John Suburbs

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  1. I think to understand part of this, you have to understand how and why the sack happened. After the Trident, Tywin knew Aerys was lost, and Tywin had no intention of being on the losing side. But he has a problem: he cannot defy Aerys openly since Aerys will have Jaime, Tywin's only viable heir, immediately killed. So he marches to King's Landing and offers fealty to the king. Now, I don't believe Aerys was fooled by this in the least. Aerys opened the gates knowing that Tywin was still his enemy -- but so what? Long before any Lannister soldiers get close to Aerys the whole city will go up in a ball of wildfire, killing Lannisters, northmen, loyalists, citizens and everybody else, except Aerys who will fly away in his new dragon form. So Tywin is allowed into the city where his army will be responsible for manning the walls, gates and battlements, and perhaps a few key areas in the city, but NOT anywhere near the Red Keep, where Aerys already has thousands of defenders. This still presents a problem for Tywin because the northern army will be at the gates any moment now, and he can't wait until they arrive because then he will either have to open the gates, and thus watch Jaime's severed head come arcing over the city, or put up a defense, which would put him on the losing side of the war. So how is Tywin going to get enough men close enough the Red Keep to assault it quickly enough before Jaime is taken by Aerys' defenders? Answer: Create chaos in the streets. Once the mayhem starts, Tywin can flood the Red Keep with conflicting reports about what is happening long enough to keep Aerys guessing: citizens are rioting and Lannister soldiers are restoring order, saboteurs are at work, the northmen have arrived and there is fighting at the gates. As the fires spread, Tywin gains the ability to send large numbers of men to the Red Keep, ostensibly to protect the peace but in reality to storm the front gate and get enough men inside to give Jaime a fighting chance. Fortunately, Aerys did not allow anyone but the Kingsgaurd to be armed in his presence, so he was never in any real danger, but Tywin could not take that chance with his only son and heir. How does all this relate to Jaime's honor and the plotholes you mentioned? Jaime did not know what was really happening in the streets any more than Aerys did. For all he knew, the sack was in fact just normal rioting (remember, this is still early in the timeline; the full sack and all it's horrors went on all night long), or it was fighting at the gates that had spilled over into the city. So his motivations were good: he killed Aerys to prevent massive loss of life not knowing that the massive loss of life that unfolded later was in fact a deliberate act of his father's.
  2. Tywin is not without some leverage here. He has Joffrey on the Iron Throne. With Renly out of the picture, the Tyrells either have to support one of the remaining kings or try to put one of their own on the IT. Stannis is a non-starter, given that Loras has vowed to kill him, so that leaves Robb, Joffrey or a Tyrell. Robb is sworn to a Frey, so supporting him would not boost Highgarden's status in any appreciable way. The only viable option was Joffrey. Not only would he make a suitable match for Margaery, thus cementing the Tyrell link to the IT, but their combined armies would be certain to defeat Stannis at the Blackwater -- and they had the means to get there quickly and unobtrusively.
  3. I'll throw an even bigger curve at this topic: are we even certain that it is the Others who are animating and controlling the wights? We are five novels deep into the series, and we have yet to actually see this.
  4. Are we even certain that the Others are the enemy that Rhollor is pitted against? Bran looked into the heart of winter and saw something terrifying. So the question is: was that the enemy that is directing the Other's migration south, or is it the enemy that the Others are fleeing as well?
  5. Notice how it was Littlefinger who argued the small council away from using an FM, and he also predicted that whomever they sent will make a hash out of it and put the Dothraki on their guard.
  6. I think that look of panic during the fight in the great hall was the first sign that Roose sees his plan unravelling. Before that, I dunno, maybe he planned on dispatching the Manderly force before they could switch sides, and then take on Stannis and Co. with Dreadfor/Frey men. It's hard to say whether he expects to count on the Dustins, Ryswells etc. Mounted troops aren't highly effective in waist-deep snow, so if the Freys attempt a cavalry charge, yeah, they'd be doomed. But Stannis' southron forces aren't terribly affective either, so the fight will likely come down to Dreadfort men vs. the northern clans. I think the Dreadfort may have an edge in numbers but the clans are more used to fighting in these kinds of conditions, so I would give the advantage to the clans. And, yes, I think if Stannis defeats Roose's army, plus the fact that Roose no longer has fArya, then he has no choice but to flee -- perhaps even abandoning Ramsey and falling back to the Twins with Fat Walda to produce another heir for him to flay.
  7. Well, I doubt that the people being slaughtered by a horde of invading Dothraki would see it as anything but a foreign invasion of the realm, which has been largely at peace since Robert donned the crown. I can't see any of the major houses aligning with a Targaryen who is responsible for the kind of brutality that the Dothraki showed to the Lhazareen, so they would have to be conquered one by one before they had a chance to unite -- and it seems to me that they would unite pretty quickly under Robert's banner. I suppose "existential threat" is the wrong term, at least when we are talking about the impact on the entire realm. Certainly, the people whose homes and families are being destroyed see it as the end of their existence. What I meant was a threat that is not yet imminent but should be dealt with now because it is certain to become imminent at a later time. It is the same calculation that Mirri uses to justify killing Rhaego and it is what Tyrion does not use with Symon Silver-Tongue -- killing him only after he becomes an imminent threat. Was one killing right and the other wrong? And I'm not sure, but I think the OP was questioning whether Robert was right in ordering the assassinations based on what he knew at the time, not whether they proved to be correct based on new information revealed in hindsight. Utlimately, yes, it would have been a wasted effort because the real plan, apparently, was to put fAegon on the throne.
  8. I'll have to give the same vague answer I gave on your other post about Joffrey being a good or bad king: it depends on what you mean by "right." Is it right to murder children? No. It is right to defend your realm against existential threats? Yes Can a decision be both right and wrong given the parameters through which you view it? Yes. Life's kind of funny that way.
  9. He's only half-dead, or undead, or whatever, so his blood congeals more slowly than a completely dead body. This is also why he is not completely white, just pale enough that people notice it but chalk it up to the frequent leechings. Give up Winterfell? I'm not so sure about this. The northern lords have cavalry too, plus shoes and horses capable of dealing with the snow. So even if Stannis is mostly on foot, that means he still gains the most fortified castle in the realm without a fight while Roose is struggling through the waist-deep snow with wagons and waynes full of food. Even if he does make it back to the Dreadfort, he is in a less defensible position with no means of support and no chance of rescue by either the Freys or the Lannisters. As @Buddhakin said above, no matter what happens, House Bolton is screwed: the northern lords will never accept the current Ramsey as their lord, so he is as good as dead. With Tywin dead, the Lannisters are in shambles, and the same will be true of the Freys when old Walder dies, so he will have no allies backing him, and yet Roose is as calm as a cucumber about all this. Why? Because he doesn't expect to be a Bolton much longer. He fully expects to defeat Stannis in the field, after which Roose will die and the Other-creature that has been inhabiting that body will switch to Ramsey and father a child on Jeyne. Ramsey will no longer be the mad dog that he was, so he could defuse the tension with the northern lords, perhaps even removing himself to the DF while the child is raised by wards, and then in two decades or so -- which is the blink of an eye to Roose -- switch into the child's body and become Lord of Winterfell. That glimpse of fear that Theon noticed during the dust-up following Big Walder's death? That was the first sign of real emotion we've seen from Roose, and it indicates that maybe this plan is not working out so well after all.
  10. OK, since you've asked, I'll spell it out here, but let me say at the start that this is highly speculative, so please don't insist that I prove any of this. We'll just have to wait and see. Roose, or at least the creature that we now call Roose, is the last surviving son of the Night's King. As such, he is half-human and either half-Other or half-wight. As the only heir of the NK, little Roose would naturally inherit his former lands and titles, either the Dreadfort or maybe even Winterfell. Roose has survived through the millennia by fathering sons on human wives and, when the time is right, killing them, flaying their bodies (thus, the Bolton sigil) and then donning their skins to form a perfect likeness of his new host -- all except the eyes, which remain pale as milkglass. So in this way, Roose sheds the body of the old lord, who is now dead, and becomes the new lord. This is why: Roose is virtually hairless, never sweats, nor angers He has to leach himself, since otherwise the blood will start to congeal in his hands and feet Can silence even big loudmouths like the Greatjon with barely a whisper Treats people like playthings; to him, human lifespans are like those of mice. And it explains why he could care less that Ramsey killed Dom. It seems pretty evident that Dom was Brandon Stark's son, not Roose's. Dom's ability as a jouster is based on his horsemanship, which Lady Dustin says was more advanced than Lyanna Stark. So if we assume that Lyanna could warg horses the way the Stark children can warg their wolves, then Dom would have inherited this ability through Brandon, and Roose would be perceptive enough to realize this. Still, this is a problem for Roose because he can only skin-change into his blood offspring, but this particular heir is not of his body. But then along comes Ramsey, who Roose instantly knows to be his merely by looking at his eyes. So when Rams kills Dom, all Roose has to do is legitimize him and then wait for the right time to take over his body -- and this is a double-win for Roose because now he stands to become Lord of Winterfell. This isn't to say that Roose might not have ruled in Winterfell before. Remember the story of Brandon Ice-Eyes, who threw the slavers out of White Harbor? That was probably Roose. In fact, if the Song of Ice and Fire is about blood magic, and the Fire component is Targaryen blood, then the Ice component would be Stark blood inherited by Roose way back in the Age of Heroes. And both bloodlines, and thus the Song of Ice and Fire, are now present in one person. People call this the Bolt-on Theory or Vampire Roose, but it's really a bit more nuanced than that. The main driver is that I cannot think of any reason why even the most hateful, despicable lord would not only shrug his shoulders over the fact that his bastard has killed his heir -- an heir that had all the makings of becoming a champion jouster who would do nothing but bring honor and glory to House Bolton -- but then reward that bastard with honors and titles. So as I said, I have no proof. All I'll suggest is that in the next two books, watch for Roose to die and then see if Ramsey doesn't start speaking in whispers and leeching himself.
  11. It depends on what you mean by "bad king." Some would say Robert was a bad king because he abrogated all of his responsibilities so he could drink and whore himself into an early grave, and yet the people loved him and his reign was (mostly) peaceful and profitable. It can be argued that Aegon V was a bad king because he tried to afford the small folk some measure of legal protection from their lords' judgement, and then stood helpless as his children abandoned their betrothals to the high lords. Some lords rose in rebellion, but again, the people loved him. The baddest of all bad kings was probably Maegor the Cruel, but he built the Red Keep, put down the rebellions that arose during the reign of weak Aenys I (including the one by the Faith Militant) and essentially cemented the Targaryan hold over the six kingdoms, arguably leading to the peace and prosperity that followed. He is almost universally despised to this day. So, was Joffrey a bad king? His reign was too short to say for sure, but history will say he successfully defended King's Landing long enough for the Lannister/Tyrell army to arrive, and some might argue that bold moves like executing traitorous lords showed the makings of a strong king... But if you are asking whether Robert should be blamed for Joffrey being a bad person, then I defer to the discussion above.
  12. Nobody is reporting this because nobody is living to tell the tale: Apparently, the only ranger to survive an encounter with the Others was Gared, and Ned cut his head off thinking he was a raving loony. Do we know it's been decades? And if he's been sacrificing for this long, do we know the Others have been taking them and not some scavenger?
  13. Exactly. I still don't see how we got to the idea that Mors, Wyman or anybody else knows this is really Mance. And it seems that if the northern lords are conspiring to rid Winterfell of Boltons, then that would involve killing both Roose and Ramsey, after which they won't have any reason to "rescue" fArya because she will be a widow, freed from the Boltons. She isn't likely to keep insisting that she is Arya at this point, and since her story of being forced into this charade or die is plausible, I don't see any repercussions for her. It does seem that Bran is meeting many of these people for the first time during Clash. If this is the case, this is a huge error on Ned's part. His bannermen should have made regular pilgrimages to Winterfell to renew fealty vows and discuss matters of state, and simply to make sure that when somebody shows up at your gates claiming to be this lord or that lord, they are really who they say they are. But I disagree that Arya would not generate much interest. She is one of the few ways in which a lesser house can improve its status, so every lord who meets her would take a very keen interest in her, as with all of the Stark children. And as I said above, the main objective is to rid Winterfell of Boltons, so once that is accomplished there is no need to "rescue" fArya even if they do know she is fake. She clearly hates Ramsey. She wouldn't allow him or any of his men into Barrow Hall. Regardless of whether she truly hates Starks, though, her little trip to the crypts was exactly what someone needed if they were attempting to get into Winterfell through a secret passage down there. My theory as to why Roose is so lax about Ramsey is highly complex and speculative (you can search for it elsewhere on this board), but Lady D sums it up best: "This is a game to him, mildly diverting. Some men hunt, some hawk, some tumble dice. Roose plays with men. You and me, these Freys. Lord Manderly, his plump new wife, even his bastard, we are but his playthings."
  14. Jon has Mance's son (or so he thinks), so Mance isn't going to betray Jon. And I don't think a single one of the northern lords believes this is really Arya anyway. All of them, except Roose apparently, would have met Arya on multiple occasions before she left for King's Landing, so no one is falling for this farce.
  15. This is what Arya thinks, but she also thought the Kings Guard were after her when they first approached Yoren. She tends to think that she's a lot more important than she really is. If Roose meant to have her back, why would he send Hoat's men to do it? I think it's just as likely that Roose never gave it another thought, since he is leaving for the Twins, that the mummers were just out raiding, and that Roose only caught his mistake later when he realized that only highborns say "my lord." But there's no telling with Roose.