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Who would be the best King from the WoFK

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19 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Clearly, the reason he's able to pass judgment on the deserter stems from it being his right as a feudal lord. 

No, it stems from the fact that legislation has been passed and that he's fulfilling his duties as someone charged with such a responsibility. 

19 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Are you referring to Mormont-poacher fiasco? If so, Eddard would be the only one besides king who could pass judgement on whether or not Jorah is guilty of the crimes he was accused. If say a peasant decides Jorah is guilty of selling people to be enslaved, and kills Jorah(regardless of the evidence), he'd be seen as having committed murder since it's not his or her place to pass judgment on a lord and administer what they see as justice.

Which stems from the fact that slavery has been rendered illegal. If slavery had not been rendered illegal, then a monarch or feudal lord would have acted out of his own. 

19 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

It was treated as something(at least if we could believe Roose), something that a lord can partake in. I'm sure it wasn't mandatory.

It's an example of a 'law' that gives full rights to a monarch, who can act from the mere fact that he is a monarch.

19 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

And????

A limitation of a monarch's power. Here we have an example of religion holding priority over laws from even the feudal lord himself. Once again proving that being a monarch in itself is not (always) where power stems from.  

19 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Sure they do. That wasn't really in dispute

Then why claim that Joffery's shallow understanding of law is sufficient? Clearly, as demonstrated in the story, monarchs have very clear limitations and, in some cases, have no power at all (in theory). The fact that Joffery decides that his actions have merits from the mere fact that he is king, demonstrates the fact that he doesn't understand what law is. 

19 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Ol? Like, where did I state anything that disputes that idea?

This is what Joffery does. He infuriates his vassals. The only limitation, in practice, which he manages to screw up. 

19 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I was arguing Renly's and Robb's crime far surpass the bullying of Mychach. So, it'd be impossible to commit treason against the crown while a Baratheon(with Targs still living) wears it? Ok that's something to ponder.

Well, he and his allies are called out for treason by loyalists, so isn't it exceedingly ironic that treason could be committed against a treasonous king. It's obvious that the Boltons could commit treason against the Starks, since the Boltons are their vassals, but now we're attributing power to a king over the entirety of Westeros, when he gained that position through treason. That's how I see it. 

19 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Maybe those economists were poor ones? And since the prositution ban is the only thing apparently we can measure Stannis by in terms of economics, he certianly shouldn't be placed at the top for it shows either he doesn't understand how banning such a thing can hurt the economy and/or doesn't care.

Or this is a case of Stannis prioritising one thing over another. He places whatever sense of morality over that of the economy. Doesn't speak to his attitude towards pretty much any other economic good or service. And again, Dragonstone isn't bankrupt (due to these actions) so he had to consider the effects prior. 

20 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

In terms of administrating law? Meh, it's the understanding of a typical feudal lord. 

He's the only feudal lord I've seen in the books demonstrating such cluelessness. 

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44 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

No, it stems from the fact that legislation has been passed and that he's fulfilling his duties as someone charged with such a responsibility. 

Why do you you think the deserter was brought to Ned for judgement? Because Ned was the closest person whose the authority to actually judge the accused. 

 

56 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

Which stems from the fact that slavery has been rendered illegal. If slavery had not been rendered illegal, then a monarch or feudal lord would have acted out of his own. 

And again Ned can administer justice to Jorah because of his position in the family he's from. Everyone cannot unilaterally decide who is guilty of crime and what punishment shall be dealt out.

 

1 hour ago, Seeeyeare said:

Or this is a case of Stannis prioritising one thing over another. He places whatever sense of morality over that of the economy. Doesn't speak to his attitude towards pretty much any other economic good or service. And again, Dragonstone isn't bankrupt (due to these actions) so he had to consider the effects prior. 

Or he simply didn't care about the negative economic effects it'd have on DS and didn't give it any thoughts. Having this as the only thing we can see as Stannis doing something involving economics it really seems he doesn't seem to be at the top of economics.

 

1 hour ago, Seeeyeare said:

This is what Joffery does. He infuriates his vassals. The only limitation, in practice, which he manages to screw up. 

Yes. 

 

1 hour ago, Seeeyeare said:

Then why claim that Joffery's shallow understanding of law is sufficient? Clearly, as demonstrated in the story, monarchs have very clear limitations and, in some cases, have no power at all (in theory). The fact that Joffery decides that his actions have merits from the mere fact that he is king, demonstrates the fact that he doesn't understand w

The question was where does Joffery think his right to administer law comes from-which does have merit. 

 lord I've seen in the books demonstrating such cluelessness

There's no questioning by Ned what gives him the right to decide if a man accused of a crime under his jurisdiction  is guilty of the crime he's accused.

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4 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Why do you you think the deserter was brought to Ned for judgement? Because Ned was the closest person whose the authority to actually judge the accused. 

Yes, Ned has been given authority to act as a judge. His authority stems from law in itself, not the mere fact that he is a lord. If it did, then each and every region in Westeros would have been run in whatever manner each lord wished. This is not the case, as there are clear laws all rulers must abide by. 

4 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

And again Ned can administer justice to Jorah because of his position in the family he's from. Everyone cannot unilaterally decide who is guilty of crime and what punishment shall be dealt out.

His authority stems from existing laws. That's the point. 

4 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Or he simply didn't care about the negative economic effects it'd have on DS and didn't give it any thoughts. Having this as the only thing we can see as Stannis doing something involving economics it really seems he doesn't seem to be at the top of economics.

Maybe he didn't think it through. Maybe he did. No way to tell. Only thing we can tell is the fact that he hasn't bankrupted his seat due to economic choices. Unlike Robert, for example. 

4 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

The question was where does Joffery think his right to administer law comes from-which does have merit. 

He thinks it comes from the mere fact that he is king. This is wrong. There is even a council which may regulate power. Tommen, for example, has absolutely 0 power. 

4 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

There's no questioning by Ned what gives him the right to decide if a man accused of a crime under his jurisdiction  is guilty of the crime he's accused.

Westerosi legislature. 

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1 hour ago, Seeeyeare said:

been given authority to act as a judge. His authority stems from law in itself, not the mere fact that he is a lord. If it did, then each and every region in Westeros would have been run in whatever manner each lord wished. This is not the case, as there are clear laws all rulers must abide by. 

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No it does stem from him being the closet lord. Him being to indict and punish someone accused of a crime on that basis doesn't mean he personally can suddenly change the law; just decide if a subject or vassal of his had broken it and what punishment need be dealt out. Not everyone can have that authority else chaos would break out with everyone using the perview of someone having broken the law to get away with any transgression against another. Like, for example a randomn butcher could not decide whether or not his neighbor is guilty of murder and decide to execute his neighbor. If he wants Justice the butcher need raise the issue to his local guard to go inform the local lord he is needed to decide whether or not the butcher's neighbor is guilty.

 

1 hour ago, Seeeyeare said:

His authority stems from existing laws. That's the point

His authority comes from his place in the family he's from. Honestly, are you contending that a randomn peasant could decide Jorah was slaving(he was obviously), and legally kill Jorah? 

 

1 hour ago, Seeeyeare said:

Maybe he didn't think it through. Maybe he did. No way to tell. Only thing we can tell is the fact that he hasn't bankrupted his seat due to economic choices. Unlike Robert, fo

Robert is a pretty low bar man. Look, maybe he would be better in terms of economics than the other contenders for king in Westeroes but we haven't seen anything really that says he's better than Robb, Renly or even Joffery. We haven't seen them deal with economics over all. 

 

1 hour ago, Seeeyeare said:

He thinks it comes from the mere fact that he is king. This is wrong. There is even a council which may regulate power. Tommen, for example, has absolutely 0 power. 

Are you talking about the small council? And Tommen is still a child until he comes of age he does not have power true. 

And Joffery is right to a degree. If not because of his place in the family he's from he could not administrate law

Westerosi legislature

Which gave him the right to judge based on his blood

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On 1/11/2018 at 1:59 PM, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Clearly, the reason he's able to pass judgment on the deserter stems from it being his right as a feudal lord. 

It stems from Robert's authority to make him a feudal lord and upholding the king's laws:

“His father peeled off his gloves and handed them to Jory Cassel, the captain of his household guard. He took hold of Ice with both hands and said, “In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, by the word of Eddard of the House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, I do sentence you to die.” ”

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

It stems from Robert's authority to make him a feudal lord and upholding the king's laws:

“His father peeled off his gloves and handed them to Jory Cassel, the captain of his household guard. He took hold of Ice with both hands and said, “In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, by the word of Eddard of the House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, I do sentence you to die.” ”

 

 

Robert did not make Ned a feudal lord Ned inherited his position and all the perks with it including the right to act as judge for when a person in a lower caste than him is accused of a crime in the north. He can enact Justice against someone accused of breaking the king's laws not because of anything he personally did but because he was in next in line to the position of warden.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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32 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Robert did not make Ned a feudal lord Ned inherited his position and all the perks with it including the right to act as judge for when a person in a lower caste than him is accused of a crime in the north. He can enact Justice against someone accused of breaking the king's laws not because of anything he personally did but because he was in next in line to the position of warden.

Ned inherited it while his family was in open rebellion (or soon enough to not matter). Either way it's irrelevant because he bent the knee and swore fealty just like Tywin, Jon Arryn, and Hoster Tully. So even if he were a lord before, he is a lord with the rights of pits and gallows because Robert let him keep all his lands and titles after the rebellion (not that there was a question of him swearing or keeping his lands)

He can enact justice because the king says he can. He says it himself. He personally knelt and was granted his titles and privileges. I can repeat that until I am blue in the faith. Warden of the North is a military title. It has nothing to do with the dispensation of justice. 

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2 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

No it does stem from him being the closet lord.

A Westerosi lord's authority does not originate from being a lord. Lords do not rule in any way they please. There are set laws. These laws grant authority. Ned is fulfilling his duty as per the law of the land. Ned cannot suddenly pardon the deserters and send them on their way to the Summer Isles as a thank you for their effort and trying their best. There is a predefined way in which Ned is expected to act. That is where his authority stems from. 

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Him being to indict and punish someone accused of a crime on that basis doesn't mean he personally can suddenly change the law; just decide if a subject or vassal of his had broken it and what punishment need be dealt out.

Him being able to punish someone is a right granted to him. 

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Not everyone can have that authority else chaos would break out with everyone using the perview of someone having broken the law to get away with any transgression against another. Like, for example a randomn butcher could not decide whether or not his neighbor is guilty of murder and decide to execute his neighbor.

Anyone who is granted authority can act with authority. The gold cloaks in King's Landing are by and large commoners. Yet they have been given power to act with authority. Davos was a smuggler who has been given authority. Ned was given authority to act as hand of the king, in effect giving him power over other lords. In each case, this authority stems from preexisting law.

Which is why our favourite gold cloak loses his authority when he is sent to the wall, and why Jon Connington lost his authority. A lord does not have power by virtue of being a lord. A lord has power because power has been granted to him. Power which can also be taken away. Lawfully, of course.

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If he wants Justice the butcher need raise the issue to his local guard to go inform the local lord he is needed to decide whether or not the butcher's neighbor is guilty.

That's obvious. 

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His authority comes from his place in the family he's from. Honestly, are you contending that a randomn peasant could decide Jorah was slaving(he was obviously), and legally kill Jorah? 

Depends whether or not a peasant has been given agency. A jail keeper has authority over imprisoned, even if the imprisoned are lords! 

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Robert is a pretty low bar man. Look, maybe he would be better in terms of economics than the other contenders for king in Westeroes but we haven't seen anything really that says he's better than Robb, Renly or even Joffery. We haven't seen them deal with economics over all. 

We haven't seen the later two ruling their land at all. Tywin did all the work for Joffery and Robb was too busy waging war. What experience, exactly, are you attributing to them? Stannis and Renly have ruled since they were teenagers. 

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Are you talking about the small council? And Tommen is still a child until he comes of age he does not have power true. 

In other words, kings have limitations placed against them. As I said before, another example would be a right to 'fight in front of the gods' according to the faith of the seven. 

Also:

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"A few hundred. My own men, chiefly. Father was loath to part with any of his. He is fighting a war, after all."
"What use will your few hundred men be if Renly marches on the city, or Stannis sails from Dragonstone? I ask for an army and my father sends me a dwarf. The king names the Hand, with the consent of council. Joffrey named our lord father."
"And our lord father named me."
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Tyrion shrugged. "He knows that your son's short reign has been a long parade of follies and disasters. That suggests that someone is giving Joffrey some very bad counsel."
Cersei gave him a searching look. "Joff has had no lack of good counsel. He's always been strong-willed. Now that he's king, he believes he should do as he pleases, not as he's bid."
"Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them," Tyrion agreed. "This business with Eddard Stark . . . Joffrey's work?"

 

So even after being made king, he still needs the council to support him. 

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And Joffery is right to a degree. If not because of his place in the family he's from he could not administrate law

And if an heir is disinherited? For example, being sent to the wall? Family doesn't mean anything then.

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Which gave him the right to judge based on his blood

Like Daenerys's right to rule Westeros by virtue of being a Targaryen? Blood only matters if that blood of yours has authority. 

Edited by Seeeyeare

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1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:
2 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

 

Ned inherited it while his family was in open rebellion (or soon enough to not matter). 

Yes.

 

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Either way it's irrelevant because he bent the knee and swore fealty just like Tywin, Jon Arryn, and Hoster Tully. So even if he were a lord before, he is a lord with the rights of pits and gallows because Robert let him keep all his lands and titles after the rebellion (not that there was a question of him swearing or keeping his lands)

In exchange for recognizing his to the throne the king recognizes the rights of the lords kneel before them. 

He can enact justice because the king says he can. He says it himself. 

And why does the monarch say he and other lords can? Because of their place in the family in their from. They're blood is the sole claim for they of all people should decide if someone of a lower station is guilty of a crime. In exchange for recognizing this right they kneel before him and recognize his right to be king based on his place in the family he is from. 

I can repeat that until I am blue in the faith. Warden of the North is a military title. It has nothing to do with the dispensation of justice. 

 

 True. I had mixed up warden with lord paramount. 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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13 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

Anyone who is granted authority can act with authority.

And lords are granted authority based on their blood.

 

15 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

n the later two ruling their land at all. Tywin did all the work for Joffery and Robb was too busy waging war. What experience, exactly, are you attributing to them? Stannis and Renly have ruled since they were teenagers

Exactly. We don't know. My position we haven't seen enough of them to say how good each is on economics.

 

17 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

In other words, kings have limitations placed against them. As I said before, another example would be a right to 'fight in front of the gods' according to the faith of the seven. 

That "right" is only really afforded to those of proper blood. I never said kings have limitations placed against them.

 

25 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

So even after being made king, he still needs the council to support him. 

The quotes you cited don't really back up the claim. The irritation being expressed is Joffery having decided to forgoe taking the advisement of his councilors. Not that Joffery is breaking a rule by not listening to them.

It just shows he doesn't need their approval to do certian acts as king. 

 

33 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

an heir is disinherited? For example, being sent to the wall? Family doesn't mean anything then.

Then the next in line after moves up becomes the heir. If the oldest son of 7 decides to join the KG, the second oldest beccomes heir.

 

35 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

Depends whether or not a peasant has been given agency. A jail keeper has authority over imprisoned, even if the imprisoned are lords! 

The butcher in your case would simply be a tool for the lord or king to execute the accused. Same with the jail keeper. The only real legal justification for even having imprisoned a lord has to come from the demands of the lord's liege.

 

40 minutes ago, Seeeyeare said:

Which is why our favourite gold cloak loses his authority when he is sent to the wall, and why Jon Connington lost his authority. A lord does not have power by virtue of being a lord. A lord has power because power has been granted to him. Power which can also be taken away. Lawfully, of course.

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A lord is granted his power because of who he is in the family he is from.

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Definitely Stannis. Unlike Robert, Stannis actually takes his duties seriously. He wouldn't waste gold on tourneys, wouldn't allow Littlefinger ( not saying that Littlefinger would still be the Master of Coin if Stannis is King ) to manipulate him into financially ruining the 7 Kingdoms, Varys and his little birds would be executed so that means Aegon doesn't have an "inside man" in Westeros anymore, The North would probably bend the knee to him once he gets rid of the Lannisters and returns Sansa to her family, Dorne would come back into the fold considering that in this scenario all of the Lannisters are dead, Pycelle is probably executed, he would help the people from the Riverlands get back on feet if they also bend the knee to the Mannis, Westeros would be prepared for the Others if Stannis is King, Bolton take over does not happen or if it does The Mannis rides North and destroys them... everything would be better. And don't tell me that he would introduce a new religion in Westeros and people would turn on him, the smallfolk would be so grateful that the war is over and that they now have a King who actually cares about them that it wouldn't matter what God he worships. The only problem i see with this is the fact that he doesn't have a male heir. 

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1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

And lords are granted authority based on their blood.

Lords are made. Baelish. Clegane. Lords can also be unmade. Blood is irrelevant. Anyone, regardless of their blood, can be granted authority.

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Exactly. We don't know. My position we haven't seen enough of them to say how good each is on economics.

Experience counts for something. Robb and Joffery have none. Renly and Stannis do. Stannis inherited the poorest region. Stannis took a loan. Stannis banned something which affected the economy to an extent. Stannis has participated more in the economy than the other three. 

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That "right" is only really afforded to those of proper blood. I never said kings have limitations placed against them.

Yes, which is the side effect of feudal rule. Fact of the matter is that a king does not rule by mere fact of being king as Joffrey believes. 

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The quotes you cited don't really back up the claim. The irritation being expressed is Joffery having decided to forgoe taking the advisement of his councilors. Not that Joffery is breaking a rule by not listening to them.

That's not why I used those quotes. I wanted to point out these three things:

1) Joffrey must still abide the council, such as when appointing a hand of the king. 

2) This was after being made king.

3) Joffrey still thinks he just ought to be able to do things. Even though he can't. And when he does, he infuriates those beneath him. Leading to revolts, for example. 

Funny thing, a monarch still has to obey his vassals, lest his vassals remove him of his office. Joffrey ordered to behead Ned. Is this an example of Joffrey understanding where his power stems? Because at this point three of the kingdoms are likely to react negatively to this decision. But he doesn't think that through. Because he doesn't understand how his rule is secured. 

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It just shows he doesn't need their approval to do certian acts as king. 

He does, though. For how many things, we don't know, but for at least one thing we do. 

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Then the next in line after moves up becomes the heir. If the oldest son of 7 decides to join the KG, the second oldest beccomes heir.

A previous king decides the heir. And then even that can be ignored. See The Dance of Dragons. Agnatic-Cognatic primogeniture succession is the norm, but not written in stone. 

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The butcher in your case would simply be a tool for the lord or king to execute the accused. Same with the jail keeper. The only real legal justification for even having imprisoned a lord has to come from the demands of the lord's liege.

If you call them tools, when they are given agency, you're calling lords tools as well. No difference. Authority is given. Authority can be retracted. 

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A lord is granted his power because of who he is in the family he is from.

Like Daenerys? A lord is granted his power because it is given to him. Recall how the title of Warden of the East was retracted? 

Edited by Seeeyeare

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2 hours ago, Seeeyeare said:

Experience counts for something. Robb and Joffery have none. Renly and Stannis do. Stannis inherited the poorest region. Stannis took a loan. Stannis banned something which affected the economy to an extent. Stannis has participated more in the economy than the other three. 

Ok they've all inherited regions Stannis having inherited the poorest doesn't in it of itself count as experience with economics. Stannis took a loan for money for his war effort, not to stabilize an economy. The only real instance we can point of him doing something with relation to buisness, is banning a very lucrative one.  Honestly, it's woefully unfair Stannis is the best in regards to economics when we hadn't actually seen what the other 3 were capable of and the only thing we see of Stannis was something that would obviously hurt the economy.

Like Daenerys? A lord is granted his power because it is given to him. Recall how the title of Warden of the East was retracted? 

 

Dany is a queen. Sorry that's playing semantics. A lord is given his power power because of his place in the family to which he is from. Yes there are a handful (I do mean you could literaly count them on you fingers), of lords who were elevated toward their position because some valor service, but for the rest they were given this right for no other reason than the position they have from the family they are from.

2 hours ago, Seeeyeare said:

A previous king decides the heir. And then even that can be ignored. See The Dance of Dragons. Agnatic-Cognatic primogeniture succession is the norm, but not written in stone. 

A violation of law.

 

2 hours ago, Seeeyeare said:

frey must still abide the council, such as when appointing a hand of the king. 

 

That could be due to his status as a minor no? If not, Joffery would still have the authority to dismiss the council and put in place sychopant-bigger sychopants

 

2 hours ago, Seeeyeare said:

 

2) This was after being made king.

Yes.

 

2 hours ago, Seeeyeare said:

He does, though. For how many things, we don't know, but for at least one thing we do. 

The quotes you provided show that. 

 

2 hours ago, Seeeyeare said:

Lords are made. Baelish. Clegane. Lords can also be unmade. Blood is irrelevant. Anyone, regardless of their blood, can be granted authority.

In a few extremely rare cases a peasant having commited a tremendous service to the liege lord of his realm had been granted the title of lord. The other 99.9999999999% got it because of their position in the family to which they are from. Joffery was not granted his kingship (and all the rights that go along with it), because of anything he personally did he was granted it because he seemed to be the oldest living trueborn son of Robert Baratheon.

 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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On 1/9/2018 at 1:15 AM, Varysblackfyre321 said:

And he has'nt seen them since they were literal children-Renly scarce more than a toddler

If this is the case then his evaluations really don't count for a lot.

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On 1/9/2018 at 4:04 AM, Mainstroke said:

I think you have to look at it from a medieval blacksmiths perspective. He forges weapons, what metals are of value then? 

Steel by far is the most worth when forging weapons. It is hard and flexible, both good qualities in swords. Cast Iron (you are correct there, pure iron is malleable but cast iron is what Noye is describing as black and hard and brittle) can be processed to a usable weapon. But copper, that is way to soft to be a usable weapon by itself, and is actually of lower worth than both Steel and cast iron in a medieval society. 

Also, Robert showed great charisma and leading capabilities in his younger years. Adding to his remarkable fighting abilities he was a pretty great person. But by GoT he has fallen pretty low and steel is not symbolic for ruling. I guess all metals are useless when not used for their original purpose. 

Main uses of these metals in a medieval setting was:

Steel - weapons, armor; aka fighting
Iron - tools and horseshoes etc.; aka commoner use in everyday life (Steel is better but not affordable for a regular person)
Copper - coins and decorative objects (mostly); aka economy and luxuries

A smith has more to do than forge weapons. 

Copper is the major component in bronze, one of the more useful materials then and now. Iron may be soft for weapons but it has a lot of other uses. A smith should know that, and certainly not conflate cast iron with iron in its more malleable form.

This is just one more of GRRM's slips, like calling a bird a hawk and a falcon in the same paragraph.

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Of the five kings (Balon, Joffrey, Renly, Stannis and Robb), I think Renly would have made for the best king at that exact time.

Robb eventually would if he had aged and matured, garnering some actual wisdom, but that wasn't to be. He was a strong battlefield commander but his decision making skills were obviously flawed.

Balon was culturally all wrong and ill suited for the Iron Throne. He never could have held it as the Lords would have rebelled against him until he was deposed. No way they would have lived under Ironborn rule with all that their customs entail.

Joffrey was a monster and was never going to get better.

I would like to have seen what would have happened if Renly supported Stannis' claim and helped him secure the IT. In the end, Stannis never would have ended up with a male heir so at some point Renly would have succeeded him anyway. Then he would simply have needed to stop stabbing Loras long enough to produce sons of his own and he could have ended up a decent king himself. Though there are comments in the story about how Renly was basically all flash with no substance so he had to have flaws as well. He seems to be kind of laughed at behind his back which could have caused him problems, but out of the five choices at that time, I'd still go with him.

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Let's try and put them in a list, from the best to the worst:

1) Stannis. Meritocratic (Davos being elevated to Handship), Just (his decision not to attack Claw Isle, the indictment of Alester Florent, etc.), radical ("we shall make new lords"), aware of the mechanisms of human nature ("Good men and true will fight for Joffrey"), not affected by prejudice (Flea Bottom and Stony Shore smallfolk in his armies, Essosi in his navy), military prodigy (Castle Black, Deepwood Motte, the Siege of Storm's End, Fair Isle, capture of Dragonstone), good in diplomacy (winning the mountain clans, restoring the Motte to House Glover), open-minded when it comes to religion ("it was only wood we burned", "I will have no burnings. Pray harder"), hearing opposite views between his advisors and trying to steer the best course (hearing both Davos and Melisandre vis-a-vis Edric Storm), anti-corruption ("I mean to scour that court clean") and genuinely fighting for the realm, which makes him a righteous man (GRRM's own words).

2) Robb. Crowned by acclamation, inspired a strong sense of proto-nationalism (a huge leap forward when compared to feudalism), had a sound military mind (Whispering Wood, the Camps, Oxcross), was not opposed to a coalition with a southron King, meaning he did not attack the concept of the Iron Throne-backed regime, but was diametrically opposed to Lannister rule and wanted the North to be no part of it. However, he confused the lines between politics and familiarity (hoping that Lysa would aid him, sending Theon to Pyke, not firmly rebuking Catelyn for freeing Jaime but executing Rickard Karstark for a less serious offense). This being said, most of his failures were not determined by his skills or ineptitude (Balon was already planning to attack the North, Roose Bolton was actively hindering the Stark cause), but rather the skales of fate were tipped against him. While he was not perfect and made mistakes, he must not be held responsible for the downfall of his House.

3) Joffrey (no, do not stone me). The negatives of his rule are well-known (executing Lords Paramount, keeping refugees out of the capital. killing his own smallfolk, badly abusing and humiliating women), but with a strong and capable administrator like Tywin and with the Tyrell alliance his rule would ultimately have some bright spots.

4) Balon. A believer in ironborn supremacy, relishing in piracy, abductions, rape, enslavement, constant war, without having a skill in politics or a sound military mind. However, his popularity within his people and the support he had from the organized religious community would guarantee that his rule would be uncontested within his realm.

5) Renly. For all his so-called "popularity", in the Stormlands (where he was feudal lord) he had the support of only the Carons, Errols, Estermonts, Conningtons, Penroses and Morrigens, plus Brienne, meaning that only 6 of the 35 Houses joined him. In the Reach, he gained his allies due to his marriage to Margaery, which means that Mace, not Renly, had to mobilize the Tarlys, Rowans, etc. Outside those regions, his base of support was nonexistent. Furthermore, he had no rightful claim (hence he resorts to the "you may have the better claim, but I have the bigger army" quip), he knew about the incest but did not tell Robert, because he wanted the truth to be revealed just in time when Robert would already have been attracted to Margaery (hence the scene where he shows Eddard the locket), he actively instructed his men to kill Stannis ("see no insult is done to my brother's corpse") and dismisses the idea of a Great Council ("do direwolves vote"). He is not a proto-democrat, but rather espouses the "Might makes Right" doctrine, is- at least- an attempted kinslayer and does not have a grasp of either feudal politics or military strategy and tactics.

 

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1 hour ago, Knight of the Winged Pig said:

Let's try and put them in a list, from the best to the worst:

1) Stannis. Meritocratic (Davos being elevated to Handship), Just (his decision not to attack Claw Isle, the indictment of Alester Florent, etc.), radical ("we shall make new lords"), aware of the mechanisms of human nature ("Good men and true will fight for Joffrey"), not affected by prejudice (Flea Bottom and Stony Shore smallfolk in his armies, Essosi in his navy), military prodigy (Castle Black, Deepwood Motte, the Siege of Storm's End, Fair Isle, capture of Dragonstone), good in diplomacy (winning the mountain clans, restoring the Motte to House Glover), open-minded when it comes to religion ("it was only wood we burned", "I will have no burnings. Pray harder"), hearing opposite views between his advisors and trying to steer the best course (hearing both Davos and Melisandre vis-a-vis Edric Storm), anti-corruption ("I mean to scour that court clean") and genuinely fighting for the realm, which makes him a righteous man (GRRM's own words).

Just spitballing here, how do the battles of Dragonstone, Deepwoode Motte or the Siege of Storms end estabish him as a prodigy?

1) Dragonstone - Captured an island where the garrison of (probably) 300 was ready to hand over the targ children

2) Deepwood motte - captures DM against token IB force who abandoned the awful fortress as soon as it was apparently Stannis was at the gates.

3) Siege of Storm's End - never been captured in battle or siege

Gunther sunglass was thrown in jail for telling Stannis he wouldnt support his claim. He's plenty flawed and overrated in many senses

1 hour ago, Knight of the Winged Pig said:

5) Renly. For all his so-called "popularity", in the Stormlands (where he was feudal lord) he had the support of only the Carons, Errols, Estermonts, Conningtons, Penroses and Morrigens, plus Brienne, meaning that only 6 of the 35 Houses joined him. In the Reach, he gained his allies due to his marriage to Margaery, which means that Mace, not Renly, had to mobilize the Tarlys, Rowans, etc. Outside those regions, his base of support was nonexistent. Furthermore, he had no rightful claim (hence he resorts to the "you may have the better claim, but I have the bigger army" quip), he knew about the incest but did not tell Robert, because he wanted the truth to be revealed just in time when Robert would already have been attracted to Margaery (hence the scene where he shows Eddard the locket), he actively instructed his men to kill Stannis ("see no insult is done to my brother's corpse") and dismisses the idea of a Great Council ("do direwolves vote"). He is not a proto-democrat, but rather espouses the "Might makes Right" doctrine, is- at least- an attempted kinslayer and does not have a grasp of either feudal politics or military strategy and tactics.

Renly had to have most of the SL troops given the number he had at Bitterbridge.

He only learned of the incest when Stannis sent his letter and its clear from Cat's POVs he didn't believe it one bit

Why wouldn't you try to kill someone who wants to kill you?

He clearly has a grasp on feudal politics. He's a favor of the commons, has the largest army in the country, and is just generally well received. His grasp of military strategy? Proceed slowly while I can and let the others beat one another up? Destroy Stannis with overwhelming numbers while he's weak? 

'is an ettempted kinslayer' is better than an actual kinslayer?

So much shit gets piled on Renly without an oz of critical thought.

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Really all five original kings sucked in their own way. They also had their merits, but I don't think any of them would've been destined for a smooth reign, even if you handwave eliminate all their opposition.

Joffrey's main strength was that he had effective people ruling on his behalf in the form of Tyrion and Tywin. Though his sadistic impulses actively interfered with that and would've only gotten worse as he got older and began ruling in his own right. Unless Tywin managed to pull off a "sharp lesson" for him. So his two possible paths were madman or puppet.

Robb meant well. He really did and had the character to be a good ruler. He couldn't distinguish between war and politics, letting the latter destroy him however and didn't have the wisdom to overcome his pride which is essential for a good leader. Which means bending the knee and coming to some sort of accommodation with the south, be it Renly, Stannis or Joffrey. A northern separatist movement was never going to succeed.

Renly certainly had the charisma and understood how people worked and how to use politics to get what he wanted. Though by his admission his claim was based on nothing more than a selfish desire for power, rather than any lawful merit or moral right. I think that attitude would've bled over into his rule, and he had the potential to become a different version of Robert. Honestly, part of me just thinks he concocted the scheme with Loras so they could be together. Corruption would seem to be destined to flourish under his rule as it did Robert's. His military instincts didn't seem to be all that great either, despite his overwhelming force he never was able to bring it to fully bear against anyone.

Balon, well he's honest about what he is. He just wants his Iron Islands and the old way. Though even Theon had the right of it. Whoever wins the Iron Throne will eventually take notice of this fool on his islands who calls himself a king. He was never going to be successful. Quite possible the coldest of all the kings, he really doesn't care about the people close to him or the consequences of his actions so long as he's king.

Stannis is something of an enigma. He seems the one most willing to deal with injustice and corruption and by his actions judges by merit at least as much as birth. He also seems to care about his responsibilities as king and would do his duty as king. Though he also doesn't seem to fundamentally understand how people work either, so coupled with his inflexibility he would probably have an unpleasant time ruling. His conversion to red god, while seemingly mostly out of convenience, isn't going to win hearts and minds either, so the possibility of a conflict between the Faith and the followers of R'hllor would always be there.

So out of the five? I'd say Stannis probably would've been the best. He has the legal claim, and his merits seem to balance out his flaws. Though he might not be the best out of the second generation of claimants, even if he's the only original one who survived. Which oddly enough has five claimants as well. The second generation of the war of the five kings being Stannis, Tommen, (f)Aegon, Euron and Dany(assuming she ever comes over).

Edited by Lord Lannister

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