Jump to content
Ygrain

R+L=J v.165

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Hoster has one son, Tywin two, and neither of those men ever remarried. 

Tywin had two sons and he ended up with one male heir even though both of his sons survived. Rhaegar had one son.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

A realistic depiction of Rhaegar the Politician would have him to concern with his own political future more than how many sons he might have.

How could we tell what he was more concerned by? Perhaps he was more concerned about his political future (apparently, he did plan to do something about the problem that was called Aerys) than about his family, perhaps not. One day we may find out. The existence of one concern doesn't rule out the existence of another.  

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He wasn't yet a lord and shouldn't have been that confident that he would ever rule as king. Why build a house when you can't be sure you'll live in it?

If Rhaegar dies before he could become king, his son will still be his heir and the next heir to the throne of Aerys. Therefore he still has to secure succession, and yes, even if he never becomes king, he may still want his own line to continue, and no, that's not an obsession, it's part of the general values of society and particularly the nobility. 

Quote

Technically this should be the case, but the way George describes his noble families full siblings stick together, and half-siblings kill each other. That's a repeated motive, and it would be an established fact of history for Rhaegar and all the other people in this world.

That's a rather weird conclusion. Rhaegar and all the other people in this world do not read GRRM. They live their lives and do not analyse the whole history of Westeros when they make personal decisions any more than you and I analyse the history of our world before making our own personal decisions. Besides, it is simply not true that:

Quote

George describes his noble families full siblings stick together, and half-siblings kill each other

Cersei does her best to have Tyrion killed. Euron Greyjoy is another case in point. Then you have Stannis and Renly. Jon as Ned's supposed bastard has the noblest brothely feelings towards Ned's children. We know that Torrhen Stark had a bastard brother who apparently supported him loyally. Orys Baratheon was allegedly a bastard brother of Aegon I and nobody in world questions this rumour on the basis that they couldn't have been half-siblings because half-siblings always kill each other. Bloodraven was firmly loyal to his half-brother Daeron while he hated another half-brother, Aegor, and was in love with his half-sister. Oberyn's sand snakes firmly stick together. 

It is not about Rhaegar seeing the future, it is about how "George describes his noble families" as you yourself worded it. There is no indication that in the present story people in general would be radically different from earlier generations. 

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Women's battles are in the birthing bed, no? It wouldn't have been nice, but if the man really wanted a spare this would have been the way to go. Elia was his wife, no one else. Considering that they never actually loved each other Rhaegar would have had no use for a barren wife at his side if he wanted children.

It would have been outright horrible. Sure Aerys II or Aegon IV would have done that. Rhaegar apparently wouldn't. Even if he wasn't in love with Elia, she was still the mother of his two children, she was still a human being, who knew what she could expect if she had to give birth to another child. The fact that a man isn't in love with his wife doesn't automatically mean he would be willing to torture and kill her. If that's his first option, then I can perfectly understand why he would look for an alternative solution. 

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that Rhaegar could have had a happy and united family with two queens at his side from such great houses as Martell and Stark is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

And where did I say that he was going to have a happy and united family with two queens at his side? I would appreciate if you didn't distort my arguments and didn't put words in my mouth. 

There are situations where "living happily ever after" is simply not an option, yet, people still have to make choices. Actually, ASOIAF is full of such situations.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Right now I though we were discussing whether it makes sense that Rhaegar would just do something as stupid as he did because his wife no longer could have any children. And I really think the way George portrays his noble and royal families this is exceedingly unlikely.

Think what you want. I merely pointed out that it is possible that this was a concern for Rhaegar. Fertility is one of the most important qualities of a woman in a feudal society, so the possibility is totally realistic. If it were out of the question, as you seem to suggest, we probably wouldn't even know that Elia couldn't have had any more children, and certainly Jon Connington wouldn't need to recall this fact as one of the reasons why Elia "was never worthy" of Rhaegar. 

We don't know what exactly Rhaegar had in mind - I never said otherwise. But in world as well as in accordance with real life feudal values, what I said is definitely a possibility. You speak as though you knew Rhaegar's mind, as though you knew exactly what he must have thought and wanted, what he can't have thought or wanted. So be it. I'll keep an open mind and wait for GRRM to say the final words about Rhaegar - on this topic and on other topics. Nor will I form a definite opinion about Rhaegar's character before I know more about his actions, intentions and options. 

Edited by Julia H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Tywin had two sons and he ended up with one male heir even though both of his sons survived. Rhaegar had one son.

Tyrion is neither Tywin's heir, nor his spare, nor his son. He is Joanna's son. Tywin Lannister has only one son and only one heir.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

How could we tell what he was more concerned by? Perhaps he was more concerned about his political future (apparently, he did plan to do something about the problem that was called Aerys) than about his family, perhaps not. One day we may find out. The existence of one concern doesn't rule out the existence of another.  

When your life and future - and that of your family - is at stake then this is a more immediate concern.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

If Rhaegar dies before he could become king, his son will still be his heir and the next heir to the throne of Aerys.

Not if the king chooses another heir. The son is not the father.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Therefore he still has to secure succession, and yes, even if he never becomes king, he may still want his own line to continue, and no, that's not an obsession, it's part of the general values of society and particularly the nobility.

Sure, and we know Rhaegar wanted sons, plural. But he had two heirs already, and his father had two. Those spares are enough.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

That's a rather weird conclusion. Rhaegar and all the other people in this world do not read GRRM. They live their lives and do not analyse the whole history of Westeros when they make personal decisions any more than you and I analyse the history of our world before making our own personal decisions. Besides, it is simply not true that:

Rhaegar is the scion of a royal dynasty with only two handful of kings. He should know at least their history. Not as well as a proper Westerosi historian specializing on Targaryen history, but much better than you or I. And you don't have to know Targaryen history particularly well to realize that producing half siblings is going to cause trouble. Those are at the root of the Blackfyre rebellions, the Dance, King Maegor. Sure Rhaegar has heard about those...

And proper royalty of our world sure as hell are interested in the history of their dynasties. They even try to emulate them. You do know why Prince Charles made Camilla Parker-Bowles his mistress, no?

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Cersei does her best to have Tyrion killed. Euron Greyjoy is another case in point.

After she believes he has murdered her son, no? And because she believes in a prophecy which makes her believe he'll kill her. And Euron is a psychopath.

But this is a tendency, not fixed system. It is rather common that half siblings (or their offspring) turn against each other rather than full siblings.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

We know that Torrhen Stark had a bastard brother who apparently supported him loyally.

We know the guy was with him during the Conquest. Like, you know, the entire North. That doesn't mean they were particularly close, nor that this guy was particularly loyal to Torrhen. Perhaps he was one of those disgruntled Northmen who went into exile and founded the Company of the Rose?

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Orys Baratheon was allegedly a bastard brother of Aegon I and nobody in world questions this rumour on the basis that they couldn't have been half-siblings because half-siblings always kill each other.

LOL, I never said that they would. I said that there is a tendency, and it was (and would be) foolish to ignore that. Viserys II and Maekar both never remarried after their wives died early in their lives. Why is that? Because they couldn't get over some deep love for decades? Or because they knew they had enough legitimate children already and would enganger the Realm and their dynasty if they ended up producing another handful of dragon princes?

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Bloodraven was firmly loyal to his half-brother Daeron while he hated another half-brother, Aegor, and was in love with his half-sister.

Sure, and he also killed a half-brother and two of three of his nephews.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Oberyn's sand snakes firmly stick together.

Well, they are all bastards, no? They have nothing to inherit, nor claim to Sunspear or Dorne. They have no reason fight each other aside from personal antipathy - which they apparently don't feel all that much. But then - their uncle, Prince Doran, feels compelled to imprison them, does he not?

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

It would have been outright horrible. Sure Aerys II or Aegon IV would have done that. Rhaegar apparently wouldn't. Even if he wasn't in love with Elia, she was still the mother of his two children, she was still a human being, who knew what she could expect if she had to give birth to another child. The fact that a man isn't in love with his wife doesn't automatically mean he would be willing to torture and kill her. If that's his first option, then I can perfectly understand why he would look for an alternative solution.

If you compare it to what Rhaegar actually did - abducting a woman which led to the death of a dozen or so people (Brandon, Rickard, and the companions) and eventually resulted in a war killing thousands the loss of Elia's life doesn't matter in comparison. Besides, a man believing in prophecy could always trust that the prophecy would fulfill itself. If Rhaegar was to have another son Elia could have give him that. After all, it was just the maester's opinion that she couldn't have children. Perhaps they were wrong? Perhaps the Seven would intervene and make not only pregnant again but also allow her to carry the child to term and live?

I don't think anybody sees pregnancy as a torture in Westeros, by the way.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

And where did I say that he was going to have a happy and united family with two queens at his side? I would appreciate if you didn't distort my arguments and didn't put words in my mouth. 

I'm saying Rhaegar would be a moron to expect that. And I actually don't think he ever expected that. I think he chose Lyanna. Rhaegar may have technically been a bigamist, but if a King Rhaegar had ever ruled then there wouldn't have been a Queen Elia, only a Queen Lyanna. Elia would have been shipped back to Dorne, or would have disappeared some other way. And her children, too, perhaps. If Lyanna had given Rhaegar sons they would have been his only heirs, not those children from the other woman. 

Favoring Aegon over any of Lyanna's sons would have poisoned his relationship with Lyanna. Just like Viserys I favoring his eldest child over his children by Alicent didn't really help their relationship, either, or did it?

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

There are situations where "living happily ever after" is simply not an option, yet, people still have to make choices. Actually, ASOIAF is full of such situations.

Well, sometimes it is best to do nothing, and not delude yourself that you or your children are destined to save the world.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Think what you want. I merely pointed out that it is possible that this was a concern for Rhaegar. Fertility is one of the most important qualities of a woman in a feudal society, so the possibility is totally realistic. If it were out of the question, as you seem to suggest, we probably wouldn't even know that Elia couldn't have had any more children, and certainly Jon Connington wouldn't need to recall this fact as one of the reasons why Elia "was never worthy" of Rhaegar. 

Sure, and if Rhaegar was thinking in those categories nobody would have faulted him if he had impregnated Elia a third time. Nobody faults Aegon IV for that, either. It is the duty of a wife to give her husband children, and not even King Baelor can prevent Aegon from having sex with his wife. He can send him away, but he cannot presume to come between a husband and his wife.

7 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

We don't know what exactly Rhaegar had in mind - I never said otherwise. But in world as well as in accordance with real life feudal values, what I said is definitely a possibility. You speak as though you knew Rhaegar's mind, as though you knew exactly what he must have thought and wanted, what he can't have thought or wanted. So be it. I'll keep an open mind and wait for GRRM to say the final words about Rhaegar - on this topic and on other topics. Nor will I form a definite opinion about Rhaegar's character before I know more about his actions, intentions and options. 

Well, actually, we have a pretty clear picture what he wanted to do after Aegon's birth. He wanted another son, and he did not want him from Elia. Because he may have been in love with another woman and because of prophecy stuff.

If he had been interested all that much in having children for mundane dynastic reasons one would assume he would have insisted to marry sooner - say, when he was 15-16 - or that he get a bride who was healthy and likely to be more fertile than Elia Martell.

Share this post


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

<snip>

Sorry, you didn't  convince me. Your replies show that you either do not understand what I'm saying or  intentionally distort my arguments, avoid my real points and debate arguments I do not argue. You have your own picture of Rhaegar and what  he was like, which is fine. But what you suggest with so much confidence (as though ex cathedra) is by no means the only possibility - unless you are GRRM. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

certainly Jon Connington wouldn't need to recall this fact as one of the reasons why Elia "was never worthy" of Rhaegar

In fact, this is further supported by the Kevan epilogue where he thinks that Cersei would have given him the sons he wanted - not meaning that Kevan knew what was going on in Rhaegar's head but that he thought wanting more sons was the motivation behind Rhaegar's actions, and didn't think such a motivation out of place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Sorry, you didn't  convince me. Your replies show that you either do not understand what I'm saying or  intentionally distort my arguments, avoid my real points and debate arguments I do not argue. You have your own picture of Rhaegar and what  he was like, which is fine. But what you suggest with so much confidence (as though ex cathedra) is by no means the only possibility - unless you are GRRM. 

Our entire discussion started on the basis that you claimed it makes sense that Rhaegar wanted an heir and a spare simply because of (selfish) dynastic purposes.

I say we don't know that - and we actually can never know that, because we already know that Rhaegar was involved in and obsessed with the (delusional) interpretation of and speculation about (ancient) prophecies. He grew up believing he was the promised prince, and the prophecy that he (or other children of his parents) would either be the promised prince, produce him, or children who would eventually produce clearly greatly shaped his political and personal decisions.

There is no debate about that. The vision in the House of the Undying confirms this. We cannot really reduce Rhaegar (or his parents and grandfather) to a man who only thought about mundane political matters.

If we do that anyway, then my conclusion is that Rhaegar would have been a fool and a madman to contemplate taking another wife in Lyanna Stark in the Year of the False Spring. He already had two heirs. Risking dishonor and war over something as trivial as producing even more heirs isn't something a responsible man would contemplate. Especially not in the position Rhaegar was in at that time. His father won at Harrenhal. Rhaegar didn't make a move against him,

Aegon V's sons at least acted out of love - but even they only broke marriage contracts, they did humiliate their wives and their families by taking additional wives.

Rhaegar acting out of love would still be mad - but something that is excusable and understandable on a personal level. And if prophecy plays an important role it is even more understandable on a personal level - although definitely not justified within the context of the society the man lives in. You don't turn to prophecy as a guideline for your political and personal decisions. Not unless you want to look like a madman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Our entire discussion started on the basis that you claimed it makes sense that Rhaegar wanted an heir and a spare simply because of (selfish) dynastic purposes.

I never said  anything about "simply" or "selfish dynastic purposes". I said:

Quote

That's one way of looking at it. Another way is that Viserys, while Targaryen, is not Rhaegar's child, and Rhaegar had only one son. If Aegon were to die young (Rhaegar may have thought), there could easily be a succession crisis between Rhaenys and Viserys  - Rhaenys could have a claim through proximity, Viserys through being a male. Viserys as the spare could be great for the Targaryen family as such, but not necessarily good enough for Rhaegar, who - like every lord who has fathered children - would want his own child to inherit after him. A second - legitimate - son of Rhaegar would be the ideal "spare" for Rhaegar, and this is what Elia couldn't give him. 

This could be a legitimate concern in a feudal world, and I doubt anyone in-world would regard it as selfish. Not caring about such things could be seen as more selfish, actually. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I say we don't know that

No, we don't. I didn't say we know, just that it is a possibility. You seem to claim it is out of the question as though we could know Rhaegar's mind. We know so little of what happened, how could we know for sure it wasn't a factor for him?

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

We cannot really reduce Rhaegar (or his parents and grandfather) to a man who only thought about mundane political matters.

Who is talking about "reducing" and "only"? All I say is something is possible because we don't have exact information and you start writing long posts and talking as though I said this is the only thing Rhaegar's character is about. Surprise, surprise, I have heard about the prophecy, Lyanna, the vision in the HUTU and the rest of the book, no need to teach me.

As for:

Quote

Rhaegar would have been a fool and a madman to contemplate taking another wife in Lyanna Stark in the Year of the False Spring.

Well, he apparently did contemplate something like that. And I never said that the dynastic concern was his only or main concern or that he necessarily had this concern, only that we don't know that he didn't have this concern, after all quite a lot is made of Elia not being able to give him more kids. As for why he acted in the Year of the False Spring, I think (and said before) that if he wanted to marry Lyanna and not just a random girl, then he had to act before Robert married her, besides, there could have been other factors we don't know about that made him feel  it was time to act.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Tyrion is neither Tywin's heir, nor his spare, nor his son. He is Joanna's son. Tywin Lannister has only one son and only one heir.

Tywin behaves as though Jaime was his heir, but Aerys took his heir from him when he made him Kingsguard. Tywin is in denial.

Quote

When your life and future - and that of your family - is at stake then this is a more immediate concern.

You can still have several concerns. BTW, why would Rhaegar think prior to the Rebellion that his life was at stake?

Quote

Not if the king chooses another heir. The son is not the father.

Rhaegar apparently was making plans to remove Aerys. Nothing indicates that he was going to crown Viserys after that. What we know of him doesn't imply that he gave up on the crown, whatever Aerys wanted to do.

Quote

Sure, and we know Rhaegar wanted sons, plural. But he had two heirs already, and his father had two. Those spares are enough.

We have been through this, I think. You just keep repeating what you have said before, without addressing my reply.

Quote

Rhaegar is the scion of a royal dynasty with only two handful of kings. He should know at least their history. Not as well as a proper Westerosi historian specializing on Targaryen history, but much better than you or I. And you don't have to know Targaryen history particularly well to realize that producing half siblings is going to cause trouble. Those are at the root of the Blackfyre rebellions, the Dance, King Maegor. Sure Rhaegar has heard about those...

Yes, and individual people always do exactly what others would expect them to do on the basis of historical knowledge, and they never try to do what their ancestors failed to do. 

In the same post, you also say: 

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If you compare it to what Rhaegar actually did - abducting a woman which led to the death of a dozen or so people (Brandon, Rickard, and the companions) and eventually resulted in a war killing thousands the loss of Elia's life doesn't matter in comparison.

So what exactly is your picture of Rhaegar? A man who carefully studies history to make sure he doesn't repeat the mistakes of his ancestors and doesn't do anything that could cause rivalry and enmity among his descendants (to the point that he would rather reduce the number of his own descendants than risk conflicts in later generations) or a man who doesn't care about the immediate consequences of his actions and is willing to take large-scale risks to achieve his purposes? He could have been either but definitely not both. Yet, you picture him in whatever way that suits your argument at the moment and change your description when you move on to the next argument.

Quote

After she believes he has murdered her son, no? And because she believes in a prophecy which makes her believe he'll kill her. And Euron is a psychopath.

OK, so are you now saying that full siblings kill each other for a reason but half-siblings kill each other because they are half-siblings? Euron is a psychopath. So is Ramsay. Both happen to want what their brothers have and so they kill their respective brothers. One of those brothers happens to be a half-brother, the other one a full brother. GRRM does not seem to make the statement you attributed to him in your earlier post: 

Quote

Technically this should be the case, but the way George describes his noble families full siblings stick together, and half-siblings kill each other. That's a repeated motive, and it would be an established fact of history for Rhaegar and all the other people in this world.

I proved with lots of examples that this is not how GRRM describes his world, so it is by no means an "established fact" in-world.

Quote

But this is a tendency, not fixed system. It is rather common that half siblings (or their offspring) turn against each other rather than full siblings.

So now it is a tendency? But it was "an established fact" for everyone a few posts back. In our world despite the high number of marriages ending in divorce (tendency!), there are still young people who choose to get married, hoping that they will be able to make it, statistics be damned.

Quote

We know the guy was with him during the Conquest. Like, you know, the entire North. That doesn't mean they were particularly close, nor that this guy was particularly loyal to Torrhen. Perhaps he was one of those disgruntled Northmen who went into exile and founded the Company of the Rose?

Not particularly close or loyal? LOL, as per your earlier statement, they should have killed each other. The only thing we now about them from the author is that they stood together against the dragon. Again, GRRM is not depicting a world where half-siblings, as a rule, kill each other or cannot be trusted in case of a crisis. 

Quote

LOL, I never said that they would. I said that there is a tendency, and it was (and would be) foolish to ignore that. 

You are saying it now. Earlier you spoke about an establish fact for all the people in this world. As for ignoring a tendency, see above my example of marriages today. 

Quote

Sure, and he also killed a half-brother and two of three of his nephews.

Well, they are all bastards, no? They have nothing to inherit, nor claim to Sunspear or Dorne. They have no reason fight each other aside from personal antipathy - which they apparently don't feel all that much. But then - their uncle, Prince Doran, feels compelled to imprison them, does he not?

The imprisonment has nothing to do with their being half-sisters or wanting to kill each other or anyone in their family.

Conclusion: Half-siblings can fight but so can full siblings. Both types of siblings sometimes kill each other (you haven't even mentioned Stannis and Renly...) and both types of siblings can get along well. That's what this world is like. 

Quote

If you compare it to what Rhaegar actually did - abducting a woman which led to the death of a dozen or so people (Brandon, Rickard, and the companions) and eventually resulted in a war killing thousands the loss of Elia's life doesn't matter in comparison. Besides, a man believing in prophecy could always trust that the prophecy would fulfill itself. If Rhaegar was to have another son Elia could have give him that. After all, it was just the maester's opinion that she couldn't have children. Perhaps they were wrong? Perhaps the Seven would intervene and make not only pregnant again but also allow her to carry the child to term and live?

We don't know that Rhaegar expected the rebellion, the deaths and was OK with it. We don't know what plans he may have had and how they failed or backfired. If we only knew about Robb Stark that he married Jeyne breaking his promise to the Freys then went to the Red Wedding, where a massacre occurred, you might conclude Robb was OK with the idea of setting the Red Wedding in motion when he married Jeyne. But we know that he tried alternative ways to placate the Freys and he went to the Red Wedding in the hope that the alliance would be restored. He was wrong, of course, but it doesn't mean he anticipated what would happen and didn't care.

Quote

I don't think anybody sees pregnancy as a torture in Westeros, by the way.

I didn't mean the pregnancy, but the knowledge that she was going to die at the end of the pregnancy, leaving perhaps three orphaned kids behind, and her husband didn't care. That would be torture. Not physical torture, but torture nevertheless. 

Quote

I'm saying Rhaegar would be a moron to expect that. And I actually don't think he ever expected that. I think he chose Lyanna. Rhaegar may have technically been a bigamist, but if a King Rhaegar had ever ruled then there wouldn't have been a Queen Elia, only a Queen Lyanna. Elia would have been shipped back to Dorne, or would have disappeared some other way. And her children, too, perhaps. If Lyanna had given Rhaegar sons they would have been his only heirs, not those children from the other woman. 

Favoring Aegon over any of Lyanna's sons would have poisoned his relationship with Lyanna. Just like Viserys I favoring his eldest child over his children by Alicent didn't really help their relationship, either, or did it?

Perhaps. Again, we don't know what his plan was. At least I don't claim I know.  In any case, setting aside Elia but leaving her and her children well provided is kinder than killing her by another pregnancy. If Lyanna loved Rhaegar, she probably didn't want to see him as a monster either. Or am I the only woman in the world who wouldn't feel reassured knowing that my husband was murderously cruel to his first wife and her children after falling in love with me?

Yet, it wouldn't have been easy to set aside your firstborn son unless you had a strong support base - which might mean that Rhaegar may have had some plan that failed or backfired. 

Quote

Well, sometimes it is best to do nothing, and not delude yourself that you or your children are destined to save the world.

Well, take that up with Rhaegar - or the George.

Quote

Sure, and if Rhaegar was thinking in those categories nobody would have faulted him if he had impregnated Elia a third time. Nobody faults Aegon IV for that, either. It is the duty of a wife to give her husband children, and not even King Baelor can prevent Aegon from having sex with his wife. He can send him away, but he cannot presume to come between a husband and his wife.

Sure Rhaegar could have impregnated Elia despite the warning of the maesters. Perhaps no one (except perhaps Elia's family) would have blamed him. Yet, could have or should have doesn't mean would have. Individual people make individual decisions. When Ned decided to tell Robert the truth about Cersei's children, he could have and probably should have kept his plan a secret from Cersei. Most other people would have done that. Yet, what did Ned do? He invited Cersei to a meeting and revealed everything to her. A highly unusual or unlikely decision, but he did it with a reason. That Rhaegar would want to spare Elia instead of killing her is not less likely than Ned wanting to spare Cersei's children.

Quote

Well, actually, we have a pretty clear picture what he wanted to do after Aegon's birth. He wanted another son, and he did not want him from Elia. Because he may have been in love with another woman and because of prophecy stuff.

We know that, but we only know the very basics of the story, not the details. 

Quote

If he had been interested all that much in having children for mundane dynastic reasons one would assume he would have insisted to marry sooner - say, when he was 15-16 - or that he get a bride who was healthy and likely to be more fertile than Elia Martell.

Sure, just because he wasn't in a hurry to get married at the age of 16, he absolutely couldn't have had dynastic concerns when he was over thirty and realized that his wife couldn't give him another child. 

(My son is 17 and currently he thinks that having a family of his own would only make it more difficult for him to achieve his great goals in life. Do I worry about not getting any grandchildren from him? No, because there is plenty of time for him to change his mind and reconsider his priorities.)

Rhaegar married Elia for dynastic reasons. He couldn't know, nor was it his duty to assess how fertile Elia would be. Maesters or perhaps experienced women could make that assessment, and who knows what happened (if anything) in this respect. 

Edited by Julia H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

This could be a legitimate concern in a feudal world, and I doubt anyone in-world would regard it as selfish. Not caring about such things could be seen as more selfish, actually. 

It is selfish if care more about your own children than the stability of your own dynasty and peace in your father's kingdom. When your father is a madman you should have other priorities than getting a large family of your own.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

No, we don't. I didn't say we know, just that it is a possibility. You seem to claim it is out of the question as though we could know Rhaegar's mind. We know so little of what happened, how could we know for sure it wasn't a factor for him?

Because we know he wanted to make a third head of the dragon, not some 'spare'.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Who is talking about "reducing" and "only"? All I say is something is possible because we don't have exact information and you start writing long posts and talking as though I said this is the only thing Rhaegar's character is about. Surprise, surprise, I have heard about the prophecy, Lyanna, the vision in the HUTU and the rest of the book, no need to teach me.

Then I don't understand while you make such a fuzz about dynastic motivations there.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Well, he apparently did contemplate something like that. And I never said that the dynastic concern was his only or main concern or that he necessarily had this concern, only that we don't know that he didn't have this concern, after all quite a lot is made of Elia not being able to give him more kids. As for why he acted in the Year of the False Spring, I think (and said before) that if he wanted to marry Lyanna and not just a random girl, then he had to act before Robert married her, besides, there could have been other factors we don't know about that made him feel  it was time to act.

Again, then what is your point? At this time dynastic motivations weren't moving him, romantic and/or prophetic reasons were motivating him.

Robert doesn't seem to have had anything to with anything there. For one, we don't know when the wedding was supposed to have been - could have been months or even years in the future - and since Rhaegar is entering bigamist territory one would assume it wouldn't have been a complete disaster if Lyanna had had two spouses, too, no?

That's part irony, of course, but we have no reason to believe he had a good reason to act when he did.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Tywin behaves as though Jaime was his heir, but Aerys took his heir from him when he made him Kingsguard. Tywin is in denial.

Tywin's will shapes reality. Aside from that, the point isn't that Jaime was a sort of weirdo heir as a KG, the point is that Tyrion clearly was neither Tywin's heir nor his spare. He was nothing, and he was treated as such. Tywin's only male heir was Jaime, yet he never remarried to produce more golden lions.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

You can still have several concerns. BTW, why would Rhaegar think prior to the Rebellion that his life was at stake?

Because his father was considering to disinherit him. Considering the enormity of such an act, and the fact that Rhaegar might not be willing to meekly accept that, both men would have known that Aerys II would have to be willing to see this through to the end - Rhaegar's execution as a traitor. He would need a pretext to disinherit him anyway, and traitors deserve to die, not just live out their life in peace on some country estate.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Rhaegar apparently was making plans to remove Aerys. Nothing indicates that he was going to crown Viserys after that. What we know of him doesn't imply that he gave up on the crown, whatever Aerys wanted to do.

Not sure what you mean by that. I was talking about the fact that it was up to Aerys II to name a new heir if Rhaegar predeceased him. Rhaegar had no reason to assume that his father would favor his son over his own blood, Viserys.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Yes, and individual people always do exactly what others would expect them to do on the basis of historical knowledge, and they never try to do what their ancestors failed to do. 

Oh, sure, they might do that. But then I'd call them morons and fools. I don't think Rhaegar was a fool. He would have known his family's history (else he wouldn't have had the delusion that he could have two wives at the same time, no?), and I knew he would have known what the selfish desires of his granduncle and grandfather did to the Realm.

If Rhaegar took Lyanna only out of love or only out of a weird dynastic motivation then he would have been one of the most irresponsible person in the entire series. Even with the prophetic stuff what he did was still greatly irresponsible but he at least has the excuse that he was trying to do something he thought was important for more people than just himself or his family.

If his excuse 'I wanted sons' or 'I really, really loved her' then he would be completely in selfish territory, especially in relation to the whole Lyanna thing.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

So what exactly is your picture of Rhaegar? A man who carefully studies history to make sure he doesn't repeat the mistakes of his ancestors and doesn't do anything that could cause rivalry and enmity among his descendants (to the point that he would rather reduce the number of his own descendants than risk conflicts in later generations) or a man who doesn't care about the immediate consequences of his actions and is willing to take large-scale risks to achieve his purposes? He could have been either but definitely not both. Yet, you picture him in whatever way that suits your argument at the moment and change your description when you move on to the next argument.

This isn't contradictory. What Rhaegar did he did for reasons other than merely wanting to have more children. If he had just wanted to have more children - or marry the woman he loved - he was acting irresponsible.

And any person very interested in having more children but not being confused by prophecy and love would have found more effective solutions for the Elia problem.

Aside from that, the idea that polygamy and a war that lead to the brutal rape and murder of Elia and the brutal murders of Elia's children is preferable to a third pregnancy that may lead to Elia's death doesn't convince me. Rhaegar knew he had a mad father. And he knew that taking Lyanna would have consequences. Consequences he could not control. He killed himself, Lyanna, Elia, and his children.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

I proved with lots of examples that this is not how GRRM describes his world, so it is by no means an "established fact" in-world.

LOL, I made myself perfectly clear. The established fact isn't that only half siblings kill each other (and full siblings never do this), it is that there are numerous examples where half siblings in Rhaegar's own family killed each other. And most of those people were not psychopaths like Euron or Ramsay or emotional cripples like Stannis. They were, for the most part, normal people, who were driven to do bad things by the way they grew up - which were dysfunctional families due to the fact that there were too many mothers around.

That full siblings can also kill each other has nothing to do with the question at hand. As a member of a royal family you do need children. That's clear. But it is your choice whether you want to complicate the family situation by remarrying after the death of your wife or whether you remain a widower - just as it is your decision whether you have one wife at a time or whether you think you deserve two wives at the same time.

Elia-Rhaegar-Lyanna would have been even more dysfunctional than Viserys I's family - and Rhaegar would have to be even more naive than Viserys I to believe he could rule such a family.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

So now it is a tendency? But it was "an established fact" for everyone a few posts back. In our world despite the high number of marriages ending in divorce (tendency!), there are still young people who choose to get married, hoping that they will be able to make it, statistics be damned.

LOL, in our world couples usually don't pass kingdoms to one of their children. But, sure, in wealthy dynasties those kind of things still do happen. They might not kill each other, but they to plot, scheme, and hate each other. Just look at the dynasties who own the world.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Not particularly close or loyal? LOL, as per your earlier statement, they should have killed each other. The only thing we now about them from the author is that they stood together against the dragon. Again, GRRM is not depicting a world where half-siblings, as a rule, kill each other or cannot be trusted in case of a crisis. 

LOL, no. Because bastards usually know their place and have no way to get away with murdering their legitimate siblings.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Conclusion: Half-siblings can fight but so can full siblings. Both types of siblings sometimes kill each other (you haven't even mentioned Stannis and Renly...) and both types of siblings can get along well. That's what this world is like. 

The Freys know what I'm talking about. At the Twins you can trust your full siblings, but your half siblings are your rivals and enemies.

I never said full siblings can't fight. It is irrelevant to the topic at hand. Rhaenys could have turned out to grow into a female psycho killer, butchering Aegon and her parents at the age of twelve. That's all all possible. And Rhaegar couldn't do anything about it. It is just that it is not very likely that normal full siblings turn against each other while the chances are increased when create a patchwork family along with stepmothers. 

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

We don't know that Rhaegar expected the rebellion, the deaths and was OK with it. We don't know what plans he may have had and how they failed or backfired. If we only knew about Robb Stark that he married Jeyne breaking his promise to the Freys then went to the Red Wedding, where a massacre occurred, you might conclude Robb was OK with the idea of setting the Red Wedding in motion when he married Jeyne. But we know that he tried alternative ways to placate the Freys and he went to the Red Wedding in the hope that the alliance would be restored. He was wrong, of course, but it doesn't mean he anticipated what would happen and didn't care.

On the basis of the knowledge we have we have no reason to believe Rhaegar had 'a plan' to convince his daddy and the Realm to accept his bigamist ways - nor is there any indication that he had a plan (or cared) to prevent the execution of the Starks and Aerys II's command to Jon Arryn. He wasn't there.

Robb is actually a good example there. The boy didn't think what he was doing, and he was taking no steps on his own to placate the Freys - or at least the one that counts, Lord Walder. He only went back to him when he needed their help.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

I didn't mean the pregnancy, but the knowledge that she was going to die at the end of the pregnancy, leaving perhaps three orphaned kids behind, and her husband didn't care. That would be torture. Not physical torture, but torture nevertheless. 

Again, just the word of the maesters. That's no guarantee. And it wouldn't be torture. Torture is torture, not a pregnancy. And if Elia had sex with him willingly, knowing what was expected of her as a woman and wife in this world, then there would have been nothing wrong with the whole thing.

I'd not recommend it, of course, nor do it. I just say there were other options than bigamy.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Perhaps. Again, we don't know what his plan was. At least I don't claim I know.  In any case, setting aside Elia but leaving her and her children well provided is kinder than killing her by another pregnancy. If Lyanna loved Rhaegar, she probably didn't want to see him as a monster either. Or am I the only woman in the world who wouldn't feel reassured knowing that my husband was murderously cruel to his first wife and her children after falling in love with me?

Nobody said anything about murderously cruel. I said 'disappear' not 'kill'. Usually there is only one queen, and if Rhaegar was truly in love with Lyanna - and she with him - then there would have been no place for Elia or her children at this court. You usually don't want to hang out with the children from another marriage - to a woman you never even loved - when you are with your true love.

And then there is court and politics. As Rhaegar's true love Lyanna would have been the one true queen, even if Elia had still been around. Who wants to share her true love with another woman? What woman wants to see herself - and her children - be replaced by a new woman and family in the heart of her husband?

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Yet, it wouldn't have been easy to set aside your firstborn son unless you had a strong support base - which might mean that Rhaegar may have had some plan that failed or backfired. 

Well, I honestly doubt Rhaegar the Bigamist would have sat on the Iron Throne for long. But that another issue. It would have been easy to replace Aegon with 'Jon' as his heir, simply because the boy was still an infant at 'Jon's' birth, and so things should have gone easily.

And a majority of the people of Westeros might have preferred the king setting aside his first wife - and declaring her children bastards - might be preferable to a polygamous royal patchwork family.

But then - with Aegon supposedly being the promised prince I actually don't think Rhaegar would have disinherited his firstborn son. He was the savior of mankind, after all.

4 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Sure, just because he wasn't in a hurry to get married at the age of 16, he absolutely couldn't have had dynastic concerns when he was over thirty and realized that his wife couldn't give him another child. 

(My son is 17 and currently he thinks that having a family of his own would only make it more difficult for him to achieve his great goals in life. Do I worry about not getting any grandchildren from him? No, because there is plenty of time for him to change his mind and reconsider his priorities.)

Rhaegar was only 24 when he died, not over thirty.

I don't think your son - or any normal family with mundane jobs and the like - are even remotely comparable to royalty in this context. Such people do not have to have children fast, and they have the means to do so as soon as their biology allows them to. They don't have to make a living, nor personally care for their children or wife. They have servants doing that for them. The early such people have children the smaller the risk they die before they have children. And Rhaegar predeceasing Aerys II before the birth of Viserys would have been a catastrophe for the dynasty.

From a dynastic point of view Rhaegar should have married as early as his own parents, and a woman of good health and fertility. Elia's health issues were well-known.

6 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Rhaegar married Elia for dynastic reasons. He couldn't know, nor was it his duty to assess how fertile Elia would be. Maesters or perhaps experienced women could make that assessment, and who knows what happened (if anything) in this respect. 

Aerys II likely chose Elia for Rhaegar because she was a Targaryen cousin of high birth, but he clearly didn't care to choose a healthy bride - and Rhaegar either didn't care either, or wasn't able to reject this bride. Elia's health was so bad that Tywin waited like a vulture for Elia's death to replace her with Cersei.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

It is selfish if care more about your own children than the stability of your own dynasty and peace in your father's kingdom. When your father is a madman you should have other priorities than getting a large family of your own.

LOL, "many children=war in your kingdom" is a non-existent equation. In reality, there are lots of factors influencing the future of a country.

Besides, when do characters in-world worry that there might be too many descendants? I can't recall any father character in the series who is actually described as worrying about this premise (especially not while he has only two kids). The Targaryens are nowhere near the Freys in this respect and not even good old Walder realizes that it's a problem even though in his family it clearly is. Apparently, the idea that someone has too many children isn't culturally recognized as a problem.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Then I don't understand while you make such a fuzz about dynastic motivations there.

Again, then what is your point? 

I had a very minor point: that something you outright excluded as impossible could not be totally excluded with the information we have and considering the values of the world in question - and I still maintain this point. (And no, I never said this was Rhaegar's "only" or "main" motivation, it's you who keep making this strawman argument.) But you couldn't bear that someone expressed a different opinion than yours and went out of your way to destroy the idea that some medieval idea might actually have existed in Rhaegar's head, throwing around offensive words like stupid, madman, selfish etc., and making ex cathedra statements about non-existent "established facts" in this world and how "everyone" must think or do this or that in a given situation just because - in your opinion - that's the only way to think and do. There is no "only way" for everyone, and we know very little about Rhaegar. When I pointed out how you were factually inaccurate, then you suddenly "never said that". 

As for who is making a fuss - look at your posts: Do you really think there is so much relevant information to back up that Rhaegar did not consider something that it could realistically fill all these long posts you have written in response to my suggestion? Such as, Rhaegar would surely have made Elia pregnant for the third time if he had had any dynastic considerations, whatever the consequences for her because absolutely everyone would have done that; Rhaegar would never have had kids with another woman if it hadn't been for the prophecy, just because he was so well-versed in history; Rhaegar knew and was concerned (now somehow we know that!) about the established fact that half-siblings always killed each other, full siblings didn't (oops! it's actually not so - that's irrelevant); Rhaegar would have got married at 16 if he had been interested in the continuation of his line, and since he wasn't interested in it at the age of sixteen, he clearly wasn't at the age of 30 plus either (that's just brilliant), and so on. All this to prove that Rhaegar absolutely could not have wanted a "spare" of his own, one that wasn't Viserys and wasn't a girl. And if he was concerned about this question, then he was definitely mad and selfish and what not. 

Well, I've read this far and was quite enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/13/2018 at 0:00 PM, Widow's Watch said:

I am of the same opinion that Rhaegar put the kybosh on the idea of marriage to Cersei as much as Aerys did and for the reasons you mention.

I do tend to go further on this, however. Cersei's chapter seems to provide a timeline of sorts. Cersei places Rhaegar at Lannisport at the tourney at the same time she goes to get her fortune told by Maggy the Frog. She has her fortune told after she finds out that her father intends to marry her off to Rhaegar and before she finds out that Aerys has rejected the offer.

I think Rhaegar paid the woman a visit too. Him becoming convinced that Aegon was the PtwP raises all kinds of red flags for me, personally. And when we look at Cersei's fortune, she asks her questions, but Maggy the Frog goes even further in her prophecy, with the final parts being about the golden shrouds and the valonqar. So I really have to wonder if there wasn't a greater purpose in that chapter. Cersei certainly mentions that Rhaegar's sad eyes and that she thought he had been wounded, and it may not be a whole lot, because we are told that Rhaegar was a melancholy guy. But maybe he found out that it's his son instead who will have this monumental task of saving the world on his shoulders.

I LOVE this!:D

It ties everything together nicely, and I agree with Ygrain,  much of Rhaegar is still shrouded in mystery. And though I did reference textual evidence, there are also perceptual clues as with Olenna's story.

When I first read her account of the Targaryen Prince, there was just something in the way she told that story, coupled with her life long desire for the throne, to the point of using her children and grandchildren, much like Tywin, that made me think it was actually her that was rejected, and not the other way around.

So no, it's not like your theory is out of left field.

And as for as many years as I've been on here, on and off, as well as reading the books, there are STILL things like this that come up that make me think, so theorize away. :bowdown:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/14/2018 at 3:20 AM, Lord Varys said:

Just as Aegon the Elder was an ally for Rhaenyra? Or Daemon Blackfyre for Daeron II?

GRRM is basing Aegon and Rhaenyra on Stephen of Blois and Matilda.

Matilda had been slated as the next heir after her brothers untimely death, but because England was still in turmoil a generation or so after the Norman Conquest, they didn't want the instability that might come with a female ruler because they didn't think she would be strong enough to hold together the different factions, so they chose Stephen and she was screwed out of the throne of England and they went to war, a war which her son Henry would win.

This was essentially the same reason in the fictional Westoros, so these are not the same circumstances that Jon and Aegon would be facing. And even in the worst case scenario, Rhaegar would not be able to withstand the wrath of the Lords if he put his legitimate children with Elia aside, (even if he did put her aside), to elevate his children with Lyanna.

As for Daemon and Daeron, again, Aegon the Unworthy fostered that environment, pitting his children against each other.

Then there is the relationship between Brendyn Rivers and Daeron II that seemed to work out quite well.

On 4/14/2018 at 3:20 AM, Lord Varys said:

And why are dismissing a mistress here, as if one cannot love his mistress? Married men in the noble and royal classes are more likely to deeply love their mistresses than the women they are forced to marry.

Marriage doesn't mean love. Nor is it a sign of love in this world. And, in fact, in the case of Rhaegar and Lyanna we have no idea whether they married because of love or some other reasons - say, that Rhaegar didn't want to father an illegitimate 'head of the dragon'.

That is very true.

Often, a love match between a husband and wife was rare, but Rickard Stark would have been the equivalent of a Duke, second only to a Prince or King, and the Starks were more noble than even the Lannisters in terms of blood, so reducing someone of Lyanna's rank as a noble maid to that of a mistress would have been asking for war since her own worth as a tool of alliance through marriage would have been a loss for the Starks.

Perhaps if she'd been married off to some old man and became a respectable widow, or the husband understood "his place," but was richly rewarded, then perhaps, but I don't Robert was that guy.

 

On 4/14/2018 at 3:20 AM, Lord Varys said:

Guys, Cersei was ten years old at the tourney of Lannisport. Rhaegar was seeing a blond child with the body of a child. A child with a pretty face, perhaps, but not person he would have been attracted to.

He was seventeen at that time. The idea that the man felt anything for Cersei is to imagine him as a pedophile. Cersei wasn't Lyanna. A married adult lusting after 13-14-year-old Lyanna at Harrenhal is also somewhat strange, but the author can still use the excuse that Lyanna looked like a woman already, and also had a very 'interesting' and 'grown-up' personality. And, perhaps, nothing happened at Harrenhal besides them talking.

Yes, if they had been betrothed, Rhaegar would have had to wait until Cersei came of age,

On 4/14/2018 at 3:20 AM, Lord Varys said:

The idea that Rhaegar somehow saw Cersei's character, etc. is still very far-fetched. Again, she was ten years old. And she and Rhaegar wouldn't have exchanged (m)any words. She didn't live at court, and Rhaegar wouldn't have spent hours with a little child, not during the tourney, nor during previous visits to Casterly Rock (or during Cersei's visits at court).

If ten year old Cersei could look into Rhaegar's eyes and discern his character, I think seventeen year old Rhaegar could look into Cersei's eyes and discern her character because by this time, she'd already abused Tyrion in the crib in a VERY creepy way, and pushed her only friend down a well because she made goo goo eyes at Jaime.

I think the Author is going to great lengths here to draw a distinction between each other's experience of the other through that connection.

 

On 4/14/2018 at 3:20 AM, Lord Varys said:

There were more than enough heirs at this point. Rhaegar had two children, and Aerys II had another son in Viserys. The Targaryen succession was secure.

Rhaegar was concerned with prophesy, and at this point he had no way of determining that the Targaryen succession was secure. His parents lost a great deal of children, and it was just he and Viserys.

And while Dorne had female rulers, Westeros did not, so Rhaenys was not considered part of the succession.

Infant Elia herself had been a miracle, with the Martells also losing quite a few offspring and Elia is in poor health herself. While they didn't get into genetics, Medieval People did notice such things and were superstitious, and were very aware of the fragility of infants and children.

Rhaegar could never have been sure his children would reach maturity, or that Viserys would surive,  so no, the succession was not guaranteed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Julia H. said:

LOL, "many children=war in your kingdom" is a non-existent equation. In reality, there are lots of factors influencing the future of a country.

There are more than enough kings who had no heirs of their own or only very few, and they did not go to great lengths to produce new ones. The Conqueror had only two sons, Aerys I had none, Viserys II only one (after Aemon became a Kingsguard). 

Quote

Besides, when do characters in-world worry that there might be too many descendants? I can't recall any father character in the series who is actually described as worrying about this premise (especially not while he has only two kids). The Targaryens are nowhere near the Freys in this respect and not even good old Walder realizes that it's a problem even though in his family it clearly is. Apparently, the idea that someone has too many children isn't culturally recognized as a problem.

Sure it is. Daeron II makes it clear that having too many dragons is as dangerous as having too few. That's why Aemon is dumped at the Citadel. They knew this was a problem, not just on the patchwork family level but generally. The succession of Jaehaerys I became a problem because there was no clear heir and too many grandchildren.

Quote

I had a very minor point: that something you outright excluded as impossible could not be totally excluded with the information we have and considering the values of the world in question - and I still maintain this point. (And no, I never said this was Rhaegar's "only" or "main" motivation, it's you who keep making this strawman argument.) But you couldn't bear that someone expressed a different opinion than yours and went out of your way to destroy the idea that some medieval idea might actually have existed in Rhaegar's head, throwing around offensive words like stupid, madman, selfish etc., and making ex cathedra statements about non-existent "established facts" in this world and how "everyone" must think or do this or that in a given situation just because - in your opinion - that's the only way to think and do. There is no "only way" for everyone, and we know very little about Rhaegar. When I pointed out how you were factually inaccurate, then you suddenly "never said that". 

LOL, no. I made it perfectly clear what an 'established fact' was. The ambitions of Maegor, Rhaenyra, Alicent, and Daemon Blackfyre are all established facts.

And Rhaegar is a selfish madman if he believed he could take a second wife and not pay in blood and fire for that transgression - especially while he knew what kind of father he had. If you are the sane guy in the family you should not do mad things. And what Rhaegar did was madness, regardless what his motivations were.

Quote

As for who is making a fuss - look at your posts: Do you really think there is so much relevant information to back up that Rhaegar did not consider something that it could realistically fill all these long posts you have written in response to my suggestion? Such as, Rhaegar would surely have made Elia pregnant for the third time if he had had any dynastic considerations, whatever the consequences for her because absolutely everyone would have done that; Rhaegar would never have had kids with another woman if it hadn't been for the prophecy, just because he was so well-versed in history; Rhaegar knew and was concerned (now somehow we know that!) about the established fact that half-siblings always killed each other, full siblings didn't (oops! it's actually not so - that's irrelevant); Rhaegar would have got married at 16 if he had been interested in the continuation of his line, and since he wasn't interested in it at the age of sixteen, he clearly wasn't at the age of 30 plus either (that's just brilliant), and so on. All this to prove that Rhaegar absolutely could not have wanted a "spare" of his own, one that wasn't Viserys and wasn't a girl. And if he was concerned about this question, then he was definitely mad and selfish and what not. 

I said not he would surely have impregnated Elia; I said this would have the easier to try to get a third child and - more importantly - to rid himself of a useless wife. If you want legitimate children you need a fertile wife. Helping her to die is one way to get there. Setting her aside, taking a second wife, etc. is likely going to cause harm for me people than just your wife - for yourself, your your dynasty, your subjects.

What is preferable? The death of a sickly woman who is not likely to grow all that old, anyway, or the a rebellion like Prince Duncan caused when he married his Jenny? A rebellion where hundreds or thousands of innocents would likely suffer and die? There is only one answer to this question.

I never said Rhaegar would have had children with another woman - I said we cannot presume to know or assume that mundane dynastic reasons motivated him (in fact, we don't even know he was particularly eager to rule or become king - he did his duty, he doesn't show ambition, or interest in governance; and as a melancholic he was likely neither particularly interested nor particularly qualified to rule) because we know his life and decisions were ruled by prophecy and interpretation of prophecy.

Half siblings also do not always kill each other. I never said that, either. I say that half siblings with stepmothers (or bigamist scenarios) create dysfunctional families in which the chances for conflict is considerably higher than in healthy/normal families. Sometimes family is poisoned whatever you do, but if Rhaegar gave his children a second mother in Lyanna and had basically two families with two wives he would simply introduce the poison into his family himself. Even if he and his wives were happy weirdo Mormons believing that women sharing a husband in a harem is great for everyone, the cultural values of this society would immediately clash with the reality of Rhaegar's family, and the children would realize this as they grow up.

Even if Aegon remained Rhaegar's heir, if Lyanna and her children became his favorites the potential for conflict would grow very quickly. Even if 'Jon' was ever loyal to his half siblings, it might be that Aegon grew to resent his stepmother Lyanna and their children simply because they were stealing the love of his father and were constant humiliation to his mother (and her memory). And then things could blow up simply because a King Aegon VI had no interest in allowing his half siblings to continue to live at his court or even in his Realm.

Your idea that dynastic reasons figured into Rhaegar's decision-making process in a significant way is simply not very good if we think what we actually know about the man.

5 hours ago, Alia of the knife said:

GRRM is basing Aegon and Rhaenyra on Stephen of Blois and Matilda.

That's just the outside parallel. George's scenario makes Aegon II and Rhaenyra half siblings, with the rivalry between daughter and stepmother poisoning the family dynamic.

Quote

This was essentially the same reason in the fictional Westoros, so these are not the same circumstances that Jon and Aegon would be facing. And even in the worst case scenario, Rhaegar would not be able to withstand the wrath of the Lords if he put his legitimate children with Elia aside, (even if he did put her aside), to elevate his children with Lyanna.

Rhaegar should face the wrath of the lords already if he thought he could have two queen at the same time. We don't know what would have happened had he put aside Elia, but chances are that this would have made her children bastards - or at least made it easier to declare them bastards.

Note that Cersei also fears Robert could set her aside for a new Lyanna - it is not said what that would mean for her children, but chances are that it wouldn't have been good.

Quote

As for Daemon and Daeron, again, Aegon the Unworthy fostered that environment, pitting his children against each other.

Note that whole thing continued. The Blackfyre cause didn't die with Daemon Blackfyre. The Unworthy brought out the seeds, but he didn't make Bittersteel poison Daemon's mind (nor did he ever favor Bittersteel all that much). The tried to kill each other all by themselves in the end.

Quote

Often, a love match between a husband and wife was rare, but Rickard Stark would have been the equivalent of a Duke, second only to a Prince or King, and the Starks were more noble than even the Lannisters in terms of blood, so reducing someone of Lyanna's rank as a noble maid to that of a mistress would have been asking for war since her own worth as a tool of alliance through marriage would have been a loss for the Starks.

I'm not sure about that. Could be. The problem as we see is that Lyanna was already betrothed, and that Robert didn't want to share her. That was a problem. But with Rickard's southron ambitions it is not unlikely the man would have liked it if his daughter had been the mistress - and perhaps, eventually, the wife of Rhaegar after Elia had finally died.

Quote

Yes, if they had been betrothed, Rhaegar would have had to wait until Cersei came of age.

I don't think they would have waited that long. Tywin would have pushed for a wedding in the next year or so. They may have been forced to wait for consummation until Cersei was able to conceive, but Tywin could have had a daughter with a dragon in her belly in 2-3 years. And that's likely what he was aiming for there.

Quote

If ten year old Cersei could look into Rhaegar's eyes and discern his character, I think seventeen year old Rhaegar could look into Cersei's eyes and discern her character because by this time, she'd already abused Tyrion in the crib in a VERY creepy way, and pushed her only friend down a well because she made goo goo eyes at Jaime.

Did Cersei ever understand Rhaegar? I don't think she did. Cersei's cruelty towards Tyrion is unpleasant but hardly unheard of. He was a very ugly, monstrous child, and her father accused him of killing his mother - who had also been Cersei's mother. It isn't surprising that she unwilling and incapable of loving him. In fact, in our days and age it is rare in the developed world that mothers die in childbirth, but the theme George repeats there again and again - husbands and siblings hating their children/siblings because they killed their mothers (or at least being unable to love them, or form a deep connection with them) is something that must have been very real in such scenarios. If you are preteen child and some crying little thing you never wanted comes into the world at the price of her beloved mother's death such a scenario does affect you.

As to Melara: I still think what triggered this was more Cersei's intention to make the prophecies go away, not something as ridiculous as her comments about Jaime. Cersei knew Jaime was hers, and I don't think she was that obsessed with jealousy at this early age. But Melara had made that remark that the things would never come true if they never mentioned them again, so when she stood at that well ... And then, we still don't know whether Cersei pushed her or whether she fell and Cersei just didn't call any help (I'm inclined to believe the former, but I don't think we know yet, do we?).

I think Cersei's main motivation there was to prevent Melara from spreading the things she heard in the tent - the weird and ugly things about Cersei.

Quote

And while Dorne had female rulers, Westeros did not, so Rhaenys was not considered part of the succession.

She was a spare. If Rhaegar had only daughters - or if there was a Targaryen king who had only female heirs - then a woman would sit the throne. If Viserys and Aegon had died without issue, Rhaenys or Daenerys would have inherited the throne. It wouldn't have been ideal but it would have happened.

Myrcella is also the immediate of Tommen right now, just as Shireen is the immediate heir of Stannis.

Quote

Rhaegar could never have been sure his children would reach maturity, or that Viserys would surive,  so no, the succession was not guaranteed.

The succession is never guaranteed if you phrase it that way. They could all die. All men must die. But Rhaegar had already a son. He had a male heir. He was in a better position than Aerys I, Viserys I before he married Alicent, or Aegon III while he could not bring himself to have sex with his second wife. And Rhaegar was still very young. If Aegon died in infancy or childhood he could set aside Elia (or wait for her to die/cause her death in another pregnancy) and remarry in his later twenties or early thirties.

The births of Viserys, Rhaenys, and Aegon should have released a lot of dynastic pressure there instead of increasing it. Aerys II was the king, and he had an heir in Rhaegar and two male spares in Viserys and Aegon, and even a female spare in Rhaenys. That is a a pretty secure succession if you compare it to the succession of some other kings.

Edited by Lord Varys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Alia of the knife said:

I LOVE this!:D

It ties everything together nicely, and I agree with Ygrain,  much of Rhaegar is still shrouded in mystery. And though I did reference textual evidence, there are also perceptual clues as with Olenna's story.

When I first read her account of the Targaryen Prince, there was just something in the way she told that story, coupled with her life long desire for the throne, to the point of using her children and grandchildren, much like Tywin, that made me think it was actually her that was rejected, and not the other way around.

So no, it's not like your theory is out of left field.

And as for as many years as I've been on here, on and off, as well as reading the books, there are STILL things like this that come up that make me think, so theorize away. :bowdown:

Rhaegar is certainly shrouded in mystery as are his relationships with Elia and Lyanna (I found a reference to them both in the same passage, which was kind of awesome). I'm a fan of timelines, character's whereabouts, the degrees of separation and the dissemination of information in universe, so it's just fun. Putting the Hightowers into a timeline in relation to the Starks is a really interesting exercise. 

The Olenna part of your speculation is interesting. I think she may have been behind Margaery's portrait that Renly showed Ned back in AGoT. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

From the ACOK appendix:

Quote

—Aenys's son, RHAEGAR, m. Jeyne Beesbury,

—Rhaegar's son, ROBERT, a boy of thirteen,

—Rhaegar's daughter, WALDA, a girl of ten, called WHITE WALDA,

—Rhaegar's son, JONOS, a boy of eight,

Rhaegar (Frey) has two sons and a daughter, and his second son is named Jonos. A little wink from GRRM, perhaps?

Edited by Shmedricko

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna, and thousands died for it. Daemon Blackfyre loved the first Daenerys, and rose in rebellion when denied her. Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar, and the Seven Kingdoms bled. The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the bride price in corpses(The Kingbreaker, ADWD)

Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna, and thousands died for it
This one is self-explanatory. Although a lot of what happened can be laid at other people's doors as well.

Daemon Blackfyre loved the first Daenerys, and rose in rebellion when denied her
We don't know what Rhaegar did after Harrenhal, if he asked to marry Lyanna and was denied. He did not rise in rebellion, but he sure as hell vanished for a year or longer with Lyanna.

Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar, and the Seven Kingdoms bled
Robert and Rhaegar both loved Lyanna.

The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the bride price in corpses
Duncan broke off his engagement, married Jenny (whichever came first). Rather than giving her up, he gave up his crown. Lyonel Baratheon rose in rebellion and declared himself Storm King, it didn't last long and the whole thing ended with a single combat. We don't know if Rhaegar gave up his crown as Duncan did (and maybe he did vanish without a forwarding address because of that), but at the tail of the story, Rhaegar dies after fighting Robert and Robert become king. 

It just feels like this quote is giving the broad strokes of what may have happened before Robert's Rebellion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Widow's Watch said:

Daemon Blackfyre loved the first Daenerys, and rose in rebellion when denied her
We don't know what Rhaegar did after Harrenhal, if he asked to marry Lyanna and was denied. He did not rise in rebellion, but he sure as hell vanished for a year or longer with Lyanna.

Just a note of correction.Much more likely it is less than a year. The World of Ice and Fire has Rhaegar on the road with his companions after the turning of the year to 282 and marks this before Rhaegar meets Lyanna and runs off with her. Meaning we don't know just how long after the start of 282 the abduction takes place, but it is after. Second we know Robb Stark is born in 283 and we know he is conceived during Ned and Catelyn's honeymoon in Riverrun. Which means he was conceived no later than the end of the first three months of 283. All the many known events between the abduction and the Stark's honeymoon have to fall between the new year of 282 to the end of the third month of 283. We can go further in narrowing this down, but for this purpose let's just say a year or longer for Rhaegar to be in hiding with Lyanna is not possible. At most it is likely a little more than half that time.

 

Edited by SFDanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

@SFDanny, I know it sounds like I'm saying that they were together for a year (or longer), but that's not what I meant. That's totally on me. 

Not a problem. What did you mean to say? If you don't mind me asking.

 

Edited by SFDanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 4/30/2018 at 5:36 PM, SFDanny said:

Not a problem. What did you mean to say? If you don't mind me asking.

Sorry, I forgot to reply to this. I only meant that Rhaegar was gone longer than a year. If he was gone from Dragonstone at the end of 281-start of 282, and returned sometime in 283 after the Battle of the Bells. We don't know when in 283 he was back, though I think 3 months into 283 would be a "reasonable" estimate. I didn't mean that he was with Lyanna the whole time. I don't know if this makes sense. 

Edited by Widow's Watch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! I'm new to this forum and am still reading the books. Not sure if this has been addressed before but here it goes: Has Jon ever actually asked Ned about his mother/who she was? I know he does in the show but obviously the show ≠ the books. I personally find it hard to believe that when he was young he wouldn't have asked, but so far Jon has never mentioned it. 

I have a hypothesis on why it was written this way but i'd like to read other people's opinions. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, zeb1814 said:

Hi! I'm new to this forum and am still reading the books. Not sure if this has been addressed before but here it goes: Has Jon ever actually asked Ned about his mother/who she was? I know he does in the show but obviously the show ≠ the books. I personally find it hard to believe that when he was young he wouldn't have asked, but so far Jon has never mentioned it. 

I have a hypothesis on why it was written this way but i'd like to read other people's opinions. :rolleyes:

I don't recall Jon explicitly saying that he asked Ned about his mother. But if Catelyn asked (and we know she did) and was met by a wall, my assumption is that Jon might have been met with similar resistance. 

In Jon VII, AGoT 52, Jon decided that next time he sees Ned he will ask him because it's past time he told him. 

It's ambiguous enough I find that it could go either way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×