SFDanny

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  1. That's not an interpretation I've read over my ten plus years on this forum, but if you want to argue it go right ahead. I don't buy it for a minute, but be my guest. You see, most people look at the party make up and see its unusual nature and think some mixture of all the possibilities I put forward are likely. You're the first to suggest it was a bachelor party gone wrong. Congratulations!
  2. As long as Aerys lived there was a danger the plot could be carried out. There was a danger even after Aerys death that others in the guild would carry out the order and Jaime hunted them down to prevent this from happening. That doesn't mean Jaime's motivations were pure of heart, but it does mean he acted in a way that prevented the plot from going ahead, and he did so in a way that causes the reader to ask what was honorable, and what was right for the young knight to do? Which is the whole point of why Martin writes the character in this way. He is a traitor to his king and broke his vows, but he may also be right in doing what he did. You have your answer to that question, all fine and good, but that doesn't make it "true." You put the fulfilling of a vow over what is right. They are not always the same. In this case, Jaime could have waited for others to kill Aerys, but he did not know the outcome of the battle and he did not know if plot could go forward without Aerys or if he had other methods of ordering it to commence. What Jaime did was effective in stopping the plot - which was the right and most important thing to do - even though he breaks his vows and commits treason to do so. We will have to disagree about most of what you say is "true" and what I take is merely your conjecture of what Jaime could have done and should have done rather than what he did. What we can absolutely disagree about is that Jaime's "straw that broke the camel's back" was Aerys's order to kill Tywin. Jaime kills Rossart before he sees Aerys and before he hears the command to kill his father. That tells us this isn't just a justification he makes up afterwards. The last "straw" was the plot itself and what it would do if carried out. One does not preclude the other. Aerys was a cruel and disgusting madman AND he had to be stopped from carrying out his greatest act of madness in the engulfing King's Landing in wildfire. Jaime witnessed the cruelty of Rickard and Brandon's deaths, the death of others by the king's order, he had to stand by while Aerys raped his sister/queen Rhaella, and many other acts I'm sure that changed the young man over time. That he grows to understand how he has been used and hates Aerys for it is to his credit. There is no vow that makes these things right. At some point if he has any real honor left he has to stand up and try to stop it. Hmm ... if I remember the Pink Letter it comes to Jon demanding the person who Jon thinks is Arya back. If Jon believes this letter, it tells him his sister is free and probably on her way to him. The logical move for Jon, if he put the "well being of Arya before his vows" would be to send out forces to find her, not march on Winterfell. No, though I do not doubt Jon wants Arya safe, it isn't the wish for her safety that forms his plans. It is the declaration of war on the Night's Watch he has just received from Ramsay Bolton. The claim that Stannis is dead has more to do with his plan than Arya does. The bit about the Others being left out of the Night's Watch vow just doesn't hold water. Everything we know of the Watch tells us it was formed to defend the realms of men from the threat of the Others. That it was born out of the legendary "Long Night" and its struggle against these creatures. If you really doubt this then read the section of The World of Ice & Fire dedicated to the Night's Watch and its history. As to the words of the Watch's oath it does not mention the Others, but the content of its mission is laid out anti clearly points to the fight against the Others as the basis for its existence. Just read part of oath that says: And then tell me this is not all about the threat of the Others. That you think the Wall means the Watch has no need to defend those on the northern side of it is a idea that Bowen Marsh would agree with, but lets just say Jon isn't the only one who would disagree with you and brother Marsh. More tomorrow, my friend. I do like arguing with you!
  3. Only Ethan Glover is one of his bannermen. The make up of the party has long been of interest and debate on these boards, but it surely indicates this is not a normal party of northern bannermen traveling with the Lord's heir. This is more likely reflective of different relationships. Friends, foster-brothers, hand picked men in a wedding party, or allies in politics perhaps, but not bannermen.
  4. When is treason the right thing to do? When Jaime killed Aerys he unquestionably committed treason. He also saved the lives of thousands of innocents from the pyromancer plot. When Jon raises his wilding army to fight against the Boltons he unquestionably violates his oath. Is that treason to his mission to guard the realms of men from the threat of the Others? I think not. He must unite those forces of men in the North to stand a chance of holding the Wall. The Boltons are unquestionably the major block against this unity. What does a "honorable" man do when his oath prevents him from doing what is right? Sometimes, as Jaime tells us, one has to violate one oath to keep another in the pursuit of what is right. Jon knows this and doesn't shy from taking the violation of his oath on himself and doesn't ask it of his sworn brothers. The question is what he tried to do the right thing to do under the circumstances?
  5. Oh, I think it likely that the highly educated heir of Winterfell knew of the events at Ashford meadow. Maester Walys would have seen to his lessons, and, if the rumors are true, it seems very unlikely that Old Nan would not tell her charges the story of the heroic Ser Duncan the Tall. But you are right, we don't know for sure this is the source of Brandon's "precedent" that made him think he could challenge one of the royal blood to a duel. Whatever his inspiration, he learned the wrong lesson. He didn't understand precedent doesn't bind a king. The king is the law, and this king had other motives that formed his response to Brandon's challenge. This king didn't give a damn about precedent. In some ways it is funny, because it seems to me the heroic swordsman Brandon failed to learn the lesson the starry-eyed Sansa so painfully did over a decade later. "Life is not a song." Nor is it a heroic story of the past, and the idea a duel would be allowed by Aerys to settle things between House Stark and the Iron Throne is naive at best. Hoster Tully had it right.
  6. Interesting twist on some old ideas. I do think the bright dragon is Ser Gerold Dayne as explained in a very nice thread here I don't think Serra is alive, and I think Septa Lemore is Lady Ashara Dayne. Not at all convinced Varys is a Targaryen, but I like your comments about his castration and the unusual nature of such a blood sacrifice. I do tend to Young Griff being Illyrio and Serra's son, and a Blackfyre descendant through the female line. Tell me who do you think was Varys's father? Or did I miss it?
  7. Very good post, as usual, LB. I like the last point quite a bit. Rickard would have very likely taken a very different tack if Brandon wasn't held hostage and accused of plotting the murder of Rhaegar. A smart man, and Rickard was such a man, would have gone to the Red Keep himself and asked for information about his daughter. Telling Aerys that she was last seen in Rhaegar's company would been better than saying he wanted to duel with the Crown Prince. There were differences between Rhaegar and Aerys that could have been exploited - such as hints at a second marriage unapproved by Aerys - that a smarter and more experience person could have tried.
  8. Yes, that and a few other points, but mostly that.
  9. The problem for Brandon could have been he was too in love with the story, but didn't understand the differences between the past and present. One can hear the story of Ser Duncan the Tall at Ashford meadow, which was probably quite popular among Old Nan's tales, and think this is a solution possible under all circumstances when confronting one of the royal blood. But Aerys II Targaryen wasn't anything like the Crown Prince Baelor, Hand of the King. Nor was he like Daeron the Good. Nor for that matter, was Brandon like Aerion - who issued the challenge at Ashford. Brandon was the challenger of one of royal blood, who by doing so, put his life and that of his companions in the hands of a mad king who loved to kill those who challenged royalty (Duskendale being a prime example.) Brandon issues his challenge thinking he has the right to do so, but the right to do so has nothing to do with what Aerys would do. Aerys sees a chance to do away with two High Lords and their heirs and takes the opportunity to dispense justice as he sees fit, not as Baelor Breakspear would have done. If you want an example of Aerys's thinking, I think the better comparison is Michael Corleone from the Godfather. He sees an opportunity to do away with his enemies and seizes it. These are his rivals for power, and he is not about to surrender a chance to do away with them. Certainly not when a party of young nobles foolishly place themselves at his mercy. In his mind, and in truth, these are all men who are sworn to obey the king's justice, and by their actions they not only put themselves in mortal danger, but that of their Houses as well. Traditions like a Trial of Seven don't figure into what Aerys thinks is justice. Putting the life of his heir at risk of the outcome of a duel isn't remotely in the cards for the game Aerys is playing. I think any read of this history that doesn't put this action of Brandon's party into the context of the political threat Aerys saw, right or wrong, in the growing alliance between the Starks, Tullys, Arryns, and Baratheons misses the wellspring of Aerys's "justice." His paranoia ruled his mind. To the question put by @The Doctor's Consort in the OP, Jaime's account reads like an personal account of what happened, not a second hand one. At least, we have nothing in his tale to Catelyn that suggest it is. It would not be unusual to have a party of nobles to arrive in King's Landing and have access to the Red Keep. It would be unusual if they made it to Aerys, but that isn't what Jaime tells us. Aerys, we are told, sends his guards to arrest them for threatening Rhaegar's life. I don't see a reason to doubt this account. He has no reason to lie to Catelyn about this.
  10. If you tell me what you are referring to instead of "snip" I'd be happy to try explain my reasoning and show you the clues it is based on. I think you may be missing the politics of Rhaegar's action, but, yes, as far as I know there is only one Elia of Dorne who was at Harrenhal. Does it? It proves he was unsuccessful, not that he was dreadful. To judge that one has to know his goals and the strength of the forces he was working with. It seems to me he came within a sword stroke of killing Robert and quite possibly emerging from the Trident able to dictate his own terms for the future of his kingdom.
  11. My best guess for an in world explanation is that Deepwood Motte is a very long way from King's Landing. Aerys ordered the fathers of each of Brandon's party to come to King's Landing and answer for their sons. Ethan's father, if he was still alive, would have a long way to travel to answer Aerys's summons. By the time he got near King's Landing it may well have been after Brandon's and Rickard's execution. At which point the elder Glover would probably join the rebellion. The meta reason, seems more likely the cause of Ethan's survival. He is needed to be the source of some information to be given to the reader. Ethan was the only surviving member of Brandon's party, so if we are to learn what were the reasons they did what they did, then he is the source for that story. The fact he travels to the Tower of Joy with Ned and Howland gives us reason to think both of them know his tale. Perhaps it is important for Ned to have known and we will find out later, or more likely when Howland appears this will be part of the tale we learn from him.
  12. I agree the same rules in the real world don't apply to fiction, especially not fantasy novels.. Occam's Razor is an important guide in the real world but not here. The old rule of "if you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras" doesn't apply. Here it might well be unicorns trotting down the forest path. But my objection to the idea of tying a stillborn child to the Targaryens, just based on the fact that Aerys and Rhaella had two stillbirths seems a lack of evidence or clues that point in that direction. We have clues about this from Ser Barrsitan that point elsewhere and and have much more support in the story. Sorry, about the "jumping to conclusion" remark. It wasn't meant to be personal, and I understand you're floating an idea for discussion.. No problem in that. I'm just trying to say why I disagree.
  13. Absolutely no apology necessary. Your point was clear, and that is all that matters here. We all make spelling and grammar mistakes. I hope no one holds my many lapses against me. I think you are correct that Brandon did not force himself on Ashara. I think it was a seduction, and possibly a mutual one. The "dishonor" being the too public nature of the affair, and the fact Brandon was, at the time, betrothed to the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands's daughter and became known in front of Lord Tully's own bannermen, and that Ashara was, at the time, a companion to the Princess Elia. All of these factors add up to be a scandal that shames the royal house, House Tully, and the Daynes. The degree to which it also would bring shame on House Stark is debatable, given the double standards towards men, and men of the Great Houses in particular. If Brandon had actually raped Ashara it would have be much, much more of a scandal, and I doubt Aerys would have let Brandon leave with his head attached. Nor would Ser Barristan exhibit the respect he has for Ned, or the lack of anger we would expect for the Stark who Ashara was dishonored by. If Aerys didn't kill him, perhaps Selmy would have if Brandon had forced himself upon Ashara. No, I think Brandon behaved like an entitled lord who expects to get what he wants. And I think he did so without regard to how his actions would look to the Crown Prince, or anyone else. Whether he did so knowingly in order to send a message of rejection of Rhaegar's proposed Great Council is the question that interests me. Now, I can't answer your question exactly of when Selmy was put on the small council as the new Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Much of this timeline is inexact, to say the least. But what we can say is that Selmy is on the council when he is sent to be part of Cersei's honor guard to come to King's Landing. That is almost certainly sometime in late 274, if I guess right from the dates of the wedding we are given. So, probably not long after Ned arrives in King's Landing to tell Robert of Lyanna's death. We also know that Ser Barristan isn't at Robert's coronation to be pardoned along with Jaime, Pycelle, and Varys, so he isn't made the Lord Commander in the immediate aftermath of the sack of King's Landing. That puts appointment sometime between when Ned leaves King's Landing - around the ninth month or so of 273 - and the marriage departure of Cersei's wedding escort from King's Landing. But I should also add, that it is likely that any reports about Ashara's death or her stillborn daughter take place later than that during a time we would expect Ser Barristan to be on the council. Remember Cersei's words to Ned in the Red Keep's godswood, in which she accuses Ned of taking his and Ashara's child from her and causing her to commit suicide. Her knowledge on the subject, flawed as it is, would likely be from second hand reports of those who investigate Ned's story. Selmy's knowledge would be from hearing the report themselves, as well as his personal knowledge from being at Harrenhal and having paid special attention to the Lady Ashara there and at court, both before and after the tourney. My guess is that House Dayne doesn't push this story for a variety of reasons, but the time after the tourney and the departure of Ashara from Elia's service is not something that it would be easy to hide from Ser Barristan. If, as seems to be the case, Selmy views a dishonoring at Harrenhal to be the reason for Ashara leaving, then he is placed to know of her pregnancy. The knowledge of a stillbirth would come later after the downfall of Aerys. Arthur and Selmy are separated for the entirety of the rebellion, so he doesn't learn of this from him. He could learn of it from Rhaegar after the prince comes north from the tower of joy. Or he could learn it from Ashara herself if she comes back to King's Landing after her likely dismissal from court. Here I should state openly that I'm one who thinks we are going to find out some of the answers to all of this because I think Ashara is still alive and living under the name of Septa Lemore. The why of that is a discussion for another thread.
  14. It is not surprising that we have more detail concerning Targaryen births than any other family, but your theory is faulty, in my opinion, because we have so much more information on the royal household than any other. In particular, we have a detailed account of the attempts of Aerys II Targaryen and his sister/wife Rhaella to have children: Rhaegar born in 259 AC, miscarriage in 263, miscarriage in 264, stillborn Princess Shaena in 267, Prince Daeron born in 269, another stillbirth in 270, another miscarriage in 271, Prince Aegon born in 272, Prince Jaehaerys born in 274, Prince Viserys born in 276, Princess Daenerys born in 284. Eleven conceptions and two stillbirths. We have no way of knowing if that is a ratio that is outside the norm for any other family because we have no such detailed information on any other family. Stillbirths are not recorded in any of the family trees we have been given, including the Targaryens. We also have no way of determining if the two stillbirths represent a propensity that is a genetic trait passed on through Targaryen generations. There could well be other environmental factors that could be behind the stillbirths and deaths of the royal children in infancy. Aerys himself, and the unhealthy environs of King's Landing potentially being two possible non-genetic factors. All of which is to say, no, we can't say because Ashara's child is stillborn it is likely that Aerys was its father. Or Rhaegar. It makes no logical sense to jump to such a conclusion. On the other hand we have Selmy's clue of a relationship between Ashara and a Stark at Harrenhal that led to her "dishonor." That is something we can build on.
  15. What is the purpose of this rumor, and what evidence do you think points to Ser Barristan's knowledge being false? I would remind you that Selmy, as the new Lord Commander of Robert's Kingsguard sits on the small council and would hear any report of such happenings when the council is informed of it. It is always possible we are dealing with news intended to throw people of the track, but who would do this in this case? Unless, of course, you think Ashara faked her death. Selmy was at Harrenhal and presumably knows of the "dishonor" that occurred there. He was a member of the Kingsguard, and likely would know why Ashara left. He thinks she had a still born daughter, and is placed to know the truth of much of these "rumors."