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cantuse

A Theory: The possibly game-changing secret beneath the Winterfell Crypts

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Not if he promised Lyanna he would bury it with her.

It's possible, but I'd think we'd have more to point to it. It seems an awfully specific detail when there's so much more that's up in the air about that promise.

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  • What seems likely is that she is asking him to preserve Jon's heritage, which is something Ned would never want to do. Remember that Ned has endured the loss of his father, his brother, Jon's half-brother and half-sister and is witnessing the death of his sister. Any sane man would be understandably traumatized. He's seen too much death and war. With the apparent end of the Targaryen dynasty at hand, there seems to be no practical reason to ever telling Jon his ancestry. Such would only re-open wounds just starting to heal (at that time), tarnish Lyanna's image to the kingdom, and likely result in Jon's death both as a Targaryen and as a bastard pretender (consider that the nature of his parentage recalls the bastards of the Blackfyre Rebellion).

So why did he allow Jon to join the Night Watch? Is that compliant with preserving Jon's heritage? :uhoh:

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Maybe I need to reword something, but what I'm ultimately saying is that Ned never would agree to preserve Jon's heritage. Lyanna ultimately had to resort to the crypt burial as a way to preserve even the remote chance of his finding out.



I definitely did not say, mean to say or imply that Ned actually agreed to a promise to preserve his heritage.


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IMHO, I think there's an opportunity for great drama in never knowing the truth. Imagine all these "clues" point to the R+L=J conclusion, but never prove it airtight. And when the characters discover these clues, including Jon himself, they/he will either believe or doubt, and there's all kinds of possible plot projections in that. It does effectively avoid a Disney ending. In fact, I don't mind if us, the readers, are left debating.



Probably not a popular idea, though.


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IMHO, I think there's an opportunity for great drama in never knowing the truth. Imagine all these "clues" point to the R+L=J conclusion, but never prove it airtight. And when the characters discover these clues, including Jon himself, they/he will either believe or doubt, and there's all kinds of possible plot projections in that. It does effectively avoid a Disney ending. In fact, I don't mind if us, the readers, are left debating.

Probably not a popular idea, though.

You know, I was just considering a slight twist on your idea: that we definitively find out about Jon's parentage, as I believe GRRM said we would, but it would never definitively be answered whether he was legitimate or not.

GRRM never promised to say whether Jon was legitimate or had any claim, stemming from his parentage. Only that we would find out during the series who his parents were. Or did he say that Jon would? Which would be the same thing from our POV.

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Well i would say the harp is a great theory, and after reading the Dunk and Egg tales i recon when jon enters the tomb he will find a dragon egg. All Targaryen princes are given dragon eggs when they are born. A dragon egg in combo with a Rhaegars harp and wedding clock could easily prove Jons legitemacy as a Targaryen. Furthermore i recon jon will learn something about his destiny in his current state, he will learn the limits of his potential as a warg.

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You know, I was just considering a slight twist on your idea: that we definitively find out about Jon's parentage, as I believe GRRM said we would, but it would never definitively be answered whether he was legitimate or not.

GRRM never promised to say whether Jon was legitimate or had any claim, stemming from his parentage. Only that we would find out during the series who his parents were. Or did he say that Jon would? Which would be the same thing from our POV.

I like that, too, because it leaves it open for each character to interpret as he or she will. Maybe GRRM could plan special meta-torture, that the readers find out about Jon's parentage/legitimacy, but the characters are left guessing and we get to watch them make good/bad choices based on what they choose to believe.

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this is a great theory, and think it deserves to be added to the list of speculative objects that could be found.

There are some real problems with the harp. Most harps would have been large, wooden instruments that would not have weathered almost two decades in the dank Winterfell crypts very well.

There's also the question of how any object in Lyanna's tomb would have been transported to Winterfell without the knowledge of anyone but Ned and his group of friends. Ned was already traveling with a lot of important objects, a horse, bones, and a sword among them. There probably wasn't manpower or space to transport a large object.

As I've pointed out, even a harp of that size is pretty large, heavy, and awkward to travel with if one has limited cargo capacity. See above.

I always thought of it as a Celtic harp, which come in many sizes and numbers of strings, and are often referred to as lap harps. It might be small enough to actually rest in the lap. I have an oladion, about 34 inches (about three feet tall), 24 strings. I hold it by crossing my ankles and resting the base on the top of my calves, just below the knee. It leans back against my shoulder and the top falls just above my head. I have a very short torso (I'm just plain short, not fully 5' 4").

The soft case isn't bulky and might add three more inches; the whole affair is extremely lightweight. Keep in mind that the "back" (the soundbox) is hollow, so mainly the solid wood pieces will be the "neck" (harmonic arch), column, and base. I could put a strap on the case and schlep it around all day, and I have back problems. It might be a pain to add one more item to your load of armor, but it definitely wouldn't break the horse's back. He could have just stuck it in with Lyanna's bones.


Unless its weirwood.

This just makes me think of the song the COTF sing.

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this is a great theory, and think it deserves to be added to the list of speculative objects that could be found.

I always thought of it as a Celtic harp, which come in many sizes and numbers of strings, and are often referred to as lap harps. It might be small enough to actually rest in the lap. I have an oladion, about 34 inches (about three feet tall), 24 strings. I hold it by crossing my ankles and resting the base on the top of my calves, just below the knee. It leans back against my shoulder and the top falls just above my head. I have a very short torso (I'm just plain short, not fully 5' 4").

The soft case isn't bulky and might add three more inches; the whole affair is extremely lightweight. Keep in mind that the "back" (the soundbox) is hollow, so mainly the solid wood pieces will be the "neck" (harmonic arch), column, and base. I could put a strap on the case and schlep it around all day, and I have back problems. It might be a pain to add one more item to your load of armor, but it definitely wouldn't break the horse's back. He could have just stuck it in with Lyanna's bones.

This just makes me think of the song the COTF sing.

Our own in thread harp expert! :wub: :wub:

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Our own in thread harp expert! :wub: :wub:

Not quite, but thanks! Mainly I just fell in love with it and have been trying to learn to play (very badly) to justify my foolish purchase. If I ever get good enough for princely little songs of love and doom I'll let you know.

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This is a red herring theory.



If Rhaegar's harp was laid in Lyanna's tomb it doesn't prove anything about Jon's parentage, even publicising the discovery of Rhaegar's harp in Lyanna's tomb doesn't advance the in-book knowledge of Lyanna and Rhaegar's relationship one iota. Everybody already knows that Lyanna and Rhaegar galloped off together into the sunset. Everybody assumes that they had sex (willingly or unwillingly). The presence of the harp would only suggest that Lyanna was a willing partner.



The problem is that The Ned has successfully disconnected the issue of Jon's parentage from the issue of Lyanna and Rhaegar's relationship. The presence of the harp doesn't link Jon to Lyanna and wouldn't link him to Lyanna. It would change nothing in regard to in-book beliefs about Jon's parentage.



What you would need to make a change in-book - as opposed to among the readership - is either a witness or an object that testifies to a link between Jon and Lyanna. Then you've got something game changing - a corny example would be finding half a cloak in Lyanna's tomb the matching half being already in Jon's possession since it was his childhood swaddling cloths. But I doubt that GRRM will resolve the question of Jon's parentage in-book. I suspect it will be part of the bittersweet ending. We as readers will be left strongly suspecting who he is in terms of descent and so will endure the heartache of seeing Jon not get his earthly inheritance while thinking smug thoughts to ourselves when references are made to Jon's paternity.


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What you would need to make a change in-book - as opposed to among the readership - is either a witness or an object that testifies to a link between Jon and Lyanna. Then you've got something game changing - a corny example would be finding half a cloak in Lyanna's tomb the matching half being already in Jon's possession since it was his childhood swaddling cloths. But I doubt that GRRM will resolve the question of Jon's parentage in-book. I suspect it will be part of the bittersweet ending. We as readers will be left strongly suspecting who he is in terms of descent and so will endure the heartache of seeing Jon not get his earthly inheritance while thinking smug thoughts to ourselves when references are made to Jon's paternity.

No, that's a good point. The harp, sword, what have you would pretty much be meaningless without that. Even the blue wreath of roses wouldn't mean much without something Jon can be identified with. And really, I can't think of any objects Jon has referred to from his past that would be significant. Maybe that's why people think there's a letter or some such in the tomb.

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If any "secret item" from the Crypts in general somehow confirms Jon's legitimacy and everybody will believe it, I'll eat my own hat.


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"Well, in this dead/warged state he can't wake up and is forced to finish the dream. This dream gives him the knowledge he needs."

Im not so sure about the harp but the above quote is something i like. I agree with the importance of the crypts/Jons dreames.

Not sold on the harp but it was still a good post/read.

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A minor nitpick. All Starks are buried in the tombs, not just the lords. It is only the lords and the kings that have stautes. Eddard was thinking that the tombs await for him and his children, no thin and his sons.



Aside from that, Lumel is right the harp would connect Lyanna to Rhaegar not not Rhaegar to Jon, it doesn't do a particularly good job at that. There is no chain of custody. It could have been gotten from anywhere and simply be part of the loot. It might have personal refference as it would indicate that Rhaegar and Lyanna's relationship was different than what he had thought.



Really, it's hard to see how Jon's heritage will have any relevence other than personal. Even if he could come up with DNA tests proving his paternity and a marriage license for Lyanna and Rhaegar, the only reason they would be relevent is because there is a power vacum, not because people would particularly care. Whatever influence Jon has, it is because he is believed to be Ned's son.


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Cantuse, Welcome to the forum.



Your analysis just gave me the last clue I needed in regard to my thoughts about singers in general in the story. Below I would like to add a few clues about magic being used in harp playing and singing in the story.



Rhaegar wore rubies which I believe were magical. Bran Vras has written many fine articles in his Winterfell Huis Clos one of which was magic and ruby and Rhaegar.



It has long been my opinion that GRRM has given us clues throughout the books that indeed a harp and a singing voice is as Littlefinger stated "as dangerous as a sword in the right hands."



GRRM has given us two types of men weilding this power.



Rhaegar who affected every woman when he played his harp and sang. Years later Cersei thinks about Rhaegar and is bitter that she was not chosen. Still being affected by that voice and harp.



Lyanna a wild beauty was also affected. Magic!



Now for the other type personality



Marilion who plays his wood harp and sings and has Lady Lysa in his thrall. She showers him with gifts, and protects him from the various men who he is making mock of. She even gives him Jon Arryn's falcon. He attempts rape with Sansa. He sleeps around with various women who fall under the spell of his harp, his voice, and his looks. ( What many people believe happened to Lyanna in the story)



Darion of the Night's Watch. He was sent to the Wall due to a rape which he claims was mutual consent. (Again a nod to Rhaegar and Lyanna) Darion also is written with many parallels to Theon Greyjoy before he meets Ramsey)



Maester Aemon says his voice is honey over thunder.



Jon wants to send him to sing to influence men to join Night's Watch.



Sam says "You should hear Dareon. His voice is sweet as mead." (people being under his voice spell like being drunk)



GRRM description of Darion Fair-haired and hazel-eyed, the handsome young singer out of Eastwatch looked more like some dark prince than a black brother. (Rhaegar the black prince)



Blue Bard and Marillion. It seems that singing and playing one's harp can influence women but it also might bring a singer into danger.


Cersei is using the Blue Bard to further her own agenda in the same way that Littlefinger is using Marillion. Both men being tortured.



The result of how GRRM has woven clues throughout the various singers in the story is giving us clues about Rhaegar. Which type of man was he in truth?



Subjectively I hope he was the type of men who did not frequent brothels. I love the harp with its silver strings being left with Lyanna in the Tower of Joy . I love the idea that there are three items down in the crypt for Jon to find..one being that magic harp.



Thanks again Cantuse.


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Thanks Lady Arya's Song.

All, please keep in mind that the core assertion is that the harp is in the tomb; not that it legitimizes Jon.

Lummel is right that a witness is necessary (I say as much in the theory), and the easy choice is Howland. But I wanted to avoid speculations that are distracting from the core assertion.

If you for a reason to go into the crypts, it's because Mance may be down there hiding like Bael the bard. If you want for a reason to open her tomb, consider Howland. Witnesses could include virtually all of the lords of the north since they are already gathered in or around Winterfell.

Again these are points/ideas separate from the main theory but easy extensions of the idea.

Don't forget that Martin wants people to feel resolution at the end of the series- he didn't like the way Lost ended. It's inconceivable that he would say that and leave arguably the largest mystery unresolved.

Finally consider that his harp has been furtively introduced throughout the series, most of you probably knew its unique features without me needing to elaborate. It's arguable that the harp amounts to a Chekov's gun. Also consider that the harp most neatly aligns Jon's journey with the central motif of the series, 'a song of Ice and Fire'.

One final, parting shot: If Howland is indeed the witness or chief 'testifier', consider the final words of the House Reed oath of loyalty to Winterfell in ACOK and its relevance to same said central motif.

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There's something in her tomb. But I don't think that harp would prove R+L=J. Everyone know about Rhaegar and Lyanna.



The link has to be between Rhaegar and Jon or Lyanna and Jon.


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