Jump to content

The fisherman's daughter: a proposed explanation


Recommended Posts

So the whole reason I thought there was more to the whole “who are Jon’s parents” thing in the first place was because there was a bunch of all these conflicting bits of clues and info, and I felt like they must all have some place in the story, a reason for all their existences. Like there has to be a reason some people say Wylla is Jon’s mom, and Ashara is Jon’s mom, and the fisherman’s daughter is Jon’s mom. I really dove into Wylla and Ashara, and have most of their stories figured out, but I never really gave much deep thought into the fisherman's daughter, other than, well, Ned was with a fisherman's daughter at the start of the war, so someone in the story must have just made an assumption and started a rumor based on the timing of Jon’s conception and birth. It’s the hardest one to figure out because the books provide the least info about her. Wylla is mentioned by two different characters, including Ned. And we learn a bunch about Ashara from like 4-5 different people. But the idea of the fisherman’s daughter being Jon’s mother is only mentioned once. In the 5th book, Davos gets washed up on Sweetsister, an island in the Bite, on accident, on his way to White Harbor to ask for the Manderly’s help for Stannis. The lord of Sweetsister, Godric Borell, could easily turn Davos over to the Lannisters since he’s supposed to. But he instead tells Davos a story about the start of Robert’s rebellion. Once upon a time, Ned also landed on Sweetsister when a fisherman and his daughter were trying to smuggle Ned across the bite so he could go home to rally his men for war. The lord at the time (Godric’s father) said he should turn Ned over to the Mad king, but ended up telling Ned, “If you lose your war, you were never here.” and sent him on his way. Godric then says that Ned went on, and left the fisherman's daughter with a bag of silver and a bastard in her belly named Jon Snow. It’s also briefly mentioned during this exchange that the fisherman ended up dying along the way to Sweetsister. So I just spent a bunch of time pondering and trying to figure out why he thinks that IS Jon Snow. He doesn’t suggest it to Davos, he is telling him with a level of certainty. How does that make sense with the limited info we have? What could have actually happened in the past that would fit with the rest of theory surrounding Jon Snow? So this theory is more built on my imagination based on what I think fits the best in the story, and less on clues and evidence since there practically are none.

 

So Ned agreed to pay the fisherman with a daughter to smuggle him across in secret… but the fisherman dies on the way…. What could have possibly happened? It’s implied that he might have fallen overboard in the storm and drowned, but shouldn’t a man who’s life and profession is on the sea know how to navigate his ship in a storm or at the very least, know how to swim?… what if it wasn’t an accidental drowning? What if he was killed? Who would kill him and why? Well it’s only Ned and the daughter on the boat, why would either want to kill him? Ned’s a great, honorable guy, and this fisherman is helping him, and what daughter would want to kill her father? Unless this father was just horribly evil. Maybe this father was abusive to his daughter, maybe he beat her? …. Maybe he was raping her??? If this daughter was effectively her abusive father’s prisoner, then maybe she felt that this honorable, rich, lord of Winterfell would be able to rescue her. Maybe this was her only chance to be rescued from her father. (A small parallel to Theon’s salt wife begging him to take her with him so her sea captain father couldn’t chastise her?) Maybe she tried to tell Ned that her father was raping her, and that she just recently realized she was pregnant and was sure that once her father found out about it, he would either kill her or the baby or both, and that Ned was her only hope? Why does that sound familiar??? …. Oh yeah, because that’s the exact same thing that happens to Jon north of the wall when they’re at Craster’s keep and Gilly asks Jon to be rescued for her baby's sake. Her baby that’s being fathered by her own father that’s raping her. A baby that she fears her father will kill. A father that Jon despises, but has to swallow his pride and bite his tongue because he still requires the help of this monster to survive and continue north to fulfill his duty. Ned thinks when he, Cat and Littlefinger are in the brothel discussing bran’s attempted murder that “It would not be the first time that Ned had been forced to make common ground with a man he despised.” Jaime Lannister might fit that bill when they fought together in Balon’s rebellion… but maybe he was referring to this fisherman. If Jon swapping Mance and Gilly’s babies in order to protect one from a Baratheon king that wants to kill it, is a direct parallel to what Ned did years ago, then it makes sense thematically that this could be yet another direct parallel between Ned and Jon that ties to the mystery of Jon’s own origin. (For those of you confused about the Ned baby swap I’m talking about and you still believe R+L=J, then look into the R+L=D, B+A=J theory, or watch the tower of joy youtube videos by preston jacobs. It makes way more sense.)

 

So this kid Edric Dayne tells Arya that his wetnurse (a woman who breastfed him as a baby) was Jon’s mother, named Wylla. If Ned is leaving Starfall with Jon as a baby, a baby who’s identity needs to be kept secret, it would make the most sense that he would travel home by boat. Traveling by foot would lead to running into too many people on the way who would ask questions. If he’s traveling by boat, then he would need to be able to feed Jon on the journey, he would need a wetnurse to join him, and she would need to be from Starfall if that’s where Ned’s departing from. She was most likely this same Wylla. But if Wylla ends up being wetnurse to this Edric kid years later, back in Starfall, then that means she made the trip back. So here’s what I think happened…

 

While being smuggled across the bite, Ned finds out about this fisherman raping his daughter, and her pregnancy, but can't do anything about it because he needs this mans help to survive this storm and continue to his duty north. He needs to make common ground with this man he despises, just like Jon has to do with Craster. Along the way, the father finds out about the pregnancy, threatens to kill the baby, and beats his daughter, forcing Ned to intervene. While Ned and the fisherman struggle, the daughter attacks her father and kills him. They dump his body overboard, and wash up on the island on accident since they no longer have the captain to navigate them properly. Ned, a man of honor, pays the daughter the bag of silver he owed the fisherman for getting him across, and says nothing of what happened to her father. After the war, and the events at the tower of Joy, Ned takes baby Jon from Starfall by boat with Wylla the wetnurse, and hopes to land in or near White Harbor to make the rest of the journey home north on foot, but before making it to the mainland … stops just before at the Sisters, and returns under the false pretense of thanking the lord who let him pass a year earlier… but really, to seek out the fisherman's daughter he had left there, who by now had given birth to a newborn, and was capable of breast feeding a baby. A baby born to a woman that everyone can see doesn’t have the child’s father around anywhere. A woman who wants to keep the identity of the father of her child a secret. A secret she might NEED to be kept quiet because her life depends on it if this woman herself actually had a hand in killing her newborn’s true father, and said that he drowned to cover it up. A woman who owes Ned her life and her freedom. Wylla returns to starfall on the boat so that she can’t be linked back to the Dayne’s and Jon’s true origin, and can later become Edric Dayne’s wetnurse in the future, and Ned pushes on home with the fisherman's daughter and her newborn so she can take over as acting wetnurse to Jon for the rest of the journey home and the rest of his infancy, where she can have a safe place to stay in winterfell, finally free of her abusive past life. Ned and/or the fisherman's daughter lies and tells the lord of Sweetsister that Ned is going to take home this woman, and her child, “his bastard son Jon Snow” that she gave birth to, in order to keep the truth of why he really needs to take her with him a secret. With no father to her child around, and the woman with a motivation to keep the true identity of the father to herself, and with her having the motive to perpetuate this lie or at least go along with it to help Ned, her savior, it makes sense that lord Borell wouldn’t have any reason at all to doubt the truth of Ned telling him that this fisherman’s daughter birthed his bastard boy Jon Snow. It would explain why Borell seems certain of this information. If Borell thinks this woman that Ned left on his island gave birth to Jon Snow, and Jon then goes on to grow up in Winterfell, then this woman and her newborn would have NEEDED to have left the island for Winterfell for Borell to maintain that level of certainty about it. It would also explain why Cat, upon arriving in Winterfell after the war, finds Ned, Jon, and his wetnurse, but never once ponders if this Wylla character could be Jon’s mother, because Wylla was never there. Ned needed to make sure that no one with the actual knowledge of Jon's true origin in Starfall would follow him home to Winterfell to spread that tale. I think it fits more than any other possibility I’ve heard of or thought of. What do you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There hasn't really been a satisfactory explanation for Lord Borell's account of Ned and Jon Snow so far but Borell's recollection of the incident seems genuine enough. You've obviously given this a lot of thought and I think you make quite a solid case. I like it. What do you think the fisherman's daughter did with her own child? Her baby would have to have been alive for her to still have milk. Would she have taken it along to Winterfell and if so, who out of Winterfell's staff would that child have grown up to be? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lord Godric tells Davos "they say he left her with a bag of silver and a bastard in her belly.  Jon Snow, she named him, after Arryn.". That's it.

He's obviously going off secondhand information if not flat out rumor.  There is nothing about the baby being Jon Snow of Winterfell, and Godric doesn't even suggest it.  I've always assumed that if the story is true, there is a guy in the sisters with that name, nothing more.  Ned wouldn't even necessarily know, especially if the bag of silver was enough to live off.  And that's even assuming the story is true, which it may not be.

As for the father, I suspect that drowning would be a common cause of death for fishermen.  Fall off the deck in a storm, you're done for.

The story is a red herring designed to lead the reader, and possibly in-world characters, away from Lyanna as Jon's mother. And that's pretty much all it is.

Wylla and Ashara Dayne are also red herrings.  Wylla was probably hired at Starfall and when her work was done, Ned sent her back home, where she likely had family and friends.  Ashara was probably already pregnant with the child Barristan mentioned at the time Jon was conceived, so can't be named.  I doubt Ned would have had access to her then, in any case.

Edited by Nevets
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/5/2022 at 10:24 PM, Nevets said:

Lord Godric tells Davos "they say he left her with a bag of silver and a bastard in her belly.  Jon Snow, she named him, after Arryn.". That's it.

He's obviously going off secondhand information if not flat out rumor.  There is nothing about the baby being Jon Snow of Winterfell, and Godric doesn't even suggest it.  I've always assumed that if the story is true, there is a guy in the sisters with that name, nothing more.  Ned wouldn't even necessarily know, especially if the bag of silver was enough to live off.  And that's even assuming the story is true, which it may not be.

As for the father, I suspect that drowning would be a common cause of death for fishermen.  Fall off the deck in a storm, you're done for.

The story is a red herring designed to lead the reader, and possibly in-world characters, away from Lyanna as Jon's mother. And that's pretty much all it is.

Wylla and Ashara Dayne are also red herrings.  Wylla was probably hired at Starfall and when her work was done, Ned sent her back home, where she likely had family and friends.  Ashara was probably already pregnant with the child Barristan mentioned at the time Jon was conceived, so can't be named.  I doubt Ned would have had access to her then, in any case.

Man, you’re right, the quote does start with “they say”. That does debunk my part of the theory that Ned or the daughter told the lord directly. But honestly, it actually fits the theory better if Ned returned to retrieve the daughter in secret, and people saw him there, taking her. These people who saw could have started the rumors that “they say” on the island. And the rest of the theory would still fit, and actually make more sense since the whole point of Ned’s goal is to operate in secrecy. I agree that the conflicting info about jon’s mother are red herrings, installed to distract and deter the readers from the truth. But GRRM doesn’t throw random nonsense in without a purpose. These false rumors exist in the story for a reason. They have an origin and an explanation for them, still unknown to us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/5/2022 at 5:12 PM, Evolett said:

There hasn't really been a satisfactory explanation for Lord Borell's account of Ned and Jon Snow so far but Borell's recollection of the incident seems genuine enough. You've obviously given this a lot of thought and I think you make quite a solid case. I like it. What do you think the fisherman's daughter did with her own child? Her baby would have to have been alive for her to still have milk. Would she have taken it along to Winterfell and if so, who out of Winterfell's staff would that child have grown up to be? 

I think the fisherman’s daughter and their bastard child would not be anyone we’ve seen in the story. Well at least not a named character we’ve met. Maybe a background character only seen and described by one of our POV characters. They would be common folk living in the winter town that don’t interact with the highborns we know. I think if both or at least the child are still alive, we would meet them in Winds to reveal a portion of the mystery to us. Essentially show the reader that Ned took this child's mother to breastfeed a different baby who was Jon, but not have any more info than that. It could act as a start of the reader being revealed Jon’s origin in reverse order of his journey home from the war where Ned met Jon initially. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/5/2022 at 6:04 PM, Corvo the Crow said:

I doubt it, and disagree  R+L=D, B+A=J making more sense but well written and a good read.

If you like in-depth theories then you can take a look at this if you want. I had this already typed up from like 2015, this fisherman's daughter theory I thought out is basically an extension of this original theory:

Jon's father isn't Ned....... But it's not Rhaegar Targaryen either........ There's a lot to explain... But here it is. (Only talking about the books here, the show is going to take a different direction so it doesn't spoil the book series.) Let's go over what is certain/obvious. Jon definitely has Stark blood, he has Stark features and can warg into Ghost. We know Lyanna and Rhaegar fell in love at the Harrenhall tourney when Rhaegar discovered she was the mystery knight of the laughing tree, and when he in turn named her the queen of love and beauty. We know Rhaegar was convinced he would birth a savior, and we know Lyanna died birthing a child that Ned promised to ..... probably protect. So many people just accept R+L=J because it's neat and convenient. Lyanna and Rhaegar had a baby and Ned showed up back home with a baby so everyone just ends all speculation there, but there is so much more to the story that isn't accounted for. We know very little about what happened after Lyanna died on her birthing bed and before Ned returned home with Jon, but Ned was busy doing stuff in between, and we have all these different stories and names tied to rumors of Jon's mother. Wylla. Ashara Dayne. Some fisherman's daughter near White Harbor. They are all named as potential mothers of Jon. How did they all get named? Who started those rumors and why? And how do they fit into the famous R+L=J theory? Well the fisherman's daughter who helped Ned cross the Bite at the beginning of Robert's rebellion was with Ned near the time of Jon's conception. So it stands to reason that this is just a rumor someone started based on a logical deduction, but we know Ned isn't actually the father so this rumor has little weight. We learn that Wylla is a wet nurse that serves house Dayne. Edric Dayne (nicknamed Ned btw) is younger than Jon, so anything he knows is 2nd hand information, but he hears stories from his family in Starfall that his wet nurse Wylla is Jon Snow's mother. And Ned apparently is in on that story since he tells Robert in the first book that Jon's mother's name is Wylla. But we know thats a lie because Ned is covering up Jon's mother's identity. So why are the Daynes in on the same lie Ned is telling? It seems they know something..... How does Ashara Dayne, another woman named as Jon's mother, come into play? Well Ashara Dayne was a big part of the story of the Harenhall tournament where Rhaegar named Lyanna queen of love and beauty. At the feast everyone wanted to dance with Ashara. Oberyn Martell, Jon Connington, Barristan Selmy, and finally Ned.... But only after Ned's older brother Brandon Stark approached her and explained that Ned was too shy to ask her. Several rumors through the books state that Ned was in love with Ashara. At the end of the 5th book, Barristan remembers how his biggest regret was not beating rhaegar in the final joust so he could name Ashara the queen of beauty because he loved her too. He also wonders if he had ever told her how he felt about her, if she still would have looked to "the man who dishonored her"... If she still would have "looked to Stark"..... Barristan is pissed about a Stark dishonoring his love, but in all the first book, has nothing but respect and praise for Ned. Brandon Stark is most likely the Stark that slept with and dishonored Ashara Dayne. If you were a beautiful empowered dornish woman, would you be attracted to the man who was too shy to ask you to dance? Or the bold man whose act of asking on behalf of his brother was kind and charming? Barbery Dustin tells us in detail how she loved Brandon and how much of a bold playboy he was, so the shoe fits. We also hear rumors later that Ashara had a child. Some say it was stillborn, so she killed herself in grief. Some say it was because of a broken heart. Some say she killed herself because her brother Arthur Dayne was killed at the tower of joy. So we have multiple conflicting stories about Ashara's death, as well as multiple conflicting stories about Jon's mother. We don't know what really happened (yet) but we know Ashara "died" shortly after the time Ned came to Starfall to return Arthur Dayne's sword Dawn, after he got Lyanna's baby from the tower, and went home to Winterfell with a baby, and for some reason, it seems like the Dayne's and Ned Stark both agree on the same version of the made up story. So here it is. What I'm pretty positive is actually the truth........ Is that Rhaegar and Lyanna's child isn't Jon at all, but actually is Daenerys, and Jon's parents are Brandon Stark and Ashara Dayne. This would still make Jon a Stark, and Daenerys a Targaryen. It might seem a little farfetched but let's look at some more clues. Dany dreams constantly of the house with the red door with the lemon tree outside the window in Bravos where she (allegedly) grew up... But lemon trees don't grow in Bravos, actually no trees grow there at all. They do grow in abundance in Dorne.... Where house Dayne is. Babies don't have memories of their early childhood, and Viserys was a selfish psycho. Dany only has the stories of her insane, lying brother to go on to learn about where she came from. And as we learn in the later books about the secret pact between Dorne and Willem Darry, the man who raised Dany and Viserys, much of Dany's childhood is apparently shrouded in mystery. So what I think happened, is that Ned brought his sister's baby with silver hair and purple eyes to Starfall, and met the woman who gave birth to his brother Brandon's son with brown hair and grey eyes, where they agreed to switch babies. (Ironically what Jon ends up doing with Mance and Gilly's babies). Ned knew a baby with clear targaryen feautures would raise too many questions. But Jon, with Stark feautures, wouldn't. On the other hand, Barristan specifically says that Dany's purple eyes and features remind him so much of Ashara that he thinks he's looking at her daughter, so she could pass for a Dayne easily. Dorne was still, and still is, secretly loyal to the Targaryens. It would make sense that they would help Rhaegar's daughter, and Ned would of course be willing to take care of his brother's son. That would explain why the Daynes and Ned both seem to agree on this story about a wet nurse named Wylla being Jon's mother. It also presents a plausible reason for Ashara Dayne to kill herself. She had her child taken from her, which would explain why Dany doesn't end up being raised as Ashara Dayne's daughter which most likely was the initial plan. There's tons of clues that support this. Martin is constantly driving home genetic evidence in his books. The proof of Cercei's children's illegitimacy based on genetic features for one. Theon's constant observation that Jeyne Poole's eyes aren't the right color to be Arya for two. (Btw, Jeyne Poole is very suspiciously / purposefully? close sounding to gene pool). This theory makes sense genetically, all of Robert Baratheon's bastard children had his features. Jaime's children had  his feautures, almost all Targaryens had children with purple eyes and silver hair. Most (but not all) of Ned's children had Tully features on his wife's side. This shows that Targaryen genes are generally very dominant, and Stark's can be more recessive. It makes sense that Rhaegar's child with Lyanna would have Targaryen features. Plus Rhaegar was convinced that he needed to have 3 children because the prophecy said "the dragon has 3 heads". He named his first 2 children Rhaenys and Aegon after the first Aegon the Conquerer and his sister wives. Which stands to reason that his last child would be a girl named Visenya. All the visions Dany has with Quaithe and in the house of the undying when she is told to "remember who you are" means to remember that her name is Visenya. Plus when Drogo marries Dany, he gives her the horse Silver and Dany rides it like a natural and jumps over a big fire. It's frequently stated how incredible Lyanna was at horse riding. Like mother, like daughter with riding ability. Plus, with Stark blood, and the warging ability that can come with it, would explain her connection ability to her dragons. In the first Sansa chapter, she is complaining about how different she and Arya are. She makes a point to make a direct comparison of Arya’s features to Jon, thus establishing a parallel, and then mentions that when she was little, Sansa asked her mother if grumkins took her real sister and swapped her for Arya. Cat laughs and says that Arya is her trueborn sister and Sansa couldn’t think of a reason that her mother would lie about it, so it must be true. It’s a direct ironic parallel of Ned swapping Jon as a baby, and lying about it, but with no one being able to think of a reason he would lie, everyone must assume it to be true. Plus probably the largest clue is how throughout the first book, all of Ned's flashbacks to Lyanna's promise and the tower of joy are directly corrolated to scenes where Robert Baratheon threatens to have Daenerys murdered. Ned says at one point that he is haunted by dreams of broken promises..... Jon is safe at the wall through the first book.... Why is his promise broken if it was to protect Jon? ..... It would however be broken if it was to protect Dany, and Robert sends assasins to murder her. I think the show is going to go with the full on R+L=J, but the 6th book will pull a similar reveal as the show, with Ned and his promise to protect his sister's baby. But without confirmation of the identity, leading us to believe it is Jon who is the savior going forth to battle the white walkers, only to then reveal the truth of the baby swap in the 7th and final story, revealing that Daenerys is in fact the savior after Jon fails. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jon is way too young to be Brandon's child.  Brandon was imprisoned shortly after Lyanna's kidnapping.  Jon is supposedly younger than Robb, who was conceived several months after that.  Between Rickard Stark traveling to Kings Landing and getting killed; Arryn calling his banners; Ned sneaking out of the Vale and calling his banners; negotiating with the Tullys and then marrying Catelyn; several months are gone, and Jon was supposedly conceived on campaign after his marriage.  Presenting Jon as younger than Robb when he's several months older won't fly.  Not to mention there is no point in hiding the fact that the child is Brandon's, especially if it is a bastard.  Ned claiming the child as his gives him nothing but trouble.

Plus how and why would the Dany switch be done.  We know a child was born at Dragonstone.  There is no reason for Viserys to accept a substitute.  He was planning to marry her, and if she's not his sister there's no point.  And if she's not his sister, there's no point in dragging her around the free cities for several years.

Rhaegar and Lyanna being Jon's natural parents still makes the most sense.

Edited by Nevets
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Nevets said:

Jon is way too young to be Brandon's child.  Brandon was imprisoned shortly after Lyanna's kidnapping.  Jon is supposedly younger than Robb, who was conceived several months after that.  Between Rickard Stark traveling to Kings Landing and getting killed; Arryn calling his banners; Ned sneaking out of the Vale and calling his banners; negotiating with the Tullys and then marrying Catelyn; several months are gone, and Jon was supposedly conceived on campaign after his marriage.  Presenting Jon as younger than Robb when he's several months older won't fly.  Not to mention there is no point in hiding the fact that the child is Brandon's, especially if it is a bastard.  Ned claiming the child as his gives him nothing but trouble.

Plus how and why would the Dany switch be done.  We know a child was born at Dragonstone.  There is no reason for Viserys to accept a substitute.  He was planning to marry her, and if she's not his sister there's no point.  And if she's not his sister, there's no point in dragging her around the free cities for several years.

Rhaegar and Lyanna being Jon's natural parents still makes the most sense.

Ashara was one of Elia Martells ladies in waiting in kings landing which means Brandon and Ashara we’re together in the same place right before he died which sparked the war. Robb was conceived several months later. It’s never mentioned anywhere that Robb is older or younger. They’re just described as the same age (14) in the books. My 2 year old niece is actually almost as big as my 4 year old niece in real life (different parents). a several month age difference is not unreasonable to confuse and pass off one being older than the other, which again, is never established, other than in people who think R+L=J’s blogs and forums. 
Hiding Jon’s identity WOULD be required in order to protect the secret of Rhaegar and Lyanna’s child, Daenerys (who’s real name is probably Visenya), that Ned promised to keep, along with the Daynes. If Ned says “This is Brandon and Ashara’s child” to the world, then they would know that Daenerys is not Ashara’s which was probably the original plan, but since Dany obviously ends up elsewhere for some unknown reason, the rumor that Ashara’s child may have been stillborn sprung up, which again, would be compromised if Ned admits he has Ashara’s child. Not to mention the questions that would arise about why Ned, the uncle, would take this child instead of leaving him with the mother. 
the Dany swap is the next part of the mystery I’m still trying to hash out. It’s still like rough draft in my brain but this is what I’ve come up with so far. I’m rereading fire and blood and got to the part where Rhaena, after Maegor kills her husband Aegon, decides to disguise both her children, change their names, and split them up separately to live secretly with other lords unknown to even her, their mother, in order to protect them from the Usurper king. It could be yet another direct parallel to what was done with Viserys and the stormborn baby when they made their flight from dragonstone to escape the Usurper king trying to kill them. It seems Viserys went to Bravos, and the stormborn baby went … who knows Where?? As we learn, Doran and Oberyn Martell are some of the biggest puppet masters of the entire story. It’s possible that the Martell’s caught wind of this stormborn baby getting secretly swept away into hiding, and then shortly thereafter may have had a well placed spy in Starfall overhear some Daynes talking quietly about this secret Targaryen girl that must be protected. The martells could have easily mistaken this baby of R+L as the hidden stormborn baby Daenerys. Ashara’s death might have happened when she was trying to save Dany from being kidnapped in the middle of the night by some agent of the martells. The martells who are under the impression that this baby is Viserys’ sister. Oberyn does in fact try to raise Dorne to war for Viserys after Robert takes the throne but Jon Arryn sails to Sunspear to negotiate peace. It’s possible that this declaration of war for Viserys was actually just a ruse in hopes to have word reach whoever secretly stole away Viserys so that they would come to the Martells. It might have taken years but eventually, Willem Darry, and Oberyn Martell meet and sign the marriage pact of Viserys to Arianne Martell. It’s possible that the Dany we know, was handed off essentially as payment for this pact to take place. Viserys, who hadn’t seen his sister since she was a newborn, wouldn’t have any reason to doubt that this girl with clear Targaryen features was his sister. And Dany growing up in Dorne for a few years explains the lemon tree that she remembers outside her bedroom at the house with the red door.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Rondo said:

The author wrote that in the last book because he wants to send a message to his readers, "Don't be so sure of your theories." Jon's parents could be a number of different couples.  Jon will learn who his mother is but his father could remain a mystery to him.  

They could, but some theories seem far more likely than others, because if one considers where the different characters were at the time when Jon was conceived, some of the proposed parent combos become impossible due to logistics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rondo said:

The author wrote that in the last book because he wants to send a message to his readers, "Don't be so sure of your theories theory.

Exactly! He did that. He would not need it if the theory was wrong.

Edited by BalerionTheCat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/7/2022 at 3:08 PM, Littlest Finger said:
Spoiler

If you like in-depth theories then you can take a look at this if you want. I had this already typed up from like 2015, this fisherman's daughter theory I thought out is basically an extension of this original theory:

Jon's father isn't Ned....... But it's not Rhaegar Targaryen either........ There's a lot to explain... But here it is. (Only talking about the books here, the show is going to take a different direction so it doesn't spoil the book series.) Let's go over what is certain/obvious. Jon definitely has Stark blood, he has Stark features and can warg into Ghost. We know Lyanna and Rhaegar fell in love at the Harrenhall tourney when Rhaegar discovered she was the mystery knight of the laughing tree, and when he in turn named her the queen of love and beauty. We know Rhaegar was convinced he would birth a savior, and we know Lyanna died birthing a child that Ned promised to ..... probably protect. So many people just accept R+L=J because it's neat and convenient. Lyanna and Rhaegar had a baby and Ned showed up back home with a baby so everyone just ends all speculation there, but there is so much more to the story that isn't accounted for. We know very little about what happened after Lyanna died on her birthing bed and before Ned returned home with Jon, but Ned was busy doing stuff in between, and we have all these different stories and names tied to rumors of Jon's mother. Wylla. Ashara Dayne. Some fisherman's daughter near White Harbor. They are all named as potential mothers of Jon. How did they all get named? Who started those rumors and why? And how do they fit into the famous R+L=J theory? Well the fisherman's daughter who helped Ned cross the Bite at the beginning of Robert's rebellion was with Ned near the time of Jon's conception. So it stands to reason that this is just a rumor someone started based on a logical deduction, but we know Ned isn't actually the father so this rumor has little weight. We learn that Wylla is a wet nurse that serves house Dayne. Edric Dayne (nicknamed Ned btw) is younger than Jon, so anything he knows is 2nd hand information, but he hears stories from his family in Starfall that his wet nurse Wylla is Jon Snow's mother. And Ned apparently is in on that story since he tells Robert in the first book that Jon's mother's name is Wylla. But we know thats a lie because Ned is covering up Jon's mother's identity. So why are the Daynes in on the same lie Ned is telling? It seems they know something..... How does Ashara Dayne, another woman named as Jon's mother, come into play? Well Ashara Dayne was a big part of the story of the Harenhall tournament where Rhaegar named Lyanna queen of love and beauty. At the feast everyone wanted to dance with Ashara. Oberyn Martell, Jon Connington, Barristan Selmy, and finally Ned.... But only after Ned's older brother Brandon Stark approached her and explained that Ned was too shy to ask her. Several rumors through the books state that Ned was in love with Ashara. At the end of the 5th book, Barristan remembers how his biggest regret was not beating rhaegar in the final joust so he could name Ashara the queen of beauty because he loved her too. He also wonders if he had ever told her how he felt about her, if she still would have looked to "the man who dishonored her"... If she still would have "looked to Stark"..... Barristan is pissed about a Stark dishonoring his love, but in all the first book, has nothing but respect and praise for Ned. Brandon Stark is most likely the Stark that slept with and dishonored Ashara Dayne. If you were a beautiful empowered dornish woman, would you be attracted to the man who was too shy to ask you to dance? Or the bold man whose act of asking on behalf of his brother was kind and charming? Barbery Dustin tells us in detail how she loved Brandon and how much of a bold playboy he was, so the shoe fits. We also hear rumors later that Ashara had a child. Some say it was stillborn, so she killed herself in grief. Some say it was because of a broken heart. Some say she killed herself because her brother Arthur Dayne was killed at the tower of joy. So we have multiple conflicting stories about Ashara's death, as well as multiple conflicting stories about Jon's mother. We don't know what really happened (yet) but we know Ashara "died" shortly after the time Ned came to Starfall to return Arthur Dayne's sword Dawn, after he got Lyanna's baby from the tower, and went home to Winterfell with a baby, and for some reason, it seems like the Dayne's and Ned Stark both agree on the same version of the made up story. So here it is. What I'm pretty positive is actually the truth........ Is that Rhaegar and Lyanna's child isn't Jon at all, but actually is Daenerys, and Jon's parents are Brandon Stark and Ashara Dayne. This would still make Jon a Stark, and Daenerys a Targaryen. It might seem a little farfetched but let's look at some more clues. Dany dreams constantly of the house with the red door with the lemon tree outside the window in Bravos where she (allegedly) grew up... But lemon trees don't grow in Bravos, actually no trees grow there at all. They do grow in abundance in Dorne.... Where house Dayne is. Babies don't have memories of their early childhood, and Viserys was a selfish psycho. Dany only has the stories of her insane, lying brother to go on to learn about where she came from. And as we learn in the later books about the secret pact between Dorne and Willem Darry, the man who raised Dany and Viserys, much of Dany's childhood is apparently shrouded in mystery. So what I think happened, is that Ned brought his sister's baby with silver hair and purple eyes to Starfall, and met the woman who gave birth to his brother Brandon's son with brown hair and grey eyes, where they agreed to switch babies. (Ironically what Jon ends up doing with Mance and Gilly's babies). Ned knew a baby with clear targaryen feautures would raise too many questions. But Jon, with Stark feautures, wouldn't. On the other hand, Barristan specifically says that Dany's purple eyes and features remind him so much of Ashara that he thinks he's looking at her daughter, so she could pass for a Dayne easily. Dorne was still, and still is, secretly loyal to the Targaryens. It would make sense that they would help Rhaegar's daughter, and Ned would of course be willing to take care of his brother's son. That would explain why the Daynes and Ned both seem to agree on this story about a wet nurse named Wylla being Jon's mother. It also presents a plausible reason for Ashara Dayne to kill herself. She had her child taken from her, which would explain why Dany doesn't end up being raised as Ashara Dayne's daughter which most likely was the initial plan. There's tons of clues that support this. Martin is constantly driving home genetic evidence in his books. The proof of Cercei's children's illegitimacy based on genetic features for one. Theon's constant observation that Jeyne Poole's eyes aren't the right color to be Arya for two. (Btw, Jeyne Poole is very suspiciously / purposefully? close sounding to gene pool). This theory makes sense genetically, all of Robert Baratheon's bastard children had his features. Jaime's children had  his feautures, almost all Targaryens had children with purple eyes and silver hair. Most (but not all) of Ned's children had Tully features on his wife's side. This shows that Targaryen genes are generally very dominant, and Stark's can be more recessive. It makes sense that Rhaegar's child with Lyanna would have Targaryen features. Plus Rhaegar was convinced that he needed to have 3 children because the prophecy said "the dragon has 3 heads". He named his first 2 children Rhaenys and Aegon after the first Aegon the Conquerer and his sister wives. Which stands to reason that his last child would be a girl named Visenya. All the visions Dany has with Quaithe and in the house of the undying when she is told to "remember who you are" means to remember that her name is Visenya. Plus when Drogo marries Dany, he gives her the horse Silver and Dany rides it like a natural and jumps over a big fire. It's frequently stated how incredible Lyanna was at horse riding. Like mother, like daughter with riding ability. Plus, with Stark blood, and the warging ability that can come with it, would explain her connection ability to her dragons. In the first Sansa chapter, she is complaining about how different she and Arya are. She makes a point to make a direct comparison of Arya’s features to Jon, thus establishing a parallel, and then mentions that when she was little, Sansa asked her mother if grumkins took her real sister and swapped her for Arya. Cat laughs and says that Arya is her trueborn sister and Sansa couldn’t think of a reason that her mother would lie about it, so it must be true. It’s a direct ironic parallel of Ned swapping Jon as a baby, and lying about it, but with no one being able to think of a reason he would lie, everyone must assume it to be true. Plus probably the largest clue is how throughout the first book, all of Ned's flashbacks to Lyanna's promise and the tower of joy are directly corrolated to scenes where Robert Baratheon threatens to have Daenerys murdered. Ned says at one point that he is haunted by dreams of broken promises..... Jon is safe at the wall through the first book.... Why is his promise broken if it was to protect Jon? ..... It would however be broken if it was to protect Dany, and Robert sends assasins to murder her. I think the show is going to go with the full on R+L=J, but the 6th book will pull a similar reveal as the show, with Ned and his promise to protect his sister's baby. But without confirmation of the identity, leading us to believe it is Jon who is the savior going forth to battle the white walkers, only to then reveal the truth of the baby swap in the 7th and final story, revealing that Daenerys is in fact the savior after Jon fails. 

 

You may want to use some paragraphs as it's currently rather hard to read. I started out reading and it was interesting but my eyes quickly got tired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

I started out reading and it was interesting but my eyes quickly got tired.

There is an endless flow of theories opposing R+L=J. None without major flaws, like impossible timelines (both for Jon and Dany). Must be just Jon Stark (because this one also shame Brandon) blind hate. Or for the sake of contesting, trolling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/5/2022 at 9:24 PM, Nevets said:

The story is a red herring designed to lead the reader, and possibly in-world characters, away from Lyanna as Jon's mother. And that's pretty much all it is.

Wylla and Ashara Dayne are also red herrings.  Wylla was probably hired at Starfall and when her work was done, Ned sent her back home, where she likely had family and friends.  Ashara was probably already pregnant with the child Barristan mentioned at the time Jon was conceived, so can't be named.  I doubt Ned would have had access to her then, in any case.

This is exactly what I think. GRRM had to throw some alternate possibilities into the candidates for Jon's mother, just so we'd have some crackpot theories. I believe R+L=J and Daenerys is the daughter of Aerys and Rhaella. Nothing else works without some terribly creative timeline and teleporting skills. Ashera's child was/is Brandon's. My own crackpot theory is that Allyria might be Ashera's daughter rather than her sibling, but I have nothing concrete to stand behind this...just a feeling that it may be possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Lady Silverwing said:

I believe R+L=J and Daenerys is the daughter of Aerys and Rhaella. Nothing else works without some terribly creative timeline and teleporting skills.

I agree completely. I find the alternative theories fun and interesting to read, but I really don't think the logistics for most of them work at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/8/2022 at 6:53 AM, Littlest Finger said:

Ashara was one of Elia Martells ladies in waiting in kings landing which means Brandon and Ashara we’re together in the same place right before he died which sparked the war.

Elia gave birth to Aegon on Dragonstone right before Rhaegar left on his trip so its very unlikely she was in KL at the time. Also what is the theory here? That Brandon in the midst of his rage decided to stop and hook up with Ashara before trying to confront Rhaegar or that she paid him a conjugal visit in the Black Cells? Neither seems remotely plausible. 
 

On 10/8/2022 at 6:53 AM, Littlest Finger said:

It’s never mentioned anywhere that Robb is older or younger

Catelyn explicitly thinks Ned cheated on her, and so does Robert based on what Ned told him. And Catelyn would surely know when Jon’s (purported) nameday is compared to Robb’s

 

On 10/8/2022 at 6:53 AM, Littlest Finger said:

a several month age difference is not unreasonable to confuse and pass off one being older

When one is a new born its a pretty big difference. And its probably closer to a year difference if you discount the “Ashara visited Brandon in prison” theory and use Harrenhal as the conception date. Also, if Ned has to claim the kid why not just say he fathered him on some woman before he met Cat? Why falsely admit to adultery if he really is older?

The rest of the theory doesn’t make much sense. What need is there to do a swap? You use “people would think its weird if Ned took the baby instead of leaving it with his mother” as a justification for why he didnt say Brandon was the father but that’s a problem with your own theory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/12/2022 at 8:05 PM, ATaleofSalt&Onions said:

Elia gave birth to Aegon on Dragonstone right before Rhaegar left on his trip so its very unlikely she was in KL at the time. Also what is the theory here? That Brandon in the midst of his rage decided to stop and hook up with Ashara before trying to confront Rhaegar or that she paid him a conjugal visit in the Black Cells? Neither seems remotely plausible. 
 

Catelyn explicitly thinks Ned cheated on her, and so does Robert based on what Ned told him. And Catelyn would surely know when Jon’s (purported) nameday is compared to Robb’s

 

When one is a new born its a pretty big difference. And its probably closer to a year difference if you discount the “Ashara visited Brandon in prison” theory and use Harrenhal as the conception date. Also, if Ned has to claim the kid why not just say he fathered him on some woman before he met Cat? Why falsely admit to adultery if he really is older?

The rest of the theory doesn’t make much sense. What need is there to do a swap? You use “people would think its weird if Ned took the baby instead of leaving it with his mother” as a justification for why he didnt say Brandon was the father but that’s a problem with your own theory.

1. Aegon was born before the war started. Aerys sent his wife and Viserys to dragonstone when the war started, and made sure that Elia and her children were kept in kings landing as effective hostages to ensure Dorne would fight for the crown. So yes, Elia was in kings landing. Which would mean Ashara would be too.

2. Brandon and Ashara already had an established sexual history, and its made well known that he was sleeping with women wherever and whenever he wanted and drove them crazy. Barbrey Dustin still isn't over him almost 20 years later. so yes it’s plausible they met up when he arrived but more likely that she snuck in the cells to see him after he got arrested. 

3. The entire point of Ned’s promise to protect Lyanna’s child requires him to not expose the truth of the kids origin to anyone so he can’t say this kid is Ashara’s since Ashara was going to be passing off lyanna’s child as her own. Having Ned say that he dishonored his wife gives him the pretext to dismiss any questions about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Littlest Finger said:

1. Aegon was born before the war started. Aerys sent his wife and Viserys to dragonstone when the war started, and made sure that Elia and her children were kept in kings landing as effective hostages to ensure Dorne would fight for the crown. So yes, Elia was in kings landing. Which would mean Ashara would be too.

2. Brandon and Ashara already had an established sexual history, and its made well known that he was sleeping with women wherever and whenever he wanted and drove them crazy. Barbrey Dustin still isn't over him almost 20 years later. so yes it’s plausible they met up when he arrived but more likely that she snuck in the cells to see him after he got arrested. 

3. The entire point of Ned’s promise to protect Lyanna’s child requires him to not expose the truth of the kids origin to anyone so he can’t say this kid is Ashara’s since Ashara was going to be passing off lyanna’s child as her own. Having Ned say that he dishonored his wife gives him the pretext to dismiss any questions about it.

By the way, what is your difficulty with r+l=j?  In other words, what about it do you think is inconsistent with the text and therefore wrong?  I am perfectly happy considering alternative theories, but they have to make sense and not be wildly inconsistent with what we already know.  The theory presented here fails on both counts.  It is wildly convoluted and difficult to follow and is inconsistent with known facts, especially regarding timing and Daenerys's status.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...