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John Suburbs

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  1. The WB says it was Tywin's army. It makes no mention of just cavalry or a sizable host left in the westerlands. 15 years later, Tywin has a total of 35,000, less than half of what the Tyrells put into the field, let alone what they could have put on the water. Mern Gardener brought one-and-a-half times more men to the Field of Fire than Loren Lannister. Lancel Lannister only invaded the Reach when Gyles Gardener was off invading the stormlands. Lancel was easily checked, and killed, by House Osgrey, the Marshall of the Northwatch, and then routed by Gyles. If not for that, Gyles would very likely have conquered the stormlands. Eventually, the Gardeners did take much of the western stormlands from the Durrandons. The Reach has had the largest population by far, which means it can field the largest army by far as long as it has its political act together. This is the definition of a hegemon: the most powerful member of a group, although not necessarily more powerful than all members of the group. And it's been this way for thousands of years. Why else do you think all of the fighting over the centuries has taken place in the Riverlands, not in the wide open Reach that consists of little more than league upon league of open farmland? Yes, if the rest of the kingdom decides to defy the king, he is in big trouble. All the more reason to nip this alliance-building in the bud. Sure, Gardeners have been defeated in battle, lost kings in battles and even lost wars. But the Reach has never been overrun nor Highgarden destroyed nor any of their lands taken except that one time. Storm's End and Casterly Rock have never fallen because they are kick-ass castles: Highgarden is a normal castle siting in the wide open surrounded by thorny rose bushes. Likewise, the stormlands, westerlands, Dorne, Vale, north and riverlands all have natural defenses -- mountains, deserts, harsh winters, even rivers afford some protection -- the Reach has nothing, Sorry, but facts are facts. Aerys ordered the army raised. He sent the men out to do it, not Rhaegar. He was not a prisoner. He maintained full command and control the whole time, even executing underlings and bannermen who failed to do his bidding, including Rickard. Yes, Baelor Hightower to Elia Martell; what better way to drive a wedge between the Tyrells and one of their principal houses? It never went anywhere though, most likely because the Hightowers knew what a shitstorm it would cause. So the Martells went to Casterly Rock instead. Yes, everyone hates the Dornish, but the Reach in particular because of the poor history between the two. Read the book. Look at Aerys Oakheart's impression of the Dornish people (save for Arianne, even though he still feels he is betraying his family by loving her, and even dressing like a Dornishman). Look at Mace's reaction to the Dornish appearing for his daughter's wedding. Look at the fuss kicked up after Daeron Targ married Myriah Martell: it was one of the main drivers of the Blackfyre Rebellion. Then Rhaegar takes a Dornish wife and suddenly the principal houses start aligning to counter the Iron Throne. Nobody wants anything to do with the Dornish. Of course Tywin doesn't know how things are going to play out. His intention was to marry into House Targaryen. When that failed, he started shopping Jaime to Hoster Tully, all while still holding out hope that Cersei could snare Viserys. Tywin is an opportunist; he plays both sides. Tywin's approach to conflict is clear: utterly destroy your opponent: the Reynes, Tarbecks, even the Targaryens; he slaughters them all, even their children. He burns everything in sight, destroys castles, sacks entire cities after feigning loyalty to get inside . . . He is the most ruthless, heartless war lord on the continent right now -- destroyer of dynasties. He murders entire armies and sacks entire cities through treachery and deceit. Just look at the destruction witnessed by Cat, Arya, Jaime in the riverlands. Everything is destroyed, every village, town, holdfast and keep, fields blackened from horizon to horizon, mile upon mile of rotting bodies, brigands and sellswords out raping septas, silent sisters and little girls, waves of ragged humanity flooding to King's Landing to escape the carnage. "I want to see the riverlands afire from the God's Eye to the Red Fork." This is Shermanesque total war, a level of destruction that the realm has not seen since the Dance of the Dragons. This could be the Reach if they let Tywin Lannister amass the power to rival Highgarden. Um, there is a huge beef between the rose and the lion. The Tyrells just murdered the Lannister boy-king, Tywin's grandson (accidentally, of course, but that's another story). Houses with no beefs against one another do not plot to kill each other. And the fact is that the Reach and the westerlands share an ill-defined border that is a good 800 leagues long -- fertile ground for all kinds of conflicts to arise over dams, mills, hunting grounds, farmlands and all the other things that bring wealth to houses. This is not just an immediate threat; it's an existential one. Everything I told you about hunting and hawking as a fact. Look it up if your curious. This story is a lie, plain and simple. Olenna "hectors her son mercilessly". She undid the Cersei-Willas match simply because she was "too used." She upbraided Mace right in front of the Queen about Garth becoming Master of Coin. She negotiated the alliance/marriage with Petyr while Mace blustered and was manipulated into thinking others' ideas were his own. She is the power center in Highgarden and the imbecile Mace is merely the figure head. She has the wherewithal to see the dramatic power shift that has just taking place. This is the driving factor in all of her actions, up to and including the plot to kill Tyrion at Joffrey's wedding.
  2. Were still talking about the run-up to Robert's Rebellion, right? How do you figure the Lannisters are the most powerful? In seven months, Tywin was able to raise roughly 12,000 to march on King's Landing. Tyrells could field upwards of 50,000, plus the Redwyne fleet, which dwarfs the Lannister fleet. The Reach has been the hegemon for thousands of years. It takes two or three other great houses to equal their might. But all that has changed now. The Mad King is lord of all the seven kingdoms. He can raise levies from six of the seven if one house becomes troublesome. Even two houses cannot hope to match the power of the Iron Throne. Four though . . . Likewise, no single house would dare challenge the Reach, nor two, but four . . . Read the World Book. The only time Highgarden has ever fallen is when the Gardener king at the time made a series of unwise marriages for his daughters, which led to conflict among his banners and the Reach was invaded simultaneously by the westerlands, stormlands and Dorne. Highgarden was sacked; the Oaken Chair that served Gardener kings for thousands of years was hacked to pieces, by the Dornish. The MK doesn't have to leave his castle in order to send an army into the field, as proven on the Trident. And even then, it's not about the Mad King, it's about the Iron Throne. The MK won't be king forever. Yes, Hightower is a Reach house, and yes, Dorne and the Reach haven't fought one another openly for a very long time. But this hardly means they are friends. The Reach hates Dorne. Everybody hates Dorne. They are sexual deviates, allow women to rule, and fight using stealth, poisons and other cowardly weapons. What better way to drive a wedge between Highgarden and one of its principal vassals than to add a little Dornish blood to the mix? Yes, Tywin wanted to marry Cersei to a Targ prince. He didn't though, he married her to a Baratheon king. In one move, he extended his influence from just the westerlands to include both the Iron Throne (and the crownlands) and the stormlands. And just before he died, he had extended that influence even further to control the riverlands through Genna and the north through Tyrion. This creates a Lannister-led power bloc comprising well over half the kingdom, enough to dwarf any army the Tyrells could field. And Tywin is not your typical lord who merely defeats his enemies and then raises them up again minus some lands and honors. He is a ruthless mad dog warlord who burns your lands from horizon to horizon, murders smallfolk in the tens of thousands and leaves them rotting in the dirt, razes your castles to the ground and utterly obliterates your entire line for all time. This is a terrifying prospect for any Tyrell with an ounce of sense. Anyone who knows anything about horses and hawking can see that this story of Lord Luthor's death is a big fat lie. It doesn't matter what the rider is looking at, no horse is just going blithely walk off the edge of a cliff. Horses are not (that) stupid, nor do they have death wishes. They know full well what happens if they step into empty air. Even if he was at a full gallop, the horse will stop and Lord Luthor goes over the cliff. So maybe some ground gave way or maybe the horse caught a root, but it most certainly did not just ride over the cliff because Luthor was not paying attention. But this is not the only problem with this story. The fact is, if Luthor was looking up at his bird (and there is really no other plausible reason for him to be looking up), then he should not have been moving at all. The way it works is that you release your bird, it flies out and makes the kill, then drops it and your retrievers bring it back to you. The whole point is that you don't have to move an inch. In fact, it would be foolish to do so. The hawk does not return to you because it wants praise or a treat. It's not a dog. The hawk homes back to its original location. That's why you keep it hooded until it's time to release it: you don't want it homing back to your castle or to some point on the way the hunting grounds. If you let the bird go and then move to another location, all that happens is the bird homes back to its original location, sees that your not there, and that's likely the last you well ever see that bird, and hundreds of man-hours of training flies off with the wind. Thirdly, there is absolutely no reason why anyone in their right mind would be hawking anywhere near a cliff. All that will happen then is the bird will fly over the edge of the cliff, make a kill, and then drop it to the bottom, leaving you and your dogs miles away. Hawking is always done in flat lands or marshes or some other manageable area. Sure, Lord Luthor, head of the house that prides itself on the quality of its horses, dogs, hawks and other working animals, may not have the faintest clue what he is doing, but you can bet his trainers, huntsmen and others in his party do. So, no, this story about his death is a flat-out lie, and Lady Olenna is the most likely murderer here because she then became the chief decision-maker at Highgarden.
  3. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    Me too. And you're right; marrying would be out of the question. But so madly passionately in love with her that he risks life and limb to rescue her? Probly ain't gonna happen, but I still think its wise to give Robb the benefit of the doubt, and to keep an eye on the Spicer women. P.S.: the simpler explanation for the Arryn murder was that Cersei did it to cover up her incest. And we even had Pycelle telling us point blank "she wanted him dead because he knew about . . . about . . ." And the love potion is the simpler and more direct explanation because it is straight cause-and-effect, whereas Robb just happening to fall in love runs counter to multiple characterizations and "agencies" and breaks a clearly established pattern for the Spicer women.
  4. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    I never said there was proof. Just evidence to support a conclusion. What I'm arguing against is when people say there is no evidence nor any reason to even consider the possibility. The evidence is right there on the page. Candlemakers are commoners who don't trace their heritage the way lords do. The candlemaker story can easily be a lie. Melisandre, also of the heart-shaped face, is a great beauty as well but is quite possible glamoured and far older than she appears. Shiera Seastar, another heart-shaped face, was also said to bathe in blood and use other magic to preserve her beauty. Witch priestesses can do this. It's called magic. They can also change their appearance so even if Tywin did meet the crazy old wife of a common spice merchant, he wouldn't recognize her. And yes, by the time Cersei meets Maggy, she is likely already a mother and a grandmother, but she is no longer posing as Tytos' mistress. Lol, Queen of the North is not an improvement above a Westerling? I think you need to read up on the difference between a queen and the daughter of an old, impoverished house. There is a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery. There are simply too many lottery winners among the Spicer women.
  5. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    Lol, so again, this one unwise, unusual marriage would do it, but the previous three do not. Love it.
  6. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    Yeah, you may be right. Half of Lannisport used to go to her for cures and love potions, but the tent that Cersei found her in was at the tourney for prince Viserys. But this is a minor detail. She may not have been a street person, but she is certainly not living up to the standards of a wealthy merchant's wife. She's a ragged old hag who apparently has to support herself selling cures and potions. There is no possible way anyone could think this was a proper marriage for the spicer. But if the spicer had already died, and Maggy dosed Tytos to take her as his mistress and ennoble her son, only to then be cast out by Tywin with no other means of support . . . sure, she winds up selling goodies out of a tent.
  7. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    Lol, so this sudden, unwise marriage would be evidence, but not all of the other sudden, unwise marriages?
  8. It's all the Game of Thrones. Nobody may have specific designs on Highgarden, but they are the most powerful house in the realm. So it's all about creating your own power center if push were ever to come to shove. After Duskendale, of course, the Mad King is getting madder by the minute, so the need for the great houses to unite is growing as well. Dorne and the Reach are long-time enemies, so they don't need an excuse to consider Highgarden a threat. And note that just before arriving at Casterly Rock, Elia and Oberyn were in Oldtown sizing up the Hightowers for potential matches. We don't know what was going on between Tywin, Hoster and the other lords vis the Iron Throne. Things were not good between Aerys and Tywin, and by the time Jaime/Lysa was being discussed, so Tywin may already have been contemplating an eventual break with Aerys. It never got past the initial discussion stage, but the mere idea that the great houses are suddenly, after all these centuries, talking about intermarriage would be distressing to both Aerys and the Tyrells. And I also suspect that Lord Luthor Tyrell was either oblivious or not overly concerned by all of this, which is why Lady Olenna had him killed.
  9. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    Or, the Blackfish will suddenly fall madly in love with Sybelle and mount a daring rescue attempt that either succeeds or gets them all killed -- perfectly normal behavior for a man who has resisted women and marriage all his life.
  10. Tywin and Hoster Tully were discussing marrying Jaime to Lysa. Prior to that, Johanna was working with the princess of Dorn to wed Jaime to Elia and Cersei to Oberyn. It's all about building alliances to counter the might of the Iron Throne if push ever came to shove. But at the same time it also counters the might of Highgarden.
  11. It would have been the makings of exactly the kind of marriage-bound alliance that Highgarden has maintained with its bannermen for thousands of years. As long as the other kings/high lords did the same with their banners, the Reach's power is unchallenged. Uniting through marriage would threaten that balance, and this is the first time in recorded history, as far as we can tell, that some many great houses are looking to inter-marry at once. Even if this does not hold in the long term, it is quite the problem right now, both for the Targaryens and the Tyrells. And in the end, Tywin wound up controlling nearly all of it, which is a HUGE problem for the Tyrells.
  12. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    Who's to say they didn't try for a Lannister? Tytos perhaps? The mistress whom Tytos fell madly in love with, who was later exiled by Tywin. Marched through the streets of Lannisport, exactly where we later find Maggy. This is what happens when you reach too high too fast.
  13. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    Maggy the Frog is no fraud. Her fortune-telling is spot on, so you can bet her love potions are as well. If they didn't work, people wouldn't buy them. If Sybelle is certain that she can get Robb to marry Jeyne, don't you think that would be much better than basing this whole plan just on the mere hope that they will? Sorry, but facts are facts: a random witch-priestess marrying a wealthy spice merchant is a big step up. A common merchant suddenly being ennobled for no apparent reason is another step up, an upjumped lord's daughter marrying into one of the oldest bloodlines in the region is another step up, and her daughter marrying a king tops it off. These are all solid, undisputable facts. This is what happened. If these facts are not compelling enough for you to draw the conclusion, that's fine. But don't try to pretend they don't exist. They are all right there in plain text. I do, in fact, support RLJ but not to exclusion of all other possibilities. I have the sense to acknowledge that it is based on very little actual evidence. There is no evidence that this kidnap story is true; no evidence that Rhaegar had anything at all to do with Lyanna's disappearance; no evidence that they were ever together after Harenhall. The entire theory is based on dreams and visions and symbols. It would be the height of folly to conclude that RLJ must be true because otherwise it will cause me to rethink my impression of Rhaegar, Lyanna, etc. Nobody can truly see into the mind of a non-PoV character, so to use that as the rock on which to base the further understanding of events is, again, the height of folly, IMO.
  14. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    When has a love potion been used at the same time in the same story line? And how can you possibly argue that there are no actual clues? I've given you nothing but clues; solid, factual clues, not the visionary, imaginary ones that are used to support RLJ. And the love potion is not more convoluted. It is simple and straightforward. What's convoluted is trying to second-guess the inner nature of a character whom we've only observed from the outside.
  15. John Suburbs

    Was Robb drugged?

    Again, these quotes could be interpreted this way if Tywin is unaware that a love potion but they could also be interpreted as him either knowing one was used or merely suspecting it. There mere fact that he is contradicting himself is a big clue that he is bsing: He knows Robb is a man of honor, but he is then counting on him to dishonor himself by breaking his word but then do the honorable thing by marrying Jeyne. Well, which is it? Is he honorable or not? How could Tywin possibly know, having never even met the boy, when Robb will choose to be honorable or not. As you say, he is betting that this will happen. Considering what's at stake here, it makes more sense that Tywin is not betting at all -- or if he is, he is stacking the deck. I was offering two possible scenarios for Tywin, neither of which precludes the use of a love potion on Robb.
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