lAPPYc

The lie of a love story

45 posts in this topic

(I mistakenly posted this in the World of Ice and Fire forum. I am reposting it here, and it is a bit edited after considering a few of the comments I received from the previous post)

Why did Rhaegar Targaryen take Lyanna Stark to the Tower of Joy? He was the Prince of Dragonstone.There was the Red Keep. There was Darry. There was Griffin's Roost. There was half the kingdom that supported him. But most of all, why didn't he contact Rickard Stark. Why did he hide like a thief(or a rapist)?

Assuming that he knew about the grand plans and alliances of Rickard Stark, and that he was pressed by the necessity to impregnate Lyanna Stark to save the world, and assuming that she was in love with him, he would have had a much better future if he'd taken Lyanna to either Dragonstone or the Red Keep, or anywhere else, and just contacted Rickard Stark and traded Dorne for the price of the North, the Riverlands, and the maybe even the Vale once Hoster Tully marries Lysa to Jon Arryn(now that Jaime had taken the white). Dorne might have stewed, and of course, the Stormlord would have been angry. But this is a course that would have been worth trying. And if he thought Rickard Stark might prove reluctant to break his vow to the lecherous teenage orphaned lord of Storm's End who has never yet proved his mettle like Rhaegar has for the man his daughter actually loves, all he had to do was show him her swollen belly once he'd impregnated her, and now the only way for her father to save her honor would be for him to accept this marriage between his daughter and the Crown Prince who won the greatest tourney of them all.(Oh, what a hard choice)

He didn't try any of this though, and the only explanation I can come up with is that Lyanna refused to marry him.

Oh, she might have loved him. We know she didn't approve of the way Robert chased skirts, (I can't remember if she complained about his drinking, she might have), and we know she was willful and wild. But the fact that Rickard Stark calls it the 'wolf blood' tells us that she wasn't the first in the long ancient line of the Starks to have had this blood(Gee, what are the chances of that happening?). And yet the Starks are reputed to be honorable than most. That means that many, if not most of their 'wolf-blooded' children calmed their blood and went the honorable way(Gee, what are the chances of a lord's daughter adhering to the proud history of her house and making true on her promises?)

I am not saying that Lyanna Stark was the strongest of the people. It takes courage to put aside our own feelings and marry the man you hate for the good for your kingdom. And not all people are that strong. But had she consented to Rhaegar, he wouldn't have needed to hide her like he did. People say that their messages were waylaid by people like Littefinger or Catelyn, but someone like Rhaegar the Orchestrator of the Great Tourney of Harrenhal should have had fail-safes for such an event. Moreover, if it had been consensual, there was no need for all the secrecy either, the messages could have just been carried by ravens, and the realm would have treated the new scandal of Westeros just like they treated Aegon IV and his mistresses. If it had been consensual, he'd have returned to the Red Keep once he'd heard of Brandon's arrest and of the fact that a summons has been sent to Rickard Stark. The summons went the north and then the lord of Winterfell made the long journey to the south, even by ship that's a lot of time(He'd have to journey to White Harbor) for Rhaegar to learn of the developments with the family of the woman whose love he meant to keep, because he was right there in the Tower of Joy.

So I do think that Lyanna was a strong woman who could put the needs of her kingdom before her own feelings. Maybe she had an affair with Rhaegar when he/or friends captured the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and maybe that's what prompted the Dragon Prince to recognize her as his true love/or meant to be and into giving her the crown of Love and Beauty.(I don't like to assume that he fell in love with her either. He was already being an asshole to Elia, he didn't need to actually fall for another woman too. He'd be a much better person if he did all this only for the kingdoms, and no f****ing love was involved). But when he offered her the chance to marry him, I think that for Lyanna, the good of her kingdoms was what her father told her. She is a sixteen-year-old girl and we have never been led to believe she knew enough about politics to recognize Rhaegar as a better match in her father's eyes. Rhaegar might have tried to convince by making the arguments mentioned above, but maybe he failed(How often do girls believe the wild tales men tell them when they know the man only wants to get in their pants? Very very few times, I hope).

All I know is that Rhaegar took pains to hide her till she was heavy with child. Dragonstone would be essentially a Dornish base at the moment what with Elia the homemaker, and who knows what a vengeful venomous person might do, so Rhaegar couldn't bring Lyanna there even if she had consented. But if she had consented, the Red Keep, the center of the Kingdom was the best place to plan his next alliances. I doubt Aerys would have been that much of a problem. Pycelle writes to the citadel that the 'Red Keep' was divided and that it reminded him of the court in the times of the Dance. So we know that Rhaegar had friends there. Even if he hadn't though, Aerys wouldn't have harmed him or Lyanna. For all he is thinking, Rhaegar is just following his little head. And if he thinks along the lines of 'Rhaegar just insulted Storm's End and the North', well, that's just the regular politics for the Red Keep; nothing to fear for your life, or that of your bastard's, or of that of the girl's that is making you look dishonorable in the eyes of the kingdom itching to crown you. But even if the Red Keep isn't safe enough for you, what about Griffin's Roost? What about Harrenhal? What about Darry? What about contacting Rickard Stark and asking him for the hand of his daughter in marriage? What about Winterfell itself?

No, Rhaegar led her to a secluded area so no one could hear her crying 'rape'. If people knew where she was, they would have come to help her, especially if Lyanna was held against her will, and that's what he was afraid of. I want the Song of Ice and Fire be a saga of hard choices and their consequences dammit, and not a sappy love story that D&D have given to us.

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You make a very good argument and you could quite possibly be right. I tend to think (sappy it may be) that this is a Shakespearean type of love story. I can see why you would not relish that idea but "doomed loved" is a trope because it is a very real and powerful thing.

You brought up a lot of great questions that I have never even considered. 

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44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

. But most of all, why didn't he contact Rickard Stark. 

And where is it stated he didn't? For all we know, Rickard might have given a silent consent, and Brandon disagreed because he held a personal grudge against Rhaegar for beating him in the tourney.

 

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

 And if he thought Rickard Stark might prove reluctant to break his vow to the lecherous teenage orphaned lord of Storm's End who has never yet proved his mettle like Rhaegar has for the man his daughter actually loves, all he had to do was show him her swollen belly once he'd impregnated her, and now the only way for her father to save her honor would be for him to accept this marriage between his daughter and the Crown Prince who won the greatest tourney of them all.(Oh, what a hard choice)

Well... I think that's exactly what he had in mind when he made off with Lyanna. Only, he didn't take into account Brandon yelling for him to come out and die when he wasn't even there. But Brandon did what he did, and once he did and Aerys accused him of treason, Lyanna's pregnant belly wouldn't have changed a thing, even if she had been pregnant by then. Which she wasn't, because Jon was conceived only a couple of months into the Rebellion.

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

We know she didn't approve of the way Robert chased skirts, (I can't remember if she complained about his drinking, she might have),

To my best memory, she didn't.

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

I am not saying that Lyanna Stark was the strongest of the people. It takes courage to put aside our own feelings and marry the man you hate for the good for your kingdom. And not all people are that strong. But had she consented to Rhaegar, he wouldn't have needed to hide her like he did. People say that their messages were waylaid by people like Littefinger or Catelyn, but someone like Rhaegar the Orchestrator of the Great Tourney of Harrenhal should have had fail-safes for such an event.

He didn't have a fail-safe for Aerys turning up at the tourney, either (unless it was a plan to show the whole realm how mad he was)

 

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

Moreover, if it had been consensual, there was no need for all the secrecy either, the messages could have just been carried by ravens,

And is raven mail any safer? Marwyn hints that maesters conspired against the dragons, could their conspiracy go even further as to conspire against the Targaryens themselves? Tyrion asks Pycelle how far his treachery went and names Rhaegar among those potentially betrayed by Pycelle; what did he mean by that? Barbrey Dustin points out how much trust is put in the maesters' service, a trust that can easily be abused.

Plus, there are other players, like Varys, who definitely didn't act in the best interests of House Targaryen and possessed the means to affect raven mail.

 

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

and the realm would have treated the new scandal of Westeros just like they treated Aegon IV and his mistresses.

Very much true, especially if the culprit couldn't be found

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

If it had been consensual, he'd have returned to the Red Keep once he'd heard of Brandon's arrest and of the fact that a summons has been sent to Rickard Stark.

The problem is, when Rhaegar learned and if there was still time to do a thing.

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

The summons went the north and then the lord of Winterfell made the long journey to the south, even by ship that's a lot of time(He'd have to journey to White Harbor) for Rhaegar to learn of the developments with the family of the woman whose love he meant to keep, because he was right there in the Tower of Joy.

I'm afraid you're wrong here. Rickard was already on the way to the wedding and Brandon left Riverrun to meet him (at least that was the official reason, he might have had some other agenda).

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

 he didn't need to actually fall for another woman too.

He didn't, but his victory at the tourney sounds suspiciously much like Jorah when he was smitten with Lynesse.

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

  But if she had consented, the Red Keep, the center of the Kingdom was the best place to plan his next alliances. I doubt Aerys would have been that much of a problem.

Quite the contrary, Aerys had the potential to be very much of a problem. He was already mistrustful of Rhaegar because of his paranoia, so why should he be inclined to grant Rhaegar's wish, given that Aerys himself was not allowed to marry the woman he loved? If Aerys forbids the match, just like Viserys did with Rhaenyra and Daemon, Rhaegar would have to obey, or commit treason by disobeying. Not good options.

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

 Aerys wouldn't have harmed him or Lyanna.

I agree that Aerys wouldn't harm his own son (at least, not until his paranoia got some more fuel), but Lyanna, after her brother committted "treason"? I wouldn't bet her wellbeing on that.

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

 But even if the Red Keep isn't safe enough for you, what about Griffin's Roost? What about Harrenhal? What about Darry? What about contacting Rickard Stark and asking him for the hand of his daughter in marriage? What about Winterfell itself?

Because at all those locations, Rhaegar can be reached and ordered to return Lyanna to her family. A castle has no secrets, someone would always tell that they were hiding there. 

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

No, Rhaegar led her to a secluded area so no one could hear her crying 'rape'. If people knew where she was, they would have come to help her, especially if Lyanna was held against her will, and that's what he was afraid of.

On the way back from the brothel, when Ned muses about Robert's whoring and fathering bastards left and right, only to conclude that Rhaegar wasn't that kind of person. If Rhaegar indeed raped Lyanna, then Ned effectively made a comparison between her betrothed and her rapist, in favor of the rapist. I don't think that's something any normal person would do.

Moreover, when Ned says that Lyanna's wolf blood led her to an early grave, he is actually blaming her for her own rape then. Such people unfortunately do exist, but I don't think Ned was one of them.

44 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

I want the Song of Ice and Fire be a saga of hard choices and their consequences dammit, and not a sappy love story that D&D have given to us.

Well... ASOIAF keeps rehashing the topic of "love is the death of duty". R+L might be yet another such instance.

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49 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

For all we know, Rickard might have given a silent consent, and Brandon disagreed because he held a personal grudge against Rhaegar[...]Only, he didn't take into account Brandon yelling for him to come out and die when he wasn't even there

 

So that means Rhaegar told Lord Rickard where to send his silent consent - not to the Red Keep, but to the Tower of Joy - And still Brandon went to the Red Keep?

53 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

But Brandon did what he did, and once he did and Aerys accused him of treason, Lyanna's pregnant belly wouldn't have changed a thing,

If Rickard Stark had an agreement with the Crown Prince who was intent on replacing his father on the throne, he would have returned to Winterfell and brought out his army. Robb did it when the Lannisters imprisoned Sansa and his father and reportedly his sister and without a crown prince. And I am still not convinced that Rhaegar wouldn't at least have tried to publish his correspondence with Rickard Stark. Hoster Tully was the one he would have reached out to, or Ned Stark's foster father, the-all time cunning Jon Arryn.

BTW, why silent consent? Sure, Rickard Stark wouldn't want such a scandal to interfere with his son's wedding. But this secrecy would be held by only Rickard then, why did Rhaegar go into hiding?

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:
Quote

and the realm would have treated the new scandal of Westeros just like they treated Aegon IV and his mistresses.

Very much true, especially if the culprit couldn't be found

Who is culprit? Why would they be treated differently if they were found?

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

He didn't have a fail-safe for Aerys turning up at the tourney, either (unless it was a plan to show the whole realm how mad he was)

Having a fail-safe against a fifteen year old Littlefinger and a mad king's mood are very different things. He could send another message if the first one didn't reach, and take better care this time. But he couldn't change his father's mind about things.

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Marwyn hints that maesters conspired against the dragons, could their conspiracy go even further as to conspire against the Targaryens themselves?

Varys receives news from across Westeros. Jorah communicates with him from Essos. Raven/birds handling isn't a Maester monopoly. The best way to make sure a message goes is to send it himself. And even if a raven isn't safe enough(they could be felled), a message like the one Lysa sent to Catelyn could be sent, to be seen by Lord Rickard personally. There would be Darry people at Riverrun for the wedding, so it should even be possible without involving a Maester.

Quote

The problem is, when Rhaegar learned and if there was still time to do a thing.

If he wasn't hiding, he would have found out sooner is my point.

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Because at all those locations, Rhaegar can be reached and ordered to return Lyanna to her family.

Ordered? By whom? His father? The one he was planning to unseat?

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

On the way back from the brothel, when Ned muses about Robert's whoring and fathering bastards left and right, only to conclude that Rhaegar wasn't that kind of person. If Rhaegar indeed raped Lyanna, then Ned effectively made a comparison between her betrothed and her rapist, in favor of the rapist. I don't think that's something any normal person would do.

 

Okay, now this is a good point. But still, it doesn't persuade me to look at this whole affair with a suspicious eye, especially because I can think of a reason. Lyanna needed Ned to protect Jon. Even in today's world, where children born of rape are offered nothing but sympathy by the society, there are families, even their own mothers, who cannot accept them. What would the scene be in medieval westeros, where bastards are frowned upon already? And will Lyanna risk telling Ned it was a rape? Sure, she knows her brother better than anybody, but still, it is better for her loving brother to think that she spent all this time that led to her death with her lover, and not her rapist. And it would even be easy to believe, for maybe he knew of her tryst with Rhaegar at the Tourney of Harrenhal.

Quote

Moreover, when Ned says that Lyanna's wolf blood led her to an early grave, he is actually blaming her for her own rape then. Such people unfortunately do exist, but I don't think Ned was one of them.

1

That is what he would think if he believed Lyanna's 'love' story. But still, a good point.

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I'm with you again here @lAPPYc.  I definitely don't like or understand the shakesperian tragic star crossed lovers version of R+L=J, though it is so prevalent, I sort of believe it.  So much makes more sense if Lyanna was captive against her will.  Like why Arthur Dayne felt the need to fight Eddard instead of saying "it's cool bro, why don't you talk to your beloved sister about how she totally gave affirmative consent to this and then maybe let's talk together about the consequences of her having a child with Robert on the throne and maybe me and Ashara go into exile to protect your sister and her and Rhaegar's kid?"  The kingsguard were used to guarding the doors while rape occured (mad Aerys style) and being fine with it.  It would explain why Lyanna didn't try to stop this war like a reasonable person would by contacting her family to explain the situation.  @Ygrain brings up that Ned didn't think Rhaegar was the type to visit brothels... there are a lot of twisted people who commit rape in religious or ritualistic ways that aren't for lustful pleasure alone.  A different example - I think Jaime has a lot of self control for not sleeping around, but think it is far more grievious that when he does shag, he shags his twin sister.  Vices and motives are different, Robert's whoring and Rhaegar's alleged raping cannot be compared.

That all being said, I have almost accepted the Rhaegarstans version that Elia totally wanted Rhaegar to be with Lyanna and they had consenual dutiful monogamous love for the sake of the realm, if only because believing such a thing takes the disappointment out of the fact that TWOW will never be released.  Also because Rhaegarstans are the worst to argue with.

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12 minutes ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

I'm with you again here @lAPPYc.  I definitely don't like or understand the shakesperian tragic star crossed lovers version of R+L=J, though it is so prevalent, I sort of believe it.  So much makes more sense if Lyanna was captive against her will.  Like why Arthur Dayne felt the need to fight Eddard instead of saying "it's cool bro, why don't you talk to your beloved sister about how she totally gave affirmative consent to this and then maybe let's talk together about the consequences of her having a child with Robert on the throne and maybe me and Ashara go into exile to protect your sister and her and Rhaegar's kid?"  The kingsguard were used to guarding the doors while rape occured (mad Aerys style) and being fine with it.  It would explain why Lyanna didn't try to stop this war like a reasonable person would by contacting her family to explain the situation.  @Ygrain brings up that Ned didn't think Rhaegar was the type to visit brothels... there are a lot of twisted people who commit rape in religious or ritualistic ways that aren't for lustful pleasure alone.  A different example - I think Jaime has a lot of self control for not sleeping around, but think it is far more grievious that when he does shag, he shags his twin sister.  Vices and motives are different, Robert's whoring and Rhaegar's alleged raping cannot be compared.

That all being said, I have almost accepted the Rhaegarstans version that Elia totally wanted Rhaegar to be with Lyanna and they had consenual dutiful monogamous love for the sake of the realm, if only because believing such a thing takes the disappointment out of the fact that TWOW will never be released.  Also because Rhaegarstans are the worst to argue with.

The KG and northmen fight actualy makes sense even if Lyanna and rhaegar were in love.

Lets assume jon is legitimate and the heir to the IT, otherwise it doesn t make sense that the KG decided to protect him instead of going to essos protect viserys when ned gives them the chance.

So, as they know what happened to the other kids in KL what would they think when ned (robert's best friend) arrives with 6 northmen? Even if Lyanna is his sister, Robert who is ned's king wants rhaegar's son dead. Why would they believe that ned would hide jon from robert? And would the other northmen do the same? And what about their duty to protect their king (jon)? could they simply trust the northmen?

It makes sense that they think they need to kill the northmen to protect jon...

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3 minutes ago, divica said:

The KG and northmen fight actualy makes sense even if Lyanna and rhaegar were in love.

Lets assume jon is legitimate and the heir to the IT, otherwise it doesn t make sense that the KG decided to protect him instead of going to essos protect viserys when ned gives them the chance.

So, as they know what happened to the other kids in KL what would they think when ned (robert's best friend) arrives with 6 northmen? Even if Lyanna is his sister, Robert who is ned's king wants rhaegar's son dead. Why would they believe that ned would hide jon from robert? And would the other northmen do the same? And what about their duty to protect their king (jon)? could they simply trust the northmen?

It makes sense that they think they need to kill the northmen to protect jon...

I agreed that they believed Rhaegar's son by Lyanna to be the king and thus it their duty to defend him against Ned who they can reasonably assume there is a chance (even if it is 1%) would want to kill his own nephew the way Tywin's dogs killed Rhaenys and Aegon... but why not have a little parle?  Doesn't take much to announce "your sister and her trueborn Targaryen son, the rightful king, are here - lay down your weapons and you can see her in our custody, or die"... if Ned did not believe them then sure they could start fighting.  I just struggle with this.  Even Lyanna could have reassured them how Ned would react - if she was so worried her brother would kill her child why would we have the "promise me" episode... would she have preferred that the kingsguard kill Ned and anyone else who may have showed up?

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8 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

It takes courage to put aside our own feelings and marry the man you hate for the good for your kingdom. And not all people are that strong.

Should have left the analysis there. From Lyanna's perspective Rhaegar and Lyanna are a sappy love story, they're also a minor part of ASOIAF. The purpose is for Lyanna's actions and the consequences of her actions to be known to more important characters who will face similar circumstances. To put it simply Arya will love Gendry but for the good of the realm will marry who her lord Jon orders her to, thus proving herself a more selfless person than Lyanna and worthy of rule.

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1 minute ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

I agreed that they believed Rhaegar's son by Lyanna to be the king and thus it their duty to defend him against Ned who they can reasonably assume there is a chance (even if it is 1%) would want to kill his own nephew the way Tywin's dogs killed Rhaenys and Aegon... but why not have a little parle?  Doesn't take much to announce "your sister and her trueborn Targaryen son, the rightful king, are here - lay down your weapons and you can see her in our custody, or die"... if Ned did not believe them then sure they could start fighting.  I just struggle with this.  Even Lyanna could have reassured them how Ned would react - if she was so worried her brother would kill her child why would we have the "promise me" episode... would she have preferred that the kingsguard kill Ned and anyone else who may have showed up?

Maybe they talked a bit more or were ordered to not tell anyone Lyanna was pregnant. We only know what happened based on ned's fever dream and that the KG didn t think they would lose. So maybe the KG thought it would be safer to hide jon in essos until he was of age if no one knew he existed and didn t want to risk one northmen telling the secret to anyone...

It is a bit forced but makes sense...

Also, grrm couldn t have a dialogue about Lyanna being pregnant and want to keep RLJ a secret. It would be too obvious.

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25 minutes ago, divica said:

Also, grrm couldn t have a dialogue about Lyanna being pregnant and want to keep RLJ a secret. It would be too obvious.

LOL!  That's the truth of it!  I suppose the version we've read ("So it begins" / "no, now it ends") keeps the secret while defying logic... perhaps it would have been best if we didn't get certain visions of what happened at all.

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6 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

the-all time cunning Jon Arryn.

I'm curious, why do you believe Jon Arryn to be "all time cunning?"

Edited by Ralphis Baratheon

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I can't help but think Rheagar was far from the perfect prince everyone saw him as-like his conversation with Jamie before his battle at the trident give indication he plans to remove Aerys from power and not by simply asking. 

 

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@divica, there is just too many situations in which they seem to assume an absurd response from the other party(Ned killing his sister/her babe, Rickard Stark favoring Robert over Rhaegar).  Too many situations in this whole affair that they could have settled for the better if they had just talked. And that is why it doesn't make sense to me that they didn't talk. It makes sense though, when you see it from the angle of Lyanna saying no to carrying Rhaegar's child. It requires lesser such assumptions:

5 hours ago, divica said:

Maybe they talked a bit more or were ordered to not tell anyone Lyanna was pregnant.

The KG fought because it were enemies of Aerys that they faced. They didn't think they would live through it, and I don't think they even hoped for it, for Ser Arthur said "Now it ends". They couldn't have planned to spirit Jon to Essos, for "The Kingsguard doesn't run". They don't get captured or pardoned by an usurper either, however (Not for these three), so throwing their swords down wasn't an option. They knew their part in this was over, and that it was time for them to rest.

Edited by lAPPYc

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4 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:
11 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

the-all time cunning Jon Arryn.

I'm curious, why do you believe Jon Arryn to be "all time cunning?"

I have no proof for this. It was just a sentiment I thought was popular in the fandom, and one I don't have any thoughts against.

All I know about Jon Arryn is that:

 - He probably roped Rickard Stark into his plans. Rickard Stark was the 'new' guy here in the south, and Jon noted his ambitions/stroked them. I think I have read that it was Jon Arryn that arranged the marriage between Brandon and Catelyn. He definately arranged the one between Lyanna and Robert.

 - He fostered the Lord of Storm's End when his father died. This could have been done out of affection for Steffon Baratheon(Again, no proof of this that I know of, just saying that they could have had been friends) or it was to wean Storm's End away from the Targaryens(Steffon Baratheon went to Essos to find a bride for Rhaegar, so we know he was at least on good terms with Aerys) and into his camp.

 - He kept Robert's kingdom afloat for fifteen something years.

 -  He negotiated down Dornish fury. Though it was probably helped by the fact that Doran Martell was plotting to wed Arianne to Viserys.

 - He made Robert marry Cersei, cementing Casterley Rock to Robert's throne.

Again, I just wrote that line because I thought it was a popular sentiment. I think Rhaegar would have had lesser chances of deciding to contact him if he didn't think of him as cunning(The maesters who were playing the both of them could have confided in them both about the virtues of the other) simply because he was fostering Robert.

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7 hours ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

That all being said, I have almost accepted the Rhaegarstans version that Elia totally wanted Rhaegar to be with Lyanna and they had consenual dutiful monogamous love for the sake of the realm, if only because believing such a thing takes the disappointment out of the fact that TWOW will never be released.  Also because Rhaegarstans are the worst to argue with.

This is what ticks me off the most. All those Rgaegar Stans believing that stupid love story. I am a Rhaegar Stan, dammit. Rhaegar was perfect. He was awesome. He was the hero that westeros didn't deserve, but the one it needed. He didn't make mistakes, and by believing that he horribly mistook his chances with Lyanna and ran away with her, all the Rhaegar Stans are insinuating that he did, in fact, make mistakes. That's not how Stanning works.

Rhaegar was a political mastermind, as we see by the orchestration of the tourney of Harrenhal. Even if he was moved by the maesters for it, some of their wisdom/tactics would have rubbed of on it. But when D&D show him standing below a heart tree with lyanna, they are doing nothing but calling him stupid. I would never understand why Rhaegar Stans of all people buy into this?

Why was it wrong for Rhaegar to force himself upon Lyanna? Rhaegar knew what he was doing was wrong, he knew that rape was bad, and such a thing would cost him, though he probably didn't know how much. He took that chance though, for he saw light at the end of the tunnel, and no matter how long the tunnel was, he dragged himself through it. That is What i mean by a saga of hard choices and their consequences. Rhaegar knew that his actions would draw bad consequences, least of them to his marriage and to his heirs, but he made that hard choice anyway.

*Calming down* Glad to know that you no longer place at least that much blame on Lyanna, @Lucius Lovejoy, like you said in the People Vs. Sansa thread. Lyanna was just a girl stuck in the politics of the older generation, much like Sansa.

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13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

So that means Rhaegar told Lord Rickard where to send his silent consent - not to the Red Keep, but to the Tower of Joy - And still Brandon went to the Red Keep?

You misunderstand, or perhaps I didn't express myself correctly. The scenario I had in mind is that at some point, Rhaegar contacted Rickard and informed him about his plans with Lyanna. Rickard was perhaps torn between the power that Lyanna as the future king's mistress/second wife offered, but didn't feel comfortable about reneging on the betrothal, either. The solution would be if Rhaegar made off with Lyanna and took all the blame on himself as "kidnapper". Starks don't break their word and it's not their fault that Rhaegar cannot be found. Rickard perhaps even petitions Aerys to help him get his daughter back, but still, Rhaegar cannot be found. And when Rhaegar finally turns up with a pregnant Lyanna, Starks grudgingly approve of whatever amends he offers. Public image is kept, everybody gets what they wanted (except Robert, who might end up with Cersei yet again).

- Or perhaps this is just too neat and Rickard didn't know beforehands. Only, we don't really know because we don't have his recation, only Brandon's, and that doesn't tell us anything about Rickard's approval or lack thereof.

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

If Rickard Stark had an agreement with the Crown Prince who was intent on replacing his father on the throne, he would have returned to Winterfell and brought out his army. Robb did it when the Lannisters imprisoned Sansa and his father and reportedly his sister and without a crown prince.

The problem is, we don't know at what stage Rhaegar's plans for deposing Aerys were and how he intended to go about it. Bringing an army would mean civil war - would Rhaegar want that? I have always been under an impression that he wanted to call a great council and depose the king in a peaceful manner. That, however, would require treading carefully - a single mistake that would alert Aerys would cost people their heads.

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

And I am still not convinced that Rhaegar wouldn't at least have tried to publish his correspondence with Rickard Stark. Hoster Tully was the one he would have reached out to, or Ned Stark's foster father, the-all time cunning Jon Arryn.

But what would that accomplish? For Aerys' accusation of treason, such arrangements were irrelevant. Brandon would still  be charged with attempting to kill the Crown Prince, and Rickard would still be summoned to answer for him.

- Come to think of it: showing that Rickard had known might, in fact, make matters worse - being legitimately worried about one's sister can be perceived as mitigating circumstances, whereas knowing that she was safe leaves Brandon wanting to kill Rhaegar for no good reason.

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

BTW, why silent consent? Sure, Rickard Stark wouldn't want such a scandal to interfere with his son's wedding. But this secrecy would be held by only Rickard then, why did Rhaegar go into hiding?

A good point about the scandal interfering with the wedding. It might perhaps depend on the timing of Lyanna's own wedding to Robert, or perhaps be tied to some window of opportunity which would cease to exist later (for instance, if Lyanna was staying at HH until Brandon's wedding and was supposed to travel back to Winterfell, HH would be a more convenient location for her "abduction".) As to why Rickard might want to remain silent, see the scenario I offered above.

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

Who is culprit? Why would they be treated differently if they were found?

I meant Rhaegar. Who cannot be challenged or attacked if he isn't found, and thus the Starks don't get themselves into exactly the same shit that Brandon got them in.

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

Having a fail-safe against a fifteen year old Littlefinger and a mad king's mood are very different things. He could send another message if the first one didn't reach, and take better care this time. But he couldn't change his father's mind about things.

Not sure what kind of theories concerning LF you have run into but the only one I could subscribe to is not any scheming on LF's part (he wouldn't know a thing, didn't possess the means and was injured on top of that). The one scenario that might be plausible is of a chance meeting as LF was being transported back to the Fingers, similar to the chance meeting of Cat and Tyrion at the Crossroads Inn. LF might have been a witness to the "abduction" (and perhaps realise this was no real abduction). When Brandon comes looking for Lyanna, LF tells him something that pricks Brandon's ego ¨(when we were having fun exploring this option once, someone suggested "Lyanna is spreading her legs for Rhaegar just like Cat did for me") and perhaps brings him to the incorrect conclusion that Rhaegar was headed to KL. The rest is history, and LF realizes how much he can achieve with a bit of misdirection, and a schemer is born. - But, really, just a mental exercise. Doesn't contradict anything we know but has no textual support, either.

 

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

Varys receives news from across Westeros. Jorah communicates with him from Essos. Raven/birds handling isn't a Maester monopoly. The best way to make sure a message goes is to send it himself. And even if a raven isn't safe enough(they could be felled), a message like the one Lysa sent to Catelyn could be sent, to be seen by Lord Rickard personally. There would be Darry people at Riverrun for the wedding, so it should even be possible without involving a Maester.

Yes but if you don't suspect that the maesters have some hidden agenda, you may not think about alternate ways.

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

If he wasn't hiding, he would have found out sooner is my point.

That is certainly true. However, I think that Brandon's action couldn't be anticipated (really: challenging to a duel someone who is not even present? I don't think such an illogical thing would ever occur to me.)

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

Ordered? By whom? His father? The one he was planning to unseat?

I think this is where you are making a fundamental error in assessment: you're deeply underestimating Aerys' role in the whole mess. Whatever plans Rhaegar might have had, they were apparently not ready, or else he would have made the move and then pursue his affair with Lyanna as a king, with way more options. As long as Aerys was sitting the throne and had enough men willing to carry out his orders (and we know that he did, till the very end), Rhaegar either had to act in a way that wouldn't put him in a direct opposition to his father, or start an open conflict. If he didn't want an open conflict (with the potential of excalating into a civil war), then he had to walk a very thin line between what he wanted and what Aerys might do to thwart his plans. So, before he was ready and actually made the move to unseat Aerys, he had to act as a dutiful son and subject, or risk consequences that could damage his cause. - The guys who plotted to remove Hitler couldn't disregard him before they made their move could they?

13 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

Okay, now this is a good point. But still, it doesn't persuade me to look at this whole affair with a suspicious eye, especially because I can think of a reason. Lyanna needed Ned to protect Jon. Even in today's world, where children born of rape are offered nothing but sympathy by the society, there are families, even their own mothers, who cannot accept them. What would the scene be in medieval westeros, where bastards are frowned upon already? And will Lyanna risk telling Ned it was a rape? Sure, she knows her brother better than anybody, but still, it is better for her loving brother to think that she spent all this time that led to her death with her lover, and not her rapist. And it would even be easy to believe, for maybe he knew of her tryst with Rhaegar at the Tourney of Harrenhal.

That is a valid argument. However, it is not just Lyanna's plea that we can take a look at. We have the roses that she was holding onto even on her deathbed - who did she get them from and why were they so dear to her? And Ned's assessment about the wolf-blood - we cannot know whether it was based solely on Lyanna's account, or if he had some other source of information (e.g. Benjen, whom we know to be Lyanna's "partner in crime" at least once). Also, take Jorah comparing Dany to Rhaegar when she saves the Lhazareni women from further rape - now, not that I expect Jorah to have any insider info on what happened, but it shows that Jorah, and not only him, don't perceive Rhaegar as a rapist type. - In other words, we have several tidbits that do not support the rape version

If you want to take a look at it metatextually: the first we hear about R+L, it is in Dany's PoV how "Rhaegar died for the woman he loved", lumped along with all the romanticised stories about Westeros that Viserys had been feeding her. Next, thought, we get a more detailed account about this prince with a black heart who kidnapped and raped Lyanna and we see Ned angsting over he death throughout the whole book. It is only natural to assume that Dany's version is just romanticised bullshit and that we are getting the true picture throughout the PoVs of the Starks who we are supposed to root for - only, there are those tiny incosistencies which I have pointed out above. However, as the story proceeds on, the rape version isn't getting any spotlight; instead, there is a stead flow of hints and remarks at love, till is is blatantly spelled out by Barristan Selmy. And all the time, everyone who is not Robert seems to respect Rhaegar. And, well, there is that thing in my signature, from GRRM himself - now, sadists may "love" their victims while raping them, but I doubt this is what GRRM had in mind. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

It would explain why Lyanna didn't try to stop this war like a reasonable person would by contacting her family to explain the situation. 

Because the war was NOT fought over Lyanna. The war was fought because Aerys ordered the deaths of Ned and Robert, and Jon Arryn defied his order. How does Lyanna's explanation change Aerys' mind about wanting Ned and Robert dead? How does it change the fact that Jon Aerys disobeyed his king and raise arms against him? The events spun totally beyond Lyanna's control, no explanation on her part.

 

10 hours ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

@Ygrain brings up that Ned didn't think Rhaegar was the type to visit brothels... there are a lot of twisted people who commit rape in religious or ritualistic ways that aren't for lustful pleasure alone. 

You're missing the point, I'm afraid. Rhaegar's sexual preferences don't really matter. The point is that Ned, after being so disappointed with Robert for his shortcomings, states that in his opinion, Rhaegar didn't possess that shortcoming. Like, my BF and Lyanna's betrothed kicks puppies and drowns kittens - gee, I don't think that the guy who raped my sister kicked puppied and drowned kittens. Why would Ned think that? Why would he compare Robert and Rhaegar on any level, if Rhaegar raped Lyanna? That's just gross. The guy kidnapped your sister, raped her, impregnated her and caused her death. You don't give such a guy any points over the one who really loved her, ever. That's plain wrong.

I remember how during my first reading, this preposterously inappropriate thought virtually popped at me from the page, and I went, 'wait, what? why is he thinking about his sister's rapist in this context?' It was one of the things that made me go for a second read and focus moer on details.

 

9 hours ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

I agreed that they believed Rhaegar's son by Lyanna to be the king and thus it their duty to defend him against Ned who they can reasonably assume there is a chance (even if it is 1%) would want to kill his own nephew the way Tywin's dogs killed Rhaenys and Aegon.

I am quite sure that they could be quite sure that Ned would never harm his kin. What they couldn't be sure was if Ned would be willing to commit treason towards his BF and king and not tell him about the baby, and if his six companions could be persuaded, and trusted, not to tell, either. Because Robert had already shown that he had no qualms with someone (Tywin) doing his dirt work for him.

Plus, a conflict of interests: the KG would want to put Jon on the throne eventually, Ned wouldn't.

9 hours ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

.. but why not have a little parle? 

Well... and who says that the dream is a literal recording of what happened? Perhaps they did talk before the fight ensued.

9 hours ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

would she have preferred that the kingsguard kill Ned and anyone else who may have showed up?

Perhaps the KG arrived at the conclusion that Jon's safety takes complete priority, and didn't inform her that Ned was approaching.

3 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

They didn't think they would live through it, and I don't think they even hoped for it, for Ser Arthur said "Now it ends".

A little correction here: Arthur says "Now it begins", to which Ned retorts sadly "Now it ends". 

3 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

They couldn't have planned to spirit Jon to Essos, for "The Kingsguard doesn't run".

Not quite correct, either. They say they wouldn't flee then, which is when Willem Darry fled to DS with Viserys and Rhaella, while Aerys stayed back at KL. And leaving the king behind is really not a KG thing to do, right? So they wouldn't abandon ToJ without Jon, but with Jon, they wouldn't be fleeing, they would be accompanying and protecting their king.

3 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

They don't get captured or pardoned by an usurper either, however (Not for these three),

And why not? Selmy was pardoned, even saved by Robert.

Besides, Ned's mention about the lords at SE bending their knee and Arthur's response that their knees do not bend easily might be interpreted as an offer to surrender and be pardoned (and the part about fleeing to DS as an offer to let them leave without a fight)

 

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3 hours ago, lAPPYc said:

This is what ticks me off the most. All those Rgaegar Stans believing that stupid love story. I am a Rhaegar Stan, dammit. Rhaegar was perfect. He was awesome. He was the hero that westeros didn't deserve, but the one it needed. He didn't make mistakes, and by believing that he horribly mistook his chances with Lyanna and ran away with her, all the Rhaegar Stans are insinuating that he did, in fact, make mistakes. That's not how Stanning works.

Rhaegar was a political mastermind, as we see by the orchestration of the tourney of Harrenhal. Even if he was moved by the maesters for it, some of their wisdom/tactics would have rubbed of on it. But when D&D show him standing below a heart tree with lyanna, they are doing nothing but calling him stupid. I would never understand why Rhaegar Stans of all people buy into this?

Why was it wrong for Rhaegar to force himself upon Lyanna? Rhaegar knew what he was doing was wrong, he knew that rape was bad, and such a thing would cost him, though he probably didn't know how much. He took that chance though, for he saw light at the end of the tunnel, and no matter how long the tunnel was, he dragged himself through it. That is What i mean by a saga of hard choices and their consequences. Rhaegar knew that his actions would draw bad consequences, least of them to his marriage and to his heirs, but he made that hard choice anyway.

*Calming down* Glad to know that you no longer place at least that much blame on Lyanna, @Lucius Lovejoy, like you said in the People Vs. Sansa thread. Lyanna was just a girl stuck in the politics of the older generation, much like Sansa.

I can't get past the notion that the Tower of Joy was the place where Lyanna gave birth the Jon.  Ned, Howland and few horses are able to pull the thing down.  So it seems more a broken ruin constructed in the manner of Irish round towers.  No space for a bed.  Ned says 'they' found him with her.  Where are all these people at the Tower of Joy?  A room that smells of blood and roses suggests that Lyanna was bathed in rosewater rather than a room full of roses.

Rhaegar is either the best of princes, in which case I question his morality in kidnapping Lyanna for whatever reason; or he isn't the shining prince he's been made out to be. 

Jon may well turn out to be a king - the King of Winter, the King in the North, the King Beyond the Wall - but that doesn't make him a Targaryen.

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Sorry for taking so long to reply. When I saw your post, @Ygrain, I knew my answer would be long, and I was just too tired to do that...(The other posts I put up were only copy-pastes of my older posts from wrong forums)... and then the night came... and then I was travelling...

I apologize for the times you have to scroll up and try to remember who wrote what and why.

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On 12/1/2018 at 1:41 PM, lAPPYc said:

They didn't think they would live through it, and I don't think they even hoped for it, for Ser Arthur said "Now it ends".

A little correction here: Arthur says "Now it begins", to which Ned retorts sadly "Now it ends".

Oh dear... Thanks for pointing out the mistake. So maybe the KG meant to protect Jon and spirit him away.

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And why not? Selmy was pardoned, even saved by Robert.

Selmy might have been pardoned, but every man's honor is different. As I said, it seemed to me that these three wouldn't bend the knee. They would prefer death rather than that option. But this debate only boils down to difference of opinion with no consequence on whether or not they told Lyanna that Ned was approaching. The Kingsguard is supposed to guard the king, and if they thought that Lyanna might give the babe to Ned(She might have mentioned that to them when they told her that Ned was coming and not Robert), they would have tried to stop Ned from going to her. The same would have been twice true if it was a rape-story, so... it doesn't give us anything on whether or not Rhaegar raped Lyanna.

Sorry, @divica, for the mistake.

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On 11/1/2018 at 2:22 AM, lAPPYc said:

So that means Rhaegar told Lord Rickard where to send his silent consent - not to the Red Keep, but to the Tower of Joy - And still Brandon went to the Red Keep?

You misunderstand, or perhaps I didn't express myself correctly. The scenario I had in mind is that at some point, Rhaegar contacted Rickard and informed him about his plans with Lyanna. Rickard was perhaps torn between the power that Lyanna as the future king's mistress/second wife offered, but didn't feel comfortable about reneging on the betrothal, either. The solution would be if Rhaegar made off with Lyanna and took all the blame on himself as "kidnapper". Starks don't break their word and it's not their fault that Rhaegar cannot be found.

This still doesn't answer why Brandon went to the Red Keep, actually, for surely you agree that Rickard had to send the letters to the tower of Joy, and you said that

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Rickard might have given a silent consent, and Brandon disagreed because he held a personal grudge against Rhaegar for beating him in the tourney.

so Brandon should know where to find Rhaegar.

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(really: challenging to a duel someone who is not even present? I don't think such an illogical thing would ever occur to me.)

That really is my point. This was an illogical thing, which only means that Brandon didn't know of any plans that his father was making.

Of course, Brandon's not knowing his father's plans doesn't contradict any of the points you made above, except for his reasons(ego) to oppose Rhaegar's and Lyanna's wedding. He simply didn't need to know Rickard's plans. It really seems to me that people want to make Brandon stupid/egoistical simply because he got Rickard down in the Red Keep, thereby killing him and precipitating Robert's Rebellion. It, in their eyes, absolves Rhaegar of not foreseeing all this, for who can know what an unstable idiot will do. Brandon was simply calling out to his sister's rapist to come out and die, and none of the points you made above will change if he didn't know about any of his father's  alleged plans. The reason I am bringing this up, while at the same time agreeing that it doesn't really matter, is because this sort of unnecessary assumptions to lift the responsibility of mistakes from Rhaegar's shoulder and still keep the love story intact only shows that you cannot see past your faith and biases. How can we have a rational discussion then?(Now I know I have identified myself as Rhaegar Stan, but I think that I have put forth good reasons for at least most of my arguments)

On 12/1/2018 at 5:17 PM, Ygrain said:

and thus the Starks don't get themselves into exactly the same shit that Brandon got them in.

Now, on the real issues:

On 12/1/2018 at 5:17 PM, Ygrain said:
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If Rickard Stark had an agreement with the Crown Prince who was intent on replacing his father on the throne, he would have returned to Winterfell and brought out his army. Robb did it when the Lannisters imprisoned Sansa and his father and reportedly his sister and without a crown prince.

The problem is, we don't know at what stage Rhaegar's plans for deposing Aerys were and how he intended to go about it. Bringing an army would mean civil war - would Rhaegar want that?

It is not what Rhaegar wants should matter, but what Rickard Stark would do. If Rickard Stark was colluding with Rhaegar in the hiding-abduction story, this would be the point that he sends a message to Rhaegar saying that "Okay, I have had enough of this charade. The heir whose marriage I wanted to protect has been arrested for treason, it is now time to give it up and move on your father." and then to force his hand by bringing down an army.

On 12/1/2018 at 5:17 PM, Ygrain said:

That, however, would require treading carefully - a single mistake that would alert Aerys would cost people their heads.

Apparently isolating yourself from the outside world and giving up all control, even communication with your friends like Jon Con in the Red Keep, wasn't careful enough. For it did cost people their heads, and even started a civil war as well, the very thing he was trying to prevent.

But let's say that Rhaegar couldn't foresee that, and that he convinced Rickard Stark that he couldn't bring his army/start a civil war with Aerys because the old man was on his way out anyway, and in a peaceful way, then you run into an even bigger problem. For if Rickard knew of Rhaegar's plans to remove Aerys, why then, while being cooked in his own armor, didn't he tell Aerys what Rhaegar had been planning, thereby giving Aerys an excuse to remove Rhaegar from the title of the Crown Prince and name Viserys his heir like he wanted to, and then telling him where he could find Rhaegar? He could have even pledged the forces of Winterfell behind Viserys should Rhaegar try to go against his father's order, thereby increasing his worth, and that of his daughter Lyanna's, in the eyes of the king?

On 12/1/2018 at 5:17 PM, Ygrain said:

Yes but if you don't suspect that the maesters have some hidden agenda, you may not think about alternate ways.

After a while though, you have to realize that your messages weren't being delivered, and you had to take a better look at the matter. Robert's Rebellion ranged on for about a year.

On 12/1/2018 at 5:17 PM, Ygrain said:
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And I am still not convinced that Rhaegar wouldn't at least have tried to publish his correspondence with Rickard Stark. Hoster Tully was the one he would have reached out to, or Ned Stark's foster father, the-all time cunning Jon Arryn.

But what would that accomplish? For Aerys' accusation of treason, such arrangements were irrelevant. Brandon would still  be charged with attempting to kill the Crown Prince, and Rickard would still be summoned to answer for him.

I meant by the time that the Starks joined the rebellion. Their army only joined with Robert's at the Battle of the Bells. Till then, Robert had smashed Gulltown, raised his banners at Storm's End, fought at Summerhall, was defeated by Randyll Tarly at Ashford, but more importantly, Brandon and Rickard had been dead for half a year(or more). I am sure that Lyanna would have pleaded her lover to aid her brother Ned, one who knew that she didn't love Robert, in unseating Aerys, or at least to send him the correspondence he had with Rickard Stark so he may stay out of this war and not die. I am sure that she would have said that a lot before actually. The only way that Rhaegar's inaction in not even trying to persuade the new lord of Winterfell of an alliance says that he was sure that Lyanna won't tell Ned that this was a sweet love story gone very, very wrong.

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We have the roses that she was holding onto even on her deathbed - who did she get them from and why were they so dear to her?

I really think, and many people seem to disagree with me, that, since Rhaegar wasn't a bad person, and knew that Lyanna liked blue roses, he brought them to her so that they might lessen her pain. Everybody tries to comfort a crying child/person, especially if you don't bear any malice toward them. And blue roses, were the way that Rhaegar tried to comfort Lyanna and make himself feel a little bit less wretched about himself. I don't know if the strategy had the desired effect on either of them. Maybe it finally worked on Lyanna, when she had the baby, she associated the blue roses with him, for the both of them were of Winterfell, and that's why her bed was full of blue roses. (Otherwise it were Rhaegar's orders to whoever was keeping the Tower of Joy to fill her bed full of blue roses every day)

On 12/1/2018 at 5:17 PM, Ygrain said:

In other words, we have several tidbits that do not support the rape version

All the tidbits that do not support the rape version are just people thinking that Rhaegar wasn't the rapist type. And of course they would think that, because it was true. Ned's thinking, as I explained, could be because he believed Lyanna's tale of a love story. Barristan Selmy says that Rhaegar loved his lady Lyanna, not that she loved him back.(He doesn't even think about the rape, not confirming, nor denying it)

But Rhaegar not being a rapist has no bearing upon whether or not he would rape Lyanna, for he did that for the realm. And all the things that you said point to love, I have from the start saw them as hinting at duty.

On 11/1/2018 at 0:41 AM, Ygrain said:

but his victory at the tourney sounds suspiciously much like Jorah when he was smitten with Lynesse.

And what are ambitions, your beliefs, your sense of duty, but your first love?

Edited by lAPPYc
tardiness

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1 hour ago, lAPPYc said:

All the tidbits that do not support the rape version are just people thinking that Rhaegar wasn't the rapist type. And of course they would think that, because it was true. Ned's thinking, as I explained, could be because he believed Lyanna's tale of a love story. Barristan Selmy says that Rhaegar loved his lady Lyanna, not that she loved him back.(He doesn't even think about the rape, not confirming, nor denying it)

I agree that we don't know Lyanna's feelings, but I think what Ned says about her willfulness, her wolf's blood bringing her to an early grave is indicator enough that she did what she wanted and she chose him over Robert.

That said, Barristan's quote about Rhaegar loving his Lady Lyanna does not exist in a vacuum. It's part of a much larger picture Barristan is painting. 

He starts out with Dany who married Hizdhar for duty when she loved Daario. Then he gets to Rhaegar who loved his Lady Lyanna and the consequences of that.

Daemon Blackfyre who rose in rebellion when denied the first Daenerys. I think the important word here is denied. He asked his king to marry her and the king said no to him.

Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar, and the Seven Kingdoms bled. This calls to the hatred between Bittersteel and Bloodraven. This hatred was cultivated over the years. Bittersteel was a Bracken, Bloodraven was a Blackwood and both loved the same woman. We don't know what Rhaegar's feelings with regard to Robert were, but we know Robert came to hate Rhaegar and he held on to it for the following fifteen years. In any case, as the Elder Brother said in AFFC, "The battle was a bloody thing. The singers would have us believe it was all Rhaegar and Robert struggling in the stream for a woman both claimed to love . . ." (Brienne VI, AFFC)

In this, Bittersteel and Bloodraven are Robert and Rhaegar in politics and with regard to Lyanna. 

The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown. Duncan met Jenny, fell in love with her, married her and refused to set her aside even as his father, the High Septon and the Grand Maester insisted he did. He gave up his crown rather than give her up. And I think that says a lot about Rhaegar's own actions and his disappearance for something like a year.

Egg married for love because he was never supposed to be king, so no one cared who he married. But all his sons ignored the marriage arrangements made for them and followed their hearts instead. And Barristan makes it a point to say that Summerhall was a result of this. 

I think the picture Barristan paints is very compelling and indicates that he knows a hell of a lot more about what happened leading up to Rhaegar and Lyanna's disappearances.

I've been wracking my brain to figure out who might still be alive who knew Lyanna and her feelings on the matter, someone close to her that she might have confided in, but aside from Benjen who is presumed dead and maybe Jon Connington who might have been sympathetic to her considering how he had no love for Robert, I've come up empty.

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