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The Map Guy

Agree or disagree: Howland Reed's accidental presence at Harrenhal was the accidental cause of everything in the ASOIAF books

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Not sure if this was ever brought up in the forums, but:

What if Howland Reed never accidentally attended the Tourney of Harrenhal?

  1. Lyanna does not defend anyone from 3 squires
  2. Lyanna does not become the Knight of the Laughing Tree
  3. Rhaegar is not sent to look for this Knight that did not exist
  4. Maybe Rhaegar still meets Lyanna at the Tourney, but without her actions as the Knight of the Laughing Tree, Rhaegar doesn't fall in love with her
  5. Rhaegar never crowns Lyanna the Queen of Love & Beauty
  6. Rhaegar never kidnaps or runs off with Lyanna
  7. Rhaegar successfully plans a rebellion against his father, either at the Tourney or at a 2nd meeting
  8. Rhaegar executes the rebellion with limited bloodshed
  9. Rhaegar is still alive
  10. Lyanna is still alive
  11. Robert never rebels and THOUSANDS do not die
  12. Robert marries Lyanna
  13. Brandon marries Catelyn
  14. Robb, Sansa, Bran, Arya, Rickon and Jon Snow were never born
  15. Ned is married to ???
  16. Lannisters are the Lannisters
  17. Joffery, Myrcella, Tommen may still be born, but are not heirs to the throne
  18. Targaryens are still in power in Westeros
  19. Rhaegar is King
  20. Dany & Viserys are not exiled to Essos
  21. Dany never did all the landscaping she did over there
  22. No dragons

Agree or disagree?

GRRM kinda takes a page from Tolkien, and puts the weigh of the world on the little guys...accidentally of course.

Edited by The Map Guy
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The white walkers are still coming.  Daenerys and her dragons are necessary.  Having Daenerys grow up in the court of Rhaegar is not good preparation.  She needed to spend time in the east, meet the warlocks, quaithe, live with the Dothraki, rescue the Unsullied, and help the slaves become free.  Events needed to happen the way they did, in my opinion.  The crannogman is a bit player in the scheme of things but his role was needed.  

Edited by Widowmaker 811

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No, there is no one cause for everything that has happened. Some things might have otherwise happened much differently, other things might never have happened at all. Howland Reed's presence contributed its part, but it wasn't the cause of everything that's happened.

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3 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

No, there is no one cause for everything that has happened. Some things might have otherwise happened much differently, other things might never have happened at all. Howland Reed's presence contributed its part, but it wasn't the cause of everything that's happened.

I know Howland Reed never intended to cause any thing. He stumbled on the Tourney by accident.

But what if Howland never showed up? ....would Robert still have a Rebellion if Rhaegar & Lyanna never met?

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13 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

The white walkers are still coming.  Daenerys and her dragons are necessary.  Having Daenerys grow up in the court of Rhaegar is not good preparation.  She needed to spend time in the east, meet the warlocks, quaithe, live with the Dothraki, rescue the Unsullied, and help the slaves become free.  Events needed to happen the way they did, in my opinion.  The crannogman is a bit player in the scheme of things but his role was needed.  

I agree, the Others are still coming. For the story to happen, Howland had to stumble on the Tourney by accident.

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2 minutes ago, The Map Guy said:

I know Howland Reed never intended to cause any thing. He stumbled on the Tourney by accident.

But what if Howland never showed up? ....would Robert still have a Rebellion if Rhaegar & Lyanna never met?

Do you believe in the Southron Ambitions conspiracy theory?  The theory that the Starks and the Baratheons were plotting all along to put Robert on the throne?  I support the theory.  The blood alliance created between Stark, Baratheon, Arryn, and Tully would enable the conspirators to challenge their rightful rulers, the Targaryens.  

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2 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Do you believe in the Southron Ambitions conspiracy theory?  The theory that the Starks and the Baratheons were plotting all along to put Robert on the throne?  I support the theory.  The blood alliance created between Stark, Baratheon, Arryn, and Tully would enable the conspirators to challenge their rightful rulers, the Targaryens.  

I'm sure at some point, there will be a rebellion against the Mad King anyways. I am not sure if this will be true with Rhaegar on the throne as king. Maybe Rhaegar would have conspired with Robert, Ned and everyone else if the Mad King never showed up at the Tourney. That "what if" is up in the air, but Rhaegar definitely would be a better ruler than his father. He's not going to make a lot of enemies like his father did.

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52 minutes ago, The Map Guy said:

I know Howland Reed never intended to cause any thing. He stumbled on the Tourney by accident.

But what if Howland never showed up? ....would Robert still have a Rebellion if Rhaegar & Lyanna never met?

I understand that you didn't mean that Howland intended to cause it. Nevertheless, intentional or not, Howland's presence was not solely responsible for all the things you listed. Some might have still happened, though under different circumstances. Others might not have. Rhaegar and Lyanna still would have attended the tourney. Rhaegar and Brandon still would have participated in the tourney. Lyanna still was not happy about marrying Robert. Elia was still incapable of getting pregnant again without risking her life. Aerys was still paranoid about Rhaegar and Tywin. Aerys was still suspicious of various great lords for various reasons. And so on. Howland did not create all of these conditions which contributed to everything that happened.

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41 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I understand that you didn't mean that Howland intended to cause it. Nevertheless, intentional or not, Howland's presence was not solely responsible for all the things you listed. Some might have still happened, though under different circumstances. Others might not have. Rhaegar and Lyanna still would have attended the tourney. Rhaegar and Brandon still would have participated in the tourney. Lyanna still was not happy about marrying Robert. Elia was still incapable of getting pregnant again without risking her life. Aerys was still paranoid about Rhaegar and Tywin. Aerys was still suspicious of various great lords for various reasons. And so on. Howland did not create all of these conditions which contributed to everything that happened.

Yes you are right. "Caused" is the wrong word for this.

Perhaps "accidentally caused", "unintentionally caused", "indirectly caused", "randomly caused", "butterfly effect" are the words I am looking for?

I agree with everything you said, but if Rhaegar met Lyanna without the Knight of the Laughing Tree actions, I don't think it would be enough that they run away with each other a few months later. If they did, it would just be over infatuation, which I don't think GRRM would write.

Robert's Rebellion was initially sparked by his revenge against Rhaegar, but what if Rhaegar & Lyanna never fell in love? Would Robert still rebel?

Rhaegar would most likely succeeded in overthrowing his father...but what happens to ASOIAF then? Would Robert still rebel against Rhaegar, while Robert is married to Lyanna? Who knows.....

But Howland did show up to Harrenhal accidentally, just like Bilbo accidentally came across The Ring. 

Also, its not like Howland received a raven about the Tourney while he was in the Isle of Faces.

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Aerys was still a nutcase and Varys was still whispering poison in his ear. It might have happened differently but the realm was still headed for a massive upheaval. 

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46 minutes ago, Ser Leftwich said:

"What if" everything was different?!?!!?

We need a sub-forum for fan-fic/What if.. threads. They aren't really about the books.

 

Well sorry if its taboo to talk about the "what if"s.

I just wanted to highlight a small, subtle, innocent, random, unintentional, non-violent & non-death related "what if" that had the most impact in the ASOIAF world....and more importantly, would the outcome been the same anyways?

Without the Knight of the Laughing Tree, I can't see Rhaegar & Lyanna running off together in a few months, which was the big-picture cause of Robert's Rebellion.

 

And the other point of this post was to identify the value of Howland Reed in the story, and Tolkien parallel.

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28 minutes ago, Makk said:

Aerys was still a nutcase and Varys was still whispering poison in his ear. It might have happened differently but the realm was still headed for a massive upheaval. 

Oh it did need the massive upheaval. The question is, who would sit on the throne if Howland never showed up to the Tourney? Robert? Rhaegar? Someone else?

Edited by The Map Guy

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Virtually the whole premise depends on

6 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

without her actions as the Knight of the Laughing Tree, Rhaegar doesn't fall in love with her

...which contains two fan theories, but no facts.

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3 hours ago, Makk said:

Aerys was still a nutcase and Varys was still whispering poison in his ear. It might have happened differently but the realm was still headed for a massive upheaval. 

Not necessarily.  The realm was in great shape in terms of economics.  Everything we know about that period indicate that the majority of the people were doing very well for themselves.  

6 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

I'm sure at some point, there will be a rebellion against the Mad King anyways. I am not sure if this will be true with Rhaegar on the throne as king. Maybe Rhaegar would have conspired with Robert, Ned and everyone else if the Mad King never showed up at the Tourney. That "what if" is up in the air, but Rhaegar definitely would be a better ruler than his father. He's not going to make a lot of enemies like his father did.

Rhaegar's actions have so far proven disastrous.  He was a better man than his father.  But being the better man does not mean the kingdom would be better under his leadership.  Aerys was known for picking competent people for his kingsguard and small council.  I do not know if we can say the same for Rhaegar.  He might appoint people to his small council based on some crazy reason like they showed valor in combat.  What does it say about his judgment if we are to accept that he honored Lyanna because she was the knight of the laughing tree?  He insulted many people and humiliated his own wife.  In public.  What?  Just to do something chivalrous and to honor her jousting skill.  Are those reasons good enough?  Hell no.  Rhaegar was a better man than Aerys but I don't think he would have been a better king. 

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32 minutes ago, Sire de Maletroit said:

Aerys was known for picking competent people for his kingsguard and small council.

Aerys picked lackeys who sucked up to him in his later years. He'd alienated Tywin precisely out of jealousy for how competent he was, then picked a hand who accomplished nothing and was exiled.

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12 hours ago, JNR said:

Virtually the whole premise depends on

...which contains two fan theories, but no facts.

Lol well yes.....but cmon, play along!

Who else can the Knight of the Laughing Tree be? And do you really believe Rhaegar kidnapped her?

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11 hours ago, Sire de Maletroit said:

Not necessarily.  The realm was in great shape in terms of economics.  Everything we know about that period indicate that the majority of the people were doing very well for themselves.  

Rhaegar's actions have so far proven disastrous.  He was a better man than his father.  But being the better man does not mean the kingdom would be better under his leadership.  Aerys was known for picking competent people for his kingsguard and small council.  I do not know if we can say the same for Rhaegar.  He might appoint people to his small council based on some crazy reason like they showed valor in combat.  What does it say about his judgment if we are to accept that he honored Lyanna because she was the knight of the laughing tree?  He insulted many people and humiliated his own wife.  In public.  What?  Just to do something chivalrous and to honor her jousting skill.  Are those reasons good enough?  Hell no.  Rhaegar was a better man than Aerys but I don't think he would have been a better king. 

At some earlier point Aerys was alright....until he wanted burn them all. Burning them all....does that make a good king?

But I agree, Rhaegar mishandled all the Lyanna stuff, and his family & thousands other suffered.

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This whole idea hinges on the idea that Lyanna is the Knight of the Laughing Tree and Rhaegar's discovering that is what caused him to fall in love with her. If either of those are not true, your idea falls apart.

If those are true, I tend to agree with you. Though some of the things further down the decision tree might still come true and some others might not. One example of this is Rhaegar rebelling and winning. Neither of those are certain. It is very hard to predict outcomes with any certainty after butterfly effect changes.

Edited by Valyrian Lance

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Yea throwing a Tourney like nothing the realm has seen before, just happens overnight... If you listen carefully, you might hear a hammer

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