The Ravenry: Week of 2/22/2016

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Happy Leap Day, readers!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, SomethingLikeaLawyer and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful, text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

A very busy week at Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire Headquarters. I can’t say enough times how legitimately amazing at military discussions the Hand is, and it’s proven true this week, with considerations on Dornish spear and curved sword usage. He also did a wonderful job talking about Robert’s Rebellion, and why it really benefited no noble house to support Aerys II in Robert’s Rebellion. Also very excitingly, the Hand published his first essay of 2016 – a military analysis of Euron Greyjoy! I also published an essay this week – the next piece in Heirs in the Shadows, The Plowman at the Gates, and talked a little about possible words for House Ryswell and Maekar’s comparatively large family against his dynastic unimportance.

Without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the Week of February 22:

As always, we love to hear your text-based questions, so if you have a burning question about ASOIAF, click this link to send us a raven.

Be safe and make good choices,

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

9 Comments

Filed under ASOIAF History, ASOIAF Meta, ASOIAF Military Analysis, ASOIAF Political Analysis, Ravenry

9 responses to “The Ravenry: Week of 2/22/2016

  1. Julius

    Great work!

    The idea about Jaqen trying to kill Bloodraven is that Aegon
    supporters hired the Faceless Men because Bloodraven is
    historically an enemy of the Blackfyres. He might be in Oldtown
    to steal the Glass Candle and use it to track down Bloodraven.🙂

  2. KrimzonStriker

    Desire and lust? That seems much less likely to have factored over love for Rhaegar’s impulsiveness in my view. I mean, Ned makes that comparison between Rhaegar and Robert very clearly. And if her name was the last thing he whispers as he lay dying on the Trident I don’t think he regarded Lyanna with that shallow of a mindset. To me, based on everything we know about Lyanna’s personality (wild, spontaneous, energetic, fierce) I feel if anyone was suited to make gloomy, sullen Rhaegar fall in love it would be her. And I definitely think it was her strength of character that really attracted him. Consider how Kevan and Cersei immediately assumed beauty was what drew Rhaegar’s attention to Lyanna, and then go to the criticism of Robert by people like Ned on how he only saw the beautiful surface or Lyanna and didn’t really know her. It’s almost begging us to assume Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship was in direct contrast to that.

    • Grant

      It seems to me more that people really go deep into their relationship even though so far everything we have is very much second hand (which I suspect will change come the next book and we’ll get some hard answers). Rhaegar abducted Lyanna! No, Rhaegar and Lyanna were in love! No, Rhaegar had made Lyanna believe he loved her and convinced her to run away with him!

      Now personally I suspect that Rhaegar’s main motivation in it all was those kids, since even if he couldn’t have predicted that this would lead to open rebellion he must have known that it was going to go badly, but I’m not going to speculate as to what his feelings were.

      Come to think of it, I wonder who exactly reported that Rhaegar had gone off with Lyanna?

      • KrimzonStriker

        True, I’m just laying odds that based on most descriptions of Rhaegar desire/lust wasn’t going to be something that drove him to make rash decisions.

        As to your last point I always wondered about that, because that whistle blower likely helped blow this whole conflict up. By the time Rhaegar and Lyanna were wedded and bedded there really wouldn’t have been much anyone could legally do to dissolve it. And it’s part of why I think Rhaegar was so out of contact with everything that happened was because he had no idea anyone even knew about him and Lyanna running off.

      • Grant

        Well Rhaegar was already married by that point, to Elia Martell. Since he didn’t have dragons, he was past the point where any marriage to her could have ever been considered legal (plus that was usually between Targaryens I think).

        Now did he and Lyanna go through the steps of marriage? I believe so. IIRC the place they met up at has a weirwood tree, a common point of marriages by followers of the Old Gods and I find it unlikely that Lyanna would have agreed to just be Rhaegar’s lover.

        Of course that bit about marriage does put some grey on Rhaegar’s actions. There’s no way he could have believed that he could just set Elia aside and marry Lyanna, he was too much part of central Westeros politics to be ignorant of just what the reaction would be from Martells, Starks and Targaryens.

      • KrimzonStriker

        I don’t think he was going to set Elia aside either, considering the dragon must have three heads and Jaime’s nightmares about Rhaegar putting his faith in watching over his family. Polygamy was still a thing with the Targaryeans if you go way back to Maegor, who did marry several non-Targaryeans. And it’s not like the Dornish have been shy about polyamory in general even if they could never make it official like the Targaryeans. And consider that THREE members of the Kingsguard were with Lyanna, they would have known Westerosi law as well as anyone, so any ceremony she and Rhaegar went through must have been considered legitimate to them enough to stay and defend who they believed was the heir.

      • Grant

        Maegor was something of a disaster whose polygamous actions cost him his position as Hand of the King, forced women to marry him, had quite a few people murdered and managed to push his own family into rebellion against him. If Rhaegar tried to use him as precedent, that probably would have just encouraged people to take that Southron Ambitions idea more seriously before they’d be forced to outright rebel.

        After that, this isn’t a matter of love for the Dornish. This is a question of politics and power. With Elia married to Rhaegar the Martells could reasonably expect to expand power at the court the same way the Lannisters would when Cersei married Robert. Rhaegar taking Lyanna isn’t just an insult to the Martell family, which is bad enough. It’s suggesting their position itself will be reduced to fighting with the Starks for influence. The Martells probably remember Aegon the Unworthy and all the headaches he produced just as well as anyone else.

        As for the Kingsguard, these are the same guys who stood and watched as Aerys II went crazier and crazier. They were true to their oaths, not what they must have known was smart or legal.

      • KrimzonStriker

        I only quoted him for a non-Targ example, Aegon held the real precedent with his sister wives and whose going to disparg his memory?

        Eh, depends on how inclusive Elia was in on the whole deal. Rhaegar shared a lot of his prophecy knowledge with her. They might have been able to work something out with her family if they stood together on Lyanna. I’m not saying they’d have been PLEASED by it but given once again their own proliferate bastard situation of Sands running around never seeming to arise those same political headaches that Aegon IV’s did.

        Hey, that is not true, those oaths ARE part of the legal matrix of Westeros, and also those oaths oblige them to defend and obey the ROYAL person, not one they’d know was illegitimate. I mean they specifically make the point to Jaime they know EXACTLY where the legal line of the oath draws them at. Doesn’t make it moral but you can’t accuse them on a legal basis.

  3. Grant

    The age of the Starks (and most things in the books) is hard to say. Science fiction has a tendency to make things bigger, so from that stance they might actually date back that far. If we view it from in-universe from a more realistic perspective, they wouldn’t be the first noble family to claim a long and largely fake line. I believe that in real life either Alaric or Theodoric’s biographers claimed they had a 10,000 year line, probably to give them more credibility over states like Rome.

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