A few weeks back, there was a thread on /r/asoiaf regarding Mance and his fate. In the thread, /u/BryndenBFish made the claim that Mance does not know about his son, and I countered that he most certainly did. He expressed an interest in hearing my arguments.
This quick essay is my answer. First I want to determine the scope of my argument; what is the question I am answering?
Did Mance Rayder know about his true son’s fate before he left Castle Black?
How did he learn this and from whom?
This essay provides answers to both, which I can in superficial terms as follows:
Yes, Mance Rayder knew about his son’s fate.
There are several people who may have told him.
The most prominent of which are Stannis, Melisandre and Val.
Means, motive and opportunity conspire to provide Mance Rayder with an undeniable opportunity to discover his son’s fate. Continue reading
Mance Rayder is the son of Duncan “the Small” Targaryen and Jenny of Oldstones.
Depending upon your beliefs regarding the legitimacy of Jon and/or Aegon, this may render Mance to have a more legitimate claim.
Mance may have been fathered (directly or –more likely– otherwise) by Bloodraven.
The ‘evidence’ for these arguments is largely unconventional and will be disagreeable to many readers. I don’t deny this.
This is because a large portion of based on analysis of motifs, prose, patterns. It’s not the kind of hard “in-world” facts that most of us know and love. It draws from an understanding of Martin’s other works and the prominent, pervasive themes throughout his career. It has elements of SWAG (scientific wild-ass guesses) based on existing precedents. It invokes some analysis of the text that may be symbolic (thus scientifically untestable) allusions. The idea culminates with an examination of elements that tie things together like a rug in The Big Lebowski. Continue reading