Iron Mother

[SPOILERS] The Marriage: Discussing Rhaegar, Elia, and Lyanna

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Posted (edited)

 

Now that we have seen a beginning to the mystery of Rhaegar and Jon's origin, it is certainly appropriate to begin speculation on the yet-to-be-seen circumstances surrounding Jon's birth and Rhaegar's relationships with his wives.

The idea  that Rhaegar strongly believed he HAD to have more than 2 offspring (specifically 3 - according to his belief "The Dragon Has 3 Heads") Elia Martell (his then current wife) was not able to produce a 3rd offspring.  Therefore, Rhaegar may have had ample reason to set her aside (and possibly with her blessing based on his beliefs) to produce a 3rd offspring.

He obviously loved Lyanna from what we have known about him naming her Queen of Love & Beauty at the tourney of Harrenhal, and now episode 7 has shown us that to make the 3rd child legitimate, Rhaegar set aside Elia and married her.

In the books even, they were trying to maneuver Marjorie to marry ROBERT and Cersei was worried about being "set aside".   So, there is precedent for this.  Cersei and Robert already had children together.  He was King, yes, but Rhaegar was royalty also.  He was the Crown Prince.  Who knows if "common folk" can do this, but royalty can.

A lot of ragging on Rhaegar has happened as if he threw Elia away basically.... but having co-habited with her as a married couple for as many years to produce 2 children (Rhaenys was 3yo when she was killed) Elia was no stranger to Rhaegar... meaning, she was not a new wife of a small period of time.  She likely knew him well.  While we do not have yet a perspective of how she felt about him.  Everyone beside Oberyn Martell basically loved him and all proclaimed him to be a most noble man.

I would believe Elia Martell knew and trusted Rhaegar's belief he had to produce another child.  If Elia could not, he took another wife to produce the 3rd "head of the Dragon".  We will find out soon more perspective on this... maybe not from Elia's POV... however, knowing the little bits from many people who knew Rhaegar this is (like Ned coming home with a bastard child) NOT in his character to flagrantly blow off his wife to get with someone else.

The "prophecy" Rhaegar believed in has come to pass in that Jon was hidden in plain sight and survived the slayings of The Mountain and the whole Rebellion.  Had Rhaegar not produced Jon, there would be none of his line left to inherit the Throne.  OR it could have been a lot more about the 3rd Head not just about the Throne.  Look at all Jon has done and accomplished and probably WILL accomplish before everything is done.  Jon is a "chosen" figure - a Savior archetype - and his presence in the world may not be just about Rhaegar being the Crown Prince and having an heir in Jon.

Rhaegar seems to have gone through, tho, all the right steps to preserve his line (an heir) by making sure the first marriage was annulled and the second was consecrated properly.  I said this long long ago that Rhaegar married Lyanna and it was not a bastard situation and everyone just laughed.

I believe Jon and Daenerys will produce a child together confirming the Ice and Fire prophecy spoken by Lady Mel.... she has "brought Ice and Fire together".  Perhaps THIS was Rhaegar's ultimate goal to resurrect the Targaryen line through them..... because currently, Daenerys has always been reminding people she is THE LAST Targaryen.  "Incest" aside, this has been the Targaryen Way for a long, long time to procreate within a close familial proximity.

I also think Jon and Daenerys' "union" will occur before they learn Jon's heritage.  And she will become With Child from that union before they learn Jon and she are blood related.  Less and less do I think Rhaegar was doing all this to place Jon on the Throne but that Jon would be a part of bringing back the Targaryen line.  OR that he was not sure...... but he knew the 3rd child was something he MUST produce and he had to do it at all cost.

*sidenote: As I write this, I get the feeling the "child" will be more about reviving the Targaryens..... and ultimately, it will be GENDRY who will become legitimized and given the throne as Robert's heir.  This, because I think Jon might die at some point and Daenerys will eventually give up her belief to want the Iron Throne.  She will realize the Rebellion was right in that the Mad King was not fit to rule and the Rebellion was not a "usurper" but legitimately necessary.  And with Rhaegar dead and all his children dead (Jon hidden away) there was no Targaryen heir to take the Throne at that time.  And like I said, if Jon dies or rejects the Throne (which is highly likely) Gendry could assume it through being legitimized and Daenerys no longer wanting it either.  And as we saw in the show, Joffrey hunted down every single bastard of Robert.  Except Gendry slipped past.  This  is a call back to Jon Arryn singling out Gendry in secret which led to Ned finding him at work as a Smith.

What say the Forum?

Edited by Iron Mother
[SPOILERS]

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I think the third head of the dragon is Jon & Dany's baby.

Everything you need to know about Jon's legitimacy is the Kingsguard fight to the death at the Tower of Joy. 

I agree that Rhaegar wasn't a dick. 

I don't see Gendry inheriting.

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Much of what you're talking about isn't in the show universe at all. There's no mention of the "dragon has three heads" anywhere, Rhaegar seems more motivated by a (mutual) infatuation and less by prophecy, etc. And I don't think any of that's going to change next season; it's way too late.

And in the other direction, I don't think the annulment will be in the books. The books can get away with Targ bigamy, a legitimacy declaration, a succession will, or some other mechanism; the show went with annulment because everyone knows that annulment is legal and that it comes up in medieval dramas, and there's no point to a side plot about Jon's claim being on sketchy grounds but Dany choosing not to contest it.

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The baby is the third head?  I'm not sure what you mean.

I was talking about Rhaegar's offspring specifically and that he believed he MUST father 3 offspring (3 heads of the dragon). 

How does J+D=3

omg will that become a meme now? :blink: I'm going crazy over this finale it was pretty freaking awesome.

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i refuse to believe that Rhaegar would annulled his marriage to Elia just like that, without telling her! and making their children bastards like that.

i just refuse to think the Rheagar GRRM created is that sort of man. he was an honourable man like Ned Stark. true, he loved another woman but he would not do it like that. I always thought he was just make polygamy legal and marry both women. he cant just divorce someone like that. he just cant. 

poor Martells. if only they know. 

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3 minutes ago, falcotron said:

Much of what you're talking about isn't in the show universe at all. There's no mention of the "dragon has three heads" anywhere, Rhaegar seems more motivated by a (mutual) infatuation and less by prophecy, etc. And I don't think any of that's going to change next season; it's way too late.

And in the other direction, I don't think the annulment will be in the books. The books can get away with Targ bigamy, a legitimacy declaration, a succession will, or some other mechanism; the show went with annulment because everyone knows that annulment is legal and that it comes up in medieval dramas, and there's no point to a side plot about Jon's claim being on sketchy grounds but Dany choosing not to contest it.

Honestly I cannot recall but I'm pretty sure(?) "the dragon has 3 heads" was said in the show at one point.  But not positive.

But, mutual infatuation is fine except where Rhaegar went to extraordinary lengths to:

- conceive another child (only had 2)
- conceive the child legitimately which means he must:
     - annul the marriage to Elia
     - marry Lyanna

If it was just infatuation, none of this would even be needed.  I have no idea what will be in the next books.  I cannot constantly try to align both because the show is telling a rushed story.

I'm just saying Rhaegar made sure AeJon was legitimate and a lawful heir to the Targaryen dynasty/family.  I think he chose annulment because he was making a reason for the separation as opposed to some random divorce papers.  He was probably saying (on paper) "My marriage to Elia was improper because she/her family/the maester knew she would have problems bearing children". 

But I do not think the above is really his true feeling, it just had to be made the argument why he made the separation.  I also believe we will learn Elia was OK with all this and possibly had his back with the arrangement. 

I don't think "prophecy" can be removed from this.  If you stand back and look at all we have seen, Rhaegar was motivated by something powerful to produce a third child.  You say it was  just a physical attraction or whatever, I believe he knew he had to have a third child and that's why AeJon is so special in the story.  The Prince Promised and all that, Lightbringer.  The show won't go deep into that, just touch on it.

 

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2 minutes ago, dantares83 said:

i refuse to believe that Rhaegar would annulled his marriage to Elia just like that, without telling her! and making their children bastards like that.

We have no idea what Elia knew or thought or felt.  That's why I made this thread.  I think she did know and was behind him to do this.  Rhaegar was an amazingly honorable man..... and Elia lived with him as man and wife for at least three years.  They weren't strangers to each other. 

I can't wait to find out how Elia fits in to all this.

And he did not "make bastard" he annulled the marriage to Elia then married Lyanna which makes it legitimate birth.  Did you watch tonight's episode? 

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18 minutes ago, Iron Mother said:

We have no idea what Elia knew or thought or felt.  That's why I made this thread.  I think she did know and was behind him to do this.  Rhaegar was an amazingly honorable man..... and Elia lived with him as man and wife for at least three years.  They weren't strangers to each other. 

I can't wait to find out how Elia fits in to all this.

And he did not "make bastard" he annulled the marriage to Elia then married Lyanna which makes it legitimate birth.  Did you watch tonight's episode? 

well, he annulled their marriage meaning the children he had with Elia are not longer legitimate. they were born without their parents being properly married. annulled means the marriage was never there. it was 'fake'. 

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56 minutes ago, dantares83 said:

i refuse to believe that Rhaegar would annulled his marriage to Elia just like that, without telling her! and making their children bastards like that.

But he didn't make their children bastards.

The majority of medieval annulments didn't delegitimize the children.* In the modern Catholic Church, and most other religions, and most countries, it doesn't. There's no evidence in the show or the books that Westeros is any different from our world in this way. The show certainly never said the children were bastards.

So, why are so many fans not only making this assumption, but dead certain of it?

---

* And even of those that did, it seems like there was often a separate explicit decree making them bastards.

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58 minutes ago, Iron Mother said:

But, mutual infatuation is fine except where Rhaegar went to extraordinary lengths to:

- conceive another child (only had 2)
- conceive the child legitimately which means he must:
     - annul the marriage to Elia
     - marry Lyanna

If it was just infatuation, none of this would even be needed.

In the books, I agree that Rhaegar went to extraordinary lengths, and that his primary motivation was to conceive a third child because of the prophecies.

But in the show, there's really no evidence for that at all. The Prince that was Promised is just a prophecy that Melisandre brought to Westeros. There's no Aemon talking about having corresponded with Rhaegar about that prophecy. Nobody talking about how young Rhaegar changed his life when he became obsessed with prophecies. Dany doesn't have the HotU vision of Rhaegar talking to Elia about the PtwP and the SoIaF and the three heads and telling her to name the boy Aegon. All of these things were cut in the show.

People are assuming it must be the same as the books, but I don't think that's a very good assumption. I mean, most people don't expect the annulment to be the same in the books.

I think they simplified the story by having show!Rhaegar be just a guy who fell in love with Lyanna, and had his marriage to Elia annulled because he wanted to be married to Lyanna, not because he was going to extraordinary lengths to fulfill a prophecy.

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7 hours ago, dantares83 said:

well, he annulled their marriage meaning the children he had with Elia are not longer legitimate. they were born without their parents being properly married. annulled means the marriage was never there. it was 'fake'. 

Yes, I already talked about that in this thread.

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6 hours ago, falcotron said:

In the books,

I think we must leave the books away.  The show has diverged long ago.

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A marriage can only be annulled if it was either not consummated or was illegal to start with. So, if Rhaegar really did do this, then there must have been something like that with his original marriage. It is possible that the real father of Elia's children was the mad king, and that is the reason he made them stay in King's Landing. Maybe Elia did not want to leave him, so she stayed even though it was clear the city would fall.

That would be grounds for annulment. Failing that, Rhaegar as crown prince would not have been able to do this on his own accord, he would have required his father's permission otherwise it would be an act of treason. That would make the annulment and subsequent re-marrying illegal and illegitimate.

When the marriage to Elia was annulled, her children would have become bastards. It is highly unlikely that Rhaegar would have done that to his own children (if they really were his) just to get in Lyanna's pants, given that he is portrayed as this noble character.

The whole annulment thing just does not ring true unless Rhaegar was not the father of her two children.

In any case, no one in Westeros is realistically going to believe some claim based just off some crazy dude's visions and a supposed transcribed diary. There are no DNA tests, no proper legal documents, no witnesses, just some ceremony held in secret that supporters and family members of the supposed king just happen to be aware of through third parties. Hardly a compelling argument and I have a hard time believing that any self respecting lord of Westeros would fall for that one.

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Posted (edited)

Here is the troubling part. The book/show tells us that Lyanna was willful and impulsive and strong and beautiful.  Also a Stark, which prolly means she was honest and direct.  The book/show tells us Rhaegar was loved and revered by his people, kind, thoughtful, and musical.  So, how is it that these two ran away to get married, then let the entire world go to hell, bring war, and the deaths of many, many good people. 

Either Rhaegar and Lyanna were not the good people that have been shown to us, or there is some other reason for the war that we do not yet know. 

Edited by lakin1013

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1 hour ago, tugela said:

A marriage can only be annulled if it was either not consummated or was illegal to start with.

That's not true. In Catholicism, a marriage is only void—meaning anyone can seek for it to be annulled—if it was illegal to start with, but it can be voidable—meaning either of the partners can seek for it to be annulled—for a much wider range of reasons. The same is true for many other religions, and civil practices of many countries, but modern and medieval.

And there's no reason to believe it's completely different in Westeros.

1 hour ago, tugela said:

That would be grounds for annulment. Failing that, Rhaegar as crown prince would not have been able to do this on his own accord, he would have required his father's permission otherwise it would be an act of treason.

If Rhaegar had attempted to declare the marriage null on his own, that probably wouldn't be legal, but it would hardly be treason. And I'm not sure it would have been any different if he'd been king. (It certainly wouldn't have been in real-world Catholicism, but the Targaryens' relationship to the Faith is obviously significantly different here.)

 And in any case, it was the High Septon who annulled the marriage, not Rhaegar, so Rhaegar most likely didn't do anything even questionable.

1 hour ago, tugela said:

When the marriage to Elia was annulled, her children would have become bastards.

Again, no. That's not the way annulment works in the real world, and there's no evidence that it works that way in Westeros.

So many people are drawing conclusions based on these fundamental misunderstandings of what annulment means and how it works.

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46 minutes ago, lakin1013 said:

So, how is it that these two ran away to get married, then let the entire world go to hell, bring war, and the deaths of many, many good men. 

Love makes fools of us all. Even good and wise people can do stupid things, and fail to anticipate the consequences, when they fall in love.

(In the books, it may have been a calculated risk, and they believed the necessity of producing a third head for the dragon was so great that it was worth taking the chance. But that's the books; the show seems to have gone a different direction with this.)

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23 minutes ago, lakin1013 said:

Here is the troubling part. The book/show tells us that Lyanna was willful and impulsive and strong and beautiful.  Also a Stark, which prolly means she was honest and direct.  The book/show tells us Rhaegar was loved and revered by his people, kind, thoughtful, and musical.  So, how is it that these two ran away to get married, then let the entire world go to hell, bring war, and the deaths of many, many good men.  

Either Rhaegar and Lyanna were not the good people that have been shown to us, or there is some other reason for the war that we do not yet know. 

I think we will come to find out a lot of things that we thought about the war and the events leading up to it were not true.  History is written by the victors after all, if Rhaegar had won at the trident the history of the war would have been entirely different.  

When we look at the relationship that Rhaegar, Lyanna and Elia had I think we will find that R+L had been planning their marriage in that time between the Harrenhall Touney and when they disappeared, they may have actually met and fell for one another before the tourney itself.  They probably thought they could leave without anyone noticing them together and get married and once they were married they thought what could anyone do.  I dont think for a second they thought a broken betrothal would lead to civil war.  If Brandon had not gone off half cocked it very well might not have as war did not break out until Aerys called for Ned and Robert's heads. It was also Jon Arryn that raised his banners in revolt first, Robert became it's inspiration later on.

I think in that time that R+L were doing their planning that he would have informed Elia of what his plans were she had to know that he was not in love with her and his heart belonged to someone else.  I would think that a woman would know this type of thing and I would think that with the High Septon involved in the whole marriage and annulment he would have spoken to both of them before hand.  I don't think Elia was happy about how everything was going to go down but I think Rhaegar would have told her and made arrangements for the children and that would have satisfied Elia enough so that she would agree to the annulment.    

As for the basis of the annulment we have to remember little Aegon was an infant and there was no certainty that he would survive into adulthood and Viserys was still young as well so having so few male heirs could be problematic.  

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7 hours ago, falcotron said:

But he didn't make their children bastards.

The majority of medieval annulments didn't delegitimize the children.* In the modern Catholic Church, and most other religions, and most countries, it doesn't. There's no evidence in the show or the books that Westeros is any different from our world in this way. The show certainly never said the children were bastards.

Annulment means that marriage never happened. Thus children concieved in nonexistent marriage are illegitimate, i.e. bastards.

Also it's possible that those two children weren't Rhaegar's. Just a theory.

Spoiler

Rhaegar's marriage with Elia was a pollitical marriage desired by their parents. During Targarien's Conquest of Westeros, they were unable to defeat only Dorne. So eventually Aegon married with Dornish princess. In most cases Targariens intermarried, but sometimes they married with other Houses. And among them there were more Martells than others. Thru those marriages Targariens were establishing their control over Dorne. So Mad King wanted his older son to marry with Dornish princess, and Rhaegar agreed, even though nor he, nor Elia didn't loved each other.

Instead Elia was in love with her brother Oberyn. Ta-Da-Da-Dam!

Rhaegar allowed them to continue with their incestual relationship. He never touched Elia, and even gave Targarien name to her and Oberyn's children. But in return he and Elia made an agreement, that if he will ever met someone with whom he will fall in love, then he will annul their marriage. Of course that agreement was kept in secret from everyone except Rhaegar, Elia and Oberyn.

There are two clues that hint at this possibility. 1. When Oberyn arrived to King's Landing in his conversation with Cersei (or Jaime) he said something like he understands them. I don't remember his exact words, but what he meant is that he isn't against incest, and that everyone should be free to love whoever they want. 2. During his duel with Mountain, Oberyn lost his cool when he was reciting Mountain's crimes, that he raped and killed Elia, and killed her children, because Elia was HIS woman, and those kids were HIS children.

Unlike Prince Doran, Oberyn couldn't let go Elia's death, because for him she was more than just his sister, she was also his lover, and mother of his children. 

And regarding Rhaegar's prophecy about threeheaded dragon - in the beginning he thought that he was one of them. And the other two could be his brother Viseris and unborn yet third baby of their mother, or Mad King and Viseris. But later he realised that he may not be one of those three from prophecy. Rhaegar, Mad King, Viseris - all died. The only one out of them left is Dany. Second head is Jon. And third is: 1. Jon's and Dany's baby, 2. Drogo's and Dany's son (there is possibility that he's alive), 3. Gendry (Robert, Stannis, and Renly were grandchildren of Targarien princess), 4. Tyrion (there's a theory that he's son of Mad King).

 

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2 hours ago, falcotron said:

Love makes fools of us all. Even good and wise people can do stupid things, and fail to anticipate the consequences, when they fall in love.

(In the books, it may have been a calculated risk, and they believed the necessity of producing a third head for the dragon was so great that it was worth taking the chance. But that's the books; the show seems to have gone a different direction with this.)

Love can make fools of us, if we let it.  But what happened when they realized what they had done?  I do not care how cozy their sweet tower and totally cool honeymoon was, they had to know that they had ripped up their known world.  On the other hand, we are arguing something that has no answer.  We cannot know.  A book would be nice  :-)

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15 hours ago, Iron Mother said:

 

Now that we have seen a beginning to the mystery of Rhaegar and Jon's origin, it is certainly appropriate to begin speculation on the yet-to-be-seen circumstances surrounding Jon's birth and Rhaegar's relationships with his wives.

The idea  that Rhaegar strongly believed he HAD to have more than 2 offspring (specifically 3 - according to his belief "The Dragon Has 3 Heads") Elia Martell (his then current wife) was not able to produce a 3rd offspring.  Therefore, Rhaegar may have had ample reason to set her aside (and possibly with her blessing based on his beliefs) to produce a 3rd offspring.

He obviously loved Lyanna from what we have known about him naming her Queen of Love & Beauty at the tourney of Harrenhal, and now episode 7 has shown us that to make the 3rd child legitimate, Rhaegar set aside Elia and married her.

In the books even, they were trying to maneuver Marjorie to marry ROBERT and Cersei was worried about being "set aside".   So, there is precedent for this.  Cersei and Robert already had children together.  He was King, yes, but Rhaegar was royalty also.  He was the Crown Prince.  Who knows if "common folk" can do this, but royalty can.

A lot of ragging on Rhaegar has happened as if he threw Elia away basically.... but having co-habited with her as a married couple for as many years to produce 2 children (Rhaenys was 3yo when she was killed) Elia was no stranger to Rhaegar... meaning, she was not a new wife of a small period of time.  She likely knew him well.  While we do not have yet a perspective of how she felt about him.  Everyone beside Oberyn Martell basically loved him and all proclaimed him to be a most noble man.

I would believe Elia Martell knew and trusted Rhaegar's belief he had to produce another child.  If Elia could not, he took another wife to produce the 3rd "head of the Dragon".  We will find out soon more perspective on this... maybe not from Elia's POV... however, knowing the little bits from many people who knew Rhaegar this is (like Ned coming home with a bastard child) NOT in his character to flagrantly blow off his wife to get with someone else.

The "prophecy" Rhaegar believed in has come to pass in that Jon was hidden in plain sight and survived the slayings of The Mountain and the whole Rebellion.  Had Rhaegar not produced Jon, there would be none of his line left to inherit the Throne.  OR it could have been a lot more about the 3rd Head not just about the Throne.  Look at all Jon has done and accomplished and probably WILL accomplish before everything is done.  Jon is a "chosen" figure - a Savior archetype - and his presence in the world may not be just about Rhaegar being the Crown Prince and having an heir in Jon.

Rhaegar seems to have gone through, tho, all the right steps to preserve his line (an heir) by making sure the first marriage was annulled and the second was consecrated properly.  I said this long long ago that Rhaegar married Lyanna and it was not a bastard situation and everyone just laughed.

I believe Jon and Daenerys will produce a child together confirming the Ice and Fire prophecy spoken by Lady Mel.... she has "brought Ice and Fire together".  Perhaps THIS was Rhaegar's ultimate goal to resurrect the Targaryen line through them..... because currently, Daenerys has always been reminding people she is THE LAST Targaryen.  "Incest" aside, this has been the Targaryen Way for a long, long time to procreate within a close familial proximity.

I also think Jon and Daenerys' "union" will occur before they learn Jon's heritage.  And she will become With Child from that union before they learn Jon and she are blood related.  Less and less do I think Rhaegar was doing all this to place Jon on the Throne but that Jon would be a part of bringing back the Targaryen line.  OR that he was not sure...... but he knew the 3rd child was something he MUST produce and he had to do it at all cost.

*sidenote: As I write this, I get the feeling the "child" will be more about reviving the Targaryens..... and ultimately, it will be GENDRY who will become legitimized and given the throne as Robert's heir.  This, because I think Jon might die at some point and Daenerys will eventually give up her belief to want the Iron Throne.  She will realize the Rebellion was right in that the Mad King was not fit to rule and the Rebellion was not a "usurper" but legitimately necessary.  And with Rhaegar dead and all his children dead (Jon hidden away) there was no Targaryen heir to take the Throne at that time.  And like I said, if Jon dies or rejects the Throne (which is highly likely) Gendry could assume it through being legitimized and Daenerys no longer wanting it either.  And as we saw in the show, Joffrey hunted down every single bastard of Robert.  Except Gendry slipped past.  This  is a call back to Jon Arryn singling out Gendry in secret which led to Ned finding him at work as a Smith.

What say the Forum?

You're bringing a lot of book material into this that was never mentioned in the show. There's been no mention of Rhaegar having any knowledge or interest in prophecies, or needing three heads of a dragon, so to try and understand that as his motivation (in the show) seems sketchy.

As for Elia... Well, since we're basing this purely on the show, the only indication that we have is that she loved Rhaegar (per Oberyn). So, in terms of the show, I can't see why she'd agree to this annulment and marriage to another woman. There's no prophecy for her to believe in, she'd have to be a fool not to be afraid of a legitimate child of another woman from a more powerful House and, if she did indeed love Rhaegar, she'd probably be reluctant to lose him.

Even if we allow the prophecy as a motive in the show, Elia should still have been reluctant about Rhaegar picking Lyanna. She didn't have to be the mother; any woman could have done. Rhaegar could have gotten himself a tavern wench, knocked her up and legitimised the child. Annulling Elia and marrying Lyanna just causes a political shitstorm and threatens the position of Rhaegar's other children.

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