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The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread, Part II


Werthead

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Lyanna's child would be next in line for the throne, after the death of Rhaegar and his son Aegon, if he was both male and legitimate. And, yes, that would mean the Kingsguard owes its allegiance to him, and their presence, not to Viserys. A point of view I've been advocating for quite some time now.

Now, could Martin have made mistakes here? No, no, NO - it's not possible, for that way lies madness! :)

I know. I probably should delete the post before I get lynched. :leaving:

Given what we know right now, the only mostly-consistent theory I see is that Rhaegar swung the KG to his side (btw, I'm not saying R didn't love his father or was happy about the thought of deposing him - it needed to be done for the health of the kingdom), told them that Lyanna's son was a bad day away from being Crown Prince, and that they should protect him with their lives. That is why they go neither to Aerys or Viserys - they had already accepted what Rhaegar was going to do & thought of him as their king.

The biggest hole I can find here is that Aegon WAS the next in line after Rhaegar when he gave the orders to the KG. So how do you tell the KG to guard the 3rd in line instead of the 2nd (I realize that R doesn't have to explain himself to them, but what could his justification be to himself?)?

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The biggest hole I can find here is that Aegon WAS the next in line after Rhaegar when he gave the orders to the KG. So how do you tell the KG to guard the 3rd in line instead of the 2nd (I realize that R doesn't have to explain himself to them, but what could his justification be to himself?)?

The answer is the Rhaegar didn't tell the Kingsguard to guard Lyanna's child instead of Aegon. Rhaegar's plan was to guard all of his family, his father included, while he went out and dealt with the rebels. Aegon, Rheanys, and Elia are all guarded by, not only Jaime, but also the walls and defenders of King's Landing. As the Battle of the Blackwater shows us, those defenses can be fairly impressive - especially when you consider Robert's forces have no ships to speak of. Of course, that assumes you don't open the gates and let your foes inside. The idea that Rhaegar abandoned his father and Elia and their kids just isn't supported by the facts. It reduces the defenses of the loyalists to the placement of the Kingsguard and ignores literally armies of men.

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The answer is the Rhaegar didn't tell the Kingsguard to guard Lyanna's child instead of Aegon. Rhaegar's plan was to guard all of his family, his father included, while he went out and dealt with the rebels. Aegon, Rheanys, and Elia are all guarded by, not only Jaime, but also the walls and defenders of King's Landing. As the Battle of the Blackwater shows us, those defenses can be fairly impressive - especially when you consider Robert's forces have no ships to speak of. Of course, that assumes you don't open the gates and let your foes inside. The idea that Rhaegar abandoned his father and Elia and their kids just isn't supported by the facts. It reduces the defenses of the loyalists to the placement of the Kingsguard and ignores literally armies of men.

That sells it for me. Thanks.

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I think Rhaegar convinced them of the importance of the prophesy, how Aegon was the PWWP and destined to save the realm in the war for dawn, and that he must have two siblings to make up three heads of the dragon. When they left to guard the TOJ, Lyanna was still pregnant, and could have been carrying a girl, for all they knew. So even if Lyanna and Rhaegar were married, the KG left in the first place not to guard Prince3 (because they didn't know it would be a boy), but to guard the third head of the dragon, whether it be male or female.As it turns out they were very successful in that mission, although it didn't turn out like Rhaegar thought. These 3 gave their lives for Dany's third head of the dragon, not Aegon's third head

The thing is though, is this scenario means that they have to betray the king, when he needed them most no less. Knights whose entire existence revolves around their vows, who are regarded as the epitome of fidelity. And each and everyone of them must have decided to discard their honor and duty for the sake of Rhaegar’s prophesy.

And then in Ned’s fever dream, They take obvious PRIDE in being members of the kingsguard, which is pretty strange if they had broken their holy oaths, or implicitly allowed Aerys to die.

In short, this is simply not possible without magic.

Rhaegar's orders must have superceded protecting Aerys before The Trident, and after The Trident, superceded protecting Viserys.

No, it only requires that Rhaegar convinced them that the task they were given, gave the king and his dynasty the best hope for survival.

And in my scenario. Rhaegar has nothing to do with the second part. They know that Lyanna’s child is heir to the iron throne, and once they return from their quest(far away) and realizes he is at the top of the succession order, they move to the TOJ, straight as arrows.

On another note - and I hate to even bring this up when this thread & countless others have stirred such a grand debate - is it possible that GRRM screwed up here by not thinking this through?

In this case I doubt it, Once of the series strength is Martin’s dedication to detail, it was only in AFFC that he started slipping and some things felt patched over. Since this is what the main story revolves around, I’d be greatly surprised if GRRM have missed any steps.

Given what we know right now, the only mostly-consistent theory I see is that Rhaegar swung the KG to his side (btw, I'm not saying R didn't love his father or was happy about the thought of deposing him - it needed to be done for the health of the kingdom), told them that Lyanna's son was a bad day away from being Crown Prince, and that they should protect him with their lives. That is why they go neither to Aerys or Viserys - they had already accepted what Rhaegar was going to do & thought of him as their king.

See above, I suppose it’s possible that he could made a couple of them betray the king out of pragmatism, but I can’t imagine that they would leave Aerys for the wolves and absolutely never Ser Gerold.

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SFDanny,

As the Battle of the Blackwater shows us, those defenses can be fairly impressive - especially when you consider Robert's forces have no ships to speak of.

Actually, Robert didn't need any ships. He was north of Kingslanding and therefore could use the Kingsroad to travel as is apparent because of Ned's quick march to the city after the Trident.

Also, Kingslanding doesn't have good defenses. The Red Keep is fairly strong but Kingslanding is not easy to defend as Cersei pointed out. Also, Stannis was attacking for less than a day and if not for Lord Tywin's attack on his rear would have taken the city. So with no river between Robert and Kingslanding the city would have fallen in rather short order, IMO. They might have held out in the Red Keep for a little while but once Rhaegar lost so was Kingslanding.

One more thing. As leaders the three knights at the ToJ were more valuable than almost anyone in the realm. Look what happened to Rhaegar's army when Rhaegar fell. The remnants of that army fled to Kingslanding but there was no one there to assume control or for them to rally around. Having those three at Kingslanding might have made a lot of difference. If nothing else it might have enabled Elia and her children to get away. No intelligent commander would leave all three in the middle of nowehere when they were so valuable. One maybe but not all three.

You know, if what you suggest is correct and with what we know about Lyanna I'm starting to think Rhaegar was either stupid or half mad himself.

Thanks for the warning, I'll remember to carry anti-venom with me at all times when I wade into these forums!

No need to do that. I reserve my venom for characters from the books not actual posters, although there are some on this board who get a little carried away from time to time.

Oh, and if you want to get into the Rhaegar debate you can check it out here

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One more thing. As leaders the three knights at the ToJ were more valuable than almost anyone in the realm. Look what happened to Rhaegar's army when Rhaegar fell. The remnants of that army fled to Kingslanding but there was no one there to assume control or for them to rally around. Having those three at Kingslanding might have made a lot of difference. If nothing else it might have enabled Elia and her children to get away. No intelligent commander would leave all three in the middle of nowehere when they were so valuable. One maybe but not all three.

You know, if what you suggest is correct and with what we know about Lyanna I'm starting to think Rhaegar was either stupid or half mad himself.

There are two alternative theories: first, Rhaegar could have been so confident of victory that he felt no need to include the three (arguably) greatest of the KG in his attack, and felt they were actually better served playing Secret Service for Lyanna. Rhaegar did have a larger force at the Trident, if I remember right, and there were KG with him. I doubt he ever expected to have to worry about the defenses of KL.

OR Rhaegar, who we know was big in prophecy, had read or interpreted something that made him believe he was supposed to fight, lose, and die at the Trident. Bit of a reach on that one, I know, but it's possible.

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First we're only sure that Hightower knew about burning Lord Stark before leaving the king. The other two may have been with Rhaegar all along (imo, to facilitate his plans for a return to Harrenhal and then Dorne; the two KG the locals would be most likely to trust)Are we certain that the other KG knew about the wildfire plot?

Jaime seems indicate that he was the only one to hear about all of it. On the other hand Jon Darry was there for the burning of Chelsted, and the wildfire plot seems to have been the reason for his resignation as Hand...though he may not have come right out and said it while Darry or Selmy were present. Either way, Darry wasn't at the ToJ he was with the Trident force, who left later. That says that the Trident KG did knowingly abandon Aerys to his fate, while the ToJ KG may not have known.

So we don't know whether or not they knew the extent of the danger in which they were leaving Aerys. No matter, I concede that they thought he was safe, which means that they probably didn't realize his plan to burn the city (himself included).

Given the absolutist language that they employ when speaking of their vows, it makes more sense to me that the unfortunate outcome is the result of them keeping their vows rather than breaking them.

Agreed.

Or perhaps Aerys neglected to give the order to return at all. If so, strict obedience to the orders they have been given explains their failure to protect Aerys. I don't think those three would be going on about their vows quite so arrogantly if they had just broken their vow to obey their lawful king. A R+L marriage explains their failure to hasten off to protect Viserys.

I agree, however this brings us back to the fact that if there was a marriage, Ned didn't know of it (because he still considers Jon a bastard) which means Howland probably doesn't know of it either, which means that either (1) we'll never find out that R and L were married, or (2) there is a witness out there somewhere who knows of the marriage but has never spoken up about it, never had any doubts about Jon's parentage, and will pop up later in the series and say "oh, by the way, Lyanna and Rhaegar were married."

KG duty is to guard the king -> KG were at TOJ -> therefore king was at TOJ, is the simplest argument by far.

But it is marred somewhat because it must also involve: king was at TOJ -> king must=Jon -> therefore Rhaegar and Lyanna must have married. Unfortunately there is no evidence whatsoever of a Rhaegar and Lyanna marriage. Except, of course, the presence of the KG at the TOJ, but it then becomes a circular argument.

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So we don't know whether or not they knew the extent of the danger in which they were leaving Aerys. No matter, I concede that they thought he was safe, which means that they probably didn't realize his plan to burn the city (himself included).

Agreed.

I agree, however this brings us back to the fact that if there was a marriage, Ned didn't know of it (because he still considers Jon a bastard) which means Howland probably doesn't know of it either, which means that either (1) we'll never find out that R and L were married, or (2) there is a witness out there somewhere who knows of the marriage but has never spoken up about it, never had any doubts about Jon's parentage, and will pop up later in the series and say "oh, by the way, Lyanna and Rhaegar were married."

KG duty is to guard the king -> KG were at TOJ -> therefore king was at TOJ, is the simplest argument by far.

But it is marred somewhat because it must also involve: king was at TOJ -> king must=Jon -> therefore Rhaegar and Lyanna must have married. Unfortunately there is no evidence whatsoever of a Rhaegar and Lyanna marriage. Except, of course, the presence of the KG at the TOJ, but it then becomes a circular argument.

A couple of things. Your assumption that Ned doesn't know about a marriage rests, as far as I can tell - please let me know if there is more, on Ned's thoughts about Jon and men's lusts creating so many bastards. I tried to give a different interpretation of that scene, but if you don't buy it and are convinced Ned thinks Jon is the bastard child of Rhaegar and Lyanna, I won't argue. I think either interpretation would fit, as long as we don't go the extra step and say that because Ned thinks it, it is so.

Also, there doesn't need to be any new character introduced to find out the information about a marriage. The prime candidate to tell us about this would be the wet nurse Wylla, who we have known for sometime is a critical figure in this mystery. If she is part of the "they" who were at the Tower of Joy with Lyanna it is quite likely she would know this information. It is also quite likely that after having seen the guards of her mistress killed by Ned and Howland, and knowing that the identity of Lyanna's child would put him in jeopardy from the new King, that she would hesitate to tell Ned much of anything. I think we have to hear from both Howland and Wylla, and possibly others, in order to solve this riddle.

With regard to the logic of the argument I'd put it this way:

The Kingsguard's Oath is primarily to protect their King -> all of the remaining loyal Kingsguard decide to stay at the Tower of Joy when Viserys needs their presence at Dragonstone, their oaths would seem to say they should go to Dragonstone, and they could still travel there -> the decision of the Kingsguard to stay at the Tower of Joy under these circumstances indicates their King is there with them.

There are, I admit, important assumptions being made here. Such as, that the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy would want to follow their Oaths, and that travel to Dragonstone is still possible (presumably through a still loyalist Dorne.) I don't see it as a circular argument, however.

I'm also interested in your reaction to my points about the prophecy and the Kingsguard's knowledge of them being false, as evidenced in the deaths of Aegon and Rhaenys. I'd like to hear what you think.

And last, I tried to raise what I think is a supporting argument to the above with a discussion of both Lyanna's and Rhaegar's character. Specifically, does the idea of Lyanna as a mistress and her children as bastards fit in what we would expect from either of them, given what we are told of them from every source but Robert? So far, snake is one of the few who have responded and he hates the two of them (is that an accurate assessment, snake?) What do you think?

btw, thanks, snake for the link to the previous thread. I'm still going through it.

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There are two alternative theories: first, Rhaegar could have been so confident of victory that he felt no need to include the three (arguably) greatest of the KG in his attack, and felt they were actually better served playing Secret Service for Lyanna. Rhaegar did have a larger force at the Trident, if I remember right, and there were KG with him. I doubt he ever expected to have to worry about the defenses of KL.

OR Rhaegar, who we know was big in prophecy, had read or interpreted something that made him believe he was supposed to fight, lose, and die at the Trident. Bit of a reach on that one, I know, but it's possible.

I know about those two theories and it's the first one that makes the most sense because of what we know from the Kingslayer's POV. Again, if Rhaegar was so arrogant as to think his victory a foregone conclusion then it fits his character that he might have felt that his actions with regards to Lyanna would not have any adverse consequences. Still, would the Kingsguard feel that they could take chances with Aerys safety because of Rhaegar's supreme confidence? Perhaps, but that doesn't paint them in a very good light IMO.

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A couple of things. Your assumption that Ned doesn't know about a marriage rests, as far as I can tell - please let me know if there is more, on Ned's thoughts about Jon and men's lusts creating so many bastards. I tried to give a different interpretation of that scene, but if you don't buy it and are convinced Ned thinks Jon is the bastard child of Rhaegar and Lyanna, I won't argue. I think either interpretation would fit, as long as we don't go the extra step and say that because Ned thinks it, it is so.

Your interpretation is pretty far removed from what it actually says in the text. Ned is thinking about lusts and bastards (and visiting a bastard) and an image of Jon comes into his head. The simplest and best explanation of Ned thinking this is that he thinks Jon is a bastard.

It may be that he was actually thinking JUST about lusts, and not bastards, and that is why he thought of Rhaegar's true born son, Jon. But it seems a bit far fetched, don't you think? And if they DID take the time to marry (and Ned knows it), would he still consider it lust?

Also, there doesn't need to be any new character introduced to find out the information about a marriage. The prime candidate to tell us about this would be the wet nurse Wylla, who we have known for sometime is a critical figure in this mystery. If she is part of the "they" who were at the Tower of Joy with Lyanna it is quite likely she would know this information. It is also quite likely that after having seen the guards of her mistress killed by Ned and Howland, and knowing that the identity of Lyanna's child would put him in jeopardy from the new King, that she would hesitate to tell Ned much of anything. I think we have to hear from both Howland and Wylla, and possibly others, in order to solve this riddle.

This is a pretty good idea. When it becomes public that Doran is supporting Dany, Wylla may think it time to reveal the true Targ heir (and potential husband to Arianne).

However, we don't have any evidence that Wylla was there at Jon's birth, let alone with Rhaegar and Lyanna the whole time, and bore witness at their wedding.

With regard to the logic of the argument I'd put it this way:

The Kingsguard's Oath is primarily to protect their King -> all of the remaining loyal Kingsguard decide to stay at the Tower of Joy when Viserys needs their presence at Dragonstone, their oaths would seem to say they should go to Dragonstone, and they could still travel there -> the decision of the Kingsguard to stay at the Tower of Joy under these circumstances indicates their King is there with them.

There are, I admit, important assumptions being made here. Such as, that the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy would want to follow their Oaths, and that travel to Dragonstone is still possible (presumably through a still loyalist Dorne.) I don't see it as a circular argument, however.

That isn't what I was calling a circular argument. It isn't circular to argue that the KG were at the TOJ because their king was there. BUT, in order to argue that their king was at the TOJ, one must assume that Lyanna and Rhaegar were married. There is no evidence to suggest they were married. So it is merely an argument based on an assumption, not a ciclular argument.

If, however, one was to argue that there is evidence that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married, and that evidence is that there were three KG at the TOJ, the argument becomes circular.

I'm also interested in your reaction to my points about the prophecy and the Kingsguard's knowledge of them being false, as evidenced in the deaths of Aegon and Rhaenys. I'd like to hear what you think.

Possibility: Rhaegar convinced the three KG of the importance of the prophesy and the three heads of the dragon. "Aegon is the PWWP and will be essential in the war for dawn. But the dragon must have three heads. There must be two others to help Aegon. Rhaenys is but one. Elia is sickly and the maesters say she will be unable to bear another child. So I have done something you may find dishonorable, but you must realize its importance in the grand scheme of things. Inside the TOJ Lyanna Stark is pregnant with my child - Aegon's third head of the dragon. But there is nobody to guard him/her, while Aerys, Aegon and Rhaenys have the might of KL and The Young Lion to defend them. I need you to defend this child, who will stand at Aegon's side while he faces the war for dawn. I will legitimize him/her as soon as the war is over. Consider him/her blood of the dragon - a Targaryen"

Insert The Battle of The Trident and The Sack of KL.

Whent: Brothers, Aegon is dead. The prophesy was false. We must away to our king, Viserys.

Dayne: Wait. What if Rhaegar was right about the prophesy, but wrong about who the PWWP was. What if he was wrong about which of his son's was the PWWP and it wasn't Aegon, but instead his other son, Jon? What if the child in this tower is the PWWP, the one destined to lead us in the war for dawn, the one on whom the life of men will depend?

Hightower: Viserys is safe for the now. Darry is a good man and true. He will take Viserys safely away to the free cities and we can go to him later. Right now this child needs us more, and Seven help me, perhaps he is the one destined to save us all."

Apologies for the poor re-enactment.

And last, I tried to raise what I think is a supporting argument to the above with a discussion of both Lyanna's and Rhaegar's character. Specifically, does the idea of Lyanna as a mistress and her children as bastards fit in what we would expect from either of them, given what we are told of them from every source but Robert? So far, snake is one of the few who have responded and he hates the two of them (is that an accurate assessment, snake?) What do you think?

I don't doubt Rhaegar was an honorable man. But something happened to change that a little. Something came up that was more important than his honor. He had a wife and two trueborn children. He was the crown prince and had a duty to the realm. Yet he ran off with a woman betrothed to one of his great lords, betraying his wife and realm. But you think his character suggests he would be sure to marry the woman stole from another man and cuckolded his own wife with? Hmmm.

And Lyanna? She was impulsive, aggressive, and wilful (like Arya). She took down three squires with a tourney sword and later tipped wine over Benjen's head at a great feast. She ran off with Rhaegar despite being betrothed to a great lord, and her brother's best friend. If she was in love with Rhaegar, and they had "a moment", do you really think she'd wait until they were married rather than sleep with him?

In summary, no, I don't think their characters provide any evidence that they married. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Edit: had troubles with quote code

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Your interpretation is pretty far removed from what it actually says in the text. Ned is thinking about lusts and bastards (and visiting a bastard) and an image of Jon comes into his head. The simplest and best explanation of Ned thinking this is that he thinks Jon is a bastard.

It may be that he was actually thinking JUST about lusts, and not bastards, and that is why he thought of Rhaegar's true born son, Jon. But it seems a bit far fetched, don't you think? And if they DID take the time to marry (and Ned knows it), would he still consider it lust?

As I said, I'm not going to argue this one with you because I don't think either interpretation is important unless we assume Ned must know the truth of the matter.

This is a pretty good idea. When it becomes public that Doran is supporting Dany, Wylla may think it time to reveal the true Targ heir (and potential husband to Arianne).

However, we don't have any evidence that Wylla was there at Jon's birth, let alone with Rhaegar and Lyanna the whole time, and bore witness at their wedding.

We have this as evidence. We know someone else was at the Tower of Joy other than Howland and Ned after Lyanna died. We know this by the use of the word "they" to describe who found Ned after Lyanna's death. We also need to answer some other questions about that time. How did Ned take a child, and newborn infant at that, from the Tower of Joy to Starfall without a wet nurse? A newborn needs feeding quite often, and a journey of days, perhaps weeks, is not possible without feeding the child. It is not a great stretch to assume that Rhaegar and Lyanna provided for the eventuality of needing a wet nurse, and the most likely candidate is Wylla.

Now, it is likely there were more servants there than Wylla to take care of Lyanna. Perhaps just Wylla took care of the cleaning, the cooking, and the care of the expectant mother - or perhaps the three Kingsguard took turns doing all of it with her - but I doubt it. Whoever did these things had to have intimate knowledge of Lyanna's life, for an extended period of time, and it is not too much to expect them to know if the Lord and his Lady were married.

I expect to get more information on this from other characters, like we did from the young Lord Dayne, as we go along in the series. Small characters, who will give us further hints about the events of that time - some of it maybe contradictory. The great revelations, I expect to come from Howland and Wylla, with maybe Benjen throwing in some interesting bits of knowledge.

That isn't what I was calling a circular argument. It isn't circular to argue that the KG were at the TOJ because their king was there. BUT, in order to argue that their king was at the TOJ, one must assume that Lyanna and Rhaegar were married. There is no evidence to suggest they were married. So it is merely an argument based on an assumption, not a ciclular argument.

If, however, one was to argue that there is evidence that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married, and that evidence is that there were three KG at the TOJ, the argument becomes circular.

We have a different understanding of what constitutes a circular argument, and I do think the presence of the Kingsguard means that the new King is at the Tower of Joy AND that can only be true (barring the presence of Aegon) if Rhaegar and Lyanna were married.

Possibility: Rhaegar convinced the three KG of the importance of the prophesy and the three heads of the dragon. "Aegon is the PWWP and will be essential in the war for dawn. But the dragon must have three heads. There must be two others to help Aegon. Rhaenys is but one. Elia is sickly and the maesters say she will be unable to bear another child. So I have done something you may find dishonorable, but you must realize its importance in the grand scheme of things. Inside the TOJ Lyanna Stark is pregnant with my child - Aegon's third head of the dragon. But there is nobody to guard him/her, while Aerys, Aegon and Rhaenys have the might of KL and The Young Lion to defend them. I need you to defend this child, who will stand at Aegon's side while he faces the war for dawn. I will legitimize him/her as soon as the war is over. Consider him/her blood of the dragon - a Targaryen"

Insert The Battle of The Trident and The Sack of KL.

Whent: Brothers, Aegon is dead. The prophesy was false. We must away to our king, Viserys.

Dayne: Wait. What if Rhaegar was right about the prophesy, but wrong about who the PWWP was. What if he was wrong about which of his son's was the PWWP and it wasn't Aegon, but instead his other son, Jon? What if the child in this tower is the PWWP, the one destined to lead us in the war for dawn, the one on whom the life of men will depend?

Hightower: Viserys is safe for the now. Darry is a good man and true. He will take Viserys safely away to the free cities and we can go to him later. Right now this child needs us more, and Seven help me, perhaps he is the one destined to save us all."

Apologies for the poor re-enactment.

No need to apologize. It helps make things clearer.

I don't dismiss your theory as quickly as I did with the idea that the Kingsguard stayed because they were following old, out-of-date orders from their dead prince. It makes more sense that these men would stay with someone they thought was of importance to the continuation of Targaryen rule, even if he was a bastard. It just doesn't make enough sense that given the doubts caused by the deaths of Rhaenys and Aegon, and the isolation of Viserys that they would ignore their oaths and stay. Particularly that they would ALL stay.

I don't doubt Rhaegar was an honorable man. But something happened to change that a little. Something came up that was more important than his honor. He had a wife and two trueborn children. He was the crown prince and had a duty to the realm. Yet he ran off with a woman betrothed to one of his great lords, betraying his wife and realm. But you think his character suggests he would be sure to marry the woman stole from another man and cuckolded his own wife with? Hmmm.

And Lyanna? She was impulsive, aggressive, and wilful (like Arya). She took down three squires with a tourney sword and later tipped wine over Benjen's head at a great feast. She ran off with Rhaegar despite being betrothed to a great lord, and her brother's best friend. If she was in love with Rhaegar, and they had "a moment", do you really think she'd wait until they were married rather than sleep with him?

In summary, no, I don't think their characters provide any evidence that they married. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Fair enough. I see it differently. Rhaegar does seem an honorable man who is obsessed by his place in the fulfillment of a prophecy and the restoration of his house. I think he sees himself as Aegon the Conqueror come again. Complete with the multiple wives. I also see him as a man in love. He married Elia out of duty, but he marries Lyanna out of love for what he sees at the Harrenhal tourney. He sees a brave, young beautiful woman that captures his heart. I don't think it is in him to treat Lyanna as someone lesser than a wife, and I don't see how he would think if made sense for a bastard child to play the role he thought Lyanna's child would. Not given his family history with bastards.

What Elia, her relatives, and King Aerys see in this match is another question altogether.

I see Lyanna as both a woman in love and as a very proud young lady who would not accept the role of mistress for herself, nor the role of bastard for her children. She is someone we know stands up for House's honor and that of her father's bannermen (Howland,) and she also stands up for herself when Ned tries to convince her that a marriage to Robert will work, even though he is sleeping with half the kingdom. Does that sound like someone who would be content to be the "other woman." I don't think so. Both of these characters are caught between love and duty, as I see it anyway. This is a theme that is played out over and over in Martin's writing and I don't think he made an exception here. I do concede this is all highly subjective, but nonetheless, combined with the actions of the Kingsguard it convinces me.

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So far, snake is one of the few who have responded and he hates the two of them (is that an accurate assessment, snake?)

I don't hate both of them. I hate Rhaegar because I think he kidnapped and raped Lyanna. However, if Lyanna went off willingly with Rhaegar then I think I would really dislike her. But I doubt I could really hate any Stark. :)

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I don't hate both of them. I hate Rhaegar because I think he kidnapped and raped Lyanna. However, if Lyanna went off willingly with Rhaegar then I think I would really dislike her. But I doubt I could really hate any Stark. :)

I stand corrected and chastened. :D

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Fair enough. I see it differently. Rhaegar does seem an honorable man who is obsessed by his place in the fulfillment of a prophecy and the restoration of his house. I think he sees himself as Aegon the Conqueror come again. Complete with the multiple wives. I also see him as a man in love. He married Elia out of duty, but he marries Lyanna out of love for what he sees at the Harrenhal tourney. He sees a brave, young beautiful woman that captures his heart. I don't think it is in him to treat Lyanna as someone lesser than a wife, and I don't see how he would think if made sense for a bastard child to play the role he thought Lyanna's child would. Not given his family history with bastards.

What Elia, her relatives, and King Aerys see in this match is another question altogether.

I see Lyanna as both a woman in love and as a very proud young lady who would not accept the role of mistress for herself, nor the role of bastard for her children. She is someone we know stands up for House's honor and that of her father's bannermen (Howland,) and she also stands up for herself when Ned tries to convince her that a marriage to Robert will work, even though he is sleeping with half the kingdom. Does that sound like someone who would be content to be the "other woman." I don't think so. Both of these characters are caught between love and duty, as I see it anyway. This is a theme that is played out over and over in Martin's writing and I don't think he made an exception here. I do concede this is all highly subjective, but nonetheless, combined with the actions of the Kingsguard it convinces me.

This all looks likely to me. But if all this is right then Rhaegar and Lyanna should have married on the early stage of their relationship most probably even before they escaped together. This means that the supposed marriage took place in Harenhall just after the tourney. And this means that Rhaegar’s friends who were present there most probably witnessed the marriage. Rhaegar had two close friends. One of them died at the Tower of Joy and his witness of the marriage could perfectly explain behavior of Kingsguards there. But the second friend Jon Connington could be (most probably) still alive. So if the marriage indeed took place we should learn about it from him.

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This all looks likely to me. But if all this is right then Rhaegar and Lyanna should have married on the early stage of their relationship most probably even before they escaped together. This means that the supposed marriage took place in Harenhall just after the tourney. And this means that Rhaegar’s friends who were present there most probably witnessed the marriage. Rhaegar had two close friends. One of them died at the Tower of Joy and his witness of the marriage could perfectly explain behavior of Kingsguards there. But the second friend Jon Connington could be (most probably) still alive. So if the marriage indeed took place we should learn about it from him.

I've no idea when, exactly, the marriage would/could take place, but I like the idea of getting more information from Lord Connington. Where is he now? In exile in the free cities IIRC. So, can we expect him to turn up with the Golden Company, in Braavos, or just someone who travels to join Daenery's cause? I hope so, I'd love to read his take on those times.

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This all looks likely to me. But if all this is right then Rhaegar and Lyanna should have married on the early stage of their relationship most probably even before they escaped together. This means that the supposed marriage took place in Harenhall just after the tourney. And this means that Rhaegar’s friends who were present there most probably witnessed the marriage. Rhaegar had two close friends. One of them died at the Tower of Joy and his witness of the marriage could perfectly explain behavior of Kingsguards there. But the second friend Jon Connington could be (most probably) still alive. So if the marriage indeed took place we should learn about it from him.

I think there would/could have been at least a third witness: wouldn't someone have to preside over a marriage? I can't recall Targ marriage rites, but don't think it consisted solely of Rhaegar making it so just by saying "you're now my wife" did it?

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According to the Kingslayer Jon Connington quickly drank himself to death after he was exiled or at least that's what I remember. I believe that information is avaiable in the Kinglayer's chapter at Harenhall when he talks to the Red Ronnet(sp?) by the bear pit.

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