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Syl of Syl

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  1. I'm not sure that's right. The melting point of sand might be higher than that of the stones used to build most castles, but I should think the higher surface area of sand makes it easier to melt than a solid stone building. At least that's what I'm thinking based on that I've heard of lightning strikes melting sand (and turning it to glass as the dragon fire did) but I've never heard the same of lightning as regards large blocks of stone.
  2. Syl of Syl

    Strongest Lannister Vassal

    Really? Id think i would remember that. Regardless, cool name. Sounds Blackfyrish. That's interesting. So if Addams 30ish and his dad was like 20 when he had Addam, thatd put Damons birth around 250? Which is around some Blackfyre rebellion? Maybe im reading too much into it, Damons not Daemon after all (but just for shits and giggles ima leave this quote, because, I like it lol) There was also a Damon Lannister - great-grandfather to Tywin - who was around the same time as Daemon Blackfyre. Damon Marbrand's more likely to be named after him.
  3. Syl of Syl

    Dany does not have to go to Westeros

    And as a related question... why did the early Targaryen kings never conquer Essos? They certainly had enough dragons during the first hundred or so years to give it a try.
  4. Syl of Syl

    Dany does not have to go to Westeros

    Maybe this is what's taking so long for the last couple books... I think you are right that it makes little sense. Sure, young Dany was fed with stories of Westeros and the Iron Throne by Viserys. So of course, it is an ambition that burns within her. However, she's grown a lot since then and had lots of experiences. It's clear at this point that she cares very much for the people she rules in Meereen. I think it has certainly always been GRRM's intent to bring her to Westeros, but the longer she spends with the characters in Essos, the harder it's become to have her leave them. I wouldn't mind at all if her story takes longer in Essos and includes empire building there. The problem is of course the threat of Winter and whether her dragons are going to be needed to fight that threat.
  5. Syl of Syl

    Strongest Lannister Vassal

    I think it would depend on who the lord of a particular house is at the moment. Marbrand is certainly prominent at the moment in part because of their close familial relationship to the most recent crop of Lannisters as well as the fact that Addam who is the heir to Ashemark is both a childhood friend of Jaime as well as seeming to be well-respecting for his abilities as a leader. Houses like Crakehall, Lefford and Lydden will always be prominent because their seats lie along one of the three King's roads that end at Casterly Rock. We get more characters from the Crakehall family, but I don't know that it necessarily makes them more powerful.
  6. We can't even be sure that they were the oldest dynasty of River Kings. Considering it seems that they were from an island in the Riverlands, it seems likely that the Fisher name comes from an association with fish, just as many of the older names have relevance to a real world thing that is associated with the house in some way.
  7. Syl of Syl

    Why did Benjen take the black?

    I agree with what you are saying about Lady Barbrey's anger and possible slight that her family feels from Rickard. According to Lady Barbrey, her father tried to marry her to Eddard after Brandon was betrothed to Catelyn Tully. But she married Lord Dustin and they were definitely married before Ned ever married Cat, so there must be some reason Rodrik Ryswell gave up on his ambition of marrying his daughter to a Stark. Either Rickard told him that it wasn't going to happen or he had made a different marriage match for Ned.
  8. I don't understand where you get this from. He made Tully the Lord Paramount of the Trident and made them accept Tully as their liege lord - this includes Qoherys. Since Edmyn Tully accepted fealty directly from all the lords of the Trident and the lord of Harrenhal, he's clearly the most powerful person in the Riverlands other than Aegon himself. Being Lord Paramount means you get dominion over all the castles and lands of your region. There is no practical difference between what Aegon gave Tully and what he gave Tyrell. I don't see how you are reading the situation differently. The differences come from the legacy that the Tully/Tyrell name brings and of that of their seat of power. The Tully name is perhaps slightly less proud than a few other names from the Riverlands since Blackwood and Bracken claim to have once ruled the land as kings and many of the other names are older, but I think the lords of the Reach many of whom claim descent from Garth Greenhand which indicates a very old and proud lineage clearly see a bigger gap between their own name and the Tyrell name which was the name of stewards. As to the seat of power, Highgarden balances out that lack of name-power since it is the clear and obvious seat of power in the Reach, whereas the Riverlands does not have such a clear seat of power. Harrenhal was the seat of kings for only a short time and I'd argue even that its legacy would have made it reviled by the Riverlords and therefore its association with House Hoare was not necessarily an asset to the newly made liege lord of the Riverlands. We don't know where House Justman sat, but they were the last kings that the lords of the Trident would actually have positive feelings about. But that was quite some time ago, so Riverrun seems as good a place as any. It is smaller than most but it is clearly a strong and well-placed castle - hence the rise of House Tully despite not having the same proud lineage as the other primary houses of the Riverlands. You could be right. That was not my reading of it. I always assumed that Florent felt they had a better claim because of their mythical founder who was supposed to be a daughter of Garth Greenhand. In the World book, they are listed amongst many other houses: Afterward, a number of the other great houses of the Reach complained bitterly about being made vassals of an “upjumped steward” and insisted that their own blood was far nobler than that of the Tyrells. It cannot be denied that the Oakhearts of Old Oak, the Florents of Brightwater Keep, the Rowans of Goldengrove, the Peakes of Starpike, and the Redwynes of the Arbor all had older and more distinguished lineages than the Tyrells, and closer blood ties to House Gardener as well. Their protests were of no avail, however … mayhaps in part because all these houses had taken up arms against Aegon and his sisters on the Field of Fire, whereas the Tyrells had not. Basically, every major house of the Reach had a problem at the time. I guess "closer blood ties" is what you are using here. I just think it is silly 300 years later to think that's still the case. Florent is clearly bitter, but that they somehow harbored this bitterness over the course of three centuries while other houses seem to have set it aside seems ludicrous. Perhaps this is still the source of enmity, but I would think there must be some more recent events that either led to the current state of things or at least some recent events that kept this feud going.
  9. Well, there was also Harren the Red and possibly Aemond's son (who is likely going to become a pretender king); and the fact that Queen Rhaena also made it her seat also added to its royal prestige, one assumes. But in principle one can say something is the 'x of kings' if only one king owned it, no? Sure. An outlaw who stayed at Harrenhal for a few days and a possible pretender king who Tywin likely never thinks about. He's calling it the seat of kings because it was built by Harren the Black. Sure, he can call it seat of kings even though it's just one king. I'm just making the point that this is an exaggeration on Tywin's part and his way of expressing the vast discontinuity between the prestige of a castle like Harrenhal and the worthiness of Janos Slynt. Look, I think there is certainly an argument to be made that Harrenhal is one of the strongest and most strategically placed castles in the entire realm. However, I just think that at that point in time, with Harrenhal fresh from being lit up like its towers were the candles on Balerion's birthday cake, it would not have been an attractive seat for Tully even had Aegon offered it. The fact that he gave it to his master-at-arms could mean that he didn't fully trust Tully as you say. It could be that no-one else wanted it or that he didn't have anyone better to bestow it on. It could be a mix of reasons. For all its obvious advantages, Harrenhal has some serious flaws from its massive size to its dire legacy. I get what you are saying, and sure it is possible. Do we have any actual hints that the Tyrells have been actively ignoring the Florents for generations? I don't remember anything of the sort. Regardless, the point I was trying to make is that the Florents can say their claim is better all they want. It doesn't make that the case. In the end, all the houses of the Reach claim descent from the Gardener kings through one female line or another. The actual differences are going to be negligible. I took the Florent complaint to be one about the name and the legacy it bears. The Florents have some legend about a founder who was a daughter of Garth Greenhand while the founder of House Tyrell was a landless Andal knight. This is all bullshit and not a real thing to let affect serious political decisions. The serious political fact is that the Tyrells are the most powerful house in the Reach both because they hold the title of Lord Paramount granted to them by the crown and because they hold Highgarden which is the center of power in the Reach and has been for thousands of years. I get that the Florents may not think of themselves as family, but several of their cousins will still see the Tyrells as their cousins, so the Florents don't have any leverage based on familial relationships that the Tyrells don't have and it all comes out even. Take the current (possibly ongoing) conflict at Brightwater Keep as an example. Garlan Tyrell is poised to take Brightwater Keep, so Alekyne Florent is seeking refuge in Oldtown where his sister is married to Lord Leyton Hightower. If it comes to making a decision on backing one or the other, who is Hightower going to choose - his grandson Garlan or his goodbrother, Alekyne? The family relationship card is a wash at best here. If Florent has no political clout from their familial relationships then what is the point of their claims? And surely this also shows that the Tyrells have more actual power than would be assumed based on the Florent perception of them, doesn't it?
  10. Syl of Syl

    Why did Benjen take the black?

    I know nobody is picking up my theory about Benjen joining to avoid a marriage pact. And I'll acknowledge it holds about as much water as everybody else's theories. I'd just like to ask the question tho - does anyone else find it a bit strange that both Brandon and Lyanna were betrothed, but Ned who is older than Lyanna by a few years was apparently not?
  11. Syl of Syl

    Why did Benjen take the black?

    If Jon was the root of Benjen's issue with Ned and thereby the cause of his leaving to join the watch, that's a pretty childish move on Benjen's part. If he's so concerned for Jon, why not stay and help raise the kid. He could have easily set up in a nearby castle and raised Jon as his own to save Jon from Cat's resentment and all that other stuff. Or he could have just stayed at Winterfell to be a full-time uncle to Jon. Reasoning that he joined the watch to run away from his issues seems out of character.
  12. Syl of Syl

    Why did Benjen take the black?

    I think this is very speculative. I get that others have this same sort of theory that there was some kind of rift in the family based around Lyanna's betrothal, and I just wanted to question whether we can even be sure that Lyanna herself was so against the betrothal. Yes, we know she had her reservations about Robert. Here's the quote from AGoT where we get that: “Robert will never keep to one bed,” Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm’s End. “I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale.” Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. “Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.” It doesn't sound to me like the memory of someone who is dead-set against the proposal. She has her reservations that Robert will be a faithful husband, but considering her nature I don't really believe that she saw this as a dreadful fate to be avoided at great cost. Lyanna's personality has been compared more favorably to her brother Brandon as well as to Arya, rather than the dour Ned and the idealistic Sansa. I thought this memory was more about showing that Lyanna saw Robert's personality more clearly than Ned did rather than as a way to show that Lyanna dreaded her marriage match. As to her going off with Rhaegar (if she was not indeed kidnapped), Lyanna was clearly also an impulsive person. This would not have been something she planned out well in advance, and I doubt the idea that Benjen was somehow involved in a conspiracy to carry this out. I just think we can cast a lot of doubt on the two premises that Benjen was involved in Lyanna's disappearance/kidnapping in any way and that he harbored resentment towards his brother over Lyanna's betrothal to Robert.
  13. I think this was just a turn of phrase to indicate his disgust with Cersei's decision. Harrenhal was never the "seat of kings" - it was the seat of one king who sat there less than a year. Really? We see how the current generation of Tyrells are intermarried with Redwyne, Hightower and Fossoway. I don't think there's any reason to believe this was not the norm during the majority of the Targaryen years. We know for instance that the Lord Tyrell who was Jaehaerys's master of coin was married to a Fossoway. Perhaps you are right and the Florents somehow managed to avoid intermarriage with their overlords. They still would have been making matches with Fossoways and the like some of whom would have been cousins with Tyrells. It's just unavoidable - the lords of the Reach are one big, extended family. The Florents would have had to consistently marry outside that circle to avoid being related to House Tyrell.
  14. Sure. It plays a prominent and important role in many of the stories. Any time there is fighting in the Riverlands, we see the castle change hands. I think it definitely has a strategic location, particularly from the perspective of King's Landing, but I don't think that necessarily makes it a more attractive castle than Riverrun for the Tully's to rule the Riverlands from. After all, the whole reason that Tully was in a position on par with Blackwood and Bracken is because of Riverrun - its location and strength. Of course Tywin is furious that Cersei granted Harrenhal to Slynt, just as he was angry that they raised the Hound to the Kingsguard. It's about wasting an appointment with political potential. That doesn't necessarily make Harrenhal more prestigious or attractive than Riverrun tho. Perhaps... or just sour grapes. I didn't get the sense that it is anything other than feeling their name is better than Tyrell's. Tyrell could have been the first cousin or maternal grandson and they'd still view them as upjumped stewards. After 300 years of intermarriages with the other houses of the Reach and they still hold this view, so it clearly has little basis in the actuality of the way things are. In actuality, they are certainly all distant cousins to each other at this point, so what makes a Florent different from a Tyrell is simply the name.
  15. Syl of Syl

    Varys and Illyrio under the Red Keep

    I think that's leaving the Tywin part of the equation out. Jon Arryn doesn't have to prove his case to Robert. He just has to feel secure enough to make the accusation. If Robert hears the case and Tywin objects, that pits Jon Arryn against Tywin Lannister with Robert in the middle forced to make a choice between his oldest friend and his goodfather. Cersei isn't all alone with no option but trial by combat. She would appeal to her father and all the strength of Casterly Rock. I'm pretty sure that's the civil war Varys and Illyrio must have been envisioning. And a trial or decision one way or the other would not put the dispute to bed. It would lead to war one way or another.