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Black Crow

R+L=J v.46

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This is my primary objection to Aerys. If search wasn't broken I'd link my exchange with Mtn Lion about it. I can't remember the crux of it :dunce:

@Maxpey-- I tried! Looking for Great Northern Conspiracy thread myself and went through 48 pages of threads and saw neither GNC nor Heresy. If anyone can find those links I will :bowdown:

I guess the main point of this post is "You know nothing (without search) Lady G" :wacko:

Here is the Great Northern Conspiracy Reexamined thread if you're still looking...

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Okay. Let's consider the fact that Ashara is Dornish and that there does not seem to be significant social stigma with extramarital sexual relations and offspring of such unions. Why would Barristan be overly distraught, and wish that his aid be sought regarding such liaison? Why would Ashara consider it a dishonor, and seek anyone regarding the matter? This just doesn't make sense if one attempts to perceive the dishonor as consensual.

But there is significant dishonour if she gets pregnant (which she apparently did).

The Dornish don't seem to mind so long as you are discreet about things and don't mess up, but an unmarried young noblewoman getting pregnant is not acceptable behaviour. Ok for unmarried young men, yes - thats the double standard inherent in any low-tech inheritance based society, and for women who don't get pregnant, or are either insufficiently noble or independent enough to not have the necessity of a marriage to secure their futures, but I can't think of another unmarried young Dornish Noble Maid happily making bastards with societal blessing.

I think the whole Dornish 'acceptance' thing can be taken too far.

Further, it is also the case that Ashara is at court in KL, not in Dorne, so Dornish attitudes are less relevant than standard Westeriosi attitudes.

Summary, I think your 'this doesn't make sense' itself is the thing that doesn't make sense, because its based on data that has been extrapolated very much too far in the wrong direction.

So Ashara can have a consensual relationship with Brandon, and be "dishonoured" by it if it becomes public or especially if she gets pregnant, unmarried as she is, a member of the Kings court in KL.

If either of those things happened, and Brandon was the other consensual party, then she would naturally look to House Stark for assistance.

But if Barristan had won the tourney, and presented her with the crown, thus revealing his personal feelings, she may have had an alternative source of succour to look to when trouble beckoned.

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Haha very true and she's a lot closer to Jon's age, also I think Jon would be drawn to her wildness as she would probably remind him of Arya in a non creepy way of course lol. Does anybody else agree that Arya would love/be a perfect fit with the Sand Snakes?

Young Arya yes, current Arya would get competative and kill them. People forget how condescending the Dornish can be and the Snake sisters are no exception. I don't imagine they have much love for the Starks, they tend to be sensative about the rebelion. Dorne really took it on the chin, Elia, the kids, Ashara, Arthur, lets not forget whos father killed Arthur Dayne.

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If it was indeed rape by Aerys she could have looked to Brandon Stark or if she looked to house Stark in general Brandon was likely made aware of what happened at some point either at the TOH or shortly after. This could also explain why Brandon jumped the gun and went absolutely ape shit when he found out Rhaegar disappeared with Lyanna and might have assumed Rhaegar intended to rape Lyanna, considering that Brandon knew that Rhaegar's father Aerys raped Ashara at the TOH.

Maybe but would Ashara carry Aerys baby to term, when moon tea exists in this world? It's an easy solution to a bad problem. Also I am not sure how crazy Brandon went, the story goes he stormed into KL demanding Rhaegars head, but who saw this, who told this story. Cats recollection of Brandon leaving is of a much calmer person who does not seem to be exploding with anger. Brandons wolfs blood is described as being similar to Lyanna, who in turn is pointed out to as being similar to Arya at that age. As an adult lord and Stark raised same as Ned I don't think Brandon was as much like lets say Robert as people think. I think he liked to have a good time but I don't think he exploded with rage all the time or was a totally miserable person, Brandon seemed to be enjoying life. Just look how he handled Littlefinger, people remember he almost killed him, but Brandon didn't pick that fight and during the fight he tried to get Littlefinger to stop and yield.

For all I know the story of how Brandon acted was started by Aerys himself, or has been blown out of proportion over time. Like the books I doubt it is that black and white. What is important is what we are told, she was taken by Rhaegar. It's not just some lucky guess, someone had to see it happen and report it or else nobody would have known who took her. What is also of note is that Brandon, Viserys and everyone else also think she was taken. Now if he took her away willingly or against her will is a different story, but he did take her. And I actually think he did take her away at sword point but weather or not the swords were on Lyanna or on her guard is again another debate.

Another think of I like to look at is what Selmy and Mormont tell Dany, she trully is her brothers sister. I mean if Rhaegar and Dany area alike than it's pretty much anything goes. I like Dany but she is more than a little messed up. Rhaegar had some issues I don't doubt it for a second, nobody does that many stupid things and is thinking clearly.

I think one of the reasons there are so many debates about characters in the books is because they are not black and white, we get a lot of conflicting POV's which is really what Martin wants. Not so much to hide things but to show how many layers and demensions the characters have. Many people try and make things black and white , the character is either this or he is that, but with Martin there is a good chance a character is a little of column a and little of column b.

Take the KG at the tower, people aregue if it was because Jon was the King, or just following orders. There is a hell of a lot more going on then just that in Neds dream. But they were there before Jon was born, boy or girl, they had no clue, hell Whent and Dayne were with Rhaegar and Lyanna before Jon may have been concieved. When Rhaegar rode off Jon would have been 4th in line, and there was a current king still living. I also doubt they refused to go with Rhaegar, he clearly told them to stay and guard Lyanna and maybe Jon, although he was not alive yet. I also don't think they were to pleased with the assignment, I think they wanted in that war and we know they think they would have changed the outcome. Honestly when Ned and his men rode up to that tower I don't think they were thinking about the safety of anyone or anything. They basically tell Ned, we don't run we don't bend, now lets do this. Those guys were not happy, that was going to be a fight even if that tower was empty. I honestly don't think they thought Ned would hurt Lyanna or Jon. I think they wanted to hurt Ned though, and I think he wanted to hurt them.

Sure they were there to guard Lyanna, and they were told do that, I believe Rhaegar had to argue with Hightower to stay when he left. But when those two sides saw eachother, nothing and nobody was going to stop that fight. There is a lot of conflict and emotion going on in that scene. Those guys are not drones, Whent and Dayne lost there buddy and where not allowed to protect him, Hightower lost his king and again and his family and was not allowed to protect him. Think about that, you dedicate your life and give up everything only to fail at your duty in the end.

I think a lot of people over simplify the characters on this forum to try and make a point, or introduce or convince other people of a theory. But it's really not so simple, I think in the end we will have a lot of people who are actually right about some things but will also see the people they argued with right as well and your going to end up with the mixed bag that is often reality. Well everyone except me, I will be right about everything, cause... well it's me after all and I am never wrong, and I intend to live in that delusion for the rest of my life.

Honestly though, I do think a lot of people are over complicating the plot and simplifying the characters. When the book is really more about the characters and there journey and development. It's more of a character study on how characters react when placed in given situations. Don't get me wrong I think the plot is good and it is complex, but I don't think every little detail is a clue about Jon. Like brown grass, or what Joff had for breakfast, or Summer at a fish, or Bran sneezed twice in AGoT and once in ADwD, that's three, the dragon has three heads it's Jon cause he is Brans favorite.

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Take the KG at the tower, people aregue if it was because Jon was the King, or just following orders. There is a hell of a lot more going on then just that in Neds dream. But they were there before Jon was born, boy or girl, they had no clue, hell Whent and Dayne were with Rhaegar and Lyanna before Jon may have been concieved. When Rhaegar rode off Jon would have been 4th in line, and there was a current king still living. I also doubt they refused to go with Rhaegar, he clearly told them to stay and guard Lyanna and maybe Jon, although he was not alive yet. I also don't think they were to pleased with the assignment, I think they wanted in that war and we know they think they would have changed the outcome. Honestly when Ned and his men rode up to that tower I don't think they were thinking about the safety of anyone or anything. They basically tell Ned, we don't run we don't bend, now lets do this. Those guys were not happy, that was going to be a fight even if that tower was empty. I honestly don't think they thought Ned would hurt Lyanna or Jon. I think they wanted to hurt Ned though, and I think he wanted to hurt them.

Sure they were there to guard Lyanna, and they were told do that, I believe Rhaegar had to argue with Hightower to stay when he left. But when those two sides saw eachother, nothing and nobody was going to stop that fight. There is a lot of conflict and emotion going on in that scene. Those guys are not drones, Whent and Dayne lost there buddy and where not allowed to protect him, Hightower lost his king and again and his family and was not allowed to protect him. Think about that, you dedicate your life and give up everything only to fail at your duty in the end.

Since when are people sad (Dayne has a sad smile on his lips, Ned speaks with sadness) when they want to hurt each other?

Also, please read my post 75 on the previous page. The fight ensues because of clashing duties. They'd not fight if they had a choice.

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Maybe but would Ashara carry Aerys baby to term, when moon tea exists in this world? It's an easy solution to a bad problem. Also I am not sure how crazy Brandon went, the story goes he stormed into KL demanding Rhaegars head, but who saw this, who told this story. Cats recollection of Brandon leaving is of a much calmer person who does not seem to be exploding with anger. Brandons wolfs blood is described as being similar to Lyanna, who in turn is pointed out to as being similar to Arya at that age. As an adult lord and Stark raised same as Ned I don't think Brandon was as much like lets say Robert as people think. I think he liked to have a good time but I don't think he exploded with rage all the time or was a totally miserable person, Brandon seemed to be enjoying life. Just look how he handled Littlefinger, people remember he almost killed him, but Brandon didn't pick that fight and during the fight he tried to get Littlefinger to stop and yield.

For all I know the story of how Brandon acted was started by Aerys himself, or has been blown out of proportion over time. Like the books I doubt it is that black and white. What is important is what we are told, she was taken by Rhaegar. It's not just some lucky guess, someone had to see it happen and report it or else nobody would have known who took her. What is also of note is that Brandon, Viserys and everyone else also think she was taken. Now if he took her away willingly or against her will is a different story, but he did take her. And I actually think he did take her away at sword point but weather or not the swords were on Lyanna or on her guard is again another debate.

Another think of I like to look at is what Selmy and Mormont tell Dany, she trully is her brothers sister. I mean if Rhaegar and Dany area alike than it's pretty much anything goes. I like Dany but she is more than a little messed up. Rhaegar had some issues I don't doubt it for a second, nobody does that many stupid things and is thinking clearly.

I think one of the reasons there are so many debates about characters in the books is because they are not black and white, we get a lot of conflicting POV's which is really what Martin wants. Not so much to hide things but to show how many layers and demensions the characters have. Many people try and make things black and white , the character is either this or he is that, but with Martin there is a good chance a character is a little of column a and little of column b.

Take the KG at the tower, people aregue if it was because Jon was the King, or just following orders. There is a hell of a lot more going on then just that in Neds dream. But they were there before Jon was born, boy or girl, they had no clue, hell Whent and Dayne were with Rhaegar and Lyanna before Jon may have been concieved. When Rhaegar rode off Jon would have been 4th in line, and there was a current king still living. I also doubt they refused to go with Rhaegar, he clearly told them to stay and guard Lyanna and maybe Jon, although he was not alive yet. I also don't think they were to pleased with the assignment, I think they wanted in that war and we know they think they would have changed the outcome. Honestly when Ned and his men rode up to that tower I don't think they were thinking about the safety of anyone or anything. They basically tell Ned, we don't run we don't bend, now lets do this. Those guys were not happy, that was going to be a fight even if that tower was empty. I honestly don't think they thought Ned would hurt Lyanna or Jon. I think they wanted to hurt Ned though, and I think he wanted to hurt them.

Sure they were there to guard Lyanna, and they were told do that, I believe Rhaegar had to argue with Hightower to stay when he left. But when those two sides saw eachother, nothing and nobody was going to stop that fight. There is a lot of conflict and emotion going on in that scene. Those guys are not drones, Whent and Dayne lost there buddy and where not allowed to protect him, Hightower lost his king and again and his family and was not allowed to protect him. Think about that, you dedicate your life and give up everything only to fail at your duty in the end.

I think a lot of people over simplify the characters on this forum to try and make a point, or introduce or convince other people of a theory. But it's really not so simple, I think in the end we will have a lot of people who are actually right about some things but will also see the people they argued with right as well and your going to end up with the mixed bag that is often reality. Well everyone except me, I will be right about everything, cause... well it's me after all and I am never wrong, and I intend to live in that delusion for the rest of my life.

Honestly though, I do think a lot of people are over complicating the plot and simplifying the characters. When the book is really more about the characters and there journey and development. It's more of a character study on how characters react when placed in given situations. Don't get me wrong I think the plot is good and it is complex, but I don't think every little detail is a clue about Jon. Like brown grass, or what Joff had for breakfast, or Summer at a fish, or Bran sneezed twice in AGoT and once in ADwD, that's three, the dragon has three heads it's Jon cause he is Brans favorite.

OK no disrespect here, but I think you're actually the one warping the characters out of shape here rather than everyone else. You ask us to deal with facts, but you've actually disregarded/overlooked a lot of facts that we do have from the books about several of the characters you've mentioned.

Firstly, you're point on moon tea. We don't know a whole lot about Ashara, what we do know is that she's a woman, and therefore has a natural maternal instinct. Women often feel a sense of protection for their children, no matter who the father was. I'm not sure we can pass a possible Ashara pregnancy off just because of the existence of moon tea.

Secondly, Brandon Stark. He's quite clearly described, on several occasions, as being hotblooded, quick to anger, highly emotional, emotionally volatile, passionate. TBH you're Littlefinger example is entirely irrelevant, and here's why. Yes we are told about him telling Littlefinger to yield, but we didn't actually SEE the scene play out. For all we know (and given the way Brandon is described, its quite likely) Brandon's plea for Littlefinger to yield is bellowed in his face while a sword is pointed at his throat. Hard for us to judge dialogue without knowing how it's delivered i think.

And in any case, suggesting that Brandon wouldn't react rashly when his ONLY SISTER was abducted, no matter how, is quite ludicrous. How would you act if your sister was taken from her bed in the middle of the night without you're knowledge? I think him bolting off to Kings Landing makes perfect sense in the context of the events we know of, and fits with the description of his character.

Your point about Dany: So far as I can remember, she's only ever described as being like Rhaegar when acting honourably, nobly or mercifully, indeed, she is especially described so when she portrays those traits to a fault. Also, everyone who ever REALLY knew Rhaegar has always described him with admiration and affection. I think we have to assume, until proven otherwise, that Robert's version of things simply didn't make sense, and Rhaegar was every bit the good man he has been painted as by most everyone else. That's not to say he wasn't somewhat foolish. Indeed, it might even confirm it.

Everything you've said about the Tower of Joy and the Kingsguard however, I completely agree with. The difference is you are actually working with a scene we actually saw, admittedly through Eddard's dream. I think you've nailed the atmosphere of the scene and the mood of the Kingsguard, certainly I agree that they did not want to be there. I don't see how this proves your point about blowing characters out of proportion though, I really thought all this was quite clear to the reader.

I agree that this story is ultimately about characters, but I also think you shouldn't undervalue the plot, and the lengths that Martin has gone to lay the groundwork for a big reveal in the final books, whether its R+L=J, or something else entirely. Why would he leave us these ambiguous threads about Ashara, Rhaegar, Lyanna, Brandon, Aerys and Joanna, while withholding enough for such speculation to occur, if this were not so? Speculation is speculation, but if we wan't to get close, we really need to begin with the facts we have.

Hope I've popped your delusion bubble :)

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Maybe but would Ashara carry Aerys baby to term, when moon tea exists in this world? It's an easy solution to a bad problem. Also I am not sure how crazy Brandon went, the story goes he stormed into KL demanding Rhaegars head, but who saw this, who told this story. Cats recollection of Brandon leaving is of a much calmer person who does not seem to be exploding with anger. Brandons wolfs blood is described as being similar to Lyanna, who in turn is pointed out to as being similar to Arya at that age. As an adult lord and Stark raised same as Ned I don't think Brandon was as much like lets say Robert as people think. I think he liked to have a good time but I don't think he exploded with rage all the time or was a totally miserable person, Brandon seemed to be enjoying life. Just look how he handled Littlefinger, people remember he almost killed him, but Brandon didn't pick that fight and during the fight he tried to get Littlefinger to stop and yield.

For all I know the story of how Brandon acted was started by Aerys himself, or has been blown out of proportion over time. Like the books I doubt it is that black and white. What is important is what we are told, she was taken by Rhaegar. It's not just some lucky guess, someone had to see it happen and report it or else nobody would have known who took her. What is also of note is that Brandon, Viserys and everyone else also think she was taken. Now if he took her away willingly or against her will is a different story, but he did take her. And I actually think he did take her away at sword point but weather or not the swords were on Lyanna or on her guard is again another debate.

A few points to consider.

Cat's recollection (in ACoK) of Brandon going to KL is that

"He was on his way Riverrun when... he heard about Lyanna, and went to King's Landing instead. It was rash thing to do."
She has no idea what his state of mind was because she wasn't with him.

It is Jaime, who was an eyewitness to Brandon's arrival in KL, who picks up the story in the same Catelyn POV.

"He rode into the Red Keep with a few companions, shouting for Prince Rhaegar to come out and die."
In this scene Cat and Jaime are exchanging information. Everything we can verify that Jaime has said so far has been absolute truth, so I see no reason to doubt this statement.

As far as the rest of Brandon's characteristics, we have every reason to believe he was Ned's virtual polar opposite.

Barbrey Dustin in ADwD, ch. 41

Brandon was never shy about taking what he wanted

Lord Hoster Tully quoted in Catelyn's POV, ACoK c.55

The gallant fool

Jaime, in the same POV

Brandon was different from his brother, wasn't he? He had blood in his veins instead of cold water.

Catelyn in AGoT

I had to beg Brandon to spare Petyr's life

Ned in AGoT, ch.22 (emphasis mine)

"Ah, Arya. You have a touch of the wildness in you child. 'The wold blood' my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than touch. It brought them both to an early grave"

To me this multi layered characterization points to one thing- a young hothead who took what he wanted from life. His own brother recognizes that his "wildness" led to his early demise. I think it's also important to note that Ned doesn't blame Rhaegar for the deaths of his brother or sister. EVER. He explicitly blames Brandon and Lyanna for their their own deaths, and implicitly for that of their father. Does that sound like the thoughts of a man whose sister was taken away at sword point? To me it sounds like the lament of a man whose "wild" sister took off either by prearrangement or of her own volition, and even wilder brother who, not being in possession of the facts, hared off to "avenge" her.

What I don't think is going here is anyone over simplifying characters. We are given multiple references to many characters whose POVs we will never have and from those layers, combined with what we know of the plot, we build a picture. Yeah it's complicated, but it's meant to be so.

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All Hail the Mighty Hunter! :bowdown:

Can't wait to see what more you uncover. Enjoy the journey!

Here is another cookie, already posted in a related thread but quite relevant to R+L=J. It's more subtle than the Tristifer's sepulcher passage, nevertheless interesting for the peculiar wording:

ASoS, Samwell II

"Snow."

Sam glanced up at the sound. Lord Commander Mormont's raven was circling the fire, beating the air with wide black wings. (ed. same wording used for Drogon in ADwD during Dany's first flight)

"Snow," the bird cawed. "Snow, snow."

Literally the raven circles the fire like a dragon announcing (the coming of?) Snow.

Again we meet the dichotomy Fire/Ice in relation to Snow. The core of the passage is somewhat encircled and integrated by the word 'Snow', the same way the raven circles the fire.

Another interesting element is the parallel between raven and dragon as expressed by the wording for describing their flight.

It is worth pointing out that the raven is not only present in Celtic/Irish mythology, but also in Greek mythology. Its story crosses path both with Apollo, god of light and the sun and Hades, god of the underwold and darkness. The God Apollo was in fact in love with a beautiful young mortal named Coronis. He feared that she might betray him, and he sent the Raven to keep an eye on her. When the Raven discovered she was cheating on him, he flew to Apollo's temple and informed the Sun God. Since the sun was associated with fire and heat (= dragons), when Apollo received the news, he became furious and took his anger out on the Raven, singing it's feathers black. Since then, the Raven has seeked refuge with Hades, becoming his messenger and symbolizing ill omens and bad news.

It can be said its arc represents a bridge between opposites, from white to black, from fire to ice, from light to darkness.

The most intruiguing bit is that in ancient Greek the word Coronis (Κορωνiς) has taken the meaning of 'crow', 'raven'. It's also very assonant to the Latin word 'corona' that means... 'crown', 'garland' (King, king, king! Hint, hint ;)).

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So Ashara can have a consensual relationship with Brandon, and be "dishonoured" by it if it becomes public or especially if she gets pregnant, unmarried as she is, a member of the Kings court in KL.

If either of those things happened, and Brandon was the other consensual party, then she would naturally look to House Stark for assistance.

But if Barristan had won the tourney, and presented her with the crown, thus revealing his personal feelings, she may have had an alternative source of succour to look to when trouble beckoned.

But, you forget that Barristan says "Ashara was dishonored at Harrenhal", not later when she discovered that she was pregnant. Barristan does not say who dishonored Ashara, simply "a man". And, he does not say that looking to Stark was what led to her dishonor, since he would have preferred that she look to him, first, and he had no intention of dishonoring her. Why couldn't Ashara look to the king for assistance, is house Stark denies her? Why is she limited to House Stark, and Barristan if he convinces her of his love for her? All anyone can point to is Lady Dustin';s commentary to indict Brandon, but I don't think that her dialog was intended as a true representation of the facts. If Barbrey and Brandon had been involved, it likely was at Barbrey's invitation, since she had little to lose and much to gain.

Sorry, we digressed again. No need to answer my questions, they are rhetorical. I will start a thread for this, at some future date.

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Maybe but would Ashara carry Aerys baby to term, when moon tea exists in this world?

This is always brought up, moon tea is not terminate a pregnancy. Tansy tea does, but it has side-effects. It is her child, and it is up to her, right?

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Lord Commander Mormont's raven

Sorry to be picking out this, but I just wanted to say that I miss that bird on the show so much! Is he really never in there? I want to see him strut and say 'King', dang it! :P

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This is always brought up, moon tea is not terminate a pregnancy. Tansy tea does, but it has side-effects. It is her child, and it is up to her, right?

haha, i think most ppl in westeros are pro-life, but it is up to her.

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Some were debating earlier about the fact that "why would the kingsguard be at the tower of joy for rhaegar's bastard?" but (besides the possible idea that R+L got married in secret beforehand) I found Barristan said the following in DwD:

" Strictly speaking, it was purely the king’s choice whether or not to extend Kingsguard protection to others, even those of royal blood. Some kings thought it right and proper to dispatch Kingsguard to serve and defend their wives and children, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins of greater and lesser degree, and occasionally even their lovers, mistresses, and bastards."

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Some were debating earlier about the fact that "why would the kingsguard be at the tower of joy for rhaegar's bastard?" but (besides the possible idea that R+L got married in secret beforehand) I found Barristan said the following in DwD:

" Strictly speaking, it was purely the king’s choice whether or not to extend Kingsguard protection to others, even those of royal blood. Some kings thought it right and proper to dispatch Kingsguard to serve and defend their wives and children, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins of greater and lesser degree, and occasionally even their lovers, mistresses, and bastards."

The reason they were initially at the TOJ is not the same reason for why they stayed. If they were ordered to be there, that makes sense up to the point that Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon died leaving Viserys as the presumed king...unless the new king was at the TOJ. In short, whatever orders Rhaegar gave them makes no difference once the king was dead.

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But would they have stayed there with only 2 Targs surviving? A bastard could not sit on the throne. They had to immediately protect Viserys if he was king.

Thanks for bringing it up. Welcome to the forum!

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A few points to consider.

Cat's recollection (in ACoK) of Brandon going to KL is that She has no idea what his state of mind was because she wasn't with him.

It is Jaime, who was an eyewitness to Brandon's arrival in KL, who picks up the story in the same Catelyn POV. In this scene Cat and Jaime are exchanging information. Everything we can verify that Jaime has said so far has been absolute truth, so I see no reason to doubt this statement.

As far as the rest of Brandon's characteristics, we have every reason to believe he was Ned's virtual polar opposite.

Barbrey Dustin in ADwD, ch. 41

Lord Hoster Tully quoted in Catelyn's POV, ACoK c.55

Jaime, in the same POV

Catelyn in AGoT

Ned in AGoT, ch.22 (emphasis mine)

To me this multi layered characterization points to one thing- a young hothead who took what he wanted from life. His own brother recognizes that his "wildness" led to his early demise. I think it's also important to note that Ned doesn't blame Rhaegar for the deaths of his brother or sister. EVER. He explicitly blames Brandon and Lyanna for their their own deaths, and implicitly for that of their father. Does that sound like the thoughts of a man whose sister was taken away at sword point? To me it sounds like the lament of a man whose "wild" sister took off either by prearrangement or of her own volition, and even wilder brother who, not being in possession of the facts, hared off to "avenge" her.

What I don't think is going here is anyone over simplifying characters. We are given multiple references to many characters whose POVs we will never have and from those layers, combined with what we know of the plot, we build a picture. Yeah it's complicated, but it's meant to be so.

Agreed on your interpretation, Lady G. Brandon was rash, and Lyanna to a degree, as well, and Ned is a just man who puts blame where it belongs, no matter his feelings.

Some were debating earlier about the fact that "why would the kingsguard be at the tower of joy for rhaegar's bastard?" but (besides the possible idea that R+L got married in secret beforehand) I found Barristan said the following in DwD:

" Strictly speaking, it was purely the king’s choice whether or not to extend Kingsguard protection to others, even those of royal blood. Some kings thought it right and proper to dispatch Kingsguard to serve and defend their wives and children, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins of greater and lesser degree, and occasionally even their lovers, mistresses, and bastards."

I highly doubt that the said kings never left any KG for their own protection, or that Barristan would have though it fulfilling the KG duties if the KG were prioritizing the protection of a mistress and a bastard over the protection of the king.

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But there is significant dishonour if she gets pregnant (which she apparently did).

The Dornish don't seem to mind so long as you are discreet about things and don't mess up, but an unmarried young noblewoman getting pregnant is not acceptable behaviour. Ok for unmarried young men, yes - thats the double standard inherent in any low-tech inheritance based society, and for women who don't get pregnant, or are either insufficiently noble or independent enough to not have the necessity of a marriage to secure their futures, but I can't think of another unmarried young Dornish Noble Maid happily making bastards with societal blessing.

I think the whole Dornish 'acceptance' thing can be taken too far.

Further, it is also the case that Ashara is at court in KL, not in Dorne, so Dornish attitudes are less relevant than standard Westeriosi attitudes.

Summary, I think your 'this doesn't make sense' itself is the thing that doesn't make sense, because its based on data that has been extrapolated very much too far in the wrong direction.

So Ashara can have a consensual relationship with Brandon, and be "dishonoured" by it if it becomes public or especially if she gets pregnant, unmarried as she is, a member of the Kings court in KL.

If either of those things happened, and Brandon was the other consensual party, then she would naturally look to House Stark for assistance.

But if Barristan had won the tourney, and presented her with the crown, thus revealing his personal feelings, she may have had an alternative source of succour to look to when trouble beckoned.

Especially agree with the bolded. Much of what is said of Dorne could be interpreted as Westerosi stereo-typing, and not in a good way as stereo-types rarily are flattering.

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