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Black Crow

Heresy 218 a brief walk on the dark side

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I wonder how the year of the false spring (and the return of winter with a vengeance) is related to the Stark family words and Stark lore in general?

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4 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Aerys was paranoid, and even named Viserys his heir, so I don't see him letting Rhaegar run off to Dorne with Aegon.

Well, setting aside the fact that we don't know Rhaegar was in Dorne at all... a very important fact... Rhaegar was clearly not following any plan Aerys knew or had ever endorsed.

Because:

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Jon Connington had been Prince Rhaegar's friend. When Merryweather failed so dismally to contain Robert's Rebellion and Prince Rhaegar could not be found, Aerys had turned to the next best thing, and raised Connington to the Handship.

So Aerys clearly did not know where Rhaegar was at all.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, JNR said:

Imagine Catelyn shows up at Winterfell with Robb and finds Ned with Jon.

Jon is, in your scenario, at least seven months older than Robb. 

The difference between the two infants is obvious to Catelyn and anyone else.  Jon is always known to be the older of the two boys for the rest of their lives.

But there is no such reference in canon.

Could be, but there's no canonical way to show it.  We have to imagine it.

Similarly, we know from GRRM that Jon and Dany are only 8-9 months apart in age.  So if you think Jon was born halfway into the war, not at war's end, then you must also think Dany is many months younger than she is supposed to be, too, and then provide an explanation for that.

(A lot of imagination seems to be required to get around the simple fact that Jaime and Ned both aged two years between Harrenhal and the Sack.) 

It's not a problem for you; it's a problem for RLJ and people who believe that theory. 

Their choices are to disbelieve what GRRM said about when Aegon was born or disbelieve Dany's vision, or I guess they could disbelieve the length of the war. 

But I think they would be much wiser to disbelieve Yandel, especially given GRRM's blatant dismissal of his accuracy, and then consider the logical consequences of Rhaegar being with Aegon and Elia as the Rebellion began.

Nowhere is it said Robb is the elder either. It’s only said they are “of an age”. 

The text implies Ned was with Catelyn when she first came to Winterfell. 

Jon’s size as an infant did catch Catelyn’s eye, otherwise why suspect Ashara was his mother?

Jon always did everything first and better than Robb. Was he really that gifted or was he simply older? Maester Luwin tried to explain it away by saying bastards grow up faster.

Moving up Dany’s birthday makes her older, not younger. I’m away from home right now without access to my notes, so I’ll have to present my evidence for her tomorrow.

i don’t see how it would require “a lot of imagination” to explain Jaime and Bed’s age. It’s perfectly simple, and it works.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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13 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Nowhere is it said Robb is the elder either. It’s only said they are “of an age”. 

That's true, and proves what I said earlier, which is that no one ever thinks of Jon as clearly older, or says he's older.

13 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The text implies Ned was with Catelyn when she first came to Winterfell. 

Actually, it pretty clearly states the opposite:

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The Starks were not like other men. Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him "son" for all the north to see. When the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell, Jon and his wet nurse had already taken up residence.

So Catelyn never saw Jon before she came to Winterfell, and she was not with Ned en route, either.  Ned and Catelyn came to Winterfell separately.  

This is the first point in time when the two infants would have been directly compared and it would have been clear Jon was the older if he'd been born seven months before Robb.  All their lives, Jon would have been known as older than Robb.

Similarly, if you want to move Dany's birth backwards in time, you must account for the logical problems created as a result.  One example would be Rhaella seven months pregnant at the time of the Sack, and therefore, getting more and more obviously pregnant leading up to the Sack... yet no one ever noticing this at any time. 

We might for instance have expected Jaime to  think about Rhaella being pregnant on such occasions as this:

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The day he burned his mace-and-dagger Hand, Jaime and Jon Darry had stood at guard outside her bedchamber whilst the king took his pleasure. "You're hurting me," they had heard Rhaella cry through the oaken door. "You're hurting me." In some queer way, that had been worse than Lord Chelsted's screaming. "We are sworn to protect her as well," Jaime had finally been driven to say. "We are," Darry allowed, "but not from him."

But there is no such reference.

This is very similar to the logical problem of Elia apparently being just as pregnant at Harrenhal, according to Yandel, yet no one ever commenting on or noticing that either. 

It doesn't work for me to suppose that everyone around these women was as blind as that, but it seems to fit quite well with GRRM's remark, while chuckling, that we can never know what in the World book is true.

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On 3/7/2019 at 1:34 AM, Black Crow said:

But yet that's exactly what GRRM explicitly warns: "the author may have … rearranged events to suit the interests of a particular royal family."

Wow. I've found a whopper of a lie:

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Ser Jaime Lannister was meanwhile left in charge of the Red Keep's defenses. The walls were manned by knights and watchmen, awaiting the enemy. When the first army that arrived flew the lion of Casterly Rock, with Lord Tywin at its head, King Aerys anxiously ordered the gates to be opened, thinking that at last his old friend and former Hand had come to his rescue, as he had done at the Defiance of Duskendale. But Lord Tywin had not come to save the Mad King.
 
This time, Lord Tywin's cause was that of the realm's, and he was determined to bring an end to the reign that madness had brought low. Once within the walls of the city, his soldiers assaulted the defenders of King's Landing, and blood ran red in the streets. A handpicked cadre of men raced to the Red Keep to storm its walls and seek out King Aerys, so that justice might be done.
 
The Red Keep was soon breached, but in the chaos, misfortune soon fell upon Elia of Dorne and her children, Rhaenys and Aegon. It is tragic that the blood spilled in war may as readily be innocent as it is guilty, and that those who ravished and murdered Princess Elia escaped justice. It is not known who murdered Princess Rhaenys in her bed, or smashed the infant Prince Aegon's head against a wall. Some whisper it was done at Aerys's own command when he learned that Lord Lannister had taken up Robert's cause, while others suggest that Elia did it herself for fear of what would happen to her children in the hands of her dead husband's enemies.

 

The official record says it's not known who murdered Rhaenys and Aegon, but we know it was Amory Lorch and Gregor Clegane. Ned seemed to know who did it, and Tywin took credit for it by wrapping their dead bodies in Lannister flags.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, JNR said:

That's true, and proves what I said earlier, which is that no one ever thinks of Jon as clearly older, or says he's older.

But they do. Both Harwin and Edric speak as if Jon were older. He'd have to be in older for Ashara or Wylla to be his mother. Edric says Wylla was Jon's wet-nurse and that she's worked for the Dayne family for years. Harwin says he knows what Edric told Arya and connects the dots from Wylla straight to Ashara Dayne. He tells Arya that her father didn't dishonor her mother, because Ned was with Ashara before he married Catelyn. This should have been Arya's cue to say that they're both liars, because Jon is younger than Robb. 

 

3 hours ago, JNR said:
17 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The text implies Ned was with Catelyn when she first came to Winterfell. 

Actually, it pretty clearly states the opposite:

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The Starks were not like other men. Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him "son" for all the north to see. When the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell, Jon and his wet nurse had already taken up residence.

So Catelyn never saw Jon before she came to Winterfell, and she was not with Ned en route, either.  Ned and Catelyn came to Winterfell separately.  

To me this reads as if Ned brought his bastard home with him prior to the end of the war, because Catelyn's second sentence begins with, "when the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell...", Jon was already there. He was already there, because he was born there - at least that is what I suspect. If Ashara were already pregnant, Ned may have intended to marry her, so I think he brought her all the way back to Winterfell. It's sort of a parallel to Sam Tarly bringing Gilly to Horn Hill. The child she brought wasn't his, but Ned's parallel is an inversion. Rather than a married wildling born of incest, he brought a highborn lady carrying his bastard. Once he married Catelyn, Ashara had to leave. And similar to the bastard of Winterfell story about the daughter and child hiding in the crypts, Ashara had to pretend she committed suicide, so in a symbolic way Jon was born of the dead. Ned is also an earlier parallel of his son Robb who was promised to a Frey girl, but ended up marrying Jeyne Westerling.

Ned met Ashara on the Fingers and rode together to White Harbor (the Fisherman's Daughter tale), she wasn't visibly pregnant yet, but Lord Godric and Borrell believed they saw Jon Snow's mother:

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"Ned Stark was here?"

"At the dawn of Robert's Rebellion. The Mad King had sent to the Eyrie for Stark's head, but Jon Arryn sent him back defiance. Gulltown stayed loyal to the throne, though. To get home and call his banners, Stark had to cross the mountains to the Fingers and find a fisherman to carry him across the Bite. A storm caught them on the way. The fisherman drowned, but his daughter got Stark to the Sisters before the boat went down. They say he left her with a bag of silver and a bastard in her belly. Jon Snow, she named him, after Arryn.

 

3 hours ago, JNR said:

Similarly, if you want to move Dany's birth backwards in time, you must account for the logical problems created as a result.  One example would be Rhaella seven months pregnant at the time of the Sack, and therefore, getting more and more obviously pregnant leading up to the Sack... yet no one ever noticing this at any time. 

We might for instance have expected Jaime to  think about Rhaella being pregnant on such occasions as this:

Quote

The day he burned his mace-and-dagger Hand, Jaime and Jon Darry had stood at guard outside her bedchamber whilst the king took his pleasure. "You're hurting me," they had heard Rhaella cry through the oaken door. "You're hurting me." In some queer way, that had been worse than Lord Chelsted's screaming. "We are sworn to protect her as well," Jaime had finally been driven to say. "We are," Darry allowed, "but not from him."

But there is no such reference.

This is very similar to the logical problem of Elia apparently being just as pregnant at Harrenhal, according to Yandel, yet no one ever commenting on or noticing that either. 

It doesn't work for me to suppose that everyone around these women was as blind as that, but it seems to fit quite well with GRRM's remark, while chuckling, that we can never know what in the World book is true.

There is some fuzziness surrounding Dany's conception and birth. I was re-reading Jaime's retelling of the Sack to Brienne in the bathing house, and he doesn't mention Rhaella's rape during this telling.

Quote

 

To save the realm. “Did you know that my brother set the Blackwater Rush afire? Wildfire will burn on water. Aerys would have bathed in it if he’d dared. The Targaryens were all mad for fire.” Jaime felt light-headed. It is the heat in here, the poison in my blood, the last of my fever. I am not myself. He eased himself down until the water reached his chin. “Soiled my white cloak… I wore my gold armor that day, but…”

“Gold armor?” Her voice sounded far off, faint.

He floated in heat, in memory. “After dancing griffins lost the Battle of the Bells, Aerys exiled him.” Why am I telling this absurd ugly child? “He had finally realized that Robert was no mere outlaw lord to be crushed at whim, but the greatest threat House Targaryen had faced since Daemon Blackfyre. The king reminded Lewyn Martell gracelessly that he held Elia and sent him to take command of the ten thousand Dornishmen coming up the kingsroad. Jon Darry and Barristan Selmy rode to Stoney Sept to rally what they could of griffins’ men, and Prince Rhaegar returned from the south and persuaded his father to swallow his pride and summon my father. But no raven returned from Casterly Rock, and that made the king even more afraid. He saw traitors everywhere, and Varys was always there to point out any he might have missed. So His Grace commanded his alchemists to place caches of wildfire all over King’s Landing. Beneath Baelor’s Sept and the hovels of Flea Bottom, under stables and storehouses, at all seven gates, even in the cellars of the Red Keep itself.

“Everything was done in the utmost secrecy by a handful of master pyromancers. They did not even trust their own acolytes to help. The queen’s eyes had been closed for years, and Rhaegar was busy marshaling an army. But Aerys’s new mace-and-dagger Hand was not utterly stupid, and with Rossart, Belis, and Garigus coming and going night and day, he became suspicious. Chelsted, that was his name, Lord Chelsted.” It had come back to him suddenly, with the telling. “I’d thought the man craven, but the day he confronted Aerys he found some courage somewhere. He did all he could to dissuade him. He reasoned, he jested, he threatened, and finally he begged. When that failed he took off his chain of office and flung it down on the floor. Aerys burnt him alive for that, and hung his chain about the neck of Rossart, his favorite pyromancer. The man who had cooked Lord Rickard Stark in his own armor. And all the time, I stood by the foot of the Iron Throne in my white plate, still as a corpse, guarding my liege and all his sweet secrets.

“My Sworn Brothers were all away, you see, but Aerys liked to keep me close. I was my father’s son, so he did not trust me. He wanted me where Varys could watch me, day and night. So I heard it all.” He remembered how Rossart’s eyes would shine when he unrolled his maps to show where the substance must be placed. Garigus and Belis were the same. “Rhaegar met Robert on the Trident, and you know what happened there. When the word reached court, Aerys packed the queen off to Dragonstone with Prince Viserys. Princess Elia would have gone as well, but he forbade it. Somehow he had gotten it in his head that Prince Lewyn must have betrayed Rhaegar on the Trident, but he thought he could keep Dorne loyal so long as he kept Elia and Aegon by his side. The traitors want my city, I heard him tell Rossart, but I’ll give them naught but ashes. Let Robert be king over charred bones and cooked meat. The Targaryens never bury their dead, they burn them. Aerys meant to have the greatest funeral pyre of them all. Though if truth be told, I do not believe he truly expected to die. Like Aerion Brightfire before him, Aerys thought the fire would transform him… that he would rise again, reborn as a dragon, and turn all his enemies to ash.

“Ned Stark was racing south with Robert’s van, but my father’s forces reached the city first. Pycelle convinced the king that his Warden of the West had come to defend him, so he opened the gates. The one time he should have heeded Varys, and he ignored him. My father had held back from the war, brooding on all the wrongs Aerys had done him and determined that House Lannister should be on the winning side. The Trident decided him.

“It fell to me to hold the Red Keep, but I knew we were lost. I sent to Aerys asking his leave to make terms. My man came back with a royal command. ‘Bring me your father’s head, if you are no traitor.’ Aerys would have no yielding. Lord Rossart was with him, my messenger said. I knew what that meant.

“When I came on Rossart, he was dressed as a common man-at-arms, hurrying to a postern gate. I slew him first. Then I slew Aerys, before he could find someone else to carry his message to the pyromancers. Days later, I hunted down the others and slew them as well. Belis offered me gold, and Garigus wept for mercy. Well, a sword’s more merciful than fire, but I don’t think Garigus much appreciated the kindness I showed him.”

 

 

 

For a point of reference, I believe the Sack occurred January 283. I was tempted to place it near the end of 282, because Jaime's recollection condenses the timeline between the Battle of the Bells and the Trident, but the Appendix of Dance has this little mention:

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In the 283rd year after Aegon’s Conquest, Robert of House Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End, overthrew the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, to win the Iron Throne. His claim to the crown derived from his grandmother, a daughter of King Aegon V Targaryen, though Robert preferred to say his warhammer was his claim.

So, the Conquest must be year zero.

I think Jaime is just trying to condense what happened into a nutshell. The events may or may not be exactly in the right order, but rather in order of relevance or relation to his train of thought. Many times I'll be retelling a true story and have to back up to insert something that happened before that explains something that happened later. It's a stream of consciousness that shouldn't be set in stone.

I think Rhaella was a couple months pregnant when she left for Dragonstone, but I don't believe Dany's claim of being born nine moons later is an accurate statement. It's reasonable to estimate that she was born within the six months after the Sack, and an infant when Willem Darry broke into the nursery to escape during the Assault on Dragonstone. I can't imagine Robert would allow any Targaryens to remain on Dragonstone for very long. The Siege of Storms End needed to be lifted before Stannis could begin rebuilding the fleet. What is a reasonable time period for building ships? Six months? 

I don't believe anyone ever mentions Elia or Rhaella's pregnancies at any time. Does this mean they didn't occur? Of course not! We know Aegon and Daenerys were born, so an absence of observation isn't proof that their mothers weren't pregnant during a specific event. 

 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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53 minutes ago, JNR said:

So Catelyn never saw Jon before she came to Winterfell, and she was not with Ned en route, either.  Ned and Catelyn came to Winterfell separately.  

This passage seems to suggest that Ned was with Catelyn the first time she saw Moat Cailin:

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"Gods have mercy," Ser Brynden exclaimed when he saw what lay before them. "This is Moat Cailin? It's no more than a—"

"—death trap," Catelyn finished. "I know how it looks, Uncle. I thought the same the first time I saw it, but Ned assured me that this ruin is more formidable than it seems. The three surviving towers command the causeway from all sides, and any enemy must pass between them. The bogs here are impenetrable, full of quicksands and suckholes and teeming with snakes. To assault any of the towers, an army would need to wade through waist-deep black muck, cross a moat full of lizard-lions, and scale walls slimy with moss, all the while exposing themselves to fire from archers in the other towers." She gave her uncle a grim smile. "And when night falls, there are said to be ghosts, cold vengeful spirits of the north who hunger for southron blood."

 

 

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

That's true, and proves what I said earlier, which is that no one ever thinks of Jon as clearly older, or says he's older.

While not a direct refuation, I've always found these lines...

Quote
Uncle Benjen studied his face carefully. "The Wall is a hard place for a boy, Jon."
"I am almost a man grown," Jon protested. "I will turn fifteen on my next name day, and Maester Luwin says bastards grow up faster than other children."
"That's true enough," Benjen said with a downward twist of his mouth. He took Jon's cup from the table, filled it fresh from a nearby pitcher, and drank down a long swallow.
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And suddenly Jon Snow was ashamed.
Craven or not, Samwell Tarly had found the courage to accept his fate like a man. On the Wall, a man gets only what he earns, Benjen Stark had said the last night Jon had seen him alive. You're no ranger, Jon, only a green boy with the smell of summer still on you. He'd heard it said that bastards grow up faster than other children; on the Wall, you grew up or you died.
Jon let out a deep sigh. "You have the right of it. I was acting the boy."

...as evidence Jon was bigger than Robb as a child and they glossed it over by saying it was because he was a bastard.

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Posted (edited)

We also have two rumors circulating in Winterfell.  One rumor is that Ashara Dayne is Jon’s mother and another rumor that Eddard and Ashara’s relationship occurred at Harrenhal before Brandon’s death, and before Eddard was betrothed to Cat.  So if you add those two rumors together it appears clear that the whispering around Jon’s parentage clearly indicates that some in Winterfell must have believed that Jon was conceived well before Robb.

The only other account we have comes straight from Cat, who has a selfish motivation for assuming that Jon is younger than Brandon.  She is obviously concerned about Jon or Jon’s descendants trying to make a claim to Winterfell over her children.  Robb being the older child benefits Cat.  

So it’s never really cleared up why Cat would assume that Jon would have been conceived after her marriage to Eddard (and thus after she conceived Robb) as opposed to before, while those like Harwin seem to be under the assumption that Eddard’s affair with Ashara concluded before he was betrothed to Cat.

The closest tie breaker we have is Eddard’s angry retort to Robert pressing him on the identity of Jon’s mother.  

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Ned’s mouth tightened in anger.  “Nor will I.  Leave it be, Robert, for the love you say you bear me.  I dishonored myself and I dishonored Catelyn, in the sight of gods and men.”

”Gods have mercy, you scarcely knew Catelyn.”

”I had taken her to wife.  She was carrying my child.”

That seems to indicate that Jon was conceived after Ned’s marriage to Cat.  But of course we also have a strong reason to believe that Ned isn’t being truthful, if in fact  Jon isn’t his son.  He didn’t dishonor Cat or himself.  

Unless... Ned is obliquely referring to a different type of dishonor.  Ned’s idea of his dishonor may involve the fact that he falsely acknowledged Jon as his son, in the sight of gods and men.  Thus bringing dishonor upon himself and Cat while she was carrying his child.

In which case this quote may actually support the idea that Jon was a good bit older than Robb, having been born and acknowledged by Ned while Cat was still carrying Robb. 

Edited by Frey family reunion

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

We also have two rumors circulating in Winterfell.  One rumor is that Ashara Dayne is Jon’s mother and another rumor that Eddard and Ashara’s relationship occurred at Harrenhal before Brandon’s death, and before Eddard was betrothed to Cat.  So if you add those two rumors together it appears clear that the whispering around Jon’s parentage clearly indicates that some in Winterfell must have believed that Jon was conceived well before Robb.

The only other account we have comes straight from Cat, who has a selfish motivation for assuming that Jon is younger than Brandon.  She is obviously concerned about Jon or Jon’s descendants trying to make a claim to Winterfell over her children.  Robb being the older child benefits Cat.  

So it’s never really cleared up why Cat would assume that Jon would have been conceived after her marriage to Eddard (and thus after she conceived Robb) as opposed to before, while those like Harwin seem to be under the assumption that Eddard’s affair with Ashara concluded before he was betrothed to Cat.

The closest tie breaker we have is Eddard’s angry retort to Robert pressing him on the identity of Jon’s mother.  

That seems to indicate that Jon was conceived after Ned’s marriage to Cat.  But of course we also have a strong reason to believe that Ned isn’t being truthful, if in fact  Jon isn’t his son.  He didn’t dishonor Cat or himself.  

Unless... Ned is obliquely referring to a different type of dishonor.  Ned’s idea of his dishonor may involve the fact that he falsely acknowledged Jon as his son, in the sight of gods and men.  Thus bringing dishonor upon himself and Cat while she was carrying his child.

In which case this quote may actually support the idea that Jon was a good bit older than Robb, having been born and acknowledged by Ned while Cat was still carrying Robb. 

I think Ned dishonored himself and Catelyn by lying. He's lied in so many ways. He lied in order to conceal who Jon's mother was by naming her Wylla, and I think he lied about Jon's birth month to protect Ashara. He didn't technically deny that Ashara was Jon's mother - he just forbade Catelyn to ask about her. Catelyn is really in no position to know the truth, because Ned won't confirm anything, but I think she knows Jon is older. She just doesn't know how much older. Her only consolation is that Jon is a bastard and should have no claim to Winterfell, but I think that's actually the root of her hatred for Jon. I think in her heart she's always been afraid that Ned might legitimize him. If Jon were younger, it should have lessened her concerns and the competition with Robb for Winterfell.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Rob was conceived before Ned left the wedding for war.  If Jon is older, he was conceived before Ned was married (unless 1 pregnancy was longer than the other).  Why wouldn't Ned tell Cat this?  As long as Rob is the heir, it is a better story than him cheating on his wife.  Same question applies even if Jon is younger, but close enough in age or size to pass as older.  Either Jon was obviously younger when Cat first saw them, or Ned has a better reason for the story. 

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Posted (edited)

The RLJ theorists assert that Ned and Catelyn's wedding occurred after the Battle of the Bells, but that doesn't make any sense to me. They claim they would be in a hurry, made the contract, and then returned after the battle for the wedding, but it takes time to muster an army, and Hoster hadn't joined the Rebellion yet. Those two weeks Catelyn mentions being with Ned before he had to return to the war were likely the two weeks Hoster needed to round up men. Another point they bring up is the death of Jon Arryn's heir during the Battle of the Bells, well, Jon Arryn always has had an heir - he's had many heirs, and when one dies the next nearest of kin moves into the heir slot.

Ned lied to Catelyn about Jon's mother, because he's protecting Ashara's honor. I really think he intended to marry Ashara, but when they needed additional men to help Robert at Stoney Sept, he agreed to marry Catelyn as part of the bargain. Ashara went from pregnant fiancé to unwed mother with Ned's decision, much like Walder Frey's daughter did when Robb married Jeyne instead, even thought the Frey girl wasn't chosen yet, much less pregnant.

Ashara would be left with no prospects. I guess she could have left Jon with Ned and just pretended he wasn't hers, but I think people at court knew she was pregnant. Her situation is paralleled later by Lollys. Lollys did manage to get married, but Bronn was not exactly a prize. I guess Ashara could’ve hoped to marry some up-jumped Lord, but she obviously didn't want that. She could have easily played on Ned's guilt to get her way. I'm sure he was willing to do whatever Ashara wanted since it was his fault that he couldn't marry her. His anger towards Catelyn is a sign of his guilt and likely disappointment. He could have easily resented Catelyn the rest of their marriage, but he managed to put his feelings for Ashara aside and built a stable marriage to Catelyn.

I believe Catelyn knew Jon was older, but since Ned got so angry with her for asking about Ashara, she was left wondering when Jon was conceived, and came to the conclusion that it had been during the campaign. But which part? It had to have been before they were married for Jon to be so big and advanced. By the time Robb and Jon were teens they were close in height, but Robb is described as "robust" while Jon is "slender and graceful".

We never read about Ned being angry or upset with Rhaegar, and if Jon was Lyanna's son there should have been no reason to hold that detail from Catelyn or even Robert. The only people Ned get upset about are Tywin Lannister, Gregor Clegane, Littlefinger, and when Catelyn asked him about Ashara. Don't you think this is where the real truths lay?

Edited by Feather Crystal

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1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

Rob was conceived before Ned left the wedding for war.  If Jon is older, he was conceived before Ned was married (unless 1 pregnancy was longer than the other).  Why wouldn't Ned tell Cat this?  As long as Rob is the heir, it is a better story than him cheating on his wife.  Same question applies even if Jon is younger, but close enough in age or size to pass as older.  Either Jon was obviously younger when Cat first saw them, or Ned has a better reason for the story. 

Ned didn’t tell Cat anything about Jon’s mother nor did he presumably tell her anything about the circumstances of Jon’s conception.

Quote

Ned would not speak of the mother, not so much as a word...

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It had taken her a fortnight to marshal her courage, but finally, in bed one night, Catelyn had asked her husband the truth of it, asked him to his face.

That was the only time in all their years that Ned had ever frightened her.  “Never ask me about Jon,” he said, cold as ice.  “He is my blood, and that is all you need to know.”

And for Ned that’s the end of the story.  To tell Cat that he conceived Jon before their marriage would be to lie to Cat.  To tell Cat that he conceived Jon after their marriage would be to lie to Cat.  Ned tells her the only truth he feels he can tell her, that Jon is his blood.  And he makes sure the conversation stops there.

But I think you may be mistaken if you think that Ned telling Cat that he conceived Jon before their marriage would make Cat feel better about Jon.  Cat has already indicated that she understood that men fathered bastards during war.  Her problem with Jon, is that Ned brought him back to Winterfell and announced to all that Jon was his son.  Cat’s issue with Jon isn’t that he is proof of Ned’s infidelity, Cat’s issue with Jon is the threat that Jon poses to her children’s inheritance.  Jon being older than Robb actually makes Jon more of a threat to Cat.

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On 3/8/2019 at 9:58 AM, Feather Crystal said:

Both Harwin and Edric speak as if Jon were older. He'd have to be in older for Ashara or Wylla to be his mother.

Well, Harwin never says or implies Ashara is Jon's mother; the sum total of his remarks concern Ned and Ashara possibly developing a mutural attraction. 

He does not say the only time Ned and Ashara could have conceived a baby was Harrenhal, either.   This is a common assumption, but it has no basis.  They could have done so much later.

Actually, it's easy to show that Wylla or Ashara could have conceived a boy in mid-war, just as Catelyn conceived Robb.  Because we simply do not know where they were or what they were doing at all -- not for one day in that entire time.

In fact, GRRM has told us outright that Ashara was not "nailed to the floor at Starfall" during the war.  So she moved around and we have no clue when, or where, or with whom.  That she conceived a child is far from impossible, but we don't really know she did.  It remains only a rumor.

On 3/8/2019 at 9:58 AM, Feather Crystal said:

I don't believe anyone ever mentions Elia or Rhaella's pregnancies at any time.

I'm not sure why you would say this, since I know you're more familiar with the text than that. 

Elia's pregnanices:

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Jon Connington remembered Prince Rhaegar's wedding all too well. Elia was never worthy of him. She was frail and sickly from the first, and childbirth only left her weaker. After the birth of Princess Rhaenys, her mother had been bedridden for half a year, and Prince Aegon's birth had almost been the death of her. She would bear no more children, the maesters told Prince Rhaegar afterward.

Rhaella's pregnancy with Dany:

Quote

She had been born on Dragonstone nine moons after their flight, while a raging summer storm threatened to rip the island fastness apart.

This doesn't count the World book, which goes into various miscarriages on Rhaella's part but is, of course, not a reliable source of info in a broad sense, as GRRM made quite plain in the Vulture interview.

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On 3/8/2019 at 9:01 AM, Feather Crystal said:

This passage seems to suggest that Ned was with Catelyn the first time she saw Moat Cailin:

Quote

"Gods have mercy," Ser Brynden exclaimed when he saw what lay before them. "This is Moat Cailin? It's no more than a—"

"—death trap," Catelyn finished. "I know how it looks, Uncle. I thought the same the first time I saw it, but Ned assured me that this ruin is more formidable than it seems. The three surviving towers command the causeway from all sides, and any enemy must pass between them. The bogs here are impenetrable, full of quicksands and suckholes and teeming with snakes. To assault any of the towers, an army would need to wade through waist-deep black muck, cross a moat full of lizard-lions, and scale walls slimy with moss, all the while exposing themselves to fire from archers in the other towers." She gave her uncle a grim smile. "And when night falls, there are said to be ghosts, cold vengeful spirits of the north who hunger for southron blood."

 

My interpretation is that Ned did escort Catelyn to Winterfell. Now, perhaps he met her along the way and she traveled for sometime in the Riverlands without him, but by the time they were at Moat Cailin, I believe they were together. Possibly it was a good meeting location? Or she traveled with him from Riverrun to Winterfell, perhaps as the northern army traveled home. The question for me has always been if Ned knew Jon was at Winterfell, why did he not tell Catelyn about this before she arrived? 

 

On 3/7/2019 at 6:10 PM, Feather Crystal said:

Nowhere is it said Robb is the elder either. It’s only said they are “of an age”. 

The idea that Jon and Robb are "of an age" comes only from Bran's perspective, and perhaps from his 7 year old eyes. his older brother's are "of an age" even though everyone at Winterfell, including Jon and Robb know exactly who is older, and if they both are 14 at the start of the story, then that is true enough. 

I have wondered if Jon is older and no one at Winterfell disputes this? After all, we have a rough idea of when Jon's 15th name day is, and a less clear idea of when Robb's 15th name day is, but perhaps Jon is known to be older. All Catelyn really thinks about Jon is that "to learn that Ned had fathered a child on some girl chance met on campaign". But, in a way, Ned's "campaign" could have started as soon as Jon Arryn raised his banner's and Ned and Robert started to journey to call their banners. If this is the case, then Cat could still think that Jon was conceived while Ned was on campaign, but still before Robb's conception.

However, some of her thoughts do indicate that she thinks Jon was conceived in the south, "they had spent that year apart, Ned off at war in the south while she remained safe in her father's castle at Riverrun", but technically this could mean south of Riverrun, or just south of "the north". But if she thinks it has something to do with Ned returning Dawn to Ashara at Starfall after the war ended, then does she think Ned got Jon at Starfall? Because if Ned conceived a child that late in the war, it seems unlikely that it was Jon, because how could a child conceived then ever be born and make it back to Winterfell before Robb arrived? Unless Catelyn took much longer to come north that it seems likely? Based on Sansa's age of eleven at the start of the story, that does leave a gap that seems bigger than it needs to. So, perhaps Catelyn didn't come to the North as soon as the war was over, perhaps she took her own sweet time, and therefore Jon could have been conceived at the tail end of the war. Man, I chase these questions around in circles in my head...

 

23 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

The closest tie breaker we have is Eddard’s angry retort to Robert pressing him on the identity of Jon’s mother.  

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Ned’s mouth tightened in anger.  “Nor will I.  Leave it be, Robert, for the love you say you bear me.  I dishonored myself and I dishonored Catelyn, in the sight of gods and men.”

”Gods have mercy, you scarcely knew Catelyn.”

”I had taken her to wife.  She was carrying my child.”

That seems to indicate that Jon was conceived after Ned’s marriage to Cat.  But of course we also have a strong reason to believe that Ned isn’t being truthful, if in fact  Jon isn’t his son.  He didn’t dishonor Cat or himself.  

Unless... Ned is obliquely referring to a different type of dishonor.  Ned’s idea of his dishonor may involve the fact that he falsely acknowledged Jon as his son, in the sight of gods and men.  Thus bringing dishonor upon himself and Cat while she was carrying his child.

In which case this quote may actually support the idea that Jon was a good bit older than Robb, having been born and acknowledged by Ned while Cat was still carrying Robb. 

Honestly, this angst from the Neddard has always felt very real to me. I think he is upset about something, involving Catelyn and "his bastards mother", whom we assume to be Jon (although this phrasing could be trickery from GRRM). But if Ned claimed Jon long before Robb was born, what was his incentive to do so IF he wasn't Ned's son? Why would it matter that the bastard be known as Ned's? And not Benjen's or Brandon or Rickard's, since an early child would easily include these Stark males. I guess I don't see why it's important for Ned to have claimed Jon if he wasn't his actual son. That is a pretty major hang up for me, I admit, if any Stark is Jon's father.

 

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On 3/8/2019 at 11:06 AM, Frey family reunion said:

That seems to indicate that Jon was conceived after Ned’s marriage to Cat.  But of course we also have a strong reason to believe that Ned isn’t being truthful, if in fact  Jon isn’t his son.

Well, it indicates (to me) that Ned previously told Robert that he knocked up Wylla with Jon after he knocked up Catelyn (which if true, means Jon was certainly not conceived at Harrenhal).

However, we also can infer with confidence that Ned did not spread this story around Winterfell.  He told Robert that, and as far as I know, only Robert.

We can infer this because Catelyn took two weeks to work up her courage to ask Ned if Ashara was Jon's mother, and she wouldn't have, if she had heard and believed the Wylla story.

Now Catelyn would be extremely familiar with the timeline, because she was part of it!  -- and if she thought about this for two weeks, and then asked Ned about it, it means to me that she considers it quite plausible he knocked up Ashara.

And she could not have looked at an infant Jon who was seven months older than Robb and fail to realize that he was that much older.  She must have thought Jon and Robb were almost exactly the same age... which is the idea we're given in other ways in the text too.

So in other words, Catelyn seems to be implying she knows Ned and Ashara did indeed overlap during the war and that Ned could have sired Jon on this occasion.  When?  Why?  There are no overt refererences; we just don't know. 

But I wouldn't be shocked if in fact Ashara attended the wedding, despite being Dornish and technically a Targ loyalist as a result.  So, in Cat's mind, Ned could  have knocked her up and then turned around and cheated on her with Ashara in short order and thus, there would  be two sons of Ned, and they would be of notably similar ages.

 

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8 hours ago, JNR said:

Well, Harwin never says or implies Ashara is Jon's mother; the sum total of his remarks concern Ned and Ashara possibly developing a mutural attraction. 

The implication is clear. Edric and Harwin are talking about Jon and how he's Edric's milk brother, because they shared Wylla as a wet-nurse, and Harwin confirms Edric's story by repeating the romance between Ashara and Ned. Does everything have to be blatantly spelled out? Harwin was talking as if it's common knowledge that Ashara is Jon's mother and that Wylla worked for her.

8 hours ago, JNR said:

He does not say the only time Ned and Ashara could have conceived a baby was Harrenhal, either.   This is a common assumption, but it has no basis.  They could have done so much later.

Actually, it's easy to show that Wylla or Ashara could have conceived a boy in mid-war, just as Catelyn conceived Robb.  Because we simply do not know where they were or what they were doing at all -- not for one day in that entire time.

In fact, GRRM has told us outright that Ashara was not "nailed to the floor at Starfall" during the war.  So she moved around and we have no clue when, or where, or with whom.  That she conceived a child is far from impossible, but we don't really know she did.  It remains only a rumor.

I believe in the parallels, and pregnant Lolly's - who doesn't know who the father of her child is - is a parallel to Ashara. Ashara "danced" with many men at Harrenhal. I believe Ashara was pregnant at court and everybody knew about it. Cersei accuses Ned of stealing Ashara's child:

Quote

 

"Honor," she spat. "How dare you play the noble lord with me! What do you take me for? You've a bastard of your own, I've seen him. Who was the mother, I wonder? Some Dornish peasant you raped while her holdfast burned? A whore? Or was it the grieving sister, the Lady Ashara? She threw herself into the sea, I'm told. Why was that? For the brother you slew, or the child you stole? Tell me, my honorable Lord Eddard, how are you any different from Robert, or me, or Jaime?"


 

 

Barristan Selmy said Ashara's daughter had been stillborn. Where is he getting this information?

Quote

 

But Ashara's daughter had been stillborn, and his fair lady had thrown herself from a tower soon after, mad with grief for the child she had lost, and perhaps for the man who had dishonored her at Harrenhal as well. She died never knowing that Ser Barristan had loved her. How could she? He was a knight of the Kingsguard, sworn to celibacy. No good could have come from telling her his feelings. No good came from silence either. If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and crowned Ashara queen of love and beauty, might she have looked to me instead of Stark?


 

 

8 hours ago, JNR said:

I'm not sure why you would say this, since I know you're more familiar with the text than that. 

Elia's pregnanices:

Your examples were about deliveries and after delivery. I was referring to seeing Elia with child. Nobody mentions seeing her round belly or full bust. 

 

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As we have moved on to the next heresy, please allow me to close this one by cracking a pot:

We always agreed Ghost belongs to the old gods, white fur and red eyes and so on.

But fire is red, too, and the Targaryen's hair is described as nearly white.

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