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Anvik

Knight of the Laughing Tree

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Why was the KG at the TOJ?

If they weren´t married why was the KG at the TOJ?

In many countries children who were born out of wedlock have the same rights like children of a married couple and it doesn´t matter if there paren´s were married or not.

So what?

A bastard is a bastard.

Jon has no right to the Iron Throne as it was lost by conquest, just as it was taken by conquest. What rights does he have? lol

I don't get why people ignore this. The Targaryen's were just a noble family before they TOOK Westeros. They aren't special little snowflakes with glittering royal blood, just like the Baratheons aren't royal blood. Conquest is king.

Also why can't the KG be there? They were given orders obviously. Unless we are pretending the KG are all shades of White now, I don't see why they would care if they protecting a mistress and her bastard.

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Also why can't the KG be there? They were given orders obviously. Unless we are pretending the KG are all shades of White now, I don't see why they would care if they protecting a mistress and her bastard.

For someone claiming to have read all the R+L=J threads and theories, you're displaying a remarkable lack of ignorance regarding what these theories actually say.

The Kingsguard's first and most important duty is to guard the King, so the fact that they stayed with Lyanna and Jon at the Tower of Joy instead of seeking out Viserys indicates they had good reason to believe Jon was the trueborn heir to the Iron Throne.

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You're mixing several issues here.

First of all, As we have told you repeatedly, Jon is most likely not a abstard. The KG in question were white by all accounts, taken as the pinnacle of obedience to their vows - which they even cite in said exchange. They are three KG, none of them is with Viserys, who would apparently be the Targaryen king at the time, and they are making no move to get their asses (or at least one of their asses) to Dragonstone. Instead they cite their own Kingsguard vow as reason for staying. This makes no sense - unless Viserys isn't king, and the actual king is at said tower.

As for the Targaryens losing Westeros: Yes, but they didn't lose their claim. And one could argue that they created the Seven Kingdoms (in constrast to seven kingdoms), founded King's Landing, and built the Kingsroad, while the Baratheons haven't had such an effect on Westeros yet. In due time, they might - but until they themselves have shaped Westeros to a comparable amount as the Targaryens, the Targaryens can still claim that the Baratheons didn't build that.

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So what?

1. A bastard is a bastard.

2. Jon has no right to the Iron Throne as it was lost by conquest, just as it was taken by conquest. What rights does he have? lol

3 I don't get why people ignore this. 4. The Targaryen's were just a noble family before they TOOK Westeros. They aren't special little snowflakes with glittering royal blood, just like the Baratheons aren't royal blood. 5. Conquest is king.

6. Also why can't the KG be there? They were given orders obviously. Unless we are pretending the KG are all shades of White now, I don't see why they would care if they protecting a mistress and her bastard.

1. I was just refering to your quote that children who were born out of wedlock today are bastards.

2. There are huge debates about that. Targaryen loyalists might say that the IT is his by right, Stannis has a different opinion about that, some other people a 3. Depends how you interpretate things.

3. I dont´t get why you ignore all the hints that nearly proof that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married, either.

4. Targaryan/Valyrian blood may beto tame the dragons unless you have a dragon horn.

5. . Yes the one with the strongest army becomes king, I agree with you about that.

6. The three of them were some of the most honest men that ever lived espacially the LC.

He says: "We swore a vow" He is reffering to his vow to guard the king, if Jon were a bastard they should have gone to Viserys.

So he says that they are keeping their vows while they are actually breaking them? I don´t by that.

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Whatever guys, honestly at the end of the day arguing about something that hasn't even been proven true is pretty pointless. There's a lot of 'ifs' when doing this.

Jon is a bastard as far we know.

And conquest is still king.

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even if he is a bastard its no need to call Lyanna names . first off Rheagar couldnt ask or admit anything about her becouse of her honor (she was engaged to Robert at the time)

2nd , she wasnt married to Robert its not to late to break break an engagement- i doubd she even slept with Robert

since Rheagar was the only guy that she slept with how does it make her "names" ?

as for Snow well if his father died before he was born and his mother died of childbirth - its kinda hard for his parents to get married - i dont think it makes him bastered more of an orphan

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3. I dont´t get why you ignore all the hints that nearly proof that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married, either.

6. The three of them were some of the most honest men that ever lived espacially the LC.

He says: "We swore a vow" He is reffering to his vow to guard the king, if Jon were a bastard they should have gone to Viserys.

So he says that they are keeping their vows while they are actually breaking them? I don´t by that.

3. There are not really too many hints and neither of them is proof of R+L being married actually. The strong supporters of the R+L=J theory believe them to be proof because they want it to be true.

6. The "We swore a vow" could easily refer to a vow they swore to Rhaegar though. So them being there isnt really proof of R+L being married.

Btw just because in the last 300 years some Targs practised poligamy, its not given that Rhaegar would think of it as a possibility or would find a septon willing to do it right away.

Not to mention that even if they did marry, in order to Jon have a claim as Rhaegars heir, Aegon needs to die or must be proven he is fake and there must be some proof that Jon is legit. Even if Howland Reed can prove who Jons parents are, for now lets forget that no one is inclined to believe him, he cannot prove they were married. Finding this septon who was there and who might not even exist or finding Ashara Dayne alive, again who is not proven was there will be quite difficult.

Thing is even if somehow Jon ends up on the throne it wont be because he is Rhaegars heir, but because some lords will decide to make him King.

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3. There are not really too many hints and neither of them is proof of R+L being married actually. The strong supporters of the R+L=J theory believe them to be proof because they want it to be true. 1

6. The "We swore a vow" could easily refer to a vow they swore to Rhaegar though. So them being there isnt really proof of R+L being married. 2

Btw just because in the last 300 years some Targs practised poligamy, its not given that Rhaegar would think of it as a possibility or would find a septon willing to do it right away. 3

Not to mention that even if they did marry, in order to Jon have a claim as Rhaegars heir, Aegon needs to die or must be proven he is fake and there must be some proof that Jon is legit. Even if Howland Reed can prove who Jons parents are, for now lets forget that no one is inclined to believe him, he cannot prove they were married. Finding this septon who was there 4 and who might not even exist or finding Ashara Dayne alive, again who is not proven was there will be quite difficult.

Thing is even if somehow Jon ends up on the throne it wont be because he is Rhaegars heir, but because some lords will decide to make him King. 5

1. This is simply not the case. I could care less if Jon was legitimate or not, I'd like him either way. That said, the evidence is in favor of the interpretation that Jon was born legitimate.

2. The problem is that the KG vow overrides all other vows, as Barristan and Jaime clearly tell us. And there's not just Dayne and Whent there (who I might even see swearing such a vow) but also LC Hightower. I don't see this man following any oath but the KG vow. And look at the context: they are referring to being Kingsguard members and having sworn a vow. And they are nowhere near Viserys, who is king and needs their protection - unless someone else is king, and is located at said tower. And there's nothing that could hinder them from sending one or two of them to Dragonstone to both keep this hypothetical order by Rhaegar and fulfilling their KG duty.

3. Judging from the names he gave his first two children, Rhaegar was likely trying to recreate the original Targaryen trinity - Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters. Polygamy wouldn't just be useful for his plans, it would be a central component.

4. Most believe Rhaegar and Lyanna married in front of a heart tree. Incidentally, the one person we know to get information out of heart trees is also highly suspected to warg a raven that regularly calls Jon King.

5. This is a point we certainly agree on. Nevertheless, I think at least a majority of the northern lords is ready and willing to make Jon king - at least King In The North.

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1. This is simply not the case. I could care less if Jon was legitimate or not, I'd like him either way. That said, the evidence is in favor of the interpretation that Jon was born legitimate.

2. The problem is that the KG vow overrides all other vows, as Barristan and Jaime clearly tell us. And there's not just Dayne and Whent there (who I might even see swearing such a vow) but also LC Hightower. I don't see this man following any oath but the KG vow. And look at the context: they are referring to being Kingsguard members and having sworn a vow. And they are nowhere near Viserys, who is king and needs their protection - unless someone else is king, and is located at said tower. And there's nothing that could hinder them from sending one or two of them to Dragonstone to both keep this hypothetical order by Rhaegar and fulfilling their KG duty.

3. Judging from the names he gave his first two children, Rhaegar was likely trying to recreate the original Targaryen trinity - Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters. Polygamy wouldn't just be useful for his plans, it would be a central component.

4. Most believe Rhaegar and Lyanna married in front of a heart tree. Incidentally, the one person we know to get information out of heart trees is also highly suspected to warg a raven that regularly calls Jon King.

1,2. The hints leave open the interpretation that he might be legitimate, but dont really make a strong case for it. Him being trueborn is mostly based on the KG being there. The hypothetical order Rhaegar gave is exactly as hypothetical as the marriage that makes Jon legitimate. And at the time they could have given Rhaegar their word they were still sworn to obey him.

3. Doubt it would be central since his fascination as far as I remember started before he was informed his wife couldnt bear him any more children.

4. Most believed that the earth was flat for a long time. Problem is proving things as I mentioned. Unless our favorite greenseers learn how to project things they see to other people widespread it doesnt matter if they know the truth or not.

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1,2 This has been rehashed so often, I admit I'm tired of the argument. Let's just say that while the passage might be interpreted in various ways, it's not unreasonable to interpret it as saying Jon is the king, and hence legitimate.

3. It would be central for his children first and foremost - but since he'd be thinking about polygamy as a solution for them, the thought wouldn't bee too far-fetched for himself.

4. News Flash: This hasn't been the case for a long, long time. Everyone who knew just a little bit about the earth - traders, travellers, and anyone with an education - knew the world was round since 300 BC at the latest. As for projecting things they know, the TWoW preview Theon chapter had hundreds of ravens quorking 'trees'. No, it's not easy, and they won't be able to explain complicated things, but they apparently can broadcast messages via talking ravens.

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4. News Flash: This hasn't been the case for a long, long time. Everyone who knew just a little bit about the earth - traders, travellers, and anyone with an education - knew the world was round since 300 BC at the latest. As for projecting things they know, the TWoW preview Theon chapter had hundreds of ravens quorking 'trees'. No, it's not easy, and they won't be able to explain complicated things, but they apparently can broadcast messages via talking ravens.

And yet even at the time of Columbus many people believed it to be flat. The point is without proof it only remains a theory. Im not againts R+L being married infront of a hearthtree I couldnt care less either way to be honest, but some rustling leaves and nonsense talking ravens are far from being proof enough for rational people.

And to be honest the minute Martin has ravens talk in full sentences telling people they are actually a warg passing along vital information is the minute I put down the book and never touch it again.

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No, people at the time of Columbus didn't believe that. They (correctly) believed that the Earth was too large to sail from Europe to Asia via the direct western route. Columbus was lucky that America was just about where he expected Asia to be.

And you'll hate the Theon chapter, then.

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No, people at the time of Columbus didn't believe that. They (correctly) believed that the Earth was too large to sail from Europe to Asia via the direct western route. Columbus was lucky that America was just about where he expected Asia to be.

And you'll hate the Theon chapter, then.

Ah, yer right. I misremembered what the issue was with his trip. Anyway the point still stands without proof it remains a theory.

As for Theon, I doubt it I loved all his chapters so far including the TWoW gift :D

I just still think one word sentences from ravens wont be accepted as truth by reasonable people.

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Personally I think that there is ample evidence that the Knight of the Laughing Tree was Lyanna Stark.

This has been thoroughly discussed previously though....

I've been reading much of the older discussion and find that no one ever seems to mention the parallels to Arya. The similarity in looks is frequently commented on, but I'm sure at some point Ned comments on how much she is "like" Lyanna. We assume he means looks, but he could mean in other ways. He encourages her tomboy-ishness and hires her a fencing instructor when she's 9 years old. He may be recognizing that she too is a female warrior :)

I think all of the other evidence points to Lyanna being TKOTLT as well, but that as you say has already been well discussed here and other places.

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Here's the run-down of interesting data from the story again. For those noobs (and others) who keep arriving and offering the same old uninformed analysis (no worries, we were all noobs once).

Pt 1.

]"There was one knight," said Meera, "in the year of the false spring. The Knight of the Laughing Tree, they called him. He might have been a crannogman, that one."

"Or not, " Jojen's face was dappled with green snadows. "prince Bran has heard that tale a hundred times, I'm sure."

He might have been a crannogman, But "or not" says Jojen.

And they are sure Prince Bran has heard that tale a hundred times - which clearly indicates it must be a House Stark tale, something important in House Stark history, not just one of their dad's old stories about himself.

"No," said Bran. "I haven't. And if I have it doesn't matter. Sometimes Old Nan would tell the same story she'd told before, but we never minded, if it was a good story. Old stories are like old friends, she used to say. You have to visit them from time to time."

"That's true." Meera walked with her shield on her back, pushing an occasional branch out of the way with her frog spear. Just when Bran began to think she wasn't going to tell the story after all, she began, "Once there was a curious lad who lived in the Neck. He was small like all crannogmen, but brave and smart and strong as well. He grew up hunting and fishing and climbing trees, and learned all the magics of my people."

The little crannogman (yes, certainly Howland Reed) is small and knows the magics of his people - swamp stuff in other words.

Bran was almost certain he had never heard this story. "Did he have green dreams like Jojen?"

"No," said Meera, "but he could breathe mud and run on leaves, and change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word. He could talk to trees and weave words and make castles appear and disappear."

He didn't have green dreams. Howland Reed is not a greenseer. He knows swamp magics, though how much that is literal and how much figurative is impossible to know at this stage.

"The lad knew the magics of the crannogs," she continued, "but he wanted more. Our people seldom travel far from home you know. We're a small folk, and our ways seem queer to some, so the big people do not always treat us kingly. But this lad was bolder than most, and one day when he had grown to manhood he decided he would leave the crannogs and visit the Isle of Faces."

"No one visits the Isle of Faces." objecxted Bran. "That's where the green men live."

"It was the green men he meant to find. So he donned a shirt sewn with bronze scales, like mine, took up a leathern shield and a three-pronged spear, like mine, and paddled a little skin boat down the Green Fork."

He is equipped with a frog spear, leather shield and bronze scaled armour.

Bran closed his eyes to try and see the man in his little skin boat. In his head, the crannogman looked like Jojen, only older and stronger, and dressed like Meera.

"He passed beneath the Twins by night so the Freys would not attack him, and when he reached the Trident he climbed from the river and put his boat on his head and began to walk. It took him many a day, but finally he reached the Gods Eye, threw his boat in the lake, and paddled out to the Isle of Faces."

Possibly an example of 'swamp magic'. He passed the Freys unseen. Magic to some, stealth to others.

"Did he meet the green men?"

"Yes," said Meera, "But that's another story, and not for me to tell. My prince asked for knights."

"Green men are good too."

"They are," she agreed, but said no more about them. "All that winter the crannogman stayed on the isle, but when spring broke he heard the wide world calling and knew the time had come to leave. His skin boat was just where he'd left it, so he said his farewells and paddled off toward shore. He rowed and rowed, and finally saw the distant towers of a castle rising beside the lake. The towers reached ever higher as he neared shore, until he realized this must be the greatest castle in all the world."

HR stayed with the Green Men all through a winter and left in the spring. Leaving, he came first to Harrenhal (where the great tourney was about to begin).

"Harrenhal!" Bran knew at once. "It was Harrenhal!"

Meera smiled. "Was it? Beneath it's walls he saw tents of many colors, bright banners cracking in the wind, and knights in mail and plate on barded horses. He smelled roasting meats, and heard the sound of laughter and the blare of heralds' trumpets. A great tourney was about to commence, and champions from all over the land had come to contest it. The king himself was there, with his son the dragon prince.

Aerys and Rhaegar were there. From elsewhere we learn that Aerys hadn't left the Red Keep for years before this, due to his paranoia, but possibly got reports from Varys about a potential lot by Rhaegar, and came out of hiding to forestall this.

The White Swords had come, to welcome a new brother to their ranks.

The KG are there, apparently all of them, there to welcome a new brother (Jaime).

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Pt 2

The storm lord was on hand, and the rose lord as well.

Robert Baratheon and Mace Tyrell.

The great lion of the rock had quarreled with the king and stayed away, but many of his bannermen and knights attended all the same. The crannogman had never seen such pageantry, and knew he might never see the like again. Part of him wanted nothing so much as to be part of it."

Tywin was absent (had quarrelled, almost certainly about Jaime's investiture as it steals Tywin's heir) but not the Westlands in general.

Bran knew that feeling well enough. When he'd been little, all he had ever dreamed of was being a knight. But that had been before he fell and lost his legs.

"The daughter of the great castle reigned as queen of love and beauty when the tourney opened. Five champions had sworn to defend her crown; her four brothers of Harrenhal, and her famous uncle, a white knight of the Kingsguard."

Young Miss Whent was the Queen of Love and Beauty, and her brothers and her uncle (Oswald Whent of the KG) started as the five champions sworn to defend her 'crown'.

If one of them wins, she keeps the title. Its not a romantic gesture to name the QoLaB (though it can be used as such of course).

"Was she a fair maid?"

"She was," said Meera, hopping over a stone, "but there were others fairer still. One was the wife of the dragon prince, who'd brought a dozen lady companions to attend her. The knights all begged them for favors to tie about their lances."

Elia was fair, fairer than the Whent girl. Her lady companions were very popular (includes Ashara Dayne) with the Knights.

]"This isn't going to be one of those love stories, is it?" Bran asked suspiciously. "Hodor doesn't like those so much."

"Hodor," said Hodor agreeably.

"He likes the stories where the knights fight monsters."

"Sometimes the knights are the monsters, Bran. The little crannogman was walking across the field, enjoying the warm spring day and harming none, when he was set upon by three squires. They were none older than fifteen, yet even so they were bigger than him , all three. This was their world, as the saw it, and he had no right to be there. They snarched away his spear and knicked him to the ground, cursing him for a frogeater."

Sometimes the Knights are the monsters. This isn't just a fairy tale story.

Three squires, all bigger than HR, set upon him in a field and kicked him to the ground.

"Were they Walders?" It sounded like something Little Walder Frey might have done.

"None offered a name, but he marked their faces well so he could revenge himself upon them later. They shoved him down every time he tried to rise, and kicked him when he curled up on the ground. But then they heard a roar. 'That's my father's man you're kicking,' howled the she-wolf."

When he tried to rise they shoved him down again and kept kicking him as he curled on the ground.

Lyanna Stark saw it and 'roared' to the rescue, somehow identifying him as her father's man (probably because he is a crannogman).

No mention of anyone else.

"A wolf on four legs, or two?"

"Two," said Meera. "The she-wolf laid into the squires with a tourney sword, scattering them all. The crannogman was bruised and bloodied, so she took him back to her lair to clean his cuts and bind them up with linen. There he met her pack brothers: the wild wolf who led them, the quiet wolf beside him, and the pup who was youngest of the four.

Lyanna laid into the three squires with a tourney sword and scattered them. They weren't armed, and probably wouldn't fight back, so this is not necessarily any great martial feat, but she is at least somewhat competent with a sword, enough so that three big, trained young men run away rather than try to disarm her.

She's still alone. HR is bruised and bloodied so she takes him back to her 'lair' for medical treatment, and there he meets her brothers, Brandon, Ned and Benjen.

Clearly she drove the squires off alone. Not that it necessarily required a lot.

Also, he was injured, if not particularly badly.

"That evening there was to be a feast in Harrenhal, to mark the opening of the tourney, and the she-wolf insisted that the lad attend. He was of high birth, with as much a right to a place on the bench as any other man. She was not easy to refuse, this wolf maid, so he let the young pup find him garb suitable to a king's feast, and went up to the great castle.

The feast, the same evening, marked the opening of the tournament.

Lyanna is apparently a forceful character, 'difficult to refuse'.

HR borrowed Benjen's clothes - they must have been of a similar size/build.

"Under Harren's roof he ate and drank with the wolves, and many of their s worn swords besides, barrowdown men and moose and bears and mermen.

HR gets to know the Starks and many of the Stark Bannermen - Dustins, Hornwoods, Mormonts and Manderleys.

The dragon prince sang a song so sad it made the wolf maid sniffle, but when her pup brother teased her for crying she poured wine over his head.

Rhaegar sang a sad song. It made Lyanna sniffle. When Benjen teased her, she pured a cup of wine over her head.

Far from proof of anything, but clearly Rhaegar has affected Lyanna positively, a schoolgirl crush type thing perhaps (we hear from other sources that he had that affect on many or most young women - he's the Dragon Prince, handome and tortured, after all).

A black brother spoke, asking the knights to join the Night's Watch.

Maybe Yoren? I don't recall any mention. Not that important I think, though some suggest Benjen was affected by this speech.

The storm lord drank down the knight of skulls and kisses in a wine-cup war.

Robert Baratheon, drinking heavily even before he's met Cersei (as he always did, by his own admission), out-drinks Sir Richard Lonmouth (whom I heard someone suggest was a companion of Rhaegar's?)

The crannogman saw a maid with laughing purple eyes dance with a white sword, a red snake, and the lord of griffins, and lastly with the quiet wolf...but only after the wild wolf spoke to her on behalf of a brother too shy to leave his bench.

Ashara Dayne dances with a white sword (KG, probably her brother Arthur Dayne, whose personal emblem is a white sword, but possibly one of the others, such as Barristan who had a thing for her), Oberyn Martell, Jon Connington... and after Brandon speaks to her, with Ned Stark.

The KG is obviously a major notable, the Red Viper of Dhorne is already a famous fighter and lover, and probably a pair of heartbeats from being Prince of Dhorne, or at least Regent of Dorne (Doran's mother is still Princess I believe, but Doran's own children are still little kids), Jon Connington is a Lord in his own right, and companion of Rhaegar.

By stark (sorry) contrast, Ned Stark is an almost unknown second son from the far north, with no deeds to his name and heir to nothing. And to shy to even ask the popular girl to dance.

Really, there is no indication here of any romance between the two of them.

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And to be honest the minute Martin has ravens talk in full sentences telling people they are actually a warg passing along vital information is the minute I put down the book and never touch it again.

But haven't we already been told that the ravens used to transmit messages this way? Over time they forgot, and that's why message were tied to their legs instead. Since that's already a precedent, I don't think it would be "put down the book" worthy at all.

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Pt 3

"Amidst all this merriment, the little crannogman spied the three squires who'd attacked him. One served a pitchfork knight, one a porcupine, while the last attended a knight with two towers on his surcoat, a sigil all crannogmen know well."

The Freys," said Bran. "The Freys of the Crossing."

The three squires are identified at the feast.

"Then, as now," she agreed. "The wolf maid saw them too, and pointed them out to her brothers. 'I could find you a horse, and some armor that might fit,' the pup offered.

Lyanna sees the squires and points them out to her brothers. Ned,Brandon and Benjen know the story of what happened by now, no doubt.

Benjen offers HR armour and a horse, so he can joust in the tourney.

The little crannogman thanked him, but gave no answer. His heart was torn. Crannogmen are smaller than must, but just as proud. The lad was no knight, no more than any of his people. We sit a boat more offtent then a horse, and our hands are made for oars, not lances. Much as he wished to have his vengeance, he freared he would only make a fool of himself and shame his people.

HR declines. He is no knight (neither are his people). His skills are with boats and oars, not horses and lances.

He turns down the offer as he is afraid he would only make a fool of himself and his people.

Clearly HR will not become the KotLT.

" The quiet wolf had offered the little crannogman a place in his tent that night, but before he slept he knelt on the lakeshore, looking across the water to where the Isle of Faces would be. and said a prayer to the old gods of north and Neck...

"You never heard this tale from your father?" asked Jojen.

HR spent the night sharing Ned's tent. But prays to the Old Gods first.

Jojen is still expecting Bran to have heard this tale from his father. Its clearly a Stark Tale, not a Reed tale.

"It was Old Nan who told the stories. Meera, go on, you can't stop there."

Hodor must have felt the same. "Hodor," he said, and then, "Hodor hodor hodor hodor."

"Well," said Meera, "if you would hear the rest..."

"Yes, Tell it."

"Five days of jousting were planned," she said. "There was a great seven-sided melee as well, and archery and axe-throwing, a horse race, and tourney of singers..."

The jousting will last 5 days. Other events are schedules as well.

"Never mind about all that." Bran squirmed impatiently in his basket on Hodor's back. "Tell about the jousting."

"As my prince commands. The daughter of the castle was queen of love and beauty, with four brothers and an uncle to defend her, but all four sons of Harrenhal were defeated on the first day. Their conquerors reigned briefly as champions, until they were vanquished in turn. As it happened the end of the first day saw the porcupine knight win a place among the champions, and on the morning of the second day the pitchfork knight and the knight of the two towers were victorious as well. But late on the afternoon of that second day, as the shadows grew long, a mystery knight appeared in the lists."

A review of the starting setup for the tourney. The 4 Whent brothers are all defeated on the first day (presumably Oswell Whent is not). At the end of the day, presumably one of the final challenges of the day, the Pitchfork Knight wins and becomes a (custodial) champion.

During the morning of the second day, the knghts of the other two squires win challenges and become champions. By lunchtime, fortuitously, all three are among the 5 current champions (and probably still Oswell Whent).

Someone sees an opportunity. Late in the afternoon of that day a mystery knight (KotLT) appears.

Bran nodded sagely. Mystery knights would oft appear at tourneys, with helms concealing their faces, and shields that were either blank or bore some strange device. Sometimes they were famous champions in disguise, the Dragonknight once won a tourney as the Knight of Tears, so he could name his sister the queen of love and beauty in place of the king's mistress. And Barristan the Bold twice donned a mystery knight's armor, the first time when he was only ten. "It was the little crannogman, I bet."

Bran thinks its the little crannogman. He's a kid and still thinks its a magical tale, not paying attention to the details.

"No one knew," said Meera, "but the mystery knight was short of stature, and clad in ill-fitting armor made up of bits and pieces. The device upon his shield was a heart tree of the old gods, a white weirwood with a laughing red face."

KotLT. Short of stature (rules out Brandon and Ned, so of those who know, we have Lyanna, HR and Benjen).

Clad in ill-fitting armour. Benjen should have armour that fits properly. Not conclusively ruled out, but a definite strike against.

A white weirwood with a laughing face - clearly someone who favours the old gods.

With HR already having several strikes against (its a Stark story, he hasn't got the skills, he already declined when offered), its clear by this stage that the KotLT is Lyanna Stark. Unless of course you are a kid still wrapped up in the fairy tale.

"Maybe he came from the Isle of Faces," said Bran. "Was he green?" In Old Nan's stories the guardians had dark green skin and leaves instead of hair. Sometimes they had antlers too, but Bran didn't see how the mystery knight could have worn a helm if he had antlers. "I bet the old gods sent him."

"Perhaps they did. The mystery knight dipped his lance before the king and rode to the end of the lists, where the five champions had their pavilions. You know the three he challenged."

"The porcupine knight, the pitchfork knight, and the knight of the twin towers." Bran had heard enough stories to know that. "He was the little crannogman, I told you."

Proof positive that the mystery knight is all about the three squires beating up on HR, Confirmed by the KotLTs terms when (s)he wins each joust (see below).

Its the end of the day, the KotLT challenges the three knights.

"Whoever he was, the old gods gave strength to his arm. The porcupine knight fell first, then the pitchfork knight, and lastly the knight of the two towers. None were well loved, so the common folk cheered lustily for the Knight of the Laughing Tree, as the new champion soon was called.

KotLT beats the three in succession and is named as champion in their place (number of champions drops from 5 to 3).

When his fallen foes sought to ransom horse and armor, the Knight of the Laughing Tree spoke in a booming voice through his helm, saying, 'Teach your squires honor, that shall be ransom enough.' Once the defeated knights chastised their squires sharply, their horses and armour were returned. And so the little crannogman's prayer was answered...by the green men, or the old gods, or the children of the forest, who can say?"

KotLT speaks in a booming voice, through his helm.

A booming voice, from inside a closed helm,is easily the result of deliberately speaking in an unnaturally low register to disguise your voice. Note that when Catelyn first meets Brienne, Brienne is mistaken for a man still, even after speaking from inside her closed helm. Only after she raises her helm topeople realise she is a woman.

And absolute unequivocal proof that the KotLT was all about the incident wit the three squires. Which means Jojen (ruled out), Lyanna (fits absolutely everything perfectly, both in story and metastory) or Benjen (very unlikely due to being even smaller, younger and less physically able than Lyanna, probably having his own armour, and having no rhyme or reason for this act before or after.).

It was a good story, Bran decided after thinking about it a moment or two. "Then what happened, Did the Knight of the Laughing Tree win the tourney and marry a princess?"

"No," said Meera. "That night at the great castle, the storm lord and the knight of skulls and kisses each sword they would unmask him, and the king himself urged men to challenge him, declaring that the face behind that helm was no friend of his.

That night (3 days of tourney remaining) Robert Baratheon (ironically given the identity) and Richard Lonmouth swear to unmask the KotLT. Aerys urged men to challenge him, declaring that the KotLT was no friend of the king.

Also, apparently Robert Baratheon is fairly close to the crown, supporting Awerys here, drinking with a close associate of Rhaegar (I'm not sure of that particular info actually)

But the next morning, when the heralds blew their trumpets and the king took his seat, only two champions appeared. The Knight of the Laughing Tree had vanished.

Next morning, no KotLT. SImply doesn't turn up (job is done). Only two champions are left now, with 3 days left to joust.

" The king was wroth, and even sent his son the dragon prince to seek the man, but all they ever found was his painted shield, hanging abandoned in a tree. It was the dragon prince who won that tourney in the end.

Aerys was furious, and sent Rhaegar to find the KotLT. They found only the shield, hanging in a tree.

Rhaegar won the tourney in the end. We hear elsewhere that along the way he beat Brandon Stark, Bronze Yohn Royce and Arthur Dayne.

"Oh." Bran thought about the tale awhile. "That was a good story. Bit it should have been the three bad knights who hurt him, not their squires. Then the little crannogman could have killed them all. The part about the ransoms was stupid. And the Mystery knight should win the tourney, defeating every challenger, and name the wolf maid the queen of love and beauty."

"She was," Said Meera, "but that's a sadder story."

Lyanna was named Queen of Love and beauty (by Rhaegar).

Seems very likely he did find her (not hard, all he has to do is ask the three squires who were publicly chastised, what happened recently) but did not report her to Aerys and instead awarded her courage and honour in the only way he publicly could. Until he awards the crown to her, there is no known direct interaction between them. She sniffles at his song, but thats just a girl in a listening crowd at a party, he probably never knew her before.

"Are you certain you never heard this tale before Bran?" asked Jojen. "Your lord father never told it to you?"

And Jojen still is having trouble believing Bran hasn't heard this story from Ned. Its clearly very much a House Stark story.

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Pt 2

Rhaegar sang a sad song. It made Lyanna sniffle. When Benjen teased her, she pured a cup of wine over her head.

Robert Baratheon, drinking heavily even before he's met Cersei (as he always did, by his own admission), out-drinks Sir Richard Lonmouth (whom I heard someone suggest was a companion of Rhaegar's?)

The difference in behavior should be caught by Lyanna. One man sings beautiful songs another tries to outdrink Sir Lonmouth.

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