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Mrs. Carla Campbell

In defense of Lady Lysa Arryn

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I am going to defend Lysa's decision to poison her husband.  Maybe it's the feminists in me kicking in!  

  1. Lysa fell in love with Petyr.  They have sex and she gets pregnant.  Hoster makes her abort.
  2. Hoster sends Petyr away.
  3. Lysa is forced to marry an old man with bad breath.
  4. Lysa gives birth to a son.  A physically weak boy.
  5. Lysa has no more children.  The one son is all she has.
  6. Jon Arryn wants to foster his son away to a man who can be considered harsh.  Lysa would know this.
  7. Lysa has no way to talk her husband out of his plan to send their sickly son away.

I can understand why Lady Lysa would poison Jon Arryn.  She was desperate.  Lysa was a mother who was desperate to protect her son.  I don't think Robin would survive his fostering.  A mother knows her son and she knows he's not made for fighting.  

Lysa gets criticized a lot for staying out of the War of the Five Kings even thought it's the smart thing to do.  The families who stay neutral for as long as they can are the ones who avoid taking unnecessary damage.  Case in point, Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey.  All Lysa wants to do is keep her son safe.  Keeping neutral and staying on that mountain was her best option.  It would have been complete stupidity to support the Starks against the Lannisters.  Eddard already admitted to treason and lost his life.  It wasn't her fault that the Lannisters are sacking the Riverlands.  That was Cat's fault.  

Lysa gave Tyrion his trial and let him go when he won.  Trial by combat is complete stupidity.  It's nothing more than giving the lord a way to settle disputes without actually having to pass judgment.  Nevertheless, it was fair and Lysa let an enemy go free because he won the trial.  Would Cersei do the same?  Would Stannis be so fair?  

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1 hour ago, Helena Kyle said:

Maybe it's the feminists in me kicking in! 

I'm no feminist, but I kind of don't blame Lysa for killing Jon Arryn either, what I don't agree is the reason why she killed him though. She did it because Littlefinger asked, so it's not something that came from her(despite she having all the reasons to do it), but from someone else. If she had done it by her own choice instead of doing it to please someone else, I would have agreed more with her.

 

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2 hours ago, Helena Kyle said:

I am going to defend Lysa's decision to poison her husband.  Maybe it's the feminists in me kicking in!  

  1. Lysa fell in love with Petyr.  They have sex and she gets pregnant.  Hoster makes her abort.
  2. Hoster sends Petyr away.
  3. Lysa is forced to marry an old man with bad breath.
  4. Lysa gives birth to a son.  A physically weak boy.
  5. Lysa has no more children.  The one son is all she has.
  6. Jon Arryn wants to foster his son away to a man who can be considered harsh.  Lysa would know this.
  7. Lysa has no way to talk her husband out of his plan to send their sickly son away.

I can understand why Lady Lysa would poison Jon Arryn.  She was desperate.  Lysa was a mother who was desperate to protect her son.  I don't think Robin would survive his fostering.  A mother knows her son and she knows he's not made for fighting.  

Lysa gets criticized a lot for staying out of the War of the Five Kings even thought it's the smart thing to do.  The families who stay neutral for as long as they can are the ones who avoid taking unnecessary damage.  Case in point, Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey.  All Lysa wants to do is keep her son safe.  Keeping neutral and staying on that mountain was her best option.  It would have been complete stupidity to support the Starks against the Lannisters.  Eddard already admitted to treason and lost his life.  It wasn't her fault that the Lannisters are sacking the Riverlands.  That was Cat's fault.  

Lysa gave Tyrion his trial and let him go when he won.  Trial by combat is complete stupidity.  It's nothing more than giving the lord a way to settle disputes without actually having to pass judgment.  Nevertheless, it was fair and Lysa let an enemy go free because he won the trial.  Would Cersei do the same?  Would Stannis be so fair?  

Was it smart to stay neutral? Yes it was, unfortunatly you shouldnt stay neutral if your the whole reason your sister started a war to begine with and you owe your family your alegiance. Its not like she had to argue with her bannerman to help they already wanted to Lysa is just a coward who would throw her family into harms way for some D**k. 

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2 hours ago, Helena Kyle said:

I am going to defend Lysa's decision to poison her husband.  Maybe it's the feminists in me kicking in!  

Really ? Now killing other people is OK because feminism ? I mean it is not like he abused her or some shit like this. 

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I don’t think it was right to poison Jon Arryn, but I have a lot of sympathy for Lysa; she was given a really shitty hand in life (for a noble) and for that I blame Hoster Tully. I don’t think Lysa was a bad person, but I don’t think it was right to poison Jon either.

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4 hours ago, Helena Kyle said:

All Lysa wants to do is keep her son safe. 

No, that's not all she wants. She wants Littlefinger as well. 

4 hours ago, Helena Kyle said:

It wasn't her fault that the Lannisters are sacking the Riverlands.  That was Cat's fault.  

Erhm no. That's on Tywin and his men.

4 hours ago, Helena Kyle said:

Nevertheless, it was fair and Lysa let an enemy go free because he won the trial.  Would Cersei do the same?  Would Stannis be so fair?  

But you just said Lysa's decision to remain neutral was the smart thing to do. But now you say she let an enemy go free? Which is it? Because if she's neutral and stays out of the war, she has no enemies. 

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This is a rather large topic so I will tackle each point separately.

Abortion - I will grant, it is a terribly unfair world where guys get to frolic and women pay the price.  Hoster was ambitious.  The scum bag aborted his grandchild for his ambition.  I can understand how this might unhinge Lysa.

Sweetrobin - Some believe his father is Petyr B.  The son with the man she loves.  He's the love child of Lysa and Petyr.  That elevates his preciousness in her eyes.  He is weak of health.  Fostering him to make a man out of him would have killed him.  

There are two ways to look at this.  If a mother's greatest obligation is to protect her son - killing Jon Arryn to prevent his fostering was justified.  If a wife's greatest obligation is to her husband - killing Jon Arryn was wrong.  I don't see a way to prevent Robert's fostering without killing Jon Arryn.  

Tyrion's Trial - He called them out on their honor and played on their arrogance.  But the point is valid, at least they had honor.  And Cersei was going to let Ned walk.

Staying Neutral - What is the governor's greatest responsibility?  It's not to his/her family.  It's to the governed, the small folk.  Staying out of war is a good way to protect your small folk.  So yeah, it was correct to stay out of the WotFk.  

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9 hours ago, Helena Kyle said:

I am going to defend Lysa's decision to poison her husband.  Maybe it's the feminists in me kicking in!  

  1. Lysa fell in love with Petyr.  They have sex and she gets pregnant.  Hoster makes her abort.
  2. Hoster sends Petyr away.
  3. Lysa is forced to marry an old man with bad breath.
  4. Lysa gives birth to a son.  A physically weak boy.
  5. Lysa has no more children.  The one son is all she has.
  6. Jon Arryn wants to foster his son away to a man who can be considered harsh.  Lysa would know this.
  7. Lysa has no way to talk her husband out of his plan to send their sickly son away.

I can understand why Lady Lysa would poison Jon Arryn.  She was desperate.  Lysa was a mother who was desperate to protect her son.  I don't think Robin would survive his fostering.  A mother knows her son and she knows he's not made for fighting.  

Lysa gets criticized a lot for staying out of the War of the Five Kings even thought it's the smart thing to do.  The families who stay neutral for as long as they can are the ones who avoid taking unnecessary damage.  Case in point, Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey.  All Lysa wants to do is keep her son safe.  Keeping neutral and staying on that mountain was her best option.  It would have been complete stupidity to support the Starks against the Lannisters.  Eddard already admitted to treason and lost his life.  It wasn't her fault that the Lannisters are sacking the Riverlands.  That was Cat's fault.  

Lysa gave Tyrion his trial and let him go when he won.  Trial by combat is complete stupidity.  It's nothing more than giving the lord a way to settle disputes without actually having to pass judgment.  Nevertheless, it was fair and Lysa let an enemy go free because he won the trial.  Would Cersei do the same?  Would Stannis be so fair?  

Hoster Tully is one of my least favorite characters in the series (and that's saying something), since he essentially created Littlefinger because he wasn't worthy of Catelyn. Aborting Lysa's child nearly proved fatal for Lysa, and pairing her with Jon Arryn, an old man who already has fecundity issues is going to aggravate Lysa's own limited ability to produce a healthy child. This drove her to Littlefinger, who had an affair with her and persuaded her to kill Jon. As a result of the fallout, to quote Lord Frey (I changed the quote slightly to make daughters plural):

"Look at us now, Tully! You're dead, your daughters' dead, your grandson's dead, your son spent his wedding night in a dungeon, and ...I'm lord of Riverrun!"

6. Stannis can't be that harsh. Shireen's a sweet girl.

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10 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Hoster Tully is one of my least favorite characters in the series (and that's saying something

Hear, hear.

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I admit I feel sorry for Lysa. She was a full bag of crazy but that really is the end product of what was all and all a miserable life.

Frankly, I'd go as far as to say that Hoster Tully is one of my most hated characters for what he did to her. He was a horrible man. Honestly, I do not blame Lysa for never talking to him or forgiving him. It was an horrible betrayal from someone any child is supposed to trust. Worse still, he almost killed her in the process. Then he married her off to a man old enough to be her grandfather... all when she was, what, fourteen? Fifteen? Then, her marriage to Jon Arryn was blighted by miscarriages, stillbirths and babies dying in the cradle. She had such a pitiful existence.

30 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Hoster Tully is one of my least favorite characters in the series (and that's saying something)

19 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Hear, hear.

Agreed!

Edited by Faera

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Great timing! Just in time for Mother's Day.

You make a good case, but for Lysa's additional role in firing up the Lannister-Stark feud. It was Lysa who sent a message to Catelyn, in their private "sister-code", alleging that the Lannisters had killed her husband, Jon Arryn. Lysa did this, of course, at the behest of her beloved Petyr - but she clearly knew that it was she herself who had killed Jon A, again at the behest of Littlefinger. How could this possibly be linked to a fear that "Sweetrobin" would be sent to Dragonstone?

For that matter, if Lysa was so exercised about Stannis and Dragonstone, why didn't she go after Stannis? Or suggest alternatives, like bringing other boys to the Eyrie?

I submit that Lysa was unlikely to make any good, rational decisions. She seemed to have flown over the cuckoo's nest long ago, and Baelish had been taking advantage of it, probably with hints at their sunny future together, if she did this and that for him. Lysa apparently didn't concern herself with the kingdom-wide impacts of either killing the Hand of the King, or inciting feud between the royal Lannister family and her sister's husband's family.

As for 5, Lysa has had lots and lots of children. Many children. All stillborne, miscarried, or dying shortly after birth. This likely contributed to her ridiculous overprotectiveness for little Robert, breast-feeding him when he was what, 8 years old?! The poor kid needed to get away from her to have a chance at growing up, but she would never permit that. We can fault Randyll Tarly's harsh treatment of his weak, bookish son Samwell, but Lysa's lack of any discipline or training for little Robert, combined with her ceding the power of Lord of the Vale to him, was even worse, in my opinion.

I can't justify or even rationalize anything that woman did.

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14 minutes ago, Faera said:

Frankly, I'd go as far as to say that Hoster Tully is one of my most hated characters for what he did to her. He was a horrible man. 

Hear, hear! It's funny that Catelyn remembers him so fondly, as a good father and good ruler. She clearly saw a different side of him than poor Lysa. Well, Cat was apparently given "lord training", since Edmure came along so late, so she got to see more of the "big picture" and the politics, as well as being the favored sibling. Lysa ended up being the ditzy, boy-crazy little sister. Ironically, even Petyr never cared for her.

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24 minutes ago, Faera said:

I admit I feel sorry for Lysa. She was a full bag of crazy but that really is the end product of what was all and all a miserable life.

Frankly, I'd go as far as to say that Hoster Tully is one of my most hated characters for what he did to her. He was a horrible man. Honestly, I do not blame Lysa for never talking to him or forgiving him. It was an horrible betrayal from someone any child is supposed to trust. Worse still, he almost killed her in the process. Then he married her off to a man old enough to be her grandfather... all when she was, what, fourteen? Fifteen? Then, her marriage to Jon Arryn was blighted by miscarriages, stillbirths and babies dying in the cradle. She had such a pitiful existence.

Agreed!

I wonder what would have happened if 

  1. He didn't give her moon tea and allowed her to carry the child to term, or
  2. The moon tea proved fatal.

It's always been a point of speculation for me, how moon tea affects fecundity.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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9 minutes ago, zandru said:

Great timing! Just in time for Mother's Day.

You make a good case, but for Lysa's additional role in firing up the Lannister-Stark feud. It was Lysa who sent a message to Catelyn, in their private "sister-code", alleging that the Lannisters had killed her husband, Jon Arryn. Lysa did this, of course, at the behest of her beloved Petyr - but she clearly knew that it was she herself who had killed Jon A, again at the behest of Littlefinger. How could this possibly be linked to a fear that "Sweetrobin" would be sent to Dragonstone?

For that matter, if Lysa was so exercised about Stannis and Dragonstone, why didn't she go after Stannis? Or suggest alternatives, like bringing other boys to the Eyrie?

I submit that Lysa was unlikely to make any good, rational decisions. She seemed to have flown over the cuckoo's nest long ago, and Baelish had been taking advantage of it, probably with hints at their sunny future together, if she did this and that for him. Lysa apparently didn't concern herself with the kingdom-wide impacts of either killing the Hand of the King, or inciting feud between the royal Lannister family and her sister's husband's family.

As for 5, Lysa has had lots and lots of children. Many children. All stillborne, miscarried, or dying shortly after birth. This likely contributed to her ridiculous overprotectiveness for little Robert, breast-feeding him when he was what, 8 years old?! The poor kid needed to get away from her to have a chance at growing up, but she would never permit that. We can fault Randyll Tarly's harsh treatment of his weak, bookish son Samwell, but Lysa's lack of any discipline or training for little Robert, combined with her ceding the power of Lord of the Vale to him, was even worse, in my opinion.

I can't justify or even rationalize anything that woman did.

Well at least Sam actually has something between his ears. Sweetrobin's got nothing. Now that'd be something; send him to Randyll and see what happens. Why didn't Jon think of that before?

Maybe she did think about it and didn't care. 

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I can't feel sympaty for Lysa after knowing how she acted.

She has every reason in the world to hate Hoster, I agree.

She wanted to protect her son, fine.

But she didn't act against Hoster nor she tried to protect Robin, she killed Jon Arryn l and then she tricked Catelyn against the Lannisters pretty much starting the whole war, all of this for Petyr, and then she refuses to take sides... She left her family be butchered and her homeland burn without lifting a finger.

Her arc is sad, but her character is not sympatetic.

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Meh. I've got some sympathy for her as a character BUT I disagree with pretty much all your points.

She raped Littlefinger. Knowingly too. He was drunk and genuinely believed he was having sex with Cat. He even said Cat's name. He may still believe that it was Cat.

Despite that, pretty glaring, sign about where Baelish's heart lay, she continued her obsession with him and let him manipulate her throughout her life. You can say that staying out of the war was a smart decision - it was - but it also wasn't Lysa's, she just did what Littlefinger told her to. She caused the war too - again by following Littlefinger's orders - which directly led to the deaths of her sister's family and the ruin of her own House. She never cared at all. She shows not even one sign of regret over any of it.

While what Hoster did was horrific, it does not excuse what Lysa became.

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The only thing that we can all agree on in regards to Lysa is that Hoster was a shit dad to her. Sure she suffered traumas, thanks to her dad, but it was her obsession with LF's little finger that made her act. I'm also in the camp that Sweetrobin may be Petyr's son, not Jon's....but aside from that, she killed her husband because of LF. She sent the letter to Cat that started the Stark-Lannister war because of LF. She stayed out of the WOT5K because of LF. Also, I know there aren't so many Sansa fans out there, but hello! She was about to murder her niece by throwing her out the moon door because of her obsession with LF.  

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13 hours ago, Helena Kyle said:

I can understand why Lady Lysa would poison Jon Arryn.  She was desperate.  Lysa was a mother who was desperate to protect her son.  I don't think Robin would survive his fostering.  A mother knows her son and she knows he's not made for fighting.  

 

4 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Sweetrobin - Some believe his father is Petyr B.  The son with the man she loves.  He's the love child of Lysa and Petyr.  That elevates his preciousness in her eyes.  He is weak of health.  Fostering him to make a man out of him would have killed him.  

I'm not sure that the bolded is true. While Jon Arryn only managed to produce a stillbirth with one of this other wives, I don't think we should jump to the conclusion that SW is just a naturally sickly child. It isn't hard to imagine Littlerfinger -- perhaps with Lysa's knowledge, perhaps not -- giving him something to make him sick. That way, when he suddenly dies at just the right time (for LF), no suspicions are aroused.

In this light, it would be LF who would have the most reason to block SW's fostering by removing Jon Arryn from the picture, because sending SW anywhere would produce a dramatic improvement in both his health and maturity.

 

 

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1 hour ago, fire&blood said:

The only thing that we can all agree on in regards to Lysa is that Hoster was a shit dad to her. Sure she suffered traumas, thanks to her dad, but it was her obsession with LF's little finger that made her act. I'm also in the camp that Sweetrobin may be Petyr's son, not Jon's....but aside from that, she killed her husband because of LF. She sent the letter to Cat that started the Stark-Lannister war because of LF. She stayed out of the WOT5K because of LF. Also, I know there aren't so many Sansa fans out there, but hello! She was about to murder her niece by throwing her out the moon door because of her obsession with LF.  

Thank you for that summary of Lysa's contributions to the story. I agree, I do have some sympathy for her, but I will not defend her.

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4 hours ago, zandru said:

Hear, hear! It's funny that Catelyn remembers him so fondly, as a good father and good ruler. She clearly saw a different side of him than poor Lysa. Well, Cat was apparently given "lord training", since Edmure came along so late, so she got to see more of the "big picture" and the politics, as well as being the favored sibling. Lysa ended up being the ditzy, boy-crazy little sister. Ironically, even Petyr never cared for her.

Not to mention Jaime tossed her aside like an old shoe.

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