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HelenaExMachina

R+L=J v.154

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Funny with all the military talk, a true military man believes that a standing order of highest priority (something like, you know, first duty) overrides any other order. Just saying.

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Ok, let me give another example. The secret service is supposed to protect the president. Assume that a particular agent has been ordered to carry out some mission away from the president. But then he (or she) finds out that the president has been rendered unconscious and the service agents guarding the president have been killed. No other superior can be contacted. Does the agent abandon the assigned mission and rush to protect the president or continue to follow orders? I think the answer is obvious -- the agent would not be expected to continue the original mission no matter how important or direct the orders -- it is not as important as getting to the president. And no one would think that agent to have violated the obligation to follow orders.

IIRC, tens of threads ago, we went like, "a part of the presidential special forces tasks are assigned to protect the president's GF. The president is assassinated, the rest of the special forces are exterminated, the vicepresident is without protection. Do you keep guarding the GF, or do you go to the vicepresident?" :-)

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While I would tend to doubt that explanation, any lingering doubt is expelled by Hightower's presence. He is not a confidant of Rhaegar. He would not put the prophecy above his duty as KG -- and the KG say that they swore a vow. The KG would not make such a big deal out of the fact that they swore a vow if they were disregarding their main vow -- to protect the king.


Without knowing what Hightower thought about Rhaegar and the prophecy, nothing is expelled. The fact is we don't know why Hightower stayed at the ToJ (or how he found it in the first place for that matter). He might have been ordered by Rhaegar, he might have felt Jon was Rhaegar's heir, he might have thought Jon was the promised prince. Or he might have been reluctant or conflicted. We learned from Jaime that vows can be tricky, and that sometimes a KG needs to chose between the king and doing the right thing. Why should things be black and white for Ser Gerold?

You can speculate that Hightower stayed because he was keeping his KG vow, therefore Jon must have been king, hence Jon was legit, so that means R+L were married, and that means polygamous marriage was acceptable to the realm, but it is a chain of logic built on an assumption.

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Ok, let me give another example. The secret service is supposed to protect the president. Assume that a particular agent has been ordered to carry out some mission away from the president. But then he (or she) finds out that the president has been rendered unconscious and the service agents guarding the president have been killed. No other superior can be contacted. Does the agent abandon the assigned mission and rush to protect the president or continue to follow orders? I think the answer is obvious -- the agent would not be expected to continue the original mission no matter how important or direct the orders -- it is not as important as getting to the president. And no one would think that agent to have violated the obligation to follow orders.

 

Apparently Rhaegar's order successfully prevented them from going back to KL to protect their king after the battle of Trident. 

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Funny with all the military talk, a true military man believes that a standing order of highest priority (something like, you know, first duty) overrides any other order. Just saying.

 

If you're talking about Barristan he doesn't believe that. Barristan always chooses to obey his orders over protecting his king if that's what he was told to do.

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IIRC, tens of threads ago, we went like, "a part of the presidential special forces tasks are assigned to protect the president's GF. The president is assassinated, the rest of the special forces are exterminated, the vicepresident is without protection. Do you keep guarding the GF, or do you go to the vicepresident?" :-)

 

If the president's last will or death order is to keep protecting his GF, then his special forces had to obey it. 

And how do you know they are not planning to take the GF after she can move and then join the vice president and protect all of them in the future?

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Alayne II, AFfC.


Petyr Baelish took her by the hand and drew her down onto his lap. "I have made a marriage contract for you."
"A marriage . . ." Her throat tightened. She did not want to wed again, not now, perhaps not ever. "I do not . . . I cannot marry. Father, I . . ." Alayne looked to the door, to make certain it was closed. "I am married," she whispered. "You know."
Petyr put a finger to her lips to silence her. "The dwarf wed Ned Stark's daughter, not mine. Be that as it may. This is only a betrothal. The marriage must needs wait until Cersei is done and Sansa's safely widowed. And you must meet the boy and win his approval. Lady Waynwood will not make him marry against his will, she was quite firm on that."

 

It is culturally unacceptable. As is incest. Targaryens practiced both, the rest of Westeros really did not (there are exceptions). There is no indication of any laws from the Royal family that prohibit this practice. There is no indication that any laws from the royal family actually matter in regards to the royal family. Now you have to ask why the Targaryens would pass a law for an activity that only they themselves practice?

 

The reality is that polygamy makes inheritance a nightmare and the Targaryens learned that rather quickly. It's a practice that they no longer follow. It doesn't mean they out lawed it. It also doesn't mean that the Kingsguard would not know of the precedent of it (which I'm sure Rhaegar would have reminded them of).

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Without knowing what Hightower thought about Rhaegar and the prophecy, nothing is expelled. The fact is we don't know why Hightower stayed at the ToJ (or how he found it in the first place for that matter). He might have been ordered by Rhaegar, he might have felt Jon was Rhaegar's heir, he might have thought Jon was the promised prince. Or he might have been reluctant or conflicted. We learned from Jaime that vows can be tricky, and that sometimes a KG needs to chose between the king and doing the right thing. Why should things be black and white for Ser Gerold?

 

 

Because Jaime told us he was like that?

 

 

"The pyromancers roasted Lord Rickard slowly, banking and fanning that fire carefully to get a nice even heat. His cloak caught first, and then his surcoat, and soon he wore nothing but metal and ashes. Next he would start to cook, Aerys promised . . . unless his son could free him. Brandon tried, but the more he struggled, the tighter the cord constricted around his throat. In the end he strangled himself.
"As for Lord Rickard, the steel of his breastplate turned cherry-red before the end, and his gold melted off his spurs and dripped down into the fire. I stood at the foot of the Iron Throne in my white armor and white cloak, filling my head with thoughts of Cersei. After, Gerold Hightower himself took me aside and said to me, 'You swore a vow to guard the king, not to judge him.' That was the White Bull, loyal to the end and a better man than me, all agree."
"Aerys . . ." Catelyn could taste bile at the back of her throat. The story was so hideous she suspected it had to be true. "Aerys was mad, the whole realm knew it, but if you would have me believe you slew him to avenge Brandon Stark . . ."

 

 

You can speculate that Hightower stayed because he was keeping his KG vow, therefore Jon must have been king, hence Jon was legit, so that means R+L were married, and that means polygamous marriage was acceptable to the realm, but it is a chain of logic built on an assumption.

 

It was in their dialogue and the description of those characters. Can Martin do a 180 on Hightower? Sure he can. But the whole dream sequence makes no sense neither does his descriptions of Hightower.

 

Why didn't Hightower send at least one of his number to find/protect Viserys the new heir? Why would he follow an order from a dead prince who never intended to die nor had he conceived of the possibility that KL would be sacked and the rest of his family killed?

 

Can a prince order a Kingsguard to forsake his King? Because that is what you and several others are arguing (and this has happens at least a dozen times in this thread). The answer is emphatically a "no". By not going to his new King or making sure at least one Kingsguard goes to his new King he has forsaken him. Then he boasts about vows? Really? They boast about ensuring Aerys would still sit the throne? Really?

 

These are single data points. There are multiple factors that when all of them are taken into consideration there leaves only one likely outcome: Hightower believes there is a King at the TOJ. Whether or not he is wrong is irrelevant. His actions and based on what we know of his character that is the only logical conclusion of that situation.

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If you're talking about Barristan he doesn't believe that. Barristan always chooses to obey his orders over protecting his king if that's what he was told to do.

 

The King orders a Kingsguard to kill a Lord. He rides of to see the order obeyed. On his journey he catches wind of an assassin is on his way to kill the King. According to your simple interpretation of the great knights of the Kingsguard, this Kingsguard would continue on with his order as if nothing has changed.

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Why didn't Hightower send at least one of his number to find/protect Viserys the new heir? Why would he follow an order from a dead prince who never intended to die nor had he conceived of the possibility that KL would be sacked and the rest of his family killed?

 

Can a prince order a Kingsguard to forsake his King? Because that is what you and several others are arguing (and this has happens at least a dozen times in this thread). The answer is emphatically a "no". By not going to his new King or making sure at least one Kingsguard goes to his new King he has forsaken him. Then he boasts about vows? Really? They boast about ensuring Aerys would still sit the throne? Really?

 

 

A prince's order did make three of them forsake their king by staying away from the battle and the sack of KL. 

And Hightower seems a little bit unhappy to be kept away from the king by his dialogue.

How do you know his real feeling? maybe he is not happy with Rhaegar's order but due to his vow to obey the royal order, he had to do it anyway. 

You abandon Lyanna and run to DS immediately, you break your vow. 

You wait for Lyanna to die and take the baby to DS to join viserys after that, you keep both of your vows. 

By your logic, they already broke their vow after the battle of Trident, because they should immediately run to KL to protect their king who is apparently in danger. 

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The King orders a Kingsguard to kill a Lord. He rides of to see the order obeyed. On his journey he catches wind of an assassin is on his way to kill the King. According to your simple interpretation of the great knights of the Kingsguard, this Kingsguard would continue on with his order as if nothing has changed.

 

The king goes hunting with his KG. On this hunt the king gets so drunk that he's reeling in his saddle. A monstrous boar is spotted. The king orders the KG to stand aside and let him take on the boar by himself with a spear. The KG stands aside. The boar guts the king because he mistimed his thrust because he was too drunk. The king then kills the boar himself with a knife with no mention of the KG ever trying to do anything other than obey his order to stand aside and let the king take on the boar. According to reading the books, this is what one of the great knights of the Kingsguard did.

 

The drunken gored king is dying in his bed. He makes a will naming his Hand as Regent and Protector of the Realm. Upon the drunken gored king's death, the Hand orders the KG to a council meeting. The KG protests saying he should be by the drunken gored king's heir's side. The Hand commands him to stay. The KG stays. According to reading the books, this is what one of the great knights of the Kingsguard did.

 

The Lord Commander of the Queensguard is debating about what to do about his absent queen's husband who he believes attempted to murder her. The QG thinks to himself that if his queen had commanded him to protect her husband that he would have no choice but to obey that order even though as her sole QG that would leave her without QG protection. According to reading the books, this is what one of the great knights of the Kingsguard would do.

 

Read the books instead of talking about simple interpretations of Kingsguard vows and making up make belief scenarios. Barristan, the KG in question here, always chooses to obey whatever order he's given over protecting his monarch when that's what was asked of him. Barristan does not actually believe his first duty is to protect the king. He believes it's to obey his king as that's what he always does when he finds himself wondering whether to protect his monarch or obey his monarch. He picks obey.

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A prince's order did make three of them forsake their king by staying away from the battle and the sack of KL. 

And Hightower seems a little bit unhappy to be kept away from the king by his dialogue.

How do you know his real feeling? maybe he is not happy with Rhaegar's order but due to his vow to obey the royal order, he had to do it anyway. 

You abandon Lyanna and run to DS immediately, you break your vow. 

You wait for Lyanna to die and take the baby to DS to join viserys after that, you keep both of your vows. 

By your logic, they already broke their vow after the battle of Trident, because they should immediately run to KL to protect their king who is apparently in danger. 

 

Exactly. Lyanna did not survive much longer. The KG could have been waiting for her to die as that would free them from their vows to guard her and were all set to leave the TOJ when Ned showed up. Which fits with quite a few pieces of the dream better IMO than "Me Kingsguard. Jon King. Kingsguard protect Jon."

 

Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, had a sad smile on his lips.

 

Arthur Dayne is sad to see that this group has shown up. Were they just about to leave and that's why as now they must fight?

 

Ser Oswell Whent was on one knee, sharpening his blade with a whetstone.

 

Oswell Whent is sharpening his sword. Would he really have had time to sharpen his sword if Ned and his men had just rounded the Pass and came within sight, or is it more likely that he was already sharpening his sword before they came in sight? Why would he need his sword sharpened at this particular moment if he didn't yet know he had enemies coming? Perhaps because he was planning to leave and needed it ready for the journey ahead.

 

“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.

 

Wait a minute, Arthur isn't even fully dressed for battle yet, but has all of his armor ready and at hand? How did he know he needed all of his equipment ready? How did any of the KG know that they needed to be wearing their armor at that particular time? Ned and his men were mounted, they wouldn't exactly have gotten a huge warning before they showed up. Or did they all already have it ready because they had been preparing to leave.

 

“We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.

 

Gerold Hightower does not proudly proclaim that he's not letting Ned pass because he's a KG. He sort of shrugs his shoulders and says that he cannot flee as he swore a vow. Gerold is not seeking a fight here. He's being forced into a fight here and is reluctant.

 

 

“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.”

 

Why would Ned at that moment be sad to be fighting these 3 KG? He had no problem fighting Barristan, Darry, and Lewyn at the Trident. He had no problem forcing Jaime to surrender in King's Landing. Why would he have any sadness here for these 3 KG that he has to fight? Or is this his present state of mind putting this sadness into the memory as he now knows that this fight was just a matter of bad timing and that they were planning to leave when he arrived.

 

I find it far more believable given that Lyanna died very soon after the fight that the 3 KG were all set to leave with baby Jon to go to Viserys or whoever in exile, than that they simply had decided to completely abandon Viserys and Rhaella and stake everything on this newborn baby in an effort to continue the war. They were going to leave as soon as Lyanna died. Ned and his men just got their first which forced the fight. GRRM's conflicts of the heart; neither side wanted this fight but got stuck into it because of bad timing and bad orders.

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UL,

 

well, in regards to the dream, I think I have more symbolic interpretation. I think Ned constructs a version of events that (partially) fit with what those men meant for him, what he sees in them, regardless what they actually were. That begins with the ritualistic conversation that is actually sounding as if you have finally cornered an arch-enemy that has eluded you so long. It shows an amount of familiarity the real 20-year-old Eddard Stark would never have had with any of those men unless there is a big secret to be revealed about his past we have no clues about yet (say, that he was great friends with Ser Arthur since Harrenhal).

And it continues with the overall melancholic tone of the scene. Ned isn't angry or anxious to get to Lyanna. He is calm and controlled, whereas the knights are defiant but also sad as if they were already dead, and Ned didn't have to fear anything from them. In the real world, the knights would have had little reason to appear sad or melancholy, especially not if they expected to win the fight (and one really wonders what they would have done then).

 

In that sense, the dream contains Ned's knowledge in hindsight, from the moment whenever he dreamed it the first time - clearly at a point after he found Lyanna and known 'the full story' about all that (if he didn't get it from Lyanna he would have gotten it from Wylla or the Daynes). This is how we make dreams, we don't dream documentaries about events in the past; instead our dreams are formed by our brains in the present, even if they are partially or greatly based on real events.

Reality would have had both sides trying to get the other side to back down and leave. But nothing like that shows up in the dream. Ned would have tried to get the knights to yield and allow, and the knights would have commanded Ned to leave them in peace. One could also speculate whether Ned actually remembers the knights as sad because he a fight ensued before things were settled - a parlay gone wrong, or a parlay that never happened at all. If Ned feels guilty about those deaths, his dream might show events in this eerie setting were doom is inevitable.

 

You cannot pick and choose fragments from such a dream and declare them 'accurate' and others not. Either it is suspect in its entirety - which it is - or it is not. George shows us rather remarkably how much dreams based on real events can differ from what actually happened in TSS - remember, Dunk's dream about the dying horse in the sands of Dorne? We don't get anything like that on the tower dream, but, in combination with George's advice to not take the dream literally, it is a good hint that we just shouldn't do that. And we should especially not use the dream as a source to deduce who knew what (or said what) at this or that point. Ned knew that Viserys and Rhaella were on Dragonstone, Ned knows that Jaime murdered Aerys the way he did, and so, and thus it is no surprised that dream images in Ned's dream tell him stuff he actually knows. They could not possibly give him 'new information'.

 

The whole fleeing thing there is actually open to interpretation. It is not clear what they want to say when they say 'The Kingsguard does not flee.' What does that mean? Why should Dragonstone be equal to flight/escape/cowardice - unless, of course, the dream images know that Ser Willem Darry will eventually flee to Braavos, as Ned does. If you really want to interpret the whole thing on the present situation it could mean 'We do not shy away from our duty' or 'We don't abandon the people we have sworn to protect'. You can do that without dragging a king into all that. Although I think that itself is a weird interpretation regardless what they were thinking they were doing there. If you want to do your duty, just say. If you want to not abandon somebody, name him or her, and don't obscure things with talking about fleeing.

Well, Selmy isn't going to find and protect Daenerys if he just stays in Meereen and lets others search for her, right? If that's okay in her case, then your whole take on the knights 'having to send a knight to Dragonstone' is a straw man (building a hypothetical scenario - if they thought Viserys was king they would definitely have sent someone you can then reject - they didn't sent anyone, thus they didn't thought Viserys was king, which somehow proves that Lyanna's son is) to prove that your interpretation, and you are also using special pleading to do it. Aegon II on Dragonstone and Dany in the Dothraki Sea shows that the Kingsguard as an institution is perfectly fine with not guarding their monarch or trusting that task to somebody else. You can't just run around and say 'Look at me, look at me, I'm the rain god!' or rather: For my theory there are special rules that are not viable for any other scenarios. I define everything the way I want to before hand, and others aren't allowed to do that (e.g. you effectively saying that Hightower couldn't have changed his mind on Aerys because you say so, or you thinking things can't only be this way because that's the only way you can imagine it). If we go that way a discussion gets tedious and is effectively fruitless since there is actually no discussion but just two (or more) people proclaiming the truth as they see it. I try not to do that, but I know I don't always succeed at that.

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The king goes hunting with his KG. On this hunt the king gets so drunk that he's reeling in his saddle. A monstrous boar is spotted. The king orders the KG to stand aside and let him take on the boar by himself with a spear. The KG stands aside. The boar guts the king because he mistimed his thrust because he was too drunk. The king then kills the boar himself with a knife with no mention of the KG ever trying to do anything other than obey his order to stand aside and let the king take on the boar. According to reading the books, this is what one of the great knights of the Kingsguard did.

 

The drunken gored king is dying in his bed. He makes a will naming his Hand as Regent and Protector of the Realm. Upon the drunken gored king's death, the Hand orders the KG to a council meeting. The KG protests saying he should be by the drunken gored king's heir's side. The Hand commands him to stay. The KG stays. According to reading the books, this is what one of the great knights of the Kingsguard did.

 

The Lord Commander of the Queensguard is debating about what to do about his absent queen's husband who he believes attempted to murder her. The QG thinks to himself that if his queen had commanded him to protect her husband that he would have no choice but to obey that order even though as her sole QG that would leave her without QG protection. According to reading the books, this is what one of the great knights of the Kingsguard would do.

 

Read the books instead of talking about simple interpretations of Kingsguard vows and making up make belief scenarios. Barristan, the KG in question here, always chooses to obey whatever order he's given over protecting his monarch when that's what was asked of him. Barristan does not actually believe his first duty is to protect the king. He believes it's to obey his king as that's what he always does when he finds himself wondering whether to protect his monarch or obey his monarch. He picks obey.

 

Again false. The example you give is the King standing immediately next to him. The example I gave is a scenario where the situation has changed since he received his order. So your strawman does nothing for your argument.

 

Your second example (which has been covered in this thread before) doesn't show that no Kingsguard were present with the King at that time. Only that Barristan felt he should be there. He has no reason to think Joffery was in immediate danger, and the situation had not changed between receiving the order and him making that decision. Again a strawman, and false. But please keep peddling out false examples that have little to do with the argument that has been made here.

 

Your last example again fails to connect to this actual discussion. No one has stated that the Kingsguard are not supposed to follow the orders of their King. You argument is that after receiving an order (even from a person who is not the King) they will follow that order to the end without reassessing if the King would have liked them to do differently.

 

For instance had Robert been knocked down, but not gorged and the boar circled around for another pass: you're stating that Barristan would stand back while his King was helpless. This is illogical, and you know it. Which is why you keep resorting to strawmen in order to try and claim your position is valid.

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Again false. The example you give is the King standing immediately next to him. The example I gave is a scenario where the situation has changed since he received his order. So your strawman does nothing for your argument.

 

Your second example (which has been covered in this thread before) doesn't show that no Kingsguard were present with the King at that time. Only that Barristan felt he should be there. He has no reason to think Joffery was in immediate danger, and the situation had not changed between receiving the order and him making that decision. Again a strawman, and false. But please keep peddling out false examples that have little to do with the argument that has been made here.

 

Your last example again fails to connect to this actual discussion. No one has stated that the Kingsguard are not supposed to follow the orders of their King. You argument is that after receiving an order (even from a person who is not the King) they will follow that order to the end without reassessing if the King would have liked them to do differently.

 

For instance had Robert been knocked down, but not gorged and the boar circled around for another pass: you're stating that Barristan would stand back while his King was helpless. This is illogical, and you know it. Which is why you keep resorting to strawmen in order to try and claim your position is valid.

 

My position is valid because these things actually happen in the books. None of your scenarios do. No one can refute a scenario that only occurred in your head because you are the god of that universe and can set all the rules as to what happens in the way that you want them to happen. In GRRM's world where he's god, he's had Barristan (the character in question here, not your make belief KG's who only do what you want them to) always obey.

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On marriage in Martinworld:

 

In all the civilizations we know of it is a matter of religion, as it was in medieval Europe in our world (not in Ancient Rome but we let the Church take that away). Religions usually define their own concepts on their own terms - for instance the ridiculous take of the Catholic Church of their 'marriage concept' as the 'only marriage' concept - excluding things like divorce, bigamy, polygamy, homosexual marriage, etc. Considering that the Faith of the Seven is explicitly based on the Catholic Church George is actually familiar with, it doesn't come as a surprise that his septons aren't very tolerant were 'abhorrent behavior' is concerned. The septons operating on the Iron Islands do not tolerate the Ironborn custom of salt marriage, and try to suppress it. While that didn't work on the Isles, it is quite unlikely that you can settle on the mainland of Westeros as an average Ironborn and bring your harem of salt wives with you, expecting that they are considered to be your lawful wives. And neither can you demand from a septon to officiate at a salt wedding (if you don't have a Priest of the Drowned God available) unless you use force. You can to anything if you can use sufficient force. And so can the Faith.

 

Aegon's incestuous polygamous marriage was grudgingly accepted by the Faith. It was a fact, but it wasn't a septon who officiated at those marriages, and neither did the Faith ever allow or condone this behavior. It was an exception, and it was supposed to remain an exception because this wasn't in accordance with the teachings of the gods how brother and sister and husband and wife should behave. Perhaps Valyria had a civil marriage, perhaps a Valyrian marriage had pretty much nothing to do with any deities. We don't know that. But in Westeros you marry in the ways of the Faith if you want the blessing of the Faith, and the Targaryens - ruling about a lot of Andal kingdoms - want and need that blessing.

 

The Targaryens considered to be above the laws of gods and men, and at least the kings were effectively in such a position (although challenging the High Septon on anything in this time would have been stupidity for any king). It is not their own laws - man's laws, which they, as kings, could change - that forbid incest and polygamy. It is the gods themselves or their interpreters, the septons of the Faith, who read and keep the holy scriptures. A king, however powerful, could not possibly change those laws. He could only proclaim he and his are above them, that they do not apply to him, but he could not change them. In regards to incest the Targaryens successfully remained 'above the law' throughout their reign, but in polygamy they backed down.

 

Does this mean polygamy was officially outlawed by Jaehaerys I?

 

I don't think so since the Faith and the gods never actually condoned it. There was no need to specifically outlaw it. Not to mention that any law the Targaryens may have made for themselves could have been overturned by any later Targaryen king. One assumes that polygamy died with Maegor because it was stupid concept in general, not really a Valyrian tradition (at least not for dragonlords - there were only few precedents for polygamy among them), and did more harm than good where the succession was concerned.

 

Does this mean Rhaegar just could survive the whole concept and hope to get away with it?

 

That depends on the amount of power he had. Considering that Aenys I or the High Septon never gave Maegor special dispensation to take multiple wives one would assume that there is no real precedent for a mere Targaryen prince 'to get away with polygamy'. Only two kings (Aegon and Maegor). It doesn't seem likely that he had Aerys or the High Septon's permission to take Lyanna as a second wife. Does this mean the marriage was invalid from beginning? I/we don't know. That would depend whether the septon officiating did the proper rites. If not then it would be invalid from a technical standpoint just as real world marriages are in which things don't go as they are supposed to. That septon believing or stating that a polygamous marriage is sin and fornication could be enough to make it so - especially if that is official Faith doctrine on marriage, and the Faith refuses to accept the 'I'm above the law' Targaryen clause. But we don't know how Rhaegar and Lyanna married. If they used a heart tree, then no septon would have been present, and their rules wouldn't apply at first glance. However, such a marriage could be challenged on the grounds that a Targaryen prince should (and can only) marry the Andal way. Not to mention that High Septon could always denounce polygamy in general, regardless how the marriage came to be. And we also don't know how the view on the First Men on polygamy is right now. Considering that they lack priests but have a religious marriage ceremony, too, they might actually not really know whether that's allowed or not (but I think it is not allowed considering that no one in the North actually practices polygamy - which would be the case, one assumes, if it was allowed). If Aerys would proclaim this whole thing treason as well, the marriage would be finished - unless Rhaegar is strong enough to depose Aerys and the High Septon, installs a new one who shares his view, and becomes king himself.

 

The religious nature of marriages makes it difficult to speak in terms of 'valid' or 'invalid' marriages in worldly terms. It would be up to the septons to make the rules on that matter, not the kings and lords. They can get exceptions and all, but just because they are powerful, not because they actually rule the religious sphere.

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Rhaegar should have lived in a more oriental culture. 

Their kings and even princes can have a whole harem with numerous wives and all of his children would be legit and nobody is bastard. 

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It is culturally unacceptable. As is incest. Targaryens practiced both, the rest of Westeros really did not (there are exceptions). There is no indication of any laws from the Royal family that prohibit this practice. There is no indication that any laws from the royal family actually matter in regards to the royal family. Now you have to ask why the Targaryens would pass a law for an activity that only they themselves practice?
 
The reality is that polygamy makes inheritance a nightmare and the Targaryens learned that rather quickly. It's a practice that they no longer follow. It doesn't mean they out lawed it. It also doesn't mean that the Kingsguard would not know of the precedent of it (which I'm sure Rhaegar would have reminded them of).


There is a clear indication that there is a law against polygamy, as cited from Alayne's chapter.

Why would Targaryens pass a law against something only they themselves practice? To appease the Faith after the militant uprising. To restrict the dilution of their bloodlines, just as keeping the bloodline pure is the perceived wisdom behind the practice of incest. Or as you yourself suggest, to keep matters of inheritance from becoming a nightmare, as they quickly learned.

Because Jaime told us he was like that?


 
It was in their dialogue and the description of those characters. Can Martin do a 180 on Hightower? Sure he can. But the whole dream sequence makes no sense neither does his descriptions of Hightower.
 
Why didn't Hightower send at least one of his number to find/protect Viserys the new heir? Why would he follow an order from a dead prince who never intended to die nor had he conceived of the possibility that KL would be sacked and the rest of his family killed?
 
Can a prince order a Kingsguard to forsake his King? Because that is what you and several others are arguing (and this has happens at least a dozen times in this thread). The answer is emphatically a "no". By not going to his new King or making sure at least one Kingsguard goes to his new King he has forsaken him. Then he boasts about vows? Really? They boast about ensuring Aerys would still sit the throne? Really?
 
These are single data points. There are multiple factors that when all of them are taken into consideration there leaves only one likely outcome: Hightower believes there is a King at the TOJ. Whether or not he is wrong is irrelevant. His actions and based on what we know of his character that is the only logical conclusion of that situation.


So we're told Hightower is an honourable and loyal guy. A better man than Jaime, according to Jaime himself. But let's examine that statement because I think Jaime's being a bit hard on himself. Jamie killed the king he was sworn to protect so that KL would not burn. Ser Gerold watches a father and son get murdered in a most cruel fashion, and does nothing except tell Jaime to do his duty. And Hightower is the better man? No, the way I see it, there would be no 180 required because GRRM paints in grey, not black and white.

I agree with you that a prince cannot order a KG to forsake his king. But then we must ask why Hightower did he not return to KL with Rhaegar, as his king might have expected? And how did he know where to find Rhaegar when it seems Aerys did not? I think it's all easily explained if Hightower is Rhaegar's man, which means he had to forsake his vows, and he might have even regretted that when Rhaegar's cause came to nothing.

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UL,
 
well, in regards to the dream, I think I have more symbolic interpretation. I think Ned constructs a version of events that (partially) fit with what those men meant for him, what he sees in them, regardless what they actually were. That begins with the ritualistic conversation that is actually sounding as if you have finally cornered an arch-enemy that has eluded you so long. It shows an amount of familiarity the real 20-year-old Eddard Stark would never have had with any of those men unless there is a big secret to be revealed about his past we have no clues about yet (say, that he was great friends with Ser Arthur since Harrenhal).
And it continues with the overall melancholic tone of the scene. Ned isn't angry or anxious to get to Lyanna. He is calm and controlled, whereas the knights are defiant but also sad as if they were already dead, and Ned didn't have to fear anything from them. In the real world, the knights would have had little reason to appear sad or melancholy, especially not if they expected to win the fight (and one really wonders what they would have done then).
 
In that sense, the dream contains Ned's knowledge in hindsight, from the moment whenever he dreamed it the first time - clearly at a point after he found Lyanna and known 'the full story' about all that (if he didn't get it from Lyanna he would have gotten it from Wylla or the Daynes). This is how we make dreams, we don't dream documentaries about events in the past; instead our dreams are formed by our brains in the present, even if they are partially or greatly based on real events.
Reality would have had both sides trying to get the other side to back down and leave. But nothing like that shows up in the dream. Ned would have tried to get the knights to yield and allow, and the knights would have commanded Ned to leave them in peace. One could also speculate whether Ned actually remembers the knights as sad because he a fight ensued before things were settled - a parlay gone wrong, or a parlay that never happened at all. If Ned feels guilty about those deaths, his dream might show events in this eerie setting were doom is inevitable.
 
You cannot pick and choose fragments from such a dream and declare them 'accurate' and others not. Either it is suspect in its entirety - which it is - or it is not. George shows us rather remarkably how much dreams based on real events can differ from what actually happened in TSS - remember, Dunk's dream about the dying horse in the sands of Dorne? We don't get anything like that on the tower dream, but, in combination with George's advice to not take the dream literally, it is a good hint that we just shouldn't do that. And we should especially not use the dream as a source to deduce who knew what (or said what) at this or that point. Ned knew that Viserys and Rhaella were on Dragonstone, Ned knows that Jaime murdered Aerys the way he did, and so, and thus it is no surprised that dream images in Ned's dream tell him stuff he actually knows. They could not possibly give him 'new information'.
 
The whole fleeing thing there is actually open to interpretation. It is not clear what they want to say when they say 'The Kingsguard does not flee.' What does that mean? Why should Dragonstone be equal to flight/escape/cowardice - unless, of course, the dream images know that Ser Willem Darry will eventually flee to Braavos, as Ned does. If you really want to interpret the whole thing on the present situation it could mean 'We do not shy away from our duty' or 'We don't abandon the people we have sworn to protect'. You can do that without dragging a king into all that. Although I think that itself is a weird interpretation regardless what they were thinking they were doing there. If you want to do your duty, just say. If you want to not abandon somebody, name him or her, and don't obscure things with talking about fleeing.
Well, Selmy isn't going to find and protect Daenerys if he just stays in Meereen and lets others search for her, right? If that's okay in her case, then your whole take on the knights 'having to send a knight to Dragonstone' is a straw man (building a hypothetical scenario - if they thought Viserys was king they would definitely have sent someone you can then reject - they didn't sent anyone, thus they didn't thought Viserys was king, which somehow proves that Lyanna's son is) to prove that your interpretation, and you are also using special pleading to do it. Aegon II on Dragonstone and Dany in the Dothraki Sea shows that the Kingsguard as an institution is perfectly fine with not guarding their monarch or trusting that task to somebody else. You can't just run around and say 'Look at me, look at me, I'm the rain god!' or rather: For my theory there are special rules that are not viable for any other scenarios. I define everything the way I want to before hand, and others aren't allowed to do that (e.g. you effectively saying that Hightower couldn't have changed his mind on Aerys because you say so, or you thinking things can't only be this way because that's the only way you can imagine it). If we go that way a discussion gets tedious and is effectively fruitless since there is actually no discussion but just two (or more) people proclaiming the truth as they see it. I try not to do that, but I know I don't always succeed at that.

Do you think in reality, Ned rode in, caught them unawares and straight up slaughtered them?
I've often thought for all the excuses made as to how Ned and Reed accomplished this, Ned and Reed were actually good warriors as it seems Ned is actually the strategic, military mind in the Rebellion.

A side question, did Torrens bastard brother know of a way to kill Aegons dragons?

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If the president's last will or death order is to keep protecting his GF, then his special forces had to obey it. 

Don't make me laugh. Do you really believe that they would leave the current head of the state unprotected? (Unless, of course, it was in their capacity to split forces and do both, which is what the KG might have done but didn't)
 

And how do you know they are not planning to take the GF after she can move and then join the vice president and protect all of them in the future?

Except that our special forces in question state that they don't feel compelled to and that a non-special forces guy will do.

 

By your logic, they already broke their vow after the battle of Trident, because they should immediately run to KL to protect their king who is apparently in danger. 

They possessed neither crystal balls nor teleports, so this is a moot point.

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