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Free Northman Reborn

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  1. Interesting speculation. I agree with much of it. For Cersei to rule, you need a situation where the Tyrells still support the Throne, but they are diminished in King's Landing. So the way this can happen is if Mace rushes off to Storm's End, and the other half of their forces are forced to race to face Euron - maybe due to him sacking Oldtown or some such important conquest. I agree with you that if Cersei doesn't have the Tyrells, then Aegon will be in King's Landing in no time. I disagree about her position in King's Landing, though. In the absence of Tyrell opposition, who is there to oppose her? Who is on the Small Council with any authority? Kevan is dead. Pycelle is dead. Who is left with any power, other than Mace? If he is out of the way, then Cersei is the most powerful person left. Especially if she has Tommen in hand, Qyburn's covert support, and unGregor as her personal bodyguard.
  2. I think Cersei emerged from the claws of the Faith as a much more dangerous foe than when she went into their dungeon. That last chapter where she appears subdued when talking to Kevan seems awfully ominous. If anything, she will follow a more subtle approach going forward. Qyburn is loyal to her personally. She has unGregor. With Kevan dead, she is now the head of House Lannister, commanding all of its gold and all of its men. She is going to rule through Tommen. Especially if Margaery is out of the way. The Tyrells have the western half of their realm under threat from the Ironborn - with some major southron towns about to be sacked if foreshadowing is anything to go by. They are about to have Aegon and Dorne invade from the east possibly threatening even Highgarden. The Tyrell presence at King's Landing is about to drop significantly. And if Mace Tyrell perishes at Storm's End, well, I suspect the Queen of Thorns wants nothing to do with King's Landing and would rather take all her men back to the Reach and leave the Game of Thrones to others. Especially if the Reach is threatened on all sides by new foes. In this chaos, a more subtle Cersei can make great gains, ruling through Tommen as her puppet.
  3. I think it is clear Cersei wins her trial by combat. Else the hype around unGregor will be anti-climactic. Especially after the way in which the hype around the original Gregor proved anti-climactic when the unknown entity of Oberyn defeated him.This time Gregor has to live up to his reputation. So Gregor wins the trial by combat, and Cersei is restored. This ties in with Varys's whole plot to get Cersei back in power to continue creating chaos. So I think the Mercy Chapter gives us glimpses of the situation in King's Landing AFTER the trial, with Cersei back in power. Note also that Arya's timeline is significantly advanced compared to the rest of the chapters, so again, the Mercy chapter shows us the future rather than the present situation in King's Landing. In essence, then, the entire drama with the Faith and Cersei's trial was merely a time-buying ploy by Martin, to explain why the Lannisters and Tyrells were not able to press their advantage while the Starks were laid low in the North, while the Riverlands were in chaos and while Aegon was still on his way to Dorne. For all intents and purposes, Cersei will be back in the position she was before the Faith arrested her, with the main difference that two or three books will have gone by in the interim, allowing other plotlines to catch up with the Lannister/Tyrell alliance. Basically - to give the children time to learn what they were supposed to learn during the 5 year gap. So Cersei is back in power, only for Dorne to enter the game, the Northern plot to reach its climax, Sansa to make her move from the Vale, the Riverlands to revolt against the Freys, the Tyrells to fall to Euron in the west and to Aegon in the east. The Faith militant story was just a time-buying mechanism, which Martin was forced to include. It was not the downfall of Cersei as was thought at the time of Feast. She needs to be the Queen that is brought down by someone younger and more beautiful, when the time comes.
  4. Yeah, well, I've read that view, but it is nonsense, quite frankly. Rhaegar's kids were still the heirs, else Jon's birth mystery is meaningless. I can only assume that Aerys felt that an adult heir was more appropriate than a baby in such a time of peril, and named Visesrys for the sake of practicality. But clearly Aegon was meant to follow Rhaegar on the Throne, if not for the crisis. In any case. Just because Aerys named Viserys as heir does not make Daenerys Viserys' heir. He never named her his heir. The true line of succession would run through Aegon, if he was legitimate. Besides, Targaryens overlook female heirs in favour of males, even if the female is closer in the line of succession - which Daenerys isn't in any case, as explained above.
  5. I do wonder how Daenerys is going to justify to herself that she deserves the Iron Throne over her brother's legitimate heir. It can only be a case of her choosing to view him to be an imposter to justify her deeds in her own mind. But really, if she was about the rightful Targaryen claiming the Throne, Aegon is that rightful Targaryen, unless there is reason to believe that he is not the true Aegon. Else she is just another usurper trying to claim the Throne by force.
  6. However, the reason Dorne will stick with Aegon once Daenerys arrives is because news of Quentyn's death will have set Daenerys up squarely as their enemy. I mean, surely you must agree that the only worthwhile reason to include the otherwise pointless Quentyn storyline is to justify Dorne siding against Daenerys.
  7. Nice to read the chapter firsthand. So much more nuance to pick up than when relying on secondhand reports from a reading. Much is becoming quite clear in the Aegon/Dorne storyline. Firstly, it is quite obvious that Arriane is going to join Dorne to Aegon's cause. Likely through a betrothal. The entire Quentyn plotline had the sole purpose of alienating Dorne from Daenerys. Dorne will join with Aegon, giving him 20k-30k extra spears for his campaign. This will happen after the Golden Company has demonstrated in front of Arriane's eyes, in all its professional efficiciency, how it anihilates the Tyrell army on the field of battle. Which brings me to my second point. This idea that Randyl Tarly will turn cloak is fantasy. Aegon needs a decisive victory on the field of battle, and the battle below the walls of Storms End will be it. I don't think Tarly will lead it, because that would reduce Aegon's chances of victory significantly. Also, it won't be remotely close to the full Tyrell strength that will be descending on Storm's End. Mace will keep 20k or so at King's Landing, Another significant portion of the Tyrell strength will be off fighting Euron, and this will be a fast reaction force, moving at haste to reach Storm's End. I expect 10,000 -15,000 Tyrell soldiers at most. With a sound battle strategy the Golden Company can take those odds. After all, we have been hearing about their vaunted reputation for years now. It is time for them to live up to it. They will open up a can of whipass on the Tyrells in this battle, I have no doubt. Thirdly, regarding Storm's End. I'm sure we read somewhere before that Aegon took Storm's End by subterfuge. With hints of the "Mummer's Dragon" theme involved. How large was Rowan's force below the walls of Storm's End? The wiki says it is only a token force. Could Aegon not have disguised his forces as Baratheons in service of Stannis, attacking and destroying Lord Rowan's besieging army. The defenders would then have opened up the gates to their saviours, only to find out too late that it is in fact Aegon Targaryen's forces who they have let into the keep. Lastly, there is really no reason to dispute Winterfell's reputation as one of the strongest castles in the Seven Kingdoms. As Werthead pointed out, it has massive defensive fortifications, and its fall to Theon was by guile, not by force. It is without a doubt the strongest castle in the North, and we know that the Dreadfort - which is probably the second strongest Northern castle - held out for 2 years under siege from the forces of House Stark in years gone by, until the Boltons were starved out. Winterfell must therefore be even stronger than that.
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