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Wolfbynature

The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

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Ok, the R + L = J theory is´nt proved until now. But it is very likely true. Lets take it for real. 

But if we take it for real, the whole story line around the Tower of Joy is flawed. It is not accidental that George Martin does´nt plan to write a direct prequel to ASOIAF.

First of all, why did´nt Lyanna send her brother a message? This topic has its own thread in ASOIAF General section. 

But this ist only the beginning of the desaster.

Why did´nt Lyanna flee after the defeat at the Trident? Even in her late pregnancy a women is still mobile or at least
transportable. Oswell Whent, Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower have´nt been restricted by their oath as Kingsguard. Her
Oath applied to King Aerys II. At the latest, after the death of Rheagar, it was personal layalty (mayby friendship) to
Rhaegar that kept them there. I mean, they had the freedom of action to do anything to protect her and her unborn child, because waiting till Rhaegar came back was not option anymore. 

If they were´nt bloody stupid, it has been clear to them that the Tower of Joy is impossible to defend against the  
superior force they soon will have to face. Even it they hesitated until the sack of KL, there was plenty of time and a lot of potential help from the dornish people to organize an escape. Even if they as persons refused to flee, is was for sure not impossible to find some suitable companions among targaryian loyalists in Dorne.

But instead they waited, days, weeks, until the inevitable happend. 

But I´m not yet finished. After his sisters death, how did Eddard stark manage to keep the secret of Jon Snow? He probably was´nt alone, there had to be servants and midwives at the Tower of Joy. Did he kill them all? And if he did´nt. How did he prevent the spreading of rumors?

Better to be this a distant story, covered by the mist of time.

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Was there ravens at the ToJ?

There was no superior force that came it was 7 versus 3

If pregnancy has complications it's not easy to move women with modern medical technology, let alone what they had then.

We can assume there was women servants/midwives/wet nurses there but how much did they know?  How much would they care at this point if they were commoners.

Only Eddard and Howland Reed survived, so now only Howland knows the truth.

 

Also, the Dornish would most likely not help Lyanna since Rhaegar Left Elia Martell for her

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1 hour ago, Wolfbynature said:

First of all, why did´nt Lyanna send her brother a message? This topic has its own thread in ASOIAF General section. 

She was probably not allowed

 

1 hour ago, Wolfbynature said:

But this ist only the beginning of the desaster.

Why did´nt Lyanna flee after the defeat at the Trident?

Not allowed. Her guards swore an oath.

1 hour ago, Wolfbynature said:

Even in her late pregnancy a women is still mobile or at least
transportable. Oswell Whent, Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower have´nt been restricted by their oath as Kingsguard. Her
Oath applied to King Aerys II.

This is exactly one of the mysteries of the series and part of the discussion of the Tower of Joy events. When Ned asked them WTF are they doing there, they just answer that they swore an oath. Which is plainly not the oath to Aerys.

1 hour ago, Wolfbynature said:

At the latest, after the death of Rheagar, it was personal layalty (mayby friendship) to
Rhaegar that kept them there. I mean, they had the freedom of action to do anything to protect her and her unborn child, because waiting till Rhaegar came back was not option anymore. 

If they were´nt bloody stupid, it has been clear to them that the Tower of Joy is impossible to defend against the  
superior force they soon will have to face. Even it they hesitated until the sack of KL, there was plenty of time and a lot of potential help from the dornish people to organize an escape. Even if they as persons refused to flee, is was for sure not impossible to find some suitable companions among targaryian loyalists in Dorne.

All of this tells you more about the men in the ToJ than about the events surrounding it.

 

1 hour ago, Wolfbynature said:

 

But I´m not yet finished. After his sisters death, how did Eddard stark manage to keep the secret of Jon Snow? He probably was´nt alone, there had to be servants and midwives at the Tower of Joy. Did he kill them all? And if he did´nt. How did he prevent the spreading of rumors?

The servants were probably from the Dayne household and apparently they reached to an agreement as we see from the stories from Ned Dayne.

Regarding, why nobody asked more questions you need to put in the context of the aftermath of a bloody civil war, where lots of people lost relatives. Others came back with bastards in their own. Rebels and loyalists exchanges places and everybody was trying to either save his ass or to gain advantage of the new political situation. 

That one lord got a bastard might have been news of little importance and Ned did a very Ned thing. He brought him to Winterfell for all the North to see.

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1 hour ago, Winter prince said:

Was there ravens at the ToJ?

If they had no ravens, that the had no means of express message service e.g. horse based, sounds for me like a stupid idea, when at the same time decisive battles are fought --> flawed story

 

1 hour ago, Winter prince said:

If pregnancy has complications it's not easy to move women with modern medical technology, let alone what they had then.

After the Battle of the Trident, she was weeks from delivery. I doubt that the could dignose this type of complications that you were implying. 

 

1 hour ago, Winter prince said:

We can assume there was women servants/midwives/wet nurses there but how much did they know?  How much would they care at this point if they were commoners

That commoners don´nt know who they serve, which importance their lords have, (remember, most of us are descendants ofcommoners) sounds for me like a stupid idea --> flawed story

 

1 hour ago, Winter prince said:

Only Eddard and Howland Reed survived, so now only Howland knows the truth.

No servents, no midwives? Eddard killed them all? --> flawed story

 

1 hour ago, Winter prince said:

There was no superior force that came it was 7 versus 3

If they (Oswell, Arthur and Gerold) really expected a force the could handle after the other side had won an nationwide civil war, that sounds for me like a stupid idea --> flawed story

Why did´nt Eddard took 50 or 100 Soldiers with him? To go into a potentially hostile environment with a force of seven, sounds for me like a stupid idea. What if there were not only 3 members of the KG but additional 10 Soldiers? --> flawed story

 

1 hour ago, Winter prince said:

Also, the Dornish would most likely not help Lyanna since Rhaegar Left Elia Martell for her

Even if there were some resentments against Lyanna, who knew her from face to face in Dorne. She could have travelled incognito. Not to have any provision made for the case that they lose, after they had lost several battles, sounds for me like a stupid idea --> flawed story

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35 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

She was probably not allowed

Then Gerold, Arthur and Oswell were not Kings Guards but prison guards. They acively put the live of Rhaegars  wife and her unborn child, the future king at risk doing so. 

 

38 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Regarding, why nobody asked more questions you need to put in the context of the aftermath of a bloody civil war, where lots of people lost relatives. Others came back with bastards in their own. Rebels and loyalists exchanges places and everybody was trying to either save his ass or to gain advantage of the new political situation. 

There was no bloody war in Dorne. There was war, but not there. Commoners know whom they serve otherwise they are stupid. I can think of no reason why all of the servants in such a rich household should have been stupid.

 

42 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

The servants were probably from the Dayne household

Is there any direct indication for this in the books or are you just guessing?

 

44 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Not allowed. Her guards swore an oath.

The oath to imprison her for Robert?

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5 hours ago, Wolfbynature said:

Ok, the R + L = J theory is´nt proved until now. But it is very likely true. Lets take it for real. 

But if we take it for real, the whole story line around the Tower of Joy is flawed. It is not accidental that George Martin does´nt plan to write a direct prequel to ASOIAF.

First of all, why did´nt Lyanna send her brother a message? This topic has its own thread in ASOIAF General section. 

But this ist only the beginning of the desaster.

Why did´nt Lyanna flee after the defeat at the Trident? Even in her late pregnancy a women is still mobile or at least
transportable. Oswell Whent, Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower have´nt been restricted by their oath as Kingsguard. Her
Oath applied to King Aerys II. At the latest, after the death of Rheagar, it was personal layalty (mayby friendship) to
Rhaegar that kept them there. I mean, they had the freedom of action to do anything to protect her and her unborn child, because waiting till Rhaegar came back was not option anymore. 

If they were´nt bloody stupid, it has been clear to them that the Tower of Joy is impossible to defend against the  
superior force they soon will have to face. Even it they hesitated until the sack of KL, there was plenty of time and a lot of potential help from the dornish people to organize an escape. Even if they as persons refused to flee, is was for sure not impossible to find some suitable companions among targaryian loyalists in Dorne.

But instead they waited, days, weeks, until the inevitable happend. 

But I´m not yet finished. After his sisters death, how did Eddard stark manage to keep the secret of Jon Snow? He probably was´nt alone, there had to be servants and midwives at the Tower of Joy. Did he kill them all? And if he did´nt. How did he prevent the spreading of rumors?

Better to be this a distant story, covered by the mist of time.

The story as understood by the POVs who relayed it in the text is flawed, so I think we can conclude that the common understanding of what happened between Rhaegar, Lyanna et al is not the actual truth.

The fun lies in trying to puzzle out what really happened and why based on what we know for certain, which is very little. For instance, most people recognize that we do not know if Rhaegar took Lyanna by force or she went with him willingly, but it goes much deeper than that. We don't actually know if Rhaegar had anything to do with Lyanna's disappearance at all or was with her at any time between the tourney at Harrenal and Ned finding her at the ToJ. We don't know why the 3 KG were at the tower while their king and the kingdom they swore to protect were under assault. We don't know whose orders they were following, or if they were following anyone's orders at all. We don't know who knows the truth about Jon, or indeed if there is an actual hidden truth here at all.

So given all these unknowns, I think there are a number of possibilities here all based around one central idea: both Rhaegar and Lyanna were taken separately and held against their wills, incommunicado with the rest of the world. The two key culprits behind this would be:

  •  The three KG, acting out some plot of their own, or perhaps some Hightower or Dornish scheme
  •  Aerys, who sought to capitalize on the widespread misunderstanding that the crowning of Lyanna at HH meant that Rhaegar was madly in love with her and, knowing that Lyanna was the KotLT and thus "no friend of mine" attempted to rid himself of two enemies at once.

Likewise, there is a third possibility: that Howland Reed, after having learning what the Song of Ice and Fire was during his yearlong stay with the Green Men, relayed it to Lyanna who realized that the only way to combat the coming invasion from the north would be to produce a son who sings the SoIaF. That, of course, requires a mix of Stark (Ice) blood and Targaryen (Fire) blood. This means that R&L ran off together not at Rhaegar's direction, but at Lyanna's. No communication was made to the outside world by either R or L because their union is bigger than the Seven Kingdoms, bigger than the Iron Throne, is in fact consequential to the survival of the human race. So they had to keep it on the downlow because of the threat that baby Jon poses to kings and houses and other parochial concerns, which makes it very unlikely he would survive to adulthood and thus fulfill the prophecy to be the savior of all mankind. And this, of course, would be the vow that supersedes all other vows made by the KG.

 

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There is no 'story' for the TOJ. Just one of Ned's fever dreams. We have little to no idea as to what specifically transpired on that day or the days following. George simply let's us know the following things.

The KG were there and they were still 'active'. That is to say they still had vows to keep.

Howland did 'something' and that's the only reason Ned survived.

Lyanna was there and it was to be her last moments of life.

Ned swore a promise. One that haunted him to his grave.

The tower itself was pulled down to make cairns.


We can read between the lines a bit. Ned was only travelling with men whom we can assume he could trust. So this was most likely Ned doing something of his own volition and not an official mission. Elsewise, he would of brought more men. A handful of knights would of fared better than a handful of northern lords. Ned had only the one knight in the shape of Mark Ryswell. Everything about Ned's dream tells me that he wasn't looking for a fight; He was looking for his sister. But the KG were unable to let Ned do that. Ned couldn't go back and get more men. It would risk Robert discovering the newborn. We know how Robert treats children who may one day challenge him. Poor baby Aegon had his brains dashed out, and Robert himself found the idea of assassinating the young targ children all to agreeable, much to Ned's distaste. 

The time he had with Lyanna seems to be a mere fleeting moment. Either Ned was too late or he shouldn't of been there at all. I don't know exactly. But we know it was very sad moment for Ned. 

Having an entire tower pulled down to make cairns is a bit extreme. But it makes me think that it was due to Ned not heading North but instead, further south to the castle Starfall for several reasons. Point being: travelling with six corpses in-toe is a massive hindrance especially if you're initially heading away from the place they'd be buried. 

Perhaps one day we'll have some eyes on these cairns. Until then, we're left to speculate on Lyanna's 'promise' but most of all, Jon's identity, which is the most important part. The presence of Ned Dayne in the main story leads me to believe that Ned had some positive effect on the Daynes and so it makes sense that he had some deep interactions with that family. His revelation that he and Jon had the same wet-nurse is a tough one to fathom. But it's all just pieces atm. 

Trying to analyse the TOJ scene as a battle would be a complete waste of time IMO. We only have a dream of it to go by and as I said, I don't think anyone had designs to win a battle of any kind.

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8 hours ago, Wolfbynature said:

Ok, the R + L = J theory is´nt proved until now. But it is very likely true. Lets take it for real. 

But if we take it for real, the whole story line around the Tower of Joy is flawed. It is not accidental that George Martin does´nt plan to write a direct prequel to ASOIAF.

First of all, why did´nt Lyanna send her brother a message? This topic has its own thread in ASOIAF General section. 

But this ist only the beginning of the desaster.

Why did´nt Lyanna flee after the defeat at the Trident? Even in her late pregnancy a women is still mobile or at least
transportable. Oswell Whent, Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower have´nt been restricted by their oath as Kingsguard. Her
Oath applied to King Aerys II. At the latest, after the death of Rheagar, it was personal layalty (mayby friendship) to
Rhaegar that kept them there. I mean, they had the freedom of action to do anything to protect her and her unborn child, because waiting till Rhaegar came back was not option anymore. 

If they were´nt bloody stupid, it has been clear to them that the Tower of Joy is impossible to defend against the  
superior force they soon will have to face. Even it they hesitated until the sack of KL, there was plenty of time and a lot of potential help from the dornish people to organize an escape. Even if they as persons refused to flee, is was for sure not impossible to find some suitable companions among targaryian loyalists in Dorne.

But instead they waited, days, weeks, until the inevitable happend. 

But I´m not yet finished. After his sisters death, how did Eddard stark manage to keep the secret of Jon Snow? He probably was´nt alone, there had to be servants and midwives at the Tower of Joy. Did he kill them all? And if he did´nt. How did he prevent the spreading of rumors?

Better to be this a distant story, covered by the mist of time.

"Keep reading."

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Posted (edited)

Same as the other readers, I used to think, that Jon was born at the Tower of Joy, and that's where Lyanna died, and had her parting scene with Ned. Though, a few months ago, I changed my mind about all that.

I think, that Jon was born at Starfall. The three Kingsguards took newborn Jon away from his mother, and went with him towards King's Landing. Because, as Kingsguards, they were obliged to serve to the King, and Robert Baratheon became the King of 7K. So they were going to deliver Jon to Robert. When they were leaving Starfall, they took Wylla with them, as a wet nurse for little Jon.

Then Ned arrived to Starfall, where he had that last scene with Lyanna. The Kingsguards didn't took Lyanna with them, because she was dying, so they knew, that she will die, prior they will get to KL. Ned arrived to Starfall, just in time, to hear from Lyanna the truth about her and Rhaegar. And she made Ned to promise her, that he will go after those Kingsguards, and will take Jon back, and will keep his birth, as a secret from everyone, even if to do that, he will have to kill those Kingsguards, and then to lie his entire life to his best friend, and to his wife, about Jon's origin.

So after Lyanna died, Ned, with Howland Reed, and the others, went after Kingsguards, and caught up to them at the Tower of Joy. They didn't wanted to give Jon to Ned, because, by their oath of the Kingsguard, they were obliged to deliver Jon to Robert (if Robert, after becoming King of 7K, had sent ravens all over Westeros, with an order for Kingsguards, to take Lyanna, if she is with them, and to go back to KL. And they took only Jon, because Lyanna was not in a fit state to travel). So Ned and his people killed Arthur, Oswell and Gerold. And then Ned had sent Wylla and Jon to Winterfell, on a ship, on which Ned sailed from Storm's End to Starfall, and then from Starfall to proximity of the Tower of Joy (that's how he managed to intercept them. They were traveling on horseback, with a woman and a baby, while Ned took a sea-route, and got in front of Kingsguards (for example, thru Wyl river), and cut off their path forward. It takes less time to sail all the way from Starfall around Dorne and past Sunspear, to Wyl river, than to get on horseback from Starfall to The Tower of Joy).

On the same ship he brought Lyanna's body from Starfall. Before that ship departed towards The North, Ned sailed on it to King's Landing, and gave Robert an opportunity to say goodbye to Lyanna. Then Ned, Lyanna's remnants, Wylla and Jon, and Howland Reed and Ashara Dayne sailed to White Harbor, and up the White Knife towards Winterfell (though Ned dropped off Howland and Ashara near The Neck. And since then Ashara was living under name Jyana Reed, and gave birth to Howland's childen, Meera and Jojen. And their affair started at Harrenhal). Or something like that.

Edited by Megorova

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I subscribe to Ashara being Jyana Reed, and suppose the two to be already married at the time of the TOJ showdown. Then what Howland did would be to fight Arthur Dayne after informing him of his marriage to Ashara, making them kin. "The perfetct knight" as he´s remembered by Ned would not be a kinslayer, and fight Howland with the intent of killing him. I guess Ned killed Arthur while Howland was fighting him (or possibly vice versa) by making use of his honor and chivalry, making the "win" even more bitter.

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11 hours ago, Wolfbynature said:

First of all, why did´nt Lyanna send her brother a message? This topic has its own thread in ASOIAF General section. 

But this ist only the beginning of the desaster.

Either she wasn't allowed; she didn't feel like it; or she did send one and it didn't make it.  It's not as if Westeros has a reliable postal service (or even an unreliable one).

As to the rest of it.

It seems likely that Rhaegar gave the KG at the Tower "in the event of my death" orders,  Which they are carrying out.   What these orders are is unclear, but evidently they did not include letting Ned have access.  

I suspect that they were still at the Tower in large part because of Lyanna's health problems.

I doubt that tearing the Tower down was terribly difficult.  Stick some crossbars through the windows, attach them to horses (they have plenty) and pull.  Unless it's a lot sturdier than I think it is, it's coming down.

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Posted (edited)

 

Quote

Why did´nt Lyanna flee after the defeat at the Trident? Even in her late pregnancy a women is still mobile or at least transportable

When, and how, do you think they got the news of the Trident? 
Who is originally 'sending the news out'? How are they sending it? (Why are they sending it - whats actually in it?) How is it getting relayed (by whom?) to the ToJ crew?

Quote


Oswell Whent, Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower have´nt been restricted by their oath as Kingsguard. Her
Oath applied to King Aerys II. At the latest, after the death of Rheagar, it was personal layalty (mayby friendship) to
Rhaegar that kept them there. I mean, they had the freedom of action to do anything to protect her and her unborn child, because waiting till Rhaegar came back was not option anymore. 

Certainly, once they get the news Rhaegar is dead, waiting for him to come back is not an option. What are their options then?

Give themselves up to the victorious rebels?
Travel somewhere and defy the rebels? Who will be willing to stand alone against the whole continent?
Hide somewhere while they figure out what to do? Perhaps until Lyanna is well enough to travel (whether a heavily pregnant woman can travel safely on horseback or cart for a long voyage  depends on the woman. This is not modern travel or medicine we are talking about.
They don't have a lot of options available once you think about it a bit.

Quote

If they were´nt bloody stupid, it has been clear to them that the Tower of Joy is impossible to defend against the  
superior force they soon will have to face.

Its funny how its always the otherwise apparently intelligent characters who have a far greater and deeper understanding of the political, economic, strategic and social situation who are "bloody stupid" and not the readers who have very little political and cultural understanding.

With a 'defending force' of 3 men, its pretty clear that there is no place on earth they can 'defend' against the forces the rebels could possibly bring to bear. So "defending" is clearly not their goal.

Quote

Even it they hesitated until the sack of KL,

Hesitated until the Sack? So you think they somehow, buried deep in the middle of nowhere 1500 odd miles away and not on the raven network, heard about the Trident before the Sack?

Quote

there was plenty of time and a lot of potential help from the dornish people to organize an escape. Even if they as persons refused to flee, is was for sure not impossible to find some suitable companions among targaryian loyalists in Dorne.

Was there? Was there someone in Dorne they could absolutely trust not to betray them to the Victorious Rebels?
Someone is Dorne who backed Rhaegar and his northern wife/slut/mistress/paramour/whatever over Ellia Martell? And would back them against the combined might of the North the Vale, the Reach, the Crownlands, the Stormlands, the Westlands and even the Martells? 

Quote

But instead they waited, days, weeks, until the inevitable happend. 

We don't know when they got the news, so we don't know how long the waited.
Inevitable? Well, if they went anywhere else in Westeros, it was certainly inevitable they'd be found. Their best bet would be to hide in some totally isolated and uninhabited place for a while, until the situation clarified and/or they had a safe place for them and their charges to travel to.
An abandoned watchtower, off the beaten path, in an isolated area, with no significant habitation nearby sounds like their best bet to me. Oh, wait...

Quote

But I´m not yet finished. After his sisters death, how did Eddard stark manage to keep the secret of Jon Snow? He probably was´nt alone, there had to be servants and midwives at the Tower of Joy.

Had to be? Not necessarily. But there probably were, if only a very few. After all, "they" found Eddard when Lyanna died, so there was someone else there with Howland. 
So yes, lets assume there was at least one servant or midwife at ToJ, possibly more than one. But not many, because they have to be absolutely picked and trusted people. They were, after all, hiding from everyone there - the Mad King, the Martells, the Rebels, there's practically no one in Westeros who wouldn't pay handsomely for information leading to their capture other than Rhaegar himself.

Quote

Did he kill them all? And if he did´nt. How did he prevent the spreading of rumors?

Better to be this a distant story, covered by the mist of time.

Does killing them sound like Ned? 
No, he couldn't kill them and be the Ned we know.

But preventing the spread of rumours? Well, he tried, we saw, at Winterfell, where for the most part (but not entirely) he succeeded because its Winterfell and he's Ned Stark.. But he didn't prevent rumours about Jon's origins. There are many rumours all around Westeros. Edric Dayne has one rumour. Cersei threw 3-4 options in Ned's face. Catelyn heard one rumour in Harrenhal. Robert believes another from somewhere.

13 hours ago, Wolfbynature said:

If they had no ravens, that the had no means of express message service e.g. horse based, sounds for me like a stupid idea, when at the same time decisive battles are fought --> flawed story

Flawed analysis.

Rhaegar is the decision maker, not the guys at ToJ. He's where the action is and he expected to win. 
Their job is to hide. Stay hidden, wait for Rhaegar to send for them. Period.

Quote

After the Battle of the Trident, she was weeks from delivery. I doubt that the could dignose this type of complications that you were implying. 

lets assume you are right. They have a heavily pregnant teenager who is close to due on her first pregnancy. They aren't 'diagnosing' anything, they just aren't taking risks. Their orders are to stay hidden, and stay hidden they do. Travelling is more risky than staying both in terms of staying hidden and in terms of Lyanna's health. Their best bet is to trust in their secrecy, stay where they are for now, perhaps get more information from which to form a plan, and by that time hope Lyanna (and possibly babe) and in a better state for traveling safely.

When they get the information they clearly have by the time Ned arrives, is a very pertinent point. 

13 hours ago, Wolfbynature said:

Then Gerold, Arthur and Oswell were not Kings Guards but prison guards. They acively put the live of Rhaegars  wife and her unborn child, the future king at risk doing so. 

They accepted one risk vs another risk. I think their understanding of the situation and their analysis is vastly better than yours. that their risk didn;t pan out, doesn't make them stupid.

Quote

Is there any direct indication for this in the books or are you just guessing?

Indirect indication. Arthur Dayne is there. Starfall is relatively close. Ned went to Starfall after. Ashara was closely connected to Rhaegar through Elia. Wylla-the wetnurse ended up there, and may have come from there. How did Ned get baby Jon from ToJ to Starfall? What about the wetnurse/midwife  at ToJ?
So guessing, but best-guessing using the information we have.

 

Ok, here's what I think.

I think they clearly had information from the outside world before the conversation with Ned - they knew the reference to the Trident and various other bit and pieces.
I don't think any Targ side Trident survivors sent them information. Who would it be? why? and they had much bigger things to worry about! I don't think any KL Targs sent them information - if Aerys knew where they were he'd have had Lyanna as a hostage faster than lightspeed and be telling the Rebels. 
I think the rebels sacked KL and immediately sent ravens to everywhere that ravens could go telling the whole of Westeros that Rhaegar was defeated and killed at the Trident, Aerys and Rhaegar's family were dead, Kings Landing taken and the war over. I think that message is going out even as Ned is riding to Storms End to end the siege there. 
I think that information got to whoever was providing the ToJ crew with secret support - probably Ashara at Starfall due to her relationships with Arthur and Rhaegar, possibly somewhere else. Call it a week for the raven to get there and the news to be assimilated and a message prepared to be passed on to the ToJ crew - secrecy being even more vital now than ever.
Call it a 2-3 weeks more for the message to get to them, given the distances and the fact that secrecy is their only shield left. 
So, 4-6 weeks after the Trident, they get news of the events Trident+Sack.
By then Lyanna is very close to giving birth, if not having given birth already. Its way to risky to travel, and where would they travel to anyway? Their best bet is to sit tight for now, trust to their secrecy as their shield, let Lyanna recover, let more news come in, formulate a plan once they have more information.
A week or two later (or even less!) Ned shows up with 6 mates. Their secrecy failed them. But they couldn't know that until the moment it did, and it was their best option available at the time. 
The moment Ned shows up, they know they've been rumbled. 
But its such a small crew he brings with him. Why? When he gets closer, they can see the crew are nearly all northmen, personally sworn to the Starks, to Ned. Such a small crew of personally loyal men of high birth indicates that Ned is doing this on the quiet. They have one possibility left. If they kill Ned and all his crew, maybe it will take a while for the next rebel to find them (wait for Ned to not appear, find out where he went, go there themselves, could be months or years or never) and they'll have long enough for Lyanna to recover or die and then they can move? 

I think Wylla was from the Starfall area, personally selected for her loyalty to the Daynes to be a wetnurse for Jon and possibly also midwife. I think she was at ToJ already, doing some or all of the cooking/cleaning/midwifery/wetnursing. Like you said they'd need some crew there, and they'd need a wetnurse prepared if they are isolated and Lyanna was struggling (or even just because). No good spending a week to find a wetnurse after the baby arrives, while it starves.

I think Ned kept her on as Jon's wetnurse rather than kill her. Her loyalty to the Daynes, and probably to Jon's life, means she'll never talk if she is well looked after. He needs a wetnurse for Jon immediately, why not use the one prepared for him? Its days, or even weeks, just to get to Starfall and the baby has to eat during that trip.

I think Ned rode in to Starfall to return Dawn, with Wylla nursing Jon. Starfall people saw that, and with Ned not saying anything about them, when they learned Ned Stark had a bastard they put two and two together and assumed Wylla was the mother, Ned was giving her work as wetnurse to look after her and the babe both. Ned ignored the rumour, if he heard it, as did Wylla, as instructed. As such rumours do, it came to be accepted locally as fact, with no denials and fitting all the observed evidence.

Ned returned Dawn, left Starfall (I think with Wylla still nursing Jon, others think for some reason he changed wetnurse, though I can't see why). On the way back to Winterfell he stopped in KL and reconciled with Robert, though Robert never met Wylla.

Ashara suicided (or more likely faked it) either while Ned was there or shortly after he left. Hence her presence in the rumours, not to mention possible connection back to Harrenhal Tourney.

I think Robert was given a report on Ned's arrival at Starfall, and/or heard the Starfall Wylla rumour. I think he made the same assumptions that Starfall people did and sort of confronted Ned about it (in a non confrontational manner, as Robert would with Ned, teasing him about it), and Ned told him the wetnurse's name was Wylla. Other people here think Ned outright told him Wylla was Jon's mother, but that is not necessary and inconsistent with what we see from Ned later, so I think their first conversation was probably similar to their later one we saw, where Robert makes assumptions and Ned speaks the absolute minimum necessary without correcting Robert's assumptions.

Ned then proceeded to Winterfell, getting there with Jon (and wetnurse, Wylla or another) before Catelyn arrived with Robb.

I think when Jon was weaned, Ned sent Wylla back to Starfall where the Daynes took her into service and she later was wetnurse to Edric as well.

 

I think all this is consistent and logical with everything we see in the books. It takes into account the differing rumours from Edric, Robert, Cersei and Catelyn, and maintains consistency with Ned's words and behaviour throughout. He tries to shut down any conversation or rumour he hears about Jons origin, but has limited success and rumours naturally sprout behind him anyway, each relying on the limited information they have. The only rumour not accounted for is the fisherman's daughter, and I think that is nothing more than a localised spin on a minor scandal based on almost complete lack of knowledge. Jon is too young to actually be the fisherman's daughter, though the people of the Stepstones are not aware of this.

I'm sure there are some details here that are wrong, but there are many things that can chnage in small ways without really changing the overall narrative. I think this 'theory' is flexible enough to fit with many other theories (not about Jon) with only minor changes.
 

Edited by corbon

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15 hours ago, Wolfbynature said:

the whole storyline around the Tower of Joy is flawed

True.

If at some future point there's a Hollywood version of ASOIAF, hopefully the people involved will be wise enough to ignore what fans think on this topic, and instead focus solely on what the canon says. 

Otherwise they may wind up humiliating themselves in a spectacular and hilarious fashion.

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Hasn't GRRM said that Ned's fever dream about the ToJ isn't to be taken at face value?

Think about it, Ned finds the ToJ seemingly with ease despite having never been to Dorne before and Lyanna just happened to have given birth at that exact moment? In Ned's dream, right as they're about to fight Ned hears Lyanna scream out his name, but in the very next moment, she is covered in blood, dying and can only whisper. That right there tells me, that Lyanna did not give birth until some time after the event at the ToJ.

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1 hour ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

In Ned's dream, right as they're about to fight Ned hears Lyanna scream out his name, but in the very next moment, she is covered in blood, dying and can only whisper. That right there tells me, that Lyanna did not give birth until some time after the event at the ToJ.

You have to explain that one to me. If she is already bleeding there's haemorrhage. Those are usually more common after delivery than before but OK. If the bleeding started before while giving birth, it wouldn't have taken long for her and the baby to die (it doesn't take long now with medical progress imagine back then). So Ned would not have waited quietly at her side.

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20 hours ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

Trying to analyse the TOJ scene as a battle would be a complete waste of time IMO. We only have a dream of it to go by and as I said, I don't think anyone had designs to win a battle of any kind.

Exactly. Neither the "battle" in Ned's dream, nor his "conversation" with the KG happened in the way he dreams them. For example: The questions and answers are follow the typical "three questions toward an mystical guardian"-principal; they just don't end like this. They are more metaphoric than real questions.

14 hours ago, corbon said:
Quote

Why did´nt Lyanna flee after the defeat at the Trident? Even in her late pregnancy a women is still mobile or at least transportable

When, and how, do you think they got the news of the Trident? 
Who is originally 'sending the news out'? How are they sending it? (Why are they sending it - whats actually in it?) How is it getting relayed (by whom?) to the ToJ crew?

I agree (with your whole post), but would like to mention, that it isn't at all impossible that Ned was indeed told, where Lyanna was (maybe by Benjen? Did she gave her little brother some "in-case-of-severe-emergency"briefing? Is this the reason, beside his knowledge, why he took the Black?).

He didn't search for her blindly, but moves out with trusted men toward the ToJ.

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6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

Hasn't GRRM said that Ned's fever dream about the ToJ isn't to be taken at face value?

He said, "our dreams are not always literal". 

Parts of the dream are elaborated on in  Ned's memories - there was a fight of seven against three, only he and Howland survived, he built eight cairns for the fallen KG and his friends. The dream elements of roses, blood and his promise to Lyanna correspond to his memory of Lyanna's last moments in his first PoV chapter. His description of the dream puts the tower, the KG and Lyanna's death together, and says that this dream keeps haunting Ned for years (old dream). The fight and Lyanna's death in her bed of blood truly happened. The sequence of events, the details of Ned's conversation with the KG, the supernatural elements of blood in the sky and storm of blue rose petals, those are the parts of the dream that are more symbolic than realistic and probably didn't happen the same way as in the dream. The conversation is definitely too conscise and ritualized for that.

6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

Think about it, Ned finds the ToJ seemingly with ease despite having never been to Dorne before

Meaning, someone told. Someone always tells.

6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

and Lyanna just happened to have given birth at that exact moment?

Not necessarily at the same moment. There is no telling how much time actually passed between the childbirth, Ned's arrival and Lyanna's death. Postpartum bleeding lasts for weeks, so she could have been in a bed of blood for quite some time.

6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

In Ned's dream, right as they're about to fight Ned hears Lyanna scream out his name,

The scream is most likely one of those parts of the dream that are not literal. First, in Ned's memories, Lyanna always calls him Ned, not Eddard. Second, as he is waking from the dream, Lyanna's voice transforms into that of Vayon Poole trying to wake him

6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

but in the very next moment, she is covered in blood, dying and can only whisper. That right there tells me, that Lyanna did not give birth until some time after the event at the ToJ.

She may have, but given the KG being adamant that their duty is at ToJ, she most likely gave birth prior Ned's arrival.

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