Ice and fire do not mix. They are opposites. Fire destroys ice. If it is cold enough or if it takes the form of wind, ice destroys fire. But, they are also tools that promote balance in the earth. Too much summer heat and the earth becomes a desert. Too much cold for too long and the earth becomes a tundra. The land rests in winter so it can become fertile again in spring. Ice also preserves while fire cooks and warms. It is the same with the emotions: love and hate. Too much love and we become soft, unprepared for the harshness of life. Too much hate and we destroy one another. There has to be a balance, a combination of the two in order to achieve it. That is why Jon Snow is the key to the story, a song of ice and fire.
Rhaegar was attempting to fulfill prophecy. When we combine the Prince That Was Promised and the Azor Ahai reborn prophecies, we have a magical being who will wield a sword of fire against the evil incarnate Others, also known as White Walkers. From our deductions about the Knight of the Laughing Tree story and Lady Barbrey Dustin’s communication about Lyanna and Benjen being like centaurs (potential skin-changers), Lyanna Stark was not only from the line of the Kings of Winter – ice personified, she was also a telepath. Their union would produce a special child, a child of ice and fire, a skin changer from his mother, the third head of the dragon from the line of Aerys and Rhaella. While many commentators, mostly on Tumblr, concentrate on how Rhaegar was a “douchebag” and pedophile and rapist and an entitled cisgendered white male, there is an equally disturbing if not more disturbing aspect to Lyanna’s situation.
Rhaegar may be fairly described as being obsessed with prophecy. It is not hard to understand why. The prophecy of Daenys the Dreamer had saved the Targaryens and their dragons from the Doom of Valyria. His own birth at Summerhall had followed the fiery conflagration that consumed uncles and aunts, grandparents, and a significant portion of the Targaryen household. We suspect it was an attempt gone awry to wake dragons from stone. What Rhaegar may well have concluded on those many hours with his lyre at the ruins of Summerhall was that great things require great sacrifice, more specifically blood for fire. On Tyrion’s visit to the pyromancer’s guild, we learn that several jars of wildfire are missing. We know that the Tower of Joy is no more and Ned used its remains to create cairns for his fallen comrades.
It is not unreasonable to conclude that Rhaegar had arranged for the wildfire to be brought to the Tower of Joy to arrange what Cersei did to the Tower of the Hand – burn it, burn it to the ground with its human sacrifices inside. His purpose was to bring forth the Prince That Was Promised, Azor Ahai reborn under a bleeding star, amidst smoke and salt. The wildfire would provide the smoke, Lyanna the human sacrifice, the mountains of Dorne the salt, but where was the bleeding star? It too was there waiting to bleed for the cause – the Star of the Morning, Ser Arthur Dayne. It is a shame, however, that the prophecies, as usual, have been badly misread.
As noted elsewhere, Martin likes to play with the prophecies, have them fulfilled in unexpected ways, have them mislead, and give his readers games to play. It is no different than with the Prince That Was Promised and Azor Ahai reborn prophecies. For one thing, we have no idea if the prince is a dragon or a person. For another, we do not know if the two prophecies are covering the same person or entity. Last, but not least, we have no idea as to the specific verbiage of the Prince That Was Promised or the vision in the flames that inspired the Azor Ahai prediction.
It is entirely possible that it will not matter given that Melisandre (Melody plus Sander [defender of man]) will be misinterpreting as she usually does. She will burn Jon’s body with Ghost, Shireen, and dragon eggs and walk into the flames in order to recreate the Daenerys process that she thinks led to the birth of Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion, waking dragons from stone. Her black blood will make her the bleeding star (She is Shiera Seastar’s daughter, thus Melody Seastar.), the blood magic of sacrifice will cause Jon to be reborn amidst the smoke of the funeral pyre and the snow, which has been misinterpreted by the desert dwellers of Asshai for salt. Longclaw will be his Lightbringer as Dawn was for Azor Ahai, the Last Hero, when plunged into the heart of Nissa Nissa, his moon and stars (Dawn is from the heart of a fallen star.). Longclaw is Valyrian or dragon steel forged with dragon fire and blood magic (human sacrifice).
There is no little Christology in Jon Snow reborn. The blood for fire and the power of king’s blood and so on are references to transubstantiation – the transformation of wine and wafer into the blood and flesh of Christ, lord and savior. The sacrifice, being forsaken by the Night’s Watch, and pursuing a policy of peace and brotherhood are all reminiscent of Jesus’ journey to the cross. Then, there is Maester Aemond’s message to Jon that the boy is the father to the man (“Kill the boy and let the man be born.” A Dance with Dragons). With Ghost now living in Jon’s head from the time when they shared a life after Jon’s assassination, Jon is the father, the son, and (the Holy) Ghost.
But, there is still more to the story than just Jon’s third life and his resurrection (suitably feral and diminished as a result of his experience no doubt given that this is a Martin story). There are three Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy when Ned arrives to rescue Lyanna at the end of Robert’s Rebellion: the aforementioned Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Oswell Whent, and Lord Commander Gerold Hightower. One of these things does not belong here. Dayne is Rhaegar’s best friend. Whent is a close enough friend to have arranged with his brother for the suspicious would-be conspiracy that is the Tournament of Harrenhal during the False Spring, when white ravens spread news of a spring too early. (Carrying messages under a false flag, perhaps?) But Hightower is supposed to be with the king, Aerys II, and was for the murder of Rickard and Brandon Stark as well as several others, which we learn from Jaime’s recollections. He must have journeyed to the Tower of Joy afterwards so as to miss both the Battle of the Trident and the sack of King’s Landing.
We also know that Prince Rhaegar came back to King’s Landing before battling Robert because he gave that cryptic line to Jaime about fixing things on his return. What would be so important for the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard to do in person at the Tower of Joy while the Crown Prince is fighting the rebel army and leaving his king’s side under the protection of only one Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister, of dubious loyalty and temperament? Regardless of whether he is acting on his own or orders from Aerys, Hightower’s presence suggests a mission of singular value.
It is my belief that the answer lies with the A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms stories (“The Hedge Knight”, “The Sworn Sword”, and “The Mystery Knight”) of Duncan the Tall and Egg, the future Aegon V “the Unlikely”. In these versions of picaresque, Western, and mystery genres respectively, Egg either uses or refers to his signet ring, which proves his identity as a Targaryen prince. Although it is not described in any detail, it is reasonable to conclude that, like in the movie “Spaceballs”, the signet ring is a royal birth certificate with the seal of the High Septon on one side and his parents on the other. Because only the High Septon can permit a second, simultaneous marriage, it would make sense for Rhaegar to arrange for a birth certificate that legitimized Rhaegar’s union with Lyanna and provided proper documentation as it were for any issue. As for the location of this ring that Hightower would have delivered, it is likely with Howland Reed as there is no safer location nor greater loyalist to Lyanna and Ned than Reed of the crannogmen with their moving, concealed keep.
Therefore, Jon is not simply a creature of destiny supposedly meant to lead the armies of humanity against evil incarnate in a second Battle for the Dawn. He is the true heir to the Iron Throne. Unfortunately, it is unlikely he will savor the inheritance. There will have been too much death, tragedy, and suffering for it to be anything other than “bittersweet” especially in light of the likelihood he will not get to marry his true love. (It’s Arya.)
Note: Much of the preceding is from Preston Jacobs’ You Tube channel, other analysts on-line, and Radio Westeros.