Canon Claude

Why wouldn't the Rebels consider breaking up the Targaryen kingdom?

73 posts in this topic

7 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

I hope you don't mind if I join in for a short post. Forgive me if I'm nitpicking but I don't find it very likely that the Lannisters would have attempted to make a go at Cape Kraken. To sustain a conquest there all support would have to travel by sea straight past the Iron Islands and given how the Gardeners and Ironmen seems to have been the Lannisters' traditional enemies in those times I don't find this very likely to have been the case.

That was just an idea. I could also see the North having conducted raidings and invasions of the West, by the way. There was gold to be found there, and there was many a weak Lannister king during the long reign of that house. We should not assume that only neighbors waged wars in the Seven Kingdoms.

There were times when the power of the Iron Islands was broken.

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Posted (edited)

On 25/3/2017 at 8:22 PM, Lord Varys said:

I certainly would say that trade would have become more easier (less taxes, no trade wars, no tolls being collected by trade within the Targaryen Realm, etc.) after the Conquest, also benefiting the North.

It seems to me that you are overstating the impact and importance of the trade between the North and the South. Everything indicates that it's minimal.

The Kingsroad, which is the main route connecting both areas, is described as empty, abandoned and in disrepair. Robert says about his journey through the North:

"bogs and forests and fields, and scarcely a decent inn north of the Neck. I’ve never seen such a vast emptiness. Where are all your people?"

And Sansa recalls in AFFC that no wandering singer ventured to Winterfell for a year or more. If trade was significant, the road would be full of inns and towns, and there'd be plenty of caravans coming and going.

In Westeros traders would sell their products on the fair of the neighbouring county at most. One would not normal engage in long-distance trade through dangerous routes full of bandits and pirates, perhaps only with the exception of luxury items (such as species or jewels)

On 25/3/2017 at 8:22 PM, Lord Varys said:

If they declare themselves independent the Iron Throne has a large and united Realm standing against them that can easily break them both economically and militarily. They have essentially nothing to gain from such an enterprise in the long run. Short-term during an all-out civil war like the War of the Five Kings they have a chance to get away with it, for a time. But not for long.

If you followed this premise, you'd have to defend that there should be only a single state in the world (because every country alone would be weaker than all the rest combined).

But it's not that easy. First you have to assume that the other kingdoms would be interested into regaining the North. It's a huge distant dominion of very little interest in the Southern politics. Robert was Ned's best friend and only visited the North once in all his rule. Before that, who was the last Targaryen king who had visited the North during his rule? Probably Jaehaerys I, two hundred years before.

Then, you have to consider that waging a war is risky and very expensive. The coss may exceed the benefits. Many Targaryen kings "wanted" to conquer Dorne, and they couldn't even mount a credible threat.

But the biggest problem would be to hold it. the Conquest of Dorne lasted only a year. Holding a rebel North, which is ten times the size and more populous, would be a nightmare. It would require funding a standing army in every major Northern town.

Even from a financial perspective, it wouldn't be worth the effort. It's much better to have a friendly neighbour than an hostile vassal.

On 25/3/2017 at 8:22 PM, Lord Varys said:

That is too positive a scenario for my taste. They wanted to stand with the Tullys and Starks, yes, but nothing indicates anybody there wanted to take Robb as king.

Yohn Royce is said to be "close to open revolt over her Lysa’s failure to aid Robb in his war". The possibility of the Vale acknowledging Robb as a king is not that far-fetched, as I see it. At the end of the day the Vale would have to choose between Robb or one of his four alternatives: Joffrey, Balon, Stannis or Renly.

Going for Robb would make sense geographically (The North and the Riverlands are their closest neighbours) and dynastically (little Robert would have a first cousin as king).

On 25/3/2017 at 8:22 PM, Lord Varys said:

 And certainly could not demand or even hope that they would join the Riverlands in choosing a new king. The Vale and the North had warred for a thousand years in the past, after all.

There was one war between the two kingdoms a thousand of years ago. But in all the recent conflicts they have been on the same side. They both were staunch black supporters side during the Dance, and both supported Robert in the Rebellion. Recent memory makes them more allies than enemies.

Of course the newly crowned Robb could not demand them fealty, by hoping for them to do it? I don't see why not.

On 25/3/2017 at 8:22 PM, Lord Varys said:

 Fighting alongside a rebel pretender who was your friend and then stabbing the man in the back?

It wouldn't have been like that at all! The rebellion started as a war for revenge and survival. The Targaryens had stolen Robert's fiancée and killed Ned's family. And then Aerys asked for their heads. They weren't proposing Robert as king until very late in the war.

If Ned had been another kind of man and had decided that after the out throwing the Targaryens, the North would continue its own way No one would have felt betrayed because the war wasn't about replacing a king with another. They could have remained on good terms and sign a pact of "eternal friendship" between the kingdoms without trouble. If Ned had been another kind of man, it would have been considered seriously.

On 26/3/2017 at 7:02 PM, devilish said:

If the kingdoms break then no one will be obliged into feeding the other and considering how xenophobic and close minded the medieval world was then rest assured that those who have food would rather keep it rather then give it to its neighbour, especially if the neighbour can barely afford to buy it.

How is that any different to what happens with a united kingdom? Do you think that during a harsh winter people is sharing their grain reserves with their neighbours? That's not happening, specially in a world when you don't know when the winter is going to end. No centralized monarchy would have enough power to enforce a big food redistribution in times of crisis, except if it was don through strong economical incentives.

The actions of Aegon V were exceptional, as he himself was a one-of-a-kind king that was raised among the smallfolk.

On 26/3/2017 at 7:02 PM, devilish said:

The North is in shambles. All signs lead to it.

The OP was talking about the North becoming an independent kingdom after the Rebellion. It was in a good shape, back then.

 

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The North and Dorne are somewhat apart from the rest insofar as culture and religion are concerned but that is no big deal. The commoners live alike in most of those places.

Aside from Dorne there is no sense of a, let's say, proto-nationalism, in any of those lands. The Dornishmen (and women) are patriots that were fiercely proud of their independence. Many Northmen are loyal to their overlords, the Starks, but that is a personal loyalty as befit a feudal medieval society.

We can safely say that nobody in Westeros really wants the days of the independent Seven Kingdoms back.

Greatjon: Here is what I say to these two kings!” He spat. “ Renly Baratheon is nothing to me, nor Stannis neither. Why should they rule over me and mine, from some flowery seat in Highgarden or Dorne? What do they know of the Wall or the wolfswood or the barrows of the First Men? Even their gods are wrong! Why shouldn’t we rule ourselves again?

I'm reading at least "proto-nationalism" here, if not more. There's a clear sense of unity in the North and their inhabitants clearly see themselves as a separate identity.

I don't want to debate in circles here, but I thing it's obvious that many people in Westeros want the seven independent kingdoms back. (not a majority, but certainly not "nobody"). The Greatjon clearly wants it. The Mormonts and the Manderlys go to great lengths to defend it. Another issue is whether what they'll be able to get what they want.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In light of the threat of the Others I beg to differ.

We were discussing about whether it would have made sense for the North to push for independence after the Rebellion. At this point all Westeros considered that the Others were no more than an old fable to scare the kids.

But if it's allowed to use our omniscience as readers, then seceding would still be the better option. Ned, Cat, Robb and Co would all be alive, the armies of the North would be available to stop the first wave of the Others, and surely the kingdom would be in a better shape when Dany comes with their dragons to save the day. Then they can just swear their allegiance back to the Targaryens.

Edited by The hairy bear

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3 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

It seems to me that you are overstating the impact and importance of the trade between the North and the South. Everything indicates that it's minimal.

The Kingsroad, which is the main route connecting both areas, is described as empty, abandoned and in disrepair. Robert says about his journey through the North:

"bogs and forests and fields, and scarcely a decent inn north of the Neck. I’ve never seen such a vast emptiness. Where are all your people?"

And Sansa recalls in AFFC that no wandering singer ventured to Winterfell for a year or more. If trade was significant, the road would be full of inns and towns, and there'd be plenty of caravans coming and going.

In Westeros traders would sell their products on the fair of the neighbouring county at most. One would not normal engage in long-distance trade through dangerous routes full of bandits and pirates, perhaps only with the exception of luxury items (such as species or jewels)

I would hesitate before taking Robert's quote literally for a few reasons:

1) We have a POV description of the KR north of WF from Tyrion:

“Stone bridges spanned swift, narrow rivers, while small farms spread in rings around holdfasts walled in wood and stone. The road was well trafficked, and at night for their comfort there were rude inns to be found.”

One would think that the land immediately north of WF would be similarly peopled as the land south of it

2) Robert is a knee-knocking drunk. He spends half the time on the way back drunk. He's drunk when he gets off the wagon (ba dum tsss). Not that I'd blame him, my drinking would be very heavy if Cersei were my wife too.

3) Robert is just used to nice ass things (see Ned's quote on man of huge appetites, Renly's on tourneys and feasts, et al).

I'd agree with you overland trade is likely minimal, but we know that WH does quite a bit of trading. They trade with the Three Sisters, Braavos, and others. Catelyn hires a Tyroshi ship to sail from WH to KL. The silversmiths in WH aren't just here for the nothern lords either. Jon calls Manderly his father's richest bannerman, and it's not like wealth brought from the Reach 1000 years ago is going to be static. WH trades with The Three Sisters for food primarily as far as we've been told. The south preventing the North from trading wouldn't cripple the entire North, I think, but it would certainly be able to bring WH to its knees.

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4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

It seems to me that you are overstating the impact and importance of the trade between the North and the South. Everything indicates that it's minimal.

The Kingsroad, which is the main route connecting both areas, is described as empty, abandoned and in disrepair. Robert says about his journey through the North:

"bogs and forests and fields, and scarcely a decent inn north of the Neck. I’ve never seen such a vast emptiness. Where are all your people?"

And Sansa recalls in AFFC that no wandering singer ventured to Winterfell for a year or more. If trade was significant, the road would be full of inns and towns, and there'd be plenty of caravans coming and going.

In Westeros traders would sell their products on the fair of the neighbouring county at most. One would not normal engage in long-distance trade through dangerous routes full of bandits and pirates, perhaps only with the exception of luxury items (such as species or jewels)

I'm with you there, mostly, but there might be considerable naval trade we know less about. White Harbor's trade relations with Gulltown, King's Landing, and the towns in the Riverlands - not to mention Oldtown - might have intensified in the last three hundred years. And there are those hints about Eastwatch being a trading post where of all of the Narrow Sea folk come to trade with the wildlings for rare goods from beyond the Wall. Such a presence of traders could also have led to increasing revenues in the lands at the eastern coasts, most notably the Flints of Widow's Watch, the Boltons (via the Weeping Water), and the Karstarks.

Aside from that I'd agree that trade on a larger scale is most likely essentially non-existent in the North, at least amongst the smallfolk. Most peasants, shepherds, hunters, foresters, fishermen, etc. would hardly make enough to feed themselves. It is unlikely that they made enough of a surplus to sell it, let alone bother getting it to a place where they could sell it for a profit.

However, we have the winter issue at hand. It should have been much more easier to get access to (cheap) food if you are part of a larger realm and not on your own, and possibly not having good relations with your neighbors.

If the Targaryen Conquest led to 10-20 % less people dying in a hard winter then the Northern smallfolk would really not like the idea of independence all that much, assuming they are aware of this fact (which they might not be, considering how much time has past).

Torrhen's sons and their immediate heirs did not like the submission to the Targaryens all that much but it seems that they came around eventually, perhaps because winter lost at least a little bit of its bite.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

If you followed this premise, you'd have to defend that there should be only a single state in the world (because every country alone would be weaker than all the rest combined).

I actually wouldn't have much of a problem with that. But that is a different topic entirely. Culturally Westeros is very much a union. They have the same language, the same political system, basically the same 'castle culture'. The North is a little bit more ragged and they don't have many followers of the Faith up there but that's essentially it. A fisherman on Bear Island and a fisherman on Oakenshield would immediately understand and get along with each other.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

But it's not that easy. First you have to assume that the other kingdoms would be interested into regaining the North. It's a huge distant dominion of very little interest in the Southern politics. Robert was Ned's best friend and only visited the North once in all his rule. Before that, who was the last Targaryen king who had visited the North during his rule? Probably Jaehaerys I, two hundred years before.

I think we can make a case that Viserys I was up there, too, and even saw the Wall (he tells Jaehaerys and Jaehaera that story about the Wall and the wildlings, remember?), although not necessarily as king but as part of a royal progress during the later years of the reign of his royal grandfather. Viserys I no longer seems to have made any progresses. Aegon II and Rhaenyra were not there, of course, Aegon III is not likely to have made (m)any progresses, but considering that he was rather close to Cregan he may have visited Winterfell once. Daeron I, Baelor I, Viserys II (as king), Aegon IV all are not very likely to have visited the North. I don't know about Daeron II but probably not. Aerys I definitely not, no idea about Maekar but I'm pretty sure Aegon V was up there, not only as Egg but also later on, especially if it turns out that Melantha Blackwood-Stark was a sister of Betha. But he would have been the last king before Robert.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

Then, you have to consider that waging a war is risky and very expensive. The coss may exceed the benefits. Many Targaryen kings "wanted" to conquer Dorne, and they couldn't even mount a credible threat.

It would depend how far both sides are willing to go to maintain their independence. In light of the fact that the North does not really suffer under the heel of the Iron Throne I see no reason for them not to accept the Targaryen rule while there are no serious problems. The Rebellion and later the treatment of Ned certainly were a major problem, though.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

But the biggest problem would be to hold it. the Conquest of Dorne lasted only a year. Holding a rebel North, which is ten times the size and more populous, would be a nightmare. It would require funding a standing army in every major Northern town.

Yeah, that wouldn't work. But if things escalated the way they did with Dorne then the Iron Throne would keep the upper hand in the end, especially if they did anything in their power to ensure the Northmen would starve in winter. If they successfully did that 2-3 times then the North would get depopulated rather quickly.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

Even from a financial perspective, it wouldn't be worth the effort. It's much better to have a friendly neighbour than an hostile vassal.

Technically, yes. Tell that Aegon I or Daeron I.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

Yohn Royce is said to be "close to open revolt over her Lysa’s failure to aid Robb in his war". The possibility of the Vale acknowledging Robb as a king is not that far-fetched, as I see it. At the end of the day the Vale would have to choose between Robb or one of his four alternatives: Joffrey, Balon, Stannis or Renly.

It is one thing to aid a friend and another to take him as king. Especially if he has literally no claim over your lands. Remember. Robb came to the aid of the Riverlords and saved them in an hour of great need. But the Vale would have come to Robb's aid, not the other way around. They would have been able to demand rewards and gratitude, not the other way around.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

There was one war between the two kingdoms a thousand of years ago. But in all the recent conflicts they have been on the same side. They both were staunch black supporters side during the Dance, and both supported Robert in the Rebellion. Recent memory makes them more allies than enemies.

That is true, and probably the reason why so many men wanted to fight with Robb and the Tullys. However, it wasn't enough to convince them to defy Lysa.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

It wouldn't have been like that at all! The rebellion started as a war for revenge and survival. The Targaryens had stolen Robert's fiancée and killed Ned's family. And then Aerys asked for their heads. They weren't proposing Robert as king until very late in the war.

Ned may have realized early on what road they were going there. Even back at Gulltown it already was victory or death. And victory would mean the deaths of Aerys and Rhaegar. When Ned is on Sweetsister Lord Borrell already seems to have understood what the whole thing was about.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

If Ned had been another kind of man and had decided that after the out throwing the Targaryens, the North would continue its own way No one would have felt betrayed because the war wasn't about replacing a king with another. They could have remained on good terms and sign a pact of "eternal friendship" between the kingdoms without trouble. If Ned had been another kind of man, it would have been considered seriously.

I don't think so because the men all would have grown together during the course of the war. They were comrades, fighting for the same cause. This wasn't four regions fighting for themselves it was them fighting for a common cause. Ned certainly must have had some plan when he called his banners, and the same would go for Jon Arryn and Hoster Tully.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

How is that any different to what happens with a united kingdom? Do you think that during a harsh winter people is sharing their grain reserves with their neighbours? That's not happening, specially in a world when you don't know when the winter is going to end. No centralized monarchy would have enough power to enforce a big food redistribution in times of crisis, except if it was don through strong economical incentives.

We don't know that for a certainty since we really have not seen a winter yet. It may easily be that the Reach, the Vale, the Riverlands, and the West usually have more than enough food to get through a six-year-winter. If that's the case they can share some of their stuff. If not, then it is very odd that anyone in Westeros is still alive.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

Greatjon: Here is what I say to these two kings!” He spat. “ Renly Baratheon is nothing to me, nor Stannis neither. Why should they rule over me and mine, from some flowery seat in Highgarden or Dorne? What do they know of the Wall or the wolfswood or the barrows of the First Men? Even their gods are wrong! Why shouldn’t we rule ourselves again?

I'm reading at least "proto-nationalism" here, if not more. There's a clear sense of unity in the North and their inhabitants clearly see themselves as a separate identity.

That is a nobleman speaking. I was specifically talking about the common people. Those were the ones who threw the Targaryen oppressors out of Dorne, not the lords. But nothing indicates that the average common man in the North sees the Iron Throne as an evil foreign power nor is there any hint that the North is being oppressed (unlike the Dornishmen under the heel of Lyonel Tyrell).

Instead we hear the good townsfolk of White Harbor gossiping about the Targaryen family in ADwD.

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

I don't want to debate in circles here, but I thing it's obvious that many people in Westeros want the seven independent kingdoms back. (not a majority, but certainly not "nobody"). The Greatjon clearly wants it. The Mormonts and the Manderlys go to great lengths to defend it. Another issue is whether what they'll be able to get what they want.

Perhaps those people want an independent North but not seven independent kingdoms. Nobody thinks about an independent West, Vale, Reach, Stormlands, etc.

And Lyanna Mormont's letter is an answer to Stannis' brisk demand of fealty. The man has won the allegiance of quite a few Northmen in the last book by coming to their aid and helping them with their problems. That does not make it appear unlikely that he is their king now.

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@Lord Varys

I agree that an independent West, Vale, Stormlands, etc. is not an idea with real support or viability. Only the North and Dorne could seriously consider the possibility of independence, mainly because of cultural differences and geographical isolation.

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5 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

@Lord Varys

I agree that an independent West, Vale, Stormlands, etc. is not an idea with real support or viability. Only the North and Dorne could seriously consider the possibility of independence, mainly because of cultural differences and geographical isolation.

The Vale also have the natural borders to pull off such a thing if they wanted to. And Dorne essentially accepted the rule of the Iron Throne peacefully through treaty despite their cultural differences (which are minor by comparison to different real world countries), making it actually less likely that they would ever try to secede again. In fact, right now they a main power for central government by plotting to restore a Targaryen to the Iron Throne. Neither Doran Martell nor his late brother, heir, or son ever dreamed the dream of Dornish independence. In fact, Arianne very much likes the idea of being queen rather than princess.

While there is certainly a chance that the North could have established some sort of peace treaty with the Iron Throne after a successful secession (say, if there was a weaker king on the Iron Throne, troubled by many other rebels) those things do not last. The idea of united Westeros was what brought Dorne into the Realm after a series of devastating wars, and we can be reasonably sure that this imperial idea is way too strong among the Westerosi elite. The people vying for power what it all, they don't want just to control one of the Seven Kingdoms, they want them all.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/20/2017 at 11:12 AM, Canon Claude said:

During Robert's Rebellion, there seemed to be no discussion on whether or not to break up the Iron Throne and go back to the way things were before the Targaryens arrived. I'm sure the North would want their independence, given how quick they jump on the opportunity when Ned is killed. And it's safe to say that Ned was done with all the lands south of the Neck by the time the Rebellion was successful. Sure, he'd stay friends with Jon Arryn and Robert Baratheon, and the Stormlands would regain the Crownlands as their own territory. The Dornish and Ironborn would be over the moon to be independent again, I'm positive about that, and I think Mance and Tywin would be fine with the idea of independence too. 

honestly I think it would have solved a lot of trouble if the Iron Throne was just disbanded and the eight kingdoms were reestablished.

I've been an advocate of this being the goal of the pre-war alliance between the Starks, the Tullys, the Arryns, and the Baratheons that was emerging through their marriage pacts. For a brief time it looked like that would also include the Lannisters, but Aerys picking of Jaime to be a member of the Kingsguard stopped that. While I think it makes a lot of sense to explain the pre-war intrigues, it is less so when Aerys forces rebellion on the Starks, the Arryns, and the Baratheons with the demand to Jon Arryn to hand over Ned's and Robert's heads.

Once war is joined, the rebels are in a fight for their lives and for their continued families existence. So, when deciding the lay of the land in the post rebellion Westeros, it makes sense for them to claim the throne and to dictate the terms to all those who either stood aside while they defeated the Targaryens, or fought against them. Rewarding the Tyrells, Martells, and the Greyjoys - and really the Lannisters as well, with self rule would have been a road to possible disaster. Especially so, with a living claimant to the Targaryen throne.

Edited by SFDanny

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On 28.3.2017 at 1:46 AM, Lord Varys said:

Ned may have realized early on what road they were going there. Even back at Gulltown it already was victory or death. And victory would mean the deaths of Aerys and Rhaegar. When Ned is on Sweetsister Lord Borrell already seems to have understood what the whole thing was about.

There was the obvious precedent of Lyonel Baratheon´s open yet effectively victorious rebellion.

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1 hour ago, Jaak said:

There was the obvious precedent of Lyonel Baratheon´s open yet effectively victorious rebellion.

How was that successful? It was crushed. And it had nothing to do with the desire of the Stormlanders to become independent but only with the petty feelings of its lord.

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

How was that successful? It was crushed. And it had nothing to do with the desire of the Stormlanders to become independent but only with the petty feelings of its lord.

In the obvious manner I described above:

Quote

Lord Lyonel Baratheon declared himself Storm King - the last so far that we know of.

He... well, did cease to be King, but...

He did not lose his head. Nor did Aegon´s "mercy" to him mean packing him off to Wall in golden chains. Nor was he stripped naked and delivered to King by his own men, like the previous Storm Queen had been.

Rather, the Targaryen King disinherited his eldest son and heir, and promptly delivered up his daughter Rhaelle to the (ex)Storm King as captive/hostage.

Sounds like Storm King won, after all.

Overthrowing Aerys and Targaryen Dynasty to make Baratheons Dynasty on Iron Throne, as eventually happened, were not the only options. There were obvious precedents as alternatives. Imposing a humiliating surrender on King Aerys, as had been done with Aegon. Or making Robert an independent Storm King, as Lyonel had claimed.

Certainly if mere cancelling an engagement on demand of the engaged boy justified rebellion and declaration of kingdom, then kidnapping the fiancee (Lyanna certainly was not openly advertising the affair as a consensual elopement) was more of a justification, and calling for Lord´s head for no cause, just as a precaution, much more so!

 

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Lyonel and Aegon V were friends. But we don't know what led to this trial-by-combat thing (possibly Lyonel's defeat in battle?) or how long Lord Lyonel lived thereafter. The man would have been pretty old by then.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Lyonel and Aegon V were friends. But we don't know what led to this trial-by-combat thing (possibly Lyonel's defeat in battle?) or how long Lord Lyonel lived thereafter. The man would have been pretty old by then.

Rebelling and declaring for crown was a public insult to the king. Reason to feel betrayed, on the part of the king. Even if the king, on account of his private feelings of friendship, wanted to spare and compensate the friend he felt to have wronged, he should have saved his own face as King by public humiliation of the rebel (and if he felt appropriate, provided more private compensation to his friend). For example, if they wanted the compensatory marriage to go ahead - the King should not have given his daughter as hostage/cupbearer to the rebel, but rather taken the rebel's son as hostage (and married his hostage to his daughter, for the compensation part).

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1 minute ago, Jaak said:

Rebelling and declaring for crown was a public insult to the king. Reason to feel betrayed, on the part of the king. Even if the king, on account of his private feelings of friendship, wanted to spare and compensate the friend he felt to have wronged, he should have saved his own face as King by public humiliation of the rebel (and if he felt appropriate, provided more private compensation to his friend). For example, if they wanted the compensatory marriage to go ahead - the King should not have given his daughter as hostage/cupbearer to the rebel, but rather taken the rebel's son as hostage (and married his hostage to his daughter, for the compensation part).

If you say so. But I don't think it is your place to judge the thoughts and intentions that were shaping the decisions of King Aegon V during a period we know essentially nothing about besides some very basic facts.

And we don't even know what Ser Duncan the Tall actually did to the Laughing Storm in that trial-by-combat. Perhaps he put an end to that laughter for all time? By making Lyonel a cripple? Taking his hand(s), crushing his spine, or just severely wounding him. He may have given him a much worse beating than he gave Aerion at Ashford all those years ago.

We just don't know.

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