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Lord Varys

The Regency of Aegon III and Unwin Peake/Jaehaera

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Just to have a place for people to find this:

Ran has answered my questions on the ultimate fate of Unwin Peake - which is unknown to Ran and Linda (his involvement in the murder of Queen Jaehaera should eventually have had some severe repercussions, one assumes) as well as clarified his status during the Regency which got confused during their last video on TMK.

From Yandel we know that Peake gained Corlys Velaryon's seat on the Regency council and eventually rose to the position of Hand of the King after the death of Ser Tyland Lannister. Ran and Linda weren't sure whether he actually became Hand or Lord Protector of the Realm during the video itself, and have no confirmed that he actually became both.

Unwin Peake was one of the Regents, the Hand (after Ser Tyland's death of the winter fever in 133 AC) and the Lord Protector of the Realm (after the death Lord Leowyn Corbray, also of the winter fever in 133 AC).

That makes Unwin Peake a very powerful figure indeed, and one actually wonders how this could happen. But this amount of legal power most certainly enabled him to dominate the council of the regents, at least for a time, and it now seems a little more clearer how he could arrange the murder of little Queen Jaehaera.

Earlier I've speculated that Queen Alicent most likely was already dead at the point Jaehaera died. She died of the winter fever, too, in the very same year, and the idea that Peake had unlimited access to the royal apartments as well as the power and influence to arrange and get away with the murder of the queen is very unlikely prior to ascension to the offices of Hand and Protector. One assumes that it was the power that came with those offices that enabled him to name his bastard brother to the Kingsguard.

It is very unlikely that a staunch Green like Tyland Lannister would have allowed him to get away with the murder of Jaehaera nor does it seem likely that Peake could have gotten to her while Tyland was still Hand.

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Can some mod/admin please move that thread into 'The World of Ice and Fire' forum? It was supposed to be there but I made an obvious mistake ;-). This post could then be deleted as well.

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Most of what you write makes sense and I to wonder what happened to that abominational traitor Unwin Peake. Howevered are we supposed to discuss something or is this an info dump?

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Most of what you write makes sense and I to wonder what happened to that abominational traitor Unwin Peake. Howevered are we supposed to discuss something or is this an info dump?

It was mostly supposed to be an info dump which is why it was supposed to be posted in the TWoIaF subforum.

However, one could start an interesting speculation on how the power balances during the Regency changed, and how it was possible that Unwin Peake acquired this insane amount of power. Presumably there was some sort of plan why the Handship and the the position of Protector were originally split up between Leowyn Corbray and (eventually) Tyland Lannister (we don't know when exactly he returned so it is not clear whether he was originally supposed to be the Hand or not.

I imagine the informal/de facto leader of the regents was Corlys Velaryon up until his death in 132 AC. How it came to be that Alyn Velaryon - who by that time was already married to Aegon III's sister Baela, presumably - could be withheld Corlys' place among the regents isn't clear, nor why and how the hell Peake got Corlys' seat.

But in 133 AC the winter fever must have been a real blow to the stability of the government - first Torrhen Manderly's father died in 132 AC, causing him to give up his post and return to White Harbor, and then Leowyn Corbray, Tyland Lannister, and Roland Westerling all died in 133 AC, along with, presumably, the imprisoned Alicent Hightower. Royce Caron had given up his place earlier, and only Roland Westerling was replaced at this point (by Thaddeus Rowan)

Jeyne Arryn and Manfryd Mooton died in the next year, the former not actually being at KL while dying - she was at Gulltown. Mooton's replacement is Corwyn Corbray, the last regent replacement prior to the Great Council in 136 AC. Corbray dies shortly thereafter during a parlor at Runestone which strongly suggests that the death of the Lady Jeyne Arryn caused a succession crisis in the Vale resulting in hostilities involving the Royces of Runestone. If Jeyne Arryn died without issue or husband there is a pretty good chances that multiple Arryn cousins tried to claim the Eyrie in the wake of her death.

Peake's power is broken in the same year, and Yandel tells us that the arrival of the Rogare family had a lot to do with that. This could suggest that the influence young Viserys, his wife Larra, and her kin quickly gained either over the king - or more importantly - the court, due to the enormous wealth. Whatever money Peake may have had, the Rogares most likely could offer much more.

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Well, to start with the rise of Lord Peake I think that it had to do with a combination of Peake's relatively peaceful withdrawl from the war and that when the Velyrons left, maybe people found it necessary to tie another powerful Houses to the Council of Regents? As well as a certain ill will towards Corlys from the other Regents?

In regards to Lord Corlys I think that its very possible that some Blacks didn't trust Corlys because he'd been imprisoned by Rhaenyra and then switched to Aegon, and if he was indeed as powerful as mentioned in the council, I could also see why ambitious men might want to do away with him so that they could get a larger hand at the governing of the realm. By refusing the position to Corlys heir, the power of House Velyron would be broken and instead they could pick someone who would play more according to their wishes. And so in comes Unwin Peake.

As to why Unwin Peake was chosen I don't find that very strange at all. As far as my reading goes Lord Peake didn't make much of an impact on the war so the Blacks are unlikely to have all that strong feelings against him while at this time, before Daeron II stripped two of their castles from them, the Peake would have held three castles and I think would have been a tremendously powerful House. I think there's a clear reason as to why Peake got the first informal and then formal command of the Green Reacher army after the death of Lord Hightower. This combination could look pretty attractive to many and open the way for Peake. If I am right, then the game being played at court after Corlys left the scene, together with others, would have been perfect for Peake to amass power without any other strong personality one the council, before, as you mention this situation was recognized as a potential problem and even more so if it was somehow suspected already then that Lord Peake had something to do with the death of Jaehaera. It wouldn't suprise me if the Rogares simply bought off Peake's supporters or that they, in a self-serving fashion, decided to go where the most gain was and that wasn't with Unwin.

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Earlier I've speculated that Queen Alicent most likely was already dead at the point Jaehaera died. She died of the winter fever, too, in the very same year, and the idea that Peake had unlimited access to the royal apartments as well as the power and influence to arrange and get away with the murder of the queen is very unlikely prior to ascension to the offices of Hand and Protector. One assumes that it was the power that came with those offices that enabled him to name his bastard brother to the Kingsguard.

The moment of Alicent's death - before or after Jaehaera's death - has got nothing to do with the moment Peake ascended to the offices of Hand and Protector, now does it? Tyland and Corbray could have died early in 133 AC, while Alicent died late in the year. In that scenario, Peake would have gained most of his power long before Alicent's death..

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The moment of Alicent's death - before or after Jaehaera's death - has got nothing to do with the moment Peake ascended to the offices of Hand and Protector, now does it? Tyland and Corbray could have died early in 133 AC, while Alicent died late in the year. In that scenario, Peake would have gained most of his power long before Alicent's death..

Not necessarily. But then, we know Alicent died of the winter fever, as did Leowyn Corbray, Tyland Lannister, and Roland Westerling, suggesting that this sickness hit the entire Red Keep around the same time. We don't know the nature of this plague, and how quickly it killed, but considering that it carried off four very people of the highest rank one assumes the maesters were helpless against it. Therefore I'd argue that Alicent, Leowyn Corbray, Roland Westerling, and Tyland Lannister all died roughly around the same time, and that only the subsequent power vacuum at court - possibly caused by the fact that other candidates for the offices of Hand and Protector as well as potential replacements for the vacant regent seats were either carried away by the plague, too, or chose to leave the capital to try to hide from it in their home castles - allowed Unwin Peake to ascend to supreme power.

While he was merely one regent among many - and with both Tyland and Leowyn around - I simply don't see him to be powerful enough to arrange the murder of the queen. Not to mention that the winter fever could also have carried away some Kingsguard knights, leading to the rise of Peake's bastard brother Mervyn Flowers to the White Swords.

Of course, Alicent may have caught the winter fever only some time later if we assume she was reasonable isolated in whatever cell she was kept, but I think it very likely that Peake has to have been both Hand and Lord Protector by the time Queen Jaehaera died. But if the winter fever was a plague comparable to the Great Spring Sickness such a scenario would be unlikely. Daeron II, Valarr, and Matarys apparently died within a few days, and similarly thing could easily have happened with the winter fever, too.

Well, to start with the rise of Lord Peake I think that it had to do with a combination of Peake's relatively peaceful withdrawl from the war and that when the Velyrons left, maybe people found it necessary to tie another powerful Houses to the Council of Regents? As well as a certain ill will towards Corlys from the other Regents?

In regards to Lord Corlys I think that its very possible that some Blacks didn't trust Corlys because he'd been imprisoned by Rhaenyra and then switched to Aegon, and if he was indeed as powerful as mentioned in the council, I could also see why ambitious men might want to do away with him so that they could get a larger hand at the governing of the realm. By refusing the position to Corlys heir, the power of House Velyron would be broken and instead they could pick someone who would play more according to their wishes. And so in comes Unwin Peake.

As to why Unwin Peake was chosen I don't find that very strange at all. As far as my reading goes Lord Peake didn't make much of an impact on the war so the Blacks are unlikely to have all that strong feelings against him while at this time, before Daeron II stripped two of their castles from them, the Peake would have held three castles and I think would have been a tremendously powerful House. I think there's a clear reason as to why Peake got the first informal and then formal command of the Green Reacher army after the death of Lord Hightower. This combination could look pretty attractive to many and open the way for Peake. If I am right, then the game being played at court after Corlys left the scene, together with others, would have been perfect for Peake to amass power without any other strong personality one the council, before, as you mention this situation was recognized as a potential problem and even more so if it was somehow suspected already then that Lord Peake had something to do with the death of Jaehaera. It wouldn't suprise me if the Rogares simply bought off Peake's supporters or that they, in a self-serving fashion, decided to go where the most gain was and that wasn't with Unwin.

Peake certainly played a role during the Tumbleton affairs and the idea that he had sufficient support among the Greens - at least at first - to rise to the regency council. I was more curious how he succeeded in unifying the offices of Hand and Protector in his person. That clearly made him the most powerful person at court.

By the way: Ran and Linda talk about Unwin in a way that suggests he switched sides a lot. In TPatQ we only meet him as a Green but since we also know that Ormund Hightower effectively subdued all the Blacks in the Reach/forced them to join his growing army on his march to KL one wonders if he originally was one of the guys fighting for Rhaenyra. There seem to have been more than just Thaddeus Rowan and the two Alans that were mentioned in TPatQ - TWoIaF gave us the Caswells in addition considering that Prince Maelor and Rickard Thorne were killed at Bitterbridge by that mob (unlikely if Bitterbridge had been a Green town).

How Peake ended up among the regents anyway is still somewhat obscure considering that there are no Hightowers there. They were the most powerful Green faction - the absence/insignificance of the Baratheons is understandable considering Borros' demise as well as the fact that he only seems to have had daughters (and perhaps one young son) and the Lannisters were without grown-up males, too, although Roland Westerling may have been a brother of Johanna Westerling Lannister if the MUSH is correct there. We know that Johanna Lannister helped rebuild the Realm with Lannister gold so Roland might have been chosen as a regent to act as her representative at KL at a time when people did not yet that Tyland Lannister was still alive and would return from Essos.

But the Hightowers are different. Rhaena Targaryen - the last known dragonrider - would eventually be married to Garmund Hightower who, most likely, will turn to be a Lord of Oldtown, the eldest son of the late Ormund Hightower, Otto's nephew, since it would be very strange if the sister of Aegon III was married to a Hightower of a cadet branch.

Corlys doesn't seem to have been a controversial figure. He seems to have been accepted universally as the fact that his body lay beneath the Iron Throne for a whole week - the regents would have arranged all that, and it would therefore not have happened if he had had many enemies there. Remember, it seems to have been Corlys who singlehandedly ended the Dance by helping to arrange the murder of Aegon II, crowning Aegon III, and reaching an convincing the remaining Greens to agree to the peace terms. Most importantly, he prevented Cregan Stark from continuing the war in the name of Aegon III - after all, Cregan wanted to punish Casterly Rock, Storm's End, and Oldtown for their part in the war, and considering the military situation - the known Lannister, Baratheon, and Hightower armies either destroyed or dispersed - he actually could have gone through with that.

Alyn Velaryon being still very young and just a legitimized bastard most likely played a huge part that he wasn't allowed on the regency council in his father's place.

Alyn could also have had a part in the game the Rogares later played considering that Viserys' return was his doing, and subsequently we have to assume that Alyn had good relations with the Rogares

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As to why Unwin Peake was chosen I don't find that very strange at all.

I agree, as one of the Leaders of the Caltrops he probably had a pretty large faction of Lords supporting him as well as being a pretty powerful Lord in his own right. He was able to have his bastard brother on the Kingsguard and it is probably likely that other key positions on the Small Council were filled with his allies.

Looking at his fellow regents and Hands there would not be a lot of opposition; Jeyne was a woman, Tyland blind and gelded and Corlys aged. The other members would be even less of a challenge as Manderly would be an outsider with little close support (especially as the north was suffering from a very harsh winter), Westerling, Mooton and Caron not rich or influential enough to challenge.

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Peake only became a regent after the death of Lord Corlys in 132 AC. He wasn't a regent to begin with, and most likely wasn't able to install any of his cronies into powerful positions at court while he wasn't in charge yet - which means his bastard brother and others only rose to prominence after Peake became a regent, and the the Hand and Lord Protector.

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I agree, as one of the Leaders of the Caltrops he probably had a pretty large faction of Lords supporting him as well as being a pretty powerful Lord in his own right. He was able to have his bastard brother on the Kingsguard and it is probably likely that other key positions on the Small Council were filled with his allies.

Looking at his fellow regents and Hands there would not be a lot of opposition; Jeyne was a woman, Tyland blind and gelded and Corlys aged. The other members would be even less of a challenge as Manderly would be an outsider with little close support (especially as the north was suffering from a very harsh winter), Westerling, Mooton and Caron not rich or influential enough to challenge.

Exactly! Peake could absolutely have started out with such influence that others would have wanted to be his friend as he was taking his seat on the council.

Peake only became a regent after the death of Lord Corlys in 132 AC. He wasn't a regent to begin with, and most likely wasn't able to install any of his cronies into powerful positions at court while he wasn't in charge yet - which means his bastard brother and others only rose to prominence after Peake became a regent, and the the Hand and Lord Protector.

I fail to see the problem here. You assume that unless Peake can put a lickspittle in a position, he won't get any support. Given his influence as shown in the Dance I see no reason as to why other lords and regents wouldn't be ready to make deals with him for his support without them being in his pocket. It could absolutely have been so that it was a "I scatch your back if you scratch mine". I think this explains his rise to power better than just saying its some great mystery.

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Well, it is said that Peake felt slighted because he was not chosen to be a regent in the first place despite his role during the whole Tumbleton affair. Which wasn't all that big from what we know from TPatQ (which could not be the whole story, I admit as much) but he was just one of the Caltrops, and the guys nominally/effectively in charge after the deaths of Lord Ormund and his cousin Bryndon were killed was Hobert Hightower, Prince Daeron, and the Two Betrayers.

Unwin was just one of the thirteen Caltrops, and he did effectively nothing to distinguish himself during the whole affair, and he completely failed at doing something with the remnants of the army when command (sort of) fell to him after the deaths of Daeron, the Two Betrayers, Hobert, and nine of the thirteen Caltrops in the wake of Second Tumbleton.

Part of the reason why he wanted so much power is because he felt it was denied to him in the beginning of the Regency. Perhaps this means he was only named to the Small Council in 131 AC. But it could also mean he had no place at court at all until Corlys' death the same year, and if that was the case I don't see him putting many of his cronies in powerful offices and places at court prior to the outbreak of the winter fever. The regents would already have filled vacant offices and positions back in 131 AC when the Regency was set up. But many of those people might have died in 133 AC, opening up exciting new possibilities for Peake.

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Well, it is said that Peake felt slighted because he was not chosen to be a regent in the first place despite his role during the whole Tumbleton affair. Which wasn't all that big from what we know from TPatQ (which could not be the whole story, I admit as much) but he was just one of the Caltrops, and the guys nominally/effectively in charge after the deaths of Lord Ormund and his cousin Bryndon were killed was Hobert Hightower, Prince Daeron, and the Two Betrayers.

This does not appear to be true. The world book tells us that he: "had played a significant role at First and Second Tumbleton."

TP&tQ makes it clear that he was one of the leaders; Lord Unwin Peake and a somewhat reluctant Hobert Hightower summoned eleven other lords and landed knights to a secret council in the cellar of a Tumbleton inn, to discuss what might be done to curb the arrogance of the baseborn dragonriders.

Not only did he form the Caltrops, but it seems he is the outright leader: Nor did the once-gentle prince hesitate when Lord Unwin Peake presented him with warrants for the execution of Hard Hugh Hammer and Ulf White, but eagerly affixed his seal.

Who was regarded in the same terms as Hightower and the Prince: A hundred tents were soon afire, even the splendid silken pavilions of Ser Hobart Hightower, Lord Unwin Peake, and Prince Daeron himself.

And is the outright leader at the end: By that time Peake’s army, the remnants of the great host that Prince Daeron and Lord Ormund Hightower had led all the way from Oldtown, was falling to pieces as deserters fled Tumbleton by the score with all the plunder they could carry. Bowing to defeat, Lord Unwin summoned his lords and serjeants and ordered a retreat.

After the collapse of the Hightowers in the war and Lord Tyrell being too young Lord Peake is pretty much the main player in the Reach faction, which can't be that surprising as the Peakes before the Blackfyre Rebellion must have been the 3rd most powerful House in the Reach.

 

Unwin was just one of the thirteen Caltrops, and he did effectively nothing to distinguish himself during the whole affair, and he completely failed at doing something with the remnants of the army when command (sort of) fell to him after the deaths of Daeron, the Two Betrayers, Hobert, and nine of the thirteen Caltrops in the wake of Second Tumbleton.

What was left to do? The war was pretty much winding down and Aegon II, the King they wanted, had pretty won.

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Well, the fact that Peake needed other co-conspirators who then, in turn, felt they needed the blessing of Prince Daeron for their treasonous murders. More importantly, it is quite clear that there was no clear leader in the Green army since Lord Ormund's death. While I'd agree that Peake was certainly the biggest lord left standing at Tumbleton after the battles were over, he certainly lacked the authority to do anything with the swords he had left - which may not have been all that much, considering that the survivors of the Green army fled by the scores. We don't even know whose retreat he could order - fellow Reach Lords of equal or higher rank, or just his own vassals, levies, and men-at-arms? We don't know.

Aegon II had not yet been restored to the Iron Throne at this point, nor does it seem to be the case that Rhaenyra's demise had yet or occurred (or if it did, wasn't yet proclaimed to the Realm by Aegon II). KL was controlled by Trystane Truefyre/Perkin the Flea and Gaemon Palehair until Borros Baratheon marched into the city. Perhaps this fact was also the reason why Peake was passed over when the regents were named - he completely failed at what he was trying to do (depose Rhaenyra and take KL for the Greens) and one could even blame him retroactively for the atrocities of Tumbleton and the death of Prince Daeron (which Aegon II would most certainly have considered a major loss to his cause). Perhaps one could even go further and speculate whether Peake - apparently a really awful guy - was also instrumental in buying the Two Betrayers for the Greens. Somebody must have done that, and I don't think Lord Ormund would have stepped so low.

As to the power of the Peakes prior to the Blackfyres:

They certainly would have been a principal house of the Reach but I'd not be so quick to consider them the most powerful after the Hightowers. The Redwynes, Rowans, and Tarlys always seem to have been powerful and wealthy, and unfortunately we know too little about the amount of land and the number of vassals greater lords in the various region control (but we know from the Rowan-Webber/Osgrey example in TSS that greater lords in the Reach can have a pretty big number of subservient vassal lords and landed knights), and therefore also not whether a lord like Unwin Peake could field, say, 4,000-5,000 levies or so by himself. It could also be that the Reach is parceled out into many many smaller fiefs whose lords are then all sworn directly to Highgarden to prevent an individual Reach to rival Tyrell supremacy.

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