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Poll: Is Jon Snow the son of a Dayne?

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Ned never thinks of Robert as a threat when he comes to Winterfell. If he was scared that Robert would kill Jon wouldnt we have at least noticed some weird behaviour? Jon being the son Ned and Ashara would make Jon a possible threat to Robb in Catelyns eyes howerver. Also I don't see how it would make Ned a cruel father if N+A=J.

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17 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Of course it does--because of fear.

Robert does something Ned never dreamed he would do when he condones the murder of those babies. Ned is beyond horrified--not that Tywin would do it, but that Robert would go along with it. He's just found out his bestest friend, his foster brother, will condone pure monstrosity.

He's got very good reason to ask, "what else might Robert do if angry enough? Do I even know this guy?"

Plus the question isn't "what would Robert do?" but "what might Robert do, and since I've just seen him do something I never dreamed he could, how much risk will I take with another baby?"

Yup--but Robert doesn't kill Rhaegar in his dreams every night because of the throne. He does it over Lyanna.

Maybe--but as I said above, Ned's just seen Robert do something he never, ever thought Robert would do. Just seen that Robert could do something monstrous (in Ned's eyes). He's got very good reason to fear Robert's madness and grief. To not trust Robert at all when it comes to anything about Lyanna and the man who "took" her from Robert.

Plus there's Lyanna herself. When Ned makes the promise, he doesn't see "the well-reasoned argument" go out of her eyes. Or "the calmly presented and well-debated pro-con list" go out of her eyes.

He sees the fear go out of her eyes. We don't know exactly what the promise was--but there's a whopping good chance it was "protect my baby from the man who condoned baby murder." And there's no reason to think her fear had to be completely reasonable.  

Again: Robert's done something Ned (and probably Lyanna) never thought possible. They've both got reason to be afraid--and, at least in this moment, perhaps think they don't know him at all.

Even after Robert retroactively approved of Tywin's murder of Rhaegar's children, Ned still didn't believe that Robert was capable of actually ordering the murder of women and children, until he heard Robert broach the idea of sending a knife against Daenerys then later witnesses him actually order it, fourteen years later.

As late as AGOT: Catelyn II, just chapters prior to Robert broaching the idea of sending an assassin to kill Daenerys in AGOT: Eddard II, Ned is still certain that "Robert would never harm me or any of mine. We were closer than brothers. He loves me. If I refuse him, he will roar and curse and bluster, and in a week we will laugh about it together. I know the man!"

Everything points to 283 AC Ned being worried about someone like Tywin murdering Jon, and Robert letting it slide, not Robert actually ordering the murder of the child. That's because Tywin had just ruthlessly murdered Rhaegar's children, and Tywin did that because they were heirs to the Targaryen dynasty Robert's rebellion had just overthrown. 

And when Robert shocks Ned and orders the murder of Daenerys and her unborn child after fourteen years, it is for the same excuse that Tywin murdered Rhaegar's children all those years later. Because he sees the remaining Targaryens and the support they would receive in Westeros as "the shadow of the axe" hanging over his neck and dynasty.

The idea that Ned would worry about Robert ordering or allowing the murder of Jon if he were merely the child of Lyanna and Arthur, a deceased knight of the KG with no claim to his own house let alone Robert's throne, or that Ned would worry about Tywin or someone like him carrying out the murder of Jon if he were merely the child of Lyanna and Arthur, is without basis.

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19 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Again: Robert's done something Ned (and probably Lyanna) never thought possible. They've both got reason to be afraid--and, at least in this moment, perhaps think they don't know him at all.

I would put this a little more strongly than even you did.

What Ned thinks is all but irrelevant.  What Lyanna thought is everything. 

We know from the text that she extracted promises from Ned based on her take of the situation.

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Promise me, Ned.

If Ned had just persuaded Lyanna of something, there would be no point in that line.  It was the other way around: she was persuading him.

So any assessment based on the idea that "Ned wouldn't have done X, because Y," is just missing the mark in a fundamental way.  Ned's behavior was not determined by Ned's own thinking, but by his dying sister's.

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What Lyanna and Ned both know is that new king Robert has just excused and justified Tywin's murder of Rhaegar's young children for being dragonspawn. Both would have reason to fear for the life of a newborn dragonspawn born to Lyanna. Neither would have reason to fear for the life of a child fathered on Lyanna by Arthur Dayne, especially with Ned making no effort to disabuse anyone of the notion (held by Robert and Bran) that Lyanna was raped in captivity.

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17 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Given what Martin has shown us about why people hold onto stolen Stark maids, there's a whopping good chance Rhaegar just took/held onto her as a useful hostage.

And, like Ygritte falls for Jon, Arthur fell for Lyanna: a valiant sworn brother falling for a wild northern girl. A warrior follower of a Rhaegar figure falling for a Stark maid. Fits pretty well.

It doesn't fit with Ned's assertion that Arthur Dayne was the best knight whom he has ever known, like, at all! In fact, it turns Arthur into some combination of Aegon the Unworthy with Casella Vaith (who was also a hostage) and Lucamore Strong. Didn't you, in another thread, say that in your opinion an Arya-clone Lyanna (which is a debatable notion in itself) would have told Rhaegar to take a hike, because he was already "taken"? Well, Arthur was even more so! And "seducing" a prisoner, given questionable consent of such a situation - eww.

To be honest, Ygritte's actions are also morally questionable, but she was not touted as an example of knightly virtue by the most morally upright character in the series. Nor was she Jon's actual gaoler, guarding him for somebody else - in fact, she protected and defended him on numerous occasions.

 

17 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Unless Lyanna isn't in the tower (nothing in the text requires anyone to be in the tower at the time of the fight) and Arthur had another mission--Jon leaves Ygritte because he has another mission, no matter how much he loves her. He's not a "jerk"--he's torn between love and duty and chooses duty. Like father, like son?

Jon would have never seduced a noble maid being kept prisoner - he is more honorable than that. If he chose to break his oaths, he would have done it all the way and escaped with her, rather than betraying both his oaths and  his love, like you postulate about Arthur. Jon was attracted to Ygritte, but he began sleeping with her with her only because he had to.

 

17 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

But if it went down more like it goes down with Jon--if Jon is echoing his father--then much less odd.

There was zero reason not to tell Cat if Jon was Arthur's and Lyanna's. Sheltering such a child wasn't treason, even if it may have been a good idea to keep his origins secret from Robert, at least early on. For that matter, there was no reason to keep Jon as isolated in WF as Ned did, instead of fostering him out in the North, sending him to one of the bannermen once Ned went south to be Hand, etc., as neither family was interested in publicizing his origins.

 

16 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

Generally speaking, a theory that incorporates the evidence is better than one that dismisses the evidence as meaningless.  I'm not saying that Jon Snow is a Dayne.  I just think a good theory would try to account for the evidence provided.

What evidence? That the Sword of the Morning is traditionally a knight of House Dayne? Well, giving Jon a Dayne parent wouldn't make him one anyway, would it?

 

5 hours ago, JS97 said:

Ned never thinks of Robert as a threat when he comes to Winterfell. If he was scared that Robert would kill Jon wouldnt we have at least noticed some weird behaviour? Jon being the son Ned and Ashara would make Jon a possible threat to Robb in Catelyns eyes howerver. Also I don't see how it would make Ned a cruel father if N+A=J.

Jon was being kept out of the way of the royal party during their visit. He _thought_ that Cat was the one who ordered it, but it is more likely that Ned was behind it instead.

And Ned's pretext for not wanting to take Jon with him to court was rather flimsy and not completely truthful, as both historically and during the series itself bastards very much came to court or were supposed to - like with 2 natural sons of Garth Tyrell. In fact, it was Ned's best chance to find Jon a good place in the world far away from any possible competition with Cat's children. Instead, Ned refused to take Jon along, didn't even consider fostering him to one of his nobles until the boy came of age - as was customary, nor did he think to send him on an extended visit to his maternal family, but after a brief internal struggle agreed to send him to NW, lamenting all the way that the boy was too young. Where Jon was shunned anyway, to begin with! That's some crappy performance as a father right there. 

Also, keeping Jon's parentage secret from both himself and Cat was selfish and cruel. Ditto not fostering Jon (and Robb) out at the proper age, not arranging anything whatsoever for his future, etc.

Oh, and let's not forget how Ned either knocked up and abandoned Ashara after Harrenhal, despite having more than enough time to marry her after she became pregnant, or somehow met and slept with her during the war, damaging her prospects either way. And how his taking away Jon supposedly prompted her suicide. Not to mention that bastards have it better in Dorne, so why  take Jon  north at all, if he likely would have been happier with his maternal family?

Basically, all told if N+A=J, then Ned was a massive, selfish jerk, who was cruel to Ashara, Jon and Cat.

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4 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Even after Robert retroactively approved of Tywin's murder of Rhaegar's children, Ned still didn't believe that Robert was capable of actually ordering the murder of women and children, until he heard Robert broach the idea of sending a knife against Daenerys then later witnesses him actually order it, fourteen years later.

1. We don't know that. We only know that after reconciling with Robert and after many years have passed, Ned now thinks this. We don't know that he thought this when Robert called murdered babies dragonspawn. We do know Ned left in a cold rage, irreconcilable with Robert until after Lyanna's death.

2. And we don't know what Lyanna made of Robert's take on murdered babies. We do know Ned's promise cost him--we don't know if he agreed with Lyanna's fears or just promised her to alleviate her fears--and then kept the promises, no matter what they cost him.

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Everything points to 283 AC Ned being worried about someone like Tywin murdering Jon, and Robert letting it slide, not Robert actually ordering the murder of the child. That's because Tywin had just ruthlessly murdered Rhaegar's children, and Tywin did that because they were heirs to the Targaryen dynasty Robert's rebellion had just overthrown. 

No--everything points to current Ned thinking this (until his head came off). At the time, he was beyond horrified and enraged. Current Ned has overcome that rage and horror--something he did after Lyanna's death when he reconciled with Robert. Might even account for the fact that current Ned never seems to worry about Jon's safety.

And we still don't know what Lyanna thought.

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The idea that Ned would worry about Robert ordering or allowing the murder of Jon if he were merely the child of Lyanna and Arthur, a deceased knight of the KG with no claim to his own house let alone Robert's throne, or that Ned would worry about Tywin or someone like him carrying out the murder of Jon if he were merely the child of Lyanna and Arthur, is without basis.

Currently? Maybe. At the time? Fear and shock are powerful things. And Robert's willingness to condone baby murder, his desire to re-kill Rhaegar--that has nothing to do with "claims." It's jealousy, grief, and loss.

And none of the above accounts for Lyanna's "fear"--nothing in the text requires her fears, or the promise Ned gave for those fears, to be "rational."

2 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

What Lyanna and Ned both know is that new king Robert has just excused and justified Tywin's murder of Rhaegar's young children for being dragonspawn. Both would have reason to fear for the life of a newborn dragonspawn born to Lyanna. Neither would have reason to fear for the life of a child fathered on Lyanna by Arthur Dayne, especially with Ned making no effort to disabuse anyone of the notion (held by Robert and Bran) that Lyanna was raped in captivity.

They absolutely have reason to fear this.

But at the moment of Jon's birth, they have reason to fear other options, too. How do you trust someone when they've just done something you never thought they'd do? Ned clearly never thought Robert capable of going even as far as he did.  And was irreconcilable at the time he'd found Lyanna. Why should Ned innately believe Robert would now stop at just "condoning?" 

As for Lyanna: she's afraid. Nothing requires her fear to be rational. Nothing. If it wasn't rational, might even give some nuance to why Ned thinks that his promises have cost him.

Edited by Sly Wren
Clarifying unclear pronoun referents.

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

I would put this a little more strongly than even you did.

What Ned thinks is all but irrelevant.  What Lyanna thought is everything. 

We know from the text that she extracted promises from Ned based on her take of the situation.

If Ned had just persuaded Lyanna of something, there would be no point in that line.  It was the other way around: she was persuading him.

So any assessment based on the idea that "Ned wouldn't have done X, because Y," is just missing the mark in a fundamental way.  Ned's behavior was not determined by Ned's own thinking, but by his dying sister's.

:agree:

And if that fear was beyond Ned's fears, makes sense she'd have to work for it. 

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1 hour ago, Maia said:

It doesn't fit with Ned's assertion that Arthur Dayne was the best knight whom he has ever known, like, at all! In fact, it turns Arthur into some combination of Aegon the Unworthy with Casella Vaith (who was also a hostage) and Lucamore Strong. Didn't you, in another thread, say that in your opinion an Arya-clone Lyanna (which is a debatable notion in itself) would have told Rhaegar to take a hike, because he was already "taken"? Well, Arthur was even more so! And "seducing" a prisoner, given questionable consent of such a situation - eww.

Why would Arthur be the seducer? Ned specifically tells Arya that Lyanna's wolf blood led to her death. And Ygritte is the seducer in her relationship with Jon--like father like son? 

As for the "take a hike"--Rhaegar's married. With children. Giving flowers to another woman/girl right in front of his wife while a huge chunk of the realm's nobles are watching. Arthur's none of the above. And Arthur, like Jon, is a sworn brother: GRRM has taken the time (a lot of time) to show how even really, really good sworn brothers can fall--and still be great men.

As for Ned's assertion, he claims Arthur is the "finest knight"--nothing about "knighthood" requires celibacy. We don't yet know what the 3KG's mission was when they fought at that tower--it think there's a good chance that, like Jon, Arthur left his love and returned to his duty, no matter the cost. So, why Arthur is fighting Ned might have a big impact on why Ned still thinks he's the finest knight.

And, for now, we do not know why Arthur is singled out when Hightower and Whent aren't. Why Ned's so sad over Arthur, not Hightower and Whent.

If Ned and Howland killed Lyanna's beloved, Jon's father, without knowing--if Ned every day saw the boy he loved, the son of the man he killed without knowing--that would fit extremely well with his "old guilts"--and why he regrets Arthur and not the others.

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To be honest, Ygritte's actions are also morally questionable, but she was not touted as an example of knightly virtue by the most morally upright character in the series. Nor was she Jon's actual gaoler, guarding him for somebody else - in fact, she protected and defended him on numerous occasions.

Jon would have never seduced a noble maid being kept prisoner - he is more honorable than that. If he chose to break his oaths, he would have done it all the way and escaped with her, rather than betraying both his oaths and  his love, like you postulate about Arthur. Jon was attracted to Ygritte, but he began sleeping with her with her only because he had to.

Jon did not have to--he had options. Not great, but extant. Jon wanted to--even as he kinda hates himself for it.

As for the rest--if Lyanna were the seducer, it would fit with the Jon/Ygritte model very well. And do we have any evidence Ned innately thinks knighthood requires sexual purity?

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There was zero reason not to tell Cat if Jon was Arthur's and Lyanna's.

Unless Lyanna made him promise--fear's a powerful thing. Even irrational fear.

Though I do think Ned should have told Cat, no matter who Jon's parents were. It hurt their marriage. But Ned does think his promises cost him.

Edited by Sly Wren
I cannot spell.

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34 minutes ago, Maia said:

What evidence? That the Sword of the Morning is traditionally a knight of House Dayne? Well, giving Jon a Dayne parent wouldn't make him one anyway, would it?

That's part of the setup, sure.  Without it's history and traditions, Dawn is just another sword.  Argue against any of that mattering, if you like.  But then, why would we care about Dawn?

I'm not necessarily claiming I know what are the requirements for being a "knight of house Dayne".  Nor am I necessarily arguing for Jon being the Sword of the Morning.

Maybe one can become a "knight of house Dayne" by way of an oath of allegiance.  And maybe one can become a member of House Dayne through marriage.  Maybe a man could even gain the "Dayne" name through marriage, what with Dornish customs being a bit different and all.  And Allyria Dayne seems to be short one fiancé.

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No. And there is only one argument to give: R+L=J.

About Dawn: The Dayne are its keeper. OK. But they are FM like the Starks. So why not a Dayne's ancestor? And as much a right to it for Jon than for any Dayne? Anyway, I don't care who is the owner of the fucking sword; if it's Lightbringer and only Jon can use its power and save the day.

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14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Why would Arthur be the seducer? Ned specifically tells Arya that Lyanna's wolf blood led to her death. And Ygritte is the seducer in her relationship with Jon--like father like son? 

No, it is actually the opposite situation than what you propose. Jon is the hostage/prisoner who has to comply in order to gain the trust of his captors. Ygritte is in position of power, free to do whatever, but she is attracted to Jon and wants them to have a future together.

In your take on Arthur, he is the scumbag who'd have sex with an imprisoned  noble maiden and ruin her prospects, while still remaining her gaoler. Even if Lyanna initiated it, she did so under duress. She was a captive - in your theory, so of course she would have tried to gain some advantage + Stockholm syndrom. There is no way that Ned would have admired a man such as this, who used his position of power to dishonor and impregnate his sister and cause her death.

 

14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

As for the "take a hike"--Rhaegar's married. With children. Giving flowers to another woman/girl right in front of his wife while a huge chunk of the realm's nobles are watching. Arthur's none of the above.

Wrong. In Westeros his duties and oaths as a Kingsguard make him less free to pursue a honorable relationship with a noblewoman than a Targaryen prince, whose family has somewhat obscure precedents of polygamy. Rhaegar would have been able to make Lyanna acceptable in the eyes of some - and her children legitimate. Not so Arthur - she would have always been a "ruined" woman and their children bastards.

And even in your theory, Arthur had some fun with the captive Lyanna, impregnated her, but put his duties as a Kingsguard above their relationship and abandoned her.

 

14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

 

And Arthur, like Jon, is a sworn brother: GRRM has take the time to show how even really, really good sworn brothers can fall--and still be great men.

Ygritte is not a sworn sister :P, nor did she have to carry any consequences of their relationship, unless she chose to. In any case, she entered it from the position of power, while in your theory Lyanna was a powerless captive, whose ability to give consent would have been very questionable, and who was doomed as a result of her "affair" with her jailer.

 

14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

As for Ned's assertion, he claims Arthur is the "finest knight"--nothing about "knighthood" requires celibacy.

Ned also said that the KG were once "the shining example to the world" and Arthur was the best of them, which would have been completely incompatible with your scenario. Don't forget that knighthood oaths include protecting all women and protecting young and innocent, which Dayne would have also broken. Or do you suggest that Ned merely admired his martial skill?

 

14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

 

If Ned and Howland killed Lyanna's beloved, Jon's father, without knowing--if Ned every day saw the boy he loved, the son of the man he killed without knowing--that would fit extremely well with his "old guilts"--and why he regrets Arthur and not the others.

Why? The man you describe deserved it or the Wall. He couldn't have been part of Jon's life either way, nor was he worthy of admiration.

14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Jon did not have to--he had options. Not great, but extant. Jon wanted to.

Jon, fortunately for him, did want to. But his options that first time were do or eventually die/ not be allowed on the infiltration and have a chance to warn the Watch and the North. You don't seriously suggest that Ser Arthur faced a similar dilemma?! And, of course, consequences for Lyanna would have been incomparably harsher - she didn't even get the option of the moon tea and would have been disgraced, had she lived.

 

14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Unless Lyanna made him promise--fear's a powerful thing. Even irrational fear.

Sure, we can ascribe anything to Lyanna's laundry list of last wishes until and unless GRRM provides us with the answer, but this is hardly evidence or a satisfying explanation.

 

14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Though I do think Ned should have told Cat, no matter who Jon's parents were. It hurt their marriage. But Ned does think his promises cost him.

He also thought that some truths were too dangerous to share, which Arthur being Jon's father just wasn't, at the time. In fact the secrets Ned and Cat _did_ share were much more dangerous than that. Nor was there any reason for Ned not to write to Jon with the truth after Robert's death, as Varys offered.

@Platypus Rex:

We should care about Dawn, but the current rules don't allow Jon to become the Sword of the Morning, no matter who his parents are. All previous wielders mentioned so far bore the family last name - and Jon wasn't even raised in the family and doesn't share their culture. Nor is there any reason to think that a son of Arthur/Ashara would have had any more "Dayne blood" than a descendant of Dyanna Dayne. Since the Daynes aren't known to pursue the purity of blood, there would have been no functional difference. 

Nor do I think - and this pure speculation on my part, that rules on who gets to wield Dawn apply in the case of the Long Night. On the contrary, I believe that the Daynes have some secret family lore about the event and the blade's role in it, and that the rules were designed to allow them to use such a fabulous weapon without losing control of it in the meantime. That's why becoming the Sword of the Morning was about more than just martial prowess - though being a great fighter was important, for obvious reasons. That is also why Daynes honor Ned so much - he didn't have to return Dawn, but did so anyway. IMHO, YMMV.

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4 hours ago, Maia said:

No, it is actually the opposite situation than what you propose. Jon is the hostage/prisoner who has to comply in order to gain the trust of his captors. Ygritte is in position of power, free to do whatever, but she is attracted to Jon and wants them to have a future together.

Even further: Jon's a spy/plant. So, he's on a mission, not just a helpless hostage. He intends to "play" the wildlings--so, a bit mercenary on his part. At least in theory--in practice, it gets messier.

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In your take on Arthur, he is the scumbag who'd have sex with an imprisoned  noble maiden and ruin her prospects, while still remaining her gaoler.

Even if Lyanna initiated it, she did so under duress. She was a captive - in your theory, so of course she would have tried to gain some advantage + Stockholm syndrom. There is no way that Ned would have admired a man such as this, who used his position of power to dishonor and impregnate his sister and cause her death.

Oh! No--if that's what Arthur did, hang him. Slowly. Only until half dead. Then decapitate him. Slowly. With rusty garden clippers.

But GRRM has given us a few clear examples of how Stark maids end up as hostages/in custody:

  • Jon with Ygritte: yes, she's his captor, but she ends up being his advocate right quick.
  • Mance: gets Jon by accident via Ygritte. Holds him for info, but will kill him if necessary. Jon's not the primary mission.
  • Arya with the brotherhood and Beric (knights): Again--they get her by accident/happenstance. Harwin cares about her, but still refuses to let her go. They protect her, feed her, keep her safe, and fully intend to bring her to her family. But only on their timetable and for a fee to help their cause: useful hostage. Like Mance, they have a primary mission--the Stark maid is secondary.
  • Arya with Yoren (sworn brother): he rescues her and intends to bring her home. He is rough with her, but risks his life for her. Again, like Mance and the brotherhood: Arya isn't his first mission.
  • Arya with the Hound (disgraced sworn brother): more mercenary, but he does take care of her. 
  • Sansa with Baelish: I really doubt Baelish's Arryn plot started with "I'll get Cat's look alike daughter"--but he adjusts to include Sansa. His primary plans would proceed regardless.

Lots of options in that list that don't involve Stockholm Syndrome or abuse. And allow for Lyanna to be the seducer--as we see a few people seduce sworn brothers (Ygritte and Jon; Arianne and Arys). 

But we know Rhaegar had intentions to overthrow his father and fulfill that 3 headed dragon thingy. A primary mission. If, as with both Arya and Jon, Lyanna was found, saved from a mess, and then held as a useful hostage until taking her home was convenient for Rhaegar and his KG--that would echo what happens with Arya. 

And be a potentially more complicated relationship, if Arthur saved her then held her. Arya's feelings for her holder/helpers can get messy in her head. 

It's one of the few scenarios I can think of that would make Rhaegar less of a cad if RLJ ends up being right--if Rhaegar was the one who saved Lyanna from some mess. 

But we have Arya being held/helped by Yoren (sworn brother), brotherhood (knights), and Hound (disgraced sworn brother). Seems like there's a good chance Martin did that for a reason. ETA: and a decent chance Ned would think rather highly of them.

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Wrong. In Westeros his duties and oaths as a Kingsguard make him less free to pursue a honorable relationship with a noblewoman than a Targaryen prince, whose family has somewhat obscure precedents of polygamy. Rhaegar would have been able to make Lyanna acceptable in the eyes of some - and her children legitimate. Not so Arthur - she would have always been a "ruined" woman and their children bastards.

Which would fit with Ned thinking about bastards and lusts when thinking of Jon. And would fit with his thinking Lyanna's wolf-blood led to her death.

And would be the case if Jon had gotten Ygritte pregnant--but he's still a fine black brother. A true believer in defending the realms of men--insisting on defending all people as part of his oath. Schooling other brothers on their oaths to get them to be better. Pretty damn fine, despite risking fathering bastards.

So, the question really might be how Ned assesses knightly fineness--sexual purity, or overall protection of others despite his faults.

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And even in your theory, Arthur had some fun with the captive Lyanna, impregnated her, but put his duties as a Kingsguard above their relationship and abandoned her.

As Jon did with Ygritte--for his duty. Despite those failings, really think Ned would still think Jon a fine man,

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Ygritte is not a sworn sister :P, nor did she have to carry any consequences of their relationship, unless she chose to.

HA! That would make for an interesting twist. And agreed: but the Jon./Ygritte relationship seems to have a potential double echo: Sworn brother (Jon/Arthur) seduced by wild northern girl (Ygritte/Lyanna); and follower of a Rhaegar figure (Arthur/Ygritte) falling for a Stark maid (Jon/Lyanna). 

If so, Jon's echoing both his parents.

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In any case, she entered it from the position of power, while in your theory Lyanna was a powerless captive, whose ability to give consent would have been very questionable, and who was doomed as a result of her "affair" with her jailer.

And, according to what Ned tells Arya, seems like Ned potentially holds Lyanna responsible for some of that--he doesn't seem to see her as helpless. And yet he still loves her and thinks she's fabulous, despite her wolf-blooded-spurred-death. 

As for "powerless"--we see Arya's relationships with her captors/saviors/holders: it's complicated. Same with Jon's relationships with the wildings. Really, really depends on how Lyanna ends up with Rhaegar and his KG.

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Ned also said that the KG were once "the shining example to the world" and Arthur was the best of them,

To be insufferably OCD: he says the KG were examples, but calls Arthur the finest knight, not the finest KG. Insufferable OCD ended/

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which would have been completely incompatible with your scenario. Don't forget that knighthood oaths include protecting all women and protecting young and innocent, which Dayne would have also broken. Or do you suggest that Ned merely admired his martial skill?

Unless, like Yoren, the brotherhood, Beric, and even the Hound, Arthur and Co. were also Lyanna's protectors. 

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Why? The man you describe deserved it or the Wall. He couldn't have been part of Jon's life either way, nor was he worthy of admiration.

No--the man you described deserved slow motion, garden clipper pain--absolutely. The options GRRM gives for Stark Maid captors/holders/protectors are rather more layered.

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Jon, fortunately for him, did want to. But his options that first time were do or eventually die/ not be allowed on the infiltration and have a chance to warn the Watch and the North. You don't seriously suggest that Ser Arthur faced a similar dilemma?! And, of course, consequences for Lyanna would have been incomparably harsher - she didn't even get the option of the moon tea and would have been disgraced, had she lived.

No--I think Jon was born of lust (according to Ned)--and that Arthur, like so many KG in the novels, fell. Yet still managed to be a fine knight, like some in the novels. GRRM takes a lot of time setting up the dilemmas of sworn brotherhood. Really spends time on it for Jon--if the "finest knight" ends up being glow-in-the-dark pure, I'll be very surprised.

But if the finest knight ends up being more like Jon--fallen, but still valiant--I won't be surprised at all.

As for Lyanna--again, the above would fit with what Ned says to Arya. We have a LOT of missing info. But it would fit. 

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Sure, we can ascribe anything to Lyanna's laundry list of last wishes until and unless GRRM provides us with the answer, but this is hardly evidence or a satisfying explanation.

HA! If Lyanna gave Ned a to do list, the whole thing could be excellent comedy: "burn my diary! delete my browser history!"

My guess (and it is a guess) is that is was simpler: "tell no one who he is and protect him!" And Ned complied.

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He also thought that some truths were too dangerous to share, which Arthur being Jon's father just wasn't, at the time.

Really depends--we also have the story of Jon's mother at Starfall. If the Daynes were involved in hiding Lyanna--that would explain their respect for the man who killed their literal chosen son. And make sense of Ned's intense reaction to Ashara's name being mentioned. And make the secret of the Daynes dangerous.

And Ned still fears Robert's "madness"--calls it "madness."

And, if Ned did kill Jon's father--that's a potentially dangerous secret for Jon.

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Nor was there any reason for Ned not to write to Jon with the truth after Robert's death, as Varys offered.

Except the "old guilts:"

The thought of Jon filled Ned with a sense of shame, and a sorrow too deep for words. If only he could see the boy again, sit and talk with him. Game, Eddard XV

There are a lot of potential interps of this. But if Ned killed Jon's father, the above shame and sorrow would make a lot of sense as to why he doesn't want to write it in a letter. But really wishes he could talk to him. Ned would want to explain, "Luke, I killed your father" in person.

Edited by Sly Wren

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5 hours ago, Maia said:

 

@Platypus Rex:

We should care about Dawn, but the current rules don't allow Jon to become the Sword of the Morning, no matter who his parents are. All previous wielders mentioned so far bore the family last name - and Jon wasn't even raised in the family and doesn't share their culture. Nor is there any reason to think that a son of Arthur/Ashara would have had any more "Dayne blood" than a descendant of Dyanna Dayne. 

We don't know what the current rules are.  How much do we really know about Dornish marriage and naming customs?  Yes, it appears that all the Swords of the Morning have been called Dayne.  But were they all born Dayne?  Catelyn Stark, after all, was not born a Stark.

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17 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

How much do we really know about Dornish marriage and naming customs?

Good point - we know the ruling family of Dorne is still called House Nymeros-Martell despite having passed through numerous female heads. (We readers tend to forget the 'Nymeros' part, but it goes right to the very core of Dornish tradition...)

 

7 hours ago, Maia said:

There was zero reason not to tell Cat if Jon was Arthur's and Lyanna's. Sheltering such a child wasn't treason, even if it may have been a good idea to keep his origins secret from Robert, at least early on.

This general idea keeps coming up, so I'm not picking on you personally, Maia. But the question, when it comes to what Bobby Baratheon can be allowed to discover, is not whether Jon's father was Ned or Rhaegar or Arthur. What Ned CANNOT allow Robert to know, is that LYANNA is Jon's MOTHER. Once Robert knows that, Jon's life is worthless. Whoever the father, Jon is the son of the man who put bigger horns on Robert than his Baratheon heritage ever could!

Someone quoted above that Ned believed Robert would never hurt 'me or mine' - that's why Ned had to pretend Jon was his. Ned was not concealing the identity of Jon's father, he was concealing the identity of Jon's mother. Ned had to claim Jon as his own, even though no-one with eyes, two or more brain cells, and any more than five minutes in Ned's company could ever believe! It was, however, the only possible lie that was available to throw Bobby off the true scent (and I'm still 50/50 on the Rhaegar vs Arthur question, but about 99.999% on Lyanna as mother...)

So @Platypus Rex, for the purpose of the poll, can I register a half vote for a Dayne parent? :thumbsup:

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On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 8:50 AM, Maia said:

If Jon is a bastard of a Dayne, it won't give him any right to Dawn under the current rules anyway, as he doesn't have the family name. As a result, there is no need for all the theory-crafting contortions necessary to provide him with a Dayne parent. Since the Daynes don't practice incest, "purity of blood" considerations don't come into it either, so again a Dayne parent would be completely superfluous for the purpose of getting the sword.

So, no.

Having said that, I do believe that Jon will wield Dawn. But the rules restricting the sword to the members of House Dayne are going to become obselete with the coming of the Long Night. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if search for the wielder capable of unlocking the blade's full potential in such a case is a part of the secret lore of the Daynes.

As an aside, I'll never understand why so many people want Ned to be the jerk who had knocked up and abandoned Ashara. After WoIaF we know that there was at least half a year between the tourney of Harrenhal and Brandon's arrest - more than enough time for Ned, who was free of any obligations, to propose to Ashara, if he so chose. No tragic romance there, just a tawdry one-night stand or worse, a young noblewoman "ruined" by a dude who just wanted some fun, but wasn't interested in taking any responsibility for the consequences.

He is not bastard of Dayne he is a Stark and his mother Ashara and Brandon Stark

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2 minutes ago, corbon said:

Brandon died well before Jon was conceived,

Corbon knows when Jon was conceived, because he was RIGHT THERE at the time.

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1 minute ago, Platypus Rex said:

Corbon knows when Jon was conceived, because he was RIGHT THERE at the time.

Maybe @corbon wasn’t there really, but was paying attention when reading/re-reading. 

For Jon to be Brandon’s he would have to be significantly older than Robb, and he isn’t. You can obfuscate babies ages up to a point, maybe two or three months either way, but that’s it. 

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