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Bael's Bastard

A Song of "some stupid lady throwing herself off some stupid tower because her stupid prince was dead"

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In AFFC: Cat of the Canals, Arya hears Dareon singing about "some stupid lady throwing herself off some stupid tower because her stupid prince was dead." In AGOT: Jon VI, after being named a man of the Night's Watch, Dareon was assigned to the stewards. Before being sent to the Wall by Lord Mathis Rowan, Dareon was an apprentice singer in the Reach. We have a couple stories in ASOIAF of women throwing themselves off towers, but I don't believe any of the stories we have been told perfectly fit the song as described in Arya's POV. Assuming the song is based on characters we have been introduced to in the books, my questions are:

Who do you believe was the lady who threw herself off a tower because her prince was dead?

Who do you believe was the prince whose death the lady threw herself off a tower because of?

What is your explanation of the "true events" that the song was based on?

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1 hour ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Who do you believe was the lady who threw herself off a tower because her prince was dead?

I'm going off of this quote by the Elder Brother;

"The battle was a bloody thing. The singers would have us believe it was all Rhaegar and Robert struggling in the stream for a woman both of them claimed to love." (Brienne VI, AFfC 31)

Because Arya is the one who relays this song, I think the song is related to Lyanna in the same Tom o' Sevens singing about the maiden of the tree may have been a nod toward her. Singers tend to embellish and romanticize events. All we have to do is look at "Lord Renly's Last Ride."

That said, I think the song could also be foreshadowing of Arianne's possible future. She does have a chapter that's titled the Princess in the Tower.

 

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I don't think the song refers to a particular event, and if it does, it's about as truthful as the songs which would have us believe that RR was all about Rhaegar and Robert battling for Lyanna's love. As in, the woman may not have been a lady, may not have thrown herself off a tower, and her prince may not have been a prince, or dead. The core even might be a woman committing suicide (or who is believed to have committed suicide) over the loss of a loved one. But a lady and a prince are more romantic.

ETA: ninjaed.

Edited by Ygrain

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5 minutes ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Ashara was in love with Rhaegar.

@Moiraine Sedai

In such a scenario, how would you explain how it is so well known that Ashara loved Rhaegar that a song was written about it, either by some singer over the last fifteen years, or by some singer's apprentice from the Reach (Dareon), and yet seemingly unknown to nobles like Catelyn Tully, Cersei Lannister, Allyria and Ned Dayne, and Barristan Selmy?

27 minutes ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

There are only two real princes, Rhaegar and Viserys. 

There have been many princes over the three hundred years of the Targaryen and Baratheon eras, not to mention the millennia of multiple kingdoms prior to the Targaryen era.

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8 minutes ago, Ser Leftwich said:

Helaena also threw herself from a tower. The 'Prince' could have been either of her sons. Without having the specifics of the song, the loss of a prince does not have to be a lover, but a son.

 https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Helaena_Targaryen

@Ser Leftwich

I agree that it need not necessarily refer to a lover, though I think a son sounds much less likely than a lover, or even a devoted non-lover.

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22 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I'm going off of this quote by the Elder Brother;

"The battle was a bloody thing. The singers would have us believe it was all Rhaegar and Robert struggling in the stream for a woman both of them claimed to love." (Brienne VI, AFfC 31)

Because Arya is the one who relays this song, I think the song is related to Lyanna in the same Tom o' Sevens singing about the maiden of the tree may have been a nod toward her. Singers tend to embellish and romanticize events. All we have to do is look at "Lord Renly's Last Ride."

That said, I think the song could also be foreshadowing of Arianne's possible future. She does have a chapter that's titled the Princess in the Tower.

 

@Alexis-something-Rose

Singers certainly do that, but to invent the idea of Lyanna throwing herself out of a tower? Even the song about Lord Renly's Ride is based in part on the reality that someone wore Renly's armor while fighting during the Battle of the Blackwater.

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26 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

I don't think the song refers to a particular event, and if it does, it's about as truthful as the songs which would have us believe that RR was all about Rhaegar and Robert battling for Lyanna's love. As in, the woman may not have been a lady, may not have thrown herself off a tower, and her prince may not have been a prince, or dead. The core even might be a woman committing suicide (or who is believed to have committed suicide) over the loss of a loved one. But a lady and a prince are more romantic.

ETA: ninjaed.

@Ygrain

It very well could be an entirely made up story about no historic people in particular.

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7 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Ygrain

It very well could be an entirely made up story about no historic people in particular.

I think @Ser Leftwich, @Alexis-something-Rose and @Ygrain make very good points. For me the most likely answer is a combo of fact and rumour, sprinkled w/ embellishment/romanticism. 

 

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Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon VI

"So the son slew the father instead," said Jon.

"Aye," she said, "but the gods hate kinslayers, even when they kill unknowing. When Lord Stark returned from the battle and his mother saw Bael's head upon his spear, she threw herself from a tower in her grief. Her son did not long outlive her. One o' his lords peeled the skin off him and wore him for a cloak."

"Your Bael was a liar," he told her, certain now.

My money is on this particular stupid lady (Lady Stark)

The prince was Bael.

Edited by Legitimate_Bastard

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20 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Ygrain

It very well could be an entirely made up story about no historic people in particular.

Quite possibly.

- However, I do think there might be a narrative purpose to the song, and that would be a subtle reminder of Ashara's fate, plus the question why she did it. Barristan thinks it was the loss of her child and maybe even her lover, Harwin points out the death of Arthur as a possible cause. The song goes with love, so it was most likely not the reason :D

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5 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

My money is on this particular stupid lady (Lady Stark)

The prince was Bael.

@Legitimate_Bastard

Seems unlikely to me. There isn't likely to be any Westerosi songs about Bael, and that part is apparently not even part of the Free Folk song about Bael and the Stark maid. Besides, if Dareon picked up such a song from the Free Folk, surely Arya would have heard about a king, not a prince.

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1 hour ago, Bael's Bastard said:

 

In such a scenario, how would you explain how it is so well known that Ashara loved Rhaegar that a song was written about it, either by some singer over the last fifteen years, or by some singer's apprentice from the Reach (Dareon),

Ashara was famous, her suicide would have been a popular story, which are prone to turn into song.

None of its likely true, her love for Rhaegar or her death, but I belive the songs about her (getting us hyped for Septa Lemore)

1 hour ago, Bael's Bastard said:

 

, and yet seemingly unknown to nobles like Catelyn Tully, Cersei Lannister, Allyria and Ned Dayne, and Barristan Selmy?

What gives you that impression? Cat and Selmy likely have their own take on why some stupid lady threw herself off some stupid tower.

But specifically why Cersei?

Edited by Hugorfonics

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6 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Legitimate_Bastard

Seems unlikely to me. There isn't likely to be any Westerosi songs about Bael, and that part is apparently not even part of the Free Folk song about Bael and the Stark maid. Besides, if Dareon picked up such a song from the Free Folk, surely Arya would have heard about a king, not a prince.

The prince/king part I cannot reconcile.

Other than - when the Lady Stark and Bael were involved, he was not yet a King?

I'm grasping at straws LOL

But I do think it is possible Dareon heard the song, perhaps from another NW brother? Dareon spent time at Eastwatch and could have rubbed shoulders with people Mance knew, just like Jon did. Eastwatch does trade with some Free Folk, so it is at least possible.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon VII

"She told me Mance would take me, if I ran with her."
"She told you true."
"She even claimed we were kin. She told me a story . . ."
". . . of Bael the Bard and the rose of Winterfell. So Stonesnake told me. It happens I know the song. Mance would sing it of old, when he came back from a ranging. He had a passion for wildling music. Aye, and for their women as well."
"You knew him?"

Seems other southerners are aware of the song/tale.

Not likely, agreed. 

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9 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Ashara was famous, her suicide would have been a popular story, which are prone to turn into song.

None of its likely true, her love for Rhaegar or her death, but I belive the songs about her (getting us hyped for Septa Lemore)

What gives you that impression? Cat and Selmy likely have their own take on why some stupid lady threw herself off some stupid tower.

But specifically why Cersei?

@Hugorfonics

The story that Ashara threw herself into the sea is certainly well known among nobles and their houses. Cersei repeats it to Ned's face, Ned Dayne repeats it to Arya, Harwin affirms it when Arya repeats it to him, and Barristan thinks about it in his POV. It's safe to assume Catelyn is aware of it as well.

Catelyn recalls the rumor that Ned fathered Jon with Ashara. Cersei repeats the rumor Ashara among other possibilities. Ned Dayne repeats the rumor he heard from Allyria, that Ashara and Ned fell in love at Harrenhal, though he is certain Wylla, not Ashara, is Jon's mother. Harwin doubts Ashara and Ned fell in love at Harrenhal, but confirms the rumor. Barristan recalls Ashara turning to some Stark at/after Harrenhal, though it isn't clear yet which.

As for Rhaegar, Daenerys believes he loved Lyanna and died fighting for her. Barristan believes Rhaegar loved Lyanna. Cersei believes that if Rhaegar had married her he never would have looked twice at Lyanna. Kevan believes Rhaegar might never have looked twice at Lyanna had he wed Cersei.

True or false, when it comes to stories about Ashara it's Ned, Ned, Ned, Ned, and when it comes to stories about Rhaegar it's Lyanna, Lyanna, Lyanna, Lyanna. The idea that Ashara was in love with Rhaegar, whether true or false, is not stated or even hinted at by any of these people in any way that would indicate that there is a popular song or belief that there was anything between Ashara and Rhaegar.

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8 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

But I do think it is possible Dareon heard the song, perhaps from another NW brother? Dareon spent time at Eastwatch and could have rubbed shoulders with people Mance knew, just like Jon did. Eastwatch does trade with some Free Folk, so it is at least possible.

Seems other southerners are aware of the song/tale.

Not likely, agreed. 

@Legitimate_Bastard

I don't think any song Dareon would have heard/got from the Free Folk would have referred to Bael as a prince, and even if Dareon heard the Free Folk tradition about what happened to Bael thirty years after he allegedly took the Stark maid, he is unlikely to have written of Bael as a prince when he was, at the time, King Beyond the Wall.

It seems pretty clear that Qhorin heard the song at the Wall from Mance himself. And again, that song does not include the tale of what happened to Bael and the Stark maid thirty years later. As Ygritte tells Jon:

"The song ends when they find the babe, but there is a darker end to the story. Thirty years later, when Bael was King-beyond-the-Wall and led the free folk south, it was young Lord Stark who met him at the Frozen Ford . . . and killed him, for Bael would not harm his own son when they met sword to sword.

"So the son slew the father instead," said Jon.

"Aye," she said, "but the gods hate kinslayers, even when they kill unknowing. When Lord Stark returned from the battle and his mother saw Bael's head upon his spear, she threw herself from a tower in her grief. Her son did not long outlive her. One o' his lords peeled the skin off him and wore him for a cloak."

- ACOK: Jon VI

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23 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Hugorfonics

The story that Ashara threw herself into the sea is certainly well known among nobles and their houses. Cersei repeats it to Ned's face, Ned Dayne repeats it to Arya, Harwin affirms it when Arya repeats it to him, and Barristan thinks about it in his POV. It's safe to assume Catelyn is aware of it as well.

Catelyn recalls the rumor that Ned fathered Jon with Ashara. Cersei repeats the rumor Ashara among other possibilities. Ned Dayne repeats the rumor he heard from Allyria, that Ashara and Ned fell in love at Harrenhal, though he is certain Wylla, not Ashara, is Jon's mother. Harwin doubts Ashara and Ned fell in love at Harrenhal, but confirms the rumor. Barristan recalls Ashara turning to some Stark at/after Harrenhal, though it isn't clear yet which.

As for Rhaegar, Daenerys believes he loved Lyanna and died fighting for her. Barristan believes Rhaegar loved Lyanna. Cersei believes that if Rhaegar had married her he never would have looked twice at Lyanna. Kevan believes Rhaegar might never have looked twice at Lyanna had he wed Cersei.

True or false, when it comes to stories about Ashara it's Ned, Ned, Ned, Ned, and when it comes to stories about Rhaegar it's Lyanna, Lyanna, Lyanna, Lyanna. The idea that Ashara was in love with Rhaegar, whether true or false, is not stated or even hinted at by any of these people in any way that would indicate that there is a popular song or belief that there was anything between Ashara and Rhaegar.

"Never believe anything you hear in a song, my lady."

Said Tyrion. Also when Arya heard the story about Ashara she thought it stupid as well 

Quote

"Oh." Arya did not know what else to say. "Why did she jump in the sea, though?"

"Her heart was broken."

Sansa would have sighed and shed a tear for true love, but Arya just thought it was stupid. She couldn't say that to Ned, though, not about his own aunt.

Which makes me think the two "stupid stories" are the same.

True. Ned Ned Ned Ned. Thats the whole point of E+A=J. Facts, Eddard went south, Asharas in the south, they were seen talking to each other before, Ashara cant deny birthing Jon because of her jump. Conclusion, Ashara is Jons mom and died for life without Ned.

Or perhaps she didn't jump for being jealous of Cat, after all Starks arent romantic, not like Targs. Facts, Rhaegar died, Ashara jumped. Conclusion, Ashara died for life without Rhegar. 

It makes for a more popular song. After all, what word is easier to rhyme then Rhaegar?

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2 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Alexis-something-Rose

Singers certainly do that, but to invent the idea of Lyanna throwing herself out of a tower? Even the song about Lord Renly's Ride is based in part on the reality that someone wore Renly's armor while fighting during the Battle of the Blackwater.

Yes, Renly's Ride is based on what Garlan did, but his ghost traveling to Highgarden to take one last look at his true love's face isn't.

And as far as Lyanna goes, no one knows what truly happened to her. If you've gone through war where two men are allegedly fighting for the same woman and the prince dies, if the prince had been this monster that some people claim he was, and the lady dies before she is rescued, then the song could have had her ghost travel to take one last look at her true love or have her true love find her and she tells him how much she loves him before she dies.

But the prince dies and the lady kills herself it tells a different story. 

Obviously, it's all just tread pulling from all sort of directions and I don't think there's a right answer to this. 

It's a let your imagination take hold kind of imagination and that was my first thought reading that passage especially with Arya sitting there rolling her eyes at the whole thing. Arya is connected to Lyanna in more ways than one. And the song is being sung by a Dareon, the black brother, sent out on a mission by Jon. 

That said, I genuinely think every answer in this thread is as valid as the other. 

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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If it is referencing a real event - and one in Westeros at that (there are ladies and princes in the Free Cities, too) - then Ashara Dayne is the most recent such event of note we know of. Who the prince was - Rhaegar, her own brother, Ser Arthur, or somebody else - is less important.

Fair ladies usually kill themselves over dead lovers, no? And it makes much more sense if they are princes rather than brothers or cold-hearted Northmen who only rely dire tidings to trigger pointless suicides.

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