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The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

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10 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?

No, he hasn't. Thats commonly put about by people who want to dismiss some or all of the information we get from the dream.

As @Ygrain noted, what he actually said was "our dreams are not always literal". Which effectively means 'be careful, some parts of/or some dreams are not literal.' This was a direct response when a questioner made statements inferred by the dream that GRRM did not want to confirm at the time. He also dissembled by calling the dream 'a fever dream at that', when what the text says is that although Ned was at that time fevered (so GRRM is not technically lying), the dream was an old dream. Ned knew it instantly and described it as a whole from the moment the dream began, which shows that it was an old, familiar dream, one he'd had possibly many times before.

OTOH, even though several times Ned's mind tells us that the dream was the same as it was in life, there are clearly elements that are fantastical or confused in it. obviously his friends were not actual wraiths or shadows. Obviously the sky was not bloodstreaked (though perhaps the red comet was showing?) and a storm of rose petals across the sky seems like it might be dream-imagery rather than real. Most of all, Lyanna calling him is clearly Vayon Poole in real life trying to wake him. 

6 hours ago, Morte said:

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.

It reads to me like a fairly reasonable real conversation. The participants understand more of what they are saying than we do, because they have more context.

6 hours ago, Morte said:

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.

Indeed. Clearly someone told (as @Ygrain noted again, someone always does). Ned obviously knew where he was going, and had a fair idea why, even if he didn't know everything. What and how he knew is perhaps more interesting, and more unknown, than anything else about this scene. 
We don't know who told though. Perhaps it was Lyanna.

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We are missing information. It would be hasty to conclude the story is flawed. Why the KG were still there? They insist about their wovs, being not at the Trident with Rhaegar, not at KL with Aerys, not at Dragonstone with Viserys. The LC is with them. He sent back Rhaegar, but he didn't return with him. My belief is Rhaegar told them something, about his prophecies and the Long Night to come. Something that superseded any order Aerys could have given.  Like Jaime killing Aerys to save KL. They had the choice between doing Aerys command, and possibly dooming mankind. Or believing Rhaegar. And apparently dying there, as a blood sacrifice for the PtwP.

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3 hours ago, corbon said:

even though several times Ned's mind tells us that the dream was the same as it was in life

Only on two very specific points, but they are a small minority of the entire dream:

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In the dream his friends rode with him, as they had in life.

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They were seven, facing three. In the dream as it had been in life.

These two points are all but confirmed anyway by his conscious memory in the same chapter. 

However, they in no way confirm the rest of the dream is accurate.  It may be, or it may not be.

4 hours ago, corbon said:

Most of all, Lyanna calling him is clearly Vayon Poole in real life trying to wake him.

Oh, I think that's a debatable matter.  Notice how the form of address changes:

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As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. “Eddard!” she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.

Here she uses his first name only, no style.

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"Lord Eddard," Lyanna called again.

"I promise," he whispered. "Lya, I promise …"

All of a sudden, Lyanna's calling him "Lord."  This is bizarrely formal for a teen girl who is worried about her brother's imminent mutilation or death in a battle.  And finally we get:

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"Lord Eddard," a man echoed from the dark.

This is clearly Poole.  So my opinion is that it is Lyanna in the first instance... but not the next two.

3 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

It would be hasty to conclude the story is flawed.

Not hasty at all, IMO. The TOJ story comes entirely from the fans... not at all from the canon... and is rather silly in various obvious ways.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, JNR said:

Only on two very specific points, but they are a small minority of the entire dream:

These two points are all but confirmed anyway by his conscious memory in the same chapter. 

Add to these the other data confirmed by his memories.

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However, they in no way confirm the rest of the dream is accurate.  It may be, or it may not be.

Right. Thats where we are agreeing to disagree. For me, despite GRRM's dissembling, this is mostly less of a dream and more of a memory. Thats why it repeats consistently, why its not just a fever dream but an old dream that he recognises and knows intimately immediately. A truly metaphoric or whatever 'dream-dream' would be less consistent - I think.

Quote

Oh, I think that's a debatable matter.  Notice how the form of address changes:

Here she uses his first name only, no style.

All of a sudden, Lyanna's calling him "Lord."  This is bizarrely formal for a teen girl who is worried about her brother's imminent mutilation or death in a battle.  And finally we get:

This is clearly Poole.  So my opinion is that it is Lyanna in the first instance... but not the next two.

Fair enough. We mostly agree. If we actually go and check where she talked to him for real though, we find she usually called him Ned, not Eddard. And I think that if she was trying to get his attention urgently, she'd use the familiar diminutive Ned rather than the formal Eddard. It has more power, more emotional appeal to connection, and is more instinctive. I agree with you (but further), her calling him Eddard even, is bizarre, in that context, let alone "lord Eddard". Remember also she's only ever known Ned as her nothing important big brother. Not Lord, not Heir, literally nothing more than a backup/support.
Add to that, the first time Lyanna 'appears' in the dream she is screaming. And calling 'Eddard'. Is she screaming "Eddard"? Or is she screaming (wordlessly so to speak) then calling 'Eddard'? I cant tell. Neither really makes sense actually.

What makes more sense is a (wordless) scream coming from the tower (which Ned attributes to Lyanna), then Vayon Poole's voice breaking through.

So although you think that the first time is actually her, I think for multiple reasons that the first time is also Vayon Poole, but Ned's mind is only catching it half way through Vayon's address.

Each to his own.

 

Edited by corbon

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12 hours ago, corbon said:

For me, despite GRRM's dissembling, this is mostly less of a dream and more of a memory. Thats why it repeats consistently

People often have dreams, nightmares in particular, multiple times, yet this doesn't mean the nightmare is a memory. 

However many times you may dream you're back in high school and have forgotten to prepare for a test that day (a very common dream), that doesn't mean such a thing ever actually happened.  Maybe it did, and maybe it didn't.

Where I suspect we would agree is that there must be a root logic to the dream. 

There is a good fundamental reason Ned had this dream multiple times... and like all of GRRM's puzzles, the answer is susceptible to a rational analysis.  And having arrived finally at the explanation, the analyst, if a rational person who understands Ned's character and context, should feel satisfied.

GRRM is not, in other words, eventually just going to say "Eh, it was a bullshit dream."  We will learn important truths and those truths will explain the dream, just as the dream helps to explain them.

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On 5/30/2019 at 4:36 AM, corbon said:

I think for multiple reasons that the first time is also Vayon Poole, but Ned's mind is only catching it half way through Vayon's address.

Exactly. Your own name is something that you catch very easily, e.g. in a conversation that you are not listening to, it is a sort of "alert". As this alert enters his dream, his mind makes it a part of it (ever dreamt about your mom waking you or an alarm clock buzzing, only to wake up to your mom waking you or the clock buzzing? happened to me multiple times). 

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On 5/28/2019 at 3:35 AM, Wolfbynature said:

Ok, the R + L = J theory is´nt proved until now.

fuck you, this is the books forum.

 

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On 5/28/2019 at 10:08 AM, John Suburbs said:

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.

Why would Jon pose a threat at that point? We know that a surviving child of Rhaegar could later pose a threat to Robert, because Targaryen loyalists could rally around such a person and claim Robert lacks legitimacy as king, but if none of Rhaegar's family have died yet then Jon would be further from the throne than all of them.

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On 5/30/2019 at 3:55 AM, Ser Leftwich said:

'The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed incomplete.'

There, fixed it and it answers itself.

Inclined to agree with this. we only have some basic information about the Tower of Joy. People tend to fill in the gaps. What I fill in is this:

R+L=J is true

the Tower of Joy isn't a manned castle it's a simple, deserted tower like the one Bran and his companions find. I still find it ridiculous that two men could demolish it for cairns, but take it as imaginative license.

The KG are defending, principally, the baby, which they regard as the King.

They were presumably on their way to Dorne when forced to stop.

They see Eddard as representing Robert and his mission as to take Lyanna and the baby captive or kill them. Robert would kill the baby without doubt.

Eddard sees them as holding his sister prisoner.

Lyanna was probably screaming to him to stop and he didn't or misunderstood her screams. 

Eddard feels enormous guilt.

 

 

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OP

You’re right it’s a contrivance of the plot.

George wants to go all Dale and Tucker vs Evil on us with the law of unintended consequences and how a lack of communication can cause disaster. Arthur Dayne May has well have told Ned “We have had a doosy if a day”

However, that means characters being deliberately obtuse and not communicating. Lyanna loves her family, why would she not tell them where she was going and why would she not know her family/Robert well enough to know that her disappearance might not go down well. It only works if you assume that all of these people were stupid.

All she had to do was sent a little raven saying:

“Hi Bro, I am sorry but I can’t marry Robert anymore, I am just so lost in Rhaegars silver hair and the sea of his eyes.”

 

 

 

 

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On 6/1/2019 at 7:46 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Why would Jon pose a threat at that point? We know that a surviving child of Rhaegar could later pose a threat to Robert, because Targaryen loyalists could rally around such a person and claim Robert lacks legitimacy as king, but if none of Rhaegar's family have died yet then Jon would be further from the throne than all of them.

Jon would still be the child of Robert's beloved Lyanna by another man, so Robert will not suffer him to live.

He would also be a bastard with a potential claim on the Targaryen side, so Aerys, had he lived, would not suffer Jon either. Neither would the Dornish.

Jon simply throws too many spanners into too many works to have a reasonable chance of surviving to adulthood, so his existence has to be kept quiet. If they have read the prophecy correctly, his will be the song of ice and fire no matter what station in life he assumes.

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On 6/3/2019 at 2:57 PM, John Suburbs said:

Jon would still be the child of Robert's beloved Lyanna by another man, so Robert will not suffer him to live.

He would also be a bastard with a potential claim on the Targaryen side, so Aerys, had he lived, would not suffer Jon either. Neither would the Dornish.

Jon simply throws too many spanners into too many works to have a reasonable chance of surviving to adulthood, so his existence has to be kept quiet. If they have read the prophecy correctly, his will be the song of ice and fire no matter what station in life he assumes.

As long as Rhaegar's family is on the throne, Robert won't have much say in it. And Targaryen bastards are regularly suffered to live. Aerys took multiple mistresses from among his wife's handmaids, and that wasn't regarded as threatening the succession.

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On 6/7/2019 at 9:25 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

As long as Rhaegar's family is on the throne, Robert won't have much say in it. And Targaryen bastards are regularly suffered to live. Aerys took multiple mistresses from among his wife's handmaids, and that wasn't regarded as threatening the succession.

Aerys never sired a bastard from any of his mistresses, nor did he acknowledge any AFIK. There is a big difference between a bastard, an acknowledged bastard and a legitimized bastard in regards to the succession. But if not from Robert or Aerys, then Jon will certainly draw the ire of the Martells, who are very good with poisons, and quite possibly from the North who would see him as the defilement of their beloved Lady Lyanna. Not to mention the fact that, willingly or no, Lyanna birthing a child out of wedlock brings great shame to her and her family, quite possibly resulting her being sent off to the Silent Sisters for the rest of her life.

So any way you shake it, there is every reason to keep Jon a secret and no reason at all to reveal his existence.

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1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

Aerys never sired a bastard from any of his mistresses, nor did he acknowledge any AFIK. There is a big difference between a bastard, an acknowledged bastard and a legitimized bastard in regards to the succession. But if not from Robert or Aerys, then Jon will certainly draw the ire of the Martells, who are very good with poisons, and quite possibly from the North who would see him as the defilement of their beloved Lady Lyanna. Not to mention the fact that, willingly or no, Lyanna birthing a child out of wedlock brings great shame to her and her family, quite possibly resulting her being sent off to the Silent Sisters for the rest of her life.

So any way you shake it, there is every reason to keep Jon a secret and no reason at all to reveal his existence.

Cersci and Jamie Lannister are not Aery's bastards, I beg to differ Joanna was a lady in waiting both prior to an d after her marriage to Tywin, she was located in King's Landing for several years, the only information to suggest that C and J are not Aerys get comes from Lannister apologists, they being Pycelle and Yandel.

 

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On 6/2/2019 at 4:20 AM, Tyrion1991 said:

OP

You’re right it’s a contrivance of the plot.

George wants to go all Dale and Tucker vs Evil on us with the law of unintended consequences and how a lack of communication can cause disaster. Arthur Dayne May has well have told Ned “We have had a doosy if a day”

However, that means characters being deliberately obtuse and not communicating. Lyanna loves her family, why would she not tell them where she was going and why would she not know her family/Robert well enough to know that her disappearance might not go down well. It only works if you assume that all of these people were stupid.

All she had to do was sent a little raven saying:

“Hi Bro, I am sorry but I can’t marry Robert anymore, I am just so lost in Rhaegars silver hair and the sea of his eyes.”

You're operating under the presumption that ravens are a foolproof way of sending messages.

Ravens can be shot down or tampered with. We don't even know if the Tower of Joy was on the ravenry network. If it was, then the logical conclusion is that 1) the Citadel knows about the ToJ, Lyanna, Rhaegar and maybe even Jon and that 2) there was a maester present at the Tower of Joy.

Besides, let's be honest: it's not like Ned was at Winterfell during Robert's Rebellion. He was literally travelling from place to place all over Westeros. Ravens are only trained to fly to one particular castle. For example, if you are in Storm's End, you have a raven that works the route to the Citadel and another that works the route to the Red Keep.

The only place where Lyanna would feel comfortable sending a raven to would be Winterfell or maybe Riverrun.

Benjen was at Winterfell so maybe Benjen knows more than even Ned. Maester Luwin was the maester of Riverrun at the time and if he got a letter from Lyanna, it makes sense why he left Riverrun for Winterfell instead of just staying put.

It does make for a lot of dramatic irony: Ned comes home from a year of travelling, warring and politicking with Lyanna's son only to find that Lyanna had sent a letter to Winterfell a long time ago. Benjen could never contact him for obvious reasons and so he was forced to sit on it. Imagine how Ned and Benjen must feel? Benjen's odd decision to join the Night's Watch instead of taking a highborn wife and siring more Stark children suddenly makes sense now...

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23 hours ago, Gerg Sknab said:

Cersci and Jamie Lannister are not Aery's bastards, I beg to differ Joanna was a lady in waiting both prior to an d after her marriage to Tywin, she was located in King's Landing for several years, the only information to suggest that C and J are not Aerys get comes from Lannister apologists, they being Pycelle and Yandel.

 

Very likely, and even more likely in Tyrion's case, but the fact is that this romance was done in secret and virtually no one on the entire planet connects Tywin's children with Aerys or the Iron Throne, so there would be no reason to hide them from the world. This would certainly not be the case if Lyanna, after having been kidnapped, imprisoned and raped by Rhaegar, were to suddenly produce a child and claim someone else to be the father. True or not, Jon would be seen across the realm as another potential claimant to the Iron Throne, capable of unleashing all of the same bloodshed of the last set of bastards, whom they only got rid of some 10 years before.

So in the end, it is a simple calculation: there is absolutely no upside to revealing Jon's existence or the truth of the kidnapping, but an enormous potential downside if she does.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Very likely, and even more likely in Tyrion's case, but the fact is that this romance was done in secret and virtually no one on the entire planet connects Tywin's children with Aerys or the Iron Throne, so there would be no reason to hide them from the world.

Meh.

I don't like the Aerys/Joanna bastard children thing. It packs a stronger narrative and thematic punch for Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion to all come from Tywin.

Tywin obsesses about legacy (ironically not caring so much about family) but, here comes these three, doing their absolute best to destroy said legacy...in more ways than one.

Quote

This would certainly not be the case if Lyanna, after having been kidnapped, imprisoned and raped by Rhaegar, were to suddenly produce a child and claim someone else to be the father. True or not, Jon would be seen across the realm as another potential claimant to the Iron Throne, capable of unleashing all of the same bloodshed of the last set of bastards, whom they only got rid of some 10 years before.

So in the end, it is a simple calculation: there is absolutely no upside to revealing Jon's existence or the truth of the kidnapping, but an enormous potential downside if she does.

The bold was likely Ned's argument.

Judging from Ned Dayne's sentiments in A Storm of Swords and the Darkstar's behavior in A Feast for Crows, methinks that Ashara Dayne and her family had some very different ideas.

Edited by Jabar of House Titan
Messy post structure

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17 minutes ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Meh.

I don't like the Aerys/Joanna bastard children thing. It packs a stronger narrative and thematic punch for Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion to all come from Tywin.

Tywin obsesses about legacy (ironically not caring so much about family) but, here comes these three, doing their absolute best to destroy said legacy...in more ways than one.

 

 

Also certainly possible, in which case we revert back to my original statement that Aerys produced no bastards the we know of, nor have we heard any rumors in-story that this is so. Either way, if Jon's existence were revealed as Lyanna's son, he would be the first acknowledged Targ bastard since the last bastard was defeated two decades ago, ending close to 100 years of bloodshed. His life would be in jeopardy before he took his first breath. That's why Lyanna did not try to contact her family and explain things to them.

I'm not sure what the Dayne's game in is all of this. But even they don't claim that Jon is Lyanna's son. If anything, they are supporting the tale that Jon is Ned's son by a washerwoman named Wylla.

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5 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Also certainly possible, in which case we revert back to my original statement that Aerys produced no bastards the we know of, nor have we heard any rumors in-story that this is so. Either way, if Jon's existence were revealed as Lyanna's son, he would be the first acknowledged Targ bastard since the last bastard was defeated two decades ago, ending close to 100 years of bloodshed. His life would be in jeopardy before he took his first breath. That's why Lyanna did not try to contact her family and explain things to them.

True.

But I'm not sure Jon is a bastard. Of course, most people would assume that but I think it's very possible that Rhaegar married Lyanna which makes Jon trueborn.

Jon as a trueborn son of Rhaegar is 3x more dangerous than Jon as a baseborn son of Rhaegar

7 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

I'm not sure what the Dayne's game in is all of this. But even they don't claim that Jon is Lyanna's son. If anything, they are supporting the tale that Jon is Ned's son by a washerwoman named Wylla.

But why?

Until I started asking these sort of questions, the Areo POV never ever made sense. Why do we need him when we had Arianne and Quentyn to use?

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