velo-knight

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About velo-knight

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  1. The Knight of the Laughing Tree.
  2. The distance traveled, and the fact that their eventual sanctuary was in Dorne, land of Rhaegar's wife, makes me doubt both of the established narratives - neither the abduction to make heads scenario or the elopement scenario requires it. What scenario would require it is clear: someone found out Lyanna was tKoTLT, planned to take some action against her; and Rhaegar, out of either duty or love, attempted to intervene and they fled to safety. What follows is anyone's guess, though the outcome is clear enough. This one isn't as popular, both because it requires us to believe there was a similar amount of scheming in Robert's Rebellion as there is in the Wot5K without hard evidence; and because it makes it difficult to blame either Rhaegar or Lyanna for the war, which are of course favorite pastimes for some. These are all really interesting possibilities. I'm not sure I see them as likely, but I definitely would read more about the ideas. I agree, the whole thing is a huge anomaly. We're deliberately given extremely ambiguous information and in particular information which avoids making explicit how politically charged the realm was at the time. That's good storytelling - show, don't tell, after all - but it means we as readers aren't provided many clear reminders that the Kingdoms were a powderkeg waiting to go off, and at the center of it is a very strange series of events that are poorly understood even by those close to them - because if we were reminded, we might see the resemblance to the events of the main story in ASoIaF and start looking for our Petyr Baelishes and our - okay, well, we found our Varys.
  3. Among readers, it should be. I don't know why you are insisting on an in-universe examination only. We as readers can see how Tywin's relationship with his children sowed the seeds of the Lannister downfall; and we as readers can see how even after the Starks are totally beaten, men are fighting and dying for Ned Stark's family. Don't you think that should close the book on what Tywin's legacy is to us as readers? I think that's the author's point here. Plenty of IRL propaganda has been written based on the belief that a transitory but once powerful figure was about to forge a new era of greatness. I fail to see how the World Book is different. But we the readers know that his abuse of his children helped form those exact character traits that will cause them to fail. I do not remember arguing that his reputation was closed in-universe (else no need for him to be further condemned in a trial!) but that his accomplishments are unraveling before us, and in an incredibly short period of time. I generally admire the Mongol empire, but I don't pretend that the massacres, especially in Persia, didn't happen; and while greatness and goodness are not the same, I do believe that massacres are bad PR and probably made his empire a little less great in extent (and certainly in population). And? If I plan to commit a crime that will benefit you and you are party to the planning, you're a co-conspirator. Modern legal thinking has no problem condemning people for such, and given the importance of the guest right custom, I think Westeros will as well. I doubt they'll love Tywin once a new winner is in town. It's a good in-universe reason to try and villify him, though. A lord who's been dead for a few years, and a character assassination of whom lays a legal foundation for punitive action against his heirs, supporters, and co-conspirators.
  4. Sure, I agree there. But hardliners like Tywin could've tried to grapple with Tytos's concerns, advising him that they would not love him for his generosity if they felt entitled to it, that it was sure to always come. I think you've missed the point, a bit. There is no "North Korea" anymore than there is an "Israel" or a "United States" or a "Sweden". Countries are made up of many people with many different aspirations and which will always, regardless of political structure, have multiple lobbies, factions, agendas, and interests. The Dove Strategy is to acknowledge this, both because it is the right thing to do and because it allows effective policy. Hardliners know this too, which is why conservatives who oppose a rapprochment between two former enemies will suddenly make common cause to undermine such rapprochment. It's produced some pretty strange bedfellows in the past. That doesn't mean diplomacy always works - the political structure of North Korea is unstable and based around the interests of military elites, so building strong relations with them is basically impossible unless there's a mutual opponent or serious reform - but it does mean one can't take every outrage as proof a whole country or enemy faction is irreconcilable. Prove it. You're acknowledging the stereotype, and then simply repeating it uncritically. I agree with you that any effective statesman - whether dove or hawk - must use all the tools of statecraft to at least some extent or they lose their power; and I definitely don't think Tytos was effective. I do think the Walderan idea was dangerous, and as the heir and the leading Lannister hawk, Tywin had an obligation to try and work with the head of his house and his feudal lord. That isn't diplomacy. I don't think you understand what diplomacy is - it has very little relationship to pacifism, and is a basic tool of statecraft. The state, of course, is founded on a monopoly on violence - so it's hard to not acknowledge the violence inherent in any interstate (or inter-house, in a feudal context) agreement. That does not take away from the importance of diplomacy, and certainly doesn't mean diplomacy is over-praised. I'd even argue that Tywin Lannister, a man who largely lost his military campaigns against the Young Wolf, won the war with diplomacy. No, I'm saying that for a man who otherwise seems quite capable of using the tools of diplomacy and war, Tywin tends to undervalue his hostages.
  5. Also, since Renly is definitely usurping Stannis, what's to say this won't cause a problem when Edric / his descendants try and assert their rights? It's not like Renly will have much of a leg to stand on.
  6. Doubtful. It's definitely incompatible with the fact that women bear children, and thus might arise a situation where the legal heir is of dubious paternity - and while the Dornish may not care as much about bastardy, they most certainly do still care about class. The possibility of a half-peasant heir would be unacceptable even to the Dornish. Beyond that, I doubt the cultural forces that push for women's equality also allow First Night, which is an incredibly obvious slap in the face to any notion of equality.
  7. My interpretation of the OP is that Tywin Lannister has a history of undervaluing Lannister hostages; which pays off militarily in the books but has a humanitarian downside and the potential for a political downside. I definitely agree on both counts, because at some point of doing this your enemies just stop taking (or keeping) your people as prisoners at all. Again, ransoms and prisoner exchanges are a real and fairly common feature of both "legal" and "illegal" wars since time immemorial. The idea that you are willing to negotiate for some price for the return of your people does not mean you can be extorted to any price, and if it did, these ransoms wouldn't happen. It just looks weak domestically, so countries take a hard verbal line, especially in a democratic age where Monday-morning quarterbacking and foreign-policy-analysis-by-analogy is the norm. Also, while war is a generally zero-sum game, wars can also be ended diplomatically, and diplomacy is definitely not zero-sum: prisoner swaps can form the basis for mutual trust which in turn can lead to diplomatic and political achievement of each side's aims. The fact that it didn't in the Tarbeck Rebellion is arguably as much because the hardline, militaristic leader (Tywin) and the diplomatic leader (Tytos) refused to work together, having ultimately different objectives despite belonging to the same belligerent. Twin himself tells Joffrey that you must show mercy to surrendering foes, clearly recognizing that it's valuable to not close off political and diplomatic resolutions to a conflict - but his hostage policy doesn't always match well with this. I was wondering when the "a" word would come out. Suppose Tytos and Tywin worked together, and responded to Ellyn not with a release or a butchery, but with "Walderan will be returned with the Lannisters provided the following conditions are met: (some combination of fines, lands returned to those it had been "bought" from, down payments on the Tarbeck debt). Sure, you've "capitulated" to the lawbreaker by negotiating - but in that time you can prepare for whatever response, and yet you alleviate the fear (which I'm sure motivated Lady Tarbeck) that her husband is going to be summarily killed and her house attacked. If the negotiation still doesn't work, you've now got causus belli and good PR to begin your campaign. Tarbeck Hall simply does not have the long-term resources to beat the Lannisters, and at some point Ellyn Reyne will realize that and become desperate to negotiate. I apologize if I am too passionate or aggressive in this: dovish attitudes towards war are often stereotyped as weak and impractical, but I believe that "give peace a chance" is actually very sturdy foreign policy when in tandem with appropriate, modest use of force. Focus on Ellyn getting what she wants re: bringing Lannisters to the table ignores that she might have multiple reasons to want that, and some of them could lead to a long-term settlement. In the real world, talking tough has not proven an effective response to asymmetrical warfare - but understanding the internal politics and varying motivations of the other combatant has.
  8. The two of you just said everything I wanted to in my bits on oaths and love, only much, much better. Also, regarding realism and medieval politics: it's worth noting that ASoIaF is a work of fiction, and like many works of fiction, concerned not just with the real world (or realistic medieval themes), but also with tropes and themes common in the genre. Martin's famous comment about wanting to know Aragorn's tax policy is a good example, but not the only one. The role of vows in fantasy and legends of heroes is complex and Martin continually plays with the themes of oaths being interlaced with, divorced from, and in conflict to various types of love and honor at different points, through multiple character arcs.
  9. His core objective was consistently and always Lannister dignity, power, and honor. His extremely undignified death is the opposite (complete with the seeming appearance of laughter on his corpse's face) of all the motives that drove him to such heights in the first place. If Tyrion, his universally acknowledged murderer, becomes Lord of Casterly Rock in the end - which I think is likely - the analogy doesn't really hold. Also, while Henry I's daughter lost the crown, she recovered it for his grandson. Tyrion inheriting and passing on the Rock would mean his most despised child won despite Tywin' wishes. Fair enough - but the people who control the family's future, the all-important family name, are Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion. Cersei and Tyrion's abuse from Tywin is no small part of what would lead to the Lannister undoing; and the Lannister name and reputation, Tywin's name and reputation, may suffer as a result. I don't think, if Tywin Lannister could see what happened after his death, he'd be all that happy with how it's turned out - and it only looks to get worse from here. It's actually worse: he inspired a sort of feudal love from servants by being an effective politician; while turning almost everyone close to him into an enemy (Aerys, Tyrion); a stranger (Jaime), or a failure (Cersei). It objectively is. Despite the many, many, many laudable accomplishments of the Mongol Empire; and despite the day-to-day reality of the Mongol empire as a pluralistic society, the image of Genghis Khan and the entire Mongol empire in many parts of the world is still tainted because of atrocities and terror. If someone says, "I'm going to invite your enemy over and stab him and switch to your side, will you reward me?" and I saw "Yes", I'm absolutely complicit in what happens, and on the off chance that Tywin was more involved than that; or that betrayals were earlier than we've seen conclusively, it would be fun to see Tywin's reputation as an honorable lord take yet another blow in the public eye. Does it matter if a hundred people witness the trial or a hundred thousand? It's not like the people of Westeros get CNN, but more "Tywin Lannister was a dick" reports coming out of a trial eventually reach the ears of lords, maesters, and singers - who collectively write most of history.
  10. Gared should not have died either. That first scene tells us a lot, but one of the most important bits is that there's a chance for the truth to come out about the Walkers much sooner, and focus on punishing a man who broke the vows kills that chance! The vows do not make sense, any more than vows of chastity or nonpartisanship ever do; because the former requires contradicting human nature and the latter is inherently impossible. It's worth noting that in real life such vows prove intensely problematic and always have. You can condemn Jon all you like, it doesn't change the fact that the Night's Watch we see was already a broken organization - and their current vows are what defines them as such. Maybe if their vows did were not always for life, they'd have more and better soldiers; maybe if their chastity vows were optional, they wouldn't have such a chronically underpopulated Gift; maybe if they had more political authority, they would be taken seriously when trying to warn the Seven Kingdoms of the greatest threat they've ever faced. If you want to build a strong and durable organization, you will structure it so that love and human frailties work to advance it, not against it. Thematically, we see in Jaime Lannister's arc the complicated relationship between vows and reality; about what a vow means to one's self versus to others. When we get to Jon, though, discourse suddenly changes, and vows are discussed more like the joy that is contract law. The fact that Jon, as both a man of the Watch and especially as Lord Commander in an exceptional time, might believe he is acting in the best interest of the realms of men against the White Walkers - the ultimate purpose of the Watch - while meddling with Ramsay is never acknowledged, even though one of the most important characters in the series has been shown to stay true to his most important vows with the very act - Kingslaying - that made him an infamous oathbreaker. Given that Jon is A.) heavily foreshadowed as one of if not the eventual savior; B.) that he's conducted the most vigorous and ambitious plan to strengthen the Watch in generations by making peace with the Wildlings and taking a loan to invest in winter-time agricultural capacity; I think the vows that forced him to "shirk" his duty have cost the Watch dearly.
  11. Yeah, it's an arm and a leg. Next they'll be asking for a firstborn son! He literally died on the pot, his corpse stank for days, and pretty much all of his achievements are unraveling because he inspired only fear. That the Crown, and specifically Tywin Lannister, was aware of and gave his blessing to the massacre beforehand, not merely rewarded it after the fact. That changes him from rewarding an ugly betrayal to his favor (understandable, even if detested) to being complicit in the breaking of guest right itself.
  12. Depends on why and how you think the 'kidnapping' happened. I think Lyanna was tKoLT, Rhaegar knew, and eventually Aerys did too; I think he and Lyanna encountered some men working for Aerys / Varys / other_player_here (either Rhaegar riding to a rescue; Rhaegar riding to warn and both getting waylaid; or Rhaegar discovering her taken in his name and riding to stop it). They fight / flee / etc., and encounter some distress (injury / close pursuit / closed escape options), thus explaining their flight and the failure of anyone to hear much of anything from either of them during the war. At some point, amidst the stress and excitement, the mutual crush from Harrenhal becomes something more, and the rest is, well, fake history. In the version I believe, it's unlikely to have happened; as A.) Harrenhal never happens (no need to depose Aerys), B.) Aerys is no threat to Lyanna, and neither he nor another player in the Game feels a need to threaten Lyanna.
  13. Honestly, if any loophole is likely, it will be some weird combination of a destruction of the Watch and a desertion / defection of it's members. The wildling force at Castle Black will not tolerate the assassination or attempted assassination of their new - for now, let's call him Prince-beyond*-the-Wall. Jon's NW supporters might not, and with the death of many Watchmen and concomitant desertion of any surviving conspirators or their associates, the remaining Watchmen might be radicalized against the Boltons or the Watch traditions. They might defect en masse, leaving no Watch at all; or they might simply undertake a radical new vision for the Watch now that nothing binds them besides Jon. In time, even the very causes of the conflict between our new Night's King and the Boltons may be forgotten; and whenever Jon recovers or is resurrected, he may be the head of a rebellion whether he likes it or not. At this point the Watch might begin to resemble it's original incarnation: a small band of heroes and their supporters, united by a desire to stop Winter, but in no way nonpartisan or sworn to <insert distraction here>. *Below?
  14. Aline, I think the issue here is I (and, it seems, Darkstream) don't accept the Nights Watch's definition of duty. If you force someone to make a choice between love and a vow they swore, they will break the vow - but that's not a failing of love, it's a failing of the vows, because if it was really well thought-out they would be structured so that love complements and reinforces them, not forces an impossible choice. What's more, I think the Farya case is doubly circular, because not only do most Jon critics accept the fatally compromised NW orthodoxy, but because it's quite unclear how much leeway the Watch and especially the LC have in dealing with the Lords of Westeros. Presumably they have some authority, or any petty lord or king could extort them with impunity unless another lord came to their rescue (a politically untenable situation). What's more, criticism in defense of this supposedly pure ideal of duty is rarely consistently applied: I've never seen much outrage at Yoren saving Arya Stark, either - and Yoren's ultimate death should remind us that, impartial or no, the men of the Watch are feudal soldiers in a culture that deeply values martial honor. Even accepting that the FArya case was an error in judgment within the framework of flawed vows, I think the twinning of love and duty is more more thematically central to ASoIaF than their separation. The Watch, the paragon of spartan, monastic, apolitical duty is wholly inadequate to the challenge of saving Westeros from the White Walkers, which is completely clear right from the beginning (and is a clear theme in the prologue, as well). Meanwhile, the birth of the dragons who may well help save the day was a moment of instinct, intuition, and passion; I argue that Daenaerys didn't act out of an abstract duty to an ideal, but out of love. Jon Snow's parentage secret is the product of love and duty working in concert: Ned keeps the secret all those years from everyone out of love for his dead sister. Duty derives from love, and only fails if placed in conflict with it. Definitely. Also, while the book is more or less closed on Tywin Lannister's reputation - all that really remains is for his regime to complete it's final downfall (and possible unsuccessful restoration if a Queen Myrcella push is made) and his likely replacement by his hated son Tyrion, it would be satisfying to see various minor Freys, in an attempt to save themselves, expose the full extent of treachery and rot that eventually destroyed the Young Wolf.
  15. I mean, I can see some case for reading the letter: it's an incendiary document that did rally men to his side, and in our own times the importance of honor in response to such an outrageous document might not be as obvious. One can even argue that in doing so, Jon was trying to claim that he was not really interfering; but rather taking proactive action against the Watch being interfered with - though sending Mance makes this claim pretty thin. As a more general point, I wonder if the series won't end up contradicting our beloved Maester Aemon: with love being mankind's salvation. Few things can motivate people to greater sacrifice or courage, and oaths in contradiction to this are pretty much always tested and eventually broken.