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R+L = J v 38


Stubby

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One of my favorite hints of R+L=J is in GOT but im feeling really lazy at the moment and don't really feel like explaining the whole thing in my own words so here's wiki's explanation of it they do a better job anyway lol :

Further evidence to the truth of this theory in the eighth Eddard chapter of A Game of Thrones, in which Ned contemplates the significance of King Robert's bastards. As he muses, Ned's thoughts drift to Jon Snow, a logical segue, but also to his sister Lyanna, the promise he made her, and to Rhaegar Targaryen, implying some tacit link between the three individuals

I love putting this shit together haha

I hadn't noticed that one and it seems like it ought to be so obvious! Looks like time for another reread, then.

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You're kind of oversimplifying the English succession in that case.

(Snip)

You are absolutely right -- there were a lot of practical/power politics-related reasons for skipping Arthur. I was focusing on the formal, legal position, which was how I read the post I was responding to. (Although if I recall correctly, John succeeded to Richard's continental titles as well as the English ones).

To my question, I can't find an example where a dead Targ prince passed his claim to a son, but I am curious whether I may have missed something. (ETA -- I guess the other example would be the unnamed son of Aerion Brightflame who was passed over in favor of Aerion's younger brother -- but it is not clear to me exactly why he was passed over).

Anyway, I started thinking about this when I saw that the app entry for Rhaella says that Viserys was proclaimed king on Dragonstone. I am wondering whether this means that Rhaegar never told his mother that Lyanna was pregnant? If he told her about Lyanna but that Lyanna was just his mistress? If he himself never knew Lyanna was pregnant? Or if Rhaella thought Viserys, as the son of a king, came before Jon, who was only the son of a prince?

Your post raises another possibility, I guess -- Viserys was there and Jon (an infant) was not.

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From the ToJ passage:

Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three. “And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light. “No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.”[3]
The numbers seven and three are often meant to be special, and that is certainly true in ASoIaF. Upon reading the ToJ passage the other day I began to wonder what, if anything, the emboldened sentence is attempting to convey. Is there anything specific, or is the use purely thematic? I haven't been able to come up with anything solid yet. So far my best guess is the Seven Kingdoms (or seven kingdoms) versus the three races of Westeros; i.e., human, CotF, Others; or, the three races of man; i.e., First Men, Andal, Rhoynar. This is a bit vague though, so I was hoping to get some input from you guys. Thoughts?
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I was under the impression it was Varys who "allegedly" switched the babies at birth at Rhaegar's request and then smuggled him out of KL?

Oh I don't believe what I wrote, I was just answering the question about how they might not know. I don't even think they actually switched the babies, they know he isn't real.

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Such a great theory, really hope it's true. Seems to have strong evidence.

I found Jon to be one of the least interesting characters at the beginning, especially compared to the likes of Tyrion. But my admiration for him gradually grew, and shot up massively when he turned down Stannis's offer because he felt the North belonged to the old gods and he had no right to it if he forsook them.

Perhaps he did have an even greater destiny ahead

assuming he's alive of course

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Well, we have a matter of Lyanna's bed of blood and dying of a fever. This points to her having a child, recently, when Ned arrives. So, what of Lyanna's child?

Lyanna's bed of blood and dying of a fever can be explained by multiple other possibilities. A selection are

  1. Died in childbirth but the kid was stillborn

  2. GRRM says that as the scene is seen Ned's dream a dream so some of the details are imaginary. She did have a fever but the bed of blood is a symbol of her dying rather than actually being soaked in blood at the time. Similar to the way that Mel sees blood on Patchface's lips being more that he talks about death rather than him actually having blood on his lips.

  3. She injured herself some other way and it got infected

  4. The Pale Mare

  5. Some other disease similar

  6. Lyanna tried to escape from the ToJ (on the assumption she was held against her will) and was injured by one of the KG/ another servant there whilst trying to escape. She suffers a long lingering death including fever and illness.

These are in no particular order but all would be a plausible (if perhaps unlikely) reason for the bloody bad and fever.

Who smuggled Aegon of of King's Landing, and pray, for what purpose? King's Landing is safe, secure, and well guarded until Aerys believes Pycelle about Tywin's intentions.

Take your choice about who smuggled Aegon out. Varys, Rhaegar, Elia, Ashara, one of the KG, an agent of any of the above. Again a few potential reasons

  1. To separate up the royal heirs. The Targs are pretty set on keeping the throne an all male affair. At the time you have 3 male Targ heirs out there. Rhaegar, going to the front line a position of danger, Viserys, who is at KL and Aegon. Now however safe KL it could be argued that it's safer to separate out the heirs to different locations in case any tragedy should occur at any one location. You place Aegon at the ToJ with a substitute at KL and you guarantee the male line continuing no matter what. By the way even without Tywin's treachery if Roberts wins at the Trident KL will be placed under siege so it's not completely safe. Also note in this one even Aerys becomes a candidate for smuggling him out.

  2. To keep Aegon safe from Aerys' madness. He's paranoid so who knows what he might do?

  3. To keep Aegon safe from assassination attempts

Plus, Apple Martini's test question: what's so supersecret about Ashara being Jon's mother that Ned never tells? It might be understandable if he never tells Cat and confirm the gossip that is circulating, anyway, but he has absolutely no reason not to tell Jon once he is old enough to know how to shut up.

Because if he does that you become one step closer to the secret of him helping Aegon to escape. Now presuming that Varys' 'Aegon' is the real deal you can see how bad that would look. I mean the question of why take Jon from Starfall if Ashara is his mum comes up for one. Put simply Ned doesn't know how that will turn out nor what might come out after. Easier to give a wall of silence. Equally he's already told Robert that Jon's mum is Wylla, in the scene Robert ask 'what was your one called again?' So Ned has already told him once. If he then admits to Jon or Cat or anyone else that it's actually Ashara Robert would probably wonder why he'd lied to him.

Just to clarify again I don't see this as the most likely outcome of the mystery around Jon's parentage in the books. It's just the one I'd prefer to see.

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Welcome. GRRM has laid the hints in the book to support the revelation, later. I personally think the conversation at the tower between Ned and the Kingsguard sews it up nicely, but you can't fully appreciate the conversation until you have digested A Feast for Crows.

Strange, I've always read the conversation as a hint away from the R+L=J theory. Maybe it's just one of those things that a reader can see what they want in it?

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How would the presence of the KG be a hint against the idea that Jon was Rhaegar's son?

Not the presence but what's been said, what's not been said and the fact that they go up against Ned in the first place. In that conversation there is no mention of Lyanna having a kid there OK they wouldn't necessarily have said anything about it and if they did it would pretty much destroy the mystery.

However should R+L=J be true I find the fact that they choose to fight Ned with no attempt at a discussion a bit strange, Ned is the kids uncle and despite the kids at KL being killed by Lannisters it's known that Ned is an honourable guy and that's forgetting the whole bit about kinslaying so it's extremely unlikely that he's going to harm them or allow any of his followers to harm the baby. The whole conversation says they're spoiling for a fight when they could have just let Ned talk to Lyanna. If it's Jon in there it well doesn't exactly make no sense but it makes less sense than if it were say Aegon in there or they were just following out the last orders of Aerys/Rhaegar to stay there and guard the tower from Robert's supporters.

I mean if their job is to protect the 'King' who is Jon then Ned could potentially help them a great deal. Even if they win they've just killed the 'King's' uncle.

Sure the whole thing can be twisted round to look at it from another point of view and at the end of the day they're soldiers facing an 'enemy' not statesmen opening discussions but no chat about it in there seems a bit odd.

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Lyanna's bed of blood and dying of a fever can be explained by multiple other possibilities. A selection are

  • Died in childbirth but the kid was stillborn

  • GRRM says that as the scene is seen Ned's dream a dream so some of the details are imaginary. She did have a fever but the bed of blood is a symbol of her dying rather than actually being soaked in blood at the time. Similar to the way that Mel sees blood on Patchface's lips being more that he talks about death rather than him actually having blood on his lips.

  • She injured herself some other way and it got infected

  • The Pale Mare

  • Some other disease similar

  • Lyanna tried to escape from the ToJ (on the assumption she was held against her will) and was injured by one of the KG/ another servant there whilst trying to escape. She suffers a long lingering death including fever and illness.

These are in no particular order but all would be a plausible (if perhaps unlikely) reason for the bloody bad and fever.

A couple of plotholes here. First and foremost, “bed of blood“ is not a reference to a bed stained with blood but to the birthing bed. If Lyanna’s child was stillborn and therefore no secret to keep, there is absolutely no reason why this shouldn’t be reflected in Ned’s thoughts, especially when he does pay thought to Rhaegar’s other dead children.

If you insist that “bed of blood” is not a reference to childbirth, then you have Ned reminiscencing about the death of his beloved sister, which is clearly traumatizing for him, without ever thinking about the cause of her death, which is highly unlikely, the death of a close family member and its cause are always interconnected.

You can leave out Pale Mare or any other infectious disease like that – the room wouldn’t smell of just blood and roses in that case, and to contract something like that, you need a source of infection, which is typically a water source infected by the feces of the carriers. Given the hygienic conditions of that time, Lyanna wouldn’t be the only one afflicted, and given the isolation of the location, you’d have a problem getting a carrier there.

Because if he does that you become one step closer to the secret of him helping Aegon to escape. Now presuming that Varys' 'Aegon' is the real deal you can see how bad that would look. I mean the question of why take Jon from Starfall if Ashara is his mum comes up for one. Put simply Ned doesn't know how that will turn out nor what might come out after. Easier to give a wall of silence. Equally he's already told Robert that Jon's mum is Wylla, in the scene Robert ask 'what was your one called again?' So Ned has already told him once. If he then admits to Jon or Cat or anyone else that it's actually Ashara Robert would probably wonder why he'd lied to him.

If he told Jon and solely Jon, prior he went to the Wall, I don’t see how Robert might ever learn.

Besides, why lie Robert in the first place? There is absolutely nothing harmful in admitting that Ashara is the mother, and saying that Ned is taking their bastard with him so that the child didn’t remind the world of the stain on Ashara’s honour, and if she chose to marry later, she wouldn’t be able to keep the child with her, anyway. A perfectly plausible explanation, and it has nothing to do with your supposed Aegon escape.

As I read it, Ned told Robert that Jon’s mother was some commonborn unimportant Wylla for a single reason – Robert knew that he was never Ashara’s lover, and didn’t have a chance to father a child on her within the given timeframe.

Not the presence but what's been said, what's not been said and the fact that they go up against Ned in the first place. In that conversation there is no mention of Lyanna having a kid there OK they wouldn't necessarily have said anything about it and if they did it would pretty much destroy the mystery.

However should R+L=J be true I find the fact that they choose to fight Ned with no attempt at a discussion a bit strange, Ned is the kids uncle and despite the kids at KL being killed by Lannisters it's known that Ned is an honourable guy and that's forgetting the whole bit about kinslaying so it's extremely unlikely that he's going to harm them or allow any of his followers to harm the baby. The whole conversation says they're spoiling for a fight when they could have just let Ned talk to Lyanna. If it's Jon in there it well doesn't exactly make no sense but it makes less sense than if it were say Aegon in there or they were just following out the last orders of Aerys/Rhaegar to stay there and guard the tower from Robert's supporters.

I mean if their job is to protect the 'King' who is Jon then Ned could potentially help them a great deal. Even if they win they've just killed the 'King's' uncle.

Sure the whole thing can be twisted round to look at it from another point of view and at the end of the day they're soldiers facing an 'enemy' not statesmen opening discussions but no chat about it in there seems a bit odd.

You’re missing an important clue. While it is quite a safe bet that Ned personally wouldn’t have harmed Lyanna or her child, he still may tell Robert and endanger Jon’s life in this way. Hard to say to what extent his reputation as an honourable guy has already been established, but in this particular case, it would even be harmful: as Robert’s loyal subject, he is honour-bound to disclose the existence of Rhaegar’s heir to him, and you guess what might have followed. Jon’s future well-being relies solely on secrecy, and the KG cannot be sure what Ned’s reaction would be – even Lyanna, his sister, wasn’t sure what he would do until she extracted that promise from him.

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*snip* ....even Lyanna, his sister, wasn’t sure what he would do until she extracted that promise from him.

Add in that Lyanna was holding on to life so that she could extract that promise from him. I'd find it hard to believe that would be written that way if she was begging for the life of any child but her own.

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Add in that Lyanna was holding on to life so that she could extract that promise from him. I'd find it hard to believe that would be written that way if she was begging for the life of any child but her own.

Amen.

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I have a really strong feeling Arya will meet atleast one of her siblings again, maybe even save one of them. But back to Jon, assuming he is half Targaryen. How will that influence his storyline?

Ahh that is the age old question and why there is 38 volumes to this thread. Many think he will not care. Some think he will be torn apart. Some think he will want the throne as rightful heir, and some simply think he is dead. As for me, I have a theory of my own. Not sure I believe it, but I really want to.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/79169-how-jon-could-take-the-throne/

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A couple of plotholes here. First and foremost, “bed of blood“ is not a reference to a bed stained with blood but to the birthing bed. If Lyanna’s child was stillborn and therefore no secret to keep, there is absolutely no reason why this shouldn’t be reflected in Ned’s thoughts, especially when he does pay thought to Rhaegar’s other dead children.

If you insist that “bed of blood” is not a reference to childbirth, then you have Ned reminiscencing about the death of his beloved sister, which is clearly traumatizing for him, without ever thinking about the cause of her death, which is highly unlikely, the death of a close family member and its cause are always interconnected.

You can leave out Pale Mare or any other infectious disease like that – the room wouldn’t smell of just blood and roses in that case, and to contract something like that, you need a source of infection, which is typically a water source infected by the feces of the carriers. Given the hygienic conditions of that time, Lyanna wouldn’t be the only one afflicted, and given the isolation of the location, you’d have a problem getting a carrier there.

Well 'bed of blood' is used in the book as an allusion to the birthing bed but equally if Ned saw bed completely soaked in blood in the dream then that's equally how he'd describe it. There are bits when Big Bob is dying that refer the blood staining the sheets etc. Both remain open as possibilities. Essentially you're placing your own beliefs on the situation and arguing that it can't be different to that as your idea is right. To put it another way you're saying bed of blood must be a reference to child birth as bed of blood is a reference to child birth.

In terms of the illness it completely remains open. No information at all is given of what happened prior to this dream (plus remember it is just a dream). We have little knowledge of people coming and going. Equally anyone of the KG could have been a carrier for a disease, or it could have been a disease carried by an animal or parasite. Equally with little knowledge of who was there, when they were there or the potential source of infection you can't really say that someone else must of got it. Plus you then throw up people individual immunities to diseases or just sheer luck of some people getting a disease and others not despite being in the same situation. Tyrion and Jon Con with greyscale for example.

If he told Jon and solely Jon, prior he went to the Wall, I don’t see how Robert might ever learn.

Besides, why lie Robert in the first place? There is absolutely nothing harmful in admitting that Ashara is the mother, and saying that Ned is taking their bastard with him so that the child didn’t remind the world of the stain on Ashara’s honour, and if she chose to marry later, she wouldn’t be able to keep the child with her, anyway.

A perfectly plausible explanation, and it has nothing to do with your supposed Aegon escape.

As I read it, Ned told Robert that Jon’s mother was some commonborn unimportant Wylla for a single reason – Robert knew that he was never Ashara’s lover, and didn’t have a chance to father a child on her within the given timeframe.

Accept if he tells Jon this there will inevitably be follow up questions from him. I mean do you really think he's going to go 'Oh OK Asahra Dayne is my mum. I'm off to the wall, thanks Dad'. Unlikely, again any answers to the questions to anyone open up more questions. A wall of silence is the best defence. Plus Ned has no idea who Jon would tell, then who they would tell and so on and so forth. Plus why tell Robert that Wylla was the mum? Well for this scenario to work Ashara, Elia's maid, would have had to visit Ned at some point during the rebellion. If Ned hadn't passed on this information to Robert do you not think Robert would have asked why? Ned tells him it's Ashara, Robert has another question, question follows question, follows question and Ned's got a web of lies rather than the quick one it's some common person. Jobs done. Plus he reveals that Ashara is the mother it get's tied in with the 'suicide' they'd agreed on (in the she runs off to Essos with Aegon theory). If she'd been seen to commit suicide after he'd taken her child then he'd have been complicit in that suicide. She'd have begged at the scene to let her keep the child. This is not good for his image, plus would inevitably have caused gossip that get's back to Cat and others, there are more questions...or she was just some commoner. Gossip stops there and Ned can keep up the wall of silence.

You’re missing an important clue. While it is quite a safe bet that Ned personally wouldn’t have harmed Lyanna or her child, he still may tell Robert and endanger Jon’s life in this way. Hard to say to what extent his reputation as an honourable guy has already been established, but in this particular case, it would even be harmful: as Robert’s loyal subject, he is honour-bound to disclose the existence of Rhaegar’s heir to him, and you guess what might have followed. Jon’s future well-being relies solely on secrecy, and the KG cannot be sure what Ned’s reaction would be – even Lyanna, his sister, wasn’t sure what he would do until she extracted that promise from him.

You're kind of missing the point here. Why not mention it at all? They're either sure Ned's going to die by their hands in which case what difference does it make? Or they think they stand a chance of getting through in which case Ned is going to be able to stick 2+2 together to work out who the baby's parents are. Letting him know that it's his nephew in there may well put off the need to fight/gain some help. Equally, as I said, their reaction and speech doesn't rule out R+L=J. I see the version where they do a safety first let's just kill them all as a plausible reaction to Ned's arrival. As I said they're soldiers facing their enemy not statesmen discussing a treaty.

Again, just to be clear on this, I do not hold this out to be the most likely outcome of Jon's parentage. Just a possible one and one that I personally would like to see. Yes there is a very good chance that R+L=J there are loads of hints from GRRM towards it. However to be so convinced of it that you remain closed to any other options doesn't make sense in a series of books where the author delights in creating mysterious and surprising outcomes. To say 'oh I worked out that R+L=J' before the final solution is revealed makes as much sense as saying 'I've worked out who the murderer' is before Miss Marple gathers them all together in the drawing room.

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Started getting sidetracked in the "Wow, Never Noticed" thread so wanted to bring this up here;

Seems majority of readers have taken R+L=J as canon and cold hard fact, which i think is a mistake. I agree there is strong evidence but I still feel like he could be N+A=J.

Will everyone be upset if he does not end up being Rhaegar's son?

If Jon was Ashara and Ned's kid, how would have Ned managed to fool everyone around? Jon would be older than Robb.

Of course I know the "Aegon is a Blackfyre theory", but so far I´ve seen slightly other theories which suggested that one or most likely both of Varys and Illyrio know that Aegon is a Blackfyre. Mtn Lion´s theroy is that neither Illyrio nor Varys know that, I never heard that one before, but I know the "Aegon is a Blackfyre" theory I just knew a slightly different version of this theory than the one Mtn Lion has.

Yes, I believe that, too.

Ah, ok. Me neither, I heard it 1st from MtnLion but I still think that they both know about it.

A question I haven't seen asked about the Robb/Jeyne situation is:

Why was Tywin so sure Robb would break his marriage contract to the Freys when Jon Snow is 'proof' (to the realm) that Ned hit and run some chick while contracted to marry Cat? Seems illogical with what the realm knows of the Stark's bedding situations...

Maybe he saw it as an opportunity for Robb to do things right? :dunno:

Robb knows about the 'trouble' Jon caused Ned so that could be the reason why he wouldn't risk having a bastard, plus he wasn't very keen on marrying that Frey girl. Tywin said that Robb was his father's son, maybe he gambled on Robb's honour and got the prize. Just a wild guess.

Or it was pure luck.

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Well 'bed of blood' is used in the book as an allusion to the birthing bed but equally if Ned saw bed completely soaked in blood in the dream then that's equally how he'd describe it. There are bits when Big Bob is dying that refer the blood staining the sheets etc. Both remain open as possibilities. Essentially you're placing your own beliefs on the situation and arguing that it can't be different to that as your idea is right. To put it another way you're saying bed of blood must be a reference to child birth as bed of blood is a reference to child birth.

So, you say that Robert is lying in a "bed of blood"? Provide the quote, please.

While "bloody", "bloodied", "blood-stained", and "of blood" may all refer to the fact that the piece of furniture in question has been contaminated with blood, the phrase "bed of blood" is used solely and consistently throughout the series as a reference to childbirth, therefore claiming that in one particular case it may not be a reference to childbirth is really catching at straws.

In terms of the illness it completely remains open. No information at all is given of what happened prior to this dream (plus remember it is just a dream). We have little knowledge of people coming and going. Equally anyone of the KG could have been a carrier for a disease, or it could have been a disease carried by an animal or parasite. Equally with little knowledge of who was there, when they were there or the potential source of infection you can't really say that someone else must of got it. Plus you then throw up people individual immunities to diseases or just sheer luck of some people getting a disease and others not despite being in the same situation. Tyrion and Jon Con with greyscale for example.

No, it doesn't. A profound bleeding and fever would occur in the terminal stage of tuberculosis (not likely to develop within the timeframe in a previously healthy person), haemorrhagic diarrhea (your Pale Mare, in which case the room would smell predominantly of excrement, not blood) or haemorrhagic fever (something like Ebola, which we have no mention of in the series and which is highly contagious through the body fluids and in the given environment, you lack the vector, anyway).

Accept if he tells Jon this there will inevitably be follow up questions from him. I mean do you really think he's going to go 'Oh OK Asahra Dayne is my mum. I'm off to the wall, thanks Dad'. Unlikely, again any answers to the questions to anyone open up more questions. A wall of silence is the best defence. Plus Ned has no idea who Jon would tell, then who they would tell and so on and so forth. Plus why tell Robert that Wylla was the mum? Well for this scenario to work Ashara, Elia's maid, would have had to visit Ned at some point during the rebellion. If Ned hadn't passed on this information to Robert do you not think Robert would have asked why? Ned tells him it's Ashara, Robert has another question, question follows question, follows question and Ned's got a web of lies rather than the quick one it's some common person. Jobs done. Plus he reveals that Ashara is the mother it get's tied in with the 'suicide' they'd agreed on (in the she runs off to Essos with Aegon theory). If she'd been seen to commit suicide after he'd taken her child then he'd have been complicit in that suicide. She'd have begged at the scene to let her keep the child. This is not good for his image, plus would inevitably have caused gossip that get's back to Cat and others, there are more questions...or she was just some commoner. Gossip stops there and Ned can keep up the wall of silence.

I never said that. You are arguing a problem of your own creation.

As for Ned being held responsible for Ashara's suicide, well, it's not like that horse is not out of the stable, anyway.

You're kind of missing the point here. Why not mention it at all? They're either sure Ned's going to die by their hands in which case what difference does it make? Or they think they stand a chance of getting through in which case Ned is going to be able to stick 2+2 together to work out who the baby's parents are. Letting him know that it's his nephew in there may well put off the need to fight/gain some help. Equally, as I said, their reaction and speech doesn't rule out R+L=J. I see the version where they do a safety first let's just kill them all as a plausible reaction to Ned's arrival. As I said they're soldiers facing their enemy not statesmen discussing a treaty.

OK, so let's presume they let Ned in to talk to Lyanna, and he refuses to cooperate. What happens next? Do they slaughter him before her? Or ask him nicely to go out? And what about his men? Surely they do not witness this family reunion, therefore they are waiting outside, and you have to keep an eye of them, i.e., you have to divide your rather scarce forces, and 1:1 plus 2:6 is a worse ratio than 3:7. Besides, what if Eddard manages to scream an order out of the window and one of them manages to ride away? A whole lot of complications from letting a potential enemy inside.

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Well 'bed of blood' is used in the book as an allusion to the birthing bed but equally if Ned saw bed completely soaked in blood in the dream then that's equally how he'd describe it. There are bits when Big Bob is dying that refer the blood staining the sheets etc. Both remain open as possibilities.

These are two separate occasions, and both are described differently. “Bloody bed” and “bed of blood” refer to delivering a child, throughout the books. Blood staining the sheets in Robert’s dying moments are in no way referred to a “bloody bed” or “bed of blood”. Like it or not that is the intent of the author to convey birthing as a “bloody bed” or “bed of bood”.

Lyanna died specifically of a fever, in a bed of blood. That means she had childbirth fever. Of course, someone can twist the words in various ways and argue that it must mean something else, but that doesn’t mean that the author did not intend that particular meaning when he wrote the lines.

If Ashara was Jon’s mother, why did his promise to Lyanna hurt Ned so much? How did it play out on his honor? Wouldn’t his dishonoring Ashara also be a stain against his honor? Then he would have two stains. There is absolutely no reason to think that Ashara is Jon’s mother, since she had given birth nine months after Harrenhal’s Tourney, or Barristan is an idiot.

Oh, so you think that Aegon was smuggled out of King’s Landing to the tower. Why would Rhaegar or anyone else smuggle Aegon out of King’s Landing/Red Keep, two fortified positions that are well guarded during a war? That would be lunacy. Oh, so Aerys doesn’t tweak his son’s nose when he returns triumphantly from war? Why would he do that instead of shower him with praise? This Aegon at the tower idea is folly.

More likely Aegon was Ashara’s (by Aerys’ rape) son and Elia’s daughter was stillborn. Elia only gave birth to girls, and the last was stillborn. She had not delivered an heir to Rhaegar, and added to that the master is telling her that any further pregnancies will kill her and the child, both. She must tell Rhaegar this depressing news. Ashara’s son is doomed to being raised as a bastard in his mother’s dishonored house. The two girls have a motive to switch the babies, and Barristan would recall Ashara having a stillborn daughter, while Varys can rescue what he thinks is the Targaryen heir when Tywin is sacking King’s Landing, and smuggle him to a ship bound for Essos.

It makes an awful lot of sense if when Ned arrives in Starfall and tells Ashara what happened to Elia, Aegon, and Rhaenys that she would fall into dark despair. Her child had been brutally murdered. When Varys approaches her with a teaching position and reveals that he saved Aegon, I’m sure that Ashara would jump and swim to the ship to take her there. No one at Starfall would suspect that she had not committed suicide, because of the dark despair that she had been in after Ned’s visit.

I think that the words exchanged at the tower are very clear, as related in Ned's dream. It is a lengthy discourse that was paraphrased. Ned has been keeping track of Kingsguard throughout the war. In all of his encounters he has noted the absence of these three. He tells them that the war is over. He has accepted the surrender of all of the remaining armies. He tells them that Aerys is dead, Rhaegar is dead, and Aegon is dead (a thought that Ned does not like to confront directly), and that their new king would be Viserys. He asks them to surrender, they refuse. He offers them a chance to go to Dragonstone to be with their king who has no Kingsguard with him, again they refuse. They swore a vow to protect and defend the king, and that is what they intend to do. Jon is legitimate, and is Rhaegar’s heir, because Aegon is dead (though I think that Arthur has told these Kingsguard of Elia and Ashara switching children at birth). We know that Whent and Dayne were with Rhaegar when Lyanna joined the party and hence will be privy to many things.

There was a susrvivor from Brandon's party that we will likely get what the message was that Brandon received that had him so mad that he did the unthinkable. Lemore might be able to tell us about fAegon. It is an interesting twist that a bastard masquerading as trueborn would want the throne and a trueborn masquerading as a bastard would not, don't you think?

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These are two separate occasions, and both are described differently. “Bloody bed” and “bed of blood” refer to delivering a child, throughout the books. Blood staining the sheets in Robert’s dying moments are in no way referred to a “bloody bed” or “bed of blood”. Like it or not that is the intent of the author to convey birthing as a “bloody bed” or “bed of bood”.

Lyanna died specifically of a fever, in a bed of blood. That means she had childbirth fever. Of course, someone can twist the words in various ways and argue that it must mean something else, but that doesn’t mean that the author did not intend that particular meaning when he wrote the lines.

Bed of Blood and bloody bed are used through the books to mean childbirth but a few times across all the books. Put simply if you think that in a dream state the words 'bed of blood' couldn't be used to describe the dream version of someone who in reality came across some dying on blood stained sheets then you're looking at it in a very narrow point of view.

Equally she did die of a fever. Absolutely true, according to the dream. To be honest I still think it's a possibility that the blood in the 'bed of blood' is purely symbolic of death. In that it's a possibility that Lyanna simply died of a fever. Yep you've got the smell of blood in the air but again remember this is part of a drug fuelled dream.

If Ashara was Jon’s mother, why did his promise to Lyanna hurt Ned so much? How did it play out on his honor?

Because we don't know exactly what she made him promise. Here's a quick chuck out she made him promise to end her suffering. He's killed his sister and is a kinslayer. That's enough to make him feel guilty for a long time. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A POSSIBILITY NOT A STATEMENT OF BELIEF. If she made him promise to keep Aegon safe and hidden from Bob then he's betrayed his best friend and king.

Oh, so you think that Aegon was smuggled out of King’s Landing to the tower. Why would Rhaegar or anyone else smuggle Aegon out of King’s Landing/Red Keep, two fortified positions that are well guarded during a war? That would be lunacy. Oh, so Aerys doesn’t tweak his son’s nose when he returns triumphantly from war? Why would he do that instead of shower him with praise? This Aegon at the tower idea is folly.

OK first off I hold it open as a possibility that Aegon is there. Right secondly in terms of the reasons she my previous list of possible ideas.

More likely Aegon was Ashara’s (by Aerys’ rape) son and Elia’s daughter was stillborn. Elia only gave birth to girls, and the last was stillborn. She had not delivered an heir to Rhaegar, and added to that the master is telling her that any further pregnancies will kill her and the child, both. She must tell Rhaegar this depressing news. Ashara’s son is doomed to being raised as a bastard in his mother’s dishonored house. The two girls have a motive to switch the babies, and Barristan would recall Ashara having a stillborn daughter, while Varys can rescue what he thinks is the Targaryen heir when Tywin is sacking King’s Landing, and smuggle him to a ship bound for Essos.

Possible but speculative

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You are absolutely right -- there were a lot of practical/power politics-related reasons for skipping Arthur. I was focusing on the formal, legal position, which was how I read the post I was responding to. (Although if I recall correctly, John succeeded to Richard's continental titles as well as the English ones).

To my question, I can't find an example where a dead Targ prince passed his claim to a son, but I am curious whether I may have missed something. (ETA -- I guess the other example would be the unnamed son of Aerion Brightflame who was passed over in favor of Aerion's younger brother -- but it is not clear to me exactly why he was passed over).

Anyway, I started thinking about this when I saw that the app entry for Rhaella says that Viserys was proclaimed king on Dragonstone. I am wondering whether this means that Rhaegar never told his mother that Lyanna was pregnant? If he told her about Lyanna but that Lyanna was just his mistress? If he himself never knew Lyanna was pregnant? Or if Rhaella thought Viserys, as the son of a king, came before Jon, who was only the son of a prince?

Your post raises another possibility, I guess -- Viserys was there and Jon (an infant) was not.

Aerion Brighflame's son was passed over because he was the infant son of a mad father in favor of Aegon V who was a grown man and "well loved." Viserys was a lad of seven, while Jon was an infant whose existence may not even have been known. For Rhaella (who may have been unaware of other plots elsewhere in the kingdom there on Dragonstone) from what she knew of her own family history, even if either the infant Jon or Aegon had survived, Viserys= best option to rally support around the Targaryen cause.

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Bed of Blood and bloody bed are used through the books to mean childbirth but a few times across all the books. Put simply if you think that in a dream state the words 'bed of blood' couldn't be used to describe the dream version of someone who in reality came across some dying on blood stained sheets then you're looking at it in a very narrow point of view.

Equally she did die of a fever. Absolutely true, according to the dream. To be honest I still think it's a possibility that the blood in the 'bed of blood' is purely symbolic of death. In that it's a possibility that Lyanna simply died of a fever. Yep you've got the smell of blood in the air but again remember this is part of a drug fuelled dream.

Except that the neither "bed of blood" nor the mention of the fever come from the dream but from Ned's memories.

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