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Sly Wren

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

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6 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

Ned's attitude could also be indicative of Lyanna being a willing participant as well.  And if there are clues about Dany being Rhaegar's, I am not aware of them.

There are still plenty of people who are potentially alive who can shed light on the Rhaegar/Lyanna situation.  Benjen Stark, Ashara Dayne, Richard Lonmouth, and Howland Reed could all have potentially useful information.  Reed is still alive, and none of the others has been definitively established as being dead, so Martin can bring them into the story to dispense information if need be.

5 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

On this basis, Mance's seduction might be considered a success.  Mance wants his people saved.  For this, he needs the Others' threat taken seriously, and his people on the South side of the Wall, sheltered from the Others.  Well, guess what.  Jon is doing exactly that.  And in the face of significant opposition, I might add.  And Jon is far more sympathetic toward the Free Folk than would be reasonably expected from a man of the NW, much less its commander.  So maybe Rhaegar was eventually successful in getting Lyanna onboard to his ideas as well.:D

5 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

The biggest problem I have with Arthur Dayne as Jon's father is that Ned has no reason to hide that fact.  He has many reasons to hide the fact that Rhaegar is the father.   And I think Jon's parentage is a secret that Ned considers a dangerous one.  So dangerous he can't even tell his wife.

 

Edited by Nevets

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1 hour ago, Nevets said:

Ned's attitude could also be indicative of Lyanna being a willing participant as well.

Yes--though that's potentially covered by the true love scenario. However, what we are repeatedly shown about the stolen Stark maids keeps pushing against Lyanna's loving Rhaegar. Martin keeps bringing up something specific about Lyanna--and then showing it with Sansa or Arya. That is evidence. Different from the Arryn evidence. But it's there. 

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

And if there are clues about Dany being Rhaegar's, I am not aware of them.

It, too is more indirect--and not really for this thread . . . .though my threads alway manage to turn into random sandboxes, so who knows? But Dany's first POV takes time to set up gaps and discrepancies in her tale. And other things. . . if you are actually interested, there's may be a Dany is Rhaegar's thread open. Or my Crackpot Oberyn thread focuses on that topic. . . Just tag me.

But I will fully understand if you don't want to go down that rabbit hole.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

There are still plenty of people who are potentially alive who can shed light on the Rhaegar/Lyanna situation.  Benjen Stark, Ashara Dayne, Richard Lonmouth, and Howland Reed could all have potentially useful information.  Reed is still alive, and none of the others has been definitively established as being dead, so Martin can bring them into the story to dispense information if need be.

Yup--and Martin doesn't bring them in--which is odd, since he's told us flat out that characters believe it was a love story. If that's true, what's the harm in showing it? 

Instead, Martin keeps not showing us much at all of what people witnessed with Rhaegar and Lyanna and instead showing us how Stark maids tied to Lyanna react to Lyanna situations--seems like we should pay attention to that evidence.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

On this basis, Mance's seduction might be considered a success.  Mance wants his people saved.  For this, he needs the Others' threat taken seriously, and his people on the South side of the Wall, sheltered from the Others.  Well, guess what.  Jon is doing exactly that.  And in the face of significant opposition, I might add.  And Jon is far more sympathetic toward the Free Folk than would be reasonably expected from a man of the NW, much less its commander.  So maybe Rhaegar was eventually successful in getting Lyanna onboard to his ideas as well.:D

Well played, ser! A very good point. Still, Jon helps defeat Mance and even thinks he's helped kill him. He listened and adapted  some of Mance's message--without joining the "cult." 

And that could work for Lyanna--even somewhat what we are seeing with Arya and the Faceless Men and especially the brotherhood without banners--Arya admires some of what they do, but she's not becoming one of them. So, Lyanna may have had some sympathy for Rhaegar--but if she's like Jon or Arya, that sympathy will only go so far.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

The biggest problem I have with Arthur Dayne as Jon's father is that Ned has no reason to hide that fact.  He has many reasons to hide the fact that Rhaegar is the father.   And I think Jon's parentage is a secret that Ned considers a dangerous one.  So dangerous he can't even tell his wife.

Without dragging you through my bizarre "Dawn" blindness, would only say this: Robert hates Rhaegar because he thinks Rhaegar stole Lyanna. That's why he kills Rhaegar in his dreams every night.

Ned fears Robert's anger--calls it a madness. And there's no reason to think Robert would be any less incensed at any other man--Rhaegar, Arthur, Stable Boy #4. 

And Robert transfers that anger to Rhaegar's relatives--if Arthur were the father, the Daynes might also be in Robert's crosshairs. It's not just protecting Jon and the Starks--it could be anyone the father is related to.

Maybe Ned's overreacting. Maybe Lyanna overreacted. But given what we've seen of Ned's thoughts about Robert, seems like he really fears Robert's obsessive anger. 

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I haven't finished reading this thread yet, but I'm lovin' it. The idea of mining the Bael legend for clues is right up my alley and you've gotten some rusty wheels turning in my mind, going off in lots of new directions.

I agree that Arya is a great echo of Lyanna, and that their stories and characters can help us to make inferences and fill in the gaps for each other. I'm not quite as persuaded about Sansa and Jon Snow as examples of "Stark maids," although I see some of your points. I agree that there is some Lyanna imagery linked to the death of the direwolf Lady, which does seem to bring Sansa into the parallel. On the other hand, I think Catelyn Stark is the woman Petyr Baelish slept with (possibly only in his imagination, but possibly for real) and that Sansa represents the offspring of that Bael iteration, not the love interest. I also think the pregnant woman emerging from the Winterfell pool alludes to Jeyne Poole, and she wants revenge against Ramsay Bolton. So I guess my approach would be to broaden the notion of the "Stark maid" to look at parallel characters who are not necessarily literal Starks.

Some relatively undeveloped thoughts:

1. Bael / Baelor / Baelish

If we are going to make full use of the Bael pattern, I think we need to look at King Baelor as well as Petyr Baelish. Maybe also Prince Baelor, who appears in The Hedge Knight story. Mance as the singer "Abel" at the Bolton wedding has already been mentioned.

I've never examined her closely, but I wonder whether Bella, Robert's natural daughter at the Peach, should also be considered?

You already cited Ser Barristan's description of Rhaegar as "Able" above all else. I think he is a good fit for the Bael role in many ways. I also like the Stannis comparison you have laid out.

We have Ned executed on the steps at Baelor's Sept. @sweetsunray has put forward an interesting theory that Ned's bones might have been returned to  those steps, where Sparrows and Silent Sisters have piled the bones of murdered people around the statue of Baelor. Ned would have wanted his bones to be placed in the Winterfell crypt - the same place where Bael of legend conducted his affair with the Stark heiress and fathered the next Lord of Winterfell. The same place where Lyanna's remains and statue have been placed and where King Robert immediately goes upon his arrival at Winterfell.

This may or may not be directly relevant to whether Stark maids like Bael figures. Maybe the point is that Starks like births (or rebirths) to occur in their crypt.

2. Flowers

I know there is widespread acceptance in this forum that blue flower references are hints about Rhaegar's crush on Lyanna (perhaps mutual) and the paternity of Jon Snow. I think GRRM wants us to think that initially, but he has actually hidden a lot more information in the combination of the color blue with flowers.

Recall that Brienne's color is blue - this is her color when she engages in the melee at Bitterbridge and the color she is awarded when she joins Renly's Rainbow Guard. Brienne also hates roses because she was given a rose by a suitor (Red Ronnet Connington) when he rejected her. Her hatred of roses is part of what motivated her to defeat Ser Loras in the last elimination in the melee. If we are considering the red rose given by Ser Loras to Sansa at a tourney, we should also sort out the meaning of Brienne's anti-rose sentiments in the context of a tourney.

The Tyrell rose sigil is part of this larger point. I don't think we can assign roses as a symbol associated with Lyanna when there is so much imagery around the Queen of Thorns and the variations on the rose sigil among the Tyrell brothers.

But some flowers are less obvious. I know I always belabor my favorite puns, so I will try to be brief: "wolf - flow - fowl" is a kind of chain of interrelated imagery. Flow is linked to flowers as well as streams and rivers, menstrual blood (Sansa "flowers" when she gets her period) and other flowing blood. I think flow is also linked to sewers because of Tyrion's teenage job of directing the maintenance of drains at Casterly Rock, which then leads from sewers to sewing, sows (pigs) and "We do not Sow" (House Greyjoy words about farming).

More somewhat hidden flowers: Gilly's name is the name of a flower. Not just any flower, but it is another way of naming a wallflower, a type of flower that can easily grow on a Wall. I actually think Gilly seduces Sam in a way that could be compared to Bael, so she might need to become part of the analysis. She seems to like Sam, but I think her real goal was to get her baby through the Wall and she needed the right man to help her do it.

I believe that Daario (maybe it's Ser Jorah?) gives Dany wildflowers while they are traveling, to help her to learn about the native plants of Essos.

Also, the name Widow's Wail is the name of a blue flower.

So there are lots of flowers, many of which have important symbolism, and not all of which are associated with Lyanna and/or Jon Snow. Or with Arya's brief interest in the flowers growing in the neck. (Although I am glad you called my attention to that passage, because I think GRRM hid some important information in that poison kiss passage and I had overlooked it in the past.)

3. Flowers as in House Florent. A blue wreath, to be precise.

Your thread led me to examine House Florent, and I think it may be a critical source of clues for figuring out Rhaegar's three heads of the dragon strategy.

I think we can compare Rhaegar to Florys the Fox, the daughter of Garth Greenhand. From the wiki:

Quote

According to legend, the Florents, the Balls, and the Peakes can each trace descent from the sons of one of Florys the Fox's three husbands, each kept ignorant of the existence of the others.

I think we're going to see something similar with Rhaegar's descendants. I agree with your surmise that Ashara Dayne and Rhaegar conceived Dany, although their baby might be one of several other characters.

The comparison of Florys the Fox to Rhaegar is strengthened by the wreath of blue flowers in the Florent sigil. It surrounds the head of a fox, which is the traditional image of a trickster. I suspect that this wreath of blue flowers IS a hint about Lyanna (am I contradicting my previous section?) and that she and House Florent may also have been part of Rhaegar's plan to hide his children with various noble houses so they would not all be slaughtered in the coming strife and war. (Maybe war was part of the prophecy, along with the three heads of the dragon?)

It's possible that Lyanna was the mother of one of Rhaegar's children, but I really like the "fit" of Jon Snow as a child of Lyanna and Arthur Dayne.

But there is a Florent-connected child who never fit in with his family: Samwell Tarly. This reminder from the wiki might lead to further evidence that Sam's mother, Melessa Florent, has already taken in a bastard child (or served as the third mother for Rhaegar's planned trio of surviving children?):

Quote

When Samwell Tarly discusses his plan with Jon Snow to send Gilly and her babe to Horn Hill - in the guise of the babe being Sam's bastard offspring - he tells Jon that he knows that his mother would want him.

GRRM likes irony, and it would be ironic if Sam is confident about his mother's willingness to help pass off a legitimate child as a bastard because she already took part in a similar ruse a generation earlier.

Wouldn't it be fun if Maester Aemon knew that Sam was part of the Targaryen bloodline? Even if he didn't figure it out, it's nice that they got to work together.

Another clue about Sam as a possible hidden Targ is that the wooden statues of the Seven Gods burned by Melisandre at Dragonstone were made from the masts of ships that originally brought the Targaryen family over from Essos. Burning may actually empower Targaryens to be reborn, so she and Stannis may have been doing the family a magical favor when they set those carvings on fire. But there is a memorable scene where Sam is compared to a fat pink mast. I think the burned mast carvings may be connected to that detail of Sam's story.

4. Other candidates

I know, I know. Everyone has a million hidden Targ theories. I think Rhaegar may have made some spare babies, just in case, and that there are other potential Targ descendants who we didn't even know were dragonseeds.

Another recent thread led me to examine the three sisters of King Baelor I (whose crown, by the way, was made of flowers). His sister Elaena was locked away along with Daena and Rhaena so that Baelor would not be tempted sexually. An interesting inversion of the Bael legend. But Elaena becomes the matriarch of three houses through a succession of subsequent marriages/affairs: Plumm, Penrose and Waters/Longwaters. There goes that number three again, just like Florys the Fox and Rhaegar's dragon prophecy. I do have some theories about Elaena's descendants living on among the current generation in ASOIAF, but those are topics for other threads.

For this thread, I'll just throw out a few possible hidden Rhaegar descendants:

Ser Hugh of the Vale

Brienne of Tarth

Samwell Tarly

Meera Reed

Theon Greyjoy

It might be that fAegon, Dany and Rhaenys were the three children Rhaegar was able to produce, with Ashara as the mother of Dany and Elia as the mother of the other two. But I have this feeling that another might be hidden from us.

I don't think Ramsay Snow is a Rhaegar descendant, but I do think he might be a Brandon Stark bastard. So the Bael parallel might be that Brandon (Ned's brother) and the miller's wife were the romantic couple in the Bael parallel, with Roose Bolton fooled into thinking the child was his. Ramsay grows up to (we suspect) kill Domeric Bolton, which is the cowbird scenario - the egg laid in someone else's nest grows up to kill off the other chicks in the nest and to take all the nourishment provided by the unsuspecting parent birds. Lady Dustin would be the other "parent" bird whose chicks are pushed out of the nest by Ramsay / the cowbird. Ironic, if this theory is true, as she loved Brandon.

Edited by Seams

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9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

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.

Makes sense, I would say Aerys didn't do a good job with his outmaneuver - when you want to fight against lions you best have roses - was it the quote from the books? I think having the Reach by his side and marrying Rhaegar to a Hightower would be okay too. But if Steffon was to be Hand after his successful return, wouldn't it make more sense for him to find a bride considering "Southern Ambitious" how could Steffon not be part of it. 

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On ‎1‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 4:48 AM, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

Couldn't R+L=J still be a thing without love or rape? I don't think anyone or anything, besides the show, is implying that R+L was some perfect love story. 

Lyanna could of been so against marrying Robert Baratheon that she went along with the first man to show her affection. Then when Lyanna eventually finds out about her father and brothers death, Rhaegar wont let her leave because she's pregnant. 

This caught my eye. I have been wondering how much Lyanna was told, if any, of what Rheagar's Father/family did to hers and what Rheagar intended to do to finish the job?  It has always irked me that apparently Rheagar seemingly had no problem with the murders of lord Stark, his heir, heir to the Vale and the calling for Ned and Robert's heads. No problem at all it seems. If Lyanna was kept in the dark, then it sort of gives her plausible ignorance, but if she knew, she is a blood/kin traitor who is not admirable in any way. At least that is my opinion. 

Edited by A Ghost of Someone

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3 hours ago, A Ghost of Someone said:

This caught my eye. I have been wondering how much Lyanna was told, if any, of what Rheagar's Father/family did to hers and what Rheagar intended to do to finish the job?  It has always irked me that apparently Rheagar seemingly had no problem with the murders of lord Stark, his heir, heir to the Vale and the calling for Ned and Robert's heads. No problem at all it seems. If Lyanna was kept in the dark, then it sort of gives her plausible ignorance, but if she knew, she is a blood/kin traitor who is not admirable in any way. At least that is my opinion. 

I don't think she was kept in dark because she wanted to be buried with Rickard and Brandon. 

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55 minutes ago, Jova Snow said:

I don't think she was kept in dark because she wanted to be buried with Rickard and Brandon. 

That only means she knew they were dead, but not necessarily how they died. 

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14 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Yes--though that's potentially covered by the true love scenario. However, what we are repeatedly shown about the stolen Stark maids keeps pushing against Lyanna's loving Rhaegar. Martin keeps bringing up something specific about Lyanna--and then showing it with Sansa or Arya. That is evidence. Different from the Arryn evidence. But it's there. 

I don’t really see it. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. And all we can do until we get more actual info is to speculate unto death. Which is what we’ve been doing. :D

But I very much agree w/ all the points @Nevets made above. 

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I wanted to add 2 observations:

1. While Loras gives Sansa an unromatic flower, Sansa's reaction to him still shows some excitement:

His last match of the day was against the younger Royce. Ser Robar's ancestral runes proved small protection as Ser Loras split his shield and drove him from his saddle to crash with an awful clangor in the dirt. Robar lay moaning as the victor made his circuit of the field. Finally they called for a litter and carried him off to his tent, dazed and unmoving. Sansa never saw it. Her eyes were only for Ser Loras. When the white horse stopped in front of her, she thought her heart would burst.

To the other maidens he had given white roses, but the one he plucked for her was red. "Sweet lady," he said, "no victory is half so beautiful as you." Sansa took the flower timidly, struck dumb by his gallantry. His hair was a mass of lazy brown curls, his eyes like liquid gold. She inhaled the sweet fragrance of the roseand sat clutching it long after Ser Loras had ridden off.

To be honest, she seems to be hyped about the attention given to her. 

2. RLJ is not the secret answer in the pattern, as some people pointed out. RLJ is not a direct theory, it is put together between Jon and Lyanna and Lyanna and Rhaegar. It has no real Jon Rhaegar connection. There are actually 2 secrets within each other:

2.1. the first pattern is there when it comes to Lyanna as Jon's mother, we get some false mothers but can figure out Lyanna.

2.2. However, Rhaegar is not the pattern solution after having Lyanna as the answer. At this point, our first suggestion as father is Ned, while Rhaegar is directly the second suggestion, put into the mind of the reader through Robert's rape accusation. The question is Ned or Rhaegar and the pattern answer is someone else. 

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27 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

That only means she knew they were dead, but not necessarily how they died.

Not necessarily.  But if she didn't know, it would mean no one told her during the whole previous year... and Ned didn't either, when he found her (wherever and whenever that was). 

Did they all spare her the trauma, or did they think she deserved to know the truth about her brother and father?  Hard to say...

However, re Rhaegar not having a problem with it... though the text does not spell it out, I would guess he did have a problem with it.  I think he had a problem in general with his father's conduct in recent years.

Quote

Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime's shoulder. "When this battle's done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but . . . well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return."

 

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6 minutes ago, JNR said:

Not necessarily.  But if she didn't know, it would mean no one told her during the whole previous year... and Ned didn't either, when he found her (wherever and whenever that was). 

I tend to agree here, but the fact is, we can’t really be sure. 

6 minutes ago, JNR said:

Did they all spare her the trauma, or did they think she deserved to know the truth about her brother and father?  Hard to say...

Indeed.

6 minutes ago, JNR said:

However, re Rhaegar not having a problem with it... though the text does not spell it out, I would guess he did have a problem with it.  I think he had a problem in general with his father's conduct in recent years.

 

Agree completely. I never said otherwise... 

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On 1/11/2019 at 8:48 PM, Sly Wren said:

3. Thus, a dilemma: “Love or rape”

The question is did Rhaegar love Lyanna or did Rhaegar rape Lyanna? I agree that this is set up as a false dilemma, and that the answer is neither, but the question matters in that set up. Rhaegar neither loved nor raped Lyanna, therefore the motive was something else.

Personally, I think Rhaegar acted out of duty to the realm. Dany once asked Barristan if Rhaegar married Elia out of love or duty, and this form of parallel explanation is common in the series. And Jon is all about his duty to the realm, which is very neat thematically.

I'm not so sure that this question relates to Lyanna though. However, we can reason that if she was not raped, then there must have been some level of consent on her behalf. Clutching the wreath of roses as she died strongly suggests to me that it was love or at least infatuation.

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2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I tend to agree here, but the fact is, we can’t really be sure.  

 

No.  But it certainly would have been the biggest news in Westeros when Aerys burned Lord Stark alive and had his heir strangled to death.   It would have spread instantly everywhere. I have trouble imagining a scenario where Lyanna was somehow immune to finding out, both then and for the entire next year of her life. 

Also, Ned's line is rather suggestive:

Quote

"I was with her when she died," Ned reminded the king. "She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father."

If Lyanna knew they were dead, she would surely have asked how they both came to die... and then what? Would people just lie, or say nothing?  Would she accept that?

I would guess she knew long before her reunion with Ned.

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On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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/

Alrighty :-)

As I see it, while Arya does bear a strong resemblance to Lyanna, she is still very much her own person, and she is a child, while Lyanna already reached puberty when those fateful events started to unfold. Therefore, Arya can never be a 100% Lyanna proxy, and Lyanna exhibits traits that definitely don't fit with Arya (I sure as hell don't see Arya sniffing over a song, ever, puberty or not). A case can be made that Lyanna's romantic side is more Sansa-like.

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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.

I think you are letting yourself be mislead by overgeneralisation. Generalise far enough, and you can build a connection between anything and everything. Whatever generic "flowers" might the current generation Stark Maids like, neither of them is associated with any specific kind, nor is there any specific importance. Even the red rose that Sansa is so hyped about turns out to be nothing, and no witness of anything going on with her would ever make such connotations as Ned does with Lyanna and blue roses. There are whole levels of difference between these situations.

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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.

I guess this goes down to personal preferences. I see nothing surprising about a lively, inquisitive girl picking wonderful new flowers, I would undoubtedly do the same. What I do find surprising, though, is that Arya's supposed love of flowers doesn't show anywhere else. I buy flowers, grow them at home and in the garden, take photos... I take it that Arya mostly doesn't have time for this, but I would expect more occurences if this was to play any important role.

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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 it also tells us that she didn't hold any adverse feelings towards the person she got the flowers for, or else she would have dumped them in the chamberpot :-)

Otherwise agreed.

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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.

One has to wonder, though, if every single detail that GRRM has included really constitutes a clue. It might, or not. My two cents are that Arya's instance most likely doesn't mean a thing, and Sansa's rose is part of her arc that life is not a song. - Which, however, doesn't mean that it is supposed to give a clue about Lyanna. Sansa was not the only girl that was gifted a rose that day, so drawing a parallel with Lyanna's crowning is not exactly valid. No smiles died after Sansa was given the rose, did they? Basically no-one except Sansa gave a damn.

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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.

Gross overgeneralisation. Rhaegar was an heir to the kingdom, by all accounts a dutiful and honorable person, acting in the best interest of the realm (as he saw it). Baelish is a devious schemer with an inferiority complex, acting solely for his own benefit and with complete disregard for those harmed by his actions. He was abusing Lysa's infatuation to get himself power - what power did Rhaegar get from whatever was going on with Lyanna? You are doing exactly the same what you criticised above in using the Arya-Lyanna similarities. Some things are similar, others are not, therefore no parallel conclusion about the Rhaegar-Lyanna dynamics can be made without further textual support (and here I mean facts, not meta)

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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.

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

Don't have the time to re-read the chapters but I would presume that nobody wants to spend more time on a ship than strictly necessary (wasn't Sansa seasick?).

As to why a tower and not a different type of building: such a tower is the most basic defence structure. 

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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. 

Honestly, this is mind-boggling. ToJ and Dreafort work as parallels only on a very general level and there are tons of major differences (for some, see above). Yet, you act as if they were somehow bound to be 100% parallels where it fits your Stark Maid paradigm (while the existence of such a paradigm itself is highly dubious as all the Stark Maids and "Maids" are vastly different, in vastly different situations). Where is any kind of textual support that your bolded assumption works? Which other woman is Rhaegar associated with? Ashara? That one is being associated with the Stark(s) - and no, being a handmaid to Elia and a sister of Rhaegar's BF does not constitute association, just like there is no association between Robb and poor Jeyne Poole.

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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/

The only similarities between Rhaegar and Stannis I see is being honorable and believeing they are AA. Rhaegar, however, didn't have a fake flaming sword, and figured out he had been wrong in his interpretation. 

 

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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

And to me, it sounds like author talking meta...

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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.

It's as close to a laurel as a tent to a skyscraper, so I'd be highly cautious to draw any conclusions from that. Sansa convinces herself that her rose is special but it is not, it is just one of several (many). It's no specific symbol, given at no specific circumstances. It doesn't bear comparison. 

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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?

Sansa's experience was different because she wasn't given a laurel in the first place.

What I am comparing is the way both Jorah and Rhaegar were unstoppable in one particular tourney which they won. Jorah's motivation and inspiration are known, Rhaegar's are not. We do have other characters' statements, though, that he loved Lyanna, which would support the parallel. No-one ever claimed or speculated that Loras loved Sansa.

 

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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. 

I highly doubt that he had such an arrangement with Brandon, of all people. 

Plus, it's not like Rhaegar hadn't won tourneys before.

On 1/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sly Wren said:

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.

Again, taking the parallels too far. Rhaegar wasn't the one ordering the death of Lyanna's father.

 

 

Also, one more thought about your OP: the mystery of Jon Arryn's murder is presented differently from R+L. With the murder, we have one initial story and are gradually presented with contradicting details till the reveal. 

With R+L, we are presented with two contradicting stories, love and rape. The love version comes first, but it is presented in Dany's PoV as a part of highly embellished, romanticised telling of events which are, at best, second or third hand narrative. In Ned's PoV, we are then introduced to the ugly, realistic version of one who was in the medias res, which makes us completely discard Dany's version as completely unreliable. Yet, this seemingly realistic version later develops subtle contradictions, and as the series proceed, it is the love angle that keeps receiving support till the blatant "Rhaegar loved his lady Lyanna". It is a different type of misleading that the Jon Arryn case. 

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On ‎1‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 4:00 PM, Sly Wren said:

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

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

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

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

Starks are still followers of the old gods, and I would hardly consider the Green Men a "cult." They are an ancient order, on par with the maesters, so their words should carry some weight with the Starks. And should the GM have given Howland some token or proof of their words . . .

And while your theory about how current Stark women respond to singers, prophecies, etc. is impressive, it is by no means conclusive, agreed? The father is not the son, the aunt is not the niece. Lyanna could very well have been one to get carried away with portents about the end of civilization unless action is taken now. And with Rhaegar already wrapped up in books and prophecy, he could very well be swayed by this -- particularly since there must be some reason why he suddenly seems to have decided that his son by Elia will no longer sing the Song of Ice and Fire.

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14 hours ago, Seams said:

I haven't finished reading this thread yet, but I'm lovin' it. The idea of mining the Bael legend for clues is right up my alley and you've gotten some rusty wheels turning in my mind, going off in lots of new directions.

Excellent!

14 hours ago, Seams said:

 I agree that there is some Lyanna imagery linked to the death of the direwolf Lady, which does seem to bring Sansa into the parallel. On the other hand, I think Catelyn Stark is the woman Petyr Baelish slept with (possibly only in his imagination, but possibly for real) and that Sansa represents the offspring of that Bael iteration, not the love interest.

Agreed that Sansa comes into that with Baelish.

But as for Lyanna: we're told and shown flat out that Sansa is "fulfilling" Lyanna's original marriage plan: joining houses Stark and Baratheon. That seems like it's worth our while to see how her plot line goes, even if her personality (at least at the start) seems so different from the little we are told/shown of Lyanna.

14 hours ago, Seams said:

I also think the pregnant woman emerging from the Winterfell pool alludes to Jeyne Poole, and she wants revenge against Ramsay Bolton.

Interesting--so you are thinking that Bran's vision isn't going back in time even though the tree keeps shrinking?

14 hours ago, Seams said:

So I guess my approach would be to broaden the notion of the "Stark maid" to look at parallel characters who are not necessarily literal Starks.

Very fair--just thinking that Martin has given us 5 stolen Stark Maids in the series (near as I can tell)--the Bael Maid. Lyanna. Sansa and Arya. And Jon--notably called a "maid" by Ygritte. Seems like we should compare them. . . given that Lyanna's tale has so many holes.

15 hours ago, Seams said:

1. Bael / Baelor / Baelish

Spoiler

 

If we are going to make full use of the Bael pattern, I think we need to look at King Baelor as well as Petyr Baelish. Maybe also Prince Baelor, who appears in The Hedge Knight story. Mance as the singer "Abel" at the Bolton wedding has already been mentioned.

I've never examined her closely, but I wonder whether Bella, Robert's natural daughter at the Peach, should also be considered?

You already cited Ser Barristan's description of Rhaegar as "Able" above all else. I think he is a good fit for the Bael role in many ways. I also like the Stannis comparison you have laid out.

We have Ned executed on the steps at Baelor's Sept. @sweetsunray has put forward an interesting theory that Ned's bones might have been returned to  those steps, where Sparrows and Silent Sisters have piled the bones of murdered people around the statue of Baelor. Ned would have wanted his bones to be placed in the Winterfell crypt - the same place where Bael of legend conducted his affair with the Stark heiress and fathered the next Lord of Winterfell. The same place where Lyanna's remains and statue have been placed and where King Robert immediately goes upon his arrival at Winterfell.

This may or may not be directly relevant to whether Stark maids like Bael figures. Maybe the point is that Starks like births (or rebirths) to occur in their crypt.

 

 

Okay--this is just awesome. And I'm especially loving the idea of Baelor--what are you thinking re: the taking of Stark Maids? Bella seems a harder fit. 

But the sacrifice of a Stark on the steps of Baelor. . . that seems like it might fit a rough echo of what Baelish does. And even what Bael did . . 

15 hours ago, Seams said:

2. Flowers

I know there is widespread acceptance in this forum that blue flower references are hints about Rhaegar's crush on Lyanna (perhaps mutual) and the paternity of Jon Snow. I think GRRM wants us to think that initially, but he has actually hidden a lot more information in the combination of the color blue with flowers.

YES! Both blue flowers and blue roses are very rarely mentioned. And Martin "ties" them together when Dany calls what she sees in the Wall of ice both a blue flower and a blue rose. Those rare mentions are really interesting--at least to me. I keep coming back to playing with them, and promptly running out of time. But it's clearly not just romance--especially the way Bael uses that rose.

15 hours ago, Seams said:

The Tyrell rose sigil is part of this larger point. I don't think we can assign roses as a symbol associated with Lyanna when there is so much imagery around the Queen of Thorns and the variations on the rose sigil among the Tyrell brothers.

Agreed--and the "false" Stark maid: Margaery. She is a rose maid, first brought up in the story as a potential stand in for Lyanna. And she ends up in Cersei's vengeance plot with the Blue Bard (complete with rose scenting) being used against her.

15 hours ago, Seams said:

Also, the name Widow's Wail is the name of a blue flower.

Really? That's very interesting . . . 

15 hours ago, Seams said:

3. Flowers as in House Florent. A blue wreath, to be precise.

Spoiler

 

Your thread led me to examine House Florent, and I think it may be a critical source of clues for figuring out Rhaegar's three heads of the dragon strategy.

I think we can compare Rhaegar to Florys the Fox, the daughter of Garth Greenhand. From the wiki:

Quote

According to legend, the Florents, the Balls, and the Peakes can each trace descent from the sons of one of Florys the Fox's three husbands, each kept ignorant of the existence of the others.

I think we're going to see something similar with Rhaegar's descendants. I agree with your surmise that Ashara Dayne and Rhaegar conceived Dany, although their baby might be one of several other characters.

 

The comparison of Florys the Fox to Rhaegar is strengthened by the wreath of blue flowers in the Florent sigil. It surrounds the head of a fox, which is the traditional image of a trickster. I suspect that this wreath of blue flowers IS a hint about Lyanna (am I contradicting my previous section?) and that she and House Florent may also have been part of Rhaegar's plan to hide his children with various noble houses so they would not all be slaughtered in the coming strife and war. (Maybe war was part of the prophecy, along with the three heads of the dragon?)

Okay--the stuff I put in the spoiler is interesting--but the Florent Sigil--bloody hell! How did I miss this? I went blue flower hunting a while back in the novels. That is really interesting, especially with some of the ways Stannis echoes Rhaegar.

15 hours ago, Seams said:

It's possible that Lyanna was the mother of one of Rhaegar's children, but I really like the "fit" of Jon Snow as a child of Lyanna and Arthur Dayne.

Agreed--though I admit I'd like it better if Ned in Jon's dad. I think that ship has sailed, but I'd still prefer it.

15 hours ago, Seams said:

Another clue about Sam as a possible hidden Targ is that the wooden statues of the Seven Gods burned by Melisandre at Dragonstone were made from the masts of ships that originally brought the Targaryen family over from Essos. Burning may actually empower Targaryens to be reborn, so she and Stannis may have been doing the family a magical favor when they set those carvings on fire. But there is a memorable scene where Sam is compared to a fat pink mast. I think the burned mast carvings may be connected to that detail of Sam's story.

Interesting--not sure I can go down this path quite yet, but I do know a few posters who would fully agree with you. And it would be interesting.

15 hours ago, Seams said:

4. Other candidates

Another recent thread led me to examine the three sisters of King Baelor I (whose crown, by the way, was made of flowers). His sister Elaena was locked away along with Daena and Rhaena so that Baelor would not be tempted sexually. An interesting inversion of the Bael legend.

Yes on the bolded.

15 hours ago, Seams said:
Spoiler

 

But Elaena becomes the matriarch of three houses through a succession of subsequent marriages/affairs: Plumm, Penrose and Waters/Longwaters. There goes that number three again, just like Florys the Fox and Rhaegar's dragon prophecy. I do have some theories about Elaena's descendants living on among the current generation in ASOIAF, but those are topics for other threads.

For this thread, I'll just throw out a few possible hidden Rhaegar descendants:

Ser Hugh of the Vale

Brienne of Tarth

Samwell Tarly

Meera Reed

Theon Greyjoy

 

It might be that fAegon, Dany and Rhaenys were the three children Rhaegar was able to produce, with Ashara as the mother of Dany and Elia as the mother of the other two. But I have this feeling that another might be hidden from us.

Another would be interesting--just wondering if we'll ever find it out--though the books may take long enough for such a thing to happen.

15 hours ago, Seams said:

I don't think Ramsay Snow is a Rhaegar descendant, but I do think he might be a Brandon Stark bastard.

Interesting--even with Roose's statement? If he was a Stark bastard, seems like Roose's victim/Ramsay's mother  would have taken him to the Starks. . .they have a better rep than Roose, I think.

15 hours ago, Seams said:

So the Bael parallel might be that Brandon (Ned's brother) and the miller's wife were the romantic couple in the Bael parallel, with Roose Bolton fooled into thinking the child was his. Ramsay grows up to (we suspect) kill Domeric Bolton, which is the cowbird scenario - the egg laid in someone else's nest grows up to kill off the other chicks in the nest and to take all the nourishment provided by the unsuspecting parent birds. Lady Dustin would be the other "parent" bird whose chicks are pushed out of the nest by Ramsay / the cowbird. Ironic, if this theory is true, as she loved Brandon.

Though it does leave open what I posited above: why take the baby to Roose, given the man's rep?

And now I will need to re-read your post to figure out all I missed.

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13 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Makes sense, I would say Aerys didn't do a good job with his outmaneuver - when you want to fight against lions you best have roses - was it the quote from the books? I think having the Reach by his side and marrying Rhaegar to a Hightower would be okay too.

Agreed--which is one of the reasons I think Aerys was actively trying to find someone outside Westeros, not just a Valyrian.

13 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

But if Steffon was to be Hand after his successful return, wouldn't it make more sense for him to find a bride considering "Southern Ambitious" how could Steffon not be part of it.

I think I'm misreading what you wrote--do you mean that Steffon should have tried to find a bride so he could fulfill his own ambitions? If that's right, then: I think there's a good chance Steffon was helping Tywin prevent any marriage other than Cersei and Rhaegar. That's why he didn't find a bride.

But if you meant something else--my apologies for misreading you. Please correct me.

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7 hours ago, A Ghost of Someone said:

This caught my eye. I have been wondering how much Lyanna was told, if any, of what Rheagar's Father/family did to hers and what Rheagar intended to do to finish the job?  It has always irked me that apparently Rheagar seemingly had no problem with the murders of lord Stark, his heir, heir to the Vale and the calling for Ned and Robert's heads. No problem at all it seems. If Lyanna was kept in the dark, then it sort of gives her plausible ignorance, but if she knew, she is a blood/kin traitor who is not admirable in any way. At least that is my opinion. 

Maybe--but we see both Arya and Sansa getting some info, even with Arya in disguise and on the run.

Seems like we're being shown that the news really could have gotten to Lyanna.

And it seems telling to me that Rhaegar does nothing to counter or even denounce his father: Rhaegar wanted this war, like he and Tywin wanted/used the Defiance of Duskendale. Rhaegar is willing to sacrifice people to gain his objective. Not nearly so coldly as we see with Stannis, but Rhaegar wants this war.

4 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

That only means she knew they were dead, but not necessarily how they died. 

That seems like a hard fact to hide, given that Aerys was known for burning people before Brandon and Rickard. If she only hears he that killed them, seems unlikely the "burned" part wouldn't occur to her. Though, like Cat, she may be in the dark about the strangling part.

4 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I don’t really see it. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. And all we can do until we get more actual info is to speculate unto death. Which is what we’ve been doing. :D

All fair--and how much the evidence I posit actually will end up having told us about Lyanna--no way to know until we get the next books. So, speculate is what we all must do. :cheers:

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5 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

I don't think she was kept in dark because she wanted to be buried with Rickard and Brandon. 

 

4 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

That only means she knew they were dead, but not necessarily how they died. 

Right. It may be somewhat immaterial but it still bugs me as to what she did and did not know up to the point of her death. 

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