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Sunandspear

Would you prefer if Rhaegar won?

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 Lyanna's also the daughter of a LP herself, which is super significant. Not sure that they'd seen anything like these marriages between regions happening before in their contemporary history. 

I don't think this happened, but one cynical way of interpreting R+L is that the prince decided at Harrenhal that he was going to impose himself upon the neat little anti-Targaryen marital alliance happening between FOUR regions (and five had Jamie + Lysa worked out after all).

:rolleyes: It's been a couple of months since I've been on these boards. I see that we're still collectively engaged in all kinds of hyperbole where Rhaegar Targaryen is concerned...

True, Lyanna is a strong link to bind Tully, Stark and Baratheon together. If Ned is a girl, then probably Ned will be this link. (Robert will happily marry Ned, I guess)

The friendship between Ned and Robert is not enough to build this alliance, it had to be marriage bonding then the blood bonding. 

Can you imagine Daenyres eloped and remained hidden with Daemon Blackfyre before marring to Prince of Dorne?

I bet they were also in love, not less than Lyanna's precious love. 

For North and Stromland and house tully and house Arryn, yes, Lyanna is similarly important as Daenyres. Her union would bind everything together. She enjoyed all the benefits as a spoiled "princess" of the north (crying proudly "this is our bannerman" for Howland reed, the heir of the grey watch) but when she needs to take responsibility for it and give people peace as well as the ability to fight the mad king, she yelled for true love and eloped and brought doom to the whole westeros. 

Is this a heroic action? 

 

 

 

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 It ended a war (or at least a sub-set of a war) with (relatively speaking) minimal bloodshed.

So I, personally would support it if Walder had done it for the purpose of restoring peace to the realm. However Walder did not do what he did because of any conflicting loyalties between Robb or Joffrey, nor did he do it to restore peace.

He did because of a hurt sense of pride and as a bid for power.

So it's not quite the same as Jon Con actually openly choosing not to participate in Robert's Rebellion (as justified as Robert's Rebellion was).

Who said that JonCon did it for the Realm and peace? 

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2 minutes ago, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

NAH . If Rhaegar had won the only difference would be Eddard would be dead , Rhaegar would be married to Cercei .

Why would Rhaegar have married Cersei? 

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1 hour ago, The Wolves said:

Why would Rhaegar have married Cersei? 

Do you really think Tywin is going to help Rhaegar out of the goodness of his heart ?

1. Lyanna is dead

2 Elia will soon be dead . Either by another childbirth or Tywin going to give her a push .

3Cercei is the only unmarried daughter of a great lord .

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1 hour ago, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

Do you really think Tywin is going to help Rhaegar out of the goodness of his heart ?

1. Lyanna is dead

2 Elia will soon be dead . Either by another childbirth or Tywin going to give her a push .

3Cercei is the only unmarried daughter of a great lord .

No he's going to do it to be on the winning side.

1) Maybe and maybe not.

2) Probably won't have more kids and Tywin can't pull what he did in RR.

3) Tywin played a big role at the end of the Rebellion and was rewarded justly. He will have done nothing to warren it this time.

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39 minutes ago, Wolfgirly said:

Yes Rhaegar should've won. If he had there wouldn't be a story.

There would have been a different story. A very different story.

And the dragons? Would we have the dragons?

 

 

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i personally believe that rhaegar would have been a better king. how much better, i dont know. he was a targaryen, so its a toss up. hell i found a quote, outside of cannon that i think might actually describe him pretty well: As Jaehaerys the Second liked to say, whenever a Targaryen is born, the Gods toss a coin, and it lands either on true greatness or madness. Rhaegar, I think, is the only one I have ever known of whose coin might have landed on the edge and stayed there. He had both."

now, i think that he might  have been a bit more attentive to the administration side of being a king, which robert flatly ignored. but we would also need to look at what his choices of small council would be. would he have chosen lickspittles, or men of competence. he was also a man raised to be a king, even if his own father was so paranoid that he would have had rhaegar killed as soon as he had heard of any rumor that rhaegar would depose him.

and how he would have treated the lords who had rebelled against him. he isnt aerys, its unlikely he would have had them executed. and at least ned had the truest cause to rebel out of all of them. would he have forgiven arryn, stannis, hoster, and ned. ned, i think likely. arryn, a maybe. hoster, he might have had removed, and a regent set up for edmure, i dont know about him, there isnt much to describe his character during the days of the RR, save that he would only ally with arryn, ned, and robert after arryn and ned married his daughters. so im not sure how the realm view hoster tully in general.

with the martells, he would have had to make some serious reparations to them in apology for the insult to elia. but im not so sure about how elia would have reacted, assuming she lived, remember, the dornish take a different view of extramarital romances and the "consequences" (bastards) of those romances. would she have been like cat, all offended and hostile to jon? would she have pulled a cersei and had him killed as a threat to her children's claim? or would she have seen an infant, whose mother had died, who was blood to her own children, and who was, itself, innocent of the crimes of the parents? i would lean to the third. now rhaegar might have been on the distant side to his children, maybe from his prophecy obsession, and how jon wasnt the visenya he wanted. but he has his three children, and i doubt the martells would settle for having her set aside.

how to address the possible jon/aegon rivalry, maybe he makes nice with ned, and ned offers to raise jon, his sisters son, at winterfell, maybe aegon and jon get fostered out for a few years before they come of age, spend sometime traveling amongst the great house and learning the realm. maybe he fosters them to a lord he knows will raise them to not emulate some of their more dangerously ambitious ancestors. i just dont think it would be in jon's innate character to try and challenge his sibling for the throne. look at how he was with robb. now, some of that likely is because of ned's teachings going home in jon, but i think a lot might be part of the basic Starkness in his blood, and if there is one thing the starks value above honor, its family.

and i do think rhaegar would been more attentive to the realm, when he wasnt in the grip of obession, whiel robert didnt seem to care what happened outside the walls of the red keep unless it involved a fight.

and for those who keep bringing up the rhaegar did something bad once, and use that as evidence of unsuitability, then show how his mistakes would have affected his rule, if he became king. dont just shove evidence under our noses and scream "SEE! SEE!". take your evidence and give us a hypothesis of what his actions would be based on it. i can turn right around and shove robert's failings in your faces and shout "SEE! SEE!" and have even more validity, cause we have seen what his past has applied his rule, he slepted around and left at least 2 bastards, before lyanna was even missing, his daughter in the vale, and gendry, is acknowledged the eldest of his children, and he kept right on doing after he married cersei. he did not show any sign of change from his behavior in his youth. he disdain the administration of the kingdom, and left it to arryn, and the kingdom went bankrupt in what, 15-16 years? after aeyrs left hefty amount of gold in the treasury? and those are neds own word from the first book, not mine. rhaegar did fuck up, the quest is, would he have kept doing the same thing if he became king? would his behavior have continued? maybe he made up with elia, maybe they estranged and she went back to dorne with her kinds, i dont know enough about her character, first hand information, to judge how she would have reacted. hell, that dornish in her leads to her telling rhaegar that he should brought lyanna home so elia could have fun too. after seeing oberyn, its possible.

but if you want to just tell us that because he ran off with lyanna thus a bad king, then take that evidence, and show us how you think it would have impacted rhaegar as king.

 

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On Invalid Date at 6:32 PM, Sunandspear said:

Rhaegar's victory would probably be better for the realm, as I believe he'd be a more capable king than Robert and he'd keep Littlefinger and Varys and maybe even Tywin away from (too much) power. So if I lived in Westeros, I'd want Rhaegar to win. But the story we'd have wouldn't be as exciting as it is now. There probably wouldn't be a a war of the 5 kings, Jon wouldn't go to the Wall, Dany wouldn't be an important character and there wouldn't be any dragons. So as a reader I like it the way it is.

What about you?

Don't you find it strange, that the mad king had never threatened Tywin in the same way he did with the Martells (ie Elia)? This guy, suffered from severe paranioa and yet, he kept Tywin's only son at a sword's arm away and when Tywin came to KL he opened the gate. Why would he do that? I think that Tywin and Aerys had a good deal cooked which meant that neither Rhaegar nor Robert were meant to rule. Tywin would have crushed Rhaegar's depleted forces at the Trident and then return to KL as victor/hand of the king with Cersei marrying the new crown prince Viserys Targeryan. Its such a shame that the winner happened to be such a charismatic guy who was able to turn enemies into friends after a drink at the pub. Rhaegar's and Robert's joint depleted armies were enough to force Tywin to change plans.

But lets assume that Rhaegar won and that Tywin didn't betrayed him. What type of king would he be? The guy was remembered fondly by many people including Selmy. There again, Aerys madness kickstarted at a latter stage of his life when he became king. So what can we say about Rhaegar?

-He humiliates his wife at the tourney of Harrenhal, by crowning Lyanna as queen of beauty. Elia nearly died while giving birth to Rhaegar's children. She deserves better treatment than that.

- He flees with Lyanna (or kidnaps her) despite being promised to his own cousin + is Rickard Stark's daughter. These two people can easily raise an army to be feared

- Instead of giving explanation of his actions to Lyanna's father and protector he hides at the tower of joy.

- He strips his family from KG protection, leaving them easy prey to people like Gregor Clegane. His wife is used as a pawn by Aerys in his plan to force Dorne into war. FFS even Aerys treated his dragon whelps better by allowing them to stay on dragonstone with easy access to Essos if needed.

- While Westeros is in flames for a war he caused, Rhaegar is busy pollinating Lyanna at the tower of joy.  Meanwhile His best mate, Connington is stripped from the HOTK title for not being an arse. Rhaegar does nothing about it.

- At the battle of the trident he confronted a more battle hardened and angry Robert into a duel which of course he lost. The former was busy doing ‘trivial things’ like leading his men into battle so the result came with no surpise.

 

So no, there’s nothing to suggest that Rhaegar was going to be a better king.

 

 

 

 

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Well, its really hard to tell, from what I see I don't see him as being a good king. I just can't wrap my head on why he would run away with Lyanna before acting on his father.  He arranged Harenhall to get allies (supposedly) but then decided to make Baratheons and Martells (who would have probably supported him) weary of him.   I don't think they were really good political moves. I guess he was in love, but that could have waited. 

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On 12/2/2015 at 1:32 PM, Sunandspear said:

Rhaegar's victory would probably be better for the realm, as I believe he'd be a more capable king than Robert and he'd keep Littlefinger and Varys and maybe even Tywin away from (too much) power. So if I lived in Westeros, I'd want Rhaegar to win. But the story we'd have wouldn't be as exciting as it is now. There probably wouldn't be a a war of the 5 kings, Jon wouldn't go to the Wall, Dany wouldn't be an important character and there wouldn't be any dragons. So as a reader I like it the way it is.

What about you?

Rhaegar gave in to the feelings in his loins instead of deciding for the benefit of the kingdom.  I don't believe he would have made a good king. He was remembered fondly but there was no excuse to humiliate his wife at Harrenhal like that.  A grown man with wife and children should not chase after another man's betrothed to satisfy his heart.   He may handle some things better than Robert but other matters not so much.  Robert had more women but Rhaegar had one outside of marriage.  Neither men are all that admirable if you think about it.  Rhaegar's feelings for Lyanna got a lot of people killed for no better reason than they wanted to be together.

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On 10/12/2015 at 5:37 PM, purple-eyes said:

that was love marriage. My iPad automatically adjusted that and I had a problem to fix it because the window can not show everything. 

But anyway, about the job, surely you can quit and move to a job you like. Just like rhaegar can certainly try to set aside his wife and then do whatever with lyanna. Then this is morally correct. 

But if you are in the job, even you hate this job, you should not secretly work for another company. Which is like the cheating within marriage.

Yeah, this job=marriage analogy doesn't work because you're, once again, framing arranged marriages as a choice. So it wouldn't be a job, it'd be more like serfdom. I don't know what infidelity would be in that scenario, though, so the analogy falls apart there.

On 10/12/2015 at 5:37 PM, purple-eyes said:

To be able to fulfil this function in Middle Ages, marriage is like a strong contract. Thus needs faithfulness and responsibility. So those who cheated were thought as improper, because it damages the basis of marriage bonding, hurt the benefits of both sides and cause instability. 

What you said, it is your natural right to cheat during an arranged marriage, is not correct for that time. Robert was called whoremonger king. Aegon was called unworthy.   Their behavior was disliked although they were certainly in arranged loveless marriage. Why did ned feel ashamed by having bastard at home? He had an arranged marriage for sure. Why was cersei punished for her affairs even after Robert died? Why Aerys did a shame walk and swore to be faithful to his loveless wife? 

You may feel it is totally fine to cheat if in an arranged marriage, but people in westeros certainly disagree with you. That is how marriage worked in that time. 

I didn't say anybody had "natural right" to cheat, I said it's understandable in an arranged marriage.

Yes, extramarital activity was frowned upon, both irl history and in most of Westeros, but this is because of religion and law (which is influenced by religion). Hence why Cersei and Catelyn both say they didn't care that their husband had affairs, only that they did it so publicly. And if you look at the Dornish, who have specific laws or customs that deal with inheritance where bastards are concerned, taking paramours is not considered morality wrong. So all you've managed to show is that fidelity is/was the norm. You've yet to make an argument for why infidelity is morally wrong in a marriage of convenience.

On 11/12/2015 at 0:40 AM, Anath said:

I don't really get the big problem with cheating. I see only one problem: that men could do it openly and women might get the walk of shame. But that's just how it is. Elia would have to suck it if that was the only thing Rhaegar did.

However, I see a huge problem with how Rhaegar the Great went with it. Did he really need to humiliate his wife at Harrehnall because poor dear was soooo deserving of a little respite in a life of "miserable dutifulness"?

You won't get any arguments from me on that front. Crowning Lyanna TQOLAB for whatever reason was really disrespectful to Elia. I just don't think one act of dickishness warrants the level of hate he gets. I also don't agree with the sentiment that you shouldn't ever complain about anything if you have it better than most people.

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23 hours ago, Prof. Cecily said:

There would have been a different story. A very different story.

And the dragons? Would we have the dragons?

 

 

No, the dragon eggs wouldn't have been given to Daenerys as its unlikly she would've ended up wedded to Khal Drogo. The eggs would've been wandering around in someone's basket. Unhatched.

If Rhaegar won, think on this, would the Stark children have been born?

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3 minutes ago, Wolfgirly said:

No, the dragon eggs wouldn't have been given to Daenerys as its unlikly she would've ended up wedded to Khal Drogo. The eggs would've been wandering around in someone's basket. Unhatched.

If Rhaegar won, think on this, would the Stark children have been born?

It's true Daenerys wouldn't have wed Khal Drogo. Yet she would have wedded someone (Viserys?)

So Illyrio could have given the eggs to her as a wedding prezzie.

Or to Rhaegar.

So many possiblilities!

Quote

If Rhaegar won, think on this, would the Stark children have been born?

Robb, certainly. Well, as certainly as any pregnancy can be. Catelyn is pregnant at the time of the Battle of the Trident, IIRC.

Still, a victorious Aerys doesn't bear thinking of. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Wolfgirly said:

No, the dragon eggs wouldn't have been given to Daenerys as its unlikly she would've ended up wedded to Khal Drogo. The eggs would've been wandering around in someone's basket. Unhatched.

If Rhaegar won, think on this, would the Stark children have been born?

Dany could have still gotten the dragon eggs. Think about it that the Targs/Rhaegar would still be kings so someone would have likely presented them the dragon eggs. I honestly think it would have been more than three eggs. 

And I definitely think the Stark children would have been born. Rhaegar would not have killed Lyanna's brother or killed anymore Starks. I definitely think that Rhaegar would have pardoned the rebels because he would have understood why they rebelled.  

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9 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

Yeah, this job=marriage analogy doesn't work because you're, once again, framing arranged marriages as a choice. So it wouldn't be a job, it'd be more like serfdom. I don't know what infidelity would be in that scenario, though, so the analogy falls apart there.

I didn't say anybody had "natural right" to cheat, I said it's understandable in an arranged marriage.

Yes, extramarital activity was frowned upon, both irl history and in most of Westeros, but this is because of religion and law (which is influenced by religion). Hence why Cersei and Catelyn both say they didn't care that their husband had affairs, only that they did it so publicly. And if you look at the Dornish, who have specific laws or customs that deal with inheritance where bastards are concerned, taking paramours is not considered morality wrong. So all you've managed to show is that fidelity is/was the norm. You've yet to make an argument for why infidelity is morally wrong in a marriage of convenience.

Have you met people that have arranged marriages?  Cheating is frowned upon by them, and usually they don't cheat even if they don't love their spouse. Even though Cersei and Catelyn would accept it, doesn't mean they are fine with it. It's still considered to be morally wrong, but people accept it like some individuals do in irl when they with a spouse that cheats. 

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17 hours ago, Crona said:

Have you met people that have arranged marriages?  Cheating is frowned upon by them, and usually they don't cheat even if they don't love their spouse. Even though Cersei and Catelyn would accept it, doesn't mean they are fine with it. It's still considered to be morally wrong, but people accept it like some individuals do in irl when they with a spouse that cheats. 

its considered morally wrong to us, not necessarily to them. most middle age cultures practiced infidelity. yes it was frowned on, yes it was amoral in the eyes of religion, but socially? acceptable with discretion. indeed, i would not be surprised if Ned, Arryn and stannis were more of the exception rather than the norm. most of the lords likely screwed on their wives, with these arranged marriages, but they kept their bastards out of sight, along with their whores or who ever they had an affair with. if you want to say that rhaegar, with his one infidelity was a horrible person, then you had better be prepared to accept that this makes robert the very spawn of satan if thats how you judge your kings. its was socially accepted, if not liked. and remember that most of the lords of westeros are not ned stark. they are not honor bound men who see unfaithfulness as wrong, but as their right to find their enjoyments where they can. many times these arranged marriage were as bothersome for the women as they were the men, since the women had almost no say in who they got to marry. case in point, lysa arryn. true, you may find the star struck young lovers out there who were quite happy with the marriage, but that likely was not what normally happened. most of them likely did their duty only until such time as an heir was born, then they probably sought enjoyments else where.

so saying that because rhaegar cheated on elia once would make him a bad king holds absolutely no water. not in westeros, and not in our own european history. especially if that is all you have as proof of his power decision skills.

 and for those who cry that he should have done something about aerys far earlier, remember this. aerys was a frighteningly paranoid sonofabitch. he was as paranoid about rhaegar as he was about anyone else. and rhaegar lived in the red keep with him. now imagine that your father is bat shit crazy, burning people alive on pure whim for the mildest of crimes. that he rapes your mother everytime he executes someone. of course you want to depose him, but how? he has a highly competent spy master watching you every move. and if he found so much as one shred of proof to link you to any plot against the crazy king, he would scurry straight away to the throne, whisper in the monarchs ear, and you would be roasting your chesnuts the hard way by sundown. so yes, rhaegar would have to been very, very careful, not only about what he did, but about what he even said where ears, public or hidden, could hear. even when rhaegar goes into the city, or out to meet with other lords, he has to be very aware of the fact that varys would have eyes on him. we have seen how wide spread his information network was in the present. there is a reason he kept his post after the RR, show he was so competent at his job that robert couldnt afford to get rid of him. can you imagine trying to forment a rebellion against aerys under those kind of conditions? rhaegar was just as liable to get himself killed by aerys on whim as anyone else, especially after viserys was born, cause at that point, he became expendable. so rhaegar had to play it very softly, very quietly, and very subtly. and those kinds of plans simply cant be rushed if you want them to succeed. indeed, what s to say that rhaegar hadnt tried several times before to build quiet rebellion against his father, only for varys to discover the edges of it, and rhaegar had to close it up before he was ready, else aerys would have him killed for treason.

im not saying he was right to take lyanna. im not. but im also not saying that this one act alone is reason to declare him unfit.  

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5 hours ago, Graydon Hicks said:
Spoiler

 

its considered morally wrong to us, not necessarily to them. most middle age cultures practiced infidelity. yes it was frowned on, yes it was amoral in the eyes of religion, but socially? acceptable with discretion. indeed, i would not be surprised if Ned, Arryn and stannis were more of the exception rather than the norm. most of the lords likely screwed on their wives, with these arranged marriages, but they kept their bastards out of sight, along with their whores or who ever they had an affair with. if you want to say that rhaegar, with his one infidelity was a horrible person, then you had better be prepared to accept that this makes robert the very spawn of satan if thats how you judge your kings. its was socially accepted, if not liked. and remember that most of the lords of westeros are not ned stark. they are not honor bound men who see unfaithfulness as wrong, but as their right to find their enjoyments where they can. many times these arranged marriage were as bothersome for the women as they were the men, since the women had almost no say in who they got to marry. case in point, lysa arryn. true, you may find the star struck young lovers out there who were quite happy with the marriage, but that likely was not what normally happened. most of them likely did their duty only until such time as an heir was born, then they probably sought enjoyments else where.

so saying that because rhaegar cheated on elia once would make him a bad king holds absolutely no water. not in westeros, and not in our own european history. especially if that is all you have as proof of his power decision skills.

 

 and for those who cry that he should have done something about aerys far earlier, remember this. aerys was a frighteningly paranoid sonofabitch. he was as paranoid about rhaegar as he was about anyone else. and rhaegar lived in the red keep with him.

Spoiler

 

now imagine that your father is bat shit crazy, burning people alive on pure whim for the mildest of crimes. that he rapes your mother everytime he executes someone. of course you want to depose him, but how? he has a highly competent spy master watching you every move. and if he found so much as one shred of proof to link you to any plot against the crazy king, he would scurry straight away to the throne, whisper in the monarchs ear, and you would be roasting your chesnuts the hard way by sundown. so yes, rhaegar would have to been very, very careful, not only about what he did, but about what he even said where ears, public or hidden, could hear. even when rhaegar goes into the city, or out to meet with other lords, he has to be very aware of the fact that varys would have eyes on him. we have seen how wide spread his information network was in the present. there is a reason he kept his post after the RR, show he was so competent at his job that robert couldnt afford to get rid of him. can you imagine trying to forment a rebellion against aerys under those kind of conditions? rhaegar was just as liable to get himself killed by aerys on whim as anyone else, especially after viserys was born, cause at that point, he became expendable. so rhaegar had to play it very softly, very quietly, and very subtly. and those kinds of plans simply cant be rushed if you want them to succeed. indeed, what s to say that rhaegar hadnt tried several times before to build quiet rebellion against his father, only for varys to discover the edges of it, and rhaegar had to close it up before he was ready, else aerys would have him killed for treason.

im not saying he was right to take lyanna. im not. but im also not saying that this one act alone is reason to declare him unfit.  

 

 

Is there a text that supports the idea Rhaegar lived in the Red Keep?

I could be wrong, but I thought that as Prince of Dragonstone, he and his Dornish princess held court at Dragonstone.

Quote

 Rhaegar married the Dornish princess Elia Martell in a lavish ceremony. His father did not attend the wedding because he was paranoid about an assassination attempt and did not permit the young Prince Viserys to attend. Rhaegar and his father's relationship was straining at this point, and he and his new bride took up residence on Dragonstone instead of King's Landing. Rhaegar and Elia had their first child, a girl named Rhaenys,[5] in 280 AC. When the babe was presented at court, Rhaegar's mother, Rhaella, embraced her grandchild warmly while King Aerys remarked "she smells Dornish". The relationship between Aerys and Rhaegar became more and more estranged.[21]

Elia and Rhaegar had a son they named Aegon. Elia, due to her delicate health, was bed-ridden for half a year after giving birth to Rhaenys and nearly died giving birth to Aegon, after which the maesters told Rhaegar she would be unable to have any more children.[18]

Maester Aemon, whom Rhaegar corresponded with via raven messages, remembers that Rhaegar believed his child Aegon to be the prince that was promised.[16]

When Lord Tywin resigned his position as Hand of the King and left court, the new focus of King Aerys's mistrust and paranoia was his own son and heir, Prince Rhaegar. At court, there was growing tension between factions loyal to the king and to the prince. Grand Maester Pycelle dispatched a letter to the Citadel, writing that tensions and division at court strongly resembled those before the Dance of the Dragons. Pycelle was fearful a civil war would break out unless some accord could be reached that would satisfy both factions.[24]

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Rhaegar_Targaryen

While factions in KL are mentioned, it's never said Rhaegar was present.

Just his, in retrospect, stupid 'supporters'.

I wonder who encouraged  them to provoke an obsessively ruler's mistrust towards Rhaegar.

Edited by Prof. Cecily

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ok, good point, but doesnt mean my arguement about aerys paranoia concerning rhaegar is invalid, nor the quality of varys's spies, or his skill as master of whispers. it was varys who tipped off aerys to rhaegar's plan to gather the nobles at harrenhal under guise of a tourney. and dragonstone, while rhaegar's seat, is not the absolute fortress, at least when it comes to targaryens fighting each other. its so small, the isle, and has a small standing military, compared to what aerys could call from the crownlands on quick notice. and if rhaegar remained at dragonstone, then he would be unable to call up a coalition to help him remove his father. thats not the kind of thing that can be carried out by raven. for one, if a lord decided to betray rhaegar in exchange for favors from the throne, he would have this very handy letter to provide as evidence. no, it would have been the kind of thing rhaegar would have sought to carry out in person if he had any real expectation for success. so likely he spent quite some time on the mainland, trying to build the support he needed while elia remained at dragonstone. she likely stayed there unless summoned by royal command by aerys, or need to appear at rhaegars side for certain situations like prominent tourneys, or summons by the king, or weddings, things of that kind of importance. 

 but my point is just because rhaegar's court was at dragonstone, doesnt mean he spent all his time there. he might not have been at the Red Keep, but that doesnt mean his presence wasnt felt in the rest of the realm.

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