

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3 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

but most people still insist that however things appear to be on the page, then that's the way they are because Martin just doesn't play tricks with his readers. :rolleyes:

Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen anyone saying that. Because it’s really silly, innit? Of course Martin plays tricks, plenty of them. Only he doesn’t play them forever, and then spring something out of a hat that hadn’t been mentioned or hinted at at all previously. @three-eyed monkey has an excellent recent post on this, just can’t recall where. 

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On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

Not remotely too harsh--all thoughtful, engaging, and in good humor. :cheers:

That's the intention. I'm glad you see it that way. :cheers:

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

Very fair--though, we all done so much theorizing at this point, and have so many expectations, that "satisfying to the reader" may end up being a highly subjective thing.

True that! But I think there's a way to define "satisfying" other than "Yay, my theory was correct!"or "Yay, I got the fan service I wanted!", and that is a story with plot and thematic consistency and a good pacing. If you look back on the story and you don't allow yourself to be biased by your own expectations, you have to be able to say "Yes, that makes complete sense, this is how this happened and this what it means," and the loose ends shouldn't overwhelm the fulfilled arcs.

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

It may explain why she can wake the dragons. And as for the throne, I one of those that thinks the fight for the throne is the wrong fight--everyone's doing that when they should be looking to deal with the Others and the Long Night. So, the "claim to the throne" thing--I think it's unlikely to matter much in the end--though it will matter to Dany in the moment if she kills Aegon and then finds out he's her brother.

But do we need that to be explained? You see, dragons are made up beings, but we can relate to a story with dragons because they can take the role of something in our own world (weapons of mass destruction, endangered species, symbols of powers, priceless rarities, technological advancements, aggressive pets, the joy of flying, etc.) and thus reveal something interesting about the human condition.

The exact reason why dragons can be created, though, is always going to be some magical bullshit. :D It's fun for us to speculate because it can be seen as a logical puzzle, but it's never going to be compelling from a plot or thematic point of view. Since "magical bullshit" can be literally anything, it becomes very transparent when authors use it to create a forced in-world dramatic moment (which is why I believe some things would be better left unexplained).

That's kind of what I was saying about Jon as well. If Jon finds out that R+L=J (assuming it's true) and the whole point of it is that he learns he can ride a dragon, that would feel weak and contrived. A better approach would be for him to ride a dragon without any explanation, and have that be a semi-confirmation for the reader that R+L=J. The "magical bullshit" is there, but it serve as a low key reveal to an emotional puzzle, rather a dramatic centerpiece, where it can more easily fall apart.

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

As for the mother, we have a hint via Barristan: he says Dany looks like she could be Ashara's daughter. And Dany seeing herself in Rhaegar's armor; hearing that Rhaegar was the last dragon, but dreaming of herself being called that; calling herself the dragon's daughter; being drawn to Rhaegar and really not to Aerys--not iron-clad by any means. But there, if that's where Martin is going.

I don't think that changes much... she's related to both men either way.

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

Neither am I--though Martin isn't above the cheap reveal. Lysa's confession at the moon door was. . . not good. So, we know he's not completely above the Agatha Christie type reveal.

I wouldn't say it wasn't good. As another poster pointed out, there are plenty of hints for that reveal.

George's "worst" mystery reveal was probably that Joffrey was the one who hired the assassin to kill Bran, but that wasn't really a centerpiece twist, it was more that George needed a culprit who wasn't Tyrion or Jaime (or Cersei, since at that time she would have 100% asked Jaime, or at least told him).

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

But Martin repeatedly shows that in his world, the history comes back and, if not repeats, echoes. Given that we have the very, very few things we know about Lyanna show up in bits and pieces in the Stark Maids' stories, too, seems like we should look at that.

But the echoes don't really follow the same beats. There are never enough similarities to make us assume that Lyanna wouldn't like Rhaegar just because other Starks seem to have different tastes.

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

Agreed. But: Martin hasn't told us much about her character. Readers guess a lot--which is fun. But is he just going to reveal stuff at the end, kaboom? Or has he been giving us bits of info, hints as we go? I think it's the latter.

It certainly is, but the hints go both ways. I mean, if it turns out the two of them really were in love (or that Rhaegar the perfect prince imprisoned and raped her), would it feel that the reveal wasn't "earned" in the text?

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

Because Lyanna was Rhaegar's hostage--like Jon is Mance's, while in love with Ygritte. And Arya is held by the brotherhood. Arthur fell for his leader's hostage, like Ygritte fell for Jon. And Lyanna, a wild northern girl,  fell for the sworn brother/enemy, as Ygritte fell for Jon. And Arthur, the sworn brother, fell for the wild northern girl, as Jon fell for Ygritte. But Lyanna's still a hostage--just as Jon can't leave Mance until his mission is done.

But both Rhaegar and Aerys (and Ellia and her children) were dead by the time Ned went to the ToJ. What reason would Arthur have to hold her hostage at this point, especially if he loved her?

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

But Martin's said we'll learn more about the Daynes. And I think they and their sword don't date back to the long night for nothing. 

I'd like to find out more about the Daynes, but not by turning them into the centerpiece of the climactic conflict of the series. What I said before about "magical bullshit" applies here as well. If the only reason they are important is some McGuffin that is explained at the end, it will feel contrived and unearned, imho.

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

Or, as a sworn brother and Stark, his desire to save his family and fulfill his oaths to protect all people? Via being Sword of the Morning?

But that's his motivation anyway. Plain Jon Snow who never even finds out who his real parents were would do exactly that. Why weigh down the narrative with some soap drama that doesn't change anything? Doesn't sound like George...

On 1/15/2019 at 1:00 AM, Sly Wren said:

Agreed--if Dawn is a mcguffin. I think that it only works with a "true" Sword of the Morning--whatever that means. The Daynes have this history of only letting a worthy one weird it. No idea what "worthy" means to them, yet. But we know it ain't Darkstar. So, I think Dawn will only help if wielded by the right person--making it a bit less of a mcguffin.

That doesn't make it any less of McGuffin, it just mixes up the McGuffin with a chosen one trope. :D

At the end of the day, does it really matter if Jon is a Dayne and gets Dawn, or he the Last Hero was a Stark who wielded Ice and Jon gets Oathkeeper, or Longclaw catches fire through magic, or Jon gets Stannis's Lightbringer, or Arya hides Needle in a hay stack and Jon lights the hay stack on fire and gets Needle out just in time to fight the Others, only it has no hilt 'cuz it burned out? The story is still going to be "Jon gets a special sword because he's special".

Or not Jon. Personally, I think it would be cool if Brienne was the Last Hero/Azor Ahai. She has a "magic sword", the sword was treated in a way that makes it unlike other valyrian blades (maybe the blacksmith unwittingly enchanted it to catch fire in certain circumstances), she is in a position where she might get to stab Cat through the heart with Ned's steel, and Jaime had a vision about her wielding a burning sword... but nobody suspects her because she's not a Main Character or a "prince" (the "prince" part could easily be another misdirection). Now that would be a truly subversive twist!

On 1/14/2019 at 11:00 PM, corbon said:

Got bored and wandered off midway through the second page, but a note here:
Rhaegar did have an easy way to find out about Lyanna as the KotLT.
He was instructed to find the KotLT by his father. He is an extremely intelligent man, who as a child awed the Maesters with his wits. All he has to do to uncover Lyanna is interview the three squires.
The KotLT told the three knights he defeated, publicly, to teach their squires honour, in lieu of the usual arms, armour and horse ransoms. What event has happened recently with those three squires together?

You are correct, he could have figured it out. I just said it wouldn't have been easy. One could claim that the word about the squires spread and someone entirely unrelated decided to teach them a lesson, which would have thrown a wrench in the investigation. I'm not saying that's what happened, just that we can imagine a scenario where Ellia, not Rhaegar, was the one who found out (via Ashara) as a possible solution to the misdirection suggested in this thread.

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