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Legitimate_Bastard

Southron Ambitions - what were they?

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I never really thought of Rickard's ambitions before. I just chalked up his ambitions being no different than any of the other lords.The idea of a power bloc as a way to put The Mad King's power in check is something I've never considered.Interesting thread!B)

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7 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

I always found it interesting that aside from the Targaryen's, the Iron Born were the only people on the verge of uniting Westeros under one rule. Under House Hoare twice in the histories. Once in their apex under the driftwood kings, and again under the dynastic house leading up to Harren the Black. Who interestingly was only stopped by Aegon. What would have happened if Aegon hadn't showed up? Could the Iron born of this time, who had learned trade, farming and other such things better during Andal times and had Maesters, hold a united Westeros? Would the Maesters oppose this? The Faith of the Seven might, but depends on House Hoare and which way they swung on the matter. Harrenhal has a God's Wood but no known Sept. The Maesters however, have a god's wood on the premise. Guess Westeros is lucky the Iron born never had dragons. 

Harren may have conquered the Stormlands in addition to the Riverlands, but that would have been it. He wouldn't have had the strength to take on the West and the Reach - especially not if they had allied against him like they did against Aegon.

The Hoares ruled with brute force and fear alone, and they may have already overextended themselves in an attempt to conquer the Stormlands - if the war had gone wrong there, Harren may have suffered the same fate as King Arrec, who lost the Riverlands to the Ironborn because the Riverlords either joined Harwyn or did not fight against him.

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

@Bael's Bastard

You really don't have that much of case. We have a source suggesting Rhaegar was the likely shadow host - if there was such a host - and your theory creates the very problem it proposes to solve - the text doesn't give us any reason to believe Rhaegar neither had the funds nor the opportunity to pay for the tourney. Even the idea that Rhaegar needed to keep his personal investment there a secret isn't all that well founded - helping out poor, impoverished Lord Walter with a tourney is neither treason nor forbidden - what the tourney could have become might have been treason, but Aerys 'dealt' with that by attending the tourney.

I don't think Tywin and Rhaegar were particularly close but I never said I don't think Rhaegar would have wanted Tywin at his covert Great Council - or that he wouldn't have liked his input on the mental state of his royal father - I just believe Tywin and Rhaegar were not that close or working together on this thing.

And there is really no need to believe they did. If the Jaime thing hadn't happened Tywin would have been at Harrenhal, and then they would have talked - with Aerys there, or without him being there.

I don't think Tywin liked this man very much who was throwing his daughter at him again and again, waiting for his own wife, the Princess Elia, to die. Even if they had been close at Duskendale, this kind of thing isn't something a smart and insightful man like Rhaegar would just overlook. Nor is it the kind of thing that would make Tywin particularly sympathetic - in addition to him not being all that much of sympathetic guy.

Tywin and Kevan speak/think rather contemptuously of Rhaegar's friends and companions - that doesn't indicate that they/Tywin were close to them.

In my opinion, Tywin had has much chance to continue as Hand under a King Rhaegar as Otto Hightower had under Aegon II - or Bismarck under Wilhelm II.

As to the Yandel thing:

You do know that this 'Elia lie' was intended to be later editorial alteration, not (necessarily) done by Yandel himself, right? @Ran has mentioned that ages ago. We should not use this thing - which apparently couldn't be properly portrayed for production reasons - as 'evidence' that the man deliberately lied or misconstrued the facts whenever it suits our personal preferences/theories.

And even as it stands - there is actual no evidence that the Elia and the Aerys theories there are theories that . Especially the Aerys theory makes sense - many kings give commands that their families be killed so they don't follow in enemy hands. And the same goes for mothers as well - Elia killing her children knowing what might come is about in the same league as the First Men suffocating the babes to save them from starvation/the Others.

If you had any information capable of eliminating the theory as a possibility, you would have posted it by now, rather than your own personal speculation, which I find to be weak, and to present nothing to make the theory seem unlikely. I am aware that it is a theory, I am aware that we don't have definitive proof of whether it is correct or incorrect, and I am content to think it is a strong possibility based on the evidence we have unless/until we receive information to the contrary.

No, we have a single maester, who isn't in the know, who devotes a single sentence to claiming that the only candidate that seems truly compelling [to him] is Rhaegar. Despite noting that a dozen names have been put forth, he doesn't list any of those other names, or devote a single word to explaining his dismissal of their candidacy. That gives us no actual insight into the truth of whether there was a shadow host or hosts, or who they were.

Rhaegar and Tywin being collaborators on a plot to restrict or depose Aerys doesn't require them to have been good friends, or for Tywin to have been friends with Rhaegar's friends. That is all irrelevant. Rhaegar and Tywin had spent nearly 20 years as the Heir and Hand of the king respectively, and both had a vested interest in dealing with the rapidly deteriorating king before he made matters exponentially worse than they already were.

Your opinion on whether Tywin would remain Hand under Rhaegar is just that. Who knows for sure? But whether or not Rhaegar would keep him on, Tywin had already voiced his opinion that Rhaegar would be a better king, and that opinion was only likely to have grown stronger in the years since Duskendale. Rhaegar would have had good reason to confide in Tywin about such a plot as he is claimed and whispered to have had, and Tywin would have had good reason to assist him if he did.

I don't know what @Ran has said about the matter, just that it occurs in TWOIAF, and that in both these cases, Yandel resorts to giving voice to rumors that pin it on a Targaryen, without even bringing up the glaringly obvious Lannister candidates, just ignoring them, not even bothering to give a half-assed reason for dismissing them as candidates.

We have been told right off the bat that Yandel has edited his work for the Lannisters he is now going to be presenting it to. Whether his "shadow host" speculation and "murderer of Rhaegar's children" speculation are examples of that, we don't know for certain, but his treatment of these matters comes off as either incredibly lazy, or intentionally obscure.

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Just to clarify, there's no question that Yandel wrote the section on the rebellion. The idea was that it was not his original version, that he hasitly presented a revised account that was more politically acceptable given the reality of Joffrey's succession and the alleged treasons of Ned and Stannis and so on.

I haven't really remarked on what Yandel wrote originally, nor whether he repeated that particular claim in the original or not. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

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16 hours ago, Chaircat Meow said:

Ok, so you are going to have to spell 1. out for me a bit, as I'm not exactly sure why this is a problem? Is the general idea, if the marriages sealed the alliance why didn't they just get on with it ... And as they didn't get on with it no plan?

2. I don't know how committed Tywin was. In any case Lysa/Tyrion ruled out because dwarf, Cersei/Edmure ruled out because Tywin wants Cersei to be Queen. 

It is a problem for any theory that believes they were offensively or defensively plotting against Aerys and House Targaryen. All those lords and their children were unwed, and most were not even betrothed, and they were content to wait for years for the few who were to betrothed to wed and create actual blood ties.

You don't go into a conflict or potential conflict with your king and his loyalists without creating marital and blood ties with each other.

Not only did they have no urgency to create marital and blood ties with each other, they failed to create marital and blood ties with some of their most powerful bannermen, some of whom were loyal to the king, which makes no sense if any of them believed they were getting involved in an offensive or defensive plot against the king and House Targaryen.

So who was committed in your opinion? If Tywin wasn't committed, then why would Hoster send one of his daughters to his rock fortress, that Hand of the King who was still trying to wed his daughter to a Targaryen prince?

And if Hoster was trying to wed one daughter to a lord who was trying to wed his own daughter to a son of the King, why should we believe that his agreement to send his other daughter to the isolated North indicates that he or Rickard was committed?

And if Rickard was willing to send his only daughter far south to the fortress of the Baratheon close relatives and friends of the Targaryens, located right near the Targaryen Red Keep, why should that indicate that Rickard or Robert was committed?

If Hoster was committed to a plot, and was committed to luring the powerful Tywin Lannister away from Aerys and into that plot, he should be able to suck it up and wed one of his daughters to the imp.

And if Hoster was committed to an anti-Targaryen plot, he should have certainly been urgently trying to arrange a match for his only son Edmure, especially with his only brother refusing to wed or father legit children.

 

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49 minutes ago, Ran said:

Just to clarify, there's no question that Yandel wrote the section on the rebellion. The idea was that it was not his original version, that he hasitly presented a revised account that was more politically acceptable given the reality of Joffrey's succession and the alleged treasons of Ned and Stannis and so on.

I haven't really remarked on what Yandel wrote originally, nor whether he repeated that particular claim in the original or not. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

But you did say once that you intended to have the pages be a different color where Yandel talks about the murders of Elia and the children, indicating that *someone* - either Yandel (most likely he) or somebody else had messed with the parchment (scraped text off to write the section anew) of the volume the reader has in his hand. I understood this to be similar to the original ink blot idea for the Summerhall section which was apparently dropped because the guys feared people would demand 'an undamaged book'.

@Bael's Bastard

Again, the problem is just that you create a solution for your own problem. And you do it by cherry-picking the source. Yandel is our only source for the entire shadow host thing (not for the fact that Rhaegar may have asked Lord Walter to stage a tourney - for the idea that he wasn't wealthy enough to do that all by himself) - which you apparently buy uncritically - yet you don't trust the man on his judgment as to who the likeliest candidate for the shadow host is.

It is pretty obvious that Tywin would have had the money to pay for the tourney, too. But what is the positive evidence that he may have done that?

I could build a similar case citing Mace Tyrell or Leyton Hightower or basically any other wealthy and ambitious lord as the 'true shadow host'.

Do you have any criteria/reasoning as to why you think Yandel is to be trusted on the shadow host thing and not in his opinion on Rhaegar - especially in light of the fact that there is no indication that Yandel's opinion of Rhaegar being the likeliest candidate is not some fringe idea of his but might likely reflect the consensus of learned Westerosi men caring about this particular topic.

And Yandel tells us that there are plenty of sources on Harrenhal simply because so many people were there and subsequently wrote records and letters and memoirs and what not about the events.

After Aerys and Rhaegar were both dead people could have freely talked about what they knew. The Targaryens were gone.

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Not what I meant. What the idea was that he no longer had the batch of parchment he used for the text, and the new batch he used for his hasty rewrite was not matched in color as the rest was because it was produced at a different time and by a different producer. It was meant to show the section was not part of his original writing, but something done after and hurriedly.

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@Lord Varys

What is "the problem" you are claiming? What are the "solution" and "problem" you are claiming I am creating? 

Let's get some things straight:

- I think it is likely that Rhaegar intended to use the Harrenhal Tourney to gain support for restricting or deposing Aerys, whether the intention was for Rhaegar to appeal to great lords behind Aerys's back in an informal council, or the intention was to manipulate Aerys into attending so that he would do the work of revealing his state to the great lords himself so Rhaegar could then use that as a stepping stone towards a formal council, or there was some other intent towards the same ultimate goal

- I think it is likely that Rhaegar either formulated that plan together with Tywin in the first place, or else brought Tywin in on his intentions at some point during the formation of that plan

None of that is based or dependent on TWOIAF or Yandel's revelation that belief in a shadow host was widely believed at the time and remains so today. 

The answers to whose idea it was to stage the tourney, who paid to put on the tourney, who provided the prizes for the tourney, etc., while very interesting, are not essential to my belief in the likelihood of the two points above.

IF there was a shadow host or hosts, whether Lord Whent was incapable of funding such a tourney with such prizes, or whether he was fully capable but was only asked by a shadow host or hosts to be the cover and take the credit without footing the bill, I think Rhaegar and Tywin are by far the best candidates.

So no, I do not "buy uncritically" that there was a shadow host, nor does our source Yandel even state uncritically that there was a shadow host. But, in considering the possibility that there was, I also do not buy uncritically Yandel's assertion that Rhaegar is the only candidate that seems truly compelling, though I take no issue with the suggestion that Rhaegar would be among the likeliest candidates.

Yandel mentions a dozen names put forward over the years, but makes no attempt to address or dismiss the reasons they have been put forward over the years. In other words, our only source as of yet throws doubt on the idea of a shadow host, then goes on to consider only one candidate after concealing from us, and young Tommen, information about the others among the dozen candidates, on a matter that was and is "widely believed."

And while, even if there was a shadow host or hosts, the dozen candidates are almost certainly mostly incorrect, there would still be the chance that someone other than or in addition to Rhaegar was correct.

There are things Yandel knows, either facts or rumors, that we don't know or haven't heard outside of him. As readers of multiple POVs, there are things we know that Yandel doesn't know. We have no obligation, and in some cases are given good reason not, to take a character's opinion or judgement as fact uncritically. In this case, we know that Yandel absolutely does not know the facts behind this matter he is giving his opinion on, so it would be absurd to take his judgement for granted uncritically.

Especially when we are explicitly told that he has tailored the current form of TWOIAF for the young Lannister king and his Lannister family, and when we see clear examples of him avoiding placing the blame on Lannisters where they are either rumored or known to have been responsible.

In the cases of both the speculated "shadow host" and murderers of Rhaenys and Aegon, Yandel has no issue pointing the finger at dead Targaryens and Elia. But Tywin's brood (and perhaps Tywin himself?) are still alive and in power as of his current revisions to TWOIAF. He clearly avoids any whispers or rumors about Lannister responsibility for the murder of Rhaegar's children, and it isn't a stretch that it is intentional that he avoids addressing Tywin as almost certainly being among the names put forward over the years as a "shadow host."

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Harren may have conquered the Stormlands in addition to the Riverlands, but that would have been it. He wouldn't have had the strength to take on the West and the Reach - especially not if they had allied against him like they did against Aegon.

The Hoares ruled with brute force and fear alone, and they may have already overextended themselves in an attempt to conquer the Stormlands - if the war had gone wrong there, Harren may have suffered the same fate as King Arrec, who lost the Riverlands to the Ironborn because the Riverlords either joined Harwyn or did not fight against him.

For the most part i agree, though with Harren having built Harrenhal, could they have laid siege to him before the Iron Born caught them in a flank? I agree that they mostly held by brute force, but the Hoares were also said to except the faith and promote trade. They had more civility to them then the rest of the Iron born by the sounds of it. Aegon could get past the walls of Harrenhal, could the Reach and the West? What would have happened if the Iron born had secured the river lands more? Doesnt take much to launch from the Riverlands down the Mander from there, while fellow Iron born shoot up the River. The Iron born are already great at sea. Harren could have adapted as Rollo did and go on to conquer Normandy and eventually England

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20 hours ago, Ran said:

Not what I meant. What the idea was that he no longer had the batch of parchment he used for the text, and the new batch he used for his hasty rewrite was not matched in color as the rest was because it was produced at a different time and by a different producer. It was meant to show the section was not part of his original writing, but something done after and hurriedly.

Ah, okay, that clears that up. I really thought you had intended there to be a later edit to the Elia rumors in attempt to not throw dirt on Tywin.

And that would then have been the entire section on Robert's Rebellion, I take it? The chapter starting with the 'I'm going to focus on our hero and king, Robert Baratheon, since everybody else fighting in the Rebellion is either dead already or a confirmed and attainted traitor' introduction?

From the feel of it the history of Aerys' reign up until the start of the Rebellion is overly thorough giving us a lot of new information on the Year of the False Spring and it would make sense that Yandel would have told us the entire story of the Rebellion including everything there is publicly known about Rhaegar and Lyanna (and perhaps even some rumors) if he hadn't decided best to keep everybody but Robert out of the entire story...

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Lord Varys

What is "the problem" you are claiming? What are the "solution" and "problem" you are claiming I am creating? 

The problem of 'Rhaegar turning to Tywin to pay for the tourney because he himself couldn't do it because you claim he may have been too closely watched'.

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

- I think it is likely that Rhaegar intended to use the Harrenhal Tourney to gain support for restricting or deposing Aerys, whether the intention was for Rhaegar to appeal to great lords behind Aerys's back in an informal council, or the intention was to manipulate Aerys into attending so that he would do the work of revealing his state to the great lords himself so Rhaegar could then use that as a stepping stone towards a formal council, or there was some other intent towards the same ultimate goal

Yandel indicates it was the former - and he is supported therein by Barristan's thoughts about Oswell going to Harrenhal and his brother shortly afterwards announcing his tourney. This indicates that Rhaegar wanted to meet and talk with as many (great) lords as possible in a manner that wouldn't be all that suspicious.

I agree that Aerys showing up there himself and essentially confirming the truth about the rumors of his madness might also have caused people to doubt whether he was fit to sit the throne - but he was the king, and I doubt Rhaegar had the plan to draw his father out. If Aerys had been unduly provoked at Harrenhal one assumes there would have been many pyres there. The whole thing was a tourney, and nobody came to start a rebellion against the king.

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

- I think it is likely that Rhaegar either formulated that plan together with Tywin in the first place, or else brought Tywin in on his intentions at some point during the formation of that plan

You can think that, but I'd say that there is no textual evidence for this, and quite a lot circumstantial evidence against this - for instance, the fact that Prince Rhaegar resided on Dragonstone since his marriage, and Tywin at KL with the king. That makes it rather difficult for them to conspire together.

In addition, one would assume that the Jaime thing would have not broken the lion's back if Tywin had been already conspiring with Rhaegar against Aerys. If Tywin had known that Rhaegar would soon rule the Realm, he could have stomached this and found a way to postpone Jaime's introduction into the Kingsguard.

In fact, he could have taken all his lords and their retainers and men-at-arms to Harrenhal to openly defy Aerys there, taking the lead in the rebellion against the king and/or at least made him reconsider the whole Jaime thing.

Instead, Tywin acts like a man who was wronged one time too much by a lover or a friend - like a man who is pissed but not really willing to do anything more than sulk.

He acts like Maekar did when Aerys I made Bloodraven his Hand. It was a deep wound that could lead to open rebellion and betrayal - as it then did, during the Sack, but this wasn't a given back in 281 AC.

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

None of that is based or dependent on TWOIAF or Yandel's revelation that belief in a shadow host was widely believed at the time and remains so today. 

If you already had this Tywin/Rhaegar theory before TWoIaF you are definitely right there. I'd say TWoIaF decreased the likelihood of it being true, though. There was ample chance there to deepen the idea of a Tywin/Rhaegar conspiracy the same way it deepened/properly introduced the Rhaegar/Whent conspiracy.

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

So no, I do not "buy uncritically" that there was a shadow host, nor does our source Yandel even state uncritically that there was a shadow host. But, in considering the possibility that there was, I also do not buy uncritically Yandel's assertion that Rhaegar is the only candidate that seems truly compelling, though I take no issue with the suggestion that Rhaegar would be among the likeliest candidates.

If we believe that Rhaegar wanted to stage that tourney and if we buy the idea that Lord Whent couldn't pay for all of it by himself, then this makes Rhaegar the likeliest candidate - since we don't have any reason to believe he couldn't afford to pay for it.

It would make sense for Rhaegar to ask Tywin to pay for it if he was in on the tourney thing and if Rhaegar couldn't pay for it himself, but there is no indication of either of that.

While it makes sense to believe Rhaegar would have wanted Tywin's support at the tourney-council thing, we have no reason to believe Rhaegar had brought any great lord on board before Harrenhal - and if he was working with Tywin they could actually have just staged a coup. The Hand speaks with the King's Voice, so all they would have needed to do was to prevent Aerys from making his voice heard - something that could be done by the Crown Prince, the Hand, and their men in the Kingsguard.

They wouldn't have needed other lords and their opinion on the matter. Once Aerys was out of the picture, very few men would dare oppose Rhaegar/Tywin.

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Yandel mentions a dozen names put forward over the years, but makes no attempt to address or dismiss the reasons they have been put forward over the years. In other words, our only source as of yet throws doubt on the idea of a shadow host, then goes on to consider only one candidate after concealing from us, and young Tommen, information about the others among the dozen candidates, on a matter that was and is "widely believed."

The reason why we can take Yandel's reasoning there pretty seriously is our evidence from Barristan in ADwD that Oswell Whent was keeping things even from his sworn brothers - giving us a strong hint that Rhaegar was indeed the man behind the tourney. If he was the man behind the tourney, he was also the man paying for it - if somebody but Whent paid for it.

Yandel does not know what we learn from Selmy's POV. He and the other historians have to theorize, but our evidence is a little bit more tangible.

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

There are things Yandel knows, either facts or rumors, that we don't know or haven't heard outside of him. As readers of multiple POVs, there are things we know that Yandel doesn't know. We have no obligation, and in some cases are given good reason not, to take a character's opinion or judgement as fact uncritically. In this case, we know that Yandel absolutely does not know the facts behind this matter he is giving his opinion on, so it would be absurd to take his judgement for granted uncritically.

We do not only go by Yandel alone. But it doesn't seem to be far-fetched to assume that Yandel and others guessed at things correctly. Rhaegar himself talked in front of others about his plans, indicating that what Selmy hints at is correct.

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Especially when we are explicitly told that he has tailored the current form of TWOIAF for the young Lannister king and his Lannister family, and when we see clear examples of him avoiding placing the blame on Lannisters where they are either rumored or known to have been responsible.

Yandel only tailored the account of the Rebellion for Joffrey/Tommen, not the account of the Year of the False Spring. @Ran told us that the Rebellion chapter was supposed to look as it if had been rewritten and inserted later - not the chapter on the Year of the False Spring.

There is a clear Baratheon bias in 'The Glorious Reign' and the Stormlands chapter, and even when the marriage of Princess Rhaelle is discussed, but overall I'd say the Aerys II account doesn't do the Mad King injustice.

18 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

In the cases of both the speculated "shadow host" and murderers of Rhaenys and Aegon, Yandel has no issue pointing the finger at dead Targaryens and Elia. But Tywin's brood (and perhaps Tywin himself?) are still alive and in power as of his current revisions to TWOIAF. He clearly avoids any whispers or rumors about Lannister responsibility for the murder of Rhaegar's children, and it isn't a stretch that it is intentional that he avoids addressing Tywin as almost certainly being among the names put forward over the years as a "shadow host."

My point is just that the Aerys and Elia theories are not necessarily invented rumors. Up until Gregor confessed things the Tywin rumor was just one rumor among many, most likely because Tywin only presented the royal corpses to Robert, never actually telling anyone that it was done on his orders or by his men.

If others had killed Elia and the children then Tywin's men would have just found the corpses, no? I'm not saying that Yandel didn't know the Tywin rumor wasn't the likeliest rumor, I just say that the Aerys and Elia rumors may have also been in circulation considering that nothing official was known or revealed about the murders prior to the trial-by-combat.

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On 9/26/2018 at 3:34 PM, Bael's Bastard said:

It is a problem for any theory that believes they were offensively or defensively plotting against Aerys and House Targaryen. All those lords and their children were unwed, and most were not even betrothed, and they were content to wait for years for the few who were to betrothed to wed and create actual blood ties.

You don't go into a conflict or potential conflict with your king and his loyalists without creating marital and blood ties with each other.

Not only did they have no urgency to create marital and blood ties with each other, they failed to create marital and blood ties with some of their most powerful bannermen, some of whom were loyal to the king, which makes no sense if any of them believed they were getting involved in an offensive or defensive plot against the king and House Targaryen.

So who was committed in your opinion? If Tywin wasn't committed, then why would Hoster send one of his daughters to his rock fortress, that Hand of the King who was still trying to wed his daughter to a Targaryen prince?

And if Hoster was trying to wed one daughter to a lord who was trying to wed his own daughter to a son of the King, why should we believe that his agreement to send his other daughter to the isolated North indicates that he or Rickard was committed?

And if Rickard was willing to send his only daughter far south to the fortress of the Baratheon close relatives and friends of the Targaryens, located right near the Targaryen Red Keep, why should that indicate that Rickard or Robert was committed?

If Hoster was committed to a plot, and was committed to luring the powerful Tywin Lannister away from Aerys and into that plot, he should be able to suck it up and wed one of his daughters to the imp.

And if Hoster was committed to an anti-Targaryen plot, he should have certainly been urgently trying to arrange a match for his only son Edmure, especially with his only brother refusing to wed or father legit children.

 

I don't think this is a very strong objection. Let's break it down.

1) Objection: Why weren't Brandon + Catelyn and Robert + Lyanna married more promptly, where was the sense of urgency? 

1a) I answer: You assume that Rickard intended the war to begin when it did, but clearly he did not. He might have supposed his scheme would come to fruition in another couple of years. Therefore, given the theory, the marriages didn't need to progress any faster than they did.

1b) Also, in some cases the promise of a marriage, i.e. a betrothal can be enough to see a military alliance, e.g. Robb Stark and Frey girl.  

1c) Also, we don;t know how much time there was between betrothals and marriages, it may not have been that long, and faster marriages might have looked peculiar. 

2) Objection: Why, given the urgency of the situation, were not all children married to increase the chances of success in the upcoming conflict?

2a) I answer: It is a mistake to think marrying other children, like Ned, or Lysa, would necessarily have a big effect on the success of the scheme. For example, if the only daughter available in the North were of loyal bannermen anyway there was no need to marry Ned or Ben to a bannerman. Likewise, Hoster may have thought a marriage to, say, the Freys, would not have stopped Walder fence-sitting. 

2b) Also, Lords like Hoster could still have factored in other considerations when pondering marriages, not just the success of Rickard's scheme. So, marrying Edmure to a Darry, assuming one was available, might have secured an ally but perhaps the Darry girl was sickly or Hoster hoped for a better match in the future. 

3. Objection: marriages do not indicate commitment to an alliance.

3a) I answer, this is true but the evidence for southron ambitions does not depend on this. All things being equal marriage alliances tie houses more closely together and it is stated in woiaf that Rickard's marriages bound the houses to act together when Aerys 'wronged them.'

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Chaircat Meow said:

I don't think this is a very strong objection. Let's break it down.

1) Objection: Why weren't Brandon + Catelyn and Robert + Lyanna married more promptly, where was the sense of urgency? 

1a) I answer: You assume that Rickard intended the war to begin when it did, but clearly he did not. He might have supposed his scheme would come to fruition in another couple of years. Therefore, given the theory, the marriages didn't need to progress any faster than they did.

1b) Also, in some cases the promise of a marriage, i.e. a betrothal can be enough to see a military alliance, e.g. Robb Stark and Frey girl.  

1c) Also, we don;t know how much time there was between betrothals and marriages, it may not have been that long, and faster marriages might have looked peculiar. 

On the contrary, I reject all assumptions that Lord Rickard, or any of the other great lords, ever intended or prepared for war with House Targaryen. What scheme, exactly, do you claim Rickard supposed would come to fruition in another couple of years? And in another couple of years from when?

The Frey case occurred in the midst of a war, in which Lord Frey had yet to choose a side between his king and his lord. It was akin to Lord Hoster requiring Lord Eddard and Lord Jon to wed his daughters before he would join in on their side before the Battle of the Bells.  You are suggesting that Rickard intended war against House Targaryen, but not for a number of years.

So, unlike the Frey and Tully cases above, which occurred in the midst of war, and in which the agreed upon marriages had to be put off for battle, Rickard, Hoster, and Robert did not have anything preventing them from sealing the marriages they had agreed to. And there was no purpose waiting if eventual war was their intention.

We have good reason to believe that Brandon and Catelyn had been betrothed for around half a decade before they were set to wed in 282 AC, despite both of them having been old enough to wed and consummate within a year or so of their betrothal. Catelyn was 12 when she was betrothed to Brandon, and was a woman grown when 15 year old Petyr, who was years younger than her, fought 20 year old Brandon in 282 AC. Brandon had become a man grown in 278 AC.

We also know that Lord Robert and Lyanna had "long been betrothed" by the time of the Harrenhal Tourney in late 281 AC, and that both of them had been old enough to wed and consummate at the time of the Harrenhal Tourney. We don't know when Robert and Lyanna were betrothed, but Robert was already Lord of Storm's End, which he became in 278 AC, the same year he became a man grown. Lyanna was 16 when she died in 283 AC.

All parties involved were old enough to wed, and had been old enough to wed for some time, at the time of the Harrenhal Tourney in 281 AC. And if Rickard, Hoster, or Robert had actually made or been part of any plot against the Targaryens, they would have turned these betrothals into marriage ties, and attempted to turn them into blood ties ASAP, no matter how far off they considered war to be.

The idea that any of these great houses would plot a war while not a single one of their members were wed and capable of producing new legitimate members of their houses (Elbert Arryn is the only question mark, the rest are known to have been unwed, and unable to produce legitimate children until they wed), and while going years without sealing the lone two betrothals they had made into actual marriages, is without merit.

Lord Rickard Stark
Brandon Stark
Eddard Stark
Benjen Stark
Lyanna Stark

Lord Hoster Tully
Edmure Tully
Catelyn Tully
Lysa Tully

Lord Robert Baratheon
Stannis Baratheon
Renly Baratheon

Lord Jon Arryn
Elbert Arryn ?

Lord Tywin Lannister
Jaime Lannister
Tyrion Lannister
Cersei Lannister

All unwed, all incapable of producing any new legitimate children until they are.

21 hours ago, Chaircat Meow said:

2) Objection: Why, given the urgency of the situation, were not all children married to increase the chances of success in the upcoming conflict?

2a) I answer: It is a mistake to think marrying other children, like Ned, or Lysa, would necessarily have a big effect on the success of the scheme. For example, if the only daughter available in the North were of loyal bannermen anyway there was no need to marry Ned or Ben to a bannerman. Likewise, Hoster may have thought a marriage to, say, the Freys, would not have stopped Walder fence-sitting. 

2b) Also, Lords like Hoster could still have factored in other considerations when pondering marriages, not just the success of Rickard's scheme. So, marrying Edmure to a Darry, assuming one was available, might have secured an ally but perhaps the Darry girl was sickly or Hoster hoped for a better match in the future. 

Stannis was Lord Robert's heir until he produced a legitimate son, which he couldn't do until he actually wed. Edmure was Lord Hoster's heir and only son, and his brother Brynden refused to wed. Ned was next after Brandon until he produced a legitimate heir, which he couldn't do until he actually wed. Elbert was Jon's heir and only close male relative, and it is unknown whether he was wed, betrothed, or neither. They, along with Benjen and Lysa, would have been used to strengthen ties to powerful houses, especially those which needed a reason to choose them over their king. They need not have been wed to their own bannermen, but if these great lords had actually been plotting against House Targaryen, they need to have been wed to somebody. The theory that they believed war was years off wouldn't make the lack of marriages during the years of peace beforehand any less absurd.

22 hours ago, Chaircat Meow said:

3. Objection: marriages do not indicate commitment to an alliance.

3a) I answer, this is true but the evidence for southron ambitions does not depend on this. All things being equal marriage alliances tie houses more closely together and it is stated in woiaf that Rickard's marriages bound the houses to act together when Aerys 'wronged them.'

There is no evidence for "southron ambitions" referring to an anti-Targaryen plot. The lone references to Rickard's southron ambitions are by Lady Barbrey Dustin, who refers solely to the betrothal between her lover Brandon and Catelyn Tully, with no hint of an anti-Targaryen conspiracy.

Yandel's statement in TWOIAF can't possibly be taken to prove that alliances made by Rickard by blood and friendship were made in the first place as part of a plot against the Targaryens. This is a statement made in hindsight, not with knowledge about the basis for those ties. And it is an inaccurate statement at that.

For once, there were no actual blood ties in those alliances. Robert and Lyanna never wed or had children. Brandon and Catelyn never wed or had children. No blood ties were created between "STAB" until Robb was born to Ned and Catelyn, a marriage that was not made until months into the war, around the Battle of the Bells.

And the friendship ties Yandel speaks of, between Jon, Robert, and Ned, were established a decade before the war, in 271-272 AC, when House Baratheon was still one of the closest and most loyal houses to House Targaryen, and when House Arryn and House Stark have no known issue with House Targaryen.

Those friendship ties were the only actual ties between those great houses when Jon, Ned, and Robert rebelled against Aerys after he murdered Rickard and Brandon (and possibly Elbert), and demanded the heads of Ned and Robert. There was not a single marriage or blood tie between any of them, not until Ned and Jon brought Hoster in by agreeing to wed his daughters.

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On 9/25/2018 at 11:23 PM, AlaskanSandman said:

I always found it interesting that aside from the Targaryen's, the Iron Born were the only people on the verge of uniting Westeros under one rule. Under House Hoare twice in the histories. Once in their apex under the driftwood kings, and again under the dynastic house leading up to Harren the Black. Who interestingly was only stopped by Aegon. What would have happened if Aegon hadn't showed up? Could the Iron born of this time, who had learned trade, farming and other such things better during Andal times and had Maesters, hold a united Westeros? Would the Maesters oppose this? The Faith of the Seven might, but depends on House Hoare and which way they swung on the matter. Harrenhal has a God's Wood but no known Sept. The Maesters however, have a god's wood on the premise. Guess Westeros is lucky the Iron born never had dragons. 

I could totally see the Ironborn ruling over a united Westeros, as long as they held to the Andal values etc. If the people/lords can accept incestuous sister wives I don't think the Drowned God would be too much to stomach. Imagine if Euron had a Kraken?

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I actually believe the fact that tywin didn't show up to the tourney is the biggest indication that he did give rheagar the money to set up the tourney/meeting. Especially when it turns out that arys is showing up. He would already be a suspect plus he would like to avoid aerys as well.

If it was a conspiracy rheagar wouldn't need tywin there to tell the other lords I'm sure they would trust in rheagar that he was telling the truth. But I actually believe Jaime going to the kings guard would be a final straw for tywin. Rheagar may have even promised tywin he would find a way for Jaime to be honorably removed so he could inherit casterly rock. 

Also I do not believe that the lord of dragonstone makes enough money to accomplish the tourney of harrenhall. The early targ lords I'm sure found a way to get extremely wealthy off their dragons. When aegon rode belerion to war across the narrow sea in the war that the storm king also joined for free. 

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On 10/2/2018 at 5:43 AM, The_Eagle_Lord19 said:

I actually believe the fact that tywin didn't show up to the tourney is the biggest indication that he did give rheagar the money to set up the tourney/meeting. Especially when it turns out that arys is showing up. He would already be a suspect plus he would like to avoid aerys as well.

If it was a conspiracy rheagar wouldn't need tywin there to tell the other lords I'm sure they would trust in rheagar that he was telling the truth. But I actually believe Jaime going to the kings guard would be a final straw for tywin. Rheagar may have even promised tywin he would find a way for Jaime to be honorably removed so he could inherit casterly rock. 

Also I do not believe that the lord of dragonstone makes enough money to accomplish the tourney of harrenhall. The early targ lords I'm sure found a way to get extremely wealthy off their dragons. When aegon rode belerion to war across the narrow sea in the war that the storm king also joined for free. 

The reason that Tywin was not there could easy be because his only son (in his eyes) was going to be a kingsguard and would not have Casterly Rock anymore. The rock would go to Tyrion what in the eyes of Tywin is the worse thing that could happen to him. So i think anger is much more likely also the broken bethrotel to Lysa, Hoster was also not at tournament that we know of. That sounds more plausible than a plot were we dont know anything of. this is information we have. You don't go angry to casterly rock to return happy to Aerys in a tournament.

Rhaegar got al the taxes and loans of dragonstone and driftmark. We don't know the income of the prince, but i guess a Targaryan heir is extremely rich and with the extremely rich Valeryons as bannerman and some other houses and savings you can host any tournament. We know that after the war the Targaryan have a lot of debts, so maybe this point to a theory that they Rhaegar in name of the crown could make debts. We also not have all wereabouts of teh prince maybe he went to braavos or yes maybe to Tywinn.

 

Edited by Seaserpent

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On 10/1/2018 at 8:25 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

On the contrary, I reject all assumptions that Lord Rickard, or any of the other great lords, ever intended or prepared for war with House Targaryen. What scheme, exactly, do you claim Rickard supposed would come to fruition in another couple of years? And in another couple of years from when?

The Frey case occurred in the midst of a war, in which Lord Frey had yet to choose a side between his king and his lord. It was akin to Lord Hoster requiring Lord Eddard and Lord Jon to wed his daughters before he would join in on their side before the Battle of the Bells.  You are suggesting that Rickard intended war against House Targaryen, but not for a number of years.

So, unlike the Frey and Tully cases above, which occurred in the midst of war, and in which the agreed upon marriages had to be put off for battle, Rickard, Hoster, and Robert did not have anything preventing them from sealing the marriages they had agreed to. And there was no purpose waiting if eventual war was their intention.

We have good reason to believe that Brandon and Catelyn had been betrothed for around half a decade before they were set to wed in 282 AC, despite both of them having been old enough to wed and consummate within a year or so of their betrothal. Catelyn was 12 when she was betrothed to Brandon, and was a woman grown when 15 year old Petyr, who was years younger than her, fought 20 year old Brandon in 282 AC. Brandon had become a man grown in 278 AC.

We also know that Lord Robert and Lyanna had "long been betrothed" by the time of the Harrenhal Tourney in late 281 AC, and that both of them had been old enough to wed and consummate at the time of the Harrenhal Tourney. We don't know when Robert and Lyanna were betrothed, but Robert was already Lord of Storm's End, which he became in 278 AC, the same year he became a man grown. Lyanna was 16 when she died in 283 AC.

All parties involved were old enough to wed, and had been old enough to wed for some time, at the time of the Harrenhal Tourney in 281 AC. And if Rickard, Hoster, or Robert had actually made or been part of any plot against the Targaryens, they would have turned these betrothals into marriage ties, and attempted to turn them into blood ties ASAP, no matter how far off they considered war to be.

The idea that any of these great houses would plot a war while not a single one of their members were wed and capable of producing new legitimate members of their houses (Elbert Arryn is the only question mark, the rest are known to have been unwed, and unable to produce legitimate children until they wed), and while going years without sealing the lone two betrothals they had made into actual marriages, is without merit.

Lord Rickard Stark
Brandon Stark
Eddard Stark
Benjen Stark
Lyanna Stark

Lord Hoster Tully
Edmure Tully
Catelyn Tully
Lysa Tully

Lord Robert Baratheon
Stannis Baratheon
Renly Baratheon

Lord Jon Arryn
Elbert Arryn ?

Lord Tywin Lannister
Jaime Lannister
Tyrion Lannister
Cersei Lannister

All unwed, all incapable of producing any new legitimate children until they are.

Stannis was Lord Robert's heir until he produced a legitimate son, which he couldn't do until he actually wed. Edmure was Lord Hoster's heir and only son, and his brother Brynden refused to wed. Ned was next after Brandon until he produced a legitimate heir, which he couldn't do until he actually wed. Elbert was Jon's heir and only close male relative, and it is unknown whether he was wed, betrothed, or neither. They, along with Benjen and Lysa, would have been used to strengthen ties to powerful houses, especially those which needed a reason to choose them over their king. They need not have been wed to their own bannermen, but if these great lords had actually been plotting against House Targaryen, they need to have been wed to somebody. The theory that they believed war was years off wouldn't make the lack of marriages during the years of peace beforehand any less absurd.

There is no evidence for "southron ambitions" referring to an anti-Targaryen plot. The lone references to Rickard's southron ambitions are by Lady Barbrey Dustin, who refers solely to the betrothal between her lover Brandon and Catelyn Tully, with no hint of an anti-Targaryen conspiracy.

Yandel's statement in TWOIAF can't possibly be taken to prove that alliances made by Rickard by blood and friendship were made in the first place as part of a plot against the Targaryens. This is a statement made in hindsight, not with knowledge about the basis for those ties. And it is an inaccurate statement at that.

For once, there were no actual blood ties in those alliances. Robert and Lyanna never wed or had children. Brandon and Catelyn never wed or had children. No blood ties were created between "STAB" until Robb was born to Ned and Catelyn, a marriage that was not made until months into the war, around the Battle of the Bells.

And the friendship ties Yandel speaks of, between Jon, Robert, and Ned, were established a decade before the war, in 271-272 AC, when House Baratheon was still one of the closest and most loyal houses to House Targaryen, and when House Arryn and House Stark have no known issue with House Targaryen.

Those friendship ties were the only actual ties between those great houses when Jon, Ned, and Robert rebelled against Aerys after he murdered Rickard and Brandon (and possibly Elbert), and demanded the heads of Ned and Robert. There was not a single marriage or blood tie between any of them, not until Ned and Jon brought Hoster in by agreeing to wed his daughters.

I agree almost totally with your theory regarding Tywin and Rhaegar.  When I read that part in the books, I immediately thought Tywin was the moneyman.  And why shouldn't he be? He's been loyal to the Targs and practically ruled the kingdom for them and his influence is second only to Aerys's..  He doesn't have a Targ problem, he has an Aerys problem, and Rhaegar as Regent is a good solution, particularly if Rhaegar makes a few promises that will benefit Tywin.  I was surprised afterwards when Yandel named Rhaegar as the probable shadow host with the money, but you know, Rhaegar is dead, easy to blame and Yandel can stay politically neutral in a situation where naming Tywin might not have pleased him.

I do think, however, that any smart Lord would have been thinking about alliances well before Harrenhal.  Aerys was already unstable years before then. The Targaryens no longer had dragons. A coup became very possible.  Even if you weren't planning one yourself, you might want a say in who would rule the country afterwards, and God forbid it was those Tyrrells or worse, those Lannisters, who might just slide onto the throne without a whimper from anyone.

The Starks had no real ties to any of the other kingdoms.  They had almost complete independence except in title and they'd want to keep it that  way.  But with a mad king on the throne, some long term plans to form a bloc was only strategic, and I'd certainly have been thinking that way. So fostering, eventually marriage.  No rush but a good insurance plan.

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34 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

I agree almost totally with your theory regarding Tywin and Rhaegar.  When I read that part in the books, I immediately thought Tywin was the moneyman.  And why shouldn't he be? He's been loyal to the Targs and practically ruled the kingdom for them and his influence is second only to Aerys's..  He doesn't have a Targ problem, he has an Aerys problem, and Rhaegar as Regent is a good solution, particularly if Rhaegar makes a few promises that will benefit Tywin.  I was surprised afterwards when Yandel named Rhaegar as the probable shadow host with the money, but you know, Rhaegar is dead, easy to blame and Yandel can stay politically neutral in a situation where naming Tywin might not have pleased him.

I do think, however, that any smart Lord would have been thinking about alliances well before Harrenhal.  Aerys was already unstable years before then. The Targaryens no longer had dragons. A coup became very possible.  Even if you weren't planning one yourself, you might want a say in who would rule the country afterwards, and God forbid it was those Tyrrells or worse, those Lannisters, who might just slide onto the throne without a whimper from anyone.

The Starks had no real ties to any of the other kingdoms.  They had almost complete independence except in title and they'd want to keep it that  way.  But with a mad king on the throne, some long term plans to form a bloc was only strategic, and I'd certainly have been thinking that way. So fostering, eventually marriage.  No rush but a good insurance plan.

My problem with Tywin, is Rhaegar, and Jamie's last memory of him. 

Rhaegar refuses to let Jamie go with him, as his father fear's Tywin, and Rhaegar will not take that crutch away from his father. Meaning, Rhaegar is happy to serve his father, keep Jamie as hostage at King's Landing against any actions from Tywin, and acknowledges Tywin as the greater threat. 

If Rhaegar was aiding Tywin, then Rhaegar would have allowed Jamie to go with him. Leaving Aerys with no leverage against Tywin. 

I just can't see it. 

Rhaegar is lost to Tywin forever. Rhaegar is not going to war with Dorne just to ditch Elia for Cersei imo. There is no honorable way to do it. Plus Rhaegar already has an heir. Even if Rhaegar remarries to Cersei, he'd have to change his heir, guaranteeing problems down the road between his children. 

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29 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

My problem with Tywin, is Rhaegar, and Jamie's last memory of him. 

Rhaegar refuses to let Jamie go with him, as his father fear's Tywin, and Rhaegar will not take that crutch away from his father. Meaning, Rhaegar is happy to serve his father, keep Jamie as hostage at King's Landing against any actions from Tywin, and acknowledges Tywin as the greater threat. 

If Rhaegar was aiding Tywin, then Rhaegar would have allowed Jamie to go with him. Leaving Aerys with no leverage against Tywin. 

I just can't see it. 

Rhaegar is lost to Tywin forever. Rhaegar is not going to war with Dorne just to ditch Elia for Cersei imo. There is no honorable way to do it. Plus Rhaegar already has an heir. Even if Rhaegar remarries to Cersei, he'd have to change his heir, guaranteeing problems down the road between his children. 

But things changed between Harrenhal and the Rebellion when Rhaegar spoke to Jaime.  At Harrenhal, Rhaegar was to be Regent. With the Rebellion, Targs, all of them, could be destroyed.  Even Jaime could probably understand why Aerys would keep him to prevent Tywin from siding with the rebels. Any alliance between Rhaegar and Tywin to put Rhaegar in as Regent would be put on hold until the Rebellion was settled.

As for Cersei, I doubt that was any part of the deal though who knows.  Maybe a marriage to Viserys when he was older. But I don't know.  Maybe just getting rid of Aerys was enough for Tywin.

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11 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

But things changed between Harrenhal and the Rebellion when Rhaegar spoke to Jaime.  At Harrenhal, Rhaegar was to be Regent. With the Rebellion, Targs, all of them, could be destroyed.  Even Jaime could probably understand why Aerys would keep him to prevent Tywin from siding with the rebels. Any alliance between Rhaegar and Tywin to put Rhaegar in as Regent would be put on hold until the Rebellion was settled.

As for Cersei, I doubt that was any part of the deal though who knows.  Maybe a marriage to Viserys when he was older. But I don't know.  Maybe just getting rid of Aerys was enough for Tywin.

Interesting. I dont have much to offer unfortunately. Im actually not a big conspiracy guy despite appearances haha. I just cant figure out this whole Southern ambitions thing, or who would be arranging Harrenhal. I've wondered about Tyrells, or Tywin. I've tried looking at marriages and arrangements and such. but nothing seem's to add up to much.

Only thing i can figure is House Tyrell just for the sake of causing discord. Due to Olenna Redwyne being spurned. But i can't see how they'd get the crown. Unless maybe they were hoping to get Viserys and off Rhaegar and his kids? 

Elia having Aegon with Rhaegar poses a problem for any ones plans, and when that happened is unknown. If she was pregnant at Harrenhal, then they woudnt know Rhaegar had an heir, but if she birthed before, then they would. Seeing how fast Rhaegar took to the road after Harrenhal, i just dont see the birth happening after.

So imo, everyone went into Harrenhal knowing Aegon was born and maybe even being announced there. 

Edit- Keep in mind Summerhall was meant to be the announcement/birth of Rhaegar and all gathered.

Edited by AlaskanSandman

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2 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Interesting. I dont have much to offer unfortunately. Im actually not a big conspiracy guy despite appearances haha. I just cant figure out this whole Southern ambitions thing, or who would be arranging Harrenhal. I've wondered about Tyrells, or Tywin. I've tried looking at marriages and arrangements and such. but nothing seem's to add up to much.

Only thing i can figure is House Tyrell just for the sake of causing discord. Due to Olenna Redwyne being spurned. But i can't see how they'd get the crown. Unless maybe they were hoping to get Viserys and off Rhaegar and his kids? 

Elia having Aegon with Rhaegar poses a problem for any ones plans, and when that happened is unknown. If she was pregnant at Harrenhal, then they woudnt know Rhaegar had an heir, but if she birthed before, then they would. Seeing how fast Rhaegar took to the road after Harrenhal, i just dont see the birth happening after.

So imo, everyone went into Harrenhal knowing Aegon was born and maybe even being announced there. 

Edit- Keep in mind Summerhall was meant to be the announcement/birth of Rhaegar and all gathered.

The first that we know of that the Tyrells were plotting together with Renly to let Robert cast aside cersei for Margaery, who looks like Lyanna in his eyes. He shows the picture to Ned. So plotting against the Lannisters definitely was on his way, also because of the rumors. I think they took no part before.

Rickard was on the longterm thinking south, with not even looking for his children in the North itself or inside the old gods culture. But Rickard was not plotting to overthrow the Targaryans there is no reason for that, only [political power i think and maybe economically.

I thought that george stated that the woman and man in the house of the undying were Rhaegar and Elia, where Rhaegar said that baby Aegon has a song of ice and fire. This was after the tournament whats making the kidnappping of Lyanna really strange, because Rhaegar was in his mind allready the father of 1 special baby.  Now i dont know if he kidnapped Lyanna before or after this.

But Rhaegar and the tournament is very off, because even when the lord declare for him crowning Lyanna and dishonor the Starks and the Baratheons would not help him. Offcourse Rhaegar knows Tywinn will fight for him if many other lords are also declaring for him and Dorne has to do the same because of elia being his wife. So we could say that Rhaegar let all these opportunities slide for a fuck or a prophecy. But i think there is more to this stupid decisions that meets the eye. Maybe bloodraven or other magic powers, because Aegon V, Aerion, Aerys II all did things that were stupid and not necessary.

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