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Everything posted by velo-knight

  1. velo-knight

    Who was the rightful king in the TWoFK?

    If consent of the governed is what's important, then the legitimate monarchs in TWo5K and in the Westerosi political scene generally are, in order, Mance Rayder (of the Wildlings), Robb (of the North and Riverlands), Euron (of the Ironborn), Balon (of the Ironborn), Renly (of the Reach and Stormlands) and Daenerys (of her khalasar and freedmen - and arguably of Meereen). If force and occupation is what's important, Joff and Tommen are legitimate. The same goes if continuity of government is more important, since Robert's reign was a Lannister government wearing Baratheon colors. If blood claim to the Iron Throne is what's important, then the legal monarchs are Stannis -> Shireen -> Renly -> "Aegon VI" -> Daenerys. And no, don't give me any of that "Targaryen attainder" crap: this is a hereditary monarchy. The Targs and the Baratheons are cousins, and the Baratheons successfully usurped the throne to which they had a legitimate dynastic claim. It was rebellion, not revolution, and doesn't take away from the dynastic claim of the fallen branch, especially as it's only a recent event, none of the Targaryen pretenders are culpable for the Rebellion, and they are both close relatives and have extensive blood connections to the throne.
  2. velo-knight

    Is Craster a Casterly? - Now with plot-relevance!

    Indeed. I can't see any reason for it to be true - and if it is it's just a very well hidden easter egg - but damn this is an impressive effort.
  3. velo-knight

    Robert was the best king Westeros ever had

    This post reminds me of a book I read in school, The Long Twentieth Century. The author explored the history of precapitalist, protocapitalist, and capitalist development, starting from the 13th century. I think the OP is falling into a common Western trap of assuming that the markets and systems that shape today's world are in some way natural, innate qualities instead of being created by social values, state policy, technological development, and other forces. To whit: many economies in the Middle Ages did exactly as this thread credits Robert with doing. Champaign (France), Venice, Genoa...all experienced a cycle of continuing investments in productivity which peaked against the limits of available technology, resources, and living standards. When that happened, each and every one - from the turn of their millennium to ours - experienced the same process, as capital, always seeking the highest return on investment, shifted away from productivity and development and into financial instruments, speculation, and loans to outside powers. Each - whether a tiny city-state or the mighty British Empire - experienced a pronounced geopolitical decline as this financially-oriented transition happened. Do I think that's what Robert Baratheon actually accomplished? No. I don't think that's what Littlefinger accomplished, either - he seems to have skipped more towards the financial or capital accumulation phase - but given that LF's advancement was largely an accident, it's strange to credit the Baratheon dynasty for it. So no...Robert was not a good king, and certainly not the best.
  4. velo-knight

    Who should rule Riverlands?

    If one realm: the Riverlands should answer to King's Landing directly, and further connections between the Crownlands and the Riverlands should be made. If the realms are separate: neighboring kingdoms should annex, or create suzerain vassal states in the portion of the Riverlands close to them - so the Starks to around Seagard, the Lannisters to past Riverrun, the Vale and Crownlands and Reach to various other portions. That leaves a rump kingdom which we can call the Kingdom of Harrenhal or something.
  5. Yes. I refuse to watch and hate when people even imply anything about it.
  6. velo-knight

    The identity of the Knight of the Laughing Tree

    This. Also, meta-textually: what is the point of the repeated descriptions of Lyanna's riding ability and personal ferocity if not to set her up as the Knight of the Laughing Tree? The only other purpose I can see is as a red herring - but I'd argue a woman is a strange choice of red herring for an archetype that is so heavily gendered as male.
  7. velo-knight

    The identity of the Knight of the Laughing Tree

    Why assume that luck makes jousting not prestigious? That doesn't apply to professional poker or major league sports or, for that matter, elections. Also, while we know that tKotLT defeated three knights, which was considered impressive, we don't know much about how good those knights were. If you have a world-class rider (and we just need to go along with GRRM's confusion about jousting being more horsemanship than strength and soldiery) against three below-average knights, and maybe an unconventional style due to her small size, add in a little luck, and presto! The booming voice is a red herring. Anyone's voice can boom when spoken out of a metal can.
  8. velo-knight

    Jailers, Gold Coins and Buckets of Sh*t

    Minor point: the ruling line are not Greens are are not descended from them in any way. Nobody really won the Dance, but Aegon II (Green king) was the last man standing...until he was murdered in expectation of the Blacks winning on the field.
  9. velo-knight

    Karstarks are the Real Starks

    Assuming the story is true, it doesn't change much. The system the OP is describing is agnatic primogeniture, where only males of an unbroken male line can inherit. Winterfell has never been held by a woman in her own right, but we see quite clearly in Westeros that most seats are inherited by agnatic-cognatic systems, so women can both have claims and pass them to their children. Clearly Winterfell is one such seat.
  10. velo-knight

    Moqorro's quote to Tyrion

    I think that argument is a little obtuse on the question of dynastic seniority. The Blackfyres are a Targaryen cadet branch that, if legitimate, would have an excellent claim to be the senior-most branch of House Targaryen. We can acknowledge that the Targaryen institution is older than the history of the Blackfyres, but we must also acknowledge that the Blackfyres have a place in that house as a bastard cadet line of arguably senior lineage.
  11. velo-knight

    Enigmatic 'Not a Blog' Post: Alas, Valyria

    Because creativity doesn't always obey our desired timescales, and putting additional pressure on often harms the process or causes someone to seek diversion elsewhere?
  12. velo-knight

    Why and Where does the Dany/Jon love theory com from?

    The problem with that is the darkling stream from the "bride of fire" set nearly perfectly matches her wedding to Drogo; and the blue flower in the wall of ice indicates at least some significance Jon will have to her / she to him, otherwise why the imagery?
  13. velo-knight

    Who Am I?

    Bran & Jon.
  14. velo-knight

    Why did Varys warn Aerys II of the attempt to call a great council?

    I've always felt the answer to this question is the answer to what Varys really wants. With respect to the many good commenters who've analyzed Varys and Illyrio, I don't think we know enough about the former's true motivations and identity to really uncover the secret, or if Varys was involved in any other events that set off the Rebellion, either. I do accept that he believes what he's doing is for the best - but I don't accept that we have proof of why he thinks it's for the best, or even what the best is to him. Maybe Varys really is tied to the Blackfyre cause. Maybe he's tied to Illyrio and made a deal to put his son on the throne if he could be made the perfect prince. Maybe he's some other Targaryen descendant, as has been speculated. Maybe he genuinely thought he was doing the right thing, helping Aerys - or maybe he knew that he could feed his paranoia to bring his downfall.
  15. velo-knight

    Top 3 Most Desirable Castles of Westeros

    The Hightower, as you get a truly impregnable fortress inside a sophisticated, wealthy city. Casterly Rock is tough, has mines, and a secret port. The Wolf's Den gives you the richest city in the North and the benevolent protection of House Stark to boot. Also: I always thought the Eyrie seemed massively overrated. It's a logistical nightmare to give supplies, which is why it's closed for the Winter, and your enemies can just keep you bottled up inside, arguably more easily than in other castles due to the single access point and small size of the castle. If making your castle unconquerable also makes it strategically isolated, what purpose does it serve?
  16. velo-knight

    Sticky Sucession

    I have to say, I disagree on the "legitimization as a Stark kill Jon's claim to the IT". In any circumstance where he'd make such a claim, he'd presumably declare to the public that he is in fact Rhaegar's son, and that he only recently discovered this evidence. There will be those - likely many - who view this as self-serving and dishonest / illegitimate, but would any of those people really have felt any different if he hadn't ever been legitimized as a Stark of Winterfell? I doubt it. The best answer is, "legitimization as Eddard Stark's son suppresses Jon's claim and creates a legal and public relations knot to untangle to lay a claim to the Iron Throne, possibly making it unlikely to succeed". That's very different from "obliteration" of a claim in my mind.
  17. velo-knight

    Sticky Sucession

    I'd also like to make an observation: "all the way behind all other claimants" is virtually synonymous with "no claim at all". Whether it's women or legitimized bastards, "back of the line" makes no sense. If a title-holder dies and has only living daughters / female descendants, then their claims can still be disregarded for the title-holder's brothers, nephews, etc., - and if they are all dead, his male-line cousins (male heirs of father's brothers, etc.,). There are always people with a hypothetical claim. That's what makes Targaryen succession so problematic. Daenerys is only able to have a stronger Targaryen claim than Robert because all direct male connections are dead and Robert is a female-line Targaryen descendant. With legitimized bastards it's even more unclear, since you can keep finding legitimate cousins of various degrees.
  18. velo-knight

    Sticky Sucession

    Well, generally agnatic-cognatic primogeniture applies, and the rules are theoretically very clear. GRRM has made it clear in statements that the rules matter, but so does power and ability - meaning that very young lordlings and women may find it more difficult to successfully ascend to their 'rightful' seats if a strong male figure with a competing claim is around (but again, not preventing it). Bastardy is tricky, because you have to deal with: Legal status coming from kings, and whether their kingships are recognized Whether in fact Jon is legitimate Whether he can prove or be seen to be legitimate. Where exactly bastards fall: in the same place a trueborns, at the back of their "tier" (so male bastards behind male trueborns, but before female trueborns, regardless of age), or at the very back of the succession. Cat and her kids have claims to Riverrun after Edmure and his child, in the following order: Cat, Robb, Bran, Rickon, Sansa, Arya. The reason Sansa and Arya are ahead of Lysa and Sweetrobin is that male-preference primogeniture is generally held to extend within a household, but not past it: ie, sons before daughters, but still daughters before uncles (or male cousins). Again, this is tricky in practice, but that's the technical order. Sweetrobin has no claim to Winterfell, nor the Starklings to the Eyrie, nor Edmure's brood to either. For the Targs: it depends on whether you accept Aerys decree of Viserys as his heir. In that case, the Targaryen Succession is Aerys - Viserys - Daenerys - Rhaella - Robert Baratheon - Stannis - Renly - Selwyn? - Brienne?. If you don't accept the decree, or you believe it was only a stopgap meant to give the realm a slightly less boy-king should he die, then Jon's status is based on whether A.) he is a bastard at all (assume for the moment that to be legitimate he also must prove legitimacy), B.) where a legitimized bastard comes in the Targaryen succession, which is much more male-preference than traditional agnatic-cognatic systems. If Jon's truly legitimate from a polygamous marriage, can prove it, and make people accept it, then he's the rightful Targaryen monarch - if not, Dany is. Supposing Dany or some other claimant took the throne, they might decide to include Jon a specific place in the succession based on their assessment of his various claims, but I don't see him on the Iron Throne without a lot of help. The Vale and Riverrun: presumably if Harry the Heir exists, other people with a formerly distant but now credible claim to each seat also exist. The Starklings do have quite a strong claim to Riverrun, and Robb's generally respected leadership in the Riverlands likely means any of the Stark-Tullys with an ounce of military credibility would be widely accepted there.
  19. velo-knight

    Which position is superior - Grand Maester or Archmaester?

    I'm not sure either is superior, as they're both very different. Grand Maester is a very publicly prestigious title, and the Grand Maester has both enormous influence over the royal family as the primary Maester who attends to their needs; but also as a formal Small Councilor, in a position to work with and form power blocks with some of the most powerful and important figures in the realm. At the same time, the Grand Maester is far from the Citadel and probably has limited powers to influence Citadel policy. Given that it seems as though the Citadel has an agenda of it's own - and that the most recent Grand Maester seems to have had little part in that agenda - we can surmise that the Citadel does not consider the ability to influence the Crown their only, or even their primary policy tool. It seems more likely that Citadel agendas are effected through general influence on the education and counsel given to lords and heirs. It seems likely to me that Archmaesters set and enact Citadel policy, while Grand Maesters may or may not be a component of their plans.
  20. velo-knight

    Was Daenerys impregnated by Daario?

    See, I also think that, but I pray I'm wrong, because I would hate that so much. As if the Dead Ladies Club needed more members.
  21. velo-knight

    Was Daenerys impregnated by Daario?

    AFAIK malnutrition can cause a number of health issues including irregular menstruation, so I if that's actually true, frequently irregular periods might be more of a case for lower classes during hard times. While Dany has certainly had hard times, she's a Queen Regnant who lately has probably had a very healthy diet, so I doubt that would cause her being so late.
  22. velo-knight

    Who did Robb name as his heir?

    Jon Snow.
  23. velo-knight

    Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    The Knight of the Laughing Tree.
  24. velo-knight

    Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    The distance traveled, and the fact that their eventual sanctuary was in Dorne, land of Rhaegar's wife, makes me doubt both of the established narratives - neither the abduction to make heads scenario or the elopement scenario requires it. What scenario would require it is clear: someone found out Lyanna was tKoTLT, planned to take some action against her; and Rhaegar, out of either duty or love, attempted to intervene and they fled to safety. What follows is anyone's guess, though the outcome is clear enough. This one isn't as popular, both because it requires us to believe there was a similar amount of scheming in Robert's Rebellion as there is in the Wot5K without hard evidence; and because it makes it difficult to blame either Rhaegar or Lyanna for the war, which are of course favorite pastimes for some. These are all really interesting possibilities. I'm not sure I see them as likely, but I definitely would read more about the ideas. I agree, the whole thing is a huge anomaly. We're deliberately given extremely ambiguous information and in particular information which avoids making explicit how politically charged the realm was at the time. That's good storytelling - show, don't tell, after all - but it means we as readers aren't provided many clear reminders that the Kingdoms were a powderkeg waiting to go off, and at the center of it is a very strange series of events that are poorly understood even by those close to them - because if we were reminded, we might see the resemblance to the events of the main story in ASoIaF and start looking for our Petyr Baelishes and our - okay, well, we found our Varys.
  25. velo-knight

    Please, please can't we all just get along!

    Among readers, it should be. I don't know why you are insisting on an in-universe examination only. We as readers can see how Tywin's relationship with his children sowed the seeds of the Lannister downfall; and we as readers can see how even after the Starks are totally beaten, men are fighting and dying for Ned Stark's family. Don't you think that should close the book on what Tywin's legacy is to us as readers? I think that's the author's point here. Plenty of IRL propaganda has been written based on the belief that a transitory but once powerful figure was about to forge a new era of greatness. I fail to see how the World Book is different. But we the readers know that his abuse of his children helped form those exact character traits that will cause them to fail. I do not remember arguing that his reputation was closed in-universe (else no need for him to be further condemned in a trial!) but that his accomplishments are unraveling before us, and in an incredibly short period of time. I generally admire the Mongol empire, but I don't pretend that the massacres, especially in Persia, didn't happen; and while greatness and goodness are not the same, I do believe that massacres are bad PR and probably made his empire a little less great in extent (and certainly in population). And? If I plan to commit a crime that will benefit you and you are party to the planning, you're a co-conspirator. Modern legal thinking has no problem condemning people for such, and given the importance of the guest right custom, I think Westeros will as well. I doubt they'll love Tywin once a new winner is in town. It's a good in-universe reason to try and villify him, though. A lord who's been dead for a few years, and a character assassination of whom lays a legal foundation for punitive action against his heirs, supporters, and co-conspirators.