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Sly Wren

Stark Maids Don’t Love Rhaegar/Bael Figures: A Meta-Critical Show vs. Tell

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

You're right.  If Rhaegar arranged for both the crown and his power to award it, then he did evidently have motives/information in his head at that time that have not been published explicitly so far in the canon.

Yup.

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It's not a winter rose, though, and he gave roses to lots of girls:

Every reference to winter roses in canon, no exceptions, is directly tied to Stark maidens.

Agreed--though we also have "blue flowers"--an even rarer phrase than "blue roses" in the books. And the fact that Dany's vision connects the two terms. Seems like that's also a clue as to "reading" the potential meanings of the roses: Loras' blue flowers on his "costume;" the chain of blue flowers in a girl's hair at Chataya's when Tyrion is there; the blue flowers in the garden at Lysa's. 

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(Unless we count Dany's HOTU vision... but something tells me most people reading this post do see a close connection to Stark maidens there.) 

Yes.

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Also, if we want to draw a parallel with Rhaegar in the situation with Loras... not a crazy suggestion by any means IMO... why, that would seem to imply Rhaegar secretly preferred lovers of quite a different sort, wouldn't it?

HA! Yes.

Though if Loras' intent (as I think) was to curry favor, then his romantic preferences were less relevant.

Though the "romantic" angle could potentially ties into Rhaegar, too: perhaps Rhaegar, too, did not give the crown to his actual beloved/love interest. Loras doesn't, presumably because of potential scandal. Perhaps Rhaegar has a similar situation . . . So give the crown simply to curry favor.   

ETA: Might even fit with the fact that Loras seems to have given Renly a crown of roses indirectly after all: 

The slender circlet around his brows seemed to suit [Renly] well. It was soft gold, a ring of roses exquisitely wrought; at the front lifted a stag's head of dark green jade, adorned with golden eyes and golden antlers. Clash, Catelyn II

Renly's marriage to Margaery, brought about by Loras, is how Renly got his rose crown. Indirectly, Loras gave the one he loved a rose laurel. . . Crowned him king. A bit of a stretch,  but not completely out of the realm of reason.

 

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't spell.

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On 1/11/2019 at 4:09 PM, Sly Wren said:

4. Then there’s Bran’s vision:

  • [A] woman heavy with child emerged naked and dripping from the black pool, knelt before the tree, and begged the old gods for a son who would avenge her. Dance, Bran III
  • We don’t yet know who this woman is. But the only story we have of a pregnant Stark who might want revenge is the Bael Tale. If this is the Bael Maid, we have good reason to question Bael’s love story.

I haven't read the thread yet but I thought it was an interesting OP. I like to look at things from a different perspective, even if I have quibbles. However, I do not think this glimpse in Bran's vision is showing a part of Bael's story. 

It's clear the vision is going back in time "The tree itself was shrinking, growing smaller with each vision,...." and the pregnant woman comes too early in the sequence. She comes in between Lyanna and Benjen playing and what is most likely Nan and Duncan kissing. The Bael story and Brandon the Daughterless should be much older.

"After that the glimpses came faster and faster, till Bran was feeling lost and dizzy. He saw no more of his father, nor the girl who looked like Arya, but a woman heavy with child emerged naked and dripping from the black pool, knelt before the tree, and begged the old gods for a son who would avenge her. Then there came a brown-haired girl slender as a spear who stood on the tips of her toes to kiss the lips of a young knight as tall as Hodor. A dark-eyed youth, pale and fierce, sliced three branches off the weirwood and shaped them into arrows. The tree itself was shrinking, growing smaller with each vision, whilst the lesser trees dwindled into saplings and vanished, only to be replaced by other trees that would dwindle and vanish in their turn. And now the lords Bran glimpsed were tall and hard, stern men in fur and chain mail. Some wore faces he remembered from the statues in the crypts, but they were gone before he could put a name to them."

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On 1/17/2019 at 2:32 PM, Sly Wren said:

1. If Dawn doesn't matter, Martin's spent an odd amount of reference to it--including bringing in Darkstar the story of Just Maid and Galladon of Morne. Seems like he's given himself plenty of set up if he wants to use it.

Definitely. Then again, maybe not. I want nothing more than for Dawn and AD to play significant roles, so to speak. But the possibility exists for not much more being revealed about either or both. For instance, if way back when Martin just thought about giving the lady Ashara Dayne a somewhat mysterious brother with a very cool sword. Mind you, I don’t think that’s the case, but it is within the realm of possibilities imo.

On 1/17/2019 at 2:32 PM, Sly Wren said:

2. I do think the Last Hero story has been distorted--the the Last Hero turned into the Night's King and had to be put down by his "brother"--becoming a Day's king.

Not sure I follow... I get the LH/NK bit but not sure what you mean by “Day’s King”. 

On 1/17/2019 at 2:32 PM, Sly Wren said:

And that the use of the sword was part of that: the Just Maid story insist the story should only be used against supernatural foes, never abused for power. And the Night's King seems to have abused power.

I think you mean the sword (underlined)? But it’s not that the legend says the sword should only be used against supernatural foes, but that ser Galladon refused to use it against mortal enemies. 

“Ser Galladon was a champion of such valor that the Maiden herself lost her heart to him. She gave him an enchanted sword as a token of her love. The Just Maid, it was called. No common sword could check her, nor any shield withstand her kiss. Ser Galladon bore the Just Maid proudly, but only thrice did he unsheathe her. He would not use the Maid against a mortal man, for she was so potent as to make any fight unfair.”

On 1/17/2019 at 2:32 PM, Sly Wren said:

 I do--but that assumes the Lightbringer story is the story of a hero, vs. a tyrant trying to forge a perfect sword for abusing his power. I think Davos has the right of it when he thinks the story is awful.

:agree:

On 1/17/2019 at 2:32 PM, Sly Wren said:

And I think the Lightbringer story got . . . revamped as "heroic." When it really wasn't.

This x “n”. 

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2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

This is more @Voice's theory than mine.

He went into it on this forum here.

He went into it in more detail here, including the ideas on how the Others came back: http://thelasthearth.com/thread/386/ice-dawn-updated

 

Ah, okay.  I was one of the louder voices of disagreement with Voice in the bolded thread above.  I don't agree with your assertion that Dawn is a crystal sword that once belonged to the Others and was brought south to Starfall.  I believe that Dawn is a metal sword forged from a meteorite that fell in Dorne that is pale in colour compared to Valyrian steel (maybe even translucent as well) but otherwise very similar to a Valyrian blade (very light, very sharp and able to hold an very sharp edge).

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2 hours ago, Elaena Targaryen said:

I haven't read the thread yet but I thought it was an interesting OP. I like to look at things from a different perspective, even if I have quibbles. However, I do not think this glimpse in Bran's vision is showing a part of Bael's story. 

It's clear the vision is going back in time "The tree itself was shrinking, growing smaller with each vision,...." and the pregnant woman comes too early in the sequence. She comes in between Lyanna and Benjen playing and what is most likely Nan and Duncan kissing. The Bael story and Brandon the Daughterless should be much older.

I thought the Bael Tale had to be much older, too. But, as someone else has pointed out (even though I can't remember their name) some of Ygritte's tale's details strongly suggest it was after Aegon's Conquest--after Jaehaerys I: 

  • The fact that the Stark of Winterfell is "Lord" Stark, not King of Winter.
  • The fact that Bael skips down the Kingsroad--built by Jaehaerys I.

Now, that may just be Ygritte learning the tale wrong--but those sound like clues that Bael isn't as long ago as he seems to have been.  If so, that pregnant woman really could be the Bael Maid, even if the girl kissing the tall knight is Nan kissing Duncan.

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2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Definitely. Then again, maybe not. I want nothing more than for Dawn and AD to play significant roles, so to speak. But the possibility exists for not much more being revealed about either or both. For instance, if way back when Martin just thought about giving the lady Ashara Dayne a somewhat mysterious brother with a very cool sword. Mind you, I don’t think that’s the case, but it is within the realm of possibilities imo.

It is possible--but Martin has said well will hear more about Arthur and the Daynes. Though he also said we'd get the next books. . . my faith is wavering.

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Not sure I follow... I get the LH/NK bit but not sure what you mean by “Day’s King”. 

Okay--I re-read my post and it wasn't at all clear. My apologies.

This is in the realm of "speculative theory"--but I think that the Last Hero likely got a sword from the children, after his sword broke. Like Just Maid, it was only to be used for specific purposes. But the Last Hero began to abuse his power--becoming the Night's King--Nan's stories are about his abuse of power. That's why the Night's King's name got "lost"--even though he was Brandon Stark, Last Hero and Builder. 

Thus, another battle had to be fought--the Battle for the "Dawn"--to take the sword and throw down the Night's King. The one who threw him down? Brought back the day--a Day's King.

It's speculative--but would fit. And makes me wonder if Brandon the Builder and Brandon the Bloody Blade may have been the same person--Bloody Blade being the guy who was abusing his power. Maybe.

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I think you mean the sword (underlined)? But it’s not that the legend says the sword should only be used against supernatural foes, but that ser Galladon refused to use it against mortal enemies. 

“Ser Galladon was a champion of such valor that the Maiden herself lost her heart to him. She gave him an enchanted sword as a token of her love. The Just Maid, it was called. No common sword could check her, nor any shield withstand her kiss. Ser Galladon bore the Just Maid proudly, but only thrice did he unsheathe her. He would not use the Maid against a mortal man, for she was so potent as to make any fight unfair.”

1. I am a tragically hopeless typist--yes. Sword.

2. You are dead right--though I think it still potentially supports my point: the just, good man will not abuse his power. Will not be unfair or unjust. I think the Night's King did not keep to this mindset for long.

Ned's first big lesson in the story is to teach his sons the importance of justice. To not abuse even the condemned man. Justice, not vengeance or dominance. Whereas the story of the Night's King is a story of dominance and abuse. 

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:agree:

This x “n”. 

:cheers:

2 hours ago, White Ravens said:

Ah, okay.  I was one of the louder voices of disagreement with Voice in the bolded thread above.  I don't agree with your assertion that Dawn is a crystal sword that once belonged to the Others and was brought south to Starfall.  I believe that Dawn is a metal sword forged from a meteorite that fell in Dorne that is pale in colour compared to Valyrian steel (maybe even translucent as well) but otherwise very similar to a Valyrian blade (very light, very sharp and able to hold an very sharp edge).

All fair--would only note that the way Dawn is described, "pale as milkglass, alive with light." matches how the Wall is sometimes described, as well as the Black Gate and the bones of the melting Others. Seems like it's tied to those things.

If so, would still be from a "fallen star"--the Night's King. A Fallen Star[k]--a DarkStar[k]. Forged from his heart tree. 

Maybe. . . .

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't spell.

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8 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Now, that may just be Ygritte learning the tale wrong--but those sound like clues that Bael isn't as long ago as he seems to have been.  If so, that pregnant woman really could be the Bael Maid, even if the girl kissing the tall knight is Nan kissing Duncan.

The order of events in Bran’s vision seems very clear to me... and in this part specifically it’s Lyanna and Benjen, the pregnant woman, and Dunk and Old Nan. So, the pregnant woman being tied into the whole Bael thing would feel a bit weird, because that’s just way too recent for no one to ever bring it up at all. 

:dunno:

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

The order of events in Bran’s vision seems very clear to me... and in this part specifically it’s Lyanna and Benjen, the pregnant woman, and Dunk and Old Nan. So, the pregnant woman being tied into the whole Bael thing would feel a bit weird, because that’s just way too recent for no one to ever bring it up at all. 

:dunno:

1. Agree on the order of events.

2. It does feel weird--especially since Jon has never heard it.

3. But it might explain why Jon and his siblings don't know it--it would

  • A. Not be a very positive tale in Winterfell. 
  • B. Be a very negative tale for Ned, Brandon, Lyanna, and Benjen's era. 

Might even fit with my theory of why the Starks react as they do to Rhaegar's crown while everyone else (according to the World Book) can't figure out the problem: for the Starks, that kind of gift was an attack. ETA: Because Ned and his siblings knew the story.

And, like the Laughing Tree story, Ned never told his kids the Bael Tale because it was painful.

But this is very speculative. Obviously.

Edited by Sly Wren

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11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Hmmm. . . . Tywin was plotting with Rhaegar against Aerys and the Tyrells are Targ loyalists. . . working with them to fund Harrenhal could be a good way to get them on their side. I'm seeing some of the logic of this. 

We've got incidents in the World Book and novels. hinting at Rhaegar and Tywin's conspiring together. Are you thinking that the coins are the hint the Tyrells are in cahoots, too?

And I do think there's a very, very good chance that  fAegon is real. And I think Dany will end up killing him, her own brother. 

I will claw my face if Daenerys kills Aegon because girl has already gigantic pr issues without being a king and kin slayer, I also think Aegon is a great choice as a ruler - I can see him going to the Reach after taking Storm's End to fight against Euron and I am not ready to loose my favorite character :( 

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18 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

though we also have "blue flowers"--an even rarer phrase than "blue roses" in the books. And the fact that Dany's vision connects the two terms.

Well, Dany perceives roses as a type of flower.

We know that vision was in fact a blue rose because later in discussing it with Jorah, we get:

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"Perhaps," she said reluctantly. "Yet the things I saw . . ."

"A dead man in the prow of a ship, a blue rose, a banquet of blood . . . what does any of it mean, Khaleesi? A mummer's dragon, you said. What is a mummer's dragon, pray?"

Ergo, Dany must have clarified that it was a rose to Jorah in dialogue we aren't given, or he wouldn't have made that leap.  And notice she doesn't correct him.

But broad references in the text to blue flowers per se don't imply blue roses -- not without that same kind of explicit supporting text.

18 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Though if Loras' intent (as I think) was to curry favor, then his romantic preferences were less relevant. 

As you go on to say, I think we've already agreed that Rhaegar would have had a hidden intent if he arranged both the crown and his power to award it.  In which case we don't know how relevant his romantic preferences are either.

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10 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

I will claw my face if Daenerys kills Aegon because girl has already gigantic pr issues without being a king and kin slayer,

Well, she's already a kin-slayer. I think Viserys was her uncle, not her brother. But either way, he's kin and she thinks he's kin. And she fully acquiesced to his death. So, we know she has this in her. . .

10 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

I also think Aegon is a great choice as a ruler - I can see him going to the Reach after taking Storm's End to fight against Euron and I am not ready to loose my favorite character :(

Agreed--I think Aegon is potentially a great ruler. But if a second Dance of the Dragons is coming (in some form) as GRRM has said, pretty sure that's Dany and Aegon. She either kills him or the fight gets him killed. 

I do think there's a whopping good chance the theories that Dany will get greyscale and die--killing herself or something. So, she may get a lot of pain for killing your favorite character. . . though I'm guessing that doesn't help. :leaving:

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59 minutes ago, JNR said:

Well, Dany perceives roses as a type of flower.

We know that vision was in fact a blue rose because later in discussing it with Jorah, we get:

Ergo, Dany must have clarified that it was a rose to Jorah in dialogue we aren't given, or he wouldn't have made that leap.  And notice she doesn't correct him.

But broad references in the text to blue flowers per se don't imply blue roses -- not without that same kind of explicit supporting text.

Right--my point was that Dany uses both terms for the same thing.

And we only have 4 instances of "blue flowers" in the novels, fewer than blue roses. And two are tied to Stark Maid roses: Dany's mention and Loras, covered in blue forget-me-nots. So, some explicit supporting text.

We even have an indirect reference, like Lyanna's blue rose petals, tied to the blue eyes of Jafer Flowers. Blue eyes of death like Flowers.

That said, I will tamp down the OCD part of my brain and not drag you down this rabbit hole of blue flowers and how they relate to the roses. 

59 minutes ago, JNR said:

As you go on to say, I think we've already agreed that Rhaegar would have had a hidden intent if he arranged both the crown and his power to award it.  In which case we don't know how relevant his romantic preferences are either.

Absolutely agreed. Though his romantic preferences are interesting to speculate on. . . .

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On 1/14/2019 at 12:17 PM, Sly Wren said:

 Whereas Sansa, at the time Loras gives her that rose, is happily glossing over Joffrey's sociopathic violence in the Riverlands. She only stops and acts more like Lyanna after Ned's death. So, seems like there's a chance Lyanna would have been less dreamy and more clear-eyed than her younger niece.

This sounds off. I dont think Lyanna was more like Arya.  Lyanna is a mix of traits of Sansa and Arya. Lyanna has moments of being able to see the truth like Arya but also she's moved to tears by songs, like Sansa. So I think she could be happily glossing over a lot about Rhaegar while also seeing the truth about Robert. Another example is the Knight of the Laughing tree: she fights as a knight like Arya but also helps the weak like Sansa. She likes flowers and tourneys Sansa but she also sees injustice like Arya.

I agree that there are Mance/Rhaegar parallels but that should also connect to Mance/Dany as well. If Jon doesn't like Mance he won't like Dany, both charismatic, revolutionary figures who want to attack the realm.

Jon does reject the Bael idea and to that end, his ideal relationship is probably a Lord's/Lady's, one modeled off of Ned/Cat.

At the same time, Jon is a Bael figure to Ygritte, because he deceived her. If Bael in the Old Tongue means "deceiver," and Jon has already done this in canon, we can't really say he rejects these types of figures. He may not like them (or like that he's doing it), but he already is one in the sense that he's a swindler and a rogue. He also sanctioned the heist to steal a Stark girl out of Winterfell, with Mance's help. That collaboration suggests he's a quasi-Bael figure in the story, or at least one who justifies it as being necessary to save family/realm.

The question should be, whom does he deceive next, and whom does he fall in love with next. Ygritte fulfilled both but I think it will be two separate people this time.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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55 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

This sounds off. I dont think Lyanna was more like Arya.  Lyanna is a mix of traits of Sansa and Arya. Lyanna has moments of being able to see the truth like Arya but also she's moved to tears by songs, like Sansa.

True--but we specifically see Arya moved by a sad song, too. Only a few chapters before we see Lyanna's less detailed reaction. So, there's a good chance Lyanna's reaction was more like Arya's. Plus, we see even Sansa refuse the power of a sad song--find it moving but not be attracted to the man who sings it. . . 

55 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

So I think she could be happily glossing over a lot about Rhaegar while also seeing the truth about Robert.

Possible--but we are only specifically shown her refusing to overlook men's faults at a really young age. Even as she acknowledges Robert's love. It's a skill Sansa only acquired after her father's murder. Seems like we should at least be open to the option that this is Lyanna's personality.

55 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Another example is the Knight of the Laughing tree: she fights as a knight like Arya but also helps the weak like Sansa. She likes flowers and tourneys Sansa but she also sees injustice like Arya.

Agreed on the injustice. But, we don't see Lyanna's loving tourneys the way Sansa does. Just see her fighting for Howland as Arya does for Micah. If she is the Knight of the Laughing Tree, seems like her take on tourneys is more like Arya than Sansa.

We aren't shown that Sansa loves flowers per se. We are shown that Arya loves them per se--and told that Lyanna was "fond of flowers." So, seems like the love of flowers might be more Arya. Nothing is set in stone--but Martin's given us specific scenes with Arya to show how she loves flowers and rects to sad songs--seems like there's a reason for this.

55 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I agree that there are Mance/Rhaegar parallels but that should also connect to Mance/Dany as well. If Jon doesn't like Mance he won't like Dany, both charismatic, revolutionary figures who want to attack the realm.

:agree: I had not thought of it from this angle--but an excellent point.

55 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Jon does reject the Bael idea and to that end, his ideal relationship is probably a Lord's/Lady's, one modeled off of Ned/Cat.

Yes--we see that in his musings about marrying Val and living in Winterfell.

55 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

At the same time, Jon is a Bael figure to Ygritte, because he deceived her. If Bael in the Old Tongue means "deceiver," and Jon has already done this in canon, we can't really say he rejects these types of figures. He may not like them (or like that he's doing it), but he already is one in the sense that he's a swindler and a rogue. He also sanctioned the heist to steal a Stark girl out of Winterfell, with Mance's help. That collaboration suggests he's a quasi-Bael figure in the story, or at least one who justifies it as being necessary to save family/realm.

OOOHH! Very interesting. I hadn't thought of this angle at all. Especially the idea of using a Bael figure to steal a Stark Maid--I am currently of the mind that Lyanna's "stealing" was a group project. The idea that on's actions might echo that. . . had never occurred to me. 

But that may not be where you are going--is there something you are thinking this potential echo might be showing us? 

55 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The question should be, whom does he deceive next, and whom does he fall in love with next. Ygritte fulfilled both but I think it will be two separate people this time.

Very interesting. Are you thinking of anything in particular?

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1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

True--but we specifically see Arya moved by a sad song, too. Only a few chapters before we see Lyanna's less detailed reaction. So, there's a good chance Lyanna's reaction was more like Arya's. Plus, we see even Sansa refuse the power of a sad song--find it moving but not be attracted to the man who sings it. . . 

We can go round and round with the different parallels here between the three Stark girls. If Sansa fantasizes things about knights, Arya fantasizes swordplay from the very beginning of the books (she will likely regret her romanticization of violence). I think you might be being a bit didactic here. Lyanna can fantasize Rhaegar at first, then become disillusioned the longer it goes on like both Stark girls with different weaknesses.

We'll likely never know the "truth" because there are so many different versions of events, but the idea is that a child still came out of this, whether it was rape, consensual, or somewhere in between.

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

Possible--but we are only specifically shown her refusing to overlook men's faults at a really young age. Even as she acknowledges Robert's love. It's a skill Sansa only acquired after her father's murder. Seems like we should at least be open to the option that this is Lyanna's personality.

I just can't believe that a girl her age never makes mistakes and sees through all of the b.s. No one is that wise, not even Arya.

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

But, we don't see Lyanna's loving tourneys the way Sansa does. Just see her fighting for Howland as Arya does for Micah. If she is the Knight of the Laughing Tree, seems like her take on tourneys is more like Arya than Sansa.

We aren't shown that Sansa loves flowers per se. We are shown that Arya loves them per se--and told that Lyanna was "fond of flowers." So, seems like the love of flowers might be more Arya. Nothing is set in stone--but Martin's given us specific scenes with Arya to show how she loves flowers and rects to sad songs--seems like there's a reason for this

It's how she fights for Howland, though. She could have chosen a lot of different ways to get the message across, but she went to the trouble of posing as a mystery knight--that's a pretty involved level of participation. Then she came back to be a spectator, like Sansa, who later thought a flower symbolized a special connection (Lyanna is that you?). Sansa also wants to be a "rose" of Highgarden, but roses have thorns, as Ned saw in his dream. Lyanna is always split between the two sisters.

But I will say that the author does downplay the Sansa/Lyanna connection and plays up the Arya/Lyanna one because I think he is misleading the reader in order to write in surprise twists. He doesnt want you to think of Sansa as the blue flower in a Wall of ice or anything like that. He doesn't want you to think that it's Sansa who is the grey girl, instead of his favorite sister Arya or the girl who reminds him of Arya (Alys). Ygritte is given pretty much the same treatment--Arya is front and center, while Sansa is in the subtext of that character.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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I forgot to add: like Lyanna and Ygritte, Alys also has traits of Arya and Sansa but Jon doesn't think of the latter, when he really should. Alys wants to dance and flirt with him, and she's called Winter's Lady (all Lady references should be flagged in Jon's chapters because of her direwolf). 

The only time he thinks of Sansa in terms of traits is when he sees the ice enchantment, but then Gilly enters and asks for protection and he feels like the moment is ruined. She's basically in the same situation Alys is in, but Jon rebuffs her. I think this is the start of his Bael arc. Some women he'll deceive, others he'll protect.

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On 1/19/2019 at 12:01 PM, JNR said:

Reread what FFR wrote.  There's support; it's been discussed for years.\

I read, and have previously read, what FFR wrote, and the theory has no textual support, only interpreting things "between the lines" that are never stated, implied, or hinted in any actual lines.

We know from the main series that Rhaegar defeated Arthur and Barristan, and we know from TWOIAF that he also defeated two other KG (out of Whent, Martell, Darry, and Hightower), but the fact that he defeated four KG does not tell us or imply that they intentionally lost to him.

On 1/19/2019 at 12:01 PM, JNR said:

Assuming you forgot to type "Rhaegar," nobody's suggested that as far as I can see. 

The idea is that he wanted to ensure he would win so as to similarly ensure he would be the one to award Lyanna a crown of winter roses that was clearly designed in advance to suit her, and did suit her, better than it could possibly have suited any of the other beautiful women at the tourney.

There is no hint that Rhaegar had any interest in Lyanna prior to Harrenhal, let alone so great an interest that he customized a crown meant for her, and rigged the tourney to ensure that he could win it and give it to her. Nor does the idea that the KG knights intentionally lost to him explain the non-KG he had to go through in order to become champion, including her brother Brandon and Yohn Royce. He could not have "ensured" he would win the tourney without getting his non-KG opponents to intentionally lose to him as well.

On 1/19/2019 at 12:01 PM, JNR said:

Quite the convenient assumption that would be, and to use your phrase, unsupported by anything in the text.

On the contrary, it is the theory you are defending that requires convenient assumption after convenient assumption.

The assumption that Rhaegar had any interest in Lyanna prior to the tourney, the assumption that Rhaegar knew Lyanna would be attending the tourney, and the assumption that Rhaegar commanded the KG knights to intentionally lose to him to ensure he could award the crown to Lyanna, which still does not explain how that would "ensure" anything against all the non-KG competing in the tourney.

It requires no convenient assumption to suggest that Lord Walter Whent might have had a laurel of winter roses made for the great tourney he was staging, without him having to know or assume who would win the tourney, or who the winner of the tourney would award the crown to.

And you are selectively quoting me: "Even if they were not usually used for champion's laurels, a conspiracy is not necessary to explain why they were used in a tourney of "unrivaled magnificence," which offered prizes thrice as large as those given at the King's Landing Tourney staged by Lord Tywin Lannister in 272 AC, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the reign of King Aerys."

Lord Whent had at his disposal the money to stage the greatest tourney in at least a decade, maybe longer, seeing how he offered prized thrice as large as those given at the tourney staged by Lord Tywin Lannister in 272 AC. If winter roses are so rare and expensive, there need be no conspiracy for him to have commissioned a crown of them for his great tourney.

And let's not forget that it was Lord Whent's own daughter, Ser Oswell's niece, who opened the Harrenhal Tourney as the queen of love and beauty. We don't know whether she wore the same crown or a different crown than the one that Rhaegar ultimately awarded to Lyanna.

On 1/19/2019 at 12:01 PM, JNR said:

Here's a challenge.  See if you can find any reference to winter roses, anywhere in the million and a half words of canon -- defined as the five novels plus D&E -- that is not directly associated with Stark maidens somehow.  Good luck.

Neither the legendary Bael story nor the historical Harrenhal story support the theory that Rhaegar was the one who had the crown of winter roses made, or that he had them made so that he could award it to Lyanna.

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On 1/18/2019 at 10:05 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

The "KG took a dive for Rhaegar" theory is unsupported by anything in the text...

Well, it may or may not prove correct, in the end.  But in point of fact, the theory did originate from an attempt to explain the text.

Specifically: the theory hinges on this curious reflection by Selmy in the chapter “The Kingbreaker,” from ADWD:

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If I had been a better knight … if I had unhorsed the prince in that last tilt, as I unhorsed so many others, it would have been for me to choose the queen of love and beauty...

And of course, that reflection follows closely on Selmy’s observation of plots, ploys, lies, and “secrets within secrets” ... which remind him specifically of that Harrenhal tourney:

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Plots, ploys, whispers, lies, secrets within secrets, and somehow I have become part of them.... Perhaps by now he should have grown used to such things. The Red Keep had its secrets too. Even Rhaegar. The Prince of Dragonstone had never trusted him as he had trusted Arthur Dayne. Harrenhal was proof of that. The year of the false spring. ... The memory was still bitter.

Clearly, Selmy remembers the Harrenhal tourney as an event colored by deceptions, secrets, hidden plans and agendas. (Which is remarkable, given that one expects his attention would have been rather focused on certain events and tasks.)

Regardless... ultimately, the question that led to the theory — the theory being that Selmy (at a minimum) threw the final tilt at Harrenhal - boiled down to this:  

What does Selmy mean when he reflects that he could have been a “better knight” on that day?

The answer to that question has little to do with Rhaegar... and everything to do with the character of Barristan Selmy. It can be deduced by rereading Selmy’s POV chapters in Dance, along with dialogue in various Danaerys POV chapters since Storm

Edited by The Snowfyre Chorus

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2 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I read, and have previously read, what FFR wrote, and the theory has no textual support, only interpreting things "between the lines" that are never stated, implied, or hinted in any actual lines.

Well, that's a very unforgiving concept of textual support, that leaves an awful lot of theories in considerable doubt. 

For instance, it is not possible, using the canon, to demonstrate that Rhaegar and Lyanna were even on the same continent at any time during Robert's Rebellion. 

It can't be shown that they ever spent time together alone at any time, that they ever had a conversation, etc., etc.   One must interpret things between the lines... constantly... if one wishes to believe R+L=J.

2 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

the fact that he defeated four KG does not tell us or imply that they intentionally lost to him

That's true, but again, that's not the idea. 

Selmy's concept of himself as an inadequate knight at Harrenhal is the curious thing that needs explaining.  Because it's very easy, using the canon, to show that there's far more to knighthood, in Selmy's mind, than jousting skill.  And even if knighthood were simply jousting skill, Selmy was the best lance in Westeros at that time according to the World book.

2 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

It requires no convenient assumption to suggest that Lord Walter Whent might have had a laurel of winter roses made for the great tourney he was staging, without him having to know or assume who would win the tourney, or who the winner of the tourney would award the crown to.

This bring us back to:

On 1/17/2019 at 7:21 PM, JNR said:

if the crown were designed and created in advance without Rhaegar's input, and Rhaegar never had any idea he would win -- and thus, a crown of winter roses was chosen at random, and just so happened to wind up on the most appropriate girl's head?  That would be a coincidence.

Now, I could believe that if winter roses came up in many different contexts -- the way other symbols such as dragons do.  If that were the case, an argument could be made that they symbolize something besides Stark maidens.

For instance, if Loras had ever given winter roses away to non-Stark girls at the Hand's tourney, or if they were ever referenced in a memory about some other QoLaB, or if they ever turned up in a dream not about Stark maiden, or a story, or a vision...  any dream, story or vision at all, in this series of giant books.  

Alternately, we can conceive of a ludicrous Hollywood adaptation of the books failing to comprehend that the blue rose is the winter rose, and thus showing Dany receiving a blue rose from a suitor in Slaver's Bay (a Mediterranean climate).  If that kind of thing ever happened in the books, it would complicate the winter rose as symbol.

But there is no such thing, anywhere, at any time.

Edited by JNR

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11 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

We can go round and round with the different parallels here between the three Stark girls. If Sansa fantasizes things about knights, Arya fantasizes swordplay from the very beginning of the books (she will likely regret her romanticization of violence). I think you might be being a bit didactic here. Lyanna can fantasize Rhaegar at first, then become disillusioned the longer it goes on like both Stark girls with different weaknesses.

1. I apologize for being didactic: I can get a bit OCD when I get a bug in my brain and then I take it out on those around me: my apologies.

2. I agree that Lyanna could have fantasized about Rhaegar--but we have that one clear statement on Robert. She sees that he loves her. She doesn't deny he'll continue to love her, but she won't gloss over his faults. That's a skill Sansa only gains after aging and trauma. Lyanna already had that before seeing Rhaegar. Seems like she's unlikely to be Sansa-like in that respect.

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We'll likely never know the "truth" because there are so many different versions of events, but the idea is that a child still came out of this, whether it was rape, consensual, or somewhere in between.

If either rape or sex happened, yes. 

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I just can't believe that a girl her age never makes mistakes and sees through all of the b.s. No one is that wise, not even Arya.

Oh! My apologies. I did not mean to imply Lyanna was a sage. Ned seems to state that Lyanna was at least partly responsible for her early grave. And her defense of Howland to the squires certainly was risky. No--we definitely have evidence that Lyanna messed up.

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It's how she fights for Howland, though. She could have chosen a lot of different ways to get the message across, but she went to the trouble of posing as a mystery knight--that's a pretty involved level of participation. Then she came back to be a spectator, like Sansa, who later thought a flower symbolized a special connection (Lyanna is that you?). Sansa also wants to be a "rose" of Highgarden, but roses have thorns, as Ned saw in his dream. Lyanna is always split between the two sisters.

If Lyanna was the Knight, I agree that she embraced the tourney actively, kinda like Arya. But as for the Sansa take on the rose--we still have Lyanna's lack of romanticism before Harrenhal. And we have Arya's take on flowers. Really seems like Martin gives us those for a reason.

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But I will say that the author does downplay the Sansa/Lyanna connection and plays up the Arya/Lyanna one because I think he is misleading the reader in order to write in surprise twists.

Amen! Thus, I included the Lyanna connections to Sansa in my OP. Just seems like the personality--especially the romanticism--that's something that Sansa learns/is forced to grow out of. Sansa would thus be becoming more Lyanna-like in that instance. We even see some of that in the Winds of Winter chapter. Sansa is growing more like Lyanna already was in the quote Ned remembers.

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He doesnt want you to think of Sansa as the blue flower in a Wall of ice or anything like that. He doesn't want you to think that it's Sansa who is the grey girl, instead of his favorite sister Arya or the girl who reminds him of Arya (Alys). Ygritte is given pretty much the same treatment--Arya is front and center, while Sansa is in the subtext of that character.

Agreed. 

Edited by Sly Wren
Not all flowers are roses.

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