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Black Crow

Heresy 222 vindication

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6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Brandon was promised to Catelyn six years prior to the Rebellion. That’s an awful long time to plan a conspiracy. Ned was a boy and stayed with Jon Arryn long enough to squire and train to be a knight, leaving when he was considered full grown. IMO too many years had passed. Nobody plays a game that long without taking action. In fact, nobody made a move until Brandon and Rickard died.

I tend to disagree. I think long games are heavy in The text: see Young Griff, Doran Martell and the letter in Braavos...

I subscribe to the theory there was a plan to weaken Aerys’ or the Targaryen standing as a whole by having the realm very integrated through alliances and marriages. If memory serves, Aerys started going downhill about ten years into his reign. Tywin served as Hand 20 years which ended right before the Tourney of Harrenhal. My guess the the southern ambitions weren’t really southern ambitions but his part of the plan (he had four kids after all) to integrate into the realm through marriage and customs (per @Feather Crystal’s point about being sent to be squires). I would bet money that the whole plan started around the same time Aerys started losing his marbles, approximately ten years before Harrenhal Tourney

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7 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Brandon was promised to Catelyn six years prior to the Rebellion. That’s an awful long time to plan a conspiracy. Ned was a boy and stayed with Jon Arryn long enough to squire and train to be a knight, leaving when he was considered full grown. IMO too many years had passed. Nobody plays a game that long without taking action. In fact, nobody made a move until Brandon and Rickard died.

If it was a conspiracy to take the iron throne, six years is not a long time at all.

Jon fostering Ned and Robert itself may be an unusual arrangement.  This could have been done to ensure neither Winterfell nor Storm's End would attack the Vale, possibly in return for something else. 

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45 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I think, per my post above that he had in mind or had been offered the job of High King as the most powerful of the First Men

We should consider the possibility Rickard was more like Littlefinger and less like Ned.  Jon Arryn raised him and all Ned's values of honor and honesty could be from Jon's ideals of Knighthood, not his biological father. 

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Posted (edited)

Not so much looking at the story but GRRMs worldbuilding, my current take on the books is this:

GRRM wrote a number of short stories, which he is good at, and some iconic scenes (Others Opening, Mother Direwolf, Tower of Joy, Red Wedding). His worldbuilding is done by duplicating and inverting the initial short stories, placing them in different timelines. This works similar to video games duplicating background elements. Those of you having played video games in the 90s maybe remember that the seems of the duplications were showing, and GRRM uses being vague ('unreliable narrator') to cover this. That creates a rich world of wheels within wheels, that are sometimes contradicting, we love to speculate about. 

Where the approach fails in, or got out of hand, is that the initial short stories don't form a coherent storyline beginning to end,  because they were not initially planned to have one.

What I am struggling with are:

1) Bran as a king in the end. IMHO this translates to mankind being better of governed by a divine being, or, in our times, artificial intelligence. I am not ok with this at all. 

2) The pending resolution to the Others (White Walkers). GRRM stating that he hadn't thought about them having a culture yet implies he 'makes up stuff as he writes', and hasn't come to a resolution for this arc yet.

3) Resurrections. It just doesn't work.

Edited by alienarea
autocorrect correction

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59 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

We should consider the possibility Rickard was more like Littlefinger and less like Ned.  Jon Arryn raised him and all Ned's values of honor and honesty could be from Jon's ideals of Knighthood, not his biological father. 

This is a good point.  Ned has a very distinct view of honor, but it appears that Brandon is more like Robert than Ned. I wonder how Rickard fits this pattern.

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1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

If it was a conspiracy to take the iron throne, six years is not a long time at all.

Jon fostering Ned and Robert itself may be an unusual arrangement.  This could have been done to ensure neither Winterfell nor Storm's End would attack the Vale, possibly in return for something else. 

IMO there was no northern alliance conspiracy. The only person that was conspiring was Tywin Lannister, although I suspect Jon Arryn was his hidden partner. How else would Jon Arryn have the balls to defy the king unless he had reassurances of support? Ned and Robert were too young and looked to him as a surrogate father. They would have believed just about anything he told them. 

I still believe the "southron ambitions" that Lady Barbary is referring to are the Andal customs of knighthood, marriage alliances, and getting involved with the royal court. She blamed Maester Walys for his influence upon Rickard, calling him a "grey rat". A "rat" is one who betrays or deserts friends or associates. She clearly believes the Starks were manipulated and deceived, which goes along with my thoughts that the Starks were tricked into rebelling - lured into it, like a rat trap.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lady Rhodes said:

I tend to disagree. I think long games are heavy in The text: see Young Griff, Doran Martell and the letter in Braavos...

I subscribe to the theory there was a plan to weaken Aerys’ or the Targaryen standing as a whole by having the realm very integrated through alliances and marriages. If memory serves, Aerys started going downhill about ten years into his reign. Tywin served as Hand 20 years which ended right before the Tourney of Harrenhal. My guess the the southern ambitions weren’t really southern ambitions but his part of the plan (he had four kids after all) to integrate into the realm through marriage and customs (per @Feather Crystal’s point about being sent to be squires). I would bet money that the whole plan started around the same time Aerys started losing his marbles, approximately ten years before Harrenhal Tourney

Coming at this from the angle that all of this is being underpinned by a long-standing conspiracy to oust the Targaryen usurpers from Westeros makes a lot of sense, and I would suggest has more support in the text than centering it around the R+L=J belief.

Essentially, the latter [popular] theory posits that Rhaegar "the good" Targaryen aims to sire an heir who will fulfill an ancient prophecy. He falls madly in love at a moments notice, eloping with the beautiful and spirited Lyanna Stark to produce the said child. Thus an ancient evil will be defeated - and of course that child will also be the rightful heir to the Targaryen throne. Hurrah!

Now turn this around.

When Robb Stark was proclaimed King in the North, Greatjon Umber justified it by declaring that "we married the Dragons, but the Dragons are gone and its time to rule ourselves again," or words to that effect.

Although the late and unlamented Viserys the Beggar and his Sister Danaerys the Dragonlord were wont to speak of Trouserless Bob Baratheon as "the usurper", its worth remembering that in the long history of Westeros, the Targaryens are actually the usurpers and of no very long standing at that. O.k. 300 years isn't bad, but when set against families who reckon their lineage in thousands of years, its not much of a foundation for a claim to be the rightful, lawful kings. 

Greatjon put his finger on it when he pointed out that the dragons are gone, because it was only the dragons which put the Targaryens on the the throne and kept them there. I suggest this also was Rhaegar's motivation rather than some musty parchments anent ancient prophecies. He recognised the danger to the dynasty without dragons and therefore the need to hatch some anew, and also recognised that the old houses of Westeros knew this too, but had not yet set aside old rivalries. The trouble with Harrenhal was that the sharks were circling. In that context the gesture with the blue roses ought to be recognised as what it was, not a signal of undying love between a handsome prince and a girl he'd never met, but a political statement, a warning to those who were allying against his dragonless house.

Edited by Black Crow

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7 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

O.k. 300 years isn't bad, but when set against families who reckon their lineage in thousands of years, its not much of a foundation for a claim to be the rightful, lawful kings. 

Tell that to Americans who have only been separated from the English for 243 years. :laugh:

The Dunk and Egg stories provided the first examples of how tourneys were cover for a "dragon hatching", rather a new claimant seeking support for the throne. Harrenhal should be scrutinized for this same reason. King Aerys wondered the same thing. What we should question is whether or not Rhaegar was gathering support at that tourney. If he was, then it would have been idiotic for Rhaegar to have taken her, which is the main reason why I believe he was a patsy.

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Posted (edited)

@Black Crow

IMO, R+L=J is actually irrelevant to the creation of the "northern conspiracy", which I am half in the camp of @Feather Crystal in that I don't think it was a conspiracy started purely for Northern Ambitions but in aligning with southron customs.  The North had some instances of the knighthood - Jorah being knighted at the Tourney of Lannisport for instance - and the Manderlys, but the Manderlys were originally a southron house, so that shouldn't be too shocking.

I think the whole thing centers on Aerys going crazy.  His reign lasted a little longer than 20 years (As Tywin was hand for 20 years) and it is implied that the first 10 years were relatively prosperous and peaceful. But Aerys started going downhill, and I think the lords of the realm realized this.  They basically wanted to form a check on Targaryen power and I think they did this by creating alliances within Westeros. The Citadel may have suggested this idea, even.  By sending children to be fostered or become squires (Ned, Robert), by arranging marriages with other great houses instead of their vassals, indicate to me that there was a plan but it wasn't to usurp the throne, but to provide a check of power. 

Lady Barbrey seems, to me, a woman that had higher amibtions (wanting to be Lady Stark) and they were a smaller house, not one of the more prominent northern houses (which I consider the Starks, Boltons, Manderlys, Karstarks and Umbers, possibly Mormonts but I am less inclined to believe that and think that  their prominence just may be because they feature more in the story currently being told with Jeor and Jorah).  I doubt she was privy, especially as a woman of a smaller house, to the details of these interactions and plans.  (*On a totally unrelated side note, there is a recurring theme of spurned women in this text. Ashara, Lady Barbrey, Cersei (was originally offered to Rhaeger), etc. )

Now, this brings us to a few other questions, one of which @Jova Snow has brought up - why were Ashara and Ned not betrothed?  Some other questions: the Martells, and Dorne in general, are noticeably absent in these plans. We also have something else that we have discussed prior - Rhaegar and the Kingsguard and the formation of the tourney of Harrenhal.

Given what Jaime recalls from when Rhaegar left for the Trident, regarding changes going to be made, I am of the belief that Rhaegar formed the tourney of Harrenhal.  I believe there was an "inner circle" and "outer circle" Kingsguard, with the inner circle consisting of Oswell Whent, Llewyn Martell, and Arthur Dayne.  Through his connections with Oswell, he organized the tourney of Harrenhal (seat of House Whent) as a grand council of sorts.  Rhaegar knew his father was unstable and I don't think Rhaegar was stupid.  I think he could see what the great houses of the realm were doing - creating alliances within themselves - and was pragmatic. To keep the Targaryen throne, Aerys had to be removed without destroying the whole dynasty. 

I know this is a much disputed and discussed topic so I don't think getting into it again here is going to achieve much, nor do I think it is required for the whole thing to work.  While I believe R+L=J, I don't think it was the rape and kidnapping nor the necessarily a smitten love story.  My belief is that whole thing deals with the prophecy with which Rhaegar was obsessed.  They just so happen to coincide timeline wise.  In short, I believe Rhaegar was wearing two hats - 1)Keep Targaryens in power while getting rid of his father and 2) The Prince that Was Promised.  The two paths just happened to cross during the Tourney of Harrenhal.

Now, something that I just thought of while writing this post actually is the Tourney of Lannisport.  Perhaps we should be looking more at things that happened during this time.  This was prior to Rhaegar's marriage to Elia, this was where Tywin was spurned by Aerys, and Jorah won his knighthood. What was the purpose of the tourney - was it celebrating Viserys' birth or 10 years on the throne? I can't remember.  Perhaps we have been looking for answers to some of our questions at the wrong tourney.

Edited by Lady Rhodes

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23 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

If he was, then it would have been idiotic for Rhaegar to have taken her, which is the main reason why I believe he was a patsy.

I know we differ on this, but this is actually one of the reasons why I believe Lyanna's disappearance and the Tourney of Harrenhal are farther apart than we are led to believe.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

Now, this brings us to a few other questions, one of which @Jova Snow has brought up - why were Ashara and Ned not betrothed? 

The two "lightning-crossed" lovers had just met at the tourney, Lyanna was abducted about a month later, and Jon Arryn raised his banners shortly after. They were on opposing sides of the Rebellion, so no hopes of becoming betrothed. This is why I theorize that Ned didn't marry Ashara when he brought her back to Winterfell after crossing paths near the Bite. I think he was hoping to broker an agreement with her father or brother after the war was over. But then of course he went and married Catelyn...

52 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

Some other questions: the Martells, and Dorne in general, are noticeably absent in these plans.

The Martells gave Rhaegar 10,000 Dornishmen. 

I believe that Rhaegar and Elia went home to Dragonstone after the tourney. Aegon was born at the beginning of the new year, and it's said the birth nearly killed Elia, but we know she recovered, because she found her way back to Kings Landing in time to be in the royal apartments to be raped and killed by Gregor Clegane. So how did she get there? I think after she recovered, she and Rhaegar sailed to Dorne, not only to visit, but to ask for the soldiers. I suspect Rhaegar thought he was working with Tywin Lannister and the Dornish soldiers were initially intended to help remove Aerys, but that changed to protect and defend Elia as she was returning to a chaotic situation. If Rhaegar truly knew about the danger they were returning to, don't you think he would have encouraged Elia to remain in Dorne or even upon Dragonstone?

 

52 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

Given what Jaime recalls from when Rhaegar left for the Trident, regarding changes going to be made, I am of the belief that Rhaegar formed the tourney of Harrenhal.  I believe there was an "inner circle" and "outer circle" Kingsguard, with the inner circle consisting of Oswell Whent, Llewyn Martell, and Arthur Dayne.  Through his connections with Oswell, he organized the tourney of Harrenhal (seat of House Whent) as a grand council of sorts.  Rhaegar knew his father was unstable and I don't think Rhaegar was stupid.  I think he could see what the great houses of the realm were doing - creating alliances within themselves - and was pragmatic. To keep the Targaryen throne, Aerys had to be removed without destroying the whole dynasty. 

If Rhaegar felt he needed Lyanna to fulfill the prince that was promised prophecy - AND he needed the support of House Stark against his father, then the prudent thing to do would be to approach Rickard and make a proposal. It's sheer lunacy if he thought he could abduct her without losing the entire north! Either he was seeking the support of House Stark to overthrow his father, or there was no conspiracy against his father and he was only focused on trying to force the fulfillment of the prophecy. I don't see how he could logically think he could make both work.

 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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13 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Besides Jon Aryn marrying Lisa Tully, Brandon was engaged to Catelyn, and Robert married Cersei.  Before that point,  marriages between Great Houses was rare to nonexistent.  Great Houses always married their vassals. 

I can easily think of many counterexamples.

For instance, there are all the many Baratheon-Lannister marriages Ned turns up in AGOT that document how the genetics of their hair play out in their children.  Rhaegar married Elia, and Baelor Breakspear's mother was Dornish too.  Duncan Targaryen was betrothed to a Baratheon girl before throwing her over for Jenny of Oldstones.  Etc.

4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I think, per my post above that he had in mind or had been offered the job of High King as the most powerful of the First Men

For me, it's hard to imagine why noble southron houses would care that Rickard was the most powerful of the perceived First Men descendants, or offer him such a role.

However, to your broader concept that Rickard wanted to increase the political power of the Starks prior to Harrenhal, and sought to use marriage as a means to do it, I have no objection.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lady Rhodes said:

this is actually one of the reasons why I believe Lyanna's disappearance and the Tourney of Harrenhal are farther apart than we are led to believe

We aren't even really led to believe it.  Those who pay attention to character ages, weather, etc. know there was a substantial gap between the two events.

It's just a popular misconception by fans who think that of course Rhaegar must have abducted her right after he named her QoLaB.

Edited by JNR

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, JNR said:

I can easily think of many counterexamples.

For instance, there are all the many Baratheon-Lannister marriages Ned turns up in AGOT that document how the genetics of their hair play out in their children.  Rhaegar married Elia, and Baelor Breakspear's mother was Dornish too.  Duncan Targaryen was betrothed to a Baratheon girl before throwing her over for Jenny of Oldstones.  Etc.

For me, it's hard to imagine why noble southron houses would care that Rickard was the most powerful of the perceived First Men descendants, or offer him such a role.

However, to your broader concept that Rickard wanted to increase the political power of the Starks prior to Harrenhal, and sought to use marriage as a means to do it, I have no objection.

I think he meant in the north it was uncommon to marry outside your own bannermen. We know the houses south of the Neck do it, because it's an Andal custom to build alliances this way, but the northern houses focus more on strengthening the bonds to their own vassals.

15 minutes ago, JNR said:

We aren't even really led to believe it.  Those who pay attention to character ages, weather, etc. know there was a substantial gap between the two events.

It's just a popular misconception by fans who think that of course Rhaegar must have abducted her right after he named her QoLaB.

I think you've been hanging out with the R+L=J crowd too long. You've adopted their standard "we know" claim when it's only a theory.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

The two "lightning-crossed" lovers had just met at the tourney, Lyanna was abducted about a month later,

 

17 minutes ago, JNR said:

We aren't even really led to believe it.  Those who pay attention to character ages, weather, etc. know there was a substantial gap between the two events.

It's just a popular misconception by fans who think that of course Rhaegar must have abducted her right after he named her QoLaB.

Thank you @JNR!  Feather Crystal and I have sparred in good fun with this in the past (the Hammering Out the Timeline thread I believe).  My estimation is between 4 to 6 months.  What do you think?

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

The Martells gave Rhaegar 10,000 Dornishmen. 

I was referring to the Martells in the marriage alliances.  That was a poor transition on my part, I wasn't referring to troops.

1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

I believe that Rhaegar and Elia went home to Dragonstone after the tourney. Aegon was born at the beginning of the new year

I believe this is where you and I diverge again.  No one mentions Elia being pregnant at the tourney.  At ~7 months, she would be noticeably pregnant.  After everything that occurred with Rhaenys birth and what we know of the birth of Aegon, I don't think she was that far along in her pregnancy with Aegon.  My guess is she was JUST pregnant, up to maybe 3 months.

1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

I suspect Rhaegar thought he was working with Tywin Lannister and the Dornish soldiers were initially intended to help remove Aerys, but that changed to protect and defend Elia as she was returning to a chaotic situation. If Rhaegar truly knew about the danger they were returning to, don't you think he would have encouraged Elia to remain in Dorne or even upon Dragonstone?

I think you have the right of it here.  Rhaegar may have been skeptical of Tywin but thought he ultimately had someone who would help in deposing of Aerys.  I don't think he realized the extent of the nursed wounds Tywin had regarding the spurning of Cersei.

1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

If Rhaegar felt he needed Lyanna to fulfill the prince that was promised prophecy - AND he needed the support of House Stark against his father, then the prudent thing to do would be to approach Rickard and make a proposal. It's sheer lunacy if he thought he could abduct her without losing the entire north! Either he was seeking the support of House Stark to overthrow his father, or there was no conspiracy against his father and he was only focused on trying to force the fulfillment of the prophecy. I don't see how he could logically think he could make both work.

You are completely correct.  This leads me to believe something else has gone down.  I have speculated that Lyanna was on a mission of some sort from Rickard (because I believe that the disappearance occurred months after the tourney).  Also of interesting note, and if please correct me if I am wrong, but Rickard went to King's Landing to have Brandon and friends freed, not just Lyanna.  Maybe Rickard knew more than we know.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

 

Thank you @JNR!  Feather Crystal and I have sparred in good fun with this in the past (the Hammering Out the Timeline thread I believe).  My estimation is between 4 to 6 months.  What do you think?

I don't know if anyone can prove with utmost accuracy what the timeline was. I've already explained to you how I came up my formula - that it's based on Rhaegar and Elia's marriage, Rhaenys birth month occurring the same year 280, and Aegon's age at the Sack (10-14 months). The rest needs to fit within that outline, as well as the Rebellion and siege of Storms End lasting one year each. 

I believe we are given the answers in the titled chapters within the symbolism, parallels, and metaphors. In the Cat of the Canals chapter Arya serves at the House of Black and White, three nights out of every thirty. I think this is supposed to be the length of time between the tourney and when Lyanna was abducted, and the three nights are symbolic of the three knights. Arya is serving a type of penance, just as Lyanna's "punishment" for defeating the squires and her help in defeating the three knights, was to be abducted.

2 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

I was referring to the Martells in the marriage alliances.  That was a poor transition on my part, I wasn't referring to troops.

I believe this is where you and I diverge again.  No one mentions Elia being pregnant at the tourney.  At ~7 months, she would be noticeably pregnant.  After everything that occurred with Rhaenys birth and what we know of the birth of Aegon, I don't think she was that far along in her pregnancy with Aegon.  My guess is she was JUST pregnant, up to maybe 3 months.

I think you have the right of it here.  Rhaegar may have been skeptical of Tywin but thought he ultimately had someone who would help in deposing of Aerys.  I don't think he realized the extent of the nursed wounds Tywin had regarding the spurning of Cersei.

You are completely correct.  This leads me to believe something else has gone down.  I have speculated that Lyanna was on a mission of some sort from Rickard (because I believe that the disappearance occurred months after the tourney).  Also of interesting note, and if please correct me if I am wrong, but Rickard went to King's Landing to have Brandon and friends freed, not just Lyanna.  Maybe Rickard knew more than we know.

 

 

Rickard was answering a summons from King Aerys to answer for his son. Rickard requested a trial by battle. No one knew where Lyanna was, but Brandon thought Rhaegar had her. Aerys tried to find Rhaegar, but he wasn't on Dragonstone by the time the summons arrived.

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13 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I don't know if anyone can prove with utmost accuracy what the timeline was. I've already explained to you how I came up my formula - that it's based on Rhaegar and Elia's marriage, Rhaenys birth month occurring the same year 280, and Aegon's age at the Sack (10-14 months). The rest needs to fit within that outline, as well as the Rebellion and siege of Storms End lasting one year each. 

I believe we are given the answers in the titled chapters within the symbolism, parallels, and metaphors. In the Cat of the Canals chapter Arya serves at the House of Black and White, three nights out of every thirty. I think this is supposed to be the length of time between the tourney and when Lyanna was abducted, and the three nights are symbolic of the three knights. Arya is serving a type of penance, just as Lyanna's "punishment" for defeating the squires and her help in defeating the three knights, was to be abducted.

Rickard was answering a summons from King Aerys to answer for his son. Rickard requested a trial by battle. No one knew where Lyanna was, but Brandon thought Rhaegar had her. Aerys tried to find Rhaegar, but he wasn't on Dragonstone by the time the summons arrived.

I am still reviewing the timeline you sent me. I don’t have a problem with most of it and like you said, it’s hard to be sure.  My big thing is that Think there is a gap between the tourney, which compensates for the Elia pregnancy issue. 

And thank you! That actually fits my point better! Wouldn’t Rickard be very angry his only daughter was kidnapped? He was already heading south for Brandon’s wedding but as you noted, answered Aerys’ summons and demands trial by battle. He doesn’t bring up Lyanna being taken? That strikes me as peculiar, unless Rickard has sent Lyanna on a mission of some sorts. Another thought would be, like you mentioned, Rhaegar would have to be nuts to think taking Lyanna wouldn’t anger the northerners. But if Rhaegar thought a prophecy foretold the return of the Others, the first kingdom in their path would be the north, and Rickard May have taken interest in that.

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58 minutes ago, JNR said:

For me, it's hard to imagine why noble southron houses would care that Rickard was the most powerful of the perceived First Men descendants, or offer him such a role.

However, to your broader concept that Rickard wanted to increase the political power of the Starks prior to Harrenhal, and sought to use marriage as a means to do it, I have no objection.

I was using First Men in a fairly wide sense as a synonym for the first [non-Targaryen/Valrian] families of Westeros, since all of them, including the Lannisters, have at least some of the old blood in their veins; that is those who had submitted to the dragons and were now thinking that with the dragons gone, it was time to reclaim Westeros from the Targaryen interlopers.

I don't think that there was a conspiracy, or at least a single, unified conspiracy, but rather that those families were jockeying for power in the post Targaryen Westeros. One faction and perhaps the strongest faction was the northern one headed by Rickon Stark but probably orchestrated by Jon Arryn. The Lannisters obviously were another and with their own agenda, while Rhaegar Targaryen as I suggest was trying to save the dynasty. Amidst all of this Lyanna Stark's fate had everything to do with politics and nothing to do with ballad singers.

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