The Twinslayer

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  1. I don't find this convincing at all. Jorah -- no great legal scholar -- is not suggesting to Dany that polygamy would be legal in Westeros. He is saying that if she is going to conquer Westerns with three dragons, like Aegon the Conqueror did, she can rewrite the rules, the way Aegon the Conqueror did. And, he is trying to talk her into giving him a dragon and going to bed with him. The more relevant conversation is the one Dany has with the Green Grace, where Dany suggests she might marry Hizdahr pursuant to Westerosi rites and the Green Grace says that a marriage that does not comply with Meereenese customs would make Dany a concubine and her children bastards. The obvious inference is that a child born in Westeros of a marriage falling outside Westerosi norms would also be considered a bastard. As I indicated above, I am a proponent of the theory that Jaehaerys formally outlawed polygamy when he promulgated the uniform code of laws as a way to appease the Faith because he needed to maintain the legality of his incestuous marriage but did not have any use for polygamy. That is the most logical explanation for the fact that no Targaryen king after Maegor attempted to take a second wife.
  2. While I don't usually indulge in spoilers, I won't have time to read Sons of the Dragon for a while so I am making an exception by perusing this thread. I think there are very strong hints that some Targaryens are able to bond with animals in a fashion similar to skin changing and/or that a part of them survives in the animal after the person dies. In particular, the descriptions of Balerion the Cat (owned by Princess Rhaenys, daughter of Rhaegar and Elia) hint at the possibility that Rhaenys continues to exist in a fashion similar to the "second life" Varymyr Sixskins describes in the prologue to ADWD. So a possible explanation for what you are calling the Quicksilver conundrum is that King Aenys had a second life in Quicksilver and that it was his decision to seek out Prince Aegon so that Aegon could bond with the dragon. Very much looking forward to reading this. From your description, this sounds like confirmation of a very obvious point I have made before: the (R+L=J related) theory that one member of the kings guard must always be with the king is ridiculous given that the kings guard was created (and their vow was formulated) at a time when the king regularly hopped on a dragon leaving all the kings guard members behind on the ground. I would not expect to find confirmation of the "polygamy is illegal" theory in a book covering the reigns of Aenys and Maegor. The theory is that polygamy was formally outlawed during the reign of Jaehaerys the Conciliator, which came after both Aenys and Maegor were dead. You are familiar with this theory. In short, we know from prior books that Jahaerys earned the honorific "the Conciliator" because he made peace with the Faith and passed a uniform code of laws for all of Westeros. When he did that, he did not annul his then-existing incestuous marriage. But we also know that neither he nor any other Targaryen king who followed him even tried to enter into a polygamous marriage, and it never occurred to anyone that Robb Stark could keep his betrothal vow to the Freys after he married Jeyne Westering. This suggests that polygamy was formally outlawed during Jaehaerys' reign. So we should not look for confirmation of that law in Sons of the Dragon.
  3. Jon Arryn did well but Hoster Tully really did well. At the beginning of AGOT he was positioned so that one day three of his grandsons would rule the Vale, the North and the Riverlands, while a great-grandson (through Sansa) would sit the Iron Throne.
  4. Those quotes are part of it. Selmy says that if he had been a better knight, he would have unhorsed Rhaegar. He also says that his failure to do that haunted him more than all his other failures. So we need to figure out what, in Barristan's opinion, makes a good knight. Is it skill at arms? Or something else? Fortunately for us, he tells us in the Kingbreaker chapter: "As the afternoon melted into evening, he bid his charges to lay down their swords and shields and gather round. He spoke to them about what it meant to be a knight. 'It is chivalry that makes a true knight, not a sword,' he said. 'Without honor, a knight is no more than a common killer. It is better to die with honor than to live without it.' The boys looked at him strangely, he thought, but one day they would understand." So there you have it. Skill at arms does not make a good knight. Honor does. So when Barristan says that had he been a better knight, he would have defeated Rhaegar in the joust, it does not mean he would have won if he was a better jouster. It means he would have won if he had been more honorable. The dishonorable thing he did was to let Rhaegar win when he could easily have dispatched Rhaegar. If he had done the honorable thing, and won, then Ashara, Rhaegar, Lyanna, Brandon, Arthur, and all the rest might still be alive. That is why he is haunted. It has nothing to do with being beaten by a better jouster.
  5. I think Selmy pretty much admits that he threw the final tilt to let Rhaegar win the tournament. In AGOT, Ned tells us that in an earlier round, Rhaegar unhorsed Brandon. I have sometimes wondered whether Brandon was part of the conspiracy and if he let Rhaegar win, too. That would give Brandon added reason to be angry at Rhaegar for first crowning Lyanna queen of beauty and later abducting her. "I let you win the tournament and you repay me by using that victory as a means to insult my house and try to seduce my sister?"
  6. It has to be a coincidence. The Whent lady reigned as queen of beauty until the final joust. Rhaegar took her crown and gave it to Lyanna. The flowers in that crown have no special significance for Lyanna. Keep thinking about this. Barristan says if he had been a better knight, he would have won the joust against Rhaegar. Elsewhere he says that prowess at arms does not make a good knight, honor does. We also see in The Mystery Knight an attempt to rig an important tourney. Perhaps Rhaegar rigged the tourney at Harrenhal to make himself look better than he was.
  7. Thanks. The first quote showing that there is a betrothal vow is Joffrey saying that when he was betrothed to Sansa, he took a holy vow. Another is in the Appendix to ACOK, which says: "Robb Stark agreed to a betrothal, promising to marry" a Frey after the war was over. Notably, at the time, Robb was not a king or even a lord -- his father was alive in King's Landing and Catelyn was regent of the North. This is a great example, because Cat did the negotiations but they were not final until Robb -- still a minor and not yet a Lord -- agreed and took a vow. I don't know whether Lyanna took her betrothal vow before a heart tree or before the Seven. It could be that she made the vow before the Seven, since we know that Ned (follower of the Old Gods) married Cat (follower of the Seven) in a sept. We know Joffrey took a betrothal vow to Sansa, and there is every reason to believe he did it before the Seven, since he followed the New Gods. There is also every reason to believe that Robert gave his betrothal vow to Lyanna before the Seven, too, since he was a follower of the New Gods. My guess is that Sansa returned Joffrey's vow before the Seven as well. If they followed the Robert/Lyanna precedent, that suggests that Lyanna also swore to the Seven that she would marry Robert and no other. But it is possible she made her oath to the Old Gods. But I am laughing a little at your suggestion that it did not happen unless I can find a passage in the books that describes it -- since you believe Rhaegar and Lyanna went through a marriage ceremony yet it is not described anywhere in the books. If you are speaking in more general terms -- that we have not yet seen the form a Northern betrothal vow takes -- I would just say that we always knew that Northerners could marry but we did not see the Northern marriage ceremony until ADWD. With two books left to go, if GRRM wants to show us the Northern betrothal vows, he has plenty of time to do that. "The boy . . . the child would be a bastard," said Jon. Just as Rhaegar said to Lyanna. I think Ned would despiser her if he thought she went willingly. Remember the "all for Brandon" speech? He thinks you just have to do your duty. He did not want to be Lord of Winterfell, or lose his father, brother and sister to early deaths. If he thought Lyanna had played a part in her own abduction he would see that as a serious affront. But he would also see it as irrelevant to Rhaegar's own culpability. In the medieval culture, Rhaegar would still be a rapist even if Lyanna went willingly, simply because they did not have Rickard's permission.
  8. It is clear from the context of Joffrey's discussion of his vow that he personally took a holy vow to marry Sansa. He and the High Septon are discussing specifically whether he is required to go through with the marriage when Joffrey refers to his holy oath. And there is no evidence in the books that any king ever took a coronation oath, or bound himself in any way to follow the law. We see Robb being proclaimed king in the North and we see his vassals swear fealty to him. But we don't see him swearing any oath to them. We also see Joffrey's vassals swearing fealty to him but we don't see him taking any coronation oath. So I am not the one making up fantasy oaths. And your quote on the Blackfish does not say what you think it says. Hoster says it was his right to make a match for Brynden, he arranged a match with the Redwynes and he had three "other offers." That suggests that he ordered Brynden to marry, the first step of which is betrothal, and Brynden refused. That makes much more sense than your interpretation -- which is that the Lord swears to the betrothal and then the vassal decides whether to honor that oath by taking the marriage vows. That would place the Lord's honor in the hands of his vassal and would be a recipe for disaster. Regarding Egg's children, Barristan says that they "wed for love, in defiance of their father's wishes." But it also says hat because he had "followed his own heart," Egg "allowed his sons to have their way." That indicates to me that Egg arranged for them to be released from any pre-existing betrothals, just as Joffrey was released from Sansa. If he is ablnything like the medieval popes, the High Septon could do that just as easily after the fact. But there is good reason to think that a marriage performed when one of the participants is betrothed to someone else is invalid and the children are bastards. GRRM is heavily influenced by the Wars of the Roses, and will be well-aware that the children of Edward IV were declared illegitimate on grounds that he was betrothed to Eleanor Talbot when he married his wife. (I am not convinced that was true, but the point is that it shows the legal impact on the children if one of his parents was betrothed to someone else at the time of the marriage). In addition, we have the Green Grace telling Dany that a marriage performed in Meereen under Westerosi rites would not be recognized and any children would be bastards. So GRRM has told us that going through a marriage ceremony does not necessarily make a child legitimate. The followers of the Old Gods do have someone who can release them from a betrothal vow: the fiancé. If Lyanna wanted out of her vow to Robert, she (or Rickard) could have sought Robert's agreement to dissolve the betrothal.
  9. My friend, what you are saying is simply incorrect. The High Septon does not absolve Joffrey of a vow Robert made on his behalf. He is absolved of a vow he made personally. Cersei says: "For the good of the realm, set Sansa Stark aside." Notably, that is the same language she uses to describe what Robert would have to do to her if he wanted to marry someone else: "How long till he decides to put me aside for some new Lyanna?" The High Septon then makes clear that Joffrey made promises to Sansa: "Their crimes against the realm have freed you from any promise you might have made." And Joffrey makes clear that he personally made a vow, in addition to any bargain Robert made on his behalf: "I would like to heed the wishes of my people, Mother, but I took a holy vow." I can't see any reason for the suggestion that Lyanna refused to take the betrothal vow when she was betrothed to Robert. She may have been reluctant (based on one passing comment to Ned) but there is nothing to suggest she refused the vow. On the contrary, it is widely accepted that there was a valid betrothal. As to Dany's hopes that Daario would prevent her marriage, you need to take into account that (1) Dany promised to marry Hizdahr, (2) Daario could prevent that by kidnapping her, but (3) Dany says nothing about marrying Daario after the kidnapping. What we have instead is a discussion about the fact that Dany could go through a marriage ceremony that would not be valid, rendering her children bastards (referring to Dany's desire to marry Hizdahr pursuant to Westerosi rites). The takeaway is not that, if Daario kidnapped her he could marry her and have trueborn children. It is that he could kidnap her and stop the marriage to Hizdahr. Which is exactly what Rhaegar did when he kidnapped Lyanna. And that any children she had with Daario would then be bastards. Just like Jon. Finally, where do you get the idea that the Blackfish was betrothed to Bethany Redwyne but refused to go through with the wedding. Hosted just says he had an offer from the Redwynes, he ordered Brynden to take it, and Brynden refused. I take that to mean that Brynden refused to take the betrothal vow. Not that Hoster betrothed him and he refused to carry out the marriage.
  10. We don't ever see a betrothal ceremony but we know they take a solemn vow from several sources. For example, in Sansa's final chapter in ACOK, Joffrey says that when he was betrothed to Sansa, "I took a holy vow." Robert and Lyanna swore holy vows to marry each other. Lyanna would have needed to have been absolved of that vow prior to marrying anyone other than Robert.
  11. I think this proves my point. A person being betrothed takes a sacred vow. Here, GRRM said that the person can't be forced to say the words. (Although it looks like he said this before Euron imposed a marriage on Asha while she wasn't even present, so he may have changed his mind on that one, too). Anyway, unlike the Blackfish, Robert and Lyanna did say the words. They were betrothed. I don't think Lyanna was free to marry someone else unless/until she was released from that vow and neither she nor Rhaegar had the power to do that. Just as Rhaegar took a sacred vow to the Seven that he would be monogamous with Elia. After that, he was not free to marry anyone else (unless he put Elia aside, since Cersei seems to suggest that Robert could have done that to her. But that would have likely required the approval of the king and the High Septon and Connington would have known about, so I think we can safely conclude that that did not happen). Yes, and per his original outline for the story, we know that he intended for Robb and Joffrey to meet in battle and for Robb to wound Joffrey. And for Tyrion to sack Winterfell. And for Catelyn and Arya to travel beyond the Wall with Bran. But none of that happened either. I would not assume that Jon is still alive, or that he will be resurrected, based on an SSM saying he would one day learn who his mother is. I think it is pretty clear from Connington's POV that he was present at Elia's wedding and he believes that is the only wedding Rhaegar had. We also know that Connington was one of Rhaegar's closest companions, he was closely involved in Aerys' counsels as Hand of the King for a good portion of the rebellion, and that he likely was with Rhaegar when Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna. So if someone comes along claiming that Rhaegar and Lyanna married and that Jon is Rhaegar's true born son, Connington is going to dispute that in a very persuasive way. And I don't think the Freys are unusual in their view of betrothals. Robert certainly seems to have shared their view. As did Brandon Stark.
  12. Assuming that quote is accurate, he said that in 2008. Several years before he killed Jon Snow, at the end of ADWD. If Jon is really dead -- which is very possible -- then he won't ever learn his parentage. It would not be the first time GRRM made an SSM that was contradicted in a later book. That was a long essay, but my main response is that the general belief is that to be a dragon rider, you need Targaryen blood. But having Targaryen blood does not make you a prince, since bastard/dragonseeds can ride dragons. I am sure that Jon did not mind sleeping with Ygritte (on a physical level) but he did agonize about having bastard children. So he will understand the urge. Just as Ned did -- which we know because he thinks about the fact that Jon is a bastard and that it is unfair that the gods give men such lusts. On Connington, the first thing I would say is that his POV proves that if there was a Rhaegar-Lyanna marriage, he did not know about it. He thinks that Rhaegar died married (only) to Elia Martell. I would go a little further. It is not just that we can't rule it out. The information from the World Book strongly suggests that Connington was one of Rhaegar's companions when Lyanna was kidnapped. So I think it is fair to say that unless we get explicit confirmation that Connington was not there, we should assume he was. Joffrey says that when he entered into his betrothal to Sansa, he took a solemn oath. The parallel with Robert and Lyanna is obvious -- Robert took the same oath relating to Lyanna that Joffrey took relating to Lyanna. The whole point of the scene where Joffrey seeks and obtains permission from the High Septon to end his betrothal to Sansa is to remind us that Robert and Lyanna were betrothed and to highlight the fact that Lyanna was still betrothed to Robert when she died. That is why Robert thinks that if she lived, he would have gone through with the marriage to her. Regarding Tion, Barristan, and the Blackfish, is there anything to suggest that the broke betrothals without getting absolution from the Faith? I don't recall that they did. Robb, of course, is different for two reasons. First, he was a king (unlike either Rhaegar or Lyanna). Second, his banner men killed him for it. Robb is also interesting for another reason. If Aegon I set a precedent that a King (more so than a Prince, like Rhaegar) could take two wives, why did everyone think that his marriage to Jeyne Westerling automatically ended his Frey betrothal? That does not make any sense unless polygamy is a non-starter. Otherwise, the Freys would have assumed that Robb could marry Jeyne and a Frey at the same time.
  13. More on the other issues later, but I think there is a difference between Lyanna and the Blackfish. The Blackfish refused to marry anyone. He may even have been ordered to marry someone specific and then refused. But Lyanna, like Joffrey, entered into a betrothal. We know that that involves taking a sacred vow. That is why Joffrey had to be released from his vow by the High Septon. Now, it is possible that, after taking that vow, Lyanna could refuse to go through with the wedding to Robert. But I don't think there is anything in the SSMs that says she could go a step further by marrying someone else while still betrothed to Robert. Now, if Rickard had ordered her to become betrothed to Robert and she responded by refusing and then running away with another man, that would be different. Provided the other man wasn't already married to someone else.
  14. I generally agre with this. I think what we learned from The Princess and the Queen and the Rogue Prince is that there is a general belief in Westeros (that may or may not be correct) that only those with Targaryen blood can be dragonriders. Indeed, that is why A Dance With Dragons suggests that Tyrion -- who has read as much as anyone in Westeros about dragons -- believes this too. So that is one of the reasons for the discussion of the dragonseeds--it is suggested that Nettles, Hugh and Ulf may have been dragonseeds, or descended from dragonseeds, and that that is why they were able to bond with dragons. There are also hints that they may not have been seeds, so for the reader there may be some ambiguity. But for Dany, who grew up believing that the dragon does not mate with lesser beasts, and for Tyrion, the ability to claim a dragon could be evidence of a Targaryen ancestor. On the topic of legitimacy, is there any reason to think that Jon would believe that a Rhaegar-Lyanna wedding ceremony would render him trueborn? Rhaegar was already married to Elia, which presents all the issues relating to polygamy that have been discussed ad nauseam on this thread. There is also the issue that Lyanna was betrothed. Recall that Joffrey was the king but he could not marry Margaery without first getting his betrothal set aside by the High Septon. Robb Stark apparently set aside his own betrothal but then his banner men killed him for it. In light of that, why would Jon think that Lyanna -- who was not a monarch -- had the ability to break the betrothal that Lord Rickard had made for her by marrying someone else? Remember too that Jon slept with Ygritte without marrying her. He even openly discussed the fact that any children they had would be bastards. Ultimately, he concluded that that would not matter. I think it is unlikely that Rhaegar and Lyanna went through some kind of secret marriage ceremony (that even Jon Connington, the "next best thing" to Rhaegar, did not know about). But even if they did do that, Jon would think it was a pretend ceremony and that he is still a bastard. He might even think that his father dishonored his mother by tricking her into a sham marriage that no one would recognize as legitimate. That would be a bit of a blow if you grew up thinking Ned Stark was your father.
  15. The fact that there is precedent for something does not mean that it is legal or moral. It just means that it has happened before. There is precedent for a member of the Kingsguard to sleep with the King's mistress. That does not make it okay for future Kinsguard to do that.