Ned’s promises

One of the first mysteries in ASOIAF that we are introduced to is in Ned’s first chapter.

He could hear her still 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 her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister’s eyes. 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. After that he remembered nothing. They had found him still holding her body, silent with grief. The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his. Ned could recall none of it. “I bring her flowers when I can,” he said. “Lyanna was … fond of flowers.”

These words, “promise me Ned”, echo throughout ASOIAF.

But what did Ned actually promise? And what promises does he punish himself for breaking?

TLDR: Ned couldn’t keep all his promises to Lyanna, and I suspect one of them was to tell Jon the truth of his parentage

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Hidden Targaryens

Everyone loves a hidden Targ theory, right?

I want to go over the popular, the accepted and the contentious tinfoil theories about whether various characters are knowing or unknowing hidden descendants of House Targaryen and its offshoots. Some of these has been touched on previously, when discussing “Aegon”/Young Griff.

TL-DR: There’s a lot of hidden Targ theories, but only a handful are credible – Jon Snow, Varys, and fAegon the hidden Blackfyre. 

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The Plodder’s Guide to Westeros’ Rulers

The title of this post is an homage to a former colleague, who used to do a professional development training lecture every year or so which he dubbed “the plodder’s guide to bail applications” – meaning that there is no great secret to a bail application, you can do a legally perfect one and be denied bail, or do a legally wobbly one and get bail for your client.

This is my plodder’s guide to the Kings and Queens of the Iron Throne of Westeros. Because frankly…. I frequently get totally confused, so if nothing else I’d like a short list for future reference just for myself!

This won’t be any detailed character analysis: just a dot point guide to the rulers of Westeros, from Aegon the Conqueror to Tommen the Beetslayer.

Fair warning: this is a long post. It got away from me when trying to figure out the Dance of the Dragons! 

I have also highlighted the moments of royal history that provide the relevant law to the Iron Throne’s succession – because this is going to be relevant to future plot points. Tommen is likely to die before he produces any “Baratheon” heirs, and then the realm will have to grapple with a field of potential applicants for the Throne – many of them women or girls.

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Daemon Blackfyre: Foundations of Rebellion

Daemon Waters, bastard son of Aegon the Unworthy and Princess Daena Targaryen, scandalously conceived while Daena was imprisoned in the Maidenvault after her brother-husband King Baelor refused to consummate their marriage, just before Baelor finally died from his piousness and fasting (perhaps helped along in this by a poison from his uncle Viserys II who grew tired of his nephews stuffing up royal governance of the realm.)

Given the ancient sword of Aegon the Conqueror, Blackfyre, when being knighted by his father at the age of 12, Daemon took the sword’s name for his own house. Eventually, he rebelled and claimed the Iron Throne for himself.


But why did he rebel?

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