solunaterra asked: i am a huge fan of you and nobodysuspectsthebutterfly and i've noticed quite a lot of rhaegar hate from you two (which i sort of agree with ngl lmao) but i was just wondering how you reacted at first about the romanticization of rhaegar and lyanna's tragedy bc tbh whenever i hear of it, i start to get chest pains bc i hate it so much

Thank you so much! 

I think I might have given you a false impression. I don’t hate Rhaegar. (I would guess that nobodysuspectsthebutterfly doesn’t hate Rhaegar either — though she doesn’t blame people who do hate Rhaegar, and neither do I — but Butterfly can speak for herself on the matter.)

I’m very critical of Rhaegar’s actions but I don’t hate him. I think being labeled “Prophesied Savior of the World” since birth is a very heavy burden to bear. (That’s probably why it’s a good thing that Jon grew up in ignorance of his true parents, and that “no one ever looked for a girl”.) Even with such a heavy burden, though, Rhaegar shouldered it without any apparent complaint: “It seems I must become a warrior.” I think that’s something that’s too easily forgotten: Rhaegar wanted to save the world in the War for the Dawn. It’s just … the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

As I was saying earlier today, Rhaegar focused on the Big Picture of “saving humanity”, and he lost sight of what that actually meant. Aerys was out of control, but instead of implementing the government reforms he was thinking about (possibly a permanent Great Council of lords to limit the power of the king and appease the great houses who had been upset for a couple generations), Rhaegar disappeared and left the people of Westeros in the hands of a madman. Winning some future War for the Dawn does no good if Aerys burns everyone to death in the meantime. Similarly, Jorah says that Rhaegar would have stopped the Dothraki from raping the people they conquered, but, regardless of what Rhaegar & Lyanna’s story was, there are some serious consent issues in a relationship between a 15-16 year old girl and a 23 yr old married man who disappears off the map and who isolates that girl from from the rest of her family and who impregnates her despite the high risk involved in such a pregnancy.

Typical of GRRM, Rhaegar is morally grey: “When I look around at the real world, it’s a world full of greys. Even the greatest heroes have weaknesses, and even the blackest villains are capable of the greatest acts of compassion and humanity. People are complicated, and I want my characters to be complicated, too.” I don’t think it’s in keeping with the spirit of GRRM’s text to say that Rhaegar was Wonderful, but I also don’t think that Rhaegar was operating on the same level as Ramsay or Littlefinger or whoever when Rhaegar wanted to save the world. (This is why I argue that Lyanna chose to go with Rhaegar, because if he instead abducted Lyanna, then he stops being morally grey to me and becomes much more of a villain, which I don’t think is what GRRM intends for someone who tried to save humanity.) So I admire Rhaegar for wanting to save the world, but I condemn the way he went about it, abandoning the government, humiliating his wife, and the many other unforgivable things he does. 

I’m not trying to say that anyone’s hatred of Rhaegar is invalid, not in the least. Everyone has to work out their own relationship with Rhaegar’s actions, and if Rhaegar publicly humiliating Elia makes you hate him, then by all means, hate him. There are too many men in RL who treat women like shit, and no one should have to accept that in fictional men. But my own relationship with Rhaegar isn’t "I hate him," it’s "It’s complicated."

So now that I’ve clarified … I first read AGOT when I was around 13/14, so I don’t remember exactly, but I probably thought Rhaegar/Lyanna was romantic idk. I had many bad ASOIAF opinions. I dislike the fandom’s general tendency to romanticize Rhaegar/Lyanna but I also dislike the fandom’s general tendency to turn the relationship into a strict dichotomy of either “True Love” or “Abduction” without considering that there are “grey” options in between those two possibilities.

whenpeopleseegood replied to your post:
Agreed so hard on everything but the Sansa/Lyanna bits. Thank you for this

Thank you, Andy! Knowing the text as well as you do, I’m flattered whenever you like one of my posts! Yeah, I know we don’t see eye-to-eye on any Sansa/Lyanna parallels and that’s cool! 

Assuming my “It’s Complicated” theory is true (that Lyanna went willingly and things went horribly wrong), I just think it shows a certain level of naiveté to Lyanna that she would share with Sansa. Both Lyanna and Sansa got involved with princes that weren’t as great as they initially seemed, and they each paid a price (different prices) for that.

Meanwhile, Arya ofc is similar to Lyanna in looks and personality, resistant to conform to society’s expectations of her, so much so that Arya reminds Ned of his sister. However, Arya is very observant and aware of the world around her, and she’s a very good judge of people, more so than Sansa. (That isn’t a knock against Sansa, that’s who Sansa is. Like her direwolf Lady, Sansa is initially very trusting, while Arya sees through Cersei and Joffrey right away.) If you assume, like I do, that Lyanna went of her own volition in an attempt to exercise agency, surely Lyanna didn’t realize that Rhaegar wasn’t the shining prince he was made out to be? (That isn’t to say that Rhaegar is evil or even that he’s horrible, just that Rhaegar wasn’t a paragon of virtue either.) It just seems to me that if Arya were in Lyanna’s situation, she would be a better judge of Rhaegar and she would remember what he did to Elia. idk.

I don’t think it detracts from the Arya/Lyanna parallels to say that Sansa/Lyanna parallels also exist, but that’s just my take on it. 

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Getting prints ready for Comikaze!

I’ll be at table AA532 :)

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He had only to close his eyes to see her.

For joannalannister, because my immediate response to Secret Targ theories is go incandescent with rage and to make Tywin/Joanna things and that is all down to you :D

mashaorussia replied to your post:
Rhaegar never raped Lyanna.

We have no evidence one way or the other. Rhaegar/Lyanna could be ~true love~, it could be outright abduction/rape. We do not know. 

Personally, until GRRM provides more information, this is what I believe happened in canon. That it was complicated / somewhere in between. (I’ve talked about this at length before with Butterfly.) That Lyanna went with Rhaegar willingly, not out of ~true love at first sight~ but because Rhaegar offered her perceived agency / freedom / escape. Rhaegar probably even thought that he was incidentally helping Lyanna, because Rhaegar seems to have been motivated by a desire to help people / save everyone.

If you read the post I linked to, I discuss how there were likely some dubious consent / noncon issues between Rhaegar and Lyanna. Whatever happened between Rhaegar and Lyanna, there are some obvious issues with a grown adult married man disappearing with a teenage girl who was underage at the time even by Westerosi standards. 

Ultimately, I believe Rhaegar put the needs of the many (all of humanity) over the needs of the few (his wife Elia, his concubine/wife Lyanna, his parents) in order to get his “Visenya”, his third head. He probably felt like he did what he must and that it would all work out in the end. The problem is - in a series that’s devoted to our common humanity - even with the best of intentions at heart, even with the intent of saving the world, Rhaegar (unintentionally) dehumanized Elia by humiliating her and making her seem like an object he could cast aside when she was no longer a viable baby maker. He dehumanized Lyanna, turning her into his new baby maker, despite the fact that getting such a young woman with child is known to put the woman at great risk of death or sterilization.

And that’s why imo Rhaegar fucked up, and why the narrative therefore demanded his death. Not because Rhaegar at his core was essentially a bad person — Rhaegar is no Tywin, he is no Littlefinger — but because you cannot dehumanize people in this series and live. (I think! My theorem hasn’t been proven yet. Obviously Gregor, Littlefinger, Cersei etc are still alive and kicking, but I’m certain they’ll die by the end.)

(The converse isn’t necessarily true; you can humanize people, but that’s no guarantee you’ll live. Look at Ned Stark, who saw the humanity in Cersei and gave her a chance to flee with her children.) 

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i will not promise you a legend,
(as if a person could promise such),
but i will tell you this:
that my love for you is echoes,

that my hands in yours are swallows
singing for the light that blew in bravely
over the still morning and the still mourning
trenches of the somme.

when you answer the prayer of my aching ribs
by pressing your mouth to my skin,
i hope upon hope that the prayers of forebearers,
not selfish like mine, are answered too;

a soldier on his knees at the banks of the vistula
a mother to her waist in water in the ganges
a fighter on the rue saint-jacques with a cross at her chest and
a gun at the heel of her hand.

my vertebrae are stones collected at the edge of the caldera;
the water laps and washes me clean.
you kiss me and say you cannot remember eyes as heavy as mine,
and i promise you you’re wrong.

i cannot- will not- will us into legend,
but i will promise you history.

(maybe someday we too
will be echoes of something new.)
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8,088 notes   •   VIA   •   SOURCE: dortheaisles
Fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gifts of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.
Neil Gaiman- Fahrenheit 451 Introduction (via dortheaisles)
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Game of Politics: It’s 2014 and Robert Baratheon is Prime Minister of Westeros.

Gabriel Macht as Garlan Tyrell, Jamie Dornan as Willas Tyrell, Dylan O’Brien as Loras Tyrell and Emmy Rossum as Margaery Tyrell.

If one of GRRM’s requirements for saving the world is that two Targaryen douchebags raped three different women, then I hope humanity loses.

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Holliday Grainger | TIFF 2014

Holliday Grainger | TIFF 2014

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