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What is your idea of Rhaegar Targaryen and Arthur Dayne becoming friends?

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This isn't really picked up on a lot because we really don't know obviously. But what is your idea of Rhaegar Targaryen and Arthur Dayne first meeting each other and becoming best friends? Arthur Dayne is described as Rhaegar's "oldest friend" right? So I'm guessing they've been friends since childhood. Also when it was mentioned that Jon Connington and Rhaegar were squires together when they were kids it gave me the impression that Rhaegar already knew Arthur way before Jon did. What is your opinions of how they became friends? Headcanons accepted. I'm still new to the fandom btw so that's why I would like to hear everyone else's thoughts. :)

Edited by PoetArtist
I needed to fix some sentences

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Welcome to the forum.

My favorite theory is that Arthur would have been brought to court after the Summerhall tragedy reduced the number of family members at court, and that Arthur would be considered a relative because the mother of the newly deceased king (Aegon V) was Dyanna Dayne.

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33 minutes ago, Ckram said:

Welcome to the forum.

My favorite theory is that Arthur would have been brought to court after the Summerhall tragedy reduced the number of family members at court, and that Arthur would be considered a relative because the mother of the newly deceased king (Aegon V) was Dyanna Dayne. 

This is actually very plausible, but the Baratheon children were even closer related to Rhaegar, and their father was one of Aerys's closest friends as well. And yet, they never lived at court, but at Storm's End. This makes me think that instead of going to court because he was a distant relative of Rhaegar, Arthur could have come to King's Landing with a family member that simply decided to serve at court in some fashion.

As for how they became close, the story pretty much paints Arthur as a man of honor, nobility and integrity. To put it simply, he was a rare kind in that pit of snakes they call King's Landing. That's probably what made Rhaegar like him and want to be his friend, or maybe it was Arthur who liked Rhaegar and wanted to be his friend. They didn't seem to be that different from one another, at least it seems that way. Barristan mentions that Arthur was helping Rhaegar with the tourney at Harrenhal. A tourney that was made to see what could be done about Aerys's mental health.

 

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@theMADdestScientist_ Fair point on the Baratheons. If I'd have to came up with a justification on why Robert weren't at court I'd that's he was ~3 years younger than Rhaegar (so might even wasn't born yet when Aerys called for relatives) and was heir of Storm's End (while Arthur was a second son -- in other words, more likely to be sent away).

These arguments are not very compelling, I know. But still it's pausible scenario, the way I see it.

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Seems that in some sense, Rhaegar was a bit like his father - they both became best friends with people to whom they were blood related. Rhaegar's best friend was his fourth cousin Arthur Dayne, and Aerys' best friend was his first cousin Steffon Baratheon.

Rhaegar didn't had any first or third cousins. He had three second cousins - Robert (3 years younger than Rhaegar), Stannis (5 years yonger), and Renly (18 years yonger than Rhaegar). Arthur, Ashara and Allyria Dayne were Rhaegar's fourth cousins, thru Rhaegar's great great grandmother Dyanna Dayne. Seems that Rhaegar didn't had any other fourth cousins close to his age (thru lines from siblings of Jena Dondarrion, Aelinor Penrose, Alys Arryn, that were Rhaegar's great great grand-aunts, and Dyanna Dayne's sisters-in-law, thru their marriages with Targaryen princes). So aside from Arthur, and three Baratheons (two of which were too young to be Rhaegar's friends, and the third one was too far from Targaryen court, fostered at The Vale, as Jon Arryn's ward), Rhaegar didn't had any other male relatives, that were close to his age, or were part of Targaryen court.

So one of reasons, why they became friends was their blood. Probably the other reason, is that both of them were best knights/swordsmen of their generation.

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11 minutes ago, Megorova said:

So aside from Arthur, and three Baratheons (two of which were too young to be Rhaegar's friends, and the third one was too far from Targaryen court, fostered at The Vale, as Jon Arryn's ward), Rhaegar didn't had any other male relatives, that were close to his age, or were part of Targaryen court.

Don't forget about Arthur's older brother.

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7 hours ago, theMADdestScientist_ said:

This is actually very plausible, but the Baratheon children were even closer related to Rhaegar, and their father was one of Aerys's closest friends as well. And yet, they never lived at court, but at Storm's End.

According to agreement, made after the War of Ninepenny Kings, Jon Arryn had to take as wards son of Stark, and son of Baratheon. At the time, when those kids were sent to fostering, Stannis was probably still too young (he was 2 years yonger than Robert, and Robert was sent to The Vale, when he was 7 or so years old). That's why Steffon Baratheon had to send his first son and heir, while Rickard has sent his second son. At that time Renly wasn't even born yet, he was 18 years younger than Rhaegar, and at the time of Robert's Rebellion was only 5 years old. While Steffon's oldest son was at The Eyrie, he couldn't also give away his remaining son to Targaryen court, because at least one of Lord's heirs should always stay at his castle. That's why Baratheon trio never became part of Targaryen court.

34 minutes ago, Ckram said:

Don't forget about Arthur's older brother.

I think that that older brother is a fake. I think that previous Lord of Starfall was Arthur's father. In Dorne laws of inheritance are different than in the rest of 7K. So even though Arthur was the only son of previous Lord Dayne, nevertheless he still became member of Kingsguards, while his sister Ashara became head of House Dayne, after death of their father. I think that Edric Dayne is actually third child of Ashara Dayne/Jyana Reed and Howland Reed. So Edric's unknown father wasn't Lord Dayne, instead his mother was Lady Dayne.

Arthur didn't had older brother.

Edited by Megorova

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I think there's a good chance Arthur squired in King's Landing too. We don't know who Rhaegar and Jon Conn squired for, but I'm assuming it might have been one of the Kingsguard.

I don't know when Arthur knew he would be the Sword of the Morning, but to me it seems like something he and Rhaegar could have bonded over with Rhaegar believing that he was the PtwP and Arthur being the Sword of the Morning and carrying on his family legacy. 

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Their friendship seems like the ultimate, perfect friendship combination since they're both the ultimate, perfect men: tall, strong, beautiful, heroic, honourable, highborn with Valyrian descent/features, completely masterful at fighting - the very best in all of Westeros - etc. (Rhaegar defeats Arthur during the tourney at Harrenhal since they are both so alike and equal in skill; they are both basically the only match for each other and way above almost everyone else) They are both basically Demi-Gods and since they both die heroic deaths, their legacies both become further enshrined in mystery and glory to the point of reaching the heights of complete legend after their deaths. The only thing about it is the fact that therefore, it is almost TOO PERFECT to seem normal/realistic/to be at all. They are almost TOO ALIKE EACH OTHER and it feels like every social circle/generation/kingdom/court only ever "deserves"/has one of those men. Maybe GRRM subconsciously invented the same character twice and didn't notice at first. Anyway, I never remember that they were friends in that way since I always imagine them distinctly placed out at different places in my mind-map of Westeros, Arthur Dayne constantly standing vigil at the Tower of Joy since that's his famous moment, and Rhaegar either at home in King's Landing, at the Harrenhal Tourney, the Isle of Faces, or at the Ruby Ford. ... OMG, I LITERALLY JUST REALISED SOMETHING TRULY INCREDIBLE: One was killed by Robert and the other by Ned!!!! The two best friends, best fighters and most important leaders of the loyalist side killed by the two best friends, best fighters and most important leaders of the rebel side! How does that coincidence even happen??? And how come noone has thought about that, commented on that or made a theory about it (at least that I have seen), neither the characters themselves nor the readers? Right???

Edited by Adam Targaryen

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11 hours ago, Adam Targaryen said:

One was killed by Robert and the other by Ned!!!! The two best friends, best fighters and most important leaders of the loyalist side killed by the two best friends, best fighters and most important leaders of the rebel side!

Robert & Ned were leaders of the rebels, but I don't know if they were the best fighters. Robert was admittedly fearsome with his warhammer and I believe he defeated Rhaegar in single combat. Ned, on the other hand, has been described as decent but in no way extraordinary, and by his own account no match for Arthur Dayne on his own (and only alive thanks to Howland Reed).

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I'm highly suspicious of Arthur Dayne and his sparkling reputation. The George hates cardboard characters and perfectly bright and shiny goodness just as much as he hates the personification of pure evil. I'll bet that if we ever do find out more about Ser Arthur, they'll be some smudges on his armor.

 

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I think Arthur Dayne was pretty much how he is portrayed to be. Both Ned and Jaime (and Baristan? I can't recall if he specifically thinks of him) think very highly of him. He died a tragic death rather than a heroic death (unless you think he was the halfhand)  and honor by itself is painted as something that is far from perfect. 

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12 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Robert & Ned were leaders of the rebels, but I don't know if they were the best fighters. Robert was admittedly fearsome with his warhammer and I believe he defeated Rhaegar in single combat. Ned, on the other hand, has been described as decent but in no way extraordinary, and by his own account no match for Arthur Dayne on his own (and only alive thanks to Howland Reed).

Well yes, you are right in that. My consideration of Ned as the best fighter was mostly based on the fact that he was able to kill Arthur Dayne (and even with the help of Howland, his battle at the Tower of Joy is impressive), and I know that otherwise he was not the second greatest fighter of the rebels

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The point of the friendship may be that Dayne was an enabler, a forever honourable loyalist to follow Rhaegar down any wrong path. And Dayne's lofty stature might have given Rhaegar the fortitude to proceed, as how could what he is doing be wrong when Ser Arthur Dayne believes in him?

In contrast I expect Jon will get a better friend, one who says "hey wait a second, this child sacrifice shit is fucked up and we should be stopping it". One like Sam.

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