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Ygrain

R+L=J v.165

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35 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Oh please. This has been hashed over forever. Of course the oath the Kingsguard takes has a bearing on what they do in various situations when they don't have access to an order from their king. When Viserys becomes their new king, upon Aerys's death, the remaining loyal Kingsguard have a responsibility to safeguard his person, and follow what orders he has for them.

But is Viserys III their new king? Couldn't they have had considered bending the knee to Robert after getting the child out of harm's way? Like Selmy later did?

The Targaryens were done when Aerys II was killed. Going to Viserys III would be pretty pointless in any case. Their charge was a pregnant woman and her (unborn) child, it was their duty to keep them safe from harm, not to fruitlessly try to continue a game that was lost when their king was killed.

At this point we have not a single shred of evidence that either of those men tried to continue the war or that they actually cared about using Lyanna's child as a pawn in the game of thrones. To crown him, is to kill him - even Tyrion understands that in ADwD.

Whenever a king dies and the succession is unclear a Kingsguard has to make a choice eventually. But if you are in the middle of nowhere you don't really have to make such a choice. They could continue to fight for Rhaegar's or Aerys' memory. They don't need a new king to do what they did.

Rhaenyra died during the Dance, too, but the Lads and Lord Cregan and Jeyne Arryn did not care. Robert Baratheon was killed by a pig and the Brotherhood without Banners didn't care, either.

35 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Ser Barristan makes it clear that he deserved a traitor's death for not going to Viserys.

When he betrays the memory of King Robert and decides to turn his cloak again. If Selmy is a traitor when he accepted Robert's pardon then he is also a traitor when he betrays Joffrey Baratheon.

35 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

One can argue that Viserys was adequately guarded at the time of the Tower of Joy encounter because the rebels had no fleet to assault Dragonstone, but the Kingsguard there had to know the situation would change. One would expect Hightower, at least, would have been on his way to Viserys to carry out the duties enumerated in his oath. As to Ser Barristan, he is likely still recovering from his wounds and unable to get to Dragonstone. And Jaime ... well, after killing Aerys, he can hardly be expected to be guided by his oath.

Viserys III did have a garrison on Dragonstone. He could make new Kingsguard, men of his own choosing. There would be at least three open spots - for Lewyn Martell, Jonothor Darry, and Jaime Lannister.

The idea that those guys had to consider and/or send one of their own to Dragonstone simply does not follow. If Robert were to attack Dragonstone eventually with a strong fleet a single KG could not necessarily save King Viserys III.

And as Willis Fell and Rickard Thorne prove during the Dance - sometimes it is more important to protect the king's heirs than the king himself. Meaning that Lyanna's son - as heir presumptive to King Viserys III - certainly would be deserving of KG protection. A child that nobody knows even exists could be hidden and protected much better than, say, a young boy everybody knows does exist. A boy who apparently never showed much promise, either, and who those men may not have wanted to be their king. It would be cynical of them to abandon Viserys III to his enemies in the hope this prince could become king one day. But hardly surprising if you consider what kind of king Aerys II - who they effectively abandoned to his enemies, too - was.

But this wouldn't be the only reason why they stayed. They apparently had orders to be with Lyanna long before her child was born - while both their prince and their king died. There is no reason to assume they would change their opinion on the importance of that mission when they didn't change the opinion when Rhaegar rode to war. More importantly, if they thought Rhaegar and Aerys II could fight and win and survive without their help, then there is no reason to assume that they could not have reached the conclusion Viserys III would fare well without them, too.

But, who knows? Perhaps this question actually came up and they dismissed it because they saw no way to actually get to Dragonstone without risking to be caught. Or perhaps they first wanted to see to the safety of Lyanna and the child and only then go to Viserys - who, in their opinion, would not exactly need them at once.

35 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

There is an oath, however, which all Kingsguard take and to which the faithful use to guide their actions. It is because Ser Barristan comes to believe he did not do as he knew his oath told him to do that he confesses to Daenerys that he deserves a traitor's death. When he was able to do so, he should have gone to Viserys. The same is true for Hightower, Dayne, and Whent. One, at least, should have gone to their new king. Why they did not is a subject long debated here, and evidently still in need of more debate. If you  really want to go over this ground again, we can.

If it were their duty to actually go to Viserys III then all of them should go, because it would fall to the new king to decide whether Lyanna's child is deserving of KG protection, no?

But it is not that easy. The comparison to Selmy makes little sense, because for Selmy Viserys III and Daenerys are the only Targaryens alive. Selmy is also uniquely describes as a guy who really needs a king to protect. Dayne, Whent, and Hightower were Kingsguard, but they may have just been as happy with protecting a mere prince rather than a king. Lyanna's child likely is such aTargaryen prince. And if Rhaegar/Aerys II told them to take care/protect/whatever Lyanna and the unborn child and later both of them then the question after the death of Rhaegar/Aerys II becomes whether abandoning them in favor of an uncertain quest to Viserys III is more reasonable course than to stay with them.

Viserys III was safe in his island fortress. He was surrounded by loyal men and only got in real trouble months later when the entire Targaryen fleet was destroyed in the night of Dany's birth. Then it became clear that Stannis would take the island, and Darry had to break the children out to save their lives. With the fleet intact, the Targaryen loyalists could have actually crushed Robert's new fleet in a sea battle.

But Lyanna's child in the middle of nowhere only had those three guys. It is not that difficult to guess why they may have decided that the boy needed them more than Viserys III - if we assume they considered the possibility of going to him in the first place.

Not to mention that technically only the voice of the Lord Commander should count, anyway. Ser Gerold Hightower was the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, so Dayne and Whent were actually sworn to obey him. Whatever they did would have been his call, anyway, unless they decided to abandon a chain of command.

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21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But is Viserys III their new king? Couldn't they have had considered bending the knee to Robert after getting the child out of harm's way? Like Selmy later did?

The Targaryens were done when Aerys II was killed. Going to Viserys III would be pretty pointless in any case. Their charge was a pregnant woman and her (unborn) child, it was their duty to keep them safe from harm, not to fruitlessly try to continue a game that was lost when their king was killed.

At this point we have not a single shred of evidence that either of those men tried to continue the war or that they actually cared about using Lyanna's child as a pawn in the game of thrones. To crown him, is to kill him - even Tyrion understands that in ADwD.

Whenever a king dies and the succession is unclear a Kingsguard has to make a choice eventually. But if you are in the middle of nowhere you don't really have to make such a choice. They could continue to fight for Rhaegar's or Aerys' memory. They don't need a new king to do what they did.

Rhaenyra died during the Dance, too, but the Lads and Lord Cregan and Jeyne Arryn did not care. Robert Baratheon was killed by a pig and the Brotherhood without Banners didn't care, either.

By which you mean what? The question here is does their oath tell them what to do, not what are the possibilities for Hightower, Whent, and Dayne if they ignore their oaths, right?

Of course, if they are not faithful to their oaths they can accept Robert as their new king or even try to set up one of their own number as the new king of Westeros. All options are open to the unfaithful.

But if Hightower, Whent, and Dayne follow their oaths, then they must follow Aerys's last order of succession. When Aerys names Viserys his heir it is an order to his kingsguard as surely as if he whispered it in each Kingsguard ear telling them what they must do when he dies. It tells each sworn brother that the oaths they swore are now held by Viserys and all their duties they owed Aerys, they now owe to Viserys. For Hightower, Whent, and Dayne that means that at least one of their number should be heading to Dragonstone to hear the orders of their new king and give him the protection, loyalty, counsel, and service they would have given to Aerys. IF they are loyal to their oaths, then one at least of them should be doing all they can to get to Dragonstone, and the fact we don't see that should effect the way in which we see these three men. They have made choices, or have had choices forced upon them by circumstance that does not have them doing what their oaths tell them to do.

This is the same standard by which we must evaluate each of the White Swords for their faithfulness to their oaths. So, yes, they could have done what Selmy does and accept the reality of Robert's rule, although I think there are other things that lead Ser Barristan to make his decision that would not have effected the Tower of Joy Kingsguard. Not least of these "other things" is that before Selmy accepts Robert's offer he appears to know he is the last remaining faithful member of Aerys's Kingsguard. That may make his betrayal of his oath worse than the Tower of Joy three, or it may make it more understandable as a human weakness, or both, but it all has to be included. 

As to Jaime, whatever we can say about the reasons we come to know for his betrayal of Aerys, we know he betrays his Kingsguard oath. Whether this is a treason we think is justified or not doesn't change the reality of the treason. It is another layer of morality Martin wants us to think about - how can being faithful to one's oath justify supporting a mad and murderous king. None of this is meant to be easy. Jaime's rant about all the conflicting oaths he has been made to say is a reflection of reality. We must consider the question of whether or not it is more honorable to ignore the dictates of a Kingsguard oath under some circumstances than it is to do what that oath tells one to do.

Which brings me to your examples of the actions of previous generations of men who wore the white cloak. I think we find the same problems when we evaluate each sworn brothers history, but some are clearly oathbreakers. Perhaps the most grievous of these is Lord Commander Criston Cole, the "Kingmaker." He enables treasons and murders the faithful. Rhaenyra made a terrible queen, but his treason made her all the more terrible. Those of Viserys's who went over to Rhaenyra's cause were the brothers who remained faithful, not those who followed Cole's lead.

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

When he betrays the memory of King Robert and decides to turn his cloak again. If Selmy is a traitor when he accepted Robert's pardon then he is also a traitor when he betrays Joffrey Baratheon.

Again, serving Joffrey Baratheon isn't exactly a sterling recommendation of honor.

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Viserys III did have a garrison on Dragonstone. He could make new Kingsguard, men of his own choosing. There would be at least three open spots - for Lewyn Martell, Jonothor Darry, and Jaime Lannister.

The idea that those guys had to consider and/or send one of their own to Dragonstone simply does not follow. If Robert were to attack Dragonstone eventually with a strong fleet a single KG could not necessarily save King Viserys III.

Yes, Viserys could have made new Kingsguard. However, an eight or nine year old with a history of mental instability does not inspire many Kingsguard candidates worthy of the cloak.

As to the bolded, it absolutely follows what their oath tells them to do, regardless of the difference one man can make in a given battle. But LV, I invite you consider this alternate future for Daenerys and Viserys. Imagine the two of them growing up with not only Ser Arthur Dayne, but Ser Barristan Selmy to safeguard them. Imagine having Ser Gerold Hightower and Ser Oswell Whent to help guide them in the politics of the Free Cities and rallying support. Imagine if it isn't just the "Beggar King" and his baby sister hoping for friends abroad once Ser Willem dies, but it is four experienced, honorable, and capable members of the Kingsguard guiding them. Would it make a difference? I think it would. I think we would have a very different story.

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And as Willis Fell and Rickard Thorne prove during the Dance - sometimes it is more important to protect the king's heirs than the king himself. Meaning that Lyanna's son - as heir presumptive to King Viserys III - certainly would be deserving of KG protection. A child that nobody knows even exists could be hidden and protected much better than, say, a young boy everybody knows does exist. A boy who apparently never showed much promise, either, and who those men may not have wanted to be their king. It would be cynical of them to abandon Viserys III to his enemies in the hope this prince could become king one day. But hardly surprising if you consider what kind of king Aerys II - who they effectively abandoned to his enemies, too - was.

 

Selmy tells us all of this factored into his decision to accept Robert's offer. He tells us so when he confesses to Dany he wanted to wait and see if she had her father's "taint" before he declared who he was. A taint that Viserys exhibited even as a young boy. Nonetheless his decision makes him a traitor and an oath-breaker. Could he have made much difference in an alternative future with only Selmy as the Targaryen sworn sword? I think he could, at least in the life of Dany. But, no, Selmy's choice isn't surprising. It was the easy choice.

I'll leave the discussion of Fell and Thorne to another time.

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But this wouldn't be the only reason why they stayed. They apparently had orders to be with Lyanna long before her child was born - while both their prince and their king died. There is no reason to assume they would change their opinion on the importance of that mission when they didn't change the opinion when Rhaegar rode to war. More importantly, if they thought Rhaegar and Aerys II could fight and win and survive without their help, then there is no reason to assume that they could not have reached the conclusion Viserys III would fare well without them, too.

But, who knows? Perhaps this question actually came up and they dismissed it because they saw no way to actually get to Dragonstone without risking to be caught. Or perhaps they first wanted to see to the safety of Lyanna and the child and only then go to Viserys - who, in their opinion, would not exactly need them at once.

Much of this is possible. The deaths at the tower may be as a result of tragic timing as much as anything else. However, one would think that even in such was the case then one of their number would have tried to escape the battle or negotiate a way to Dragonstone. We can't know all of that without more details. What we do know is what the oath tells them to do, and because they don't do that either by choice or by circumstance we are left to wonder on Hightower, Dayne and Whent's loyalties and motives.

 

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If it were their duty to actually go to Viserys III then all of them should go, because it would fall to the new king to decide whether Lyanna's child is deserving of KG protection, no?

Eventually, but the presence of one of their number fulfills the dictates of their oath. It seems clear that the timing of Lyanna's death effects their decision to stand and fight. If they could get a new child of Rhaegar to Dragonstone that could certainly have effected their decision as well. But here again, why not have one leave and two stay to fulfill both needs?

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But is Viserys III their new king? Couldn't they have had considered bending the knee to Robert after getting the child out of harm's way? Like Selmy later did?

The Targaryens were done when Aerys II was killed. Going to Viserys III would be pretty pointless in any case. Their charge was a pregnant woman and her (unborn) child, it was their duty to keep them safe from harm, not to fruitlessly try to continue a game that was lost when their king was killed.

But it is not that easy. The comparison to Selmy makes little sense, because for Selmy Viserys III and Daenerys are the only Targaryens alive. Selmy is also uniquely describes as a guy who really needs a king to protect. Dayne, Whent, and Hightower were Kingsguard, but they may have just been as happy with protecting a mere prince rather than a king. Lyanna's child likely is such aTargaryen prince. And if Rhaegar/Aerys II told them to take care/protect/whatever Lyanna and the unborn child and later both of them then the question after the death of Rhaegar/Aerys II becomes whether abandoning them in favor of an uncertain quest to Viserys III is more reasonable course than to stay with them.

Viserys III was safe in his island fortress. He was surrounded by loyal men and only got in real trouble months later when the entire Targaryen fleet was destroyed in the night of Dany's birth. Then it became clear that Stannis would take the island, and Darry had to break the children out to save their lives. With the fleet intact, the Targaryen loyalists could have actually crushed Robert's new fleet in a sea battle.

But Lyanna's child in the middle of nowhere only had those three guys. It is not that difficult to guess why they may have decided that the boy needed them more than Viserys III - if we assume they considered the possibility of going to him in the first place.

Not to mention that technically only the voice of the Lord Commander should count, anyway. Ser Gerold Hightower was the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, so Dayne and Whent were actually sworn to obey him. Whatever they did would have been his call, anyway, unless they decided to abandon a chain of command.

I think I've already answered these points so I will leave them there unless there is something you want be to dwell upon. LV, this has been quite a trip down memory lane. I don't know how many times I've gone over this ground, but it is many.

Edited by SFDanny

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23 hours ago, SFDanny said:

It's always possible I missed some discussion over the years. I will let @Ygrain explain her post of just over seven years ago. She is more than capable of doing so if she wants. I will say that it is not my memory that anyone held on to such a position, and if they did so the didn't do so for long, because it is very clear, and has been for a very long time that there is no such rule. Besides Jaime's calling of his meeting, we also have the common sense conclusion that when Jaime was the only Kingsguard in King's Landing after Darry left for the Trident that he did not spend every hour of the day, every minute of the hour, in Aerys presence. Sleeping, eating, and taking care of other bodily functions doesn't cease being necessary because one dons the white cloak. Delegating responsibilities to others outside the Kingsguard is certainly possible and we know it takes place. Of course, in both these circumstances, these others do so under the guidance of the Kingsguard.

I will say that if you want to spend some time debunking old out of date theories based on the publication of Fire & Blood, I have one you will certainly remember. If I recall correctly you spent quite a bit of time arguing with me and others about Jaehaerys reign - based almost solely on his sobriquet, "the Conciliator"- and how it must mean Jaehaerys surrendered the right to polygamous marriage in settling the Targaryen wars with the Faith. I'd be very interested if you've given that old theory a rest now we have an expanded history of the time in question, and there is no indication Jaehaerys did anything like what you suggested. 

It would have been nice to have had your input on the "one kingsguard must always be with the king" theory during those debates.  Because there was a large contingent on the R+L=J board who for years mercilessly ridiculed anyone who disagreed with it.  If you had seen and responded to some of those posts then, the R+L=J thread might have been a more pleasant place during those times.  

I don't mean to single out anyone individually, because you can find numerous posts like the one I quoted above throughout the R+L=J threads starting around version 18 and going at least through version 100.  But since we mentioned Ygraine earlier, here is a more recent thread where she issued the following challenge:  "Do show me that part in the books where the king is left without any Kingsguard. Sure we do get the whole lot of them going on various missions, but there are always the other KG to do the sworn duty in their absence."

 

You can find the quote on page 11 of that thread.  

Over the years, a number of people have answered that challenge and pointed to instances where "the king is left without any Kingsguard," yet the theory you now label "absurd" persisted.  So what I did here was to point out that there are new examples in Fire & Blood. 

Regarding my theory that Jaehaerys the Conciliator abolished polygamy as part of his settlement with the Faith after the reign of Maegor the Cruel, I was disappointed that Fire & Blood shed no real light on this one way or the other.  My theory, as you know, is based on the following.

First, most of Westeros, and certainly the Faith, disapproved of both polygamy and incest.  Both were factors in the Faith Militant's rebellion against Maegor.  But polygamy was not just a moral problem, it was a practical one as well, since the civil war occurred between Maegor (son of one of Aegon's wives) and the children of the other wife.  So incest is a moral problem.  Polygamy is both a moral and practical problem. 

Second, Jaeharys made peace with the Faith after Maegor died.  He also implemented a uniform system of laws throughout Westerns.  We know some of what the Faith gave up.  They gave up the right to have an army and their ability to object to the king's incest.  And we know what Jaehaerys did not give up:  incest.  Otherwise, he would have had to put aside his sister-wife, and the Targaryens would have given up a tool that (they believed) was important to their ability to maintain control over their dragons. 

What we don't know is what concessions Jaehaerys may have made to the Faith.  So we have to theorize.

Third, we know that starting with Jaehaerys, no Targaryen king ever took more than one wife, and none permitted any of his relatives to do so either.  But many Targaryens after Jaehaerys did commit incest.  

So I view it as a reasonable theory that one of the ways in which Jaehaerys "conciliated" with the Faith, and one of the ways he was able to get them to put up with the Targaryen incest, was to commit that there would be no more polygamy and to include that ban in the new code of laws he promulgated.  That is the best explanation for the fact that no other Targaryen king tried to take more than one wife, no matter how unhappy they were in their marriages.  Instead, most of the Targaryen kings and princes appear to have developed the habit of either taking highborn mistresses or of creating dragon seeds with small folk.   

I had hoped Fire & Blood would prove this theory.  I was open to the possibility that F&B might refute it.  Unfortunately, it did not do either of those things.  

ETA:  I really do not mean to single out Ygraine.  She was always one of the more polite advocates of the "one KG must always be with the king" theory.  I could have quote any one of several posters from the older threads.  I quoted Ygraine simply because she is the OP in this version of the R+L=J thread.  

Edited by The Twinslayer

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45 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

But if Hightower, Whent, and Dayne follow their oaths, then they must follow Aerys's last order of succession. When Aerys names Viserys his heir it is an order to his kingsguard as surely as if he whispered it in each Kingsguard ear telling them what they must do when he dies. It tells each sworn brother that the oaths they swore are now held by Viserys and all their duties they owed Aerys, they now owe to Viserys. For Hightower, Whent, and Dayne that means that at least one of their number should be heading to Dragonstone to hear the orders of their new king and give him the protection, loyalty, counsel, and service they would have given to Aerys. IF they are loyal to their oaths, then one at least of them should be doing all they can to get to Dragonstone, and the fact we don't see that should effect the way in which we see these three men. They have made choices, or have had choices forced upon them by circumstance that does not have them doing what their oaths tell them to do.\

This assumes they ever heard about the new succession plan.

They are in an isolated location and would not get news easily or often.

Its clear from the conversation they'd had that they knew about the Trident, the death of Rhaegar and the death of Aerys. So they've definitely received news very recently. The question is, how much did they get filled in on?

I suspect the news they got originated with the victorious rebels. Its they who will be disseminating these facts as widely ass possible as fast as possible, effectively proclaiming the war is over and its time for peace and new allegiances. I suspect that a secret ally of those at the ToJ received this news through the Raven network and passed it on to them.
I very much doubt that irrelevant workings of Aerys' administration, in the last couple of weeks after the Trident, were part of the news.

 

The original discussion about the KG oath and presence guarding the King was always about why the three didn't split.
Its clear that they still hold true to their oaths and to Aerys.
Yet even a direct order from Aerys to stay at ToJ no matter what, should not hold them there in the circumstances they find themselves in. Aerys is dead. Viserys is (supposedly) King. Orders from now-dead-Aerys should not take precedence over protecting Viserys, who has not ordered them to stay there. There is no good reason for them not to split up and fulfill their oaths, even if they still feel the need to continue their old orders.

The only real answer is that they do not believe Viserys to be their lawful King. Which means they believe someone else is their lawful King. Someone at the ToJ, 

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1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

By which you mean what? The question here is does their oath tell them what to do, not what are the possibilities for Hightower, Whent, and Dayne if they ignore their oaths, right?

FaB makes it pretty clear that historically nobody expected the Kingsguard to stay true one claimant during a succession struggle. Nobody, apparently, faulted King Aenys' Kingsguard for sticking with the usurper Maegor rather than joining the true king, Aegon the Uncrowned. Nobody faults the majority of Viserys I's Kingsguard for ignoring the wishes and decrees of their late king and backing Aegon II.

Nor is there any indication that the Kingsguard are not allowed to make peace with the victor of a succession struggle or civil war. Maegor's surviving KG - some of which may have gotten their cloaks by either Aenys or the Conqueror himself - had no problem with trying to make peace with Jaehaerys I after Maegor's downfall. Nobody tried to avenge the king or insist that the girl Maegor had chosen as his successor must succeed to the throne. In fact, KG are usually completely absent from discussions and decisions on the succession. The only exception is Criston Cole, and he is condemned for meddling with that kind of thing.

Thus we have ample evidence that going down 'the Selmy road' isn't exactly seen as that dishonorable a thing. And we have ample evidence that the chances are very low indeed that anybody at the tower thought of an newborn infant as a king they were beholden in any way to.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

But if Hightower, Whent, and Dayne follow their oaths, then they must follow Aerys's last order of succession. When Aerys names Viserys his heir it is an order to his kingsguard as surely as if he whispered it in each Kingsguard ear telling them what they must do when he dies. It tells each sworn brother that the oaths they swore are now held by Viserys and all their duties they owed Aerys, they now owe to Viserys. For Hightower, Whent, and Dayne that means that at least one of their number should be heading to Dragonstone to hear the orders of their new king and give him the protection, loyalty, counsel, and service they would have given to Aerys. IF they are loyal to their oaths, then one at least of them should be doing all they can to get to Dragonstone, and the fact we don't see that should effect the way in which we see these three men. They have made choices, or have had choices forced upon them by circumstance that does not have them doing what their oaths tell them to do.

Once the king is dead they could all ignore what the man decreed if they so chose, especially if they interpreted Aerys II's end as the end of the Targaryen dynasty as such.

But even if they were loyal to Aerys II, there is evidence abundant that the KG don't give a fig about a king's ruling on the succession - again, all of Aenys' KG ignored the rightful heir, and the majority of Viserys I's KG sided with the schemers staging the coup. They knew they were going against the rulings and wishes of their late king long before Aegon II was even crowned.

There is also no need to take the assessment of a boy king who isn't going to rule in his own right, anyway. The KG had been given a crucial task reflecting the interests of House Targaryen (or at least the representatives they cared about, i.e. either Aerys II and/or Rhaegar) and they stuck with that.

Even if we were buying the argument that one of them would feel the need to go to Dragonstone for some reason - which I most definitely don't - then we still have no cards to play with while we don't know when exactly they learned that Viserys III was on Dragonstone. If that happened five minutes before Ned's arrival say - or a few hours - then they simply may not have reached a decision.

You have no reason to reason to pretend they reached a decision on any of that while we don't know when or how they learned what they may have known.

In fact, there isn't even a reason to believe they knew Viserys III was without KG protection. Aerys II could have sent one of the KG in KL with his wife and son as he was prone to do. It may be that only dream Ned told the dream knights that only Ser Willem Darry went with Viserys and Rhaella.

If that were the case then they would have had no reason to go to Dragonstone even if they believed a KG of Aerys II should be there for some strange reason.

And, frankly, the idea that any of the guys should think it would be a wise idea to wander about and try to find passage to Dragonstone and that way risking capture and thus the revelation of Lyanna's location and the existence of Rhaegar's second son makes no sense to me.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

Which brings me to your examples of the actions of previous generations of men who wore the white cloak. I think we find the same problems when we evaluate each sworn brothers history, but some are clearly oathbreakers. Perhaps the most grievous of these is Lord Commander Criston Cole, the "Kingmaker." He enables treasons and murders the faithful. Rhaenyra made a terrible queen, but his treason made her all the more terrible. Those of Viserys's who went over to Rhaenyra's cause were the brothers who remained faithful, not those who followed Cole's lead.

Cole is vilified only for his role as 'Kingmaker', not so much for staying true to the king he made. Aside from Steffon Darklyn none of Viserys I's Kingsguard ever made a political choice, they just did as they were told, which is what they actually swore to do. The guys on Dragonstone stayed true to Rhaenyra, the guys with Cole and Otto Hightower obeyed the Hand, who happened to speak with the King's Voice. Even if it was contradicting the actual words of the king while the man was still alive.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

Again, serving Joffrey Baratheon isn't exactly a sterling recommendation of honor.

But it is quite clear that Selmy betrayed this king of his simply because the boy treated him badly, no? He didn't rediscover his Targaryen allegiance because of some reflection on morality and oaths and all that, but because Robert's son treated him badly.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

Yes, Viserys could have made new Kingsguard. However, an eight or nine year old with a history of mental instability does not inspire many Kingsguard candidates worthy of the cloak.

Who cares? He wouldn't have made the choices anyway. His mother would have chosen them, or whatever men she had to advise her.

Nobody expects KG doing crucial things in the middle of a war to abandon the mission they have given to seek out a new king to confirm whether they can continue with the assignment they had been given. Nobody even expects KG to double-check with a new king if they are not protecting him right - hence Arys Oakheart not writing to Tommen or seeking an audience with him confirming that it is still okay he continue to protect Myrcella.

And there is nowhere in the books anywhere any indication that the KG - either collectively or individually - are to abandon whatever missions they have been given if they are under the impression the king is right now not properly protected.

Those men are pawns who do as they are told, they are not politicians or asked to interpret the orders given to them according to some weirdo order guidelines. They are just expected to obey the orders they are given. And that they did.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

As to the bolded, it absolutely follows what their oath tells them to do, regardless of the difference one man can make in a given battle. But LV, I invite you consider this alternate future for Daenerys and Viserys. Imagine the two of them growing up with not only Ser Arthur Dayne, but Ser Barristan Selmy to safeguard them. Imagine having Ser Gerold Hightower and Ser Oswell Whent to help guide them in the politics of the Free Cities and rallying support. Imagine if it isn't just the "Beggar King" and his baby sister hoping for friends abroad once Ser Willem dies, but it is four experienced, honorable, and capable members of the Kingsguard guiding them. Would it make a difference? I think it would. I think we would have a very different story.

Yeah, most likely one where all of them are killed a 1-2 years after the Sack, because Robert would not have allowed new Bittersteels to build up some movement around their own pretender king.

I'm not buying for a moment that the guys at the tower had any intention to actually prepare Lyanna's child to one day rule. That's a nonsensical, risky, and stupid game. And exactly the opposite of protecting them. If the guys had taken 'Jon Snow' to some hidden place, they could have lived with the boy until he died, but it would have been better for them all to never tell who they were - and who he was.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

Selmy tells us all of this factored into his decision to accept Robert's offer. He tells us so when he confesses to Dany he wanted to wait and see if she had her father's "taint" before he declared who he was. A taint that Viserys exhibited even as a young boy. Nonetheless his decision makes him a traitor and an oath-breaker. Could he have made much difference in an alternative future with only Selmy as the Targaryen sworn sword? I think he could, at least in the life of Dany. But, no, Selmy's choice isn't surprising. It was the easy choice.

But it is the choice all KG usually make. Even Willis Fell bend the knee to Aegon III.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

Eventually, but the presence of one of their number fulfills the dictates of their oath. It seems clear that the timing of Lyanna's death effects their decision to stand and fight. If they could get a new child of Rhaegar to Dragonstone that could certainly have effected their decision as well. But here again, why not have one leave and two stay to fulfill both needs?

See above. But don't you think a woman and an infant are better off with three protectors than just two? And that a boy protected by a garrison of dozens or hundreds of men is much safer behind the high walls of his ancestral castle than the woman and the infant in a watchtower?

1 hour ago, The Twinslayer said:

It would have been nice to have had your input on the "one kingsguard must always be with the king" theory during those debates.  Because there was a large contingent on the R+L=J board who for years mercilessly ridiculed anyone who disagreed with it.  If you had seen and responded to some of those posts then, the R+L=J thread might have been a more pleasant place during those times.  

I don't mean to single out anyone individually, because you can find numerous posts like the one I quoted above throughout the R+L=J threads starting around version 18 and going at least through version 100.  But since we mentioned Ygraine earlier, here is a more recent thread where she issued the following challenge:  "Do show me that part in the books where the king is left without any Kingsguard. Sure we do get the whole lot of them going on various missions, but there are always the other KG to do the sworn duty in their absence."

It is rather telling that those people don't really comment on those things anymore. Sure, they may have lost interest for other reasons and such, but it is interesting nonetheless.

This whole thing about the KG practices and such is really part of an ad hoc explanation that's used to immunize your ideas against the possibility that you may be wrong.

1 hour ago, The Twinslayer said:

Regarding my theory that Jaehaerys the Conciliator abolished polygamy as part of his settlement with the Faith after the reign of Maegor the Cruel, I was disappointed that Fire & Blood shed no real light on this one way or the other.  My theory, as you know, is based on the following.

I'd say you are wrong on that one. Targaryen polygamy was never outlawed as such, but it fell out of practice. And from the point of the Faith it was never legal, either, especially not in relation to people who weren't kings.

Only King Aegon I's two sister-wives and King Maegor's many wives were ever accepted, not Prince Maegor's second wife. And for polygamy practiced by monarchs there are also precedent of ancient First Men kings.

But we can safely say that the idea that a Targaryen taking more than one spouse at the same time after Maegor is ridiculous. Gyldayn points that out when Jaehaerys I basically explodes at the notion of Saera taking multiple husbands, and it is also pretty obvious that Lady Sam's weirdo suggestions that Aegon III take multiple wives are just that - weird.

I expect polygamy to come back as a royal practice with Daenerys (and possibly Aegon, too) - Rhaegar may have done it or tried to do it, too, but that will be secondary background thing. The important question is how the living Targaryens will deal with that, not so much the dead ones.

I think you have a point in the case of remarrying/more than one spouse if you have children really became sort of anathema after the Dance.

At this point it looks as if Viserys II and Maekar did not remarry after the deaths of their wives. I'd like some tweaks there, and I certainly would like a Daenaera Velaryon outliving her royal husband to take a second and perhaps even a third husband later in life, but we'll have to wait and see whether that happens.

59 minutes ago, corbon said:

Yet even a direct order from Aerys to stay at ToJ no matter what, should not hold them there in the circumstances they find themselves in. Aerys is dead. Viserys is (supposedly) King. Orders from now-dead-Aerys should not take precedence over protecting Viserys, who has not ordered them to stay there. There is no good reason for them not to split up and fulfill their oaths, even if they still feel the need to continue their old orders.

See above. There is no reason to believe they would not just continue with a given assignment as they were told before. 

59 minutes ago, corbon said:

The only real answer is that they do not believe Viserys to be their lawful King. Which means they believe someone else is their lawful King. Someone at the ToJ, 

That is actually an artificially created dilemma. They don't have to have an opinion who the new king is. They could just ignore that question and stick to the issue at hand - protecting a (pregnant) woman and her (unborn) child. That is their task at this point. They have no duty or responsibility or need to actually decide who is king now.

If they had to discuss the question then the answer would, obviously, be Robert, and they were compelled to acknowledge him as their new king, not Viserys III or some infant. Because as I laid out above, in the end the KG were expected to bend the knee to the actual king who sat the throne, and not to let their own fantasies dictate their actions.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

See above. There is no reason to believe they would not just continue with a given assignment as they were told before. 

There is reason. You've just got your argument against it, which I personally find spurious. But each to his own.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That is actually an artificially created dilemma. They don't have to have an opinion who the new king is. They could just ignore that question and stick to the issue at hand - protecting a (pregnant) woman and her (unborn) child. That is their task at this point. They have no duty or responsibility or need to actually decide who is king now.

Their first duty as KG is to protect the King. They know who they think that is, even if you refuse to acknowledge it.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If they had to discuss the question then the answer would, obviously, be Robert, and they were compelled to acknowledge him as their new king, not Viserys III or some infant. Because as I laid out above, in the end the KG were expected to bend the knee to the actual king who sat the throne, and not to let their own fantasies dictate their actions.

There is no way we can agree on this. You have your vague interpretation based on other, very different, circumstances. They are very clear that they are KG, proud of it, holding to their oaths, not bending the knee, and loyal to the dead Aerys. 

That you think the obvious answer would be Robert puts you in opposition to them. Even Barristan, who was faced with no real choice by the time he was recovered enough to actually make it, later acknowledges his fault. 

I think they understand where their oath lies far better than you do.

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1 minute ago, corbon said:

There is reason. You've just got your argument against it, which I personally find spurious. But each to his own.

That isn't a matter of discussion. You have no cards in your hand. No evidence that they had to think like you think they have to think, and plenty of evidence that it makes no sense to even speculate they may have thought like you think they did.

Because we know what makes a king in this world. And it is not some dudes in the middle of nowhere. Even if they privately thought Lyanna's son should be king, he would not be king until he was actually made a king. And nobody ever did that. Even men and women who actually were 'the rightful heir/monarch' did not simply become 'king' or 'queen' because they believed it to be so. Instead, there are more than ample evidence that such men/women were ridiculed and abandoned or fought against - like Aegon the Uncrowned, Princess Aerea, Rhaenys Targaryen, Laenor Velaryon, Rhaenyra Targaryen, Jaehaera Targaryen, Maegor Targaryen, etc. And that actually includes loyal Kingsguard.

The idea that those guys were moronic (or treasonous) enough to actually make another Targaryen pretender king in the middle of nowhere makes no sense at all. It would weaken the base of the Targaryen loyalists and endanger the boy and his mother.

1 minute ago, corbon said:

Their first duty as KG is to protect the King. They know who they think that is, even if you refuse to acknowledge it.

Who cares about their first duty? They are in the middle of nowhere, forced to deal with the situation at hand, they are not in a philosophical discussion about first and second or third duties.

FaB amply points out that the KG has no right whatsoever to interpret orders given to them. They just execute them, period. They are not part of the political process, and they are sure as hell not allowed to think themselves how best to protect the king. Others decide that for them, too. That is made very evident, say, during the Regency of Aegon III.

Their king was Aerys II. Who their new king is - assuming they have one, which is never implied - is never stated. But the infant child isn't a king. It can't be. Not by the standards of what kingship means and entails in this world. Kings are not born, they are made. It is a legal act, not a biological one.

And there is actually no difference between them dying to protect or guard or whatever Aerys II's grandson and to do that for Aerys II's son. Both are noble things loyal Kingsguard upholding a dead cause could do and consider being exemplary deeds of a Kingsguard.

As I think I said above somewhere, Rickard Thorne is no less a Kingsguard and no less heroic for dying to protect Prince Maelor than he would have been dying for King Aegon II. And just as the guys said to Ned, Thorne could also have proudly died with a 'The Kingsguard does not flee' on his lips.

1 minute ago, corbon said:

There is no way we can agree on this. You have your vague interpretation based on other, very different, circumstances. They are very clear that they are KG, proud of it, holding to their oaths, not bending the knee, and loyal to the dead Aerys. 

At least the images in a fever dream do that, not necessarily real people.

The point I'm making there is that it is completely silly to actually expect anyone - including some royal bodyguards - to think of a infant scion of a dethroned dynasty as 'the king'. Kings - even pretender kings - are crowned in this world. Bittersteel crowned multiple Blackfyre pretender kings, Viserys III was crowned on Dragonstone with his mother's crown. Stannis was crowned with his silly fire crown. Those are people who aspire to kingship.

Prince Aegon, on the other hand, was never crowned, and thus isn't a king to this day. Despite the fact that one could technically describe him as 'the rightful king' from a certain Targaryen-friendly perspective.

The actual king of Westeros by the time Ned arrived at the tower was Robert Baratheon, just as Maegor the Cruel was the actual king of Westeros once he had won his Trial of Seven and mounted the Iron Throne.

And if the guys wanted to protect and serve another king it would have to be Robert Baratheon or Viserys III - because those were the only kings there were.

I'm all open to the possibility that the guys pledged their loyalty to the infant child, even going as far as swearing they would seat him on his grandfather's throne one day. But this would then be the same thing Jon Connington does for Aegon. It wouldn't make the child 'the king'. Not to the men there, and certainly not to the world. He would just be a prince, like Aegon is to this day.

Any other interpretation basically ignores the way George's concept of kingship in the series - which is actually pretty consistent by now. We know what a king is and how he is made in this world. You just have to deal with that.

1 minute ago, corbon said:

That you think the obvious answer would be Robert puts you in opposition to them. Even Barristan, who was faced with no real choice by the time he was recovered enough to actually make it, later acknowledges his fault. 

Because he felt mistreated by Robert's son, Joffrey Baratheon, who was then his king. Selmy is a double turncloak.

But as I laid out above, this is not about personal loyalty and the like, but kingship and what it means to be a king. If you are not proclaimed, crowned, anointed, and in possession of the proper regalia you simply are not a king in this world. Being some dude with the right pedigree doesn't make you a king.

1 minute ago, corbon said:

I think they understand where their oath lies far better than you do.

 

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is rather telling that those people don't really comment on those things anymore. Sure, they may have lost interest for other reasons and such, but it is interesting nonetheless.

It is telling, isn't it.  Some of the worst offenders -- meaning the folks who were doing their best to be cyber-bullies -- kind of tapped out of the forum not long after the publication of The Princess and the Queen, where we saw Fell and Thorne follow orders to leave the king in the care of a bastard knight and go protect someone else.  

If there is now a consensus that the KG vow does not require that one member of the KG personally attend the king at all times, then I am happy to declare victory on that point and move on.  And I think that opens up an opportunity for the the R+L=J thread to become a much more interesting place, and a more hospitable place for opposing views.  But if there is anyone who wants to speak up in favor of the old theory, I will be happy to go through Fire & Blood and find more examples of times when the King was separated from all of the Kingsguard and no one seemed to care. 

Regarding Jaehaerys and whether he outlawed polygamy, I didn't come here now to get back into that.  But I will add to what I said earlier that what one king outlaws, another can allow.  So you may be right that Dany or Aegon (or maybe Dany and Aegon together) will try to reinstate the practice.  We may even see Dany "married" to Hizdar, Aegon and Jon all at the same time.  But Dany is a queen with dragons.  Rhaegar was a prince with no dragons, when the Targaryens were at their weakest point in history.  Dany may be able to re-allow polygamy.  Rhaegar, however, was in no position to do that.  

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7 minutes ago, The Twinslayer said:

If there is now a consensus that the KG vow does not require that one member of the KG personally attend the king at all times, then I am happy to declare victory on that point and move on.

I think the crucial part of that particular idea was to have some weirdo ad hoc justification as to why the gang at the tower stayed with Lyanna while Rhaegar and Aerys II. That was the function of that particular 'argument' in the overall narrative, was it not? Because if Jaime is there then no other KG has to be there, never mind that one of the absent guys is the Lord Commander. And, if there has to be a KG with the king at all times then it is very odd and significant that nobody of Aerys II's KG is with Viserys III but three are still with Lyanna (and the infant).

I wonder whether anyone wants to make a case whether all of King Aenys' Seven sticking with Maegor the Cruel means he is 'the rightful king'. That would be a sight to behold...

And it was always sort of obvious what this particular thing was about. *Jon Snow* cannot just be Rhaegar and Lyanna's son and, possibly, a future king. No, he has to be *the rightful king* from the moment of his birth. And, of course, the marriage of Lyanna and Rhaegar - if it took place - also has to be universally accepted by everybody and their grandmother, and neither the Faith, the lords, the king (who didn't get along with his heir at the time), etc. have to be fine with that, too, despite the fact that bigamy obviously is a savage and abominable practice in Westeros, and actually the crucial insult that led to the Faith Militant Uprising, not the incest (at least if we go by Jaehaerys I's reasoning as cited by Gyldayn in FaB).

Rhaegar has enough 'precedent' in his family history to actually think he has a right to take a second wife, but this isn't the same as Westeros unanimously and gladly accepting such a mad notion.

7 minutes ago, The Twinslayer said:

Regarding Jaehaerys and whether he outlawed polygamy, I didn't come here now to get back into that.  But I will add to what I said earlier that what one king outlaws, another can allow.  So you may be right that Dany or Aegon (or maybe Dany and Aegon together) will try to reinstate the practice.  We may even see Dany "married" to Hizdar, Aegon and Jon all at the same time.  But Dany is a queen with dragons.  Rhaegar was a prince with no dragons, when the Targaryens were at their weakest point in history.  Dany may be able to re-allow polygamy.  Rhaegar, however, was in no position to do that.  

It doesn't hurt to admit defeat on that one. George is not likely to revisit that thing again now that he decided not to have Jaehaerys I or Viserys I rule on polygamy. And that he thought a lot about marriage issues and the continuation of the Faith-Targaryen history is very evident in Jaehaerys-Alysanne's marriage and their mother's fear what another incestuous marriage might cause.

Maegor polygamy is also discussed in that context, so clearly he could have done more there, but he chose not to, keeping it alive further down the road as a ridiculous joke, basically.

That tells me that he didn't want to kill the concept or draw too much attention to the concept.

There are hints that Aegon's two sister-wives were a rather late addendum to AGoT since it is apparently absent from 'The Blood of the Dragon' novella that was published before AGoT. This assumption as well as Dany as the obvious female 'mirror image' of the Conqueror is what caused me to believe a long time ago that polygamy as a concept would become relevant in relation to Dany's future and only in a lesser capacity in relation to back story stuff (and Jorah certainly helped with that ;-)).

Jon Snow can be whatever he is and is supposed to do - including becoming king - without actually being born in wedlock. But Dany is actually likely going to be the one marrying the two other dragonriders/heads of the dragon - or the guys she thinks are those men. And that's how polygamy is going to become an important issue in the series.

And, for what it is worth, if she were to do that before she arrived in Westeros it could be used a propaganda against her. Because it clearly is not normal and not acceptable, even more so if a woman were to presume to do it.

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There is no reason to protect baby Jon from his uncle Eddard unless he is a legitimate threat to the New Order installed by Robert and Ned...

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On 2/23/2019 at 11:14 PM, SFDanny said:

It's always possible I missed some discussion over the years. I will let @Ygrain explain her post of just over seven years ago. She is more than capable of doing so if she wants. I will say that it is not my memory that anyone held on to such a position, and if they did so the didn't do so for long, because it is very clear, and has been for a very long time that there is no such rule. Besides Jaime's calling of his meeting, we also have the common sense conclusion that when Jaime was the only Kingsguard in King's Landing after Darry left for the Trident that he did not spend every hour of the day, every minute of the hour, in Aerys presence. Sleeping, eating, and taking care of other bodily functions doesn't cease being necessary because one dons the white cloak. Delegating responsibilities to others outside the Kingsguard is certainly possible and we know it takes place. Of course, in both these circumstances, these others do so under the guidance of the Kingsguard.

Don't worry, you never missed anyone claiming that the KG must guard the king 24/7 without sleeping or toilet time. What me and everyone else in their sense pointed out was the situation when all the KG gathered to convene - their duty was temporarily and for the shortest time necessary relegated to non-KG guards. The same was apparently done when Jaime was the sole KG around, someone took over while he slept, ate etc., but he couldn't be relieved of his duty for a couple of weeks to go fight at the Trident - he doesn't ask Rhaegar only to take him along but to leave Darry at home instead

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1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Don't worry, you never missed anyone claiming that the KG must guard the king 24/7 without sleeping or toilet time. What me and everyone else in their sense pointed out was the situation when all the KG gathered to convene - their duty was temporarily and for the shortest time necessary relegated to non-KG guards. The same was apparently done when Jaime was the sole KG around, someone took over while he slept, ate etc., but he couldn't be relieved of his duty for a couple of weeks to go fight at the Trident - he doesn't ask Rhaegar only to take him along but to leave Darry at home instead

So, perhaps my aging brain isn’t so faulty as TT would have me believe? This is much more in line with discussions I remember. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

So, perhaps my aging brain isn’t so faulty as TT would have me believe? This is much more in line with discussions I remember. Thanks.

I don't recall anyone arguing that Kingsguard knights can't be out of the king's line of sight when they go to relieve themselves.  I do recall a lot of people insisting that the KG vow requires that one of their members be with the king at all times.  Here is a quote from Corbon:

"Except that it doesn't matter what order Aerys or Rhaegar or anyone else gave them. Barristan tells us the that highest, overriding vow of the KingsGuard is that one of them must always be with the King. With Aerys and Rhegar and Aegon dead, Viserys ought to be their king. Regardless of any other vow they might have made, according to Barristan, their highest priority should have been to get at least one of their number to Viserys' side. Unless he is not the king."

Here is the thread, the quote is in post #22:

 

 

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1 hour ago, The Twinslayer said:

I don't recall anyone arguing that Kingsguard knights can't be out of the king's line of sight when they go to relieve themselves.

Actually, I've raised it before. So maybe we both have faulty memories? Or we both haven't read everything on the site?

1 hour ago, The Twinslayer said:

 I do recall a lot of people insisting that the KG vow requires that one of their members be with the king at all times.

And I recall a lot of people acknowledging that delegation of responsibilities to others outside the Kingsguard is possible in certain circumstances, but overall there needs to be a member of the Kingsguard responsible for guarding of the king. Do you disagree with that?

We can debate whether or not each situation in which there is not a Kingsguard brother with the king is a violation of their oath, but I think the overwhelming majority of cases we know about do not. The real question is not that it can't happen, but rather does the particular circumstances Hightower, Dayne, and Whent find themselves in demand that one of them go to Viserys. I think it does. I think it makes an attentive reader wonder why, just as Ned wonders why in his dream, that the three are there and more than willing to fight Ned and his party to prevent them from taking Lyanna. Ned knows the oaths and responsibilities of the Kingsguard, and he is more than a little puzzled why they stand before him instead of doing what he thinks they should have been doing.

Again, I will leave it up to @corbon for him to respond if he is interested. He too is more than capable of doing so. 

Which reminds me, corbon, I've not forgotten your post. I will respond in depth as soon as I'm able to do so. Right now, I'm running between places.

Edited by SFDanny

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22 hours ago, corbon said:

Its clear from the conversation they'd had that they knew about the Trident, the death of Rhaegar and the death of Aerys. So they've definitely received news very recently. The question is, how much did they get filled in on?

I suspect the news they got originated with the victorious rebels.

My guess, is that 3KG at the Tower of Joy received all those news, when Ashara Dayne arrived there from Starfall. And she got those news by ravenmail from Sunspear, from Martells, that informed Ashara about those events, because she was Elia's lady-in-waiting, and because she was Arthur's sister, and Arthur was sworn brother of deceased KG Lewyn Martell. So they informed Ashara, because they wanted her to pass those news to her brother, as her final service to Elia.

Edited by Megorova

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1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

Again, I will leave it up to @corbon for him to respond if he is interested. He too is more than capable of doing so. 

Which reminds me, corbon, I've not forgotten your post. I will respond in depth as soon as I'm able to do so. Right now, I'm running between places.

Those are my words, from a long time ago. They are somewhat taken out of context though.

I am certain that "one of them must always be with the King" does not mean at all times, every instant, of day and night. If Jaime is left behind when Rhaegar marches to the Trident, then Jaime is with the King and that satisfies the "Protect the King" first duty of the KG, even while he is sleeping, performing ablutions etc etc.
We saw the importance of this first duty in the formal opening to the meeting Jaime conducted, in Barristan defining it as the First Duty, in the way Jaime begged to be exchanged for Darry before the Trident.

 

I seem to recall that other people were arguing back then that the three KG could have been upholding other oaths, not their KG oaths. That they could be ignoring their duties to their KG Oaths in being at the ToJ in that situation.
I can't see that.
I also believe that the passage in Ned's dream which, despite a recent misrepresentation, is not just a 'fever dream', but an old dream, a dream that he'd had before (probably multiple times, not fevered), a dream where things were in the dream as they had been in life.
The dream in not just a dream, its literally Ned's memories of the event. The 'dream' parts come at the beginning, when things are wraith-like and washed out, and at the end when the fever or dream-state intervenes and you get a storm of rose petals etc and then Vayon trying to wake him washing into Lyanna.

5 minutes ago, Megorova said:

My guess, is that 3KG at the Tower of Joy received all those news, when Ashara Dayne arrived there from Starfall. And she got those news by ravenmail from Sunspear, from Martells, that informed Ashara about those events, because she was Elia's lady-in-waiting, and because she was Arthur's sister, and Arthur was sworn brother of deceased KG Lewyn Martell. So they informed Ashara, because they wanted her to pass those news to her brother, as her final service to Elia.

I guess thats possible. Rather unlikely though, by comparison. 

On the one hand you have an absolute certainty that the rebels are sending Ravens far and wide to everyone in Westeros with the news of the end of the Targaryen regime, the deaths of the Targaryens and the crowning of Robert Baratheon - the precise things those at the ToJ seem to know. The purpose being to stop the wars, to bring peace, to show there is no need for holdouts, and to begin the reconciliation process for loyalists and rebels alike.

On the other hand there is a possibility that a courtesy message was sent to a specific person by a third party, to someone who may or may not have been able to get in contact with a missing relative for whom the message was intended.
 

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31 minutes ago, corbon said:

I also believe that the passage in Ned's dream which, despite a recent misrepresentation, is not just a 'fever dream', but an old dream, a dream that he'd had before (probably multiple times, not fevered), a dream where things were in the dream as they had been in life.
The dream in not just a dream, its literally Ned's memories of the event. The 'dream' parts come at the beginning, when things are wraith-like and washed out, and at the end when the fever or dream-state intervenes and you get a storm of rose petals etc and then Vayon trying to wake him washing into Lyanna.

You may want to take this matter up with GRRM:

Quote

I have a question which I'm sure you can (and will?) answer. It's about the Tower of Joy. The image we get from Ned's description is pretty powerful. But it doesn't make sense. The top three kingsguards, including the lord commander amd the best knight in ages, Ser Arthur Dayne are present there. Lyanna is in the tower, she asked Ned to promise him something. This, so says the general consensus us little Jon Snow, who is Lyanna's and Rhaegar's. No sense denying this ;)

However, what are the Kingsguards doing fighting Eddard? Eddard would never hurt Lyanna, nor her child. The little one would be safe with Eddard as well, him being a close relative. So I ask you, was there someone else with Lyanna and Jon?

You'll need to wait for future books to find out more about the Tower of Joy and what happened there, I fear.

I might mention, though, that Ned's account, which you refer to, was in the context of a dream... and a fever dream at that. Our dreams are not always literal.

So why shouldn’t we take Ned’s fever dream account literally?

After all the bit about fighting the three kingsguards is confirmed by Ned’s memory. And Lyanna extracting a promise from Ned on her death bed is confirmed in Ned’s memory.

So why does GRRM bother to remind the fan that dreams are not always literal?  

The one thing that Ned’s memory does not corroborate with the dream is chronology and geography linking the two parts of the dream.  The fan assumes that the second scene of the dream takes place at the same location and immediately after the first scene of the dream and thus puts Lyanna in the tower.

However, as George points out we can’t assume that the sequence of events in the dream matches reality.  Our dreams aren’t confined to location and time.  In other words, the fan assumes that Lyanna was in the tower because of the dream, and that may be a bad assumption.  

Ned’s memories of the events never puts Lyanna in the tower of joy or her death occurring immediately after the battle.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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15 hours ago, Jô Maltese said:

There is no reason to protect baby Jon from his uncle Eddard unless he is a legitimate threat to the New Order installed by Robert and Ned...

You are assuming that the three kingsguards were at the tower to protect Jon...

ETA:

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“But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.”

“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.

We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.”

From the Ballad of Jon Barleycorn:

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There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn must die
They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in
Threw clods upon his head
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn was dead

Heh.

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“Robert, I ask you, what did we rise against Aerys Targaryen for, if not to put an end to the murder of children?”

 

Edited by Frey family reunion

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15 hours ago, Jô Maltese said:

There is no reason to protect baby Jon from his uncle Eddard unless he is a legitimate threat to the New Order installed by Robert and Ned...

We cannot presume to know the reasons of the men at the tower. Their references to Aerys II (a tyrannical madman) don't make it very likely they were seeing the light of reason in their actions. They may not have died to protect someone, they may have just died because they had failed to protect their king and prince and now that House Targaryen was effectively dead they just wanted a good exit.

This is perhaps the best explanation as to why three of the greatest fighters of their generation were defeated and killed by seven men neither of which was famed as a great fighter - one as at best adequate with a blade (Ned), another a crannogman with even less skill with a sword, most likely, and yet another still had been recently a squire, indicating that he wasn't exactly very old or experienced.

If they actually believed they *had to* protect Lyanna and her child from Eddard Stark they would have to be at least as mad/stupid as Aerys II...

6 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Don't worry, you never missed anyone claiming that the KG must guard the king 24/7 without sleeping or toilet time. What me and everyone else in their sense pointed out was the situation when all the KG gathered to convene - their duty was temporarily and for the shortest time necessary relegated to non-KG guards. The same was apparently done when Jaime was the sole KG around, someone took over while he slept, ate etc., but he couldn't be relieved of his duty for a couple of weeks to go fight at the Trident - he doesn't ask Rhaegar only to take him along but to leave Darry at home instead

This idea hinges on the generalization that the situation of a king in his minority is representative of the situation of a king who rules in his own right. One assumes that Robert, Aerys II, etc. decided themselves who they wanted to be attended by, whether they wanted KG attendants at all, which KG would see to the protection of the queen, the royal children and siblings, the mistresses and bastards and whoever else might be deserving of KG protection. If the king decided the priority of his Kingsguard was not the protection of his own person then any meetings of this Kingsguard would not discuss the protection of the king's person because that wouldn't be KG duty then.

53 minutes ago, corbon said:

I am certain that "one of them must always be with the King" does not mean at all times, every instant, of day and night. If Jaime is left behind when Rhaegar marches to the Trident, then Jaime is with the King and that satisfies the "Protect the King" first duty of the KG, even while he is sleeping, performing ablutions etc etc.
We saw the importance of this first duty in the formal opening to the meeting Jaime conducted, in Barristan defining it as the First Duty, in the way Jaime begged to be exchanged for Darry before the Trident.

The Darry-Jaime thing here is just a special case with no potential for generalization. Aerys II wanted Jaime to be with him, he wanted him specifically, and Rhaegar couldn't change that. He thought that perhaps a compromise might be that Rhaegar leave one of the others with him and allow Jaime to go, but that didn't happen.

But the reason for that is not that one KG had to stay with the king. The king just wanted that a (very special) KG remain with him. There are countless other cases when a king had no interest whatsoever that a KG be with him or attend him. And then this is what happened.

And 'the first duty' thing is also nothing that can be construed to be more than a guideline. The purpose of the KG is to protect the king. That's why they were founded, but this doesn't mean a king is forced to allow them to do that. He doesn't have to change the duties or to rename the Kingsguard into Royal Guard or something like that, he can just order them to do something that's not protecting his person. And that's what many KG did, never mind what their first duty.

We even see this when Robert dies. Selmy sees in what condition his king is, but Robert commands him to step aside, so the old man obeys and allows his king to die. Joffrey is not wrong to blame the old man for that. Selmy bears part of the blame for Robert's death.

53 minutes ago, corbon said:

I seem to recall that other people were arguing back then that the three KG could have been upholding other oaths, not their KG oaths. That they could be ignoring their duties to their KG Oaths in being at the ToJ in that situation.
I can't see that.
I also believe that the passage in Ned's dream which, despite a recent misrepresentation, is not just a 'fever dream', but an old dream, a dream that he'd had before (probably multiple times, not fevered), a dream where things were in the dream as they had been in life.
The dream in not just a dream, its literally Ned's memories of the event. The 'dream' parts come at the beginning, when things are wraith-like and washed out, and at the end when the fever or dream-state intervenes and you get a storm of rose petals etc and then Vayon trying to wake him washing into Lyanna.

It is a fever dream, and that's George's own words. It is an old fever dream, and not some literal memories of some event. Very few things in this dreams even look as they had been in life. Some do, but not many.

And there is a narrative reason as to why this is a dream and not a memory. There are POVs who have actual memories of events in this series, and not fever dreams, and the differences there are striking. Mostly because dreams are not as, well, accurate in relation to actual past events than are memories (although some memories are faulty, too).

The idea that George wanted this fever dream to represent literal actual truth goes against his own words and also against the narrative role dreams usually play in fiction. You use dream memories when you want to obscure things, to make them vague, contradicting, fleeting, etc. Not when you want to convey clear and concrete facts.

The idea that one can draw far-flung political implications from this fever dream of Ned's is actually very disrespectful to the work as such, because it tries to make it less subtle and complex than it is actually intended. We are not supposed to take this dream as literal truth. And as a dream its purpose is more about giving us a look into Eddard Stark's psyche and mind than giving us facts. In a dream we don't get just reality filtered by conscious POV minds, we get the subconscious of a POV deal with memories and his conscious/unconscious interpretations of them.

This is more about Ned the man than it is about those knights he saw.

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1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

You may want to take this matter up with GRRM:

So why shouldn’t we take Ned’s fever dream account literally?

After all the bit about fighting the three kingsguards is confirmed by Ned’s memory. And Lyanna extracting a promise from Ned on her death bed is confirmed in Ned’s memory.

So why does GRRM bother to remind the fan that dreams are not always literal?  

Because there are elements in the dream, especially at the beginning and the end, that are not literal. Ned's companions had faces. The sky was not streaked with blood. There was no storm of rose petals. I very much doubt Lyanna screamed his name (though its possible), etc.
You'll note that in the SSM you quoted, the questioner stated outright that Lyanna was in the tower with Jon. In terms of this dream (as opposed to Ned's other memories) this is inferred by her screaming Ned's name after the exchange.
This is too much giveaway for GRRM. So he points out that its a fever dream (which its is, but its also an old dream) and not everything in dreams is literal (our dreams are not always literal).
The 'memory' part of the dream doesn't actually connect Lyanna to the tower. Only the part where Ned's subconscious is messing with the memory in the dream state.

But I'll repeat myself. Its not just a 'fever dream'. Its also an old dream, a repeated dream (with no indications that the earlier versions were fevered), where things are noted to be in the dream as they had been in life.

Some people have attempted to pass the whole dream of as a figment of Ned's psyche putting together various facts and general questions he had and probably still has.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

This is more about Ned the man than it is about those knights he saw.

You see?

I disagree. GRRM wrote very carefully this whole section, and the surrounding information he gave us. There are clear 'dream alterations' at beginning and end that I think signal the difference between memory state and dream state.
There is more information in this dream, about those knights relevant to that situation, than all the rest of the books together
GRRM has explicitly told is that this was an old dream, not just a result of his current fever, twice that things in the dream were as they had been in life, and independently confirmed several elements from Ned's memory.

 

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