Universal Sword Donor

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  1. Why do my sister, myself, and my younger brother nearly completely resemble my mom's family and not my dad's?
  2. There is a huge difference in being actively involved in someone's death and someone killing someone because they think you want it. One is a crime. The other is not. Pretty huge distinction. I hadn't seen the part where you said dismissive. I was responding to your quote of mine, not your response to devilish. I doubt he knew the specifics. He just saw himself in a shitty spot, surrounded by people he didn't trust, with a Targaryen threat across the narrow sea and without any friends. I'd say dismissive for sure but definitely not clueless. It's not really paranoia if everyone is out to get you, and he was getting set up on half a dozen fronts.
  3. The point is having Pycelle show that Cersei wanted him dead but didn't order it. Pretty much what the quote says. We also learn that Stannis thinks Cersei murdered Jon Arryn. Her own POV says she wanted him gone/dead/murdered/whatever. Don't think GRRM would plant two definite seeds like that just prove the thought wrong. Normally he does the opposite (eg Tyrion and Jaime with Joff's order to kill Bran or Jaime and Loras both coming to believe Brienne didn't murder Renly). Robert might have been clueless how to handle the scheming or corruption well, but he was absolutely aware of the scheming and the corruption, if not the entire scope of either or both. We get that from both his mouth and Stannis' mouth. “Two men who were prepared to come forward died suddenly on their rounds.” Stannis narrowed his eyes. “Do not trifle with me, my lord. I saw the proof Jon Arryn laid before the small council. If I had been king you would have lost more than your office, I promise you, but Robert shrugged away your little lapses. ‘They all steal,’ I recall him saying. ‘Better a thief we know than one we don’t, the next man might be worse.’ Lord Petyr’s words in my brother’s mouth, I’ll warrant. Littlefinger had a nose for gold, and I’m certain he arranged matters so the crown profited as much from your corruption as you did yourself.” - Stannis “And the people … there is no end of them. I sit on that damnable iron chair and listen to them complain until my mind is numb and my ass is raw. They all want something, money or land or justice. The lies they tell … and my lords and ladies are no better. I am surrounded by flatterers and fools. It can drive a man to madness, Ned. Half of them don’t dare tell me the truth, and the other half can’t find it.” - Robert
  4. It's a POV of Cersei, written with her voice and mind. Clearly I am reading it incorrectly. It seems as if the narrator, who is either GRRM or Cersei, wants us to think exactly what I explained in my post. Why would he tell Jon Arryn? It's not as if he and Jon were besties. Your own quotes tell you why he should have: "Lord Eddard was no friend to me, but he was not without some sense. "At my brother's command, not for love of me," Stannis answered. "Lord Eddard did his duty, I will not deny it. Did I ever do less? I should have been Robert's Hand." He's sensical and does his duty, which means things like Davos' hard truths. I'm honestly floored this is even a debate, especially since we know how everything played out for Stannis and Stannis himself admitted he fucked up badly. I want to point out, once again, that Ned wanted Stannis to come to KL to talk about the exact thing Stannis wanted Robert to know. We know for a fact Stannis left not long after Robert went north to WF. “Lord Stannis took himself to Dragonstone not long after the king went north,” We also know that ships have been commandeered at DS and closed off the island for six months prior to ACOK. How do I know? Cressen tells us “Last year when he took ill, the Citadel had sent Pylos out from Oldtown, mere days before Lord Stannis had closed the isle ” “No craft that had come within sight of Dragonstone this past half year had been allowed to leave again.” We know that Stannis is gathering troops while Robert is still alive, thanks to Arya overhearing Varys. “This is no longer a game for two players, if ever it was. Stannis Baratheon and Lysa Arryn have fled beyond my reach, and the whispers say they are gathering swords around them.” Well bringing an army to KL is going to be received rather badly right, and he doesn't want to approach Robert directly because it's self-serving and Robert doesn't like him. It would have been asinine to sail back after Robert was murdered. That's why he never should have left or met with Ned on DS or came to KL before Robert died to meet with Ned or any of a half dozen options that made more sense than his hostile passivity. Ned is not wholly blameless but the impetus is really on Stannis. He abandons his position as master of ships, closes off DS, commandeers ships, calls his banners, and refuses to communicate to anyone not named Melisandre. What do you think Stannis should have done? Everything he did failed miserably.
  5. No doubt she wanted him dead, but Pycelle says he deduced it from her reactions, not a silent command. We also have Cersei's POV when she thinks about him dying. Guess what, she never thinks she signaled or told Pycelle he needed to die. She thinks about murdering Robert and his brothers but doesn't mention Jon's death and her desire to see him killed. So yes, some things can reasonably be extrapolated from the text. This is not one of them. For reference: “She wanted to slap him again for that. I must have been mad to think he could be Hand. She would sooner abolish the office. When had a Hand ever brought her anything but grief? Jon Arryn put Robert Baratheon in her bed, and before he died he’d begun sniffing about her and Jaime as well. Eddard Stark took up right where Arryn had left off; his meddling had forced her to rid herself of Robert sooner than she would have liked, before she could deal with his pestilential brothers. Tyrion sold Myrcella to the Dornishmen, made one of her sons his hostage, and murdered the other. And when Lord Tywin returned to King’s Landing . . ." He did bring it to Jon Arryn. That was the smart play. Then when Jon Arryn was murdered (by Lysa) he should have told Ned. He did not. He stayed behind and raised an army and hired mercenaries well before Robert died. Nothing was stopping him from coming to KL in relative force or summoning Ned to DS for a meeting. A trip there and back would take a week. Once again a baffling decision given that Ned would have been believed like Jon and Ned was planning on bringing it to Robert before he died, with Stannis standing to receive reward for his leal service and become heir to the throne again. Stannis has literal months to do this and does nothing with it. His safety is definitely something to be wary of, but he if he has the means and authority to assemble an army while the king still lives, I think he can show up to KL to talk with Ned.
  6. We have, what, 5-6 Valyrian last names at our disposal. Half of them end vowel-vowel-consonant. 2 of the 4 (excluding Baratheon) end the same way and they were by far the more prominent families and Orys is Aegon's self-described right hand man, another prominence parallel. If you look at most regions, they don't have a similar naming pattern for the vast majority of houses. Dondarrion is really the only one that comes close. I'm not a linguist but when a pattern emerges like that I have to lean in that direction. First names are different that last names. And if you want to toss out "one does not have a y or ae" in it, well Orys has a y and fits in the vowel heavy schema the Valyrians seem to love.
  7. You're absolutely right. Tywin probably took months summoning, arraying and marching his men to KL. He was clearly waiting out his options but that doesn't mean he was absolutely going to join the victor. Medieval communication was poor and slow, even with ravens in ASOIAF. I don't believe the rebels even knew Tywin was was marching on KL until they got there and saw the sack. Looking at it in hindsight gives us a lot of leeway to assume things. No one knew if the Trident was going to be the decisive battle. A dozen things could have happened, and Tywin could have pulled a Ramsay and pretended to join up with either side and hit them in the rear during the battle -- something that will likely happen to the Freys/Boltons with the Manderlys. I have zero questions about what happened with the loyalists. We have an eyewitness account. They broke and fled once Rhaegar died, and at that point they were leaderless and trying to survive. It took to KG knights to rally JonCon's men, who retreated in good order (according to JonCon). If we look at the loyalist leaders who'd died, exiled, or were prisoners at that point -- Rhaegar, JonCon, Myles Mooton, 3 bannermen killed by Jason Mallister, Martell, Dorry, Barristan -- there weren't a lot of options left to act with the kings authority, and I suspect many of those who could have just fled for home like you put out. With bands of disorganized men running around, they had no need to yield. The common men would just try to get home and the lords would either be yielding on the battlefield or going home and sitting out the rest of the war. As to Tywin, I'm sure his army wasn't exactly peaceful as can be, but running a chevauchee through the RL, crownlands, and reach would be tipping his hand. Robert's generosity was great but he wasn't going to release prisoners unless they were paying him or swore to join his army, like Cafferen and the like. Realistically I doubt any of the prisoners were going anywhere until after he was crowned king. He'd already decided around that time to make his claim, so letting valuable lords and knights go without swearing loyalty and homage (and yes rewarding) them just isn't going to happen.
  8. Not sure where we are getting "traditionally" close from. Aside from Ned and Rob, who has known each other? Bran the Builder and Durran Godgriefs? There's no one post AC in the Stark family free and we know of no Starks married into the Baratheons.
  9. Doesn't sound Valyrian? Velayron, Targaryen, Qoherys, Celtigar, Belaerys It's either a name unique to DS or gonna be High Valyrian. The rest of the crownland houses have a decided English tinge to their names. Some of the SL houses are closer in sound and spelling but no lineage or familiarity or claim with the SL is laid out in what we know about the conquest.
  10. Meh you can't really count Tywin and the Westerlands at that point. He might have made up his mind on how to align himself but no one else knew, especially the men from the Trident. Your other points are spot on though. That's something I never really considered. Ned described Rob as what, a veritable giant, with his armor and helm on? Finding his banner and household on the field or Rhaegar's would be easier. I'd just be of the thought that it would be hard for Robert to actually get *at* Rhaegar. When I look at other prominent battles where a king (or prince) was in the front lines like Crecy, Agincourt, or Poitiers, so many people were trying to get to the king/prince to get the ransom the other leaders were nowhere near them. Duke of Alencon and Blind Jon got nowhere near the Black Prince. Henry the V got hit in the head with an axe but likewise no prominent enemies were near him as far as I can remember. King John surrendered to a fairly obscure knight after his forces routed from the rear attack.
  11. That's, uh, a stretch. “Yes,” he whimpered, “yes, Colemon was purging, so I sent him away. The queen needed Lord Arryn dead, she did not say so, could not, Varys was listening, always listening, but when I looked at her I knew.” I guess one could read that as using facial expressions to convey one's desire to have Arryn die. I'd presume Pycelle would be a little less circumspect than that in a full confession to Tyrion on threat of pain and death.
  12. How did she facilitate this? By making Jon Arryn trust his wife? Appointing LF to a position in KL so he could talk to Lysa in private?
  13. They stopped selling them in small groups specifically because they stopped training and became more in tune with the rest of the servants. With more of them around they apparently stay fit, which I assume comes from repeated weapons practice and formation drilling.
  14. On the contrary I don't hate Stannis at all. He's a greatly compelling character with a rich story arc and an interesting development. Stannis was greatly enriched and rewarded for loyal service and the end result was that he didn't even bother warning Robert about being cuckolded or his thoughts that Cersei might try to get rid of them. As to using force, well Ned didn't use force. He acted forcefully, and the primary definition of forcefully is "in a strong and assertive manner; vigorously" not with violence. Tywin dealt with Aerys quite well. He could do the same with Robert and he wouldn't alienate people the same way Stannis does. Stannis was enriched 1000x over what he could reasonably expect. He's the second son. He's not entitled to lands or titles beyond the ser I'm assuming he got from Robert or someone else. He wanted to be named Hand for no particular reason other than nepotism. His expectation to be named hand wasn't even that off base or unrealistic. His reaction was completely baffling. Running off when you're in danger makes sense, if you can protect yourself when the danger comes knocking. It's why Renly ran and then married into the Tyrells. He knew he couldn't protect himself by holing up in SE, which was him by the king's generosity and could be stripped from him by, say, a mentally unbalanced regent who wants to kill him. Stannis holed up in DS, gathering mercenaries, calling banners, and building ships while his brother is still alive and doesn't know Cersei wants him dead. Even Stannis admits he had his priorities mixed up. Yes, I should have come sooner. If not for my Hand, I might not have come at all. Lord Seaworth is a man of humble birth, but he reminded me of my duty, when all I could think of was my rights. I had the cart before the horse, Davos said. I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne." I really really don't know how anyone can defend Stannis' actions and stances pre-ASOS. I really don't. Even if he didn't feel as if he owed Robert any loyalty -- should have resigned as master of ships in that case -- telling Robert and/or Ned about the cuckoldry still self-serves him in a great way. Should it be proven or Robert accepts the evidence, Stannis suddenly becomes heir again and the Lannisters are far away from court. Cersei didn't kill Jon. Lysa did. Is Stannis' wife, who is far away on DS, gonna poison his food? I know why Stannis didn't take it directly to Robert, but telling people what is going on is his best chance to stay alive and retain/grow his power. As far as Jamie being a potentially good hand, it was a partially flippant response specifically because "My brother, Jaime, thirsts for battle, not for power. He's run from every chance he's had to rule." and "His brother [Jaime] never untied a knot when he could slash it in two with his sword." That obviously wouldn't fly with Robert as king, though it might be pretty entertaining to watch.
  15. You don't have to believe that Cersei's words are invalid solely because she's batshit insane with an axe to grind. Look at everything else in the story, read Stannis' self-serving words (which he said before his personality switch in ASOS), and the author's own quotes. Stannis damn well took it as a slight. No one should question that. Just because someone holds an opinion doesn't mean that it's necessarily correct -- see Cersei and assuming Kevan is trying to put the Tyrells on the throne or Ned believing LF will help him.