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Poll: Is Jon Snow the son of a Dayne?

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23 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

There is nothing there connecting any of the players and Harrenhal, or a tourney, or even hinting at Ned and Ashara having met previously. 

That's true, but that passage also shows how easily people leap to conclusions and get things wrong.

Because we can be pretty damned sure Ned did not defeat Ser Arthur Dayne, deadliest of Aerys' KG, in single combat.  Yet that's what Cat heard, all the same.

Harwin certainly might know better than to think Jon was conceived at Harrenhal.  But it's very hard to say what kinds of ideas are in other heads at Winterfell, because people often just don't put facts together properly.  Rumors evolve like bacteria, and soon develop an immunity to reason or logic.  What people repeat to each other trumps all that.

We see this kind of thing on this very site, in fact.  I recall arguing with a well-known forum theorist, and pointing out we can't (using the canon) put Rhaegar and Lyanna together at any time in the war, anywhere, even for ten seconds.  He asked me if I was serious and then he pointed out that they were together at Harrenhal. 

And I realized in that instant that he didn't know Harrenhal was quite a few months before the war even began... he just hadn't learned that yet... and there are many other users are just like him.  People at Winterfell in the books might make the same error, if they aren't paying close attention.

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16 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

Even better.  The year she was referring to was the first year of her marriage, which is also the year she learns of Jon's existence (which logically must have been near the end of that year).  Nothing is said or implied about how long they spent apart in the following year.  Her comments are a retrospective from the time she learns of Jon's existence.

I'm trying to understand this.

So you are arguing that 'they had spent that year apart" could mean they spent "that year (and some of the next year(s)) apart"?

If the answer is yes, don't expect a reply. There are better things to spend time on.

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On ‎2‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 2:59 PM, Vaedys Targaryen said:

Yes. I think R+A=J is real.

who is R and A?  Rheagar and Ashara ?  that different it better than R+L=J that for sure

Edited by Sophia [email protected]
grammer

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On ‎2‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 5:49 PM, corbon said:

Brandon died well before Jon was conceived,

thanks for answering Brandon Stark died was King Lannding under Red Cells  Aerys had sent for his father ok how does to take to King Lannding from the North? Ashara Dayne plenty time check on Brandon and make Jon Snow. Also I believe they got marry before he went to Cathy and ask for her hand.

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On ‎2‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 8:23 PM, Back door hodor said:

Personally I think whoever Jon's parents are, his real surname is Snow, Sand, or Waters....

Pick any of the possible candidates discussed in this thread, no two of them can produce a legally legitimate child.

Jon IS a bastard, it's half the point of his story I think

Brandon Stark and Ashara Dyane were secretly married so that makes Jon an Stark and real Lord or King of North. He is not bastard.

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1 hour ago, Sophia [email protected] said:

thanks for answering Brandon Stark died was King Lannding under Red Cells  Aerys had sent for his father ok how does to take to King Lannding from the North? Ashara Dayne plenty time check on Brandon and make Jon Snow.

Brandon died not in the Red Keep's cells, but in public in the throne room. Aerys did send for Rickard, who came. There were trials for Brandon and his companions, 'of a sort'. Rickard chose trial by combat for Brandon, with himself as Brandon's Champion.

Quote

 

"There were trials. Of a sort. Lord Rickard demanded trial by combat, and the king granted the request. Stark armored himself as for battle, thinking to duel one of the Kingsguard. Me, perhaps. Instead they took him to the throne room and suspended him from the rafters while two of Aerys's pyromancers kindled a blaze beneath him. The king told him that fire was the champion of House Targaryen. So all Lord Rickard needed to do to prove himself innocent of treason was . . . well, not burn.
"When the fire was blazing, Brandon was brought in. His hands were chained behind his back, and around his neck was a wet leathern cord attached to a device the king had brought from Tyrosh. His legs were left free, though, and his longsword was set down just beyond his reach.
"The pyromancers roasted Lord Rickard slowly, banking and fanning that fire carefully to get a nice even heat. His cloak caught first, and then his surcoat, and soon he wore nothing but metal and ashes. Next he would start to cook, Aerys promised . . . unless his son could free him. Brandon tried, but the more he struggled, the tighter the cord constricted around his throat. In the end he strangled himself.

 

Thats an eyewitness report, with no reason to lie. Jaime was there, in the room.

That was before the war. After Brandon and Rickard died, Aerys demanded John Arryn send him Ned's and Robert's heads. John refused and raised his banners. Thats the start of the rebellion/war.

So for Brandon to be the father, Jon Snow has to be conceived before the war began.
Catelyn and Ned were married several months into the war (3-4 months at least, though that doesn't really allow enough time for the necessary army movements, but GRRM doesn't seem to have managed this part well) and conceived Robb more or less immediately.

Jon is supposedly younger the Robb, and everyone finds this utterly believable. If Brandon was his father he'd be at least 4 months older than Robb, probably more, and there is no way that anyone in Winterfell could believe he was younger. No one with any experience of babies can miss a 4-6+ months difference when then babies are young and together. There are too many highly consistent developmental milestones (like being able to hold its head up alone, recognise and track faces with its eyes, sit up alone, roll over alone, all sorts of things).  And that assumes Ashara sneaking into the Red Keep cells and fucking Brandon, for which there is no evidence at all. If not, Jon must be even older and even more impossible to think younger than Robb.

Quote

Also I believe they got marry before he went to Cathy and ask for her hand.

 
It helps if you have any shred of evidence at all to support beliefs. Otherwise you're just discussing the story you'd like, not the one we have. No point being here unless you're discussing the story we have in common.
 
FWIW, I too think Ashara is more likely to have had something with Brandon, than Ned. This is based on the Reed's story, and the thoughts of Barristan. But that was at Harrenhal, not later at Brandon's confinement/trial/murder.
I think Barristan's still-born girl (who may in fact be not-still-born Allyria Dayne) is more likely Brandon's conceived at Harrenhal.
Brandon asking for Ashara's hand though, doesn't seem to fit his character or actions. 
 
PS GRRM is explicitly on record saying Brandon had no sons, and also Brandon had no legitimate children (therefore no secret marriage to Ashara making any child of hers with him legitimate).
 
Edited by corbon

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5 hours ago, JNR said:

That's true, but that passage also shows how easily people leap to conclusions and get things wrong.

Because we can be pretty damned sure Ned did not defeat Ser Arthur Dayne, deadliest of Aerys' KG, in single combat.  Yet that's what Cat heard, all the same.

Harwin certainly might know better than to think Jon was conceived at Harrenhal.  But it's very hard to say what kinds of ideas are in other heads at Winterfell, because people often just don't put facts together properly.  Rumors evolve like bacteria, and soon develop an immunity to reason or logic.  What people repeat to each other trumps all that.

We see this kind of thing on this very site, in fact.  I recall arguing with a well-known forum theorist, and pointing out we can't (using the canon) put Rhaegar and Lyanna together at any time in the war, anywhere, even for ten seconds.  He asked me if I was serious and then he pointed out that they were together at Harrenhal. 

And I realized in that instant that he didn't know Harrenhal was quite a few months before the war even began... he just hadn't learned that yet... and there are many other users are just like him.  People at Winterfell in the books might make the same error, if they aren't paying close attention.

I agree... 

But it still doesn’t change anything. If anyone in Winterfell believed Jon had been conceived at Harrenhal, they kept quiet about it. Because the only thing we ever get about what was being whispered there at the time are the “rumours” that Cat heard: that Ned killed Arthur and went to Starfall to return Dayne’s sword to his beautiful sister. And then there’s the fact that you simply cannot pass a toddler for an infant, and the fact that Cat completely accepts the two boys are close in age. 

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Ned himself hints at Jon being younger than Robb very early in the first book of the series.

"Her name was Wylla," Ned replied with cool courtesy, "and I would sooner not speak of her."
"Wylla. Yes." The king grinned. "She must have been a rare wench if she could make Lord Eddard Stark forget his honor, even for an hour. You never told me what she looked like . . ."
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."
(Eddard II, AGOT 12)

I don't think there really are ifs and buts about this. 

I don't understand the reasons behind him lying about the mother if she's Ashara and one of he or Brandon is the father or him lying about Jon's age. This is the same man who was praying to his gods that his wife would find it in her to forgive (end of sentence because things were about to get interesting).

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3 hours ago, corbon said:

"So you are arguing that 'they had spent that year apart" could mean they spent "that year (and some of the next year(s)) apart"?"

No.  I am saying that it may (possibly) mean no more and no less than it literally says.  In other words, it may mean that they spent "that year" apart, but says nothing one way or another about the previous year, or the following year.

It is my opponents who want to draw additional inferences.  They seem to want to read "they spent that year apart" as "they spent that year apart, and spent the next year together", or something of the sort.

In the right context, one might infer from analogous language a vague implication that they were apart for a year, and no more than a year.  But I see no such implication here.  Catelyn is describing her tolerant reaction upon learning, a year into her marriage, that Ned had sired a bastard during "that year".  The next year is not even being considered in this context.  This is then contrasted with her less tolerant reaction upon learning that Ned has brought his bastard to live in Winterfell, … an undefined amount of time later.

In a quick google books search, I found an analogous usage of such language, in a book called War Stories, by Robert G. Moeller:  "Rothfels … had spent that year in emigration in the United States …".    "That year" in this context, is 1945.  I guess you and others would read this as saying that Rothfels spend one year and only one year in emigration in the United States.  But it seems you would be mistaken, as Hans Rothfels emigration in the United States lasted from 1943 (or earlier) until 1951.  It's just that 1945 was the only year Moeller was interested in in the context of the statement I just quoted.  "that year", and Rothfels' perspective on it, was the topic at hand.

"If the answer is yes, don't expect a reply. There are better things to spend time on."

You don't owe me your time anyhow.  And I don't need your snarky contempt.  So feel free to spare me further comments, if you are so inclined

Edited by Platypus Rex

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

I agree... 

But it still doesn’t change anything. If anyone in Winterfell believed Jon had been conceived at Harrenhal, they kept quiet about it. Because the only thing we ever get about what was being whispered there at the time are the “rumours” that Cat heard: that Ned killed Arthur and went to Starfall to return Dayne’s sword to his beautiful sister. 

Err, that part is not strictly true. Harwin tells us that he heard about a Ned-and-Ashara-at-Harrenhal rumour at Winterfell.

Quote

"Aye, he told me. Lady Ashara Dayne. It's an old tale, that one. I heard it once at Winterfell, when I was no older than you are now." He took hold of her bridle firmly and turned her horse around. "I doubt there's any truth to it. But if there is, what of it? When Ned met this Dornish lady, his brother Brandon was still alive, and it was him betrothed to Lady Catelyn, so there's no stain on your father's honor. There's nought like a tourney to make the blood run hot, so maybe some words were whispered in a tent of a night, who can say? Words or kisses, maybe more, but where's the harm in that? Spring had come, or so they thought, and neither one of them was pledged."

This is clearly not the same rumour Cat heard though, as Harwin's rumour doesn't reference Arthur Dayne at all. Its very likely earlier, between Winterfell and the appearance of Jon, and likely informs the latter, so to speak.

 

Another point to this general conversation about Jon's birth date.
GRRM puts Dany and Jon at 8-9 months apart in age, ie a gestation roughly, perhaps a bit less.

Dany appears to have likely been conceived during Aery's rape of Rhaella on the night he burned Lord Chelsted. That seems to have been after Rhaegar left to the Trident, as Jaime was the only Kingsguard left, so its only a month or so (or less) before the Sack. And Jon appears likely to have been born at the ToJ, not long before Ned arrived. Putting Jon and Dany's birth/conception about a month apart, hence an 8/9moon age difference.
(Dragonstone held out for such a long time, because the new regime needed to build a fleet to take on the previously royal fleet now at Dragonstone).

This tells us Jon was born roughly around the end of the war. Which means he's too old to be Brandon's get.

There is some wiggle room in there, with the language, but these are further data points showing Jon and Robb's ages are very close and Jon is definitely not conceived before the war began.

At some point you have to stop utterly ignoring the weight of all the evidence. At least until some new evidence comes along that is contradictory.

Edited by corbon

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13 hours ago, SFDanny said:

"Ahh ... now we have reached the point in the conversation in which you raise straw man arguments to change the topic."

Uhhh … I vaguely sense the tone of this conversation taking a turn for the worse.  But I suppose you will argue that that's my fault.

"I've never demanded absolute proof for any theory …"

Did I say you had, in so many words?  Look, man, I'm telling you in advance so we don't waste our time.  I don't even support the topic theory.  I don't think Jon is the son of any Dayne.  My name has been on the "No" column for some time now.  But I DO think it is an arguable theory.  And some of the points in its favor might be relevant to other theories.

I'm discussing theories, with arguable, subtle clues.  All of it has plausible deniability.  Nothing is provable.

So I am telling you in advance, that if you are going to demand levels of proof that I cannot possibly meet, as to a theory I don't even believe, then I don't want to waste my time on this conversation.  And if you are going to accuse me of straw-manning you and evading you, at every opportunity, then I CERTAINLY don't want to waste my time.

"I've also never made this claim. It is entirely possible that Jon is older than his official name day, but …."

Okay.  Stop here.  I was trying to (partially) agree with you, that if Jon was (much) older than his official birthdate, (some) people would know.  I was doing this in order to refocus the discussion on our point of disagreement -- your assumption that people do not know this.  In my view there are indeed (subtle, deniable) hints that some people DO know (or think) that Jon is older

I'm sorry that I was imprecise in expressing the idea that I was trying to agree with you about.  I assumed it was understood, in the context of the discussion so far, that "older" meant "significantly older" or "much older".  Otherwise I would not have been so eager to agree with it.  I was not trying to "straw man" you.

"Jon cannot be obviously older than Robb for a lie to be believed,..."

I think you'd be surprised what people will believe, even in the real world.  In this context, People can believe in Giants in the North, and Dragons in the East.  Why cannot they believe in a prodigious baby, born to some mysterious woman of the Far South?

In any event, what he needs is that the servants who care for Jon as an infant be loyal and discreet and not spread tales, no matter what they privately believe.  Otherwise, it scarcely matters what they privately believe.  Once Jon gets old enough to need social interaction with the outside world, it will be much harder to detect the lie.

"The servants at Winterfell tell tales about who they think is Jon's mother, but they don't say anything about Jon being older than Ned says he is."

Again, I have presented (subtle, deniable, but arguable) clues that they do indeed believe Jon was conceived at Harrenhal.  I cannot force you to recognize a subtle clue that might not be a clue.  So lets move on.

"Robert and the people of Starfall believe Wylla is Jon's mother, and in believing so they have no possible reason to dispute Jon's age."

And when did any of these people catch a glimpse of Jon before age 3?

"Yet we hear nothing to support doubts of Ned's account of Jon's age."

Only subtle hints, with plausible deniability.  These may be the only kind of hints GRRM intends to give us at this point.  But, since they are plausibly deniable, I cannot necessarily prove they are clues at all.  And you have denied them.  Luwyn's little quote about bastards?  IIRC you refused to even consider that as a possibility.  The inferences I drew from combining Catelyn's fragment of the old Winterfell tale with Harwin's fragment of the old Winterfell tale?  There are ways to avoid that inference, and you have found some of them.   

So we are deadlocked.   Which was why I tried to tell you we had reached a certain point in the discussion. 

"If it is apparent that people in the story know, or think they know, that Jon is conceived at an earlier date, then you should be able to show one of these people saying just that."

See?  There you go.  Who are you to demand that GRRM must give you obvious and undeniable clues, in place of subtle, ambiguous clues with plausible deniability?

"Harwin tale doesn't deal with Jon's conception. It deals with the story of a Ashara/Ned romance."

According to Harwin, the tale does not feature Ned dishonoring Cat, because the romance, even if true, only occurred while Brandon was still alive.  Which probably brings us to early 282 at the latest.

"Now, a Ashara and Ned tryst later during the war is actually possible, but we have as of yet no indication of such a meeting of Ashara and Ned. As Martin fleshes out the details of this back story we may still get further contact between the two."

Sounds like yet another theory, attempting to explain the same curious set of facts.

Go for it, man!

Edited by Platypus Rex

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12 hours ago, Sire de Maletroit said:

He is not worthy to have the sword.  Jon is not a Dayne.  He is Jon Rayder.

I'll have to keep this one in mind.

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8 hours ago, Sophia [email protected] said:

Brandon Stark and Ashara Dyane were secretly married so that makes Jon an Stark and real Lord or King of North. He is not bastard.

Regardless of whether they are his parents(of which there is no textual proof) a "secret marriage" does not equal a legal one.  If no one knows the parents are legally married, the child is a bastard. So his name stays Jon Snow in your scenario.

To be clear I do not think they are his parents, but that's not really the point. Marriage exists in Westeros(among the upper class) solely as a vehicle to make alliances and pass on property. A marriage no one knows about defeats the purpose. 

Honestly my opinion of Brandon is that he( Wolf Blood and all) would never make the mistake his nephew Robb later did, and we in fact have textual proof this, he had no problem fucking Lady Dustin and not marrying her, why do you assume Ashara Dayne would be any different?

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14 hours ago, corbon said:

Dany appears to have likely been conceived during Aery's rape of Rhaella on the night he burned Lord Chelsted. That seems to have been after Rhaegar left to the Trident, as Jaime was the only Kingsguard left, so its only a month or so (or less) before the Sack. 

@corbon

I agree that it seems likely that Daenerys was conceived the night Aerys burned Chelsted and raped Rhaella. But Rhaegar, Jonothor Darry, and Barristan Selmy hadn't yet left for the Trident, and were still in and around King's Landing, that night.

"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. 

- ASOS: Jaime V

The sight had filled him with disquiet, reminding him of Aerys Targaryen and the way a burning would arouse him. A king has no secrets from his Kingsguard. Relations between Aerys and his queen had been strained during the last years of his reign. They slept apart and did their best to avoid each other during the waking hours. But whenever Aerys gave a man to the flames, Queen Rhaella would have a visitor in the night. 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."

- AFFC: Jaime II

The day had been windy when he said farewell to Rhaegar, in the yard of the Red Keep. The prince had donned his night-black armor, with the three-headed dragon picked out in rubies on his breastplate. "Your Grace," Jaime had pleaded, "let Darry stay to guard the king this once, or Ser Barristan. Their cloaks are as white as mine."

Prince Rhaegar shook his head. "My royal sire fears your father more than he does our cousin Robert. He wants you close, so Lord Tywin cannot harm him. I dare not take that crutch away from him at such an hour."

Jaime's anger had risen up in his throat. "I am not a crutch. I am a knight of the Kingsguard."

"Then guard the king," Ser Jon Darry snapped at him. "When you donned that cloak, you promised to obey."

Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime's shoulder. "When this battle's done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but . . . well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return."

Those were the last words Rhaegar Targaryen ever spoke to him. Outside the gates an army had assembled, whilst another descended on the Trident. So the Prince of Dragonstone mounted up and donned his tall black helm, and rode forth to his doom.

- AFFC: Jaime I

I don't think we know how many days or weeks it was after Aerys burned Chelsted and raped Rhaella that Rhaegar left for the Trident, though I imagine it was pretty soon after.

Whatever the case, I think it's safe to assume that it took at least a month for Rhaegar and his forces to ride from King's Landing to the Trident, for the Battle of the Trident to be fought, and for Ned to ride from the Trident to King's Landing with Robert's van.

In AGOT, it took Ned and his household, riding well ahead of the main column that included King Robert and the Lannisters, a fortnight to ride from Castle Darry, which is half a day's ride south of the Trident, to King's Landing.

The castle was a modest holding a half day's ride south of the Trident. The royal party had made themselves the uninvited guests of its lord, Ser Raymun Darry, while the hunt for Arya and the butcher's boy was conducted on both sides of the river.

- AGOT: Eddard III

Outside, wagons and riders were still pouring through the castle gates, and the yard was a chaos of mud and horseflesh and shouting men. The king had not yet arrived, he was told. Since the ugliness on the Trident, the Starks and their household had ridden well ahead of the main column, the better to separate themselves from the Lannisters and the growing tension. Robert had hardly been seen; the talk was he was traveling in the huge wheelhouse, drunk as often as not. If so, he might be hours behind, but he would still be here too soon for Ned's liking. He had only to look at Sansa's face to feel the rage twisting inside him once again. The last fortnight of their journey had been a misery. Sansa blamed Arya and told her that it should have been Nymeria who died. And Arya was lost after she heard what had happened to her butcher's boy. Sansa cried herself to sleep, Arya brooded silently all day long, and Eddard Stark dreamed of a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell.

- AGOT: Eddard IV

And during Robert's Rebellion, it took at least a fortnight for Ned to ride from the Trident to King's Landing with Robert's van after Aerys received word of Rhaegar's death, as we are told that Aerys shipped Rhaella and Viserys off to Dragonstone and appointed Rossart his Hand when the news reached him, and that Rossart was Hand for a fortnight.

Birds flew and couriers raced to bear word of the victory at the Ruby Ford. When the news reached the Red Keep, it was said that Aerys cursed the Dornish, certain that Lewyn had betrayed Rhaegar. He sent his pregnant queen, Rhaella, and his younger son and new heir, Viserys, away to Dragonstone, but Princess Elia was forced to remain in King's Landing with Rhaegar's children as a hostage against Dorne. Having burned his previous Hand, Lord Chelsted, alive for bad counsel during the war, Aerys now appointed another to the position: the alchemist Rossart—a man of low birth, with little to recommend him but his flames and trickery.

- TWOIAF: The Fall of the Dragons - The End

The sight had filled him with disquiet, reminding him of Aerys Targaryen and the way a burning would arouse him. A king has no secrets from his Kingsguard. Relations between Aerys and his queen had been strained during the last years of his reign. They slept apart and did their best to avoid each other during the waking hours. But whenever Aerys gave a man to the flames, Queen Rhaella would have a visitor in the night. 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."

Jaime had only seen Rhaella once after that, the morning of the day she left for Dragonstone. The queen had been cloaked and hooded as she climbed inside the royal wheelhouse that would take her down Aegon's High Hill to the waiting ship, but he heard her maids whispering after she was gone. They said the queen looked as if some beast had savaged her, clawing at her thighs and chewing on her breasts. A crowned beast, Jaime knew.

- AFFC: Jaime II

Those purple eyes grew huge then, and the royal mouth drooped open in shock. He lost control of his bowels, turned, and ran for the Iron Throne. Beneath the empty eyes of the skulls on the walls, Jaime hauled the last dragonking bodily off the steps, squealing like a pig and smelling like a privy. A single slash across his throat was all it took to end it. So easy, he remembered thinking. A king should die harder than this. Rossart at least had tried to make a fight of it, though if truth be told he fought like an alchemist. Queer that they never ask who killed Rossart . . . but of course, he was no one, lowborn, Hand for a fortnight, just another mad fancy of the Mad King.

- ASOS: Jaime II

"Aerys Targaryen's last Hand was killed during the Sack of King's Landing, though I doubt he'd had time to settle into the Tower. He was only Hand for a fortnight. The one before him was burned to death. And before them came two others who died landless and penniless in exile, and counted themselves lucky. I believe my lord father was the last Hand to depart King's Landing with his name, properties, and parts all intact."

- ACOK: Tyrion I

And it is indicated that Ned did not waste much time after the Battle of the Trident to begin the pursuit of the remnants of

"You took a wound from Rhaegar," Ned reminded him. "So when the Targaryen host broke and ran, you gave the pursuit into my hands. The remnants of Rhaegar's army fled back to King's Landing. We followed. Aerys was in the Red Keep with several thousand loyalists. I expected to find the gates closed to us."

- AGOT: Eddard II

"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.

- ASOS: Jaime V

So I think it is safe to assume that just about a full month is probably the least amount of time that passed between Daenerys's conception and the Sack of King's Landing.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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18 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

But it still doesn’t change anything. If anyone in Winterfell believed Jon had been conceived at Harrenhal, they kept quiet about it. Because the only thing we ever get about what was being whispered there at the time are the “rumours” that Cat heard: that Ned killed Arthur and went to Starfall to return Dayne’s sword to his beautiful sister. And then there’s the fact that you simply cannot pass a toddler for an infant, and the fact that Cat completely accepts the two boys are close in age. 

Well, let's divide this into two areas: 1) what Winterfell staff believed and 2) who Jon's parents actually are.

Re 1), there is really no way to know what they believed or said.  We just do not have enough information.  Gallup did not take a poll, the Times did not do an investigation, etc.

However, in my opinion, that I think you also share, the Winterfell rumor about Ashara was that Ned knocked her up during the war. 

This is because Catelyn surely has a far superior concept of the timeline of Harrenhal, the war, etc., than the ordinary Winterfell staff, because of her investment in Robb v. Jon.  And she knows how old Robb is, and she knows when she got married.

And if she still had to ask Ned about Ashara possibly being Jon's mother, as we know she did, that means she had reason to think it was possible that Ned could have knocked up Ashara at the right time. 

In fact, she thought it was believable enough that she actually mustered up her courage -- for a fortnight, the text says -- and explicitly brought it up with Ned.

Re area 2), Jon's actual parents, it's clear to me Jon was not conceived at Harrenhal at all, whether involving Ned or Ashara or any other pair of parents you care to name. 

Whether Jon has a Dayne parent is a logically separate question, though.  There are other ways that could turn out to be true that cannot be ruled out as far as I can see.  Assigning them probabilities is awkward because GRRM has fogged the whole area over completely for five giant books.

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10 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Ned Dayne's tale certainly does as well. Harwin tale doesn't deal with Jon's conception. It deals with the story of a Ashara/Ned romance.

Love your whole post! :cheers:

IRT the bit above... it’s not brought up enough during these discusssions IMO. Ned Dayne tells Arya that he’s Jon Snow’s milk brother, because Jon’s mum was his wet nurse. And Arya accepts it, and even thinks she has remember just so she can tell Jon.

ASoS, Arya

“How do you know about Jon?”
“He is my milk brother.”
“Brother?” Arya did not understand. “But you’re from Dorne. How could you and Jon be blood?”
Milk brothers. Not blood. My lady mother had no milk when I was little, so Wylla had to nurse me.”
Arya was lost. “Who’s Wylla?”
“Jon Snow’s mother.
He never told you? She’s served us for years and years. Since before I was born.”
Jon never knew his mother. Not even her name.” Arya gave Ned a wary look. “You know her? Truly?” Is he making mock of me? “If you lie I’ll punch your face.”  

“Wylla was my wetnurse,” he repeated solemnly. “I swear it on the honor of my House.”
“You have a House?” That was stupid; he was a squire, of course he had a House. “Who are you?”
“My lady?” Ned looked embarrassed. “I’m Edric Dayne, the . . . the Lord of Starfall.”

<snip>

Jon has a mother. Wylla, her name is Wylla. She would need to remember so she could tell him, the next time she saw him.”

Then they keep talking, and Ashara comes up, and Ned says his aunt Allyria said Ned and Ashara fell in love at Harrenhal. And Arya gets upset because “[Ned] he loved my Lady mother”.  

We have two things happening here: Arya learns “Jon’s mum is called Wylla”, and that “her father had loved Ashara Dayne”. When Harwin catches up w/ her, he already knows why she’s upset, Ned Dayne told him. And this is what he tells Arya:

Aye, he told me. Lady Ashara Dayne. It’s an old tale, that one. I heard it once at Winterfell, when I was no older than you are now.” He took hold of her bridle firmly and turned her horse around. “I doubt there’s any truth to it. But if there is, what of it? When Ned met this Dornish lady, his brother Brandon was still alive, and it was him betrothed to Lady Catelyn, so there’s no stain on your father’s honor. There’s nought like a tourney to make the blood run hot, so maybe some words were whispered in a tent of a night, who can say? Words or kisses, maybe more, but where’s the harm in that? Spring had come, or so they thought, and neither one of them was pledged.”
“She killed herself, though,” said Arya uncertainly. “Ned says she jumped from a tower into the sea.”
“So she did,” Harwin admitted, as he led her back, “but that was for grief, I’d wager. She’d lost a brother, the Sword of the Morning.” He shook his head. “Let it lie, my lady. They’re dead, all of them. Let it lie . . . and please, when we come to Riverrun, say naught of this to your mother.”

I don’t even think Harwin necessarily thinks it’s not true. But he is clearly trying to reassure Arya that neither her father nor her mother had been dishonoured in any way. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, corbon said:

Err, that part is not strictly true. Harwin tells us that he heard about a Ned-and-Ashara-at-Harrenhal rumour at Winterfell.

Yes, absolutely. But that’s a different convo, happening many years later, and not really connected to Jon’s mum... b/c the Harwin/Arya convo is about Ned loving Cat and no one else. Arya has just been told Wylla is Jon’s mum, and she doesn’t question it. In fact, she thinks she must remember so she can tell Jon, and even thinks about writing to him to let him know. 

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13 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Yes, absolutely. But that’s a different convo, happening many years later, and not really connected to Jon’s mum... b/c the Harwin/Arya convo is about Ned loving Cat and no one else. Arya has just been told Wylla is Jon’s mum, and she doesn’t question it. In fact, she thinks she must remember so she can tell Jon, and even thinks about writing to him to let him know. 

Absolutely agreed.

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21 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

Did I say you had, in so many words?  

Kinda, yeah.

 “I very much doubt that your own preferred theories would survive the standards of proof you demand from those theories you oppose.“

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On 2/20/2019 at 4:42 PM, Platypus Rex said:

I'm discussing theories, with arguable, subtle clues.  All of it has plausible deniability.  Nothing is provable.

So I am telling you in advance, that if you are going to demand levels of proof that I cannot possibly meet, as to a theory I don't even believe, then I don't want to waste my time on this conversation.  And if you are going to accuse me of straw-manning you and evading you, at every opportunity, then I CERTAINLY don't want to waste my time.

What I'm talking about is taking inferences from parts of the text that doesn't support those inferences. You are quoting the wrong text and the wrong characters if you want to have support for there being a Dayne child born from a tryst at Harrenhal. All of the quotes you use support the timing of Jon's conception to be after Ned's wedding to Catelyn and after Robb's conception. That doesn't mean there is nothing in the text that supports Ashara having a child born from an affair at Harrenhal. For that you need to go to A Dance with Dragons and Ser Barristan's thoughts about Ashara. It is when we look at his thoughts that we find real evidence for Ashara becoming pregnant at the tourney, but the problem is that it is unlikely to have been Ned who was the Stark she turned to, and even less likely that the stillborn daughter Selmy tells us about is, in reality, Jon Snow.

For that to be believable we have to go back to Ned's reason for lying about Jon's age. And there is no doubt that it would mean Ned lied about Jon's age if Jon is really this stillborn daughter. But we have to ask ourselves why two eyewitnesses at Harrenhal don't support the Ned + Ashara = Jon conceived at Harrenhal idea. Those being both Robert and Ser Barristan. Robert accepts Ned's story that Wylla is Jon's mother and he cheated on Catelyn to conceive Jon after their wedding. Yet Robert was at the tourney and he is Ned's closest friend. Are we to believe Robert knew nothing about an affair on Ned's part, especially one that became public enough to disgrace Ashara? Even more importantly we have to ask ourselves why would Ned lie to Robert or Catelyn about this if he is the father. If Brandon is the father, then why would he lie about that?

Sorry, have to go for now. Will finish this later.

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