IIRC, Dornish and Martells are not that kind of people to be upset about cheating, really. They are hot-tempered. sometimes fierce, they have vendetta rule, but are just and not hypocritical. Be fair, they fuck anyone they want, married or not. Even Selmy's best friend KG Dornish prince had a paramour and that was acceptable because of their cultural thing. They are not actually in the position to judge Rhaegar's desire to have a paramour. If they do, it would seem hypocritical.
Elia was nice, smart and wonderful woman, I do not doubt, but everyone in Westeros knew that Rhaegar didn't love her, she probably loved him, I am sure she knew that he didn't love her (women know such things, plus she was a smart woman). It doesn't mean that what he did (took Lyanna) is fine, but it is quite understandable. I also think that obsession with prophecy and three heads is not the only reason he chose Lyanna.
Wiki says that Martells and Dorn were not happy with Rhaegar, but I didn't find any kind of evidence about that in the books. They know exactly who is to blame for Elia and children - Lannisters, particularly Lorch, Mountain and Tywin. Oberyn, being hot-tempered and vengeful, understands that, for example, Tyrion has nothing to do with this and I haven't seen any kind of despise towards Starks. We were not given any viewpoint of Martells' attitude to Rhaegar's behavior and to Starks, though.
I've always wondered: Rhaegar went to Summerhall very often, probably he also met that woman, who made a prophecy (don't remember her name), she is still alive (Arya met her).
Even if the Dornish are more sexually permissive than the rest of Westeros, brothers feel differently about their daughters and sisters than they do other women. Although I cannot recall any specific stories, the wiki indicates that Oberyn drove away the suitors which Lewyn arranged for Elia. It would be characteristic for brothers Doran and Oberyn, regardless of Dornish sexual norms, to resent Rhaegar for his infidelity to their sister.
Then again, you could be right, that from a Dornish perspective the whole affair was blown way out of proportion. Either way, the Martells decided to remain faithful to the Targaryens while plotting the demise of the Lannisters responsible for the murder of Elia and her children.
I think it's without a doubt that he was a very skilled combatant even at the worst of times. Beating Dayne would have been a major feat.
Not at all. Look at it logically.
People assume that Lyanna was "taken", but there is no proof of that apart from Robert's ramblings and people's prejudice that Lyanna is a woman, which means she has no agency and no willpower and needs to be moved by a man (and of course raped). Ned does not confirm this view at all: in fact he is very, very evasive when Robert brings it up. Which is unlike the straight speaking Ned we are used to.
What we know is: There is circumstancial evidence that she was the Knight of the Laughing Tree which would connect her to Rhaegar at the Tournament in more ways than being the Queen of Love and Beauty. Ned says she had the "wolf blood". She didn't seem to keen on Robert and Ned doesn't seem to hate Rhaegar at all, which makes no sense if he was the man behind raping and abducting his sister. Arya is said to be very much like Lyanna and Arya is brave, wilfull and does not care about conventions.
Would Arya accept being married off to some cheating brawler? My guess would be no. Why would Lyanna take it meekly if she was the same? Elia could not have any more children and her marriage to Rhaegar was one of convenience and Rhaegar was clearly seen as generally a good sort of man and not a crazy type of Targaryen.
Lyanna clearly had a soft spot for Rhaegar (she cried at his singing, and we can probably assume that she shared the general opinion that Rhaegar was good people, unlike some other Targaryens). It seems far more plausible that she wasn't abducted so much as agreed to go with Rhaegar to wherever, for reasons of her own. I believe she was gone roughly a year, which fits well with her getting pregnant, giving birth to Jon and dying in childbirth just after Ned arrived. It also explains why the Kingsguard was guarding the Tower of Joy: a prince of the realm resided within, i.e. Jon.
Very good points. I agree that Lyanna and Rhaegar's relationship was consensual. Good insights about Ned's anxiety about the issue (R+L=J making him nervous?), as well as Lyanna and Arya as kindred spirits. I disagree, however, that the Targaryens were generally "bad." Aerys was insane, but the whole Targaryen line should not be dismissed because of one madman. Deposed, perhaps, but not dismissed altogether. One bad apple should not ruin the memory of a whole line of kings.
Edited by Justice for Elia, 07 March 2012 - 07:04 PM.