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Ygrain

[TWOIAF Spoilers] R+L=J without spoiler tags v.2

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The thing I wonder about is Lyannas approach.

Going off Neds memory and Arya pinching Jon in the crypts when he scared everyone, I imagine Lyanna put up a fight when Rhaegar caught her, and later when he had the melancholy, not humilating him of course, I could see her telling him he had no business with his head in the future, but to live now, making the changes that needed making.

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But not nearly as pure. It also fits with the entitled Stark way of seeing themselves as the law (I am a Ned fan but I found the way he was so for the law and being the law when he executed that Night Watch deserter chilling, especially when contrasted with his decision to go all human, aka against the truth to save Sansa). It also fits with her own desire to carry a sword. If it was about Howland alone, Brandon or Ned would have been a better choice. I cannot see Ned refusing her.

In contrast, standing up for Howland brings nothing to her. Well, it does - a not so small amount of trouble.

Well, the Starks are quite literally entitled! I mean, this is the social role expected of nobility, to uphold some ideal of the social order, the differences come in how various lords and ladies chose to exercise their entitlement, and how they envision the "proper" functioning of the social order.

I don't really see, though, how Lyanna's personal investment in ideas of nobility and chivalry and personal valour make her action somehow less than her going to Ned to ask him to enact her great idea about a mystery knight, if that's what you're suggesting. Do you mean that somehow Ned would have been a better KotLT because he cares less about knighthood? If so, I don't really understand why. Or do you think that Ned would have recognized the political peril of anyone appearing as a mystery knight, and thereby averted all the ensuing chaos? I actually kind of doubt that, since by his own accounts he wasn't necessarily the most politically saavy, since Brandon was the one being groomed for lordship.

In short: I think that Lyanna's desire for martial things is continuous with her impulse to rescue Howland, rather than a "taint" on an otherwise pure impulse. By all accounts she was passionate and impulsive, which spurred her to rescue Howland and to tilt against those she deemed responsible for his attack.

Now, if we want to talk competing motivations, there may also have been a sort of fey, devil-may-care feeling at play for her, if she felt trapped by the betrothal to Robert.

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The thing I wonder about is Lyannas approach.

Going off Neds memory and Arya pinching Jon in the crypts when he scared everyone, I imagine Lyanna put up a fight when Rhaegar caught her, and later when he had the melancholy, not humilating him of course, I could see her telling him he had no business with his head in the future, but to live now, making the changes that needed making.

If she knew what was going on. I cannot imagine that if she did, she thought that disappearing together was the way to go. I mean, Aerys started suspecting Rhaegar even more specifically because Rhaegar crowned her! Everyone with half a brain would think that changes were being made right now, as they were honeymooning romantically. Just not the changes she and Rhaegar wanted.

I am curious how long her willful isolation went on. Right, in the beginning it's enough to have the other one close by. But not being away from the world, with no word for anyone for a year! I suppose that at some point, she was fed up with Rhaegar and his harp being her entire world. That would be the moment it became interesting.

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I don't really see, though, how Lyanna's personal investment in ideas of nobility and chivalry and personal valour make her action somehow less than her going to Ned to ask him to enact her great idea about a mystery knight, if that's what you're suggesting. Do you mean that somehow Ned would have been a better KotLT because he cares less about knighthood? If so, I don't really understand why. Or do you think that Ned would have recognized the political peril of anyone appearing as a mystery knight, and thereby averted all the ensuing chaos? I actually kind of doubt that, since by his own accounts he wasn't necessarily the most politically saavy, since Brandon was the one being groomed for lordship.

Ned had more training than she did. And don't forget, we still don't know that she was the knight. I just find it funny how everyone sings her praises for being something we still don't know her to be, with motivations that almost certainly included the desire to show what she could do, and the fact that she defended Howland by three boys who were almost certainly taller than her - that alone can be intimidating! - and who could attack her before thinking to ask who her father was, in culture that would expect her to run for help, at most, go almost unnoticed.

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If she knew what was going on. I cannot imagine that if she did, she thought that disappearing together was the way to go. I mean, Aerys started suspecting Rhaegar even more specifically because Rhaegar crowned her! Everyone with half a brain would think that changes were being made right now, as they were honeymooning romantically. Just not the changes she and Rhaegar wanted.

I am curious how long her willful isolation went on. Right, in the beginning it's enough to have the other one close by. But not being away from the world, with no word for anyone for a year! I suppose that at one time, she was fed up with Rhaegar and his harp being her entire world. That would be the moment it became interesting.

I for one am not sure she would think it was a good idea.

I'm the one in a minority I know, that is on the fence as to whether she was willing or not, even if she loved him.

A girl who is savvy enough to know that the love of a good woman aint going to change a man,(says in her best country western song accent), and already has her own sources to tell on Robert, is not some giddy girl.

(Does anyone ever wonder how she found that out)?

If only women decades older understood that.

I think GRRMS own somewhat exasperated statement on arranged marriages as an understood and accepted custom that no one ran away from, is a fairly good snapshot into his thought process, and a good indicator he meant for her character to go through with the wedding to Robert.

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Need to re-read the story, but aren't there textual clues that the KOLT isn't Ned?

He would have been bigger. Brandon may have been tall, but male average height would have been taller and heavier than tKotLT

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That's what I thought. There are only three possibilities for KOLT: Lyanna, Benjen, or Howland himself, and the Lyanna option is the most intriguing.



For those who don't think it's Lyanna: why didn't Ned allow that story to be told around Winterfell?


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I for one am not sure she would think it was a good idea.

I'm the one in a minority I know, that is on the fence as to whether she was willing or not, even if she loved him.

A girl who is savvy enough to know that the love of a good woman aint going to change a man,(says in her best country western song accent), and already has her own sources to tell on Robert, is not some giddy girl.

(Does anyone ever wonder how she found that out)?

If only women decades older understood that.

I think GRRMS own somewhat exasperated statement on arranged marriages as an understood and accepted custom that no one ran away from, is a fairly good snapshot into his thought process, and a good indicator he meant for her character to go through with the wedding to Robert.

Makes two of us. I just prefer not to go into theories about Stockhilm Syndrome and so on because that would derail a thread so much that even I have some conscience.

I am not sure whether she was this wise, or just repeating something she heard someone saying and decided it applied to her own situation. At her age, she hardly had the experience to make such broad statements. But girls this age excell at turning their lives into drama while feeling so mature. I swear, I never felt more mature than when I was 15. Anyway, wise or not, I never saw anything about this quote indicating that she rejected the idea of marrying Robert or even that she rebeled against the notion of being married to such a cheater. It was just stating of fact, maybe with some sadness thrown in.

With Robert being Robert, aka the soul of discretion, she might not have needed any sources, other than her own two eyes. We know he saw her as the perfect lady, so he might not have tried hitting on her right there. But he'd hardly stay alone for an entire tourney, would he? He might have thought he was discreet (when he was not into his cups) but Robert's idea of discretion would be around the level of the boar that killed him. The sad thing it, that's still more than Rhaegar's version of the same thing.

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That's what I thought. There are only three possibilities for KOLT: Lyanna, Benjen, or Howland himself, and the Lyanna option is the most intriguing.

For those who don't think it's Lyanna: why didn't Ned allow that story to be told around Winterfell?

Because he didn't want to attract notice to the whole tourney?

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Well, apparently, it's a common enough story that Meera Reed expresses surprise that Bran has never heard it. Although granted, it's not as if Meera's left the Neck very much, and her father hasn't been seen outside of it since 283.



The person we haven't yet had much of a POV from is Lyanna. Our main source for her was Ned in AGoT. This is where I'm hoping Howland will step in.


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Well, apparently, it's a common enough story that Meera Reed expresses surprise that Bran has never heard it. Although granted, it's not as if Meera's left the Neck very much, and her father hasn't been seen outside of it since 283.

The person we haven't yet had much of a POV from is Lyanna. Our main source for her was Ned in AGoT. This is where I'm hoping Howland will step in.

From your lips to GRRM's ears! (That's an equivalent of saying, May it come true! around here, literally. Well, I replaced the Almighty with Martin. Given the fact that he fits the role here, I think I am allowed to.)

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Makes two of us. I just prefer not to go into theories about Stockhilm Syndrome and so on because that would derail a thread so much that even I have some conscience.

I am not sure whether she was this wise, or just repeating something she heard someone saying and decided it applied to her own situation. At her age, she hardly had the experience to make such broad statements. But girls this age excell at turning their lives into drama while feeling so mature. I swear, I never felt more mature than when I was 15. Anyway, wise or not, I never saw anything about this quote indicating that she rejected the idea of marrying Robert or even that she rebeled against the notion of being married to such a cheater. It was just stating of fact, maybe with some sadness thrown in.

With Robert being Robert, aka the soul of discretion, she might not have needed any sources, other than her own two eyes. We know he saw her as the perfect lady, so he might not have tried hitting on her right there. But he'd hardly stay alone for an entire tourney, would he? He might have thought he was discreet (when he was not into his cups) but Robert's idea of discretion would be around the level of the boar that killed him. The sad thing it, that's still more than Rhaegar's version of the same thing.

The difference is, is that "adolescence" as we understand it is a modern construct. Even a hundred years ago, if you farmed, you basically "birthed" your farm help.

In Medieval times, a womans life expectancy was around the average of 32, even amongst the nobility. There were exceptions to be sure, but fifteen was damn near middle age.

Highborn girls would have started learning how to manage a keep almost the moment they could walk.

Today, you can still be considered a "child"/dependent at twenty six.

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The difference is, is that "adolescence" as we understand it is a modern construct. Even a hundred years ago, if you farmed, you basically "birthed" your farm help.

In Medieval times, a womans life expectancy was around the average of 32, even amongst the nobility. There were exceptions to be sure, but fifteen was damn near middle age.

Highborn girls would have started learning how to manage a keep almost the moment they could walk.

Today, you can still be considered a "child"/dependent at twenty six.

Middle Ages, yes. But not Westeros. In the beginning of the series, Cat thinks she isn't too old to give Ned another child. Kevan tells Cersei that she's young and fertile and should remarry.

And that's without taking into account the nobility thing. Aegon lived well past his Conquering and the Yellow Toad of Dorne faced Rhaenys even older. There are differences between Westeros and our world but not as much as between the real Dark Ages and now.

Anyway, it doesn't change the premise. Wise or not, I also have my doubts that Lyanna said, "Oh Rhae! Yes, let's run away together and hide so that your father cannot find us and Brandon cannot find us and... Is this your horse? Please, can I ride before you?"

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Ned had more training than she did. And don't forget, we still don't know that she was the knight. I just find it funny how everyone sings her praises for being something we still don't know her to be, with motivations that almost certainly included the desire to show what she could do, and the fact that she defended Howland by three boys who were almost certainly taller than her - that alone can be intimidating! - and who could attack her before thinking to ask who her father was, in culture that would expect her to run for help, at most, go almost unnoticed.

Lol, quite right that we don't know that it was Lyanna! Though I do think it's implied. I mean, that was my thought when I first read Meera's tale, before I ever knew about the existence of the forums. But we could all turn out to be wrong!

But in any case, I've always admired Lyanna's defense of Howland, I feel like that's what really makes her who she is in my mind, so I'm not disagreeing with you at all. It's such a brave and courageous act, and that she does it so spontaneously just indicates that that's who she is as a person. I just differ from you slightly in that I see the KotLT as an extension of the same impulses/character traits, and also laudable. I'm pretty sure she wasn't doing it as an attempt at seduction!

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Middle Ages, yes. But not Westeros. In the beginning of the series, Cat thinks she isn't too old to give Ned another child. Kevan tells Cersei that she's young and fertile and should remarry.

And that's without taking into account the nobility thing. Aegon lived well past his Conquering and the Yellow Toad of Dorne faced Rhaenys even older. There are differences between Westeros and our world but not as much as between the real Dark Ages and now.

Anyway, it doesn't change the premise. Wise or not, I also have my doubts that Lyanna said, "Oh Rhae! Yes, let's run away together and hide so that your father cannot find us and Brandon cannot find us and... Is this your horse? Please, can I ride before you?"

And even the life expectancy figure for our world's middle ages is due to very high infant/childhood mortality rates. Once you clear childhood, you could expect to live to an age similar to that of modern times.

But I agree with Anath about the "wisdom" of adolescents, particularly those with the "wolf's blood"! I do think there's some evidence that Lyanna's a thoughtful girl, but that doesn't mean that she has the experience to know when to apply her wisdom, or to restrain her idealistic impulses when they might be dangerous for herself or others.

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But in any case, I've always admired Lyanna's defense of Howland, I feel like that's what really makes her who she is in my mind, so I'm not disagreeing with you at all. It's such a brave and courageous act, and that she does it so spontaneously just indicates that that's who she is as a person. I just differ from you slightly in that I see the KotLT as an extension of the same impulses/character traits, and also laudable. I'm pretty sure she wasn't doing it as an attempt at seduction!

I see the KotLT this way, too. I just think it was not only that while the only reason for the first defense was purely compassion and anger at the injustice. A spontaneous thing when there was only one possible way and she took it. To her, the alternative - leaving and running for help, leaving Howland to suffer worse while The Men came to save the day - was so not an alternative that it probably didn't even cross her mind.

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There is a difference between old and life expectancy. Bran thinks he is nearly a man grown at eight.

And Martin confirmed he used the history of the Medieval period as the backdrop for Westeros.

That is the reason for the youth of his characters.

And then there is this :

"How long do these people live? It depends on where you are and what wealth you enjoy. Yeoman in Worcestershire in the first half of the fourteenth century can at age of twenty, look forward to an average of twenty-eight years more life; and their successors in the second half can expect another thirty-two years. This does not sound too bad: a lifespan of fifty years more or less. However, this bald figure means that half of all adults die before they reach fifty.

And these are the prosperous members of society.

For this reason the majority of medieval people are relatively young. Between 35 and 40 percent of those you will meet are under the age of fifteen. At the other end of the age spectrum, just five percent of fourteenth-century people are aged over sixty-five." - Ian Mortimer, The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England

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Need to re-read the story, but aren't there textual clues that the KOLT isn't Ned?

Except the height part (really, which guy at 18 would be described as very short?), it would also go against Ned's character. If he wanted to avenge Howland, he would do so in his own name, under his own sigil, and in his own armour - the very opposite of what the KotLT did. The KotLT who couldn't show his true identity or sigil, and didn't have an armour of their own.

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On a related note - -

When I read that Egg married Black Betha, a spirited, "some say wilful", lady from the Riverlands (the setting for the 5th D&E novel), I wonder if they two also met in a tourney/situation that required the wrongs to be set to rights.

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