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