Maybe, though it seems that they met in the heat of the battle so does he realistically have time to go "Ah shit a hammer, better pull out my flail?"
My point was that word has probably gotten around that Robert uses a hammer, so Rhaegar should have prepared accordingly when he rode out to Trident.
Heavy weapons (warhammers, morningstars) aren't all that chivalrous, even if they're much more effective against full-plate. Most of the southerners fought in battle with swords, I don't think that Rhaegar's weapon of choice was inappropriate. Oberyn killed an opponent as such with a spear and for swords there is always the Mordschlag.
Of course I think that the choice was more symbolic from GRRM's part. The boisterous, furious stag rushes to battle against the elegant, sleek dragon.
Rhaegar wasn't really a good warrior, he was a skilled fighter but he had never faced men in battle until the Trident. Rhaegar might of participated in melees but it isn't the same, Robert knows what works best for killing men because he has, Rhaegar doesn't.
I think the main difference was sheer strength in this case. Not sure, but didn't Robert mention that he killed his first men in the rebellion? Or was that just in the show? (sometimes I confuse the two) And even then Rhaegar was probably more intelligent than Robert, so he should have least known his chances.
Still we heard only the worst about Rhaegar from Robert and the very best from other people, he was never really in a real grey area. Could it be that his choice of weapon is a subtle hint that he was not as modest as most people make him out to be?
Edited by Stormland's Fury, 29 March 2014 - 11:43 AM.