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SFDanny

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  1. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    I actually was not trying to deal with the question of the "nature" of Rhaegar's relationship and who knew about it although I've state my opinion on that topic many times in the past. I was trying to deal with the narrower issue of the fact we have nothing to show any threat to Lyanna's life over the time of her "captivity." From the "kidnapping" to her death. Even at the very end of the fight at the Tower of Joy we have nothing that points the Kingsguard using Lyanna as a hostage to Ned's retreat or surrender. I do think the evidence points to Ned knowing that Lyanna went willingly. I think so because all of Lyanna's brothers were at Harrenhal and they surely knew something of Lyanna's feelings to those events. I also think Ned knew much earlier of his sister's feelings towards Robert. He delivers the proposal to her and hears her words on love not changing a "man's nature." I do not think that knowledge means he told Robert about how Lyanna felt.
  2. SFDanny

    Small Questions v. 10106

    While a reference to Robert's warhammer would be funny, it seems extremely unNed like particularly in the context. I realize the author has changed things as his story grew, but unless I see something in the way of evidence I see the quote about Robert having a better claim as far back as in AGoT as fairly strong evidence Martin knew Robert's backstory well enough when he wrote it to reflect a Targaryen ancestor for the Baratheons.
  3. SFDanny

    Small Questions v. 10106

    Not Ran, but it would seem that the well known quote in A Game of Thrones would point to George having some idea.
  4. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    What exactly do marriage vows have to do with this discussion? Could you be more specific? Rhaegar's marriage vows, or someone else's? Or are you speaking of broken betrothals? Specifically the broken betrothal of Robert and Lyanna? I would also disagree that broken marriage vows have diminished Targaryen legitimacy. Many Targaryens have broken those vows and prior to Aerys's reign those broken vows had little to nothing to do with the strength of Targaryen rule. The loss of dragons? Very much so. Broken marriage vows? Not so much. My understanding of the point under discussion here was the question of why weren't Ned and Robert concerned about a threat on Lyanna's life in revenge for the killing of Elia and her children at the sack of King's Landing? My response is there is no evidence that Lyanna's life was threatened anytime after the "kidnapping." in order to change anyone's conduct in any way. To the contrary, what her "kidnappers" and "gaolers" do is one thing - to keep her hidden from everyone else. That is what we call a clue. A clue to the wants of Rhaegar, and maybe of Lyanna herself. It tells us that Rhaegar doesn't want to threaten Lyanna, and that his agenda is helped if Lyanna is not controlled by Aerys, Robert, Ned, Brandon, Rickard, the Martell brothers, or anyone else who would benefit by her location being known. If, on the other hand, Lyanna was in King's Landing under Aerys's control, we have ample evidence that he would us her as a hostage and threaten her life against the conduct of her family and Robert. What this should tell us is that the rebels know that despite Rhaegar coming north to join his father in the war against the rebellion, that control of Lyanna hasn't changed in order to allow her to be used as a hostage.
  5. I think we have a small sample size to grade Rhaegar's skill in actual combat, but that one duel with Robert at the Trident should remove any thoughts Rhaegar's skills were mere puffery from rigged tourneys. Tourney wins and displays of skill in the practice yard certainly built Rhaegar's reputation, and deservedly so. But it is at his death that Rhaegar proves he is a great warrior. Robert came to destroy Rhaegar, and it very nearly turned out to be the opposite. Personal Bravery? Master level skill with sword and lance? I think we can check all those boxes while acknowledging Rhaegar was up against a better foe.
  6. SFDanny

    Folio Society Map

    Thanks! If you have time after you get it post your thoughts. I'd love to read them.
  7. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    Rhaegar is in King's Landing for a considerable time - a matter of some months while he rebuilds his army and the Dornish arrive - during which he could have issued a threat to Lyanna's life to the rebels to attempt to make them surrender, if he chose to do so, but nothing of the sort takes place. During the time before the Arryns, the Starks, and the Baratheons raise their banners in rebellion either Rhaegar, or Aerys if he had control of Lyanna, could have used a threat to Lyanna's life to try to get them to stop their rebellion, but that never happens. In the immediate aftermath of the "kidnapping" using Lyanna as a hostage to make the Starks and their allies to break their marriage vows was entirely possible, but it never happened. Why? We are forced to conclude that Rhaegar never wanted to use Lyanna in this way, and that Aerys who proved quite capable of using his own family as hostages did not have control of Lyanna ("Rhaegar could not be found") in order to do so. Which tells us why Robert, Ned, Jon, Arryn, and Hoster Tully did not fear punishment towards Lyanna, and did not consider it after the murders of Elia and her children. All of which should also tell us something about the orders Hightower, Whent, and Dayne had from Rhaegar about Lyanna - to keep her safe from all.
  8. SFDanny

    Folio Society Map

    I received mine yesterday. It's beautiful to my eye. Would love to know your thoughts on the map, @Werthead, and on the Folio edition in general. @Ran and @Linda as well, of course.
  9. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    I think the question needs to be flipped around. Why was Lyanna never used as a hostage against Robert or Ned's conduct? I think the answer is staring the reader in the face. Because Aerys never has control over Lyanna. Aerys shows us he will use threats to Elia and her children to enforce Dornish conduct in the rebellion, and if I'm right that extends to use of threats to Elia and her children to enforce Rhaegar's conduct as well. But Lyanna's life is never threatened. It tells us that Aerys never controls Lyanna even after Rhaegar goes north and leaves Hightower with Lyanna. In short it is a very strong indication that Rhaegar has been in control of Lyanna's well being since the "kidnapping" and he never chooses to threaten her life for any political or tactical advantage. Rhaegar's only "threat" is to keep Lyanna hidden away from everyone, including her family and her betrothed. So why don't the rebels fear for Lyanna being punished for Elia and Rhaegar's children's murder? Because her life has never been threatened by those who hide her. Which implies that the rebels - including Robert and Ned - know this wasn't a simple kidnapping. One can argue what both Ned and Robert thought of Rhaegar's motives, but they must understand that threatening her life isn't on his agenda. They must have understood that at least since they raised their banners in rebellion and no threat to Lyanna was ever issued to either of them. I'd argue that Ned knew it since Harrenhal.
  10. SFDanny

    Why did Ned allow Benjen to take the black?

    I believe I've already posted my thoughts on this in other threads on the same topic, but assuming you are not tired of my opinions on the matter I will throw them in again for whatever they are worth to this discussion. GRRM has consistently refused to answer the reason why Benjen joins the Watch when he does, which leads an attentive reader to ask why he won't respond if the answer is just another younger Stark joining the Night's Watch in a long line of Starks doing so? That and the timing of Benjen's joining, as you point out, make it extremely suspicious for ulterior motives yet unknown to be the explanation. My guess is that there is a rift between the brothers concerning Lyanna's death. Specifically, that Benjen - ever the loyalist and confidant to Lyanna - supported her in her wish to not marry Robert. There seems to be a split in the family with Lord Rickard, Brandon, and Ned all supporting Rickard's plan to build alliances among other High Lords and House Stark, and Lyanna and young Benjen not wanting to be used as tools in these political games. It looks to me as if Lyanna's response to her upcoming wedding is to runaway with Rhaegar to remove herself from the marriage. I think Rickard and all of the Stark brothers know this, but Lord Stark, Brandon, and Ned see it as Lyanna's duty to go through with the match, no matter how strongly she is set against it. No matter how sure she is of Robert's unsuitable "nature." What this means for Benjen, who has spent the rebellion doing his own duty to his family by being the "Stark in Winterfell," is he must deal with his grief about Lyanna's death, along with the deaths of his father and oldest brother, when Ned returns with their sister's bones. For the teenage Benjen, Ned is the only one left for him to blame of those who tried to force the marriage. The Night's Watch is likely the only refuge from his pain and loss that puts space between the brothers. That they both view service in the Watch as a honorable thing and a longstanding Stark tradition only makes such a move acceptable, even in the face of the needs of House Stark for more heirs. What we see as the story begins is a more mature Benjen and Ned, who time and distanced, at least partially healed from their shared grief and have worked to repair their relationship as brothers with different duties. My two cents. an addendum to the above. We don't know when or how Benjen finds out about Lyanna's death, but it seems likely to me that Ned might want to tell him his brother himself. It seems Ned does the same with Robert and they are "reunited in grief" of Lyanna's death. This would mean that Ned likely keeps the news of the deaths at the tower of joy to a very few until he reaches first King's Landing and then on to Winterfell. Alternatively, Howland could have been sent on ahead with baby Jon and his wet-nurse, and Benjen could have learned of his sister's death via the crannogman's delivery of both baby and bones in a way to circumvent both from falling into the grasp of those in King's Landing who might want to hold them for their own purposes. Robert to build his shrine to Lyanna's remains, or Varys to investigate Jon's birth and interrogate his wet nurse. So when we ask ourselves why Benjen joins the Watch when he does, the answer may all be wound up in how he hears the news of his sister's death. He is then a teenage boy who has had to be alone from family as the Stark of Winterfell for something over two years while wondering if he will ever see his sister again. The shock and bitterness of the news, I think, almost certainly shapes his response of joining the Watch so soon after his brother's arrival back home. Or that is how I see it as likely happening.
  11. SFDanny

    R+L=J v.166

    We are talking about a "kidnapping" that takes place only about 30 miles from Harrenhal in a very populated area of Westeros. The news of Lyanna's kidnapping would have likely spread like wildfire. Think of Tyrion's kidnapping by Catelyn and how fast the word spreads. It makes it unlikely that Brandon rides to Riverrun and fights the duel and after the kidnapping and then he rides out to hear news of a much distant past. Could it be the duel takes place after Lyanna is taken away by Rhaegar? Yes, but it seems the two events have to be close together. I think we have to guess on a matter of a couple of days at most for Brandon to learn of Lyanna having gone missing. He does so on the road after he leaves Catelyn and after the duel. So, it is certainly possible the duel takes place after the kidnapping, but I think it unlikely. I would again point that is unlikely that Lyanna is traveling without a Winterfell escort and among the first things they would have done after seeing Lyanna disappear with Rhaegar and Dayne and Whent is to send someone to tell Brandon of the event. That it seems Brandon hears of this while he is on the road and it sounds like this is before the Tullys know of the kidnapping, makes me believe it is not done via a raven, but by a personal messenger of the Stark's escorting company. That still is likely to be only a matter of a day or two at most before Brandon hears the news.
  12. SFDanny

    Small Questions v. 10106

    No apologies needed. I agree with you. That is the same guess I've made for a long time. But it is a guess. What Martin really tells us with this quote is the Westerosi calendar is a solar calendar like the Gregorian. It measures the "year" by the length of time around its sun. He also tells us there are twelve turns of the moon within the Westerosi year. All good information, but it doesn't tell us how many days are in the Westerosi year. While that critical information remains unknown it is impossible to know for sure if the Westerosi year and the Gregorian year are the same length. I doubt in his creation of his world Martin complicated it by creating a new calendar different than the one he uses everyday. If I were him I would just use a easily accessible real world calendar to map his important dates for his story. But what we see in things like Arya's 30 day moon turn and Westerosi creations like "maiden's day" look to be Martin's spin on how this all works out in the story.
  13. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    I would put it slightly differently. I think the Doctrine of Exceptionalism confirms most of what we expected. It also gives us elements of the history we hadn’t seen before. How the Targaryens win the Faith to this view is a combination of the aftermath of Maegor’s brutal war and Jaehaerys’s brilliant understanding of how to accept the surrender of one’s enemies. The how of it is important in understanding just how complete is the Targaryen victory. Any thought that the Faith had somehow won a end to polygamy should be discarded as absurd
  14. SFDanny

    Small Questions v. 10106

    I think you are probably right, RT, but I don't think this quote tells us how many days are in the Westerosi solar year. We are told in Arya's Braavosi chapters the moon turn is 30 days. We are told by Martin here there are twelve turns of the moon in the year. But that would equal 360 days, not 365 or 366 days such as the modern Gregorian calendar. Which is it? Are there Westerosi days outside the count of the moon's turn? Or do certain turns of the moon have more than Arya's 30 days? I don't think we know.
  15. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    Let's take this a step at a time. "In the text, nobody has ever interpreted it in this way" The "Doctrine of Exceptionalism" is first laid out in the recently published Fire & Blood, Part 1, so it is quite understandable that previous to this some people have put theories out that don't lay out exactly what the doctrine itself says. However, Fire & Blood is quite explicit in what the doctrine means. It gives not only an explanation of the doctrine's meaning concerning the Faith's relationship to Targaryen marriage customs, but to Targaryen rule as a whole. It is the culmination of struggle by the Faith to overthrow the Targaryens and to reinstitute the Faith's sway over all such questions Westeros wide. It is the complete capitulation of the Faith's war with the Targaryens and is the surrender, along with Jaehaerys's imposition of royal power over religious trials and the formal outlawing of the Faith Militant. The Targaryens won. Big time. They won it all. However, other than the recent explanation in Fire & Blood of the Doctrine itself, it is totally wrong to say the relationship between the Targaryens and the Faith, and the Targaryen ability continue with its marriage customs - including polygamy - "has never been interpreted this way." Quite the contrary. That the Targaryens retained these rights throughout their dynasty has not only been "interpreted" as such by many readers, but has been done so for far longer than the publication of Fire & Blood. When @corbon gives you Catelyn's quote from A Clash of Kings and Ser Jorah's from A Storm of Swords, you should recognize clues used by readers as far back as the publication of ACoK that place polygamy firmly within Targaryen customs and choices. These boards don't go back that far, but I can tell you these quotes have been used by myself and many others to argue the same point @corbon makes. By far and away, the minority position over these many years has been that somewhere, somehow, the Targaryens had lost the right to choose a polygamous marriage if approved by the Targaryen king. It is this idea that has nothing to support it. Although, some few, have argued it along the way. "so to the think that R&L would just take it upon themselves to do so and then imagine that everybody will just be OK with this is ludicrous." What is ludicrous is to characterize the choice Rhaegar and Lyanna may have made to marry in this way. The history of events tells that if they made the choice to marry, it was with a very, very clear understanding that short of Rhaegar becoming king himself and winning against the rebellion that it would not be a choice accepted by either side of the rebellion. That does not mean the choice to marry as a Husband to a second wife was not made, nor that polygamy was not thought to be an acceptable choice by a Targaryen to make. It is a choice both within Targaryen custom and within the context of the political realities the couple faced highly unlikely to be accepted. Unless Rhaegar wins it all. Obviously he didn't. But that doesn't mean his and Lyanna's plan wasn't to win both the throne and the acceptance of their marriage. "And there would be no reason to keep all of this hidden if this is what they were thinking." Again to the contrary, there is every reason to "keep all of this hidden." In the beginning, hiding is their only method available for winning through to an unlikely victory. The two choose hiding in the pre-rebellion world in hopes that the Starks and the Baratheons would have to eventually accept Lyanna's refusal to marry Robert. Short of a duel to the death between Rhaegar and either Robert or a Stark family member, there is no path forward for them other than a refusal to come out into the open. The death of any of these people is hardly part of their plan. When open war breaks out after Aerys has gone batshit crazy and killed Rickard, Brandon, and so many others, the two have little they can do to effect the outcome. But when Rhaegar is called back by Aerys, there opens a very slim path to their plan succeeding. But that entails Rhaegar leaving Lyanna hidden and coming out to fight the rebellion and, hopefully replace his father on the throne. Hiding is a tactic towards an end. An end that might have been achieved if Robert's and Rhaegar's duel at the Trident had gone another way.
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