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Maud

they were protecting jon. From what? (TOJ)

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Because he is of house Targaryen. I didn't mean cadet, as in male line, I meant collateral, sorry. Robert is a collateral line of Targaryen, and it does not matter that a female was the Targaryen that he inherited from.

ETA: The real implication I was making is that Robert, Stannis, Renly, various male Plumm descendants, and many more male descendants of the Targaryen lineage come far before Daenerys in the inheritance laws for House Targaryen. It is also clear that Viserys, and Daenerys' male children would have a stronger claim than Robert, if they cared to make the claim.

I absolutely disagree.

The Baratheons are not Targaryens. They are cousins but not members of the house. They have no claim at all, even as a collateral line, unless the House is entirely extinguished, and perhaps not even then (though I imagine a grand council would nominate Robert if he is the nearest kin of teh destroyed House).

If Dany is excluded as female, then so was Robert's Grandmother. His Grandmother's descendents have no line to inheritance. They are not Targaryens.

Robert, Stannis and Renly do not come into the inheritance laws of the Targaryens at all.

I believe that Ned refered to Robert's as the best claim among the rebels. Its extremely obvious - with Viserys still around, Robert cannot possibly have the best Targaryen claim. If Ned includes the Targaryens, he's a liar already. Obviously he's excluding them, counting only amongst the rebel leaders.

This isn't an SSM, but I trust the source, Elio & Linda at tor.com on inheritance:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/05/the-cycle-of-inheritance-in-a-song-of-ice-and-fire

"...from then on out, Targaryen women could never inherit the throne, her male kin were always preferred...

"If one passes [Robert's children] over and sticks by primogeniture, Stannis Baratheon really does have the best claim"

Right, but the Baratheon's don't quailfy because they are not members of the House. Any male Targaryen will come before Dany, but they aren't. Dany still is, supposedly the last member of her house. Distant kin through a female line will never trump that, especially if it is merely custom, not even law..

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This isn't an SSM, but I trust the source, Elio & Linda at tor.com on inheritance:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/05/the-cycle-of-inheritance-in-a-song-of-ice-and-fire

"...from then on out, Targaryen women could never inherit the throne, her male kin were always preferred...

"If one passes [Robert's children] over and sticks by primogeniture, Stannis Baratheon really does have the best claim"

Right, but that needs to be given its proper context. It doesn't make any sense when taken at face value. There is obviously an implied limit on the use of never. I mean the way it's worded, it reads like women from other houses would come before Targaryen women in the line of succession. Also, the last portion of that article seems to contradict the part you quoted:

But what about Daenerys? Her family was exiled, but if we suppose “might makes right” is a bad theory for the perpetuation of rule, than there may be something to her own claim... Or is it best to let the past lie? Is a Targaryen queen any likelier to encourage stability than some member of the young Baratheon dynasty?

Here is the relevant SSM:

I told George that when he changed Viserys I from a son to a brother he created an error in that Baelor's sisters did not inherit the throne after him, George replied that women came after all men in the Targaryen succession after TDWD. Something interesting and neatly explains Daena and the rest not becoming queen.

Those words are nowhere near as definitive as some that are being tossed around in this thread. I think this is possibly a case where bad information has become mistaken for fact.

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Right, but that needs to be given its proper context. It doesn't make any sense when taken at face value. There is obviously an implied limit on the use of never. I mean the way it's worded, it reads like women from other houses would come before Targaryen women in the line of succession. Also, the last portion of that article seems to contradict the part you quoted:

Here is the relevant SSM:

Those words are nowhere near as definitive as some that are being tossed around in this thread. I think this is possibly a case where bad information has become mistaken for fact.

Not the SSM, although I don't think it's really that vague either. The Tor article seems very clear cut to me. I don't get that perception about women for one thing, it seems clear to me that they're saying male Targs, even from collateral branches, come before female Targs, and they apply it to Stannis Baratheon.

The part about Dany is contradictory only in the sense that I think they raise one of the issues that came up here- that Dany has no knowledge of this Targ custom, which will complicate the issue although if she returns if will be as a conqueror anyways. It's not going to be like the English Restoration when Charles II was invited to return because he had the best claim.

I was certain that there was an Elio & Linda article that has that exact quote from the wiki "highly modified form etc etc" I'll keep looking in case it's more definitive.

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Not the SSM, although I don't think it's really that vague either. The Tor article seems very clear cut to me. I don't get that perception about women for one thing, it seems clear to me that they're saying male Targs, even from collateral branches, come before female Targs, and they apply it to Stannis Baratheon.

Note what even you wrote. Male Targs come before female Targs. Robert is a Baratheon, not a Targ. He's kin to Targs, but not one himself.

If there are no Targs left, not even females, then he might be considered the next best thing to start a Baratheon Dynasty not continue the Targaryen Dynasty. As he did. As Ned said, he had the best claim - of the rebels.

I think you need to reread it maybe. The only reference to Stannis is explicitly in reference to Cersei's illegitimate children. Robert was the last king, so if you take them out of the picture, Stannis has the best claim. There is no application of the Targ rules to Stannis as a Targ.

The part about Dany is contradictory only in the sense that I think they raise one of the issues that came up here- that Dany has no knowledge of this Targ custom, which will complicate the issue although if she returns if will be as a conqueror anyways. It's not going to be like the English Restoration when Charles II was invited to return because he had the best claim.

Read it again. There is no indication anywhere that "Dany has no knowledge of this Targ custom" so thats not an issue they raise.

In fact, the article clearly argues against your case - if might makes right is a bad solution, then she has a (not by might) claim - which she clearly doesn't if all the Barathon males come before her even under Targaryen rules. Thats the contradiction.

I was certain that there was an Elio & Linda article that has that exact quote from the wiki "highly modified form etc etc" I'll keep looking in case it's more definitive.

We have the SSM. We know what the canon says. Targ males come before all Targ females. Robert is universally noted as a Baratheon, not once ever noted as a Targ.

Even the article you quote argues clearly against your case. There is literally nothing to stand on here except an error of interpretation by a few people (Robert is a Targ even though he's a Baratheon, just because his grandmother was one) thats been expanded on and then ossified into conciousness.

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JLE, on 13 Nov 2013 - 5:06 PM, said:

Just because the Targaryens chose to act as if they were above the laws of gods and men, and be a law unto themselves, and people dared not oppose them because they had dragons, a large army, and the gold to pay said army: does not mean, in the absence of said dragons and with a less adequate army, that acting like one is above the law ACTUALLY makes one above the law.

King Aerys II, of course, believed otherwise. Oh boy was he mistaken, and surprised.

In a democracy declaring yourself above the law doesn't make it so. In a monarchy, not so much. In Europe, monarchs had to operate by the rules of the Church, at least until the reformation happened, because the papacy was extremely strong. In Westeros the faith was not strong enough to counter the Targaryens, therefore they were above any cultural and religious laws, until Robert's rebellion threw them out.

Because the Targaryens always practiced polygamy and it was accepted, Jon is legitimate if Rhaegar and Lyanna married. That is true under Targaryen succession. Of course, that does not mean the rest of the realm will accept that. If Jon is ever king (not saying he will be) it will because a large majority of Westeros wants it or it will be because he takes it by conquest.

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You may try and explain it to someone brought up in a society where legalities are paramount.

"Society", heh.

The PTWP prophecy iseems to be linked to the rise of the Others, the next Long Night, and what may be the doom of the world. It will likely render political and social structures moot, as every living person in Westeros struggles through a frozen hell that kills off almost all of the population. The PTWP, the Azor Ahai, etc. we're talking about a savior (or two separate ones?), born of Valyrian (Targaryen) blood, and linked elementally to dragons and fire. The same prophecy drove the Targaryens out of Valyria to Dragonstone and Westeros, and the eventual coming of this "prince" / king / holy savior is a matter of continuing the lineage of fire magic in their blood.

Whether some septon put a stamp of approval on Rhagar's mating with Lyanna is irrelevant to the larger - apocalyptic - picture. In any case, I think Rhaegar's actions seem to have been motivated by his belief in this prophecy, and he chose to do what he did regardless of the legal, social, political, and military implications of what he did.

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Whether some septon put a stamp of approval on Rhagar's mating with Lyanna is irrelevant to the larger - apocalyptic - picture. In any case, I think Rhaegar's actions seem to have been motivated by his belief in this prophecy, and he chose to do what he did regardless of the legal, social, political, and military implications of what he did.

You seem to be missing the point. Rhaegar is trying to set up the prophecy. Therefore he will do what is necessary in his eyes to make the prophecy fit.

Its the Prince who was promised. Thats what is commonly believed, why Aegon initially dismissed Dany until she birthed the dragons and he realised the original word was old Valyrian and is actually Dragon, not Prince - and dragons can be either gender.

Bastards are not princes.

Therefore, for Rhaegar to bring forth a Prince, he needed to have married the prince's mother. Otherwise, right blood etc or not, its the Bastard which was Promised, not the Prince which was Promised. His actions will be whatever are necessary to bring forth the desired result. Logically he needs to marry Lyanna to complete his own realisation of the prophecy (accurate or not), which is informed by his own cultural paradigm. the prophecy itself may not care, but Rhaegar would through his understanding of it.

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Just because the Targaryens chose to act as if they were above the laws of gods and men, and be a law unto themselves, and people dared not oppose them because they had dragons, a large army, and the gold to pay said army: does not mean, in the absence of said dragons and with a less adequate army, that acting like one is above the law ACTUALLY makes one above the law.

King Aerys II, of course, believed otherwise. Oh boy was he mistaken, and surprised.

After almost three hundred years when his ancestor had been doing just that, an understandable mistake. Now, if someone defies the law but his behaviour does not provoke any retaliation, I'd say that this is the very definition "above the law". The ancients even had a saying for this - Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi. That's what Cersei tells Jaime when he suggests that they should make their relationship public - while the Targs were getting away with it, Lannisters cannot.

That's a straw man. Nobody said that a moral compass doesn't matter to Ned. Ned did admire the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy because they epitomized what a traditional KingsGuard is supposed to embody - and the most important quality of a Kingsguard IS that he has unmatched martial prowess (that is, he's a "killing machine") and uses that prowess unquestioningly at the king's orders. Honorable Ned admired that they stuck unquestioning to those orders to their death because they had taken a vow - even though they were trying to keep him from seeing his dying sister. Ned didn't resent and distrust Jaime because he'd stood idly by and watched as Aerys burned Ned's father and strangled his brother - if he did, he'd have to resent and distrust Gerold Hightower, who stood idly by right along with Jaime watching Brandon and Rickard die, and later told horrified Jaime that their job was to guard the king, not to judge him. But Ned admires Gerold because Gerold willingly fought and died against overwhelming odds when he didn't have to - because he made a vow. That's the kind of traditional, uncomplicated honor Ned approves of.

So - because Ned approved of the KG honor at the TOJ - does that mean that what the KG did was definitely the RIGHT thing to do by Westerosi standards? It's questionable, I think. Ned is an honorable guy, but his honor is kind of simplistic. If it's traditional, it's honorable to Ned. It's traditional for the Warden of the North to execute any deserter from the NW, so Ned does it at the beginning of AGoT - even though this guy seems half-mad (mitigating factor) AND he has valuable information the NW desperately needs (location of Waymar Royce's body and what killed him) but won't get because Ned killed him so swiftly (which probably led to Benjen's disappearance). It's traditional and honorable to hold a hostage and threaten to kill him if his father misbehaves, so Ned takes a child (Theon) and accepts the responsibility to kill this innocent child if his father does something that the child has no control over and is innocent of. Ned never ONCE questions whether anything might be WRONG with that. He doesn't question any of his simplistic assumptions about honor until FINALLY life forces him into a complex situation where honor is not always as black and white as he likes to believe. It's dishonorable for Robert to want to kill Danaerys the child, and Robert ordering Ned to agree to it doesn't make it honorable to him. (It IS dishonorable to put children to death, isn't it? Unless it's Theon?) It's part of his honorable duty as Hand to turn in the adulterous queen and let her and her children be put to death - but wait - it's dishonorable to put innocent children to death. What to do?! Ned's head explodes...and because he's so resolutely avoided the idea that the morally right thing can be complex, when he's finally FORCED to deal with moral complexity he completely fumbles it. A great guy, Ned - but kind of a simpleton.

An unquestioning killing machine is Gregor Clegane, yet I missed any sign of admiration on Ned's part. Apparently, something else yet enters the equation.

As for the latter... your "finally" comes fourteen years late. Unless there had been an earlier such event during the rebellion, the ToJ was the first time that Ned abandoned the concept of honour for something else.

I don't think that the fact that those particular 3 Kingsguard fought to the death at the Tower of Joy proves anything for certain. Yes, maybe they fought to the death because they honestly believed baby Jon was the king, and maybe that was because they knew Rhaegar and Lyanna had gotten married, but I don't think the fact that they fought to the death proves either that Jon absolutely WAS king or that Rhaegar absolutely WERE married. Yes, if the Kingsguard were robots programmed in a simple binary code that said "We shall protect the Targaryen king and his legitimate Targaryen heirs unswervingly unto death," you could absolutely predict their behavior and deduce accurately from it, but the KG were ALL human beings - ALL of them can have differing interpretations of what honoring their vows entails.

Example? Barristan. The three who died at TOJ called Robert an Usurper and rejected his authority as king. Barristan - whose honor nobody doubts - fought sincerely at Rhaegar's side and was nearly killed, then pardoned. He didn't reject Robert, he apparently decided that Robert DID lawfully hold the throne by right of conquest, and he swore fealty for him instead of going after Viserys, who was the Targaryen king by inheritance. He came to one conclusion about what his vows required. The TOJ 3 obviously came to another. But because they also are human, we can't say exactly why they did what they did...and we don't know enough about them as human beings to make a good prediction. Yes, maybe it was because R & L were married and they believed Jon was the rightful heir. But it ALSO could be that Jon was a bastard but the KG decided to follow Rhaegar's last orders out of personal fidelity to Rhaegar (Arthur Dayne, remember, was Rhaegar's best friend). IMO, we don't know enough now to prove things either way - and IMO, it's gonna stay that way till Howland Reed (or maybe Wylla) finally speaks.

Barristan himself thinks that he soiled his honour by bending knee to Robert. And if the KG did put Rhaegar's orders above their vow to do their first duty, they were oathbreakers , and Ned's "simple" view wouldn't miss that.

"Society", heh.

The PTWP prophecy iseems to be linked to the rise of the Others, the next Long Night, and what may be the doom of the world. It will likely render political and social structures moot, as every living person in Westeros struggles through a frozen hell that kills off almost all of the population. The PTWP, the Azor Ahai, etc. we're talking about a savior (or two separate ones?), born of Valyrian (Targaryen) blood, and linked elementally to dragons and fire. The same prophecy drove the Targaryens out of Valyria to Dragonstone and Westeros, and the eventual coming of this "prince" / king / holy savior is a matter of continuing the lineage of fire magic in their blood.

Whether some septon put a stamp of approval on Rhagar's mating with Lyanna is irrelevant to the larger - apocalyptic - picture. In any case, I think Rhaegar's actions seem to have been motivated by his belief in this prophecy, and he chose to do what he did regardless of the legal, social, political, and military implications of what he did.

You have missed my point. While the prophecy certainly does not need a stampt (though a vow before weirwood might be different), the mindset of a person trying to make the prophecy happen is unlikely to transcend the traditional notions of who a "prince" is, and under such a perseption, a bastard is not a prince.

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I think what he means is this:

Ned would not have killed Lyanna, his sister, or Jon, his nephew.

His companions would have followed his wishes.

Why then did the KG and the northmen fight? Neither wants to hurt Lyanna and Jon, and I bet Ned would have protected his sister-hidden her at Winterfell, Greywater Watch, or with the Northern Mountain Clans, or even sent her to Essos, and the KG could have stayed with them

I think maybe it's more than just whether or not Ned would have killed anyone in the Tower, it is a matter of Ned's honor (and ultimate distrust) of Robert at play against the knights' wish to enthrone the rightful Targaryen king, nursing in that tower.

Clearly, Ned suspected a king was in that tower when he got there. In his exchange with Hightower, Whent and Dayne, he very purposefully recites a list of places the King's Guard should have been, and seeks their responses as to why they weren't at the Trident, Red Keep, Dragonstone or Strom's End. Why weren't they with the king/heirs? The manner of his questions was not to discredit the knights or say "hey, missed ya at the melee!" Rather they were pointed questions that reveal Ned has been noodling this and is putting the pieces together.

Each response only confirms that these knights have not lost their honor. At last, when Ned is satisfied that the three must be doing their job, he knows for certain that his nephew, the new king, is in that tower.

It goes one of two ways-Ned pledges fealty to Jon and fights with Dayne, Whent and Hightower against the rest of the realm, that, by the way, he just conquered on behalf of Robert. And with what troops? And to what end? And what will happen to his sister in the meantime?

Or, he takes Jon unto his own and leaves Robert in place. Of course, the sworn King's Guard cannot abide this, and all of those attending understand as much. Dayne believes the fight for the new Targ king will begin there at the ToJ. Ned, sadly, knows it has to end. He has to kill these men for doing their sworn duty, because he has pledged and bled for Robert. He has to protect his sister, for her king is dead on the Trident, and he has to make his king nephew a bastard.

He feels so badly, knowing that Arthur Dayne was a man of his word to the very, very end, that he brings Dawn back to Starfall.

Your post assumes that the knights would bend the knee, or at least try to work with Ned. They had no impetus to do that-after all, they were there to protect House Targaryen to the very end, and so they did. Ned offering them any sort of truce was not in the cards for them, not because they distrusted or disliked Ned, but because their oath was to Jon and would never be to Robert.

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I absolutely disagree.

The Baratheons are not Targaryens. They are cousins but not members of the house. They have no claim at all, even as a collateral line, unless the House is entirely extinguished, and perhaps not even then (though I imagine a grand council would nominate Robert if he is the nearest kin of teh destroyed House).

If Dany is excluded as female, then so was Robert's Grandmother. His Grandmother's descendents have no line to inheritance. They are not Targaryens.

Robert, Stannis and Renly do not come into the inheritance laws of the Targaryens at all.

I believe that Ned refered to Robert's as the best claim among the rebels. Its extremely obvious - with Viserys still around, Robert cannot possibly have the best Targaryen claim. If Ned includes the Targaryens, he's a liar already. Obviously he's excluding them, counting only amongst the rebel leaders.

Right, but the Baratheon's don't quailfy because they are not members of the House. Any male Targaryen will come before Dany, but they aren't. Dany still is, supposedly the last member of her house. Distant kin through a female line will never trump that, especially if it is merely custom, not even law..

...and I don't see how Dany could be the last of House Targaryen. Perhaps the last of the (possible) heir apparents, but there MUST be cousins with the surname Targaryen out there-A glimpse at their family tree shows that Egg had a son we know nothing about, Rhaegel, Matarys and Valarr had children that must have had children, Daeron the drunk, Aerion had littl'uns etc.

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...and I don't see how Dany could be the last of House Targaryen. Perhaps the last of the (possible) heir apparents, but there MUST be cousins with the surname Targaryen out there-A glimpse at their family tree shows that Egg had a son we know nothing about, Rhaegel, Matarys and Valarr had children that must have had children, Daeron the drunk, Aerion had littl'uns etc.

MUST? :huh:

Apparently not though. Apparently they all died out. Or else someone somewhere would surely have mentioned Joe Targaryen, Second Officer of the Port of Little Nowhere.

The Blackfyre's after all have supposedly died out, at least in the male line. Why not the Targaryens.

Where Daeron etc's kids male or female? If male, did they have sons of their own? If they did, did those sons have sons? Not necessarily.

There is no Must here. Everything we know says that there are no other Targaryen branches left.

Just as a real life example, my grandfather had only sisters. He had two sons and a daughter, but I am the only grandson from his sons. Therefore my greatgrandfather's male line, 4 generations, comes down to me. And I have only one son and am very unlikely to have more. If my son has only daughters, or no kids, thats it. No more descendents in the male line from my great grandfather. My son has no cousins with my father's family name - at least none closer than 4th cousins. It can easily happen.

Remember too how ... unstable... the Targaryen line is. Egg was the 4th son of a 4th son, yet he became number one male in effect.

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That's a straw man. Nobody said that a moral compass doesn't matter to Ned. Ned did admire the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy because they epitomized what a traditional KingsGuard is supposed to embody - and the most important quality of a Kingsguard IS that he has unmatched martial prowess (that is, he's a "killing machine") and uses that prowess unquestioningly at the king's orders. Honorable Ned admired that they stuck unquestioning to those orders to their death because they had taken a vow - even though they were trying to keep him from seeing his dying sister. Ned didn't resent and distrust Jaime because he'd stood idly by and watched as Aerys burned Ned's father and strangled his brother - if he did, he'd have to resent and distrust Gerold Hightower, who stood idly by right along with Jaime watching Brandon and Rickard die, and later told horrified Jaime that their job was to guard the king, not to judge him. But Ned admires Gerold because Gerold willingly fought and died against overwhelming odds when he didn't have to - because he made a vow. That's the kind of traditional, uncomplicated honor Ned approves of.

The bolded part is what makes a Kingsguard a Kingsguard, not your preamble supposition that it is martial prowess.

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I think maybe it's more than just whether or not Ned would have killed anyone in the Tower, it is a matter of Ned's honor (and ultimate distrust) of Robert at play against the knights' wish to enthrone the rightful Targaryen king, nursing in that tower.

Clearly, Ned suspected a king was in that tower when he got there. In his exchange with Hightower, Whent and Dayne, he very purposefully recites a list of places the King's Guard should have been, and seeks their responses as to why they weren't at the Trident, Red Keep, Dragonstone or Strom's End. Why weren't they with the king/heirs? The manner of his questions was not to discredit the knights or say "hey, missed ya at the melee!" Rather they were pointed questions that reveal Ned has been noodling this and is putting the pieces together.

Each response only confirms that these knights have not lost their honor. At last, when Ned is satisfied that the three must be doing their job, he knows for certain that his nephew, the new king, is in that tower.

It goes one of two ways-Ned pledges fealty to Jon and fights with Dayne, Whent and Hightower against the rest of the realm, that, by the way, he just conquered on behalf of Robert. And with what troops? And to what end? And what will happen to his sister in the meantime?

Or, he takes Jon unto his own and leaves Robert in place. Of course, the sworn King's Guard cannot abide this, and all of those attending understand as much. Dayne believes the fight for the new Targ king will begin there at the ToJ. Ned, sadly, knows it has to end. He has to kill these men for doing their sworn duty, because he has pledged and bled for Robert. He has to protect his sister, for her king is dead on the Trident, and he has to make his king nephew a bastard.

He feels so badly, knowing that Arthur Dayne was a man of his word to the very, very end, that he brings Dawn back to Starfall.

Your post assumes that the knights would bend the knee, or at least try to work with Ned. They had no impetus to do that-after all, they were there to protect House Targaryen to the very end, and so they did. Ned offering them any sort of truce was not in the cards for them, not because they distrusted or disliked Ned, but because their oath was to Jon and would never be to Robert.

I have to admire this post. Well thought out and expressed. The only change I would make is the ordering of the places should agree with the conversation, because Ned is also looking for a way to avoid the fight. He suggests that the three Kingsguard surrender, like the forces at Storm's End. The knights answer that they do nos surrender so easily. Ned offers them a chance to continue to guard the Targaryen Prince Viserys at Dragonstone, and they steadfastly say that they would not flee the fight, here and now, to defend the king here.

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Gerold Hightower, who stood idly by right along with Jaime watching Brandon and Rickard die, and later told horrified Jaime that their job was to guard the king, not to judge him.

----

The bolded part is what makes a Kingsguard a Kingsguard, not your preamble supposition that it is martial prowess.

Well, but if you don't have martial prowess far beyond the normal run of men, you will never qualify to become a Kingsguard, will you? They all have to be splendidly skilled warriors before they're allowed to take the post. So, yes, martial prowess IS absolutely a job requirement. And in the Manhood-Uber-Alles world of Westeros, skill at arms is nearly universally admired, and I haven't seen any sign Ned's particularly different in that regard. But what I think makes a warrior a Kingsguard is not so much the skill at arms - there's plenty of skilled warriors who can guard competently. I think the essential part of the job is the part of the sentence that you chose NOT to bold - that the Kingsguard are NOT to judge the king. So if the king they happen to guard is evil, they must aid and abet him in every evil, and do their very best to assure that he lives another day to evilly harm more people. Ned admired the Kingsguard for their skill and their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their notion of honor. But admiration of the KG is traditional and Ned is a traditionalist. Also, he lacks imagination and he's uncomfortable with thinking outside the box - so his admiration for the WG is unspoiled by any realization of their dark side - the side that says that maintaining their personal honor is more important than the suffering of innocents.

An unquestioning killing machine is Gregor Clegane, yet I missed any sign of admiration on Ned's part. Apparently, something else yet enters the equation.

Well, but if, as you so helpfully informed me, ALL honorable men of Westeros have an iron-clad obligation to obey their liege above ALL other obligations, and therefore no matter how vile the act the liege commands, fulfilling the command is his honorable duty and he incurs no dishonor by doing so:

He's not doing it himself and he's obeying his liege who is also his king and thus possessing the authority to demand something like that. Not kinslaying.

---

It seems that you are failing to grasp the reality of the pseudomedieval Westerosi society as well as the mindset of its people. They swear fealty to their lieges, and those in turn swear to the king, to do exactly that which you claim that Ned didn't: to obey. And once again, if the king orders his vassal to hand over his nephew, the vassal is NOT committing any kinslaying.

...then what Gregor did by dashing a baby's brains out on the floor was perfectly honorable, because his liege had demanded it of him and possessed the authority to do so. If you really and truly think that it ALL honorable men (not just the KG) must do whatever act they're ordered by their rulers no matter how criminal - and that they are exonerated of dishonor for doing those vile things no matter how horrible they are - then Ned has no cause to complain about the horrible deaths of Aegon and Rhaenys dishonoring Robert. But he does. So yes, something else enters the equation, all right - and I happen to think that it's the fact that Westerosi honor is a great deal more complicated than you're making it out to be. What we have here is the failure to grasp something.

And just for kicks and giggles, I looked up in my Kindle every time the word "dishonor" was used in GoT. It came up 10 times. Among them: 1) Ned telling Robert he had dishonored Catelyn and himself by having a bastard; 2) Jorah dishonored the North by trading slaves, 3) Ned warning Robert that he will dishonor HIMSELF if he orders the killing of Danaerys, 4)Cersei claims that Ned dishonored Robert by attacking Jaime and seizing Tyrion, 5) Ned refusing to dishonor Robert's last hours on earth by shedding blood in his halls and dragging frightened children from their beds (he also reflected that there was no honor in threatening children) 6)Jon reflecting that Ned was dishonorable in conceiving him.

All of these show that honor in Westeros is a complicated matter, subject to making conflicting demands on the people who feel it and susceptible to different interpretations of what it means to different people. I don't see why the KG (being individual human beings) would be any different in making their own various interpretations of what honoring their vows means. We know Barristan (who was always considered honorable in Westeros) interpreted his vow differently than the TOJ3 did. The TOJ3 decided to die for their view of honor, but since we don't really know what kind of people they were, (was it because they were sticklers for marriage certificates and legitimate children and R & L satisfied their specs? Or were R& L not married and the TOJ3 chose to interpret their vows as they did due to their friendship with Rhaegar?) we really can't know for certain why they did it until we have more information about what happened there, IMO.

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Well, but if you don't have martial prowess far beyond the normal run of men, you will never qualify to become a Kingsguard, will you? They all have to be splendidly skilled warriors before they're allowed to take the post. So, yes, martial prowess IS absolutely a job requirement. And in the Manhood-Uber-Alles world of Westeros, skill at arms is nearly universally admired, and I haven't seen any sign Ned's particularly different in that regard. But what I think makes a warrior a Kingsguard is not so much the skill at arms - there's plenty of skilled warriors who can guard competently. I think the essential part of the job is the part of the sentence that you chose NOT to bold - that the Kingsguard are NOT to judge the king. So if the king they happen to guard is evil, they must aid and abet him in every evil, and do their very best to assure that he lives another day to evilly harm more people. Ned admired the Kingsguard for their skill and their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their notion of honor. But admiration of the KG is traditional and Ned is a traditionalist. Also, he lacks imagination and he's uncomfortable with thinking outside the box - so his admiration for the WG is unspoiled by any realization of their dark side - the side that says that maintaining their personal honor is more important than the suffering of innocents.

Well, but if, as you so helpfully informed me, ALL honorable men of Westeros have an iron-clad obligation to obey their liege above ALL other obligations, and therefore no matter how vile the act the liege commands, fulfilling the command is his honorable duty and he incurs no dishonor by doing so:

And just for kicks and giggles, I looked up in my Kindle every time the word "dishonor" was used in GoT. It came up 10 times. Among them: 1) Ned telling Robert he had dishonored Catelyn and himself by having a bastard; 2) Jorah dishonored the North by trading slaves, 3) Ned warning Robert that he will dishonor HIMSELF if he orders the killing of Danaerys, 4)Cersei claims that Ned dishonored Robert by attacking Jaime and seizing Tyrion, 5) Ned refusing to dishonor Robert's last hours on earth by shedding blood in his halls and dragging frightened children from their beds (he also reflected that there was no honor in threatening children) 6)Jon reflecting that Ned was dishonorable in conceiving him.

Let me summarize to avoid further misinterpretationst: you claimed that "the finest knight that ever lived",constituted obedience and fighting prowess, to which I countered that there had to be something more to it, or else Gregor Clegane would be a fine knight, as well.

And, just for the giggles, Ned's assessment of the Sack: “There was no honor in that conquest.” Your search was a bit lacking.

For even more giggles, let's take a look at what follows:

“The Others take your honor!” Robert swore. “What did any Targaryen ever know of honor? Go down into your crypt and ask Lyanna about the dragon’s honor!”

“You avenged Lyanna at the Trident,” Ned said, halting beside the king. Promise me, Ned, she had whispered.

Now, why does Ned recall his promise to Lyanna in the context of Targaryen lack honour, if Rhaegar's conduct towards her (be it rape or extramarital sex) was dishonourable, and why did she extract any promise concerning her dishonour when it was what everyone assumed, anyway?

Or did Rhaegar actually do the honourable thing and married her, which would definitely be something not to tell after the Targaryens were defeated, and which fits with the way Ned's response is presented - concurring aloud, but keeping contradictory thoughts to himself?

All of these show that honor in Westeros is a complicated matter, subject to making conflicting demands on the people who feel it and susceptible to different interpretations of what it means to different people. I don't see why the KG (being individual human beings) would be any different in making their own various interpretations of what honoring their vows means. We know Barristan (who was always considered honorable in Westeros) interpreted his vow differently than the TOJ3 did. The TOJ3 decided to die for their view of honor, but since we don't really know what kind of people they were, (was it because they were sticklers for marriage certificates and legitimate children and R & L satisfied their specs? Or were R& L not married and the TOJ3 chose to interpret their vows as they did due to their friendship with Rhaegar?) we really can't know for certain why they did it until we have more information about what happened there, IMO.

Turn it any way you want, but as long as the KG are not doing their first duty, and there is no other KG to relegate that duty to, they are oathbreakers to their KG vows. That is the core of their duty, and even if they keep the other parts of the vow - obey orders, stay chaste etc - they are oathbreakers to the main purpose. There is no way they weren't aware of this, and no way they could repeatedly emphasize, with pride, their KG status, if they abandoned their primary purpose. Any reason why they might do so, friendship to Rhaegar, whatever, doesn't change a thing about it. With vows, there are only two options: either you are keeping it, or not. Staying at ToJ while Viserys is king and withoug any KG is not keeping their vow.

And the other way round, if they are repeatedly emphasizing that they are Kingsguard and refer to a vow as the reason why they are staying, the only part of the vow making sense in this context is the main one, the one which makes them Kingsguard in the first place. Adhering to Rhaegar's wish doesn't make them Kingsguard.

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You seem to be missing the point. Rhaegar is trying to set up the prophecy. Therefore he will do what is necessary in his eyes to make the prophecy fit.

Its the Prince who was promised. Thats what is commonly believed, why Aegon initially dismissed Dany until she birthed the dragons and he realised the original word was old Valyrian and is actually Dragon, not Prince - and dragons can be either gender.

Bastards are not princes.

Therefore, for Rhaegar to bring forth a Prince, he needed to have married the prince's mother. Otherwise, right blood etc or not, its the Bastard which was Promised, not the Prince which was Promised. His actions will be whatever are necessary to bring forth the desired result. Logically he needs to marry Lyanna to complete his own realisation of the prophecy (accurate or not), which is informed by his own cultural paradigm. the prophecy itself may not care, but Rhaegar would through his understanding of it.

Well, I'm pretty sure Rhaegar did not expect to be killed at the Battle of the Trident. He had not been, perhaps a wedding was in his plans, for political effect. (Besides, Rhaegar, as king, could have legitimized the child and named him as heir.)

But I still maintain that for the child actually being the PTWP, the dragon blood is what actually matters. Some people in the thread have been arguing that bastardy (which is a social / legal convention only) would somehow interfere with the prophecy actually coming true, and that makes no sense.

Back to the original question of why 3 Kingsguard would be protecting Lyanna and her bastard, beyond all other royals: I see it as them fulfilling their duty to Rhaegar, who saw it as something of supreme importance - beyond the mundane legalities involved.

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Well, I'm pretty sure Rhaegar did not expect to be killed at the Battle of the Trident. He had not been, perhaps a wedding was in his plans, for political effect. (Besides, Rhaegar, as king, could have legitimized the child and named him as heir.)

But I still maintain that for the child actually being the PTWP, the dragon blood is what actually matters. Some people in the thread have been arguing that bastardy (which is a social / legal convention only) would somehow interfere with the prophecy actually coming true, and that makes no sense.

Back to the original question of why 3 Kingsguard would be protecting Lyanna and her bastard, beyond all other royals: I see it as them fulfilling their duty to Rhaegar, who saw it as something of supreme importance - beyond the mundane legalities involved.

Great points. Mundane legalities, exactly.

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Well, I'm pretty sure Rhaegar did not expect to be killed at the Battle of the Trident. He had not been, perhaps a wedding was in his plans, for political effect. (Besides, Rhaegar, as king, could have legitimized the child and named him as heir.)

But I still maintain that for the child actually being the PTWP, the dragon blood is what actually matters. Some people in the thread have been arguing that bastardy (which is a social / legal convention only) would somehow interfere with the prophecy actually coming true, and that makes no sense.

Back to the original question of why 3 Kingsguard would be protecting Lyanna and her bastard, beyond all other royals: I see it as them fulfilling their duty to Rhaegar, who saw it as something of supreme importance - beyond the mundane legalities involved.

:bang:

This is clear to you, me and virtually anyone who was not brought up in a culture perceiving bastards as something less valid for millenia. We are not talking here what actually matters to the prophecy but what people think matters. Rhaegar's perception of the meaning of "prince" would inevitably be tainted by the general perception as well as his own that "prince" is someone born of a legitimate union in a royal family, hence the assumption that he would look for a way to make his child by Lyanna a prince, and look! the author has incorporated a way to do so!

As for the KG point, let me quote myself from the post just above yours:

Turn it any way you want, but as long as the KG are not doing their first duty, and there is no other KG to relegate that duty to, they are oathbreakers to their KG vows. That is the core of their duty, and even if they keep the other parts of the vow - obey orders, stay chaste etc - they are oathbreakers to the main purpose. There is no way they weren't aware of this, and no way they could repeatedly emphasize, with pride, their KG status, if they abandoned their primary purpose. Any reason why they might do so, friendship to Rhaegar, whatever, doesn't change a thing about it. With vows, there are only two options: either you are keeping it, or not. Staying at ToJ while Viserys is king and withoug any KG is not keeping their vow.

And the other way round, if they are repeatedly emphasizing that they are Kingsguard and refer to a vow as the reason why they are staying, the only part of the vow making sense in this context is the main one, the one which makes them Kingsguard in the first place. Adhering to Rhaegar's wish doesn't make them Kingsguard.

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Well, I'm pretty sure Rhaegar did not expect to be killed at the Battle of the Trident. He had not been, perhaps a wedding was in his plans, for political effect. (Besides, Rhaegar, as king, could have legitimized the child and named him as heir.)

But I still maintain that for the child actually being the PTWP, the dragon blood is what actually matters. Some people in the thread have been arguing that bastardy (which is a social / legal convention only) would somehow interfere with the prophecy actually coming true, and that makes no sense.

You don't seem to be listening. They aren't saying that bastardy would interfer with the prophecy, but that Rhaegar's (the common one, as demonstrated by Aemon) perception of the prophecy would mean that he would probably be attempting to create a Prince, not a bastard.

I'm not sure what to describe the argument that "he could always fix it later". Certainly nothing complimentary.

"I need a Prince to save the world. I know, I'll pick a woman, sleep with her, and after she has my bastard, if I get to be King when my dad dies, I'll legitimize him". :wacko: :dunce: :bs: :rolleyes:

What sort of incompetent moron thinks that way when polygamy is a long standing tradition in his family? Just marry the girl, and get your prince.

Why marry the girl later, messing around with bastardy in the mean time, instead of now, clean simple and everything sorted, prophecy wise?

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Back to the original question of why 3 Kingsguard would be protecting Lyanna and her bastard, beyond all other royals: I see it as them fulfilling their duty to Rhaegar, who saw it as something of supreme importance - beyond the mundane legalities involved.

They don't have any duty to Rhaegar, he was never the King.

The whole "Rhaegar gave them orders and they continued to follow Rhaegar's orders even after his death, even though Viserys had no KG" is utterly unwashable because Rhaegar was never the King. The King can assign them other duties than guarding the King. No doubt they would follow Rhaegar's orders if it did not conflict with their KG duties, but no way Hightower would ignore his KG duties in favour of orders by a not-King when his King is without a KG.

You can argue Dayne and Whent might be seduced by Rahegar's vision (I'd disagree), but not Hightower. And even then, thats entirely ignoring their proud acclamations reinforcing their status as Kingsguards and vow-keepers.

If Viserys is King then they cannot be keeping their vows as KG and not send at least one of their umber to him. Rhaegar was never King, so his orders don't fall under their KG oaths.

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