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Heresy 210 and the Babes in the Wood

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27 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

The fact that Lyanna dies in a bed, casts all sorts of doubt in my mind that she was also in a tower that Ned was able to singlehandedly pull down.  The only other possibility is if she were in some sort of tent set up nearby, and once again, there shouldn't be a bed within.

I am still betting on the ToJ being the end of a killing spree by Ned at the request of Lyanna. "Someone told. Someone always tells"? Not when Eddard Stark is in charge.

Ned was chasing them since the Trident:

Quote

"I looked for you on the Trident"

When King’s Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.”

 “I came down on Storm’s End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, “and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.
 
 “Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.

 

Edited by Tucu

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28 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

We have no idea that Hightower, Dayne, Whent or anyone else would honor the mad King's wish for succession.  

It does not matter who is da king. The point is that the KG is there to protect the royal family, not the king. And that House Targayen mobilized everything they could against Robert. So Ned's questions about the the Trident and about Dragonstone are valid. Where was Hightower ? Why are all 3 KG where they are now ? And the answer "baby king" does not answer any of these questions. 

Even if we take royal family very strict, Queen Rhaella certainly belongs to the family. So why is no KG with the Queen ? Because "baby king" ? It is not an answer to any of Ned's questions. 

Edited by SirArthur

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The only explanation for no KG with Rhaella and kids is that they were assumed safe,  that Robert wouldn't hurt them or order anyone to.  We see some of this sentiment from Tywin. 

The KG actions seem to only make sense if Rhaegar planned to win and didn't make any plans for if he lost.  Lyanna and baby King might still need protection but Rhaella and kids would not. 

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18 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

The only explanation for no KG with Rhaella and kids is that they were assumed safe,  that Robert wouldn't hurt them or order anyone to.  We see some of this sentiment from Tywin. 

The KG actions seem to only make sense if Rhaegar planned to win and didn't make any plans for if he lost.  Lyanna and baby King might still need protection but Rhaella and kids would not. 

So you think LC Hightower under direct command of Aerys II misses the Trident where Aerys marshalls everything so he can protect the little brother of Aegon instead of Rheagar at the Trident ? 

That is the problem with "baby king". It makes only sense in the restroperspective, not any moment before Aegon dies. 

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33 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

If Lyanna had Rhaegar's child, the child would merit protection of the KG. 

Well that's the standard argument by the R+L=J crowd, but it ignores Tucu's point.

The Kings Guard are exactly what it says on the tin. Their primary purpose is to guard the King's person. This duty can also be extended to other members of the Royal family, but ordinarily it would require the express instruction/consent of the King. They can of course be absent on other duties, but again its the King who sends them.

What have we actually got happening.

The King [Aerys]: is attended by Jaime Lannister, the youngest and least trusted of the Guard

The Queen: as above until sent to Dragonstone, without an attendant member of the Guard

The Heir [Rhaegar]: has Ser Baristan Selmy, Prince Lewyn Martell and Ser Jonothor Darry, although they were commanding troops at the Trident rather than catching bullets

The Spare [Viserys]: When Rhaegar pops his clogs Aerys nominates his own second son Viserys to be his heir, rather than dead Rhaegar's eldest son Aegon. There is a problem; Viserys is safely on Dragonstone but has no Kings Guard while Aegon is also under the nominal protection of Jaime Lannister who turns out to be as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot.

Why?

Because the Lord Commander and the remaining two members of the Guard are gallivanting off in Dorne and unavailable, and whatever the truth of Jon's parentage, even if he is the son of Rhaegar he hasn't yet been born and he comes after all those mentioned above in the order of succession.

The three musketeers may have been obeying orders, or believed that they were obeying orders but the reality is that someone has done a pretty good job of filleting all the protection from the royal family

Edited by Black Crow

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I'd like to redirect your attention to what Dunk said about his dream: 

Quote

  His head was pounding, and he could not forget the dream he dreamed the night before. It never happened that way, he tried to tell himself. It wasn’t like that. Chestnut had died on the long dry ride to Vaith, that part was true. He and Egg rode double until Egg’s brother gave them Maester. The rest of it, though…


Any of the details of Ned's fever dream are suspect. If you are using details from the dream to support a theory, you're building a foundation on sand.

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1 minute ago, Feather Crystal said:

Any of the details of Ned's fever dream are suspect. If you are using details from the dream to support a theory, you're building a foundation on sand.

Well, Hightower's order to find Rhaegar comes from Selmy's POV as far as I remember. I do not know where we get Aegon is Rhaegar's son or where it is said that Aerys II marshalled everything (Dany I maybe?). But the conclusion remains: Hightower and 2 KG are missing at the Trident and in KL when it is attacked. And later in Dragonstone.

While Rhaegar returned without KG protection from Dorne, leaving 2 KG behind. And every available KG despite "hostage" Jaime was send at the Trident. So, where is the LC ? A valid question, even without the dream sequence.

A valid question with support through the fever dream. 

Now we don't know for sure if KG (besides Jaime) was at Dragonstone or at KL. So far however, there is no indication of any witness for that event. 

So the questions remain. 

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40 minutes ago, Tucu said:

I am still betting on the ToJ being the end of a killing spree by Ned at the request of Lyanna. "Someone told. Someone always tells"? Not when Eddard Stark is in charge.

Ned was chasing them since the Trident:

The first line is especially eye opening:

41 minutes ago, Tucu said:

"I looked for you on the Trident"

I supposed you could read broadly that Eddard expected the Kingsguards to have been at the Trident, as opposed to Ned actively seeking them out.  But the use of "I" makes it seem it was Eddard, singular, who was looking for these specific Kingsguards. 

He doesn't use "we" in this context either, as in Eddard, Robert and company.  So was Eddard actively looking for these three Kingsguards as early as the battle of the Trident, and if so, why?

We also have this curious exchange between Eddard and Robert:

Quote

"The Others take your honor!"  Robert swore.  "What did any Targaryen ever know of honor?  Go down into your crypt and ask Lyanna about the dragon's honor!"

"You avenged Lyanna at the Trident", Ned said, halting beside the king.  Promise me, Ned, she had whispered.

"That did not bring her back."  Robert looked away, off into the grey distance.  "The gods be damned.  It was a hollow victory they gave me.  A crown ... it was the girl I prayed them for.  Your sister, safe ... and mine again, as she was meant to be.  I ask you, Ned, what good is it to wear a crown?  The gods mock the prayers of kings and cowherds alike."

The context of this passage, certainly seems to indicate that Ned is telling Robert that he avenged Lyanna's death at the Trident.  When Robert says "that did not bring her back", does he mean bring her back from her abduction, or does he mean bring her back from the dead?

This might also explain the reaction of Robert to the slaughter of Elia and her children at King's Landing.  We aren't given any information or evidence of Robert's attempts to try and locate Lyanna, after the defeat of Rhaegar and company.  If Lyanna was still missing, Elia and her children would have been extremely valuable as hostages to try and secure Lyanna's release.  At the very least, Elia may have had information as to Lyanna's whereabouts.  Robert should have been furious at Tywin presenting him with the bodies of Rhaegar's children.  Robert should have been furious with Elia's death.  Yet Robert apparently was quite happy with this, and Tywin seemed to be of the opinion that killing Rhaegar's children would have put him in good standing with Robert.  Tywin's smart, if Lyanna was still missing, why would Tywin assume this?  Why wouldn't Tywin realize the value of Elia as a hostage, and make sure she was captured as opposed to being killed?

Quote

Lord Tywin stared at him as if he had lost his wits.  "You deserve that motley, then.  We had come late to Robert's cause.  It was necessary to demonstrate our loyalty.  When I laid those bodies before the throne, no man could doubt that we had forsaken House Targaryen forever.  And Robert's relief was palpable.  As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar's children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure.  Yet he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children."  His father shrugged.  "I grant you, it was done too brutally.  Elia need not have been harmed at all, that was sheer folly.  By herself she was nothing."

"Then why did the Mountain kill her?"

"Because I did not tell him to spare her."

Now according to Tywin's recollection of the events Robert's primary concern at this point is securing his crown.  There is no talk about Robert trying to get Lyanna back.  Now Ned seems to have a different recollection of Robert's reaction:

Quote

Ned did not feign surprise;  Robert's hatred of the Targaryens was a madness in him.  He remembered the angry words they had exchanged when Tywin Lannister had presented Robert with the corpses of Rhaegar's wife and children as a token of fealty.  Ned had named that murder; Robert called it war.  When he had protested that the young prince and princess were no more than babes, his new-made king replied, "I see no babes.  Only dragonspawn."  Not even Jon Arryn had been able to calm that storm.  Eddard Stark had ridden out that very day in a cold rage, to fight the last battles of the war alone in the south.

So we either have Robert as a huge hypocrite who cares far less about Lyanna than he does his crown.  Which could be true.  Or we have Robert in pure vengeance mode, more interested in seeking vengeance than he does in seeking Lyanna.  This could also be true.  The other possibility is that Robert was already aware of Lyanna's fate before the Battle at the Trident and/or the Sack of King's Landing ever happened.  It's a very tempting theory,

BUT we have this very next line from Eddard:

Quote

It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they had shared over her passing.

 

It's really hard to reconcile this line with the idea of Lyanna having died before Ned left King's Landing.  It can be done, if you are comfortable with the idea of George being really, really, deceptive.  It's an oddly phrased line, joining Lyanna's death and the grief they shared over her passing.  George should have been able to convey the same thought with: It had taken Lyanna's death to reconcile them.  So one could technically argue that two events had to happen for reconciliation.  One being Lyanna's death, which had already happened, and the other being Robert and Ned sharing their grief over Lyanna, which had yet to happen when Eddard left King's Landing.  But I agree, this is bending over backwards a bit to twist this phrase into meaning something other than Lyanna was not dead at the time Eddard left King's Landing. 

Another explanation is that Eddard had found Lyanna before the Trident, where she was in bad shape.  And he returns to her after the events of the tower of joy, when she finally succumbs to her injuries. 

Which brings me back to Tucu's original question.  Why would Eddard be looking for these three Kingsguards as early as the Trident?  Is it a killing spree?  I don't know, Eddard doesn't really seem the type, but I won't discount it.

My suspicion is that Eddard had found Lyanna before the Trident, and she gave him information about Rheagar's and possibly Aerys' plans regarding the prince that was promised, and the tower of joy.  My suspicion is that this plan involved the sacrifice of one or more children.  Perhaps Lyanna's, perhaps Ashara's, perhaps Rhaegar's, perhaps Howland's or perhaps a combination.  My guess is Lyanna tells Eddard that these three Kingsguards are the ones who had taken, under orders, one or more of these children.   With Lyanna found, Eddard's next quest is to locate the children and the Kingsguards who took them.  After the events of King's Landing, Eddard knows that he cannot confide in Robert this quest, if it involved a child of Rhaegar's or perhaps a child of Lyanna who did not belong to Robert.

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2 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

all sorts of doubt in my mind that she was also in a tower that Ned was able to singlehandedly pull down

It's also somewhat awkward imagining what he did with her body because Starfall is a couple hundred miles from the TOJ, going by maps. 

Did he bury her, then return and dig her up?  Did he dump her in some little town with silent sisters, then pick up her bones on his way back north?  Did he sling her on a horse's back and ride south as she decomposed behind him?  No answer seems very satisfactory.

1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

my point was more about GRRM calling the "baby king" version as too literal

Ah, well as I read that e-mail, the author doesn't actually say Jon is a baby king.

1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

We have no idea that Hightower, Dayne, Whent or anyone else would honor the mad King's wish for succession.

Well, we do, though.  They're well established, in various ways, as Targ loyalists. 

For one thing, if they were turncloaks, there's no chance at all Ned would think of Dayne as the finest knight he ever saw, but he does.

However, since they were Targ loyalists, it's curious they never attempted to aid their king in his time of mortal peril in King's Landing following the Trident, but were instead (if you believe the dream dialogue) "far away."

GRRM's explanation of their conduct, in the Shaw interview, is that they were following orders Rhaegar gave them.  I believe GRRM.

So if he wasn't lying, it means the KG were acting on orders that were (obviously) given before Rhaegar died -- and thus, before he had any reason to think he would be defeated at the Trident, or that Aerys would be in danger.  And the orders were sufficiently strict that the KG, despite being loyalists, did not feel they had authorization to act any differently, despite knowing what was happening in Robert's Rebellion.

I'm sure in time, we'll find out exactly what those orders were.   I also think we can safely guess Aerys did not know where they were, or he'd surely have ordered them back, and if he had, they would have gone.

Edited by JNR

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Arthur was Rhaegar's best friend and more likely to listen to him than Aerys.  Viseris was the heir, not the spare, and would be priority if Aerys was calling the shots. 

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3 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Arthur was Rhaegar's best friend and more likely to listen to him than Aerys.  Viseris was the heir, not the spare, and would be priority if Aerys was calling the shots. 

I'm assuming Dayne and Whent were Rhaegar loyalists as they accompanied Rhaegar when the "abduction" happened. My problem is the LC. 

Edited by SirArthur

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26 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

The first line is especially eye opening:

I supposed you could read broadly that Eddard expected the Kingsguards to have been at the Trident, as opposed to Ned actively seeking them out.  But the use of "I" makes it seem it was Eddard, singular, who was looking for these specific Kingsguards. 

He doesn't use "we" in this context either, as in Eddard, Robert and company.  So was Eddard actively looking for these three Kingsguards as early as the battle of the Trident, and if so, why?

We also have this curious exchange between Eddard and Robert:

The context of this passage, certainly seems to indicate that Ned is telling Robert that he avenged Lyanna's death at the Trident.  When Robert says "that did not bring her back", does he mean bring her back from her abduction, or does he mean bring her back from the dead?

This might also explain the reaction of Robert to the slaughter of Elia and her children at King's Landing.  We aren't given any information or evidence of Robert's attempts to try and locate Lyanna, after the defeat of Rhaegar and company.  If Lyanna was still missing, Elia and her children would have been extremely valuable as hostages to try and secure Lyanna's release.  At the very least, Elia may have had information as to Lyanna's whereabouts.  Robert should have been furious at Tywin presenting him with the bodies of Rhaegar's children.  Robert should have been furious with Elia's death.  Yet Robert apparently was quite happy with this, and Tywin seemed to be of the opinion that killing Rhaegar's children would have put him in good standing with Robert.  Tywin's smart, if Lyanna was still missing, why would Tywin assume this?  Why wouldn't Tywin realize the value of Elia as a hostage, and make sure she was captured as opposed to being killed?

Now according to Tywin's recollection of the events Robert's primary concern at this point is securing his crown.  There is no talk about Robert trying to get Lyanna back.  Now Ned seems to have a different recollection of Robert's reaction:

So we either have Robert as a huge hypocrite who cares far less about Lyanna than he does his crown.  Which could be true.  Or we have Robert in pure vengeance mode, more interested in seeking vengeance than he does in seeking Lyanna.  This could also be true.  The other possibility is that Robert was already aware of Lyanna's fate before the Battle at the Trident and/or the Sack of King's Landing ever happened.  It's a very tempting theory,

BUT we have this very next line from Eddard:

 

It's really hard to reconcile this line with the idea of Lyanna having died before Ned left King's Landing.  It can be done, if you are comfortable with the idea of George being really, really, deceptive.  It's an oddly phrased line, joining Lyanna's death and the grief they shared over her passing.  George should have been able to convey the same thought with: It had taken Lyanna's death to reconcile them.  So one could technically argue that two events had to happen for reconciliation.  One being Lyanna's death, which had already happened, and the other being Robert and Ned sharing their grief over Lyanna, which had yet to happen when Eddard left King's Landing.  But I agree, this is bending over backwards a bit to twist this phrase into meaning something other than Lyanna was not dead at the time Eddard left King's Landing. 

Another explanation is that Eddard had found Lyanna before the Trident, where she was in bad shape.  And he returns to her after the events of the tower of joy, when she finally succumbs to her injuries. 

Which brings me back to Tucu's original question.  Why would Eddard be looking for these three Kingsguards as early as the Trident?  Is it a killing spree?  I don't know, Eddard doesn't really seem the type, but I won't discount it.

My suspicion is that Eddard had found Lyanna before the Trident, and she gave him information about Rheagar's and possibly Aerys' plans regarding the prince that was promised, and the tower of joy.  My suspicion is that this plan involved the sacrifice of one or more children.  Perhaps Lyanna's, perhaps Ashara's, perhaps Rhaegar's, perhaps Howland's or perhaps a combination.  My guess is Lyanna tells Eddard that these three Kingsguards are the ones who had taken, under orders, one or more of these children.   With Lyanna found, Eddard's next quest is to locate the children and the Kingsguards who took them.  After the events of King's Landing, Eddard knows that he cannot confide in Robert this quest, if it involved a child of Rhaegar's or perhaps a child of Lyanna who did not belong to Robert.

There is one of Ned's lines that always confused me:

Quote

Robert, I ask you, what did we rise against Aerys Targaryen for, if not to put an end to the murder of children?"

Who were these children Aerys was murdering? Aerys asked for Ned's and Robert's heads, but I doubt this counted. Your idea of children sacrifices could explain that quote.

I propose the idea that Aerys and Rhaegar were researching blood magic to awake the dragons but Rhaegar got a change of heart due to Lyanna's influence. This quote from the Reeds might suggest a love/hate relantionship between Lyanna and Rhaegar:

Quote

“Because they’re different,” he insisted. “Like night and day, or ice and fire.” “If ice can burn,” said Jojen in his solemn voice, “then love and hate can mate. Mountain or marsh, it makes no matter. The land is one.”

It is possible that the 3KGs never knew about Rhaegar change of plans and the task of stopping them fell in Ned's hands.

Edited by Tucu

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26 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

Well, Hightower's order to find Rhaegar comes from Selmy's POV as far as I remember. I do not know where we get Aegon is Rhaegar's son or where it is said that Aerys II marshalled everything (Dany I maybe?). But the conclusion remains: Hightower and 2 KG are missing at the Trident and in KL when it is attacked. And later in Dragonstone.

Hightower being ordered to find Rhaegar is not in the books or in the Worldbook.  It is an invention of the wiki.  Here is what we know about Rhaegar's return:

from Jaime's POV:

Quote

"He had finally realized that Robert was no mere outlaw lord to be crushed at whim, but the greatest threat House Targaryen had faced since Daemon Blackfyre.  The king reminded Lewyn Martell gracelessly that he held Elia and sent him to take command of the ten thousand Dornishmen coming up the kingsroad.  Jon Darry and Barristan Selmy rode to Stoney Sept to rally what they could of griffin's men, and Prince Rhaegar returned from the south and persuaded his father to swallow his pride and summon my father."

Maester Yandel's POV:

Quote

The royalist forces were left reeling and scattered by such victories though they did their best to rally.  The Kingsguard were dispatched to recover the remnant of Lord Connington's force, and Prince Rhaegar returned from the south to take command of the new levies being raised in the crownlands.

 

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6 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Hightower being ordered to find Rhaegar is not in the books or in the Worldbook.  It is an invention of the wiki. 

Hmm. 

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11 minutes ago, Tucu said:

I propose the idea that Aerys and Rhaegar were researching blood magic to awake the dragons but Rhaegar got a change of heart due to Lyanna's influence. This quote from the Reeds might suggest a love/hate relantionship between Lyanna and Rhaegar:

I don't think Rhaegar had a change of heart.  I think Rhaegar truly thought that the Long Night was almost upon them, and his actions were necessary to win the Battle for the Dawn.  What I wonder is if Lyanna was drinking the kool aid too?

Quote

"Ah Arya.  You have a wildness in you, child.  'The wolf blood,' my father used to call it.  Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch.  It brought them both to an early grave."

 

Edited by Frey family reunion

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18 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I don't think Rhaegar had a change of heart.  I think Rhaegar truly thought that the Long Night was almost upon them, and his actions were necessary to win the Battle for the Dawn.  What I wonder is if Lyanna was drinking the kool aid too?

 

Maybe, we have another Arya lookalike supervising a group of children in the Riverlands:

Quote

but it was Willow shouting all the orders, as if she were a queen in her castle and the other children were no more than servants.

If she were highborn, command would come naturally to her, and deference to them. Brienne wondered whether Willow might be more than she appeared. The girl was too young and too plain to be Sansa Stark, but she was of the right age to be the younger sister, and even Lady Catelyn had said that Arya lacked her sister's beauty. Brown hair, brown eyes, skinny . . . could it be? Arya Stark's hair was brown, she recalled, but Brienne was not sure of the color of her eyes. Brown and brown, was that it? Could it be that she did not die at Saltpans after all?

 

Edited by Tucu

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1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

But the conclusion remains: Hightower and 2 KG are missing at the Trident and in KL when it is attacked. And later in Dragonstone.

Again, these details are only found in Ned's fever dream. No other POV corroborates that they were missing from any of these places.

1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

While Rhaegar returned without KG protection from Dorne, leaving 2 KG behind.

Again - nothing to support this outside of the dream other than Rhaegar returned from the south.

1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

Now we don't know for sure if KG (besides Jaime) was at Dragonstone or at KL. So far however, there is no indication of any witness for that event. 

Correct. We do not have confirmation of their whereabouts other than what Jaime was thinking about while standing guard over his dead father. The passage below indicates that an army was assembling outside the castle while Jaime spoke with Rhaegar, but that another army was already at the Trident. Is it possible that Hightower, Whent, and Dayne were already at the Trident with the army that was engaged, because Jaime suggested one of the other two remaining Kingsguard (Barristan or Darry) stay with Aerys rather than himself? 

Quote

 

  The day had been windy when he said farewell to Rhaegar, in the yard of the Red Keep. The prince had donned his night-black armor, with the three-headed dragon picked out in rubies on his breastplate. “Your Grace,” Jaime had pleaded, “let Darry stay to guard the king this once, or Ser Barristan. Their cloaks are as white as mine.”

  Prince Rhaegar shook his head. “My royal sire fears your father more than he does our cousin Robert. He wants you close, so Lord Tywin cannot harm him. I dare not take that crutch away from him at such an hour.”

  Jaime’s anger had risen up in his throat. “I am not a crutch. I am a knight of the Kingsguard.”

  “Then guard the king,” Ser Jon Darry snapped at him. “When you donned that cloak, you promised to obey.”

  Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime’s shoulder. “When this battle’s done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but . . . well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return.”

  Those were the last words Rhaegar Targaryen ever spoke to him. Outside the gates an army had assembled, whilst another descended on the Trident. So the Prince of Dragonstone mounted up and donned his tall black helm, and rode forth to his doom.

  He was more right than he knew. When the battle was done, there were changes made. “Aerys thought no harm could come to him if he kept me near,” he told his father’s corpse. “Isn’t that amusing?” Lord Tywin seemed to think so; his smile was wider than before. He seems to enjoy being dead.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

It's really hard to reconcile this line with the idea of Lyanna having died before Ned left King's Landing.  It can be done, if you are comfortable with the idea of George being really, really, deceptive.  It's an oddly phrased line, joining Lyanna's death and the grief they shared over her passing.  George should have been able to convey the same thought with: It had taken Lyanna's death to reconcile them.  So one could technically argue that two events had to happen for reconciliation.  One being Lyanna's death, which had already happened, and the other being Robert and Ned sharing their grief over Lyanna, which had yet to happen when Eddard left King's Landing.  But I agree, this is bending over backwards a bit to twist this phrase into meaning something other than Lyanna was not dead at the time Eddard left King's Landing. 

I don't view this as confirmation that Lyanna died after the Sack, but rather that they got to talking about Lyanna sometime after the Rebellion and their shared grief reunited them. As an example I think anyone that has experienced a great loss and was separated by an argument with another loved one - even years later if you got to talking about the shared loss it could be an impetus to reconcile. 

43 minutes ago, Tucu said:
Quote

Robert, I ask you, what did we rise against Aerys Targaryen for, if not to put an end to the murder of children?"

Who were these children Aerys was murdering? Aerys asked for Ned's and Robert's heads, but I doubt this counted. Your idea of children sacrifices could explain that quote.

I propose the idea that Aerys and Rhaegar were researching blood magic to awake the dragons but Rhaegar got a change of heart due to Lyanna's influence. This quote from the Reeds might suggest a love/hate relantionship between Lyanna and Rhaegar:

This is a great mystery, and I'm hoping its one we'll receive an answer for, but I do tend to wonder if Aerys was experimenting with child sacrifice due to his interest in either hatching dragons or becoming a dragon himself.

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On 7/10/2018 at 11:44 AM, Frey family reunion said:

And don't forget that it's where Lyanna routinely pleasured Rhaegar and his Kingsguard buddies.

 

LOL. Only if we are talking about fan fictions (which of course would include the HBO universe).

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16 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I don't think your theory is incompatible with mine.  What I'm suggesting is that Aerys may have been more amenable to a political match with Dorne if he had reason to believe that Elia was his own blood.  So while the carrot of Dorne's full unification, may have been tempting (but weren't they already pretty much unified?) it was the Princess of Dorne convincing Aerys that Elia was his own blood, might have been what sealed the deal.  

Learning the level of Rhaegar’s agency in selecting his own bride would go far in determining the real motivation behind the marriage. I think.    Rhaegar was a man grown, 18-19 years old, at the time Aerys sent Steffon to the Free Cities to find a suitable prospect, and 20 when the betrothal to Elia was announced.   I would love to know how much say he had in this matter.   Given that Aerys didn’t attend the wedding and didn’t allow Viserys to either, Rhaegar may have had more influence than we realize.  A couple of scenarios:

1)        Aerys proposed/agreed to the match for political purposes.   Aerys made the plans with no input or consent from his son, and agreed to it purely for political gain/the chance to wrap his grubby hands fully around Dorne the way the Targaryens had been trying to do for generations.   This is similar to Tywin hitching Tyrion to Sansa in order to eventually gain a foothold in Winterfell – Rhaegar would be a piece in the cyvasse game and that’s it.

Regarding Tywin, his move simultaneously foiled a burgeoning plot of alliance between two other noble houses (Stark/Tyrell) that would have undoubtedly risen up against House Lannister.  By marrying Tyrion to Sansa and Cersei to Willas Tyrell (who incidentally is in less than ideal physical condition, much like Elia), Tywin hoped to not only infiltrate two previously Lannister-free families (which would eventually through heirs fall under Lannister control) but also squash a developing conspiracy to boot.  

My guess would be that after bombing out with her earlier Reach/Westerlands pairings & being rudely snubbed by Tywin, Mama Martell regrouped and next approached some folks in less Targ-loyal areas of the 7K re: marriage proposals for her children.  I haven’t delved too deeply into this to see who was unbetrothed/available at the time, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that both Elia and Oberyn were being pimped to houses later involved in open rebellion against the throne.   If Aerys were to get wind of this thanks to his new Master of Whispers, he could make moves to snag Elia for Rhaegar – because there’s no way Mama Martell/Doran is turning down THAT offer, amirite – and kill two birds with one stone:   House Martell gets cut out of any fledgling coup alliance and now the throne has the full allegiance of Dorne.  (Even more so if someone planned later marriages between Viserys/Arianne and Quentyn/Rhaenys.)   

(It’s also interesting that, in the Tywin parallel, while the marriage between Tyrion & Sansa comes to pass, Willas & the Tyrells reject the marriage to Cersei on the flimsy basis that she is used goods due to already having  3 (bastard) children....and of course in 279ish Oberyn just so happened to already have 3 (bastard) children, the 3 eldest Sand Snakes.   I suspect that a match for Oberyn  was probably a hard sell to any house – Elia had potential, but other nobles probably (wisely) took a polite pass on the Red Viper as a husband for their daughters.    Even more interesting is that Oberyn never marries at all, instead choosing a bastard Sand as his paramour and producing/recognizing only bastard FEMALE heirs (you know, double jeopardy re: claim to the IT).    Oberyn also falls off the map after the Tourney of Harrenhal and is parts unknown during the Rebellion – possibly his way of avoiding a forced marriage that might further cement Targaryen hold on Dorne??   Just spitballing here.)

The question then becomes:  who might Elia have married/what house might she have married into that the ruling Targaryens may have been eager to hamstring?     It seems that Aerys wasn’t a huge fan of Elia in general, what with shunning the wedding and ignoring her firstborn and all – and I also personally get the feeling that Aerys was something of a purist in terms of Valyrian physical characteristics as well as bloodline, hence why he sent Steffon across the Narrow Sea to look for a bride in the places that just so happen to have an abundance of silver-haired, purple-eyed people.   For him to finally settle for a Martell with "some" Targaryen heritage (whether fresh via his own doing or 3+ generations back), there had to be a bigger and better payoff than simply keeping the dragon blood alive,  IMO.     There was something that Aerys wanted for himself that was more significant than the genetic infusion provided by a frail flat-chested Dornish princess, even if she was 50% secret Targaryen.     That something could be the region of Dorne itself, or...it could be related to magic/prophecy, which leads me to my next scenario.

 

2)       Rhaegar bucked Aerys and  suggested the marriage/chose Elia himself for another hidden reason.     I haven’t really thought about this yet beyond assuming this is somehow related to TPtwP prophecy.    It could be her possession of however many drops of dragon blood, it could be a union of Valyrian and Rhoynar blood, I don’t know.   At the time, though, Rhaegar was still under the impression that HE was TPtwP, so if there was a magical component to his choice it was obviously meant to aid or further this conclusion.   Also, as you said upthread, there’s no real indication that Aerys was into the prophectic stuff either and/or believed it was already a done deal with his son, so I think if prophecy were the main driver Rhaegar would have to do some serious smooth talking to convince Aerys that Elia was worth it.    The only real evidence I see for this in the story that might give Rhaegar the kind of clout he would need to gain the king’s consent is that bit about Aerys believing he would transform into a dragon during the burning of King’s Landing...perhaps Rhaegar managed to convince him somehow that Elia/Elia’s heritage was the way to accomplish his coveted dragonhood, not sure. ( I do think that the prophecy hook would have been the Rhoynish aspect rather than the Targaryen aspect to the bloodline, however.)  Given how the relationship between father and son cooled after the marriage, though, Aerys must have had serious regrets about giving in – again, going back to the idea that the benefit would outweigh the detriment – if some kind of fancy magical outcome had been the pitch and that fancy magical outcome kindof failed to happen.

 

 

I lean more toward combination approach, primarily because only AERYS had the power to approve this marriage – no one else.   Rhaegar may have been a popular guy, but he was still merely the Prince of Dragonstone, not the King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm...and the Mad King made sure everyone remembered that at every opportunity.     Aerys was still calling the shots; therefore, I think we have to look at how this arrangement benefited Aerys to the point that he would begrudgingly tolerate a Dornish wife for his Valyrian Master Race son that he already believed was plotting against him.   Even if Rhaegar was all excited about fulfilling TPtwP stuff with Elia’s contribution, Aerys would have no real reason to be stoked about it unless there was something in it for him.  Something had to sweeten the pot for him, and I think the honey was probably a tighter grip on the iron throne.   At the time, Aerys was really into the consolidation of power/ Targaryen expansion/ nation-building kind of stuff, and was at the height of his paranoia to boot, so *to me* the lure of nipping his enemies‘ plans in the bud, rubbing his Hand’s nose in a betrothal to a less beautiful girl, showing his son who’s still boss around the place, and getting the Dornish under his thumb for once and all in one fell swoop was just too good to pass up.   Perhaps a chance at finally getting the missing ingredient for the dragon-hatching recipe played a large part as well.

 

That being said, though, while I believe Aerys enacted the plan, I’m still not entirely sure who devised the plan.  I doubt it was Aerys himself – he was always too impulsive and never particularly savvy re: his political dealings.   Mama Martell is a possibility given that she had already traipsed around the lower 7 trying to solve this problem, plus she had been in Rhaella's service at court and probably knew Aerys's weaknesses quite well.   I still can't pinpoint exactly when she fell out of the picture though, and when Doran (with lesser intimate knowledge of the workings of Aerys' King's Landing) would have taken over.     This actually makes me wonder if RHAEGAR pushed for the marriage (for his own prophectic purposes) using as bait the idea that Aerys could both gain a foothold in Sunspear AND secure Martell loyalty against a fledgling takeover plot – most likely the Southron Ambitions Alliance led by St. Jon of Arryn that was already underway.    After all, Rhaegar grew up with Tywin as Hand, and spent considerable time with Tywin in his childhood – he learned from the master.  Rhaegar was most certainly old enough and smart enough to hatch this kind of scheme and would know exactly how to present this to his father so that he would consent to it.    "Everyone wants something, Alayne. And when you know what a man wants you know who he is, and how to move him."    Mama/Doran Martell was most likely working an independent angle and saw the opportunity for THEIR house at the same time...which has me leaning toward the notion that Rhaegar and House Martell may have been working together toward a common goal but with different motive and end purpose.

 

Much and more to say on this, particularly regarding how this is paralleled in Meereen, but this is already too long...

Edited by PrettyPig

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