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Rhaegar the Overrated


Craving Peaches
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1 hour ago, Lee-Sensei said:

That doesn't matter to me. His anger was justified. I'm not going to victim blame him. Rhaegar was far more responsible.

Everyone get's an arranged marriage in this series. I don't find that a very sympathetic reason personally and in the grand scheme of things, it's better than triggering a continent destroying war. Brandon and Catelyn were in an arranged marriage. Ned and Catelyn were in an arranged marriage. Robb should have just married his Frey giirl. That's just the way things work in Westeros

1) Would you blame Robb for "triggering the Red Wedding" then?

2) The series criticizes the belief system of the world, such as arranged marriages. The fact that "things are supposed to work in this way in Westeros" doesn't mean that they are right.

Robb had a say in marrying the Frey girl, he promised to do it in exchange for an army and would have retained the right to lay with other women. In contrast, Lyanna didn't have any say whether she has wants to marry Robert or not and would have been subject to his whims. That's a huge difference.

 

Edited by csuszka1948
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3 minutes ago, csuszka1948 said:

1) Would you blame Robb for "triggering the Red Wedding" then?

That’s a very silly comparison. 

3 minutes ago, csuszka1948 said:

2) The series criticizes the belief system of the world, such as arranged marriages. The fact that "things are supposed to work in this way in Westeros" doesn't mean that they are right.

Robb had a say in marrying the Frey girl, he promised to do it in exchange for an army and would have retained the right to lay with other women. In contrast, Lyanna didn't have any say whether she has wants to marry Robert or not and would have been subject to his whims. That's a huge difference.

True. But the problem w/ making this argument at this point is that we don’t know what happened w/ Lyanna, or even how it happened.

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10 minutes ago, csuszka1948 said:

1) Would you blame Robb for "triggering the Red Wedding" then?

2) The series criticizes the belief system of the world, such as arranged marriages. The fact that "things are supposed to work in this way in Westeros" doesn't mean that they are right.

Robb had a say in marrying the Frey girl, he promised to do it in exchange for an army and would have retained the right to lay with other women. In contrast, Lyanna didn't have any say whether she has wants to marry Robert or not and would have been subject to his whims. That's a huge difference.

1) No. Robb did something that was fundamentally noble. He messed up and deflowered this woman, so he decided to marry her to protect her honor even though he knew that it would damage his cause. I don't think it's comparable to what Rhaegar did.

2) Right or not, I don't think an arranged marriage is equal to starting a continent destroying war.

3) That's a minor difference to me. But setting aside the arranged marriage issue, you originally compared Rhaegar "saving" Lyanna from an arranged marriage to Catelyn wanting justice for the attempted murders of her son. I just don't think that those things are at all comparable.

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5 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

I'd like to point out that Rhaegar was also abandoning his own wife when he ran off with Lyanna, exactly the sort of thing Lyanna criticised Robert for being likely to do. So...

This is another point, but some people have suggested that Elia was okay with him taking another wife. I'd really dislike that if it was true. It's all so convenient. That doesn't seem like George's style.

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1 minute ago, Lee-Sensei said:

some people have suggested that Elia was okay with him taking another wife.

Where on earth does this come from? I hope the answer is not 'because she's Dornish'. I hate that stupid idea that everyone in Dorne somehow has more liberal attitudes towards sex than most people today.

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Just now, Craving Peaches said:

Where on earth does this come from? I hope the answer is not 'because she's Dornish'. I hate that stupid idea that everyone in Dorne somehow has more liberal attitudes towards sex than most people today.

Yes. That's one of the primary reasons given. But Lyanna was a Stark and would be a threat to Elia's own children. The North is also more powerful than Dorne on it's own and the heir to Rickard Stark was arranged to marry a Tully. Ned Stark was also being fostered with Jon Arryn and a close friend of Robert Baratheon. This would be a massive threat to Elia. Having a paramour is one thing, but I find it hard to believe that she'd be okay with him having a second wife. Also, George said that the Martell's were angry about how Rhaegar was treating her so their support was much more lukewarm than it would have been. Elia was very close to Oberyn. If she was okay with all of this, wouldn't she have told them?

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7 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Where on earth does this come from? I hope the answer is not 'because she's Dornish'. I hate that stupid idea that everyone in Dorne somehow has more liberal attitudes towards sex than most people today.

Mostly what I’ve seen of this is about Elia knowing and understanding the need to fulfill the prophecy, yadda yadda yadda. Not a fan myself, but there’s plenty of people who believe it. 

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11 minutes ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Yes. That's one of the primary reasons given. But Lyanna was a Stark and would be a threat to Elia's own children. The North is also more powerful than Dorne on it's own and the heir to Rickard Stark was arranged to marry a Tully. Ned Stark was also being fostered with Jon Arryn and a close friend of Robert Baratheon. This would be a massive threat to Elia. Having a paramour is one thing, but I find it hard to believe that she'd be okay with him having a second wife. Also, George said that the Martell's were angry about how Rhaegar was treating her so their support was much more lukewarm than it would have been. Elia was very close to Oberyn. If she was okay with all of this, wouldn't she have told them?

Also, I imagine Elia would feel insulted that Rhaegar ran off with a younger woman, as if she wasn't good enough.

6 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Mostly what I’ve seen of this is about Elia knowing and understanding the need to fulfill the prophecy, yadda yadda yadda.

I hope this isn't in the books. It is too convenient.

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13 minutes ago, Lee-Sensei said:

This is another point, but some people have suggested that Elia was okay with him taking another wife. I'd really dislike that if it was true. It's all so convenient. That doesn't seem like George's style.

And we have zero indication that Elia would ever be ok with this. Polygamy is not a Dornish custom. 

Rhaegar's actions at Harrenhal were extremely humiliating for not just Elia, but Lyanna as well. And perhaps Lyanna was flattered! But this sparked national gossip about both of them. Whatever Rhaegar's intentions were, his actions were insensitive and cruel to the woman who carried out her duty, nearly died in childbirth, and suffered racist insults from her father-in-law. 

Further salt to the wound is leaving Elia and her children on Dragonstone while whisking Lyanna away to his wife's country. If Elia was in on this, she would have felt safer at home in Dorne. I can't picture a mother willingly keeping herself and her children within reach of her crazy FIL while her husband is having fun with his mistress in her country.

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6 hours ago, csuszka1948 said:

We don't know what kind of plans Rhaegar had or who he planned to inform, so it's difficult to judge him one way or another.  

However, he certainly couldn't expect Brandon Stark to rush to King's Landing with his companions and demand Rhaegar to come out and die (which is way more stupid than anything Rhaegar has done), nor his father to kill them and Rickard and demand the heads of Robert and Ned. These actions definitely ruined whatever plans Rhaegar had, were more directly responsible for the war than Rhaegar's actions and were pretty much unforeseeable.

Saying that Rhaegar should have foreseen that his actions were going to cause war seems incorrect to me, and almost on the same level as the assertion that Catelyn's "kidnapping" of Tyrion caused the war and the downfall of the Starks. If the Lannisters won the war and Tommen ruled for 50 years, Catelyn's kidnapping of Tyrion would be certainly viewed as a vile action which kickstarted the war, but we know that the truth is very different. The same might very well get unveiled for Rhaegar.

 

He could actually expect that it would end pretty badly when as a married man with children he choose to disappear with the maiden daughter of the Warden of the North - one of the most powerful man in the 7k- who happened to be betrothed to his hot-headed cousin another very powerful man.

The icing on the cake is that he choose to pull that move knowing that he was leaving a perverted mad man who used to compensate his incompetency by belittling and humiliating people who outshined him or didn't coddle his overinflated ego to deal with this immense mess. The situation was bound to explode, Brandon or not. Aerys wasn't going to welcome Lord Rickard and his rightful demands respectfully, the man who felt entitled to do the wife of his Hand however he pleased (and to publicly shame her), would have told Rickard off and "put him to his place". Rickard would be lucky to leave King's Landing and not be held as a hostage against his sons if he wasn't executed after that exchange.

No, Rhaegar didn't act as a friend of the Starks or the Baratheons, and at the end, he received his comeuppance.

Edited by Kal-L
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1 hour ago, Kal-L said:

He could actually expect that it would end pretty badly when as a married man with children he choose to disappear with the maiden daughter of the Warden of the North - one of the most powerful man in the 7k- who happened to be betrothed to his hot-headed cousin another very powerful man.

The icing on the cake is that he choose to pull that move knowing that he was leaving a perverted mad man who used to compensate his incompetency by belittling and humiliating people who outshined him or didn't coddle his overinflated ego to deal with this immense mess. The situation was bound to explode, Brandon or not. Aerys wasn't going to welcome Lord Rickard and his rightful demands respectfully, the man who felt entitled to do the wife of his Hand however he pleased (and to publicly shame her), would have told Rickard off and "put him to his place". Rickard would be lucky to leave King's Landing and not be held as a hostage against his sons if he wasn't executed after that exchange.

No, Rhaegar didn't act as a friend of the Starks or the Baratheons, and at the end, he received his comeuppance.

I think it's still worth mentioning that Brandon wanted to cut Rhaegar down at Harrenhal, so a violent reaction to her "kidnapping" should have been expected. At least from him.

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34 minutes ago, Lee-Sensei said:

I think it's still worth mentioning that Brandon wanted to cut Rhaegar down at Harrenhal, so a violent reaction to her "kidnapping" should have been expected. At least from him.

A violent reaction would be the first reaction of my own dad and brothers if they were told that one of my sisters or I were kidnapped. Even my mother would throw caution out the window. And perhaps that's why I'll never understand fans being extremely critical over Brandon's reaction. Foolish or not, that's a pain and fear I hope I never have to experience. Not knowing what is being done to your sister, not knowing where she is. The Starks deserved the truth. 

I will always support Lyanna escaping an unwanted marriage, but at least leave a note so your family knows you're alright.

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2 hours ago, Ser Arthurs Dawn said:

A violent reaction would be the first reaction of my own dad and brothers if they were told that one of my sisters or I were kidnapped. Even my mother would throw caution out the window. And perhaps that's why I'll never understand fans being extremely critical over Brandon's reaction. Foolish or not, that's a pain and fear I hope I never have to experience. Not knowing what is being done to your sister, not knowing where she is. The Starks deserved the truth. 

I will always support Lyanna escaping an unwanted marriage, but at least leave a note so your family knows you're alright.

You have no basis for the claim that Brandon was actually told Lya was 'abducted'. It could have been he merely wanted to believe this because he didn't want to view his sister as a whore ... yet.

The notion that Brandon had good reason to believe this because he was told she was abducted and thus had to believe it is without basis.

Brandon also doesn't want the truth, Brandon wants Rhaegar to come out and die.

3 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

I think it's still worth mentioning that Brandon wanted to cut Rhaegar down at Harrenhal, so a violent reaction to her "kidnapping" should have been expected. At least from him.

That seems to be only in your head.

6 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

I'd like to point out that Rhaegar was also abandoning his own wife when he ran off with Lyanna, exactly the sort of thing Lyanna criticised Robert for being likely to do. So...

Funnily enough, Rhaegar and Lyanna could have actually loved each other, unlike Robert and Lyanna where one party just claims he loved her without knowing her - and without having the mental ability nor the intention of ever staying faithful to her. Robert already had a bastard daughter long before he could wed Lyanna. It was always clear what he was.

Yeah, Rhaegar was married - to a woman he didn't love and who he could no longer have vaginal intercourse with since another pregnancy might kill her. So effectively his marriage to Elia is over insofar as marital duties in the bed chamber are concerned.

If Lya knew all that then whatever she and Rhaegar had might have been more real and deeper in her eyes - even more so if they actually married. If they were deeply in love with each other they would have viewed both Lya's betrothal and Rhaegar's marriage as traps standing in the way of their true happiness.

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8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

You have no basis for the claim that Brandon was actually told Lya was 'abducted'. It could have been he merely wanted to believe this because he didn't want to view his sister as a whore ... yet.

The notion that Brandon had good reason to believe this because he was told she was abducted and thus had to believe it is without basis.

Brandon also doesn't want the truth, Brandon wants Rhaegar to come out and die.

That seems to be only in your head.

Funnily enough, Rhaegar and Lyanna could have actually loved each other, unlike Robert and Lyanna where one party just claims he loved her without knowing her - and without having the mental ability nor the intention of ever staying faithful to her. Robert already had a bastard daughter long before he could wed Lyanna. It was always clear what he was.

Yeah, Rhaegar was married - to a woman he didn't love and who he could no longer have vaginal intercourse with since another pregnancy might kill her. So effectively his marriage to Elia is over insofar as marital duties in the bed chamber are concerned.

If Lya knew all that then whatever she and Rhaegar had might have been more real and deeper in her eyes - even more so if they actually married. If they were deeply in love with each other they would have viewed both Lya's betrothal and Rhaegar's marriage as traps standing in the way of their true happiness.

Nope. It's common sense that if Lyanna's brother wanted to attack the crown prince for crowning her at Harrenhal, he'd react much worse to her being kidnapped as he saw it.

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22 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

You have no basis for the claim that Brandon was actually told Lya was 'abducted'. It could have been he merely wanted to believe this because he didn't want to view his sister as a whore ... yet.

The notion that Brandon had good reason to believe this because he was told she was abducted and thus had to believe it is without basis.

Fair enough.

22 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

So effectively his marriage to Elia is over insofar as marital duties in the bed chamber are concerned.

What are you saying here? The marriage is over because she can no longer bear children?

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5 minutes ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Nope. It's common sense that if Lyanna's brother wanted to attack the crown prince for crowning her at Harrenhal, he'd react much worse to her being kidnapped as he saw it.

No, we know that Brandon was angry, but there were no threats of violence there. TWoIaF states Brandon had to be restrained - presumably by friends and brothers - from confronting Rhaegar about this, but 'confronting' doesn't mean 'attacking'.

Also, the notion that the crowning was a big deal for many people seems a bit off. It was unusual and humiliating for Elia and kind of embarrassing for Lya, perhaps, but it wasn't something Rhaegar could not possibly do. Brandon is the only one who tried to make a fuzz ... Robert laughed it off and didn't show his anger.

It wasn't something many people but the Dornish, the Starks, and Robert would care about.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

No, we know that Brandon was angry, but there were no threats of violence there. TWoIaF states Brandon had to be restrained - presumably by friends and brothers - from confronting Rhaegar about this, but 'confronting' doesn't mean 'attacking'.

Also, the notion that the crowning was a big deal for many people seems a bit off. It was unusual and humiliating for Elia and kind of embarrassing for Lya, perhaps, but it wasn't something Rhaegar could not possibly do. Brandon is the only one who tried to make a fuzz ... Robert laughed it off and didn't show his anger.

It wasn't something many people but the Dornish, the Starks, and Robert would care about.

Yeah. I read it again and it does say confronting, which could be words or could be violence. Given how rash Brandon was and the fact that he later went to Kings Landing and told Rhaegar to come out and die, my guess is that they restrained him because he might lash out violently. But that's more up in the air. I still think Rhaegar should have known better. If you kidnap someones sister they might react with violence. This is common sense.

I wasn't saynig anything about that, but it was the moment when all the smiles died. Pissing off 3 of the Great Lords ruling Westeros doesn't seem like a very good idea.

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7 minutes ago, Ser Arthurs Dawn said:

What are you saying here? The marriage is over because she can no longer bear children?

An arranged marriage which is essentially just there so you can produce trueborn children is most definitely over then. Not that it would have been much of a marriage in a modern sense, anyway. Those are noble people. They have their own apartments, servants, companions. They mostly see their spouses for formal court ceremonies if they can't stand each other. And even that can be avoided.

Add to that the past instances of polygamy among the Targaryens and the Lya-Rhaegar thing can certainly be framed as or construed as a true love marriage ... into which Elia would still be included technically as the marriage would not be formally resolved.

In a sense it seems clear that Lya and Rhaegar pulled a Maegor-Alys there. Rhaegar took a new wife because the old one was barren now and he did not intend to continue to have intercourse with her. It is not polygamy as in 'I'll fuck all my wives' but rather polygamy in the sense that 'I don't formally dump older wives'.

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1 minute ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Yeah. I read it again and it does say confronting, which could be words or could be violence. Given how rash Brandon was and the fact that he later went to Kings Landing and told Rhaegar to come out and die, my guess is that they restrained him because he might lash out violently. But that's more up in the air. I still think Rhaegar should have known better. If you kidnap someones sister they might react with violence. This is common sense.

Even so much as threatening the Heir Apparent in front of the Mad King could be very dangerous. So, no, I don't buy that we can assume Brandon wanted to attack Rhaegar over this.

1 minute ago, Lee-Sensei said:

I wasn't saynig anything about that, but it was the moment when all the smiles died. Pissing off 3 of the Great Lords ruling Westeros doesn't seem like a very good idea.

Where are you getting those three great lords? Robert was one, but he actually wasn't pissed off publicly - and had no reason for it. I mean, you are aware that many a man crowns princesses and queens the queen of love and beauty in such tournaments. They don't all lust after them. The smiles died because Rhaegar was married and should have chosen his wife, apparently, or perhaps a Whent girl, not Lyanna. It was odd. But not necessarily a huge scandal.

Ned was no great lord, Brandon was no great lord, and Lord Rickard was either not there or had no issue with the thing. No idea who you think the third one would have been? Doran Martell? He wasn't pissed off, either, even if he was there.

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