Free folk Daemon

Did Brandon Stark rape Ashara Dayne?

107 posts in this topic

I want to add one bit:

If Ashara's child conceived at Harrenhal was in fact stillborn as has been reported then that points to a Targaryen as the father.

Yes, I realize other people can have stillborn children too. But the one family in Westeros who we get told over and over that they have a history of stillborn children and other failed births (or early dying babies) are the Targaryens.

And we shouldn't make the mistake of ascribing this history of failing births solely to the female Targaryens. Yes, Rhaella was the mother Aerys held responsible for the problem in his marriage but really they came from the same family with the same medical history and there is no reason to believe he wasn't as much of a problem as she.

***

Now if the child really was stillborn is a question of course. But for the sake of the above argument lets assume it is.

(We have two babies in the story whose parentage is dubious (Jon and Aegon) and another one whose parentage is at least arguably not completely without doubt either (Dany). And we have four potential mothers (Rhaella, Elia, Lyanna and Ashara) and several potential fathers also. Then there is the timeline for each baby which may or may not in fact be what everyone thinks it is. So there are a lot of balls up in the air. Which is good since who knows how long we will have to keep entertaining ourselves in the absence of the story being finished.)

 

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2 hours ago, Amris said:

I want to add one bit:

If Ashara's child conceived at Harrenhal was in fact stillborn as has been reported then that points to a Targaryen as the father.

Yes, I realize other people can have stillborn children too. But the one family in Westeros who we get told over and over that they have a history of stillborn children and other failed births (or early dying babies) are the Targaryens.

And we shouldn't make the mistake of ascribing this history of failing births solely to the female Targaryens. Yes, Rhaella was the mother Aerys held responsible for the problem in his marriage but really they came from the same family with the same medical history and there is no reason to believe he wasn't as much of a problem as she.

***

Now if the child really was stillborn is a question of course. But for the sake of the above argument lets assume it is.

(We have two babies in the story whose parentage is dubious (Jon and Aegon) and another one whose parentage is at least arguably not completely without doubt either (Dany). And we have four potential mothers (Rhaella, Elia, Lyanna and Ashara) and several potential fathers also. Then there is the timeline for each baby which may or may not in fact be what everyone thinks it is. So there are a lot of balls up in the air. Which is good since who knows how long we will have to keep entertaining ourselves in the absence of the story being finished.)

It is not surprising that we have more detail concerning Targaryen births than any other family, but your theory is faulty, in my opinion, because we have so much more information on the royal household than any other. In particular, we have a detailed account of the attempts of Aerys II Targaryen and his sister/wife Rhaella to have children:

Rhaegar born in 259 AC, miscarriage in 263, miscarriage in 264, stillborn Princess Shaena in 267, Prince Daeron born in  269, another stillbirth in 270, another miscarriage in 271, Prince Aegon born in 272, Prince Jaehaerys born in 274, Prince Viserys born in 276, Princess Daenerys born in 284.

Eleven conceptions and two stillbirths. We have no way of knowing if that is a ratio that is outside the norm for any other family because we have no such detailed information on any other family. Stillbirths are not recorded in any of the family trees we have been given, including the Targaryens. We also have no way of determining if the two stillbirths represent a propensity that is a genetic trait passed on through Targaryen generations. There could well be other environmental factors that could be behind the stillbirths and deaths of the royal children in infancy. Aerys himself, and the unhealthy environs of King's Landing potentially being two possible non-genetic factors.

All of which is to say, no, we can't say because Ashara's child is stillborn it is likely that Aerys was its father. Or Rhaegar. It makes no logical sense to jump to such a conclusion. On the other hand we have Selmy's clue of a relationship between Ashara and a Stark at Harrenhal that led to her "dishonor." That is something we can build on.

 

Edited by SFDanny

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Being dishonored isn't the same as being raped. I've just read about all sorts of British royals throughout medieval history, and what one reads about them is beyond belief...I'm a bit jealous really. Secret marriages, concubines, consorts, bigamy, lying about it all, changing one's mind and not lying about it all...all in the name of the law at the time and the person's persuasion at the time.

What I gleaned is if you are of a gentry/station high enough in the echelons of nobility you have the ability...knowingly or not, to be rather bloody attractive when there's a king, prince, princess of Dorne, lords, ladies, knights, ladies, mock fights, frock smites, wine, mead and ale, and pitched tents prancing about the place. It appears to be a heady mix of spring fever hitting everyone over the head...really hard all at once!!!

Edited by Weirwood Ghost

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19 hours ago, SFDanny said:

What is the purpose of this rumor, and what evidence do you think points to Ser Barristan's knowledge being false? I would remind you that Selmy, as the new Lord Commander of Robert's Kingsguard sits on the small council and would hear any report of such happenings when the council is informed of it. It is always possible we are dealing with news intended to throw people of the track, but who would do this in this case? Unless, of course, you think Ashara faked her death. Selmy was at Harrenhal and presumably knows of the "dishonor" that occurred there. He was a member of the Kingsguard, and likely would know why Ashara left. He thinks she had a still born daughter, and is placed to know the truth of much of these "rumors."

Sorry, for my bad grammar in the previous post. 

I think it's a red herring for another possible child, and I find it unlikely that Brandon could rape her and get away with it. She had Arthur and Selmy, including her house. I doubt they would be so cordial with Ned if his brother raped their daughter resulting in a stillborn baby. Also, she was at Starfall when Ned returned dawn, I would think her child would have already have been born. She was supposed to commit suicide shortly after the birth. And was Selmy on the council during that time? I'm not sure. And I honestly haven't thought of anything beyond that.

But, your point is interesting, what if house Dayne pushed the story because they were concealing a secret? Having a stillborn doesn't seem like something anyone would tell easily. Even if Arthur and Selmy were brothers in KG, I would think he would keep his sisters' stillborn child a secret.

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17 hours ago, SFDanny said:

[snip] but your theory is faulty, in my opinion, because we have so much more information on the royal household than any other. In particular, we have a detailed account of the attempts of Aerys II Targaryen and his sister/wife Rhaella to have children:

[snip]

I respect your opinion which I probably would also subscribe to if we wehre talking about the real-world here.

But we aren't.

I think what you do not take into account is that contrary to the real-world GRRM has a free hand in what information about his fictional universe he gives us. He especially has a free hand in how he sets up the Targaryen family's history of births. Their history of struggle to raise healthy kids must have some meaning or he wouldn't have given it to us (Chekov's gun principle).

However I freely admit the reason may have nothing to do with my conclusion. That's why I was talking about it being a hint and not a foregone fact. Accusing me of 'jumping to conclusions' thus seems a little over the top.

 

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On 6/19/2017 at 5:46 PM, Crona said:

Sorry, for my bad grammar in the previous post. 

Absolutely no apology necessary. Your point was clear, and that is all that matters here. We all make spelling and grammar mistakes. I hope no one holds my many lapses against me.

On 6/19/2017 at 5:46 PM, Crona said:

I think it's a red herring for another possible child, and I find it unlikely that Brandon could rape her and get away with it. She had Arthur and Selmy, including her house. I doubt they would be so cordial with Ned if his brother raped their daughter resulting in a stillborn baby. Also, she was at Starfall when Ned returned dawn, I would think her child would have already have been born. She was supposed to commit suicide shortly after the birth. And was Selmy on the council during that time? I'm not sure. And I honestly haven't thought of anything beyond that.

I think you are correct that Brandon did not force himself on Ashara. I think it was a seduction, and possibly a mutual one. The "dishonor" being the too public nature of the affair, and the fact Brandon was, at the time, betrothed to the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands's daughter and became known in front of Lord Tully's own bannermen, and that Ashara was, at the time, a companion to the Princess Elia. All of these factors add up to be a scandal that shames the royal house, House Tully, and the Daynes. The degree to which it also would bring shame on House Stark is debatable, given the double standards towards men, and men of the Great Houses in particular.

If Brandon had actually raped Ashara it would have be much, much more of a scandal, and I doubt Aerys would have let Brandon leave with his head attached. Nor would Ser Barristan exhibit the respect he has for Ned, or the lack of anger we would expect for the Stark who Ashara  was dishonored by. If Aerys didn't kill him, perhaps Selmy would have if Brandon had forced himself upon Ashara.

No, I think Brandon behaved like an entitled lord who expects to get what he wants. And I think he did so without regard to how his actions would look to the Crown Prince, or anyone else. Whether he did so knowingly in order to send a message of rejection of Rhaegar's proposed Great Council is the question that interests me.

Now, I can't answer your question exactly of when Selmy was put on the small council as the new Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Much of this timeline is inexact, to say the least. But what we can say is that Selmy is on the council when he is sent to be part of Cersei's honor guard to come to King's Landing. That is almost certainly sometime in late 274, if I guess right from the dates of the wedding we are given. So, probably not long after Ned arrives in King's Landing to tell Robert of Lyanna's death. We also know that Ser Barristan isn't at Robert's coronation to be pardoned along with Jaime, Pycelle, and Varys, so he isn't made the Lord Commander in the immediate aftermath of the sack of King's Landing. That puts appointment sometime between when Ned leaves King's Landing - around the ninth month or so of 273 - and the marriage departure of Cersei's wedding escort from King's Landing.

But I should also add, that it is likely that any reports about Ashara's death or her stillborn daughter take place later than that during a time we would expect Ser Barristan to be on the council. Remember Cersei's words to Ned in the Red Keep's godswood, in which she accuses Ned of taking his and Ashara's child from her and causing her to commit suicide. Her knowledge on the subject, flawed as it is, would likely be from second hand reports of those who investigate Ned's story. Selmy's knowledge would be from hearing the report themselves, as well as his personal knowledge from being at Harrenhal and having paid special attention to the Lady Ashara there and at court, both before and after the tourney.

On 6/19/2017 at 5:46 PM, Crona said:

But, your point is interesting, what if house Dayne pushed the story because they were concealing a secret? Having a stillborn doesn't seem like something anyone would tell easily. Even if Arthur and Selmy were brothers in KG, I would think he would keep his sisters' stillborn child a secret.

My guess is that House Dayne doesn't push this story for a variety of reasons, but the time after the tourney and the departure of Ashara from Elia's service is not something that it would be easy to hide from Ser Barristan. If, as seems to be the case, Selmy views a dishonoring at Harrenhal to be the reason for Ashara leaving, then he is placed to know of her pregnancy. The knowledge of a stillbirth would come later after the downfall of Aerys. Arthur and Selmy are separated for the entirety of the rebellion, so he doesn't learn of this from him. He could learn of it from Rhaegar after the prince comes north from the tower of joy. Or he could learn it from Ashara herself if she comes back to King's Landing after her likely dismissal from court.

Here I should state openly that I'm one who thinks we are going to find out some of the answers to all of this because I think Ashara is still alive and living under the name of Septa Lemore. The why of that is a discussion for another thread.

Edited by SFDanny

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On 6/19/2017 at 11:22 PM, Amris said:

I respect your opinion which I probably would also subscribe to if we wehre talking about the real-world here.

But we aren't.

I think what you do not take into account is that contrary to the real-world GRRM has a free hand in what information about his fictional universe he gives us. He especially has a free hand in how he sets up the Targaryen family's history of births. Their history of struggle to raise healthy kids must have some meaning or he wouldn't have given it to us (Chekov's gun principle).

However I freely admit the reason may have nothing to do with my conclusion. That's why I was talking about it being a hint and not a foregone fact. Accusing me of 'jumping to conclusions' thus seems a little over the top.

 

I agree the same rules in the real world don't apply to fiction, especially not fantasy novels.. Occam's Razor is an important guide in the real world but not here. The old rule of "if you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras" doesn't apply. Here it might well be unicorns trotting down the forest path.

But my objection to the idea of tying a stillborn child to the Targaryens, just based on the fact that Aerys and Rhaella had two stillbirths seems a lack of evidence or clues that point in that direction. We have clues about this from Ser Barrsitan that point elsewhere and and have much more support in the story.

Sorry, about the "jumping to conclusion" remark. It wasn't meant to be personal, and I understand you're floating an idea for discussion.. No problem in that. I'm just trying to say why I disagree.

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