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Lord Varys

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  1. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    Yeah, the cripple king (who also knows everything, meaning he has the potential of being a worse dictator than Dany could ever hope to be) and the elective monarchy nonsense are going to hurt millions of people more than Dany and Jon could have ever done had they ruled together. The very idea of electing a king within a societal framework where hereditary monarchy is the only imaginable way of doing thing - and still the standard on the lordly level - is ridiculous. It would increase the infighting among the great houses, not reduce it. It would give them all more motivation and reason to go to war, not less, etc. I can also see her getting jealous - getting jealous of Aegon's popularity, getting pissed that he stole everything she thought would fall into her lap, etc. - but not in relation to Jon. Even with Aegon, though, things to have to escalate for there to be a proper Second Dance. Aegon and his allies have to hurt her on a personal level for things this to become an all-out hot war. There is a personal level to this all, with the involvement of Illyrio and Aegon being (allegedly, at least) her own nephew. That can hurt. Cersei is a completely different issue, considering that neither Dany nor Cersei have so much as acknowledged each other's existence in the books. They have no connection or relationship at all, and Cersei is not likely going to ever be a main threat to Daenerys Targaryen. If she were to hook up with Euron she could become a powerful force of destruction but unless they really get around to do something to hurt Dany of a personal level chances are not that great that this is going to devolve into some personal issue. I mean, they even failed in the show to make the Dany-Cersei thing a personal issue, and that is hardly surprising considering that these two characters simply have nothing to do with each other. As I laid out a couple of times the time to try to defeat Daenerys would be at see when she tries to get her people to Westeros. Her armada will be vulnerable to Euron's fleet (especially if he were to increase the size of it by allying with the Three Daughters) and, especially, his magics. But once Dany gets her troops to Westeros the war will essentially be over. There won't be any stopping her on the battlefield, no matter how many minor victories the enemy wins. She will simply have too many troops (assuming she truly wins the allegiance of all the Dothraki). But all the gold of Casterly Rock could never buy Cersei the troops to defeat all the Dothraki (and whoever joins Dany after her arrival), nor is anything she is going to do in the near future going to help her to erase her humiliation at the hands of the Faith. She might secure the allegiance of (the majority of) her Westermen, but that's it. She can never hope to really build a proper power base to (re-)gain the Iron Throne and rule Westeros in (relative) peace. And that's how she and Euron could become the greatest dangers we have faced yet - because they could very well just want to destroy as much as they can, not caring what happens to them or Westeros as such. Sort of like the Joker. Euron seems to be more or less at that point already, although at this point he might still actually believe he could become a second Aegon the Conqueror. But that is going to change soon. Yeah, those scenes are all completely disjointed. Although I don't think Dany madly rambled in the last scene. She actually just described how monarchs rule in this world. They do not rule by committee. They do not ask everybody for their opinion. And they destroy their enemies. There was nothing exceptional 'fascistic' there that's not there in standard monarchism. If they had wanted her to look *evil* there, they should have had her talk about burning some more cities or to burn everybody in Westeros, or whatever, but not something as mild as this.
  2. Lord Varys

    Why “small folk” and not peasant?

    From what I know 'proper feudalism' was only introduced in England by the Normans, no? I know about the HRE and there certainly were regions where people were freer than elsewhere. The entire corporative state thing had first to develop and then be forced on the people who had enjoyed more freedoms back in more ancient days. Just as monogamy, clerical celibacy, and other things had to be enforced. My impression is that especially those peasants we see in TSS are not supposed to be more than serfs. They are utterly at the mercy of their noble masters. I don't think they are representative for all the peasants, but as I said - we have yet to meet peasants who have any political weight or enjoy semi-independence. If either Osgrey's or Webber's smallfolk had had any rights they could have insisted that the issues are settled by Lord Rowan. After all, Lady Rohanne had no jurisdiction on the Osgrey lands, meaning that the man harmed by Bennis should have had a right to petition Lord Rowan himself. But apparently he had no such right. This means a man of his rank was utterly at the mercy of his lady - which means he was in any meaningful sense her property, not a free man with rights.
  3. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    That's not exactly a threat, is it? And the way to resolve it would be to bend the knee, no? It is also not clear that the proper punishment of a recalcitrant sister of the lover of the queen would have to be execution. Dany could just make Jon her Lord of Winterfell, meaning Sansa would be, again, nothing. It is not that she controls anything in the North or that she is more popular than Jon Snow. As for liberating Westeros - no idea what was meant there, but if the plan had been to kill all the lords and ladies of Westeros then it is a pity that this wasn't done. Because the core rot of this fucked-up system is not the monarchy but the feudal aristocracy. It would have been another blood both involving a couple of thousand - or perhaps tens of thousands - of people, but the millions of Westerosi commoners would have been thankful for that. Dany doesn't seem to feel conflicted or pissed at Jon for 'having to destroy the city' or whatever, so any interpretations imagining a conflict there don't seem to make any sense. Even the entire jealousy/fake tensions nonsense over Jon's claim disappeared in the last scene where she was asking him to join her. If jealousy had been a motivating factor she wouldn't have done that. She would have wanted him dead, too. And this entire claim nonsense issue is something that cannot work for Jon-Dany. That is the Dany-Aegon plot. And having the same plot two times - first with Dany-Aegon and then with Dany-Jon would just be boring repetition. George is never going to do that. That's why I think we could see the utter destruction of a city in relation to Lannisport. If Euron/Cersei really hurt Dany greatly she could decide to resolve the Lannister problem ... permanently. And the Ironborn problem as well. In fact, I don't think many Westerosi would shed tears if she collectively killed all the Ironborn and freed their thralls and saltwives. But it is obvious that the burning of KL was done simply because the showrunners wanted those ridiculous visuals. And they wanted this as 'the grand finale'. George might give us multiple sacks of KL in the books to come. Aegon should get the throne without a battle for KL or a sack, but if Euron/Cersei ever retake it it most definitely will involve a battle/sack and a subsequent reign of terror (and there are strong hints that Euron is going to sit the Iron Throne for a time). Dany should have no trouble to take the city from them considering who and what these people are. If she had to take it from Aegon then she might face strong resistance from the Kingslanders, but I'm not sure it makes sense that Aegon could (re-)gain the Iron Throne after Euron.
  4. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    I'm not going to re-watch the thing so I cannot offer any thoughts on the matter. My point is that there is just no way Dany could ever reach a point where she is going to think it would be a good thing/help her cause to burn down the Targaryen capital and the Targaryen castle. She - presumably, at least - wants to sit the Iron Throne, not destroy it. Perhaps she might do this after her armies have been destroyed and she has only her dragon(s) left to make some sort of last attempt to destroy her enemies. Sacking the city and butchering them all I could certainly see as well, depending what those people and their leaders do to defy or hurt her. But that would not destroy it. I mean, we also don't expect any of the Starks to burn Winterfell to destroy the Boltons/Frey who occupy it, no? Not because we think they want to spare the lives of the people occupying it right now (who are all enemies of House Stark) but because it is the Stark castle and they don't want to destroy the building. In that sense I really cannot see a scenario where this kind of mad attack would make sense.
  5. Lord Varys

    Why “small folk” and not peasant?

    What we describe as 'serfs' were people that were bound to the land they worked on. They could not be bought and sold as people, but would go where the land went - if a lord sold his land to another, they would now be bound to that lord, if the king granted lands to another lord, they would go with it, etc. Free peasants - i.e. peasants actually owning the lands they work on - would not be touched by the fact that the lands around them pass from this lord to that lord. They would be beholden only the king - as they are all - or, perhaps, due to historical contracts and such to the former royal houses of the regions they live in (i.e. the Arryns, Lannisters, Starks, etc.) because they originally bought (or were granted) their lands from/by them. This would also be different from Westerosi thralldom considering that those men and women effectively are slaves - the only thing that differentiates them from Essosi slaves is the fact that they cannot be bought and sold (being essentially prices a man has to win in war, paying the iron price) and that the children of thralls are born free. But this tells us nothing about the status of the average peasant on the Iron Islands. The impression we have of thralls implies they are used as workers in mines and on whatever fields they have, but we have yet to see Iron Islanders who are also peasants/run a farm. Well, it depends what we mean by the various terms. I'm just pointing out that a proper yeoman/freeholder actually owning the land he works would not be subject to a lord. And at this point we have no indication that such peasants do exist in Westeros. But only those would properly qualify as free men. I'm sure that there are rich peasants (although we have yet to meet them; we only know about rich merchants and armorers at this point) but if they work land they rent or hold in the name of some lords, they are not really free. But such rich lords definitely would be a completely different class of peasants than the peasants we have met to this point. The Osgrey smallfolk in TSS are not such people.
  6. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    Oh, sure, in the show they had that. I was talking about the possibility of the burning of KL in the books. That I can't see happening by means of dragonfire in winter (unless winter suddenly means bright weather and no snow for weeks). Wildfire certainly could help burn down the city even in winter, but that would then have to be produced and distributed by people in the city, not by the people attacking it. I certainly could see Euron/Cersei prepare to burn down the city with wildfire, not sure whether Aegon would do that, though. And Dany I see doing everything in her power to not burn down the city and castle of her ancestors. She has never seen the place in her life, she likely would not be particularly keen to destroy it before she has walked through the streets of the city and through the hallways of the Red Keep. If she were pushed to such an extreme measure she must be in a very weak or desperate situation.
  7. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    Which was never stored in the upper floors of the buildings, so dragons should be able to burn down the entire city without actually causing any wildfire to explode since whatever is left from Aerys II's days - if there is any left - should be in some caverns and cellars beneath the buildings. Yeah, because he lived among them. Before he did that he murdered an innocent sleeping wildling and nearly killed Ygritte. Not to mention how he rejected the notion of helping Gilly back at Craster's. You are aware of the fact that Jon Snow is very much in love with Daenerys, right? And that she is also his aunt. What he did made him not only a murderer and a traitor but a kinslayer as well. And for what? Because of a phantom threat to his cousins. But I don't buy the notion that Jon is going to continue to be some sentimental nice guy after he comes back from death. If KL were burned after the Others are defeated - which I don't buy either, because there would be literally no need for that - nobody among the victors would care. They would have lived through so much shit that most of them would be barely human anymore. Well, then I guess Dany is only going to arrive in Westeros in 10-20 years or so. Because there is no way Drogon is going to grow even remotely to the same size as Balerion in just a couple of months - or a year. George can say what he wants, that's not going to happen. The dragons may grow somewhat bigger, but not even remotely to the size that they could burn down cities. If KL is going to be destroyed it should be sacked, not burned to the ground. And the Dothraki don't need dragons to sack a place. They can do that all by themselves. But I actually consider it more likely that Dany is going to sack and burn Lannisport. If there as a family she might want to eradicate root and stem it could indeed be the Lannisters. But they won't hold KL by the time she arrives. Aegon will be there, or Euron, perhaps, but no Lannister king or queen. And even if the Lannisters were there, the Kingslanders would let her in any case. She is a Targaryen, and KL is a Targaryen city. In any case, though, it remains a pretty strong fact that nobody is going to think about killing Dany just because she sacked/destroyed a city, nor because she killed thousands of innocents. It might not help her popularity much, but it is not something that is going to turn her own people against her. For that, she would really have to start arbitrarily kill her own people - and if she did that then her own Dothraki, freedmen, Unsullied, etc. could also take her out. The story would not need Jon for that.
  8. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    No, they just don't give crap about characters. No character even remotely resembles George's characters in the books. This is not exclusive to Jon Snow. But I tend to think that Harrington's non-existing acting talents and his way of talking make the TV Jon one of the least alluring characters in the entire show.
  9. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    But Jon lived with them for a time, did he not? He never lived in KL or anywhere in the south, and chances are that his empathy for people who failed to support their efforts against the Others wouldn't exactly be that high. Especially not to people who also were the mortal enemies of his family since the wars began. I mean, you do recall that he tried to war against the Boltons and helped Stannis in his campaigns despite the fact that he should protect them from the Others, too? Just ask Lord Wyman Manderly. Was Walda Frey involved in the Red Wedding? Not that we know. But he still fed her her own kinsmen and really enjoyed himself doing so. Not to mention his disgusting attitude towards the murdered Frey squire. What we can draw from that - as well as the clansmen attitude in ADwD (bathe in Bolton blood before they die) - is that killings are going to be indiscriminate. There will be no quarter giving to any person associated with either the Freys or the Boltons. They will be all killed. Again, he lived among them. And he wants to help them not out of the goodness of his heart - he knows there is bad blood between the North and the wildlings - he wants to help them to help the Watch and the Seven Kingdoms because he doesn't want that the Others use them as their pawns. But I'm sure he would never harm any civilians would he ever get around to sack a Bolton/Frey-controlled Winterfell or a Bolton-controlled Dreadfort... ;-). Just as I'm sure the wildlings he planned to unleash on the North would have never raped any women or sacked any of the places the conquered during the campaign... We never learn what the overall point of the burning of KL was supposed to be in the show - but it certainly has strategic value as a symbol. Resistance is futile. Like it was done with Harrenhal. In the books we cannot really expect such a burning of KL, anyway. Dragonfire does not cause buildings to explode, and while KL is built mainly of wood in the books, wooden structures covered in snow and ice don't burn (well). Not to mention that Dany's dragons are far too small to ever become a great danger to a city. If they are ever unleashed on KL - or a city of comparable size - both the dragons and their riders should be shot down.
  10. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    'Murder' is the only way to properly describe the murder of Daenerys. Anything else makes no sense. I didn't use that word lightly up there. Are there such things as war crimes in Martinworld? I don't know. Nobody accused Aegon the Conqueror of war crimes for Harrenhal. The nobility don't give a damn what you do to the peasants or even cities to accomplish your goals. Monarchs were seen as tyrants because they were starting to execute noblemen to a rather high degree - and for arbitrary reasons. Nobody gives a damn about the smallfolk in George's books. Your commander/general/king decides what's permissible or not. Stannis does not allow his men to rape women during/after battle. But other generals/leaders have different standards. And Dany was never in any feudal or otherwise honorable agreement/relationship with the slavers of Astapor. They were business partners who sold her soldiers. They cannot tell her what to use those soldiers for, can they? He who sells the sword shall die by the sword, no? If killing evil/disgusting people for pretty good reasons when you can means you also will eventually kill good people for no reason at all, then we could not entrust law enforcement to actually kill people in combat, no? Because they of course only kill people to save others/themselves when they have no other choice, right? But if that leads inevitable to corruption - which basically is the ridiculous picture Tyrion draws of Dany in the books - then everybody deserves to be murdered by their lover - to prevent us from becoming 'evil'. And if you look at the places many of the so-called 'good characters' go in the books - just think of Wyman Manderly or Catelyn's thugs - then the only difference between them and Dany is the scale of the burning of KL. But as far as I know it was the largest city in Westeros, so whatever atrocities are too follow thereafter shouldn't be that over the top. Interpretations of the behavior of other people isn't the same as knowing what they will do. Trump could decide to nuke the entire world tomorrow (I daresay one could assume the man is capable of that considering his past conduct) but does that mean anybody has a right to blow his brains out today? Who cares? Nobody gives crap about that in the show. The people treat her as the queen and thus she is the queen. And all the people fighting in her army acknowledged her as such throughout that season. That is nonsense considering that said 'lawful king' repeatedly gave up any claim or right he may have had to sit the throne. Unlike the show's ridiculous story, no monarch has ever been crowned against his will - as Jon made pretty clear. If I acknowledge you as my queen you are my queen, never mind that I might technically have a better claim. And Jon basically does nothing else this season but making it clear again and again and again that Dany is his queen. But as it is depicted it is murder. Get over it. Now are you utterly ridiculous. Everybody in this world just thinks they are a lord or a knight or a monarch. Dany is seen as such just as the others are. And all of Westeros but the Lannisters acknowledged her as queen. Nobody ever calls her fake queen or pretender or anything of that sort (not clear if the show even has such concepts). Even in the books Dany has long been a queen. She is styled and treated as such not only by her own people but by others as well. Again, she was Jon's queen because he acknowledged her as such. And why do you care what this vapid travesty of George's 'Jon Snow' did, anyway? He has nothing to do with the character George created, and the show world is completely inconsistent. Considering they all swore to obey the queen and the queen's example showed that sacking and plundering and raping was okay, it was definitely not his duty to stop anything there. And we can be pretty sure that the real Jon would actually not stop this kind of thing in the books. I think you recall that he wants to bring down 'death and destruction on House Lannister', right? Including innocent King Tommen and, presumably, all the other innocent women and children of House Lannister (and there are a lot of those). If they actually had to burn down and sack a city full of Lannister cronies, men, women, and children who abandoned them all in the fight against the Others, who stood by and did nothing while Ned, Robb, Catelyn, etc. were killed, etc. I doubt he would lift so much as finger to stop them. And why should he? Honestly? What could his motivation be in a world as shitty as that? Did anybody ever demand 'justice' for the Kingslanders Tywin butchered during the sack? Did anybody ever demand 'justice' for the hundreds or thousands of Reynes Tywin drowned in Castamere? Sentimentality is not the kind of luxury any of the characters living through the nightmare that is ASoIaF will be able to afford. Jon is likely to become a much crueler and less human master of Westeros than Dany could ever be. He is the one who has been killed by his own men (the ultimate betrayal which is not exactly going to make him a trusting and jolly fellow afterwards), the one who will have to cope with the fact of death itself ... and then he will have to (help) guide people through a winter with essentially no food, fighting a war against an enemy they still have no clue how to defeat. Deciding to sacrifice thousands to save hundreds of thousands (or even vice versa) is going to become a part of his day-to-day routine. The chance that this guy is going to give a damn about the people of city in which his 'father' was betrayed and executed is astronomically slim. What emotional connection has he to those people?
  11. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    One wonders why he didn't just run away the way he does later before he murdered Dany. Why not let them all sort this thing out themselves? He clearly doesn't care about running things afterwards, does he?
  12. Lord Varys

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    Sure, that was murder, even more so within the framework of this society - where it is completely up to the whim of the monarch/victor whether her enemies are granted pardons or not (which means nobody even has the right to criticize the monarch or demand that she spare the lives of people in her power - they can advise, but they cannot demand). Dany wasn't threatening Jon personally, and she was unsuspecting. It was actually a very insidious murder, on par with Joffrey's poisoning. Perhaps it could be if we knew why it was done. But that is never properly established. The impression we get implies it is done because of fantasy threats to Arya and Sansa - not even to avenge all the poor dead Kingslanders the Northmen gladly helped to butcher and rape. Even their crappy dialogue did nothing to establish that. It is part of being a monarch to decide what's best for everyone and not listening to the voices of the governed. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be a monarchy in this world. Trying to sell us the idea that thinking you, as monarch, know everything best is wrong is ridiculous in light of this show which basically was 8 seasons of people celebrating monarchy and the glory of crowns. I mean, was there ever any monarch who ruled by committee? Or by asking the people they exploited for permission to do so? I don't recall any such thing. And if Jon so desperately wants to save Sansa and Arya from a, possibly, non-existing threat - why not smack some sense into them? Why not force them to leave Westeros like Ned wanted Cersei to leave Westeros back when he found out about her and Jaime (Arya would run away 20 minutes later anyway ;-))? Why not show them their place - after all, he, Jon Snow, was the King in the North and they were beholden to him, not the other way around? This is all just crap, really.
  13. Lord Varys

    Marston Waters, most decisive Lord Commander EVER

    But Rowan was the Hand and the last (proper) regent left, and they toppled and imprisoned him. Waters only became the Hand after Rowan was imprisoned, meaning one should believe they could have done what they did with or without Waters' help, no? They had other Kingsguard in their cabal which could have just as well served as Hands... It is not that a lowborn bastard like Waters had any standing at court or with the nobility in his own right. Most definitely. And that is why this coup worked the way it did. More people than just the people actively participating in the coup hated the Rogares. Those who hated them would have stood aside during the coup, silently or openly cheering the men who were cleansing the court of those foreigners. That goes without saying, however the crucial events allowing them to stage the coup was the entire Vale debacle. The Rogares and Lord Rowan both looked bad after that one. But their ultimate motivation was to deal with the yet unresolved attempts on the king and queen they themselves were behind. They needed blame somebody for this or else Lord Rowan (or somebody else) might eventually figure out what was truly going on. And here I really have trouble buying that Marston Waters didn't know/suspect what was going on there. If he was their figurehead then he would have been brought into the plot at the beginning, which means they must have convinced him that Lord Rowan had been conspiring with the Rogares to kill the king and queen, and he must have either authorized or permitted the torture of Lord Rowan. How naive can you be? I mean, yes, Selmy also arrest Hizdahr in ADwD after some courtier incites him against his queen's consort, but Selmy does not torture Hizdahr and he does question him himself. Are we to believe Ser Marston essentially controls the Red Keep but doesn't get around to talk to Lord Rowan himself? I don't know what to make of that...
  14. Lord Varys

    Aegon VI

    They were sent back before the Golden Company invaded the Stormlands. It might turn out they are already in KL or about to reach it when Aegon moves against Storm's End, of course. But the possibility is there that Arianne is going to be greeted by Lady Nym and Myrcella upon her arrival in Storm's End. If Nym makes it to KL she will certainly be a force to help end the reign of King Tommen and make way for Aegon. She doesn't have to get input from Doran or Arianne, she will just make her own decisions once she learns about Aegon.
  15. Lord Varys

    Aegon VI

    Tyene isn't going to kill anyone in the Red Keep. If a Sand Snake does that, it would be Lady Nym who had been sent to take Doran's seat on the Small Council. She would actually reside in the Red Keep, no need to infiltrate anything. But that all depends whether there still is a Small Council for her to sit in when she arrives, not to mention that she has to get there at all. There is a chance that the Golden Company captures her on route to KL.
  16. Lord Varys

    Why “small folk” and not peasant?

    Well, if we compare things to the real middle ages then what we call 'feudalism' today is just a overly simplified construct. It is by no means clear whether our understanding of the relationship between kings and noblemen or knights and lords, etc. actually properly reflect the legal situations back then. As I said, the way serfdom actually manifested itself in many medieval countries was not exactly as proper institutionalized serfdom (although that factually existed, too) but rather as interest slavery - i.e. lords slowly but surely turning free peasants into their serfs by giving them loans, etc. The fact that land was often distributed among the children of a man also helped to erode the economic basis of such peasants since a smaller tract of land meant lesser income, etc. I think the type of proper thralldom we have on the Iron Islands can be loosely compared to the institutionalized serfdom in Russia. It is quite clear that this kind of thing no longer exist in the Seven Kingdoms. That being said, the way George portrays his smallfolk makes it very unlikely they are in any way closely resembling the kind of free peasantry one had in certain regions in various lands in the middle ages. Because those people actually owned their lands, they were not obliged to pay any rent to some local lords, etc. nor were they beholden to support some local lord in war. To be forced to do that, you actually have to be in some sort of feudal/reciprocal contract with such a local lord, but if you don't hold your land in his name (i.e. as a fief giving to you by that lord) then you have nothing to do with that person. If there were free peasants/yeomen in the North, say, they would show up riding side by side with the nobility (at least those on petty lord level) because they would be their own free men, with their own ancient ties to the Starks, and in no way beholden to their lordly neighbors. This is why I think the clansmen are basically just pretty rich peasants. They are not beholden to any lords but the Starks despite the fact that they themselves don't really count as nobility. We know there are some yeomen in the Riverlands since they are mentioned, but I expect such to only exist in relevant numbers around the various market towns there. The kind of rich/traveling smallfolk we find usually number among the upper class smallfolk - armorers, other craftsmen, sellswords, freeriders, and, especially, traders and merchants. Those are all different from the kind of folk we see on the Osgrey and Webber lands or at Littlefinger's tower on the Fingers. The other issue is that George completely excluded the concept of peasant wars and the like from his world - and there would have been a pretty good chance to include some such in FaB or TWoIaF (and there still is such a chance for FaB II, one imagines). If the peasants in Westeros had any rights or powers of their own then the fact that they behave in the sheep-like fashion they do simply makes little sense. One also wonders what kind of reforms Aegon V could have tried to implement if not to abolish de facto serfdom? I mean, sure, the other great injustice in Westerosi society is the arbitrary 'justice system' where lords can actually treat wrongs/crimes done to 'their smallfolk' as personal slights rather than grievances done to other individuals. The issue of Lady Rohanne actually not caring about the feelings and desires of the man harmed by Bennis very much exemplifies this. And this also reveals another telltale fact - the man cut by Bennis doesn't have any rights of his own. He has no right demand satisfaction for what has been done to him, he is completely at the mercy of his lady. She will decide how this crime is dealt with (or if it is dealt with at all). That is not how an even remotely free man would be portrayed.
  17. Lord Varys

    Aegon VI

    Not really. Tommen did rubber-stamp the overturning of Maegor's laws, but the sparrows and High Septon already had reformed the Poor Fellows before that happened - there are Poor Fellows among the sparrows during Cersei's first visit in the Great Sept. Not facing opposition from the Crown while the Faith properly rearm themselves is an advantage, but there are very strong hints that the sparrows continue to despise the boy king born of incest and adultery, never mind that he actually helped. And once the Faith actually has the power base it has right now they no longer need the king who helped them acquire it. If they respected Tommen or Cersei they would have never dared to arrest and try both Margaery and Cersei, no? Tyene could play a crucial role in the destruction of Margaery if it ever comes to a proper trial for her because I think chances are very good that she will be one of the judges. Although she could also turn the table there and demand a high price from the Tyrells for acquitting her. But I think the more crucial event is Cersei's trial-by-combat. It is supposed to happen first, and if the double murder doesn't change the schedule (which it definitely could) then Ser Robert should make short work of the Faith's champion and whoever else dares to accuse Cersei. While this looks like an easy win for Cersei, there is the fact to consider that Ser Robert Strong is actually Ser Gregor Clegane and, most likely, some undead monster. What do you think the High Septon would do if he were to find out what kind of creature just butchered the champion of the Seven? Does anybody think this man is going to accept that an abomination created by black magic helps to rig a judgment of the gods?! I don't think so. Which means chances are very high that Cersei is going to be declared guilty of all her crimes, resulting in Tommen and Myrcella being declared bastards as well. With Qyburn's and Ser Robert's help Cersei should be able to escape and her children might die in that process, too. If Lady Nym actually comes to court (and does not drop off Myrcella at Storm's End because she is captured by the Golden Company) one could see her cutting Myrcella's throat once she realizes that Cersei lied and Gregor Clegane is not dead. That could make her snap. Tommen's death certainly could also sever the ties between the Lannisters and Tyrells, but the trial-by-combat is likely going to come first, so that could do that trick as well. If Tommen and Myrcella were declared bastards then Mace simply wouldn't have a king left to support. His only choice would be to join Aegon - or crown some other guy with even a weaker claim. But there is nobody around as far as we know. If Tommen is just dead they would certainly jump on the Myrcella chance. Kevan already suspects they want to marry Willas to Myrcella in the Epilogue. So that would be an option if Myrcella makes it back to KL. If the trial-by-combat goes awry as I laid out above - or if there is going to be blood between Tommen's people (Lannisters or Tyrells) and the Faith Militant (over Margaery's trial, for instance) then the High Septon would most definitely proclaim with his divine authority that Aegon is who he says he is and the rightful king. This is a very likely scenario anyway, considering that the sparrows are basically a commoner movement - and the High Sparrow himself is a commoner. And the commoners, especially those in the Riverlands where the sparrow movement originated - worship the Targaryens. The High Septon also looks for a savior to restore peace and prosperity to the Seven Kingdoms, and he doesn't think he himself is that guy. So chances are very high that the Faith Militant is actually going to become Aegon's fanatic army. Sure, he will have concede their existence and the relative strength of the new Faith. He doesn't have dragons. With the introduction of the Doctrine of Exceptionalism Aegon's incestuous ancestry (the marriage of his grandparents and great-grandparents) shouldn't be a problem since the Faith itself affirms that the Targaryens are different from other men. Not to mention that Aegon's parents weren't brother and sister and his likely future wife Arianne is only his first cousin. One can also expect that the Faith's influence at Aegon's future court will be one of the reasons why there is going to be a Second Dance since chances are very high that the High Septon will oppose the possibility of a King Aegon VI sharing power with a Queen Daenerys I. He doesn't. And most definitely not Margaery. She should be far too tarnished by the very fact that there was an arrest/investigation/trial. I could see Aegon eventually making Sansa his second wife if the Vale declared for him and came to his aid, simply because she is so damned hot, and the boy can follow the example of the Conqueror and Maegor, but something like that could only happen after he sits pretty safely on the throne. Although it is rather difficult to imagine that he should not be completely bedazzled by Arianne. She really is one of the hottest women in Westeros. No, that is not very likely. Here we have to look at the time line and at events in Meereen. We know Slaver's Bay is not exactly a popular place to travel since Dany is there, making news travel slower and more infrequently from there to other places. The news that are going to be spread rather quickly by the people in charge there - the Yunkish Allies who control the harbors and ships in Slaver's Bay since before Dany made peace with them - are (1) Daenerys Targaryen marrying Hizdahr zo Loraq and (2) Daenerys Targaryen's alleged death shortly after her wedding. (1) is going to interpreted by Doran Martell and Arianne and all people in Westeros that the Mad King's daughter has decided to settle down at the end of the world and build herself a kingdom and empire there. It will convince them that she is not likely going to come soon or at all. And it will send the message to Doran and Arianne that the Quentyn plan has failed because Dany is not going to marry Quentyn after she has just married some Ghiscari nobleman. This means that the only dragon the Martells can back now if they want to get their revenge, etc. is Aegon. Because he is there and dependent on their help. (2) should end all speculation that Dany might come to Westeros in the future. It will likely be the news causes Connington to agree to and support the idea that Aegon marry Arianne. The news about Quentyn should come to Westeros much later considering that it was actually a rather secret event taking place in the middle of a coup in the city and is immediately followed by a renewal of the hostilities against the Yunkish Allies. It might take as long as Gerris and Archibald to return to Dorne - or at least them being able to send messages to Dorne - to actually send news of those developments to Sunspear via some of Doran's agents in the Free Cities. Once they arrive in Westeros they will likely be the news that is going to harden Arianne's heart against Daenerys even more, being one of the main roots for the eventual Second Dance of the Dragons. But the thing causing the Aegon-Arianne marriage is going to be the news about Dany-Hizdahr and/or the news of Dany's death. What reason Arianne is going to have to actually give Aegon the support of Dorne in the coming battles we don't know. We will have to wait and see. Is going to get the hots for him? Will she be impressed by him, wanting to believe he is her first cousin? Or is she actually going to sit back and wait before she commits Dorne to his cause until after he has fought against the Tyrell army? We don't know yet. But if the later were the case the news about Dany's marriage/alleged death might already have reached her via Doran, so those things might figure into her decision. But I honestly expect she will make the decision herself, and it will revolve around her secret desire to be queen. I even could her being almost certain Aegon is not Elia's son but still going along with it because it suits her desires. And if this were her motivation then this could also explain why she is going to stick with him until the very end. Because it will have been her call to make this boy king.
  18. Lord Varys

    Who is the great other?

    There is no such thing. It is only part of R'hllorian theology, and we will never learn to what degree this is *true*. No other philosophy/theology/lore in Martinworld does support the idea of an evil 'Great Other' deity. Whatever the Others are, they have nothing to do with the arbitrary designs of a (most likely) non-existent deity, just as R'hllor most likely doesn't send anybody visions or gives a damn about people worshiping him (or those who actually can pronounce that name) because he doesn't exist, either.
  19. Well, it seems the codices 'the Smallest Council' eventually wrote are sort of the Codex Justianianus of Westeros. It was a collection and redaction of all the laws and legal precedents of known Westerosi history. But, sure, we know basically nothing about legal details. We have a good picture of the rather irrelevant laws and precedents shaping royal and lordly succession and a little bit on capital and other punishments and laws regulating marriage (the Rule of Six, the Widow's Law, end of First Night) but that's it. We have no ideas about taxes, tariffs, trade, etc.
  20. Lord Varys

    Aegon VI

    He specifically mentioned characters that never showed up in the show. Loras did show up in the show. Garlan did already show up in the books; Willas has yet to appear there, but we already do know that he is going to become important since George has said that long ago. But Garlan is undoubtedly going to become a rather important character as well. He is one of the greatest warriors of his generation, after all - and, if he was indeed the guy to put the Strangler into the chalice (since Olenna seems to have been too small to do that unless she actually threw the thing), also one of the greatest actors Westeros has ever had...
  21. Lord Varys

    Why “small folk” and not peasant?

    I'd say some of them are free in that sense, but not all of them. What we learn about the rather barbaric customs of pre-Conquest Westeros (First Night, arbitrary justice, power of the lords to tax everybody on their lands at a whim, etc.) strongly imply that the majority of the commoners are not free in any meaningful sense of the word. If Anguy were a serf (which I don't think he is) and he won the tourney he could most definitely use that money to buy both his freedom and some land. The way nobles created/kept their serfs in check was, especially in those lands where serfdom was never properly established, was by means of interest slavery. Anguy's great fortune should immediately end that. The fact that land can be bought and sold in Westeros doesn't even remotely mean all the peasants own their land. If they did own their land then this society would even make less sense because no self-respecting peasant or yeoman actually owning the land he works on would take the shit the smallfolk of Westeros has taken from their lords since time immemorial. They would have their own militia and in times of war they would raise their own troops, and they would only fight in the wars of the great houses if they met their demands. But no nobleman in Westeros we have met so far has ever bothered to negotiate with some kind of wealthy commoner. The only places where commoners have a little bit of power are in the cities. Another problem is that there are no lordly estates and manors throughout the Seven Kingdoms. If peasants owned their land and did not, for the most part, rent it, resulting in them sending chunks of their goods to their lords, then we cannot really explain where the hell the lords actually get their food and incomes. And guys like the Osgrey folk and Littlefinger's people on the Fingers do not exactly look as if they were 'free' in any meaningful sense of the word. The feudal yoke should be different in different places, both within the various kingdoms as well as in comparison to each other (there should be regions in the North where there is essentially no difference between nobility and peasantry - the clansmen lands, for instance; not to mention that life in the Sands of Dorne away from whatever castles and keeps there are should be much more egalitarian), but it is certainly there. A free man would be under no obligation to fight for or send aid to some lord in war aside from, perhaps, the king. But even that could be questioned if the man didn't hold the land in the king's name as a fief - which seems to be the basis of all the feudal relationships in Westeros. Allodial property has yet to be mentioned in Westeros as far as I know.
  22. Lord Varys

    Varys Blackfyre hint?

    In light of our new information on this I'd say this is too much of a stretch. I'd say one can take that as a hint that Varys is somehow connected to the Targaryens/dragons but not more. And that is sort of entailed in the fact that he works with Illyrio for a Targaryen restoration of some sort as well as in the fact that he is a seemingly loyal member of the old guard, a man who owes his position on the Small Council to King Aerys II Targaryen, and not Robert Baratheon or his successors. In that sense he is more like Barristan Selmy (although the man would never agree with that), and there is no reason to assume that he is related to the Targaryens despite the fact that he should know much about their secrets, too.
  23. Lord Varys

    Aegon VI

    There has to be some sort of blow severing their ties with Tommen, of course. If things go good for them Mace himself will realize when that blow came and he will lead his house in camp Aegon. If not, if he dies in battle, is executed, or captured by Aegon then (Lord) Willas will lead the Reach to Aegon. The Tyrells' greatest advantage at this point is that the heir to Highgarden was not involved in any way in the War of the Five Kings and its aftermath, meaning there is no bad blood between him and the other people, nor are there any conflicting loyalties. The Tyrells are far too smart. They will start hedge their bets as soon as they realize that a considerable number of Reach lord side with Aegon - which could be, after he declares himself at Storm's End (i.e. before the battle between the Golden Company and the Tyrell army at KL), houses like the Rowans (Lord Mathis only needs a nudge), Peakes, Merryweathers, and some others. The lands of the latter are close to the Stormlands, meaning they could actually send levies to Storm's End rather quickly (no idea whether they would arrive in time for the battle against the Tyrells, of course). If the battle is not a victory for House Tyrell, then they should jump ship again, making themselves the leaders of the new pro-Targaryen movement in the Reach rather than risk that others lead that movement. That would endanger their position as lords of the Reach.
  24. Lord Varys

    Aegon VI

    Mace should have 30,000-40,000 men with him in KL, minus whatever men are left with Rowan at Storm's End. Garlan took only have of the Reach troops back with him to Highgarden, so it depends how high we think the Reach part of Renly's original army was (plus the 10,000 Tyrell Mace had kept as a reserve in Highgarden back in ACoK). That should be more than enough to make short work of the Golden Company if they throw all those men against them. Which they might not if the situation in the city is tensed. But they would also have enough men to sack KL and butcher all the sparrows. It would be bloody work, sure, but they have the numbers and they are already in the city. If they did that and defeated the Golden Company King Tommen's crown would be secure until Euron or Stannis or Dany come knocking. The deciding question is whether the Reach men with Mace and Tarly will be willing to fight a self-proclaimed Targaryen pretender. And, if they do, how successful that enterprise is going to be. The Golden Company certainly could defeat an army thrive or even four times their number if the enemy only fights half-heartedly and/or if they use their assets - elephants, superior archers, and their professional soldiers - strategically. One could see easily enough see some version of the Battle of the Kingsroad taking place in the Kingswood. Tarly is a good soldier, but one assumes he has never faced elephants. If the Tyrells suffer a defeat in that battle then chances are very high that Mace himself is going to hand over KL and Tommen to Aegon. He was a Targaryen loyalist during the Rebellion, after all. He can easily make peace with him. And he would gladly cut his ties with the Lannister if the Margaery situation gets worse. Cersei is to be blamed for all that. The only thing keeping Mace in camp Tommen right now is the prospect that Margaery gets acquitted. If that doesn't happen or gets complicated chances are not that great that Mace will a King Tommen isn't exactly of much use to him. A second wife for Aegon seems to be impossible before he is crowned and anointed - and even afterwards it should be pretty much impossible with the newfound power of the Faith. I can eventually see Sansa in such a position but never Margaery - especially since the latter stands accused of improper behavior. Even if she were acquitted the High Septon would likely never make an exception for her.
  25. Lord Varys

    Aegon VI

    I'd agree with that. And quite honestly, if the travesty even remotely resembles George's planned ending I don't want to get that... We can assume this, but we don't know. Aegon lived with Illyrio Mopatis and, possibly, his wife Serra how long exactly? 3-4 years? How often did they visit Illyrio after that? We don't know. We don't know what the bright lad knows or suspects. He could well tell Tyrion a lie (that he is Rhaegar's son) after a lie (that his name is 'Young Griff'). But Aegon would not. Tommen is a boy king and in a weak position right now, but he is surrounded by powerful men who certainly could stay loyal to him. If Tarly were to clean up the mess in the High Septon, and mount the head of 'His High Holiness' above the gates of KL, followed by crushing the Golden Company and Aegon's pitiful Stormlanders in battle Harry Strickland would gladly sell Connington and 'Aegon' to King Tommen in exchange for his miserable hide. Just as Arianne would wish them all the luck in the world, send a raven to the Dornishmen in the mountains (to stay at home, of course), and jump a ship back to Dorne. Aegon is not Viserys III or Daenerys. People think he is dead. They won't buy he is alive because there is a boy who claims he is Aegon but continues to lose battle after battle. Aegon is not claiming to be some Romanov who was incarcerated his entire life in some fortress. He is claiming to be a dead infant prince whose manner of death is known to pretty everybody in the Realm. People need a strong incentive to buy his story. And success in the field is what he needs. He has to present himself the way Jaehaerys I presented himself after his uncle's death. He has to seduce and bedazzle them all. But he has no dragons. He has to do it with victories. He can crack and crumble once he sits the Iron Throne, but not before. He shows any weakness before he has the throne the men around him will abandon and betray him.
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