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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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On 6/4/2019 at 5:53 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

 There is no getting round it though it was Brandon Stark who Ashara "turned to" at Harrenhall, and his death along side their daughters which Barristan believes caused her suicide. Because there is just no way he would behave the way he does around and towards Ned otherwise.

One minor note I've made before is that the man she "looked to" and the man who "dishonored" her aren't necessarily the same man. Barristan imagines her looking to him, but since he's sworn to celibacy it's unclear what that would mean.

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On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 2:51 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

One minor note I've made before is that the man she "looked to" and the man who "dishonored" her aren't necessarily the same man. Barristan imagines her looking to him, but since he's sworn to celibacy it's unclear what that would mean.

Quote

But Ashara's daughter had been stillborn, and his fair lady had thrown herself from a tower soon after, mad with grief for the child she had lost, and perhaps for the man who had dishonored her at Harrenhal as well. She died never knowing that Ser Barristan had loved her. How could she? He was a knight of the Kingsguard, sworn to celibacy. No good could have come from telling her his feelings. No good came from silence either. If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and crowned Ashara queen of love and beauty, might she have looked to me instead of Stark?

My first bolded sentence from the quote highlights that Barristan knows the man who dishonoured her; a much used turn of phrase I historical & romance novels particularly to mean had sex with outside of marriage, and that he died before Ashara's own death. Because he thinks she may have done it in part in grief for him. So it can not be Ned or any other man who survived the war.

The second part poses the question, what good would have come of telling her he loved her? Non he concludes as he would not have acted upon them due to his vows. 

But he then reflects that no good came of his silence either, ie: She ended up pregnant disgraced and grieving before eventually her death. 

He then poses the idea that had he won the tourney and crowned her QoL&B she might have looked to him instead of Stark. He is very clearly thinking about the what ifs of if he had declared his feelings and acted upon them by crowning her QoL&B, would she have fucked me? instead of Stark.  

He's thought of the fact he was celibate, dismissed that as irrelevant compared to the events that transpired as a result of him not telling her he loved her, and thought about what might have happened differently had he not made that choice to remain silent. She might have "looked to" him instead and what was she looking for? clearly romance/love/sex as she ended up pregnant. She didn't look to Stark for a spare pint of milk and perhaps a loan of his lawnmower did she!  

So we know now that the man she fucked was a Stark an that he died before she did. ergo it was Brandon. There really is no getting around that and when you try to make out that it is ambiguous you just look foolish.  

There is nothing ambiguous about it, Barristan thinks that she died because of her grief, over the dead baby and dead lover, Barristan recalls why he never declared his own feelings for her; because he could not act upon them, but then concludes that seeing as bad things happened despite him not acting on his feelings that perhaps he should have. He then fantasises that had he won the tourney she might have fucked him instead of Stark.  

Now you can say ah! but does look to mean have sex with, and I can point out that given the result of her looking to Stark was a pregnancy then yes. We almost certainly can. 

People seriously need to give it up already trying to argue Ashara's lover as anyone but Brandon Stark 

 

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Ashara throwing herself off a Starfall's tower is the likely reference. But the singer didn't know why. Not any better than the rest of us. Her brother or child death, her lover's departure.... all of them.

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9 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

My first bolded sentence from the quote highlights that Barristan knows the man who dishonoured her; a much used turn of phrase I historical & romance novels particularly to mean had sex with outside of marriage, and that he died before Ashara's own death. Because he thinks she may have done it in part in grief for him. So it can not be Ned or any other man who survived the war.

I disagree. First, there's the word "perhaps." As in, perhaps—maybe, possibly—she is also grieving over (the death of) the man who dishonored her at Harrenhal. Second, grief doesn't necessarily mean that someone died, just that a person is suffering from mental anguish. There are alternatives reasons for grief, depending on how the alleged dishonoring went down.

It reads to me as if Barristan is speculating anyway. Otherwise, how would he know why Ashara allegedly killed herself? He really wouldn't if we're being honest. Which means these thoughts really tell us that Barristan is mixing fact, or at least data, with speculation. 

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6 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

It reads to me as if Barristan is speculating anyway.

What Barristan knew exactly? I doubt the affair was very public. Given Brandon reputation, he may believe he dishonored her. While it was Ned. Not dishonor, because Ned had no engagement then, and could promise Ashara. Why not believe Allyria? She should know better than Barristan.

ASoS, Arya VIII:

Quote

He looked at her uncomfortably. "My aunt Allyria says Lady Ashara and your father fell in love at Harrenhal"

 

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14 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

What Barristan knew exactly? I doubt the affair was very public. Given Brandon reputation, he may believe he dishonored her. While it was Ned. Not dishonor, because Ned had no engagement then, and could promise Ashara. Why not believe Allyria? She should know better than Barristan.

ASoS, Arya VIII:

 

 

That's the question, isn't it? I don't think Barristan knew details, personally. I think that's going to be part of this mini-tragedy unfolding. If you read Barristan's chapters, you'll notice they contain information about the secret lover of Ashara Dayne, and quite separately, the secret lover of Prince Lewyn Martell, who was a Kingsguard. Two Dornish characters who came to court at the same time who both had mysterious lovers and whose stories are both partially told by Ser Barristan. I'm the only one who finds this suspicious, apparently. I guess we'll see how it turns out.

Edited by J. Stargaryen

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On 7/7/2019 at 8:11 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

He then fantasises that had he won the tourney she might have fucked him instead of Stark.  

Now you can say ah! but does look to mean have sex with, and I can point out that given the result of her looking to Stark was a pregnancy then yes. We almost certainly can.

 

J. Stargaryen already addressed other parts of your post, so I'll focus on this. Barristan just thinks in terms of telling vs silence. He doesn't think about breaking his vows. Pregnancy can be a consequence of her "looking" without it being synonymous with sex.

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It was about Lyanna, who threw herself from the Tower of Joy after hearing from her brother that Prince Rhaegar is killed. That's why Ned is so traumatized by the whole thing, he unintentionally caused his sister's suicide.

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On 7/8/2019 at 5:21 PM, BalerionTheCat said:

What Barristan knew exactly? I doubt the affair was very public. Given Brandon reputation, he may believe he dishonored her. While it was Ned. Not dishonor, because Ned had no engagement then, and could promise Ashara. Why not believe Allyria? She should know better than Barristan.

ASoS, Arya VIII:

 

Barristan has a decent chance of knowing because he was a member of the same court at the time, was in the same place as it happened, and had a deep personal interest.

 

Allyria? Probably not even born at the time, given she is unmarried after at least 6 years of betrothal to Lord Dondarion, who is in his mid twenties. If she had any personal contact with Ashara before she supposedly committed suicide, at an age of at least 5-6 (should really be even older) in order to have any chance of understanding anything about what was going on with Ashara, then she'd also be in her mid twenties, like Dondarrion, and has had an unreasonably long betrothal for no good reason.
Instead, she's likely closer to Edric's age, probably around 15-16, so a few years older than him, for him to consider her more authoritative, but not older enough to be married yet.
There is speculation that she might actually be Ashara's baby, not actually dead, but claimed by Ashara's mother in order to reduce the stigma on the babe and the family and give the child a better life. Such a thing was not unknown in our own history.

Edited by corbon

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On 5/31/2019 at 7:41 AM, Ygrain said:

Personally, I think the song is not about one particular person or event. Someone's tragic fate, perhaps Ashara's, was merely a loose inspiration for a romantic text that is nice to listen to but has next to none historical value

A Little late but agree:P

Whereas i think that Ned and Ashara's story is one singers would kill for,  incredibly beatiful maiden-war hero/glorious rebel lord- exotic places- epic duel with  legendary warriors- a magic sword-  a tragic yet honorable end and a bastard. Honestly such song would spread like wildfire through Westeros, the smallfolk are suckers for that kind of songs, so i really think no one ever made a song about Ned and Ashara,  we would've already Heard them by now. So, the gossip was mostly between the nobility.

 

Edited by frenin

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On 3/13/2019 at 1:18 AM, The Map Guy said:

This was the original quote in Cat of the Canals AFFC:

I don't know about you guys, but I think GRRM is hinting at Lyanna & Rhaegar, and the gossip of what happened to Lyanna after everything.

This is what Daenerys did after Khal Drogo's death. GRRM is comparing Lyanna and Daenerys, maybe even what Ashara did too, since she literally threw herself out of a tower.

  • Lyanna: Lover dead (Rhaegar). Brother dead (Brandon). Child[ren] alive. Dead (natural).
  • Ashara: Lover dead (Brandon!). Brother dead (Arthur). Stillborn. Dead (suicide).
  • Daenerys: Lover dead (Drogo). Brother dead (Viserys). Stillborn. Alive (with vengeance). 

I believe the original idea that the lady was Ashara, and the Prince was Rhaegar.  I don’t believe it has anything at all to do with romantic love betweeen them, though she likely respected him a lot and may have had platonic love for him.  

It may involve Lyanna only in that I believe the song may the exact same song that Rheagar sang at Harrenhal which caused Lyanna to cry.  With all the comparisons between Arya and Lyanna, it would be very poetic for Lyanna to cry to a song Arya calls stupid.
 

Thus, I believe that part of his melancholy may be that he had foreseen his own death.  He may have also foreseen Ashara falling from the tower, but the idea that she killed herself just because he died and she loved him makes no sense.  He may have seen a vision of Ashara’s death in the same way that Jojen saw Bran and Rickon’s.  I don’t believe her to be dead, but the prophecy doesn’t require he to actually die, only to symbolically die.  

On 6/4/2019 at 4:25 PM, Springwatch said:

Regardless of what the song meant, it could be that Ashara faked her own death for the sake of baby Aegon, her prince. As a Targ loyalist it was her duty to save him, and hide him.

He's dead the same way Bran and Rickon are dead.  Officially dead. And officially, Ashara threw herself from the tower.

I don’t rule out that she became Lemore.  I would think that she is likely alive, and did fake her death, but I am also not convinced she is Lemore.  If it turns out she is, however, I don’t think she got there directly, unless somehow Aegon is her son, in which case I would be totally confused with this story 

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I vote for Ashara. She really did jump from a tower, or that's the official version so far, which everybody believes. Dareon coming from the Reach, which is not far from Starfall, might explain why he's familiar with the story, while we had not heard this song before, as it's probably not very popular north of King's Landing. However, back to the so called official version, no one really knows, why Ashara committed suicide, throughout the books different characters give us different explanation. Dareon possibly filled this gap himself, and went with the most cliché version: she was in love with Rhaegar secretly.

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17 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

I believe the original idea that the lady was Ashara, and the Prince was Rhaegar.

It also seems like there might be a possibility that her "Prince" could have been the child she lost.  Which perhaps suggests that Aerys or Rhaegar could be the father. 

Edited by Narsil4

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I'm sure the narrative purpose in mentioning the song is to remind us of Ned's visit to Ashara at Starfall. It seems to me, too, that it is dripping with dramatic irony, as the last time Arya was depreciating a 'stupid princess' it was Elmer's betrothed, who she did not know was herself. So I'm taking this as a hint that Ashara's death had something to do with Jon, is intimately relevant to Arya.

But it doesn't follow that the song is about Ashara. Dareon is from the reach and there is a tower there that is so high it is a wonder of the man-made world. I'm guessing the song is about a Hightower princess from long ago, as that would have greater appeal in the Reach (especially in Oldtown) than a song about some smelly Dornish slut.

Also, I don't think Ashara's story was a good one for a song. It would be sure to bring pain to those at Starfall and in the court at Kings Landing who loved her. Because she was 'dishonored', her story is told in whispers and rumours outside of Dorne. Cersei, who was at court with her, did not really know why she jumped. Eddard forbade anyone in his household to mention her name. That Dareon would hear some version of her story, and be motivated to write a song of it seems as unlikely as his being taught a song about a Dornish princess in the Reach.

It occurs to me too that Dareon came in through the window of Lord Rowan's daughter at Goldengrove, and might have reason to wish she defenestrated herself after betraying him and having him sent to the wall. If he wrote the song himself, I bet the vain pup made himself the prince.

Edited by Walda

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On 3/12/2019 at 12:58 PM, Bael's Bastard said:

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?

George is playing a joke on Arya.  Her Aunt Lyanna threw herself off the tower after hearing the news of Rhaegar's death.  The attendants present at the tower tried to save her, but alas, she succumbed to her injuries.  Truth is, it's just a story. 

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2 hours ago, Son of Man said:

George is playing a joke on Arya.  Her Aunt Lyanna threw herself off the tower after hearing the news of Rhaegar's death.  The attendants present at the tower tried to save her, but alas, she succumbed to her injuries.  Truth is, it's just a story. 

I've wondered at times if Lyanna did something like that, but then it always seems unlikely to me that she would have done that after giving birth to Jon, or been permitted to by the KG even if she had been inclined to. It seems most plausible she simply died from pregnancy issues.

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On 2/15/2020 at 5:57 AM, Walda said:

Dareon is from the reach and there is a tower there that is so high

What reason do you have to connect the song to Dareon’s place of birth?   Do you think he wrote this song?   Dareon was an apprentice singer, so I doubt that.  Then, Tom O’Sevens sang it, too, and he is from the Riverlands.  The fact that they both sing it tells me that the song was around for a while, to have traveled to different regions of the country.

Edited by The Green Bard

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No, I think Dareon most likely learnt the song - he is praised for the quality of his voice, rather than celebrated for his songwriting.

Because Dareon came from the Reach, it is likely a song that was popular in the Reach, told a tale that was of the Reach, familiar to an audience from the Reach.

So if the song had a tower in it, it wouldn't be Queenscrown, or the Eyrie, or Starfall, even if the historical truth of the tale was that the prince was not a prince, the princess was not a princess, the tower was not a tower, and the legendary event was sung of in Chorayne or Andalous long before the Reach was settled.

 If the song was from Oldtown, or anywhere near Oldtown, the tower would become Hightower. Because it adds drama to the song in a way that appeals to an Oldtown audience.

We can see how very regional the differences in the mythos of songs are, pretty nearly every time songs are sung, and even when they are not- for example when Brienne and Nimble Dick Crabb argue about heros

Quote

Dick still refused to believe that Brienne had never heard of Ser Clarence Crabb and his exploits.

"Why would I lie?" she asked him. "Every place has its local heros. Where I come from, the singers sing of Ser Galladon of Morne, the Perfect Knight."

"Ser Gallawho of What?" He snorted. "Never heard o' him."

Brienne has travelled more than Dick, has heard the songs of other places. She knows the singers sing of six maids in a pool at Maidenpool, and that audiences outside of Crackclaw point will be politely bored (at best) by a song of Ser Clarence, while in the region where his heads still whisper they always want to hear the one about how he killed the squisher king. 

You get clues about singers from the songs they sing - Marrillion is probably from the Riverlands, Tom 'o' Sevens is too, but he has been in the game longer, and if he hasn't travelled further, he knows more of the preferences of Northern audiences (although, the song he made for them did include the howling of wolves that Marrillion claimed they loved to hear).

The songs themselves tell us of local things and ways - for instance, the Dornishman's wife is popular in places where there is a predjudice against Dornishmen, and not sung in Dorne. The wildlings of the north don't sing that song either, but Mance does. That is significant. 

I'm assuming that, as an apprentice singer in the Reach, Dareon learnt the songs of the Reach, and that he was born in the region and had not travelled beyond it before he was sent to the wall, and therefore did not develop a wide repertoire of songs for purposes like enticing men from all regions of the seven kingdoms into the Night's Watch, or pleasuring the courtesans of Braavos, until he was put in those places. (Unlike Tom'o'Sevens and Mance, Dareon does not seem to have much interest in ethnomusicology).

Given what we know of songs and singers in ASoIaF, it seems a reasonable assumption to me.

Edit: @The Green Bard, would you give me the chapter where Tom'o'Sevens sings the song? 

I haven't found it yet, but I did find another possibility that meets the OP's criteria. If Dareon wrote the song himself, it might have been about Jon and Ygritte. Jon found her dying beneath Hardin's tower.

Edited by Walda

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On 2/12/2020 at 4:36 PM, Narsil4 said:

It also seems like there might be a possibility that her "Prince" could have been the child she lost.  Which perhaps suggests that Aerys or Rhaegar could be the father.

Anything's possible, I suppose.  I don't think she had a stillbirth or killed herself.  I think she's very much alive.   Most likely disguised as Gyanna Reed.   My point was that she doesn't have to be dead for the song to be about her.  

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