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  1. The style guide says to only quote what you need to, try to follow that.
  2. After the rebellion started we see not only that Ned has to take the place of his brother in a marriage arranged before the rebellion, but that Jon Arryn also married Lysa Tully, partly in reaction to the deaths of his heirs Elbert & Denys. Robert explicitly says he doesn't mean it as an honor when Ned tried to reject it! I don't recall someone being unmarried ever referenced as a point in a candidate's favor. Fair point, but that just means that it's not as bad, not that being younger is actually better. At that time I believe Aerys was planning on Tywin defending KL. He decided to burn everything only after Tywin entered and started sacking it. No bastard has ever inherited the throne, and Criston Cole insisted that none ever should when he became Kingmaker. I said "a distaste", not "an overwhelming distaste". It's plain that people prefer to avoid a long regency, but not so much as to never accept one. Where was that said? That's after he's left KL and is no longer at risk like Jon Arryn. He disregards Cersei's threats because he figures Robert will back him up (and Cersei, realizing this, will flee). Stannis says he didn't think Robert would believe him, which is why he went to Jon Arryn in the first place, and Cersei confirms Robert really is more likely to listen to Ned than his brothers. You've gone from "brother" to "brothers". How is he "abandoning" Renly when he has nothing he owes Renly? He tried and it didn't work, you can't expect him to try the exact same thing again. Certainly they can, and he'll have a head start with the royal fleet (we don't hear about him hiring sellsails until after Robert's death). The Lannisters never make a move against Dragonstone as long as he's there though. Of course she does. "And what of my wrath, Lord Stark? [...] When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." Of course there is. Ned is Hand, and Robert trusts him more than he does Stannis. What an awful scientist Stannis is for not being willing to serve as the guinea pig to replicate the assassination experiment. How is it "questionable" when that's the circumstance under which Jon was poisoned? Ned orders that Gregor Clegane be killed and Tywin brought to KL to answer for him. He also (falsely) claims Tyrion was arrested under his authority. Robert doesn't object that he hadn't given his blessing, but rather that arresting Tyrion is causing a political headache he doesn't want. The Hand speaks with the King's voice, even if the King has his own voice and can overrule the Hand. I don't think I understand what you're getting at. Jaime & Cersei have left, so he can't very well arrest them from KL. Being named Hand by itself bestows power! The Hand can give orders, and people are expected to obey. Tywin was a very effective Hand for years, and he was able to make policy even in his later years (which Aerys would often reverse). He was not "completely ineffective", he staffed a lot of positions. There was one issue he threatened to quit over: Aegon III's marriage. Not getting his way on that hardly removed all his other power. And he didn't "place one of his men as regent" and thereby regain power, rather Thaddeus Rowen became the new Hand until a Rogare scandal permitted a conspiracy against them. And even afterward Marston Waters of the KG (named to it by Aegon II, not Peake) became Hand, refused to force his way into the Red Keep and ultimately ordered the arrest of the conspirators. Robert is an absentee King who lets his Hand rule in his place. Of course he can order it. Marston even ordered it during the secret siege, although the Royal Family refused to obey. What makes the logic "flawed"? Pycelle said Jon Arryn came down with his illness right after borrowing the book. It's to be expected there wasn't enough time for Stannis to be informed, rather than it being "hid" from him. Remarrying certainly doesn't, but putting a bastard on the throne does. If Robert "really wanted to" he could walk up to Stannis and stab him in the heart, which of course would have prevented Stannis from becoming king. Of course there are strong norms against doing that, just as there is a norm that a man without heirs is succeeded by his younger brother (which is also the explicit explanation for Stannis being given Dragonstone). I'm glad you agree: Stannis was not acting to ensure that Robert died without his children being removed from the succession. How much of a change can it be if it's "yet again"? We only hear about that after Robert's death. If Stannis wanted to "avenge" Robert's slights, shouldn't that involve DOING SOMETHING? Robert doesn't even know any vengeance has occurred! He wants to, but technically hasn't done that yet. What he actually did was to defend the Wall, which is politically neutral and exists to defend all of Westeros. Tywin, in contrast, wanted to let Mance Rayder break through and ravage the North alongside the Ironborn (whom Stannis has also fought). Renly wasn't alive by the time news of Mance's attack was sent out, but we know he was content to let Robb do the fighting for him against the Lannisters. That's an awfully big change considering that it was already well known that Robert didn't care much for his brothers. What is the reason? This reminds me of the argument for R+L=J that Ned couldn't have fathered a bastard because he's just too honorable. Realistically, one should expect young Ned to be rather different from older Ned, but literary characters will tend to have more stable personalities off-page. Why shouldn't he behave as he have behaved in the past? When Robert gave Stannis a new assignment without thanking him for holding Storm's End, Stannis simply did it. Then when Robert gave Storm's End to Renly and Dragonstone to Stannis, Stannis held it and did his job as Master of Ships, including fighting the Greyjoys. Robert slighting Stannis (in Stannis' mind) is not a new occurrence. Robert didn't even know about the incest, so he wasn't a "loose end" like Jon Arryn. He's Master of Ships. He can command the fleet and it doesn't count as theft. I still don't think I understand what you're trying to say. So he did do what he could do... and it didn't work. Nobody regards him that way other than Joffrey. Because it's entirely in keeping with the way Robert had long treated Stannis. You really need to explain your theory of how Renly was supposed to die. Renly actually did survive Robert, and we know of no attempt on his life within that book. Multiple kings have ascended the throne after their older brother died. Robert even said he wanted to abandon the throne, and was only reluctant to do so because it would mean Joffrey becoming king with Cersei beside him. And of course Robert only married because Jon Arryn badgered him into it. LF mocks Stannis for wanting to ban brothels, and is of course a brothel owner himself. He insists that Stannis shouldn't be king, and suggests that Ned should feign support for Joffrey (despite knowing he's a bastard born of incest), get rid of Stannis somehow, and then replace Joffrey with Renly. Stannis, for his part, blames LF for corrupt folks like Janos Slynt. So he "accidentally let" Stannis know, but Renly (who gets along with LF better) doesn't know? If BOTH Pycelle and Stannis think Cersei poisoned Jon Arryn to cover up the twincest, why would Stannis but not Pycelle deduce that she would kill Robert? LF knows for a fact that Cersei didn't poison Jon, since he did it! But if the implication of "Cersei's children are the bastard spawn of incest" is "Cersei must kill Robert", then LF's knowledge of the former would (under your logic) lead to the latter. How would Stannis know more than LF of all people? If Robert doesn't think there are problems he needs Stannis' help with, he's going to be less likely to listen to Stannis at all. But eventually he would want his Master of Ships for something. Ned relied on LF to supply the force to back him up. Tyrion replaced the commander of the goldcloaks rather than relying on LF to guarantee any loyalty. Steven Attewell discussed Ned's failure to use the power of his position like Tyrion in both chapter-by-chapter analyses and his comparison of different Hands. He was a pragmatist loyal to Robert. He wasn't motivated by his own personal desires, he simply found out that Cersei (whom he'd gotten Robert to marry in the first place) really was guilty of treason. And what reason is there to think this was because Renly was afraid of Cersei rather than because he was trying to boost the Tyrells? Shouldn't a more quick & decisive action which exposes you as little as possible be the recommended strategy for that? There were 20 Lannister swords & 100 goldcloaks. If Renly really could bring 100 swords to bear, that actually could be enough within that confined space. That does raise the question of why he declares himself king rather than bending the knee to king Joffrey (even if he sits out most of the war like the Martells & Lysa). My answer is that Renly wanted power for himself & the Tyrells, which wouldn't be in the cards in that situation. Stannis is absent from the first book, so instead we have Ned's speculation about him. And when we hear from him we find out that he told Jon Arryn about the incest because he didn't think Robert would believe him, and that he thinks Cersei poisoned Jon. We heard from Pycelle that Cersei was out of town when Jon became sick, which is the exact circumstance that you say should have made Stannis feel safe when Robert left. Given what Stannis knows, it would be rather stupid of him not to think Cersei would try to get rid of him too. Robb doesn't think he's doomed, he thinks he needs to shore up his support via Edmure's marriage & clearing the Ironborn out of the North. What makes you say that? Robb was unhappy Stannis didn't take KL, since he thinks he could make a peace with him (unlike the Lannisters). Robb rebelled to rescue his father & sisters, before Stannis claimed he had the right over Joffrey. Robb wouldn't have any reason to rebel against Stannis, who has promised to return Robb's sisters (in as unpleasant a way as possible since he hates sugarcoating things). What do you mean "mattered enough"? The Martells didn't actually participate in the war. He did manage to retreat without getting his army destroyed, but said army was not able to fight any battles until reinforcements arrived at the Battle of the Bells. The Romans were not so dumb as to dismiss armies capable of overthrowing their empire as "refugees". He broke a host expected to break through the Wall and ravage the North. It's easier to catch green troops that way. Think of Jon Connington's reflections on how the GC sets up camp. And it can be noted that while Jaime fought as a squire against the Kingswood Brotherhood, and assassinated Aerys during the war, he didn't have much command experience, in contrast to Tywin. Does Cressen know Melisandre has THAT kind of power? We know he underestimated her power in his assassination attempt. He doesn't believe in gods, but does believe in Melisandre's magic. Which is similar to the line GRRM has taken when people ask him about the gods of Planetos. "Ned Stark was racing south with Robert's van, but my father's forces reached the city first". Ned reached the city as it was being sacked, with Pycelle saying "Lord Stark moved too swiftly". As long as he was walking and there was still fighting to do, the war wasn't actually over. And of course that doesn't actually say anything about whether Rhaegar or Aerys had more supporters, since the Trident was the last attempt by the loyalists to defeat the rebels in the field after many rebel victories. Tywin's concern was whether the rebels would win the battle rather than if Rhaegar would survive. In a hypothetical where the rebels are finally put down but Rhaegar is mortally wounded, Tywin isn't going to try to take on the loyalist armies just to get his revenge on Aerys. Not as long as Aegon VI. Which accident? I'm looking at some of the few situations where people exercise discretion over succession rather than just going with the legal default (which would favor Stannis over Renly, Aegon VI over Viserys and Maegor over Aegon V). I don't think he said anything about Aegon's smell. He was trying to use said children as leverage over the Martells so they would continue supporting him, rather than simply killing them like his penultimate Hand. His decision to let Robert rule over ashes only comes after all hope is lost with Tywin sacking the city. Rhaegar can say that, but Aerys opened the gates to Tywin anyway despite Varys telling him not to. Have any adult Targaryens been excluded from succession because their father was insane? Because Rhaegar still seemed eligible. I don't know what you mean by that. Renly never bled the Lannisters at all. Renly didn't say "If my wife looked like yours, I'd send my fool to service her as well. Just kidding, but your wife really is ugly." If you make a statement, you are implicitly claiming that statement is true by default. Similarly, Stannis really does think Renly's marriage is a sham, and (as I've been pointing out to John Suburbs) LF concurs with him & Margaery that she remained a maid despite being married to Renly. Who is going to dissolve it? Can that happen in time to arrange a betrothal with Joffery before the Baratheons seize KL? Would LF even bother going to attempt to make such a bargain? Was Robert also fighting camps of refugees? He's not blockading the city, merely blocking one specific source of food. With a fortnight subtracted from the timeline, is there time for BOTH Petyr's negotation and travel time for the relief force? It's easier to defend a city than to take it, due to the walls. And Stannis will be able to seize Cersei & Joffrey. In that shortened timeframe, would there still be barges ready to get Tywin's forces there in time? "Pray, how many sons do you have, Stannis? Oh, yes—none [...] As to your daughter, I understand. If my wife looked like yours, I'd send my fool to service her as well" The bit about Patchface was invented by LF, but it is the case that Stannis doesn't care for his wife, and that's related to his lack of children: "he did his duty in the marriage bed once or twice a year, but took no joy in it, and the sons he had once hoped for had never come" Robb heard about the Tyrells joining the Lannisters. What's the relevant info we have that Robb lacks? When was there anything said about him being unable to feed his army? You're saying that if Cersei kills Horas Redwyne, the Redwynes will attack Stannis and help to install Cersei's other son? And why would she kill Horas without the Redwynes doing anything against her? He was sent out in battle against Stannis (and got wounded). The expected result would be that Stannis winds up with Horas as hostage. Lannisters. In this scenario Joffrey can't marry Margaery. Aegon's army lost at the Muddy Mess. In this scenario, Stannis has just won at the Blackwater, capturing the Lannisters' king & queen regent. So more like after Aegon seized KL but before the Muddy Mess, if the North was opposed to the forces coming for Aegon. And speaking of the North, Roose Bolton would be making a different calculation with Jaime if Stannis had seized KL and those aforementioned royals. Sansa was able to get away from Payne while things were falling apart for the Lannisters. Wildlings have raided the North numerous times in the past. They are not simply "refugees", they are organized as a military force to defeat the Night's Watch. Tywin instead thinks of them as an "enemy" for the Ironborn & Northmen, and Mance Rayder a potential "useful ally". That's not breaking any sacred vow, and it's certainly not something he "owes" his vassals. The standard size of a Roman cohort was 480, but they did start out as bodyguards for the elite and Criston Cole acting as Kingmaker is somewhat comparable. Renly's lack of knowledge about history is a reason to look askance at his professed politics. And I just pointed out how that "apocalyptic scenario" was in fact "realistic" enough to happen in the real world. The Greeks even had the term "tyrant" for one who seizes power by force, while we have "coup d'etat" for when a military force overthrows its own government. The end result of eroded legitimacy of government in favor of mere force of arms is civil war. It means he didn't, we don't know what would happen over a longer period of time. That was Garlan Tyrell leading the van in Renly's armor at the Blackwater. Attacking the rear of a force crossing a river & already engaged with the defenders of KL, not charging into a shield wall prepared for just such a charge. When Loras attacks Dragonstone he takes lots of casualties and winds up at death's door himself. And I have argued that Catelyn was right to perceive him as making mistakes in his plans against Stannis, as were Rowan & Tarly. I said joining with Stannis would suffice to get rid of Cersei, which you claimed to be his goal. However, it would mean less power for Renly & the Tyrells compared to being king himself, so he rejects it. He liked pretending to be Daeron the Young Dragon as a child, so there's continuity. Stannis did attempt to convince Robert. And he hadn't heard of any plot to kill Robert. What did Renly say about sending away his swords "once things have cooled down"? When did Stannis say that a marriage alliance with the Arryns would be "begging"? He only turned against it once he heard of Melisandre's vision which would get him an army without having to send Shireen to the Eyrie. He certainly doesn't deny that he had just said it was a worthwhile idea. Instead he continues to insist on how he needs more swords. They don't actually do anything to win the kingdom. Cat wasn't born in the North, so she's not a complete stranger to the chivalric tradition, but she's also lived through a war and knows this is for peacetime. Then would you say he "chides" everyone? Because I said he chided Selyse, and that he did so repeatedly. It's only when he hears of Melisandre's vision that he decides there actually might be some merit to her proposal, as he's not just relying on Selyse's assumption of R'hllor's favor to guarantee a victory. And we still don't hear the specifics of how Renly is to be killed, so there is indeed nothing to contradict Stannis' later warning about sullying Lightbringer with his brother's blood. What specifics were discussed? He even started by saying Renly was "young and strong", which would be a reason not to expect him to just drop dead of natural causes. And when Selyse responds she says Melisandre has "seen him dead", not even "seen him killed". What? Renly was outside the castle in a tent. Melisandre was quite explicit about how Storm's End made the difference. The idea was to obtain Renly's armies, which Stannis does by going to Storm's End rather than staying on Dragonstone. He doesn't obtain the forces still in the Reach. Every time Selyse brings up her religion in that conversation he dismisses it. It's only when she mentions Mel's vision that he takes her seriously. And Stannis himself recounts seeing a vision in the flames which he's convinced is real. Stannis even explicitly makes the distinction between religion & Mel when he says "I know little and care less of gods, but the red priestess has power". Stannis wanted Edric as "proof" of what Robert's actual offspring should look like. Melisandre wanted him for use as a sacrifice. If Stannis was told upfront he'd have an allotment of two magical asassins available to use at his own discretion, he'd be using them on more important targets than Cortnay Penrose. Melisandre merely spouting BS isn't enough to get Stannis to agree to sacrifice Edric. He has to see Melisandre's claim about the three leeches from her phony ritual vindicated. She doesn't WANT to. Otherwise Stannis would certainly be giving such orders! Melisandre is not a brood mare or a prostitute, she has her own agency which she dedicates to a messianic prophecy rather than mundane political goals. He hasn't heard about either. We don't hear any specifics there. What are you referring to? Her claim about Renly just got vindicated. Why would it be stupid keep relying on her visions? For the exact reason Tarly gave! It's entirely to the benefit of Stannis, with Renly gaining nothing by it. He certainly was under no obligation to agree to the specific hour picked by his opponent. Neither Stannis nor Selyse ever describe it that way. As I noted, what they said would even be consistent with natural causes. Stannis says as much to Renly himself, though he gives Renly the option of submitting first "For the sake of the mother who bore us both". Cressen uses that word, though he doesn't even know the contents of the vision. As noted, Stannis is explicitly willing to commit fratricide in battle should Renly refuse his terms. Cressen isn't even present for a discussion of what was actually in Mel's vision. And Stannis does specify dawn as time to give his own forces an advantage, and explicitly talks about using Lightbringer on Renly. Devan was given the task of waking Stannis, but was unable to. It's not like Stannis was refusing to get up. The plan was for Stannis to be awake and ahorse. He speaks openly about seeing Renly's death in his dreams, when he could just say nothing at all. You are assuming your own conclusion in order to count that as a lie in a piece of your argument. Stannis himself makes the comparison between the two! He says Melisandre saw his death outside battle, and that's why he he's not going to bother sending a champion to fight him. Not Tywin Lannister or LF. Even Renly had no problem sending an assassin after Daenerys, mocking Robert for not doing it earlier. Pycelle at least defended it as the lesser of two evils. We never get any indication he's aware of any connection between sex with Melisandre and those deaths. He knows Melisandre's magic was necessary for Penrose, but as shown by the phony leech ritual, she doesn't tell him how her magic actually works. If prurient reasons can explain him sleeping with her and not producing any shadows, then it can explain him doing so earlier as well. I don't recall her giving Davos or Jon a target they were to use the shadow on. Neither of them are even allies of her. I don't know what comes after that ellipsis. Stannis wants Edric, but I wouldn't say "just as much". Mel thinks Edric's sacrifice will wake stone dragons and show everyone Stannis is truly Azor Ahai, thus reversing things even after his defeat at the Blackwater. Stannis doesn't specify what "treachery", so possibly seizing Stannis' champion as a hostage, which would work especially well if Cortnay was hoping Stannis would be shamed into doing it himself. Again, Cressen calls it "fratricide" which Stannis is explicit about being willing to personally commit. Again, Stannis would regard executing Cersei as justice rather than vengeance. And we know he plans on doing that. In the very passage you've cited about Ned relieving Storm's End, Stannis insists Ned did it out of duty rather than love for Stannis... which is the same thing Stannis says he intends to do! He also tells Catelyn he'll return her daugters (dead or alive), while also saying he'll stop Robb's treason after Renly's. He's not going to return them out of any debt of affection for the Starks or in order to make an ally out of them, but because he regards it as just. Exactly! Cressen wanted Stannis to ally with Robb, which Stannis refused to do because Robb was a "usurper" declaring himself king and taking half the kingdom. Stannis has no more affection for Robb/Ned than either of them have for him. What Stannis intends to do is "justice", not personal favors for his allies. And Stannis promises the same justice to Catelyn, while also refusing any peace with Robb as king. Correct, executing Cersei for Ned's death (among others) wouldn't be vengeance in his book. The Faceless Men are completely impersonal. They are supposed to discard their individual identities and kill people without question as a tenet of their religion. Stannis' ideal is impersonal justice & duty. Stannis is among the people least interested in "brownie points". That's why he refuses to refer to his brother as "beloved". He's practically Westeros' biggest opponent of Social Desirability Bias, hating pretty lies about as much for being pretty as for being lies. Renly talks about all his positive qualities that would make him a good king, but Stannis thinks nobody is going to like him regardless and he'll just insist on justice & duty. Catelyn got to personally see how Stannis felt about Renly, and he vented his bitterness over Robert to her as well. If you ever even suggested to Stannis that he put his best foot forward, he would probably call that a euphemism for falsehood. Tarly is a feudal bannerman, not an internet commenter.
  3. Cersei was still alive so we could hear from her whether she was guilty or not (she even got POV chapters, which is how we can guess she didn't send Mandon after Tyrion). Joffrey dies right after Tyrion concludes he sent the catspaw, and Jaime comes to the same conclusion, without Joffrey around to rebut it anymore. Much more like a dog than a pig, whose purpose is to be eaten. Robert did, and Stannis also thought it was messed up. I'm glad then you agree that it's not the case that "he never did it again". His pattern of behavior continuing into years later (when we see he's killed another cat) is why the Tyrells are afraid he'll hurt Margery, as GRRM himself noted. Yes, because Ned would NOT torture someone for his own enjoyment like Joffrey or Ramsay! He didn't dismiss Barristan & execute Ned out of "his own self-interest". Tyrion & Tywin are both aware those decisions are terrible for his new regime. Mandon isn't some little striver, he's a KG who wasn't known to have much in the way of desires. That's precisely why we shouldn't think LF had some "hold" on him! Dontos Hollard isn't like that at all. No, he's been trying to frame Tyrion to cause conflict. Blaming Tyrion for the dagger wasn't expected to result in the Starks sending an assassin after Tyrion. But Moore ISN'T unworthy like Blount! Rather, Jaime considers him the next most dangerous member of the KG, and no one ever doubts his prowess in battle or willingness to follow orders. It's not like she'd suddenly gotten more harmful, rather Jon started working together more with Stannis. He refused her the thing she cared most about because he wasn't "desperate to please" her. You simply made that up. If you don't actually believe me, you can verify it for yourself. If I'm wrong, I'll compensate you for whatever you had to spend to determine that. You haven't even determined that it says the latter, nor have we heard of Ran asking GRRM to confirm that bit before putting it in the app. That's all in your head, whereas GRRM himself has said what the "careful reader" would conclude from what he actually wrote. I've looked at all the "facts" you've presented and of course I don't think it was the pie. 13) GRRM himself endorses the app. It's official. He didn't say anything about his SSMs not being credible. Instead he just wanted the ability to have things removed at his request. Which he certainly has with the app! The wine vs pie bit is not a "slip of the tongue", it was explicitly confirmed by him prior to appearing in app. He doesn't "pretend", he says it outright. This is at a big prestigious wedding. People stepping in to stop Joffrey from killing his uncle there does not mean Joffrey will be under control ALL the time. Of course there wouldn't be "no gifts", the Tyrells themselves are among those giving gifts. They just can't be expected to anticipate any specific gift given by others. They chose a chalice for Joffrey specifically, knowing that Joffrey would drink out of it. Of course he is, Joffrey is the actual target and has been even prior to Sansa's marriage. It doesn't "dissolve" because there's no requirement that something dissolve in order to leave a smudge. If the crystals were leaking/dripping from the hairnet that would be another thing. And graphite can leave a mark against all sorts of surfaces. This is a fictional poison called the Strangler, not an actual amethyst. 25) I have already discussed the relevance of the amount of solvent used to dissolve a solute, and how merely pouring some wine into his mouth is not comparable to immersing the crystal directly in the cup of wine. Yes. The conspirators presumably acquired the chalice & poison from a jeweler & alchemist, respectively. Thus, they were prepared for the wedding and did not have to react on the fly to the volume of the chalice or the size and nature of the poison crystal. None of this implies that either the jeweler or alchemist have to know about the other's role. The conspirators can keep that info to themselves and share only what they need to with those below them. GRRM himself explained it in that interview. But that's completely inconsistent with your claim that the "facts" are all against it! When LF confesses to a poisoning, it's more honest than even Tyrion could have anticipated. See his "I confess" about Jon Arryn's killer. Yes, THAT GRRM explained it, and you are choosing to simply ignore it. Of course it can. GRRM has discussed their shared endings, and we know of three "holy shit" moments the show took directly from him. The whole point of "need to know" is that it's not the same as "want to know"! No, he explicitly told Rolling Stone he was talking about the books. Hence "careful reader" not "careful watcher". Yes, that would be. LF's cutouts are his responsibility. How does "bonus" mean "don't care" to you? It's nice to have another marriage alliance, but they're not at risk of a kingslayer stew without it. But NOT to the North, which is what's relevant for Sansa. That's exactly what Tywin recommends doing! He even phrases it in terms of "helping" a supplicant back up. You seem to have the Cersei/Joffrey view of things, which Tywin explains would cause people to see no benefit to bending the knee rather than fighting to the death after a conflict starts. Says you. There's a lot shaking up in KL at that time, a dispute between two knights does not rank that high in importance. I am serious. Joffrey can demand people's heads even if he doesn't see the beheading himself, just as Cersei has many wrong dwarves beheaded. There's no reason to assume everyone there for the king's justice is a resident of the Red Keep. That was fought by champions as a trial to determine the guilt of a third party. And it was a trial for regicide! A completely different story from two knights fighting each other to death over a property dispute. It's normal not to be saint. Joffrey isn't normal. He's monstrous. Selyse has been married to Stannis a long time without a male heir. The Tyrells don't want to spend any time letting Margaery be subject to Joffrey's abuse. They got Tommen. They don't have his heir, but they do have him. Cersei had to hide anything Robert did to her to prevent Jaime from killing him. Your evaluation of its "worth" wouldn't stop Loras from killing Joffrey. 43) Stop repeating the same handwaving and read up on credibly costly signalling theory. I've cited Robin Hanson a number of times on this forum, and I know people regard him as explaining everything via signalling but you need to give an actual explanation for how that signal would work (it needs to be more costly if it's dishonest than honest). Joffrey's doesn't, which is why Tyrion stops him. Every victorious battle makes Robb more likely to win the war. If Joffrey was deterred from hurting Sansa as a result of Robb winning, then hurting Sansa COULD be a signal that Robb is less likely to win. As it is, it just looks like Joffrey taking out his frustrations on a young girl when he's unable to do anything about the men leading armies against him. Which is just as Tyrion says. That's not the same as your explanation where Joffrey is following a rational strategy by sending signals to his lords! Again, it's a pattern of behavior. Joffrey is a sadist who doesn't behave rationally, and instead takes things out on his betrothed. Olenna is not risking something like that happening to Margaery. As I noted, that is of course inconsistent with what you said earlier. So silly that LF & GRRM use the same logic. He confirmed the wine rather than the pie for the app, and he explained Olenna's logic in that interview. If that were actually the case then the "careful reader" wouldn't conclude it was the latter. Hodor doesn't think he's puzzled by various things either because he never even rises to that level. Sansa explicitly asks why LF would do it considering his lack of motive. That's precisely how! If they knew he was behind it, they'd be a lot less baffled! "Baffled" is of course different from "puzzled", as to "baffle 'em with bullshit" means to fool people so they don't know you are BSing them and that they are in fact baffled. Killing someone in Yi Tai would not matter to the regime in KL. Killing Joffrey causes them to look for enemies in the wrong places and not think too much about LF. This is a hallmark of you not understanding what people are actually saying, just as you didn't understand why people actually laughed at Sansa's line about Ilyn Payne. It's strange that you believe that, when LF clearly doesn't and is still preparing for her to marry Harry. I said everything actually did work out for LF, not that he could predict the lack of consummation in advance. And do you claim "all the facts" were against that, even as Pycelle admitted he did in fact ensure Jon's death based on Cersei's reaction? Did anyone ever confess to it? Did GRRM confirm any part of it? Roose is A man in a pink cloak. Hence the possibility of wiggle room. And you can't really "confirm" it since you're not GRRM. You assume a greater understanding of the fictional poison than you actually have. He did for the app. It's an enormous wedding with 77 dishes and numerous performers. Even if they hadn't used that specific moment, there was a lot of time available. The app is not "in my head", I have given multiple links to others discussing how GRRM confirmed parts of it. Including a post at GRRM's blog! 56) I have already explained the joke and how your reading of it doesn't make sense. I can lead you to the waters of reason, but unfortunately can't ensure you drink your way to sense. It's something Joffrey doesn't care much about, he just happened to have Hearteater on him to use. Nobody actually did, not even Sansa, until LF reminded her. What "story" will they have? And their guilt will be decided by the regime right away, without any attempt to verify any defense they might give. Tyrion doesn't think that in response to her line. He never became suspicious of that. There can be wind on a hot day. It's inconspicuous for Sansa to be wearing that to the wedding. It would be suspicious if Sansa brought a vial, and Sansa already had spies among her servants. As a co-conspirator, Sansa can simply hand Tyrion the poison. No, Sansa doesn't even remember Olenna doing anything until LF reminds her. She'll bring up Dontos, and the court will simply assume Tyrion is her co-conspirator. 63) Oberyn didn't simply assassinate some people Tywin cared about. He fought a trial by combat in which he insisted on Gregor's guilt and the source of his actions in orders. The Lannisters wouldn't want to permit the idea that they COULD be assassinated. They'd rather appear untouchable. You are truly a never-ending font. Of something. No, he undermines the regime independently of LF. LF getting away with that poisoning is not evidence of Varys being hoodwinked any more than Tyrion escaping is... or Dany surviving the wineseller's "assassination" attempt. LF doesn't know what Varys is actually up to, and since they have different agendas it wouldn't help him to let Varys know everything. Varys sent Tyrion to Illyrio, and Jaime didn't even know they were in league with each other. Knowing someone's motivations & long-term strategy is a different thing from knowing their preceding actions. I don't recall Illyrio saying much about how LF handled said finances, and they're trying to launch an invasion which would replace LF so they wouldn't need to be concerned about him beyond that. You think Varys was lying to Illyrio? There really is no end to your head-canon. Where does LF think is safe from Varys? As far as I can tell, the answers would be outside KL. There's an enormous gap between those two! Which would include the "weeks", as I said. I didn't say he was explaining anything TO Mace. Rather, Mace knows when LF said he would leave for the Vale, so Olenna will know as well. My interpretation is compatible with EITHER Olenna telling the truth about Mace being at odds with her on Margaery, and her lying as the two of them are actually in cahoots. LF was borrowing money from Tywin. The Tyrells get involved after the marriage alliance is agreed to. 70) There's no evidence in the text for your theory that Olenna had anything to do with LF prior to the marriage alliance. Yes, rich men are often given lofty positions beyond their abilities (I already noted that Mace isn't a notable seaman). That very position has even had incompetents who had others do their work for them before! To Mace's brother, using the position to further cement the Tyrell alliance. 72) You are assuming that she's lying about the death of her husband, you can't assume that conclusion as a premise to make an argument about her being a liar. Olenna denies she wanted either marriage for Margaery, I don't think we can simply assume the contrary. She wasn't "sent off to war". She remained in the Reach amidst tourneys rather than actual combat. When the Tyrell host attacks KL, Margaery is certainly not part of it. 74) Sansa has seen more of Joffrey than Olenna's grandsons. Cersei isn't nearly as valuable as Joffrey. 76 & 77) I haven't been harping on the color. Purple is a normal color for wine to have, though a face turning purple is a nice allusion to the medium via which the poison is delivered. Wine is a solution of alcohol in water (plus some other things which provide color & flavor). That's not "the exact same", and in fact solutions of alcohol rather than water are sometimes used to extract specific chemicals. I will add that wine is the one thing we KNOW can dissolve the Strangler. We don't know that pie can do it. Olenna said she didn't expect him to eat much because he's small. That would just seem strange & suspicious. Fiddling with Sansa's hair does not. As I said, ANY indication that the pie is even capable of dissolving the Strangler. That is NEVER indicated in the text. Wouldn't you think GRRM would mention that so the audience could connect purple to the color of the crystal/Strangler? You don't know the actual amount of time. She's not in charge of that, Cersei is. Olenna actually complains about the number of meals being excessive, as well as the music. You are simply ignoring the text specifying Cersei was in charge in favor of something you made up which has no support in the text. Of course Cersei has, and Margaery knows Cersei is the "vile, scheming, evil bitch" trying to get her executed. That was just Joffrey continuing to taunt Tyrion. He wasn't even forcing Tyrion to eat any pie, as he was instead eating Tyrion's. It's disrespecting him to stick his hand in his uncle's pie and start eating the pigeon inside. Try doing that with someone else's food some time and see how they react. If anything, Sansa underestimates how awful Joffrey is at that point. Another head-canon from you, although we know getting sloshed doesn't prevent Robert from trying to have sex with Cersei and then blaming the wine for hurting her the next morning. 91) And I have been trying to explain that putting poison in pie with lemon cream is what one would do if they wanted to poison Sansa instead. It's not like Tyrion is a noted fan of any of that, and in fact he doesn't find the pie appetizing. Thus it doesn't fit your claimed target very well. The text actually DOES discuss when the bedding will take place: You simply choose to ignore that and say Tyrion is wrong. 93) I'm not having trouble with my own argument. I have reminded you of the things you've said, as you hadn't noticed when you contradicted yourself. A lot of people supported Aerys, even outside the Reach. Robert had to defeat loyalists in the Vale, as well as the Stormlands. There hasn't been a "balance of power" for all that time. The Targaryens overpowered all the other houses in order to conquer Westeros. And regions other than the Reach were able to seize the Riverlands. GRRM was explicit that he was talking about the books! Hence the "careful reader"! I've already discussed it, you misunderstand it. He's not saying "Ignore everything I just said", he's saying it's extra-canonical. And we do use things GRRM says outside the text to understand the text all the time, even if he always has the option of retconning something he said in an SSM. If she really did place a high value on Sansa, then she would do so. That's for Arianne's amateurish plot. Nobody told on LF, and he got away with it. Even though he's got a number of helpers he didn't kill along with Dontos. I don't think there's any indication that Olenna knew where Sansa went, although she really should if she was in on that as the goal of her plan. Getting Sansa out is something she actually should be involved with, unlike the question of how Sansa got her hairnet. She really has no reason to trust LF to just hand Sansa over to her, particularly since he's going to the Vale instead of the Reach. A good place to poison someone if you actually want to cause a big distraction away from Sansa. She's tall for her age, and Myranda thinks she's well developed for her age (despite Sansa claiming an older age). I'm glad you now agree that people did, in fact, stand around staring while someone (the king, in this case) was choking. He's a prick generally, and the Mycah incident proves he doesn't need a "reason" like you insist. This is like the "four dog defense" or "narcissist's prayer". You say this in a middle of a discussion about how he mistreated Mycah for no reason! It's entirely possible Joffrey would have randomly picked someone else to mistreat for no reason Loras doesn't want to ever marry, so this is a convenient spot for him. And Cersei explained how Margeaery must be defended by a member of the KG for any trial by combat. Olenna deals with her concern by murdering Joffrey, with Margaery remaining queen with Tommen instead. Storm's End was besieged for "years" but it still nearly starved during the rebellion. What makes you say that? He doesn't become regent after Tywin dies. 104) LF suggested Alayne's mother was Braavosi and left her to the Faith. There's no reason to expect Westerosi nobles to know anything about some Braavosi merchant's daughter. There is no real past for "Alayne", so it's not like anyone had heard of her years ago. 105) We don't see him tell anyone but Sansa the bit about him being in charge of Gulltown then. He instead wants to discourage any discussion of Alayne's backstory. No he wasn't. They were both swinging at each other with sticks, and she got hit on the hand she was using to hold her own stick. They stopped as soon as Sansa called out, and Arya told them both to go away rather than acting like she needed any help. She instead hit Joffrey when he was tormenting Mycah, at which point Joffrey slashed at "his betrothed's sister" with an actual sword. I don't know why you've appointed yourself Joffrey's defense lawyer, but there's nothing you can do for your client. 107 & 108) None of those involve preventing Joffrey from hurting someone, which is what Olenna is worried about. Once again, JOFFREY DOESN'T NEED A REASON! No one ever says "it's far more easier to invade and conquer". Aside from being ungramattical, it's just something you made up. 111) The "facts" tell me you're wrong, as almost everything you say is based on your head-canon rather than the text. Where did the Normans invade from? Normandy. Which was in France, but conquered by Norsemen. The vikings invaded all over Europe, so it doesn't help your argument comparing England to the rest of Europe. It's the centuries during which England WASN'T invaded but other countries were that we see a difference. He doesn't own the Riverlands. He's claimed Harrenhal, which was then given to LF, and LF was named Lord Paramount. This has already been explained to you, so stop saying the Lannisters own the region. He never actually took Storm's End. Asking why a feudal aristocrat would conquer even more fertile land would get you some puzzled looks. The US is a democratic republic, not the property of feudal aristocrats. When Mexico was defeated, it was decided that we'd just take a large chunk of land where Anglos lived rather than try to govern all those Mexicans. The early colonial powers had no such inclination toward restraint. The extreme distance to Yi Ti makes obvious the point: closer is more important than further away. The North is at the extreme end of the continent, and it's not particularly rich. In a conflict it would take Northmen a long time to get down. Joffrey didn't favor his mother over his father or the Lannisters over the Baratheons. His uncles both rebelled against him, so he naturally opposed them, but he had no respect for his grandfather. The title was King of the Rivers and the Hills, so they weren't even restricted to just the Riverlands! Which river kings harassed the King of the Rivers and the Hills? That's NOT "what you do with hostages". You kill them or trade them. And Robb had a more valuable hostage in Jaime, so it was especially stupid to do something to Sansa that might get to Robb! Yes, and Joffrey is told about that as a cautionary lesson! A lesson you don't seem to have learned. What high moral standing? Mace Tyrell spent most of the war at a banquet table. He's a pragmatist, not an idealist. You say that over and over, but haven't explained how it's a credibly costly signal. Certainly nobody in the books voices your "logic". Tyrion stopped it because the only purpose it served was to get Joffrey's rocks off, and it was idiotic as long as Robb had Jaime hostage. He does start a riot which gets a KG and the High Septon killed. The Martells never provide any actual help. Instead Oberyn picks a fight with the Lannisters, Arianne gets Myrcella injured & Arys killed, while Doran angles to bring "fire and blood" to the Lannisters. I have already addressed this but would like to take a moment to marvel again at your attempt to defend Joffrey. The incident is placed in the book to show Joffrey doing something indefensible, so you know he's awful. There's no ambiguity about it. Who is going to get Stannis to marry Cersei? Not Robert, since he's dead. Not Jon Arryn, since Stannis doesn't care about hin. Stannis wants to kill Jaime or send him to the Wall, he's not going to make nice with the Lannisters. Ned confronted HER with the incest! She's not telling him anything he doesn't already know. You just admitted him crossbowing another cat in the present-day was basically the same thing! Was that "out of curiosity, not cruelty"? Joffrey does stupid things all the time. He even likes to show off his cruelty. Lords willingly pandered their daughters to him. As far as they were concerned, Aegon was corrupt, rather than cruel. When one of them was caught with Toyne, he did react with cruelty, but that's not what happened his other mistresses. It's irresponsible, but not sadistic enough to associate with someone like Maegor the Cruel. I don't think she could guarantee she'd never be a target.
  4. The marriage was in 286 or 287, when Stannis was around 22 or older. Steffon died in 278 after trying to find a bride for Rhaegar. It doesn't appear any betrothal was arranged for Robert, who instead picked Lyanna out for himself, nor was there anything for Renly (who was admittedly just a baby at the time). The marriages after Robert's rebellion were shaped by the politics of it, not bound to political alliances precedig it (when Steffon Baratheon was one of the people most trusted by Aerys). Ned didn't want it. Robert says to Ned "If I wanted to honor you, I'd let you retire. I am planning to make you run the kingdom and fight the wars while I eat and drink and wench myself into an early grave." He also says "I bedded a fishmaid once who told me the lowborn have a choicer way to put it. The king eats, they say, and the Hand takes the shit." Why is it a point in his favor when we know of nobles explicitly favoring older candidates for the throne, and the entire idea of primogeniture is to favor the oldest? Those "exceptions" are where people were explicitly making a choice for a king rather than succession just proceeding normally. Edric is a bastard, so the throne would not normally go to him. I don't mean to say that it's normal to be fine with your older child murdering their younger half-siblings. But a distaste for a young heir requiring a regency IS normal. The Blackfyres were never supported by any of the Lords Paramount, and they lost every rebellion. And the Blackfyre argument was that Daeron II was a "falseborn" bastard! The result was bastards being even more distrusted (even Daemon II's supporters dismissed the legitimized Bittersteel as a bastard). After the death of Jaehaera, Aegon III didn't simply have his marriage dictated to him. He was able to pick Daenaera. I don't see the relevance. Since they weren't in KL with Stannis, we can't expect them to say anything about Stannis' mindset when he was in KL. The one person we know Stannis confided in near the end of his time there was Jon Arryn. Ned thinks that if he tells Robert, Robert will definitely try to kill them. We know Cersei also thinks Robert is more likely to believe Ned than his brothers. Stannis said he wen to Jon Arryn because Robert would be unlikely to believe him and more likely to believe his Hand. Stannis cannot rely on the same option Ned did, hence flight being more reasonable for him. By the time we get to see him he's safe on Dragonstone, which he's locked down sufficiently that even Varys isn't getting reports back. Stannis has a different reason for believing it than Ned. When Jon died, Stannis concluded Cersei arranged it to prevent Jon from revealing the incest (Ned comes to the same conclusion). In order for that to happen, she must have been aware that Jon was aware of the incest. Jon had heard about it via Stannis, so if someone was spying on Jon (or Stannis) during his investigation they probably would have observed him investigating alongside Stannis (just as Ned discovers in his own investigation). Ned only discovers "the secret Jon Arryn died for" near the end of his tenure. Once Cersei knows that he knows, she actually does try to threaten him with her "wrath" saying "you win or you die", which doesn't intimidate Ned because he's expecting Robert to arrive soon. I would presume she would try to arrange things with her goons when they wre all in the same place, but in Stannis' eyes she just established an M.O of leaving town and having her enemy killed while she's away. If Stannis arrests Cersei for incest & Jon's assassination and then he suddenly dies, it's going to look like an assassination rather than natural causes and Robert is unlikely to reverse Stannis' order. Being named Hand IS bestowing with that power. Ned seems to think as Hand he's just the King's friend & right-hand man, but Tyrion actually understands the power of the office. The Hand can simply give orders and people obey them because the Hand speaks with the voice of the king. By the time we see him he's beyond the reach of Cersei's agents. I'm reaching a conclusion using Ned's logic and Stannis' knowledge at the time. We never hear of Stannis reading that book. It was just Jon Arryn. Ned actually discovered the truth and nearly got rid of Cersei, which would have worked out very well for Stannis. Stannis doesn't have to personally like him to take into account how Ned as Hand affects his odds. This isn't the Roman empire where succesors are chosen & adopted. This is a system of primogeniture where the first son inherits, and if he dies without heirs it moves to the second son. The Dance of the Dragons was fought when the candidate of traditional succession law claimed the crown ahead of the one the king explicitly chose, and Stannis regards the latter as a traitor while maesters say an "iron precedent" was established in favor of the former. Stannis says it would be suspiciously convenient for him to claim incest... because it would be, which is the line the Lannisters take after he makes that accusation. How does telling Jon Arryn accomplish that? And are we supposed to believe that of the guy fixated on duty, of whom GRRM says he's the one king righteous enough to act on behalf of the realm against an external threat rather than just focusing on his own position? Serves just as much for what and as what? He didn't want Robert dead? Robert had already chosen Jon Arryn over Stannis as Hand before. This just doesn't seem different enough, nor was it a personal enough matter to make sense as the straw that breaks the camel's back. I'm trying to interpret characters through a consistent lens where they will tend to behave similarly under similar situations, and a reason must be given for behaving differently. Peering inside the character to deduce there's some limit that an individually unremarkable incident could trip just requires you to have more knowledge of them than you actually have as it is. Why would he expect that? Joffrey was still set to inherit, so there wasn't a pressing need. And if Ned discovers the truth, the Lannisters can be purged before they can kill Robert. Tywin will fight back, seeing as the mere arrest of Tyrion prompted aggression, but he'll have a tough time killing Robert. Robert doesn't even seem to mind that Stannis took it to Dragonstone. Fair enough. The book seems to have tipped things for Jon, and he sought that out himself rather than getting it from Stannis. What is the relevant difference between explaining/proving and determining viability? He did what? Stannis has always thought he was neglected, but he always does what Robert asks of him anyway ("Great or small, we must do our duty"). This is not some super-personal matter that he would treat differently. Stannis isn't especially well-liked, so he can hardly claim much of an advantage over the Lannisters if there's a succession crisis. The Lannisters will hold KL while he holds Dragonstone, just like the Greens vs the Blacks in the Dance... but he doesn't have any dragons, nor did Robert name him ahead of Joffrey since Robert didn't know about the incest. Ned actually does think Robert will kill Cersei & the kids, so I'm not sure what you're arguing here. We hear Jaime arguing with Cersei about this, as he wasn't afraid while she was. Relevant info we have now that Stannis didn't is that Cersei wasn't actually behind Jon Arryn's assassination. That was not something going according to plan for her, it was an unexpected event she's scrambling to react to. Ned did discover it, by retracing Jon Arryn's steps. With a particularly suspicious bit being Jon's interactions with Stannis. Stannis & LF hate each other. They were never in cahoots. No, we don't "know" that. You are simply claiming that based on an absence of evidence, even though you acknowledge we can't actually expect to know most of what Stannis has thought & felt. Pycelle also thought Cersei was behind Jon's poisoning because of the incest. Varys & LF knew about the incest, with the latter actually responsible for said poisoning. Renly is who we've argued about. Varys actually told Ned that Cersei was trying to get Robert killed in the melee. I actually do think that was part of what was going on. Stannis wanted Robert to seek his help. What? I'm not sure what you're referring to. Selyse claims that her marriage bed was cursed by Robert fathering Edric Storm there, which isn't the same as saying Robert himself was a curse. Stannis responds with a "Perhaps" then saying it doesn't matter. After Ned has already been asked to serve as Hand, there is the argument where Luwin says "The Hand of the King has great power, my lord. Power to find the truth of Lord Arryn's death, to bring his killers to the king's justice. Power to protect Lady Arryn and her son, if the worst be true." But of course you don't think Stannis would have had any more power if he had been named Hand. Arryn was "ravenous"? She thinks Bronn is still an agent of Tyrion's. When Robert dies Renly is immediately angling to strike to seize Joffrey and thereby have power over the kingdom. He figures Cersei is thinking along the same lines but didn't have enough men on hand to overpower Renly's & Ned's. Prior to Robert's death there was no regency to violently seize, nor would there be if Joffrey had lived into adulthood. If he had stuck around, his men added to Ned's could have prevented anything prior to the Lannisters bringing in enough reinforcements for a coup, but then he'd be in the path of said reinforcements and he hasn't gotten Ned's ok on using his own forces to control Joffrey. And prior to that he hadn't given any indication of being afraid of Cersei. He's rather insouciant about mocking Joffrey in front of her. Perhaps in your view he was confident enough in his plan to replace Cersei that he expected her to be gone soon, and for enough time to have passed for Joffrey not to hold it against him. I assume you mean "Robb recognized Stannis", and Stannis didn't manage to seize KL so there wouldn't be any point in Robb calling him "king" then. I'm not sure what version of that peace you have in mind. After Renly's assassination Brienne says to Catelyn "you'd never make a peace with Stannis, would you? Bend the knee?" to which Cat just replies she doesn't know. Joffrey was acknowledged by other houses prior to the Martells. All of KL other than those brought in by Ned had recognized him, along with houses of the mainland crownlands. Robert also had one defeat (in his case it was before rather than after enemy reinforcements arrived), but since he managed to escape he was ultimately able to win the war. Being able to keep your forces orderly enough during a defeat to get away is indeed a test for a commander, though of course it's not nearly as good as a victory. It was a force which had attacked the Wall and was expected to break through before Stannis arrived. The Roman empire was also invaded by barbarian tribes displaced by others far away, but nobody used the term "refugee" to describe them back then either. One of the advantages the Wehrmacht had early in WW2 was that they had experience invading Poland. You might say "Just conquering Poland was enough when Stalin was seizing the other half of the country?". But it made a big difference against the French (who on paper had a very powerful army). One of the reasons Robb was able to destroy the new force raised in the Westerlands is that those troops were all green. Melisandre's visions in the flames are repeatedly discussed. And it's not just code for "I know because I'm going to kill them", as Stannis gets to see such visions himself, and in Melisandre's POV we see she really does have visions she believes in (although what she says about them can be unreliable). No it didn't. Ned had to race Tywin to KL, and Aerys was ordering Jaime to behead Tywin rather than letting him take the city. The World of Ice and Fire just mentions that Viserys was the new heir after Rhaegar died, but it's not Aerys' Table Talk. We know that others have explicitly said long regencies are to be avoided, and Aerys' choice is the one consistent with view. She was also said to resemble her mother more, whereas Aegon resembled his father. Not that Aerys liked him either, admittedly, but he would at least look Valyrian rather than Dornish. To be fair, Aerys was doing unto others as he was doing unto himself Sending Viserys away was a separate decision from the one to burn the city down. At that time he was still hoping Tywin would stop Robert despite everything Aerys had done to him. If there had actually been a siege, I think Aerys would have been flinging wildfire at Robert's forces outside. And their age contributed to that. Legally speaking, Maegor was clearly ahead of Aegon. Renly didn't act like it was a priority to get them off it. He was wasting time while Robb fought up until Stannis besieged Storm's End. This discussion goes back to Renly's stance on the incest claim. LF invented the rumor about Patchface & Shireen to counter that claim, and Renly echoes just that propaganda against Stannis after Stannis brings up the incest. Renly isn't saying that because he actually believes the rumor, but instead for the same reason the Lannisters do. He's got a cynical stance on politics (presumably part of why he & LF get along) and his moves are calculated for political imagery. That's why I don't take seriously his scoffing at the incest claim. Is Mace Tyrell really going to "bite them in the ass" when Renly has Loras with him and Margaery still married to him? It's not a simple matter of arithmetic. Robert & Stannis have both beaten opponents with larger numbers. Stannis has a lot of ships, which is how he's able to get to KL quickly, and the quicker KL is attacked (Stannis doesn't have to wait a fortnight for Penrose to consider his offer) the less time Tyrion has to prepare. Tyrion had a particular fear of that navy attacking KL at the same time as Renly's army, and he expressed thanks to the gods that Penrose delayed Stannis while Tyrion was able to continue working on his chain. With this shortened time frame, LF also has less time to go to the Tyrells (a longer trip than Stannis needs to get to KL) to negotiate anything. GRRM set things up so Stannis could be defeated in the nick of time. That "weird sense of obedience" is to the system of primogeniture, which their aristocratic society is based on. And if Renly doesn't think Stannis is likely to have a son, then Renly becomes king anyway. Robb seemed to think so. He'll have a large army behind the walls of the city, a navy so the city can't be cut off, and Robb's forces attacking the Lannisters' rear. Against that they'd have a child they can proclaim king (not yet married to Margaery of course and assuming Stannis hasn't seized the rest of the Crownlands before Tywin arrives) while Stannis on the throne denounces him as a bastard and puts Cersei on trial for incest & murder. Furthermore, if Stannis takes KL and has Sansa, then Catelyn is hardly going to release Jaime in a desperate attempt to get her back. It was an army expected to break through the Wall, and which Tywin hoped would wreak havoc throughout the North. Didn't you disagree with me when I said that? There were lots of people who had sworn vows to Torrhen Stark, but those didn't go away when he bent the knee. Which vow is he breaking? Is he letting Stannis execute them without trial? It actually happened in ancient Rome. It was called praetorianism. Ancient Rome doesn't exist in Westeros, so Renly hasn't heard of it, but even if it did Renly doesn't care for books unless they're naughty picture books. That's true... but Renly rejects his argument against attacking at dawn, and gives the van to Loras Tyrell instead of Randyll. Earlier he was counting Stannis' forces as part of his own, was assuming the Martells would support him, that Selmy would joing his Rainbow Guard... I don't claim it was "the only way". If he had Robb had coordinated their forces that was another possibility. I am saying that the reason Renly rejects Stannis' offer is that he wanted to be king, just as he had since he was a child. Renly's motivation throughout has been advancement for him & the Tyrells, not fear of Cersei. Smash his insistence that he'd be the better king against Stannis' that he's the king by rights and the Lannisters have enough time to stay in power. He didn't ask for the crown. When Robert was proclaimed king Stannis accepted that and served Robert. He claims the crown because Cersei's children are bastards born of incest, which we know to be true as she admitted it. Catelyn agrees that's the legal implication. "We must get Joffrey away from his mother and take him in hand [...] We should seize Myrcella and Tommen as well. Once we have her children, Cersei will not dare oppose us." Renly portrays it as both him & Ned controlling Cersei's children and thus having power. Does Stannis consider a marriage alliance with Lysa to be begging? Later Selyse says "How he might win half a kingdom if he goes to the Starks on his knees and sells our daughter to Lysa Arryn?" The former bit is portrayed as begging, the latter as selling. And Stannis does give more consideration to the latter than the former. What is her misinterpretation? It's consistent with how he talks to her earlier. She says he already has all he needs because of the Lord of Light supports him, and he pragmatically says he needs swords rather than blessings and then sarcastically asks if she can provide him an army. When she says the house she was born into will support Stannis, he says they don't have enough swords and he doesn't share her faith in her family. So then when she says he will attain the swords sworn to Renly if Renly dies, he points out how unlikely that is to happen. It's only when Selyse informs him that Melisandre actually saw it in the flames that he embraces that option. She didn't say anything about a requirement to be "near" a target (denying that she needed to be brought to Renly), just that Storm's End was protected by spells. Stannis doesn't believe in her religion, but he does believe she has the ability to see things in the flames. That's what Selyse tells Stannis about that gets him to go down that route (and we also hear of him seeing a vision in the flames himself). And if he thinks Melisandre is telling the truth about Renly dying and him obtaining Renly's army, then it's not a suicide mission. That is what he's trying to do, but Melisandre is hardly enslaved by him like Euron's warlocks. She has the discretion to choose what to tell him so as to ensure her agenda is served. That would then give Stannis the leverage to order her to make assassins on command to fulfill Stannis' political goals. That's not what Melisandre wants. She wants Stannis to perform sacrifices a la Azor Ahai, eventually sacrificing even that which he loves most to end the Long Night. I mentioned that Melisandre offers to sleep with Davos & Jon to make more shadows. We certainly don't hear of Stannis ordering any men to sleep with her. She's maintaining her own control over that. He uses the word "fratricide", and we know that kinslaying includes killing people in battle (as Bloodraven did, as well as Bael the Bard's Stark son but NOT Bael himself). Unlike with Renly, Stannis explicitly says Penrose will die outside of combat. He attributes this knowledge to Melisandre. Also unlike with Renly, he doesn't tell his men to prepare to attack the next day. He doesn't even select a champion for single combat. Did he need to insist on dawn as the time of the attack and thereby risk Renly rejecting the idea out of hand? Or did specify that because he actually thought that would be to the advantage of his forces in the coming battle? Does the prologue or that first Davos chapter say there won't be a battle? Eddard Stark & Barristan Selmy would certainly consider assassination less honorable. But both get you the label of kinslayer per Bloodraven's example. Which is why Stannis talks about wanting to avoid sullying Lightbringer with his brother's blood. Stannis has sex with her for prurient reasons, which we know from her POV after Stannis is no longer able to make any shadows. Was Melisandre relying on Davos or Jon to "guide" her shadows in their sleep? She tells Davos he could serve his king's cause by coming to her chambers where she would give Davos pleasure and she would make another. I don't think I understand what you're getting at. At the time when Stannis is demanding Edric from Storm's End, the only motivation mentioned in the book is as "proof". The notion of sacrificing Edric comes later, and Stannis disagrees with Melisandre about it until her prediction of three dead kings for three leeches (which we know was a trick) turns out to be true. Stannis states that the proposed trial by combat would just be a trick, whereas Davos thinks Penrose is seeking a dignified way to die. Stannis goes with Melisandre's plan, which requires no risk at all to him. The "simple truth" he should have seen was that one day would be the difference between victory and defeat? I don't think Tyrion knew that in advance either. After he used it in a battle he was expecting to win but lost. Losing half his kingdom is explicitly given as a reason not to ally with Robb. Since (as I already said) Stannis is set on killing Cersei & Joffrey, the thing Cressen asks which he's not going to do is "help the boy". He doesn't say that he doesn't feel like killing Cersei & Joffrey. That is actually relevant to how an act should be evaluated. When Arya joins the Faceless Men, she's not supposed to have any personal feelings about the people she kills. When she kills Raff in revenge for Lommy, that's not very Faceless. Davos indeed doesn't bring up Ned. Stannis is saying what he's going to bring Cersei to justice for. And this is not in exchange for any support from the Starks, nor does Stannis portray it as personal. Stannis even refused to call his own brother "beloved" (while also insisting on "Ser Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer") in his public letter! It's not like Stannis is only permitting Cressen to know how little he cared for Robert. This thread is unrepresentative, not everyone just keeps arguing. Particularly when one owes fealty to another as king! I would also say that's excessively relying on an absence of evidence. Although I do think in practical terms Jon Arryn would be more likely to be the one who came up with the idea, just as he had pushed a reluctant Robert to marry Cersei.
  5. I don't think it makes a lick of sense, but like the fantasy genetics which prove incest to Ned, I think we're just supposed to accept it. Edible ones & wild ones, sure. Cats are domesticated enough to live indoor amongst people. Cutting open the cat would have been weird even if it wasn't pregnant (though that does make it extra weird). I suppose shooting a cat with a crossbow is technically different from cutting open a pregnant one. Precisely! Sansa wasn't responsible for that, so if Margaery was in her place there's nothing she could do to prevent Joffrey from being angry with her. Theon would simply be executed rather than beaten or tortured, just as the Yunkai only executed Groleo. Cersei went after Margaery anyway, because she makes bad decisions despite how obviously bad they are. Joffrey also makes terrible decisions. You can't rely on him to restrain his worst impulses out of political pragmatism. LF has no military experience, isn't a knight, and didn't have knightly bannermen (or any other kind of bannermen). His cutouts tend to be greedy men of little status. Particularly early in his career, he's not going to have leverage to use over a knight whom Jaime regards as the most dangerous after himself. The reason people try to connect him to LF is that he's from the Vale, which isn't surprising since Jon Arryn brought him to KL. Do we know of Robert or Jon having strong feelings toward any member of the KG, aside from when Robert sent his maester to Barristan? They don't need to. No he isn't. She didn't want him to send their son away, but Jon was going to do that anyway. He gave LF a minor appointment because of Lysa, but LF actually raised more revenue than expected, which is how he got named Master of Coin. I'm glad you agree it's not "hearsay" now. Unlike the user-generated wiki, that factoid in the map was explicitly confirmed by GRRM. Of course entries in the app aren't supposed to be unlimited length accounts of "the whole story". But if Ran asked GRRM to confirm pie vs wine for the app, and GRRM said pie, the app isn't going to say wine instead. If he didn't want to say anything, then he would just not say anything, which he has plenty of practice doing when people ask him about things that have yet to be revealed. Of course I don't think he's lying. I think he told the truth that it was the wine. The app is semi-canon because it was written by people authorized by GRRM and with his input, and published as such. The wiki isn't canon at all. D&D revealed it was Lyanna. And we know they guessed correctly. This is a reveal that has yet to happen in the books, but is analogous to GRRM saying that Theon would appear in ADWD and isn't dead even if he wishes he was. If you are the creator of a fictional universe and somebody asks you about the moon in said universe, then yes you have. This is you projecting your own mind onto others again. Renly was confident in an alliance with the Tyrells even before he married Margaery. What obligation does he have to pretend Margaery is still a maiden!? Any adult nearby. This is a wedding, not a court where Joffrey is handing down a judgement. No, they did react, and say he must be joking, which Tyrion affirmed. You're grasping at straws here. The primary purpose of the chalice was to poison Joffrey. Tyrion was a bonus that LF primed Joffrey to humiliate. You don't add that to pie AFTER it's baked. I already explained that smudging is not dissolving! Graphite can make smudges without any chemical reaction! Says you. No one describes the pie as moist, Joffrey only describes it as dry. Spices tend to be chemically similar. Piperine is also nonpolar. This isn't a sweet fruit pie. It's a spicy meat pie. Graphite has a crystalline structure. As I already said, graphite can be mechanically worn down through abrasion without any chemical dissolution. I didn't say that. The clients can give & receive whatever info is required from them for their specific creations without actually filling them in on the whole conspiracy. Other characters accused Cersei of that, but GRRM himself never said that. If that were the case, GRRM wouldn't say the careful reader would conclude the latter! No, LF himself admitted to it and his explanation for the Tyrells' motivations meshed precisely with what Sansa came up with independently. No, GRRM himself explained the motivation, which is precisely what Sansa imagined & LF confirmed. No, GRRM has noted that's the one element left out he most wanted them to include, and D&D explained they didn't want to bring back Michelle as a zombie. None of your weird poison plot requires any zombies. It DOES require them to not have Olenna confess to it in multiple scenes. No, she's not supposed to get paid. GRRM explained her motivation. She doesn't need to micromanage everything, and she would have no reason to think the details of how the hairnet got to Sansa would be used to screw her over. The lack of connection between Olenna & Dontos would actually serve to insulate her in the event of Dontos being caught. Sansa is a bonus, the target is Joffrey. The Tyrells are not neighbors of the North, so it's not really essential to their interests. I am arguing against your claim that since we didn't see the two knights fight to the death that means it couldn't have happened. Joffrey doesn't need to directly observe the result of everything he orders. He can enjoy knowing that people are suffering even if he's not watching. For example, if Robb Stark had been captured rather than killed by the Freys, Joffrey could have sent a raven telling the Freys what tortures he wants inflicted on Robb without having to travel to see it. Anywhere in the area of KL could serve. I'm glad you now admit he's not normal, as every other character notes about him. And GRRM himself has called Joffrey "monstrous". It's not just one incident from his childhood, that was indicative of his character and consistent with his subsequent pattern of behavior. They're not, Margaery is marrying Tommen. They wouldn't be able to hold onto the Iron Throne if Loras killed Joffrey. The "pattern" isn't about his targets. It's about Joffrey. He can be awful to anyone. You are extremely confident that Joffrey would NEVER harm Margaery specifically, but GRRM himself has said Olenna doesn't believe that (and in a manner indicating her reasoning is rational). I recommend studying up on the topic of credibly costly signals. Joffrey abusing Sansa doesn't have any direct connection to the viability of Robb's cause so that Joffrey wouldn't do it if Robb had good odds. In fact Joffrey does it more when Robb is successful! Therefore the lords would have no reason to conclude based on Sansa's abuse that Robb is doomed. Joffrey just comes across as deranged & out of control, hence Tyrion stopping things. 34) I'm glad you're no longer claiming Tyrion talked to Varys about bringing Joffrey to a brothel after I quoted the section saying just that. And the point was that Tyrion attributed a sexual motive to Joffrey rather the signalling argument you've come up with (and that no character ever suggests). Going back to the timeline again, Joffrey's assassination/wedding was on 1/1 in the year 300. The bit with Corbray takes place on 3/23 of the same year. Did Sansa really get that much older & more mature by that time? And yet she still doesn't see the "obvious" holes in LF's story about the assassination? It's not merely that Sansa couldn't understand why the Tyrells were blase about that. It's that LF independently gave the same explanation that Sansa thought of, and GRRM explicitly said that Olenna killed Joffrey because of just the sort of thing that Sansa worried would cause Loras to kill Joffrey. Against that you just have your own confidence not supported by anything in the text. I guess I have to quote you again: This appears to be the result of you not reading the comment until you quote-reply, thus losing the quotes inside it and forgetting what you yourself wrote. So perhaps you'll just have no idea what I'm talking about when you reply to this, even though everyone else reading will see how you contradicted yourself. That's precisely why! If they did think he was behind it then they WOULDN'T be confused! As it is they are looking in the wrong place for enemies, letting LF sneak out with Sansa and all the funds he misappropriated during his tenure as Master of Coin (by now converted into things like debt he's bought from Vale lords). Everything worked out perfectly for LF, with no hitches. Whoever's pulling strings from hell really likes him The marriage was never consummated, and Tyrion was sentenced to death. LF doesn't see her earlier marriage as that big of a hurdle. With Sansa herself being a fugitive accused-regicide, any reveal of her would mean revealing LF's open defiance of the Lannisters. There are many ways to be wrong, but only one true answer to any sufficiently narrow question. Independently arriving at the arriving at the same logic (which GRRM supported in his statement) is evidence in favor of it. LF has only just heard about what happened, so if he was expecting Tyrion to be assassinated instead he would be surprised and have little time to come up with th is explanation. If I asked GRRM to confirm that it was Roose Bolton who stabbed Robb Stark to death, and he said "Yes", that would be confirming. Even though his statement would not be part of the actual canonical text and it wouldn't actually be a contradiction for him to reveal later it was a look-a-like (though GRRM wouldn't confirm it if he was actually planning on such a reveal). The Tyrells aren't limited to a single moment to poison the chalice. They can do so whenever it's most convenient for them. Although if LF suggests to Joffrey that Tyrion be his cupbearer, that could help get it moving more. She doesn't have to do that bit herself. Then they would have just NOT confirmed it either way! She's not saying that about Barry OR herself. No one interprets her comment that way because logic doesn't work that way. It's really more the show where she appeals to his sadism. Interrupting Joffrey when he's berating Tyrion because the pie has arrived isn't really appealing to his worst instincts. None of the witnesses remembered afterward, even though Sansa was an escaped accused-regicide. Even Sansa didn't remember until LF pointed it out. Tyrion would have every reason to blame someone else, but the idea never occurs to him. Tyrion actually sees loose hair that Olenna is able to put back in the net! The text makes that clear, but you just insist it can't be. So just because it's not "unusual" for some hairs to be loose it means an old lady can't fix them up anyway? No, because she'd just seem like an old lady fiddling with a hairnet that no one else knew at the time to contain poison. Sansa is the one known to have been abused by Joffrey and to have had her brother recently killed by his loyalists. Olenna had no connection to the hairnet prior to that and even Sansa wouldn't know how she'd know it was poison. The accusation is that she & Tyrion conspired together. Certainly. And they won't accept her protestations of innocence & ignorance. Oberyn Martell wants vengeance for something that happened before Joffrey was even born. Joffrey merely making insulting jokes about the Dornish wouldn't be enough to motivate an assassination, and he didn't have much contact with Sansa. And of course the regime isn't going to be checking if Sansa conspired with Tywin! What's your evidence for that? Varys helps Tyrion flee after he murders Tywin. He's not that loyal a servant of the regime. He doesn't claim to be "utterly blind", he says he doesn't know what game he's up to. Varys knew he was causing problems, but didn't know WHY. Where is he going to discuss the assassination he has planned for the royal wedding after he's already said he's left for the Vale? The boat can leave and come back for the scheduled wedding. And it's not "the entire last half-year or more", as you yourself noted just afterward it was more a matter of "weeks" between the two weddings. How is he going to explain why he's secretly in KL when Mace knows he's supposed to be in the Vale? He's just that dedicated to helping Olenna steal Sansa away from the Lannisters? This is you just imagining knowledge on her part when the text gives no support to that. Mace Tyrell. He's currently Master of Ships, but it's not like he's really a naval specialist. Tywin was even willing to have Mace's brother take the position. I don't see how the quote about the puff fish has anything to do with that. She's using it as a term of mockery. Not every family is as awful toward their own members as the Lannisters. The Tyrell sibligns actually get along with each other, even without a sexual relationship like Cersei & Jaime. Regicide is a big deal. She'd want to check every box, including what Joffrey's former fiance has to say about him. There are a couple of different possibilities. 1: Olenna is telling the truth that Mace is the one who insisted both of Margaery's marriages over her objections and he's too much of an oaf look past the shiny prize in front of him. Then she might simply go around his back. 2: She's lying and Mace is actually in on the plan to assassinate Joffrey and replace him with Tommen. And in that case she actually did go to him. It was a flake, which raises the ratio of surface area to volume, and it was immersed in wine. No, it's still useful for people who prepare it in advance and don't try to poison a solid like a pie. The ratio of the volume of wine to the volume of poison would determine the concentration. And we now from Cressen that there's not really much poison required to be fatal. The conspirators know how much wine the chalice can hold and how much poison is in a single stone from the net. It wasn't a mistake or foolish, it killed Joffrey without harming Margaery. No, we don't hear of any alcohol in the pie. We do hear that it's spiced, which is chemically quite different. And we hear Joffrey say that it's dry. At Tyrion's own wedding he talked about castrating the king. You can't rely on his strong sense of decorum to ensure he eats any of the pie at all (it better be the part with the crystal, which also isn't visible), and doesn't spit out the crystal. Meanwhile Olenna or whoever is supposed to be uncouth enough to stick their fingers inside Tyrion's slice of pie. We don't get a description. If "all the facts" were going to point to the pie, we would have gotten some indication it was even capable of concealing/dissolving the poison. Olenna walks with a cane, I'd expect her to be sitting rather than standing even it wasn't already expected for the guests to be seated. And we don't need text about servants cutting pie while Joffrey is dancing with Margaery. Who said Olenna was in charge of the servants? Tyrion tells Shae that the queen (Cersei) has chosen all the servers. That was just the Tyrells inviting Sansa to a private get together which they put on themselves. They have complete authority over that, unlike with the wedding the Lannisters are putting on. Cersei is the one paranoid about the Tyrells, while Jaime is trying to get her to chill out. You said that Cersei framed Margaery for adultery rather than annulling the marriage because she needed the Tyrell army. But I replied that she's not going to have the support of the Tyrell army if Margaery gets convicted. Tyrion's small stomach could have already filled up by then. And indeed he had no plans on eating any of the pie. That's just Joffrey continuing to mess with Tyrion after dumping the wine on him and forcing him to serve it. Joffrey is even eating Tyrion's pie as a gesture of disrespect rather than punishing him for not eating it. He's not portrayed as sober, instead it's said that the wine had made him wild. I just explained that as the plan you describe is more likely to poison Sansa, then it's probably not the case that it was in fact the plan with obtaining Sansa as the objective! This is you just making up stuff that's not in the text. Text editors are extremely basic. Everyone else reading these comments will see quotes followed by replies, although the lack of nesting will obscure what those quotes were themselves replying to. When you just use numbers (which are certainly an improvement over what you did before), then you do require readers to "scroll up", which is exactly what you had complained about. That's not going to come down to Sansa's marriage. The Tyrells were completely left outside of the marriage alliances of Robert's rebel coalition, and it wasn't regarded as any existential threat to them. This is the explanation GRRM gave: So he did explain it, and you are choosing to ignore it because of his comment about how he was two more books to write. That comment merely demarcates his discussion with EW (including a bit about how Sansa was to take the blame) as extra-textual. Sansa was able to get away. And if Olenna was in on the plan for her to run away when a poisoning occurred, then she could have assigned someone the job of following Sansa. There were people looking at Margaery. And if anyone sees her running away when her husband is poisoned, she'd look suspicious as hell. Olenna actually did have to "screech" for people to move to help Joffrey, as they were all just staring. The reason is that he gets his jollies from it. Mycah hadn't done anything to him, but Joffrey still decided to draw blood with Lion's Tooth. That sort of sadism is why GRRM called him "monstrous". It might result in Loras killing Joffrey. Cersei had to hide from Jaime any bruises Robert gave her, and Robert was at least ashamed of hitting her. Robert insisted on hunting the boar alone when he was drunker than usual. Joffrey is dumb, but he's not actually brave. Blockading him would lead to his defeat. Tywin didn't say anything about going back out on campaign to deal with Stannis. Jaime was never regent. As LF said, it's considered impolite to inquire into the origins of a bastard. And LF recommended "pious bleating" to discourage "unwanted questions". One detail of the story is that her own mother died giving birth to her, leaving her to the Faith. There's no reason for Alayne to even talk about Gulltown. Sansa is 13. That's very close to 14. Myranda even says she's well developed for her age. Alright then, Mycah again! That's not preventing him from hurting anyone, that's just using a different sword to cut the pie. That's not restraining him from hurting anyone for fear of the consequences either, rather it was suggesting a way of humiliating his uncle. We haven't really seen that. When Joffrey is bent on a bit of sadism, he's unwilling to let up. If he wanted to hurt Margaery, the best anyone could do would be suggesting better ways of doing it. The Riverlands has more neighboring kingdoms on its borders than the Reach or the US (counting countries as "kingdoms" for that last bit). That's one way of saying it's your head-canon when the text doesn't say something. 91) I'm making a relative comparison of places bounded by land vs sea. England was able to avoid invasions at a time when contiental countries weren't. Back when it was called the Riverlands rather than the Crownlands, the Riverlands still bordered the Vale & North whereas the Reach didn't. I deny that Tyrion's marriage to Sansa is a giant threat to Highgarden. The Targaryens were the dominant house up until Robert's rebellion. Prior to that House Hoare had seized the Riverlands from House Durrandon. If the Gardeners had actually been dominant all that time, they would have been running the Riverlands themselves. The Tyrells didn't have marriage alliances with those other kingdoms all that time. Do you think the Tyrells are all that concerned with who rules Yi Ti? The further away something is, the less important. The issue with Joffrey isn't that he doesn't consider himself a Baratheon (he actually dismisses Tywin on the basis of his "father" Robert). It's that he's not actually one, hence Ned & Stannis refusing to accept him on the throne (and, as a result of Ned, Robb also rebelling). Tristifer IV Mudd of Oldstones was the fourth King of the Rivers and the Hills, and his house had been kings of the Riverlands for thousands of years before the Andals came. In contrast, there were only three Hoare Kings of the Isles and the Rivers, so I don't see why their two fewer generations was enough to establish a "tradition" if the Mudds had not. And that's completely stupid. She can't answer for "crimes" she had nothing to do with many miles away. Tyrion deduces a sexual motive for Joffrey's actions, as Joffrey certainly never displays an ounce of political pragmatism. Everyone agrees Joffrey is just awful including GRRM, I really don't know why you're trying to spin his actions as something other than sadism. But that's not what happened. Sansa was stripped & beaten far from Robb, with no possible way of influencing his behavior, and while Robb had an even more valuable hostage in Jaime! It was just idiotic behavior explainable only by Joffrey's sadism. Tyrion didn't really control Joffrey either, he was just more competent at running other things than Cersei. We've got one incident of Tywin sending Joffrey to bed with his mother, without agreeing to follow Tywin's lead after their argument. The Tyrells would be wise not to rely on Tywin deterring Joffrey. Joffrey isn't really tough enough to do much beating himself, but again I can cite Mycah as a random person Joffrey went after without any cause. Men can't marry each other in Westeros Tywin doesn't care about Cersei's wellbeing, as evidenced by him forcing her to marry again over her objections (and his general attitude toward his children). He didn't expect any problems with Robert either, who was known to be a drinker & skirt-chaser but not a sadist. Stannis was married to Selyse, and there really wouldn't be any reason to think marriage to him would be better anyway. Tywin never wanted Robert killed, the murder plot only came about to prevent him from learning about the incest. Joffrey is indeed a spineless liar, but when Robert is discussing his dismay at Joffrey he brings up the incident with the cat, which was not an example of Joffrey being notably spineless or a liar. He was just screwed up. And doing that to animals at a young age is considered a warning sign of becoming a serial killer nowadays. What's "cruel" about leaving bastards all over? I actually agree with you there. But I don't think that, say, Margaery could have prevented it (nor could she have foreseen it). Joffrey can only be encouraged to act out his sadism. Discouraging that is a completely different story.
  6. Comparing Joffrey to Aegon III, the former overrode his regent when it came to an execution while the latter had more conflict over appointments. It's notable that the conspiracy against the Rogares never made it all the way to executions. Victor Risley was the one accused conspirator who demanded a trial by combat to prove his innocence, and that lack of executions meant he never acted in his official capacity (knowingly or not) on behalf of the conspiracy. I suppose in a hypothetical where it had, the question would be whether Aegon III could forbid an execution his regent ordered.
  7. That's not so abnormal for a Westerosi nobleman. But Robert can't understand how he could have had a son as messed up as Joffrey. He was mostly just corrupt. One such concubine did die in a horrible way, but that's because she was caught sleeping with one of his KG. Maegor, Rhaenyra, Aegon II & Aerys II all learned the hard way that their character does matter. Adults try to tell Joffrey similarly, but he doesn't listen. Who was expecting him to throw out the deal arranged for Ned Stark to take the black?
  8. We don't hear of any KG deaths in battle between the Tower of Joy and the start of the main series (not that we can be sure none died in the Greyjoy Rebellion). The two remaining KG from Aerys' time are still around, even Barristan the (b)old. Being one of the five originals hasn't been confirmed, but it would seem to be the most likely probability, particularly since all but Barristan of Robert's initial 7 would likely be young with plenty of life expected ahead of them. It wasn't said that Mandon was "disliked" by Jon, rather nobody had any particular fondness for him. And the reason why is because he was good at his job! Jaime considers Mandon to be one of the most dangerous members of the KG, and yes I know there are relative incompetents like Boros Blount & slow Meryn Trant, but nobody ever thinks less of Mandon's fighting ability. Jon had just fought a war in which he led his knights of the Vale to victory. It's entirely to be expected that he would appoint one of them whose prowess he witnessed to the KG! Lysa hasn't been campaigning with him, so he wouldn't have any reason to rely on her judgment of who the best knights are rather than his own. You can click to link to read what others say, and if you really think everyone is lying about what's in the app you can look into that yourself. I know it requires payment, so I promise that if you look it up and it turns out everyone is lying about what's in the app, I'll send compensation for what you had to spend to a crypto wallet address you provide. GRRM doesn't rely on simply lying to avoid spoiling revelations. No one believes Ned & Jon are the same person! The wiki is user-generated, unlike the app. The only place in the Jon Snow wiki article where it cites the app is on Robb Stark naming Jon his heir. The note about him being Ned Stark's bastard cites the Game of Thrones appendix. And since Ned openly claims Jon as his bastard with no one else saying otherwise, that is public knowledge within that world. What happened to Joffrey was part of a contentious trial, with Tyrion stating in his defense that Joffrey choked on his pigeon pie. Now I really want to hear your alternate theory about that! How is stating not confirming? And there's no alternate canon for the app vs books like there is for the show. Renly doesn't even deny it when Stannis asserts she's still a maid. He merely expects to father a child later. But I know you dismiss what LF says in that conversation, even though he no longer needs to "go along with the whole charade" "to be part of this new order". 8) I don't have an orange torch (or any torches, this being the electrical era), but neither the subtractive nor additive color model produces purple from red & orange/yellow/white. Maybe if the chalice was blue. The Westerosi do not consider it a dull affair if nobody is killed at a wedding. Rather, it tends to spoil the festivities. If Joffrey threatens any of his guests with his sword, it's going to be taken away. Tywin ordered its creation, and he wasn't one of the conspirators! She's calling Joffrey to drink wine she knows is poisoned in order to poison him. And she can feign concern for Joffrey rather than drinking herself. You haven't established that ANY of it will dissolve. You haven't shown any of the chemistry, we know that Joffrey complains about the pie being dry rather than moist, and we know the filling is spiced and that capsacin is non-polar. Far less! It couldn't possibly be that the pie is just dry, seeing as how baking things causes moisture to evaporate! Even if you're using a dessicant to absorb moisture, you're not going to expect half a minute to be sufficient to dry something out. Water isn't exactly flowing through the pie either. No, I won't agree! A smudge is not equal to "dissolving". It doesn't require a chemical reaction at all (abrasion, for example, is a mechanical process). Dissolving requires a chemical solvent to dissolve the solute. We know the Strangler dissolves in wine (which is polar), thus it must be a polar solute itself. Oil is non-polar, and thus could not dissolve it. Sweat would contain water, which is, but to the extent it already contains salt it has somewhat less ability dissolve more polar substances due to saturation. If he bites down on a solid chunk of Strangler, he's probably going to spit it out. And even if he does drink some wine with it, you've got the problem of the amount of wine that comes into contact with the crystal. I mentioned saturation just above, and that's problem if you simply mix a solute & solvent in one container. Tyrion's mouth would not be such a container, as it would contain a lot of pie as well. Who said it was moist? That word doesn't appear in the text. The alchemist & jeweler were acting on orders from the conspirators, but neither alchemist nor jeweler needed to know about any of the conspiracy other than their own small part. If I buy ammunition from a gun store, I don't need to tell them how I intend to use it. I can just talk about the properties of the ammunition in a particular gun and under particular conditions. Let's distinguish between two propositions: whether it's actually the case that the poison was in the pie vs wine and whether all the facts in the text suggest one vs the other (GRRM could just be throwing a lot of red herrings at readers). You insist that all the facts support pie. But GRRM explicitly said that the careful reader should conclude Olenna poisoned Joffrey's wine to protect Margaery. You and him disagree about the effect his text should have. I believe his rule is that the World of Ice and Fire can be superseded by the main series, but here we don't have a contradiction. Of course I can. GRRM has said he gave them the broad outlines of his story, they've discussed "holy shit" moments he told them that got incorporated post-ADWD material, and we already brought up how they correctly guessed Jon Snow's mother. We also know there are some systematic ways the books differ from the show: the show is more compressed in time & number of characters (hence using Jaqen instead of the Kindly Man, Sansa instead of Jeyne Poole and Euron essentially being a combination of both Greyjoy uncles) and isn't restricted to the books' POV. So we got to see scenes of Renly & Loras in private rather than just in public, and this made explicit what had previously been word-of-GRRM. Similarly, we got a scene of Olenna discussing the assassination with Margaery and taking responsibility, and this fits with the statement GRRM gave to EW. That specific scene wasn't written by GRRM, so you can guess it's not exactly what he would have written if he were going to include a POV chapter for that. And he's said that Hodor's death won't be EXACTLY like on the show (he'll be wielding a sword), but the fundamentals will be the same. He doesn't say that. He says Sansa will be wearing it. How she got Sansa got it isn't really Olenna's concern. She just needs to know that the poison will be accessible at the wedding, and how she can inconspicuously grab it. The goal of the plan is to kill Joffrey to prevent him from hurting Margaery. Tyrion is not essential to it, he's a bonus. Precisely, he doesn't need to. Says who? Joffrey hasn't obligated himself. But if both knights turn out to survive the next morning, just like if the woman is found outside the dungeon, then he'll know that his judgement was flouted, and he's not going to accept that. Trial by combat actually was a way that people sometimes resolved property disputes in the past. And these guys weren't planning on it, but now they have to. He didn't simply say it was an option and otherwise possession is 9/10ths of the law. The whole point of that section is about how Joffrey's conception of "justice" is purely about him enjoying the suffering of others! Who said these two knights are supposed to duel at the Red Keep? Joffrey cutting open the pregnant cat is not considered normal even in his culture. And killing a deer would normally be fine, but not if your sibling has claimed it as their own. That's not a matter of cruelty to the animal, but to Tommen. Robert Baratheon didn't kill Proudwing, he just derided it in comparison to his own hawk. Joffrey has a PATTERN of sadistic behavior. Robert brings up the cat after the incident with Mycah as indicative of Joffrey's character. Joffrey abusing Sansa is part of that pattern, as is the "justice" he hands down. No, there are hostages on both sides and Jaime is considered to be worth more. Thus Joffrey doesn't actually have leverage over Robb via Sansa, he at best has a bargaining chip to be used in trade with Robb. It's true that Chataya's is a brothel rather than a "brother", but somehow I doubt that's what you're getting at. However, I can't understand what else you're trying to say since I already provided that quote earlier! Of course it is. You said she hasn't correctly figured out anything, when she did by your own admission. And she figured out the incident with Corbrey in the same chapter in which it occurred! Does that not count as puzzled? That first bit is precisely the point LF made! If they knew LF was responsible, they'd have better odds of figuring out his game. As it is, LF is the inconspicuous but useful guy to have around when all these problems keep inexplicably happening. His own plans weren't disrupted. He's still got Sansa, and via Dontos, who had told her not to trust the Tyrells. LF doesn't want Sansa to continue any of her involvement with them. The exact same "excuse" Sansa independently arrived at as a puzzle for the Tyrells she couldn't figure out!? The missing piece of that puzzle has now been filled in, but you insist there never was such a slot, even as GRRM himself gave that as Olenna's motivation to EW. LF is cocky. He lies about the dagger right in front of the Master of Whisperers. He even says "I confess" in reply to Tyrion claiming to know the identity of Jon Arryn's killer! Ran asked him about it, and he said it was the wine. That's not how logic works. If everyone fears the KJ, that would include both Sansa and the wicked without making her wicked. Barristan had just said he finds Ilyn frightening as well, and Sansa isn't calling him wicked. Nor was Cersei calling Barristan wicked when she said her line in response to Barristan. LF is able to appeal to Joffrey's worst instincts. That doesn't mean he'd be able to restrain Joffrey if he wanted to do something horrible. And I should note that in another interview with EW about that wedding, GRRM himself describes Joffrey as "monstrous". Did anybody notice that? Nobody would have regarded that as remarkable. And if Sansa pleads ignorance (when everyone knows she had motive to kill Joffrey) and then tries to say Olenna took the missing stone from her hairnet, she'll just look like she's lying. There's nothing contradictory about an old lady adjusting a hairnet. And she actually does tuck loose hair into the hairnet. Tyrion doesn't see any contradiction between Olenna's statement and the actual state of Sansa's hair. Is someone else more focused on Sansa's hair and going to make that claim? No, the Lannisters think Sansa is a knowing participant in the conspiracy. You are projecting your own thoughts onto others. Cersei insists Tyrion is guilty, and the trial is a railroad for him. There will be no Perry Mason or Columbo determing the true culprit. Who at the wedding had as much reason as Sansa and/or Tyrion? LF doesn't know about Varys' plans to undermine the regime. He also explains how Varys knew about Catelyn arriving to meet LF even before LF knew by saying "Lord Varys knows all" and "He has informants everywhere". Those informants of course can't peer inside LF's mind to understand why he does the things he does. That would be the implication of LF's description of him. He's on a boat which will head there once he picks up Sansa. Varys is not actually a merman and thus his informants can't tip him off about that kind of thing. That's awfully late for him to be approaching her. He's supposed to have left the city quite some time back. Here's an attempt at a timeline of all the chapters. They have Sansa 3 at 11/8 of the year 299. Tyrion 3 is 11/3. Mace Tyrell heard LF say he was leaving the next day, but Olenna is supposed to believe he was lying and hanging around for no particular reason and he's now going to pop up where he shouldn't be in order to talk to her about assassinating Tyrion? That box of rocks is starting to look pretty smart by comparison. What does she know about the crown's finances that the crown itself doesn't know? LF is the one who recommended him in the first place! He was completely upbeat about it in the meeting Mace saw, and now Olenna is supposed to think he was spooked about it... but didn't approach her until days later once Tyrion had married Sansa and well after he said he was sailing to the Vale. She doesn't pretend to be "daft", she pretends to be harmless. LF was sent on behalf of the regime to arrange the marriage. He would be betraying them if he openly spoke otherwise about Joffrey. At least if he did so openly. LF ensured that his servants spread the truth, and Olenna was always wary of the marriage. Conspiring with her to assassinate Joffrey THEN makes her agree to the marriage, prompts LF to have Dontos give Sansa the hairnet, and ensures Olenna & Margaery will be blase in reaction to Sansa. Precisely! He was officially doing his job, and unofficially making a deal with Olenna. There were multiple lines of dialogue exchanged between the time he added the flake and when anyone drank. That doesn't mean the crystal dissolved instantaneously, or even the amount of time that someone's wine would be in their mouth (unless they were gargling it). And the flake is going to be small & have a high ratio of surface area to volume (otherwise it wouldn't be called a flake), which would cause it to dissolve faster than the rounder crystals of Sansa's hairnet. A larger volume of wine means more solute is soluble, but it still only takes place at a pace proportional to the surface area of said solute. Pie is not a liquid! There's a reason you're supposed to dissolve a solute into a liquid solvent. Inside a liquid the various molecules are moving freely around, so the entire volume of the solvent can be used to dissolve the solute. Solids don't work that way! The molecules are fixed in place, merely vibrating. Only the surface areas of different solids would come in contact with each other, leaving most of the volume separated. It's supposed to get to the thoat, but it won't if it's spat out. It just looks dark brown rather than purplish to me. And the pie is never described as purplish. Nor does anyone describe the pie as "moist" (it is instead described as "dry"). If she's poisoning pie before it gets to Tyrion, how does she know which slice is his? The pie is supposed to be hot, so they're not going to have a lot of slices simply sitting around for much time. The color of the wine isn't consistent. I think GRRM is merely alluding to the Strangler with mentions of purple. It can be set aside "By the High Septon or a Council of Faith". Are either of them willing to openly screw over the Tyrells that way? Would even Tommen go along with that? As soon as Tommen is physically capable, the Tyrells are going to insist he consummates the marriage. And prior to that, if the Lannisters tried to replace Margaery with somebody else that somebody else would know right away their guarantee from the Lannisters would be worth about as much as the one given to the Tyrells. She's not going ot have it if Margaery is convicted. That army was mobilized to ensure Margaery was released. LF's ship will be far from that cliff by then. It wasn't visible from the cliff, anyone who followed Dontos wouldn't know anything about it. Away from his wife, who is seated right next to him? I'm glad you now agree he does it for no reason. And no, Olenna not eating any pie would not be 'dishonoring" him. There's an enormous number of dishes, you can't expect everyone to eat all of it. A toast normally involves talking, so she can do that before drinking. That's after Sansa recalls Joffrey pushing her to drink more than she ever had before. And if poisoning the lemon cream would be the best way to poison Sansa then... that probably wasn't poisoned or the goal of the poisoning wasn't actually to "get" Sansa. That's Tyrion's expectation. No, I read your comment with the quoted text above it before I hit the quote button. And I wrote up a reply in a text editor. Every computer comes with a text editor like Notepad. I guess ed would be sufficiently non-fancy to merit your critique, but I'm going to assume you're not Bill Joy typing on a machine with an unknown configuration of vi. How can he be sure he can motivate Olenna to kill Tyrion at the time the hairnet is given!? GRRM himself explained how Olenna had a motivation to kill Joffrey. Why is leaving her with LF an option? LF doesn't have to hand the wanted fugitive Sansa over to Olenna, and indeed he doesn't. Because they'll all be staring at Tyrion, they'll see his wife (seated right next to him) leave. I am, because it contradicts your characterization of Sansa & Joffrey's interactions. Sansa "mocking" Joffrey isn't required for him to treat her horribly, he's just "monstrous" per GRRM. Sansa wasn't expecting it to happen "the moment" she was alone with him, but within a year. Olenna simply sees no need to risk any alone time at all when she can instead simply have him replaced with Tommen right away. He has 7 KG dedicated to protecting him, unlike Lothar. Tywin does not need to leave KL to have ships blockade Dragonstone. Joffrey refuses to listen to his other relatives talking sense to him, and it's not like he has some special relationship with Jaime. Sansa is the only one he tells that, after he first tells her Kella is her mother. Other people just don't inquire into his bastard's origins because it's not considered polite. Sansa asked LF, so he told her one answer which Sansa would hate and another one she'd accept. I disagree. It's clear that he's simply a jerk who enjoys it and there's no consequentialist justification. Explaining the situation doesn't work with Joffrey. He wants to hurt people and doesn't consider the consequences. Doh, Willas is the one who took up animal husbandry after he was disabled jousting against Oberyn. I was making a point about geography. The US has oceans on its east & west coasts. Does anybody in the series say that? Isn't it notable that you have to go back 1200 years ago? The same isn't true for continental Europe. No, the Riverlands borders the North and the Vale while the Reach doesn't border either. Your argument about Tywin taking over everywhere is based on dynastic succesion, which doesn't apply to post-Romanov Russia. The Westerlands were already north of the Reach, so that hasn't changed. Dorne is to the south and Myrcella is betrothed to Trystane, but he's Doran's youngest child (Olenna is not expecting Quentyn to die in Meereen). LF is Lord Paramount of the Riverlands rather than Emmon Frey, and the North isn't a neighbor to the Reach. I explained the purpose served by marriage in dynastic politics. In this case, Margaery's children will sit on the Iron Throne, and both the Lannisters & Tyrells will be invested in said children. Harrenhal was built specifically to be the strongest castle, and was defeated only by dragons. Riverrun is not "the traditional seat of the region", it's the traditional seat of House Tully, who were never kings. Riverrun isn't nothing, but it achieved its current prominence as a result of the Targaryens choosing a ruling house rather than the specifics of the castle itself. There's nothing in the text to support that, as no characters think that. Instead everyone who thinks about it at all considers it foolish. You are simply projecting your own thoughts onto the characters. Robb doesn't do that to his hostages, nor does Dany to hers in Meereen. Instead hostages get traded. Theon wasn't abused, there was instead merely an implicit threat. And when Theon uses Beth Cassel as a hostage, he shows her father that he can have her hanged rather than stripping & beating her without Rodrik present. And if all those aren't enough for you, Tywin sent Tyrion to KL because he didn't think Cersei could control Joffrey. The reason is that he enjoys it.
  9. There are some different kinds of speed we need to distinguish between. There's as fast as a portion of the army can go, and as fast as the entire army can go. Renly raced to Storm's End faster than his whole army could move. However, prior to that, his whole army was not moving as fast as it could. Instead, it was hanging back while Robb & Tywin fought each other. That's the do-nothing strategy which Tyrion recognized as what he would do in Renly's shoes. There's a difference between extending your supply lines and going beyond your supply lines. Besieging someone, as Cat imagines Ned recommending against Stannis and she wishes were happening against King's Landing, requires that you do the former and not the latter. Even if he required longer for the entire army it wouldn't mean he was "entrapped". Nobody thinks of him that way... because he wasn't. Stannis wasn't going to leave for reasons particular to Stannis rather than the strategic situation. Stannis was the one demanding battle at a specific time, Renly wasn't forcing it. Not one horse, multiple horses, and it was sufficient to throw someone he wasn't even trying to throw. Hoping, but they didn't start by finding someone who would actually look like Lyanna. They started with Margaery because she's Loras' sister. Renly shows the picture to Ned without explaining what he's actually up to (so Ned thinks Renly might be in love with her), but he doesn't show the picture to Robert. Instead he just talks her up so Robert has to go by that description and doesn't actually see what Ned saw. I'm talking about the social role within the system of patriarchy. When Joffrey gives away Sansa, he's not claiming to be her biological father, nor is Theon in "giving" away Jeyne. There is simply a social role expected to be fulfilled even if the actual father is dead. That is an interresting example because Hoster was trying to get Brynden to marry (a traditional responsibility of parents toward their children), and it was his refusal that made him "the Blackfish". Brynden got out from under his brother's authority by becoming the Knight of the Gate at the Mountains of the Moon in the Vale. As such he is under the authority of House Arryn, who were kings long before the Tullys were granted the Riverlands and certainly could never be under their authority. Robb does arrange a marriage for his sister Arya as the new head of House Stark. And Stannis certainly didn't marry Selyse because he wanted to. When I discussed Robert's actions as "careless generosity" you asked "Just as the Handship??" The Handship is not a gift that Robert is giving, instead it is a service he's requesting of those he trusts the most & whose wisdom he respects. Stannis starts from a position of considering all the other self-declared kings to be traitors. He's making the "offer" as an alternative to "sully(ing) Lightbringer with a brother's blood". Although I know there are arguments that daughters inherit before uncles, so it could be an exaggeration to say he's offering strictly nothing (although an adult male might be preferred to a female child as heir even if one weren't as sexist as Stannis). It's not a mere "tie" which can be symmetrical, but fealty. One is above the other. And that's a point in his favor? I've already discussed how choices of succession have been made specifically to avoid a child king with a regency. Roose Bolton even says it would be better for Ramsay to kill his younger brothers to avoid that! We also know that bastards are disfavored. Criston Cole helped kick off the Dance of the Dragons by swearing that no bastard would ever hold the throne, and the Blackfyre rebellions have made bastards further despised (even the Blackfyre loyalists at Whitewalls disparage Bittersteel for that, and Targaryen loyalists likewise distrust Bloodraven). Aegon V being married was considered a point in his favor, not a demerit. Competition over who a boy king should marry, as well as who should be his regent, are both things to be avoided for the stability of the realm. When Stannis was in KL, most of them were on Dragonstone. Davos is a less certain case, but he wasn't quite the confidant of Stannis then that he would later become. Ned hadn't learned the secret Jon Arryn died for most of that time. When he does learn it, he figures he can intimidate Cersei into fleeing since Robert would surely kill her & her children after Ned tells him. Jon Arryn died specifically because of what he was doing together with Stannis. People knew they were atypically visiting armorers & brothels together. If someone picked up on Jon Arryn's investigation, they would know that Stannis was part of it. Ned is on the trail afterward and doesn't have reason to think anyone else knows how much he knows until he tells Cersei. It wasn't me who made it up, Ned came up with Stannis' fear as a motivation for him leaving. Stannis doesn't have to believe that Cersei personally murdered Jon Arryn (Pycelle even says she was heading to Casterly Rock when he died), just as Bran wasn't personally attacked by a member of the Lannister family and LF was on a boat for the Vale when the assassination of Joffrey he arranged was carried out. The Hand can act with the powers of the King as long as the King isn't contradicting him (which isn't often for an absentee king who prefers to avoid conflict he can't resolve with his muscles). That's not the same, which is why Cersei was afraid of Ned being given that position. What was Stannis saying at that point in time? I don't recall Ned encountering many quotes from him in his investigation. He has no reason to in the present. Indeed, and that is a problem for your reasoning by absence-of-evidence. If we expect the majority isn't going to appear, then for any given instance of a thing he felt, we shouldn't expect to see it. This isn't mathematics and I didn't claim proof, just as there wouldn't be proof he did trust Pycelle. I argue that Pycelle shows himself to be obviously pro-Lannister during Ned's relatively brief tenure as Hand, and the longer period of time Stannis spent would be enough to see that. He wasn't arguing "Let's not be hasty, maybe it was dark and they couldn't see well". He was saying that Gregor (who had been seen beheading his own horse and attacking Loras Tyrell not long ago) was an "annointed knight" with land and "holy vows" and therefore the brigand must be some other man of similar size. He was insisting that people with no authority over Tywin go to him to ask for justice, even though they weren't his people and he owed them no protection whereas Gregor (the accused) was his sworn man. It rather defeats the point of having a central authority above inter-region disputes. This isn't "caution", it's arguing so badly it's almost as if Pycelle is trying to make himself look like an incompetent agent of Tywin's. What actual evidence does he have? GRRM had to invent some fantasy version of Mendelian genetics with a super-dominant Baratheon allele that has persisted down through the generations. He already tried telling the actual Hand and lost said Hand. The King believes Jon Arryn died of natural causes, the Grand Maester even said as much, so it's just Stannis insisting there is such a danger and that (very conveniently for Stannis) he's now the heir. Can you come up with a reason why Stannis would want Jon Arryn to know but not for Ned to know? Ned actually finding out would have worked out for Stannis if Robert hadn't gotten gored by a boar. We know that Ned heard about Lysa's letter blaming the Lannisters for killing Jon Arryn. We know he was told by LF that Tyrion was behind the attempted assassination of Bran (after he fell from a window when most other than the Lannister twins were hunting). Stannis doesn't know Ned knows these things because he didn't get to read those chapters. He just knows what happens the last time he tried telling the Hand. Then why did he tell Jon Arryn? Was that some triple-bankshot somehow aimed at Robert's death? The time & resources Stannis required to convince Jon are relevant to what he should expect would be required to convince Ned. Jon Arryn borrowed it from Pycelle. Pycelle didn't say anything about Stannis ever having it. Jon evidently needed some extra convincing and decided to make sure before making an accusation based on some bastards. If Stannis had taken the book, then it wouldn't be there for Ned to read when he reached KL. Why would Stannis' motivation change based on that? Shouldn't switching from wanting to inform his brother/king to wanting him dead require a really big change? If there's no fix to the succesion, then Joffrey inherits. Letting Robert know so that Cersei's children get removed is actually the best way to ensure it passes to Stannis instead! And since Robert didn't know, why would Stannis conclude he was in "sure danger"? They hadn't killed Robert in all that time, because Joffrey was still set to inherit and Robert wasn't causing any problems. They only killed Jon Arryn after Stannis told him, whereas Robert still hasn't been told. But Stannis doesn't immediately declare himself king, he waits until after both Robb & Renly have. He actually sends out his declaration after he learns a way to get an army. The ships he gathered were useful, but he didn't assume they'd be sufficient by themselves. You could argue he was banking on Ned discovering what happened and busting the Lannisters for that, but if Ned succeeds why assume Robert would die? You objected that I was using Ned's logic without his "context thoughts", but we don't actually have any of Stannis thoughts about whether Cersei is after him or not. Cersei actually knows she wasn't behind Jon's poisoning, and she doesn't know Lysa was told by LF to frame her for that. Instead she's worried that Jon might have told his wife about the twincest. Lysa doesn't actually know about the twincest (she misinterprets "the seed is strong") and what motivation the Lannisters would have to kill Jon... but LF knew. Why would he feel guilt BEFORE leaving? And why was Robert NOW in danger of death when the Lannisters had let him live for all these years? I don't think he regarded it as "abandoning Robert". The Small Council was even fine with Stannis' absence rather than clamoring for him to return (although I imagine he was hoping Robert would eventually insist he needed Stannis). It is the case that Stannis insists on removing the word "beloved" ("a lie") as applied to Robert in his letter, and lumps him in with Jon Arryn & Ned Stark as among those for whom Stannis will get "justice" from Cersei (although he also notes that Cersei merely "may have" killed him). He didn't kill Robert, Cersei did (via Lancel & a boar). She doesn't think "Only Tyrion and Jon Snow remained", even as she's thinking about killing the latter. Even if she does want Jon Snow dead, he's up at the Wall and not expected to be coming south. Cersei knows Tyrion killed Tywin and (mistakenly) thinks he's still around to threaten her. She began by thinking of her father Tywin, so it's natural to connect him to his youngest son & murderer. That conversation wasn't about whether Stannis should fear Robb but whether he should join forces with him to claim the throne (and half the realm by geography). He's proclaiming himself to be king of all 7 kingdoms. Is he going to tell Cat "Your son should bend the knee to me, but also I'm scared of him"? Renly prohibits Cat from leaving because he wants her to see Renly's army take out Stannis, and then tell Robb about it. Everyone claiming the Iron Throne is going to indicate that Robb should fear them rather than the other way around. You see this is a common problem! But unlike you, I'm not going to argue that if we don't have evidence for a proposition therefore we must conclude it is false. Instead I'm going to ask you to reason about it using what you do know. So I ask again, what did he have to fear? Did he think Cersei was going to convince Robert to kill him? Is that more plausible than him not actually being afraid prior to Robert getting gored? Why would anyone support them rather than, say, the Tyrells (since the original thread imagined Mace just claiming the kingdom himself)? The logical answer is that legitimacy actually does matter, and that's why Tywin ordered Rhaegar's children killed. It's still not up to her, but by then she's heard that her two youngest have been killed by Theon and she's gotten desperate. Releasing Jaime shows how desperate she was. The Riverlands are a major theater of the war. Beric Dondarrion was fighting Gregor Clegane prior to the profusion of kings, and he continued fighting afterward. Robb Stark proclaims himself king of both the North and Riverlands, and the riverlords accept this because he's acting to defend them against the same raids Beric is also acting against. Robb didn't say anything about what "terms" the peace would be under. He was fighting in response to what the Lannisters had done to his family, their continued hold over his sisters (or at least one of them), and the aforementioned raiding of the Riverlands. If Stannis takes all them out, most of Robb's motivation goes away. The remaining questions would be whether Stannis insists on punishing Robb for having previously proclaimed himself king and whether the new regime can be trusted enough not to screw over the Starks like previous ones had. The Tyrells actually did come around to supporting the Lannisters, participating militarily in the Blackwater and then later attacking Stannis' remaining strongholds in the south. The Martells don't do any of that, so no it's not the same. He outlasted Mace Tyrell at Storm's End, which you want to dismiss but no one else does because it's evidence of Stannis' ability to stick through a tough situation. He raised a navy to attack Dragonstone, which you might dismiss because the fleet there was destroyed in a storm, but he did still take it. He smashed the Iron Fleet at Fair Isle, which you presumably count as one victory, but then afterward he also subdued Great Wyk while others were taking Pyke. You might not count it as a military victory, but he also brought a fleet to Sisterton to hang smugglers and force their friend Godric Borrell to keep the Night Lamp on. He nearly took KL before a relief force arrived to flank him, leading to his one defeat. Afterward he smashed Mance Rayder at 20-1 odds (in which Mance was captured, whereas Stannis' escape at the Blackwater made possible his victory at the Wall), then seized Deepwood Motte (against capturing the enemy leader). No one believes it odd, because it's not odd. You are the one with the odd belief that all the characters in Stannis' world are wrong about his experience. Amusingly enough, it was Melisandre's vision which she attributes to her god which told him if he went to Storm's End then Renly would bring his army which Stannis would then obtain. Another such vision tells him his destiny is to fight in the north, which he does. Stannis does ask Renly to join forces with him as his heir, even though he'd earlier sworn not to treat with him at all while he was calling himself king. This delay does turn out to prevent a victory at the Blackwater, but he also Melisandre's assurance that he could win the castle (and Edric) without a long siege or even a fight, which turned out to be as correct as her earlier claim about getting an army from Renly. When Melisandre, who had made multiple correct predictions seeminly impossible without magical foresight, told him he had to sacrifice Edric he instead insisted on using Edric's "king's blood" via leeches while she reiterated "this is not the way". So you could have had another example of him ignoring the advice of someone, this time someone supernaturally reliable! There was never a Great Council to vote on Aerys vs Rhaegar, so I don't know how we can be confident about their respective numbers. A reason. It seems entirely plausible that Aerys would simply personally prefer his own son to his grandson, but Aegon VI was around so briefly we really don't have much about him and the king. Rhaegar's children were half-Martell, and thus he was using them as leverage over the Martells. The others named were Vaella and Aemon (Aenys Blackfyre's candidacy was removed via murder). Vaella would have been about 11, but in addition to being young she was also female (and thus opposed by the Iron Precedent) and simple-minded. I said the Baratheon brothers were the closest substitutes to each other, which I noted by listing their commonalities. I think you forgot a clause explaining what that only way would be. That would imply there can only be a single decisive victory in a war, which isn't how any military historian thinks. Yandel, for instance, says Maegor achieved a "decisive victory" at the Great Fork over the Faith Militant, even though they remained his "bitterest enemy for all of his reign" and he continued fighting until he died with enemies closing in around him. Magic isn't actually required for those counterfactuals in which Stannis proceeds directly to KL with the armies of the Stormlands. Stannis nearly took KL without Melisandre, so those forces (unbloodied by any battle between Stannis & Renly) would have been sufficient and Renly could have achieved the primary goal you ascribe to him of getting rid of Cersei. The question is when they would get there. If they could have gotten there earlier, they would have. After all, men behind walls are more more than ones outside them. Mance didn't smash Stannis with a far larger army. How does marrying Margaery prohibit any action on his part other than marrying someone else? I think rather it is the Tyrells who are bound to him after that marriage (and Loras swearing himself into the Rainbow Guard). First off, primogeniture means the oldest brother always inherits the throne ahead of the younger brother and the older brother never owes fealty to the younger. Renly's idea of chucking that just means anybody could declare himself king even after Renly has taken the throne and the only question would be whether they can kill Renly. Secondly, Stannis is a more experienced commander and would have better odds against the Lannisters commanding their combined forces. He gains the guaranteed elimination of Cersei, which you claim is his actual priority! Indeed he does, living out the fantasy he had since childhood: "The crown will suit me, as it never suited Robert and would not suit Stannis. I have it in me to be a great king, strong yet generous, clever, just, diligent, loyal to my friends and terrible to my enemies, yet capable of forgiveness, patient" Contrast with Stannis, who only speaks of it as his duty which he never asked for. The kingdom would be controlled by whoever controlled Joffrey. Renly's swords would continue to do that even as Ned remained nominally in control. And if Renly ever decided he didn't want Ned as Lord Protector (since they didn't see eye to eye on a number of things), he would just need to ensure it was his swords specifically rather than Ned's (with the bannermen of the North far from KL) in control of Joffrey. "I do not beg. Of anyone. Mind you remember that, woman" actually does sound like a rebuke. And he continues insisting that he needs to obtain swords rather than relying on her faith. What actually determines his decision is hearing about Melisandre's vision. Which bit did I say was "obvious"? I'm not making a claim about the battle-that-never-was at Storm's End comparable to GRRM confirming that Joffrey was poisoned via the wine rather than pie. Renly puts on such competitions and names Brienne to his Rainbow Guard as the result of that. Catelyn observes that and dubs them the knights of summer after thinking "It is all a game to them still, a tourney writ large". I don't recall her saying anything about growing. She said that she pities them because winter is coming and they aren't taking things seriously. Some of them are just going to die rather than grow. That's him chiding Selyse for bringing up Renly's death. We don't hear the specifics for how Renly could actually die because Cressen leaves. The closest thing to any specification is Stannis' line about sullying Lightbringer (which he acquired after hearing of Melisandre's vision and deciding to go with that). I'm glad you agree and would like to note that the app confirms she was doing that with the leeches. She knew the ritual wasn't actually doing anything, she was just doing it to convince Stannis since she knew what would actually happen. She only needed special access for Penrose because Storm's End was protected by spells. She explicitly distinguished that case from Renly. She doesn't have to. And if she had told Stannis right away she had this power he would have wanted to use it specifically for his political goals which she doesn't actually care about. Limiting her statements to be about seeing specific people dead limits Stannis' options to those she has decided for him. With Stannis specifically. If she's extremely old than she may have done something like that years ago, but we know it drains the life force of the other person. Stannis doesn't start out drained, there doesn't seem to be anyone he's assassinated before, and people talk as if Stannis only recently took up with Mel. They don't actually use a word like "assassination". Nothing in the runup is actually inconsistent with the idea of him being killed in battle via Lightbringer as Stannis alludes to. If there's no need for Stannis to wake up, then there's no need to assign anyone the task of waking him up. It was assigned because, as Stannis said, he knew Renly was attacking at dawn (as he had specifically told Renly to, knowing as Randyll did how that advantaged his position). Then I hope you can agree there is just the appearance of normalcy. There's no indication that there will be something other than a battle. He tells Renly that he will destroy him if there is a battle, and Renly bending the knee was the explicit alternative to Stannis sullying Lightbringer with his brother's blood. So he's open about his willingness to be a kinslayer, and Renly is as well in somewhat less explicit terms. He didn't hire a hitman, he had sex with Melisandre (something he continues to do even after she stops producing shadows). And Melisandre isn't someone he hired, she instead sought him out for her own prophetic reasons which aren't the same as Stannis'. We only know that first bit, in the sense that a child is "conceived" by its father. We don't even see the shadow being "guided" into the tent from outside, instead it just stops syncing up with Renly. Melisandre is a shadowbinder, it's her magic which creates the shadows. She hits on both Davos & Jon Snow at points, and this isn't because she's going to rely on either of them to do any of those things other than paternal conception. She's taking their lifeforce to do with what she will. We get him being tormented by dreams. And dreams is how he perceives them. He says "I know that now", implying he didn't know it earlier. If you want to amend "only two" to "only two he can survive creating", that's fine. And Melisandre doesn't say anything about the Blackwater reducing Stannis' fire. Instead what can "draw off his fire" is creating these shadows. He doesn't need Storm's End at all to go to KL (as you note Davos knows). There's just green boys and old men there. Penrose has to die because Melisandre has already decided on it (to obtain Edric Storm), and after her earlier prophecy was vindicated Stannis is going to do as she says. And from his POV there's little reason not to since he gains a nigh-impregnable castle and "proof" at the mere cost of one day and none of his own men. We know that one day will make a big difference, but Stannis didn't get to read those chapters. Stannis isn't talking about Edric's blood at that point, but instead how he's "proof" of Stannis' incest claims. Melisandre starts demanding Edric's blood after Blackwater, and Stannis is disinclined to sacrifice him hence using leeches instead. Not that it is useless, but that it did serve him like any other sword at that specific battle (which he lost). And he can generalize from it failing to guarantee a victory at that battle to scoffing at it being vital to the fate of humanity. There was never any question for Stannis as to whether he was going to kill Cersei and her children. Robb Stark would want to do the same. For Robb Stark it would be personal, whereas part of the point of Stannis' character is the idea of impersonal justice without mercy (that last bit distinguishes him from Ned Stark). Whenn Stannis removed Davos' fingers, that wasn't vengeance but justice (as Stannis sees it). Stannis proclaims that "Every man shall reap what he has sown, from the highest lord to the lowest gutter rat", and this is not a matter of those people personally wronging him. Instead they wrong the kingdom (his political philosophy is anachronistically centralist for someone in a feudal society). And Stannis must punish them not because it will satisfy a need for vengeance on his part, but because it's his duty and he believes all must do their duty. And he also thinks that since the North is sworn to the Seven Kingdoms the Starks have a duty to remain in it, which he's not going to permit them to shirk merely because they have some justified grievances with those currently on the throne. I don't follow the logic about how Stannis knowing these two for different amounts of time results in that. Instead Cressen suggests allying with Robb to get vengeance, whereas Davos' question is why Stannis is pursuing the throne. Those are two different questions rather than simply two different people. If an underling stops trying to argue with their boss, it doesn't mean the boss is correct.
  10. Robert does have the role of patriarch once Steffon dies. Cressen actually raised the kids, but he's not regarded like a father. Jon Arryn wasn't made Hand out of generosity, but because Robert had long relied on him. Robert doesn't make Ned Hand because he thinks Ned wants to be Hand either, instead it's what Robert wants and thinks he needs. There is actually a good reason to think they don't (or at least the strict version of it): the Precedent is said to deny inheritance flows through the female line, but Robert's claim comes through his grandmother. And while Renly said that was a hundred* years ago and nobody remembers, Ned & Jon Arryn didn't see it that way when they insisted Robert must be king instead of them. *Actually closer to half that. Stannis not actually giving anything up would be a reason for him to do it! Stannis does insist (after Renly's death) that if he dies his men should carry on Shireen's claim, so he evidence doesn't believe in strict male-preference a la the Iron Precedent. However, he also regards Rhaenyra as having rightly "died a traitor's death for trying to usurp her brother's crown". So I guess he believes in Andal succession laws... which I think would normally place a daughter ahead of an uncle. Recall back to Emmon Frey at his grant of Riverrun. You could call that "House Frey of Riverrun", but even he regards himself as owing fealty to his own father at the Twins. His familial tie is not severed merely because he was granted Riverrun. How so? Like who, for example? Ned has trouble finding anyone in KL that Stannis & Jon Arryn were confiding in there. His belief that it was the Lannisters who poisoned Jon Arryn does turn out to be false, but it's the same conclusion Ned comes to when he re-discovers the incest (and Ned was also killed as a result). As Hand he would have more power to act against Cersei, and naming Stannis as Hand would mean that Robert was placing his trust in him. Telling Robert about their shared investigation as Jon was dying would have probably been the best way to maximize his odds of becoming Hand, and I suppose there isn't a good Watsonian reason for not doing so. I'm using Ned Stark's logic, which was correct (in an unexpected way) for Lysa. Why WOULD he? He goes on about some things he felt years prior to the beginning of the series. But if he did that often enough to let us know what he was feeling at every point from then up until now, there wouldn't be enough space for everything in the present. Logically, the majority of what he's felt is going to be left out. Why would King Stannis resort to that? It turned out he was actually shifting blame away from the true culprit: Lysa. But he thought it was Cersei. He thinks ill of Jaime & Tywin (not that Stannis was in KL to witness his initial reaction, though they both agreed Jaime shouldn't remain a KG), but it's a big leap from regarding those two as backstabbing opportunists without honor to believing in royal twincest (on the part of Cersei, who wasn't involved in the sack) depriving Robert of actual heirs. Ned took the matter seriously and died, just as Jon Arryn took it seriously enough to investigate and died. I find that popular "definition of insanity" quote a bit tiresome since randomness does indeed mean the same thing might work a second time, but it does at least show a strategy not to be that reliable and most are shy once bitten. Do we know how long Stannis worked with Jon Arryn? And will Stannis have the same resources as in KL to attest to Robert's bastards vs Cersei's children? It seems like a longer shot version of an attempt that already failed. Stannis bringing his evidence to Jon Arryn hardly seems calculated to do that. If Jon Arryn isn't killed, he convinces Robert, who crushes the Lannisters and thus presumably has time to remarry and father more heirs even if Stannis gets to be heir until then. I suppose if he wanted Robert to die he could try to make it look like Robert had heard the accusation and wanted more evidence gathered, since that's what Stannis believes caused Jon Arryn's death. Which of his thoughts are you referring to? We know the context is that Ned doesn't know who poisoned Jon Arryn, and we later learn that Stannis believes it was Cersei. Ned's logic was actually correct as applied to Lysa fleeing KL. She's one of the people Jaime & Cersei were worried about because of what Jon Arryn knew and (in their minds) could have told her. They were hoping Tywin would have taken in Sweetrobin and thus be able to intimidate her into silence, but Lysa prevented that. The Vale remains insulated under her during the war. Obviously there was never a possibility of her being named Hand and then punishing Cersei for poisoning Jon Arryn. Whether you want to call it "fleeing" or "leaving", it can't be motivated by guilt he would only feel as the result of doing so, and it is guilt for Jon Arryn's murder as a motivation that Ned concluded was one of two possibilities. In Eddard's next chapter, Varys tells him that Cersei hoped to have Robert killed during the melee. And in Eddard's chapter after that he feels certain that Stannis knew the secret Jon Arryn died for and considers going to Dragonstone to find it out. It should also be noted that Cersei feared Lysa passing on info about her late husband via her sister Cat... which is in fact what Lysa does, although it turns out to be misinformation. By your own standards you can't make that claim, because Stannis never says anything about feeling guilty for Robert's death even though does talk about his bad dreams & feelings after Renly's death. It is of course more logical for us to hear about the latter rather than the former because Stannis appears in POV chapters around Renly's death, but not Robert's. You don't "keep going" in a list to get to the beginning! Cersei begins by thinking of her father, then thinks about how he's dead along with a number of other people including Renly. Stannis obviously can't be included there because he's not dead. Tyrion appears in the sentence after the list, because he's alive, and Cersei believes he's hiding in the Red Keep after escaping execution & killing Tywin. Stannis is up at the Wall, far away from her. That's part of the fun with Cersei. Set the Falys Stokeworth & her husband against Bronn, and it just turns Bronn into "Lord" Stokeworth. Empower the High Sparrow and send him a Kettleblack to make a false confession, and it results in Cersei being locked up. Buy dromonds and give them to Aurane Waters to command, and he'll steal them. Stiff the Iron Bank, and they lend to Stannis. Antagonize the Tyrellls, and she not only makes herself an antagonist for them but everyone else invested in the stability of the regime via the marriage alliance. Stannis wouldn't have had any reason to, he was entirely separated from Robb's forces by enemy territory & armies. You've got two different "ands" there so it's unclear what's the numerator & denominator in that division, but I'll say this for Tywin & Tyrion: they were absolutely correct about the incompetence of Cersei & Joffrey. Tyrion's take on Stannis ("hard, cold, inexorable") is also fairly accurate. What did he have to fear via that? Was Cersei going to convince Robert to kill Renly? No, Robert is still concerned that two Targaryens are out there and could claim support due to their perceived legitimacy. And indeed there were forces working for a Targaryen restoration beyond even the marriage alliance with Khal Drogo. She said it wasn't up to her, and Robb's forces were never even close enough to Stannis to coordinate. She really has no reason to at all, especially since Robb has declared himself independent of the kingdom Stannis is claiming. The Kingswood Brotherhood was put down the year before Robert's rebellion. That Brotherhood themselves didn't participate in the rebellion because they'd been put down and were dead or at the Wall. In contrast, the proto-version of the Brotherhood Without Banners fought at Mummer's Ford after the Golden Tooth, and then continued to fight in the Riverlands after Robert's death as the BWB. So that's a theater in the War of the Five Kings where Ned sent a military force that continued to fight on that basis. The Martells aren't actually supporting the Lannisters. Oberyn was calling out Tywin and fatally poisoned his henchman in Gregor (though he kept him alive long enough to get a confession of what he did to Elia). Doran's captain of the guards kills the Kingsguard sent to guard Myrcella, and the Martells then convince Myrcella to lie about who actually killed Arys Oakheart. Tyene Sand is being sent disguised as a septa to KL to gain the confidence of the High Sparrow, with Nymeria taking Oberyn's seat on the council, even though Doran knows they were plotting to assassinate Lannisters and/or start a war with them. He's also sent his own children to meet with Targaryen claimants as potential allies against the Lannisters. The Dornish armies never actually fight any of the enemies of the Lannister regime. He's only been beaten once, that seems odd to describe as "whenever". He didn't have superior numbers when Mace Tyrell was besieging him at Storm's End, but then I suppose the Reach is entirely populated by wildlings. Stannis is a cautious commander, that doesn't imply attacking either claimed king "right away". Rather, one attacks when it is most opportune. When Stannis goes to the North he meets with mountain clans to seek their support. I don't know if you'd consider that "begging". When Jon Snow advised Stannis against leading a wildling host against the Dreadfort... Stannis took the advice and changed his plan. Imry Florent did ignore Davos' advice for the Blackwater though. The strategy of doing nothing while others fought, not the strategy of rushing his cavalry beyond his supply lines against a siege which couldn't succeed in the near term. Aerys was really paranoid about his son Rhaegar, but Rhaegar was an adult who could lead an army, so the succession remained unchanged until after he died. It means it's meaningfully shorter. Aerys didn't really have potential heirs older than Viserys, so he opted for the shortest expected regency. Aegon V was an adult, but Viserys wasn't. What I was was that the Baratheon brothers were the closest substitutes to each other. You don't think a civil war makes for exceptional circumstances? It was during one that Viserys was named heir ahead of Aegon VI. Joffrey was still alive when Renly was, so the choice is really between him and the Baratheon brothers. And those two brothers are indeed the closest substitutes to each other. They're both adults, younger brothers of Robert, lords in their own right, members of the Small Council, from the Stormlands, and neither is at war with the Starks nor currently on the Iron Throne. Also, neither is a sadist. Tyrion quipped that the Baratheon brothers were at odds because they were so alike and yet so different. The Stormlands are south of the crownlands & Dragonstone. A victory which gives the winning army control of the area without hampering its effectiveness and destroys the losing army is normally thought of as decisive. "And have men say I feared to face Stannis?" "And have it said that I won by treachery, with an unchivalrous attack?" Did I say anything that canonically happened was sufficient? I instead characterized as sufficient a counterfactual along the lines of what Steven Attewell has discussed in his "What If?" sections for chapters here and here. The delay at Storm's End meant enough time for a relief force to arrive at KL, where Stannis was about to win. Shorten that, and he takes the city. Stannis also thinks to himself that he would have smashed Tywin if Renly had bent the knee, and Tyrion similarly feared (in the same bit about how he feared one more than the other) what would happen if Stannis' navy attacked by sea while Renly's army attacked by land. I'm suggesting that Renly can accomplish the goal you ascribe to him (getting rid of Cersei) at a lower cost if he follows rather than fights his older brother. He doesn't because he wants power for himself & the Tyrells but not Stannis. You can't understand his actions without that, and so I interpret his actions from the beginning through that lens. By Renly's own logic, it is control over Joffrey that means control over the kingdom. And it will be his own swords doing that. Focusing on Ned being named regent rather than Renly is to neglect the very thing you just emphasized. Stannis immediately rebukes her and dismisses her advice as long as she doesn't have an army for him. It's Melisandre who sees Stannis fated to acquire one (without giving up either his daughter or half the kingdom), and that's what decides his course of action. Storm's End could easily survive Stannis besieging it, as it had survived Mace Tyrell's long siege with a much larger force. Stannis had to depend on Renly bringing his forces there rather than capturing KL. Of course, he does have Melisandre able to see glimpses of the future. Hosteen didn't require anger to be stupid: he was already stupid. Not merely my argument, this reflects what the characters think though you dismiss it as "hype". We don't hear of him optimistically looking forward to glory in said war, which by your logic means it can't have happened. I wouldn't rely on that absence of evidence, but we can look at Stannis' note about how he had to choose between his king and his brother, which is not something Renly's Knights of Summer discuss (of course, they've already made their choice by the time Catelyn arrives so we shouldn't necessarily expect to hear about that decision either). We hear Ramsay say that Stannis is too cautious to attack the Dreadfort, but we don't hear if he would have been reckless enough to do so when he was a young Knight of Summer. We never even hear of Stannis participating in tourneys with knights, although Renly does. Could he have been a Knight of Summer despite proclaiming a hostile or indifferent cosmos after the Windproud sank? Many things are possible, but I don't see evidence for it. Perhaps you could provide some. The Neck protects against armies coming from the south. Stannis recruits northmen, but not the Riverlands. How SPECIFICALLY did Stannis plan on killing Renly? Beheading him with Lightbringer? No, we know from her POV that she says what she thinks she needs to in order to convince her audience. She tells Jon quite confidently that Arya will flee to the Wall, dressed in grey on a dying horse. It turns out to be Alys Karstark. She acts certain that there will be an attack on Eastwatch-by-the-Sea even though the towers actually looked different in her vision because "the trappings of power" (aided by powders to create illusions out of "shadow and suggestion") help her get actual power. She uses a glamour to make Rattleshirt & Mance switch places so that she can grant a boon to Jon Snow, who didn't yet have faith in her... even though this obstructs Stannis' order that Mance be executed for desertion! Her ultimate loyalty is to R'hllor in that god's war with the Great Other, not to King Stannis in his petty war for the Iron Throne. She first converted Selyse, who seems to think that sacrificing Edric Storm will "lift his shadow" from her womb so she can have more children. Melisandre doesn't care about Stannis' dynasty (we can figure she's ultimately going to sacrifice Shireen), but it would be helpful for her if Selyse believed just that. It's also not like she told Stannis that the three kings were going to die with or without Edric's blood so he could just skip the leeches either. The whole point of that was to convince Stannis enough to go further and sacrifice Edric. Melisandre does actually see the deaths of Robb, Balon & Joffrey (not caused by her), which is how she knew to have Stannis speak their names for that phony ritual. I don't think Melisandre told Selyse "I'm going to have sex with Stannis, then give birth to a shadow shaped like him, who will then stab Renly". Looking into the flames to see the future is something that Malisandre has done for a very long time and continues to do throughout the series. Draining someone's life-force to create a shadow is done much less often, and there's no reason to think she had done that before with Stannis. Stannis speaks of Melisandre seeing "another day in her flames as well" where Renly smashed him at KL, with Stannis concluding that by changing the meeting place from KL to Storm's End he changed which brother was fated to die. We get Cat's POV in the immediate runup rather than someone close to Stannis. And what would be the point of plans for a battle that didn't happen after? We just know that Stannis was supposed to be awake for it but that Devan failed to wake him. Devan certainly hadn't been told not to bother to wake Stannis, nor was it thought Stannis didn't need to be ahorse by that time (hence his lords "fretting"). It's a shadow that looks like Stannis. The actual Stannis is in his tent. We don't get Stannis saying anything about killing Renly himself. Instead we get him realizing he actually did love Renly despite being vexed by him, while also saying Renly doomed himself by bringing his banners to Storm's End. Melisandre notes that there was no need against Renly because there weren't any magical protections a la Storm's End. With Renly mysteriously dead, Melisandre not only has her prophecy of him dying vindicated, there is now proof of concept for death by magic itself without even a battle. Stannis later attempts this with the leeches, though we know those deaths weren't actually caused by said leeches. If Stannis had known from the beginning that he was allotted two magical assassins who could remove the need for a battle, he probably wouldn't have allocated them both outside Storm's End. The logical person to use one on would have been Tywin, which Arya figures out too late. But Melisandre doesn't care about Tywin; she does care about Edric Storm's blood. Yes, when he assaulted a walled city and was not prepared for a cavalry charge, it didn't do much for him. The nature of vengeance is personal. When Ned picked Beric rather than Loras, it was someone who had no connection to Gregor or anyone Gregor had wronged. If he had picked someone who loved one of Gregor's victims, it would be an entirely different story. Cressen is suggesting joining with Robb Stark (whom Stannis believes to be commiting treason by declaring himself king) and giving him vengeance. But Stannis doesn't believe in that. He believes in punishing Cersei for her crimes, just as he punished Davos for his rather than simply treating Davos as an ally or an enemy. Varys says of Stannis "There is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man", and we're supposed to believe him. Some essential concepts in military strategy are "concentration in space" and "concentation in time". The former is what Robert Baratheon did when he pulled off three victories in a day against armies that would have been too large if all three were combined. The latter is harder to pull off, but it winds up happening at Blackwater, and it permitted Stannis to get hit in the flank, which is much more important than sheer numbers would indicate. It is hitting the wildlings in their flank, unexpectedly, that permits Stannis to win against them (they weren't already engaged with another force right then, so it's not quite concentation in time). Correctly? Did you come across an alternate chapter I wasn't aware of? He assumes that Stannis' forces will be completely disordered after that charge, so it won't matter if Renly's own forces can't see well. Another reminder: keeping an infantry line orderly is of vital importance against cavalry. Large numbers of infantry will still fail against them if they lose their ordering. Which is how Stannis beat Mance (not that Mance's host was really the type to form a shield wall). If he plans on taking the capital, wouldn't he have to eventually do that? Without the need to rush his cavalry ahead of his main host? Who refers to Stannis as entrapped? Did Renly cut him off from his ships? Cat thought Renly SHOULD have entrapped Stannis. Lightbringer alone doesn't make anyone nearby blind. The blind people are the ones CHARGING INTO THE SUN. And we know that Lightbringer has a strong effect on horses, which Stannis is less reliant on. Would you care to make a bet that Stannis will be defeated in the Battle of Ice like the Pink Letter says? There's no guarantee TWOW will ever be published, but it's something to look forward to. They have no actual reason to think Margaery looks like Lyanna, because she doesn't, nor was there any attempt to find someone who did.
  11. I think the Tyrells & Lannisters both would be jostling with each other for control during Tommen's regency. Replacing Tywin with Cersei means that it's someone foolishly vicious rather than someone as pragmatic as Tywin (who was still making moves to check Tyrell power, hence wanting to offer Jaime instead of Tommen to the Tyrells). With Joffrey as king, his family & the Tyrells would have some common cause in checking his worst tendencies (though Cersei might admittedly have a different perception of what those might be). With the less independent and more pliable Tommen, the focus would be on controlling him. Not directly, but Tywin's death does happen as a result of Tyrion being convicted of Joffrey's assassination. Was he actually depending on the Lannister regime being stable? It seems like he's fairly insulated. Tyrion does try to investigate a connection... but he doesn't turn up anything. The Vale is a reason Tyrion thinks there might be a connection, but I don't see how Moore's personality is a connection to LF. LF's cutouts don't tend to be that inhuman. Just look at Dontos. Cersei I agree with because we get her POV chapters. What are your reasons for confidence in Joffrey not being behind it? Here's a version of that, which I find plausible. It's of a piece with Tyrion doing various things as Hand that he can't predict will come back and bite him in the ass. Hitting Joffrey during the riots, when Mandon abandoned Sansa to look after Joffrey and had to pull Tyrion off, is both part of the case there and gets cited as evidence at the trial. Tyrion is unhappy that he gets labeled a twisted demon monkey, but he's hardly acting to ingratiate himself with the population (whose homes he's destroying to better prepare to defend against Stannis), simply thinking that as a Lannister and acting Hand people will just obey his authority. Alright, for the fun of it, let's place some bets on whether LF gets revealed as the culprit! For what it's worth, the show implied it was Joffrey, although it also blamed him for Robert's bastards that Cersei had killed (and didn't imply he gave the Valyrian dagger to the catspaw). Being surrounded by KG doesn't mean one has the opportunity to discretely murder you. Jaime only got his opportunity to kill Aerys when all the other KG were gone, the city was being sacked, and there wasn't anyone else in the throne room. And it's not like people didn't find out he was responsible. The KG are supposed to be bright shiny symbols of prestige close to the royal family, not sneaky cut-throats, like Osmund rather than Osney Kettleblack. Speaking of, Osmund is said to be no longer Tyrion or LF's asset once he joins the KG. I know you said LF wasn't using bribes to manipulate Mandon, but I wonder what other means he could use to maintain his control over him (even from a distance). The time to inspect part of the wall would be before the battle rather than during it, and there's no reason to think Mandon would be alone with Tyrion at the time. A chaotic situation where Tyrion is in close danger of being killed by the enemy makes for much more plausible deniability. That is at least not as bad as before. Robert had to replace five KG when he became king, and we haven't heard of anyone Mandon replaced. LF was a nobody at the time who wouldn't have any control of a notable knight, and by his own admission LF lost control of another asset once he joined the KG (although I know you dismiss LF as lying to Sansa in that conversation. It's not me saying "I heard this". It's me linking to others discussing it, and citing Ran on that bit specifically being one of the things confirmed. If they didn't want to spoil a "revelation" they could have just said he was poisoned without specifying whether it was the pie or wine! GRRM has plenty of practice not confirming questions he doesn't want to answer. There is no "apparently". You simply imagined an entry about that, even though you admit to not knowing, and then tried to treat your imagination as evidence. If GRRM confirmed to D&D who Jon Snow's mother is, then we can conclude Lyanna is his mother. The flashback around it is extraneous. If GRRM confirmed to Ran that it was the wine instead of the pie... then it was the wine instead of the pie. Perhaps you can argue that Joffrey wasn't the intended victim of the wine, I don't know. Or maybe someone else poisoned the wine. But the wine was confirmed. And you know this how? WE KNOW he was gay! GRRM himself has confirmed it. Don't you normally need to add blue to red in order to make purple? That was wine he failed to swallow because his throat was closed, rather than barfing. This is Joffrey's wedding, where he's having fun. He's planning on humiliating Tyrion. Threatening him would just result in Joffrey's sword getting taken away. The conspirators planned to give him that giant chalice specifically so as to ensure he would use it. Widow's Wail was not part of their plans. Tyrion is seated nearby as Joffrey's uncle, and the Tyrells can time the poisoning to fit. If Joffrey doesn't suggest making Tyrion as cupbearer, they could even suggest it themselves. Margaery is part of the conspiracy, of course she can ensure she doesn't drink after the poisoning. Yes, my whole point is that the behavior is different depending on whether it's dissolved or not! The interaction is going to be through the surface area, and a solid crystal has a lower ratio of surface area to volume. No, ammonia is a gas at room temperature. The strangler is a solid. Both can be dissolved in an aqueous solution (of which wine is an example). Your theory is that a solid crystal of the strangler was placed inside a piece of pie, which is not the sort of thing that we know dissolves it (whereas wine is). Case closed? We haven't seen it happen! "More slowly" as in it will still retain most of its volume undissolved? I've explained how sugar & salt dissolve in aqueous solutions. Both molecules are polar solutes, and water is a polar solvent. Tell me: is pigeon pie a polar solvent? Joffrey actually describes it as being dry, and he's coughing up flakes, so it doesn't actually seem to be as "moist" as you described. The pigeon is spiced, and capsacin is non-polar, which is why drinking water (or wine) doesn't actually help. Instead you're supposed to drink milk, because milk contains non-polar lipids. I didn't say the alchemist or jeweler had to know everything. They can each be told a minimum by the conspirators to do just their part. GRRM was assuming the "careful reader" had read A Storm of Swords, not the interview with EW which had yet to be released Because he is in fact still writing and doesn't need to be bound by statements made outside the text. GRRM and D&D have both explicitly discussed Stoneheart's absence, with the latter saying they didn't want to bring back Michelle Fairley as a non-verbal zombie (like in one of Alfie Allen's prank scripts). What does she know that he's "set up"? The hairnet only gets delivered after the wedding is arranged. If you read #17 again you'll see what it was responding to. The plan to make Margaery queen still proceeded, it was not "scotched". Nor do you have any idea how Olenna was going to "extract" Sansa, since she certainly didn't do that while LF's flunky did. He doesn't need to watch the woman in the dungeon, and he can order people killed when they're far away from him. Did the whole court turn out to see Bronn kill Ser Balman Byrch? It falsified your statement that Joffrey's sadism is limited to Sansa because she screwed up in some way that Margaery won't. He's just generally a sadistic little shit. That's what Joffrey says, but Tyrion believes it was about "some pretty teats" because Joffrey doesn't strip naked others he's angry with. And, as I quoted, Tyrion talks to Varys about a brothel after that to "sweeten" the boy. You've just contradicted yourself, and not noticed. You might dismiss that as pedantry, but it's a reason to avoid hyperbole in favor of strictly true statements. And it gets worse! Under your theory, Sansa's puzzlement at LF's lack of motive for killing Joffrey really DOES indicate there's more to the story than he's letting on... which is precisely the thing you're denying about her puzzlement regarding the Tyrell's indifference. Very lucky of him for him to have read her mind and deduced the hypothetical Sansa already thought of as an explanation for this complete accident he wasn't prepared for! In fact, neither Dontos nor LF express any surprise at the victim being Joffrey rather than Tyrion. Is GRRM a liar and/or neophyte? They didn't laught at her not knowing that Ilyn Payne was the king's justice. They laughed at the line about him being the right man, because it's a roundabout way of saying that Sansa finds him scary. Explain to Joffrey! He doesn't take good advice. Sansa didn't get the hairnet from Olenna. In fact she had no idea Olenna was part of the plot until LF told her. Tyrion got blamed for that, because he had access to Pycelle's poisons. That's quite the deduction, and all you had to do was read the chapter where LF explained the missing stone, which the characters were unable to do. Sansa has every reason to want Joffrey dead herself, they're not going to be asking about her unknowing participation in a plot. Instead they would ask who her co-conspirators were. And the answer will be Dontos. Varys has spies in Essos, spies on Dragonstone (which went silent after Stannis locked it down), spies in a number of places which I would assume include the docks where LF departed from (recall how he prevented that ship captain from defecting to Stannis). He's a very talented spymaster not limited to merely one castle. Has LF been hiding out in a godswood all this time? How would she know that if, by your stipulation, LF didn't tell her Tyrion was marrying Sansa? WHICH marriage? You just said she wouldn't know about Tyrion's! And why would LF think Tyrion's marriage would be such a problem for House Tyrell if he DIDN'T know it scotched the Willas betrothal? Winterfell has nothing to do with the Tyrells! Why does Olenna think it's in LF's best interests? She presumably hasn't been told that LF was behind poisoning Jon Arryn and blaming the Lannisters, or blaming Tyrion for the dagger, or dumping fishy ledgers on him after handing off the Master of Coin job. LF rises up by appearing useful to people higher in status than himself, rather than appearing to be a guy who goes around assassinating people for his own ends. Aren't you always saying she'd have to be dumb as a box of rocks to trust LF? This is a lot of trust to place in him! And it's not as if we hear later about the Tyrells being surprised LF didn't bring Sansa to Highgarden even though they knew he was going to sail to the Vale. That's awfully confident, but without showing any work on this chemistry problem. Crunching down on it with his teeth would probably mean spitting it out before it reached his throat, because he wasn't expecting that in the pigeon pie. Is the pie actually described as purple? Cream is non-polar, so you actually SHOULD use it to dissolve capsacin, unlike a polar solution of wine. And is one of the Tyrells serving up the cream? Do they expect Tyrion not to notice while they stick their hand in the pie that just got placed in front of him in just such a way so as to hide the crystal? What is their plan if Tyrion doesn't want any pigeon pie!? Or even if he eats a small bite, what if it's not where the crystal has gotten to? What kind of Brownian motion is going to carry particles of Strangler past solid chunks of pigeon? It just looks like wine, without any solid crystals in it. They can accept Tommen as king even without any heirs for years. He's not going to cause any problems that might cause a civil war, and he's more pliable than Joffrey. Cersei didn't try to get the marriage annulled; she tried to frame Margaery for adultery. LF doesn't care if the birds report back that Dontos took Sansa. He's just going to kill Dontos after Sansa is handed over. Perhaps in your vast database of royal assassinations, but without that I would instead say we know who would maximize the attention (and thus distraction): the newly-married couple (and since one of them is the king, mostly him). Even I don't see Joffrey punishing, say, Olenna if she declines. In fact, we don't see anyone eat any other than Joffrey. Why is it "unlikely"? He's happy to drink more. Half a minute? Joffrey will start coughing, and she can just start acting concerned for him. Tyrion guessed there were to be 20-30 more dishes until the bedding ceremony. And Sansa LOVES lemons, which is what's used in the cream for the pie. If you wanted to poison Sansa, putting it in some lemon cream might be the best way to do it. I'd recommend using a non-polar solute though. Why would I think Olenna doesn't have to know about Dontos. The quote is right above the response, so when I read the response I also saw the quote above it. Just as everyone else reading your comment can see. Otherwise quotes could get very heavily nested. You can read the original comment rather than just clicking quote and waiting to read then. If you have a dual-monitor you could scroll down both at the same time. Otherwise you could try a separate tab or a text editor. Why should Dontos keep it for months? He's not supposed to be using it himself, and it's odd for a man to have that hairnet in his possession. Dontos is only given the hairnet when LF wants to relay it to Sansa without any known connection to himself. Giving Sansa the hairnet and promising it will help her escape is also a way of gaining her trust. Tywin COULD get her out, but that wouldn't do Olenna any good because Tywin would still have her in his possession. LF taking possession of her would be a far cry from having her in Highgarden... particularly since she knows LF is heading in the opposite direction. Precisely, Joff is already the center of attention and people looking at him are not looking at Sansa. Sansa is seated right next to Tyrion, so people staring at his spot would be more likely to notice her slip away. Since Sansa didn't want to marry Tyrion, she might also be a suspect for that! Sansa wasn't mocking Joffrey at Ruby Ford. I don't know what Margaery would have done and I don't know how smart she is. None of our POVs know her that well. He got crazier with age. Joffrey was disturbing people earlier than Aerys. With who? Tywin beat Stannis at the Blackwater, and then got Robb's allies to betray him via some ravens. Why does he need to go on campaign AFTER Robb is killed? Joffrey isn't going to simply limit himself to whatever Tywin is ok with. I didn't say he talked about his rise, the story he tells her is about Alayne's mother being the daughter of a Gulltown merchant. To everyone else she's just a bastard whose origins aren't to be interrogated. A story he hasn't told anyone. In his formal rule as judge is where Joffrey kills the most people, since they're already at the mercy of the king. The regime would thus not permit Mace Tyrell to be placed in that position unless the Lannisters were planning on purging his House. Outside of that Joffrey tends to exercise his sadism in milder ways by having Sansa stripped/beatened/threatened and bullying Tommen. Also, humiliating Tyrion at the wedding. Perhaps you've got an explanation for how Joffrey was actually indulging in stategic calculus with that rather than getting his jollies from someone else's misfortune. Garlan does, because he's disabled and can't act as a knight anymore. It is, but there's a question of how it got that way. The New World was technologically behind Europe and devastated by disease, so the early colonists were not surrounded by military peers. Instead the frontier was theirs for the taking, with most of the hemisphere free of other Europeans. Britain the "happy isle" is separated by the channel from continental powers, and America is separated by the Pacific & Atlantic from the Old World. I could also point to Japan as an example of a country that benefited from its status as an island and was thus able to avoid external threats and rise to world power status. The Netherlands was a notable country for a while (unlike Belgium, it was a major seafaring power), but it's not as lucky as the UK. You double-counted the Stormlands. The Riverlands, by contrast, also has a border with the Vale and the North (which it can't easy penetrate if it wants to fight back). A much lower percentage of its border consists of coastline. You can sail all the way from the northwest border of the Reach to the southeast border without leaving the Reach's coastal waters. When was the last time Russia experienced dynastic succession? Because that's the relevant bit to what we're talking about with marriage alliances. Marriage alliances under dynastic succession are fundamentally different from "other means". Succession flows from father to son, within the family, and marriage causes both houses to have a shared interest in the offspring based on pre-political principles of kin selection. One republic can betray another much more easily. If it's a republic with a competitive democracy, the next leader elected might have no interest in the foreign policy agenda of the prior leader! But even without that, you can get things like Molotov Ribbentrop -> Operation Barbarossa. But her husband is Emmon Frey, who is a son of Walder Frey's second wife. It's precisely because it wasn't a very useful match that Tywin objected when Tytos arranged it! It proves Joffrey is an idiot. The other Lannisters were afraid of the large number of enemies arrayed against them. Tyrion didn't say the initial beatings were ok, but this wasn't. He stopped it as soon as he arrived and witnessed any of it. YES! Tyrion knows this, while Joffrey doesn't. Because he's a vicious idiot who thinks he can do whatever he likes without consequences.
  12. Edric Storm never actually did, although admittedly since he's young we wouldn't necessarily expect it. Stannis is both blood and has an official position in Robert's regime. That's an example of Stannis failing to understand Robert's intentions. He took it at a slight, whereas Robert was just being carelessly generous to his then-heirs. He has more official children, but we're talking about what happens after they get ruled out. Mya was a girl and thus prohibited by the Iron Precedent assuming the Baratheons still followed that, but it seems like Robert mostly forgot about her until Joffrey opened up that cat. A myriad of things, but not everything. Our limited access to Stannis, particularly during that time, is relevant for how we evaluate any particular absence of evidence. And it's more expected for us to have evidence of something which has lasted for a long time, or that continues to remain relevant in the present. That doesn't mean he's dumb enough to stand around with a target on his back. I can know a limited selection of things he does think. I can't know what he NEVER thinks, but I don't get to know EVERY thing he thinks. Particularly before he appears on the page. The king doesn't appoint the Grand Maester, the Citadel does. And he doesn't know Pycelle betrayed Aerys like Tyrion learns. Pycelle's instead just always talking about how great Tywin is, which isn't actually a crime. Pycelle wants to portray Jon Arryn's death as natural and is visibly uncomfortable when Ned suggests poison. When Ned brings up that poison is a woman's weapon, Pycelle very unsubtly tries to shift blame to Varys instead. The question is not whether Ned is honorable, but whether Stannis could convince him of the truth of his claims (without the two bastards in KL to point to, and before Cersei's kids arrive in your hypothetical) and get Ned's support in convincing Robert. I am using Ned's logic and making a deduction with the additional information I have. Ned wasn't able to ask Stannis and get a quote. Going to be what? There's a whole lot more he doesn't know about Lysa but his two possibilities of guilt or fear turn out to be correct in her case (though everyone assumes fear when it turns out to be guilt). You don't flee out of guilt for fleeing, that's circular. Should I say it begins with "Father" instead of "Him"? Stannis isn't going to be that exposed to a new NW recruit, and he's going to be surrounded by his knights. Of course, her plan never gets close to that point because she's a fool and everything she does blows up in her face. It's Tywin & Tyrion who fear Stannis, because they are not fools. Cersei doesn't fear the High Sparrow, because she's an arrogant fool. But you said the motivation behing the Margaery plot was fear of Cersei. If he doesn't expect Robert to die soon enough to be regent, what did he have to be afraid of? And he's still complaining about how he didn't want to marry anyone after he was crowned and he heard of Lyanna's death. He clearly regrets not sticking to his guns against Jon Arryn's advice there, and calls him a "bigger fool than Moon Boy" for it. I don't get the takeaway from that he "knows especially that there certain things he must even if he doesn't like it"! Maybe there are other things he doesn't want to do that Ned can persuade him on, but this is an area he's convinced he was originally right about. Viserys' claim comes through Aerys, and the entire Baratheon regime is founded on opposition to Aerys. Renly asks about the implications of Stannis' claim, and Cat replies that it makes Stannis the rightful heir of Robert. Later she suggests to Brienne that Stannis is "our rightful king" even if he evilly killed Renly. At the same time she says it's not up to her whether Robb will bend the knee to Stannis. Robb assumes that Stannis (whom Edmure regards as "no enemy of ours") taking KL would have ended the war. There aren't multiple declared kings at the time, but Ned does send Beric to lead a group of knights against Gregor Clegane in the Riverlands. That is the initial outbreak of military conflict in the war. And Robb incorporates the Riverlands into his own proclaimed northern kingdom, taking on the defense against all the raiders Tywin sent into that area. Edmure dismisses the notion of replying to Cortnay Penrose' raven because "we have neither help nor hope to offer" and (as noted) Stannis isn't an enemy. The northmen & rivermen are in a different theater of the war, so any allegiance to Stannis wouldn't have any relevance yet. Even Robb & Edmure fail to coordinate when Robb goes off to raid the Westerlands. Robb seems like he would have been fine with Stannis on the throne, which is why he's disappointed that Stannis didn't take KL. It's Joffrey & the Lannisters he doesn't want there. Again, people tend to bring up the most important factors first. Not doing so is called "burying the lede", and is also the foundation for jokey tropes like "Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick". Nobody. The implication of Tywin & Tyrion's "hype lines" is not that Stannis can take KL without many men. It's that they don't take Renly nearly as seriously as a threat. We were discussing a lot of things, although I don't think the question of how a hypothetical Great Council would have gone came up. We only know Renly scoffed at the idea. Common factors considered to be force multipliers include reputation, experience, strategy & tactics. Stannis has that reputation because he's known to be an experienced commander. We also know he studies historical strategies in war. That characterization seems a bit at odds with the notion that he's too proud to even ask for help. Renly? Here's Tyrion's take: "were I he, I would do much as he is doing. Make my progress, flaunt my power for the realm to see, watch, wait. Let my rivals contend while I bide my own sweet time" In that case, they turned out to be incorrect. Robb turned out to be a naturally talented commander from the start, like Daeron I. We don't observe him repeatedly ignore military advice on the basis of "What will people think?", nor does Cat think Ned would have prevented him from his actions. Nothing Renly does with his army surprises anyone. The situation itself has changed. And Tywin still thinks he needs to address Stannis' "disgusting slander", because perceived legitimacy actually does matter. The length of the regency matters: "an infant king would have meant a long, contentious regency". That's listed before the defects of Maegor's father. Aegon VI was an infant, while Viserys was not. I didn't say the law was false, I said a child ruler really was set aside, which is precisely the thing you denied. Stannis & Renly are both adults, so there would be no regency for either. That makes them rather different from Tommen, who would require nearly a decade of regency. Stannis' advantage is in ships, so it makes sense for him to go to coastal areas. He doesn't have as many horses, so travel over land would be much slower. The place Davos goes to treat with lords is the Stormlands. Robb destroyed the army the Lannisters were raising in the Westerlands, as well as Jaime's earlier. These are not indecisive victories like Randyll Tarly at Ashford or Tywin at the Green Fork. A victory decisive enough to actually end the war would be a very big ask within that timeframe of a few months. Robert Baratheon wasn't so fast, despite the odd temporal compression of Robert's Rebellion. Ah, you're right, that was John Suburbs. Catelyn notes that Renly has rushed his cavalry ahead of his host, thus putting him at risk of running low on supplies, whereas he should have waited for his entire host to arrive to surround & besiege Stannis' own army. Mathis argues that Renly's entire host (he would logically need more than just cavalry for a siege) should go to King's Landing because Storm's End can withstand Stannis' siege. Thus there was no need for Renly to rush there in the first place. Because he'd already decided to do that and persisted in disagreeing with Rowan BEFORE Tarly spoke up. When Tarly objects to attacking at dawn specifically, Renly dismisses that on basically the same grounds on which he'd dismissed Rowan. Renly didn't bend the knee and he didn't accomplish any of those things, so no it wasn't sufficient. He offered swords to seize Cersei's children after Ned had alredy been named regent, he did not "give the Kingdom to Ned". He left when Ned turned down that strategy, without the kingdom ever passing hands between them. Selyse didn't convince him it was a bad idea. It was hearing of Melisandre's vision that convinced him he could get an army without having to send away Shireen or depending on fearful Lysa's response. And the army consisted of the same Stormlords he'd earlier sent Davos to treat with. Defenders in a siege would more typically use boiling water, as it's much cheaper. Stannis could definitely make that, but having it at a height to drop it from would be another story. Robert wasn't attacking an army already in place, which is why most of Mace's forces hadn't even arrived before Tarly won the battle. Of course, we don't actually know many of the details about Ashford such as why Robert went there in the first place. Tyrion reads up on military history, which is how he knows Randyll Tarly rather than Mace Tyrell actually won Ashford. Per Loras, Renly didn't care for reading. Tyrion was also defending a fortified position rather than having to do the war of manuever that Robert was known for. During a war? His first command was at Storm's End, where we don't hear of him sending out daring sorties to rout the Tyrells, but instead just maintaining discipline while the castle slowly starved. It looks like you forgot the last clause of that sentence. What I'd say it implies is a rude awakening as winter/reality inevitably hits them in the face. Because they're afraid of Tywin? LF wasn't once he got to the Vale. We know he couldn't be awakened when Devan attempted to, we don't know that was Stannis' actual plan. And if we look at Melisandre's subsequent actions, she's hardly straightforward & honest in her prophecies. We hear early on that she sees Renly's death (though she also saw "Renly's" victory at KL). Later she claims she needs king's blood to kill the other three kings, but all of them were killed by their existing enemies (outside of Stannis' camp) rather than any shadows. Furthermore, Daenerys had already seen a vision of Robb Stark dead well before any of those leeches and Cersei had already heard a prophecy of all her children dying before her. And of course Edric Storm was sent away before he could actually be sacrificed. Those three kings died without any actual help from Melisandre, but she wanted Stannis to think Edric Storm's blood was necessary. This is because Melisandre is openly uninterested in mundane Westerosi politics (unlike Stannis) and focused on a larger Manichean story about Light against Dark in which she believes Stannis has a central role. She's entirely willing to say misleading things to people about her prophecies because she wants them to believe and thinks such deceptions are permitted for her larger cause. Once her prophecies are vindicated then people become more convinced and willing to do the things she wants. The reader had already seen Melisandre had performed a ritual on the sword, and we see that it is indeed magicked. We see here that Stannis has it ready to draw for the battle, and the effect it has on horses (which Jon also notices at the Wall). Ned Stark distinguished between vengeance & justice for Gregor Clegane, and you must as well: "I have no doubt that Cersei had a hand in Robert's death. I will have justice for him. Aye, and for Ned Stark and Jon Arryn as well." Ned didn't permit Loras to hunt down Gregor precisely because Gregor had wronged him by trying to kill him, and Stannis isn't going to permit Robb Stark to satisfy any of own personal desires. In some ways Stannis' politics are innapropriately modern & impersonal for what Max Weber would call a "charismatic" system of government, but part of the point of this story is about dealing with impersonal abstractions like "justice" weighed against your personal interests & desires. "I smashed Mance Rayder at the Wall, though he had twenty times my numbers" Loras could do a good job leading the van, or a bad one. However, Renly has someone that he already knows led a vanguard to the only victory against Robert Baratheon: Randyll Tarly. A priori, he's probably the best person to lead it. But the main issue is that Renly is entirely reliant on the first charge from this. He assumes that will break Stannis' forces so that the sun blinding his own troops won't be a problem. He doesn't have his infantry in case his cavalry fall short. And if Loras gets captured, that's way more leverage than if it were Randyll. @Minsc She thought he should have been moving his entire host more quickly, not rushing to attack the Lannisters with just his cavalry far from his supply lines. This is true enough that there's an important point you didn't note: Stannis is not fortified behind stone walls. The nearest castle is being besieged by Stannis, and thus cut off from supplying Renly. Renly could go further away to another castle in the Stormlands, but that just goes back to the point about how he didn't need to force a battle right now. Stannis is a lot less reliant on cavalry than his opponents. And he can better prepare for the reveal of Lightbringer since he's the one doing it. @Trigger Warning Stannis winning the battle was not a foregone conclusion a priori, and importantly he was trying to acquire men. The bloodier the battle is, the fewer he gets. @Minsc Mel does give him Lightbringer after Stannis hears about her vision and decides to go along with her idea. Melisandre isn't simply some believer in Stannis is a really effective military leader though, she thinks he has divine importance. So she's not going to take a risk on some battle, and instead she does something which will firmly convince Stannis of her prophetic powers in a way he can't instead ascribe to any mundane factors. Because she doesn't merely plan on killing Renly and Edric Storm. She needs Stannis to be willing to sacrifice those things dearest to him, just as Azor Ahai did with Nissa Nissa. We know where this is ultimately going, even if Stannis wouldn't have agreed had he known from the beginning. @Angel Eyes Importantly, Baelor never consummated his marriage, and thus had no children. @Minsc Yes she was. She thought Lysa might have heard something from Jon Arryn and will be willing to talk up now that Sweetrobin won't be in Tywin's hands. @Angel Eyes Also no children because it doesn't seem he had any interest in sex. It's believed he never consummated his marriage, hence it being said that Aelinor "remains a maid". @Minsc Robert had been controlled by his id for a long time but never had so much as a long-term mistress. @Trigger Warning Robert has never had a long-term mistress. He seems to quickly grow bored of whoever he sleeps with.
  13. This is how he describes his own motivations for that: "If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you." He wanted the Lannisters to be looking in the wrong places for enemies rather than at him, and to go unnoticed as he prepared to (openly) turn against them. The plan would be presented to the Tyrells as a way to stabilize that alliance, but LF doesn't plan to remain under that regime. He also says he expected Cersei to self-destruct in her idiocy, but not that it would happen so fast while noting "it is a good thing that I thrive on chaos". So he's less miffed than Varys & Illyrio were about things going sideways at a faster than expected pace. That seems like a bit of a stretch. He was out of the city in the runup to the battle, and Moore only had the opportunity amidst some unexpected chaos after Tyrion led a charge. If LF can't predict Tyrion is going to do any of that, he can't know that Mandon will have the chance to discretely murder Tyrion. And since Mandon is already a KG, there's not a good way to bribe him (unlike the usual lowly cutouts LF uses). Joffrey is going to share his chambers with Margaery. I provided a link to someone else noting that Ran confirmed that specific factoid, with a Discord link included as a citation. That the app itself says it was the wine rather than the pie is verifiable information, not "hearsay". The problem with "hearsay" is that the person who said something isn't available to answer. But Ran actually is available to discuss the statement attributed to him, and the app is available to verify that it does specify the wine. For what it's worth here's another thread on things confirmed by the app, which itself links to a confirmation from the NotABlog that GRRM supplied the information. Do you have any basis for claiming that? LF refers to her as still having her maidenhead, and while an examination did show that she lost it, Cersei assumes it was horseriding that did that. Cersei thinks Renly consummated the marriage because Taena said he was aroused during the bedding ceremony, but Loras' presence seems like a sufficient explanation. It's sometimes described as purple, and sometimes as red. Work on your reading comprehension. I wrote "He's not going to give the sword to Tyrion". Note the "not". Tyrion made that threat when Joffrey made a threat against Sansa. The dwarf jousting is intended to belittle Tyrion and humiliate him, so that Joffrey will want to mock him rather than threaten him. If LF had arranged for something to humiliate Joffrey, then perhaps Tyrion might laugh and Joffrey would threaten him. That's if it's dissolved in wine. If it's a solid crystal, that's a different story. Do you know how people sometimes choke when swallowing a powder in "the cinnamon challenge"? It's not nearly as risky in non-powder form. Ammonia is a gas at room temperature, so you can't "drink a shot" of it. Ammonia is normally sold already dissolved in water (a 28% ammonia solution is most common). The strangler, in contrast, is a solid crystal by default. Crystals are typically formed by ionic compounds, and those dissolve in polar substances like water or wine. Fatty or oily substances are typically non-polar and can be used to dissolve other non-polar molecules like lipids. Tell me: is the pigeon pie polar or non-polar? Salt is an ionic compound (as polar as it gets). Sugar is polar. Those would be non-polar. Having the hairnet dissolve in her hair would be very undesirable. The conspirators don't need to tell the alchemist or jeweler about the conspiracy. The alchemist can simply be asked about what quantities it can dissolve in and how effective it would be, and the jeweler can then be told to make an appropriately sized chalice. When discussing this with EW George said "I wanted to make it little bit unclear what exactly has happened here, make the readers work a little to try and figure out what has happened." But still the "careful reader" should conclude Olenna poisoned Joffrey to prevent him from hurting Margaery. It's not simply "head canon", GRRM himself has discussed this and Ran got confirmation when making the app. On the tv show for which GRRM was a producer, we even got multiple scenes of Olenna admitting to deliberately poisoning Joffrey just like LF confessed to Sansa. Just the hairnet, she doesn't need to know how it got there. I don't think LF wants her to pay attention to Dontos, since Dontos is going to steal Sansa away. No, it didn't scotch that. Margaery still became queen, but with the more pliable Tommen instead of the unpredictable & sadistic Joffrey. She's referred to as just "a woman", but we don't know whether she was a smallfolk or not. He doesn't need to be a spectator himself, just like he doesn't need to view the woman once she's in the dungeon. And since we never got the names of these knights, why expect any reference to "Ser Whomever"? We see him hand down three rulings and the patterns are that he's a sadist and his orders are followed anyway. Joffrey killed the fawn Tommen adopted and insulted him for crying at Myrcella's departure. The "business in the yard" was Joffrey having Sansa stripped & beaten. Tyrion think's there's a sexual edge to Joffrey's sadism and that the brothel might help satiate that. She thinks there IS something she's missing when Olenna & Margaery act blase in response to Sansa admitting how awful Joffrey is. She even has the same reasoning LF provides: Loras as KG and Margery as queen makes for a kingslayer stew. No, she's provides one of many pieces of evidence in the text in addition to the explicit confirmations outside of it. I don't know what quote you're referring to because you're so terrible at organizing your posts so I know what you're responding to! Not merely seeing the after-effects, but seeing Joffrey abuse Margaery right in front of him, or at minimum within earshot (just as Aerys used to hurt Rhaella). The hairnet being delivered to Sansa was important in getting her to trust that there was a plan to get her out. And the hairnet is going to remain on Sansa rather than Olenna for misdirection. If anyone says "Hey, the crystals on Olenna's hairnet look kind of like the Strangler, and I saw her fiddling with it", then she looks suspicious. If Sansa gets blamed, then Olenna just looks like a kind old lady who had no idea she was touching poisonous crystals. As far as the Small Council was concerned, he had left KL for the Vale to marry Lysa "on the morrow", and it's even said that it's best he doesn't linger. It turns out that he's on a boat just offshore of KL, but if he had stuck around in the city itself Varys could have informed the SC that he lied about leaving immediately. Varys' spies in the city also make it more difficult to conspire with Olenna there. She really has no further reason to meet with LF after they've negotiated the marriage as far as the regime is concerned. At the time Tyrion's marriage to Sansa was revealed, the hairnet had already been delivered to Sansa. So Petyr would need to go to Olenna with the news after the meeting where he said he was going to the Vale, reveal that Tyrion was going to marry Sansa, say he had already provided Sansa with a poison hairnet to wear at Joffrey's wedding just in case or something and that it could be used to poison Tyrion so Sansa would escape. Olenna would then need to buy this story enough to take on the part of retrieving the poison from said hairnet and then FAIL TO GRAB SANSA DURING THE DIVERSION PLANNED SPECIFICALLY FOR THAT!? Then why wasn't Olenna prepared for Sansa's escape? I haven't seen any of your calculations for this. The fact that it leaves a smudge does not mean it has "dissolved". If you're going to make it into jewelry you'd probably put a thin coating on it for the sake of its appearance, and that would likely be the source of the smudge. And that smudge is said to be in the silver locket, NOT Sansa's skin or hair. If you're going to pull off the assassination plot, you shouldn't just hope your intended victim simply doesn't notice the crystal you've inserted in his food. Producing heirs is a less reliable process than you might think. Most conceptions result in a miscarriage, and half of all births are female. There's nothing about the assassination in that plan. No hairnet, and no linkage of the time to Joffrey's wedding. Instead Dontos just says he needs to arrange for a ship while Sansa needs a way to get out of the castle. The ship of course would actually be arranged by LF rather than Dontos. Dontos is there to gain Sansa's trust by posing as her "Florian" thankful for her saving his life. Good to know you found it so easy for all the many assassinations at royal weddings you've rejiggered. It's hardly marked to be as unique as Joffrey's goblet. And as for Tyrion's actual reaction to the pie in front of him: "he found them no more appetizing than the white ones fluttering about the hall. Sansa was not eating either". Good thing she wasn't hungry, or she might have eaten her husband's pie along with her own. Whereas it's entirely expected for the king to drink from his new chalice, and it would be considered something of an insult for him not to use it. Perhaps Olenna really is as dumb as a box of rocks and never considered whether Tyrion actually likes pigeon pie in the first place. Margaery is part of the family of conspirators. They can easily arrange in advance for her not to drink anymore after an initial bit to make her look innocent. Whereas a hypothetical hungry Sansa has not been warned that Tyrion's pie would be poisoned. The person READING your comment DOESN'T have to scroll up IF you quote properly! The style guide even says to quote the specific things you need to rather than necessarily using the whole comment. What are you talking about? He DID give it to Dontos, who did as he was told and gave it to Sansa rather than selling it. Then why the hell would they agree to this plan whose whole point, in your view, was to do JUST THAT!? People paid attention to Margaery when Joffrey was poisoned. It was very smart of her not to be present when Joffrey was humiliated at Ruby Ford, or to be related to Ned Stark. Really good decisions on her part. No, he killed one mistress and her entire family after accusing them of the death of his infant son. This was after beheading the wetnurse he initially blamed. And his wife frequently cried "You're hurting me" in the bedroom. That would be Tywin. We never actually see him tell anyone other than Sansa that version of the story. As he notes, it's not considered polite to inquire into a man's bastards. Claiming to be 9 would be ridiculous. Myranda even notes that "Alayne" has "ample" breasts for her stated age. Only if Mace brings a dispute to be judged by the king. If Lothor is an idiot, then he could very well do the things you claim would never be done while hawking. The fact that so much of the circumference of the Reach is NOT a land border distinguishes it from the Riverlands. The United States also has borders on "all sides where there is land", but it's a lot better protected than the Low Countries like Belgium or the Netherlands. It's officially not a monarchy or an empire. Its governed by people who are officially elected by the voters. North Korea is also a republic (a "people's democratic" one!) officially, and they've got a multi-generation dynasty in place. Russia has not had dynastic succession since the Romanovs. No it isn't! The politics of marriage alliances depend on aristocratic houses being the basic units of politics! You brought up Emmon Frey's marriage to Genna Lannister, and I'm pointing out it's not that important. As a member of House Frey, he is subject to the head of that House. Beating Robb's sister doesn't prove anything! That's why his uncle, who is actually trying to preserve the regime Joffrey is destabilizing, puts a stop to it. Sansa even feels safer with Cersei of all people around to restrain Joffrey. Correct. I reversed it but you got the meaning.
  14. I understand the impulse, but this does make it slightly harder to follow the conversation, particularly for anyone reading this who hadn't already read the prior thread. The comment of mine you're responding to is here. I don't think that necessarily applies to bastards. Even if Robert doesn't personally get along with Stannis, they have worked together on a shared political project because of their kinship. He hasn't had anything to do with his bastards since leaving the Vale. You mean like when Robert granted him Dragonstone instead of Storm's End, and per GRRM that was Robert affirming Stannis as his heir? Does Stannis know that? The incest had been going on for years, but Jon Arryn appeared to be the first person murdered to cover it up. He doesn't even appear in the first book, and he's never a POV character. Do you think Stannis of all people is going to start going on about being scared in the past? His whole schtick is being a hard man who just grits his teeth. Stannis says he told Jon Arryn rather than Robert acout the incest because he didn't think Robert would believe him. Is Robert going to believe him about not only the incest but the actual cause of Jon Arryn's death, even though Jon Arryn hadn't given any indication of that while dying? And Bran overheard Cersei & Jaime discussing the same point: Robert would believe his Hand about something where he wouldn't trust his brother. I must have missed all those Stannis POV chapters you somehow got hold of. He's completely locking Dragonstone down and not letting ANYONE leave. One of Tyrion's points of frustration (in the same passage about how he fears Stannis more than Renly) is that he doesn't know what's going on with Stannis as a result, as even Varys' little birds there are cut off. Paranoia is a rational strategy against the Lannisters. I do think there was also some petulance involved in that he wants to be sought out on his home turf. How long did it take Ned to distrust Pycelle? Pycelle is terribly unsubtle in his biases and Stannis was with him on the small council for years. When was the last time Stannis had any interaction with Ned? At least with Jon Arryn the two of them had joined together to oppose Janos Slynt. He doesn't know Ned is going to receive that message from Lysa, nor that Bran is going to be thrown out a window. Ned wonders whether Stannis left because of guilt or fear. We learn early on that Stannis wasn't guilty of Jon Arryn's poisoning but was instead working together with him, and later it's revealed Lysa was actually guilty and only pretending to be scared of the Lannisters. The absence of her and maester Colemon then obstructs Ned's investigation. So what's the answer to Ned's question about Stannis? Fear. The same target he believed to be on Jon Arryn was on him as a result of them working together. Jealousy I can buy, but what would he feel guilty about? The list begins with "Him", meaning Tywin, because it's a list of dead people. And Stannis isn't dead. Renly never says that to Cat. And Renly's whole argument to Ned is about how controlling the king (which he thinks he has enough swords to do vs the Lannisters) means controlling the kingdom under a regency. There wasn't any reason to expect a regency when he was showing off that picture of Margaery. Ned never describes him as panicked. Do you know what a panic attack is? I pointed out that Lysa, Varys & LF all tell Ned things to make him view the Lannisters as enemies (only Varys was presumably telling the truth). You wrote "What he says about the Lannisters is not to convince Ned, as he has given up pn him by that point." If his Margaery plot had actually been motivated by fear of Cersei, one might have expected him to have been more overtly recruiting Ned into an anti-Lannister faction, perhaps talking about what a terrible regent Cersei would be assuming he was foreseeing that as a possibility. But it's not like he even has any reaction to Cersei's brother attacking Ned in the street. Robert really wanted to marry Lyanna, and it wasn't because the Starks were nearly as rich as the Lannisters. Instead it was because of Robert's personal feelings. He only got badgered into marrying Cersei by Jon Arryn, and he hated the resulting marriage. He's not going to want to repeat the same logic. I think legitimacy has gotten short shrift in this conversation, when it is the basis for an aristocratic system of governance ("Legitimism" is even a term for a dynastic faction in France). Renly's idea that whoever has the largest army gets the throne is incompatible with actual monarchism, as instead it would devolve into a society of warlords where no one could count on the next generation succeeding. Ned & Cat both believe in small-l legitimism, that gods make kings and kings must care about their subjects. This isn't because they're aberrant, rather a medieval feudal order is naturally populated with such people. The initial arc of the books is about the unusually cynical & devious getting one over on folks like the Starks, which is then a recipe for civil war & disorder. Tracing back to your point about Cat wanting to bend the knee, that's not at the beginning of the War of the Five Kings when Tywin & Tyrion both regard Stannis as their most dangerous opponent. It's after Stannis has already failed and is no longer mounting any sort of campaign against the incumbent regime. And, as noted, Cat has the personal motivation of having her only (as far as she knows) surviving child still in Lannister hands. Ned cared before him, and Stannis also insists on it (though he hadn't made his claim by that point). We don't hear from Hoster because he's sick while Jon Arryn was already dead. The only Lord Paramount that sided with Renly was Mace Tyrell, and that's because he'd formed a marriage alliance with him (same as he would later do with Joffrey). The Westerosi definitely care about proper succession laws, which is why a queen bearing illegitimate children is considered treason (even in a case like Rhaenyra where her husband was apparently ok with it). Speaking of Rhaenyra, she holds back from handing certain holdings over to allies because she doesn't want to meddle with proper succession laws. Then why is it the first thing Marq Piper brings up!? If Stannis had sent his letter earlier, Robb seems like he would have pledged fealty (and brought the Riverlands with him). Robb had already declared himself king before Stannis did, and his forces were far enough from Stannis to act as an independent theater of the war. They stayed out of the war of five kings completely. And they only sent Oberyn to KL to demand justice from the Lannisters. Tyrion already knew Stannis didn't have Renly's army when he was worrying about the former more than the latter. We're discussing both. Renly's whole claim to the throne is based on military force (not a Great Council, which he explicitly rejects as an option). And Stannis' command ability is a force multiplier. When Tyrion is fretting about Stannis, he's not hyping him up for any other character. That's what he honestly thinks. And smart people like Tywin & Tyrion think that of Stannis because he really is one of the best commanders. Tywin & Tyrion WERE taking Renly's armies into account. Tell that to Maegor II. Aside from his father being regarded as twisted & insane, the lords also wanted to avoid a long regency. Aegon VI was also set behind the older Viserys by Aerys (after Rhaegar died). Try sailing from Dragonstone to Bitterbridge And why would he go to the Reach when the vassals he intends to claim are in the Stormlands? Robb had a string of such victories by the time of Blackwater, but it wasn't enough. Indeed, you earlier brought up the case of Emmon Frey. When he was mistakenly claiming to be Lord Paramount, he somehow thought that he was both under the authority of his father while his father was also under his authority as bannerman. But that was wrong, as the patriarchal order requires authority flowing strictly from fathers to sons. With the death of Steffon Baratheon, Robert became head of House Baratheon, and it was on such authority that he had Stannis marry Selyse even after Stannis was made Lord of Dragonstone. With the death of Robert, Stannis claims to inherit both the throne and status as head of House Baratheon. Randyll Tarly thought it mattered, and he's also respected as a military mind. Cat perceived that Renly had put himself in a dangerous position, and that Ned wouldn't have done that. And to show it's not just her being an idiot, Mathis Rowan makes the same point. Combine that with Tarly's different objection, and we see that Renly is making multiple choices others (older than him and apparently more knowledgeable about war) perceive as mistakes and not listening to any advice because he's so confident that initial charge will be enough. He's practically got "pride before the fall" written all over him. So was the Margaery plot really motivated by fear of Cersei, or desire for power? Because bending the knee to Stannis would be sufficient to get rid of Cersei, even if it wouldn't make Renly king or give much advantage to the Tyrells. Renly himself survived a much longer siege in which Stannis managed to keep up resistance at Storm's End. And King's Landing hasn't even been blockaded. KL was still resisting up to the Blackwater, when Stannis actually did arrive after his delay at Storm's End. And of course the various kingdoms managed without the Reach (even being at war with it) prior to unification under Aegon. Renly didn't, Robert did. Renly offered swords to use to seize Cersei's children, noting that controlling Joffrey would mean controlling the kingdom. So if swords loyal to Renly surround Joffrey, who has power? From time to time a king may send out a brother or son with a larger army than the king himself keeps at the capital. But his young kin with the large army is still expected to owe him fealty. The other way around never happens. He dismisses her religion and sarcastically asks if she has an army hidden. Stannis doesn't like women, and assumes Lysa is too frightened to let Sweetrobin come to Dragonstone (he's righter than he knows there). We actually know Lysa was responsible for Jon Arryn's death and LF had told her to keep out of the war, so there wouldn't have been any point to him offering her "justice" for her husband's death. He didn't "finally" decide that, he'd already decided on it and announced it. When Mathis objected, Renly dismisses the objection with "And have men say I feared to face Stannis?" If he actually valued Randyll Tarly's opinion that much he would have listened to him about not attacking at Stannis' chosen time, or perhaps let him lead the van since he'd successfully done so before. And since you noted that Loras in the vanguard did well enough at the Blackwater, note that when Loras made an attack on an enemy expecting him (Stannis' remnant on Dragonstone) it was reckless and resulted in needless casualties including life-threatening injuries to himself. It should be noted that there is a reason not to heed Mathis' advice: Cat noted that by racing ahead of his supply train, Renly had thereby put his cavalry at risk. I think you forgot to include the quote you were responding to, so I don't know what this is. Like what? There's only one battle he lost, and we don't know what he could have done differently. We have Renly's enemies all discounting him because of his inexperience at war, and when we actually see his plans for better we see multiple mistakes which he rationalizes with "What would people say". The whole point of the "knights of the summer" bit is that they're overly optimistic youngsters and don't know what they're in for. The Lannisters were going to let everyone in the North exhaust themselves fighting each other so they could then send Tyrion to Winterfell and take it away from the Boltons. Jaime does get sent to the Riverlands to deal with the Blackfish, but they don't send anyone past the Neck. And it should be noted that LF figured that he & fugitive Sansa would be safe from the Lannisters in the Vale even before Tywin died. Indeed, the rest of his men were expecting a battle with Stannis awake & participating. We know his sleep was magical because in his dreams he saw what Cat saw (this also explains why Devan couldn't wake him), and this wasn't part of any plan his men had. We don't need to hear the actual plan his army had for the battle, because it never happened. "Perhaps Stannis observed (or even deliberately tested this effect) when he drew the sword at the parley". Am I obligated to believe every "perhaps" in any work I cite? I think it would wake more sense to test it earlier in a more controlled environment. I do think this scene exists so the reader can learn about it. Stannis doesn't take the view that Cersei shouldn't be punished. What he's rejecting is Robb as king of an independent North while Stannis is left with "half a kingdom". It's unreasonable for him to take that stance in his position, but it's not a deviation from his strict stance. Many battles have been won by the smaller force when the larger force falls apart after a setback. It wasn't sheer numbers that defeated Mance Rayder. The wildlings just weren't organized enough to withstand such an attack. He's banking on the decisions made by an inexperienced commander, who put Loras in the vanguard making that first charge. In the Battle of Ice, he also banks on Hosteen Frey being stupid.
  15. Ned didn't want to tell Robert about the twincest while Cersei & her children were still within his reach, hence tipping her off so she could flee. If she's still there when Robert gets back, then the same problem still exists, and Ned decides he can just write the will to refer to "heir" rather than Joffrey and then handle the issue himself. I quoted someone saying they needed to get rid of Gilly and her child or they would be doomed to drown. How are they going to get rid of her without killing her while out on the water? I agree with that. It does depend on how convincing people find the twincest story. If Robert makes a decree to the entire small council, then perhaps Barristan's reputation would add some credibility that this was actually Robert's demand rather than others trying to pervert his will after his death. It is striking that we know of a lot more Lannister men-at-arms. I guess that's part of Robert letting them have a lot of positions near him rather than placing his own people at such levels. Even the Master-at-Arms of the Red Keep was a Dornishman, and thus probably not a Robert diehard. Renly is at least willing to violently seize Cersei's children from her. Yes, that's not the same as killing, but I'm guessing he'd be more up for that than the other two. Fair enough. Does anyone ever make note of Blackfish & LF's relationship? That, I'll grant. They were actually raised together at the Eyrie. But would they have any relationship to Denys Arryn? Robert's kids were all raised in the Red Keep, whereas Renly's castle is Storm's End (where Edric Storm lives). Jon's death was chalked up to natural causes, except by Pycelle who saw that Cersei wanted him dead and Stannis who made a similar deduction because of the incest. No one had any reason to suspect LF & Lysa at the time. And why does he want to ensure the Starks accept the offer? If his goal is to create conflict between the Starks & Lannisters, then it makes sense, but don't know what your theory is where he's just solving Lysa's problem about fostering Sweetrobin. LF makes clear he never loved Lysa when he murders her, so I would say his motivation is more about how it would help him than her. And he tells Sansa after Joffrey's assassination that he acts to create confusion among his enemies. The Starks didn't know Robert ever owned the dagger. Even Varys wasn't saying anything about it (and didn't contradict LF about it). LF's knowledge of the twincest, which he never revealed, indicates to me he's not really a loyalist of Robert's. And since Ned refuses to believe that Robert would hurt him or his family (whereas he already thinks the worst of the Lannisters), telling him the truth would not be nearly as risky to Robert as it is to Tyrion. I can't buy the coincidence that he tells Lysa to blame the Lannisters for Jon Arryn, then he lies about another Lannister being connected to the assassination attempt on Bran. It's all designed to stoke conflict between the two, and for LF to rise up in the confusion while his "enemies" who don't know they're his enemies fight each other. I doubt Robert would accept such an answer. He remained in the dark about the dagger, which would not have been the case if LF were actually trying to help him out. If Robert knew what was going on he could try to get to the bottom of things, but instead there was just conflict between the Starks & Lannisters he didn't want. Yet he favored installing Joffrey as king anyway. He could have helped Ned keep him off the throne, but LF doesn't want a good king (especially not one who would oppose LF's corruption). Even one of Joffrey's worst decisions as king, executing Ned Stark, is implied to be something LF had a hand in by bribing Janos Slynt (LF was the only one who isn't noted as expressing surprise when Joffrey announced the sentence). All of LF's manipulations of Joffrey, like suggesting the jousting dwarves, is aimed at exacerbating his worst qualities. He's not trying to manipulate Joffrey into acting like a better king. LF tells Sansa that even Cersei is a pawn (he appears to view most people as that), whom he considers "utterly predictable". This doesn't mean she does a better job of ruling than Joffrey, rather she runs things into the ground after his death. And LF doesn't have a problem with Cersei running things into the ground, as he's off in the Vale with all the grain he's stored for the winter and a fugitive from the Lannister regime he can reveal when it's time for him to openly turn against them. LF is cocky and regularly takes big risks because he thinks he can pull it off. It's almost as if he knows GRRM is protecting him from things like Tyrion doing anything in retaliation for LF framing him
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