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John Suburbs

The KoLT and Subsequent Events

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4 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Eh, maybe. But the jousting is the premiere event featuring all the noble lords and knights, including her brothers and her betrothed. It also involves horses, which she is mad for. It would be very odd if she was not there because she's watching a bunch of commoners shoot arrows and throw axes.

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 Besides the jousting, there was a mêlée in the old style fought between seven teams of knights <notably competed in by her fiance>, as well as archery and axe-throwing, a horse race, a tournament of singers, a mummer show, and many feasts and frolics. 

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Five days of Jousting were planned

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late on the second day

 

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Rhaegar has command over the host, sure, but the KG is Aerys'. They should either be in the field marching against his foes or at his side protecting him. That is their job.

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The first duty of the Kingsguard was to defend the king from harm or threat. The white knights were sworn to obey the king's commands as well, to keep his secrets, counsel him when counsel was requested and keep silent when it was not, serve his pleasure and defend his name and honor. Strictly speaking, it was purely the king's choice whether or not to extend Kingsguard protection to others, even those of royal blood. Some kings thought it right and proper to dispatch Kingsguard to serve and defend their wives and children, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins of greater and lesser degree, and occasionally even their lovers, mistresses, and bastards. But others preferred to use household knights and men-at-arms for those purposes, whilst keeping their seven as their own personal guard, never far from their sides.
If the queen had commanded me to protect Hizdahr, I would have had no choice but to obey. 

 

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If Rhaegar believed this then he truly was mad, in complete contradiction to the memories of everyone who knew him, even Ned.

 

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And this flies completely in the face of Aerys' subsequent actions. He thinks Rhaegar is a traitor, trying to usurp his crown. Whether this abduction was forced or not, this is the perfect opportunity to expose Rhaegar's unfitness to rule, given that he is so willing to light the realm on fire just to satisfy is own personal lusts.

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"No." It all came back to him. Jon Connington had been Prince Rhaegar's friend. When Merryweather failed so dismally to contain Robert's Rebellion and Prince Rhaegar could not be found, Aerys had turned to the next best thing, and raised Connington to the Handship. 

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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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and Prince Rhaegar returned from the south and persuaded his father to swallow his pride and summon my father

 

 

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

He is if it means his knights were unhorsed by a woman.

 

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Unlike the Freys, the Darrys had been prominent Targaryen loyalists

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Ser Leslyn Haigh is a vassal of House Frey.[3]

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Ser Leslyn Haigh, a knight.

The Blounts are at least from the Crownlands, so technically Targaryen vassals. Even if Ser Boros was appointed to Robert's KG, even though Jaime and Barristan already represent the loyalists.

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

This is why he needs it to be Jaime, except Rhaegar ruined that plan by saying he found the armor under a tree, with Jaime nowhere in sight.

18 hours ago, corbon said:
decided that the mystery knight was Ser Jaime Lannister. His newest Kingsguard had defied him and returned to the tourney, he told every man who would listen.
Furious, he commanded his own knights to defeat the Knight of the Laughing Tree when the jousts resumed the next morning, so that he might be unmasked and his perfidy exposed for all to see
Edited by corbon

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53 minutes ago, Bastard of Bournemouth said:

I think your theory's interesting, and I wouldn't personally rule anything out until we get it from Howland Reed, Ashara Dayne; Darkstar, or whoever the hell does know. Your analysis of mystery writing is also spot on. There's always at least one, and usually multiple, hard sells. 

I'm not sure about the above though. Didn't Ned and a few of his mates do in three King's guard at the Tower of Joy? I know it's not all about swordsmanship and I'm not disputing their strategic acumen, but were any of them renowned for maverick stuff a la R-Bazzy and the Young Wolf? Maybe Dayne with his Hearts and minds of the people stuff in the Kingswood, but still: would they have conjured up some brilliant new tactic not considered by Rhaegar, Selmy, Martell etc? I dunno...

It was Eddard Stark and six of his companions, so it was seven against three. But even with those odds, I would still expect the 3 KG to prevail. The wild card here was Howland Reed, who fights with spear, net . . . and poisons, and who has no problem hiding and attacking from behind. Ned himself says Arthur Dayne would have killed him if not for Howland Reed.

And even then, it was a close thing, with only Ned and Howland surviving.

This would be very different in an actual battle with lances, swords and such, and where enemies face each other toe-to-toe. Three more KG, the best in the land, would most definitely have turned the tide, and there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn't have been there or with the king rather than guarding Rhaegar's little piece on the side -- unless they had either turned against their king or were order by their king to be there.

Whatever razzle-dazzle the rebels had, they would have used, and it would have led to the exact stalemate that existed until Robert and Rhaegar met. And Robert never would have gotten close to Rhaegar if the White Bull was there. His men would have broken and ran as soon as he fell. Prince Llewyn would not have fallen if Arthur Dayne was by his side. 

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27 minutes ago, corbon said:

 

 

 

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and Prince Rhaegar returned from the south and persuaded his father to swallow his pride and summon my father

 

 

 

The Blounts are at least from the Crownlands, so technically Targaryen vassals. Even if Ser Boros was appointed to Robert's KG, even though Jaime and Barristan already represent the loyalists.

Sorry, all I see are a bunch of quotes that support my contentions.

The first duty of the kingsguard is to protect their king from harm or threat. The KING may extend that coverage to the royal family, and sometimes his own lovers and bastards, but nowhere does the crown prince have the authority to do this, particularly to protect his paramour and particularly when the threat to the king is so high.

Most of this is from the World Book, right? Hardly an unimpeachable source, especially when it comes to the private conversations between king and prince. He already mistrusts Rhaegar. What would suddenly cause him to change his mind, especially since it was Rhaegar who got him into this fix in the first place and then vanished for months while the battles were raging? He is already keeping Llewyn by threatening Elia and the children. Why wouldn't he do the same for the disloyal Rhaegar?

You're right about Hightower being sent after Rhaegar, though. The wiki states this, but it sources it to the WB which says no such thing.

The Darrys are prominent loyalists, but this does not mean the Freys are traitors or are even involved in the plotting. In fact, given the distrust between Tullys and Freys, it would be remarkable if they were. The Freys were not even present with the rebel army until after the Trident was won. So it is perfectly conceivable that a Haigh would still be a known Aerys-man. Many of Hoster Tully's own bannermen remained loyal to the crown even after he called his banners for the rebels.

And we don't know if the Haigh at the Harrenhal tourney was Leslyn. More likely it was Donnel, who is a piss-pour jouster now and probably even worse when he was younger.

 

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8 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Most of this is from the World Book, right? Hardly an unimpeachable source, especially when it comes to the private conversations between king and prince. He already mistrusts Rhaegar.

There are no quotes from the world book covering private conversations in my last post.
One world book quote says Rhaegar took command when he returned from the south, which is supported textually, repeatedly, elsewhere.
The other world book quote is Aerys publicly telling everyone he could that the KotLT was Jaime and (apparently also publicly, note according to Meera's story Robert Baratheon and Richard Lonmouth were among those who swore to do it, so textual support for it as a public demand) furiously ordering his knights to defeat the knight and why.
Other quotes are from the main series (recollections of or statements by Barristan, Jaime, JonCon and others), except with wiki references showing House Haigh being extremely close (family in fact, not to mention direct vassals) to House Frey - previously supported by a quote showing several Freys and the Haighs drinking together the night before the Red wedding.

 

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1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

This would be very different in an actual battle with lances, swords and such, and where enemies face each other toe-to-toe. Three more KG, the best in the land, would most definitely have turned the tide

Hmmm, I can't remember the exact quote, but I think Barristan tells Dany that however strong or adept a knight is there is always someone who can beat him - it's in the context of Rhaegar I think? 

The king's guard are very good, but they're not Jedis or Space Marines :). I don't think ten, or even, twenty of them would have guaranteed victory in a war (though you certainly wouldn't turn them down!). For every Llewyn there is a Corbray, for every Dayne, a Clegane, for every Hightower a Greatjohn, etc. 

If seven Northmen beat three of them and two survived, I'm not sure differences in terrain or the mode of engagement would alter the ratio as much as you say. I do like the idea of Howland Reed as a Kings guard shredding bog-ninja though - I keep thinking of toad from the X men comics now. 

 

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52 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

 wild card here was Howland Reed, who fights with spear, net . . . and poisons, and who has no problem hiding and attacking from behind.

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"It was the green men he meant to find. So he donned a shirt sewn with bronze scales, like mine, took up a leathern shield and a three-pronged spear, like mine, and paddled a little skin boat down the Green Fork."

Howland as the little crannogman use a shield and spear, no mention of a net. Though he did teach Meera its use later.
The only references to poison used by crannogmen, are generic Andal claims about crannogmen, and when specified talk about arrows and fighting from hiding (ie arrows and darts, not spears and swords).

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"I thank you." Bran wondered if he would have to eat a frog to be polite. "I offer you the meat and mead of Winterfell." He tried to recall all he had been taught of the crannogmen, who dwelt amongst the bogs of the Neck and seldom left their wetlands. They were a poor folk, fishers and frog-hunters who lived in houses of thatch and woven reeds on floating islands hidden in the deeps of the swamp. It was said that they were a cowardly people who fought with poisoned weapons and preferred to hide from foes rather than face them in open battle. And yet Howland Reed had been one of Father's staunchest companions during the war for King Robert's crown, before Bran was born.

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"We won't find them," the Frey boy said suddenly. "Not so long as the frogeaters are with them. Mudmen are sneaks, they won't fight like decent folks, they skulk and use poison arrows. You never see them, but they see you. Those who go into the bogs after them get lost and never come out. Their houses move, even the castles like Greywater Watch." He glanced nervously at greenery that encircled them on all sides. "They might be out there right now, listening to everything we say."

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"In name, at least. Harren died at Moat Cailin. One of the bog devils shot him with a poisoned arrow. But I am the lord of nothing. When my father denied his claim to the Seastone Chair, the Crow's Eye drowned him and made my uncles swear him fealty. Even after that he gave half my father's lands to Iron Holt. Lord Wynch was the first man to bend his knee and call him king."

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In Moat Cailin he had taken to wearing mail day and night. Sore shoulders and an aching back were easier to bear than bloody bowels. The poisoned arrows of the bog devils need only scratch a man, and a few hours later he would be squirting and screaming as his life ran down his legs in gouts of red and brown. Whoever wins the Seastone Chair, I shall deal with the bog devils.

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Besides, where would he run to? Behind him were the camps, crowded with Dreadfort men and those the Ryswells had brought from the Rills, with the Barrowton host between them. South of Moat Cailin, another army was coming up the causeway, an army of Boltons and Freys marching beneath the banners of the Dreadfort. East of the road lay a bleak and barren shore and a cold salt sea, to the west the swamps and bogs of the Neck, infested with serpents, lizard lions, and bog devils with their poisoned arrows.

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"He was on the parapets and some bog devil loosed an arrow at him. It was only a graze, but … they poison their shafts, smear the points with shit and worse things. We poured boiling wine into the wound, but it made no difference."

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From his shoulders streamed a pink woolen cloak embroidered with droplets of blood. Long streamers of red silk fluttered from the top of his closed helm. No crannogman will slay Roose Bolton with a poisoned arrow, Reek thought when he first saw him. 

Oberyn Martell, now there's a man said to fight with poisoned weapons, swords and spears both. Victarion suspects Ser Talbot Serry, an Andal knight he fought on a Reacher ship, to have used poison on his blade.

Ok, I found one for you. Its hearsay, and from the world book you don't believe is a good source, but it does suggest poisoned crannogman spears.

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A crannogman of the Neck. (illustration credit 95) South of the Neck, the riverfolk whose lands adjoin their own say that the crannogmen breathe water, have webbed hands and feet like frogs, and use poisons on their frog spears and their arrows. That last, it must be said, is true enough; many a merchant has brought rare herbs and plants with many queer properties to the Citadel, for the maesters seek such things out to better understand their properties and their value. But of the rest, there is no truth to it: crannogmen are men, albeit smaller than most, even if they live in a fashion unique in the Seven Kingdoms.


 

 

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16 minutes ago, Bastard of Bournemouth said:

Hmmm, I can't remember the exact quote, but I think Barristan tells Dany that however strong or adept a knight is there is always someone who can beat him - it's in the context of Rhaegar I think?

Don’t recall that one off the top of my head, but there’s [also] this one:

There is always someone quicker and stronger, Ser Rodrik had once told Jon and Robb. He’s the man you want to face in the yard before you need to face his like upon a battlefield.

There may be something else along those lines in a Brienne PoV...

 

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3 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Don’t recall that one off the top of my head, but there’s [also] this one:

There is always someone quicker and stronger, Ser Rodrik had once told Jon and Robb. He’s the man you want to face in the yard before you need to face his like upon a battlefield.

There may be something else along those lines in a Brienne PoV...

 

That could well be the one and I've confused Jon and Daenarys (though not in an Azor Ahai stylee :) ). 

 

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@John Suburbs, @corbon, I think you both make too much of what it theoretically means to be a KG. The ASoIaF, WoIaF, F&B series are full of examples of KGs making choices not fully relevant with their formal vows, often describing how they interpret their duty or how they succumb to their human nature. The Dance of Dragons is a good general example of the split of the KGs loyalties, and closer to us are many examples of how different men make different choices with regard to these vows and how honourable they were. Just think of Jaime, Boros Blount, Meryn Trant, Mandon Moore or the Kettlebacks. Even Barristan Selmy's choices are not that clear, honour-wise! 

"Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less." Varys once said to Tyrion. If a KG thinks that the King's orders go against his deepest beliefs, or that he is not the rightful king anymore, then all bets are loose. Aerys was clearly insane for all to see at the end of his reign and this was good reason enough for any KG to re-evaluate whom his loyalties should be switched to (next).  Rhaegar and his line was then the obvious choice.

I will just quote my favourite King's Guard, when he rightly realised the King he was serving was actually not worth his sword and full dedication...

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ASoS - Arya VI

"A knight's a sword with a horse. The rest, the vows and the sacred oils and the lady's favors, they're silk ribbons tied round the sword. Maybe the sword's prettier with ribbons hanging off it, but it will kill you just as dead. Well, bugger your ribbons, and shove your swords up your arses. I'm the same as you. The only difference is, I don't lie about what I am.

... The Hound of course, are you blind?

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A Storm of Swords - Arya IX

"Stupid blind little wolf bitch." His voice was rough and hard as an iron rasp. "Bugger Joffrey, bugger the queen, and bugger that twisted little gargoyle she calls a brother. I'm done with their city, done with their Kingsguard, done with Lannisters. 

 

Edited by Jô Maltese

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19 hours ago, Bastard of Bournemouth said:

Hmmm, I can't remember the exact quote, but I think Barristan tells Dany that however strong or adept a knight is there is always someone who can beat him - it's in the context of Rhaegar I think? 

The king's guard are very good, but they're not Jedis or Space Marines :). I don't think ten, or even, twenty of them would have guaranteed victory in a war (though you certainly wouldn't turn them down!). For every Llewyn there is a Corbray, for every Dayne, a Clegane, for every Hightower a Greatjohn, etc. 

If seven Northmen beat three of them and two survived, I'm not sure differences in terrain or the mode of engagement would alter the ratio as much as you say. I do like the idea of Howland Reed as a Kings guard shredding bog-ninja though - I keep thinking of toad from the X men comics now. 

 

There are no guarantees with anything in life, and no matter how good you are there is always someone better. But when you consider that this is a life-or-death struggle for the kingdom, and that losing this battle means the end of the Targaryen dynasty, let alone Aerys' head, why on earth would he send his three most legendary knights to babysit Rhaegar's lust-object rather than use them to defend his realm or protect him personally?

If we follow the idea that Rhaegar sent the KG to the ToJ against Aerys' wishes, why wouldn't Aerys use the threat of horrific deaths of Elia and the children to force Rhaegar to bring them back, just as he's doing to get Llewyn to fight for him?

In short, why is Aerys squandering his most valuable resources like this rather than use them to save his own skin?

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19 hours ago, corbon said:

Howland as the little crannogman use a shield and spear, no mention of a net. Though he did teach Meera its use later.
The only references to poison used by crannogmen, are generic Andal claims about crannogmen, and when specified talk about arrows and fighting from hiding (ie arrows and darts, not spears and swords).

Oberyn Martell, now there's a man said to fight with poisoned weapons, swords and spears both. Victarion suspects Ser Talbot Serry, an Andal knight he fought on a Reacher ship, to have used poison on his blade.

Ok, I found one for you. Its hearsay, and from the world book you don't believe is a good source, but it does suggest poisoned crannogman spears.

You can poison the tip of a spear just as easily as an arrow.

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On 1/7/2019 at 4:32 PM, John Suburbs said:

Certainly possible, but this still throws the KG's actions for a loop. By forsaking Aerys in favor of Jon, they are breaking a holy vow to protect the king, so they are little better than Jaime in this regard since they merely allowed the king to die rather than killed him outright.

I do not believe they were forsaking Aerys, Dayne and Whent were with Rhaegar since Harrenhall, obviously under some orders.  When Hightower went to get Rhaegar, he apparently did not return to KL with him, nor did Whent or Dayne.  Rhaegar obviously ordered them to stay with Lyanna, since we see no suggestion that they were dishonorable men they must have believed that it was a legit order.  At the time, Aerys was guarded by 4 other KG.

 

On 1/7/2019 at 4:32 PM, John Suburbs said:

Secondly, they are all followers of the seven, so I would think none of them would view this marriage as valid; therefore Jon is not Rhaegar's heir and is not the new king.

If Rhaegar's marriage was annulled by a septon, then his new marriage would be valid.  As I said earlier, Dayne and Whent were with Rhaegar, they know much more than we do.

 

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On 1/7/2019 at 11:38 AM, John Suburbs said:

Even if the RLJ love story is all true, this still doesn't explain why three of the most noble KG in history would foreswear their vows to guard the king just to protect Rhaegar's by-blow. So all I can say at this point is that the motivations of these three knights has yet to be revealed.

@John Suburbs

In an interview from 2003, GRRM stated that "if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order, they would do that," which suggests that Rhaegar might have given them a certain order, and that they would have obeyed his order.

http://web.archive.org/web/20051103091500/nrctc.edu/fhq/vol1iss3/00103009.htm

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Shaw: Can you explain why the King's Guard chose to stand and fight Ned at the Tower of the Joy instead of protecting the remaining royal family members? 

Martin: The King's Guards don't get to make up their own orders. They serve the king, they protect the king and the royal family, but they're also bound to obey their orders, and if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order, they would do that. They can't say, "No we don't like that order, we'll do something else." 

 

If so, this indicates that the motivation of the three KG knights was to obey an order of Rhaegar. That does not necessarily mean that they had to disobey an order of Aerys to obey an order by Rhaegar.

Though we know Dayne was, and have good reason to suspect that Whent was, in Rhaegar's small group of close friends and confidants, I don't think either brazenly disobeyed an order they had received from Aerys.

If Dayne and Whent were gone with Rhaegar since he set out in late 281-early 282 AC, it's possible that they had no standing order from Aerys that they would have had to disobey by obeying Rhaegar's order.

Hightower, on the other hand, does not strike me as someone who was particularly close with Rhaegar, or someone that Rhaegar would have let in on plans he might have let Arthur and Oswell in on.

I don't think Hightower would have agreed to remain at the tower without being forced or persuaded.

If Hightower's charge was to bring Rhaegar back to King's Landing, perhaps Rhaegar commanded him to remain at the tower, and gave him an ultimatum that he would only return to KL if Hightower obeyed his command to remain at the tower.

Perhaps Rhaegar was able to convince Hightower that this would fulfill Aerys's command, and fulfill Rhaegar's new command without having to disobey Aerys's.

Or perhaps Rhaegar would have let him return to face Aerys empty handed, vow unfulfilled, while they moved to another location. Or perhaps they were willing to keep Hightower at the tower by force.

Whatever the case, I think there is likely something to the idea that, in the most general sense, the motivation of the three KG was that Rhaegar gave them a command and they obeyed.

Which would tell us why they were there (because they were commanded, and they obeyed), but would still leave a great deal of information to be revealed.

Just like we know why Jaime was in King's Landing (because he was commanded to, and he obeyed), but that there is so much more to that story than the simple fact that he was commanded and he obeyed.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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1 hour ago, Chris Mormont said:

If Rhaegar's marriage was annulled by a septon, then his new marriage would be valid.  As I said earlier, Dayne and Whent were with Rhaegar, they know much more than we do.

Rhaegar's marriage had no chance of being annulled. It had been consummated and provided two children, including an heir he believed to be the PTWP. There might be some other way to set the marriage aside, but Rhaegar need not have believed that was necessary to wed another and father children on her.

Rhaegar and every other Targaryen since Aegon I other than Maegor were all descendants of the son of the second wife (Rhaenys) of a polygamous, incestuous lord/king (Aegon I).

No matter how long it had been since the last known polygamous Targaryen marriage, Rhaegar would have had no more reason to believe this was forbidden to him than to believe that incest was forbidden to his parents (Aerys II/Rhaella), grandparents (Jaehaerys II/Shaera), and other incestuous ancestors (Aegon V/Naerys, Daemon/Rhaenyra, Jaehaerys I/Alysanne).

And Rhaegar need not have believed that his child with Lyanna would be his primary heir, or even a male, to have demanded that the two (later three) KG protect them.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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2 hours ago, Jô Maltese said:

@John Suburbs, @corbon, I think you both make too much of what it theoretically means to be a KG. The ASoIaF, WoIaF, F&B series are full of examples of KGs making choices not fully relevant with their formal vows, often describing how they interpret their duty or how they succumb to their human nature. The Dance of Dragons is a good general example of the split of the KGs loyalties, and closer to us are many examples of how different men make different choices with regard to these vows and how honourable they were. Just think of Jaime, Boros Blount, Meryn Trant, Mandon Moore or the Kettlebacks. Even Barristan Selmy's choices are not that clear, honour-wise! 

"Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less." Varys once said to Tyrion. If a KG thinks that the King's orders go against his deepest beliefs, or that he is not the rightful king anymore, then all bets are loose. Aerys was clearly insane for all to see at the end of his reign and this was good reason enough for any KG to re-evaluate whom his loyalties should be switched to (next).  Rhaegar and his line was then the obvious choice.

I will just quote my favourite King's Guard, when he rightly realised the King he was serving was actually not worth his sword and full dedication...

... The Hound of course, are you blind?

 

Of course, everybody makes their own decisions, and some KG decide to forsake their vows and abandon their king. But these men are, by definition, traitors, oath-breakers and the like. What you cannot have is a KG obeying the crown prince in defiance of the king and still say that the KG is a loyal follower of that king. You cannot betray your king and remain loyal at the same time.

So I'm not saying that these KG have not turned their cloaks on Aerys, I'm saying that there is no way they could be following Rhaegar's orders to be at the ToJ and that Aerys is perfectly OK with this. Aerys has all the leverage in the world (basically, Elia and the children) to compel Rhaegar to recall his KG, and he has absolutely no reason to send half his personal guard to sit and watch Lyanna -- who is in about the safest location she could possibly be -- when there are armies in the field looking to overthrow his dynasty.

There has to be a reason why Aerys wanted the KG at the ToJ.

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39 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Of course, everybody makes their own decisions, and some KG decide to forsake their vows and abandon their king. But these men are, by definition, traitors, oath-breakers and the like. What you cannot have is a KG obeying the crown prince in defiance of the king and still say that the KG is a loyal follower of that king (1). You cannot betray your king and remain loyal at the same time.

So I'm not saying that these KG have not turned their cloaks on Aerys, I'm saying that there is no way they could be following Rhaegar's orders to be at the ToJ and that Aerys is perfectly OK with this (2). Aerys has all the leverage in the world (basically, Elia and the children) to compel Rhaegar to recall his KG, and he has absolutely no reason to send half his personal guard to sit and watch Lyanna -- who is in about the safest location she could possibly be -- when there are armies in the field looking to overthrow his dynasty (3).

There has to be a reason why Aerys wanted the KG at the ToJ (4).

(1) This is actually a very sensible thing to do when you decide to betray a King who is known for his insane cruelty.

(2) Either he is ok with this because he swallowed whatever explanation Rhaeagar / a trusted Councillor gave him, or he is ok with this because he thinks that Lyanna is a good hostage against all those Stark-led traitors, or because he is too insane anyway to see the importance of the ToJ, or because he is so paranoid that the ones he fears the most are all of his KGs and therefore he is happy to send them away (think of Rhaenyra).

(3) Yes and no: he had the leverage to recall Rhaegar... But not his Kingsguard. You may have the truth of it explaining why Rhaegar did return to his father - he could not abandon his (former?) wife and children to the cruelty of his father or his father's enemies. But if the 3 ToJ KGs had switched their loyalties to Rhaegar (and his line) instead of Aerys in the meantime, then it actually makes sense to the plot: Rhaegar did not want to overtly betray his father, came back to protect his "first" family, but he nonetheless made sure his Lyanna and her child to be were safe as well, protected by his "faithful" KGs.

(4) No, there is no need for a reason here. Your priority at war is not where 3 top fighters are, but to make sure all your potential banner men and allies are in and under your command. Aerys probably thought "Fuck the ToJ", what did matter at the time was the Trident and the allegiance of the Dornish / Westerlands armies.

Edited by Jô Maltese

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4 hours ago, Jô Maltese said:

If a KG thinks that the King's orders go against his deepest beliefs, or that he is not the rightful king anymore, then all bets are loose.

Well, I certainly hope so. Anyone who does anything else is a good-for-nothing yes-man, and useless when push comes to shove. Nothing worse than pathetic people claiming, “I was only following my orders!”. :rolleyes:

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3 hours ago, Chris Mormont said:

I do not believe they were forsaking Aerys, Dayne and Whent were with Rhaegar since Harrenhall, obviously under some orders.  When Hightower went to get Rhaegar, he apparently did not return to KL with him, nor did Whent or Dayne.  Rhaegar obviously ordered them to stay with Lyanna, since we see no suggestion that they were dishonorable men they must have believed that it was a legit order.  At the time, Aerys was guarded by 4 other KG.

OK, so Aerys knew Rhaegar was going to take Lyanna? If he did, that would explain a lot, since it would also mean that he was in on the whole plot all along. I tend to doubt it, however, unless the whole story about Rhaegar seeking to dethrone Aerys is a lie.

Were these three KG just out there to protect Rhaegar and neither they nor Aerys knew what he was going to do? OK, but don't you think that KG who are loyal to their king should report back to their king once the crown prince has committed a blatantly illegal act that violates the king's peace and pushes the entire realm to the brink of war? Is it reasonable to think that these honorable men would sit out the war and let both their prince and their king die at the hands of rebels just because they never received a direct order to honor their vows and protect their king? I don't think you can split hairs like this when it comes to holy vows, otherwise Jaime's excuse would have been a slam dunk.

Also, we don't know which of Rhaegar's friends were with him when he took Lyanna. Maybe Dayne and Whent were there, maybe not. And I know that the story of Hightower being sent to get Rhaegar is accepted as common knowledge, but I can't find a single reference to it anywhere. And even that story is very iffy. The king orders Hightower not to bring the prince back personally, but to just tell him to come home because his father wants to talk to him, and then Hightower is free to follow whatever orders the prince gives him? What, exactly, has Rhaegar done to suddenly deserve all this blind trust from the king who, just a few months ago, suspected him of plotting to usurp the crown. Not only is he giving him command of an army that could easily overwhelm his defenses at the RK, but he has also given him authority to send away all of the king's personal guard to stand watch over his girlfriend.

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If Rhaegar's marriage was annulled by a septon, then his new marriage would be valid.  As I said earlier, Dayne and Whent were with Rhaegar, they know much more than we do.

The marriage of the crown prince, which is nearly five years old and has produced two children, could not be set aside by just any old septon. Only the High Septon can do that, and even then only with a good cause, like treason or bearing children for her brother rather than the king. There would be hearings, councils, petitions, discussions . . . This simply could not have happened in secret.

 

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2 hours ago, Jô Maltese said:

(1) This is actually a very sensible thing to do when you decide to betray a King who is known for his insane cruelty.

OK, it may be sensible, but it still makes you an oath-breaker and traitor. Jaime Lannister sensibly killed the king known for his insane cruelty, and they still labeled him an oath-breaker and a traitor, even the new king.

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(2) Either he is ok with this because he swallowed whatever explanation Rhaeagar / a trusted Councillor gave him, or he is ok with this because he thinks that Lyanna is a good hostage against all those Stark-led traitors, or because he is too insane anyway to see the importance of the ToJ, or because he is so paranoid that the ones he fears the most are all of his KGs and therefore he is happy to send them away (think of Rhaenyra).

He was deeply distrustful of Rhaegar and virtually every councilor he has, even before Layanna was taken. For what possible reason would Aerys suddenly trust the word of the prince that he thinks is trying to usurp his crown, especially now that this same prince has lit the fire that is about to consume his reign? If she is such a good hostage, then why not bring her to the Red Keep. Remember, this is all happening right after the Battle of the Bells, a good nine months before the sack of KL when Jon is supposed to be born, so there should be no problem transporting her overland. And even if they come up with some excuse, why would Aerys sacrifice his three most lethal KG to protect her when he has enemies making war across his kingdom? She is hundreds of leagues away from the fighting, nestled right between the Reach and Dorne, about the safest place she could possibly be. What threat does he fear that only these KG can handle?

The KG are the only ones allowed near the king with swords. If he suddenly does not trust these men, then arrest them and throw them in a cell. Don't let them lose in the countryside to plot and plan yet more treason.

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(3) Yes and no: he had the leverage to recall Rhaegar... But not his Kingsguard. You may have the truth of it explaining why Rhaegar did return to his father - he could not abandon his (former?) wife and children to the cruelty of his father or his father's enemies. But if the 3 ToJ KGs had switched their loyalties to Rhaegar (and his line) instead of Aerys in the meantime, then it actually makes sense to the plot: Rhaegar did not want to overtly betray his father, came back to protect his "first" family, but he nonetheless made sure his Lyanna and her child to be were safe as well, protected by his "faithful" KGs.

And once Rhaegar is back in the capital, what is stopping Aerys from threatening Elia and the children in exactly the same way unless he calls these three traitors back as well so they can be arrested and imprisoned? Why would he want these traitors running around loose where they can go right back to their extremely powerful houses to rise in rebellion as well in order to put Rhaegar on the throne?

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(4) No, there is no need for a reason here. Your priority at war is not where 3 top fighters are, but to make sure all your potential banner men and allies are in and under your command. Aerys probably thought "Fuck the ToJ", what did matter at the time was the Trident and the allegiance of the Dornish / Westerlands armies.

He has at least nine months to put his potential bannermen and allies under his command, which he then promptly turns over to his treasonous son. Yet he has neither the time nor the inclination to round up these three traitors who have the potential to a) convince Mace Tyrell that the king is mad and to march his army from Storm's End to King's Landing, b) convince the Redwyne fleet to do the same, c) raise a host from Starfall to join in, d) convince any royal riverland houses to support Rhaegar in overthrowing the king once the rebels have been defeated? ** crazy (?) idea; see below **

"Fuck the ToJ"? Sure, he could care less what's happening there. But "Fuck my Kingsguard"? "Who needs them? They are no threat to me?" Sorry, but no way.

 

** Would Aerys be able to use Elia and the children at this point to forestall any attack on the Red Keep? Maybe, but Rhaegar is the returning hero at this point. It would be extremely difficult for Aerys to justify closing his gates to him following his great victory. But if it came to that, would Rhaegar be willing to sacrifice his wife and children knowing that once Aerys is deposed, he can then marry Lyanna and legitimize his son?

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Does Aerys necessarily have knowledge about Dayne and Whent's whereabouts after Rhaegar's return to the fight?  He may not know that they are still at the ToJ.  Communication in Westeros is hardly quick or reliable.

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