Yolkboy and Lady Gwyn visit the Crossroads in ASoIaF and analyze the four major chapters set at the inn at the crossroads in light of the metatextual traditions of crossroad symbolism, and present a theory on what hidden role the Crossroads could have played in Westerosi history.




4 responses to “EPISODE 41 — AT THE CROSSROADS

  1. Recently listened to the “At the Crossroads” episode of Radio Westeros. As always you both have done a great job. I do want to comment on the idea Rhaegar’s abduction of Lyanna was a “rescue” as opposed to a kidnapping or a an elopement. I too have long advocated this idea over at the Westeros.org boards, but with an important difference.

    I don’t think the rescue is from forces loyal to Aerys who were trying to capture Lyanna after Harrenhal. I think this is a rescue of Lyanna from an impending marriage to Robert.

    The “swordpoints” involved are Rhaegar and his Kingsguard companions versus the normal Stark guards one would expect escorting Lyanna to the wedding of Brandon to Catelyn in Riverrun. The main source for this is Daenerys’s thoughts on Rhaegar at her own impending wedding to Hizdahr zo Loraq.

    “How beautiful, the queen tried to tell herself, but inside her was some foolish girl. who could not help but look about for Daario. If he loved you, he would come and carry you off at swordpoint, as Rhaegar carried off his his northern girl, the girl in her insisted, but queen knew if was folly.”

    Dany wants a rescue from a unwanted wedding and likens that to Rhaegar’s carrying off Lyanna. I think this is more than a coincidence. After the events of Harrenhal in which the king has destroyed one pending marriage pact between High Lords with Jaime’s naming to the Kingsguard, and Rhaegar’s symbolic placing his claim to interfering in another between Lyanna and Robert, I believe it is Lord Rickard’s response to the royal interference to move the marriages up in time. I think this is what we are seeing in not only Lyanna traveling to her brother’s wedding, but also to her own to be had soon after, if not the same time.

    A chance meeting at the Crossroads Inn, much like Gandalf’s and Thorin’s chance meeting in Bree, changes the course of history. Lyanna reminds Rhaegar of his professed interest and his use of her to send a message at the tourney and asks for his aid. As Daenerys tells us, Rhaegar takes her away at swordpoint from her guards and disappears from both of their fathers and the rest of the world.

    My thoughts, and thanks again for your wonderful work.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for listening, for the kind words, and for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      I tend to view the Dany PoV wrt to R+L as one of those narratives that circles round without quite arriving at the facts. In other words there are surely hints to be had there but there’s some piece or other missing, so she ends up viewing things through a glass darkly… almost getting there but not quite.

      While I think it’s not hard to imagine Lyanna’s role in proceedings given the background we have, one of the great things about Dany’s PoV is that, like Barristan, it provides an alternate, positive view of Rhaegar. Imo, the value of the rescue from Aerys idea lies in explaining Rhaegar’s presence and motivations. What brought him to that place in time and why would someone who is clearly no fool take such precipitous action?

      Resolving all the threads into a cohesive tapestry is something only GRRM will be able to do, in the meantime we can only attempt to discern where his pattern is heading.

      Which is exactly what makes it so much fun for all of us 🙂


  2. For the last thirty seconds of this episode there is no sound. I checked the sound on the acast link on this page and there is no problem. Are you able to recreate the problem with the youtube cast or maybe it is something on my end?


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