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The Tower of Joy

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14 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Aerys naming Viserys his new heir after the Trident fits perfectly with Aerys believing Ser Lewyn, and presumably the Dornishmen, somehow betrayed Rhaegar on the Trident. That last part comes from Jaime in his fourth Storm chapter. The point is that with Rhaegar dying the half-Dornish baby Aegon is the presumptive heir to the Iron Throne. In fact, if you believe Lewyn and the Dornishmen betrayed Rhaegar, this is one good way to make sense of it.

That probably seems paranoid to most of us. To a paranoid person, I think it would seem like motive. To a really paranoid person like Aerys II Targaryen, it might even seem like proof, or so near it that the difference would be indistinguishable. If the Mad King believed that the Martells were actively engaged in a plot to steal the Iron Throne via baby Aegon and/or his sister Rhaenys, then one way of attempting to thwart that plot would be to name a different heir. One who was not half Martell. At the time, Viserys was the only option. (Even assuming he knew about Lyanna, her child was unborn and of uncertain sex.)

The throne passed to King Viserys III and that is that.  Rhaegar and his children are effectively disinherited.  The line of succession passed to young King Viserys III. 

King Aerys II and his advisers would do everything they can to prevent the grandson of Rickard Stark, a known traitor, from putting his rump on the throne.  Any child of Rhaegar's who didn't come from Elia would be a bastard anyway.  And any child of Lyanna's, regardless of the father, is someone KIng Aerys II would never ever want to inherit his throne. 

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10 hours ago, corbon said:

What?

Read the quote. Rhaegar left KL in January. He went on a journey that would ultimately lead him back to the Riverlands (where he fell on Lyanna Stark).

There's no indication at all where he went before he fell on Lyanna Stark, or how long it took. It may have been the same month. It may have been three months. It may have been five months. Probably not that long, given other timings, obviously. But the point is that the World Book does not tell us that he fell on Lyanna Stark in January. It tells us that at the end of a long journey to parts unknown, that started in KL in January, he end up in the Riverlands and there fell on Lyanna Stark.

 

I was taking into considering four other mitigating factors, but I now realize that placing her abduction in January may not allow for all the things that I think happened to Lyanna. The other factors are:

1) Reasons for why Lyanna would be near Harrenhal. 2) Aegon's age at the time of the Sack. 3) Parallels with other maiden abductions. And, 4) Parallels, metaphors, and symbolism found in AFFC chapter 34 Cat of the Canals and the Mercy chapter from TWOW.

My apologies to nyser1, because I'm afraid we're getting too off topic. Lets address each factor.

Reasons why Lyanna would be near Harrenhal:

1) It is possible that Lyanna took off with Howland shortly after the tourney. Long after Rhaegar gave up his search for the Knight of the Laughing Tree, other men were still out there looking, and Lyanna and Howland were evading capture.

2) It is also possible that Lyanna was riding with her family to, or planned to meet her family at, Riverrun for Brandon's wedding, and either got separated or never made it there. This would be a parallel to when Ned, Arya, and Sansa were traveling with Robert back to Kings Landing, and Arya went off with Mycah to practice swords and ended up throwing Joffrey's sword into the Trident. Arya and Nymeria ran and hid after Nymeria bit Joffrey's arm, but were eventually found by Rory. In Lyanna's case she wasn't found by her family's men.

Aegon's age at the time of the Sack    

GRRM said Aegon was about a year old at the time of the Sack, give or take a turn or two, which equates to 9 months to 14 months of age. I've already supplied his earliest birth month as being January 282, so the Sack needs to occur between Nov 282 to March 283. He also stated that the Rebellion lasted about one year beginning with when Jon Arryn raised his banners against Aerys. These two factors give us a pretty tight window of less than three months.

I understand that there needs to be some time between when Lyanna was kidnapped until Jon Arryn raised his banners. Brandon also needs to turn 20 years by the time he duels Petyr. He then needs to leave Riverrun for a time, and then 'hear about Lyanna' on his return trip. Brandon needs to ride to Kings Landing to demand Rhaegar. Then time for Rickard to answer Aerys summons. The executions, and then the summons for Ned and Robert, before Jon raises his banners. But again, Jon's raising his banners cannot go too far into 282, because we have to keep in mind Aegon's age a year later.

Parallels with other maiden abductions

After Arya escaped capture while Syrio held off Cersei/Joff's men, she managed to hide as a street urchin in Flea Bottom for a week or two until she witnessed her father's beheading and was intercepted by Yoren. I tend to believe that Lyanna's fate was much the same. Lyanna managed to escape capture after her stint helping Howland with the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and they managed to hide in the Riverlands for a week or two until after her brother and father were executed. Just like Yoren recognized Arya, someone recognized Lyanna and tried to help her get home.

Arya travelled the Riverlands for weeks after the attack that killed Yoren and most of the men he was bringing to the Wall, and ends up captured three times. Once by Gregor Clegane's men, the second time by the Brotherhood Without Banners, and the last time by Sandor. She finally makes it to Saltpans and takes passage to Braavos where she becomes 'no one'. This is a parallel to Lyanna's death (becoming no one). I believe Arya was retracting Lyanna's steps, and I think Lyanna was missing for weeks before the events that actually led to her death. She too may have been captured three times, and now that I think on that, it seems apt. Three is a highly symbolic number for both Arya and Lyanna, and I'll tell you more about that once we get to the fourth factor.

Myrcella's abduction also has some clues for us. I'm just gonna hit the highlights with this mitigating factor, because there's so much symbolism, metaphors, and parallels in The Queenmaker chapter...really too much of it to condense it all here. But I think you might grasp something of the idea if you think about how the Kingswood Brotherhood, the Brotherhood Without Banners, and the people included in Aerys detachment that he sent to deal with the Kingswood Brotherhood, might have common themes, and compare them with Arianne's group of friends that snuck Myrcella out of Sunspear in order to crown her and ultimately cause a war, just as Lyanna's abduction led to a war. 

Parallels, metaphors, and symbolism found in AFFC chapter 34 Cat of the Canals

I don't know if you are familiar with my work on the titled chapters or not, but in a nutshell, I believe the titled chapters, which begin in AFFC chapter 1 with The Prophet and continue through ADWD and into TWOW with the Forsaken and Mercy, contain two stories with the second one hidden amongst the parallels, metaphors, and symbolism. While I haven't completed them all, I have found that the hidden story within Cat of the Canals and Mercy explain what happened to Lyanna.

I mentioned above how the number three keeps coming up for Arya and Lyanna, and it has to do with the three squires and three knights that Lyanna and the Knight of the Laughing Tree defeated. Arya serves as an acolyte in the House of Black and White three nights out of every thirty - three black, moonless nights - which I believe is symbolic for the three knights.

I realize symbolism isn't everybody's cup of tea and open to interpretation, but it's how I understand the books.

 

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17 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

The throne passed to King Viserys III and that is that.  Rhaegar and his children are effectively disinherited.  The line of succession passed to young King Viserys III. 

King Aerys II and his advisers would do everything they can to prevent the grandson of Rickard Stark, a known traitor, from putting his rump on the throne.  Any child of Rhaegar's who didn't come from Elia would be a bastard anyway.  And any child of Lyanna's, regardless of the father, is someone KIng Aerys II would never ever want to inherit his throne. 

But something convinced Rhaegar to come back when Aerys grew desperate, right?  Lord Commander Hightower was sent to bring Rhaegar back, how did Hightower achieve this, and ultimately stay behind at the ToJ, if Rhaegar was not given assurances?

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12 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

But something convinced Rhaegar to come back when Aerys grew desperate, right?  Lord Commander Hightower was sent to bring Rhaegar back, how did Hightower achieve this, and ultimately stay behind at the ToJ, if Rhaegar was not given assurances?

I can't answer that.  Maybe Rhaegar grew a conscience and realized he had an obligation to help his family instead of composing music in an isolated tower.  It's not out of the question for Aerys to order his Kingsguards to hold Lyanna hostage and force Rhaegar to fight Robert.  That's his style and been known to do.  Rhaegar was known for being a reluctant warrior.  He needed a kick in the seat to get him on that battlefield. 

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37 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

The throne passed to King Viserys III and that is that.  Rhaegar and his children are effectively disinherited.  The line of succession passed to young King Viserys III. 

King Aerys II and his advisers would do everything they can to prevent the grandson of Rickard Stark, a known traitor, from putting his rump on the throne.  Any child of Rhaegar's who didn't come from Elia would be a bastard anyway.  And any child of Lyanna's, regardless of the father, is someone KIng Aerys II would never ever want to inherit his throne. 

Viserys is named heir after the Trident because Aerys believes the Dornish betrayed the loyalist cause at the Trident. Aerys didn't disinherit Rhaegar's line, he just put Viserys before the infant Aegon and Rhaenys. What Aerys thought about a possible child of Rhaegar and Lyanna inheriting the throne is something we will never know for sure because there is no evidence Aerys knew Lyanna was pregnant with Rhaegar's child. For Rhaegar's line to be disinherited we have to know of any action Viserys took to do so, and he, as far as we know, never knew of any child of Rhaegar surviving into his time as king. So, "effectively disinherited"? I'd say Rhaegar's line was effectively forgotten as possible heirs after the sack and presumed murders of Aegon and Rhaenys because almost no one has any possibility of knowing another heir existed. Ned and Howland possibly knew but they weren't telling Viserys about it. And the same is true about Young Griff/Aegon. Varys, Illyrio, Connington, et al. weren't interested in telling Viserys about Aegon's miraculous survival.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, corbon said:

They know what the Trident reference means. Ned says he looked for them there, and without him saying another word Whent's response is "woe to the usurper if we were". So they've definitely had some news since then.
The display no surprise or shock at Ned telling them Jaime slew Aerys, so it seems they know about the Sack too. So the news they'd had definitely came after the Trident and probably after the Sack.

We have to consider how and why they got news, which influence the what was in it. And the when, which connects every aspect.

Quote

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?

Its not magical knowledge. Its not everything that happened. They've clearly had some news. But given the timing, it must be news that was spread by raven (not to them, they aren't on the raven network, but to someone who knows how to contact them). Therefore its limited news, sticking to the key factors.

Who will spreading news far and wide after the Trident (and even more so, after the Sack)?
Not Rhaegar, he's dead. 
Not Aerys, he's got other priorities and wants to keep a lid on such news anyway. And after the Sack, he's dead too.
The victorious rebels have means motive and opportunity though. The war is over. The Targaryens are done. Rhaegar is dead, Aerys is dead, Aegon is dead, KL is taken, the Targaryen Army is defeated. Lewyn Martell is dead. Selmy is captured. Darry is dead. Stop fighting, come to KL and bend the knee to King Robert. These are the sorts of things that will be in a raven message sent Westeros-wide shortly after the sack. These are the sorts of things that could feasibly get to the KG at the ToJ.

 

The three Kingsguard do seem to know an awful lot of information, so how did they get it in such a remote place? These details should seriously cause the reader to be suspicious and question, how in the world do these guys know these things???

Quote

 

“I looked for you on the Trident,” Ned said to them.

“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.

“Woe to the Usurper if we had been,” said Ser Oswell.

“When King’s Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were. ”

“Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells. ”

“I came down on Storm’s End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, “and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them. ”

“Our knees do not bend easily,” said Ser Arthur Dayne.

“Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him. ”

“Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell.

“But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee. ”

“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.

“We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.

 

Because they do know so many things, including Aerys beheading and Ned's lifting of the siege at Storms End, this cannot by any logical reasoning be explained as the actual conversation. I think a lot of it comes from Ned's own internal thoughts that he had during the Rebellion about when and where he might come across the Kingsguard. He didn't personally see them at the Trident, so he expected they were guarding the king, but when Aerys was slain he wondered where they were. His subconscious, which is feeding the dream with details, knows that they also weren't at Storm's End when he lifted the siege, but there is a place where Ned could have met the Kingsguard that isn't contradicted by the dream: guarding Elia and the children in Maegor's Holdfast.

Do you know how large the Red Keep is and how far away Aerys was in the throne room with regards to where Maegor's Holdfast is?

We already have an example in the books for how Ned may have encountered Hightower, Whent, and Dayne, and Ned experienced a bit of deja vu when he went to visit Robert in the royal apartments, laying there bleeding to death from the wounds he suffered when the boar gored him. It's a near exact repeat when Ned fought his way through the Kingsguard to get to Elia before Gregor and Lorch. Read this passage and see the echoes for yourself:

Quote

 

The royal apartments were in Maegor’s Holdfast, a massive square fortress that nestled in the heart of the Red Keep behind walls twelve feet thick and a dry moat lined with iron spikes, a castle-within-a-castle. Ser Boros Blount guarded the far end of the bridge, white steel armor ghostly in the moonlight. Within, Ned passed two other knights of the Kingsguard; Ser Preston Greenfield stood at the bottom of the steps, and Ser Barristan Selmy waited at the door of the king’s bedchamber. Three men in white cloaks, he thought, remembering, and a strange chill went through him. Ser Barristan’s face was as pale as his armor. Ned had only to look at him to know that something was dreadfully wrong. The royal steward opened the door. “Lord Eddard Stark, the Hand of the King,” he announced.

“Bring him here,” Robert’s voice called, strangely thick.

Fires blazed in the twin hearths at either end of the bedchamber, filling the room with a sullen red glare. The heat within was suffocating. Robert lay across the canopied bed. At the bedside hovered Grand Maester Pycelle, while Lord Renly paced restlessly before the shuttered windows. Servants moved back and forth, feeding logs to the fire and boiling wine. Cersei Lannister sat on the edge of the bed beside her husband. Her hair was tousled, as if from sleep, but there was nothing sleepy in her eyes. They followed Ned as Tomard and Cayn helped him cross the room. He seemed to move very slowly, as if he were still dreaming.

The king still wore his boots. Ned could see dried mud and blades of grass clinging to the leather where Robert’s feet stuck out beneath the blanket that covered him, A green doublet lay on the floor, slashed open and discarded, the cloth crusted with red-brown stains. The room smelled of smoke and blood and death.

“Ned,” the king whispered when he saw him. His face was pale as milk. “Come . . . closer. ”

His men brought him close. Ned steadied himself with a hand on the bedpost. He had only to look down at Robert to know how bad it was. “What . . . ?” he began, his throat clenched.

“A boar. ” Lord Renly was still in his hunting greens, his cloak spattered with blood.

“A devil,” the king husked. “My own fault. Too much wine, damn me to hell. Missed my thrust. ”

And where were the rest of you?” Ned demanded of Lord Renly. “Where was Ser Barristan and the Kingsguard?

Renly’s mouth twitched. “My brother commanded us to stand aside and let him take the boar alone.

Eddard Stark lifted the blanket.

They had done what they could to close him up, but it was nowhere near enough. The boar must have been a fearsome thing. It had ripped the king from groin to nipple with its tusks. The wine-soaked bandages that Grand Maester Pycelle had applied were already black with blood, and the smell off the wound was hideous. Ned’s stomach turned. He let the blanket fall.

“Stinks,” Robert said. “The stink of death, don’t think I can’t smell it. Bastard did me good, eh? But I . . . I paid him back in kind, Ned. ” The king’s smile was as terrible as his wound, his teeth red. “Drove a knife right through his eye. Ask them if I didn’t. Ask them. ”

 

 

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

With Elia no longer capable of bearing children Rhaegar needed to turn to other women - because in his mad and irrational mind he believed that he had to do the work there, and not his royal father and mother (who actually did produce Daenerys some time later) or his brother Viserys once he had grown older.

And turn his legitimate children into bastards by annulling his marriage to Elia?

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

People used to assume that Aerys II had Brandon and Rickard and the others executed to defend his son and heir from the Stark threats, but with the new information from TWoIaF (and ASoS and ADwD before, where the seed for Rhaegar's conspiracy against his father was first sown) this is exceedingly unlikely. We have no good/detailed information on the events that led to the deaths of Brandon, Rickard, the others nor the events that led to the miraculous spare of Ethan Glover, and my take on that is that Aerys II's belief that Rhaegar was conspiring with the Starks against is to blame for all of that. In fact, the mistaken view of the king that Rhaegar was out there to get him with the help of the Starks also seems to be the reason why the court failed to grasp the true rebellion when it was started. One assumes that Aerys II focused very hard on trying to find Rhaegar and Lyanna in the first weeks of the war, considering the case of Ned and Robert merely as an afterthought, something that had to be done to stop 'Rhaegar's Rebellion'. The trouble in the Vale would have been seen as a side show, one assumes, until it dawned on Aerys II that Rhaegar had indeed nothing to do with Robert's Rebellion - which definitely was the case when he fired Merryweather and replaced him with Rhaegar's friend Connington.

At that time it must have been clear to everyone at court that Rhaegar was not leading those rebels.

I actually don't see how your explanation of Aerys motivations are that different than mine. 

5 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Not to throw a wrench into a lively discussion, but how about this:

The KG were at the ToJ not to protect Lyanna and/or baby Jon from Ned, but to protect baby Aegon. After all, we have a supposed changeling in King's Landing who had his head beaten in, so the real Aegon had to be removed somewhere. What better place than with the three top knights in the world who have sworn a vow to their good friend Rhaegar to protect his son, and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, with their lives?

IMO Rhaegar and Elia sailed from Dragonstone to Dorne in order to protect his heir by leaving the real Aegon with Doran to be raised in the water gardens. The babe killed during the Sack was who Varys referred to as the Pisswater Prince.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Posted (edited)
On 4/10/2019 at 8:16 AM, King Ned Stark said:

But something convinced Rhaegar to come back when Aerys grew desperate, right?  Lord Commander Hightower was sent to bring Rhaegar back, how did Hightower achieve this, and ultimately stay behind at the ToJ, if Rhaegar was not given assurances?

I believe we have the answer to this. I've I said in earlier posts, I think the use of Elia as a hostage to Dornish "good behavior" is key to understanding this question. We know Prince Lewyn was "gracelessly" reminded of Aerys having Elia in his control. We know Lewyn is sent to take control of the 10,000 Dornish troops in the Boneway.  So, we have a very likely example of Aerys using a threat to Elia as the motivating factor in getting greater Dornish support for the loyalist cause.

The idea that, at the same time as Lewyn is delivering this threat from Aerys, Hightower is not doing the same with Rhaegar seems entirely absurd. If and when Rhaegar comes north he is going to learn of the threat against Elia and is going to find out the degree his father has degenerated. This is not a secret Aerys is able to hide from his son. Rather it is a threat he likely uses with Rhaegar at the same time he uses it against Dorne. 

It is one important factor that explains the "how" of Hightower getting Rhaegar to leave the tower of joy and go north to take up command of the loyalist army. I think it is also the tipping point for Hightower. Up to this point he is the epitome of loyalty to his king, or so Jaime describes him. However, that was Hightower defending the Targaryen dynasty against all others. Not threatening the Crown Prince with his wife's life, and possibly his children's lives as well - we know Aerys includes Aegon in his threat when repeats this action after the Trident. I think this threat to Rhaegar's family is a step too far for even Hightower to take. So, when he tells Rhaegar his father's message, the Lord Commander is more than willing to follow Rhaegar's order to stay and guard Lyanna at the Tower of Joy. 

In short, Martin has given us the clue to understand what is going on here, but some of us don't want to follow it to it's logical consequences unless is spelled out in explicit step by step explanations. 

Edited by SFDanny

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

The three Kingsguard do seem to know an awful lot of information, so how did they get it in such a remote place? These details should seriously cause the reader to be suspicious and question, how in the world do these guys know these things???

Because they do know so many things, including Aerys beheading and Ned's lifting of the siege at Storms End, this cannot by any logical reasoning be explained as the actual conversation. I think a lot of it comes from Ned's own internal thoughts that he had during the Rebellion about when and where he might come across the Kingsguard. He didn't personally see them at the Trident, so he expected they were guarding the king, but when Aerys was slain he wondered where they were. His subconscious, which is feeding the dream with details, knows that they also weren't at Storm's End when he lifted the siege, but there is a place where Ned could have met the Kingsguard that isn't contradicted by the dream: guarding Elia and the children in Maegor's Holdfast.

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, the dialogue in Ned's dream is entirely from Ned's side. The conversation never happened. Yet the conversation is the core of the dream. It is not the actual fight and the deaths of so many friends and respected foes. It is the conversation in which Ned asks why these men were not where he thought to find them, and instead are blocking his way at the Tower of Joy that dominates the dream. These then are the questions that haunts Neds dreams over fourteen some odd years. Why are you three here instead of at the Trident, at King's Landing, at Storm's End, or on Dragonstone? It means the dreams are all about Ned wanting to understand the motivations of Hightower, Dayne, and Whent to do what they did. And on a meta level it is Martin telling the reader to search for the answers to those questions as well.

But beyond this, still assuming this is out of Ned's head and not what really happened, we have to note that all of Ned's questions in their content and sequence are verified elsewhere outside of his dream. The three knights were not at the Trident, at King's Landing, Storm's End, or Dragonstone. Instead they died at the tower and Ned raised cairns for all of the dead out of the stones of the tower of joy he and Howland, and possibly others, tore down and used. All of this is true.

But what of the answers Ned is given in his dream? If the dialogue never took place then they are too provided by Ned's troubled and still questioning mind. They are what Ned expected would be the response to his real world questions. In the real world Ned understands the duties of a knight and a member of the Kingsguard as well as any High Lord would. He understands what duty mandates for these men to do. And the answers reflect this understanding, but they don't sync with Ned's understanding of these men's decision to be where they are and to fight him in a desperate battle ending in so many deaths. That is what we are meant to take away from Ned's dream even if it does not reflect a real world conversation before the tower.

The other part of this is how in reality would the Kingsguard know this information and the answer is easy. Being hidden does not mean being without any contact with the world outside. In fact, the military history of at least Hightower and Dayne would tell us that they would know the necessity of keeping up on what one's enemies, and supposed allies, are doing. Hightower is the commanding general of much of the War against the Ninepenny Kings, and Dayne commanded the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood. They would not sit blindly without sources telling them of the events of the rebellion. 

The nuts and bolts of how they would have gotten this information isn't hard to figure out in general terms, if not in specific named people for sources. The tower sits on some lord's land, and that lord or lady has to almost certainly been aware of who he/she is helping by not revealing their presence. The network of Rhaegar loyalists that split the Targaryen court, helps to explain this as well. It is foolish to think Rhaegar didn't still have friends at court, in King's Landing, and amongst loyalist forces spread throughout Westeros during the rebellion. The tower had to be supplied with resources, and it had to have contact with some network that brought them information. These are just the ABCs of logistical and intelligence support for Rhaegar and for the Kingsguard after he leaves them at the tower with his orders. Messengers of both human and avian types had be involved from close on after the "kidnapping" to the fight between Ned's party with the Kingsguard.

Edited by SFDanny

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3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Not to throw a wrench into a lively discussion, but how about this:

The KG were at the ToJ not to protect Lyanna and/or baby Jon from Ned, but to protect baby Aegon. After all, we have a supposed changeling in King's Landing who had his head beaten in, so the real Aegon had to be removed somewhere. What better place than with the three top knights in the world who have sworn a vow to their good friend Rhaegar to protect his son, and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, with their lives?

My problem is with the "not to protect Lyanna and/or baby Jon" part of this. Change it to "not just to" and I think you have a interesting idea. I wrote a post called "Ashara, post Harrenhal possibilities" in which I put forward the idea Aegon could have been sent to the tower as part of a baby swap. The Two Princes in the Tower, I called it in reference to Martin's borrowing from the history of the War of the Roses.

The problem is if you limit the Kingsguard to being at the tower only to guard Aegon, then we know that's likely not true. At least Dayne and Whent are there with Rhaegar and Lyanna from the beginning. Well before any baby swap would have taken place.

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57 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

The three knights were not at the Trident, at King's Landing, Storm's End, or Dragonstone.

Ned doesn't say the Kingsguard weren't in Kings Landing. He just wonders where they were when Jaime slew their king. Aerys was in the throne room which is in a totally different building than were Maegor's Holdfast is, plus Maegor's Holdfast is huge. It has 12 foot thick walls and contains the royal apartments. Then it's surrounded by it's own moat with a drawbridge to connect it to the rest of the Red Keep. Maegor's Holdfast is only one out of seven other towers that are part of the Red Keep on top of Aegon's Hill. If my theory proves true, then the three Kingsguard were "far away" from the throne room. I'm stressing this point, because no where in the dream does Ned exclude the rest of the Red Keep or Kings Landing in his dream.

57 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Instead they died at the tower and Ned raised cairns for all of the dead out of the stones of the tower of joy he and Howland, and possibly others, tore down and used. All of this is true.

This part is a bit trickier to explain, but I might point out that in Ned's dream all of his men are wraiths - including Howland Reed, so what are we to make of this particular detail? Ned was used to his men being beside him, but if all the men appear as wraiths in the dream, is it possible they weren't with him when he fought the three Kingsguard? Could they have died earlier in battle at either the Battle of the Bells or at the Trident? Could Ned have found Lyanna prior to the Sack? There does seem to be symbolic evidence that she was found in the ruins of the sept at Whitewalls, which used to be on the eastern shore of God's Eye and south of Harrenhal. There are also ruins in Stoney Sept. Dunc and Egg once travelled to Whitewalls from Stoney Sept and had to take Ned's ferry across the God's Eye. Is that name just a coincidence or a deliberate clue?

And how would Ned know to even go to the Prince's Pass? Have you really studied the Lands of Ice and Fire maps? The Prince's Pass doesn't even lead to Starfall, which is located on an island in the Torentine River and cuts through a steep canyon. The only place the Prince's Pass leads to is the desert of Dorne. Who told Ned to even look for her there? Surely if it was anyone in Kings Landing he wouldn't have wasted any more time and found someone else to lift the siege at Storm's End. Unless he had decided he was going to return Arthur's sword after the Sack and took passage on a merchant's ship from Storm's End to Starfall, which looks to be the only way to easily get there. Why go on horseback for a slow and arduous route over land?

Duncan's dream is very much like Ned's fever dream, but afterward Dunc notes this:

Quote

His head was pounding, and he could not forget the dream he dreamed the night before. It never happened that way, he tried to tell himself. It wasn’t like that. Chestnut had died on the long dry ride to Vaith, that part was true. He and Egg rode double until Egg’s brother gave them Maester. The rest of it, though…

The long ride to Vaith has echoes in Arianne's planned route for Myrcella, and the crowning at Hellholt. 

Say...hate to cut this short, but I have to leave for an app't....I'll continue later.

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1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

My problem is with the "not to protect Lyanna and/or baby Jon" part of this. Change it to "not just to" and I think you have a interesting idea. I wrote a post called "Ashara, post Harrenhal possibilities" in which I put forward the idea Aegon could have been sent to the tower as part of a baby swap. The Two Princes in the Tower, I called it in reference to Martin's borrowing from the history of the War of the Roses.

The problem is if you limit the Kingsguard to being at the tower only to guard Aegon, then we know that's likely not true. At least Dayne and Whent are there with Rhaegar and Lyanna from the beginning. Well before any baby swap would have taken place.

Yes, they would be there to protect everyone, since they would all be important to whomever they swore these new vows to, otherwise they wouldn't be there. The possible difference is that they might be protecting Aegon out of duty to their liege, whereas Lyanna and Jon might be there for some other purpose.

Your other points are solid, but the fact is we don't really know the circumstances of Lyanna's disappearance at all. The broad assumption is that if not a kidnapping, then she ran off with Rhaegar willingly. But who is to say that Rhaegar was involved in this at all, or that he was ever with Lyanna at the ToJ or elsewhere? This whole story could have been put out by Aerys, who in reality had kidnapped both Rhaegar and Lyanna and was holding them in the black cells or elsewhere the whole time. When Rhaegar fell and it was certain that King's Landing would be next, then either Varys or Aerys himself instructed the three KG to remove pregnant Lyanna (the baby would be Aerys', not Rhaegar's) and baby Aegon to the tower, where, if Aerys is the mastermind here, he would join them later in his new dragon form.

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5 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Viserys is named heir after the Trident because Aerys believes the Dornish betrayed the loyalist cause at the Trident. Aerys didn't disinherit Rhaegar's line, he just put Viserys before the infant Aegon and Rhaenys. What Aerys thought about a possible child of Rhaegar and Lyanna inheriting the throne is something we will never know for sure because there is no evidence Aerys knew Lyanna was pregnant with Rhaegar's child. For Rhaegar's line to be disinherited we have to know of any action Viserys took to do so, and he, as far as we know, never knew of any child of Rhaegar surviving into his time as king. So, "effectively disinherited"? I'd say Rhaegar's line was effectively forgotten as possible heirs after the sack and presumed murders of Aegon and Rhaenys because almost no one has any possibility of knowing another heir existed. Ned and Howland possibly knew but they weren't telling Viserys about it. And the same is true about Young Griff/Aegon. Varys, Illyrio, Connington, et al. weren't interested in telling Viserys about Aegon's miraculous survival.

Any children of Rhaegar's were disinherited by default when Viserys III was named heir and was eventually crowned king. King Viserys III names his own heirs, and as a king he would be expected to have heirs of his own body. Sure, while that is not the case Rhaenys and Aegon and any of Rhaegar's other children could be his presumptive heirs - like Princess Aerea was Jaehaerys I's heir before he had children of his own - but it is quite clear that the plan was not that the throne ever goes back to Rhaegar's line. Viserys III own knowledge about Rhaegar's children is irrelevant - he did not disinherit/pass over Rhaegar's children, his father did. Viserys III did name and treat Daenerys his heir, though, as AGoT makes crystal clear.

And as I laid out above, Aerys II had a bundle of reasons to prefer his own blood to his half-Dornish cousins, not just the belief that Lewyn and his men betrayed Rhaegar at the Trident. He very much doted on Viserys, who was his own flesh and blood, Targaryen on both sides of his lineage, not some grandson. And this is a common motive - the great Jaehaerys I preferred all his three sons to his grandchildren or great-grandchildren, and only turned to them as his successor when his third son Vaegon turned him down.

But even if Aerys II had for some reason favored Aegon over his own son Viserys - the very fact that they were in the middle of a war and a boy is a better heir and possible future figurehead should something happen to the king is more than enough to explain why Aerys II would have never named Aegon his heir after the Trident.

5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The three Kingsguard do seem to know an awful lot of information, so how did they get it in such a remote place? These details should seriously cause the reader to be suspicious and question, how in the world do these guys know these things???

Because they do know so many things, including Aerys beheading and Ned's lifting of the siege at Storms End, this cannot by any logical reasoning be explained as the actual conversation. I think a lot of it comes from Ned's own internal thoughts that he had during the Rebellion about when and where he might come across the Kingsguard. He didn't personally see them at the Trident, so he expected they were guarding the king, but when Aerys was slain he wondered where they were. His subconscious, which is feeding the dream with details, knows that they also weren't at Storm's End when he lifted the siege, but there is a place where Ned could have met the Kingsguard that isn't contradicted by the dream: guarding Elia and the children in Maegor's Holdfast.

I don't buy that he met them at the Red Keep, but you are, of course, quite correct that Ned's subconscious creates the dream images and the dialogue of the Kingsguard in the dream, so their words reflect Ned's own unconscious thoughts, knowledge, fears, and feelings rather than their own.

It is a grave mistake to treat a dream like a recording, but the people we are talking here are not likely to admit that, no matter what you say ;-).

5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Do you know how large the Red Keep is and how far away Aerys was in the throne room with regards to where Maegor's Holdfast is?

Considering that Tywin's men took Maegor's Holdfast and Ned arrived only after Elia and the children were dead I very much doubt that the dream is supposed to have taken place there.

5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

And turn his legitimate children into bastards by annulling his marriage to Elia?

No, by channeling Maegor the Cruel and taking on a second wife as a prince. Chances are pretty high that a significant portion of the Westerosi would (and did/do) see Lyanna's child(ren) by Rhaegar as nothing but bastards, and others may be completely unclear/doubtful about whether those children are royal children or bastards, but Rhaegar would likely not care about any of that. He apparently believed he was supposed to create the savior of the world and his companions. And the same goes, of course, also for Lyanna's status as Rhaegar's 'wife' - Alys Harroway was branded as Maegor's whore, not Maegor's wife, so that's that.

One even wonders whether Lyanna isn't the one to blame for Rhaegar the Bigamist - I certainly can see her turning down Rhaegar's offer to become his paramour at Harrenhal, insisting that she would only continue/or start a relationship with him as his wife.

But in any case, Rhaegar would not have to annul a marriage before taking on another bride.

5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I actually don't see how your explanation of Aerys motivations are that different than mine. 

IMO Rhaegar and Elia sailed from Dragonstone to Dorne in order to protect his heir by leaving the real Aegon with Doran to be raised in the water gardens. The babe killed during the Sack was who Varys referred to as the Pisswater Prince.

If there was a Pisswater Prince then the Pisswater Prince story in itself implies that Varys exchanged the children with Elia's permission/help only after the Trident, when it became clear that the life of Rhaegar's son might be in danger. In light of the fact that royal women have essentially no or only a very weak claim to the throne Rhaenys and Elia both should have expected to be reasonably safe from Robert's wrath - especially since Rhaenys could have been married to Robert's son later on, to strengthen the Baratheon claim. But Aegon would have been a problem had he been captured alive.

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6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

 

The three Kingsguard do seem to know an awful lot of information, so how did they get it in such a remote place? These details should seriously cause the reader to be suspicious and question, how in the world do these guys know these things???

Agreed. 
But they do know this data (or some of it). So long as there is a reasonable way they could, that is fine.

6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Because they do know so many things, including Aerys beheading and Ned's lifting of the siege at Storms End,

We have to be careful about what they show they know.
They definitely know about the Trident. Their response proves that definitively.
Their response to Ned telling them Jaime slew Aerys lacks the surprise factor I'd expect from them at such news. It suggests they knew about the Sack, but does not prove it definitively.
Their response to Ned ending the siege of Storms End is utterly neutral. There is no indication they knew about this.
Their response to the news about Rhaella and Viserys being at Dragonstone is also neutral. There is no indication they knew about this.

So whatever news they got, it definitely originated after the Trident, and probably (or possibly if your personal assessment is different from mine on that response) originated after the Sack. There is no indication at all it originated any later than that though.

We can be absolutely certain that after the Sack the victorious rebels would have as soon as possible distributed the key news as widely as possible - by raven, by courier, by crier, by ship, every way they could throughout westeros, with instructions to tell everyone because they have critical news that changes everything for everybody. 
Namely:
The war is over (critical, stop fighting)
The Targaryens are destroyed (critical)
Robert is King in Kings Landing (extremely important)
Jaime slew Aerys (critical that the king is dead, useful to show his 'badness' that his own bodyguard turned on him, useful to show Lannister support for the new regime)
Robert slew Rhaegar at the Trident (extremely important as propaganda indicating Roberts worthiness and fitness to be king and showing that the only fit Targaryen to continue the fight is dead)
The Targaryen army is destroyed (extremely important to prevent thoughts of fighting on by potential loyalists)

Seems to me that thats an awful lot for a raven message already, especially by the time you flesh it out properly and make it into a formal notice.

Interestingly, this list of datapoints seems to coincide exactly with what the KG at ToJ seem to know. I believe that whoever was secretly supporting them got this 'end of war' type message through the raven network and got the news to them. Probably not much before Ned got to them.

6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

this cannot by any logical reasoning be explained as the actual conversation.

Yes, it absolutely can. I just did. If they received news that originated any time after the Trident, the conversation makes perfect sense. More so if it was originated shortly after the Sack, when we know such information would be widely disseminated.

I'm not going to debate the Maegor's Holdfast is ToJ theory. Haven't the time or energy. If it turns out to be true, you can crow your cleverness and I'll acknowledge it, but in the meantime, its a nonstarter for me.

6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

And turn his legitimate children into bastards by annulling his marriage to Elia?

Thats not how it works. Annulment does not create bastards out of previously legitimate children.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

But in any case, Rhaegar would not have to annul a marriage before taking on another bride.

Agreed.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If there was a Pisswater Prince then the Pisswater Prince story in itself implies that Varys exchanged the children with Elia's permission/help only after the Trident, when it became clear that the life of Rhaegar's son might be in danger. In light of the fact that royal women have essentially no or only a very weak claim to the throne Rhaenys and Elia both should have expected to be reasonably safe from Robert's wrath - especially since Rhaenys could have been married to Robert's son later on, to strengthen the Baratheon claim. But Aegon would have been a problem had he been captured alive.

Very much agreed.

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8 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

I can't answer that.  Maybe Rhaegar grew a conscience and realized he had an obligation to help his family instead of composing music in an isolated tower.  It's not out of the question for Aerys to order his Kingsguards to hold Lyanna hostage and force Rhaegar to fight Robert.  That's his style and been known to do.  Rhaegar was known for being a reluctant warrior.  He needed a kick in the seat to get him on that battlefield. 

The war had been raging for a year.  One has to ask what this prince was doing all of that time.  And why all of a sudden he makes an appearance and agreed to go to battle.  Aerys holding the woman he had the hots for and threatening to harm her is the best leverage he could use to force Rhaegar to do his part.  

 

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19 hours ago, corbon said:

No. None of this makes any sense nor, matches what we see in the books.

Care to elaborate how? Aerys II was a very paranoid man who, as far as we know, mistrusted his son for quite some time. The idea that he gave his Lord Commander authority to grant said son supreme authority is based on ... nothing at this point.

If Hightower, Dayne, and Whent liked to obey Rhaegar when he left them then we have no reason to believe Aerys II expected them or gave them permission to obey Rhaegar without double-checking on him.

Nor is there any reason to believe that Aerys II gave Rhaegar permission to command an army via Hightower when Rhaegar only built and commanded an army after he had returned to court.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Not necessarily, no. Its way more complicated than that.

Its hard to even answer this and keep respectful. We see Rhaegar in command of the royal force, and disposing the Kingsguard as he sees fit (eg Jaime's appeal to replace Darry in the army heading toward the Trident) yet you argue that Rhaegar has no formal authority at court!#

Not formal authority compared to, say, the Hand of the King and the king himself. Informal authority, sure, but do you know what would have happened if Aerys II had wanted his Kingsguard to arrest Rhaegar and hand him over to Rossart rather than accompany him to the Trident? They would have obeyed their king.

And Rhaegar does not really imply he was running the show here - he told Jaime that he could not take him because of his father's wishes, he did not say he could rule and dominate the king, did he? Whatever Rhaegar did he seems to have done with his father's support and approval, but that was not all-encompassing. Had Aerys II not agreed to allow Lewyn, Selmy, and Darry to accompany Rhaegar, they wouldn't have accompanied Rhaegar.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Thats a lie. 
Heres the SSM quote.
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.

GRRM says that dreams are not always literal. Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not. He did not indicate, let alone make clear, that this dream is not to be taken at face value. Indeed, certain parts of it clearly are not to be taken at face value (Lyanna calling him, which was Vayon Poole, the shadows and wraiths at the start which is the dream 'bleeding in', the storm of rose petals across a blood streaked sky, being examples).

LOL, no. George explicitly refers to this dream and Ned's account in it, so that's a rock-tight case that the dream is not a source you should reference if you want to be taken seriously by, you know, George.

Nobody needed George, either, to point out obvious things that were not part of the dream.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

GRRM was muddying the waters. The questioneer outright stated that Jon Snow was Lyanna and Rhaegar's daughter, implying that this was proven by the ToJ dream. In 2002. GRRM was definitely not ready to reveal that, so he tried an obfuscation. But he did not explicitly say not to trust this dream.

Come on, you make a fool of yourself by actually trying to pretend his reference to the dream in question was not a reference to the dream in question. And I'm not sure why you second-guessing and interpreting or explaining George's intention here is something we should take seriously. You didn't ask George about his motivation here, or did you? About his reasoning as to why he referred to the dream as he did?

19 hours ago, corbon said:

He was also deliberately misleading. This dream is not actually a 'fever dream', even though GRRM says it was here, and Ned was under a fever at the time (so this time it technically was a fever dream, so GRRM didn't exactly lie). However this is an old dream, a familiar, intimate dream that Ned knows well enough to recognise it instantly and name it before he even dreams it. So its not really a 'fever dream' at all.

It being an old dream and it being a fever dream are not mutually exclusive. It could have been an old fever dream, you know, right? Just because you dreamed something a couple of times doesn't mean it is true. And the only thing in the dream we can reasonably think is based on reality are the men mentioned to have been in it. Nothing more. Your opinion and desperate wish to believe it is confirmed that the dream conversation accurately depicts reality doesn't make it so nor is it anything that is relevant in a discussion about the subject. Personal beliefs are fine and all, but they do not replace actual arguments.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

There are two "in the dream as it was in life"'s before the conversation. I think that counts enough as evidence, though not proof, that the conversation is an almost exact 'record' considering the lucid nature of it.

No it doesn't. For that, you would actually need textual evidence to confirm that the dream conversation took place the way it did take place in life.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Do you have any evidence that the dream conversation did not take place as 'recorded? No, you don't.

I don't have to present any evidence for that. You make a positive claim, you back it up.

I mean, think about it for a moment - you are making elaborate assumptions based on a very special (and hilarious, in my opinion) interpretation of a dream conversation you don't have any evidence actually took place as 'recorded by the dream'. You have no foundation for your case. If this was a court case you would be laughed out of the court room.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

We disagree. Their vow is to 'protect' the king, not "or die for honour". Dying can be honourable, but doing it deliberately to avoid their duties is not honourable.

But there was no king for them to protect. The king was dead, killed by their own sworn brother. And they did not prevent it. They did not even avenge him. Their honor is tarnished. Butchering Eddard Stark and his buddies is not going to protect anyone from anything.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

I disagree utterly with nearly every statement here.

If your opinion is all you have then you have nothing yet again. You don't have any actual evidence that Lyanna's son was 'a king' and that the knights at the tower thought they were beholden by 'their vow' to butcher said king's uncle and his friends, do you?

19 hours ago, corbon said:

They have to know about that though, and how would they? Their information likely comes from that disseminated by the victorious rebels, who wouldn't care about disseminating the Mad King's meaningless proclamations.

They only do have to know stuff if you buy the dream conversation as 100% accurate. Because, you know, the dream conversation could be inspired by real events, allowing Ned and his buddies to actually tell the knights what had transpired before things came to blows.

But if one buys they knew about Viserys III being on Dragonstone (which you imply they did know in another recent post) then I think they could also have happened things about their king's new heir in general.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Same old irrelevant argument. And simply false.

LOL, no. I know you don't really care about the theoretical concepts of power and rule in the series, but ignorance or disinterest does not equal an argument or a refutation.

But humor me, what exactly is false here. How can it not be treason to proclaim and crown a new king against the chosen and anointed heir of the king you supposedly were loyal to?

19 hours ago, corbon said:

First, I'm not relying on them  knowing about the brutal murders. I'm pointing out they don't know shit about Ned to trust him. He was a nonentity, a shy second son, well in Brandon's shadow. then the war came and suddenly he was a commander of the opposition. They must know that he's a rebel leader and a close friend of Robert, fostered with him in the vale, but its unlikely they know much more than that. I'm using a reasonable contrast to your unreasonable assumption that they can trust Ned enough to hand over their charge to him - because that is in effect what you suggest they should have done.

Who said anything about handing over the child to Ned? What about simply not trying to kill him? They could have, you know, talked and negotiated.

But without any actual evidence that they saw the boy as their 'king', there is simply no reason to take your 'explanation' as to why they saw Ned as a danger to their 'king' seriously. 

In general, the idea that the uncle of a newborn child who actually waged a war to avenge another uncle and the grandfather of that child would want to kill said child is, quite frankly, utterly ridiculous.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Ned's honest and incorruptible reputation is built on the final events of the war and post war. He wasn't born with it and its highly unlikely that they knew very much about him at all before he was suddenly thrust into Lordship and a major command position within the rebel hierarchy.

See Lyanna. Case closed. They would have forgotten more about Eddard Stark than you and I ever knew (assuming Lya wasn't constantly gagged in their presence).

And how exactly is Ned's reputation built on the final events of the war? What do you mean by that? Ned only fathers a bastard at the end of the war, he doesn't do anything that sets him up as an honorable and honest guy - but he is known as one such throughout the Seven Kingdoms nonetheless.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Second, we do have reason to believe they have some knowledge of what has happened elsewhere. In fact we know for certain that they have some knowledge, its just not clear much much.

Only if you give a damn about the dream. Which you know I don't.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

We have to consider how and why they got news, which influence the what was in it. And the when, which connects every aspect.

We can also just ignore that because it is a rather pointless exercise to speculate about an explanation for things which might have never happened in the waking world of the story (i.e. the dream conversation).

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Who will spreading news far and wide after the Trident (and even more so, after the Sack)?
Not Rhaegar, he's dead. 
Not Aerys, he's got other priorities and wants to keep a lid on such news anyway. And after the Sack, he's dead too.
The victorious rebels have means motive and opportunity though. The war is over. The Targaryens are done. Rhaegar is dead, Aerys is dead, Aegon is dead, KL is taken, the Targaryen Army is defeated. Lewyn Martell is dead. Selmy is captured. Darry is dead. Stop fighting, come to KL and bend the knee to King Robert. These are the sorts of things that will be in a raven message sent Westeros-wide shortly after the sack. These are the sorts of things that could feasibly get to the KG at the ToJ.

The rebels only had reason to spread the news that Aerys II was dead and Robert Baratheon the new king. That's all. They had no reason or motivation or need to reference the fates of the royal children - be it Viserys III, Aegon, or Rhaenys. In fact, it would be counter-productive to spread any news about that considering the circumstances Rhaegar's children died. And we do know that there was no official explanation about how they were killed or who killed them - all people got was Tywin presenting them to Robert. But Tywin never told who killed them or on whose orders. His men could have technically just found the dead bodies, no?

19 hours ago, corbon said:

To be completely fair, they don;t necessarily know about the brutality of the murders of the Targaryen kids. But they might. They almost certainly know Ned was a rebel leader and therefore at least in part responsible though.

Ned could have personally smashed Aegon's head against a wall - Aegon wasn't his nephew. Lyanna's son is. Killing strange children is not the same as killing members of your own family.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Default? No. But he's a rebel and a murderer. Why not a kinslayer? They simply can't afford the chance. 

Do you have any evidence for your claim here? Any evidence that they actually have such a ridiculously limited view of the matter? Any evidence that Lyanna was okay that they killed her brother?

19 hours ago, corbon said:

You are also incorrect about Ned allowing Robert to kill his nephew making him a kinslayer. If he takes Jon to Robert and then Robert kills Jon, then the blood is on King Robert's hands, not Ned's. So even if they don't think Ned would be willing to become a kinslayer, they still shouldn't give up their charge to him.

LOL, that's actually trying excuse complicity in murder. If I know you are going to kill my nephew and I hand my nephew over to you and you kill my nephew I've his blood on my hands, too. One could make a case that Ned would have been 'honor-bound' to hand a criminal or traitor from his family over to his king for proper judgment but you are aware of the fact that Lyanna's child was an innocent infant at that point, right? No sane person in this world is expected to be complicit in the murder of his innocent baby nephew in this world. And no sane man would expect that.

If those men actually believed Ned would hand over his nephew to Robert to kill him then you have to assume they would view him as a monster in human form.

And without them actually having any good information on the Sack - or who killed Rhaegar's children - they had literally no reason to assume that Ned would want to kill his nephew - either himself or by handing him over the Robert.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Even if they believed Ned was willing to back his nephew for the crown and declare war on all the rest of westeros, against Robert, against the Vale, against the Westlands, etc etc., they still shouldn't give up the babe. Because the war is lost and Ned can't win it. The time is not now. Now is the time to go into hiding in exile, wait for the babe to grow, rebuild resources and wait for a better time - as has been done with fAegon. Not to give their charge up to another and let their charge be used for another's purposes.

No evidence they ever thought about doing or intended to do such things. Care to elaborate on what you base the idea that Lyanna's son was supposed to be a future Targaryen pretender king.

And you also do know that being a king means that you are a king. If they were intending to bide their time like Connington then the child wouldn't have been a king, right? You cannot have it both ways. Either the child is a king, then the game continues then and there, the war is not lost and Robert will be crushed or they all die in the attempt. Or they want to go into hiding but then there is no king there but, at best, a king in waiting, like Prince Aegon right now.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

I think, yes that is a temptation thats easily turned down, by many. Too much risk, the reward not worth it. Most people aren't willing to risk the utter destruction of everything they have and hold dear, for a slim to none chance of total power sometime in the future..
Its also one that would see the Kingsguard give control and protection of their charge entirely, utterly, into the hand of another - a rebel at that. I don't think they could do that.

Again, what basis do you have they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with the boy, playing mother and father for him? If they wanted to put the boy on the throne then they need great lords for the project - which the boy's uncle happened to be.

I'm curious - what do you think the Hightower pretender king was supposed to do with House Stark in the future? Eradicating them all? With what allies, exactly? The only Targaryen loyalists left were the Dornishmen - not likely to support Lyanna's brat - and the Reach men.

This entire mess is self-contradictory on so many levels. And what about Viserys III? Would they crush him, too, pit Lyanna's son not only against his Stark uncle but against his Targaryen uncle as well?

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Yep (although, its not just 'some years', its most of the time since he was 8, and she was 4? 5?)Ned knows her better than Robert, and she knows Ned enough  to love him and trust his word. 

Ned no longer lived at the Eyrie for years. He was a man grown since 279 AC. He and Robert are both just visiting with friends in the Year of the False Spring.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

But not enough to know for sure whether he'd choose Robert over Rhaegar's child, or not. Until he gave his word.

There is no reason for such a choice, man. Ned is under no legal or moral obligation to tell Robert about Lyanna's child or hand him over to him to be murdered!

How on earth can you possibly think Lyanna Stark could have ever thought her own brother, her flesh and blood, would actually connive to murder her child?! What should be his motivation for this? Love for a Robert? He can love Robert and Lyanna and her child, he does not have to hand the child over. This is not a moral dilemma.

Lyanna seems to be afraid for the future of her child, but there is no evidence she is afraid of Ned or afraid that Ned would participate in the murder of her child. 

19 hours ago, corbon said:

No, reason, but the text. 
This is why its so exhausting engaging with you. Its all about voluminous answers relating to 'what you think', regardless of whats actually in the text. And what you think makes no sense at all much of the time, for all the intellect and erudition behind it.

Nowhere in the text is any indication that Lyanna is afraid that Ned would ever harm or participate in actions that would harm her child. She may have been afraid that Ned would not take it upon himself to actively protect the child, but that's a completely different issue. All we know is that Lyanna was afraid of something. I agree that it likely had to do with the child, but the idea that she was afraid of Ned and not, say, Robert or Targaryen cronies - like those Kingsguard you like to praise so much - pumping him up as a pretender king doing their best to get him killed in some foolish attempt to regain his 'birth right'.

People giving a damn about their child and its future and health rarely do want it become a pawn in a dynastic revenge game. Lyanna wouldn't have wanted her child to be or become a king in the future, she would have wanted it to be safe from both Robert and the Targaryen loyalists.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

Not at all true. 
She can know him well enough to trust his given word completely, yet not know him well enough to predict with complete confidence how he will react when asked to choose between two things he holds dear.

LOL, again. Do I have to explain again that there is no such moral dilemma.

19 hours ago, corbon said:

And the text clearly and explicitly tells us she's in this situation. She had fear in her eyes, which left when he made her promises.

And you do know what exactly she was afraid of, what she asked Ned to do, and what Ned promised, I assume? Her being afraid doesn't tell us what she was afraid of unless the text also tells us that (explicitly) which it doesn't.

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Any children of Rhaegar's were disinherited by default when Viserys III was named heir and was eventually crowned king. King Viserys III names his own heirs, and as a king he would be expected to have heirs of his own body. Sure, while that is not the case Rhaenys and Aegon and any of Rhaegar's other children could be his presumptive heirs - like Princess Aerea was Jaehaerys I's heir before he had children of his own - but it is quite clear that the plan was not that the throne ever goes back to Rhaegar's line. Viserys III own knowledge about Rhaegar's children is irrelevant - he did not disinherit/pass over Rhaegar's children, his father did. Viserys III did name and treat Daenerys his heir, though, as AGoT makes crystal clear.

And as I laid out above, Aerys II had a bundle of reasons to prefer his own blood to his half-Dornish cousins, not just the belief that Lewyn and his men betrayed Rhaegar at the Trident. He very much doted on Viserys, who was his own flesh and blood, Targaryen on both sides of his lineage, not some grandson. And this is a common motive - the great Jaehaerys I preferred all his three sons to his grandchildren or great-grandchildren, and only turned to them as his successor when his third son Vaegon turned him down.

But even if Aerys II had for some reason favored Aegon over his own son Viserys - the very fact that they were in the middle of a war and a boy is a better heir and possible future figurehead should something happen to the king is more than enough to explain why Aerys II would have never named Aegon his heir after the Trident.

There is a huge difference between disinheriting a complete line of descent and passing over one heir for another. And it is the use of the word "disinheriting" I think that is the main difference between the two of us here. Aerys had many reasons to pass over his grandson Aegon in favor of his own son Viserys. Many of them manufactured by his paranoid fantasies and Targaryen bloodline prejudices, but no doubt he had some legitimate concerns like the extreme tender age of Aegon vs. the young boy that was Viserys. But we have nothing to suggest he eliminated Aegon or Rhaenys from the line of succession. It would have been the hight of insanity for him to do so. It would mean resting the fate of the entire Targaryen dynasty on the survival of one seven or eight year old child. Now, perhaps Aerys was that far gone when he named Viserys his heir, but we have no indication he did take such a stupid step. In the history of the Targaryens we know of, the only line that is disinherited, or so it seems, is the Blackfyre line. Even there we know that at the Great Council in which Egg is chosen the Blackfyre claimant tries to put his claim forward. Bloodraven quickly put an end to that.

But, LV, we know Aerys did choose Viserys as his heir after Rhaegar's death at the Trident, and we have Jaime's words to why he did it.

Quote

When the word reached court, Aerys packed the queen off to Dragonstone with Prince Viserys. Princess Elia would have gone as well, but he forbade it. Somehow he had gotten it in his head that Prince Lewyn must have betrayed Rhaegar on the Trident, but he thought he could keep Dorne loyal so long as he kept Elia and Aegon by his side. (bold emphasis added)

So, we can come up with our own reasons why this move might actually make sense, but the reason Jaime saw that was behind the move was not rational.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2019 at 6:43 PM, Lord Varys said:

TWoIaF is canon. The App isn't.

The concept that GRRM would consider a book primarily written by someone not named George R. R. Martin to be canon is, needless to say, a bit doubtful.

If you can find a source in which GRRM defines the World book as canon, I would appreciate it.

On 4/9/2019 at 6:43 PM, Lord Varys said:

You don't have to understand it to accept that it is true. I don't understand Victarion's POV half the time, either, yet I don't declare that he is too dumb to be real. There is no need to doubt the fact that Rhaegar went on some journey and took half a dozen companions with him.

Actually, there is.  It's the author of the actual canon calling such questionable references explicitly into doubt:

Quote

The book is written from the viewpoint of a maester at the Citadel, one who hopes to pass its knowledge on to someone sitting on the Iron Throne. As such, the author may have … rearranged events to suit the interests of a particular royal family. “So who knows if it’s really true or not!” Martin chuckled.

You don't have to understand GRRM to accept that he is right.  What I'm telling you is that this is such an instance, in which Yandel did some rearranging.

It's just a fact that GRRM never laughed off the canon as he does the World book, above.  This is because unlike the World book, the canon has actual POV content verified as objectively real by the fact that we readers are experiencing it first-hand, as the characters do. 

So, for instance, every word of the dialogue in Ned's trip into the crypts with Robert is objectively real.  It was really said, and in exactly that way.  Word for word.

But Yandel's version of that dialogue would, at best, depend on Robert's fuzzy memory of it...  awkward... then after that, on Yandel's editing to summarize what Yandel himself considered important.  It would be an order of magnitude less accurate, just like the World book as a whole, than the actual canonical account.

On 4/9/2019 at 6:43 PM, Lord Varys said:

Chances that Harrenhal took place after Aegon's birth are zero. The context makes it perfectly clear that Aegon was born after Harrenhal and shortly before Rhaegar left Dragonstone.

We shall see.  I like GRRM's account of when Aegon was born much better than Yandel's, and consider him a dramatically superior authority of the two. 

(You do know when GRRM said Aegon was born, don't you?)

Edited by JNR

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10 hours ago, SFDanny said:

There is a huge difference between disinheriting a complete line of descent and passing over one heir for another. And it is the use of the word "disinheriting" I think that is the main difference between the two of us here. Aerys had many reasons to pass over his grandson Aegon in favor of his own son Viserys. Many of them manufactured by his paranoid fantasies and Targaryen bloodline prejudices, but no doubt he had some legitimate concerns like the extreme tender age of Aegon vs. the young boy that was Viserys. But we have nothing to suggest he eliminated Aegon or Rhaenys from the line of succession. It would have been the hight of insanity for him to do so. It would mean resting the fate of the entire Targaryen dynasty on the survival of one seven or eight year old child. Now, perhaps Aerys was that far gone when he named Viserys his heir, but we have no indication he did take such a stupid step. In the history of the Targaryens we know of, the only line that is disinherited, or so it seems, is the Blackfyre line. Even there we know that at the Great Council in which Egg is chosen the Blackfyre claimant tries to put his claim forward. Bloodraven quickly put an end to that.

We have every reason to believe that when somebody is passed over this is true for his or her entire line. This is, for instance, especially clear in the case of Prince Duncan where it is made clear that he would not give up his claim to the throne for himself but also for his descendants. None of those passed over in the succession ever get their shot to rectify the mistake - when Jaehaerys I passes over Rhaenys she and her husband cannot rectify the wrong in 101 AC by ensuring that Laenor succeeds to the throne. It is the same case with Princess Aerea - she is the rightful heir if King Aenys' son Aegon rather than Maegor was the rightful king (on which pretty much everybody should agree) but that didn't help her in 48 AC or later in 50 AC, no?

But I really see no meaningful difference in the legal concepts there. Aerys II was naming an heir and he favored his sons over his grandchildren. Neutrally spoken this means Aegon and Rhaenys were passed over in favor of Prince Viserys. But if you phrases it from the point of view of Aegon and Rhaenys they were disinherited in favor of their uncle because as children of their Heir Apparent they had reason to expect that the throne would pass to them rather than their uncle.

It doesn't mean they had no claim left - as I say, while a hypothetical King Viserys III had no heirs of his body his brother's children may have been seen as his presumptive heirs simply because there were no other Targaryens left.

10 hours ago, SFDanny said:

But, LV, we know Aerys did choose Viserys as his heir after Rhaegar's death at the Trident, and we have Jaime's words to why he did it.

So, we can come up with our own reasons why this move might actually make sense, but the reason Jaime saw that was behind the move was not rational.

Jaime does not comment on the heir thing, only on the decision to keep Elia and Aegon in the capital. I agree that the alleged betrayal of Lewyn would have greatly influenced the decision to name Viserys the heir, but it is also clear that Aerys II general distrust of the Dornishmen and his preference for his own son Viserys and Viserys' age in comparison to Aegon's had something to do with that.

And we can assume that the same reasons - mistrust and fear - that led to the passing over of Aegon and Rhaenys would have also caused Aerys II to pass over Rhaegar's son by Lyanna Stark had he had any inclination that he existed - because unlike with the alleged Dornish betrayal there was more than confirmation of the betrayal and rebellion of House Stark.

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On 4/10/2019 at 12:17 AM, Lord Varys said:

It is pretty significant to find out who those men were and how long they were with Rhaegar because if Myles Mooton and Jon Connington and Richard Lonmouth were among them then Aerys II, his court, and all of Westeros actually have three good sources for the entire - or at least parts of - the Lyanna affair. Connington eventually served Aerys II as Hand, after all.

Slightly offtopic

Are we sure that JonCon was among the "six companions" of Rhaegar? It seems to me that Jon appreciated (to put it lightly) more Rhaegar than the other way around and it's unclear that the "silver prince" trusted him that much.

Also, in his two PoV so far, he never thinks on Lyanna, whereas he loathes Elia.

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