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Black Crow

Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

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21 hours ago, alienarea said:

In my opinion Ned's fever dream about the Tower of Joy and Lyanna's death is an outstanding scene but doesn't fit / complicates the story - it's the root of many problems.

Agree it's outstanding, but where you wrote "root of many problems," I would write "opportunity for people to jump to false conclusions." 

It's not really GRRM's fault if they do, IMO.  In the same book, he gives us the tale of the Sealord's Cat as a warning.

20 hours ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

I do sort of long for the days when Catelyn Stark teleported from place to place as she traveled Westeros in books one and two.

Dany actually does have something similar: She can fly on Drogon, in theory.  So she could conceivably zip to Vaes Dothrak and then back to Meereen in short order.

That's if she can find a way to control Drogon, which

(a) she hasn't got yet,

(b) she never got on the show, meaning

(c) it's miraculous that on the show, the dragons never flew to Dorne or other places, or set Dany on fire for fun -- Show Targs can't burn, but it would have been hilarious if Drogon had kept torching off all her clothes as a prank.   That alone would have been the best thing done in the last two seasons if it had happened.

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47 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I think Martin has to resolve this business with Quaithe.  I think Dany also has to  confront Volantis and the Great Red Temple.  So she has to go North to get an army before she can go South to Volantis.  I see her going back to Mereen and to Volantis subduing the Eastern seaboard along the way to Volantis.  From Volantis, west to Dorne.  So go east to go west. 

I can't see any reason for her to go back to Qaarth although Martin has hinted that we will get more about Qaarth.  If so, then this is likely to have something to do with Euron or Victarion.

Yeah Dany probably doesn't get to Westeros until literally her last chapter in TWOW.

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1 hour ago, Lord Aegon The Compromiser said:

Yeah Dany probably doesn't get to Westeros until literally her last chapter in TWOW.

I'd hate it if all this prophecy stuff  turned out to be a big nothing burger.  I'm interested in this stuff.  I have certain ideas about the Great Red Temple and their fiery god and I'd like to know what it's about.   I think you are right and she's not getting to Westeros until the 7th book.  That doesn't actually bother me.  I don't expect to see the whole thing completed myself.  One more book to satisfy my own curiosity is all I'm counting on.  

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3 hours ago, JNR said:

Agree it's outstanding, but where you wrote "root of many problems," I would write "opportunity for people to jump to false conclusions." 

It's not really GRRM's fault if they do, IMO.  In the same book, he gives us the tale of the Sealord's Cat as a warning.

GRRM knows that the careful reader will come to the conclusion that Jon is the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna.  The only question is does GRRM want the reader to come to the correct conclusion or incorrect conclusion?

I'm reminded of one of the DVD commentaries of the HBO series that GRRM was a part of.  He reminisced about watching tv shows with his mother back when he was a young.  He indicated that his mother could always predict the plot twist of the shows before they were revealed.  He stated that he wanted to write a story that could surprise careful readers like his mother.

So a careful reader will most probably come to the conclusion that Jon is the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar.  Especially readers of the fantasy genre who are familiar with the trope of the hidden prince.

The fever dream is certainly the main trigger that will lead readers to come to this conclusion.

And its' fairly brilliant because it almost invites the reader to treat a dream like they would a conscious memory.  But as we all (should) know dreams are far trickier than memories and can tend to associate events that we have linked only in our subconscious as opposed to our conscious thoughts.

Now having said that, there should still be an independent relevance to the fever dream above merely trying to misdirect the reader.  For George to pull this off, he has to have a legitimate reason for Ned linking these two events together.

 

Edited by Frey family reunion

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Warning! Unsolicited factoid about to be shared!

I don't know if anyone else watches David Eagleman's series about the brain on PBS, but he said dreams are bits and pieces of memories of things we've already seen or experienced, but then while we sleep our brain mixes and matches various sections and basically runs a simulation testing various outcomes, in other words "troubleshooting", and its what helps develop our intuition so that when we're faced with new experiences, our intuition guides us in our decision making.

I don't know whether GRRM would know how dreams work or not, but going off the assumption that he does have some factual knowledge, we might conclude that Ned did meet the three Kingsguard somewhere, he did see or pass by the tower of joy where his men were killed, he did travel across the sands of Dorne at one time, he did battle against Arthur Dayne, Howland somehow helped Ned win the sword fight, he did reach Lyanna before she died, he held her hand while she was lying in a bed of blood, and she extracted "promises". That is really all we can be sure of. The fact of the matter is, it is entirely possible that all of these things could have occurred in different places and times. Furthermore, Ned says it's "an old dream" - not a recurring dream, so we know he's had this dream before. He remarks that "He did not think it omened well that he should dream that dream again after so many years..."

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1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

GRRM knows that the careful reader will come to the conclusion that Jon is the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna.

I think the careful reader will only conclude it is a possibility (and to be fair, R+L=J remains a possibility to this day). 

1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

The fever dream is certainly the main trigger that will lead readers to come to this conclusion.

It's part of it, along with Promise me Ned, etc. 

But in elevating the dream to "evidence," the careful reader should see everything in it, as Syrio Forel advocates, and not just what fits some preconception.

Quote

Arya thought about it. "You saw what was there."

"Just so."
 
So for instance, that dream contains plenty of surrealism: wraiths, a sword that is alive with light, a blood-streaked sky, a storm of rose petals. 
 
These conclusively prove the dream is definitely not reality.  Any theory of Jon's parentage that relies on the dream being reality is in serious trouble.
Edited by JNR

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12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Well, we plainly need to agree to cheerfully disagree on this one because as you say context is everything and in this particular context the questioner was challenging GRRM to confirm a hypothesis existing in the questioner's mind but not on the page.

Of course we do. But you asked the question, so I answered it. :P

12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

There is unquestionably a mystery of some  kind surrounding the dream, but one capable of different interpretations

Agreed.

12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

and GRRM simply warned the interviewer that it is more complicated than he assumed.

Thats not accurate. Look at GRRMs words.

Quote

You'll need to wait for future books to find out more about the Tower of Joy and what happened there, I fear.

Right. No new information here, its basically "I'm not giving anything away".

Quote

I might mention, though, that Ned's account, which you refer to, was in the context of a dream... and a fever dream at that.

 

Nothing actually new here either. Just a bit of misleading truth. We always new it was a dream. The misleading part was that it was a fever dream. Not actually false, because Ned was fevered when he had it, but misleading, because it was not just a fever dream, it was an old dream, a dream that he recognised and was instantly to retrieve a familiar 'label' for. 

Quote

Our dreams are not always literal.

True. But almost everyone takes this to say "this dream was not literal". Quite a few people (I don't think you are one of them, if I recall past conversations accurately) literally use it to treat anything from the dream as ignorable - usually someone with little to actually add in any conversation. 
However that is not what GRRM said.

"Our dreams are not always literal" literally means 'our dreams are sometimes literal' and makes no reference, not even in context, as to the literal-ness or not of the specific dream being discussed - then or now.

Quote

Also, did the Kingsguards know what was in the Tower?

Certainly.

This was new information, though it really just confirmed something we could already tell.

There was no warning about anything specific. "Our dreams are not always literal" is not even a general warning - we already know that and we already can see clearly non-literal elements in this specific dream.  There was no indication that it was "more complicated than the questioner assumed".  
There was just a bit of obfuscation and sidestepping on GRRMs part, but no actual indication of anything - except that the KG knew what was in the tower.

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1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

he did travel across the sands of Dorne at one time

What to the sands of Dorne have to do with anything?

The letter combination "sand" doesn't even appear in any Ned chapter. 

 

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11 minutes ago, corbon said:

What to the sands of Dorne have to do with anything?

The letter combination "sand" doesn't even appear in any Ned chapter. 

 

I am assuming he saw the red mountains of Dorne at one time, because they are one segment in his dream. 

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40 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

I am assuming he saw the red mountains of Dorne at one time, because they are one segment in his dream. 

Sure, but thats nowhere near the 'sands' of Dorne. 
The sands are on the other side of those Red mountains. And some.

This map will give you some idea. Its not canon I assume*, but it fits every piece of (book) canon relevant that I can think of.
*Actually, its says it is (show) canon, from the official maps created for Game of Thrones.

Even better, the map from ADwD. https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/File:The_south_Adwd_map.jpg 

Quote

In 2012 I was commissioned to illustrate the official maps of Westeros and Essos for the world of Game of Thrones. Each map is 3 feet by 2 feet in size, 72 square feet of maps in total.

If you’d like to know more about the process behind the maps, click through to read the articles. The maps are all © George RR Martin, 2012, used with permission

ToJ is in the Princes Pass, Nightsong is the southernmost Stormlands castle. Kingsgrave is mid-pass, south of ToJ. ToJ is 'in' the Red Mountains of Dorne, but somewhat on the Northern side, as Ned was coming from the north and the Red Mountains were behind it. Only out beyond the southern side, south of Skyreach (where Lord Fowler is the Warden of the Princes Pass, do the sands begin.

Quote

Most of the First Men who chose to remain in Dorne, instead of wandering north in search of sweeter lands, settled close to the banks of the Greenblood, digging canals and ditches to bring its life-giving waters to the trees and crops they planted. Others preferred to dwell beside the narrow sea; the eastern shores of Dorne are more forgiving than the southern, and soon many small villages arose, sustaining themselves on fish and crabs. The more restless of the First Men pushed onward and made homes for themselves in the foothills south of the Red Mountains, where storms moving north were wont to drop their moisture, creating a fertile green belt. Those who climbed farther took refuge amongst the peaks, in hidden valleys and high mountain meadows where the grass was green and sweet. Only the bravest and the maddest dared to strike out inland across the deep sands. 

Even south of the Red Mountains, is first a fertile green belt in the hills. Looks like where that river north of Skyreach and Yronwood is on the map. Then further south than that the desert begins.

Ned came from the north, and from ToJ went to Starfall,. Its a long way out of his way to go anywhere near the sands of Dorne and there is no indication he ever did.

Note: the maps are illustrative. The locations clues and descriptions are from book canon.

 

Edited by corbon

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R+L=J I would say.Not really bothered whether it is or isn't.Probably not even in the top ten of unresolved intrigues and mysteries, to be honest.

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15 minutes ago, corbon said:

Sure, but thats nowhere near the 'sands' of Dorne. 
The sands are on the other side of those Red mountains. And some.

This map will give you some idea. Its not canon I assume*, but it fits every piece of (book) canon relevant that I can think of.
*Actually, its says it is (show) canon, from the official maps created for Game of Thrones.

I know very well that the mountains are not the sands...I was dancing around some of my other opinions, because I wasn't really very interested in this topic. :P

I don't believe Ned travelled through the Prince's Pass, and I don't believe the tower of joy is even located there. If YOU look at the maps, the best way to get to Starfall is by ship. The Prince's Pass does not lead to Starfall. It only leads into Dorne. Starfall is protected by sheer cliffs, and is located on an island in the Torentine River.

The tower of joy is a nickname for Maegor's Holdfast.

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1 hour ago, corbon said:

Also, did the Kingsguards know what was in the Tower?

Certainly.

Ah well, that one we can absolutely agree on. The King's Guard certainly did know what was in the tower, but we don't know what was in the tower and I really won't be surprised at the end of the day to learn that the King's Guard knew that there was nothing in the tower :D

Edited by Black Crow

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Ser Duncan the Tall also had a dream that seems to share some elements with Ned's. At the end he says it never happened that way...

Duncan’s Dream - from The Hedge Knight

  Egg was asleep by the time Dunk reached the roof. He lay on his back with his hands behind his head and stared up at the sky. The stars were everywhere, thousands and thousands of them. It reminded him of a night at Ashford Meadow, before the tourney started. He had seen a falling star that night. Falling stars were supposed to bring you luck, so he’d told Tanselle to paint it on his shield, but Ashford had been anything but lucky for him. Before the tourney ended, he had almost lost a hand and a foot, and three good men had lost their lives. I gained a squire, though. Egg was with me when I rode away from Ashford. That was the only good thing to come of all that happened. He hoped that no stars fell tonight. 

  There were red mountains in the distance and white sands beneath his feet. Dunk was digging, plunging a spade into the hot, dry earth and flinging the fine sand back over his shoulder. He was making a hole. A grave, he thought, a grave for hope. A trio of Dornish knights stood watching, making mock of him in quiet voices. Farther off the merchants waited with their mules and wayns and sand sledges. They wanted to be off, but he could not leave until he’d buried Chestnut. He would not leave his old friend to the snakes and scorpions and sand dogs. 

  The stot had died on the long, thirsty crossing between the Prince’s Pass and Vaith, with Egg upon his back. His front legs just seemed to fold up under him, and he knelt right down, rolled onto his side, and died. His carcass sprawled beside the hole. Already it was stiff. Soon it would begin to smell. 

  Dunk was weeping as he dug, to the amusement of the Dornish knights. “Water is precious in the waste,” one said, “you ought not to waste it, ser.” The other chuckled and said, “Why do you weep? It was only a horse, and a poor one.” 

  Chestnut, Dunk thought, digging, his name was Chestnut, and he bore me on his back for years, and never bucked or bit. The old stot had looked a sorry thing beside the sleek sand steeds that the Dornishmen were riding, with their elegant heads, long necks, and flowing manes, but he had given all he had to give. 

  “Weeping for a swaybacked stot?” Ser Arlan said, in his old man’s voice. “Why, lad, you never wept for me, who put you on his back.” He gave a little laugh, to show he meant no harm by the reproach. “That’s Dunk the lunk, thick as a castle wall.”

  “He shed no tears for me, either,” said Baelor Breakspear from the grave, “though I was his prince, the hope of Westeros. The gods never meant for me to die so young.” 

  “My father was only nine-and-thirty,” said Prince Valarr. “He had it in him to be a great king, the greatest since Aegon the Dragon.” He looked at Dunk with cool blue eyes. “Why would the gods take him, and leave you?” The Young Prince had his father’s light brown hair, but a streak of silver-gold ran through it. 

  You are dead, Dunk wanted to scream, you are all three dead, why won’t you leave me be? Ser Arlan had died of a chill, Prince Baelor of the blow his brother dealt him during Dunk’s trial of seven, his son Valarr during the Great Spring Sickness. I am not to blame for that. We were in Dorne, we never even knew. 

  “You are mad,” the old man told him. “We will dig no hole for you, when you kill yourself with this folly. In the deep sands a man must hoard his water.” 

  “Begone with you, Ser Duncan,” Valarr said. “Begone.” 

  Egg helped him with the digging. The boy had no spade, only his hands, and the sand flowed back into the grave as fast as they could fling it out. It was like trying to dig a hole in the sea. I have to keep digging, Dunk told himself, though his back and shoulders ached from the effort. I have to bury him down deep where the sand dogs cannot find him. I have to… 

  “… die?” said Big Rob the simpleton from the bottom of the grave. Lying there, so still and cold, with a ragged red wound gaping in his belly, he did not look very big at all. (my note: sounds like King Robert in his bed of blood)

  Dunk stopped and stared at him. “You’re not dead. You’re down sleeping in the cellar.” He looked to Ser Arlan for help. “Tell him, ser,” he pleaded, “tell him to get out of the grave.” 

  Only it was not Ser Arlan of Pennytree standing over him at all, it was Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield. The brown knight only cackled. “Dunk the lunk,” he said, “gutting’s slow, but certain. Never knew a man to live with his entrails hanging out.” Red froth bubbled on his lips. He turned and spat, and the white sands drank it down. Treb was standing behind him with an arrow in his eye, weeping slow, red tears. And there was Wet Wat too, his head cut near in half, with old Lem and red-eyed red-eyed Pate and all the rest. They had all been chewing sourleaf with Bennis, Dunk thought at first, but then he realized that it was blood trickling from their mouths. Dead, he thought, all dead, and the brown knight brayed. “Aye, so best get busy. You’ve more graves to dig, lunk. Eight for them and one for me and one for old Ser Useless, and one last one for your baldhead boy.” 

  The spade slipped from Dunk’s hands. “Egg,” he cried, “run! We have to run!” But the sands were giving way beneath their feet. When the boy tried to scramble from the hole, its crumbling sides gave way and collapsed. Dunk saw the sands wash over Egg, burying him as he opened his mouth to shout. He tried to fight his way to him, but the sands were rising all around him, pulling him down into the grave, filling his mouth, his nose, his eyes…

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

Edited by Melifeather

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The problem that I have with the fever dream is that it's a vision of a blood-streaked sky and a storm of petals blue as the eyes of death; it's not something Ned has seen in real life.  It's not a memory of something that has occurred but a vision of something that will occur.  The great red comet and the blue eyed lot.  It's a vision of ice and fire, symbolic of dragons and wights.  This is the old dream and I suspect it's a weirwood inspired dream. 

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2 hours ago, Melifeather said:

I know very well that the mountains are not the sands...I was dancing around some of my other opinions, because I wasn't really very interested in this topic. :P

I don't believe Ned travelled through the Prince's Pass, and I don't believe the tower of joy is even located there. If YOU look at the maps, the best way to get to Starfall is by ship. The Prince's Pass does not lead to Starfall. It only leads into Dorne. Starfall is protected by sheer cliffs, and is located on an island in the Torentine River.

The tower of joy is a nickname for Maegor's Holdfast.

Even with that ... theory, there is no 'sands of Dorne' in Ned's past. Which is the reference you used. It was you who clearly referenced a path through Dorne that Ned took which we have no reference for or indication of.

I am looking at the map, the canon one from ADwD that clearly shows the location of ToJ (so much for the Maegor's Holdfast theory!), and it does not show that the best way to Starfall is by sea. The sea is a long way away (literally as physically far as Starfall, assuming one must go through the pass to ether end before turning for the coast) and once there its a very long sail around. Its almost certain there are trails, even roads, in some places from one side of the N-S spine of the Red Mountains to the other, say between Kingsgrave and Blackmont, or Skyreach and High Hermitage. Then down the Torentine to Starfall. 

I noted the sands reference, and objected, because of the old, silly, 'no roses at ToJ because its too dry' argument. Which was repeatedly debunked in thorough detail yet never acknowledged. It looked like the same wrong head-canon operating. 

 

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9 hours ago, LynnS said:

I think Martin has to resolve this business with Quaithe.  I think Dany also has to  confront Volantis and the Great Red Temple.  So she has to go North to get an army before she can go South to Volantis.  I see her going back to Mereen and to Volantis subduing the Eastern seaboard along the way to Volantis.  From Volantis, west to Dorne.  So go east to go west. 

I can't see any reason for her to go back to Qaarth although Martin has hinted that we will get more about Qaarth.  If so, then this is likely to have something to do with Euron or Victarion.

Yes. That definitely clears things up. Lmao. Do you have any references to support this conclusion? 

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9 hours ago, JNR said:

Agree it's outstanding, but where you wrote "root of many problems," I would write "opportunity for people to jump to false conclusions." 

It's not really GRRM's fault if they do, IMO.  In the same book, he gives us the tale of the Sealord's Cat as a warning.

:agree:

9 hours ago, Lord Aegon The Compromiser said:

Yeah Dany probably doesn't get to Westeros until literally her last chapter in TWOW.

Well, you can’t blame Dorne. They at least attempted to bring her back. Even if they did get a bit burnt in the process. 
 

 

7 hours ago, LynnS said:

I'd hate it if all this prophecy stuff  turned out to be a big nothing burger.  I'm interested in this stuff.  I have certain ideas about the Great Red Temple and their fiery god and I'd like to know what it's about.   I think you are right and she's not getting to Westeros until the 7th book.  That doesn't actually bother me.  I don't expect to see the whole thing completed myself.  One more book to satisfy my own curiosity is all I'm counting on.  

You’re a lot more patient than I am. I’m still on the fence about reading Winds if and when it comes out. 
 

 

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

GRRM knows that the careful reader will come to the conclusion that Jon is the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna.  The only question is does GRRM want the reader to come to the correct conclusion or incorrect conclusion?

I'm reminded of one of the DVD commentaries of the HBO series that GRRM was a part of.  He reminisced about watching tv shows with his mother back when he was a young.  He indicated that his mother could always predict the plot twist of the shows before they were revealed.  He stated that he wanted to write a story that could surprise careful readers like his mother.

So a careful reader will most probably come to the conclusion that Jon is the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar.  Especially readers of the fantasy genre who are familiar with the trope of the hidden prince.

I honestly never read much fantasy period. Always thought I didn’t like it. Turns out that was just LotR. :owned: Still, that was the whole reason that I wound up finding Westeros. I wanted to see if anyone else had seen RLJ coming. Turns out many had. Which is the exact reason I believe it is NOT the answer. Especially with the comments we have received from both GRRM and his wife.... I’m really hoping that the books end differently than the show. Otherwise I would be disappointed. It’s a very unsurprising ending for someone who claims to like to surprise and delight his fans. 
 

 

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Now having said that, there should still be an independent relevance to the fever dream above merely trying to misdirect the reader.  For George to pull this off, he has to have a legitimate reason for Ned linking these two events together.

Could be that there are two separate events surrounding the same thing. Kinda seems like we might have that cycle on repeat throughout the books. That’s why I believe there to be echoes or ripples. I mean so far I have found a minimum of 9 occurrences of a mother being in a tower. And at least three occurrences of the fight against the squires. Seems there must be a reason for the repetition. I believe that it might be to show the reader that everything can be altered by our own choices. I mean looking at it all, doesn’t it maybe seem more practical that we might be looking at Ned+Ashara=Brienne (our most prevalent on screen bastard, who happens to live on an island Ned would need to pass to get to KL) And a separate occurrence of ALJ? Wouldn’t that make sense of all of the current clues as well? 

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5 hours ago, Melifeather said:

Warning! Unsolicited factoid about to be shared!

I don't know if anyone else watches David Eagleman's series about the brain on PBS, but he said dreams are bits and pieces of memories of things we've already seen or experienced, but then while we sleep our brain mixes and matches various sections and basically runs a simulation testing various outcomes, in other words "troubleshooting", and its what helps develop our intuition so that when we're faced with new experiences, our intuition guides us in our decision making.

I don't know whether GRRM would know how dreams work or not, but going off the assumption that he does have some factual knowledge, we might conclude that Ned did meet the three Kingsguard somewhere, he did see or pass by the tower of joy where his men were killed, he did travel across the sands of Dorne at one time, he did battle against Arthur Dayne, Howland somehow helped Ned win the sword fight, he did reach Lyanna before she died, he held her hand while she was lying in a bed of blood, and she extracted "promises". That is really all we can be sure of. The fact of the matter is, it is entirely possible that all of these things could have occurred in different places and times. Furthermore, Ned says it's "an old dream" - not a recurring dream, so we know he's had this dream before. He remarks that "He did not think it omened well that he should dream that dream again after so many years..."

:agree: This is why we all need more sleep. :P

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