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Could Rhaegar have fought for the other side?

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1 hour ago, Geddus said:

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.

Robert cheating on her in the first place would reflect badly on her as well.

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23 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

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.

Sorry, but you are making some extremely broad assumptions here. We don't know if she was forced to give birth or if she had the child willingly. We don't know what kind of medical attention she received. We don't know if she loved her family, least of all what her relationship was like with her father or Brandon. We don't know if in her mind she believes that what she is doing supersedes her duty to her family. She had the wolf blood, like Arya, so we don't know what her motivations are for any of this.

Even if we accept that she has been kidnapped and is being held against her will, we don't know who is behind it; Rhaegar? Aerys? the KG? Someone else? Your entire premise seems to rest on the idea that the story of Rhaegar kidnapping Lyanna is cold, hard fact. But that is a huge leap in logic because we don't even know how that story originated.

23 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

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.

No, sorry again, but none of this is certain. For all we know, there were no armed men with Rhaegar. They just ran away together. Or perhaps both Rhaegar and Lyanna were taken by the KG on orders from the MK. There is nothing at all clear about any of this -- whether she could stay, or go. Toward the end of her pregnancy it seems doubtful she could leave even if she wanted to, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that Lyanna could have been a willing partner in this entire plan from start to finish.

23 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

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.  

Lol, what info do we actually have? We have Brandon Stark on his way to get married at Riverrun and some unknown person brings word that Rhaegar has kidnapped Lyanna. We don't know if that is true. We are not told of any witnesses or any admissions of guilt by Rhaegar, and there are plenty of hints throughout the text that suggests Rhaegar was not the sort of person who would make such a rash decision.

Your making a rookie mistake when it comes to Martin: just because it says so in the text does not make it true. Everything is told through POVs, which means the text only shows what the character believes is true. The text states repeatedly that Jon Snow is the bastard son of Ned Stark fathered upon a washerwoman named Wylla and the Lady Ashara Dayne. Are we to assume all of this is true just because it's in the text? Or could it be that one of these stories is only what people believe to be the truth? Or mayhaps neither is true.

Rhaegar could just as easily have made Lyanna QoLaB as a way of letting her know that he knows she was the Knight of the Laughing Tree without publicly revealing her. That could very well have spurred Aerys to have them both taken because it would seem they were conspiring against him. You see how, in the absence of concrete facts, there are alternate explanations for everything? That's one of the great joys of reading Martin.

On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 5:19 PM, cpg2016 said:

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.

There is nothing obvious about it. His actions could very well be those of a man trying to protect his family. Or Aerys may not even be the one behind this. If this is a KG plot and he is in love with Lyanna, they she is the hostage to ensure his loyalty. There are multiple possibilities.

On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 5:19 PM, cpg2016 said:

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.

What theory? I have no theory. In fact, I have the exact opposite of a theory. We simply don't know all the facts about this whole episode to form even the most rudimentary conclusions on which to base a theory.

On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 5:19 PM, cpg2016 said:

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.  

Honestly? The MK suspects Rhaegar of being disloyal to the point of overthrowing him and never once does it cross his mind that he can protect himself by keeping Rhaegar's wife and children in the Red Keep? Elia's use as a hostage to keep Dorne in line only emerged after the Trident when the MK thought Lewyn had betrayed him. Before that, they could have been surety for Rhaegar's loyalty.

 Rhaegar is in King's Landing, but that is not the Red Keep, which is a fortress inside the city with its own walls, gates and guards. And if Aerys is keeping the family in Maegor's Holdfast, which is where Lorch and Clegane found them, then they are being held in a fortress inside a fortress -- plenty of protection to keep Rhaegar honest.

In what way is it obvious that Rhaegar commands the loyalty of the Targaryen retainers? These are the same retainers who fought to the death to protect Aerys from attacking Lannisters. The commander of these retainers would have been appointed by Aerys, not Rhaegar, so it is to Aerys he owes his patronage.

Again, your making extremely broad assumptions and blithely accepting them as fact. None of this is certain. None of it.

On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 5:19 PM, cpg2016 said:

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?

Because Aerys still has Elia, Rhaenys and Aegon under lock and key. Even victorious and with an entire army at his back, Rhaegar cannot make a move against Aerys unless he wants to see his wife and children die a slow, painful, terrifying death by wildfire. Come on, if this was your family would you simply march on your father and trust that he would do them no harm? The only way this can work for Rhaegar is he has to get his family out from under Aerys' control, then sure, he can depose, arrest or even execute Aerys if he wants.

On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 5:19 PM, cpg2016 said:

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.

I've read enough of Martin to know that few things are ever certain, and your list is far from certain. We do not know that Rhaegar is in love with Lyanna. We do not know under what conditions she was being held or even if she did or did not try to contact her family. We do not know what Rhaegar was fighting for, or against. In fact, you're the one who insists that Rhaegar is out to usurp the throne, so how can you say that it is incontrovertible fact that he was fighting to keep his father on the throne?

Also, if Rhaegar is simply fulfilling prophecy, that blows your in-love-with-Lyanna theory out of the water. It also undermines your notion of forcible restraint because Lyanna may also be trying to fulfill the prophecy, which would take precedence over family. And it also disputes the story in the text: that lustful Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna because he couldn't control himself. So much for simply accepting text at face value.

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6 hours ago, Geddus said:

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.

Lyanna had the wolf blood, like Arya. Do you think Arya would meekly submit to marriage to a loud, drunken idiot who had already fathered who knows how many bastard children? Or would she run away and ditch her house and family to live a quiet life with a man she loved?

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Yes, I think Arya would, she's not an idiot. And young Robert wasn't a drunk and he had fathered exactly one bastard, long before his betrothal to Lyanna.

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8 hours ago, Geddus said:

Yes, I think Arya would, she's not an idiot. And young Robert wasn't a drunk and he had fathered exactly one bastard, long before his betrothal to Lyanna.

Sorry, just to clarify: which option would Arya choose, meek submission or running away?

We also have every reason to believe Robert was just as big a lout back then as he appeared in GoT, just younger and stronger. As Ned describes him: "Robert Baratheon had always been a man of huge appetites, a man who knew how to take his pleasures." And even Lyanna knew that Robert would never be faithful to her.

Also, we don't know how many bastards Robert may have sired at this point. Maggy the Frog says Robert will have six-and-ten children, and her predictions are more accurate than most. So far, we've seen maybe four of them: Mya Stone, Edric Storm, Gendry and Bella. So that is 12 unaccounted for, which makes it pretty likely that there is more than one Baratheon by-blow running around by the time he is paired with Lyanna.

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I think she would accept, probably grudgingly, that it's her duty. She's wild but she respects her father and her name, running away would be completely irresponsible and a big "fuck you" to her whole family, I just don't see Arya doing that. I'm talking about the Arya that could have been without the tragedies she went through, not the girl trained by the Faceless Men.

Lyanna thought that about Robert because of a bastard (Mya Stone) he had sired long before any betrothal. Maybe she was right, maybe not but such a judgement seems kind of unfair, at that point. And if it comes out she really ran away with a married man it becomes a big pile of BS.

About the bastards: there are two from the Westerlands which Cersei "disappeared" along with their mother, IIRC. But that's beside the point, there's nothing that suggests Robert fathered other children before the rebellion.

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On 19/04/2018 at 4:44 AM, Geddus said:

a teenager is expected to be short-sighted and selfish after all.

Is she really that short-sighted? could she predict a bloody war that would tore the realm apart would happen because she chose her own path? no one would have been capable of predict that, even though they should. Also, at her age she could see things that even older and honorable Ned couldn't.

As for the selfish part, her father betrothed her to a whoremonger, and what can she do about it? nothing. She is expected to marry Robert and live in constant shame like Cersei. It is quite an interesting scenario actually, I ask myself what the honorable Starks would do while one of their own is constantly humilliated. Looking at how Ned played down Roberts habits, they are likely to just watch and do nothing, even after the relationship has turned abusive.

On 19/04/2018 at 4:44 AM, Geddus said:

The in-his-mid-twenties crown prince, on the other hand, is really, really hard to justify.

Rhaegar was in his early twenties. While his is a more serious case, I still don't blame him for not being capable of predicting the things that happened after his "adventure" with Lyanna started. I blame him for his choice of women.

Edited by theMADdestScientist_

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3 hours ago, Geddus said:

And if it comes out she really ran away with a married man it becomes a big pile of BS.

Tell me, is a man of fathers bastards the same as a man who only fathered legitimate children with the woman he was told to marry? I don't think so. It surprises me how people think it is the same thing.

Rhaegar did his duty for as long as he could, but is seems he cracked in the end. If it turns out that Rhaegar really "left" Elia for Lyanna, I can understand why Lyanna went with him. And for me, that's what happened.

Edited by theMADdestScientist_

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6 hours ago, Geddus said:

I think she would accept, probably grudgingly, that it's her duty. She's wild but she respects her father and her name, running away would be completely irresponsible and a big "fuck you" to her whole family, I just don't see Arya doing that. I'm talking about the Arya that could have been without the tragedies she went through, not the girl trained by the Faceless Men.

Lyanna thought that about Robert because of a bastard (Mya Stone) he had sired long before any betrothal. Maybe she was right, maybe not but such a judgement seems kind of unfair, at that point. And if it comes out she really ran away with a married man it becomes a big pile of BS.

About the bastards: there are two from the Westerlands which Cersei "disappeared" along with their mother, IIRC. But that's beside the point, there's nothing that suggests Robert fathered other children before the rebellion.

Maybe he would have been faithful to Lyanna if they had married? He doesn’t start siring bastards in earnest until after the Rebellion, since Mya and Bella are the only ones known before then.

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5 hours ago, theMADdestScientist_ said:

Is she really that short-sighted? could she predict a bloody war that would tore the realm apart would happen because she chose her own path? no one would have been capable of predict that, even though they should. Also, at her age she could see things that even older and honorable Ned couldn't.

As for the selfish part, her father betrothed her to a whoremonger, and what can she do about it? nothing. She is expected to marry Robert and live in constant shame like Cersei. It is quite an interesting scenario actually, I ask myself what the honorable Starks would do while one of their own is constantly humilliated. Looking at how Ned played down Roberts habits, they are likely to just watch and do nothing, even after the relationship has turned abusive.

Rhaegar was in his early twenties. While his is a more serious case, I still don't blame him for not being capable of predicting the things that happened after his "adventure" with Lyanna started. I blame him for his choice of women.

Yeah, if she ran away she really was short-sighted. Maybe she couldn't have predicted a war but some fallout had to be expected. As I said, being 15 she gets a pass.

She's expected to do her duty to her family. She's a noblewoman and as such she has privileges almost everyone else in Westeros can only dream of. One of the few prices nobility has to pay for said privileges is that a lord's children don't get to choose their spouses, doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

Rhaegar, assuming he did it all for love, is completely unjustifiable. He was the crown prince, his duty was way bigger and more important than Lyanna's. He abandoned the kingdom, his wife and his children in the hands of a madman.

6 hours ago, theMADdestScientist_ said:

Tell me, is a man of fathers bastards the same as a man who only fathered legitimate children with the woman he was told to marry? I don't think so. It surprises me how people think it is the same thing.

No, they're not the same, the one who has a wife and children and runs away with a 15-years-old is way worse, obviously.

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2 hours ago, Geddus said:

She's expected to do her duty to her family. She's a noblewoman and as such she has privileges almost everyone else in Westeros can only dream of. One of the few prices nobility has to pay for said privileges is that a lord's children don't get to choose their spouses, doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

I definitely agree with most of this. If Lyanna had grown up as smallfolk there is no way to would have had the freedom, not to mention leisure time and economic backing to indulge in her different "hobbies".

That said, outside of Drone a unhappy marriage seems like it could be miserable for both partners. While that isn't everything it isn't nothing too.

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12 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

Maybe he would have been faithful to Lyanna if they had married? He doesn’t start siring bastards in earnest until after the Rebellion, since Mya and Bella are the only ones known before then.

These are two bastards already, it's a lot for a guy who isn't even married yet. And one of these bastards he sired in a brothel on his favorite whore while Lyanna was supposedly "in danger" according to Robert himself.

The other thing is that he was a natural alcoholic, and we know what happened to Cersei thanks to his drinking. A woman will only get out winning with Robert Baratheon if she isn't his wife. But for a woman who marries Robert, she needs to be prepared. On long term, Robert will get tired of her(as he got tired of everything once he had a taste of it), and that's when he starts to piss on her dignity, and that's just the beginning as well.

Edited by theMADdestScientist_

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5 hours ago, Ylath's Snout said:

I definitely agree with most of this. If Lyanna had grown up as smallfolk there is no way to would have had the freedom, not to mention leisure time and economic backing to indulge in her different "hobbies".

That said, outside of Drone a unhappy marriage seems like it could be miserable for both partners. While that isn't everything it isn't nothing too.

Even if you pick 'em, you can still be miserable. 

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3 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

No. Because Robert was smart to burn his body

Robert did not burn his body. As Jorah notes, Robert just walked over his corpse and went to King's Landing.

To burn the body of a fallen Targaryen is a tradition, and that was likely done by those who fought beside Rhaegar. Barristan Selmy most likely. Robert doesn't care about traditions, and he cares even less about Rhaegar's corpse.

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6 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Even if you pick 'em, you can still be miserable. 

Oh sure, that is why Westeros needs a Henry/etta the 8th-ish to chop some head and institute some divorces.

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On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

Sorry, but you are making some extremely broad assumptions here. We don't know if she was forced to give birth or if she had the child willingly. We don't know what kind of medical attention she received. We don't know if she loved her family, least of all what her relationship was like with her father or Brandon. We don't know if in her mind she believes that what she is doing supersedes her duty to her family. She had the wolf blood, like Arya, so we don't know what her motivations are for any of this

I'm not.  Look at what we see of her interactions with her brothers; she is willing to confide some pretty serious misgivings about her betrothal to Eddard.  She is close enough to Benjen that she plays at swordfighting with him, and their relationship is intimate enough that he teases her about crying over Rhaegar's song, and she dumps wine on him in return.  Perhaps you don't have siblings, but these are the actions of family members who care about one another.  They have real relationships, but clearly there is love and caring underneath the teasing.  And I'm sorry, this isn't a "broad assumption".  This is essentially the most legitimate reading of Lyanna's character, at least as it pertains to her family.

And we do know what medical attention she received.  She was literally in the process of giving birth, or had just done so moments before, when Ned finds her at the Tower of Joy.  With no one attending her.

And "wolf blood" isn't a thing.  It's a description of a personality trait, of independence and rebelliousness, not some inherited genetic marker which has an effect.  And if I want to be as skeptical as you are, I'd say we don't know she had the wolf blood.  We know some people think she does.  The text never states to us that she unquestionably has that characteristic.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

Even if we accept that she has been kidnapped and is being held against her will, we don't know who is behind it; Rhaegar? Aerys? the KG? Someone else? Your entire premise seems to rest on the idea that the story of Rhaegar kidnapping Lyanna is cold, hard fact. But that is a huge leap in logic because we don't even know how that story originated.

No, my premise is that Rhaegar shows a socially-unacceptable interest in Lyanna, ends up in an isolated tower in the middle of nowhere with her, and then goes off to fight for his father's right to murder.  What is cold, hard fact is that Rhaegar and Lyanna end up at the Tower of Joy.  What is cold, hard fact is that Lyanna is there, without Rhaegar, and with armed guards in attendance, once he leaves.  What is fact is that she dies in childbirth, with no one there to support her, except the aforementioned guards.  Those are the facts.  The context surrounding those facts makes it almost inescapable that she was being held there against her will by the end.

And no, we don't know for certain who is behind it.  The only person who makes any sort of sense and has any motivation is Rhaegar, of course, but whatever.
 

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

No, sorry again, but none of this is certain. For all we know, there were no armed men with Rhaegar. They just ran away together. Or perhaps both Rhaegar and Lyanna were taken by the KG on orders from the MK. There is nothing at all clear about any of this -- whether she could stay, or go. Toward the end of her pregnancy it seems doubtful she could leave even if she wanted to, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that Lyanna could have been a willing partner in this entire plan from start to finish.

Unfortunately for you, we do know this.

With the coming of the new year, the crown prince had taken to the road with half a dozen of his closest friends and confidants, on a journey that would ultimately lead him back to the riverlands. Not ten leagues from Harrenhal, Rhaegar fell upon Lyanna Stark of Winterfell, and carried her off, lighting a fire that would consume his house and kin and all those he loved—and half the realm besides.

We can ignore the last bit for now.  But we know Rhaegar was riding with friends and confidantes (which in this universe means "armed men," because we know his friends and confidantes are his squires and KG buddies).

And no, we cannot rule out that Lyanna was a willing partner.  We also can't rule out that Lyanna never even existed - maybe she was a mass hallucination?  Nothing contradicts that, either.  At some point, we use our brains and logic and context, though.  And you know what logic says here?  That a 15 year old, fiercely independent, politically important girl is unlikely to be on board with over a year of virtual house arrest in a place thousands of miles from everyone she knows and loves.  That she's willing to give birth, a highly risky proposition for a teenager (which would be common knowledge) with almost no medical attention.  That she'd be on board with Rhaegar, who is somewhere between her lover and her rapist, leaving her alone to a risky childbirth in order to go murder her brother in defence of the murder of her other brother and father.

Again, I emphasize - you are right that nothing is certain.  If your attitude is that without an authorial statement from GRRM we must take everything with a grain of salt, then I say to you that everything is uncertain.  The book is filled with unreliable narrators, so there is no point in discussing anything at all, since nothing is fact and everything is opinion.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

Because Aerys still has Elia, Rhaenys and Aegon under lock and key. Even victorious and with an entire army at his back, Rhaegar cannot make a move against Aerys unless he wants to see his wife and children die a slow, painful, terrifying death by wildfire. Come on, if this was your family would you simply march on your father and trust that he would do them no harm? The only way this can work for Rhaegar is he has to get his family out from under Aerys' control, then sure, he can depose, arrest or even execute Aerys if he wants.

So why doesn't Rhaegar move to rescue them when he returns to Kings Landing?  He clearly has enough power at court that he can order 3 Kingsguard knights to abandon their king and imprison/protect Lyanna.

All I am saying is that we don't know of any attempt of his to rescue his family and depose his father.  All he does is fight on his father's behalf.  For someone who is so skeptical of every situation in which we don't have a positive factual claim, you seem awfully willing to believe a hypothetical that isn't even hinted at.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

I've read enough of Martin to know that few things are ever certain, and your list is far from certain. We do not know that Rhaegar is in love with Lyanna.

Which is why I didn't say he loved Lyanna.  I don't think he is, either.  Personally, I think he's a prophecy obsessed rapist who thinks everything will turn out fine because he's creating TPTWP.  I said he was romantically interested, which is an incontrovertible fact.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

We do not know under what conditions she was being held or even if she did or did not try to contact her family.

We know that she didn't contact her family.  That is all that matters.  After that the question is whether that is the action (or non-action) of a girl about to give birth to the child of the man she loves, or if it's the action of a girl cut off from communicating with anyone.  Contextually, it can't be anything but the latter.  Unless your position is this "wolf blooded" girl intended on spending the remainder of her life in this one Tower, never leaving, in order to raise Jon.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

We do not know what Rhaegar was fighting for, or against. In fact, you're the one who insists that Rhaegar is out to usurp the throne, so how can you say that it is incontrovertible fact that he was fighting to keep his father on the throne?

  We know what the rebels believed; they were out to depose Aerys.  Rhaegar was fighting them.  I'm not sure what could be more factual than that.  Whatever his plans afterwards might have been, in that moment, Rhaegar was fighting for his father (likely because it ensured his succession once he implemented his "changes").  This is pretty simple stuff.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

Also, if Rhaegar is simply fulfilling prophecy, that blows your in-love-with-Lyanna theory out of the water.

That theory which I never once espoused?  Find where I said that.  All I said was that Rhaegar was romantically interested (and if you don't know the difference I can't help you understand it), which is a fact; his actions at Harrenhal show that to be the case, with no possibility for rebuttal.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

It also undermines your notion of forcible restraint because Lyanna may also be trying to fulfill the prophecy, which would take precedence over family.

The prophecy she knows nothing about?  Has never even heard of?   You're position is that it's equally likely that Rhaegar sees Lyanna on the road, explains to her/impresses on her the propechy of Ice and Fire, and she believes it and rides off with him?  If so, why not write her family and tell them that?  Why not go somewhere with more appropriate medical attention so she doesn't die in fulfilling the prophecy?  See how dumb this idea is?  It makes no sense.  Even IF she believes the prophecy, it isn't prophecy or family.  It can be both, obviously.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

And it also disputes the story in the text: that lustful Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna because he couldn't control himself. So much for simply accepting text at face value.

The only reason we're having this discussion is because we're not taking the text at face value.   But just because the commonly accepted story could be wrong, doesn't mean is has to be wrong.  It can be right for the wrong reasons.  Rhaegar may not have kidnapped Lyanna because of uncontrollable lust, but he still might have kidnapped her.  I'm sure she and her family are happy to know that her abduction and rape weren't for base motives.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

Lol, what info do we actually have? We have Brandon Stark on his way to get married at Riverrun and some unknown person brings word that Rhaegar has kidnapped Lyanna. We don't know if that is true. We are not told of any witnesses or any admissions of guilt by Rhaegar, and there are plenty of hints throughout the text that suggests Rhaegar was not the sort of person who would make such a rash decision.

Accidentally answered your post out of order.

Almost certainly the person who brings word is one of Lyanna's attendants.  It is, almost literally, impossible that she would have been out riding in what amounts to a foreign country alone.  That isn't how it works.  And please, name these hints that Rhaegar wasn't a rash person.  The one meaningful decision we see him make in the heat of the moment is incredibly rash; naming Lyanna the Queen of Love and Beauty.  I'll get into this in a second, but that is at BEST a major social faux pas and at worst, a meaningful and dishonorable insult in a society in which those sorts of insults start wars.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

Your making a rookie mistake when it comes to Martin: just because it says so in the text does not make it true. Everything is told through POVs, which means the text only shows what the character believes is true. The text states repeatedly that Jon Snow is the bastard son of Ned Stark fathered upon a washerwoman named Wylla and the Lady Ashara Dayne. Are we to assume all of this is true just because it's in the text? Or could it be that one of these stories is only what people believe to be the truth? Or mayhaps neither is true.

See, here's the issue with what you wrote.  Jon Snow's parentage is deliberately set up as uncertain; we are introduced right off the bat to the fact that his mother's identity is hidden, which tips us off that we should be suspicious of his origin story.  That's the difference, and it if you're not catching that, it means you aren't familiar enough with Martin. We have no firsthand accounts of Ned's birth, either, but no one questions he's Rickard's son, because we are given no reason to suspect otherwise.  Here's the thing about plot twists that good writers, like Martin, understand - they need to be at least somewhat telegraphed in advance, and they need to serve a narrative purpose.  If A Dream of Spring ends with Tyrion revealing that he's a time traveler from our present day, whips out a couple hundred flamethrowers, and they melt the Others, that would be ridiculous.  It's a twist and a character reveal, but it doesn't mean anything.  To tie it back to the specific point, I'll repeat - we are told, by the author, that Jon's true parentage is a mystery.  This is the red flag that lets us know we should be looking more closely into this.  If we don't get that hint, then we should be accepting that reported facts are facts, otherwise there is no grounding for accepting anything, and then the books have no emotional or narrative or thematic weight, and why bother writing them?  Motivations?  Subject to debate, because unreliable narrator. But not the facts themselves.

On 4/20/2018 at 6:21 PM, John Suburbs said:

Rhaegar could just as easily have made Lyanna QoLaB as a way of letting her know that he knows she was the Knight of the Laughing Tree without publicly revealing her. That could very well have spurred Aerys to have them both taken because it would seem they were conspiring against him. You see how, in the absence of concrete facts, there are alternate explanations for everything? That's one of the great joys of reading Martin.

But this doesn't make any sense.  You've made two arguments.  One, that in the absence of facts anything is possible.  And two, the presence of unreliable narrators means there are no facts ("just because it says so in the text does not make it true").  See the problem?  You cannot have it both ways.

This is why intelligent people use common sense and context to ground themselves in the narrative.  We have no indication Rhaegar even knew there was a Knight of the Laughing Tree, much less cared.  And crowning her Queen of Love and Beauty most certainly doesn't send that message, and even if it did, it doesn't make sense!  He's alienating two of his most powerful vassals to send a public message about a purely private affair that he wasn't involved in?  Why?  Why not say something to her, you know... to her face?  You are welcome to be a relativist all the live long day, and claim there are no facts and everything is up for alternate explanation, but that means you cannot have an opinion, because you are ascribing equal weight to all theories.

Moreover, you don't seem to have an even acceptable working knowledge of the real-world customs and history Martin has based Westeros on.  Just because you aren't aware of the social and political customs and meanings surrounding medieval tournaments, doesn't mean Martin isn't.  He knows, and he's using it to build a more believable world, which is why "all the smiles died" when Rhaegar commits a nearly unforgivable sin in crowning Lyanna.  It would be like watching Donald Trump grope Angela Merkel at the United Nations, but worse and more insulting (due to the more personal nature of feudal politics).

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3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

 

Sorry, this is getting tedious. Suffice it to say that your facts are eminently controvertible. We don't know the circumstances of Lyanna's abduction. We don't know her relationship with her father, Brandon, Rhaegar. We don't know if she went willingly or was forced, or whether that situation changed at any time. We don't know who was pulling the strings here.

Your already willing to dispense with some of the text regarding this whole story, and yet you rigidly claim that all your remaining assumptions must be true because "we have to accept the text at some point." Well, my point of acceptance is a lot more stringent than yours, and I'm going to withhold my opinions until all the facts are in. That's what a logical person would do.

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2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Sorry, this is getting tedious. Suffice it to say that your facts are eminently controvertible. We don't know the circumstances of Lyanna's abduction. We don't know her relationship with her father, Brandon, Rhaegar. We don't know if she went willingly or was forced, or whether that situation changed at any time. We don't know who was pulling the strings here.

Your already willing to dispense with some of the text regarding this whole story, and yet you rigidly claim that all your remaining assumptions must be true because "we have to accept the text at some point." Well, my point of acceptance is a lot more stringent than yours, and I'm going to withhold my opinions until all the facts are in. That's what a logical person would do.

We can only really infer. I think that Rickard was more strict than Ned when it came to parenting, like not allowing Lyanna to carry a sword and insisting on a betrothal whereas Lyanna had reservations since Robert was a womanizer who had already sired a bastard. Say if Sansa was more reluctant to marry Joffrey. What would Ned have done?

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13 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

We can only really infer. I think that Rickard was more strict than Ned when it came to parenting, like not allowing Lyanna to carry a sword and insisting on a betrothal whereas Lyanna had reservations since Robert was a womanizer who had already sired a bastard. Say if Sansa was more reluctant to marry Joffrey. What would Ned have done?

My point exactly. We can only infer all of these things about the episode: Who abducted Lyanna? Why? Was she abducted at all or did she go willingly? What was her relationship with her family? What was Rhaegar really thinking? Was he really the one orchestrating all of this?

To simply say "these are the most logical conclusions based on the evidence we have" is a rookie mistake when it comes to Martin. If we had applied this standard at the end of Clash, we would have concluded that Cersei and/or Jaime murdered Jon Arryn to cover up their incest. My, how wrong that was. At the end of Storm, we would have concluded that Robb Stark and Jeyne Westerling just happened to fall in love. Another huge mistake based on the evidence we had at the time.

Martin is a cagey writer. If he can throw out false clues and lead readers astray as to what is happening right now, right in front of us on the page, then he can most certainly do the same thing with events that happened 15 years ago.

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