Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ygrain

R+L=J v.162

Recommended Posts

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That wouldn't have been good information on the events of the Sack. Nor Dornishman fleeing KL would have gotten away from the Red Keep after seeing the corpses of Elia and the children. And only then could he have delivered (reasonably good) news to actually establish the death of the (alleged) promised prince.

The idea that anyone in the Red Keep got out of the city and in time to the Prince's Pass is also a stretch. The city was full of Lannisters and anybody in the castle long enough to learn about the murder of Elia and the children (Maegor's Holdfast would have fallen last) would most likely have been either captured or killed.

Weeks later people would write letters to Doran and other Dornish lords to inform them what had transpired. But not mere days after the Sack.

I didn't comment on the naming debate because there seems a lot of discussion between the two of you that I would have to weigh in on, and I thought better of trying to disrupt the discussion.

My only comment was on the timing of news, and it is clear there is more than enough time for the news of the sack to reach the Prince's Pass. While we don't know exactly the time difference between Elia's death and the deaths of her children and the time of the coronation in which their bodies are displayed (and Ned leaves the city) we do know Robert was injured and could not travel with Ned's vanguard, so there may be a time difference of a few days or a week or so between the two events. How tightly the news of their deaths is held is certainly a question, but it shouldn't be assumed that no word could get out. The court is riven with factions and each has its spy network. That certainly includes the Dornish and Rhaegar's partisans. By the time of the Coronation this is open news. We have Thoros of Myr reporting he saw the bodies of Elia and her children, so this wasn't a strictly controlled event to keep secrecy. 

Even if we assume the news doesn't get out until the coronation, then we have only to consider the fact Ned travels with an army (a slow process compared to a raven or a rider) and that Ned goes by way of Storm's End instead of straight to the Prince's Pass. There is likely weeks difference in the arrival of the news and the arrival of Ned. It is very likely the people at the tower know of the news before Ned gets there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, SFDanny said:

I didn't comment on the naming debate because there seems a lot of discussion between the two of you that I would have to weigh in on, and I thought better of trying to disrupt the discussion.

Sure, I just mentioned that because I felt that the news reaching the tower or not did not weigh in heavily on that debate because of the reasons I gave above.

1 minute ago, SFDanny said:

My only comment was on the timing of news, and it is clear there is more than enough time for the news of the sack to reach the Prince's Pass. While we don't know exactly the time difference between Elia's death and the deaths of her children and the time of the coronation in which their bodies are displayed (and Ned leaves the city) we do know Robert was injured and could not travel with Ned's vanguard, so there may be a time difference of a few days or a week or so between the two events.

I'd not consider whatever occurred when the bodies were presented a coronation. Rather some sort of formal proclamation of the new king, similar to the kind of ceremony Aegon had after he had won his first battles. The idea that Robert had a formal coronation involving the High Septon anointing him so shortly after the Sack is not likely - and even less likely if the dead scions of the former dynasty were still at display at this point.

I think Robert's actual coronation took place months later, after Ned's return to KL and might actually have been somewhat interconnected with his wedding to Cersei Lannister. Yandel seems to indicate Robert's first act as king was to marry Cersei yet that most certainly wasn't his first act after he arrived in KL in 283 AC.

In addition, there is the problem of the enmity between Ned and Tywin/Jaime while they both were in the city. If Robert had remained behind for weeks or even only many days then it most likely would have come to blows over this whole thing. Ned was the man in charge - or saw himself as such, as Robert's representative, and would have tried punish the murderers of Elia and the children (and possibly even Aerys' murderer) in the name of the new king.

Thus I'm more inclined to believe that it quickly turned out that Robert's injury was either not as severe as people thought at first, or that Robert decided to ignore the advice of the maesters and press on anyway.

We only have textual confirmation for Ned pressing on because of Robert's injury. But we don't know when Robert actually arrived. So this is a plausible scenario which can better explain the events, not to mention that it would perfectly in accordance with Robert's character.

In addition, there is the whole thing about the blood being less visible beneath those crimson Lannister cloaks. That suggests they were displayed to Robert rather early after they died. Fresh blood is red. Dried blood isn't exactly red.

1 minute ago, SFDanny said:

How tightly the news of their deaths is held is certainly a question, but it shouldn't be assumed that no word could get out. The court is riven with factions and each has its spy network. That certainly includes the Dornish and Rhaegar's partisans. By the time of the Coronation this is open news. We have Thoros of Myr reporting he saw the bodies of Elia and her children, so this wasn't a strictly controlled event to keep secrecy.

But Thoros was a man living at court at this time. Him seeing the bodies doesn't mean he could write a letter about that fact, especially not immediately after it had transpired. We know he eventually got along with Robert but he wasn't necessarily in such a good position in the beginning. In addition, if we were to follow your idea of Robert arriving rather late in KL then Tywin would have been in charge of the bodies of Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon up to the point Robert arrived. And Tywin most certainly wouldn't have announced anything about the fate of Elia and the children. The news about the death of Aerys would have been all over the streets, but the fate of the Princess and her little children wouldn't have been proclaimed by anyone.

There are no spy networks I'm aware of. There were two factions at court but we don't know whether each had their own spy network. Aerys' spies were controlled by Varys, and nothing is mentioned about Rhaegar's people employing any spies. There certainly would have been courtiers buying and selling information but there is no hint that the Dornish had an actual spy network at court at this point. After all, the king had broken with Dorne for good after the Trident. He could very well have burned all the Dornishmen he could have laid his hands on at court after he learned what had happened at the Trident. Even if he didn't - Elia was dead, Ashara possibly not at court, and Lewyn was dead, too.

Even if we assume some people would have wanted to get the news about Elia's fate to Dorne one should assume such people would have sent ravens directly to Sunspear, not some other Dornish lords living close to the Prince's Pass. And where would they get access to ravens? Pycelle controlled those. And as far as we know there is no rookery anywhere else in KL.

And if some people for some reason wanted to inform Lyanna of what had transpired it is difficult to imagine that they could have done so unless they knew exactly where she was and how to reach her. The Daynes might have been willing to get information to her. Those Dornish lords closer to the tower are less likely to do something like that - the Manwoodys and Fowlers might have been more inclined to deliver her and her guardians to the Prince of Dorne, to do with her and her child as he saw fit.

1 minute ago, SFDanny said:

Even if we assume the news doesn't get out until the coronation, then we have only to consider the fact Ned travels with an army (a slow process compared to a raven or a rider) and that Ned goes by way of Storm's End instead of straight to the Prince's Pass. There is likely weeks difference in the arrival of the news and the arrival of Ned. It is very likely the people at the tower know of the news before Ned gets there.

They might have received some news, yes, but not necessarily good firsthand news. Even if we assume a letter reached some Dornish castle and they informed Lyanna and the others via a rider it is quite unlikely that this would qualify as good firsthand knowledge of what had transpired.

Letters can contain lies. And people can lie, too. Doran Martell receives a rather straightforward letter from

Spoiler

Jon Connington in Arianne 1

yet that's not convincing him that this letter is true nor that even the person who claims to have written this letter has written this letter.

What we learn about rumors in this world pretty much establishes that Lyanna and the knights are only likely to believe the news about the Trident and the Sack if they have multiple independent sources confirming it. And even then they might not believe a lot of details. Different accounts how somebody was killed can call the fact into question that this person is dead at all...

And keep in mind that people in White Harbor doubt until this day that Prince Aegon has been killed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Lord Varys said:

Sure, I just mentioned that because I felt that the news reaching the tower or not did not weigh in heavily on that debate because of the reasons I gave above.

I'd not consider whatever occurred when the bodies were presented a coronation. Rather some sort of formal proclamation of the new king, similar to the kind of ceremony Aegon had after he had won his first battles. The idea that Robert had a formal coronation involving the High Septon anointing him so shortly after the Sack is not likely - and even less likely if the dead scions of the former dynasty were still at display at this point.

I think Robert's actual coronation took place months later, after Ned's return to KL and might actually have been somewhat interconnected with his wedding to Cersei Lannister. Yandel seems to indicate Robert's first act as king was to marry Cersei yet that most certainly wasn't his first act after he arrived in KL in 283 AC.

In addition, there is the problem of the enmity between Ned and Tywin/Jaime while they both were in the city. If Robert had remained behind for weeks or even only many days then it most likely would have come to blows over this whole thing. Ned was the man in charge - or saw himself as such, as Robert's representative, and would have tried punish the murderers of Elia and the children (and possibly even Aerys' murderer) in the name of the new king.

Thus I'm more inclined to believe that it quickly turned out that Robert's injury was either not as severe as people thought at first, or that Robert decided to ignore the advice of the maesters and press on anyway.

We only have textual confirmation for Ned pressing on because of Robert's injury. But we don't know when Robert actually arrived. So this is a plausible scenario which can better explain the events, not to mention that it would perfectly in accordance with Robert's character.

In addition, there is the whole thing about the blood being less visible beneath those crimson Lannister cloaks. That suggests they were displayed to Robert rather early after they died. Fresh blood is red. Dried blood isn't exactly red.

But Thoros was a man living at court at this time. Him seeing the bodies doesn't mean he could write a letter about that fact, especially not immediately after it had transpired. We know he eventually got along with Robert but he wasn't necessarily in such a good position in the beginning. In addition, if we were to follow your idea of Robert arriving rather late in KL then Tywin would have been in charge of the bodies of Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon up to the point Robert arrived. And Tywin most certainly wouldn't have announced anything about the fate of Elia and the children. The news about the death of Aerys would have been all over the streets, but the fate of the Princess and her little children wouldn't have been proclaimed by anyone.

There are no spy networks I'm aware of. There were two factions at court but we don't know whether each had their own spy network. Aerys' spies were controlled by Varys, and nothing is mentioned about Rhaegar's people employing any spies. There certainly would have been courtiers buying and selling information but there is no hint that the Dornish had an actual spy network at court at this point. After all, the king had broken with Dorne for good after the Trident. He could very well have burned all the Dornishmen he could have laid his hands on at court after he learned what had happened at the Trident. Even if he didn't - Elia was dead, Ashara possibly not at court, and Lewyn was dead, too.

Even if we assume some people would have wanted to get the news about Elia's fate to Dorne one should assume such people would have sent ravens directly to Sunspear, not some other Dornish lords living close to the Prince's Pass. And where would they get access to ravens? Pycelle controlled those. And as far as we know there is no rookery anywhere else in KL.

And if some people for some reason wanted to inform Lyanna of what had transpired it is difficult to imagine that they could have done so unless they knew exactly where she was and how to reach her. The Daynes might have been willing to get information to her. Those Dornish lords closer to the tower are less likely to do something like that - the Manwoodys and Fowlers might have been more inclined to deliver her and her guardians to the Prince of Dorne, to do with her and her child as he saw fit.

They might have received some news, yes, but not necessarily good firsthand news. Even if we assume a letter reached some Dornish castle and they informed Lyanna and the others via a rider it is quite unlikely that this would qualify as good firsthand knowledge of what had transpired.

Letters can contain lies. And people can lie, too. Doran Martell receives a rather straightforward letter from

  Reveal hidden contents

Jon Connington in Arianne 1

yet that's not convincing him that this letter is true nor that even the person who claims to have written this letter has written this letter.

What we learn about rumors in this world pretty much establishes that Lyanna and the knights are only likely to believe the news about the Trident and the Sack if they have multiple independent sources confirming it. And even then they might not believe a lot of details. Different accounts how somebody was killed can call the fact into question that this person is dead at all...

And keep in mind that people in White Harbor doubt until this day that Prince Aegon has been killed. 

Man their really still making threads for discussion of  r+l=j. I mean at this point were not even talking about it were talking about the death of prince. Still though i agree with the majority of people who seem to think that he was killed back in the sack of kings landing. But you agree with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, I just mentioned that because I felt that the news reaching the tower or not did not weigh in heavily on that debate because of the reasons I gave above.

I'd not consider whatever occurred when the bodies were presented a coronation. Rather some sort of formal proclamation of the new king, similar to the kind of ceremony Aegon had after he had won his first battles. The idea that Robert had a formal coronation involving the High Septon anointing him so shortly after the Sack is not likely - and even less likely if the dead scions of the former dynasty were still at display at this point.

It's a common mistake, my friend, but it is a mistake. I say so, not because I decided to call the ceremony at which the bodies are displayed a coronation, but because that's what the characters in story call it.

Quote

At Robert’s coronation, I was made to kneel at the royal feet beside Grand Maester Pycelle and Varys the eunuch, so that he might forgive us our crimes before he took us into his service.” (ACoK 600 US hardback) Jaime talking to Catelyn in his cell in Riverrun bold emphasis added

 

Quote

Ser Barristan once told me that the rot in King Aerys’s reign began with Varys. The eunuch should never have been pardoned. No more than the Kingslayer. At the least, Robert should have stripped the white cloak from Jaime and sent him to the Wall as Lord Stark urged. He listened to Jon Arryn instead. I was still at Storm’s End, under siege and unconsulted. (ASoS 411 US hardback) bold emphasis added

Stannis to Davos on Dragonstone after his release from its dungeon

 

Quote

Ned did not feign surprise; Robert's hatred of the Targaryens was a madness in him. He remembered the angry words they had exchanged when Tywin Lannister had presented Robert with the corpses of Rhaegar's wife and children as a token of fealty. Ned had named that murder; Robert called it war. When he had protested that the young prince and princess were no more than babes, his new-made king had replied, "I see no babes. Only dragonspawn." Not even Jon Arryn had been able to clam that storm. Eddard Stark had ridden out that very day in a cold rage, to fight the last battles of the war alone in the south. It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they had shared over her passing. (AGoT 93-94 US hardback) bold emphasis added

The first quote tells us that Jaime, Pycelle, and Varys are pardoned at the coronation. The second tells us that the pardoning takes place before Ned relieves the siege at Storm's End, and the last tells us that Robert is king before Ned leaves King's Landing. It seems very clear to me that the timeframe in which the coronation takes place is limited to after Robert arrives in King's Landing from the Trident to before Ned leaves King's Landing in his "cold rage" and goes on to lift the siege at Storm's End, fight at the Tower of Joy, finds Lyanna, goes on Starfall, etc.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I think Robert's actual coronation took place months later, after Ned's return to KL and might actually have been somewhat interconnected with his wedding to Cersei Lannister. Yandel seems to indicate Robert's first act as king was to marry Cersei yet that most certainly wasn't his first act after he arrived in KL in 283 AC.

In addition, there is the problem of the enmity between Ned and Tywin/Jaime while they both were in the city. If Robert had remained behind for weeks or even only many days then it most likely would have come to blows over this whole thing. Ned was the man in charge - or saw himself as such, as Robert's representative, and would have tried punish the murderers of Elia and the children (and possibly even Aerys' murderer) in the name of the new king.

Thus I'm more inclined to believe that it quickly turned out that Robert's injury was either not as severe as people thought at first, or that Robert decided to ignore the advice of the maesters and press on anyway.

We only have textual confirmation for Ned pressing on because of Robert's injury. But we don't know when Robert actually arrived. So this is a plausible scenario which can better explain the events, not to mention that it would perfectly in accordance with Robert's character.

Now, that does not mean another ceremony could not have taken place, but it is not a question about Robert being crowned at this point. Nor is there any reason for the rebels to delay. They want, no need, this to be an established fact from the moment Robert sits the Iron Throne. There are no other claims to be considered. The only ones that were considered were within the rebel alliance and they were limited to, besides Robert, Ned and Jon Arryn. Or so Robert and Ned tell us. They decided on Robert, who supposedly had the better claim, and announced their intentions around the time of the Trident and crowned Robert king as soon as he could get to the throne room.

I'd remind you that the logistical problem with the High Septon which Aegon the Conqueror had was no longer a problem. The High Septon is in residence in King's Landing, not in Oldtown. Would there have been a problem for the High Septon to anoint Robert King? I think not, when he has five of High Lords of the Realm with their victorious armies in the capital and only the Martells and the Tyrells left to pledge fealty to the new king. A more unlikely pair to form a united front against the rest of the realm one could not find outside the halls of the Brackens and the Blackwoods.

Whatever the High Septon decided, this is still Robert's coronation.

I know of Yandel's "first act" comment but that only means the marriage takes place early, which is not in dispute. It's the first thing Ser Barristan does once he is pardoned by Robert. But note Ser Barristan is not at the coronation. Selmy wonders what he would have done if Robert had smiled over the bodies of Elia and her children if he had been.

Likely, Robert leaves the Trident shortly after Ned leaves with the vanguard, but with Robert's health concerns limiting the top speed of the troops with him. Again, I think we are talking days to a week difference at most before Robert gets to King's Landing after the sack. During that time Tywin and Ned have little reason to fight. The damage is already done by the time Ned takes control, and Tywin isn't disputing who is to be the new king. Ned is not Robert's new Hand to dispense justice. If he wants to see justice done for Elia and her children it is for him to seek it from his new king. Which is what he does. But the bodies are displayed as an act of fealty the text tells us. Tywin's show of submission to Robert. Which Robert accepts, and he accepts Tywin as his vassal by doing so.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In addition, there is the whole thing about the blood being less visible beneath those crimson Lannister cloaks. That suggests they were displayed to Robert rather early after they died. Fresh blood is red. Dried blood isn't exactly red.

I'll worry about the changing color of dried blood over fresh against the Lannister crimson when someone shows us that this kind of forensic evidence is important in Martin's world and that the assumptions made about it are real. Perhaps those who argue this point could start by showing us just what color is Lannister crimson?

 

Let me get to the rest later tonight, my friend. I'm off to watch Warriors basketball with family.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Okay, if you just want to entertain the possibility then I'm fine with that. If find it not a very strong possibility, but I guess you already know that ;-).

Do you? And here I was thinking I had pretty much convinced you. ;)

Anyway, let's bear in mind that this wasn't my idea in the first place, I am just exploring the possibility.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't care about his real name, either, and I don't expect that to have much impact on the story. But you reacted rather strongly to my idea that Lyanna might have named her son Rhaegar.

Did I? I remember accepting the fact that it was a possibility.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think that's so ridiculous. What do you think Arya would have done if somebody came on asking her to fuck to conceive the savior of the world? She would inquire why the hell she should believe such a ridiculous story.

That is hyperbole, of course, but there is actually no reason that the Targaryens were very open about their mad beliefs in prophecy (Yandel never mentions it when discussing the reign of Aerys II despite the fact that it must have played an important role in the lives of both Aerys and Rhaegar). And in addition there is simply the fact that Rhaegar's beliefs simply aren't Lyanna's.

Arya is a pragmatic one. I wouldn't be so sure about Sansa. ;)

Anyway, as I said, I don't believe Rhaegar mentioned the prophecy before having slept with Lyanna (and them being in love), nor do I even believe that he abducted her because of it.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, but Lyanna might easily enough have submitted to Rhaegar in the naming choice. Say, he told her about his great-granduncle at the Wall, etc. and then they made the decision to name him after Aemon. Then she just went through with that. Now, if you assume there was no name chosen by Rhaegar (or Rhaegar and Lyanna together) then we have to go with the assumption Lyanna chose a Targaryen name for her son all by herself. That sounds a lot less convincing than the alternatives.

Perhaps. But then, this is why I like this. It gives Lyanna some sort of agency.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I deliberately chose Catelyn because one could argue in her case that she eventually became a member of the family she married into in mind and spirit. However, I'd never phrase something like that as 'Catelyn eventually began to love House Stark'. She simply found a new home in Winterfell and the North. Not to mention that she very much loved her husband and most of her children (Bran, Robb).

Had I mentioned Cersei, Lysa, Mellario of Norvos, or Larra Rogare things would look much different, don't you think?

Lyanna can't be compared to Catelyn or any of the other wives I mentioned because she never formally became a member of House Targaryen. I mean, Catelyn or Alyssa Velaryon took up the torches of their husbands after they had died, but Lyanna wasn't even at Rhaegar's side when the man tried to defeat Robert Baratheon in battle. We don't even know whether Lyanna shared Rhaegar's view on the Rebellion.

A good point. However, if we go down that road, one might argue that there is no certainty that either of his parents gave Jon a name.

As I wrote at some point, we have little evidence in the books that parents routinely discuss baby names before their birth. Dany and Drogo are an interesting case because a prophecy is involved and they both assume that the child will be male. I don't believe we have any other such case, and Rhaegar's discussion with Elia (in Dany's vision) suggests that they waited for Aegon's birth to choose his name. Which makes perfect sense since in a medieval society where giving birth is dangerous for both the mother and child, naming a child before the birth may be viewed as a kind of jinx.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That meta-comment is about the heraldic animals, is it not? That has to do with people born in a noble identifying themselves with those animals. It has nothing to do with people being in love with noble houses.

But it has to do with the members of a given house having (or developing) specific character traits. The Lannisters and lions aren't necessarily the best example (save for their pride mayhaps), but Ned does present the Starks as wolves to Arya.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't? Can't you interpret the crowning at Harrenhal as Rhaegar quite openly expressing his love and admiration for Lyanna Stark?

I can go with admiration, but I don't buy love. Not at that point. I'm willing to admit Rhaegar must have been impressed, but I doubt he could have taken Lyanna seriously as a possible love interest at Harrenhal. And if he had, he would have been a complete moron to express it so publicly!

I think the Rhaegar-Lyanna relationship has a lot of potential development as a kind of miniature romantic comedy/tragedy in which neither of them initially wanted to give in to the attraction because of the consequences.
I mean, it's either that, or assume at least one of them was incredibly selfish/silly.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Reread Kevan's Epilogue. A lot of people tend to dismiss it as 'Kevan didn't know anything' but he actually could have had rather intimate information on Rhaegar's mindset from Tywin. The man was Hand until 281 AC, and would have kept more than an eye on Rhaegar considering that he still planned to eventually replace Elia with Cersei.

Ah, it rings a bell now. Will do, thanks.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not looking forward to get a long-winded and detailed medical report on Elia's health after the birth of Aegon. We have been told that she could no longer bear children after her second pregnancy (either because Aegon's birth left her barren or because neither she nor a third child would survive a third pregnancy). That's all we need.

I wouldn't be so sure... I'm a bit suspicious whenever we have information that is not corroborated by a second source. And JonCon has all the makings of an unreliable character. Not to mention the fact that the maesters can't necessarily be trusted either.

But there are two small details that make JonCon's info on Elia slightly suspicious.
The first is the idea that Elia was bedridden for six months after Rhaenys's birth. This makes the chronology rather tight because Rhaegar married Elia in 280AC and Aegon was born very late in 281AC (or very early in 282AC, as some say). With Harrenhal also being in 281AC and Elia being fit enough to attend it, you have to assume that Rhaegar and Elia would have married very early in 280AC (January/February) and that Elia pretty much fell pregnant immediately. Also, Elia was likely pregnant at Harrenhal, but not noticeably so since no one ever mentions it (even though this could be seen as aggravating the slight). It all works, but it's still surprising information in some respects ; among other things, it paradoxically makes Elia a rather fertile woman, in spite of her notoriously fragile health.
The second is simpler. In Dany's HotU vision, nothing indicates that Elia is terribly weak. The text suggests that the birth is extremely recent, but nothing suggests that it was bad enough to leave her barren, or even ill. And that is troubling, as it seems to me to be a contradiction between two sources, both of them being potentially unreliable. But which one, and to what purpose?
It's easier to doubt JonCon because Dany's vision has been in part corroborated by Maester Aemon (also, it's easier to doubt the more recent POV character). But it's much more fun to cast doubt on Dany's vision because it is so important to the series as a whole. :)

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The circumstances of the abduction thing are still unclear. What's no longer really unclear is that Rhaegar needed another woman to father more children and that Harrenhal explains why he might have chosen Lyanna.

That is the common theory. I don't like the idea that Rhaegar would have gone "woman-hunting" (so to speak) though, and somehow chose the worst possible victim in the whole kingdom. This would make him almost as bad a Targaryen as Aegon the Unworthy.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Dany's romantic view on the abduction are likely to be formed by Viserys' tales. He could have had firsthand knowledge of the whole thing from Rhaella or even Rhaegar himself (who could have talked to his younger brother about this whole thing after he had returned to court). Cersei is also not likely to be completely uninformed on the matter, but she is less likely to have good firsthand information.

I don't thing Rhegar and Viserys talked a lot. I think the romanticisation of Lyanna's abduction was just the common Targaryen propaganda on the matter.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Do we believe that Lyanna would have believed Aegon was truly dead, regardless what the reports and rumors said, if she we assume she believed in the prophecy and also - as Rhaegar did - that his son Aegon was the promised prince?

To believe in a prophecy doesn't mean you can't change your mind on its interpretation. That's pretty much what most people do throughout the books: Mel, Maester Aemon, Rhaegar... In fact, it's quite clear that people who want to believe in prophecies can go to great length to make the facts fit their beliefs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But Thoros was a man living at court at this time. Him seeing the bodies doesn't mean he could write a letter about that fact, especially not immediately after it had transpired. We know he eventually got along with Robert but he wasn't necessarily in such a good position in the beginning. In addition, if we were to follow your idea of Robert arriving rather late in KL then Tywin would have been in charge of the bodies of Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon up to the point Robert arrived. And Tywin most certainly wouldn't have announced anything about the fate of Elia and the children. The news about the death of Aerys would have been all over the streets, but the fate of the Princess and her little children wouldn't have been proclaimed by anyone.

To continue, LV, the point of Thoros seeing the bodies is that isn't some small ceremony restricted to the High Lords themselves and their close relatives (such as Kevan Lannister.) No, this is in open court if Thoros sees it. Which means there most likely are others there as well. This makes sense because the rebels want as few hopes for Targaryen restoration as possible. Other than Ned that is. It is harder to unite loyalists houses behind just Viserys, whose partisans are really only anti-Rhaegar forces looking to use the young prince for their own enrichment. If Aegon is alive there is very much still a Dornish interest in his fate and his claim to the throne. Rhaenys as well, but less so because of gender bias outside of Dorne. The more this news gets out, the greater the chances of crushing what is left of the loyalist opposition. You can bet the news of Aerys's death, and the deaths of Elia and her children are spread as far and wide as can be by both sides.

 

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There are no spy networks I'm aware of. There were two factions at court but we don't know whether each had their own spy network. Aerys' spies were controlled by Varys, and nothing is mentioned about Rhaegar's people employing any spies. There certainly would have been courtiers buying and selling information but there is no hint that the Dornish had an actual spy network at court at this point. After all, the king had broken with Dorne for good after the Trident. He could very well have burned all the Dornishmen he could have laid his hands on at court after he learned what had happened at the Trident. Even if he didn't - Elia was dead, Ashara possibly not at court, and Lewyn was dead, too.

Even if we assume some people would have wanted to get the news about Elia's fate to Dorne one should assume such people would have sent ravens directly to Sunspear, not some other Dornish lords living close to the Prince's Pass. And where would they get access to ravens? Pycelle controlled those. And as far as we know there is no rookery anywhere else in KL.

And if some people for some reason wanted to inform Lyanna of what had transpired it is difficult to imagine that they could have done so unless they knew exactly where she was and how to reach her. The Daynes might have been willing to get information to her. Those Dornish lords closer to the tower are less likely to do something like that - the Manwoodys and Fowlers might have been more inclined to deliver her and her guardians to the Prince of Dorne, to do with her and her child as he saw fit.

They might have received some news, yes, but not necessarily good firsthand news. Even if we assume a letter reached some Dornish castle and they informed Lyanna and the others via a rider it is quite unlikely that this would qualify as good firsthand knowledge of what had transpired.

I have no idea about Whent's capabilities other than what little his participation in setting up the tourney at Harrenhal tells us. What I know about Dayne and Hightower tells me they know the importance of good intelligence and getting it on a regular basis. Even if we don't believe their responses to Ned's dream questions reflect their own knowledge of outside events, I think both of them would take great efforts to learn what was going on outside the tower. Generals who won the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood understand the need to make sure their intelligence is both good and regular. To this we must add both the factions of loyalist Houses and their supporters who fought for Rhaegar or Aerys, and lastly the spy network of Varys himself. Do you think he gives himself up without sending word to those who might help him of the events in King's Landing? I don't, and I don't think that is true of any of the others I've just pointed out.They all have a interest in the information, and people skilled in getting it out of King's Landing. So, where do they get ravens from? The nearest royalist house outside of the city. A rider delivering a message to the Darrys would end with many a loyalist hearing the news. But that is only one example of what's possible.

This is the news of the year, if not the last two hundred and eighty-three years. It is going to spread like wildfire by every traveller, every merchant, every runaway soldier, running from the sack. Singers are likely already composing songs of the events. There is nothing Robert can do to stop it, and, as I said above, he does want it stopped. So, the chances the news isn't heard in the Prince's Pass area as fast as word can spread, by design or by chance is about zero. All of which is likely to beat Ned's slow travels to the region. Whenever it is heard by the people in the tower, Hightower and Dayne are going to try to confirm it by reliable sources, if they don't start out getting the news from people they trust.

 

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Letters can contain lies. And people can lie, too. Doran Martell receives a rather straightforward letter from

  Reveal hidden contents

Jon Connington in Arianne 1

yet that's not convincing him that this letter is true nor that even the person who claims to have written this letter has written this letter.

What we learn about rumors in this world pretty much establishes that Lyanna and the knights are only likely to believe the news about the Trident and the Sack if they have multiple independent sources confirming it. And even then they might not believe a lot of details. Different accounts how somebody was killed can call the fact into question that this person is dead at all...

And keep in mind that people in White Harbor doubt until this day that Prince Aegon has been killed. 

See above. I think I've already responded to what the Kingsguard would do if they get news they can't rely on first. They get more from people they can rely on. What they don't do is ignore it and sit still like nothing has happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, SFDanny said:

It's a common mistake, my friend, but it is a mistake. I say so, not because I decided to call the ceremony at which the bodies are displayed a coronation, but because that's what the characters in story call it.

That fits pretty well with this battle coronation thing we know from the Conqueror. It could even have involved the High Septon but him putting the crown on your head isn't necessary for a coronation (Criston Cole put the crown on the head of Aegon II while Septon Eustace anointed him).

I just find the idea weird that Robert would have had a formal coronation with feasting and cheering etc. while the blood was still running in the street and the corpses of the dead Kingslanders were not yet buried.

But I completely agree with you that Robert was effectively king from the day he took the Iron Throne, and it was of course necessary to crown him as quickly as possible, especially with Viserys III on Dragonstone.

Formal coronation ceremonies with feasting and partying can be done later. That happens often enough when new monarchs are crowned.

Whether the High Septon was present when Robert was crowned amidst the corpses of children is an interesting question, though. I'd be surprised if he was.

9 hours ago, SFDanny said:

I know of Yandel's "first act" comment but that only means the marriage takes place early, which is not in dispute. It's the first thing Ser Barristan does once he is pardoned by Robert. But note Ser Barristan is not at the coronation. Selmy wonders what he would have done if Robert had smiled over the bodies of Elia and her children if he had been.

We know Cersei and Robert only married in 284 AC. No idea when exactly, but the new king would have reigned for months at that time.

9 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Likely, Robert leaves the Trident shortly after Ned leaves with the vanguard, but with Robert's health concerns limiting the top speed of the troops with him. Again, I think we are talking days to a week difference at most before Robert gets to King's Landing after the sack. During that time Tywin and Ned have little reason to fight. The damage is already done by the time Ned takes control, and Tywin isn't disputing who is to be the new king. Ned is not Robert's new Hand to dispense justice. If he wants to see justice done for Elia and her children it is for him to seek it from his new king. Which is what he does. But the bodies are displayed as an act of fealty the text tells us. Tywin's show of submission to Robert. Which Robert accepts, and he accepts Tywin as his vassal by doing so.

I'm not so sure about that. Ned is in command of the rebel army and he is Robert's informal representative in the city. He could have acted on his own in Robert's name.

Maybe if didn't come to blows because Tywin did not proclaim anything about Elia and the children and Ned only learned what had happened (or figured out what had happened) after Tywin presented the bodies to Robert?

9 hours ago, SFDanny said:

I'll worry about the changing color of dried blood over fresh against the Lannister crimson when someone shows us that this kind of forensic evidence is important in Martin's world and that the assumptions made about it are real. Perhaps those who argue this point could start by showing us just what color is Lannister crimson?

Well, crimson I'd think.

9 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Let me get to the rest later tonight, my friend. I'm off to watch Warriors basketball with family.

Hope you had fun!

4 hours ago, SFDanny said:

To continue, LV, the point of Thoros seeing the bodies is that isn't some small ceremony restricted to the High Lords themselves and their close relatives (such as Kevan Lannister.) No, this is in open court if Thoros sees it. Which means there most likely are others there as well. This makes sense because the rebels want as few hopes for Targaryen restoration as possible. Other than Ned that is. It is harder to unite loyalists houses behind just Viserys, whose partisans are really only anti-Rhaegar forces looking to use the young prince for their own enrichment. If Aegon is alive there is very much still a Dornish interest in his fate and his claim to the throne. Rhaenys as well, but less so because of gender bias outside of Dorne. The more this news gets out, the greater the chances of crushing what is left of the loyalist opposition. You can bet the news of Aerys's death, and the deaths of Elia and her children are spread as far and wide as can be by both sides.

Perhaps the rebels had a reason to eventually spread the tale. But then, it would have been very unlikely that anyone would have rallied behind a young girl and an infant Aerys II had passed over in the succession in favor of Viserys III.

After Rhaenyra took KL she sent out men to search for Aegon II yet a significant number of people believed or suspected she might have quietly killed her bedridden brother and only feigned searching for him to be not seen as a kinslayer.

The idea that Tywin and Robert just declared some dead children to be the royal children is also prevalent in Westeros to this day.

And Dorne was much more antagonized by this whole affair of the murder of Elia and the children than it would have been had they still be alive.

Come to think of it, perhaps Tywin actually killed them all because Robert had repeatedly declared throughout the war that he would kill every single Targaryen he could lay his hands on, etc. If Lyanna had heard that at the tower - as well as of Rhaegar's death at Robert's hands - it could be enough to explain her fear for her child. We don't necessarily have to add the whole story of Elia's children on top of that.

Tywin himself says he wanted to show his loyalty to the new king by taking out Rhaegar's children. I believe that is at least part of the truth. But to think Robert would reward him for such an atrocious act we have to assume he had a pretty good take on Robert's character, especially his hatred of his royal cousins. And he could only know about the latter if Robert had made that clear during the war, perhaps in letters, and public speeches people wrote letters about.

4 hours ago, SFDanny said:

I have no idea about Whent's capabilities other than what little his participation in setting up the tourney at Harrenhal tells us. What I know about Dayne and Hightower tells me they know the importance of good intelligence and getting it on a regular basis. Even if we don't believe their responses to Ned's dream questions reflect their own knowledge of outside events, I think both of them would take great efforts to learn what was going on outside the tower. Generals who won the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood understand the need to make sure their intelligence is both good and regular. To this we must add both the factions of loyalist Houses and their supporters who fought for Rhaegar or Aerys, and lastly the spy network of Varys himself. Do you think he gives himself up without sending word to those who might help him of the events in King's Landing? I don't, and I don't think that is true of any of the others I've just pointed out.They all have a interest in the information, and people skilled in getting it out of King's Landing. So, where do they get ravens from? The nearest royalist house outside of the city. A rider delivering a message to the Darrys would end with many a loyalist hearing the news. But that is only one example of what's possible.

I'm pretty sure you are right that the knights wanted to have reasonable good information. But the infrastructure puts limits on that. They were in the middle of nowhere, and - as far as we know - only three men. That means that one of them could go incognito down to the Prince's Pass to ask travelers about recent news. That's basically it.

Unless we assume the Manwoodys, Fowlers, or Carons were somebody on their side - which doesn't sound very likely.

They could have been quietly supported by the smallfolk and some of the petty lords/knights living those regions but those people wouldn't have the means to give them very good information.

Is it very likely that some travelers with good firsthand information reached the Prince's Pass before Ned came there? I don't think so. Refugees and the like don't travel this fast nor are they likely to have good enough horses. If we are not talking about ravens then news travels only as fast a horse can get in a day. 

Perhaps travelers could have had heard rumors of the Trident and the Sack if they halted in other castles on their route to Dorne where the lords had already had a raven from KL. But that wouldn't have been good firsthand information.

4 hours ago, SFDanny said:

This is the news of the year, if not the last two hundred and eighty-three years. It is going to spread like wildfire by every traveller, every merchant, every runaway soldier, running from the sack. Singers are likely already composing songs of the events. There is nothing Robert can do to stop it, and, as I said above, he does want it stopped. So, the chances the news isn't heard in the Prince's Pass area as fast as word can spread, by design or by chance is about zero. All of which is likely to beat Ned's slow travels to the region. Whenever it is heard by the people in the tower, Hightower and Dayne are going to try to confirm it by reliable sources, if they don't start out getting the news from people they trust.

I just don't buy the idea that they had a good spy network at that tower. If Rhaegar wanted to be at a place where he could be reached easily he would have gone to Starfall or some other castle where his friends lived (Maidenpool, Harrenhal).

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Arya is a pragmatic one. I wouldn't be so sure about Sansa. ;)

Sure, but what we know about Lyanna is that she is a lot closer to Arya than Sansa. Especially with the additional information on her fighting skills we got in ADwD.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Anyway, as I said, I don't believe Rhaegar mentioned the prophecy before having slept with Lyanna (and them being in love), nor do I even believe that he abducted her because of it.

The second part is difficult to believe. In fact, if there is any good explanation of this abduction thing it is most likely prophecy. That is still not a good excuse but a much better than 'I have to save Lyanna from her marriage' or 'I know she wants it, too'.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Perhaps. But then, this is why I like this. It gives Lyanna some sort of agency.

The wrong sort, in my opinion.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

A good point. However, if we go down that road, one might argue that there is no certainty that either of his parents gave Jon a name.

Sure. And who knows? Perhaps that's the case. Depending on the time line it would be possible, too.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

As I wrote at some point, we have little evidence in the books that parents routinely discuss baby names before their birth. Dany and Drogo are an interesting case because a prophecy is involved and they both assume that the child will be male. I don't believe we have any other such case, and Rhaegar's discussion with Elia (in Dany's vision) suggests that they waited for Aegon's birth to choose his name. Which makes perfect sense since in a medieval society where giving birth is dangerous for both the mother and child, naming a child before the birth may be viewed as a kind of jinx.

That doesn't seem to be the case. Ned and Jon both named their firstborn son after Robert Baratheon. I'm pretty sure that was clear from the start. Usually the father picks the names, anyway. Only Robert apparently didn't give a damn about the names of his children (who all bear Lannister names) but even that would only have worked if Cersei had talked to Robert that she would be picking the names, not he.

Rhaegar is also deciding how Aegon is going to be named, by the way, not Elia. She seems to have asked how the child should be named when the vision begins. And perhaps you should reread the sentence immediately thereafter: 'What better name for a king?' There is a reason why I think the focus should be on Aegon being a royal name for a future king than that Rhaegar thought this should be the name of the promised prince.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

But it has to do with the members of a given house having (or developing) specific character traits. The Lannisters and lions aren't necessarily the best example (save for their pride mayhaps), but Ned does present the Starks as wolves to Arya.

Sure, but that's also part of the thing Illyrio criticizes as stupidity. People aren't animals. The Starks and Targaryens (and thus Illyrio himself, to a degree, perhaps) have some magical affinities to their heraldic animals but not all the noble lines do. The Penroses aren't feathers nor are the Tyrells roses, or stuff like that. The Cranes might be close to their animals on some level, and the Durrandon-Baratheons are special, too, yet nobody ever connected them all that much two stags. They married a goddess in the distant past, not some hind.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I can go with admiration, but I don't buy love. Not at that point. I'm willing to admit Rhaegar must have been impressed, but I doubt he could have taken Lyanna seriously as a possible love interest at Harrenhal. And if he had, he would have been a complete moron to express it so publicly!

Perhaps he was a moron? Love makes morons of us all. Harrenhal took two weeks at least, and George and Yandel both tell us that a lot of romances and hidden meetings were going on there. Rhaegar and Lyanna could have had an affair at Harrenhal only to end it when the tourney was over. The coronation could have been an expression of that whole thing.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I think the Rhaegar-Lyanna relationship has a lot of potential development as a kind of miniature romantic comedy/tragedy in which neither of them initially wanted to give in to the attraction because of the consequences.
I mean, it's either that, or assume at least one of them was incredibly selfish/silly.

That could have worked, too. But they could also have gone down the entire road only to end it when the tourney was over because at that point duty still prevailed.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I wouldn't be so sure... I'm a bit suspicious whenever we have information that is not corroborated by a second source. And JonCon has all the makings of an unreliable character. Not to mention the fact that the maesters can't necessarily be trusted either.

But there are two small details that make JonCon's info on Elia slightly suspicious.
The first is the idea that Elia was bedridden for six months after Rhaenys's birth. This makes the chronology rather tight because Rhaegar married Elia in 280AC and Aegon was born very late in 281AC (or very early in 282AC, as some say). With Harrenhal also being in 281AC and Elia being fit enough to attend it, you have to assume that Rhaegar and Elia would have married very early in 280AC (January/February) and that Elia pretty much fell pregnant immediately. Also, Elia was likely pregnant at Harrenhal, but not noticeably so since no one ever mentions it (even though this could be seen as aggravating the slight). It all works, but it's still surprising information in some respects ; among other things, it paradoxically makes Elia a rather fertile woman, in spite of her notoriously fragile health.
The second is simpler. In Dany's HotU vision, nothing indicates that Elia is terribly weak. The text suggests that the birth is extremely recent, but nothing suggests that it was bad enough to leave her barren, or even ill. And that is troubling, as it seems to me to be a contradiction between two sources, both of them being potentially unreliable. But which one, and to what purpose?
It's easier to doubt JonCon because Dany's vision has been in part corroborated by Maester Aemon (also, it's easier to doubt the more recent POV character). But it's much more fun to cast doubt on Dany's vision because it is so important to the series as a whole. :)

We can deal with that by not assuming that Elia's second birth had the same problems as the first. The first birth left her exhausted for six months, perhaps fighting with some fever or similar illness. The second was very dangerous and could have been fatal but she could recover much more quickly because the maesters were able to deal with the complication quickly enough.

Keep also in mind that Rhaegar and Elia most likely didn't have intercourse all that often. Rhaegar apparently can date Aegon's conception to the comet night. Meaning they didn't have sex on any other nights in that week or perhaps even the entire month. If Aegon was truly conceived in KL as the comet story suggests we have to assume that there was no sex on Dragonstone during the six months she was bedridden because she wouldn't have gone to KL while she was bedridden. One assumes Rhaegar took Elia with him when he presented his daughter to his royal parents. And one night during that stay in the Red Keep they conceived Aegon.

I think that could easily enough explain the vision Dany sees. Lets say this happened a week or a few days after the birth when Elia had recovered enough to nurse her son and spend time with Rhaegar. She lies in her bed in that vision, after all.

The chronology is pretty much as you laid it out. It is very tight but that's how it is. There was never a doubt that Elia had trouble conceiving, she was just not healthy enough to have easy pregnancies thereafter.

Elia must indeed have been already pregnant at Harrenhal, there is no way around that. And it is actually very likely that Rhaegar expecting the birth of the promised prince was part of the reason why he did not take Lyanna then and there.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

That is the common theory. I don't like the idea that Rhaegar would have gone "woman-hunting" (so to speak) though, and somehow chose the worst possible victim in the whole kingdom. This would make him almost as bad a Targaryen as Aegon the Unworthy.

Well, Rhaegar could have had a mad streak, too. After all, he was the son of a madman. And George himself says that one can count both Daeron I and especially Baelor the Blessed among the mad Targaryens, too, up to a point. Charisma and madness can go hand in hand.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I don't thing Rhegar and Viserys talked a lot.

Have you any basis for this? We don't know whether they talked much but even if they didn't Aerys and Rhaella both most likely demanded an explanation for the whole Lyanna thing and Viserys might actually have heard what Rhaegar told his parents directly from them. Or even Willem Darry, who could also have talked to Rhaegar about this.

It is of course also possible that the Targaryens had their own version of things. I don't deny that possibility. But if Rhaegar was in love with Lyanna Viserys is more likely to have had good information on that than bad information. And there seems no doubt that some sort of abduction did take place. Whether Lyanna felt she was abducted or whether only the Stark guardsmen got that impression remains to be seen.

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

To believe in a prophecy doesn't mean you can't change your mind on its interpretation. That's pretty much what most people do throughout the books: Mel, Maester Aemon, Rhaegar... In fact, it's quite clear that people who want to believe in prophecies can go to great length to make the facts fit their beliefs.

Well, I doubt that Mel is going to believe Stannis is dead just because some letter claims he is. That's exceedingly unlikely. Thus Lyanna (and anyone who might have believed that Aegon was the promised prince) could also have concluded that reality has to bow down to prophecy in this matter.

I mean, there are hints that people who knew about Rhaegar's belief that Aegon was the savior could resurrect that belief now that Rhaegar's son has returned to Westeros. When Sam talks to Marwyn in his last chapters he especially stresses the fact that Aemon did not believe Rhaegar's little son was the promised prince - reiterating that while Aegon is marshaling his forces in Essos is quite interesting. Varys and Illyrio should know about Rhaegar's beliefs and are most likely going to present Aegon as both a political as well as a magical savior in the conflicts to come.

And a lot of people will prefer Rhaegar's son to Aerys' daughter in that role.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That fits pretty well with this battle coronation thing we know from the Conqueror. It could even have involved the High Septon but him putting the crown on your head isn't necessary for a coronation (Criston Cole put the crown on the head of Aegon II while Septon Eustace anointed him).

I just find the idea weird that Robert would have had a formal coronation with feasting and cheering etc. while the blood was still running in the street and the corpses of the dead Kingslanders were not yet buried.

But I completely agree with you that Robert was effectively king from the day he took the Iron Throne, and it was of course necessary to crown him as quickly as possible, especially with Viserys III on Dragonstone.

Formal coronation ceremonies with feasting and partying can be done later. That happens often enough when new monarchs are crowned.

Whether the High Septon was present when Robert was crowned amidst the corpses of children is an interesting question, though. I'd be surprised if he was.

We agree with pretty much all of this except the bolded part, and there only to this degree: I'd be surprised if the High Septon wasn't there. Given the balance of forces in Westeros at that moment, and more specifically in King's Landing, I highly doubt the High Septon won't come from his hill to the Red Keep to anoint Robert. He'd be stupid not to. I also highly doubt Tywin would have told him before hand he was planning on displaying the corpses of Elia and her children. After all of that, even the most optimistic Targaryen supporter would know that at best it would be many years before Viserys had a chance to mount a challenge to the throne. As to the details of a formal feast, it is not so likely given the lengths such things are gone to in our examples throughout the story. Perhaps someone killed a pig for Robert.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know Cersei and Robert only married in 284 AC. No idea when exactly, but the new king would have reigned for months at that time.

Minimum 2-3 months depending on exactly when the sack happens. Probably longer. We know Ser Barristan has to get well enough to be pardoned by Robert and travel to Casterly Rock to escort Cersei to King's Landing. I also think this doesn't happen before Ned returns with the news of Lyanna's death. I don't know if that means if Ned remains in King's Landing for the marriage ceremony.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not so sure about that. Ned is in command of the rebel army and he is Robert's informal representative in the city. He could have acted on his own in Robert's name.

Maybe if didn't come to blows because Tywin did not proclaim anything about Elia and the children and Ned only learned what had happened (or figured out what had happened) after Tywin presented the bodies to Robert?

Why would Ned act on his own when he knows Robert will be there shortly, and it is the King's responsibility to dispense justice, not his battle commander? Think too, that this means waiting for Robert shifts the balance of forces more and more in favor of the rebel army with every soldier who walks through the city gates. Why would he risk war with Tywin? He would not on his own. As to Tywin, I'm sure he is more interested in Jaime's fate under Robert's rule than in parading out the war dead.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, crimson I'd think.

But what shade? Let me take my tongue out of my cheek and just say I think this is not the kind of detective work Martin wants us to do with his novels. Nor do I think the advocates of this approach have demonstrated the level of expertise necessary for a court of law concerning knowledge about effects of drying blood on Lannister cloaks. Perhaps a real world understanding of this kind of forensic detail is needed by the reader, but I think not. 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Hope you had fun!

Perhaps the rebels had a reason to eventually spread the tale. But then, it would have been very unlikely that anyone would have rallied behind a young girl and an infant Aerys II had passed over in the succession in favor of Viserys III.

After Rhaenyra took KL she sent out men to search for Aegon II yet a significant number of people believed or suspected she might have quietly killed her bedridden brother and only feigned searching for him to be not seen as a kinslayer.

The idea that Tywin and Robert just declared some dead children to be the royal children is also prevalent in Westeros to this day.

And Dorne was much more antagonized by this whole affair of the murder of Elia and the children than it would have been had they still be alive.

Come to think of it, perhaps Tywin actually killed them all because Robert had repeatedly declared throughout the war that he would kill every single Targaryen he could lay his hands on, etc. If Lyanna had heard that at the tower - as well as of Rhaegar's death at Robert's hands - it could be enough to explain her fear for her child. We don't necessarily have to add the whole story of Elia's children on top of that.

Tywin himself says he wanted to show his loyalty to the new king by taking out Rhaegar's children. I believe that is at least part of the truth. But to think Robert would reward him for such an atrocious act we have to assume he had a pretty good take on Robert's character, especially his hatred of his royal cousins. And he could only know about the latter if Robert had made that clear during the war, perhaps in letters, and public speeches people wrote letters about.

Thank you, I did.

As to the news of the children's fate, let me say it makes all the difference to the Martells if they are dead, or in prison, or flying from the sack and on the road. The announcement that they are dead certainly angers the Martells and Rhaegar's supporters, but it also kills their hopes. That is especially true with a public display of their bodies. The Red Viper may hope for a chance to kill Robert, but Prince Doran knows that is not likely within his power. Not if he wants to continue to live himself.

I can't imagine Robert gave many speeches during the war, but his anger towards Rhaegar and the Targaryens had to be well known. Aerys knew it well enough to call for his head. Tywin tells us himself the reason he commits the murders. I don't think there is any reason to doubt he is telling the truth.

Made up tales will always be circulated, but Doran and the Kingsguard can tell the difference, or know how to find out what is made up and what is not.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm pretty sure you are right that the knights wanted to have reasonable good information. But the infrastructure puts limits on that. They were in the middle of nowhere, and - as far as we know - only three men. That means that one of them could go incognito down to the Prince's Pass to ask travelers about recent news. That's basically it.

Unless we assume the Manwoodys, Fowlers, or Carons were somebody on their side - which doesn't sound very likely.

They could have been quietly supported by the smallfolk and some of the petty lords/knights living those regions but those people wouldn't have the means to give them very good information.

Is it very likely that some travelers with good firsthand information reached the Prince's Pass before Ned came there? I don't think so. Refugees and the like don't travel this fast nor are they likely to have good enough horses. If we are not talking about ravens then news travels only as fast a horse can get in a day. 

Perhaps travelers could have had heard rumors of the Trident and the Sack if they halted in other castles on their route to Dorne where the lords had already had a raven from KL. But that wouldn't have been good firsthand information.

I just don't buy the idea that they had a good spy network at that tower. If Rhaegar wanted to be at a place where he could be reached easily he would have gone to Starfall or some other castle where his friends lived (Maidenpool, Harrenhal).

It is likely that given the men are hidden at the tower for months they have an establish way of getting information. Brought in by whoever brings supplies to live on, or a local lord who is sympathetic to the cause. Whether or not that is House Manwoody or anyone else we don't know, but we know these men would do their utmost to stay informed.

Even if we are relying on the slowest news possible, a rider from King's Landing, that is going to be faster than Ned's army crawls on the road to Storm's End.

To the last bolded part. I don't buy the idea that the men at the tower didn't have spies they could depend on for news of the outside world. Not when they have had months to establish regular methods of communication.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

We agree with pretty much all of this except the bolded part, and there only to this degree: I'd be surprised if the High Septon wasn't there. Given the balance of forces in Westeros at that moment, and more specifically in King's Landing, I highly doubt the High Septon won't come from his hill to the Red Keep to anoint Robert. He'd be stupid not to. I also highly doubt Tywin would have told him before hand he was planning on displaying the corpses of Elia and her children. After all of that, even the most optimistic Targaryen supporter would know that at best it would be many years before Viserys had a chance to mount a challenge to the throne. As to the details of a formal feast, it is not so likely given the lengths such things are gone to in our examples throughout the story. Perhaps someone killed a pig for Robert.

Could be. But still, it would have been rather tasteless and ill-made if they had a formal coronation including the Faith while there was still blood on the streets and corpses in the castle. Still, it would be very interesting to get a more detailed account on all of this.

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Minimum 2-3 months depending on exactly when the sack happens. Probably longer. We know Ser Barristan has to get well enough to be pardoned by Robert and travel to Casterly Rock to escort Cersei to King's Landing. I also think this doesn't happen before Ned returns with the news of Lyanna's death. I don't know if that means if Ned remains in King's Landing for the marriage ceremony.

I'm pretty sure Robert intended to have Lyanna back under any circumstances. Either as a widow or his new wife. Thus the Cersei match could only have been on the table after he learned of Lyanna's death. In addition, we also learn that Jon Arryn's main argument for the Cersei match was that Robert needed Tywin on his side should Viserys III ever invade Westeros. This suggests that Darry had already spirited Viserys and Dany away from Dragonstone at that point. And we have it from Robert's own lips that he was not inclined to marry after Lyanna's loss. It was Jon who pushed Cersei on him.

All of that suggests that the wedding took place months after the Sack.

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Why would Ned act on his own when he knows Robert will be there shortly, and it is the King's responsibility to dispense justice, not his battle commander? Think too, that this means waiting for Robert shifts the balance of forces more and more in favor of the rebel army with every soldier who walks through the city gates. Why would he risk war with Tywin? He would not on his own. As to Tywin, I'm sure he is more interested in Jaime's fate under Robert's rule than in parading out the war dead.

The problem could have been that Ned might not have known when Robert would come thanks to the injury. 

Tywin also dispensed justice on his own, presumably in King Robert's name, in portions of the city and castle he controlled. Keep in mind that it was Lord Tywin and not King Robert who forced Jaremy Rykker and Alliser Thorne to take the black. Robert most likely would have pardoned those men as he pardoned Selmy, Varys, Pycelle, and Jaime.

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

But what shade? Let me take my tongue out of my cheek and just say I think this is not the kind of detective work Martin wants us to do with his novels. Nor do I think the advocates of this approach have demonstrated the level of expertise necessary for a court of law concerning knowledge about effects of drying blood on Lannister cloaks. Perhaps a real world understanding of this kind of forensic detail is needed by the reader, but I think not. 

Sure, I don't think he thought that through. But this doesn't mean you can point towards that inconsistency. Besides, isn't Lannister crimson also described as red as blood on a number of occasions. There is talk about the shades of color when the comet is discussed and whether it is crimson (Lannister red) or scarlet (Targaryen red).

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Thank you, I did.

As to the news of the children's fate, let me say it makes all the difference to the Martells if they are dead, or in prison, or flying from the sack and on the road. The announcement that they are dead certainly angers the Martells and Rhaegar's supporters, but it also kills their hopes. That is especially true with a public display of their bodies. The Red Viper may hope for a chance to kill Robert, but Prince Doran knows that is not likely within his power. Not if he wants to continue to live himself.

Do you think Doran really hoped his nephew would ever sit the Iron Throne after everything that had happened? I really don't think so. I think Doran was done with Aerys and Rhaegar both and only stuck with them because the Targaryens forced him to. Had Elia and her children escape the carnage he would have taken them to Sunspear and made it clear to Robert that they would never challenge his claims to the Iron Throne, leaving it Viserys and Rhaella to continue the line of House Targaryen if they thought that worthwhile. It is only the murder of his sister and her children that brings Doran back into camp Targaryen. And that mostly for revenge reasons, not because he particularly likes Viserys or Daenerys.

Oh, and it wasn't a public display of bodies. People in the throne room saw the bodies of children in crimson cloaks. Kevan says he could identify the Princess Rhaenys but nobody could identify Aegon. And Kevan would have been with Tywin, close to Robert and the other rebel leaders when they presented the bodies to them. We know they lay at the feet of the Iron Throne, making it unlikely that anybody not closely associated with the king could take a close glance at them. You don't approach the throne of the monarch without permission, after all.

A public display would have been publicly display the corpses (or their heads) in the city - say, above the gates, on the walls, or on some market square. Briefly showing them to the most powerful people in the Realm (i.e. people at court) doesn't qualify as a public display.

In addition, even with Elia and the children dead we know that the real culprits are unknown for quite some time. That it was done by Clegane and Lorch on Tywin's command is still an unconfirmed rumor in ASoS. Who knows? Perhaps the ideas that Elia might have killed the children herself or that Aerys had commanded their murder sounded much more convincing to some people in those early hours. Doran wouldn't have bought rumor #1 but he might have been inclined to at least consider rumor #2. After all, Aerys II did threaten the life of Elia and her children when he forced the Martells to send their troops to Rhaegar's aid. And after everything was lost Aerys could easily enough have decided that Elia and the children should not survive him (and we do he thought like that on a much larger scale with the wildfire plan).

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

I can't imagine Robert gave many speeches during the war, but his anger towards Rhaegar and the Targaryens had to be well known. Aerys knew it well enough to call for his head.

I don't think Aerys knew anything of this sort. He also called for the head of Eddard Stark, after all. In fact, all we know of Robert's hatred for Robert is that he did not publicly display it until the war began. Back at Harrenhal he seemingly laughed it off. The Mad King certainly wouldn't have been able to see the truth behind that if he cared about Robert at all at this point.

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Tywin tells us himself the reason he commits the murders. I don't think there is any reason to doubt he is telling the truth.

I think we can be pretty sure he wanted Elia dead, too, to settles scores with the late Princess of Dorne. But if he had not been reasonably sure Robert wanted Rhaegar's children dead he simply wouldn't have killed them. Especially not if he had expected Robert might react to that as Ned reacted to it. That could have led to Tywin and Jaime's heads being crushed against a wall, too, after all.

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Made up tales will always be circulated, but Doran and the Kingsguard can tell the difference, or know how to find out what is made up and what is not.

Not while there are not there or directly talking to people who were there. I'm sure Doran and Gerold could eventually have figured out what exactly happened had they had a lot of time. But at least the knights at the tower did not.

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

It is likely that given the men are hidden at the tower for months they have an establish way of getting information. Brought in by whoever brings supplies to live on, or a local lord who is sympathetic to the cause. Whether or not that is House Manwoody or anyone else we don't know, but we know these men would do their utmost to stay informed.

Do we really know they were there for months? It seems as if Gerold found Rhaegar at the tower but what evidence do we have that Lyanna remained there all the time until Ned found her there? Nor do we know why exactly they stayed there in the first place. If the reason was to stay under the radar of everybody then it is not very likely they established contacts with many people.

I mean, we don't even know what Rhaegar's goal was when he went underground. If he was fleeing from his duties and responsibilities at court then it is actually very likely he would have cut all ties to the people there, disguising himself as some minor lordling who travels the countryside with his beloved (wife).

The idea that he wanted to return to Dragonstone/KL eventually isn't confirmed yet. The fact that Gerold had to find to cause his return could be evidence that he was done with everything he left behind and did not care whether cousin Robert killed his father, mother, and little brother.

19 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Even if we are relying on the slowest news possible, a rider from King's Landing, that is going to be faster than Ned's army crawls on the road to Storm's End.

Technically, yes, although Ned might have known where to search for Lyanna while some rider from KL would not necessarily have wanted to inform Lyanna about stuff. Ned would have taken his army only to Storm's End, I think, not necessarily farther down south.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The second part is difficult to believe. In fact, if there is any good explanation of this abduction thing it is most likely prophecy. That is still not a good excuse but a much better than 'I have to save Lyanna from her marriage' or 'I know she wants it, too'.

I find none of those satisfying. But this is a whole other can of worms.

Let me just say that I don't believe we have all the elements and a complete picture of the events leading to RR just yet. In fact, from a narrative purpose, it would be a disapointment if we knew everything there is to know although there are still at least two books left in the series and Bran has become a magical deus ex machina that can show us what happened in the past in detail. So while I can't fault the logic in the "common" perspective on the abduction I very much doubt that it is the truth.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That doesn't seem to be the case. Ned and Jon both named their firstborn son after Robert Baratheon. I'm pretty sure that was clear from the start.

I'm sure parents/fathers have their preferences, but do they actually discuss them before the child is born? I don't think we have any info on that. For all we know, fathers name sons and mothers daughters, eh?

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Rhaegar is also deciding how Aegon is going to be named, by the way, not Elia. She seems to have asked how the child should be named when the vision begins. And perhaps you should reread the sentence immediately thereafter: 'What better name for a king?' There is a reason why I think the focus should be on Aegon being a royal name for a future king than that Rhaegar thought this should be the name of the promised prince.

All right, let's say you have a point and Aegon was always the name for a future king, rather than for tPtwP.
Now, what if Lyanna, having learned of the death of Elia's children, assumed that her son was now heir to the throne and thus a future king as well? After all, aren't there plenty of people who argue this is exactly what the three KG at the ToJ believed? Why not Lyanna then?

Quote

Perhaps he was a moron? Love makes morons of us all. Harrenhal took two weeks at least, and George and Yandel both tell us that a lot of romances and hidden meetings were going on there. Rhaegar and Lyanna could have had an affair at Harrenhal only to end it when the tourney was over. The coronation could have been an expression of that whole thing.

Well, Rhaegar could have had a mad streak, too. After all, he was the son of a madman. And George himself says that one can count both Daeron I and especially Baelor the Blessed among the mad Targaryens, too, up to a point. Charisma and madness can go hand in hand.

A moron or a madman. I guess this is why I dislike the "common" perspective on the abduction and Rhaegar. For some reason his "bookish" side led me to expect a smart and rational guy.

Quote

We can deal with that by not assuming that Elia's second birth had the same problems as the first. [...]

I think that could easily enough explain the vision Dany sees. Lets say this happened a week or a few days after the birth when Elia had recovered enough to nurse her son and spend time with Rhaegar. She lies in her bed in that vision, after all.

Yes, it's easy to find an explanation for it. But there is a -very- small discrepancy here nonetheless and entire theories are built on such discrepancies.

I've read someone saying that the maesters may have lied to Rhaegar, thus triggering the whole thing. I kind of like this -wild- idea.

Quote

Have you any basis for this?

Nothing specific. But since Dany learns a lot about Rhaegar through Barry rather than through Viserys I tend to assume that Viserys and Rhaegar weren't very close.

Quote

It is of course also possible that the Targaryens had their own version of things. I don't deny that possibility. But if Rhaegar was in love with Lyanna Viserys is more likely to have had good information on that than bad information.

Why though? Viserys was just a kid and Rhaegar likely gave his explanations behind closed doors.

Quote

Well, I doubt that Mel is going to believe Stannis is dead just because some letter claims he is. That's exceedingly unlikely. Thus Lyanna (and anyone who might have believed that Aegon was the promised prince) could also have concluded that reality has to bow down to prophecy in this matter.

Which is why I argued that Ned and Lyanna may have had time for a real discussion... Lyanna can hardly doubt Ned's word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I find none of those satisfying. But this is a whole other can of worms.

Let me just say that I don't believe we have all the elements and a complete picture of the events leading to RR just yet. In fact, from a narrative purpose, it would be a disapointment if we knew everything there is to know although there are still at least two books left in the series and Bran has become a magical deus ex machina that can show us what happened in the past in detail. So while I can't fault the logic in the "common" perspective on the abduction I very much doubt that it is the truth.

There are certainly holes in the story of the beginning of the Rebellion and in the immediate aftermath of the abduction, but I maintain that we might already have enough clues about Rhaegar's motivation to not need a lot of additional material.

On Lyanna's side things are much more difficult, of course. But if she had no idea that she was going to be abducted - which is not unlikely - then she doesn't have to have another motivational layer atop of the whole thing.

What's completely mysterious up to this point is why the hell Rhaegar and Lyanna went underground after the abduction and what their (or rather Rhaegar's) plans were. You can spin it all the way you want but this thing just looks irrational, erratic, and quite mad if we assume Rhaegar was doing this all of his own free will and was not, at least partially, forced to do it.

My idea there is that Aerys actually executed Brandon and Rickard as Rhaegar's accomplices in a conspiracy against him because he saw the abduction as proof of the suspicions he had at Harrenhal that the coronation was evidence of an anti-Aerys Rhaegar-Stark conspiracy.

Rickard and Brandon accusing Rhaegar of abducting Lyanna against their will, etc. would have fallen on the Mad King's deaf ears.

If I'm on the right track there it could also make sense that Aerys also jumped on the chance to disinherit, arrest, and execute Rhaegar for treason - the abduction was proof of all that - and subsequently Rhaegar had to go into hiding.

If Rhaegar did not only abduct Lyanna but also marry her in some public place Aerys would have had even more evidence against his ingrate son. Things would only have changed in Rhaegar's favor when Aerys finally realized that he had been completely wrong - Rhaegar wasn't with the rebels, and the rebels were calling as loudly for Rhaegar's head as they were calling for Aerys'.

12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I'm sure parents/fathers have their preferences, but do they actually discuss them before the child is born? I don't think we have any info on that. For all we know, fathers name sons and mothers daughters, eh?

Definitely not. Sansa and Arya both have all traditional Stark names, as do all the other Stark children save Robb (who was named after Robert).

Prince Daemon names both his daughters by Laena (after his own father, Baelon, and Laena's mother Rhaenys). Rhaenyra's three elder sons are all named by Laenor (or rather Corlys, at least in the first two cases).

Jon Arryn would have named his son after Robert, too. 

12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

All right, let's say you have a point and Aegon was always the name for a future king, rather than for tPtwP.
Now, what if Lyanna, having learned of the death of Elia's children, assumed that her son was now heir to the throne and thus a future king as well? After all, aren't there plenty of people who argue this is exactly what the three KG at the ToJ believed? Why not Lyanna then?

The idea that Lyanna of all people - who seems to have been afraid of something, presumably the life of her son - believed her son would be king one day or was the rightful king is very unlikely. First, neither she nor any of her children were official members of the royal family (she was never presented to the king as Rhaegar's wife nor were her children ever acknowledged as Rhaegar's seed by the court and king), second she would have known - presumably - that both Rhaegar and Aerys were dead when she herself lay dying, and Robert was the new king.

12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

A moron or a madman. I guess this is why I dislike the "common" perspective on the abduction and Rhaegar. For some reason his "bookish" side led me to expect a smart and rational guy.

Bookish people are not necessarily all that rational. Especially not when love and lust enter the equation. Rhaegar certainly was smart enough that he should realize he was making mistakes. But that doesn't mean he didn't make them.

12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Yes, it's easy to find an explanation for it. But there is a -very- small discrepancy here nonetheless and entire theories are built on such discrepancies.

Sure, but then nobody is building theories on Renly's magical eye color changes or the transsexual horses. Or the fact that Chayle seems to be alive and well and the new septon at Castle Black with the same drinking problem as Cellador.

Sometimes things are just mistakes. Or not even real mistakes. The idea that George already had figured out the time line of Elia's health and the birth of her children by the time he was writing ACoK isn't very likely.

12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I've read someone saying that the maesters may have lied to Rhaegar, thus triggering the whole thing. I kind of like this -wild- idea.

If we had any idea who the hell the maester of Dragonstone was at that time this could make some sense. But assuming some faceless maesters are involved in some evil conspiracy is somewhat far-fetched. Even more since one might assume Rhaegar may have consulted more than just one maester on the subject of the continued fertility of his wife.

12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Nothing specific. But since Dany learns a lot about Rhaegar through Barry rather than through Viserys I tend to assume that Viserys and Rhaegar weren't very close.

They don't have to have been 'close' to Rhaegar spending a few hours with his little brother after he hasn't seen him for months. Aerys kept Viserys very close after his birth, preventing from attending Rhaegar's wedding and the tourney of Harrenhal, that's true, but this doesn't mean (nor is it evidence) that Rhaegar didn't drop in his brother's room behind close doors in Maegor's Holdfast to spend some time with him.

It is clear that they wouldn't have been close due to the age gap but still - Rhaegar and Viserys were the only living children of their royal parents. Rhaegar might have felt happy to finally have a little brother after all.

And even if Rhaegar always ignored his little brother Rhaella and Aerys clearly didn't. They could have answered Viserys' questions about what Rhaegar had done, etc.

12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Why though? Viserys was just a kid and Rhaegar likely gave his explanations behind closed doors.

His parents could have told him thereafter, or Rhaegar himself as I just said. Especially Rhaella could have been a good sources considering that Viserys most definitely would have asked his mother why his elder brother was dead now, and why the hell there had been a rebellion and a war in the first place.

12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Which is why I argued that Ned and Lyanna may have had time for a real discussion... Lyanna can hardly doubt Ned's word.

She could certainly refuse to believe Ned's interpretation of events. After all, he had no proof that Prince Aegon was truly dead, or had he? All he ever saw was a dead infant without a face. He had never seen Prince Aegon in life, meaning that he could never have identified the boy even if his face and head still been intact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There are certainly holes in the story of the beginning of the Rebellion and in the immediate aftermath of the abduction, but I maintain that we might already have enough clues about Rhaegar's motivation to not need a lot of additional material.

Gee I hope not. Because as you point out:

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

What's completely mysterious up to this point is why the hell Rhaegar and Lyanna went underground after the abduction and what their (or rather Rhaegar's) plans were. You can spin it all the way you want but this thing just looks irrational, erratic, and quite mad if we assume Rhaegar was doing this all of his own free will and was not, at least partially, forced to do it.

I'm hoping that the prophecy angle is a slight misdirection and that Rhaegar actually had one (or several) good reason both for abducting Lyanna and hiding with her. I'm also inclined to think it was something to do with Aerys.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that Lyanna of all people - who seems to have been afraid of something, presumably the life of her son - believed her son would be king one day or was the rightful king is very unlikely.

Perhaps it is unlikely. But you tend to think she was afraid for him because Robert might view him as a Targaryen don't you? If she was scared for him, wasn't it because he might some day be a threat to Robert's dynasty?

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If we had any idea who the hell the maester of Dragonstone was at that time this could make some sense.

The funny thing is that this maester does seem to have disappeared - since Stannis later brought his own to Dragonstone.

And this maester may in fact prove to be of some importance. He may have been the one to attend to Elia at first. But he would also have attended to Rhaella after she fled KL since Pycelle remained there.
It's one of those minor oddities that a character who knew so much is convenientely absent - to the point where we don't even know his name. One of those details that could mean nothing... Or everything.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

She could certainly refuse to believe Ned's interpretation of events. After all, he had no proof that Prince Aegon was truly dead, or had he? All he ever saw was a dead infant without a face. He had never seen Prince Aegon in life, meaning that he could never have identified the boy even if his face and head still been intact.

Come on. Ned saw the bodies didn't he? That would be enough for anybody.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Gee I hope not. Because as you point out:

I'm hoping that the prophecy angle is a slight misdirection and that Rhaegar actually had one (or several) good reason both for abducting Lyanna and hiding with her. I'm also inclined to think it was something to do with Aerys.

The only good reason I can see is that Rhaegar (and Lyanna) had to run for their lives because Aerys had declared them traitors and outlaws. Anything else would just make him look irresponsible and erratic, especially with the Targaryen loyalists. No sane man would have respected Rhaegar for leaving his father, wife, and kingdom alone in the middle of a crisis just to have a little fun with young girl.

All the reasons about Rhaegar wanting to save Lyanna from something, etc. can't deal with that kind of problem.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Perhaps it is unlikely. But you tend to think she was afraid for him because Robert might view him as a Targaryen don't you? If she was scared for him, wasn't it because he might some day be a threat to Robert's dynasty?

She may have been afraid for him because she feared Robert would either kill him or not prevent his murder. Or she might have been afraid that he would be used as a puppet by the knights guarding her, living a miserable life far away from his Stark family.

I doubt that she was afraid he would one day be propped up as some kind of Targaryen pretender or die in some foolish attempt to steal Robert's crown.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

The funny thing is that this maester does seem to have disappeared - since Stannis later brought his own to Dragonstone.

Yeah, well, perhaps this makes some sense, perhaps not. The appendix mentions the maester of Casterly Rock yet that guy was never mentioned in the text nor did he ever show up. In AGoT the Red Keep had a nameless steward. That guy disappeared, too.

Some people have theorized Marwyn may have been the previous maester of Dragonstone. That's a nice and interesting idea. We'll have to wait and see.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Come on. Ned saw the bodies didn't he? That would be enough for anybody.

We are talking about a person believing in prophecy - or rather in a certain interpretation of a prophecy. That includes an irrational (quasi-)religious element.

Melisandre wouldn't even believe that Stannis is dead if somebody told her he or she had seen his body. Because she *knows* that he is Azor Ahai. Lyanna could have had a similar conviction.

And the fact is - Aegon might be still alive. Thus she wouldn't necessarily have been wrong had she believed such a thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The only good reason I can see is that Rhaegar (and Lyanna) had to run for their lives because Aerys had declared them traitors and outlaws.

Something along those lines works for me.

21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

All the reasons about Rhaegar wanting to save Lyanna from something, etc. can't deal with that kind of problem.

Well, unless Rhaegar was saving Lyanna from Aerys (i.e. orders given by Aerys) in the first place. In which case it would make sense for both of them to hide from the Crown -at least.
Presumably at some point they hid from the rebels as well because after Rickard's death Lyanna no longer felt duty-bound to marry Robert.

21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I doubt that she was afraid he would one day be propped up as some kind of Targaryen pretender or die in some foolish attempt to steal Robert's crown.

I wouldn't be so sure. Robert had just overthrown a 300-old dynasty with a mystical dimension. Lyanna had no way of knowing just how complete his victory over the loyalists was. It's actually kind of surprising that he managed to hold on to the throne for the rest of his days without any real challenge.

21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, well, perhaps this makes some sense, perhaps not. The appendix mentions the maester of Casterly Rock yet that guy was never mentioned in the text nor did he ever show up. In AGoT the Red Keep had a nameless steward. That guy disappeared, too.

Some people have theorized Marwyn may have been the previous maester of Dragonstone. That's a nice and interesting idea. We'll have to wait and see.

I nearly mentioned that thought. :)

21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We are talking about a person believing in prophecy - or rather in a certain interpretation of a prophecy. That includes an irrational (quasi-)religious element.

Melisandre wouldn't even believe that Stannis is dead if somebody told her he or she had seen his body. Because she *knows* that he is Azor Ahai. Lyanna could have had a similar conviction..

I beg to differ. I think Mel knows she can make mistakes in interpreting what she sees, and would thus be able to adapt to facts.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28.11.2016 at 8:38 PM, Rippounet said:

Something along those lines works for me.

Well, unless Rhaegar was saving Lyanna from Aerys (i.e. orders given by Aerys) in the first place. In which case it would make sense for both of them to hide from the Crown -at least.

Lyanna might have to hide in such a scenario, but not Rhaegar. There is no reason why Rhaegar has to be with Lyanna, even if he wanted to save him.

On 28.11.2016 at 8:38 PM, Rippounet said:

Presumably at some point they hid from the rebels as well because after Rickard's death Lyanna no longer felt duty-bound to marry Robert.

There is no evidence for this. It is just as likely that Lyanna felt disgusted by the very thought of marrying the son of the man who had her father and brother executed.

On 28.11.2016 at 8:38 PM, Rippounet said:

I wouldn't be so sure. Robert had just overthrown a 300-old dynasty with a mystical dimension. Lyanna had no way of knowing just how complete his victory over the loyalists was. It's actually kind of surprising that he managed to hold on to the throne for the rest of his days without any real challenge.

Not really, Robert is himself part-Targaryen. Had he killed Viserys III, too, he would have been pretty much the default heir, anyway.

On 28.11.2016 at 8:38 PM, Rippounet said:

I beg to differ. I think Mel knows she can make mistakes in interpreting what she sees, and would thus be able to adapt to facts.

She gives no impression that she is even considering the possibility that she might be wrong about Stannis. And some person telling her stories about a dead Stannis doesn't make it so. And even if Stannis were dead, he could still be the savior. After all, in this world people can be resurrected, and Melisandre might be aware of this fact.

Mel also does never consider the possibility that her religion could be wrong - despite the fact that it most likely is. R'hllor is definitely not causing the sun to rise each day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Lyanna might have to hide in such a scenario, but not Rhaegar. There is no reason why Rhaegar has to be with Lyanna, even if he wanted to save him.

If Aerys ordered Lyanna captured (several reasons are possible) and Rhaegar decided to intervene (because he knew her and admired her), Rhaegar could be deemed a traitor to his father.

Considering how tense the relationship between Rhaegar and Aerys was at this point, it makes perfect sense for Rhaegar to hide after abducting Lyanna, whetever his reasons. The abduction has too many political repercussions for Aeys and his advisors not to see it as a possible betrayal. Only after several months of war would it be clear that Rhaegar had in fact not allied with the rebels to overthrow Aerys.

33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no evidence for this. It is just as likely that Lyanna felt disgusted by the very thought of marrying the son of the man who had her father and brother executed.

True. But then, generally speaking we don't know how Rhaegar convinced Lyanna that he was different from his father. Or even if he did so, since, after all, it's still possible she was raped.

33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Not really, Robert is himself part-Targaryen. Had he killed Viserys III, too, he would have been pretty much the default heir, anyway.

Possibly. But as you know, succession is a tricky thing. There was also Rhaella and unborn Dany to consider. Not to mention that other claimants with Targaryen blood could have come forward. And Lyanna had no way of knowing whether Targaryen loyalists would kneel to Robert (she couldn't know just how good he was at turning people) or go with another claimant.
No, really, when Robert took the throne it was hard to be certain that he would keep it for long. Or even even establish a lasting dynasty ; which he didn't, anyway.
And Lyanna surely knew about the Blackfyre rebellions. That alone should have been enough to fear for the future of Rhaegar's son, bastard or not.

33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

She gives no impression that she is even considering the possibility that she might be wrong about Stannis. And some person telling her stories about a dead Stannis doesn't make it so. And even if Stannis were dead, he could still be the savior. After all, in this world people can be resurrected, and Melisandre might be aware of this fact.

Yes, but Mel is a stubborn one. Though I don't think she's as stubborn as you say, since she's already proved with the case of Alys Kastark that she is aware that she can be mistaken. Also, George talked of an "agenda" of hers, which might imply she has more than one reason to stick with Stannis in the first place.

I originally pointed out that others such as Rhaegar and Maester Aemon have been able to reconsider their interpretation of prophecy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

If Aerys ordered Lyanna captured (several reasons are possible) and Rhaegar decided to intervene (because he knew her and admired her), Rhaegar could be deemed a traitor to his father.

True, but Rhaegar should have been able to keep his involvement a secret. I mean, the Prince-Elector of Saxony did not personally abduct Martin Luther when the man was returning to Wittenberg after the Imperial Diet. He send his men to do that.

Rhaegar could have sent his friends to take care of Lyanna, too. Or he could have disguised them and himself as common brigands to obscure who was truly behind that whole thing. Tywin does the same when he has Gregor attack the Riverlands in AGoT.

There is no reason that Aerys has to find out that Rhaegar was behind that whole thing.

In addition, I see little reason for Aerys to actually demand the arrest of a woman. That would have been a very uncommon thing. Women aren't combatants, and Aerys has no reason to see Lyanna as an enemy. Even if he had further investigated the mystery knight thing (unlikely, considering his mood swings at this point of his illness) I'm pretty sure he would never have believed the story that a girl was this knight he had felt threatened by. That would make him look foolish and cowardly.

10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Considering how tense the relationship between Rhaegar and Aerys was at this point, it makes perfect sense for Rhaegar to hide after abducting Lyanna, whetever his reasons. The abduction has too many political repercussions for Aeys and his advisors not to see it as a possible betrayal. Only after several months of war would it be clear that Rhaegar had in fact not allied with the rebels to overthrow Aerys.

But there were no rebels out there when Rhaegar and Lyanna disappeared. And Rhaegar had no way to foresee that Robert, Jon, and Ned would eventually launch a very successful rebellion. Effectively abandoning his family and friends at court and trusting that Aerys is not going to kill them all was a huge mistake. At court as a public figure (the Prince of Dragonstone) he could have tried to reason with his father and try to mitigate his fallout. Would Aerys have executed Rickard and Brandon and called for Robert and Ned's heads if Rhaegar had been there?

Perhaps not, if Rhaegar hadn't been declared a traitor himself at this point.

By the way, the fact that Rhaegar went on some kind of journey before he returned to the Riverlands makes it exceedingly unlikely that he would have known about any plans of Aerys' to arrest or capture Lyanna.

10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

True. But then, generally speaking we don't know how Rhaegar convinced Lyanna that he was different from his father. Or even if he did so, since, after all, it's still possible she was raped.

Well, since I'm inclined to believe something was going on between Rhaegar and Lyanna before they learned what had transpired in KL she might very well have had sex with him and married prior to that. But I'm not very inclined to believe that she could just brush of the murders of her father and brother nor do I think she liked (or was supporting) Rhaegar's decision to return to KL to save Aerys' ass.

By that time she might have been both his wife and his prisoner.

Once Lyanna learned about Rhaegar's death and gave birth to his child she might have realized how much she had loved him despite all that, and how much his loss hurt, but that doesn't mean she particularly liked him when he left her in the hands of those three guys.

10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Possibly. But as you know, succession is a tricky thing. There was also Rhaella and unborn Dany to consider. Not to mention that other claimants with Targaryen blood could have come forward. And Lyanna had no way of knowing whether Targaryen loyalists would kneel to Robert (she couldn't know just how good he was at turning people) or go with another claimant.

Oh, I thought we were talking about Robert winning the war. No other Targaryen cousin through the female line came forth, most likely because the only ones aside from the Martells are from minor families - Tarth, Penrose, Plumm, possibly Dondarrion (two of which are actually sworn to Storm's End).

Had Robert captured Dany alive he could have married her (or Rhaenys, if she lived) to his heir to strengthen his claim. Depending on who Viserys III ended up marrying Robert's grandchildren from such a union could have claimed to have more royal blood than Viserys' children.

The chance that anybody would have declared for a female monarch (like Rhaella) after the Targaryens had just effectively lost the war is very unlikely.

10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

No, really, when Robert took the throne it was hard to be certain that he would keep it for long. Or even even establish a lasting dynasty ; which he didn't, anyway.

Sure, that was a problem. But that's always the case if there is a coup or a conquest. Lyanna's child was very unlikely to become the focal point of some Targaryen restoration project due to his looks. The boy doesn't look like a Targaryen, and looks would be everything in such a thing.

10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

And Lyanna surely knew about the Blackfyre rebellions. That alone should have been enough to fear for the future of Rhaegar's son, bastard or not.

No Targaryen king ever sent assassins after Blackfyre children nor were any Blackfyre children killed on the orders of a Targaryen king. At least not as far as we know.

10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Yes, but Mel is a stubborn one. Though I don't think she's as stubborn as you say, since she's already proved with the case of Alys Kastark that she is aware that she can be mistaken. Also, George talked of an "agenda" of hers, which might imply she has more than one reason to stick with Stannis in the first place.

Mel is certainly aware that her visions are open to interpretation. She is very aware of that fact, actually. But nobody has said a vision caused her to believe Stannis is the savior, nor is it likely that she will interpret a vision depicting Stannis' death literally. The idea that Stannis is the One seems to be part of her basic set of beliefs. She is never even questioning that. Just as she is not questioning the existence or the power of her god.

10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I originally pointed out that others such as Rhaegar and Maester Aemon have been able to reconsider their interpretation of prophecy.

That is true. It would depend on how strongly Rhaegar or Lyanna believed in the prophecy. But I assume you see the problem I'm pointing out here. Lyanna had no good evidence confirming to her that Prince Aegon was truly dead, making it exceedingly unlikely that she would have given her son the same name.

Even if she believed that I think she would have found it way too ominous to give her son the name of some boy whose head was crushed against a wall. That would have been a rather bad omen, don't you think.

She would only have been something like that if she had been a complete Targaryen fan girl - and I think we can safely say that this wasn't the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

True, but Rhaegar should have been able to keep his involvement a secret. I mean, the Prince-Elector of Saxony did not personally abduct Martin Luther when the man was returning to Wittenberg after the Imperial Diet. He send his men to do that.

Rhaegar could have sent his friends to take care of Lyanna, too. Or he could have disguised them and himself as common brigands to obscure who was truly behind that whole thing. Tywin does the same when he has Gregor attack the Riverlands in AGoT.

There is no reason that Aerys has to find out that Rhaegar was behind that whole thing.

This is a problem we have regardless of our own personal theories as to the motives of the abduction. It's not easy to see why he would move so openly.

This has led people to speculate that Lyanna was in some sort of immediate danger that prompted Rhaegar to act recklessly.

Alternatively, I supose Rhaegar could have wanted the STAB alliance to rebel against Aerys. But this could have backfired spectacularly if Rickard and Aerys had managed to reach any kind of understanding. Betting on Aerys to do something crazy is a possibility I guess, but the risk was such that it seems somewhat unlikely to me.

So I don't really see any way to make sense of the abduction with the information we have. I'm certain there is a missing piece that the next book will provide.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In addition, I see little reason for Aerys to actually demand the arrest of a woman.

Lyanna was the key to the STAB alliance though. Preventing her marriage to Robert could have some benefits. But given the precedent with Lyonel Baratheon it also makes this a risky bet.

Of course, rather than speculate about Aerys's reason to want Lyanna, it's much easier to assume that Rhaegar just acted for reasons of his own.

I tend to speculate that there was the involvement of a shadow player at some point that goes a long way to explain the abduction, or at least the way in which it happened.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But there were no rebels out there when Rhaegar and Lyanna disappeared.

Yes and no. I think we have enough elements to assume Aerys and his advisors already viewed the STAB alliance with deep suspicion. Likewise, Rhaegar disappearing with Lyanna Stark could eaisly be seen as some sort of ploy.

Of course, Brandon showing up in KL to challenge Rhaegar should have been enough to show Aerys that the Starks were definitely not in league with Rhaegar. Both him and Rickard were executed nonetheless. This indicates to me that at this point Aerys considered the Starks (or at least Rickard) a danger to him regardless of what they did.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Effectively abandoning his family and friends at court and trusting that Aerys is not going to kill them all was a huge mistake.

True, but this is a problem we have regardless of Rhaegar's motives so I wouldn't view this as a basis for any speculation. In fact, I'd say it's more logical to assume that Rhaegar did not believe his father would move against his friends or family.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

At court as a public figure (the Prince of Dragonstone) he could have tried to reason with his father and try to mitigate his fallout. Would Aerys have executed Rickard and Brandon and called for Robert and Ned's heads if Rhaegar had been there?

Perhaps not, if Rhaegar hadn't been declared a traitor himself at this point.

Possibly. I find it simpler to assume that Rhaegar had no interest in protecting the Starks from his father.

Besides, Rhaegar attempting to defend the Starks might have reinforced the idea that they were scheming with him. It could have made things worse, at least for Rhaegar.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

By the way, the fact that Rhaegar went on some kind of journey before he returned to the Riverlands makes it exceedingly unlikely that he would have known about any plans of Aerys' to arrest or capture Lyanna.

That is true, but then Rhaegar's journey also makes it unlikely he would have learned of Lyanna's whereabouts in the Riverlands. I mean, Lyanna could have been expected to pass through the Riverlands at some point, but there was no way of knowing when exactly, and most importantly, that she wouldn't be travelling with her father and/or brother.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, since I'm inclined to believe something was going on between Rhaegar and Lyanna before they learned what had transpired in KL she might very well have had sex with him and married prior to that. But I'm not very inclined to believe that she could just brush of the murders of her father and brother nor do I think she liked (or was supporting) Rhaegar's decision to return to KL to save Aerys' ass.

By that time she might have been both his wife and his prisoner.

I considered something like that at some point. That Rhaegar and Lyanna had an affair in the Riverlands and that her abduction was only the final development in that chapter.
I find that rather unlikely though. I don't believe much went on at Harrenhal (Rhaegar was closely watched there so I don't think he could have had more than an evening/night with Lyanna). It's hard to see how they could have arranged to meet later, and most importantly, how they could have kept such an affair secret.

All in all I strongly believe that when Rhaegar abducted Lyanna he hadn't seen her since Harrenhal. Which is why his motives are so important.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, I thought we were talking about Robert winning the war.

Well you were the one who raised the point that Robert wasn't so far in line for the throne. ;)

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No other Targaryen cousin through the female line came forth, most likely because the only ones aside from the Martells are from minor families - Tarth, Penrose, Plumm, possibly Dondarrion (two of which are actually sworn to Storm's End).

Had Robert captured Dany alive he could have married her (or Rhaenys, if she lived) to his heir to strengthen his claim. Depending on who Viserys III ended up marrying Robert's grandchildren from such a union could have claimed to have more royal blood than Viserys' children.

The chance that anybody would have declared for a female monarch (like Rhaella) after the Targaryens had just effectively lost the war is very unlikely.

Perhaps. But however good your reasoning may be it's unsure whether Lyanna would have applied the same logic (or would have had the same in-depth knowledge about succession and history). My point is, as the war ended it was difficult to predict how the loyalist side would take the rebels' victories. Let's bear in mind that Dorne at least was willing to continue the fight. The Tyrells were also something of a question mark ; though they did lift the siege at Storm's End, they supposedly still had large forces that they could have pledged to any half-decent claimant (as they did during the Wo5K). Lastly the Lannisters could hardly be seen as reliable allies for the rebels (only Robert's marriage to Cersei secured that, and then, not that well in the end).
My point is also that it was difficult to know what would go down a decade or two later, as Jon would become a man-grown. Who could say that at that point several houses would not be ready to follow any claimant to oust Robert or his children? In fact, a few twists aside, this is exactly what happened.
Basically, as Robert's Rebellion ended, there was too much uncertainty for Lyanna not to imagine her son being used in another war.
In fact, how can we be sure that the Martells or the Tyrells would not have been ready to support a claim by Jon had they known who he was?

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No Targaryen king ever sent assassins after Blackfyre children nor were any Blackfyre children killed on the orders of a Targaryen king. At least not as far as we know.

But since the Targaryens had just been ousted, how could Lyanna assume that no one else would send assassins after Rhaegar's son? Supposedly Rhaegar's last remaining child?
In fact, we know that Robert at least proved willing to do just that with Dany (and presumably, Viserys before that).

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is true. It would depend on how strongly Rhaegar or Lyanna believed in the prophecy. But I assume you see the problem I'm pointing out here. Lyanna had no good evidence confirming to her that Prince Aegon was truly dead, making it exceedingly unlikely that she would have given her son the same name.

Yes, I see your point. But however logical your point may be, there's always the objection that Lyanna herself may have acted illogically. I mean that part of her might have been very willing to believe Aegon was dead and her son was important. Rhaegar was dead and she was dying. She could have had plenty of wild ideas about her son's future.
Anyway, we're back to saying Lyanna naming her son Aegon is unlikely and I can't disagree with that. I guess for this to work well one needs to speculate that Lyanna had a specific reason to think her son was tPtwP. A sign perhaps. Or simply the way in which Rhaegar communicated his beliefs. My reasons for entertaining the possibility were never great to begin with, so this isn't something that matters much to me.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Rippounet

Regarding this STAB thing:

I see no evidence whatsoever that such a conspiracy existed. At least not in the sense that it was directed against the Targaryens. All we have is Rickard's southron ambitions, and those could as much have targeted at a greater role in the Realm at large or at a place at court, on Aerys' Small Council. The man visited his king early on during his reign, after all.

In addition, people usually overlook that there was no marriage alliance whatsoever between the Arryns and any of the other lords involved. Jon Arryn was friends with Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon - but not necessarily very close with Brandon or Rickard Stark.

Hoster Tully joined the rebels rather late and only after essentially blackmailing Jon Arryn into marrying his soiled daughter (as well as forcing Eddard Stark to marry Brandon's bride-to-be).

We also know that Robert Baratheon was the one asking Rickard (through Ned) for Lyanna's hand. Rickard certainly would have been delighted by the offer but it is quite clear that this was a love match on Robert's part and had nothing to do with some sort of conspiracy or lasting alliance.

The idea that Aerys had any reason to see those marriage plans a threat (neither of which were actually realized at this point) is rather unlikely because he and his people saw the coronation of Lyanna at Harrenhal as a sign of a Rhaegar-Stark alliance despite the fact that Lyanna had long been betrothed to the Lord of Storm's End. They failed to recognize what that could mean should Lyanna Stark be harassed by Rhaegar in the future.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

This has led people to speculate that Lyanna was in some sort of immediate danger that prompted Rhaegar to act recklessly.

I think we can lay those speculations to rest now, considering it is quite unlikely that Rhaegar would have the means to learn anything about such a threat (see below).

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Alternatively, I supose Rhaegar could have wanted the STAB alliance to rebel against Aerys. But this could have backfired spectacularly if Rickard and Aerys had managed to reach any kind of understanding. Betting on Aerys to do something crazy is a possibility I guess, but the risk was such that it seems somewhat unlikely to me.

That doesn't make any sense for me. Rhaegar would have been part of any informal talks between the great lords involving Aerys' mental state, and he was the one who tried to convene an informal Great Council at Harrenhal. His abduction of Lyanna ruined any chance he might have had to ever depose his father peacefully with the support of a majority of the lords.

The idea that there was an anti-Targaryen conspiracy going on among many great lords makes little sense. Those men had little in common on the grand scale of things, and could actually only lose if the monarchy was weakened. The same also goes for the Citadel who supposedly was behind all that. We know they are interested in the rule of law and reason, and neither could be strengthened if the Iron Throne was weakened.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I tend to speculate that there was the involvement of a shadow player at some point that goes a long way to explain the abduction, or at least the way in which it happened.

I don't think there is any reason to assume something of that sort. There is perhaps a chance that Rhaegar was fed false information deliberately or something of that sort but I've difficulty imagining that this could motivate him to abduct Lyanna. People messing with him in this way would have to know what he felt for her and I don't think many people knew that.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Yes and no. I think we have enough elements to assume Aerys and his advisors already viewed the STAB alliance with deep suspicion.

We have no reason to believe anything of that sort.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Likewise, Rhaegar disappearing with Lyanna Stark could eaisly be seen as some sort of ploy.

I think it was seen as such. Aerys and his cronies thought this was Rhaegar's sign to launch an open rebellion against Aerys, and he also thought that Rickard and Brandon (and Ned and Robert) were in on that whole thing which is why he killed them all/wanted them dead.

That would make even more sense if Rhaegar and Lyanna actually openly married immediately after the abduction. We have no information what happened immediately thereafter nor do we have any confirmation that Rhaegar and Lyanna went underground immediately thereafter.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Of course, Brandon showing up in KL to challenge Rhaegar should have been enough to show Aerys that the Starks were definitely not in league with Rhaegar. Both him and Rickard were executed nonetheless. This indicates to me that at this point Aerys considered the Starks (or at least Rickard) a danger to him regardless of what they did.

This would be his madness speaking. He has a preconceived notion since Harrenhal (Rhaegar and the Starks are against me) and once they try to play innocent/refuse to confess their vile treason (perhaps he would have pardoned them if they had delivered Rhaegar and Lyanna to him whom they most likely, in his mind, helped to hide?) they had to die.

Rickard actually got his mock trial, presumably because Aerys already 'knew' the man was guilty. But we don't actually what he was actually accused of. People used to think Aerys was 'defending' Rhaegar against Brandon with this whole thing but in light of the Harrenhal revelations in TWoIaF this doesn't make any sense anymore. Aerys mistrusted his son and considered to disinherit him. He wouldn't have protected him from Brandon - just as Aegon IV most likely wouldn't have protected his son Daeron from anybody challenging him to single combat.

Besides, Brandon might have been executed because he threatened Rhaegar but Rickard never did anything of that sort. Why did Aerys execute him?

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

True, but this is a problem we have regardless of Rhaegar's motives so I wouldn't view this as a basis for any speculation. In fact, I'd say it's more logical to assume that Rhaegar did not believe his father would move against his friends or family.

That is not very likely considering that Rhaegar himself planned to move against his father. He clearly knew that this was a risky business which is why there was no talk about deposing Aerys at Harrehal after the king decided to attend.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Possibly. I find it simpler to assume that Rhaegar had no interest in protecting the Starks from his father.

That would make only sense if we assume Rhaegar intended to rape and imprison Lyanna. The idea that he wanted her brother and father to die makes no sense at all.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Besides, Rhaegar attempting to defend the Starks might have reinforced the idea that they were scheming with him. It could have made things worse, at least for Rhaegar.

The idea is that Rhaegar's presence at court could have helped stop the outbreak of a rebellion, or at least helped to contain it. Instead he spend the first half of the war in hiding while everything fell apart around him. That doesn't make any sense from any rational point of view unless he could simply not return to court because his father wanted to kill him as much as he wanted to kill Robert and Ned (until he changed his mind on that thing).

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

That is true, but then Rhaegar's journey also makes it unlikely he would have learned of Lyanna's whereabouts in the Riverlands. I mean, Lyanna could have been expected to pass through the Riverlands at some point, but there was no way of knowing when exactly, and most importantly, that she wouldn't be travelling with her father and/or brother.

The best way to resolve this whole thing is to assume that Lyanna actually remained in the Riverlands after Harrenhal, possibly as a guest of the Whents or the Tullys. Brandon's wedding at Riverrun wasn't that far in the future and she may have befriended Lord Walter's daughter or some other people in the Riverlands and decided to stay with them.

Brandon did return to Winterfell (possibly to pick up their father for the wedding if Rickard himself wasn't at Harrenhal) while Ned and Robert jumped on the chance to pay Jon Arryn a visit in the Vale (before, most likely, making their way to Riverrun for the wedding) if Jon wasn't himself at Harrenhal.

We know that Brandon was on his way to Riverrun for the wedding when he learned about the abduction and we also know (from the App) that Rickard also was already on his way and that Brandon was originally part of his party but had been racing ahead. It is not far-fetched to assume that Brandon intended to pick up Lyanna at Harrenhal or meet with her somewhere on the road so that they would all go together to Riverrun. This also explains why Rickard only showed up with a few people at court rather than a sizable host.

If Lyanna remained in the Riverlands/at Harrenhal Rhaegar should have been able to find out where Lyanna was and how to get to her simply by using his connections to Ser Oswell Whent and Lord Walter Whent.

The idea that the abduction was supposed to save Lyanna from some real danger makes not much sense considering that Rhaegar would have been a fool not to give Lyanna and her protectors (most likely Stark men) the reason why he was taking her. If Aerys wanted Lyanna's head he could easily enough have told that Lyanna and the men protecting her and they could later have told Brandon about that. I don't think he would have been stupid enough to race to KL if he had reason to believe that the king intended to kill his sister - after all, that would very likely mean he would kill him, too, wouldn't it? Instead, Brandon really seems to believe Rhaegar took Lyanna because he had the hots for her, not caring that his sister was betrothed to the Lord of Storm's End.

The fact that Brandon learned about the abduction at all means that somebody must have witnessed it, and the people most likely informing Brandon about it would be Stark men-at-arms. Whent men most likely would have kept quiet.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I considered something like that at some point. That Rhaegar and Lyanna had an affair in the Riverlands and that her abduction was only the final development in that chapter.
I find that rather unlikely though. I don't believe much went on at Harrenhal (Rhaegar was closely watched there so I don't think he could have had more than an evening/night with Lyanna). It's hard to see how they could have arranged to meet later, and most importantly, how they could have kept such an affair secret.

Oh, Yandel tells us there were a lot of secret meetings - many of which of a romantic or sexual nature - at Harrenhal. There was time and opportunity enough for Rhaegar and Lyanna.

We are talking about medieval setting. At night only torches give light and if the Prince of Dragonstone declares is going to retire to his pavilion to sleep he would have a hundred opportunities to disappear into the night and meet his beloved at the shores of the Gods Eye or the Harrenhal godswood, or wherever else they might want to go. All he needed was the silence of his squire and other friends and servants. And I'm pretty sure Dayne, Whent, Mooton, and Lonmouth would have helped him with that.

Keep in mind that Meera's story already gives us the beginning of that story. Aerys charged Rhaegar with finding out who the mystery knight was. If he did that could very well have been the beginning of the affair. It certainly was what caused Rhaegar's interest in Lyanna.

But even if they weren't romantically involved (they could very well have confessed their love for each other in contrived way closely modeled on AOTC) there is still a pretty good chance that they consummated their relationship and married before Aerys executed Rickard and Brandon or at least before they learned that those events transpired.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

All in all I strongly believe that when Rhaegar abducted Lyanna he hadn't seen her since Harrenhal. Which is why his motives are so important.

I agree that he wouldn't have seen her. And I don't think he wrote to her, either.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Well you were the one who raised the point that Robert wasn't so far in line for the throne. ;)

Because that's a fact. If Robert had killed all the Targaryens who were ahead of him in the line of succession people could still have rebelled against him because he was a usurper and kinslayer but it would have been difficult to use some 'rightful king' as figurehead to cast him down. In monarchistic setting he would thus most likely remain in charge if he was able to provide a stable dynasty (which he did not) unless he turned out to be a cruel tyrant who turned the entire country against him.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Perhaps. But however good your reasoning may be it's unsure whether Lyanna would have applied the same logic (or would have had the same in-depth knowledge about succession and history).

I think Lyanna Stark's knowledge of the history of Westeros greatly exceeds mine.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

My point is also that it was difficult to know what would go down a decade or two later, as Jon would become a man-grown. Who could say that at that point several houses would not be ready to follow any claimant to oust Robert or his children? In fact, a few twists aside, this is exactly what happened.
Basically, as Robert's Rebellion ended, there was too much uncertainty for Lyanna not to imagine her son being used in another war.
In fact, how can we be sure that the Martells or the Tyrells would not have been ready to support a claim by Jon had they known who he was?

It is out of the question that anybody would have supported an infant pretender against a warrior-king. And later, well, if Robert's best friend raised that child it would never turn against him, right? Especially if he also sent him to the Wall before he was a man grown (which he actually did).

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

But since the Targaryens had just been ousted, how could Lyanna assume that no one else would send assassins after Rhaegar's son? Supposedly Rhaegar's last remaining child?
In fact, we know that Robert at least proved willing to do just that with Dany (and presumably, Viserys before that).

Yeah, that's a reason why she might have been afraid for his life. And if she was she was unlikely to believe he could ever be king.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Yes, I see your point. But however logical your point may be, there's always the objection that Lyanna herself may have acted illogically. I mean that part of her might have been very willing to believe Aegon was dead and her son was important. Rhaegar was dead and she was dying. She could have had plenty of wild ideas about her son's future.
Anyway, we're back to saying Lyanna naming her son Aegon is unlikely and I can't disagree with that. I guess for this to work well one needs to speculate that Lyanna had a specific reason to think her son was tPtwP. A sign perhaps. Or simply the way in which Rhaegar communicated his beliefs. My reasons for entertaining the possibility were never great to begin with, so this isn't something that matters much to me.

Well, if we assume people act illogical and completely irrational then we cannot even speculate what happens, right?

I'm open to the whole there was a sign at Jon's birth thing yet even that would not necessitate the giving of the name Aegon. After all, if Elia's son yet lived there would have been two half-brothers named Aegon Targaryen and that would have been a huge mess, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, if we assume people act illogical and completely irrational then we cannot even speculate what happens, right?

I'll take some time later to give a more complete answer, but I want to start by saying I think your reasoning is too logical. Your arguments always make sense, but they are mostly based on logic and the facts we have. But you are too quick to dismiss things that may be improbable, when the books so far have shown us that many things that were unlikely do in fact come to pass. Also, I believe you underestimate the possibility of changing circumstances when we have seen that the politics of Westeros are always in flux and that one faction can easily have a change of heart or adapt to even minor events.
The Wot5K shows us many such examples. The Tyrells supporting Renly was a surprise for me ; in many ways Renly was not the ideal claimant. Then his assassination was also a surprise and the Tyrells rallying the Lannisters (rather than Stannis) was not a given.
Then you have Robb winning all his battles (a surprising fact) but stupidly falling into the Westerling trap... Not to mention the fact that though Walder Frey's betrayal could possibly be expected, the Red Wedding was still surprising. Ned's execution was also illogical, and Jeoffrey can be blamed for that. Lysa's scheming against Jon Arryn (and against pretty much everyone) was also hard to predict. And how could anyone predict Littlefinger ending up as Lord Protector of the Vale? Viserys's death was also due to his sheer stupidity. Balon Greyjoy was quite random. Etc...

It's true that seeing characters as illogical or irrational is difficult. And I'm the first one to claim that Rhaegar's actions appear to be both and that a better explanation has to be provided later on. But I think that's the whole point of having us reflect on the events of RR. The story is built in such a way that we must assume that not all is at it appears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...