Lord Varys

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  1. I'm somewhat confused. Tad's page says the book is out to day yet amazon claims it is only out on the 29th. What's true?
  2. Sure, Roose has been in general loyal to the Starks. But that isn't the point. Lord Rickard is not Lord Eddard, and Lord Eddard is not Lord (or 'King') Robb, right? The Stormlords were also loyal to King Robert and then they rebelled against Robert's son and anointed heir, King Joffrey, without knowing or believing that the boy wasn't Robert's son. You can say they were still loyal to House Baratheon because they followed Renly in his rebellion but they still betrayed Joffrey, right?
  3. That isn't so. Robb acts as his lady mother's and lord father's representative in their absence. But he isn't the liege lord of the Lords of the North. You may not recall it but Lady Catelyn (who was made the regent of the North in Lord Eddard's absence) actually contemplates to send Robb back home to Winterfell when she meets his army at Moat Cailin. She decides against that but this in and of itself shows what power Robb had at this point - only so much as his mother allowed him. He was still a minor, and he only became the Lord of Winterfell (in the eyes of his men) after his father was killed. Sure, his success in battle and war also helped him to build a reputation and win the love and respect of the men following him. But that happens later, too. But by that time Roose and the entire infantry army had left Robb. The men with Roose did neither proclaim Robb their king nor did they do him homage as their lord and king. Now, many of the men with Roose were staunch Stark loyalists, of course, men he removed from the equation when he began to move against Robb. And we should also note that some of those men - while being staunch Stark loyalists - may still have thought this idea of Robb declaring himself king madness and folly. But we cannot say something like 'Roose Bolton betrayed and murdered his king' during the Red Wedding. By that time Roose Bolton's king was Joffrey Baratheon, not Robb Stark. He sure as hell feigned to be Robb's and cowardly and insidiously murdered him but we cannot really say he broke a vow of fealty he had sworn to Robb as his king or lord. This doesn't make the Red Wedding less ugly but it puts things into perspective. Roose's murder of Robb isn't the betrayal I'd care about so much since it isn't that big of a deal in light of all that. It is more that he was participating in the murders of thousands of Northmen and Riverlanders he had fought with during the war. That is the really ugly part.
  4. Garlan took half of the Tyrell men back to Highgarden when he left with Olenna, Alerie, and the others after Tommen's wedding. Depending on how many men from the Reach where in Renly's original army the other half Mace and Tarly control would be about 30,000-40,000 men. Renly allegedly had 80,000 men Bitterbridge, but we don't know how many Stormlanders were with him. If it was 20,000 Stormlanders and 60,000 Reach men then 30,000 men would be the half of that. But it could have been less Stormlanders and more Reach men, say 65,000 to 15,000, or even 70,000 to 10,000 men. And we also know Mace had another 10,000 men with him at Highgarden, men who most likely accompanied him to KL and fought at the Blackwater and later on at Duskendale. Then it would be in total 70,000 or 80,000 Reach men at KL immediately after the Blackwater. Half of that might then be 40,000. Now, some men would have died in the two battles, others might have deserted, and then there are those Florent foot who were put down by Tarly. But I don't think it makes sense timeline-wise that Euron will take KL while Mace is off fighting Aegon. He has no intention to leave the city to fight the Ironborn. That is the job of his sons. And the 30,000-40,000 men Garlan took back with him to Highgarden should be more than enough in addition to the other men they are raising right now. Euron first has to crush the Redwyne fleet and that might happen around the same time the Tyrells are marching against Aegon at Storm's End. Euron will only make new plans when he realizes that the Dany-and-dragons-plan is not going to work the way he thought it would. Meaning that she is either dead, not coming yet, etc. Aegon will become a massive problem for him because he is not just stealing Dany's thunder but also his. He wanted to take the Iron Throne as the king consort of a Targaryen queen. But he can't marry Aegon. To deal with Aegon he'll need allies in Westeros. And that's where Cersei will come in. He needs a land-based power to challenge or attack Aegon. Then they could, perhaps, defeat them all. Once the Redwyne fleet is gone Aegon cannot carry the war to Euron. He doesn't have enough ships. He can do nothing to stop him while Euron lacks the allies to actually take and keep the Iron Throne. He could set himself up as a pirate-king on the Arbor and carve himself a kingdom consisting of the southern coasts of the Reach but the chances that he can get the lords and knights there to march in his name against Highgarden and KL are about zero. And even if he did, they would be too few help him hold it. He needs more allies. And that's where Cersei will come in. The gold of Casterly Rock as well as the strength of the Lords of the West will help with that.
  5. I think we can be very sure that Robb's kingdoms is not going to raise from its ashes. It was stillborn from the start, after all. Robb could never keep a united kingdom of the North and the Trident, that was insane. Keeping only the North could have worked if he had stayed up there but even then whoever won the day down in the south would eventually have come up, knocking at his door. And especially in winter there would be very effective ways to force the North to submit again. There is a lot of food in the South, after all, food the North might need to survive in 5-6-year-winter. No pretender to the Iron Throne ever recognized Robb's kingship or his kingdom. Joffrey, Renly, Stannis - they all saw him as a rebel and a traitor, basically. Renly phrased it very nicely but he made it clear that he would force Robb to submit. He was willing to allow him to keep his crown but only under the condition that Robb become his vassal. There is small chance that this is going to change when the Targaryen restoration plot line begins. Aegon and Daenerys will see the North as part of their Realm just as Joffrey and Stannis did (or still do). There are quite a few Targaryen loyalists in the Riverlands - people that are most likely going to use the chance to declare for Aegon to get both moral and military support to chase the Lannisters out of their lands. They could get support from the Crownlands and the Reach and Dorne for such things after Aegon takes the Iron Throne. The North cannot promise the Riverlords any support, neither in their continued fight against the Lannisters nor in a future war against Aegon or Daenerys should they lay claim to the Riverlands. They are very much spent and will bleed each other even more in that ridiculous civil war they are fighting right now. Robb's will may have named Jon Snow Robb's heir under certain conditions but whether those are relevant or will take effect now in light of the fact that a significant number of Northmen must know that Bran and Rickon are alive remains to be seen. Lord Manderly is already looking for his liege lord Rickon Stark. And Sansa Stark is also still out there, too. Should she ever lay claim to Winterfell with the support of the Lords of the Vale it should be impossible to deny her. But while Stannis lives there won't be another King in the North unless Stannis himself is going take that title. In addition, there is the problem of the fact that Robb's last will seems to be with Howland Reed, a man who most likely knows the truth about Jon Snow's actual ancestry. If Robb's last will were to name his half-brother Jon Snow - legitimizing him as Jon Stark - his heir then Reed has the knowledge to contest or thwart that will by revealing that Jon Snow is not, in fact, Robb Stark's half-brother or Eddard Stark's son but actually Lyanna Stark's son by Rhaegar Targaryen. Lastly, there is the problem of the Others. If Jon Snow somehow ended up in a leadership position in a coalition against the Others in the North (no unlikely scenario in the wake of Stannis' eventual demise - something that is most likely only going to occur in the more distant future, though) it would be completely against his own interests to actually declare himself 'the King in the North' and lay claim to a new kingdom of the North or to Robb's Trident territories, too. After all, it would provoke the wrath of the pretenders to the Iron Throne (or the King and Queen on the Iron Throne) and not help them in any way, shape, or form to get more support from the South to defend the Wall against the Others. If Jon - or anyone, really - proclaimed a new Stark King in the North they could just as well cry out loud 'We don't need your help against the Others. Thank you very much.' In light of the fact that quite a few people already know about the Others - and that it is not unlikely that many people (especially in the North) will learn more about them in the very near future such a development is simply not very likely. It is much more likely that especially a smart guy like Jon will realize that they desperately need help from all of Westeros, so that he finally sends down men asking for help. Whether this is going to help all that much remains to be seen.
  6. Oh, okay, then I'm just not aware of that. But then, didn't the Shadows have a base on Narn back then? If they can have one on Narn they sure as hell could have had interest in a place like Centauri Prime or even Earth. I mean, it is made clear during the Shadow War that there are planets in which both the Vorlons and the Shadows are deeper invested in than the big powers. And there is also no hint that they have some sort of a Prime Directive - far the opposite, actually. And as to the telepath thing - didn't the Vorlons create those as weapons against the Shadows? Since the whole thing isn't a proper war but rather, say, a struggle between two pedagogic concepts that got somewhat out of hand we have to ask ourselves what the purpose of those 'weapons' actually is. The Vorlons and Shadows don't attack each other. Instead, the Shadows try to undo or sabotage the projects of the Vorlons, and vice versa. A Vorlon success seems to be if an all-out war between the younger races can be prevented and a significant number of the younger races submit to Vorlon control and adopt their ideas of order and discipline. A Shadow victory would have all the races in conflict as long as the Shadows deem it necessary, and pretty much nobody following the ideas of the Vorlons. The Minbari are already very much a race strongly shaped by Vorlon ideals with the rigidness and stasis of their culture just as the Drakh - perhaps even to a much higher degree since they were actually living the the Shadows - are the best disciples of the Shadows. If we connect this to telepath thing then the Vorlons have had a very specific plan when they chose to seed many or all of the younger races with telepaths. A possible explanation could be that the telepaths were supposed to enforce Vorlon ideology on the non-telepathic peers, or at least help with that. A possible side effect could also be that telepaths interfere with Shadow technology, making it less likely that the message of the Shadows will be heard on worlds where there is a strong presence of telepaths. To counter this the Shadows developed a way to make use of the telepaths with the help of the Psi Corps.
  7. Nope. I give you the relevant passage from AGoT in full, for context: Sansa Stark is the only Stark who isn't attainted but that is hardly a surprise considering that she was King Joffrey's betrothed at that time. Eddard Stark had already lost everything he had when he was arrested, and later actually reinforced this when he admitted his treason in front of the Great Sept. Some of those attainders are clearly revoked later down the road. The Martells, Royces, Tyrells, Lysa and Robert Arryn, the Freys and all the Riverlords are later forgiven after they met the Crown's demands (the last is Tytos Blackwood in the last Jaime chapter). But there is no hint that the Starks are forgiven. And whatever Sansa had she most likely lost after they decided she was involved in the murder of Joffrey. Now, it could be that King Tommen restored Winterfell and all its incomes to 'Arya Stark' but we don't know that's the case. If Tywin wasn't more stupid than Littlefinger in the whole Gates of the Moon thing I'm reserving judgment on that one until we have it in paper and ink that 'Arya' is now the Lady of Winterfell by royal decree of King Tommen. Tywin had a powerful weapon against Roose in his hands with the truth about this 'Arya Stark'. Yes, it was he who gave 'Arya' to the Boltons and thus it could also badly reflect on him but if Tywin wanted to rid himself of an overly ambitious or obnoxious Roose revealing the truth about 'Arya' at an opportune moment could quickly enough led to a rebellion against the Boltons in the North, resulting in the quick downfall of House Bolton without the Lannisters having to involve themselves directly. Men like Lord Wyman could very easily use this to their advantage, and then the Lannisters could simply name the victor in that struggle the new Warden of the North. And again, the Winterfell question is never asked in ADwD. Roose is forced to go there, this isn't the plan. Not to mention that quite a lot changes with Tywin's murder. This is what fuels both Roose's and Stannis' ambitions, making things more interesting. With Tywin still in the game everybody thought the game was as good as over, but now the pack is reshuffled. Sansa and Arya's worth lies in their appearance, just as Aegon's worth lies in the fact that he pretends to be Prince Aegon, the son of Rhaegar, because that's what's going to motivate people to fight for him (assuming he isn't Rhaegar's son). As long as there is still a significant group of Northmen who believe the Starks should be the Lords of Winterfell trying to use a Stark as your pawn is going to help you if you want to control Winterfell. That's what Roose does and that's what Littlefinger apparently intends to do in the future. And also note that the Sansa plan involves to make her the Lady of the Vale at Lord Harrold's side and have her count on the military support of the Lords of the Vale. If 20,000 men from the Vale invaded the North after a terrible winter they could install pretty much anybody as Lady of Winterfell. But it should go very smoothly for an actual Stark, of course. But this is a separate question from whether the Starks still have a legal claim to the North or to Winterfell after Robb's rebellion, secession, and the Red Wedding. If you think they still do then this is doubly true for the Targaryen claim to the Iron Throne because as the royal dynasty their subjects do not really have the right to take such a claim from them. Robert is a rebel and usurper and as such he is no position to take attaint the legal heirs of Aerys II. And we actually don't know whether he ever formally attainted Queen Rhaella, King Viserys III, and Princess Daenerys. But even if he did issue such decrees they would be worth as much in the eyes of Targaryen loyalists (and people who are about to remember that they want to be Targaryen loyalists) as Lord Wyman's vows of fealty to Roose Bolton and King Tommen. There is no difference between Prince Doran's plans to restore King Viserys III and Queen Daenerys I to their throne and Lord Wyman's plans to restore his liege lord Rickon Stark to Winterfell.
  8. That doesn't make any sense. We know that both Ned and Robb were attainted as traitors in AGoT. Since then Winterfell is technically in the possession of the Crown. Now, it may help to restore a lordship to an innocent female relative of a traitor you have married to one of your allies but that isn't necessary. From the day of Eddard's downfall the Starks owned nothing. They claim they still do but outside their own circles nobody agrees with them. And that doesn't just extend to the Lannisters and Joffrey but also to Stannis and Renly.
  9. Sure, but that doesn't mean Tywin must also have named her Lady of Winterfell through Tommen. After all, he knew she is a fake and if Tommen did that it could only reflect badly on him should it ever come out. Littlefinger also could have Lord Robert sign the grant giving the Gates of the Moon to Lord Nestor Royce. But he did not, and there is a reason for that. @OldGimletEye It is pretty clear that Aerys II is no 'special case'. Half the Realm or more stood with him (Rhaegar had more men at the Trident than Robert, after all), half of them against him. It was similar during the Dance, and even more men took up arms against King Maegor at the end of his reign. But back then the crown remained the royal dynasty and went to an immediate heir of the king. Nobody ran around and said that this Jaehaerys guy, being the nephew of King Maegor, should not get the crown because he might grow to be as worse as his uncle. They did make Jaehaerys I king and not, say, a Velaryon or Baratheon. Nor did they cut the Realm back into seven pieces, And after the Dance the crown went to Rhaenyra's eldest surviving son, not to some distant Velaryon cousin. Aegon II and Rhaenyra both pretty much sucked as kings yet nobody said that this justified the deposition of the entire dynasty in favor of a distant cousin. Corlys Velaryon would have been a much better king than Aegon III, and perhaps his (grand-)son and heir, Alyn Velaryon, would have been even better still. We don't know. There is ample evidence that the rebellion against Aerys II was as justified as the various rebellions against Maegor but this doesn't mean that the entire dynasty can be deposed. That's not monarchies work. If you do that you risk destroying the entire system. What the rebels should have done is to depose and/or execute/kill Aerys II (and Rhaegar, too, perhaps) to then put one of his immediate heirs on the throne. Either Prince Viserys or Prince Aegon. That way they could have still held power and dominated the Realm during the minority of the new king while not antagonizing the Targaryen loyalists too much. They would also not have destroyed or at least dealt a severe blow to monarchy of the Seven Kingdoms. And Robert made the whole thing worse by tolerating the spilling of innocent royal blood and the murder of the king himself. Back when Aegon II was murdered in a similar situation as Aerys II Cregan Stark punished those murderers harshly, never minding the fact that he, too, wanted to kill that king. That way you can make a new beginning of sorts, but Robert not punishing the murderers of Elia and the children and keeping Jaime in his Kingsguard was the original sin of the Baratheon dynasty. Robert's way of taking the throne leads directly to the Greyjoy Rebellion. It is seen as destruction/weakening of the monarchy and strengthens those forces in the Seven Kingdoms who want (more) independence. He could defeat Balon because of his personal charisma and the lasting friendship with his old buddies. But the man Ned meets again in 298 AC is essentially a walking corpse. A fat drunkard who inspires neither respect nor awe or (gods be good) love in the young generation. Sansa and Jon are more than underwhelmed by the great Robert Baratheon. Such man is not likely to be able to rally the entire Realm against Viserys III or another Targaryen pretender if the man came with a sizable army, calling on all loyal men to defend his ancient rights. And once Robert is dead everything goes to hell, basically. Stannis is the evil uncle, loved by no one, Robert's children are not his and either cruel pricks or too young to make an impact. The only truly royal Baratheon, Robert's true heir, was Renly. He is everything Robert was when he won the throne. And he knows how to win the love and devotion of the people, especially the young generation. But Renly dies pretty quickly. And the Targaryen myth has not yet died. A lot of people still alive who remember Aerys II and Rhaegar (and the older people Jaehaerys II and Aegon V), and they idealize the golden days of the reign of Aerys II (when Tywin gave them twenty years of peace and prosperity). There are quite a few Targaryen loyalists biding their time, and others are sharpening their knives to avenge the injustice and murders of the Rebellion. And there are people all over the place - in cities as different as White Harbor and Oldtown, not to mention KL itself - which toast their exiled rightful rulers and look forward to their return. A Targaryen telling a the Realm that he or she is the rightful king or queen is going to be in a better position than any of Robert's ilk. Everybody knows that this is the case. Aerys II didn't wage a war against the smallfolk (like Maegor). Some nobles and people at court suffered from his cruelty but the majority of the people didn't mind all that. If he had killed every person living in Duskendale after the Defiance it would have been somewhat different. But he just had all the Darklyns killed. Perhaps those even a score or two score people but hardly something the entire Realm should be fretting about. Especially not the commoners.
  10. @kissdbyfire Sorry, this doesn't really help. The beliefs of the people in Winterfell are independent from the decrees of King Tommen. Ramsay could only become Lord of Winterfell by right of his wife if Tommen actually had named 'Arya' Lady of Winterfell. And there is no evidence for this. If he did, it happened without being mentioned in the text, and while they don't know what has happened to Sansa Tywin would have been pretty stupid doing this. After all, if Sansa was captured again - a true Stark, not some impostor - they could use her marriage to Tyrion to claim Winterfell and the North for the Lannisters or marry her again to another Lannister. They never wanted to go with this Bolton plan. The plan for Tyrion and Sansa was to take possession of Winterfell after winter had dealt with the people up there, and Roose was just supposed to a tool in the whole affair. A tool that would eventually be discarded. Sansa's disappearance thwarted that plan but not necessarily for good. After all, Tywin and his gang know that Jeyne is an impostor. It should be quite easy to take Winterfell from her and Ramsay in light of that. But they would look very foolish if they had actually named or confirmed 'Lady Arya' as the Ruling Lady of Winterfell in light of all that.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. @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.
  19. 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.
  20. I read that, I was referring to both you and @Yucef Menaerys without making that explicit enough.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.