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Baratheon Civil War: Who's argument is better?

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It seems to me that, whenever anyone discounts the idea of the legal succession order on the grounds of 'might makes right,' they have to ignore the in-universe commentary on the matter.  Almost every character that offers an opinion either explicitly or tacitly says that Stannis has the rightful claim, if Cersei's kids are bastards.  Ned says so, Robb says so, Stannis says so, even Renly couches his claim to the throne in 'robert won it with his war hammer,' coming up with the most convenient excuse.

For Westeros to be as stable as it is (and its not exactly all that stable to begin with) and maintain some semblance of millennia-long dynasties like they have, the whole concept of primogeniture is clearly paramount to their society.

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9 minutes ago, DominusNovus said:

It seems to me that, whenever anyone discounts the idea of the legal succession order on the grounds of 'might makes right,' they have to ignore the in-universe commentary on the matter.  Almost every character that offers an opinion either explicitly or tacitly says that Stannis has the rightful claim, if Cersei's kids are bastards.  Ned says so, Robb says so, Stannis says so, even Renly couches his claim to the throne in 'robert won it with his war hammer,' coming up with the most convenient excuse.

For Westeros to be as stable as it is (and its not exactly all that stable to begin with) and maintain some semblance of millennia-long dynasties like they have, the whole concept of primogeniture is clearly paramount to their society.

It is pretty obvious. Westeros isn't a place where no-names with swords can become kings or even great lords just because they are charismatic and great warriors.

That happens never. Literally never. The only exception seems to be the rise of House Teague in the Riverlands but that was after one of their long civil wars.

The idea that some war hammer is really a claim in this world makes no sense. There is a reason why the rebels made Robert king, and that reason is his Targaryen ancestry. He could have killed Rhaegar five times over if Jon Arryn had been the one with the Targaryen mother or grandmother he would have been the king, not Robert.

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2 hours ago, devilish said:

Not really. Aegon had dragons and people who were forced to their knees out of sheer fear of them. Robert's rebellion wasn't even his. Jon Arryn pitied him by keeping him alive instead of obeying his king + the Vale, the North and the Riverlands provided with the bulk of the army.

And one can argue that Aegon's sisters were as important as Aegon in the Conquest or that Visenya was a stronger force in the early Targaryen rule than Aegon. But Aegon is the one that was crowned and he was the king. Just like with Robert who had many allies. In the end it was Robert who was crowned and thus won the throne.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

Robert became king because he won the popularity contest. Under such circumstances once the Baratheon magic wore off it was only 'fair' others would support different candidates. That is why Robert was so desperate for a marriage deal between his son and Ned's daughter, Hoster's granddaughter and Robin's cousin that he raised his lazy arse and moved to Winterfell with the whole entourage. He knew that if his son had to survive being king then he would need powerful allies. 

Not really. Sure, he was popular, but popularity is a good trait in kings in general while Robert was also of good health, young and proven fertility as well as a blood tie to the deposed Targaryens. All of that makes him a prime candidate for being king. And of course Robert's son would need allies to survive. Look at Daean the Defiant to see how it goes when you don't have powerful allies to support you. But more to the point the Baratheons don't have the Targaryen plot power of dragons so the Stags must work with what they've got and that means men with swords.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

I answered before. 

As you wish.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

The descendent of a 'god' ended up naked in and in chains. That was hardly worth anything right? Orys on the other hand was a bastard. 

The descendents of a god ended up running the Stormlands from the Age of Heroes right up to the books begin. That's pretty good. And Orys was a Hand of the King as well as well as a key commander in the Conquest. All in all, the Baratheons don't have much to feel bad about when it comes to ancestry. In fact I'd say they have about the most glorious ancestry among the Great Houses.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

That is the thing. Robert didn't won the war. He didn't even started it and when he did he was able to raise only half his region. It was the Arryns who started the rebellion with the North, the Vale and the Riverlands providing most of the troops.

By that freaking "logic" I'd say that the Targaryens have never won a single war in their history. Either their dragons or allies won the war, at no part did the Targaryens win a war. Do you see where this is going?

2 hours ago, devilish said:

Robert became king because he won the popularity contest and because out of the remaining winners he was the only one who could sit on the IT. Jon was ancient and childless. Ned was a Northerner. Even his gods were wrong. Hoster on the other hand was an opportunist. Once he died, the popularity contest started from scratch and everyone ended up picking his favourite. Some chose Joffrey, others Renly, very few people opted for Balon, less so picked Stannis and some simply decided to either go solo (Robb) or go neutral.

And do note that every candidate who was not from a "special" region like the North and the Iron Islands was a Baratheon. No one, absolutely no one, cared to try and bring in a Targaryen to claim the throne. Everyone, including Darry, went for Baratheon or separatism. And even the Northmen and Riverlords first discussed the possibility of a Baratheon before independence came up.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

Before Robb was made king he had

a- unite all the North
b- he was force to whore himself to Walder
c- he had to fight the Lannisters
d- he had to rescue Edmure

a. No. He had shown he wasn't a push-around but the North was united since thousands of years.

b. No, he entered a deal because he didn't fancy the alternative. That's something that leaders do all the time, go with one deal to get a result they find more attractive than the alternatives.

c. So he did.

d. So he did.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

In each of those points. Stannis could intervene by providing troops (5k aren't much but they are still a boost) or at least a lift to the Riverlands (he had the biggest fleet). Robb lost his dad because he defended Stannis claim. He was so green that he pissed grass yet he was left alone to fight the Lannisters while his king was grumbling in dragonstone, planning on ways of how to commit kinslaying.  Can you blame the boy for going solo after that?

Robb Stark was the leaer of the North, it isn't Stannis thing to go in and push Robb to the side and take command. Not if Stannis is Robb's friend anyway. Furthermore Stannis would give up all chances to threaten King's Landing and I dare say that for Stannis' sake it would not be attractive to engage in a land war with his enemies. But I agree that Stannis is a self-centered and ungrateful whiner.

And yes, I can totally blame Robb Stark for going solo. No one had helped him. But no one had so much as lifted a finger against him either and they were all enemies of the Lannisters anyhow. This would be a kind of Stannis mentality, which isn't of course unheard of, but to the fact no act that Robb did was to my knowledged based on what Stannis was plotting. I see no reason to think that any plans made by Stannis had any bearing on Robb's coronation.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

I think none of the Baratheons deserved to be king.

Of course not. It isn't about what someone deserves but what rights they may have to it.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

Joffrey lack the legitimacy (+ he's the mad king V2).

Not really. Joffrey had plenty of legitimacy from being Robert's heir and recognized as his firstborn son.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

Renly also lack the legitimacy but while he's mentally sane he opted to play soldiers rather then defend the smallfolk who were dying in droves and that despite having the army to stop all that.

How exactly would you propose that Renly would get his army from the Reach-Stormland region to defend the smallfolk faster than he did, and not provide the Lannisters with many good targets to break him piece by piece?

2 hours ago, devilish said:

Stannis left a 15 year old to go toe to toe ALONE, against one of the richest and most ruthless men in Westeros and that was after Ned broke the Tyrell siege, he was instrumental in putting a Baratheon on the IT and died trying to put Stannis on the IT. He also committed kinslaying using dark magic. 

Alone? Don't make me laugh. For one thing Robb had Brynden Tully, among the most experienced soldiers in Westeros, by his side and so I would think that Robb's last problem was him being alone.

And that Stannis is ungrateful has always been mentioned by me above in this post.

2 hours ago, devilish said:

The solution to this conundrum was for each and every region to decide its own fate. Following such agreement hostages would be exchanged and everyone would go to their own way. 

And that may have worked for a generation before we would be back to a free-for-all all-out war among the regions and drown Westeros in blood.

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And one can argue that Aegon's sisters were as important as Aegon in the Conquest or that Visenya was a stronger force in the early Targaryen rule than Aegon. But Aegon is the one that was crowned and he was the king. Just like with Robert who had many allies. In the end it was Robert who was crowned and thus won the throne.

Both Visenya and Rhaenys were Targs and they both married to her brother Aegon. However the problem did crop up a generation latter when Rhaenys son King Aenys I died of 'stress'.

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Not really. Sure, he was popular, but popularity is a good trait in kings in general while Robert was also of good health, young and proven fertility as well as a blood tie to the deposed Targaryens. All of that makes him a prime candidate for being king. And of course Robert's son would need allies to survive. Look at Daean the Defiant to see how it goes when you don't have powerful allies to support you. But more to the point the Baratheons don't have the Targaryen plot power of dragons so the Stags must work with what they've got and that means men with swords.

Nah it was down to him being popular. Until he was alive, Robert had the Vale, the Stormlands, the Riverlands, the North and the Westerlands as allies.Once he + his mates (Ned + Jon A) died , the friendship which united the Vale, the Riverlands, the North and the crown would have died with them. That's why Robert was forced to raise his fat ass from the IT and go through great pains to convince Ned to marry his son. The Baratheon crown needed allies to survive. That's something Robert and Renly knew and Stannis simply couldn't comprehend.

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The descendents of a god ended up running the Stormlands from the Age of Heroes right up to the books begin. That's pretty good. And Orys was a Hand of the King as well as well as a key commander in the Conquest. All in all, the Baratheons don't have much to feel bad about when it comes to ancestry. In fact I'd say they have about the most glorious ancestry among the Great Houses.

Not as Durrandons but under the surname of some bastard. The last Durrandon was first turned down by the dragon, then carried out naked in chains and then married off to some bastard.

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By that freaking "logic" I'd say that the Targaryens have never won a single war in their history. Either their dragons or allies won the war, at no part did the Targaryens win a war. Do you see where this is going?

Dragons are part and parcel of the Targs like Ice is for the Starks or Dawn is for the Daynes. Most Targeryan wars were fought by their loyal subjects who were kept in line with dragons. When Robert rebellion started, Robert was Jon A's ward similarly to what Theon was to Robb Stark. During the war, Robert's friends Jon A and Ned pooled most of the army needed by calling their bannermen and by marrying the Tully version of the Freys. Its very different.

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And do note that every candidate who was not from a "special" region like the North and the Iron Islands was a Baratheon. No one, absolutely no one, cared to try and bring in a Targaryen to claim the throne. Everyone, including Darry, went for Baratheon or separatism. And even the Northmen and Riverlords first discussed the possibility of a Baratheon before independence came up.


 

As said before, up until the Baratheon dynasty had Tully, Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons of the Stormlands and Arryn under their banner they were invincible. No one in Westeros could go toe to toe against that. That doesn't mean Robert felt safe. In fact the old stag was forced to raise his fat ass in a bid to marry his 'son' to Sansa + even then he was terrified of Danny marrying Khal Drogo. Robert might be a drunkard but he wasn't stupid. He knew that the only way his family could hold the iron throne was to be more popular then the rest. The beggar king might look ridiculous on his own but people might take him seriously with 40k screamers at his back and with the old guard dying (first Jon A and now Hoster), god knows if their successors will be able to bail him out second time round

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a. No. He had shown he wasn't a push-around but the North was united since thousands of years.

b. No, he entered a deal because he didn't fancy the alternative. That's something that leaders do all the time, go with one deal to get a result they find more attractive than the alternatives.

c. So he did.

d. So he did.

 

I am referring to the logistics (ie time) needed to 

a- organize an army from the 4 corners of the North
b- deal with Walder
c- fight the Lannisters
d- rescue Edmure

During that time Stannis could have been at Robb's side. That what a good king would have done towards a boy whose family had been loyal to the Baratheons for decades. Instead Stannis stayed holed in Dragonstone up until he moved to the Stormlands to commit kinslaying

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Robb Stark was the leaer of the North, it isn't Stannis thing to go in and push Robb to the side and take command. Not if Stannis is Robb's friend anyway. Furthermore Stannis would give up all chances to threaten King's Landing and I dare say that for Stannis' sake it would not be attractive to engage in a land war with his enemies. But I agree that Stannis is a self-centered and ungrateful whiner.

And yes, I can totally blame Robb Stark for going solo. No one had helped him. But no one had so much as lifted a finger against him either and they were all enemies of the Lannisters anyhow. This would be a kind of Stannis mentality, which isn't of course unheard of, but to the fact no act that Robb did was to my knowledged based on what Stannis was plotting. I see no reason to think that any plans made by Stannis had any bearing on Robb's coronation.

 

Robb was a 15 year old who was left on his own device. He had to first go toe to toe with his bannermen (including the Greatjon) then negotiate with Walder and then fight against the Lannisters who outgunned him with both experience and men. Robb might have been the leader of the North but Stannis was the rightful claim to the crown. He owed the boy his experience and guidance + he owed the Riverlanders the king's justice and protection. Failure in doing so persuaded the men living there to bend the knee to someone who actually cared about them (ie Robb)

I am not a big fan of Robb. There again while the older Baratheon brothers bickered with one another, Robb was the only one who actually caused some damage to the Lannisters. May I remind you that it was Stannis who pushed the Tyrells in the Lannister bed and by doing so he made sure the Lannisters would win.

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Of course not. It isn't about what someone deserves but what rights they may have to it

Aerys was the rightful king and his son was the rightful heir. What was the worth to that? After Robert's rebellion might became right. Robert sat on the IT because he had more buddies then the rest. But I already said that before

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How exactly would you propose that Renly would get his army from the Reach-Stormland region to defend the smallfolk faster than he did, and not provide the Lannisters with many good targets to break him piece by piece?

The Tyrells had at least twice the men the Westerlands had. The Reach could have easily moved to bail the Riverlands out. Meanwhile Renly 20k men would keep the crownlands army holed in their region. Once Randyll reached the twins, Walder would have no choice but to open the gates to the Northern army. At that point a grateful Robb would have had no choice but to bend the knee to his Uncle's saviour.

 

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Alone? Don't make me laugh. For one thing Robb had Brynden Tully, among the most experienced soldiers in Westeros, by his side and so I would think that Robb's last problem was him being alone.

And that Stannis is ungrateful has always been mentioned by me above in this post.


 

By the time Brynden joined Robb had already had his baptism of fire with his bannermen + sealed an alliance with the Freys. Also Brynden was merely Robb's uncle with no claim to the Riverlands. Sure he provided experience but he certainly lacked the legitimacy to stop the boy from doing something stupid. 

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And that may have worked for a generation before we would be back to a free-for-all all-out war among the regions and drown Westeros in blood.

Things are so better now with the Baratheons in command.

 

 

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The real complication is that the Reach would support Renly but will not support Stannis under any circumstances because of their own ambition. The Reach is effectively kingmaker at that stage (since Dorne and the Vale will not get directly involved for other reasons) and can tip the balance of power whichever way they like. Of course Stannis had a silver bullet to remove Renly which ended up putting the Lannisters on the throne.

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12 hours ago, UFT said:

stannis - birthright. and robert having a big hammer. 

renly - kinder than the other claimants, more charismatic, much much larger military (and would have been even more if robb agreed to an alliance), right of conquest, with renly specifically citing his elder bro's rebellion against mad king (i dont think stannis = mad king of course). 

 

Robert did not win by Right of Conquest, he won by Right of Arms, and then watered down that claim by citing his Targaryen grandmother.

Stannis has the better argument, and actual battle experience.

Charm and kindness are not the only things needed to be king. Though admittedly a large army can be very helpful. If Renly had done the smart thing and thrown in with Stannis, they would have taken the Lannisters down pretty quickly--especially if Renly had convinced Stannis to let Robb off the hook so he would get in on the fun too. Renly had charm but no ability to strategize long-term.

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If might was all that mattered, that big Reach army would've declared Mace king rather than Renly. Renly was the junior partner in that alliance by far with something like 80% of the troops being Mace's men, both because the Stormlands have something like a third the military power of the Reach and because Renly didn't get the support of all the Stormlords to begin with. But Mace didn't crown himself king when he entered the war, instead crowning Renly and "merely" taking the position of Hand with his daughter as Queen and his blood as the theoretical heirs, because the appearance of at least some legitimacy still matters.

Edited by Nihlus

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3 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Robert did not win by Right of Conquest, he won by Right of Arms, and then watered down that claim by citing his Targaryen grandmother.

Stannis has the better argument, and actual battle experience.

Charm and kindness are not the only things needed to be king. Though admittedly a large army can be very helpful. If Renly had done the smart thing and thrown in with Stannis, they would have taken the Lannisters down pretty quickly--especially if Renly had convinced Stannis to let Robb off the hook so he would get in on the fun too. Renly had charm but no ability to strategize long-term.

How is Renly going to lend all his strength to Stannis when the Tyrells and most of their bannerman leave because the basis of the alliance - Marg being queen - is no longer being fulfilled. Even if he gets a few reachmen and those of the SLs who actually showed up, the Lannisters can do via proxy what they offered to Mace after Renly died. Right back into it being a bloody mess with no clear favorite.

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6 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

How is Renly going to lend all his strength to Stannis when the Tyrells and most of their bannerman leave because the basis of the alliance - Marg being queen - is no longer being fulfilled. Even if he gets a few reachmen and those of the SLs who actually showed up, the Lannisters scan do via proxy what they offered to Mace after Renly died. Right back into it being a bloody mess with no clear favorite.

Stannis offered to make Renly his heir until such time as he had a son. We all know, as do all of the characters, he was not likely to have a son with Selyse. Margaery still would have been queen, just not right away. 

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8 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Stannis offered to make Renly his heir until such time as he had a son. We all know, as do all of the characters, he was not likely to have a son with Selyse. Margaery still would have been queen, just not right away. 

That's great. Why is Mace going to commit his entire army to a conflict with a man who hates him (and his near kin like Paxter) and an agreement being violated about his daughter being queen, not princess, and married to Renly as king, not heir with the possibility of being deposed.

No doubt some of them go, but the entire premise he agreed to is invalid.

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21 hours ago, devilish said:

Both Visenya and Rhaenys were Targs and they both married to her brother Aegon. However the problem did crop up a generation latter when Rhaenys son King Aenys I died of 'stress'.

What's the difference in that both of them were Targs? Aegon didn't single-handedly do the conquest but he takes the main credit regardless. Same with Robert, really. Robert became the figurehead and was crowned king, thus Robert became the official leader of the rebellion.

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Nah it was down to him being popular. Until he was alive, Robert had the Vale, the Stormlands, the Riverlands, the North and the Westerlands as allies.Once he + his mates (Ned + Jon A) died , the friendship which united the Vale, the Riverlands, the North and the crown would have died with them. That's why Robert was forced to raise his fat ass from the IT and go through great pains to convince Ned to marry his son. The Baratheon crown needed allies to survive. That's something Robert and Renly knew and Stannis simply couldn't comprehend.

I agree entirely and I think we're saying pretty much the same thing here.

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Not as Durrandons but under the surname of some bastard. The last Durrandon was first turned down by the dragon, then carried out naked in chains and then married off to some bastard.

Eh, yes. Female descent is not less important than male descent and as such through Argella's descendents, coming from a god, has indeed ruled the Stormlands unbroken since the Age of Heroes. They changed the name of the House but in every other way, they assimilated to the Durrendon style including a sharp break with Valyrian traditions, unlike the Targaryens, to become fully Andalized.

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Dragons are part and parcel of the Targs like Ice is for the Starks or Dawn is for the Daynes. Most Targeryan wars were fought by their loyal subjects who were kept in line with dragons. When Robert rebellion started, Robert was Jon A's ward similarly to what Theon was to Robb Stark. During the war, Robert's friends Jon A and Ned pooled most of the army needed by calling their bannermen and by marrying the Tully version of the Freys. Its very different.

Not really. Three big wars (I count the whole Conquest as one war here) were fought in the way you say it. But I count at least three major wars (or two if you exclude the Conquest of Dorne from major wars) which were fought without dragons.

Also you seem to have seriously misunderstood Robert's situation when the war broke out. Robert was no longer Jon's ward since Robert's parents had died years before he was the Lord of Storm's End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands. As I recall Robert and Eddard were visiting the Vale when shit hit the fan. And note that neither Eddard nor Robert were hostages so the comparison with Eddard and Theon is off. Not to mention that both of them seems to have left the care of Jon by the time that the rebellion broke out. Hence why Robert could wield independent command in the Stormlands before joining up with the rest in Stoney Sept. Robert was, as far as I can see, just as equal to Eddard and Hoster as they were to him. I will concur that likely Jon Arryn was the glue and probably held initial command over the army in the war. But by the Trident all four main rebel leaders would have been bloodied, and Robert most of them, so we can't tell which of them held the highest seniority by that point. And do please note that Eddard attributes it to be Robert who sent him to King's Landing, not Jon Arryn, so it seems that command had likely shifted to Lord Baratheon by that time.

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As said before, up until the Baratheon dynasty had Tully, Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons of the Stormlands and Arryn under their banner they were invincible. No one in Westeros could go toe to toe against that. That doesn't mean Robert felt safe. In fact the old stag was forced to raise his fat ass in a bid to marry his 'son' to Sansa + even then he was terrified of Danny marrying Khal Drogo. Robert might be a drunkard but he wasn't stupid. He knew that the only way his family could hold the iron throne was to be more popular then the rest. The beggar king might look ridiculous on his own but people might take him seriously with 40k screamers at his back and with the old guard dying (first Jon A and now Hoster), god knows if their successors will be able to bail him out second time round

I agree that the alliance was fragile, as such things often are, and that House Baratheon needed allies among the great Houses. But I don't really see the big point of it.

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I am referring to the logistics (ie time) needed to 

a- organize an army from the 4 corners of the North
b- deal with Walder
c- fight the Lannisters
d- rescue Edmure

Then please use more precise terminology to avoid confusion.

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During that time Stannis could have been at Robb's side. That what a good king would have done towards a boy whose family had been loyal to the Baratheons for decades. Instead Stannis stayed holed in Dragonstone up until he moved to the Stormlands to commit kinslaying

I agree that Stannis should have done that to court the support of Robb. But that was only before Robb crowned himself. And as you know they don't have facebook or Twitter in Westeros which is why Stannis might not even have been able to interviene if he wanted to, as he would give up the idea to strike straight at King's Landing if he deployed his forced in the Riverlands. And after Robb is crowned, well, Robb had then refused House Baratheon so no one was particular bound to support Robb.

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Robb was a 15 year old who was left on his own device. He had to first go toe to toe with his bannermen (including the Greatjon) then negotiate with Walder and then fight against the Lannisters who outgunned him with both experience and men. Robb might have been the leader of the North but Stannis was the rightful claim to the crown. He owed the boy his experience and guidance + he owed the Riverlanders the king's justice and protection. Failure in doing so persuaded the men living there to bend the knee to someone who actually cared about them (ie Robb)

Yes, poor poor Robb, why don't everyone drop everything they are doing to come and save his ass. That Stannis was not at that point the kind of man he was when he rescued the Watch can be critizied and lamented. But there it is.

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I am not a big fan of Robb. There again while the older Baratheon brothers bickered with one another, Robb was the only one who actually caused some damage to the Lannisters. May I remind you that it was Stannis who pushed the Tyrells in the Lannister bed and by doing so he made sure the Lannisters would win.

I am well aware and rather happy he did. Renly's army would have been a rather big threat if not for Stannis intervention. But I should also remind you that Stannis did what Robb could or dared not, he struck at King's Landing and was close to eject the Lannisters from holding the Iron Throne when Robb toured the countryside in the West and stayed clear of the main Lannister strongholds of Casterly Rock or Lannisport, and even more so in the form of Harrenhall where Tywin's army was camped. If we'e playing the blam game, then Robb is at blame for not pinning Tywin down at Harrenhall to allow for Stannis to have a good shot at taking King's Landing. The Tyrells would probably have taken Stannis anyway but it could have bought Stannis some extra hours to take the Red Keep rather than Robb riding around with his hair blowing in the western wind.

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Aerys was the rightful king and his son was the rightful heir. What was the worth to that? After Robert's rebellion might became right. Robert sat on the IT because he had more buddies then the rest. But I already said that before

And Aegon became king because his pets were more dangerous than anyone elses. Robert and Aegon came to power by force in just the same way and there's precious little differentiation between them.

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The Tyrells had at least twice the men the Westerlands had. The Reach could have easily moved to bail the Riverlands out. Meanwhile Renly 20k men would keep the crownlands army holed in their region. Once Randyll reached the twins, Walder would have no choice but to open the gates to the Northern army. At that point a grateful Robb would have had no choice but to bend the knee to his Uncle's saviour.

You are aware that winning the war and becoming king was Renly's objective, not bending backward for the Starks? Especially after Robb became a separatist leader Renly was under no duty to lift a finger to help the rebels who were trying to tear the realm appart. Also I see no strategic sense in your suggestion only a "Everyone exists to serve the Starks" mentality. By splitting his forces so madly there's a good chance that Tywin and Jamie could tear up Renly's army piece by piece and fight at much better odds than if Renly could keep his men concentrated and strike to force the Lannisters to meet him to protect King's Landing.

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By the time Brynden joined Robb had already had his baptism of fire with his bannermen + sealed an alliance with the Freys. Also Brynden was merely Robb's uncle with no claim to the Riverlands. Sure he provided experience but he certainly lacked the legitimacy to stop the boy from doing something stupid.

No. That's false. Brynden joined with Robb at Moat Cailin and became one of Robb's closests advisers. And for all Robb's flaws, he wasn't a willful child who couldn't take sound advice as far as I can see. Thus Brynden was there, as his uncle, to provide said advice and give practical help to make Robb's plans become a reality.

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 Things are so better now with the Baratheons in command.

Neither better nor worse so far. We've had one set of peace in the realm and one set of horrible wars, just like the beginning of the Targaryen reign. The Targaryens also had a major civil war following the death of their first king and that included both enemies of House Targaryen as a whole as well as internal fighting within House Targaryen.

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On 4.9.2017 at 10:19 AM, UFT said:

stannis - birthright. and robert having a big hammer. 

renly - kinder than the other claimants, more charismatic, much much larger military (and would have been even more if robb agreed to an alliance), right of conquest, with renly specifically citing his elder bro's rebellion against mad king (i dont think stannis = mad king of course). 

 

Stannis has the better legal claim but Renly is the better practical candidate.

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23 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

That's great. Why is Mace going to commit his entire army to a conflict with a man who hates him (and his near kin like Paxter) and an agreement being violated about his daughter being queen, not princess, and married to Renly as king, not heir with the possibility of being deposed.

No doubt some of them go, but the entire premise he agreed to is invalid.

He agreed to follow Renly. Renly and Margaery are already married at this point so Mace can't back out without damaging his daughter's chances of ever becoming queen consort. Even if Mace wants to get the marriage annulled, which of course he could do, he'll split the family as Loras is going to follow Renly no matter what. The chances of Renly's being pushed down the line are negligible. If Stannis and Selyse were going to produce a living male heir, chances are they would have done it by now. The chances of Renly actually consummating the marriage with Margaery are higher than those of Stannis getting a male heir.

This is not a modern contract dispute. Mace already pledged to Renly. If he takes it back now, especially if Renly has agreed to Stanny's terms, he stands to lose more than he gains. There's no way he can quietly sneak all the forces of the Reach past the Baratheon brothers, especially with his own son standing by Prince heir-to-the-throne Renly. The only way to pull that one off is to siphon off a few dozen men at a time and head them far enough north no one notices, which will take too long anyway and runs the risk of running into the whole Starks vs Lannisters conflict.

It's very simple. Either Mace wants grandchildren on the throne via the path of least resistance and loss, or he doesn't. If the game changes on him he has to change with it or give up on the dream of little Queen Margaery.

Edited by Lady Blizzardborn

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1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

He agreed to follow Renly. Renly and Margaery are already married at this point so Mace can't back out without damaging his daughter's chances of ever becoming queen consort. Even if Mace wants to get the marriage annulled, which of course he could do, he'll split the family as Loras is going to follow Renly no matter what. The chances of Renly's being pushed down the line are negligible. If Stannis and Selyse were going to produce a living male heir, chances are they would have done it by now. The chances of Renly actually consummating the marriage with Margaery are higher than those of Stannis getting a male heir.

This is not a modern contract dispute. Mace already pledged to Renly. If he takes it back now, especially if Renly has agreed to Stanny's terms, he stands to lose more than he gains. There's no way he can quietly sneak all the forces of the Reach past the Baratheon brothers, especially with his own son standing by Prince heir-to-the-throne Renly. The only way to pull that one off is to siphon off a few dozen men at a time and head them far enough north no one notices, which will take too long anyway and runs the risk of running into the whole Starks vs Lannisters conflict.

It's very simple. Either Mace wants grandchildren on the throne via the path of least resistance and loss, or he doesn't. If the game changes on him he has to change with it or give up on the dream of little Queen Margaery.

He can easily back out. The marriage wasn't consummated. If he takes his daughter and leaves, he can ally with the Lannisters. He can get most of the army away. I know that because he gets most of the army at Bitterbridge, minus the Florents who were put to the sword. Path of least resistance involves him taking his daughter, getting his army down the mander to meet up with Tywin and fighting with the crown. 

He literally did this so please do not tell me it's possible. No one bitched or slaughtered the Freys when they left after Robb broke his marriage contract. Sure the Greatjon wanted to but he was stopped or didn't follow through (can't remember). 

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On 9/4/2017 at 4:19 AM, UFT said:

stannis - birthright. and robert having a big hammer. 

renly - kinder than the other claimants, more charismatic, much much larger military (and would have been even more if robb agreed to an alliance), right of conquest, with renly specifically citing his elder bro's rebellion against mad king (i dont think stannis = mad king of course). 

 

Stannis. A lot of it has to do with being the second eldest after Robert.

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17 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Stannis. A lot of it has to do with being the second eldest after Robert.

That is literally the only part of it

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44 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

He can easily back out. The marriage wasn't consummated. If he takes his daughter and leaves, he can ally with the Lannisters. He can get most of the army away. I know that because he gets most of the army at Bitterbridge, minus the Florents who were put to the sword. Path of least resistance involves him taking his daughter, getting his army down the mander to meet up with Tywin and fighting with the crown. 

He literally did this so please do not tell me it's possible. No one bitched or slaughtered the Freys when they left after Robb broke his marriage contract. Sure the Greatjon wanted to but he was stopped or didn't follow through (can't remember). 

Because Renly was dead. With Renly still living, it's not going to be quite as easy. Not impossible, no, but not as easy. Renly charmed a lot of people into supporting him. Mace only has the infantry at Bitterbridge. Renly took the cavalry with him to meet Stannis.

Is Mace really going to forget about Loras, who will stubbornly refuse to leave Renly? Maybe he will. The future of the line is secure without Loras, but it's going to be a bit harder to convince Tywin that House Tyrell is fully on the side of King Joffrey when the most notable knight in the family is on Team Baratheon. He'll have to disown Loras. That's one son down.

Then there's the difficulty of getting the annulment without going to the High Septon, who is in King's Landing. But I'm sure Tywin will be fine with agreeing to team up with Mace even though Margaery is still legally married to Renly. They can smooth that out later. It's not like Joffrey is the impulsive type or anything and might do something like marry Sansa before Margaery can be freed.

You really think Renly and Stannis would have let the Reachmen with Renly take off with no consequences? Let's say most of the Reach cavalry desert and go back to Mace for further instructions. In a rare display of leadership and strategic ability, Mace decides to join Tywin, sending an advance man like Lord Tarly who Tywin will trust not to be pulling anything. What do you think Stannis and Renly will do? My guess is head for Highgarden, since the armies of the Reach are now well away. Maybe Mace will split his forces, but fewer men will be of less use to Tywin than the Tyrell army at full strength would be, and it still means leaving only half at best of his army to defend Highgarden and the Reach in general. Willas Tyrell would make a nice hostage. That's two sons down. Better hope Garlan doesn't die in battle.

Then of course if Mace goes Lannister, the Baratheon brothers would be best served by bringing Robb in. Renly can probably convince Stannis of the necessity and get him to defer punishment for that KitN stuff until after the warring is done. So we've got the Stormlords, anybody else who was pro-Renly possibly including some of the men of the Reach, all of the North and Riverlands (because Robb hasn't screwed up yet). Let's leave the Greyjoys out even though they'd enjoy sticking it to the Lannisters. Even without the Iron Fleet, the assault in King's Landing just got way more interesting and complicated.

Joining the Lannisters was not Mace's idea. It was only after Renly was killed that Littlefinger showed up to get the Tyrells to choose a new side and propose a marriage between Margaery and Joffrey. Have you gotten the impression from the books that Mace is the kind of guy who would have thought of that on his own without it being spoonfed to him by someone more intelligent? Not that someone else couldn't have come up with it, but even with Renly dead none of the Tyrell camp had thought of it, or if they'd thought of it they sure hadn't acted on it.

The Freys weren't rich with gold and food, nor did they have a major member of their house stubbornly stay on Team Stark. Neither Stannis nor Renly would have responded as Robb did, or rather didn't. And Robb's actions precluded the original intent whereas in this hypothetical situation Renly's choice would have only delayed the payoff, not made it impossible. 

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4 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Because Renly was dead. With Renly still living, it's not going to be quite as easy. Not impossible, no, but not as easy. Renly charmed a lot of people into supporting him. Mace only has the infantry at Bitterbridge. Renly took the cavalry with him to meet Stannis.

He has 60k at Bitterbridge along with Paxter and the Hightowers remaining neutral. Pretend like he's in a weak position. He can send 1-k, 20K men up to KL to reinforce KL and Tywin. That basically wins the war against Robb for the crown and makes it's damn hard for Stannis to assault KL, if not downright impossible.

4 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Is Mace really going to forget about Loras, who will stubbornly refuse to leave Renly? Maybe he will. The future of the line is secure without Loras, but it's going to be a bit harder to convince Tywin that House Tyrell is fully on the side of King Joffrey when the most notable knight in the family is on Team Baratheon. He'll have to disown Loras. That's one son down.

He doesn't need to convince him. Loras is the third son in the Kingsguard of Renly. Willas remains at HG, Marg is with Mace, and Ser Garlan is there as well (as hostage or commander). Assuming Mace is smart enough to go full Tarly, I fail to see the issue here. Tywin isn't an idiot. Even with Loras as the favorite son, the numbers skew so far in their favor with a Tyrell alliance it would be stupid not to do it. It singlehandedly binds the Tyrells to a consummated marriage with the recognized king AND strips two enemies of their support.  It would be stupid not to do.

4 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Then there's the difficulty of getting the annulment without going to the High Septon, who is in King's Landing. But I'm sure Tywin will be fine with agreeing to team up with Mace even though Margaery is still legally married to Renly. They can smooth that out later. It's not like Joffrey is the impulsive type or anything and might do something like marry Sansa before Margaery can be freed.

The pliable, weak willed High Septon? Sure I'm convinced he'll be tough to grant an annulment, not like he did for Marg and Renly (in canon) or Joff and Marg (in canon). Joff really married Sansa before Marg right?!

4 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

You really think Renly and Stannis would have let the Reachmen with Renly take off with no consequences? Let's say most of the Reach cavalry desert and go back to Mace for further instructions. In a rare display of leadership and strategic ability, Mace decides to join Tywin, sending an advance man like Lord Tarly who Tywin will trust not to be pulling anything. What do you think Stannis and Renly will do? My guess is head for Highgarden, since the armies of the Reach are now well away. Maybe Mace will split his forces, but fewer men will be of less use to Tywin than the Tyrell army at full strength would be, and it still means leaving only half at best of his army to defend Highgarden and the Reach in general. Willas Tyrell would make a nice hostage. That's two sons down. Better hope Garlan doesn't die in battle.

No I think they would keep the ones there with small defections. That's irrelevant because mace has 70K men at his disposal, his daughter, and the ability to communicate with Tywin. Willas and his generals will have more men than Renly and Stannis combined if he splits his forces in half. 

4 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Then of course if Mace goes Lannister, the Baratheon brothers would be best served by bringing Robb in. Renly can probably convince Stannis of the necessity and get him to defer punishment for that KitN stuff until after the warring is done. So we've got the Stormlords, anybody else who was pro-Renly possibly including some of the men of the Reach, all of the North and Riverlands (because Robb hasn't screwed up yet). Let's leave the Greyjoys out even though they'd enjoy sticking it to the Lannisters. Even without the Iron Fleet, the assault in King's Landing just got way more interesting and complicated.

Renly already rebuffed Robb and Stannis won't suffer a king in the north. We know this already. So this is entirely irrelevant. The Iron Fleet is at MC at this point and pretty much useless to anyone as is the Redwyne fleet. Stannis' fleet still has to ferry the men to KL. With or without the clever chain and wildfire, KL will have a lot more men and Mace can block the way to KL by land. Stannis doesn't have enough men to force his way past and not enough ships to move everyone by sea. 

4 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Joining the Lannisters was not Mace's idea. It was only after Renly was killed that Littlefinger showed up to get the Tyrells to choose a new side and propose a marriage between Margaery and Joffrey. Have you gotten the impression from the books that Mace is the kind of guy who would have thought of that on his own without it being spoonfed to him by someone more intelligent? Not that someone else couldn't have come up with it, but even with Renly dead none of the Tyrell camp had thought of it, or if they'd thought of it they sure hadn't acted on it.

It wasn't but Olenna could easily tell him to bide his time (which still fucks Renly and Stannis) or ally with the Lannisters. Actually I happen to think Mace is not nearly the buffoon that a lot of people think he is. I could give a litany of threads that give the basic gist why but I will let you seek those out. There is really no indication that Olenna is actually pulling the strings and more than she has to act secretly to get away with what she wants (eg Purple Wedding).

4 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

The Freys weren't rich with gold and food, nor did they have a major member of their house stubbornly stay on Team Stark. Neither Stannis nor Renly would have responded as Robb did, or rather didn't. And Robb's actions precluded the original intent whereas in this hypothetical situation Renly's choice would have only delayed the payoff, not made it impossible. 

The Freys are critical to Robb getting home and his manpower levels. It's not really debatable. Renly could have chosen but there is no denying that Renly kneeling breaks the contractual conditions as Mace agreed to. If it weren't then Marg would have married Renly and then he'd have declared himself king later like Robert did around the Trident.

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13 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

He has 60k at Bitterbridge along with Paxter and the Hightowers remaining neutral. Pretend like he's in a weak position. He can send 1-k, 20K men up to KL to reinforce KL and Tywin. That basically wins the war against Robb for the crown and makes it's damn hard for Stannis to assault KL, if not downright impossible.

He doesn't need to convince him. Loras is the third son in the Kingsguard of Renly. Willas remains at HG, Marg is with Mace, and Ser Garlan is there as well (as hostage or commander). Assuming Mace is smart enough to go full Tarly, I fail to see the issue here. Tywin isn't an idiot. Even with Loras as the favorite son, the numbers skew so far in their favor with a Tyrell alliance it would be stupid not to do it. It singlehandedly binds the Tyrells to a consummated marriage with the recognized king AND strips two enemies of their support.  It would be stupid not to do.

The pliable, weak willed High Septon? Sure I'm convinced he'll be tough to grant an annulment, not like he did for Marg and Renly (in canon) or Joff and Marg (in canon). Joff really married Sansa before Marg right?!

No I think they would keep the ones there with small defections. That's irrelevant because mace has 70K men at his disposal, his daughter, and the ability to communicate with Tywin. Willas and his generals will have more men than Renly and Stannis combined if he splits his forces in half. 

Renly already rebuffed Robb and Stannis won't suffer a king in the north. We know this already. So this is entirely irrelevant. The Iron Fleet is at MC at this point and pretty much useless to anyone as is the Redwyne fleet. Stannis' fleet still has to ferry the men to KL. With or without the clever chain and wildfire, KL will have a lot more men and Mace can block the way to KL by land. Stannis doesn't have enough men to force his way past and not enough ships to move everyone by sea. 

It wasn't but Olenna could easily tell him to bide his time (which still fucks Renly and Stannis) or ally with the Lannisters. Actually I happen to think Mace is not nearly the buffoon that a lot of people think he is. I could give a litany of threads that give the basic gist why but I will let you seek those out. There is really no indication that Olenna is actually pulling the strings and more than she has to act secretly to get away with what she wants (eg Purple Wedding).

The Freys are critical to Robb getting home and his manpower levels. It's not really debatable. Renly could have chosen but there is no denying that Renly kneeling breaks the contractual conditions as Mace agreed to. If it weren't then Marg would have married Renly and then he'd have declared himself king later like Robert did around the Trident.

I always break down on the army numbers. Can't seem to remember them. I concede Mace outnumbers pretty much everyone else. He's in a great position to play Kingmaker.

Therein lies the problem. Mace does not seem to be smart enough to go Full Tarly. If he was, he would have gone Full Tarly at some point.

It's easy enough to grant an annulment when one of the people involved can't contest it, say they're dead maybe. I was assuming delays. If we change the story, Margaery may not get to King's Landing and get her annulment before Joff does something stupid. 

Renly didn't rebuff Robb. He said he was even fine with Robb calling himself KitN. Catelyn didn't get to making a deal because of Mel's shadowbaby. Stannis could accept Robb and his men if necessary to win the war and deal with punishing him later, just as he accepted Davos' smuggling just fine when it kept the people of Storm's End from starving and then both knighted him and cut off some of his fingers for it later. Maybe he'd knight Robb before beheading him, but he could certainly wait until after the war to do it.

Or Olenna could tell him that Stannis and Renly are the team to go with. Joffrey's done nothing but screw up from the start. Mace doesn't have to be a buffoon to still not be all that good at strategy. Yes, I know Olenna doesn't pull the strings, which is why I didn't say something stupid like "Olenna would order Mace to do x."

Contractual conditions in the middle ages are not the same as the ones in today's world. It's not like Mace added an exit clause in case something like this would happen. Accepting Renly as his king includes accepting Renly's judgment of what is best for Westeros. If Mace is not a buffoon (and I agree he may not be) he is just as well served by waiting a bit for his daughter to be queen, as he is by switching sides. If he can envision a possible Reach-Arbor-Dragonstone-Stormlands-Riverlands-North alliance he should be able to see the very real possibility of success. The only reason to go to the Lannisters instead is impatience. The fastest way for him to get Margaery on the throne would be to move as soon as Robert is dead and Ned arrested, get the betrothal to Sansa broken based on her father's betrayal, and get Margaery put in as the new fiancee. The only reason to bother with Renly in the first place is because he's a better choice than Joffrey, and that remains the case even if Renly is calling himself Crown Prince instead of King. 

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