butterbumps!, on 18 March 2012 - 09:36 PM, said:
I think you have that backwards. A lot of instability and dissatisfaction is caused by disregarding/ not consistently applying laws (as well as the abuse of power by those in charge).
That would only be possible if laws were sources of wisdom, which they are not.
Laws are human creations, and human discernment will unavoidably trump them at every turn.
It is true that rulers, judges and lawyers don't feel like using their discernment honestly all that often. Still, it is unrealistic to expect laws to be wise on their own.
I think assuming that Joffrey, Tommen, Myrcella are Jaime's offspring is about as certain as death and taxes.
If you say so. It doesn't really mean a lot, as far as laws are concerned. Not until and unless actual proof can be produced. Can you think of any?
I still challenge your definition of "legitimate."
Legitimate (From the Oxford English Dictionary):
--Of a child: Having the status of one lawfully begotten
--Conformable to law or rule; sanctioned or authorized by law or right; lawful; proper
--Of a sovereign's title: Resting on the strict principle of hereditary right. Hence, said of a sovereign, a kingdom, etc.
None of these canonical definitions of "legitimate," especially the one pertaining specifically to a sovereign's title, apply to your notion of "legitimate" as anyone's "right" to take the throne.
I don't lend a lot of attention to that kind of definition. They have little meaning or purpose outside of court cerimonies.
I'm inclined to agree. But....
A Rebellion against Joffrey (whether based on his not being a Baratheon, or not being a good king) would have resulted in the eldest heir to the winning house taking the throne based on Westerosi ideas of "legitimacy."
In the absence of more convincing criteria, yes, it would.
I see no reason to assume such an absence, however.
Even if I go with your premise that Renly has a "legitimate right" to the throne for a second,
Why, no, he doesn't! No one does! Unless you believe in a divine right to rule, which I certainly don't.
Thrones aren't a right, but rather a conquest or perhaps an inheritance.
, however, was quite honest and legitimate. Unlike Joffrey's, which relied in (as far as we know) false premises, or Stannis', which depends on unproven ones. It was what it appeared to be: an out-of-sequence appeal to his supposed superion qualities as a potential ruler.
Renly's claim was, quite openly, a direct challenge to the letter of the law.
And that is ok. Contrary to what some people seem to feel a duty to believe, laws are in some sense supposed to be challenged, or otherwise we would still be dealing with slavery. Defying law is not in itself wrong or immoral; it is only a matter that may have serious consequences. Running underground railroads was once unlawful. Renly never said that he was the lawful
successor to Robert. He just claimed, IMO quite reasonably, that the law shouldn't be followed blindly and that ultimately it is support and military might that a King makes.
Far as we can tell, Renly sincerely believed that it would ultimately be best for Westeros if he ruled over it instead of Stannis or Joffrey. I sure do, although I wish he had more of a desire to accomodate for Robb.
do you have any specific textual evidence to suggest that he'd be a particularly good king (i.e. that he'd be just, take care of smallfolk, etc.)? I'm asking because you also argue for Renly's "legitimacy" on the basis that you think he'd be a good king.
It is of course arguable. It is hard enough to reach consensus if real life, present day rulers are competent, after all, so I'm not expecting to prove that fictional ones - and dead ones at that - would be fair.
Still, I think it is a fair extrapolation from what we have seen:
- Renly correctly evaluated the risks when Robert was mortaly wounded, presented then to Ned, and offered a course of action that might well have resulted in a more stable, far less bloody and conflicted scenario than any that can happen now.
- Renly chose to cut the food suply lines to King's Landing in order to pressure the Lannisters away from their claim, which arguably was the most human approach to the matter.
- He has been shown to be neither false nor deluded in his ambitions. He is a refreshingly honest ambitious man who, quite simply, wants to rule and doesn't bother producing a reason why he "must" be the One True Ruler regardless of actual aptitude. Lacking such dangerous pretenses, he may well turn out to be more reasonable and open-minded than most.
- He was realistic (and succesful) in his strategy for gaining support. He would have sieged King's Landing with minimal bloodshed, if only Stannis hadn't pulled House Tyrell towards an alliance with the Lannisters.
I will take such a man over a Joffrey or Stannis anytime.