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Why is Rhaegar seen in a postive light?


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#1 TheZone

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 11:58 PM

Putting fairy tales aside, why do so many people think that Rhaegars actions were favorable?
If you look at it from an outside angle, it does not look very well.
He passes over his wife and gives the flower to Lyanna , (which must have been extremely embarrassing btw) then once he finds out that Elia should not have anymore children he splits, let alone the fact that she almost died giving birth to his child. Then she was left with the fact that her husband is away somewhere knocking boots to get the 3rd head. Why would anyone think she would be down for that ? Even if they did not love each other, it is extremely disrespectful and quite horrible to leave her in such a bad state.
How do we even know that Lyanna wanted to go? How do we know she wanted to carry his child ? How do we know that she was not force ably being kept in the Tower?

#2 mindchap

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:06 AM

The biggest point for me was the fact that Ned has no hard feelings about Rhaegar. All the times that Robert goes on his rants about Rhaegar Ned never has a single Rhaegar hate thought. He just nods while thinking there is no use in arguing with Robert when he's like this. Plus when Ned remembers his conversation she has absolutely no interest in Robert.

#3 TheZone

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:13 AM

The biggest point for me was the fact that Ned has no hard feelings about Rhaegar. All the times that Robert goes on his rants about Rhaegar Ned never has a single Rhaegar hate thought. He just nods while thinking there is no use in arguing with Robert when he's like this. Plus when Ned remembers his conversation she has absolutely no interest in Robert.


Good point, though I think that Ned sees a disambiguation between Rhaegar as a leader and fighter, rather then what he has done. Plus he can see that Robert was obsessed with what he could not have rather then real love .

#4 mindchap

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:24 AM

Good point, though I think that Ned sees a disambiguation between Rhaegar as a leader and fighter, rather then what he has done. Plus he can see that Robert was obsessed with what he could not have rather then real love .

Also when Ned remembers the ToJ incident he remembers Lyanna yelling at him to stop when they are fighting the KG, so I doubt she was being held against her will. As for how Elia felt, we don't really know, I mean the Dornish have a more liberal outlook toward marriage, and the Targ views weren't exactly conservative either. And as for the Starks, Lyanna was like Brandon, and according to SSMs he most likely left a few bastards running around too.

But then again, Rhaegar and Elia's marriage was arranged so we don't know the feelings they may or may not have had for one another, and according to app, Lyanna was the name that Rhaegar cried out with his dying breath. So they may have actually found love in each other, only time and the last two books will tell for sure. Hopefully anyway. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#5 TheZone

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:30 AM

But then again, Rhaegar and Elia's marriage was arranged so we don't know the feelings they may or may not have had for one another, and according to app, Lyanna was the name that Rhaegar cried out with his dying breath. So they may have actually found love in each other, only time and the last two books will tell for sure. Hopefully anyway. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />


That's the problem here, I don't doubt he loved Lyanna, but the question is did she love him. In addition her giving birth (and the situation not going quite well as evidanced by her death) may have warrented her to stop the fighting so she could ask Ned to promise him(what ever the promise was)

#6 mindchap

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:39 AM

That's the problem here, I don't doubt he loved Lyanna, but the question is did she love him. In addition her giving birth (and the situation not going quite well as evidanced by her death) may have warrented her to stop the fighting so she could ask Ned to promise him(what ever the promise was)

With all the comparisons with Arya being just like Lyanna I just don't see her being held against her will without their being more force involved. I just can't see her as the damsel in distress, more like she would have had to have been killed to be kept. But the main reason I can't see Rhaegar doing something like that is because he is supposed to be an incarnation of Egg, and after reading the D&E tales, that's just not something Egg would ever have any part of, I mean Egg is willing to risk himself to save a handful of smallfolk just for the sake of saving them.

#7 MotherAnduin

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:53 AM

But the main reason I can't see Rhaegar doing something like that is because he is supposed to be an incarnation of Egg, and after reading the D&E tales, that's just not something Egg would ever have any part of, I mean Egg is willing to risk himself to save a handful of smallfolk just for the sake of saving them.

Where did you get this impression?

#8 jenerationx

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:56 AM

For me it's because it's reinforced by pretty much every character other than Robert -- Jorah, Jaime, Ned (who should hate Rhaegar more than anyone imho), etc., that he was a decent fellow, would have made a good king, etc.

As for Lyanna, that will remain to be seen. But for narrative purposes, we *can't* know how she felt about it. We can't know until GRRM is ready to reveal Jon's parentage (assuming R+L=J). Since the "official story" in the books per the victors of Robert's Rebellion is that Lyanna was abducted by Rhaegar, we can't be told with certainty that Lyanna actually loved him back. That would pretty much give away the truth of Jon's parentage, because once that's out there, everything else falls into place.

#9 King of the Starks

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:04 AM

As mindchap and jenerationx have said, it's other characters, like Ned, Jaime, Jorah, Ser Barristan; remember him as a good man and not the one Robert describes. And the main thing for me is Ned not agreeing with Robert when he says Rhaegar raped Lyanna.
If Ned had arrived at the Tower of Joy and Lyanna told him how mean Rhaegar was to her, then he probably would show something bad towards Rhaegar, but he doesn't. If Rhaegar had harmed Lyanna, then Ned would probably think bad of him.

#10 mindchap

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:06 AM

Where did you get this impression?

Rhaegar's born as Egg dies, Dany's born as Rhaegar dies. Surely I'm not breaking new ground here.

#11 TheZone

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:06 AM

As mindchap and jenerationx have said, it's other characters, like Ned, Jaime, Jorah, Ser Barristan; remember him as a good man and not the one Robert describes. And the main thing for me is Ned not agreeing with Robert when he says Rhaegar raped Lyanna.
If Ned had arrived at the Tower of Joy and Lyanna told him how mean Rhaegar was to her, then he probably would show something bad towards Rhaegar, but he doesn't. If Rhaegar had harmed Lyanna, then Ned would probably think bad of him.


However the Lyanna part is only half of the equation, what sparked is people believing that Elia would be cool with her husband running off with someone else, while she lay half dead.

#12 TheZone

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:08 AM

Rhaegar's born as Egg dies, Dany's born as Rhaegar dies. Surely I'm not breaking new ground here.

Dany was born some time after Rhaegar died

#13 MotherAnduin

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:10 AM

Rhaegar's born as Egg dies, Dany's born as Rhaegar dies. Surely I'm not breaking new ground here.

What? That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Many people died at Summerhall. Rhaegar seems more like prince Duncan than Egg. Dany was born several months after Rhaegar died.

#14 King of the Starks

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:12 AM

However the Lyanna part is only half of the equation, what sparked is people believing that Elia would be cool with her husband running off with someone else, while she lay half dead.

If your referring to Elia laying half dead, then she wasn't. She was at the Tourney of Harrenhal, and if she was half dead, then she probably wouldn't have gone to the Tourney.
And we don't know what Elia thought at this point. She could have been told by Rhaegar that he was going to marry Lyanna, at the Tourney, and because Targs have been known to do polygamy, it would have been ok, Elia would have had to put up with it.

#15 TheZone

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:14 AM

If your referring to Elia laying half dead, then she wasn't. She was at the Tourney of Harrenhal, and if she was half dead, then she probably wouldn't have gone to the Tourney.
And we don't know what Elia thought at this point. She could have been told by Rhaegar that he was going to marry Lyanna, at the Tourney, and because Targs have been known to do polygamy, it would have been ok, Elia would have had to put up with it.


Perhaps I am getting the timeline wrong, but wasn't Ageon born after the tourney ?

#16 Ygrain

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:14 AM

As for the ToJ dream sequence, there probably wasn't Lyanna calling him - at that moment, Vayon Poole is trying to wake him and his voice initially gets mixed into the dream.
Why is Rhaegar seen in a positive light? Because his depictions from the various PoVs are in a positive light, and one has to wonder where these impressions came from. Unless Rhaegar was a master charming manipulator, there was apparently something in him that brought the likes of Arthur Dayne to his side.

#17 Florina Laufeyson

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:16 AM

Because the people who actually knew every little thing about Rhaegar are dead. We dont get insights on what kind of guy he was outside of being half way decent. Plus he was often looked upon in comparison to his batshit father. Other than the Lyanna thing (which only Robert had a massive beef with), Rhaegar has no real stains on his name before he died.

#18 mindchap

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:16 AM

However the Lyanna part is only half of the equation, what sparked is people believing that Elia would be cool with her husband running off with someone else, while she lay half dead.

Elia is the other half of an arranged marriage, we don't know that she loved her husband, for all we know she could have had more interest in Ashara or Jamie, but after reading all of the Dornish chapters they don't seem to have the same views of marriage that we have or that other parts of Westeros has. She may have had a love as well we just don't know enough to make any kind of point yet.

#19 Nami

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:17 AM

Also when Ned remembers the ToJ incident he remembers Lyanna yelling at him to stop when they are fighting the KG


I don't remember this

#20 mindchap

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:18 AM

As for the ToJ dream sequence, there probably wasn't Lyanna calling him - at that moment, Vayon Poole is trying to wake him and his voice initially gets mixed into the dream.
Why is Rhaegar seen in a positive light? Because his depictions from the various PoVs are in a positive light, and one has to wonder where these impressions came from. Unless Rhaegar was a master charming manipulator, there was apparently something in him that brought the likes of Arthur Dayne to his side.

But he remembers the dream when he wakes up, being the same as it was in real life.