Agent 326

How did Ethan Glover not get executed by the Mad King?

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The thing that always bothered me about Brandon going to King's Landing is that Ethan Glover survived only to be one of Ned's companions who died at the Tower of Joy. Aside from the pointlessness of this, I really want to know who he survived. I've checked several wikis and none mention how.

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We don't know how or why. It might be revealed during a flashback or a green dream. 

I like to imagine that Ethan Glover is actually the alter ego of Johnny Storm, thus appealing Aerys' pyro tendencies.

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I believe one explination is that Aerys considered Ethan to be a child and so spared him and the other is that Aerys was simple illogical and insane. Either one can see it so that Aerys wasn't as mad as the rebels made him out to be, or that he was so bonkers that he simply couldn't keep his own cruelty coherent.

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1 hour ago, Agent 326 said:

The thing that always bothered me about Brandon going to King's Landing is that Ethan Glover survived only to be one of Ned's companions who died at the Tower of Joy. Aside from the pointlessness of this, I really want to know who he survived. I've checked several wikis and none mention how.

It has annoyed me as well. Without bringing all the quotes and :bs: it makes no sense.

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45 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

We don't know how or why. It might be revealed during a flashback or a green dream. 

I like to imagine that Ethan Glover is actually the alter ego of Johnny Storm, thus appealing Aerys' pyro tendencies.

Oh but then how was there even a fight at the Tower of Joy. He would've simply burned Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower and Oswell Whent.

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Just now, Agent 326 said:

Oh but then how was there even a fight at the Tower of Joy. He would've simply burned Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower and Oswell Whent.

He went swimming? He didn't want to burn his sweet new threads? It's hard to say really

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2 hours ago, Agent 326 said:

The thing that always bothered me about Brandon going to King's Landing is that Ethan Glover survived only to be one of Ned's companions who died at the Tower of Joy. Aside from the pointlessness of this, I really want to know who he survived. I've checked several wikis and none mention how.

Squires get killed.  Recall what happened to Ser Arlen's squire.  Sometimes squires are not called to answer for whatever offense their knights are guilty of.  In this case, Ethan was a squire and he was not held responsible for Brandon's acts of crime against the kingdom.  Aerys was being generous with Ethan.

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Perhaps Ethan Glover actually gave in to Aerys' threats and actually served as a witness against Brandon and the others?

We have no idea yet why Aerys II executed Rickard, Brandon, and their companions. We usually assume Brandon and his companions got arrested because of Brandon's threats against Rhaegar but in light of the deep mistrust and suspicion between Aerys and Rhaegar at this point this does no longer appear all that likely. Would Rhaenyra have come to defense of Alicent or Aegon had they been threatened by somebody? Most likely not. And things before the Rebellion supposedly resembled the prelude to the Dance pretty closely.

But even if we assume Brandon's threats were the reason why Aerys arrested him - why on earth would he accuse his companions, his father, and the fathers of his companions for the same crime? That doesn't make any sense, Mad King or not. The whole thing looks as if Aerys II suspected that House Stark was involved in a conspiracy there, a conspiracy Rhaegar's companions and their fathers - and Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon - were also a part of that conspiracy.

And the person Aerys accused of leading that conspiracy would have been Rhaegar himself, as he did since Harrenhal. The Rhaegar-Stark conspiracy began there and now they were planning to move against Aerys marked by this sham of an 'abduction' Brandon Stark claimed Rhaegar had done. That was just a thing to confuse Aerys, but he was having none of that. He wanted the men he had arrested to confess. When they did not he condemned them all to death.

Ethan may have been the only one who told Aerys 'the truth'. And for that Aerys then spared his life.

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16 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Perhaps Ethan Glover actually gave in to Aerys' threats and actually served as a witness against Brandon and the others?

We have no idea yet why Aerys II executed Rickard, Brandon, and their companions. We usually assume Brandon and his companions got arrested because of Brandon's threats against Rhaegar but in light of the deep mistrust and suspicion between Aerys and Rhaegar at this point this does no longer appear all that likely. Would Rhaenyra have come to defense of Alicent or Aegon had they been threatened by somebody? Most likely not. And things before the Rebellion supposedly resembled the prelude to the Dance pretty closely.

But even if we assume Brandon's threats were the reason why Aerys arrested him - why on earth would he accuse his companions, his father, and the fathers of his companions for the same crime? That doesn't make any sense, Mad King or not. The whole thing looks as if Aerys II suspected that House Stark was involved in a conspiracy there, a conspiracy Rhaegar's companions and their fathers - and Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon - were also a part of that conspiracy.

And the person Aerys accused of leading that conspiracy would have been Rhaegar himself, as he did since Harrenhal. The Rhaegar-Stark conspiracy began there and now they were planning to move against Aerys marked by this sham of an 'abduction' Brandon Stark claimed Rhaegar had done. That was just a thing to confuse Aerys, but he was having none of that. He wanted the men he had arrested to confess. When they did not he condemned them all to death.

Ethan may have been the only one who told Aerys 'the truth'. And for that Aerys then spared his life.

Brandon and his companions were certain to have been put to the question.  Depending on the method employed, even a tough guy like Brandon would reveal all of his family's secrets.  There was no need to question Ethan.  Although Ethan should offer to volunteer information without the need for coercion.  This is his king demanding answers. 

I don't believe there was an alliance between Rhaegar and the Starks.  I would think Rhaegar's puzzling behavior at Harrenhal was seduction to block her marriage to Robert.  That would break the conspiracy between Stark and Baratheon.

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6 minutes ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Brandon and his companions were certain to have been put to the question.  Depending on the method employed, even a tough guy like Brandon would reveal all of his family's secrets.  There was no need to question Ethan.  Although Ethan should offer to volunteer information without the need for coercion.  This is his king demanding answers. 

I don't believe there was an alliance between Rhaegar and the Starks.  I would think Rhaegar's puzzling behavior at Harrenhal was seduction to block her marriage to Robert.  That would break the conspiracy between Stark and Baratheon.

The thing about torture is, you end up confessing whether you're guilty or not. The Blue Bard is proof of that, as is all the actual, real world torture. Information gained under torture is nearly always worthless unless you actually have some way to verify said information.

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1 minute ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Brandon and his companions were certain to have been put to the question.  Depending on the method employed, even a tough guy like Brandon would reveal all of his family's secrets.  There was no need to question Ethan.  Although Ethan should offer to volunteer information without the need for coercion.  This is his king demanding answers.

We don't know how old he was. The fact that Ned took him with him to the tower of joy makes it possible that he was not, in fact, still a young boy.

The Red Keep had no Lord Confessor since the days of Daeron II, so torture might not have been as effective as it was in the old days. But we don't know.

My idea actually is that Aerys II got so mad at Brandon, Rickard, and the others because they refused to admit to their treason. He *knew* they were working with Rhaegar. If they just admitted that he could have used that testimony to rid himself of his son. But since those men literally had no idea what the Mad King was talking about - not to mention that they would have had no inclination to downplay their own anger over the Lyanna abduction - they could not tell him all that much. Especially not if Aerys asked for actual good information about Rhaegar's plans or who else was part of the conspiracy. 

1 minute ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

I don't believe there was an alliance between Rhaegar and the Starks.  I would think Rhaegar's puzzling behavior at Harrenhal was seduction to block her marriage to Robert.  That would break the conspiracy between Stark and Baratheon.

Of course not. There was no conspiracy. But Aerys II thought there was one. He interpreted the crowning of Lyanna as the sign of a conspiracy between Rhaegar and the Starks against him. And just as he dismissed the anger of the Starks and Robert as deception on their part he would also have interpreted 'the abduction' not as an abduction that as another deception by Rhaegar and the Starks, possibly as a sign that now the great rebellion against Aerys II should begin (whose purpose would have been to make Rhaegar king).

That's what he wanted to prevent and that's the reason why he killed them all and tried to kill Robert and Ned, too. It also would explain why the hell Rhaegar and Lyanna did not return to court or Dragonstone. They were seen as traitors, too. If Aerys II had indeed killed a lot of highborn prisoners to defend his eldest son and heir against some threats Rhaegar should have been perfectly safe at court. So why wasn't he there? And why did he hide in that tower and only decided to return to court late during the war? He must have known what was going on long before Ser Gerold found him.

The explanation for that is that Rhaegar was seen as a traitor and rebel, too. The leader of the rebels and traitors, in fact. That would only have changed after Aerys II had received credible and convincing information that made it undeniable that Rhaegar was not with the rebels and that the rebels - especially Robert - were making it clear that they wanted Rhaegar's head as much as Aerys'.

That would have been the time - when Aerys fired Merryweather - that he tried to reach out to Rhaegar to reconcile. But he could not find him and made Connington Hand instead.

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Simplest explanation - Ethan was at the end of the "burn him!" cue and Aerys did not get to him before Jaime killed him?

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Because he's a young squire and therefore not really responsible for the terrorists behavior of Brandon and his attack party. 

Because maybe, just maybe, the Mad King was not as mad as some credit him for.  And sure, Ethan could have confessed all he knew about Brandon's intent to kill the prince. 

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You'd think Aerys would have kept Elbert Arryn alive too as a hostage seeing as he was heir to the Vale. He could have been leveraged against Jon Arryn, whether it be in an exchange for Robert and Ned or in the rebellion itself. Elbert was by far the highest ranking member of Brandon's entourage that came to King's Landing.

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54 minutes ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

You'd think Aerys would have kept Elbert Arryn alive too as a hostage seeing as he was heir to the Vale. He could have been leveraged against Jon Arryn, whether it be in an exchange for Robert and Ned or in the rebellion itself. Elbert was by far the highest ranking member of Brandon's entourage that came to King's Landing.

The fact that he did not makes it actually pretty likely that Aerys accused Elbert Arryn of some crime, too. He thought they were all guilty of something, even Rickard, and Robert and Ned. That is why it very likely that they were killed because Aerys thought they were conspiring with Rhaegar rather than that he just executed them all because Brandon had threatened Rhaegar. Aerys no longer cared all that much about Rhaegar. He thought Rhaegar wanted to kill him or at least steal his throne.

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I am personally of the opinion that he was saved due to his young age and no cracked pottery is required.

I guess that this would imply that while Aerys saw blades everywhere (except where he should had, like Jaime) that he was aware enough of Westerosi social conventions not to execute someone so young. Two different kinds of madnesses.

Edited by Humble Maester

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The fact that he did not makes it actually pretty likely that Aerys accused Elbert Arryn of some crime, too. He thought they were all guilty of something, even Rickard, and Robert and Ned. That is why it very likely that they were killed because Aerys thought they were conspiring with Rhaegar rather than that he just executed them all because Brandon had threatened Rhaegar. Aerys no longer cared all that much about Rhaegar. He thought Rhaegar wanted to kill him or at least steal his throne.

Or the fact that Aerys killed Elbert Arryn too. Could just show how mad/crazy Aerys had gotten. For all we know Aerys didn't think of Ethan Glover as a threat to him. Trying to figure out the reason why a mad man does one thing but not another, is a question we'll never truly  know.  

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On Invalid Date at 8:00 PM, Lord Varys said:

We don't know how old he was. The fact that Ned took him with him to the tower of joy makes it possible that he was not, in fact, still a young boy.

The Red Keep had no Lord Confessor since the days of Daeron II, so torture might not have been as effective as it was in the old days. But we don't know.

My idea actually is that Aerys II got so mad at Brandon, Rickard, and the others because they refused to admit to their treason. He *knew* they were working with Rhaegar. If they just admitted that he could have used that testimony to rid himself of his son. But since those men literally had no idea what the Mad King was talking about - not to mention that they would have had no inclination to downplay their own anger over the Lyanna abduction - they could not tell him all that much. Especially not if Aerys asked for actual good information about Rhaegar's plans or who else was part of the conspiracy. 

Of course not. There was no conspiracy. But Aerys II thought there was one. He interpreted the crowning of Lyanna as the sign of a conspiracy between Rhaegar and the Starks against him. And just as he dismissed the anger of the Starks and Robert as deception on their part he would also have interpreted 'the abduction' not as an abduction that as another deception by Rhaegar and the Starks, possibly as a sign that now the great rebellion against Aerys II should begin (whose purpose would have been to make Rhaegar king).

That's what he wanted to prevent and that's the reason why he killed them all and tried to kill Robert and Ned, too. It also would explain why the hell Rhaegar and Lyanna did not return to court or Dragonstone. They were seen as traitors, too. If Aerys II had indeed killed a lot of highborn prisoners to defend his eldest son and heir against some threats Rhaegar should have been perfectly safe at court. So why wasn't he there? And why did he hide in that tower and only decided to return to court late during the war? He must have known what was going on long before Ser Gerold found him.

The explanation for that is that Rhaegar was seen as a traitor and rebel, too. The leader of the rebels and traitors, in fact. That would only have changed after Aerys II had received credible and convincing information that made it undeniable that Rhaegar was not with the rebels and that the rebels - especially Robert - were making it clear that they wanted Rhaegar's head as much as Aerys'.

That would have been the time - when Aerys fired Merryweather - that he tried to reach out to Rhaegar to reconcile. But he could not find him and made Connington Hand instead.

Ok. That is a very reasonable explanation for something that had bugged me for a long time. Well done. I still think it may just be a hole in GRRM's writing in GOT, but really like the way you have thought this out..

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2 hours ago, Humble Maester said:

I am personally of the opinion that he was saved due to his young age and no cracked pottery is required.

I guess that this would imply that while Aerys saw blades everywhere (except where he should had, like Jaime) that he was aware enough of Westerosi social conventions not to execute someone so young. Two different kinds of madnesses.

True.  We must also remember that Aerys had advisers like Varys around him.  Varys could have asked the king to spare the boy because of his youth.  He was only a squire and most likely did not shout, "Rhaegar, come out and die!" like the other deserving fools did. 

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