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jontargaryan

Why wasn't Jaime executed for attacking the Hand of the King (Ned)?

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Didn't Jaime break his Kingsguard oath by attacking Ned Stark in the streets?

Ned Stark was Hand of the King. The Kingsguard is sworn to protect the King, Queen, Hand of the King, and Prince/Princess

Attacking the Hand of the King is one of the gravest sins a Kingsguard can do, only 2nd to attacking the King himself.

 

So as a Kingsguard it seems Jaime should have been executed for his actions

 

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Appeasement is a word that can accurately describe Robert Baratheon. Robert did not like Lannisters and Starks fighting around him. While he may not have been the smartest man, he sure as well knew that executing Jaime Lannister would provoke a serious response from Tywin. And with many Lannister men already in the capital, it would have been even worse. 

Also, Ned was not Hand when this happened.

 

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Robert is half a kingdom in debt to Jaime's father and Jaime didn't kill Ned so Robert was willing to let it slide. Jaime literally killed his king and was allowed to remain as a KG so safe to say Robert doesn't much care for the oath.

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Vassals will fight all the time and then the question is if it's so interresting as king to medle much in that. it depends how youre relations might be to that vassal, if a vassal you don't trust is attacking a loyal vasal that would be youre ally at all times then you'd use the opportunnity to deal with the untustworty vassal.

Robert doesn't have so much reason to prefer Stark over Lannister. They are both important family's that are supposed to be his allies. Robert has reason to like Ned but also reason to keep Tywin at his good side. So it's logical that he wouldn't want to pick sides. Given the nature of the dispute there was always going to be a way out, if the Starks complain well it was Cat who caputured Tyrion, if the Lannisters complain well that might be actually be more tricky but i doubt Robert would move against Ned eitherway.

Gennerally as a king i think you want to avoid as much as possible being drawin in the conflicts between vassals, slights happen all the time but as a king you genneraly don't want to choose sides. In history afaik the Kings let their vassals fight their own wars withought gettign involved by norm.

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Why wasn't Jaime executed? Putting aside Robert trying to make it seem like the event never happened in his mind, you have a pretty easy answer. If Robert was inclined to punish Jaime there would be the one thing that renders him unable to carry out the act.... Geography.

“I am told the Kingslayer has fled the city. Give me leave to bring him back to justice.” (From Ned after the attack)

It is at this point that Jaime left the city and joined his father, who was gathering his army.

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3 hours ago, jontargaryan said:

Didn't Jaime break his Kingsguard oath by attacking Ned Stark in the streets?

Ned Stark was Hand of the King. The Kingsguard is sworn to protect the King, Queen, Hand of the King, and Prince/Princess

King, Queen and royal family. Not the Hand.

And Robert recognized it was tit for tat, this is why Cat was not executed for abducting the King's brother-in-law.

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Jaime could not be tried for oathbreaking; first of all, Ned was not hand of the king at the moment, but most important, the kingsguard are sworn to protect and obey their king. With the obvious consideration of a young monarch like Joffrey or Aegon III in regard of the obedience thingy, the knights of the KG only swore to protect their monarch (I believe the protection extends only to the queen consort, the princes or other family members of the monarch when the express command is given) not the hand of the king. If we remember, no one ever really blames Jaime for killing Rossart, and Ned and Cersei were both protected by their household guards during AGOT because the KG were not their protectors.

 

34 minutes ago, Minstral said:

“I am told the Kingslayer has fled the city. Give me leave to bring him back to justice.” (From Ned after the attack)

It is at this point that Jaime left the city and joined his father, who was gathering his army.

 

Robert was tired of the Lannisters by the end of his reign and would be willing to punish Jaime, but not kill him since he had not committed any crime that was punishable by death.

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13 minutes ago, Merengues said:

Robert was tired of the Lannisters by the end of his reign and would be willing to punish Jaime, but not kill him since he had not committed any crime that was punishable by death.

That is a point of showing that Robert did not have the means to execute Jaime even if he wanted too which answers the OP, and that if at a later time Robert did want to press the point he would be confronted with the fact that Tywin is amassing soldiers. There was nothing to clarify here as it addresses the questions that the OP asked.

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Even if youre allies are ammasing armies, heck especailly if youre allies are ammasing armies, you kinda just don't wanna get involved. You might try to call for a kings peace, or limit the scope of the war or the objectives and gains if you have the influence. But it's not like youre going to put in peacekeeping forces ala bleuhelmets who will just stand there for humanitarian concerns while the 2 duke it out, and if youre going to send in an army to fight youre going to have to pick choices and ultimatly what will it do you any good as a king when the fighting itself is not something you will be able to stop? Or perhaps you could drag more parts of the kingdom into this conflict, as if the escalation is a good idea.

Sure, towads the end of medieval times and the early renesaince nations started to centralise more and armies were less spread among vassals. The feudal structure fits Westeros more due to distances, limited means of travel and communication, relative low commerce and inabillety to maintain payed proffesional armies with that.

But it wouldn't be a feudal structure withought a youre regular feuds. Vassals fought all the time during feudal times.

Lets take an example from the Dunk and Egg stories. Where is lady Rohanne Webber's overlord to come in with his skill at tongue or arms to stop the 2 party's from feuding? If the Blackwoods and the Brackens are having youre next random spite to fight over, will the Tully's come in to "set things right"?

If Robbert meddles then he risks that 1 or 2 party's will be cross with him over that meddling. If Robert doesn't then likely the victorious party will be happy for him to keep out and then it's supposedly a fair fight. Tell me what Robert so much has to gain with siding with any party and why he shouldn't see it as something dangerous and unpredictable to meddle in? I would even bet that hounerable Ned Stark would see the honour in allowing bot party's to settle the matter hounerably on the battlefield, both party's should afterall be confident that they can win and gain something from it.

 

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11 hours ago, jontargaryan said:

Didn't Jaime break his Kingsguard oath by attacking Ned Stark in the streets?

Ned Stark was Hand of the King. The Kingsguard is sworn to protect the King, Queen, Hand of the King, and Prince/Princess

Attacking the Hand of the King is one of the gravest sins a Kingsguard can do, only 2nd to attacking the King himself.

 

So as a Kingsguard it seems Jaime should have been executed for his actions

 

And who would execute him?

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Ned wasn´t Hand at that point so techically Jaime only attacked the Lord Paramount of the North, a paramount who have in front of the king admitted Tyrions kidnapping on little basis and instead of sending him to King´s landing for trial is sending him somewhere North for what looks like a sham trial. 

There are exactly nil logical and legal reasons why Robert should back Ned up here. The only thing there is is friendship, a friendship Ned renounced just moments before the event. Jaime of course didn´t knew that so he decided to flee.

As an aside note - it does seem pretty reasonable to suspect kings with a Hand they dislike might do exactly this. Renounce the Handship then have the Kingsguard kill him, without breaking any rules in the process. A scandal, sure - but legal. 

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The Kingsguard does not have license to kill whomever they want short of the Royal Family and their representatives.  Whether Ned was serving as hand or not at that exact time is irrelevant.  Jaime broke the King's Peace in the capital.  The King would be well within his rights to hold him accountable for that.  But it would have been a stupid move.  Robert wasn't the brightest guy around, but he knew better than to start a war against an army that surrounded him.  

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Because Robert is a coward and would rather avoid a problem than deal with it.  

If he executed Jaime then Tywin and Cersei could give him hell.  In particular Tywin would demand his money back.  Robert would rather that Ned (via Catelyns Tyrion-napping) take the blame since he thinks he can rely on Ned not making too much of a fuss.  

Of course, he was wrong - as it turns out, Ned decided to escalate the war with the Lannisters and remove Joffer and Tommen from the Line of Succession.  

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Just adding to the above arguments, we saw in GoT a few times where Robert made it clear he did not have 'a choice' when choosing between the Lannisters or Ned. A couple of examples include the incident with Lady or when Ned told him not to make Jamie warden of the East etc.. 

On top of that Ned wasn't technically the hand and it was just another time when Robert sided with the Lannisters and Jamie had fled the city (as stated by @WilliamWesterosiWallace)

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