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butterbumps!

Rhaegar and Lyanna: what do we even really know?

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(Please note this thread isn't about assigning blame or trying to nail down the casus belli. It's about looking at unknowns)



I'm not particularly a fan of either Rhaegar or Lyanna, but I am an advocate of not jumping to conclusions. Based on the other recent threads, it would seem some readers assume Lyanna ran off with Rhaegar willingly as a homewrecker, selfishly carrying out an illicit affair in the ToJ without a single care for the rest of Westeros, irrationally attempted no communication, and everything just fell apart from there. Maybe we should look at this a bit more carefully.



That account is speculation. The actual account in the books is that Rhaegar kidnapped her at swordpoint. Barristan and Dany discuss it from the perspective of Rhaegar's being in love with Lyanna at the time, while Robert sees it as predatory. But given Ned's thoughts about Rhaegar, it would seem that he doesn't believe it was predatory, and we can probably safely piece together that even if Lyanna hadn't gone willingly at first, she at least stayed willingly and didn't see Rhaegar as a predator.



Ok, so we can gather that there was a consensual component to this story. But these are points we don't know:


Why did R+L run off in the first place? For love and prophesy? Or, given her feelings about her arranged marriage, did she perhaps try to appeal to Rhaegar, the Crown Prince, to intervene? What if this whole thing started platonically between them as a means for Lyanna to simply avoid her arranged marriage, and it then grew into something more? Why are we jumping to the conclusion that these two ran off to immediately have sex and fulfill prophesies when we don't actually know how this began?



We have no idea whether or not R+L attempted to communicate with their families as a means of smoothing this over. On Lyanna's part, we know Benjen had been her partner in crime. Why are we so sure she never told him to pass along the message to his family, or assume he hadn't known, and that the omission of communication is exclusively on Lyanna's end? I mean, he goes on to join the Watch immediately following these events, which could suggest a form of penance for something. Does he feel guilty about something? Beyond Benjen, are we truly absolutely certain Lyanna attempted no communication whatsoever? What about Howland? Correspondence and communication are repeatedly tampered with both purposely and accidentally (ravens don't always reach their targets, for example). Are we prematurely assuming that Lyanna didn't attempt this simply because it's been omitted from the text thus far?



The same can be said of Rhaegar. Between Pycelle's being in charge of the KL ravens and Varys' being Aerys confidante, are we so sure Rhaegar would have had a perfectly honest communication network back to KL if he'd attempted to communicate? That is to say, are we entirely certain that Rhaegar's extended absence from the realm indicates that he chose to remain willfully ignorant of the repercussions that were unfolding, or that he knew the state of affairs but selfishly chose to hide anyway? Isn't it possible that he did try to communicate, but was led to believe everything was fine until the situation had become so egregious Aerys finally sent for him?



We know that Elia and Rhaegar were fond, but not in love, and that she was unable to have children after Aegon. Are we truly certain that Elia would not have been ok with Rhaegar's fathering a child with Lyanna, or further, can we assume that she wouldn't have even approved of the union? We have no idea what Elia thought of the couple.



We have no idea who told Brandon about Lyanna. Further, we have no idea what Brandon was actually told of Lyanna's absence. As per point #1, we don't actually know the specifics of Lyanna's departure with Rhaegar, but given Brandon's reaction, it's stands to reason that he believed Lyanna was abducted in a predatory fashion, and the rumor in Westeros is that she was kidnapped. If one holds the belief that she ran off willingly (for whatever reason), then already it appears that Brandon was acting out of having heard some doctored version of the story, rendering Rhaegar more predatory. Had R+L truly staged this to look like an abduction, or is the abduction story a pure fabrication, innocent or otherwise? Was this an innocent game of telephone, where the truth becomes sensationalized by gossip, or was there a more purposeful manipulation going on? How sensational of a story did Brandon hear?



We know Lyanna was picked up by Rhaegar with Dayne and Whent, 2 members of the KG. Had they arranged this such that these 2 men were merely to be their body guards, never drawing steel, to sneak her off covertly in order to deal with Lyanna's arranged marriage (or something), but unexpectedly, someone witnessed this event (Lyanna walking off with the KG), and the game of telephone began? That is, was this planned to be a completely secret, peaceful meeting that some witness misunderstood and set everything in motion?




Lyanna, Rhaegar and Brandon look so "guilty" on the surface, that in a story like ASOIAF, I think we should be cautious about assuming the straightforward approach is what truly happened and reflect on some of those unknowns (look at Tyrion's trial, for instance, as well as how until Sansa VII, aSoS, it looked like Cersei was Jon Arryn's killer).



If we were to hear an account of the Wot5K 15 years after the fact, without the POV structure, detail and info-dumps, in the fashion of bits and pieces we hear of Robert's Rebellion, we'd think Ned was just instigating matters due to a Lannister grudge and that Stannis was being opportunistic. We wouldn't have confirmation of Joff's bastardy, and we'd start filling in the blanks with explanations of vengeance, irrationality and opportunism too. Ned and Stannis in particular would come across as very different characters. We'd also have absolutely no idea that Varys, LF and Pycelle were working behind the scenes to instigate the events, which would make everyone seem like irrational lunatics. I think reflecting on this, we should exercise caution in assuming that the actions of those in Robert's Rebellion are exactly as they seem in the rumors we read 15 years after the fact. Further, keeping an open mind about the actions of the shadow players, like Varys and Pycelle, is probably prudent, given how we saw the Wot5K unfold as a byproduct of shadowy information manipulations.



I'd also advocate caution in using the standard assumed version of the story to start defining these characters. Each of the "irrational" actors have other accounts that offer reason to doubt the "irrational jerk" version of events. For example, Rhaegar is well respected by all of the characters save Robert, he was loved by the people, he was intelligent, he didn't shy away from responsibility in the past, and he was going to intervene wrt Aerys, recognizing the king's unsuitability, at least by the time he came back and was apprised of the situation. He had a prophesy obsession, but given these other accounts, is that obsession enough to assume he irresponsibly attempted no communication, didn't care what was going on in the rest of the realm, and just behaved entirely selfishly this whole time?



Likewise with Lyanna. We know she's willful, but does that mean she's callous about her family and completely irresponsible? She was the KotLT, which shows us that she's resourceful, can execute a plan (small as it was), and holds honor and decency in high esteem. We also see she loved her family, at the very least, Ned and Benjen. Is it really fair to assume that she all of a sudden operated solely out of irrational, selfish desire for sex with Rhaegar without a though for anyone else, that this whole thing didn't have some other objective at the outset, or that she hadn't thought through a plan or attempted communication?



Further, Brandon is deemed a hothead, but he's also the heir to Winterfell, trained for that role, and Ned believes he wouldn't have been a poor Lord:


That brought a bitter twist to Ned’s mouth. “Brandon. Yes. Brandon would know what to do. He always did. It was all meant for Brandon. You, Winterfell, everything. He was born to be a King’s Hand and a father to queens. I never asked for this cup to pass to me.”



Brandon's reaction to the "news," doesn't comply with the actions of a lord who would "know what to do." That is, his reaction was extreme. If Lyanna walked off with Rhaegar peacefully and willingly, the news Brandon received was already doctored in some way, based on his reaction. My question is, how much? It's clear whatever he heard went beyond the standard arrest of a noble hostage for some political reason. But given how directly we went to KL and immediately demanded Rhaegar's death (with no request to release Lyanna), had he been led to believe Rhaegar was tormenting her in the RK at that very moment? That is, to what extent did Brandon jump to conclusions, or rather, did he receive a wildly false report of the incident, perhaps more specific and sensational than even a simple abduction story? And if so, was this falsification purposeful or intentional?




Anyway, there are so many unanswered questions to the whole affair. I'm not so much positing any concrete theory about what occurred that we should work from or anything. It's more that I'm advocating against assuming that the standard "irrational jerk" version is the actual one, as there's ample conditions and questions to cast doubt on that version from multiple angles.


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I agree that there is way too much Rhaegar and Lyanna bashing in this forum when we only know small bits of their story.


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I can't disagree with that O/P

I've always thought it ironic that Rhaegar should have alienated the people that he needed to support him, should he depose his father; and that his father should have reacted so violently towards threats made against a son whom he thoroughly distrusted, and might well have had executed.

I wonder, too, if Robert and Rhaegar, or their supporters, made any effort to negotiate, once they were in charge of their respective armies.

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We really don't need to have a 3rd thread on this in as many days. Everything has been discussed.

You might not have noticed this, but unlike the last 2, this thread isn't about assigning blame. The blame game got in the way of figuring out the "knowns" and "unknowns," and the "unknowns" we were bringing up didn't have much space for discussion (especially trying to piece together Varys' deal, and what was going on behind the scenes). So this would be that space.

@SeanF-- Yes, this is something I've been curious about too-- the omission of thoughts on negotiations. At what point did that become impossible and for what reason.

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Maybe it's just me, but them being two selfish individuals(one with serious delusions of grandeur, the other a naive, doe-eyed child incapable of seeing the bigger picture) fits in better with GRRM's narrative. In-story, Rhaegar and Lyanna are described to be these two relatively perfect people, therefore it seems perfectly within the realm of reasonable expectation that both of them were the very opposite.


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What I dont understand is why does the story brandon got have to be doctored somehow? Is he not allowed to be upset over his sister running off? His families honor was at stake, and lyanna was his little sister. Extreme anger over it doesnt seem odd to me. Maybe im misunderstanding something.

Anyway, interesting thread!

ETA: I suppose I should also add, no matter what the motive, I disapprove of the lyanna/rhaegar thing. It just bothers me is all.

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What I dont understand is why does the story brandon got have to be doctored somehow? Is he not allowed to be upset over his sister running off? His families honor was at stake, and lyanna was his little sister. Extreme anger over it doesnt seem odd to me. Maybe im misunderstanding something.Anyway, interesting thread!ETA: I suppose I should also add, no matter what the motive, I disapprove of the lyanna/rhaegar thing. It just bothers me is all.

What's curious, then, is why Ned seems to harbour no bitterness at all towards Rhaegar.

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Even though I would disagree with the questioning of Lyanna's motivation (for I do believe it was love due to those blue winter roses), the truth is that we simply don't know. And the perfect example of "who killed Jon Arryn?" taught us that no matter what we think we know, there is always possibility we haven't covered all the bases. And that is what we tragically miss in debating this, covering all the players and determining how they might have influenced the entire conundrum.

In a way, I do believe that too much emphasis was put on Rhaegar and Lyanna. We see them as "Romeo and Juliet", "Paris and Helen" of ASOIAF never for a second thinking that there are many others in that play. And just as apple of discord is crucial for the love story that supposedly started 10 year-long war, we have to assume, that the same thing exists here. Entire sequence of events that led to eloping is something we should have in mind. Aerys' mistrust in Rhaegar and Rhaella, appointment of Varys, discomfort in the Kingdom... All of these led to Harrenhal. And we know what could have happened there. After all, Varys never lies (only speaks in half-truths, being Aes Sedai of ASOIAF), and if Barristan's testimony told us that Varys indeed informed Aerys about coup in Harrenhal, then Varys is truly our "apple of discord" and the chain of events actually started there. But, alas that is not all...

As butterbumps noted, there are tons to things we don't know, first of them being Lyanna's train of thoughts back then, the probable influence of others that led to war, agendas of different characters that might have overblown the crisis and transform it into a real war. And just like Trojan war have entire mythology and history surrounding it, talking that it wasn't about "woman who launched thousands ships into war", we have to assume that the same thing happened here. That there is more to this story than two people eloping and that their actions caused a war.

So, never forget Jon Arryn, never forget Varys' conversation with Illyrio about "game having too many players", never forget that smallest piece can influence the plot and then you can realize that any definitive statement regarding what truly happened back then is simply, at this moment, might be based on the flawed premise.

Great job, bumps...

What I dont understand is why does the story brandon got have to be doctored somehow? Is he not allowed to be upset over his sister running off? His families honor was at stake, and lyanna was his little sister. Extreme anger over it doesnt seem odd to me. Maybe im misunderstanding something.

Anyway, interesting thread!

There is a difference between hotheadedness and "suicide by cop". Bumps quoted Ned who said that Brandon was the one who would always have known what to do. Was he a rash man? Certainly, or at least that is how he is described by those who knew him. But that doesn't mean he would have completely gone crazy (a la Viserys) and poke a bear in the way it was described. So, one has to assume that he got some piece of information (distorted or not) that made him risk his life in that manner. And as someone who was groomed to become an heir of Great House, I think it's safe to say that he knew what he was doing was a big "No, no"

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butterbumps!, regarding Benjen.


We are told in Meera´s tale that he offered to find a horse and armor for Howland, we´ve witnessed him practicing fighting with Lyanna in Bran´s POV. This makes the idea that he was an acomplice in case Lyanna was the Knight of the Laughing tree plausible.


Since he and Lyanna were close, it makes sense for him to have stayed at Harrenhal / south with Lyanna until the weddingparty left Winterfell. Ned was most likely at the Eyrie when Brandon and Rickard died, he had to leave the Vale via the Sisters with the help of a fisherman´s daughter to call the banners in Winterfell. That makes me conclude that Benjen had to return to Winterfell to take the place of the Stark that always has to be in Winterfell, it would be the logical thing for Lyanna to send a letter or word of her plans, in case she made any, home with Benjen.



It´s also quite possible that Brandon had left ahead of his father, we know he was ahead when he was close to Riverrun, and missed Benjen. However, somehow "word" reached Brandon that Rhaegar had "abducted" Lyanna, that incensed him in such a way, that he rode to the Red Keep with his handfull of companions and demanded for Rhaegar to "come out and die".



Regarding Lyanna and love to Rhaegar.


We know Lyanna became pregnant about nine month before the end of Robert´s Rebellion(283), since Ned found her in "her bed of blood" (an expression used in the books indicating childbirth). That was several month after the alleged abduction and a year or more after the Harrenhal Tourney. Lyanna was clasping a wreath of winter roses indicating that her crowning queen of love and beauty by Rhaegar at that tourney was extremely important to her.



If Dany´s vision in the HotU is accurate, Rhaegar talked to Elia holding Aegon about his destiny roughly nine month after the tourney. He proclaimed that "there must be one more, the dragon has three heads".



From that point on we can only speculate, I think. It seems clear however that there was no headless eloping taking place.


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You might not have noticed this, but unlike the last 2, this thread isn't about assigning blame. The blame game got in the way of figuring out the "knowns" and "unknowns," and the "unknowns" we were bringing up didn't have much space for discussion (especially trying to piece together Varys' deal, and what was going on behind the scenes). So this would be that space.

@SeanF-- Yes, this is something I've been curious about too-- the omission of thoughts on negotiations. At what point did that become impossible and for what reason.

But it will still boil down to the same arguments being made.

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What I dont understand is why does the story brandon got have to be doctored somehow? Is he not allowed to be upset over his sister running off? His families honor was at stake, and lyanna was his little sister. Extreme anger over it doesnt seem odd to me. Maybe im misunderstanding something.

Anyway, interesting thread!

Well, E Ro, the issue is that many readers believe Lyanna ran off with Rhaegar willingly (I do as well). But if this is true, then Brandon's reaction is really hard to explain-- he marched into the Red Keep, trapping himself, not calling for Lyanna, but for Rhaegar to come out and die. Even for a hothead, it's hard to account for those actions if he heard Lyanna had simply run off with Rhaegar to the ToJ willingly (and if he is the sort of guy who'd kill the man his sister chose to run off with willingly, then he's even more of a lunatic than Sonny).

Which means that the story Brandon received is already adulterated from the version of events most readers believe is the truth. Do you see what I mean? There's already some sort of rumor that ended up influencing events. So my question was how sensational was the rumor Brandon was told about this (i.e. was he led to believe she was being raped and killed in the RK at that very moment), and regardless of how salacious the story he heard was, was the story he heard intentionally adulterated to make it seem more extreme (a violent abduction) or was this just a product of gossip?

Even though I would disagree with the questioning of Lyanna's motivation (for I do believe it was love due to those blue winter roses), the truth is that we simply don't know. And the perfect example of "who killed Jon Arryn?" taught us that no matter what we think we know, there is always possibility we haven't covered all the bases. And that is what we tragically miss in debating this, covering all the players and determining how they might have influenced the entire conundrum.

idk, Mladen. I think we should question the initial impulse to run off. I'm not suggesting love wasn't involved; I think by the end we do have a love story. But that might not be how it started-- I'd wondered if she sought his help to avoid her arranged marriage, and that the love story/ prophesy obsession might have grown from that later on.

But it will still boil down to the same arguments being made.

ok? If you don't like it, you don't have to post here.

And posts assigning blame are off topic.

butterbumps!, regarding Benjen.

We are told in Meera´s tale that he offered to find a horse and armor for Howland, we´ve witnessed him practicing fighting with Lyanna in Bran´s POV. This makes the idea that he was an acomplice in case Lyanna was the Knight of the Laughing tree plausible.

Since he and Lyanna were close, it makes sense for him to have stayed at Harrenhal / south with Lyanna until the weddingparty left Winterfell. Ned was most likely at the Eyrie when Brandon and Rickard died, he had to leave the Vale via the Sisters with the help of a fisherman´s daughter to call the banners in Winterfell. That makes me conclude that Benjen had to return to Winterfell to take the place of the Stark that always has to be in Winterfell, it would be the logical thing for Lyanna to send a letter or word of her plans, in case she made any, home with Benjen.

It´s also quite possible that Brandon had left ahead of his father, we know he was ahead when he was close to Riverrun, and missed Benjen. However, somehow "word" reached Brandon that Rhaegar had "abducted" Lyanna, that incensed him in such a way, that he rode to the Red Keep with his handfull of companions and demanded for Rhaegar to "come out and die".

Regarding Lyanna and love to Rhaegar.

We know Lyanna became pregnant about nine month before the end of Robert´s Rebellion(283), since Ned found her in "her bed of blood" (an expression used in the books indicating childbirth). That was several month after the alleged abduction and a year or more after the Harrenhal Tourney. Lyanna was clasping a wreath of winter roses indicating that her crowning queen of love and beauty by Rhaegar at that tourney was extremely important to her.

If Dany´s vision in the HotU is accurate, Rhaegar talked to Elia holding Aegon about his destiny roughly nine month after the tourney. He proclaimed that "there must be one more, the dragon has three heads".

From that point on we can only speculate, I think. It seems clear however that there was no headless eloping taking place.

These are good points, but on the bolded, I should point out that we actually don't even have an account that Brandon heard she was "abducted." This is what we have from Jaime and Cat:

“He was on his way to Riverrun when . . .” Strange, how telling it still made her throat grow tight, after all these years. “. . . when he heard about Lyanna, and went to King’s Landing instead. It was a rash thing to do.” She remembered how her own father had raged when the news had been brought to Riverrun. The gallant fool, was what he called Brandon.

It's alluded to kind of nebulously-- "when he heard about Lyanna" without reference to what it was that he heard.

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What's curious, then, is why Ned seems to harbour no bitterness at all towards Rhaegar.

What do you mean? Ned and brandon are different people, different thoughts and emotions. Brandon getting overly upset over something shouldn't affect ned, especially since we get neds thoughts 17 years after the fact and after he gets to see lyanna one last time.

Well, E Ro, the issue is that many readers believe Lyanna ran off with Rhaegar willingly (I do as well). But if this is true, then Brandon's reaction is really hard to explain-- he marched into the Red Keep, trapping himself, not calling for Lyanna, but for Rhaegar to come out and die. Even for a hothead, it's hard to account for those actions if he heard Lyanna had simply run off with Rhaegar to the ToJ willingly (and if he is the sort of guy who'd kill the man his sister chose to run off with willingly, then he's even more of a lunatic than Sonny).

Which means that the story Brandon received is already adulterated from the version of events most readers believe is the truth. Do you see what I mean? There's already some sort of rumor that ended up influencing events. So my question was how sensational was the rumor Brandon was told about this (i.e. was he led to believe she was being raped and killed in the RK at that very moment), and regardless of how salacious the story he heard was, was the story he heard intentionally adulterated to make it seem more extreme (a violent abduction) or was this just a product of gossip?

I sort of see what you are saying brah brah. Though I dont think Brandons reaction is so crazy even if he heard a very mild account of what happened. Even if he thinks Lyanna was with rhaegar willingly, its a major affront to his houses honor. Heck, he may have even wanted to kick lyannas ass over it after he finished with rhaegar. Funny you mention sonny though, as thats sort of how I imagine brandon. A slightly more intelligent version of Sonny.

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idk, Mladen. I think we should question the initial impulse to run off. I'm not suggesting love wasn't involved; I think by the end we do have a love story. But that might not be how it started-- I'd wondered if she sought his help to avoid her arranged marriage, and that the love story/ prophesy obsession might have grown from that later on.

An idea pondered in my head for a while about why Lyanna went to Harrenhal. The usual reasoning was that she was there to learn customs of Southern court, but could it be that she was there also to get a royal consent by an official of the Crown? I imagine that at some point Robert, who was a relative to Targaryens, and possibly in line to the Throne, should have introduced his fiancee to the royal family. And that Rhaegar might even found out about her doubts and reservations through one of those meetings? It might fit to the idea of Lyanna asking for help from Rhaegar, given that he might even sensed it through the official presenting. I doubt that two of them had gone that deep on the day when Rhaegar was looking for KotLT. IDK, this might be just blabbering, but Harrenhal tourney was grandiose event and I imagined there were lot of official meetings.

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I sort of see what you are saying brah brah. Though I dont think Brandons reaction is so crazy even if he heard a very mild account of what happened. Even if he thinks Lyanna was with rhaegar willingly, its a major affront to his houses honor. Heck, he may have even wanted to kick lyannas ass over it after he finished with rhaegar. Funny you mention sonny though, as thats sort of how I imagine brandon. A slightly more intelligent version of Sonny.

idk, brah brah. I think it's an egregious reaction for his hearing about a consensual account (I think it's egregious even if he heard it was a kidnap, but wasn't told directly Rhaegar would be in the RK).

We're talking about a guy who was trained in statecraft and diplomacy, who wasn't even the lord yet (Rickard was), but who felt the need to act on the Stark's behalf over something, and in a very urgent fashion. Like, even for a hothead, it wasn't his place to go through with a political action for the family (Rickard would), but it would seem that he felt pressing reason to address this so urgently (and with such a singular assumption Rhaegar would be there) that his hearing of a consensual account of the events just doesn't make sense, especially in light of Ned's having thought Brandon would know how to react as Lord of Winterfell. (and it he truly did operate after hearing she willingly walked off with Rhaegar, without info on their whereabouts, then his reaction is completely indefensible. Like, brah, I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Someone like that has no business being a lord of anything)

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I find the fact that Lyanna didnt want to marry Robert on account of Robert's whoreing habits to be a good motivator for Lyanna to run off with Rhaegar. Maybe Rhaegar did intend to kidnap Lyanna and Lyanna played along and then they fell in love at ToJ. All I know is Lyanna was described as being wild and untamed, she would of found a way to escape Rhaegar if she didnt want to be at ToJ.

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Maybe it's just me, but them being two selfish individuals(one with serious delusions of grandeur, the other a naive, doe-eyed child incapable of seeing the bigger picture) fits in better with GRRM's narrative. In-story, Rhaegar and Lyanna are described to be these two relatively perfect people, therefore it seems perfectly within the realm of reasonable expectation that both of them were the very opposite.

I have yet to see anywhere in the text support for these characterisations.

The way I saw them using one word for each? Rhaegar = Broody. Lyanna = Tomboy.

Mind you, we as people continuously construe our own meanings/definitions into written works. Happens all the time. ;)

And I agree with you Butterbumps! about messages possibly being doctored. What if someone had found proof that Lyanna was the mystery knight at the tourney? Aerys in his deepening paranoia had already decided that the KotLT was his enemy, along with some of the Great Houses. The mystery knight being a child of a Lord Paramount would be powerful knowledge to have/hold over someone. There's so much potential for threats/blackmail in that idea alone.

Thank you Butterbumps!, for giving those of us who want to share our analysis of the text without worrying about being shot down by those who've read each book countless times, or having it explained to us how we're too stupid to 'get' what GRRM was saying. I'm not trying to be snarky here, but most discussions about Rhaegar and Lyanna get pretty annoying pretty fast - and the constant back and forth slinging matches are off-putting to those searching for more insight.

Here's to the success of this thread. :cheers:

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Butterbumps!, I knew I should have stuck to "they went missing".


Hoster thought Brandon riding off to KL enragingly foolish, but still qualifying as gallantry does this just mean brave but stupid? Did Brandon worry about his sister´s safety or did he consider the Starks slighted? His reaction suggests that it was the latter.


This is extremely speculative - I have once formulated the idea that "all the faces fell" at the crowning of Lyanna was not because of the possible insult to Elia, but that a sign (or speach) by Rhaegar was expected by the conspiring houses.


It could have been "the road not taken", Rhaegar talked to Jaime about. Since Lyanna´s betrothal to Robert was part of the "southron ambitions" scheme. Could Brandon have felt betrayed by Rhaegar´s intervention?



In that case riding to the court of the king, they were plotting to overthrow would win him ten Darwin awards at minimum.



ETA: Did Dayne and Whent picked Lyanna up with Rhaegar? I remember Ran speculating that Whent might have spirited her away from Harrenhal. I don´t think we can even be certain that all those three were present for all the time at the Tower of Joy.


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idk, brah brah. I think it's an egregious reaction for his hearing about a consensual account (I think it's egregious even if he heard it was a kidnap, but wasn't told directly Rhaegar would be in the RK).

We're talking about a guy who was trained in statecraft and diplomacy, who wasn't even the lord yet (Rickard was), but who felt the need to act on the Stark's behalf over something, and in a very urgent fashion. Like, even for a hothead, it wasn't his place to go through with a political action for the family (Rickard would), but it would seem that he felt pressing reason to address this so urgently (and with such a singular assumption Rhaegar would be there) that his hearing of a consensual account of the events just doesn't make sense, especially in light of Ned's having thought Brandon would know how to react as Lord of Winterfell. (and it he truly did operate after hearing she willingly walked off with Rhaegar, without info on their whereabouts, then his reaction is completely indefensible. Like, brah, I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Someone like that has no business being a lord of anything)

Well, I guess your right, but i still don't feel too confident about this. To me, Brandon getting upset isn't so surprising, and his reaction is something any person described as hot headed could end up doing. I also think there is a bit too much stock being put in neds thoughts on brandon. Ned is brandons younger brother, its not too far fetched to think Ned would think brandon would know what to do even if brandon wasn't really all that sharp.

Something just occurred to me too, though it sort of hurts my argument. How far away is riverrun from kings landing? If brandons journey to the capitol to a few days or more that should have been time for him to cool off and think about his actions, right? Im pretty sure he was banking on the fact that he was the son of a powerful lord with tons of connections and marriage alliances to save him from being executed while in the capitol though.

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