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Why do accounts differ on how Lord Beesbury died?

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So the Greens say that Ser Criston Cole cut Lord Beesbury's throat, while Mushroom says that Cole defenestrated him. How come there is a discrepancy on how he died? There can certainly be a discrepancy on why someone dies, but how someone dies? Most other mysterious deaths are pretty clear in the method; Maegor Targaryen died on the Iron Throne, Jon Arryn died by poison, Elia Martell was bisected and her head smashed, etc.

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In that case, I think Mushroom diverged on purpose, to make fun and puns.

To say that Beesbury was thrown out of a window is black nonsense humor, since the point of cutting Beesbury's throat at the very small council table was so that the news of Viserys' death and Aegon coronation wouldn't leave the Red Keep.

If someone were defenestrated, the whole plane would have flown out the window (see?).

On the other hand, it was an obvious pun for a "swift dismissal or expulsion (as from a political party or office)", which was exactly what Cole's dagger did to him after all.

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People lie; for a thousand reasons, and none. More people will hear the tale than ever see the body. Who tells the tale is as important as the tale told....

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We do know that the fate of Lord Beesbury was unclear for a considerable amount of time after the death Viserys I. People may have speculated and written accounts during that time already, accounts that were later drawn upon by other people.

In addition, it would have been only very few people who actually knew what had transpired in the Small Council chamber - which means, the account on what happened there we get in TPatQ is likely based on Orwyle's writings (the guy was there) which where used by Grand Maester Munkun in his treatise on the Dance.

While it may have become evident to many contemporaries long before Munkun sifted through Orwyle's writings (stuff the man wrote in a cell during the Dance) that Beesbury had been killed, the precise manner of his death wouldn't have been (widely) known.

Mushroom's account basically is a testimony the dwarf dictated to a scribe late in his life (one assumes either during the later reign of Aegon III or even the reign of the Young Dragon - we know his text existed during the reign of Baelor, because the man had them burned). It seems to be a crude memoir, full of lies, exaggerations, and (some) truths, with the purpose of telling as outlandish (and entertaining) a story as possible, and giving Mushroom himself a main part in the story.

It makes sense that Mushroom would want to comment on Beesbury, too, but as Yandel points out in TWoIaF the dwarf was on Dragonstone when Beesbury died, not in KL - and Mushroom himself claims he carried Rhaenyra's stillborn girl into the yard of Dragonstone so she could be cremated there, so that seems to have been correct - which would make his account dubious even if he wasn't exactly prone to lie and exaggerate. If you cannot be a firsthand witness (or do not necessarily have access to good firsthand testimony) you simply are not a good source.

If Beesbury had been thrown out the window many other people would have reported that, too. In fact, one assumes the entire Green coup would have failed then because the Blacks at court that were later arrested would have found out about King Viserys' death before they were arrested, either proclaiming Queen Rhaenyra before King Aegon II could have been proclaimed, or informing Rhaenyra about what had transpired long before she ended up hearing it. That could have resulted in Daemon, Rhaenys, Rhaenyra's sons, and the Velaryon navy stopping any attempts of crowning Aegon II long before that happened - never mind that Rhaenyra herself couldn't leave Dragonstone quickly due to her pregnancy.

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When the author describes more than one cause of death, he does so because each type of death (or injury) has a deeper meaning. Our best clue for this was the reading he gave of a draft of the ADWD chapter where Jon Snow executes Janos Slynt. According to accounts I've seen online, the draft chapter described Janos dying by hanging by order of Jon as Lord Commander. When someone in attendance at the reading asked whether that was consistent with Ned Stark's philosophy that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword, GRRM made a change before publication: Jon imagined what it would be like to hang Slynt from the Wall, but the actual execution was done Ned-style, with Jon beheading the insubordinate Slynt. The point for this discussion being that the author found a way to incorporate two deaths for Slynt: the noose and hanging are shown through Jon's imagined scenario but the execution by sword wielded by the Stark-raised young man remains true to an important part of the Stark sense of honor.

Beesbury characters seem to be important symbols, but not really central players in the ASOIAF plot. I've been working out some ideas involving the Rainbow Guard and the tourney at Ashford Meadow. Before that, I did a focused re-read of Brienne chapters in AFfC. Colors are important symbols around the Rainbow Guard, not surprisingly, but bugs, birds, fruit and flowers in a kind of Garth Greenhand abundance and fertility overload are also part of the symbolism.

While Beesbury is not directly connected to the Rainbow Guard, there is a strong connection between the Rainbow Guard and the tourney at Ashford Meadow, where Humfrey Beesbury was a featured player, as well as to Margaery Tyrell's circle of "hens," several of whom have a Beesbury mother. (I think the Tyrells are building a Rainbow Guard of sorts around Margaery with the loss of Renly as their entree to influence over the Iron Throne.) A Beesbury was among Renly's bannermen who tried to seduce Brienne as part of a bet and a Beesbury was a prospective groom for Arianne on Prince Doran's fake attempt to find a betrothal for his heir.

In a nutshell, I think Beesbury symbolism (including honey and bees) links to fertility, particularly in connection with a royal family or a family with royal ambitions. There is a strong motif I haven't entirely sorted out around things that are sweet, including the bear licking honey from the maiden's hair in the famous song. Lord Blackwood concedes a village called Honeytree to his arch enemy, Lord Bracken, during Jaime's negotiations to end a siege in the Riverlands. Blackwood says he wants Bracken to have Honeytree because the honey will make him fat and rot his teeth but I suspect GRRM might be setting up a surprise alliance (betrothal) that will form between Hoster "the Hostage" Blackwood and the Bracken daughter who is to be sent to King's Landing as a hostage at a later date.

The death of Master of Coin Lyman Beesbury at the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons probably symbolizes the end of the fertile and idyllic periods of rule by Jaehaerys I and Viserys I. Strife and internal conflict, civil war, lack of success in hatching dragons, madness, questionable paternity and "monster" babies start to become problems for the Targaryen dynasty.

There were three possible kinds of death for Lyman: throat slashed, defenestration or a chill in the black cells (dungeon). Throat injuries are associated with breathing symbolism and have happened to important people such as Joffrey and Catelyn; like doors, windows may be symbolic of passage from the surface world to the Celtic Otherworld (or they might just symbolize the contrast between the nasty intrigue of human activity indoors and the freedom with the wildness of nature outdoors); "chill" might simply be another word for death in ASOIAF but the reference to the black cells is specific to a lack of light and color. Several of Renly's Rainbow Guard members died at the Battle of the Blackwater, and I think the idea that "black cancels color" is a way of showing that the rainbow (associated with crystals and the Faith of the Seven) ceases to exist when light is withheld.

Celtic bog bodies and legends often show that important people are killed three ways - hanging, drowning and burning of the body, for instance. This may have been a way to ensure that the person was really, really dead. So GRRM may have been evoking that tradition by providing three different stories about the death of Beesbury. At any rate, the guy was really, really dead and Targaryen rule was at a turning point.

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No doubt Mushroom spins a good yarn for entertainment, but I suspect there is always some truth in what he says. I think the trick for us readers is to find it. 

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19 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

No doubt Mushroom spins a good yarn for entertainment, but I suspect there is always some truth in what he says. I think the trick for us readers is to find it. 

Not always. The man liked to talk a lot. And the issue here simply would be that it sounded much worse if Cole threw the man outside the window than if he had just quietly killed him inside the room.

I mean, they do meet in Maegor's Holdfast for the meeting, right? If so, then throwing the man out of the window wouldn't have just been a noisy but rather a very messy affair - because of the dried moat around Maegor's. The poor man would have been pierced by the spikes in the moat, and it would have taken some effort on side of the Greens to remove the corpse - not to mention all the blood - from there without anybody not involved in the conspiracy from noticing this.

That alone makes it very likely that this whole thing simply is a fable. Just like a lot of the other Mushroom stories. There are some gems in his tales, but there is just as much shit.

I mean, do you buy his weirdo tales about Daemon only teaching Rhaenyra how to pleasure Cole without taking her maidenhead? What would be the point of that on his end? He clearly wanted to marry Rhaenyra to rule at her side - a goal he couldn't hope to achieve if she remained besotted with Ser Criston Cole. And just ruining her reputation by having her try to seduce 'the chaste Criston Cole' is awfully complicated for a rather straightforward guy like Daemon. Not to mention not helping in actually winning Rhaenyra's romantic affection.

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16 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Not always. The man liked to talk a lot. And the issue here simply would be that it sounded much worse if Cole threw the man outside the window than if he had just quietly killed him inside the room.

I mean, they do meet in Maegor's Holdfast for the meeting, right? If so, then throwing the man out of the window wouldn't have just been a noisy but rather a very messy affair - because of the dried moat around Maegor's. The poor man would have been pierced by the spikes in the moat, and it would have taken some effort on side of the Greens to remove the corpse - not to mention all the blood - from there without anybody not involved in the conspiracy from noticing this.

That alone makes it very likely that this whole thing simply is a fable. Just like a lot of the other Mushroom stories. There are some gems in his tales, but there is just as much shit.

I mean, do you buy his weirdo tales about Daemon only teaching Rhaenyra how to pleasure Cole without taking her maidenhead? What would be the point of that on his end? He clearly wanted to marry Rhaenyra to rule at her side - a goal he couldn't hope to achieve if she remained besotted with Ser Criston Cole. And just ruining her reputation by having her try to seduce 'the chaste Criston Cole' is awfully complicated for a rather straightforward guy like Daemon. Not to mention not helping in actually winning Rhaenyra's romantic affection.

You might be right, but time and time again we see characters defy rationality. 

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1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

You might be right, but time and time again we see characters defy rationality. 

Sure, and considering the size and power of Mushroom's member pretty much everything is possible. I mean, who doesn't want to include a lackwit fool with a really, really big cock in all his erotic exploits, considering that's a very common sexual fantasy pretty much all of humanity share, right ;-)?

With Daemon/Rhaenyra we get an alternative story by Septon Eustace who states that Arryk Cargyll found them abed together - having proper sex. That also gives us an explanation why Arryk ended up siding with the Greens later on - he may have been disgusted by Rhaenyra and Daemon's slutty behavior there, making them unfit to rule the Seven Kingdoms, etc.

The stories about Rhaenyra/Daemon and the lessons he gave her during their dragon flights sound like the kind of fantasies people develop when famous people do stuff that nobody can witness. For Daemon this was clearly some sort of courtship, and presumably one that led to him seducing her, because that's what the man wanted to do.

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