Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

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Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-12-30 03:03pm

Inspired by my last GoT thread, where Crazedwraith suggested the hypothetical of Rhaegar winning the civil war.

I found this rather intriguing, so...

What happens if Rhaegar (now aware that his father is one crazy mother fucker) wins at the Trident? Let's say that Robert trips and looses his footing at a crucial moment, Rhaegar gets a lucky blow in, the men around Robert route when they see their leader slain, and its enough to tip the balance to a victory for Rhaegar.

What happens next? And, presuming Rhaegar can survive/remove Aerys, what happens to the Seven Kingdoms long-term?

Version A) Rhaegar wins, but Lyanna still dies in childbirth.

Version B) Rhaegar wins, Lyanna lives.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2018-01-06 01:59am

Even if they get routed at the Trident, the combination of the North, Vale, and Riverlands forces are pretty formidable. It's very likely (especially with the talented leadership - Ned, the now-late Robert, and Stannis appear to have been military prodigies) that they'd reform their forces and try again. Even if this is what gets the Lannisters to finally muster their forces against the rebels and the Tyrells to come north from their half-assed siege of Storm's End, the rebels could still make it a long, brutal, protracted war. It probably ends with a settlement, after Rhaegar overthrows his father and/or calls a Great Council (probably the former despite what he said to Jaime).

If Rhaegar wins but Lyanna dies in childbirth, the resultant child is then raised at King's Landing as either a recognized bastard or the legitimized son of Rhaegar's late wife. If she survives, then Lyanna stays in King's Landing as the second Queen.

The long term effects are . . .interesting. If House Targaryen never gets deposed, then Daenerys never wakes her dragons in the east, and that could have existentially bad consequences for the world. Or maybe Rhaegar figures out a way to wake them, with the fire magic returning. At the very least Ned in this situation never comes south, and he's available with his forces to march up to the Wall and deal with Mance Rayder's invasion when the time comes.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-06 02:51pm

Guardsman Bass wrote:
2018-01-06 01:59am
Even if they get routed at the Trident, the combination of the North, Vale, and Riverlands forces are pretty formidable. It's very likely (especially with the talented leadership - Ned, the now-late Robert, and Stannis appear to have been military prodigies) that they'd reform their forces and try again. Even if this is what gets the Lannisters to finally muster their forces against the rebels and the Tyrells to come north from their half-assed siege of Storm's End, the rebels could still make it a long, brutal, protracted war. It probably ends with a settlement, after Rhaegar overthrows his father and/or calls a Great Council (probably the former despite what he said to Jaime).
On the one hand, Robert will be dead, though the effectiveness of Rhaegar in this scenario, and his range of options, will depend on how thorough the defeat is. If it degenerates to a total route/massacre, then even if Jon Arryn and Ned Stark escape to rally their forces, they will have lost a lot of their best manpower, and it will take time to raise more troops, even if the will to keep fighting remains. Now, Rhaegar will have lost men too, but if the fresh Lannister forces throw in on the Crown's side, I'd say that'd probably settle it once and for all, as far as a viable shot at overthrowing the Crown is concerned. Especially if the Freys take this as a sign that its time to hurry up and pick a side, in which case, they could cut off Ned's retreat to/access to reinforcements from the North, by holding the Twins against him.

That said, while the Riverlands could probably be overrun, it would be exceedingly difficult, I imagine, to subdue the Vale and the North by force. The North, while lightly populated, is huge, inhospitable, and accessable by land only at a single, easily fortified and defended point. And I'm skeptical that the North would easily accept a settlement, considering that as far as they believe, Rhaegar abducted and raped Lyanna. Ned, (or Benjen, in Ned's absence), can likely draw that war out for years more if they're half-way competent about it, though the lack of a Northern navy will hurt their chances. Meanwhile, the Vale also has geographical defenses, and one of the better fortifications. I cannot absolutely rule out the Vale and North successfully achieving independence (though that could leave them without Crown support when the White Walkers come). Especially if Rhaegar is busy dealing with the eventual Ironborn uprising and possible trouble from Dorn, when they hear he put aside his Dornish wife for Lyanna.

Actually, the fragmentation of the Seven Kingdoms is entirely possible at this point. Worst case scenario, I could see an independent Iron Islands, Dorn, North, and Vale (possibly in alliance with one another), an occupied Riverlands and Stormlands filled with lords who bear resentment towards the Crown and will rebel at the first chance, and a greatly weakened and impoverished Crown almost entirely dependent on Lannister money and Lannister and Tyrell troops to keep it afloat.
If Rhaegar wins but Lyanna dies in childbirth, the resultant child is then raised at King's Landing as either a recognized bastard or the legitimized son of Rhaegar's late wife. If she survives, then Lyanna stays in King's Landing as the second Queen.
Probably the latter. In the show, at least, its been confirmed that Rhaegar left Elia and that Lyanna was actually his wife (I'm not as familiar with the books, but I don't think they've answered the question one way or the other yet). So, Jon gets the throw, Dornish are again pissed off at the ruling family, though ironically at the opposite side this time. :lol:
The long term effects are . . .interesting. If House Targaryen never gets deposed, then Daenerys never wakes her dragons in the east, and that could have existentially bad consequences for the world. Or maybe Rhaegar figures out a way to wake them, with the fire magic returning. At the very least Ned in this situation never comes south, and he's available with his forces to march up to the Wall and deal with Mance Rayder's invasion when the time comes.
IIRC, Rhaegar was obsessed with prophecy, and the dragons are something of a collective obsession of House Targaryen. I think he'll try to wake them, though weather he actually has more success than any of the others I can't say.

It always seemed to me implied that Daenarys was fated to wake them, which could possibly lead to some interesting Targaryen family power struggles, especially if some consider Rhaegar's claim illegitimate on account of overthrowing his father. Possibly a Viserys/Daenarys bid for the throne, perhaps backed by Dorn and/or the remnants of Robert's Rebellion. That... actually wouldn't be that different from where the canon timeline has ended up in the show, except with Rhaegar's dynasty in the place of the Lannisters/Cersei.

And if Lyanna bites it, I suppose Tywin would try to marry Rhaegar to Cersei. Pity Rhaegar.

I honestly have no idea what would result from that union. Too many variables.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2018-01-07 01:21am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-06 02:51pm


That said, while the Riverlands could probably be overrun, it would be exceedingly difficult, I imagine, to subdue the Vale and the North by force. The North, while lightly populated, is huge, inhospitable, and accessable by land only at a single, easily fortified and defended point. And I'm skeptical that the North would easily accept a settlement, considering that as far as they believe, Rhaegar abducted and raped Lyanna. Ned, (or Benjen, in Ned's absence), can likely draw that war out for years more if they're half-way competent about it, though the lack of a Northern navy will hurt their chances. Meanwhile, the Vale also has geographical defenses, and one of the better fortifications. I cannot absolutely rule out the Vale and North successfully achieving independence (though that could leave them without Crown support when the White Walkers come). Especially if Rhaegar is busy dealing with the eventual Ironborn uprising and possible trouble from Dorn, when they hear he put aside his Dornish wife for Lyanna.
Both the Vale and the North could be made virtually impassible to loyalist forces because of the fortifications at the Bloody Gate and Moat Cailin respectively. The only way around it would be to try and do an amphibious landing , and then fight through enemy territory only to then have to siege a bunch of individual castles as well. IIRC in the books Moat Cailin has never been captured from the south (until Roose Bolton's forces show up after the Iron Men left it lightly manned), and the Bloody Gate has never been taken from the west. The Riverlands are more vulnerable, but they still have their stone castles to retreat to - and Riverrun is a formidable castle as well (I think it might have been mentioned in the books or the World Book that it has never been taken by force either). They could force a siege for months or maybe even longer than a year.

I agree with you that outright political fragmentation of the Seven Kingdoms is quite possible here. This is easily a scenario where the North, Vale, and (to a lesser extent) the Riverlands end up as de facto independent kingdoms again. I just think it's really likely that Rhaegar at least tries to negotiate piece after he's dealt with his father, although he might not succeed (returning Lyanna's remains or guaranteeing her safety if she lives might help, and it definitely helps that Robert is dead).
The Romulan Republic wrote:
Probably the latter. In the show, at least, its been confirmed that Rhaegar left Elia and that Lyanna was actually his wife (I'm not as familiar with the books, but I don't think they've answered the question one way or the other yet). So, Jon gets the throw, Dornish are again pissed off at the ruling family, though ironically at the opposite side this time. :lol:
Polygamy has been in the back-story of the Targaryens both from the books and the show, so I think he could just take her as a second wife (or a main wife with what they've given us in the show). The Faith would frown upon it, but there's precedent there. He could claim that Elia Martell is now infertile and incapable of having more children, etc.
The Romulan Republic wrote: IIRC, Rhaegar was obsessed with prophecy, and the dragons are something of a collective obsession of House Targaryen. I think he'll try to wake them, though weather he actually has more success than any of the others I can't say.

It always seemed to me implied that Daenarys was fated to wake them, which could possibly lead to some interesting Targaryen family power struggles, especially if some consider Rhaegar's claim illegitimate on account of overthrowing his father. Possibly a Viserys/Daenarys bid for the throne, perhaps backed by Dorn and/or the remnants of Robert's Rebellion. That... actually wouldn't be that different from where the canon timeline has ended up in the show, except with Rhaegar's dynasty in the place of the Lannisters/Cersei.

And if Lyanna bites it, I suppose Tywin would try to marry Rhaegar to Cersei. Pity Rhaegar.

I honestly have no idea what would result from that union. Too many variables.
It depends on how "miraculous" Daenerys' awakening of the dragons was. Martin has said that her fire-resistance in that scene was a one-time miracle (unlike what we see in the show), so maybe it was just a case of the magic coming back and her just happening to carry out the ritual in the right way. . . . I strongly suspect that part of it was that she included a live human sacrifice and possibly the body of someone she loved, given the whole "only death can pay for life" aspect of the magic. I don't think Rhaegar would think to do that, especially since he'd associate burning people with his father's insanity.

Incidentally, that's one of the big fan theories for what happened at Summerhall in the back-story fluff. Aegon V decided he had to have dragons, decided that doing the magic successfully required a live sacrifice and planned it with wildfire, and Duncan did his duty and stopped him from pulling it off while some of Aegon's family before dying of the fire.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-01-07 06:39am

The only way Rhaegar really wins is if Lyanna lives. Best love story in the books. The Knight of the Laughing Tree kicks all the ass.

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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by Solauren » 2018-01-07 03:20pm

If Robert falls at the Trident, Rhaegar could send emissaries to Ned, Stannis, and Jon Aerynn explaining that Lyanna wasn't kidnapped, they eloped to be married, and Lyanna is now pregnant with the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.

That could lead to peace, and a united force removing the Mad King.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-07 04:50pm

Solauren wrote:
2018-01-07 03:20pm
If Robert falls at the Trident, Rhaegar could send emissaries to Ned, Stannis, and Jon Aerynn explaining that Lyanna wasn't kidnapped, they eloped to be married, and Lyanna is now pregnant with the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.

That could lead to peace, and a united force removing the Mad King.
I doubt that they'd take Rhaegar's word for it though, unless Lyanna is alive and available to testify to it. I presume an elopement would still raise some serious political issues as well, given that this is a society where marriages involving nobility are generally political contracts, though Robert being dead helps somewhat on that account.

I wonder if the Kingsguards' word would count for anything in this scenario, as well. They're generally respected, IIRC, but hardly impartial (since they'd be sworn to serve either Aerys or Rhaegar).

Hmm, that's another point- what happens if Rhaegar moves to overthrow the King? Do the Kingsguard (who are guarding Lyanna) stay loyal to him, or go with Rhaegar?

Though, Ned would probably be more reasonable about it than Robert. He seems like the kind of man who would at least sit down and see if an alternative could be reached before ordering mass bloodshed, and Jon Arryn always struck me as a more politically pragmatic sort, from the little that we see of him. So maybe. It would be pretty much the best possible scenario.

Actually, I'd really like to see a "King Rhaegar with Ned as his Hand" scenario. Even if you'd have to twist canon into a pretzel to get it.
Raw Shark wrote:
2018-01-07 06:39am
The only way Rhaegar really wins is if Lyanna lives. Best love story in the books. The Knight of the Laughing Tree kicks all the ass.
Well, at least show Rhaegar turned out not to be a rapist scumbag, though I found it a little hard to believe. I mean, the perfect-then-tragic fairytale romance felt a bit out of place in GOT.

Also, I feel bad for Elia. :(

My biggest gripe with it, plot-wise, though, is that I feel making Jon legitimate undercut his character. I kind of felt that the point of him was that he was a bastard who had to make his own way in the world and shape his own identity without the benefit of a family name. Though I guess his being the ONE TRUE KING doesn't negate his past accomplishments, at least.

To me (I am not in any way a monarchist), his actions as a bastard are far more meaningful, and far stronger arguments for his fitness to rule, than anything he gains by virtue of his parents' titles.
Guardsman Bass wrote:Both the Vale and the North could be made virtually impassible to loyalist forces because of the fortifications at the Bloody Gate and Moat Cailin respectively. The only way around it would be to try and do an amphibious landing , and then fight through enemy territory only to then have to siege a bunch of individual castles as well. IIRC in the books Moat Cailin has never been captured from the south (until Roose Bolton's forces show up after the Iron Men left it lightly manned), and the Bloody Gate has never been taken from the west. The Riverlands are more vulnerable, but they still have their stone castles to retreat to - and Riverrun is a formidable castle as well (I think it might have been mentioned in the books or the World Book that it has never been taken by force either). They could force a siege for months or maybe even longer than a year.
In a nutshell, yeah.
I agree with you that outright political fragmentation of the Seven Kingdoms is quite possible here. This is easily a scenario where the North, Vale, and (to a lesser extent) the Riverlands end up as de facto independent kingdoms again. I just think it's really likely that Rhaegar at least tries to negotiate piece after he's dealt with his father, although he might not succeed (returning Lyanna's remains or guaranteeing her safety if she lives might help, and it definitely helps that Robert is dead).
Well, of course Rhaegar would negotiate, if he has any sense. He won't want the Seven Kingdoms to fragment as soon as he takes the throne, and I don't think he will be able to hold them together by force alone, not without years of costly warfare, anyway. And the rebels do have legitimate grievances, even without taking Lyanna into consideration.

I'm just not sure he'd be able to sell Ned on "I didn't abduct and rape your sister, honest", without Lyanna there to back up his version of events (and maybe not even then).

And any revelation that does let him defend himself to Ned would probably make the Dornish pissed off at him anyway.

I suppose he could maybe offer trial by combat, though sadly that probably ends with a dead Ned. Especially if Rhaegar doesn't fight himself, but gets one of the better Kingsguard knights to fight for him.
It depends on how "miraculous" Daenerys' awakening of the dragons was. Martin has said that her fire-resistance in that scene was a one-time miracle (unlike what we see in the show), so maybe it was just a case of the magic coming back and her just happening to carry out the ritual in the right way. . . . I strongly suspect that part of it was that she included a live human sacrifice and possibly the body of someone she loved, given the whole "only death can pay for life" aspect of the magic. I don't think Rhaegar would think to do that, especially since he'd associate burning people with his father's insanity.

Incidentally, that's one of the big fan theories for what happened at Summerhall in the back-story fluff. Aegon V decided he had to have dragons, decided that doing the magic successfully required a live sacrifice and planned it with wildfire, and Duncan did his duty and stopped him from pulling it off while some of Aegon's family before dying of the fire.
Yeah, if human sacrifice is a necessary requirement, then Rhaegar probably won't do it. Or convince a lot of people he's another Mad King if he does.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by Solauren » 2018-01-07 05:08pm

I was thinking more that the declaration 'ALive, Willing, Married' would open the door to talking, and then proving it. Much easier for Ned to confirm his sister is alive if he doesn't have to fight his way to King's Landing and then into Dorne.

I think the process would go.....
1 - Rhaegar informs them that Robert is dead, and the reason he was fighting is gone: Robert trying to take Rhaegar's lawfully wedded wife, Lyanna Stark, who willingly Eloped with him. The High Septum can confirm that. All he want's is a truce while he proves it to them. Then they can discuss getting everything sorted out

2 - Stannis contacts the High Septum (he appears to have been of the Faith of the Seven at the time) and confirms the marriage and that Lynna eloped.

3 - Rhaegar agrees that the Mad King needs to be removed. If will grant full pardon to the rebels, name his child with Lyanna his heir, if the rebels help him take the capital and arrest the Mad King. In exchange for cuncessions, all agree. Ned wants the agreement to include Rhaegar escorting him to Lyanna as soon as possible, and Stannis acting as Hand of the King while Rhaegar escorts him, and Rhaegar's first wife and children will be hostages. If Rhaegar is lying, Ned will kill him.

If they got to that point, and united to take out the Mad King, then that would end the war. Tywinn would probably back them at that point as well. (possibly in exchange for marrying off Cersei to Stannis or someone else, or the release of Jamie from the Kingsguard).
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-07 06:45pm

Solauren wrote:
2018-01-07 05:08pm
I was thinking more that the declaration 'ALive, Willing, Married' would open the door to talking, and then proving it. Much easier for Ned to confirm his sister is alive if he doesn't have to fight his way to King's Landing and then into Dorne.

I think the process would go.....
1 - Rhaegar informs them that Robert is dead, and the reason he was fighting is gone: Robert trying to take Rhaegar's lawfully wedded wife, Lyanna Stark, who willingly Eloped with him. The High Septum can confirm that. All he want's is a truce while he proves it to them. Then they can discuss getting everything sorted out

2 - Stannis contacts the High Septum (he appears to have been of the Faith of the Seven at the time) and confirms the marriage and that Lynna eloped.

3 - Rhaegar agrees that the Mad King needs to be removed. If will grant full pardon to the rebels, name his child with Lyanna his heir, if the rebels help him take the capital and arrest the Mad King. In exchange for cuncessions, all agree. Ned wants the agreement to include Rhaegar escorting him to Lyanna as soon as possible, and Stannis acting as Hand of the King while Rhaegar escorts him, and Rhaegar's first wife and children will be hostages. If Rhaegar is lying, Ned will kill him.

If they got to that point, and united to take out the Mad King, then that would end the war. Tywinn would probably back them at that point as well. (possibly in exchange for marrying off Cersei to Stannis or someone else, or the release of Jamie from the Kingsguard).
That... could maybe work, and would probably be the best remotely practical outcome, more or less.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by Solauren » 2018-01-07 09:13pm

It really depends on how much the characters that we will come to know, are like they are at that time, and how they were remembered.

During the time of GOT:
Robert was a drunkard with a temper.
Ned was honorable to a fault, as well as calm.
Jon Aeryyn was described as intelligent
Stannis was was honorable. He also strikes me as practical.

With Robert DEAD, part of the reason for the rebellion, to get Lyanna back for him, is gone.
Now it's just 'toss the Mad King, and get Lyanna back'.

Provided they can talk things out at this point, without Robert's involvement.....

However, the biggest problem would remain the Mad King. He might order the Pyromancers to destroy the city if he even gets a hint of treason, or suspects it. They'd have to be careful on how they do things.

Could make an interesting fan-fic.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-08 08:13am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-06 02:51pm
I cannot absolutely rule out the Vale and North successfully achieving independence (though that could leave them without Crown support when the White Walkers come). Especially if Rhaegar is busy dealing with the eventual Ironborn uprising and possible trouble from Dorn, when they hear he put aside his Dornish wife for Lyanna.
Bear in mind how many hints there are that Rhaegar was unusually clued-in about all this prophecy/destiny/fate/ice-fire conflict stuff. I could almost see a relatively chill Rhaegar saying "well, when the White Walkers and the ice-apocalypse land on us, they'll come asking for our help and we'll deal with them then, until then, whatever."
Actually, the fragmentation of the Seven Kingdoms is entirely possible at this point. Worst case scenario, I could see an independent Iron Islands, Dorn, North, and Vale (possibly in alliance with one another), an occupied Riverlands and Stormlands filled with lords who bear resentment towards the Crown and will rebel at the first chance, and a greatly weakened and impoverished Crown almost entirely dependent on Lannister money and Lannister and Tyrell troops to keep it afloat.
Meanwhile, a relatively not-chill Rhaegar... If he manages to get ahold of the dragon eggs and awaken them at a later time, one of his first agenda items may be to re-centralize the realm by force.
If Rhaegar wins but Lyanna dies in childbirth, the resultant child is then raised at King's Landing as either a recognized bastard or the legitimized son of Rhaegar's late wife. If she survives, then Lyanna stays in King's Landing as the second Queen.
Probably the latter. In the show, at least, its been confirmed that Rhaegar left Elia and that Lyanna was actually his wife (I'm not as familiar with the books, but I don't think they've answered the question one way or the other yet). So, Jon gets the throw, Dornish are again pissed off at the ruling family, though ironically at the opposite side this time. :lol:
Comparing and contrasting with the books... Given the Targaryen history of at least limited polygamy, I can honestly see Rhaegar marrying both if Elia didn't complain or object. That's the kind of plot element I wouldn't expect to see in the show, though.

That said, Lyanna died in childbirth at the Tower of Joy, which was after the Ruby Ford, but not that much after it. Enough time for Ned Stark to march an army from the Ford to the capital, to secure King's Landing after the sack, and then to ride hella fast with a few good men to the Tower. Even assuming Rhaegar isn't tied down in King's Landing (say, because he's busily negotiating with Tywin Lannister whose troops just showed up, and overthrowing his father) he couldn't get to the Tower of Joy much faster than Ned did.

And I doubt Lyanna would have gotten much better medical care- was there a midwife or maester or something Rhaegar had been meaning to send down there but didn't because he got killed? Was there one already with her, who ran off after the Ruby Ford who would have stayed?

Lyanna MIGHT have been okay due to some kind of butterfly effect if Rhaegar had won, but I wouldn't bet very much on it.
It always seemed to me implied that Daenarys was fated to wake them, which could possibly lead to some interesting Targaryen family power struggles, especially if some consider Rhaegar's claim illegitimate on account of overthrowing his father. Possibly a Viserys/Daenarys bid for the throne, perhaps backed by Dorn and/or the remnants of Robert's Rebellion. That... actually wouldn't be that different from where the canon timeline has ended up in the show, except with Rhaegar's dynasty in the place of the Lannisters/Cersei.
To be fair, if Dany did succeed in waking the dragons after Rhaegar had failed, I'm not sure she'd have wanted to lead or participate in a revolt against Rhaegar. Think about it. Viserys would likely have been a nasty kid in any event even if not quite as grossly abusive as when he was an exile with Dany in his power. We know damn well the Kingsguard doesn't prevent domestic abuse within the royal family, but it's pretty likely that Rhaegar would step in.

Daenerys might very well have absolutely no problem siding with Rhaegar, either against Viserys or aginst all other comers.

I also always got a sense that the prophecies in A Song of Ice and Fire have more than one way to happen. There were always multiple plausible interpretations, and key figures like "the Prince who was Promised" could be any of like seven jillion people depending on which interpretation you follow.

Whereas we normally imagine a prophecy as causing certain events to take place deterministically, I like the idea that in Westeros a prophecy may have more than one way to fulfill itself, through more than one person. Maybe that's too outre, though?
And if Lyanna bites it, I suppose Tywin would try to marry Rhaegar to Cersei. Pity Rhaegar.
I dunno. Cersei might have wound up as a completely different person in that case. Getting married to Robert, this big, womanizing bear of a man, was the defining disappointment of her life. At least in the novels, as a girl, Cersei actively dreamed of marrying Rhaegar, who certainly cut a more romantic figure than Robert did in his years as king.

Would Cersei have had quite as much incentive to turn against her husband, plot to bring about his death, and conspire with various corrupt officials to disrupt the kingdom? Almost certainly not. On the other hand...

Would she still have carried on with Jaime? Dunno. Would Rhaegar, like Robert, have been clueless enough not to figure out that was going on? Uh, dunno. Could have gotten pretty rough there.

Of course, all this assumes Elia is out of the picture, which is very, very far from a given in my book. And that Lyanna is, which seems fairly likely to me.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-08 04:55pm

Simon_Jester post wrote:Bear in mind how many hints there are that Rhaegar was unusually clued-in about all this prophecy/destiny/fate/ice-fire conflict stuff. I could almost see a relatively chill Rhaegar saying "well, when the White Walkers and the ice-apocalypse land on us, they'll come asking for our help and we'll deal with them then, until then, whatever."
On the other hand, by then, the North might already be overrun.

Though I think that the Starks would have figured out what was going on up North sooner, without the Southern political bullshit and subsequent wars to occupy their attention.
Meanwhile, a relatively not-chill Rhaegar... If he manages to get ahold of the dragon eggs and awaken them at a later time, one of his first agenda items may be to re-centralize the realm by force.
Yup.
Comparing and contrasting with the books... Given the Targaryen history of at least limited polygamy, I can honestly see Rhaegar marrying both if Elia didn't complain or object. That's the kind of plot element I wouldn't expect to see in the show, though.
The Faith will take issue with that, though?

Faith Militant happens in this timeline as well?

And yeah, its weird that rape and incest are fine for this show, but polygamy? Now that would be just too much. :lol:
That said, Lyanna died in childbirth at the Tower of Joy, which was after the Ruby Ford, but not that much after it. Enough time for Ned Stark to march an army from the Ford to the capital, to secure King's Landing after the sack, and then to ride hella fast with a few good men to the Tower. Even assuming Rhaegar isn't tied down in King's Landing (say, because he's busily negotiating with Tywin Lannister whose troops just showed up, and overthrowing his father) he couldn't get to the Tower of Joy much faster than Ned did.
A small group would move faster than a large army. If the rebels are effectively crushed at the Trident, Rhaegar could leave a force up north to handle things under a competent subordinate (Sir Barristan?) and head south.

But yeah, I doubt that would be practical. Tywin might or might not move in this scenario (I always got the sense that he turned on the Crown only when it was clear that the writing was on the wall anyway, so that he could get in the good graces of the winning side), but regardless, the politics around King's Landing is likely to be a mess for a while.
d I doubt Lyanna would have gotten much better medical care- was there a midwife or maester or something Rhaegar had been meaning to send down there but didn't because he got killed? Was there one already with her, who ran off after the Ruby Ford who would have stayed?
Again, more familiar with the show than the books here, but I doubt the Tower of Joy offered the most comfortable environment or the best care to give birth. I don't recall one way or the other if a midwife or master was there.

Really, had it been possible, she should have been kept somewhere less... isolated.
Lyanna MIGHT have been okay due to some kind of butterfly effect if Rhaegar had won, but I wouldn't bet very much on it.
Pretty much.
To be fair, if Dany did succeed in waking the dragons after Rhaegar had failed, I'm not sure she'd have wanted to lead or participate in a revolt against Rhaegar. Think about it. Viserys would likely have been a nasty kid in any event even if not quite as grossly abusive as when he was an exile with Dany in his power. We know damn well the Kingsguard doesn't prevent domestic abuse within the royal family, but it's pretty likely that Rhaegar would step in.

Daenerys might very well have absolutely no problem siding with Rhaegar, either against Viserys or aginst all other comers.
Are the dragons loyal to her personally, or to any Targaryen, in this scenario? If the former, she's a threat to Rhaegar's rule, weather she wishes to be or not.
I also always got a sense that the prophecies in A Song of Ice and Fire have more than one way to happen. There were always multiple plausible interpretations, and key figures like "the Prince who was Promised" could be any of like seven jillion people depending on which interpretation you follow.

Whereas we normally imagine a prophecy as causing certain events to take place deterministically, I like the idea that in Westeros a prophecy may have more than one way to fulfill itself, through more than one person. Maybe that's too outre, though?
I don't think so.

Indeed, it seems like one of the better ways to handle prophecy, from a narrative point of view, as it allows for multiple outcomes and arguably a greater degree of suspense, and for characters' choices actually mattering, rather than railroading the story and characters.
I dunno. Cersei might have wound up as a completely different person in that case. Getting married to Robert, this big, womanizing bear of a man, was the defining disappointment of her life. At least in the novels, as a girl, Cersei actively dreamed of marrying Rhaegar, who certainly cut a more romantic figure than Robert did in his years as king.
The flip side of that is that if she's had an idealized vision of marriage to Rhaegar as a girl, then the reality may not live up to her expectations (as they say, never meet your heroes). Especially if Rhaegar, too, is pining for his lost love Lyanna.

And while much of Cersei's character can be tied to her miserable, abusive relationship with Robert, she was already a vindictive woman who was fucking her brother before she ever met Robert Baratheon.

Even without going into the Nature vs. Nurture debate, in either case, I'd say that Cersei was already thoroughly screwed up by having Tywin as a father. :wink:
Would Cersei have had quite as much incentive to turn against her husband, plot to bring about his death, and conspire with various corrupt officials to disrupt the kingdom? Almost certainly not. On the other hand...

Would she still have carried on with Jaime? Dunno. Would Rhaegar, like Robert, have been clueless enough not to figure out that was going on? Uh, dunno. Could have gotten pretty rough there.
Yup.

Really, the best thing for the realm's stability might be Jaime being sent to the Wall at some point (though if Rhaegar ordered that, it would also probably set Cersei, along with Tywin, against him). But they could use a good swordsman and commander on the Wall.

You know, I'd love to read a good "Jaime in the Night's Watch" fanfic.
Of course, all this assumes Elia is out of the picture, which is very, very far from a given in my book. And that Lyanna is, which seems fairly likely to me.
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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-01-08 06:10pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-08 04:55pm
Really, the best thing for the realm's stability might be Jaime being sent to the Wall at some point (though if Rhaegar ordered that, it would also probably set Cersei, along with Tywin, against him). But they could use a good swordsman and commander on the Wall.

You know, I'd love to read a good "Jaime in the Night's Watch" fanfic.
TYRION: [buckling his belt] You know, I've always wanted to piss from the top of the wall.

JAIME: [buckling his belt] Best thing about this Seventh Hell besides Mole Town, little brother.

TYRION: If they shipped me up here, and there were no whores, I'd throw myself off this fucking thing.

JAIME: [grim laugh] I knew you'd say that.

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Re: Game of Thrones What-if: Rhaegar wins.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-08 06:12pm

:lol:

(Reminds self to write a Jamie on the Wall fic someday, if I ever finish my dozen or so other fanfics that are planned or underway).
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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