falcotron

Why did Renly join the plot to marry Margy to Robert?

19 posts in this topic

This isn't one of those wtf cases where the reasoning is baffling; it's more that there are so many plausible reasons that it's hard to know which ones were actually in effect. But I'm guessing there's some text that rules some of them out, and some are just obviously wrong but I haven't thought of why, so… let me dump everything I can think of (including a few that seem unlikely but not impossible), and people can tell me where I'm being stupid. :)

  • Is he sure that Cersei's children are all bastards, or just thinks it's possible? And who told him?
  • Does he know that Stannis and Ned are close to proving or disproving the bastardy, or is it just a coincidence that his plot is about to come to fruition at almost the same time?
  • Does he actually think Margy looks like Lyanna reborn? Or at least close enough that he can fool a drunk Robert into thinking she does? How does Ned's reaction to him asking change his plans, if at all?
  • Is he motivated by Robert's honor, Robert's happiness, the good of the realm, the Tyrells, or his own benefit?
  • is he expecting to be named guardian and/or regent if Margy manages to produce some heirs for Robert before he dies?
  • How much of this is him working for Mace's plot and how much is it his own plot making common cause with Mace?
  • Is he wrapped around Loras's fingers or vice/versa, making it easier for him or Mace (or someone else like Olenna or LF) to draw the other into a plot and/or take advantage of them? Or is it just what it seems to be: Loras just gives Renly and Mace a little more reason to work together because they both love Loras and he loves them both?
  • Does he have a problem with Cersei in particular, or the Lannisters in general, or is there nothing personal here?

 

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I mean literally spells it out. The Lannisters are not merciful and will try to kill him (and Stannis). He tells this to Ned and Cat, and we later get a POV from cersei saying she wanted to kill Stannis and Renly before Robert. He wants the Lannisters gone so he can continue leaving and breathing. He doesn't even believe the twincest when Stannis brings it up at the negotiation

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Whats Renly's best route to further power, aside from outright trying to usurp the throne as he does or killing off all three of Cersei's kids and Stannis and Shireen?

Put another way: Whats every other Lord's best route to further power?  A marriage alliance with the Iron Throne.

Renly faces a challenge in that he doesn't have any female relatives (at least, none that aren't higher in the line of succession than him in the first place) to marry to the Iron Throne, and even if he did, they wouldn't be viewed as suitable, as its pretty clear that the crown needs a marriage alliance with someone outside the Baratheon dynasty in order maintain power.  So, his best route is to broker such a marriage himself.  And Margaery is clearly the best candidate, for so many reasons that we don't even need to list them.

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I think the concern about Lannisters not being merciful applied after Robert died.

Even before Robert died (or was injured), Renly was trying to increase his influence by putting a friend in the position of queen. It was all about the game of thrones and trying to neutralize the Lannisters, not anything to do with Robert's happiness or self-preservation.

Renly has no influence over the Lannisters, who have managed to surround Robert with their people (Cersei, Jaime--albeit unwillingly, Lancel, Sandor, Gregor) and have a financial hold over Robert too due to Tywin lending him gold. But Renly could increase his influence on Robert if he were to get rid of Cersei (and Jaime would probably be sent to "guard" her wherever she is exiled) and Margaery were queen and supporting his ideas.  He probably didn't envision becoming king at that point in the story, because Robert had two sons, but he could put himself in a great position of power anyway.

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It's about removing Cersei from her position of power and influence, Lannister influence at court flows through her. 

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3 hours ago, nara said:

I think the concern about Lannisters not being merciful applied after Robert died.

Even before Robert died (or was injured), Renly was trying to increase his influence by putting a friend in the position of queen. It was all about the game of thrones and trying to neutralize the Lannisters, not anything to do with Robert's happiness or self-preservation.

Renly has no influence over the Lannisters, who have managed to surround Robert with their people (Cersei, Jaime--albeit unwillingly, Lancel, Sandor, Gregor) and have a financial hold over Robert too due to Tywin lending him gold. But Renly could increase his influence on Robert if he were to get rid of Cersei (and Jaime would probably be sent to "guard" her wherever she is exiled) and Margaery were queen and supporting his ideas.  He probably didn't envision becoming king at that point in the story, because Robert had two sons, but he could put himself in a great position of power anyway.

Which he literally does because he thinks Cersei will try to kill him, which we later see confirmed. You can't separate the two

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4 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

I mean literally spells it out. The Lannisters are not merciful and will try to kill him (and Stannis). He tells this to Ned and Cat, and we later get a POV from cersei saying she wanted to kill Stannis and Renly before Robert. He wants the Lannisters gone so he can continue leaving and breathing.

As nara says, this is all after Robert's "accident". Or do you think he actually expected all along that Cersei was going to kill Robert and his brothers?

4 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

He doesn't even believe the twincest when Stannis brings it up at the negotiation

But surely he has to think it's a charge that could be made to stick, whether it's true or not. Otherwise (besides the annulment probably being harder to get), there's no way to banish or otherwise punish the Lannisters, so they're still a constant threat—and there's also no way to remove Joffrey from the line of succession, so in a few years he's going to be facing a King Joffrey who will presumably not be too friendly to the people who convinced Robert to set aside his mother.

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3 hours ago, nara said:

He probably didn't envision becoming king at that point in the story, because Robert had two sons, but he could put himself in a great position of power anyway.

Sure, I don't think he expected to ever be king. If he did, he wouldn't be angling for Robert to replace Cersei with a fertile young woman who could produce a whole new set of heirs.

But if he gets Cersei's kids declared bastards, Margy's first son becomes the heir, and he could get a tremendous amount of power that way. He could be the prince's goodfather, and he could even be the prince's guardian or even regent if Robert dies before his majority. The only other person who'd have as much influence over the next king is whoever they squire him to—which could easily be Loras, so if he and Loras are still together…

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6 hours ago, falcotron said:

This isn't one of those wtf cases where the reasoning is baffling; it's more that there are so many plausible reasons that it's hard to know which ones were actually in effect. But I'm guessing there's some text that rules some of them out, and some are just obviously wrong but I haven't thought of why, so… let me dump everything I can think of (including a few that seem unlikely but not impossible), and people can tell me where I'm being stupid. :)

  • Is he sure that Cersei's children are all bastards, or just thinks it's possible? And who told him?
  • Does he know that Stannis and Ned are close to proving or disproving the bastardy, or is it just a coincidence that his plot is about to come to fruition at almost the same time?
  • Does he actually think Margy looks like Lyanna reborn? Or at least close enough that he can fool a drunk Robert into thinking she does? How does Ned's reaction to him asking change his plans, if at all?
  • Is he motivated by Robert's honor, Robert's happiness, the good of the realm, the Tyrells, or his own benefit?
  • is he expecting to be named guardian and/or regent if Margy manages to produce some heirs for Robert before he dies?
  • How much of this is him working for Mace's plot and how much is it his own plot making common cause with Mace?
  • Is he wrapped around Loras's fingers or vice/versa, making it easier for him or Mace (or someone else like Olenna or LF) to draw the other into a plot and/or take advantage of them? Or is it just what it seems to be: Loras just gives Renly and Mace a little more reason to work together because they both love Loras and he loves them both?
  • Does he have a problem with Cersei in particular, or the Lannisters in general, or is there nothing personal here?

 

1inmaterial ,He does not care.

2 . Coincidence .

3. The Tyrells and his own benefit .

4.Unknown .

5. All of it is Mace's .

6. Yes

7 . He hates the Lannisters  in general and Cercei in particular .

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6 hours ago, falcotron said:

This isn't one of those wtf cases where the reasoning is baffling; it's more that there are so many plausible reasons that it's hard to know which ones were actually in effect. But I'm guessing there's some text that rules some of them out, and some are just obviously wrong but I haven't thought of why, so… let me dump everything I can think of (including a few that seem unlikely but not impossible), and people can tell me where I'm being stupid. :)

  • Is he sure that Cersei's children are all bastards, or just thinks it's possible? And who told him?
  • Does he know that Stannis and Ned are close to proving or disproving the bastardy, or is it just a coincidence that his plot is about to come to fruition at almost the same time?
  • Does he actually think Margy looks like Lyanna reborn? Or at least close enough that he can fool a drunk Robert into thinking she does? How does Ned's reaction to him asking change his plans, if at all?
  • Is he motivated by Robert's honor, Robert's happiness, the good of the realm, the Tyrells, or his own benefit?
  • is he expecting to be named guardian and/or regent if Margy manages to produce some heirs for Robert before he dies?
  • How much of this is him working for Mace's plot and how much is it his own plot making common cause with Mace?
  • Is he wrapped around Loras's fingers or vice/versa, making it easier for him or Mace (or someone else like Olenna or LF) to draw the other into a plot and/or take advantage of them? Or is it just what it seems to be: Loras just gives Renly and Mace a little more reason to work together because they both love Loras and he loves them both?
  • Does he have a problem with Cersei in particular, or the Lannisters in general, or is there nothing personal here?

 

I confess that I, new to the fandom, and never imagined that Renly was a political operator - and was planning to "offer" Maergary to Robert. (prior to AGoT(?)). Though I recognized Renly's offer of troops to Ned Stark as an obvious coup opportunity. I've been mystified by, an apparent unanimity amongst the fandom that Renly (a Baratheon) was shopping out a Tyrell princess to Robert - really??? - and then... Renly is shortly after married to Maergary. 

Apropos nothing, but in the realm of, being stupid... :)

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31 minutes ago, Wild Bill said:

I confess that I, new to the fandom, and never imagined that Renly was a political operator

I think most readers don't see Renly as a political operator, so most people (including me) think there's a good chance someone else masterminded the idea and just recruited Renly as the frontman. Then again, it could really be Renly (or Loras, who seems even less devious); Varys seems to think so. Other candidates include Mace, Olenna (two guys named D&D who have some show on HBO seem to think it was her), and Littlefinger (and maybe some others I've forgotten), but if you want the arguments for and against each, there are multiple old threads on that.

31 minutes ago, Wild Bill said:

and was planning to "offer" Maergary to Robert

The fact that Renly was going to offer Margy to Robert is made pretty explicit in the Varys-Illyrio conversation that Arya overhears (in Arya III):

Quote

"… The Knight of Flowers writes Highgarden, urging his lord father to send his sister to court. The girl is a maid of fourteen, sweet and beautiful and tractable, and Lord Renly and Ser Loras intend that Robert should bed her, wed her, and make a new queen…"

Hard to imagine what else that could mean.

31 minutes ago, Wild Bill said:

(prior to AGoT(?)).

We don't know that it went back anywhere near that far.

But it must go back to at least before the tourney, because right after the tourney, Renly showed a portrait of Margy to Ned and asked whether she looked like Lyanna (in Eddard VI), and we know that Robert was obsessed with Lyanna.

31 minutes ago, Wild Bill said:

and then... Renly is shortly after married to Maergary.

Well, that's obviously Plan C after Plan A (the Robert marriage) and Plan B (the hasty coup attempt) have failed, and it's not hard to imagine anyone who was involved in Plan A coming up with it.

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Robert sat on a mountain of debt. A big chunk of it happened to be owned by Cersei's father. If Robert decided to get rid of Cersei then many will be wondering if this was some sort of excuse to provoke Tywin into rebellion to then strip him away from his land and title. That would be quite convenient for the crown as it would automatically annul its debt with that particular house.That’s food for thought for any rich house in Westeros. Will they be the next ones to end up victims of this devious trick?  


The Tyrells happen to be the second richest house in Westeros. The reach has been allied with the Lannisters before and has a mutual interest in making sure that the king doesn’t shy away from his obligation. Same thing can be said about the Iron Bank whose got endless funds. Considering that the beggar king is busy selling his sister to some Dothraki warlord in exchange of a 40k army then he might be an option to make sure that someone stable sits on the IT. The Lannisters can’t win against Robert’s joint army. However the scenario will change if Viserys returns to Westeros with 40k Dothraki screamers, the GC + he can rely on Lannister, Tyrell and possibly Greyjoy (who are pissed off with Robert/Ned) and Frey support. The beggar king will probably forgive the Tywin’s KL ‘incident’ if that means adding an extra 30k-40k army to his lot.


Renly’s plan was to ensure the Reach’s allegiance which in turn would strip Tywin from a potentially powerful ally. As the queen maker his influence over Robert and the Tyrells would have grown exponentially. Since Sansa had been disgraced by this incident (ie she nearly married a bastard), he would have probably offer to marrying her himself which will further increase his influence over the Starks, the Tullys, the Arryns and court. That immense influence will probably be enough to convince his old brother to handle CR to Robert’s new brother in law Loras Tyrell which will further increase the Tyrell gratitude towards Renly and the young stag’s influence over the queen. In few words Renly would end up the second most powerful person in Westeros.
 

 

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I personally like to think that Loras Tyrell planted the idea in his head. I believe there are two reasons for this:

1. It would make Margaery queen and it would improve house Tyrell's standing in not only in court, but also in the kingdom as a whole. (While I don't doubt that Loras truly loved and cared for Renly, he is a Tyrell and Olenna's grandson and not without a little bit of cunning.)

2. It would give him an excuse to join the Kingsguard; Renly was in the Small Council and because he is Robert's younger brother (and a little good at what he's doing), he's not going to be dismissed easily. Loras, however, is at court on borrowed time and can be dismissed whenever, however if he joined the Kingsguard, that would make it difficult to dismiss him (plus he would get to protect Margaery against Cersei).

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16 hours ago, falcotron said:

Is he sure that Cersei's children are all bastards, or just thinks it's possible? And who told him?

Yes, because this is pretty common information among the close courtiers in Kings Landing (e.g. the Small Council).  Varys, Stannis, Jon Arryn, Renly, likely Littlefinger... they're all aware.  The rest of them save Stannis are all trying to profit off this info in some way, because simply going to Robert is a good way to get killed - only Jon Arryn and Ned Stark have his trust enough to make that accusation stick.

16 hours ago, falcotron said:

Does he know that Stannis and Ned are close to proving or disproving the bastardy, or is it just a coincidence that his plot is about to come to fruition at almost the same time?

Probably coincidence, though he clearly knows about the twincest well before Ned.  Also possible Jaime and Cersei were particularly indiscreet in the recent past, hence why everyone's suspicions have been aroused in the last several months.

16 hours ago, falcotron said:

Does he actually think Margy looks like Lyanna reborn? Or at least close enough that he can fool a drunk Robert into thinking she does? How does Ned's reaction to him asking change his plans, if at all?

He has no idea what Lyanna looked like.  I think his question to Ned is genuine.  Doesn't change his plans in the slightest that she doesn't reseble Lyanna; that would just be a bonus.  Robert is obviously willing to bed women who don't look like Lyanna, so any resemblance would just have been a bonus.

16 hours ago, falcotron said:

Is he motivated by Robert's honor, Robert's happiness, the good of the realm, the Tyrells, or his own benefit?

100% his own benefit.  That this might also benefit Robert's happiness, the health of the realm, and the Tyrells is secondary.

16 hours ago, falcotron said:

is he expecting to be named guardian and/or regent if Margy manages to produce some heirs for Robert before he dies?

If not Regent, then certainly the power behind the throne.  This is what he's angling for even if Robert lives; presumably Robert will be as careless with his giving away offices and honors with Margaery/the Tyrells as he was with Cersei/the Lannisters.  This means Renly, as a Small Councillor plus the main agent at court for the Tyrells, will exert enormous powers of patronage that Cersei now has.

16 hours ago, falcotron said:

How much of this is him working for Mace's plot and how much is it his own plot making common cause with Mace?

If by "Mace's plot" you mean his desire to make his daughter Queen, then the simple answer is that Robert's lechery and Mace's lack of scruples regarding his children has allowed Renly to make common cause with Mace.  The Tyrells did not have the "in" at court to get Margaery favorably presented to Robert (as opposed to any other hot woman at court), which Renly provides, as well as him being a highly-ranked Baratheon and a power in his own right at court.  

16 hours ago, falcotron said:

Is he wrapped around Loras's fingers or vice/versa, making it easier for him or Mace (or someone else like Olenna or LF) to draw the other into a plot and/or take advantage of them? Or is it just what it seems to be: Loras just gives Renly and Mace a little more reason to work together because they both love Loras and he loves them both?

Seems like everyone is going into this with eyes open.  For as little substance as he possesses, Renly gets the trappings of feudal power politics in a way that Robert and Stannis don't.  I don't doubt he'd be doing the same thing with someone even if he wasn't in a relationship with Loras, because it is such an obvious way to grab tangible power in a fairly dissolute Baratheon court.

16 hours ago, falcotron said:

Does he have a problem with Cersei in particular, or the Lannisters in general, or is there nothing personal here?

I mean, it sounds like no one really likes the Lannisters, so in that sense, I doubt he's besties with Jaime/Cersei.  More generally, he sees them literally taking over the court of his brother - I am sure there is some small part of him that wishes his brother wasn't being cuckolded, but he doesn't care for his brothers or their honor or rights, not really - his main concern is that he probably feels HE should be wielding the kind of influence which is currently being monopolized by Cersei.

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5 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Yes…

Thanks for the detailed answers. I'm not sure I agree that the bastardy was quite such an open secret, but the rest all seems at least highly plausible. Especially since it sounds like in general, you agree with Varys, and nobody's going to say Varys had no idea what was going on around him.

6 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

For as little substance as he possesses, Renly gets the trappings of feudal power politics in a way that Robert and Stannis don't.

This is an interesting point. I think most readers assume Renly obviously isn't a player like LF or Varys or even Cersei, so he can't be behind any plotting—but this is actually a pretty obvious and not all that devious plot. It doesn't require any spies, complicated behind-the-scenes maneuvers, financial planning, etc., just a basic understanding of how the feudal system works and an in with Robert (and a hot young chick to offer him), and Renly has both of those.

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On 9/19/2017 at 9:08 PM, falcotron said:

This isn't one of those wtf cases where the reasoning is baffling; it's more that there are so many plausible reasons that it's hard to know which ones were actually in effect. But I'm guessing there's some text that rules some of them out, and some are just obviously wrong but I haven't thought of why, so… let me dump everything I can think of (including a few that seem unlikely but not impossible), and people can tell me where I'm being stupid. :)

  • Is he sure that Cersei's children are all bastards, or just thinks it's possible? And who told him?

He doesn't seem to have any idea until he gets the letter from Stannis. 

On 9/19/2017 at 9:08 PM, falcotron said:

Does he know that Stannis and Ned are close to proving or disproving the bastardy, or is it just a coincidence that his plot is about to come to fruition at almost the same time?

I don't see any evidence of this. In fact, he's been working on this, apparently, since before he showed the locket to Eddard. 

On 9/19/2017 at 9:08 PM, falcotron said:

Does he actually think Margy looks like Lyanna reborn? Or at least close enough that he can fool a drunk Robert into thinking she does? How does Ned's reaction to him asking change his plans, if at all?

I don't think he was looking to fool Robert, but rather, I think he was hoping to tempt Robert. 

On 9/19/2017 at 9:08 PM, falcotron said:

Is he motivated by Robert's honor, Robert's happiness, the good of the realm, the Tyrells, or his own benefit?

I'd say he's plotting for the benefit of himself and his lover, Loras. 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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On 9/19/2017 at 9:08 PM, falcotron said:

is he expecting to be named guardian and/or regent if Margy manages to produce some heirs for Robert before he dies?

I doubt it, but that would make sense. 

On 9/19/2017 at 9:08 PM, falcotron said:

How much of this is him working for Mace's plot and how much is it his own plot making common cause with Mace?

Mace might not have been involved until after Robert's death. 

On 9/19/2017 at 9:08 PM, falcotron said:

Is he wrapped around Loras's fingers or vice/versa, making it easier for him or Mace (or someone else like Olenna or LF) to draw the other into a plot and/or take advantage of them? Or is it just what it seems to be: Loras just gives Renly and Mace a little more reason to work together because they both love Loras and he loves them both?

A little of both, no? 

On 9/19/2017 at 9:08 PM, falcotron said:

Does he have a problem with Cersei in particular, or the Lannisters in general, or is there nothing personal here?

Renly is very concerned about Cersei and the Lannisters. As soon as Robert dies, he knows that his position is very precarious, because Cersei, Tywin, and Jaime are very dangerous. 

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On 9/20/2017 at 1:01 AM, falcotron said:

As nara says, this is all after Robert's "accident". Or do you think he actually expected all along that Cersei was going to kill Robert and his brothers?

But surely he has to think it's a charge that could be made to stick, whether it's true or not. Otherwise (besides the annulment probably being harder to get), there's no way to banish or otherwise punish the Lannisters, so they're still a constant threat—and there's also no way to remove Joffrey from the line of succession, so in a few years he's going to be facing a King Joffrey who will presumably not be too friendly to the people who convinced Robert to set aside his mother.

Yes I do believe it. Given that he was trying to get her replaced *before* Robert had his accident, it's pretty obvious he was both trying to curtail Lannister power and save his own life.

Yes he does think it's a change that can be made to stick. No need to write anything else. 

Unless someone has a compelling theory or some contrary evidence, it's blindingly obvious what he's doing and we hear it from the character's mouth and others. This is kind of like the Bran catspaw question. We know the reasoning, see it from multiple POVs, and there are no remotely good explanations or alternatives. Not everything has to go moonbat or  crackpot.

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On 9/20/2017 at 5:11 AM, falcotron said:

I think most readers don't see Renly as a political operator, so most people (including me) think there's a good chance someone else masterminded the idea and just recruited Renly as the frontman. Then again, it could really be Renly (or Loras, who seems even less devious); Varys seems to think so. Other candidates include Mace, Olenna (two guys named D&D who have some show on HBO seem to think it was her), and Littlefinger (and maybe some others I've forgotten), but if you want the arguments for and against each, there are multiple old threads on that.

Well, that's obviously Plan C after Plan A (the Robert marriage) and Plan B (the hasty coup attempt) have failed, and it's not hard to imagine anyone who was involved in Plan A coming up with it.

I'll retract my "political actor" point. And rephrase it in context of "Plan B" - I think that is the obvious, reader, point. And only in rereads and exposure to the fandom does that show...

:)

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