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The Tower of Joy

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47 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

People frequently say this, but I’ve never seen text that supports this idea. It would be helpful if you could supply it.

That is just an idea without any textual basis. The truth is that if Aerys II had commanded Ser Gerold Hightower to return to KL with Prince Rhaegar no matter what then he would have returned to KL with Prince Rhaegar no matter what. And the truth is also that the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard being under explicit of the king could have not only bossed around Rhaegar himself but most definitely also his subordinate KG Dayne and Whent.

The best explanation as to why all those three KG wasted their lives protecting some pregnant woman with, at best, a tangential relation to House Targaryen, is that they, for some reason, either thought they should do that or wanted to do that. These men are characters with their own internal motivation - chances are very high that they preferred to get away from the Mad King's mad court if they could find a honorable way to do so (Dayne and Whent had already wasted months 'protecting' Rhaegar rather than the king, so it is hardly surprising that they did not go back to Aerys II).

If this were the case - if they did not actually *want* to go back to the Mad King - then they would have very likely also been rather susceptive to any orders/excuses given to them by Rhaegar. Because, in the end, a prince isn't the king, and the Kingsguard can and do occasionally see themselves as the enforcers and yes-men of the king and the king alone - not his court, his children, his mother, or his stepfather (e.g. the Kingsguard of Jaehaerys I). It seems very likely that these three guys were not (or rather: no longer) such people, meaning that at the time Rhaegar returned to KL they were not so much Aerys men but Rhaegar men (and if we are honest then it seems that most of the Targaryen loyalists during the Rebellion were Rhaegar men, too, rather than Aerys men - they fought and died for House Targaryen because they looked to the glorious future of a reign of King Rhaegar, they were not seeing Aerys II as a great king who would rule the Realm for another twenty years).

If Hightower had been given orders by Aerys II to return to KL and bring Rhaegar with him, say, (along with Dayne and Whent, too) and he didn't do that but rather decided to follow things told to him by Rhaegar then he was, obviously, not obeying the royal commands given to him. But we simply don't

But it is, of course, also not impossible that they were acting under the command of Aerys II the entire time, that Hightower had been given explicit orders to secure Lyanna Stark and 'keep her safe' for the time being. We simply don't know. 

As for the general question:

As I said, it is pretty clear that those men wanted to die at the tower. They were approached by the enemy, and since they 'don't flee' they fought, killed, and died - like true KG, who should not survive the king they served if that king died by violence.

In fact, it is breathtakingly obvious as to why those men thought they had to die - to wash away the stain on their personal honor as well as the stains on the honor of their entire institution thanks to the abominable Kingslayer. When Jaime killed King Aerys II he did not just tarnish his own reputation, he destroyed the honor of the entire order, the honor and reputation who served alongside the accursed Lannister turncloak. FaB gives us hints in that direction everywhere - Cregan Stark and Gyles Belgrave agreeing that KG should not survive their kings if they die a violent death, and Jaehaerys I's KG insisting that the stain on their honor be washed away with the blood of Lucamore the Lusty - not just the blood of his cock and balls, but his life's blood - because his betrayal was, in a sense, the betrayal of the Kingsguard as an institution. A KG is responsible not only for his own actions but the actions of his sworn brothers, too. Their deeds reflect on his just as all their deeds reflect on the order they are a part of.

If they gave a damn about the life of the infant or Lyanna's life they would have of course not tried to kill the child's uncle and Lyanna's brother - at least not before they had figured out whether the man was a threat to their lives. Nobody can say it was 'very likely' that honorable Eddard Stark would actually pose a mortal danger to his own nephew - never mind the circumstances - and still keep his face straight while saying that. These men were with Lyanna Stark for a considerable amount of time. They would have had a rather accurate and precise picture of our good Ned - and chances are astronomically low that Lyanna ever thought that Ned would be a danger for her child. Not to mention that they would most definitely have not had 'orders' from their king or prince for the hypothetical of Rhaegar and Aerys II dying, Robert Baratheon usurping the Iron Throne, and Eddard Stark showing up with some buddies to be reunited with his sister. They were free to make up their own decisions there. That they chose killing-suicides rather than negotiation is telling.

And in that sense it is kind of obvious that attacking Ned and his buddies was neither in the best interest of Lyanna Stark or her infant child - in fact, it was diametrically against their interests. But the three Kingsguard did not care - if the fever dream, which we should ignore as a source of accurate information as to what truly happened as per GRRM himself, is to be trusted. Which it is not.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That is just an idea without any textual basis. The truth is that if Aerys II had commanded Ser Gerold Hightower to return to KL with Prince Rhaegar no matter what then he would have returned to KL with Prince Rhaegar no matter what. And the truth is also that the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard being under explicit of the king could have not only bossed around Rhaegar himself but most definitely also his subordinate KG Dayne and Whent.

Yes. If that is what/how Aerys commanded. And if Aerys merely commanded Hightower to find Rhaegar and either make him supreme commander (note how Rhaegar seems to have control of not just the army but the disposition of the KG when he returns) or get him t come back, then Rhaegar could order Hightower to stay at ToJ and Hightower would not be in breach of his vows to Aerys.

 What we actually see, is that Hightower did not return to KL, yet the three KG reiterated their loyalty to Aerys (not Rhaegar) in teh conversation with Ned.

Its a bit pointless making up fantasy scenarios that don't work. Since we are all making up fantasy scenarios in an effort to understand the parts we don;t know, lets just avoid the ones that fail themselves, and think about ones that can at least have internal integrity.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

In fact, it is breathtakingly obvious as to why those men thought they had to die

No, it isn't. Its quite an odd suggestion in fact. Deliberately trying to get themselves killed would be a breach of their duty, and therefore honour, and these guys embody the opposite of that both in their conversation and in Ned's thoughts.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If they gave a damn about the life of the infant or Lyanna's life they would have of course not tried to kill the child's uncle and Lyanna's brother - at least not before they had figured out whether the man was a threat to their lives. Nobody can say it was 'very likely' that honorable Eddard Stark would actually pose a mortal danger to his own nephew - never mind the circumstances - and still keep his face straight while saying that.

Nobody can say with a straight face that the rebel commander - with no massive reputation except amongst his closest friends for anything at this stage in his life (barely 20, up until a year before a shy and unaccomplished second son with no record or apparently ambition) - who had just come from the sack of Kings Landing and the particularly brutal murder of Rhaegar's Targaryen children, could be trusted with the life of Rhaegar's heir.

Well, apparently some people can. And they genuinely have a straight face.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

These men were with Lyanna Stark for a considerable amount of time. They would have had a rather accurate and precise picture of our good Ned

Interesting fantasy. 
Given that Ned had largely been absent from Winterfell for most of the previous 12 years in the Eyrie, did even Lyanna have an accurate and precise picture of Ned?

Quote

"I was with her when she died," Ned reminded the king. "She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father." He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister's eyes.

Strange how Lyanna herself was afraid of what Ned would answer to her promises, until he actually gave his word. Yet the judgement of some would have her telling all the Kingsguard how they/her child had nothing to fear from him and them believing her absolutely.
 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

- and chances are astronomically low that Lyanna ever thought that Ned would be a danger for her child.

Yeah, sure. Great call there!

 

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31 minutes ago, corbon said:

There are a few fantastical elements in it towards the end (and right at the beginning as it 'comes into view' so to speak - shadows and wraiths), anad I personally think GRRM's 'don't trust a fever dream' comment is an oblique reference to these, as well as trying to protect his work from too close a scrutiny that might reveal things he doesn't want revealed just yet.

It can also be reasonably assumed that the dream is not a recording of what really transpired at ToJ. The exact words uttered, even the sequence of events, may have differed substantially. The gist remains: Lyanna's death in her bed of blood (which is actually inthe description of the dream, not in the dreamed sequence itself), and the fight with the KG who were convinced it was the right thing to do for them as Kingsguard.

31 minutes ago, corbon said:

No, it isn't. Its quite an odd suggestion in fact. Deliberately trying to get themselves killed would be a breach of theirduty, and therefore honour, and these guys embody the opposite of that both in their conversation and in Ned's thoughts.

I might also add that guys about to get themselves killed would hardly say "and now it begins" when it actually ends for them.

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21 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

So why did Rhaegar take a newborn and a sick bleeding new mom and travel through the mountains from Dorne to the ToJ?  

He didn't. He left pregnant Lyanna at Starfall. So that's where Ned found Lyanna (dying in a bed of blood). Could be, that she wasn't at the Tower of Joy, when Ned was near it, fighting with Kingsguards. Could be, that when Ned was at Storm's End, he received information about Lyanna's location, so he went to Starfall. By the time of his arrival, Jon was already born and, possibly, kidnapped by Kingsguards. Probably, Ned arrived from Stormlands on ship, and Kingsguards were leaving Dorne via land route, thru Prince's Pass. So, the scene in which Lyanna asked Ned to promise her something, took place at Starfall, and the promise was to go after those kidnappers, and to retrieve Jon.

And Ned also had to kill those three, to prevent them from revealing to Robert information about Jon, or about what happened with Lyanna (that she gave birth to Rhaegar's child). If Jon was at the Tower of Joy, then, most likely, Wylla was there with him. She was wetnurse of Ashara's baby. So, when Arthur took Jon, he also took Wylla with them. Or could be, that when Ned arrived to Starfall, both Jon and Lyanna were there, but the Kingsguards were on their way to King's Landing. And when they would have arrived there, Robert would have asked them, where they were, and where is Lyanna. And because he was the King, and they were Kingsguards, they were obliged to tell him everything. Thus, what Lyanna asked Ned to do, is to go after Kingsguards, and prevent them from giving any information to Robert. So Ned went after them, to either persuade them to keep quiet, about what they know, or to kill them, if they won't agree.

Also, about the Tower of Joy, could be, that it was one of places, that Rhaegar and Lyanna were stoping at, while they were traveling from Harrenhal to Starfall. Maybe, that's where they got married, or where Rhaegar proposed to Lyanna, and she said Yes. So when Kingsguards were leaving Dorne, they stoped at the Tower of Joy, because there was water and food there, and it was a good place to rest, and they knew about it, because they have already been there, when they were traveling to Starfall.

So, in my opinion - 1. Jon was born at Starfall, and 2. Lyanna died at Starfall, and 3. she wasn't at the Tower of Joy, when Ned fought there with Kingsguards (while Jon at that time was either at the ToJ, or at Starfall).

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5 minutes ago, Megorova said:

Also, about the Tower of Joy, could be, that it was one of places, that Rhaegar and Lyanna were stoping at, while they were traveling from Harrenhal to Starfall. Maybe, that's where they got married, or where Rhaegar proposed to Lyanna, and she said Yes. So when Kingsguards were leaving Dorne, they stoped at the Tower of Joy, because there was water and food there, and it was a good place to rest, and they knew about it, because they have already been there, when they were traveling to Starfall.

And Ned climbed up the ridge instead of continuing his journey along the road because...? And he repeatedly dreamed about the KG the tower and Lyanna in her bed of blood when the place had nothing to do with her delivery because...?

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

And Ned climbed up the ridge instead of continuing his journey along the road because...? And he repeatedly dreamed about the KG the tower and Lyanna in her bed of blood when the place had nothing to do with her delivery because...?

2. Because he promised her to 1. stop those Kingsguards from revealing any information to Robert, or 2. get Jon back (if they took him with them, when they left Starfall). The "promise scene" took place at Starfall, and Lyanna was dying in a bed of blood. So, when Ned arrived to the Tower of Joy, and confronted those Kingsguards, he didn't wanted to kill them, or he was hesitating, so he had to remind himself about Lyanna's final moments, and his promise to her, to motivate himself to do, what he had to do.

1. Because he, probably, knew, that they were at the Tower of Joy. Lyanna told him, that they are going thru Prince's Pass out of Dorne, and that, while they were going in the opposite direction, they stoped at the TofJ, so it's likely, that they will stop there again. Because they needed to rest somewhere, and besides that tower, there's not that many other options, where to make a camp. If there's a well, or a stream there, then they definitely stopped there. Ned knew, that they will be there, so that's where he went.

Maybe, Ned didn't went after KG via land. He could have sailed from Starfall around Dorne on a ship, past Wyl, up that river to Vulture's Roost, and then continued going towards TofJ via land, thru mountains. I think, it would be faster to sail part of the way, than to go all the way after them on horseback.

Or from Starfall he sailed up that river, towards Blackmont and higher, and then from there via land went east towards the Tower. <- This one seems to be the fastest catch-up route.

Edited by Megorova

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7 hours ago, corbon said:

Yes. If that is what/how Aerys commanded. And if Aerys merely commanded Hightower to find Rhaegar and either make him supreme commander (note how Rhaegar seems to have control of not just the army but the disposition of the KG when he returns) or get him t come back, then Rhaegar could order Hightower to stay at ToJ and Hightower would not be in breach of his vows to Aerys.

It doesn't make sense at all that Aerys II would grant the ingrate, lazy, and treasonous son he saw as a would-be usurper just a year ago any authority without actually talking to him first. Rhaegar ended up commanding the royal army after his return to KL, not before. There is no reason to believe that a man as paranoid as Aerys II would actually grant Rhaegar the authority to subvert his royal commands before he could be sure he wouldn't do that - and he certainly couldn't be sure of that while Rhaegar wasn't in his power, no?

Not to mention that Rhaegar commanding an army is actually not evidence that he had any formal authority at court. If Chelsted gave him a command he certainly would have been forced to obey that one considering that the man spoke with the King's Voice, right?

In the end it is clear that father and son were sort of on the same page again - else Rhaegar would have never done everything in his power to keep the mad despot on the Iron Throne - or at least Aerys II believed they were on the same page. Chances are pretty good that Rhaegar did not tell his dad that he still planned to depose him or force him to accept a regency government led by him.

7 hours ago, corbon said:

 What we actually see, is that Hightower did not return to KL, yet the three KG reiterated their loyalty to Aerys (not Rhaegar) in teh conversation with Ned.

You are referring to a fever dream here. George makes it clear that this dream is not to be taken at face value. Do you have any evidence that the dream conversation did take place as 'recorded' by the dream? No, you don't.

7 hours ago, corbon said:

No, it isn't. Its quite an odd suggestion in fact. Deliberately trying to get themselves killed would be a breach of their duty, and therefore honour, and these guys embody the opposite of that both in their conversation and in Ned's thoughts.

No, they restore their honor. Their king and prince are already dead. They failed, but they rectified that mistake by trying to kill the men they hold (partially) responsible for the destruction of House Targaryen.

This thing isn't about the future, it is about the past. If they gave a damn about the future neither Lyanna nor the child would have been in the middle of nowhere this late after the Trident. If one goes by the assumption that they were there for months then they had months to move them, and certainly more than adequate time to call upon loyalist aid from Dorne or the Reach to actually have sufficient manpower to defend a royal prince. They didn't do that. They could not know that Ned would just show up with some buddies, they would have to expect Robert to actually send a host of considerable size. Their fight with Ned and his guys has all the markings of a last stand, nothing else. They wouldn't even refer Rhaegar and Aerys II that much if they were acting on behalf of a newborn prince or a new king.

But especially the latter would actually be a betrayal of their king because Aerys II had made Viserys III the new Targaryen (pretender) king. Anyone citing Aerys II and presuming the be loyal to him could *never* see Lyanna's child as the new king since Aerys II was crystal clear who should succeed him.

And unlike Lyanna's child Viserys III was actually crowned king - which is actually a prerequisite of being called or seen as king in this world. Those men could not have possibly thought Lyanna's son was a king yet. A future king, perhaps, should Robert the Usurper fail or Viserys III die without issue or legal heirs, but if you want to think they were serving a new king then they would have actually been traitors to House Targaryen as such - since Viserys III was the anointed heir and crowned king - as well as to the memory and explicit wishes of their late king, Aerys II.

Which doesn't really go well together with your insistence that as per the fever dream they were clearly Aerys' men when Ned confronted them.

7 hours ago, corbon said:

Nobody can say with a straight face that the rebel commander - with no massive reputation except amongst his closest friends for anything at this stage in his life (barely 20, up until a year before a shy and unaccomplished second son with no record or apparently ambition) - who had just come from the sack of Kings Landing and the particularly brutal murder of Rhaegar's Targaryen children, could be trusted with the life of Rhaegar's heir.

We have no reason to believe these people had any clue about what transpired at KL. They never refer to the brutal murder of Rhaegar's children, do they? Not even in the dream. But if they had magical knowledge about everything that happened they sure as hell could also know that Robert and Ned had a huge falling-out over the murder of the royal children, right?

But it is utter silliness to assume the uncle of a prince is his mortal enemy by default. I think you do recall that kinslaying is a vile sin in this world, right, and that Ned would be a kinslayer if actually killed his nephew or sister or allowed Robert to kill them? Do you have any reason to assume they had a good reason Eddard Stark wanted to become a kinslayer?

Not to mention that basic political thinking dictates that controlling a potential claimant to the throne means power. If the KG convinced Ned to take in and protect and nurture Rhaegar's son then House Stark could eventually control the Iron Throne and all of Westeros. Do you think that's a temptation that's easily turned down?

Yet as per the dream such an offer was not even made - which shows that this entire dream setup is not supposed to make sense. Which George R. R. Martin actually confirmed.

7 hours ago, corbon said:

Given that Ned had largely been absent from Winterfell for most of the previous 12 years in the Eyrie, did even Lyanna have an accurate and precise picture of Ned?

Ned just spent some years as Jon Arryn's ward. We know he and Lya were emotionally very close and Ned himself presumes he knew Lyanna better than Robert. That tells us something about their relationship.

7 hours ago, corbon said:

Strange how Lyanna herself was afraid of what Ned would answer to her promises, until he actually gave his word. Yet the judgement of some would have her telling all the Kingsguard how they/her child had nothing to fear from him and them believing her absolutely.

There is no reason to believe Lyanna was afraid of Ned or afraid how he would react. If she was unsure about the character of her brother/didn't know whether she could trust him or whether he would do the right thing then his promise wouldn't be worth all that much, anyway, would it?

She was dying and may have feared for the future of her child in a general way. She could no longer protect the boy from either Robert and his thugs nor from unscrupulous men who may want to use the boy in their power plays. Only an insane woman would have wanted her child to become a 'Targaryen pretender' in the political situation in 283 AC. To crown him would be to kill him - not to mention that Lyanna couldn't have been a great fan of the idea of a Targaryen king after Aerys II put down her father and brother. She may have feared that her child would come after his paternal grandfather and the other cruel loonies of the dragon line. Ned's promise gave Lyanna the chance to die peacefully, because she knew the boy was safe now, but the idea that she needed the promise to be sure that the boy was also 'safe from Ned' is utterly ridiculous.

This idea is actually completely undermining the entire picture of the family life of House Stark, by the way. George took great care to portray the Starks of the main series as well as Ned and his siblings as a close-knit family. Any woman suspecting her brother would kill her son to please some outsider he was friends with but who wasn't actual blood kin would be part of the worst of dysfunctional families.

But not even as fucked-up a family as Tywin's ilk actually consider murdering their nieces and nephews and other close kin. Killing Joffrey is a no-go for Tyrion, for instance, and that under circumstances where he has actually pretty good reason to think that Joff is (becoming) a threat to his own future well-being. How corrupt do you have to be to even entertain the thought Ned could have felt threatened by an innocent infant?

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17 hours ago, corbon said:

Hightower we know was assigned by Aerys to find Rhaegar and get him to return to KL - which he did. If Rhaegar refused to go back unless Hightower stayed, then Hightower would need to stay as part of his mission from Aerys.

 

13 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

People frequently say this, but I’ve never seen text that supports this idea. It would be helpful if you could supply it.

 

12 hours ago, corbon said:

Its from the app apparently. Which I don't have, but someone found it recently for me.

From the app's Rhaegar Targaryen entry:

Quote

Lord Robert, Lyanna's betrothed, was consumed by the need to avenge himself on Rhaegar, but the prince could not be found for the first months of the war. Rumor had it that he was in the south with Lyanna, at a place he called the Tower of Joy, near the red mountains of Dorne. But eventually his father sent Ser Gerold Hightower to recall Rhaegar to his duties, though Rhaegar ordered Ser Gerold, Ser Arthur, and Ser Oswell to keep guard over Lyanna in the south. (bold emphasis added)

This entry confirms something Martin has said in a November 2005 interview with Dragon Magazine that has long been debated on these boards.

Quote

Shaw: Can you explain why the King's Guard chose to stand and fight Ned at the Tower of the Joy instead of protecting the remaining royal family members?

Martin: The King's Guards don't get to make up their own orders. They serve the king, they protect the king and the royal family, but they're also bound to obey their orders, and if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order, they would do that. They can't say, "No we don't like that order, we'll do something else." (bold emphasis added)

Here Martin first suggested that it was Rhaegar that gave the order. In the app he removes the "if." What happens when a order from Rhaegar conflicts with the Kingsguard's oath or a previous order from Aerys continues to be debated, but Martin wanted to follow up this 2005 point with more evidence of what role Rhaegar played in the orders of Hightower, Dayne, and Whent. It is not a surprise that he does so.

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2 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

 

 

From the app's Rhaegar Targaryen entry:

This entry confirms something Martin has said in a November 2005 interview with Dragon Magazine that has long been debated on these boards.

Here Martin first suggested that it was Rhaegar that gave the order. In the app he removes the "if." What happens when a order from Rhaegar conflicts with the Kingsguard's oath or a previous order from Aerys continues to be debated, but Martin wanted to follow up this 2005 point with more evidence of what role Rhaegar played in the orders of Hightower, Dayne, and Whent. It is not a surprise that he does so.

I appreciate that you've supplied the reasoning behind what you believe is evidence, but I don't see it as being credible. I think the SSM is more of the author speaking in terms of possibilities, but not of confirmation. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It doesn't make sense at all that Aerys II would grant the ingrate, lazy, and treasonous son he saw as a would-be usurper just a year ago any authority without actually talking to him first. Rhaegar ended up commanding the royal army after his return to KL, not before. There is no reason to believe that a man as paranoid as Aerys II would actually grant Rhaegar the authority to subvert his royal commands before he could be sure he wouldn't do that - and he certainly couldn't be sure of that while Rhaegar wasn't in his power, no?

Not to mention that Rhaegar commanding an army is actually not evidence that he had any formal authority at court. If Chelsted gave him a command he certainly would have been forced to obey that one considering that the man spoke with the King's Voice, right?

In the end it is clear that father and son were sort of on the same page again - else Rhaegar would have never done everything in his power to keep the mad despot on the Iron Throne - or at least Aerys II believed they were on the same page. Chances are pretty good that Rhaegar did not tell his dad that he still planned to depose him or force him to accept a regency government led by him.

Of course it makes sense. We are told of the divisions within the Targaryen court had reach levels compared to the Dance of the Dragons. Aerys goes into his actions believing he can just call upon loyalist lords to rise up against the Baratheons, the Starks, and the Arryns and put down the rebellion. He gets his ass handed to him. As a result he removes his Hand and tries to unite the realm against the rebels by putting Rhaegar in charge and thereby uniting all loyalists against the rebels. He fails in this because Rhaegar can't be found, and, presumably doesn't want to unite with his father against the rebels. At which point Aerys turns to Connington to try to unite the loyalists without Rhaegar himself. That too fails rather spectacularly at the Battle of the Bells. At which point he sends Hightower to find Rhaegar and force him to come back to King's Landing.

You leave out a rather important fact we know of this time. When Aerys send Hightower to Rhaegar, he also send Prince Lewyn to the Martell brothers with a message. That message is "I hold Elia." He also "holds" Aegon and Rhaenys. The point being that to achieve the unity he wants to fight the rebels, Aerys uses threats against Rhaegar's family. It is not unlikely that this is the motivation for Rhaegar as well to finally come north and take up the command to the new rebel army to fight against the rebellion. We know it gets Doran Martell to give the order to move his 10,000 troops in the Boneway north to fight against the rebellion.

So, on the "same page"? I would guess so. But by use of threats against Rhaegar's family as well as some rather important mutual interests. But here you also leave out one other very important point. It would be very much in Aerys's interest to have Lyanna in his control. He could do with her, what he does with Elia. Yet the Kingsguard do not bring her north and give her to their king. They follow Rhaegar's order. When they do so they step across a line as to which Targaryen their loyalty is bound. Dayne and Whent have likely already made such a decision, but Hightower, I believe, makes the same choice when he accepts Rhaegar's order to stay and guard Lyanna. That doesn't mean they wouldn't fight to save Aerys, but it does mean that when there is a conflict between the two, they side with Rhaegar.

Edited by SFDanny

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I appreciate that you've supplied the reasoning behind what you believe is evidence, but I don't see it as being credible. I think the SSM is more of the author speaking in terms of possibilities, but not of confirmation. 

It's evidence. There is no doubt of that. Whether it is credible or not is debatable. Give me a reason that you think it is not credible and we can discuss it, but, please, don't raise "canon" questions. This only tells me you are not willing to discuss entire areas of evidence when it doesn't agree with your point of view.

Edited by SFDanny

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

It's evidence. There is no doubt of that. Whether it is credible or not is debatable. Give me a reason that you think it is not credible and we can discuss it, but, please, don't raise "canon" questions. This only tells me you are not willing to discuss entire areas of evidence when it doesn't agree with your point of view.

The author himself said with regards to the App, only the books are canon.

 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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The way they fought Ned and co. kind of reminds me of Arys rushing Aero, perhaps they wanted to preserve their honor and not to be investigated for unlawful activity. Or perhaps they were angry at the children’s death.

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58 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

The author himself said with regards to the App, only the books are canon.

 

The author himself views his words as a "semi-canon" source. Do you think he means to tell us to ignore his words? All Martin means is to warn readers that he is less likely to change something that is in the books. He isn't telling us everything in the books is true, or everything that comes from sources such as the app he approved or from his own mouth should be disregarded. In short, the argument over "canon sources vs. semi-canon sources" is a false one. Weigh the evidence from any source because there is truth and lies in both categories.

But you didn't answer my question, FC. What is your objection to the evidence that Rhaegar gave the Kingsguard a order to stay at the tower and guard Lyanna? Please show me where it is contradicted from any source or just why you don't think it could be true?

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23 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The three Kingsguard belonged and were loyal to Aerys, so if they were absent from his presence, then they were following Aerys orders.

That makes no sense.  Why would Aerys order 3 of his Kingsguard to stay in Dorne when a war is going on in the Riverlands? I believe Rhaegar convinced them to stay and protect Lyanna because she would be his Queen.

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48 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

The author himself views his words as a "semi-canon" source. Do you think he means to tell us to ignore his words? All Martin means is to warn readers that he is less likely to change something that is in the books. He isn't telling us everything in the books is true, or everything that comes from sources such as the app he approved or from his own mouth should be disregarded. In short, the argument over "canon sources vs. semi-canon sources" is a false one. Weigh the evidence from any source because there is truth and lies in both categories.

The App and the World Book are two very different sources. The World Book is an in-world history book written by Maester Yandel with events presented the way that Robert believed and understood them. What is the premise of the app? My understanding is that it was created as a handy reference tool utilizing facts found in the books. The books never mention Hightower being sent to find Rhaegar, nor any reference to the Kingsguard guarding Lyanna. Those insertions have no factual basis in the text. The link that I provided to GRRM indicates that he recognizes the World Book as semi-canon, but he doesn't say the same thing about the App. His reply to whether or not the App was canon was that only the books are canon.

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58 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

The author himself views his words as a "semi-canon" source.

There is only canon or non-canon. 'Semi-canon' is a fandom term used to refer to unofficial statements by Martin. This is part of the fact that we can ask the man things since he is actually a person and not just a novel-producing machine, but him saying in an unofficial capacity is simply not the same as a proper publication.

And it makes no sense to treat any of those answers as official information since they usually were not given with the intention that they be collected in an online database and compared to and interpreted in context with the official publications.

6 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

The link that I provided to GRRM indicates that he recognizes the World Book as semi-canon, but he doesn't say the same thing about the App. His reply to whether or not the App was canon was that only the books are canon.

The App is just a concordance. There are things in there that were *new information* back when it first came out, but that's only because FaB and TWoIaF and TLoIaF were not yet out when it came out - but Ran and Linda and the other guys involved with it had already access to most of the information from those things.

All we can say in relation to the Rhaegar-KG thing is that George obviously did not veto the fact that the App talks about Rhaegar commanding the KG to stay with Lyanna. But considering the fact how riddled with errors the App was (and still is) we can be reasonably sure that George did not actually care to go through the thing to weed out errors and inconsistencies.

I'd assume whoever wrote that section in the App actually drew the contents from the interview SFDanny linked - it might be that George was actually asked about that particular thing and confirmed them that Rhaegar actually gave such an order, but I must say I find it very odd that such a rather interesting and important detail is supposed to be revealed to the public via an obscure App.

In that sense - and due to the fact that the App isn't canon - it makes no sense for us to pretend this information is confirmed to be *true* while there is no reference to that in the books.

2 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Of course it makes sense. We are told of the divisions within the Targaryen court had reach levels compared to the Dance of the Dragons. Aerys goes into his actions believing he can just call upon loyalist lords to rise up against the Baratheons, the Starks, and the Arryns and put down the rebellion. He gets his ass handed to him. As a result he removes his Hand and tries to unite the realm against the rebels by putting Rhaegar in charge and thereby uniting all loyalists against the rebels. He fails in this because Rhaegar can't be found, and, presumably doesn't want to unite with his father against the rebels. At which point Aerys turns to Connington to try to unite the loyalists without Rhaegar himself. That too fails rather spectacularly at the Battle of the Bells. At which point he sends Hightower to find Rhaegar and force him to come back to King's Landing.

By the time Rhaegar returns Rhaegar's faction has been destroyed. Connington is in exile, Lewyn Martell loathes the Targaryens thanks to Rhaegar's dalliance with Lyanna Stark, Myles Mooton is dead, Dayne and When were with Rhaegar rather than at court (and never returned), and Richard Lonmouth is nowhere to be found. Aside from these men we have no 'Rhaegar men' mentioned at court.

There is a hint that Aerys II wanted Rhaegar as his Hand when he fired Merryweather - but Rhaegar didn't become Hand after his eventual return, meaning that whatever was supposed to happen when Connington was chosen didn't happen after Rhaegar's eventual return. Whatever Rhaegar was then, he wasn't the Hand.

And there is no reason to believe that Aerys II thought he needed Rhaegar for anything. All we know is that he wanted Rhaegar, but wants are not needs. Aerys II had much more competent and experienced generals at his court than Rhaegar - who both unbloodied and inexperienced when he rode to the Trident (unlike Aerys II himself, who was a veteran of the Stepstones) - most notably, Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Gerold Hightower, the general who crushed the Ninepenny Kings on the Stepstones.

2 hours ago, SFDanny said:

You leave out a rather important fact we know of this time. When Aerys send Hightower to Rhaegar, he also send Prince Lewyn to the Martell brothers with a message. That message is "I hold Elia." He also "holds" Aegon and Rhaenys. The point being that to achieve the unity he wants to fight the rebels, Aerys uses threats against Rhaegar's family. It is not unlikely that this is the motivation for Rhaegar as well to finally come north and take up the command to the new rebel army to fight against the rebellion. We know it gets Doran Martell to give the order to move his 10,000 troops in the Boneway north to fight against the rebellion.

We have no reason to believe that Rhaegar was pressured in this manner - if he had been, one assumes that Lyanna would have been part of the deal, too, don't you think. After all, Ser Gerold - who then took over the 'protection' of Lyanna - would have been the one to send those message.

The time line also implies that the threats against Dorne came only much later, after Rhaegar's return to KL and when the Trident was fast approaching. We have no reason to believe that 10,000 Dornish spears waited for weeks or months outside KL while the Mad King had daggers at the throats of Princess Elia and her children.

The way I see that Doran Martell was trying to stay out of the war, as he likes to do, and only consented to send his spears to Rhaegar when his uncle showed up and delivered the message of the king.

And one could certainly see Rhaegar and his father working in concert here. They may have known that Aerys II was bluffing when he threatened the lives of Rhaegar's family. After all, Rhaegar and his sleeping around was the reason why the Dornish were not willing to cooperate. It had nothing to do with Aerys II. In that sense, Aerys II's threats actually resolved Rhaegar's problems, too, by ensuring they would come and agree to fight with Rhaegar.

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25 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The App is just a concordance. There are things in there that were *new information* back when it first came out, but that's only because FaB and TWoIaF and TLoIaF were not yet out when it came out - but Ran and Linda and the other guys involved with it had already access to most of the information from those things.

I agree that the App is just a concordance. It is supposed to be a resource with facts drawn from the books. Anything not found in the books should be edited out with updates, IMO. I also agree that GRRM never intended to reveal nor confirm specific theories in the App. Even if Elio and Linda do have access to additional information that is not published yet - how are we to confirm for ourselves how these words were taken into context if we don't also have access?

26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

By the time Rhaegar returns Rhaegar's faction has been destroyed. Connington is in exile, Lewyn Martell loathes the Targaryens thanks to Rhaegar's dalliance with Lyanna Stark, Myles Mooton is dead, Dayne and When were with Rhaegar rather than at court (and never returned), and Richard Lonmouth is nowhere to be found. Aside from these men we have no 'Rhaegar men' mentioned at court.

Where is it said that Dayne and Whent were with Rhaegar? This is another statement that I have been unable to locate in the text. The only thing I've noted are omissions. Their absence is never explained.

3 hours ago, SFDanny said:

You leave out a rather important fact we know of this time. When Aerys send Hightower to Rhaegar, he also send Prince Lewyn to the Martell brothers with a message. That message is "I hold Elia." He also "holds" Aegon and Rhaenys. The point being that to achieve the unity he wants to fight the rebels, Aerys uses threats against Rhaegar's family. It is not unlikely that this is the motivation for Rhaegar as well to finally come north and take up the command to the new rebel army to fight against the rebellion. We know it gets Doran Martell to give the order to move his 10,000 troops in the Boneway north to fight against the rebellion.

You are reading more into the text than what exists. Here is the passage:

ASOS - Jaime V

Quote

 

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

 

 'Reminding' Lewyn that he's got Elia is very different than sending a message to Dorne - and Lewyn is not a prince. He's a Kingsguard. Aerys sent Lewyn to take command of the Dornish army that was still marching up the Kingsroad, but before he leaves Aerys gives him this warning about Elia, so that Lewyn doesn't get any ideas of using these Dornishmen against him!

28 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The time line also implies that the threats against Dorne came only much later, after Rhaegar's return to KL and when the Trident was fast approaching. We have no reason to believe that 10,000 Dornish spears waited for weeks or months outside KL while the Mad King had daggers at the throats of Princess Elia and her children.

I agree. The timing between the Battle of the Bells and the Battle at the Trident seem very close together. Rhaegar seems to have arrived back to Kings Landing sometime during or shortly after the Battle of the Bells. It's only said he returned from the south, but since the Dornishmen are already marching up the Kingsroad, it seems likely they were following him. Rhaegar was able to travel faster than the army, so he arrived first, encouraged his father to summon Tywin, rounded up some men without waiting on the Dornishmen, and then left for the Trident. Seems odd to me that he couldn't have waited for 10,000 men. That is probably why Aerys made that threat. He may have thought the 10,000 Dornish were meant for him.

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9 hours ago, Megorova said:

2. Because he promised her to 1. stop those Kingsguards from revealing any information to Robert, or 2. get Jon back (if they took him with them, when they left Starfall). The "promise scene" took place at Starfall, and Lyanna was dying in a bed of blood. So, when Ned arrived to the Tower of Joy, and confronted those Kingsguards, he didn't wanted to kill them, or he was hesitating, so he had to remind himself about Lyanna's final moments, and his promise to her, to motivate himself to do, what he had to do.

1. Because he, probably, knew, that they were at the Tower of Joy. Lyanna told him, that they are going thru Prince's Pass out of Dorne, and that, while they were going in the opposite direction, they stoped at the TofJ, so it's likely, that they will stop there again. Because they needed to rest somewhere, and besides that tower, there's not that many other options, where to make a camp. If there's a well, or a stream there, then they definitely stopped there. Ned knew, that they will be there, so that's where he went.

Maybe, Ned didn't went after KG via land. He could have sailed from Starfall around Dorne on a ship, past Wyl, up that river to Vulture's Roost, and then continued going towards TofJ via land, thru mountains. I think, it would be faster to sail part of the way, than to go all the way after them on horseback.

Or from Starfall he sailed up that river, towards Blackmont and higher, and then from there via land went east towards the Tower. <- This one seems to be the fastest catch-up route.

Wow. 

Lyanna is amazing. Moments away from death, lying in her bed of blood, feverish, so weak her voice was just a whisper, and she told Ned so much detailed information.

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

Reminding' Lewyn that he's got Elia is very different than sending a message to Dorne

I disagree. It’s exactly sending a [rather nasty] message to Dorne.

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