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What do people think about Rhaegar?

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Even if he wasn't raping Lyanna, he was still cheating on his wife, who seemed to be quite a nice woman.

So: adulterer or rapist. Yeah. I think rather negatively of the man.

Well, unless we're talking Rhaegar Frey, about whom I'm ultimately ambivalent, though leaning towards negative.

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He was either crazed or stupid.

Even setting aside the Aerys issue, running off with the daughter of a Lord Paramount as he did is an act that can very well lead to war. He has shamed two Great Houses of the realm in one move. And since he apparently left no notes about it, it was not simply 'running off' with her but actually upgraded to possible kidnapping. Brandon Stark wasn't technically right to do as he did, since it's a crime to threaten the prince in such a way, but a sane Aerys would have presumably pardoned him rather than convicted him and risk fanning the flames of discontent.

And it's not even like historically there's no precedent. Prince Duncan is still in living memory for some people, and his spurning of Lyonel Baratheon's daughter caused an actual rebellion. It was quickly settled but still, the precedent for armed conflict was there.

So Rhaegar either has to be an idiot of the highest order, who simply assumed it would be no big deal despite being educated otherwise, or he has to be crazy and so obsessed with prophecies that he doesn't care.

The only way Rhaegar could be sane and competent is if he had some reason - like a really detailed vision - to believe that he had to take Lyanna as he did for the sake of the Long Night. Like he did it knowing that it would destroy the dynasty, but it was made explicitly clear that this specific sequence of events must occur in order to triumph over the Night's King.

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He has the coolest nickname,  I've read so far, the Last Dragon.:bowdown:

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I think to this point we have a deliberately incomplete picture of the man.  We know a lot of his actions, but we know very little of his actual motives.  We also don't know what he knew, or thought he knew, so it's difficult for us to square things like the betrayal of his wife with this idea of a chivalrous noble's noble.  Was he off chasing prophesy with his his prick bitten off, or were his actions, perhaps even up unto and including his fall at the Ruby Ford part of a plan?  I think that most of what can be gleaned from the published books has been analyzed to exhaustion and any real answers will come with more revelations in future books.

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On 1/19/2020 at 2:01 PM, Julia H. said:

What I think is that I need to know more about him and his actions before making a judgement. 

This. Everything we know about him is ran through a filter of the character's personal bias, so it's hard to offer an informed opinion of his actions, much less his thought process. 

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On 1/19/2020 at 12:49 PM, The Jingo said:

He was either crazed or stupid.

Even setting aside the Aerys issue, running off with the daughter of a Lord Paramount as he did is an act that can very well lead to war. He has shamed two Great Houses of the realm in one move. And since he apparently left no notes about it, it was not simply 'running off' with her but actually upgraded to possible kidnapping. Brandon Stark wasn't technically right to do as he did, since it's a crime to threaten the prince in such a way, but a sane Aerys would have presumably pardoned him rather than convicted him and risk fanning the flames of discontent.

And it's not even like historically there's no precedent. Prince Duncan is still in living memory for some people, and his spurning of Lyonel Baratheon's daughter caused an actual rebellion. It was quickly settled but still, the precedent for armed conflict was there.

So Rhaegar either has to be an idiot of the highest order, who simply assumed it would be no big deal despite being educated otherwise, or he has to be crazy and so obsessed with prophecies that he doesn't care.

The only way Rhaegar could be sane and competent is if he had some reason - like a really detailed vision - to believe that he had to take Lyanna as he did for the sake of the Long Night. Like he did it knowing that it would destroy the dynasty, but it was made explicitly clear that this specific sequence of events must occur in order to triumph over the Night's King.

I can't comprehend why, but this reminds me of William Shakespeare's "As You Like It", where he writes:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

~ William Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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On 1/19/2020 at 2:49 PM, The Jingo said:

The only way Rhaegar could be sane and competent is if he had some reason - like a really detailed vision - to believe that he had to take Lyanna as he did for the sake of the Long Night

Since when is a vision reason enough to do anything? 

IRT the bold, are you claiming to know not only that Rhaegar took Lyanna, but how he took her? 

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37 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Since when is a vision reason enough to do anything? 

IRT the bold, are you claiming to know not only that Rhaegar took Lyanna, but how he took her? 

Well she obviously didn't just spontaneously appear in the Tower of Joy. Rhaegar took her there.

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I’ve met loads of guys who act all depressed and sing sad songs and prey on teenage girls, they’re rarely actually good people, although relatively harmless. But then most stop short at having a public affair or possibly kidnapping

Edited by FitzChivalry Fartseer

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To some, he was one of the greatest men who ever lived. To others he is a rapist and a coward. My guess is that he's somewhere in-between those things. The fact that Ned never thinks of him unkindly leaves a lot of us with the impression that he (Rhaegar) was no villain. We know he desired Lyanna and we know he left his loyalest men to guard her tower. So I would assume that Lyanna was no mere toy of his. She wasn't his victim and was most likely his lover. When you read their descriptions, these are two beautiful, young people who have every reason to desire one-another.

On the subject or R and L, I think they had their own personal reasons for running away. And I believe those reasons are selfish ones. So I would agree that Rhaegar could be described as selfish. 

We know Rhaegar was a talented and intelligent person who inspired a great deal of loyalty from his men. But he was also selfish and naive, as so many young people are. I think that's how people see him. Gifted, but flawed. 

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51 minutes ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

The fact that Ned never thinks of him unkindly leaves a lot of us with the impression that he (Rhaegar) was no villain.

Never understood the correlation, when Ned even pities Aerys for trusting the Lannisters. Ned simply don't hold grudges over death men.

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On 1/19/2020 at 3:01 PM, Julia H. said:

What I think is that I need to know more about him and his actions before making a judgement. 

Yeah this. I just don't think we know enough to make a final judgement. For instance - it may have been foolish to run off with Lyanna but given more information we may come to realize he had to, or at the very least whatever he was doing was more important. 

3 minutes ago, frenin said:

Never understood the correlation, when Ned even pities Aerys for trusting the Lannisters. Ned simply don't hold grudges over death men.

Holding grudges or no you would think a man that abducted, raped, & cause the death of his sister he would have some negative feelings towards. But then again Aerys killed his father & brother in a horrific manner & he isn't seething with hatred for him either. 

I think the most likely reason Ned doesn't think on it much is because it would give too much away. 

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