SFDanny

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  1. It is an interesting question who the High Sparrow will end up supporting. I lean in the direction of a Faith of the Seven nationalist state. Governed by the High Sparrow himself. Why should he support any of the other claimants? I could see the Faith uniting behind Stannis if he hadn't cast his lot with R'hallor. Now? None of the contenders for the throne is pure enough for the High Sparrow. More likely he rules as both Lord Protector and High Septon.
  2. It is good that you don't expect to find confirmation of an agreement between Targaryens and the Faith outlawing Targaryen polygamy in this history. You won't find it here. Hopefully we will get the first volume of Fire and Blood along with The Winds of Winter next year and we can look for it there. Until then we shall have to disagree that Jahaerys's honorific points to any such agreement. What Robb Stark has to do with the Targaryen custom of polygamy is beyond me. What he can or cannot do has to do with his own traditions and customs, not those of the dragonlords.
  3. LV, if I misunderstood your previous comments, my apologies. I had thought you were more accepting of the possibility of such agreements having occurred, but I stand corrected. I don't disagree with any of the cited paragraph above, with this one exception. I do think there is an understanding reached by Aegon and the High Septon who crowned him that his marriages to his sisters and any children he has with them are seen as valid and legal. Aegon wasn't setting up a Targaryen dynasty that lasted the length of his life only. By accepting his rule over Westeros, the Faith accepted his family and their future rule as well. The fact the Faith continued to preach against other such marriages and saying the children resulting from them were "abominations" doesn't preclude the fact they accepted them in the case of the Targaryens. That a new High Septon tried to seize the opportunity presented to him by Aenys's weak rule to change the balance of power towards the Faith doesn't negate the fact that the entirety of Aegon's rule is one of acceptance by the Faith of his marriages and his sons and grandchildren. I would put it a little differently. It seems that in a feudal society in which social mobility is frozen by birth, or nearly so, that there is always a need for the dispossessed of the peasantry to find a place in such orders. Or risk outright rebellion in times of crises. The difference between the Poor Fellows and the Kingswood Brotherhood is only the difference of a Septon's blessing. The Faith is never ok with Targaryen customs. In the wake of the Conquest, they agree to give their backing to Aegon's power and to ignore the conflict between those customs and the Faith's own traditions. They continue to ignore the contradiction until a new High Septon sees an opportunity to test the power balance anew. Or that is how I see it. I would only say about your statement about what prince can get away with, that it depends entirely on the King and the Prince in question. Does the king support the prince in "getting away" with what the prince is doing? Does the prince have an organized power base of his own? I do agree that being king can make a huge difference. While interesting, your point about the Starks really isn't precedent for what the Faith would accept. As worshippers of the Old Gods, the North's marriage customs are their own and the Faith's blessing on them hasn't been a issue for thousands of years, so why would what the Starks do represent the orthodoxy of the Faith in Oldtown? I do agree that the High Septon's letter and his suggestion of his niece as a better wife for Prince Maegor is more of a power grab on the Hightower family's part than a question of what constitutes incest. My only objection is that the Faith also clearly accepts Aegon's rule, the rule of both of his sister/queens, and Aenys's rule despite the contradiction between Aegon and his sister's marriage and the Faith's clear taboo on polygamy. The power of Aegon and his dragons keeps this contradiction between the Faith's dogma and the real world alive, but unresolved for decades. Open bloody war finally resolves this in favor of "Maegor's dictum" - "the strictures of the Faith might rule lesser men, but not the blood of the Dragon."
  4. Just finished my first read of TSotD and I'm quite happy to have new ASoI&F material to discuss. I have to say I see absolutely no evidence here that there was an agreement between Aegon, Aenys, or Maegor with the Faith to limit Targaryen marriage customs either in the area of polygamy or in what the Faith considers to be incest. To the contrary, we are told the following: A new kingdom that had grown through the years of Aegon's rule to accept the Targaryens did these things differently. The closest to any agreement we see is a communication between the High Septon and Aegon about Visenya's proposal of a marriage between the twelve year old Prince Maegor and the new born Rhaena. Not only is there objection to the marriage from the Faith, but also from Rhaena's parents, Prince Aenys and Princess Alyssa. With the suggestion of Ceryse Hightower as an alternative bride, Aegon agrees to this second match for Maegor in an attempt to keep the Faith's support. But here it is important to note that this concerns incest, not polygamy. We know from the wedding of Aenys's children that there is no support for a ban on such marriages that the Targaryens have agreed to. I could go on, and if LV or anyone wants to dispute my reading of the text, I will happily do so. Loving to finally discuss new Martin material.
  5. Completely agree!
  6. How would Lysa know of Petyr's supposed sexual encounter with Cat? Complete with details including how he called her Cat during the tryst? Would Littlefinger refuse to believe it? Maybe. But I like to think of Sansa telling him this as she has just put the dagger in his back he so richly deserves. Doesn't mean I'm right. I think some of the Starks, at least one, will have to meet Lady Stoneheart. Perhaps that includes Littlefinger. I'd like him to explain his role in Ned's death to any of them.
  7. So true. Not only is it the many long discussions with others over the ten years I've been doing this, but it also the changes those ten years has brought on my ability to remember as well as I could a decade ago. I'm getting old. I don't think we are disagreeing here. The last thing I want to suggest is that Ned doesn't change over the course of his story in A Game of Thrones. It is not just in the backstory that we learn of those changes, but we see them in his character as we read his point of view chapters. Certainly, we get a dissonance between the story of the ever honorable Ned who would never lie or do wrong with the Ned who has mysterious secrets that he continues to hide from all others. But we also have Ned change as he is challenged by his circumstances. A large part of this is the dangers he sees for his children, especially his two daughters he has brought with him into a nest of vipers. And part of that change takes place over how he deals with those vipers. I think that also includes how his views change towards his dead sister, brother, and father over the years. So, when you rightly point out how the brothel scene makes him evaluate Rhaegar and Lyanna again, I agree completely. I would only add a scene which is one of my favorites in the books that includes the reference to Lyanna's wolfish character. What happens here is Ned being forced to think of his sister's character through the conduct of his youngest daughter. I think Ned giving needle back to Arya and arranging lessons with Syrio reflects not only a rejection of Rickard's path with Lyanna, but a reevaluation of that history. Ned doesn't break Needle over his leg as he threatens, but decides to help Arya in her choices of what she wants from life. He is determined to break the cycle of pain that old traditions and old schemes cause to the children in his life.
  8. Sansa knows as well. Lysa told her
  9. Very Good! I've added it to my list. Books tend to go up and down on that list before I get to reading them. Of course, Sons of the Dragon will shoot to the top come October. Martin releases tend to do that. Thanks for the recommendation. i think we have talked about this before, but I should have been more clear, especially about Ned. I think Ned's thoughts about Lyanna change over the course of the rebellion. Ned is angry, but under control, when Rhaegar crowns Lyanna at Harrenhal. I take that to mean he sees this as an insult to Stark prerogatives just a Rickard would and Brandon does. Robert has good enough sense to laugh it off as saying Rhaegar was "only giving Lyanna her due." But I take this as a signal that both older brothers know full well this is Rhaegar saying he has an interest in stopping this marriage. The Stark brothers know this is a royal move, even if it is only symbolic at this point, into the rights of Winterfell to make the marriage pacts it wants. It also uses Lyanna in a way to make Rhaegar's point that, while on the surface is an honor, could be taken as a untoward interest in their sister. That all three brothers likely know Lyanna returns the interest only makes the matter worse. Ned knows Lyanna's thinking towards Robert, and he has to be an idiot not to notice her interest in the Crown Prince, but I think at this time he is likely to think Lyanna still will do her duty as her father has laid out in the marriage pact with Robert. When Rhaegar and Lyanna run off together months later, Ned has to know it is likely consensual. He just thinks Lyanna not doing her duty to the family, and Rhaegar helping her to not do so, is the equivalent of kidnapping. It is interference in the Starks right to make the marriages they see fit to make. In that much Brandon, Ned, and Rickard would agree. What the three of them would do in reaction, I think, is very different. We know what Brandon did. He goes to the Red Keep and demands Rhaegar come out and die. His judgment is much the same as we see at Harrenhal when he has to be physically restrained from doing something monumentally stupid. There is no one able or perhaps willing to restrain him among his friends who ride with him to King's Landing. Rickard, is a different case. Where Brandon demands a duel and says nothing of his sister, Rickard would know to lead his case with the concern for Lyanna and a demand for an explanation, not blood. If he thought it wise to start a war over Lyanna, he wouldn't have done so by giving himself and some of his closest allies over to the king to dispose of as the mad monarch saw fit. That doesn't mean I don't think Rickard knows exactly what is going on with both Rhaegar and Lyanna. I'm quite certain the brothers let him know what happen at Harrenhal, and I'm also quite certain Lyanna did not restrict her thoughts about Robert to Ned. That Rickard went ahead with the marriage pact over his daughters concerns tells us all we need to know about the difference between Rickard and Ned. Ned would have never forced his daughters into marriages they opposed. No matter the strategic advantage such marriages might bring. That Sansa's declarations of true love towards Joffrey place him in the awkward position of trying to stop a marriage she wants is, I think, quite different. Ned's thoughts to his sister are consistent in that, I think, his remarks years later indicate he still believes Lyanna's wolfish side did make her do things in a rash manner that contributed to her death. I just think Ned before the deaths of Elia and her children and certainly at the tower of joy probably is very different man than the Ned after those two events. Doing one's duty to family when it means making your children accept an abusive marriage and giving up on a chance of love no longer is so clear for Ned as the course to travel. No matter how certain Lord Rickard was about such a path. Indeed, in the end Ned puts the love of his sister and the life of her child above duty to Robert. I think Ned always thinks Lyanna is in part responsible for her death, but I think he moves from agreeing with Lord Rickard that she was wrong to agreeing that Lyanna was right in the objections she raised. I would think in the end as Ned holds his sisters dead body, he feels a sense of profound guilt for not helping Lyanna stop the marriage to Robert much, much earlier. A side note, that we may have also talked about in the past is young Benjen's thoughts on all of this. I think he is a Lyanna partisan throughout. If Ned loves his sister as much as he says he does, I think Benjen does even more. Which is why I think the answer to why Benjen joins the Watch when he does is all about Ned bringing the news of her death back to Winterfell. Benjen does his duty for family by being the Stark in Winterfell during the rebellion, but his early departure is likely due to feelings of blame and guilt around Lyanna's death. Benjen and Ned no doubt love each other, but the hurt is too deep. Anyway, my thoughts.
  10. I like to think of it as the result of a wild lost weekend in Lys. What happens in Lys stays ... Fill in the lurid details.
  11. I don't know the book, so I can't comment on it. It sounds like I should read it, but it will have to go on a very long list of things I have to read. My own take on this is there is no difference in what happened and a kidnapping for Robert or Rickard or Brandon, and likely not for Ned either. The pact is made and Lyanna's wishes don't enter into its validity. For the two Houses it is not the right of anyone to interfere into the pact they have made. That includes crown princes. So, in understanding Robert's and Brandon's responses in particular, it doesn't matter that Lyanna may not have wanted to marry Robert. Taking her away from that responsibility is as good as theft or kidnapping. Lyanna is Robert's by the sworn agreement of the two Houses. Of course, Lyanna might have thought otherwise. I think she did. And she got help in not going through with her father's wishes.
  12. No, I must disagree. Joffrey does indeed take a vow we know of, but it is not a "betrothal vow" between himself and Sansa that is conveniently left off stage, as is every other "betrothal vow" within universe. He takes a vow as king. A holy vow. During his coronation. That includes upholding the law, support of the faith, and all kinds of other things. Part of the world of Westeros that Martin has created includes marriage pacts. Marriage pacts between the king and his lords, and between lords and other lords. Indeed this patriarchal system extends to the small folk whose fathers make marriage pacts with other fathers. When these pacts are made they bind the Houses or the fathers to obey the terms of the pact, and to not do so is a serious breach of the law which Joffrey, and all kings, have sworn holy vows to keep. Like Aegon v Targaryen before him marriage pacts were made between the royal house and one of the Great Houses of the High Lords of Westeros. In Egg's case he made the pacts for his three sons and other houses including House Baratheon. Egg was sworn to uphold the law and fulfill the pacts, but he could not force his sons to say yes. A war almost started over the crises. In Joffrey's case, his father negotiated the marriage pact, but he as king is bound by his vow to uphold such pacts to to follow through with the marriage. As an individual he has the right to refuse to marry Sansa, just as she has to refuse to marry him. Of course, the consequences of such a refusal couldn't be more lopsided than they are for Sansa and Joffrey. Joffrey can also remake laws and customs at will as the king. Sansa as a ward of the crown and the daughter of a declared traitor has no power but for saying the word "no" and accepting the consequences of doing so. Joffrey has the power to set Sansa aside anytime he wants to, but he puts on a show. He protests through his discussion of his "holy vow" how much he respects the pact his father made, but the reality is the decision has already been made and there is no question of really needing the High Septon to intervene and allow him to set aside the Stark/Baratheon marriage pact. It is already done. The new marriage pact between House Tyrell and the Crown is already negotiated and agreed upon. My friend, you have created a whole new category of "betrothal vows" out of one reference not to betrothal vows but to a vow that is unspecified. It is to manufacture something we see done nowhere in the series and to assume it happens everywhere. There is just no evidence it is so, and example after example that shows no such vows were ever taken. You do so with Lyanna and Robert when we know Ned brings the proposal and it is accepted without Robert ever traveling to the North to see Lyanna. The first we know they saw each other is at Harrenhal, without Rickard present. Where is there evidence that anything like what you assume takes place? It is not there. In fact, we know that when Ned brings the proposal north, Lyanna's response is about Robert's character never changing and the known womanizer he is. Do you assume this discussion was only between Ned and Lyanna, and she never raised her objections with her father? I think not. That is not the Lyanna we are told about. Yet Rickard has his "southron ambitions" and they override Lyanna's objections and the pact is made. No meeting of Robert and Lyanna, or special betrothal vows are needed to make it binding between both Houses. I'm fairly certain I said I thought the incident with Rhaegar and Lyanna was neither a kidnapping or elopement, but rather a rescue from a marriage Lyanna didn't want. So I have implied no commitment of marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna any more than Dany does with Daario. Dany's thought make it very clear she does not wish to marry Hizdahr, just as Lyanna's remarks to Ned show her distaste for marrying Robert. What Dany dreams of is a savior that swoops in to take her away from this ceremony she wants no part of, even as she knows she must follow through on her promise for the good of the people of Meereen. Daario is no crown prince and Dany is not just a young noble woman struggling with what her father tells her to do. Dany is the monarch herself, and she has the power to not go through with the marriage, without Daario's help. Nevertheless, what she wishes for is a rescue, not an elopement, and it is a rescue she likens her situation to Rhaegar and his northern girl. As to the rest, let me say broken marriage pacts don't make children into bastards, the lack of a marriage does. If Robb had any children with Jeyne would the broken pact with the Freys make their children into bastards? No, the two married and any children would be trueborn. If Jon is Rhaegar's and Lyanna's son and they married, he too is trueborn. Hoster made the marriage pact and the Blackfish refused to go through with it. As Martin's quote in the SSM makes clear. There is no "betrothal vow." It is a fantasy you've made up.
  13. Excellent catch! I hadn't made the parallel.
  14. We don't see a betrothal ceremony because we know they aren't needed. Cat is betrothed to Brandon when she is twelve and there is no ceremony, but the pact is made. Ned brings the proposal of marriage to his sister and we see nothing of any betrothal ceremony. Hoster makes the pact with the Redwynes but there isn't a ceremony with the Blackfish and Bethany. Robb accepts Catelyn's negotiation but there is no betrothal ceremony because there hasn't been anyone picked to marry him. On and on it goes. There are no betrothal ceremonies because none are needed. What we see with Joffrey is him acting as king in his father's place who made the betrothal that bound him to honor the pact. He still has the right to say no, although that would be a betrayal of Robert's word to House Stark. Is it likewise a betrayal of House Stark's word if Lyanna refuses to go through with a marriage pact her father made? Yes. But as Martin makes clear, she has a right to do so. This is not just some abstract discussion of marriage laws in Westeros. It has everything to do with understanding what happened with Rhaegar and Lyanna, and between Lyanna and her family. If, as it looks likely, that Lyanna went willingly with Rhaegar, then she broke the pact her father made, and in the eyes of many, including I think her father, Brandon, and Ned, dishonored her House. I don't dispute any of that. But the idea she had to go through some formal breaking of a betrothal vow before she could marry someone else is without any evidence. Martin is very clear people can say no to a marriage. He also warns there may well be severe consequences for saying no. For the Blackfish it was exile from his brother and the Riverlands. For Lyanna, it likely would have been worse. Indeed, as I've pointed out before, Dany's hopes for Daario to stop her wedding is likened to what Rhaegar did with his "northern girl." I think this tells us this is a rescue of Lyanna from an upcoming marriage she doesn't want, not a kidnapping or an elopement. Lyanna desperately wanted to say no - probably did tell her father no - and wanted someone to help her do so. I think Rhaegar helped her say no.
  15. I think you're reaching here. Where exactly do we see anyone take a sacred vow in a betrothal ceremony? Betrothals are negotiated between Houses and the Lords agree to them. The parties to be married may not even see each other before the wedding ceremony. So, no, I don't agree Robert and Lyanna took any kind of vow. In fact, over and over we are told when these pacts are negotiated without the parties involvement. I'd be very surprise to learn Lyanna, who wanted no part of this marriage, agreed to anything. Now, when the Houses agree that is a sacred bond, but between the Houses, not the individuals. It is the duty of the Houses to go through with what they have agreed and it is a great breach for one side to void these pacts by themselves. Wars have resulted because of it. But that does not mean the individuals do not have the right to stand up and say no. George makes this very clear. Both in the SSM I posted and in the examples given in the books.