The Prince That Was Promised/R + L = J Theories - WARNING: SPOILERS

Discussion in 'A Song of Ice and Fire' started by Appaliq, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Thanks Renz. :)

    And it's not lazy. It's called "running on AOL dial-up." ;)
     
  2. Renzokuken

    Renzokuken You have failed this city!

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    I wasn't talking about you, I was talking about the guy who started the "bastard" thread. So there. :p
     
  3. K'shar

    K'shar Darth Pumpkin

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    Bastard thread? is that like a spool of thread who doesn't know who made him?
     
  4. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Give him a break - he's not part of our Guild so we can't expect him to be perfect. ;) :D
     
  5. K'shar

    K'shar Darth Pumpkin

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    yeah thus we didn't ridicule him and make fun of the size of his manhood
     
  6. Renzokuken

    Renzokuken You have failed this city!

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    Or cut it off and feed it to the goats. ;) lol
     
  7. K'shar

    K'shar Darth Pumpkin

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    I was hoping someone might pick up on that. LOL
     
  8. Renzokuken

    Renzokuken You have failed this city!

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  9. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Bumping this for Elladan/anyone who wants to discuss the R + L = J theory. Ignore the spam, please. ;P
     
  10. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    After wading through the 'Rhaegor's a dreamboat multi-posts' I can't see anything that seriously questions the R+L = J theory ~ mind you I did lose conciousness a few times *yawn* :D

    PS Liadan you seem to *cough* a lot ~ are you ill? :p :D
     
  11. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    For Kraas and anyone else, the long and detailed analysis of just who Jon's parents is. Blatantly robbed from Westeros btw, I didn't write it and I'm not claiming credit.

    WHO ARE JON'S REAL PARENTS?



    Introductory


    The debate has largely revolved around the theory that Jon, despite what the people of Westeros seems to believe, is in fact _not_ Ned's son...but the product of the union of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.

    No doubt there can be made many alternative theories regarding who Jon's parents are, but one undisputable fact narrows it down...Jon looks like Ned Stark - thus, it stands to reason that at least one of the parents is of Stark blood.

    The further discussion will center around the most likely alternatives:

    *Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark

    *Ned and Wylla

    *Ned and Ashara Dayne

    The writer of these words is a firm believer in the Rhaegar+Lyanna alternative, but I shall nonetheless try to be as unbiased as possible...

    I will set subsections for the alternatives under header Pro or Contra - insofar as they stand individually.

    I will denote pro-arguments with a (+), con-arguments with a (-), and the ensuing debate from these arguments with (++), (--), (+++), (---) etc., as the sides try to debunk the pro and cons the other side presents.
    In any case, a (+) will invariably be in favor of the alternative, while a (-) will be set against it [i.e., two minuses does not make a plus: a (-) under 'Contra' will be a debunking point for the alternative at hand].

    In some cases, there will be sort of a 'editors comment' that (hopefully) will come out as neutral - largely for fleshing out the debate, or general clarification. These will be denoted (0).



    The alternatives



    1. Ned and Wylla

    Pro:

    (+) Two people - Ned Stark himself, and Edric Dayne, both claim that Jon is the off-spring of a union of Ned Stark and a common woman called Wylla.
    The fact that the two people who bear witness could not have conspired to 'stick to a story', so to speak, gives the statements greater weight.
    [NOTE: I need quotes for these two incidents]

    (-) How credible are the witnesses? Ned Stark could be lying. Edric Dayne was not even born when Jon was conceived - hearsay.

    (++) Ned Stark is an honorable man, and he's talking to his best friend Robert Baratheon. Why would he lie?

    (--) The reasoning that Ned would lie, is based on the Rhaegar+Lyanna theory - see below.

    (0) Considering that Edric was not born when Jon was conceived, it seems likely that he's repeating a story. Who told him this story (servants, relatives, outsiders) is as yet unknown, and so is whether or not the story is the 'official' one, at Starfall or Dorne as such.


    Contra:

    (-) If Ned and Wylla really are Jon's parents, what's with all the hints that point to Rhaegar and Lyanna being his parents?

    (+) That could all be Red Herrings, or things that are misinterpreted. Things may not mean what you think they mean.

    (0) This particular point will be further discussed under alternative 3 - Rhaegar and Lyanna. In essence, it's trying to disprove a theory with another theory, and it may hence not qualify as an individual counterpoint...but I think it bears mentioning.

    (-) If Wylla is Jon's mother, why would Ned not tell his wife and Jon? It was clear that it was a silent point of contention between Cat and Ned [AGoT 65-66], and Jon certainly had problems with not knowing [AGoT 448].
    Both Cat and Jon 'knew' that Ned had cheated on his wife...so why withhold who it was? Might have given both of them peace of heart.

    (+) Ned obviously felt very bad about the matter, and would not speak of the one time he disgraced himself...even Robert has to press him on it.


    2. Ned and Ashara

    Pro:

    (+) Ned and Ashara were in love. A number of references point at this:

    a) The rumors that reached Cat's ears, regarding Jon's parenthood, points at Ashara as the mother [NOTE: quote needed]

    b) The story Meera tells Bran, hints at Ned falling in love with Ashara Dayne during the tourney at Harrenhal [ASoS 279-283]

    c) In the godswood in the Red Keep, Cersei speculates that Ashara is Jon's mother [AGOT 487]


    (-) All of these are hearsay. Cersei and Cat hear rumors whose origin is unknown. Meera's story is more than likely
    learned from their father - who we do know was at Harrenhal - but does not in fact say anything about Ashara being Jon's mother.

    (++) Though these points may perhaps be of dubious value as evidence for Ashara as Jon's mother, they _do_ hint at some sort of love interest between Ned Stark and Ashara Dayne. And such a connection does lend a bit of creedence to the Ned+Ashara theory...on average, people who are in love are slightly more likely to have children, than people who are completely indifferent to eachother.

    (+) Moreover, Ashara apparently killed herself. Losing her lovechild to Ned might have pushed her over the edge.

    (-) That could just as well have been prompted by her losing Ned to a political marriage...or, for that matter; losing her brother, slain by the man she loved.


    Contra:

    (-) The timetables do not work out. We have it from Martin (SSM #34) that Jon is eight or nine months older than Dany.
    Dany was born pretty much nine months after the Sack of King's Landing. We know of two incidents where Ned and Ashara met - the tourney at Harrenhal, and when Ned delivered Dawn to Ashara, after the war was over.
    Since the war spanned a full year, the first incident is too early, and the latter way too late, in order for Jon to have been conceived there. Jaime was 15 at Harrenhal, and 17 when he slew Aerys.

    [NTS: Markus wrote a set-up for the timeline on page 3 - check up later]

    (+) However, GRRM notes in the same mail that Ashara was not nailed to the floor at Starfall (or, for that matter, Dorne). She and Ned could conceivably have met in the intermediate, and done the nasty then, unbeknownst to us readers. Ned was probably all over the kingdom...who's to say that Ashara could not have met him _somewhere_? If she loved Ned, is it unthinkable that she could have sought him out? There are rumors aplenty, at least...

    (--) How reasonable is it that this could happen during the war (when Ned supposedly was occupied with other things)...and without anyone finding out?

    (++) Well, Martin seems to hint in his mail that something like this could have happened. Why would he bring up the point if he didn't hint at it?

    (---) Or, he could just be obfuscating the matter.

    (0) Note that the argument against Ashara does not hold in the same way against the commoner Wylla, as per the information we have today...Wylla might not be Dornish at all for all we know, and may have met Ned early in the campaign.


    (-) If Ashara is the mother, what's with Ned telling Robert it's Wylla? Why would he lie for no good reason? Moreover, why would he not tell his family, who's agonizing over it (Cat and Jon, at least)?

    (+) Well, Ned could be trying to save Ashara's reputation, and made a cover-story...much like in the R+L scenario.

    (--) In that case, Ned failed miserably, considering how the Ashara rumor was all over Westeros (point in fact: Cat in Winterfell and Cersei at KL)

    (+) Moreover, telling Jon about a mother who killed herself right after Ned took Jon away from her, may not have been seen as a pleasant task for Ned.


    (-) If Ashara is the mother, why on earth did Ned take the baby away from her? Taking a love child from the woman who recently lost her brother, is not exactly a wise thing to do. A responsible guy like Ned should know that. Besides, Dorne is easier on bastards than the rest of the realm.



    3. Rhaegar and Lyanna


    (0) This theory is built up from a number of mental and oral comments from various characters in the books, which, taken together, seem to suggest a scenario where Rhaegar and Lyanna conceived a child at the Tower of Joy...and that that child is in fact Jon Snow.

    Considering the vastly greater amount of discussion centering around this theory, as well as a fairly fleshed out scenario of what the people pro Rhaegar and Lyanna think happened, I will first present a short breakdown of the scenario [NOTE: if some pro-people does not agree with the way I present it, or have additional comments, please tell me!], before taking on the various evidence supporting it (and the potential debunking thereof).


    The scenario:

    At the tourney of Harrenhal; Robert, Rhaegar, Ned, Lyanna, and a number of other characters attend. Rhaegar wins the jousting, and instead of crowning his wife Elia as the Queen of Love and Beauty (or whatever the hell it was), he crowns Lyanna...much to the shock of the bystanders.
    Some time later, Rhaegar steals Lyanna away and leaves for Dorne, setting events in motion that ends in war...and ultimately, his own death.

    Before that happens, however, he spent some time with Lyanna Stark in the so-called Tower of Joy...where, as the theory goes, Jon Snow was conceived. Ned Stark later finds his sister dying, and give her a promise to raise Jon as his own.
    Ned makes good on the promise, and decides to leave the world in the dark as to Jon's real parents, considering that should the truth be known, Jon would be in deadly peril...foremostly from Ned's best friend, Robert Baratheon.

    ---



    Pro:

    1. The Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy

    (+) Three very prominent members of Aerys' Kingsguard sits put at the Tower of Joy, when Ned comes to find his sister. As Kingsguard, hey're sworn to defend the Royal Family.
    They were not at the Trident, where Rhaegar died. They were not at King's Landing, where Aerys, Elia and her children died. They did not seek out the surviving Targaryens at Dragonstone.

    So, one assumes that they must have had something important to defend there - like Rhaegar's son...
    [NOTE: some relevant excerpts of the ToJ sequence would be nice here, methinks...]

    (-) But Jon would be a bastard. Why should the Kingsguard care about protecting him?

    (++) Well, Rhaegar could have married Lyanna as well (not unheard of with the Targaryens), or he could simply have ordered the Kingsguard to protect Jon, and screw their own feelings about the matter.

    2. Ned's various reflections, and other oddities

    (+) A recurring theme during Ned's PoV in AGoT, is his flashbacks to the events at the Tower of Joy - the slaying of the three Kingsguard, Lyanna dying, and a last promise she asked from him.

    This promise would be that Ned would raise Jon as his own son.
    [NOTE TO SELF (NTS): assorted quotes at Kate's page]

    (-) The promise could also refer to Ned bringing Lyanna's bones to the Winterfell crypt. [NOTE: I'm fairly sure there's a quote in AGoT regarding this - where Ned tells Robert that it was Lyanna's wish to be buried in the crypts. Could someone indulge me...?]

    (++) Why would Ned be haunted by such memories for a promise fulfilled? Once the remains were returned to the crypt, Ned had done what he should. A promise regarding Jon, however, is something he must 'fulfill' every day - he has to lie to everyone: Robert, his wife, Jon himself...this ties nicely in with the heavy price he supposedly paid, as well. [AGOT 38


    (+) Ned's reflections about lies:

    a) Ned's been living his lies for fourteen years - same timespan as Jon's age, at that point - still haunting his dreams

    b) Lies can have honor

    c) Lies can be made for love

    Not something you'd expect from a supposedly honorable man, is it? Unless he had experience with lying for a good reason...like protecting Jon. If you think a lying Stark is odd, a _cheating_ Stark is still odder, no?

    (-) The supposed lies could refer to something else - for instance, an affair between Ned and Ashara Dayne. Ned may have wanted to protect the reputation of the latter, and lies for her sake. Starks aren't rigidly honorable anyway - just look at Robb Stark! They do have 'slip-ups'.

    (++) But then, Ned also reflects that he keeps his oaths. How does that square with him cheating on his wife?

    (--) Perhaps Ned once slipped badly (for instance, by cheating on his wife), and vowed to keep his oaths _from that point on_?


    (+) Ned seems to not think of Jon as his own son at a few instances - when he tells Cat that Jon is 'his blood'[AGOT 65], and later in the godswood, when he reflects on Cersei and her crimes [AGOT 486].

    (-) So, now Ned Stark is doing his utmost _not_ to lie? How does that square with all that was said about him before, 'living his lies'?

    (++) Well, Ned Stark may be making a little compromise here...he does not like to lie, so he tries to lie as little as possible, without giving anything away. Hence his reluctance to talk about Wylla to Robert Baratheon, for instance.


    (+) Ned reflects that some things are too dangerous to be shared with anyone...this would refer to Jon, no doubt.

    (-) Well, isn't that true in general as well? Must it be a reference to Jon?

    [NOTE: again, various refs and quotes are needed. Check Kate's page first - I will make good use of that , so keep that in mind and avoid needless double-work]

    3. The Bed of Blood

    (+) Lyanna was lying in a bed of blood - something that has been referred to as tied to child birth.
    [NOTE: refers to Mirri Maz Duur in AGoT - quote needed]
    Robert claimed that Rhaegar raped hundreds of times...whether this is true or not, one must assume that Rhaegar spent enough time at the ToJ to feasibly get Lyanna with child. [AGoT 113]

    (-) Lyanna could be bleeding because of some mortal illness we don't know of; it doesn't have to be childbirth.


    4. The Winter Rose

    (+) An analogy can be made to Lyanna and Jon connection, from the recurring theme of blue 'winter roses'.
    Ygritte tells Jon the story of Bael the Bard, who evidently stole the only daughter of the then Lord Stark - leaving only a winter rose on her pillow. The daughter later reappears, pregnant, and gives birth to a son.

    This ties in with a number of Ned's flashbacks (the crowning at Harrenhal - winter roses; dying Lyanna clutching the - apparently - same roses), Dany's vision (a blue flower growing in a wall of ice), and Theon's vision (Lyanna crowned with winter roses).
    Of these, Dany's vision appears particularly significant, as one must assume that she does not have any idea about the connection of Jon and winter roses. [NOTE: various quotes/refs needed; among them some will no doubt be found at Kate's page]

    (-) The winter rose may refer to Jon's Stark blood, instead of a connection to Lyanna

    (-) Moreover, how reliable are these visions, anyway? Not all visions appears to come true...Dany has visions of her son Rhaego, the Stallion Who Did Not Quite Mount the World. [NOTE: quote needed...I think it may be in the House of the Undying] What qualifies one vision as more true than the other?


    5. The Dragon has Three Heads

    (+) Dany has a vision of Rhaegar, Elia and Aegon (his second child). Rhaegar says 'There must be one more. The dragon has three heads.' [ACoK 527 _or_ 701! NOTE: seems to be a discrepancy between cteresa and Kate's refs]
    From this, one would deduce that Rhaegar - through some prophetic dream or scroll - has found out that there should be a third Targ kiddo springing from his loins...only, he apparently died before he could conceive anymore children. OTOH, if he got Jon with Lyanna, the equation would be set aright.

    (-) Well, isn't Rhaegar wrong? He apparently expected Aegon to be the number one honcho after him, and he suffered from a bad case of bashed-in head. Could there not be an alternative explanation that neither we nor Rhaegar thought of? Perhaps Aegon really _didn't_ die in KL, and he's the third of another triumvirate - Dany, Aegon and Aemon?
    [NOTE: Can someone _please_ take this particular argument off my hands? Haaruk, where the hell are you when you're needed???]


    Contra:

    (-) General debunking point regarding Ned's dream about the Tower of Joy incident...he was badly injured at the time of the dream, and delirious with fever. As such, it could be questioned whether all the relevant points in here could be taken as canon.
    [NOTE: this point needs further elaboration - which of the points in Ned's dream are corroborated by the story as a whole, and which are not? Example - the three Kingsguard died there - that's pretty conclusive - while the 'bed of blood' is not, AFAICT]

    (-) But if Rhaegar and Lyanna are the parents, what's with the two independent references to Wylla as Jon's mother?

    (+) It's part of the cover story. Obviously, Ned could not snub his friend, the King, and tell him to take his nosy ass elsewhere...so he'd have to come up with a lie. If someone thought to look more deeply into the matter, this lie had best be corroborated by someone - like Wylla herself.

    (--) If it's a cover story, the Daynes are apparently helping out. Why on earth would they help the man who is responsible for the death of Ser Arthur Dayne, and possibly Ashara Dayne as well?

    (++) Well, perhaps it's because of Jon's Targaryen blood. Ser Arthur Dayne was clearly loyalist, and it's not farfetched to extrapolate that to the rest of his house as well.

    6. Character appreciations

    (0) Obviously, whether or not the various characters act 'in character', so to speak, would be of relevance to the
    Rhaegar+Lyanna theory, thus the most important people get's a closer examination here.
    For some of them, we have only other people's characterizations...which, of course, may be colored by their own biases and standpoints.

    RHAEGAR

    (0) One of the questions that may be of some relevance, is whether Rhaegar stole Lyanna against her will, and raped her...or if the two loved eachother, and eloped together.
    While the latter is not - objectively speaking - strictly necessary wrt Rhaegar begetting Lyanna with a child (which we know he had ample opportunity to do, rape or not), it would lend more creedence to the supposition that Lyanna made Ned promise to raise Jon as his own (crf Ned's 'Promise me' reflections).

    Another possibility is that Rhaegar acted the way he did because of a prophecy, and convinced Lyanna about his intentions, and made her go along with his plan (of begetting her with a child).


    (+) Dany recollects stories from Viserys about Rhaegar fighting and dying on the Trident, for the woman he loved.
    [AGoT 3

    (-) Viserys is a vengeful nutcase, and hopelessly biased.


    (+) Ned thought that Rhaegar would not frequent brothels. [AGoT 381] That sounds like Ned's thinking of Rhaegar as virtuous...strange, considering Rhaegar supposedly raped his sister.

    (-) That could be one of those Targaryen oddities. Like Viserys says - 'The dragon does not mate with lesser beasts'. [NOTE - ref needed] A prostitute would qualify as 'lesser' in the minds of most of the nobility. So, Rhaegar could be 'virtuous' and evil, both at the same time.


    (+) Robert recollects how he killed Rhaegar, and then says something odd: "Rhaegar...Rhaegar won, damn him. I killed him, [...]. Yet somehow, he still won. He has Lyanna now, and I have her." [AGoT 43 (note: 'her' refers to Cersei)
    Doesn't this sound like Robert may have - deep down - acknowledged that Lyanna may not have been raped by Rhaegar, but in fact fallen in love with him?

    (-) That's awfully vague. We don't know what Robert really meant by that...it could simply be that Rhaegar and Lyanna share something - namely death - while Robert is stuck in the living world with Cersei. We never, ever see Robert say something positive about Rhaegar, after all.


    (+) Rhaegar crowned Lyanna at the tourney of Harrenhal, in front of everyone. [AGoT 631] This sounds like he's wooing her. Would a rapist bother to do such a thing?

    (-) Could simply be a matter of Targaryen arrogance from the Dragon Prince. It was certainly an outrageous thing to do...right in front of the eyes of his own wife, Lyanna's bethrothed and Lyanna's family.


    (+) Ser Jorah Mormont, upon observing Dany's protection of the Lhazareen slaves, likens her to Rhaegar. In that light, Rhaegar doesn't sound like all that bad a chap.

    (-) Mormont may just have been aiming at make himself enamored in Dany's eyes - by likening her to the brother she hero-worships.


    (-) Bran says Rhaegar raped Lyanna. [AGoT 733]

    (+) Bran is parroting the general sentiment in Westeros - most people seem to believe that Rhaegar raped Lyanna; either because they truly believe so, or because saying otherwise would call Robert's wrath on their heads.


    (+) Rhaegar's life seems to have been heavily influenced by prophecies. Ser Barristan tells Dany a story about the bookish kid who turned into a knight, for instance. [ASoS 91]
    Also, Dany's vision of Rhaegar in the House of Undying [ACoK 527], seems to hint that Rhaegar was aware of a prophecy of him having a third child.


    (+) More from Barristan - Rhaegar is remembered with great love. [ASoS 264] Barristan does seem to have very high thoughts of Rhaegar overall. [ASoS 815]


    (+) Meera's story - Rhaegar doesn't sound like an insensitive rapist, seeing as he sings a song so sad it made Lyanna cry. [ASoS 281]



    LYANNA

    (0) What feelings did Lyanna have towards Rhaegar? Would it be in character of her to elope with Rhaegar, or fight him tooth and nail?


    (+) She held some blackened roses in her hands when Ned found her. [AGoT 43-44] It seems likely that these are the same that Rhaegar gave her in the tourney. Would she hold on to those if she didn't have feelings for Rhaegar?


    (+) Ned said Lyanna was willful, independent and generally strongwilled. [AGoT 221, 308; ASoS 193] Seems she would have taken umbrage at being married away to an obvious adulterer like Robert against her will [AGoT 379]...perhaps so much as to decide to elope with Rhaegar.

    (-) The Starks are honorable. Lyanna would not shirk her duty to her family...which, in this case, would be to marry Robert.

    (++) The Starks are like everyone else in one fashion...they are not the same. Ned is described as a sober, quiet and honorable man...Brandon is described as a hothead, and a hotblooded person with an appetite for life [NOTE: ref needed - Jaime's appreciation of Brandon, in ACoK]. Lyanna sounds more like the elder brother.


    (+) Lyanna seems to have been - to some extent - impressed with Rhaegar; the winter roses (which she loves) [AGoT 631] and the song he sang at the tourney. [ASoS 281]



    NED

    (0) If Lyanna had a child with Rhaegar, few (if any) would argue that the honorable Ned Stark, who loved his sister, would deny her the request of raising the child as his own. Instead, the questions raised has been why Ned never would tell anyone about it.

    (+) Ned had ample reason to keep Jon's origin a secret...Robert Baratheon, with his insane hatred of Targaryens, would be in a fury over hearing about Jon being Rhaegar's son with Lyanna. To ensure that he would not have to fight his best friend, he would have to keep his mouth shut...even invent a lie to cover up who Jon's real father is.

    (-) But surely he could tell his wife? We all saw how Cat resented Jon's presence...the living proof of Ned's supposed infidelity. [AGoT 65-66] If she knew that Ned had not cheated on her, she'd no doubt love Jon as her own, nice guy that he is.
    Moreover, Jon himself clearly was hurt by not knowing, as well as Cat's resentment towards him. [AGoT 448, 56
    Could not he have been told?

    (++) As Jeff likes to say, the only way to keep a secret is to tell NO ONE. If Ned told Jon, could Jon keep his mouth shut? And if Ned told Cat...well, Cat might just end up seeing Jon as a threat to her own children, knowing that the King would turn into a murderous fury, should the truth come out. Ned even speculates what Cat would do, if it was "her children's life, against that of Jon" [AGoT 486]. So Ned lied, and took the cost that came with the lie, knowing that the truth could bring death to his family.


    [NTS: cteresa has lined up quite a few references at page four - check against Kate's page, to see if there are any that Kate has not provided]

    [NTS: doublecheck the timeline discussion at the bottom of page 4 for important details. Head is not reliable per the moment.]


    Credits: This FAQ contribution would be far less than it is today, without all those nosy people who cannot content themselves with the conventional wisdom, but has to question everything.

    Thanks goes to Ran, Son of Hot Pie, Markus, Ashamanic, pfitz, Demandred, cteresa, Kate, Lord Manwoody, Stranger, Slurktan, Krafus, Trebla, snake, Arya, Jeordhi, Laughing Storm, Gregor Clegane, Arakasi, Maia, Eddard Dayne, JalynD, Angalin, Ser Davek, Ygritte, Padraig, The Sek Kings Daughter, Reuben Stark, Voland, Gigei, AshaShan, Minibro, Tinuin, Cerys the Patryn, Lady Rene...and last, but not least, all those worthy people who have been hashing this question out in the past, but whose names have been claimed by oblivion.
     
  12. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Daenarys Visions don't seem to fit neatly with R+L = J ... that said the prophecies seems to be a lot of ifs, buts and maybes :)

    Read them here as otherwise post is too massive :)

    http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/Prophecies/
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  13. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Tower of the Hand's FAQ addresses many of those questions as well. :) http://www.towerofthehand.com/articles/faqs.html

    @ Elladan: Hey, half of those posts were to irritate Crusader. As you might have noticed, he and I have a long-lasting (but friendly) feud going on. :D

    And as for the coughing... it's 'cause I feel rude interrupting my esteemed elders. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  14. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ^ Well as I'm an oldie (apparently) I give you leave to butt in when you like without all the coughing & spluttering :D
     
  15. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Why thank you. I think. :p
     
  16. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ^ I know you don't mean that, just like you're not really being respectful to your elders by *cough*ing :p :D
     
  17. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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  18. The Onion Knight

    The Onion Knight New Member

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    Taken from The Tower of the Hand, an ASoIaF encyclopedia.
    (I completely believe and support this theory, and I'm posting it here just so that anyone who hasn't read it in full can see the evidence piling up. It's by no means conclusive, but every time I read it, it seems more and more true. Sorry if this has already been brought up or discussed.)


    III. RHAEGAR TARGARYEN AND LYANNA STARK

    At first glance, this suggestion seems ludicrous. Rhaegar and Lyanna? There's no direct evidence or personal claims to support this, as opposed to both Ashara Dayne and Wylla. Yet there are subtle, benign clues. Lots of them, in fact. And the more one looks at them, the more one is convinced that this could be the answer. The theory is a complicated one. First, the entire possible story will be given, in order for the reader to gain full understanding of the theory, and then I'll provide various pieces of evidence for each portion of this hypothosis, complete with quotes and page numbers (and lots of 'em!). Finally, I'll ponder on why this could have happened.

    1) The Story

    Rhaegar Targaryen married Elia Martell, and fathered two children off her, Rhaenys and Aegon. Yet the marriage was political, and at the Harrenhal tourney in the year of the false spring, Rhaegar met his true love--Lyanna Stark. Together, the pair fell in love, and ran off together some time after, to the Tower of Joy in the Red Mountains of Dorne.

    There, Rhaegar impregnated Lyanna. However, Rhaegar had to go leave to fight Robert, and three of the Kingsguard were sent to the Tower of Joy to protect Lyanna and her unborn child. Somehow, Eddard and his battle companions discovered Lyanna's location. They assumed that Lyanna was abducted by Rhaegar, and did not join him by her own free will.

    Eddard and the northmen reach the Tower of Joy, and battle ensues with the Kingsguard. At the end, only Eddard and the crannogman Howland Reed are left alive. Eddard enters the tower to find Lyanna. She has given birth to the baby, but, due to complications of childbirth, she is dying. She makes Eddard promise not to reveal the child's true parentage to anyone, lest Robert's hatred of Targaryens lead him to kill the child. Then she dies.

    Eddard names the child Jon. He, Jon and possibly Howland all ride to Starfall, to return the greatsword Dawn which used to belong to Arthur Dayne until he was killed in the fighting. There, perhaps Eddard and Wylla conspire to pretend Wylla is Jon's mother, to protect Jon. Also, Ashara kills herself (for the possible reasons, see above).

    Eddard then rides north with Jon, claiming the son is his and Wylla's to protect Jon from Robert's Targaryen hatred.

    2) The Evidence

    a) Rhaegar's Personality--True Love With Lyanna?

    At the beginning of the series, the reader comes off with a general disliking of Rhaegar Targaryen. However, most opinions about Rhaegar comes from Robert. While Robert makes Rhaegar out to be an evil man and a rapist, this could be because Rhaegar stole away Lyanna, Robert's true love. Clearly, no other character has this dislike for Rhaegar, and most other characters seems to repsect and adore him. Just a brief selection:

    He {Ned} wondered if Rhaegar had frequented brothels. Somehow he thought not.
    --AGOT p381.

    The knight {Jorah} gave her a curious look. "You are your brother's sister, in truth."

    "Viserys?" She {Dany} did not understand.

    "No," he answered. "Rhaegar."
    --GoT, pg.668

    {Dany said,} "There is some good to be said of my father, surely?"

    "There is, Your Grace. Of him, and those who came before him. Your grandfather Jaehaerys and his brother, their father Aegon, your mother... and Rhaegar. Him most of all."
    --ASOS p815

    So it appears that Eddard, Jorah and Barristan all disagree with Robert and think that Rhaegar was a fine, upstanding citizen... hardly the sort of man who would abduct a young girl against her will. Perhaps even Robert realizes this:

    Confused, the king shook his head. "Rhaegar... Rhaegar won, damn him. I killed him, Ned, I drove that spike right through his black armor into his black heart and he died at my feet... Yet somehow he still won. He has Lyanna now, and I have her."
    --AGOT p430

    The quote might possibly be interpreted as Robert admitting that Lyanna went willingly with Rhaegar. For this seems like a likely possibility--Lyanna fell in love with Rhaegar, and went off with him. We know she had no great love for Robert:

    "Robert will never keep to one bed," Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm's End. "I hear he has gotten a child on some young girl in the Vale." Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. "Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man's nature."
    --AGOT p379

    So clearly Lyanna did not truly love Robert, and Rhaegar was not the evil man who Robert made him out to be. So it seems likely that the pair fell in love, and we have some proof to support this. For example, at the tourney at Harrenhal in the year of the false spring, Rhaegar won the jousting contest. But instead of crowning his own wife Elia the queen of love and beauty, he crowned Lyanna (ASOS p486). Ned reflects on this while hallucinating:

    Ned remembered the moment when all the smiles died, when Prince Rhaegar Targaryen urged his horse past his own wife, the Dornish princess Elia Martell, to lay the queen of beauty's laurel in Lyanna's lap. He could see it still: a crown of winter roses, as blue as frost.

    Ned Stark reached out his hand to grasp the flowery crown, but beneath the pale blue petals, the thorns lay hidden...
    --AGOT p631

    This is obviously a significant moment, for Eddard to remember it while locked in a cell. And we have another reference to Lyanna falling for Rhaegar at the Harrenhal tourney, from Meera's story about the Knight of the Laughing Tree:

    "The dragon prince sang a song so sad it made the wolf maid sniffle, but when her pup brother teased her for crying she poured wine over his head."
    --ASOS p281

    The dragon prince is Rhaegar; the wolf maid is Lyanna. It certainly seems implied that she is falling in love with him. And another hint from Meera:

    "And the mystery knight should defeat all challengers and name the wolf maid the queen of love and beauty."

    "She was," said Meera. "But that's a sadder story."
    --ASOS p283

    And then we have several other references which are ambiguous, almost deliberately so:

    Yet sometimes Dany would picture it the way it had been... Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved...
    ---AGOT p30

    And when Dany sees visions in the House of the Undying:

    Rubies flew like drops of blood from the chest of a dying prince, and he sank to his knees in the water and with his last breath murmured a woman's name...
    ---ACOK p706

    In both these quotes, GRRM avoids using the word 'Elia' and instead uses 'the woman' or 'the woman he loved' suggesting that it could be someone besides Elia... Lyanna, perhaps?

    b) The Kingsguard, the Tower of Joy and Lyanna's Death

    On page 424 of A Game of Thrones, Eddard is dreaming while under the influence of the milk of the poppy for his injured leg. During this time, he has a dream about his fight with the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy. GRRM has stated that this dream is not completely literal (Ned was dreaming, after all) but some basic facts can be gleaned from it.

    One is that three men of the Kingsguard, Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Gerold Hightower, and Ser Oswell Whent, were present at the Tower of Joy. This is curious since, as far as the reader knows, there is no royal blood present at the Tower of Joy--just Lyanna. Then why are they there, instead of with Viserys or Daenerys? (Rhaegar and Aerys are dead by this time.)

    The obvious reason is, of course, that Lyanna is carrying Rhaegar's baby, and the Kingsguard are there to protect that portion of the royal blood. But would Rhaegar trust these men with such a secret? Probably. Barristan told Dany that Rhaegar's oldest and truest friend was Arthur Dayne (ASOS p90), so he was probably just the man to trust with such a secret.

    The Kingsguard evidentally had an effect on Eddard. On AGOT p502, just the sight of three men in white cloaks sends a chill through him.

    Then there comes the curious matter of Lyanna's death. From Eddard's thoughts on AGOT p43, we learn that she died of a fever, in a room that smelled of 'blood and roses.' Since the fighting took place outside the tower, we can theorize that the blood came from Lyanna's childbirth. We know the blood came from Lyanna, because on AGOT p424, Eddard remembers 'Lyanna in her bed of blood.' Her bed of blood--the blood came from her, and blood is not usually the effect of a fever. And GRRM has been known to liken this term to birthing--on AGOT p674, Mirri Maz Duur says she knows the secrets of the 'bloody bed,' meaning birthing.

    c) "Promise Me, Ned"

    "I was with her when she died," Ned reminded the king. "She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father." He could still hear her at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave his word, the fear had gone out of his sister's eyes.
    ---AGOT p43

    From the quote above, Eddard implies that his promise to Lyanna was to bury her at Winterfell. However, he recalls the quote throughout the book at the strangest times and places, suggesting that the promise meant something more. From above, the simple phrase 'the fear had gone out of his sister's eyes' suggests that the promise is something deeper--why should she be so scared about where she is buried? It has been suggested that what Eddard was really promising was to keep Jon's identity a secret, and this can be supported by the manner in which he recalls Lyanna's words.

    "You avenged Lyanna at the Trident," Ned said, halting beside the king. Promise me, Ned, she had whispered.
    --AGOT p116

    This quote could be explained away by the fact that Eddard referred to Lyanna. But Robert killing Rhaegar doesn't have much to do with anything if Ned promised to bury Lyanna at Winterfell. The quote fits better if Ned's promise was concerning Jon, because it would fit with Robert's hatred of Targaryens.

    He remembered Rhaegar's infant son, the red ruin of his skull, and the way the king had turned away, as he had turned away in Darry's audience hall not so long ago. He could still hear Sansa pleading, as Lyanna had pleaded once.
    ---AGOT p199

    Now this is interesting. Why in the world would Eddard compare Sansa pleading for Lady's life to Lyanna pleading to be buried in Winterfell--especially in the context of Robert's hatred of Targaryens? This references makes absolutely no sense unless one accepts that Lyanna was pleading to keep Jon's identity secret from Robert.

    "I will," Ned promised her. That was his curse. Robert would swear undying love and forget them before evenfall, but Ned Stark kept his vows. He thought of the promises he made to Lyanna as she lay dying, and the price he'd paid to keep them.
    --AGOT p380

    Again, this doesn't make much sense in the context of Ned promising Lyanna to bury her at Winterfell. What price would he had to have paid to do this? If the promise concerned Jon, on the other hand, the quote makes sense. Ned has certainly paid a price by claiming Jon is his own son, especially with Catelyn.

    The next quote comes from Eddard's dream:

    "Promise me, Ned," Lyanna's statue whispered. She wore a garland of pale blue roses, and her eyes wept blood.
    --AGOT p501

    Eddard seems to have a lot of violent and troubled dreams concerning his promise to Lyanna. Why? It seems unnatural for him to place that much importance on simply burying her at Winterfell.

    "Eat the bastard. Don't care if you choke on him. Promise me, Ned." {said Robert.}

    "I promise." "Promise me, Ned," Lyanna's voice echoed.
    --AGOT p505

    This quote can simply be attributed to Eddard likening his promises to Robert on his deathbed to his promises to Lyanna on hers.

    So with so many references to these promises, if seems like they were very important in Eddard's mind; certainly more important than ensuring Lyanna was buried at Winterfell. They could very well be about Jon; if not, then of something of equal importance.

    d) Blue Winter Roses

    Along with 'Promise me, Ned,' Eddard also remembers blue roses at the strangest times. This can also be attribuited to Lyanna. She loved the smell of blue winter roses. (AGOT p631) And the crown for the queen of love and beauty that Rhaegar tossed her was made of the flower. (AGOT p631). Of course, Ned's references to blue roses could just be due to his grief over how Lyanna died, but they could mean something more...

    Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned... Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black... "I bring her flowers when I can," {Ned} said. "Lyanna was... fond of flowers."
    --AGOT p43

    The room in which Lyanna died smelled of roses, and she held some in her hand. Interesting. If Rhaegar knew that they were her favorite flower, he could have been trying to make her happy.

    As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.
    --AGOT p425

    Her {Cersei's} eyes burned, green fire in the dusk, like the lioness that was her sigil. "The night of our wedding feast, the first time we shared a bed, he called me by your sister's name. He was on top of me, in me, stinking of wine, and he whispered Lyanna."

    Ned thought of pale blue roses, and for a moment he wanted to weep.
    --AGOT p480

    "Promise me, Ned," Lyanna's statue whispered. She wore a garland of pale blue roses, and her eyes wept blood.
    --AGOT p501

    The slim, sad girl who wore a crown of pale blue roses and a white gown spattered with gore could only be Lyanna.
    --ACOK p809

    The real clincher comes with a vision Dany has in the House of the Undying.

    A blue flower grew from a chink in a wall of ice, and filled the air with sweetness.
    --ACOK p707

    This quote strongly implies that Lyanna's blue roses have something to do with the Wall (the 'wall of ice') This makes perfect sense because Jon, the product of Lyanna and her blue roses, is on the Wall.

    One more final clue comes on ACOK p746. Ygritte tells Jon a story about Bael the Bard. Bael picked a blue winter rose from Winterfell's greenhouse unasked; a year later, he returned the son he fathered off Lord Stark's daughter in payment for that rose. Since Rhaegar is known to be a great fan of music and songs, it is likely that he heard this story, and was fulfilling his romantic outlook on life by imitating Bael in the blue roses.

    e) Lies, Broken Promises and Troubled Dreams

    Since Eddard is described as an honorable man, one would think that he would feel guilty over the fact that he is lying to the world about Jon's parentage. Well, he certainly feels guilty over something. Throughout the book, there are numerous references to the fact that he feels guilty for telling lies. These lies most likely have to do with Jon or something as equally serious.

    Troubled sleep was no stranger to him {Ned}. He had lived lies for fourteen years, yet they still haunted him at night.
    --AGOT p115

    Since Jon is fourteen years old at this time, this strongly implies that Eddard's fourteen years of lies are about Jon. The fact that they still haunt him at night fits in with Eddard's dreams about blue roses and the Tower of Joy.

    "She whined and looked at me and a felt so 'shamed, but it was right, wasn't it? The queen would have killed her."

    "It was right," her father said. "And even the lie was... not without honor."
    --AGOT p222

    Eddard could easily be comparing Arya's honorable lies to his own.

    Some secrets are safer kept hidden. So secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust. {Ned thought}
    --AGOT p357

    This seems to imply that Ned has secrets of his own.

    The rain had driven everyone under their roofs. It beat down on Ned's head, warm and relentless as old guilts.
    --AGOT p379

    The deceit made him {Ned} feel soiled. The lies we tell for love, he thought. May the gods forgive me.
    --AGOT p504

    All these above quotes seen to suggest that Eddard has been lying about something for fourteen years. If not Jon, then what? There are probably other options, but Jon seems the most likely at this point.

    f) Thoughts Concerning Jon

    Most of the above quotes had to do with pointing evidence at Lyanna or Rhaegar. However, a sizeable number of quotes do suggest that Jon is more than just a normal bastard boy. For one, Eddard never seems to refer to Jon as his son, which is interesting.

    "Never ask me about Jon," he said, cold as ice. "He is my blood, and that is all you need to know."
    --AGOT p65

    Note that Eddard calls Jon 'my blood,' not 'my son.' This could be a hint that Eddard is still trying to tell as much truth as possible, because Jon is still his nephew if he is Lyanna's son. And then, on AGOT p486:

    Ned thought, If it came to that, the life of some child I did not know, against Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon, what would I do? Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body. He did not know. He prayed he never would.

    Eddard lists off all his children in his mind, but conveniently does not include Jon on the list. Interesting.

    Eddard then has some more thoughts about Jon while locked in a cell underneath the Red Keep, waiting to die.

    The thought of Jon filled Ned with a sense of shame, a sorrow too deep for words. If only he could see the boy again, sit and talk with him...
    --AGOT p635

    Why, out of all his children, does Eddard want to talk with Jon before he dies? Could he finally want to reveal to him the secret of his parentage? Of course, Ned could be wanting to do this even if Jon's mother was someone else, so this quote does not just apply to the Lyanna-Rhaegar scenario. Two pages earlier, Eddard asks Varys if he would deliver a letter. Perhaps Eddard wanted to put the secret of Jon's mother in that letter for Varys to deliver.

    Bran has an interesting dream which may add to the evidence.

    "I dreamed about the crow last night. The one with three eyes. He flew into my bedchamber and told me to come with him, so I did. We went down to the crypts. Father was there, and we talked. He was sad."

    "And why was that?" Luwin peered through his tube.

    "It was something to do about Jon, I think." The dream had been deeply disturbing, more so that any of the other crow dreams.
    --AGOT p730

    In the series thus far, most characters' dreams have hinted at being prophetic or somewhat magical. The fact that Eddard was trying to tell Bran that there was something about Jon in the crypts may suggest that a secret about Jon is down there--near Lyanna's statue, maybe?

    Jon has a similar dream:

    "I'm walking down this long empty hall... opening doors, shouting names... the castle is always empty... the stables are full of bones. That always scares me. I start to run, then, throwing open doors, climbing the tower three steps at a time, screaming for someone, for anyone. And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It's black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don't want to. I'm afraid of what might be waiting for me... I scream that I'm not a Stark, that this isn't my place, but it's no good, I have to go down anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream... that's when I always wake."
    --AGOT p267

    This also seems to hint that Jon also has some sort of destiny in the crypts--again, perhaps his heritage? One more thing seems to hint at Jon's parents:

    "King," croaked the raven. The bird flapped across the air to land on Mormont's shoulder. "King," it said again, strutting back and forth.
    "He likes that word," Jon said, smiling.

    "An easy word to say. An easy word to like."

    "King," the bird said again.

    "I think he means for you to have a crown, my lord."

    "The realm has three kings already, and that's two too many for my liking." Mormont stroked the raven under the beak with his finger, but all the while his eyes never left Jon Snow.
    --ACOK p105

    This could be the random spoutings of a raven. Or it could be a subtle clue that Jon, as the only surviving son of Rhaegar, would be the king of Westeros if the Targaryens still reigned.

    Yet another possible clue comes in the physical appearances of the characters. It has been stated numerous times throughout the series that Jon and Arya are similar in physical appearance. Arya is also often compared to Lyanna, such as Eddard's statement on AGOT p221. Through logical sequence, Lyanna is indirectly being compared to Jon. (Lyanna looks like Arya and Arya looks like Jon.)

    As one last tidbit of evidence, it can be said that if Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, it fits with the series name 'A Song of Ice and Fire.' Jon seems to be shaping as the main character, and it woudl fit the series title if his parents were Rhaegar (fire) and Lyanna (ice).
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
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  19. hendy

    hendy New Member

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    I hate to scare everyone but the way GRRM likes to kill off people, who knows jon could be next just to throw everyone off!

    Bloody well better not happen!

    I agree with crusader, In my readings I havent found any like reason to like Rhaegar, buy found my self liking robert as the "hero" who won the war but lost everything

    The other thing is where they are talking about Rhaegar not being interested in fighting and so on but being more a scholar untill one day he was reading and then decided to take up fighting. Perhaps reading the prophecy of the pricnce who was promised and believed himself to be that, if he believed that, then he could do anything to fulfill that prophecy even if it was against his own nature.

    There are hints, but who knows if they are true hints or feints to lead you in the wrong direction, there are to many unknowns and guess work and interpretaions of quotes that could lead in opposite directions to know if we are even close to where GRRM is going to lead us!

    PS: I like the theory and think it is logical, but with grrm im scared to guess and think somthing least he kill them off or do the opposite (im still bitter about Robb and Ned)
     
  20. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    lol, still even grrm has to keep some of the main characters around, at least untill the end, then he might just kill everyone.....




    And there we go someone to agree on robert, I really enjoy reading flawed characters, i think they have a lot more truth to them and a lot more to convey than any cliche white knight like rhaegar. plus i like a good tragedy now and again.