NervousFiend

What was Rhaegar Targaryen thinking?

281 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, NervousFiend said:

Rhaegar Targaryen was a pretty smart man, He read alot and was a very intelligent and determined person, Commonfolk loved him, he was a respectful and honorable man, according to Ned.

So how is it that, Rhaegar Targaryen a person that is very smart runs away with a stark girl without thinking of the consequences?

Since he was the Prince and soon to be king, couldn't he somehow manage being with Lyanna stark without starting a war and losing his own life in the end?

What was he really up to? did he actually love Lyanna stark or was he up to something else?

Where the hell did you get the idea from that he was smart?

He was well-read, but some of the stupidest people I met in my life were academics... And non of Rheagars actions portrait an intelligent or smart person

It always puzzles me why people confuse 'read a lot's with 'intelligent'

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12 minutes ago, grinny said:

Where the hell did you get the idea from that he was smart?

He was well-read, but some of the stupidest people I met in my life were academics... And non of Rheagars actions portrait an intelligent or smart person

It always puzzles me why people confuse 'read a lot's with 'intelligent'

Well said. 

Knowledge is not same as wisdom.

Too much knowledge sometimes make you sort of silly too.  

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5 hours ago, grinny said:

Where the hell did you get the idea from that he was smart?

He was well-read, but some of the stupidest people I met in my life were academics... And non of Rheagars actions portrait an intelligent or smart person

It always puzzles me why people confuse 'read a lot's with 'intelligent'

I took this from the Wiki of Asoiaf

"Rhaegar was exceedingly intelligent and excelled at anything he put his mind to. He was considered to be a talented musician and skilled knight."

I don't know about you but I take this as a smart person.

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28 minutes ago, NervousFiend said:

I took this from the Wiki of Asoiaf

"Rhaegar was exceedingly intelligent and excelled at anything he put his mind to. He was considered to be a talented musician and skilled knight."

I don't know about you but I take this as a smart person.

Book smart is not the same is street smart though, it's highly possible for book smart people to have terrible social skill and probably tad bit or a lot arrogant (as in my experience). Tyrion is both book smart and street smart, i'd say Bronn is street smart but not book smart

note: pretty much what ginny said

Edited by redtree

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6 minutes ago, redtree said:

Book smart is not the same is street smart though, it's highly possible for book smart people to have terrible social skill and probably tad bit or a lot arrogant (as in my experience). Tyrion is both book smart and street smart, i'd say Bronn is street smart but not book smart

note: pretty much what ginny said

All we know is that he was intelligent.

And I think that someone who is shy and has terrible social skills wouldn't go out in the open and sing.

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3 minutes ago, NervousFiend said:

All we know is that he was intelligent.

And I think that someone who is shy and has terrible social skills wouldn't go out in the open and sing.

Terrible social skill does not always equal shy, actually many intelligent in a book smart/educated way people i know are confident. Lack of empathy and or sympathy are form of terrible social skill too

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7 hours ago, The Mountain That Flies said:

As with everything related to the World Book, remember that the man who wrote it and chose the portraits for it in the series (Yandel) has strong reason to bias against Rhaegar. One of the few facts that can be agreed upon about him by every character is that he was the prettiest man ever.

This is not the case regarding the visual art.

The images do not belong to the in-story fiction, they are not part of Yandel book*, they are part of Martin, Elio & Linda's book, They are included for decorative reasons and they only reveal how the respective artists imagined the characters and places they depict.

It may simply be the case of a reader prefering one artist's style over another's.

 

* It should be obvious: Arya in the Red Keep's dungeons, Jon Snow at the Wall and Daenerys in rags, I mean Yandel and his painters should be all-knowing, maybe they have access to glass candles and the weirnet? :)

Edited by ShadowCat Rivers

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13 hours ago, Whitering said:

There was a nice theory that Arys had maybe found out about Lyanna being the Knight of the Laughing Tree and that Rhaegar went to rescue her. I can't remember everything else the poster was mentioning, but ya, it could be that.

it's the Rescue at the Crossroad theory that Lady Gwyn developed, based on similarities between asoiaf and arthurian legends. I think it's a pretty good theory. Basically, Aerys send his own men to arrest Lyanna who was somewhere in the riverlands, and Rhaegar upon hearing of the news, intervened and stole her away from his father's men.

I'm not certain about the reason Aerys would have wanted Lyanna arrested, though. That he wanted her punished for riding in the tourney is my only reserve.

It could be that Aerys was paranoid over lord Rickard Stark and his alliances with other great houses and that Aerys wanted to have leverage over him by holding his daughter prisoner.

I mostly entertain this possibility because we know Aerys was paranoid and that no matter Rickard's intentions, Starks marrying Tullys and Baratheons would have raised eyebrows at court. We also know how eager the court can be to rip apart a potential rival, especially when said rival puts the status co at risk. The Starks were not common players on the political scene, their rise to power would have been perceived as a threat.

In any case...Lady Dustin seems to think Lord Rickard was a bit too ambitious. So, I wonder, what did the King's small council think? Especially in view of the south's general prejudice towards the north?

If these are the motivations, the question becomes: why arrest Lyanna and not Brandon?

Maybe because Lyanna was an easier prey (far from Winterfell, apparently not at riverrun with her brother), or because taking Lyanna out of the game meant the end of the Stark and Baratheon alliance, and that may have been the one that bothered Aerys (+councilors) the most.

By taking Lyanna, Aerys could also let Robert know that he did not agree with the match. Robert was Aerys's nephew (sort of), the King might have reserved himself the right to intervene in the match.

Going with this other explanation, doesn't tell us why Rhaegar crowned Lyanna at the tourney, though. imo, he simply meant to acknowledge her valor. He might have, inadvertently, drawn Aerys' attention unto Lyanna as well.

What seems revealing though, is the readiness with which Aerys executed Brandon's companions. It could be that Aerys expected treason before Brandon turned up - Brandon's arrival at KL, his demanding Rhaegar come out and fight, would only have confirmed the King's suspicion.

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15 hours ago, NervousFiend said:

Rhaegar Targaryen was a pretty smart man, He read alot and was a very intelligent and determined person, Commonfolk loved him, he was a respectful and honorable man, according to Ned.

 

Reading a lot does not make someone smart. Rhaegar may have been educated but he was clearly lacking in common sense and his beliefs in 'prophesies' and his inability to distinguish his actions at Harrnehal does not exactly strike me as someone who is that intelligent.

 

He was a beautiful Prince. I think that goes along way to convincing his entourage that he was right. He was in the 'Handsome bubble'.

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Greymoon said:

it's the Rescue at the Crossroad theory that Lady Gwyn developed, based on similarities between asoiaf and arthurian legends. I think it's a pretty good theory. Basically, Aerys send his own men to arrest Lyanna who was somewhere in the riverlands, and Rhaegar upon hearing of the news, intervened and stole her away from his father's men.

And brings the Stark girl not to Winterfell, not to Riverrun, not to Storm's End, not to the Eyrie even, where she would be as safe as can conceivably be: in a mighty fortress, guarded by her kin and people loyal to them, but instead to some shoddy tower in Dorne, protected only by Aerys' sworn swords. No, it's a bad plan, and it's a bad theory.

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Just now, thelittledragonthatcould said:

Reading a lot does not make someone smart. Rhaegar may have been educated but he was clearly lacking in common sense and his beliefs in 'prophesies' and his inability to distinguish his actions at Harrnehal does not exactly strike me as someone who is that intelligent.

 

He was a beautiful Prince. I think that goes along way to convincing his entourage that he was right. He was in the 'Handsome bubble'.

 

 

 

There's other explanations that work just as well and are also supported by the text:

  1. it's been rumored Harrenhal was a political ploy (cf. world book)
  2. Rhaegar went off with six trusted companions (cf. world book), only two stayed with him: Arthur and Oswell. There's a strong possibility one of these other companions was Lewyn Martell. Would Martell help Rhaegar if he thought Rhaenar intended adultery?
  3. Rhaegar, Oswell, Arthur and Lyanna ended up in a ruined tower overlooking the prince's pass (cf, map of westeros). The prince's pass is the main road to get into Dorne (the other road is the bone way). Not only that, but there are warden of the pass, controlling the area (House Manwoody of Kingsgrave). It seems unlikely that Doran Martell was unaware of Rhaegar's presence there...similarly, it seems stupid to bring his lover so close to a region of westeros controlled by his wife's family. imo, at the time Rhaegar rode to the Prince's pass, Lyanna was not his lover. (not yet)... it's possible they stayed at the ToJ because Doran Martell could no longer host them in fear of reprisal (see below, about Elia Martell)
  4. Elia and her children were, the last we heard, at dragonstone. Aegon was born there (world book) and Elia was bedridden for a long time after that. There's no mention of Elia and her children being in KL when Rhaegar left to the riverlands. (world book). Later they are in KL being held as hostages against the dornish. How did Elia go from being bedridden on Dragonstone to being a hostage in King's landing?
  5. Jaime remembers Rhaegar saying that things would change in KL and he should have done something a long time ago. Hinting that Rhaegar did, at one point, intend to take matters into his own hands and supporting the idea that Harrenhal was more than just a tourney in honor of Lord Whent's daughter. Why ever would Rhaegar have abandoned the political plot? If ever there was a time to put it in motions, it was after the birth of his son and heir.
  6. Jon Connington has ill feelings toward Elia (DwD). The man was in love with Rhaegar, his opinion is probably influenced by jealousy. How come he has no opinion concerning Lyanna, Rhaegar's supposed love interest? (Jon Connington might know something that we don't, and this something allows him to view Rhaegar's actions as motivated by something other than love.)

=> this points at a failed political plot imo, yet people prefer to view Rhaegar as a prophecy oriented fool.

it could well be that Rhaegar, with the help of his closest friends the Martells, meant to rise arms against his father. The plot failed because Elia was made a hostage in KL and Brandon and Rickard Stark were executed, starting the war on terms that were not Rhaegar's own - and robbing him of precious allies. (in one strike Tully, Arryn, Stark and Baratheon are lost to him)

imo, Rhaegar did both kidnap and rescue Lyanna. He rescued her from Aerys but kidnapped her as well, in order to gain leverage over house Stark and force Rickard Stark, who was absent at Harrenhal, to fight for him. (...If we go with the idea that Rhaegar financed the tourney of Harrenhal to gather the lords of the realm around him and get a measure of their loyalty, the fact that the warden of the north was absent is telling.)

This supposes that there was an attempt of communication, a message (or more) informing the lord in question of what was going on. We have not heard of such - but that doesn't mean it didn't exist. We are lacking quite a bit of information concerning the events leading up to the war...

 

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19 minutes ago, Greymoon said:

There's other explanations that work just as well and are also supported by the text:

  1. it's been rumored Harrenhal was a political ploy (cf. world book)
  2. Rhaegar went off with six trusted companions (cf. world book), only two stayed with him: Arthur and Oswell. There's a strong possibility one of these other companions was Lewyn Martell. Would Martell help Rhaegar if he thought Rhaenar intended adultery?
  3. Rhaegar, Oswell, Arthur and Lyanna ended up in a ruined tower overlooking the prince's pass (cf, map of westeros). The prince's pass is the main road to get into Dorne (the other road is the bone way). Not only that, but there are warden of the pass, controlling the area (House Manwoody of Kingsgrave). It seems unlikely that Doran Martell was unaware of Rhaegar's presence there...similarly, it seems stupid to bring his lover so close to a region of westeros controlled by his wife's family. imo, at the time Rhaegar rode to the Prince's pass, Lyanna was not his lover. (not yet)... it's possible they stayed at the ToJ because Doran Martell could no longer host them in fear of reprisal (see below, about Elia Martell)
  4. Elia and her children were, the last we heard, at dragonstone. Aegon was born there (world book) and Elia was bedridden for a long time after that. There's no mention of Elia and her children being in KL when Rhaegar left to the riverlands. (world book). Later they are in KL being held as hostages against the dornish. How did Elia go from being bedridden on Dragonstone to being a hostage in King's landing?
  5. Jaime remembers Rhaegar saying that things would change in KL and he should have done something a long time ago. Hinting that Rhaegar did, at one point, intend to take matters into his own hands and supporting the idea that Harrenhal was more than just a tourney in honor of Lord Whent's daughter. Why ever would Rhaegar have abandoned the political plot? If ever there was a time to put it in motions, it was after the birth of his son and heir.
  6. Jon Connington has ill feelings toward Elia (DwD). The man was in love with Rhaegar, his opinion is probably influenced by jealousy. How come he has no opinion concerning Lyanna, Rhaegar's supposed love interest? (Jon Connington might know something that we don't, and this something allows him to view Rhaegar's actions as motivated by something other than love.)

=> this points at a failed political plot imo, yet people prefer to view Rhaegar as a prophecy oriented fool.

it could well be that Rhaegar, with the help of his closest friends the Martells, meant to rise arms against his father. The plot failed because Elia was made a hostage in KL and Brandon and Rickard Stark were executed, starting the war on terms that were not Rhaegar's own - and robbing him of precious allies. (in one strike Tully, Arryn, Stark and Baratheon are lost to him)

imo, Rhaegar did both kidnap and rescue Lyanna. He rescued her from Aerys but kidnapped her as well, in order to gain leverage over house Stark and force Rickard Stark, who was absent at Harrenhal, to fight for him. (...If we go with the idea that Rhaegar financed the tourney of Harrenhal to gather the lords of the realm around him and get a measure of their loyalty, the fact that the warden of the north was absent is telling.)

This supposes that there was an attempt of communication, a message (or more) informing the lord in question of what was going on. We have not heard of such - but that doesn't mean it didn't exist. We are lacking quite a bit of information concerning the events leading up to the war...

 

There is no proof that Lewyn was there. Where did you see it is a strong possibility? 

Doran was very angry with rhaegar due to his mistreatment over elia. I see no reason he knew  his "plan" and they hid in TOJ. 

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30 minutes ago, Greymoon said:

 

=> this points at a failed political plot imo, yet people prefer to view Rhaegar as a prophecy oriented fool.

 

Well both options paint him as a fool. If his plan to overthrown his father then alienating the Lords of the North, Stormlands, Dorne (and their allies the Lords of the Vale and Riverlands) by giving Lyanna the rose was an idiotic move.

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30 minutes ago, Greymoon said:

 

=> this points at a failed political plot imo, yet people prefer to view Rhaegar as a prophecy oriented fool.

 

Well both options paint him as a fool. If his plan to overthrown his father then alienating the Lords of the North, Stormlands, Dorne (and their allies the Lords of the Vale and Riverlands) by giving Lyanna the rose was an idiotic move.

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11 minutes ago, purple-eyes said:

There is no proof that Lewyn was there. Where did you see it is a strong possibility? 

Doran was very angry with rhaegar due to his mistreatment over elia. I see no reason he knew  his "plan" and they hid in TOJ. 

by deduction, Lewyn is a strong candidate.Who could Rhaegar's companions possibly be?

we can add completely unknown characters to the story, or we can look at characters we know had ties to Rhaegar.

We know Arthur Dayne and Oswell Whent were part of it and that Jaime and Barristan weren't. Rhaegar had two squires: Myles Mooton and Richard Lonmouth. The later is mentioned in the tale of the KotLT, as told by Meera Reed, so he seems like a character we should pay attention to.

that's four companions counting two white cloaks and two squires. Who else? Jon Connington views himself as a good friend of Rhaegar's, he also happens to be mentioned in the tale of the KotLT. Sure, he doesn't appear to have been involved in the plot later on, but that does not eliminate him as a potential ally for the first part of it. The same goes for Lewyn Martell. Among the remaining Kingsguard he would seem like the most likely candidate to chose loyalty to Rhaegar over loyalty to Aerys, just because of Elia.

(Gerold Hightower was LC and Jonothor Darry showed his loyalty to Aerys when he failed to protect Rhaella from her husband.)

And before you argue against that, this only works if Rhaegar's motivations were not love and his goal was not to elope with Lyanna. And that's the theory I adhere too. You are free to adhere to your own theory and attribute other motivations to the characters, but keep in mind that I argue from a different stand point and do not believe that love and prophecy were Rhaegar's motivations.

Though I do believe in R+L = J

 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Greymoon said:

imo, Rhaegar did both kidnap and rescue Lyanna. He rescued her from Aerys but kidnapped her as well, in order to gain leverage over house Stark and force Rickard Stark, who was absent at Harrenhal, to fight for him. (...If we go with the idea that Rhaegar financed the tourney of Harrenhal to gather the lords of the realm around him and get a measure of their loyalty, the fact that the warden of the north was absent is telling.)

This supposes that there was an attempt of communication, a message (or more) informing the lord in question of what was going on. We have not heard of such - but that doesn't mean it didn't exist. We are lacking quite a bit of information concerning the events leading up to the war...

 

I don't really get how the absene of the Warden of the North was quite telling about his loyalty, I mean we know the North isn't all for that kind of festivities (Tourney) so I don't find it so surprising he decided to let his children have fun while he stayed at Winterfell (after all a Stark have to stay there).

Ned would be there with Robert and Jon, Lyanna had to be there to meet with the 'South traditions' and her betrothed, Brandon was the heir and couldn't have missed it so at the end only Benjen could have stayed back and I guess he might have been unfair for him to miss the biggest events of the realm where all the greatest knights would fight.

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30 minutes ago, Greymoon said:

by deduction, Lewyn is a strong candidate.Who could Rhaegar's companions possibly be?

we can add completely unknown characters to the story, or we can look at characters we know had ties to Rhaegar.

We know Arthur Dayne and Oswell Whent were part of it and that Jaime and Barristan weren't. Rhaegar had two squires: Myles Mooton and Richard Lonmouth. The later is mentioned in the tale of the KotLT, as told by Meera Reed, so he seems like a character we should pay attention to.

that's four companions counting two white cloaks and two squires. Who else?

Two more squires, Arthur's and Oswell's, for example.

 

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2 hours ago, thelittledragonthatcould said:

Reading a lot does not make someone smart. Rhaegar may have been educated but he was clearly lacking in common sense and his beliefs in 'prophesies' and his inability to distinguish his actions at Harrnehal does not exactly strike me as someone who is that intelligent.

 

He was a beautiful Prince. I think that goes along way to convincing his entourage that he was right. He was in the 'Handsome bubble'.

 

 

Of course there is a difference between intelligence and judgment. Rhaegar certainly seems to be described as some who is intelligent but does not always exhibit the best judgment.

One issue with which I strongly disagree, however, is your suggestion that Rhaegar's belief in prophecy is the mark of someone who is not intelligent. Rhaegar lives in a universe where prophecy clearly is a real thing. Every prophecy given in the series likely will come true in one form or another. The Targaryens were saved from dying in the Doom by a prophecy -- and Rhaegar knows that.

So while in the "real world" someone who believes in prophecy might be regarded as a bit weird -- even in "real life" I know some very intelligent people who just happen to be religious and believe that the Bible contains prophecy that will come true (like the coming of the Messiah). As much as I don't agree with those people (as I don't take the Bible as the word of an omnipotent or omniscient being), I don't consider their belief in such prophecy as an indication of lack of intelligence.

Now Rhaegar's belief that he could accurately interpret the prophecy and make it happen might have been a bit foolish. But then again, while Rhaegar clearly misinterpreted the prophecy in certain respects, if his chasing the prophecy led to the birth of Jon Snow -- and if Jon really is TPTWP -- then in that respect Rhaegar's desire to fulfill the prophecy may end up being instrumental in saving the world.

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42 minutes ago, thelittledragonthatcould said:

Well both options paint him as a fool. If his plan to overthrown his father then alienating the Lords of the North, Stormlands, Dorne (and their allies the Lords of the Vale and Riverlands) by giving Lyanna the rose was an idiotic move.

his plan was not to alienate them by giving Lyanna the crown. In this theory, crowning Lyanna and later, rescuing her are two somewhat independent actions. The first was his way of acknowledging the true champion of the tourney, and serves to recognize Lyanna's valor (as the KotLT); while the second is forced ahead because Aerys meddles. Keeping Lyanna (while having rescued her! and this can't be stated enough, because Lord Stark being in his depth is what Rhaegar would have counted on) would have pressured the Starks to chose a side, his side, because he saved her. Rhaegar's error is not anticipating that Rickard Stark would be murdered and that lords would rebel on their own terms - before he, Rhaegar, could reach his allies.

There's plenty of reasons why bringing her to Winterfell was not an option.  Winterfell is quite far to travel to. When the realm is about to implode, it would seem a bad idea for the heir of said realm to travel north on a months long trip. The capital is south, and Rhaegar's potential allies, too, were all in the south.

If Rhaegar planned a coup against his father and Lyanna's arrest was the opportunity to put this plan into motions, he was acting under time restraint. If the Martells were to be his allies in this coup, then it makes sense he would seek them out as quickly as possible - hence, the trip to dorne.

It's not that foolish if he communicated his intention to Lord Stark - a possibility that is not yet refuted by the text, although many readers assume that Rhaegar failed to do that. The thing is that we don't know, because in all likelihood, if Rhaegar communicated his plans to anyone it would have been to Lord Stark himself, not to Brandon, Ned or Jon Arryn. Rickard Stark died in KL though, so whatever he knew or didn't know probably died with him... and the war started soon after.

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9 minutes ago, UnmaskedLurker said:

One issue with which I strongly disagree, however, is your suggestion that Rhaegar's belief in prophecy is the mark of someone who is not intelligent. Rhaegar lives in a universe where prophecy clearly is a real thing.

 

No, not really.

While we, the book readers, can see that some prophesies may have a shed of truth to them the people in Westeros view prophesies in much the same way that people believed in them in our own middle ages. We only have to look at Luwin's reaction to Bran's dreams. The educated don't tend to believe in them, the desperate and superstitious do.

 

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