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Sly Wren

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

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52 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

I don’t really see anything fitting as well as R+L=J. 

For claiming just to be about RLJ, the idea has certainly grown into a complex stack of ideas and theories. So, which version ? The rape version or something a little bit more complex ? The checklist version, where Rhaegar has to love Lyanna ?

That is kind of relevant when we want to look into the relationship between Rhaegar and Lyanna. Because for me, the R+L=J version certainly ends at the tower of joy idea. Nobody so far can puzzle that scene together and I have not seen one post fully explaining the tower of joy.

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10 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

For claiming just to be about RLJ, the idea has certainly grown into a complex stack of ideas and theories. So, which version ? The rape version or something a little bit more complex ? The checklist version, where Rhaegar has to love Lyanna ?

Fuck knows. Seriously, it’s actually literally impossible to be sure w/ the information we have been given so far. There are a number of possibilities that seem... viable at the moment imo. One thing I’m fairly certain of is, when we get the “full” reveal, there will be more layers and more greyness and more... questions! :D

 

10 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

That is kind of relevant when we want to look into the relationship between Rhaegar and Lyanna. Because for me, the R+L=J version certainly ends at the tower of joy idea. Nobody so far can puzzle that scene together and I have not seen one post fully explaining the tower of joy.

Nor will you. Well, not until Marin fills in the [many] blanks. 

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I messed up the quotes, but the boxes are from @Sly Wren and the responses from @Ygrain. I don't know how to edit this to fix the quote boxes and it won't even let me highlight my own comments with a color to separate them from the parts I was taking from other posts. So I will just tell you, my comments beneath the Ygrain / Sly Wren dialogue begin with "If the quotes are tl;dr . . . " and continue through ". . . on his own merits." Then I comment again after the excerpt from @Bael's Bastard , beginning with "This is dynamite!" and continuing to the end of the post.

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@Ygrain

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But we are specifically told Lyanna was fond of flowers and then shown a Stark Maid's fondness for flowers and how it works. . .  we are not shown Lyanna's being romantic over flowers, nor told that she was. We are shown how Arya loves them. . . seems like that's specific--a specific interp of how Lyanna may have loved flowers.

I think you are sticking to the general concept and overlook how the concept of flowers develops in connection with Lyanna: flowers - roses - blue roses - the laurel. A sort of a gradual reveal, and emphasis is not on flowers in general but blue roses in particular.

. . .

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But the incident does bear comparison, given the context or Sansa's coming south to fulfill Lyanna's role. The Rose doesn't end up meaning anything to Ned--Loras isn't stealing Sansa.

How does it bear comparison when one incident led to haunting memories +14 years later, and the other never even got a honorable mention? That's like the "your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate" connection.

. . .

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Assuming that Rhaegar is paralleling Jorah off the statements seems less compelling than comparing Rhaegar to Loras--he gives something to a Stark Maid. And is covered with blue flowers. Loras. . . that seems like a more specific marker than Jorah. One that doesn't require character interp--we can just see them markers for ourselves.

Sorry but this seems rather superficial comparison, and the insistence on the Stark Maid unnecessarrily narrowing the view.

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Yes--the cheating is not at all a certainty. Did not mean to imply it was. But given Barristan's thoughts--it is possible. And Loras's trick is only noted at the end, right? Doesn't seem like it made a difference with everyone. . .

Loras only needed the trick at the end because Gregor was such a monster of a man.

Loras as a parallel doesn't work, though, because he is described as exceptionally skilled and keen on particiating in tourneys. Jorah was neither and Rhaegar wasn't particularly interested. 

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Rhaegar didn't need to convince everyone he fought--he did have skill. But if he wanted to be certain, influencing those he knew he could influence, that would not guarantee a win, but would make it much more likely.

He might, but it doesn't fit with the accounts of him as being honourable. Plus, we see a much less skilled knight, Jorah, winning solely due to being inspired by Lynesse.

If the quotes are tl;dr, the essence is that Ygrain and Sly Wren disagree on the meaning and/or details of Rhaegar's crowning of Lyanna at the Harrenhal tourney.

This dialogue makes me think that we need a separate thread to debate the purpose of crowning a Queen of Love and Beauty. Aside from the Harrenhal example and the Ser Jorah victory, the example we have is from the Ashford Meadow tourney in The Hedge Knight. While the formats of the tournaments vary a bit (and the Dunk POV explains that the host gets to set the format), the Ashford Meadow tourney does not sound at all like a knight picking a girl on whom he has a crush.

I think we need to consider the possibility that the Queen of Love and Beauty is the equivalent of sacrificing a virgin to the volcano gods or whatever supernatural entity demands the sacrifice of virgins. Maybe Lyanna is becoming part of the Targaryen attempts to hatch dragons. Rhaegar is singling her out for some kind of sacrifice, not for romantic love. This is why the Starks go crazy when he hands over the wreath.

I realize Jorah falls in love with Lynesse at first sight, but keep in mind that he is a BEAR. If you read @sweetsunray's analysis of bear imagery, you know that the Scandinavian bear hunt tradition is that the bear is persuaded that he is being brought to town to meet a beautiful girl. In fact, he is being hunted for his meat and is brought to town for butchering. Maybe Jorah is the sacrifice in this scenario. We hear only his POV that he was supercharged by his love for Lynesse and was able to win the jousting. In fact, the matches may have been manipulated (as we have seen at other tournaments) and he was simply led to believe that he won on his own merits.

8 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Ygrain

It is possible that Rickard was more restrictive of Lyanna than Ned was of Arya and Sansa, but that might not necessarily be the case.

Ned eventually allows Arya to keep Needle, and hires Syrio to train her, something Rickard might not have done or permitted with Lyanna. But that is only in the extreme and dangerous circumstances they found themselves in after arriving in King's Landing, following the traumatic experiences of their journey from Winterfell, after Ned recollects to Arya the similarities he sees between her and Lyanna, particularly the wildness and willfulness he sees as having contributed to Lyanna's early death.

At that point, after the heartsickness and weariness Ned had experienced during the four days that Arya was missing, after Robert's cowardly approach to dealing with what had transpired, and his capitulation to the Lannisters traveling in the same party as Ned and his family, and with the benefit of the hindsight of everything that happened with Lyanna, Ned appears to decide to take a different approach to dealing with those traits he sees in Arya.

For now Lyanna's presence in Rickard's party heading south from Winterfell to Riverrun for Brandon's wedding is speculative. Perhaps it will turn out that some other circumstance placed her in the Riverlands near Harrenhal at the time that she was abducted. But it seems plausible that she was there as part of her father's party, perhaps away from the main column, as Arya so frequently found herself on their journey to King's Landing.

And whatever the case, Lyanna had certainly ridden south the previous year with her brothers Brandon, Ned, and Benjen, and whatever their party consisted of, during which time she may have had chances to ride off from the main column with little or not supervision. She had certainly learned to go off on her own with Benjen to practice sword play enough to be capable of embarrassing three teenage squires who were presumably training openly with knights.

With her father's permission or behind his back, Lyanna practiced riding at rings to the extant that, if she was indeed the Knight of the Laughing Tree, she became capable of defeating three knights. And if she was truly the KOTLT, she probably did that without the foreknowledge or permission of her elder brothers. Even if she had been assigned guards in the aftermath of the Harrenhal Tourney, that might not have prevented her riding off from the main column at times, with or without them.

This is dynamite! I had never thought to look at the ride of the King's entourage from Winterfell to King's Landing as a model for Lyanna and Rickard's travel to Brandon's wedding, but I think you must be right! There could be some important clues in the later journey to figure out what happened between Lyanna and Rhaegar, as well as other players in that run up to Robert's Rebellion.

Holy cow.

We have already discussed (in this thread or elsewhere - I can't remember) that the direwolf Lady is a symbolic Lyanna. She is a scapegoat, though, dying because Arya's wolf bit Joff. If the Lady / Lyanna parallel is correct, that would fit with the idea I put forward, above, of the Queen of Love and Beauty (Lyanna) as a possible blood sacrifice. Or is she a scapegoat? Does Lyanna die because someone (Aerys?) can't get his hands on the person he really wants to kill? The KotLT?

Arya's wolf is named Nymeria - a Dornish princess's name. Maybe we are supposed to look for something done by Elia, who should have been crowned Queen of Love and Beauty, according to expectations, that was instead blamed on Lyanna.

Ned regretfully volunteers to kill the direwolf Lady because Robert refuses to do it after passing the sentence. Who would be the person to slay Lyanna, if her story is parallel to the direwolf? Or is this where the twist comes in (history doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme) and Lyanna is "driven off into the woods" (like Nymeria) instead of being killed? Ned makes sure that the direwolf's bones are returned to Winterfell, similar to his (we are told) effort to ensure that Lyanna's bones are laid to rest in the Winterfell crypt.

Brandon and Lyanna are compared to horses (centaurs?) by Lady Dustin. I have this nascent idea that horses in ASOIAF represent the souls of the person riding them. When Jon Snow rides south from Castle Black at the end of AGoT, intending to desert and join Robb's army, I believe he calls his horse "a lady" as he is saddling her. Don't know if this journey is another echo of the two southern journeys, and should be examined with them.

I have had this sneaking suspicion for some time about the death of grandpa Rickard Stark. He was roasted alive in his armor, before many witnesses in the Red Keep. But the parallel scene for this is, I would think, the death of Mance Rattleshirt at Castle Black. We think that Mance is in the cage over the flames, but it's really Rattleshirt. Maybe someone else was in Rickard's armor and Brandon strangled himself unnecessarily.

Sorry, I guess I'm getting all off onto tangents. I'll think about this and maybe start another thread.

Edited by Seams

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3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The fact that Hightower, Whent and Dayne were at the ToJ is a matter of historical record. The conversation may have been a dream, but their presence is established fact -- unless you want to propose that all three of them, plus Ned's men, all went into secret exile so he could make up the whole story about the fight.

Also, the fact that Martell, Selmy and Darry fought on the Trident for Rhaegar is also an established fact, unless you want to suggest that whole story is a lie as well.

So regardless of whether the dream is literally or figuratively true, the fact remains: Rhaegar left his wife and children with zero kingsguard and with a mad king-father who was threatening to kill them if Lewyn broke faith. So whether you think Rhaegar sent the three to the ToJ or not, it doesn't appear that he was terribly concerned about his Aegon's future.

Did he have Varys swap the babe? Perhaps, but it would be the height of callousness for him to do that for his son while leaving his wife and daughter to their own. Varys could very easily have smuggled all three of them out of the capital.

You misunderstand me.  You stated as evidence that Rhaegar had shifted emphasis from his son Aegon, that the three kingsguards were protecting Lyanna and baby Jon at the tower of joy.  The problem is, we don’t have any evidence that Lyanna was at the tower of joy. The only thing “linking” her to the tower of joy is the chronology of Ned’s fever dream.  He dreams of the tower of joy, then the scene shifts and he dreams of Lyanna’s death.  Of course that doesn’t mean that in life those two events were actually linked in chronology and geography.

There’s an SSM out there somewhere, where George warned a fan about taking Ned’s fever dream too literally.  Which is odd, since Ned has an independent memory of the tower of joy, and he has an independent memory of Lyanna’s death.  The only part of his dream that isn’t corroborated by his memories, Is one event immediately following the other.

So while it may be tempting to assume that Ned would have traveled there to rescue his sister, that’s still a fairly big assumption based on the actual evidence we’re given.  Of course GRRM uses the fever dream to push us into coming to that conclusion, but we have to ask what is Martin’s motivation to do this?  Is it a clue or is it a misdirection?

The fact that both Ned and the Kingsguards seem fairly resigned to the fact that their meeting was a battle to the death, makes me think that perhaps Ned and company traveled to the tower of joy to prevent the kingsguards from carrying out their last assigned task.

Now was that Aegon at the Red Keep?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  My thought is if Rhaegar had Aegon switched, he wouldn’t have used Varys.

And I would also add that I’m not sure the Kingsguards were at the tower to protect anyone.  LIke I stated their “vow” may have been to carry out Rhaegar’s plans for his Prince that was Promised.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Any evidence Lyanna was at all like this? Or any Starks like this?

Not really but if I were invested in it I'm sure I could draw up some parallels as strong as Rhaegar to Joff.

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57 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Fuck knows. Seriously, it’s actually literally impossible to be sure w/ the information we have been given so far. There are a number of possibilities that seem... viable at the moment imo. One thing I’m fairly certain of is, when we get the “full” reveal, there will be more layers and more greyness and more... questions! :D

I can’t agree with this sentiment enough.

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On 1/12/2019 at 4:23 PM, Ygrain said:

Also, you are leaving out parallels which might show something else, e.g. between Jorah's victory inspired by his infatuation with Lynesse, and Rhaegar's victory at HH. Even the language used in the discriptions is similar, conveying the air of being unstoppable. Jorah was not a tourney knight, Rhaegar "seldom entered the lists". A case can be made that this is an intentional parallel showing Rhaegar's motivation for crowning Lyanna. One might also speculate if the parallel went even further and their relationship soured, just like Jorah's, or if the parallel is only partial

I think you’re right to point out the parallel between these two stories, but I’m not sure the conclusion you drew about the outcomes is necessarily true.  There seems to be a possibility that the two jousts are connected by the fact that both jousts were rigged to guarantee a particular outcome.

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“He did, ser, but … I have seen a hundred tournaments and more wars than I would wish, and however strong or fast or skilled a knight may be, there are others who can match him. A man will win one tourney, and fall quickly in the next. A slick spot in the grass may mean defeat, or what you ate for supper the night before. A change in the wind may bring the gift of victory.” He glanced at Ser Jorah. “Or a lady’s favor knotted round an arm.”
Mormont’s face darkened. “Be careful what you say, old man.”
Arstan had seen Ser Jorah fight at Lannisport, Dany knew, in the tourney Mormont had won with a lady’s favor knotted round his arm. He had won the lady too; Lynesse of House Hightower, his second wife, highborn and beautiful …”.

If you read between the lines a bit, the reason that Jorah starts to anger is that Barristan is implying a less than noble reason for why Jorah won the joust.  In other words, after Lady Lyndsey gave her favor to Ser Jorah, Lord Hightower helped ensure that Ser Jorah would win the tourney.

Likewise, Ser Barristan subtly hints that he may have thrown the joust at Harrenhal on Rhaegar’s behalf:

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

It doesn’t really follow that Ser Barristan would equate the quality of his knighthood with losing a joust.  After all, in the quote just above, he explains that anyone can lose a joust for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t make someone less a knight.  However, Barristan probably does equate the quality of his knighthood with his honor.  So the implication is that his loss to Rhaegar was not honorable.  And the way it wouldn’t be honorable is if Ser Barristan threw the tilt and give the tourney to Rhaegar.

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3 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

These are all very fair points. I have been thinking about Dayne as Jon’s dad as you propose. I have to say, nothing would please me more. There are two Targs I really like, Egg and Baelor Breakspear. So, yeah. :D

And even though we don’t really know that much about the last [known] Sword of the Morning, I will say the idea of him and Lyanna being Jon’s parents is enticing... still, when all is said and done we only have very little in terms of indisputable facts and have to go w/ limited actual info, I don’t really see anything fitting as well as R+L=J. 

All the doubts and iffy stuff in the text, all the possibilities it leaves open, are the distractions, the red herrings. 

Or I could be totally wrong. :P

All fair.

And we could all be totally wrong: Qyburn built Jon from spare parts. That's how he really got kicked out of the Citadel. AAAAAND roll credits.:P

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Well, I got nothing more to add. Good luck with this. I liked the first part about the Arryn murder. I try to make that point over and over again, but most people still insist that however things appear to be on the page, then that's the way they are because Martin just doesn't play tricks with his readers. :rolleyes:

As for the rest though, sorry, I'm not buying it.

All fair. :cheers:

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3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

True that! But I think there's a way to define "satisfying" other than "Yay, my theory was correct!"or "Yay, I got the fan service I wanted!", and that is a story with plot and thematic consistency and a good pacing. If you look back on the story and you don't allow yourself to be biased by your own expectations, you have to be able to say "Yes, that makes complete sense, this is how this happened and this what it means," and the loose ends shouldn't overwhelm the fulfilled arcs.

Agreed--still, what "makes complete sense" when the books are done may be very different from what it seems now.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

But do we need that to be explained? You see, dragons are made up beings, but we can relate to a story with dragons because they can take the role of something in our own world (weapons of mass destruction, endangered species, symbols of powers, priceless rarities, technological advancements, aggressive pets, the joy of flying, etc.) and thus reveal something interesting about the human condition.

The exact reason why dragons can be created, though, is always going to be some magical bullshit. :D It's fun for us to speculate because it can be seen as a logical puzzle, but it's never going to be compelling from a plot or thematic point of view. Since "magical bullshit" can be literally anything, it becomes very transparent when authors use it to create a forced in-world dramatic moment (which is why I believe some things would be better left unexplained).

Very possible--though I do think there is a clear moment where the Others began to return: the fight at the tower--though that's @Voice's theory here.

So, seems like there's a decent chance there's a reason the dragons came back. . . 

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

That's kind of what I was saying about Jon as well. If Jon finds out that R+L=J (assuming it's true) and the whole point of it is that he learns he can ride a dragon, that would feel weak and contrived. A better approach would be for him to ride a dragon without any explanation, and have that be a semi-confirmation for the reader that R+L=J. The "magical bullshit" is there, but it serve as a low key reveal to an emotional puzzle, rather a dramatic centerpiece, where it can more easily fall apart.

A fair point--I do think the point with Jon is not that he gets the sword. But that he's the person who knows what to do tight it: but that's in another thread.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I don't think that changes much... she's related to both men either way.

Yes--but she's seeing herself not as Aerys' heir, but as Rhaegar's. As you say, it can go either way. But it is interesting.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I wouldn't say it wasn't good. As another poster pointed out, there are plenty of hints for that reveal.

Oh, no: by "not good" I meant I didn't like the cheesy writing. The Perry Mason like speechifying.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

But the echoes don't really follow the same beats. There are never enough similarities to make us assume that Lyanna wouldn't like Rhaegar just because other Starks seem to have different tastes.

But there are enough markers (given that we have very few details on Lyanna's story) to make us pay attention. Martin did not have to put those markers in to make the plot and character developments work.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

 I mean, if it turns out the two of them really were in love (or that Rhaegar the perfect prince imprisoned and raped her), would it feel that the reveal wasn't "earned" in the text?

Not sure I'm following you here. Any chance you'd elaborate?

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

But both Rhaegar and Aerys (and Ellia and her children) were dead by the time Ned went to the ToJ. What reason would Arthur have to hold her hostage at this point, especially if he loved her?

A good question--if she's in labor at Starfall, letting Ned have her means letting Ned get close to Ashara and all of that. And if the parlay isn't really about Lyanna for the KG, explains why they don't try to deal.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I'd like to find out more about the Daynes, but not by turning them into the centerpiece of the climactic conflict of the series.

Given the story of the Long Night and the Battle for the Dawn and the Sword of the Morning--really seems like they may be tied to that centerpiece.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

What I said before about "magical bullshit" applies here as well. If the only reason they are important is some McGuffin that is explained at the end, it will feel contrived and unearned, imho.

Agreed.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

But that's his motivation anyway. Plain Jon Snow who never even finds out who his real parents were would do exactly that. Why weigh down the narrative with some soap drama that doesn't change anything? Doesn't sound like George...

One option: because he needed to be the bastard child to really learn the lessons--Jon's the "old hand at justice" in the opening chapter (after the prologue). He's set apart--the bastard white wolf. Vs. other Daynes and other Starks, he seems to understand Ned's lessons of justice particularly well.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

That doesn't make it any less of McGuffin, it just mixes up the McGuffin with a chosen one trope. :D

Or the "developed one" trope: only the one who earns the sword gets it.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

At the end of the day, does it really matter if Jon is a Dayne and gets Dawn, or he the Last Hero was a Stark who wielded Ice and Jon gets Oathkeeper, or Longclaw catches fire through magic, or Jon gets Stannis's Lightbringer, or Arya hides Needle in a hay stack and Jon lights the hay stack on fire and gets Needle out just in time to fight the Others, only it has no hilt 'cuz it burned out? The story is still going to be "Jon gets a special sword because he's special".

Or--Jon uses the sword correctly because of what he's learned.

3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Or not Jon. Personally, I think it would be cool if Brienne was the Last Hero/Azor Ahai. She has a "magic sword", the sword was treated in a way that makes it unlike other valyrian blades (maybe the blacksmith unwittingly enchanted it to catch fire in certain circumstances), she is in a position where she might get to stab Cat through the heart with Ned's steel, and Jaime had a vision about her wielding a burning sword... but nobody suspects her because she's not a Main Character or a "prince" (the "prince" part could easily be another misdirection). Now that would be a truly subversive twist!

Oh yes--I think something's coming with Brienne. Still--Dawn is the one and only completely unique blade int eh series. And it keeps popping up--even in one of Dany's vision/dream things. Something's up with that sword.

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3 hours ago, SirArthur said:

That is kind of relevant when we want to look into the relationship between Rhaegar and Lyanna. Because for me, the R+L=J version certainly ends at the tower of joy idea. Nobody so far can puzzle that scene together and I have not seen one post fully explaining the tower of joy.

Quick clarification: do you mean RLJ is undone by the tower of joy? Or that no other option works other than RLJ because of the tower.

And by the bolded: do you mean this for all, or for all non-RLJ interps?

2 hours ago, Seams said:

This dialogue makes me think that we need a separate thread to debate the purpose of crowning a Queen of Love and Beauty. Aside from the Harrenhal example and the Ser Jorah victory, the example we have is from the Ashford Meadow tourney in The Hedge Knight. While the formats of the tournaments vary a bit (and the Dunk POV explains that the host gets to set the format), the Ashford Meadow tourney does not sound at all like a knight picking a girl on whom he has a crush.

I think we need to consider the possibility that the Queen of Love and Beauty is the equivalent of sacrificing a virgin to the volcano gods or whatever supernatural entity demands the sacrifice of virgins. Maybe Lyanna is becoming part of the Targaryen attempts to hatch dragons. Rhaegar is singling her out for some kind of sacrifice, not for romantic love. This is why the Starks go crazy when he hands over the wreath.

This is fascinating--and I do think Rhaegar's take on "sacrifice" needs to be considered given his obsession with Summerhall. But . . . any reason to think the Targs had made this clear to the Starks but not everyone else?

ETA: And on debating the meaning of the crowns: see @Frey family reunion's post here on this thread.

Edited by Sly Wren

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1 hour ago, chrisdaw said:

Not really but if I were invested in it I'm sure I could draw up some parallels as strong as Rhaegar to Joff.

Rhaegar isn't "like" Joff--aside from entitlement. Joff and his family are Targ wannabes. Joff's a twisted version of just about everything. But they both potentially end up holding a Stark maid hostage. . . 

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53 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I think you’re right to point out the parallel between these two stories, but I’m not sure the conclusion you drew about the outcomes is necessarily true.  There seems to be a possibility that the two jousts are connected by the fact that both jousts were rigged to guarantee a particular outcome.

If you read between the lines a bit, the reason that Jorah starts to anger is that Barristan is implying a less than noble reason for why Jorah won the joust.  In other words, after Lady Lyndsey gave her favor to Ser Jorah, Lord Hightower helped ensure that Ser Jorah would win the tourney.

Likewise, Ser Barristan subtly hints that he may have thrown the joust at Harrenhal on Rhaegar’s behalf:

It doesn’t really follow that Ser Barristan would equate the quality of his knighthood with losing a joust.  After all, in the quote just above, he explains that anyone can lose a joust for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t make someone less a knight.  However, Barristan probably does equate the quality of his knighthood with his honor.  So the implication is that his loss to Rhaegar was not honorable.  And the way it wouldn’t be honorable is if Ser Barristan threw the tilt and give the tourney to Rhaegar.

*slow clap*

This is amazing. I've read that passage multiple times and never paid proper attention Jorah's reaction to Barristan's quip--or to the fact that Dany's reaction draws a circle around Jorah's reaction.

The reading you give now looks so bloody obvious I can only believe I'm an idiot.

This is fabulous. 

And yes--makes me thinks it's all but certain: Rhaegar cheated to get the outcome he wanted. Just like Loras.

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1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

And yes--makes me thinks it's all but certain: Rhaegar cheated to get the outcome he wanted. Just like Loras.

It's hinted in the World book as well.

Quote

Prince Rhaegar emerged as the ultimate victor at the end of the competition. The crown prince, who did not normally compete in tourneys, surprised all by donning his armor and defeating every foe he faced, including four knights of the Kingsguard. In the final tilt, he unhorsed Ser Barristan Selmy, generally regarded as the finest lance in all the Seven Kingdoms, to win the champion's laurels.

Snowfyre talked me into this a long time ago... though I had suggested to him how intriguing it was that a crown of winter roses was conveniently available for Rhaegar to give beautiful young Lyanna Stark of Winterfell.  As Ygritte tells us:

Quote

no flower is so rare

I'm not at all sure Rhaegar could have drummed up such a crown after winning the tourney.

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22 minutes ago, JNR said:

It's hinted in the World book as well.

Snowfyre talked me into this a long time ago... though I had suggested to him how intriguing it was that a crown of winter roses was conveniently available for Rhaegar to give beautiful young Lyanna Stark of Winterfell.  As Ygritte tells us:

I'm not at all sure Rhaegar could have drummed up such a crown after winning the tourney.

Yup.

Makes me think the the blue roses were just a horrible coincidence. There's a decent chance Rhaegar had heard the Bael Tale. But makes me think Rhaegar would have given the laurel regardless of the flowers, whatever his reasoning.

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15 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Okay--I had not heard this. And It would be very intriguing, considering the Tyrells' wealth and original Targ loyalty.

On the bolded--any chance you'd elaborate?

Well Eugene is Rugen a victim of autocorrect I am not making up characters - Qyburn tells Cercei Rugen had a Gardner coin and Taena tells Cersei Olenna has a chest of these gold in her wheelhouse. I was also thinking if coins are used by members of the Order of the Greenhand and that's why Olenna - a lady of First Men house - has them? 

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9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Agreed--still, what "makes complete sense" when the books are done may be very different from what it seems now.

Absolutely! But the window to introduce new information is closing. If vital elements are introduced too close to the big twists, then the pacing would suffer.

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Very possible--though I do think there is a clear moment where the Others began to return: the fight at the tower--though that's @Voice's theory here.

So, seems like there's a decent chance there's a reason the dragons came back. . . 

I'm not sure I like that theory. People always try to associate great natural events with something that is symbolically important to them, but most of the time that's just due to anthropocentric reasoning and lack of knowledge. It's how superstitions are born. :D

I think it would be more realistic (and a better message for the readers) if the return of the Others was decidedly NOT related to a big moment in Westerosi history. At the end of the day, the idea that a Stark killing a Dayne would awaken an ancient enemy thousands of miles away is still "magical bullshit".

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

A fair point--I do think the point with Jon is not that he gets the sword. But that he's the person who knows what to do tight it: but that's in another thread.

I don't think Dawn in itself matters, even if it was the original Lightbringer. If anything, it is meant to show us how much the story was distorted (the Last Hero is part of the mythology of the North, Azor Ahai is Essosi, yet the Daynes are from Dorne - something doesn't add up here).

The "human element" of the Azor Ahai story was that he had to sacrifice Nissa Nissa to create the weapon. If the sword already exists now and one can simply use it (as long as they're a "worthy" Dayne), that internal conflict is removed. On the other hand, if a sacrifice does need to be made to light the sword on fire, then the identity of the sword (and the wielder) is superfluous. The story would be just as compelling if Longclaw is used. You see what I'm trying to say?

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Oh, no: by "not good" I meant I didn't like the cheesy writing. The Perry Mason like speechifying.

Fair enough.

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

But there are enough markers (given that we have very few details on Lyanna's story) to make us pay attention. Martin did not have to put those markers in to make the plot and character developments work.

I feel we are going a bit in circles with this. The markers are interesting enough to take a closer look, yes, and it's not impossible that George intended them the way you say, but I'm far from sold on them. The story has no obligation to offer a pay-off for these markers; indeed, it might feel more organic if it does not, because on a character level it would be unrealistic if all the Stark maids have the same preferences in love and faith.

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Not sure I'm following you here. Any chance you'd elaborate?

I was saying there are plenty of hints in the books towards an R+L love relationship (as well as a few for a forceful one). You posited that they are misdirections, but if they aren't, the story would still feel organic. Neither of those scenarios would feel like it came out of the blue.

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Given the story of the Long Night and the Battle for the Dawn and the Sword of the Morning--really seems like they may be tied to that centerpiece.

Those tangents don't really reflect on characters, though. It's not impossible, but we should hope it doesn't happen because it's kind of generic and weak... I may be foolish, but I expect more from George. :P

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

One option: because he needed to be the bastard child to really learn the lessons--Jon's the "old hand at justice" in the opening chapter (after the prologue). He's set apart--the bastard white wolf. Vs. other Daynes and other Starks, he seems to understand Ned's lessons of justice particularly well.

The bastard child would have learned his lessons even if he wasn't special!

But that's what I was saying in the first place, his bastardy contributed to his character development, it's the "secretly special" blood that doesn't bring anything compelling to the table.

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

only the one who earns the sword gets it

A good premise. Why can't he earn it without being a secret Targ/Dayne then (or without anyone finding out, at least)? It feels like that part is both cliched and superfluous! :P

9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Oh yes--I think something's coming with Brienne. Still--Dawn is the one and only completely unique blade int eh series. And it keeps popping up--even in one of Dany's vision/dream things. Something's up with that sword.

If anything, it's more likely that Dawn is associated with the Others (perhaps one of their own blades, taken as trophy?)

It's described as "pale as milkglass", and we only see that word used four times in the series: once for Dawn, once for the ghost grass in Dothraki legends, once for the bones of a dying Other, and finally one time for some innocuous bottles. Here are the relevant three:

Quote

Down in the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are oceans of ghost grass, taller than a man on horseback with stalks as pale as milkglass. It murders all other grass and glows in the dark with the spirits of the damned. The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end.

Quote

Sam rolled onto his side, eyes wide as the Other shrank and puddled, dissolving away. In twenty heartbeats its flesh was gone, swirling away in a fine white mist. Beneath were bones like milkglass, pale and shiny, and they were melting too. Finally only the dragonglass dagger remained, wreathed in steam as if it were alive and sweating.

Quote

"And now it begins," said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.

I bet it sounds a bit more ominous now! :P

Wouldn't it be a cool inversion if it turns out Dawn was made with ice magic during the Long Night and Ice becomes the new burning sword Lightbringer? A song of ice and fire indeed...

Edited by The Coconut God

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12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Rhaegar would have given the laurel regardless of the flowers, whatever his reasoning

Certainly.  But I don't think it's a coincidence that the crown, which certainly appears to have been all ready to go for the final champion to name the QoLaB, was perfectly suited for Lyanna -- certainly better suited for her than for any of the famous and far more numerous beauties of the south, such as Cersei, Ashara, et al.

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48 minutes ago, JNR said:

Certainly.  But I don't think it's a coincidence that the crown, which certainly appears to have been all ready to go for the final champion to name the QoLaB, was perfectly suited for Lyanna -- certainly better suited for her than for any of the famous and far more numerous beauties of the south, such as Cersei, Ashara, et al.

Yea, the Harrenhal gift shop must have had a pretty good floral section.  ;)

Edited by Frey family reunion

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6 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Well Eugene is Rugen a victim of autocorrect I am not making up characters - Qyburn tells Cercei Rugen had a Gardner coin and Taena tells Cersei Olenna has a chest of these gold in her wheelhouse. I was also thinking if coins are used by members of the Order of the Greenhand and that's why Olenna - a lady of First Men house - has them? 

1. HA! I, too, am a frequent victim of autocorrect. :cheers: 

2. I'm liking this very, very much. I could definitely see Olenna and Rugen as being in cahoots. Could explain a few things with the Purple Wedding. Spiriting Aegon away will need more evidence, but I'm now going to be on the lookout.

45 minutes ago, JNR said:

Certainly.  But I don't think it's a coincidence that the crown, which certainly appears to have been all ready to go for the final champion to name the QoLaB, was perfectly suited for Lyanna -- certainly better suited for her than for any of the famous and far more numerous beauties of the south, such as Cersei, Ashara, et al.

But the  "coincidence" theory opens up one plausible reason for the Starks' weird reaction: they knew the Bael Tale and Rhaegar did not.

Ned hasn't told the tale to his children, but that does NOT mean his generation (Ned, Lyanna, Brandon, and Benjen) didn't know it.

And there are other tales he hasn't told them either--and some, like the Knight of the Laughing Tree and specifics of Arthur Dayne, seem like he's withheld those for a reason.

If Rhaegar stumbled into a mess that others took advantage of to eventually provoke a war. . . it could fit with some of the things Martin likes to do with "perfect storms."

Maybe.

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1 minute ago, Sly Wren said:

But the  "coincidence" theory opens up one plausible reason for the Starks' weird reaction: they knew the Bael Tale and Rhaegar did not.

Ned hasn't told the tale to his children, but that does NOT mean his generation (Ned, Lyanna, Brandon, and Benjen) didn't know it.

It's possible, but it seems that the Bael tale is a wildling tale only.  I think it's doubtful that the Starks would pass this tale on from generation to generation, especially the version told by Ygritte.

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