Actor’s Presence in Belfast Indicates the Possibility of More Flashbacks in Season 8

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Recent Instagram posts have located two actors in Belfast, and one in particular opens up some interesting possibilities. *Possibly spoilery speculation below the cut*

Wilf Scolding recently posted a selfie at Europa Hotel in Belfast. While this hardly confirms that we’ll get a Rhaegar cameo in season 8, the fact that Scolding deleted the post shortly afterwards suggests that is very likely the case.

rhaegar

The prospect of another flashback featuring Rhaegar is certainly an enticing one. Will we only be getting a brief glimpse of the mysterious Targaryen prince, as we got of his father, the Mad King Aerys? Or can we hope for something meatier? Dare we even hope for a Knight of the Laughing Tree flashback?

Also currently at the Europa Hotel is Pilou Asbæk, who recently posted a photo of himself and his cat, Springer Dunlop, from the Belfast establishment.

Wow!! I actually grew up and became one of those people who would take their new cat(Springer Dunlop is his name) for a walk……..in a leach……just so I could spend some quality time with my daughter…first puzzles, now a cat…parenthood is very interesting…adding new sides to life! Things you thought only VERY old people would do…I’m now doing…smiling/enjoying/…this can only mean one thing, either I’m getting older or the world is getting younger ? 🤷‍♂️ Considering taking up knitting but it might just be too much at the moment…you know, it is still only 2018…on the other hand, what’s more masculine than a man making a small sweater to his cat? #cat #stillovedogs #ps #myneighborsnextdoorhadsoloudsexitwokemeupsoIhadtothinkaboutsomethingelse #hotellife #belfast #theyarestillgoingatit #room69 🤾‍♂️🤸‍♂️#long #live #my #happy #place #think #of #the #cat #think #of #my #daughter

A post shared by Pilou Asbæk (@pilouasbaek) on

So, what would you like to see in another hypothetical Rhaegar flashback? Tell us below.

145 responses

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    1. “Dare we even hope for a Knight of the Laughing Tree flashback?”
      —————-
      Yeah…except with Maisie Williams as Lyanna as the KotLT.

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    2. Love the idea of the Knight of the Laughing Tree theory being confirmed on screen, though I doubt they would devote so much screen time to that in the shortened season.

      Would be fantastic to see the battle at the Trident though!

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    3. While many including myself would love to see the tourney at Harrenhal and all of the things that happened, if there is another ‘visit’ to Rhaegar and Lyanna I would think it would need to be more specifically involved with their parentage to Jon. The believed-to-be kidnapping of Lyanna was like a year after the tourney. I suppose it could be part of a little tour by Bran to see the whole story ‘first hand.’ Also, unless Bran can somehow pull others into his visions does he really have a reason to dig into it more? He already saw and knows the truth… and with his “I’m not reeeally Bran anymore” mentality it doesn’t seem like he’d be all that curious.

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    4. I agree that if there is another flashback with Rhaegar it will have to do with his parentage to Jon and his belief of conceiving the prince that was promised or whatever.

      Clob: Also, unless Bran can somehow pull others into his visions does he really have a reason to dig into it more? He already saw and knows the truth…

      I wonder if it could be part of a montage or something. I can see a scenario where Bran is telling Jon the truth while the major points of Robert’s Rebellion play out on screen or something. Meh, I dunno.

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    5. I wonder if it could be part of a montage or something.I can see a scenario where Bran is telling Jon the truth while the major points of Robert’s Rebellion play out on screen or something.Meh, I dunno.

      I can actually see that as a possibility, to visually depict certain events to the audience as Bran is explaining them to Jon. I mean they did just that with the wedding between Lyanna and Rhaegar.

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    6. Mr Derp: Bran is telling Jon the truth while the major points of Robert’s Rebellion play out on screen or something.

      That’s a good point and possibility. I can imagine another little fireside chat with Bran talking to all of the Stark kids… Daenerys, maybe even Tyrion and Davos. Everyone has heard stories for years that were believed, and for Jon specifically, the entire true story may need to be run through including the parts that are already accurate in the stories. It would seem like a lot of work to film a bunch of different stuff for a montage but they’ve never really avoided a lot of work before.

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    7. Either Harrenhal OR the Trident would be epic. Im guessing Harrenhal since theyve touched on that a few times and only mentioned the Trident maybe once?

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    8. I like the idea of a montage. That would be nice and maybe we could see more of what we want to see and what needs to be seen if they decide to do something like that.

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    9. I asume we will see The Tourney of Harrenhall, and I also asume the fandom will say “awwn, they were in love, that´s so sweet”.

      However, I hope they also portray the moment when Rhaegar humiliates his poor wife Elia by ignoring her and crowning another woman ,Lyanna, as “the queen of love and beauty” in front of the whole court.

      And let´s not forget that he annuled his marriage with Elia, casting his own wife and children aside. And also let´s not forget that Lyanna named Jon as Aegon, when there was another Aegon alive (Elia and Rhaegar´s own son).

      Small details that the fandom seems to forget.

      #JusticeForElia.

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    10. MaxYronwood: And also let´s not forget that Lyanna named Jon as Aegon, when there was another Aegon alive (Elia and Rhaegar´s own son).

      Elia’s Aegon was dead by the time Jon was born. If anything, it sounds more like Jon was named Aegon in honor of Elia and Aegon, not as a slight to them.

      MaxYronwood: However, I hope they also portray the moment when Rhaegar humiliates his poor wife Elia by ignoring her and crowning another woman ,Lyanna, as “the queen of love and beauty” in front of the whole court.

      I do hope we get some context for Rhaegar’s behavior, though I imagine we’ll only get a real in-depth explanation in the books. We’ll have to wait and see. There was obviously more going on here, with Rhaegar AND Elia both. Elia wasn’t necessarily a victim in all of this. For all we know she may have shared Rhaegar’s prophetic dreams. The plain reading is as you say, of course, but there’s enough mystery there that we don’t really know what really went on.

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    11. MaxYronwood: humiliates his poor wife Elia

      Maybe people like Barristan were just being nice when talking about Elia and she was actually a total nightmare like Ellaria and Cersei and the children were perhaps products of infidelities by her… 😛

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    12. Luka Nieto,

      Luka Nieto: Elia’s Aegon was dead by the time Jon was born. If anything, it sounds more like Jon was named Aegon in honor of Elia and Aegon, not as a slight to them.

      LYANNA: I have a brilliant idea! Let´s name our son in honor of the murdered child of the man i ran off with, doesn´t seem like a brilliant plant I am afraid. 😂

      I do hope we get some context for Rhaegar’s behavior, though I imagine we’ll only get a real in-depth explanation in the books. We’ll have to wait and see. There was obviously more going on here, with Rhaegar AND Elia both. Elia wasn’t necessarily a victim in all of this. For all we know she may have shared Rhaegar’s prophetic dreams. The plain reading is as you say, of course, but there’s enough mystery there that we don’t really know what really went on.

      Well, she ended up being humiliated, raped and murdered, I think she lost quite a bit, but yeah, I get your point, perhaps Elia and Rhaegar made a pact.

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    13. The Trident.

      I would like to think it will set precedent for the kick ass armor someone is going to forge Aegon for the battle for the dawn.

      And possibly a harp scene with the words of a Song of Ice and Fire.

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    14. Luka Nieto,

      Elia’s Aegon was dead by the time Jon was born. If anything, it sounds more like Jon was named Aegon in honor of Elia and Aegon, not as a slight to them.

      What’s the (show)timeline for all this? Is it :
      1) The tourney at Harrenhal with the surprise flower bestowment to Lyanna
      2)Rhaegar and Lyanna run off (but it’s assumed Rhaegar kidnapped her), and he marries her after gettting a maester to annul his marriage to Elia
      3) The Baratheon’s and Starks rebel after the mad king kills Ned’s dad and brother (who’d demanded her return)
      4) Rhaegar dies at the Trident
      5) Elia, little Aegon and little Rhaenys are killed by the Mountain/Lannisters
      5) Lyanna dies after Jon’s birth in Dorne

      If this is the case, it looks like on face value alone that Rhaegar didn’t act honourably with regard to his marriage(but most likely in line with his feelings and prophetic visions?). I’ m not passing too much judgment though. None of these characters are purely good/evil. Some of them try significantly harder than others to do the right thing most of the time, but none of them are perfect.

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    15. I’m going to guess and say there’s little chance there will be anything (extensive) with the Battle of the Trident. It’s too much. That’s a battle that has been over for years and the results are well known. Filming a large battle that doesn’t change anything in the present would be unnecessary cost and time. Maybe there’s a small chance for a fuzzy, smoky shot of Rhaegar’s final fall saying Lyanna’s name, but that too isn’t necessary since their love has already been established.

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    16. MaxYronwood,

      > And let´s not forget that he annuled his marriage with Elia, casting his own wife and children aside.

      I guess this is show-only (so Sam — sorry, Gilly — could find out something). In the books, he may have married both according to tradition. I am not sure if that’s better or worse for Elia. For Lyanna, it was probably better if he divorced (otherwise the viewers may think worse of her) so I think this is why D&D chose to make him divorce Elia, so Jon could be born both in a “unique” wedlock and out of love too.

      Anyway, paraphrasing Cersei, the winners try to write their version of the history. So after Robert and Ned won, Rhaegar became a rapist and Lyanna a victim. If now Jon would rise to the throne, some pr-manager would have to devise that Rhaegar and Lyanna were bound to fall in love to produce the prince who was promised, so Jon’s parents acted all dutiful in the grand scheme of things.

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    17. I love Pilou’s essay about his daughter and cat, incredulous at his present state. 😆

      I simply can’t care overmuch about Rhaegar, sorry to say. That character, although necessary, irritates me.

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    18. IF there is some kind of Bran-narrated montage what would be the events that he would really need to tell (and us see) Jon and others for the truth to be known/believed?

      Best possibilities:
      1. Rhaegar singing a song that made Lyanna cry at the feast to kick off the tourney.
      2. Rhaegar giving Lyanna the flowers after winning, which we’ve heard about on the show before.
      3. The actual scenario when they met and ran off together that everyone thinks was a kidnapping.
      4. Then maybe just Bran telling the rest that we’ve already seen; annulment, secret wedding, birth, Ned returning to Winterfell claiming Jon was his own bastard.

      That’s about all that’s related to the reason for such a montage. It all leads into Robert’s Rebellion that doesn’t have much to do with explaining who Jon is. The stuff with the KotLT-Howland Reed and the Trident events aren’t needed.

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    19. Ten Bears,

      From wikipedia (http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Knight_of_the_Laughing_Tree)

      “…..Late on the afternoon of the second day, a mystery knight “short of stature” appeared in the lists. His armor was made up of mismatched armor bits and pieces that appeared ill-fitting on him. His shield was blazoned with the image of “a white weirwood with a laughing red face….”

      Is it possible the laughing tree knight was Lyanna?

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    20. fdr,

      Yep, it was another brilliant idea by D&D, he divorced Elia so Jon (Aegon) could be the prince and heir to the throne. So great.

      Well, I would think that Lyanna was dumb and Rhaegar an even dumber asshole.

      Wow, I am bitter and biased.

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    21. It seems to me that if the old 3ER could take Bran into visions, there is no reason why the new, more powerful 3ER couldn’t take people into the visions as well. He just needs to figure out how.

      Is it likely that we get a scene of everyone gathered around the Weirwood at Winterfell? No. But, Bran is more powerful, so he is capable of pulling it off.

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    22. Clob,

      Totally agree. And the same goes for tourney at Harrnenhal etc, it’d be way too costly and time consuming to film these events when they really don’t add much to the abridged story on the show. Sorry for those who are hoping otherwise 🙈

      At best, I imagine we’ll get some explanation via Rhaegar/Bran/Sam as to Jon’s prophecised role.

      I’m not so sure we’ll see any regrets or explanation for apparent mistreating of Elia, as fundamentally it doesn’t drive the story forward. Essentially if Jon is the prohecised saviour of mankind and the song of ice and fire, then Rhaeghars annulment of his wedding vows to Elia are pretty inconsequential.

      On another note I was looking at Wilfs IG and saw various posts close to where I lived in South London. The only cast glimpse I ever got was of John Bradley striding through soho (oh and all the cast at the Tower of London premiere but they were so far away) 😋

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    23. MeeraReed:
      It seems to me that if the old 3ER could take Bran into visions, there is no reason why the new, more powerful 3ER couldn’t take people into the visions as well.He just needs to figure out how.

      Is it likely that we get a scene of everyone gathered around the Weirwood at Winterfell?No.But, Bran is more powerful, so he is capable of pulling it off.

      Perhaps, or perhaps the only reason Bloodraven was able to take Bran into visions is because they are both greenseers.

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    24. Jay Targ,
      That’s my thinking. Bran could ‘go in’ because he has the ability. I suppose that won’t keep D&D from giving him the power to pull others in if that’s the easiest.

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    25. EURON! EURON! EURON!

      Are we going to see book Euron?? black magicking his way into Bran’s dreams proving the theory that Euron was Bloodravens apprentice once.. serious theory that! check it out!!

      I hope he cuts out Tyrion’s tongue, because the writers have obviously shown a lack of talent since season 5 with that character. Might as well show just a bit of badassary from book Euron to his show version before they kill him off to focus on the silent one dimensional villain.. laaame

      EURON! EURON! Make the Iron Islands great again!! EURON!

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    26. Apollo:
      MeeraReed,

      There were extensive night shoots at Saintfield where the Godswood set is.

      Then here’s to seeing a full-on hand holding, peace and love moment. 😁

      It would be AMAZING if Cersei could be a part of the love-circle. (I’ll never use that term again.)

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    27. Come on people Rhaegar rhymes with Jaqen H’ghar. It’s not going to be a flashback. Arya and Aegon are in for a big surprise. Daddy!

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    28. Well, there goes my petty hope that if we got another Rhaegar flashback, the role would have been recast. I’m sure he’s a lovely human being, but he’s #notmyrhaegar!

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    29. Apollo,

      Your comment made me go take a look and I was pretty excited to see he’s been at the Lido at my local park. I’ve been in London 11 years and never seen a celebrity, so I feel pretty hard done by!

      On a side note, he posted a picture of himself and who I assume is the stunt guy who plays the night king, as he title it “lunch with the night king” and this was back in November. So is he going to be in a few scenes if he was filming back in November too? Or are they friends outside of the show possibly?

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    30. I think that Rhaegar will be used to reveal the truth about Robert’s Rebellion. Last season, we learned that it was built on a lie but the truth remains obscure. We know that Rhaegar and Lyanna loved each other and got married, we also know that the Mad King burned Jon’s uncle and grandfather, but we need an explanation why the Starks were against Lyanna’s marriage to the prince, as well as why the Mad King opposed it though in this case madness can explain everything.

      As for Jon’sprophesised role, it can be revealed as Rhaegar’s motive, but in general we already know that he’s the PTWP. Melisandre said that and his deeds are the best proof.

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    31. Inga: we need an explanation why the Starks were against Lyanna’s marriage to the prince

      As far as I know, it was because the Starks assumed that Lyanna was kidnapped by Rhaegar against her will, which obviously proved to be false later on by Bran.

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    32. Mr Derp: As far as I know, it was because the Starks assumed that Lyanna was kidnapped by Rhaegar against her will, which obviously proved to be false later on by Bran.

      I hope we get the trident battle between Robert and Rheagar. And I hope they include a moment where Robert knew the truth that Lyanna wasn’t kidnapped but in love with Rheagar. Now we think Robert believed himself that Rheagar kidnapped Lyanna, and that the whole love side wasn’t known to anyone. But once we see that Robert knew it himself but that he started a war only because his heart was broken (and at the same time I never believe Robert was truly in love with her but that he only cared about his ego).

      For me that will turn the whole show on it’s side. We see the whole season 1 storyline different. We will understand Cercei more, we will see Robert not as the happy fellow we saw back in season 1. The balanced with completely shift.

      Another question: I could remember that there was something that Rheagar wanted to overthrown his father himself and take his place, that he knew he was a better fit for the job (even when he would hate it). Was this in the books or theories only. Can’t remember correctly.

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    33. kevin1989: I hope we get the trident battle between Robert and Rheagar. And I hope they include a moment where Robert knew the truth that Lyanna wasn’t kidnapped but in love with Rheagar. Now we think Robert believed himself that Rheagar kidnapped Lyanna, and that the whole love side wasn’t known to anyone. But once we see that Robert knew it himself but that he started a war only because his heart was broken (and at the same time I never believe Robert was truly in love with her but that he only cared about his ego).

      For me that will turn the whole shAnother question: I could remember that there was something that Rheagar wanted to overthrown his father himself and take his place, that he knew he was a better fit for the job (even when he would hate it). Was this in the books or theories only. Can’t remember correctly.

      I seem to recall it originates in the books and not the show. That Jaime is remembering the last time he saw Rhaegar. Rhaegar told him when he returned [from the battle of the Trident] that things would be different. Either it’s spelled out in the books or we all just assume this meant he was going to take the throne.

      I love your idea that Robert knew the truth from the beginning (and I’ll add that he misled the Starks). That would be a great twist.

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    34. kevin1989: I hope we get the trident battle between Robert and Rheagar.

      I’ve often wondered if Robert killed Rhaegar in the way that’s currently accepted or if Robert lied about that too. Perhaps it happened a different way and Robert just made it sound like he killed Rhaegar in single combat to boost his own image.

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    35. kevin1989: …But once we see that Robert knew it himself but that he started a war only because his heart was broken (and at the same time I never believe Robert was truly in love with her but that he only cared about his ego).

      It wasn’t Robert who started the war, it was Jon Arryn who called the banners after the Mad (rapist) king asked for Robert and Ned’s head. .

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    36. Che: I seem to recall it originates in the books and not the show. That Jaime is remembering the last time he saw Rhaegar. Rhaegar told him when he returned [from the battle of the Trident] that things would be different. Either it’s spelled out in the books or we all just assume this meant he was going to take the throne.

      I love your idea that Robert knew the truth from the beginning (and I’ll add that he misled the Starks). That would be a great twist.

      Thx sometimes I can’t remember if something was the show, books, or just theory. This one was a book theory.

      Mr Derp: I’ve often wondered if Robert killed Rhaegar in the way that’s currently accepted or if Robert lied about that too.Perhaps it happened a different way and Robert just made it sound like he killed Rhaegar in single combat to boost his own image.

      Maybe Rheagar tried to reason with Robert, telling him his plan that he should take his fathers place. Maybe Robert told Rheagar he would help him, but once Rheagars guard was down he took his chance and stabbed Rheagar in the back. Would be poetic because Robert always reminded Jaime that Jaime killed the Mad king that way.

      This would even be more fitting if the theories is true that Rheagar knew about the treat in the north and that that’s the reason why rheagar changed as a person. What if Rheagar told Robert that tale and Robert just didn’t care.

      Edith: It wasn’t Robert who started the war, it was Jon Arryn who called the banners after the Mad (rapist) king asked for Robert and Ned’s head. .

      Not in the show if I remember correctly, Bran stated in the final that Robert’s rebellion was build on a lie, the lie about Rheagar and Lyanna.

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    37. Mr Derp,

      The show hasn’t made it clear, under what circumstances the Starks went to KL. But anyway, there is a major question why Rhaegar didn’t ask for Lyanna’s hand officially. He was a good match and he could have legitly counted on a positive answer and getting an annulment for his marriage to Ellia was not a big deal. So, we need some sort of explanation why he chose to elope with Lianna and why he didn’t try to sort things out with the Starks.

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    38. No comments on one of Pilou’s hastags?

      #myneighborsnextdoorhadsoloudsexitwokemeupsoIhadtothinkaboutsomethingelse

      Do you think he thought, “I wonder if there’s a finger in the bum?”

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    39. kevin1989,
      Che,

      I don’t think that Robert could possibly know about Lyanna’s true feelings, basically because he barely knew her and she barely knew him. Moreover, Robert was in the Vale when everything happened and it’s hardly possible that Lyanna wrote him a letter especially consdering that she didn’t write to Ned.
      However, the Starks (especially Ricard Stark) should have known Lyanna better and notice that something was happening with her before she eloped. OK, girls may be secretive, but one way or another I come back to my initial question: why didn’t Rhaegar asked for Lyanna’s hand? After all, it wasn’t just about love or prophesy: Lyanna could have secured him the support of the North, the Riverlands and maybe the Vale, which would have helped to dethrone his mad father, etc. If you add the prophesy about the long night, the alliance with the Starks makes even more sense. So, why didn’t it happen? We need answers (at least I do) and Rhaegar can provide them, so I count on him.

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    40. Enharmony1625,

      Ultra Tinfoil Time 🤖👨‍🚀:

      It is Bran’s disembodied voice echoing from the future that Rhaegar “hears” as prophecies, impelling him to do otherwise inexplicable things.

      E.g., “You’ve got to become a warrior; you’ve got to pursue your love for Lyanna at all costs; you’ve got to have a son with her but you’ve got to keep him stashed away; you’ve got to fight – and die – in a war that erupts because of what you’ll do.
      Thousands will die and you’ll be remembered as an idiot or a rapist… or else, humanity will be obliterated in twenty years.”

      “Huh? Who said that?”

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    41. Inga,

      I thought Lyanna was engaged to Robert. An arranged marriage, of course, but that’s what boneheaded fathers did to their daughters. That’s how political alliances were forged. That’s why poor Cersei turned into an embittered woman: “sold like a broodmare.”

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    42. Inga: why didn’t Rhaegar asked for Lyanna’s hand?

      An easy answer would be because then we wouldn’t have a story – or – it would be a completely different story. 🙂

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    43. Inga,

      I’d like to know that too, but I doubt the show will give those answers.
      I had hoped the books would clear up Rhaegar’s strange way of handling this but I’m losing hope.

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    44. Sorry, haven’t read all the comments above.

      Rheagar? I thought his stuff with Lyanna was already done and lines known all aĺong. Why would we need him? An exposition scene? Doesn’t sound too good.

      As to Pilou Aesbak and his cats… LEAVE THEM ALONE! Cats imprint to places, dogs to their masters. Cats are happier if left alone at home. Harnesses? Ugh, never, claw off. A cat is no slave.

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    45. Mr Derp: I’ve often wondered if Robert killed Rhaegar in the way that’s currently accepted or if Robert lied about that too.Perhaps it happened a different way and Robert just made it sound like he killed Rhaegar in single combat to boost his own image.

      Robert killed Rhaegar in mid-battle at the Trident, with the eyes of the world upon them.

      kevin1989: I hope we get the trident battle between Robert and Rheagar. And I hope they include a moment where Robert knew the truth that Lyanna wasn’t kidnapped but in love with Rheagar. Now we think Robert believed himself that Rheagar kidnapped Lyanna, and that the whole love side wasn’t known to anyone. But once we see that Robert knew it himself but that he started a war only because his heart was broken (and at the same time I never believe Robert was truly in love with her but that he only cared about his ego).

      For me that will turn the whole show on it’s side. We see the whole season 1 storyline different. We will understand Cercei more, we will see Robert not as the happy fellow we saw back in season 1. The balanced with completely shift.

      This would be a terrible idea, as it completely whitewashes Rhaegar and Lyanna and in favour of turning Robert into an easy villain.

      It’s also not possible, based on how events unfolded, and not logical. Robert was in the Eyrie at the time things started; he couldn’t have been receiving communications from Rhaegar and/or Lyanna that Jon Arryn and Ned were unaware of. Second, Robert wasn’t the one who started the war, Aerys did by murdering Lord Rickard Stark and his retinue and condemning Robert and Ned to die as well. And third, if you assume that Rhaegar was actually trying to reach out to the rebels, it makes no sense to assume that he would only try to talk to Robert, rather than all of the rebellion leaders.

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    46. Sean C.: Robert killed Rhaegar in mid-battle at the Trident, with the eyes of the world upon them.

      Thanks, but just having fun speculating.

      I haven’t read the books, so I have no idea how detailed they get into it, and the show mostly just gives Robert’s side. Plus, Rhaegar was supposedly a great fighter, and Robert isn’t really completely trustworthy, so that’s why I was speculating. I don’t particularly subscribe to anything other than what we have already been presented.

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    47. Ten Bears,

      Arranged marriages were about the social climb, not only about alliances and even the most boneheaded father would have understood that Prince Rhaegar would have made a mutch better match that lord Robert: one day Ricard Stark would have become a father-in-law to the king and a grandfather to his heir. That was the position Tywin saught: he tried to marry Cersei to Rhaegar and then eventually he married her to Robert. So, there must be some explanation why Ricard Stark missed such an opportunity.
      As for Rhaegar, once again marryying Lyanna with the consent of her father would have saved him a lot of troubles and given a lot of advantages: the swelling rebellion against the mad king would have been either avoided or performed swiftly and with a minimal collateral damage. Afterwards, everyone could have concentrated on the threat from beyond the Wall in which Rhaegar allegedly believed.
      So, it looks like some key piece of information is missing. We can assume that both parties were misinformed: the Starks believed that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, whereas Rhaegar and Lyanna believed in something equally false. And the Mad King believed that everyone was plotting against him. It’s quite possible that initially Rhaegar was hiding his marriage to Lyanna not from the Starks, but from this father. Or maybe there was someone feeding the Starks and, maybe, even Rhaegar with a false information. Or maybe something else. But we need an explicit explanation, and it wouldn’t be too hard to provide it: just show Rhaegar discussing this matter with someone, maybe, even Lyanna herself. Their POV which is all we need for the clarification of this matter.

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    48. MaxYronwood,

      Lol I’m pretty bitter and biased as well when it comes to Elia, Rhaegar’s apparent treatment of her and how her life became a tragic footnote in the grand scheme of things.

      Imo, no matter how you cut it, at the ToH; Rhaegar humiliated his wife in front of the realm and crowned another woman (well girl because Lyanna was still a teen at the time) Goddess of Love and Beauty. It was a d*ck move. Plain and simple.

      The notion of Jon being named “Aegon” to honor his brother who had been brutally murdered not too long before he was born doesn’t sit well with me either.

      I also have issues with the show’s nonsensical choice to have Rhaegar annul his marriage to Elia so that Jon could be legitimate. It didn’t make any sense that a crown prince would set aside his two legitmate heirs and his lawful wife without any reason other than he fell in love with another woman. What was the basis for the annulment? What Septon okayed that?

      And furthermore, why would Rhaegar risk another war with Dorne by setting aside Elia like that. Cause you KNOW Oberyn would’ve had quite a few things to say about all that.

      Lol so yeah bitter and biased party of two!

        Quote  Reply

    49. Inga,

      “why didn’t Rhaegar asked for Lyanna’s hand?”

      Because Rhaegar was still married to Elia as far as everyone in Westeros was concerned. Taking Lyanna as a mistress (or even as his wife after a known annulment) would have brought dishonour on house Stark.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Inga,

      I thought Lyanna was already engaged to Robert by the time she met (already married perv) Rhaegar. Sure, an engagement to the crown prince would be a better match, but I don’t think already-engaged people were allowed to “trade up” if a better marriage prospect came along. (Joffrey got out of his engagement to Sansa in order to marry Margaery based on some obscure “traitor daddy” loophole. And because Natalie Dormer.)

        Quote  Reply

    51. The way Rhaegar turned his back on those children makes me think they were not his children. Didn’t he take Elia away from the Keep and off to Dragonstone? He took her to an island in the middle of the sea, sort of remote and cut off from the mainland.

      I wonder if the mad king was trying to take liberties with his son’s new wife.

      Of course, it could be that Rhaegar was imperfect. He could have just gone after a woman he loved instead of a woman his father chose for him….love over duty.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Inga,
      I believe you’re trying to make the situation they were in a deeper story and yet consider it easily fixable or changeable at the same time.

      The circumstances they were all in are fairly straight forward. Ned brought Robert with him to Winterfell from the Eyrie when they were all fairly young and Rickard betrothed Lyanna to Robert. Lyanna didn’t like it but it was done. House Stark was then entered into an agreement, a promise to House Baratheon that these two were to wed. We saw firsthand what some Houses do when such a promise is broken with the actions of Walder Frey.

      Rhaegar was married and probably not really looking for a new wife or mistress. Considering the true stories told of Rhaegar he wasn’t a womanizer but rather a musician, reader and thinker. He met Lyanna in his situation and she already betrothed to a boy of a Great House. From what we can tell it was apparently love at first sight for the two. One of which was betrothed to someone she didn’t love and the other married to a somewhat sickly woman that was not a romantic union.

      It’s easy to say he could have just asked for her hand. Behind it all though was quite a bit needing to be done that would have been unfavorable with a lot of faith-breaking for all Houses involved. They took what they felt was the easy way out, blinded by love and without the foresight to know what troubles it would create. Those are the things we know and I personally think that’s enough clarification of the situation that is needed.

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    53. …and then again with Lyanna… he took her all the way to a castle in Dorne, married her secretly in the woods. What comes to mind is an animal with a kill, how it takes the kill to a secret place to eat it if there are other predators around? It’s not a romantic analogy, but I get the feeling Rhaegar was kind of paranoid about his father’s appetites.

      This way he could be sure the baby she carried was his own. He could have his own life and marriage uncontaminated by his father’s madness.

      Then again, it could be nothing like this…

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    54. Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,

      Ultra Tinfoil Time 🤖👨‍🚀:

      It is Bran’s disembodied voice echoing from the future that Rhaegar “hears” as prophecies,impelling him to do otherwise inexplicable things.

      E.g., “You’ve got to become a warrior; you’ve got to pursue your love for Lyanna at all costs; you’ve got to have a son with her but you’ve got to keep him stashed away; you’ve got to fight – and die – in a war that erupts because of what you’ll do.Thousands will die and you’ll be remembered as an idiot or a rapist… or else, humanity will be obliterated in twenty years.”

      “Huh? Who said that?”

      Yeah, and there’s that!

      Remember how the Raven warned Bran that the past is already written. Bran has a tendency to want to change the past. He did it by calling out to his father and his father heard him! So we know it’s possible. Could he have been whispering to Elia, too? Young Bran is kind of impulsive which is how he cut short his 3ER training. As he’s tinkering with the past, he doesn’t really know what he’s doing.

      Good stuff!

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    55. MaxYronwood:
      fdr,

      Yep, it was another brilliant idea by D&D, he divorced Elia so Jon(Aegon) could be the prince and heir to the throne. So great.

      Well, I would think that Lyanna was dumb and Rhaegar an even dumber asshole.

      Wow, I am bitter and biased.

      Eh, I think D&D got the Rhaegar-Lyanna marriage from George…and it’s not like it hasn’t been a fan theory for at least twenty years, pre social media…

        Quote  Reply

    56. Sean C.:

      This would be a terrible idea, as it completely whitewashes Rhaegar and Lyanna and in favour of turning Robert into an easy villain.

      Is not Robert pretty much an easy villain already? Condones the rape and murder of women and children, sends assassins after a pregnant child, wants to commit genocide, drunken asshole who beats and rapes his wife, is useless as king and leads KL into debt with the Lannisters taking power, pulls his best friend into this mess and destroys the Starks as well.

      Is there anything redeeming about Robert Baratheon other than that he was Ned’s friend? That Lyanna did not want to be forced into marriage to someone like him is entirely understandable. Rhaegar’s actions are much more suspect here but we really can’t say much about what happened with the two of them until GRRM releases more information

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    57. About Rheagar leaving his own children. Wasn’t he obsessed with the ptwp prophecy. And wasn’t something in that prophecy about having 3 children. And after 2 children Elia only had stillborn. So he decided to find another woman? That’s why he named his first son aegon again.

      And wasn’t that the reason why the bookworm Rheagar decided to become a warrior because of that prophecy he read.

      And I wonder how much bran fucked things up. I was thinking right now, we assume there will be a big battle at kings landing with nk. What if nk turned kl into a wight army. And that bran somehow put that image in the mind of the mad king. “burn them all” burn the death he meant.

      And about Robert lying: Ned lied about his victory why not Robert?

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    58. And about Robert he wasn’t the best father. He ignored all his children. Joffreys bad side is half the fault of Robert.

      This part from the books:
      “Why would he? Robert ignored him. He would have beat him if I’d allowed it. That brute you made me marry once hit the boy so hard he knocked out two of his baby teeth, over some mischief with a cat. I told him I’d kill him in his sleep if he ever did it again, and he never did, but sometimes he would say things . . .”

      That incident with the cat, Joffreys did (if we can believe cercei), because he wanted Robert to notice him. I think a big part of Joffreys behavior can be linked to how Robert was as a father in Joffreys young age.

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    59. Ten Bears,

      I had not considered that theory at all, nor have I ever heard of it before. So that would mean that Bran, in a sense, would be responsible for Jon’s birth. That’s wild!

      I do think that Bran might have something to do with the Mad King. I like the idea of Bran filling Aerys’ mind with his fascination of fire by telling him to “Burn them all!”. No doubt intended as a means for him to fight the WW and the AotD, but like the previous 3ER warned him about, it had unintended consequences.

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    60. Pigeon: Rhaegar, sorry to say, although necessary, irritates me.

      If we knew what the prophecy was that Rhaegar believed in and then changed himself from a reader/poet to a warrior, we might be able to evaluate Rhaegar’s conduct in light of his believed mission. Also we want to know how or if the prophecy was fulfilled.

      As it is, he just gives musicians a bad name. Mayhaps GRRM dislikes musicians, as shown by his portrayal of minstrels, singing contestants, and performing groups at banquets.

        Quote  Reply

    61. SerNoName,

      Whatever his many faults later in life, in the rebellion, no, Robert wasn’t an easy villain. Indeed, he was no villain at all. He did nothing wrong, and was wholly justified in defending his own life and the lives of his friends.

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    62. Kevin1989: And about Robert lying: Ned lied about his victory why not Robert?

      Ned was with one other person, Howland Reed, arguably his closest friend (much more so than Robert) and a man who, for reasons of his own, wholeheartedly supported the lie. Robert and Rhaegar were in the crush of battle, surrounded by thousands of men.

      On another note, I’m really sorry ACME isn’t here. She’d love seeing all these commenters beating up on Rhaegar!!!

        Quote  Reply

    63. Sean C.:
      SerNoName,

      Whatever his many faults later in life, in the rebellion, no, Robert wasn’t an easy villain.Indeed, he was no villain at all.He did nothing wrong, and was wholly justified in defending his own life and the lives of his friends.

      It’s not like Robert underwent a personality transplant after the war. Lyanna realized what sort of person he was.

      And yes, he was wholly justified in defending his own life and those of his friends during the rebellion, just as Rhaegar was wholly justified in trying to defend himself and his family. The only villain in the rebellion was Aerys who burned his former allies to death.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Enharmony1625:
      Ten Bears,

      I had not considered that theory at all, nor have I ever heard of it before. So that would mean that Bran, in a sense, would be responsible for Jon’s birth. That’s wild!

      I do think that Bran might have something to do with the Mad King. I like the idea of Bran filling Aerys’ mind with his fascination of fire by telling him to “Burn them all!”. No doubt intended as a means for him to fight the WW and the AotD, but like the previous 3ER warned him about, it had unintended consequences.

      The old Bran/Mad King theory gains traction and more credibility after events of season 6.

      I’ve just had an additional thought… we know that

      Winterfell will burn

      , but what if this is at Bran’s instructions whilst they are under attack by the AOTD and he is in a greenseer vision?

      Burn them all.

      So simultaneously instructing the Starks and whispering to Aerys. Now that’d be cool!

        Quote  Reply

    65. Andrew McNaughton:
      Come on people Rhaegar rhymes with Jaqen H’ghar. It’s not going to be a flashback. Arya and Aegon are in for a big surprise. Daddy!

      A girl is ready to become someone else.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll see much of a battle – but would Robert and Rhaegar clashing on horseback for 5 seconds with some VFX soldiers in the background be all that expensive? I think it could happen and that’s what’s great about the Bran character – he can show us anything and everything.

      That being said, I’d like to see more interaction between the ‘prequel’ characters of Rhaegar, ‘Madders’, Robert, Neddy and Lyanna because the character interaction is what I love about this show.

      Maybe Jon/Aegon is sat by the fire having some of Old Nan’s soup with Bran, asking him about his parents and Bran invites him to go on a 3-eyed-ride? Finally answering the questions he’s had since season 1:

      Jon Snow: Is my mother alive? Does she know about me? Does she care?
      Eddard Stark: The next time we see each other we’ll talk about your mother, yeah? (awkward sniffle)

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    67. Clob,
      Ten Bears,

      In real Medieval Europe, already-engaged people were perfectly allowed to “trade up” if a better marriage prospect came along. And the same should apply to Westeros, I guess. After all, even the marriage annullment was not a big deal here. Rhaegar got it without a problem, though we don’t know on what grounds (yet!). And in the books

      Robert considered annulling his marriage to Cersei to marry Margeary Tyrell which is especially telling, because Tywin Lannister would have made a much more formidable enemy to Robert, than Robert to the Starks.

      Anyway, marrying Lyanna to Robert against Rhaegar’s will could have caused problems to the Starks as well as the Baratheons. Rhaegar could have become a king any moment, and then what?

      In other words, there was no obvious reason for Rickard Stark to reject Rhaegar. Sure, he could have been over-obsessed with keeping promises or hated the Targarians or whatever, but that’s all speculations – we don’t know. And we don’t know what Rhaegar thought. After all, it’s not like he eloped with Lyanna right after meeting her: plenty of time have passed and he managed to secure the annullment of his marriage to Ellia, so he made plans and thought about consequences, even if later things went out of control.

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    68. George,

      I was talking about his divorce from Elia, not the marriage with Lyanna. Aegon I had two wives as well, so maybe Rhaegar wouldn’t be bothered with polygamy if he wanted three kids.

      And perhaps in the books they may marry in front of a weirwood tree rather than before a septon, compare Sansa and Ramsay their marriage to Robb and Talisa for an example. In this way, Bran can see it too (I think in the books he can only see through the trees, he’s not so omnipotent as in the series).

      I don’t think I am inventing new theories here, by the way.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Inga,

      Fair enough. Breaking engagements to “trade up” is perfectly acceptable then. Just like in the modern world.

      Though I do wonder how much input a daughter had to make or break an engagement in the GoT world. Could Lyanna Stark have unilaterally broken off the engagement to Robert to which her father had agreed? Or was the patriarchal thinking that “father knows best”, girls were glorified incubators, and therefore they had to marry whomever daddy said?

        Quote  Reply

    70. Inga,

      P.S. This discussion about arranged marriages reminds me of a bit of dialogue I had hoped we’d hear in the cold open to S7.

      I recall that part of the deal Catelyn negotiated with Walder Frey to allow Robb’s army to cross the bridge at the Twins, was that Arya would have to marry one of Frey’s sons (forgot his name) when she came of age. When Robb heard that condition, he cogently observed that she wouldn’t like that. 👸🏻

      Anyway, in S7e1, as Arya calmly walked out of the hall as all of the Freys were choking to death on spiked Arbor Gold, I really wanted Arya to step over one particular gasping Frey, then stop, look down, and tell him: “Needless to say, the engagement’s off.”

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    71. SerNoName,

      Rhaegar was not at all justified. He was fighting to uphold his father’s cause and kill people fighting in their own defence. The onus was on him to take action to remedy the events he had set in motion.

      Ten Bears,

      In Westeros, breaking engagements does not appear to be acceptable, at least as a matter of course. When Joffrey ditches Sansa for Margaery, the Lannisters feel the need to go through a whole elaborate court process where Joff protests he cannot break his holy oath and his advisors urge that she’s a traitor, etc. Likewise, Robb breaking his word to the Freys is considered a huge insult.

      In terms of what leeway a woman has, she does ultimately retain (at least in mainland Westeros) the ability to say no at the ceremony itself. So you can be engaged but refuse to abide by it. However, even if you aren’t a hostage (like Sansa was), this may not be much of a choice at all, because it’s a huge scandal to not honour a betrothal pledge, and women like Lyanna would in practice be dependent on their families (i.e., the ones who arranged the betrothal) for food, shelter, etc. So were a woman to refuse to marry who she’s supposed to, she might easily find herself with no home at all, or a seriously restricted one.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Sean C.,

      Right. That’s what I thought at the outset: In the GoT world, arranged marriages (betrothals) are oaths that can’t be broken without dire consequences.
      “Trading up” wasn’t really an option, was it?

      In any case, my impression is that girls had no choice, and no say in the matter. They had to marry whomever their fathers selected. I assume that’s why Lysa got hitched to Jon Arryn. Even though Cersei was a widowed, grown woman, Tywin still demanded that she follow through on marrying Loras.

      (There was a line that one female character said to another about obedient daughters marrying in accordance with their fathers’ whims. I forget what it was and who said it… Damn it.)

      Anyway, I had assumed that once Lyanna was “betrothed” to Robert, neither she nor her family could simply “trade up” if Prince Rhaegar became available – and could somehow get out of his marriage to Elia.

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    73. George: Well established where, exactly?

      I’ve never seen anything “well established” or confirming. I’ve always seen comments and thought myself that the leading candidate is

      Lyanna herself. She was said to be very much like Arya and was a skilled rider. She’d fought off the squires bullying Howland earlier so she did have bravery and skills despite her father not allowing her to train like his sons.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Clob,

      I saw on twitter that it’s been completely screened off from the public. Even the crew loading and prep areas aren’t visible or accessible.

      Hoping we’ll see some of the actors during their downtime, they can’t be expected to stay holed up in their hotels.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Apollo,
      Man, they’re going all in on secrecy this time. Their budget for shipping containers and other screening material must be huge.

      Aemon,

      Ah. That’s interesting in itself

        Quote  Reply

    76. Inga,

      I think one reason that Rhaegar didn’t openly ask for Lyanna’s hand was that he was trying to avoid triggering paranoid, crazy Aerys. According to The World of Ice and Fire, a relatively small rebellion called The Defiance of Duskendale had resulted in Aerys being held captive for a time. That rebellion was put down, however:

      Once safely returned to King’s Landing, His Grace refused to leave the Red Keep for any cause and remained a virtual prisoner in his own castle for the next four years, during which time he grew ever more wary of those around him, Tywin Lannister in particular. His suspicions extended even to his own son and heir. Prince Rhaegar, he was convinced, had conspired with Tywin Lannister to have him slain at Duskendale. They had planned to storm the town walls so that Lord Darklyn would put him to death, opening the way for Rhaegar to mount the Iron Throne and marry Lord Tywin’s daughter

      I imagine that Rhaegar would have been careful to not show his hand to anyone, lest his father get wind of his plans and jump to the worst possible conclusion.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Clob:
      Apollo,
      Man, they’re going all in on secrecy this time.Their budget for shipping containers and other screening material must be huge.

      Aemon,

      Ah.That’s interesting in itself

      I know, right? That screen they have in Belfast is massive!

        Quote  Reply

    78. I’m hoping for a Bran flashback of Old Nan telling one of her scary stories about grumkins and snarks.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Gwidhiel,

      That was my thought, too: the Mad King could have assumed that his son was building a new alliance to dethrone him. But that’s just a specullation as good as any other. We need the truth (and details), and that’s what Rhaegar can provide, if he appears in a flashback.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Aemon:

      Carice van Houten is already in Seville. More actors should be spotted today or tomorrow.

      What makes you think Carice is in Sevilla?

        Quote  Reply

    81. Inga,

      I agree that we don’t know for sure what Rhaegar’s motives were for proceeding as he did, but to me it doesn’t feel like a crucial mystery that the show absolutely needs to resolve.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Inga,

      Agreed and they were also allowed – with the blessing of the church – to annul their marriage if their wives were barren or only produced female children. Hopefully we’ll get more insight into Rhaeger’s thoughts in this upcoming season or at least in the books. I think because we don’t know now, it’s easy to speculate but he could very well have felt great remorse when he heard his former wife and children had been slaughtered. Given the descriptions of his personality – I can’t imagine he would have felt indifferent on hearing that news.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Inga,

      Probably because Raeghar was married already (?). I mean, in season 3 Oberyn made it clear Dorne was never happy about Rhaegar ditching his wife and kids for a new person. Just as the Starks were probably not happy the promised engagement to Bobby was thrown to the Winds. Not those Winds. Those probably will come next yr, but Autocorrect has them capitalized because even my mobile knows those are super important and the only one who truly count when it comes to ASoIaF 😔

      Edit: never mind, I see a bunch of responses with the same idea. Clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks it was already addressed in several occasions in the series, though spread apart.

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    84. Sean C.:
      SerNoName,

      Rhaegar was not at all justified.He was fighting to uphold his father’s cause and kill people fighting in their own defence.The onus was on him to take action to remedy the events he had set in motion.

      Rhaegar was wholly justified in defending his family. War had already broken out when he entered the fray and enemies and allies decided upon. How do we know what Rhaegar could and could not do? What he did and did not do?

      Rhaegar’s fault here was irresponsibly running away with Lyanna while abandoning his family. But Aerys actions cannot be laid at his feet.

      Robert on the other hand was the person who wanted to kill babies (there was a reason Ned hid Jon from him) and condoned the rape and murder of Elia and her babies – the result of Rhaegar’s defeat.

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    85. Marlana: If we knew what the prophecy was that Rhaegar believed in and then changed himself from a reader/poet to a warrior, we might be able to evaluate Rhaegar’s conduct in light of his believed mission.Also we want to know how or if the prophecy was fulfilled.

      As it is, he just gives musicians a bad name.Mayhaps GRRM dislikes musicians, as shown by his portrayal of minstrels, singing contestants, and performing groups at banquets.

      They do tend to have a rather tenuous life, don’t they? 😂

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    86. SerNoName: Rhaegar was wholly justified in defending his family. War had already broken out when he entered the fray and enemies and allies decided upon. How do we know what Rhaegar could and could not do? What he did and did not do?

      Rhaegar’s fault here was irresponsibly running away with Lyanna while abandoning his family. But Aerys actions cannot be laid at his feet.

      Once Rhaegar took his father’s side, he adopted his father’s actions, and his death was fully justified as he was unjustly attempting to kill innocent people — people he knew to be in the right in the situation, in fact.

      His ethical duty in this situation was to reach out to the rebels, and at a minimum, not to fight against them. Once he did that, he had cast his lot in with a tyrannical cause.

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    87. George,

      I may well be wrong in stating “well-established,” but in the story Meera tells Bran in the books the description sounds much more like Howland than Lyanna.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Sean C.: Once Rhaegar took his father’s side, he adopted his father’s actions, and his death was fully justified as he was unjustly attempting to kill innocent people — people he knew to be in the right in the situation, in fact.

      His ethical duty in this situation was to reach out to the rebels, and at a minimum, not to fight against them.Once he did that, he had cast his lot in with a tyrannical cause.

      Once again, we DON’T KNOW what Rhaegar tried to do or did not try to do. We don’t know if he reached out, if he was not able to get the word across, if word did not reach the enemy, if Rhaegar thought it was too late because people had already picked sides and were fighting each other.

      Once war started he had to defend his people and his family. As simple as that. We saw what happened to the innocent Targs – woman and children – under Robert. We saw what he supported and what he wanted to do to innocent children. Why should we expect Rhaegar to surrender and accept the genocide of his family?

      Here’s the question. If you are so sure that Robert was amenable to discuss the truth with Rhaegar, why is Ned so afraid to do the same? Why did Ned not tell Robert the truth about the whole affair? Why is Ned so afraid for Jon’s life? They are the best of friends after all and Ned knows Robert so much better than Rhaegar.

      Why is Robert pretty much the only person in the 7K who thinks that Rhaegar is a shitty person?

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    89. TormundsWoman,

      Once aigain: marriage should not have been a major obstacle, if Rhaegar could get an annullment.

      I’ll try to explain my point more explicitly.

      First, Rhaegar. From all what we know, he doesn’t look like irresposible or lacking empathy: he hates killing, although he’s good at it – that speaks of something. He falls in love Lyanna but he must know that she is too good to be his whore. So, he has to start thinking about the annullment of his marriage immediately and it’s not just about persuading the high septon: Lyanna has to be persuaded that Rhaegar has a legit reson to cast aside his lawful wife, too. She is kind and protecive, so she will send a married suitor far and away, unless she really believes that his marriage falls apart not because of his (or her) fault. That implies that Rhaegar indeed had a legit reason to annul his marriage and, if so, Rickard Stark could have been persuaded of his pure intentions, too.

      From what we saw, Rickard Stark was not an idiot (look what he told to Ned: “Stay away from fights, but if you have to fight – WIN”) and in general the Starks was a loving family with a rather healthy relations which shared common values and views. It’s legit to assume that Rickard wished his daughter a happy marriage like all the normal fathers do. Rhaegar seeking the annulment of his existing marriage could not be trusted fully but neither could Robert who had a well-established reputation of a womaniser. Basically, both suitors were equally risky: both could swear that they would love Lyanna till the end of their days but both had a bad record. However, in terms of power and benefits, Rhaegar was a much better choice than Robert and, as the Starks would have been drawn into conflict one way or another, it was more reasonable to risk a conflict with Robert and the Baratheons, than with Rhaeigar and the Targarians, especially considering that Lyanna preferred Rhaegar. If you have to fight – win, – that’s was Rirckard’s philosophy and Rhaegar would have given him more chances to win than Robert. Moreover, the Starks could easily put the blame on Robert himself. They could say: “Look, we were supportive but Lyanna still finds you untrustworthy. Sorry but you should have thought twice before whoring around.” Robert’s feelings would have been hurt but, taking into account his habits, it was legit to assume that he would find comfort pretty soon.

      The very least, Rhaegar (and Lyanna) could have legitly expected things to go this way and therefore Rhaegar had no reasonable motive to hide his plans from the Starks.

      So, what could possibly go wrong? Sure, the Starks could have hated the Targaryans and/or they could have been infuriated by the fact the Rhaegar made his affection public at the tournament of Harenhall. I can imagine them telling Rhaegar to stay away from Lyanna, which he didn’t, because she was obviously pregnant in the marriage scene. Her pregnancy could have been the reason for their rushed elopement, but also it could have made the Starks to accept the fait accompli: after all, Rhaegar already had the annulment in his pocket and was ready to marry her. I don’t think that Lyanna wanted to cut all the ties with her family, so Rhaegar should have been ready to endure certain well-deserved inconveniences from his to be father and brothers in law.

      So, it would be good to hear his explanation why he didn’t go to the Starks and/or whether someone else fuelled the conflict which could and should have been avoided. I’m thinking about Varys who should have known a lot. Also, Ellia Martell could have spread rumours against Rhaegar and/or the Starks, etc. So far, we can only say that both Rhaegar and the Starks acted out of character and in turn this means that there’s something we don’t know. And if GRRM has thought this plot through in a proper way, the mystery will be resolved easily – like the one with the assassination of Jon Arryn: everyone thought he was killed by the Lannisters, until the truth was revealed out of the blue.

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    90. SerNoName,

      Correction! Ellia Martell and her children was killed by the Lannisters, presumably under Tywin’s command. Robert wasn’t in KL, when that happen. However, Ned was or at least could be: we know that he broke into the throneroom while Jaime was still sitting on the IT after stabbing the Mad King, although Ellia Martell and her children could have been killed already after Ned left for the Tower of Joy (I assume the later, cause Tywin would have hardly risked to committ such an autrocity in Ned’s presence). One way or another, neither Robert, nor his troops were in KL and he had to accept the atrocity as a fait accompli. Moreover, he was influenced by other people from Tywin Lannister to Varys and Pycell and he was a week man. So, IMO Ned was protecting Jon not so much from Robert (whom he could influence himself) but rather from the Lannisters who would have definitely killed him, if they knew the truth.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Inga,

      “she [Lyanna] was obviously pregnant in the marriage scene. Her pregnancy could have been the reason for their rushed elopement…”
      ________________
      Was she really “obviously pregnant” in that scene? Though I do not profess to be an expert, it didn’t look that way to me.
      Also, I thought the point of that scene was that they were marrying out of mutual love, not because she was knocked up.
      I’ll have to rewatch the wedding ceremony scene, and look closely for a baby bump.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Ten Bears,

      She doesn’t look pregnant at all in the wedding scene, though I suppose it could’ve been recently conceived. I have no idea. Everytime I think about the timeline for all of this my head starts to hurt, lol.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, she definitely isn’t obviously pregnant. You can infer that she was pregnant around this time though, just based on the fact that (I’m pretty sure but I might be wrong) Robert’s Rebellion occurred over about a year’s time.

      None of that really matters to our story though, because, like you said, they didn’t get married because Lyanna got pregnant; they married out of mutual love.

      The reason they had a child, I imagine, had to do partly because of their mutual love and partly because of the PTWP prophesy that Rhaegar obsessed over.

        Quote  Reply

    94. I think Rickard Stark was strategically marrying his children to allies just in case they ever did have to rebel against the throne. The Mad King surely gave the other Lords pause and probably had many doubting if they even wanted to have another Targaryen on the throne even as perfect as Rhaegar seemed for the job…

      I think Rhaegar sensed this as well and was probably looking to usurp the throne (that was actually the entire purpose of the Harrenhal tourney) before Aerys made enemies out of the entire realm.

      Rickard would have had strategic allies in the Stormlands & the Riverlands & already was linked to the Vale. What if, ironically, the rebellion was destined to happen? Maybe Rhaegar, Lyanna, Brandon, & Aerys’ actions just fast forwarded the inevitable?

        Quote  Reply

    95. Mr Derp,

      Now I’m having flashbacks to the microanalysis of the pre-Season 6 released photograph of Sansa and Theon on the frozen riverbank, in which the camera angle, or the cut of Sansa’s dress, fueled speculation that she was pregnant.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Jaehaerys,

      I kind of wanted to hold onto my old-fashioned image of Lyanna Stark as the kind of girl who wouldn’t “go all the way” without a ring on her finger.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Clob,

      Thanks for the link to the picture. The only thing about it that stands out for me is….

      “Damn it Rhaegar! It’s your wedding day! For god’s sake, wash and brush your hair, you slob!”

      (Seriously, I thought Rhaegar was supposed to have long, straight shiny silver hair that girls gushed over.)

        Quote  Reply

    98. Ten Bears,
      Mr Derp,
      Jaehaerys,
      Clob,

      OK, I take my words back. Lyanna looks like she might be in the first months of her pregnancy on the photo, but not in the video, where we get only a very short glimpse of her. My mistake: indeed if the showrunners wanted her to look pregnant they would have made it more obvious. But in this case, the contradiction becomes even more obvious: if Rhaegar tried to do things the right way, why didn’t he ask for her hand? I bet that Lyanna would have preferred to marry with her family’s blessing.

      Aegon the Icedragon,

      Sure, you are right: the rebellion must have been swelling, but Rhaegar was the best ally this coallition of Rickard Stark, Jon Arryn, and Hosner Tully could have wished for. Robert was a good fighter, but otherwise young and unexperienced and rather irresponsible, too. Moreover, Robert was very close to Ned which means that there was still a chance that Ned would persuade him to fight for the right cause (and proove to Lyanna that he was a worthy man after all). On the other hand, the planning wasn’t too far gone, because otherwise the Starks would have called their banners immediately, instead of rushing to KL to seek justice from the Mad King. It just looks like everyone was terribly misinformed and acted based on wrong assumptions.

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    99. TormundsWoman,

      Here’s what I don’t get:
      • What possible reason could Rhaegar have for that stunt he pulled at the Tourney of Harrenhal, when he humiliated his own wife and crowned teenager Lyanna “Queen of Love and Beauty”?
      (The story, as related by LF to Sansa in S5e4, is reproduced below.)
      Why not exercise a little discretion?
      • LF says Robert was in attendance, and Lyanna was already promised to him at that point. Knowing Robert, wouldn’t he have jumped out of his seat and ripped out Rhaegar’s throat as soon as he saw Rhaegar so blatantly hitting on his fiancée?
      • Wouldn’t Ned, and Lyanna herself, be mortified that Rhaegar had made her the subject of a public spectacle?
      • Of course, “the smiles died.” But wouldn’t the crowd be thinking to themselves:”What a douchebag!”? Crown prince or not, I would’ve expected to hear scattered booing and hissing.
      • Right after that fiasco, wouldn’t macho man Robert be asking himself “WTF?” Or at least ask his BFF Ned what in Seven Hells was going on with his sister and that married guy?

      _________________
      S5e4 (In WF crypts, in front of Lyanna’s tomb)

      LF: “I thought I might find you here…Your Aunt Lyanna.”

      Sansa: “Father never talked about her. Sometimes I’d find him down here lighting the candles. They say she was beautiful.”

      LF: “I saw her once. I was a boy living with your mother’s family. Lord Whent held a great tourney at Harrenhal. Everyone was there. The Mad King, your father, Robert Baratheon, and Lyanna. She was already promised to Robert. You can imagine what it was like for me, a boy from nowhere with nothing to his name, watching these legendary men tilting at the lists. The last two riders were Barristan Selmy and Rhaegar Targaryen. When Rhaegar won, everyone cheered for their prince. I remember the girls laughing when he took off his helmet and they saw that silver hair. How handsome he was. Until he rode right past his wife, Elia Martell, and all the smiles died. I’ve never seen so many people so quiet. He rode past his wife and he lay a crown of winter roses in Lyanna’s lap. Blue as frost. How many tens of thousands had to die because Rhaegar chose your aunt?

      Sansa. “Yes, he chose her. And then he kidnapped and raped her.”

      LF: “Come. Let’s speak somewhere the dead can’t hear us.”

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    100. Ten Bears: LF: “Come. Let’s speak somewhere the dead can’t hear us.”

      That last line from LF actually sounds somewhat suspicious. It kind of sounds like he knew the accepted story that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna was a bunch of bull. Although, why or how he would know that is unknown to me.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Ten Bears: What possible reason could Rhaegar have for that stunt he pulled at the Tourney of Harrenhal

      That brings on a thought in correlation to my earlier post (Clob). Rhaegar sang a song that moved Lyanna to tears at the feast to open the tourney. We don’t have anything about interactions between the two following that and him presenting the crown of roses to her at the end. The tourney was ten days long. We have to assume that during those ten days they must have spent time together, perhaps sneaking off to talk, maybe fool around a bit and how and when they fell in love. I’d have to add those sorts of activities into a montage if they do one. It would really help explain how the two, especially Lyanna, after no physical contact for several months would be willing to drop everything and run off together without telling anyone.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Clob: It would really help explain how the two, especially Lyanna, after no physical contact for several months would be willing to drop everything and run off together without telling anyone.

      … adding to that…
      Without seeing or hearing of how they feel in love we have to imagine or downgrade it to a relationship of impetuous lust. I’ve seen enough romance movies in my life to imagine how people can be won over to fully support what they did after seeing how they fall in love during several afternoon rendezvous down by the river.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Ten Bears,
      Ten Bears,

      You have persuaded me: Lyanna might look pregnant on the photo, but not in the show, and the showrunners would have made her pregnacy more obvius, if that was an intent. In other words, it really looks like Rhaegar did everything right but in such case, it’s even harder to imagine why did he eloped with Lyanna instead of asking for her hand. I bet that Lyanna would have preferred to marry with her family’s blessing.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Clob,

      Now this is an interesting idea. I didn’t know that it was stated how long the tourney lasted, but ten days is a long time. I always just assumed it was a love-at-first-sight situation and there wasn’t much interaction before they ran away with each other, but if they did frequently converse during the tourney that would make more sense.

      I like to think that the theory is true that when the Mad King called for someone to find the mysterious Knight of the Laughing Tree and unmask (un-helm?) him, and then Rhaegar supposedly found the knight’s shield and some other stuff in a tree, that Rhaegar had actually found that it was Lyanna and that was when he really fell in love with her. And if that is true it would make more sense why he gave her the blue rose after he won the tourney later that day.

      Side note: Sorry about the wordiness of that, I couldn’t figure out how to write it more clearly so I gave up.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Ten Bears,

      I think that may be related to the specullations on the identity of the Knight of the Laughing tree. If that was Lyanna and Rhaegar found that out, he could have crowned her purely out of respect; love could have come afterwards.
      In general, medieval customs allowed quite a lot of platonic flirting: doing something like that was taken no more seriously than a dance or a compliment. Sure, Littlefinger mentiones that the crowd became silent and that the smiles died, but that could have been just a surprise. And it’s also possible that Littlefinger overdramatised – that could have happened even unintentionally in the view of the future events.
      However, at that moment neither Robert, nor the Stark brothers assumed that Rhaegar did anything wrong, otherwise they should have requested satisfaction immediately (you are absolutely right regarding that).
      And it’s also clear that Rhaegar and Lyanna kept in contact after the tourney: the very least, they should have exchange letters. Rhaegar might have wanted to know her oppinion on all those prophesies, ets. In other words, it’s quite possible that their romance developed slowly. But someone should have known – at least Varys. And that may be relevant to his upcomming death, too.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Ten Bears:

      It all comes back really to the Knight of the Laughing Tree for me, and the belief that Rhaegar unmasked Lyanna, discovered WHY she had participated and crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty in part as recognition for her exploits. And I do think Lyanna the most likely candidate.

      Rule of thumb in the books is that if something is mentioned more than once, it is because it is important. More than once, it is mentioned that the key to jousting is skill at horse riding. More than once, it is mentioned that Lyanna was particularly skilled in that area – and it is stated that Crannogmen are not. More than once, one of the Reeds asks Bran if he is sure he hasn’t heard the story before, suggesting it is a story about House Stark rather than House Reed.

      I do also think there was an attraction to Lyanna at this point. If we look at Rhaegar’s son –

      “Not all girls are like you” – to Ygritte
      “You’re not like everyone else” – to Daenerys.

      I think Rhaegar fell for Lyanna for the same reason Jon fell for Ygritte and Daenerys – she was so unlike anyone he had ever met.

      There is a History & Lore video from season 6 that goes into some of the background to Harrenhal, and that might be worth a look.

      As for LF, who we must remember was – by his own admission – just a boy at the time of the Tourney of Harrenhal, I don’t think he knew anything for sure. But I do think he didn’t buy the Stark story that Lyanna was kidnapped. I think he believed Lyanna went willingly and the Starks used the kidnap story to save her reputation.

      Also, TB, not sure if you know, but GoT has picked up three nominations in the MTV TV and Movie Awards – including a Best TV Performance nomination for Maisie Williams.

        Quote  Reply

    107. Alba Stark,

      Well put, Alba! I was trying – and failing – to explain the Knight of the Laughing Tree story above being the reason why Rhaegar crowned Lyanna as the Queen of Love and Beauty. Mainly because he had unmasked her and found out she was the mystery knight, and wanted to pay respects to her talent (and maybe even felt a little bad that she was practically forced to drop out – even though winning wasn’t her intention in the first place). And he was just attracted to her in general after he found out she was the mystery knight.

      Good pick up on the connection between good jousters and good horse riders, especially with Lyanna being so gifted at horse riding.

      I also completely agree on the connection of Jon being attracted to not the typical girly girl, and this was in part why Rhaegar fell in love with Lyanna.

      Quick question about the LF part – was this tourney before or after LF’s duel with Brandon?

        Quote  Reply

    108. Jaehaerys: Quick question about the LF part – was this tourney before or after LF’s duel with Brandon?

      Before. The tourney at Harrenhal was 281 AC and Petyr challenged Brandon in 282.

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    109. Alba Stark,

      I do also think there was an attraction to Lyanna at this point. If we look at Rhaegar’s son –

      “Not all girls are like you” – to Ygritte
      “You’re not like everyone else” – to Daenerys.

      ——————

      Not sure why. What you wrote made me think of this…

      S5e5:
      Sam (reading scroll): “And though Daenerys maintains her grip on Slaver’s Bay, forces rise against her from within and without. She refuses to leave until the freedom of the former slaves is secure.”

      Maester Aemon: “She sounds like quite a woman.”

      +

      S7e2:
      Melisandre: “As Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, he allowed the wildlings south of the Wall to protect them from grave danger. As King in the North, he has united those wildlings with the Northern houses, so together they may face their common enemy.”

      Daenerys: “He sounds like quite a man.”

        Quote  Reply

    110. Oh, and speaking of dates and whether or not Lyanna was pregnant when she and Rhaegar were married… While it’s not proof of anything but Rhaegar and Lyanna were probably married as soon as they got to Dorne, which would have been in 282 AC at the start Robert’s Rebellion. Jon was born at the end of the war in 283 which was said to have lasted about one full year.

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    111. Ten Bears:

      Not sure why. What you wrote made me think of this…

      I love those lines. One of the many, MANY examples of mirroring in Jon and Dany’s stories.

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    112. GW,

      Please explain why you think LF started the kidnapping rumor. LF told Sansa in the crypts: “I saw her [Lyanna] once. I was a boy living with your mother’s family. Lord Whent held a great tourney at Harrenhal… You can imagine what it was like for me, a boy from nowhere with nothing to his name, watching these legendary men tilting at the lists.”

      How and why would a young boy start such a rumor? And wasn’t this long before LF had a motive to create “chaos”?

      As far as I can tell, the “kidnapping and rape” story was started or perpetuated by Robert to salve Robert’s ego.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Ten Bears,
      Petyr was about 13 during the tourney and 14 when Lyanna ‘went missing’ so it is probably unlikely that he started the rumor. His infatuations were with the Tully girls so probably too occupied with those hormones…

        Quote  Reply

    114. Alba Stark,

      Here’s another example of Rhaegar’s son exhibiting attributes of Rhaegar:

      S5e4 (Barristan and Dany talk about Rhaegar)

      Barristan. “He was very good [at singing]. Viserys never told you?”
      Dany: “He told me Rhaegar was good at killing people.”
      Barristan: “Rhaegar never liked killing…”

      _________________________
      S7e3 (Daenerys & Jon)

      Daenerys: “We all enjoy what we’re good at.”
      Jon: “I don’t.”

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    115. Clob,

      Yup.
      I figure Robert’s version became the “official” version because that’s one of the perks of being king.

      As Cersei explained to Joffrey in S1e3, when you’re king, “the truth will be what you make it.”

      S1e3 (Cersei & Joffrey)

      Cersei: “A king should have scars. You fought off a direwolf. You’re a warrior like your father.”

      Joffrey: “I’m not like him. I didn’t fight off anything. It bit me and all I did was scream. And the two Stark girls saw it, both of them.”

      Cersei. “That’s not true. You killed the beast. You only spared the girl because of the love your father bears her father.”

      Joffrey: “I didn’t, I…”

      Cersei: “When Aerys Targaryen sat on the iron throne, your father was a rebel and a traitor.
      Someday you’ll sit on the throne and the truth will be what you make it.”

        Quote  Reply

    116. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, even though this is actual a pretty popular theory amongst the fandom, there is little evidence to support it. But, I can’t count out LF just because of the amount of influence he has had on our story already. The missing detail that would definitely give us some more context would be how exactly the Stark’s/Baratheon’s discovered that Rhaegar and Lyanna went missing together; we need to know when they were told and by whom… but I doubt we’ll ever get that answer, even in the books.

      One thing that I could see, however, would be that LF suspected that Lyanna and Rhaegar liked each other. Since he was at the Tourney of Harrenhal, I think some fans suspect that he saw Lyanna and Rhaegar together, maybe talking intimately or something. And this accounts for LF’s smirk at Sansa in front of Lyanna’s statue when she mentions the kidnapping. I always wondered why LF seemed to know that the kidnapping was a lie, but this would make sense and is actually plausible. Him actually starting the rumor seems less plausible.

        Quote  Reply

    117. Was anyone else a little disappointed in Wilf being cast as Rhaegar? Nothing against him as actor or anything, but I always pictured him being more buff as a skilled warrior (winning tournies and all), the prince to the throne, as well as withstanding a long battle against Robert and his warhammer. Getting pummeled by a warhammer would make me inclined to think of a more of a big stronger specimen.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Clob: That’s a good point and possibility. I can imagine another little fireside chat with Bran talking to all of the Stark kids… Daenerys, maybe even Tyrion and Davos. Everyone has heard stories for years that were believed, and for Jon specifically,

      However, I do think some we may learn some others darn well knew the truth. Little Finger, I believe, knew all along. However, they may have been afraid to say, as in “they kill the messengers don’t they?” I believe Varys did as well, and he may be an early casualty. Remember, he wanted a Targaeryeon back on the throne, but with Jon joining the black, Dany was the obvious choice. Remember, he helped set the Lion and the Wolf against one another as well. I think he gets it much like Baelish.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Scott:
      Was anyone else a little disappointed in Wilf being cast as Rhaegar? Nothing against him as actor or anything, but I always pictured him being more buff as a skilled warrior (winning tournies and all), the prince to the throne, as well as withstanding a long battle against Robert and his warhammer. Getting pummeled by a warhammer would make me inclined to think of a more of a big stronger specimen.

      He isn’t how I had pictured Rhaegar at all, and I think the mop yarn hair made it worse. Harry Lloyd is actually much closer to how I would picture Rhaegar (although he is more finely featured than your image of a buff Rhaegar.) I like Wilf, but he isn’t particularly Targ looking.

        Quote  Reply

    120. OK. My thoughts, and have been thinking for awhile since end of S7, and reading the books, currently on 4. Something that has been nagging at me, and others have suggested, but not a lot of traction.

      There is too much about the Daynes, both in the book, and the show, for somehow them not being some part in the end. From the way Ser Arthur treated Ned with respect at the Tower of Joy, as if he didn’t want it to be the end. To Ned dancing the last dance with Ashara Dayne at the Great Tourney at Harranhal, to the sight of Dawn at the foot of Lyandras bed, the story of Ned returning the sword to the Daynes, and Ashara’s suicide. Ser Barristan (I had forgotten this, but would be a very wicked turn) mentioning to Dany she both resembles and her eyes reminded him of Ashara’s. It was BELIEVED Ashara was dishonored at the feast at Harrenhal, but by whom (Ned was not married at that point). And rumored she gave birth to a still born daughter (was it?). This would be something wild to pull up in any flashbacks, which would presumably include Rhaegar and Lyandra. And there is the rumor something lurks in the catacombs beneath Winterfell, which may be Dawn, which maybe the sword to defeat the NK. Somehow, I think the Daynes , via connection to the Starks, will play backdrop in this endgame to come. I just like, too much was made of them, in little bits and pieces.

      The thing that has always nagged me, is that Ned never told Catelyn the truth about Jon at some later point in their marriage. While Ned would keep the truth to himself and endure scorn the rest of his life to protect Jon, I have no doubt he would. Yet, after some period, once Jon wanted to go to the Wall, and be safe, that Ned would not tell Cat so she would stop being so mean to Jon, that has always bugged me. Ned would take it, but he let scorn be dumped on Jon, and that never seemed a Ned thing to do.

      I can see some wicked twist/surprise to yet blindside all of us turning up in the last season. It needs to be one not so obvious, but with clues that have been sprinkled through the series and books, and the Dayne/Dawn/Stark one would be a very interesting one.

        Quote  Reply

    121. Scott,

      We may never know what GRRM intended to do with the Dayne family. I haven’t read the books yet. However, I’ve been proceeding under the assumption that if the show excised characters and storylines in the adaptation process, those characters and their stories weren’t integral to the end game. I kind of hope I’m wrong. The show made Arthur Dayne out to be this great legendary fighter – though nobody knows he met his end by getting stabbed in the back and not by losing to Ned Stark in “single combat.”

      His sword, Dawn: now that’s a different story. Like many others, I think that from the way it was shown in the ToJ flashback, that bloodied sword becomes part of the PTWP prophecy.

        Quote  Reply

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