Manfryd Lothston, on 01 July 2011 - 06:10 PM, said:
Exactly. And if a city rebels, it's better to raze it to the ground. So from this standpoint, humiliating the Starks, insulting their honor, killing their rightful king (Robert), and putting incest-bred bastards on the Throne would have to be followed by exterminating the Starks as rebels and traitors, otherwise they would eventually attempt to wash the stain off their honor (and off the honor of the Realm) with Lannister blood.
...No. Just. No. Machiavelli was talking about popular revolutions, based around a Common Leader, a leader of the people chosen by the people. That's when you have to raze the city, not when a noblemen rebels. A nobleman that rebels forces the people to join him, when the people rebel they choose to rebel themselves. Completely different situation than the Starks. And all that stuff about honour is just not true at all. People start wars when they have clear reasons to do so. Leaving the Starks as they were would create enmity, but they would be nerfed, ineffectual. Killing Ned was dumb because it left the Starks in a position where they would be able to do real harm. Machiavelli was not suggesting that randomly show off their power for no reason, he was suggesting that they use power effectively. Killing Ned Stark would not have been recommended by Machiavelli at all because it left a dangerous enemy in the field, whereas sending him to prison gave him a chance to end the hostilities equitably.
And it is also said in "The Prince" that fear is better than love in terms of rulership - which is exactly what Cersei is doing.
No it isn't. This is a common misconception, but not one that is true at all. Il Principe says that when you cannot inspire love, it is usually safer to be feared, but that a leader should always avoid being hated. Which is simple logic. If people are not afraid of your punishments then they will not follow your rules, however if, like Cersei, you are constantly decreeing ridiculous punishments for minor crimes people will eventually become more afraid of what will happen if they leave you in office rather than what will happen if they ignore your rule.
Basically people should be afraid, but not to the extent that they chafe under your rule.
Cersei definitely tries to make allies. The entire "small council" was "hers" until Tyrion started mucking things up; and she also made allies from other families.
No, she tried to obtain toadies. Cersei collects various people around herself who are meek and never disagree with her about anything so that she can control them; then she is surprised when they turn out to be incompetent. And when did she try and make allies from other families?
True enough, she alienated many with her arrogance and paranoia; but with regard to Tyrells, for instance, she was completely right to hate and fear them: they DID murder Joffrey, and Margaery was not a virgin (so likely to put out another bastard heir in time).
Really? Cersei did not know or suspect that the Tyrells murdered Joffrey, she thought they were taking advantage of a young Tommen, so you can't really chalk that one up to her intelligence. As for Margaery we'll have to agree to disagree, because I still think that Margaery was a virgin.
Who says the knee would stay bent? Oaths taken under threat of force are null and void even by Westerosi standards, it says so in the books many times. And yet it did bring the complete downfall of House Stark and turned the North and the Iron Isles to fighting among themselves, leaving the Lannisters with an alliance with Highgarten and a claim to Winterfell in Sansa Stark.If Eddard was alive to lead a Northern rebellion, things would probably have turned out much worse for the Lannisters. All they had to hold against him was one hostage (Sansa); remove that (like she was removed in the books), and Joffrey would be splattered like Aerys was.Tyrion never misses a chance to criticize his sister in a most derogatory manner.
The oath wouldn't be taken under threat of force, it would be taken under equitable terms. Ned would go to the Wall and maintain his honour by fighting against the Wildlings (and eventually the Others, but she didn't know about that); the Northerners would be able to return to the North with their honour intact as Ned would admit that he was a "traitor" and therefore they wouldn't be able to rally around: They unjustly imprisoned our Lord! To ARMS! If they rebelled at that point it would be naked rebellion, which the Northerners simply wouldn't do.
The downfall of House Stark had nothing to do with Cersei's decisions. Yes, there was a causal relationship, but there is a difference between a causal relationship and something being a weighted result of my actions. If I ask my sister to pick up some sugar from the shop, and she does, and while heading to the shop she falls over, yes it's true that she wouldn't have fallen over under those circumstances had I not asked her to go to the shop, but that wouldn't be weighted against me. The same is true in reverse, if something occurs that happens to improve my circumstances as a result of a totally unrelated and unforseen action I cannot claim credit for it.
Tyrion criticises his sister because she is incompetent. He doesn't criticise Tywin's competence, nor Littlefinger's because even though he hates them, they are competent.
And if you can't see her decisions as stupid without someone explaining their stupidity to you, then maybe she's not so stupid after all, hmm?
No. People didn't realise how silly it was to act like a typical hero in true medieval history until the likely effects of that were shown by Ned Stark in AGoT. Equally people don't realise how silly it is to act like Cersei until it's shown in AFFC. Not everyone knows everything, and strategy is a complicated subject.