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Starspear

Barristan Selmy... White Cloak of many Kings.

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Barristan Selmy serves Joffrey until he's demoted to a landed knight. If that didn't matter to him, he would have obeyed his King's command, retreated to his new holdings and enjoy his retirement. He didn't. Instead, he chose to betray the boy he considered his King until the moment he got demoted.

He wasn't demoted. He was released of his vows to Joffrey. That means, that the part of KG being sworn for life means he can go and serve another King. Just like in case of King's death. In my book, Barristan did nothing dishonorable, and arguing that he cared for his social status is not corroborated with the text and thus a nonsense.

And if Joffrey is the King, then we have two options: either he, as a King, can annul vows or Barristan is still bound by them and must still protect Joffrey, even if it's from outside the Kingsguard.

If, instead, Joffrey is not a King because Robert was not a King and Viserys was King all along, then Barristan had been committing treason since the moment he obeyed him.

Your ability to create these strawman discussions is marvelous. I suppose there is no grey area for you... Joffrey annulled Barristan vows to him, not his Kingsguard vow. Not to repeat myself, but Barristan was free to follow whomever he believed to be the rightful King. In his opinion that was Daenerys. Now we can argue whether he should have gone to Stannis, but he didn't know what readers, Stannis and Ned knew. Barristan went to serve the Queen, according to his KG vows that are for life.

Flawless logic. Well done, juanmi82.

Selmy is one of my favorite characters, but I'm under no illusion, and especially after this thread, that he has his own code.

To be fair, I think he was a true and unconfused KG till the Battle of the Trident. When he woke up from near death, he made the wrong decision (meaning a decision against his own inner self)... and by seeking out out Viserys/Daenerys, sought some form of redemption for that error.

Barristan has his own code, code of honor of sworn brother of KG. The logic is very simple here and it is amusing to see people confused about such clear thing...

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He wasn't demoted. He was released of his vows to Joffrey. That means, that the part of KG being sworn for life means he can go and serve another King. Just like in case of King's death. In my book, Barristan did nothing dishonorable, and arguing that he cared for his social status is not corroborated with the text and thus a nonsense.

Wait, what? One moment he is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, the next he's a mere landed knight. Of course he was demoted. And he can not "go serve another King" because there is one King, not two, not three not five. Serving another person who wants the Iron Throne is Treason, there is no way around it.

He can't possible claim that one minute the Baratheons and not the Targaryens are the Royal House and the next minute is the other way around without being a turncloak.

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Wait, what? One moment he is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, the next he's a mere landed knight. Of course he was demoted. And he can not "go serve another King" because there is one King, not two, not three not five. Serving another person who wants the Iron Throne is Treason, there is no way around it.

He can't possible claim that one minute the Baratheons and not the Targaryens are the Royal House and the next minute is the other way around without being a turncloak.

It is demotion, but it is irrelevant in Barristan's mindset. Unless you find me the quote that would corroborate your claims of him going to Daenerys because of his social status, I will continue to see your claims as nonsensical and baseless.

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It is demotion, but it is irrelevant in Barristan's mindset. Unless you find me the quote that would corroborate your claims of him going to Daenerys because of his social status, I will continue to see your claims as nonsensical and baseless.

I was gathering my things when it came to me that I had brought this on myself by taking

Robert’s pardon. He was a good knight but a bad king, for he had no right to the throne he sat. That was

when I knew that to redeem myself I must find the true king, and serve him loyally with all the strength

that still remained me.”

“My brother Viserys.”

“Such was my intent.

"This" obviously refers to his demotion. And if Robert was a bad king because he had no right to the Throne (really? for that? Not for refusing to rule?) then, by Barristan's own words, his almost fifteen years at Robert's service were treason.

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I was gathering my things when it came to me that I had brought this on myself by taking

Robert’s pardon. He was a good knight but a bad king, for he had no right to the throne he sat. That was

when I knew that to redeem myself I must find the true king, and serve him loyally with all the strength

that still remained me.”

“My brother Viserys.”

“Such was my intent.

"This" obviously refers to his demotion. And if Robert was a bad king because he had no right to the Throne (really? for that? Not for refusing to rule?) then, by Barristan's own words, his almost fifteen years at Robert's service were treason.

If you are going to quote me, then please answer the question: Where do you find the data to corroborate your opinion that Barristan went to Daenerys because of his social status?

As for the quote, Barristan is talking about Robert's entire reign. He was also disappointed with King when Robert demanded Daenerys dead. We know Barristan wasn't thrilled with what was going on in KL, but he remained loyal. After they discharged him, the loyalty was not something Joffrey deserved. Also, he fled KL after watching Ned die, knowing that he is a victim of some game of thrones. He acknowledged his mistake, even though, one can argue that was never a mistake.

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I said "It sort of applies" because remembering that quote made me think of Barristan for the reasons I outlined. Are you done nitpicking?

Barristan Selmy serves Joffrey until he's demoted to a landed knight. If that didn't matter to him, he would have obeyed his King's command, retreated to his new holdings and enjoy his retirement. He didn't. Instead, he chose to betray the boy he considered his King until the moment he got demoted.

Setting aside the whole idea that Jon is a legitimate son of Rhaegar, there is no arguing that, for anyone loyal to the Mad King, the new King is Viserys.

Now, if Selmy made some mental gymnastics to believe that Robert, instead of Viserys, was the true King and he had no duty nor vow towards Viserys, then Joffrey and not the Targaryens is the King he's sworn to obey. A King's legitimacy is not dependent on the job he gives to Ser Barristan Selmy. So, if he didn't turn his cloak when he joined Robert, he turned his cloak when he went to look for Viserys (and later Daenerys). You can't have it both ways. The King is King independently of Barristan's feelings on the matter.

I said that the Targaryens ruled by right of conquest, which is also then how Robert ruled. The Targaryens at that point had lost the throne, and he did not know about Jon. There are no mental gymnastics involved, because the conqueror (whoever that may be) who sits the Iron Throne is the King. Furthermore, if Joffrey releases someone from his vows, then that person is no longer a member of the KG. Do you not think that when Selmy was leaving and Joffrey sent the gold cloaks after him that he didn't have the right to defend himself? Why should he stay behind in Westeros to be executed?

If Robert was the legitimate king, so were Joffrey and Tommen, so joining Daenerys is treason

Joffrey dismissed him from the KG. He was loyal to Robert, and he was clearly upset that Cersei tore up Robert's will.

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If you are going to quote me, then please answer the question: Where do you find the data to corroborate your opinion that Barristan went to Daenerys because of his social status?

In the above quote, when he thinks he brought his demotion on himself by serving Robert

I said that the Targaryens ruled by right of conquest, which is also then how Robert ruled. The Targaryens at that point had lost the throne, and he did not know about Jon. There are no mental gymnastics involved, because the conqueror (whoever that may be) who sits the Iron Throne is the King. Furthermore, if Joffrey releases someone from his vows, then that person is no longer a member of the KG. Do you not think that when Selmy was leaving and Joffrey sent the gold cloaks after him that he didn't have the right to defend himself? Why should he stay behind in Westeros to be executed?

Joffrey dismissed him from the KG. He was loyal to Robert, and he was clearly upset that Cersei tore up Robert's will.

First, Barristan doesn't think (once he's dismissed, of course) that Robert is a true King. Thus, by his own admission, he's guilty of treason.

Second, if Robert is the true King, then Joffrey is the true King by virtue of being his heir, just like the Mad King was the true King by virtue of being a descendant from Aegon the Conqueror. And dismissal doesn't allow for treason. Joining Daenerys is, if Robert was the true King, treason.

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I doesn't bother me that he exchanged kings like that; I'm all for survival. What amazes me is how honorable he thinks he is.


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Varys on Barristan:


''Ser Barristan loves his honor''



Ned on Barristan:


''Ser Barristan was an old man, and rigid. He would tell Ned to do his duty.''

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I was gathering my things when it came to me that I had brought this on myself by taking

Robert’s pardon. He was a good knight but a bad king, for he had no right to the throne he sat. That was

when I knew that to redeem myself I must find the true king, and serve him loyally with all the strength

that still remained me.”

“My brother Viserys.”

“Such was my intent.

Barristan's own words. If all was legit, there's not need for redemption.

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It is not like he doesn't try to die for his kings, they just keep getting themselves killed.


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I think the whole point to barristan's character, Jamie's character, and even brienne is that everything is in fact a grey area. Every knight chooses who they serve at the end of the day and that choice reflects how your story plays out. Barristan repeatedly makes the wrong decisions for the right reasons. 1) saving aerys at duskendale 2) serving Robert a "bad king" 3) serving mad king Joff. So despite all the damage his honor has done to the realm he is still viewed positively. Then there's Jaime who saves millions of lives by killing his king and is named kingslayer by the people he saved basically. Do I think Barristan is a bad guy at heart? No. But I think George uses him to get readers to think about the grey areas of knighthood and what constitutes good and bad.

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I think the whole point to barristan's character, Jamie's character, and even brienne is that everything is in fact a grey area. Every knight chooses who they serve at the end of the day and that choice reflects how your story plays out. Barristan repeatedly makes the wrong decisions for the right reasons. 1) saving aerys at duskendale 2) serving Robert a "bad king" 3) serving mad king Joff. So despite all the damage his honor has done to the realm he is still viewed positively. Then there's Jaime who saves millions of lives by killing his king and is named kingslayer by the people he saved basically. Do I think Barristan is a bad guy at heart? No. But I think George uses him to get readers to think about the grey areas of knighthood and what constitutes good and bad.

Well said.

Although, I think saving Aerys and Duskendale was only heroic. There was no way he could have known that Aerys had fallen into madness.

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Well said.

Although, I think saving Aerys and Duskendale was only heroic. There was no way he could have known that Aerys had fallen into madness.

Yea you're right. The reason I mention it though is because it's what got me thinking about Barry and Jamie being mirror opposites.

I always liked how Barry did a horrible thing for the realm and it's how he will be remembered (in a good way). But Jamie gave up everything he cared most about to save other people and is reviled for it.

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Great swordsman, but lousy oathkeeper? Afraid of death? Why, Barristan?

Don't think he was afraid of death, but he is definitely not a true Knight like dayne, hightower and others.

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Don't think he was afraid of death, but he is definitely not a true Knight like dayne, hightower and others.

A true knight like Hightower, the one that had no problem with Rhaella being raped? Or Dayne, that was loyal to Rhaegar but not the King he was sworn to protect?

If had been Selmy the one sent to look for Rhaegar and Hightower or Dayne the one in the Trident, can you say their actions wouldn't be the same as his? Or that Barristan wouldn't be the one dying in the ToJ?

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A true knight like Hightower, the one that had no problem with Rhaella being raped? Or Dayne, that was loyal to Rhaegar but not the King he was sworn to protect?

If had been Selmy the one sent to look for Rhaegar and Hightower or Dayne the one in the Trident, can you say their actions wouldn't be the same as his? Or that Barristan wouldn't be the one dying in the ToJ?

Ned gave them a chance to do what Barristan did and they refused and died. So yea, different choice and better oath keepers.

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Ned gave them a chance to do what Barristan did and they refused and died. So yea, different choice and better oath keepers.

For all the good it did them and anybody else.

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