I see a lot of people shitting on Rhaegar Targaryen right now, when the truth is we don’t have all of the facts. Yes he did annul his marriage to Elia Martell but you know what that actually does happen in real life. Rhaegar obviously didn’t love Elia Martell and didn’t want to be married to her. Does that make him the monster everyone thinks he is? No it doesn’t. Nowhere has it been indicated that he disowned his children by her. It could very well be that he acknowledged and legitimized them and stuck them in the line of succession behind Jon. I am sick and tired of people demonizing Rhaegar because he left poor innocent Elia. Guess what Elia wasn’t a stupid naive girl, She wasn’t Sansa when she first got to King’s Landing, she was a Viper, a Martell of Dorne. What happened to her and her children was awful but it was done by the Lannisters not Rhaeger, Also all this BS that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna Stark. You’re kidding me right? Lyanna has been compared to Arya, do you really see Arya doing something she doesn’t want to do? Do you see here not finding a way to escape if she wanted to leave? No. Me either. Besides Robert Baratheon who had a chip on his shoulder about Rhaegar and Bran and Sansa who don’t know the whole story, no one and I mean no one supports the theory that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna. Not Oberyn “Beautiful Noble Rhaegar Targaryen LEFT her for another woman” Martell, Not Barristan “Rhaegar never Liked killing” Selmy. Not even Littlefinger who side-eyed the fuck out of Sansa when she touted the kidnap and raped propaganda about. There is literally no evidence that Lyanna and Rhaegar weren’t in love and that they don’t run away together. Now that doesn’t mean he didn’t make some stupid decisions cause he sure as fuck did. He should have seen the repercussions that just running away and eloping together would have caused. But much like his son Jon, Rhaegar cannot sometimes see the forrest for the trees when he is focused on a particular thing. I.e. Jon’s ides of Marchesque stabbing and Robert’s Rebellion. So if everyone could please think about the whole picture when they say that Elia deserved better and keep in mind that a man who was in love and wanted the best possible life for his unborn child deserved better too.
❝They were wed and he took Elia from her home, from those who loved her and would die for her and locked her in his Red Keep above his sty of a city surrounded by false friends.
She bore him a daughter and a son, though each almost cost her her life.
Elia loved Rhaegar, she obeyed him, and he chose to steal away Lyanna Stark.❞
I don’t think people understand that it is never mentioned that Rhaegar loved Ellia Martell. He married her because his father wanted him to, he needed heirs and fast because the Targaryen family was fading. If you think Rhaegar is an ass for leaving Ellia I tell you it’s a little bit more complicated than that. As a child of a divorced couple I can say that being with someone you don’t love just because you have children with them is overwhelming and tiring, and no one should have to stay with someone they don’t love. Divorce sucks, but that’s life. Life gives you love when you least expect it, and sometimes it isn’t the right thing to go after them, but I believe happiness should be the number one priority of everyone.
And also, Rhaegar couldn’t possible have known that Robert was going to make a fucking rebellion and kill his entire family. He could expect some crazy stuff from the Starks, but not the rebellion, no one would have guessed it. And Ellia being killed was The Mountains doing, not Rhaegar, and he wasn’t even supposed to kill Ellia, cause she wasn’t a Targaryen. If you’re one of the people who believe it’s all Rhaegars fault, rethink. It’s not all black and white, there’s a lot of factors and lots of people lead to the death of Ellia Martell.
I also wanted to point out that Ellia was no child, she probably knew Rhaegar didn’t love her. Her own brother said she walked among vipers and was never bitten. She was a badass and clever women who became the future queen of Westeros. I believe she was more like the Margaery of the tv series than she was of this cute and innocent image that people have of her. Remember, for the people of Westeros Margaery was also cute and innocent, she was so loved by her people and lots of noble people who feel in her charm. Dornish women are known for being clever and ambitious, if you don’t think Ellia Martell wasn’t like this as well you’re fooling yourself. And don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fantastic if Ellia is like the way I think of her. Much more interesting than just being the wronged wife and defenseless Ellia Martell.
My point is, Game of Thrones isn’t something that is just or Rhaegar is an ass or he’s a man in love. It’s a story that doesn’t have innocent people and I just get so frustrated that people pick thoughts and puts them in little boxes, it’s a story that have shown time after time that the little boxes aren’t a option. Little boxes are comfort, like taking religion as a excuse to hate on women, lgbtq community and people of color. Open your eyes and just appreciate how difficult is Game Of Thrones, just like real life.
He hadn’t believed Lord Commander Qorgyle when he was told Oberyn Martell had come through the gates. What would he be doing here? Here, when he’s an advisor in King’s Landing?
Yet sure enough, it is the Red Viper who finds him in the barracks, calm as you please.
“Do you believe that in all my travels, I’ve never been here?” he asks, as though they’d seen each other only yesterday. “It’s impressive.”
Not when you have to maintain it, Rhaegar bemoans. It’s a bloody nightmare.
“What are you doing here, Prince Oberyn?” he asks. “Gloating?”
His erstwhile good-brother considers for a moment. “In a fashion. I came to tell you of Elia’s happiness. She’s just had another child.”
“Good, she deserves–wait, what?” Surely he’s misheard, surely.
“Yes, I suppose the news must not have made it to you,” he says. His smile is as poisonous as a snake’s. “It’s a girl. Mariah, she’s named. We’re all very–”
“A girl?” Rhaegar interrupts. “She’s had a girl? And she lived? The maester said that was impossible.”
Oberyn must be lying, he thinks desperately. He has to be. The maester was certain, and I…no, the gods would not let this be so.
“The maester was wrong. Yours often are, I’ve found. No doubt he underestimated Elia as so many people do. Of course, I’m sure it helped that she had time to recuperate and she no longer has you or your father around. The birth went quite smoothly.”
He searches Oberyn’s face for a hint of a falsehood, but can find none. Powering through his disbelief, he asks, “So she has married again, then? To which lord?”
“No, I think she’s rather had enough of marriage,” he says. “But as you well know, such a union is not necessary for children.”
Rhaegar stares at him. “A bastard? You’re lying, the…the court would never let that pass. I’d have heard of such a thing.”
“The realm is stable, a girl is no threat to anyone, and compared to your actions, this is hardly more than idle gossip,” Oberyn says serenely. “No one is going to start another war over this.”
“But…” It’s like moving through molasses, trying to overcome this barrage of information. “If she is not wed, then who is the father?”
“She’s not announced it nor, I suspect, will she ever. Some have their suspicions, understandably. The babe does have purple eyes, after all. Quite a rare trait, that.”
“Purple…?” It’s slow to come to him, but when it does, he feels the blood drain from his face. “No, that’s not possible.”
“It can’t be proven, of course,” Oberyn shrugs. “We have the blood of the dragon ourselves, there’s nothing to say the color didn’t come from Elia.”
“But he’s…he’s a Kingsguard!”
“Aye, and so he’s not claimed the babe,” says Oberyn. “For now.”
Rhaegar shakes his head in a fruitless attempt to clear it. “How did that even…?”
“I suppose no one would have told you that either,” says Oberyn. “They’d have wed in our youth, had my mother allowed it.”
“Indeed.” Oberyn laughs. “You look rather faint, my prince. Shall I give you a moment?”
The photo on the left is the portrayal of Show!Lyanna’s marriage to Rhaegar Targaryen. The photo on the right is a much more accurate portrayal of how old Lyanna actually was.
D&D are being very telling in their casting of Lyanna Stark, particularly in how they’re trying to reshape the book!canon into a “love story”.
Show!Lyanna is portrayed by a 24 year-old actress during her “wedding” - a legal, adult women. A woman with more autonomy and capacity for decision making than a 14 year-old girl. A fully developed woman who could consent to having, and safely bearing, children.
Daenerys’ character was aged up because it would have been too disturbing to portray a 13 year old being raped by Khal Drogo. Sansa was aged up from being an 11 year-old child facing constant sexual objectification and abuse. I’m willing to bet that Lyanna was aged up for the same reasons.
D&D already set the tone for this “love story” by all but erasing Dorne and Elia Martell. Now, by aging up Lyanna, D&D actively erase part of what makes R+L a the antithesis of a “love story”.
Pairing: Elia Martell/Rhaegar Targaryen, Elia Martell/Oberyn Martell, Rhaegar Targaryen/Lyanna Stark
Summary: "You need only remember this. We are Martells. And we are not weak.“
Why I Love It: Before I read this story, I’d never really given too much thought to Elia Martell. But oh BOY, did that change. The author has a really wonderful prose style: clear, concise, and powerful. It’s told in a series of short scenes, all from Elia’s point of view. Her perspective is one of a bright, passionate woman trapped in a situation not of her choosing, and it’s so beautiful and tragic.