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Alexander Leonard

Why was Lyanna Stark willingly married to Rhaegar when he had not divorced Elia Martell?

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I think that at the end of the day all Rhaegar needed was a High Septon who saw things his way if he wanted a polygamous marriage.

One of the High Septons in FaB forbade the marriage between Lady Sam and Lyonel Hightower, claiming incest because she was married to Lyonel's father, so he kept her as a paramour and when a new High Septon came to power, he reversed the old High Septon's position and allowed her and Lyonel to marry.

And she even went as far as to suggested that Aegon III should take two wives after Jaehaera's death.  

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31 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

And she even went as far as to suggested that Aegon III should take two wives after Jaehaera's death.

Thank you, that might actually be one of those examples I had in mind - people suggesting polygamy, as if they weren't aware of any legal obstacle.

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27 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Thank you, that might actually be one of those examples I had in mind - people suggesting polygamy, as if they weren't aware of any legal obstacle.

@Ygrain

Frankly, the good Seven-worshiping kings, queens, lords, and ladies of Westeros were eager to wed their daughters, and in some cases theirselves, into polygamous marriage with the already wed incestuous Targaryens, long before Jaehaerys I crafted and promulgated the Doctrine of Exceptionalism.

King Argilac Durrendon offered to wed his daughter and only child Argella to Aegon I before the Conquest (F&B: Aegon's Conquest)

Queen Sharra Arryn offered herself to wed Aegon I during the Conquest (F&B: Aegon's Conquest)

Lord Manfred Hightower is said to have offered to wed his youngest daughter to Aegon I during the Conquest (F&B: Aegon's Conquest)

Many great lords and noble knights appeared at court with their daughters, each more comely than the last, hoping to wed them to Aegon I, still wed to Visenya, after Rhaenys died in 10 AC (F&B: The Sons of the Dragon)

We are told that by the time the High Septon who had crowned Aegon I died in 11 AC, the realm had grown accustomed to the notion of a king with two queens, who were both wives and sisters (F&B: The Sons of the Dragon)

Even the High Septons were not consistently opposed to polygamous and incestuous marriages prior to the the Doctrine of Exceptionalism.

The High Septon that opposed the marriage of Maegor to his niece Rhaena might have had ulterior motives for doing so, following it up with the suggestion that Maegor wed his own maternal niece Ceryse Hightower.

The High Septon after that was really the first and only High Septon to relentlessly condemn the Targaryens for polygamy and incest, starting with Maegor taking a wife in addition to Ceryse in 39 AC, exploding with the marriage of Aegon to Rhaena in 41 AC, for which the High Septon labeled Aegon King Abomination, and continuing with the subsequent marriages of Maegor, and Rhaena giving birth.

They were followed by Pater, the High Lickspittle, and Alfyn.

So by the time of Rhaegar, born after two hundred years of Faith-acknowledge Targaryen exceptionalism, descended, like all his Westerosi-born forefathers, from the second wife of a polygamous incestuous union, there is pretty much zero reason for him to believe that there is any religious or secular prohibition on him taking a second wife, and fathering legitimate children on her.

There are absolutely reasons for him to believe that there will be political consequences to him taking a second wife in addition to his Martell wife, especially when that second wife is the daughter of Lord Stark, who is betrothed to his Lord Baratheon cousin.

But that is an entirely different than such a move having religious or secular legal ramifications, such as the marriage or product of that marriage being illegitimate. There is no basis to suggest that such a marriage or fruit of such a marriage would be illegitimate according to religious or secular law.

There is no hint that the Faith or the High Septon as of 282-283 AC were the sort to reignite a matter that had already been settled over two hundred years earlier.

Perhaps if Rhaegar had pulled this during the time of the current High Sparrow and the re-armed Faith Militant, we might have seen an attempt on their part to deny and overturn the Doctrine of Targaryen Exceptionalism. But that, of course, did not exist in the days of Rhaegar, born into a time when Exceptionalism was a given, taken for granted for two centuries.

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3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

You are putting limits on the doctrine that are not stated or hinted to have existed.

You are including  things in the doctrine that were never put there It was only argued to allow incestuous marriages to be legally recognizeble by the faith. Not all practices by Valryians even marriage.   The Doctrine of Exceptionalism's basic tenet was simple: the Faith of the Seven had been born in Andalos of old, where the laws laid down by the Seven in the holy texts decreed that incest was an abomination. The Doctrine of Exceptionalism confirmed this, but with one caveat: the Targaryens were not like other men as they rode dragons and were the only ones in the world since the Doom of Valyria. In addition, they did not have their roots in Andalos, but in Valyria, where different laws and traditions held sway. The Targaryens wed brother to sister as the Valyrians had always done, and as the gods had made them this way, it was not for men to judge. The Seven Speakers preached the doctrine throughout Westeros. 

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Jaehaerys did not request, nor need to request, that the Faith accept anything.

Yeah he kinda did if he desired to avoid another religious uprising  that lasted years like the ones Aenys caused when decided to marry his  Rhaena to, Aegon II. 

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Polygamy, like incest, is one of the marital practices that the lords of Dragonstone and dragonlords of the Valyrian Freehold before them, had long practiced.

Yeah, and Jaehaerys didn't request for polygamy to be recognized by the faith.  

 

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

None of which is a substitute for a statement or implication that the Targaryens ever agreed to a prohibition on polygamy

Luceys literally saying he couldn't marry because he was betrothed when the very lives of his family are the line and no one in-universe expressing disagreement or confusion at his statement kinda implies that yeah Polygamy still wasn't  seen as privilege Targyens could practice under the faith post-impementation of the doctrine of exceptionalism

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

. Lucerys could have any number of reasons for not bringing up the idea.

Not really, and I'd dare you to propose one that doesn't just rely on the boy just being stupid, and again it's not just him no one suggested the boy could have done this thing that could have given his family a much needed edge in a civil war. 

 

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

What we know is that there is not a single statement or hint that Jaehaerys, or any Targaryen king after Jaehaerys, accepted or upheld a ban on Targaryens practicing polygamy

What we no there was never any formal request by Jaerhaerys for the Faith to accept Targyen polygamy; only Targyen incest. 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

You are including  things in the doctrine that were never put there It was only argued to allow incestuous marriages to be legally recognizeble by the faith. Not all practices by Valryians even marriage.   The Doctrine of Exceptionalism's basic tenet was simple: the Faith of the Seven had been born in Andalos of old, where the laws laid down by the Seven in the holy texts decreed that incest was an abomination. The Doctrine of Exceptionalism confirmed this, but with one caveat: the Targaryens were not like other men as they rode dragons and were the only ones in the world since the Doom of Valyria. In addition, they did not have their roots in Andalos, but in Valyria, where different laws and traditions held sway. The Targaryens wed brother to sister as the Valyrians had always done, and as the gods had made them this way, it was not for men to judge. The Seven Speakers preached the doctrine throughout Westeros. 

Thats just a generalised wiki description.

The important thing that it says, agrees with what we see in the Books. The Targaryens were not like other men... and as the gods had made them this way, it was not for men to judge.

While only incest has been mentioned explicitly, you don't know what was put there and what was not none of us do. But we do know that the Targaryens are different, their practices are different, and they do not answer to gods or men, and the Faith concedes this.

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 and like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men.

This shows Catelyn's working understanding of the Doctrine of Exceptionalism. Where the Targaryens do not answer to the gods.

In addition we have example of Jorah suggesting to Dany that she take multiple husbands. Which you are arguing would make her unacceptable to the Faith and therefore political suicide for any attempt to go back to Westeros, yet the reason he's arguing for two is so that he can be one and a second is still available for politics.

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"Your Grace," he conceded, "the dragon has three heads, remember? You have wondered at that, ever since you heard it from the warlocks in the House of Dust. Well, here's your meaning: Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar, ridden by Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya. The three-headed dragon of House Targaryen—three dragons, and three riders."
"Yes," said Dany, "but my brothers are dead."
"Rhaenys and Visenya were Aegon's wives as well as his sisters. You have no brothers, but you can take husbands. And I tell you truly, Daenerys, there is no man in all the world who will ever be half so true to you as me."

Clearly, Jorah believes that Exceptionalism covers Targaryen polygamy.

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

What we (k)no(w) there was never any formal request by Jaerhaerys for the Faith to accept Targyen polygamy; only Targyen incest. 

I don't believe we 'know' any such thing. I don't think we have the full details of what was asked, conceded or agreed by who.

What we do have is that the Targaryens do not answer to gods or men. Period.

 

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16 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

You are including  things in the doctrine that were never put there It was only argued to allow incestuous marriages to be legally recognizeble by the faith. Not all practices by Valryians even marriage.   The Doctrine of Exceptionalism's basic tenet was simple: the Faith of the Seven had been born in Andalos of old, where the laws laid down by the Seven in the holy texts decreed that incest was an abomination. The Doctrine of Exceptionalism confirmed this, but with one caveat: the Targaryens were not like other men as they rode dragons and were the only ones in the world since the Doom of Valyria. In addition, they did not have their roots in Andalos, but in Valyria, where different laws and traditions held sway. The Targaryens wed brother to sister as the Valyrians had always done, and as the gods had made them this way, it was not for men to judge. The Seven Speakers preached the doctrine throughout Westeros. 

Yeah he kinda did if he desired to avoid another religious uprising  that lasted years like the ones Aenys caused when decided to marry his  Rhaena to, Aegon II. 

Yeah, and Jaehaerys didn't request for polygamy to be recognized by the faith.  

That is simply not true.

Archmaester Gyldayn, who was present for Rhaegar's birth at Summerhall in 259 AC, and lived to see Robert's Rebellion in 282-283 AC, writes that the Targaryen's were different because their roots were in Valyria of old, where different laws and traditions held sway: "the Targaryens were different. Their roots were not in Andalos, but in Valyria of old, where different laws and traditions held sway."

Polygamy, like incest, was a marital practice that was practiced under the "different laws and traditions" of Valyria of old, and though the Targaryens did not practice polygamy as regularly as they practiced incest, it was nevertheless one of the marital practices that they brought with them from Valyria to Dragonstone, with Lord Aenar bringing multiple wives to Dragonstone, and Lord Aegon wedding both of his sisters.

That the portion on the Doctrine in Fire and Blood focuses on incest should come as no surprise, as Jaehaerys I had just openly wed his sister Alysanne, wed by Septon Barth, and though he believed the realm would accept his marriage, "he was not a man to trust in chance." So his motivation for crafting and promulgating the Doctrine was to preemptively answer any attempt to attack his wedding to his sister Alysanne.

Jaehaerys wed his sister in ceremonies performed in secret and then openly by septons before crafting the Doctrine. He did not ask the Faith for permission to wed his sister, nor did he ask the Faith to recognize his marriage. He believed the realm would accept his marriage. The Doctrine and its promulgation was a propaganda campaign for the Westerosi public, not a deal or compromise negotiated between Jaehaerys and the Faith.

The closest thing to a negotiation between Jaehaerys and the Faith was after the High Septon died in 54 AC, and Jaehaerys and Alysanne flew on their dragons to persuade Lord Hightower, who wanted his brother to become High Septon, that the new High Septon should be an Exceptionalist, and that the new High Septon should make the Doctrine of Exceptionalism an official doctrine of the Faith.

Thus, Alfyn, one of the Seven Speakers who had promulgated the Doctrine, became High Septon, and Jaehaerys agreed that his successor would be a Hightower, so long as his kin align themselves with Exceptionalism during Alfyn's reign.

Nowhere in any of this is it stated or indicated that the Hightowers or Faith asked or demanded that the Targaryens accept a prohibition on polygamy, nor that the Targaryens accepted a prohibition on polygamy or offered to relinquish the practice of polygamy.

Without an explicit statement or even a hint that the Targaryens accepted upon themselves a prohibition of polygamy, there is absolutely no basis to claim that they ever did. Jaehaerys is never stated or indicated to make any such concession, nor is the Faith even indicated to have requested or demanded it.

18 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Luceys literally saying he couldn't marry because he was betrothed when the very lives of his family are the line and no one in-universe expressing disagreement or confusion at his statement kinda implies that yeah Polygamy still wasn't  seen as privilege Targyens could practice under the faith post-impementation of the doctrine of exceptionalism

Not really, and I'd dare you to propose one that doesn't just rely on the boy just being stupid, and again it's not just him no one suggested the boy could have done this thing that could have given his family a much needed edge in a civil war

Lucerys was dispatched to Storm's End by Rhaenyra with a message that is said to have betrayed an unseemly arrogance in assuming that Storm's End would support her cause. She sent Lucerys to a place she took for granted would support her, with a message taking for granted that support would be given to her. There is no hint that either Rhaenyra or Lucerys envisioned him requiring the sort of authority Borros demanded he exercise, on the spot, in the presence of his rival cousin no less.

Lucerys was thirteen or fourteen years old, was betrothed to his step-father Daemon's daughter, and had been betrothed to her since he was two or three years old. So it is not difficult to imagine reasons, which have nothing to do with being stupid, why he didn't feel he could agree to wed one of Borros's daughters.

Assuming that the Targaryens had agreed to accept a prohibition on polygamy based on Lucerys refusing to agree to wed a daughter of Borros because he was already betrothed is asinine, and doesn't change that there is no explicit statement or implication that the Targaryens ever accepted a prohibition on polygamy.

18 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

What we no there was never any formal request by Jaerhaerys for the Faith to accept Targyen polygamy; only Targyen incest. 

Wrong. Jaehaerys never requested the Faith accept Targaryen incest, and never, as far as we know, agreed that the Targaryens would relinquish polygamy. He crafted and promulgated the Doctrine of Exceptionalism to the masses in Westeros. He never made any agreement with the Faith that they should recognize incest or that he should concede polygamy.

The only agreement he ever made was with Lord Hightower, that the new High Septon should be an Exceptionalism, and should make Exceptionalism an official doctrine of the Faith, and that, if the Hightowers align themselves with Exceptionalism during the new High Septon's reign, a Hightower should be the next High Septon after that. So the Exceptionalist Alfyn became the next High Septon, and Lord Hightower's brother indeed followed him.

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22 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

snip

Thanks for the FB excerpts, I'll save them for future use.

Also, I fully agree that a High Septon condemning polygamy when concerns his own relative is hardly an example of objective stance, and Viserys refusing Daemon's request to marry Rhaenyra due to him being married already reeks of an excuse, as the two preferred to marry secretly even after this obstacle ceased to exist.

IMHO, polygamy is a grey territory, neither officially acknowledged nor banned. Some would simply go with "Targs are not like the other men", others would yell it was a sin against gods. It would depend on the particular person if they would get away with it, and this would be in line with GRRM's statement that without dragons, pushing a breach from the norm would be more difficult (but not impossible).

19 hours ago, corbon said:

What we do have is that the Targaryens do not answer to gods or men. Period.

Not to mention: There was and IS precedent. If there was actually a ban on polygamy, GRRM wouldn't speak about it as an existing precedent.

Edited by Ygrain

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1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Thanks for the FB excerpts, I'll save them for future use.

@Ygrain

Happy to!

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Also, I fully agree that a High Septon condemning polygamy when concerns his own relative is hardly an example of objective stance

The basis for that High Septon's warning seems questionable in the first place since Maegor and Rhaena were half-uncle and half-niece, rather than siblings. That this High Septon's warning to Aegon I that "such a marriage would not be looked upon with favor by the Faith" (F&B: The Sons of the Dragon) was sent together with a proposal that Maegor instead wed his own niece Ceryse, daughter of Lord Manfred Hightower, makes it seem like a move motivated by politics and power rather than by preventing a forbidden union.

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

and Viserys refusing Daemon's request to marry Rhaenyra due to him being married already reeks of an excuse, as the two preferred to marry secretly even after this obstacle ceased to exist.

It's also worth noting that:

1. Daemon expressed no desire to be wed to two wives at once. Rather, he wanted Viserys I to set aside his existing marriage to Rhea Royce and allow him to wed Rhaenyra, Viserys's daughter and heir.

2. Daemon's request that Viserys set aside his marriage to Rhea and allow him to wed Rhaenyra, and Viserys's refusal, occurred after Viserys learned that Daemon had already been having sex with Rhaenyra, his daughter and heir.

Eustace claims that Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra were caught abed together by Ser Arryk Cargyll, and it was this that made Viserys exile his brother from the court. Mushroom tells a different tale, however: that Rhaenyra had eyes only for Ser Criston Cole, but that the knight had declined her overtures. It was then that her uncle offered to school her in the arts of love, so that she might move the virtuous Ser Criston to break his vows. But when she finally thought herself ready to approach him, the knight—whom Mushroom swears was as chaste and virtuous as an aged septa—reacted in horror and disgust. Viserys soon heard of it. And whatever version of the tale was true, we do know that Daemon asked for Rhaenyra's hand, if only Viserys would set aside his marriage to Lady Rhea. Viserys refused, and instead exiled Daemon from the Seven Kingdoms, never to return upon pain of death. Daemon departed, returning to the Stepstones to continue with his war.

- TWOIAF: Viserys I

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

IMHO, polygamy is a grey territory, neither officially acknowledged nor banned. Some would simply go with "Targs are not like the other men", others would yell it was a sin against gods. It would depend on the particular person if they would get away with it, and this would be in line with GRRM's statement that without dragons, pushing a breach from the norm would be more difficult (but not impossible).

I can agree with that. Unless we receive information to the contrary, I don't think Jaehaerys or any subsequent king ever agreed to bring the Targaryens under a prohibition on polygamy. Most likely, IMO, they avoided it of their own accord, without accepting that it was prohibited to them.

It was already uncommon for them, and Maegor's usurpation of and civil war against the children of his half-brother Aenys, as well as Aegon II's usurpation of and civil war against his half-sister Rhaenyra, gave the Targaryen kings every reason to avoid wedding and fathering children on two women, whether at the same time, or one after another.

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Not to mention: There was and IS precedent. If there was actually a ban on polygamy, GRRM wouldn't speak about it as an existing precedent.

Exactly. Rhaegar would have had every reason to believe that taking a second wife and having children with her, especially the one he chose, would have political ramifications. But, based on the information we have available to us, he would have had no reason to believe that either a marriage to a second wife or children fathered on a second wife would be in any way illegitimate, whether according to the laws of the gods or according to the laws of men.

All things considered, of the nine or ten High Septons we know of prior to the formulation and promulgation of the Doctrine of Exceptionalism, from the High Septon that anointed Aegon I to the High Septon that wed Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, there are literally only two High Septons that are known to have openly objected to the Targaryen marital practices: the uncle of Ceryse, and the High Septon that laynched the crusade against Aenys and Maegor.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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There is no precedent for a Targaryen prince after the Conquest getting away with bigamy or polygamy. Prince Maegor's marriage was not accepted as such by Westeros at large, or the royal family and king. George even reinforces this fact in the expanded version of TSotD in FaB:

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When they [Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaena on their progress after their wedding] reached Harrenhal, Lord Lucas Harroway refused to admit them to his castle unless they agreed to acknowledge his daughter Alys as their uncle’s true and lawful wife. Their refusal won them no love from the pious, only a cold wet night in tents beneath the towering walls of Black Harren’s mighty castle.

House Targaryen didn't acknowledge Maegor's second marriage as a proper marriage.

Maegor himself later forced the world and the Faith to accept his polygamous habits but there have been First Men kings in the past of Westeros who did kind of thing, too - although no sane person would or ever did cite Garland the Bridegroom or some bastard who usurped the throne of the Durrandons as a precedent as to why they can have more than one wife. The First Men no longer rule in Westeros, the Andals do - or at least the values of their Faith do. And polygamy is not part of that as we well know.

After Maegor it is clear that Maegor's second marriage was seen as the bigger issue between the Iron Throne than traditional Targaryen incest:

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Jaehaerys had concluded that the violent opposition that had greeted his brother Aegon’s marriage had several causes. Their uncle Maegor’s taking of a second wife in 39 AC, in defiance of both the High Septon and his own brother, King Aenys, had shattered the delicate understanding between the Iron Throne and the Starry Sept, so the marriage of Aegon and Rhaena had been seen as a further outrage. The denunciation thus provoked had lit a fire across the land, and the Swords and Stars had taken up the torches, along with a score of pious lords who feared the gods more than their king. Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaena had been little known amongst the smallfolk, and they had begun their progress without dragons (in large part because Aegon was not yet a dragonrider), which left them vulnerable to the mobs that sprung up to attack them in the riverlands.

Even if we were to grant that on pre-Conquest Dragonstone polygamy was not exactly completely uncommon among the Targaryens (we only have Aegon and Aenar, and he was born in Valyria) then this doesn't help us discerning how the Targaryens and Westeros felt after Maegor. But King Jaehaerys can help us here:

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“I will be married,” the princess [Saera] said. “Why shouldn’t I be? You were married at my age. I shall be wedded and bedded, but to whom? Jonah and Roy both love me, I could take one of them, but they are both such boys. Stinger does not love me, but he makes me laugh and sometimes makes me scream. I could marry all three of them, why not? Why should I have just one husband? The Conqueror had two wives, and Maegor had six or eight.
She had gone too far. Jaehaerys rose to his feet and descended from the Iron Throne, his face a mask of rage. “You would compare yourself to Maegor? Is that who you aspire to be?” His Grace had heard enough. “Take her back to her bedchamber,” he told his guards, “and keep her there until I send for her again.”

Targaryen polygamy is dead. Any Targaryen wanting to take more than one spouse is not emulating the Conqueror - who only took two wives to please both his sisters - he or she is emulating Maegor the Cruel. And that is not tolerated, because Maegor the Cruel is actually not seen as a great guy by the members of House Targaryen who survived the reign of the usurper.

Incest is what they do, and incest is what the Doctrine of Exceptionalism was created for. Incest is also what the Conqueror and Visenya taught their children and grandchildren as the proper way of Targaryen life even while Aegon I was backing down on the Maegor-Rhaena match:

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Given the traditions and practices of House Targaryen, a match between his two eldest children must have seemed the obvious course to King Aenys. The affection between Rhaena and Aegon was well-known, and neither raised any objection to the marriage; indeed, there is much to suggest that both had been anticipating just such a partnership since they had first played together in the nurseries of Dragonstone and the Aegonfort.

It is the same with Jaehaerys and Alysanne, and subsequently with Baelon and Alyssa (and would have been with Daenerys and Aemon hadn't she died).

The Doctrine of Exceptionalism has nothing to do with Targaryen polygamy, nor was it ever used to justify that kind of thing. No Targaryen ever had more than one wife at the same time after Maegor, and no Targaryen prince or princess was ever brought up with the delusion that he or she could marry multiple siblings or take on additional spouses from outside the family.

Quote

In their travels throughout the realm, the Seven Speakers talked of Queen Alysanne, her piety, her generosity, and her love for the king, her brother…but for those septons, begging brothers, and pious knights and lords who challenged them by citing passages from The Seven-Pointed Star or the sermons of High Septons past, they had a ready answer, one that Jaehaerys himself had crafted in King’s Landing, ably assisted by Septon Oswyck and (especially) Septon Barth. In later years, the Citadel and the Starry Sept alike would call it the Doctrine of Exceptionalism.
Its basic tenet was simple. The Faith of the Seven had been born in the hills of Andalos of old, and had crossed the narrow sea with the Andals. The laws of the Seven, as laid down in sacred text and taught by the septas and septons in obedience to the Father of the Faithful, decreed that brother might not lie with sister, nor father with daughter, nor mother with son, that the fruits of such unions were abominations, loathsome in the eyes of the gods. All this the Exceptionalists affirmed, but with this caveat: the Targaryens were different. Their roots were not in Andalos, but in Valyria of old, where different laws and traditions held sway. A man had only to look at them to know that they were not like other men; their eyes, their hair, their very bearing, all proclaimed their differences. And they flew dragons. They alone of all the men in the world had been given the power to tame those fearsome beasts, once the Doom had come to Valyria.
“One god made us all, Andals and Valyrians and First Men,” Septon Alfyn would proclaim from his litter, “but he did not make us all alike. He made the lion and the aurochs as well, both noble beasts, but certain gifts he gave to one and not the other, and the lion cannot live as an aurochs, nor an aurochs as a lion. For you to bed your sister would be a grievous sin, ser…but you are not the blood of the dragon, no more than I am. What they do is what they have always done, and it is not for us to judge them.”
Legend tells us that in one small village, the quick-witted Septon Baldrick was confronted by a burly hedge knight, once a Poor Fellow, who said, “Aye, and if I want to fuck my sister too, do I have your leave?” The septon smiled and replied, “Go to Dragonstone and claim a dragon. If you can do that, ser, I will marry you and your sister myself.”

No mentioning of you being allowed to have more than one wife when you can ride a dragon there, or is it?

And of course Jaehaerys I forced the Faith to accept Targaryen incest. He did that by forcing the High Septons he created to make the Doctrine of Exceptionalism an official tenet of the Faith. It is now an official tenet of the Faith - something a good little follower of the Seven has to believe - that if your name is Targaryen you not only allowed to fuck your sister but you can also marry her.

It doesn't say anything about marrying as many women as you want.

Now, there is a chance that Rhaegar looked at the Doctrine of Exceptionalism and twisted the intent of its maker, Jaehaerys I, to mean that being exceptional means you can also have two wives at the same time - although he could just as well cite uncle Maegor there, who was of the opinion, long before there was a Doctrine of Exceptionalism, that

Quote

the strictures of the Faith might rule lesser men, but not the blood of the dragon

- but this doesn't mean that anyone of note would have cared for his presumptions, or seen anything more than a sham in any 'marriage' he may have had.

Nobody doubts that Rhaegar could have had some sort of wedding ceremony, the question is whether anyone but he would have gone along with that. Whether anyone but him and Lyanna and the sycophants surrounding them - which were likely precious few at that time - would have seen this as a valid and proper marriage.

And chances are pretty low that this would have been the case. Which also makes it pretty low that many people would have seen any of their children as legitimate princes. Perhaps some Rhaegar fan boys, sure. But most likely not the Realm at large. Or rather: We cannot pretend they would have, because we simply have no idea at the moment how Westeros would react if a royal prince suddenly started to emulate Maegor the Cruel.

Aegon I and Maegor had dragons, Rhaegar had neither dragons nor the trust, support, and ear of his royal father when he started his thing with Lyanna.

As for Lady Sam's ridiculous advice:

That unnatural woman obviously trolled both Aegon III and the ridiculous 'cattle show' with her suggesting there. If all the proponents of polygamy George could bring himself to insert into FaB are Saera the Bad and Sam the Abominable it is pretty clear that he didn't want to send the message polygamy was an even remotely accepted option - even for a king.

As for the Daemon-Rhaenyra thing:

The fact that Daemon asks his brother for permission to set aside his first marriage rather than, you know, just taking Rhaenyra as his second wife the way Maegor did shows us that this wasn't an option.

Viserys I forgave Daemon for the later Laena marriage, and he forgave him when he eventually married Rhaenyra after all, but apparently nobody ever thought he would forgive him if he married Rhaenyra while he was yet married to another woman.

In addition, this also suggests that not only the king wouldn't have accepted this but also the Realm at large wouldn't have suffered it. A marriage is a legal institution to create legitimate children. If Daemon wanted to Rhaenyra to give him bastards there would be no reason to wed her.

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On 2/23/2019 at 4:05 PM, Minsc said:

That doesn't mean in the slightest that any of them would favor Stannis over Joffrey to the degree that they more reluctant to usurp the former than the later.

Stannis alleges that Joffrey is a bastard, and without a real claim to the throne, his removal is not a usurpation.

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Of course Joffrey has Robert's "seal of approval" as seen how Robert officially had him declared his designated heir.

Did Robert exercise the Targaryen prerogative of selecting an heir, or did he just passively accept the default?

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Davos is only made Hand after Stannis had previously appointed three different in-laws to the important positions of Hand, Lord Admiral, and Castellan.  Furthermore, Davos, himself, is a nepotistic appointment he wasn't appointed because of some exceptional qualities that would make him an ideal Hand rather because he is the closest Stannis has to a friend.  Tywin, Jaime, Tyrion, and Kevan are less nepotistic than Davos as all are more highly qualified for their appointed positions than Davos is for being Hand.  There is a reason Davos's Handship has him basically doing the same messenger acts as he was doing before.

Stannis chooses Davos over seemingly more qualified men because Davos gives Stannis good advice even when Stannis doesn't want to hear it, unlike the two-faced lords Stannis normally has to deal with.

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The Lannisters were more than able to still negotiate prisoner exchanges as Stannis would be.  Ned's execution doesn't stop them from being able to exchange terms with Robb.

They attempt to make a deal with Robb, but he never accepts the terms, and Tyrion's treachery reveals the envoys to be false ones attempting to free Jaime. This action raises doubts about any subsequent envoy.

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You still have nothing backing that up.  In fact, Renly is more than willing to bring up Stannis's argument when Catelyn references them both rebelling against the throne.  Similarly, he repeatedly concedes Stannis has the better claim just that is irrelevant.

When Catelyn brings up that Stannis has the right as the elder brother, at that point Renly says Robert had no right to the Iron Throne but simply enough force, which is what Renly now has. Catelyn had not received Stannis' letter accusing Cersei of incestuously cuckolding Robert to produce all three of her children. That's why she's surprised when Stannis says as much in front of her (Renly certainly hadn't told her). Earlier Renly had said none of the Baratheons had any legal claim, but when Stannis brings up the incest Renly questions the reliability of the claim. He later dismisses it as irrelevant even if true (he merely "may" have the better claim) as long as Renly has the larger army, but he's not actually going to agree with it if he doesn't have to. It is rather lawyerly on his part to both seek to undermine the reliability of someone's testimony along with trying to minimize its impact if accept.

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Sure, they hadn't been kings before but Robert was younger and more popular than Hoster. 

Robert was younger & likeable, but Tully had marital alliances with two other great houses (while Robert merely had a betrothal Rhaegar had subverted) and had a male heir. Hoster was not old enough that people expected him to die and Edmure to require a long regency.

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Irrelevant, if straight blood succession is what matters than Viserys came before Robert twice be it as either Aerys or Rhaelle's heir.

The rebel coalition regarded Aerys' crimes as forfeiting his right to the throne. The only practical candidate they can replace him with must be somebody complicit in overthrowing Aerys, or else the rebels themselves will be traitors to the new king and wind up like Roger Mortimer (who thought the queen would be able to protect him). When they overthrew Aerys, they also rejected his right to choose an heir.

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Precedent shows individuals within Westeros believes that marriage can be set aside and only in Naerys is it suggested one take a sacred oath.  Also there isn't precedent saying non-knight Northeners couldn't participate in a tourney with southron knights.

Quentyn Ball sought a Kingsguard position, and had his wife join the Silent Sisters to prevent his marriage from disqualifying him. During the Tourney at Ashford, Dunk was initially blocked from participating because his claim to knighthood was disbelieved.

On 2/25/2019 at 10:11 AM, Ygrain said:

Yes, it is not a politically stable situation. However, the point is that in this respect, a polygamous marriage is not really different from a serial second marriage. And if he thinks that he needs more children to achieve a goal higher than the usual succession shenanigans, then succession trouble is what he would feel had to be risked.

The difference between a polygamous marriage and a serial marriage after the death of a spouse is that the original spouse is still around to contest the claims of the new spouse. Alicent Hightower had a leg up in seizing power after the death of her husband, because the court in King's Landing was heavy with her Green supporters, while the Blacks were concentrated near Dragonstone & Driftmark.

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That depends on the the philosophy, or mindset. In most legends, prophecies don't just happen, their fullfillment is born from action. If Harry Potter didn't think he had to fight Voldemort, the situation in which he was able to defeat him would never happen.

 

In ancient Greek myths, responses to prophecies are typically futile. Not that the westerosi would know about the Greeks!

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Or, you know, she may have just trusted Rhaegar that he would see to it thathis firstborn son was not robbed of his claim.

Ned & Cat were very close and loved each other, but Cat was still hurt by Jon's presence and wanted him gone. She regards bastards as threats to their trueborn half-siblings, citing the example of Daemon Blackfyre. A half-sibling legitimized by marriage would be all the more threatening.

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As for Rhaegar abandoning her for a year, I don't think it was the original plan. Also, it's not like she was left to strive for livelihood and take care of her children totally on her own, she had resources and servants to lead a comfortable life, Rhaegar or no Rhaegar. In the medieval setting, it was perfectly common for noblement to be gone for most of the time, they were not expected to be full-time fathers.

What makes you think the "original plan" was any different from what he actually did? And she isn't merely faced with the fiscal issue of providing for the kids/household but the political backlash sparked by his actions, all while the realm is governed by a Mad King who rejects Rhaegar's children for "smell[ing] Dornish".

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Not what I meant. I don't possess the TWOIAF, so I can't give you a quote, but polygamy was practiced in some of the original kingdoms (Riverlands, I think). It seems that the taboo against it wasn't as universal as the one against incest and monogamy became the norm only gradually.

It was practiced before the Faith of the Seven. The Ironborn (who worship the Drowned God instead) reject the customs of the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, which is why they have salt wives & thralls.

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I don't know about Aegon bringing any slaves into Westeros, do you? He did bring two wives along, though. Which was queer by not only Westerosi standards but by Targaryen, as well. Which may be why no-one bothered to push it into the doctrine in the first place

Switching from Westeros to our world, the majority of human cultures have actually had polygyny. It's just that the ones which rejected it and established a norm of monogamy were able to spread. People don't typically neglect to prohibit polygamy because nobody attempts it (even among inland Alaskan natives who find it difficult to provide for multiple wives, some still do it). If there's no polygamy, it's generally because of the existence of a norm prohibiting it.

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And we have other instances where people did think it possible, so isn't this example more about a personal stance, rather than legal or religious possibility

 

His argument was not "I don't want to", but instead that he was bound by a pre-existing betrothal (even though those are sometimes broken).

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didn't even Aegon the Conqueror receive a proposal from someone? And I'm almost certain that one king - Aegon IV? - was offered either a pick from some lord's daughters, or all of them.

The texts should all be available at http://asearchoficeandfire.com/ so I recommend you search there to provide cites.

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That's why there is this thing called diplomacy,  where you don't tell the mad king how angry you are with him and his family but instead politely require about the prince Rhaegar's whereabouts and how to solve the unfortunate situation of a missing daughter. Because if you recall, Aerys was pissed with Rhaegar, as well, and if you allied with the right people at the court, you could have a strong case against Rhaegar.

Brandon didn't take that approach, but Rickard actually did follow the King's order to appear and answer for his son. His approach didn't work either, because the king had gone mad.

On 2/26/2019 at 9:27 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

@Varysblackfyre321

The Doctrine of Targaryen Exceptionalism exempted the Targaryens from being judged by gods or men for the marital practices that they, as dragonlords, brought with them from Valyria.

The Doctrine of Exceptionalism was specific to incest and based on the Targaryens having always practiced it and (related to that) being the only dragonriders, whose very nature was marked by their appearance. Outbreeding would diminish their Valyrian blood in a way that monogamy would not. The Faith of the Seven declared that their laws continued to hold sway, with the one exception that the Targaryens were exempt from the prohibition on incest. The Targaryens would not claim themselves to be above any oaths sworn under the Seven (including marriage vows), as they came to affirm the Faith themselves (with Barth's modification).

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There is no statement, nor hint, that the Faith asked the Targaryens to relinquish the already unusual practice of polygamy, let alone that the Targaryens agreed or volunteered to relinquish the practice.

They didn't have to. All members of the Faith rejected it, and Maegor was only able to get any septons to bless such marriages because he kept executing ones who refused (and his many enemies among the Faith never accepted said marriages). As long as subsequent Targaryen kings lived by the Faith, they would not have the option of such marriages, which septons would continue to refuse.

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Lucerys's failure to broach the idea of wedding two wives doesn't prove that the Targaryens had accepted upon themselves a prohibition on polygamy.

It doesn't matter how many attempts there were after Jaehaerys. That tells us nothing about whether the Targaryens accepted a prohibition on polygamy.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence, as any Bayesian will tell you.

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The Targaryens, especially males, had good reasons to avoid polygamy, as well as to avoid taking wives after the deaths of their first wives, assuming their first wife produced sons.

What were those "good reasons"? I noted that the majority of human cultures accepted the practice, don't you find it odd that in all the generations after Maegor (who made enemies of everyone including his family and left no heirs) we never see another polygamous marriage? Polygamy provides a benefit to lower-status women by allowing them to become an additional wife of a higher-status male (like the Targaryens), with the ratio of polygamous marriages within a society often predictable by the amount of inequality. Sufficiently high degrees of inequality (which aren't as typical in the average human society as in relatively wealthy ones) give rise to a majority of men being unable to afford wives in a polygamous system. Western monogamy is typically traced back to ancient Rome, which had a republic and swore off kings forever (the emperors would deny being such though they were that in all but name only), borrowed into the Roman Catholic Church. Mizrahi Jews, living outside Roman law, continued to accept it (though sometimes restricted to four wives, like Muslims). The incentive of the men at the top of society is to grant themselves multiple wives, it's due to constraints (from norms such as those promulgated by a church) that they refrain from doing so.

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There is already no guarantee that children from the same mother will get along, and support each other. Having children from multiple mothers only increases the chances that there is conflict down the road.

Ants are eusocial, with most members of a colony foregoing their own reproduction so the Queen can fill that purpose. A major reason why they can do that is because their haplodiploid genetics makes them more related than ordinary siblings. Half siblings are less related than ordinary siblings, so we would expect less cooperation and more conflict from them. The incentives of people to cooperate based on relatedness is why marriage alliances exist in the first place.

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But there is no statement or hint that the Targaryens were asked to, or agreed to, accept a prohibition on polygamy, something even the lowly pre-king Targaryen lords of Dragonstone practiced freely. 

The Targaryens accepted the Faith of the Seven, which continued to prohibit it. They did not accept it prior to leaving Dragonstone.

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On 2/26/2019 at 4:30 PM, corbon said:

Thats just a generalised wiki description.

The important thing that it says, agrees with what we see in the Books. The Targaryens were not like other men... and as the gods had made them this way, it was not for men to judge.

While only incest has been mentioned explicitly, you don't know what was put there and what was not none of us do. But we do know that the Targaryens are different, their practices are different, and they do not answer to gods or men, and the Faith concedes this.

 

The Targaryens do answer to laws, even having a Master of Laws to promulgate them. When Aegon conquered (most of) Westeros he sought the acclaim of the kingdoms he wanted to rule over, and eventually accepted the Faith of the Seven, so his dynasty would answer to the gods. Maegor thought he could do whatever he wanted, but even with dragons that was not accepted. The reasoning you quote is that the gods themselves had made an exception for Targaryen incest, but none of that applies to polygamy (or any other non-incest doctrine of the Faith). The Faith promulgated a Doctrine of Exceptionalism so that Jaehaerys' marriage (and those of his descendants) would be compatible with the religion they professed to share with (most of) their subjects. If the Targaryens were going to exempt themselves totally, they just wouldn't accept the Faith.

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In addition we have example of Jorah suggesting to Dany that she take multiple husbands. Which you are arguing would make her unacceptable to the Faith and therefore political suicide for any attempt to go back to Westeros, yet the reason he's arguing for two is so that he can be one and a second is still available for politics.

Clearly, Jorah believes that Exceptionalism covers Targaryen polygamy.

Marrying Jorah would also be political suicide, as he was sentenced to death in Westeros for selling slaves, which the Faith resolutely opposed even while they were still on Essos getting away from Valyrian expansionism. Jorah encourages Dany to buy slaves, which is acceptable in Essos but not Westeros. Jorah is one of the last people to be relied on for advice on adhering to Westerosi norms (even aside from being a Northerner rather than a follower of the Seven).

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5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The difference between a polygamous marriage and a serial marriage after the death of a spouse is that the original spouse is still around to contest the claims of the new spouse. Alicent Hightower had a leg up in seizing power after the death of her husband, because the court in King's Landing was heavy with her Green supporters, while the Blacks were concentrated near Dragonstone & Driftmark.

Well... in this respect, polygamy seems actually better than serial marriage :-) With Elia alive, she could see to it that her children's claims weren't bypassed.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

In ancient Greek myths, responses to prophecies are typically futile. Not that the westerosi would know about the Greeks!

Ehm. Er. No.

Greek myths is where people regularly consult the Delphi oracle how to solve their issues, and they do well to follow the advice. We see prophecies coming true again and again. And we also see people who cannot escape the prophesized fate even if they try, and their attempt to thwart it actually brings it on them.

- Not that this really matters. What matters is Rhaegar's approach, and we see that he considers it his duty to do his best as this prophesized saviour figure ("it seems I must be a warrior"). If he was willing to do one such profound change, there is no reason why he shouldn't be willing to do other things that he might deem necessary.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Ned & Cat were very close and loved each other, but Cat was still hurt by Jon's presence and wanted him gone. She regards bastards as threats to their trueborn half-siblings, citing the example of Daemon Blackfyre. A half-sibling legitimized by marriage would be all the more threatening.

Sure. But this still tells us nothing about Elia's perception.

By the few accounts we have, she was a gentle, tender woman. We don't know if she was submissive, or pragmatic, or spiteful in privacy... nothing. Predicting her attitude on the basis of Cat's is about as valid as predicting Cat's on the basis of Cersei's.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

What makes you think the "original plan" was any different from what he actually did?

Well, do you see any hints that Rhaegar had expected the Rebellion to break out? That definitely made the matters a wee bit more complicated.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

And she isn't merely faced with the fiscal issue of providing for the kids/household but the political backlash sparked by his actions, all while the realm is governed by a Mad King who rejects Rhaegar's children for "smell[ing] Dornish".

Please. A single quote that Elia actually had to deal with anything until Aerys summoned her to KL, which Rhaegar really couldn't have predicted.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

His argument was not "I don't want to", but instead that he was bound by a pre-existing betrothal (even though those are sometimes broken).

And how does this refute the point about personal preference? It doesn't mean what he wants, but the way his personality, morals, whatever, is inclined. A boy of fourteen feels bound by his betrothal in a situation where he is totally out of his depth and whichhe probably never considered before.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The texts should all be available at http://asearchoficeandfire.com/ so I recommend you search there to provide cites.

Thanks for the link, will do.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Brandon didn't take that approach, but Rickard actually did follow the King's order to appear and answer for his son. His approach didn't work either, because the king had gone mad.

His approach didn't work because Brandon's approach had incited the king.

 

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9 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Stannis alleges that Joffrey is a bastard, and without a real claim to the throne, his removal is not a usurpation.

While, Renly doesn't allege that Joffrey is a bastard.  Meaning that his bannermen still see him as usurping Joffrey and there is no reason to believe they would be more concerned about usurping Stannis than Joffrey.

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Did Robert exercise the Targaryen prerogative of selecting an heir, or did he just passively accept the default?

Doesn't matter, the fact is that Robert named Joffrey his heir.

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Stannis chooses Davos over seemingly more qualified men because Davos gives

Stannis good advice even when Stannis doesn't want to hear it, unlike the two-faced lords Stannis normally has to deal with.

Stannis chooses Davos, because Davos is the closest he has to a friend.  Davos is a nepotistic appointment even if we like him.  Davos is no more appointed by merit than Tywin was by Joffrey or Loras was by Renly.  Despite those two actually being more qualified for their positions.

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They attempt to make a deal with Robb, but he never accepts the terms, and Tyrion's treachery reveals the envoys to be false ones attempting to free Jaime. This action raises doubts about any subsequent envoy.

Ignoring that Tyrion's attempt to free Jaime occurred after Renly's death, but that isn't true rather Robb and the Lannister arrange a prisoner exchange for Martyn Lannister for Robbet Glover.  So clearly even all that the Starks are willing to engage in prisoner exchanges with the Lannister.

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When Catelyn brings up that Stannis has the right as the elder brother, at that point Renly says Robert had no right to the Iron Throne but simply enough force, which is what Renly now has. Catelyn had not received Stannis' letter accusing Cersei of incestuously cuckolding Robert to produce all three of her children. That's why she's surprised when Stannis says as much in front of her (Renly certainly hadn't told her). Earlier Renly had said none of the Baratheons had any legal claim, but when Stannis brings up the incest Renly questions the reliability of the claim. He later dismisses it as irrelevant even if true (he merely "may" have the better claim) as long as Renly has the larger army, but he's not actually going to agree with it if he doesn't have to. It is rather lawyerly on his part to both seek to undermine the reliability of someone's testimony along with trying to minimize its impact if accept.

Renly is actually the first person to bring up Stannis's letter when Catelyn actually makes the argument that Stannis fans try to argue Renly was making about him and Stannis being equal rebels.  Simply, you haven't provided any evidence for why Renly would lie about it.

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Robert was younger & likeable, but Tully had marital alliances with two other great houses (while Robert merely had a betrothal Rhaegar had subverted) and had a male heir. Hoster was not old enough that people expected him to die and Edmure to require a long regency.

While Hoster might have marital alliances with Stark and Arryn, both were still closer to Robert.  Ned seeing him as another brother, while Jon saw him as a surrogate son.

 

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The rebel coalition regarded Aerys' crimes as forfeiting his right to the throne. The only practical candidate they can replace him with must be somebody complicit in overthrowing Aerys, or else the rebels themselves will be traitors to the new king and wind up like Roger Mortimer (who thought the queen would be able to protect him). When they overthrew Aerys, they also rejected his right to choose an heir.

Viserys and all had a better claim through Rhaelle even if one discounts Aerys.  Simply, the strongest blood claim was irrelevant to who had the power to hold the throne.

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Quentyn Ball sought a Kingsguard position, and had his wife join the Silent Sisters to prevent his marriage from disqualifying him. During the Tourney at Ashford, Dunk was initially blocked from participating because his claim to knighthood was disbelieved

So yet another example of a marriage being set aside, so thank you for supporting my argument.  Dunk was some random no name Hedge Knight that is why there were more stringent requirements for him.  The Hand of the King's Captain of his Guard or the Crown Prince's Sworn Sword would require much less stringent validation.  

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17 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The rebel coalition regarded Aerys' crimes as forfeiting his right to the throne. The only practical candidate they can replace him with must be somebody complicit in overthrowing Aerys, or else the rebels themselves will be traitors to the new king and wind up like Roger Mortimer (who thought the queen would be able to protect him). When they overthrew Aerys, they also rejected his right to choose an heir.

That is nowhere stated. Robert Baratheon apparently only made it clear that he was after the crown, i.e. he proclaimed himself king or his intention to take the throne, around the time of the Trident. Prior to that this rebellion was apparently just a war against an unjust, tyrannical king, but not a war to overthrow a dynasty.

But technically Aerys II was never overthrown. He was murdered by his bodyguard before his enemies could get to him, before he could actually be properly deposed or overthrown. And Aerys had named an heir about two weeks before his own murder, so that decision was not really affected by anything that came later.

17 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

It was practiced before the Faith of the Seven. The Ironborn (who worship the Drowned God instead) reject the customs of the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, which is why they have salt wives & thralls.

There were two First Men kings we know of who had multiple wives at the same time - kings, not princes or lords or common men - Garland the Bridegroom of the Reach and the bastard king Ronard Storm who usurped the throne of the Stormlands.

But it is made perfectly clear by FaB that the Andals do not practice or condone polygamy, nor did they ever adopt that custom like they did the First Night.

17 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The Doctrine of Exceptionalism was specific to incest and based on the Targaryens having always practiced it and (related to that) being the only dragonriders, whose very nature was marked by their appearance. Outbreeding would diminish their Valyrian blood in a way that monogamy would not. The Faith of the Seven declared that their laws continued to hold sway, with the one exception that the Targaryens were exempt from the prohibition on incest. The Targaryens would not claim themselves to be above any oaths sworn under the Seven (including marriage vows), as they came to affirm the Faith themselves (with Barth's modification).

It is quite clear that the Targaryens own mindset of 'specialness' only referred to the incest thing. That's what they did, that was part of their family tradition going back to Valyria. It was what being close to/in Westeros and adopting pretty much all other customs of the Westerosi could not override. Despite the fact that the Conqueror paid lip service to the Faith and pretended they would not continue the incest thing when the opportunity presented itself again, his grandchildren Rhaena and Aegon and Jaehaerys and Alysanne grew up expecting to marry each other. That's what Targaryens did.

But no Targaryen ever grew up with the expectation to take multiple spouses nor did any Targaryen ever teach his children that they could marry multiple siblings/spouses from outside the family.

Jaehaerys I - who co-authored the Doctrine of Exceptionalism - was firmly against polygamy, meaning that he hardly could have devised that doctrine with the thought in mind to use it as a justification for polygamy.

This doesn't mean that none of his descendant could be mad enough to cite the doctrine as a pretext to take more than one spouse - but he or she certainly could not cite a Targaryen who took more than one spouse on the basis of the Doctrine of Exceptionalism - because none such exist. Anyone doing that would have to tell the world that he was basically trying to emulate Maegor the Cruel.

17 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

They didn't have to. All members of the Faith rejected it, and Maegor was only able to get any septons to bless such marriages because he kept executing ones who refused (and his many enemies among the Faith never accepted said marriages). As long as subsequent Targaryen kings lived by the Faith, they would not have the option of such marriages, which septons would continue to refuse.

The final three marriages were officiated by the High Septon himself - the one Septon Moon called the High Lickspittle. But it is quite clear that this only took place under duress and was not exactly reflecting the views of the Faith on the matter. It is like saying a bank employee handing money to bank robber means the bank wanted the guy to have the money - never mind the fact that the robber was threatening the employee with a gun.

And we see how things nearly go back to pre-Maegor days when Alyssa Velaryon gets afraid the Faith and the Westerosi people would continue to oppose the Targaryens if Jaehaerys I and Alysanne wed each other. It takes even more time to force them to accept Targaryen incest.

The idea that everyone would be just fine with polygamy just because Jaehaerys I finally forced the incest thing down their throat doesn't hold any water. Polygamy was abandoned after Maegor, and it never came back as a viable option. Not for kings and certainly not for mere princes.

This doesn't mean Rhaegar didn't marry Lyanna - but it sure as hell means that we have no reason to believe all of Westeros but Rhaegar's friends and sycophants accepted his second marriage as a valid marriage.

17 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The Targaryens do answer to laws, even having a Master of Laws to promulgate them.

The Targaryens as such are bound by laws as everybody else, but the kings are not. They are above the law. In relation to incestuous marriage this also seems to transfer in part to their children and other kin, considering that they also have those magical looks and dragonriding talents that set them apart from lesser men, but this doesn't mean they are not subject to the will of the king and whatever laws bind the royal family.

17 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Marrying Jorah would also be political suicide, as he was sentenced to death in Westeros for selling slaves, which the Faith resolutely opposed even while they were still on Essos getting away from Valyrian expansionism. Jorah encourages Dany to buy slaves, which is acceptable in Essos but not Westeros. Jorah is one of the last people to be relied on for advice on adhering to Westerosi norms (even aside from being a Northerner rather than a follower of the Seven).

Jorah makes no mention of the Doctrine of Exceptionalism, and as a Northman he may not even be all that aware of that. His suggestion is motivated by his desire to marry Daenerys, not by a proper interpretation of the laws and customs of Westeros - which do indeed matter not in Essos.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Well... in this respect, polygamy seems actually better than serial marriage :-) With Elia alive, she could see to it that her children's claims weren't bypassed.

Being alive would be preferable to being dead for Elia, but as a general matter polygamy creates more conflict within a family than monogamy. In the Ottoman empire fratricide became institutionalized to eliminate rival claimants.

The attempts to avert prophecies were what I was referring to regarding futility. The prophecy always comes true, even if you act specifically to prevent it.

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Well, do you see any hints that Rhaegar had expected the Rebellion to break out? That definitely made the matters a wee bit more complicated.

Brandon had to be physically restrained after Rhaegar merely made a symbolic gesture toward Lyanna. A previous Lord Baratheon went to war with the Iron Throne after a betrothal was broken (ending with another Targaryen spouse being substituted). He couldn't predict the exact actions Brandon & Aerys would take, but that the Starks & Baratheons would demand justice for his actions was entirely predictable.

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And how does this refute the point about personal preference? It doesn't mean what he wants, but the way his personality, morals, whatever, is inclined. A boy of fourteen feels bound by his betrothal in a situation where he is totally out of his depth and whichhe probably never considered before.

He wasn't at the castle out of "personal preference" but to obtain a political alliance, which marriages are commonly used for. His refusal and flight from the castle resulted in his death. I'm pretty sure that's not the outcome he preferred.

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Sure. But this still tells us nothing about Elia's perception.

By the few accounts we have, she was a gentle, tender woman. We don't know if she was submissive, or pragmatic, or spiteful in privacy... nothing. Predicting her attitude on the basis of Cat's is about as valid as predicting Cat's on the basis of Cersei's.

We know that Cat is not spiteful by nature, and even forgives her husband for fathering a bastard after marrying her and even trying to care for said bastard. Jon's presence at Winterfell is really the one contention in their marriage. Cat & Cersei have wildly different personalities, but one thing they have in common is an objection to their husbands' bastards being around. The Sea Snake didn't acknowledge the Hull bastards (allegedly his son's, though universally believed to be his own) until after his wife died. Even the one example of a polygamous Targaryen marriage in which there were children set the surviving Queen against her sister's offspring. This is basically a universal thing which emerges for understandable reasons and we should expect Elia to be similar by default.

10 hours ago, Minsc said:

While, Renly doesn't allege that Joffrey is a bastard.  Meaning that his bannermen still see him as usurping Joffrey and there is no reason to believe they would be more concerned about usurping Stannis than Joffrey.

That Renly takes the position that Joffrey isn't a bastard doesn't mean that all the lords of the Stormlands share that view. My argument has been that Renly is motivated not to accept Stannis' argument because it helps Stannis more than Renly in winning support. If they accept Stannis' argument, then they don't have to usurp anyone. If they don't, there is the option to support Joffrey but the stormlords don't do that for reasons I've already brought up.

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Stannis chooses Davos, because Davos is the closest he has to a friend.  Davos is a nepotistic appointment even if we like him.  Davos is no more appointed by merit than Tywin was by Joffrey or Loras was by Renly.  Despite those two actually being more qualified for their positions.

Davos was not some chum like Ned was to Robert. He was from a completely different social class who received a knighthood (and a punishment) after he provided a vital service during the siege of Storm's End. Davos is loyal to Stannis because Stannis has raised him up, and Stannis continues to promote Davos because he regards Davos as more loyal & honest than all the noblemen.

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Ignoring that Tyrion's attempt to free Jaime occurred after Renly's death, but that isn't true rather Robb and the Lannister arrange a prisoner exchange for Martyn Lannister for Robbet Glover.  So clearly even all that the Starks are willing to engage in prisoner exchanges with the Lannister.

Martyn Lannister was an unusual case because Karstark had just murdered his fellow hostage & brother Willem. The fear that Martyn might be killed as well reduces his value as a hostage, and the death of a Lannister hostage under Robb's watch incentivized him to demonstrate a good-faith willingness to trade rather than kill his hostages.

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Renly is actually the first person to bring up Stannis's letter when Catelyn actually makes the argument that Stannis fans try to argue Renly was making about him and Stannis being equal rebels.  Simply, you haven't provided any evidence for why Renly would lie about it.

Renly scoffs after Catelyn asks Stannis why he isn't a traitor, because she doesn't know the allegations that Joffrey is a bastard (Renly certainly wasn't going to tell her before demanding that Robb bend the knee). And again, I have always said that Renly argues for his superiority over Stannis rather than his equality.

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While Hoster might have marital alliances with Stark and Arryn, both were still closer to Robert.  Ned seeing him as another brother, while Jon saw him as a surrogate son.

Marital ties are stronger than those of fostering, which is why great houses are more fixated on attaining them. I explained the sociobiological reasoning for this in the discussion about ants earlier.

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Viserys and all had a better claim through Rhaelle even if one discounts Aerys.  Simply, the strongest blood claim was irrelevant to who had the power to hold the throne.

How are you going to overthrow Aerys and keep Viserys as his heir? Robert had the strongest blood claim among the rebels against Aerys, and anyone opposed to them would execute the rebels given the chance.

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So yet another example of a marriage being set aside, so thank you for supporting my argument.  Dunk was some random no name Hedge Knight that is why there were more stringent requirements for him.  The Hand of the King's Captain of his Guard or the Crown Prince's Sworn Sword would require much less stringent validation.

The marriage was set aside so that both could take vows of celibacy under the Seven (as Naerys Targaryen sought to do after marrying Aegon but was denied permission). There's also no record of his marriage producing any children, as far as I'm aware.

 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is nowhere stated. Robert Baratheon apparently only made it clear that he was after the crown, i.e. he proclaimed himself king or his intention to take the throne, around the time of the Trident. Prior to that this rebellion was apparently just a war against an unjust, tyrannical king, but not a war to overthrow a dynasty.

But technically Aerys II was never overthrown. He was murdered by his bodyguard before his enemies could get to him, before he could actually be properly deposed or overthrown. And Aerys had named an heir about two weeks before his own murder, so that decision was not really affected by anything that came later.

 

If a bunch of people declare a new head of state, and then manage to put him in power, I'd consider the old one overthrown whether he managed to flee or was murdered while rebels were seizing the capital. Allende was overthrown even if he shot himself rather than going through a more formal process of removal.

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The Targaryens as such are bound by laws as everybody else, but the kings are not. They are above the law. In relation to incestuous marriage this also seems to transfer in part to their children and other kin, considering that they also have those magical looks and dragonriding talents that set them apart from lesser men, but this doesn't mean they are not subject to the will of the king and whatever laws bind the royal family.

Even Targaryen kings are subject to laws. For example, it was established precedent that one can designate an heir. However, the Iron Precedent says that a woman cannot inherit (nor even shall the throne pass through a woman to her children). Viserys I designated his daughter as heir, but the Greens refused to respect his command and even Rhaenyra's son's regime doesn't record her as ever being Queen (even though Maegor is officially listed as a king rather than the usurper he really was). This helped establish the precedent further. Maester Aemon turned down the opportunity to be king because he believed his vows as a maester prohibited it (and no Targaryen loyalists regarded him as the heir after Viserys died). Laws can change, as Robert overthrew Aerys and claimed the throne with only descent via his grandmother (and some Martells try to use Dornish laws to declare his presumed daughter Myrcella as Queen over Tommen).

Edited by FictionIsntReal
Removed quoted text about Jorah, which I agree with too much to respond to

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Jorah makes no mention of the Doctrine of Exceptionalism, and as a Northman he may not even be all that aware of that. His suggestion is motivated by his desire to marry Daenerys, not by a proper interpretation of the laws and customs of Westeros - which do indeed matter not in Essos.

I have not been following this thread, but has anyone mentioned the implication of the fact that (unlike Dany), Rhaegar was married to Elia in a Faith ceremony?  I think this is important because we know that one of the Seven Vows of a Faith Wedding is monogamy. 

There are a few ways to prove this.  We know that Rhaegar married in the Faith because House Targaryen adopted the Faith under Aegon I and that was reinforced when Jaehaerys swore to protect the Faith.

We know a Faith wedding involves Seven vows from Joffrey’s  ceremony.

And one of the ways we know that one of the seven vows is monogamy is because Ned was married in a sept and Jon thinks that Ned “broke his vows” with Jon's mother. 

The Targs who married in the Faith including Rhaegar swore a vow to take only one wife at a time.  Why in the world would we think that Lyanna (“keep to one bed”) Stark would purport to “marry” a man in a ceremony in which that man was breaking a vow to keep to one (Elia’s) bed?

 

 

Edited by The Twinslayer

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10 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

If a bunch of people declare a new head of state, and then manage to put him in power, I'd consider the old one overthrown whether he managed to flee or was murdered while rebels were seizing the capital. Allende was overthrown even if he shot himself rather than going through a more formal process of removal.

Sure, but Robert himself knows he is a usurper, and he knows Viserys III has a better claim to the Iron Throne than he has.

10 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Even Targaryen kings are subject to laws. For example, it was established precedent that one can designate an heir. However, the Iron Precedent says that a woman cannot inherit (nor even shall the throne pass through a woman to her children). Viserys I designated his daughter as heir, but the Greens refused to respect his command and even Rhaenyra's son's regime doesn't record her as ever being Queen (even though Maegor is officially listed as a king rather than the usurper he really was). This helped establish the precedent further. Maester Aemon turned down the opportunity to be king because he believed his vows as a maester prohibited it (and no Targaryen loyalists regarded him as the heir after Viserys died). Laws can change, as Robert overthrew Aerys and claimed the throne with only descent via his grandmother (and some Martells try to use Dornish laws to declare his presumed daughter Myrcella as Queen over Tommen).

Those are really not laws, just precedent. There is no laws of succession, there are just individual succession which are then used as precedents. And the so-called 'iron precedent' was already ignored by Viserys I, and later by Aerys I, too, who made his niece Aelora his heir after the death of her twin-brother Aelor, only turning to Maekar after Aelora's death. Not to mention Robert's rise to the throne - if this precedent had really been 'iron' the Iron Throne would have gone to Viserys III after Aerys II's death - or it would have remained empty, considering that Robert could not possibly sit the throne as grandson of Princess Rhaelle.

Rhaenyra was actually not publicly declared a 'non-queen' since that tidbit from TPatQ did not make it into FaB. Why her short reign is now not counted as such, unlike Maegor's, is rather odd considering everybody knew she was the chosen heir and she did depose her half-brother for a while who clearly did not rule the Seven Kingdoms while he was hiding under a rock.

The best explanation for this likely is that George had no clue about the Dance of the Dragons when he wrote his kings list for the appendix of AGoT, not knowing then that he would actually personally seat Rhaenyra on the Iron Throne when he would write FaB.

The examples of Maegor and Aegon the Uncrowned show that the difference between a king and a pretender is actually the power you have. Aegon never sat the Iron Throne and was never crowned, so he never was a king despite the fact that he was the rightful heir. Rhaenyra had all three of those things. In that sense, the accurate way to depict the rulers of the Dance of the Dragons would be:

Aegon II (129-130 AC)

Rhaenyra I (130 AC)

Trystane Truefyre (130 AC)

Aegon II (restored) (131 AC)

One can ask whether the Truefyre chap has to be counted, but he, too, sat the Iron Throne. And that is significant. Stannis, Renly, the Blackfyres, etc. are all just pretenders because they never actually ruled the way a proper king should.

One can still count Rhaenyra as a loser of the war because she was killed by her half-brother but that as such doesn't really unmake her time on the Iron Throne.

10 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

I have not been following this thread, but has anyone mentioned the implication of the fact that (unlike Dany), Rhaegar was married to Elia in a Faith ceremony?  I think this is important because we know that one of the Seven Vows of a Faith Wedding is monogamy. 

That has been pointed out many times, in fact, and said ceremony was even officiated by the High Septon himself, in the Great Sept of Baelor. It should be a rock-tight marriage.

Aegon the Conqueror most likely did not wed his two sisters in a Faith-officiated marriage, and Prince Maegor was 'wed' to Alys Harroway by his own mother rather than a Faith ceremony - which actually means that Septon Oswyck of Dragonstone - who we later meet in FaB - must have refused both Visenya and Maegor on that, which is very significant considering this guy has apparently no issue with incestuous marriages as he later proves when he marries Jaehaerys to Alysanne. 

Apparently even the pet septons of the Targaryens see a significant difference between incest and polygamy - even in the days of King Aenys, shortly after the bigamist Conqueror had died.

If Rhaegar and Lyanna had married the Ironborn or the First Men or the Valyrian way (assuming anyone still knows how that goes, 300 years after the Conquest) then people upholding the Faith-view could still say that this was invalid because Rhaegar had broken his marriage vows to Elia.

10 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

The Targs who married in the Faith including Rhaegar swore a vow to take only one wife at a time.  Why in the world would we think that Lyanna (“keep to one bed”) Stark would purport to “marry” a man in a ceremony in which that man was breaking a vow to keep to one (Elia’s) bed?

That is a rather interesting question. I expect that 'being drunk with love' might be an explanation there, as might be the fact that Rhaegar planned to effectively rid himself of Elia, who no longer was a wife to him in the true sense of the word, considering that she could no longer give him children - that likely involved them no longer sleeping together considering that Rhaegar was just 'fond' of Elia (which I take as euphemism that there was no romantic or sexual attraction whatsoever and, at best, some sort of friendship).

Lyanna comes across as rather precocious with her insight in love and all, but the irony there is likely that she had never been in love when she says all that. One can compare her there to Arya who would likely right now ridicule people she observes who become fools of love, too. But when you yourself are hit by hormones and stuff you act very strangely, too.

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14 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That Renly takes the position that Joffrey isn't a bastard doesn't mean that all the lords of the Stormlands share that view. My argument has been that Renly is motivated not to accept Stannis' argument because it helps Stannis more than Renly in winning support. If they accept Stannis' argument, then they don't have to usurp anyone. If they don't, there is the option to support Joffrey but the stormlords don't do that for reasons I've already brought up.

We hear of none of Renly's lords believing Joffrey is a bastard before joining Stannis.  Once more that is a ridiculous reason there isn't any reason that Renly would be willing to give the more powerful Joffrey more legitimacy because he feared giving the weaker Stannis legitimacy.  None of those lords are more concerned about usurping Stannis than they are about usurping Joffrey.  The Stormlords don't support Joffrey, because they like Renly more similar to how they like Renly more than Stannis.

14 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Davos was not some chum like Ned was to Robert. He was from a completely different social class who received a knighthood (and a punishment) after he provided a vital service during the siege of Storm's End. Davos is loyal to Stannis because Stannis has raised him up, and Stannis continues to promote Davos because he regards Davos as more loyal & honest than all the noblemen.

Sure, he might not be as close to Stannis as Ned was to Robert however that is more on Stannis more stand off behavior.  Stannis picked Davos because he is close to Davos personally not because of any qualities that Davos has that would make him an effective Hand. Once more Davos's role as Hand is basically him continuing to be Stannis's messenger.  Davos has no skills in diplomacy, administration, command, finance or any integral role that is the Hand's responsibility.  He is a nepotistic appointment to a friend.

14 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Martyn Lannister was an unusual case because Karstark had just murdered his fellow hostage & brother Willem. The fear that Martyn might be killed as well reduces his value as a hostage, and the death of a Lannister hostage under Robb's watch incentivized him to demonstrate a good-faith willingness to trade rather than kill his hostages

Still shows that the Lannister and Starks were more capable of working with each other than anything Stannis has yet demonstrated to his enemies.

14 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Renly scoffs after Catelyn asks Stannis why he isn't a traitor, because she doesn't know the allegations that Joffrey is a bastard (Renly certainly wasn't going to tell her before demanding that Robb bend the knee). And again, I have always said that Renly argues for his superiority over Stannis rather than his equality.

Yes, Renly argues that he is the superior choice over Stannis thus giving him no reason to lie about the incest.  His argument of being more popular and a better fit for the crown doesn't change one bit if Joffrey is a bastard.  There is simply no reason for Renly to lie about the incest.

14 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Marital ties are stronger than those of fostering, which is why great houses are more fixated on attaining them. I explained the sociobiological reasoning for this in the discussion about ants earlier.

Not necessarily, it is more than clear that both Jon and Ned were closer to Robert than they were to Hoster.  

14 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

How are you going to overthrow Aerys and keep Viserys as his heir? Robert had the strongest blood claim among the rebels against Aerys, and anyone opposed to them would execute the rebels given the chance.

If your pressing concern is about who is the next by blood than Viserys is the clear choice.  Only they really didn't care about who was next by blood.

14 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The marriage was set aside so that both could take vows of celibacy under the Seven (as Naerys Targaryen sought to do after marrying Aegon but was denied permission). There's also no record of his marriage producing any children, as far as I'm aware.

Still yet another example of a marriage being set aside...

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On 3/3/2019 at 7:57 AM, Lord Varys said:

Those are really not laws, just precedent. There is no laws of succession, there are just individual succession which are then used as precedents. And the so-called 'iron precedent' was already ignored by Viserys I, and later by Aerys I, too, who made his niece Aelora his heir after the death of her twin-brother Aelor, only turning to Maekar after Aelora's death. Not to mention Robert's rise to the throne - if this precedent had really been 'iron' the Iron Throne would have gone to Viserys III after Aerys II's death - or it would have remained empty, considering that Robert could not possibly sit the throne as grandson of Princess Rhaelle.

Common law is made from precedent. The "constitution" of England is not some document in the US, but an evolved understanding. Bruce Ackerman has argued that the US constitution doesn't only change through the formal amendment process but also through "constitutional moments". Robert's Rebellion can be considered such a moment.

Merely sitting on the Iron Throne doesn't make one king. Jaime Lannister did it after killing Aerys, and unlike a Hand he wasn't doing it on behalf of anyone.

On 3/3/2019 at 11:11 AM, Minsc said:

We hear of none of Renly's lords believing Joffrey is a bastard before joining Stannis.  Once more that is a ridiculous reason there isn't any reason that Renly would be willing to give the more powerful Joffrey more legitimacy because he feared giving the weaker Stannis legitimacy.  None of those lords are more concerned about usurping Stannis than they are about usurping Joffrey.  The Stormlords don't support Joffrey, because they like Renly more similar to how they like Renly more than Stannis.

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Yes, Renly argues that he is the superior choice over Stannis thus giving him no reason to lie about the incest.  His argument of being more popular and a better fit for the crown doesn't change one bit if Joffrey is a bastard.  There is simply no reason for Renly to lie about the incest.

No Stormlords support Joffrey until after Stannis loses the Battle of the Blackwater. He is the very last option after Renly & Stannis, which is why Renly is not terribly concerned with a stance that would make Joffrey seem more palatable to them.

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Sure, he might not be as close to Stannis as Ned was to Robert however that is more on Stannis more stand off behavior.  Stannis picked Davos because he is close to Davos personally not because of any qualities that Davos has that would make him an effective Hand. Once more Davos's role as Hand is basically him continuing to be Stannis's messenger.  Davos has no skills in diplomacy, administration, command, finance or any integral role that is the Hand's responsibility.  He is a nepotistic appointment to a friend.

Davos seems like a poor choice to you due to his inexperience with high levels of command, but Stannis comes away with a lower opinion of the noblemen who held command under him at Blackwater, particularly his treasonous Hand Alester Florent and his aspiring brother Axell (who gives advice Stannis deems faulty, and wise of Davos to reject). Part of Stannis' reasoning isn't entirely naturalistic however, as he relies on Melisandre advising him to hear out Davos even though Davos wanted to kill her. And indeed Davos advising Stannis to go to the Wall instead of Claw Isle works out for him.

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Still shows that the Lannister and Starks were more capable of working with each other than anything Stannis has yet demonstrated to his enemies.

The Lannisters & Starks had hostages of each other. That wasn't the case for the Baratheons.

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Not necessarily, it is more than clear that both Jon and Ned were closer to Robert than they were to Hoster. 

Ned & Robert like each other, but their interests aren't united by blood. In fact, per R+L=J, blood ties have compelled Ned to deceive Robert about Rhaegar's surviving son.

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If your pressing concern is about who is the next by blood than Viserys is the clear choice.  Only they really didn't care about who was next by blood.

People can care about multiple things, including not being beheaded by the king you install.

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Still yet another example of a marriage being set aside...

If it's "yet another", then how many examples are there? And this particular example shows that marriage oaths under the Seven can bu superseded by oaths of celibacy (with the consent of the other spouse). Marital ties which can be undone easily would not be worth as much.

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2 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

No Stormlords support Joffrey until after Stannis loses the Battle of the Blackwater. He is the very last option after Renly & Stannis, which is why Renly is not terribly concerned with a stance that would make Joffrey seem more palatable to them.

Or those Stormlords that went over to Stannis did so because Stannis was right there after Renly died and Joffrey wasn't.  Moreover, even more people stayed with the Tyrells and sided with the Lannisters when agreeing to hit Stannis in the rear at Blackwater.

4 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Davos seems like a poor choice to you due to his inexperience with high levels of command, but Stannis comes away with a lower opinion of the noblemen who held command under him at Blackwater, particularly his treasonous Hand Alester Florent and his aspiring brother Axell (who gives advice Stannis deems faulty, and wise of Davos to reject). Part of Stannis' reasoning isn't entirely naturalistic however, as he relies on Melisandre advising him to hear out Davos even though Davos wanted to kill her. And indeed Davos advising Stannis to go to the Wall instead of Claw Isle works out for him.

None of that makes Davos a qualified pick.

5 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The Lannisters & Starks had hostages of each other. That wasn't the case for the Baratheons.

Stannis wasn't even willing to concede to give Penrose a honorable death in exchange for Storm's End.

6 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Ned & Robert like each other, but their interests aren't united by blood. In fact, per R+L=J, blood ties have compelled Ned to deceive Robert about Rhaegar's surviving son.

He does the exact same to his Tully wife.

6 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

People can care about multiple things, including not being beheaded by the king you install.

Yeah, people clearly don't care about blood claim when it goes against their interests as Renly said.

7 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

If it's "yet another", then how many examples are there? And this particular example shows that marriage oaths under the Seven can bu superseded by oaths of celibacy (with the consent of the other spouse). Marital ties which can be undone easily would not be worth as much

The Hightower Kings and the fact that various lords and ladies believed it to be clearly possible.  Henry VIII hardly struggled to find brides and he created an entirely new church to make it easier for him to divorce his wives, when he wasn't executing them.

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