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Barristan didn't really love Ashara?


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#1 Pikachu101

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:40 PM

Am I the only one bothered by Barristan's apparent "love" for Ashara Dayne?

I mean he goes on about how much he was in love with her, but all he ever thinks about is how beautiful she was. That's not love, that's infatuation with a woman out of his reach.

We've seen how men in love think about their women and they hardly talk about the physical attributes. Ned sees Cat as his home, Jaime takes pride in thinking that if he was a woman he'd be Cersei, when Robb was justifying his marriage to Jeyne he talked about how kind hearted she was, Jon knew Ygritte wasn't beautiful but her fiery personality was what drew him to her etc.

So how in love was Barristan if all he thinks about it Ashara's beauty, not her actual personality and how it made him feel?

#2 Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:42 PM

I think its similar to Robert's infatuation with Lyanna.

Edited by Queen_Alysanne, 16 September 2013 - 03:42 PM.


#3 Klye Condon

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:48 PM

Am I the only one bothered by Barristan's apparent "love" for Ashara Dayne?

I mean he goes on about how much he was in love with her, but all he ever thinks about is how beautiful she was. That's not love, that's infatuation with a woman out of his reach.

We've seen how men in love think about their women and they hardly talk about the physical attributes. Ned sees Cat as his home, Jaime takes pride in thinking that if he was a woman he'd be Cersei, when Robb was justifying his marriage to Jeyne he talked about how kind hearted she was, Jon knew Ygritte wasn't beautiful but her fiery personality was what drew him to her etc.

So how in love was Barristan if all he thinks about it Ashara's beauty, not her actual personality and how it made him feel?


I absolutely agree. I believe that Barristan is a very emotionally immature man and his "love" for ashara is essentially the infatuation of a teenage boy - together with his jealousy of a better looking stark "ruining her" for him.

#4 cocoalover1956

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:52 PM

I think its similar to Robert's infatuation with Lyanna.


That's a good comparison. I don't think he even knew her as a person. But you know he has that whole "If I had won at Harrenhal and crowned her QOLAB the war would't have started" thing going on that might have fed his infatuation.

#5 Mladen

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:58 PM

I think its similar to Robert's infatuation with Lyanna.


Similar, but not entirely correct

That's a good comparison. I don't think he even knew her as a person. But you know he has that whole "If I had won at Harrenhal and crowned her QOLAB the war would't have started" thing going on that might have fed his infatuation.


Barristan knew Ashara. Unlike Robert, Barristan was pretty much living in the same place with Ashara. They were probably meeting on daily basis for several years. I think that we can't judge Barristan's emotions, and their genuineness based on one thought. And more than that, Barristan isn't feeding his pride. He is extremely sadden by the fact he, in his opinion, could have stopped the entire Rhaegar/Lyanna thing. Naturally, he was wrong, but for him, and the rest of Westeros, that romance started when Rhaegar crowned Lyanna

#6 Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:00 PM

Similar, but not entirely correct



Barristan knew Ashara. Unlike Robert, Barristan was pretty much living in the same place with Ashara. They were probably meeting on daily basis for several years. I think that we can't judge Barristan's emotions, and their genuineness based on one thought. And more than that, Barristan isn't feeding his pride. He is extremely sadden by the fact he, in his opinion, could have stopped the entire Rhaegar/Lyanna thing. Naturally, he was wrong, but for him, and the rest of Westeros, that romance started when Rhaegar crowned Lyanna

Good point I forgot that.

#7 Lost Melnibonean

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:01 PM

Well, he's not going to betray Dany for "infatuation."

#8 cocoalover1956

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:05 PM

Similar, but not entirely correct



Barristan knew Ashara. Unlike Robert, Barristan was pretty much living in the same place with Ashara. They were probably meeting on daily basis for several years. I think that we can't judge Barristan's emotions, and their genuineness based on one thought. And more than that, Barristan isn't feeding his pride. He is extremely sadden by the fact he, in his opinion, could have stopped the entire Rhaegar/Lyanna thing. Naturally, he was wrong, but for him, and the rest of Westeros, that romance started when Rhaegar crowned Lyanna


He did didn't he. I forgot Ashara was one of Elia's ladies-in-waiting. If that's the case, his longing seems a lot more justified. BTW I didn't mean it was feeding his pride, just his feelings for her. The possible "what if"s made the situation more tragic and i think that's part of why he still held onto his love for her.

#9 Littlefingers In The Air

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:07 PM

He certainly wouldn't have gone to war over her consensual get away.

#10 The Weirwoods Eyes

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

infatuation. sexual desire, unrequited love.
All a million miles from mutual deep lasting love.

#11 Lady Fevre Dream

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:23 PM

I absolutely agree. I believe that Barristan is a very emotionally immature man and his "love" for ashara is essentially the infatuation of a teenage boy - together with his jealousy of a better looking stark "ruining her" for him.


I don't think it was jealousy of a better looking Stark, or was it about how said Stark 'ruined' her for him. I think Barristan was genuinely regretful of Ashara's fate, for Ashara herself, not for anything to do with his pride.

It does seem he must have known her much better than Robert ever knew Lyanna, but I still think his feelings are stuck somewhere in some type of infatuation phase, admiration, appreciation of her beauty, etc. He had more reason for his feelings, but I think in some respects it still is about the road not taken, thanks to his own vows.

#12 Dr. Pepper

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:24 PM

I think it's easy for Barristan to talk about loving Ashara when he knew he couldn't/wouldn't do anything about it. It's how he is with all things. It's easy for him to talk about how he would have killed Robert if he saw him smile at the dead babies, but he heard about it so what's the difference? He still bent the knee and served him faithfully for years. It's easy for him to say now that Viserys had a touch of madness, but Viserys is dead so what's the difference. Barristan frequently goes the coulda, woulda, shoulda route which makes "The Bold" part of his name quite ironic. The loving of Ashara is simply a further illustration to his not-so-bold character.

#13 Littlefingers In The Air

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:35 PM

I think it's easy for Barristan to talk about loving Ashara when he knew he couldn't/wouldn't do anything about it. It's how he is with all things. It's easy for him to talk about how he would have killed Robert if he saw him smile at the dead babies, but he heard about it so what's the difference? He still bent the knee and served him faithfully for years. It's easy for him to say now that Viserys had a touch of madness, but Viserys is dead so what's the difference. Barristan frequently goes the coulda, woulda, shoulda route which makes "The Bold" part of his name quite ironic. The loving of Ashara is simply a further illustration to his not-so-bold character.

This actually illustrates quite well exactly why I love Ser Barristan. Others tend to white wash him and I think he's a great character as is. He fought for the realm during RR and lost. He was pardoned. He served Robert and hated that for the most part but he did so faithfully. He was perfectly willing to serve under Joffrey if the little shit hadn't dismissed him.

Barristan shows us how grey doing your duty can be. The right thing and the honorable thing can be mutually exclusive. That's what we should focus on with his character instead of painting him as a super honorable romantic the way some do.

#14 PrimeRhaegar

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:57 PM

i think he did an unrequited love for her. I mean she was there with elia through her marriage so he must have seen her and knew her while on duty guarding elia when he had to. Nothing wrong with blaming himself for that whole queen of beauty thing i mean even jon con blames himself for rhaegar's death.

#15 CosimaistheHottest

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:01 PM

i think he did an unrequited love for her. I mean she was there with elia through her marriage so he must have seen her and knew her while on duty guarding elia when he had to. Nothing wrong with blaming himself for that whole queen of beauty thing i mean even jon con blames himself for rhaegar's death.

Actually from his talk of the tourney, didn't Barristan say that Ashara hadn't been long at court? Elia had been at court for at least 4 years. She wasn't there with all that time with Elia. So Ashara hadn't been there through Elia's marriage then she had to leave when she got knocked up.

All Barristan talks about is her beauty and her haunting purple eyes. Never her actions or personality.
His infatuation makes sense. He gave up his life to be a member of the Kingsguard at an early age.

#16 Blackfyre87

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:48 AM

Barristan knew Ashara. Unlike Robert, Barristan was pretty much living in the same place with Ashara. They were probably meeting on daily basis for several years. I think that we can't judge Barristan's emotions, and their genuineness based on one thought. And more than that, Barristan isn't feeding his pride. He is extremely sadden by the fact he, in his opinion, could have stopped the entire Rhaegar/Lyanna thing. Naturally, he was wrong, but for him, and the rest of Westeros, that romance started when Rhaegar crowned Lyanna


I strongly disagree.

His quote says Ashara only recently came to court. So I doubt it's a matter of several years, especially if she left not long after due to some involvement with one of the Stark Brothers. And there isn't anything in the words of Ser Barristan to suggest he and Ashara were even friends- they certainly could have been though. Especially considering that Barristan observes Ashara's penchant for the "Fire" crowd, and the fact that Ser Barristan is "mud".

One difference I'd say that separates the two romances is that Lyanna knew Robert was, at least vocally and externally, in love with her. Ashara knew nothing of Ser Barristan, so far as we know. And if she did, she did not trust/esteem/like him sufficiently to "turn to" him.

And we don't know if the Rhaegar/Lyanna affair would or wouldn't have started had Rhaegar not crowned Lyanna QOLAB. If there's one thing that ASOIAF shows it's that great flames can grow from the tiniest sparks.

#17 Sansa_Stark

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:52 AM

Barristan thinks Ashara not turning to him and committing suicide is his most haunting failure.

I think he actually might have loved her, even though he knew they couldn't marry or have sex, he was perfectly fine and wanted to just be a man who was there for her in her time of grief.

Chances are, he did love her and it wasn't just a crush.

#18 MotherAnduin

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:16 AM

Similar, but not entirely correct



Barristan knew Ashara. Unlike Robert, Barristan was pretty much living in the same place with Ashara. They were probably meeting on daily basis for several years. I think that we can't judge Barristan's emotions, and their genuineness based on one thought. And more than that, Barristan isn't feeding his pride. He is extremely sadden by the fact he, in his opinion, could have stopped the entire Rhaegar/Lyanna thing. Naturally, he was wrong, but for him, and the rest of Westeros, that romance started when Rhaegar crowned Lyanna

Ashara wasn't at court for years. She was new at court. Barristan Selmy talked about how she was dishonoured by a Stark and he also called her a maid. Being a hot Dornish woman, she likely won't be a maid and she wouldn't feel that the Stark dishonored her. They tumbled in the sheets nothing wrong in that. Selmy didn't know Ashara at all.

#19 Vuron

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:22 AM

Am I the only one bothered by Barristan's apparent "love" for Ashara Dayne?

I mean he goes on about how much he was in love with her, but all he ever thinks about is how beautiful she was. That's not love, that's infatuation with a woman out of his reach.

We've seen how men in love think about their women and they hardly talk about the physical attributes. Ned sees Cat as his home, Jaime takes pride in thinking that if he was a woman he'd be Cersei, when Robb was justifying his marriage to Jeyne he talked about how kind hearted she was, Jon knew Ygritte wasn't beautiful but her fiery personality was what drew him to her etc.

So how in love was Barristan if all he thinks about it Ashara's beauty, not her actual personality and how it made him feel?


Almost everything you say is correct (saying Ygritte wasn't beautiful comes close to blasphemy on these boards).

This is a pretty typical scenario. Selmy was more infatuated than in love. He was rather young at the time and now he's looking back as an old man on his first "love".

#20 Sansa_Stark

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:36 AM

Almost everything you say is correct (saying Ygritte wasn't beautiful comes close to blasphemy on these boards).

This is a pretty typical scenario. Selmy was more infatuated than in love. He was rather young at the time and now he's looking back as an old man on his first "love".


40s is young?