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Jaak

[SPOILERS] How gay were the Beast with Four Backs?

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Well, how gay were they?

Rhaena - seems to have got along fine with Aegon. But that was what they were expected to do. Androw... "never passionate", even in the first year on Fair Isle, nor did he give her children even then. Was he always just a beard for her? And then there is the unproven allegation of getting deflowered by some low boy on her trips by dragon. Does her later track record suggest against the allegation (that she would not have been that interested in men to explore outside the approved marriage)?

Elissa - scared off grooms even before meeting Rhaena.

But that leaves Samantha Stokeworth and Alana Royce.

About the age of Rhaena. No husband or engagement mentioned.

After 48, Queen in the West/East could support her court/household/harem.

But 42 to 48?

Rhaena was not in position to support a household then.

Were Samantha and Alana ever interested in men for their own sake?

Did they have any need of status/security of heterosexual marriage between 42 and 48, when they were in their early 20s and Rhaena not in position to run her own harem?

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i also felt some lesbian vibes from Rhaena, her marriage with the farman boy just a front so she could stay with his sister, and their separation felt more like a breakup if anything else.

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I just checked dates and it looks like Androw was around twelve when he first met Rhaena. I think it confirms that Rhaena was actually in love with his sister Elissa. It's rather unlikely that she actually fell in love with him as when she left Fair Isle when he was only 15.

Edited by Paxter Redwyne

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I'm not sure that her marriage to Androw Farman was ever consummated.

I think it's clear she was much more emotionally and sexually interested in women than in men.

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Interesting how Androw managed to shock her out of all sexuality.

As a 31 year old Queen of Dragonstone, she had been running a harem of 5 - the two remaining heads of the Beast (Samantha and Alana) but she was up to picking up new girlfriends - the 14 year old Cassella Staunton, a septa and a new Velaryon.

To the 33 year old who had found Larissa to be the Kinder Ghost, Alysanne pointed out that she was young enough to marry again - in which case, Rhaena would eat her fourth husband herself. So much about men... but wouldn´t the still 33 year old Queen of Harrenhal consider getting more girlfriends?

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This is an odd question, considering that I'm not really aware that this is question we can answer by giving a continuum.

7 hours ago, Jaak said:

As a 31 year old Queen of Dragonstone, she had been running a harem of 5 - the two remaining heads of the Beast (Samantha and Alana) but she was up to picking up new girlfriends - the 14 year old Cassella Staunton, a septa and a new Velaryon.

I think it is wrong to talk about a 'harem' here. Yes, it seems that Rhaena's early favorites were also her 'girlfriends' for a time, and one assumes they had sex occasionally. But there is no indication she had affairs with all her former and present favorites on Fair Isle or Dragonstone. It seems clear, I think, that Elissa basically was her spouse on Fair Isle and Dragonstone, and the others were there as friends and companions (and perhaps even in bed - but perhaps not)

In fact, there are hints that she actually took all kind of misfits and people with issue in her retinue, including Androw himself. That's what you can draw from her words when she demands a seat of her own from Jaehaerys I where both she and all she took under her protection were safe.

Chances are not that bad that certain of her companions were actually in relationships with each other - especially the older ladies.

Where the hell would a lesbian woman go in the early 50s but Rhaena Targaryen's Dragonstone? There they could be what they were, without being forced to also entertain some husband.

7 hours ago, Jaak said:

To the 33 year old who had found Larissa to be the Kinder Ghost, Alysanne pointed out that she was young enough to marry again - in which case, Rhaena would eat her fourth husband herself. So much about men... but wouldn´t the still 33 year old Queen of Harrenhal consider getting more girlfriends?

That's pretty much obvious. Elissa's betrayal, Androw's betrayal and the murder of all of her companions, and Aerea's death pretty much broke her. She no longer had any interest hanging out with other people, be it on a romantic or a sexual manner. Rhaena never was all that much of a people person, and her preference for solitude already comes to the fore during the year she spends in the wilderness with Dreamfyre her only companion. She continues that lifestyle at Harrenhal.

But who knows - perhaps Alys Rivers is Rhaena's daughter by Maegor Towers... ;-)?

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On 12/8/2018 at 4:35 PM, Paxter Redwyne said:

I just checked dates and it looks like Androw was around twelve when he first met Rhaena. I think it confirms that Rhaena was actually in love with his sister Elissa. It's rather unlikely that she actually fell in love with him as when she left Fair Isle when he was only 15.

She also actually liked Aegon - and she was 3 years his elder, married him when he was 15, got pregnant when he was 16, and he died at age 18.

Looks like a pattern? Women and boys, but not men...

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3 hours ago, Jaak said:

She also actually liked Aegon - and she was 3 years his elder, married him when he was 15, got pregnant when he was 16, and he died at age 18.

Looks like a pattern? Women and boys, but not men...

Prince Aegon was actually rumored to have been already interested in women at that age.

Quote

Of late, many a young maiden had cast her eye upon the prince, and Aegon was not indifferent to their charms. “If the prince is not wed,” Grand Maester Gawen wrote the Citadel, “His Grace may soon have a bastard grandchild to contend with.”

 

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1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Prince Aegon was actually rumored to have been already interested in women at that age.

Plenty of middle school boys have interest in adult actresses and teachers over and above same age schoolmates. And quite a lot of young adult women teachers have been persecuted for returning the interest.

How rare is the combination of liking young males and also females, but not adult males?

Aegon was 16 when Rhaena had him impregnate her. Well, Androw was not with her when he was 15...16... and when he was 17, their marriage was "never passionate" any longer. From that age, it got worse.

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2 minutes ago, Jaak said:

Plenty of middle school boys have interest in adult actresses and teachers over and above same age schoolmates. And quite a lot of young adult women teachers have been persecuted for returning the interest.

How rare is the combination of liking young males and also females, but not adult males?

Aegon was 16 when Rhaena had him impregnate her. Well, Androw was not with her when he was 15...16... and when he was 17, their marriage was "never passionate" any longer. From that age, it got worse.

I am not sure, what you are saying. Are you suggesting that she was ephebophile as well as lesbian/bisexual?

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6 hours ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

I am not sure, what you are saying. Are you suggesting that she was ephebophile as well as lesbian/bisexual?

Yes. That might be a common cause explanation why she could put up with Aegon and Androw, but lost interest when Androw lived to grow up.

The pattern of a bisexual liking adult women and young boys, but not adult men, is common with male bisexuals - like pederasts, who loved boys, and also adult women wives and hetairae, but not adult men. Is it at all attested with female bisexuals?

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 12:01 AM, Lord Varys said:

This is an odd question, considering that I'm not really aware that this is question we can answer by giving a continuum.

I think it is wrong to talk about a 'harem' here. Yes, it seems that Rhaena's early favorites were also her 'girlfriends' for a time, and one assumes they had sex occasionally. But there is no indication she had affairs with all her former and present favorites on Fair Isle or Dragonstone. It seems clear, I think, that Elissa basically was her spouse on Fair Isle and Dragonstone, and the others were there as friends and companions (and perhaps even in bed - but perhaps not)

In fact, there are hints that she actually took all kind of misfits and people with issue in her retinue, including Androw himself. That's what you can draw from her words when she demands a seat of her own from Jaehaerys I where both she and all she took under her protection were safe.

I wonder if she saw mirrors of herself in those misfits, people who just didn't quite fit into the role given to them for one reason or another.

In terms of her favourites, aside from Elissa, they may stayed with her not just out of loyalty but also so they could be themselves and not be made to marry and instead love another woman.   I also wondered about the beast with four heads maybe being two couples, Rhaena had Elissa and Alayne had Sam maybe. 

Perhaps they wanted to avoid the fate of Larissa who seemed to be shipped off to be married quick when she and Rhaena possibly got rumbled.  Equally now a grown woman and with her own power and seat, Rhaena had the means to protect them in a way she didn't have with Larissa.

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Rhaena had her favourite hand-maidens already long before marrying Aegon, having a tantrum if she didn't have one of them going on tours with her. I'd say she did her duty with Aegon, because she expected and wanted to be queen, and thus had to give him heirs. Because she knew him all her life, and he was her brother, at least she cared for him (if not romantically). Plenty of lesbian women and gay men married someone of the other gender, had an affectionate loving relationship with them and children, without being in love with them or feeling sexual gratification throughout history. 

After Aegon is dead, she is then forced to wed Maegor, having to bed him. She does this to ensure her daughters aren't hurt.

Maegor dies and Jaehaerys becomes king. The likelihood that she will be queen is nihil, and so she fully indulges herself, and falls in love with Elissa, but in order to have a pretext to keep her lover with her, even after she removes herself from Far-Isle, she needs an outside pretext. Hence she marries Elissa's boy brother, who's docile, sweet, trying to please Rhaena, and will do whatever she says him to. Since he's that young still, the wedding doesn't require a public bedding. Her wedding was private and a small affair. I don't think she ever bedded Farman, nor did she ever planned to, and she didn't care for him either. He was nothing more than a front. His murders and resentment towards Rhaena make that very clear. 

I don't see how you can get from the text that Rhaena was ever attracted to Farman. It's actually stated that the boy has nothing to commend himself really.

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36 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Rhaena had her favourite hand-maidens already long before marrying Aegon, having a tantrum if she didn't have one of them going on tours with her. I'd say she did her duty with Aegon, because she expected and wanted to be queen, and thus had to give him heirs. Because she knew him all her life, and he was her brother, at least she cared for him (if not romantically). Plenty of lesbian women and gay men married someone of the other gender, had an affectionate loving relationship with them and children, without being in love with them or feeling sexual gratification throughout history. 

After Aegon is dead, she is then forced to wed Maegor, having to bed him. She does this to ensure her daughters aren't hurt.

Maegor dies and Jaehaerys becomes king. The likelihood that she will be queen is nihil, and so she fully indulges herself, and falls in love with Elissa, but in order to have a pretext to keep her lover with her, even after she removes herself from Far-Isle, she needs an outside pretext. Hence she marries Elissa's boy brother, who's docile, sweet, trying to please Rhaena, and will do whatever she says him to. Since he's that young still, the wedding doesn't require a public bedding. Her wedding was private and a small affair. I don't think she ever bedded Farman, nor did she ever planned to, and she didn't care for him either. He was nothing more than a front. His murders and resentment towards Rhaena make that very clear. 

I don't see how you can get from the text that Rhaena was ever attracted to Farman. It's actually stated that the boy has nothing to commend himself really.

Probably because of this quote: 

Quote

Rhaena had grown fond of Lord Farman, and more than fond of his second son, Androw.

 

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I think she was fond of Androw, but not in a romantic or sexual way. He was kind to her, I think she was probably honest about that. He was a young, sweet natured kind boy it seems, and after what Rhaena had been through she probably appreciated these nice Farman's who'd been so good to her.  

He also seems to have adored his sister, so maybe was happy to go along with the marriage because of his love for her.  But as the years went by what he'd agreed to as a boy maybe wasn't something he was as comfortable with as a man especially as he got treated largely as a spare art as the years went by after they'd left Fair Isle.  Once Elissa was gone (the person he seemed to love above all others) along with the manner of her leaving which left him under a cloud of suspicion of helping her steal the eggs, everything fell apart afterwards.  

Rhaena lost so many people in her life starting with Melony and Aegon and then ending with the Androw's murderous spree, I'm not surprised in the end she was happy at Harrenhall she'd seen enough death and had enough ghosts that place probably held no fear for her.  Although it wouldn't surprise me if she had a few nice looking maid servants just to look at, she wasn't completely dead yet, lol.

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18 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Probably because of this quote: 

 

And what is the "more than fond of" based on? F&B tends to relay later events in earlier timed passages, the author sometimes being somewhat naive. Seems to me that the author inserted the "more than fond of" based on the fact that Rhaena wedded the second son. But do we actually have any evidence of Rhaena being fond of her third husband at all? None. We only have confirmation in the wedding chapter that the groom was besotted with her, as well as plenty of people wondering what the hell she saw in him in return.

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3 hours ago, naseridrl said:

I wonder if she saw mirrors of herself in those misfits, people who just didn't quite fit into the role given to them for one reason or another.

That is pretty much what's implied. It is also what's strongly implied about Androw. She was never in love with the boy, most likely, but she would have liked him still in a way, and there is no reason not to believe the anecdote she told as to why she married him - 'He was kind to me'. As a woman who was never actually into men she may have been a better judge of character than most - and it is only Elissa's theft of the dragon eggs later on that pretty much destroys the friendship between Androw and Rhaena.

Rhaena Targaryen was not forced to marry Androw to be with Elissa. She could have just stayed at Fair Isle or she could have taken Elissa with her as she later did. She wasn't married to the brothers or her other favorites, either.

3 hours ago, naseridrl said:

In terms of her favourites, aside from Elissa, they may stayed with her not just out of loyalty but also so they could be themselves and not be made to marry and instead love another woman.   I also wondered about the beast with four heads maybe being two couples, Rhaena had Elissa and Alayne had Sam maybe. 

That is not unlikely at all. In any case, it is very touching to see how loyal Melony Piper and Alayne Royce were, unlike Prince Aegon's male sycophants. Melony Piper even died for her former lover. And Alayne is described as 'a plump and homely girl', making it very clear that Rhaena's interest in lovers and favorites was not exactly motivated by good looks. The fact that she took Alayne along on Dreamfyre back in the day when only Aegon could join her there is also a pretty telling sign.

But that the women staying with Rhaena must have gotten something out of that is pretty clear. And one assumes that they must have gotten along pretty well.

3 hours ago, naseridrl said:

Perhaps they wanted to avoid the fate of Larissa who seemed to be shipped off to be married quick when she and Rhaena possibly got rumbled.  Equally now a grown woman and with her own power and seat, Rhaena had the means to protect them in a way she didn't have with Larissa.

I'm not sure Larissa was shipped off because of the whole lesbian thing but rather because it was improper for Rhaena to actually treat another girl as if she were her bride/lover. It was those great favors Rhaena granted her companions that apparently caused gossip. The way royal and noble women live female sexuality/lesbian sex is as much a non-issue as it was in our middle ages (and the modern days until the last century). They did not only share chambers but also beds, so it is very obvious that a large percentage of girls and women would have had sexual experiences with another women, some out of curiosity (kissing lessons and the like) others because they fell in love with one of their companions.

Things that happen between Dany and her handmaidens or between Cersei and Taena (although not exactly the way they happen between these two) shouldn't be that uncommon. It isn't even clear whether the culture does count things like that as sex. Note that Mushroom's story about Rhaenyra not being deflowered (but basically doing nearly any other thing we would describe as sex today with him) defends her honor and has her remain a maiden. The crucial thing is what you do with/get into your vagina. Caressing and licking and great organisms from all that really don't count.

In that sense I don't think it was an issue for Alyssa and Aenys what their daughter did with her friends in bed - what caused issues was how far she went to publicly show her affection for this or that girl/woman.

And it is also that what raises the ire of Franklyn Farman later on. This is not about lesbian sex as such - that might happen all day long behind closed doors - it is that women (his sister, in that case) decide to leave the only path that's open for a noble woman in this world - marry and have children.

In that sense Rhaena and her gang really are among the most progressive women we get in the entire series.

What is a pity is that Rhaena could never properly bond with Aerea, but that is hardly surprising considering their long separation - even more so if Aerea was actually Rhaella and thus the girl stepfather Maegor shipped off to the Faith. If the later 'Aerea' had been the girl Rhaena fled with from KL on Dreamfyre they may have gotten some opportunity to reconnect.

Aerea's own character traits didn't make that easier, either. The entire thing very much shows how difficult it can be for (estranged) parents/children to (re-)connect never mind how much they might actually have in common. 

What really seems odd, though, is that apparently no companion of Rhaena's but Elissa took any interest in Aerea on Dragonstone. That strikes me as pretty unlikely, considering the overall rank of the girl. It may have been better if Aerea had at least had some superficial friendship with at least one other woman there, one that ended when Androw killed that person. But who knows - perhaps Gyldayn was just no aware of that stuff.

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24 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

What is a pity is that Rhaena could never properly bond with Aerea, but that is hardly surprising considering their long separation - even more so if Aerea was actually Rhaella and thus the girl stepfather Maegor shipped off to the Faith. If the later 'Aerea' had been the girl Rhaena fled with from KL on Dreamfyre they may have gotten some opportunity to reconnect.

Aerea's own character traits didn't make that easier, either. The entire thing very much shows how difficult it can be for (estranged) parents/children to (re-)connect never mind how much they might actually have in common. 

What really seems odd, though, is that apparently no companion of Rhaena's but Elissa took any interest in Aerea on Dragonstone. That strikes me as pretty unlikely, considering the overall rank of the girl. It may have been better if Aerea had at least had some superficial friendship with at least one other woman there, one that ended when Androw killed that person. But who knows - perhaps Gyldayn was just no aware of that stuff.

There seems a fundamental lack of strong female friendships/mentorships in ASOIAF, and I largely put the Aerea thing down to that when it comes to the other women not having much to do with her, I don't think GRRM really knows how to write it or thinks of it.   It's also odd that Aerea has no companions her own age to play with, learn with or from.  It's not like Lords would have been shy of having their daughter be companion to someone of Aerea's status, and even if somehow they were Rhaena had bannerman on dragonstone some of their daughters would have been fine. 

When it comes to Rhaena and Aerea, they had both been through so much I think they were both just at a loss with each other.  Rhaena had suffered great loss, and had done so much to keep her daughters safe, but in the process had lost her connection to them.  Aerea had been buffeted from pillar to post from one group of adults to another, she probably struggled to believe any of them truly cared for her.  She was also only a child and had no means of properly articulating her feelings well after what she'd gone through so young and also with Rhaena being damaged by what had happened to her they were just a tragic case where love just isn't enough and can't undo everything else that happened which Rhaena or Aerea had no control over. 

Also you make an interesting point about the swapping of the twins and who's who.  Maybe one saw herself as abandoned by her mother, whereas if she'd been the one who Rhaena fled with she may have felt her mother was her rescuer or at least someone who tried to keep her safe.  Stuck away in the Reach one of them would have had no real idea what the hell was going on with her mother and whether her mother had thrown her away or what.  The whole ting is just one giant mess for them both, even ''Rhaella'' who gets a happier ending isn't likely to have come out of her childhood experiences unscathed.

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49 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

And what is the "more than fond of" based on? F&B tends to relay later events in earlier timed passages, the author sometimes being somewhat naive. Seems to me that the author inserted the "more than fond of" based on the fact that Rhaena wedded the second son. But do we actually have any evidence of Rhaena being fond of her third husband at all? None. We only have confirmation in the wedding chapter that the groom was besotted with her, as well as plenty of people wondering what the hell she saw in him in return.

Sure, but you can dismiss a lot of things in the book if we go by that logic.

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4 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Sure, but you can dismiss a lot of things in the book if we go by that logic.

We do need to be careful with the suggestions in there. Now, I do think she originally liked him enough to admit him to her circle of friends, but not in any sexual sense, even though that sentence initially seems to imply the latter. Farman's words as grown man in the chapter of the murders reveals he reflects to this as having been duped, that Rhaena never actually looked at him twice. She didn't even take him on her dragon once.

And there was a need for Rhaena to find a groom asap, before her brother the new king (or his Hand) would decide for her. She was too young to be left unmarried for long, and she's the only sister of marriagable age to forge alliances with. My guess is that she expected Baratheon to try and marry her to one of his brothers. Rhaena was smart on this. She expected Maegor's summons to wed him too long before it came. So, she stays away from KL asap and weds Farman without giving notice to her brother or his Hand, nor invites him.

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