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Ygrain

[TWOIAF Spoilers] R+L=J without spoiler tags

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It's possible there is a rule against polygamy. Jaehaerys was the one who united the Seven Kingdoms (save Dorne) under a unified code of law. (Edit: and struck a deal with the Faith around that same time.) This is also right after the last known instance of Targaryen polygamy. No lord in the Seven Kingdoms that we know of has taken a second wife since, even in the North. (Saltwives notwithstanding) There's probably a reason.

Is this info on Westerosi "unified code of law" from the world book?

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The point still stands- polygamy may be frowned upon, but it wasn't illegal.

That he wasn't sure about this 13 years ago is not evidence that polygamy is definitively legal. A lot of old SSM's just got invalidated by this book. He changed his mind on a lot of things, and even back then he did not say it was legal in present day Westeros.

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There is no rule against polygamy, but the court was divided and Rhaegar had a lot of opposition to begin with. To me, he didn't look like the kind of guy who purposely would believe "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission".

Are you kidding me? A man who runs off with another man's fiance and stays away for about a year is clearly and in my opinion unambiguously a man who believes it is better to ask forgiveness than permission. Otherwise, he would have asked for permission to run off with Lyanna in the first place.

When?

Edit: if you're referring to the "There may have been other instances after Maegor, I'll have to check my notes" SSM, that is not the same thing at all.

When he said it was more difficult to get away with polygamy when you don't have dragons--key "harder" not "impossible" or "illegal" and when asked if there were more after Maegar, he said he would have to look--or make it up.

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That he wasn't sure about this 13 years ago is not evidence that polygamy is definitively legal. A lot of old SSM's just got invalidated by this book. He changed his mind on a lot of things, and even back then he did not say it was legal in present day Westeros.

Until you can show me where it says "Polygamy was illegal in Westeros", then it WASN'T illegal. "Culturally unacceptable" isn't the same as "Illegal". Plenty of people in Westeros do things that are 'culturally unacceptable' (like incest), but that doesn't make it 'illegal'.

And 'this book' is biased with a lot of red herrings and misinformation that can be easily retconned at any time Martin wants it to. It's a wiki that makes no pretense of being the final say on anything. I will go by the author's statements before I go by a book not written by the author. But even in this book, it never says "Polygamy was against the law", so I'm not sure what bring it up accomplishes.

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When he said it was more difficult to get away with polygamy when you don't have dragons--key "harder" not "impossible" or "illegal" and when asked if there were more after Maegar, he said he would have to look--or make it up.

I think we're actually talking about different SSMs? Cause what you're saying about how it's harder to get away with stuff without dragons sounds familiar, but it's not in the SSM I'm talking about

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Targaryen_Polygamy

Even the other quote about how it's easier to get away with things when you have dragons is not him saying "polygamy is legal." One of the things you might get away with when you have dragons is breaking the law.

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Until you can show me where it says "Polygamy was illegal in Westeros", then it WASN'T illegal.

And 'this book' is biased with a lot of red herrings and misinformation that can be easily retconned at any time Martin wants it to. It's a wiki that makes no pretense of being the final word. I will go by the author's statements before I go by a book not written by the author.

It's a theory, I never claimed it as fact. You came in and said Martin said polygamy was legal, which he did not.

I'm sorry that you've decided the World of Ice and Fire is just a glorified wiki that will be retconned in the future. I'm not even sure what I can say to that.

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It's a theory, I never claimed it as fact. You came in and said Martin said polygamy was legal, which he did not.

If it's not 'illegal', then it's automatically 'legal'. Things are, by default, 'legal' until there's a law prohibiting it.

I'm sorry that you've decided the World of Ice and Fire is just a glorified wiki that will be retconned in the future. I'm not even sure what I can say to that.

Because that's what it is. They wrote it in the POV of a Maester who clearly gets things wrong and leaves things out so that Martin could change things if the need arose.

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If it's not 'illegal', then it's automatically 'legal'. Things are, by default, 'legal' until there's a law prohibiting it.

I totally agree with that statement. But the issue here is our limited knowledge of what is or isn't legal. What I'm saying is that just because we the readers aren't aware of a law banning polygamy does not preclude their being one. It is a possibility. That is all.

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I think we're actually talking about different SSMs? Cause what you're saying about how it's harder to get away with stuff without dragons sounds familiar, but it's not in the SSM I'm talking about

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Targaryen_Polygamy

Even the other quote about how it's easier to get away with things when you have dragons is not him saying "polygamy is legal." One of the things you might get away with when you have dragons is breaking the law.

I agree they were two separate SSMs, but I think they are both relevant to the issue. I also think that GRRM stating that there might have been polygamous marriages after Maegor is pretty close to saying it was not made illegal--Jaehaerys being the king after Maegor so any polygamy after Maegor almost certainly would have had to happen after the unified code was put in place. I agree that GRRM can change his mind over time--but this issue is too central to the mystery of R+L=J to change over time--either GRRM always meant them to be married (and polygamy is not illegal) or they could not get married because the unified laws made it illegal (and he always intended that to be the case). There seems to be little room to change his mind on this issue--he needed to have this issue resolved when he first plotted out the series years ago.

But no one has taken up my challenge to explain why it would make more sense for Rhaegar and Lyanna not to decide to get married.

Because that's what it is. They wrote it in the POV of a Maester who clearly gets things wrong and leaves things out so that Martin could change things if the need arose.

To be fair, it probably as much "canon" and anything in the main books that is told to us by one of the characters (rather than "shown" to us directly). For example, is it "canon" that the Night's King was a Stark? Old Nan said he was, but maybe she was wrong. So it is "canon" that she said this--but it is not yet "canon" that she was correct. We have to wait to see whether this information can be confirmed. I think the WoIaF should be viewed more or less the same way.

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I agree they were two separate SSMs, but I think they are both relevant to the issue. I also think that GRRM stating that there might have been polygamous marriages after Maegor is pretty close to saying it was not made illegal--Jaehaerys being the king after Maegor so any polygamy after Maegor almost certainly would have had to happen after the unified code was put in place. I agree that GRRM can change his mind over time--but this issue is too central to the mystery of R+L=J to change over time--either GRRM always meant them to be married (and polygamy is not illegal) or they could not get married because the unified laws made it illegal (and he always intended that to be the case). There seems to be little room to change his mind on this issue--he needed to have this issue resolved when he first plotted out the series years ago.

Alright so I found the other SSM

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/2769

[Would polygamous marriages be accepted in Westeros today, especially if Targaryens were involved?]

If you have some huge fire-breathing dragons, you can get people to accept a lot of things that they might otherwise have problems with.

That to me sounds like he's saying it would not be acceptable today, but maybe Daenerys could get away with it.

Edit: found another one! http://www.westeros.org/citadel/ssm/entry/2997

[Questions concerning Targaryen polygamy.]

Maegor the Cruel has multiple wives, from lines outside his own, so there was and is precedent. However, the extent to which the Targaryen kings could defy convention, the Faith, and the opinions of the other lords decreased markedly after they no longer had dragons. If you have a dragon, you can have as many wives as you want, and people are less likely to object.

But no one has taken up my challenge to explain why it would make more sense for Rhaegar and Lyanna not to decide to get married.

Well if my opinion was unclear, I think it's because he already had a wife. :)

Again I could go either way on them being married. The reason I've been harping on this recently is because the worldbook changed my opinion from like 90% sure they were married to 50%

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To be fair, it probably as much "canon" and anything in the main books that is told to us by one of the characters (rather than "shown" to us directly). For example, is it "canon" that the Night's King was a Stark? Old Nan said he was, but maybe she was wrong. So it is "canon" that she said this--but it is not yet "canon" that she was correct. We have to wait to see whether this information can be confirmed. I think the WoIaF should be viewed more or less the same way.

Until Martin finishes his books and it is rewritten and re-released with the corrected and previously missing information, I don't see how we can truly trust the information.

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Again I could go either way on them being married. The reason I've been harping on this recently is because the worldbook changed my opinion from like 90% sure they were married to 50%

What information in the worldbook changed your opinion?

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Alright so I found the other SSM

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/2769

That to me sounds like he's saying it would not be acceptable today, but maybe Daenerys could get away with it.

That's such a tricky question and answer because accepted in what regard--culturally, politically, legally, morally, ethically, ect-ically (joke).

And GRRM's answer could be to any one of those regards. Don't accept it culturally? I have a dragon. Don't accept it legally? I have a dragon.

Now Rhaegar didn't have dragons. But GRRM isn't saying that you only need a dragon to get away with it. Just that dragons make polygamy--and anything--easier.

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To me, there is just no reason for Rhaegar to not at least try and make this legit. He wouldnt want his son to be a bastard, that's the main thing. Why would the Heir to the IT not want his son to be legit?

Even if he couldnt get many behind him, or if he couldnt get the high septon, might as well have a small ceremony just to try and cover his bases. I mean this would be a very small effort on his part to make the situation right in the least. The whole marriage would take 1 hour tops, and they were alone together for so long, the subject must have come up in between all the fornication.

Here is a question, can anyone provide a good reason that Rhaegar would NOT want to make at least this small effort (marriage to Lyanna) to un-bastardize his upcoming child?

I know it's not a popular topic, but I do still feel that Rhaegar's ideas about prophesied events might be part of his "plan." I also am aware that this is a sort of dead-end route, since we have zero information about the contents of whatever prophecies Rhaegar knew about, so I apologize for pointing in this direction, and for raising questions rather than providing answers. But to my mind it may well be that the production of a child from a particular kind of union was all that was required. I know that some hypothesize that Rhaegar had set aside the idea that Aegon was the PtwP and wanted a new Prince and thus Jon would need to be legitimate, but I don't think we know that for sure, and the "three heads" might be something distinct from the Prince part, and we've no idea what the 3 heads might have referred to in Rhaegar's mind. I also can't completely set aside the mythology of the blue roses, and their connection to the Bael the Bard story, in which the child produced (from a sort of abduction) was also a bastard (one who saves his lineage).

I'm not opposed to the idea that Jon is a legit Targ, and I think that it's quite reasonable to suppose that Rhaegar might have wanted to leave behind 3 legitimate Targ offspring. But maybe there's some way in which actual, not just supposed, bastardy is important?

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I'm sure you guys already brought this up. But Maegor married in secret to his sister (?) with Queen Rhaenys presiding over since no one in the clergy would preform the ceremony. SO obviously secret weddings are a 'thing', and they can be accepted as legit after the fact.

Not that it matters, but Maegor didn't marry his sister, but the daughter of the Lord of Harrenhal (Alys). It was Visenya who presided over the ceremony :) Rhaenys had been dead for quite some time at that point.

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Until Martin finishes his books and it is rewritten and re-released with the corrected and previously missing information, I don't see how we can truly trust the information.

Has there been a suggestion that it will need to be revised and re-released after the final books are written? Or are you just assuming as much? All I heard is that GRRM will write Fire and Blood, a history of the Targaryens, after the final book.

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Alright so I found the other SSM

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/2769

That to me sounds like he's saying it would not be acceptable today, but maybe Daenerys could get away with it.

This sounds to me that if there was some kind of anti-polygamy "law", this, like any other regulation that passes for law in Westeros, can be negated with the right kind of coercion, and as such, it's not really prohibited by law then.

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Not that it matters, but Maegor didn't marry his sister, but the daughter of the Lord of Harrenhal (Alys). It was Visenya who presided over the ceremony :) Rhaenys had been dead for quite some time at that point.

Yes, it was Jaehaerys, son of Egg, who married his sister in secret (but not polygamous) and got away with it even though the marriage upset everyone.

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What information in the worldbook changed your opinion?

That there were no other Targaryen polygamists after Maegor (There is a claim put forth by Blackfyre supporters that Aegon V promised Daemon he could have a second wife)

There were a few examples of Targeryen princes asking permission to set aside their wife in favor of another. Why would they have to do that if by rights a Targaryen prince can take a second wife? (without the kings leave. I think Rhaegar may have had an easier time of it if he asked Aerys for permission and Aerys said yes and pressured the High Septon. But that clearly didn't happen.)

The stuff I mentioned about Jaehaerys unifying the kingdoms under one set of laws. The timing of this opens the door for the possibility of polygamy being made officially illegal (it was probably already illegal in most of the seven independent kingdoms.)

Aegon IV has a mock wedding to one of his mistresses. Of all the Targaryen kings, this guy seems like the most likely to take a second wife. Yet he did not.

Maegor couldn't find a septon to marry him to a second wife.

Basically before the worldbook I thought they were probably married, there's precedent for that among the Targaryens and they could have used a weirwood to help avoid issues with the faith. Now it seems like for whatever reason Targaryen polygamy died with Maegor.

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