Is the trial by combat majorly flawed?
Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:29 AM
Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:29 AM
Hahah! That would be hilarious if it did happen.
- stabs Tywin -
"ir demand twial by c0mbat!1!"
Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:53 AM
Although, I don't know if things would be different if Gregor was present and demanded trial by combat. Since there are very few men in Westeros capable of defeating him, he would be free to commit his atrocities time and time again.
Of course, that allows some freedom to the lord: He can pass an impromptu sentence and comdemn the criminal to death without ever seeing him, and if nobody captures him and bring him to court, but instead he is caught and outright killed, the accused never has the opportunity to demand a trial by combat.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:32 AM
you're operating under the assumption that trial by combat is to the death. If you're the champion of another party and it looks like you're about to lose, you could always yield. In the case of the Red Viper and Gregor, Viper was basically winning, but he chose to elongate the process and try to make Gregor suffer/confess and he it cost him his life. Although Gregor's end was much more painful than Vipers
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:33 PM
Why do you think so? What little evidence we have suggests otherwise. Have you read the first Dunk & Egg tale, for instance?
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:59 PM
It must be recognized, however, that to a large extent being strong makes one just in medieval societies. The idea that the weak deserve protection - or, for that matter, that they even deserve to live - is a remarkably recent concept, arguably not even seventy years old.
For the most part, keeping the peace was a skillful balancing act between keeping the status quo and opening way for the strongest suitors. Trial by combat is very well suited for both goals.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:00 PM
Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:07 PM
Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:10 PM
Its a great plot device, and without it ASOS wouldnt have had that memorable fight, Tyrion wouldnt have ever gotten out of the Eyrie and who knows whats coming up in future books.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:19 PM
Fairness wasn´t the main concern of the judging lords, it was the protection of their own interests as rulers first, and those of his bannermen, retainers and dependants second.
So trial by combat was a way to avoid putting your life and property in the hands of a lord who would use his judiciary powers to promote his own benefit, not yours, and it also allowed lords to avoid getting involved when they didn´t have anything to win and didn´t want to pick a side, and allowed kings to limit the judicial powers of greater lords by allowing lesser nobles to demand trial by combat.
People probably knew it was an unfair system, but it kep because it was socially beneficial, at least for the interests of knights and lesser nobles, and maybe some commoners, who could avoid judicial control of their greedy overlords.
Edited by Ser Lepus, 23 April 2012 - 05:21 PM.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:16 PM
Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:38 PM
- In The Hedge Knight, Duncan is found innocent via trial by combat when he otherwise likely would have been killed by Aerion Targaryen.
- Bronn/Tyrion vs. Ser Vardis/Lyssa. Justice is certainly only done by trial by combat. Without it, Lyssa kills innocent Tyrion.
- Sandor was probably technically innocent of murdering Mycah, since he rode him down at the request of the queen and crown prince of the realm, so his defeat of Beric was the proper outcome in his trial with Beric. Alternatively, we could say that's inconclusive since it wasn't so much a true trial by combat in the first place. Beric was, of course, already dead. For this reason, I wouldn't count Lord Rickard vs. "fire" either. In any case though, it's likely a normal trial would have found the Hound guilty and hung him.
- Gregor Clegane's "triumph" over Oberyn Martell seems to be the only one where the innocent party lost. But Tyrion only chose trial by combat because he knew he had no chance of winning a normal trial. I'd also argue that if Martell had simply fought to win instead of pursuing his own agenda, he likely would have killed Gregor, exonerated Tyrion, and lived himself. Trials are about your client, not yourself, and by forgetting this The Red Viper proved himself a shitty lawyer.
Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:24 AM
Historically, in such a case you probably wouldn't have been allowed trial by combat, in fact. This is because one of the primary reasons for such trials was to resolve otherwise intractable cases. We've not seen any case where trial by combat was refused in Westeros, but that's not to say it couldn't happen.
Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:59 AM