Rhaegar spirited Lyanna away and many believed she had been abducted against her will.
She was also betrothed at the time to her brother’s best friend, Rob, the fiery and powerful head of House Baratheon.
In truth, he loved her more than she did him and her true affections lay with Rhaegar, but, as an author, Martin is the master of showing how perceptions and passions always trump the truth.
In an announcement today in The Hollywood Reporter, Martin said: “The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace.
“Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring.”