Lord Varys

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About Lord Varys

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    Most Devious 'Man' In The Seven Kingdoms
  • Birthday 11/25/1982

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    Definitely somewhere in King's Landing

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  1. Not sure why Rhaegar should have done that kind of thing. What's the point of compelling Hightower to stay at that tower? What about the duty of the Heir Apparent and Prince of Dragonstone to himself, his royal parents, his own children and wife, the name of House Targaryen, and the Realm he hopes to inherit and rule one day? Can you see Rhaegar pull an Aerys here, telling something along the lines of: 'Let him [Robert] be the king of blood and bones. Let him crush my father, rape my mother, kill my wife and children. Let him slaughter my friends and allies, the men and women believing that Prince Rhaegar will come to save them. Let him destroy the city my ancestors built, let him take the throne the Conqueror built. I have my Lyanna, worthy more than all the thrones and crowns of this world, and the self-righteousness that only comes with true love. If you don't stay here, I'll not move an inch, awaiting the inevitable with the stoicism of the true philosopher.' I can't. And what would Hightower's reaction be to such a ridiculous demand? 'Boy, I'm not playing games with you. I'm here on your royal father's orders, who commanded me to fetch you back. And I'll do that, or die in the attempt. Are you willing to face me? I've killed better men than you, and faced other descendants of Aegon the Draogn in battle. If not, then you will come with me.' or 'You can come or stay, it is nothing to me. I've done my duty and fulfilled your father's command. You know now that you are summoned to court. If you don't come, look for a better hiding place next time. Because the only proper punishment for desertion and treason is death. The king will learn how you addressed his messenger. His wrath will follow you wherever you go. I'll return to King's Landing and crush the traitor Robert like I crushed Maelys Blackfyre.' Rhaegar's own kingdom and family was in danger here. Rhaegar and Lyanna, too, presumably, because there certainly would be no place for them in Robert Baratheon's kingdom. Only agreeing to do the right thing if ridiculous conditions were met would make one of the worst people in the series. Especially in light of the fact that many people would be laying the blame for this rebellion squarely at the feet of the love-sick Prince Rhaegar. Just as Prince Duncan was the one to blame for the last Baratheon rebellion. That is why I brought up Dunk in one of the last posts. What do we think our friend Dunk is going to think when he learns that Egg's eldest son thinking with his heart or cock - or both - has led to a chain of events that is now ending in Dunk - Dunk, of all people! - to face Lyonel Baratheon in a trial-by-combat? He may understand that his namesake is in love. But the idea that he is looking forward to fight (and possibly) kill who once helped to save his very life is very unlikely. And many people - not just the Dornish - are likely to have not the slightest understanding for the entire Lyanna affair. None at all. But as I laid out repeatedly: Rhaegar effectively forcing Hightower to do something he didn't want to do - or staying where he didn't want to be - isn't exactly the kind of thing that could work over a period of months. Why shouldn't Hightower be able to lie through his teeth, pretend to agree to Rhaegar's demands, only to leave the tower a few days or a week after Rhaegar himself left? If I were Hightower and didn't want to stay at the tower that's what I would have done. And the best way to get out of this kind of contradictory motivation for a character is to make his decision to stay there not something he was - more or less - forced to do against his wishes or better judgment. It is not unlikely at all. The whole point of this gradual reveal of the past, piece by piece, until we have - presumably - completed the entire puzzle in the Epilogue of the last book, is to have the potential for twists and turns not only in the present plot but also in the uncovering of the past. That's why we still have no clue about the nature and motivation of the Others, or any idea how the Long Night ended and the War for the Dawn was won. Ser Gerold Hightower isn't necessary the most important background character of the series. But he isn't completely irrelevant, either. And the question why he chose to stay at that tower is something that is not only interesting but also not unimportant for the overall plot.
  2. I'd agree that they felt it was within the scope of their vows - or perhaps also/instead: within the scope of what they wanted to do, had they sworn their vows or not - but there is no indication within the texts I know that a royal prince has the authority to issue orders to the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, especially not insofar as assignments and the like are concerned. Rhaegar certainly had the authority to command Whent and Dayne - who, apparently, were his sworn shields or otherwise his companions. But Ser Gerold Hightower is different. I mean, you do know more texts than I do, but nothing in the texts we know indicate that, say, Aenys, Maegor, Jaehaerys, Viserys, etc. could command the Kingsguard in matters of the king's security (or matters of state) while they were still just princes. And there are royal princes - like Daemon Targaryen - who apparently never even enjoyed Kingsguard protection. Would such people be able to command the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard? Could even Cersei do that while she was still just the queen consort while Robert was still alive? Did Rhaenyra have the authority to boss around Ser Criston Cole after they had their little fallout? She was the Princess of Dragonstone, too. Under certain circumstances, perhaps, but it doesn't look as if members of the royal family were routinely involved in matters concerning the safety of the king - or even the government of the Realm. But the crux of my point is, again, that Gerold Hightower didn't have to obey Rhaegar if he didn't wanted to. He could have easily have made up an order of Aerys II commanding him to return to KL with Rhaegar - even if no such order existed. Rhaegar has no way of double-checking that. And one assumes that Hightower would have found a way to return to KL if that had been his wish. The fact that he didn't indicates he was able to come to terms with the fact that he had to guard a woman in the middle of nowhere instead of fighting with his king and prince in the war. And that might indicate a change in the Ser Gerold Hightower we meet in Jaime's memories - and the one from Ned's dream - to a Gerold Hightower who had pretty much no issue with Rhaegar deposing Aerys, or serving Rhaegar (if possible) instead of Aerys. And that would actually be a better men. If those men were mostly good men (and I don't think Jonothor Darry was that great a guy, and neither Prince Lewyn with his paramour) then especially a man like Hightower should have been disgusted by Aerys' behavior and state of mind. The man had joined the Kingsguard under Aegon V and Ser Duncan the Tall. A mental shift from Aerys to Rhaegar does make some sense there. And as you pointed out already - Hightower and Darry's advice to young Jaime may have been made because his conflicting emotions - emotions they may have felt themselves - might have been easily readable on his face. And they may have done their best to prevent Jaime from snapping, causing harm to himself and others. And it is pretty obvious that Jaime killed Aerys in the end because he could and because he wanted to. Not to save anyone. He had killed Rossart already, and Tywin's men were already in the castle. Jaime could have distracted Aerys (say, by telling him the blood on his blade and armor was indeed Tywin's, not Rossart's). He could have arrested him. He could have knocked him out. He could have injured him. But he chose to kill him. For Dayne and Whent we can easily assume that they may have volunteered for the task, assuming they understood why Lyanna was so important for Rhaegar. For all we know they could also have been privy to prophecy stuff and believed in it just as much as Rhaegar did. After all, they presumably were with him the entire time. With Hightower it is different, but even he could have volunteered if he found Rhaegar's reasoning convincing. Or he may have been willing to fulfill Rhaegar's request after the man asked him. I mean, not everything needs to be phrased as an order. But then - the really important question here is why the hell Lyanna couldn't accompany Rhaegar? She should have still been able to travel at that point in her pregnancy, and a tower in the middle of nowhere isn't the place for a pregnant woman, anyway. Lyanna could have been a great help in reaching an understanding with the rebels, especially Ned. With Lyanna's help Rhaegar could have made a separate peace with Ned, driving a wedge between the leaders of the rebellion. The idea that Lyanna would have been in danger in KL doesn't make a lot of sense. If she was Rhaegar's wife at that point she would have been as safe as one could possibly be. And if Rhaegar felt she might be in danger he could have sent her directly to Harrenhal, Maidenpool, Starfall, or wherever else he had friends he could trust. People usually also forget that Rhaegar apparently rode to war to kill Lyanna's brother and (former) betrothed. I'm not sure she really liked that, or House Targaryen as such, after Aerys executed her father and brother, and intended to kill her other brother(s), too. The idea that she meekly approved of Rhaegar's decision to save the ass of the madman who was destroying her family isn't very likely. She may have actually wanted Rhaegar to join the rebels. Try to make a deal with Ned and Robert and unite to put down Aerys. This is Lyanna Stark we are talking about, a dialed-up version of Arya Stark. She would not take shit from anyone, especially not the man she loved. In that sense, the priority of the knights at the tower might not have been to protect Lyanna from enemies but also, you know, to protect her from herself and her own foolish ideas. Love doesn't mean you are on the same page in matters of state or politics. I just pointed out that there is no textual evidence that Rhaegar ever gave an order to the knights at the tower. Don't sulk just because I told you what George actually said. And this quote doesn't explain anything - it doesn't explain as to why Rhaegar as a prince would have been able to give orders to the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard when other princes and members of the royal family can't do that.
  3. True, but there was some back story about the dude in the ANH and ROTJ novels. Wookieepedia has no information on the Snoke chap, indicating that this guy wasn't flashed out between TFU and the new movie. But the thing is - they are essentially different. We are thrown into the world of Star Wars in the OT, but this new trilogy takes place after ROTJ. The world as such is established, and people want to know what happened between the movies. Especially - not not only - in regards to the Snoke chap this kind of thing is important. Trying to sell us the idea that it isn't important or irrelevant where the big bad came from is ridiculous in that context. There is a back story, and it is explored to a point. If they talk about Luke's Jedi Academy, etc. they could also have talked about the evil guy. The entire talk about the First Order is just vapid nonsense. We don't even understand what these people want, or why they want it. ANH gave us a ton more back story on the Empire - it is more or less and evil dictatorship grown out of democratic republic. That's understandable. We can connect with that. Politically, it is sort of Ancient Rome in space, basically. Why anyone wants to follow the First Order - and what they want - or how an entire New Republic (and its fleet) can be wiped out by destroying a handful of planets in TFA is completely mysterious. Would the US go away if somebody destroyed Washington and New York? Nope, they would still be there - and presumably rather angry. And this is a galaxy-wide Republic with a galaxy-wide infrastructure. And as I indicated in the other thread - I really resent the Herrenmenschen look they continue to give Star Wars. There are no recognizable planets or species in any of those movies, nor are there any new aliens that count as characters. ANH had problems with that, too, but that was the start. The OT gave us Chewie, Yoda, Jabba, Ackbar, and the Ewoks. And the PT added a ton of new aliens, and individuals that at least created controversies. In those new movies there are pretty much no aliens, and those that show up are getting the vibe of animals rather than characters. The way baby-face delivered his lines on the heroine's origins makes it possible he was lying there. He was desperately wanting to get her to join him there, and he may have thought she would do that only if he made her angry or sad. If he told her he was her brother the grief/anger over the murder of Han would be much stronger, not to mention the fact that she might not be inclined to enter into the romantic relationship he clearly wants, too. The man has the hots for her, that much is clear. And that is actually one of the few potential plots for the last movie. The love conundrums of the various characters. There is also the possibility that he lied about knowing the truth about her parents. Claiming he does allows him to manipulate her. We never saw the visions he claimed he had.
  4. Ashara is rather unlikely to have been in KL when her pregnancy became known. As the example of Joanna Lannister shows, Queen Rhaella did not approve of there being sluts among her ladies, and Ashara would, in the end, have been a lady of the queen if she had been at court in KL. Now, she could have been on Dragonstone with Elia and the children, but one assumes she removed herself back home to have the child. And once Elia went to KL (on Aerys' command or for whatever reason) during the Rebellion Ashara would most likely have not been welcome as Elia's companion by the queen. But the quote about Ashara not being nailed to Starfall is a direct response to the question as to how Ashara and Ned could have hooked up after Harrenhal. If that ever happened - and we don't know that it did - it wouldn't have happened in KL. What we can say already is that Ned must have spent a considerable amount of time down in the south - Storm's End, the tower, Starfall, KL - since he had not yet returned to Cat until after Robb was born. Considering Yandel's claim that the Lannister marriage was essentially Robert's first official act as king chances are not that bad that Ned remained at court and attended Robert's wedding, no? They also spent considerable time re-bonding in their shared grief over Lyanna's passing. The distance between Winterfell and KL is vast. These two were friends, once, and became friends again after the war. One assumes they spent more than the usual fortnight together. Robert may have even tried to convince Ned to stay in the capital and help him rule. Not as Hand but a member of his Small Council. If the impression we get that Cat and Robb went without Ned to Winterfell, then chances are that Ned eventually took a ship in KL rather than go overland whereas Catelyn and Robb went by the Kingsroad. The main justification for that is the lack of bitterness Barristan feels for Ned, no? Working under the assumption that such a bitterness would have been there if Ned had been the father of the stillborn daughter. I'm undecided on that matter, but I must admit that Ned and Ashara having a stillborn child together would make for a much better story. Ned is a more important character than Brandon, and he deserves to have a true love and marriage plans of his own before Rhaegar and Lyanna effectively destroyed the plans he may have had for his life, forcing him to marry Catelyn instead. Something that turned out fine, too, but perhaps Eddard Stark once dreamed of living with a violet-eyed woman in a castle by the sea, knowing that the North was in the capable hands of his big brother Brandon. We don't know yet. Sure, it does. Because the king is the king. And the king is not to be deposed by his own heir. Not to mention that without the approval of the king there could not really be a real Great Council, making whatever decisions the king allows such a body to make. The first Great Council is convened by King Jaehaerys I, the second one by Grand Maester Munkun (acting in the name of King Aegon III, whose and Hand and sole remaining regent Munkun was at the time), and the third by the Hand Brynden Rivers, speaking with the voice of the late King Maekar. There is no indication that Prince Rhaegar had any authority to convene a Great Council - which is why he arranged the tourney as a front. The men involved in that knew they were committing or contemplating treason. Else they would have acted in the open as honest men would. In addition, there is the fact that a son deposing his father is pretty much unheard of in this society. While many lords may have shared Rhaegar's concern over his father's mental state, that's not the same as assisting the man in moving against him. A lord supporting a son and heir against his father and king would set a very bad precedent for all their sons. And if think about as shitty and weak a lord as Tytos Lannister then it is even very evident there that this man, strangely enough, ruled his family. He arranged marriages for his younger brother and daughter, and he was never deposed by Tywin even after the man taken matters in his own hands during the Reyne/Tarbeck crisis. In fact, Lord Tytos seems to have enjoyed himself pretty thoroughly later on when Tywin had departed for KL as Hand, allowing himself to be ruled by his last mistress. I know that quote, but it speaks hypothetically. George says 'if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order...' not that he actually did. George didn't confirm anything there, did he? And the even broader context of the question is the mystery as to why the knights at the tower stood and fought Ned and company rather than protecting the remaining members of the royal family. If you take the answer about the hypothetical order seriously there, off goes your theory that the knights were there and protected Jon because they thought he was 'the king'. They did so because of the hypothetical order Prince Rhaegar had given them. But this SSM goes back a long time. And George off-hand remarks are not canon. It is a very odd thing to just suppose that the Kingsguard (including their Lord Commander) can be given orders by Prince Rhaegar without an explanation as to why this is supposed to be the case. We learn from Barristan Selmy in ADwD that the king sets up his Kingsguard, and regulates who gets KG protection and who doesn't. We also know that not all royal princes can give orders to the Kingsguard. Rhaegar certainly had KG protection throughout his life, but that doesn't mean he has any authority over them in all matters. There has to be reason as to why Whent, Dayne, and Hightower chose to follow any orders given them to Rhaegar rather than, you know, disobey them. It isn't surprising that Whent and Dayne stood with their buddy, but Hightower must have been given a good reason to do so. And the best guess still is that he was pretty much disillusioned about Mad Aerys at the time he reached the tower, and rather glad that Rhaegar was giving him an excuse not to return to KL to watch the Mad King continue to burn traitors and rape his sister-wife. If Hightower was a 'good man' we should hope he felt that way and did not enjoy watching and serving Aerys. But that also entails he was no longer Aerys' man at heart. But if this was the case then his dream remark that Aerys would still sit the Iron Throne if he had been in KL during the Sack is very odd. If Rhaegar had had his way Aerys would no longer sit the Iron Throne after the Trident. He made that clear to Jaime. And that was in Jonothor Darry's presence. Apparently even he (and perhaps Selmy, too) were favoring Rhaegar over Aerys at that point. If Rhaegar had won at the Trident and these two men had survived the battle, they (and Jaime, too) might not only have stood aside but also have helped Rhaegar to confine Aerys to his quarters. Sure, since Jaime seems to be pretty loyal to King Tommen in AFfC. At least in the former half of the novel. Later on he wants him to tell the truth about his parentage. I mean, what on earth is the point of the office of the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard if that guy cannot decide pretty much on his own terms how to arrange the protection of the king? That's his job description. The king can give him orders, but if he was under the impression that the orders given to him by the queen, the Hand, or some council member actually endanger the life of the king - or don't make sense, etc. - it obviously is his duty to second-guess such orders. But he can't do that when they are coming from the king. Else Jaime could have decided to ignore the orders given to him by both Cersei and Tommen. Jaime did not actually believe he should leave Tommen alone with Cersei when he is sent to the Riverlands. Not in and of itself. We don't know why Aerys overcame his suspicions. That is an important piece of the puzzle we are still missing at that point. There goes no clear and direct line from 'Aerys and Rhaegar's people are building factions that are reminiscent of the prelude to the Dance' to 'Aerys couldn't find Prince Rhaegar and thus made Rhaegar's buddy Jon Connington Hand instead'. Something must have happened that convinced Aerys Rhaegar and Connington weren't (potential) traitors but men he could trust. A very good explanation for this is the assumption that Rickard and Brandon (and also Ned and Robert) had to die because Aerys saw them all as Rhaegar's co-conspirators in the wake of the Lyanna affair. The crowning at Harrenhal was the first 'proof' of a conspiracy between Rhaegar and the Starks, and the abduction (and its aftermath, if there was a marriage Aerys learned about) was the ultimate confirmation of this 'conspiracy'. And therefore not only Rickard and Brandon but Ned and Robert had to die, too. The whole thing is very reminiscent of Rhaenyra's overreaction in the wake of First Tumbleton. The Two Betrayers are the proof of the Rhaegar-Stark conspiracy and Addam Velaryon and Nettles are Robert and Ned, respectively. The order to Lord Mooton to execute Nettles and send Daemon back to court is pretty much identical with the order Aerys sent to Jon Arryn. And the outcome is pretty much identical in both cases, too. The Mootons and Arryns both rise in rebellion. But the fact Rhaegar and Lyanna never showed up at the head of the rebel armies - with Robert also pretty convincingly calling for Rhaegar's head as much as Aerys' - might have given Aerys pause, finally convincing him (perhaps with the help of men like Connington and Myles Mooton, who may only have returned to court during the Rebellion, having been with Rhaegar and Lyanna before) that his son wasn't a traitor. But it is still a long way from there to actually giving Rhaegar command. If there is, it would be rather obscure evidence. But as I lay out above, it is certainly possible - likely, even - that Mooton and Connington did their best to convince Aerys that Rhaegar was not, in fact, in league with the rebels. A theory out of thin air against common sense - which implies that a man of the standing and rank of Ser Gerold Hightower of the Kingsguard does not travel alone. Especially not during war time and when he doesn't really know whether he is going to find resistance on the way. Nobody but the king could have 'instructed' Hightower to go to Rhaegar alone. If Aerys had given Rhaegar orders to return his son to court he could have done so, yes. Especially if he had made it clear he wanted him very badly back at court. Nobody ignores a royal summons, not even a prince. And the people the king sends to you if he summons you are not only there to politely invite you. You can also compare that to the other part of Rhaenyra's order to Lord Mooton. Kill the girl, and send my consort back to me because I have need of him. Let's assume Daemon hadn't been in the mood of returning to Rhaenyra after Mooton had actually killed Nettles - which is very, very, very likely. How should have Mooton proceeded in that scenario? By asking Daemon politely to return to court? Or by seizing and chaining the man and delivering him into the hands of his loving wife so that she can talk (or slap) some sense into him? One assumes she wanted him to do the latter... And that's likely also what Aerys expected Ser Gerold to do. You don't send the Kingsguard to politely talk to someone. Well, in this context this argument makes even less sense. Let's assume I'm a king and I send a messenger to you to summon you to court. Does it make sense that you have the authority to not only ignore my messenger but also order him around now? Why would anyone use such a person as a messenger? Between Aerys and Rhaegar? We have no reason to believe that such communication did place - and even if it did, it would have been letters. You can much better lie in letters than in direct communication, not to mention that fathers and sons better reconcile and show their affection for each other, etc. when they see each other face to face - which Rhaegar and Aerys eventually did in KL. If they reached an understanding it would have happened then - not via letter. But in any case - if Hightower didn't have to search for Rhaegar it is very odd that Aerys would have sent that men. There were a lot of loyalist Reach lords in the area of the tower. Why not command some of them via letter to assemble a small host and fetch Rhaegar back without wasting the time of the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard for the whole thing? There is likely a reason why Hightower was sent, and not somebody else. Not really. Even if we assume that Rhaegar did give Hightower that hypothetical order - that doesn't mean or confirm that Rhaegar already authority over the royal armies at that point. That would have been something only Aerys himself would have given Rhaegar after his return to court. And chances are not that bad that this was actually formalized in some way. Rhaegar wasn't the Hand - who, eerily enough, didn't command the king's armies - so the only other job Rhaegar may have gotten would be Protector of the Realm. But that's not really necessary. If the king says you are the supreme general now that's what you are. And being the Heir Apparent likely also helps with that. I never said he did. But you routinely ignore the fact that Ned singles out explicitly Ser Arthur Dayne. There is something this man did that makes him better than all the others, and we simply don't know what that is yet. He could have just as well have said that the finest of them all were Ser Oswell Whent, Ser Gerold Hightower, and Ser Arthur Dayne. But he never said that. And the context matters there, too. Bran asks his father about knighthood not the Kingsguard. And Ser Arthur Dayne is described as the finest knight Ned ever know, not as the finest Kingsguard. The epitome of chivalric and knightly values isn't a man who dies for his king or prince - be he an infant or a madman - it is someone who actually behaves like a knight should do. Now that I reread it again, it isn't even clear what exactly Ned means by 'finest knight' here. Bran asks who was the 'best of all', presumably asking who fought the best, not necessarily about their moral qualities (little Bran doesn't care all that much about that - after all, knights are all good men, right?). Perhaps 'finest knight' really only refers to the best knight Ned saw fighting. And that could mean that Ser Arthur was the guy who was really best at the tower. After all, there is little indication that Ned knew or interacted much with Ser Arthur Dayne prior to their meeting there. Ashara is the only connection we know these two men may have had. And if there is more to that connection we presently know then Arthur Dayne and Eddard Stark may have a history of their own. But as of yet there is no evidence for that. Apparently I have, if you insist to make as much of the dream as you do. It is a piece in the puzzle, a very important piece at that. But it isn't the whole picture, and was never intended as such. There was no search or anything at that point. Aegon II and his children got out of the city before Rhaenyra's forces had taken the Red Keep. Aegon II was hidden so that witnesses did not recognize the man. The king is usually a pretty well-known person in his own capital city, right. And a man with Valyrian features and as disfiguring and conspicuous injuries as Aegon II would be a memorable sight even to people who, for some strange reason, don't recognize him on sight. If Rhaenyra's people later ask about Aegon II people seeing him would remember him, and be able to point them in the right direction. We can also assume that Waters steered the fishing boat directly to the house Aegon II was kept thereafter. Dragonstone is an island, and said house could have been near to the waterside. If they had been forced to move the man through a harbor or a village he would most definitely have been recognized, and with Rhaenyra the new queen and Sunfyre still far away he would have been seized and either be sent back to KL for an execution or killed on the spot. A Kingsguard can disguise himself much better. Just remove the armor and show the face that's usually hidden beneath a helmet. It is idly to speculate about the motivations of people whose motivations we don't know as of yet. We don't know why exactly they attacked Ned and his men. But chances are not that bad that Ned only traveled there with six companions precisely because he knew he could trust those men. The Lord of Winterfell is a powerful man, especially since he is also friends with Jon Arryn and allied by marriage to the Tullys of Riverrun. You don't have to be very smart to conclude that the Lord of Winterfell has much better means and ways to ensure the safety of his nephew than three knights in the middle of nowhere can. See above. It is pretty likely she would have been forced to leave court if she was a lady at the Red Keep. On Dragonstone things may have been different with Elia, but if the queen had voiced her misgivings about a whore or slut being in service of her good-daughter on Dragonstone, it is not that likely that Ashara could have stayed there, either. Queen Rhaella seems to have been not fond of people who thought with their cock or clitoris. But even aside from that - the proper way to birth a bastard for a noble lady is to leave court and take an extended stay in the country or back home, to prevent a scandal or even conceal the entire pregnancy from people who don't have to know about it.
  5. The underlying TESB structure is another sign how derivative this new trilogy is. The new movie wasn't as bad as TFA but it is still just a variation of a theme: What if Vader did kill the Emperor? What if Luke actually joined his father? And, quite frankly, the entire scenario of the continuous escape throughout the entire movie was pretty much nonsense. It is going to become ever more ridiculous during each re-watch. The twists and surprises are what allows the movie to go. How they wrote Luke is another big letdown. This is Luke Skywalker, not some moron. As is pointed out in the movie itself - the man went in the lion's den and tweaked Vader and the Emperor at their respective tails. Why on earth should this man break so completely just because of a vision? Why would a man who was willing to forgive Darth Fucking Vader - who assisted in blowing up an ENTIRE PLANET - ever so much as contemplate murdering an innocent child? That doesn't make any sense. Luke failing as a teacher is one thing. Luke doing shit like that makes sense. Not to mention that Luke doesn't give any indication in the OT that he had issues with the Jedi being stupid enough to allow Darth Sidious to kill them all. He must have known what happened back then, more or less. It is not that Clone Wars only took place after the OT, right? That was only the case for us. And, frankly, the motivation of milk-face is still an utter mystery to me - and presumably anybody else in the audience. For one, it is utter stupidity that anybody wanting to be 'evil' would want to emulate Vader. Vader was a moron and 'a sick man in an iron mask' as the Clone Emperor put it so aptly in 'Dark Empire'. He failed at fulfilling his potential when he let Obi-Wan nearly kill him, and he failed at being a Sith Lord when he allowed Luke to redeem him. And milk-face knows all that. He knows the history of Vader. Why would he want to be like him? If I wanted to be 'evil' in this world I'd emulate Darth Sidious, not Vader. A better version of the old 'somebody is seduced by the dark side' story would have been if milk-face himself had been the new Emperor - not the weirdo apprentice of a Palpatine stand-in. But then, why not explore something new, for a change? Why give us the same shit again and again? Star Wars was the Good Rebels vs. the Evil Empire back in the 1970s. It doesn't have to be this way now.
  6. Snoke was just the evil hologram-Emperor dude. Why do you people have to ask questions about that guy? He was just a stand-in for Palpatine. And a bad one at that. Just as milk-face is essentially a stand-in for Hayden Christensen. A pity he wasn't Yoda's size. That would have been fun. The guy's hologram was so overly large in TFA that I really would have liked that to happen. But I get it why it is frustrating to know nothing about this guy. I mean, where did he come from? Why did milk-face listen to him? How did he contact milk-face? What I really don't understand is why the fight with those stupid pseudo-royal guards took so long, and why the hell they did not immediately hail baby-face as the new Supreme Leader? After all, isn't that how it is done? The master being replaced by the apprentice, etc.? And if they wanted to bring them down why the hell didn't they call for back-up/inform everyone what was going on in the Supreme Leader's suite? I mean, this is a space ship, is it not? And there are communication devices there. The evil hologram used them earlier in the movie. Still, I liked the twists. But baby-face and his baby-faced lackey are very poor villains. The next movie is not going to have much potential. Especially with Luke now gone, too, and Carrie Fisher not coming back despite Leia being still alive. Is the heroine the sister of baby-face? I'm still pretty sure she is, no?
  7. Better than the last one - which I still think is crap because it is an exact rehash of the ANH formula. Down to the letter. And I still hate the setting of Rebels vs. Empire 2.0. That just sucks. The new one is much better than the old one. It has very interesting twists. But overall it just plays with traditional Star Wars themes almost in a 'What if...' scenario. That is interesting but you can also read fan fiction for that. You don't have to watch a movie. And the whole pretense for a big chunk of the movie - - just isn't believable at all. A minor question for anyone who saw it: Also still not liking the lack of aliens and them essentially only acting as background details when they show up. In this new GFFA the humans are the Herrenmenschen in the aliens little more than zoo animals. That wasn't the case in the PT nor in TESB and ROTJ if you consider Yoda, Chewie, Jabba, Ackbar, and the Ewoks. Those new movies (Rogue One included) haven't created a single memorable alien character aside from, perhaps, the bar lady from TFA.
  8. @Ran It is certainly possible that Barristan isn't thinking about the same things Yandel is talking about in TWoIaF. But if he was - and that's what I'm assuming here - then this is significant. And it is not that we don't have it confirmed that Rhaegar wanted to have an informal Great Council at Harrenhal. He implicitly confirms that in Jaime's memory of his last conversation with Rhaegar. That whole subplot about the two factions at court resembling the days before the Dance of the Dragons, etc. in TWoIaF is just broadening and expanding on hints George gave us in earlier books. And the impression we are supposed to get is that some Kingsguard - Whent and Dayne, at least - were involved in that plotting, too. Prince Lewyn is another man of Rhaegar's - or was his man, until Harrenhal and the subsequent Lyanna affair. As to the feudal contract: I'm not denying that there is such a thing. But it is an informal and ill-defined thing. There is a spectrum of what lords can do to or demand of their lords until rebellion is justified. But we have no indication that there are any written or binding agreements. No clauses a king has to fulfill, duties he has to perform, etc. to deserve homage and submission. He certainly fulfills a function and has to work to preserve the peace, see to it that the Realm prospers, etc. But how he is to do that - and what lords and other subjects can demand of him - is nowhere defined. People are grumbling that King Aerys I and his sorcerer Hand aren't doing anything against the Ironborn raiders or the outlaws and bandits making the roads less secure than they were during the reign of the Good King - but there is no indication that this means Aerys I is no longer king, and the lords are now entitled to try to depose him in a rebellion, right? Back when the Faith had still teeth the High Septon could denounce a monarch as a pretender and tyrant - as done to King Aenys - and then he was likely little more than an outlaw and a wild dog to be put down by the faithful, but Maegor's victory changed that. I mean, when exactly is rebellion justified in this world? We honestly don't know. Maegor the Cruel and Aegon the Unworthy got away with a lot of crazy stuff. And Aerys II got away with a lot of stuff, too. Nobody was rebelling when he was executing Rickard and Brandon. And pretty much nobody seemed to care about Darklyns and Hollards. I'm not saying people who are personally threatened by a king have no right to oppose such a king - of course they have. But that's different from a broader rebellion or the actual deposition of a king. Do people have a right to rebel against a king when he is taking his revenge on people you have nothing to do with? Say, has the North a right to be concerned when the king favors them but terrorizes the Vale instead? I'm with you on the complexity of the people and the way they see themselves and their duties. But that doesn't change the fact that the leeway a Kingsguard or brother of the Night's Watch has when he makes a decision is very narrow. That is how the author forces such people to make impossible decisions. It wouldn't be fun if it was easy. But there is usually an easy choice in the matter: Obey your superior. Obey the king. Do as you are told. Stay out of the whole thing. That's the easy choice. The one by the books. But not necessarily the correct choice. Favoring/plotting with Rhaegar against the king is treason if you are a Kingsguard. But it might still be the right choice when the king is a madman. But that doesn't change the fact that it is treason - and would have lead/can lead to a traitor's death if you are caught. Davos doesn't get away with what he does in the Edric affair because he did the right thing. He only saves his life because Stannis agrees that he did the right thing after he explained his reasoning. A king can be merciful and forgiving to his servants and sworn swords. He can even listen to reason. But he doesn't have to. How do you know that? We have no precedent for an 'unstable king' ever being deposed in this world. Jaehaerys I, for instance, seems to have become senile and demented (either from grief or age) in his last years or months. Yet nobody was appointed as regent nor was Viserys I crowned and anointed king while the Old King slowly died under the care of Alicent Hightower. There are also no indications that the deposition of a king could ever be legal. As far as we know that's always illegal since a king is crowned king for life. I'd agree with you that there should be regulations in a monarchy how to deal with mad or demented monarchs. But proper monarchies refuse to make such rules because it would restrict the power of the king. How do you know that? Prince Rhaegar is technically just daddy's eldest son. He has no part in the government of his royal father. He'll succeed him one day but until that he is just daddy's son. There is a chain of command and a royal government. The king commands the Kingsguard. The Hand (when speaking with the King's Voice) and the queen do, too, within the confines of the power given to them by the king. As does the Small Council. The royal princes have no right to interfere with the Kingsguard's business or the government of the Realm unless the king's involves them in matters of state. Rhaegar could have had similar power, but it would have fallen to the Kingsguard in question to decide whether they accept Rhaegar's authority or not. Whent and Dayne were Rhaegar's buddies. They would most likely also have consented to guard his horse in the middle of nowhere if he felt that's what they were supposed to do. But Hightower was the Lord Commander. He could have easily objected to Rhaegar's command, especially if he had reason to believe that Rhaegar was plotting against the king. Or that the king would need his, Hightower's, counsel as quickly as possible. He could have feigned to obey Rhaegar's command, tricking him into returning to KL, and then just leaving Lyanna and returning to KL, too. He could even have decided on his own authority to hand the Stark woman over to some Dornishmen or other loyalists and then command his two sworn brothers - who were bound to obey him, as their lord commander - to accompany him to KL. That he didn't do either of that shows he chose Rhaegar over Aerys. Just as Whent and Dayne did. You also recall that Jaime Lannister - the Lord Commander of Tommen's Kingsguard - only agreed to lead Tommen's armies in the Riverlands after he had received a written order to that regard, signed and sealed by His Grace King Tommen himself. What indicates that in relation Rhaegar's authority over Hightower? If Jaime felt he could have defied the Queen Regent over the issue then Hightower certainly could have ignored an order given to him by a mere prince. Rhaegar is expendable in principle. He is just an heir. He isn't the king. The king is the king. And the king could have crushed this rebellion with or without the help of Rhaegar. And then Viserys, Aegon, or one of their sons or grandsons could have succeeded Aerys II after the man had died peacefully in his sleep at the age of eighty. The fact that Aerys II wanted his son to return to court doesn't prove he needed him or depended on him. It just proves that he wanted him to return to court. We don't know his reasons for that decision as of yet. He may have believed he needed Rhaegar, but doesn't mean he did need Rhaegar. There is no indication that anybody (or the development of the war) did push or force Aerys to search for Rhaegar. It may have been nothing more or less but the irrational love a madman had for his son that lead to Rhaegar's return to court. There is no indication whatsoever that only Rhaegar could have led the Targaryen armies, etc. whereas there is objective evidence that both Selmy and Hightower himself would have been much better suited for that task. They were experienced commanders and veterans from the War of the Ninepenny Kings. The crushed the Blackfyres. Rhaegar never fought in any wars nor did he kill a man in battle prior to the Trident. At least as far as we know. He was bad choice as a commander. The idea to have him accompany the army and show his face was pretty good (Aerys also accompanied the men to the Stepstonesin 260 AC, most likely to inspire and support the Targaryen troops). But actually giving command to him may have been a grievous error, actually. And Aerys didn't need Rhaegar's consent or support if he had decided to use him as a mere figurehead. He was his father and the king. And he had Elia, Aegon, and Rhaenys as hostages. Surely Rhaegar would have done anything in his power to save his wife and children from being burned alive, no? It was Aerys. But as I laid out above, that doesn't mean Aerys needed Rhaegar. Aerys just needed men who could command armies and win battles. Gerold Hightower found Rhaegar at that tower. We don't know how many men he had with him, but it is very unlikely he came alone. But even if he did - it is pretty clear that Hightower, Whent, and Dayne should have been able to overpower Rhaegar and drag him back to KL in chains if that's what Hightower had wanted to do. And they would have gotten support for doing that any loyalist castle in the Reach. Surely Whent and Dayne wouldn't have been able to stick to Rhaegar if Hightower had commanded them in the name of King Aerys to arrest Prince Rhaegar and help him deliver him to his royal father. Rhaegar also had no army at his tower, no leeway to negotiate with the representative of his father. What could he have done if Hightower had insisted that he come with him? The idea that Aerys instructed Hightower to inform Rhaegar that he was giving him command of the armies before Rhaegar had agreed to return makes little sense. He may not even have known that Aerys intended to do that. After all, it also makes no sense to assume that Aerys gave Rhaegar any authority over his armies before father and son had talked about what had transpired. Aerys was a very paranoid and suspicious man, right? Why would he trust the son he had suspected of treason the last time they saw each other? As per the dream-Hightower's words Aerys II would still sit the Iron Throne if dream Hightower and company had been at KL when Jaime killed Aerys. That means dream-Hightower wanted Aerys II not only be physically well but also in charge of his own kingdom and government as a proper king should be. If Rhaegar was king or regent - and Aerys confined to his quarters - he would sit the Iron Throne instead of his father, no? That is the heart of the issue I'm raising here. If the man Hightower really cared about Aerys II remaining in power he would have never agreed to remain at the tower with Lyanna. He wouldn't have trusted Rhaegar with Aerys. And he would have never recognized Rhaegar's authority over him. The man made a choice. And that choice involved sticking with Rhaegar even if that man turned against the king. And, quite frankly, the idea that the Kingsguard vow allows you to depose the king for his own good or crap like that is insane. The day a Kingsguard tried shit like that would mark the end of the institution as such, since no king needs bodyguards who think they are the ones in charge, not the people they are supposed to protect and obey. If Rhaegar would actually keep (or even reward) KGs helping him depose his father he would actually confirm and support treasonous behavior. It would set a precedent that betraying the king is okay for a Kingsguard. Just as pardoning Jaime set a precedent that killing the king is okay for a Kingsguard. Which is what ruined the reputation of the entire order. See above. Rhaegar would have been gone. Why not dump Lyanna at Starfall, say? Or with some Dornishmen in the Prince's Pass? Or at some castle in the Reach? Or take her with them to KL? Surely it wasn't the top priority of the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard - or the Kingsguard in general - to ensure the protection of some mistress/wife of a prince. And Lyanna would have been safe at any of those places. Perhaps even safer than in the protection of the Kingsguard - who, in the end, could not protect her from her own brother. LOL, there is no textual evidence for any of that. Hightower's vow was to the king. The only way Hightower would have consented to stay at the tower and with Lyanna is if he himself made that choice. Rhaegar could not trick him to do that. He could essentially only convince him. And that's what he must have done. If you don't have an army or guardsmen you can't force a knight to stay for months at some tower in the middle of nowhere. He could leave any day. You must convince him to do what you wants. And that entails - or rather presupposes - that the man you convince to do what you ask of him is open to your arguments, seriously considering them, and eventually persuaded by them. There is no evidence that Ned considers the old, pre-Jaime Kingsguard as shining examples to the world because of Whent, Dayne, and Hightower. Ned knows the entire history of the Kingsguard order, including such names as Aemon the Dragonknight, Ryam Redwyne, and Duncan the Tall. The text never indicates he thinks the Kingsguard were great guys once because of the tower. Aside from that, George himself has said we shouldn't take the fever dream at face value. Some stuff in there is accurate, some stuff likely isn't. It is still evidence for that overall Jon thing, but there is also a reason why this is presented as a dream and not a memory. There are other memory flashbacks in the series, you know, and there is also a reason why they are presented as memories. Because those flashbacks are supposed to be seen as more accurate and reliable than the fever dream. We had this dream debate a lot, but the bottom line is that even a casual study of dreams in ASoIaF show that George's uses them as often to conceal and obscure things as he uses them to reveal things. They are supposed to be open for interpretation. The best example for that kind of thing is the dream Dunk has in TSS. But, of course, also the many prophetic dreams various characters have - they are as helpful as they are harmful when they are used to correctly guess the future. And you are falling in the same trap as Melisandre or Daemon II Blackfyre if you can think dreams and visions are the correct pathway to truth. They aren't. Especially not if you take them literally - which you very much do. Aegon II own presence on the fishing boat would have given him away had he been seen by anyone. And if Marston Waters could hide him, then he could have hidden a second man just as well. The idea that he was more safe without KG isn't very convincing. Fell and Thorne went with Jaehaera and Maelor because Larys Strong apparently felt the children of the king were more important than the king himself. He was sick and injured and had a very small chance to evade capture, anyway. The whole thing was a mad gamble. It was just luck that Rhaenyra didn't look for him on Dragonstone - and even more luck that Sunfyre joined him there. If the dragon hadn't come the man would have eventually been found and executed. The life of Lyanna's child was definitely endangered and not protected by the Kingsguard protecting him. The best way to protect his life would have been to hand him over to some trusted peasants, where nobody would ever look for him. Or to give him to his uncle Ned without a fight. It sounds pretty stupid to even entertain the notion that Ned would have gone to KL before going to Starfall. Westeros is large, and travels are not a fun thing in and of themselves. Why would anyone take such a large detour in a medieval setting if he can prevent it? If the child was at the tower, then he would have taken the child to Starfall immediately - and chances are pretty good that he never actually brought the child to KL. The wetnurse and the boy could have taken a ship there up to White Harbor. Ned running around with the child when he couldn't yet be sure people were buying his story would have been insanity. No way to prevent Robert from dashing the head of this dragonspawn against a wall with his own hands if the child had been physically there, right? And there is no indication that Robert ever saw Jon Snow prior to his arrival at Winterfell in AGoT.
  9. It isn't just Yandel's talk, it is also Barristan's memories in ADwD. He confirms that something rather fishy was going on with Oswell and Lord Whent's tourney, something he was not trusted with. There were loyal men in the Kingsguard, and then there were 'more loyal' men (or men loyal to Rhaegar). One can certainly be of the opinion that Oswell Whent didn't consider it treason to help Rhaegar set up a tourney at Harrenhal as a shadow host. But I don't buy the idea that Oswell didn't know or correctly guess what the point of this tourney was. If he had just been some Kingsguard Rhaegar could perhaps have used him without him realizing in what he was involved there. But he was Oswell Whent, the man sticking with Rhaegar until the very end, the man accompanying him on his journey. They clearly were very close. There is precedent for treating a minor king as nothing but a child and a puppet in Aegon III, is it not? And Tommen is even younger than Aegon III when he takes the throne, and about as detached from reality as Aegon was. But then, they all did pretty much everything young Joffrey told them. And historically they all ran in the meat grinder in 157 AC just because a mad fourteen-year-old spoke of being a dragon, winning glory, and completing the Conquest. A child is a child even if he is the king. But a crowned and anointed adult king is the crowned and anointed adult king. The idea that anyone has the right to protect such a person from himself is either treason or presumption bordering on treason in this society. A Kingsguard could, perhaps, very strongly urge a king not put himself in a clearly dangerous situation - and the king is free to be persuaded by that. But the idea that you can interfere with the king's decision just because he might endanger himself doesn't make any sense at all. The Kingsguard are sworn to obey. Not to second-guess the king's decisions. Darry and Hightower make that very clear to Jaime. They could, perhaps, advise the king to allow the maesters and other physicians to take a look at him. And they could even ask him whether he felt still capable of ruling the Seven Kingdoms. But they could not take steps to depose him. If there was a precedent for deposing a mad king I'd agree with you. But the way the system is set up in this world nobody has a right to depose or restrict the power of a 'mad' monarch. What they can do is to appoint a regency government while the king is most definitely incapacitated. That was clearly never the case with Aerys II. Aegon II was confined to his bed, dreaming poppy dreams. Aerys II was up and about, and able to hold court, attend council meetings, etc. Lords talking is not treason as such, presumably, but the Kingsguard helping to arrange such talk might be seen as such. And acting upon the things they talked about would have most definitely been treason. With 'madness' not actually being a proper medical diagnosis in this world (it seems Aerys was indeed suffering from a mental affliction that gradually worsened) there aren't even authorities around who could determine whether the king was unfit to rule or not. All they could basically do was talk to Aerys and hope he realized the state of mind he was in. Anything else pretty much is treason. This world isn't set up in a way were subjects can judge their king. This is even a problem in more modern constitutional monarchies: King Ludwig II of Bavaria was declared insane and unfit to rule by a cabal of traitors ignoring the constitution of the country, acting in accordance with some physician. And even with Trump today the barriers are - quite correctly - very high before a head of state and head of the government can be declared unfit for office. And there is, of course, no proper procedure how to deal with an insane or demented Pope. Establishing such procedures would restrict the absolute power the Pope has in the Vatican. I'm sure that's what they would have told themselves at night. And I'm sure Rhaegar and many of the lords favoring him would have been such people. They can care more about the greater good of the Realm (and the royal dynasty, which definitely was also hurt by Aerys' behavior) but the Kingsguard can not. They swore an oath to protect and obey the king. They never swore an oath to care for the greater good. And it is pretty clear that what's expected from a Kingsguard is to stand with the king - however bad he is - and not have delusions about being a good person trying to do the right thing. That is why nobody ever applauded Jaime for killing Aerys. If you want to we known as a good person or do the right thing, you better never join the Kingsguard. You can do good under a good king, but if you end up serving under a bad king you have to do what they guy tells us to do. It will be very interesting to see how Dunk is going to deal with that conundrum. If he ends up joining the Kingsguard during the reign of Aerys I or Maekar he would not only be obliged to serve as Aerion's sworn shield - if his king or lord commander commanded him to do so - but also to serve potentially under as worse and rotten kings as Daeron the Drunk (who, despite having no evil tendencies, would have been awful) or Aerion Brightflame himself. The idea that 'doing the right thing' can even be possible under such circumstances is exceedingly unlikely. And even under Aegon V the family, dynasty, and state would have come first. Dunk was most likely not exactly keen to ever fight a trial-by-combat against the Laughing Storm... Well, didn't George indicate that Arthur Dayne wasn't exactly the kind of guy who would have stood idly by while Aerys was burning people alive and raping his own sister-wife? If that is even remotely true then I actually hope Arthur Dayne did not wish Aerys all that well. Because the only way to stop that kind of thing is to hope something bad happens to the king, right? We don't even know who pushed Rhaegar to move against his father. It could very well have been Dayne and Whent. The impression we get is that Rhaegar was very reluctant there, possibly because he actually loved his father - or rather, the man he was back in his childhood and youth (before Duskendale). And it seems Aerys got around and overcame his suspicions, or else Connington would have never been named Hand, nor would Aerys given the supreme command over the troops to Rhaegar. He could have sent Darry, Selmy, or Hightower against Robert and the rebels. Especially in light of our knowledge that Ser Gerold Hightower had the supreme command on Stepstones after the death of Lord Ormund Baratheon it is pretty clear that this guy would have been ideally suited to crush the Rebellion.
  10. If George wanted to give the Daynes some Targaryen blood, he could easily do so. The fact that Prince Maekar ended up marrying Dyanna Dayne doesn't make it unlikely that she had some Targaryen blood, too - not directly through a Targaryen-Dayne marriage but indirectly through a marriage between one of the Targaryen-Hightower girls and one of her Dayne ancestors. In addition, it is also not unlikely that there was a marriage between the Daynes and the Targaryens after Dyanna-Maekar. Both of Maekar's daughter - Daella and Rhae - married and had children, but we don't know whom they married. I think Daella ended up marrying Dunk, and that Lord Selwyn and Brienne are descended from these two, but the younger daughter Rhae could have been married to a Dayne. Maekar must have had rather close ties to Starfall due his wife being a Dayne. We also have to consider the simple Princess Vaella, Daeron's daughter, Aerion's son Maegor, Aerion's mother, Princess Daenora (who could have remarried after Aerion's death), and the hypothetical children of Prince Duncan and Jenny. Any of those - or their children - could have hooked up with a Dayne.
  11. The implication is that Whent helped arrange the tourney of Harrenhal, knowing fully well that this was supposed to be an informal Great Council discussing what to do about Aerys' madness. That is treason. The Kingsguard does not only protect the king's person but also his crown. People plotting to limit or restrict the king's power - or outright depose him - are traitors. And thus Whent betrayed his king there, too. There is no way around that. The fact that Whent and Dayne stayed with a mere prince rather than abandon Rhaegar and his lover/second wive/whatever to return to KL and help their king to crush the rebels also shows their priorities. Rhaegar wasn't the king. And Aerys II had another son and grandchildren at that. Rhaegar was expendable, basically. He wasn't the only heir the king had. Their behavior shows their priorities. It indicates, in the end, that Dayne and Whent would have either stood aside - or actively helped Rhaegar - had Rhaegar ever gotten around to confine his royal father to his apartments or outright depose him. They wouldn't have died defending that man. And why should they? Aerys II was a monster in the end. We have this pretty much confirmed for Whent due to his behavior around the Harrenhal tourney, but considering that Dayne was Rhaegar's best friend it is even more unlikely that this man - a paragon of knightly virtues at that - would have stood with the Mad King against Rhaegar. And Hightower should have been pretty much on the same page as Whent and Dayne in the end. If he had still been Aerys' man at heart he wouldn't have agreed to remain at the tower. Rhaegar had no way to force the man to stay there. And if Whent and Dayne were still Kingsguard in the end they would also have been honor-bound to obey their Lord Commander. If he had changed his mind on what their duty was, they would have either gone with him or refused to do so. But neither of that means that Hightower himself was stuck with Lyanna. He could have returned to KL. But he remained there because he made a choice, agreeing with Rhaegar for some reason that this pregnant woman was somehow more important than his duty to his king as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. He took the easy way out, accepting the duty to protect a royal mistress/second wife instead of the Prince of Dragonstone or the king himself. Not exactly a dereliction of duty but very odd priorities for a Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. If Jaime was right now more concerned with protecting some cousin of Tommen rather than his own person we would have reason to raise more than one eyebrow. His sentence during the dream doesn't fit well with all that. He must have known by then what Rhaegar (and Dayne and Whent) intended to do with Aerys II after the war was over. And that did not include allowing Aerys II to continue to sit the Iron Throne. Rhaegar would have sat there, either as King Rhaegar or as the Prince Regent Rhaegar, with his royal father confined to a (padded?) cell in Maegor's Holdfast. In that sense, this sentence of the dream doesn't make a lot of sense in light of what we - and Ser Gerold - must have known at that point. The only way to save the phrasing there is if one considers the entire context of Ned's comment: It is a reaction to Ned's reference to Jaime's murder of Aerys II. And we can likely all agree that Hightower did not want his king to go like that. I'm pretty sure neither he nor Whent or Dayne wanted Aerys to come to physical harm or see him slain by one of their sworn brothers. But we should not go as far as assuming that Whent, Dayne, and Hightower had just stood there, doing nothing, if Aerys II had commanded them - and other men around them - to seize Rhaegar and burn him alive. They all made their choice when they chose to obey Rhaegar rather than Aerys. And that's the entire point of this new layer to the plot. Back in AGoT and ACoK it appears as if Rhaegar and Aerys were on the same page, part of the same faction. House Targaryen on the one side, the rebels on the other. But it turned out to be more complicated than that. The dream of the tower does not reflect that at all. But then - it is just a dream, created by Ned's mind. There is no reason to believe he was aware of the struggles and plots that were going on behind the seemingly united Targaryen front. If he thought the three knights at the tower were die-hard Aerys loyalists, it makes sense that they would say the stuff they do in a dream of his. Chances are that they said different things in real life.
  12. As a traditional Targaryen he could also have done some research on the history of his family, recognizing the stark differences between men like Jaehaerys I and Maegor the Cruel, the Unworthy and the Dragonknight, Baelor Breakspear and Prince Rhaegel, Aerys I and Maekar, Bittersteel and Bloodraven, Aegon V and Aerion Brightflame, Daemon Blackfyre and Maelys the Monstrous, etc. The point of the comparison is that the Targaryens tend to be extreme. Either extremely great or extremely bad. There are very few average people among them. Sure, Jaehaerys might have been very distraught over the outcome of Summerhall, but he would have also been one of the few people who actually knew and understood what was going on there, presumably. Could be that he opposed his father's plan, could be that he supported it. I'm pretty sure he was as much obsessed with dragons as Egg was, too. Else he would have never been as invested in the prophecy about the promised prince as he apparently was. If we assume that Egg was, in the end, responsible for the tragedy. In the sense that he brought in the wildfire he most likely was, but it is not all that unlikely that Jaehaerys II actually knew what went wrong. And it is far from clear that Egg was responsible for that.
  13. How do you know that? Stannis and Renly *should* be princes, too. That they are not is odd in light of the fact that Shireen, Theon, Asha, Bran, Rickon, Sansa, and Arya effectively are 'promoted' to the level of prince(ss) in the wake of their fathers/brothers declaring themselves. When Robert took the throne his immediate heirs were his brothers - just as Robb's immediate heirs were his siblings. That makes the whole scenario sound rather promising. Not just interesting information for weirdo nerds but perhaps even an actual story. The whole part of the Rhaegar-Aerys tensions could have been introduced later. The tower of joy dream makes it appear as if the knights at the tower were basically as loyal to Aerys as they were to Rhaegar - which now is pretty much confirmed to have been not true for Whent and Dayne. George could have realized that it wouldn't have made all that much sense if the noble paragon Prince Rhaegar would have been (always) on the same page as mad Aerys. The hints in that direction only began to creep up in ASoS. Could be a gradual reveal, could be a slight adjustment on the way. He likes to keep his options open as long as he can. Just as the whole thing about Viserys being the new heir came at a rather later date. But the Jon Snow thing was never really a controversy ;-).
  14. @Ran Don't apologize for sidetracking us. It is good to see you back discussing things, and this thread was never really all that often exclusively about the title topic... [And in the end this is all important for the Jon question, anyway, because it concerns the strength of his claim, too.] Well, one time I try to be more concise and then you bring up Rhaenyra and Aegon II. I know that they were there from the start, but she was always imagined as Aegon's older sister, which makes the Dance essentially about whether a king can name/choose an heir the Dornish way, or whether male primogeniture trumps that. It wasn't about the question whether a daughter comes before the brother or nephew of a king. We don't have to assume that Aegon III had daughters in the early family tree/notes - the point is that Viserys II being changed from Aegon III fourth son to his younger brother caused changed the entire scenario. Aegon III could have had daughters - or not - in the early stage - but when one of his successors is made his brother rather than his son Aegon III having daughters who outlive Baelor and don't sit the throne creates a conundrum if one goes by the old 'a daughter becomes before an uncle' routine. That's why George came up with the SSM explanation that the Dance changed the Targaryen succession - and then elaborated on that with the precedents set by Jaehaerys I, etc. in TWoIaF. The Targaryen appendix in AGoT doesn't indicate that there was ever a Targaryen princess considered as an heiress - likely because every Targaryen king had sons or brothers. But the impression one gets the farther we go back to the beginnings is that George originally had set up certain world-building rules - like male-based primogeniture for the succession outside Dorne, daughters coming before uncles and nephews, only two titles - lord and king - for the nobility, etc. and then realized along the way that things should be more complex (or was forced to make them more complex because he had to make changes). I mean, there is a reason why both the Hightowers and the Manderlys have a rather long and impressive string of titles in comparison to the Starks. Or why George had Cersei make the invention of the new titles for the council members in AFfC - which are then retconned into alternative/older versions of the traditional titles for the Small Council members. But that's not the only thing. Originally, Dorne was brought into the Realm by the marriage of Daeron II and Mariah Martell, not the Daenerys-Maron match (the earliest mention of the thing in the story confirms that). The latter is a retcon that came with Baelor Breakspear's age - which was pointed out by you and Linda in one of those very early online Q&As. George never had the intention to make Viserys II a father at the age that he ended up marrying (although the Larra thing is a very interesting way to resolve this thing) or that Daeron II would have to marry Mariah during Baelor's reign rather than his own, etc. The way things are phrased in TWoIaF the whole 'iron precedent' interpretation of the first Great Council (although we can all agree that the iron there may have always been rather rusty) indicates that we are talking the succession of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, and that would then be binding to any dynasty claiming it, regardless whether they call themselves Targaryen, Velaryon, Blackfyre, or Baratheon. They would all be Targaryens (through the female line) anyway. If we imagine/expect that Lord Harrold Hardyng is going to call himself 'Arryn' because he had an Arryn grandmother - or that Sansa's children might end up calling themselves 'Stark', too, never mind the fact that their father is most likely not going to be a Stark (assuming Sansa ends up as the first Ruling Lady of Winterfell) - then Robert sure as hell could have claimed the Iron Throne as King Robert of House Targaryen. That he did not do that would have more to do with the fact that he hated the Targaryens as much as he did, not with the fact that he could not take the royal name of his paternal grandmother and great-grandfather, King Aegon V Targaryen. People are also speculating that Jacaerys or Joffrey Velaryon would have ruled as King Jacaerys or Joffrey Targaryen. I'm not sure they would have, but if Harrold Hardyng can change his name, then these two most definitely could have done the same thing. As to the heir next in line after Myrcella and Shireen, respectively: They should not be forced to search for such a person. They must know who the next in line is. And I'm sure that will come up. We learned quite a lot about some Targaryen cousins in TWoIaF but our protagonists must know what happened to Duncan and Jenny's children (if they had any), what happened to Princess Vaella and Prince Maegor, and where the hell the children of Daella and Rhae are. You mentioned once that the regents of Aegon III discussed the succession of Aegon III before the return of Prince Viserys. Tommen and Myrcella are in pretty much the same situation right now. The idea with Renly-Shireen is that Stannis is phrasing his offer somewhat inaccurate. As per 'law' and 'tradition' (which Stannis, who considers Rhaenyra a traitor on the same level as Daemon Blackfyre) Shireen simply has no claim to the Iron Throne. Thus Stannis should have said something along the lines of 'I'll even accept/acknowledge you as my legal heir as long as no son is born to me'. The idea that Myrcella was specifically put ahead in the succession before Stannis and Renly by Robert doesn't really convince me. When Ned and Littlefinger discuss the succession and status of Cersei's children in AGoT it is clear that Myrcella is less important than Joffrey and Tommen but still important enough to come technically before Robert's brothers. Robert's favoritism towards his brothers also makes it unlikely he favored his daughter over them. His children got no special titles or lordships yet Stannis and Renly both were made great lords in their own right. And Robert *really* favored Stannis early in his reign when he gave him Dragonstone. He would have been the presumptive heir at that point, and he got the ancient seat and castle of the Targaryen Heir Apparent. As to the matter of wills: TSS gives us the entire story on that, no? Rohanne was unwilling to marry as her lord father commanded her, so he took his revenge in his will by making it a condition that she marry within a year after his death or lose Coldmoat to his cousin. And Lord Rowan, the liege lord, confirmed the will in court because said Webber cousin is married to a Rowan (or that's how Sefton's sees it). In a sense this means that any lord could stipulate conditions his heir has to meet if he or she wants whatever is awarded to him or her in the will. Whether those conditions will have to be met or not would depend on what happens after the death of the lord and how the liege lord or the king rule on the matter. Robert gives us the impression in AGoT that he doesn't only have the authority to decide who succeeds Jon Arryn as Warden of the East but also whether Robert Arryn succeeds him as Lord of the Vale - usually this kind of thing should be a formality. But there would be those instances when a succession is contested or disputed. Chances are that Jeyne Arryn had rival claimants challenging her succession to the Eyrie. And one would very surprised if Gerold Lannister did not already try to push aside his niece when his brother died. She was very young at the time, after all. I read an earlier version of TWoIaF and had the chance to send some notes to Ran prior to the final editing for the first edition. I remember pointing out that it is very confusing that Aelora was the heiress prior to Maekar if Daenora is later passed over (and we do know that there is no chance she, too, predeceased Aerys I since her son Maegor is only born 232 AC), especially in light of those whole precedents against female inheritance, etc. earlier in the book. No idea whether that contributed to the decision to phrase it the way it was phrased in the final edition. If we go by Aelora being the heiress to the Iron Throne - and perhaps even the Princess of Dragonstone? (Aerys I made Rhaegel, Aelor, and Maekar Prince of Dragonstone when he named them his heirs) - and this whole thing not being an error or inconsistency - then we have the potential there for a rather interesting development in the Dunk & Egg stories. With TMK indicating that the twins Aelor and Aelora were the only children of Rhaegel alive in 211 AC, I always favored the idea that Daenora might be a posthumous child of Rhaegel's - or at least born shortly before his death in 215 AC. That could also explain why she and Aerion have only one child born in 232 AC. If Daenora were only born around 215 AC she would only be seventeen when Maegor was born. But with her sister being Aerys' heir at one point one could also speculate about the state of mind of Princess Daenora. Perhaps she is going to turn out to be a real piece of work, a worthy companion for her cousin Aerion? If she was tormenting animals at the age of five, say, chances are not that high that Aerys I wanted to see her on the throne. And if she was still a minor - and Aerys I already aware of the fact that he would not live all that long (he died of natural causes which could indicate a sickness) when he named his new heir after Aelora's death - then it would make sense that she was passed over (in fact, her age alone could justify such a decision, most likely - Aelor and Aelora most likely died as adults, considering that they were both married already when Aelor died in 217 AC). Egg has to have a powerful rival in 233 AC when the Great Council is called to prevent another Dance. But simple Vaella and infant Maegor could not possibly challenge Prince Aegon on their own. Kiera of Tyrosh is a foreigner and thus not likely to be a very well-connected courtier. Which leaves Aerion's faction as the main party opposing the rise of Aegon V. But they would need a leader within the royal family. Bloodraven seems to be on Egg's side, Aerion and Daeron are dead - that leaves only the royal women. If Daenora was pissed that she was passed over when her elder sister Aelora was the heiress prior to her death then this could help explain the tension after Maekar's death - even more so if Daenora's mother (and Rhaegel's widow) Alys Arryn was still around, too. That woman might also have been pissed that she never became queen and none of her children ever sat the Iron Throne. If the Arryns of the time - including a young Jon Arryn - stood with their royal kin in those days, the danger of another Dance could have been pretty high. Thinking about that a little bit - the idea that this masked ball that triggered Aelora's suicide is going to turn out to be a Dunk & Egg novella setting serving as a prelude to the Third Blackfyre Rebellion is a very interesting prospect. 219 AC would be the tenth anniversary of Aerys I's ascension. The ideal setting for a grand ball. And also the ideal setting for Blackfyre agents to infiltrate the Red Keep and murder King Aerys, Bloodraven, Maekar, Daemon II Blackfyre (if he was still alive at that point), and other members of the royal family. And also an ideal setting for Dunk feeling very uncomfortable and doing heroic deeds (like saving the king from assassins).
  15. Well, honestly, I prefer the version where Corlys did reach Asshai. If you go to Yi Ti and Leng then Asshai isn't that far away, and the greatest explorer of Westerosi history should have reached the end of the world. Thus: Go on, and 'make it so', to quote another great explorer ;-). That would be my guess as well. The idea was that Yandel only had Marwyn's material after he had essentially written the book. I'm not sure whether you have plotted out the in-world writing process but it seems the man started (and completed?) the book during Robert's reign and only wrote the Afterword after the deaths of both Robert and Joffrey (one assumes he would have done/commissioned the illuminations during the War of the Five Kings). The impression we get in AFfC is that Marwyn isn't back from the east for a long time. And then the sidebar thing on the Asshai pages could be seen as a last minute addendum to the text. If Yandel had known he would soon have access to actual good information not only on Asshai but the entire far east one assumes he would either have waited for that before he wrote the section on the distant lands - or he would have rewritten those entire sections. Assuming he cared about giving a precise and detailed account of the distant lands, including Asshai - which I honestly doubt. But, well, perhaps the good Yandel can illuminate us about his writing process and intentions himself - when he shows up at court in TWoW to present the book to King Aegon VI Targaryen ;-).