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Lady Ella

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  1. There was most definitely a conspiracy. What the aim of it was we can't be sure. I think it's most likely that Plan A was to replace Aerys with Rhaegar. This makes perfect sense. The king was mad and nobody was doing anything about it. He had to be removed. And the only way the Great Houses could achieve this was by forming a power block. I could believe that Jon Arryn wanted to overthrow the Targs from the beginning. His fostering of Robert Baratheon was very convenient. At the very least I think he had Robert as a backup in case Plan A went wrong. I don't think Rickard Stark would have been on board with this plan, though. He's a character that intrigues me because we know so little about him but, based on what we see of the Starks in the main series and in Fire and Blood, I can't see a Stark taking action that would create instability or doing anything unlawful. Rickard Stark could be an outlier, but Ned Stark did not get his strict sense of justice from Jon Arryn. One theory I like is that Jon Arryn wanted to overthrow the Targs and Rickard Stark was the man holding him back. Don't forget, Jon Arryn was the man who started the war. I think Robert taking the throne was his idea too. Perhaps Jon Arryn, being closer to the Targs, thought that they were all terrible, weak kings and overthrowing them was the best long-term solution. There's no evidence to support this, though, it's just fun speculation.
  2. Definitely death. I think Walder would have wanted to kill Jeyne and make Robb watch. He's that petty and cruel. The Freys didn't know about the arrangement between Tywin and Sybelle. I think the only clear instructions Tywin gave for the Red Wedding was that Robb had to die and Edmure and Catelyn were to be taken hostage. He might have given vague instructions regarding the "lesser" Houses, but he probably didn't really care. Remember when he says that he didn't think to mention Elia Martell to Gregor Clegane when he told him to kill her children? That might be a lie, but it might not be. Tywin did not fear the Westerlings because they're poor, so I doubt he would have cared enough to give the Freys clear instructions. There are plenty of examples in the books of the Lannisters not delivering on what they promised.
  3. I like Aegon. He seems like a decent, innocent kid who genuinely believes he is Rhaegar's son. Unfortunately, I do think he's doomed, and it's tragic. He's been taught from birth that it's his duty to reclaim his "grandfather's" throne. The poor kid never even had the chance to come up with his own dreams. But he was taught how to be king by people who have never been king and have no idea how to be king. Of course he's going to fail. Varys thinks he knows what it takes to be king by observing Aerys Targaryen. How is speaking several languages going to help him in Westeros, where only the Common Tongue is spoken? How is learning about the Faith of the Seven going to help him rule the North and the Iron Islands? How is living like a peasant going to help him deal with lords he knows nothing about?
  4. Robert's main problem was that he was nominally the most powerful man in Westeros but in reality was actually pretty powerless. He was a figurehead, a puppet king. House Baratheon did not conquer Westeros. An alliance made up of Arryns, Baratheons, Starks, Tullys and Lannisters overthrew the Targaryens and decided to place Robert on the throne because he had the best claim ... and because he was someone the Arryns, Lannisters and Starks all had influence over and didn't consider a threat. The Arryns, Lannisters and Starks were the most powerful houses in that alliance. How can I tell? The War of Five Kings breaks out because, without Jon Arryn's help, Robert is powerless to stop the Lannisters and the Starks going to war against each other. Which army would he use to bring both houses in line? They are his army. The Strormlands/Crownlands alone are not strong enough. This is why he goes hunting. Because at that point it doesn't matter what he does. In the incident on the Trident, Robert's instincts were good. He doesn't want to punish children beyond the ordinary parent-child disciplining. But Cersei pushes him and he caves. I imagine most of his reign consisted of him having to do what other people wanted because he didn't have the power to enforce his own will. This sense of powerless probably wearied him and led him to indulge his worst traits, i.e. drinking, womanising, moral cowardice and a complete disregard for his responsibilities. He probably would have been a much better Lord of Storm's End, though, as, with actual power, his more positive traits might have come to the fore: he's not cruel, he can turn enemies into friends, he's brave, he's a good warrior, he can be very intimidating, etc. Or maybe he would also have been a bad lord. We'll never know.
  5. We don't know much about Mandon Moore, but he strikes me as a dutiful man, someone who simply follows orders and doesn't really have his own agenda. So I think we need to look to the chain of command. Since Tyrion was the King's Hand, I think the only person who had the authority to order Mandon to kill him was Joffrey. Does the Queen Regent outrank the King's Hand? I don't think Mandon would care about Joffrey's age. Isn't he one of the knights who beats Sansa? I also don't think Cersei would want Tyrion to die yet. Remember, he's in charge of King's Landing's defence. She needs him to keep her and Joffrey alive, even if she doesn't want to admit it. Joffrey's too dumb to think about things like that. Littlefinger could have suggested the idea to Joffrey, though, like I think he did with Ned's execution.
  6. I don't know if the story will bring Bran and Jaime together again, but I would like Jaime to face Bran again. If Jaime explains why he did what he did then Bran might understand and not hate him for it because Bran is not vengeful. However, the Starks are all about justice and there's no room for sentiment in the law. Bran might be willing to work with Jaime in the face of the apocalypse but would ultimately expect him to pay for his crimes. I doubt he would want Jaime to die, though, he would probably prefer a softer punishment like exile. If Jaime even survives. But Jaime is ultimately a victim of the broken system, so the best response to Jaime's story is to fix the system so no one else is put in the same position.
  7. The Hound. He murdered an innocent and defenceless child. There's no excuse for that. Sandor's father for not teaching his sons how to behave. Cersei for not teaching Joffrey how to behave. Robert for not teaching Joffrey how to behave and for allowing crimes against smallfolk to go unpunished in his kingdom. Tywin for not teaching Cersei how to behave and for allowing his nobles to murder smallfolk with impunity. I don't blame the children for acting in a way that they've been taught is OK. Children don't know any better.
  8. Wow, there's an awful lot of victim blaming going on here. If you think that someone deserves to die for making mistakes then you're basically saying that every human being deserves to die. Having said that, I think one of the main differences between the Lannisters and the Starks is that the Starks are better at PR. The Starks are very good at making themselves look like the victims because they always make sure they can justify their actions. The Lannisters think such things don't matter. But the Starks are still ultimately a powerful dynasty that is looking out for its own best interests. They'll often say one thing and do another. They accuse the Lannisters of being power-hungry and ambitious and say they don't want power themselves, yet they reach for power anyway, e.g. Ned accepting the Handship, Ned trying to seize the Iron Throne, Robb seizing the riverlands. But all these actions were justified of course. However, the Starks are the ones trying to fix Westeros's broken system whereas the Lannisters are leading it into chaos, so on balance I'd still consider the current crop of Starks victims (they can't change the power structure they were born into without putting their own lives in danger and they are genuinely trying to do what they think is right).
  9. I don't think Ned would have been worried about offending Robert. After all, Catelyn's the one who's concerned about that when Robert offers Ned the Handship. Ned doesn't consider Robert a potential threat. I think Ned would just have said that he wants to keep his family together after what happened to his own father and siblings. Given that he hasn't fostered any of his trueborn kids, that's a plausible reason. However, Robert would never offer to take Jon himself. It would be a serious affront to House Tully by ignoring Ned's trueborn kids by Catelyn. The Tullys (especially Catelyn) would wonder whether Robert would try to make Jon heir to Winterfell. That's also another reason Ned could give for refusing. Ned might have been willing to foster Jon somewhere else in the south, though. That would be one way of getting him out of Catelyn's way and wouldn't have threatened his trueborn kids. It depends where, though. The Vale would probably have been Ned's preference.
  10. I think Varys is right: power does reside where people believe it does. I think he understands that the answer is going to depend on the person, though, he simply believes he knows how to make everyone believe that power resides with F/Aegon. I suspect he's not as clever as he thinks he is. People will believe what they want to believe. Doran Martell will probably believe F/Aegon is Elia's son because he will want to believe it. Dany won't believe it because she'll want the throne for herself. Everyone else will believe whatever suits them best, which will divide Targaryen support. Power resides more with dynasties than with individuals, so I disagree completely that Robb's power base was shaky from the beginning - quite the opposite. His crowning was less to do with him and more to do with House Stark. The northern lords and even the river lords acclaimed him because they believed that power resided with the Starks more so than with the divided House Baratheon. For the majority of them (especially the northern lords), I don't think their opinion has changed. This is also why I think both F/Aegon and Dany will ultimately fail regardless of who people believe: House Targaryen is a failed dynasty, which is why they lost the Rebellion and Viserys and Dany lived as beggars in exile without anyone to help them. Since loyalties are divided, the Starks were actually right to reclaim their own crown because there simply cannot be one king in Westeros at the moment. It's the ones who claim to rule land where nobody calls them king that don't understand the nature of power.
  11. I think the older houses probably did look down on the Freys to a certain extent as they considered them upstarts, but clearly a lot of powerful houses married into House Frey anyway, so I think that Walder Frey imagined a lot of it or at least exaggerated it. I think the biggest problem is simply that Walder Frey had so many marriages to arrange. At any one time he would have had several children/grandchildren who needed to be married off, so it's a never-ending task. Naturally, not everyone he contacts is going to agree to a marriage pact, especially as other lords have far fewer children to marry off and therefore have to think more carefully about which alliances they need. Walder was probably getting rejections all the time, which made it seem as though all the other houses looked down on them.
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