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Everything posted by GallowsKnight

  1. GallowsKnight

    Why did Stannis marry Selyse Florent?

    I feel I've seen this question dozens of times. Simply put the marriage is a wedge. It's small but used correctly it splits the Reach apart. If the Tyrells rebel it might bring the Florents and other Reach houses over to your side. The Florents are married to a number of houses including the Tarlys and Hightowers. We know with hindsight that push come to shove they'll back Tyrell. But they didn't know that. But we did see that a bunch of Reach houses did abandon the Tyrells for Stannis even if it is only temporarily. House Florent, Fossoway (both red and green branches), Meadows, Mullendore, Varner, Willum and Crane. So hypothetically if Viserys lands in Dorne and 20,000 Dornishmen come boiling out of the passes (unlikely again in hindsight but Jon Arryn didn't know that) and the Tyrells have to make a choice to back Robert or Viserys there's the knowledge that "Hey some of my bannermen, I don't know how many, might not back me if I side with Viserys".
  2. Now obviously we're going to have the benefit of both hindsight and information from other POVs. This is not really a critique of Tyrion as much as a reflection on his role in the story. I have been recently thinking about alternative timelines and characters roles in the story. Lets look at politics: -Replaces Janos Slynt with his own man Jacelyn Bywater - who is killed by deserting goldcloaks -Sending Tommen to Rosby was actually Cersei's idea he just hijacks it -Littlefinger suggests the Tyrell marriage and talks them into letting him be the emissary -Throws Pycelle in the dungeon, who is let out and reinstated eventually -Fails to rescue Jaime and loses 300 Lannister men (I'll address later) -Sending Myrella to Dorne. This is really his biggest political move and at the time it is quite laudable. It removes Myrcella from Danger and bring Dorne to their side. Except we later learn Doran was unlikely to have actually fought for Renly or Stannis and was just stalling for his own machinations. That and Myrcella being thrown into a different kind of danger. He also sends away 5 warships including the large King Robert's Warhammer. Lets look at military: -Tripling the Goldcloaks that's Joffrey's idea, building trebutchets too, though neither really helps -The chain and wildfire is really the big thing he plays in the siege, as well as leading sorties. But it's really all for nothing. He's lost by the time his father and the Tyrells arrived. The Goldcloaks are fleeing. The City is leaderless. Joffrey is hiding. Stannis has half of his army about to assault the city and the rest crossing on surviving ships. If they had not been relieved they would have lost the city and the last remnants retreated to the red keep. - The only positive I can see is that by putting his Vale Clans in the Kingswood he blinded Stannis scouts to the Lannister-Tyrell aproach Conclusion It's my opinion, if he had just turned up, locked himself in his room and drank himself silly, things might have played out similarly (or even possibly better). Tommen would have been evacuated to Rosby by Cersei, probably with Myrcella. Littlefinger would have gone and got the Tyrells to their side. Stannis would have swept in with his navy, had a slightly harder fight because of the additional 5 warships but overcome them eventually. The walls would have been lost and the city plunged into chaos. But Cersei, Tyrion and Joffrey with loyal knights, vale clans, goldcloaks and the 300 lannister men he wouldn't have lost, could have held in the Red Keep, until Tywin and the Tyrell army arrive to fight Stannis. Stannis might have been warned by his scouts. But they still had overwhelming numbers and he might have been caught between them and the red keep. The outcome is probably still a Lannister victory and I say this as a Stannis fan. In fact they might have killed him on the field and captured the Royal Navy if it went really well. But also Tyrion if he wasn't wounded or pissed off his entire family might have been in a stronger position by the start of aSoS. He might have kept Bronn and the Vale clans. He wouldn't have pissed off his sister and father as much either. Thoughts? Edit: I guess now that I wrote it I think really all Tyrion did was save the city and it's smallfolk from the fighting spilling into it. Which is actually pretty heroic, as well as ironic that the smallfolk never appreciate it. Not that I think Stannis would have razed it or his men raped and pillaged. Just that in the chaos fires would start and people would get trampled and all of the other ways people could die from it. Plus loss of homes etc.
  3. I think the better argument is Tyrion didn't know he would only have to hold out for like a day. He didn't know Tywin and the Tyrells would arrive at the Eleventh hour. I think that a thousand or so trusted men (Goldcloaks, Lannister guards, Knights, Vale Clans) could hold the Red Keep against storm for at least a day, probably more. My post isn't meant to just be criticism, more meta-reflection on how things actually played out. I think Tyrion's plan sought of makes sense when you think the alternative is Tywin never turns up and dying (because what if Robb killed him). Like if they went the conventional way eventually they'd lose. Maybe weeks or even months later but still. Tyrion has this grand almost Quxiotic plan to defeat Stannis completely, burn his ships in this huge spectacle, route his men on the shores , basically makes Stannis' men flee or decide fighting for him is too hard etc. But ultimately it fails.
  4. Yeah those are fair points. About the mole I don't really know. The guy he catches is the Lannister stooge. Yes Pycelle was against Tyrion but he was still broadly on his side. Compared to say Littlefinger who he knows is dodgy (he knows LF told Catelyn Stark that the VS dagger was his) but instead of doing anything he lets the guy weasel himself into a great position. Basically the only guy he outplayed was Pycelle and Janos Slynt. Vary and LF run circles around him. I agree the Myrcella thing seems completely solid at the time, I can't fault his decisions. Just that from a meta point we know it doesn't work out. Edit: He also outplays Cersei. But that's not a high bar.
  5. Yeah Tyrion arrives and is like "duh your an idiot" to Cersei when her plan is literally "make more weapons and armor, train more men". Like a pretty decent plan for the situation. And as you say he starts it really early. Had Renly came it would have done nothing. I agree that the Blackwater battle is fun, but is really the most suspension of disbelief straining. Things like you mentioned Stannis' men and their ride and die loyalty after all that. But also the largest army in the history of Westero showing up at the perfect moment for this crucial victory, rather than being a couple of days late either side where Stannis might haven taken the city or not been tangled up in the attack. Edit: In my head I justify Stannis' success in landing that the majority of his men where probably ferried by the ships that were upriver and the barges/rafts he had made (which could cross now the navy was taken out). The guys on the burning boat bridge were just a small zealous minority. That and the banks were pretty wide and maybe men could land out of bowshot (they had cleared back a lot of houses and building that were against the walls).
  6. GallowsKnight

    Pick your favourite nickname from GRRM’s writing

    3 pages and no one has mentioned "Whoresbane"?
  7. GallowsKnight

    Alternative Map: If Stannis Won the Battle of Blackwater

    Stannis would have won if his ships weren't delayed by storms for more than a week. He had won by the time Tywin turned up, basically in less than a day. The city was leaderless, Tyrion was bleeding out on the field, Joffrey was hiding, Goldcloaks were throwing down their weapons and Stannis' land forces were mostly unharmed, half of whom had crossed the blackwater. His fleet was devastated but he still had a half a dozen ships upriver that would latter scuttle themselves and others outside the chain. It's only when Tywin and the Tyrells arrive he loses. So if he did that a week earlier he has time to secure Kingslanding, Storm the Red Keep and prepare for Tywin. Stannis had about 21k men (3k men he had raised, 2k mercenaries and 16k mostly cavalry from Renly) plus his fleet. So he likely has about 15-20k holding Kingslanding if he wins, depending on losses. Tywin had about 30k men not 60k, the Tyrells had about 60k not 100k. They had the 5k horse that left with Loras after Renly's death and the remaining 60kg foot minus whoever was killed in the squabble over them at Bitterbridge. I think the Tyrells would not commit to attacking with Tywin if Joffrey was dead, Kinglsanding was taken and Tommen missing. Attacking by surprise an army engaged in storming a city with overwhelming forces is one thing. Attacking some 20k professional troops entrenched behind walls is another thing. Especially when a bunch of them are your bannermen and some of your forces are their foot soldiers (and even some Stormlanders foot soldiers presumably). It's going to be very bloody. They might consider siege but they might not be able to feed their men (and that gives Stannis and Melissandre time to create another animated shadow). So I think what happens in the Tyrells probably withdraw to the reach (after losing bannermen and soldiers to Stannis) to consolidate their loyalists and wait for the Tywin-Stark-Baratheon factions to fight it out so they can back a winner. Tywin might book it back to the Westerlands with Tommen to try and preserve what he can. It depends if Robb could actually pull of his plan to beat Tywin on his home-ground or not. Either way I think you have a lot of mopping up by Stannis and some sort of negotiation with the North to bring them back in.
  8. GallowsKnight

    Minor houses' sigils and their significance?

    House Cassels (semi canon) sigil is fascinating its ten white wolf heads on grey with a black border. It could be just random. But a white wolf on grey is suspiciously like an inverted Stark sigil. Inverted sigils are sometimes used by bastards. Could the Cassels have originated from a Stark Bastard? And the number 10. Does that have relevance? 10 generations? A 10th child? Is is it just artisitc. And the black border? Just artistic or could it reflect a history of sending sons to the Night's watch or a member who was Lord-Commander that they're proud of or something?
  9. GallowsKnight

    Warships in a Song of Ice and Fire

    Yeah it seems only Iron Born and Summer Islanders do any sought of regular deep water sailing. They have longships and larger sail boats respectively.
  10. GallowsKnight

    Warships in a Song of Ice and Fire

    The Ironborn who are the most seafaring of all Westerosi generally use longships. Only the Iron Fleet are galleys and that seems a direct response to the Galley of the mainlands. The rest of the galleys seem to be only for short distance coastal defense against Iron (Riverlands, Reach, Westerlands) or for use in the Narrow Sea (Stormlands, Crownlands) which is more Mediterranean in nature. For the size of the oceans/seas partly it's probably again an issue of scale which GRRM has often talked about one thing he might have done differently if he could. Though the different weather patterns to us might also make sailing very different in practice too.
  11. GallowsKnight

    How many lowborn POV are there?

    I mean technically now he is a lord they are "lordly lands". Littlefinger's tiny parcel of lands are "Lordly Lands" as he is a Lord. The Knight of Ninestars has a bunch of rich lands, but they are still "knightly". The Connnington's were lords, now knights, and while they had land taken from them their castle didn't shrink in size. What lands and keeps Lords and Knights have varies wildly. Compare the Lord of Bear Island to the Lord of Whiteharbour for example. If all worked out as Lord of the Rainwood he would probably be inserted between Stannis and a bunch of minor nobles collecting their taxes. With his cut he'd likely upgrade or build a new keep to reflect his status.
  12. GallowsKnight

    Alternative Map: If Stannis Won the Battle of Blackwater

    It's really a great map. Though I don't think Doran Martell would enter the war at this point. It doesn't really fit his actions in the series. I think he'd make vague committal noises to Stannis' regime whilst sending no men and plotting around Daenarys. At the most maybe the Red Viper is sent as an emissary (with a secret mission of making sure all the Lannisters die). Likewise I don't know about Robb. There's really no incentive anymore for him to march further South if Joffrey is dethroned. Especially if Stannis has Sansa or Sansa was dead (Cersei had planned to kill her with herself, but Sansa eventually slipped away to her own chambers and might have been overlooked). If Sansa is alive, I'm sure Catelyn and maybe Davos (though would he be rescued if Stannis won? Hard to say as it was very lucky), could hammer out Robb surrendering his crown. Robb can plead ignorance to the incest. Catelyn would be scared of shadow asssassins. Robb's Northerners want to focus on getting their lands back and his River-men might settled for some captured Westerlands. I think the real conflict is the civil war over the Reach. There's a chunk of lesser but still important Reachmen (Florent, Fossoway, Meadows, Mullendore, Varner, Willum and Crane) with Stannis, but also a bunch of more important who left with Loras (Tarly, Oakhart, Rowan) or were absent (Hightower, Redwyne). The Reachmen who fought with Stannis are probably going to now be fireforged in their loyalty to them and keen to take over their overlords lands. I think Really most of the conflict is going to be Stannis in the Reach. Robb moving against the Ironborn, maybe a coalition of forces moping up the Westerlands. Edit: Wait it really depends on what happened at Blackwater? Did Tywin and the Tyrells commmit and lose? Or did only Tywin commit and lose? Or are they both still on the board. If Tywin is on the board, Stannis and Robb probably have to factor him into their plans.
  13. GallowsKnight

    They did it.

    Laughs in Stannis fan
  14. GallowsKnight

    How powerful are the Royces?

    Yeah agreed. Waymer was a good choice and he performed his duty admirably. It's just they got blindsided by others and even then Garet managed to escape to report back that important fact but blew it by deserting. Jeor only speculates it was the wrong choice because he doesn't know what happened.
  15. That's a strongly adhered to custom but not a hard law. GRRM said Robert could have been King, Lord of Storm's End and Dragonstone simultaneously. Arianne says if Myrcella was Queen, Tommen would still be Lord of Casterly Rock and Storm's End. Lord Butterwall had several castles before the first Blackfyre Rebellion. So someone could be Lord of the Vale and Lord of Dragonstone. They wouldn't be merged. Just they would just be wearing two hats granting them significant power. It's pretty straightforward in allegiance though given both swear to the King. But the King might strongly encourage them to split it between sons to avoid a power block. But for a generation or two the person who held both would be very powerful. After the split there would still be useful familial ties. But I have the feeling had Robert's reign actually gone longer without any succession crisis it would have heralded a move to a system similar to what we had, where noble houses of nations were greatly intertwined and people often had confusing distributions of lands and allegiances.
  16. I've always thought this. And I think it's a really good idea. Stannis whilst still in his prime seems unlikely to sire a male heir, he barely spends time with his wife. Jon Arryn would know this. So if Sweetrobin married Shireen he'd also be Lord-Protector of Dragonstone when Stannis dies. The Vale has plenty of troops and good defences, but it hasn't really had a major fleet since the Invasion. The Lord of the Vale (and his descendants) having Dragonstone and the Narrow Sea lords as a forward base of Naval operations would be pretty useful. That combined with a legitimate line to the throne in case they ever wanted to put forward a claim. It's not like JA is planning to overthrow Robert or anything. Just he of all people would know that things can change suddenly and dynasties and inheritance can go in different ways than anticipated. Firming up one's own house is always a good idea.
  17. GallowsKnight

    Board Issues 4

    Probably brought up somewhere else. But I get an error trying to view "my content"
  18. GallowsKnight

    [Book Spoilers] EP407 Discussion

    Human bites are nasty. The human mouth is full of lots of bacteria. I'm an doctor and we routinely give the strongest oral antibiotics (sometimes even IV) for human bites that pierce the skin and draw blood (which this one did), even if it's just a piddly one from a toddler. Where the hound was bit was pretty nasty too. On an arm or a leg the infection could be more localised, but the neck, it's going to spread.
  19. GallowsKnight

    [Book Spoilers] EP310 Discussion

    Context this guy on a saddle-less horse in full wildling gear has collapsed. Until they recognised Jon they probably weren't going to do much to help him.