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Could Rhaegar have fought for the other side?

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Having thought about this a little more, it seems to me that all this discussion about Lyanna is somewhat beside the point, at least in terms of the OP's original question:

Q: Could Rhaegar have fought for the other side?

A: Only if he was OK having is wife, daughter and baby son burned to death in a vat of wildfire.

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10 hours ago, TMIFairy said:

Cue rebellion by a strange mix of bedfellows:

- Starks

- Baratheons

- Arryn (maybe Tully too)

- Dorne

- the Faith

As almost everything a lot depends on context.

You mentioned Great Lords arranging alliances for their "underlings" - true, but that was "consensual".

You mention Aegon the Original doing same - again true, but he had dragons ...

Here Rheagar does not have dragons - and STAB is unhappy about the ... er ... unasked for modifications to their planned martial alliances.

Dorne is not happy about Ellia's share in Rheagar dropping to 50%.

And the Faith is pissed off by bigamy.

I'd expect Rhaegar the King to become an ex-King very quickly. He would move on and be no longer with us.

Arryn doesn't come into it much(divided "loyalties" and all that) Rickard would much prefer Rhaegar over Bob and may actually have tried it if Rhaegae was a known womanizer, see Mace's example with Bob and Tullys would too prefer their ally to be allied to the Royal house.

For the rest of it; Aegon the Unworthy!

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13 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Rickard would much prefer Rhaegar over Bob

If you say so.

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11 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

 Rickard would much prefer Rhaegar over Bob and may actually have tried it if Rhaegae was a known womanizer, see Mace's example with Bob and Tullys would too prefer their ally to be allied to the Royal house.

Not with Lyanna being the secondary wife. The Tyrells had planned to have Robert set aside Cersei and make Margaery Robert's Queen in her stead. They didn't want her to be Robert's concubine.
A shared queenship between Lyanna and Elia, if that even had been possible officially, would still have pissed off the Starks, Baratheons and the Martells, and it's been pretty established by now that the Targaryens are better off not pissing off Dorne.

The only situation I can see Rickard preferring Rhaegar over Robert (and quite a bit at that) is if 1)Rhaegar is unwed 2)Rhaegar becomes a widower. 
In that case, then yes, of course Rickard would prefer a Queen for a daughter rather than the wife of a Great Lord. But he'd still prefer the wife of a Lord Paramont over a royal mistress, I'd say.

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43 minutes ago, Orphalesion said:

Not with Lyanna being the secondary wife. The Tyrells had planned to have Robert set aside Cersei and make Margaery Robert's Queen in her stead. They didn't want her to be Robert's concubine.
A shared queenship between Lyanna and Elia, if that even had been possible officially, would still have pissed off the Starks, Baratheons and the Martells, and it's been pretty established by now that the Targaryens are better off not pissing off Dorne.

The only situation I can see Rickard preferring Rhaegar over Robert (and quite a bit at that) is if 1)Rhaegar is unwed 2)Rhaegar becomes a widower. 
In that case, then yes, of course Rickard would prefer a Queen for a daughter rather than the wife of a Great Lord. But he'd still prefer the wife of a Lord Paramont over a royal mistress, I'd say.

Well we have no lords paramount but great lords aplenty trying to have their daughters get in the bed with Aegon the unworthy.

Rickard could have tried the same as Renly if Brandon the brainless didn't rode out to die and let the grown ups handle things. Aerys didn't even like the Dornish it seems so who knows.

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5 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Well we have no lords paramount but great lords aplenty trying to have their daughters get in the bed with Aegon the unworthy.

I only remember the Brackens actively doing that, and it was in the hope of Bethany replacing Naerys. The other mistresses were "pursued" by the king.

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On 4/11/2018 at 9:30 PM, theMADdestScientist_ said:

Tell that to Ned. He thought she was old and smart enough to be more sensible. 

The thing is that Lyanna made a choice, something Elia Martell didn't had the chance to do for example.

First off, no.  You're wrong.  Whether or not you think Lyanna has a choice - in all effect, she does not.  The second most powerful person in the kingdom, who one day will be the king! is asking her to elope.  Whether or not she is into that, at first, is almost immaterial; she doesn't have a choice in how to respond.  It's almost impossible for her to say no.

And even if we accept that she made her choice, it's also clear that she regretted it, because she was being kept under armed guard at the Tower of Joy.  She was a hostage, pure and simple, and if you think she was happy to be off in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles from anyone she knew or cared about or who could support her, having the child of a man who was going off to defend his right to kill her family members... well, that is sort of tough to swallow, no?

And all of that ignores the fact that she's in her mid-teens and Rhaegar is in his mid-20s, a significant age and maturity difference.

Maybe, maybe we grant that Lyanna made a choice to elope.  But we know she was denied the choice to go home, so it's absurd to blame her for what turns into a kidnapping.  If I make a choice to go to eat at McDonald's, but then am held hostage there and forced to cook burgers for a year, would you say that it was my choice to there for that long?  Of course not - my original choice is completely divorced from the reality of what happened to me

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On 4/12/2018 at 4:19 PM, John Suburbs said:

Well, it seems to me that if she is going willingly, she's not being held against her will. She is 16, maybe 17, which in this world qualifies her as an adult. I'm in no way blaming Lyanna for anything, but the actual circumstances of her situation might have a lot to do with why Rhaegar could not have fought for the other side.

Is this a serious argument?  I mean.... is anyone actually this dumb?  How in the WORLD does "if she goes willingly, she can't be held against her will" hold up in any logic test?

If I get on the school bus willingly, and then the driver whips out a gun and holds me hostage, am I a willing participant?  Obviously not.  Whether Lyanna goes willingly in the first place, she is being held there by armed force.  Alone.  Without being allowed to contact her family or friends, or the ones that Rhaegar's dad didn't brutally murder.

On 4/12/2018 at 4:19 PM, John Suburbs said:

Sorry, I don't see how you can square this with your statement above that has adult Rhaegar guilty of abducting "barely teen" Lyanna regardless of whether she came along willingly or not. If he abducted her, that is a major slight against both House Stark and House Baratheon -- on the same level as Catelyn's abduction of Tyrion, even more so because the Starks like Lyanna -- and that can't be glossed over with "don't worry, I have her in a safe place. Now let's go get me my throne."

Whether or not Lyanna does willingly, Rhaegar running off with her is STILL a major slight.  From Rhaegar's perspective, it barely matters if she's a willing accomplice or a victim of kidnap.  Either way he's committing a major sin against two of his most powerful vassals.

I agree with you that the Targaryens are done, regardless of what Rhaegar does on coming back up north to Kings Landing.  There is no way for him to make amends.  But he doesn't even bother to try; his actions explicitly state "I and my family can do whatever we want, whenever we want, to whoever we want, and no one has any recourse to that, and we will fight and kill people to keep those rights."  If he made the slightest attempt at giving justice to the Starks, Baratheons, Mallisters, Royces, Vances, Glovers, etc. and holding Aerys responsible, then I'd have a higher opinion of Rhaegar.

On 4/12/2018 at 4:19 PM, John Suburbs said:

I would bet that most Westerosi would consider it more immoral and unethical for a crown prince to take up arms against his own father than to remain loyal to a tyrant.

I'm almost positive you are wrong.  Rhaegar is actively plotting to depose his own father even before the events that spark Robert's Rebellion, and many if not most Westerosi nobles are way on board with that. And again, as I sort of said above, Rhaegar doesn't have to fight for the rebels.  The binary nature of your argument is silly; there is a lot he can do in between "fight to keep Aerys on his throne" and "fight to replace him".  Arresting him, for one.  Staying out of the conflict but telling the rebels that he supports their grievances, but can't take up arms against his father.  He doesn't even bother to try.  He shows up, grabs his sword, and goes off to kill the morally-in-the-right rebel lords.

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2 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Is this a serious argument?  I mean.... is anyone actually this dumb? 

is there any need for the petty insults?  

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On 4/5/2018 at 3:20 PM, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

The eldest son stands to inherit, so, all the others would have perfectly legit reasons. But, no, nope (that I can recall). Not even Maegor the Cruel, not even Daemon Blackfyre - both made a grab at the throne, all right, but not when their father was sitting on it.

Umm Aegon the Unworthy murdered his father Viserys II to get the throne, and I don't think he was the only one. Jaeherys II?

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5 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Is this a serious argument?  I mean.... is anyone actually this dumb?  How in the WORLD does "if she goes willingly, she can't be held against her will" hold up in any logic test?

If I get on the school bus willingly, and then the driver whips out a gun and holds me hostage, am I a willing participant?  Obviously not.  Whether Lyanna goes willingly in the first place, she is being held there by armed force.  Alone.  Without being allowed to contact her family or friends, or the ones that Rhaegar's dad didn't brutally murder.

Whether or not Lyanna does willingly, Rhaegar running off with her is STILL a major slight.  From Rhaegar's perspective, it barely matters if she's a willing accomplice or a victim of kidnap.  Either way he's committing a major sin against two of his most powerful vassals.

I agree with you that the Targaryens are done, regardless of what Rhaegar does on coming back up north to Kings Landing.  There is no way for him to make amends.  But he doesn't even bother to try; his actions explicitly state "I and my family can do whatever we want, whenever we want, to whoever we want, and no one has any recourse to that, and we will fight and kill people to keep those rights."  If he made the slightest attempt at giving justice to the Starks, Baratheons, Mallisters, Royces, Vances, Glovers, etc. and holding Aerys responsible, then I'd have a higher opinion of Rhaegar.

I'm almost positive you are wrong.  Rhaegar is actively plotting to depose his own father even before the events that spark Robert's Rebellion, and many if not most Westerosi nobles are way on board with that. And again, as I sort of said above, Rhaegar doesn't have to fight for the rebels.  The binary nature of your argument is silly; there is a lot he can do in between "fight to keep Aerys on his throne" and "fight to replace him".  Arresting him, for one.  Staying out of the conflict but telling the rebels that he supports their grievances, but can't take up arms against his father.  He doesn't even bother to try.  He shows up, grabs his sword, and goes off to kill the morally-in-the-right rebel lords.

How do I "like" this post

 

Rhaegar and Lyanna were crappy people. Theyd have to be willfully ignorant and not receiving any news at all to be even slightly decent people. If word got thereabout KL's events and the following war, then they'e both selfish monsters. Lyanna especially, as unlike Rhaegar she actually was working against her own family's well being and put essentially her entire house to the torch over a fling and an unborn child.

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6 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

First off, no.  You're wrong.  Whether or not you think Lyanna has a choice - in all effect, she does not.  The second most powerful person in the kingdom, who one day will be the king! is asking her to elope.  Whether or not she is into that, at first, is almost immaterial; she doesn't have a choice in how to respond.  It's almost impossible for her to say no.

And even if we accept that she made her choice, it's also clear that she regretted it, because she was being kept under armed guard at the Tower of Joy.  She was a hostage, pure and simple, and if you think she was happy to be off in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles from anyone she knew or cared about or who could support her, having the child of a man who was going off to defend his right to kill her family members... well, that is sort of tough to swallow, no?

And all of that ignores the fact that she's in her mid-teens and Rhaegar is in his mid-20s, a significant age and maturity difference.

Maybe, maybe we grant that Lyanna made a choice to elope.  But we know she was denied the choice to go home, so it's absurd to blame her for what turns into a kidnapping.  If I make a choice to go to eat at McDonald's, but then am held hostage there and forced to cook burgers for a year, would you say that it was my choice to there for that long?  Of course not - my original choice is completely divorced from the reality of what happened to me

We don' KNOW she wasn't allowed to leave, thats still very much guesswork. At the least, one of these two people sucked, hard, and it was probably both.

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3 hours ago, Leonardo said:

Rhaegar and Lyanna were crappy people. Theyd have to be willfully ignorant and not receiving any news at all to be even slightly decent people. If word got thereabout KL's events and the following war, then they'e both selfish monsters. Lyanna especially, as unlike Rhaegar she actually was working against her own family's well being and put essentially her entire house to the torch over a fling and an unborn child.

Lyanna was what, 14, 15 at most? Even if she did run off I don't think it would make her a horrible person, a teenager is expected to be short-sighted and selfish after all. The in-his-mid-twenties crown prince, on the other hand, is really, really hard to justify.

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Posted (edited)

Lyanna was 16 at death in 283AC. So, at abduction her age is either 15 or 16.

Which puts her exploits at the tournament in Harrenhall in 281AC in "mega uber teen-powersTM" territory.

If she did elope, she could be given some leeway for horomal-teen-fanny-think-mode. But this still makes her stupid.

Rheagar? He should had known better. He dug his own grave. No pity from me.

Edited by TMIFairy

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21 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Is this a serious argument?  I mean.... is anyone actually this dumb?  How in the WORLD does "if she goes willingly, she can't be held against her will" hold up in any logic test?

If I get on the school bus willingly, and then the driver whips out a gun and holds me hostage, am I a willing participant?  Obviously not.  Whether Lyanna goes willingly in the first place, she is being held there by armed force.  Alone.  Without being allowed to contact her family or friends, or the ones that Rhaegar's dad didn't brutally murder.

If the man you are in love with approaches you in the woods with a group of men with swords and armor and says "would you kindly come with us, my lady," and you willingly agree to go, then I find it very implausible that you would consider yourself abducted when they bring you to a tower or any other destination.

And as per my original comment in this thread, we simply don't know if she was taken or is being held against her will or not or whether she had any desire to contact friends or family.

21 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Whether or not Lyanna does willingly, Rhaegar running off with her is STILL a major slight.  From Rhaegar's perspective, it barely matters if she's a willing accomplice or a victim of kidnap.  Either way he's committing a major sin against two of his most powerful vassals.

True, but as I said, we still don't know if Rhaegar was actually behind this. The entire story could have been cooked up by Aerys to cover his order to abduct Lyanna, and perhaps Rhaegar as well.

21 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

I agree with you that the Targaryens are done, regardless of what Rhaegar does on coming back up north to Kings Landing.  There is no way for him to make amends.  But he doesn't even bother to try; his actions explicitly state "I and my family can do whatever we want, whenever we want, to whoever we want, and no one has any recourse to that, and we will fight and kill people to keep those rights."  If he made the slightest attempt at giving justice to the Starks, Baratheons, Mallisters, Royces, Vances, Glovers, etc. and holding Aerys responsible, then I'd have a higher opinion of Rhaegar.

If Rhaegar had tried in any way to make peace with the rebels, let along join them, then his wife and two children would have been dumped in a big vat a wildfire. He had no choice but to fight and either win or die.

21 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

I'm almost positive you are wrong.  Rhaegar is actively plotting to depose his own father even before the events that spark Robert's Rebellion, and many if not most Westerosi nobles are way on board with that. And again, as I sort of said above, Rhaegar doesn't have to fight for the rebels.  The binary nature of your argument is silly; there is a lot he can do in between "fight to keep Aerys on his throne" and "fight to replace him".  Arresting him, for one.  Staying out of the conflict but telling the rebels that he supports their grievances, but can't take up arms against his father.  He doesn't even bother to try.  He shows up, grabs his sword, and goes off to kill the morally-in-the-right rebel lords.

We don't know what Rhaegar was plotting, just that he was planning to make changes. Aerys is holding Rhaegar's family hostage, so Rhaegar's options here are severely limited -- any break with Aerys would get Elia, Rhaenys and Aegon killed. Arresting Aerys, deposing him, whatever, would only be possible after Rhaegar's victory over the rebels and if he could remove his family out of the Red Keep.

Many people throughout the realm felt it was more honorable to remain loyal to the king than to rebel. It depends on which side of the fence you are on, but those who stayed loyal would consider it more dishonorable for Rhaegar to defy his father than to take up arms against him.

And I'm sorry, but it is beyond silly to characterize the rebel lords as "morally-in-the-right." This was a power grab -- nothing more, nothing less.

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16 hours ago, Leonardo said:

How do I "like" this post

 

Rhaegar and Lyanna were crappy people. Theyd have to be willfully ignorant and not receiving any news at all to be even slightly decent people. If word got thereabout KL's events and the following war, then they'e both selfish monsters. Lyanna especially, as unlike Rhaegar she actually was working against her own family's well being and put essentially her entire house to the torch over a fling and an unborn child.

Again, though, this is working off the assumption that either Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna or Lyanna ran off with him willingly, and these are not the only possibilities. Both could have been kidnapped by Aerys, or the three Kingsguard in some unknown plot.

This was the point of my initial post: there are simply too many unknowns to accurately assess this situation to determine who is acting for or against the interests of whom.

All we can say for certain is that if Rhaegar had simply explained things to the rebels and joined their cause, Elia, Rhaenys and Aegon would have been killed. Obviously, he was not willing to let that happen.

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1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

And as per my original comment in this thread, we simply don't know if she was taken or is being held against her will or not or whether she had any desire to contact friends or family.

We also don't know if she had three heads, or had a lisp.  But we can reasonably assume some things.

For one, why is a teenager barely into sexual maturity being forced to give birth in an isolated, out of the way spot with barely any medical attention?  Additionally, one of the few things we know about Lyanna is that she loves her family; how does it make any sense that she wouldn't try to contact them?  Especially after hearing that Rhaegar's father just killed her brother and legit murdered her father?  If that info is being kept from her, that's telling in and of itself, and if she knows, then it beggars belief that she wouldn't want to contact them.

1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

If the man you are in love with approaches you in the woods with a group of men with swords and armor and says "would you kindly come with us, my lady," and you willingly agree to go, then I find it very implausible that you would consider yourself abducted when they bring you to a tower or any other destination.

Fine.  Of course, we don't know if that is what happens.  Even if it is, the fact that its a group of men with weapons "asking" you to come along with them means there is an implied threat of force involved.  But even so, Lyanna clearly isn't free to leave the Tower of Joy of her own volition, and her location is being kept highly secret.  Which means that whatever it started as, by the time Rhaegar heads north to fight the rebels, she is effectively a prisoner.

1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

True, but as I said, we still don't know if Rhaegar was actually behind this. The entire story could have been cooked up by Aerys to cover his order to abduct Lyanna, and perhaps Rhaegar as well.

Ummm... I don't see how this is possible, given the info we have.  It's also possible Rhaegar was being possessed by a time traveling Bran Stark, ya know?  At some point, we have to accept that the text is right, if we aren't being given a hint otherwise.  Rhaegar makes Lyanna Queen of Love and Beauty in such a public manner that his interest in her is essentially a matter of public record.  

Rhaegar is obviously not abducted, as his actions make clear.  And moreover, Aerys is so paranoid that there is no way he'd be sending Lyanna anywhere but King's Landing; hence why all his other "hostages" are in the city.

Long story short, this theory is implausible to the point of impossibility.  You can't base an entire chain of events off a theory that (a) makes no sense, and (b) is contradicted by the hints in the text.

1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

If Rhaegar had tried in any way to make peace with the rebels, let along join them, then his wife and two children would have been dumped in a big vat a wildfire. He had no choice but to fight and either win or die.

No, they wouldn't.  Elia and her kids aren't surety against Rhaegar, they are there to keep Dorne on the side of the Targaryens.  And even if they wouldn't, Rhaegar has every opportunity to free them - he's in Kings Landing of his own volition, after all, and it's quite obvious that he commands the loyalty of Targaryen retainers to an extent Aerys doesn't (after all, the Kingsguard with Rhaegar at the ToJ have no business being there); nothing stops him from ordering Elia's "guards" to stand down and then whisk them away.  

1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

Arresting Aerys, deposing him, whatever, would only be possible after Rhaegar's victory over the rebels and if he could remove his family out of the Red Keep.

Why?  This is backwards.  If anything, Aerys would be in a stronger position after the rebels are defeated.  Rhaegar has a far better chance of deposing his father while more than half the realm is in active revolt.  What, exactly, makes it more likely that he can depose or arrest his father, or save his family, post-Trident than pre?

1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

All we can say for certain is that if Rhaegar had simply explained things to the rebels and joined their cause, Elia, Rhaenys and Aegon would have been killed. Obviously, he was not willing to let that happen.

You doubt literally everything the text tells us, and then make this incredibly bold assertion about what we "know".

Here is a list of incontrovertible facts:

Rhaegar is interested in Lyanna romantically.

Lyanna does not contact her family, whether by force or her own volition uncertain (though it is nearly a positive that she is being forcibly restrained from doing so)

Rhaegar fights to keep his father on the throne.

That is it.  Everything else is circumstantial.  The text supports my position much more strongly; Rhaegar gives off the vibe, from what we know of his actions and firsthand reports of his personality, of someone who strongly believed in prophecy and who believed that because he was fulfilling prophecy, things would work out for him.

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17 hours ago, Leonardo said:

How do I "like" this post

 

Rhaegar and Lyanna were crappy people. Theyd have to be willfully ignorant and not receiving any news at all to be even slightly decent people. If word got thereabout KL's events and the following war, then they'e both selfish monsters. Lyanna especially, as unlike Rhaegar she actually was working against her own family's well being and put essentially her entire house to the torch over a fling and an unborn child.

You're assuming Lyanna is free to contact anyone, which is exactly my point.  Our characterization of Lyanna is a fiercely loyal person who is very close to her family.  Remember, she's thousands of miles from anyone she knows, with a bunch of armed men loyal solely to Rhaegar around her.  Even IF she hears about what happens to Brandon and Rickard, what is she supposed to do?  It makes much more sense, narratively and thematically, if she's (a) kept in the dark, or (b) prevented from contacting anyone.  

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Which makes Rhaegar a garbage person.

 

However, I prefer to see some grey. What could she possibly say that could make things better or turn the tide anyways? If anything evidence supports she was there mostly of her own free will. Once she was surely pregnant, maybe there was a difference there. Maybe Rhaegar purposefully kept both in the dark.

 

Is she really that close to her father and older brother? The father who was coercing or forcing her into marrying a man she didn't want to marry, who was known to be loose with his genetic coin?

Ned and Benjen we have evidence for. I think love can make props act irrationally to the point of folly, and this is an extreme case of it.

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Lyanna being angry for having to marry Bobby B sounds too... modern to me. Westerosi, especially if they're of noble birth, don't get to choose their spouse unless they're a lord, that's how it works for both men and women and everyone knows that.

It sounds strange to me that Lyanna, who surely had known since she was old enough to understand that she would have been expected to marry whoever lord Rickard chose for her, would resent her father for having her betrothed to one of the most eligible men in the entire realm. Of course it's possible she felt that way but if she really did I think it would reflect very badly on her.

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