As far as Lyanna ending up at the Isle of Faces, the only theory I can think of is that the wedding party stopped the Crossroads Inn on the Kingsroad, and either Lyanna by herself or with others decided to take the trip down to the Isle of Faces, which is quite a distance, would
have taken them anywhere between 4.5 and 12 hours depending on the
I had been thinking the wedding party would take the direct route from the Twins to Riverrun, but you’re right, it’s more probable that they stuck with the roads, especially in winter. Although it’s only about 100 miles from the Inn to Harrenhal per my map measurements. Per the unofficial timeline, that could be as short as 2 days away if Lyanna rode there on her own, but as there must have been some witnesses to see Rhaegar “fall upon” Lyanna to let Brandon know, she must have had at least one companion.
since it’s likely that Lyanna and Rhaegar kept communication going
between them before this, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Lyanna
planned to meet Rhaegar there and was going to end up at the Isle of
Faces through her own stubbornness, if not through someone’s permission.
Yeah, we’re probably going to learn something about their communication eventually, though of course no official retellings of the event would ever think Lyanna was complicit in her own kidnapping.
As for Rickard, I can only imagine that he headed straight for King’s Landing. Since it seems to me through TWOIAF that Lyanna likely had people with her who recognized Rhaegar when he carried her off, and those people are the ones who came running to Brandon regarding that news, and then some messenger (or maybe even Brandon himself, if he was already back at Riverrun; IDK this whole game of ‘Where’s Brandon?’ is rather crazy) let Hoster Tully know.
And I guess Rickard was in Winterfell when the news came to him? Or perhaps he was in the wedding party as well? For some reason, I’ve always assumed that Rickard was in Winterfell when he heard of Lyanna’s kidnapping/Brandon’s arrest, and then rode to KL asap. Still, that is quite a distance (roughly 2200 miles).
No, Rickard wasn’t in Winterfell, he was with the wedding party (per the WOIAF app). As for “where’s Brandon”, since I heard you like maps:
Hope this explains things. Note Brandon might not have taken the River Road, he might’ve cut northeast, using the various river fords and such, but either way he probably didn’t meet up with his family until Lyanna had already disappeared.