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Could Rhaegar have fought for the other side?

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On 4/5/2018 at 2:59 PM, John Suburbs said:

There are too many unknowns in this whole episode to answer any of these questions reliably. Did Rhaegar really kidnap Lyanna, or did she go willingly? Were they really in love, or was their some ulterior motive at play here? If so, who is behind the abduction, Rhaegar? Aerys? Someone else? Mayhaps both Rhaegar and Lyanna were kidnapped?

It doesn't matter.  Whether Lyanna is going willingly or not, she is being held against her will in Dorne, thousands of miles from her family.  She's barely a teenager and Rhaegar is an adult - under no circumstance does Lyanna deserve blame for what is effectively an abduction.

On 4/5/2018 at 2:59 PM, John Suburbs said:

After so much blood had already been spilt, is it reasonable that Rhaegar would simply ride up to Robert/Ned and explain it all? Not if he was complicit in a plan to, I dunno, use the Ice/Fire blood of a newborn Stark/Targaryen to maybe hatch a dragon.

Look, there are two separate issues here.  If Rhaegar comes back North and explains himself, says that Lyanna is safe, and she's coming home, and then deposes his father and makes MAJOR concessions to the rebels, there is chance the Targaryen monarchy survives.

Whether or not he does it, the second issue is that he fights for Aerys.  This makes him a bad person, a fundamentally unethical and immoral person, on top of his kidnapping, imprisonment and rape of Lyanna.

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The rebellion was about overthrowing the Targaryen regime. Rhaegar didn't want to overthrow it, he wanted to reform it. He couldn't reform it if the royal house was overthrown. It's as simple as that.

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2 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

under no circumstance does Lyanna deserve blame for what is effectively an abduction.

Tell that to Ned. He thought she was old and smart enough to be more sensible. 

The thing is that Lyanna made a choice, something Elia Martell didn't had the chance to do for example.

 

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1 minute ago, theMADdestScientist_ said:

Tell that to Ned. He thought she was old and smart enough to be more sensible. 

The thing is that Lyanna made a choice, something Elia Martell didn't had the chance to do for example.

 

But I don't think she had the right to make that choice in the sociological structure of Westeros. Her father had promised her to another high lord, and the crowned prince did not have the power to free her from that obligation. 

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3 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

But I don't think she had the right to make that choice in the sociological structure of Westeros. Her father had promised her to another high lord, and the crowned prince did not have the power to free her from that obligation. 

Whether she had the right or not doesn't really matter in relation to her making that choice. We know she was displeased at the prospect of marrying Robert. And she would not be the first person in the history of Westeros to make a rash choice.
My personal theory on Lyanna was always that she combined many of the strengths and weaknesses of her nieces and in this situation both her rebellious spirit and her romantic mind could have potentially teamed up fro drive her to go with Rhaegar voluntarily.

@cpg2016
We aren't exactly moving in a modern, enlightened set of morality in Westeros, but rather an extremely primitive one (The average Westerosi callousness towards killing/murder, acceptance of torture and the general attitudes towards women and commoners should be other things that make that clear)

Sp there's two ways we can judge whether Lyanna holds responsibility for choosing to go with Rhaegar (who's "blaming" her"???) or having sex with him (we have no indication he forced himself on her) 1)In-universe standards or 2) out-of-universe standards.

1)In universe Lyanna was a woman grown at 16 (or almost so at 15, depending on what date of birth you accept for Lyanna and how far she was from her 16th at the time), so if she went willingly  she holds part of the responsibility and if she consented to sex with Rhaegar, it's not rape. (This is all by the standards of morality of Westeros)
2)Out of universe it would have just been as immoral to sell a teenager into lifelong sexual slavery to an adult (Robert was 21, only 3 years younger than Rhaegar), as Rickard planned to do with his daughter, so everybody involved here (Rhaegar, Rickard and Robert, even Ned, who by modern standards would make himself guilty of  aiding and abetting by modern standards), except Lyanna herself, is committing a crime against her.

If she went by her own will, which I believe, I applaud her. She, from her POV, took her life in her own hands and refused to be a pawn in Rickard's schemes. If I remember my own thought processes at 16, Rhaegar running off with Rhaegar might have simply seemed the better choice because solely because it was the opposite of what others had decided for her.
If anything this whole episode just shows again how wrong it is to use one's children as expendable resources for one's own ambitions of power, just like the whole story shows what a terrible system feudalism was.

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27 minutes ago, Orphalesion said:

Whether she had the right or not doesn't really matter in relation to her making that choice. We know she was displeased at the prospect of marrying Robert. And she would not be the first person in the history of Westeros to make a rash choice.
My personal theory on Lyanna was always that she combined many of the strengths and weaknesses of her nieces and in this situation both her rebellious spirit and her romantic mind could have potentially teamed up fro drive her to go with Rhaegar voluntarily.

@cpg2016
We aren't exactly moving in a modern, enlightened set of morality in Westeros, but rather an extremely primitive one (The average Westerosi callousness towards killing/murder, acceptance of torture and the general attitudes towards women and commoners should be other things that make that clear)

Sp there's two ways we can judge whether Lyanna holds responsibility for choosing to go with Rhaegar (who's "blaming" her"???) or having sex with him (we have no indication he forced himself on her) 1)In-universe standards or 2) out-of-universe standards.

1)In universe Lyanna was a woman grown at 16 (or almost so at 15, depending on what date of birth you accept for Lyanna and how far she was from her 16th at the time), so if she went willingly  she holds part of the responsibility and if she consented to sex with Rhaegar, it's not rape. (This is all by the standards of morality of Westeros)
2)Out of universe it would have just been as immoral to sell a teenager into lifelong sexual slavery to an adult (Robert was 21, only 3 years younger than Rhaegar), as Rickard planned to do with his daughter, so everybody involved here (Rhaegar, Rickard and Robert, even Ned, who by modern standards would make himself guilty of  aiding and abetting by modern standards), except Lyanna herself, is committing a crime against her.

If she went by her own will, which I believe, I applaud her. She, from her POV, took her life in her own hands and refused to be a pawn in Rickard's schemes. If I remember my own thought processes at 16, Rhaegar running off with Rhaegar might have simply seemed the better choice because solely because it was the opposite of what others had decided for her.
If anything this whole episode just shows again how wrong it is to use one's children as expendable resources for one's own ambitions of power, just like the whole story shows what a terrible system feudalism was.

That was an interesting read. I agree with pretty much everything you said, the thing is that people can't really understand how primitive the middle ages were, and how those primitive ways made the mentality of the people back then.

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4 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

Whether she had the right or not doesn't really matter in relation to her making that choice. We know she was displeased at the prospect of marrying Robert. And she would not be the first person in the history of Westeros to make a rash choice.
My personal theory on Lyanna was always that she combined many of the strengths and weaknesses of her nieces and in this situation both her rebellious spirit and her romantic mind could have potentially teamed up fro drive her to go with Rhaegar voluntarily.

@cpg2016
We aren't exactly moving in a modern, enlightened set of morality in Westeros, but rather an extremely primitive one (The average Westerosi callousness towards killing/murder, acceptance of torture and the general attitudes towards women and commoners should be other things that make that clear)

Sp there's two ways we can judge whether Lyanna holds responsibility for choosing to go with Rhaegar (who's "blaming" her"???) or having sex with him (we have no indication he forced himself on her) 1)In-universe standards or 2) out-of-universe standards.

1)In universe Lyanna was a woman grown at 16 (or almost so at 15, depending on what date of birth you accept for Lyanna and how far she was from her 16th at the time), so if she went willingly  she holds part of the responsibility and if she consented to sex with Rhaegar, it's not rape. (This is all by the standards of morality of Westeros)
2)Out of universe it would have just been as immoral to sell a teenager into lifelong sexual slavery to an adult (Robert was 21, only 3 years younger than Rhaegar), as Rickard planned to do with his daughter, so everybody involved here (Rhaegar, Rickard and Robert, even Ned, who by modern standards would make himself guilty of  aiding and abetting by modern standards), except Lyanna herself, is committing a crime against her.

If she went by her own will, which I believe, I applaud her. She, from her POV, took her life in her own hands and refused to be a pawn in Rickard's schemes. If I remember my own thought processes at 16, Rhaegar running off with Rhaegar might have simply seemed the better choice because solely because it was the opposite of what others had decided for her.
If anything this whole episode just shows again how wrong it is to use one's children as expendable resources for one's own ambitions of power, just like the whole story shows what a terrible system feudalism was.

My point is that whether she wanted to go with Rhaegar or not is not relevant. Since she had no right to make that choice, Robert is (and Ned would be) correct to assume that Rhaegar kidnapped her and raped her (unless he actually did wed her first). 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

My point is that whether she wanted to go with Rhaegar or not is not relevant. Since she had no right to make that choice, Robert is (and Ned would be) correct to assume that Rhaegar kidnapped her and raped her (unless he actually did wed her first). 

But that doesn't even begin to make sense. Unless you are saying Robert considers her an object or the equivalent of a potted plant, incapable of making a decision or relaying her needs and wishes. And I think even Robert Baratheon understands that a woman can make decisions and can make decisions she might not be allowed to take.
He just never considered that Lyanna might rather run off than become his wife, so that's why he jumped to the abduction/rape conclusion.

If Lyanna's opinion is completely removed from an occasion then it's however not an abduction. An abduction is defined as " the action of forcibly taking someone away against their will."
But since in your POV Lyanna doesn't have the right to have a will of her own, she cannot be abducted to begin with and Robert would only be correct in the assumption that Rhaegar has stolen Rickard's property.

Edit: Even in-universe Lyanna going with Rhaegar on her own accord would have resulted in a different situation legally exactly because she had no right to make the decision; she'd be in a lot of trouble. Her family could disown her (she rebelled against her father's and her liege lord's rule) and/or Robert could opt out of the betrothal(she'd have comitted adultery). That would not be the same situation if she was abducted and raped. 
But since nobody involved (aside from possibly Ned) ever got the chance to discover Lyanna's motivations and how it came that she was it Rhaegar, they just went with the interpretation they liked best and that gave them the most justification for their rebellion. Regardless of whether or not it matches the reality of the event.

Makes you  wonder whether Rickard and/or Brandon might actually had an idea about Lyanna going on her own accord, but just kept quiet about that because an adulteress who runs off with the next best Targaryen (which is the way Westeros would have seen it) isn't exactly the biggest price on the Meat Marriage Market. Ned might have known as well but kept quiet both to protect Lyanna's honour and Robert's feelings..

Edited by Orphalesion

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2 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

But that doesn't even begin to make sense. Unless you are saying Robert considers her an object or the equivalent of a potted plant, incapable of making a decision or relaying her needs and wishes. And I think even Robert Baratheon understands that a woman can make decisions and can make decisions she might not be allowed to take.
He just never considered that Lyanna might rather run off than become his wife, so that's why he jumped to the abduction/rape conclusion.

If Lyanna's opinion is completely removed from an occasion then it's however not an abduction. An abduction is defined as " the action of forcibly taking someone away against their will."
But since in your POV Lyanna doesn't have the right to have a will of her own, she cannot be abducted to begin with and Robert would only be correct in the assumption that Rhaegar has stolen Rickard's property.

Edit: Even in-universe Lyanna going with Rhaegar on her own accord would have resulted in a different situation legally exactly because she had no right to make the decision; she'd be in a lot of trouble. Her family could disown her (she rebelled against her father's and her liege lord's rule) and/or Robert could opt out of the betrothal(she'd have comitted adultery). That would not be the same situation if she was abducted and raped. 
But since nobody involved (aside from possibly Ned) ever got the chance to discover Lyanna's motivations and how it came that she was it Rhaegar, they just went with the interpretation they liked best and that gave them the most justification for their rebellion. Regardless of whether or not it matches the reality of the event.

Makes you  wonder whether Rickard and/or Brandon might actually had an idea about Lyanna going on her own accord, but just kept quiet about that because an adulteress who runs off with the next best Targaryen (which is the way Westeros would have seen it) isn't exactly the biggest price on the Meat Marriage Market. Ned might have known as well but kept quiet both to protect Lyanna's honour and Robert's feelings..

Robert, like most other men in the world of Ice and Fire probably considers women to abide meekly by their husbands orders and sew and stuff. Robert is also fond of wenching and whorring, which says a lot.

 

When you say that "Lyanna going with Rhaegar on her own accord would have resulted in a different situation legally," you are partially right. But you ignore the fact that Rhaegar is the damn crow prince. He can do whatever he wants. He should have declared their love. That would have resulted in peace.

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6 minutes ago, Brynden Blackfyre said:

When you say that "Lyanna going with Rhaegar on her own accord would have resulted in a different situation legally," you are partially right. But you ignore the fact that Rhaegar is the damn crown prince. He can do whatever he wants. He should have declared their love. That would have resulted in peace.

Yay!

Tr00 wuw for teh win!

Go bigamy! Go "I wants I takes"!

And World Peace too?!?

LOL!

I've got a wonderful bridge in Dorne I can sell you. Real cheap!

 

Seriously - stealing wives/daughters/betrothed from vassals is very dangerous to one's health ... in your scenario if Aerys does not order Loverboy to hand Lyanna back the rebellion breaks out the next day.

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Posted (edited)

28 minutes ago, Brynden Blackfyre said:

When you say that "Lyanna going with Rhaegar on her own accord would have resulted in a different situation legally," you are partially right. But you ignore the fact that Rhaegar is the damn crow prince. He can do whatever he wants. He should have declared their love. That would have resulted in peace.

he's a crown prince in a feudal monarchy, he cannot do whatever he wants, not against people who are in a position to fight back (as the Starks and the Baratheons are)
He is just as bound by the contract of feudalism as the various other nobles.

Remember it was not that long before Rhaegar's time that another Baratheon, Lord Lyonel, the Laughing Storm had went into rebellion against Aegon V because Aegon's son broke his betrothal with Lyonel's daughter. And Duncan was honest and in the open about it.Aegon had to pacify Lyonel by wedding a daughter to Lyonel's son (Robert's gram-gram, if I'm not mistaken)
Add Robert's infatuation with Lyanna and Rickard's Southron Ambitions this would have not ended well for Rhaegar or the Targaryens if he had come out into the open. 
Robert had already not cared that Lyanna didn't want to marry him without Rhaegar, he would not have changed his mind just because he now had a "rival" whom she might prefer.

If Lyanna had been a Forrester engaged to an Estermont, then, yeah, it would have probably worked out for Rhaegar if he had been honest, but not with two great Houses involved.

Edited by Orphalesion

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4 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

But since nobody involved (aside from possibly Ned) ever got the chance to discover Lyanna's motivations and how it came that she was it Rhaegar, they just went with the interpretation they liked best and that gave them the most justification for their rebellion. Regardless of whether or not it matches the reality of the event.

No one rebelled over Lyanna's disappearance so no such justification was needed. I think it's more likely that everyone genuinely thought she was abducted since that is never contested in the text by anyone, hell even Daenerys believes it and she certainly hasn't been told the rebels' version of the events.

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21 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

It doesn't matter.  Whether Lyanna is going willingly or not, she is being held against her will in Dorne, thousands of miles from her family.  She's barely a teenager and Rhaegar is an adult - under no circumstance does Lyanna deserve blame for what is effectively an abduction.

Well, it seems to me that if she is going willingly, she's not being held against her will. She is 16, maybe 17, which in this world qualifies her as an adult. I'm in no way blaming Lyanna for anything, but the actual circumstances of her situation might have a lot to do with why Rhaegar could not have fought for the other side.

21 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Look, there are two separate issues here.  If Rhaegar comes back North and explains himself, says that Lyanna is safe, and she's coming home, and then deposes his father and makes MAJOR concessions to the rebels, there is chance the Targaryen monarchy survives.

Sorry, I don't see how you can square this with your statement above that has adult Rhaegar guilty of abducting "barely teen" Lyanna regardless of whether she came along willingly or not. If he abducted her, that is a major slight against both House Stark and House Baratheon -- on the same level as Catelyn's abduction of Tyrion, even more so because the Starks like Lyanna -- and that can't be glossed over with "don't worry, I have her in a safe place. Now let's go get me my throne."

21 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Whether or not he does it, the second issue is that he fights for Aerys.  This makes him a bad person, a fundamentally unethical and immoral person, on top of his kidnapping, imprisonment and rape of Lyanna.

I would bet that most Westerosi would consider it more immoral and unethical for a crown prince to take up arms against his own father than to remain loyal to a tyrant.

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33 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Well, it seems to me that if she is going willingly, she's not being held against her will. She is 16, maybe 17, which in this world qualifies her as an adult.

She also is female and single, which qualifies her as her nearest male relative's property.

Rheagar stole her from her House.

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2 hours ago, TMIFairy said:

She also is female and single, which qualifies her as her nearest male relative's property.

Rheagar stole her from her House.

Not quite property, but pretty damn close. And she was stolen from her family in the context of ASOIAF. 

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On 12.04.2018 at 4:34 AM, Lost Melnibonean said:

But I don't think she had the right to make that choice in the sociological structure of Westeros. Her father had promised her to another high lord, and the crowned prince did not have the power to free her from that obligation. 

Crown does have the right to arrange marriages for their vassals though, Torrhen's daughter, among many untold marriages Targaryens arranged after conquest, Greatjon going to Robb so he would arrange marriages for his uncles, his uncles going to Robb's "regent" Bran, Manderly approaching Bran for himself, or his son should Donella prefers.

Robert(and Jon Arryn) arranging for Stannis, who was most likely lord of DS by then

Rhaegar the Prince may not be in any position but he intended to remove his father from power, Rhaegar the king may very well have broken the betrothal between the two houses and taken Lyanna as a second wife.

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35 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Crown does have the right to arrange marriages for their vassals though, Torrhen's daughter, among many untold marriages Targaryens arranged after conquest, Greatjon going to Robb so he would arrange marriages for his uncles, his uncles going to Robb's "regent" Bran, Manderly approaching Bran for himself, or his son should Donella prefers.

Robert(and Jon Arryn) arranging for Stannis, who was most likely lord of DS by then

Rhaegar the Prince may not be in any position but he intended to remove his father from power, Rhaegar the king may very well have broken the betrothal between the two houses and taken Lyanna as a second wife.

But again....remember the Laughing Storm? Didn't turn out so well there until Aegon V offered a replacement. Also no telling whether the Faith would have allowed a second wife.

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1 hour ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Rhaegar the Prince may not be in any position but he intended to remove his father from power, Rhaegar the king may very well have broken the betrothal between the two houses and taken Lyanna as a second wife.

Cue rebellion by a strange mix of bedfellows:

- Starks

- Baratheons

- Arryn (maybe Tully too)

- Dorne

- the Faith

As almost everything a lot depends on context.

You mentioned Great Lords arranging alliances for their "underlings" - true, but that was "consensual".

You mention Aegon the Original doing same - again true, but he had dragons ...

Here Rheagar does not have dragons - and STAB is unhappy about the ... er ... unasked for modifications to their planned martial alliances.

Dorne is not happy about Ellia's share in Rheagar dropping to 50%.

And the Faith is pissed off by bigamy.

I'd expect Rhaegar the King to become an ex-King very quickly. He would move on and be no longer with us.

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4 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Crown does have the right to arrange marriages for their vassals though, Torrhen's daughter, among many untold marriages Targaryens arranged after conquest, Greatjon going to Robb so he would arrange marriages for his uncles, his uncles going to Robb's "regent" Bran, Manderly approaching Bran for himself, or his son should Donella prefers.

Robert(and Jon Arryn) arranging for Stannis, who was most likely lord of DS by then

Rhaegar the Prince may not be in any position but he intended to remove his father from power, Rhaegar the king may very well have broken the betrothal between the two houses and taken Lyanna as a second wife.

But unless Aerys ordered Rhaegar's action, the crown did not abrogate the betrothal. And, as the Laughing Storm affair shows, betrothal were taken very seriously. 

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22 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

he's a crown prince in a feudal monarchy, he cannot do whatever he wants, not against people who are in a position to fight back (as the Starks and the Baratheons are)
He is just as bound by the contract of feudalism as the various other nobles.

Remember it was not that long before Rhaegar's time that another Baratheon, Lord Lyonel, the Laughing Storm had went into rebellion against Aegon V because Aegon's son broke his betrothal with Lyonel's daughter. And Duncan was honest and in the open about it.Aegon had to pacify Lyonel by wedding a daughter to Lyonel's son (Robert's gram-gram, if I'm not mistaken)
Add Robert's infatuation with Lyanna and Rickard's Southron Ambitions this would have not ended well for Rhaegar or the Targaryens if he had come out into the open. 
Robert had already not cared that Lyanna didn't want to marry him without Rhaegar, he would not have changed his mind just because he now had a "rival" whom she might prefer.


If Lyanna had been a Forrester engaged to an Estermont, then, yeah, it would have probably worked out for Rhaegar if he had been honest, but not with two great Houses involved.

Yeah you are right.

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