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Ygrain

R+L=J v.162

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@Rippounet

Just to clarify - I'm trying to always point out that Aerys II was a madman completely beyond rational deliberations. We have to take this into account always when we discuss his actions in all that.

And considering Rhaegar's ancestry it is not unlikely he could have had a 'mad streak', too - no mad streak of the King Scab kind but rather of the Baelor the Blessed variety.

That said, it is clear that the details of the events leading up to the Rebellion are completely unknown. But there seems to be no overcomplicated story to the Rebellion that is full of as many twists and turns as the War of the Five Kings. That one was somewhat more straightforward, although they might be a lot of scheming at plotting going at court while Merryweather was still Hand. Connington and Myles Mooton being there (or returning there after they left Rhaegar?) could be a hint that they were successfully lobbying in Rhaegar's favor and eventually convinced Aerys that the man had nothing to do with the Rebellion.

I usually use the same argument you did when discussing the official history of the Dance (and the decades leading up to it) and what might actually have happened. Historians might have seen through some of the plots and schemes, and some conspirators might have even left written evidence of their deeds but if we ask ourselves how likely it is right now that a future historian will be able to see through all the manipulations and schemes of Varys and Littlefinger then the answer will be that is rather unlikely. Unless the murder of Joffrey is reinvestigated or Varys' connection with Illyrio and Aegon will eventually be revealed, of course.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

And considering Rhaegar's ancestry it is not unlikely he could have had a 'mad streak', too - no mad streak of the King Scab kind but rather of the Baelor the Blessed variety.

To be honest this isn't something I'd seriously considered until now. I think this is a good point, and it might explain many things. On the other hand, it's also a very convenient explanation. I dunno. Sure, Rhaegar was eccentric in some respects, but except for Lyanna's abduction he never did anything brash.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That said, it is clear that the details of the events leading up to the Rebellion are completely unknown. But there seems to be no overcomplicated story to the Rebellion that is full of as many twists and turns as the War of the Five Kings. That one was somewhat more straightforward, although they might be a lot of scheming at plotting going at court while Merryweather was still Hand. Connington and Myles Mooton being there (or returning there after they left Rhaegar?) could be a hint that they were successfully lobbying in Rhaegar's favor and eventually convinced Aerys that the man had nothing to do with the Rebellion.

Oh I doubt we'll have too many twists about RR. I would argue however that we have enough information to be suspicious of both Varys (funny telling you that ;) ) and the maesters.
I suspect Rhaegar's plan to depose Aerys was more elaborate than we know. The WoIaF is heavily biased, but it reminds us that Tywin likely had an agenda of his own, and I believe he was in league with Rhaegar until Robert killed him (to Tywin's chagrin, I'm sure).

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

I agree until the last part. I don't believe Rickard was a schemer either (Tywin is a much better candidate for that). But I seriously doubt no one at court fueled Aerys's paranoia as to the budding STAB alliance (it was just too damn easy). Sure, there were those who used Aerys's suspicion of Rhaegar, but I think others wanted a conflict between STAB and the Targaryens.
Both the maesters and Varys would have had reasons to engineer a conflict to weaken the Targaryen dynasty. Aerys was the kind of person who could be manipulated, and I believe he was influenced by several people with slightly different agendas.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

The whole realm knew that Rhaegar had a thing for Lyanna. After Harrenhal this was an obvious weakness of his. And because of STAB, it also became a weakness of the Targaryens as a whole.

My original idea (and one which I still like) was that Rhaegar was pushed into abducting Lyanna. Either by someone convincing Aerys to harm Lyanna, or by someone falsely informing Rhaegar that this was the case. It may have been difficult for Rhaegar to get such an information... Unless the whole point was to make sure he got it, in order to push him to act recklessly. I'm sure it's not easy to get a message to someone who's on the road... But I'm sure there are ways when you really want to, unless the person is traveling covertly -which Rhaegar wasn't, as far as we know.

Everyone knew Rhaegar was attracted to Lyanna on some level. Giving him a political motive on top of that was certain to make him act.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We have no reason to believe anything of that sort.

It's purely circumstancial. But I'd find it hard to believe that no one at court saw the STAB alliance as a possible threat... Or opportunity.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

I think Rickard was accused not just of conspiring with Rhaegar, but also of trying to get Hoster Tully and Robert Baratheon to do so as well.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

He probably didn't want them to die. But then, Rhaegar had no way of knowing that his father would go as far as executing a Lord Paramount and his heir. I think we have a parallel between Rickard's execution and Ned's. It wasn't supposed to happen (it was complete madness), but someone whispered in Aerys's ear and made him do it.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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).

Oh, I agree that Rhaegar was probably seen as a traitor after Lyanna's abduction and that this explained why he didn't show up after Brandon's arrest.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

That is true, but then it also makes it possible for the Whents to send word to Rhaegar that they believed Lyanna was in danger. Whether the information was genuine or not doesn't really matter.

Basically, I would say that if Rhaegar could find Lyanna, then he also could be informed of a possible threat to her.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

Not necessarily. The escort could be infiltrated, or someone bought. We don't even know how large her escort was (we have a precedent of a highborn lady being captured by outlaws, do we not?), and to which house belonged the men guarding her. Some Stark men no doubt, but there could have been Riverlands men as well.
Also, if time was of the essence, there was no one with Lyanna who could be trusted with the information. Both Brandon and Rickard were elsewhere...
And anyway, in such a scenario, protecting her would only be part of Rhaegar's motives. He would be tempted to spend time with her.

And that is all assuming that Lyanna didn't go willingly with Rhaegar anyway. Even if Rhaegar had only come to deliver a warning in the first place, she could very well have been the one to convince him to take her with him and his party, against the wishes of her escort.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

Yes. And this is where, even if Lyanna went willingly with Rhaegar, the man in charge of escorting her would be tempted to argue that Rhaegar was the one who had taken her. And/Or Brandon could have been the one to misinterpret the information. Either way, we don't know whether Rhaegar used force. I doubt it, because as far as I know we have no mention of an actual fight.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

It's always possible, but I find it unlikely. If Rhaegar and Lyanna had an affair before she was crowned as QoLaB, it was completely stupid to advertise the fact by giving her the garland. After she received the garland, Lyanna would no doubt have been watched closely by pretty much everyone (including her brothers).
Of course, I understand your point that it's unlikely that Rhaegar would have seduced Lyanna after Aerys killed her father and brother...

But then, I've always had the feeling it was Lyanna who seduced Rhaegar rather than the other way around (I tend to assume he wouldn't have dishonored her).

There's also a short but not insignificant period of time between Lyanna's abduction and word of Brandon's arrest in KL reaching R&L. I would say that specific timeframe is the ideal moment for them to "consummate" as you say. ;)

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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

Yes and no. She was certainly taught many things, but what points did she remember? And how would she (and her maester) have interpreted past events exactly? Anyway, even a scholar would have had trouble predicting how things would unfold after Robert took the throne. At some point Viserys could have come back and found support at least with the Martells. Lyanna had no way of knowing that Cersei would marry Robert and bring the Lannisters to his side. Even the Tyrells were an unknown quantity at first.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is out of the question that anybody would have supported an infant pretender against a warrior-king.

I'm talking about suporting Jon against Robert's children, after Robert's death (Robert wasn't eternal). Had Jon's parentage been known, there was no telling whether someone wouldn't be tempted to use him against the new Baratheon dynasty.
And let's bear in mind this is pretty much what happened in a way. After Robert's death, many factions turned against Joffrey.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 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).

Which is why Lyanna would have wanted Ned to raise Jon as his son. Not just to protect him from Baratheon's hatred of Targaryens, but also to prevent anyone from using Jon and his parentage much further down the road. Ned raising Jon as his bastard son killed two birds with one stone.

I'm surprised you find so many objections to such a small point.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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?

If there was a sign suggesting to Lyanna that Jon was the PtwP (using information given by Rhaegar), then she would be much more inclined to believe anyone telling her that Aegon was dead.

 

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28 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

To be honest this isn't something I'd seriously considered until now. I think this is a good point, and it might explain many things. On the other hand, it's also a very convenient explanation. I dunno. Sure, Rhaegar was eccentric in some respects, but except for Lyanna's abduction he never did anything brash.

Oh I doubt we'll have too many twists about RR. I would argue however that we have enough information to be suspicious of both Varys (funny telling you that ;) ) and the maesters.
I suspect Rhaegar's plan to depose Aerys was more elaborate than we know. The WoIaF is heavily biased, but it reminds us that Tywin likely had an agenda of his own, and I believe he was in league with Rhaegar until Robert killed him (to Tywin's chagrin, I'm sure).

I agree until the last part. I don't believe Rickard was a schemer either (Tywin is a much better candidate for that). But I seriously doubt no one at court fueled Aerys's paranoia as to the budding STAB alliance (it was just too damn easy). Sure, there were those who used Aerys's suspicion of Rhaegar, but I think others wanted a conflict between STAB and the Targaryens.
Both the maesters and Varys would have had reasons to engineer a conflict to weaken the Targaryen dynasty. Aerys was the kind of person who could be manipulated, and I believe he was influenced by several people with slightly different agendas.

The whole realm knew that Rhaegar had a thing for Lyanna. After Harrenhal this was an obvious weakness of his. And because of STAB, it also became a weakness of the Targaryens as a whole.

My original idea (and one which I still like) was that Rhaegar was pushed into abducting Lyanna. Either by someone convincing Aerys to harm Lyanna, or by someone falsely informing Rhaegar that this was the case. It may have been difficult for Rhaegar to get such an information... Unless the whole point was to make sure he got it, in order to push him to act recklessly. I'm sure it's not easy to get a message to someone who's on the road... But I'm sure there are ways when you really want to, unless the person is traveling covertly -which Rhaegar wasn't, as far as we know.

Everyone knew Rhaegar was attracted to Lyanna on some level. Giving him a political motive on top of that was certain to make him act.

It's purely circumstancial. But I'd find it hard to believe that no one at court saw the STAB alliance as a possible threat... Or opportunity.

I think Rickard was accused not just of conspiring with Rhaegar, but also of trying to get Hoster Tully and Robert Baratheon to do so as well.

He probably didn't want them to die. But then, Rhaegar had no way of knowing that his father would go as far as executing a Lord Paramount and his heir. I think we have a parallel between Rickard's execution and Ned's. It wasn't supposed to happen (it was complete madness), but someone whispered in Aerys's ear and made him do it.

Oh, I agree that Rhaegar was probably seen as a traitor after Lyanna's abduction and that this explained why he didn't show up after Brandon's arrest.

That is true, but then it also makes it possible for the Whents to send word to Rhaegar that they believed Lyanna was in danger. Whether the information was genuine or not doesn't really matter.

Basically, I would say that if Rhaegar could find Lyanna, then he also could be informed of a possible threat to her.

Not necessarily. The escort could be infiltrated, or someone bought. We don't even know how large her escort was (we have a precedent of a highborn lady being captured by outlaws, do we not?), and to which house belonged the men guarding her. Some Stark men no doubt, but there could have been Riverlands men as well.
Also, if time was of the essence, there was no one with Lyanna who could be trusted with the information. Both Brandon and Rickard were elsewhere...
And anyway, in such a scenario, protecting her would only be part of Rhaegar's motives. He would be tempted to spend time with her.

And that is all assuming that Lyanna didn't go willingly with Rhaegar anyway. Even if Rhaegar had only come to deliver a warning in the first place, she could very well have been the one to convince him to take her with him and his party, against the wishes of her escort.

Yes. And this is where, even if Lyanna went willingly with Rhaegar, the man in charge of escorting her would be tempted to argue that Rhaegar was the one who had taken her. And/Or Brandon could have been the one to misinterpret the information. Either way, we don't know whether Rhaegar used force. I doubt it, because as far as I know we have no mention of an actual fight.

It's always possible, but I find it unlikely. If Rhaegar and Lyanna had an affair before she was crowned as QoLaB, it was completely stupid to advertise the fact by giving her the garland. After she received the garland, Lyanna would no doubt have been watched closely by pretty much everyone (including her brothers).
Of course, I understand your point that it's unlikely that Rhaegar would have seduced Lyanna after Aerys killed her father and brother...

But then, I've always had the feeling it was Lyanna who seduced Rhaegar rather than the other way around (I tend to assume he wouldn't have dishonored her).

There's also a short but not insignificant period of time between Lyanna's abduction and word of Brandon's arrest in KL reaching R&L. I would say that specific timeframe is the ideal moment for them to "consummate" as you say. ;)

Yes and no. She was certainly taught many things, but what points did she remember? And how would she (and her maester) have interpreted past events exactly? Anyway, even a scholar would have had trouble predicting how things would unfold after Robert took the throne. At some point Viserys could have come back and found support at least with the Martells. Lyanna had no way of knowing that Cersei would marry Robert and bring the Lannisters to his side. Even the Tyrells were an unknown quantity at first.

I'm talking about suporting Jon against Robert's children, after Robert's death (Robert wasn't eternal). Had Jon's parentage been known, there was no telling whether someone wouldn't be tempted to use him against the new Baratheon dynasty.
And let's bear in mind this is pretty much what happened in a way. After Robert's death, many factions turned against Joffrey.

Which is why Lyanna would have wanted Ned to raise Jon as his son. Not just to protect him from Baratheon's hatred of Targaryens, but also to prevent anyone from using Jon and his parentage much further down the road. Ned raising Jon as his bastard son killed two birds with one stone.

I'm surprised you find so many objections to such a small point.

If there was a sign suggesting to Lyanna that Jon was the PtwP (using information given by Rhaegar), then she would be much more inclined to believe anyone telling her that Aegon was dead.

 

Actually this is a good point. We know Lyanna is very wild, headstrong and free spirited. She is not going to be shy to take what she wants, probably like Brandon. She likely loved Rhaegar very much and wanted to claim him for herself. And it is really hard to believe Rhaegar would trust other people's message on this issue, unless this message is from LYANNA STARK herself. 

Is it possible that Lyanna took the action and sent Rhaegar a false information that she was in danger by king Aerys? then Rhaegar would have no reason to doubt about it. Plus this can explain why Rhaegar knew where to find Lyanna because who knows about her location and schedule better than herself? 

It is a common trick for a love-blinded teenager girl to pretend something bad happens to her  (say, sickness) and then let her boyfriend show her how he cares about her (say, make soup for her), isn't? 

 

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9 minutes ago, purple-eyes said:

Actually this is a good point. We know Lyanna is very wild, headstrong and free spirited. She is not going to be shy to take what she wants, probably like Brandon. She likely loved Rhaegar very much and wanted to claim him for herself. And it is really hard to believe Rhaegar would trust other people's message on this issue, unless this message is from LYANNA STARK herself. 

Is it possible that Lyanna took the action and sent Rhaegar a false information that she was in danger by king Aerys? then Rhaegar would have no reason to doubt about it. Plus this can explain why Rhaegar knew where to find Lyanna because who knows about her location and schedule better than herself? 

It is a common trick for a love-blinded teenager girl to pretend something bad happens to her  (say, sickness) and then let her boyfriend show her how he cares about her (say, make soup for her), isn't? 

 

Is there anything specific that leads you guys to believe that it was not simply a case of now or never?  It seems likely that a date would have been set for Robert and Lyannas wedding when they all arrived at Riverrun and if Lyanna returned north after the wedding any chance Rhaegar had would be lost.

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57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

To be honest this isn't something I'd seriously considered until now. I think this is a good point, and it might explain many things. On the other hand, it's also a very convenient explanation. I dunno. Sure, Rhaegar was eccentric in some respects, but except for Lyanna's abduction he never did anything brash.

Yeah, that's where the whole love and lust part sets in.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Oh I doubt we'll have too many twists about RR. I would argue however that we have enough information to be suspicious of both Varys (funny telling you that ;) ) and the maesters.
I suspect Rhaegar's plan to depose Aerys was more elaborate than we know. The WoIaF is heavily biased, but it reminds us that Tywin likely had an agenda of his own, and I believe he was in league with Rhaegar until Robert killed him (to Tywin's chagrin, I'm sure).

Tywin wasn't at Harrenhal and there is no reason Tywin was plotting anything aside from the obvious - trying to replace Elia with Cersei or marry her to Viserys (and then urge Aerys to actually disown the ingrate son so that Cersei one day could be queen at Viserys' side). This whole thing doesn't make it very likely that Rhaegar and Tywin were particularly close after Rhaegar had married Elia.

Tywin was also very outspoken about his feelings during the Duskendale crisis. He was not very subtle back then. Not to mention that it is noteworthy that no Westermen was among Rhaegar's close friends.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I agree until the last part. I don't believe Rickard was a schemer either (Tywin is a much better candidate for that). But I seriously doubt no one at court fueled Aerys's paranoia as to the budding STAB alliance (it was just too damn easy). Sure, there were those who used Aerys's suspicion of Rhaegar, but I think others wanted a conflict between STAB and the Targaryens.

Again, there is no reason to believe that this STAB thing even existed. If Aerys had been concerned about that he most certainly could have forbidden Lyanna to marry Robert or Catelyn to marry Brandon. One of his advisors were suggesting Aerys outlaw tourneys. He certainly could have found a pretext to forbid some marriages, especially considering that Robert as a member of his extended family.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Both the maesters and Varys would have had reasons to engineer a conflict to weaken the Targaryen dynasty. Aerys was the kind of person who could be manipulated, and I believe he was influenced by several people with slightly different agendas.

That is certainly possible. But we should also keep in mind that madman act irrationally and Aerys was very paranoid. Even Varys could not foresee whether Aerys would grew angry in the next council session and command the pyromancers that he would be burned then and there. Varys can predict the actions of sane persons and those of emotional/unstable persons up to a degree, but predicting the actions and mood swings of the Mad King should have been even beyond his capabilities.

Thus it is very likely that most of Aerys' advisers usually told him what they thought he wanted to hear rather than urging him to do what they wanted him to do but which could get them killed.

And no, Varys actually has no good reason to destabilize the Targaryen dynasty at this point because he has no pretender ready to replace him. Illyrio Mopatis and the Golden Company are nowhere to be seen during the Rebellion. Varys is pretty lucky that Robert kept him as his Master of Whisperers. He could have taken his head or he could have simply dismissed him, ending whatever grand plans he may have.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

The whole realm knew that Rhaegar had a thing for Lyanna. After Harrenhal this was an obvious weakness of his. And because of STAB, it also became a weakness of the Targaryens as a whole.

Not really. If Rickard and Brandon hadn't been killed Rhaegar could have struck a deal with Rickard. Then the Lyanna-Robert match would have been canceled in favor of a Rhaegar-Lyanna match. 

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

My original idea (and one which I still like) was that Rhaegar was pushed into abducting Lyanna. Either by someone convincing Aerys to harm Lyanna, or by someone falsely informing Rhaegar that this was the case. It may have been difficult for Rhaegar to get such an information... Unless the whole point was to make sure he got it, in order to push him to act recklessly. I'm sure it's not easy to get a message to someone who's on the road... But I'm sure there are ways when you really want to, unless the person is traveling covertly -which Rhaegar wasn't, as far as we know.

According to Yandel, Rhaegar went on some journey which eventually led him back to the Riverlands. He was only accompanied by six companions. That's pretty covert if you ask me. And we have no idea how much time passed between Aegon's birth and the abduction. It could have been weeks or months and we have no idea where Rhaegar went. It is quite difficult to locate somebody on the road or in the wild.

Sure, if he hang out at some castle a messenger or raven could have reached him. But how likely is that? Yandel could then just have written Rhaegar spend some time with Lord X after his son was born.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

It's purely circumstancial. But I'd find it hard to believe that no one at court saw the STAB alliance as a possible threat... Or opportunity.

Oh, one can argue that Varys might have urged Aerys to command the death of Ned and Robert, too, if he truly wanted to destroy the Targaryen dynasty (but why not just poison Rhaegar and Aerys and then continue to weaken the Realm during the regency of young Viserys III - that would have been far easier and less dangerous than arranging an actual civil war?). But I don't see any of the other cronies even factored those great houses into their politics. They had become powerful and rich under the Mad King. They were calling the shots in the capital and what was going on in the Vale or the North wouldn't have interested them all that much.

And Robert must have been a non-entity for those people. A big guy who liked to beat people up, not a politician or schemer who was interested in power.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I think Rickard was accused not just of conspiring with Rhaegar, but also of trying to get Hoster Tully and Robert Baratheon to do so as well.

Considering that Aerys did not try to kill Hoster Tully I very much doubt that. If I'm right then Aerys would have considered Ned and Robert as Rhaegar's and Rickard's accomplices. The fact that Aerys entrusted Jon Arryn to kill these two also suggests he failed to realize the danger. If he had been afraid of such an alliance against him he would have commanded other men to kill these two. 

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

He probably didn't want them to die. But then, Rhaegar had no way of knowing that his father would go as far as executing a Lord Paramount and his heir. I think we have a parallel between Rickard's execution and Ned's. It wasn't supposed to happen (it was complete madness), but someone whispered in Aerys's ear and made him do it.

I don't think so. Aerys revealed in the past that there is no mercy for traitors nor their families and relatives. Duskendale showed that very clearly.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

That is true, but then it also makes it possible for the Whents to send word to Rhaegar that they believed Lyanna was in danger. Whether the information was genuine or not doesn't really matter.

Only if Rhaegar was reachable. On the other hand, if Rhaegar himself came up with the idea to abduct Lyanna and Oswell was with him (as seems to be the case) then this should have been pretty easy.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Basically, I would say that if Rhaegar could find Lyanna, then he also could be informed of a possible threat to her.

If he knew she would stay at Harrenhal since the end of the tourney there would have been no need to search for her.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Not necessarily. The escort could be infiltrated, or someone bought. We don't even know how large her escort was (we have a precedent of a highborn lady being captured by outlaws, do we not?), and to which house belonged the men guarding her. Some Stark men no doubt, but there could have been Riverlands men as well.
Also, if time was of the essence, there was no one with Lyanna who could be trusted with the information. Both Brandon and Rickard were elsewhere...
And anyway, in such a scenario, protecting her would only be part of Rhaegar's motives. He would be tempted to spend time with her.

Well, if he acted because she was in danger then this would have been the priority.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

And that is all assuming that Lyanna didn't go willingly with Rhaegar anyway. Even if Rhaegar had only come to deliver a warning in the first place, she could very well have been the one to convince him to take her with him and his party, against the wishes of her escort.

Yes. And this is where, even if Lyanna went willingly with Rhaegar, the man in charge of escorting her would be tempted to argue that Rhaegar was the one who had taken her. And/Or Brandon could have been the one to misinterpret the information. Either way, we don't know whether Rhaegar used force. I doubt it, because as far as I know we have no mention of an actual fight.

As of yet we have no reason to believe people were killed or hurt and I don't think Rhaegar wanted to kill anyone but it could have happened anyway. We'll have to wait and see.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

It's always possible, but I find it unlikely. If Rhaegar and Lyanna had an affair before she was crowned as QoLaB, it was completely stupid to advertise the fact by giving her the garland. After she received the garland, Lyanna would no doubt have been watched closely by pretty much everyone (including her brothers).

My idea is that Lyanna may have ended their relationship and then Rhaegar crowned her to show how serious his feelings were. That would be a plausible scenario.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Of course, I understand your point that it's unlikely that Rhaegar would have seduced Lyanna after Aerys killed her father and brother...

But then, I've always had the feeling it was Lyanna who seduced Rhaegar rather than the other way around (I tend to assume he wouldn't have dishonored her).

I don't think so. Lyanna was fourteen years old at Harrenhal. And Rhaegar was twenty-two, a married man in his prime and father of a daughter. There is little doubt who seduced whom in this whole thing. If seduction was involved at all. I find it more likely that both connected with each other and fell in love with each other pretty without actually wanting it.

Rhaegar had a wife and a family of his own, not to mention his promise prince obsession, and Lyanna intended to marry Robert Baratheon.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Yes and no. She was certainly taught many things, but what points did she remember? And how would she (and her maester) have interpreted past events exactly? Anyway, even a scholar would have had trouble predicting how things would unfold after Robert took the throne. At some point Viserys could have come back and found support at least with the Martells. Lyanna had no way of knowing that Cersei would marry Robert and bring the Lannisters to his side. Even the Tyrells were an unknown quantity at first.

I'm talking about suporting Jon against Robert's children, after Robert's death (Robert wasn't eternal). Had Jon's parentage been known, there was no telling whether someone wouldn't be tempted to use him against the new Baratheon dynasty.
And let's bear in mind this is pretty much what happened in a way. After Robert's death, many factions turned against Joffrey.

Which is why Lyanna would have wanted Ned to raise Jon as his son. Not just to protect him from Baratheon's hatred of Targaryens, but also to prevent anyone from using Jon and his parentage much further down the road. Ned raising Jon as his bastard son killed two birds with one stone.

I'm surprised you find so many objections to such a small point.

I'm only arguing against the idea that Jon would have made a fine pretender for the throne against Robert's heirs, not against the possibility that he might have been a threat.

The problematic status of the Rhaegar-Lyanna marriage (if there was such a thing) would have made him at best half a bastard even if Ned had told his story that he was his sister's son by Rhaegar Targaryen. The fact that he looked like a Stark wouldn't have helped, either, and unless the Starks hadn't declared for House Targaryen again Jon simply wouldn't have had a chance.

57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

If there was a sign suggesting to Lyanna that Jon was the PtwP (using information given by Rhaegar), then she would be much more inclined to believe anyone telling her that Aegon was dead.

Not necessarily. She could have believed that such a sign referred to the birth of the third dragon head.

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8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Tywin wasn't at Harrenhal and there is no reason Tywin was plotting anything aside from the obvious - trying to replace Elia with Cersei or marry her to Viserys (and then urge Aerys to actually disown the ingrate son so that Cersei one day could be queen at Viserys' side). This whole thing doesn't make it very likely that Rhaegar and Tywin were particularly close after Rhaegar had married Elia.

There are at least three reasons why Tywin could have been much closer to Rhaegar than we know. First, if, as you say, he planned to replace Elia with Cersei he needed Rhaegar at least to be on board with it (Aerys wasn't a good person to negotiate with). Second, I don't buy the idea that Tywin was content to brood after being replaced as hand. Third, the WoIaF reminds us that Harrenhal cost a lost of gold and suggests that Rhaegar paid or it ; but we all know who in Westeros is supposed to have tons of gold.

Tywin's absence at Harrenhal can be read in several ways. But we don't know whether he always planned not to attend or cancelled after learning that Aerys would be there.

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And no, Varys actually has no good reason to destabilize the Targaryen dynasty at this point because he has no pretender ready to replace him. Illyrio Mopatis and the Golden Company are nowhere to be seen during the Rebellion. Varys is pretty lucky that Robert kept him as his Master of Whisperers. He could have taken his head or he could have simply dismissed him, ending whatever grand plans he may have.

I think Varys could very well have wanted to weaken the Targaryens. His utmost priority would have been to remove Rhaegar (a popular, presumably smart prince) from the picture though, since this would mean Aerys's heir would be either Viserys or Aegon (both being too young for the role).
What I think he wouldn't have foreseen was that the rebels would win.

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Not really. If Rickard and Brandon hadn't been killed Rhaegar could have struck a deal with Rickard. Then the Lyanna-Robert match would have been canceled in favor of a Rhaegar-Lyanna match.

That's a possibility for Rhaegar if he repudiates Elia. But I don't think Elia's barreness was well-known and Elia had just given Rhaegar a son and heir. In other words, while I don't dismiss the idea that Rhaegar might have planned this, I don't think many people would have seen it this way.
From the outside, Rhaegar was a married man with two kids and his infatuation with Lyanna Stark, betrothed to Robert Baratheon, could either cost him the throne or throw the realm into chaos. Which is what happened regardless of Elia's barreness too...
Let's not forget Ned's "all the smiles died."

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

According to Yandel, Rhaegar went on some journey which eventually led him back to the Riverlands. He was only accompanied by six companions. That's pretty covert if you ask me. And we have no idea how much time passed between Aegon's birth and the abduction. It could have been weeks or months and we have no idea where Rhaegar went. It is quite difficult to locate somebody on the road or in the wild.

Sure, if he hang out at some castle a messenger or raven could have reached him. But how likely is that? Yandel could then just have written Rhaegar spend some time with Lord X after his son was born.

There's little reason for such information to be widely known and/or for Yandel to mention it.

Anyway, Rhaegar "chancing upon Lyanna" is a problem regardless of whichever theory we formulate. Since he abducted her on the road, he must have had some kind of information about her. Her just staying at Harrenhal isn't even enough, unless you start theorizing that Rhaegar actually waited on the road from Harrenhal to Riverrun for Lyanna's party to come through and/or had Oswell get the information in the castle while Rhaegar's band camped outside... And this is all assuming Lyanna stayed in Harrenhal in the first place, which isn't a certainty.

We just don't have enough information to go with the purely logical solution on this one imho.

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Considering that Aerys did not try to kill Hoster Tully I very much doubt that. If I'm right then Aerys would have considered Ned and Robert as Rhaegar's and Rickard's accomplices. The fact that Aerys entrusted Jon Arryn to kill these two also suggests he failed to realize the danger. If he had been afraid of such an alliance against him he would have commanded other men to kill these two.

I would say Hoster Tully was next on the list, but Aerys couldn't do everything at once. As for Jon Arryn, he's the one who didn't have any specific alliance with the others at the time so asking him to hand over Ned and Robert was forcing him to take sides, and it wasn't easy to predict he would choose friendship over duty. In fact it was remarkably bold of him to rebel.

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

My idea is that Lyanna may have ended their relationship and then Rhaegar crowned her to show how serious his feelings were. That would be a plausible scenario.

Too convenient for me, sorry.

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think so. Lyanna was fourteen years old at Harrenhal. And Rhaegar was twenty-two, a married man in his prime and father of a daughter. There is little doubt who seduced whom in this whole thing. If seduction was involved at all. I find it more likely that both connected with each other and fell in love with each other pretty without actually wanting it.

Rhaegar had a wife and a family of his own, not to mention his promise prince obsession, and Lyanna intended to marry Robert Baratheon.

You're the one who theorizes that they had an affair at Harrenhal. I'm not on board with this.

And yes, a degree of mutual seduction was necessary, which is why I think that it happened while they were on the run, hiding from some sort of danger (real or imagined). But unless Rhaegar was a total dick, Lyanna would have had to be the one to signal that she was ok with taking things one step further.

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm only arguing against the idea that Jon would have made a fine pretender for the throne against Robert's heirs, not against the possibility that he might have been a threat.

The problematic status of the Rhaegar-Lyanna marriage (if there was such a thing) would have made him at best half a bastard even if Ned had told his story that he was his sister's son by Rhaegar Targaryen. The fact that he looked like a Stark wouldn't have helped, either, and unless the Starks hadn't declared for House Targaryen again Jon simply wouldn't have had a chance.

The Blackfyre rebellions as well as the Tyrells choosing to side with Renly show me that not everyone needs a "fine" pretender.

 

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2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Is there anything specific that leads you guys to believe that it was not simply a case of now or never?  It seems likely that a date would have been set for Robert and Lyannas wedding when they all arrived at Riverrun and if Lyanna returned north after the wedding any chance Rhaegar had would be lost.

Why this date has to be decided on Brandon's wedding? And how do we know Robert will surely be at Brandon's wedding anyway? If you say Brandon is oldest brother, after he gets married, then next one on the agenda would still be Ned, not Lyanna. 

Lyanna was likely only 14-15 at that time. And we know that lords tend to wait at least to marry daughters because a child bride will have higher chance to have trouble in baby birth (Lyanna indeed died for that). 

Briefly, I highly doubt the time point for abduction was related to Lyanna and her marriage date. 

It was actually directly related to and triggered by Aegon's birth (Rhaegar was told that his wife can not give him the third head). 

If only for love,  Rhaegar would run away with Lyanna right after HH tourney where they fell in deep love. Not after several months when he heard about Elia's health situation. 

in other words, if Elia can give him a third baby, Rhaegar would never abduct Lyanna. 

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9 minutes ago, purple-eyes said:

Why this date has to be decided on Brandon's wedding? And how do we know Robert will surely be at Brandon's wedding anyway? If you say Brandon is oldest brother, after he gets married, then next one on the agenda would still be Ned, not Lyanna. 

Lyanna was likely only 14-15 at that time. And we know that lords tend to wait at least to marry daughters because a child bride will have higher chance to have trouble in baby birth (Lyanna indeed died for that). 

Briefly, I highly doubt the time point for abduction was related to Lyanna and her marriage date. 

It was actually directly related to and triggered by Aegon's birth (Rhaegar was told that his wife can not give him the third head). 

If only for love,  Rhaegar would run away with Lyanna right after HH tourney where they fell in deep love. Not after several months when he heard about Elia's health situation. 

in other words, if Elia can give him a third baby, Rhaegar would never abduct Lyanna. 

I'm not saying it has to, it just seems likely since they had been engaged for some time at that point, and no we do not know for sure to my knowledge again I just don't see why he wouldn't have been there.  He was in the Vale with Ned, who I think we can be reasonably sure was going.  As to the children's ages, I don't really see why Ned would have to be married first especially since he was not even betrothed at the time.  Sansa got betrothed before Robb did and given that she flowered shortly thereafter they likely would not have waited forever.

The main point in my post was opportunity, if Lyanna returned to WF it would have been much harder for them to meet up/whatever happened.

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59 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

I'm not saying it has to, it just seems likely since they had been engaged for some time at that point, and no we do not know for sure to my knowledge again I just don't see why he wouldn't have been there.  He was in the Vale with Ned, who I think we can be reasonably sure was going.  As to the children's ages, I don't really see why Ned would have to be married first especially since he was not even betrothed at the time.  Sansa got betrothed before Robb did and given that she flowered shortly thereafter they likely would not have waited forever.

The main point in my post was opportunity, if Lyanna returned to WF it would have been much harder for them to meet up/whatever happened.

Well, from hindsight, sure, it looks more convenient to abduct her in the South. However, it might look even harder if you do not know Lyanna was not travelling with her daddy and/or brother to this wedding. 

So if you are Rhaegar, which is easier? 

Lyanna is at Winterfell and she can always come out to hunt and ride around without her dad and brother. She can even ride by herself. 

or Lyanna is on her way to her brother's wedding with her daddy and tons of Northern noble men and women. (normally she should travel with family for this wedding, right?)

how come Rhaegar abduct her from this huge wedding party group? impossible 

then how did Rhaegar know Lyanna is not with this wedding party? 

it is still a mystery. I guess a better explaination is that Lyanna and Rhaegar planned this together, therefore Lyanna told her daddy" i can not wait! you guys are so slow! I want to go see Brandon earlier!" and met Rhaegar near HH and pretend to be "abducted". 

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2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

There are at least three reasons why Tywin could have been much closer to Rhaegar than we know. First, if, as you say, he planned to replace Elia with Cersei he needed Rhaegar at least to be on board with it (Aerys wasn't a good person to negotiate with). Second, I don't buy the idea that Tywin was content to brood after being replaced as hand. Third, the WoIaF reminds us that Harrenhal cost a lost of gold and suggests that Rhaegar paid or it ; but we all know who in Westeros is supposed to have tons of gold.

Tywin seemed to be a rather slimy guy, waiting for the death of the Princess Consort of Dragonstone. That's not something Rhaegar would have been on board with. My guess is he intended to go through Aerys, hoping the man would finally accept reason after Elia died (as Tywin most likely earlier on predicted she one day would due to her bad health).

Tywin wasn't replaced as Hand, he resigned. He was done with Aerys after he stole Jaime away from him. Or rather, he was done with him for the moment.

Aerys' treasury was full after the Rebellion despite the fact that the Targaryens had just fought a war. Rhaegar would have had the gold to pay for the tourney himself. The royal family definitely is among the most wealthiest houses in Westeros. Not as rich as the Lannisters, perhaps, but likely richer than the Hightowers. They collect taxes all over the Seven Kingdoms and they reap the customs and tariffs from King's Landing.

In addition, I had forgotten to add that I see Tywin as Aerys' man until the very end (that is until Tywin decided the Targaryens were done after the Trident). The man had been Aerys' best friend since they were children and you don't shake that off easily. With Rhaegar married to Elia rather than Cersei Rhaegar must have been aware that trusting Tywin could be dangerous, even foolish, considering that Cersei could also marry Viserys.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Tywin's absence at Harrenhal can be read in several ways. But we don't know whether he always planned not to attend or cancelled after learning that Aerys would be there.

That is certainly a possibility. Lord Walter most likely invited him and Rhaegar would have wanted Tywin there while he was intending to discuss the madness of his father with the lords.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I think Varys could very well have wanted to weaken the Targaryens. His utmost priority would have been to remove Rhaegar (a popular, presumably smart prince) from the picture though, since this would mean Aerys's heir would be either Viserys or Aegon (both being too young for the role).
What I think he wouldn't have foreseen was that the rebels would win.

Varys isn't stupid enough to not realize that wars and rebellions cannot be controlled by him. Once they begin they have to be fought and while they are fought you can lose. You don't have to be smart to know that.

And again, if Varys wanted Rhaegar gone he could have assassinated him, or discredited him by fabricating evidence against him. He certainly is capable of doing such a thing. And if Aerys really trusted him in all (or many) things this should have worked.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

That's a possibility for Rhaegar if he repudiates Elia. But I don't think Elia's barreness was well-known and Elia had just given Rhaegar a son and heir. In other words, while I don't dismiss the idea that Rhaegar might have planned this, I don't think many people would have seen it this way.
From the outside, Rhaegar was a married man with two kids and his infatuation with Lyanna Stark, betrothed to Robert Baratheon, could either cost him the throne or throw the realm into chaos. Which is what happened regardless of Elia's barreness too...
Let's not forget Ned's "all the smiles died."

Sure, but if Rhaegar and Lyanna sort of married publicly Rickard might have seen an advantage in the Prince of Dragonstone being his son-in-law. If he really had those southron ambitions. I'm not betting on that - after all, we don't whether Rickard was at Harrenhal himself nor whether he would have approved of such a union. I'm pretty sure he would have loathed the idea that his only daughter would be Rhaegar's whore, though.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

There's little reason for such information to be widely known and/or for Yandel to mention it.

Well, I'm more inclined to believe Rhaegar's journey had to do with the prophecy. Perhaps he searched for the Ghost to get her opinion on his interpretation of his Aegon belief. And that then somehow led to the Lyanna thing - after all, it is easily possible that she said something not so cryptic as 'You crowned the mother of the third dragon at Harrenhal, don't you remember?'

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Anyway, Rhaegar "chancing upon Lyanna" is a problem regardless of whichever theory we formulate. Since he abducted her on the road, he must have had some kind of information about her. Her just staying at Harrenhal isn't even enough, unless you start theorizing that Rhaegar actually waited on the road from Harrenhal to Riverrun for Lyanna's party to come through and/or had Oswell get the information in the castle while Rhaegar's band camped outside... And this is all assuming Lyanna stayed in Harrenhal in the first place, which isn't a certainty.

We don't know Lyanna was on the road. But we actually do know that Lyanna was an avid rider, so it is very likely that she would have gone riding for hours and hours as often as she could wherever she stayed. We even get this whole riding scene with Arya in ASoS, where she tries to run away from the Brotherhood and Harwin catches her. That could have been a hint that Lyanna was once riding in the Riverlands, too.

All Rhaegar needed to do would have to be inquire about Lyanna's whereabouts at the castle where she stayed, and then go look for her.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I would say Hoster Tully was next on the list, but Aerys couldn't do everything at once.

Why not? The Whents, Darrys, and Mootons were staunch Targaryen men. He had a much better chance collecting his head than he had getting the heads of Robert and Ned from Jon Arryn.

Besides, you overlook that no weddings had actually taken place. Brandon Stark hadn't yet married Catelyn Tully. Hoster wasn't honor-bound to support Rickard in some stupid rebellion.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

As for Jon Arryn, he's the one who didn't have any specific alliance with the others at the time so asking him to hand over Ned and Robert was forcing him to take sides, and it wasn't easy to predict he would choose friendship over duty. In fact it was remarkably bold of him to rebel.

There is even a historical precedent for that. The Mootons switched sides when Rhaenyra commanded Lord Mooton to execute Nettles. If you want somebody dead you better ask a really loyal man, not the former foster father of the people you want dead.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Too convenient for me, sorry.

Just an idea. It could also be that there was no real relationship between these two at Harrenhal. But they must have realized their feelings for each other there. That much seems clear to me. There is a reason why Jojen and Meera are surprised when Bran tells them he never heard the tale of the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Why would that be? Because this was the beginning of the love story that would lead to the birth of Jon Snow. And George very much indicates that Rhaegar's search for the mystery knight eventually led him to Lyanna.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

You're the one who theorizes that they had an affair at Harrenhal. I'm not on board with this.

And yes, a degree of mutual seduction was necessary, which is why I think that it happened while they were on the run, hiding from some sort of danger (real or imagined). But unless Rhaegar was a total dick, Lyanna would have had to be the one to signal that she was ok with taking things one step further.

Lyanna would never have allowed anybody to rescue her. If she had not wanted to marry Robert she would have run away. If Aerys had tried to arrest her, she would have fought. This is the one girl in this series that doesn't need some knight in shining armor to rescue her, and I'm pretty sure that's what draw Rhaegar to her.

Either that, or liked his lovers very young. This whole thing is nearly as creepy as the Dany-Drogo love story if you ask me if you keep in mind the age gap between these two (and Rhaegar obvious sexual experience and maturity).

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

The Blackfyre rebellions as well as the Tyrells choosing to side with Renly show me that not everyone needs a "fine" pretender.

Renly was a very fine pretender. He looked the part, essentially being a young version of Robert (just as Daemon Blackfyre looked like people imagined the Conqueror must have looked like) and he was capable knight and charismatic leader. People don't care about the succession all that much when the youngest son looks the part and is a warrior. Literally nobody likes Stannis, nor does anybody want him to be king. Back in TMK the hedge knights speculate how Maekar and Bloodraven are going to blows over the succession should Aerys I die, never mind mad Rhaegel and his twins. In that kind of world it is pretty clear why people would want to follow Renly instead of Stannis (or that little shit Joffrey, not to mention 'the most popular and beloved man of Westeros', Tywin Lannister).

But Jon would have been raised in obscurity looking as much Targaryen as Baelor Breakspear. It is not completely impossible that somebody might have risen for him eventually had his parentage been widely proclaimed but I don't think that would have been likely. And it would be especially unlikely that the Martells had ever backed Lyanna's get, not while Rhaegar's siblings yet lived. And perhaps not even thereafter.

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5 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Is there anything specific that leads you guys to believe that it was not simply a case of now or never?  It seems likely that a date would have been set for Robert and Lyannas wedding when they all arrived at Riverrun and if Lyanna returned north after the wedding any chance Rhaegar had would be lost.

Why do you guys think Lyanna is living at HH as a guest or somethjng like that? 

all we know is that she disappeared near HH. That is it.  No proof that she lived at HH. 

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10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Tywin seemed to be a rather slimy guy, waiting for the death of the Princess Consort of Dragonstone. That's not something Rhaegar would have been on board with. My guess is he intended to go through Aerys, hoping the man would finally accept reason after Elia died (as Tywin most likely earlier on predicted she one day would due to her bad health).

Tywin wasn't replaced as Hand, he resigned. He was done with Aerys after he stole Jaime away from him. Or rather, he was done with him for the moment.

Tywin resigned because Aerys was so obviously disrespecting him. I used the ambiguous verb "replaced" deliberately, because I feel Aerys was responsible for Tywin leaving (though I wouldn't claim Aerys actually wanted it to happen).
I was surprised by some of the elements contained in the WoIaF. Tywin obivously didn't mind Aerys dying at Duskendale, and I subscribe to the theory that Barry wasn't meant to succeed. I think Jaime being made KG pushed Tywin to more than resigning and waiting ; he was never a man to humiliate, childhood friend or not.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Aerys' treasury was full after the Rebellion despite the fact that the Targaryens had just fought a war. Rhaegar would have had the gold to pay for the tourney himself.

Sure. But Qarlton Chelsted was master of coin was he not? I don't think Rhaegar would have gone to Chelsted, who was obviously his father's man. Thus Rhaegar would have needed to use his own personal finances. And we know thanks to Stannis that Dragonstone yields little gold.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Varys isn't stupid enough to not realize that wars and rebellions cannot be controlled by him. Once they begin they have to be fought and while they are fought you can lose. You don't have to be smart to know that.

And again, if Varys wanted Rhaegar gone he could have assassinated him, or discredited him by fabricating evidence against him. He certainly is capable of doing such a thing. And if Aerys really trusted him in all (or many) things this should have worked.

Assassinating is way too dangerous. And why fabricate anything and take a risk when you can manipulate instead?
And I beg to differ about the war. The conversation between Varys and Illyrio in Arya III suggests that Varys was perfectly able to engineer a war. In fact, Illyrio seems fairly confident in his abilities to do so. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Illyrio's confidence coming from experience.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, but if Rhaegar and Lyanna sort of married publicly Rickard might have seen an advantage in the Prince of Dragonstone being his son-in-law. If he really had those southron ambitions. I'm not betting on that - after all, we don't whether Rickard was at Harrenhal himself nor whether he would have approved of such a union. I'm pretty sure he would have loathed the idea that his only daughter would be Rhaegar's whore, though.

I tried to theorize that Rhaegar may have proposed (or planned to propose) marrying Lyanna to Rickard in an earlier iteration of this thread. But there are actually many problems with such a theory and I never managed to make it work.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, I'm more inclined to believe Rhaegar's journey had to do with the prophecy. Perhaps he searched for the Ghost to get her opinion on his interpretation of his Aegon belief. And that then somehow led to the Lyanna thing - after all, it is easily possible that she said something not so cryptic as 'You crowned the mother of the third dragon at Harrenhal, don't you remember?'

That's a common perspective on Rhaegar's journey. It's perfectly logical to think that with the elements we have.
I personally don't like the prophecy being Rhaegar's primary motive though. Also, assuming the Ghost is a genuine seer, I'm not sure she would have told Rhaegar to abduct Lyanna...

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't know Lyanna was on the road. But we actually do know that Lyanna was an avid rider, so it is very likely that she would have gone riding for hours and hours as often as she could wherever she stayed. We even get this whole riding scene with Arya in ASoS, where she tries to run away from the Brotherhood and Harwin catches her. That could have been a hint that Lyanna was once riding in the Riverlands, too.

All Rhaegar needed to do would have to be inquire about Lyanna's whereabouts at the castle where she stayed, and then go look for her.

Ah, good point. "Not ten leagues from Harrenhal" might indicate she was staying there and Rhaegar only abducted her while she was riding -or on an errand. It doesn't explain the "carry off at swordpoint" part though, nor how and why everyone so quickly knew that Rhaegar had done it. Which is why I always assumed Lyanna was abducted while on the road with an escort.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Why not? The Whents, Darrys, and Mootons were staunch Targaryen men. He had a much better chance collecting his head than he had getting the heads of Robert and Ned from Jon Arryn.

Besides, you overlook that no weddings had actually taken place. Brandon Stark hadn't yet married Catelyn Tully. Hoster wasn't honor-bound to support Rickard in some stupid rebellion.

But precisely. Hoster Tully never struck me as a man who would be regarded as dangerous. In fact he seemed rather cautious and pragmatic. He only joined the rebellion after managing to marry his two daughters to its leaders.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

There is even a historical precedent for that. The Mootons switched sides when Rhaenyra commanded Lord Mooton to execute Nettles. If you want somebody dead you better ask a really loyal man, not the former foster father of the people you want dead.

Oh, I don't know. Aerys was crazy. I would say it was precisely because Jon Arryn's loyalty might be in doubt that he was ordered to take care of Ned and Robert. And precisely because Hoster didn't seem threatening that he was left alone. It's not perfectly logical, I know, but it fits my idea of Aerys.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Just an idea. It could also be that there was no real relationship between these two at Harrenhal. But they must have realized their feelings for each other there. That much seems clear to me. There is a reason why Jojen and Meera are surprised when Bran tells them he never heard the tale of the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Why would that be? Because this was the beginning of the love story that would lead to the birth of Jon Snow. And George very much indicates that Rhaegar's search for the mystery knight eventually led him to Lyanna.

Sure. I wouldn't go so far as saying they fell in love with each other, but I certainly accept that there was mutual respect and admiration at least.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Lyanna would never have allowed anybody to rescue her. If she had not wanted to marry Robert she would have run away. If Aerys had tried to arrest her, she would have fought. This is the one girl in this series that doesn't need some knight in shining armor to rescue her, and I'm pretty sure that's what draw Rhaegar to her.

Oh, I don't know. Lyanna's characterisation isn't one-dimensional. Sure, she was headstrong, could get into a fight, and liked to ride (and joust). But it is the same girl who was worried about Robert's fidelity and who was moved to tears by a song. And Rhaegar wasn't just any knight in shining armor. Also, she doesn't strike me as a fool ; if someone comes to tell you you're in danger you listen.

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Renly was a very fine pretender. He looked the part, essentially being a young version of Robert (just as Daemon Blackfyre looked like people imagined the Conqueror must have looked like) and he was capable knight and charismatic leader. People don't care about the succession all that much when the youngest son looks the part and is a warrior.

But Jon would have been raised in obscurity looking as much Targaryen as Baelor Breakspear. It is not completely impossible that somebody might have risen for him eventually had his parentage been widely proclaimed but I don't think that would have been likely.

Not likely indeed. But Renly's qualities could easily be Jon's. In fact, not only was Renly not Robert's heir, but his homosexuality could easily be seen as a real problem for a king. And Jon does turn out to be a leader of men -to some extent.

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In the tv show Jon is definitely Ned's nephew. But not in the books. 

It's like GRRM said in the tv show the throne looks real symmetrical etc... where as in the books the iron throne is all haphazard and asymmetrical, Also, in the books Jaime is dead, but in the tv show he is still alive.

Here is my my theory. GRMM is throwing everyoe off in the tv series with this R * J = L thing. We all know he loves to be unpredicktable. So he made the episode with Liana being pregnant with another kid or whatever, then in the books it will be revealed that Ned is really the father of John. 

 

There is evidence is the books where King Robert ask Ned about John and ned says that the mother os some woman called Wilma. I watch the tv three times and then read the books twice, so know quite a lot aboit it. The hints are there but yo have to look carefuly to see them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, cat_on_the_window said:

In the tv show Jon is <snip>. But not in the books. 

Welcome to the forums, but if you ever feel the need to write anything with the above phrase in it, or it's reverse - DON"T DO IT!!!

Show discussions are strictly for the show forums and Book discussions belong here - never there. Mods will ban you quicker than you can think if you keep it up. Take a few moments and read the rules before going any further.

That said, welcome.

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1 hour ago, cat_on_the_window said:

snip

Hello and welcome.

As SFDanny says, talking the show is not allowed here, so you might want to edit your post.

As for Wylla, try a simple test: if she is Jon's mother, why the secrecy?

 

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4 hours ago, cat_on_the_window said:

Also, in the books Jaime is dead, but in the tv show he is still alive.

Wait, what? Jaime is still alive in the books. It seems he's being led into a trap, but still alive. 

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22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Tywin resigned because Aerys was so obviously disrespecting him. I used the ambiguous verb "replaced" deliberately, because I feel Aerys was responsible for Tywin leaving (though I wouldn't claim Aerys actually wanted it to happen).
I was surprised by some of the elements contained in the WoIaF. Tywin obivously didn't mind Aerys dying at Duskendale, and I subscribe to the theory that Barry wasn't meant to succeed. I think Jaime being made KG pushed Tywin to more than resigning and waiting ; he was never a man to humiliate, childhood friend or not.

Tywin got humiliated by Aerys for over a decade and he stoically bore all that shit. The one time he tried to resign - after Aerys insulted Joanna (and perhaps did much more) - Aerys didn't want to hear anything like that.

But Tywin's actual power seemed to grow in his last years as Hand. When Steffon Baratheon died at sea Aerys apparently believed in his paranoia that Tywin would kill him, too, if he ever dismissed him - a fact that actually consolidated Tywin's power. And with Aerys acting more and more erratic Tywin would have shouldered more and and more responsibilities in the day-to-day management of the government.

I read Duskendale quite differently. Tywin was the Hand when Aerys was captured, and from the moment the king was incapacitated Tywin was effectively king in Aerys' stead. He could have commanded an attack on the city the moment he had a sizable host assembled outside the walls. The fact that he did nothing of this sort suggests that he did not want to endanger Aerys' life.

As Hand, Tywin could also have forbidden Selmy to throw away his life in such a ridiculously suicidal mission as he suggested to him. Selmy would have been forced to obey Tywin if the man had spoken with the King's Voice on this matter.

Rhaegar later urges Aerys to write to Tywin to apologize to him so that he comes back and helps them. If Tywin had had a good working relationship with Rhaegar he could have written to Tywin about that. But he apparently did not.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Sure. But Qarlton Chelsted was master of coin was he not? I don't think Rhaegar would have gone to Chelsted, who was obviously his father's man. Thus Rhaegar would have needed to use his own personal finances. And we know thanks to Stannis that Dragonstone yields little gold.

The Prince of Dragonstone most likely controlled vast amounts of wealth in his own right. He controlled a lordship of his own, involving certain incomes, in addition to whatever allowance a Prince of Dragonstone was entitled due to his rank and status as the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne. The idea that Rhaegar had no money or had to go to ask daddy's treasurer to give him some money is very unlikely.

If that had been the case then Yandel would never have put forth the idea Rhaegar paid for the tourney as a likely theory. He would have pointed at Tywin or some other rich person from the start.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Assassinating is way too dangerous. And why fabricate anything and take a risk when you can manipulate instead?

Poison and accidents work pretty well, don't you think. Just look at Aenys I, Aegon II, Viserys II, and Joffrey Baratheon. Not to mention accidents like the burning at Harrenhal or inexplicable murders like the death of Laenor Velaryon. A man like Varys could remove Rhaegar very easily from the board.

Manipulation is obviously not a good method when the king you are working with is insane.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

And I beg to differ about the war. The conversation between Varys and Illyrio in Arya III suggests that Varys was perfectly able to engineer a war. In fact, Illyrio seems fairly confident in his abilities to do so. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Illyrio's confidence coming from experience.

Varys certainly can cause a war, that's not an issue. The idea is whether this would have been a good idea when the Rebellion broke out. Keep in mind that Varys and Illyrio intended to make the Westerosi civil coincide with the Dothraki invasion. Back during the Rebellion they had no pretender ready - why would they have wanted a war back then? A war that could have cost Varys his influence at court and possibly even his life (if he had not gotten away in time which he most likely would).

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I tried to theorize that Rhaegar may have proposed (or planned to propose) marrying Lyanna to Rickard in an earlier iteration of this thread. But there are actually many problems with such a theory and I never managed to make it work.

I don't think it would have worked out, either. But if Rickard hadn't been in full-out attack mode as Brandon and later Robert were a Baratheon-Stark alliance against the Targaryens might have been averted. Rhaegar simply disappearing made that impossible.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

That's a common perspective on Rhaegar's journey. It's perfectly logical to think that with the elements we have.
I personally don't like the prophecy being Rhaegar's primary motive though. Also, assuming the Ghost is a genuine seer, I'm not sure she would have told Rhaegar to abduct Lyanna...

She might not have seen everything. We know that Rhaegar was very much thinking about the prophecy and the third head after Aegon's birth. His birth would have been the deciding factor if he ended up searching for the Ghost. He would have wanted to know what to do about the third head and perhaps even a confirmation whether he was right about Aegon. After all, the woman we are talking about made the prophecy that led the Targaryens to believe that Rhaegar might have been the promised prince in the first place.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Ah, good point. "Not ten leagues from Harrenhal" might indicate she was staying there and Rhaegar only abducted her while she was riding -or on an errand. It doesn't explain the "carry off at swordpoint" part though, nor how and why everyone so quickly knew that Rhaegar had done it. Which is why I always assumed Lyanna was abducted while on the road with an escort.

I assume she was accompanied by an escort, too. After all, she was still a 14-15-year-old girl at the time. Not somebody you are likely to allow to ride through a countryside she does not know intimately. Especially not if you have promised her father and/or brothers to keep her safe.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Oh, I don't know. Aerys was crazy. I would say it was precisely because Jon Arryn's loyalty might be in doubt that he was ordered to take care of Ned and Robert. And precisely because Hoster didn't seem threatening that he was left alone. It's not perfectly logical, I know, but it fits my idea of Aerys.

Well, two young men like Ned and Robert would also not have looked that threatening. And if Aerys was paranoid/afraid because of the marriage alliance between the Starks and the Tullys Hoster should have died, too.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Oh, I don't know. Lyanna's characterisation isn't one-dimensional. Sure, she was headstrong, could get into a fight, and liked to ride (and joust). But it is the same girl who was worried about Robert's fidelity and who was moved to tears by a song. And Rhaegar wasn't just any knight in shining armor. Also, she doesn't strike me as a fool ; if someone comes to tell you you're in danger you listen.

Arya would only listen if liked to listen. And she usually does not like to listen to people who try to tell her what to do. That's the wolf blood that Arya, Lyanna, and Brandon all share. And Lyanna wasn't worried about Robert's fidelity, she matter-of-factly stated that he wouldn't be keep to her bed.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Not likely indeed. But Renly's qualities could easily be Jon's. In fact, not only was Renly not Robert's heir, but his homosexuality could easily be seen as a real problem for a king. And Jon does turn out to be a leader of men -to some extent.

At the Wall. Renly was a powerful lord in his own right, the brother of the king, and a member of the Small Council. Jon would just have been a boy raised by the Lord of Winterfell. He would have lacked the connections that enabled Renly to crown himself.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Tywin got humiliated by Aerys for over a decade and he stoically bore all that shit. The one time he tried to resign - after Aerys insulted Joanna (and perhaps did much more) - Aerys didn't want to hear anything like that.

But Tywin's actual power seemed to grow in his last years as Hand. When Steffon Baratheon died at sea Aerys apparently believed in his paranoia that Tywin would kill him, too, if he ever dismissed him - a fact that actually consolidated Tywin's power. And with Aerys acting more and more erratic Tywin would have shouldered more and and more responsibilities in the day-to-day management of the government.

No doubt. But Tywin seems to have wanted more than power for himself. He wanted power for house Lannister. Something which Aerys not only refused to give him, but also took away from him by taking away his chosen heir.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I read Duskendale quite differently. Tywin was the Hand when Aerys was captured, and from the moment the king was incapacitated Tywin was effectively king in Aerys' stead. He could have commanded an attack on the city the moment he had a sizable host assembled outside the walls. The fact that he did nothing of this sort suggests that he did not want to endanger Aerys' life.

As Hand, Tywin could also have forbidden Selmy to throw away his life in such a ridiculously suicidal mission as he suggested to him. Selmy would have been forced to obey Tywin if the man had spoken with the King's Voice on this matter.

Well, I'd say both perspectives work. I don't think Tywin could deliberately do anything that would obviously lead to Aerys's death. Barry's solo mission was an interesting compromise. Denys could see it as a kind of assault, but Tywin could hardly be blamed for trying it because it didn't technically breach Denys's terms..
I dunno, it's an odd episode in the story, and one that was probably written solely to provide an interesting background for Barry more than anything else in the first place. I was surprised by Tywin's line about Rhaegar though "we have a better king right here."

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Rhaegar later urges Aerys to write to Tywin to apologize to him so that he comes back and helps them. If Tywin had had a good working relationship with Rhaegar he could have written to Tywin about that. But he apparently did not.

I reached the very opposite conclusion. Aerys was the one who needed to apologize to Tywin, not Rhaegar. The fact that Rhaegar urged Aerys to do so shows to me that Rhaegar did have a good relationship with Tywin.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Prince of Dragonstone most likely controlled vast amounts of wealth in his own right. He controlled a lordship of his own, involving certain incomes, in addition to whatever allowance a Prince of Dragonstone was entitled due to his rank and status as the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne. The idea that Rhaegar had no money or had to go to ask daddy's treasurer to give him some money is very unlikely.

If that had been the case then Yandel would never have put forth the idea Rhaegar paid for the tourney as a likely theory. He would have pointed at Tywin or some other rich person from the start.

For starters, while Rhaegar may have had some wealth, Harrenhal cost a fortune. I think AGoT made it clear just how expensive tournaments are. I think one can doubt the incomes of the Dragonstone lordship and his allowance would have been enough. Also, since Aerys distrusted Rhaegar, I think the allowance wasn't necessarily as big as it should have been.

But the most ineresting element here is the way the WOAIF presented it.

 
Quote

Most took this simply as an attempt by Whent to outdo the former Hand and demonstrate the wealth and splendor of his house. There were those, however, who believed this no more than a ruse, and Lord Whent no more than a catspaw. His lordship lacked the funds to pay such munificent prizes, they argued; someone else must surely have stood behind him, someone who did not lack for gold but preferred to remain in the shadows whilst allowing the Lord of Harrenhal to claim the glory for hosting this magnificent event. We have no shred of evidence that such a "shadow host" ever existed, but the notion was widely believed at the time and remains so today.

But if indeed there was a shadow, who was he, and why did he choose to keep his role a secret? A dozen names have been put forward over the years, but only one seems truly compelling: Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone.
It's interesting that Yandel first introduces the idea of a shadow host, then says that a dozen names have been put forward, before arguing that Rhaegar was the best candidate. Interesting because it seems this is a theory that Yandel found hard to dismiss, but doesn't seem willing to give us more than one solution to the mystery. And we know that Yandel did his best to shed the best possible light on Tywin.
Most importantly, I wonder why this was written this way in a WOAIF. The idea that Rhaegar was behind Harrenhal was already present in the books ("I meant to do it long ago") but the WOAIF suggests we should be looking for someone "who did not lack for gold." The reference to gold screams "Lannister" to me.
 
2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Poison and accidents work pretty well, don't you think. Just look at Aenys I, Aegon II, Viserys II, and Joffrey Baratheon. Not to mention accidents like the burning at Harrenhal or inexplicable murders like the death of Laenor Velaryon. A man like Varys could remove Rhaegar very easily from the board.

Manipulation is obviously not a good method when the king you are working with is insane.

But Varys had to be very careful at that point in time. If we assume he is a Blackfyre (or is part of a Blackfyre conspiracy) then he really couldn't do anything brash before having a pretender ready. Aerys may have been rather unpredictable, but he could still be relied upon to f*** things up.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Varys certainly can cause a war, that's not an issue. The idea is whether this would have been a good idea when the Rebellion broke out. Keep in mind that Varys and Illyrio intended to make the Westerosi civil coincide with the Dothraki invasion. Back during the Rebellion they had no pretender ready - why would they have wanted a war back then? A war that could have cost Varys his influence at court and possibly even his life (if he had not gotten away in time which he most likely would).

I don't think it would have worked out, either. But if Rickard hadn't been in full-out attack mode as Brandon and later Robert were a Baratheon-Stark alliance against the Targaryens might have been averted. Rhaegar simply disappearing made that impossible.

But the point may not have been to topple the Targaryen dynasty, simply to weaken it by removing its most promising heir and/or foment an internecine conflict. Vary's ideal goal then should have been to push Aerys to disinherit Rhaegar. A young (and presumably influencable) Viserys was a much better king to deal with ten years later.
In fact, I'm tempted to think Varys may have helped Aerys and Rhaegar's relationship turn sour.
Of course, it didn't work out as it should have. But the major goals were still accomplished.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

She might not have seen everything. We know that Rhaegar was very much thinking about the prophecy and the third head after Aegon's birth. His birth would have been the deciding factor if he ended up searching for the Ghost. He would have wanted to know what to do about the third head and perhaps even a confirmation whether he was right about Aegon. After all, the woman we are talking about made the prophecy that led the Targaryens to believe that Rhaegar might have been the promised prince in the first place.

Oh sure, it works, I can't say otherwise.
I think I simply dislike the idea that the prophecy was instrumental in conceiving Jon and/or that Rhaegar deliberately used Lyanna to birth his PtwP.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I assume she was accompanied by an escort, too. After all, she was still a 14-15-year-old girl at the time. Not somebody you are likely to allow to ride through a countryside she does not know intimately. Especially not if you have promised her father and/or brothers to keep her safe.

This works very well.
Ok, it would explain how Rhaegar found Lyanna. That still doesn't eliminate the possibility of someone somehow feeding false (or genuine) information about a danger to her to Rhaegar.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

.Well, two young men like Ned and Robert would also not have looked that threatening. And if Aerys was paranoid/afraid because of the marriage alliance between the Starks and the Tullys Hoster should have died, too..

Hoster wasn't a likely rebel though, compared to the young lords that were Ned and Robert.
By your own reasoning, it makes little sense for Aerys to demand Robert's nead and not Hoster's.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Arya would only listen if liked to listen. And she usually does not like to listen to people who try to tell her what to do. That's the wolf blood that Arya, Lyanna, and Brandon all share.

Wouldn't you say that Arya had a crush on Gendry? Do you think she wouldn't listen to Gendry warning her about a danger? Before doing whatever she wanted to of course. ;)
I mean, Lyanna following Rhaegar wouldn't mean she saw herself as being "rescued." She could have listened to whatever he had to say and then taken her own decision.
If I go with your characterisation of Lyanna, then she can hardly have been abducted against her will, right? ;)

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And Lyanna wasn't worried about Robert's fidelity, she matter-of-factly stated that he wouldn't be keep to her bed.

She wanted to hear Ned's thoughts on the matter. If she wasn't worried she wouldn't have brought it up.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

At the Wall. Renly was a powerful lord in his own right, the brother of the king, and a member of the Small Council. Jon would just have been a boy raised by the Lord of Winterfell. He would have lacked the connections that enabled Renly to crown himself.

The point is, charisma counts. Anyway, are you really denying that a royal bastard's life could be dangerous? And this is assuming Jon is a bastard, when many people think he isn't. ;)

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@The 6th Stark made this observation a few years ago, but I don't believe it's ever been noted on these threads before, so here it is, with a few additions of my own:

In Jon's 9th ASOS chapter, he is affected by icy tendrils:

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A gust of wind sent icy tendrils wending through his long brown hair. (Jon IX, ASOS 69)

Then in his very next chapter, he is affected by tendrils of fire:

Quote

"A one-armed smith slew Mag the Mighty? Har! That must o' been a fight to see. Mance will make a song of it, see if he don't." Tormund took a waterskin off his saddle and pulled the cork. "This will warm us some. To Donal Noye, and Mag the Mighty." He took a swig, and handed it down to Jon.

"To Donal Noye, and Mag the Mighty." The skin was full of mead, but a mead so potent that it made Jon's eyes water and sent tendrils of fire snaking through his chest. After the ice cell and the cold ride down in the cage, the warmth was welcome. (Jon X, ASOS 73)

This happens right after Tormund says Mance will make a song of Donal Noye and Mag the Mighty. "His is the song of ice and fire," anyone? Additionally, note where the tendrils have their effect on Jon. The "icy tendrils" wend their way through Jon's hair, the brown hair of the Starks, an aspect of his appearance which clearly conveys that part of his heritage. But the "tendrils of fire" make their way through Jon's chest, internally, unseen, just as Jon's Targaryen side has yet to be revealed. And I doubt it's a coincidence that these fiery tendrils are described as "snaking," snakes being similar to dragons.

Daenerys also had a similar experience with fiery tendrils after drinking something, which helps to further link Jon's quote to the Targaryens:

Quote

Dany raised the glass to her lips. The first sip tasted like ink and spoiled meat, foul, but when she swallowed it seemed to come to life within her. She could feel tendrils spreading through her chest, like fingers of fire coiling around her heart, and on her tongue was a taste like honey and anise and cream, like mother's milk and Drogo's seed, like red meat and hot blood and molten gold. It was all the tastes she had ever known, and none of them . . . and then the glass was empty. (Daenerys IV, ACOK 48)

Finally, this is a bit odd, but Tormund offers Jon mead again in ADWD, and GRRM reuses almost the exact same description from ASOS:

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"Be wary o' that lot, Jon Snow," Tormund warned him. "A savage folk. The men are bad, the women worse." He took a skin off his saddle and offered it up to Jon. "Here. This will make them seem less fearsome, might be. And warm you for the night. No, go on, it's yours to keep. Drink deep."

Within was a mead so potent it made Jon's eyes water and sent tendrils of fire snaking through his chest. He drank deep. (Jon XII, ADWD 58)

I'm not too sure what to make of this. Maybe GRRM just thought it was a good line worth repeating a second time, or forgot that he had already used it.

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An interesting observation, though I'm really not sure what to make of this, either. I've recently read a fiction where the author apparently liked the phrase "tendrils of fear" so he used it repeatedly, there is definitely a nice sound to it.

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