St Daga

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  1. It's hard to mix the show and books at this point, as the show is very "off the rails", but as for the books, GRRM was asked if the women in that vision with Rhaegar was Elia, and GRRM agreed that it was Elia Martell, which means that it was Rhaegar, Elia and their son Aegon in that vision. The books very clearly tell us that Rhaegar's son with Elia Martell was named Aegon. It is the show that is trying to tell us that Rhaegar had two son's named Aegon, not the books. Which is weird as fuck, but nothing in the show really makes sense anymore.
  2. Well, GRRM is both thorough and thoughtful, and he gives is a plethora of information. We need to sift through it to find out what we think is important. I think the GRRM leads the reader a lot. I refer to him often as the King of Misdirection! As to knowing what is misinformation or not, we honestly won't know until the last book is published, if that ever happens. My initial read of Young Griff's character is that he is a fraud, but not by his fault, but because he is what he is told he is. That is all he knows, he thinks he is who he is because it was what he was told and taught. But I think this idea could work for Dany as well. She only knows who she is because that is what she has been told. There is just as much a chance that Dany is not a child of Aerys and Rhaella's, as there is that Young Griff is not the child of Rhaegar and Elia. Some of her backstory and memories are suspect. Now, I am not saying that Dany isn't exactly who she thinks she is, but it's possible. Same goes for Young Griff's character. I just think the text leaves things open and it's worth exploring the ideas. My gut feeling tells me Young Griff is a fake. My first read and reread of Dance had me convinced he was Illyrio's son, but each reread since then has made me question my initial idea. Time will tell. I have admitted my theory/idea is very tinfoily, but I see wording in the text that is unusual. And I think it's worth questioning. I never expected to change anyone's mind, but so far no one has been able to change my mind either. I am more than likely wrong, but I try to look at the text from different perspectives to see what I might have missed. You interpret the text differently and have stated why you think Ned was still in the Vale. I see what you are saying, but I am not convinced that your interpretation is more correct than mine. Time will tell. And if nothing more ever comes of it, and I am wrong, I certainly won't be upset for having at least explored the idea. It is an assumption that Ned would have taken Theon's head if Robert demanded, but since Robert never demanded such a thing, we can't really know how Ned would have responded. I happen to think Ned might not have taken Theon's head off. Part of what we are meant to see is that children should not be punished for the mistakes of their parents, or that is how I see the text. We know that Ned has no problem executing people for their own misdeeds, but not sure about the people who didn't actually commit a misdeed. Yes, but how might Theon look at Ned and the Stark's if Robert had demanded Theon's head, but Ned refused? Would Theon love Ned unconditionally then, be grateful to him, support him into a war, think if him as a second father 15 years later? Maybe! It didn't happen, so we will never know. Just like we will never know if Ned would have taken Theon's head off if Robert had demanded. If you truly think time traveling fetus' are more plausible than Ned being a hostage, than I support your belief. As I said before, I am not trying to sway anyone's mind, I am just exploring the text. And if Tyrion turns out to be Dany and Drogo's sacrificed Rhaego, then I think only someone like GRRM could pull it off, because almost anything is possible in the world that GRRM has created. It's certainly worth exploring the idea in discussion. GRRM is an amazing story teller. And he layers his text with hints and details and ideas, some more subtle than others. Certainly, he isn't a "shock jock" type of writer, but he is capable of saying, much later, after all the reveals are done, that he laid clues through out the text. And he does. It's our interpretation of the text that alters with rereads, greater insight, discussion, etc. Much like history of our world, the actual history doesn't change, but what we know about it can change and certainly our interpretation of it can change. And while history is completed, GRRM's story is still being written. I see him capable of carrying off almost any twist imaginable. While he want's people to follow his clues, I don't think he necessarily wants people to figure everything out. As a matter of fact, he has said before that years ago, his mother's ability to always figure out the plot reveal of book she was reading, inspired him as a writer to make plots more difficult to figure out. But not to lie about it, or come out of left field with information we have never seen before, but confuse and misdirect the reader with the text. GRRM is smart and subtle and imaginative, and his text is wonderfully layered, and I really hope he has written stuff that will yet surprise the reader. Sorry for the delay in responding @cpg2016 as I do respect that you are responding, even if you think my pot is entirely cracked, but I had a problem accessing the web site for several weeks.
  3. I understand that you and I look at the text in different manners, but it's possible that GRRM is giving us information a bit at a time to toy with our perceptions of the story. For instance, we don't get information on the fisherman's daughter until the fifth book in the series. Does that mean it's less important because it was not delivered in the first or second book? I tend to think it's important to the mystery of the children born around the time of the rebellion. Same goes for all the information on Aegon/Young Griff, since this information isn't given to us until the fifth book as well. Does that mean it's less important or isn't of importance at all? It seems to me that GRRM is feeding us history and past events, as part of the mystery of the story, but he is doing it a bit at a time. With two books left, one can imagine he might have a few more tid bit's to reveal. Thanks for telling me how I should think! I agree that what happened to Ned's family has probably had an impact on his personality, but we hear in the very first book, that Ned was always staid and not prone to goofing off. Robert tells us when talking to Ned "You are too hard on yourself Ned. You always were." and "You were never the boy you were", both implying that Ned was probably always sober and responsible, so much that Robert only relates on one time that Ned cut loose, and Robert attributes that moment to Ned fathering Jon. I don't know that the Ned of the beginning of our story is a much different Ned than prior to the rebellion and his families turmoil. So then why isn't he in Winterfell, both at the times of the Tourney of Harrenhal and the death of Rickard and Brandon? I think it's odd, you don't need to. Nope, I don't think that and never said that, so I am not sure why you believe I did. More absurd than time traveling fetus's? I'm just curious. Of course Robert was made king because he helped conquer the previous monarchy. If there was no war, do you think the lords of the country would have just said, "Gee, Aerys is a dick, Rhaegar is too emo, and his children smell dornish. Maybe we can bypass them all and name a cousin from the storm lands king". It's all related, you can't have one with out the other in this case. If none of the leaders from the rebel army had Targaryen blood, how do you suppose they would have decided who should be king? They would have named somebody. And Robert might have Targaryen blood, but he is a Baratheon; a stag, not a dragon. Come on now. I think current world ownership laws are a bit different than usurping a throne in history. Still if a government or legal system collapses, you may have no claim to any land or homes you hold legally. In Westeros, if you have no power, you will struggle to hold a throne, and a person with more power than you can take it away from you. Aegon created his throne and kingdom with power, not because he was related to someone; with power (dragons) he usurped many thrones to form his great kingdom. A real world example of that would be Guthrum, who was a danish warlord who became a king after warring with the anglo-saxons. He consolidated the power of the danish forces that had invaded and he took the thrones of Mercia and Northumberland. He did this because he had power, not because he was related to the previous Kings of Mercia or Northumberland. He made a huge push for the throne of Wessex as well, but he didn't succeed. Power won him his throne and he ruled the Danelaw for years. I am. Sorry my grammar is so embarrassing for you. Dreams and visions are very similar. As a matter of fact, a vision is defined as an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition. Do you consider Jon's wolf dreams to not be important because he didn't drop some acid before having them? What defines if a dream is prophetic or not, in your opinion? Does it have to come true? Can only certain people have them? So, based on this comment, you must feel that the only dreams that Dany has that are clairvoyant are her visions in the house of the undying, because she drank some shade of the evening? Not any of her dragon dreams, or the times she dreams of Quaith. Well, I don't think the Stark's are Valyrian, but it is interesting that the Stark's hold one of the two castles in Westeros that have tower's decorated with gargoyles, the other castle being Dragonstone, which is indeed associated with people descended from Valyria. GRRM might still have a reveal in the story related to that fun fact! You make some good points, but some I am less inclined to agree with. It's always good to consider other opinions even if you don't agree. Debate is what pushes idea's forward, to see if we are missing things or if there might be another way the story might fall into place. I always appreciate a polite discussion of the text.
  4. Agree! I don't know if anyone clearly knows what the "three heads" of the "dragon" are. Is this "dragon" an actual dragon or just a powerful Targaryen, who are also called dragons. As to what the "three heads" mean ... another very vague idea. Are they three dragons hatching at the same time, are they children of a Targaryen, are they dragon riders? Is it something completely different? Yes to the independence part, but I am not sure about how she felt about Robert. All we get about her thoughts on Robert in Ned's memories, are that she felt that Robert would not stick to one bed and that his nature would not change. She never expresses that because of this she does not want to marry Robert. Yes. The Targaryen power had been slipping since they lost their dragons, and each further generation of Targaryen ruler slipped further away from the power that Aegon I wielded. Again, we don't know what the three heads of the dragon actually means. It might be children, it might not be. It doesn' t much seem like Rhaegar might have ever been close to his father, and it is possible that Rhaegar became feed up with Aerys to finally try to usurp his throne. We don't know this anymore than we know that Lyanna didn't want to marry Robert. Rickard and Lyanna? How do we know they shared common goals? When Lyanna disappeared, neither a Stark or Tully army raised up to find or follow her. First of all, beauty has nothing to do with being fertile. And we don't know that the Stark's did breed like rabbit's. Ned's generation had 4 children, but Rickard was an only child, and Rickard's father only had one sister, I believe. If there were so many Stark's about, then Robb should not have had difficulty in naming a family member his heir. Catelyn was trying to steer him to distant cousins in the vale. That doesn't sound like a family that breeds heirs like rabbits. No one is proven fertile until they have had a child. Cersei loves Jaime because he is her with a cock. Cersei loved Rhaegar because he was beautiful and was the prince, I doubt she cared if he was charming or not. But that is exactly what Robert did. We don't know how well Robert and Lyanna knew each other, just that Ned said that Robert didn't see the iron underneath Lyanna. And it seems from Robert's statements in AGOT, he would have married Lyanna if she hadn't died, and he doesn't seem to care that she was no longer a maid. Certainly he hates Rhaegar for what he assumes was multiple attempts of raping Lyanna. But no where does Robert seem like he was upset about damaged goods. Robert was pretty damaged goods, himself! We really have no idea about what Rhaegar and Lyanna's plans were, just a whole lot of colorful speculation. In my opinion, the fact that the first idea's we get are about Rhaegar and Lyanna having a sexual relationship, are the very reasons that I doubt they ever were lovers at all. GRRM is telling a story but he is misleading us about the major details the whole time. I used to see the plot in a very clear manner, but then I realized that we know very few facts, and much of those are based the unreliable narrator, and that most of the common thoughts on the story are assumption and speculation. I realize, I could be very wrong about my interpretation.Only time and another couple books from the King of Misdirection himself will clear that up.
  5. @devilish I think we will just have to agree to disagree about Brandon and his actions. Time and more books will tell us a few more details about Brandon Stark and his actions, and until then ... In this sense, having a concubine would almost be a prearranged, prepicked arrangement. with a girl groomed for her role, not unlike the placage system of precival war New Orleans. That certainly doesn't fit the story we have been lead to believe about Rhaegar and Lyanna. And even if it did, I really doubt that Lyanna would have fit the role of concubine as you are presenting it. A girl who picks up tourney swords and who can knock the tar out of three squires is probably not going to be the most diplomatic match for a prince if she is supposed to fly under the radar at court. I question the story about Rhaegar and Lyanna and the kidnapping or eloping that might have occurred. I doubt it's truth, or that it's the total truth. I doubt Rhaegar's obsession with prophecy and/or with Lyanna. I doubt that Brandon's actions at the Red Keep are what we have been led to believe. I certainly doubt Barbrey Dustins story and her motivation. I don't have a problem with people who do feel that way, as it certainly is what the story has lead us to believe. I just believe that GRRM is trying to lead us down a merry little path of misdirection, and I am hesitant to follow the path without questioning the details we have been given. He is savvy and tricky and smart! And I think he wants us to be surprised, even though we think we have it all figured out, so he can jerk the rug out from under our feet at the end, and in his defense, he can use the text, with never explicitly states many actual facts, but has many details alluded to by unreliable narrators littered throughout the text. The idea of the unreliable narrator may be his greatest tool! And his imagination is his greatest gift! His ability to twist words his greatest asset! No matter how it ends, I have enjoyed the story he has given us.
  6. Yes, it is possible that Ned was visiting the vale at the time of Aerys demands for his head, and had been visiting just before the tournament at Harrenhall, approx a year before. But that is quite a bit of time, making Ned the guest that never leaves. It is also possible that Ned had hoped to be granted a holdfast in the vale. But the fact that he is 19, and holds neither lands in the vale for Jon Arryn or in the north for his father is particular to me. At 19, Ned is certainly considered a man by Westerosi standards, so why is he just hanging around in the vale. Maybe we will find out that Ned did hold a keep prior to all of this, either in the north or the vale, but I guess until we are told that in the text, I am left to question just what Ned was still doing in the vale, long after the age one would assume his fostering would end, at the age of 16.
  7. No, there is not really any evidence for house Targaryen not wanting to trust house Stark, but some of the wording used is subtle and interesting to me. GRRM is tricky and subtle, and really is a wordsmith. I see questions in the text. I don't see answers, hence the reason this is only a theory, and, I admit, a pretty "cracked pot" theory, at that. As for when Brandon's age when he might have taken Barbrey's maidenhead, it is pretty vague. Catelyn tells us she was 12 when she was betrothed to Brandon. Brandon was born in 262, Ned in 263, and Catelyn in 264 or 265. (these dates are according to the wiki) I actually always imagined Cat as the same age as Ned or maybe a year older, but we can go with the wiki dates. So that makes Cat 2 or 3 years younger than Brandon. So if the betrothal was announced when she was 12, then Brandon was 14 or 15. I would guess that Brandon could have become Barbrey's lover by this time, or even before. From Barbrey's story, she was his lover before she heard about his betrothal to Catelyn, and she probably heard not long after it was officially announced. It is possible Barbrey did not learn about the betrothal for years, but unlikely. Now, how long Brandon and Barbrey's affair might have lasted is hard to say. It could have ended almost as soon as it started or it could have lasted several years, and been going on right until Brandon rode of for his marriage to Cat.
  8. I have to say I don't even know if I believe the theory I have lined out, but I think it's possible and I think there are some odd things that are worth asking a few questions. We have not been told that Aerys worried about the Stark's, but we do know that Targaryen's, such as Jaehaerys and Alysanne have done their best to weaken House Stark in the past. I think maybe House Targaryen always worried about House Stark, and it might be related to the 'prophetic dreams" of Targayen's in the past, even so far back as Daenys the Dreamer. Maybe holding a child of House Stark is just another way of exerting power, a subtle threat, not unlike the Targaryen's taking 6 dragons's to Winterfell. It's seems like a quaint visit but it is a very subtle show of power. The only reason I could see for House Stark agreeing to send a child to be held as a hostage would be as an act of good faith, to show that you do not need to fear us, as we are loyal to you. Certainly, Rickard did not send his eldest son for this role, and we don't actually know that he might not have been able to send Brandon. Brandon and Ned are only a year apart, and we have no timeline to when Brandon might have gone to Barrowtown.
  9. Yes, there is Robert. Touche. But House Tully could have placed either Catelyn or Lysa with a house as a ward. This happened with girls, too, as we see with Myrcella. And while Jon Arryn did not have a son to foster some where, he did have an heir, in his nephew Elbert. And we might yet find out that Elbert Arryn was a ward of some northern house, but we have not been told that in the text yet. We are certainly only told was GRRM wants us to know, a little reveal at a time. That is correct about directly marrying into House Arryn, but the Stark's did marry into House Royce (Ned's great aunt married a Royce) and had three children, who married into three powerful vale houses, House Waynwood and House Corbray are named but the third house is left unnamed. It could have been to house Arryn. It could just as easily not have been, but it's a possible connection right there. Well, just because we are given a story, it does not mean it is the truth or we should all blindly accept it. You can, but I won't. I would love for Brandon to be alive as Jaqen, but that is even shinier tinfoil than what I am spinning! I think it's peculiar that Doran placed his eldest son in the house of a rival for power in Dorne. You don't need to think it's odd at all. This is suspected but never proved. Only rumor's about the poison that might have killed Lord Yronwood. And even if that is the case, does placing his eldest son with this house really make sense to Doran? As a form of pacification? Maybe, as it seems like he is playing a long, slow game, so his actual motivations and plans are almost a mystery. I know what he tells people, but I am not sure that is even the truth. Well, the text does tell us several times that houses Bolton and Stark have been long time enemies and more recent uneasy allies, but maybe that is open to interpretation. Not by me, but some people might interpret the houses as being rather cozy, I guess. Except the whole Red Wedding thing! This assumes that Rickard wanted a marriage for Ned for political alliance. For all we know, Ned might have been intended for the Nights Watch. I think it's hinted that Benjen listened to a Nights' Watch recruiter at Harrenhal, but we don't know that was what Rickard had intended for his children. The only thing we know are about the two marriages arranged prior to his death, Brandon to Cat and Lyanna to Robert. Even if Ned didn't have a marriage lined up, he should by this age, at least been holding a keep or holdfast of his own, and it seems odd to me that he was not. Lysa was never intended for Jon Arryn. It seems that was a move of necessity, for both Jon Arryn and Hoster Tully. Since the Lysa and Jaime idea never worked out, Hoster could have intended her for Stannis, for all we know, but the war changed things. There are several possibilities that could have worked out. While I agree that Ned has no claim to the vale and would not be named Jon Arryn's heir, I do question why Ned is just hanging out in the vale. He does not strike me as an idle person, prone to fun and games, and wasted time. I do disagree with Jon Arryn's relatives. If he felt like any of those relatives would serve as his heir after Elbert died, then why did he make a marriage with Lysa? Did Hoster insist? Or did Jon Arryn feel he needed an heir? It could be both, I suppose, but I don't think he felt very secure in the living relatives that he had at the time. While we don't know what year that Rickard fostered Brandon at Barrowtown, I would think Brandon would have been around 7 or 8. Eddard went to the vale at 8. Brandon and Robert were born the same year, Ned the year after, and Stannis one year after that. All of them were born in a short amount of time, and are roughly the same age. Did so much change in the one year between when Rickard sent Brandon to Barrowtown and he sent Ned to the vale? What did Aerys do in that one year that made such a huge impact on Rickard's thought process? It doesn't line up with Duskendale, and that is when people started to see differences in Aerys behavior. I just think something seems off in this idea of fostering who, when and where. Maybe I am thinking to hard about it? It's possible but it doesn't hurt to ask questions. And if Stannis and Ned are so close in age, why not send Stannis to the vale to foster instead of Robert. It might have done Robert some good to be fostered in the Stormland's and made some alliances. Maybe then he would not have need to battle his own bannermen to support him during the rebellion. There are many questions and I don't know if we will ever get the answers that will make it definite in our minds. The argument might continue forever! Well, Tywin is either crafty enough to influence people to do his bidding, or he isn't. Rhaegar could be pliable enough to fall for Tywin's plans or not. I don't know, but either is possible. I think it is possible that at one time Tywin wanted his daughter to be queen, but I think he became jaded and angry enough with Targaryen rule, he might have just wanted the throne for himself, or for Jaime. And Jaime could have had it; He sat on that throne after deposing the king, claiming the iron throne. It was his until he gave it up to Ned. Just as Ned could have claimed it, as well, but he gave it up to Robert. But if Jaime had not relented to Ned, House Lannister might have claimed the throne at that time. It would have meant at least one more battle, between Ned's forces and Tywin's, but I bet Tywin would have gambled on his Lannister army. Tywin's gave the order to kill Rhaegar's children, he didn't want any Targaryen's left to challenge the throne. But Jaime gave up the throne and therefore the opportunity. And so Tywin made the best of the situation, which was marrying Cersei to Robert and claiming the throne through his blood. Tywin is an ambitious man, I don't think this idea is out of range for him. Maybe that super power is why Aerys left the treasury overflowing with gold? Does it matter how you have the dreams, as long as you think they are prophetic and act on them?
  10. I can see that we are defining need in a different way. The nurse in me, see's human needs in the terms of Maslov's pyramid, and on the bottom of that pyramid are physiological needs such as air, water, food, clothing and shelter. Those are absolute needs for survival. Once those needs are met, then safety plays a huge role in the next step of the pyramid. Granted, kings are certainly higher than serf's in society, but they are still humans with basic needs. Your idea of concubines fitting into this pyramid to me may fall into the third level, social belonging, but more probably into the forth level, esteem. So, to me, a concubine is not a need, it's a want and a privilege. As for basing GRRM's world on the real world, we always can run into difficulty, because GRRM"s world is his own, and while it may be based in human life and certain time periods, it is ultimately what he wants it to be. I don't disagree with this, though I think the Boleyn's grew more powerful while Anne was legally queen than they ever were, when Mary (and Anne) was a mistress of the king. I do disagree in how I feel Rickard Stark would have felt about his only daughter becoming a concubine. I don't think he would have stood for it, but that is only my opinion. I question the truth of Lyanna and Rhaegar being together in a way that is commonly accepted, and I think that Rickard knew more of the truth of that, than we still do. I cannot agree with you that Brandon kept doing silly, irrational things time and time again. Maybe twice, but not the four times that you mention. I think all of the times that you mention can be argued. 1) taking a lover is not silly or irrational, it's human nature. And we don't really know the truth of this, we only have Barbrey's tale, and I think we both agree that her words and intent are very questionable. 2) LF was the one who issued a duel challenge, and based on the idea of the time, if Brandon had refused, he would have most likely been viewed as a coward. If Brandon for some reason dies in this duel with Petyr, he still has two younger brothers to assume the role of heir to House Stark. Brandon't biggest mistake here is that he didn't kill Petyr Baelish when he had the chance. But that is hindsight, and plays no role in the actions at the time. 3) maybe when Brandon reacted so strongly to Rhaegar's crowning of Lyanna, this could be viewed as silly or irrational, but I still don't think we have been told the actual truth of why Brandon reacted so strongly. I think this was a threat or lesson that Rhaegar was issuing to House Stark, but I can't prove that, and we won't know more until we get another book. 4) if we discount Jaime's flippant recount to Cat of Brandon's "come out and die", than all we really know is that Brandon rode to King's Landing seeking redress from the crown. This is the right of any vassal to seek redress from his overlord. Now, one could argue that was not Brandon's role to seek redress, but Rickard's, and that Brandon overstepped himself in this place. I think Brandon did overstep in this case, and it caused more problems, because it put him in the hands of the Targaryens. But is is not treason to demand justice! Does is say anywhere in the story that if you threaten a member of house Targaryen, you have committed treason? And we don't even know if Brandon did actually threaten Rhaegar's life, we only have the account of Jaime, a captive who is drunk, weak and a bit of an arsehole trying to rile Catelyn up in his story telling. As to this line, if you claim that Rhaegar, or a king, has the right to claim any of his vassal's daughters and call them concubine, as with the idea of Rhaegar and Lyanna, then doesn't this situation almost mirror Brandon, the son of the highest lord in the north, claiming a concubine of his fathers vassal? You can't have it both ways. The Stark's are effectively kings in the north, even though that is no longer a title they claim, so they should have the same rights in their territory (the north) as House Targaryen has over their territory (the 7K), the apparent right to a powerful concubine, which Barbrey certainly could be considered. See, I question this interpretation. I have considered it at different times. but we don't really have any clue what Rhaegar thought about the prophecy, or how he interpreted it. We have other peoples thoughts on what they thought Rhaegar thought, but that falls into that tricky unreliable narrator category. We don't know that Rhaegar thought he needed to breed with a house of Ice to produce TPTWP. Actually, but Dany's own vision, it seems that Rhaegar felt like Aegon was the TPTWP, so why would he ever need to breed another? Hell, Rhaegar might have felt like he needed to destroy any heir of ice, or use such a child as a sacrifice. There is so much we don't know, and I am not willing to accept the easy interpretation. Maybe time will prove me wrong, but until we get confirmation in the books of Rhaegar's thoughts, then I am willing to pursue other idea's about what Rhaegar was up to. Or if he was up to anything at all. It would not surprise me at all to find that both Lyanna and Rhaegar were simply pawns in a much bigger game, or to find that their only actual meeting was a Harrenhal, and the rest is all heresy. First of all, I am not mistaking, in my mind or the text, Robert and Brandon. Secondly, I don't think I ever claimed that Robert was a bad king. I agree that Robert was smart in a diplomatic type of way, and he did show mercy to attempt to heal the land after the civil war. I think he was average. However, he did drink too much, which caused him to make some poor decisions, left a lot of decisions up to his small council and it seems he ran through a huge amount of gold in the treasury that the Targaryen's had apparently left quite full of gold. I think that the Robert of the start of our story is a different man, in many respects, as the man who was just crowned king 14 years before. I am sure the weight of that crown was heavy on his head, and he himself told Ned that the Iron Throne (both the chair and the power) was not a comfortable seat. I am not sure he did keep Tywin under check, though. As a matter of fact, by being in debt to House Lannister, Robert allowed Tywin much power over Robert, the Iron Throne, and the realm. Robert let himself be surrounded by Lannisters but had no Baratheon or royal guards of his own. That wasn't probably the best idea. Ned was not wrong to recognize this. And his naming Renly as overlord of Storm's End might be politically savvy in your eyes, but Renly was a boy, a child of maybe 5 or 6 as the end of the rebellion and in no way could anyone be certain of his diplomatic power in the Storm Lands. Also, not every person in House Baratheon was part of an alliance with House Tyrell. Actually, Stannis was quite left out of that whole situation, which caused House Baratheon to split and weaken, which might have cost them a quick end to supplanting House Lannister. I also think that Robert's lack of reaction to Rhaegar's crowning of Lyanna at the Harrenhal tourney was because he did not interpret the action like Brandon and Eddard did. Because I think there was much more to the act than Rhaegar crushing on Lyanna and giving her pretty flowers. I think it was meant to be a challenge or a warning that only the Stark's would understand. That is a different interpretation than many have, and only time will tell how it all will actually play out. The kings power, or that of his family, cannot go unchecked. That is what the Magna Carta told us in real life history. House Targaryen doesn't get to rule absolutely, they need their vassals to back and support them. Feudalism is two way game! And again, how was Brandon asking for redress for a supposed insult to his family treason? I don't see it that way. And you have not explained it in a way that I can accept the idea of treason from Brandon toward House Targaryen. Well, I would hate to "cheapen" any of this business with Rhaegar kidnapping a girl of good standing from a powerful house and effectively turning her into his whore based on the idea of absolute power of a monarchy with unchecked power. House Targaryen started loosing their power when they turned on each other in multiple civil wars and finally lost it when the last of their dragons died. After than, they were scrambling to hold on just like any other human in this story. Also, I think in the real world, medieval lords married "damaged goods" all the time for money or standing or power! As to the plan you put forth, yes, it could have worked. I myself am spinning some bright tinfoil with this idea of Ned as a political hostage, so I cannot claim that your idea might not have worked. However, even if it could have worked, it is not the way things worked out. Sorry about the delay in response. I have been dealing with buying a house, moving, and trying to squeeze some vacation time in.
  11. I will have to look into the SSM's. I am curious about it. It's not actually a bad plan. I still think it would have worked after Balon died. Victarion is a follower, and I think it would be hard for Asha to have led the Iron Born as she wished. Euron is the wrench in the plan. His devious plotting could throw everything off kilter. I would think that the Iron Born would remember how easily they were defeated when Balon rebelled, and would not risk angering the Iron Throne if Robert decreed that Theon was lord. Theon himself is a wild card because he is a bit of a shit! I might stumble across it someday. Sometimes things pop up in discussions and really have nothing to do with the intent of the thread, but are interesting in many ways. I like the flow of a discussion that is natural, even if it veers off in several directions, and don't mind if it sticks to the idea of the thread. It feels organic to me, like an actual conversation.
  12. Um, nobody needs a concubine, not even a king. They might want concubines, for pleasure, for prestige, for affection, but they don't need them, and they don't have the right to them either. Some noblemen did allow this role for their children, but some did not. To assume that Rickard Stark would be happy that his only daughter, who was betrothed to a Lord Protector, was becoming the mistress of the crown prince, is a bit hard for me to believe. If other people believe that, then great, but I don't think so. Time and more information might change my mind, but as you stated, the world of ASOIAF is a bit different than the real world feudal or medieval times. The Boleyn family is certainly an interesting case. The family had already started it's rise to power long before Henry VIII (H8) had become a lover of either daughter. Mary actually spent time in France, and was the mistress to several men, when her father was the ambassador to France. But her marriage prospects certainly changed when she went freely to many beds. This was long before she and H8 hooked up. And while she was H8's mistress, and probably bore him one, and possible two children, he found a husband for her and claimed neither child and kicked her to the curb quickly. Anne, it seems was much smarter than her sister, and was playing the long game. If she had other lovers, she was very quiet about it, and she withheld herself from H8 for years. Ultimately she too became H8's lover, but he was well on the way to setting Catherine of Aragon aside and pissing on the Roman Catholic Church and marrying Anne. With Mary as a mistress, or concubine, the family fortune was still very unsteady, but with Anne as a wife, the family was settled. The real power of the Boleyn's came with Anne's marriage to H8, a much more prestigious position than being the mistress of a king. It seems in this case, marriage is the ideal goal in the power game as compared to being a mistress. If Anne and H8's marriage had produced a male heir, the family would have remained in favor. Well, if Barbrey's story is accurate, then it would not surprise me to find that Brandon made "sweet words" part of his seduction. Many people do that, men and woman. But we only have that account of Brandon from one person, and her intent is very questionable. Although, it would not surprise me to find that Brandon also spent some time with Bethany Ryswell before her marriage to Roose and might be the father of Domeric Bolton. Ned claimed that Brandon had the "wolf blood" that lead him to an early grave but also felt his brother always knew what do do in a given situation. This does not sound like a rash person, prone just to fits of temper. I think that Brandon was probably a bit like Robb, who did have bouts of temper and made a very poor choice based on sex, but he also was a thoughtful and successful military commander and he cared about his people and family. I think there is more to Brandon's story than we know and it might shed a different light on him when it's revealed. We know he got upset at the crowning at Harrenhal but we don't know what he was upset about (Ned was upset, too, but in a more quiet manner). Every thought out there is a guess, based on what we know of the story, but we certainly don't know the whole story yet. We know he was reported to have rode into KL screaming for Rhaegar to "come out and die" but did he really? I question Jaime's story a bit here. I am from a small town and I know how stories can quickly become more powerful and spread faster than truth. He certainly might have rode to KL demanding redress, but we don't even know if this is about Lyanna or not. Everyone assumes it is, but we don't know that is what was going on. We all make assumptions based on what the text gives us, but the text is given to us by the King of Misdirection and he want's us to be misled, I think. No, the Stark's felt the insult, not Robert. I don't think that Crown was laid in Lyanna's lap as an honor, but a warning, and one that the Stark's understood but Robert did not. Robert also isn't the smartest cookie in the jar. One can assume (although I hate to do that) that Robert's reign would have quickly fallen apart if not for Jon Arryn and probably Stannis. No, as my OP stated, Robert was sitting around in the vale, drinking ale or getting into food fights, or something. Isn't it odd that if Rhaegar truly kidnapped his fiance, that Robert just decided to sit around chillin'? Something is missing from what we know. Well, I do question whether Aerys ever actually demanded Robert's head or not, but he joined the rebellion after Jon Arryn called his banners. The rebellion didn't need to start over this demand of Aerys. We are told the rebellion started when Jon Arryn called his banners. Who knows what Robert was thinking at that point? But he and Ned did seem to follow Jon Arryn's lead. Umm. That is a bit of a generalization. If the story that is commonly accepted that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, then Rhaegar was an equal kickstarter. Or if Rhae and Lya eloped, then they bare equal responsibility. This rebellion cannot be laid at Brandon's feet as the soul person who made a mistake that lead to a war that tore apart the country. We are told in the text that the rebellion started when Jon Arryn raised his banners instead of giving in to Aerys demand. All the other things lead up to that act. And to leave Rhaegar out of any of the blame is unfair and unjust, if this commonly accepted idea is really how it all went down. I am not convinced. I can't assume that. We don't know what might or might not have happened. What? There is no way to know if Rickard and Aerys would have worked out a deal. Okay, I will let my daughter be your son's whore, but if there is a child, she needs to marry your other son and that child needs' to be legitimized? I just don't see it. Why would Aerys go for that? Also, Aerys was on the outs with Dorne over his treatment of Elia and her children, he never accepted them and told Rhaegar that Rhaenys "smelled Dornish". If that is how he felt about Rhaenys, no reason to think he would feel differently about Aegon. I don't think Aerys gave two shits about the Martell's, or anyone else, for that matter. If Rhaegar was disowned, I think Aerys would make Viserys his heir (which he did after Rhaegar died, bypassing Aegon and Rhaenys completely), and Lyanna would not be marrying any Targaryen. Rhaenys was 3 or 4, Robert was 20. Could he possibly wait long enough for Rhaenys to grow up to marry and produce heirs? It would be smarter for Lyanna to still marry Robert, and for the crown to give some monetary compensation to the Starks and the Baratheons. But anything is possible so this idea can't be discounted. Ultimately, it's a whole lot of guessing because we can't really begin to know what might have happened if ... hell, we don't really know what actually happened anyway. Again, this is a whole lot of guessing. We can't know. Brandon might have been killed in his first battle and never made it to the toj. Rhaegar might never have died on the Trident, and that would have changed everything for Jon and Lyanna, if Jon is Rhaegar's son and if Lyanna was Rhaegar's lover! As I said, we barely have good details on what did happen, let alone knowing what might have happened in an alternative reality. It is interesting to think of, however. But it's like Ned's death. It's does little to imagine what might have happened if Ned lived, because GRRM needed Ned to die. Just like he needed Robb to die. And just like GRRM needed Robert's Rebellion for his story to work.
  13. I would agree with this. Food must be offered and words spoken. However, if Mance felt like he was protected by guest right after eating at Winterfell, then the pledge could be viewed as very broad, if it encompasses the kings entire party. As we see, Mance weaseled his way into that protection, when it wasn't intentionally offered to him specifically. If the catspaw assassin was part of the kings party, then he probably was offered guest right in a vague, all encompassing way, too. I do question the rules that Theon lived under, however. We know he was a "hostage" of the crown, kept at Winterfell, but that doesn't mean he wasn't offered guest right as a ward of the Stark in Winterfell. It is possible Theon was never offered any sort of guest right safety at Winterfell. There is not much in this story that is very black and white, but maybe guest right is one of the exceptions. However, we can agree that what happened at the Red Wedding was a bold repudiation of guest right, which was offered and then spit on by Walder Frey. Guest right is very interesting and very important, but there are ways around it. So it's not completely black and white, but a little bit grey. We also see that crafty Lord Manderly found a way around the guest right he offered his Frey guests with the parting gift of horses, which then led said Frey's into a trap that ended in pie. I appreciate the discussion on guest right and maybe I will come across the thread that you were discussing it in. It sounds like an interesting thread. I agree that with the information we are given, it is never directly stated that Eddard or Robert were ever hostages in the vale, but some of the text implies to me that there was something off. Theon at 19 is still called Ned's ward, and Ned at 19 was still referred to as Jon Arryn's ward. The age of manhood is 16 in Westeros, so Ned should not still be thought of as a ward, and neither should Theon. Except we know that Theon is a hostage. I am just trying to look at parallel's in the story. It's possible that no parallel exists and I am seeing things that are not there.
  14. Thanks, I don't actually post a lot on this forum but I read quite a bit and have for years. I have seen some of your posts and I think that many of the "southron ambitions" theories are interesting, I am not sure how far I see them going but I have looked into many of them, and some of the ideas are very eye opening! Maybe I will catch you sometime on one of those threads and we can discuss!
  15. I do expect disagreement and that is fine. I actually expected more (though I don't look forward to it), because the idea I have presented is so far from what is commonly accepted. As I stated in my OP, there is some wording that I question, and in my experience, GRRM is very careful about his word choices. It is certainly possible that I am looking too deeply into the wording, and what I might find odd, isn't odd at all. I used wording from the text to make my point, a lot of it, actually. So much, that I considered that I was using too much. Whether you agree with the information I supplied or not, I outlined the things from the text that I thought might be valid. It's a theory or hypotheisis, therefore does not require absolute proof. If it was proven, it would be called a proof. Not many things have actually been proven yet in this story that GRRM is telling us. I highlight text that I thought was questionable or unusual, and used that text to help support my theory. Yes, @SFDanny helped clarify that for me, and I appreciate it.