Humble Maester

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  1. Could Ned Stark still be alive?

    You aren't the first to think that Ned was replaced by a faceless man or equivalent. As there is no indication at all of this is any of the books most consider this pot thoroughly cracked.
  2. Is Mace Tyrell actually competent?

    Mace is intelligent enough to listen to (much) of the good advice he gets from those around him and effectively utilized the skills of his bannermen. He might be no Tywin Lannister or Ned Stark to lead through the brilliance of his own character but as a great lord with great advisors he seems to be doing fairly well. Better to have an incompetent ruler that listens keenly to the advice of others than a mediocre one that doesn't, if you ask me.
  3. Why didn't Tywin let Tyrion tour the Free Cities?

    Well I don't think Tyrion's conviction was really on Tywin considering all the influence Littlefinger, Cersei and Tyrion himself had in causing that. And just to be clear, I was referring to by the end (or peak) of Tyrion's career in King's Landing, of course
  4. What was Tywin thinking?

    Well we know Tywin is the kind of man willing to use all sorts of tools for different kinds of jobs and Mummers would probably be very good to use for chevauchee, especially if he wanted to maintain some deniability there. It takes a special kind of man to butcher countless civilians after all. I do agree that he wouldn't most likely want to keep the Mummers around in Lannisport for longer periods of times. Maybe they were camped somewhere under the command of some Western lord to keep them out of major trouble. They might be an unruly bunch but I'd assume they are capable of taking very basic of military orders if under direct control of those whom hired them. E: all of this conjecture, of course.
  5. Why didn't Tywin let Tyrion tour the Free Cities?

    I don't think a noble father has any obligation to allow his son a freedom of the world with his gold, no? And anyways in Tywin's case we know he was a man with extreme complexes about family prestige especially in relation to Tyrion, so keeping him within a hand's reach probably felt like the safest option. And of course when the push came to shove Tywin did find plenty of use for his dwarf son, making him one of the most powerful officials at the court by the end of it.
  6. What was Tywin thinking?

    I think the explanation @LionoftheWest presented last page was plausible enough. After Tywin realized that Ned Stark, whom he knew was a man with strong dislike for Lannisters and himself in particular, was about to become the Hand of the King, he might had, just in case, enlisted some mercenaries to bolster his troops. It's not as if Tywin was wanting for gold. I guess that's more or less in-line with what you are hypothesizing too. That is, indeed, if we want to figure out an in-universe explanation and not a meta one, which might be more accurate
  7. What was Tywin thinking?

    Though I mostly agree with you, I feel you have only underlined the bits where Tywin erred. I thinkyou would most likely agree, more or less, that Tywin suffered from both good and poor luck during the war: Good luck: -Inexperience of Edmure -Stannis assassinating Renly -Balon attacking North -Frey betraying Robb -Keeping Dorne out of war because Doran \(O_o) -LF getting Tyrells to join Lannisters Poor luck: -The incest to begin with. -Execution of Ned -Walder allying with Robb, leading to defeat at Whispering Woods -Renly rebelling -Stannis rebeling I am sure I forgot some but my point was to remind that Tywin had both good and bad luck during the war. I'd still say that he mostly suffered from bad luck but the instances of good luck (especially Stannis' failures) were enough to turn the war in his advantage.
  8. What was Tywin thinking?

    Well there is a clear distinction between exiting the scene and isolating one's self (which is an option Tywin could had thought the Baratheon brothers were taking, especially if we assume that he did not consider 1) illegitimacy of Joffrey and what that would mean to Stannis, and 2) Cersei forcing Renly into a proactive stance; two things he might not had known about) and actively planning to resist him. One reason I think that Tywin didn't think that the Baratheon brothers, especially Renly, were going to act was exactly because he acted as he did. If he thought he was fighting a Stormlands-Reach alliance he would probably had acted differently, no? As his chances of winning would had been meager. So, in short, I don't think he foresee that both of the Baratheon brothers would rebel against King's Landing, especially Renly. Stannis was irrelevant until he killed his brother. And also as I stated after the initial phase (when Robert was still alive) the things quickly got out of Tywin's hands. I don't think he ever foresee the War of the Five Kings coming (as that was a combination of a lot of events Tywin had no control over or could not had easily anticipated).
  9. What was Tywin thinking?

    One must recall that initially, after Tyrion's kidnapping, Tywin was acting in a way in which he had plausible deniability (minor raids by Gregor and his men without banners), and the goal of that was to create a trap for the overly-dutiful Ned, whom he rightly believed would had commanded a small force himself if he was not injured. The end result of this plan would had been something along exchanging Ned for Tyrion (which would have the benefit of exchanging his dwarf son for a great lord) or at the very least having Robert call an end to the hostilities. Tywin could trust Robert being weak and indecisive, he had been so for years. The second phase of the war, the true invasion of Riverlands, was forced on Tywin by the idiocy of everyone in King's Landing (and Littlefingers plotting). After Ned's coup and execution it was pretty clear that Ned's son would bring the North and his wife the Riverlands, at the very least, to the fight. Tywin very efficiently disposed of most Riverlands troops by using Edmure's compassion and inexperience against him. In this war Tywin's goal was probably to defeat North and Riverlands and hopefully force them back into the fold (which he did manage, though after some misfortunes and lucky strokes). I don't think Tywin could had really predicted what the Baratheon brothers were doing. At least nominally Joffrey was the true king (something that Renly, by the way, agreed with. But Renly on the other hand had had his hand forced by Cersei to rebel). And Stannis, though considered a danger by Tywin (though not for his resources but for his personality and experiences), was in the end a fairly small fish. So Tywin was unlucky in misjudging the situation with the brothers but then again extremely lucky with Stannis killing his brother who was in a far superior position to oppose him. And of course there were other things difficult to predict for Tywin, for example the ever cautious Walder Frey siding with Robb (bad) or the Ironborn foolishly attacking the North (lucky). All in all I think Tywin after the initial stages did not really have the matters in his control and he was just desperately trying to make the best of a pretty horrible situation (at the point where he was fighting both North and South), and for a large part due to no actions of his own managed to get out of the situation. The fact that even after all of these troubles Tywin remained the pre-eminent power in King's Landing post-war is more a proof of his skills than most of the things he made after the war soured for him. Though that positions proved short-lived. I guess the point of my long-winded post is that when Tywin first took action he had a clear image in his mind of how he would execute the war and bring it to a quick end but luck was not, initially, on his side. He was more of a survivor than a winner at the end of the war.
  10. Tywin's reaction to The Purple Wedding

    I know its a minority who don't read the scene as it was clearly depicted (poison in chalice, Tyrion getting implicated partly due to bad luck, partly due to LF's machinations), and even smaller part think it was Tywin. And those who do usually consider the above quote as a proof though it is obviously the opposite. If Tywin had actually planned to kill his grandson he would never had mentioned that he intended to give him a "sharp lesson", he would had suffered in silence. And he definitely would not had done it during the most important celebration he had arranged in his life. Personally I am of the mind that Tywin did think Tyrion did it, or he was forced into taking that position due to the pressure of the situation (mostly Cersei forcing the matter).
  11. Aegon the Conqueror and Tywin Lannister

    That is fair enough, though I think it depends on what you mean by "off the hook". Considering all the crimes and transgressions of those two families against their overlord and the other lords of Westerlands I believe that had they actually surrendered as Tywin demanded they could had well gotten out of it with their heads but possibly with a huge amount of hostages and with their lands so diminished they'd barely rival landed knights. Tywin was not about to let them continue what they had been doing in the past but I don't think he was necessarily after their blood, or if he was after blood it would had only been the main transgressors, ie. the heads of the heads of the families. Of course it was fairly convenient for Tywin that both refused his demands to surrender, as that built up his reputation and prestige far more than if they had actually surrendered and gotten strictly punished, and he had legitimate reason to destroy both of them, meaning his (father's) other vassals could not complain.
  12. Aegon the Conqueror and Tywin Lannister

    Aegon the Conqueror was playing the Game on easy-mode, while Tywin had a bit of harder time. Both were remarkable men, though I would value Tywin's achievements a lot higher than Aegon's. And I do agree with some of the previous posters in that both men did some actions that were clearly more on the evil side.
  13. Small Questions v. 10105

    The only references I could find (via the useful Search of Ice and Fire) is that Dorne and Vale survived mostly unaffected due to closing of ports and ways into their lands. So nothing more specific at least in the published material. Seems like a pretty run-of-the-mill plague.
  14. mines of castamere

    TWOIAF: Though if you wish to be contrarian, as many do, you could argue that this section doesn't specifically point out that both silver and gold veins ran out. But I am fairly certain the point is "metals ran out, shafts were turned into halls". In any case I believe that the excerpt above is indication of Castamere being devoid of precious metals.
  15. Trant could only win because the plot demanded it and the series would had been different if he had lost. It is all thanks to GRRM.