Lord Varys

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  1. We also have no reason to believe 'Lady Arya' was granted Winterfell, either. It is somewhat obscure how things stand there. It may even be that the matter was not yet settled in light of the fact that Winterfell was still a ruin back when this was settled. And it still is. Roose originally had no intention to take possession of Winterfell or celebrate the wedding there. They were planning to crush Stannis at the Dreadfort. In that sense it might be that Ramsay's talk of being 'the (trueborn) Lord of Winterfell' might very well be just talk.
  2. Well, if you have nothing but your firm opinion to talk about there is nothing to talk about. You have to show how you think Cersei could regain power and keep it. There is no reason to believe that Mace will send any Tyrell men away from the capital to deal with Euron. The Tyrells have enough men and resources to fight a war at two or even three fronts. They are not the Northmen or the Riverlords, after all. If Mace and Tarly felt that the Ironborn were a threat so strong that they needed to send some of the men they have in the Crownlands right now down into the Reach they would have done so in AFfC or ADwD. Sure, there is a chance that their assessment of the danger Euron poses is going to change after the Redwyne fleet is destroyed but we don't know when that's going to happen in regards to the time line nor when they will learn what has transpired down there. Aegon has only about 10,000 men (if all the Golden Company gets to Storm's End in time), and a bunch of Stormlanders. If the Tyrell army attacks him before at least one of the Dornish armies have joined him he isn't that big of threat. At least not insofar as the size of his army is concerned. Now, size is not everything. If a Tyrell army marches against Aegon and is defeated - and remember Mace has 30,000-40,000 men in KL - then this will have an effect on these people. But it is not going to necessarily mark his end (assuming he himself is not killed in battle or captured, of course). Also keep in mind that Mace's end is going to be the same as King Tommen's end because Aegon will then come for the Iron Throne. The Tyrell men in KL are the last army King Tommen has to defend his throne and if they are defeated so is he. Now, there is a chance that Cersei might remain in the capital until shortly before Aegon takes the city, and there is chance that she might end up in charge of the city sort of by default because Tarly and Mace and many other Tyrell lords defect to Aegon or are captured/killed by the Golden Company in battle but that would then be a very short Lannister regime. The last breath, so to speak, before she is either killed, captured, or able to flee. King Tommen himself is completely irrelevant in all this because it is reinforced again and again that nobody cares about what the boy thinks or does. Only fools like Emmon Frey care about his decrees. Cersei and Jaime both kept him very effectively out of the public eye, and Kevan continued that practice during his short reign as Lord Regent. It seems Tommen never even sat the Iron Throne throughout his entire reign. We also know that the power structures in the capital are completely out of Cersei's hand. The new Lord Commander of the City Watch is one Humphrey Waters Cersei doesn't even know by name. She cannot trust him. In addition, we also know that Mace has added quite a few of his own men to the City Watch, making it very unlikely that they will turn against him. Cersei could get power again in some sort of power vacuum, but it is very unlikely that this is going to happen because in such a scenario the Faith is very likely to step in as the new power to restore order in the capital. The High Septon has the moral authority to do so as well as the strength. It is very unlikely that the City Watch would fight against the Faith Militant. Sure, they might not be able to take the Red Keep but they don't have to to become the de facto rulers of the city. And quite honestly, Tyrell (or Reach) power in the capital is not unlikely to go away before Aegon takes possession of the city since it is very unlikely that Mace is going to send all his men or nearly all his men against Aegon. He does not need 30,000-40,000 men to defeat 10,000 sellswords. It is more likely that he will send, say, 15,000-20,000 men against Aegon while keeping the remainder of his forces in the city to ensure the High Septon behaves and Tyrell power at court is not undermined in his absence. Assuming he is marching against Aegon himself and not just sending Tarly. That wouldn't work for the reasons cited above. Cersei doesn't have the men to do something like that nor is it likely that any such men could be provoked by her by any means imaginable to openly turn against the Tyrells. Even if Mace for some reason left the city with all his men, leaving only a core contingent back in the city that is - for some strange reason - outnumbered by Cersei's people they would all know that Mace Tyrell would return after his victory over Aegon and kill them all if they did something as stupid as you suggest. Now, if Mace and the Tyrell army lost the people would also not do what you suggest because they would know that King Tommen's reign is over and Prince Aegon will be king soon. They would instead open the gates to welcome him, perhaps even arresting or killing Tommen and Cersei for him to show their devotion. King's Landing is still very much a Targaryen city. Sure, but those are not mutually exclusive. There are a lot of Tyrells, after all. Margaery, Mace, and Loras are all expendable. Cersei actually claiming any meaningful power in the situation she is in right now goes completely against the established facts. She has no army, no longer a great reputation, and no reason to expect that anybody would come to bring her help from the outside. And she has every reason to believe that Tyrion and the Tyrells and whoever else hides in the walls and is plotting against her will take out her and Tommen next. That is the main reason why she is not likely going to stay in the city for long. She knows she is not safe there. Why should Mace not want to take care of Cersei himself? He has a lot of men in the castle, and even more in the city. Why not use those men to actual take possession of the entire castle? Then he will take care of Cersei, personally. Either by killing her outright or by having his own men guard her now.
  3. The Starks are attainted traitors. They no longer have a claim to anything if you recognize King Tommen (or King Stannis who also considered Robb as a pretender and a traitor he intended to put down due to the fact that the man crowned himself) as the rightful King on the Iron Throne. If you argue Robert somehow became 'the rightful king' because he says so and made himself an accomplice in the murders of the rightful king and royal women and children and the Targaryens lost all rights to the Iron Throne because of that then the Starks did lose those, too. First when Theon made Robb 'the king who lost the North' by taking his seat away from him and then at the Red Wedding when the attainders King Joffrey had issued against Robb and his family were finally very effectively realized by the Freys and Boltons. Ramsay's wedding to 'Arya Stark' has the same function as Lancel's marriage to Amerei Frey. It's purpose is the lend additional legitimacy to his claim to Winterfell but it is neither a prerequisite that he becomes Lord or Winterfell nor really necessary. The king creates and unmakes lords at his pleasure. Aegon the Conqueror gave Highgarden and the Reach to Harlan Tyrell despite the fact that the man did not really have a claim to any of that. It is the same with Edmyn Tully. He also had no claim to the Riverlands. If King Tommen wanted he could just as well have given Winterfell to Ramsay without also arranging a Stark marriage for him but as it happens it looks like Roose and Tywin preferred to play it that way so that there is an appearance of continuity in blood and not just the taking over of a great seat simply by royal decree. But it is quite clear that it could have been done without the marriage. But the truth is that as long as members of a deposed royal house or an ancient noble lineage remains their claims to this or that ancestral seat remain a very real thing. A royal dynasty cannot be deposed in any legal fashion in this world and it is part of the self-image of an old noble family that they are the lord of this or that castle and the adjacent lands, even if those are taken from them. It takes some time for that to take root in the minds of the people and the descendants of such lords. Ser Eustace Osgrey is an example where this process of acceptance is nearing its end. Another would be the Blackfyres. Nobody seems to think in the series that the Blackfyres were the rightful kings or that any obscure descendants through the female line who might be still out there have better claims to the Iron Throne than, say, the Baratheons or the Targaryens in exile. But the Targaryens and Starks are in a completely different category.
  4. A trial-by-combat is usually a risky and something that is only done as a last resort. A powerful warrior in his prime can use it to get away with pretty much any crime since he has a big chance to win any trial-by-combat. Take men like Gregor or Sandor, for example. However, a great lord of enormous power or a member of the royal family usually is not accused of a crime. And when he is it depends on the situation whether he can get acquitted in a conventional trial (by, say, bribing the judges or begging his royal relative to let him off the hook) or whether he wants to go with a trial-by-combat. The latter is pretty much recognized to be a farce because most people in this world are not as stupid as the believe that the gods speak in this fashion. They know that people killing each other doesn't say anything whether a man is guilty of a crime or not. That is why Margaery prefers to be tried by the Faith rather than trying a trial-by-combat. As to the questions of trials in general, Westeros isn't a society where you have a right to trial. Trials are only conducted when guilt is not obvious. They are not mandatory. Tyrion wouldn't have gotten a trial if his guilt had been obvious. And it is only his special status as the queen's brother and the fact that he demands a trial-by-combat in front half the Vale that he gets a trial at all. A man of lower birth and with less significant connections wouldn't have gotten a trial - neither a conventional trial nor a trial-by-combat. And demanding a trial-by-combat only works if you are either a very good fighter yourself or powerful enough to convince a powerful champion to fight in your stead. It is something for the elite of the Realm, basically. If a man like Jorah demanded it - assuming that his guilt wasn't already obvious, which one assumes it was - Lord Eddard would decide whom Jorah or Jorah's champion would fight, and he could certainly pick a man that would make short work of Jorah.
  5. Sure, that was my entire point. And he is actually messing around with what he has established earlier on by introducing new titles and giving new houses much more fancy titles than the houses he introduced early. Just look at the string of the titles Lord Manderly uses or the titles the Hightowers of Oldtown get in the appendix of AFfC.
  6. If a kingdom/land is cut into different chunks of various sizes then it makes somewhat sense to make all those feudal landowners be equal in rank. They would be, in the sense that they were all (sort of) subservient to the king, and only the king. Now, this isn't the case in Westeros. In Westeros, the great lords of the Realm are the only lords who only have one liege lord in the king. All the others have other lordly liege lords as well as responsibilities to the king. And it is not very realistic that those differences wouldn't be reflected in titles.
  7. We also have the stuff to consider about the early Emperors being deified. That sounds like something they would have done prior to becoming a spacefaring race. And we also know that there were Emperors fighting the Xon. In fact, a good way around that could be that there were Emperors before the Centauri Republic, with their Empire only becoming a republic of sorts when they first established (more distant) colonies. Yeah, that's clear. The odd part is still that the Centauri apparently weren't touched by the last Shadow War at all. The Narn were, and as far as we know from Earth's history the Shadows didn't drag the humans into it the last time, despite the fact that there were Shadow ships in the system. Yes, that's somewhat of a problem. But I guess this galaxy-wide thing makes somewhat more sense in like of the freakish physics of hyperspace and the fact that jumpgates could technically be around pretty much everywhere in light of the fact that the Elder Races would have created the first. That would mean that there corridors and vast regions of space that are very easily and quickly reached as soon as you have figured out how to use those jumpgates. The only real obstacle I could see preventing space exploration is if you have to pass through a powerful race's territory. The Minbari or Vorlons wouldn't allow that. Another problem could be the absence of beacons in certain areas of hyperspace.
  8. @Werthead Well, then the whole thing is pretty much mess. I'm not sure if your dates in relation to the founding of the Minbari and Centauri states makes a lot of sense. For one, we know the Minbari played a role in the last Shadow War - which the Centauri did not - which means they must have spaceships and jumpgate technology some time before the Centauri. It is hardly likely that the Shadows or Vorlons would have drawn the Minbari in their experiment if they had not reached a certain level in cultural development. If you only mean the founding of the present Minbari Federation it makes sense. Another thing is the distances you mention. The planets all seem to be rather close to each other, merely a few dozens light years away from each other. In light of the fact that not every system should have intelligent species and the fact that all of the major powers - and some of the lesser powers, too - do have a number of colony worlds makes it exceedingly unlikely that Earth was discovered as late as it was.
  9. It is in a world with as complex a feudal hierarchy as the Seven Kingdoms. They are not, gods be good, as small or insignificant as early medieval England or Poland. But the nobles in the Seven Kingdoms are emphatically not equal. Not really. Neither in the Seven Kingdoms of old and certainly not during the Targaryen reign. Those people all care about their rank and status, and being all lords would mean there is essentially no difference reflected in the styling or address between a man like Tywin and a man like Littlefinger. This doesn't make any sense. So why do the Arryns then still rule over the lords of sheepshit? Why should he do something like that in the name of the Warrior only? The High Septon speaks for all the Seven and part of the proper ritual to become a knight is to stand vigil in a sept and be anointed by a septon with the seven oils. If there is somebody who most definitely can make a knight it would be the High Septon. And back in the early days of the Andals any septon might have been able to make a knight. It seems that the original origin of knighthood goes back to the zealous Andal warriors who invaded Westeros. They motivation was apparently largely religious.
  10. I read that, I was referring to both you and @Yucef Menaerys without making that explicit enough.
  11. All Boltons? Really? Roose didn't declare Robb his king nor did he ever do homage to him as his king or lord. They separated even before Ned was executed. And Robb could only then lay claim to Winterfell in his own right. Roose had as much to choose his own king as Robb had to declare war on Joffrey or crown himself king. Now, the manner of Robb's murder was a vile thing but the fact that Roose chose the winning side is nothing you can fault him for. How do I know? That isn't the point. The point is that Aemon would have been killed as a deserter or traitor, too, had he tried to help his grandnephew Aerys. I know that he is conflicted but this is no excuse for the things he pulls in the end. He has a responsibility for the men who elected him Lord Commander not for the sister he gave up when he spoke his vow. Which he also spoke of his own free will. He is no longer a normal black brother, he is the leader of the Night's Watch and as such he has to think of his men first, not of the wildlings or some siblings that should be dead to him. And no, Jon does not think Bran or Rickon might still be alive. He got away with too much. First with his attempt to kill Alliser Thorne, then with his first desertion, then with the whole wildling thing. That is too much. It gives him the impression he can do whatever the hell he wants without suffering any consequences. That is what gets him killed in the end. Had he gotten a taste of his own medicine from Jeor Mormont - the execution medicine he gives Janos Slynt to swallow - he might have thought twice or even thrice before sending Mance down south or declaring war on the Boltons. That was just the logical endpoint. I mean, we can discuss a lot of about the wildling thing a Marsh's apparent irrational bias against them, but do you know how the idea to train wildlings at arms must look to any impartial observer? That Jon Snow is planning to train a wildling army for King Stannis. Once Stannis returns from Winterfell he could many of the wildlings brought through the Wall to continue his doomed campaign to win the Iron Throne. And since he most certainly would lose should he ever again march down the Neck the Night's Watch would in the end have to pay for this whole thing, one way or another.
  12. A victor himself doesn't write history. Historians do. And they continue to do so after the monarch in question has died. The crucial work on any historical figure is done in the years and decades immediately after his or her death. That's when the historians shape the standard image of a monarch or head of state. Work continues later on, of course, but in that crucial time the lasting image is created and all the later work is working on that - either reinforcing or criticizing it. Now, of course there are court historians and the life in a monarchy, which means that the standard image of a monarch will in no small degree dependent how the successors of that monarch want to see their predecessor(s). But that works only up to a point. A tyrant cannot be reinvented as a just or exemplary king by some historians, at least not in a society where historians actually are historians writing history (and not blatantly inventing stuff). The practice to erase entire kings or reigns from history doesn't seem to be common in Westeros. If that was the case Jaehaerys I would have reshaped his father Aenys I into an exemplary king and would also have erased his uncle Maegor from history in favor of his two elder brothers, 'the true and rightful kings Aegon II and Viserys I'. But nothing of this sort happened. It is different if a new dynasty is founded or another permanently toppled in civil war. Then a new narrative is created, one that is continued and upheld as long as that dynasty reigns. That can qualify as the victor writing history. The arguments or merits of the loser in such a war are quickly forgotten or survive only in distorted fashion. But they are not completely erased from history. Damnatio memoriae is no thing in the middle ages. And even in the cultures where it was a thing it seldom worked all that effectively. We can reasonably expect that Daenerys might count her brother Viserys III as the rightful king of Westeros and legitimate successor of her own father, King Aerys II, but she won't be able to erase Robert from history. But it is quite clear that the Baratheon interregnum will lose all legitimacy in the wake of a Targaryen restoration, be it King Aegon VI Targaryen or Queen Daenerys I Targaryen. That is inevitable. They will create a narrative of Targaryen continuity leading from Aerys II through Viserys III to Aegon VI and Daenerys I. The Baratheons became pretenders and usurpers and - in the case of Cersei's children - outright frauds. The case of Rhaenyra is actually rather interesting. Aegon II decreed that she was no queen but that didn't change the facts. She sat the Iron Throne and she was the chosen heir of her father Viserys I. And this fact is recognized by the historians writing about her. Both Yandel and Gyldayn refer to her as 'Queen Rhaenyra' from the moment she is crowned on Dragonstone until the day she dies there. Whether she is listed as queen in some official kings list or not is not all that relevant. Nobody has said he was. Robert was certainly a better king than both Aegon the Unworthy (the worst king in Westerosi history according to George himself) and Maegor the Cruel. But that's it. His sole good quality was that he wasn't cruel and had no bad or evil intentions. But he didn't care about being a good ruler, and he knew how bad the people running his court and council were, and did nothing to stop or replace him. That makes him very bad in my book. Aerys II was a madman but Robert doesn't have such an excuse.
  13. How do you know that? You are just coming up with an idea that sounds convenient to you with no basis on the text. Ramsay Bolton isn't just some sort, he is the Lord of the Hornwood (by virtue of his widow, the Lady Donella), the Lord of Winterfell (by virtue of his wife, the Lady Arya), and the heir to the Dreadfort. He is a very important man. His state of mind and sexual preferences are irrelevant to the topic at hand. Especially in light of the fact that Jon Snow pretty much knows nothing about those. How could he? Ramsay is representing the Crown in this matter. This is pretty obvious in the letter. He has defeated and killed the traitor and pretender Stannis (or so he claims) and now he wrapping things up be dealing with the pitiful remnants of Stannis' forces and family. The Watch would have handed Rhaella and her children to an Umber, Karstark, or Bolton just as well as to a Stark or Robert himself. It is hundreds of watchmen against a dozen or a score of men-at-arms and a handful of knights in the retinue of Queen Selyse. It should be doable without spilling any blood or at least not spilling all that much blood. Doing nothing would mean to provoke the Boltons even further, resulting in an attack on Castle Black conducted by thousands of Northmen fighting for Roose and Ramsay. That would be the end of the NW. We know that wives essentially are the property of their husbands. We know that Ramsay marrying and subsequently murdering Lady Donella doesn't mean said marriage is seen as unlawful. We know wives swear to obey their husbands when they marry them and we know that husbands have a right to physically chastise their wives. We also know that there is no such thing as marital rape in Westeros. That basically means that no man has any right to come between a husband and his wife. But even if there were certain situations where a brother or father could try to save his sister or daughter from the treatment she is suffering at the hands of her husband a sworn brother of the Night's Watch doesn't have any such rights. He no longer has any sisters or daughters after he swears his vow. I agree that he wouldn't have done anything if Melisandre hadn't suggested it but this is irrelevant to the topic at hand. He gave Mance permission to try to save her and Mance certainly was under the impression that he should rescue Arya, never mind whether she is in or outside of Winterfell. Else the man would never have gone to Winterfell to risk his life and the lives of his companions in that place. It is also quite clear that either Mance or one of the women blamed Jon Snow for the entire mission by telling Ramsay (before he wrote the Pink Letter) that they were there on Jon Snow's orders. Else Ramsay wouldn't have known about that and never written a letter to Jon. Jon is also not aghast or pissed that Mance or one of the women told Ramsay that he sent them. He doesn't feel betrayed by them. He doesn't seem to have a problem with the fact that they went to Winterfell. But even if he were - Ramsay now believes that Jon Snow sent Mance and those women into his castle to steal his bride, and that means that he has a right to strike back at Jon. It does not matter whether he is completely correct in that belief. Again, Ned could have been guilty of treason but that wouldn't have stopped Robb from rebelling against the Iron Throne. Why do we all tolerate Robb's actions or even applaud him but don't grant Ramsay a similar right? And in fact, Ramsay is taking a much more cautious and less confrontational approach than Robb. Robb never wrote a letter to Joffrey and Cersei so that they could meet his demands (like freeing his father). He just called the banners and went to war.
  14. The claim of the members of a royal dynasty never disappears unless those members themselves reject those claims or the members of the dynasty all die. Such are the rules of monarchies and monarchistic societies. Westeros is no different in this regard than any of the real world monarchies. Countless royal descendants continued to pretend to this or that throne just as many actual monarchs included royals titles referring to holdings or countries they had long since lost. And many of those regained thrones they previously lost. The Stuarts were restored to the British throne after the death of Cromwell and the Bourbons were restored to the throne of France after the end of Napoleon. Neither Queen Rhaella nor King Viserys III or Queen Daenerys I gave up their claims to the Iron Throne of Westeros, so they still have that claim and can push it. If it was not very easy and to be expected that the Targaryens would be restored to the Iron Throne one way or another Robert wouldn't be as afraid as he is of Viserys III and his Dothraki allies as he actually is. And this is certainly not only the case for the Targaryens. The Northmen also feel very strongly about the Starks. Wyman Manderly and others have bent the knee to King Tommen but that gesture of submission is worth nothing. When a Stark comes to claim Winterfell they will follow, just as the Targaryen loyalists all across the Realm will soon declare for Aegon. Robert would also not care about the fact that quite a few lords still call him usurper if that fact wasn't, you know, important. Robert was a charismatic warrior-king who developed into a fat drunkard who disgraced himself and his crown. His 'justice' was a joke, his government corrupt, and his way of life beggaring the Crown. The idea that this man would have been able to mount a strong resistance against any outside threat or inspire the younger generation to fight for him as the people had done fifteen years ago. Just look what Jon and Sansa think about this fat man. They are disgusted by him, and rightfully so.
  15. Yeah, let's hand the food to undisciplined savages who fight with weapons made of bone and stone. I'm sure the wights will be impressed by that. Not to mention that, you know, half or more of these people are children, women, or old people, incapable of contributing anything to the fight against the Others. They are just additional mouths to feed.