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  1. Right. That, of course, gives us another can of worms. Why did Ned respect them at all if all they did was doing the madman's bidding, guarding him as he did as he pleased with Ned's own family? It could be that Ned thought their duty to Aerys should surpass everything else and his thoughts about Jaime being the one who killed Aerys seemed to confirm it. But again, Ned himself has a terrible record of doing his duty to the king whose friend and Hand he was when his own values were at the stake. And there are hints that Arthur and Oswell were Rhaegar's people. Could Aerys have regained a touch of sanity (and trust in Rhaegar) enough to say "Ah well, keep them wherever you like"? I doubt it but who knows. Could it be that they were charged by Aerys to keep Ashara's hypothetical dragon kid safe and under Aerys' control which for the moment didn't clash with Rhaegar's objectives? Doesn't ring plausible to me but who knows. Yes but I don't think it actually speaks this much about their loyalties for one over another. After all, the rebellion and murder of a king is unheard for since the Targs made the IT. They would be shaken to the core no matter their personal loyalties. At the moment, Aerys is the Targaryen face. The king. The one they swore to protect. Their own intentions to him might not look this meaningful in the face of a catastrophe like the one they faced. And they weren't exactly having a friendly chat with Ned. He was an enemy who supposedly wasn't going to be allowed entrance. They would hardly start pouring their hearts out to him. It's a good thing that it's a dream and not something we're meant to take literally because their boasting - all that there was - seems out of place in any scenario. I don't think Shae can be taken as anything else than an example of the life women like her lead. She was severely disadvantaged in comparison to both Ashara and Lysa. What was there for her if she didn't become Tyrion's mistress? In comparison, Lysa's life would have hardly been worse in the very basic meaning of the world if she hadn't sneaked into Baelish's bed. Unless we're talking about a rape here (Aerys being the culprit) or Rhaegar being a very intimidating man, Ashara's life wouldn't have been a bad one if she hadn't hooked up with a man. And Sansa and Elia's situations cannot be compared at all, IMO. Sansa didn't want Tyrion and wouldn't have cared whom she bedded. Elia, presumably, didn't mind marrying Rhaegar and if he was indeed intent on fathering a third head of the dragon, she would have been very interested in who the mother was. In some ways yes. But she hadn't had the time to turn into a madwoman, Lysa-style. Again, yes. But it's all illusion. When the wedding was over, Lysa was the same insecure madwoman that she was before. Not like her young self. Unless they had some Targaryen blood themselves which might have given Ashara some hopes. Perhaps one of Dyanna's daughters married a Dayne cousin like Aerion married a Targaryen one? But I think in this case it would have been noted, like it was for the Tarts. Interesting indeed, and ironic. The dragon kings seek to keep their Valyrian blood pure but they were second-class citizens in Valyria and in Westeros, their House is barely a toddler compared to great-grandfathers that some of the other Houses are. They're so focused on their dragon blood and prophecies that they seem to neglect the past and prophecies that have been in Westeros longer than them. They were only interested when that wood witch told them that they had a part to play. Perhaps. And yet we know that Arthur, at least, was generally considered Aerys' man. Could a part of Aerys' reasoning be his reluctance to have them near so they could not betray him? Crackpot alert: Ashara Dayne never existed. There was only Shaena Targaryen, born when Aerys was conveniently absent, his relationship with Rhaella steadily worsening along with his mental state - well, I'm being too diplomatic here, he was going decidedly cray-cray - and Rhaella wanted her baby safely away from him and his deterioration. Shaena Targaryen was sent to the Dayne kin where she was renamed in a way that honoured her grandmother queen Shaera. At the time, Rhaella had no way to know that Aerys would insist on a Valyrian bride for Rhaegar and when it happened, she could hardly say, well, we have the perfect match! And when it all came into the light, Rhaegar realized that Shaena was the perfect solution of all his problems. The mother of the third head. His dream, in fact! That would further explain why the three KG stayed where they were. They now had two royals to take care of. It even fits with my hunch that initially, Barristan had a thing for Rhaella before it got old and transferred to the younger woman - her daughter. It'll also be an ironic twist of Baelish who gives hints that Sansa has taken, in a way, her mother's place in what passes for his affections. What? You don't believe me? With all the secret Targs running around, what's one more? Oh never mind, it was a good crackpot.
  2. Yeah, there is that. A good part of Joffrey's shine in Sansa's eyes was thanks to him being the crown prince, after all. Yes but age is all that they have in common (that we know of). For all we know, Cersei and Ashara never met. And Cersei and Elia only had one visit to get to know each other (that we know of). We're talking about a sister role here, not someone who is just the right age, like a good deal of the population of Planetos. That demands some closeness.
  3. Now, this is something that I missed! Yeah, there is that. But perhaps they had come up with a way to reconcile their oaths to Aerys with their presumed (by us readers) loyalty to Rhaegar. They might have seen removing Aerys from power as a necessary move to protect him from himself. And we don't know what Rhaegar's plan was. It might have not included actually doing away with Aerys but removing him from his power - not his title. This way, he'd be still sitting the Iron Throne but he'd be a king in all but name. Safer for people, safer for Aerys himself. Win-win. Perhaps. Could be. But there is a marked difference in one important respect: Drogo's bloodriders are his. KG is the king's. We've seen KGs choosing different rulers when being put in the position to choose. It's just that normally, the king they swear allegiance to is the same man who keeps the IT to the day of his death. But no one thinks less of Barristan for choosing Robert over Viserys (save for Dany, initially, that's it.) Or it could be a combination of both, who knows. Nothing for me as well. Even Lysa didn't truly realize what she was getting into by getting into Bael-ish's bed, IMO. In this case, Jane Poole hits home closer to me than Lysa at the end of her life. Jane is young, just like Lysa was young when it all began. When it ended, she'd already had a lifetime of disappointments to turn her into the violent madwoman we see. It wasn't just because of her lost love and lost child. Young Lysa is a better parallel for me. Of course, if Ashara turns out to be Septa Lemore, the game might change. Even the changes in her appearance (Tyrion doesn't find her this stunning, just attractive) might be echoed in Lysa's loss of looks. But in the beginning when they were all young as Jane Poole is now? I can't really draw a parallel. Ashara presumably died before life hit her as harshly as it did Lysa. I agree. Could be. And trying to stop someone from doing something, physically, could turn into a real fight in moments. That's a less likely version, I think, but a possible one. A head full of romantic dreams? Interesting. IMO, Ashara wasn't highborn enough for Rhaegar and she didn't have any dragon blood (that we know of) but she might have seen the situation differently. After all, Dyanna Dayne was deemed suitable for Maekar and it was her blood that eventually kept the Targaryens alive and kicking. She might have thought there could be a rinse and repeat. And she was presumably in good health, so she had no reason to think she wouldn't be as fecund as Dyanna which was quite needed at the moment. On the other hand, she likely had some experience with the pressure put on Elia to give Rhaegar heirs no matter what. Such a thing could be off-putting or making herself think that she could have done better in Elia's place.
  4. It would make sense indeed. Plus, the circumstances in which Barristan and Jaime make their assessment about Ashara and Lysa respectively are quite specific. Union-related. Barristan is infatuated with Ashara, aka he wants to be with her but those inconvenient oaths are in the way; Jaime isn't infatuated with Lysa but when he meets her and Cat, his father wants him to be with Lysa. Not a parallel but not this different anyway. If Ashara was the one supposed to provide the child, the whole Tower of Joy scene takes another meaning. The tower is located in the Prince's Pass. In this case, the three KG would not be providing a last stand before a place where the attackers could just step over their dead bodies, enter the tower and take the people hidden there anyway. They would be guards indeed, choosing a decent (strategy-wise) place from where they could mount their defence, in the absence of an army of their own. They might have even seen from the pass that the stupid Stark was coming not with an army but six men and decided that they could take them down right there, choosing not to, say, shoot them from afar but engage them directly. Who knows, they might have drunk their own koolaid, constantly being showered with praise and whatnot. But in this case, they would be the first line of defence for Ashara and her child who were in a place where they could leave easily by sea, just like Viserys and Dany did. In fact, if Dany is Ashara's, that's likely what she did. All of which isn't to say that there was a great romance at all. It might have been all business. Or business to Rhaegar and "in love with Prince Charming" for Ashara which could have driven her mad after his death. But she fits the Lysa theme even without love. Certainly enough reasons to push her into madness, even if ambition or loyalty were the thing that initially moved her. People change their mind about situations when actually in them every day. They bite more than they could chew. Ashara's case might be that. Or she might echo Lysa in the love part as well. Perhaps she thought Rhaegar came to love her after they were together, in a Lysa-like fashion, only to be confronted with a crown of blue roses going to another, an insult ironically different from the one Barristan thinks she received? Perhaps she thought herself lovelier than Elia, again young Lysa-like (and also quite realistic, per all the characters), and was baffled when/if Rhaegar's feelings for his wife didn't change? I don't think Edric was told the ugly truth, whatever the details were. He looks like a decent and sensitive kid. I think it's more like the grief Ashara's fate caused his family, rather than pitying someone who went mad. But again, Howland Reed has nothing but admiration and perhaps a little infatuation with Ashara (he did memorized the men she danced with, after all) and I have a trouble seeing the man who took Arthur Dayne down without hesitation not giving a hint about something "off" with Ashara. Usually, when someone goes mad and commits a terrible act as a result, people tend to overthink their prior interactions and find signs of madness (existing or imagined ones) because they expect to. Ashara might have been not mad but indeed "mad with grief", aka depressed. Not violent but dangerous anyway. Could she have decided to take her own life away and Lyanna tried to stop her, again without thinking because wolf-blood? And Hoster was a man with experience. What experience did Ashara have? She was just a young girl, not long at court, as Barristan had. She had likely led a life where things had usually gone her way.
  5. That really gives another angle to the whole thing with Jon's birth date, doesn't it? As well as Dany's. The direwolf we saw in the first chapter had pups but she didn't die in this kind of "bed of blood". I think that if we're looking for the echo angles, we're somewhat hindered by the fact that George shows people who repeat the past of other people from their own Houses but he also echoes situations and characters without running parallels straight. In this instance, he wouldn't need Cat to fit her own role. He'll need "a" Cat. Elia might just fit the bill, although the situation is, once again, a little changed. For one, looks like Lysa was hard to notice with Cat around while Ashara was quite noticeable. Still, we don't know how she felt about the situation. She might have perceived herself as being "wronged" and Elia getting the lion share of attention, who knows. I think Cersei doesn't fit because despite Lysa being warped and all now, I think she once loved Cat even if she felt inferior and jealous and I have a hard time seeing Cersei loving anyone. Feeling inferior and jealous - yes but not feeling love.
  6. Sorry, I wasn't clear - I meant the legend created around her. Her beautiful romantic death jumping romantically into the bright blue sea washing the shores of her castle of stars. If we have a Lysa connection in Ashara and a man, it would be either Cat or Elia, depending on the man in question. If we're talking echoes, I don't think Cat would be Cat. Elia, though... In Arianne's good relations with the highborn Dornish people from her own generation, could we see an echo of Elia's own youth? Is it possible that the Water Gardens turned Elia and Ashara into sisters, kind of, with Arthur being "brother" to both? Later, he entered the part of "her" champion by punishing the Brotherhood that had taken her jewels and perhaps a kiss. And if Rhaegar and Ashara did have a thing later, it'll be Rhaegar in Baelish' role but to Ashara this time. Who knows, perhaps she made a go at him, suggesting that she could be the mother of the third head? It's hard to tell. But Ashara is younger than Elia, just like Lysa is younger than Cat. She's also considered more beautiful than Elia, just like Lysa was considered more beautiful than Cat. Barristan thinks Elia was interesting, just like Jaime thinks Cat was (compared to Lysa). Could Elia have taken the "Petyr" in this case, leaving Ashara with nothing but other means to get him in any way she could? Yes, to all of this. And perhaps she was forced not to miscarry her baby but simply have it brought up like her own sibling? Perhaps she was delusional that she could pull it off somehow? He saw his father trying to force Lyanna into who he wanted her to be. Looks like it didn't work out all this great. Better do some damage control. It's interesting that he finds Arya a teacher who is all about making her think and obey first - making her want to think and obey, even if that meant getting a constellation of scratches, courtesy of the palace cats. As weird as it sounds, in this scenario Rhaegar would be Lyanna's Tyrion. Everyone thought they were together (with the important exception of JonCon who doesn't think about Lyanna at all and perhaps the equally important exception of Howland Reed who implies that Lyanna wasn't as much into Rhaegar as people suggested), just like everyone thinks Sansa and Tyrion are truly "together", husband and wife. Robb and Cat even take measures to prevent the possible dire consequences of this union, just like Brandon tried to do with Lyanna. Tyrion protects her, just like we theorize Rhaegar did Lyanna. Indeed.
  7. Oh yes. Her beauty, her tragedy... Can't get rid of that hunch that her tradegy would be a terrible one indeed but in another way, not the one legend paints. A toga and a chiton. Zeus didn't manage to get rid of that annoying Jupiter, so it might be wise to be in good standing with both of them. It might. As I've said before, I believe Ashara was someone's mother and it was so bad that the Daynes preferred to play neglectful about her reputation and by extension, theirs, than take the risk of someone actually digging deeper. If they said there was no love story, those who suspected that Ashara had been pregnant might get suspicious. Better control the rumour and attach a name to it. Preferably the name of someone who's deep to the neck in the aftermath of the entire thing and has things to hide. Just like them. I am inclined to think that the wolf blood Ned was talking about wasn't just breaking the rules. When he talks about wolf blood being the death of Brandon, he was talking about him being rash in a very specific manner - trying to attack without thinking because that's what wolves do. And he's saying this to his young daughter who's just surprised him by arming herself just in case she might need to attack. Makes me think that Lyanna launched an attack in some sense - provoking Ashara? Getting pissed at her rescuers and deciding to rescue herself from them which might not be the best idea for a heavily pregnant lady on an island nestled in mountains, at which point Ashara tried to stop her, not realizing that telling an angry wolf what to do was not a good idea but a very bad and very deadly one? In this case, it would have happened even before they knew of Arthur's death but from the little we know about her, Lyanna Stark didn't need a great additional incentive to get pissed with benign influences that tried to boss her around for her own good. Ned might have arrived in the aftermath of Ashara's fall - and with Howland being the only one of his men who came with him through the Prince's Pass and live to NOT tell the tale, it wouldn't be hard to concoct the story of Ashara's romantic death. Thank you, kind lady. It actually also fits with Sansa's echo in another way, I think. Sansa lost a good deal of family members to her husband's family and she longs to be able to pay them back. Lyanna lost her father and brother to the loyalty Arthur had chosen once - Aerys. And she does manage to get her revenge on a member of Arthur's family, although I doubt she ever had that in mind. Perhaps as Arthur and possibly Rhaegar were busy saving her, she happened upon a weirwood and asked the old gods to avenge her? It was a joke, of course, but the echo was not. Definitely. Heightened indeed - and explainable. In this scenario, she might have been afraid for her son's life right now, not when a week or month later Robert and the rest of the world would get to know. In her mind, that might have been the difference between life and death now, like it was for Sansa and Lady. The wrong wolf who might end up paying for her mistake. Fortunately, he didn't. Perhaps the current crop of Daynes - including the ones around at the time of Robert's Rebellion - aren't this big on vengeance if Ned is something to go by. He stayed with his undead lord and left the undead lady. Beric was all for justice and protection, as much as his altered state would allow. UnCat was all for vengeance. Could that be a factor in young Ned's decision to leave? If it was and if the theory I suggest here has something to do with the truth of the matter, perhaps Ned's grandparents and father weren't after vengeance for a crime no one committed but were relieved to have the child away and cared for anyway. It'll make a nice inversion with the Stark man and the Dayne woman, BTW. The Night King and Queen certainly included breaking a vow - the one to protect Westeros and not make sacrifice to the Others. The result of their union was a monstrous one. A Stark maiden and a Dayne man union (in which the man has abandoned all claims over any station coming from his family and the maiden is one of the most high-ranking ladies in Westeros, second only to the Queen and Princess Elia) which also included breaking a vow - multiple vows, in fact, might have just lead to the birth of a hero.
  8. With Jorah's self-pitying whine and Catelyn's recollections, I'd say Lynesse might have been an older Sansa, the pampered daughter of a wealthy house taking a shine to someone noteworthy - in her case, a romantic lord who won a tourney for her and crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty. It might have even been a marriage of love/infatuation. Lynesse's older sisters were already used/would be used to forge good relations with Houses who were more important for the Hightowers or given to some lesser families just to be married to someone not entirely beneath them. Jorah might have been the answer to the Hightowers' prayers, a real lord with a real island who'd take care of Lynesse. Of course, it's equally possible that she didn't take a shine to him but he was the answer to her family's prayers and she wasn't consulted at all. Either way, she doesn't come across as a gold digger to me. Rather someone who thought presents and jewels were her right because that was what she knew. Especially if the jewels had already been given to her. She might have felt personally insulted by any hint of pawning them. At any rate, the Bear Island was likely a rude awakening to her. She might have been inventive enough to actually encourage Jorah to sell people to meet her demands but he doesn't mention any such thing despite his desire to lay the blame for all his trials at her feet. Even if she kept making demands, which isn't mentioned anywhere, it doesn't mean that she married Jorah expecting to have him strain beyond his financial station to satisfy her. She likely expected that he could afford her. He was a lord, after all. In her second relationship? Perhaps she was a gold-digger. Really, with him fighting here and there and she not faring well with the means she had at her disposal, what choice did she have? A common prostitute? A cult member? A pickpocket? She was likely never taught anything that could come useful in her new circumstances. And her family at Oldtown might not be so willing to embrace her and have her back, with the dishonour attacher to her husband's name, her reputation of the evil seductress who made the good boy fall and no chance to even make a second match for her because she was still tied to said good/bad boy.
  9. Yes but it also depends on what Ashara knew. There are no hints that she was in Rhaegar's confidences. I doubt Arthur would go and spill Rhaegar's plans to her. The only one she could know it from was Elia. That means that 1) Ashara was Elia's close friend and confidant, something that we still don't know; 2) Elia herself had to be aware of Rhaegar's plans which is still disputed; 3) Ashara needed to have a daily touch with Rhaegar's party since he didn't leave for Harrenhall. He just underwent a journey which ended about there. There was almost no way for her to know where he'd be at any given day; 4) Ashara needed to have a daily touch with Brandon since, like Rhaegar, he was also on the way and not stationed in any given place; 5) Brandon totally believed Ashara, he was convinced that they were still on good terms and she had only his best interests in mind and didn't see even one of Lyanna's own companions who might have told him the truth. OR: 1) still stands; 2) the first thing Rhaegar did after the abduction/elopement was notify Elia; 3) Ashara had the means in Dragonstone to circumvent Elia's commands; 4) and 5) still stand. If those 5 premises are fulfilled, she might have been in position to fill Bradon in with a lie. But it sounds quite implausible to me. I'd rather think it was Elia's spite that started the whole sorry mess. At least she had more chances to be actually told what Rhaegar was up to by Rhaegar himself.
  10. The image is a priceless one! But I'll tell you a secret: after the world book, I am inclined to think that the Swords of the Morning might have been quite overrated. We aren't told anything this great that those guys ever did, are we? Even Arthur who might have been the best of them but sounds quite unremarkable, just praised. I think there must be more to it because they do look overrated. I doubt this either. But I do think the difference is a marked one because if any Dayne did tell Ned, it was likely hoping that he'd be able to negotiate peace between himself and the KGs. Making his return in person a particularly painful blow. I can see why you don't share this opinion, though.
  11. At least send one of his men who weren't this far from the Prince's Pass. Everything else would be more compassionate than arriving in all his glory, Dawn in hand. Even keeping Dawn and sending it back after a while.
  12. I agree. As to Ashara being the one to inform Ned about the Tower of Joy thing, I could never accept it as a viable theory. It sounds good and tragic and all that but there's one important detail: what Ned did after the fight would be completely out of character, in this case. Sure, returning Dawn in person immediately after the fight might be the height of honour but if any Dayne, Ashara included, was the one to fill him in, it would also read plainly as "Thanks for helping me kill your Arthur. Here, now let me hand you this lovely white sword." Salt in the wound. A mockery, even. Rubbing their faces into the final, painful result. I have trouble believing that Ned wouldn't know it.
  13. Lyanna was taken from the Riverlands. Brandon was at the Riverlands. Starfall is far away. Unless Ashara was travelling with the party, there's no way that she got to know before Brandon. Or unless Rhaegar and the rest of them were actually stupid enough to explain it all in a long letter to Starfall, at which point we get to the predicament of Ashara being able to send a raven to find Brandon who was actually travelling and not staying in a castle. Or a man who'd have to go all the way from Starfall to the Riverlands. Besides, why would Ashara have either the task to write the letter (it must be an important one, given the identity of everyone concerned) or the chance to alter it? Was she a part of Rhaegar's inner circle? We have no hints to that. Again, that's if they even got together before Brandon got to know which I find highly improbable.
  14. Ah, I see. I didn't think of it like that because Alyssa is - well, half-legendary. Like the North's Night King. Ashara is very much real, like, documented. I was looking more for shared stories and legends that could be established for the North, the Vale, and Dorne. One of the 999999 reasons I love Davos. He exists. In my language, Z comes before K. No Paris, though. Poor Helen is doomed to stay alone forever. No Hera either - Zeus would likely throw a party that I'd like to see over this one. After all, Rick Riordan claims that Olympian parties rock. It'll be darkly ironic because Ashara wouldn't be dishonoured the way Barristan thought but she might feel it like a dishonour anyway. In fact, the more I think of it, the more I hesitate to claim it would only be her vanity. If Rhaegar had already bedded her at the time, what with frail wife getting pregnant almost immediately and likely not up for any bedsport for an additional half a year later, he had practically used Ashara and threw her away without warning - at least, that would be how she'd likely perceive it. I'll have a look. Thanks! Yes, Lyanna might be the "rival" here. But I think it's more complex than this. I think that if the Sansa echo holds true, Lyanna and Ashara alternate roles to both fit Lysa. I'd have no trouble with casting Ashara in Lysa's role but there are three facts that point me at this not being the case. First, Ned truly looks like he wants to protect Ashara as well as Jon to me. If she had tried to harm Lyanna, I guess he'd have much less scruples to cast her as Jon's supposed mother or at least, a viable possibility, especially with the Daynes not likely to contradict him. Second, Howland Reed. By all accounts, he seems to be the person who's currenly most knowledgeable about Lyanna's death - and he gives us some interesting hints, like Lyanna NOT crying at Rhaegar's song and pouring wine over Benjen's head and Ashara being so beautiful and romantic. There's no hint of evil about her in his words, just admiration. Third, Ned directly claims Lyanna's wolf blood led her to an early grave. In the Arthur-Lyanna scenario there's no way it had anything to do with the KotLT. This was long gone and forgotten. But I take Ned's words to mean that Lyanna actually played a part in her own death. She was a victim, yes, but also a perpetrator. We're given an example of how she acts: she "attacks" without thinking, re: Benjen. My guess would be that with Ashara and Lyanna both being kept away from the eyes of the majority of the people in Starfall, they might have been forced into uncomfortable closeness. Even if the Rhaegar matter had already been settled and Lyanna was no rival on this front, they might have been simply too different to live close to each other. Sometimes, it's hard even for sisters. (Sansa and Arya, Ishtar and Ereshkigal.) Perhaps Ashara truly thought that Lyanna's return to her brothers could end the war and despised her for staying at Starfall, as irrational as it was? And Lyanna, who disliked the fact that Robert had fathered a child on someone in the Vale thought the presumably pregnant or recently given birth unwed Ashara a married prince's whore? (With Lyanna, it might have been different in her own eyes. Arthur had no other woman, just his oaths to a mad and dangerous king who had murdered Lyanna's own father and brother,) Perhaps the news of Rhaegar's death followed by Elia's end, her children's deaths and finally Arthur's, proven by the return of Dawn, finally made the tensions escalate? It might have been Lyanna who reacted to an insult by a shove, flinging a glass of water in Ashara's face or something else (something that let out her inability to control her temper, aka wolf blood) that , in both women's agitated state, escalated in a fight causing Ashara's death and the birth of Lyanna's child in the immediate aftermath. (If that was indeed what killed her. There's the tiniest possibility that her bed of blood was caused by an actual wound. The direwolf in the beginning of the series died with her newborn cubs close by but it wasn't their birth that killed her.) If Ned tried to prevent the fight and/or tried to save Ashara, that might be a reason for the Dayne's respect. BTW, I am not sure that Ned Dayne was named after Ned Stark, no matter how deep the gratitude was. Gratitude is different from warm feelings. I suspect that Edric Dayne might be a reference to Eldric Shadowchaser. What chases shadows away better than light? And the Daynes conveniently have a blade aligt with light. Perhaps that was another reason for Lyanna's fear? Perhaps she feared that not only Robert and those who'd use Jon as Rhaegar's would be a threat but the boy's very own family if they were angry with her over the part she might have played in Ashara's death, no matter that she never meant for the other woman to die? (Like Sansa never meant for her father to die.) That might have been the best compromise for the Daynes as well: Arthur's son would be cared for and they woudn't have to deal with raising the child of the girl who was involved in Ashara's death.
  15. Agree about the family sigil - and she would have reenacted it even minus the jump in the sea fact. In everyone's mind, at least, she was a "fallen" woman. But that has nothing to do with my point. I see Alyssa Arryn as a woman who showed a stunning lack of emotions and no matter the true details of Ashara's story, she seems to be suffering no deficits in that department. In fact, her problem seemingly was that she was too emotional. It might even be a darker reflection of the Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa's story. The sword might have been literally "tempered" in the Night Queen/Fallen Star's blood. I am not going into speculations if it really killed her. But then, I've always thought that Nissa Nissa might not have been as willing to sacrifice herself as Azor Ahai was to sacrifice her. (I know, I know, I am no romantic and all.) Yes, I have forgotten about Mel's purpose. Another brick in that construction? Sounds plausible. One of the things that get me all thoughtful about human biases is how Ned despises Jaime for killing Aerys, breaking his vow, but doesn't bat an eyelid about Arthur betraying Aerys, breaking his vow, which Arthur does in every scenario I can come up with, including the Rhaegar and Lyanna love story. I mean, I can't think of a reason why Ned would think highly of a man who spent the war polishing his nice milky-white sword in front of Rhaegar and Lyanna's chamber. He must have known that they were planning to get rid of Aerys - and there was by no means any guarantee that the conflict wouldn't end up with Aerys' very death, the lesser betrayal of the KG aside. The same holds true in the Arthur-Lyanna scenario. I can't think of any reasonable way to explain it except that Ned simply liked Arthur better than Jaime. In the Arthur/Lyanna scenario, perhaps Arthur did something to merit such a distinction? It isn't ignorant of you, it's me going Anat on the thickest volumes of mythologies we have here. Horrible translation, zero editing, half the names gotten wrong... and to top it all, they didn't even finish the series. They left it at K. So I didn't reach for it to make sure that Ishtar was venerated as the evening star, like her cognate Astarte. The evening star. Quite obvious. Ashara is certainly described to have the lustre. Makes me think that besides the love/fertility aspect, she also acted in the war goddess capacity, using the weapons women have in Martinlandia - looks, station, and the head for politics. She just failed at the end. BTW, Harrenhall and Barristan's recollections of "the man who dishonoured her" might fit into the myth of another cognate, Inanna. I can't remember the husband's name right now but when she returned from the underworld, she discovered that he had not missed her at all. Upon this discovery, he was promptly sent to take her place in the underworld. Perhaps the Rhaegar-crowning-Lyanna-at-a-certain-tourney-despite-having-plans-with-our-fallen-star thing? She might have taken it as a dishonour, especially if she was only used to being adored. Your mentioning of Lysa attacking Sansa might be quite relevant. And I never actually got the feeling that Barristan knew who the man was (or that there was a man and dishonour but for the sake of the argument, let's presume there was.) In fact, I never believed Barristan knew for sure that Ashara had a child at all, he only operated on rumours. In this case, Ashara would be both Inanna and her sister in-law (now, that's a name I could never memorize, let alone remember), who offered herself to go to the underworld for a good part of the year so her brother could go back. A devoted sister, right? Of course, this IS making a mountain out of nothing. But I won't be surprised if Martin has such a twist in mind without even needing that particular myth. Ashara/Ishtar/Astarte is obvious and neither Ishtar nor Astarte were known to have sewing and picking flowers as their favourite pastime. They're both ladies with a certain cruel streak.