*breath in* …there is no canon evidence that Rhaegar/Lyanna’s relationship was not consensual beyond Robert Baratheon and fuckin Bran’s accounts. Look at Rob. Rob is biased as heck considering we know he was in love with Lyanna, almost possessive. He can not accept that Lyanna would love anyone other than him. On all other accounts he speaks favorably of Rhaegar. Look at Bran. He has no connection AT ALL to whatever happened- beyond hearing vaguely about it from other sources presumably. Even our pinnacle of Morality Ned talks highly of Rhaegar (i.e. thinks him the man above attending brothels). Why would he talk highly of the man who kidnapped his sister? Ser Barristan Selmy, who served three kings, thinks that Rhaegar would have been better then any of them! Daenerys is often compared to Rhaegar as a compliment! Cersei wanted to be married to him! Jon Connington was in love with him. The common people loved Rhaegar! Everyone loves Rhaegar! Rhaegar was a fuckin nerd. He loved reading and was often made fun of it as a child. Then he grew up into this badass and everyone was like ooOoOH but lemme remind you Rhaegar was a fuckin NERD. Rhaegar liked music ”loved his harp more than his lance). And he played all the time like a dweeb. His songs even made Lyanna cry because they were so beautiful. Rhaegar was sassy af. At the tournament at Harrenhal, he winter rose crown for the queen of love and beauty to Lyanna because she was Best Girl. Everyone was like “what abt your wife” and Rhaegar was like “fuck u lol.” When the rebellion started and whatever and Rhaegar was killed he diED WITH LYANNA’S NAME ON HIS LIPS. liKE– also LYANNA. This boss ass bitch wasn’t about to marry Robert aka Fuckboy #1. She had “the wolfblood” in her and was Arya v. 0. She was a good swordsman and horseman. Ned says that Rob never saw "the iron underneath.”and Lyanna new that Rob would cheat on her because he’s an Asshole. When Lyanna died, she was clutching her favorite blue winter roses like the ones Rhaegar gave to her. The symbolism here is obvious. Anyways Rhaegar and Lyanna are 2 badasses they deserve each other fuck Robert Baratheon and good day
I just have one tiny thing to say about Lyanna Mormont’s speech. I’ve seen quite a few people go after her for this particular line:
“I don’t plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me.”
A lot of people have said it was very anti-feminist and an insult to women, which I understand where they’re coming from, but Lyanna wasn’t mocking those women. She was mocking the rigid gender norms placed upon girls and women in her society. It was decrying the social construct that dictates women cannot fight their own battles and are only good for what society deems ‘feminine pursuits’. Lyanna’s speech was deconstructing what it meant to be female at that time and declaring that women do not need men to fight their battles for them; that they are perfectly capable of fighting their own battles. We, as modern day women, cannot define her speech by our understanding of feminism today. Feminist discourse would have been largely unheard of in that period of time. What women of that day value most is incomparable to what we as modern viewers value now. For such a toxic patriarchal society, giving women autonomy over their own futures, and thusly their own battles, was a far more needed pursuit. The comment about knitting by the fire was not to say those who do knit and enjoy it are weaker and thus unworthy of being a woman, but rather it was to decry these archaic gender roles placed upon them. Women are capable of far more than society has given them the chance to display.
It’s completely unfair to view Lyanna’s speech through our twenty-first-century lenses because the circumstances are different. It’s the same argument we use when we apply feminist theory to literature. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, if read through modern day goggles, would not be considered as groundbreaking a novel as it was at the time of its publication in 1847, but it very much was.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer.“
To us, these quotes would not be that powerful. As beautiful as the language is, the concept that women feel just as men feel is not revolutionary for us. But at the time, Bronte’s Jane Eyre was certainly revolutionary in its attempt to dismantle this cultural imposition on women over their need to be the passive and submissive “Angel in the House” (a concept of the penultimate feminine ideal described by Coventry Patmore in his poem published in 1854).
Imposing twenty-first-century notions of feminism on a culture that has yet to actually experience any wave or trickle of feminism is unfair. Contextually, Lyanna’s speech was for its time revolutionary and so was Jon’s decision to have both men and women fight. Even Sansa, who is not a fighter, acknowledges this by her smirk during the speech. It is not a slight towards those who are more domestic, but a slight towards culturally imposed notions of what it means to be feminine by men who see women’s worth as only mothers, caretakers and nurturers, without acknowledging them as a whole human that is far more complex than these strict roles allow them.
And for each woman, the question of femininity is always going to be different. For Lyanna, her fight has always been against those who underestimate her right to lead and the power she commands, and that is what she specifically addresses. There’s a famous conversation by lecturer and professor of literature and gender studies Ann Snitow in her 1989 essay ‘A Gender Diary’.
Her friend says in regards to the feminist movement:
“Now I can be a woman; it’s no longer so humiliating. I can stop fantasizing that secretly I am a man, as I used to, before I had children. Now I can value what was once my shame.”
In contrast, Snitow said:
“Now I don’t have to be a woman anymore. I need never become a mother. Being a woman has always been humiliating, but I used to assume there was no exit. Now the very idea of ‘woman’ is up for grabs. ‘Woman’ is my slave name; feminism will give me freedom to seek some other identity altogether.”
It’s always been these contradicting ideologies that simultaneously fuels feminism as a movement and hinders it. Feminists for decades have struggled to reconcile both ways of thinking, but personally, I believe neither is wrong. For me, feminism is the freedom to believe in either.
This is why I don’t see Lyanna’s speech as being particularly anti-feminist. Saying so is too black and white of a statement, which has never been something you can attribute to feminism. The movement itself is too nuanced, as are most movements.
Finally did my version of Elia Martell! Two words, Ruth Negga. (If I made gifsets, there is a lot of good material from the Warcraft film, she looked amazing, throwing that out there) so she’s definitely my inspiration for my canon Elia, as well a the Restless AU version. Also got around to work on a concept for Aegon, but he’s not looking a lot like Young Griff because I definitely have my reservations about his identity. He’s like the hottest person in Westeros, a maiden’s and many a man’s dream, young and strong, a warrior and a strategist, he’s the perfect heir to the throne, a Golden Prince. He loves his family fiercely, specially his sister and and his aunt Daenerys, who he considers as much as a sister as Rhaenys. While the concept of marriage weighs on him, he has the confort of knowing he’ll wed someone he’s truly fond of,with him and Dany set to marry after Rhaegar’s return. (A decision that Viserys was adamantly against, which eventually lead to him leaving for Pentos.)
So with Rhaegar gallivanting beyond the wall (his head has always been more concerned with prophecy than ruling) his son Aegon is officially ruling on his stead. He’s the only of Rhaegar’s children that takes more of his valyrian features, tough his complexion is definitely dornish. “The Golden Prince” he is called. Well loved by the smallfolk, not so much by the nobles, who question the influence his Dornish mother has on him.
It’s no secret that the true ruler of the seven kingdoms since the death of Aerys has been Elia Martell. The frailty that has accosted her health has only made her intelligence and wit all the more stronger, her kind and her charm undeniable. Yet since the Tourney of Harrenhall where she did not bat an eye at Rhaegar crowning Lyanna Stark his Queen of Love and Beauty, it has been clear to many that Elia cares little for Rhaegar’s affection. Cunning and manipulative to her enemies, selfless and caring to those who love her, Elia’s true motives for supporting Rhaegar’s fligths of fancy are only known to herself. All it is known is that Elia rules the kingdom with a grace and wisdom that most Targaryen failed to have. Now ruling alongside her son, there’s little her detractors can do against her, even when they truly despise the dornish influence she has brought to court. Soon Robert and Cersei will make their move to start a new game of thrones, but no one has faced anyone like Elia Martell.
So it’s Stark Day! Basically Rickard and Lyarra’s children if they all lived to present-ish day.
Okay so Restless AU thoughts. Brandon is alive! After he went to King’s Landing and threatened to kill Rhaegar, Aerys burned his escort and and made him prisoner, sending for Lord Rickard to answer for his son’s insolence. Yet when Rickard Stark arrived to KL, Aerys had died, allegedly from choking on a morsel of bread. They had to wait until Rhaegar showed up almost a forthnight later with Lyanna in tow, the situation on KL almost unsustainable. Rhaegar managed to de-escalate the situation enough, yet ultimately Brandon was charged of light treason and sent to the Wall. Some think he was too harsh, other’s think he had to show no weakness with his position as the new king so fragile. Nevertheless, the Starks wouldn’t see him again for almost 20 years.
I wish you would write a fic where Lyanna takes the crown of Love and Beauty, gets up, and walks to where Princess Elia is sitting to crown her.
The silence rings in Lyanna’s ears as the circlet of pale blue roses slides easily into her lap from an inappropriate lance.
There are japes to be made here, and in other circumstances, she knows that Brandon would be the first to make them, but now, now is not the time.
“My lady,” the Prince says, a smile similar to that which so charmed her when he swore to keep her secret now turning her stomach. Who does he think he is, to so dishonour his wife? Who does he think he is, to shame Lyanna so publicly? Does he think honour means so little to her, after hearing her reasons for competing in the tourney?
All eyes are on her as she rises to her feet, one hand holding so tight to the crown of thorns that her fingers bleed, and turns to Brandon.
“Help me down,” she says, and for some reason, Brandon does not question it when she begins to climb over the railing, down to the grass below.
All eyes are on her as she rises from her landing crouch, blood now staining her skirts and the roses alike as she crosses the springy grass to the royal box.
“For you, Your Highness,” she calls, sweeping as graceful a curtsy as she can manage on the unevenly churned up ground. “A token of esteem, misdirected.”
Frail, sickly, delicate, all the things people call Princess Elia - she seems none of them when her hand snaps out to catch the crown of sickly-sweet, blood-stained roses, and her smile is wicked and bright.
“My thanks, Lady Lyanna,” she calls in return, “for correcting my husband’s mistake.”
As both a story creator and a story consumer, I love bookends and circular themes; that is to say, I love it when a story is set up so that the ending is a parallel to the beginning. This is due to two parts:
1) history is constantly repeating; people live, love, fight, and die. A bookend story helps to reinforce this idea.
2) while history is constantly repeating, people can learn from previous mistakes. A good bookend story takes that idea and makes the ending smarter, better than the beginning was.
Take GoT for example, and more specifically: Jon/Sansa
Imagine it, Ben whispers to her at Harrenhall, squiring for the Sword of the Morning!
Ser Arthur Dayne is the most beautiful man Lyanna has ever seen, strong enough to wield his exquisite greatsword and bear his fine white armour as though they are no burdens at all, with long fingers wound around a lavender leather hilt, and violet eyes that miss nothing at all.
Not even her.
It is not the Prince who finds her, as so many would assume if asked.
Oh, true enough, it is the Prince who promises to pardon her if the King ever discovers the truth of her actions, but it is Ser Arthur who finds her, almost smiling and fully amused, she thinks. He helps her hide the accursed shield high up in a tree, where it might not be found so easily, and offers her corrections on her hold, and her position in the saddle.
“Small corrections only,” he assures her, curious eyes twinkling like starlight, “especially for one so unpracticed.”
The Prince offers her many honours, as a reward for her valour in the list, but there is only one thing she desires.
Well, two, but one is for Robert Baratheon to be a man he is not capable of being, and so she seeks out Ser Arthur and asks that he speak to the Prince on her behalf.
Imagine it, Ben whispers to her as she waits, a memory more potent than his presence beside her, squiring for the Sword of the Morning!
Father comes all the way from Winterfell when a disapproving Brandon sends him word of the gracious offer Ser Arthur has made to her. Reasons are made up and dismissed as easily as a gown, lies fitting her as lightly as fine satin slippers, for to share the truth is to risk it reaching the King’s ear, as inconvenient truths are wont to do.
Father agrees, grudgingly, after a lengthy conversation with Ser Arthur to which she is not privy, and she cannot remember ever being so happy.
He treats her with honour, but also as he would treat any other squire -she must care for his armour and weapons, help him dress and fetch his meals, and he works her harder in the practice yard than any other knight works his squires, but she supposes that is only fair. She has so much work to catch up on, after all, that it makes sense that she work harder.
He does not ask her to draw water for his baths which the other squires complain of constantly, and she quickly notices that there are several knights and squires in King’s Landing with whom she is not permitted to spar, even under Ser Arthur’s supervision.
She does not question this.
Her brother and her betrothed come to visit her in King’s Landing, and she is more sure than ever that Robert is ill suited as a husband for her.
He laughs at her - other men have laughed at her, of course they have, for she is a woman, and short in stature, but none of them are bound to protect her honour! None of them are to be her companion until the end of her days, or his, whichever comes first!
She says as much to Ned, who looks uncomfortable and assures her that Robert will be better when they are wed, and to Ser Arthur, who frowns and mutters something about the difference of Dorne.
She notices Ser Arthur’s long fingers again, this time not around Dawn’s long hilt, but instead around her own wrist.
“This private audience the Prince has asked for,” he says, “will bring you only pain. I could forbid you from attending, my little squire, but I know that doing so would only make you more determined to go. So instead, I will ask - please, for the friendship I believe has grown between us, do not go.”
Thrilled and flattered and amazed that one such as Ser Arthur considers her a friend, Lyanna instead works twice as hard at her training drills that night.
His eyes twinkle like starlight when they dance at the feast to celebrate the birth of Prince Aegon, and she tries not to be thrilled by that, too.
She is named a dame, not a ser, and flirts with Arthur Dayne as an equal.
He is beautiful, and good, and she knows him better than she does any other man and still trusts his nature, and so she flirts, idly, and is stunned when he flirts back.
“My vows forbid me from taking a wife or fathering children,” he teases her, dressed all in bright white linens and silks under soft purple leather, all of which dips low over his firm chest in the Dornish style, “but they say nothing of remaining chaste, madam.”
She does wed Robert, eventually, once she is finished adventuring and finished with court and finished with the war to place the Prince on his father’s throne. Robert is cowed by the war, where he did not acquit himself as well as he had boasted he would, and the new humility suits him.
Lyanna even comes to be fond of him, but cannot help but think of Arthur Dayne’s sword with a sweet wistfulness, when compared with Robert’s hammer.
“That did not bring her back.” Robert looked away, off into the grey
distance. “The gods be damned. It was a hollow victory they gave me. A
crown … it was the girl I prayed them for. Your sister, safe …
and mine again, as she was meant to be. I ask you, Ned, what good is it
to wear a crown? The gods mock the prayers of kings and cowherds alike.”