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Hammers1895

Justice, Lack Thereof, and Mixed Allegiances

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I've always been confused about a couple recurring themes from the book series.

First- the whole situation after Renly is murdered in his tent by Melisandre's Stannis-shadow, and Brienne and Catelyn make their escape, Loras Tyrell kills Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce in a "red rage" for not successfully protecting his boyfriend Renly. For one, I cannot understand what Royce, a Valeman, was doing in the Reach as a Rainbow Guard for Renly Baratheon. That has never been explained anywhere that I have seen. But additionally, why was there never any action taken against Loras Tyrell for these killings? Maybe the Royce's couldn't do anything about it, seeing as they are all the way in the Vale and out of the loop on Westerosi politics at the moment. But House Cuy is one of the most prominent houses of the Reach. I would hope that the Tyrells offered some recompense for their loss of Emmon, granted them some boon. We don't hear anything about House Cuy pulling their support for the Tyrells at any point. 

Which sort of leads into the second thing I always wonder about. When the society fractures and civil war is occurring, many prominent families have historically kept a "foot in each camp", whether it be the Blackfyre Rebellions, Robert's Rebellion or now the War of the Five Kings. How does this work? How do leaders/rulers trust men or families that have a dog in each fight? We know of consequences in the past for houses that ended up on the losing side of a war (members get exiled or executed or take the black, houses are stripped of lands, lose their noble status, etc.). It just seems weird to me that families can so blatantly be on the fence during a dispute and try to reap the benefit no matter which side wins. If I was a ruler, any court retainer or counselor or guard near me that was a member of a house that was in open revolt against me, you can bet there would be consequences (hostages most likely). How can you be sure of a person's loyalty when members of their family are fighting against you? 

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I don't think anyone is going to demand recompense for the death of someone who was serving a traitor to the crown. Or maybe they think his death was justified as he failed his duties as a Kingsguard. There's also the fact that Mace Tyrell is one of the most powerful lords in the realm so that grants him some political levity. 

Or who knows... This might just come to bite Loras and the Tyrells in the ass in the next book. 

Royce was a third son looking for glory, so he joined Renly and his knights of summer. He mentions it to Catelyn in one of her chapters. 

Also slight nitpick-but Loras didn't just kill them because they failed in protecting Renly. He thought they were in on the assassination. 

Edited by Peach King

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22 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:
  1. For one, I cannot understand what Royce, a Valeman, was doing in the Reach as a Rainbow Guard for Renly Baratheon.

Robar Royce being born in the Vale doesn't obligate him to stay there. He has no lands of his own, so he embarks in a search of new opportunities. A gig as Renly's Kingsguard is hardly a bad place to be, especially since it looks like Renly is winning. It's feudalism. The connection that binds a knight to a Lord, a Lord to his Lord, an upper Lord to the King - it's all very loose at best and non-existent at worst.

22 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:

But additionally, why was there never any action taken against Loras Tyrell for these killings?

Who knows of Loras'... misstep inside the tent? If its only Loras himself...

There is also the matter of Cuy potentially murdering Renly and nearly fucking it all up for the Tyrells as well as other Reacher Houses. Not the best position to make the demands from.

22 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:

If I was a ruler, any court retainer or counselor or guard near me that was a member of a house that was in open revolt against me, you can bet there would be consequences

That presumes you have enough people and resources to get by without fence-sitters and risk pushing them away completely.

Lannisters and most of the medieval rulers didn't.

Edited by Myrish Lace

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22 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:

IFor one, I cannot understand what Royce, a Valeman, was doing in the Reach as a Rainbow Guard for Renly Baratheon. That has never been explained anywhere that I have seen.

Robar explains himself to Catelyn when they meet: “My lord father owes Lady Lysa fealty, as does his heir. A second son must find glory where he can.” Ser Robar shrugged. “A man grows weary of tourneys.”

Robar was a young tourney knight of age with Renly. He probably admired him and was his friend, so he'd jump at the opportunity of joining his cause.

22 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:

But additionally, why was there never any action taken against Loras Tyrell for these killings? Maybe the Royce's couldn't do anything about it, seeing as they are all the way in the Vale and out of the loop on Westerosi politics at the moment. But House Cuy is one of the most prominent houses of the Reach. I would hope that the Tyrells offered some recompense for their loss of Emmon, granted them some boon. We don't hear anything about House Cuy pulling their support for the Tyrells at any point.

Who would take action against Loras? In Westeros, as in our Middle Ages, there were no independent courts of law. If Lord Cuy had any grievance, he should bring it to Lord Mace Tyrell. If he found that no justice was being served with Mace, his only other option would be to bring it to the attention of the king. And as Peach King says, no king would antagonize the Tyrells to defend a knight murdered on the service of a rival king.

22 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:

Which sort of leads into the second thing I always wonder about. When the society fractures and civil war is occurring, many prominent families have historically kept a "foot in each camp", whether it be the Blackfyre Rebellions, Robert's Rebellion or now the War of the Five Kings. How does this work? How do leaders/rulers trust men or families that have a dog in each fight? We know of consequences in the past for houses that ended up on the losing side of a war (members get exiled or executed or take the black, houses are stripped of lands, lose their noble status, etc.). It just seems weird to me that families can so blatantly be on the fence during a dispute and try to reap the benefit no matter which side wins. If I was a ruler, any court retainer or counselor or guard near me that was a member of a house that was in open revolt against me, you can bet there would be consequences (hostages most likely). How can you be sure of a person's loyalty when members of their family are fighting against you? 

You probably can't. But then again, can you be sure of anyone's person's loyalty at all?

Medieval wars, and particularly the War of Roses (which is the primary inspiration for ASOIAF) had multiple families changing allegiances back and forth depending on who offered them the most or on who seemed to be on top at a particular moment. A wannabe king just has to deal with that. So he would try to ensure that it was in his main bannermen best self-interest to support him.

If a family decides to send men at each camp, they do so because they ensure that they will be in good terms with the eventual winner. Therefore, they are very unlikely to betray any of the sides. The best you can do is convince them that if you win you'll keep their privileges and pardon the losing part of their family, and then, use them as much as you can to further your cause.

 

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