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The Tower of Joy

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22 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???

It is a book. Not real life. It must analyzed in such a way. We need to try to understand what the author is telling us with that scene. Also see: Early Installment Weirdness.

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37 minutes ago, JNR said:

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.

You should not conflate 'correct/incorrect information' with canon status. Canon is every work actually written and published by George R. R. Martin. And TWoIaF fits that criteria. It is certainly true that due to the nature of the work inconsistencies and mistakes that crept in due to the writing and editing process and which are at odds with factual correct information from the main series are superseded by the latter, but that doesn't make the books as such non-canon or even semi-canon. The latter is a term specifically coined for unofficial and informal information given by George in interviews, talks, etc. - factual information about plots and characters and plans, etc. we get this way may or may not be correct, but unlike actual published material they are all preliminary in the sense that George is not beholden to any of that - whereas it is clear that published content is usually not supposed to be changed (which is not always the case, but that's the exception, not the rule). This is why all the heraldry information on houses whose arms have not actually be described in the books are semi-canon. They are subject to change. George could stick to his notes - or he could change his mind. And if you go back to notes and interviews and stuff from the 1990s or early 2000s then a lot of stuff actually changed.

I certainly agree that the level of uncertainty about facts in a history book covering millennia of history is infinitely higher than the uncertainty level in the main series, but faulty memories, conscious and inadvertent lies, etc. are a crucial part of the main series, too. But this doesn't mean that Sansa *remembering* that the Hound kissed her is only semi-canon or non-canon. It just means that a POV in a canonical work has misremembered something.

37 minutes ago, JNR said:

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.

Sure, here the POVs structure of the book is much more reliable than a history book. But this is only the case for the events in the present and even there things are clouded by personal bias and the limits of the POVs perception, understanding, and attention. George really likes to describe certain events by his POV characters not noticing what's actually going on, giving only the subtlest of clues to the reader that the POV missed something there.

But, sure, the amount of nonsense and contradictory stuff that's deliberately put in the two history books is much greater than that in the main series.

37 minutes ago, JNR said:

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.

Sure, but the history books rarely attempt to give us detailed conversation and dialogues - in some cases they do, and here we all have to assume that even the primary sources (Orwyle-Munkun and Eustace, say, in their reports on the first session of the Green Council) did actually use historical fiction to present historical facts in an entertaining way. We can say that events decisions were made the way they are presented, but the idea that the words were spoken the way they are given in the accounts were actually spoken is, of course, nonsense. And George really plays with that when he gives, say, Queen Rhaenyra, two completely contradictory last words. We'll never know what version is correct, if any.

One assumes that there are official protocols of court sessions council meetings and stuff - or at least later written accounts or summaries on what was discussed and decided by the people being there (usually, one assumes, the Grand Maester) - but I doubt those are detailed enough to actually reconstruct entire conversation, more like the views and opinions various attending people expressed, etc.

37 minutes ago, JNR said:

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?)

Not sure where you are going with this. But it was George, too, who told that in TWoIaF. The entire account of Yandel's about the reign of Aerys II and the Year of the False Spring has been written by George.

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30 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

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.

We are not sure, but the potential companions suggested include Dayne, Whent, Connington, Mooton, and Lonmouth. That would make five out of six if we insist that 'half of dozen' is supposed to be accurate rather than an approximation. Lewyn's name has been put forth, too, but I find it very difficult to believe the guy was still particularly close to Rhaegar after Harrenhal. That way, there would be at least one 'mystery guy' among those six companions.

But if George wants us to figure out/theorize who the guys were then the names mentioned - which were also mentioned in TWoIaF (and, in part, elsewhere, too) as the men closest to Rhaegar - simply are the best candidates. But if some/many/all of them were not part of the six, then things would actually be even more interesting than they are now ;-).

As for Connington and Lyanna:

I know he doesn't think of her ... yet. If he had thought of her in ADwD then we would have gotten confirmation on a lot of things we only theorize at this point, and it is clear that George didn't want to do that ... yet.

I doubt Connington doesn't know essentially the entire story of Rhaegar and Lyanna - both what transpired at Harrenhal and what happened thereafter - in great detail (some little things he may have missed, since he wouldn't have been with Rhaegar and Lyanna after a certain point). After all, as a guy who was in love with Rhaegar he would have followed all the rumors and reports on Rhaegar he could have gotten - which should have been plenty during his time as Hand. But even afterwards he would have continued to be obsessed with Rhaegar.

Connington's dismissal of Elia as 'unworthy' of Rhaegar might be both a testament to jealousy as well as Elia's issue in the child-bearing department. Considering his personality I really can't see him being happy for Rhaegar to have his 'true love' in Lyanna. Connington is not the kind of guy who seems to have the grace to acknowledge such things. But perhaps I'm wrong - I'm looking forward to his thoughts on the matter.

In fact, now that I think of it, I actually hope he lives long enough to actually meet Jon as Rhaegar's son. Would be interesting to see what he would tell the boy about his true father and whether he would see anything of Rhaegar in him.

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

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.

 

If Tywin's men had taken Maegor's Holdfast there shouldn't have been any need for Gregor Clegane and Armory Lorch to climb up the side of the tower. 

 

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

 

If Lyanna was upset about her betrothal to Robert, because she didn't think he'd keep to one bed, why would she accept a plural marriage?

 

18 hours 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.

 

If Rhaegar did make arrangements to swap out Aegon with the Pisswater Prince, then it's evidence that supports the theory that Rhaegar was planning a coup, just as I suspect the 10,000 Dornishmen were originally collected to pressure Aerys to step down, and it's why I think Rhaegar didn't wait for them before leaving for the Trident. He expected them to remain in Kings Landing. I think Rhaegar thought the rebel armies assembled on the Trident were on his side, and that any battles prior to his return were misunderstandings that he was confident he could resolve. Rhaegar dying with Lyanna's name on his lips was one of confusion and not love. I see the rebellion as one big trick, planned and executed to perfection by Tywin Lannister.

16 hours ago, corbon said:

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. 

There's no way in hell any raven was taught to fly to a remote tower in the Prince's Pass. Ravens require rookeries and maesters to handle and care for them.

16 hours ago, corbon said:

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.

You provided ideas, but no supporting evidence from the text. You didn't even provide another example where someone received a message at a remote and uninhabited tower before.

16 hours ago, corbon said:

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

Annulment is very different from divorce. Securing an annulment reverses a marriage, stating it was never legitimate. It means that it was invalid from the very beginning - almost as if it had never taken place, making the children bastards in the process. Do you seriously think Rhaegar would have ever done that to Elia? 

16 hours ago, corbon said:

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.

Have you read it? By saying it's a 'nonstarter' sounds like you didn't even bother, which indicates that you are entrenched in your interpretations. I'm not trying to be clever. I'm just explaining something that appears very clear to me, but I'm not married to my conclusions. I change my opinions frequently whenever I come across new information that proves contradictory to any of my theories. If you're so sure you're correct and not open-minded enough to examine other possibilities, then you and I don't have anything useful to discuss.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

I quite agree. They are called Kingsguard for a reason. Their job is to obey the king without question. Even their words within Ned's dream showed their contempt for Jaime, calling him their false brother and that he should burn in hell.

1 hour ago, JNR said:

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

Here you go... . Click on my link.

1 hour ago, JNR said:

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?)

I'm curious. When was Aegon born according to GRRM? Do you have an SSM for it?

Edited by Feather Crystal

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7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We are not sure, but the potential companions suggested include Dayne, Whent, Connington, Mooton, and Lonmouth. That would make five out of six if we insist that 'half of dozen' is supposed to be accurate rather than an approximation. Lewyn's name has been put forth, too, but I find it very difficult to believe the guy was still particularly close to Rhaegar after Harrenhal. That way, there would be at least one 'mystery guy' among those six companions.

But if George wants us to figure out/theorize who the guys were then the names mentioned - which were also mentioned in TWoIaF (and, in part, elsewhere, too) as the men closest to Rhaegar - simply are the best candidates. But if some/many/all of them were not part of the six, then things would actually be even more interesting than they are now ;-).

OK. Thanks! I believe they were six companions because GRRM likes the number six (wasn't there a thread about it?). Dayne, Whent, Mooton and Lonmouth are a given, leaving us with one or two unidentified companions (whether you put JonCon or not among them).  I think it's unlikely there are two mysterious ones, so I tend - for the moment - to think that JonCon was among them

 

7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

As for Connington and Lyanna:

I know he doesn't think of her ... yet. If he had thought of her in ADwD then we would have gotten confirmation on a lot of things we only theorize at this point, and it is clear that George didn't want to do that ... yet.

Yeah, I think it's a good explanation.

 

7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

In fact, now that I think of it, I actually hope he lives long enough to actually meet Jon as Rhaegar's son. Would be interesting to see what he would tell the boy about his true father and whether he would see anything of Rhaegar in him.

Mmmm. I don't think it will happen,  but there is still the missing Lonmouth out there as well that still unnamed companion.

Cheers!

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3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

If Tywin's men had taken Maegor's Holdfast there shouldn't have been any need for Gregor Clegane and Armory Lorch to climb up the side of the tower. 

Maegor's Holdfast isn't a tower. It is a castle within the castle, a vast complex with its own walls, the dry moat, etc. Clegane and Lorch and their buddies scaled the walls because the bridge was up and they couldn't get in. They took the Holdfast this way, presumably lowering the drawbridge once the defenders had been killed over overwhelmed.

3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

If Lyanna was upset about her betrothal to Robert, because she didn't think he'd keep to one bed, why would she accept a plural marriage?

We don't know yet, but the obvious idea is that Lyanna wasn't in love with Robert whereas she may have been in love with Rhaegar. Not to mention that while Elia and Rhaegar were still married, their effective sexual relationship - the core of the marriage, so to speak - would have been over when the maesters told Rhaegar she could no longer have children. This two were not in love - or at least Rhaegar never loved her.

3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Annulment is very different from divorce. Securing an annulment reverses a marriage, stating it was never legitimate. It means that it was invalid from the very beginning - almost as if it had never taken place, making the children bastards in the process. Do you seriously think Rhaegar would have ever done that to Elia? 

We have to admit that we have no idea what annulment means or entails in Westeros exactly. Since it is a practice drawn from the Catholic Church, however, an annulment on the basis of non-consummation - as is on the table for Tyrion-Sansa and was for Jaehaerys-Alysanne before they consummated their marriage - would likely result into the marriage being treated as if it had not existed.

However, that wouldn't be a cause for Rhaegar, considering his marriage to Elia was definitely consummated and blessed with two children.

If 'setting aside a wife/marriage' - the other term used to get rid of marriages and wifes - is legally the same as an annulment (although not done on the basis of non-consummation since it is obvious in AGoT that Robert could also 'set aside' his marriage to Cersei) then it seems not unlikely that the children of a wife set aside in this fashion are now retroactively declared bastards - sort of like Richard III had the children of his brother Edward IV declared bastards on the basis of the alleged invalidity of his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville.

But in Rhaegar's case it is very unlikely that he would have bothered with an annulment or properly setting aside Elia Martell. He was a Targaryen, and they usually think they can do as they please. Prince Maegor also didn't bother properly ending his marriage to Ceryse Hightower when he married Alys Harroway - although it is quite clear that at this point his marriage with his 'barren wife' was effectively at an end. In Maegor's case he could not possibly try to dissolve a marriage with a Hightower who happened to be the High Septon's niece with His High Holiness actually officiating at the wedding. And Rhaegar clearly couldn't have set aside the mother of his children who also happened to be a Princess of Dorne without actually starting Doran's Rebellion long before Robert's Rebellion was in the making.

In that sense, the way to interpret the Rhaegar-Lyanna thing is that Rhaegar simply presumed/tried to take a second wife. Whether that worked, whether anyone accepted this 'marriage' and acknowledged Lyanna Stark as his wife is completely unclear at this point.

My own personal guess is that the overwhelming majority of the people were opposed to this marriage, assuming they learned that it took place (which I find not unlikely because it makes no sense for Rhaegar to marry and then hide that fact). First, because there is no precedent that a mere prince ever got through with bigamy or polygamy (Prince Maegor was forced into exile over this!), the precedents of successful royal polygamy both among Targaryens and First Men houses always involve actual ruling king. Second because he had a highborn wife in Elia Martell, and a wife who had given him two healthy heirs. Nobody would like to see his daughter discarded in such a fashion, especially not when she had done her marital duties and served as a baby machine. And third because Lyanna Stark was an obscure Northern girl not even following the majority religion of Westeros. The marriage between Rhaegar and Elia was done in the Great Sept by the High Septon himself - who would have been on good footing with the Mad King since Aerys II humbled himself in his walk of penance after the execution of his last mistress. Rhaegar taking another wife and breaking all the vows he had sworn in front of gods and men when he married Elia would have been a slap in the face of the Seven themselves.

This is not something people would applaud. In a sense, expecting that anyone liked this thing is about as likely as Mitt Romney citing Mormon precedents and then going through with polygamy, or Trump citing Egyptian rulers and precedents and then marrying Ivanka. Public opinion in Westeros resents polygamy, possibly more than royal incest - because they actually accepted the latter as part of an official tenet of the Faith, but never the former.

Rhaegar could still try to play the Targaryen exceptionalism card - I'm the blood of the dragon, I better than you all, I can do what I want, etc. - but chances are very low that such an approach would have made him popular anywhere in Westeros.

3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

OK. Thanks! I believe they were six companions because GRRM likes the number six (wasn't there a thread about it?). Dayne, Whent, Mooton and Lonmouth are a given, leaving us with one or two unidentified companions (whether you put JonCon or not among them).  I think it's unlikely there are two mysterious ones, so I tend - for the moment - to think that JonCon was among them

I just think if we think Mooton was with Rhaegar - who was then with Connington at Stoney Sept - then it really makes no sense to assume Connington wasn't with him, too. If Mooton eventually left Rhaegar and Lyanna, then Connington could have done the same. I expect that Rhaegar sent these two back to KL after the abduction (and, perhaps, the subsequent wedding) to try to calm the waters at court, to explain to his father why he had done what he did. And one assumes this must have worked, or else Connington would have never become Hand when Aerys II couldn't find Rhaegar.

And I really find we need an inside POV on the Rhaegar journey and the abduction, etc. when this part of the story is finally told. This is too important a part of the back story to just have somebody explain it to us - it is something for POV memories, too. And it is too big a story to cover them in a series of visions by Bran - although I think we'll get intimate things between Rhaegar and Lyanna at Harrenhal and elsewhere, later, from such visions, too.

3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Mmmm. I don't think it will happen,  but there is still the missing Lonmouth out there as well that still unnamed companion.

Well, it could be nice closure for Connington who is likely to be pretty pissed should he ever find how he was fooled and used by Varys and Illyrio - assuming that's what happened.

If Lonmouth is Lem Lemoncloak - which is very likely in my opinion - then he might tell some people some stuff, too, but I don't expect any deep insights from him. That guy is pretty far off by now.

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Oh, and just a quick addendum:

I consider it not unlikely that Richard Lonmouth was with Rhaegar and Lyanna alongside Dayne and Whent until Hightower arrived. He would have accompanied Rhaegar back to KL (along with the mysterious sixth guy, perhaps) and eventually to the Trident - where, I assume, Lonmouth may have told Ned everything he knew about Lyanna and Rhaegar, and possibly even their location when he left her.

That is a much better explanation in my opinion than any other speculation I've read so far as to how Ned may have learned where to look for his sister. And Lonmouth being a Stormlander who actually get along reasonably well with Robert, at least back at Harrenhal, would explain both why he was spared even if he were an accomplice in the abduction as well as why Ned may have trusted him.

Something that's usually - and by some people willfully - overlooked is the fact that the revelation about Rhaegar's six companions more or less destroys those old and rather far-fetched ideas that nobody knew anything about Lyanna or her whereabouts during the war as well as those ideas that Rhaegar had to keep the KG with Lyanna to prevent them from talking about Lyanna, etc. If more men than just Dayne and Whent where with Rhaegar when Hightower arrived there, then those men had obviously left by the time Ned arrived there (assuming they were all at the tower the entire time, of course) and that means they could have talked about what they witnessed and did. To pretty much anyone.

But as I've said repeatedly, I also see no reason to believe that Hightower searched for Rhaegar all by himself without any retinue - i.e. no squires, pages, attendants, etc. He was the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and a Hightower by birth. He wouldn't stumble through the middle of nowhere all by himself, especially not during a war. And if Hightower had retinue then those men would have accompanied Rhaegar back to KL, telling their king everything he wanted to know. Just as Rhaegar himself may have done, actually.

In light of that any of those strange ideas that Rhaegar successfully prevented Lyanna from becoming a hostage of his father don't hold much water if you ask me. Either Aerys II did not care about her becoming a hostage, or she actually was also such a hostage - an idea that would entail that Lyanna's love for Rhaegar died more or less when Aerys II burned her brother and father and was finally buried when Rhaegar - the guy who may have professed to love her - left her, donned his armor, and prepared to kill her betrothed, Lord Robert - a man she may not have loved but she may have still liked -, as well as (and more importantly) her second brother, Lord Eddard, along with all the male friends and companions of her childhood who happened to accompany their liege lord into battle.

In a book written by George R. R. Martin 'true love' does not overcome as convoluted a family feud as this.

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5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

There's no way in hell any raven was taught to fly to a remote tower in the Prince's Pass. Ravens require rookeries and maesters to handle and care for them.

You provided ideas, but no supporting evidence from the text. You didn't even provide another example where someone received a message at a remote and uninhabited tower before.

I didn't at any time suggest that they got their message by raven - for exactly the reason you give, that no ravens fly to remote and uninhabited towers. In fact I explicitly said that someone secretly supporting them likely got this 'end of war' message (which almost every major and even minor Holding would have got within a few weeks), and then passed it on to them. Maybe Ashara Dayne for example, or whoever was supplying them with food etc. This also leads to the likelihood that they got this information not long before Ned arrived. Its got to actually be sent out by the originators (victorious rebels IMO) likely after the Sack, received probably by Raven mail somewhere else, then transported physically to the ToJ, perhaps through another 'waypoint' first (eg KL->Starfall->

5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Annulment is very different from divorce. Securing an annulment reverses a marriage, stating it was never legitimate. It means that it was invalid from the very beginning - almost as if it had never taken place, making the children bastards in the process. 

This is incorrect, but a common misconception. 
Canon 1137 of The Code of Canon Law states that “The children conceived or born of a valid or putative marriage are legitimate.”
Canon 1061 of the Code of Canon Law states that “An invalid marriage is called putative if it has been celebrated in good faith by at least one of the parties, until both parties become certain of its nullity”.
If either of the parties to the marriage celebrated it in good faith during the times of the child's conception or birth, then the laterly annulled marriage becomes a 'putative' marriage, and if either party to the marriage (husband or wife) treated the marriage at that time as valid then the children are still 'legitimate' even after the marriage is annulled. This is almost always the case, and certainly so in Rhaegar and Elia's case. 

This is of course how things work in our world, in the Catholic Church that dominated the relevant real-world cultures that seem to correspond to Westeros, but unless we have information to the contrary, we have to assume that it works the same way in the Faith of the Seven.

5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Have you read it? By saying it's a 'nonstarter' sounds like you didn't even bother, which indicates that you are entrenched in your interpretations. 

I started to a long time ago maybe in the Heresy area? It went off the rails, IMO, fairly quickly and I didn't bother with the whole thing. I've seen more of it (skimmed through what you posted here for example) since, still not impressed (possibly the same early stuff, lose interest thing).

5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I'm not trying to be clever. I'm just explaining something that appears very clear to me, but I'm not married to my conclusions. I change my opinions frequently whenever I come across new information that proves contradictory to any of my theories. If you're so sure you're correct and not open-minded enough to examine other possibilities, then you and I don't have anything useful to discuss.

I would judge myself similarly, though its not often that there is new information. On a game forum I once discussed/argued a rules point for 10 pages with mostly 2 other posters in a three-way (it got quite abstract, because it was a deeply fundamental point that affected everything else in the way the rules played). One sentence 10 pages in completely reversed my opinion.  

From what I recall, the reason we have nothing really to discuss here is that our differences are so fundamental that your foundations don't exist for me. On top of that (or maybe this is the reason for that), IIRC lots (almost all?) of your reasoning and connections is based on symbolism which I don't respect the same way you do - particularly when its used to entirely replace literal text.

Your reply to @SFDannyO in post 90 of this thread is a good example. Your 'wraiths' answer is such empty nonsense to me that it doesn't actually constitute a reasonable argument responding to his point. I respect a difference of thinking style enough to not wish to argue/condemn it (which I'm kind of doing here, sorry, but you asked, and I'm trying to do this respectfully while explaining my unwillingness to engage this area), but it simply doesn't constitute a reasonable argument to me.
Ned's dream is repeatedly "as it was in life".  His seven rode up. Th KG three were outside the round (not fallen) tower, with the red mountains of Dorne in the background. Thats not Maegor's Holdfast in KL and some symbolic verbiage doesn't equate it with the symbolically bloodstained stones of Maegor's Keep. Period. They talked, they fought. And all of that was about Lyanna Stark in her bed of blood. And afterward Ned tore down the tower and built cairns for the 8 dead. This is a repeated, old, familiar, not-just fever dream. While there may be symbolic aspects here ad there (especially the clearly fantastical parts), the entire thing is not a totally symbolic fantasy. 

You said earlier in a reply to someone that you understand the books through symbolism. While I understand and respect symbolism for certain points, I've got a very logical, literal and direct mind. For me, you can't simply ignore everything that is written and replace it entirely with symbolism - not least because that means that there are no facts, no objectivity, only subjective connections and beliefs. That is the death of community to me. You have to have common understandings. Words have to actually mean what they mean, not what you want them to mean, or we can't communicate.
Our minds just work too differently. Whats awesome about GRRMs work is that we can both love it.

To overcome these things takes a lot of time and energy. We've tried this before (maybe not full on directly, but certainly on the edges) and failed, I've not the resources to go around again, sorry. 
Heck, I'm busting my time and energy budget just poking round the edges of this discussion and explaining why I don't want to go deeper in certain areas, which is why I'll mostly not answer LVs latest post responding to me (sorry @Lord Varys, same old same old, I'm happy with what I've written already and think it stands up well against what you've written - as I'm sure you do in reverse, I just don't understand how. :) )

 

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On 4/11/2019 at 8:21 AM, Feather Crystal said:

There's no way in hell any raven was taught to fly to a remote tower in the Prince's Pass. Ravens require rookeries and maesters to handle and care for them.

You provided ideas, but no supporting evidence from the text. You didn't even provide another example where someone received a message at a remote and uninhabited tower before.

You may confusing something I wrote with what @corbon has posted. While I too doubt that ravens went directly to the Tower of Joy, I don't doubt that messengers of all sorts were involved in Rhaegar's network of supporters. So when news of the Trident, or any of the other events spoken of in Ned's dream, is spread throughout Westeros, I think we can be sure that Rhaegar's supporters also spread their own version of the critical information. All it takes is for one person to be tied into both the network of supporters and have knowledge of where information needs to be sent. What that means is if, for instance, Lonmouth has his family's maester send out the news to friends in Dorne, an obscure local lord who controls the territory on which the Tower of Joy sits needs only to receive the message and have a trusted family servant drop off the message to the strangers staying in the tower. This isn't difficult stuff. It requires a wide network of political supporters willing to risk sending word on to others they trust. Given we know Rhaegar had such support this isn't hard to imagine, and I think we can be sure Hightower and Dayne would make sure they did not sit at the tower divorced from all information of the world outside the Tower of Joy.

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On 4/10/2019 at 11:23 AM, Feather Crystal said:

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.

Because the dialogue doesn't say specifically that the combat occurs at the tower of joy doesn't mean it is isn't clear that it does. Again, Ned, outside of the dream, tells us of building cairns out of the tower of joy's stones to bury both his men and the Kingsguard. He didn't transport the bodies over hundreds of miles or transport the stones over the same distance to do so. So, that means, if I understand your theory correctly, that the Kingsguard were in King's Landing and left during the sack for the tower. Is that right? The problem is that we have evidence that is not the case. 

Quote

"Everything was done in the utmost secrecy by a handful of master pyromancers. They did not even trust their own acolytes to help. The queen's eyes had been closed for years, and Rhaegar was busy marshaling an army. But Aerys's new mace-and-dagger Hand was not utterly stupid, and with Rossart, Belis, and Garigus coming and going night and day, he became suspicious. Chelsted, that was his name, Lord Chelsted." It had come back to him suddenly, with the telling. "I'd thought the man craven, but the day he confronted Aerys he found some courage somewhere. He did all he could to dissuade him. He reasoned, he jested, he threatened, and finally he begged. When that failed he took off his chain of office and flung it down on the floor. Aerys burnt him alive for that, and hung his chain about the neck of Rossart, his favorite pyromancer. The man who had cooked Lord Rickard Stark in his own armor. And all the time, I stood by the foot of the Iron Throne in my white plate, still as a corpse, guarding my liege and all his sweet secrets.

"My Sworn Brothers were all away, you see, but Aerys liked to keep me close. I was my father's son, so he did not trust me. He wanted me where Varys could watch me, day and night. So I heard it all." He remembered how Rossart's eyes would shine when he unrolled his maps to show where the substance must be placed. Garigus and Belis were the same. "Rhaegar met Robert on the Trident, and you know what happened there. 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. The traitors want my city, I heard him tell Rossart, but I'll give them naught but ashes. Let Robert be king over charred bones and cooked meat. The Targaryens never bury their dead, they burn them. Aerys meant to have the greatest funeral pyre of them all. Though if truth be told, I do not believe he truly expected to die. Like Aerion Brightfire before him, Aerys thought the fire would transform him . . . that he would rise again, reborn as a dragon, and turn all his enemies to ash. (ASoS 418-419) bold emphasis added

Jaime tells us here he is the only member of the Kingsguard around Aerys all of the time in which the pyromancer plot was being put into place. We also know that when the day of the sack came it was to Jaime that the defense of the Red Keep was left. There are no other Kingsguard there the entire period from the day of Chelsted's burning when Darry stood with Jaime at Rhaella's door and then left for the Trident to the time of the sack. Trying to turn the Red Keep into the Red Mountains just doesn't work.

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On 4/12/2019 at 12:54 PM, SFDanny said:

Given we know Rhaegar had such support this isn't hard to imagine, and I think we can be sure Hightower and Dayne would make sure they did not sit at the tower divorced from all information of the world outside the Tower of Joy.

The books actually have an example of men in a tower with no clue as to what's going on with any of their allies...not even between towers within the same castle. I'm talking about the Ironborn when they held Moat Cailin:

Quote

 

“How many of the garrison are left?”

“Some,” said the ironman. “I don’t know. Fewer than we was before. Some in the Drunkard’s Tower too, I think. Not the Children’s Tower. Dagon Codd went over there a few days back. Only two men left alive, he said, and they was eating on the dead ones. He killed them both, if you can believe that.”

Moat Cailin has fallen, Reek realized then, only no one has seen fit to tell them. He rubbed his mouth to hide his broken teeth, and said, “I need to speak with your commander.”

“Kenning?” The guard seemed confused. “He don’t have much to say these days. He’s dying. Might be he’s dead. I haven’t seen him since… I don’t remember when…”

 

 

On 4/12/2019 at 1:46 PM, SFDanny said:

Because the dialogue doesn't say specifically that the combat occurs at the tower of joy doesn't mean it is isn't clear that it does. Again, Ned, outside of the dream, tells us of building cairns out of the tower of joy's stones to bury both his men and the Kingsguard. He didn't transport the bodies over hundreds of miles or transport the stones over the same distance to do so. So, that means, if I understand your theory correctly, that the Kingsguard were in King's Landing and left during the sack for the tower. Is that right? The problem is that we have evidence that is not the case. 

Shorty after we're introduced to Ned's fever dream, we read about Robert's injury by the boar. On his way to the royal apartments in Maegor's Holdfast, Ned walks past three Kingsguard and experiences a bit of deja vu. IMO this is a replay of the real life events when Ned met the Kingsguard at the tower of joy (Maegor's Holdfast) during the Sack.

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.

Note that as Ned passes Blount, Greenfield, and Selmy he "remembered", and that a strange chill went through him. I believe it was because this is exactly how Ned came across Hightower, Whent, and Dayne. The way it's described sounds like all three Kingsguard were on the holdfast's side of the drawbridge, so the bridge could have been up when Gregor and Amory were scaling it during the Sack, and still had three Kingsguard in those same three places: end of the bridge, at the stairs, and at the door. Perhaps they weren't aware Gregor and Amory were climbing up the side?

The next thing that Ned sees sounds eerily what we know about when Ned found Lyanna dying in her bed of blood, but I also believe that this scene is also a mirror to Elia's death by rape - a scene that I suspect was also a bloody mess.

Quote

 

“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.

 

To me, the highlighted words tell two stories. Either Elia was still alive when Ned arrived on the scene, or Lyanna's deathbed looked eerily similar, and the two memories have melded into one, but there are seven details that echo Ned's dream, and could very easily describe the aftermath of a violent rape: 

1) a body laying across a canopied bed

2) feet sticking out beneath a blanket

3) a green garment laying on the floor, slashed open and discarded, with bloody stains.

4) a room that smelled of smoke, blood, and death

5) the victim whispering to Ned to come closer

6) a "devil" is responsible

7) "missed my thrust" - she fought the rape

 

Next we move on to Ned's reactions. The following passage could easily describe how Jaime killed King Aerys II. Just replace the boar with Jaime, and the tusks with his sword. Swap Hightower for Barristan, and Whent and Dayne for the Kingsguard. The order of these real life events makes me think Ned saw Aerys's bloody corpse before he saw Elia's in the royal apartments. 

Quote

“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.

 

This next bit I haven't figured out, but it's very interesting, because it hints that Jaime will end up losing an eye:

Quote

“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.

“Truly,” Lord Renly murmured. “We brought the carcass back with us, at my brother’s command. ”

“For the feast,” Robert whispered. “Now leave us. The lot of you. I need to speak with Ned. ”

This is a little off topic, but I think it's such a great find that I'm mostly posting this just to save it. This small passage above has a cryptic description of Robert: that his smile was terrible as a wound with red teeth. I have posited that Robert is the true identity behind the Smiling Knight. There's actually a number of references connecting the Smiling Knight to redgum, the leaf that is chewed like chewing tobacco and causes the chewers saliva to turn reddish-pink. I won't bore or confuse you with trying to elaborate here, but I promise you that this will come up again in future.

This next line could be Ned talking to Lyanna:

Quote

Damn you, Robert,” Ned said when they were alone. His leg was throbbing so badly he was almost blind with pain. Or perhaps it was grief that fogged his eyes. He lowered himself to the bed, beside his friend. “Why do you always have to be so headstrong?”

 

The rest of the scene is Robert telling Ned that he thinks the gods sent the boar to punish him for trying to kill Daenerys. Then he has Ned help him write a will that dictates his wishes. Ned tries to disinherit Cersei's children by writing 'my heir' instead of Joffrey.

Quote

 

“Ah, fuck you, Ned,” the king said hoarsely. “I killed the bastard, didn’t I?” A lock of matted black hair fell across his eyes as he glared up at Ned. “Ought to do the same for you. Can’t leave a man to hunt in peace. Ser Robar found me. Gregor’s head. Ugly thought. Never told the Hound. Let Cersei surprise him. ” His laugh turned into a grunt as a spasm of pain hit him. “Gods have mercy,” he muttered, swallowing his agony. “The girl. Daenerys. Only a child, you were right . . . that’s why, the girl . . . the gods sent the boar . . . sent to punish me . . . ” The king coughed, bringing up blood. “Wrong, it was wrong, I . . . only a girl . . . Varys, Littlefinger, even my brother . . . worthless . . . no one to tell me no but you, Ned . . . only you . . . ” He lifted his hand, the gesture pained and feeble. “Paper and ink. There, on the table. Write what I tell you. ”

Ned smoothed the paper out across his knee and took up the quill. “At your command, Your Grace. ”

“This is the will and word of Robert of House Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and all the rest—put in the damn titles, you know how it goes. I do hereby command Eddard of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King, to serve as Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm upon my . . . upon my death . . . to rule in my . . . in my stead, until my son Joffrey does come of age . . . ”

“Robert . . . ” Joffrey is not your son, he wanted to say, but the words would not come. The agony was written too plainly across Robert’s face; he could not hurt him more. So Ned bent his head and wrote, but where the king had said “my son Joffrey,” he scrawled “my heir” instead. The deceit made him feel soiled. The lies we tell for love, he thought. May the gods forgive me. “What else would you have me say?”

“Say . . . whatever you need to. Protect and defend, gods old and new, you have the words. Write. I’ll sign it. You give it to the council when I’m dead. ”

“Robert,” Ned said in a voice thick with grief, “you must not do this. Don’t die on me. The realm needs you. ”

Robert took his hand, fingers squeezing hard. “You are . . . such a bad liar, Ned Stark,” he said through his pain. “The realm . . . the realm knows . . . what a wretched king I’ve been. Bad as Aerys, the gods spare me. ”

“No,” Ned told his dying friend, “not so bad as Aerys, Your Grace. Not near so bad as Aerys. ”

Robert managed a weak red smile. “At the least, they will say . . . this last thing . . . this I did right. You won’t fail me. You’ll rule now. You’ll hate it, worse than I did . . . but you’ll do well. Are you done with the scribbling?”

“Yes, Your Grace. ” Ned offered Robert the paper. The king scrawled his signature blindly, leaving a smear of blood across the letter. “The seal should be witnessed. ”

“Serve the boar at my funeral feast,” Robert rasped. “Apple in its mouth, skin seared crisp. Eat the bastard. Don’t care if you choke on him. Promise me, Ned.

I promise. ” Promise me, Ned, Lyanna’s voice echoed.

The girl,” the king said. “Daenerys. Let her live. If you can, if it . . . not too late . . . talk to them . . . Varys, Littlefinger . . . don’t let them kill her. And help my son, Ned. Make him be . . . better than me. ” He winced. “Gods have mercy. ”

 

I can see how this last part can be read more than one way, but there are elements that seem to be echoes:

1) a king is killed by the gods for trying to kill a maiden. (Lyanna and Daenerys)

2) Ned tried to disinherit a prince. (Rhaegar and Joffrey)

3) Robert says he was just as bad as Aerys - I think this is an important admission that will show up as a shocking revelation in the next book.

4) a prince is not really the king's son. (Jon and Joffrey)

5) Robert and Lyanna extract promises from Ned. (one to let live, the other to let die)

On 4/12/2019 at 1:46 PM, SFDanny said:

Jaime tells us here he is the only member of the Kingsguard around Aerys all of the time in which the pyromancer plot was being put into place. We also know that when the day of the sack came it was to Jaime that the defense of the Red Keep was left. There are no other Kingsguard there the entire period from the day of Chelsted's burning when Darry stood with Jaime at Rhaella's door and then left for the Trident to the time of the sack. Trying to turn the Red Keep into the Red Mountains just doesn't work.

This doesn't exclude Hightower, Whent, and Dayne, because if they were already guarding Maegor's Holdfast with the drawbridge up, they were unavailable to assist with any of the other defenses that Jaime was in charge of.

 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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@Lord Varys - My memory is terrible here, but I'm going to ask you about something from Fire and Blood.  I think I read that every tower and holdfast in Dorne was destroyed "twice over" (including the Citadel?) during the war with Dorne.  Do I remember this correctly?  If that is the case, how could the ToJ survive that onslaught unless it was built later.   

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17 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

This doesn't exclude Hightower, Whent, and Dayne, because if they were already guarding Maegor's Holdfast with the drawbridge up, they were unavailable to assist with any of the other defenses that Jaime was in charge of.

What part of "My Sworn Brothers were all away" don't you get? I'm all for creative looks at things, but this is, how would you say, in direct opposition to "canon." With nothing but very creative thinking (aka made up stuff) to back it up.

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

My memory is terrible here, but I'm going to ask you about something from Fire and Blood.  I think I read that every tower and holdfast in Dorne was destroyed "twice over" (including the Citadel?) during the war with Dorne.  Do I remember this correctly?  If that is the case, how could the ToJ survive that onslaught unless it was built later.   

Just "every castle", holdfasts aren't mentioned. That said, that is in fact not quite an accurate statement in F&B, as Sunspear was not burned by the Targaryens (as GRRM agreed when writing the Aegon material for TWoIaF; it's complicated!). It's entirely possible that "every castle" does not mean every single fortification, but just proper, walled castles with a keep and yard. The tower of joy appears to be a simple towerhouse, and may not be considered a full "castle". 

And, of course, the tower of joy could have been built after the Dragon's Wroth.

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1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

What part of "My Sworn Brothers were all away" don't you get? I'm all for creative looks at things, but this is, how would you say, in direct opposition to "canon." With nothing but very creative thinking (aka made up stuff) to back it up.

Not to mention that if Hightower, Whent and Dayne were available, Jaime wouldn't have had to ask Rhaegar to leave Darry behind so that he could play a hero at the Trident.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, SFDanny said:

What part of "My Sworn Brothers were all away" don't you get? I'm all for creative looks at things, but this is, how would you say, in direct opposition to "canon." With nothing but very creative thinking (aka made up stuff) to back it up.

They were far away from the throne room. Too far away to have been able to stop Jaime. 

You have every right to not believe me, but when people resort to taking an insulting tone, it means I've hit a nerve. Why are you so threatened by my showing you that the text already provides examples to explain the dream? I'm not making this up out of thin air. I'm pointing out words the author has already written.

2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Not to mention that if Hightower, Whent and Dayne were available, Jaime wouldn't have had to ask Rhaegar to leave Darry behind so that he could play a hero at the Trident.

They were already assigned a job to do and unavailable.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Just "every castle", holdfasts aren't mentioned. That said, that is in fact not quite an accurate statement in F&B, as Sunspear was not burned by the Targaryens (as GRRM agreed when writing the Aegon material for TWoIaF; it's complicated!). It's entirely possible that "every castle" does not mean every single fortification, but just proper, walled castles with a keep and yard. The tower of joy appears to be a simple towerhouse, and may not be considered a full "castle". 

And, of course, the tower of joy could have been built after the Dragon's Wroth.

Cheers! Thank you.

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49 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

They were far away from the throne room. Too far away to have been able to stop Jaime. 

You have every right to not believe me, but when people resort to taking an insulting tone, it means I've hit a nerve. Why are you so threatened by my showing you that the text already provides examples to explain the dream? I'm not making this up out of thin air. I'm pointing out words the author has already written.

They were already assigned a job to do and unavailable.

Jaime makes it clear the other Kingsguard were not in King's Landing. Your theory is based on ignoring this fact. Show me evidence that Jaime was wrong and we have a basis for a discussion. Ignore the evidence and or pretend it doesn't exist and it is extremely hard to have any discussion. It becomes endless posts of made up stuff. My apologies if I come off insulting, but that is not my intent. It is to try to get you to answer a point I have made repeatedly and you ignore.

Please, Feather Crystal, believe I have no interest in endless debates over ground in which we have no basis for common footing. It ain't personal, and I will leave you to the discussion. Perhaps we can find another topic in which we can reach a basis for a better and more fruitful discussion. Until then. 

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11 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

They were already assigned a job to do and unavailable.

"Your Grace,” Jaime had pleaded, “let Darry stay to guard the king this once, or Ser Barristan."

Meaning, no other KG but Jaime was left behind to guard the king. If you claim that Aerys always kept three KG outside Maegor's and required a fourth to be his personal bodyguard, you need to present a textual proof. Which doesn't exist. And the reason it doesn't exist, in-world, is that Aerys was a coward and would have kept the KG close to him, not assigned to posts somewhere they wouldn't even be able to hear him.

Besides, if the KG are just outside the fortress, they are too far to do a thing, not far away. If you are far away, you are way further than just outside the fortress. 

Really, no use to continue the discussion if you insist on ignoring what's stated black on white.

 

 

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