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Lady_Qohor

R+L=Plot against Brandon

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So I've come up with a half-baked, tinfoil theory that I don't think has been shared yet. It has lots of holes in it, I don't believe it and I'd be disappointed if it came to pass but nevertheless I thought it was interesting so I'd thought I'd share and see if there are any thoughts.

 

Summary: The Rhaegar/Lyanna affair wasn't about Lyanna or prophecy. It was a plot by Rhaegar and Arthur Dayne to kill Brandon Stark and gain vengeance for Ashara that went horribly wrong.

 

Theory in more detail: So Barristan believes that Ashara Dayne was dishonored by a Stark at Harrenhal. If Brandon Stark raped Ashara and she wanted to confide in someone the most logical choices would be Elia (close friend) or Arthur (brother). Either way, the news could get back to both Rhaegar and Arthur.

 

Their first impulses would probably be to call Brandon Stark out or put him on trial, but Ashara makes them swear not to say anything (this being a medieval world full of misogny, slut-shaming and refusal to believe rape survivors). They reluctantly agree but when Rhaegar wins the tourney, he sees an opportunity to get vengeance for someone who is both a close friend of his wife and sister of his best friend. He crowns Lyanna Queen of Love and Beauty in the hopes of provoking Brandon into attacking him or challenging him to a duel.  That way he can kill Brandon without anyone finding out about what happened to Ashara or provoking serious repercussions from the North. After all, Brandon would be the aggressor in this scenario, Rhaegar crowning Lyanna is dishonourable but it's no crime and if he kills Brandon then he is just defending himself.

 

The plan almost works, and we are told that Brandon had to be restrained after what he perceives to be a slight on his sister's honour.

 

Cut to a few months later. By now, Arthur and Rhaegar have probably found out that Ashara is pregnant (with baby Jon Snow). Rhaegar, Arthur and Ser Oswell Whent are in the Riverlands (maybe Rhaegar wants to consult the Ghost of High Heart on prophecies). Arthur is still simmering with anger when they hear that Lyanna is in the area on her way to Riverrun. Arthur snaps and decides to go through with the original plan of provoking Brandon into a fight by kidnapping Lyanna (who goes willingly or unwillingly depending on your interpretation).

 

Rhaegar and Whent probably aren’t very happy about this as they see it could mean war but it is too late now and for Arthur's sake they come up with a new plan. Rhaegar will send a raven to Riverrun telling Brandon that Arthur has kidnapped Lyanna in a fit of passion and is taking her to the Tower of Joy (an old childhood haunt). Rhaegar will say that he and Whent are going after him and asks that Brandon come along with some men to help rescue Lyanna. When Brandon and his men comes to the Red Mountains, the other three will have a terrain advantage (Arthur being familiar with the mountains) and they can separate and kill Brandon. Arthur can then flee to the Free Cities, having avenged his sister and Rhaegar can return Lyanna to the remaining Starks earning their gratitude rather than wrath.

 

The plan goes wrong as Rhaegar's raven never arrives at Riverrun. Rhaegar and the others wait in the Red Mountains for Brandon only to find out he has gone to Kings Landing instead and been killed by Aerys. By this time war has broken out and Rhaegar feels he has no choice but to keep Lyanna captive as a hostage against Ned and Robert.

 

Caveats: Obviously there are many flaws in this theory; Arthur acting so rashly and how on earth they thought they could keep from Lyanna that Rhaegar  and Whent were invovled in the plot to murder her brother.  Lyanna's death and Ned's promise also don't really fit in.

 

However as I said I thought it was an interesting theory and I thought it quite apt for ASOIAF that Rhaegar and Arthur's misguided views of honour and chivalry end up starting a war and leaving themselves and everyone they love (including Ashara) dead. It also gives another explanation for why Rhaegar (who is praised by everyone who knew him) appears to act so rashly and so dishonourably for a teenager he barely knows. Thoughts?

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Not bad. My initial thought was that knights would not plot like this but would challenge one another openly and honorably, but you neutralized that argument.

I would still wonder how the news got out that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna when he was nowhere near, or how Dayne could convince both Whent and Hightower to forsake their vows and abandon their king. But the whole thing as a scheme to draw Brandon out and that Jon is his and Ashara's child is intriguing. But even then, we are still left with the mystery of what Ned's promise was that caused him so much hurt and shame over the years.

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The bare bones of this has been suggested in various form before and has always been a favourite version of mine. It does not have to be a rape of Ashara, or to kill Brandon and almost definitely has nothing to do with Jon Snow (B+A=J timeline does not work, full stop).

It could be as simple as all of Rhaegar, Arthur, Lyanna, and Ashara scheming a 'kidnapping,' to get Brandon to admit to getting Ashara pregnant and doing the right thing and marrying her instead of Cat. This works well with the timing: right before Brandon is supposed to wed and time enough after Harrrenhal for Ashara to know she is pregnant.

Rickard is even potentially around to be part of the confrontation against Brandon.

The difficultly/hole is: "why did things happen the way they did?" Which is how the books work.

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I don't think it to be true, but even it is I don't think that Brando was kind of a man who would rape someone. I got the impression that guy was womanizer not rapist. 

 

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I don't think it to be true, but even it is I don't think that Brando was kind of a man who would rape someone. I got the impression that guy was womanizer not rapist. 

 

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