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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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Do you believe that Lyanna Stark was not abducted but eloped with and later willingly marrried to Rhaegar Targaryen? Why would she do that when Rhaegar had not divorced Elia Martell? Do you think Rhargar had promised Lyanna that he would divorce Elia?

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For starters we don't know that Rhaegar and Lyanna where married, it might've been a case of Rhaegar legitimizing Jon once he was King. 

I think Lyanna did go with Rhaegar willingly, but once she found out about her father and brother's deaths she wanted to leave, but Rhaegar wouldn't let her. 

No, I don't think Rhaegar was going to divorce Elia. Aegon the Conqueror took two wives, and Maegor the Cruel took six. Of course that was also during the time when the Targaryens had dragons, so it might've been harder. 

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10 minutes ago, Euron III Greyjoy said:

For starters we don't know that Rhaegar and Lyanna where married, it might've been a case of Rhaegar legitimizing Jon once he was King. 

I think Lyanna did go with Rhaegar willingly, but once she found out about her father and brother's deaths she wanted to leave, but Rhaegar wouldn't let her. 

This :agree:Fan of the same scenario, it was willing to begin with, and they never married. 

Now, divorce? Divorce isn't all that simple in Westeros. Though there's some talk in AGOT of Robert easily "putting Cersei aside," we later learn that annulment seems to be the only real option for ending a marriage, and it has to be approved by the High Septon, a council of Faith, or be unconsummated. Elia and Rhaegar's marriage was certainly consummated, they had two kids. :) And I am not sure a consanguinity annulment would apply in this context - Targaryens are allowed by the Faith to marry siblings, and Elia was about a fourth cousin or so.

Besides, why would Rhaegar want to end the marriage? "Three heads have the dragon", not one. If a marriage ends in Westeros, the children might not remain legitimate. In the real world, in the late Middle Ages or so, this was common for children of annulled marriages, e.g. famously Mary I of England was bastardised after her parents' annulment. Does Rhaegar have an incentive to do this to Rhaenys and Aegon just to get a third child that is legitimate?

I am not a huge proponent of a polygamy theory, but it would be plausible for Rhaegar to attempt it (whether it would be seen as valid is another issue). But polygamy is probably far more plausible than divorce/annulment.

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3 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Do you believe that Lyanna Stark was not abducted

The rebels (Robert in AGOT: Eddard II, Bran in AGOT: Bran VII), royals (Daenerys in ADWD: Daenerys VII), and maesters (TWOIF: The Fall of the Dragons - The Year of the False Spring) all seem to agree that Rhaegar carried Lyanna off, though they obviously have very different interpretations of the nature of the abduction (Daenerys, via Viserys, views it romantically), and of the relationship between Rhaegar and Lyanna (see also Barristan in ADWD: The Kingbreaker). While it is possible that all sides are wrong about Rhaegar abducting Lyanna, as of now, I don't think it is really in dispute.

34 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

but eloped with and later willingly marrried to Rhaegar Targaryen?

Whatever feelings Lyanna may have had or later developed for Rhaegar, in the moment, I don't think she went willingly with Rhaegar and his men. That said, I do think Lyanna eventually wed Rhaegar willingly.

53 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Why would she do that when Rhaegar had not divorced Elia Martell?

With so many details missing, we can't know for sure why Lyanna would agree to wed a man who was already wed, and had two children by that marriage. Was it an irrational love? Was it prophecy? Was it something else? Whatever the case, Rhaegar was a Targaryen, and the laws that apply to everyone else do not apply to them. His parents were brother and sister, his grandparents were brother and sister, his ancestors Aegon IV/Naerys and Jaehaerys I/Alysanne were brother and sister, and his ancestors Aegon I and Rhaenys were not only brother and sister, but polygamous, Rhaenys being the younger of Aegon's two sister wives. Rhaegar, like all Targaryens after Aegon I other than Maegor, was descended from a polygamous and incestuous union, and although rare, Rhaegar would have had good reason to believe it was legally and religiously permitted to him, even if it was pretty much guaranteed to piss off the Starks, Baratheons, Martells, and possibly the King.

1 hour ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Do you think Rhargar had promised Lyanna that he would divorce Elia?

No. Divorce doesn't seem to be common in Westeros, if it exists at all, and on what grounds would he try to end his marriage to Elia? And annulment wouldn't be an option, since the marriage had clearly been consummated and produced two children. Rhaegar might be able to promise Lyanna that he would not risk getting Elia with child again, it being a danger to her health, but Elia was still his first wife, and their children would still take precedence over any children Lyanna bore Rhaegar, or else would risk even more issues trying to position Lyanna and any child(ren) of hers over Elia and her children.

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57 minutes ago, Euron III Greyjoy said:

For starters we don't know that Rhaegar and Lyanna where married, it might've been a case of Rhaegar legitimizing Jon once he was King. 

I think Lyanna did go with Rhaegar willingly, but once she found out about her father and brother's deaths she wanted to leave, but Rhaegar wouldn't let her. 

No, I don't think Rhaegar was going to divorce Elia. Aegon the Conqueror took two wives, and Maegor the Cruel took six. Of course that was also during the time when the Targaryens had dragons, so it might've been harder. 

Maegor took his many wives against their will (I suspect Aegon did so with Rhaenys too). But it is odd when Lyanna willingly wanted to become the second wife of a man. She didn't want to marry Robert because she suspected he would have other girlfriends, and then she herself married a man who officially had another wife?

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

1) We don't know that Lyanna was married to Rhaegar.

2) We don't know that divorce exists in Westeros.

/thread

Edited by Ser Leftwich

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27 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

But it is odd when Lyanna willingly wanted to become the second wife of a man. She didn't want to marry Robert because she suspected he would have other girlfriends, and then she herself married a man who officially had another wife?

It remains to be seen if Lyanna did indeed wed Rhaegar. But in general, Lyanna was a human teenage child-woman when she died, and was a teen, or perhaps even preteen, when she was betrothed to Robert. 

We shouldn't be surprised that a person can express certain feelings based on one person at one point in their life, and then when it comes to another person at another point in their life, seemingly contradict what they expressed previously.

Robert and Rhaegar were two different people, and two different types of people, and post-Harrenhal Lyanna was not necessarily the same person as pre-betrothal Lyanna.

People can be hypocritical, can be contradictory, can change, can change their minds, can make excuses, can justify, etc.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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40 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

But it is odd when Lyanna willingly wanted to become the second wife of a man. She didn't want to marry Robert because she suspected he would have other girlfriends, and then she herself married a man who officially had another wife?

Is it odd? Humans are hypocrites. Maybe Lyanna just didn't like Robert and used the whole, "he already has a bastard child", as an excuse to try and get out of the marriage, or to justify to herself why she doesn't like him. She might've willingly left with Rhaegar because she was so desperate to get out of the marriage. I doubt she expected a war to start, and it probably wouldn't of if Aerys hadn't burnt Rickard and Brandon, along with demanding the heads of Ned and Robert. 

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If Lyanna went willing with Rhaegar (which I belive she did) than she is a big hypocrite, she didn't want Robert because he couldn't be loyal as husband but she was willing to be the mistress of a married men with 2 kids.

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The fact is, Lyanna knew Robert Baratheon was a selfish, bed-hopping pig of a man. She mentioned this to her brothers, with misgivings.

Prince Rhaegar, on the other hand, was mature, kind, educated, musical, appreciated her martial skills (as far as we've seen from the Harrenhal Tourney), and very attracted to her. Plus, he was a Targaryen. They get to have multiple wives; it's in the rules. If Lyanna chose to elope with Rhaegar, she wouldn't be cuckolding Elia, but instead joining Elia as another wife. Also, she would potentially save Elia from ending up dead in childbirth. Ironically, it was Lyanna who ended up dead in the "bed of blood" - which is the Westerosi expression for the birthing bed, by the way.

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55 minutes ago, zandru said:

Plus, he was a Targaryen. They get to have multiple wives; it's in the rules. If Lyanna chose to elope with Rhaegar, she wouldn't be cuckolding Elia, but instead joining Elia as another wife.

The last Targaryen to act like the rules permitted him multiple wives was Maegor, and he united practically the whole realm against him. Since then even Targaryens with completely miserable marriages haven't added on additional wives. Unwin Peake allegedly had Jaehaera killed so his daughter could marry Aegon III (it didn't work). Aegon IV despised his legitimate son but only legitimized his bastards on his deathbed rather than take on an additional wife (oh how the Brackens & Blackwoods would have competed for that) to have a legitimate heir with.

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By the end of the series the contemporary characters will have faced choices similar to those that Lyanna and Rhaegar did, and their contemporaries will reject those choices made by Rhaegar and Lyanna. They're not heroes.

The simplest option is that Lyanna was in love and didn't care.

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There are zero evidence R&L ever talked to each other during the HH tourney. There is no reason for L to have romantic feelings of R to elope with him. There is canonically ZERO evidence the two married or even had a child. So everyone and their mothers know R raped L thousands of times and Ned returned home from Dorne with corpse of his sister and a baby and NO ONE IN WESTEROS put 2+2 together? Yeah.... There is no divorce in Westeros especially when the royal couple had two healthy children one of them being the heir of crown prince. Both vision R and weirwood R is connected to his wife Elia and their children. So no, Lujietna "bury me with my father and brother" Stark didn't willingly married Reggity. 

 

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Everyone wanted Rhaegar. Cersei, Ashara, Jon Con, ect. They'd all run away with Rhaegar if he choice them. Lyanna was 15 year old girl from the dreary North, she was all but powerless against his looks and charms. The tough, tom boy Lyanna was reduced to tears from one song Rhaegar sang, she never stood a chance.

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2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

There are zero evidence R&L ever talked to each other during the HH tourney. There is no reason for L to have romantic feelings of R to elope with him. There is canonically ZERO evidence the two married or even had a child. So everyone and their mothers know R raped L thousands of times and Ned returned home from Dorne with corpse of his sister and a baby and NO ONE IN WESTEROS put 2+2 together? Yeah.... There is no divorce in Westeros especially when the royal couple had two healthy children one of them being the heir of crown prince. Both vision R and weirwood R is connected to his wife Elia and their children. So no, Lujietna "bury me with my father and brother" Stark didn't willingly married Reggity. 

 

Lyanna was a strong and willful girl. She carried a sword and "wolf blood" flew in her vein. I cannot believe she could be raped without fighting back or committing suicide.

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55 minutes ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Everyone wanted Rhaegar. Cersei, Ashara, Jon Con, ect. They'd all run away with Rhaegar if he choice them. Lyanna was 15 year old girl from the dreary North, she was all but powerless against his looks and charms. The tough, tom boy Lyanna was reduced to tears from one song Rhaegar sang, she never stood a chance.

That's very unlikely. Your theory is incompatible with Lyanna's personality.

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2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

There are zero evidence R&L ever talked to each other during the HH tourney.

Oh there's evidence, but its circumstantial. Rhaegar was expressly ordered to find the KotLT (Lyanna). It is a trivial thing for a man of his intellect and position to find out who the KotLT was (he only has to interview the squires, per the KotLTs public command the 'teach your squires honour' to the knights (s)he defeated.  He 'claimed' to have only found the shield, but then he awards the KotLT the principle award of the tourney...

2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

There is no reason for L to have romantic feelings of R to elope with him.

And yet... she already behaved like a lovestruck teenager toward him. Dumping the wine on her little brother's head for teasig her about crying from Rhaegar's song is a very typical teen girl reaction.

Further, if he did talk to her, then he protected her from Aerys' wrath by not naming her, and awarded her QoLaB in front of everyone.

Then she has those dead roses in her room at ToJ. Like the crown Rhaegar awarded her.
And the 'sweet smelling' blue rose in the ice-wall.

Nothing is obvious, but you have to be wilfully bind to insist there are no clues.

2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

There is canonically ZERO evidence the two married or even had a child.

Oh there's evidence. Its just not in the form of ignorant characters telling us what they think they know.

2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

So everyone and their mothers know R raped L thousands of times and Ned returned home from Dorne with corpse of his sister and a baby and NO ONE IN WESTEROS put 2+2 together?

Oh they did. They just got 5.
Lyanna was an irrelevant sideshow who'd not been heard of for more than a year for almost everyone not personally connected.

2 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Yeah.... There is no divorce in Westeros especially when the royal couple had two healthy children one of them being the heir of crown prince.

Ahh, so that explains Renly's plan to get Cersei replaced by Margery...

 

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39 minutes ago, corbon said:

Oh there's evidence, but its circumstantial. Rhaegar was expressly ordered to find the KotLT (Lyanna). It is a trivial thing for a man of his intellect and position to find out who the KotLT was (he only has to interview the squires, per the KotLTs public command the 'teach your squires honour' to the knights (s)he defeated.  He 'claimed' to have only found the shield, but then he awards the KotLT the principle award of the tourney...

And yet... she already behaved like a lovestruck teenager toward him. Dumping the wine on her little brother's head for teasig her about crying from Rhaegar's song is a very typical teen girl reaction.

Further, if he did talk to her, then he protected her from Aerys' wrath by not naming her, and awarded her QoLaB in front of everyone.

Then she has those dead roses in her room at ToJ. Like the crown Rhaegar awarded her.
And the 'sweet smelling' blue rose in the ice-wall.

Nothing is obvious, but you have to be wilfully bind to insist there are no clues.

Oh there's evidence. Its just not in the form of ignorant characters telling us what they think they know.

Oh they did. They just got 5.
Lyanna was an irrelevant sideshow who'd not been heard of for more than a year for almost everyone not personally connected.

Ahh, so that explains Renly's plan to get Cersei replaced by Margery...

 

There is no evidence of divorce, however putting aside Cersei is relatively easy via annulment after accusations of incest/infidelity. For all we know Renly's plan might have even been for Cersei to die since Robert was not likely to let her live if he believed such accusations. 

None of that is circumstantial evidence, it would be considered conjecture or hearsay in either a court room or in a research report. Possible connections sure, but not really evidence. In a book you have foreshadowing, which would be considered evidence, but would only become so after the facts are known. Circumstantial evidence of the nature you are describing requires direct evidence to support it, otherwise it is not evidence at all and is merely a set of quaint oddities that are coincidental. 

(People have funny ideas what constitutes circumstantial evidence. DNA, fingerprints, facial recognition, video are all circumstantial evidence along with things that point to motive; direct evidence are things like eye witness reports, which in many cases are far less reliable or damaging than some forms of circumstantial evidence.)

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19 minutes ago, True.Edged said:

There is no evidence of divorce, however putting aside Cersei is relatively easy via annulment after accusations of incest/infidelity. For all we know Renly's plan might have even been for Cersei to die since Robert was not likely to let her live if he believed such accusations. 

We don't know any more than that Rely's plan was for Robert to 'put aside' Cersei.

The mechanics are not known.

Either way, I was responding to the statement that there is no divorce, especially not under conditions X and Y. Yet that is exactly the conditions bwteen Robert and Cersei when Renly had a plan to replace her.
I doubt there is divorce either, but its not something we know about with any surety.

19 minutes ago, True.Edged said:

None of that is circumstantial evidence, it would be considered conjecture or hearsay in either a court room or in a research report. Possible connections sure, but not really evidence. In a book you have foreshadowing, which would be considered evidence, but would only become so after the facts are known. Circumstantial evidence of the nature you are describing requires direct evidence to support it, otherwise it is not evidence at all and is merely a set of quaint oddities that are coincidental. 

We are talking literature, not a courtroom.

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