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thoughts on the theory by indeepgeek that littlefinger witnessed lyanna willingly go with rhaegar and was the one who told brandon that rhaegar kidnapped lyanna a

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No......

Littlefinger became the manipulating dick that he is, primarily due to his childhood at riverrun and the duel with Brandon, he wasn't born that way, so no, outright manipulation of Lords paramount and the IT is simply  not in his playbook at this time

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17 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Do we really know this?  It’s a tale told to Dany by Viserys, presumably, and who knows where Viserys got his information from.  Some singer perhaps?  Tales always seem to grow in the telling.

We have little reason to doubt it, since both sides of the conflict, and the maesters of the Citadel, agree on Rhaegar carrying Lyanna off (whether they claim he had bad intentions or good). For their part, Dany and Viserys come from an uncritically pro-Rhaegar/pro-Targaryen and uncritically anti-Robert/anti-Rebel perspective. The pro-Rhaegar/pro-Targaryen perspective would have every reason to omit Lyanna being taken at sword point, yet it is from them that we get this detail.

Since Rhaegar returned to court after the alleged abduction, where Aerys, Rhaella, Viserys, Darry, Selmy, Jaime, etc. were present, it is much more within the realm of possibility that they got some version of Rhaegar's account, than that they somehow ended up believing and adopting a story by a non-Targaryen source that has Rhaegar abducting Lyanna.

17 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

But however Lyanna was spirited away, Ned seems to lay at least part of the blame on Lyanna, when he comments that Lyanna’s wolfs Blood led her to an early grave.  I’m not sure that Ned would have necessarily come to that conclusion if Lyanna had been carried off by sword point.

Regarding the quote in which Ned introduces the "wildness" that Lord Rickard called "the wolf blood":

"Ah, Arya. You have a wildness in you, child. 'The wolf blood,' my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave." Arya heard sadness in his voice; he did not often speak of his father, or of the brother and sister who had died before she was born. "Lyanna might have carried a sword, if my lord father had allowed it. You remind me of her sometimes. You even look like her."

- AGOT: Arya II

I think we have been given pretty straightforward and explicit answers not only about the general sort of "wildness" on the part of Lyanna that Lord Rickard might have called "the wolf blood," but about the particular examples that Ned might conceivably credit with having set her on the way to her grave earlier than she otherwise might have, without having to resort to the assumption that Ned blames her for getting abducted.

In the case of "the she-wolf" Lyanna, we have her decision to "roar" at, howl" at, and use a tourney sword to lay into the three squires she witnessed bullying Howland Reed during the opening of the Harrenhal Tourney, and, most likely, her subsequent decision to enter the lists as a mystery knight and challenge the knights the squires served:

"Sometimes the knights are the monsters, Bran. The little crannogman was walking across the field, enjoying the warm spring day and harming none, when he was set upon by three squires. They were none older than fifteen, yet even so they were bigger than him, all three. This was their world, as they saw it, and he had no right to be there. They snatched away his spear and knocked him to the ground, cursing him for a frogeater."

"Were they Walders?" It sounded like something Little Walder Frey might have done.

"None offered a name, but he marked their faces well so he could revenge himself upon them later. They shoved him down every time he tried to rise, and kicked him when he curled up on the ground. But then they heard a roar. 'That's my father's man you're kicking,' howled the she-wolf."

"A wolf on four legs, or two?"

"Two," said Meera. "The she-wolf laid into the squires with a tourney sword, scattering them all. The crannogman was bruised and bloodied, so she took him back to her lair to clean his cuts and bind them up with linen. There he met her pack brothers: the wild wolf who led them, the quiet wolf beside him, and the pup who was youngest of the four.

"That evening there was to be a feast in Harrenhal, to mark the opening of the tourney, and the she-wolf insisted that the lad attend. He was of high birth, with as much a right to a place on the bench as any other man. She was not easy to refuse, this wolf maid, so he let the young pup find him garb suitable to a king's feast, and went up to the great castle.

"Under Harren's roof he ate and drank with the wolves, and many of their sworn swords besides, barrowdown men and moose and bears and mermen. The dragon prince sang a song so sad it made the wolf maid sniffle, but when her pup brother teased her for crying she poured wine over his head. A black brother spoke, asking the knights to join the Night's Watch. The storm lord drank down the knight of skulls and kisses in a wine-cup war. The crannogman saw a maid with laughing purple eyes dance with a white sword, a red snake, and the lord of griffins, and lastly with the quiet wolf . . . but only after the wild wolf spoke to her on behalf of a brother too shy to leave his bench.

"Amidst all this merriment, the little crannogman spied the three squires who'd attacked him. One served a pitchfork knight, one a porcupine, while the last attended a knight with two towers on his surcoat, a sigil all crannogmen know well."

"The Freys," said Bran. "The Freys of the Crossing."

"Then, as now," she agreed. "The wolf maid saw them too, and pointed them out to her brothers. 'I could find you a horse, and some armor that might fit,' the pup offered. The little crannogman thanked him, but gave no answer. His heart was torn. Crannogmen are smaller than most, but just as proud. The lad was no knight, no more than any of his people. We sit a boat more often than a horse, and our hands are made for oars, not lances. Much as he wished to have his vengeance, he feared he would only make a fool of himself and shame his people. The quiet wolf had offered the little crannogman a place in his tent that night, but before he slept he knelt on the lakeshore, looking across the water to where the Isle of Faces would be, and said a prayer to the old gods of north and Neck . . ."

"You never heard this tale from your father?" asked Jojen.

"It was Old Nan who told the stories. Meera, go on, you can't stop there."

Hodor must have felt the same. "Hodor," he said, and then, "Hodor hodor hodor hodor."

"Well," said Meera, "if you would hear the rest . . ."

"Yes. Tell it."

"Five days of jousting were planned," she said. "There was a great seven-sided mêlée as well, and archery and axe-throwing, a horse race and tourney of singers . . ."

"Never mind about all that." Bran squirmed impatiently in his basket on Hodor's back. "Tell about the jousting."

"As my prince commands. The daughter of the castle was the queen of love and beauty, with four brothers and an uncle to defend her, but all four sons of Harrenhal were defeated on the first day. Their conquerors reigned briefly as champions, until they were vanquished in turn. As it happened, the end of the first day saw the porcupine knight win a place among the champions, and on the morning of the second day the pitchfork knight and the knight of the two towers were victorious as well. But late on the afternoon of that second day, as the shadows grew long, a mystery knight appeared in the lists."

Bran nodded sagely. Mystery knights would oft appear at tourneys, with helms concealing their faces, and shields that were either blank or bore some strange device. Sometimes they were famous champions in disguise. The Dragonknight once won a tourney as the Knight of Tears, so he could name his sister the queen of love and beauty in place of the king's mistress. And Barristan the Bold twice donned a mystery knight's armor, the first time when he was only ten. "It was the little crannogman, I bet."

"No one knew," said Meera, "but the mystery knight was short of stature, and clad in ill-fitting armor made up of bits and pieces. The device upon his shield was a heart tree of the old gods, a white weirwood with a laughing red face."

"Maybe he came from the Isle of Faces," said Bran. "Was he green?" In Old Nan's stories, the guardians had dark green skin and leaves instead of hair. Sometimes they had antlers too, but Bran didn't see how the mystery knight could have worn a helm if he had antlers. "I bet the old gods sent him."

"Perhaps they did. The mystery knight dipped his lance before the king and rode to the end of the lists, where the five champions had their pavilions. You know the three he challenged."

"The porcupine knight, the pitchfork knight, and the knight of the twin towers." Bran had heard enough stories to know that. "He was the little crannogman, I told you."

"Whoever he was, the old gods gave strength to his arm. The porcupine knight fell first, then the pitchfork knight, and lastly the knight of the two towers. None were well loved, so the common folk cheered lustily for the Knight of the Laughing Tree, as the new champion soon was called. When his fallen foes sought to ransom horse and armor, the Knight of the Laughing Tree spoke in a booming voice through his helm, saying, 'Teach your squires honor, that shall be ransom enough.' Once the defeated knights chastised their squires sharply, their horses and armor were returned. And so the little crannogman's prayer was answered . . . by the green men, or the old gods, or the children of the forest, who can say?"

It was a good story, Bran decided after thinking about it a moment or two. "Then what happened? Did the Knight of the Laughing Tree win the tourney and marry a princess?"

"No," said Meera. "That night at the great castle, the storm lord and the knight of skulls and kisses each swore they would unmask him, and the king himself urged men to challenge him, declaring that the face behind that helm was no friend of his. But the next morning, when the heralds blew their trumpets and the king took his seat, only two champions appeared. The Knight of the Laughing Tree had vanished. The king was wroth, and even sent his son the dragon prince to seek the man, but all they ever found was his painted shield, hanging abandoned in a tree. It was the dragon prince who won that tourney in the end."

"Oh." Bran thought about the tale awhile. "That was a good story. But it should have been the three bad knights who hurt him, not their squires. Then the little crannogman could have killed them all. The part about the ransoms was stupid. And the mystery knight should win the tourney, defeating every challenger, and name the wolf maid the queen of love and beauty."

"She was," said Meera, "but that's a sadder story."

"Are you certain you never heard this tale before, Bran?" asked Jojen. "Your lord father never told it to you?"

Bran shook his head. The day was growing old by then, and long shadows were creeping down the mountainsides to send black fingers through the pines. If the little crannogman could visit the Isle of Faces, maybe I could too. All the tales agreed that the green men had strange magic powers. Maybe they could help him walk again, even turn him into a knight. They turned the little crannogman into a knight, even if it was only for a day, he thought. A day would be enough.

- ASOS: Bran II

Her decisions don't absolve those who might have possibly threatened, harmed, or killed her, but her "lone wolf" decisions led her onto a path that soon ended with her death, when she might otherwise have never found herself on such a dangerous path.

As for less explicit possible hints at the sort of "wildness" in Lyanna that Lord Rickard might have called "the wolf blood," Ned first introduces us to that "wildness" that Lord Rickard used to call "wolf blood" in AGOT: Arya II.

AGOT: Arya II is the first Arya chapter after the events of AGOT: Sansa I and AGOT: Eddard III, chapters which I think might give us some hints about Lyanna in general, as well as Lyanna during the journey of Lord Rickard and his party south from Wintferfell on the way to Riverrun for Brandon's wedding to Catelyn, which I think it most likely she was with when she was abducted, but I digress.

AGOT: Sansa I is set at the Inn at the Crossroads near the Trident, as the four hundred men of King Robert's party, Lord Eddard's household, and the freeriders who had joined them on the road, are making their way south from Winterfell to King's Landing. Sansa finds Arya on the banks of the Trident, where she tells Sansa that she and Mycah are going to ride upstream to look for Rhaegar's rubies at the ford.

We learn that, during the more than two weeks riding from Winterfell to the Inn at the Crossroads, a much-younger-than-Lyanna Arya and teenage Mycah have been regularly leaving the column and riding off on their own adventures, including seeing a lizard lion, finding a haunted watchtower, chasing a herd of wild horses, and doing as they please without close supervision.

Later in the chapter, Sansa and Joffrey go riding off on their own on a day of adventure, exploring caves by the Trident riverbank, tracking a shadowcat to its lair, finding a holdfast and eating food and drinking wine there, and dining on trout fresh from the river, before traveling to the battleground where the river bends, the place where Robert killed Rhaegar.

That was where they found Arya and Mycah playing at knights using wooden sticks, broom handles from the look of them, not much different than Bran's vision of an Arya-aged Lyanna dueling with her younger brother Benjen using branches, perhaps a good four or five years before she beat down the three teenage squires using a wooden tourney sword at Harrenhal.

Though I think we should always be careful about seeing one for one parallels between two situations with possible similarities. I think Arya and Sansa in AGOT: Sansa I might give us some ideas about Lyanna, were she traveling as part of Lord Rickard's party on their way south, and how she might have found herself away from the main column with little to no supervision, and only one, or a few, if any, companions.

Going back to AGOT: Arya II, this chapter begins with the first time the Starks and their men have supped together since recently arriving in King's Landing, and Arya is pissed at the Stark men, who let Cersei get away with killing Lady, and the Hound with killing Mycah. Arya runs to the Tower of the Hand, eluding Fat Tom who is guarding the tower, and locks herself in her room.

There, as she cries, she takes out her sword Needle from hiding, and thinks of Mycah, and blames herself for having ever asked him to play at swords with her.

Ned knocks on the door and Arya opens it for him, at which point he notices Arya's sword Needle, and asks whose sword it is. This is the context in which Ned brings up Lyanna, the "wildness" and "the wolf blood," how Lyanna might have carried a sword, had her father allowed it, and how Arya reminds him of Lyanna, before hiring Syrio to train her with the sword.

Arya crossed the room and lifted the crossbar. Father was alone. He seemed more sad than angry. That made Arya feel even worse. "May I come in?" Arya nodded, then dropped her eyes, ashamed. Father closed the door. "Whose sword is that?"

"Mine." Arya had almost forgotten Needle, in her hand.

"Give it to me."

Reluctantly Arya surrendered her sword, wondering if she would ever hold it again. Her father turned it in the light, examining both sides of the blade. He tested the point with his thumb. "A bravo's blade," he said. "Yet it seems to me that I know this maker's mark. This is Mikken's work."

Arya could not lie to him. She lowered her eyes.

Lord Eddard Stark sighed. "My nine-year-old daughter is being armed from my own forge, and I know nothing of it. The Hand of the King is expected to rule the Seven Kingdoms, yet it seems I cannot even rule my own household. How is it that you come to own a sword, Arya? Where did you get this?"

Arya chewed her lip and said nothing. She would not betray Jon, not even to their father.

After a while, Father said, "I don't suppose it matters, truly." He looked down gravely at the sword in his hands. "This is no toy for children, least of all for a girl. What would Septa Mordane say if she knew you were playing with swords?"

"I wasn't playing," Arya insisted. "I hate Septa Mordane."

"That's enough." Her father's voice was curt and hard. "The septa is doing no more than is her duty, though gods know you have made it a struggle for the poor woman. Your mother and I have charged her with the impossible task of making you a lady."

"I don't want to be a lady!" Arya flared.

"I ought to snap this toy across my knee here and now, and put an end to this nonsense."

"Needle wouldn't break," Arya said defiantly, but her voice betrayed her words.

"It has a name, does it?" Her father sighed. "Ah, Arya. You have a wildness in you, child. ‘The wolf blood,' my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave." Arya heard sadness in his voice; he did not often speak of his father, or of the brother and sister who had died before she was born. "Lyanna might have carried a sword, if my lord father had allowed it. You remind me of her sometimes. You even look like her."

"Lyanna was beautiful," Arya said, startled. Everybody said so. It was not a thing that was ever said of Arya.

"She was," Eddard Stark agreed, "beautiful, and willful, and dead before her time." He lifted the sword, held it out between them. "Arya, what did you think to do with this . . . Needle? Who did you hope to skewer? Your sister? Septa Mordane? Do you know the first thing about sword fighting?"

All she could think of was the lesson Jon had given her. "Stick them with the pointy end," she blurted out.

Her father snorted back laughter. "That is the essence of it, I suppose."

Arya desperately wanted to explain, to make him see. "I was trying to learn, but . . . " Her eyes filled with tears. "I asked Mycah to practice with me." The grief came on her all at once. She turned away, shaking. "I asked him," she cried. "It was my fault, it was me . . . "

Suddenly her father's arms were around her. He held her gently as she turned to him and sobbed against his chest. "No, sweet one," he murmured. "Grieve for your friend, but never blame yourself. You did not kill the butcher's boy. That murder lies at the Hound's door, him and the cruel woman he serves."

"I hate them," Arya confided, red-faced, sniffling. "The Hound and the queen and the king and Prince Joffrey. I hate all of them. Joffrey lied, it wasn't the way he said. I hate Sansa too. She did remember, she just lied so Joffrey would like her."

"We all lie," her father said. "Or did you truly think I'd believe that Nymeria ran off?"

Arya blushed guiltily. "Jory promised not to tell."

"Jory kept his word," her father said with a smile. "There are some things I do not need to be told. Even a blind man could see that wolf would never have left you willingly."

"We had to throw rocks," she said miserably. "I told her to run, to go be free, that I didn't want her anymore. There were other wolves for her to play with, we heard them howling, and Jory said the woods were full of game, so she'd have deer to hunt. Only she kept following, and finally we had to throw rocks. I hit her twice. She whined and looked at me and I felt so 'shamed, but it was right, wasn't it? The queen would have killed her."

"It was right," her father said. "And even the lie was . . . not without honor." He'd put Needle aside when he went to Arya to embrace her. Now he took the blade up again and walked to the window, where he stood for a moment, looking out across the courtyard. When he turned back, his eyes were thoughtful. He seated himself on the window seat, Needle across his lap. "Arya, sit down. I need to try and explain some things to you."

She perched anxiously on the edge of her bed. "You are too young to be burdened with all my cares," he told her, "but you are also a Stark of Winterfell. You know our words."

"Winter is coming," Arya whispered.

"The hard cruel times," her father said. "We tasted them on the Trident, child, and when Bran fell. You were born in the long summer, sweet one, you've never known anything else, but now the winter is truly coming. Remember the sigil of our House, Arya."

"The direwolf," she said, thinking of Nymeria. She hugged her knees against her chest, suddenly afraid.

"Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths. So if you must hate, Arya, hate those who would truly do us harm. Septa Mordane is a good woman, and Sansa . . . Sansa is your sister. You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you . . . and I need both of you, gods help me."

He sounded so tired that it made Arya sad. "I don't hate Sansa," she told him. "Not truly." It was only half a lie.

"I do not mean to frighten you, but neither will I lie to you. We have come to a dark dangerous place, child. This is not Winterfell. We have enemies who mean us ill. We cannot fight a war among ourselves. This willfulness of yours, the running off, the angry words, the disobedience . . . at home, these were only the summer games of a child. Here and now, with winter soon upon us, that is a different matter. It is time to begin growing up."

"I will," Arya vowed. She had never loved him so much as she did in that instant. "I can be strong too. I can be as strong as Robb."

He held Needle out to her, hilt first. "Here."

She looked at the sword with wonder in her eyes. For a moment she was afraid to touch it, afraid that if she reached for it it would be snatched away again, but then her father said, "Go on, it's yours," and she took it in her hand.

"I can keep it?" she said. "For true?"

"For true." He smiled. "If I took it away, no doubt I'd find a morningstar hidden under your pillow within the fortnight. Try not to stab your sister, whatever the provocation."

"I won't. I promise." Arya clutched Needle tightly to her chest as her father took his leave.

The next morning, as they broke their fast, she apologized to Septa Mordane and asked for her pardon. The septa peered at her suspiciously, but Father nodded.

Three days later, at midday, her father's steward Vayon Poole sent Arya to the Small Hall. The trestle tables had been dismantled and the benches shoved against the walls. The hall seemed empty, until an unfamiliar voice said, "You are late, boy." A slight man with a bald head and a great beak of a nose stepped out of the shadows, holding a pair of slender wooden swords. "Tomorrow you will be here at midday." He had an accent, the lilt of the Free Cities, Braavos perhaps, or Myr.

"Who are you?" Arya asked.

"I am your dancing master." He tossed her one of the wooden blades. She grabbed for it, missed, and heard it clatter to the floor. "Tomorrow you will catch it. Now pick it up."

It was not just a stick, but a true wooden sword complete with grip and guard and pommel. Arya picked it up and clutched it nervously with both hands, holding it out in front of her. It was heavier than it looked, much heavier than Needle.

The bald man clicked his teeth together. "That is not the way, boy. This is not a greatsword that is needing two hands to swing it. You will take the blade in one hand."

"It's too heavy," Arya said.

"It is heavy as it needs to be to make you strong, and for the balancing. A hollow inside is filled with lead, just so. One hand now is all that is needing."

Arya took her right hand off the grip and wiped her sweaty palm on her pants. She held the sword in her left hand. He seemed to approve. "The left is good. All is reversed, it will make your enemies more awkward. Now you are standing wrong. Turn your body sideface, yes, so. You are skinny as the shaft of a spear, do you know. That is good too, the target is smaller. Now the grip. Let me see." He moved closer and peered at her hand, prying her fingers apart, rearranging them. "Just so, yes. Do not squeeze it so tight, no, the grip must be deft, delicate."

"What if I drop it?" Arya said.

"The steel must be part of your arm," the bald man told her. "Can you drop part of your arm? No. Nine years Syrio Forel was first sword to the Sealord of Braavos, he knows these things. Listen to him, boy."

It was the third time he had called her "boy." "I'm a girl," Arya objected.

"Boy, girl," Syrio Forel said. "You are a sword, that is all." He clicked his teeth together. "Just so, that is the grip. You are not holding a battle-axe, you are holding a—"

"—needle," Arya finished for him, fiercely.

"Just so. Now we will begin the dance. Remember, child, this is not the iron dance of Westeros we are learning, the knight's dance, hacking and hammering, no. This is the bravo's dance, the water dance, swift and sudden. All men are made of water, do you know this? When you pierce them, the water leaks out and they die." He took a step backward, raised his own wooden blade. "Now you will try to strike me."

Arya tried to strike him. She tried for four hours, until every muscle in her body was sore and aching, while Syrio Forel clicked his teeth together and told her what to do.

The next day their real work began.

- AGOT: Arya II

I think there is a lot of potential in these chapters and in these paragraphs, to help us begin to understand Lyanna and what might have occurred in the early 280s AC. And I think they demonstrate some of the things Lyanna did, things that Arya does or gravitates toward, that got her into the thick of things (publicly and loudly driving off squires in front of much of the realm at Harrenhal, TKOTLT) and brought her to the attention of the Targaryens (Rhaegar, and Aerys and his lickspittles) and the rest of the realm when she might have kept a much lower profile. That doesn't mean she is to blame for her early death. It just means that they were part of her path to what was an early death.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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17 hours ago, Plain, Simple Tailor said:

Littlefinger has no control over anything. 

Varys does. 

I think there's something to this with Varys.

I think plainly, Varys told Aerys that Lyanna was the KotLT, then he turned around and informed Rhaegar that Aerys knows.

He pulled the exact same thing with Dany. He reveals Dany's pregnancy which sends Robert into a downright spiral, where he wants Dany to be taken out. The attempt on her life forces Drogo to deliver on the promise that he would invade the 7Ks with his horde. Then Varys turns around and makes sure Jorah is informed of the plot of having her murdered.

What happened with Lyanna to me reeks of the exact same plot. 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Do we really know this?  It’s a tale told to Dany by Viserys, presumably, and who knows where Viserys got his information from.  Some singer perhaps?  Tales always seem to grow in the telling.

But however Lyanna was spirited away, Ned seems to lay at least part of the blame on Lyanna, when he comments that Lyanna’s wolfs Blood led her to an early grave.  I’m not sure that Ned would have necessarily come to that conclusion if Lyanna had been carried off by sword point.

Probably from Viserys. Perhaps Ser Willam, or some other person around the Targaryens. Perhaps, as @Bael's Bastard notes, this has its origins in Rhaegar's own accounts told to others during his time in King's Landing after coming north from the tower of joy. The point here is that the Targaryen version and the rebel's version both agree that force was involved. I see no reason to not believe it is true if both agree.

Now both sides agreeing that force was involved doesn't mean much. It doesn't mean there is an agreement about Lyanna's thinking or consent, for instance. It really does make a difference regarding who the sword points were pointed.

I agree with you that Ned's comments to Arya suggests he believes Lyanna was partially responsible for what happened. At least, we can say he thought some action she took or didn't take led to the outcome we know happened. I would add that the three brothers were also at  Harrenhal and witnessed at least some of Rhaegar and Lyanna's interactions. Whatever Lyanna's thoughts there could well have been shared with, or observed by, her brothers. She doesn't seem the type to stay silent.

 

Edited by SFDanny

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18 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Why would we expect guards to be traveling with Lyanna?  When Ned and his daughters traveled from Winterfell to King’s Landing Arya was running around unsupervised all the time.  Why would it be any different for Lyanna?

Arya was running around the King's traveling party of many armed men and people assigned to take care of her. She was hardly without supervision. She may well have run away from that supervision at times, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist. 

Likewise with Lyanna, a fifteen year old maiden who is betrothed to a Great Lord, and the child of another, doesn't travel without supervision.  Too many interests are involved here concerning the upcoming marriage to believe Lyanna was let loose to roam the Riverlands on her own. She may have run away, just like Arya did at times, but the idea that the supervision, including guards to protect her, did not exist is a non-starter. Guards and a Septa Mordane like figure are the minimum we should expect.

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On 4/22/2019 at 6:09 PM, Ran said:

As for whether it's true, I don't think so, no. We know Lyanna was taken/eloped from near Harrenhal, and we know Brandon was on his way to Riverrun. As I've speculated before, Lyanna had likely stayed on as a guest of the Whents while Brandon collected his wedding party. If he rode ahead of the column with a few buddies to hang out with his sister, only to learn that Rhaegar had absconded with her... well, you see how it would have fallen out, and without outside intervention being necessary. 

Do we know he was on his way to Riverrun? I thought the last for sure travel direction we had for Brandon was leaving Riverrun after the duel? Perhaps to meet up with his father riding south, perhaps to make a little Snow while watching some stars fall? :cool4:  Though this does give me an opportunity to ask you a question you've probably answered before, when Aerys called for Brandon's friends' dads to show up, who came for Elbert? 

 

On 4/23/2019 at 6:26 AM, kissdbyfire said:

It’s worse, I think he was ~ 13?

I'm doing this whole little project involving a timeline for the Rebellion that partially uses something Rhaenys posted a while ago and the Litllefinger dating on the wiki and honestly there's only two logical conclusions for Littlefinger's age. 1.) George can't (or didn't) do math, that bane of all great writers or 2.) Cat honestly has no thrice-damned clue how old Littlefinger is, since she always just thought of him as being "younger than her" and "too young for her". When she tells us that Littlefinger is "shy of thirty" it's after also admitting that she hasn't even thought of him in over fifteen years. No rational person is going to jump thirteen to fifteen when telling a story, especially when the point of the story is "I was really young and out of my league and the other guy was twenty", so I honestly believe that Cat is experiencing that issue where you always think people who are younger than you are always younger than they are. There's also the issue that we don't even know how old Cat, Lysa, or Edmure are for sure. Cat never thinks about it, which considering the little bit about her clock ticking, but still being able to give Ned a sixth kid, makes me think she also might not be wanting to admit her age at that point. 

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35 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I think there's something to this with Varys.

I think plainly, Varys told Aerys that Lyanna was the KotLT, then he turned around and informed Rhaegar that Aerys knows.

He pulled the exact same thing with Dany. He reveals Dany's pregnancy which sends Robert into a downright spiral, where he wants Dany to be taken out. The attempt on her life forces Drogo to deliver on the promise that he would invade the 7Ks with his horde. Then Varys turns around and makes sure Jorah is informed of the plot of having her murdered.

What happened with Lyanna to me reeks of the exact same plot. 

I think it's plausible that something along those lines occurred. We see how he feeds information to various parties that are at odds, and he is is quite open about that, for example, in his discussions with Ned and Tyrion. He outright tells Tyrion that he would not lie to Cersei if she were to ask what he knew about Shae.

Hiring Shae as one of Sansa's maids had given him an excuse to be seen talking with her, but Tyrion did not delude himself that they were safe. Varys had warned him. "I gave Shae a false history, but it was meant for Lollys and Lady Tanda. Your sister is of a more suspicious mind. If she should ask me what I know . . . "

"You will tell her some clever lie."

"No. I will tell her that the girl is a common camp follower that you acquired before the battle on the Green Fork and brought to King's Landing against your lord father's express command. I will not lie to the queen."

"You have lied to her before. Shall I tell her that?"

The eunuch sighed. "That cuts more deeply than a knife, my lord. I have served you loyally, but I must also serve your sister when I can. How long do you think she would let me live if I were of no further use to her whatsoever? I have no fierce sellsword to protect me, no valiant brother to avenge me, only some little birds who whisper in my ear. With those whisperings I must buy my life anew each day."

- ASOS: Tyrion VII

 

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1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I think there's something to this with Varys.

I think plainly, Varys told Aerys that Lyanna was the KotLT, then he turned around and informed Rhaegar that Aerys knows.

He pulled the exact same thing with Dany. He reveals Dany's pregnancy which sends Robert into a downright spiral, where he wants Dany to be taken out. The attempt on her life forces Drogo to deliver on the promise that he would invade the 7Ks with his horde. Then Varys turns around and makes sure Jorah is informed of the plot of having her murdered.

What happened with Lyanna to me reeks of the exact same plot. 

Varys was a suspect no. 2 on my list :-) He may not have initiated whatever it was that brought Brandon to KL, but he might have used Brandon's rash act for his own purposes to fan the conflict, just like he did when he backed LF's tale to Cat. For instance, he may have fed Brandon false information that Rhaegar was present and hiding in the Red Keep, and things were bound to go south from there.

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38 minutes ago, CAllDSmith said:

Do we know he was on his way to Riverrun? I thought the last for sure travel direction we had for Brandon was leaving Riverrun after the duel? Perhaps to meet up with his father riding south, perhaps to make a little Snow while watching some stars fall? :cool4:  Though this does give me an opportunity to ask you a question you've probably answered before, when Aerys called for Brandon's friends' dads to show up, who came for Elbert? 

@CAllDSmith

Catelyn states that Brandon was on his way to Riverrun when he heard about Lyanna, as does the App.

"He was on his way to Riverrun when . . ." Strange, how telling it still made her throat grow tight, after all these years. ". . . when he heard about Lyanna, and went to King's Landing instead. It was a rash thing to do." She remembered how her own father had raged when the news had been brought to Riverrun. The gallant fool, was what he called Brandon.

- ACOK: Catelyn VII

When the date of their wedding is announced some years afterward, Petyr - who has fallen in love with Catelyn - challenges Brandon for her hand and is grievously wounded. He might have even been killed had Catelyn not begged Brandon beforehand to spare Petyr's life. Still, Petyr is sent away from Riverrun, while Brandon departs to join his father's wedding party, coming down from the north. But when Brandon hears of Rhaegar's abduction of Lyanna on his way back, he abandons Catelyn, racing to King's Landing.

- A World of Ice and Fire App

Regarding Elbert Arryn, I don't see who else Aerys would have summoned to answer for his alleged crimes other than Jon Arryn. Jon was Lord of the Eyrie and Vale, Elbert's own father was long dead, and Elbert was Jon's nephew and heir. I believe Jon might have even been the only living Arryn male descended from Lord Jasper other than Elbert.

If it was Jon that Aerys summoned, then he likely made the conscious choice to remain in the Vale rather than go to King's Landing to try to free his nephew and heir. Perhaps he had a good idea that Elbert was never going to be allowed to leave KL alive once he was in Aerys's possession, and that he wouldn't be either if he went there.

IIRC, @SFDanny has suggested the possibility that Aerys was still holding Elbert alive, or at least claiming to, when he demanded that Jon send the heads of Robert and Ned, and when Jon chose to raise his banners in defiance.

 

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1 hour ago, CAllDSmith said:

Do we know he was on his way to Riverrun?

I thought the last for sure travel direction we had for Brandon was leaving Riverrun after the duel?

Brandon told Catelyn he would be back soon to marry her. His companions included Kyle Royce and Elbert Arryn, which is suggestive that he picked them up via the Vale. Lord Hoster Tully learned the news without being in contact with Rickard Stark and co., suggesting they weren't in the riverlands at the time. Ned and Robert ended up in the Vale when things went down, either there all along or close enough to it that when things went bad they returned to it. We're told Brandon went south with Rickard and two hundred men, who were in no way evident at Riverrun at this time and implies that Brandon had left the riverlands to go to the North. It'd also be strange for the wedding date to be announced (the cause of the duel) and the wedding itself to happen a mere few days after.

My general speculation has been that Brandon left Riverrun to go North, to collect the beginnings of the wedding party following the date being set, including his father and his two hundred swords as an honor guard. They sailed to the Vale, collected more people, but impulsive, restless Brandon decided he didn't like the slow pace that ensued and figured he and a few like-minded young bloods would go ahead of the party to Harrenhal, where Lyanna was a guest of the Whents, to hang out there and wait for the rest to catch up. 

So far, nothing has appeared to contradict this speculative timeline, and George seems to have more or less confirmed a part of the speculation, namely that Lyanna was in the vicinity of Harrenhal.

1 hour ago, CAllDSmith said:

Perhaps to meet up with his father riding south, perhaps to make a little Snow while watching some stars fall?

Doubtful. Jon Snow is of the wrong age to have been conceived before Brandon's death.

1 hour ago, CAllDSmith said:

 :cool4:  Though this does give me an opportunity to ask you a question you've probably answered before, when Aerys called for Brandon's friends' dads to show up, who came for Elbert? 

We do not know, but I would guess no one as his father was long dead and Jon Arryn clearly recognized that Aerys was mad.

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29 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Varys was a suspect no. 2 on my list :-) He may not have initiated whatever it was that brought Brandon to KL, but he might have used Brandon's rash act for his own purposes to fan the conflict, just like he did when he backed LF's tale to Cat. For instance, he may have fed Brandon false information that Rhaegar was present and hiding in the Red Keep, and things were bound to go south from there.

See, I go counter to that. Maybe it's because it's been too long since the last book dropped and I've done many re-reads in the past two years, while fooling myself into believing that Winds of Winter will be announced anytime now!

I don't think Varys was working against Rhaegar. I think he was working parallel to him and toward the same goal. We have seen Varys at work. He will inform and do his job, but he will also withhold information and fall in line with someone when he needs to.

Aerys going to the tourney at Harrenhal was the best thing that could have happened for Rhaegar, imo. Aerys had not left the Red Keep in years, he is a mess and he is mentally unstable and the people who get to see that and experience that are Mace Tyrell, Jon Arryn, the four children of Rickard Stark and Hoster Tully by proxy. 

And in contrast to him, you have his perfectly normal son who we are told is everything wanted in the heir apparent. When the time comes to remove Aerys, do these lord proceed ahead with him or do they fall behind Rhaegar?

So to nudge things along, Varys gives up the identity of the mystery knight. Aerys had a bit of a meltdown, perhaps egged on by his small council. Rhaegar has just crowned Lyanna Stark QoLaB at Harrenhal, so there's even more suspicion going on there. Men are sent to arrest/kill her, Varys turns around and warns Rhaegar of what happened. He goes with his men to find her, thereby rescuing the daughter of the Warden of the North and the betrothed of the Lord Paramount of the Stormlands, two men whose voices will matter because Aerys has now attacked them. And you start building a coalition like that.

But Varys doesn't know Brandon Stark and maybe he's counting on Rickard Stark to curb his son's tendencies if the two are traveling together when they find out about Lyanna. But Brandon is apparently on his own and his companions are pretty useless, so what happens happens.

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1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I don't think Varys was working against Rhaegar. I think he was working parallel to him and toward the same goal. We have seen Varys at work. He will inform and do his job, but he will also withhold information and fall in line with someone when he needs to.

That's my biggest issue, though - what is Varys' plan? He might have some long-term "good of the realm" in his mind but he doesn't seem to be very concerned about people who get hurt in the process, which makes me highly suspicious about his supposed altruism. If he is a Blackfyre himself, or a Blackfyre supporter, or merely a social reformist, his goal would be not support Rhaegar but bring down House Targaryen and install a Blackfyre heir or an impostor. We have several accounts of Varys adding to Aerys' paranoia, Varys possessed the means to get Elia and her children out of KL when it was supposed to burn but he didn't, young Vis and Dany were not provided for, Dany was wed to Drogo while expected to die in the Dothraki sea, and Viserys was most likely to be offed so that fAegon could sweep in. Doesn't exactly scream "long live the Targs" for me.

 

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Varys gives up the identity of the mystery knight. Aerys had a bit of a meltdown, perhaps egged on by his small council. Rhaegar has just crowned Lyanna Stark QoLaB at Harrenhal, so there's even more suspicion going on there. Men are sent to arrest/kill her, Varys turns around and warns Rhaegar of what happened.

Quite possible.

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

But Varys doesn't know Brandon Stark and maybe he's counting on Rickard Stark to curb his son's tendencies if the two are traveling together when they find out about Lyanna. But Brandon is apparently on his own and his companions are pretty useless, so what happens happens.

Or perhaps he relied on Brandon being Brandon - the guy who had to be restrained so as not to attack the Crown Prince at HH (and being unhorsed by none other than Rhaegar most likely didn't sit well with Brandon, either). Shitstorm was bound to ensue.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

We have little reason to doubt it, since both sides of the conflict, and the maesters of the Citadel, agree on Rhaegar carrying Lyanna off (whether they claim he had bad intentions or good). For their part, Dany and Viserys come from an uncritically pro-Rhaegar/pro-Targaryen and uncritically anti-Robert/anti-Rebel perspective. The pro-Rhaegar/pro-Targaryen perspective would have every reason to omit Lyanna being taken at sword point, yet it is from them that we get this detail.

We actually should very much doubt the manner in which Lyanna was “carried off”.  The traditional narrative, I agree is that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna.  Of course “abducted” seems to carry very different connotations depending on who you ask.  Robert is of the belief that Rhaegar apparently raped Lyanna to death.  Dany is of the opinion that this abduction is part of a tragic love story.

And if you look to the context in which Dany thinks about Rhaegar taking Lyanna by swordpoint, it’s obviously not considered as a negative in her eyes.  The context being that Dany is fantasizing about being carried off by Daario at swordpoint.  In other words, she considers it romantic.

So the possibility certainly exists, that Dany has simply come to the conclusion that Rhaegar carried off his lady love by swordpoint, because it is a part of her girlish fantasy vision of the love story that was Rhaegar and Lyanna.

But who knows what the truth is.  For all we know Brandon came to a rash assumption that Lyanna was abducted by Rhaegar, as opposed to willingly ran off with Rhaegar.  Or perhaps for Brandon the distinction between the two scenarios was of little significance.  Brandon’s actions and accusations spread far and wide, and Rhaegar never said anything to disabuse anyone of Brandon’s accusation.

But regardless, we don’t have any concrete proof that Lyanna did not willingly run off with Rhaegar.  And Eddard laying at least part of the blame of Lyanna’s death on Lyanna implies that just maybe Eddard came to a  realization that Lyanna willingly left with Rhaegar.  

 

Edited by Frey family reunion

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9 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Arya was running around the King's traveling party of many armed men and people assigned to take care of her. She was hardly without supervision. She may well have run away from that supervision at times, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist. 

Likewise with Lyanna, a fifteen year old maiden who is betrothed to a Great Lord, and the child of another, doesn't travel without supervision.  Too many interests are involved here concerning the upcoming marriage to believe Lyanna was let loose to roam the Riverlands on her own. She may have run away, just like Arya did at times, but the idea that the supervision, including guards to protect her, did not exist is a non-starter. Guards and a Septa Mordane like figure are the minimum we should expect.

I think Arya was without supervision a good bit, unless you count Nymeria as supervision:

Quote

“Arya was still going on, brushing out Nymeria’s tangles and chattering about things she’d seen on the trek south. “Last week we found this haunted watchtower, and the day before we chased a herd of wild horses. You should have seen them run when they caught a scent of Nymeria.” The wolf wriggled in her grasp and Arya scolded her. “Stop that, I have to do the other side, you’re all muddy.”
“You’re not supposed to leave the column,” Sansa reminded her. “Father said so.”
Arya shrugged. “I didn’t go far. Anyway, Nymeria was with me the whole time.”

And this doesn’t include the times that she went off to pick purple flowers in the bogs or when she and the butcher’s boy ran off by themselves to practice swords play.

So it really isn’t too far fetched to suggest that Lyanna may have separated herself from the wedding party (if that’s who she was with) to further her own interest.  Or perhaps to meet up with someone.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

So it really isn’t too far fetched to suggest that Lyanna may have separated herself from the wedding party (if that’s who she was with) to further her own interest.  Or perhaps to meet up with someone.

I believe I made it clear there is always the possibility that Lyanna, like Arya, could have ran away, but that isn't even close to the point. What we should expect is that she wasn't traveling alone. A highborn maiden is supposed to travel with an escort, including guards. Those guards are the likely source on the Stark side of the sword points, and the most likely source of information on the kidnapping to Brandon. NOT Littlefinger.

Edited by SFDanny

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13 hours ago, CAllDSmith said:

Do we know he was on his way to Riverrun? I thought the last for sure travel direction we had for Brandon was leaving Riverrun after the duel? Perhaps to meet up with his father riding south, perhaps to make a little Snow while watching some stars fall? :cool4:  Though this does give me an opportunity to ask you a question you've probably answered before, when Aerys called for Brandon's friends' dads to show up, who came for Elbert? 

@Bael's Bastard gave you the quote proving what @Ran has said concerning Brandon traveling to Riverrun when he heard the news of Lyanna's kidnapping, so I won't comment further on that part of your question.

As to who came for Elbert, I agree with Ran's statement that the most likely answer is no one did. If you are Aerys and you issue a command to Lord Arryn to send Robert's and Ned's heads to King's Landing, I don't think you kill Elbert before the Lord of the Eyrie makes his response clear. Aerys liked using hostages to get what he wanted, and this seems no different. Likely the message went to Lord Jon about Elbert being held for crimes against the crown and the need for Jon to come and answer for them, but he also sends his command for heads not that long after Rickard and Brandon are dead. My guess is Elbert stays alive until Jon Arryn raises his banners. Not that Elbert couldn't have stayed alive longer, but Aerys seems the type to want to make examples of his hostages.

13 hours ago, CAllDSmith said:

I'm doing this whole little project involving a timeline for the Rebellion that partially uses something Rhaenys posted a while ago and the Litllefinger dating on the wiki and honestly there's only two logical conclusions for Littlefinger's age. 1.) George can't (or didn't) do math, that bane of all great writers or 2.) Cat honestly has no thrice-damned clue how old Littlefinger is, since she always just thought of him as being "younger than her" and "too young for her". When she tells us that Littlefinger is "shy of thirty" it's after also admitting that she hasn't even thought of him in over fifteen years. No rational person is going to jump thirteen to fifteen when telling a story, especially when the point of the story is "I was really young and out of my league and the other guy was twenty", so I honestly believe that Cat is experiencing that issue where you always think people who are younger than you are always younger than they are. There's also the issue that we don't even know how old Cat, Lysa, or Edmure are for sure. Cat never thinks about it, which considering the little bit about her clock ticking, but still being able to give Ned a sixth kid, makes me think she also might not be wanting to admit her age at that point. 

It's good that you have run into the problem of Littlefinger's age. All those who attempt to build timelines and pinpoint ages and name days at some point come to the same realization how faulty the clues are around Lord Baelish's age. Or I should say, those with half a brain do so. There once was a group of fans who called themselves the "Order of the Greenhand" that built their entire understanding of the timeline on Petyr's age. It was ridiculous to watch people come here and post the videos as if we should take them seriously.

But you are in the best of hands if you are working with @Rhaenys_Targaryen. The irony about Cat's thoughts on Petyr's age is that she is amongst the best sources for such information in the books. Much better than Ned, who can't remember Renly's, or Tommen's ages to save his life.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Ran said:

My general speculation has been that Brandon left Riverrun to go North, to collect the beginnings of the wedding party following the date being set, including his father and his two hundred swords as an honor guard. They sailed to the Vale, collected more people, but impulsive, restless Brandon decided he didn't like the slow pace that ensued and figured he and a few like-minded young bloods would go ahead of the party to Harrenhal, where Lyanna was a guest of the Whents, to hang out there and wait for the rest to catch up. 

So far, nothing has appeared to contradict this speculative timeline, and George seems to have more or less confirmed a part of the speculation, namely that Lyanna was in the vicinity of Harrenhal.

My main problem with this is that is seems highly unlikely that the Starks would allow Lyanna to stay with a loyalist house so closely aligned with Rhaegar. After the events at Harrenhal is seems a highly unlikely choice for her to stay. Much more likely, it seems to me, is if Lyanna travels with her brothers to the Vale. The better for her and Robert to spend some quality supervised time together getting to know each other. Whether or not Lyanna goes north with Benjen, only to turn around and come back with Rickard seems an open question to me. But, either traveling from the Vale or ahead of her father's column it seems likely she leaves with a small party to go onto Riverrun herself, and it is on this journey that she is "kidnapped."

My major questions about this time period concerns whether or not the Starks respond to Rhaegar's crowning of Lyanna by moving up the wedding of Lyanna to Robert. If so it would likely mean a marriage before Lyanna turns sixteen. Maybe a joint marriage of Robert and Lyanna at the same time as Brandon's and Catelyn's impending nuptials. But it would be a response we would expect from the Starks after Rhaegar declares his interest in Lyanna before the assembled realm. In effect, saying even the royal house has no right to interfere in a marriage pact pledged between House Stark and House Baratheon. If so, it seems likely Lyanna may have asked Rhaegar for his help in getting out of a quickly approaching wedding she wanted no part of.

I favor a chance meeting to spark these developments, mainly because it would fit Martin's homages to Tolkien. Specifically the chance meeting between Gandalf and Thorin in the Prancing Pony in Bree. A chance encounter that change the face of Middle Earth. It would fit Martin's style, I think, to have Lyanna and Rhaegar have a chance encounter at the Inn of the Crossroads as each are on journeys that fate them to other lives. Lyanna to marry Robert, and Rhaegar to find the Ghost of High Heart to help him explain how Elia's infertility after Aegon's birth effect the prophecy of the dragon must have three heads.

Let me ask you this, @Ran, concerning Brandon's companions. It is a peculiar party for a heir to the North to have as his wedding party, which I agree it likely is. Other than his squire Ethan Glover, there are no northerners. Just how do you think these young noblemen are picked for this honor?

I have a guess, but it isn't something I can claim comes from me. Stefan Stasse over at the Tower of the Hand, The Nerdstream Era, and Boiled Leather audio first wrote about this idea as far as I can see. Perhaps you have heard of it before and can point me to other origins. Whoever thought this up, Stasse has theorized that, at least Elbert, is in this party because a foster brother relationship between Brandon and Elbert. That along with sending Ned south to the Eyrie to be fostered in the Vale, we have Elbert coming north to be foster alongside of Brandon in Barrowton. I like this idea quite a bit and think the presence of a hero of the War of the Sevenpenny Kings in Barrowton is an attraction for both heirs to be trained there. The same could be true for young Royce and Mallister. Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this speculation.

 

Edited by SFDanny

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9 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

My main problem with this is that is seems highly unlikely that the Starks would allow Lyanna to stay with a loyalist house so closely aligned with Rhaegar. After the events at Harrenhal is seems a highly unlikely choice for her to stay.

If Lyanna's stay had been arranged prior the tourney, it would have been a huge insult to House Whent to renege on the arrangement (basically implying that you don't trust them not to pimp Lyanna out to Rhaegar). Furthermore, offending the Whents wouldn't sit well with the Tullys, either, for obvious reasons

9 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Much more likely, it seems to me, is if Lyanna travels with her brothers to the Vale. The better for her and Robert to spend some quality supervised time together getting to know each other.

This feels like a rather modern concept, though. Do we have any such example in-world? The only one coming to mind is Myrcella, but that was more of a political move to appease Dorne. I don't think it was customable for young maidens to spend the time in a different household to get to know their betrothed, even under supervision.

9 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Whether or not Lyanna goes north with Benjen, only to turn around and come back with Rickard seems an open question to me. But, either traveling from the Vale or ahead of her father's column it seems likely she leaves with a small party to go onto Riverrun herself, and it is on this journey that she is "kidnapped."

You're forgetting another option - pulling an Alys to run from an unwanted marriage. In that scenario, Lyanna would indeed travel alone.

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13 hours ago, Ygrain said:

That's my biggest issue, though - what is Varys' plan? He might have some long-term "good of the realm" in his mind but he doesn't seem to be very concerned about people who get hurt in the process, which makes me highly suspicious about his supposed altruism. If he is a Blackfyre himself, or a Blackfyre supporter, or merely a social reformist, his goal would be not support Rhaegar but bring down House Targaryen and install a Blackfyre heir or an impostor. We have several accounts of Varys adding to Aerys' paranoia, Varys possessed the means to get Elia and her children out of KL when it was supposed to burn but he didn't, young Vis and Dany were not provided for, Dany was wed to Drogo while expected to die in the Dothraki sea, and Viserys was most likely to be offed so that fAegon could sweep in. Doesn't exactly scream "long live the Targs" for me.

I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who thinks that Aegon is very much who they say he is. I think the Blackfyre in the story is someone else. And this is the reason why I think that Varys was not acting against Rhaegar, but was trying to precipitate the end of Aerys's rule instead. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who thinks that Aegon is very much who they say he is. I think the Blackfyre in the story is someone else. And this is the reason why I think that Varys was not acting against Rhaegar, but was trying to precipitate the end of Aerys's rule instead. 

But even if YG is the real deal - which I don't quite exclude - the question is, why the whole baby swap? KL was supposed to burn to the ground. I find it highly improbable that Varys never learned about the wildfire plot but we haven't had single indication that he tried to prevent it. It was Jaime who offed first Rossart and then the other pyromancers, and I don't think that Jaime's actions could have been predicted. So, if Varys was willing to let KL burn, he didn't need a substitute for little Aegon; in fact, he could have smuggled out Elia herself with both children and no-one would have known they were alive. Which still makes me think that Varys is following his own agenda rather than support the Targaryens.

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