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R+L=J v.164

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9 minutes ago, Ran said:

The latest text says no, but the Heirs of the Dragon says yes. It was one of those points where we had to make a choice, but F&B will sort out which is accurate.

Well, honestly, I prefer the version where Corlys did reach Asshai. If you go to Yi Ti and Leng then Asshai isn't that far away, and the greatest explorer of Westerosi history should have reached the end of the world.

Thus: Go on, and 'make it so', to quote another great explorer ;-).

9 minutes ago, Ran said:

I doubt Marwyn personally gave Yandel an account, but rather prepared an account of Asshai for the Citadel, which is what Yandel is referencing.

That would be my guess as well. The idea was that Yandel only had Marwyn's material after he had essentially written the book. I'm not sure whether you have plotted out the in-world writing process but it seems the man started (and completed?) the book during Robert's reign and only wrote the Afterword after the deaths of both Robert and Joffrey (one assumes he would have done/commissioned the illuminations during the War of the Five Kings).

The impression we get in AFfC is that Marwyn isn't back from the east for a long time. And then the sidebar thing on the Asshai pages could be seen as a last minute addendum to the text. If Yandel had known he would soon have access to actual good information not only on Asshai but the entire far east one assumes he would either have waited for that before he wrote the section on the distant lands - or he would have rewritten those entire sections. Assuming he cared about giving a precise and detailed account of the distant lands, including Asshai - which I honestly doubt.

But, well, perhaps the good Yandel can illuminate us about his writing process and intentions himself - when he shows up at court in TWoW to present the book to King Aegon VI Targaryen ;-).

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which, as per the 'iron precedent' of 101 AC and the Dance, etc., would be pretty much impossible

I'm not sure that's quite right. GRRM doubles down on all this with later texts, so it's not as if he hasn't considered the situation. He already had the Rhaenyra-Aegon conflict from the very earliest times, as well. Instead, I think a more straightforward read is that the situation the respective branches of House Baratheon find themselves in -- namely that if Myrcella is ruled out, Tommen's heir is Stannis; and that Stannis has no other close kin of any note besides his daughter, and no one seems interested in digging up a family tree to find a cousin twice removed or what have you -- makes not only girls acceptable, it's making children acceptable despite a general aversion to child rule during difficult or trying times. And when Renly lived, Renly was a traitor to Stannis, was choosing to go for the crown rather than wait for Stannis to acknowledge him his heir, and so on.


The situations of the past are not congruent with those of the present, really, so not relevant. For that matter, we've certainly discussed the value of precedent... but another question would be whether the precedents of the _Targaryen_ dynasty are necessarily in place for the Baratheon dynasty. It may well be that over the 15 years of Robert's rule, it's been made clear that there is a firm order of succession, with Myrcella ahead of Stannis. The machinations of Cersei and Tywin? One more sleight for Stannis to chew on? Mayhaps.

Having seen the Targaryen family tree from its early form, I don't think the Viserys II change made much difference -- you're assuming that Daeron and Baelor had sisters back then...

As to Aerys's heirs, Rhaegel _was_ his heir, and then Rhaegel's son Aelor, and then Aelora. These are all things George established before "The Sworn Sword" or "The Mystery Knight". (Yes, the mystery of Daenora remains -- something we brought up with George at the time and he insisted on our leaving things as he had written them, so I assuming there's a reason why Daenora is not considered at all when it's said Maekar is the only possible heir remaining.) 

The whole matter of lords leaving wills is, again, part of what I mean by the fact that primogeniture is a weak default. Most lords are happy to follow it. It seems some lords are not. We don't really know the circumstances as to why Lady Webber was forced to marry to keep her seat, or how that would be enforced. Was it a favor from Lord Rowan to Lord Webber? Was it based on precedents of some kind? Was she concerend not so much because she'd lose everything but that there was the slightest chance her distant relations would have more pull with whoever had authority on the matter? We don't know. All we really know is that, yes, a lord might try and rig up some sort of alternative to primogeniture if the mood took him. Whether it stuck or not, who knows. 

On a metatextual level, the reality is George likes having things be very messy and fluid so he has as many options as possible. Realistically, the incredibly weak legal system in Westeros doesn't make much sense. You sort of have a kind of Dark Ages level of jurisprudence (if you can stretch to call it that) in an otherwise Late Middle Ages society.

ETA: Of course, I realize we have gone very far afield now.

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Just now, The Grey Wolf said:

@Ran

Are you saying Aelora was heiress to the Iron Throne after Aelor/ before Maekar?

Yes. The text is explicit in running down through Aerys's various heirs before coming to Maekar, and explicitly links Aelora's death with Maekar becoming heir.

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28 minutes ago, Ran said:

Yes. The text is explicit in running down through Aerys's various heirs before coming to Maekar, and explicitly links Aelora's death with Maekar becoming heir.

I don't remember the text being that explicit but alright.

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Just now, The Grey Wolf said:

I don't remember the text being that explicit but alright.

I'm referring to GRRM's write up on Egg which discusses the situation. In the course of editing we ended up compressing things so it's not explicit there.

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

On a metatextual level, the reality is George likes having things be very messy and fluid so he has as many options as possible.

Would you say this applies on any level then to the OP topic at hand? To, bring it back on subject :)

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@Ran

Don't apologize for sidetracking us. It is good to see you back discussing things, and this thread was never really all that often exclusively about the title topic... [And in the end this is all important for the Jon question, anyway, because it concerns the strength of his claim, too.]

Well, one time I try to be more concise and then you bring up Rhaenyra and Aegon II. I know that they were there from the start, but she was always imagined as Aegon's older sister, which makes the Dance essentially about whether a king can name/choose an heir the Dornish way, or whether male primogeniture trumps that.

It wasn't about the question whether a daughter comes before the brother or nephew of a king.

We don't have to assume that Aegon III had daughters in the early family tree/notes - the point is that Viserys II being changed from Aegon III fourth son to his younger brother caused changed the entire scenario. Aegon III could have had daughters - or not - in the early stage - but when one of his successors is made his brother rather than his son Aegon III having daughters who outlive Baelor and don't sit the throne creates a conundrum if one goes by the old 'a daughter becomes before an uncle' routine.

That's why George came up with the SSM explanation that the Dance changed the Targaryen succession - and then elaborated on that with the precedents set by Jaehaerys I, etc. in TWoIaF.

The Targaryen appendix in AGoT doesn't indicate that there was ever a Targaryen princess considered as an heiress - likely because every Targaryen king had sons or brothers. But the impression one gets the farther we go back to the beginnings is that George originally had set up certain world-building rules - like male-based primogeniture for the succession outside Dorne, daughters coming before uncles and nephews, only two titles - lord and king - for the nobility, etc. and then realized along the way that things should be more complex (or was forced to make them more complex because he had to make changes).

I mean, there is a reason why both the Hightowers and the Manderlys have a rather long and impressive string of titles in comparison to the Starks. Or why George had Cersei make the invention of the new titles for the council members in AFfC - which are then retconned into alternative/older versions of the traditional titles for the Small Council members.

But that's not the only thing. Originally, Dorne was brought into the Realm by the marriage of Daeron II and Mariah Martell, not the Daenerys-Maron match (the earliest mention of the thing in the story confirms that). The latter is a retcon that came with Baelor Breakspear's age - which was pointed out by you and Linda in one of those very early online Q&As. George never had the intention to make Viserys II a father at the age that he ended up marrying (although the Larra thing is a very interesting way to resolve this thing) or that Daeron II would have to marry Mariah during Baelor's reign rather than his own, etc.

The way things are phrased in TWoIaF the whole 'iron precedent' interpretation of the first Great Council (although we can all agree that the iron there may have always been rather rusty) indicates that we are talking the succession of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, and that would then be binding to any dynasty claiming it, regardless whether they call themselves Targaryen, Velaryon, Blackfyre, or Baratheon. They would all be Targaryens (through the female line) anyway. 

If we imagine/expect that Lord Harrold Hardyng is going to call himself 'Arryn' because he had an Arryn grandmother - or that Sansa's children might end up calling themselves 'Stark', too, never mind the fact that their father is most likely not going to be a Stark (assuming Sansa ends up as the first Ruling Lady of Winterfell) - then Robert sure as hell could have claimed the Iron Throne as King Robert of House Targaryen. That he did not do that would have more to do with the fact that he hated the Targaryens as much as he did, not with the fact that he could not take the royal name of his paternal grandmother and great-grandfather, King Aegon V Targaryen.

People are also speculating that Jacaerys or Joffrey Velaryon would have ruled as King Jacaerys or Joffrey Targaryen. I'm not sure they would have, but if Harrold Hardyng can change his name, then these two most definitely could have done the same thing.

As to the heir next in line after Myrcella and Shireen, respectively:

They should not be forced to search for such a person. They must know who the next in line is. And I'm sure that will come up. We learned quite a lot about some Targaryen cousins in TWoIaF but our protagonists must know what happened to Duncan and Jenny's children (if they had any), what happened to Princess Vaella and Prince Maegor, and where the hell the children of Daella and Rhae are.

You mentioned once that the regents of Aegon III discussed the succession of Aegon III before the return of Prince Viserys. Tommen and Myrcella are in pretty much the same situation right now.

The idea with Renly-Shireen is that Stannis is phrasing his offer somewhat inaccurate. As per 'law' and 'tradition' (which Stannis, who considers Rhaenyra a traitor on the same level as Daemon Blackfyre) Shireen simply has no claim to the Iron Throne. Thus Stannis should have said something along the lines of 'I'll even accept/acknowledge you as my legal heir as long as no son is born to me'.

The idea that Myrcella was specifically put ahead in the succession before Stannis and Renly by Robert doesn't really convince me. When Ned and Littlefinger discuss the succession and status of Cersei's children in AGoT it is clear that Myrcella is less important than Joffrey and Tommen but still important enough to come technically before Robert's brothers. Robert's favoritism towards his brothers also makes it unlikely he favored his daughter over them. His children got no special titles or lordships yet Stannis and Renly both were made great lords in their own right. And Robert *really* favored Stannis early in his reign when he gave him Dragonstone. He would have been the presumptive heir at that point, and he got the ancient seat and castle of the Targaryen Heir Apparent.

As to the matter of wills:

TSS gives us the entire story on that, no? Rohanne was unwilling to marry as her lord father commanded her, so he took his revenge in his will by making it a condition that she marry within a year after his death or lose Coldmoat to his cousin. And Lord Rowan, the liege lord, confirmed the will in court because said Webber cousin is married to a Rowan (or that's how Sefton's sees it).

In a sense this means that any lord could stipulate conditions his heir has to meet if he or she wants whatever is awarded to him or her in the will. Whether those conditions will have to be met or not would depend on what happens after the death of the lord and how  the liege lord or the king rule on the matter. Robert gives us the impression in AGoT that he doesn't only have the authority to decide who succeeds Jon Arryn as Warden of the East but also whether Robert Arryn succeeds him as Lord of the Vale - usually this kind of thing should be a formality. But there would be those instances when a succession is contested or disputed. Chances are that Jeyne Arryn had rival claimants challenging her succession to the Eyrie. And one would very surprised if Gerold Lannister did not already try to push aside his niece when his brother died. She was very young at the time, after all.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

@Ran

Are you saying Aelora was heiress to the Iron Throne after Aelor/before Maekar?

I read an earlier version of TWoIaF and had the chance to send some notes to Ran prior to the final editing for the first edition. I remember pointing out that it is very confusing that Aelora was the heiress prior to Maekar if Daenora is later passed over (and we do know that there is no chance she, too, predeceased Aerys I since her son Maegor is only born 232 AC), especially in light of those whole precedents against female inheritance, etc. earlier in the book.

No idea whether that contributed to the decision to phrase it the way it was phrased in the final edition.

If we go by Aelora being the heiress to the Iron Throne - and perhaps even the Princess of Dragonstone? (Aerys I made Rhaegel, Aelor, and Maekar Prince of Dragonstone when he named them his heirs) - and this whole thing not being an error or inconsistency - then we have the potential there for a rather interesting development in the Dunk & Egg stories. 

With TMK indicating that the twins Aelor and Aelora were the only children of Rhaegel alive in 211 AC, I always favored the idea that Daenora might be a posthumous child of Rhaegel's - or at least born shortly before his death in 215 AC. That could also explain why she and Aerion have only one child born in 232 AC. If Daenora were only born around 215 AC she would only be seventeen when Maegor was born.

But with her sister being Aerys' heir at one point one could also speculate about the state of mind of Princess Daenora. Perhaps she is going to turn out to be a real piece of work, a worthy companion for her cousin Aerion? If she was tormenting animals at the age of five, say, chances are not that high that Aerys I wanted to see her on the throne. And if she was still a minor - and Aerys I already aware of the fact that he would not live all that long (he died of natural causes which could indicate a sickness) when he named his new heir after Aelora's death - then it would make sense that she was passed over (in fact, her age alone could justify such a decision, most likely - Aelor and Aelora most likely died as adults, considering that they were both married already when Aelor died in 217 AC).

Egg has to have a powerful rival in 233 AC when the Great Council is called to prevent another Dance. But simple Vaella and infant Maegor could not possibly challenge Prince Aegon on their own. Kiera of Tyrosh is a foreigner and thus not likely to be a very well-connected courtier. Which leaves Aerion's faction as the main party opposing the rise of Aegon V. But they would need a leader within the royal family. Bloodraven seems to be on Egg's side, Aerion and Daeron are dead - that leaves only the royal women.

If Daenora was pissed that she was passed over when her elder sister Aelora was the heiress prior to her death then this could help explain the tension after Maekar's death - even more so if Daenora's mother (and Rhaegel's widow) Alys Arryn was still around, too. That woman might also have been pissed that she never became queen and none of her children ever sat the Iron Throne. If the Arryns of the time - including a young Jon Arryn - stood with their royal kin in those days, the danger of another Dance could have been pretty high.

Thinking about that a little bit - the idea that this masked ball that triggered Aelora's suicide is going to turn out to be a Dunk & Egg novella setting serving as a prelude to the Third Blackfyre Rebellion is a very interesting prospect. 219 AC would be the tenth anniversary of Aerys I's ascension. The ideal setting for a grand ball. And also the ideal setting for Blackfyre agents to infiltrate the Red Keep and murder King Aerys, Bloodraven, Maekar, Daemon II Blackfyre (if he was still alive at that point), and other members of the royal family. And also an ideal setting for Dunk feeling very uncomfortable and doing heroic deeds (like saving the king from assassins).

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His children got no special titles or lordships yet Stannis and Renly both were made great lords in their own right.

They were princes, Renly and Stannis were not. Royal princes trump lords, and Myrcella is ahead of Stannis and Renly.

Primogeniture remains the default. It’s just a weak one.

Given GRRM’s response, there’s no error with the Aelora situation, or the Daenora one. He seemed to have definite ideas about it that he did not explain.

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40 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Would you say this applies on any level then to the OP topic at hand? To, bring it back on subject :)

I’m not sure any of it does, really.

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4 minutes ago, Ran said:

I’m not sure any of it does, really.

I was more seeing if you felt Martin left the clues surrounding parentage vague in the same sense to keep his options open. With this said scenario or others. 

Edit- Like i see alot of theories to do with Brandon or other people. 

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Oh, that.  No. This is a foundational part of the series, determined very early on. The stuff people speculate about are red herrings.

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5 minutes ago, Ran said:

Oh, that.  No. This is a foundational part of the series, determined very early on. The stuff people speculate about are red herrings.

R+L=J    it is known :)

And yes im aware this could also be blasting my Daenerys theory of R+A=D hahah but it's an interesting point about his writing i thought worth asking about even for my own sake

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24 minutes ago, Ran said:

They were princes, Renly and Stannis were not. Royal princes trump lords, and Myrcella is ahead of Stannis and Renly.

How do you know that?

Stannis and Renly *should* be princes, too. That they are not is odd in light of the fact that Shireen, Theon, Asha, Bran, Rickon, Sansa, and Arya effectively are 'promoted' to the level of prince(ss) in the wake of their fathers/brothers declaring themselves.

When Robert took the throne his immediate heirs were his brothers - just as Robb's immediate heirs were his siblings.

24 minutes ago, Ran said:

Given GRRM’s response, there’s no error with the Aelora situation, or the Daenora one. He seemed to have definite ideas about it that he did not explain.

That makes the whole scenario sound rather promising. Not just interesting information for weirdo nerds but perhaps even an actual story.

26 minutes ago, Ran said:

Oh, that.  No. This is a foundational part of the series, determined very early on. The stuff people speculate about are red herrings.

The whole part of the Rhaegar-Aerys tensions could have been introduced later. The tower of joy dream makes it appear as if the knights at the tower were basically as loyal to Aerys as they were to Rhaegar - which now is pretty much confirmed to have been not true for Whent and Dayne.

George could have realized that it wouldn't have made all that much sense if the noble paragon Prince Rhaegar would have been (always) on the same page as mad Aerys. The hints in that direction only began to creep up in ASoS. Could be a gradual reveal, could be a slight adjustment on the way. He likes to keep his options open as long as he can. Just as the whole thing about Viserys being the new heir came at a rather later date.

But the Jon Snow thing was never really a controversy ;-).

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4 hours ago, Ran said:

Oh, that.  No. This is a foundational part of the series, determined very early on. The stuff people speculate about are red herrings.

Lol, a spoiler?

 

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The tower of joy dream makes it appear as if the knights at the tower were basically as loyal to Aerys as they were to Rhaegar - which now is pretty much confirmed to have been not true for Whent and Dayne.

Well, I don't think it is coincidence that the guy proclaiming that Aerys would still be sitting on his throne was none other than Hightower. And while Whent and Dayne certainly supported Rhaegar and may have been playing a bit loose with their vows, I don't think they actually broke them. If, hypothetically, Aerys was attacked in Dayne's presence, I doubt very much Dayne would be happy to stand aside, he would defend Aerys and die for him, as he did for Jon.

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7 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Well, I don't think it is coincidence that the guy proclaiming that Aerys would still be sitting on his throne was none other than Hightower. And while Whent and Dayne certainly supported Rhaegar and may have been playing a bit loose with their vows, I don't think they actually broke them. If, hypothetically, Aerys was attacked in Dayne's presence, I doubt very much Dayne would be happy to stand aside, he would defend Aerys and die for him, as he did for Jon.

The implication is that Whent helped arrange the tourney of Harrenhal, knowing fully well that this was supposed to be an informal Great Council discussing what to do about Aerys' madness. That is treason. The Kingsguard does not only protect the king's person but also his crown. People plotting to limit or restrict the king's power - or outright depose him - are traitors. And thus Whent betrayed his king there, too. There is no way around that.

The fact that Whent and Dayne stayed with a mere prince rather than abandon Rhaegar and his lover/second wive/whatever to return to KL and help their king to crush the rebels also shows their priorities. Rhaegar wasn't the king. And Aerys II had another son and grandchildren at that. Rhaegar was expendable, basically. He wasn't the only heir the king had.

Their behavior shows their priorities. It indicates, in the end, that Dayne and Whent would have either stood aside - or actively helped Rhaegar - had Rhaegar ever gotten around to confine his royal father to his apartments or outright depose him. They wouldn't have died defending that man. And why should they? Aerys II was a monster in the end. We have this pretty much confirmed for Whent due to his behavior around the Harrenhal tourney, but considering that Dayne was Rhaegar's best friend it is even more unlikely that this man - a paragon of knightly virtues at that - would have stood with the Mad King against Rhaegar.

And Hightower should have been pretty much on the same page as Whent and Dayne in the end. If he had still been Aerys' man at heart he wouldn't have agreed to remain at the tower. Rhaegar had no way to force the man to stay there. And if Whent and Dayne were still Kingsguard in the end they would also have been honor-bound to obey their Lord Commander. If he had changed his mind on what their duty was, they would have either gone with him or refused to do so. But neither of that means that Hightower himself was stuck with Lyanna. He could have returned to KL. But he remained there because he made a choice, agreeing with Rhaegar for some reason that this pregnant woman was somehow more important than his duty to his king as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

He took the easy way out, accepting the duty to protect a royal mistress/second wife instead of the Prince of Dragonstone or the king himself. Not exactly a dereliction of duty but very odd priorities for a Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. If Jaime was right now more concerned with protecting some cousin of Tommen rather than his own person we would have reason to raise more than one eyebrow.

His sentence during the dream doesn't fit well with all that. He must have known by then what Rhaegar (and Dayne and Whent) intended to do with Aerys II after the war was over. And that did not include allowing Aerys II to continue to sit the Iron Throne. Rhaegar would have sat there, either as King Rhaegar or as the Prince Regent Rhaegar, with his royal father confined to a (padded?) cell in Maegor's Holdfast.

In that sense, this sentence of the dream

Quote

“Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells.”

doesn't make a lot of sense in light of what we - and Ser Gerold - must have known at that point.

The only way to save the phrasing there is if one considers the entire context of Ned's comment:

Quote

“When King’s Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.”

It is a reaction to Ned's reference to Jaime's murder of Aerys II. And we can likely all agree that Hightower did not want his king to go like that. I'm pretty sure neither he nor Whent or Dayne wanted Aerys to come to physical harm or see him slain by one of their sworn brothers. But we should not go as far as assuming that Whent, Dayne, and Hightower had just stood there, doing nothing, if Aerys II had commanded them - and other men around them - to seize Rhaegar and burn him alive. They all made their choice when they chose to obey Rhaegar rather than Aerys.

And that's the entire point of this new layer to the plot. Back in AGoT and ACoK it appears as if Rhaegar and Aerys were on the same page, part of the same faction. House Targaryen on the one side, the rebels on the other. But it turned out to be more complicated than that.

The dream of the tower does not reflect that at all. But then - it is just a dream, created by Ned's mind. There is no reason to believe he was aware of the struggles and plots that were going on behind the seemingly united Targaryen front. If he thought the three knights at the tower were die-hard Aerys loyalists, it makes sense that they would say the stuff they do in a dream of his.

Chances are that they said different things in real life.

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More with Ygrain here. The Whent situation is, first, difficult -- what GRRM very deliberately presents in TWoIaF is _rumor_.  It clearly means that the situation is more complex than the superficial understanding that we had at the outset, but it doesn't necessarily mean that things like the idea that Lord Whent couldn't have afforded the tourney without outside backing are correct. 

The vows are complicated. What does protecting a king mean? How about protecting him from himself? Jaime comes to realize that this is a factor in how the Kingsguard should treat commands from someone who may be incapable of giving a rational command. 

It's a world of greys, not black and white, so saying this is treason and that isn't feels like it's not following the spirit of the novels. Were lords meeting to discuss the fact that the king was irrational and incapable of good rule, through no fault of his own, actually committing an act of treason? Were their meeting with the crown prince and heir to discuss whether there might be some solution to preserve the king's life and crown against threats from lords who rebelled because of his breaking of the feudal contract to give protection and justice to his vassals really _treason_? Well, Aerys may say so, but Aerys was mad. Others, who present a picture of being loyal unto death to the Targaryens, who may have participated in such talk, may not have seen it as treason but merely an attempt to find a way to thread the needle between treason and loyalty for the greater good of the realm.

It's all pretty complex stuff. I don't think any of the Kingsguard at the tower of joy were men who wished Aerys ill.

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5 minutes ago, Ran said:

More with Ygrain here. The Whent situation is, first, difficult -- what GRRM very deliberately presents in TWoIaF is _rumor_.  It clearly means that the situation is more complex than the superficial understanding that we had at the outset, but it doesn't necessarily mean that things like the idea that Lord Whent couldn't have afforded the tourney without outside backing are correct. 

It isn't just Yandel's talk, it is also Barristan's memories in ADwD. He confirms that something rather fishy was going on with Oswell and Lord Whent's tourney, something he was not trusted with. There were loyal men in the Kingsguard, and then there were 'more loyal' men (or men loyal to Rhaegar).

One can certainly be of the opinion that Oswell Whent didn't consider it treason to help Rhaegar set up a tourney at Harrenhal as a shadow host. But I don't buy the idea that Oswell didn't know or correctly guess what the point of this tourney was. If he had just been some Kingsguard Rhaegar could perhaps have used him without him realizing in what he was involved there. But he was Oswell Whent, the man sticking with Rhaegar until the very end, the man accompanying him on his journey. They clearly were very close.

5 minutes ago, Ran said:

The vows are complicated. What does protecting a king mean? How about protecting him from himself? Jaime comes to realize that this is a factor in how the Kingsguard should treat commands from someone who may be incapable of giving a rational command. 

There is precedent for treating a minor king as nothing but a child and a puppet in Aegon III, is it not? And Tommen is even younger than Aegon III when he takes the throne, and about as detached from reality as Aegon was.

But then, they all did pretty much everything young Joffrey told them. And historically they all ran in the meat grinder in 157 AC just because a mad fourteen-year-old spoke of being a dragon, winning glory, and completing the Conquest.

A child is a child even if he is the king. But a crowned and anointed adult king is the crowned and anointed adult king. The idea that anyone has the right to protect such a person from himself is either treason or presumption bordering on treason in this society. A Kingsguard could, perhaps, very strongly urge a king not put himself in a clearly dangerous situation - and the king is free to be persuaded by that.

But the idea that you can interfere with the king's decision just because he might endanger himself doesn't make any sense at all. The Kingsguard are sworn to obey. Not to second-guess the king's decisions. Darry and Hightower make that very clear to Jaime.

They could, perhaps, advise the king to allow the maesters and other physicians to take a look at him. And they could even ask him whether he felt still capable of ruling the Seven Kingdoms. But they could not take steps to depose him.

If there was a precedent for deposing a mad king I'd agree with you. But the way the system is set up in this world nobody has a right to depose or restrict the power of a 'mad' monarch. What they can do is to appoint a regency government while the king is most definitely incapacitated. That was clearly never the case with Aerys II. Aegon II was confined to his bed, dreaming poppy dreams. Aerys II was up and about, and able to hold court, attend council meetings, etc.

5 minutes ago, Ran said:

It's a world of greys, not black and white, so saying this is treason and that isn't feels like it's not following the spirit of the novels. Were lords meeting to discuss the fact that the king was irrational and incapable of good rule, through no fault of his own, actually committing an act of treason? Were their meeting with the crown prince and heir to discuss whether there might be some solution to preserve the king's life and crown against threats from lords who rebelled because of his breaking of the feudal contract to give protection and justice to his vassals really _treason_? Well, Aerys may say so, but Aerys was mad.

Lords talking is not treason as such, presumably, but the Kingsguard helping to arrange such talk might be seen as such. And acting upon the things they talked about would have most definitely been treason. With 'madness' not actually being a proper medical diagnosis in this world (it seems Aerys was indeed suffering from a mental affliction that gradually worsened) there aren't even authorities around who could determine whether the king was unfit to rule or not. All they could basically do was talk to Aerys and hope he realized the state of mind he was in. Anything else pretty much is treason. This world isn't set up in a way were subjects can judge their king.

This is even a problem in more modern constitutional monarchies: King Ludwig II of Bavaria was declared insane and unfit to rule by a cabal of traitors ignoring the constitution of the country, acting in accordance with some physician. And even with Trump today the barriers are - quite correctly - very high before a head of state and head of the government can be declared unfit for office.

And there is, of course, no proper procedure how to deal with an insane or demented Pope. Establishing such procedures would restrict the absolute power the Pope has in the Vatican.

5 minutes ago, Ran said:

Others, who present a picture of being loyal unto death to the Targaryens, who may have participated in such talk, may not have seen it as treason but merely an attempt to find a way to thread the needle between treason and loyalty for the greater good of the realm.

I'm sure that's what they would have told themselves at night. And I'm sure Rhaegar and many of the lords favoring him would have been such people. They can care more about the greater good of the Realm (and the royal dynasty, which definitely was also hurt by Aerys' behavior) but the Kingsguard can not. They swore an oath to protect and obey the king. They never swore an oath to care for the greater good. And it is pretty clear that what's expected from a Kingsguard is to stand with the king - however bad he is - and not have delusions about being a good person trying to do the right thing. That is why nobody ever applauded Jaime for killing Aerys.

If you want to we known as a good person or do the right thing, you better never join the Kingsguard. You can do good under a good king, but if you end up serving under a bad king you have to do what they guy tells us to do.

It will be very interesting to see how Dunk is going to deal with that conundrum. If he ends up joining the Kingsguard during the reign of Aerys I or Maekar he would not only be obliged to serve as Aerion's sworn shield - if his king or lord commander commanded him to do so - but also to serve potentially under as worse and rotten kings as Daeron the Drunk (who, despite having no evil tendencies, would have been awful) or Aerion Brightflame himself. The idea that 'doing the right thing' can even be possible under such circumstances is exceedingly unlikely.

And even under Aegon V the family, dynasty, and state would have come first. Dunk was most likely not exactly keen to ever fight a trial-by-combat against the Laughing Storm...

5 minutes ago, Ran said:

It's all pretty complex stuff. I don't think any of the Kingsguard at the tower of joy were men who wished Aerys ill.

Well, didn't George indicate that Arthur Dayne wasn't exactly the kind of guy who would have stood idly by while Aerys was burning people alive and raping his own sister-wife?

If that is even remotely true then I actually hope Arthur Dayne did not wish Aerys all that well. Because the only way to stop that kind of thing is to hope something bad happens to the king, right?

We don't even know who pushed Rhaegar to move against his father. It could very well have been Dayne and Whent. The impression we get is that Rhaegar was very reluctant there, possibly because he actually loved his father - or rather, the man he was back in his childhood and youth (before Duskendale). And it seems Aerys got around and overcame his suspicions, or else Connington would have never been named Hand, nor would Aerys given the supreme command over the troops to Rhaegar. He could have sent Darry, Selmy, or Hightower against Robert and the rebels.

Especially in light of our knowledge that Ser Gerold Hightower had the supreme command on Stepstones after the death of Lord Ormund Baratheon it is pretty clear that this guy would have been ideally suited to crush the Rebellion.

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 He confirms that something rather fishy was going on with Oswell and Lord Whent's tourney, something he was not trusted with.

Yandel shares rumor of one kind. This doesn't mean that what he suggests is at all confirmed by what Barristan implies. Indeed, Barristan turns to the matter of the queen of love and beauty, so i(for example) he may well believe that the tourney was arranged so that Rhaegar could find a new bride or the mother of a prophesized child or some such, a detail he shared with Arthur Dayne but not Barristan. We don't know. 

This world isn't set up in a way were subjects can judge their king.

It is, though. The feudal contract is a real thing. There are mutual obligations and duties. A failure by one side constitutes cause to seek redress. The realm does not have formal, explicit mechanisms, no, but the realm lacks formal, explicit mechanisms for almost everything. This does not mean it is lawless or that it is a tyrannical. The realm is far more dependent on negotiation between parties than you give it credit for. That's why I reject the idea that it is an absolute monarchy devoted to preserving tyranny. Aegon and his followers may not have formed formal counterbalances to their power, but they mostly implicitly recognized that they did not exist in a vacuum.

 Not to second-guess the king's decisions. Darry and Hightower make that very clear to Jaime.

What they are telling a very young knight who is in over his head about the situation may not be the same as what they believed. We don't know.

Anyways, I grow tired of beating the same drum. I disdain absolute readings of the dynamics of some of these situations regarding the crown and the Kingsguard. They do not fit the spirit of the novels, where characters are shown to develop more complicated understandings of their vows and their performance (Jaime, Jon) or perform acts to save a king from himself (Davos) and these are presented as being at the heart of how to deal with reality, whereas characters overly devoted to absolutes (Ned and his honor, Stannis and his justice) are depicted as manufacturing their own downfalls through their unwillingness to negotiate that reality.

I feel like I keep being pulled out of discussing R+L=J for some reason.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Lol, a spoiler?

No, just my view. It’s a strongly held view, though!

 

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