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Agent 326

The Tyrell Conspiracy

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On Invalid Date at 2:51 PM, Colonel Green said:

Mace agreed to the wedding, because he thought putting Loras in the Kingsguard solved the situation.  It was the Tyrell women who saw that that wasn't enough.

Mace would never have agreed to the wedding if his mother was unsure about it. Remember, it's Lady O who calls the shots in Highgarden, not Mace. The scene outside the sept following Tywin's funeral proves that.

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You seem to have missed the rather significant idea in the series that appearances are not everything.

lol, so in order for this to be true, then we have to assume the following:

That Margaery and Lady O are both lying when they say they are not concerned by Joffrey, even though there is absolutely no reason to lie to Sansa about this and every reason to tell her the truth

That Joffrey himself is lying when he's twirling Margy in the air and acting like a giddy schoolboy around her

That Garlan and Leonette are both lying to Tyrion and Sansa. Garlan is actually a sniveling coward who would stoop to poison.

That Loras, Mace, Allerie and every other Tyrell in the room is lying because they are all in on the plot -- and Butterbumps too, if some people are to be believed.

All these people are lying, and the only one who is not lying is Littlefinger -- who is also known as the single biggest liar in the book.

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You want to talk about textual justification, yet there is literally nothing in the text supporting the idea that the Tyrells are concerned with Tywin trying to destroy them.  Tywin is seeking to build a grand alliance, he says as much.  If that bothered the Tyrells, they would never have joined the Lannisters in the first place.

The justification is all throughout the text; you just have to read it. The Tyrells have the strongest house in the realm, power that has been achieved through marriage, not conquest. Lady Olenna is the titular head of this most powerful house, and the text makes it clear that she is a sharp-minded player of the Game of Thrones. Textually, there can be no other conclusion than that she is concerned with the future of her house, not the happiness or safety of a single member, even herself. And the decision to join with Tywin is perfectly in keeping with this thinking: if they had opposed him it would have been an emotional, short-sighted decision, but they joined him because it was the right thing for House Tyrell to align with one enemy to defeat another. Once they have their progeny ruling as king there would be plenty of options to undo the Lannister empire, but they can't do that very easily with Tommen on the throne and Cersei as regent rather than Joffrey.

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As as been outlined to you before, the whole damn point of Sansa repeatedly highlighting the Tyrells' seeming lack of concern in regard to Joffrey is to foreshadow their plan to kill him.  Sansa, who has been abused by Joffrey and knows the kind of person he is, sees that the present political situation is incredibly dangerous and will inevitably lead to violence; the thing that confuses her is that the Tyrells don't see this too.  What Sansa is missing is that the Tyrells were going to kill him, and that's why they were so confident about the whole thing.

It's one of the ways GRRM shows us Sansa's evolving political skill.  She sees part of the truth that nobody else in King's Landing, even the Lannisters, even picks up on.

So lack of evidence is proof of intent? Wow. Lady Olenna says nothing about hiking up her dress and letting Butterbumps ride her like an elephant in the middle of the throne room, so obviously, this is what she means to do.

Just because Sansa got it from Joff doesn't mean Margaery is in the same boat. Sansa witnessed Joffrey's shame on the Trident and then found herself alone and undefended in the capital while her house was in open rebellion to the crown. This is why Sansa and Sansa alone was mistreated. Joffrey does not pull highborn ladies out at random and order his KG to start beating them with swords. Margaery has given Joffrey no reason to mistreat her and she is a master at manipulation, as we saw in both Storm and Feast. She's going to have him wrapped around her finger for a good long time. And if he ever does become a problem, there are plenty of ways to off him that don't require a high risk poisoning of a giant golden chalice that can be seen by literally hundreds of people, all at a time when the entire Tyrell family is in danger of arrest, imprisonment and execution.

No, this is not political skill, this is Sansa misreading the entire situation. And since she conveys this through a PoV, the reader is left believing it as well. Very deftly done, George.

 

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5 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Mace would never have agreed to the wedding if his mother was unsure about it. Remember, it's Lady O who calls the shots in Highgarden, not Mace.

No, it's not.  That's show nonsense.  Mace is the head of House Tyrell.  He has his own ideas, and his own will.  The Queen of Thorns is a behind the scenes influence, and she works mostly through the ladies exerting soft power.

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That Margaery and Lady O are both lying when they say they are not concerned by Joffrey, even though there is absolutely no reason to lie to Sansa about this and every reason to tell her the truth

No, quite the opposite, since Sansa may have to take the fall for the murder plot, so there's no reason to tell her that at all.

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That Joffrey himself is lying when he's twirling Margy in the air and acting like a giddy schoolboy around her

Joffrey doesn't have to be lying; he may quite like Margaery at the moment.  Joffrey is a sociopath.  As Sansa notes, he might be fine for a while, but eventually it will go south.  That's his nature.

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That Garlan and Leonette are both lying to Tyrion and Sansa. Garlan is actually a sniveling coward who would stoop to poison.

You assume that using poison makes one a "snivelling coward", rather than a practical individual.

Also, any version of the Tyrell plot involves all these people lying their asses off to Sansa throughout.

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That Loras, Mace, Allerie and every other Tyrell in the room is lying because they are all in on the plot -- and Butterbumps too, if some people are to be believed.

Also not true.  Loras and Mace almost certainly weren't in on it; indeed, the plan is built around the sense of their own plans being too risky.

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All these people are lying, and the only one who is not lying is Littlefinger -- who is also known as the single biggest liar in the book.

The Purple Wedding plot has more independent external verification than almost any other mysterious plot in the series.  Littlefinger says he hired the jousting dwarves; we know from Tyrion's ADWD chapters that that's true.  Littlefinger says somebody touched Sansa's hairnet; we know from Sansa's own POV that happened.  Littlefinger says the poison was in Sansa's hairnet; we know from Arya's POV (via the Ghost of High Heart) that that's true.  Littlefinger knows that Joffrey died without anybody saying anything, even though he's well out of range of the city (and yes, you've proposed an elaborate workaround for this, but there's not a scintilla of textual evidence for it, and it would have been much easier to just have the boat closer to the harbour in the first place).  Littlefinger lays out the case for what the Tyrells' motives were, and it just happens to coincide exactly with Sansa's own earlier read of the situation that Littlefinger would have no way of knowing about, thus illustrating Sansa's burgeoning insight.

Nobody should take anything Littlefinger says on faith, but assuming he's always lying about everything is no better.

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The justification is all throughout the text; you just have to read it. The Tyrells have the strongest house in the realm, power that has been achieved through marriage, not conquest. Lady Olenna is the titular head of this most powerful house, and the text makes it clear that she is a sharp-minded player of the Game of Thrones. Textually, there can be no other conclusion than that she is concerned with the future of her house, not the happiness or safety of a single member, even herself. And the decision to join with Tywin is perfectly in keeping with this thinking: if they had opposed him it would have been an emotional, short-sighted decision, but they joined him because it was the right thing for House Tyrell to align with one enemy to defeat another. Once they have their progeny ruling as king there would be plenty of options to undo the Lannister empire, but they can't do that very easily with Tommen on the throne and Cersei as regent rather than Joffrey.

Tywin was the real power in King's Landing; had he not died, Cersei would have been packed off elsewhere, probably, and even if she hadn't been, she was irrelevant.

That the Tyrells are looking to play for maximum benefit is absolutely true.  But you provide no basis whatsoever for the idea that the Tyrells are mortally afraid of Tywin destroying them at any minute.  Tywin intends to forge a grand alliance that will benefit both parties and secure the throne going forward.  He doesn't pick fights with people on his team for no reason.

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So lack of evidence is proof of intent?

When the author specifically calls attention to their nonchalance, and has characters wonder about it, that's setup.

You insist on taking this, and this alone, completely at face value.

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This is why Sansa and Sansa alone was mistreated. Joffrey does not pull highborn ladies out at random and order his KG to start beating them with swords.

Joffrey delights in cruelty.  That should have been pretty damn obvious by that point in the books.  Moreover, as an abuse victim, Sansa understands Joffrey's pathology far better than you do.

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And if he ever does become a problem, there are plenty of ways to off him that don't require a high risk poisoning of a giant golden chalice that can be seen by literally hundreds of people, all at a time when the entire Tyrell family is in danger of arrest, imprisonment and execution.

As outlined in-text, once Joffrey starts to mistreat her, the Tyrells' motive for killing him is evident to anybody with a brain (whereas in the books, note that it never occurs to anybody other than Cersei, and that's basically because a stopped clock is right twice a day in her case).  And Loras might act before any other plan could be set in motion again.

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No, this is not political skill, this is Sansa misreading the entire situation. And since she conveys this through a PoV, the reader is left believing it as well. Very deftly done, George.

No, that's Sansa demonstrating political skill.  Sansa is on a character arc of evolving as a player, and her time in KL is, among other things, about refining her ability as an observer.  Moreover, that particular moment is something that one only really notices on reread.  Sansa herself never thinks back to her earlier analysis and thinks she was right; it's left to the reader to pick up that she saw a crucial piece of the situation well in advance.

Your version, on the other hand, does nothing whatsoever to advance Sansa as a character (much like you've never been able to explain what the literary purpose of your proposed theory being revealed would be).

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16 hours ago, Colonel Green said:

No, it's not.  That's show nonsense.  Mace is the head of House Tyrell.  He has his own ideas, and his own will.  The Queen of Thorns is a behind the scenes influence, and she works mostly through the ladies exerting soft power.

Hogwash. Everyone who is anyone knows it was Tarly who wins battles, not Mace, that he did absolutely nothing at his two sieges of Storm's End, and every time we see him it is beyond clear that he is a blustering blowhard:

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Mace Tyrell spoke up. Is there anything as pointless as a king without a kingdom? No, it's plain, the boy must abandon the riverlands, join his forces to Roose Bolton's once more, and throw all his strength against Moat Caillin. That is I would do."

Tyrion had to bite his tongue at that...

Of course, only an imbecile like Mace would attack MC from the south. But there is more. Here is Mace and Lady O together following Tywin's funeral:

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Mace gaped at her (Cersei). "Rosby? That . . . cougher? But . . . the matter was agreed, Your Grace. Garth is on his way to Old Town."

snip.

A flush crept up Tyrell's thick neck. "This . . . your lord father assured me..." He began to sputter.

Then his mother appeared and slid her arm through his own. "It would seem that Lord Tywin did not share his plans with our regent, I can't imagine why. Still, there 'tis, no use hectoring Her Grace. She is quite right, you must write Lord Leyton before Garth boards ship. You know the sea will sicken him and make his farting worse."

 So here he is completely oblivious to the fact that any deal made with Tywin died with Tywin. And I'm trying to imagine any other high lords who actually is in control of his houses -- Ned, Tywin, Doran -- allowing their mothers to upbraid them in front of their sovereign like that. The text is clear: Mace is a boob and Lady O is really running things in Highgarden.

 

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No, quite the opposite, since Sansa may have to take the fall for the murder plot, so there's no reason to tell her that at all.

Silly. If Sansa gets caught, the first person she will give up is Dontos. The second will be Lady O.

 

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Joffrey doesn't have to be lying; he may quite like Margaery at the moment.  Joffrey is a sociopath.  As Sansa notes, he might be fine for a while, but eventually it will go south.  That's his nature.

Exactly, eventually it may go south. So there is no reason at all to kill him now, and in such a high-risk manner at a time when the entire Tyrell family is vulnerable to arrest, imprisonment and execution. A smart player like Lady O would wait until her family is safe and Margaery's status as Queen is secure as mother to the heir(s) of the Iron Throne. Then they could get rid of Joffrey in any number of ways, in private instead of in plain view of hundreds of people, and then have Margy serve as regent until her son comes of age, just like Cersei did. Again, this fundamental misreading of Lady Olenna is at the heart of your misconceptions surrounding the whole plot. She is simply not that stupid.

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You assume that using poison makes one a "snivelling coward", rather than a practical individual.

Also, any version of the Tyrell plot involves all these people lying their asses off to Sansa throughout.

For crying out loud, it's repeated multiple times in the text: poison is a weapon for women, cowards and eunuchs. No self-respecting knight would shame himself by using poison. Knights challenge each other formally and then fight with swords, maces, axes and other manly weapons. Knights don't even use bows because they are considered to cowardly.

No, with the pie, the only one lying is Littlefinger. Lady O and Margy are not afraid of Joffrey, just as they say. Joffrey is not hostile to Margy, just as he behaves. Garlan and/or Leonette are not duplicitous: they truly are kind to Tyrion and Sansa. None of the other Tyrells are even aware of the plot, which guards against loose lips. No trusted servants are needed. Nobody but Lady O and Littlefinger and Dontos.

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Also not true.  Loras and Mace almost certainly weren't in on it; indeed, the plan is built around the sense of their own plans being too risky.

And suppose the chalice did not end up right in front of Garlan, which itself was a highly improbably outcome. Suppose it stayed right at Joffrey's place, right next to Tywin and Cersei. Suppose he took it with him to the cutting, where only Margy (maybe) could get to it? Suppose it somehow ended up near Kevan and Lancel. Nobody, least of all Littlefinger, knows exactly where the chalice will be at the exact moment it has even the remotest chance of being poisoned unseen: right when the pie is being opened. So in order to make this a viable plan, they need an untold number of co-conspirators just to cover all the likely places, and either the ability to secretly slice the crystal into dozens of tiny little shards and hand them out to each co-conspirator or a quick yet surreptitious way to get the crystal to whomever is nearest to the chalice. And if it's on the floor out of Margy's reach during the cutting, well she is just out of luck and will be dragged off to the marriage bed a few moment's later. So much for months of planning and literally years, if not decades, dynastic ambition.

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The Purple Wedding plot has more independent external verification than almost any other mysterious plot in the series.  Littlefinger says he hired the jousting dwarves; we know from Tyrion's ADWD chapters that that's true.  Littlefinger says somebody touched Sansa's hairnet; we know from Sansa's own POV that happened.  Littlefinger says the poison was in Sansa's hairnet; we know from Arya's POV (via the Ghost of High Heart) that that's true.  Littlefinger knows that Joffrey died without anybody saying anything, even though he's well out of range of the city (and yes, you've proposed an elaborate workaround for this, but there's not a scintilla of textual evidence for it, and it would have been much easier to just have the boat closer to the harbour in the first place).  Littlefinger lays out the case for what the Tyrells' motives were, and it just happens to coincide exactly with Sansa's own earlier read of the situation that Littlefinger would have no way of knowing about, thus illustrating Sansa's burgeoning insight.

Ugh, Littlefinger again. The biggest liar in the book. Littlefinger knows ahead of time that Joffrey will place the chalice in exactly the right spot, not a foot to the left or a foot to the right, for Garlan to drop the poison. Littlefinger's boat cannot move over the water so that at midnight he is close enough to hear the bells but then able to pick Sansa up at dawn. He is so dimwitted that he has no possible way to find out what has happened in the throne room or whether the call has been put out for his arrest and the royal fleet is currently cutting off his escape. His plan is to literally sit idle on his boat all night long, way out in the bay, and wait for Sansa to come rowing up out of the mist.

Littlefinger lies. It's what he does.

We also had multiple explanations as to why Cersei and Jaime killed Jon Arryn, but who was actually behind it? Oh yeah, Littlefinger.

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Tywin was the real power in King's Landing; had he not died, Cersei would have been packed off elsewhere, probably, and even if she hadn't been, she was irrelevant.

That the Tyrells are looking to play for maximum benefit is absolutely true.  But you provide no basis whatsoever for the idea that the Tyrells are mortally afraid of Tywin destroying them at any minute.  Tywin intends to forge a grand alliance that will benefit both parties and secure the throne going forward.  He doesn't pick fights with people on his team for no reason.

Cersei has a much better claim to stay in King's Landing as mother to King Tommen than King Joffrey. The precedent is clear: as long as the king is underage, his mother rules as regent and wields all the king's power. It is just as likely that Queen Regent Cersei could have dismissed Hand Tywin rather than the other way around.

The basis for the Lannister threat is the basic geopolitical shift that has just taken place on the continent, all spelled out clearly and plainly in the text. House Tyrell/Gardner has been the hegemon for literally thousands of years while the Lannisters were their weak neighbor to the north. Now, in the span of two decades, that balance has been turned on its head, and if the Lannisters get the north they can easily match, if not exceed, anything that the Tyrells could muster. Mace, of course, is too dim to see this, but the real power in Highgarden, whom the text clearly shows is a sharp-eyed, sharp-minded operator, knows it all too well.

What is completely unsupported in the text is the idea that Lady O and Margy are afraid of Joffrey or that he poses any threat to her at all.

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When the author specifically calls attention to their nonchalance, and has characters wonder about it, that's setup.

You insist on taking this, and this alone, completely at face value.

Characters all throughout the book are puzzled by the thinking and motivations of others. This is Sansa's naiveté, not a secret signal from the author. And that's a funny statement from someone who takes everything that Littlefinger says at face value.

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Joffrey delights in cruelty.  That should have been pretty damn obvious by that point in the books.  Moreover, as an abuse victim, Sansa understands Joffrey's pathology far better than you do.

Joffrey is cruel to people who displease him. He does not spew random cruelty at anyone and everyone who happens to be near him. Margaery has not given him any reason to be displeased with her, and, again straight from the text, her manipulation of him is clear proof that she is likely to stay on his good side for a long time to come. He's a skinny, insecure 13 year old and she's a smoking hot 17. She'll be like putty in his hands for a good long time. 

And what do you know about abuse? To this day I still get headaches that I am convinced are from the time my father hit me with an iron plumber's wrench. I don't remember why he did this, since I was only six at the time. I still carry the scars on my forearm from the time my brother's friends held me down on the schoolbus and he cut me up nice and proper with his new copper-edged ruler. And the other one on my back when he dipped his towel in water, rolled it up into what we used to call a rat tail, and whipped me like I was a runaway slave. Don't even talk to me about abuse.

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As outlined in-text, once Joffrey starts to mistreat her, the Tyrells' motive for killing him is evident to anybody with a brain (whereas in the books, note that it never occurs to anybody other than Cersei, and that's basically because a stopped clock is right twice a day in her case).  And Loras might act before any other plan could be set in motion again.

This is not "outlined in-text", this is BS spewed from the liar's mouth. When has Joffrey ever mistreated Margaery? When has Joffrey ever shown the slightest intention to mistreat Margy? Again, you have Lady O so utterly braindead that she is willing to risk the lives of her entire family on the chance that someday maybe Joffrey will give Margaery a black eye, and all because the known liar and double-dealer who got her into this fix in the first place says he wants to make things right -- but just in case, he'll be safe and sound out in the bay the whole time. Please show me the text that makes you believe that Lady O is this big of an idiot?

 

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No, that's Sansa demonstrating political skill.  Sansa is on a character arc of evolving as a player, and her time in KL is, among other things, about refining her ability as an observer.  Moreover, that particular moment is something that one only really notices on reread.  Sansa herself never thinks back to her earlier analysis and thinks she was right; it's left to the reader to pick up that she saw a crucial piece of the situation well in advance.

Your version, on the other hand, does nothing whatsoever to advance Sansa as a character (much like you've never been able to explain what the literary purpose of your proposed theory being revealed would be).

We're talking about the conversation between Sansa and Lady O at dinner, right? When Sansa blabbers on about what a great lord Mace is and how handsome and noble Joffrey is, to absolutely no one's belief? What, exactly, is she observing here? What "political skills" is she demonstrating? She's a scared little girl who is intimidated into finally telling the truth, and then blabs her secret plan to the one man who can undo it and precipitate her marriage to the imp. And this is the same Sansa who has learned next to nothing as Alayne, having easily blown her cover in her first conversation with someone outside the Eyrie (Randa). So, no, Sansa has not grown much, other than to be a little less infatuated with songs. She's still a very young babe in a very deep, dark woods.

The literary purpose is the same as the reveals surrounding the Arryn murder, the Red Wedding plot and half-a-dozen other surprises throughout the series: that the easy explanation sitting on the surface is never the truth, particularly when it clashes so readily with text, real-world facts and plain old common sense. The real truth lies in the subtext, but you have to be a very good reader, and be able to think for yourself, to see it.

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13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Hogwash. Everyone who is anyone knows it was Tarly who wins battles, not Mace, that he did absolutely nothing at his two sieges of Storm's End, and every time we see him it is beyond clear that he is a blustering blowhard:

Which has no bearing on the exercise of power.

As to the passage you quote, I never denied that Olenna had influence.  But she is not running the entire house behind the scenes.

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Silly. If Sansa gets caught, the first person she will give up is Dontos. The second will be Lady O.

Take it up with GRRM.

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Exactly, eventually it may go south. So there is no reason at all to kill him now, and in such a high-risk manner at a time when the entire Tyrell family is vulnerable to arrest, imprisonment and execution. A smart player like Lady O would wait until her family is safe and Margaery's status as Queen is secure as mother to the heir(s) of the Iron Throne. Then they could get rid of Joffrey in any number of ways, in private instead of in plain view of hundreds of people, and then have Margy serve as regent until her son comes of age, just like Cersei did. Again, this fundamental misreading of Lady Olenna is at the heart of your misconceptions surrounding the whole plot. She is simply not that stupid.

You miss the whole point of acting pre-emptively, then, which keeps them from any suspicion.

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For crying out loud, it's repeated multiple times in the text: poison is a weapon for women, cowards and eunuchs. No self-respecting knight would shame himself by using poison. Knights challenge each other formally and then fight with swords, maces, axes and other manly weapons. Knights don't even use bows because they are considered to cowardly.

It's also a recurring theme in the whole story that people regularly act in ways that are not considered honourable.

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Ugh, Littlefinger again. The biggest liar in the book. Littlefinger knows ahead of time that Joffrey will place the chalice in exactly the right spot, not a foot to the left or a foot to the right, for Garlan to drop the poison.

I never said the scheme doesn't have elements of literary contrivance to it (see also, the jousting dwarves).  But that's true of many schemes in the books, including Littlefinger's.  The books are not realistic, they wouldn't be nearly as good if they were.

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Littlefinger's boat cannot move over the water so that at midnight he is close enough to hear the bells but then able to pick Sansa up at dawn.

It's not that it cannot do that, but that there is no reason for him to do that, other than because you need a workaround to make your theory viable.

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He is so dimwitted that he has no possible way to find out what has happened in the throne room or whether the call has been put out for his arrest and the royal fleet is currently cutting off his escape.

If that was his concern, sailing closer to the city is the worst possible idea.

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Cersei has a much better claim to stay in King's Landing as mother to King Tommen than King Joffrey. The precedent is clear: as long as the king is underage, his mother rules as regent and wields all the king's power. It is just as likely that Queen Regent Cersei could have dismissed Hand Tywin rather than the other way around.

LOL, no.  That is not how it works.  Tywin wields all the actual power; even Cersei says as much, which is why she finds his death so liberating.

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The basis for the Lannister threat is the basic geopolitical shift that has just taken place on the continent, all spelled out clearly and plainly in the text. House Tyrell/Gardner has been the hegemon for literally thousands of years while the Lannisters were their weak neighbor to the north. Now, in the span of two decades, that balance has been turned on its head, and if the Lannisters get the north they can easily match, if not exceed, anything that the Tyrells could muster. Mace, of course, is too dim to see this, but the real power in Highgarden, whom the text clearly shows is a sharp-eyed, sharp-minded operator, knows it all too well.

There's something else with no textual basis.  There's nothing at all indicating that the Tyrells are alarmed by the Lannisters to that degree, otherwise they would never have joined them in the first place.

It would decade decades for the Lannisters to ever consolidate control of the North to the extent that they'd be able to use them reliably.  For somebody who repeatedly insists that it makes no sense for the Tyrells to act against the distant possibility of Joffrey abusing Margaery, you insist in turn that this geopolitical scenario is so urgent it requires them to murder Tyrion immediately (even though, among other things, Tyrion isn't doing any of the things he would need to do to begin consolidating control of the North).

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What is completely unsupported in the text is the idea that Lady O and Margy are afraid of Joffrey or that he poses any threat to her at all.

Joffrey's nature is explained, and explained to us by somebody who understands Joffrey very well.  And the author pointedly shows their lack of concern as something odd in need of explanation, which we subsequently get; that's the twist.

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And that's a funny statement from someone who takes everything that Littlefinger says at face value.

I don't take anything he says at face value.  I analyze whether it makes sense, and what objective confirmation there exists for it.  The Purple Wedding plot has plenty, and more to the point, the literary reasons offered for the alternative theories are just convoluted and add nothing to the story.

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This is not "outlined in-text", this is BS spewed from the liar's mouth. When has Joffrey ever mistreated Margaery? When has Joffrey ever shown the slightest intention to mistreat Margy? Again, you have Lady O so utterly braindead that she is willing to risk the lives of her entire family on the chance that someday maybe Joffrey will give Margaery a black eye, and all because the known liar and double-dealer who got her into this fix in the first place says he wants to make things right -- but just in case, he'll be safe and sound out in the bay the whole time. Please show me the text that makes you believe that Lady O is this big of an idiot?

It is not a "black eye", as you so insistently keep referring to it.  This is also spelled out in the text, including the prospect of Loras killing Joffrey, which would be a doomsday scenario.

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And what do you know about abuse? To this day I still get headaches that I am convinced are from the time my father hit me with an iron plumber's wrench. I don't remember why he did this, since I was only six at the time. I still carry the scars on my forearm from the time my brother's friends held me down on the schoolbus and he cut me up nice and proper with his new copper-edged ruler. And the other one on my back when he dipped his towel in water, rolled it up into what we used to call a rat tail, and whipped me like I was a runaway slave. Don't even talk to me about abuse.

I'm sorry for your personal experience.  But the point I was making is that Sansa was abused at length by Joffrey; she has, as a result, a greater understanding of how his mind works in this regard.

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We're talking about the conversation between Sansa and Lady O at dinner, right?

No, I'm talking about the paragraphs devoted to Sansa analyzing the current KL political situation in ASOS Sansa II.  She has a tremendous insight into the inherent and inevitable denouement of this current arrangement, one that Littlefinger (who obviously has no idea that Sansa has thought this as well) later repeats.  GRRM himself has noted that Sansa is learning that she has the same potential skills as Littlefinger; showing that (in a similarity she herself never remarks upon) she hit on the truth shows her potential.

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The literary purpose is the same as the reveals surrounding the Arryn murder, the Red Wedding plot and half-a-dozen other surprises throughout the series: that the easy explanation sitting on the surface is never the truth, particularly when it clashes so readily with text, real-world facts and plain old common sense. The real truth lies in the subtext, but you have to be a very good reader, and be able to think for yourself, to see it.

No, all of those surprises had major plot implications.  Most notably, the reveal of who really killed Jon Arryn was a major reorientation of the events of the whole series and established Littlefinger as truly one of the series' main villains.

Conversely, your proposed plot twist adds nothing, to speak of.  The big surprise of your theory is supposedly that Littlefinger was trying to kill Tyrion, but we already knew that, because the plan as revealed to Sansa already involves killing Tyrion by framing him for murder.

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What is completely unsupported in the text is the idea that Lady O and Margy are afraid of Joffrey or that he poses any threat to her at all.

Now this is really hilarious. So, GRRM writes several pages' scene where Olenna and Marge insist that Sansa tells them the truth about Joffrey, yet we supposedly have no evidence that they were at least, well, concerned? Why did GRRM even bother writing it in the first place, does he have a reputation for writing nonsense? 

But, well, from the guy who chooses to disregard when the author himself says that Olenna had a good motive, anything goes, I guess.

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Here is what happened, to clarify for Agent. 

Ser Ilyan is the poisoner.  While he was bending over to give Joff his new sword, he used his dark magic from being a secret Blackfyre/Red Priest to levitate the crystal into the air, turning it invisible, and placing it in Tyrions pie.  Tyrion, as we all know is Rheagar but in disguise, so it fits that Ilyan would want to create another DoD. 

/s

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8 hours ago, Colonel Green said:

Which has no bearing on the exercise of power.

As to the passage you quote, I never denied that Olenna had influence.  But she is not running the entire house behind the scenes.

Take it up with GRRM.

You miss the whole point of acting pre-emptively, then, which keeps them from any suspicion.

It's also a recurring theme in the whole story that people regularly act in ways that are not considered honourable.

I never said the scheme doesn't have elements of literary contrivance to it (see also, the jousting dwarves).  But that's true of many schemes in the books, including Littlefinger's.  The books are not realistic, they wouldn't be nearly as good if they were.

It's not that it cannot do that, but that there is no reason for him to do that, other than because you need a workaround to make your theory viable.

If that was his concern, sailing closer to the city is the worst possible idea.

LOL, no.  That is not how it works.  Tywin wields all the actual power; even Cersei says as much, which is why she finds his death so liberating.

There's something else with no textual basis.  There's nothing at all indicating that the Tyrells are alarmed by the Lannisters to that degree, otherwise they would never have joined them in the first place.

It would decade decades for the Lannisters to ever consolidate control of the North to the extent that they'd be able to use them reliably.  For somebody who repeatedly insists that it makes no sense for the Tyrells to act against the distant possibility of Joffrey abusing Margaery, you insist in turn that this geopolitical scenario is so urgent it requires them to murder Tyrion immediately (even though, among other things, Tyrion isn't doing any of the things he would need to do to begin consolidating control of the North).

Joffrey's nature is explained, and explained to us by somebody who understands Joffrey very well.  And the author pointedly shows their lack of concern as something odd in need of explanation, which we subsequently get; that's the twist.

I don't take anything he says at face value.  I analyze whether it makes sense, and what objective confirmation there exists for it.  The Purple Wedding plot has plenty, and more to the point, the literary reasons offered for the alternative theories are just convoluted and add nothing to the story.

It is not a "black eye", as you so insistently keep referring to it.  This is also spelled out in the text, including the prospect of Loras killing Joffrey, which would be a doomsday scenario.

I'm sorry for your personal experience.  But the point I was making is that Sansa was abused at length by Joffrey; she has, as a result, a greater understanding of how his mind works in this regard.

No, I'm talking about the paragraphs devoted to Sansa analyzing the current KL political situation in ASOS Sansa II.  She has a tremendous insight into the inherent and inevitable denouement of this current arrangement, one that Littlefinger (who obviously has no idea that Sansa has thought this as well) later repeats.  GRRM himself has noted that Sansa is learning that she has the same potential skills as Littlefinger; showing that (in a similarity she herself never remarks upon) she hit on the truth shows her potential.

No, all of those surprises had major plot implications.  Most notably, the reveal of who really killed Jon Arryn was a major reorientation of the events of the whole series and established Littlefinger as truly one of the series' main villains.

Conversely, your proposed plot twist adds nothing, to speak of.  The big surprise of your theory is supposedly that Littlefinger was trying to kill Tyrion, but we already knew that, because the plan as revealed to Sansa already involves killing Tyrion by framing him for murder.

Sorry dude, but you're so far out in left field that there is no point in going on.

Mace Tyrell is the one running Highgarden.

Littlefinger has no reason to know what happening in the Red Keep.

Margy, Olenna, Mace, Garlan and everyone else is lying and LF is the only one telling the truth

Littlefinger can predict the future. And dark purple wine is more concentrated than normal looking wine.

As Tormund would say, "Har!" to all of it.

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7 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Now this is really hilarious. So, GRRM writes several pages' scene where Olenna and Marge insist that Sansa tells them the truth about Joffrey, yet we supposedly have no evidence that they were at least, well, concerned? Why did GRRM even bother writing it in the first place, does he have a reputation for writing nonsense? 

But, well, from the guy who chooses to disregard when the author himself says that Olenna had a good motive, anything goes, I guess.

As I've explained multiple times, none of this "truth" about Joffrey is news to either of them. Everything Sansa "reveals" is public knowledge at this point. The point of that conversation was to learn about Sansa, of whom they know nothing.

And the text proves my point, as they both react to this "truth" with hardly any concern at all. Talk about disregarding the text.

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1 hour ago, Ser Dood said:

Here is what happened, to clarify for Agent. 

Ser Ilyan is the poisoner.  While he was bending over to give Joff his new sword, he used his dark magic from being a secret Blackfyre/Red Priest to levitate the crystal into the air, turning it invisible, and placing it in Tyrions pie.  Tyrion, as we all know is Rheagar but in disguise, so it fits that Ilyan would want to create another DoD. 

/s

Lol, just as plausible as the wine theory.

 

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5 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Lol, just as plausible as the wine theory.

 

I personal think that it was the wine, I have read through a few times with a group of friends and that is our basic consensus.  In truth, we know nothing, so it could have been the pie.  I tend to employ the k.i.s.s. strategy to my thinking and the wine theory is the most simple, in my eyes at least. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Littlefinger has no reason to know what happening in the Red Keep.

Moving the ship a little closer to the city would literally only be useful if Joffrey died and you could thus hear the bells, but if the poison was in the pie and the pie was mislaid, the most probable assumption would be that it killed somebody right next to Tyrion (like Sansa), not Joffrey, whose involvement was, according to you, a complete accident.

Moreover, if, in the worst case scenario the scheme fails and Littlefinger is implicated right on the spot and the Lannisters know his location, they would act in a manner that would not alert him to their approach, anyway.

Moreover, if he was going to sail closer to the city, he could sail closer and pick up Sansa and Dontos, which would wrap up this whole operation much quicker.

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Littlefinger can predict the future.

That's kind of the basis for his whole skill set.

But, as I noted, the degree to which everything went according to plan is absolutely rather unrealistic.  But that is common with schemer characters, both in this series and in pop culture in general.

This alternate theory you're advancing is a lot like the various attempts people still make to pin the assassination attempt on Bran on somebody other than Joffrey, in that it's taking what are really complaints about narrative logic and, rather than acknowledging that the author may have fallen short of whatever standard of plausibility you want, creating an alternative "real" explanation..

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3 minutes ago, Ser Dood said:

I personal think that it was the wine, I have read through a few times with a group of friends and that is our basic consensus.  In truth, we know nothing, so it could have been the pie.  I tend to employ the k.i.s.s. strategy to my thinking and the wine theory is the most simple, in my eyes at least. 

 

 

Even though it's impossible?

How could Cressen's normal-looking wine kill him faster than Joffrey's "deep purple" wine?

How could Littlefinger possibly know that the chalice, despite virtually all the odds, would wind up within arm's reach of Garlan? If it was even a foot to the left or right, then the plan is bust, no? And Margaery heads off to the bedding with loathsome Joffrey.

Why would Lady O choose this moment to kill Joffrey when he is absolutely no danger to Margy? Her entire family goes to the block if just one person sees Garlan reach over to the chalice. Why not wait until her family is safe back at Highgarden and Margy is the queen mother and can rule in her own right after Joffrey's death? Why strip her of all rank and privilege in such a high risk manner on the chance that, five years from now, she'll get it all back again?

Why would LF, Mr. Chaos himself, remove the most chaotic, politically powerful person in the kingdom? What kind of chaos does he expect to get with Tommen on the throne and Tywin as hand?

If it's k.i.s.s. you want, then the pie is far simpler:

Easy to poison: Lady O can do it all by herself; no need to involve family members, no need for trusted servants. Hardly anybody can see the pie, while virtually everyone can see the wine.

No discrepancies with the text: the physical facts line up, the logistics are easy (no doubt as to where the pie will be at the moment it needs to be poisoned), and the motivations of the principal plotters jive with their GoT ambitions, not the imagined fears of 21st Century book readers.

And it doesn't add an extra page-and-a-half of completely superfluous text that does nothing except establish a red herring that few people will pick up on. If the poison was in the wine, why not just have Joffrey drop after his third chug?

 

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16 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

Moving the ship a little closer to the city would literally only be useful if Joffrey died and you could thus hear the bells, but if the poison was in the pie and the pie was mislaid, the most probable assumption would be that it killed somebody right next to Tyrion (like Sansa), not Joffrey, whose involvement was, according to you, a complete accident.

Moreover, if, in the worst case scenario the scheme fails and Littlefinger is implicated right on the spot and the Lannisters know his location, they would act in a manner that would not alert him to their approach, anyway.

Moreover, if he was going to sail closer to the city, he could sail closer and pick up Sansa and Dontos, which would wrap up this whole operation much quicker.

That's kind of the basis for his whole skill set.

But, as I noted, the degree to which everything went according to plan is absolutely rather unrealistic.  But that is common with schemer characters, both in this series and in pop culture in general.

This alternate theory you're advancing is a lot like the various attempts people still make to pin the assassination attempt on Bran on somebody other than Joffrey, in that it's taking what are really complaints about narrative logic and, rather than acknowledging that the author may have fallen short of whatever standard of plausibility you want, creating an alternative "real" explanation..

No, having the ship closer in means he can get messages very quick -- either signals from shore or a fast cutter out to his position. Then he can turn his little fanny in the direction of Braavos before anyone knows he was involved and the fleet can be sent to intercept him.

Then why didn't he pick up Sansa as soon as possible, under cover of darkness? Why wait for hours until the sun comes up? He would have been well on his way to the fingers by dawn, so why delay?

GRRM is the most careful, detailed writer of his generation, which is why it takes so long between each book. Every other reveal has squared the discrepancies between the widely held belief and the text, not added to them. If the theory you believe in is implausible, then the fault lies with your reading, not his writing. :D

 

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29 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Even though it's impossible?

How could Cressen's normal-looking wine kill him faster than Joffrey's "deep purple" wine?

How could Littlefinger possibly know that the chalice, despite virtually all the odds, would wind up within arm's reach of Garlan? If it was even a foot to the left or right, then the plan is bust, no? And Margaery heads off to the bedding with loathsome Joffrey.

Why would Lady O choose this moment to kill Joffrey when he is absolutely no danger to Margy? Her entire family goes to the block if just one person sees Garlan reach over to the chalice. Why not wait until her family is safe back at Highgarden and Margy is the queen mother and can rule in her own right after Joffrey's death? Why strip her of all rank and privilege in such a high risk manner on the chance that, five years from now, she'll get it all back again?

Why would LF, Mr. Chaos himself, remove the most chaotic, politically powerful person in the kingdom? What kind of chaos does he expect to get with Tommen on the throne and Tywin as hand?

If it's k.i.s.s. you want, then the pie is far simpler:

Easy to poison: Lady O can do it all by herself; no need to involve family members, no need for trusted servants. Hardly anybody can see the pie, while virtually everyone can see the wine.

No discrepancies with the text: the physical facts line up, the logistics are easy (no doubt as to where the pie will be at the moment it needs to be poisoned), and the motivations of the principal plotters jive with their GoT ambitions, not the imagined fears of 21st Century book readers.

And it doesn't add an extra page-and-a-half of completely superfluous text that does nothing except establish a red herring that few people will pick up on. If the poison was in the wine, why not just have Joffrey drop after his third chug?

 

I have not gone and read everything you have wrote in this thread so far, so I am not sure what we agree and what we disagree on so forgive me for seeming ignorant.  Are you suggesting that the Tyrells wanted to Kill Tyrion?  Was it not his pie that Joff was eating?  I think that the Tyrells some how poisoned the wine and had a signal for Margery not to drink out of it, but the pie is a great alternative.  Why they did it at the wedding?  Well, we will not know exactly until we actually read it, but it may have something to do with others not expecting them to risk poisoning their own Margery and becoming kinslayers.  Unless LF knew Tyrion would escape and kill Tywin, then he wasn't killing the most politically powerful person in the kingdom.  Joff was still a boy with no standing army, he reied on his grandfather and his grandfathers alliances to rule.  I don't think LF really cared if Joff died or not as long as he got Sansa in the end.  As far as Joff not choking after the third chug of wine, the way it happened was far more interesting and entertaining to read.  I rather have a small discrepancy like Cressen, the old man who probably had a higher dosage, being killed immediately and Joff taking like 60 seconds longer to die.  Joff deserved a nice long death scene, cant we all agree?  GRRM still needs to sell books ya know.  :) 

 

KISS stands by the Tyrells in my opinion.  Thanks for the pie idea, I am certainly going to share that with friends.   

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21 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Then why didn't he pick up Sansa as soon as possible, under cover of darkness? Why wait for hours until the sun comes up? He would have been well on his way to the fingers by dawn, so why delay?

So, you don't have an explanation, then?

GRRM's other mysteries are actually highlighted in the text.  That's, in fact, one of the strongest cases against your theory, which hinges almost entirely on haggling over cup heights and geopolitical calculations nobody ever brings up.

Likewise, you've never been able to explain why any of this would matter to the plot.  "Littlefinger tried to kill Tyrion!" is not a twist, because the plan already involved trying to kill Tyrion.

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On Invalid Date at 5:04 PM, Ser Dood said:

I have not gone and read everything you have wrote in this thread so far, so I am not sure what we agree and what we disagree on so forgive me for seeming ignorant.  Are you suggesting that the Tyrells wanted to Kill Tyrion?  Was it not his pie that Joff was eating?  I think that the Tyrells some how poisoned the wine and had a signal for Margery not to drink out of it, but the pie is a great alternative.  Why they did it at the wedding?  Well, we will not know exactly until we actually read it, but it may have something to do with others not expecting them to risk poisoning their own Margery and becoming kinslayers.  Unless LF knew Tyrion would escape and kill Tywin, then he wasn't killing the most politically powerful person in the kingdom.  Joff was still a boy with no standing army, he reied on his grandfather and his grandfathers alliances to rule.  I don't think LF really cared if Joff died or not as long as he got Sansa in the end.  As far as Joff not choking after the third chug of wine, the way it happened was far more interesting and entertaining to read.  I rather have a small discrepancy like Cressen, the old man who probably had a higher dosage, being killed immediately and Joff taking like 60 seconds longer to die.  Joff deserved a nice long death scene, cant we all agree?  GRRM still needs to sell books ya know.  :) 

 

KISS stands by the Tyrells in my opinion.  Thanks for the pie idea, I am certainly going to share that with friends.   

Yes, Tyrion was the target. Both plotters have every reason to kill Tyrion and no reason at all to kill Joffrey. For Littlefinger, Tyrion is well on his way to uncovering all the embezzlement and theft of the crown's gold, which would get LF executed. For Lady O, Tyrion could father the next heir to Winterfell on Sansa at any moment. That would create a power bloc for Tywin consisting of the north, the neck, the riverlands, the westerlands, the crownlands and the stormlands -- enough to field an army that would dwarf anything that Highgarden could muster. Highgarden has been the most powerful house in the realm for thousands of years, and they achieved that exactly the way Tywin is doing it now: through marriage. Now, Lady O is looking at the prospect of an uber-powerful Casterly Rock, which shares a 300-league border with the Reach and is led by a man who doesn't just go to war with rival lords, but burns the countryside to the ground, murders all the smallfolk he can find, razes all the keeps, holdfasts and castles to rubble and utterly annihilates his enemies' entire families, right down to the livery boys. Certainly this is more concerning than maybe someday Joffrey will give Margaery a beating.

They had to do the wedding because 1) Littlefinger needed the distraction to get Sansa out unseen by little birds, and 2) they have no other plausible way of getting to Tyrion at any other time. It's not like he dines out a lot. His meals are taken alone, in his solar and his servants are Lannister people, not Tyrells. The last time he dined in public was his own wedding, and Lady O was not part of the plot yet because Robb was still heir to Winterfell, so her motivation has not emerged yet.

Cressen did not have a higher dosage. Joffrey's wine was "deep purple" while Cressen didn't notice anything unusual about the color or consistency at all. If anyone should have gone first, it should have been Joffrey. And we're not comparing the time it took for them to die, but from the moment the poison enters the throat -- not the mouth, but the throat -- and the moment "the words caught in his throat." With the poison in Joffrey's wine we have a five- or six-fold discrepancy, but with the pie they are virtually identical.

Interesting reads are all well and good, but not if they conflict with the text at every turn. Since Joffrey is no immediate threat to Margaery -- indeed, he's actually giddy around her at the wedding -- they why would Lady O choose this moment to kill him? Her entire family (minus one) is in the Red Keep surrounded Lannister guards. Virtually everyone can see the chalice, making it next to impossible to poison without somebody noticing, least of all the two short people who are looking right past it. And this is all at the direction of the man who lied to the Tyrells to get them in this fix in the first place and who is now safely sitting on his boat way out in the bay. Plus, you have the fact that within the year, Margaery could be mother to the new king and they could get rid of Joffrey at any time and have Margaery serves as Queen Regent for the next decade or more. Instead, they just gave all that power right back to Cersei and left Margy, and themselves, with nothing. So they ended up taking an enormous risk with the entire Tyrell family only to rob themselves of the power that would have been theirs, and all to prevent a problem that could be dealt with much more easily and with far less risk if and when it actually became a problem.

I ask again: where is the text that makes people believe Lady O is this colossally stupid?

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On Invalid Date at 5:16 PM, Colonel Green said:

So, you don't have an explanation, then?

GRRM's other mysteries are actually highlighted in the text.  That's, in fact, one of the strongest cases against your theory, which hinges almost entirely on haggling over cup heights and geopolitical calculations nobody ever brings up.

Likewise, you've never been able to explain why any of this would matter to the plot.  "Littlefinger tried to kill Tyrion!" is not a twist, because the plan already involved trying to kill Tyrion.

I do. I was waiting to see if you could come up with a plausible reason for leaving her to row all night long instead of grabbing her under cover of darkness and leaving as quickly as possible.

The reason he did it the way he did was that as long as he doesn't have Sansa, then any captain in the royal fleet can stop them, board them, search them and, with no Sansa, fall for the cover story that they are just simple traders making their way to King's Landing. If, on the odd chance that it is someone who knows LF on sight, he just grabs some roughspun and takes an oar. So by waiting until dawn, he can be sure that no pursuit is coming by sea, and in the daylight he can make absolutely certain that no one is around to see the last appearance of Sansa Stark.

Lol, "GRRM's other mysteries are actually highlighted in the text." By that you must be referring to all the subterfuge and deception that had us believing Cersie and Jaime killed Jon Arryn, or that Robb and Jeyne just happened to fall in love. Remember when Pycelle confirmed to Tyrion that Cersei wanted JA dead? Or when Tywin, Tyrion and half-a-dozen others said Robb just made a "foolish mistake"? Would that have been "case closed" for you? How, exactly, did either of these reveals matter to the plot at that point? Jon Arryn was still dead, Robb was still dead, the northern army defeated and all the surviving characters went on their merry, or unmerry, ways. Same thing here.

All of the answers to this mystery are right in the text, clear as a mountain stream -- but you have to be extraordinarily perceptive to pick up on them.

 

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3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The reason he did it the way he did was that as long as he doesn't have Sansa, then any captain in the royal fleet can stop them, board them, search them and, with no Sansa, fall for the cover story that they are just simple traders making their way to King's Landing. If, on the odd chance that it is someone who knows LF on sight, he just grabs some roughspun and takes an oar. So by waiting until dawn, he can be sure that no pursuit is coming by sea, and in the daylight he can make absolutely certain that no one is around to see the last appearance of Sansa Stark.

No evidence for any of that.  If he's willing to dip so close to KL as to be in audible range of the bells, he can wait a few minutes to pick up Sansa.  If he's that afraid of patrols, he'd be afraid of them detaining all ships in the harbour, and he'd be afraid of them catching Sansa's little rowboat the longer she's out there.

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Lol, "GRRM's other mysteries are actually highlighted in the text." By that you must be referring to all the subterfuge and deception that had us believing Cersie and Jaime killed Jon Arryn, or that Robb and Jeyne just happened to fall in love. Remember when Pycelle confirmed to Tyrion that Cersei wanted JA dead? Or when Tywin, Tyrion and half-a-dozen others said Robb just made a "foolish mistake"? Would that have been "case closed" for you? How, exactly, did either of these reveals matter to the plot at that point? Jon Arryn was still dead, Robb was still dead, the northern army defeated and all the surviving characters went on their merry, or unmerry, ways. Same thing here.

The reveal of Littlefinger adds quite a lot, in fact, because it's something of ongoing plot importance, and builds up Littlefinger as one of the series' main villains.

Grey Wind's ferocious reaction to Sybell Spicer and her brother Rolph is right there in ASOS.

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1 hour ago, Colonel Green said:
Spoiler

 

No evidence for any of that.  If he's willing to dip so close to KL as to be in audible range of the bells, he can wait a few minutes to pick up Sansa.  If he's that afraid of patrols, he'd be afraid of them detaining all ships in the harbour, and he'd be afraid of them catching Sansa's little rowboat the longer she's out there.

The reveal of Littlefinger adds quite a lot, in fact, because it's something of ongoing plot importance, and builds up Littlefinger as one of the series' main villains.

 

Grey Wind's ferocious reaction to Sybell Spicer and her brother Rolph is right there in ASOS.

I'm in the middle of my third reading of ASOS and yes, Grey WInd's reactions are a hideous foreshadowing to what's afoot.

As for the Purple Wedding- I'm up in the air. I was taken off-guard by the solution of the Whodoneit about Bran.

So many posters had come up with resolutions to that question which are more satisfying (to my mind) than the one GRRM wrote.

This makes me wonder if we're not over-egging the pudding here.

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23 hours ago, Colonel Green said:

No evidence for any of that.  If he's willing to dip so close to KL as to be in audible range of the bells, he can wait a few minutes to pick up Sansa.  If he's that afraid of patrols, he'd be afraid of them detaining all ships in the harbour, and he'd be afraid of them catching Sansa's little rowboat the longer she's out there.

The reveal of Littlefinger adds quite a lot, in fact, because it's something of ongoing plot importance, and builds up Littlefinger as one of the series' main villains.

Grey Wind's ferocious reaction to Sybell Spicer and her brother Rolph is right there in ASOS.

They can pick up Sansa in the rowboat, but as long as he isn't with her then they have nothing on him -- and they won't even know who he is unless they drag every single crew member up before Tywin and Cersei for inspection. He wouldn't have to be in the harbor, just close enough to get a message.

And he wasn't just out in the bay, but so far out that they couldn't even see land anymore. Why risk losing Sansa when all it would take is a few hundred yards offshore, a quick pick-up and off they go.

Lol, and this does nothing to build up LF as one of the main villains? I think you're going to see quite a bit more revealing of LF before the story ends.

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Grey Wind's ferocious reaction to Sybell Spicer and her brother Rolph is right there in ASOS.

Exactly, right there in the story, just like the time discrepancy between the two poisonings, the impossible logistics for the chalice, the utter lack of motivation for killing Joffrey, the dire need to kill Tyrion...

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