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What if Renly supported Joffrey?

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Of course there is, if Renly's character wasn't what it was , or maybe Cersei arrests him beforehand.

Reply didn't know they were illegitimate, which is clear in ACOK after and during the parley.

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Joffrey always seemed to prefer Robert to Cersei, but the Baratheon brothers took up arms against him. In a scenario where one of the Baratheons was on his side, is it possible that could take control from the Lannisters.

Edited by Lee-Sensei

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On 06/03/2018 at 4:30 AM, Lord Lannister said:

I'm actually surprised he wasn't more intrigued by Catelyn's suggestion of a grand council. The grandeur of being proclaimed king by acclamation seems right up his alley.

From Renly's perspective that would be tossing away his advantage. He had the largest army by far, and the weakest claim. He was the only one of the claimants to the Iron Throne who knew for a fact that his claim was nonsense (as Stannis points out to Davos). At a Grand Council, he would have had a hard time justifying his claim. His only argument was that the Lannisters were nasty and his brother was mental. That may have had some traction, but I doubt it would have won him the day. His only route to the throne was swords, not words. He makes that clear to Cat before Stannis turns up. 

On 16/03/2018 at 6:09 PM, cpg2016 said:

There is no scenario in which Renly backs Stannis.

For me, one of the tragedies of the story is that Renly and Stannis hated each other. They could have made a decent team if they complimented each others' strengths rather than competed. 

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On 18/03/2018 at 7:19 AM, Lee-Sensei said:

Joffrey always seemed to prefer Robert to Cersei

I don't know about that. Joffrey obviously wanted his father's approval, but he also clearly followed Cersei's lead, as Cersei was the one who showed him any affection. Joffrey's attitude to his father was pretty complicated, but it's clear that he was close to Cersei. 

On 18/03/2018 at 7:19 AM, Lee-Sensei said:

In a scenario where one of the Baratheons was on his side, is it possible that could take control from the Lannisters.

Renly and Joffrey clearly disliked each other. Renly thought it was the funniest thing in the world when Joffrey almost got his arm bitten off and his sword thrown in the river. Although, to be fair, it was. I seem to recall Sansa noticing Joffery showing dislike of Renly when he first arrives on the Kingsroad. 

We see no interactions between Stannis and Joffery, but I don't really imagine them getting along either. 

More generally, as has been pointed out before, both Baratheon brothers knew that Cersei would try to get rid of them at some point. Renly in particular, given his own plotting before and during Robert's death, must have known he had a target on his back. Siding with Joffrey during the succession crisis would have been a move more stupid than any of Ned's.

In my opinion, all of Renly's moves were, from a purely strategic rather than ethical perspective, entirely correct, and he only lost because someone sent a shadow baby after him, which is not the kind of eventuality you prepare for in the planning phase of an operation. 

 

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6 hours ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

For me, one of the tragedies of the story is that Renly and Stannis hated each other. They could have made a decent team if they complimented each others' strengths rather than competed. 

Thats true of the Baratheon brothers as a whole.

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30 minutes ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Thats true of the Baratheon brothers as a whole.

Agreed, but I always thought the Stannis-Renly split was particularly tragic. Robert didn't really need their help, and had Ned anyway. Renly was clever, but morally bankrupt. Stannis mopes about like an emo and his best mates growing up were an old Maester and a traumatised goshawk. 

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On 3/5/2018 at 8:30 PM, Lord Lannister said:

If Renly doesn't declare himself king, he likely ends up backing Stannis or just openly rebelling without a crown. I'm actually surprised he wasn't more intrigued by Catelyn's suggestion of a grand council. The grandeur of being proclaimed king by acclamation seems right up his alley.

Agreed 100%, he would have likely won that if there was any real evidence against Joffrey, but there was not, just a bunch of mostly dead bastard children having dark hair v. Joff, and co.

That's probably why he didn't.

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On 06/03/2018 at 4:30 AM, Lord Lannister said:

If Renly doesn't declare himself king, he likely ends up backing Stannis or just openly rebelling without a crown. I'm actually surprised he wasn't more intrigued by Catelyn's suggestion of a grand council. The grandeur of being proclaimed king by acclamation seems right up his alley.

Meh. He had a flair for the dramatic but he wasn't stupid. Why risk it when the Throne was already his? From his perspective, he had nothing to gain from a Grand Council and everything to lose.

On 13/03/2018 at 0:00 AM, Lord Lannister said:

He schemed to marry Margaery to Robert, then after he died offered to unequivocally back Ned in ruling through Joffrey. Both of these don't directly propel him to a position of power, so he had other motives in acting. He only crowned himself king when Ned decided to stick his neck out, and because, screw Stannis.

See I don't really agree with that bit. I'd be a bit surprised if he considered that Stannis would even want to be King. Stannis, after all, was a guy famed for his unforgiving sense of right and wrong. You can't really approach a guy like that and go "Here, Joffrey's a prick. Fancy a bit of treason?" If you don't know that Joffrey's a bastard then you've got to assume that Stannis will remain loyal to him.

On 16/03/2018 at 6:09 PM, cpg2016 said:

Actually, they do.  Feudal politics operate through proximity to the king.  Renly has a ton of access, as Lord of Storm's End, as Master of Laws, and as Robert's brother.  He can gain more power if he is responsible for Margaery's position at court.  It gives him multiple angles of access to receive largesse and honors from the court, and gains him the backing of the Tyrells.  As Margaery's patron, so to speak, he's in a position to both influence her, and demand privileges of the Tyrells.

He crowns himself king because he knows Joffrey is illegitimate (hence the Margaery & Robert plot) and doesn't care about social strictures or laws or anything like that.  He wants power.

So why does he mock the idea and act like Stannis made it up in Clash?

I'd say he crowned himself because there was no better option. Robert was dead, Ned refused to seize power through Joffrey and, as I said above, he couldn't have forseen that Stannis could've wanted the Throne. Not that Stannis would've been a good King at that point anyway. As beloved as Renly was crowning himself was the only option left to him beyond becoming an outlaw.

I also don't think he was playing politics with the Tyrells. They seem a unique family in Westeros terms - I mean they committed regicide for Margaery's happiness - and I think they would've backed him regardless simply because Loras loved him.

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8 hours ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

 

For me, one of the tragedies of the story is that Renly and Stannis hated each other. They could have made a decent team if they complimented each others' strengths rather than competed. 

They didn't hate each other.  Stannis makes it clear that they just don't know each other.  Renly tries to take the throne because he's a power-hungry shitbag.  Stannis opposes him for the very practical reason that Renly's position represents a complete breakdown of Westerosi society.  Literally, it will lead to anarchy.

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7 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

They didn't hate each other.  Stannis makes it clear that they just don't know each other.  Renly tries to take the throne because he's a power-hungry shitbag.

Not entirely accurate. Initially he was more than happy for Joffrey to be King, Ned his regent and Cersei removed from power as Reny was under the impression that Cersei wanted him dead. He was right by the way.  Ned refuses his idea, Renly flees the city and Ned, like Renly warned him, is arrested by the Crown and Renly summoned to court. 

Now while Renly is not entirely altruistic the idea that his actions are motivated on him being power hungry are pretty incorrect. 

7 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

 

  Stannis opposes him for the very practical reason that Renly's position represents a complete breakdown of Westerosi society.  Literally, it will lead to anarchy.

Except that is not why he opposes Renly. He had already supported one brother doing what Renly was proposing. His issue, like with Ned becoming Hand or Robert giving Renly Storm's End, was him believing that he was more deserving of it. 

Anarchy is not the problem, he does not care one fig over the consequences of installing a new religion on the realm and the potential problems that will cause. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Stannis opposes him for the very practical reason that Renly's position represents a complete breakdown of Westerosi society.  Literally, it will lead to anarchy.

It probably won't. Even if he won, Renly would not not the first person in Westeros to successfully claim a throne with a force of arms. Society didn't break down then, society won't break down now.

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On 20/03/2018 at 10:40 PM, cpg2016 said:

Stannis opposes him for the very practical reason that Renly's position represents a complete breakdown of Westerosi society.  Literally, it will lead to anarchy.

He never makes that argument though, not once. His main argument is that he should be king because he's Robert's true heir. If all he cared about was stability he could have backed any other candidate, or called for a great council, or whatever. Instead he bundled into the 4/5 way civil war because he believed his claim was the strongest. He was right on that point, but he never made any grand claims about fighting for stability.

Ofc, he does prove himself to have the interests of the 7K at heart when he goes north to fight the wildlings, but that was only after some self-reflection when he realised that up until that point he'd only been interested in his own rights, rather than the welfare of the kingdoms. 

On 20/03/2018 at 10:40 PM, cpg2016 said:

Renly tries to take the throne because he's a power-hungry shitbag.

Renly is clearly working for his own self-interests, as most of the kings are in Clash (Robb being a possible exception). However, he is just as motivated by fear of what the Lannisters will do. He's very much in the "in the Game of Thrones, you win or you die" school of thought, as are the Tyrells. Once they're in the Game, there can be no half-measures. He would have settled for the Lannisters being removed from power and Ned installed as regent. That option was closed to him. 

We can debate the degree Renly was a "shitbag", but I would humbly suggest such an approach lacks nuance. 

 

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On 3/22/2018 at 5:15 AM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

He never makes that argument though, not once. His main argument is that he should be king because he's Robert's true heir.

Dude... that IS the argument.  He's Robert's heir.  The laws of the Seven Kingdoms state he's the next king, not Renly, because that's how male primogeniture succession works!  If that goes away, then everything is anarchy, because every younger brother (metaphorically speaking, I'm sure some won't) is going to be gunning to kill off their elders and steal their inheritance.  The two arguments are one and the same.  If Renly has his way, then you have NO succession law except the law of Might Makes Right, which is basically the Hobbesian definition of anarchy.

On 3/22/2018 at 5:15 AM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Ofc, he does prove himself to have the interests of the 7K at heart when he goes north to fight the wildlings, but that was only after some self-reflection when he realised that up until that point he'd only been interested in his own rights, rather than the welfare of the kingdoms. 

Right, but that doesn't mean he's not ALSO right in asserting his claim before his moment of self-realization.  And the argument here isn't whether Stannis is selfish, but that Renly's claim is so fundamentally destabilizing to the existing social order that one can make a convincing argument it represents the total breakdown of that social order.

On 3/22/2018 at 5:15 AM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Renly is clearly working for his own self-interests, as most of the kings are in Clash (Robb being a possible exception).

And Stannis.  Who is fighting for his unassailably legal claim to the throne.  He even lampshades his own essential legalist position when he says that he doesn't blame men for supporting Joffrey or Robb, as one could make a legitimate argument for both their claims.  It is ONLY Renly who fights an unethical, stupid war.  Everyone else has a valid reason, except Renly.  This is emphasized repeatedly.

On 3/22/2018 at 5:15 AM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

We can debate the degree Renly was a "shitbag", but I would humbly suggest such an approach lacks nuance. 

You mean the guy who suggests kidnapping children?  Lets not forget he's also the one who hears the plan to murder Daenerys, a child, and just shrugs it off.  Pycelle at least has a reason, and other characters evaluate the political gain against the obvious immorality of the action - Renly just doesn't give a shit about murdering kids.  He's the one who sets out to kill his brother, breaking a massive social taboo, remember?  After, of course, knowingly disinheriting him on the basis of the fact they don't get along.  Or maybe you're forgetting the part where he holds Catelyn, a diplomatic envoy, as a hostage so that she can report back to Robb the degree of slaughter he can expect to receive if he doesn't bend the knee?

The only character who even remotely thinks highly of Renly is Loras.  And just because Renly is an excellent boyfriend, doesn't mean he's a good person.  Tons of shitbag people have been loving husbands or wives or whatever, and 

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20 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

Dude... that IS the argument.  He's Robert's heir.  The laws of the Seven Kingdoms state he's the next king, not Renly, because that's how male primogeniture succession works!  If that goes away, then everything is anarchy, because every younger brother (metaphorically speaking, I'm sure some won't) is going to be gunning to kill off their elders and steal their inheritance.  The two arguments are one and the same.  If Renly has his way, then you have NO succession law except the law of Might Makes Right, which is basically the Hobbesian definition of anarchy.

All that may be true, but he's not motivated by the wish for stability (like Varys appears to be, at least in GOT), but for the rigid application of the law. Those two things may overlap, but they're not exactly the same. Sometimes such an inflexible approach will lead to chaos, not stability. Littlefinger maps out how that would play out in Stannis's case very clearly when urging Ned to seize power.

20 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

And Stannis.  Who is fighting for his unassailably legal claim to the throne.  He even lampshades his own essential legalist position when he says that he doesn't blame men for supporting Joffrey or Robb, as one could make a legitimate argument for both their claims.  It is ONLY Renly who fights an unethical, stupid war.  Everyone else has a valid reason, except Renly.  This is emphasized repeatedly.

He doesn't blame people for supporting Joffery or Robb...but he does blame Joffery and Robb. Anyway, just because someone's claim is just doesn't mean that their fighting for it is not done out of self-interest. The Lannisters are clearly motivated by a lust for power, and Cersei at least knows Joffery's claim is worthless. 

I think I've conceded that Renly has zero claim to the throne, I just don't think that's as important as being a good king, at the end of the day. I take your point about such an attitude leading to instability mind.

20 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

You mean the guy who suggests kidnapping children?

Please. Someone should have dragged those kids away from Cersei years ago. Almost anyone who has had any dealings with her - Jaime, Tywin, Tyrion, Kevan - has mused about how to get her away from those kids. And I doubt Renly was planning on binding them up with gaffer tape and locking them in a cellar. The king was dying and they needed to secure the heirs. I would hope they'd be gentle with Myrcella and Tommen, but frankly I hope the experience would have been as traumatising for Joffery as possible.

20 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

Lets not forget he's also the one who hears the plan to murder Daenerys, a child, and just shrugs it off.  Pycelle at least has a reason, and other characters evaluate the political gain against the obvious immorality of the action - Renly just doesn't give a shit about murdering kids.

Yes, he's ruthless. I'm not too keen on the idea myself, but given that child is likely to be about to invade the country with an army of slaves, Dothraki, sellswords and dragons, we should maybe consider the idea that Robert and Renly had a point? Personally, I wouldn't order it due to having some scruples, but then I wouldn't murder any of my siblings with a shadow baby either.

23 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

Or maybe you're forgetting the part where he holds Catelyn, a diplomatic envoy, as a hostage so that she can report back to Robb the degree of slaughter he can expect to receive if he doesn't bend the knee?

Yeah, he detains her a bit to show off what his army can do. Again, he's not got her chained up in a dungeon. Nor does he hold her as a "hostage" he just tells her to wait a bit and see what happens. Hardly the crime of the century.

25 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

The only character who even remotely thinks highly of Renly is Loras.

That's just not the case. Catelyn observes how all the Reach and Stormland knights worship him. The castellan of Storms End (I forget his name) was clearly devoted to him, and he lists (I think) Lord Tarly, Lord Rowan and Lady Oakheart as people who loved him. Davos points out how the Storm Lords love him, as opposed to Stannis, who they clearly dislike.The smallfolk also love him, as we witness at the Hand's tourney. 

Seriously, if we're debating the qualities of Stannis vs Renly, I'd steer clear of the popularity question if I were you, it's not the strongest card in Stannis's hand.

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On 3/23/2018 at 2:34 PM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

I think I've conceded that Renly has zero claim to the throne, I just don't think that's as important as being a good king, at the end of the day. I take your point about such an attitude leading to instability mind.

Renly clearly has a claim to the throne. It's just not the best one from a lineage standpoint. Robert didn't either. He says as much. He's definitely usurping a crown, so skipping Stannis versus skipping Robert's recognized children and Stannis is hardly worse than the other.

On 3/23/2018 at 2:34 PM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Please. Someone should have dragged those kids away from Cersei years ago. Almost anyone who has had any dealings with her - Jaime, Tywin, Tyrion, Kevan - has mused about how to get her away from those kids. And I doubt Renly was planning on binding them up with gaffer tape and locking them in a cellar. The king was dying and they needed to secure the heirs. I would hope they'd be gentle with Myrcella and Tommen, but frankly I hope the experience would have been as traumatising for Joffery as possible.

"Renly was gonna seize those kids! That's dangerous!"

Meanwhile Joff gets poisoned and Myrcella gets sent to enemies of House Lannister under Cersei's watch. At least Tommen is hale and hearty, minus the continual, detrimental beet exposure and casual and brutal beating of his only friend. 

On 3/23/2018 at 2:34 PM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Yes, he's ruthless. I'm not too keen on the idea myself, but given that child is likely to be about to invade the country with an army of slaves, Dothraki, sellswords and dragons, we should maybe consider the idea that Robert and Renly had a point? Personally, I wouldn't order it due to having some scruples, but then I wouldn't murder any of my siblings with a shadow baby either.

Yes this is brutal and it's a huge point of concern for the council. Even Barristan basically agrees that the threat needs to be addressed, but merely on the battlefield versus using assassins or poison or whatever. So it's a matter of honor, not actual level of threat to the Baratheon dynasty. And if they fight in battle, as Pycelle puts it: 

“should war come again, how many soldiers will die? How many towns will burn? How many children will be ripped from their mothers to perish on the end of a spear? Is it not wiser, even kinder, that Daenerys Targaryen should die now so that tens of thousands might live?”

It's distasteful to order it but frankly if it's my family versus a 14 year old girl, that's not a question, let alone a full realm against her life. GRRM has brought up as much (albeit Jaime in lieu of Robert):

So I've asked people who do have children, "Well, what would you do in Jaime's situation?" They say, "Well, I'm not a bad guy – I wouldn't kill." Are you sure? Never? If Bran tells King Robert he's going to kill you and your sister-lover, and your three children. . . .

Then many of them hesitate. Probably more people than not would say, "Yeah, I would kill someone else's child to save my own child, even if that other child was innocent." These are the difficult decisions people make, and they're worth examining.

On 3/23/2018 at 2:34 PM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Yeah, he detains her a bit to show off what his army can do. Again, he's not got her chained up in a dungeon. Nor does he hold her as a "hostage" he just tells her to wait a bit and see what happens. Hardly the crime of the century.

This is pretty much a non starter for me

On 3/23/2018 at 2:34 PM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

That's just not the case. Catelyn observes how all the Reach and Stormland knights worship him. The castellan of Storms End (I forget his name) was clearly devoted to him, and he lists (I think) Lord Tarly, Lord Rowan and Lady Oakheart as people who loved him. Davos points out how the Storm Lords love him, as opposed to Stannis, who they clearly dislike.The smallfolk also love him, as we witness at the Hand's tourney. 

Seriously, if we're debating the qualities of Stannis vs Renly, I'd steer clear of the popularity question if I were you, it's not the strongest card in Stannis's hand.

Yeah I'd definitely avoid that. 

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17 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Renly clearly has a claim to the throne. It's just not the best one from a lineage standpoint. Robert didn't either. He says as much. He's definitely usurping a crown, so skipping Stannis versus skipping Robert's recognized children and Stannis is hardly worse than the other.

I actually think it's a point in Renly's favour that he's up front about how he's not really got a claim, but thinks he's the best for the job. You have to give him credit for not being afflicted with the self-righteous hypocrisy Stannis and others can display at times.

19 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Meanwhile Joff gets poisoned and Myrcella gets sent to enemies of House Lannister under Cersei's watch. At least Tommen is hale and hearty, minus the continual, detrimental beet exposure and casual and brutal beating of his only friend.

More importantly, being raised by Cersei is going to seriously fuck those kids up. Jaime recognised that.

I could think of many worse fates than being raised by Uncle Ned and Uncle Renly. Throw in Littlefinger and you've got a Three Men and a Baby situation I could definitely get behind.

21 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Yes this is brutal and it's a huge point of concern for the council. Even Barristan basically agrees that the threat needs to be addressed, but merely on the battlefield versus using assassins or poison or whatever. So it's a matter of honor, not actual level of threat to the Baratheon dynasty.

This is true. However, I think it's a somewhat valid point that some of the small council, including Renly, didn't seem that conflicted by the decision. 

Still, it's not a straight-up good vs evil decision like some make out.

 

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1 hour ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

I actually think it's a point in Renly's favour that he's up front about how he's not really got a claim, but thinks he's the best for the job. You have to give him credit for not being afflicted with the self-righteous hypocrisy Stannis and others can display at times.

Agreed

1 hour ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

More importantly, being raised by Cersei is going to seriously fuck those kids up. Jaime recognised that.

Definitely. Kevan said it best: 

“Aye,” her uncle said, “and from what I saw of Joffrey, you are as unfit a mother as you are a ruler.”

1 hour ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

I could think of many worse fates than being raised by Uncle Ned and Uncle Renly. Throw in Littlefinger and you've got a Three Men and a Baby situation I could definitely get behind.

Yeah. Do Amory and Gregor get to be the "director's friends?"

1 hour ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

This is true. However, I think it's a somewhat valid point that some of the small council, including Renly, didn't seem that conflicted by the decision. 

Still, it's not a straight-up good vs evil decision like some make out.

Oh very much so. That's why I tossed in the GRRM quote as context. For me it's not really much of a question but I get why people find it distasteful.

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