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Sly Wren

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

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7 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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

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.

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. 

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.

I am really happy you know where I am going because I certainly don't :( 

okay Sailor's Wife would be GoHH since we are told she went to Isle of Faces in her youth and Yna would be Maggy the Frog seeing people's fates by tasting their blood, I think Rhaegar was playing for GoHH in exchange of green dreams or prophecies about PTWP though Rhaegar was also reading about the prophecy? And during the Tourney at Lannisport if there was anyone seeing Maggy beside Cersei that person was Rhaegar especially when his only surviving sibling ended up being a brother and he had to marry someone else. 

Speaking of tourneys is it possible Ned attended the tourney at Lannisport and the Storm's End tourney - the one hosted by Robert as a Lord? I can't see a reason why Lord Jon Arryn and his wards won't attend tourneys, especially important ones.  

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15 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

And "The Lannisters or Fever killed Arryn" was set in stone--until the Moon Door Confessional. . . 

R+L=J isn't even an in-world solution anyone has yet come up with yet, that alone should be enough reason to render the comparison stupid, but there are even better ones. What killed Jon Arryn doesn't constitute the spine of the series, it is not its central theme and it doesn't speak to its very name. To not understand why R+L=J is to not understand what you've read.

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6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

Woah, stop right there. Your Stark maids are based solely on meta-reading, for which you choose what fits with your narrative and dismiss the parts that don't. The staple or R+L never relied on meta.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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

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.

You're still missing the main point here. It's not just flowers, it's the wreath. Gifted to her through a rather explicit sexual metaphor by none other than Rhaegar. And for some reason, the reveal of the wreath comes only in Ned's final PoV, and though Lyanna was fond of flowers, it is chronologically the first and only "interaction" between her and flowers till the end of her life when dead and black petals spill from her hand. 

Not really sure why you dwell on Arya's poison kisses so much - I don't recall them ever mentioned again as playing ANY further role. Unlike Lyanna's blue roses, which keep haunting Ned again and again, popping up at unexpected places and often accompanied by a sense of tragedy (Ned wants to weep at the memory, he dreams about Lyanna weeping blood, the thorns draw blood). WAY more emphasis, WAY more significant than Arya's single encounter with poison kisses (which, BTW, she collects herself, doesn't get them from anyone).

There might be a very general parallel of the poison kisses as a cautionary tale - they look pretty but just like the QoLaB laurel, they hurt you - perhaps a sort of foreshadowing, but I'd be very cautious to use a single incident for any far-reaching conclusions.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

If and when such an interaction occurs, perhaps. To be a valid parallel, though, Stannis would have to be the Stark Maid's love interest. 

Though, strictly speaking, when Jon meets Stannis, he is not a maid any more.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

Quite a couple of points here.

Dreafort is not a parallel but an antithesis of tower of joy, just as the cunning and devious Baelish is as far from Rhaegar as it gets. Therefore, I could easily make a case that what takes place at Drearfort is very different from what went down at tower of joy. Baelish's coupling with Lysa was a coldly calculated move, therefore Rhaegar's was genuine affection, Baelish didn't care for getting Lysa pregnant, therefore Rhaegar wanted a baby, Lysa didn't get pregnant, therefore Lyanna did, and because Lysa was pathetically loud, Lyanna had a quiet romantic intercourse.

That's why meta interpretations are such a, err, treacherous woman, they can be twisted any way you want, and since the book is unfinished, you cannot tell yet which one is right.

Now, why Drearfort: First, LF needs to get Sansa offthe grid completely, which requires an isolated location. One where you have some kind of support and sustenance, and where no-one would ever dream of looking. That's why going directly to Eyrie is not an options. Unlike any other place LF might choose, this one is run solely by faithful family servants who wouldn't betray him. Second, LF wants to get hold of the Vale. To do so, he needs to marry Lysa. Which would be met with a LOT of screaming and opposition if it was to take place in the Vale, so the marriage takes place elsewhere more or less secretly and the Vale lords are presented with a fait accompli, and cannot do a thing about it (and I might argue that this is a point towards Rhaegar and Lyanna doing just the same, by your own claim that Drearfort parallels ToJ). The combination of all these factors makes Drearfort perfect for LF's plans, it's a "safehouse" where he can wait and bring his plans to fruition.

 

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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?

The full phrase that you can see in my sig was a reply to how come that the Seven kingdoms descended into chaos so quickly. Doesn't seem like what characters think, and the love-struck prince part could have been left out completely or phrased differently if it wasn't true.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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?

Again missing the point, I'm afraid. It's not that people give the laurels to profess their love when they win, but that Jorah wanted to win so that he could do so. His whole behaviour changed, in a sort of love-gives-wings manner, that new feeling inspired him to a feat he normally wasn't capable of. While Rhaegar was capable, we know that he wasn't really interested, he lacked the drive to win. Yet, at HH, his tourney feats are described in the same manner as Jorah's, with that drive. If the drive was indeed there, I find it hard to believe that it was for political reasons.

- Which is very different from what Loras: he won due to skill and cheating, the rose to Sansa was not the laurel, his blue flowers were not roses. 

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

See above - a variant indeed, completely different. An echo.

 

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

A valid interpretation.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

The problem is, the visions show a lot of stuff we have no connection for - the human sacrifice, the pale youth making the weirwood arrows - so it is not a certain that the pregnant woman must be related to the current story. She might, or not. 

Not to mention that Bael's tryst with the Stark maid must have had her cooperation at least initially, because how he would know about the crypts and why she would be willing to hide down there with him for +9 months, plus the whole logistics of getting food and the like... The story is apparently rather distorted from what originally happened (which might well have been a single rape).

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

1) Parallels, or echoes, of a story absolutely don't need to be restricted to particular characters

2) Jon is no more a Stark Maid than Alys Karstark is, if you want to split hairs. She at least has the right gender and the right story arc.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

Now that you mention Sansa... she's the girl who crossed the social norms, as well as her father's express order, to get what she wanted (the man she wanted). I might claim that this points to Lyanna snucking out to get the man she wanted.

6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Assuming Martin put all of this in for a reason.

If he did, and if it the reason that you assume.

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Sorry if i come back only now, but I was reading the long (and very interesting) @Lady Dyanna's thread linked in the OP.

With that being said, where to begin? Let's try with this one

14 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

First I tend to agree on the specific matter of R+L=J with many of things people have said here.

But to stay on the topic of our exchanges... It's the song of ice and fire serie. 
And to me, that means it's the story of Starks and Targaryens.
Targaryen's blood it's emphatizes. As it is "king's blood" not "knight's" blood.

The prince that was promised/Arhor Ah Ahi has to come from the Targ lineage. Etc..
Of course one may believe that Dany covers the Targ's (and king's blood) part of the story.
And we may have Dany as Azor Ah Ahi/Prince that was promised and Jon as Lightbringer.
He (not one of her dragon) may be (symbolically speaking) the "weapon" she's destineted to wield...
But that - imo - would downplay all the narrative about an actual magic sword, including Dawn wich is a pivotal meta-point to build up/substain A+L=J.
And Jon as a Deyne - even tho a Stark from his mother side -  to me would feel like a downplaying of the overall narrative.  
But these are all personal feelings. I see that.

Same when it comes to something like this:

14 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

n 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.

Like I said, I can totally understand why Ned kept the secret about Lyanna as Jon's true mother for everybody in Westeros, regardless who Jon's real father is. Given the context, people would have guessed it was Raeghar (telling that the father was somebody else, even if true, would have been taken as a cover story).
But I don't think there was not reason to not tell the truth to Cat.. "in any case".
I think there was not reason to keep the secret with Cat too... "unless" Raeghar is Jon's father.

If A+L=J (or everything else but R+L=J) is the right answer, Ned would have had zero reasons to feel guilty or ashamed towards Cat. Zero reasons to hurt her feelings and - as a consequence - to make her treating so bad Jon. Therefore to hurt Jon's feelings too.
But if Jon's is Raeghar's son, then Ned was hiding the atomic bomb inside Winterfell.


Not telling Cat the truth was a way to protect him, sure, but also... Cat.

Like I said, from Ned's pov, not only Cat - knowing that R+L=J - could have been tented/forced one day or another to sell that info for a greater good (whereas she cound't sell A+L=J in exchange of something because that's not an info of value. And if so, if that is not something that may damage Jon's safety, why not to tell her?).

But there's another aspect: from Ned's pove, shall the day come that the truth (R+L=J) will be known, Cat may still get the chance to prove she didn't know it. That she hid the athomic bomb inside Winterfell, only because she dind't know there it was.

So to me, R+L=J is still the best explanation for Ned keeping the secret with Cat too.
Whereas I don't find any convincing reason - but plot convenience - for Ned not telling the truth about Jon's real father if he's not Raeghar at least to his wife.  To hurt her (and as a consequence Jon too) if that's not the case.

14 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

I don't remember when Rhaegar is first mentioned in AGOT and more importantly I do not remember if the first story told about whaterver led to his death was that he fight for the woman he "loved".
If you do it, please let me know it.

But for the sake of the argument, let's say that's the case and let's keep comparing it with Jon's Arryn death.

We first know that Jon Arryn is dead. And that's true.
What is false is that it was a fever to kill him. 
Then we "learn" it was the Queen who killed him. And that's false too.

In short, the circumstaces are false. Not the fact itself.
So maybe Rhaegar died because of Lyanna. A woman he loved. But the circumstances are different than we believe they are. After the first read of AGOT and 'till now.
Meaning that there was not kidnapping and rape - which is the thesis everybody in Westeros believe to be true - nor there was a plan between two lovers. The romantic escape many readers believe there was. 

I see why you are comparing the fake news about Jon Arryn's death - sent by Lyza - to the possible "fake" theory R+L=J. But beside the fact that one is a false information given in-universe by a character (Lyza: she specifically points to the Lannisters as the killers) while the other is a "theory" readers (but no one in-universe) came up to, I believe we should better compare the fake news "Jon Arryn was killed by Cersei" to the fake news "Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna because he has a crush on her".

At that time, when Lyanna disappeared that was - probably - a false accusation. Someone spred it. I guess. Just like Lyza did in the case of J.A.'s death. Not to mention, that one false accusation led to Starks & comp. vs Targaryens, the other to Starks vs Lannisters.
And maybe, it may be worth to compare the fake news about the adbuction of Lyanna, to the fake news (to some extent) that Melisandre told Jon about Arya escaping from her marriage. Not only it was someone else (Alys Karstark vs Lyanna Stark).
In Lyanna's case (vs true, real Arya), maybe she was doing that for real. It may be a double parallel.
And/or to the fake news contained into the Pink Letter, whoever wrote it (something is odd even if Ramsey actually wrote it).

Speaking of which, there's another detail that adds water to your thesis that Lyanna/Arya/Sansa behave the same way.
One of the first things that Jon thinks about when he receives the first letter that announces Arya's wedding is that she won't like at all the idea. Same does Robb when Cat tell him that she arranged Arya's wedding to a Frey.

That to me points to... Lyanna didn't want to marry Robert at all. Because she was a womanizer.
We know he was. We know she knew it. And if so, Lyanna was not a woman keen to do something she didn't want to do.
So she escaped. She escaped from a marriage she didn't want. Most likely, on a horse.
Someone else back then interpreted it or someone else (with a specific motiv to do so) spred the fake accusation that Rhaegar kidnapped her.
False, no matter what.
As it is wrong/false that they - Rhaegar and Lyanna - agreed previously on a plan: the romantic "escape", going into hiding together because they loved each other.

What is interesting if so, is that what we have to re-think is not R+L=J, but the comparison between whatever happened between them and Bael the Bard's story.
There was not stolen woman here.
There wasn't a seduced and abandoned woman seeking revenge.

That amazing comparison between the woman emerging from the pool (who I agree may be Bael's she-wolf)
and Lyanna, works as a mirror. As a "reversed/flipped" tale/trope.

Lyanna wasn't hiding in Winterfell. She wasn't abandoned by the man who seduced her.
In fact, contrary to Bael's lover, she was far from home. And she ended up in Crypts, aftewards and dead.

Not alive and meanwhile.

Lyanna didn't ask for a son to avenge her.
She made Ned promising what? To protect her child, I bet. And from whom, if not from the man that killed the child's father?
Here we may have a surrogate father that promises to protect the child. Not a son killing the father.
And the kinslayer, to some degree... it's her. Brandon died because of her choices and/or because of the consequences of her choices. Even tho she didn't know/think/wish that to happen.
But kinslayers -  even if they didn't know what they were actually doing/causing - are cursed.

And Rhaegar is not Bael, in this story. Not literally. He didn't pretend to be someone else.
He didn't use a false identity.
Lyanna did that. At Harrenal, as the KotLT. She was the one fooling people: the king included.
She - as the KotLT - was the one that later on people looked for and didn't find.

The winter roses Rhaegar gave her, may signify that: "you played everybody but me. I know what you did" 
But that was not a "screw you" gesture, because Rhaegar kept the secret.
And he did that, not because he had a crush on her, but becasue he understood why she did that, the point the KotLT/Lyanna was trying to make. And what was that point?
It wasn't to avenge Howland Reed.
The point the KotLT was trying to make, was about the honor a knight should have.
How a knight is supposed to behave.

Rhaegar - keeping the secret - proved her, he understood that.
Therefore... that he knew - and agree with her on - how a true knight is supposed to behave.
And that is why, she came into trusting him. Why monthes after, she asked his help, when she decided to escape from her family (again opposite to some degree to Arya and Sansa, similar to others) and a marriage she didn't want. Just like Alys Karstark went to Jon, because he's the only one - in her eyes -  she may trust.

Rhaegar...  is Jon. Like Jon he didn't know that someone else would guess he "had stolen" Lyanna aka Ygritte - or Val (and fArya) - only because he helped/saved her. That people would have guess he did that out of lust. Only to find himself later on falling for that woman.

Or he may be. 

I went too far from what I originally ment. And I still have many things to say. But I think I'll do that later on.

These are basically the things we probably won't agree on. But I am sure we may go on further with all the parallels and the (amazing, imo) meta-points your OP is full of.

Especially, with all the Lyza-LF / Ashara, Brandon or Ned etc... details.
And especially if the point is/may be fake story vs fake story, told by someome who had an interest in doing so. Add Tywin to the list too. Or Bael-ish himself, that in days of Lyanna's disappearance was probably leaving Riverrun (after his fight with Brandon) to go back in the Vale...

Let me add one thing: many compared Arya and Jaqen chapters at Harrenal to those of Theon in Winterfell in ADWD. The northernmen rescue, to the fArya's rescue etc... But maybe we should try to go deeper and compare these ones to Bael's story too.
 

Edited by lalt

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11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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'm not aware of such clues. The clues that Jon Arryn was poisoned by his dear wife are much more obvious.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

I'd not say that this is the dichotomy we are given. We are given hints that Rhaegar-Lyanna are a complex and mysterious thing. A crucial aspect in all that is that we have yet to get an in-depth coverage of them from a person who was actually close to them when the whole thing took place. Ned may have known much more than he let slip in his thoughts, but Jon Connington or even Barristan Selmy should know much more.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

My point just is that it made very clear to the reader as early as AGoT that Cersei/the Lannister are *not* the ones responsible. If one buys Lysa's letter in light of her erratic behavior later in AGoT - when she suddenly blames Tyrion for Jon's murder rather than Cersei - one simply doesn't pay attention to the clues that are in the text. Colemon and Walder and Lysa herself lay out what was actually going on there, and early on in ACoK Cersei essentially confirms that she had nothing to do with Jon Arryn's death. Considering that Cersei openly admits to her role in Robert's death in that chapter one has to really be pretty thick to still insist Cersei must have been behind it.

George does not really set up things that look obviously like A and then turn out to be B in a manner nobody could have foreseen. If something is planned then there are pretty obvious clues laid for the reader. What he likes to do is to add more complexity overtime as the complete picture of a thing or a scenario or an event is revealed. This is very much the case with the Rhaegar-Lyanna thing.

Assuming or pretending we got everything we need to know in the first (couple of) book(s) is just wrong in that case - unlike the Jon Arryn thing. There we did not really need Lysa's confession to correctly guess who was behind that one, just as we didn't really need Joffrey's confession in ASoS to correctly guess at him being behind the attempt on Bran - because there are clues for that in AGoT, too.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

A crucial part here is that all we know about Bael and his nameless Stark girl comes from a song. That's pretty much worth nothing. Unless we assume Bael had very good bondage equipment and that nobody went into the crypts for nine months chances are pretty high that the Stark girl went willingly with him and that they even had a marriage of sorts - just as Jacaerys Velaryon and Sara Snow may have been married (if the latter even existed).

Lyanna/Rhaegar are reflected in many a romance depicted in ASoIaF but that doesn't make the characters involved all Rhaegar-/Lyanna-like characters.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

I'd not say that Sansa/Arya are mainly foils or variations of Lyanna. Lyanna is a very important background character, but neither she nor Rhaegar are as important as the actual main characters of series - and Sansa and Arya are two such main characters.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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

That would make Aerys the Wise and Rhaegar the Mad. I'm sure Rhaegar was madder/more delusional than we know at this point - his ridiculous belief/obsession with prophecy was dangerous and irrational in the extreme (especially the idea that he himself or any of his children were *the chosen one* when there were other possibilities, too) - but I see no evidence at this point indicating that Rhaegar ever wanted to plunge the Realm into war.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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? 

Arya's looks and character resemble Lyanna to a certain point - the parallels give us some clues how Lyanna may have behaved in certain situations and they also give us hint into what kind of woman Arya could have grown into (if she hadn't been traumatized by war and decided to be become a murderess and professional assassin) but they also show us were Lyanna and Arya were different.

Lya was much more confident and pampered than Arya. Arya had to fight for what she got whereas Lyanna simply took it. Lya had a sterner father than Ned, but she had brothers she could play and was lacking a mother who ensured she would be trained to be a proper lady. Arya had to compete with her sister, Lya was the only girl.

The most crucial difference would still be the age. Arya has yet to discover her own sexuality and the kind of men she actually prefers. Lyanna was old enough to do that. And we have no idea what kind of men Arya would have preferred had she grown up like Lyanna (in Sansa's case we can make pretty good guess thanks to her infatuation with both Joffrey and Loras). The men she prefer now, after her traumas, might be different from the men she may have been attracted to had she grown up in the security of Winterfell. The same goes for Sansa's 'interest' in Sandor, etc.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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

And the differences. Viserys III and Rhaegar also looked pretty much alike - but they had very different characters. As did their father.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

Ned thinking of Lyanna in the Lady case is important for Ned as a character, not so much to what is going to happen to Sansa. It shows how much Ned is influenced/defined by the Lyanna situation when he makes important decisions that remember him of Lyanna's situation. We have that again later when he tortured by the prospect that Robert may kill Cersei's children should he find out the truth.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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

We don't know whether Lyanna actually liked or disliked Robert. All we know is that she was apparently not liking the fact that Robert would not be faithful to her as a husband. Lyanna's own talk about 'love being sweet' also implies that she had never been really in love at this point - remember she is 13/14 at Harrenhal, and possibly considerably younger when she and Ned have that conversation (which seems to take place around the time the betrothal between her and Lord Robert is made).

If Lyanna had any agency in the Rhaegar thing it would have been her realizing what love actually means, and how a great a force it can be in your adolescence.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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?

What would make Rhaegar attractive to Lyanna is, at first, the fact that he is a gifted singer of melancholic ballads (which apparently affected Lyanna at Harrenhal in no small degree according to Meera's tale). That is not what one expects from the average Targaryen prince. Rhaegar also is the great warrior and knight and all that, but that's not all he is. He is much more than that. And if they had an actual relationship/romance then what would have caused Lyanna to connect with him is whatever happened around the mystery knight episode. 

While Rhaegar certainly was obsessed with prophecy, there is actually no internal reason given that whatever he felt for Lyanna was connected to prophecy. Sure, he needed another wife if he wanted more sons, but there is no hint that this shaped or influenced whatever feelings he may have had for her.

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10 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

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?

Yup--this is a question that needs to be asked.

Though I would say we have more evidence that Rhaegar wanted his promised prince and 3 heads than that he wanted blood sacrifices.

But the above--no way it's not possible.

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8 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

I think Rhaegar was playing for GoHH in exchange of green dreams or prophecies about PTWP though Rhaegar was also reading about the prophecy?

Interesting--would tie into the brotherhood's visit. And the brotherhood without banners have that confrontation with the Hound that echoes the 3 Kingsguard's confrontation with Ned. . . .

Yes--that could work.

8 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

And during the Tourney at Lannisport if there was anyone seeing Maggy beside Cersei that person was Rhaegar especially when his only surviving sibling ended up being a brother and he had to marry someone else. 

This one I find harder--but partly because of my take on Rhaegar and Tywin: I think they were well in cahoots at this point. And part of their alliance was the plan to marry Rhaegar to Cersei. Tywin seems absolutely certain that the marriage will come off, even though Aerys is so hostile? 

How could Tywin be so sure? At least one option has to be that Rhaegar was on board. If so, why would Rhaegar be visiting someone like Maggy? The GOHH I get. But Maggy at that time seems. . . well, I'm struggling a bit. Need to mull for a while.

8 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Speaking of tourneys is it possible Ned attended the tourney at Lannisport and the Storm's End tourney - the one hosted by Robert as a Lord? I can't see a reason why Lord Jon Arryn and his wards won't attend tourneys, especially important ones.  

Seems possible--is there anything in the books?

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11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

It could fit into a false dilemma, but I don't think it has to.

We already have one about Jon's mother. Is it Wylla the peasant girl or Ashara Dayne the noble lady? It's (probably) neither because (probably) Ned isn't his father. R+L is just the set up for that reveal, although admittedly it comes off earlier and is a bit more obvious than Lysa and Baelish poisoning Jon Arryn. I would say it had to, because Ned is our main window into that, and he was going to die at the end of the first book. 

If R+L wasn't a thing, then what is the alternative? Not for Jon's parents necessarily, but for their roles in the story. As others have pointed out, Lysa + Baelish was suggested, if not made plain, since relatively early in the series. It did not come out of the blue.

12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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

I understand. I tend to do the same thing if it's not a key point of discussion, otherwise the discussion would grow out of control and snap when we realize a proper response would be so long that we no longer have time to write it (it's happened to me before). Some points are also being addressed by other posters, I wouldn't expect you to answer everyone individually. :D

12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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. . . 

The thing here is that we are looking at a chain of events spanning 9 months to a year. Hindsight is 20/20 for us, but the characters wouldn't have known what their choices would cost them.

Lyanna most likely wouldn't have been faced with the prospect of losing her identity (or getting her family killed, or dying in childbirth) when falling in love with Rhaegar, or sleeping with him, or buying into the Ice & Fire prophecy. By contrast, Arya is faced with the price for becoming no one relatively early on, so it's only natural that she is fighting back.

By the way, I believe there will be a low point moment where Arya does appear to give up her identity, and it will be very painful to read because it will be because of Jon. If she is only privy to partial information from the North, it might soon appear to her that Jon consented to passing Jeyne Poole off as her and that he abandoned his Night's Watch vows to be king (her killing Daeron for renouncing his vows potentially sets this up). That would probably break her into embracing the Faceless Men fully, since her main anchor to her identity is her gift from Jon... But I digress with my own head canon here... Apologies. :P

12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

It could be, but their relationship doesn't hinge on the song alone.

I also think it's a bit dangerous to assume that all similar things serve the same purpose in the story, That only seems to work when you pick and choose some examples, but assuming the whole story is built that way puts enormous strain on it, and I don't think it would stand to scrutiny. Even with the examples you gave, Arya is never really into songs from the start, while Sansa learns not to trust them along the way.

And the "life is not a song" theme is not restricted to the Stark girls. You can see aspects of it with Jon and Ygritte (which may suit you), but also Dany, Arianne, Quentin, Bran, Brienne, Tyrion and possibly more. It seems to be a theme that the author likes rather than a hint aimed specifically at debunking R+L. In fact, you are kind of diminishing the message by making it mainly about this.

12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

Again, you are reducing a much larger story with its own themes and arcs to a hint for a background mystery.

Mance's cloak had red on it because red is the strongest color to oppose the black of the Night's Watch and the white of winter. The red on black does mirror the Targaryen colors, but that can also be interpreted as a symbol of "kingship". Mance is the king of the wildlings, therefore his cloak bears a crude resemblance to the sigil of the old westerosi kings.

If you want to draw further parallels between Mance and Rhaegar, his Lyanna would be Dalla - a chance meeting, she dies in childbirth. The idea that Mance's attempts to "seduce" Jon parallel Rhaegar's attempts to seduce Lyanna is a stretch. You could apply the same logic to Zaro's attempts to seduce Dany if you really wanted to... does that mean Dany is a Stark Maid and Xaro a Rhaegar figure? And I repeat, Jon is already invested in the opposite side when he meets Mance, Lyanna andRhaegar wouldn't have been enemies at the onset of seduction. Jon had much, much, much better reasons to resist.

As for Stannis, only his secondary, superficial traits are similar to Rhaegar, and he has the seductive power of a split log. It doesn't say anywhere that Rhaegar resembled Stannis in personality in any way. There are a lot of circumstantial reasons why Jon would resist Stannis while Lyanna would give in to Rhaegar... It seems weird to me to ignore them all and bank everything on a forced parallel.

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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. 

But Gendry isn't the follower of any Rhaegar figure at the time when Arya appears to be into him. If anything, him joining the BwB is what put a stop to their budding "relationship". And the Hound breaks off from Joffrey when he steals the song from Sansa. Things don't really align s much as you want them to. :P

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

And pretty Dornish--the fiery edge of Westeros. 

Maybe Lyanna was really into Ellia then... or Ashara Dayne? And she only got in bed with Rhaegar to please her lesbian crush(es).

That would explain why Ashara Dayne killed herself after Eddard visited her. Hmm... this actually makes more sense than I initially expected.

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:
  • 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. 

True, Martin gave them all that... But you may have chosen to read more into it than he intended. :devil: Or not. We'll have to wait and see.

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

I'm not sure Lyanna's aversion towards Robert came solely from a strict belief in monogamy. Robert saw her purely as a sexual conquest, and likely had little regard for her personality and interests. That would have been reason enough to dislike him. Add the fact that he was a womanizer who wouldn't have stayed faithful to her on the long run, and Lyanna realized there would have been literally nothing for them to build a lasting relationship on. "He's going to cheat on me" was just a good excuse to offer her brothers.

There's also the fact that people's perception on cheating is a relative thing. What seems morally reprehensible in principle might become acceptable if they have to choose between a loveless relationship and a caring and/or passionate one. Also, some people don't consider swinging or group sex cheating if the spouse is on board with it and possibly participating, and Ellia might have been.

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

It all depends on how the chain of events played out. There are a lot of questions that would need to be answered here:

  1. Was anyone supposed to find out that it was Rhaegar who took Lyanna, or was this an accident? The fact that she wasn't with anyone of note when she was abducted seems to imply that she went there willingly, but we also can't count out some companions or guards who might have been ordered by the prince to hand her over, or maybe even killed (though this would place the event in an entirely different light)
  2. Where were Rhaegar and Lyanna when Brandon came to King's Landing? How soon did they find out that he was taken prisoner?
  3. Did they anticipate that Aerys would kill Rickard, Brandon, and the other father-son pairs accompanying them? Would it be too much to assume that they figured the matter would settle itself, or weren't in the loop at all when it happened?
  4. Was Lyanna already pregnant at this point, and did she know it? Did Rhaegar?
  5. At which point did Ellia and her children arrive at King's Landing? If they were already there when Rhaegar went to get Lyanna, that invalidates my theory of Ellia's involvement in the affair. On the other hand, it would appear that Aerys used them as bargaining chips to make Rhaegar fight in the war, and this only happened later on in the Rebellion.

The key points here are Rickard and Brandon's death and Ellia's arrival at King's Landing.

Once the two Starks and their bannermen were killed, war became inevitable. Once Aerys got a hold on Ellia and the children, it became impossible for Rhaegar to side with the rebels. If there was any opportunity in between to do anything, they clearly missed it. Handing Lyanna to Aerys would have been incredibly unsafe for her, and handing them to the rebels would have:

  • potentially been construed as treason by Aerys, who could have retaliated on Rhaegar's family.
  • led to Lyanna being executed with the rest of the rebels, if Aerys won the war.

Depending on how the events played out, it's not impossible to imagine that Lyanna would have agreed to remain hidden:

  • to protect Rhaegar's family by not giving Aerys a reason to believe his son had betrayed him
  • to protect her own unborn child
  • to protect Ned, by avoiding a situation where she could have been captured by Aerys's loyalist
  • to avoid causing a rift between the rebels by admitting she willingly refused to marry Robert
14 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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

Sure, but the real question is, how would it improve the story? Let's say the best alternative is Arthur Dayne... but we know so little about him that it wouldn't have much of an impact on the story, aside from being a twist. And Rhaegar's involvement in the "kidnapping" would remain an open story, unlike the Lannister-Jon Arryn misdirection which had a massive impact on the plot. Your proposition only reverberates through the fandom.

In any case, my head canon at the moment is that Lyanna and Ashara Dayne fell in love at Harrenhal. One was a wild wolf-girl who could dress in armor and defeat real knights in tourneys, and the other a sensual courtier who was probably already used to sharing her bed with Ellia and Rhaegar, and opposites attract! Ashara discreetly let her mistress Ellia know that Lyanna was the KotLT, and the princess was so impressed that she instructed her husband to win the tourney and give her the crown of love and beauty as a coded prize for her courage.

Later, when her marriage with Robert was impending, Lyanna appealed to her friends to help her abscond to Dorne to be with her violet-eyed lover. They spent some time together, isolated from the realm, and the kinky Ashara encouraged Lyanna to experiment with the royal couple, which incidentally led to her becoming pregnant with Rhaegar's baby. When they finally found out what their indiscretions wrought, it was to late to change anything, and Lyanna had to remain hidden at least until giving birth. Ashara herself had to return to Starfall so as to not create any suspicions and indirectly reveal Lyanna's whereabouts. Sadly, we all know how everything ended, and when Ashara found out that both her brother and her lover had died, she took her own life in grief.

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7 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

R+L=J isn't even an in-world solution anyone has yet come up with yet, that alone should be enough reason to render the comparison stupid, but there are even better ones.

My apologies for not being clearer--in the OP, my argument is not the "RLJ" the false dilemma. "R+L" is what the characters in the novel assume is set in stone. Either love or rape--but they all assume that "relationship" happened.

7 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

What killed Jon Arryn doesn't constitute the spine of the series, it is not its central theme and it doesn't speak to its very name. To not understand why R+L=J is to not understand what you've read.

1. RLJ is without doubt clearly possible in the novels--can't get through the first half of Game on a first read without seeing it.

2. As for the central theme: that seems to be the defeat of the other. And Song of Ice and fire has a number of potential meanings.

3. But as for who killed Jon Arryn: the mystery is comparable to the characters' assumptions on R+L. Characters assume they have "Figured out" what happened to Arryn--but they have not. And Arryn's murder helped lead to the War of the 5 Kings. It's not inconsequential. Similarly, R+L is assumed to have incited Robert's Rebellion. Characters think they know what happened--but they really may be wrong.

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1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

Interesting--would tie into the brotherhood's visit. And the brotherhood without banners have that confrontation with the Hound that echoes the 3 Kingsguard's confrontation with Ned. . . .

Yes--that could work.

This one I find harder--but partly because of my take on Rhaegar and Tywin: I think they were well in cahoots at this point. And part of their alliance was the plan to marry Rhaegar to Cersei. Tywin seems absolutely certain that the marriage will come off, even though Aerys is so hostile? 

How could Tywin be so sure? At least one option has to be that Rhaegar was on board. If so, why would Rhaegar be visiting someone like Maggy? The GOHH I get. But Maggy at that time seems. . . well, I'm struggling a bit. Need to mull for a while.

Seems possible--is there anything in the books?

That's the weird part, no one talks about who attended the Lannisport tourney at the time but the Vale loves knights and tourneys and a calculating man like Arryn won't miss the chance of attending imo especially to tourney of Robert as Lord because we know Ned and Robert are close as brothers. 

Was there any reason for Rhaegar wanting to marry Cersei? I thought for Cersei it would be a child's fancy but I don't remember any part that talks about Rhaegar being interested in a Lannister bride. 

I am not sure about Rhaegar visiting Maggy but it's just a guess - since Rhaegar seems to be driven by the prophecy and Maggy was infamous. 

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Ahh, it's again one of the cases where the RLJ turns into a religion, where RLJ is 20 theories at once and everybody understands something different. Maybe we should introduce new names for the theories, since RLJ priests obviously won't do it. I suggest:

RLJonly: just that, no assumtions what happens in the story, no tower of joy, no love affair, just the name R+L=J

RLJoy: love affair, tower of joy

RLJAA: It is know. Aegon VII

 

 

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6 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Woah, stop right there. Your Stark maids are based solely on meta-reading, for which you choose what fits with your narrative and dismiss the parts that don't. The staple or R+L never relied on meta.

My apologies--that came off more hostile and less clear than I intended and I am sorry.

My point: readers sometimes use Arya as an example to show Lyanna's behavior, then cherry pick a bit to dismiss other things about Arya that point away from Lyanna's relationship with Rhaegar. I was referencing those kinds of moves and was not at all clear about it/

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You're still missing the main point here. It's not just flowers, it's the wreath. Gifted to her through a rather explicit sexual metaphor by none other than Rhaegar. And for some reason, the reveal of the wreath comes only in Ned's final PoV, and though Lyanna was fond of flowers, it is chronologically the first and only "interaction" between her and flowers till the end of her life when dead and black petals spill from her hand. 

Not really sure why you dwell on Arya's poison kisses so much - I don't recall them ever mentioned again as playing ANY further role. Unlike Lyanna's blue roses, which keep haunting Ned again and again, popping up at unexpected places and often accompanied by a sense of tragedy (Ned wants to weep at the memory, he dreams about Lyanna weeping blood, the thorns draw blood). WAY more emphasis, WAY more significant than Arya's single encounter with poison kisses (which, BTW, she collects herself, doesn't get them from anyone).

There might be a very general parallel of the poison kisses as a cautionary tale - they look pretty but just like the QoLaB laurel, they hurt you - perhaps a sort of foreshadowing, but I'd be very cautious to use a single incident for any far-reaching conclusions.

1. On the wreath: the laurel is presented after we see Sansa get an unromantic rose from a blue-flowered covered man at a tourney--and after we see how Stark Maids love flowers.

That should potentially color how we see the presentation of that laurel. And the "interaction" with the flowers. Martin shows us the potential differences between Stark Maids' being presented awards at tourneys to others. And shows potential other reasons why Lyanna would hold onto flowers.

2. As for the poison kisses, what strikes me is that Martin bothers to show how a Lyanna-like Stark Maid loves flowers. After telling us Lyanna's room smelled of blood and roses. He could have had Arya do anything else to annoy Sansa--collect frogs, try putting leashes on a lizard lion--he showed the flower collecting.

That gives us a clear potential reason why Lyanna would be holding flowers she loved other than loving the person who gave her the crown. Fits with Ned's horror over the crown--that something Lyanna loved so much ended up turning into something awful--like the poison kisses. 

And yes--the flower collecting incident is only mentioned once--the clue is more subtle. But both Sansa's rose from Loras and Arya's love of flowers potentially set up readers to know that we should not innately assume that Lyanna's relationship with the laurel or her favorite flowers point to a love affair. Martin did not need to include Sansa's rose or Arya's flower hunting--but he put them in.

6 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Dreafort is not a parallel but an antithesis of tower of joy, just as the cunning and devious Baelish is as far from Rhaegar as it gets. Therefore, I could easily make a case that what takes place at Drearfort is very different from what went down at tower of joy. Baelish's coupling with Lysa was a coldly calculated move, therefore Rhaegar's was genuine affection, Baelish didn't care for getting Lysa pregnant, therefore Rhaegar wanted a baby, Lysa didn't get pregnant, therefore Lyanna did, and because Lysa was pathetically loud, Lyanna had a quiet romantic intercourse.

Why assume antithesis? It's a rundown tower in the middle of nowhere. It's small and bleak and mean--and seems like it could easily be torn down. Baelish and Rhaegar are both plotting to take over the kingdom.

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That's why meta interpretations are such a, err, treacherous woman, they can be twisted any way you want, and since the book is unfinished, you cannot tell yet which one is right.

Agreed it's a messy move--but Martin put that tower in for a reason. It's one of the very few markers we have for Lyanna--and Martin had Baelish take his Stolen Stark Maid to one.

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Now, why Drearfort: First, LF needs to get Sansa offthe grid completely, which requires an isolated location. One where you have some kind of support and sustenance, and where no-one would ever dream of looking. That's why going directly to Eyrie is not an options. Unlike any other place LF might choose, this one is run solely by faithful family servants who wouldn't betray him. Second, LF wants to get hold of the Vale. To do so, he needs to marry Lysa. Which would be met with a LOT of screaming and opposition if it was to take place in the Vale, so the marriage takes place elsewhere more or less secretly and the Vale lords are presented with a fait accompli, and cannot do a thing about it (and I might argue that this is a point towards Rhaegar and Lyanna doing just the same, by your own claim that Drearfort parallels ToJ). The combination of all these factors makes Drearfort perfect for LF's plans, it's a "safehouse" where he can wait and bring his plans to fruition.

Right--but Martin could have had Baelish's "Home" be a hovel. A rundown castle. Could have had Lysa meet him on the ship.

Martin specifically chose to have the place Baelish gets all the things you note be a rundown tower with a pet name. 

To be a tower of joy for a woman other than the Stark maid with Stark maid as a witness.

That's the point: the choice of the place being a tower (vs. other kind of off the grid place) and that the Stark Maid is there--NOT as the lover/wife. Not to mention the fact that they don't stay there long.

As for Rhaegar and Lyanna's doing the same: the Stark maid in Baelish's situation is still there: she's the  witness to another woman's joy. 

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If and when such an interaction occurs, perhaps. To be a valid parallel, though, Stannis would have to be the Stark Maid's love interest. 

Though, strictly speaking, when Jon meets Stannis, he is not a maid any more.

Unless the point of Stannis having so many Rhaegar similarities is to show how the Stark Maid reacts to his ideology and his cult. And yes on the Maid--but Jon's been the Stark maid with Mance (and all his Rhaegar echoes). With Stannis he's the former maid--but still reacting to Rhaegar like echoes/

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The full phrase that you can see in my sig was a reply to how come that the Seven kingdoms descended into chaos so quickly. Doesn't seem like what characters think, and the love-struck prince part could have been left out completely or phrased differently if it wasn't true.

Right--still not sure on that one: really sounds like the beliefs of the characters are at play here.

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Again missing the point, I'm afraid. It's not that people give the laurels to profess their love when they win, but that Jorah wanted to win so that he could do so. His whole behaviour changed, in a sort of love-gives-wings manner, that new feeling inspired him to a feat he normally wasn't capable of. While Rhaegar was capable, we know that he wasn't really interested, he lacked the drive to win. Yet, at HH, his tourney feats are described in the same manner as Jorah's, with that drive. If the drive was indeed there, I find it hard to believe that it was for political reasons.

- Which is very different from what Loras: he won due to skill and cheating, the rose to Sansa was not the laurel, his blue flowers were not roses. 

Okay--but bringing up Loras's cheating notes how the only way we see a Stark Maid get anything close to a laurel in the novels is different from how Jorah did it.

Jorah, again, is talking about the general way laurels are won and given. Right from the start, Sansa the Stark Maid's experience is different. So, why assume Lyanna's wasn't more in line with her niece's? That that's why we are shown that Sansa's experience was different?

And I do thinks there's an excellent chance that Rhaegar "cheated" by getting others to throw to him--would potentially explain Barristan's odd statement about not being a better knight. 

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A valid interpretation.

The problem is, the visions show a lot of stuff we have no connection for - the human sacrifice, the pale youth making the weirwood arrows - so it is not a certain that the pregnant woman must be related to the current story. She might, or not. 

Not to mention that Bael's tryst with the Stark maid must have had her cooperation at least initially, because how he would know about the crypts and why she would be willing to hide down there with him for +9 months, plus the whole logistics of getting food and the like... The story is apparently rather distorted from what originally happened (which might well have been a single rape).

All true--would only add that the only statement we have that the Bael Maid  loved Bael comes with a caveat. And it's the only caveat/disclaimer Ygritte puts on the story. At all. Seems like we are shown why we should doubt the love story.

And yes--those visions are not at all clear yet--which is why I put my "if" in the OP in bold and italics. It would fit Ygritte's tale and her caveat, though.

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1) Parallels, or echoes, of a story absolutely don't need to be restricted to particular characters

2) Jon is no more a Stark Maid than Alys Karstark is, if you want to split hairs. She at least has the right gender and the right story arc.

Agreed--though it is interesting that she is specifically mistaken for a Stark maid--and the Stark Maid she's mistaken for so far acts a bit differently. And Jon was as Stark-blooded maid before meeting his wild northern girl.

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Now that you mention Sansa... she's the girl who crossed the social norms, as well as her father's express order, to get what she wanted (the man she wanted). I might claim that this points to Lyanna snucking out to get the man she wanted.

If he did, and if it the reason that you assume.

Yup! Assuming Rhaegar was one she wanted--even after the death of her family. Which Sansa's story suggests is highly unlikely. And Lyanna from the start is shown as more loyal to family and the North (seen with defense of Howland) than Sansa is initially. Sansa's Lyanna-like loyalty comes after hard lessons.

But yes--the idea that Lyanna, like Sansa, ran from a bad marriage situation/betrothal and ended up with plotters and a mess like Sansa does with Baelish--yes. That has to be on the table.

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If he did, and if it the reason that you assume.

Yup--that is always the rub. I put the Wilde quote in my sig for the express purpose of reminding myself of this point: I could absolutely be moronically wrong.

Edited by Sly Wren

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4 hours ago, lalt said:

Sorry if i come back only now, but I was reading the long (and very interesting) @Lady Dyanna's thread linked in the OP.

 @Lady Dyanna's ideas are always interesting. And never apologize for a delay. :cheers:

4 hours ago, lalt said:

But to stay on the topic of our exchanges... It's the song of ice and fire serie. 
And to me, that means it's the story of Starks and Targaryens.
Targaryen's blood it's emphatizes. As it is "king's blood" not "knight's" blood.

Fair enough--but we might be wrong on that assumption. Martin has said that the song of ice and fire is what future generations in his world will call this period. So, could be Starks and Targs. Could be the time when Westeros got hit by two past threats at once: Others and Dragons. 

And we have reason to doubt the wisdom of prophecy chasing in the novels--Targs could be right that they are saviors. But so far, they could really, really be wrong.

As for the "knight's blood"--we're told the Last Hero and/or Brandon the Builder won with the help of the Children. And the only thing we know the children did was teach Brandon a language--seems like there's a decent chance "blood" isn't the key point--willingness to learn and fight would be better points. The whole "blood" thing really might be the characters getting it wrong.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

The prince that was promised/Arhor Ah Ahi has to come from the Targ lineage. Etc..
Of course one may believe that Dany covers the Targ's (and king's blood) part of the story.
And we may have Dany as Azor Ah Ahi/Prince that was promised and Jon as Lightbringer.
He (not one of her dragon) may be (symbolically speaking) the "weapon" she's destineted to wield...
But that - imo - would downplay all the narrative about an actual magic sword, including Dawn wich is a pivotal meta-point to build up/substain A+L=J.
And Jon as a Deyne - even tho a Stark from his mother side -  to me would feel like a downplaying of the overall narrative.  
But these are all personal feelings. I see that.

All fair. 

4 hours ago, lalt said:

If A+L=J (or everything else but R+L=J) is the right answer, Ned would have had zero reasons to feel guilty or ashamed towards Cat. Zero reasons to hurt her feelings and - as a consequence - to make her treating so bad Jon. Therefore to hurt Jon's feelings too.
But if Jon's is Raeghar's son, then Ned was hiding the atomic bomb inside Winterfell.

But if ALJ, Ned and Howland killed Jon's father. Killed Lyanna's beloved--unknowingly, but they did it. That seems like the sort of thing that would fill a man like Ned with shame. And that he wouldn't want to tell.

And if Jon is Lyanna's son by anyone other that Robert, Jon's a bomb, ready to set off Robert's fury. 

4 hours ago, lalt said:

Like I said, from Ned's pov, not only Cat - knowing that R+L=J - could have been tented/forced one day or another to sell that info for a greater good (whereas she cound't sell A+L=J in exchange of something because that's not an info of value. And if so, if that is not something that may damage Jon's safety, why not to tell her?).

True--but also with ALJ--given Robert's anger.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

So to me, R+L=J is still the best explanation for Ned keeping the secret with Cat too.
Whereas I don't find any convincing reason - but plot convenience - for Ned not telling the truth about Jon's real father if he's not Raeghar at least to his wife.  To hurt her (and as a consequence Jon too) if that's not the case.

All fair--would only note that Martin makes a point of showing Robert's obsessive anger towards the man he thinks took Lyanna from him. That Robert kills that man in his dreams every night. That anger frightens Ned--and that anger seems like a good reason to keep quiet. 

4 hours ago, lalt said:

I don't remember when Rhaegar is first mentioned in AGOT and more importantly I do not remember if the first story told about whaterver led to his death was that he fight for the woman he "loved".
If you do it, please let me know it.

It's in Dany's first POV--and you can find stuff like this by on "a search of ice and fire" https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=She+had+been+born+on+Dragonstone+nine+moons+after+their+flight&scope[]=agot&povs[]=Daenerys

Yet sometimes Dany would picture the way it had been, so often had her brother told her the stories. [snip]  Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved. Game, Dany I

4 hours ago, lalt said:

n short, the circumstaces are false. Not the fact itself.
So maybe Rhaegar died because of Lyanna. A woman he loved. But the circumstances are different than we believe they are. After the first read of AGOT and 'till now.
Meaning that there was not kidnapping and rape - which is the thesis everybody in Westeros believe to be true - nor there was a plan between two lovers. The romantic escape many readers believe there was.

Fair enough--but the key point is that Arryn's death is not in the manner of either option we're told. And neither the fever nor the Lannisters is to blame. In the "Love or rape" potential parallel, Rhaegar is the actor, no matter what.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

I see why you are comparing the fake news about Jon Arryn's death - sent by Lyza - to the possible "fake" theory R+L=J. But beside the fact that one is a false information given in-universe by a character (Lyza: she specifically points to the Lannisters as the killers) while the other is a "theory" readers (but no one in-universe) came up to, I believe we should better compare the fake news "Jon Arryn was killed by Cersei" to the fake news "Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna because he has a crush on her".

Possible--though we are told a few variants as to why Rhaegar took Lyanna--he loved her, he wanted a baby, etc. But all of them end up with the first story: Rhaegar ended up in a river, battling over the woman he loved.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

At that time, when Lyanna disappeared that was - probably - a false accusation. Someone spred it. I guess. Just like Lyza did in the case of J.A.'s death. Not to mention, that one false accusation led to Starks & comp. vs Targaryens, the other to Starks vs Lannisters.

On this we absolutely agree--I do think Brandon got told a false story--and that's why he ran off half-cocked.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

And maybe, it may be worth to compare the fake news about the adbuction of Lyanna, to the fake news (to some extent) that Melisandre told Jon about Arya escaping from her marriage. Not only it was someone else (Alys Karstark vs Lyanna Stark).

Or to the pink letter, or Sansa's forced letter to Robb. ETA: Just noticed you got the pink letter parallel, too.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

Speaking of which, there's another detail that adds water to your thesis that Lyanna/Arya/Sansa behave the same way.
One of the first things that Jon thinks about when he receives the first letter that announces Arya's wedding is that she won't like at all the idea. Same does Robb when Cat tell him that she arranged Arya's wedding to a Frey.

That to me points to... Lyanna didn't want to marry Robert at all. Because she was a womanizer.
We know he was. We know she knew it. And if so, Lyanna was not a woman keen to do something she didn't want to do.
So she escaped. She escaped from a marriage she didn't want. Most likely, on a horse.

Very possible. And very possible she ended up in situations like we see Sansa--who also runs from a bad marriage situation.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

Someone else back then interpreted it or someone else (with a specific motiv to do so) spred the fake accusation that Rhaegar kidnapped her.
False, no matter what.

Yup! I think that person was Tywin, trying to start a war--but that's for another thread/

4 hours ago, lalt said:
Spoiler

 

What is interesting if so, is that what we have to re-think is not R+L=J, but the comparison between whatever happened between them and Bael the Bard's story.
There was not stolen woman here.
There wasn't a seduced and abandoned woman seeking revenge.

That amazing comparison between the woman emerging from the pool (who I agree may be Bael's she-wolf)
and Lyanna, works as a mirror. As a "reversed/flipped" tale/trope.

Lyanna wasn't hiding in Winterfell. She wasn't abandoned by the man who seduced her.
In fact, contrary to Bael's lover, she was far from home. And she ended up in Crypts, aftewards and dead.

Not alive and meanwhile.

Lyanna didn't ask for a son to avenge her.
She made Ned promising what? To protect her child, I bet. And from whom, if not from the man that killed the child's father?
Here we may have a surrogate father that promises to protect the child. Not a son killing the father.
And the kinslayer, to some degree... it's her. Brandon died because of her choices and/or because of the consequences of her choices. Even tho she didn't know/think/wish that to happen.
But kinslayers -  even if they didn't know what they were actually doing/causing - are cursed.

And Rhaegar is not Bael, in this story. Not literally. He didn't pretend to be someone else.
He didn't use a false identity.
Lyanna did that. At Harrenal, as the KotLT. She was the one fooling people: the king included.
She - as the KotLT - was the one that later on people looked for and didn't find.

 

 

Very interesting--will need to give this a think.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

The winter roses Rhaegar gave her, may signify that: "you played everybody but me. I know what you did" 
But that was not a "screw you" gesture, because Rhaegar kept the secret.

Maybe--but we don't yet know what Rhaegar's point was--we do know that something was wrong. And we know that Stark Maids' getting roses at tourneys may not mean what we think it means--as shown with Sansa . . . 

4 hours ago, lalt said:

And he did that, not because he had a crush on her, but becasue he understood why she did that, the point the KotLT/Lyanna was trying to make. And what was that point?
It wasn't to avenge Howland Reed.
The point the KotLT was trying to make, was about the honor a knight should have.
How a knight is supposed to behave.

Maybe--but we don't have this yet in the books. We do have Sansa and Loras. And we know Rhaegar had very specific plans at Harrenhal. Seems like there's a good case to make that we should consider the rose had something to do with his plans to depose his father--however tangentially/

4 hours ago, lalt said:

Rhaegar - keeping the secret - proved her, he understood that.
Therefore... that he knew - and agree with her on - how a true knight is supposed to behave.
And that is why, she came into trusting him. Why monthes after, she asked his help, when she decided to escape from her family (again opposite to some degree to Arya and Sansa, similar to others) and a marriage she didn't want. Just like Alys Karstark went to Jon, because he's the only one - in her eyes -  she may trust.

This is assuming a lot--especially since we see Lyanna's faithfulness to the North and the North's dislike of dragons. And since we see her family's reaction to the crowning. And no other interaction with Rhaegar. 

4 hours ago, lalt said:

Rhaegar...  is Jon. Like Jon he didn't know that someone else would guess he "had stolen" Lyanna aka Ygritte - or Val (and fArya) - only because he helped/saved her. That people would have guess he did that out of lust. Only to find himself later on falling for that woman.

This is assuming a lot about Rhaegar. We know he was interested in prophecy and a singer. Not Jon. We know he was willing to let the country burn. Not Jon. We know he was willing to depose his father. Not Jon. So far, we have reason to think Rhaegar and Jon were not all that much alike .  ..

4 hours ago, lalt said:

These are basically the things we probably won't agree on.

Exactly--but that's what makes the forums fun.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

Especially, with all the Lyza-LF / Ashara, Brandon or Ned etc... details.
And especially if the point is/may be fake story vs fake story, told by someome who had an interest in doing so. Add Tywin to the list too. Or Bael-ish himself, that in days of Lyanna's disappearance was probably leaving Riverrun (after his fight with Brandon) to go back in the Vale...

Agreed--though I don't think Baelish had the wherewithal at that point in his life. I do, however, think he learned some of his later moves by watching Tywin.

4 hours ago, lalt said:

Let me add one thing: many compared Arya and Jaqen chapters at Harrenal to those of Theon in Winterfell in ADWD. The northernmen rescue, to the fArya's rescue etc... But maybe we should try to go deeper and compare these ones to Bael's story too.

Very interesting--what are you thinking along these lines?

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not aware of such clues. The clues that Jon Arryn was poisoned by his dear wife are much more obvious.

The Arryn clues are much clearer after the Moon Door Confessional. And the Rhaegar clues: Ned's attitude on Rhaegar, his silence when Robert yells, etc--they are equivocal, but they can be seen as clues Rhaegar never touched Lyanna. And the clues that Dany is Rhaegar's kid are in Game, too.

ETA: plus the love of flowers, the getting a rose at a tourney, the reactions to entitled princes, and all the rest of the stuff I list in the OP: Martin can't really use the same method for setting up Jon Arryn's death as he does with R+L: most of the players are dead.

Instead, he repeatedly shows us what the past may actually have been like via the current stolen Stark maids. And he does it throughout the novels.

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I'd not say that this is the dichotomy we are given. We are given hints that Rhaegar-Lyanna are a complex and mysterious thing. A crucial aspect in all that is that we have yet to get an in-depth coverage of them from a person who was actually close to them when the whole thing took place. Ned may have known much more than he let slip in his thoughts, but Jon Connington or even Barristan Selmy should know much more.

Agreed--though would also note that Tyrion had a pretty in-depth look at the players, and found Cersei guilty of Arryn's murder. Ned got a good look, too. And they were both wrong. This should give us great pause on taking Selmy's word as gospel.

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My point just is that it made very clear to the reader as early as AGoT that Cersei/the Lannister are *not* the ones responsible. If one buys Lysa's letter in light of her erratic behavior later in AGoT - when she suddenly blames Tyrion for Jon's murder rather than Cersei - one simply doesn't pay attention to the clues that are in the text. Colemon and Walder and Lysa herself lay out what was actually going on there, and early on in ACoK Cersei essentially confirms that she had nothing to do with Jon Arryn's death. Considering that Cersei openly admits to her role in Robert's death in that chapter one has to really be pretty thick to still insist Cersei must have been behind it.

Agreed that the groundwork is laid. But the groundwork is also laid--throughout the books--that Rhaegar and Lyanna's relationship may not be what characters believe.

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George does not really set up things that look obviously like A and then turn out to be B in a manner nobody could have foreseen. If something is planned then there are pretty obvious clues laid for the reader. What he likes to do is to add more complexity overtime as the complete picture of a thing or a scenario or an event is revealed. This is very much the case with the Rhaegar-Lyanna thing.

Agreed--and the complexity of the R+L thing is shown in the novels--as I show in my OP--to arguably point away from what the novel's characters assume.

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Assuming or pretending we got everything we need to know in the first (couple of) book(s) is just wrong in that case - unlike the Jon Arryn thing. There we did not really need Lysa's confession to correctly guess who was behind that one, just as we didn't really need Joffrey's confession in ASoS to correctly guess at him being behind the attempt on Bran - because there are clues for that in AGoT, too.

But we have clues in Game that Rhaegar's relationship with Lyanna isn't what we thought. And that Dany, not Jon, is Rhaegar's kid. And that Arthur could be Lyanna's lover. We have clues of that in Game. Subtle, but there.

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A crucial part here is that all we know about Bael and his nameless Stark girl comes from a song. That's pretty much worth nothing. Unless we assume Bael had very good bondage equipment and that nobody went into the crypts for nine months chances are pretty high that the Stark girl went willingly with him and that they even had a marriage of sorts - just as Jacaerys Velaryon and Sara Snow may have been married (if the latter even existed).

All fair--would note that Ygritte only puts a caveat on the love story. That's it--the only disclaimer. That's worth noting. And with the potential of the Bael maid in Bran's vision, we should seriously question that love story. 

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Lyanna/Rhaegar are reflected in many a romance depicted in ASoIaF but that doesn't make the characters involved all Rhaegar-/Lyanna-like characters.

Very true

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I'd not say that Sansa/Arya are mainly foils or variations of Lyanna. Lyanna is a very important background character, but neither she nor Rhaegar are as important as the actual main characters of series - and Sansa and Arya are two such main characters.

But Martin takes great pains to note specific comparisons with Sansa and Arya. Why bother if not to help readers understand what was up with Lyanna? To give us info on a past mystery? To give clues, right from the start? Why bother?

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That would make Aerys the Wise and Rhaegar the Mad. I'm sure Rhaegar was madder/more delusional than we know at this point - his ridiculous belief/obsession with prophecy was dangerous and irrational in the extreme (especially the idea that he himself or any of his children were *the chosen one* when there were other possibilities, too) - but I see no evidence at this point indicating that Rhaegar ever wanted to plunge the Realm into war.

It would not make Rhaegar mad--it makes Rhaegar in cahoots with Tywin. And consistent with what we see at Duskendale: Rhaegar's right there when Tywin plans to attack. When the lords object that it will kill Aerys. And when Tywin points to Rhaegar and says, even if Aerys dies, we have a great king in Rhaegar.

Rhaegar went along with this plan: using other people's grievances and wars to get Aerys dead and claim the throne for himself. And it almost worked--only Selmy's truly insane luck thwarted Tywin and Rhaegar's plan.

Harrenhal gets messed up when Aerys insists on attending. But Rhaegar wants the throne--and Tywin wants power and revenge. They turn to the same move as Duskendale--inciting others into war against each other, using others' grievances to get what they want.

The very fact that Rhaegar sat the whole thing out is really telling--he sat out, like Tywin (and the Freys)--letting the country burn. He wanted his father taken out by others. 

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Arya's looks and character resemble Lyanna to a certain point - the parallels give us some clues how Lyanna may have behaved in certain situations and they also give us hint into what kind of woman Arya could have grown into (if she hadn't been traumatized by war and decided to be become a murderess and professional assassin) but they also show us were Lyanna and Arya were different.

Lya was much more confident and pampered than Arya. Arya had to fight for what she got whereas Lyanna simply took it. Lya had a sterner father than Ned, but she had brothers she could play and was lacking a mother who ensured she would be trained to be a proper lady. Arya had to compete with her sister, Lya was the only girl.

All fair--but Martin doesn't present Arya's connections with Lyanna as telling us that they were doppelgangers. He chooses the very few moments/images/traits we have on Lyanna--love of flowers, swords, promise me, the tower, the song--and then shows Arya or Sansa in a similar moment. That's telling.

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The most crucial difference would still be the age. Arya has yet to discover her own sexuality and the kind of men she actually prefers. Lyanna was old enough to do that. And we have no idea what kind of men Arya would have preferred had she grown up like Lyanna (in Sansa's case we can make pretty good guess thanks to her infatuation with both Joffrey and Loras). The men she prefer now, after her traumas, might be different from the men she may have been attracted to had she grown up in the security of Winterfell. The same goes for Sansa's 'interest' in Sandor, etc.

But we don't see Arya and Sansa just react to men--we see them (and Jon) react to people with Rhaegar like traits. And why bother showing who Arya was attracted to if she's too young? Especially given her reactions to both Gendry and Edric Dayne?

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Ned thinking of Lyanna in the Lady case is important for Ned as a character, not so much to what is going to happen to Sansa. It shows how much Ned is influenced/defined by the Lyanna situation when he makes important decisions that remember him of Lyanna's situation. We have that again later when he tortured by the prospect that Robert may kill Cersei's children should he find out the truth.

But it's a marker that Sansa tells us a bit about Lyanna--like the marker that she's fulfilling Lyanna's original role. And going to that tower.

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We don't know whether Lyanna actually liked or disliked Robert. All we know is that she was apparently not liking the fact that Robert would not be faithful to her as a husband. Lyanna's own talk about 'love being sweet' also implies that she had never been really in love at this point - remember she is 13/14 at Harrenhal, and possibly considerably younger when she and Ned have that conversation (which seems to take place around the time the betrothal between her and Lord Robert is made).

True.

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If Lyanna had any agency in the Rhaegar thing it would have been her realizing what love actually means, and how a great a force it can be in your adolescence.

Right--and we see Sansa and Jon grapple with this--and not go for the people with Rhaegar like qualities (so far).

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What would make Rhaegar attractive to Lyanna is, at first, the fact that he is a gifted singer of melancholic ballads (which apparently affected Lyanna at Harrenhal in no small degree according to Meera's tale).

No--the song affects Lyanna--Meera says that flat out. And Martin shows us that in Arya's reaction before Lyanna's--that Arya is affected by the song because it makes her homesick. The singer is pretty irrelevant to that emotion. And we see Sansa's reaction to creepy singers, too. Given all of that, we should be very wary of the assumption that Lyanna fell for harp boy because he sings.

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That is not what one expects from the average Targaryen prince. Rhaegar also is the great warrior and knight and all that, but that's not all he is. He is much more than that. And if they had an actual relationship/romance then what would have caused Lyanna to connect with him is whatever happened around the mystery knight episode. 

Right--but so far, what we know of Rhaegar, we see echoes of that in other men. And we see how Stark maids react to it--especially Jon with Mance and Stannis. Those other qualities do not entice Jon.

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While Rhaegar certainly was obsessed with prophecy, there is actually no internal reason given that whatever he felt for Lyanna was connected to prophecy. Sure, he needed another wife if he wanted more sons, but there is no hint that this shaped or influenced whatever feelings he may have had for her.

Very fair--but we are not shown that he had feelings, only told. And we are shown that Stannis, driven by prophecy, will take a paramour, who is clearly not like any other Stark maids we are shown.

So far, we never see Rhaegar's feelings for Lyanna--even though we are told that he had them in the very first mention of Rhaegar in the novels. This seems odd.

Edited by Sly Wren
I skimped on my evidence.

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2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

We already have one about Jon's mother. Is it Wylla the peasant girl or Ashara Dayne the noble lady? It's (probably) neither because (probably) Ned isn't his father. R+L is just the set up for that reveal,

But why assume this, when we keep being shown all the stuff I showed in the OP? and that we know Martin likes to mess with us re: what characters think is right? Why assume that we should absolutely accept that Rhaegar either loved or raped Lyanna? 

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

If R+L wasn't a thing, then what is the alternative? Not for Jon's parents necessarily, but for their roles in the story.

Do you mean why did Rhaegar take Lyanna? If so, for the same reasons other Stark maids get taken/kept: useful hostages/pawns. And Rhaegar is still a plotting figure--I also think he's likely to be Dany's father. And Lyanna is very, very likely to be Jon'd mother.

If you mean something else--any chance you'd be willing to elaborate?

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

The thing here is that we are looking at a chain of events spanning 9 months to a year. Hindsight is 20/20 for us, but the characters wouldn't have known what their choices would cost them.

Lyanna most likely wouldn't have been faced with the prospect of losing her identity (or getting her family killed, or dying in childbirth) when falling in love with Rhaegar, or sleeping with him, or buying into the Ice & Fire prophecy. By contrast, Arya is faced with the price for becoming no one relatively early on, so it's only natural that she is fighting back.

Right--but so far, we aren't shown Stark maids doing this with Rhaegar like people. The closest version I can find is Jon with Ygritte--and she's the follower of the Rhaegar figure (Mance). And I can't find evidence that even Arya buys into larger prophecies. . .  Are you thinking of anything specific?

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

By the way, I believe there will be a low point moment where Arya does appear to give up her identity, and it will be very painful to read because it will be because of Jon. If she is only privy to partial information from the North, it might soon appear to her that Jon consented to passing Jeyne Poole off as her and that he abandoned his Night's Watch vows to be king (her killing Daeron for renouncing his vows potentially sets this up). That would probably break her into embracing the Faceless Men fully, since her main anchor to her identity is her gift from Jon... But I digress with my own head canon here... Apologies. :P

Very interesting--I tend to believe the wolf dreams will keep her .  . . wolfy. But this would be painful if it goes down like this. If anyone is likely to hear about Jeyne, though, I'd say Sansa. And that she goes north to save her "sister."

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

It could be, but their relationship doesn't hinge on the song alone.

No--but it is one of the only hints we are given that they had one--and Martin specifically shows Sansa and Arya's reactions.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I also think it's a bit dangerous to assume that all similar things serve the same purpose in the story, That only seems to work when you pick and choose some examples, but assuming the whole story is built that way puts enormous strain on it, and I don't think it would stand to scrutiny. Even with the examples you gave, Arya is never really into songs from the start, while Sansa learns not to trust them along the way.

I agree on the danger--but we know very little about Lyanna. We have a few key points/moments. 

And with those key points and moments, when we see them in the Stark maids tied to Lyanna, really seems like we should pay attention.

And we have no indication that Lyanna was much into songs--but we know Arya liked how well Sansa sang--Lyanna, like Arya and Sansa, may have liked songs just fine. But given that she was about to marry a man she didn't fully trust, she, like Arya, may have been getting very sentimental about her family. . . 

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Again, you are reducing a much larger story with its own themes and arcs to a hint for a background mystery.

Mance's cloak had red on it because red is the strongest color to oppose the black of the Night's Watch and the white of winter. The red on black does mirror the Targaryen colors, but that can also be interpreted as a symbol of "kingship". Mance is the king of the wildlings, therefore his cloak bears a crude resemblance to the sigil of the old westerosi kings.

Exactly--but it also specifically ties to the Targs. And it's not just the cloak--it's the Rebel King trying to change things, the Dornishman's wife, the Bael fettish, being a singer--Mance echoes Rhaegar.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

If you want to draw further parallels between Mance and Rhaegar, his Lyanna would be Dalla - a chance meeting, she dies in childbirth.

But Jon the former Stark Maid is the witness to all of this, not the participant. Like Sansa is a witness at Lysa's tower of joy, not the participant.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

The idea that Mance's attempts to "seduce" Jon parallel Rhaegar's attempts to seduce Lyanna is a stretch. You could apply the same logic to Zaro's attempts to seduce Dany if you really wanted to... does that mean Dany is a Stark Maid and Xaro a Rhaegar figure?

No--I mean seduce him with his ideas--the rebellion, the saving the people, the King Beyond the Wall stuff--I think may be showing us how Lyanna might react to Rhaegar's ideas. Same with Jon's take on Stannis' stuff. Not sexual--ideological.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

As for Stannis, only his secondary, superficial traits are similar to Rhaegar, and he has the seductive power of a split log. It doesn't say anywhere that Rhaegar resembled Stannis in personality in any way.

The one and only judgment Ned makes about Rhaegar he also applies to Stannis. We're told that, like Rhaegar, Stannis is incredibly dutiful. They are both running on prophecy. Both willing to uproot their own lives and the kingdom to chase those prophecies. And they are both of Targ descent. Those markers seem to be put there for a reason. And those are what Jon is reacting to--not the "seduction"--clearly.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

There are a lot of circumstantial reasons why Jon would resist Stannis while Lyanna would give in to Rhaegar... It seems weird to me to ignore them all and bank everything on a forced parallel.

Of course--but it tells us about Jon's character that he resists Stannis' ideas when those idea have echoes of Rhaegar. And we assume a lot about Lyanna's being seduced by Rhaegar, even when we are shown who Jon, Arya, and Sansa are attracted to. Seems like we shouldn't ignore the Stark maids.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

But Gendry isn't the follower of any Rhaegar figure at the time when Arya appears to be into him. If anything, him joining the BwB is what put a stop to their budding "relationship".

But she'd still attracted to Robert's bastard--not a Targ like prince. Not a warrior follower, but it does tell us her taste.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

And the Hound breaks off from Joffrey when he steals the song from Sansa. Things don't really align s much as you want them to. :P

The Hound is not warrior follower--and also not a Targ like, Rhaegar-like figure. Which again, is telling.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Maybe Lyanna was really into Ellia then... or Ashara Dayne? And she only got in bed with Rhaegar to please her lesbian crush(es).

That would explain why Ashara Dayne killed herself after Eddard visited her. Hmm... this actually makes more sense than I initially expected.

Okay--the HBO showrunners would LOVE to run with this.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

True, Martin gave them all that... But you may have chosen to read more into it than he intended. :devil: Or not. We'll have to wait and see.

Absolutely. My point is--they are there.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I'm not sure Lyanna's aversion towards Robert came solely from a strict belief in monogamy. Robert saw her purely as a sexual conquest, and likely had little regard for her personality and interests. That would have been reason enough to dislike him. Add the fact that he was a womanizer who wouldn't have stayed faithful to her on the long run, and Lyanna realized there would have been literally nothing for them to build a lasting relationship on. "He's going to cheat on me" was just a good excuse to offer her brothers.

So far, it's the only reason given. And we also see that Arya is crushing on Robert's Bastard--without knowing who Gendry is. As for Robert's seeing her as just a conquest. . . . what specifically are you seeing in the story that points to this?

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

There's also the fact that people's perception on cheating is a relative thing. What seems morally reprehensible in principle might become acceptable if they have to choose between a loveless relationship and a caring and/or passionate one. Also, some people don't consider swinging or group sex cheating if the spouse is on board with it and possibly participating, and Ellia might have been.

Of course--but Lyanna's not equivocal in the one and only statement we have from her on the subject.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

It all depends on how the chain of events played out. There are a lot of questions that would need to be answered here:

  1. Was anyone supposed to find out that it was Rhaegar who took Lyanna, or was this an accident? The fact that she wasn't with anyone of note when she was abducted seems to imply that she went there willingly, but we also can't count out some companions or guards who might have been ordered by the prince to hand her over, or maybe even killed (though this would place the event in an entirely different light)
  2. Where were Rhaegar and Lyanna when Brandon came to King's Landing? How soon did they find out that he was taken prisoner?
  3. Did they anticipate that Aerys would kill Rickard, Brandon, and the other father-son pairs accompanying them? Would it be too much to assume that they figured the matter would settle itself, or weren't in the loop at all when it happened?
  4. Was Lyanna already pregnant at this point, and did she know it? Did Rhaegar?
  5. At which point did Ellia and her children arrive at King's Landing? If they were already there when Rhaegar went to get Lyanna, that invalidates my theory of Ellia's involvement in the affair. On the other hand, it would appear that Aerys used them as bargaining chips to make Rhaegar fight in the war, and this only happened later on in the Rebellion.

Excellent questions--and I agree they need to be answered. I think there are hints in the text--and they strongly point to Lyanna's being a hostage/useful pawn--as Mance treats Jon; as Stannis tries to treat Jon; as the brotherhood without banners treat Arya; as Baelish and the Lannisters treat Sansa.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

The key points here are Rickard and Brandon's death and Ellia's arrival at King's Landing.

Once the two Starks and their bannermen were killed, war became inevitable. Once Aerys got a hold on Ellia and the children, it became impossible for Rhaegar to side with the rebels.

Agreed--though I do think we have solid evidence Rhaegar wanted the war--and that's a key reason why he didn't alert the Starks he had Lyanna--not too dissimilar to the brotherhood without banners.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Handing Lyanna to Aerys would have been incredibly unsafe for her, and handing them to the rebels would have:

  • potentially been construed as treason by Aerys, who could have retaliated on Rhaegar's family.
  • led to Lyanna being executed with the rest of the rebels, if Aerys won the war.

Agreed. And kept Rhaegar from having a potential peace offering to the North: Lyanna, safe and sound.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Depending on how the events played out, it's not impossible to imagine that Lyanna would have agreed to remain hidden:

  • to protect Rhaegar's family by not giving Aerys a reason to believe his son had betrayed him
  • to protect her own unborn child
  • to protect Ned, by avoiding a situation where she could have been captured by Aerys's loyalist
  • to avoid causing a rift between the rebels by admitting she willingly refused to marry Robert

Kinda mirrors some of Sansa's thinking, so I can buy this: if she had the promise of getting home a t some point (which is how Baelish keeps Sansa in line)--I can buy this.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Sure, but the real question is, how would it improve the story? Let's say the best alternative is Arthur Dayne... but we know so little about him that it wouldn't have much of an impact on the story, aside from being a twist.

Martin's said flat out we're going to learn a lot more about the Daynes. So, a lot more may be coming.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

And Rhaegar's involvement in the "kidnapping" would remain an open story,

Why? If Rhaegar took/held Lyanna and that's how Lyanna and Arthur fell for each other (not too far from Ygritte and Jon), we'd still know Rhaegar's role.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

unlike the Lannister-Jon Arryn misdirection which had a massive impact on the plot. Your proposition only reverberates through the fandom.

If Jon's parentage is part of his role, it could have a massive impact on the plot. And so far, Jon Arryn's true murderer in only know by the fandom, Baelish, and Sansa. 

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

In any case, my head canon at the moment is that Lyanna and Ashara Dayne fell in love at Harrenhal. One was a wild wolf-girl who could dress in armor and defeat real knights in tourneys, and the other a sensual courtier who was probably already used to sharing her bed with Ellia and Rhaegar, and opposites attract! Ashara discreetly let her mistress Ellia know that Lyanna was the KotLT, and the princess was so impressed that she instructed her husband to win the tourney and give her the crown of love and beauty as a coded prize for her courage.

Later, when her marriage with Robert was impending, Lyanna appealed to her friends to help her abscond to Dorne to be with her violet-eyed lover. They spent some time together, isolated from the realm, and the kinky Ashara encouraged Lyanna to experiment with the royal couple, which incidentally led to her becoming pregnant with Rhaegar's baby. When they finally found out what their indiscretions wrought, it was to late to change anything, and Lyanna had to remain hidden at least until giving birth. Ashara herself had to return to Starfall so as to not create any suspicions and indirectly reveal Lyanna's whereabouts. Sadly, we all know how everything ended, and when Ashara found out that both her brother and her lover had died, she took her own life in grief.

This would be rather fabulous. Fingers crossed.

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2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

That's the weird part, no one talks about who attended the Lannisport tourney at the time but the Vale loves knights and tourneys and a calculating man like Arryn won't miss the chance of attending imo especially to tourney of Robert as Lord because we know Ned and Robert are close as brothers. 

Very true. Would make a ton of sense.

2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Was there any reason for Rhaegar wanting to marry Cersei? I thought for Cersei it would be a child's fancy but I don't remember any part that talks about Rhaegar being interested in a Lannister bride. 

No outward statement that Rhaegar wanted to marry Cersei. But good reasons to do so: Tywin has proven he's a very formidable political operator and Rhaegar has "plans" about his prophecies. Tywin's good at getting things done, is extremely forceful and intelligent, and very rich with a standing army.

Plus, Rhaegar goes along with Tywin's plan at Duskendale to let the Darklyns kill Aerys and put Rhaegar on the throne. They are thwarted by Barristan's amazingly good luck. But the incident really makes it look like Rhaegar and Tywin were in cahoots.

A marriage pact would be a good way to cement that.

2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

I am not sure about Rhaegar visiting Maggy but it's just a guess - since Rhaegar seems to be driven by the prophecy and Maggy was infamous. 

An excellent point.

2 hours ago, SirArthur said:

Ahh, it's again one of the cases where the RLJ turns into a religion, where RLJ is 20 theories at once and everybody understands something different. Maybe we should introduce new names for the theories, since RLJ priests obviously won't do it. I suggest:

RLJonly: just that, no assumtions what happens in the story, no tower of joy, no love affair, just the name R+L=J

RLJoy: love affair, tower of joy

RLJAA: It is know. Aegon VII

The designations would help clear things up.

Though I was trying to be clear that I think "R+L" is the misdirect. Not RLJ. But I think I have failed to make that distinction clear.

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17 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

I was attempting to find cases of Stark maids (or virgins, if you will) and their various actual or potential captors, seducers, and lovers.  Rhaegar has been portrayed as all three at one time or another, and was at least one of these.  As I have pointed out, you can come up with all sorts of conclusions, depending on who and what you look at, and what you exclude from your analysis.  As @Ygrain has pointed out, doing meta-analysis such as this is difficult, as the series isn't yet finished.

17 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

I was suggesting that Martin consistently has misdirected us with regard to the Jon Arryn murder, but that there were clues in the text if you looked for them.  The same is true for R+L=J.  The clues are there, but Martin has been misdirecting us by suggesting that Med is the father with an unknown mother.  it is the misdirection that is the similarity between them.

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2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Very true. Would make a ton of sense.

No outward statement that Rhaegar wanted to marry Cersei. But good reasons to do so: Tywin has proven he's a very formidable political operator and Rhaegar has "plans" about his prophecies. Tywin's good at getting things done, is extremely forceful and intelligent, and very rich with a standing army.

Plus, Rhaegar goes along with Tywin's plan at Duskendale to let the Darklyns kill Aerys and put Rhaegar on the throne. They are thwarted by Barristan's amazingly good luck. But the incident really makes it look like Rhaegar and Tywin were in cahoots.

A marriage pact would be a good way to cement that.

An excellent point.

The designations would help clear things up.

Though I was trying to be clear that I think "R+L" is the misdirect. Not RLJ. But I think I have failed to make that distinction clear.

I wonder what would happen if Steffon managed to find an Essosi bride for Rhaegar? It is weird he wasn't able to find one when F&B talks about Saera having three sons, there are possible children of Duncan and Jenny, children of Daella and Rhae, Brightflame etc. Do you think Steffon also thought Rhaegar and Cersei was a nice match and didn't think he should find a bride? 

What made Aerys thought Rhaegar needed a Valyrian bride? I think Velaryons/Celtigars were supporters of Aerys and they may have a daughter - hell there is Rennifer Longwaters whose ancestors are Valyrians. Why it was such a hard task for Aerys and Steffon? 

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2 hours ago, Nevets said:

I was attempting to find cases of Stark maids (or virgins, if you will) and their various actual or potential captors, seducers, and lovers.  Rhaegar has been portrayed as all three at one time or another, and was at least one of these.  As I have pointed out, you can come up with all sorts of conclusions, depending on who and what you look at, and what you exclude from your analysis.  As @Ygrain has pointed out, doing meta-analysis such as this is difficult, as the series isn't yet finished.

Agreed--which, for instance, is one of the reasons I tired to focus on the few known details we have tied to Lyanna: the love of flowers, the rose crown and the crowning, the "promise me," the tower, the song, even her take on Robert--we have a few specifics about Lyanna.

So, when we see one of those specifics next to Stark maids (whom Martin has told us are tied to Lyanna), seems like we should pay attention at that moment. 

I could absolutely have this all wrong. Just really seems like he's using those moments and bringing them in with the Stark maids. . . . 

2 hours ago, Nevets said:

I was suggesting that Martin consistently has misdirected us with regard to the Jon Arryn murder, but that there were clues in the text if you looked for them.  The same is true for R+L=J.  The clues are there, but Martin has been misdirecting us by suggesting that Med is the father with an unknown mother.  it is the misdirection that is the similarity between them.

Agreed--though I would say that R+L has the potential to be a misdirect in and of itself: if Lyanna's was just Rhaegar's useful hostage (as Arya, Sansa, and Jon are) and not his lover or victim, R+L as assumed by characters is a misdirect for readers. We readers often take "R+L" as a given, despite no direct witnesses, and despite being shown how Stark maids interact with Rhaegar figures.

And I agree that Ned as father sets up as a misdirect--makes us look in the wrong directions. But I don't think that it is innately the only misdirect re: Jon.

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2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

I wonder what would happen if Steffon managed to find an Essosi bride for Rhaegar? It is weird he wasn't able to find one when F&B talks about Saera having three sons, there are possible children of Duncan and Jenny, children of Daella and Rhae, Brightflame etc. Do you think Steffon also thought Rhaegar and Cersei was a nice match and didn't think he should find a bride? 

YES!! Someone else was talking about Steffon on another thread and I had a similar thought. Though I'm thinking Steffon didn't bother looking because he was in cahoots with Tywin.

The World Book says Steffon, Tywin, and Aerys were thick as thieves when they were young. Aerys and Tywin had a clear falling out. The rumors at court were that when Steffon returned with a bride for Rhaegar, he would be made Aerys' new Hand--because Aerys was determined that Rhaegar would NOT marry Cersei.

Why might Steffon pass that up? If he'd sized up his two old friends, he might have realized siding with Tywin was the better bet. And he might also have been in cahoots with Tywin. 

So I think there's an excellent chance Steffon failed on purpose.

2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

What made Aerys thought Rhaegar needed a Valyrian bride? I think Velaryons/Celtigars were supporters of Aerys and they may have a daughter - hell there is Rennifer Longwaters whose ancestors are Valyrians. Why it was such a hard task for Aerys and Steffon? 

Why Aerys wanted this. . . I don't know. I've been wondering if Aerys might have thought Tywin could corrupt anyone in Westeros and thus decided to go outside. 

Aerys clearly didn't think a Valyrian bride was necessary per se--as you say, he had other options, but ended up going with Elia. So, I think he was just trying to outmaneuver Tywin--but Tywin had already gotten to Steffon.

That's my best guess.

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