Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Starspear

Barristan Selmy... White Cloak of many Kings.

174 posts in this topic

They are sworn to the Iron Throne, NOT the Targaryens. Once the Targs were defeated and the Baratheon's sat the throne, they still served the Iron Throne. There was just a different family sitting on it. It would be breaking his oath to go serve some "king" in Dragonstone.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are sworn to the Iron Throne, NOT the Targaryens. Once the Targs were defeated and the Baratheon's sat the throne, they still served the Iron Throne. There was just a different family sitting on it. It would be breaking his oath to go serve some "king" in Dragonstone.

No, they swear oaths to Kings, not to the realm or the IT, like Maesters for example, who are tied to keeps.

example:

Arys Oakheart to Arianne (AFFC):

"I swore an oath!" "To Joffrey, not to Tommen."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was no reason for the three at the ToJ not to bend the knee. Their loyalty to the Targaryens is certainly admirable, but at that point, they should've remembered their oaths and gone to serve the lawful King, who was Robert.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They swear to defend the Iron Throne, which is an institution, not a person.

See below:

No, they swear oaths to Kings, not to the realm or the IT, like Maesters for example, who are tied to keeps.

example:

Arys Oakheart to Arianne (AFFC):

"I swore an oath!" "To Joffrey, not to Tommen."

I think there's even Selmy himself saying the oath is to the King. And he would not be with Daenerys trying to redeem himself, if what you were saying were true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Otherwise the King's death would release them from their vows - which if it does, that means Barristan would actually be able to accept Robert's pardon and appointment as LC without breaking his oath to Aerys.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are sworn to the Iron Throne, NOT the Targaryens. Once the Targs were defeated and the Baratheon's sat the throne, they still served the Iron Throne. There was just a different family sitting on it. It would be breaking his oath to go serve some "king" in Dragonstone.

Even if the person on the Iron Throne is not the legitimate heir, like Joffrey and Tommen? So, let's say that instead of fighting Rhaegar, Robert turns the other way, takes King's Landing and sits the throne.

The Kingsguard then are forced to say: "dude, Rhaegar, this is awkward...but you're not sitting the Iron Throne now, so, we pretty much have to obey Robert, even though we swore no oath to him"

Yeah, that makes no sense. The KG swear their oaths to a person, not an inanimate object. That's why Renly, Stannis and Dany have had KG serving them even though neither of them has sit the Iron Throne. That's why Rhaenyra had KG even though she was at Dragonstone.

And if KG are sworn to the IT, then Barristan would be a traitor because he's not serving Tommen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always understood the oaths to be THE King, not A King. Like, I swear to protect the King, whoever he may be, for the rest of my life. Do they actually swear again once the next king in the succession comes up? I don't remember if there's a scene or reference to Joffrey having Meryn and the rest of the KG swear to him again.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mean the chair itself, man. That's ridiculous. I mean the lawful occupant of the Iron Throne, which is an institution that rules the 7K in addition to being an actual throne.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always understood the oaths to be THE King, not A King. Like, I swear to protect the King, whoever he may be, for the rest of my life. Do they actually swear again once the next king in the succession comes up? I don't remember if there's a scene or reference to Joffrey having Meryn and the rest of the KG swear to him again.

Well consider if you were King. How safe would you feel if your personal bodyguards were not sworn to you personally, but to the abstract sense of the King (of the Realm)?

Jaime for instance, acted for the benefit of the Realm, but had to break his oath (to the King) to protect KL. Hence his derogative moniker, Kingslayer. He was not rewarded for his action, even by Ned. His oath, was to his King.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd feel pretty safe if I was the King. All it means that they aren't released from their vows upon the death of the last king - so you wouldn't have to worry about the LC deciding he didn't much like the dead king's son, and bailing before swearing to him.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the institution is not tied to the object. Stannis is the legitimate heir by all the laws of the 7K and people have swore fealty to him. So he represents the institution of the Iron Throne even though he doesn't sit the actual throne



The way I see it, in most if not all cases the transition is supposed to run smoothly as long as a king leaves a clear heir after he dies. Like, the KG served King Bread, for example, so in theory the only king they should recognize as such is King Bread Jr or King Bread's brother (if there's no children).



Like I mentioned, the cases when there's more than one claimant and the succession is not going smoothly, then the KG gets divided against itself, like it happened in the Dance of the Dragons.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The system of the kg was made by the targ dynasty. So there is no law for if there is a new family in power. so it's an unprecedented event, there for it's in the eyes of the beholder. I think at the time barristan saw it as he serves the IT not the targs but regrets it later hence the whole serving the last targ. Personally I don't see it as oath breaking, if the battle broke different and he died instead of just being wounded he would have been remembered for serving his king till his death. Instead he survived and had a choice to make with no precedent to look back on for the correct choice. so he made a judgment call on what seemed to be his oath, obviously he knew it was a catch 22 prolly not an easy decision. With the Ned thing he was serving his king, him and Ned were cool the feeling I got was they were 2 old timers who understood each other and had alot of respect for each other. But his feelings mean nothing in respect to his honor again keeping his oath over his personal feelings on a situation. In the end I say good dude alot of honor and an oath keeper during a very sketchy time in westeros

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The system of the kg was made by the targ dynasty. So there is no law for if there is a new family in power. so it's an unprecedented event, there for it's in the eyes of the beholder. I think at the time barristan saw it as he serves the IT not the targs but regrets it later hence the whole serving the last targ. Personally I don't see it as oath breaking, if the battle broke different and he died instead of just being wounded he would have been remembered for serving his king till his death. Instead he survived and had a choice to make with no precedent to look back on for the correct choice. so he made a judgment call on what seemed to be his oath, obviously he knew it was a catch 22 prolly not an easy decision. With the Ned thing he was serving his king, him and Ned were cool the feeling I got was they were 2 old timers who understood each other and had alot of respect for each other. But his feelings mean nothing in respect to his honor again keeping his oath over his personal feelings on a situation. In the end I say good dude alot of honor and an oath keeper during a very sketchy time in westeros

I agree with your general sentiment... but I think that Selmy still thought of position before oath. It's kind of awkward to wake up from battle... and the world has changed.

I think though he discovered the answer late (as he naturally discovers)... which is, he should have sought out the Targ heir and not bend the knee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The questions above were to stimulate conversation, not my personal beliefs about Barristan Selmy.

Bold 2: Yes it is. He chose to bend the knee to Robert. He chose Joffrey over his King's last decree. These are choices. Nowhere does he bend the knee to Joffrey.

If Joffrey has already crowned himself king how is Barristan bound to support robert's will which is ambigous at best?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Joffrey has already crowned himself king how is Barristan bound to support robert's will which is ambigous at best?

It has his seal. Deliverd by Ned. Otherside, Joffrey. I think Barristan knew who was the more honest man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.”

Barristan wasn't at Storm's End, though. He was captured at the Trident and severely wounded.

Even if Viserys was proclaimed king at Dragonstone (I have no recollection of this), Barristan never swore him an oath, as he was lying wounded and a captive of Robert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barristan wasn't at Storm's End, though. He was captured at the Trident and severely wounded.

Even if Viserys was proclaimed king at Dragonstone (I have no recollection of this), Barristan never swore him an oath, as he was lying wounded and a captive of Robert.

Technically true. But I was quoting the passage to show that the KG at the ToJ weren't going to bend the knee to the Usurper (the Arthur Dayne line that follows and subsequent "vow" line). Death first.

Bold: Yes, I agree - the oath needs to be made first. Which comes back to Selmy not dying with his King or KG. I don't think Selmy was confused on his decision. Regrets it later, but he knew what he was doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technically true. But I was quoting the passage to show that the KG at the ToJ weren't going to bend the knee to the Usurper (the Arthur Dayne line that follows and subsequent "vow" line). Death first.

Bold: Yes, I agree - the oath needs to be made first. Which comes back to Selmy not dying with his King or KG. I don't think Selmy was confused on his decision. Regrets it later, but he knew what he was doing.

Barristan didn't chose to get wounded instead of dying. Indeed he could well have been killed, as Roose Bolton argued. Instead Ned chose to not kill him. None of that was Barristan's doing or choice. He chose to go into battle with his Prince, for his king, with high likelihood of dieing.

After that, he was a captive and wounded, he couldn't really choose to do much of anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barristan didn't chose to get wounded instead of dying. Indeed he could well have been killed, as Roose Bolton argued. Instead Ned chose to not kill him. None of that was Barristan's doing or choice. He chose to go into battle with his Prince, for his king, with high likelihood of dieing.

After that, he was a captive and wounded, he couldn't really choose to do much of anything.

He could have chosen to go find a Targ heir (which is what he ends up doing).

He could have chosen death.

Selmy made his choice - I'm neutral to his choice and like the character - but it is what it is.

He bent the knee to his King's Usurper.

And he chose Joffrey over Ned, Robert's choice of regent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites