UnFit Finlay

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  1. The biggest problem with this theory for me - aside from the fact that we've got two different POV characters who said it was a shadow and a third POV character who has seen another one "birthed" - is that neither Littlefinger nor Cat had a motive to kill Renly. In fact, it was in their best interests that he live. Littlefinger, particular, would be done if Stannis took the Throne: No more seat on Small Council, no brothels, and the potential to lose a few body parts should Stannis discover even a fraction of his corruption. Not to mention his role in betraying Ned and denying Stannis the Crown originally. Renly's death very nearly led to Stannis winning. It took a lot of work, clever negotiation and sheer dumb luck to prevent it and Littlefinger himself was a crucial part of that. Likewise with Cat. Of the two Baratheon brothers, he's by far the best option for the North. He doesn't really want to fight them and is even willing to let Robb keep his Crown in order to save face. They could realistically come to an agreement fairly easily. Stannis, on the other hand, considered Robb just as much an usurper as Joffrey. He refused to negotiate then, when he was massively outnumbered, so imagine how stubborn he'd be if he'd won on the Blackwater? The cold blooded strategist would say that there's a good chance that the Starks might win that war: Dorne, Highgarden and The Vale were unlikely to support Stannis against Winterfell and Riverrun. Neither is what remained of House Lannister. However, we know from Catelyn's own thoughts that she wasn't thinking that way. She wanted peace.
  2. Now? As in how things are set at the end of ADWD? Gregor's bastard hands down. At the moment, House Clegane is essentially extinct so a bastard has a very good chance of inheriting everything. Gregor might've been a monster but he served the Lannisters well, and it's not like the Clegane lands are particularly large or noteworthy. The Crown and House Lannister has a lot more pressing issues to deal with than who controls Clegane's Keep. As long I keep paying my taxes on time and generally keep my head down then there's a very good chance I'll just be left in peace. In comparison, Euron is the King of the Iron Born and Roose currently has control of the North. Neither position is stable though and neither is likely to remain in power long term. When they fall, it's going to be hard, and everybody close to them is going to be punished for their rather horrific crimes. Even if I didn't get killed, there's no way that I'm coming out of it as any more than a brigand. That's assuming I don't get killed by an ally who is jealous or threatened by my position, or who just thought it'd be funny.
  3. That's a major simplification. I don't think anyone is arguing that Tywin went to war casually or felt that he couldn't possibly lose. Of course he could. With that said, given his influence in King's Landing AND the fact that the Starks DID start the conflict, the risks to him must've seemed minimal. I also don't think you can use him being taken by surprise by the events that falcotron described as a lack of foresight into future events. There's no way anyone could've predicted all those things happening. I disagree. Tywin put the dominos (weird analogy) in place. He hated Tyrion but judged him intelligent enough to rule while he was out on the field. Had he not done so then King's Landing would've fallen to Stannis, the Tyrell and Dornish alliances would never have happened, Cat would not have released Jaime and Robb would've kept the Karstarks. That isn't even getting into the kind of chaos that Cersei and Joffrey would've caused had Tyrion not been there to reign them in. We also know from Jaime's conversations with the Westerlings at Riverrun, that it was Tywin who arranged for Robb to sleep with Jeyne. Sure, he couldn't have known for sure that Robb would then feel honour bound to marry her and break his oath to the Freys but there was no risk to him in the slightest. He took away his enemy's most important allies, and ultimately ended the war, with a pretty girl and some promises. That's a work of genius. Evil genius, sure, but genius all the same. I'd also argue that the decades he's spent constructing and protecting his fearsome reputation were instrumental in the outcome of the war as well. Had the Iron Born invaded the West then Tywin would've been fighting on three fronts but Balon STILL didn't think he could win and chose to attack the far poorer North instead. I'd argue that it was likely a factor in convincing Walder to go through with the Red Wedding as well. His alliance with Roose is another example of his intelligence. Winterfell and the North were Roose's price for betraying Robb. Tywin knew that but didn't trust Roose so gave him "Arya" while keeping Sansa for House Lannister. That way when Roose inevitably got out of line, Tywin would have the legitimate Stark heir in reserve. He could not have foreseen Tyrion's kindess, Joffrey being assassinated and Sansa disappearing but, even with that, he still had enough on Roose to unseat him if he should step out of line.
  4. I think it's important to remember that he instructed the Mountain and his men to fly no banners and essentially disguise themselves as common thieves. Rather than idiocy, I think it's an example of Tywin's intelligence. By sending the Mountain, he left the River Lords in no doubt that he was behind it BUT still gave himself plausible deniability if they responded in kind, which is what they wanted to do, and would've done, if Hoster hadn't convinced them to go to Robert. Let's face it, the actual evidence is that peasants thought that one of the Men brutally sacking their villages was really really big. Even Cersei could rip that apart, much less Tywin. I think you are drastically over-estimating Robert here. Not that he doesn't love Ned but he just wants peace and quiet. Would he have taken Ned's side or would he have went "Ah. Knock it off the lot of you". I mean, Jaime attacked Ned in the street, seriously injured him and killed all his men. What did Robert do about it? He ordered Ned to do what Jaime said. When Cersei demanded Lady be killed, and Ned begged him to spare her, who did he end up siding with? Cersei - Because he didn't want her nagging at him, It should also be pointed out that the Starks DID start this. From Robert's point of view, Catelyn captured Tyrion for no reason and without authority, if the Riverlords should then attack the West, as revenge for attacks that weren't committed by "Lannister soldiers" then Robert kind of has to side with Tywin. I will say that Tywin did get very lucky that Ned snubbed Loras Tyrell though. Attacking Loras under the King's Banner would've brought the Tyrells into the war much sooner and not on Tywin's side. Of course, all this is excluding Robert finding out about the Twincest. That would've been a game changer. Yeah. I thought it was made clear that his plan was to lure Ned into the trap, capture him and exchange him for Tyrion. All out war would've been avoided but he'd have kept more pride than if Robert had simply ordered for Tyrion to be released.
  5. Pride again. As I said earlier, Tywin didn't want the realm to know he was ashamed of Tyrion. If he sent him to the Citadel, people would laugh at the thought of *Tywin Lannister's* son being a servant to other Lords. I'd imagine more than a few would actually request him as their Maester as a way of getting back at Tywin for slights against them, real and perceived. With Randyll, I'd say there's some similarities but I also think he doesn't respect the Citadel or the pursuit of knowledge at all. Tywin was hardly parent of the year but he never seemed to have an issue with Tyrion reading. Randyll took Sam's love of books as a personal insult and, crucially, he saw it as womanly and soft. To him a man should be fighting. So, essentially, I think Tywin that respects the Citadel but not enough to send HIS son, even the son he hates, there, while Randyll doesn't respect them at all and probably looks down on them as being less than men, just as he looks down on Brienne for not acting like a woman.
  6. Again though, it depends on the circumstances. Had he taken the Throne by winning the Battle of the Blackwater then, yes, I totally agree that everything you said would've happened. Not just because of religion either. Stannis would've been an awful King back then. Now though? If he frees the North from the Boltons and restores the Starks to Winterfell, will the Northerners care about his religion? Will the Riverlords care if he then goes South and restores the Tullys to Riverrun? As you said, the swore allegiance to Robb because he fought for them when no one else did, why wouldn't they do the same for Stannis? As I said - He isn't actually a follower of the Lord of Light. He said himself that he doesn't believe in Gods. He's been following Melisandre's advice because he believes in her power. That's it. He's gone from asking Jon to convert to fighting alongside the Mountain tribes and Northmen without an issue. They are even chanting his name and that's despite him leading them into a very very bad situation. He's also smart enough to realise that the Queen's Men aren't loyal to him at all. It's why he made Davos his Hand over Axell Florent, and why they are the "Queen's Men" rather than the King's. When Davos was worried that Stannis' Lords wouldn't listen to him or respect him as Hand, Stannis just said "Then we'll make new Lords". I think that shows just how much I'm not saying that there won't be grumblings but ultimately it comes down to the King Bread thing. As long as he's feeding them, they'll accept him. Besides the guy has a crazy sense of right and wrong. He burned Alester Florent because Melisandre said it would help their journey North, but also because he committed treason. He burned the cannibals in his army but has refused to burn Asha, even though she's an enemy, has "King's Blood" and is almost worthless as a hostage. If he's willing to protect her, at a time when she's just a waste of food, then why would his rule be any different?
  7. Surely that depends on exactly how he'd rule? I mean, sure, if he burned the Great Sept of Balor and demanded that all must convert to the Lord of Light then, yes, they'll rebel but if he rules fairly and makes sure that everyone has enough to eat then surely only the biggest zealots would actually care? Most would go "Well, he's better than Tommen, that abomination". The Old Gods and the Seven seem to have been able to co-exist for centuries. The Riverlords and House Manderly had no problem accepting Robb as their King, despite their religious beliefs. Besides, Stannis doesn't even believe in the Lord of Light. He believes in Melisandre's power and wants to use it to do what needs to be done. If he was going to force people to convert then he wouldn't have made Davos his Hand. That's another thing actually. I realise he did it because he values honest counsel more than high birth but making Davos the Hand of The King should surely do a lot to win the smallfolk over? How can they hate someone who has taken one of their own, a common smuggler from Flea Bottom, recognised his worth and raised him to the highest position that he could?
  8. Regardless, Littlefinger is hardly unbiased either is he? Stannis becoming King is pretty much Petyr Baelish's worst nightmare. We can debate about whether the realm would bleed under Stannis but Littlefinger certainly would. It might very well be the reason for killing Jon Arryn when he discovered that Stannis was Robert's real heir. Asha's hardly the best person to judge whether Stannis has changed or not either. As she said, she's an enemy soldier. Also - she might believe that she means nothing to him but the fact that she's still alive, despite the scarcity of food and his men's grumbling, suggests he might have other plans for her. If you look at his actions since losing on the Blackwater, I'd say it's undeniable that he's changed, and is continuing to do so, albeit out of necessity. For example, he's gone from sending Davos, the uneducated and lowborn "Onion Knight", to make demands of Lords, and seething when they refused, to personally visiting the Northern Mountain clans and requesting that they help him take Winterfell and free Ned's daughter. He'd never have done that in Clash. Certainly not without demanding they bend the knee and change their religion anyway.
  9. That was in the first book though. To judge Stannis' ability as King on how he was then completely ignores everything his character has gone through since. He said it himself. He had the whole thing backwards. Instead of sitting on Dragonstone, brooding that no one would respond to his demands of fealty, he should've been out on the field fighting to earn it. Look at where he is at the end of ADWD? The North expressly rejected his claim to the Throne and would've fought against him if circumstances had turned out differently and, yet, he's up there fighting for them, risking the lives of his few loyal men because it's his duty as their King, whether they want him or not. He'd never have done that pre-Blackwater. Besides, Varys isn't exactly the most trustworthy source is he?
  10. I think he's dead, and Wighted. The only thing we actually know about him is that he can climb things that other men would find impossible. I'm guessing we'll see him again at a point where a main character (probably Bran and co) believe that they are somewhere safe because "nothing can reach us up here".
  11. But he doesn't need to commit to Stannis. He needs to convince Stannis that he didn't murder Davos in order to prove his loyalty to the Lannisters. If he can't he'll have no choice but to really ally with the Lannisters, Freys and Boltons or he'll end up having to fight everybody. I just don't see the logic in sending Davos on a mission "to get him out of the way" when he was already out of the way. Everyone believes that he is dead. Why set him free and risk the lie being discovered by the Lannisters or, as I said before, Davos really dying, when he could just either keep him in the dungeons or hide him with Rickon and Osha? Also I don't see how pledging himself to Stannis in exchange for him restoring the Starks to Winterfell is that much of a contradiction. The alternative is, realistically, the end of House Stark. It's an interesting theory but I just don't think it holds up logically. It's a big risk from Manderly's point of view for no real pay off.
  12. They've wronged him though, and were responsible for the murder of his son and his King. Stannis is actively fighting them, and to free the North from the Ironborn and the Boltons. He returned Deepwood Motte to the Glovers even though he had no real reason to. "Tricking" him serves no purpose and actually risks turning a much needed ally into an enemy. For example, if Davos should happen to die on this mission then it would essentially be the same as executing him. That seems a big risk when, for your theory to work, he merely could've kept Davos safely hidden in the dungeons.
  13. The fact that she's got an alibi doesn't really matter because no one will think she actually committed the crime herself. Cersei also has a history of having people murdered though, including those in positions of power, like the previous High Septon and King Robert. It's totally reasonable for her assume she found a way to have them both killed, in order to frame the Tyrells and Tyrion. Doran will certainly believe that since he believes she was willing to have his son killed for the same reason. Plus - She's despised and people adore the Tyrells. That alone is enough to put her in the frame, at least with the smallfolk.
  14. This. I think the older Connington has a much more interesting POV than Young Griff at this point anyway. He's the former Hand of the King whose failure led to his ruin and, indirectly, the death of someone he loved. I'm much more interested in seeing his thoughts than I am Aegon, who realistically knows about as much as his apparent secret half brother. I do think it's interesting that both Daenerys (Queen, not a King) and Jon Snow (likely Rhaegar's son) do get POVs. It's one of the things that makes me question whether either will ever sit the Iron Throne.
  15. I realise that it's crackpot but I wouldn't be surprised if "Pate" got the job. I believe Cersei complained about the need for younger men in the Council and he has absolutely no political leanings so his appointment wouldn't offend anybody. All sides might feel that his lowborn status will make him easy to manipulate. The big flaw is, of course, is that he isn't even a Maester but he's obviously drastically improved and the fact that he's been there for five years makes it less suspicious if he completes his chain quickly. Disagree. We've already established that Varys has a talent for disguise. At points he did it so well that people who actually knew him were unable to recognise him. If Barristan, one of the most celebrated Knights in the realm and hardly a master of deceit, could make it into the City without anyone noticing him then it's surely a given that Varys could? As for the plan - You surely don't think Varys did this on the spur of the moment do you? We don't know what he's been doing since Tywin's death but it's a safe bet that he's been watching and planning. He would've known that Kevan was unlikely to have guards when in the Red Keep, and it was already established in the text that he felt Pycelle was being over-dramatic when he requested protection of his own. Besides IF Kevan did show up with guards then Varys could simply not kill him. I'm not sure why you're putting "secret passages" in quotes either. The fact that they exist has been clearly established and we even know a good part of their history. Wasn't it because the Citadel's choice was a Tyrell by birth?