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Lost Melnibonean

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17 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Well, if House Merryweather is on team Aegon, then apparently, so is Ser Bonnifer Hasty and his holy hundred...

Jaime III, Feast 27

Not necessarily. There is every reason to believe that Merryweather would know who Ser Bonifer is and with whom he was infatuated in his youth. That in itself makes him a Targaryen loyalist. But that doesn't mean he has to know anything about Aegon or be in on the plan. All they need is that he ends up making the right choice once House Targaryen raises its banner in Westeros - and it is pretty much a given that he will do so.

5 hours ago, LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse said:

BryndenBfish made a good argument that Taena works for Varys she is kind of a doble agent

https://warsandpoliticsoficeandfire.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/the-agents-of-chaos-spies-spymasters-and-their-tradecraft-in-westeros-part-1-the-myrish-femme-fatale/

 

I doubt the reason is that she has targaryen blood. No need to complicate matters further. I think she just wants to recover her husbands family lands.

There is little reason to believe that Taena is anything special. She certainly is an agent of some sort but we don't have to believe she is the mind of House Merryweather. The Merryweathers were in exile, once, and could have hooked up with the Golden Company there. If Jon Connington could fight with them why not Orton, too?

Orton might got himself some gorgeous wife to better get into the good graces of the Tyrells and other powerful lords in the Reach in preparation for the things to come.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

 

There is little reason to believe that Taena is anything special. She certainly is an agent of some sort but we don't have to believe she is the mind of House Merryweather. The Merryweathers were in exile, once, and could have hooked up with the Golden Company there. If Jon Connington could fight with them why not Orton, too?

Orton might got himself some gorgeous wife to better get into the good graces of the Tyrells and other powerful lords in the Reach in preparation for the things to come.

1) on the contrary. IMHO its pretty clear she is manipulating cersei, the Gardener Coin issue makes it almost certain she is teaming up with whomever planted said coin (varys most likely)

If that is so, for what purpose? that remains unknown. but its certainly something George will have to develop further.

2) we know he was an landless exile, and at some point Robert gave him back part of his lands? why? benevolence?

I think Orton-Taena is actually a lavender marriage, taena seduced robert, and robert gave orton back some lands, because russel would eventually inherit them.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse said:

1) on the contrary. IMHO its pretty clear she is manipulating cersei, the Gardener Coin issue makes it almost certain she is teaming up with whomever planted said coin (varys most likely)

Oh, Taena certainly is manipulating people but is she doing this on her own or as part of an agenda that isn't her own?

She as a person should have little interest in the whole Aegon plan. It is the Merryweathers that were wronged by Robert in the wake of their return to Westeros not to mention that Aerys II exiled them in the first place.

 It is quite clear that it is her and Orton's decision not to bring Russell to court and all - but we don't know who directs their overall agenda if there is one. The whole idea that they are just ambitious people makes no sense. In such a scenario they would have made Russell's Tommen's companion as quickly as possible.

As to the coins:

If Varys planted the coin as Rugen then Taena's story about Olenna using those coins might actually have been true. Brilliant plots work best if you use the truth to manipulate people and we certainly could all see Olenna using such a trick to deceive merchants.

Thus Varys doesn't really have to contact Taena to direct her what to say to Cersei about this whole thing - although that certainly is a possibility.

8 hours ago, LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse said:

If that is so, for what purpose? that remains unknown. but its certainly something George will have to develop further.

2) we know he was an landless exile, and at some point Robert gave him back part of his lands? why? benevolence?

I think Orton-Taena is actually a lavender marriage, taena seduced robert, and robert gave orton back some lands, because russel would eventually inherit them.

Robert was a generous guy and the Merryweathers were wronged by the Mad King. Owen was exiled early on during the Rebellion. It is quite clear why he never recalled Jon Connington but it fits with his usual behavior to allow the Merryweathers to return.

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“There are old sellswords and bold sellswords, but no old bold sellswords.”

Perhaps Bronn is working for Varys on Team Aegon...

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“Bronn put a dagger in his eye, and told me I had best be gone from Stokeworth before the sun went down or I’d get the same. He said he’d pass me around to the g-g-garrison, if any of them would have me. When I ordered Bronn seized, one of his knights had the insolence to say that I should do as Lord Stokeworth said. He called him Lord Stokeworth!” Lady Falyse clutched at the queen’s hand. “Your Grace must give me knights. A hundred knights! And crossbowmen, to take my castle back. Stokeworth is mine! They would not even permit me to gather up my clothes! Bronn said they were his wife’s clothes now, all my s-silks and velvets.”

I am thinking Bronn's actions without knowledge of Aegon would be pretty bold for a sellsword in a castle so close to the throne. 

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8 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Perhaps Bronn is working for Varys on Team Aegon...

I am thinking Bronn's actions without knowledge of Aegon would be pretty bold for a sellsword in a castle so close to the throne. 

Come on, now you are grasping for straws.

But you might be right that Bronn might lead Stokeworth to Aegon's banner instead of sticking to King Tommen whose mother has become his enemy. That would depend on whether he can keep Stokeworth until Aegon has reached the Crownlands. Mace certainly could dispatch a sizable portion of his army to occupy all the Crownland castles to ensure that they remain loyal.

The most Crownlanders are fierce Targaryen loyalists, not just the Crackclaw Point folk. We might see a widespread revolt from the common people against King Tommen and in favor of Aegon after the Tyrell army (or a sizable portion thereof) has left the Crownlands for Storm's End. And especially when news of their defeat arrive in the Crownlands.

However, many of the houses in the Crownlands are without leadership. Lady Hayford is an infant, Rosby is without a lord, we don't know whether the Stauntons still exist, and Lord Rykker was with Randyll Tarly in Maidenpool when we last heard of him.

This puts Aegon into the position to dispossess a lot of the Crownlanders and create new lords there by granting titles and castles to trusted officers and men from the Golden Company. Duskendale would be a huge price for anybody (and would most likely go to a new man if the Rykkers are going to fight against Aegon at Storm's End), and Rosby and Stokeworth are quite wealthy.

The idea that Aegon would allow a man like Bronn to keep Stokeworth only makes sense if the man really makes a difference in the coming battles - that's certainly a possibility but we'll have to wait and see.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Come on, now you are grasping for straws.

But you might be right that Bronn might lead Stokeworth to Aegon's banner instead of sticking to King Tommen whose mother has become his enemy. That would depend on whether he can keep Stokeworth until Aegon has reached the Crownlands. Mace certainly could dispatch a sizable portion of his army to occupy all the Crownland castles to ensure that they remain loyal.

The most Crownlanders are fierce Targaryen loyalists, not just the Crackclaw Point folk. We might see a widespread revolt from the common people against King Tommen and in favor of Aegon after the Tyrell army (or a sizable portion thereof) has left the Crownlands for Storm's End. And especially when news of their defeat arrive in the Crownlands.

However, many of the houses in the Crownlands are without leadership. Lady Hayford is an infant, Rosby is without a lord, we don't know whether the Stauntons still exist, and Lord Rykker was with Randyll Tarly in Maidenpool when we last heard of him.

This puts Aegon into the position to dispossess a lot of the Crownlanders and create new lords there by granting titles and castles to trusted officers and men from the Golden Company. Duskendale would be a huge price for anybody (and would most likely go to a new man if the Rykkers are going to fight against Aegon at Storm's End), and Rosby and Stokeworth are quite wealthy.

The idea that Aegon would allow a man like Bronn to keep Stokeworth only makes sense if the man really makes a difference in the coming battles - that's certainly a possibility but we'll have to wait and see.

First you say that I am grasping at straws, and then you offer additional support for the proposition!

As to Hayford... we know that House Hayford of Crownlands was loyal to Daeron Targaryen during the Blackfyre Rebellion, and that a Peake killed the Lord of Hayford during the Battle of Redgrass Field. Most, but not all, perceptive readers believe that Varys is in league with the new Blackfyre. Could this have something to do with the disappearance of Tyrek Lannister, the new Lord of Hayford? 

When Jaime meets the Lady of Hayford, Ermesande is dressed in green fretty and green pale wavy in beads of jade. And don’t forget Eustace described Hayford’s colors too, green fretty over gold, a green pale wavy. That’s a whole lot of green. As has been argued elsewhere Aegon is believed by many readers to be The Blackfyre, and it is often suggested that he will fight Daenerys in a second Dance of the Dragons. As the black dragon of House Blackfyre stands against the red dragon of House Targaryen, we recall the greens versus the blacks in the Dance of the Dragons. So, many of us assume that The George associates green with Aegon. So, perhaps, this is another hint that Tyrek’s abduction has something to do with securing the support of House Hayford for Aegon? 

The storyteller suggests to the reader that the boy is alive, but not held for ransom. So, for what purpose, and by whom, is Tyrek Lannister being held in secret? Jaime wonders whether Cersei ordered Varys to have him disposed of, so perhaps, Varys orchestrated the kidnapping of Tyrek to use him against House Lannister when the time was right for Aegon to assert his claim? Tyrek could be made to testify that Cersei and Lancel conspired to murder Robert. Since Aegon is presumed to be a Targaryen, the loyalist House Hayford, and other houses of the Crownlands, should be inclined to back the Targaryen claimant, even if the wee lady's lord husband is a Lannister. 

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@Lost Melnibonean

I supported the idea that Bronn might be smart enough to declare Stokeworth for Aegon rather than Tommen. You suggested that Bronn is working with Varys. I don't buy the latter.

And there is no 'team Aegon', at least not outside of Varys/Illyrio's inner circle (which should be about 2-3 people). There are (secret) Targaryen loyalists and people who may see greater advantage in supporting the old dynasty against a fake Baratheon pretender.

We don't have make far-fetched color analyses to know this. That was evident since AGoT and ACoK.

And there is really no reason to believe that heraldic colors are secret symbols from which you can guess or predict which faction a noble family is later going to support. I mean, where is the Targaryen black in the Stark sigil? How is the Lannister gold-and-crimson indicating that they would be Greens during the Dance? How is Baratheon black-and-gold helping us figuring out that Lord Borros would join Aegon II over Rhaenyra? What has the blue-and-white of the Arryns to do with Targaryen black? And aren't Targaryen scarlet and Lannister crimson similar enough to assume that these houses would eventually join forces, perhaps in an arranged marriage? And why the hell did the green Tyrells not join the Greens in the Dance? And why is there no green in the Hightower arms?

Blackfyres and Targaryens essentially have the same colors, by the way. The arms of both houses are red and black. And why do you assume Aegon is going to be associated with 'green' in this Second Dance? Why can't he be black? If he is a Blackfyre descendant he should be rather black if we care about the Black Dragon talk.

Unlike Rhaenyra, Dany has never been associated/connected all that much to the Targaryen red-and-black colors. Just look at her crown, for instance.

The Dance colors go back to the parties of the women - Rhaenyra and Alicent. Aegon II never wore green as far as we know. His personal arms depicted a golden dragon, and one should assume that his armor and clothes were highlighting his paternal ancestry rather than the personal fashion tastes of his lady mother.

Tyrek most likely knows stuff and has some role to play. But I very much doubt this has much to do with his connection to some infant Hayford lady. The fact that Lady Ermesande is an infant neutralizes the power of House Hayford very effectively. The idea that the Hayfords are playing a prominent role in the battles to come is about as likely as the idea that Willam Mooton is suddenly going to find his courage. His ancestors and brother were brave men. He is a disgrace, and that's not going to change just because there were some courageous Mootons in the past.

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“Stannis may have had a hand in this. Balon Greyjoy offered my lord father an alliance. Perhaps his son has offered one to Stannis.”

Pycelle frowned. “What would Lord Stannis gain by …”

“He gains another foothold. And plunder, that as well. Stannis needs gold to pay his sellswords. By raiding in the west, he hopes he can distract us from Dragonstone and Storm’s End.”

Lord Merryweather nodded. “A diversion. Stannis is more cunning than we knew. Your Grace is clever to have seen through his ploy.”

“Lord Stannis is striving to win the northmen to his cause,” said Pycelle. “If he befriends the ironborn, he cannot hope …”

“The northmen will not have him,” said Cersei, wondering how such a learned man could be so stupid.

Cersei, Feast 32

Of course Cersei, not Pycelle, is the stupid one here, but what about Orton? Is he stupid? A lick spittle? Or is Orton deliberately helping to sabotage Cersei's rule? 

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4 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Cersei, Feast 32

Of course Cersei, not Pycelle, is the stupid one here, but what about Orton? Is he stupid? A lick spittle? Or is Orton deliberately helping to sabotage Cersei's rule? 

If Taena is working for Varys/Illyrio or acting as an agent for the Golden Company, then Orton most certainly is on board with that whole thing as well. Taena is the attractive one but Orton is her husband, and Cersei favoring Taena doesn't mean Orton is stupid.

If the Merryweathers were just ambitious social climbers they would never have involved themselves this deep in a plot against Margaery Tyrell. That could very well kill them, regardless whom they are actually working with. Orton was very nervous when they were preparing things for Margaery's arrest.

They would have tried to win Tommen's favor, not Cersei's, sending Russell to court as soon as possible. Tommen is the future, Cersei is just serving as the regent until the boy comes of age. Not to mention that Margaery would have been the future as the queen. Turning against her when you are actually a sworn bannerman or her father's is utter stupidity.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If the Merryweathers were just ambitious social climbers they would never have involved themselves this deep in a plot against Margaery Tyrell. That could very well kill them, regardless whom they are actually working with. Orton was very nervous when they were preparing things for Margaery's arrest.

They would have tried to win Tommen's favor, not Cersei's, sending Russell to court as soon as possible. Tommen is the future, Cersei is just serving as the regent until the boy comes of age. Not to mention that Margaery would have been the future as the queen. Turning against her when you are actually a sworn bannerman or her father's is utter stupidity.

Personally I think Taena is an agent for a third party (Varys/LF/Someone else). However, it is very possible that she was trying to play both sides (Margaery and Cersei), and it was only Cersei's being batshit crazy which dragged the Merryweathers into such a confrontation with the Tyrells. 

On the issue of bringing their son to court – I always thought  Taena was just keeping him out of harm’s way. The Red Keep is a very dangerous and unstable place at that time, and Cersei's patronage is hardly something you can take to the bank.

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48 minutes ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Personally I think Taena is an agent for a third party (Varys/LF/Someone else). However, it is very possible that she was trying to play both sides (Margaery and Cersei), and it was only Cersei's being batshit crazy which dragged the Merryweathers into such a confrontation with the Tyrells.

Again, why would the foreigner wife of an impoverished lord actually try to play the Queen Regent against the Queen Consort (who happens to be the daughter of her husband's liege lord)? The only sure outcome of such a dangerous game is the risk of rather severe punishment - either from the Tyrells or Cersei, or both.

It would be different if Taena and Orton were from another region (say, Dorne, or the Stormlands) but they are sworn to Highgarden.

Realistically Taena and Orton can expect long-term advancement and royal favors by sucking up to Margaery and Tommen. If Russell befriended Tommen one his daughters might even end up marrying into House Merryweather. That would have been an achievement. But instead of trying to stabilize the political situation in Westeros and King's Landing to Tommen's advantage they are at the heart of Cersei's follies, especially (but not only) her plot against Margaery.

That was very dangerous, and it only makes sense if Orton and Taena know that Aegon and Daenerys are supposed to come soon to Westeros, to reap the rewards of the chaos they helped to sow. Only if they know that Tommen has no future on the Iron Throne does it makes sense for them to act the way they did.

48 minutes ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

On the issue of bringing their son to court – I always thought  Taena was just keeping him out of harm’s way. The Red Keep is a very dangerous and unstable place at that time, and Cersei's patronage is hardly something you can take to the bank.

The point is that Tommen befriending Russell would be a long-term investment indeed. Even Cersei understands that Robert's great asset was the fact that he could befriend people very easily, not to mention that the success of the Rebellion was mostly based on friendships Robert made in his youth.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

Again, why would the foreigner wife of an impoverished lord actually try to play the Queen Regent against the Queen Consort (who happens to be the daughter of her husband's liege lord)? The only sure outcome of such a dangerous game is the risk of rather severe punishment - either from the Tyrells or Cersei, or both.

Just because it's not the most intelligent power-play, it doesn't mean that that's not what she's doing. She could simply be grasping for power by cozying up to Cersei and Margaery and this led her to disaster.

Like I said though, I think she's working for a third party. I'm not certain it's Varys on behalf of fAegon though. I reckon there is another player that hasn't fully revealed his/herself, and there are a number of people (Darkstar for example) who may be working on their behalf. Taena could be one of them too. 

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3 minutes ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Just because it's not the most intelligent power-play, it doesn't mean that that's not what she's doing. She could simply be grasping for power by cozying up to Cersei and Margaery and this led her to disaster.

But there are hints that Taena is not stupid. Why would she risk her own fortune the way she does? The Merryweathers are effectively done now. They got out of the city in time but the Tyrells ended up in charge in the wake of Cersei's arrest. They can now effectively attaint and dispossess the Merryweathers, and there is nothing they can do about that.

3 minutes ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Like I said though, I think she's working for a third party. I'm not certain it's Varys on behalf of fAegon though. I reckon there is another player that hasn't fully revealed his/herself, and there are a number of people (Darkstar for example) who may be working on their behalf. Taena could be one of them too. 

Orton also suggests to Cersei that she should name Ser Bonifer Hasty castellan of Harrenhal. The man is not only pious but presumably a die-hard Targaryen loyalist who was once in love with Princess Rhaella. Why would Orton suggest such a man as castellan for Harrenhal, even more so considering that Hasty is a Stormlander and not from the Reach as Orton is himself?

There is a pattern there. The idea is that Orton Merryweather fought for the Golden Company during the time of his exile, just as Jon Connington did. And he is now on board with their plans, and not in the game to suck up to the Lannisters or Tyrells.

Darkstar is also not unlikely to work for Varys/Illyrio. They have every interest to drive a wedge between Dorne and the Lannisters, and killing Myrcella would have accomplished that. A war with the Iron Throne would have forced Doran to ask Aegon/Dany for help, making the Dornishmen the people who need to beg for help, not the other way around.

Darkstar himself cannot hope to gain anything from trying to kill Myrcella the way he did because Doran and Arianne will always retain the power to punish and kill him regardless whether there's going to be a war or not.

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Just now, Lord Varys said:

But there are hints that Taena is not stupid. Why would she risk her own fortune the way she does? The Merryweathers are effectively done now. They got out of the city in time but the Tyrells ended up in charge in the wake of Cersei's arrest. They can now effectively attaint and dispossess the Merryweathers, and there is nothing they can do about that.

True, unless Taena was effective enough to convince Margaery she was working for her all along (which she appeared to do by passing information to her). 

 

2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Orton also suggests to Cersei that she should name Ser Bonifer Hasty castellan of Harrenhal. The man is not only pious but presumably a die-hard Targaryen loyalist who was once in love with Princess Rhaella. Why would Orton suggest such a man as castellan for Harrenhal, even more so considering that Hasty is a Stormlander and not from the Reach as Orton is himself?

Good point, although it's only Jaime's supposition that Orton suggested Hasty, there's no confirmation of that. 

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1 minute ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

True, unless Taena was effective enough to convince Margaery she was working for her all along (which she appeared to do by passing information to her). 

She certainly did that in the beginning. But Orton later was Hand and Master of Laws when Margaery was arrested. There is a reason why he and Taena fled as soon as Cersei herself was arrested (and before Tarly and Mace arrived in the city).

1 minute ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Good point, although it's only Jaime's supposition that Orton suggested Hasty, there's no confirmation of that. 

That's correct, yet we should go with that assumption for the time being. Cersei herself had no reason whatsoever to pick Hasty for that job.

@Lost Melnibonean quoting Orton's advice during the council session above is also very odd if you don't assume he has an ulterior motive there. The Merryweathers are Reach lords. Longtable is as much threatened by the fall of the Shield Islands as is Highgarden itself. Ironborn raids at the Reach coasts as well as in the heartlands of the Reach threaten the Merryweathers as much as many of their peers.

Why the hell aren't the Merryweathers than insisting (the same way as Margaery does) that the Iron Throne do something about the Ironborn threat?

Most likely because the Merryweathers actually want to weaken King Tommen's rule and administration, sowing mistrust between the Lannisters and Tyrells.

The Merryweathers clearly underestimate the danger Euron poses, but in light of the fact that the Ironborn will definitely keep the Tyrells occupied for the time being they most likely consider a slower reaction to the Ironborn threat an advantage with the whole Aegon plan.

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6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

She certainly did that in the beginning. But Orton later was Hand and Master of Laws when Margaery was arrested. There is a reason why he and Taena fled as soon as Cersei herself was arrested (and before Tarly and Mace arrived in the city).

We don’t know that. It could have been that Taena feared getting arrested by the High Sparrow (a likely outcome if she’d hung about). A basic “time to get the fuck out of dodge” instinct might have prevailed, rather than specifically worrying about Tyrell reprisals.

 

8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That's correct, yet we should go with that assumption for the time being.

Agreed, just wanted to add that asterix.

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19 minutes ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

We don’t know that. It could have been that Taena feared getting arrested by the High Sparrow (a likely outcome if she’d hung about). A basic “time to get the fuck out of dodge” instinct might have prevailed, rather than specifically worrying about Tyrell reprisals.

That doesn't make much sense. Yeah, Taena certainly would have wanted to get out of the Great Sept and away from the sparrows after Cersei's arrest. However, her husband was Hand of the King and Master of Laws at that time. He could have seized the reins of the government himself, preventing Ser Kevan's appointment as Lord Regent (who was invited by Swyft and Pycelle, the only remaining members of the Small Council). Considering that Mace is his liege lord (and Tarly his fellow Reach lord) he should have been able to deliver King Tommen's government to them, reaping rewards in the process.

Instead he ran away. That suggests that he wasn't all that confident that he could convince Mace/Tarly that he had had no hand in Margaery's disgrace and arrest. We can be pretty sure that Mace is going to deal quite harshly with all the people he suspects to have had a hand in the smear campaign against Margaery. And the Merryweathers definitely believe that to the be the case as well. Else they would still be in the capital.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

However, her husband was Hand of the King and Master of Laws at that time. He could have seized the reins of the government himself, preventing Ser Kevan's appointment as Lord Regent (who was invited by Swyft and Pycelle, the only remaining members of the Small Council). Considering that Mace is his liege lord (and Tarly his fellow Reach lord) he should have been able to deliver King Tommen's government to them, reaping rewards in the process.

Perhaps, though I doubt he had the backing to pull that off. He did owe his position entirely to Cersei, and with her locked up he didn't have much support at all. Also, Pycelle and Swyft may have simply moved faster.

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2 hours ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Perhaps, though I doubt he had the backing to pull that off. He did owe his position entirely to Cersei, and with her locked up he didn't have much support at all. Also, Pycelle and Swyft may have simply moved faster.

Harys Swyft and Pycelle aren't in a better position, yet they still were able to throw Qyburn out of the Small Council, name a new Lord Commander of the City Watch, and invite Ser Kevan to take the position of Lord Regent.

If Orton had still been on the council he would have spoken with the King's Voice. He could have countermanded any of those decisions, not to mention prevent Aurane Waters' escape with the ships. 

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I am personally betting hard as fuck on that Taena is Dorans "friend".

Doran had information about the death of Trystane few had access to (not even the small council knew that). Except Taena and maybe Qyburn aka the people Cersei sort of trusts. And Cersei would love to have someone to say that to, that she trusts so she can act powerful and competent.

Her methods as well as she is from Myr screams Dorne too if I wan´t to be a bit prejudiced.

Varys might have told Doran too (if he knew it), but I think (considering their heartly discussion) that Arianne would be privy to that knowledge as well if someone as important as Varys was the spy. In addition, Varys can´t know for certain that Doran will assist Aegon. Doran has after all played is cards (too) close to his chest.

She is at least 100% not on team Tyrell considering she knew about Cersei´s ideas about Margaerys "fate".

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