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Heresy 221 and the Children of Winterfell

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10 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The military movements that make me scratch my head is the path the rebels took after the Battle of the Bells at Stoney Sept, which is southeast of Riverrun, southwest of the Gods Eye, and way south of the Ruby Ford of the Trident. Why did the rebel army retreat to the north side of the river?

I guess to get a better defensive position. They didn't know what Tywin was doing and to prevent getting flanked, they had to retreat. 

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4 hours ago, Mace Cooterian said:

It is hinted at that he is from Bugtussle, which one would presume would be nearby to Petticoat Junction, or Hooterville.  Which state?  Anyone's guess but Southwest Missouri (USA) would at least put you somewhere in the ballpark.

 

I thought it was Mulesville, Hayseed County...

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13 hours ago, SirArthur said:

I don't know how much time was between Bells and Trident, but from the military positions and movements, I assume that Rhaegar was under time pressure. Under normal circumstances, the Targaryens should play on time and wait for more troops. It is clear from the text that Rhaegar rushed the formation of his army, yet he is the attacker, not the defender. 

For a serious battle, both sides need a reason to fight and not retreat. I suggest that Rhaegar was marching against two different armies: the Tully-Stark-Arryn alliance and a Lannister alliance. So he had to defeat one army fast, he positioned against the larger host and the Lannister army got into his flank, with possibility to march on KL an Rhaegar's host.

Robert's forced may have had similar problems. They couldn't allow Rhaegar to cross the Trident and din't know about the Lannister position. 

Overall, from the speed the armies were assembled and Rhaegar's attack instead of fighting defensive,  I conclude that there was another issue (like Lannister) putting pressure on the Targaryens. So much pressure that they had no time to regroup on a strategic level. I don't think there was more than 6 month between Bells and Trident. Unless the Targaryens lost another army, we know nothing about.

The timetable may suggest the siege of Storm's End lasted for the better part of a year. This is true, but as someone posted earlier, Robert has to do his world journey, the rebels have to march on King's Landing and then on Storm's End. If the better part of a year ... is ten month, then there may be 5 month between Bells and Trident. 

We really don't know what was going on, but perhaps the most likely scenario is that the main rebel army was falling back northwards hoping to gather reinforcements in the face of Rhaegar's offensive. Its possible that Tywin might have hinted at coming in on Rhaegar's flank, but far more likely it was a Bosworth scenario where he was closing in but not committing himself until he could see which was the winning side

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2 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I'd be a bit hesitant to use the SSMs to rule out anyone conceiving Jon before Lyanna was kidnapped.  GRRM seems to love to play games with the way he words his answers.

I had an occasion to go back and read the SSM where GRRM lined up Jon's age with Dany's.  The person who posed the question actually didn't come right out and ask George when Jon was born (assuming that George wouldn't answer that question).  Instead he/she tried to figure out the amount of time that elapsed between the time AGOT noted the passing of Jon's 15th nameday and the passing of Dany's 14th nameday.  The person who asked the question actually thought over a year elapsed in the book before each had noted that their nameday had come and gone.

GRRM never really answered that question, stating that the chronology in the books always gave him fits.  So rather than directly answering how much time elapsed in the books between their namedays, George came right out and stated that Jon was 8 to 9 months older than Dany.  

Now the most straighforward way of reading this, is that GRRM is acknowledging that Jon and Dany's namedays reflect their actual age thus their namedays are 8 to 9 months apart.  If so, then we must assume that Dany's nameday occurred 9 months after Rhaella and Viserys fled King's Landing.  Thus Jon was born right around the time of the Sack. 

Another way of reading this, is that Jon and Dany's actual age may be different than what their namedays reflect.  After all, we know that Jon's birth is shrouded in mystery, and perhaps Dany's is as well, depending on how much stock you put into the possibility that Viserys was full of crap, and that Dany wasn't born 9 moons after a midnight flight to Dragonstone to Rhaella (i.e. lemongate).  If this is true, then George may have actually sidestepped the reader's question, and answered instead the difference in time between their actual ages, knowing that the reader doesn't really have a good frame of reference of Dany's actual birth to do the math and try to figure out when Jon was conceived.

As for the SSM about Brandon, I think the possibility is even greater that George is leaving himself wiggle room.  After all, the SSM is that Brandon died before he had sons.  So does that mean that Brandon died before he could conceive sons?  Or does it mean that Brandon died before any of his sons were born?  Or more simply, it may mean that Brandon died before he could marry and conceive any legitimate sons.

Hence my assertion that counting angels on pinheads isn't going to "prove" anything. Its obvious GRRM didn't count them either and what's far more important is what he's actually telling us.

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5 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

We really don't know what was going on, but perhaps the most likely scenario is that the main rebel army was falling back northwards hoping to gather reinforcements in the face of Rhaegar's offensive. Its possible that Tywin might have hinted at coming in on Rhaegar's flank, but far more likely it was a Bosworth scenario where he was closing in but not committing himself until he could see which was the winning side

Or maybe any military strategy is outlawed by the Faith and may not be used at all? Would explain things in the mummers version, too ;)

"True believers don't rely on strategy."

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

We really don't know what was going on, but perhaps the most likely scenario is that the main rebel army was falling back northwards hoping to gather reinforcements in the face of Rhaegar's offensive. Its possible that Tywin might have hinted at coming in on Rhaegar's flank, but far more likely it was a Bosworth scenario where he was closing in but not committing himself until he could see which was the winning side

I guess Tywin wanted to make Cersei queen and he used his forces as bargaining chip and he played both sides in the end. Robert and Rhaegar had to solve the situation. Rhaegar by trying to take out the stronger rebellion force first and the rebels by fighting defensive. 

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On 5/12/2019 at 10:06 AM, Feather Crystal said:

The years that events occurred are not in dispute. The False Spring and the tourney at Harrenhal occurred in 281 when Jaime was 15 and Ned was 18. I believe both Jaime and Ned had birthday's after the tourney, so by the end of the year Jaime is 16 and Ned 19.

In 282, Aegon was born, Lyanna went missing, and Brandon died when he was 20. Ned married Catelyn when he was 19.

In 283, Ned was 20 for the Sack of Kings Landing. Robb Stark was born this year while Ned was yet 20.

I apologize if this has already been mentioned, but I haven't been checking on this thread as regularly as I would like. Anyway, even if this is true of Jaime's birthday being after Harrenhal, which is probably very near the end of the year, aren't we also told that Jaime was 17 when he killed Aerys? But, if Harrenhal was in 281 and the Sack of Kings Landing was in 283, then Jaime was probably closer to 18 than to 17. So, that indicates at least 18 months would have passed, longer than the average pregnancy. Jaime and Cersei have the same birthday, so if they turned 16 at the end of 281, then they turned 18 by the end of 283. However, how long after the fall did Cersei and Robert's wedding happen, because the year given for that is 284, but even if that was early in the year, we are still looking at well over two years between Harrenhal and the events that ended the rebellion. I am guessing that the wedding happened pretty quickly after Robert took the throne, to  help secure the realm. I guess we don't know for certain, though.

 

On 5/12/2019 at 10:06 AM, Feather Crystal said:

Another example is Jon Connington's recollection that it has been 17 years since he was defeated in the Battle of the Bells. If you use simple subtraction and take year 300 and subtract 17 years ago, you would assume the Battle of the Bells occurred in 283, which is possible if the battle occurred in January or February of 283. But, It is also possible that the Battle of the Bells occurred sometime during the second half of 282, then it wouldn't be 18 years ago until you reached that month in year 300.

I guess it depends on how much time passed between the Battle of the Bells and the Battle of the Trident, because it seems like the Sack of Kings Landing followed the Trident by a few weeks or up to a month. Not that long. And the Sack was said to happen in 283, but Robert and Cersei were wed in 284. This leads me to think the Sack and Trident were closer to the end of 283. I imagine that Robert and Cersei's wedding was important in tying it all together, and they would not have wasted time on that. I think in the text it states that Barristan Selmy was one of Cercei's escorts from Casterly Rock and to Kings Landing, and that he had to heal from his injuries at the Trident before he could travel. Again, this probably didn't take more that 4-6 weeks, I would think.

So if the Battle of the Bells happened at the end of 282, that still puts it a full year after Harrenhal, and any child conceived then would already be born. And this also means that if the Trident happened mid to late in 283, then that is almost another year passing. All these vague "almost a year" idea's make it hard to narrow dates down, and I still think we are trying to be more specific about the timeline than GRRM is. We also have the idea that the siege of Storm's End was "nearly a year" but that could not have started until at least after the Battle of Ashford, which then lead to Robert's fleeing to Stoney Sept. How much time realistically could there be between Ashford and Stoney Sept, all of that tied to the length of the siege of Storms End. I would think the siege was lifted not to long after the fall of Kings Landing. What's the point for the loyalists to keep the siege going after the fall of the capital?

 

On 5/12/2019 at 10:06 AM, Feather Crystal said:

Also in 298, Robb is 14 at the beginning of our story, but turns 15 before his father's beheading. Since I believe Jon's birth month is August, a few months after Robb's name day Jon actually turned 16, but he and Catelyn both believed he turned 15 also. I believe Ned fudged Jon's birthday to place it after Robb's. That way he could both lessen Catelyn's fears that Jon would inherit before Robb, and disguise Jon's real mother, because I believe Ned wanted to protect Ashara's honor as a noble.

I have also toyed with the idea that Jon is older than Robb, but how much older could it honestly be? Not more than a few months, I would think. Even if babies grow at different rates and sizes, they should reach developmental milestones at certain, similar intervals, and if Jon was that much older than Robb, close to a year, then it would be pretty apparent. Even if Cat didn't herself spend time with Jon, I have no doubt she was keeping tabs on him and would know about these types of things. She plainly thinks that Jon was conceived after she and Ned were married. I know she could be trying to delude herself, but I think it would be hard to ignore obvious developmental milestones. Unless Jon was just slow at meeting these, and Robb was quicker, which could mean they happened around the same times. Or they are quite close to the same age!

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7 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I'd be a bit hesitant to use the SSMs to rule out anyone conceiving Jon before Lyanna was kidnapped.  GRRM seems to love to play games with the way he words his answers.

I had an occasion to go back and read the SSM where GRRM lined up Jon's age with Dany's.  The person who posed the question actually didn't come right out and ask George when Jon was born (assuming that George wouldn't answer that question).  Instead he/she tried to figure out the amount of time that elapsed between the time AGOT noted the passing of Jon's 15th nameday and the passing of Dany's 14th nameday.  The person who asked the question actually thought over a year elapsed in the book before each had noted that their nameday had come and gone.

GRRM never really answered that question, stating that the chronology in the books always gave him fits.  So rather than directly answering how much time elapsed in the books between their namedays, George came right out and stated that Jon was 8 to 9 months older than Dany.  

Now the most straighforward way of reading this, is that GRRM is acknowledging that Jon and Dany's namedays reflect their actual age thus their namedays are 8 to 9 months apart.  If so, then we must assume that Dany's nameday occurred 9 months after Rhaella and Viserys fled King's Landing.  Thus Jon was born right around the time of the Sack. 

Another way of reading this, is that Jon and Dany's actual age may be different than what their namedays reflect.  After all, we know that Jon's birth is shrouded in mystery, and perhaps Dany's is as well, depending on how much stock you put into the possibility that Viserys was full of crap, and that Dany wasn't born 9 moons after a midnight flight to Dragonstone to Rhaella (i.e. lemongate).  If this is true, then George may have actually sidestepped the reader's question, and answered instead the difference in time between their actual ages, knowing that the reader doesn't really have a good frame of reference of Dany's actual birth to do the math and try to figure out when Jon was conceived.

As for the SSM about Brandon, I think the possibility is even greater that George is leaving himself wiggle room.  After all, the SSM is that Brandon died before he had sons.  So does that mean that Brandon died before he could conceive sons?  Or does it mean that Brandon died before any of his sons were born?  Or more simply, it may mean that Brandon died before he could marry and conceive any legitimate sons.

GRRM side stepping questions like these is good evidence they are relevant.   No one asked exactly how old Bran is, and we might not get an exact answer,  but I doubt GRRM would be elusive. 

My theory is Dany isn't Rhaella's daughter and is a few months older.   So GRRM could be sidestepping even if Jon's age isn't important.   But something here is important. 

 

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I'm not sure that he's sidestepping anything because its relevant, but rather the opposite. He didn't think it through beforehand and doesn't want to commit himself now because that might indeed set up inconsistencies which he never intended

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On 5/12/2019 at 10:21 AM, JNR said:

It's not that much of a taunt, IMO, if the goal is just to establish the gap between Harrenhal and the war.

• Ned was 18 at Harrenhal

• The Rebellion lasted "close to a year" (meaning somewhat less than a year)

So if the war kicked off fairly soon after Harrenhal, then clearly Ned would only be 19... or at best, only just 20, when the war ended

But that simply isn't the case.  So we know there was a long gap between Harrenhal and the war, and we also know Jon was not conceived at Harrenhal, which was much too early.

Personally, I think GRRM is taunting us with vagueness for nearly the whole story. I agree that it seems too long for a child conceived at Harrenhal to be Jon, but perhaps Allyria Dayne is a possibility. I don't know if "close to a year" means shorter, as I think it could mean it was slightly longer than a year. We also have that vagueness used to describe the length of time for the Siege of Storms End, and Storms End must have been liberated not very long after the fall of Kings Landing. What is the point of the loyalists holding out in this siege long after the death of Aerys. Rhaegar was already dead, as well as a declaration of the death of Rhaegar's wife and children. I guess there was still Rhaella and Viserys to hold on for! Was there a fight at Storms End, when Ned brought his troops down? It's never been said but I have always wondered.

It almost seems like there could have been much longer between Harrenhal and the start of the rebellion. I used to think it was a year, but now I am not sure it was that long, but I still lean towards a longer time period, maybe even more than a year. And I really think we are being more specific about the timeline that GRRM is.  My point was that even if Ned is 35 at the start of our story, we don't know when he turned 35 in relation to the time of the year. He might have been barely 35 or almost 36.  If Jon and Robb are both 14 at the time we are told Eddard is 35, it does give us easy math of 21. But life and birthdays don't always revolve around easy math.

But if we throw away the idea that Harrenhal happened in the last two months of 281, and it happened earlier in the year, then perhaps Aegon was conceived at Harrenhal? He was said to be born in the first month of 282, I think, around the time that Aerys was burning wildfire to chase winter away. Perhaps it was the birth of Aegon that prompted winter to return? It would also put Aegon's conception March/April of 281, and that seems somewhat early in the year for the tourney. If we toss away the majority of the info in the world book, we know even less about these dates and I think that is what GRRM wants. He wants us confused. He doesn't want the puzzle to be easy to solve.

So if the war kicked off fairly soon after Harrenhal, then clearly Ned would only be 19... or at best, only just 20, when the war ended

Since we don't know when Ned's birthday was, we don't know how old he was when the war started. The only specific ages we get for Ned are 8 when he went to the Vale, 18 when he was at Harrenhal, 35 when he cuts off Gared's head. Heck, Ned could have turned 36 the very next week and we just never hear that. Although, the world book gives us that Brandon Stark and Robert Baratheon were born in 262, and Ned was born "within a year" of Brandon, which could mean within 12 calendar months, but it could also mean within the calendar year of 262, if Brandon was born early in the year. Now, if Jon Arryn died in 298, and Ned was born in 262, he was 36 when Jon Arryn died (which means Bran was wrong about Ned's age or that Ned had a birthday between Gared's execution and Jon Arryn's death but those things seems to happen at the same time) or he was still 35 and that means Ned was probably born in 263.  All I am saying is GRRM gives himself wiggle-room within the vagueness. It could come down to a few months this way or that way. 

Also, we know that Robb was born sometime during the war, and the easy math put's Ned at being 21 years old at this time. And that might be the case. A little more complicated math might mean that Ned was 20 when Robb was born. And that might also be the case. 

I am not saying that the war quickly followed Harrenhal, I am just saying the information in the text leaves these options open, depending on how you want to interpret them. The more I think on it, I go back to my feelings the first time I read the story, that Harrenhal happened at least a year before the start of the war. Knowing me, I might change my mind again. I am sure we have years before another book, so I will have time to waffle about on this matter! :dunno:

 

 

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21 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

i think Jon is 6-7 months older than Robb.

And you also think Jon was conceived at Harrenhal?

On that I don't think we're going to agree.  Even if it were true (and I think they're closer in age than that), it requires the war to begin the minute Harrenhal is over.

19 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Jon is a Ned clone though, no one says he looks like a Stark

Actually...

Quote

"Who's this one now?" Craster said before Jon could go. "He has the look of a Stark."

I think it's clear Jon has a classically Starky cast to his features.

10 hours ago, Mace Cooterian said:

I don't think anyone can say with certainty where George might be headed.

Not with certainty.  That's not the way reality works, the huge majority of the time.  It's all a question of probabilities until the facts emerge.

But he certainly intends his puzzles to be solvable with a fair degree of confidence.  His position is:

Quote

I don't intend to make it easy.

You can see this in various interviews when he talks about how he likes twists that you don't see coming, but you should have, etc.   This is why he hated LOST's finale; it wasn't set up properly, but just dumped into the show like (his words) "a turd someone dropped on my doorstep."

GOT has been about as bad, hence the current petition, boasting a million signatures or so, asking HBO to remake the last season.  Eventually even show fans begin to smell the turds they've been served.

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5 hours ago, Black Crow said:

We really don't know what was going on, but perhaps the most likely scenario is that the main rebel army was falling back northwards hoping to gather reinforcements in the face of Rhaegar's offensive. Its possible that Tywin might have hinted at coming in on Rhaegar's flank, but far more likely it was a Bosworth scenario where he was closing in but not committing himself until he could see which was the winning side

 

17 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:
18 hours ago, SirArthur said:

I don't know how much time was between Bells and Trident, but from the military positions and movements, I assume that Rhaegar was under time pressure. Under normal circumstances, the Targaryens should play on time and wait for more troops. It is clear from the text that Rhaegar rushed the formation of his army, yet he is the attacker, not the defender. 

For a serious battle, both sides need a reason to fight and not retreat. I suggest that Rhaegar was marching against two different armies: the Tully-Stark-Arryn alliance and a Lannister alliance. So he had to defeat one army fast, he positioned against the larger host and the Lannister army got into his flank, with possibility to march on KL an Rhaegar's host.

Robert's forced may have had similar problems. They couldn't allow Rhaegar to cross the Trident and din't know about the Lannister position. 

Overall, from the speed the armies were assembled and Rhaegar's attack instead of fighting defensive,  I conclude that there was another issue (like Lannister) putting pressure on the Targaryens. So much pressure that they had no time to regroup on a strategic level. I don't think there was more than 6 month between Bells and Trident. Unless the Targaryens lost another army, we know nothing about.

The timetable may suggest the siege of Storm's End lasted for the better part of a year. This is true, but as someone posted earlier, Robert has to do his world journey, the rebels have to march on King's Landing and then on Storm's End. If the better part of a year ... is ten month, then there may be 5 month between Bells and Trident. 

The military movements that make me scratch my head is the path the rebels took after the Battle of the Bells at Stoney Sept, which is southeast of Riverrun, southwest of the Gods Eye, and way south of the Ruby Ford of the Trident. Why did the rebel army retreat to the north side of the river?

I think it's possible that the main rebel army was still north of the Trident at the time of Stoney Sept. It seems possible that Ned knew Robert was in trouble, so he took a smaller group of men, who pushed south to try to rescue Robert. We have information on Hoster Tully and Ned Stark and Denys Arryn being involved, but no information on Jon Arryn. I think that Jon Arryn was with the main rebel army north of the Trident and after Ned and Co rescued Robert, they moved back north to meet up with the majority of the rebel army. It seems like the loyalist army was scattered after Stoney Sept, and if the whole rebel army was there, it makes no sense to me that they didn't pursue the loyalists. Unless they didn't have the numbers of their full army to push south at this time, making it to risky. We don't even hear about Rhaegar's getting mentioned until after Stoney Sept! I don't think anyone took the threat serious until then.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, St Daga said:

Personally, I think GRRM is taunting us with vagueness for nearly the whole story.

Generally speaking, that's fair.  He forces fans to create and leverage unorthodox algorithms to solve his puzzles.

7 minutes ago, St Daga said:

I don't know if "close to a year" means shorter, as I think it could mean it was slightly longer than a year.

A fair take.  We should be able to solve the puzzle either way.

8 minutes ago, St Daga said:

But if we throw away the idea that Harrenhal happened in the last two months of 281, and it happened earlier in the year, then perhaps Aegon was conceived at Harrenhal?

That could be true even if we don't throw away Yandel's timing of the event.

Aegon could still have been conceived around that time, and born after the long gap -- which is to say, around the time the war began (per GRRM in the SSM).  That would make the gap around nine months, obviously.

10 minutes ago, St Daga said:

Also, we know that Robb was born sometime during the war

Oh, I'm not sure that's clear.

16 minutes ago, St Daga said:

The more I think on it, I go back to my feelings the first time I read the story, that Harrenhal happened at least a year before the start of the war.

I think that's a good working assumption.  If you read the timeline I posted a page or two back, you can see how that could fit (though I lean toward a little less than a year).

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, JNR said:
57 minutes ago, St Daga said:

Also, we know that Robb was born sometime during the war

Oh, I'm not sure that's clear.

Are you thinking Robb was born after the war ended? Because this quote leads me to think that the war was still in progress:

Quote

Ned had lingered scarcely a fortnight with his new bride before he too had ridden off to war with promises on his lips. At least he had left her with more than words; he had given her a son. Nine moons had waxed and waned, and Robb had been born in Riverrun while his father still warred in the south. She had brought him forth in blood and pain, not knowing whether Ned would ever see him. AGOT-Catelyn X

Although, I will admit I do question Cat as a solid narrator at times... and I guess it could come down to perception of when the war ended? Did it end at the Sack? The liberation of Storm's End? After Ned did what ever he did when he went south from Kings Landing? 

Edited by St Daga
spelling, yikes!

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, St Daga said:

Although, I will admit I do question Cat as a solid narrator at times...

I think the best resolution is to imagine that by "warring in the south," she is thinking something similar to what Ned has in mind here:

Quote

Eddard Stark had ridden out that very day in a cold rage, to fight the last battles of the war alone in the south.

What battles were those?  The Sack was over by then. 

He appears to mean, basically, doing post-war mop-up, such as lifting the siege at Storm's End. 

I would guess Catelyn had that in mind re the phrase "warring in the south."  Ned was still attending to the mop-up, but to our way of thinking, the war may well have been over when Robb was born because the Sack had taken place.

As a side note, it's kinda funny reading Ned thinking of himself in the third person there, as "Eddard."  You can tell GRRM was still getting used to his POV structure.

Edited by JNR

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Okay.

So, to me, it seems like:

  1. GRRM has intentionally fudged up the birthdates between Aegon, Jon, Robb and Daenerys.
  2. That GRRM has been doing it ever since Jon I and Catelyn II in A Game of Thrones

I feel like that speaks volumes. To be specific, I feel like that the conceptions and births of Aegon, Jon and Daenerys (and Robb but he's the monkey wrench) are a part of the central mystery of the song of ice and fire.

Like has anyone noticed how GRRM calls a birthday a nameday? And then, as we learn from the wildlings (beyond the Wall and in the Mountains of the Moon) and the more unorthodox northmen, that babies are not given a name until the most dangerous period in a child's life -- the first two years -- come to an end. From then on, their nameday becomes more important than their actual birthday.

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17 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Would love to know to your ideas about their dance, btw in Dunk & Egg there is a song about Gulltown, about visiting  maiden and kissing her, is it a reference for Fisherman's daughter story?

I believe in the wheel of time and that certain historical events repeat themselves, so the Gulltown song that Dunk and Egg hear about kissing a maiden could be an earlier parallel to the Fisherman's Daughter story.

10 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I'd be a bit hesitant to use the SSMs to rule out anyone conceiving Jon before Lyanna was kidnapped.  GRRM seems to love to play games with the way he words his answers.

I had an occasion to go back and read the SSM where GRRM lined up Jon's age with Dany's.  The person who posed the question actually didn't come right out and ask George when Jon was born (assuming that George wouldn't answer that question).  Instead he/she tried to figure out the amount of time that elapsed between the time AGOT noted the passing of Jon's 15th nameday and the passing of Dany's 14th nameday.  The person who asked the question actually thought over a year elapsed in the book before each had noted that their nameday had come and gone.

GRRM never really answered that question, stating that the chronology in the books always gave him fits.  So rather than directly answering how much time elapsed in the books between their namedays, George came right out and stated that Jon was 8 to 9 months older than Dany.  

Now the most straighforward way of reading this, is that GRRM is acknowledging that Jon and Dany's namedays reflect their actual age thus their namedays are 8 to 9 months apart.  If so, then we must assume that Dany's nameday occurred 9 months after Rhaella and Viserys fled King's Landing.  Thus Jon was born right around the time of the Sack. 

Another way of reading this, is that Jon and Dany's actual age may be different than what their namedays reflect.  After all, we know that Jon's birth is shrouded in mystery, and perhaps Dany's is as well, depending on how much stock you put into the possibility that Viserys was full of crap, and that Dany wasn't born 9 moons after a midnight flight to Dragonstone to Rhaella (i.e. lemongate).  If this is true, then George may have actually sidestepped the reader's question, and answered instead the difference in time between their actual ages, knowing that the reader doesn't really have a good frame of reference of Dany's actual birth to do the math and try to figure out when Jon was conceived.

As for the SSM about Brandon, I think the possibility is even greater that George is leaving himself wiggle room.  After all, the SSM is that Brandon died before he had sons.  So does that mean that Brandon died before he could conceive sons?  Or does it mean that Brandon died before any of his sons were born?  Or more simply, it may mean that Brandon died before he could marry and conceive any legitimate sons.

When Aerys sent Rhaella to Dragonstone with Viserys, she was already visibly pregnant. I'm sorry I don't have the reference to hand, but if she is indeed 8-9 months younger than Jon, then her birthday is May 283. Isn't it also said she was born during a Spring storm? Not that months have seasonal designations in the story, but I think most of the Rebellion was fought during Winter, but Winter may have ended as soon as Lyanna died.

I actually suspect that GRRM knows specifically when all important events occur, but cannot answer timeline questions honestly, because they would reveal too many of his secrets. So, he brushes off questions that nail down important dates with encouragements not to focus too much on such things.

2 hours ago, St Daga said:

I apologize if this has already been mentioned, but I haven't been checking on this thread as regularly as I would like. Anyway, even if this is true of Jaime's birthday being after Harrenhal, which is probably very near the end of the year, aren't we also told that Jaime was 17 when he killed Aerys? But, if Harrenhal was in 281 and the Sack of Kings Landing was in 283, then Jaime was probably closer to 18 than to 17. So, that indicates at least 18 months would have passed, longer than the average pregnancy. Jaime and Cersei have the same birthday, so if they turned 16 at the end of 281, then they turned 18 by the end of 283. However, how long after the fall did Cersei and Robert's wedding happen, because the year given for that is 284, but even if that was early in the year, we are still looking at well over two years between Harrenhal and the events that ended the rebellion. I am guessing that the wedding happened pretty quickly after Robert took the throne, to  help secure the realm. I guess we don't know for certain, though.

 

I guess it depends on how much time passed between the Battle of the Bells and the Battle of the Trident, because it seems like the Sack of Kings Landing followed the Trident by a few weeks or up to a month. Not that long. And the Sack was said to happen in 283, but Robert and Cersei were wed in 284. This leads me to think the Sack and Trident were closer to the end of 283. I imagine that Robert and Cersei's wedding was important in tying it all together, and they would not have wasted time on that. I think in the text it states that Barristan Selmy was one of Cercei's escorts from Casterly Rock and to Kings Landing, and that he had to heal from his injuries at the Trident before he could travel. Again, this probably didn't take more that 4-6 weeks, I would think.

So if the Battle of the Bells happened at the end of 282, that still puts it a full year after Harrenhal, and any child conceived then would already be born. And this also means that if the Trident happened mid to late in 283, then that is almost another year passing. All these vague "almost a year" idea's make it hard to narrow dates down, and I still think we are trying to be more specific about the timeline than GRRM is. We also have the idea that the siege of Storm's End was "nearly a year" but that could not have started until at least after the Battle of Ashford, which then lead to Robert's fleeing to Stoney Sept. How much time realistically could there be between Ashford and Stoney Sept, all of that tied to the length of the siege of Storms End. I would think the siege was lifted not to long after the fall of Kings Landing. What's the point for the loyalists to keep the siege going after the fall of the capital?

 

I have also toyed with the idea that Jon is older than Robb, but how much older could it honestly be? Not more than a few months, I would think. Even if babies grow at different rates and sizes, they should reach developmental milestones at certain, similar intervals, and if Jon was that much older than Robb, close to a year, then it would be pretty apparent. Even if Cat didn't herself spend time with Jon, I have no doubt she was keeping tabs on him and would know about these types of things. She plainly thinks that Jon was conceived after she and Ned were married. I know she could be trying to delude herself, but I think it would be hard to ignore obvious developmental milestones. Unless Jon was just slow at meeting these, and Robb was quicker, which could mean they happened around the same times. Or they are quite close to the same age!

I have a timeline of events worked out on a spreadsheet where all the known facts work with each other, but how to share such a thing?

I feel quite confident that the tourney of Harrenhall occurred late Nov or early Dec 281, that Lyanna went missing Jan 282, and that Jon Arryn raised his banners within the first quarter of 282.

I also believe Aegon was born Jan 282 while Lyanna went missing, that Brandon's wedding was supposed to occur in Jan 282, and that Jon was born in Aug 282 nine months after the tourney.

I think Ned and Catelyn married a month or two before Jon was born, (June wedding???) placing Robb's birthday around Mar 283, about a month after the Sack, which I believe occurred around Feb/Mar 283 when Aegon was 13-14 months old.

The seige of Storm's End began about Mar 282 and ended around Mar/Apr 283. Daenerys was born right around this time in May 283. Stannis was enlisted to rebuild Robert's fleet, so she was only a few months old when the Assault on Dragonstone occurred, which the wiki lists as occurring in 284, but which I suspect was around July 283.

2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

GRRM side stepping questions like these is good evidence they are relevant.   No one asked exactly how old Bran is, and we might not get an exact answer,  but I doubt GRRM would be elusive. 

My theory is Dany isn't Rhaella's daughter and is a few months older.   So GRRM could be sidestepping even if Jon's age isn't important.   But something here is important. 

 

I agree that GRRM's "side steps" are evidence that he knows exactly when events occurred and cannot confirm anything for fear of giving his secrets away.

As for Daenerys - I don't see why we should doubt she's Rhaella's daughter. If she's not, where did she come from?

1 hour ago, JNR said:

And you also think Jon was conceived at Harrenhal?

On that I don't think we're going to agree.  Even if it were true (and I think they're closer in age than that), it requires the war to begin the minute Harrenhal is over.

Actually...

I think it's clear Jon has a classically Starky cast to his features.

Not with certainty.  That's not the way reality works, the huge majority of the time.  It's all a question of probabilities until the facts emerge.

But he certainly intends his puzzles to be solvable with a fair degree of confidence.  His position is:

You can see this in various interviews when he talks about how he likes twists that you don't see coming, but you should have, etc.   This is why he hated LOST's finale; it wasn't set up properly, but just dumped into the show like (his words) "a turd someone dropped on my doorstep."

GOT has been about as bad, hence the current petition, boasting a million signatures or so, asking HBO to remake the last season.  Eventually even show fans begin to smell the turds they've been served.

Yes, the Rebellion followed the tourney quite closely by about two and a half to three months.

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

The seige of Storm's End began about Mar 282 and ended around Mar/Apr 283. Daenerys was born right around this time in May 283. Stannis was enlisted to rebuild Robert's fleet, so she was only a few months old when the Assault on Dragonstone occurred, which the wiki lists as occurring in 284, but which I suspect was around July 283.

My big problem with an earlier Dragonstorm (I just call it that way, because it was a storm right before Dragonstone was stormed by Stannis) has always been the "rebuilding of the ships" part. Even if the wood is available and already shaped, the construction needs time. 1 year is a good estimated time to build a warship and 9 months is prob. very fast. 

The other problem is, that the Targaryen fleet was supposed to wait 9 month on Dragonstone. Quite frankly, the fleet should have been able to support King's Landing before the fall or was even there but couldn't do anything because of the betrayal. And then they still have time. They can reach Storm's End before Ned and should have enough time during the 9 month for a couple of operations. Mostly Velaryon ships, which shouldn't really be destroyed on their own local ground. I get it when a foreign fleet unfamiliar with the region gets destroyed. The local fleet however should be able to get a portion of their ships out. 

The next problem is the fleet itself. It has a vast number of sailors and soldiers. All stranded on Dragonstone. With no means and ships to leave the island until Stannis arrives. If there are 5000 sailors, Stannis should have lost about 20k men taking a heavily fortified fortress island. Far too many in my opinion.

I think if you shorten the supposed time span, you should explain it better in this case.

Edited by SirArthur

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1 hour ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Like has anyone noticed how GRRM calls a birthday a nameday? And then, as we learn from the wildlings (beyond the Wall and in the Mountains of the Moon) and the more unorthodox northmen, that babies are not given a name until the most dangerous period in a child's life -- the first two years -- come to an end. From then on, their nameday becomes more important than their actual birthday.

Yes, I have wondered about this. Like is a name day different than an actual birthday? North of the wall, it seems like a child is given a name on it's second birthday, but is the day of birth always referred to as a name day, or just the actual name day. And could that mean these wildlings are actually two years older than anyone thinks?

But does that translate to south of the wall? The baby that is born and named in our story that comes to mind is Lollys Stokeworth's bastard, whom Bronn names Tyrion Tanner. Why Tanner? It's not a traditional name for a bastard from Kings Landing, but I guess it's associated with the location of Lollys' rape.  But more importantly, this child seems to get a name soon after birth, so this would be different from wildling tradition. But does Tyrion Tanner have a birthday AND a nameday?

I don't put it past GRRM to being very tricky with the whole birthday/nameday concept, and something important might be hidden in plain site.

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4 hours ago, JNR said:

And you also think Jon was conceived at Harrenhal?

On that I don't think we're going to agree.  Even if it were true (and I think they're closer in age than that), it requires the war to begin the minute Harrenhal is over.

Actually...

I think it's clear Jon has a classically Starky cast to his features.

Not with certainty.  That's not the way reality works, the huge majority of the time.  It's all a question of probabilities until the facts emerge.

But he certainly intends his puzzles to be solvable with a fair degree of confidence.  His position is:

You can see this in various interviews when he talks about how he likes twists that you don't see coming, but you should have, etc.   This is why he hated LOST's finale; it wasn't set up properly, but just dumped into the show like (his words) "a turd someone dropped on my doorstep."

GOT has been about as bad, hence the current petition, boasting a million signatures or so, asking HBO to remake the last season.  Eventually even show fans begin to smell the turds they've been served.

I was trying to say Jon specifically like Ned Stark rather than just Stark. 

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