The Mountain That Flies

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  1. Assuming this is occurring after the Conquest when he had 7/8ths of Westeros behind him, Aegon would mop the floor with the Others. Even giving them full control of the lands beyond the Wall and the entirety of the wildling population as wights, they're not well disposed to take on a serious and organized military commander. He would stay firm at the Wall and slowly/steadily push them back, burning everything in front of him if need be.
  2. 1. Given how sheltered a life Joffrey seemed to live, it seems highly doubtful he would have had any sexual encounters. They would have need to be have effectively set up for him by someone else. Robert is the only possible person who might have been motivated to do that, and he most likely would have just figured that was something a guy needed to go out and take care of for himself. 2. He's never described as scrawny or particularly thick, so given his age (13) he's likely of a thin/fit build. Tall for that age would, at a guess, be 5 feet 8 inches or taller. 3. Nurture. Joffrey grew up on stories about his father taking the throne by force, and idolized the idea of strength. Combine tha with the superiority complex and disregard for those of a lesser station that his mother brought to the table, and his behavior isn't that surprising. 4. Aron Santagar (master-of-arms at the Red Keep) was encouraging Joffrey to fight Robb Stark with live steel when they visited Winterfell. It seems highly doubtful a man in that position would do such a thing if his pupil didn't at least have some competency. However, Joffrey also had the deep-seeded cowardice common among many bullies, which would have put a psychological restraint on his martial skills if confronted with an opponent of equal or greater abilities.
  3. This is a valid point. Tywin knows Robert is indecisive, so why dither around demanding satisfaction when you can just go and take it for yourself? He would do as he did in the proper timeline. Tyrion dying as a convicted murderer wouldn't change that much until the Battle of the Blackwater.
  4. The Riverlands should awnser directly to King's Landing. Due to the geography and the quarrelsome nature of its Lords, the region is difficult to keep in order by just a Lord Paramount (or for that matter a king seen as too foreign like the Storm and Island Kings of old). Incorporating the entire region into the domain of King's Landing would give the River Lords sufficient placating to keep them in order, and would give the Iron Throne far greater resources to directly call upon as needed. Turning Harrenhall into a permanent military fortification for a standing Royalist force would be a good way to utilize what should be all rights be some the strongest holdings in Westeros.
  5. Without any leadership training or experience the kid would be on a steep learning curve. Westeros is in bad shape, and even with the best advisers it would need a strong and adaptable leader going forward. It's great that he's well-rounded, but knowing what it's like to be a commoner doesn't guarantee good political decision making (Aegon V being a prime example).
  6. One of the less discussed magical traits of Old Valyria was the ability of some sorcerers to work stone like clay. As a result they were able to create incredibly nuanced pieces of architecture, far different from anything else in the world. But by the time of Aegon's Conquest there don't seem to be any more of these magical builders. We never hear of any being used to make King's Landing or the Red Keep, which is particularly noteworthy since Aegon wanted that city to be a personal stamp on Westeros. We know that these magical masons were involved in constructing Dragonstone, but I don't recall if the full castle was built ahead of the Targayens moving there or as a result of their move. A lack of this kind of magic could be explained away by all magic in the world having diminished after the last dragons died, but Aegon's life and works was well before that occurred. So was Dragonstone simply built way earlier and no masons left Valyria with the Targs? Very curious for any more information or ideas anyone may have.
  7. This is a valid point, but if someone were married into House Martell and sent to Sunspear as a quasi-hostage, would that be a submission on the part of Dorne? Of course an obvious counter-point would be that neither Jon Arryn or Robert would have trusted a hostage of any worth to to Dorne.
  8. This may the most militarized version of these yet, and is very well done. I'd be tempted to just say Floki's answer is the best, as it really covers all bases well. I will offer that Royce's plan isn't actually a terrible one, as you would have a decent chance of at least retreating successfully even if it doesn't work. The Ironborn do not strike as the quickest attackers going uphill and on tight ground. If he dies taking down a lot of them and you make it back, there's a power/influence void you could fill in the Vale (assuming you fought well). Given how many young members of your family there are, that's quite advantageous.
  9. When the Rebels rode for King's Landing, they did so expecting Aerys to go down swinging. Would you want the latecomers to your cause up there with you in the such a dangerous part of the campaign? Aside from their lack of trustworthiness, they would have been pretty green as far as combat experience. The main Rebels had, by that point, direct experience in urban combat from the Battle of the Bells. While simply leaving the Frey forces to guard the rear seems wasteful, I question how useful they would have been even if their hearts were in it.
  10. I do agree that Imry gets more hate than is warranted, but not using scout ships was an arrogant mistake. I've never been on the "Davos for Admiral" train that the OP rightly criticizes, but Stannis is the former Master of Ships and was by all accounts an outstanding naval commander. Either he (or someone in the chain of command) should have made that very fundamental call. Even when you are certain of victory, basic fact checking is always warreneted.
  11. It would have been a bit harder since there is simply more of the North to defend. Bear Island could have quite easily been taken with the combined navies of the Iron Islands and Reach, which would have given the Targs a valuable spot to lead attacks against the west coast of the North. Meanwhile the eastern coast features White Harbor, which if taken (and defending cites was never in the Dornish playbook the North would be cribbing from) provided control of the White Knife, a massive tactical advantage. Both of these routes negate the influence of any Alligator King, and would prove very difficult for the North to counter.
  12. 100% correct on the second and third bits, but I doubt Beric was riding for Castle Clegane (or whatever its proper name is). IIRC it sits pretty deep in the Westerlands, and even during perfect peacetime Tywin wouldn't allow a group of Stormlanders and Northmen to just waltz around dispensing justice on his lands. Since Gregor was technically passing as a brigand at that point, the plan was to capture him in the field and bring him to King's Landing to face justice.
  13. Theon is an interesting case study in this topic. His sense of familial identity is a major source of early conflict for him, and then when he is re-born into pure individualism it's a brutal process that leaves him a pathetic wreck, who only just now is starting to assert a sense of self-ownership of his identity. Of course, he wouldn't have been in the circumstances he was in at the start of the series had it not been for his biological family, and he was given a chance to rise high through the war efforts of them and his foster family (in reverse order). But these opportunities were at odds with one another, and his inability to reconcile his desire for both directly led to his capture. In his time as Reek, he makes no choices for himself save to survive through obedience. It's not even just Ramsay he does this for, as both Roose and Lady Dustin treat like a tool in their machinations. The fact that his chapters go through the most re-naming is a clear indication that his identity has become fluid. Ultimately, while still in enourmas physical and emotional pain, his re-asserting of himself, ironically through saving someone from one of his two (extended) families, brings him some small measure of peace.
  14. Appointing a Kingsguard before you've actually seized the throne is an unnecessary move, only done by Renly because he was obsessed with pomp and ceremony/was looking for something to focus his troops on while they meandered around. Robert had no need of a formal bodyguard order while surrounded by an army of his friends and allies. However, after formally becoming King yes, Lyn 100% should have been made a Kingsguard. His strength at arms, command abilities, and regional/political value are all very strong.
  15. As mentioned Varys has a size advanatage and a rougher background, which should mean more direct experience in unarmed combat. However, Littlefinger likely received some level of martial training growing up at Riverrun, otherwise he wouldn't have even known how to challenge Brandon. I'd says Varys in a pinch, but it would be comical through and through.