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Buried Treasure

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  1. King Joff included Renly in the round of summons to come and pay homage. It's widely accepted (I'd say both in-world and by readers) that to obey the summons would have been dumb and would probably have gotten him imprisoned if not worse. So if wasn't going to pay fealty to Joff then he was going to be attainted, and lost neutrality by default. I think at that point he had a few options: 1) Take himself off into exile - it would have lost him his land and titles, but he would not have had to take a side for our against Joffrey. 2) Sit in his castle without responding to Joffrey's summons or calling an army. But Storms End is not on an island and could have been besieged by Lannister forces, so Renly would have been risking defeat by Lannisters even if he had tried to stay 'neutral' in this manner. 3) Summon an army of this liegemen and friends to help protect him. Which is what Renly did! I no longer believe Renly summoned his banners with the intent to become King. I think he did it to protect himself / to overthrow Cersei as Joff's regent. His conversation with Cat overlooking his army makes he think that he only got it into his head that he was worthy to be king when he saw the size of the army that was already obeying his orders. I don't think Stannis factored into Renly's thinking because Renly had no idea that Joff wasn't Robert's trueborn son when he (Renly) crowned himself. Maybe if Stannis had sent the word out earlier then Renly would have backed his brother or held out for a Great Council.
  2. - Rhaenyra Targaryen's still-born daughter wasn't magically deformed with dragonlike features - she had a severe form of spina bifida (spinal cord protruding through the baby's back). - Although dragons are inherently Semi-magical, they don't have a magical liking for Targaryens. It is the animal part of their nature that makes them Impress on the handlers that were around when they hatched, like birds (or more specifically like the dragons of Pern, an old favourite of George's). The preference of most dragons for Valyrian features is that people possessing those features had a monopoly on owning dragon-eggs and hatching baby dragons. Nettles being a notable exception as she lacked Targ-like features and tamed a wild, not feral, dragon that would never have Impressed on Targ features at hatching.
  3. I can't remember how much the religion of the Mountains of the Moon wildlings is addressed. They are descended from the First Men, so I would think they are still worshippers of the old god's - though probably their religious practice had diverged from that of the northerners just as their other traditions are distinct. When Arya and the Hound were in that area we saw there was more contact between the hill clans and the local peasants than is immediately obvious. So there could have been flow of old god worship back into the bottom level of the feudal pyramid, despite the lords being particularly Andal.
  4. I've always thought that if Jeyne's escort where attacked it would more likely be the Blackfish than Stoneheart's branch of the BwB. That faction is embittered and very much believes in revenge-as-justice, where I think the Blackfish is more about continuing the fight by freeing hostages. Besides, Stoneheart is currently in the Brienne plot, and has to resolve that cliffhanger before she is free to appear in elsewhere in the narrative. I'd put my money on Rolph Spicer as the Prologue POV. They often have realisation they made some error of judgement right before they die, and I think that would suit Spicer realising he backed the wrong horse.
  5. I like the complexity of House Royce holding to older traditions / having First Men heritage despite worshipping the Seven. It shows the overlap between the two cultures as varied, so that they are knitted together in different ways. If ever house was fully immersed in one culture the story would be more simplistic.
  6. Strictly speaking, this is an argument in support of 'Aegon is a Blackfyre', not 'Aegon is fAegon'. The former theory is a subset of the latter. I don't believe the Golden Company would back a Blackfyre; some of the captains are Essosi without any Westerosi blood, others are recent exiles. I disagree with the Blackfyre theory, but still think it is likely Aegon is fAegon. I'd turn it around. What evidence is there that the babe Gregor Clegane murdered was the peasant boy from Pisswater? It relies entirely on the word of Varys and Illyrio. We are given a plausible explanation, a common boy was snuck in to pose as a double for long enough to delay a pursuit & Varys knows secret routes. But if he didn't arrange a switch during this very short time then he couldn't go back for a do-ever, so the theory relies on him having acted during the limited window of opportunity. By contrast, if Gregor did kill baby Aegon then V&I had a great opportunity to find a suitable fake - it was years before they handed custody to Jon C. They could have, perhaps, purchased a mother-and-child slave set (Serra and Young Griff?) of Lyseni breeding, with the right colouring to pass as a Targaryen. [The question of opportunity is part of the reason I don't support the Blackfyre theory. Even if I thought the Blackfyre line was still extant, I think it would be too great a coincidence that there would happen to be an heir of just the right age to be a convincing fAegon].
  7. Even within the ranks of commoners there are constraints on social mobility. Not just anybody can become a skilled smith - apprenticeships would be highly prized. So those skills would mostly be kept within a select few families. To be taken in as an outsider would require a decent payment, as with Gendry. For all his many faults, Janos Slynt rose from butchers son to Commander of the Gold Cloaks. So joining a town watch might be a good way to from rank (though Kings Landing is so corrupt that advancing in the Gold Cloaks might be hard without grifting and taking bribes).
  8. Agree on these points, and add that Renly seemingly does not know about the incest. So for him it is not a case of whether Stannis is rightful heir being questionable - to Renly's knowledge Stannis was unquestionably not Robert's heir. Stannis was brooding on Dragonstone and for all Renly know he might have continued to so until the end of time. As I see it, after Renly fled KL he had a few options: a) Turn right back around and pay homage to King Joffrey (not a great choice, wouldn't have solved his reasons for leaving KL in the first place). b) Hole himself up in Storms End with his household guard, Stannis-style (not ideal, his seat is not on an island, and a Lannister army would come knocking eventually). c) Cross the Narrow Sea into exile (he wouldn't want the life of ignominy and poverty, and besides this is option is often chosen after losing a war, rather than running before even trying to fight). d) Call his bannermen, friends and allies to fight to protect him (the option Renly chose). Fighting the Lannisters didn't require Renly to crown himself - he could have continued with his original plan he suggested to Ned of overthrowing Cersei as Joffs regent. And I suggest that when Renly first called the banners that was still his plan. He didn't go to war to make himself king, but to protect himself from the Lannisters. He made the decision to crown himself when he looked at the size of the army he had already gathered and thought that if so many men already obeyed his command that made him worthy to be king.
  9. Jon's decision to order Slynt hanged was purely him as Lord Commander. Slynt would not take orders, which made him a useless mouth to feed and a danger to disciple. Justice in that decision is irrelevant; Aemon taught Jon that honour is a luxury he cannot afford in his duty to holding the Wall, and justice is an aspect of that. Jon's decision not have Slynt hanged but to take his head himself was tied to him being of the Starks. It was Ned's teaching to do the deed himself, and it was in that action that it felt like justice.
  10. The Starks (specifically Lady Stoneheart's wing of the BwB) killed Ser Ryman and his escort after he was dismissed from the siege of Riverrun. But they are mostly busy with other concerns. The revenge against the Freys isn't being directed by the Starks; it's organic and disparate. For Manderly the Starks are only of secondary concern, he wants revenge for his son Wendel, murdered at the feast. The BwB care for the comman man and are probably as upset about the deaths of the hundreds of Stark men in the tents as the highborn with the Stark name. We also see a difference in methods. Manderly was careful to obey the laws of the gods by not breaking guest right even as he broke common decency by eating Frey Pie with the the tale of the Rat Cook playing. Elsewhere death and guestright. They don't mean as much as they used to, neither one. Whats common with all the Frey deaths is they are happening in lands officially controlled by allies of the Freys, on quiet roads and in remote spots. No edict from the Starks or King Aegon or Queen Daenerys is going to quell secret murders by those inclined to take revenge, even after peace is nominally achieved. Anyone identifed as a Frey is always going to be at risk if they travel with too small an escort. So their best chance of survival is to not be identifed as Freys. Which is likely to be dependant not only on an individuals innocence/complicity with the RW, but also on their various non-Frey relatives. I can imagine See Perwyn & Olyvar ('good Freys') surviving if they get the Rosby inheritance. But would the Leffords take in Lame Lothar's children by his Lefford wife? Would Ser Whelen Frey (half-Blackwood) & his offspring be welcome at Raventree Hall?
  11. Horseshoes are well known for leaving tracks. Not that it matters in this case, by the time the Boltons sent out searchers any trace of the ambush would have been long obscured by Manderly's army overriding them, and by oncoming winter. The reason the Guest Gift was horses specifically is that this gave the Freys freedom to depart Manderly's column. If he had given a cyvasse set, then the Freys would not have had fast transport and would have been stuck with the clumnt, blurring the line on whether Manderly had truly stopped being their host.
  12. I agree that Stannis does not know he is funny. He seems a man who is always squinting at the world in distrust, which gives him a slanted worldview, so his observations seem humorous because so much of comedy is about turning our expectations slightly on their head. The clincher for me is that Stannis does not appreciate humour from others. Which makes him an interesting contrast with Jon, who enjoys the company of funny people like Tyrion, Pyp and Tormund, and will banter with them, but is not actually comedic himself. (Dolorous Edd I enjoy, but I'm British so I have a strong taste for self-depreciating bleak comedy.)
  13. The war between Renly and the Lannisters was progressing. It started the night Renly tried to persuade Ned to flee the city to raise an army to overthrow Cersei as Joffrey's regent. Then Renly did just that. He was in fact so successful in calling an army to his banners that it got to Renly's head and he decided that rather fight in his brat nephews name he was worthy being king himself. The choice to remain feasting at Bitterbridge was a deliberate strategy within the war. It allowed the host to grow in size even whilst it put pressure on the Lannisters hold of the city (bread riots). Tywin remained at Harrenhal for so long because he was at war with both the Starks & Renly. It was only when Renly's threat was put on hold by the Stannis-Renly war that Tywin moved west. Absent the threat from Stannis (let's pretend he caught a chill in Dragonstone and died in his bed), then whoever moved first between Renly and Tywin would have likely have lost the advantage. If Renly tried to capture Kings Landing then Tywin could fall on him from behind. I think Renly may have had more numbers than Tywin by this point so pitched battle world be costly for them both - though perhaps better for Tywin as the more experienced general. Maybe Renly would have done next by besieging Tywin at Harrenhal, as after Robb's victory at Oxcross Tywin lacked an army strong enough to relieve him?
  14. Are you a ghost? Because I think your husband probably only constructs that secret passage and favours courtesans after he is already embittered by your tragic death.
  15. Walda Bolton is pregnant. Roose thinks it likely that Ramsay will kill the child, but in a scenario where both men are defeated soon that might not happen. If she has a daughter then the direct Bolton line is ended. Perhaps the girl would be made a ward of whatever family was granted the land, eventually to be married to the male heir of that family. I'm not so sure about is Walda had a son - I don't think newborns are accepted into Watch. Maybe the House would continue but stripped of much of its land so it is not so powerful.
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