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The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread, Part II


Werthead

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SFDanny,

If there is something in the crypts that tells Jon his heritage, it will only tell him who his parents are, not that they were married (because Ned didn't know of any marriage). Jon will still have to find out about the marriage from someone else. But of course none of this will happen because I am 100% certain that there is no tangible object in the crypts, and 80% certain R and L weren't married. The dreams of the crypts are more hints for the reader than for Jon.

So, I'm guessing you're ruling out the crypt containing an official marriage certificate complete with cupids and flying hearts and stamped by the High Septon with Aerys, Varys, and Hightower's signatures in blood, all wrapped around little bronzed shoes with "Our son, Jon. Love Rhaegar and Lyanna" engraved on the soles? :)

Seriously, I don't know why you're so certain there is nothing there. Perhaps you're right, but I could see Lyanna requesting to be buried with something or Ned gathering up something at the Tower of Joy that Rhaegar had left for the child if he didn't return. I'm not saying it has to be a tangible object, but it does seem that Martin has given us the clue that it is important for Jon to go into the crypts to find out about his heritage. It could be just a symbol of his acceptance of himself as a Stark, but I can't see ruling out the possibility it is much more.

Back to Jon=king argument.

The only evidence cited that R & L were married is that 3 KG guard the tower of joy. However their presence can be explained.

You said yourself that their primary duty is to guard the king, and that if the king is safe they can perform other duties. E.g. Balon Swann is taking a skull to Dorne. Viserys was safe with Willem Darry, which left these three free to continue following Rhaegar's orders. Just as Aerys was considered safe enough in KL, and Rhaegar was considered safe enough on The Trident for them to continue with Rhaegar's orders.

I don't think there can be a connection between the mission of these 3 KG and Lyanna's tomb, considering that Lyanna was alive and well at the time, not buried in the crypts.

Sarella, look at the differences in situations between the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy and the examples you give. With the Tower of Joy, they are the only Kingsguard left who are loyal to the Targaryens. If Viserys is their new King he is hardly safe. There are no Kingsguard with him and the armies of the usurpers are victorious throughout most all of Westeros. The only thing that really stands between him and Robert's armies is a bit of water waiting to be traversed by newly built ships. In this situation, any reasonable interpretation of the Kingsguard's Oath to defend their King demands they get to Viserys, but they don't even try. Now, compare this to when Swann travels to Dorne. He leaves five members of the Kingsguard (maybe four if Jaime has already left for Riverrun, but I don't recall the timing off the top of my head) behind him in King's Landing. And at the time it is the Lannister forces and their allies that are in control of most of Westeros. Next, look at Aerys' situation. He is left with one Kingsguard, but also the entire defenses of King's Landing at his disposal. This while his forces are laid out in the following manner: his son and three of the Kingsguard lead the largest army in Westeros against the main rebel force that would threaten him, and his bannerman have the only other rebel force of significance bottled up in Storm's End. I think you can see how the situations are vastly different.

And that is precisely my point. Given the changed circumstances from when the Kingsguard were assigned to guard Lyanna, these three men are bound by their oaths to go to protect Viserys. The fact that they don't move from the Tower of Joy, even though they have demonstrated they know about all of these changes, tells us a lot about where the new Targaryen heir is to be found. That means Rhaegar and Lyanna must have been married, under any reasonable interpretation of the Kingsguard's actions. In short, it's not that the Kingsguard are sent to the Tower of Joy to guard Lyanna that screams that the heir to the throne is there, but rather the fact that they stay there that does.

The connection between the Kingsguard and Lyanna's tomb would be if they brought back to the Tower of Joy an object that Ned placed in the tomb with Lyanna's body. I'm not suggesting anything else.

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Sorry, for the repetition, and I hope this round added something to this topic.

No need to be sorry, after awhile this board is mostly an endless repetition of the same issues. :)

Hightower is fulfilling part of his main task with the assignment, just as a US Air Force chief would be if he was sitting in a NORAD bunker instead of flying missions.

Yes he would sit in the NORAD bunker, he wouldn’t be flying missions, my analogy isn’t that good, But I find it indisputable that using these three for simple guard duty, for a target of no decisive significance, is a enormous waste of their ability, most especially when the king faces such a serious threat. You find it reasonable that Lyanna has more brothers of Kingsguard standing over her then the king, when the threat to the king has never been greater?

Second, Lyanna isn't just Rhaegar's second wife. She is one of the major causes for the continuation of the war. Ned and Robert want her back and want desperately to find her.

Still I can’t see how her custodians gain any significant advantage in the war. It’s not like Ned and Robert intend her harm or can hold her as hostage and she is far away from the actual theatre of war.

Too prevent this, Rhaegar has hidden her away and given the task of defending her over to a very select group of men - it would not be easy to secure her and still maintain secrecy with another group of defenders.

Sorry I don’t buy this, Rhaegar is highly popular, prince of Dragonstone, with thousands of men of arms at his call, he is in really dire straits if he couldn’t find a hundred that would be able to do his bidding with no questions asked.

And lastly, the rebels aren't the only ones who pose a threat to Lyanna and her child. The Mad King can't be too happy about his son being in love with the sister and betrothed of his two most important opponents.

If he had concerns about his fathers intentions towards Lyanna, he really shouldn’t have chosen the kingsguard as her protection. They should be the last that willingly defied Aerys.

Rhaegar didn't plan for such an eventuality and neither did the three Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy.

Rhaegar didn’t plan for it because it wasn’t his main concern, it’s obvious that if the loyalists forces are decisively defeated, people inclination to betray house Targaryen increases exponentially.

The kingsguard OTOH are directly responsible for guarding the king and should constantly be second guessing threats to him, Yet in your scenario they would accept to be put in a situation that makes them unable to communicate with the king and respond to such an readily, foreseeable change in the strategic situation, for an objective that has a much lower priority.

Without the Lannisters and without Aery's foolish act, the city probably still stands against the rebels.

No, if the Lannister’s hadn’t moved against him it’s virtually certain someone else would,

Anyway how would Hightower know, twiddling his thumbs at a pleasure resort?

They are only expressing their hatred for Robert and their belief they would have killed him if they were there.

Possible, but it seem very unlikely to me. The trident WAS a close affair had Ser Artur slain Robert it could just as well gone the other way.

Beyond that, I don't see how you can draw the conclusion they thought those who fought for the King during the sack where contemptible.

Even if Jaime had discharged his duty in full, Aerys would still have been killed by the rebels. Yet Hightower claims that Aerys would still been alive AND sitting on the throne if THEY had been there. I can’t see this as anything but a severe criticism of those that directed King’s Landings defences.

Why would they tell Ned about how bad they felt about his and Robert's victories and the deaths of their King and his family?

Because they are men that lives for duty and honor? In your scenario they have misjudged the situation to such a degree that they are the greatest failure in the kingsguard’s history. The need to justify themselves should be overwhelming.

Jaime may have betrayed the king, but Hightower was the lord commander, and allegedly a man of honor and fidelity yet doesn’t acknowledge any responsibility for the mess. This leads me to believe that he had reason for his misjudgement that he is comfortable with and Lyanna and her potential trueborn son, so far down the succession order, in the inital stage, couldn't be that.

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I don't think there can be a connection between the mission of these 3 KG and Lyanna's tomb, considering that Lyanna was alive and well at the time, not buried in the crypts.

Right. I think the point, though, is that the tomb part wasn't planned when the KG went on the mission, but what else was Ned to do? Lets assume for a second they had gone to the east and returned (as SFDanny suggested up thread) with Blackfyre. They returned to the ToJ, presumably to guard Lyanna and Jon, only Ned arrives and the only living survivers are Ned, Howland, and Jon (and whoever made up the rest of "they").

What's Ned to do with Blackfyre? Send it off to Viserys? Absurd. Keep it for himself? He's too honorable for that, he's no Tywin Lannister appropriate the ancient Valyrian steel sword of a fallen foe. Burying it along with Lyanna wouldn't be his worst option (not to say it's his best).

And let's say that Jon finds Blackfyre, the sword of the Targaryan kings, given to the heir to the throne; no one would find the symbolism there interesting? Then there's the dilema of him already having a V-steel sword, Longclaw; which does he choose to weild, the one given to him by the previous Lord Commander of the Night's watch, or the sword of kings? Again, interesting.

I'm not saying I buy the tangible clue left in the tomb, or if it is, it would be Blackfyre, but I do find it a fun senario to consider.

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SFDanny, Enguerrand,

I've been thinking about this again. You guys are saying that the only logical reason for the Kingsguard to be with Lyanna at the ToJ is because she had a child who was Rhaegar's legitimate son therefore making him heir to the Targaryen Dynasty. You say if that wasn't the case then the three would have been with Viserys on Dragonstone because such loyal knights would not shirk their duty or responsibility so easily. Is it fair to say that's what you guys are suggesting?

Now I have a problem with that(surprise, surprise). Assuming I'm correct in what I think you guys are saying it would seem that those three had already shirked their responsibility and duty to their king. Now, we know these three spent the war either at the tower or someplace else away from Kingslanding. Ser Gerold was there when Lord Rickard and the rest were executed and it was probably he who was sent to find Rhaegar. Now, from the Kingslayer's POV Rhaegar wasn't sought until it was realized that Robert was no mere rebel lord but the greatest threat to House Targaryen since Daemon Blackfyre. So knowing this, Ser Gerold, Lord Commander of Aerys Kingsguard goes to find Prince Rhaegar and does not come back. Knowing the threat to Aerys and the Targaryens as a whole he doesn't return to do his duty to protect his king and not only that he doesn't command two of the finest warriors in the realm to return either!

Now, seeing that he and his two brothers had already abandoned one king to his fate why is it so hard to think that they would not flee with Viserys into exile if Viserys was heir? I mean, if they had stayed at the ToJ at Rhaegar's command and basically abandoned their king why would it be so hard to think that they would stay at the ToJ to carry out Rhaegar's last commands even though Rhaegar was dead? We get examples of similar situations in the books. Lord Beric trying to fulfill his last commands which were given in Robert's name even though Robert was dead. Ser Cortney defying Stannis for Renly even though Renly was dead. So to think that these three would try and carry out Rhaegar's last orders even though he was dead is not that far fetched. And they have already shown that they could abandon their duties to their king so not fleeing to Viserys is not that outlandish a thought either.

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Yes he would sit in the NORAD bunker, he wouldn’t be flying missions, my analogy isn’t that good, But I find it indisputable that using these three for simple guard duty, for a target of no decisive significance, is a enormous waste of their ability, most especially when the king faces such a serious threat. You find it reasonable that Lyanna has more brothers of Kingsguard standing over her then the king, when the threat to the king has never been greater?

I think your mistake, IMHO, is that you view this in purely military terms. Lyanna's safety is meaningless in the making of a strategy to win the war, but it is extremely, extremely important to the leaders on both sides of the conflict. Ned and Robert are largely motivated by love for her as well as concern for their House's honor. Rhaegar is motivated both by his love for Lyanna and his view that his children are the fulfillment of an ancient prophesy needed to restore his House to its former glory (dragons) and safeguard the people of Westeros. Given those views, is it a wonder that Rhaegar goes to great lengths to secret Lyanna away, and commits his most loyal and able Kingsguard to protect her? I don't think so. It is only a waste if you look at it in terms of winning on the battlefield.

Still I can’t see how her custodians gain any significant advantage in the war. It’s not like Ned and Robert intend her harm or can hold her as hostage and she is far away from the actual theatre of war.

Rhaegar's concerns, and Lyanna's for that matter, are valid ones when we think of what would happen to her and her child if Ned and Robert find her. Would Robert take vengeance on Rhaegar's child, or allow someone else to do so for him? His response to the deaths of Rhaenys and Aegon would make us think so. In addition, is there any doubt Robert would expect Lyanna to marry him if she is found by his forces? Robert believes she was kidnapped and raped and would never accept that she loved Rhaegar and went with him willingly.

To the first part of this response, as I said above, there is no military advantage. The advantage come in the other forms already discussed.

Sorry I don’t buy this, Rhaegar is highly popular, prince of Dragonstone, with thousands of men of arms at his call, he is in really dire straits if he couldn’t find a hundred that would be able to do his bidding with no questions asked.

He could, but maintaining the secrecy of Lyanna's location with a greater number of men is questionable. In addition, as you point out, putting a large force at the Tower of Joy makes no sense from a military standpoint. Rather, if secrecy was not the goal, it would make sense to move Lyanna to a more defensible location. The fact Rhaegar doesn't bring her to King's Landing should tell us he values the secrecy of Lyanna's hideaway.

If he had concerns about his fathers intentions towards Lyanna, he really shouldn’t have chosen the kingsguard as her protection. They should be the last that willingly defied Aerys.

I think Rhaegar's words to Jaime about making changes upon his return speaks to where he thinks the Kingsguard's loyalties will lie if they are forced to choose between father and son. He may be wrong, but his view of the matter is clear.

Rhaegar didn’t plan for it because it wasn’t his main concern, it’s obvious that if the loyalists forces are decisively defeated, people inclination to betray house Targaryen increases exponentially.

The kingsguard OTOH are directly responsible for guarding the king and should constantly be second guessing threats to him, Yet in your scenario they would accept to be put in a situation that makes them unable to communicate with the king and respond to such an readily, foreseeable change in the strategic situation, for an objective that has a much lower priority.

First, before the Trident it is clear that Rhaegar is determining strategy. For him Lyanna is not a "much lower priority." After the Trident, events move quickly towards the sack of King's Landing. It is likely the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy couldn't even get to Aerys in time to defend him. Yes, they should have thought about the Lannisters, as I said, it was a mistake all the Targaryens made to leave them out as possible foes.

No, if the Lannister’s hadn’t moved against him it’s virtually certain someone else would,

Anyway how would Hightower know, twiddling his thumbs at a pleasure resort?

The point is, however, would Aerys have let anyone else in the City gates without a fight? He views the Lannister army as his salvation and that is his downfall and the direct cause of the sack of King's Landing.

Even if Jaime had discharged his duty in full, Aerys would still have been killed by the rebels. Yet Hightower claims that Aerys would still been alive AND sitting on the throne if THEY had been there. I can’t see this as anything but a severe criticism of those that directed King’s Landings defences.

It's not just Jaime's actions that Ser Gerold thinks they could have prevented. He surely thinks that if they were there they would have stopped the King from allowing the Lannisters into the city.

Because they are men that lives for duty and honor? In your scenario they have misjudged the situation to such a degree that they are the greatest failure in the kingsguard’s history. The need to justify themselves should be overwhelming.

Jaime may have betrayed the king, but Hightower was the lord commander, and allegedly a man of honor and fidelity yet doesn’t acknowledge any responsibility for the mess. This leads me to believe that he had reason for his misjudgement that he is comfortable with and Lyanna and her potential trueborn son, so far down the succession order, in the inital stage, couldn't be that.

They may even accept your view that they are the "greatest failure in the kingsguard’s history," but telling that to your foe as you prepare to do battle doesn't seem likely. Telling your foe you are going to kick his ass because you are the baddest fighter on the planet seems much more in keeping with the spirit of the scene.

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SFDanny, Enguerrand,

I've been thinking about this again. You guys are saying that the only logical reason for the Kingsguard to be with Lyanna at the ToJ is because she had a child who was Rhaegar's legitimate son therefore making him heir to the Targaryen Dynasty. You say if that wasn't the case then the three would have been with Viserys on Dragonstone because such loyal knights would not shirk their duty or responsibility so easily. Is it fair to say that's what you guys are suggesting?

Now I have a problem with that(surprise, surprise). Assuming I'm correct in what I think you guys are saying it would seem that those three had already shirked their responsibility and duty to their king. Now, we know these three spent the war either at the tower or someplace else away from Kingslanding. Ser Gerold was there when Lord Rickard and the rest were executed and it was probably he who was sent to find Rhaegar. Now, from the Kingslayer's POV Rhaegar wasn't sought until it was realized that Robert was no mere rebel lord but the greatest threat to House Targaryen since Daemon Blackfyre. So knowing this, Ser Gerold, Lord Commander of Aerys Kingsguard goes to find Prince Rhaegar and does not come back. Knowing the threat to Aerys and the Targaryens as a whole he doesn't return to do his duty to protect his king and not only that he doesn't command two of the finest warriors in the realm to return either!

Now, seeing that he and his two brothers had already abandoned one king to his fate why is it so hard to think that they would not flee with Viserys into exile if Viserys was heir? I mean, if they had stayed at the ToJ at Rhaegar's command and basically abandoned their king why would it be so hard to think that they would stay at the ToJ to carry out Rhaegar's last commands even though Rhaegar was dead? We get examples of similar situations in the books. Lord Beric trying to fulfill his last commands which were given in Robert's name even though Robert was dead. Ser Cortney defying Stannis for Renly even though Renly was dead. So to think that these three would try and carry out Rhaegar's last orders even though he was dead is not that far fetched. And they have already shown that they could abandon their duties to their king so not fleeing to Viserys is not that outlandish a thought either.

While the "Rhaegar married Lyanna" theory is half complete nonsense and half wishful thinking, there are a few flaws in your logic. Hightower wasn't sent to find Rhaegar, Rhaegar just came back. I believe Jaime's exact words were "Prince Rhaegar returned from the south..." At that point, Rhaegar ordered Hightower and the others to the ToJ, they didn't just decide to stay there and "abandon" Aerys to his fate. I agree that Viserys was Aerys' heir, but they had other reasons for staying at the ToJ then shirking duty(you mentioned one yourself, Rhaegar told them to).

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SFDanny, Enguerrand,

I've been thinking about this again. You guys are saying that the only logical reason for the Kingsguard to be with Lyanna at the ToJ is because she had a child who was Rhaegar's legitimate son therefore making him heir to the Targaryen Dynasty. You say if that wasn't the case then the three would have been with Viserys on Dragonstone because such loyal knights would not shirk their duty or responsibility so easily. Is it fair to say that's what you guys are suggesting?

I'm not saying exactly that. What I am saying is that it makes no sense for the Kingsguard to stay at the Tower of Joy after the events of King's Landing if Viserys is the new Targaryen heir. There is a logical reason, outside of Jon's claim to the throne, for them to be there in the first place - Rhaegar ordered them there.

Now I have a problem with that(surprise, surprise). Assuming I'm correct in what I think you guys are saying it would seem that those three had already shirked their responsibility and duty to their king. Now, we know these three spent the war either at the tower or someplace else away from Kingslanding. Ser Gerold was there when Lord Rickard and the rest were executed and it was probably he who was sent to find Rhaegar. Now, from the Kingslayer's POV Rhaegar wasn't sought until it was realized that Robert was no mere rebel lord but the greatest threat to House Targaryen since Daemon Blackfyre. So knowing this, Ser Gerold, Lord Commander of Aerys Kingsguard goes to find Prince Rhaegar and does not come back. Knowing the threat to Aerys and the Targaryens as a whole he doesn't return to do his duty to protect his king and not only that he doesn't command two of the finest warriors in the realm to return either!

Given the situation before the battle of the Trident, the allocations of the Kingsguard made sense, and didn't represent an abrogation of their duty to Aerys. Once again, Aerys is protected not only by Jaime and the defenses of King's Landing, but he has his son leading the largest army in Westeros, complete with three more Knights of the Kingsguard, to do away with the main rebel force. In addition he has the only other rebel force of significance bottled up at Storm's End. That is the situation when the three are left at the Tower of Joy, so, no they did not "shirk" there responsibility. As I said to Enguerrand, after the Trident, events move so quickly that it is likely the Knights could not have reached Aerys before his foolish actions led to his and other's deaths, even if they tried.

Now, seeing that he and his two brothers had already abandoned one king to his fate why is it so hard to think that they would not flee with Viserys into exile if Viserys was heir? I mean, if they had stayed at the ToJ at Rhaegar's command and basically abandoned their king why would it be so hard to think that they would stay at the ToJ to carry out Rhaegar's last commands even though Rhaegar was dead? We get examples of similar situations in the books. Lord Beric trying to fulfill his last commands which were given in Robert's name even though Robert was dead. Ser Cortney defying Stannis for Renly even though Renly was dead. So to think that these three would try and carry out Rhaegar's last orders even though he was dead is not that far fetched. And they have already shown that they could abandon their duties to their king so not fleeing to Viserys is not that outlandish a thought either.

I don't think they abandoned Aerys, but I do think it is possible they would go into exile with Viserys, if he were the heir. That would not be fleeing from their responsibility, it would be fulfilling it. As to your examples, again we are talking apples and oranges. Neither Lord Beric or Ser Cortney have a King in Dragonstone who they are bound to protect by solemn oath. The Knights at the TOJ do have oaths that would bind them to try to get to Viserys, regardless of the former orders given to them by Rhaegar, and unlike the time between the Trident and the sack of King's Landing, they do have time to try to do so.

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While the "Rhaegar married Lyanna" theory is half complete nonsense and half wishful thinking, there are a few flaws in your logic.

You have yet to respond to any point to substantiate your view. Assertions don't make it so. There is no wishful thinking involved, but rather an understanding of the Kingsguards Oath, the men involved, and the evolving situation. Given all of that, it is a powerful indication that the child at the Tower of Joy is the rightful heir. If true, that means Rhaegar and Lyanna had to be married.

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SFDanny,

Thank you for your kind words, I've been impressed with the quality of your posts as well, always articulate and logical.

Godot,

Hightower wasn't sent to find Rhaegar, Rhaegar just came back. I believe Jaime's exact words were "Prince Rhaegar returned from the south..."

As you say, Jaime notes Rhaegar returned from the south. But that in no way excludes someone from going south and telling Rhaegar of the need up north. Jaime's thoughts say nothing of the sort.

At that point, Rhaegar ordered Hightower and the others to the ToJ, they didn't just decide to stay there and "abandon" Aerys to his fate.

Where are you getting this? Where does it say that Rhaegar ordered them once he returned back north, rather than when one or more of them found him in the south?

ETA: There's also the possibilty either Dayne, Whent, or both (but just Daybe being the most likely) was with Rhaegar the whole time. There are any number of ways that those three could have wound up a the ToJ, you're asserting one is correct without addressing why that is so, or why the others are wrong.

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I'm not saying exactly that. What I am saying is that it makes no sense for the Kingsguard to stay at the Tower of Joy after the events of King's Landing if Viserys is the new Targaryen heir. There is a logical reason, outside of Jon's claim to the throne, for them to be there in the first place - Rhaegar ordered them there.

Okay, I need you to clarify this for me. You think they were there because of Jon but you're saying that it's not impossible that they were there because Rhaegar ordered them to be even if Viserys was heir. Is that close because it seems to me that's what you're saying?

Given the situation before the battle of the Trident, the allocations of the Kingsguard made sense, and didn't represent an abrogation of their duty to Aerys. Once again, Aerys is protected not only by Jaime and the defenses of King's Landing, but he has his son leading the largest army in Westeros, complete with three more Knights of the Kingsguard, to do away with the main rebel force. In addition he has the only other rebel force of significance bottled up at Storm's End. That is the situation when the three are left at the Tower of Joy, so, no they did not "shirk" there responsibility. As I said to Enguerrand, after the Trident, events move so quickly that it is likely the Knights could not have reached Aerys before his foolish actions led to his and other's deaths, even if they tried.

No see this is where we disagree. The Kingsguard duty is to the king and to keep him safe. Everyone else be damned. Now Aerys is king, Rhaegar his heir, and Aegon Rhaegar's heir yet these three are in the south drinking wine and eating cheese and capon while the their brothers die and their king and his heirs are cut down. Were they so arrogant as to think that it was impossible that Rhaegar could lose? Did they not consider what would happen if Robert prevailed at the Trident and not take that into consideration? I mean, I find it hard to fathom that when Daemon Blackfyre was fighting for the throne that some of the Kingsguard of King Daeron II were off protecting the second or third in line for the throne and not the king and his heirs. I never realized it before but Ser Gerold, Ser Oswold, and Ser Arthur failed miserably in their sacred trust and are certainly not as admirable as I previously thought.

I don't think they abandoned Aerys, but I do think it is possible they would go into exile with Viserys, if he were the heir. That would not be fleeing from their responsibility, it would be fulfilling it. As to your examples, again we are talking apples and oranges. Neither Lord Beric or Ser Cortney have a King in Dragonstone who they are bound to protect by solemn oath. The Knights at the TOJ do have oaths that would bind them to try to get to Viserys, regardless of the former orders given to them by Rhaegar, and unlike the time between the Trident and the sack of King's Landing, they do have time to try to do so.

They most certainly did abandon Aerys. They're not supposed to care how big an army the king has nor how weak his opponent, they're supposed to either be with him or be fighting his enemies, not sitting in some far away tower soaking up the sun. And where was their solemn oath with regards to Aerys? What orders could possibly force them to sit out the war and not be there when their king needed them? All I'm wondering is why you think it's not strange that these three not be with Aerys when he's facing the greatest threat of his reign and that's fine but that it so incomprehensible that they would do the same with regards to Viserys?

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Okay, I need you to clarify this for me. You think they were there because of Jon but you're saying that it's not impossible that they were there because Rhaegar ordered them to be even if Viserys was heir. Is that close because it seems to me that's what you're saying?

Ok, let me try to do this again. I agree that the decisions about where all the Kingsguard are sent prior to the battle of the Trident is because of Rhaegar's orders. It is clear he is in charge, not his father - at least after he returns from the Tower of Joy to take up the conduct of the war. Rhaegar makes the decision to have the three stay at the Tower of Joy and they are there at his orders. Am I clear about that part of it?

However, the problem comes when we are to believe the three would stay - and I've tried to emphasize the word "stay" a few times to point out the critical nature of their actions - only because the dead prince's last order told them to, while the new heir sits endangered on Dragonstone. These mens' oaths and their nature would not allow them to if that was the situation. Let me emphasize once again, the changing situation after the deaths of Rhaegar, Aerys, and Rhaegar's children would force a change from the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy, if their heir were not there.

I think that is clear.

No see this is where we disagree. The Kingsguard duty is to the king and to keep him safe. Everyone else be damned. Now Aerys is king, Rhaegar his heir, and Aegon Rhaegar's heir yet these three are in the south drinking wine and eating cheese and capon while the their brothers die and their king and his heirs are cut down. Were they so arrogant as to think that it was impossible that Rhaegar could lose? Did they not consider what would happen if Robert prevailed at the Trident and not take that into consideration? I mean, I find it hard to fathom that when Daemon Blackfyre was fighting for the throne that some of the Kingsguard of King Daeron II were off protecting the second or third in line for the throne and not the king and his heirs. I never realized it before but Ser Gerold, Ser Oswold, and Ser Arthur failed miserably in their sacred trust and are certainly not as admirable as I previously thought.

The Kingsguard did not betray their trust to Aerys. They failed to keep him alive, and failed to anticipate the possibility of the Lannister betrayal, but that is not the same thing. Ser Gerold, Ser Arthur, and Ser Oswell were not at a picnic while their king died - at least as far as we know. They were guarding the child Rhaegar felt was essential to the fulfillment of a prophecy and who was in the line of royal succession. Obviously, the Kingsguard cannot be everywhere to fulfill all of its missions, and, yes, the priority in such cases should be the king. However, time did not allow them to get to Aerys even if they felt the results of the Battle of the Trident meant they should go to him instead of trusting to Jaime and the defenses of King's Landing. If I recall correctly we are told that Ned is "racing" to King's Landing with the forces of Robert's van, but is too late to get there before the Lannisters arrive and betray the king. How then, are the Kingsguard to have received the news of the Trident and beat either the Lannisters or Ned to King's Landing from farther away? They couldn't. A failure of strategy on the part of Rhaegar in how he allocated his forces? Certainly. But not a failure of the sacred trust between the Kingsguard and the King - unless we are talking about Jaime.

They most certainly did abandon Aerys. They're not supposed to care how big an army the king has nor how weak his opponent, they're supposed to either be with him or be fighting his enemies, not sitting in some far away tower soaking up the sun. And where was their solemn oath with regards to Aerys? What orders could possibly force them to sit out the war and not be there when their king needed them? All I'm wondering is why you think it's not strange that these three not be with Aerys when he's facing the greatest threat of his reign and that's fine but that it so incomprehensible that they would do the same with regards to Viserys?

Again, these men are not sitting at a vacation resort, they are guarding one of the heirs to the throne and his mother. That is part of their oath - if Jon is not a bastard. I think if you look at the differences between the situation they faced immediately after the Battle of the Trident and the situation they faced after the sack of King's Landing it is clear that they could not have made it to Aerys, but should have made it to Viserys, if he were the heir.

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Ok, let me try to do this again. I agree that the decisions about where all the Kingsguard are sent prior to the battle of the Trident is because of Rhaegar's orders. It is clear he is in charge, not his father - at least after he returns from the Tower of Joy to take up the conduct of the war. Rhaegar makes the decision to have the three stay at the Tower of Joy and they are there at his orders. Am I clear about that part of it?

However, the problem comes when we are to believe the three would stay - and I've tried to emphasize the word "stay" a few times to point out the critical nature of their actions - only because the dead prince's last order told them to, while the new heir sits endangered on Dragonstone. These mens' oaths and their nature would not allow them to if that was the situation. Let me emphasize one again, the changing situation after the deaths of Rhaegar, Aerys, and Rhaegar's children would force a change from the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy, if their heir were not there.

I think that is clear.

Good. I now know where you are going with this even if I think you're wrong. :)

The Kingsguard did not betray their trust to Aerys. They failed to keep him alive, and failed to anticipate the possibility of the Lannister betrayal, but that is not the same thing. Ser Gerold, Ser Arthur, and Ser Oswell were not at a picnic while their king died - at least as far as we know. They were guarding the child Rhaegar felt was essential to the fulfillment of a prophecy and who was in the line of royal succession. Obviously, the Kingsguard cannot be everywhere to fulfill all of its missions, and, yes, the priority in such cases should be the king. However, time did not allow them to get to Aerys even if they felt the results of the Battle of the Trident meant they should go to him instead of trusting to Jaime and the defenses of King's Landing. If I recall correctly we are told that Ned is "racing" to King's Landing with the forces of Robert's van, but is too late to get there before the Lannisters arrive and betray the king. How then, are the Kingsguard to have received the news of the Trident and beat either the Lannisters or Ned to King's Landing from farther away? They couldn't. A failure of strategy on the part of Rhaegar in how he allocated his forces? Certainly. But not a failure of the sacred trust between the Kingsguard and the King - unless we are talking about Jaime.

The duty of the Kingsguard is to keep the King alive and they failed at that. That is a failure of their sacred trust as Ser Barriston thinks when Robert dies under his watch. As for them not able to be everywhere, well that's the heart of our disagreement. Their mission, their duty, their vows was to the king and ensuring his safety. In a time of rebellion with the ability of the king to hold onto his thrown in doubt I cannot see any way those three could not be with the king or at least fighting for him. Rhaegar be damned, their duty was to Aerys and they failed him.

Again, these men are not sitting at a vacation resort, they are guarding one of the heirs to the throne and his mother. That is part of their oath - if Jon is not a bastard. I think if you look at the differences between the situation they faced immediately after the Battle of the Trident and the situation they faced after the sack of King's Landing it is clear that they could not have made it to Aerys, but should have made it to Viserys, if he were the heir.

Maybe they weren't at a vacation resort but it was just as well they were. They were protecting Rhaegar's pregnant mistress or whatever. It didn't take three of them to do that. One would have been sufficient and even then it would mean abandoning Aerys. And I know they could not have made it to Aerys in time after Rhaegar lost, but that's not the point. They should have never been that far away in the first place. They should have either been on the Trident or at Kingslanding.

See this is what I don't get. You are saying that their oath is to Viserys if there was no heir at the ToJ because Viserys is king yet you disagree that their oath meant that they should have been with Aerys instead of babysitting Lyanna when Aerys hold on the throne was in serious trouble. I mean, their duty is to Aerys not to Lyanna and some possible heir. The king comes first and if they were willing to abandon Aerys it's easily conceivable that they would also not go to Viserys.

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I think your mistake, IMHO, is that you view this in purely military terms. Lyanna's safety is meaningless in the making of a strategy to win the war, but it is extremely, extremely important to the leaders on both sides of the conflict. Ned and Robert are largely motivated by love for her as well as concern for their House's honor. Rhaegar is motivated both by his love for Lyanna and his view that his children are the fulfillment of an ancient prophesy needed to restore his House to its former glory (dragons) and safeguard the people of Westeros.

I think you grossly overestimate Lyanna’s importance. The main issue isn’t Lyanna’s person but the slight the Targaryens have given the Stark’s and Baratheons by spiriting her away without any consent and explanation. The killing of Lord Rickard the threat to Ned and Robert persons was the decisive factor for the war.

Let’s say that that the rebels somehow send an elite strike force and capture Lyanna several kingdoms behind the frontlines. If Rhaegar crushes the rebellion what would Ned do? Kill Lyanna? her baby?

If Rhaegar loses, all his dreams of dragon heads will stay that way, and no matter how many bad ass fighters he leaves with her it doesn’t change the situation.

In addition, is there any doubt Robert would expect Lyanna to marry him if she is found by his forces?

Yes, I highly doubt Ned would send her over if she claimed to be married to Rhaegar and really wonder if Robert would have been that interested in a Lyanna, married and pregnant with Rhaegar’s child.

He could, but maintaining the secrecy of Lyanna's location with a greater number of men is questionable.

So don’t make it a hundred, make it ten, or three. And if secrecy is the issue why send some of Westeros greatest celebrities? That also could have been much better employed raising the spirits of the loyalist army leading it to victory?

I think Rhaegar's words to Jaime about making changes upon his return speaks to where he thinks the Kingsguard's loyalties will lie if they are forced to choose between father and son. He may be wrong, but his view of the matter is clear.

Yes it’s an interesting situation. He says that he is going to summon a great council to declare his father unfit to rule. I assume this is the due legal process and if so would release the Kingsguard from their charge. It doesn’t seem to have precedent though. Anyway if the kingsguard has the character we are led to believe I can’t imagine that they would violate the spirit of the vow by choosing Lyanna’s child over the king they are sworn to defend. Their claims in the fever dream suggests that had no intention other then to support Aerys all the way.

Yes, they should have thought about the Lannisters, as I said, it was a mistake all the Targaryens made to leave them out as possible foes.

I don’t think they did, everyone considered Tywin’s inaction ominous. You believe I overstate the military realties, I think you don’t take them enough into account. Once the loyalist lost control over the military situation all their bannermen would scramble to ingratiate themselves with the rebels to save their fiefs. Tywin was simply the first and most able to act, but eventually most everyone would have understood which side of the bread that was buttered. Men like Courtney Penrose are rare.

After the Trident, events move quickly towards the sack of King's Landing. It is likely the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy couldn't even get to Aerys in time to defend him.

Which is my point. The chain of events is easily foreseeable, yet Hightower would accept to be kept out of the loop?

It's not just Jaime's actions that Ser Gerold thinks they could have prevented. He surely thinks that if they were there they would have stopped the King from allowing the Lannisters into the city.

Ser Gerold didn’t stop Aerys from barbecuing Lord Richard, so your sure faith in his ability and willingness to restrain the king’s erratic behaviour seems a tad optimistic.

They may even accept your view that they are the "greatest failure in the kingsguard’s history," but telling that to your foe as you prepare to do battle doesn't seem likely. Telling your foe you are going to kick his ass because you are the baddest fighter on the planet seems much more in keeping with the spirit of the scene.

Maybe, but I would expect men of honour the show some contrition for such a immense disgrace and not just boast like there are no tomorrow. I don’t really think Ned needed to be told how badass they were.

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The duty of the Kingsguard is to keep the King alive and they failed at that. That is a failure of their sacred trust as Ser Barriston thinks when Robert dies under his watch. As for them not able to be everywhere, well that's the heart of our disagreement. Their mission, their duty, their vows was to the king and ensuring his safety. In a time of rebellion with the ability of the king to hold onto his thrown in doubt I cannot see any way those three could not be with the king or at least fighting for him. Rhaegar be damned, their duty was to Aerys and they failed him.

Maybe they weren't at a vacation resort but it was just as well they were. They were protecting Rhaegar's pregnant mistress or whatever. It didn't take three of them to do that. One would have been sufficient and even then it would mean abandoning Aerys. And I know they could not have made it to Aerys in time after Rhaegar lost, but that's not the point. They should have never been that far away in the first place. They should have either been on the Trident or at Kingslanding.

See this is what I don't get. You are saying that their oath is to Viserys if there was no heir at the ToJ because Viserys is king yet you disagree that their oath meant that they should have been with Aerys instead of babysitting Lyanna when Aerys hold on the throne was in serious trouble. I mean, their duty is to Aerys not to Lyanna and some possible heir. The king comes first and if they were willing to abandon Aerys it's easily conceivable that they would also not go to Viserys.

Ok, perhaps we can have a meeting of the minds on some of this - if I read you right. I agree with you that the primary responsibility of the Kingsguard is to the safety of their King. That applies to both Aerys and, if he is the rightful heir, Viserys. However, given that, context is everything. We agree that the three had no time after the Trident to get to Aerys, but you blame them for accepting the initial strategy. I suggest you are mixing up a failed strategy of Rhaegar's with a failure of Ser Gerold, Ser Oswell, and Ser Arthur to take their vows seriously. For us to agree that the three men failed in their oaths, we would have to agree that they should overrule their King and the Crown Prince in the conduct of the war. Perhaps there are times when they should try to do so, but I think Rhaegar's plan was reasonable - it just didn't work. It didn't work at the Trident because he trusted in his numerical superiority and underestimated the battle readiness of the rebels, and it didn't work at King's Landing because of Aerys' mad decision and the betrayal of the Lannisters. And, while I'm sure any member of the Kingsguard should feel the way Ser Barristan does upon the death of his King, I think Ned's response to him is instructive. The Kingsguard can't save the King from himself, whether he is the drunken Robert or the mad Aerys.

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I think you grossly overestimate Lyanna’s importance. The main issue isn’t Lyanna’s person but the slight the Targaryens have given the Stark’s and Baratheons by spiriting her away without any consent and explanation. The killing of Lord Rickard the threat to Ned and Robert persons was the decisive factor for the war.

Let’s say that that the rebels somehow send an elite strike force and capture Lyanna several kingdoms behind the frontlines. If Rhaegar crushes the rebellion what would Ned do? Kill Lyanna? her baby?

If Rhaegar loses, all his dreams of dragon heads will stay that way, and no matter how many bad ass fighters he leaves with her it doesn’t change the situation.

Perhaps I didn't make my point clear. I don't dispute what are the proximate causes of the war. War wasn't inevitable when Lyanna goes with Rhaegar. It was once Brandon and Rickard were killed. It most certainly was when Aerys demanded Robert and Ned's heads from Jon Arryn. That doesn't change the fact Lyanna was vitally important to the leaders of both sides. Not in terms of military strategies, but certainly in terms of their motives. They both wanted her safely in their hands, and want that very badly.

Yes, I highly doubt Ned would send her over if she claimed to be married to Rhaegar and really wonder if Robert would have been that interested in a Lyanna, married and pregnant with Rhaegar’s child.

I can only go by what Robert says about her at her tomb and what Ned thinks about Robert's love for her. Would Ned send her to Robert to wed after their victory? I think Lyanna had reason to think he might after his defense of his friends' lechery. I would hope that Ned wouldn't have done so, but I can't say it would be one way or the other.

So don’t make it a hundred, make it ten, or three. And if secrecy is the issue why send some of Westeros greatest celebrities? That also could have been much better employed raising the spirits of the loyalist army leading it to victory?

Because these are the men Rhaegar trusts most, not ten others who might have done as well. You look back at the situation with hindsight and have the ability to say it should have been done another way, but the point is it makes sense, from Rhaegar's perspective, that it was done the way is was done.

Yes it’s an interesting situation. He says that he is going to summon a great council to declare his father unfit to rule. I assume this is the due legal process and if so would release the Kingsguard from their charge. It doesn’t seem to have precedent though. Anyway if the kingsguard has the character we are led to believe I can’t imagine that they would violate the spirit of the vow by choosing Lyanna’s child over the king they are sworn to defend. Their claims in the fever dream suggests that had no intention other then to support Aerys all the way.

I'm not sure I understand this. In the case of Rhaegar's "changes" it would be a choice between Rhaegar and Aerys, not Aerys and Jon. Or are you jumping to the Kingsguard staying at the TOJ instead of being at King's Landing? If the later, I don't think they have the time to make a choice.

I don’t think they did, everyone considered Tywin’s inaction ominous. You believe I overstate the military realties, I think you don’t take them enough into account. Once the loyalist lost control over the military situation all their bannermen would scramble to ingratiate themselves with the rebels to save their fiefs. Tywin was simply the first and most able to act, but eventually most everyone would have understood which side of the bread that was buttered. Men like Courtney Penrose are rare.

I'm actually conceding to you the military realities. It is easy to look back and say "that was a stupid mistake," but, again, look at it from Rhaegar's perspective and I think his decisions, while they failed, were not outrageous. Surely, we can see relying on Jaime was a huge mistake. Not taking into account the depth of his father's madness was an even greater one. And underestimating the rebels and the guile of Tywin were fatal errors for far too many. In that context, it is easy to say Hightower and the others skills could have been used better elsewhere, but from Rhaegar's POV they were being used right where he wanted them to be used.

Which is my point. The chain of events is easily foreseeable, yet Hightower would accept to be kept out of the loop?

We don't know if he objected. We do know Rhaegar was calling the shots. Again, I would argue that the chain of events need not be that easily forseen. When we look at Ned's actions with Cersei, don't many of us say "well, that was stupid"? Yet it fits Ned's character to act as he did - stupid or not. It also fits Rhaegar's character to act as he did - whether he should have foreseen the possible ramifications of his decisions or not.

Ser Gerold didn’t stop Aerys from barbecuing Lord Richard, so your sure faith in his ability and willingness to restrain the king’s erratic behaviour seems a tad optimistic.

I'm just reading what Ser Gerold says, whether he is optimistic in his estimate of what he could have done under the circumstance isn't the point.

Maybe, but I would expect men of honour the show some contrition for such a immense disgrace and not just boast like there are no tomorrow. I don’t really think Ned needed to be told how badass they were.

I'd be willing to bet they did amongst themselves, but to share that with their foe makes no sense. While showing confidence and trying to intimidate a foe before battle makes complete sense.

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Ok, perhaps we can have a meeting of the minds on some of this - if I read you right. I agree with you that the primary responsibility of the Kingsguard is to the safety of their King. That applies to both Aerys and, if he is the rightful heir, Viserys. However, given that, context is everything. We agree that the three had no time after the Trident to get to Aerys, but you blame them for accepting the initial strategy. I suggest you are mixing up a failed strategy of Rhaegar's with a failure of Ser Gerold, Ser Oswell, and Ser Arthur to take their vows seriously. For us to agree that the three men failed in their oaths, we would have to agree that they should overrule their King and the Crown Prince in the conduct of the war. Perhaps there are times when they should try to do so, but I think Rhaegar's plan was reasonable - it just didn't work. It didn't work at the Trident because he trusted in his numerical superiority and underestimated the battle readiness of the rebels, and it didn't work at King's Landing because of Aerys' mad decision and the betrayal of the Lannisters. And, while I'm sure any member of the Kingsguard should feel the way Ser Barristan does upon the death of his King, I think Ned's response to him is instructive. The Kingsguard can't save the King from himself, whether he is the drunken Robert or the mad Aerys.

Ok we agree that the duty of the Kingsguard is to the king. However, I think it is their duty to overrule the crown prince if his orders make it impossible for them to fulfill their oaths to their king. He is what matters. Now, we can justifiably assume that Ser Gerold was sent to find Rhaegar. We do not know if he wanted Ser Gerold to return and Ser Arthur and Ser Oswell with him and it would seem very odd that he did not ask for this, knowing how paranoid Aerys was he would only want his trusted Kingsguard around him. So I think that they obeyed Rhaegar rather than return to defend Aerys and in that I think they failed in their duty.

But if, as you seem to suggest, that they were at the ToJ at Rhaegar's and Aerys behest then no, they didn't fail in their trust, but that scenario seems unlikely to me. Unlikely but I will admit that it's not impossible.

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That doesn't change the fact Lyanna was vitally important to the leaders of both sides. Not in terms of military strategies, but certainly in terms of their motives. They both wanted her safely in their hands, and want that very badly.

And the faction that won the war would win her too, unless her custodian chose to kill her, which seems rather unlikely. That’s why her security measures aren’t that important.

I can only go by what Robert says about her at her tomb and what Ned thinks about Robert's love for her. Would Ned send her to Robert to wed after their victory? I think Lyanna had reason to think he might after his defense of his friends' lechery. I would hope that Ned wouldn't have done so, but I can't say it would be one way or the other.

At that time Lyanna seemed resolved to marry Robert despite his vices, as duty demanded. No one forced her. If events have turned out as we assume, this is just isn’t the case. Given how Ned treats the rest of his family, there is nothing that suggests that Ned would have sent her to Robert against her will. And once again, why would Robert be interested in Rhaegar’s leavings? Lyanna has disgraced him thoroughly, To continue to court her would make him a laughingstock plain and simple.

Because these are the men Rhaegar trusts most, not ten others who might have done as well. You look back at the situation with hindsight and have the ability to say it should have been done another way, but the point is it makes sense, from Rhaegar's perspective, that it was done the way is was done.

No it doesn’t. It only make sense if these guys are the only ones he can trust in the whole wide world(which really strange given his popularity and status) and the threat to Lyanna is imminent(which we have no indications of).

Remember that Rhaegar is both described as intelligent and dutiful, misusing the commander of the kingsguard in this fashion when he has a war to win that will decide the fate of his entire dynasty just beggars belief.

I'm not sure I understand this.

Sorry, I was rambling. I tried to understand under what circumstances the kingsguard would accept a transferral of power from Aerys to Rhaegar. My impression is that as long as Aerys was acclaimed king they should be duty bound to obey him even over Rhaegar.

It is easy to look back and say "that was a stupid mistake," but, again, look at it from Rhaegar's perspective and I think his decisions, while they failed, were not outrageous.

If event unfolded as you believe(and as I believed a couple of years ago) it is.

We don't know if he objected. We do know Rhaegar was calling the shots. Again, I would argue that the chain of events need not be that easily forseen.

Lets run this through. The loyalists forces as suffered as series of serious defeats, they are on the defensive. Rhaegar is recalled and sent change the situation. He has the advantage of number but morale is pretty low and the troops inexperienced, there is an obvious real possibility that he could be defeated, like the forces that have met the rebels before.

If he is defeated/killed it’s practically inevitable that large part of the loyalists will try to make peace with the rebels. Even with Prince Lewyn’s army their resources to offer a credible resistance are dwindling rapidly, the risk that someone would try to kill or betray Aerys to the rebels increases dramatically.

This is just common sense, yet according to you Hightower chose to take no precautions whatsover and place himself in a situation where he cannot respond to a any change in the threat level of the king. This only make sense to me if he wants the king dead. (some people have actually suggested that this is the reason the kingsguard is at TOJ so the king can be killed without them violating their oath)

I'm just reading what Ser Gerold says

No you are not, you are speculating into what he meant. He says that his presence and abilities would have kept Aerys alive and ruling. Which either suggests that he believes himself a demigod of war or that the defence of King’s Landing was inadequately handled.

You offered the speculations that Hightower meant that he could have stopped the king from making catastrophic misjudgements . Yet as we know (and Gerold better then any) this is manifestly not the case. Also not opening up the gates for Tywin is hardly enough to preserve Aerys reign.

My conclusion is that he means that the defence forces under his superior leadership would have routed the Lannisters and taken the fight to the rebels somehow.

I'd be willing to bet they did amongst themselves, but to share that with their foe makes no sense. While showing confidence and trying to intimidate a foe before battle makes complete sense.

It does among men of honor. As it is, on the face of it, they come across as pitiful losers with empty boasts.

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Ok we agree that the duty of the Kingsguard is to the king. However, I think it is their duty to overrule the crown prince if his orders make it impossible for them to fulfill their oaths to their king. He is what matters. Now, we can justifiably assume that Ser Gerold was sent to find Rhaegar. We do not know if he wanted Ser Gerold to return and Ser Arthur and Ser Oswell with him and it would seem very odd that he did not ask for this, knowing how paranoid Aerys was he would only want his trusted Kingsguard around him. So I think that they obeyed Rhaegar rather than return to defend Aerys and in that I think they failed in their duty.

But if, as you seem to suggest, that they were at the ToJ at Rhaegar's and Aerys behest then no, they didn't fail in their trust, but that scenario seems unlikely to me. Unlikely but I will admit that it's not impossible.

In this context, "overruling" Rhaegar would have meant leaving Lyanna and her unborn child and traveling to King's Landing while the Prince went to war. They would disobey his orders because they knew what? That Jaime would turn on the mad Aerys and kill him? Or they knew Tywin was going to seize the chance to pay Aerys back for his insults and betray the King? Or that they knew Rhaegar would lose at the Trident? Looking back, perhaps they should have risked all and done just that, but it is not outrageous to expect the three Kingsguard to do just what they did - trust in their Prince, trust in Jaime and the defenses of King's Landing, and trust that Tywin would not betray his King. Much has to be risked in war, but this doesn't seem to be that great of a chance, except in hindsight.

Now, we have been debating the actions of the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy for quite a while now, but that is not the only reason to believe Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. Another very good reason would seem to be the character of the two themselves. Do we really think Lyanna's love for Rhaegar means she would accept the role of mistress and bastardy for her children? She is a proud young woman who, if we believe Jojen's story stood up against bullies. She refuses to accept the dictates of her father and older brother to marry a man she doesn't love. Do you think she would not demand marriage and recognition as well as love? I think she would.

Rhaegar is likewise describe as a noble man who not only wouldn't frequent brothels, but also commands the respect and loyalty of all around him. Why would he treat Lyanna as something less than his first wife? I don't think it is in his character to do so, especially with a woman he not only loves, but also sees as helping him fulfill his prophecy. I just don't see it.

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