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When Ned Stark found Lyanna, after fighting the King's Guard protecting her, she was dying, but managed to talk to him before she died.

Ned took her back to Winterfell to be buried in their crypt.

If it's true that:

Lyanna Stark is Jon Snow's mother, and that she died giving birth to him. Then presumably he returned with Jon Snow at the same time.

Did Ned return to Winterfell with both Lyanna Stark's body, and baby Jon Snow, or did they arrive at separate times?

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    @TLP I guess the point here would be that if Ned came back with sister's dead body and a baby at the same time, then wouldn't there be a lot of gossip about the baby being Lyanna's? – Shisa Jul 7 '14 at 13:13
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    @Shisa - That's probably one reason why Ned claimed the baby was his own. Who would dare question his honor? – Justin Ethier Jul 7 '14 at 13:43
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    @JustinEthier There's no doubt about the reason for Ned claiming the baby as his own! I guess this question made me curious regarding the absence of gossip about the baby being Lyanna's if Ned did come back with both body and baby at the same time. Surely, Ned's honor wouldn't stand a chance in the face of such potentially juicy anonymous rumour and gossip! – Shisa Jul 7 '14 at 13:49
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    Winterfell would be deep in mourning at this time, with everyone dead except Ned and Benjen. Lyanna was not the only one who died. – TLP Jul 7 '14 at 22:33
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    I've always assumed the Silent Sisters did the actual transporting of bones, Ned may have just escorted them into Winterfell. So his arrival with the baby and the bones would be seen as him arranging his travel plans to escort the bones, not that he got the baby and the bones from the same place. – Jason K Jun 28 '16 at 15:30
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In Chapter 6 of AGOT, Catelyn remembers:

Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him "son" for all the north to see.

In Chapter 41 of ADWD, Lady Dustin says:

He told me that my lord had died an honorable death, that his body had been laid to rest beneath the red mountains of Dorne. He brought his sister's bones back north, though, and there she rests.

So we have separate accounts that he personally returned home with each of them. Considering the length of the journey, it likely would not have been feasible for him to have made multiple trips south. And in any case, there is no mention of a second trip south after Ned returned to Winterfell.

Based on all this information, Ned presumably returned home at the same time with both baby Jon and Lyanna's body.

  • An alternative reading of that account could be that he arranged for his sister's bones to be transported back to Winterfell. – System Down Jul 7 '14 at 19:35
  • Assuming 'bones' is more literal than a figure of speech, this could imply a gap in time between Lyanna's death and the transport north. – Oldcat Jul 7 '14 at 20:31
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    I guess it's conceivable that after a long war, Ned could have been returning with a LOT of stuff, Jon, Lyanna's body, spoils of war, etc. – dwjohnston Jul 8 '14 at 4:11
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    @dwjohnston - Good point. Keep in mind it wasn't just Ned returning but also his whole northern army. – Justin Ethier Jul 8 '14 at 11:40
  • @JustinEthier also all the noble families bringing their dead family members or other families bringing all the male members of a noble family, whores, following the army, farmers, who lost their homes and hoped to find some place. – Armin Feb 22 '16 at 15:12

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