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Starspear

Barristan Selmy... White Cloak of many Kings.

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

Why would he ? The KG serve the King, not the Targaryens.

He could have chosen death.

What ? He did. He chose to go into battle. Killing himself after RR was over and Robert was king would have been pointless and stupid, not honorable.

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.

Yes, he chose the King over anything else, right up until a king fired him from the KG. Fairly consistent and honorable, I'd say.

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What ? He did. He chose to go into battle. Killing himself after RR was over and Robert was king would have been pointless and stupid, not honorable.

I'm perfectly agreeing that killing himself or insisting on not serving Robert and thus forcing Robert to kill him (or send him to the Wall) would have been very stupid and pointless. It might still have been stupidly honourable, though.

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Why would he ? The KG serve the King, not the Targaryens.

The KG vow includes swearing to die for the King.

"The king you had sworn to die for." (Jaime AFFC)

KG were formed to protect Targ dynasty. Didn't exist before.

The vow is to the person, not to the Kinghood.

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I'm perfectly agreeing that killing himself or insisting on not serving Robert and thus forcing Robert to kill him (or send him to the Wall) would have been very stupid and pointless. It might still have been stupidly honourable, though.

Yes, that much is true.

Other options = the Wall, like you say. Becoming an erring knight. Find a Targ.

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The vow is to the person, not to the Kinghood.

And the person Barristan had sworn to was dead. There's no betrayal or dishonor in him swearing to the next person holding that same office.

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And the person Barristan had sworn to was dead. There's no betrayal or dishonor in him swearing to the next person holding that same office.

Well, we'll disagree.

Selmy bent the knee to his King's Usurper. Not to some other lord.

The precendent then becomes that if a usurper kills a king, those KG are freed from their oaths and can later swear oaths to the usurper. Imo, that's not much of an oath.

I prefer the Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower, Oswell Whent type of KG.

They were given a choice to bend the knee and didn't, even though Aerys was dead.

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I prefer the Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower, Oswell Whent type of KG.

They were given a choice to bend the knee and didn't, even though Aerys was dead.

Completely different situation. Those guys had only Ned's word Aerys was dead. Barristan got to se RR through from his sickbed, and Robert crowned as rightful king of the 7k before he knelt.

What you are suggesting is that Barry threw down his sword and surrendered at the Trident. Which he didn't. He fought, til death (presumably). Only Ned's leniency saved him.

If say, Arthur Dayne had been wounded instead of dieing at TOJ, I would expect him to do exactly what Barry did.

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Completely different situation. Those guys had only Ned's word Aerys was dead. Barristan got to se RR through from his sickbed, and Robert crowned before he knelt.

If say, Arthur Dayne had been wounded instead of dieing at TOJ, I would expect him to do exactly what Barry did.

Maybe, maybe not.

Not everyone swears the same oath, despite saying the same words.

I give the benefit of the doubt to the KG at the ToJ. They knew Ned, and Ned knew them. They chose. I'm sure they believed or even knew Aerys was dead. And so, they were going to obey their orders regardless of consequence.

Fact is, even Selmy himself regrets his decision and tries to rectify by looking for Targ heir after his dismissal.

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Barristan is certainly not an oathbreaker. He is simply a real human being which contracts with the ultra honorable fiction made about him. Even so he tries to be honorable, to be good and regrets saving Aerys in the past and wants to serve a good king.



He doesn't do much in the crisis of Joffrey's succession because Baristan dislikes KG playing politics, he is not a politician, that is not how he lived his life and operates. In his position I would do the same thing, I am the glorified bodyguard of the king.



There is not a pure, simplistic onedimensional view of honor.




Well, we'll disagree.


Selmy bent the knee to his King's Usurper. Not to some other lord.


The precendent then becomes that if a usurper kills a king, those KG are freed from their oaths and can later swear oaths to the usurper. Imo, that's not much of an oath.


I prefer the Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower, Oswell Whent type of KG.


They were given a choice to bend the knee and didn't, even though Aerys was dead.





They had additional incentive though, they fought to protect the heir and Rhaegar's son. Plus, It seems that with most of these characters who value honor, Rhaegar is still more important to them than Aerys (Barristan included as we seek with him seeking Daenerys thinking she is similiar to Rhaegar but he does not care at all for serving Viserys), after all where were those Kingsguard when Jaime Lannister pushed his sword inside their king Aerys? Not that they would refuse serving Aerys and protecting him instead if ordered to.



My point is that the quality of the king is relevant to these people after all.


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after all where were those Kingsguard when Jaime Lannister pushed his sword inside their king Aerys?

Indeed. If anything, the three KG at TOJ were less honorable than Barry, seeing as how they chose not to go and protect their king or lead his armies, but instead chose to defend some tower on the word of the crown prince.

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Robert was a Usurper. The KG at the ToJ saw it as such and were willingly going to die (and did) before serving Robert.

The King's will declared Ned Stark, Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm. Orders would come from Ned. Barristan had a choice. He chose Joffrey.

The KG at the ToJ were also ordered to be there; Barristan did what he was ordered to do in the same way - the only difference is that he didn't die of his wounds. Ned was declared that, yes, but that still didn't make him King.

Well, where does the Kingsguard vows end? If serving Joff after Robert and Tommen after Joff is the right procedure, then technically Barristan broke his oath because he didn't go to Viserys after Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon died

The difference is that the Targs were deposed as the rulers; there was a new King on the throne. If Dany wants to become Queen, she won't be able to just go into Kings Landing and say she's there, turn over power. She is going to have to take the power back. She can call herself Queen of Westeros or Queen of the Moon, it doesn't make it true until she actually sits the throne.

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As I wrote in another thread

Ser Barristan thinks he would have killed Robert if he was there when Robert said "I only see dragonspawn". The thing is, Ser Barristan had plenty of opportunities to kill Robert, considering any vows and pardons given by him are invalid since he's an usurper, and cross the Narrow Sea to deliver his head to his rightful King, Viserys of House Targaryen. And he ends up serving the Targaryens later on. There is a line in the show, said by Ned at Jaime which is something like this "You've served the Mad King well, while serving him was safe". And this sort of applies to Ser Barristan, who turns his cloak twice in the series. He served the Mad King well, while serving him gave him what he desired (well, except for Ashara), and then he did the same for Robert. He only looked for Danny when they told him his life as a White Cloak was at an end. If Joffrey hasn't dissmissed him, he would have reacted to Sansa Beating Time in the same fashion he reacted to Rhaella Targaryen Raping Time and, had Daennerys finally invaded Westeros, he would have fought under Joffrey's banner, against her.

But serving Joffrey no longer gave him the social position/job he wanted, so it was just then we he decided that the Targaryens were the true Kings after all.

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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."

As we know, Arianne is using tricky logic here to convince Arys to do her bidding. Given that serving in a Kingsguard is for life, I suppose many of the knights survived their Kings, and by default became the Kingsguard of the next King. However, this becomes tricky when there are more pretenders like in the case of Dance of dragons where KG was divided. This was also specific situation. Barristan protected Targaryen dynasty as he could serving them loyally. However, everything changed when the King he served died. At the time he was wounded and unable to change any event, and when he recovered, there was a new King and he had his vows that obliged him on fealty towards a new King.

Personally, I would never dare to call Barristan an oathbreaker. Simply, not one character in the books called him that way (except, IIRC, Viserys) and Barristan choose to serve the King to the end of his life honorably. He was serving Targaryens as much as he could, and when he couldn't have saved them anymore, he proceeded with serving the only King in Westeros. And he was serving Robert adamantly as he served Targaryens. That is why he was so highly regarded by the Others.

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There is a line in the show, said by Ned at Jaime which is something like this "You've served the Mad King well, while serving him was safe". And this sort of applies to Ser Barristan, who turns his cloak twice in the series.

So, your definition of "safe" includes leading troops in battle and taking a wound that could easily have been mortal ?

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So, your definition of "safe" includes leading troops in battle and taking a wound that could easily have been mortal ?

as I said later, it's not safety but social standing what moves Barristan

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as I said later, it's not safety but social standing what moves Barristan

Nonsense. Your entire argumentation is ridiculous since there is not one instance in the text upon which can base this.

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as I said later, it's not safety but social standing what moves Barristan

If that is your argument, why did you cite the Ned quote and say it applied to Barristan ?

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He fought the Usurper on Trident. He served the King on Iron Throne later. As was repeatedly said, Kingsguard doesn't choose.

Hell yeah they do. Gerold, Arthur and Oswell stayed at the Targaryen side, even when the entire realm knelt for Robert. Sure, saying "OK, so if Robert's the king now, all hail King Robert" was a perfectly sensible choice, but it wasn't the only choice. If he didn't want to serve Robert and he wasn't up to restoring Targaryen monarchy on his own, he could probably trade his white cloak for a black one, I don't see Bob refusing that request.

That said, I don't judge him for that. He was in a very shitty place after the Trident, with Mad King being dead, Princes Rhaegar and Aegon ditto, Viserys apparently a nasty little shit even at young age (although we have only his point of view on that), and Robert for a change a great knight with shitloads of charisma... Yeah. So he made a choice which wasn't motivated one hundred percent by duty and duty alone, but partially by his personal bias. So his cloak is therefore a little grey instead of #FFFFFF white. Good. I prefer it that way.

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Hell yeah they do. Gerold, Arthur and Oswell stayed at the Targaryen side, even when the entire realm knelt for Robert. Sure, saying "OK, so if Robert's the king now, all hail King Robert" was a perfectly sensible choice, but it wasn't the only choice. If he didn't want to serve Robert and he wasn't up to restoring Targaryen monarchy on his own, he could probably trade his white cloak for a black one, I don't see Bob refusing that request.

That said, I don't judge him for that. He was in a very shitty place after the Trident, with Mad King being dead, Princes Rhaegar and Aegon ditto, Viserys apparently a nasty little shit even at young age (although we have only his point of view on that), and Robert for a change a great knight with shitloads of charisma... Yeah. So he made a choice which wasn't motivated one hundred percent by duty and duty alone, but partially by his personal bias. So his cloak is therefore a little grey instead of #FFFFFF white. Good. I prefer it that way.

Normally they don't. This was truly specific situation (comparable to Criston Cole's choosing during Dance of dragons). Simply, based on what he knew, Barristan acted accordingly to his vows. He was a KG for a life, not "until comes the King I don't like". Stannis and Renly both wanted Barristan by their side, and Tywin was infuriated with Cersei when she kicked him out. That speaks volumes about how everyone perceived Barristan. For that is honor and duty, fulfilling it even though you are not wholeheartedly with it.

So, even though objectively Barristan did have a choice of running to Viserys in a fool's attempt to help him restore the power, perhaps out of some sense of duty and honor, he stayed with the man who showed him kindness and mercy. Robert deserved Barristan's loyalty with his behavior during Trident and Barristan chose to stay with him honoring Robert's victory and yes, his vows that are for life.

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As others I have said Barristan is not an oath breaker. He is a good man who upholds all that is good about the Kingsguard. Those who call him an oath breaker or waffler do not truly know the man.



Barristan served 2 Targaryen kings and then Robert as honorably as he could. Aerys was a good king who only displayed his rages rarely and ruled well for over a decade until the Duskendale incident which pushed him over the edge. even then Barristan served honorably for he knew that Raeghar was next in line and would bring honor back to the throne. but then he runs off with that Stark girl and all hell breaks lose.



Robert could have been a good king but his penchant for excess and neglecting of his duties saw to it that the realm was weak internally.



The thing I never understood though is why Ned Stark never denounced Joffery in the throne room or during the Small Council meeting where he showed them the Robert's Will. That simple announcement could have at least revealed to him who was truly on his side.


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