daccu65

The Butterfly Effect

64 posts in this topic

Another post started me wondering about small actions and how they affect the events in the “reality” of ASoIaF. In particular, I was thinking about Joffrey's attempted murder of Bran. This act wasn't some sort of grand scheme and Joffrey wasn't thinking of setting the Starks and Lannisters against each other by doing so; he was being Joffrey; a kid who viewed the world as a giant anthill and his wealth and position as a magnifying glass.

What if Joffrey didn't attempt to have Bran killed?  I'm not saying that Joffrey becomes anything other than the sadistic little prick that GRRM has groomed us all to love to hate...only that he just didn't bother with it. Furthermore, can anyone think of similar actions, those that aren't tied to any plan or conspiracy that have had major effects?

Going back to my example, what if Joffrey didn't try to kill Bran.

I'm pretty sure:

Cat wouldn't have made the fast trip to King's Landing. The letter she received from her sister wouldn't have been enough, on its own, to make her suspicious of the Lannisters. Cat would have remained in Winterfell and Robb would have benefited from her experience in political and administrative matters.

With Cat in Winterfell, she obviously wouldn't have had either reason or opportunity to abduct Tyrion at the Crossroad's Inn. Tyrion doesn't meet Bronn, Marillon never travels to the Eyrie. Tyrion never meets Shagga or the other tribesmen. With Tyrion not abducted, Jaimie Lannister has no quarrel with Ned; there is no attack on the Stark men, Ned's leg isn't broken. There is no war in the Riverlands at this time, more of the Stark men who accompanied Ned south remain near him.

With no war in the Riverlands, Robb doesn't call in his banners and move south. The fighting strength of the north remains in the north.

However:

Ned still resigns his office over the decision to assassinate Dany. Will Littlefinger still be able to keep him in King's landing with a trail of breadcrumbs as to the reason Jon Arryn was murdered?

Robert may well not go on his ill-fated hunt, but Cersei was already scheming to kill him. Does Robert live long enough for Ned to learn about Cersei's children?

With no war in the Riverlands, does Balon Greyjoy see the opportunity to rebel? With the strength of the north in the north, does he attempt to seize Deepwood Motte and/or Moat Cailin?

How could other such minor acts have major consequences? For example, what if Arya didn't ask Gendry and/or Hot Pie to come with her when she escaped Harrenhall? What if Sansa either didn't tell Dontos the Tyrell's plans to marry her to Willas, or accompanied the Hound when he escaped King's Landing?  There are countless other points at which a seemingly small decision, made without thought to the larger effects, could have had major impacts.  I'd like to hear some other thoughts on the possibilities.

Edited by daccu65

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Well, small actions affect the world of ASOIAF the way Grrm wants.:P

But this is a nice approach to the internal conflict and choices theme that dominates ASOIAF.(small actions->small? decisions)

Regarding the individual scenario, the war in the RL is imminent since there is no way Robert stays alive(Ned doing something dishonorable is not a possibility).So when the king dies Tywin attacks quickly to eliminate his foes.

 

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I was pretty sure that there would be conflict between Stark and Lannister...as Varys was scheming this way.  I had the impression that it started before he wanted it to, based upon the conversation Arya overheard beneath the Red Keep. 

Of course, did Varys intend for the conflict between the West and the North take place in the Riverlands or somewhere else?  I guess we'll never know.

 

Edited by daccu65

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i agreed but i would still say i'm preety sure Little finger would have another plan to cilmb the latter of chaos. 

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I don't think that the place of the conflict would make any difference. Varys wanted war and destruction so that his "candidate" for the throne would be greeted as a savior. A Stark-Lannister war would certainly drag all the realm into chaos, as it happened, because of their connections( Stark-Tully-Arryn+Lannister-Baratheon). So the timing is of paramount importance.

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As far as small decisions having a big impact: Ned choosing not to kill Jaime when he found him on the IT. Robert choosing not to execute Balon. Maybe these are not as small as the decision as Joffrey trying to kill Bran but their the only one I can think of where the actor probably thinking big picture but it had a big impact.

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24 minutes ago, Maxxine said:

As far as small decisions having a big impact: Ned choosing not to kill Jaime when he found him on the IT. Robert choosing not to execute Balon. Maybe these are not as small as the decision as Joffrey trying to kill Bran but their the only one I can think of where the actor probably thinking big picture but it had a big impact.

Good examples. 

If you don't mind, could you take one of these and "run with it" so to speak?  If Ned killed Jaimie when he found him on the IT, what direct effects can you see on the way ASoIaF played out?  Or, take Robert Killing Balon, what would the Butterfly Effects be?

 

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1 hour ago, Maxxine said:

As far as small decisions having a big impact: Ned choosing not to kill Jaime when he found him on the IT. Robert choosing not to execute Balon. Maybe these are not as small as the decision as Joffrey trying to kill Bran but their the only one I can think of where the actor probably thinking big picture but it had a big impact.

 

37 minutes ago, daccu65 said:

Good examples. 

If you don't mind, could you take one of these and "run with it" so to speak?  If Ned killed Jaimie when he found him on the IT, what direct effects can you see on the way ASoIaF played out?  Or, take Robert Killing Balon, what would the Butterfly Effects be?

 

Sorry to sound boring but Ned would never have killed or had Jaime killed though. If he could have he would have had him to sent to the wall.

Which when I think about it would have been amusing to say the least in regards to the story.

 

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42 minutes ago, daccu65 said:

Good examples. 

If you don't mind, could you take one of these and "run with it" so to speak?  If Ned killed Jaimie when he found him on the IT, what direct effects can you see on the way ASoIaF played out?  Or, take Robert Killing Balon, what would the Butterfly Effects be?

 

I'll go with elaborating on what may have happened if Ned had killed Jaime just because I think that could have went a number of different ways. First, if Jaime is killed by Ned does Tywin support Robert's claim. Ned is Robert's best friend. Killing Jaime could have potentially caused another war between Robert & Co and the Westerlands. If Tywin wins who sits the IT. Tywin, himself? Viserys with Tywin as Hand? If Robert wins Tywin probably dies and who is Lord of CR? Tyrion probably not? Kevan, assuming he doesn't die with Tywin? Some random Lannister cousin? Either Tywin is not around to be secretly pulling all the strings. Even if there is no war between the sides would Tywin allow Cersei to marry Robert. If not, who does he marry? Lysa? A Hightower? If he still does marry Cersei, there is no Jaime for her to have kids with. Does she has Robert's trueborn heirs so there no real dispute over the throne except for the Targs. Does she drink moon tea constantly so there are no heirs at all? Does she kill a lot sooner than she does in the books because she is do distraught over Jaime's death? There are so may ways that decision could have had lasting implications. I'm sure there are so more I may be missing

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2 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

 

Sorry to sound boring but Ned would never have killed or had Jaime killed though. If he could have he would have had him to sent to the wall.

Which when I think about it would have been amusing to say the least in regards to the story.

 

Well that route still raises the point of the OP. If Jaime is sent to the Wall instead of forgiven and allowed to continue to wear the white cloak it would have had big implications. Again, he's not near Cersei. But he would have access and interaction with Jon which may have been interesting. Maybe he starts his redemption a lot sooner.

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3 minutes ago, Maxxine said:

Well that route still raises the point of the OP. If Jaime is sent to the Wall instead of forgiven and allowed to continue to wear the white cloak it would have had big implications. Again, he's not near Cersei. But he would have access and interaction with Jon which may have been interesting. Maybe he starts his redemption a lot sooner.

If sent to the wall we have no Joffrey and the other children though. hmmm, this makes the story very different.

Thinking on that its better Robert never sent him to the wall and he fathered bastards which Jon Arryn questioned and begun this whole caper.

 

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This is closer to what was thinking when I started the thread.  Something like this:

In punishment for killing the King he was sworn to protect, Robert sends Jaimie to the wall.

Angry over his son's dismissal, and the removal of his heir from the ability to inherit Casterly Rock, Tywin refuses to put his daughter's name forward as a possible marriage candidate for Robert.  (Probable or possible?)

Jaimie would probably remain in correspondence with his father and brother.  Out of concern for his son, Tywin might send regular "gifts", of top-grade weapons and armor to the NW.  Perhaps he uses Tyrion to deliver these gifts (as much to get the imp out of his sight as to making sure the goods get to the wall).  With his occasional trips north, Tyrion could well establish a friendship with the Starks.

I was hoping to start such discussions...picturing how one decision could potentially have consequences for years to come.

 

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I don't believe Joffrey tried to have Bran killed. Tyrion, Cersei & even Jamie believe it, but povs can be wrong and often are. It was obviously Littlefinger. Joffrey was no major schemer. But Littlefinger...

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Worst decision that seems to fit: Rob falling for a chick from Essos. What an idiot.

Consequence: no red wedding and thus a completely different story

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2 hours ago, booger_eater said:

I don't believe Joffrey tried to have Bran killed. Tyrion, Cersei & even Jamie believe it, but povs can be wrong and often are. It was obviously Littlefinger. Joffrey was no major schemer. But Littlefinger...

While Littlefinger is a schemer, I doubt he'd have time to put it together.  The assassination attempt happened fairly quickly after Bran's fall.  I don't think that this would be enough time for word to reach Littlefinger of the accident, then have him arrange for the attempt.  In addition, it wasn't so much the fact that the attempt took place, but that the killer with the implicating weapon was caught, that brought up Cat's suspicions.  LF no doubt did some fast thinking when Cat reached KL, he was already trying to set Lannister and Stark against each other (Lysa's letter to Cat), so I think his lie was simply taking advantage of the situation.

 

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41 minutes ago, GrapefruitPerrier said:

Worst decision that seems to fit: Rob falling for a chick from Essos. What an idiot.

Consequence: no red wedding and thus a completely different story

A good point of divergence...but please take this a few more steps.  Robb still returns to Riverrun from the west, but does he still try to march on Moat Callain?  He still has his alliance with the Freys, but what of the Karstarks?  The story is completely different, but how do you see it playing out?

 

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1 hour ago, standing_on_the_ said:

R. Targ not noticing lyanna at the tourney of harrenhall

Another point to diverge...but how do you see it playing out?  Does Lyanna wind up marrying Robert?  Does Robert's Rebellion take place or does R. Targ finally have enough of the mad king and lead his own rebellion?  Please elaborate.

 

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1 hour ago, standing_on_the_ said:

R. Targ not noticing lyanna at the tourney of harrenhall

I'm pretty sure Rhaegar had his eyes on Lyanna before the tourney at Harrenhall. I'm also pretty sure he put that baby in her just to force the prophecy of ice and fire, so it's not like he just came up with the idea to kidnap and rape here there at that time.

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