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Werthead

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread (Part V)

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Carrying on from [url="http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?showtopic=26782"]the last thread[/url].

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Warning: may contain idle speculation, faulty logic through induction, and controversial assumptions ;)

I thought I’d take a slightly different path in exploring the identity of Jonmom by looking at the known relationships Jon has had with the opposite sex. The assumption here is that perhaps one can glean some insight in to her identity by 1) knowing that a man’s relationships with women are often influenced by and emblematic of the relationship he has/had with his mother, 2) men tend to seek out (subconsciously or not) female partners & friends with characteristics similar to that of their mothers, and 3) perhaps GRRM left clues in such a way.

[u]Jon's significant female relationships[/u]:
Jonmom – the unknown
Catelyn
Arya
Sansa
Ygritte

I’m tempted to remove Sansa outright and/or include her with Catelyn, but there are some subtle differences between the two, and Sansa possesses some important attributes as it relates to this idea. I’m sure he had contact and cordial relationships with other woman/girls (Old Nan, Jeyne Poole, his wetnurse(s) etc.) but we know so little about these that they’re not worth discussing here. We don’t know much of Sansa’s relationship with Jon either – mostly that it was strained and filled with as much disdain as that of Catelyn’s.

[b][u]Jonmom[/u]:[/b] His biological mother. We don’t know. That’s why we’re here.

[b][u]Catelyn[/u]:[/b] The Adopted/Step Mother, if you can even call her that. She wasn’t much of a mother to Jon. She went so far as to wish him dead. She was afraid of his usurping potential. She feared what she didn’t understand. All of this created a large emotional and interpersonal distance between Jon and Catelyn. Catelyn is “dead” now, and she “haunts” people from the “grave”.

[u]Speculative Connection[/u]: Catelyn represents the relationship Jon had with his mother. That is: no relationship. Jon’s real mom is likely dead, and thus, she wasn’t there for him. Before (and soon after) his birth she may have been afraid of any usurping consequences as they relate to Jon, and may even, in a way, haunt people from the grave because of it.

[b][u]Arya[/u]:[/b] Her most obvious and discussed connection to Jon is her physical appearance. She just so happens to be the only other Stark child to have this look. Her looks are also compared to one of the Jonmom candidates, Lyanna. Her temperment is also said to resemble that of her fiery Aunt Lyanna. She’s also willful, quick witted, a trained/experienced fighter and a good rider.

[u]Speculative Connection[/u]: Arya represents the physical and kinetic nature of Jon’s mom. The spirited, willful little sister - capable enough to take care of herself, but young and adventurous enough to get herself in to trouble.

[b][u]Sansa[/u]:[/b] The Sansa/Jon relationship isn’t developed well, but we get the feeling that Sansa’s opinion of Jon parallels that of Catelyn’s. One difference is that Sansa is the dreamy type – emphatically believing in chivalry and desiring to be on the receiving end of the romantic and noble acts she’s heard about in songs and stories. She’s the ultimate ‘lady’; beautiful, gracious, & loving - - tailor-made for a benevolent royal life.

[u]Speculative Connection[/u]: Sansa represents the emotional & romantic side of Jon’s mom. She may have yearned to be part of something bigger, and could have easily been wooed by a prince or lordling that promised deeds of honor worthy of song and legend. She may be poised to be the queen (of love & beauty, at least) ;)

[b][u]Ygritte[/u]:[/b] She was Jon’s first and only sexual partner. In the wildlings’ eyes Jon “stole” her and she is now his wife. Ygritte also relates to Jon the story of Bael the Bard. (The wildling raider that captivated the Lord of Winterfell with his songs so much that he was granted the reward of “one winter rose”. He received his winter rose, but also kidnapped the Stark lord’s maiden daughter and got her pregnant.) Ygritte is also referred to as being “kissed by fire”. She also coined the famous term, “You know nothing, Jon Snow” (He isn't the only one). Jon justified his further oathbreaking (i.e. the bedding of Ygritte) as a continuation of his orders and essential for the sake of the greater good.

[u]Speculative Connection[/u]: Ygritte represents the sexual and carnal emodiment of Jon’s mom. Where to begin? I freely admit that I conceived this by first connecting Ygritte’s description of being “kissed by fire” with that of Lyanna literally being kissed (and other things) by Rhaegar (i.e. dragon/fire). Following the similar speculation/methodology applied to the other woman in Jon’s life we might be able to speculate that Jonmom was a daughter of the Lord of Winterfell. Furthermore, with regards to the Bael the Bard story, we see a kidnapping, a blue/winter rose connection, and a hint that the kidnapper might have been a gifted singer/musician. One might also loosely connect Jon’s oath breaking with both Ned’s (broken?) promises and lies, and the matter of Rhaegar possibly breaking some marriage vows/oaths to Elia. I think the Ygritte connection is very important for another reason: it’s the only time in Jon’s life that we see him involved in procreative acts other than his own implicit conception… which just so happens to be the crux of what we’re discussing here.

---

I suppose one could mix up who represents what aspect of Jonmom, but then we’d probably get even more unrealistic candidates/scenarios. (i.e. Jon’s mom is alive and he knows her well, but she wishes him dead. She’s a beautiful, spear-throwing assassin with red, unkempt hair. She has little, if any, social graces, but she loves to sew and hates to get dirty. She doesn’t trust bastards and she’s a virgin.)

There is a trio of other woman that have had story-significant relations with Jon that I didn’t mention: Val, Dalla, & Gilly. I don’t have the time or energy to fully explore the whole baby switching thing and how it might relate here, but I do consider it an interesting connection and possibly symbolic of something Jon’s mom experienced.

Okay, there it is. Again, I readily admit to an R+L=J angle/bias here. Feel free to flame me for my faulty logic (Artanaro), or correct me on the details of the story (Shewoman, et al.). It’s just a collection of some ideas, and maybe, with the new thread and all, it will spark some thoughts/debates that we haven’t heard yet (not likely).

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[quote name='Greycox' post='1470407' date='Aug 6 2008, 12.44']Warning: may contain idle speculation, faulty logic through induction, and controversial assumptions ;)

I thought I’d take a slightly different path in exploring the identity of Jonmom by looking at the known relationships Jon has had with the opposite sex. The assumption here is that perhaps one can glean some insight in to her identity by 1) knowing that a man’s relationships with women are often influenced by and emblematic of the relationship he has/had with his mother, 2) men tend to seek out (subconsciously or not) female partners & friends with characteristics similar to that of their mothers, and 3) perhaps GRRM left clues in such a way.
...[/quote]
It's an interesting line of thinking but, if Jon had no relationship with his biological mother, how could it influence his relationships with other women? Also, your first and second items above are huge assumptions or, if there is research to substantiate them, there's still a tremendous amount of exceptions to those "rules" :) . I'm with you all the way on your third point, though. Maybe Martin did leave clues to Jon's mother's identity in his relationships with other women? I don't know :dunno:

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Jon never knew his birth mother or had any kind of beyond-the-womb relationship with her, so it's hard to see how aspects of her could be found in his relationships with other women. He would have to have known her to be drawn to women who have her characteristics, but he has no idea what she was like. It's worth noting that, although Jon wonders who his mother was, there's no sense that he's looking for mother figures in the women around him. Perhaps growing up with Catelyn cured him of that. Old Nan might have fulfilled some of that role, I suppose.

Wylla was his first wetnurse. If you're going to make a list of significant women in Jon's life, she should probably be on it.

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[quote name='Prince of the North' post='1470418' date='Aug 6 2008, 11.53']It's an interesting line of thinking but, if Jon had no relationship with his biological mother, how could it influence his relationships with other women? Also, your first and second items above are huge assumptions or, if there is research to substantiate them, there's still a tremendous amount of exceptions to those "rules" :) . I'm with you all the way on your third point, though. Maybe Martin did leave clues to Jon's mother's identity in his relationships with other women? I don't know :dunno:[/quote]

Yeah, I probably should have stuck with "emblematic of" and left "influenced by" out of it.

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[quote name='Shewoman' post='1470442' date='Aug 6 2008, 12.04']Jon never knew his birth mother or had any kind of beyond-the-womb relationship with her, so it's hard to see how aspects of her could be found in his relationships with other women. He would have to have known her to be drawn to women who have her characteristics, but he has no idea what she was like. It's worth noting that, although Jon wonders who his mother was, there's no sense that he's looking for mother figures in the women around him. Perhaps growing up with Catelyn cured him of that. Old Nan might have fulfilled some of that role, I suppose.

Wylla was his first wetnurse. If you're going to make a list of significant women in Jon's life, she should probably be on it.[/quote]

As pointed out by PotN, my first two points are fairly controversial and outlandish (a biological interpersonal homing device??? :idea: ). The main point of what I'm trying to say isn't that Jon was looking for mother figures, but rather that aspects of his relationships with other women, and characteristics of the women themselves, might give us clues as to who his mother might be.

I agree about Wylla, but I don't know where to go with it. He had a very intimate relationship with her, but we don't know much about the details of that relationship other than the suckling, care, etc. that can be implied. With the others we have a lot of information, thoughts, and reflections. There may be something there as it relates to this, but I haven't explored it as its too difficult to analyze (Jon doesn't remember her, no Wylla POV). I might have to do that soon though because there may be something important there.

I appreciate the comments... :cheers:

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Wylla (who may be his mother, although I doubt it) is the only one of the women you've mentioned who actually acted like a mother to Jon by nursing him.

Wouldn't Jon have to know something about his mother--her appearance, her priorities, her goals, her background, her sense of humor--in order to be drawn to women who have her characteristics? Whoever his mother was, I don't think he spent much time with her--even though Wylla was his first wetnurse, Catelyn remembers that Jon was ensconced in Winterfell with a wetnurse (presumably not Wylla) before she and Robb got there from Riverrun. If his mother was Lyanna, she died apparently fairly soon after his birth. If it was Ashara, the only time he would have had with her would have been immediately after birth and the time after some of the ToJ people took him to Starfall (if they did) and the time Ned took him home (and we've seen that Jon got to Winterfell fairly quickly).

I think Arya's role in Jon's life is to provide him with a loving sibling. As they grew older, he and Robb became more competitive, but he and Arya--both to some extent outcasts within the family--were always there for each other.

Since WE don't know who Jon's mother is, how can we ever prove or disprove this theory?

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[quote name='Shewoman' post='1470737' date='Aug 6 2008, 14.34']Since WE don't know who Jon's mother is, how can we ever prove or disprove this theory?[/quote]

As with any of these theories I don't think we'll see actual proof until it's given to us in the books. Really, Shewoman, I'm just kind of 'throwing it out there' for the sake of trying something different. It's not really something I would use to prove anything - I was merely intrigued by some of the various similarities these women have with Lyanna. My wife and I discussed it briefly as I am very much like her father and she is very much like my mother. But, like I said, the realization that Ygritte and Lyanna were both "kissed by fire" (in different ways, of course) is what made me explore this idea further. Since Ygritte is the only woman to have "procreative" relations with Jon I thought there might be a connection there. I think there is, but the proof, in my opinion, comes from the various debates/info compiled in these threads. You, of course, are a large part of that. Making sense of everything is hard to do, but when others offer clear and thorough recounts of the story evidence and the various theories then it becomes much easier.

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just out intrest is there anyone who don't believe in R+L=J?
I never met anyone who read the books and didn't believe it was true

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There are people who believe the theory is wrong, and many others who aren't even aware of it.

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[quote name='hnv' post='1470864' date='Aug 6 2008, 17.40']just out intrest is there anyone who don't believe in R+L=J?
I never met anyone who read the books and didn't believe it was true[/quote]

These threads have their share of people who most definitely have read the books and don't believe R+L=J is true. When I first read the books I didn't come to this conclusion without further reading of the idea from fan sites (Tower of the Hand in my case.) I don't think of myself as particularly stupid, and while I knew that there was much more to Lyanna's promise, and thought we had to find out more about Jon's mother later in the book, I didn't make the connection on my own. I think there are others here who have similar experiences.

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[quote name='hnv' post='1470864' date='Aug 6 2008, 18.40']just out intrest is there anyone who don't believe in R+L=J?[/quote]

Yes. I am one of them. It's not so much that I don't believe ([i]some[/i] of the common known evidence really point to it), but that I hope desperately that it's not true at all, because... well, it would be horribly cheesy and cheap on too many levels.

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An important key piece of information in regards to this question is that GRRM's other half, Parris, has said at least twice that she thinks it would be 'too obvious' that GRRM would make L+R=J, and seems to consider it unlikely.

However, she's also said that generally she doesn't get to look at the book before its finished, so take that for what it's worth.

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Well, it should be remembered that on at least one those cases, reports had it that she was grinning like a Cheshire cat, suggesting that she was enjoying pulling everyone's leg over the matter. ;)

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Oddly enough I was even more inclined to believe R+L=J [i]AFTER[/i] I heard what she said. It just seemed too much like a "There is no presence of American infidels in the city of Baghdad" moment.

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Greycox, I quite agree.

This thread seems to have stalled a bit.

(trying to think of an R+L=J topic that hasn't already been hashed out numerous times)

(failing)

(continuing to fail)

(more failage)

Greycox suggested that we might learn something about Jon's mother by examining the women in his life. Can we learn something about Lyanna by looking at the men in hers? One thing that's always struck me as odd about the family into which Lyanna was born is its paucity of relatives. We know her grandmother was a Flint, but we hear very little about them. My impression is that Lyanna seldom strayed far from Winterfell--large gatherings like the tournament at Harrenhal were probably few and far between for her, and therefore all the more exciting.

We know very little about Rickard Stark's personality. It is interesting that we hear so much about the children in Lyanna's generation but so little about their interaction with their parents.

Lyanna's oldest brothers were not much alike. Brandon, in the relatively little we hear of him, seems to have been quick to anger and to action without thinking of what the likely result of his activities could be (I am thinking both of his duel with Petyr and his armed journey to Kings Landing to call out Rhaegar). We don't know much about his relationship with Catelyn, but when she tries to intercede for Petyr he does as she asks. He was confident and aggressive. I don't recall hearing much about his relationship with his sister aside from his reaction to her apparent abduction. It may be significant that one of the few times we find Brandon and Lyanna together is in their burial in the Wintercrypt.

Until Rhaegar came along, Lyanna's closest bond with a male seems to have been with Ned. Ned as a younger son would not have expected to become the head of his family and probably was not given the kind of preparation for that task that Brandon must have received. I think it likely that he may have been both proud of his flashy older brother and intimidated by him; they seem to have been very different. I don't have any real sense of what their relationship was like. I don't recall hearing anyone discuss honor in connection with Brandon, although it could be that honor is what led him to call Rhaegar out (but I think anger and vengeance were probably more involved). I wonder how Ned would have reacted if he had been the eldest son when Lyanna vanished. And I wonder what it was like for quiet Ned to discover that politics required him to both abandon a woman he seems to have had an interest in--Ashara, of course--and marry a woman who had been engaged to his dashing older brother. On this board we have talked a good bit about his loss of Ashara--but marrying a woman who had been wooed--and who knows what else--by charismatic Brandon may have been even harder for him.

Benjen was the youngest in the family. Since their mother was dead, did Lyanna mother him? It seems likely. We have talked a lot about the influence of Harrenhal on Lyanna's actions and fate, but Benjen was apparently strongly affected by it as well. We know a recruiter from the Night's Watch was there. It was several years after that that Benjen went to the Wall, but the recruiter may have influenced his decision. At that time Brandon and Ned outranked him within the family; he may have decided that he could have a life that was more exciting and, perhaps, more meaningful at the Wall--where he was much respected. I don't think we ever hear anything about his reaction to his sister's disappearance.

Rickard, Brandon, Ned, and Benjen. Did Rhaegar have characteristics that could have reminded Lyanna of these men in her life? Did Robert lack the attributes she valued in the men of her family?

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Maybe we are going to deep..but anyway the both ideas are interesting (Greycox and Shewoman).

[quote]We know very little about Rickard Stark's personality. It is interesting that we hear so much about the children in Lyanna's generation but so little about their interaction with their parents.[/quote]

I have impression that Rickard was more "rigid" then Ned as a father.
When Ned decide to allow Arya her lessons with Syrio, he remembers Lyanna could do the same ( or it was riding?)if their father would allow that.
So I presume (having Arya in my mind)that Lyanna was unhappy with that rigidness.

[quote]And I wonder what it was like for quiet Ned to discover that politics required him to both abandon a woman he seems to have had an interest in--Ashara, of course--and marry a woman who had been engaged to his dashing older brother.[/quote]

Yes, I thought many times about the fact that we had a lot of Catlyns memorys of her feelings towards Brandon and Ned, but no memory at all in Ned's case.

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I wonder if Brandon and Rhaegar were similar. Brandon thought he and his squires could ride to Kings Landing and challenge the Crown Prince to come out and die. He apparently didn't think at all about how Aerys (or Rhaegar) might react to such a challenge, and as a result his men, their fathers, and he and his father were killed.

Rhaegar also strikes me as someone who didn't think ahead. The only "evidence" we have of his having married Lyanna is the presnce of 3 of the KG at the Tower where Lyanna apparently was; it doesn't seem likely that 3 KG would be stationed there to protect Rhaegar's bastard. Aside from that, I am not aware of any action Rhaegar took to protect her and any child she may have had in the event of his death. Like Brandon riding to KL, Rhaegar doesn't seem to have considered how the disappearance of Lyanna would be interpreted (by her family and others)--whether she went with him willingly or not.

Perhaps Lyanna, the one girl of her generation of Starks, was drawn to take-charge men like Brandon and saw some of that in the Targaryen prince. Ned says that Arya is like Lyanna. Lyanna was independent; she presumably agreed to her betrothal to Robert but then refused to go through with it. Arya might act similarly in such a situation, although in her case Needle might come into play.

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[quote name='Shewoman' post='1474535' date='Aug 10 2008, 14.15']I wonder if Brandon and Rhaegar were similar.[/quote]

I did not think about that at all. But I think it is a good point.
The same acting without thinking too much about the consequences.

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Which is kinda strange, given the fact that Selmy described Rhaegar as a bookish and silent type of person before he began training himself to be a warrior. The bookish and silent guys usually are not hotheads and tend to think things ahead.
Rhaegar however [i]does [/i]seem like he doesn't think (or doesn't care) about consequences, I agree. :/

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