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Sly Wren

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

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2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

This will potentially send us down a rabbit hole--my apologies in advance and I won't blame you if you look at this and say you want out:

Trust me, after waiting over fucking 7 years for TWoW, I'll read any theory out there to get my fix, tinfoil or not. 

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I'm open to other theories other than R&L=J. I like how you give alternatives. But I have a couple of questions.

If the pregnant woman is carrying Bael's child praying for a son to revenge her, who is she hoping for revenge against? And if it's Bael, why would she kill herself when it does happen? 

Also, if Rhaegar's obsession was to hatch a dragon, wouldn't that point to Lyanna being pregnant with his child? We see what is needed in Dany's pov. The kingsguard may have been there to not allow her to leave. But I think Ned would have much different thoughts about Rhaegar, if he understood the importance. Just a thought. 

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1 hour ago, Angus Thermopyle said:

I'm open to other theories other than R&L=J. I like how you give alternatives. But I have a couple of questions.

If the pregnant woman is carrying Bael's child praying for a son to revenge her, who is she hoping for revenge against? And if it's Bael, why would she kill herself when it does happen? 

Also, if Rhaegar's obsession was to hatch a dragon, wouldn't that point to Lyanna being pregnant with his child? We see what is needed in Dany's pov. The kingsguard may have been there to not allow her to leave. But I think Ned would have much different thoughts about Rhaegar, if he understood the importance. Just a thought. 

I think Stark maiden wasn't sad about Bael but her son since he become a Kinslayer, she prayed for vengeance but didn't think of the consequences. 

If Rhaegar wanted a third child, easiest way for that is having one with Ashara. It better suit RLJ arguments of Elia knowing about prophecy and supporting Rhaegar as Ashara and her child aren't threats to her or her children, it is easier to cover Elia faking a pregnancy or Elia and Rhaegar having Ashara's company won't anger Martells though other kingdoms may find it weird. But they live in Dragonstone which was isolated so it makes you question why Elia not being able to give birth again was such a public knowledge. We don't know about what Rhaegar did or how did he interpret the prophecy so maybe Lyanna wasn't needed at all. 

Ned doesn't believe in Others or Old Nan's stories so he won't suddenly approve of Rhaegar impregnating his sister for a prophecy. Also Ned naming his bastard Jon after a Star King who built Wolf's Den against slavers tells us what he taught about Targaryens. 

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2 hours ago, lalt said:

First let me admit I don't have a precise idea/theory.

But I find this discussion interesting just because I don't really know where it could lead us.

However, these are my two cents/random thoughts.

:cheers:

2 hours ago, lalt said:

I beleive - regardless this discussion -  that Lyanna escaped. That she did that herself and without anyone knowing it, not because she was in love with someone, but because she didn't want to marry Robert.
She was a girl, a Stark girl and an Arya type too,  most likely "on a horse" escaping from a marriage she didn't want.
Also worth to notice: Lyanna->Alys / Stark->Karstark.

And just like Alys Karstark asked for Jon's help, Lyanna seeked help, refuge, from Raeghar. He wasn't her lover. Sure not by then, at last. Only someone she trusted. 

I agree--and not just because of Alys Karstark. We've got Sansa literally running from captors and her husband--but being tricked by the person she thought she was escaping with and ending up with someone else entirely--who has a plot.

And we have Arya--who runs when the Lannisters try to abduct her. Only then does she end up with captors and/or helpers--becoming a "stolen" Stark Maid.

Bottom line: the idea that Lyanna was running from something--bad marriage, plotters, straight up kidnappers tied to political plots--gotta be on the table. Martin has given us the precedent.

2 hours ago, lalt said:

In short: she wasn't kidnapped and raped, nor there was a plan between two lovers. If so the false dilemma "abdution and rape vs romantic escape (a ruse made by two lovers)" will be resolved in a 3rd way.

Right--but the story isn't "Rhaegar ended up loving Lyanna." The two stories we are given are, "Rhaegar died fighting for the woman he loved"/"Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna and thousands died for it." OR Rhaegar raped her.

The above scenario--Rhaegar as rescuer--still is the love story. So, still part of that dilemma--which may or may not be false.

2 hours ago, lalt said:

In addition if that's the case, Raeghar chose not only to help her but he never betrayed her trust. The only way to avoid the rebellion, in fact, would have been to return Lyanna to her family and to her betrothed. Something he had promised her not to do.

Interesting--it has potential.

And we do have the brotherhood without banners protecting Arya. Though they are using her for a ransom. Plus, Mance is using Jon. And Baelish clearly has plans. The nearest parallel I can think of to fit your scenario would be Yoren--he protects Arya as best he can--no clear need for a "reward."

2 hours ago, lalt said:

Maybe she ended up seducing Raeghar (but if so, he's not a Bael's type, quite the contrary) or she married someone out of realism, not love, just like Alys married the Magnar of Thenn.  And just like them to merge two peoples/lines of blood.

And could fit with Sansa's storyline. . . . forced into a marriage.

2 hours ago, lalt said:

In all truth the problem I have with A L=J is that even tho it seems that the Daynes have Valyrian blood and Jon's father would be the last Sword of the Morning,  all the emphasis about the Targaryen's blood in my eyes would get somehow downplayed. 

Not quite following this--why wouldn't it fit for characters to focus on Targ blood instead of Dayne? Characters in the novel have a more recent history with the Targs than with the ancient history of the Daynes. So, why wouldn't the emphasis in the story be on the Targs instead of the Daynes?

And tag me in if you ever post about your HOTU read--I am intrigued.

2 hours ago, lalt said:

why Ned never told the truth about Jon to at least Kat? I could understand why he never admitted publicy that Lyanna had a child even if he was Arthur's child. Given the "official" version of the story and the precedent everyone was aware about (the fact itself that at Harrenal, Raeghar crowened her) people would have assumed that A+L=J was a cover story(ironically) and that Jon was in fact Raeghar's child. Meaning that Jon's life would have been in jeopardy. But why not to tell Kat the true story? There was not reason to not do it and make her promising to keep the secret, if that was the case. 

On Cat: I agree. Why he lied to her for so long baffles me, no matter who Jon's parents are. 

My best guess is both safety and shame--if (and it's absolutely an "if") Arthur is Jon's father, Ned and Howland killed Jon's dad, Lyanna's beloved, unknowingly. We see that Arthur and his death affect Ned a lot--even little Bran notices. 

But really--Ned should have told Cat the truth regardless.

As for lying about Jon because people might still think he's Rhaegar's--yes that works. But I really think Ned would lie even if Jon is the son of stable boy #4--Robert isn't angry that a Targ took Lyanna. He's dreaming every night about killing Rhaegar because Lyanna was "taken."

So, Ned has reason to believe/fear that Robert's anger would apply to any child of Lyanna's not fathered by Robert.

2 hours ago, lalt said:

So, I am thinking that maybe, Ashara spread that false information/accusation because she wanted to stop the wedding between Brandon and Kat. That she was confident that Brandon would have done what he did. But of course she didn't realize that Brandon would have died. 

Interesting! I do think Brandon got a pink letter of sorts. Or a letter like Lysa's to Cat--that would explain why Brandon went off before Rickard. I even think someone told Brandon Rhaegar killed Lyanna--thus explaining why Brandon never asks for her back.

2 hours ago, lalt said:

About her fate and that of the child, yes: maybe she is Allyria or... I like the idea that fAegon is Brandon's son.
I would love if:
Aegon = the true Stark bastard 
Jon = the true Targaryen heir

One way or another, I really hope we meet Allyria. 

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2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

How about this? If anybody would have learned the truth about the Song of Ice and Fire and the menace brewing in the north, it would have been Howland Reed. Reed spent more than a year, and perhaps nearly two (aka, the winter) on the Isle of Faces where he was presumably communing with the Green Men. If he then explained all of this to Lyanna, than mayhaps it was Lyanna who brought Rhaegar into the circle and the whole idea to run away and make a baby was hers, not his.

Am loving the idea of Howland having such a deep level of plotting.

But struggling to see how the Starks would follow this--we keep being show that Stark maids aren't interested in cults--we see that with both Jon and Arya.

Closest I can see: Arya using the Faceless Men but still keeping her identity--are you thinking something along those lines?

Whereas Rhaegar seems awfully committed to books and prophecy even as a fairly young kid. . . 

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1 hour ago, Jô Maltese said:

I disagree on this. I think many readers did put two and two together - or at least thought of it as strong possibility, as early as AGoT. I certainly did when I realised how insane Lysa was and how toxic was her relationship with her son when Cat was at the Erye, and then Lord Walder Frey, of course:

My apologies--I didn't mean to imply all readers dismissed it--just that most did.

As did most characters--Ned clearly thinks he's right.

And Tyrion--who knows Cersei really, really well, and has up close experience with Lysa's insanity--Tyrion is dead sure Cersei didi it and pats himself on the back as being too clever for Cersei to destroy him.

Far as I can tell, there are exactly 2 people in the whole of the novels who know it wasn't "Fever or Lannisters" that killed Jon Arryn.

As for "love or rape"--far as I can tell, no one in the novels is asserting anything other than those two options for Rhaegar and Lyanna. . . .which makes me suspicious.

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1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

Yes, I think Darkstar and Dorne plot we will meet Edric and Allyria this time, I wasn't sure Ned and Ashara were a thing until Barristan's stillborn comment and something clicked immediately - Allyria was the right age to be Ashara's stillborn daughter and my sad love story ship was more than rumors :dunno:

:agree:Allyria could still work well for this.

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

And I am glad we both like ALJ and SLJ :blush:

:cheers:

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

I am reading your link about Changeling Child now and as I am not a native English speaker I was confused by the phrase, when I searched it I immediately remembered Sansa's question to her mother if her real sister was stolen by grumpkins and another baby was left in her place. But it was her cousin that was stolen from them. And as someone who loves the idea of Ned hiding Lyanna's child and Ashara at Wolf's Den then Wylla Manderly having green hair must be a clue to what?

Wow! I hadn't thought of the idea of Lyanna's child at the Wolf's Den. . .  given the Manderlys' intense loyalty, that could work. . . though Ned does return from the south.

And are you thinking Ashara is Wylla Manderly? Or have I completely misread you?

I do have a crazy idea about Wylla Manderly, but it isn't fully formed, so I won't bother people with it until I get it clear in my head.

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

You also talked about Dayne's not attending Doran's feast but Dayne's also didn't attend to Joffrey's wedding with Oberyn yet they were at the Hand's Tourney wanted to talk to Ned about Daenerys and Aegon perhaps? 

Right--and the Daynes' not being at Doran's feast isn't noted by the narrator (Hotah)--so it's likely nothing.

It just seemed odd--not attending Joff's wedding is one thing--it's a long way. And the "Daynes" didn't attend the Hand's Tourney--Edric was there as Beric's squire, not part of a Dayne entourage.

As for Edric talking to Ned--I don't know yet if Edric knows about Jon--let alone Dany and Aegon. I think (though I am likely to change my mind) that Edric wants to talk to Ned because Edric has been taught to respect Ned. Which is telling in and of itself.

But I could absolutely be wrong.

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

And if Daenerys was changed for Rhaella's child and we know there was a baby from Viserys - is it possible Young Griff is actually son of Rhaella - though I believe he is really son of Rhaegar and Elia. 

Possible--though my weird theory is that Rhaella's original baby died. The original Daenerys died before or around her first birthday. That's what happened to 80% of Rhaella's children. 

If so, someone stole the current Dany (Rhaegar and Ashara's baby) and used her as a replacement--a changeling of sorts.

And I agree that Young Griff seems likely to be the real child of Rhaegar and Elia.

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1 hour ago, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

Trust me, after waiting over fucking 7 years for TWoW, I'll read any theory out there to get my fix, tinfoil or not. 

Amen! :cheers:

1 hour ago, Angus Thermopyle said:

I'm open to other theories other than R&L=J. I like how you give alternatives. But I have a couple of questions.

If the pregnant woman is carrying Bael's child praying for a son to revenge her, who is she hoping for revenge against? And if it's Bael, why would she kill herself when it does happen? 

@Jova Snow nailed it. Ygritte starts that part of the story with, "the gods hate kinslayers, even when they kill unknowing." Thus the Bael Maid would be horrified by what she'd just set her son up to do--since the tale says the boy did not know his father.

1 hour ago, Angus Thermopyle said:

Also, if Rhaegar's obsession was to hatch a dragon, wouldn't that point to Lyanna being pregnant with his child?

We see what is needed in Dany's pov. The kingsguard may have been there to not allow her to leave. But I think Ned would have much different thoughts about Rhaegar, if he understood the importance. Just a thought. 

Very possible--though I agree that Ned's thoughts about Rhaegar would be far less neutral if this were the case.

No--as my absurdly long OP points out--really think we should look to the three Stark maids in the story. None of them is kept for a ritual.

That said--Rhaegar is not above sacrificing lives and letting the kingdom burn to get his father deposed--so, he might be up for human sacrifice. As is Stannis.

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

I think Stark maiden wasn't sad about Bael but her son since he become a Kinslayer, she prayed for vengeance but didn't think of the consequences. 

:agree:

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

If Rhaegar wanted a third child, easiest way for that is having one with Ashara. It better suit RLJ arguments of Elia knowing about prophecy and supporting Rhaegar as Ashara and her child aren't threats to her or her children, it is easier to cover Elia faking a pregnancy or Elia and Rhaegar having Ashara's company won't anger Martells though other kingdoms may find it weird. But they live in Dragonstone which was isolated so it makes you question why Elia not being able to give birth again was such a public knowledge. We don't know about what Rhaegar did or how did he interpret the prophecy so maybe Lyanna wasn't needed at all. 

:agree:

Would only add that the prophecy said a child of Aerys and Rhaella's line. And Rhaegar thought it was himself. Until he then had a baby with Elia--and thought that was the prince. 

Really seems like Rhaegar thinks he's the magic potion, regardless of the mother of his child.

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

Ned doesn't believe in Others or Old Nan's stories so he won't suddenly approve of Rhaegar impregnating his sister for a prophecy. Also Ned naming his bastard Jon after a Star King who built Wolf's Den against slavers tells us what he taught about Targaryens. 

:agree: Nothing more to say than :agree:.

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9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

:agree:Allyria could still work well for this.

:cheers:

Wow! I hadn't thought of the idea of Lyanna's child at the Wolf's Den. . .  given the Manderlys' intense loyalty, that could work. . . though Ned does return from the south.

And are you thinking Ashara is Wylla Manderly? Or have I completely misread you?

I do have a crazy idea about Wylla Manderly, but it isn't fully formed, so I won't bother people with it until I get it clear in my head.

Right--and the Daynes' not being at Doran's feast isn't noted by the narrator (Hotah)--so it's likely nothing.

It just seemed odd--not attending Joff's wedding is one thing--it's a long way. And the "Daynes" didn't attend the Hand's Tourney--Edric was there as Beric's squire, not part of a Dayne entourage.

As for Edric talking to Ned--I don't know yet if Edric knows about Jon--let alone Dany and Aegon. I think (though I am likely to change my mind) that Edric wants to talk to Ned because Edric has been taught to respect Ned. Which is telling in and of itself.

But I could absolutely be wrong.

Possible--though my weird theory is that Rhaella's original baby died. The original Daenerys died before or around her first birthday. That's what happened to 80% of Rhaella's children. 

If so, someone stole the current Dany (Rhaegar and Ashara's baby) and used her as a replacement--a changeling of sorts.

And I agree that Young Griff seems likely to be the real child of Rhaegar and Elia.

No I do not think Wylla is Ashara, but it is interesting Wylla shares a name with Jon's "mother" - for a long time I believed Aegon could be son of Rhaegar and Lyanna so I was thinking Ned brought Ashara and Aegon to Wolf's Den with Wylla who was nursing Jon so in this scenario N+A was the true parentage of Jon, they stayed there until Aegon was weaned and Ned later sent them to Essos - the fact Wylla dyes her hair makes it possible Ashara had access to hair dye for Aegon, and that's where Ashara become Lemore since Davos is given Seven Pointed Star to read, but I don't think it is true now. Not with Lyanna being Jon's mother being a better possibility. 

Since you talk about Jon being a Stark maid figure, is it possible he is a Dayne figure? Because Val has similarities to Lyanna - "Princess" in the eyes of Stannis - a Rhaegar figure - tied to Mance - another Rhaegar figure but is not the mother of his son, was stolen by Mance along with Dalla but it was Dalla Sho become a "Queen" - was sister of Dalla and helped her give birth. Is captive in a castle, Stannis wants to marry her of to possible Lord of Winterfell we have Baelish wanting to marry Sansa to Harry. Jon is clearly attracted to Val but also thinks about his vows, Val is tasked with protecting another woman's child in exchange of keeping her Prince safe. Hell there is Sansa and Arya with Robin and Weasel. 

But it doesn't make sense if Lyanna is dead? Why is she dead again? Because we also have a scene of Nymeria the wolf stealing a freaking baby and Lyanna didn't steal any child as far as I know? ((Is Lyanna actually Lemore?)) 

Is it possible Rhaegar was planning to marry Lyanna to someone? Because Baelish wants Sansa to marry Harry, Stannis wants Val to marry Jon and later Selyse wants to marry her to Ser Patrek. Arya is bethored to a Frey by Robb and Catelyn and later "marries" Ramsay. 

And do you think Dareon/Marillion shows us Lyanna caused Rhaegar's doom in some way? Do the prostitutes of Braavos Yna and Sailor's Wife symbolizes Maggy and GoHH? Did Rhaegar had connections with both and received prophecies from them? 

Edited by Jova Snow

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3 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

But giving Lyanna the crown in the context you assert is still an act of respect/admiration. Still at least somewhat traditional.

It's more than that. It's respect/admiration for something Lyanna values in herself as well, which makes all the difference. This is similar to how Arya likes Jon because he encourages her tomboyish hobbies.

3 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

That is one of the key misdirects I am positing: the potential false dilemma: Rhaegar loved Lyanna or Raped her.

I don't disagree that there could be a third option there. Or at the very least that things were a lot more complicated. Your Parts I and II make this possibility very compelling, but the comparisons don't hold water.

Arya is still a child, which explains her lack of interest for romantic things. We don't know for sure what her type will be when she grows up. Gendry is hardly an example of genuine attraction, that's more a fan ship than anything else. Even if there are hints of interest shown on page, it's still very abstract and I wouldn't take it as a sign that he is Arya's "type". If you read the Mercy chapter, you could even argue that she's not immune to pretty boys (and that chapter was originally written with an older Arya in mind):

Spoiler

While her main goal is to kill Raff the Sweetling, she notices his good looks several times:

Quote

“It’s only… well, he’s fair to look on, don’t you think?” He was, in a rough-hewn way, though his eyes were hard.

Quote

The handsome guardsman grinned.

Quote

Time enough for her pretty guardsman later.

Quote

“You think it might be him?” the pretty one was saying.

Quote

He doesn’t look so comely now, she thought. He just looks white and frightened.

 

As for her interest in cults... it seems to me she is neck-deep in one. Just because she refuses to give up her identity completely doesn't mean she isn't invested in the Faceless Men. Lyanna wouldn't have had to pay such a big price to buy into Rhaegar's prophecies. Not from her perspective at that time, at least.

Sansa is the complete opposite of the wolf-girl archetype. Using her as a parallel for Lyanna is a pretty big stretch. Even so, her type fluctuates and changes with time. It took some pretty drastic events for her to get over her pretty boys phase, and if she isn't won over by Marillion's songs, that's because she's jaded and weary due to trauma at that point. Lyanna hadn't suffered any traumas when she cried at Rhaegar's song.

Jon is even more of a stretch. Never mind that he's a straight guy, and the Rhaegar figures you propose for him are never framed as potential romantic or sexual partners. Politically speaking, Mance is an enemy of the Night's Watch and the North, joining him would mean breaking his vows. Rhaegar is not Lyanna's enemy, and if she's breaking her engagement with Robert, I'm sure she never consented to it in the first place. Not the same thing at all. As for Stannis, Jon refuses him because he wants to burn Winterfell's godswood, and because he wouldn't feel comfortable stealing Sansa's inheritance. Lyanna isn't faced with such a dilemma when she disappears with Rhaegar. The Rebellion only happens after the deed is done.

But the most important thing is that Ygritte is certainly not a follower, not in their relationship. She's the one who takes the initiative almost all of the time, and she doesn't fall in line with Jon's choices when he decides to betray the wildlings. Also, the fact that she is a "warrior" means something entirely different than in the other examples. Women liking "warriors" is fairly common in that culture, but men liking a woman who fights is more unusual. If we transpose that to Lyanna, that would mean she would like a man who puts emotion and tenderness ahead of aggression (or someone like Howland Reed, if you want to follow that path!).

Oh, and you kind of glossed over Ygritte being "kissed by fire". That's pretty Targaryen-ish :P

Rhaegar - While we don't know much about him, I think you are doing him a disservice by comparing him to the likes of Joffrey, Baelish, Marillion and Stannis. The fact that you can pick one or two similarities - he's pretty, he has a complex plot (does he?), he sings, he falsely believes to be a savior figure - that doesn't mean he's anywhere close to any of those characters.

Although if I think about it, there's another little problem. You never really addressed the "rape" side of the misdirection. Most of your arguments are trying to prove that Lyanna wouldn't have fallen for Rhaegar (not even that Rhaegar wouldn't have fallen for her!). That still leaves Robert's horrible scenario open, but you clearly don't think we should be buying into it. If we cast aside all the hints pointing at love, how do we prove it wasn't rape?

5 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Right--it ends up with "Rhaegar died fighting over the woman he loved"--the exact first tale we are told.

Not necessarily. Maybe he died protecting a friend that he also happened to have sex with. Maybe he was only fighting because his father held Ellia and his children captive. It's also very likely that he didn't expect to die, because clearly he thought he was destined for something.

The one thing I'm sure of is that the scenario is more complex than most readers assume. Possibly Lyanna reached out to Rhaegar and Ellia to help her escape from marrying Robert (why at that moment we don't know, maybe Robert tried to rape her, or maybe she was just being willful), and none of them anticipated how much things would escalate. Brandon's decision to come to King's Landing and threaten Rhaegar's life (at a time when the prince wasn't even there, no less - maybe if he was he could have explained) was incredibly stupid, and probably not something Lyanna foresaw.

From there, I can imagine things unraveled quickly, and there really wasn't any point when producing Lyanna would have fixed the situation. Once Aerys killed Rickard and Brandon, the Rebellion was sealed. Handing Lyanna over to either side while Aerys was still king would have been a danger to her life, especially if Rhaegar assumed the Rebels were going to lose. The Mad King mistrusted even his own son, and he would have certainly executed Lyanna as a "conspirator" if he got his hands on her at any point, and best case scenario she would have had to marry the same man she had ran away from to begin with. This explains why she was MIA during the war.

As to how she got pregnant, neither love nor rape are required. Maybe she simply experimented a few times with her rescuers in the early days after her "abduction". The way Dornishmen are described, it would not be a stretch to imagine Ellia consenting to and easing Lyanna into something like this. And yes, if there was a menage a trois involved, I consider her as the most likely instigator, not Rhaegar (mostly because I'd rather imagine her as an open-minded woman with agency, rather than an universal victim). Whether or not any of them had ulterior plans concerning a prophecy child I do not know - it could work either way.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Plus, can you think of any hints in the story that Stark maids are like this? Jon, Arya, and Sansa all show us that Lyanna related Stark maids do not do this. They may respect some Rhaegar/Bael figures--Jon respects Stannis and Mance somewhat; Arya respects the brotherhood (and their 3 kingsguard echo) to a point.

This may be a bit circular, but Arya does like Jon, the supposed secret Targaryen, and she finds the pretty boy I mentioned in the spoilers attractive.

And Jon likes Ygritte who is "kissed by fire", seems to like fair-haired, strong Val and possibly will grown to like Dany in the future. And he is tempted by Mel and her prophecies (he does send Mance to Winterfell at her suggestion)! There are plenty of Rhaegar parallels in there!

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On 1/11/2019 at 9:48 PM, Sly Wren said:

When GRRM revealed that Lysa and Baelish murdered Jon Arryn, he proved that he actively misdirects readers with “known facts” and false dilemmas.

This already seems to be a wrong dichotomy for me from the start, considering that AGoT actually gives us clues that Lysa Arryn is the one who killed Jon Arryn. We get the means, the motive, and the opportunity for her, whereas there are actually never any 'facts' given confirming that Cersei Lannister did murder Jon Arryn. In fact, we even learn in AGoT that Cersei and Jaime were not, in fact, in KL at the time Jon Arryn died, meaning the only Lannister responsible for this could have been Tyrion - and he is never offered as a likely suspect in the books. And that only if we assume Tyrion did stay behind in KL when Cersei, Jaime, and the children left to accompany Tywin back to the Rock - which we don't know at this point.

Not sure how much similarities Bael and Rhaegar actually have, considering that we know next to nothing about the former aside from him supposedly being a bard - which Rhaegar never was in the real sense of the word.

This doesn't mean that the Lyanna-Rhaegar relationship cannot be more complex than it looks right now. It most likely is.

If one looks for a template for the layers and complexity of that relationship - as well as the Tully-Littlefinger triangle and possible the future triangles we can expect in the series (Dany, Jon, and Tyrion, for instance) - one should look at George's Dying of the Light, his first novel, where portrays a very complex love triangle which facets are only revealed slowly throughout the entire novel.

Rhaegar-Lyanna do not have to be romance or rape. They could be both, like pretty much any complex relationship can be. And it is not unlikely here considering that the huge question mark in all that are still Lyanna's feelings. We have yet to learn what exactly she felt for Rhaegar at which point in whatever relationship they had - how she reacted to the news of her father's and brother's execution, for instance, and how the war as such and the danger her family and friends were in affected whatever feelings she may have felt for Rhaegar. Aerys may have been mad, but the Rhaegar-Lyanna thing was fueling the war.

As Lord Rickard's only daughter Lyanna Stark would not have had most of Arya's issues, by the way. Lyanna was the princess of Winterfell, a girl raised in an environment where she was the first woman in the North (especially since her lady mother was dead, which most likely happened when Benjen was born). An environment where nobody ever called her 'Lyanna Horseface' because she never had to compete with an older, more beautiful sister who was also fulfilling the role of a future noble lady much than she ever could. Lyanna was the darling of her brothers, a girl/young woman who get whatever she wanted, even the things her lord father was trying to keep from her. 

In that sense, she is much different from both Sansa and Arya, even more since we actually have no clue how Sansa/Arya would act as mid-teens if they had been raised as pampered noble ladies at Winterfell rather than being dragged into stuff while they were still around ten years old.

We have no idea what kind of men Arya would prefer when her sexuality finally made itself known in a real sense. But we can be reasonably certain that the fact that she is both a very perceptive and intelligent person chances are more likely that she would really find a man like Rhaegar interesting - if she were to see the real man behind the 'gorgeous dragon prince' image - much more so than vapid guy like Robert, for instance.

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Honestly, I expected more from this thread. The Jon Arryn parallel is rather lame as it ignores some very explicit problems with "the Lannisters did it" - while Lysa's switch from Cersei to Tyrion as the culprit could be explained by her unstable state and Tyrion as an easy target (the way Cat thinks it looks), there is the huge issue of Baelish framing Tyrion for yet another crime he never comitted, not to mention defaming both Cat and Lysa. So, there is a contradiction in the story and very clear foul play by Baelish with sinister motives, confirmed when he betrays Ned. In retrospect, all contradictions and unknown motives become clear and perfectly fit. Unlike the alternative parentage scenarios which require impossible mental gymnastics to explain away all the inconsistencies.

- Which is the weakest point of your alternative reading: you focus so much on the parallels and metatextual, that you forget about what is actually written in the text. Why is Lyanna depicted not just with blue roses but with her QoLaB crown, both in Ned's PoV as well as in Theon's dream? Why does Ned spare any thought to Rhaegar's sexual habits as contrasting Roberts, while remembering Lyanna not happy with Robert's womanizing? Why "tower of joy"? (not to mention, why does GRRM refer to Rhaegar as "lovestruck prince"?)

Also, you are leaving out parallels which might show something else, e.g. between Jorah's victory inspired by his infatuation with Lynesse, and Rhaegar's victory at HH. Even the language used in the discriptions is similar, conveying the air of being unstoppable. Jorah was not a tourney knight, Rhaegar "seldom entered the lists". A case can be made that this is an intentional parallel showing Rhaegar's motivation for crowning Lyanna. One might also speculate if the parallel went even further and their relationship soured, just like Jorah's, or if the parallel is only partial. That's the problem with them parallels - until we get to see them in retrospect, we don't know if it is safe to assume that they go 100%. Even that dratted Bael story - the Stark maiden committed suicide seeing Bael dead, so might she have cared, after all?

Speaking of potential parallels: Alys Karstark running from an unwanted marriage and seeing protection with a higher authority offers some food for thought. Especially as she is an Arya figure, who looks like Lyanna. - But again: the possibility is there, but with no actual support in the text so far, it is only a possibility.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Speaking of potential parallels: Alys Karstark running from an unwanted marriage and seeing protection with a higher authority offers some food for thought. Especially as she is an Arya figure, who looks like Lyanna. - But again: the possibility is there, but with no actual support in the text so far, it is only a possibility.

This one is particularly interesting.

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Call me unconvinced.  For one thing, both Tom of Sevenstreams and Marillion are fairly minor characters in Arya's and Sansa's stories.  And I think there are a lot better parallels mirroring a Rhaegar-Stark maid connection.

For example: Sansa- Baelish, Arya - Kindly Man, Bran - Bloodraven.  All of thesse are possibly malign figures who have essentially seduced Stark maids by flattering them with attention, and giving them a sense of purpose and accomplishment in their, especially with Arya and Bran.  There are also, in a sense, captors.  I think all three will break with their mentor/captors, though.

Where does this put us with Rhaegar and Lyanna?  It could suggest that Rhaegar suggested to Lyanna the idea of being the mother of the Prince that was Promised, and that she might have been intrigued by the idea. 

Or another parallel:  Sansa and Baelish (or Sandor), Arya and Gendry (or possibly someone new), and Jon and Ygritte.  In these cases we have a one-sided love that later does, or could,, turn mutual.  Jon and Ygritte is the best example here.  Jon is essentially "captured" by Ygritte,, but (I think) comes to love her, although he ends up betraying her instead.  I think Baelish is in love with Sansa, with the possibility of of becoming mutual, and practically everybody expects her to turn on him eventually. Where this might go with Arya, I have no idea. 

With Rhaegar and Lyanna, it could have been Rhaegar obsessed with Lyanna, and it turning mutual.  By the end, it appears as if Rhaegar might have wanted his son to become his heir, and next Targaryen claimant. I imagine Lyanna would have been opposed, and that might have been the promise she got from Ned.  Not to tell Jon his parentage, so as to keep him from getting involved in that.

My point here is that many parallels can be made in this context, and much speculation can result, not all of it contradictory.  Both of the above suggestions could be true, for example.

As far as parallels between Rhaegar/Lyanna and Arryn's murder. Ithink there are a lot of similarities.  In both cases, the actions and statements of the characters are meant to lead us to false conclusions, but a close reading leads to contradictions that ttemselves lead to a different conclusion. One that makes sense once the reveal comes.  Arryn being murdered by his wife and Baelish makes perfect sense once you realize it.  And the same is true of R+L=J.

 

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1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

No I do not think Wylla is Ashara, but it is interesting Wylla shares a name with Jon's "mother" - for a long time I believed Aegon could be son of Rhaegar and Lyanna so I was thinking Ned brought Ashara and Aegon to Wolf's Den with Wylla who was nursing Jon so in this scenario N+A was the true parentage of Jon, they stayed there until Aegon was weaned and Ned later sent them to Essos - the fact Wylla dyes her hair makes it possible Ashara had access to hair dye for Aegon, and that's where Ashara become Lemore since Davos is given Seven Pointed Star to read, but I don't think it is true now. Not with Lyanna being Jon's mother being a better possibility. 

Very interesting--I will have to give this some thought.

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

Since you talk about Jon being a Stark maid figure, is it possible he is a Dayne figure? Because Val has similarities to Lyanna - "Princess" in the eyes of Stannis - a Rhaegar figure - tied to Mance - another Rhaegar figure but is not the mother of his son, was stolen by Mance along with Dalla but it was Dalla Sho become a "Queen" - was sister of Dalla and helped her give birth. Is captive in a castle, Stannis wants to marry her of to possible Lord of Winterfell we have Baelish wanting to marry Sansa to Harry. Jon is clearly attracted to Val but also thinks about his vows, Lyanna is tasked with protecting another woman's child in exchange of keeping her Prince safe. Hell there is Sansa and Arya with Robin and Weasel. 

I'm loving this. I had Val pegged as the Night's Queen figure, with Jon being the Commander who doesn't get seduced by her. 

But I'm liking this a lot.

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

Is it possible Rhaegar was planning to marry Lyanna to someone? Because Baelish wants Sansa to marry Harry, Stannis wants Val to marry Jon and later Selyse wants to marry her to Ser Patrek. Arya iş bethored to a Frey by Robb and Catelyn and later "marries" Ramsay. 

Possible--but I'm honestly stuck on theft the the brotherhood without banners and the Hound both take care of the Stark Maid and hold her hostage in hopes of a reward. 

Rhaegar's planning to dethrone his father. Been planning to do it by killing his father since at least Duskendale. Starting a war is one way to get that done--and holding on to Lyanna is a way to start a war and keep it going.

Like Baelish wants a war. But marrying Lyanna to someone else. . . . maybe. But I'm guessing Rhaegar intended to use her to make peace with the Starks after Aerys fell. 

1 hour ago, Jova Snow said:

And do you think Dareon/Marillion shows us Lyanna caused Rhaegar's doom in some way? Do the prostitutes of Braavos Yna and Sailor's Wife symbolizes Maggy and GoHH? Did Rhaegar had connections with both and received prophecies from them? 

OOOH! Okay--any chance you'd be willing to explain your ideas here? I think I know where you might be going, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.

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4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

It's more than that. It's respect/admiration for something Lyanna values in herself as well, which makes all the difference. This is similar to how Arya likes Jon because he encourages her tomboyish hobbies.

I don't disagree that there could be a third option there. Or at the very least that things were a lot more complicated. Your Parts I and II make this possibility very compelling, but the comparisons don't hold water.

I agree that the complexities of the love relationship could be just that--complex. Would only note the following:

  • When Lysa sends the letter to Cat, Cat says all Lysa says is that Jon was murdered by the Queen.
  • No explanation of the intricacies and how it went down. Ned and the readers put that together. Then Tyrion does the same. And most of us were wrong--at least Ned and Tyrion were, despite really, really good reasoning and evidence.
  • When Dany tells us that Rhaegar died fighting for the woman he loved, we get no details of how/why. We as readers put that together (or not). Other characters make assumptions, too--Cersei and Kevan have the baby thing, etc. But it's the same basic move: tell us the general story a character asserts and then let the reader fill it in.
  • The scenario you posit does just that. But it is still under the general "Love Story." 
  • That's why it still fits into a potential false dilemma.

I think.

4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Arya is still a child, (snip)

Forgive me: I'm not snipping your quote out of anything but trying to make my post less cumbersome.

I agree re: Arya's crushes. And you take on Dareon is excellent. Would only note that Martin did not need to show Arya's crushes--but he does. It's not grown up, but it's at least an indicator.

And Arya's ability to see through liars is telling in light of how Lyanna, only about 14, saw through Robert.

4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

As for her interest in cults... it seems to me she is neck-deep in one. Just because she refuses to give up her identity completely doesn't mean she isn't invested in the Faceless Men. Lyanna wouldn't have had to pay such a big price to buy into Rhaegar's prophecies. Not from her perspective at that time, at least.

An extremely fair point. But not giving up her identity seems pretty big. And she's there learning how to be an assassin and thinking about her list--she has her objectives, not embracing the cult's objectives. Your Mercy example shows that, too.

Maybe Lyanna joined the cult for her objectives--but struggling to see how Rhaegar's objectives serve Lyanna's, especially after Rhaegar's actively letting the country burn and doing nothing to gain justice for her father and brother. . . 

4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Sansa is the complete opposite of the wolf-girl archetype. Using her as a parallel for Lyanna is a pretty big stretch. Even so, her type fluctuates and changes with time. It took some pretty drastic events for her to get over her pretty boys phase, and if she isn't won over by Marillion's songs, that's because she's jaded and weary due to trauma at that point. Lyanna hadn't suffered any traumas when she cried at Rhaegar's song.

1. Agree that the personality is different, as I note.

2. But the novel really early on says Sansa is sent south to fulfill Lyanna's role. And Ned thinks of Sansa when she pleads for Lady. Sansa's path does tell us about Lyanna's. Especially when we get to Bael-ish's tower.

3. As for the song: of all the things Martin could  have shown us, he shows Arya and Sansa's reactions to seductive singers. In detail. There was absolutely no need to do that. It's a marker. Gotta be. Readers fill in Lyanna's reaction, ignoring that even Meera says the song, not the man, made Lyanna sniffle. Arya's and Sansa's reactions are given for a reason.

4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Jon is even more of a stretch. Never mind that he's a straight guy, and the Rhaegar figures you propose for him are never framed as potential romantic or sexual partners. Politically speaking, Mance is an enemy of the Night's Watch and the North, joining him would mean breaking his vows. Rhaegar is not Lyanna's enemy, and if she's breaking her engagement with Robert, I'm sure she never consented to it in the first place. Not the same thing at all. As for Stannis, Jon refuses him because he wants to burn Winterfell's godswood, and because he wouldn't feel comfortable stealing Sansa's inheritance. Lyanna isn't faced with such a dilemma when she disappears with Rhaegar. The Rebellion only happens after the deed is done.

1. The key with Jon is that Mance is clearly a Rhaegar figure. Red and black cloak, Bael fanboy, Dornishman's Wife, etc. Why on earth include those details? As markers to the reader. To show us how Jon reacts to him. The seduction is not sexual for all the reasons you note. But it is also not ideological, either. Jon rejects the man with Rhaegar imagery.

And given that Rhaegar is letting the country burn and doing nothing to stop his father, Lyanna could very well see him as an enemy.

2. Same point with Stannis: he's filled with Rhaegar references: Targ descendant, driven by prophecy, trying to take the kingdom from unworthy relatives. Jon does refuse for the reasons you assert--but he also rejects Stannis' ideas and approach. Scoffs and the southron fools. Jon rejects the Rhaegar figure.

3. The point: Martin shows us repeated figures with Rhaegar imagery--and how the Stark maid (Jon) reacts. Each instance is a bit different, but one way or another, the Stark maid rejects what the Rhaegar figure is selling: Rebellion, true kingship, and prophecy.

4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

But the most important thing is that Ygritte is certainly not a follower, not in their relationship. 

Ah! No--I meant Ygritte is a follower of the Rhaegar figure--Mance. The Stark Maid doesn't fall for the leader/prophecy plotter (Rhaegar). The Stark Maids falls for the leader's warrior-foliower. 

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Also, the fact that she is a "warrior" means something entirely different than in the other examples. Women liking "warriors" is fairly common in that culture, but men liking a woman who fights is more unusual. If we transpose that to Lyanna, that would mean she would like a man who puts emotion and tenderness ahead of aggression (or someone like Howland Reed, if you want to follow that path!).

Or--that Lyanna--like Sansa, Bran, Arya, and Jon--honors the fighters who are "true knights." Like Ned does--that respect seems to run deep in Starks.

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Oh, and you kind of glossed over Ygritte being "kissed by fire". That's pretty Targaryen-ish :P

And pretty Dornish--the fiery edge of Westeros. 

4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Rhaegar - While we don't know much about him, I think you are doing him a disservice by comparing him to the likes of Joffrey, Baelish, Marillion and Stannis. The fact that you can pick one or two similarities - he's pretty, he has a complex plot (does he?), he sings, he falsely believes to be a savior figure - that doesn't mean he's anywhere close to any of those characters.

  • But I didn't give Mance his red and black cloak, or his Bael fettish. Martin did.
  • I didn't give Stannis his Targ heritage, his prophecy fettish, his belief in being the rightful king, his willingness to depose relatives. His "iron" nature to echo Rhaegar's "Iron tones." Martin did.
  • I didn't send Bael-ish to a run down tower with a pet name--with a Stark maid in tow. I didn't make him a plotter. Nor did I name him "Baelish." Martin did.
  • I didn't give Joff and his family their Targ-wannabe-ness. Martin did.
  • And I didn't make Marillion tell Sansa, while she dressed in blue, that he will write a song for her about her being a Roadside Rose. Martin did.
  • I didn't put all that in. Martin did--and then told us to "keep reading." I just read it--like we all did. 
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Although if I think about it, there's another little problem. You never really addressed the "rape" side of the misdirection. 

A fair point--I just have a hard time with the rape part given what were are shown about Rhaegar. I think Martin is actively pointing readers towards the "love" part--like he pointed us to the "Lannister" part of the Jon Arryn dilemma. Which is another reason I'm so wary of the "love" scenario.

4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Not necessarily. Maybe he died protecting a friend that he also happened to have sex with. Maybe he was only fighting because his father held Ellia and his children captive. It's also very likely that he didn't expect to die, because clearly he thought he was destined for something.

I do think there's a good chance he only fought because Aerys cornered him. Rhaegar wanted that war.  But given Lyanna's take on Robert. . . . the friends with benefits seems less likely.

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The one thing I'm sure of is that the scenario is more complex than most readers assume.

On this we absolutely agree.

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From there, I can imagine things unraveled quickly, and there really wasn't any point when producing Lyanna would have fixed the situation. Once Aerys killed Rickard and Brandon, the Rebellion was sealed. Handing Lyanna over to either side while Aerys was still king would have been a danger to her life, especially if Rhaegar assumed the Rebels were going to lose.

Okay--but this seems to assume that taking/keeping her was not intended. We know Stark maids are usually taken or at least kept on purpose so far in the novels.

Plus I can't see how Lyanna's telling her family that she's willingly with Rhaegar wouldn't change the game. . .  wouldn't fix it, but Lyanna's loyal to the north. We see that when she defends Howland. Letting the entire North walk into a pointless fight without doing anything? Does not sound like something Lyanna would do willingly.

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As to how she got pregnant, neither love nor rape are required. Maybe she simply experimented a few times with her rescuers in the early days after her "abduction". The way Dornishmen are described, it would not be a stretch to imagine Ellia consenting to and easing Lyanna into something like this.

But given how Lyanna thinks of Robert, it's rather hard to see Lyanna consenting to this.

Plus, when it comes to my false dilemma theory (fully acknowledge that it's a theory)--note that the answer to Jon Arryn's murder wasn't that the Lannisters killed him some other way. They didn't kill him, nor did the fever.

If Ned isn't Jon's father, that's the answer: another version entirely, not which woman did Ned sleep with.

So, if R+L is a false dilemma, following that albeit theoretical framework, the answer would be "not Rhaegar at all."

4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

This may be a bit circular, but Arya does like Jon, the supposed secret Targaryen, and she finds the pretty boy I mentioned in the spoilers attractive.

But this only works if you presume Jon's a Targ. And that Arya is crushing on Jon. And she kills the pretty boy in the spoilers, even if he's pretty.

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And Jon likes Ygritte who is "kissed by fire", seems to like fair-haired, strong Val and possibly will grown to like Dany in the future. And he is tempted by Mel and her prophecies (he does send Mance to Winterfell at her suggestion)! There are plenty of Rhaegar parallels in there!

And plenty of Night's Queen parallels. And Rhllor parallels. And Jon doesn't give in to the prophecies. 

Rhaegar buys in early on. As does Stannis.

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't spell--or edit properly.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This already seems to be a wrong dichotomy for me from the start, considering that AGoT actually gives us clues that Lysa Arryn is the one who killed Jon Arryn. We get the means, the motive, and the opportunity for her, whereas there are actually never any 'facts' given confirming that Cersei Lannister did murder Jon Arryn. In fact, we even learn in AGoT that Cersei and Jaime were not, in fact, in KL at the time Jon Arryn died, meaning the only Lannister responsible for this could have been Tyrion - and he is never offered as a likely suspect in the books. And that only if we assume Tyrion did stay behind in KL when Cersei, Jaime, and the children left to accompany Tywin back to the Rock - which we don't know at this point.

Right--and we have clues that Rhaegar didn't touch Lyanna and that someone else could be the father of her child. We gets clues that Dany could be Rhaegar's child in Game, too.

I did not mean to assert that the only option we were allowed is the false dilemma. I'm asserting the false dilemma is the version we are given right of the bat--just as "love or rape" are the only options we are given.

As a result, both readers and characters ignore the evidence you listed above. And, far as I can tell, Tyrion still thinks Cersei did it and that only Baelish and Sansa (when she finally wakes up) are alive to know the truth.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not sure how much similarities Bael and Rhaegar actually have, considering that we know next to nothing about the former aside from him supposedly being a bard - which Rhaegar never was in the real sense of the word.

Okay--I agree they have dissimilarities. The rose symbolism and the stolen Stark maid are the key tie-ins--but I'm not sure of the point you are making and don't want to put words in your mouth.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This doesn't mean that the Lyanna-Rhaegar relationship cannot be more complex than it looks right now. It most likely is.

Right. Jon, Arya, and Sansa occasionally have very complex relationship with their Rhaegar/Bael figures. So far,  no sex.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Rhaegar-Lyanna do not have to be romance or rape. They could be both, like pretty much any complex relationship can be. And it is not unlikely here considering that the huge question mark in all that are still Lyanna's feelings. We have yet to learn what exactly she felt for Rhaegar at which point in whatever relationship they had - how she reacted to the news of her father's and brother's execution, for instance, and how the war as such and the danger her family and friends were in affected whatever feelings she may have felt for Rhaegar.

Right--but Martin spends a fair amount of time establishing his current Stolen Stark Maids and showing who they are and are not attracted to. Seems like there's a reason for this.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Aerys may have been mad, but the Rhaegar-Lyanna thing was fueling the war.

Agreed it was a key impetus--which is why I think Rhaegar held onto her: he wanted the war.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As Lord Rickard's only daughter Lyanna Stark would not have had most of Arya's issues, by the way. Lyanna was the princess of Winterfell, a girl raised in an environment where she was the first woman in the North (especially since her lady mother was dead, which most likely happened when Benjen was born). An environment where nobody ever called her 'Lyanna Horseface' because she never had to compete with an older, more beautiful sister who was also fulfilling the role of a future noble lady much than she ever could. Lyanna was the darling of her brothers, a girl/young woman who get whatever she wanted, even the things her lord father was trying to keep from her. 

In that sense, she is much different from both Sansa and Arya, even more since we actually have no clue how Sansa/Arya would act as mid-teens if they had been raised as pampered noble ladies at Winterfell rather than being dragged into stuff while they were still around ten years old.

Then why does Martin make a key point of asserting that Arya looks and acts like Lyanna? From both Ned and Harwin? Why assert that Lyanna loved flowers--and then show Arya loving flowers (of all the things she could have done to annoy Sansa, Martin has he loving flowers)? Why bring up the sword? And the riding? And show Lyanna's take on Robert--pretty astute for a young kid--and Arya's tendency to call liars "Liar!" to their faces? 

Of course there are differences. But Martin makes a point of pointing us to the similarities.

And of saying Sansa will fulfill Lyanna's role. And have Ned think of Lyanna when Sansa begs for Lady. And send Sansa to a rundown tower with a pet name with Bael-ish, that is a tower of joy, just not for the Stark Maid.

I just don't buy that Martin's doing this for nothing. 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We have no idea what kind of men Arya would prefer when her sexuality finally made itself known in a real sense.

Then why do all that I stated above? Martin's not making us guess. He's giving us info.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But we can be reasonably certain that the fact that she is both a very perceptive and intelligent person

Yes--the Robert take alone proves that.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

chances are more likely that she would really find a man like Rhaegar interesting - if she were to see the real man behind the 'gorgeous dragon prince' image - much more so than vapid guy like Robert, for instance.

But she doesn't dislike Robert for being vapid--she knows he won't be faithful. 

Can you think of any reason to believe she's interested in prophecy, books, etc.? Especially when Martin's taken so much time showing us the other Stolen Stark Maids?

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@Ygrain--sorry, somehow I screwed up the quoting and so have to resort to tagging.

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The Jon Arryn parallel is rather lame as it ignores some very explicit problems with "the Lannisters did it" - while Lysa's switch from Cersei to Tyrion as the culprit could be explained by her unstable state and Tyrion as an easy target (the way Cat thinks it looks), there is the huge issue of Baelish framing Tyrion for yet another crime he never comitted, not to mention defaming both Cat and Lysa. So, there is a contradiction in the story and very clear foul play by Baelish with sinister motives, confirmed when he betrays Ned. In retrospect, all contradictions and unknown motives become clear and perfectly fit.

Right--and I think there's a strong case to be made that Rhaegar was somewhat framed--I've made it elsewhere. Just as Ned actively frames himself.

Sinister motives at play--very much.

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Unlike the alternative parentage scenarios which require impossible mental gymnastics to explain away all the inconsistencies.

No more so than the mental gymnastics to explain away the inconsistencies in what Martin has shown us about Stolen Stark maids vs. R+L.

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- Which is the weakest point of your alternative reading: you focus so much on the parallels and metatextual, that you forget about what is actually written in the text.

My apologies if I gave that impression--what in the evidence listed in the OP seems like I ignored the text?

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Why is Lyanna depicted not just with blue roses but with her QoLaB crown, both in Ned's PoV as well as in Theon's dream?

Because the blue roses mattered to her--she loved them. Like Arya loves poison kisses--as shown in the OP. That bit of Arya flower hunting seems fairly important, given that Martin could have had her do anything else to annoy Sansa. He chose love of flowers. Gotta be a reason. ETA: the flowers Lyanna loved got turned against her--but she still loved them.

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Why does Ned spare any thought to Rhaegar's sexual habits as contrasting Roberts, while remembering Lyanna not happy with Robert's womanizing?

As noted in the OP: Ned makes the same case about Stannis--and we see how Jon the Stark Maid reacts to him. And how he behaves. Neither Stannis nor Rhaegar womanized--and both ended up with Stark Maids (I think). We should pay attention to how the Stark Maid reacts to Stannis.

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Why "tower of joy"? (not to mention, why does GRRM refer to Rhaegar as "lovestruck prince"?)

As noted in the OP: we see a Stark Maid at a "tower of joy"--with a woman screaming for new baby, no less. It's a tower of joy with a woman other than the Stark Maid. Why include the Drearfort in the first place if not to give us info? Martin could have had Baelish take Sansa anywhere. Go straight to the Eyrie. He chooses a run down tower with a joke name. We shouldn't ignore what happens there.

ETA: As for the lovestruck prince--that's how the majority of the characters see Rhaegar. That's what they think the problem is. But so far, we've no confirmation that they are right. Was Martin stating reality per se or reality as characters see it?

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Also, you are leaving out parallels which might show something else, e.g. between Jorah's victory inspired by his infatuation with Lynesse, and Rhaegar's victory at HH.

My apologies for not being clearer in the flower section of the OP: yes, we are told that people like Jorah give crowns and laurels for romantic reasons--that's the normal way. 

But we are shown early on that Stark maids (in the novels) have different scenarios: Loras, covered in blue flowers, is NOT romantically interested in Sansa. Best I can guess, he's trying to curry favor with the new Hand--or something else.

Why show us that specifically about Sansa, the Stark Maid coming south to fulfill Lyanna's original role? The Stark Maid whose cries make Ned think of Lyanna? Before showing us Lyanna's crowning?

Those parallels/echoes seem far more telling and specific that Jorah's. Jorah's establishes the norm. Sansa's sets up a specific, potential Stark Maid variant.

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Even the language used in the discriptions is similar, conveying the air of being unstoppable. Jorah was not a tourney knight, Rhaegar "seldom entered the lists". A case can be made that this is an intentional parallel showing Rhaegar's motivation for crowning Lyanna.

Or that Rhaegar had another plan--we know he had intentions at Harrenhal.

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One might also speculate if the parallel went even further and their relationship soured, just like Jorah's, or if the parallel is only partial. That's the problem with them parallels - until we get to see them in retrospect, we don't know if it is safe to assume that they go 100%

Right--which is one reason why I generally call all of this echoes, not parallels.

And why I think the fact that we have the Stolen Stark Maids to compare to Lyanna is significant--and more likely to hold than the other potential "parallels."

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Even that dratted Bael story - the Stark maiden committed suicide seeing Bael dead, so might she have cared, after all?

Or--as noted in the OP--since Ygritte herself says that the final part of the story is about how "the gods hate kinslayers, even when they kill unknowing," and the Bael Maid, by keeping her son in the dark, made her son into a kinslayer--the Bael Maid was horrified by what she had wrought for her son.

Especially given 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

If this is the Bael Maid--the only known pregnant Stark who might have wanted vengeance in the past--the reading I gave in the OP would make sense. She cared what she had done to her son for pushing vengeance against her rapist.

We don't know yet--as I said in the OP.  ETA: but the idea that Ygritte's "kinslayer" point is the point seems reasonable.

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Speaking of potential parallels: Alys Karstark running from an unwanted marriage and seeing protection with a higher authority offers some food for thought. Especially as she is an Arya figure, who looks like Lyanna. -

Yup! This is a good one. 

Though I'd argue that she's the false Stark Maid--she's mistaken for a Stark Maid, but isn't one. We should look to the real Stark Maids--Sansa, Arya, and Jon.

Sansa comes close to this--running from an unwanted (if already done) marriage--among other things. So, I could see Lyanna as doing this. And getting trapped in a mess as Sansa does. Stuck in other people's plans when she wants to go home.

Though I'm more inclined (at least for now) to think it's closer to Arya--running from plotters who intend to use her, ending up with less malevolent plotters ( the brotherhood without banners, the Hound) who hold her and take care of her--until they can use her to further their goals. This scenario is part of my reasoning that Lyanna got taken on purpose to start a war. . .but that's for another thread. Maybe.

Plus there's still the Jon option--Lyanna got in over her head and ended up with plotters.

One way or another, the actual Stark Maids' scenarios seem more likely than the false Stark Maid, Alys. Assuming Martin put all of this in for a reason.

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't quote properly. And I can't spell.

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1 hour ago, Nevets said:

Call me unconvinced.  For one thing, both Tom of Sevenstreams and Marillion are fairly minor characters in Arya's and Sansa's stories.  And I think there are a lot better parallels mirroring a Rhaegar-Stark maid connection.

Sure--but the moments with them are specific: listening to sad songs. Martin in no way had to include those moments. They aren't remotely key to the overt plot. He put them in for a reason. Especially the bit where Marillion calls Sansa a roadside rose.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

For example: Sansa- Baelish, Arya - Kindly Man, Bran - Bloodraven.  All of thesse are possibly malign figures who have essentially seduced Stark maids by flattering them with attention, and giving them a sense of purpose and accomplishment in their, especially with Arya and Bran.  There are also, in a sense, captors.  I think all three will break with their mentor/captors, though.

Agreed--though do you see any Rhaegar imagery around the Kindly Man? And Baelish doesn't get Sansa through flattery--he gets hold of her via flat our deception. 

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

Where does this put us with Rhaegar and Lyanna?  It could suggest that Rhaegar suggested to Lyanna the idea of being the mother of the Prince that was Promised, and that she might have been intrigued by the idea. 

I'm liking the potential of Rhaegar being sociopathically deceptive like Baelish--would be a fabulous twist.

But any evidence that Lyanna was likely to be interested in a big prophecy? Arya's interest in the Faceless Men really seems to be personal power to fulfill her hit list. Sansa's just trying to get home. And Jon doesn't buy into Mance or Stannis' ideas/

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

Or another parallel:  Sansa and Baelish (or Sandor), Arya and Gendry (or possibly someone new), and Jon and Ygritte.  In these cases we have a one-sided love that later does, or could,, turn mutual. 

The Hound--not a plotter. No prophecy. No singing. And Gendry is Robert's Bastard. . . as I state in the OP: Gendry shows who Lyanna's Look Alike niece is attracted to--and it's not Rhaegar figure.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

Jon and Ygritte is the best example here.  Jon is essentially "captured" by Ygritte,, but (I think) comes to love her, although he ends up betraying her instead.

Right--and Lyanna could have fallen for her captor. But Ygritte is not a Rhaegar figure. That's Mance.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

I think Baelish is in love with Sansa, with the possibility of of becoming mutual, and practically everybody expects her to turn on him eventually.

I agree on Baelish--though it's tied up so much in Cat, who knows how much is genuine emotion. Any evidence Rhaegar was obsessed with someone else and looking for a stand in?

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

With Rhaegar and Lyanna, it could have been Rhaegar obsessed with Lyanna, and it turning mutual.  By the end, it appears as if Rhaegar might have wanted his son to become his heir, and next Targaryen claimant. I imagine Lyanna would have been opposed, and that might have been the promise she got from Ned.  Not to tell Jon his parentage, so as to keep him from getting involved in that.

My point here is that many parallels can be made in this context, and much speculation can result, not all of it contradictory.  Both of the above suggestions could be true, for example.

Right--many are possible. But when we see who the Stark Maids are attracted to and how they react to the Rhaegar/Bael figures--they don't do as you say with them. They react differently. And Sansa is not interested in Baelish so far. That's the point--the specificity of the Stolen Stark Maids and their reactions.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

As far as parallels between Rhaegar/Lyanna and Arryn's murder. Ithink there are a lot of similarities.  In both cases, the actions and statements of the characters are meant to lead us to false conclusions, but a close reading leads to contradictions that ttemselves lead to a different conclusion. One that makes sense once the reveal comes.  Arryn being murdered by his wife and Baelish makes perfect sense once you realize it.  And the same is true of R+L=J.

I'm with you until the bolded--how does that fit with your analysis if the answer to Arryn's murder is "none of the given answers?" Same with Ned as Jon's father--the answer isn't "who's the mom"--the answer is "take Ned out of the equation--none of the above."

So, not sure what you are asserting the bolded.

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12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

But what I think you are implying in your post HAS to be on the table--that Rhaegar was willing to sacrifice a child for his cause--if I've misread you, let me know. But if that's where you are going--I may not like it, but it has to be on the table.

I’m not sure I’d limit it to the singular child.  It’s not just Melisandre who believes that “only death can may pay for life”.

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“It is not a matter of gold or horses. This is bloodmagic, lady. Only death may pay for life.”

“Death?” Dany wrapped her arms around herself protectively, rocked back and forth on her heels. “My death?” She told herself she would die for him, if she must. She was the blood of the dragon, she would not be afraid. Her brother Rhaegar had died for the woman he loved.

“No,” Mirri Maz Duur promised. “Not your death, Khaleesi.”

And

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“A man pays his debts. A man owes three.”

“Three?”

“The Red God has his due, sweet girl, and only death may pay for life. This girl took three that were his. This girl must give three in their places. Speak the names, and a man will do the rest.”

Melisandre believes blood magic is needed to wake the dragons from stone.  Blood magic precedes the wakening of Dany’s dragons from stone.  

And Aemon’s belief in the Prince that Was Promised seems directly tied to dragons.

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“It was a prince that was promised, not a princess...The language misled us all for a thousand years.  Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke.  The dragons prove it.”

And in turn the Prince that was Promised seems directly tied (in Aemon’s Mind) with the War for the Dawn.

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It is the war for the dawn you speak of, my lady.  But where is the prince that was promised.

And if Aemon believes this then presumably Rhaegar does as well.

So if Rhaegar believes that the Prince that was Promised is coming, then he must also believe that the War for the Dawn is coming as well.  And the presence of dragons seems intergrally related to the Prince that was Promised.  

And of course Rhaegar’s obsession is Summerhall, which in turn is a Dream of Dragons.

So the question we have to answer before we can truly know Rhaegar’s interest in Lyanna, is what is the Song of Ice and Fire?

Was Rhaegar just interested in Valyrian bloodlines, or was he also interested in the bloodlines of other Kings?  Perhaps Storm Kings, Gardner Kings,... or Winter Kings?  

An interesting aside, is why Melisandre is so darned interested in Eric Storm?  Is it because his great grandmother was a Targaryen?  Or is it because he may be the descendant from the bloodlines of multiple kings?

After all his father is a Baratheon, descended from the Storm Kings through the female line.  And his mother is a Florent, who claim to be descended from the Gardner Kings.

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“Who would father these children?  Ser Patrick?  You?”

”Who better?  We Florence’s have the blood of the old Gardener kings in our veins.”

And Melisandre seems to love to sacrifice Florents:

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Lord Florent had been strong and silent as the queen’s men bound him to the post, as dignified as any half-naked man could hope to be, but as the flames licked up his legs he had begun to scream, and his screams had blown them all the way to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, if the red woman could be believed. Davos had misliked that wind. It had seemed to him to smell of burning flesh, and the sound of it was anguished as it played amongst the lines.

So did Rhaegar come to a realization about the magic needed to wake the Dragon?  Magic that was needed from the blood of Kings, the blood of the Kings of the First Men?

Edited by Frey family reunion

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