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aventador577

Who was the best hand of the king in the history of westeros?

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The right Hand for the right occasion.  The times he is living in give the Hand the opportunity to be great.  Tywin was very capable but the realm was at peace.  He didn't get the chance to shine.  

Bloodraven had to contend with the Blackfyres and saved the Targaryen dynasty from their threat.  Barth used diplomacy and concessions to make peace with the faith.  

I'm going with Bloodraven for my pick.

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While I wouldn't necessarily argue with Barth, Bloodraven or Tywin,  I would like to add Prince Viserys Targaryen.  Served as hand for 35 years for three difficult kings and held the realm together during that time.

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1 hour ago, PrinceHenryris said:

While I wouldn't necessarily argue with Barth, Bloodraven or Tywin,  I would like to add Prince Viserys Targaryen.  Served as hand for 35 years for three difficult kings and held the realm together during that time.

It was 15, I think.

I'm not sure he's the best, but we get the impression Jon Arryn was a pretty decent Hand.

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We have no indication that Bloodraven was actually a good Hand. He served in that office for a long time, and that implies he was competent (or at least knew how to remain in power), but it is no indication that he was a good Hand as such. He couldn't prevent the Third Blackfyre Rebellion nor this Peake Rebellion that led to King Maekar's death. He dealt very decisively with the Second Blackfyre Rebellion but he pretty much ignored the Ironborn raids before that - and while I assume he did something to stop those after Daemon II had been dealt with, we don't know that yet at this point.

Thus we have not sufficient information to number Bloodraven among the great Hands.

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You need to establish a metric here. Best hand as in "was best for the Kingdoms"? In the short term or the long term? Bloodraven manipulated the royal family, but to what end? And he wound up a tool of the Children, the ultimate enemy of humanity by some perspectives. Was he their ally (or puppet) even before he became a part of them?

As to "what was best for the Kingdoms" that's entirely subjective. To someone who would think humanity should be subsumed by the Children, maybe Bloodraven really is best. To someone who thinks dragons (as the nuclear weapons metaphor) or magics in general are the biggest threat to humanity, then Lucas Lothston gets the gold medal, since it appears to be his bloodline taking residence in Harrenhal that shut down magic to begin with. Then again he took possession of Harrenhal before he became hand, so I suppose there's another question there: do we only count their actions while they're acting as the Hand? Does Bloodraven's tenure as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and then as the Three-Eyed Crow count for/against him?

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For me it's got to be either Barth or Viserys II. Tywin was a damn good hand and did have to deal with a very unstable King but only had to do so during a period of peace. Baelor Breakspear also seems to have been quite successful at the job and while I think Bloodraven is a very talented politician and commander, I can't help but feel he'd have been more effective as the Master of Whispers than the Hand.

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23 hours ago, Giant Ice Spider said:

It was 15, I think.

I'm not sure he's the best, but we get the impression Jon Arryn was a pretty decent Hand.

Viserys as Hand:

Aegon III 136-157

Daeron I 157-161

Baelor 161-171

Looks like 35 years to me.

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