Lyanna<3Rhaegar

Why did they have to fight at the ToJ?

191 posts in this topic

Quote

“I looked for you on the Trident,” Ned said to them.
      
      “We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.

“Woe to the Usurper if we had been,” said Ser Oswell.
      
      “When King’s Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.”
      
      
      “Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells.”
      
      
      “I came down on Storm’s End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, “and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.”
      
      
      “Our knees do not bend easily,” said Ser Arthur Dayne.
      
      “Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.”

“Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell.
      
      “But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.”
      
      “Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.
      
      “We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.

I'll just apologize ahead of time because this is probably a really dumb question but why did they have to fight at the ToJ?

Rhaegar was dead, Lyanna lay dying & at any rate Ned wasn't going to hurt her or the baby. Is it merely because they were told to guard the baby & thought Ned & co would kill him? 

Couldn't this have been solved by some conversation? AND speaking of conversation is this not an odd exchange? Why did they have this particular conversation? Why not, hey I want my sister back? I want to see her & make sure she isn't harmed? It seems to me as if neither side really wanted to fight but felt honor bound to do it. Why? 

Edited by Lyanna<3Rhaegar
Fix spelling

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The KG fought to the death as they knew that once Lyanna had a chance to talk with Ned they were dead.

Lyanna would tell her brother how they held her down while Rheagar raped her.

And - once she had been impregnated - how they had sport with her.

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My guess was that the Kingsguard were given orders to protect Lyanna and Jon from anyone who might turn up, at all costs, so, the Magnificent Seven had to fight to get by. Plus, at this point, Ned and company probably still thought they were retrieving Lyanna from captivity. 

I agree, it feels a little silly that no one thought to say, "Hey, can we sit down and discuss it?"

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7 minutes ago, TMIFairy said:

The KG fought to the death as they knew that once Lyanna had a chance to talk with Ned they were dead.

Lyanna would tell her brother how they held her down while Rheagar raped her.

And - once she had been impregnated - how they had sport with her.

Lol! 

 

4 minutes ago, Faera said:

My guess was that the Kingsguard were given orders to protect Lyanna and Jon from anyone who might turn up, at all costs, so, the Magnificent Seven had to fight to get by. Plus, at this point, Ned and company probably still thought they were retrieving Lyanna from captivity. 

I agree, it feels a little silly that no one thought to say, "Hey, can we sit down and discuss it?"

It does. Very out of character for GRRM silly. Possibly when we are given the entire scene at ToJ it will make more sense but you would think that Ned would have at least said something about getting his sister with no blood shed. Idk strange. 

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5 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

It does. Very out of character for GRRM silly. Possibly when we are given the entire scene at ToJ it will make more sense but you would think that Ned would have at least said something about getting his sister with no blood shed. Idk strange. 

True. We really don't know much about what happened that day at all. We only have Ned's fever dream of what happened and the only character who can tell an alternative version at this point is Howland. *Cue all the jokes on just how he managed to save Arthur's life.*

I do think that the Kingsguard likely were the ones to initiate the fight, though. For some reason, they just wouldn't budge. Maybe they'd heard what happened to Aegon and Rhaenys and were worried the same fate could await their newborn prince? It might come down to those conflicting rules that the knights' and Kingsguard oaths they have to follow, or maybe it is due to Arthur's personal relationship with Rhaegar. A promise he made?

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It's important to remember that conversation was remembered in a milk-of-the-poppy induced fever dream Ned was having. It may not have happened exactly as Ned dreams in that moment and the dream could be combining multiple events into a single showdown.

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Knights of Kingsguard are meant to die with swords in hand. They weren't about to hand the Prince that was Promised over to the enemy, regardless how honorable or related they are. 

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9 minutes ago, Beren_One_Hand said:

It's important to remember that conversation was remembered in a milk-of-the-poppy induced fever dream Ned was having. It may not have happened exactly as Ned dreams in that moment and the dream could be combining multiple events into a single showdown.

Very true. 1 point for you 

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The Kingsguard were going to protect Jon (and Lyanna) no matter what. But I do wonder if there would have been a fight if Ned had arrived on his own. 

I often wondered if Ned went to the ToJ thinking he would find only the Kingsguard there. 

I have a hard time with Ned's milk of the poppy induced fever dreams, tbh, though. I feel like I'm the one with the fever whenever I read through his thoughts.

 

Edited by Widow's Watch

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Because they swore a vow. The Kingsguard were there not only to guard the king but guard his right. They fully intended to crown Jon. Ned would never physically hurt Jon, but they were pretty sure that he wouldn't go along with their plan either.

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Because with Aerys dead the crown passed to Raeghar, and with Raeghar dead, the crown passed to his heir, so they were in fact protecting their young  king.  They were not about to let armed rebels pass within to kill him, or spirit him away.

Edited by Reekazoid
heir, not hair.. lol

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1. We know that this was a fever dream and the conversation didn’t take place exactly as described. Nonetheless it does seem odd.

2. Nothing we know about Arthur Dayne in particular suggests that he is a robot who follows orders blindly without exercizing any judgment. 

3. The words “we swore a vow” here may be key. Does he mean the Kingsguard vow? Or some specific vow sworn to either Aerys or Rhaegar (such as “Keep Lyanna in that tower no matter what!”)  Even if we are talking about the Kingsguard vow there is a potential conflict—follow the orders of the now-dead king (or prince), or follow the prime directive of protecting the present king (Viserys or Jon, depending).

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2 hours ago, Beren_One_Hand said:

It's important to remember that conversation was remembered in a milk-of-the-poppy induced fever dream Ned was having. It may not have happened exactly as Ned dreams in that moment and the dream could be combining multiple events into a single showdown.

Maybe not, but that setting also acts to push the filter of Ned away and give us a memory that might be free of Ned's biases. This sort of magical/drugged dream setting is often used to convey a truth that the dreamer doesn't want to think about consciously, just as we saw with Jaime's weirwood stump dream.

Either way, we're told what we need to know about it, most importantly that he understood they were acting as Kingsguard and he'd have preferred not to kill them. And if the dialog is accurate, he offered them many excuses to claim if they wanted to leave, and they refused.

So they did actually discuss this, even if tersely. But if you're the KG, there's no inch to give on the sovereignty of the King. Ned attempted diplomacy by giving them a chance to say "What royal baby?" and act as if all the heirs had died or fled. 

46 minutes ago, Lady bonehead said:

3. The words “we swore a vow” here may be key. Does he mean the Kingsguard vow?

That's what I'd assume. A vow is preemptive, broad statement of commitment; different in connotation from a promise to do something or assent to an order. Though by any definition, it would be mooted by the death of the person it's sworn to, so I think it's safe to conclude from this conversation that they don't think the royal heir is dead.


I actually think that scene's dialog is some of the best in the series. In retrospect it's fairly obvious that they are guarding a royal heir, but the subtext and significance of the conversation are obscured by being placed so early in the story. 

Edited by cgrav

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23 minutes ago, cgrav said:

I actually think that scene's dialog is some of the best in the series. In retrospect it's fairly obvious that they are guarding a royal heir, but the subtext and significance of the conversation are obscured by being placed so early in the story. 

I agree with everything you just said, and echo the quoted bit  most especially.

Masterful analysis, my friend. One of  my top 3 or 4 favorite scenes.

 

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@Lyanna<3Rhaegar

Not a stupid question at all. In fact I think it is one of the more important questions we can ask about asoiaf, because as you and many others have pointed out, the entire situation just seems silly at face value. Why die for honor's sake? It's not like if they actually killed Ned they would have been able to easily crown Lyanna's child. In fact it seems that the most sensible thing for them to do would be to hand over Lyanna's child to Ned for safe keeping and then join up with Viserys and Dany. But instead they fought to the death.

Here's my take, and I am definitely in the minority here. Rhaegar was obsessed with fulfilling prophecy and gave orders to those 3 KG (the 3 who also bought into the whole prophecy thing) to work toward fulfilling prophecy even in the event of Rhaegar's death. It seems that Rhaegar (and Aemon) thought the Long Night 2.0 was coming, and so defeating the forces of darkness would take priority over everything else, including normal politics. I think Rhaegar ordered the 3 KG to burn Lyanna alive as a sacrifice (after giving birth) in the belief that the result would be Lyanna's child being magically transformed into some sort of prophecy-fulfilling AAR baby. Ned showed up right before this took place, and obviously would not have been OK with Lyanna being killed, so they fought.

So in my view, it wasn't for honor. They actually had a legit reason for fighting to the death. The 3 KG weren't going to let Ned prevent them from fulfilling prophecy to stop the Long Night 2.0, and Ned wasn't going to let them kill Lyanna. Then Lyanna ironically died anyways, and Ned used the cache of wildfire they had prepared in the ToJ to burn down the tower, similar to when Cersei burned down the Tower of the Hand (and this explains how Ned was able to bring down the tower without a bunch of men and construction equipment).

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@40 Thousand Skeletons
I suspect there was a sort of political motive, beyond just being Kingsguard. I think Rhaegar was trying to start a new succession for reasons of both politics and prophecy. Had Rhaegar survived, it would have been a new set of alliances ready to go: an heir and queen that tied the crown to the North and thereby also the Riverlands and Vale through marriages. But as we know that plan did quite work.
 

Before anyone objects that Rhaegar wouldn't have been so dumb as to risk upsetting the Baratheons, let's consider an inner thought from one of our best windows on Rhaegar, Ned Stark:

Quote

Ned VII

... this was the Robert Baratheon he'd known and loved. If he could prove that the Lannisters were behind the attack on Bran, prove that they had murdered Jon Arryn, this man would listen. Then Cersei would fall, and the Kingslayer with her, and if Lord Tywin dared to rouse the west, Robert would smash him as he had smashed Rhaegar Targaryen on the Trident. He could see it all so clearly.

That breakfast tasted better than anything Eddard Stark had eaten in a long time...

Here we have Ned foolishly deciding he's okay with bringing the kingdoms to war if he can satisfy his blood feud with the Lannisters. Certainly Rhaegar wasn't as naive as Ned, but if Ned was willing to risk war to avenge Bran's spinal injury, what would Rhaegar risk to save the realm and fulfill an end-of-world prophecy?

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Some crack pot but it could also possibly be a reason tensions were high between the two parties on top of the Lyanna/Jon factor.

A blood feud between the Daynes and Starks.

As far as Arthur knows either Brandon or Eddard seduced his sister Ashara at Harrenhal and took her maidenhead and knocked her up. Now we all know that sweet old Ned would never lay with a women who wasn't his wife and it was Brandon that bedded Ashara and promised her marriage before he left to marry Catelyn. However Arthur doesn't know that though. I mean the man who is both the brother of Brandon Stark and best friend of Robert Baratheon must be cut from a similar cloth right? Arthur has been waiting desperately to cross swords with a Stark brother so when Ned arrives...

Even more crack pot still. A blood feud between the Starks and all three Kingsguard members at the TOJ. The vow they swore

Oswell Went's niece was the fair maid at the same Harrenhal tourney Brandon Stark most likely bedded Ashara. It's also reasonable to assume that Lord Commander Hightower had some maiden nieces(grand nieces) of a similar age as Ashara and young Lady Went there too. We know that Brandon Stark was handsome, charming, fearless, wild, foolish and not shy about taking a highborn Lady's maidenhead. Brandon may have bedded Ashara Dayne, the Went maid and a Hightower during the Stark's stay at Harrenhal. Harrenhal was most likely going to be his last large gathering before he was to marry and settle down in Winterfell and start a family.

Each TOJ KG member finds out that a "Stark" seduced their sister or niece and they swear a vow of revenge. It just so happens Eddard Stark, the innocent brother, shows up at the TOJ. However Eddard Stark proves his innocence by surviving the TOJ. Almost like winning a trail by combat.

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2 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Each TOJ KG member finds out that a "Stark" seduced their sister or niece and they swear a vow of revenge. It just so happens Eddard Stark, the innocent brother, shows up at the TOJ. However Eddard Stark proves his innocence by surviving the TOJ. Almost like winning a trail by combat.

Heh. The idea that they all wanted someone dead for doing the exact thing that Rhaegar (whom they all loved dearly) was doing to the Starks amuses me a great deal. Though I doubt it's so.

The people at the Tower of Joy weren't exactly the brightest bunch. They fought because they had preconceived notions about each other that they were unwilling to change, and because they thought that it was what they should do. Wasteful, to say the least.

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We simply do not know enough about the scene at the TOJ to make any strong assertions. Instead, the reader is invited to draw their own conclusions

So go and find some analysis on the TOJ. Either on these forums or there are a number of sites producing decent essays. Over the years these essays have built up and today there is a plethora of theories on all the mysteries in ASOIAF. 

My personal favorite is: https://warsandpoliticsoficeandfire.wordpress.com/

But there are many, many more. 

My personal thoughts on the TOJ is that Eddard had no choice and nor did the KG. The two groups represent opposing forces regardless of what was in their hearts. Ned was for Robert and there was no turning back. Ned and his house's actions were a big part of the rebellion. I would guess that prior to leaving, Rhaegar would of given the KG the command to defend the TOJ with their lives. So it made no matter what Ned or anyone thought or wanted. Common sense could not prevail under the circumstances and the two sides clashed. When it was done, all that was left was Ned, Howland, some bones and a babe. 

Ultimately, Ned and his adversaries had sworn their own vows independently of one another to separate entities. Which is essentially a huge part of our story. The vows that are sworn often contradict one-another in the absence of a common law. 

Jaime Lannister is a good example of a man who couldn't keep all of his vows, so perhaps revisit his earlier chapters, especially the ones with Cat which demonstrate his unique position in not only Robert's Rebellion but in the Wo5K. 

The 'promise'? I would again guess this was regarding the babe. To raise them as one of his own until he/she was old enough to know the truth. 

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Ned and company were REBELS and played a key roll in the Targaryan Dynasty being destroyed and replaced by Robert who btw killed there silver prince on the Trident, they were enemies of the KG plain and simple and for the KG to not try and kill these traitors would be treason. 

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