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Ida Hearst

Summerhall is central to the series

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I think the tragedy at Summerhall will turn out to be central to many of the big mysteries in the series, based on three arguments:

  1. The argument from elision;
  2. The argument from publication history;
  3. The argument from symbolism.

The argument from elision

Every educated person in Westeros probably knows about the tragedy at Summerhall. It's a comparatively recent dramatic event that affected the fate of House Targaryen (King Aegon V. and his heir were killed there; Prince Rhaegar was born there); there is at least one popular song about it (Jenny's song); and there are even characters in the books that were alive at the time (e.g. Maester Aemon). Yet all we hear about it, in a series that revels in memories of the past, are a few tantalizing hints: Alester Florent lamenting "Did we learn nothing from Summerhall?" (ASoS, Davos III), the Ghost of High Heart saying she "gorged on grief at Summerhall" (ASoS, Arya VIII), and Daenerys musing about the "shadow of Summerhall" that haunted her brother Rhaegar (ASoS, Daenerys IV).
 
While this in itself would be nothing out of the usual for the series, the treatment that the tragedy gets in The World of Ice and Fire is more revealing. Here, the author uses the conceit that Archmaester Gyldayn's report of the events is mostly blotted out by ink except for -- again -- tantalizing hints about "seven eggs, to honor the seven gods", "pyromancers" and "wildfire". This is not only a very weak explanation given the number both of likely survivors and of witnesses to the events before the tragedy, if not the tragedy itself, but also a marked departure from the rest of the book. This indicates that there is information about Summerhall that is known to at least some of the characters, but yet to be revealed to the readers, most likely in order to make the endgame of the series harder to guess.
 

The argument from publication history

The tragedy at Summerhall was first mentioned in "A Storm of Swords", published in 2000. However, one of the tragedy's protagonists (and likely its instigator) appeared in the very first Westeros story published after A Game of Thrones, the first "Dunk and Egg" novella The Hedge Knight (1998): Aegon Targaeryen, called "Egg" and later dubbed Aegon V, "the Unlikely". Since then, the backstory of Aegon V has been expanded in two further novellas, The Sworn Sword (2003) and The Mystery Knight (2010) -- the last of which also includes the first in-person appearance of Egg's great-uncle Bloodraven, who later allies with the Children of the Forest to become the Three-Eyed Crow.
 
The fact that George R.R. Martin's second story cycle set in Westeros focuses on the central figure of the Summerhall tragedy is suggestive enough. That Aegon V's back story might be more relevant to the main series than immediately apparent could also explain why the fourth volume in the "Dunk and Egg" cycle -- The She-Wolves of Winterfell, scheduled for publication in 2013 -- was put on hold mid-writing by GRRM, "until I've delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER". All of this might of course be coincidence -- the Dunk & Egg cycle might just be a particularly appealing storytelling opportunity for GRRM, close enough to the main series for some crossovers but sufficiently removed to not interfere; and the fourth novella might really just not have been finished in time for the anthology it was intended for, and put on hold so Martin could focus on TWoW -- but combined with the other clues it does seem that there might be more going on.
 

The argument from symbolism

The name is Summerhall (as opposed to, say, Winterfell), and it's associated with fire. 'Nuff said.
 
...or maybe not quite: It's also associated with the Targaryens, the fickle newcomers (latest in a long line of invaders, from the point of view of the Children of the Forest), as opposed to Winterfell, which is associated with the Starks, the stable descendants of the First Men (aka first invaders). The First Men and the Children (or at least one faction of them) made a deal back in the Long Night. The Targaryens, on the other hand, are an active threat.
 
NB. crossposted from my blog, because I haven't seen it discussed here in this way and I'd appreciate feedback & input.

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Posted (edited)

Summerhall is not close to the importance of the Dance of the Dragons in terms of its effect on history.  It is a cautionary tale for those who want to dabble in magic to hatch dragon eggs.  Only the Special Promised One can bring back the dragons from extinction.  Egg was not that person.  There's really nothing special about Egg and the Targaryens of that generation.   We can also deduce from this what Egg was thinking.  He thought he needed the power of the dragons to force the high lords to make life better for the smallfolk.  He saw the high lords as the problem.  I don't think there is any significance to the tragedy of Summerhall beyond this.

Edited by The Lord of the Crossing

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I think Summerhall is very significant to the overall story, actually. The name alone is interesting when we look at what Bran decided to name his direwolf after seeing inside the heart of winter. 

Bloodraven disappeared beyond the Wall 7 years before what happened at Summerhall happened.

And the what happened there with Aegon trying to birth dragons echoes with what Dany did to birth her own dragons. I always wondered if they had a similar dream. 

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18 minutes ago, The Lord of the Crossing said:

Summerhall is not close to the importance of the Dance of the Dragons in terms of its effect on history.  It is a cautionary tale for those who want to dabble in magic to hatch dragon eggs.  Only the Special Promised One can bring back the dragons from extinction.  Egg was not that person.  There's really nothing special about Egg and the Targaryens of that generation.   We can also deduce from this what Egg was thinking.  He thought he needed the power of the dragons to force the high lords to make life better for the smallfolk.  He saw the high lords as the problem.  I don't think there is any significance to the tragedy of Summerhall beyond this.

That's what I thought until I read the passage on Summerhall in TWoIaF. It's just so obviously, uncharacteristically fragmentary, it's hard to read as anything else than a cop-out. (I used to be deep into Star Wars lore before the reboot, and this is exactly what they'd always do in secondary material when they didn't want to spoil upcoming media.)

To be clear, I think Summerhall works great as a sidenote in history as well, as a symbolic foil for Daenerys and an illustration of the Targaryen obsession with dragons. I won't be disappointed if that's "all" it is -- but all things considered, I have a strong suspicion that there's going to be more to it.

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Posted (edited)

I would feel Martin is cheating If the answers for central plots of the main series lies in periferic book. As Dunk & Egg died in Summerhall, I think that this event is their story's climax, not of the people who are under the threat of the Others' comeback.

Maybe some elements of what happened in Summerhall will be revealed and will help ASOIAF as a cautionary tale. However, I think GRRM won't reveal all the things regarding the fire in Summerhall, because it'd spoil D&E finale.

However, I do expect ASOIAF to end with a lot of tangled knots and unsolved secondary plots. And that those periferic books will help us solve them.

Edited by Ckram

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Warning, pure speculations -> I think, that in the tragedy of Summerhall were involved Blackfyres and Shiera Seastar. Shiera is a shadowbinder Quaithe, and the Three-Eyed Crow. For now, I'm absolutely sure, that it was Shiera, who sacrificed Bloodraven to the Old Gods, by binding him to the Weirwood. Also, I'm absolutely sure, that Shiera was either present at Summerhall, during that ritual, when Targaryens were trying to hatch dragon eggs, or she was somehow involved in it, and she was the reason, why that ritual has failed. In my opinion, the Ghost of Hight Heart is Rohanne Webber-Lannister, and Jenny of Oldstones was her daughter, and Varys' mother (while the father is either prince Duncan, or one of Blackfyres (that's if Jenny was kidnapped by Blackfyres, when Summerhall was burning. The reason, why she was kidnapped, is because, same as her mother Rohanne, she was a witch, and thus, her blood was special)). I think, that there's connection between Varys and Shiera. There was happening some sort of a very conplicated plot, in early 80's in 7K, and both of them were strongly involved in it. In 281 AC Barristan Selmy saved Jeyne Swann and her septa from Kingswood Brotherhood. I think, that Jeyne Swann is septa Lemore, and that fAegon is her son from Barristan (while Barristan is a dragonseed, and descendant of either Aenys Blackfyre, or Bittersteel, or even Bloodraven and Shiera), while the septa, that was escorting Jeyne, was Shiera Seastar in shadow-glamour. There was happening something like this - Varys made an agreement with Wenda the White Fawn, that she will give her place at Kingswood Brotherhood to Simon Toyne (probably, brother of Blackheart Myles Toyne, captain-general of Golden Company), and in exchange for that, she will be given a place at one of sellswords companies in Essos, maybe, even at Golden Company. Shiera Seastar took part in this conspiracy. She was trying to use her knowledge of magic and prophecies, to artificially create the Prince that was promised. So Kingswood Brotherhood staged an attack on Jeyne Swann (who was Varys' accomplice), and Barristan was supposed to save her, without casualties on side of KB. But instead, Barristan had killed Simon. So when Wenda arrived to Essos, as revenge from Myles for Simon's death, she was mutilated and left to die. But she survived, and now is using name Meris (member of Windblown). After Barristan saved Jeyne, her septa (Shiera in glamour) slipped him a love potion, and Jeyne seduced him. It was happening at about the same time, as Elia's Aegon was conceived at King's Landing, when a comet was passing above. When Varys was a child, he was used as a sacrifice, in a blood magic ritual. Most likely, Shiera Seastar was somehow involved in it, and later Varys somehow found her, or she found him, and they made an agreement, that she will aid him. So she took part in his plan "let's create the Prince that was promised, someone who will be a dragonseed, will fit into the creteria of the prophecy, and is bloodrelated to Varys and Blackfyres (Varys' relatives on his father's side), and thus, will eventually become King of 7K". Though, some time after fAegon's conception, Shiera and Varys parted their ways, and she returned to Asshai. Where later she became teacher of Mirri Maz Duur, maester Marwyn, and Euron Greyjoy. It seems to me, that Shiera and her possible support of Blackfyres, is GRRM's parallel to Tolkien's Galadriel, and her participation in Kinslaying, when she supported Feanor and his seven sons (parallel to Daemon I Blackfyre and his seven sons). But this parallel between Shiera and Galadriel, is so obscure and vague, that it's hard to notice, or could be not a parallel at all, and just a figment of my imagination.

In my opinion, there are three very important castles in 7K - Summerhall, Starfall, and Harrenhall. Summerhall, for the reason, that I wrote above - there was happening something fishy. Starfall, because, possibly, it is place, where was conceived and born Jon Snow. And Harrenhall, because Littlefinger is, possibly, descendant of Aegon IV Targaryen, thru Aegon's secret daughter, Jeyne Lothston. My guess, is that the Bastard of Harrenhal, was Jeyne's son from Aegon IV. And he was also knight in service of House Lothston, and founder of House Whent. Which makes Littlefinger bloodrelated to Catelyn Tully-Stark and her children, and Lysa Tully-Arryn and her son Robert, thru their mother Minisa Whent. Littlefinger and Cat is, probably, third cousins. So Littlefinger, and Bran, Sansa, Arya, etc., are all have a bit of dragonblood. I think, that in the past Littlefinger was one of Varys' little birds. That's why his personal sigil is a mockingbird, it's a symbol of his victory over Varys. Most likely, Varys knew, that Littlefinger and his ancestors are bloodrelated to Targarynes, and that's the reason, why Varys recruited Littlefinger as his agent. So in certain sense, Summerhall connects past of Targaryens (secrets of Harrenhall) and their future (Jon's birth at Starfall), and also it's in the middle between those two castles, and distance between Harrenhall and Summerhall is approximately the same, as between Summerhall and Starfall, and they form an isosceles triangle. In Christianity triangle is a symbol of the Holy Trinity, and in ASOIAF there's also a Holy Trinity, three heads of the dragon - the Mother/Dany, the Son/Rhaego, and the Holy Ghost/Jon after his death and resurrection.

Obviously, that this is mostly a fanfiction of mine, but the thing is, is that so far, in the plot of ASOIAF there's nothing, that contradicts this theories. So it is possible, that my highly speculative guesses are correct.

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2 hours ago, Ida Hearst said:

The argument from symbolism

The name is Summerhall (as opposed to, say, Winterfell), and it's associated with fire. 'Nuff said.
 
...or maybe not quite: It's also associated with the Targaryens, the fickle newcomers (latest in a long line of invaders, from the point of view of the Children of the Forest), as opposed to Winterfell, which is associated with the Starks, the stable descendants of the First Men (aka first invaders). The First Men and the Children (or at least one faction of them) made a deal back in the Long Night. The Targaryens, on the other hand, are an active threat.

We're definitely going to get some more key information regarding Summerhall. The question is, what thread of the story could it advance or explain? In my opinion, given the symbolism, it has to be something connected to the return of the Others or the Prince that was Promised prophecy.

The big questions around the Others are, why have they returned now, after thousands of years, and what do they want? I think the yet-to-be-revealed information about Summerhall could help provide answers. Not that I expect it to answer those questions directly, but it will help us piece it together using already familiar concepts such as "only death may pay for life", or whatever the case may be.

I'm not sure if it was the deaths by fire, the kingsblood, the attempt to hatch dragons, sorcery, the birth of Rhaegar, or any combination of these things, but I think something at Summerhall somehow jolted the heart of winter. Some readers consider Summerhall to be too early to be a catalyst for the Others but I don't think that's necessarily so.

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I wish to know more about it.

I believe the mystery of Summerhall will have its importance. If it's still a mystery, there must be a purpose to that. Maybe it's the experimentation which awakened the Others. Changed the prophecy of the PTWP and the return of the Long Night, from a potential to an existence. I believe Rhaegar met the Ghost of Hight Heart there. And learn of the prophecy, and what he would have to do to bring the prince.

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Summerhall in a comprehensive telling like a D&E would reveal the key mystery of the series how Valyrians rode dragons. But he's not going to reveal this key mystery through supplementary material, so such a D&E would come after the reveal in the series. But a Summerhall D&E would be the last of the planned 7 anyway. And I think there's an SSM where GRRM said he can't release what happened in Summerhall yet because it would be a spoiler.

I can tell you what happened though. To create dragons they could ride Valyrians second lifed dragons. Their magic to second life dragons requires they sacrifice a child still in the womb or maybe newborn. Someone at Summerhall knew or suspected this, and knowing they would never get approval to sacrifice any human, baby or not, they went about trying to create the sacrifices to wake dragons in secrecy.

The tragedy at Summerhall was sabotage but not by someone trying to prevent the birth of dragons, no sabotage on that score was necessary, what Egg was doing was nothing anyone else had not tried and it never worked. The tragedy at Summerhall was sabotage to try and wake dragons. And it very nearly worked.

Had Rhaegar died at Summerhall you'd have had basically all the ingredients of Dany's dragon awakening. But Rhaegar lived, and GRRM chose to make that the big point of the whole thing, the baby lived only by the skin of his teeth and only thanks to the heroics and sacrifice of Dunk Had Dunk not saved Rhaegar there'd have been dragons at Summerhall.

When they do this second lifing thing the child's soul seems to go into the dragon's, and the dragon's into the child. Hence you get children being born with dragon-like deformities. I suggest Rhaegar got very far along in the process of this, but hadn't completed it, and when he was born his soul shot back into his baby body. But having gone so far he brought back some fresh dragon blood, as that's what the text tells us when souls slip in and out of other things, they leave a shadow and bring back a shadow and its in the blood. It is what happened to Dany in her Wake the Dragon dream, she was 99% of the way to second lifing a dragon, but she lived and so her soul bounced back to her body, but she brought back dragon blood and so could walk into a fire.

I believe having gone so far as to second life a dragon and the dragon blood Rhaegar brought back with him caused him to have severe dragon dreams, the type that convince a child that it is their destiny to burn and die and become a dragon.

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Posted (edited)

I agree that it's important somehow, for many of the reasons listed. 

TWOW Spoiler

Spoiler

I think this even more after that Arianne chapter where we see all of the old god/cotf stuff around that area. Storm's End also seems very important in that same potential spoiler way and I don't exclude that these all tie in somehow. Maybe Summerhall's location is important in this regard. 

Also wonder if there's a tie in with the Summer Islanders. In a series with so much winter, the minimal role of Summer people is weird. Hoping they play a larger role in the last two books and there's reason to believe that this may be. 

 

Edited by Lollygag

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11 hours ago, Megorova said:

Warning, pure speculations -> I think, that in the tragedy of Summerhall were involved Blackfyres and Shiera Seastar. Shiera is a shadowbinder Quaithe, and the Three-Eyed Crow. For now, I'm absolutely sure, that it was Shiera, who sacrificed Bloodraven to the Old Gods, by binding him to the Weirwood. Also, I'm absolutely sure, that Shiera was either present at Summerhall, during that ritual, when Targaryens were trying to hatch dragon eggs, or she was somehow involved in it, and she was the reason, why that ritual has failed. In my opinion, the Ghost of Hight Heart is Rohanne Webber-Lannister, and Jenny of Oldstones was her daughter, and Varys' mother (while the father is either prince Duncan, or one of Blackfyres (that's if Jenny was kidnapped by Blackfyres, when Summerhall was burning. The reason, why she was kidnapped, is because, same as her mother Rohanne, she was a witch, and thus, her blood was special)). I think, that there's connection between Varys and Shiera. There was happening some sort of a very conplicated plot, in early 80's in 7K, and both of them were strongly involved in it. In 281 AC Barristan Selmy saved Jeyne Swann and her septa from Kingswood Brotherhood. I think, that Jeyne Swann is septa Lemore, and that fAegon is her son from Barristan (while Barristan is a dragonseed, and descendant of either Aenys Blackfyre, or Bittersteel, or even Bloodraven and Shiera), while the septa, that was escorting Jeyne, was Shiera Seastar in shadow-glamour. There was happening something like this - Varys made an agreement with Wenda the White Fawn, that she will give her place at Kingswood Brotherhood to Simon Toyne (probably, brother of Blackheart Myles Toyne, captain-general of Golden Company), and in exchange for that, she will be given a place at one of sellswords companies in Essos, maybe, even at Golden Company. Shiera Seastar took part in this conspiracy. She was trying to use her knowledge of magic and prophecies, to artificially create the Prince that was promised. So Kingswood Brotherhood staged an attack on Jeyne Swann (who was Varys' accomplice), and Barristan was supposed to save her, without casualties on side of KB. But instead, Barristan had killed Simon. So when Wenda arrived to Essos, as revenge from Myles for Simon's death, she was mutilated and left to die. But she survived, and now is using name Meris (member of Windblown). After Barristan saved Jeyne, her septa (Shiera in glamour) slipped him a love potion, and Jeyne seduced him. It was happening at about the same time, as Elia's Aegon was conceived at King's Landing, when a comet was passing above. When Varys was a child, he was used as a sacrifice, in a blood magic ritual. Most likely, Shiera Seastar was somehow involved in it, and later Varys somehow found her, or she found him, and they made an agreement, that she will aid him. So she took part in his plan "let's create the Prince that was promised, someone who will be a dragonseed, will fit into the creteria of the prophecy, and is bloodrelated to Varys and Blackfyres (Varys' relatives on his father's side), and thus, will eventually become King of 7K". Though, some time after fAegon's conception, Shiera and Varys parted their ways, and she returned to Asshai. Where later she became teacher of Mirri Maz Duur, maester Marwyn, and Euron Greyjoy. It seems to me, that Shiera and her possible support of Blackfyres, is GRRM's parallel to Tolkien's Galadriel, and her participation in Kinslaying, when she supported Feanor and his seven sons (parallel to Daemon I Blackfyre and his seven sons). But this parallel between Shiera and Galadriel, is so obscure and vague, that it's hard to notice, or could be not a parallel at all, and just a figment of my imagination.

In my opinion, there are three very important castles in 7K - Summerhall, Starfall, and Harrenhall. Summerhall, for the reason, that I wrote above - there was happening something fishy. Starfall, because, possibly, it is place, where was conceived and born Jon Snow. And Harrenhall, because Littlefinger is, possibly, descendant of Aegon IV Targaryen, thru Aegon's secret daughter, Jeyne Lothston. My guess, is that the Bastard of Harrenhal, was Jeyne's son from Aegon IV. And he was also knight in service of House Lothston, and founder of House Whent. Which makes Littlefinger bloodrelated to Catelyn Tully-Stark and her children, and Lysa Tully-Arryn and her son Robert, thru their mother Minisa Whent. Littlefinger and Cat is, probably, third cousins. So Littlefinger, and Bran, Sansa, Arya, etc., are all have a bit of dragonblood. I think, that in the past Littlefinger was one of Varys' little birds. That's why his personal sigil is a mockingbird, it's a symbol of his victory over Varys. Most likely, Varys knew, that Littlefinger and his ancestors are bloodrelated to Targarynes, and that's the reason, why Varys recruited Littlefinger as his agent. So in certain sense, Summerhall connects past of Targaryens (secrets of Harrenhall) and their future (Jon's birth at Starfall), and also it's in the middle between those two castles, and distance between Harrenhall and Summerhall is approximately the same, as between Summerhall and Starfall, and they form an isosceles triangle. In Christianity triangle is a symbol of the Holy Trinity, and in ASOIAF there's also a Holy Trinity, three heads of the dragon - the Mother/Dany, the Son/Rhaego, and the Holy Ghost/Jon after his death and resurrection.

Obviously, that this is mostly a fanfiction of mine, but the thing is, is that so far, in the plot of ASOIAF there's nothing, that contradicts this theories. So it is possible, that my highly speculative guesses are correct.

LOL @ Jon Snow being born at Starfall.  Are there really still people who actually believe that?  Sigh...

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11 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

Someone at Summerhall knew or suspected this, and knowing they would never get approval to sacrifice any human, baby or not, they went about trying to create the sacrifices to wake dragons in secrecy.

There is a certain parallel between Summerhall and Drogo's pyre. And the idea that dragons would have been born, had Rhaegar died, is interesting. Rhaegar being the parallel of Daenerys' child. But was there someone with the knowledge and the intend? And Who? Was there some red priest or shadow binder present? The pyromancers? Or was it the magic calling the necessary conditions to its achievement? In any case, I don't think anyone in the Targaryens knew or wanted what happened.

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10 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

There is a certain parallel between Summerhall and Drogo's pyre. And the idea that dragons would have been born, had Rhaegar died, is interesting. Rhaegar being the parallel of Daenerys' child. But was there someone with the knowledge and the intend? And Who? Was there some red priest or shadow binder present? The pyromancers? Or was it the magic calling the necessary conditions to its achievement? In any case, I don't think anyone in the Targaryens knew or wanted what happened.

Shiera and/or Bloodraven. Shiera I think was made for this, her delight in mischief, her disregard for decorum and insatiable appetite for the arcane and exploring the unknown. It will be a Targ, that's to be their house defining trait, that they would sacrifice their children for the power of dragons.

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1 hour ago, chrisdaw said:

Shiera and/or Bloodraven. Shiera I think was made for this, her delight in mischief, her disregard for decorum and insatiable appetite for the arcane and exploring the unknown. It will be a Targ, that's to be their house defining trait, that they would sacrifice their children for the power of dragons.

Shiera would have the knowledge, likely. And even Bloodraven, I believe, would have been ready to sacrifice a child to restore the dragons. But maybe not the king and his heir. A possibility. She and BR are too often called to explain what seems unnatural. But why not this time? However I prefer the "accident" alternative. Like the Doom of Valyria. The magic going out of control.

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8 hours ago, acwill07 said:

LOL @ Jon Snow being born at Starfall.  Are there really still people who actually believe that?  Sigh...

Just became there, you know where, it was confirmed, that Jon was born at the Tower of Joy, doesn't mean, that the same happened here.

GRRM's reply:

Quote

I have a question which I'm sure you can (and will?) answer. It's about the Tower of Joy. The image we get from Ned's description is pretty powerful. But it doesn't make sense. The top three kingsguards, including the lord commander amd the best knight in ages, Ser Arthur Dayne are present there. Lyanna is in the tower, she asked Ned to promise him something. This, so says the general consensus us little Jon Snow, who is Lyanna's and Rhaegar's. No sense denying this ;)

However, what are the Kingsguards doing fighting Eddard? Eddard would never hurt Lyanna, nor her child. The little one would be safe with Eddard as well, him being a close relative. So I ask you, was there someone else with Lyanna and Jon?

You'll need to wait for future books to find out more about the Tower of Joy and what happened there, I fear.

I might mention, though, that Ned's account, which you refer to, was in the context of a dream... and a fever dream at that. Our dreams are not always literal.

Because dreams are not literal, and events in them are not always happening in chronological order, and two different scenes, seen by a dreamer, not necessary are happening at the same location, it could be, that the scene of Ned and his companions confronting three Kingsguars, and the scene, in which Lyanna died in the bed of blood, prior making Ned to promise her something, not necessary were happening at the same place. The fight was definitely taking place at the Tower of Joy. But the same thing couldn't be said about Jon's birth and Lyanna's death.

For example, one of the possible scenarios is that, when Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, he brought her to Starfall. Because Arthur Dayne was his accomplice. So he, not only helped Rhaegar to kidnap Lyanna, but also helped to hide her afterwards. So it's likely, that Jon was both conceived and born at Starfall. Which fits into the prophecy about Azor Ahai reborn - under the bleeding stars. Those bleeding stars could have something to do with Starfall and Lyanna's "bed of blood". Then could be, that after Lyanna gave birth to Jon, the Kingsguards took him away, and were going to bring him to King's Landing (for whatever purpose). When they were departing from Starfall, they took with them wet nurse Wylla (the one, that later Ned brought together with little Jon to Winterfell). So could be, is that what Lyanna asked Ned to promise, was not to protect Jon from Robert, but to go after those Kingsguards, and take Jon back from them. Ned came to Starfall, witnessed Lyanna's final moments, gave her a promise to retrive Jon, and after Lyanna's death, chased after those Kingsguards. He caught up to them at the Tower of Joy, and that's where happened that fight, in which the sole survivors were Ned and Howland.

This option is possible. It is possible, that Jon was born not at the Tower of Joy.

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2 hours ago, Megorova said:

Just became there, you know where, it was confirmed, that Jon was born at the Tower of Joy, doesn't mean, that the same happened here.

GRRM's reply:

Because dreams are not literal, and events in them are not always happening in chronological order, and two different scenes, seen by a dreamer, not necessary are happening at the same location, it could be, that the scene of Ned and his companions confronting three Kingsguars, and the scene, in which Lyanna died in the bed of blood, prior making Ned to promise her something, not necessary were happening at the same place. The fight was definitely taking place at the Tower of Joy. But the same thing couldn't be said about Jon's birth and Lyanna's death.

For example, one of the possible scenarios is that, when Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, he brought her to Starfall. Because Arthur Dayne was his accomplice. So he, not only helped Rhaegar to kidnap Lyanna, but also helped to hide her afterwards. So it's likely, that Jon was both conceived and born at Starfall. Which fits into the prophecy about Azor Ahai reborn - under the bleeding stars. Those bleeding stars could have something to do with Starfall and Lyanna's "bed of blood". Then could be, that after Lyanna gave birth to Jon, the Kingsguards took him away, and were going to bring him to King's Landing (for whatever purpose). When they were departing from Starfall, they took with them wet nurse Wylla (the one, that later Ned brought together with little Jon to Winterfell). So could be, is that what Lyanna asked Ned to promise, was not to protect Jon from Robert, but to go after those Kingsguards, and take Jon back from them. Ned came to Starfall, witnessed Lyanna's final moments, gave her a promise to retrive Jon, and after Lyanna's death, chased after those Kingsguards. He caught up to them at the Tower of Joy, and that's where happened that fight, in which the sole survivors were Ned and Howland.

This option is possible. It is possible, that Jon was born not at the Tower of Joy.

Very interesting. Yes Ned wouldn't harm Jon but Robert certainly would. He is the true heir, ans also in Roberts eyes the result of Lyanna's rape. From the kingsguard point of view, Ned is Roberts right hand man and therefore a threat to Jon. They would not hand him over to him. Jon is the king and they are sworn to protect him no matter what they believe Ned's intentions. But also what was Lyannas intentions. Why would she object to Jon being installed as king. Did she know about TPTWP, hard to see her not knowing what Rheagar knew. 

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We know we are missing a part of the story. Ned was dreaming only a part of what happened. The KG were there in apparent contradiction with their duty to king Aerys. IMO Rhaegar told them something convincing enough to have the LC ignore Aerys and everything else. If Jon is born elsewhere, it doesn't really matter. But why the KG had to die is a mystery. IMO it was a sacrifice more than a fight.

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Interesting.

Well, all I know is this. These aren't answers that are even going to be solved in The Winds of Winter. No, these mysteries were concocted by GRRM for the express purpose of being revealed in the finale, A Dream of Spring

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