Gryffindor: Sucking on sugar cubes, giggling behind your hand, long car rides with friends, opening windows to let in fresh air, running barefoot through grass, burning your tongue on food that was too hot, the view from tall buildings, the sun warming your skin, doorbells, summer camp, fierce eyeliner and bold lipstick, deep v-necks accessorized with a flirty smile, rough hands and soft hearts, brightly colored cocktails, laughing too hard at a dumb joke, crumpling up paper and throwing it into a trashcan across the room, card games, letting your hair down, opening doors, and skinny dipping.
Ravenclaw: Waking up late on a rainy day, warm coffee on a cold morning, scrunched eyebrows, color-coding everything, bags under your eyes, passing notes to your friends, long fingernails, jumping in puddles, charm bracelets, comfortable silences, orchestras, velvet ribbons, french braids, dark eyelashes, chewing ice cubes, train rides, staring out the window, curling up with a pet, being alone in the forest, the smell of the earth after it rains, staying up late to watch the stars, rearranging your room, biting your tongue, painting your toes different shades, cold glasses, chokers, watching a play, musical compositions, roman numerals, doodling on your hand, and mirrors.
Hufflepuff: Skirts that flow behind you, eyes that sparkle in the light, tea, picking flowers for your mom, laughing so hard you can’t catch your breath, denim shorts and crop tops, forts made out of sheets, pixie cuts, scrunching up your nose, rosy cheeks, freckles across your nose, bohemian tapestries on walls, dancing around the room with friends, apartments with brick walls in the city, sleeping by huge windows, drinking alcohol on rooftops, shirts rolled to the elbows, cute buns, birds sitting on telephone wires, fogged up glass, strumming a guitar, smiling so much that your cheekbones ache, climbing tall trees, contagious laughter, Polaroid pictures, and mosaics with colored glass.
Slytherin: Raising one eyebrow, martinis, marble statues, soft fur blankets on leather couches, tapping your fingernails against a hard surface, perfectly winged eyeliner, sly smirks, champagne flutes, pencil skirts, footprints in fresh snow, tree houses, wandering around the city at night, quotes that describe you perfectly, black and white photography, french perfume, black silk, lingerie, combing wet hair, proving people wrong, shopping with your best friends, mint leaves, keeping a diary, silver rings, staying up all night, black coffee, hand mirrors, little black dresses, pine trees, vanilla scented candles, mascara, stone walls, leather jackets and red lipstick, wine corks, and photo albums.
Loneliness is a choice. I like to be alone; I’m more comfortable alone. But I do recognize that I take it too far sometimes and so I try to force myself to keep up with being sociable. I just am a bit of a lone ranger; I always have been. But I don’t believe that necessarily has to translate to being lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd of a thousand people. I can be in a hotel room on my own and not feel lonely. It all comes down to how comfortable you are with who you are in the silence.
At the risk of being public crucified online again. I am going to revise and revist some of my points from my earlier argument. I posted a rough draft of a meta yesterday morning on my way to work without realizing that it would cause this much controversy. It was brought to my attention that the post came off as Misogynistic and racist. This was not at all my intention.
My intention was to rebuttal the people in the Rhaegar Targaryen tag who were dragging him for something that, yes he had a hand in causing but was not at all his plan to cause. He was being dragged for (In my opinion) falling love with someone else. Like really dragged. Like through the bushes, across Yankee stadium and down Times Square only to be hung in Central Park kind of dragged. I wanted to defend him. I could see where he was coming from but didn’t get my point across well. So we are going to give it a second try, now that I’ve been given some constructive criticism (Thank- You @sprinkles36)
First and foremost lets look at what we know about Rhaegar Targaryen. He is portrayed as accomplished, intelligent, talented, and attractive young man who was well respected and commanded loyalty of most everyone who knew him. However a dark cloud of melancholy and doom clearly hung over him all the days of his life. He seemed wounded according to Cersei and Grief stricken according to Jaime. Yet, he was also described as “Able. That above all, determined, deliberate, dutiful and singleminded.’ These are the most important of his traits to me. Lets define them
Able: Having considerable skill, proficiency or intelligence
Determined: Processing or displaying resolve
Deliberate: Done consciously or intentionally
Dutiful: conscientiously or obediently fulfilling one’s duty. Also, motivated by duty rather than desire of enthusiasm
Singleminded: Having or concentrating on only one aim or purpose.
So Rhaegar was skilled, resolute, conscious of his decisions, faithful to the vows he made, and committed. So what made this Paragon of Princeliness act so impulsively and risk everything (The future of his house, his Throne, his children, his country) by annulling his marriage to Elia and marrying Lyanna?
This is the question i was left with at the end of the episode. The only answer I could come up with was this, it’s a two part answer, a 30/70 split if you will. 30% Prophecy and 70% He fell in love with Lyanna Stark.
It is well documented that Rhaegar firmly believed in the prophecy of the Prince that was Promised/Azor Ahai. It’s the reason he became a great warrior, the main point of his conversations with Maester Aemon Targayen, it was a big part of his life. Understandably so, considering the circumstances of his birth. Born during the great fire at Summerhall, The tragedy and darkness seemed to cling to Rhaegar his whole life a chip on his shoulders. Perhaps part of him always believed that the world was headed toward doom and destruction and this colored his view of wanting to save the future and the belief that he was The Prince that was Promised. Realizing that being the Prince was not his destiny he placed the burden of its fulfillment on his children.
Rhaegar: The Dragon has three heads, there must be one more.
While at the same time dealing with a father whose mental health and acuity is ever decreasing.
Sidenote: Nowhere is it mentioned that the third head had had to be a female by the prophecy or by Rhaegar. Nor is it mentioned that her name was to be Visenya, If he were trying to replicate Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters, he would have named his Eldest daughter Visenya. As Visenya Targaryen was older then Aegon the Conqueror and their sister Rhaenys.
Son of The Mad King
Aerys was at this point in time the greatest threat to the continuation of the Targayen’s rule of Westeros. Falling deeper into insanity and growing more and more paranoid with each passing day. His continued rule of Westeros would have seen rebellion against Targaryen rule one way or the other.
Barrister Selmy: At First Rhaegar didn’t want to believe that his father was incapable to rule, but in the end even he saw that this was true.
So now Rhaegar is given the heavy burden of what to do with his father, who if left to continue as King would bring the Red Keep crashing down around them all. How to act against a paranoid man who already believes you are plotting against him? How to depose your father who you still love without him going completely off his rocker? Gather the great Lords of Westeros to format a plan.
This leads him to the the Tourney at Harrenhaal and the events that follow (The Knight of the Laughing Tree, Joust with Barristan Selmy, Queen of Love and Beauty) lead him to Lyanna.
Thus comes the conundrum of the series . Why annul your marriage? Effectively abandon you kingdom and people when they need you the most? Piss off the only ally you have (Dorne) and put your family and future at risk?
Well first off let’s look at the other two parts of the equation:
Elia Martell is portrayed as beautiful but sickly woman and due to that is often portrayed as the sad abandoned damsel. But being sickly and being compliant are two very different things. My point is that her being viewed as sickly often affects the way her personality is viewed, she is viewed as naive docile and ultimately victimized. I know, I know Rhaegar passed her over, threw her aside, she was left to fend for herself against Aerys and everyone views it as a major slight against her, against Dorne. So where is her outrage? Surely if she felt put aside or disrespected she would say so perhaps not at court but to her brothers. Who would no doubt welcome her back to Dorne with open arms and even stew in her anger with her. Yet she stayed, and not only did she stay but she gave Rhaegar another child. Curious. Perhaps she stayed for her children? Perhaps she stayed because she truly loved Rhaegar? who knows, its always been one of things that has always irked me about Elia’s character. Why stay? But nonetheless she did stay and that he survived as long as she did is a testament to her cunning, diplomacy, and strength as a woman. But would we expect less from a Martell of Dorne. A country known to produce fierce independent women.
As @sprinkles36 described it Elia is a brown woman who managed to survive in a court far from home. Where Misogyny and Racism were rampant with a mad king who was paranoid and suspicious
It is clear that Elia is not the naive, hapless girl most of the world thought she was. Oberyn describes her perfectly from the quote below:
Oberyn: In Dorne, she walked among vipers and none would bite her.
All this being said it is widely known throughout the fandom and books and show that Elia and Rhaegar’s marriage although happy enough was arranged. Neither of them choose to marry the other, it was chosen for them and for a while they seemed to make the best of it. Their marriage was shown as better than the one between Rhaegar’s parents, but Rhaegar was not depicted as being in love with Elia. He was fond of her. He cared for her as a human being and the mother of his child(ren). Not much else is said on the matter really nothing from Elia’s perspective. Rhaegar is depicted to be a good father, loving and caring. When Rhaenys was killed she was found hiding under her father’s bed. She clearly found comfort in some way being close to him in a time of fear. So what we have is Rhaegar and Elia fulfilling their duty in their marriage while not being in love. Not once is it mentioned that Rhaegar cheated, beated, or mistreated her in their marriage prior to the Tourney. Even Ned is quoted as thinking that Rhaegar never visited brothels. So what changed? What was it about Lyanna Stark that was different?
Lyanna Stark the She-wolf of Winterfell is described as willful and beautiful, with a strong sense of honor and kindness, courageous and fierce to boot. A girl who took up arms against a group of squires who were bullying one of her father’s men.Then took on the Knights of those squires and handed them their asses demanding the Knights teach their squire some respect. It’s easy to believe he would be attracted to and admire her. Lyanna who was not enchanted with the idea of marrying Robert Baratheon, Who cried when Rhaegar sang his song with implies some feeling for him. Rhaegar who very likely kept her from being exposed as the Knight of the Laughing tree and very possibly killed by Aerys, but who was in such admiration of her fierceness and kindness crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty in his own secret acknowledgement of her courage and skill as a warrior. The spark had been lit but still he remained faithful and dutiful to his position and his wife. Why would he stay with Elia after meeting Lyanna if he’s a selfish fuckboyjust looking for a good role in the Hay?
Sidenote: Lyanna was 14 at the time of these events. Rhaegar was in his early to mid twenties. The age difference was not a deterrent and would not have mattered even if they hadn’t eloped. This is a pseudo medieval society, you cannot apply modern ways of thinking or values to their customs and practices because they will always come up wanting. In Medieval times the marriage age of women was twelve years old. At that time period a 14 year old girl and a man in his early/mid twenties being married was the norm , consummating the marriage around the age of 14/15 was custom as well. In Westeros I believe the age of adulthood is 16 and a girl can be married off once she has flowered so 12/13 maybe. Also keep in mind Lyanna was betrothed to Robert, you honestly think he was going to wait a couple of years for her to fully develop and understand her own mind once they were married before he would have her? I don’t think so.
Fuckboy or Fool in Love?:
I guess that depends how you define the Fuckboy term. Dictionary defines it as a male who is constantly seeking Romance and/or sexual congress with women. This is most definitely not Rhaegar, Until Lyanna not once is it mentioned that Rhaegar cheated on Elia or was anything but a loyal and faithful husband. Even Ned who had every right to think badly of him didn’t believe he frequented brothels. You know who was a fuckboy: Robert “Hoe life till I die” Baratheon, but that’s off topic. It was a year between the Tourney and the disappearance of Rhaeghar and Lyanna together to Dorne. Why wait so long if it was simply about prophecy or lust? Why wait if Rhaeghar is simply selfish and uncaring about consequences of his actions? The only reason to wait is because he cared about Elia and his children, how it would affect them. It must have been agonizing for someone who was always viewed as dutiful and honorable to come to the decision to annul his marriage. To discard his wife and supposedly make his children illegitimate. I’m not too sure on this assumption because the stance of children from an annulled marriage is that the annulled marriage has no bearing on the legitimacy of the children born while the marriage was still valid, but that’s the real world, I don’t know if it’s the same in Westeros. Is that a shitty thing to do to a person? Yeah, it is. Does that somehow take everything we know that is good and honorable about Rhaegar and make it invalid? No. We don’t know what his intentions were at this time besides the bare boned facts.
We know Nothing
Much like Jon we the viewers, readers, etc. know next to nothing when it comes to what was suppose to happen in Rhaegar’s mind after he left Elia and married Lyanna and in some ways neither did Rhaegar. Had he known Brandon Stark would have reacted like the hothead rash idiot he was, demanding Lyanna’s return and effectively threatening Rhaegar to the Mad King’s face.If he’d known the depth with Aerys insanity had fallen to the point that he would even dare consider killingl The Warden of the North and his heir, while also demanding Ned be delivered to King’s Landing and his death as well he probably wouldn’t have gone about marrying her in that way.
Sidenote: It would have been a lot harder for Rhaegar to convince the High Septon to grant him clemency to take two wives than it would have been for The high Septon to grant him an annulment. The faith of the seven was firmly against practicing polygamy and the last Targaryen who has practiced the custom was Aegon IV that was well over a hundred years prior to Rhaegar’s certain circumstance. The Targaryen’s practiced the faith of the seven, As did most of Westeros. As many kings in history will tell you as goes what the church deems acceptable, so goes what world deems acceptable. Annulling his marriage would have been seen as the lesser of two evils. Better to have one part of the country pissed at you than a good chunk of the country and the dominant religious church.
The true spark of the Rebellion
While it is generally believed that the Rebellion was sparked with Rhaegar and Lyanna absconding together that simply isn’t true. Rhaegar and Lyanna’s elopement, abduction whatever you want to call it was merely a squabble between houses not a full blown war. The rebellion began where most believed it always would begin with King Aerys. The murder of Rickard Stark and his heir, burning them alive, and then demanding Jon Arryn send Ned to King’s Landing likely to meet the same fate is what started the war. Is what caused John Arryn to call up his banners against the King. Rhaegar came back and was left to sit in marvel at the clusterfuck that his father had caused. Had Aerys not killed Brandon and Rickard and had Rhaegar and Lyanna been able to speak with them, it could have been worked out without open rebellion or bloodshed. Would Rickard have been pissed? Yeah, but a man with the southern ambition Rickard had would be quick to see the benefit of his only daughter being married to the next King of Westeros instead of One of many southern Lords. . Robert would have had sour grapes for a hot minute but would have moved on quickly to the next tart that caught his fancy. The only real fallout would have been Dorne. Possibly fixable if Rhaegar intended to keep Rhaenys and Aegon in the line of succession and while no longer married to Elia, she was given the option to stay in KL or return to Dorne? Just a thought on logistics. But alas this did not happen and Rebellion rose, Robert killed Rhaegar, Jamie Killed the Mad King, Tywin ordered the death of Elia and her children, Lyanna died giving birth to the Last Dragon’s only surviving heir.
The Butterfly Effect
So is Rhaegar to blame for the events that unfolded? For Elia’s and their children’s death? Perhaps in part, but it’s not just Rhaegar’s actions it was the actions and reactions of multiple people on multiple levels. If Brandon Stark hadn’t gone to King’s Landing there would be no rebellion, if Aerys had’t had Brandon and Rickard killed there would be no rebellion. A butterfly flaps it’s wings in New Mexico and it causes a hurricane in China. The smallest changes can effect the largest outcomes. Everyone has their part in the action so everyone is to blame, but honestly playing the blame game is a footnote in minutia to what GRRMis trying to tell about the way war effects society and the environment both positively and negatively, about how no one is black and white humanity is all a giant shade of gray. A bad choice does not necessarily make a bad person and vice versa.
Love or Duty
Rhaegar was the epitome of duty, honor, nobility in Westeros. The next Jaeherys The Conciliator a consummate ruler who would bring peace and prosperity again to the seven kingdoms. The great white hope for the future, a future without the taint of his mad father. Yet somehow it all turned to ashes at his feet. How did this happen? Maester Aemon said it best Love is the bane of honor the death of duty.
Master Aemon: If the day should ever come that your Lord father were forced to choose between honor on the one had and those he loves on the other? What would he choose?
Yes Rhaegar would have been a great and true roller of Westeros, he would have restored the Targaryen’s good name and yes I believe Rhaegar truly believed the prophecy and wanted to see it brought to fulfillment but that could have easily been done without an annulment and the can of worms that it would open for him. The third head didn;t need to be legitimate The only real reason I can see holding any validity is he did it because he loved Lyanna and that became more important than the prophecy, than the kingdoms, than anything.
Master Aemon: What is honor compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms…. Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory and our great tragedy,
In the end Rhaegar chose love over duty. And he could not escape the consequences of that choice, I don’t believe even he fully was able to grasp them until it was too late. He died, The love of his life died, His two eldest children and their mother were brutally murdered, His great Targaryen dynasty withered away to three young orphans left with no choice but to flee their homeland or hide in secrecy denied their birthrights, His only heir the next rightful King left to be raised believing he is an unwanted motherless bastard. The moral of the post is we all need to look at all sides of the story before we pass judgements.
Sidenote: The Love is the Death of Duty convo Aemon has with Jon is so insightful and is going to be very important. Because both of his fathers: Ned and Rhaegar choose love over duty and it got them killed. But Jon has always chosen duty over love, is he fated to repeat the mistakes of his father? Also keep in mind that Duty is the death of love. Jon has experienced this with Ygritte, with leaving Winterfell to fall to the Boltons and maybe to some extent Robb’s death. Not saying that these things would;t have happened but his presence may have changed the outcome. Food for thought people, food for thought.
I welcome healthy discussion regarding this post but if you’re going to be rude, condescending, crass, or name call just know this:
You rudeness will be removed and you will be blocked. Thank-you!!!
and see, this is one of the things that I love so much about them: the fact that they’re so in tune with each other. Holding hands is instinctive for them, something that comes to them naturally. I’m sure they do it all the time; I can just imagine them holding hands under the blankets as they snuggle up and watch k-dramas and anime together. This moment always amazes me because neither of them looked down at their hand. Somehow, in this one moment, they both just knew.
and something about the fact that they intertwined fingers rather than just clasping their hands together just means so much? I feel like that one gesture just says so much about them.
rather than me rambling on about them though, there’s this one quote that I just read that I think describes them perfectly and I’d like to share it: “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” - Emily Brontë