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James Steller

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Everything posted by James Steller

  1. Why not? He was happy to betray Stannis, steal his rightful bannermen, mock him for not being Shireen's father (and thus insulting his own niece who never did him any wrong), and then prepare to battle him and kill him. Plus before all that, Renly was also scheming with the Tyrells to replace Cersei with Margaery. He's also too duplicitous for Ned Stark to partner with, and that guy partnered up with friggin Littlefinger.
  2. I don't think that Claude was saying Robert actively comes up with ways to annoy Stannis. This isn't Gargamel we're talking about. Think of it this way; Robert doesn't spend any thoughts on his own shortcomings or his questionable actions/words. He doesn't deal with conflict well at all, he prefers to let bad things continue rather than own up to any personal shortcomings or weaknesses. Why would he focus on memories of being a terrible brother to Stannis, whom he still doesn't like? Jaime points out how Robert can't stand either of his brothers, and it's not hard to imagine why; he's not a good brother to them, because he didn't care to be. Ned is his 'real' brother, just as Jon Arryn replaced the father he never knew and later watched drown. When Ned mentions Stannis' name to Robert, suggesting that he name Stannis as Warden of the East, Robert doesn't even muster the energy to refuse. He just looks uncomfortable and awkward. He doesn't even like the thought of his brother, and hearing Stannis' take on what a bully his brother was, it doesn't take a genius to realise the truth. Robert doesn't like Stannis, never did, and never treated him like a brother. He mocked Stannis' falcon, he shows up his younger brother at every manly pursuit, and treats him like a subordinate rather than a brother. He's forced to rely on him because he needs men who will be loyal, and Stannis is the embodiment of duty, regardless of his own feelings. Just like Robert is everything Stannis is not, Stannis is everything Robert is not; he's reserved, he's got very clear self control, he's concerned about providing justice and order to the Seven Kingdoms, and unlike Robert, Stannis hasn't destroyed himself physically or mentally. None of that reflects well on Robert, so of course he won't talk about it. But everyone else around him knows the truth. Stannis knows it, Ned notices it, Cersei and Jaime know it, and they don't like Stannis either, so they have no reason to make any of it up.
  3. That's my belief. As Lord Varys said, there is no good reason for Selyse to marry Stannis, the presumed heir to the throne (before the kids were born, anyway). Stannis has no reason to have chosen Selyse himself, especially since the Florents were most definitely among the men besieging Storm's End all that time. The only way it makes sense to me is that Robert was being the arrogant douchebag older brother that he always was. And in relation to what Lord Varys said, I don't think it's ridiculous to assume that Robert would ignore his own blood family. He didn't care for any of them, least of all his brothers. He loved Ned, Jon Arryn, and Lyanna, plus he was traumatised from having watched his parents die, just like Stannis. The difference is that he buries his head in food, liquour, women, anything to indulge his hedonism and keep his mind occupied. He is a more tragic version of Aegon IV just as Stannis is a much more competent version of Aegon III.
  4. This is the big problem with trying to figure this out. Anyone who would logically be there clearly wasn't there, or else we'd have heard it mentioned at some point. Hoster Tully, Brynden Tully, Yohn Royce, Roose Bolton, Eon Hunter, Wyman Manderly, Jason Mallister, all of them would have been clear choices to put on the small council after their roles in Robert's Rebellion. And there are plenty of moments to bring up their time on the Small Council, but it never comes up. Therefore, we have to assume that the previous council members are either comprised of minor lords who don't matter (which doesn't make a lot of sense) or they haven't been introduced in the story due to their being dead or simply away from the action. It's why my thoughts turned to Bryen Caron. Beric Dondarrion's father is another good idea, and there's also Karyl Vance's dad, Silveraxe Fell, or the Morrigan brothers' dad.
  5. Well, Trant and Blount are implied to be old knights past their prime. We can only assume that they've been in the Kingsguard for a long time.
  6. I doubt it'll be a problem. "Game of Thrones" lost all credibility in terms of canon, at least for anyone who cares enough about that sort of thing. As for the rest, they probably won't notice or care about a single inconsistency when there's so many others to worry about.
  7. It could also have been Lord Bryen Caron (Bryce and Rolland Storm's dad). The Carons seem to have been among the predominant houses of the Stormlands (or at least equal to the Swanns) and they even claimed the title "Lord of the Marches". We know that Bryen and most of his family were wiped out by a sickness in the recent past, and we also know that Carons have served on the small councils of the past. It wouldn't surprise me if Bryen had been the previous Master of Laws.
  8. Did we ever get a confirmation on that? Renly was still a child during Robert's Rebellion, and there's no way Robert would have put him on the Small Council until he came of age. And it can't have been when he was 16, because then we'd hear about that as big news (Tywin's got the record for being the youngest Hand of the King at 20, so if a 16-year-old Renly sits on the Small Council, that's bound to have come up). This means Renly would have barely sat on the Small Council for two years at most. And even if I'm wrong, and Renly really did start serving the Small Council at 16, there's still a significant chunk of time before Renly can qualify. So who was Master of Laws before that? Has GRRM ever said? Has anyone ever thought to ask?
  9. Personally, I've begun to take more of an issue with how Tolkien portrays women in his stories. It's not just the passivity which is a problem for me. It's the way that Tolkien looks down on women who try to be in charge of their own fates. The two biggest examples are Aredhel and Eowyn. In "The Silmarillion," Aredhel is a headstrong elven woman, sister to a king, who wants to explore Middle-Earth and go wherever she wants. She ignores her brother's warnings and commands, then orders her escort away so she can do exactly as she likes. As a result, she's seduced by the dark elf Eol, wedded under dubious consensual circumstances, and she produces his son Maeglin. When she tries to go back to Gondolin (which she doesn't do until her own son persuades her to leave), she draws Eol after her, which leads to his finding Gondolin, killing Aredhel, and cursing his son for betraying him. Maeglin is thus a cursed being, lusting after his cousin, and ultimately betraying everyone by helping Morgoth destroy Gondolin. All because of a wilful woman's wanderings. Meanwhile, "The Lord of the Rings" gives Eowyn her big hero moment, but it's framed in a story of a wilful emotional woman finding her proper place in life. It's not just that she settles to live the domestic life with Faramir, what gets me is the scenes she has with Aragorn just before he takes the paths of the dead. First she talks about being bitter over being left behind and Aragorn mansplains about her responsibilities to her people and more importantly, her uncle and brother. Then, when she begs to take the paths of the dead with him, Aragorn condescends her again, saying that even if he did want to bring her along, he'd have to ask her brother and uncle's permission first, and he won't wait for them to ask. It's a truly undignified moment for Eowyn, and it's not like Aragorn is ever made to feel foolish for denying Eowyn's desire for self-agency; Tolkien even implies that her desire to be a warrior is just an excuse to be with Aragorn and win his heart. I'm really glad the movies reshaped Eowyn and Aragorn enough that it wasn't so cringey.
  10. Absolutely. He had pretty much lost his senses and was completely paranoid. Presumably he also wanted to live forever, so he'd always be threatened by the sight of his own offspring, given the psychological implications one's own children would have upon a madman like him.
  11. I spy a likely plot point in The She-Wolves of Winterfell. That whole series revolves around the Blackfyre Rebellions. And personally, I don't think the Boltons will be so foolish as to back a usurper in the south. If anyone's going to be desperate or dumb enough to do that, it's going to be members of the ruling family. They'll simultaneously be in a position with little to lose, and also claiming kinship with the ruling family, so the matter of possible kinslaying muddies the waters. The North will rally to House Stark, so it has to be House Stark that's divided. And I doubt the Stark rebels would be able to rally many followers, so the issue won't require that much military intervention.
  12. Forgive my nitpicking, I tend to do that a lot, especially on a site like this.
  13. Whether that's true or not, I always did wonder how involved the North was in the Blackfyre Rebellion. None of their houses are listed as being directly involved, and most of the fighting took place south of the Neck. I always figured the Northerners were smart enough to sit this one out, but you may be right. And technically, House Manderly is the second strongest House in the North rather than House Bolton. Just look at how the Targaryens negotiated with House Manderly first during the Dance of the Dragons. They've got the North's only city, and they have some of the best land as well. The idea of them turning Blackfyre against House Stark is unlikely, though, they're not a disloyal house.
  14. Robert was always an overly forgiving man. He was far more interested in making friends and avoiding awkwardness getting in the way of his rampant hedonism.
  15. Well, Robert did marry Stannis off to the Tyrell's most hated vassal house, so that's a punishment of sorts. At the very least, it was a message that the crown wasn't in their corner (until Renly began his relationship with Loras, anyway).
  16. I'm sure there are plenty of Westerland houses who would turn on Tywin if the king attainted him. Tywin isn't loved by his bannermen, he is feared. And even after a conflict as destructive as Robert's Rebellion (or the War of the Usurper, in the event of a royalist victory), Aerys would still command far more troops than Tywin could ever muster. And he also has the prestige of the Iron Throne. We saw how many Riverlords and Stormlords and Valemen stayed loyal to the Iron Throne, I imagine the same thing would have happened with the Westerlords if Tywin was openly declared an enemy of the crown. That's a good point, but I believe there's already a few precedents for going against primogeniture in naming an heir. It would certainly be a mess either way, though I doubt Aerys would care if he'd successfully put down Robert's Rebellion. Assuming that my above scenario happens, and the Westerlands becomes divided, then Balon would absolutely attack them. They're the closest region to the Iron Islands, they're the wealthiest target, and they'd be too disorganized to mount a proper defence. The same thing happened during the Dance, and it wasn't until the Iron Throne turned on the Iron Islands that the issue was resolved.
  17. The Goodbrooks's lands were razed by Hoster Tully after the rebellion, and then they got their own back by taking part in the Red Wedding.
  18. There are way too many variables that could go wrong with that gamble. And anyway, Tywin never relied on gambles, he went for certainties. The whole reason he approved the Red Wedding was because he didn't want to prolong the war. It was more advantageous to do something treacherous which ended the war in his favour, even though he was bound to win against Robb eventually with the Reach and the Westerlands behind him. And speaking of the Reach, there's also this to consider. It would be extremely unlikely that the rebels could have overcome the Reach, especially not after a year of warfare and bloodletting. Mace Tyrell always outnumbered them, unless they managed to assemble all their combined strength, which would have been unwieldy, costly, and time-consuming. If you look at the events of Robert's Rebellion, the rebels headed south from the Trident to the capital, but they had left a lot of their force behind, including Robert, because of injuries. They wouldn't have been able to just ride into King's Landing, so they'd have to build up a seige. Mace Tyrell would be able to turn around, leave a token force at Storm's End, and hit the rebels hard with his fresh troops that also outnumber them. And that means Mace Tyrell is the hero. He's already got more men than Tywin, more food and resources, probably more money too when you add up all the income of the Hightowers and Redwynes and other houses. Now he'd also be the king's new favourite, and that king would not only be linking his family with the Tyrells, but he'd also be harbouring a serious grudge against Tywin. Remember, it isn't Rhaegar who would be dealing with the aftermath of Robert's Rebellion, because Rhaegar's lying dead by the Trident. It's Aerys who's still alive in that scenario, utterly mad, with a mad heir in Viserys, and he's also feeling pretty vindicated by his victory in that scenario. Four great houses are going to be expunged for their treason, and probably a fifth once he can send the royalist forces against House Lannister for abandoning the Iron Throne in a time of war. Tywin could have helped win the war by showing up to the Trident after the battle and slaughter the rebels, or he could do as he did in the story, taking the capital for the rebels and doing dirty deeds in order for Robert to avoid getting blood on his hands, which also means they can demand favours from him in the form of a new queen to replace Lyanna Stark.
  19. This was already covered recently. TLDR: The worst thing Tywin could have done was nothing, because no matter who wins, he loses his son Jaime at King's Landing and then he's dealing with a bunch of people who are angry that he didn't pick a side.
  20. Call me generic if you will, but Ned Stark would have to be that character for me. He's a compelling protagonist, and I never thought that he'd get killed off as soon as he did. He's built up as a loving father, a veteran warrior, and a hero of two different wars in the name of his best friend, King Robert (though I didn't much like Robert as a person, even when he was filtered through his best buddy's perspective). Obviously after the first book, my attention shifted to Stannis's storyline; I used to think it was odd how GRRM kept Stannis out of the first book, but it makes sense to me now. He's one of the most interesting characters in the whole story, and we're introduced to him through the eyes of other characters. People with cause to fear or oppose him, like Tywin and Varys, or Ned, who's trying to put together the mystery of why Jon Arryn was killed. It hypes up Stannis before his actual entrance.
  21. It's really difficult for me to say which one it is. On the one hand, it's probably true that Stannis would have at least mentioned his resentment for marrying Selyse at some point if it hadn't been his choice. But on the other hand, I'm inclined to agree with Lord Lannister nonetheless. Partly because Stannis is, by GRRM's own admission, based on Tiberius, second emperor of Rome. Like Stannis, Tiberius was a highly efficient ruler and military figure who spent years sulking on an island, and he was also rumoured to have kept sinister company and participated in very dark actions. And they were both married to people whom they despised. Tiberius has a much more tragic story, though; he was already married to a woman he loved when Augustus, his stepfather, forced him to divorce and marry Augustus' daughter, Julia, instead. Tiberius was heartbroken and even followed his ex-wife around the marketplace one day out of sheer misery. Julia, meanwhile, thought Tiberius was beneath him and slept around with whoever she felt like. Even Augustus got embarrassed by the rumours so he had Julia divorced from Tiberius and exiled to another island. All this mistreatment by Augustus and Julia has been speculated as being reasons for Tiberius' later deteriorations, socially and possibly mentally. Now, that story definitely doesn't suit Stannis, since the only woman he seems to have had any attraction to was Melisandre, but I don't think he would have chosen to marry Selyse. When would he have ever met her? It's not like he was a fan of the Reach in the first place, and the marriage of Stannis with House Florent reeks of a political move on the Iron Throne's part to keep the Tyrells in check after they sided against the rebels. It's surely not a coincidence that Stannis married a woman who happened to be related to the ancient rivals of House Tyrell. Maybe Robert didn't think of it himself, fine, but maybe Jon Arryn gave Robert the idea? It's not like Stannis was going to disobey or anything. Maybe he didn't bother complaining about it because he must have reckoned that he would have been unhappy with any woman he was made to marry, and he just didn't consider that he might develop feelings for his wife. Self-loathing is definitely a part of Stannis' character; he's always measuring himself as inferior to his big brother, and Robert loved to bully him about that as well. Plus then you have Robert being a highly popular man, and so Stannis becomes disillusioned with what most people find attractive. Plus, nobody was exactly interested in him, either for platonic or romantic reasons. This turned into a bit of a stream-of-conscious rambling, but I can make it work that Stannis wouldn't openly complain about an arranged marriage. He doesn't seem to have had any use for female sexuality until he met Mel.
  22. I mean, it's not like Edric was sent to the BWB after they were formed. His lord was caught up in the war and went rogue to protect the smallfolk. What I find weirder is the lord of a Dornish house squiring for a marcher lord.
  23. Loreza is too young to matter. She'll survive the series in the background, unless something really major happens in Dorne and she's caught up in something by chance. Dorea and Obella are both probably in the same boat as their youngest sister, but they're more likely to get caught up in trouble than Loreza. Elia's with Arianne, so there's a good chance that she'll die tragically to give Arianne something to grieve over. Maybe she'll die in battle, maybe she'll be captured by Cersei or Euron, who knows. Either way, given her tragic name, I doubt she's going to make it out of this series alive. Sarella (assuming that she's Alleras, by the way) is going to be working with Sam Tarly, but given that she's been tasked by Marwyn to look after Sam, and Euron is about to descend on Oldtown, I don't have high hopes for her survival either. But that said, she's the sister who's probably the least interested in revenge for her father's death, and I can't imagine how Euron expects to triumph against both the Redwyne and Hightower forces at sea, so there might be a chance for her to survive. Tyene and Nymeria are in the most interesting positions, given that one will be sitting on the council and the other is going to try and get close to the High Sparrow. I don't expect the Sparrow will fall victim to her wiles, but they've built up Tyene's poison skills so much that she's going to be the cause of someone's death. Someone important. If I had to guess, it would be either Myrcella or the High Sparrow. I don't know what Nymeria's plan will be, but I can't imagine that she'll be welcome on the council, given that she's a Dornish bastard with no title and the daughter of the man who crippled Willas Tyrell. I don't imagine either of them will live past Winds of Winter. Obara is hunting Darkstar, who seems utterly irrelevant to the plot now, unless he makes himself useful by joining one of the main factions against Dorne. If that happens, then Obara's going to have to die, but I don't think that's going to happen. She and Areoh Hotah will be on hand to not only hunt Darkstar, but also kill Balon Swann after Darkstar is dealt with. Balon will probably take one of them down with him, and I think it'll be Hotah since he's gone on about wanting to fight a knight of the Kingsguard. Obara will live long enough to fight in whatever war happens in Dorne, and she might even survive if she's lucky.
  24. Good points. And I'd have loved for Stannis to actually be happy with some aspect of his life. Maybe he would have had several kids with Lynesse, and maybe they would have brought out the best in each other? It's hard to say for sure, but I do believe that Lynesse would have had a better chance of making Stannis happy than Selyse, and Stannis would have been in a better position for Lynesse's status than Jorah. Come to think of it, I wonder if Robert purposely chose an unattractive woman to marry Stannis so that Cersei's massive ego wouldn't ever feel threatened. Or maybe Cersei even suggested it to Robert.
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