At the time of the famed tourney of Harrenhall, Lady Lyanna Stark was betrothed to Eddard Stark's best friend, Lord Robert Baratheon, while Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was married to Princess Elia Martell of Dorne. Rhaegar eventually won the tourney and the right to name the tourney's queen of love and beauty. Tradition required him to name his wife to the title, but instead he gave the title to Lyanna Stark causing a great scandal. Sometime later Lyanna is spirited away by Rhaegar, an event that would eventually spark the Baratheon/Stark rebellion against the Targaryens.

It is heavily hinted by several characters that Rhaegar and Lyanna shared a mutual attraction, and that the two of them eventually eloped.

Lyanna Stark could have been betrothed by her father, Rickard Stark, to Robert Baratheon against her wishes and then rebelled against her father's decision by choosing a man more to her liking. Or maybe she was attracted to Robert Baratheon, but then switched allegiance to Rhaegar Targaryen.

Did Lyanna Stark ever love (or was attracted to or even interested in) Robert Baratheon?

Please provide answers from the books, but if the books don't answer that, I would accept answers based on the TV series.

2 Answers 2


Probably Not.

We do not hear much of Lyanna's side of things because... well... she is dead. Most of the information we get about her is from Robert or Ned. Obviously Robert is not a reliable source of information and Ned is haunted by the promise he made to her.

The only insight we have is one of Ned's memories when he is tracking down Robert's bastards...

"Robert will never keep to one bed," Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm's End. "I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale." Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. "Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man's nature."

A Game of Thrones - Eddard IX

Now it is technically possible that Lyanna did love Robert and was just concerned that he would stop or loving her or that even if he did love her she could not appease his sexual appetite.

However, I highly doubt this. Lyanna is described as fierce and strong natured. I doubt she could love a man who would not be fully devoted to her.

  • 3
    I agree with this, however, I'll add that despite not loving him, she may well have been attracted to him. Everything we know about him says that prime-of-his-youth Robert was an attractive man: powerful, strong, a leader of men - and not run to fat as he was in later life. She was just wise enough to know he wouldn't make a good husband. Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 6:18

As Skooba's answer says, we don't get to know what Lyanna thought, because we never get to hear her voice.

However, we are told repeatedly that Arya reminds people of Lyanna, so I think it is useful to imagine how Arya would react - and could she (once a woman grown) love a man like Robert? I would say no, because Robert disrespects and mistreats everyone he knows, especially the people he is close to. I doubt Lyanna knew him well, but the better she did know him, the less she would have liked him.

Mostly speculation on my part, but I imagine that when her marriage was arranged she knew him only as 'Ned's best mate so he can't be all that bad' but when they later met and through their courtship she had growing misgivings about him which ultimately culminated in her decision to run off with Rhaegar.

We also know that he didn't really love her. Most telling is the fact that he admits that after seventeen years he can’t even remember what she looked like, and mostly uses her memory as a way to punish Cersei. He uses his “loss” of her to justify all his own personal failings, rather than being inspired to live up to any kind of ideal she might have had of him. Again, they might not have known each other well, but the better she knew him the less she would have liked him.

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