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Alyn Oakenfist

What happened between Rhaenyra and Cole

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So one of the things left vague by Fire and Blood is what exactly happened between Rhaenyra and Criston Cole. One moment they're as close as Cersei and Jaime the next they are bitter rivals. Now before we begin a few things about the two. They seem to share a couple of traits, they are both very prideful and can be very spiteful. Their relation before ,,the incident" also seems to be very passionate (though not sexual that is clear) but also kinda of toxic and possessive.

Now that that's out of the way, first we should talk about something that isn't mentioned a lot when discussing the two, Rhaenyra's maidenhead. More exactly what exactly happened between her and Daemon. Now there are two versions, one that they did everything but sex, and the other that they did even that. I think however, that Daemon did take Rhaenyra's virginity for a couple of reasons.

- We are told Daemon had a bit of a fetish for sleeping with virgins, which is pretty random and doesn't help with anything unless it would be to suggest he slept with one very important virgin

- Rhaenyra's marriage to Laenor. Sure he might be of the best blood possible, but he is also a known homosexual, which makes it very likely that he was chosen on the grounds that his homosexuality is actually a good thing as he's less likely to complain about Rhaenyra being soiled goods.

- Viserys's reaction. Viserys forgave his brother basically everything even some really serious shit, but the one thing he didn't forgave was whatever happened with Rhaenyra. Daemon's death was at one point on the table so it was really serious. And if no actual harm was done I don't see Viserys acting the way he did.

Now that it is clear Rhaenyra's situation when the incident happened, let's actually discuss the incident. One thing that is clear is that one spurred the other. There are obviously two possibilities.

Rhaenyra spurred Cole. It's pretty clear that didn't happen as she just turned around and boinked Harwin Strong. Any mishaps she might have had against fucking Cole she would have with Harwin, plus some extra. Munkun account of Cole proposing they elope is half possible I guess, as it would explain why Rhaenyra would sleep with Breakbones, with Cole taking a all or nothing approach. But then again it's a really stupid idea, and neither of them would have even though of the idea.

So it's clear Cole spurred Rhaenyra. But why? It's pretty clear that they had a thing going for each other (a very obsessive and possessive thing) and neither was really the paragon of virtue so they were probably going to sleep with each other so what happened? Something must have changed. And so we remember Rhaenyra's virginity.

So my theory would be that on the fateful night, Rhaenyra offered himself to Cole, who went along with it until finding out she is not a virgin, which led him to fly into a jealous rage, which would make sense given their weird relation. Feeling shunned Rhaenyra then sleeps with Breakbones and so the relationship between them is severed forever with both being incredibly bitter about it. So what do you think? Is Rhaenyra's deflowering the reason for her's and Cole's sudden rivalry?

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18 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

So one of the things left vague by Fire and Blood is what exactly happened between Rhaenyra and Criston Cole. One moment they're as close as Cersei and Jaime the next they are bitter rivals. Now before we begin a few things about the two. They seem to share a couple of traits, they are both very prideful and can be very spiteful. Their relation before ,,the incident" also seems to be very passionate (though not sexual that is clear) but also kinda of toxic and possessive.

Now that that's out of the way, first we should talk about something that isn't mentioned a lot when discussing the two, Rhaenyra's maidenhead. More exactly what exactly happened between her and Daemon. Now there are two versions, one that they did everything but sex, and the other that they did even that. I think however, that Daemon did take Rhaenyra's virginity for a couple of reasons.

- We are told Daemon had a bit of a fetish for sleeping with virgins, which is pretty random and doesn't help with anything unless it would be to suggest he slept with one very important virgin

- Rhaenyra's marriage to Laenor. Sure he might be of the best blood possible, but he is also a known homosexual, which makes it very likely that he was chosen on the grounds that his homosexuality is actually a good thing as he's less likely to complain about Rhaenyra being soiled goods.

- Viserys's reaction. Viserys forgave his brother basically everything even some really serious shit, but the one thing he didn't forgave was whatever happened with Rhaenyra. Daemon's death was at one point on the table so it was really serious. And if no actual harm was done I don't see Viserys acting the way he did.

Now that it is clear Rhaenyra's situation when the incident happened, let's actually discuss the incident. One thing that is clear is that one spurred the other. There are obviously two possibilities.

Rhaenyra spurred Cole. It's pretty clear that didn't happen as she just turned around and boinked Harwin Strong. Any mishaps she might have had against fucking Cole she would have with Harwin, plus some extra. Munkun account of Cole proposing they elope is half possible I guess, as it would explain why Rhaenyra would sleep with Breakbones, with Cole taking a all or nothing approach. But then again it's a really stupid idea, and neither of them would have even though of the idea.

So it's clear Cole spurred Rhaenyra. But why? It's pretty clear that they had a thing going for each other (a very obsessive and possessive thing) and neither was really the paragon of virtue so they were probably going to sleep with each other so what happened? Something must have changed. And so we remember Rhaenyra's virginity.

So my theory would be that on the fateful night, Rhaenyra offered himself to Cole, who went along with it until finding out she is not a virgin, which led him to fly into a jealous rage, which would make sense given their weird relation. Feeling shunned Rhaenyra then sleeps with Breakbones and so the relationship between them is severed forever with both being incredibly bitter about it. So what do you think? Is Rhaenyra's deflowering the reason for her's and Cole's sudden rivalry?

That sounds like a perfect explanation, if you ask me. It's always tricky to find the truth between Eustace and Mushroom's accounts, because it seems like neither one is wholly wrong or wholly right. But you seem to have figured it out for this scenario.

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31 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

So one of the things left vague by Fire and Blood is what exactly happened between Rhaenyra and Criston Cole. One moment they're as close as Cersei and Jaime the next they are bitter rivals. Now before we begin a few things about the two. They seem to share a couple of traits, they are both very prideful and can be very spiteful. Their relation before ,,the incident" also seems to be very passionate (though not sexual that is clear) but also kinda of toxic and possessive.

Now that that's out of the way, first we should talk about something that isn't mentioned a lot when discussing the two, Rhaenyra's maidenhead. More exactly what exactly happened between her and Daemon. Now there are two versions, one that they did everything but sex, and the other that they did even that. I think however, that Daemon did take Rhaenyra's virginity for a couple of reasons.

- We are told Daemon had a bit of a fetish for sleeping with virgins, which is pretty random and doesn't help with anything unless it would be to suggest he slept with one very important virgin

- Rhaenyra's marriage to Laenor. Sure he might be of the best blood possible, but he is also a known homosexual, which makes it very likely that he was chosen on the grounds that his homosexuality is actually a good thing as he's less likely to complain about Rhaenyra being soiled goods.

- Viserys's reaction. Viserys forgave his brother basically everything even some really serious shit, but the one thing he didn't forgave was whatever happened with Rhaenyra. Daemon's death was at one point on the table so it was really serious. And if no actual harm was done I don't see Viserys acting the way he did.

Now that it is clear Rhaenyra's situation when the incident happened, let's actually discuss the incident. One thing that is clear is that one spurred the other. There are obviously two possibilities.

Rhaenyra spurred Cole. It's pretty clear that didn't happen as she just turned around and boinked Harwin Strong. Any mishaps she might have had against fucking Cole she would have with Harwin, plus some extra. Munkun account of Cole proposing they elope is half possible I guess, as it would explain why Rhaenyra would sleep with Breakbones, with Cole taking a all or nothing approach. But then again it's a really stupid idea, and neither of them would have even though of the idea.

So it's clear Cole spurred Rhaenyra. But why? It's pretty clear that they had a thing going for each other (a very obsessive and possessive thing) and neither was really the paragon of virtue so they were probably going to sleep with each other so what happened? Something must have changed. And so we remember Rhaenyra's virginity.

So my theory would be that on the fateful night, Rhaenyra offered himself to Cole, who went along with it until finding out she is not a virgin, which led him to fly into a jealous rage, which would make sense given their weird relation. Feeling shunned Rhaenyra then sleeps with Breakbones and so the relationship between them is severed forever with both being incredibly bitter about it. So what do you think? Is Rhaenyra's deflowering the reason for her's and Cole's sudden rivalry?

I've written rather extensively on this one in one of those more detailed Cole threads especially. But the bottom line is Mushroom's tale on this thing is utter nonsense.

He actually reuses the same plot device (Criston Cole the chaste old septa) both in 111 AC during the Daemon affair as well as in 113 AC when Rhaenyra marries Laenor Velaryon. How stupid must Rhaenyra Targaryen be to twice try to seduce Criston Cole pretty much in the same manner?

Back in 111 AC the Eustace account makes the most sense because it lacks all ridiculous nonsense about Daemon helping to teach Rhaenyra how to seduce and fuck another man and has him straightforwardly seducing his niece, the Heir Apparent, in the hope to marry her to fulfill his desire to get closer to the throne.

The Mushroom scenario also makes no sense since it claims Viserys I learned about the entire Daemon-Rhaenyra thing - and thus also about his daughter's Cole obsession - yet apparently allowed Cole to stay on as his daughter's sworn shield as if nothing strange was going on there. Instead, he only banished Daemon - when he later separated Harwin and Rhaenyra after merely the rumor that he might be the true father of Rhaenyra's sons was repeated by two of his sons.

Even more condemning is the fact that Mushroom actually claims the 111 AC affair 'came out', meaning was no secret at court. If that were true it is very odd that the Greens never used and repeated that particular story to ruin Rhaenyra's reputation. The Eustace version of events makes it clear the story did not leak out. It was a private matter - a KG discovering Rhaenyra and Daemon abed together, and the king sitting in judgment over them.

That is a narrative that doesn't fit with how the characters behave in other accounts/the overall plot.

Insofar as what happened in 113 AC, I expect Cole confessed his love for Rhaenyra that night, trying to prevent her marriage to Laenor Velaryon (or rather: to save her from such an unpleasant future) and was trying to convince her to run away with him - only to learn that she either never desired him the way he did (i.e. had had just a childhood fancy of him as being her 'ideal white knight' or was simply not willing to give up her future as Queen Regnant for a husband as lowborn as Criston Cole - not to mention him also betraying his vows as KG over this).

The idea that Cole wouldn't have known Rhaenyra was no virgin - or would have cared about stuff like that - is not convincing to me at all. He was her sworn shield and in the Eustace account of the Daemon affair in 111 AC Arrek Cargyll of the Kingsguard found Rhaenyra and Daemon abed together. Cole would have heard about that, too.

Not to mention it is pretty ridiculous to assume that Cole would have 'inspected' Rhaenyra's private parts and conclusively concluded she wasn't a virgin when she was offering herself to him. Like in the real world, not all women have hymens in Martinworld, nor do all of them break when you sex, etc. Not to mention that Cole should have had the hots for the woman, not her virginity.

Whether Rhaenyra slept with Harwin Strong after he interaction with Cole is also unclear - it is part of the Mushroom narrative only. He could have invented that out of whole cloth ... or he could have been right about just that little detail. She certainly could have been searching for comfort after the stress she was in at this time - first the forced Laeor thing where her father threatened to change the succession, then the weird Cole encounter. A night with Harwin may have looked fine after all that shit.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not to mention that Cole should have had the hots for the woman, not her virginity.

Not to mention that Cole would be tapping well above his station.  Jealousy?  No.  What he would feel at that moment is excitement and anticipation.  He's looking at paradise by the dashboard lights.  The boy is on base.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C11MzbEcHlw

 

 

Edited by H Wadsey Longfellow

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6 hours ago, H Wadsey Longfellow said:

Not to mention that Cole would be tapping well above his station.  Jealousy?  No.  What he would feel at that moment is excitement and anticipation.  He's looking at paradise by the dashboard lights.  The boy is on base.  

Cersei and Jaime come to mind here. Do you think Jaime would have minded if Cersei slept with other people? We already know the answer to this question.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But the bottom line is Mushroom's tale on this thing is utter nonsense.

He actually reuses the same plot device (Criston Cole the chaste old septa) both in 111 AC during the Daemon affair as well as in 113 AC when Rhaenyra marries Laenor Velaryon. How stupid must Rhaenyra Targaryen be to twice try to seduce Criston Cole pretty much in the same manner?

I agree on this, however just because the plot device is clearly bs, it doesn't mean Mushroom's story is completely false. Cole might have rejected Rhaenyra though for a different reason.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Back in 111 AC the Eustace account makes the most sense because it lacks all ridiculous nonsense about Daemon helping to teach Rhaenyra how to seduce and fuck another man and has him straightforwardly seducing his niece, the Heir Apparent, in the hope to marry her to fulfill his desire to get closer to the throne.

Here I agree.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Mushroom scenario also makes no sense since it claims Viserys I learned about the entire Daemon-Rhaenyra thing - and thus also about his daughter's Cole obsession - yet apparently allowed Cole to stay on as his daughter's sworn shield as if nothing strange was going on there. Instead, he only banished Daemon - when he later separated Harwin and Rhaenyra after merely the rumor that he might be the true father of Rhaenyra's sons was repeated by two of his sons.

Even more condemning is the fact that Mushroom actually claims the 111 AC affair 'came out', meaning was no secret at court. If that were true it is very odd that the Greens never used and repeated that particular story to ruin Rhaenyra's reputation. The Eustace version of events makes it clear the story did not leak out. It was a private matter - a KG discovering Rhaenyra and Daemon abed together, and the king sitting in judgment over them.

Again I pretty much agree with all of this.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that Cole wouldn't have known Rhaenyra was no virgin - or would have cared about stuff like that - is not convincing to me at all. He was her sworn shield and in the Eustace account of the Daemon affair in 111 AC Arrek Cargyll of the Kingsguard found Rhaenyra and Daemon abed together. Cole would have heard about that, too.

Well as you said, the story never got out and the Greens never learned any juicy details they could use. So if Cole knew details don't you think the Greens would have found them out? What is more likely is that given how much of a private matter this was, Viserys made Cargyll swear a vow of silence, with the added threat of death of tongue ripping ere he to speak. And given how only Viserys, Rhaenyra and Cargyll knew about this if the rumor spread it would be easy to find out who did it. Viserys then probably fed the Council nuggets of truth, which explains why the story never got out and why Mushroom surprisingly doesn't know such details.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Insofar as what happened in 113 AC, I expect Cole confessed his love for Rhaenyra that night, trying to prevent her marriage to Laenor Velaryon (or rather: to save her from such an unpleasant future) and was trying to convince her to run away with him - only to learn that she either never desired him the way he did (i.e. had had just a childhood fancy of him as being her 'ideal white knight' or was simply not willing to give up her future as Queen Regnant for a husband as lowborn as Criston Cole - not to mention him also betraying his vows as KG over this).

This is basically Eustaces story completely ad it doesn't make a lick of sense. Cole is every other situation was shown to be a pretty smart man. Why would he ever be so imbecilic?

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Whether Rhaenyra slept with Harwin Strong after he interaction with Cole is also unclear - it is part of the Mushroom narrative only. He could have invented that out of whole cloth ... or he could have been right about just that little detail. She certainly could have been searching for comfort after the stress she was in at this time - first the forced Laeor thing where her father threatened to change the succession, then the weird Cole encounter. A night with Harwin may have looked fine after all that shit.

Maybe not that night, but soon after that's clear.

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7 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

I agree on this, however just because the plot device is clearly bs, it doesn't mean Mushroom's story is completely false. Cole might have rejected Rhaenyra though for a different reason.

Well, I feel not that comfortable inventing my own scenarios or creating hybrid versions of events when it seems clear that Eustace, Mushroom and Orwyle-Munkun didn't know each other's text at the time they were writing/dictating. There might certainly be more to the story than we know, but the idea that Rhaenyra wanted Cole very much while he didn't desire is a Mushroom plot device. My take on this is to check which version fits better with the well-known facts. And that's undoubtedly Eustace's here.

It seems to me that this - like the whole Daemon thing of teaching Rhaenyra the art of love - is Mushroom's way of making a well-known hidden love story theme even more juicier. Even during the main series people still recall that Rhaenyra Targaryen and Criston Cole were allegedly in love - and that's likely not because Arys Oakheart and Arianne Martell have read Mushroom or Eustace.

7 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Well as you said, the story never got out and the Greens never learned any juicy details they could use. So if Cole knew details don't you think the Greens would have found them out? What is more likely is that given how much of a private matter this was, Viserys made Cargyll swear a vow of silence, with the added threat of death of tongue ripping ere he to speak. And given how only Viserys, Rhaenyra and Cargyll knew about this if the rumor spread it would be easy to find out who did it. Viserys then probably fed the Council nuggets of truth, which explains why the story never got out and why Mushroom surprisingly doesn't know such details.

Arryk Cargyll was later the Green Cargyll twin. Something that can be explained by him not liking what Rhaenyra and Daemon did back then.

I admit, though, that Cole might have missed it, since he only became Lord Commander of the Kingsguard in 112 AC. I think the Lord Commander would have heard about the incident, too, since I'd assume that Cargyll first went to his direct boss before going to the king.

I don't think he necessarily told Cole back in 111 AC when Cole was still a stalwart Black, but he may have done so later, after Cole had switched to Alicent. But that was then after Rhaenyra's marriage when rumors about her conduct could no longer ruin her marriage prospects. There was no chance that Viserys I would change the succession after Rhaenyra Targaryen was married to Viserys I's own big rival at the Great Council of 101 AC. This marriage was made to mend the rift between the two main branches of House Targaryen.

7 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

This is basically Eustaces story completely ad it doesn't make a lick of sense. Cole is every other situation was shown to be a pretty smart man. Why would he ever be so imbecilic?

Because he was in love with that woman and wanted to have her? It could also be they had had an affair before, and he just did not want her to marry another. It could have been about sex and/or having a proper romantic/sexual relationship/marriage.

The idea that Rhaenyra truly ever had the hots for Cole is not all that well-attested. She liked it to have him around when she was a little girl and that continued, but if we go with Eustace's account in 111 AC then Rhaenyra only had eyes for Unlce Daemon at the age of fourteen, and we also know that she really liked that dashing man back when he was commander of the City Watch. Rhaenyra is the one who had at least two men she desired in Daemon and Criston - and possibly three if she also had a thing for Harwin Strong.

7 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Maybe not that night, but soon after that's clear.

Actually, this Mushroom thing is the one direct claim anybody gives that Rhaenyra and Harwin Strong were abed together. Later we just get rumors of the sort Mushroom gives us for Rhaenyra and Daemon and Mushroom's member on the rocks or in some brothels. It might be that Mushroom actually chanced on Rhaenyra and Harwin abed together. That could be believable I think, but his entire Rhaenyra-Criston story is not because of the reused plot device and the interconnectedness of the stories. Rhaenyra can only try to use the same trick on Cole a second time if she actually got those lessons from Daemon.

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One also has to add Cole's behavior at the wedding tourney - if Rhaenyra was 'not a virgin' and he couldn't cope with that, why the hell would he beat up Harwin Strong and, especially, Laenor Velaryon's favorite? Also - why would he, apparently a staunch supporter of Rhaenyra's party up to her marriage, ally himself with her enemies at court and do everything in his power to destroy her, if his motivation was just 'that woman didn't come a virgin into my bed'? That would be very weird behavior.

Instead, the proper interpretation there would be to view Cole's behavior as targeting the man who replaced him as Rhaenyra's sworn shield and companion and who may have become Rhaenyra's lover instead of him (Strong) as well as the man she married, Laenor Velaryon, by means of attacking Joffrey Lonmouth - because his desire had been to be/remain what Harwin was now, and to own what Laenor Velaryon owned now, even if he didn't really care about her.

If Cole had had issues with Rhaenyra sleeping around, then it would also be odd that there is no indication that he had particular issues with Prince Daemon - who would have been the guy claiming her maidenhead.

The kind of lasting resentment Cole feels for Rhaenyra stretched over decades - about sixteen years passed between her first marriage and the death of Viserys I - that isn't the behavior of a guy who was disappointed in the virtue of the woman he presumed to deflower (a very rotten and actually treasonous thing for a KG to do), but the behavior of a jealous or scorned (would-be) lover.

One can also take Cole's role as foremost Black into account prior to his 'break-up' with the princess. If the man had sided with the Greens because of legal principles - hallowed Andal tradition and other such nonsense - then he wouldn't have been a Black in the first place, and King Viserys I would have likely not chosen him as Lord Commander of his Kingsguard in 112 AC - a year before the break-up.

You cannot be Rhaenyra's favorite at court and actually oppose her succession.

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On 6/4/2020 at 4:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

I've written rather extensively on this one in one of those more detailed Cole threads especially.

The specific thread was this one I started. My view was that GRRM suggests Mushroom is more accurate than the more official historians, even if he's also prone to exaggerating stories to make them more sensational. People can go back and read that rather than rehashing the same points.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that Rhaenyra truly ever had the hots for Cole is not all that well-attested. She liked it to have him around when she was a little girl and that continued, but if we go with Eustace's account in 111 AC then Rhaenyra only had eyes for Unlce Daemon at the age of fourteen, and we also know that she really liked that dashing man back when he was commander of the City Watch. Rhaenyra is the one who had at least two men she desired in Daemon and Criston - and possibly three if she also had a thing for Harwin Strong.

Actually, this Mushroom thing is the one direct claim anybody gives that Rhaenyra and Harwin Strong were abed together.

I don't think we need any "possibly", we're practically hit over the head Harwin being the true father of Rhaenyra's children. And if people go to that thread they will see the references to Rhaenyra's interest in Criston, whereas outside that one Eustace story there's no evidence Criston into women at all (yes a good Bayesian should take base rates into account, but the text supports an asymmetry closer to Mushroom's than Eustace's).

On 6/4/2020 at 3:48 PM, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- Rhaenyra's marriage to Laenor. Sure he might be of the best blood possible, but he is also a known homosexual, which makes it very likely that he was chosen on the grounds that his homosexuality is actually a good thing as he's less likely to complain about Rhaenyra being soiled goods.

His disinterest in women was discussed as a barrier to the marriage and dismissed by the Grand Maester in the expectation that Laenor would still father children on her. Nobody viewed Laenor's preference as a good thing.

Quote

- Viserys's reaction. Viserys forgave his brother basically everything even some really serious shit, but the one thing he didn't forgave was whatever happened with Rhaenyra. Daemon's death was at one point on the table so it was really serious. And if no actual harm was done I don't see Viserys acting the way he did.

He eventually did forgive.

Quote

Munkun account of Cole proposing they elope

Not Orwyle/Munkun, but Eustace.

Quote

So it's clear Cole spurred Rhaenyra. But why? It's pretty clear that they had a thing going for each other (a very obsessive and possessive thing) and neither was really the paragon of virtue

I'd say the evidence is entirely consistent with Cole being puritanical about sex. His objections in the Small Council to Rhaenyra's succession are focused on that. And, like I said, nowhere outside that Eustace story is he depicted as having any sexual desire. Contrast with Rhaenyra, who is all but stated to have had an adulterous relationship with her sworn shield (who replaced Criston), and had a hasty second marriage before her father could object, allegedly because she'd already gotten knocked up shortly after she and Daemon were widowed.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

I don't think we need any "possibly", we're practically hit over the head Harwin being the true father of Rhaenyra's children. And if people go to that thread they will see the references to Rhaenyra's interest in Criston, whereas outside that one Eustace story there's no evidence Criston into women at all (yes a good Bayesian should take base rates into account, but the text supports an asymmetry closer to Mushroom's than Eustace's).

Without actual confirmation I'm not buying any of that. Historical fiction is historical fiction - and not truth. We will never know what really happened, and that's exactly the point when an author gives us a biased and incomplete historical takes rather than a proper novel with an all-knowing narrator or at least the POVs of the characters involved.

Quote

I'd say the evidence is entirely consistent with Cole being puritanical about sex. His objections in the Small Council to Rhaenyra's succession are focused on that. And, like I said, nowhere outside that Eustace story is he depicted as having any sexual desire. Contrast with Rhaenyra, who is all but stated to have had an adulterous relationship with her sworn shield (who replaced Criston), and had a hasty second marriage before her father could object, allegedly because she'd already gotten knocked up shortly after she and Daemon were widowed.

The evidence is consistent with Mushroom making shit up and using the same plot device twice, creating a scenario which doesn't fit well with other events unless one ignores that and invents ad hoc rationalizations for every single discrepancy. One can do that - but then one no longer discusses the merits of the contradicting narratives in relation to other sources, but just looks for bits and pieces to confirm one's own narrative (in your case, the idea that Cole was as chaste as an old septa).

The idea that a man like Cole would still have issues with Rhaenyra desiring him sexually sixteen years ago and that being the cause of his desire to prevent her succession to the Iron Throne is laughable. No sane man would think like that, especially not a man written by George R. R. Martin. Especially in light of the fact that the man was serving a king who may have fathered a bastard in Trystane Truefyre and would crown a prince who also had a couple of bastards.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Trystane Truefyre was neither widely known nor ever confirmed. Aegon II gets a pass because he's a male and Westeros is sexist. Criston having issues sixteen years later makes perfect sense for a man who 1) is puritanical about sex, 2) takes his vow of celibacy seriously, and 3) was born the son of a steward and yet rose to  joine the Kingsguard at a young age by replacing none other than Ryam Redwyne.

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Huh, I’m surprised no one brought up the possibility that while Cole may have spurned Rhaenyra’s advances, Cole in turn was spurned by Rhaenyra’s new husband Laenor.  Which is why the full brunt of Cole’s fury was reserved for Ser Joffrey Lonmouth.  

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1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Trystane Truefyre was neither widely known nor ever confirmed. Aegon II gets a pass because he's a male and Westeros is sexist. Criston having issues sixteen years later makes perfect sense for a man who 1) is puritanical about sex, 2) takes his vow of celibacy seriously, and 3) was born the son of a steward and yet rose to  joine the Kingsguard at a young age by replacing none other than Ryam Redwyne.

Not for me. Especially not since Cole apparently sided with another slut queen in Alicent Hightower - who either fucked the Old King in his dementia, or King Viserys I while his queen was pregnant, or both. Remember, Mushroom is the only source 'chaste Cole' we got. If you take that narrative seriously, you cannot really dismiss the rumors about Alicent, either. To buy the Mushroom narrative you have to assume ignored one woman's faults while focusing on the faults of the other.

And it is not that Cole just questioned Rhaenyra should succeed her father on the basis of sexual conduct - he was slutty Alicent's champion for sixteen years, and seems to have been a deciding influence - perhaps the deciding influence - to convince Aegon II to accept the crown.

That is not the behavior of guy who was fretting about morals. Instead, it is the behavior of man without morals, driven by emotions and wounded pride.

Trystane Truefyre isn't confirmed by any of our sources, but this doesn't mean he wasn't the son of King Viserys I. None of our sources ever discusses his background, i.e. his mother and other family, meaning we cannot even guess how likely the claim is that he was a royal bastard, but Criston Cole would have known more about the private life of his king than any of our sources.

13 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Huh, I’m surprised no one brought up the possibility that while Cole may have spurned Rhaenyra’s advances, Cole in turn was spurned by Rhaenyra’s new husband Laenor.  Which is why the full brunt of Cole’s fury was reserved for Ser Joffrey Lonmouth.  

That is nothing any of the people in the text suggest, so why we should consider something like that? And Cole also targeted Harwin Strong in that melee which should have never taken place according to certain hedge knights, which lends credence to the idea that he felt wronged there.

If Cole had been motivated by moral outrage he would have likely found a way to draw all that into the open. He could have accused Rhaenyra of adultery both when she approached him two times, forcing either a proper trial or a trial-by-combat. He clearly didn't fear to face Breakbones in combat, and he certainly could have dealt with Daemon, too.

In fact, if you think about it - if there was any merit to the Mushroom stuff both in 111 and 113 AC then Daemon would have faced Cole in single combat in 111 AC, and Rhaenyra would have lost Dragonstone and the status as Heir Apparent in 113 AC. Because Criston Cole would have talked about those things - openly to the king, and the entire court. Even the Velaryon marriage may have fallen through.

Instead, if all Cole could tell Alicent when he joined her party was that she spurned him when he finally made his move in 113 AC then they wouldn't have had any good ammunition to destroy her then.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That is nothing any of the people in the text suggest, so why we should consider something like that? And Cole also targeted Harwin Strong in that melee which should have never taken place according to certain hedge knights, which lends credence to the idea that he felt wronged there

Sure there is.  

Quote

He left Breakbones with a broken collarbone and a shattered elbow (prompting Mushroom to name him “Brokenbones” thereafter), but it was the Knight of Kisses who felt the fullest measure of his wroth.  Cole’s favorite weapon was the Morningstar, and the blows he rained down on Ser Laenor’s champion cracked his helm and left him senseless in the mud.  Borne bloody from the field, Ser Joffrey died without recovering consciousness six days later.  Mushroom tells us that Ser Laenor spent every hour of those days at his bedside and wept bitterly when the Stranger claimed him.

It’s clear that Cole had a falling out with Rhaenyra, which is why he may have gone out of the way to injure her champion.  But why in the world would he beat Joffrey to death?  Why would Joffrey have received the fullest measure of his wroth?  What connection does Joffrey have with any grudge that Cole would have to Rhaenyra?  

I think the answer is simple, he spurned Rhaenyra which created a rift between them, but Cole in turn was spurned by Rhaenyra’s husband, Laenor.  Which is why he beat Laenor’s champion and boyfriend to death.  

It’s always a possibility of anyone who chooses to live a life of chastity.  While there may be no other ulterior motive other than a desire to serve, it has to be considered that one may wish to join this order because it allows them to avoid the necessity of a marriage.  Or at the very least the idea of not being able to marry or be with a woman isn’t considered much of a sacrifice.  

Edited by Frey family reunion

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2 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Sure there is.  

It’s clear that Cole had a falling out with Rhaenyra, which is why he may have gone out of the way to injure her champion.  But why in the world would he beat Joffrey to death?  Why would Joffrey have received the fullest measure of his wroth?  What connection does Joffrey have with any grudge that Cole would have to Rhaenyra?  

I think the answer is simple, he spurned Rhaenyra which created a rift between them, but Cole in turn was spurned by Rhaenyra’s husband, Laenor.  Which is why he beat Laenor’s champion and boyfriend to death.  

It’s always a possibility of anyone who chooses to live a life of chastity.  While there may be no other ulterior motive other than a desire to serve, it has to be considered that one may wish to join this order because it allows them to avoid the necessity of a marriage.  Or at the very least the idea of not being able to marry or be with a woman isn’t considered much of a sacrifice.  

Of course Ser Joffrey was beaten up the most. But there is no reason that this had anything to do with him or even Laenor per se. Laenor Velaryon was the man who, ultimately, won Rhaenyra Targaryen. He owned her, whether he wanted her or not - and if Cole wanted to be her lord husband then Laenor, taking her from him, had become his rival for her affection/hand and had to be punished. And since Laenor, not being much of a man much less a knight, didn't participate in the tourney himself his favorite/best friend was punished instead to hurt Laenor.

And by extension, of course, Rhaenyra, too, just as Cole did when he attacked Harwin Strong. Both men were associated with her - the former through her husband, the latter directly.

You have to take on the aristocratic mindset. Retainers and vassals are nothing by themselves. They interest you only insofar as they are connected with the people who interest you - the people who wronged you. When Tywin attacked the Riverlands he had no issues with Hoster Tully or his lords - he had problems with Hoster's daughter Catelyn. When Jaime killed Ned's men in the city he had no issue with them or their families but with ther master, Lord Eddard Stark.

When Oberyn Martell attacks Gregor Clegane this is a stab at his real target, Tywin Lannister. And so on and so forth.

The idea that Cole could have been gay/sexually interested in Laenor would need more evidence, especially considering that Laenor didn't live at court at all and would thus not exactly have been in the position to notice that Criston Cole existed, much less wanted to be in his company.

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Eustace is also the only one to claim Cole had carnal desires despite nothing else in the text backing that up. Likewise, the allegations against Alicent are just rumors, which you can choose to believe but don't have to. And if we're being pedantic adultery is technically worse than fornication.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Eustace is also the only one to claim Cole had carnal desires despite nothing else in the text backing that up. Likewise, the allegations against Alicent are just rumors, which you can choose to believe but don't have to. And if we're being pedantic adultery is technically worse than fornication.

Eustace's version makes more sense and fits better with the other versions we have - both for 111 AC and for 113 AC. Mushroom's just doesn't. And my take on this is not invent stuff or create hybrid versions, but to check how the individual narratives we are given - and all elements in them - hold up when contrasted with the other things we learn which aren't contested by anyone.

And the most crucial thing there is simply that the Mushroom story of Rhaenyra and Criston really doesn't fit well with how events unfolded that aren't contested. It is not so much the characters of the people involved (both Criston and Rhaenyra), but how other people did not react to any of this who should have done something about it. Most notably King Viserys I himself, but also Queen Alicent, and other people.

As for Alicent: If she fucked Viserys I while Queen Aemma was still alive she was committing adultery as well as fornication. The king would be an adulterer then, too, of course, but the woman getting between a man and his lawful wife is, too. Especially if we are talking about the queen here.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Alicent wouldn't be guilty of adultery since she would have been unmarried back then but at this point we're going in circles.

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that Cole could have been gay/sexually interested in Laenor would need more evidence, especially considering that Laenor didn't live at court at all and would thus not exactly have been in the position to notice that Criston Cole existed, much less wanted to be in his company.

It’s all in the subtext.  And the more I look at Cole’s story arc the more convinced that I may be right.

So after Cole’s falling out with Rhaenyra, Cole joins the Greens and the character that he seems to be the most connected with at that point is Aemond Targaryen.

Quote

Queen Alicent’s other sons had been growing older as well.  Prince Aemond, despite the loss of his eye, had become a proficient and dangerous swordsman under the tutelage of Ser Cristin Cole, but remained a wild and willful child, hot-tempered and unforgiving.

So Cole took Aemond under his wing and taught him, umm swordplay.

And Cole and Aemond remain together up until they capture Harrenhal, and Aemond  meets Alys Rivers, and once again rumors swirl about a romantic entanglement with Cole:

Quote

Prince Aemond refused to consider this “craven course.”  As regent for his brother, he might have commanded the Hand’s obedience, yet he did not.  Munkun says that this was because of his respect for the older man, whilst Mushroom suggests that the two men had become rivals for the affections of the wet nurse Alys Rivers, who had used love potions  and philtres to inflame their passions.  Seton Eustace echoes the dwarf in part, but says it was Aemond alone who had become besotted with the Rivers woman, to such an extent that he could not bear the thought of leaving her.

So once again GRRM uses Munkun, Mushroom, and Eustace to help point out the smoke, but my guess is these characters are usually pretty bad at spotting the actual fire.

And in this case, there is probably some truth to what they all say, but none of them get it exactly right.  A love triangle probably did develop between Aemond, Alys, and Cole, as Mushroom suggested, but I also think that Eustace was right in that only Aemond was interested in Alys.  In other words, Aemond’s relationship with Alys ended his previous relationship with Cole.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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2 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Alicent wouldn't be guilty of adultery since she would have been unmarried back then but at this point we're going in circles.

Well, Rhaenyra also wasn't married when she allegedly slept with Daemon/got trained to seduce Cole, nor was she actually married yet in 113 AC when allegedly slept with Harwin - and we don't have any proof she actually slept with any other man but Laenor throughout her marriage. Those are just the same kind of rumor - and from the same source, mind you - we hear about Alicent.

The core point being that it would make no sense for Cole to prefer one whore to the other - especially not since he would have known about Rhaenyra's depravity since 111 AC but continued to serve her until 113 AC. Why was that? The Eustace story explains all that and has actually no issues whatsoever with what we learn from sources that aren't in doubt.

53 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

It’s all in the subtext.  And the more I look at Cole’s story arc the more convinced that I may be right.

So after Cole’s falling out with Rhaenyra, Cole joins the Greens and the character that he seems to be the most connected with at that point is Aemond Targaryen.

So Cole took Aemond under his wing and taught him, umm swordplay.

And Cole and Aemond remain together up until they capture Harrenhal, and Aemond  meets Alys Rivers, and once again rumors swirl about a romantic entanglement with Cole:

So once again GRRM uses Munkun, Mushroom, and Eustace to help point out the smoke, but my guess is these characters are usually pretty bad at spotting the actual fire.

And in this case, there is probably some truth to what they all say, but none of them get it exactly right.  A love triangle probably did develop between Aemond, Alys, and Cole, as Mushroom suggested, but I also think that Eustace was right in that only Aemond was interested in Alys.  In other words, Aemond’s relationship with Alys ended his previous relationship with Cole.

This is far too much imagined subtext for me. I'd rather buy that Cole and Alicent had a clandestine affair once he had become her sworn shield and champion than this stuff while we have no actual indication that Cole and/or Aemond were sexually attracted to men.

There are characters who may have been gay/bisexual in FaB - Queen Rhaena, Laenor Velaryon, Laena Velaryon, Rhaenyra Targaryen, Jeyne Arryn, Sabitha Vypren Frey, and Black Aly Blackwood. For all those we have actually some evidence, but there is nothing tangible in the Cole/Aemond department.

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Criston Cole and Princess Rhaenyra may represent an example of the Florian / Jonquil or Galladon of Morne / Maiden story: the knight who champions an ideal maiden who, in turn, provides the knight with a magic weapon. We see additional examples in the relationship of Ser Dontos and Sansa Stark and, possibly, in the relationship of Lord Renly and/or Ser Loras with Margaery Tyrell. Another archetype-challenging version of the pattern comes from Brienne and Jaime.

Ser Dontos and Brienne are both associated with the morningstar weapon favored by Criston Cole: Ser Dontos uses a fool's version - a melon morningstar - when he tries to protect Sansa from Joffrey by pretending to attack her with the ripe fruit. Brienne defeats Ser Loras in the Bitterbridge melee using a morningstar.

The death of Joffrey in the Rhaenyra version could represent the death of Renly. But! As with many ASOIAF deaths, Renly seems to be reborn and he becomes more powerful, in some ways. Ser Loras seems to be undergoing a version of death at the end of ADwD, but it would not surprise me if he is revived in some way, perhaps losing an eye like Aemond One-Eye.

I suspect that Criston might symbolize the Rainbow Guard that we associate with Renly. We see several of Renly's Rainbow Guard members eventually killed by members of the Tyrell family, who are associated with the color green. (Their sigil, Renly's green armor worn by Ser Garlan, the legendary greenness of The Reach and Highgarden and its association with Garth Greenhands.) The death of the Rainbow Guard does not result in "Renly's" defeat at the Blackwater, however: Ser Dontos delights in telling Sansa that "Renly" rallied his bannermen and routed the army of Stannis, who seems to represent black.

If that knight / maiden archetype is someone's ideal pairing - to fulfill a prophecy? to secure a magical weapon? - what would happen if the maiden decides that she no longer wants to be a maiden? Cersei tries to arrange for Margaery to be seduced (by a Kettleblack), but Margaery does not take the bait and instead glories in her maidenhood on Maiden's Day. Sansa has so far managed to avoid having sex with anyone, but she has had some close calls with Marillion, The Hound, Tyrion's lust for his wife, and threats from Joffrey. She has also endured creepy kisses from Ser Dontos and Littlefinger. At one point, when she pictures herself happily married, she imagines playing with kittens with Willas Tyrell. I suspect kittens represent the "real king" of the Red Keep, the black tomcat who stole food from Tywin Lannister when he dined with Robert Baratheon one evening.

Quote

"That's the real king of this castle right there," one of the gold cloaks had told her. "Older than sin and twice as mean. One time, the king was feasting the queen's father, and that black bastard hopped up on the table and snatched a roast quail right out of Lord Tywin's fingers. Robert laughed so hard he like to burst. You stay away from that one, child." (AGoT, Arya III)

So Sansa and Margaery and Brienne are being good little maidens, so far. But Rhaenyra wasn't willing to live within that role, and Criston turned against her when she was no longer a maiden. He instead put his skills at the disposal of the green faction, which seems to be associated with House Tyrell at this point in our story. (Although green is a pretty complex symbol and is represented in other ways throughout the series.)

What will happen when/if Sansa or Margaery or Brienne or one of the other maiden characters decides that being a maiden is no longer the way she wants to live? The seed is strong.

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