Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Legitimate_Bastard

Southron Ambitions - what were they?

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Interesting. I dont have much to offer unfortunately. Im actually not a big conspiracy guy despite appearances haha. I just cant figure out this whole Southern ambitions thing, or who would be arranging Harrenhal. I've wondered about Tyrells, or Tywin. I've tried looking at marriages and arrangements and such. but nothing seem's to add up to much.

Only thing i can figure is House Tyrell just for the sake of causing discord. Due to Olenna Redwyne being spurned. But i can't see how they'd get the crown. Unless maybe they were hoping to get Viserys and off Rhaegar and his kids? 

Elia having Aegon with Rhaegar poses a problem for any ones plans, and when that happened is unknown. If she was pregnant at Harrenhal, then they woudnt know Rhaegar had an heir, but if she birthed before, then they would. Seeing how fast Rhaegar took to the road after Harrenhal, i just dont see the birth happening after.

So imo, everyone went into Harrenhal knowing Aegon was born and maybe even being announced there. 

Edit- Keep in mind Summerhall was meant to be the announcement/birth of Rhaegar and all gathered.

I think that would have been too big a deal and Yandel would have reported in the World Book that it was announced at Harrenhal that the Prince had a son.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/1/2018 at 4:25 PM, Bael's Bastard said:

On the contrary, I reject all assumptions that Lord Rickard, or any of the other great lords, ever intended or prepared for war with House Targaryen. What scheme, exactly, do you claim Rickard supposed would come to fruition in another couple of years? And in another couple of years from when?

The Frey case occurred in the midst of a war, in which Lord Frey had yet to choose a side between his king and his lord. It was akin to Lord Hoster requiring Lord Eddard and Lord Jon to wed his daughters before he would join in on their side before the Battle of the Bells.  You are suggesting that Rickard intended war against House Targaryen, but not for a number of years.

So, unlike the Frey and Tully cases above, which occurred in the midst of war, and in which the agreed upon marriages had to be put off for battle, Rickard, Hoster, and Robert did not have anything preventing them from sealing the marriages they had agreed to. And there was no purpose waiting if eventual war was their intention.

We have good reason to believe that Brandon and Catelyn had been betrothed for around half a decade before they were set to wed in 282 AC, despite both of them having been old enough to wed and consummate within a year or so of their betrothal. Catelyn was 12 when she was betrothed to Brandon, and was a woman grown when 15 year old Petyr, who was years younger than her, fought 20 year old Brandon in 282 AC. Brandon had become a man grown in 278 AC.

We also know that Lord Robert and Lyanna had "long been betrothed" by the time of the Harrenhal Tourney in late 281 AC, and that both of them had been old enough to wed and consummate at the time of the Harrenhal Tourney. We don't know when Robert and Lyanna were betrothed, but Robert was already Lord of Storm's End, which he became in 278 AC, the same year he became a man grown. Lyanna was 16 when she died in 283 AC.

All parties involved were old enough to wed, and had been old enough to wed for some time, at the time of the Harrenhal Tourney in 281 AC. And if Rickard, Hoster, or Robert had actually made or been part of any plot against the Targaryens, they would have turned these betrothals into marriage ties, and attempted to turn them into blood ties ASAP, no matter how far off they considered war to be.

The idea that any of these great houses would plot a war while not a single one of their members were wed and capable of producing new legitimate members of their houses (Elbert Arryn is the only question mark, the rest are known to have been unwed, and unable to produce legitimate children until they wed), and while going years without sealing the lone two betrothals they had made into actual marriages, is without merit.

Lord Rickard Stark
Brandon Stark
Eddard Stark
Benjen Stark
Lyanna Stark

Lord Hoster Tully
Edmure Tully
Catelyn Tully
Lysa Tully

Lord Robert Baratheon
Stannis Baratheon
Renly Baratheon

Lord Jon Arryn
Elbert Arryn ?

Lord Tywin Lannister
Jaime Lannister
Tyrion Lannister
Cersei Lannister

All unwed, all incapable of producing any new legitimate children until they are.

Stannis was Lord Robert's heir until he produced a legitimate son, which he couldn't do until he actually wed. Edmure was Lord Hoster's heir and only son, and his brother Brynden refused to wed. Ned was next after Brandon until he produced a legitimate heir, which he couldn't do until he actually wed. Elbert was Jon's heir and only close male relative, and it is unknown whether he was wed, betrothed, or neither. They, along with Benjen and Lysa, would have been used to strengthen ties to powerful houses, especially those which needed a reason to choose them over their king. They need not have been wed to their own bannermen, but if these great lords had actually been plotting against House Targaryen, they need to have been wed to somebody. The theory that they believed war was years off wouldn't make the lack of marriages during the years of peace beforehand any less absurd.

There is no evidence for "southron ambitions" referring to an anti-Targaryen plot. The lone references to Rickard's southron ambitions are by Lady Barbrey Dustin, who refers solely to the betrothal between her lover Brandon and Catelyn Tully, with no hint of an anti-Targaryen conspiracy.

Yandel's statement in TWOIAF can't possibly be taken to prove that alliances made by Rickard by blood and friendship were made in the first place as part of a plot against the Targaryens. This is a statement made in hindsight, not with knowledge about the basis for those ties. And it is an inaccurate statement at that.

For once, there were no actual blood ties in those alliances. Robert and Lyanna never wed or had children. Brandon and Catelyn never wed or had children. No blood ties were created between "STAB" until Robb was born to Ned and Catelyn, a marriage that was not made until months into the war, around the Battle of the Bells.

And the friendship ties Yandel speaks of, between Jon, Robert, and Ned, were established a decade before the war, in 271-272 AC, when House Baratheon was still one of the closest and most loyal houses to House Targaryen, and when House Arryn and House Stark have no known issue with House Targaryen.

Those friendship ties were the only actual ties between those great houses when Jon, Ned, and Robert rebelled against Aerys after he murdered Rickard and Brandon (and possibly Elbert), and demanded the heads of Ned and Robert. There was not a single marriage or blood tie between any of them, not until Ned and Jon brought Hoster in by agreeing to wed his daughters.

I still fail to see any force in this argument.

Your view that if a war against the Targaryens was planned the betrothals would have been turned into marriages with greater speed and that more marriages would have been arranged is really just an assertion, nothing more. You’ve provided no particular reason to think anyone in the books thinks in the way you do.

To take one example, why didn’t Ned or Cat immediately start fishing around for a bride for Robb when Bran was pushed from the tower? They suspected a potential war with the Lannisters at this point, so by your logic plans ought to have been set in motion for a marriage straight away.

To pile up examples: why when the Tullys began to fear war with the Lannisters in GoT did Edmure not hastily wed, why did Mace not arrange for Willas to marry as soon as he knew he wanted to declare for Renly, how could Tywin possibly remain unmarried for so long? Sometimes you can conceive on the first attempt, so why risk the male line failing by not marrying even if war is just round the corner?

In any case, Rickard, Hoster and Robert all had heirs who were too young to die in a war in the foreseeable future, namely Benjen, Edmure and Renly. They had spare heirs in the case worse came to worse, and Rickard in fact had three sons. So there was no need for speedy marriages to produce extra heirs. And it is unlikely their children would die in battle anyway, as most people survive battles.

I also think Lyanna was too young to have married Robert. If she was sixteen when she died she was either 14 or 15 at Harrenhal, and this is really the earliest people usually marry. So their marriage was not delayed very much. For example, the Sansa-Tyrion match was a sort of emergency because Tywin was afraid of upsetting the Tyrells by refusing Sansa’s hand for Willas. 

Regarding some of the other issues.

I have presented the argument for my version of southron ambitions many times. It is true that Yandel doesn’t say the alliance structure put in place by Rickard was intended to replace the Targaryens explicitly but I argue this can deduced from the way he talks about the accusations brought against Rickard by the misguided men in addition to other clues. I have also never said Lady Dustin mentioned an anti-Targaryen conspiracy; I argue that we can infer this by her connecting the maesters to Rickard’s marriage plans and by thinking about why the Citadel would want to get involved in the match-making of the great houses.

*Regarding the Frey example, I think the point there was Robb and Lord Frey sealed a military alliance with the promise of a marriage and they could have gone through with a marriage then and there or at least once Robb had arrived in Riverrun. That they didn't seems to suggest a lack of urgency you find strange is not thought to be so in world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/1/2018 at 8:25 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

On the contrary, I reject all assumptions that Lord Rickard, or any of the other great lords, ever intended or prepared for war with House Targaryen. What scheme, exactly, do you claim Rickard supposed would come to fruition in another couple of years? And in another couple of years from when?

I can't speak for others but I believe the STAB alliance is constructing an alliance of Great Houses that can reject the authority of the Targaryen overlordship. The time of dragons is gone, and the power of the Iron Throne rests on each region, each former kingdom, continuing to accept the results of Aegon's conquest out of tradition, and most importantly, the power of the other former kingdoms in continuing to support Targaryen rule. IF enough of the High Lords can come together in support of each other's sovereignty, and their own vassal lords follow them, they can renounce the results of the Conquest and be independent Kingdoms again.

But in order to do so, it means confidence that at least the majority of the High Lords will stand with them. Hence the marriage pacts, and the foster relationships. It is critical to note that the opening act of Harrenhal is not only the stealing of Tywin's heir by naming Jaime to the Kingsguard, but also a destruction of a marriage pact that would tie the powerful Lannisters with the rest of the bloc. This is not just simple vengeance aimed at Tywin by the King, but a very nuanced maneuver to prevent the Lannisters from joining the bloc disguised as a honor that can't be refused.

When Hoster Tully negotiates with Tywin for the Jaime/Lysa match it is a fundamental shift in power coming into existence. It is hard to believe the Targaryens don't see the threat looming on the horizon, and Aerys, possibly with the help of others like Varys, deals with this threat in the best way possible. A stiletto hidden in a silk glove. If he had just issued a decree forbidding any of these marriages from taking place he would place himself in the same place Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys found themselves in trying to mandate the Great Houses to accept marriages between each other forced upon them by the Iron Throne - except without dragons to enforce the decree. In fact, Aerys might have even weakened his own support amongst the Tyrells and the Martells because of preempting the High Lord's right to negotiate his own marriages.

Step back and imagine a Westeros in which all of these marriages take place. A world in which five of the seven Great Lords are united by marriage alliances. The Dornish are tied to the Iron Throne through their own marriage alliance, but the Tyrells, who have no children of marriage age at the time, are very dependent on the support of their own vassal houses who rival the Tyrells themselves for power in the Reach. Hence the importance of the Blackfish/Bethany Rowan match. Add to that our uncertainty of when the Stannis/Selyse Florent was negotiated and we have a plan to tie six of the seven former kingdoms into an alliance. 

That is without any further ties than the ones we already know about.

In the face of this evidence your refusal to see a Grand Alliance  of Great Lords in formation is hard to understand. You can be sure the Targaryens saw it. Up to this point in the history of Westeros there had never been such web of alliances, that we know of, between the Great Houses in opposition to Targaryen power. The only thing that even approaches this is when the Targaryen themselves tried to force the marriages upon the Houses. This plan of Lord Rickard was not either started by or approved by the Targaryens. It is unique is Westerosi history up until the War of the Five Kings in which we have open war by rival lords for the Iron Throne or for independence.

But how can we be sure this just isn't an accident of history? A fad between Great Houses that was for benign purposes? Because we are told it is not.

Quote

"When the Stark line was nearly obliterated by Mad King Aerys after Rhaegar's abduction of Lyanna, some misguided men laid the blame at the feet of the late Lord Rickard, whose alliances by blood and friendship tied the great houses together and ensured that they would act together in response to the Mad King's crimes." (TWoI&F 142) bold emphasis added.

This quote is already referenced by you and others, but I think you too easily dismiss it. This is a historian writing a history he thinks will be acceptable to the Baratheon/Lannister monarchs who hold the Iron Throne. That he admits the target of these alliances is Aerys is critically important. Why? Because he believes Robert/Joffrey/Tommen or their regents will accept this view of history. We can agree that it is not accurate in that the "crimes" of Aerys happen long after the start of these alliances. What can't be dismissed is that even the rebels themselves would accept that their alliances were targeted against Aerys - either in a defensive response to anticipated moves by Aerys or as I've put forward as an alliance to accomplish their own goals of building a new Westeros without Targaryen rule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2018 at 2:21 AM, Lady Barbrey said:

I do think, however, that any smart Lord would have been thinking about alliances well before Harrenhal.  Aerys was already unstable years before then. The Targaryens no longer had dragons. A coup became very possible.  Even if you weren't planning one yourself, you might want a say in who would rule the country afterwards, and God forbid it was those Tyrrells or worse, those Lannisters, who might just slide onto the throne without a whimper from anyone.

I think Rickard, Hoster, Robert, and Tywin each had their own unique reasons for the marriage ties they had negotiated or been negotiating. And in every case, I think there is a simpler and more plausible explanation than an alliance against Aerys or House Targaryen. I don't think any of these great lords, or Jon Arryn, imagined a scenario in which House Targaryen was replaced on the Iron Throne, nor do I think any of them imagined themselves becoming kings of their own realms. Even those who might have wished for a quick end to Aerys's reign would have had no reason to envision someone other than Rhaegar on the throne after him.

TWOIAF indicates that Aerys had become known as the Mad King from Dorne to the Wall by around 280 AC, but even if that is true, the realm (outside men like Rhaegar and Tywin) doesn't appear to have understood the extents of his madness until he attended the Harrenhal Tourney in late 281 AC. I doubt the great lords took Aerys's actions at Duskendale as a threat to themselves, as it is not as though he had attacked them unprovoked. He had been taken captive and threatened with murder by one of his bannermen and subjects for half a year. The great lords would have more reason to see themselves in Aerys than in the Darklyns.

The Lannisters and Tyrells never could have hoped to claim the Iron Throne in their own right without great opposition. The Lannisters had been kings of the Westerlands, but had no claim to the Iron Throne. The Tyrells had only been servants of kings, who owed everything to the Targaryens elevating them from nothing, to rule over more powerful and prestigious Reach houses.

On 10/6/2018 at 2:21 AM, Lady Barbrey said:

The Starks had no real ties to any of the other kingdoms.  They had almost complete independence except in title and they'd want to keep it that  way.  But with a mad king on the throne, some long term plans to form a bloc was only strategic, and I'd certainly have been thinking that way. So fostering, eventually marriage.  No rush but a good insurance plan.

House Stark does not appear to have had any recent direct blood ties to House Arryn, House Tully, and House Baratheon, but they did have recent blood ties to bannermen in the Vale, Riverlands, and Stormlands. And the great lords of those regions just happened to be among the most recent houses to be wed or betrothed to Targaryen princes.

In terms of Rickard's own family ties:

Lord Willam Stark's mother was Lorra Royce of the Vale.
Lord Willam wed Melantha Blackwood of the Riverlands.
Lord Willam's daughter Jocelyn wed Benedict Royce, of the Vale.
Jocelyn's three Royce daughters wed other Vale lordlings.

Rodwell Stark's mother was Lorra Royce of the Vale.
Rodwell's daughter Lyarra wed Lord Rickard Stark.
Rodwell's daughter Branda wed Harrold Rogers of the Stormlands.

So Lord Rickard's great-grandmother, also the grandmother of his wife, was a Royce.

His grandmother was a Blackwood, possibly even a sister or otherwise close relative of Aegon V's wife and queen Betha.

His aunt Jocelyn's husband was a Royce, and his Royce cousins wed other Vale lordlings.

His wife's sister Branda, both were daughters of his grandfather's brother, was wed to a Rogers of the Stormlands.

So Lord Rickard and his close family members had some notable blood and marriage ties to the Riverlands, Vale, and Stormlands in the decades before and after he was born.

We also know that his great-grandfather Lord Beron made common cause with House Lannister against House Greyjoy about thirty years before he was born, a cause which Dunk and the eventual Aegon V had intended to join before getting caught up in the Whitewalls Tourney/Second Blackfyre Rebellion in 211 AC.

All of which is to say that Lord Rickard himself might have grown up in a much more "southron friendly" context than Starks historically had. And he might have had relatives and friends in the Riverlands, Vale, and Stormlands, whether or not he took part in the War of the Ninepenny Kings in 260 AC, which is one of the ways some suggest he could have met Jon Arryn and Steffon Baratheon. Hell, Rickard himself could have been fostered outside the north for all we know.

And when we look at the houses with which Rickard fostered Ned, and betrothed Brandon and Lyanna, we don't see houses with historical enmity with House Targaryen, but houses close ties with House Targaryen.

Prince Jaehaerys (eventually the Second) had been betrothed to Celia Tully until he broke it to wed his sister Shaera in 240 AC, which must be within years of Rickard's birth.

Prince Duncan (at the time Aegon V's heir) had been betrothed to the daughter of Lord Lyonel Baratheon until he broke it to wed Jenny in 239 AC, which must be within years of Rickard's birth.

Princess Rhaelle was eventually betrothed to Lord Lyonel's heir and successor Ormund Baratheon, and they wed in 245 AC, and had Steffon in 246 AC, all of which must be within years of Rickard's birth.

House Arryn had wed Targaryens on at least three occasions: Lord Rodrik Arryn wed Princess Daella Targaryen in 80 AC. Their daughter Aemma Arryn wed Viserys (eventually the Second) Targaryen in 93 AC. And Alys Arryn wed Prince Rhaegel Targaryen, and had three children, including Princee Daenora Targaryen, who went on to wed Egg's elder brother Aerion, with whom she had a son Maegor in 232 AC.

This was all recent history when Rickard was growing up. And in fact, before Aerys chose to wed Rhaegar to a Martell, the most recent non-Targaryen houses the Targaryen heirs had been betrothed to were Baratheon and Tully. Had Duncan not broken his betrothal, a Baratheon was fit to be queen. Had Jaehaerys not broken his betrothed, a Tully was fit to be queen. Both of these houses had been made by House Targaryen, both of these houses had been loyal to House Targaryen for most of the Targaryen era, and they had been considered worthy to provide queens for Targaryen kings of the future.

So I think Rickard was trying to strengthen his ties with the south, give his house more influence in the south, and in the long term, I think he hoped to see his descendants marry with the Targaryens, and have descendants of his own on the Iron Throne. I think he was more patient than Tywin, who wanted his daughter to be queen, but I do think he ultimately had his eye on the Iron Throne, and his descendants having more power in the south and in the Red Keep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2018 at 3:04 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

My problem with Tywin, is Rhaegar, and Jamie's last memory of him. 

Rhaegar refuses to let Jamie go with him, as his father fear's Tywin, and Rhaegar will not take that crutch away from his father. Meaning, Rhaegar is happy to serve his father, keep Jamie as hostage at King's Landing against any actions from Tywin, and acknowledges Tywin as the greater threat. 

If Rhaegar was aiding Tywin, then Rhaegar would have allowed Jamie to go with him. Leaving Aerys with no leverage against Tywin. 

I just can't see it. 

Rhaegar is lost to Tywin forever. Rhaegar is not going to war with Dorne just to ditch Elia for Cersei imo. There is no honorable way to do it. Plus Rhaegar already has an heir. Even if Rhaegar remarries to Cersei, he'd have to change his heir, guaranteeing problems down the road between his children. 

Rhaegar and Tywin in 280-281 AC, before Aerys took Jaime captive, before Rhaegar named Lyanna Queen of Love and Beauty, and before Rhaegar abducted Lyanna, is not the same as Rhaegar and Tywin in 283 AC. IF Tywin had been in on any plots of Rhaegar's in 280-281 AC, I think that came to a pretty abrupt end in 281-282 AC.

Rhaegar had good reasons to keep Jaime in the Red Keep with Aerys before the Battle of the Trident.

Tywin hadn't responded to the summons Rhaegar had persuaded Aerys to send him after the Battle of the Bells. His intentions were a mystery. Rhaegar had reason to believe that, even if Tywin did not join the royalists, having Jaime in KL should at least keep him from joining the rebels.

And Aerys still had the full extents of his power as king. Just before what was supposed to be the decisive battle was not the time for Rhaegar to put to the test whether the Targaryen loyalists would listen to him or Aerys if they were commanding conflicting things. Nor was it the time to risk sending the mad king into a fit.

Leaving Jaime in KL should have kept both Tywin and Aerys from doing anything stupid until after Rhaegar returned and could then make some lasting changes. And as good as Jaime was, his presence or absence wasn't likely to determine the outcome of the battle. He was most valuable at the Red Keep.

Tywin's decision to approach KL was a huge risk. But while taking the chance that Aerys would wrongly interpret him to be coming to his aid, he must have made his peace with the possibility that Jaime would be killed, perhaps made easier by the fact that Jaime would certainly remain lost to him, or be killed, anyways if Aerys remained in power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Rhaegar and Tywin in 280-281 AC, before Aerys took Jaime captive, before Rhaegar named Lyanna Queen of Love and Beauty, and before Rhaegar abducted Lyanna, is not the same as Rhaegar and Tywin in 283 AC. IF Tywin had been in on any plots of Rhaegar's in 280-281 AC, I think that came to a pretty abrupt end in 281-282 AC.

Rhaegar had good reasons to keep Jaime in the Red Keep with Aerys before the Battle of the Trident.

Tywin hadn't responded to the summons Rhaegar had persuaded Aerys to send him after the Battle of the Bells. His intentions were a mystery. Rhaegar had reason to believe that, even if Tywin did not join the royalists, having Jaime in KL should at least keep him from joining the rebels.

And Aerys still had the full extents of his power as king. Just before what was supposed to be the decisive battle was not the time for Rhaegar to put to the test whether the Targaryen loyalists would listen to him or Aerys if they were commanding conflicting things. Nor was it the time to risk sending the mad king into a fit.

Leaving Jaime in KL should have kept both Tywin and Aerys from doing anything stupid until after Rhaegar returned and could then make some lasting changes. And as good as Jaime was, his presence or absence wasn't likely to determine the outcome of the battle. He was most valuable at the Red Keep.

Tywin's decision to approach KL was a huge risk. But while taking the chance that Aerys would wrongly interpret him to be coming to his aid, he must have made his peace with the possibility that Jaime would be killed, perhaps made easier by the fact that Jaime would certainly remain lost to him, or be killed, anyways if Aerys remained in power.

I agree with most, but Rhaegar doesnt decide where Jaimie or even his family was, Aerys did. Aerys did that so that Tywinn and the Martells would not have join the rebels. I think Rhaegar en Aerys were quit on the same understanding at that point. I find it also really strange that without further orders Rhaegar put one of his heirs in the hands of 3 people, while Ned could have come with a thousand or more. I find it really strange that they didnt order the Tyrelll force to come with then, while they were doing really nothing for them. The Tyrells could even sack KL themselfs claim the throne and nobody could have done anything about it. When the Tyrells were not joining them the war was allready lost and you have to do something for your heir. That the Martells did join is even more strange with the Tyrells on there doorstep. We miss alot of information but the things that Rhaegar and Aerys did were suicidal. 

I think also that Tywinn took his loss about jaimie, maybe buy him free later. But Tywinn came because aerys had sended a raven to him so i dont think he misunderstood Tywinn. I think even that Tywinn would come to Aerys his aid when Rhaegar won at the trident.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Seaserpent said:

I agree with most, but Rhaegar doesnt decide where Jaimie or even his family was, Aerys did.

Jaime and Rhaegar, and perhaps Jonothor, clearly indicated they believed Rhaegar had the power to make the decision. Rhaegar does not answer Jaime that he doesn't have the power to bring him, but that at such an hour, he dare not take away from his Tywin-fearing father a crutch that he believes keeps Tywin from harming him. Rhaegar is about to leave Aerys behind at the Red Keep while he leads the Targaryen loyalists into battle, and the last thing he needs is to provoke Aerys into a fit before he does.

Aerys was still king, and he still had all the power of king. Had Rhaegar issued a command contrary to the king's on a matter, it is certainly possible that many or most would listen to the king and not Rhaegar. Rhaegar making such a command risked splitting loyalties of dwindling royalists, and putting to the test who the royalists would listen to. Right before the biggest battle is a bad time to put that to the test, especially on a matter where Rhaegar had every reason to agree with his father.

Jaime was most useful in the Red Keep with Aerys, where Aerys would be pacified and feel safe from Tywin while Rhaegar commanded the military, and where Tywin would have good reason not to throw his support behind the rebels unless he wanted to risk getting his beloved son killed.

42 minutes ago, Seaserpent said:

I find it really strange that they didnt order the Tyrelll force to come with then, while they were doing really nothing for them. The Tyrells could even sack KL themselfs claim the throne and nobody could have done anything about it. When the Tyrells were not joining them the war was allready lost and you have to do something for your heir. That the Martells did join is even more strange with the Tyrells on there doorstep.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Siege_of_Storms_End

"The Targaryens had lost a number of battles (and had also won some), but they weren't really losing the war until the Trident and the Sack of King's Landing. And then it was lost. And sieges were a crucial part of medieval warfare. Storm's End was not geographically strategic, but it was the base of Robert's power, as important to House Baratheon as Winterfell was to the Starks. If it had fallen, Robert would have lost his home and his lands... and two of his brothers would have been hostages in enemy hands. All important chips. Also the fall of Storm's End might have convinced many of the storm lords supporting him that the time had come to bend the knee. So the castle was hardly unimportant.

Tyrell had a sizeable host, but some of his strength was with Rhaegar, certainly. Rhaegar actually outnumbered Robert on the Trident, although Robert's troops were more battle-tested. I haven't gone into the whole history of the fighting, but there was a good deal more to it than just two armies meeting on the Trident. There were a number of earlier battles, sieges, escapes, ambushes, duels, and forays, and fighting in places as farflung as the Vale and the Dornish Marches.

When Ned appeared, Aerys, Rhaegar, and Aegon were dead, and Viserys fled. There was no one left to fight for, and the war was clearly lost anyway.

The modern concept of "total war" really didn't exist in the medieval period. Armies were personal, as were loyalties. The leader who wanted to fight on till the last drop of blood might well have found himself fighting on alone, since his vassals were likely to have better sense, and their levies were more likely to follow their own lord than the "general." Tyrell's surrender was pretty much warfare as usual. If he had =tried= to give battle to Ned in a lost cause, he might well have found his more opportunistic bannermen deserting to the other side."

The Tyrells would have received no support from anyone had they attempted to claim the Iron Throne. They were nobodies elevated to great lords over much more powerful and storied houses by the Targaryens. The Martells had good reason to stick with the Targaryens, even if they had been alienated. They were in too deep. They had Elia, they had the children, and if they could weather the rebellion, and the rest of Aerys's reign, Elia might one day be queen mother, Aegon might one day be king, and Rhaenys might even one day be queen, or else have some other advantageous match. They had a lot to lose and not much to gain by abandoning the Targaryens. Had Elia and the children been in Dorne, it might have been different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Jaime and Rhaegar, and perhaps Jonothor, clearly indicated they believed Rhaegar had the power to make the decision. Rhaegar does not answer Jaime that he doesn't have the power to bring him, but that at such an hour, he dare not take away from his Tywin-fearing father a crutch that he believes keeps Tywin from harming him. Rhaegar is about to leave Aerys behind at the Red Keep while he leads the Targaryen loyalists into battle, and the last thing he needs is to provoke Aerys into a fit before he does.

Aerys was still king, and he still had all the power of king. Had Rhaegar issued a command contrary to the king's on a matter, it is certainly possible that many or most would listen to the king and not Rhaegar. Rhaegar making such a command risked splitting loyalties of dwindling royalists, and putting to the test who the royalists would listen to. Right before the biggest battle is a bad time to put that to the test, especially on a matter where Rhaegar had every reason to agree with his father.

Jaime was most useful in the Red Keep with Aerys, where Aerys would be pacified and feel safe from Tywin while Rhaegar commanded the military, and where Tywin would have good reason not to throw his support behind the rebels unless he wanted to risk getting his beloved son killed.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Siege_of_Storms_End

"The Targaryens had lost a number of battles (and had also won some), but they weren't really losing the war until the Trident and the Sack of King's Landing. And then it was lost. And sieges were a crucial part of medieval warfare. Storm's End was not geographically strategic, but it was the base of Robert's power, as important to House Baratheon as Winterfell was to the Starks. If it had fallen, Robert would have lost his home and his lands... and two of his brothers would have been hostages in enemy hands. All important chips. Also the fall of Storm's End might have convinced many of the storm lords supporting him that the time had come to bend the knee. So the castle was hardly unimportant.

Tyrell had a sizeable host, but some of his strength was with Rhaegar, certainly. Rhaegar actually outnumbered Robert on the Trident, although Robert's troops were more battle-tested. I haven't gone into the whole history of the fighting, but there was a good deal more to it than just two armies meeting on the Trident. There were a number of earlier battles, sieges, escapes, ambushes, duels, and forays, and fighting in places as farflung as the Vale and the Dornish Marches.

When Ned appeared, Aerys, Rhaegar, and Aegon were dead, and Viserys fled. There was no one left to fight for, and the war was clearly lost anyway.

The modern concept of "total war" really didn't exist in the medieval period. Armies were personal, as were loyalties. The leader who wanted to fight on till the last drop of blood might well have found himself fighting on alone, since his vassals were likely to have better sense, and their levies were more likely to follow their own lord than the "general." Tyrell's surrender was pretty much warfare as usual. If he had =tried= to give battle to Ned in a lost cause, he might well have found his more opportunistic bannermen deserting to the other side."

The Tyrells would have received no support from anyone had they attempted to claim the Iron Throne. They were nobodies elevated to great lords over much more powerful and storied houses by the Targaryens. The Martells had good reason to stick with the Targaryens, even if they had been alienated. They were in too deep. They had Elia, they had the children, and if they could weather the rebellion, and the rest of Aerys's reign, Elia might one day be queen mother, Aegon might one day be king, and Rhaenys might even one day be queen, or else have some other advantageous match. They had a lot to lose and not much to gain by abandoning the Targaryens. Had Elia and the children been in Dorne, it might have been different.

Good piece, but it was still possible the Tyrells could have attack sunspear, the Martells took a risk. I read it more that The Targaryans were winning the war. But in numbers it could go both ways. North, Vale, Riverlands, Stormlands against those 50.000 that Rhaegar had was not decided yet. The westerlands were totally neutral at that moment. You know the exact numbers of the STAB army? I think it would be a close call. Furthermore Robert did lose a portion of his army for a moment.  I agree with you that in the early beginning of the war before Rhaegar went back to KL the Targaryans had an advantage. I can see the siege looks not so bad afterall, but still they could use some help at the Trident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Seaserpent said:

Good piece, but it was still possible the Tyrells could have attack sunspear, the Martells took a risk. I read it more that The Targaryans were winning the war. But in numbers it could go both ways. North, Vale, Riverlands, Stormlands against those 50.000 that Rhaegar had was not decided yet. The westerlands were totally neutral at that moment. You know the exact numbers of the STAB army? I think it would be a close call. Furthermore Robert did lose a portion of his army for a moment.  I agree with you that in the early beginning of the war before Rhaegar went back to KL the Targaryans had an advantage. I can see the siege looks not so bad afterall, but still they could use some help at the Trident.

The Targaryen loyalists had lost some significant battles, but Rhaegar still brought more men to the Battle of the Trident than the rebels did.

"Now," the knight said, "I am less certain. They are better riders than any knight, utterly fearless, and their bows outrange ours. In the Seven Kingdoms, most archers fight on foot, from behind a shieldwall or a barricade of sharpened stakes. The Dothraki fire from horseback, charging or retreating, it makes no matter, they are full as deadly … and there are so many of them, my lady. Your lord husband alone counts forty thousand mounted warriors in his khalasar."

"Is that truly so many?"

"Your brother Rhaegar brought as many men to the Trident," Ser Jorah admitted, "but of that number, no more than a tenth were knights. The rest were archers, freeriders, and foot soldiers armed with spears and pikes. When Rhaegar fell, many threw down their weapons and fled the field. How long do you imagine such a rabble would stand against the charge of forty thousand screamers howling for blood? How well would boiled leather jerkins and mailed shirts protect them when the arrows fall like rain?"


- AGOT: Daenerys VI

Of the famous battle on the Trident, much has been written and said. But all know that the two armies clashed at the crossing that would ever after be called the Ruby Ford for the scattered rubies on Prince Rhaegar's armor. The opponents were well matched. Rhaegar's forces numbered some forty thousand, a tenth part of which were anointed knights, while the rebels had somewhat fewer men, but those they possessed were tested in battle, while much of Rhaegar's force was raw and new.

- TWOIAF: Robert's Rebellion

Aside from having the support of the Crownlands, Reach, and begrudgingly, Dorne, there were also an unknown number of Targaryen loyalists among the houses of the Riverlands, Vale, and Stormlands. We know the Freys sat out until after the battle, and the Darrys, Mootons, and Rygers of the Riverlands fought for Rhaegar. We still don't know what side the Whents (who had ties on both sides), Blackwoods, Brackens, etc. fought on.

And for his part, Ned might have rushed south with a limited force, since he might have risked being too late had he waited for much of the forces of the north to gather, and then take forever marching them south.

Regarding Dorne's reluctance to join in at the Trident, except as was required by the threats Aerys made about Elia to Lewyn:

Ned's army did not accompany him to Dorne, no. There were no battles in Dorne during Robert's Rebellion, though doubtless there were minor skirmishes along the borders. But it's not entirely correct that the Martells stayed out of the war. Rhaegar had Dornish troops with him on the Trident, under the command of Prince Lewyn of the Kingsguard. However, the Dornishmen did not support him as strongly as they might have, in part because of anger at his treatment of Elia, in part because of Prince Doran's innate caution. Cersei's line reflects no more than a desire to wound, to say something nasty to get a rise out of Ned.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Baratheon_Brothers/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

The Targaryen loyalists had lost some significant battles, but Rhaegar still brought more men to the Battle of the Trident than the rebels did.

"Now," the knight said, "I am less certain. They are better riders than any knight, utterly fearless, and their bows outrange ours. In the Seven Kingdoms, most archers fight on foot, from behind a shieldwall or a barricade of sharpened stakes. The Dothraki fire from horseback, charging or retreating, it makes no matter, they are full as deadly … and there are so many of them, my lady. Your lord husband alone counts forty thousand mounted warriors in his khalasar."

"Is that truly so many?"

"Your brother Rhaegar brought as many men to the Trident," Ser Jorah admitted, "but of that number, no more than a tenth were knights. The rest were archers, freeriders, and foot soldiers armed with spears and pikes. When Rhaegar fell, many threw down their weapons and fled the field. How long do you imagine such a rabble would stand against the charge of forty thousand screamers howling for blood? How well would boiled leather jerkins and mailed shirts protect them when the arrows fall like rain?"


- AGOT: Daenerys VI

Of the famous battle on the Trident, much has been written and said. But all know that the two armies clashed at the crossing that would ever after be called the Ruby Ford for the scattered rubies on Prince Rhaegar's armor. The opponents were well matched. Rhaegar's forces numbered some forty thousand, a tenth part of which were anointed knights, while the rebels had somewhat fewer men, but those they possessed were tested in battle, while much of Rhaegar's force was raw and new.

- TWOIAF: Robert's Rebellion

Aside from having the support of the Crownlands, Reach, and begrudgingly, Dorne, there were also an unknown number of Targaryen loyalists among the houses of the Riverlands, Vale, and Stormlands. We know the Freys sat out until after the battle, and the Darrys, Mootons, and Rygers of the Riverlands fought for Rhaegar. We still don't know what side the Whents (who had ties on both sides), Blackwoods, Brackens, etc. fought on.

And for his part, Ned might have rushed south with a limited force, since he might have risked being too late had he waited for much of the forces of the north to gather, and then take forever marching them south.

Regarding Dorne's reluctance to join in at the Trident, except as was required by the threats Aerys made about Elia to Lewyn:

Ned's army did not accompany him to Dorne, no. There were no battles in Dorne during Robert's Rebellion, though doubtless there were minor skirmishes along the borders. But it's not entirely correct that the Martells stayed out of the war. Rhaegar had Dornish troops with him on the Trident, under the command of Prince Lewyn of the Kingsguard. However, the Dornishmen did not support him as strongly as they might have, in part because of anger at his treatment of Elia, in part because of Prince Doran's innate caution. Cersei's line reflects no more than a desire to wound, to say something nasty to get a rise out of Ned.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Baratheon_Brothers/

 

yes i agree. That not all the dornish come with Rhaegar i guess it would be because of defending the own seat. But do you think that Rhaegar never gave the KG the order to take the heir away from the tower should he fell or go in hiding when somebody comes near. The secure the house line in Essos or somewhere. For example Aerys did that with Jon Darry and the kids after all. The KG should not have known that Ned came with only 6 others. But maybe is more something for another topic. Ps you know alot about this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/26/2018 at 4:23 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

I always found it interesting that aside from the Targaryen's, the Iron Born were the only people on the verge of uniting Westeros under one rule. Under House Hoare twice in the histories. Once in their apex under the driftwood kings, and again under the dynastic house leading up to Harren the Black. Who interestingly was only stopped by Aegon. What would have happened if Aegon hadn't showed up? Could the Iron born of this time, who had learned trade, farming and other such things better during Andal times and had Maesters, hold a united Westeros? Would the Maesters oppose this? The Faith of the Seven might, but depends on House Hoare and which way they swung on the matter. Harrenhal has a God's Wood but no known Sept. The Maesters however, have a god's wood on the premise. Guess Westeros is lucky the Iron born never had dragons. 

I'm afraid this isn't true, as Arya seems to find two separate septs there - one useable and one in ruins:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Arya VIII

Confusion and clangor ruled the castle. Men stood on the beds of wagons loading casks of wine, sacks of flour, and bundles of new-fletched arrows. Smiths straightened swords, knocked dents from breastplates, and shoed destriers and pack mules alike. Mail shirts were tossed in barrels of sand and rolled across the lumpy surface of the Flowstone Yard to scour them clean. Weese's women had twenty cloaks to mend, a hundred more to wash. The high and humble crowded into the sept together to pray. Outside the walls, tents and pavilions were coming down. Squires tossed pails of water over cookfires, while soldiers took out their oilstones to give their blades one last good lick. The noise was a swelling tide: horses blowing and whickering, lords shouting commands, men-at-arms trading curses, camp followers squabbling.
Lord Tywin Lannister was marching at last.
Quote

A Clash of Kings - Arya X

The Tower of Ghosts was the most ruinous of Harrenhal's five immense towers. It stood dark and desolate behind the remains of a collapsed sept where only rats had come to pray for near three hundred years. It was there she waited to see if Gendry and Hot Pie would come. It seemed as though she waited a long time. The horses nibbled at the weeds that grew up between the broken stones while the clouds swallowed the last of the stars. Arya took out the dagger and sharpened it to keep her hands busy. Long smooth strokes, the way Syrio had taught her. The sound calmed her.

What I found most intriguing is that Harrenhal has a Godswood, and a proper one at that, with weirwoods in it. As you say, the Hoares were seveners, and no doubt many of their followers would still hold to the Drowned God, so why would Harren include some of those demon-trees in his power base? That Harrenhal had such a central role in Hoare's kingdom, Aegon's Conquest, and now this Tourney, cannot be coincidence. In fact, it's so central I suggest we should rename the 'STAB' alliance to the 'BATS' alliance, just seems more appropriate ;)

As for Rickard's 'southron ambitions', I think the phrase speaks more to Barbray's bitterness than any over-reaching plan and I don't see Rickard attempting to do much more than get closer to the throne and build up a bit more influence at court. Ned may be content to sit events out on the edge of the world, but Rickard seemed to want to tie the North more into the rest of the realm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

I'm afraid this isn't true, as Arya seems to find two separate septs there - one useable and one in ruins:

What I found most intriguing is that Harrenhal has a Godswood, and a proper one at that, with weirwoods in it. As you say, the Hoares were seveners, and no doubt many of their followers would still hold to the Drowned God, so why would Harren include some of those demon-trees in his power base? That Harrenhal had such a central role in Hoare's kingdom, Aegon's Conquest, and now this Tourney, cannot be coincidence. In fact, it's so central I suggest we should rename the 'STAB' alliance to the 'BATS' alliance, just seems more appropriate ;)

As for Rickard's 'southron ambitions', I think the phrase speaks more to Barbray's bitterness than any over-reaching plan and I don't see Rickard attempting to do much more than get closer to the throne and build up a bit more influence at court. Ned may be content to sit events out on the edge of the world, but Rickard seemed to want to tie the North more into the rest of the realm.

I've just started the series again, and Catelyn says almost all noble houses in the south do have a godswood, though they don't worship in them, just garden parties or something.  Seems to be a convention or tradition to have one.

@AlaskanSandman I find it interesting about the Ironborn being twice so powerful too.  Also noted in the World Book that there were repetitions of "Har" all over the place, but never saw a theory connecting them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lady Barbrey said:

I've just started the series again, and Catelyn says almost all noble houses in the south do have a godswood, though they don't worship in them, just garden parties or something.  Seems to be a convention or tradition to have one.

Me too :cheers: Back to AGoT for my sixth or seventh read through.... in two years :wideeyed:

I also noted Catelyn's thoughts, and those of some others around this topic, and this is why Harrenhal sticks out for me. Historically, the Ironborn have been hostile to the Old Gods, and so have the Andals/Fot7. So an Ironborn Sevener building one of (if not THE) biggest Godswoods in the realm - with real weirwoods - seems to be more than following convention or tradition.

Other things that we're told by various characters at various points includes 'all the weirwoods south of the neck have been cut down'. Nope, not quite. A careful read shows occasional weirwoods popping up in southron Godswoods, and Harrenhal is a big red flag contradicting this. What's also notable is that Harrenhal seems to be the site for the most recent human sacrifice to the trees:

Quote

The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I

After the Conqueror's death, it did not take long before challenges to the Targaryen rule emerged. The first of these was the bandit and outlaw named Harren the Red, who claimed to be a grandson of Harren the Black. With the help of a castle servant, Harren the Red seized both Harrenhal and its current ruler, the infamous Lord Gargon (remembered as Gargon the Guest for his custom of attending every wedding in his domain to exercise his right to First Night). Lord Gargon was gelded in the castle's godswood and left to bleed to death while Red Harren proclaimed himself Lord of Harrenhal and King of the Rivers.

That looks very much like a sacrifice to me, feeding the weirwoods on blood - the last blood of the first House to have been destroyed by the 'curse of Harrenhal', to boot. The the whole business of the 'curse', and the rather high proportion of families living in Harrenhal dabbling in the 'black arts' makes me think the existence of the Harrenhal Godswood is significant.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Arya IX

Arya climbed. Up in the kingdom of the leaves, she unsheathed and for a time forgot them all, Ser Amory and the Mummers and her father's men alike, losing herself in the feel of rough wood beneath the soles of her feet and the swish of sword through air. A broken branch became Joffrey. She struck at it until it fell away. The queen and Ser Ilyn and Ser Meryn and the Hound were only leaves, but she killed them all as well, slashing them to wet green ribbons. When her arm grew weary, she sat with her legs over a high limb to catch her breath in the cool dark air, listening to the squeak of bats as they hunted. Through the leafy canopy she could see the bone-white branches of the heart tree. It looks just like the one in Winterfell from here. If only it had been . . . then when she climbed down she would have been home again, and maybe find her father sitting under the weirwood where he always sat.

Shoving her sword through her belt, she slipped down branch to branch until she was back on the ground. The light of the moon painted the limbs of the weirwood silvery white as she made her way toward it, but the five-pointed red leaves turned black by night. Arya stared at the face carved into its trunk. It was a terrible face, its mouth twisted, its eyes flaring and full of hate. Is that what a god looked like? Could gods be hurt, the same as people? I should pray, she thought suddenly.

This tree seems to put some strange thoughts into Arya's head. She thinks it might be a connection (route / root?) to Winterfell, where her father ALWAYS is... suggesting a time travel element too, or a connection to eternity :dunno: Does the face reflect her own? Can a god be hurt - what? Where does that come from? And then she thinks she ought to pray - for probably the only time in her life this strikes her.... so aside from everything else. this seems to be a rather uncanny tree in itself.

So, I'm sure this is significant, I just haven't put it all together yet :thumbsup: And that's without bringing in the elephant in the room, or course: God's Eye, the Isle of Faces, Howland Reed who spent the winter there (approx 2 years...) then came out just in time for the Tourney...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2018 at 3:53 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

Interesting. I dont have much to offer unfortunately. Im actually not a big conspiracy guy despite appearances haha. I just cant figure out this whole Southern ambitions thing, or who would be arranging Harrenhal. I've wondered about Tyrells, or Tywin. I've tried looking at marriages and arrangements and such. but nothing seem's to add up to much.

Only thing i can figure is House Tyrell just for the sake of causing discord. Due to Olenna Redwyne being spurned. But i can't see how they'd get the crown. Unless maybe they were hoping to get Viserys and off Rhaegar and his kids? 

Elia having Aegon with Rhaegar poses a problem for any ones plans, and when that happened is unknown. If she was pregnant at Harrenhal, then they woudnt know Rhaegar had an heir, but if she birthed before, then they would. Seeing how fast Rhaegar took to the road after Harrenhal, i just dont see the birth happening after.

So imo, everyone went into Harrenhal knowing Aegon was born and maybe even being announced there. 

Edit- Keep in mind Summerhall was meant to be the announcement/birth of Rhaegar and all gathered.

From the information we have, Elia should be heavily pregnant at the Harrenhal Tourney in the final months of 281 AC, and should deliver Aegon very soon after.

- Rhaegar and Elia were betrothed early in the year 279 AC [1]
- Rhaegar and Elia were wed in 280 AC [2]
- Rhaenys was born in 280 AC [3]
- Elia was bedridden for half a year after the birth of Rhaenys [4]
- The Harrenhal Tourney occurred during the False Spring in 281 AC [5]
- The False Spring of 281 AC lasted less than two turns [6]
- Winter returned with a vengeance as 281 AC drew to a close [7]
- Snow began to fall on King's Landing on the last day of 281 AC [8]
- The snowfall continued off and on for the best part of a fortnight in 282 AC [9]
- Aerys had huge green fires burning along the walls of the Red Keep for a moon's turn in 282 AC [10]
- Elia had given birth to Aegon by that time, and Rhaegar had already set out on the journey on which he abducted Lyanna [11]

If Rhaegar and Elia wed and conceived on the 1st day of the 1st month of 280 AC, Rhaenys should have been born around the 9th month of 280 AC, unless she was premature.

If Elia was bedridden for a full six months after the birth of Rhaenys, that should take her into the 3rd-4th month of 281 AC.

If Rhaegar and Elia conceived Aegon immediately, Aegon should have been born around the 12th month of 281 AC, but definitely by the first days or weeks of 282 AC.

[1] Early in the year 279 AC, Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, was formally betrothed to Princess Elia Martell, the delicate young sister of Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne. (TWOIAF: Aerys II)

[2] They were wed the following year, in a lavish ceremony at the Great Sept of Baelor in King's Landing (TWOIAF: Aerys II)

[3]  Nor did the birth of King Aerys's first grandchild, a girl named Rhaenys, born on Dragonstone in 280 AC, do aught to reconcile father and son. (TWOIAF: Aerys II)

[4]  After the birth of Princess Rhaenys, her mother had been bedridden for half a year (ADWD: The Griffen Reborn)

[5] In the annals of Westeros, 281 AC is known as the Year of the False Spring.... As warm winds blew from the south, lords and knights from throughout the Seven Kingdoms made their way toward Harrenhal to compete in Lord Whent's great tournament on the shore of the Gods Eye, which promised to be the largest and most magnificent competition since the time of Aegon the Unlikely. (TWOIAF: The Year of the False Spring)

[6] The False Spring of 281 AC lasted less than two turns. (TWOIAF: The Year of the False Spring)

[7] As the year drew to a close, winter returned to Westeros with a vengeance. (TWOIAF: The Year of the False Spring)

[8] On the last day of the year, snow began to fall upon King's Landing, and a crust of ice formed atop the Blackwater Rush. (TWOIAF: The Year of the False Spring)

[9] 
The snowfall continued off and on for the best part of a fortnight, by which time the Blackwater was hard frozen, and icicles draped the roofs and gutters of every tower in the city. (TWOIAF: The Year of the False Spring)

[10] 
As cold winds hammered the city, King Aerys II turned to his pyromancers, charging them to drive the winter off with their magics. Huge green fires burned along the walls of the Red Keep for a moon's turn. (TWOIAF: The Year of the False Spring)

[11] 
Prince Rhaegar was not in the city to observe them, however. Nor could he be found in Dragonstone with Princess Elia and their young son, Aegon. (TWOIAF: The Year of the False Spring)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2018 at 4:12 PM, Chaircat Meow said:

I still fail to see any force in this argument.

Your view that if a war against the Targaryens was planned the betrothals would have been turned into marriages with greater speed and that more marriages would have been arranged is really just an assertion, nothing more. You’ve provided no particular reason to think anyone in the books thinks in the way you do.

To take one example, why didn’t Ned or Cat immediately start fishing around for a bride for Robb when Bran was pushed from the tower? They suspected a potential war with the Lannisters at this point, so by your logic plans ought to have been set in motion for a marriage straight away.

To pile up examples: why when the Tullys began to fear war with the Lannisters in GoT did Edmure not hastily wed, why did Mace not arrange for Willas to marry as soon as he knew he wanted to declare for Renly, how could Tywin possibly remain unmarried for so long? Sometimes you can conceive on the first attempt, so why risk the male line failing by not marrying even if war is just round the corner?

In any case, Rickard, Hoster and Robert all had heirs who were too young to die in a war in the foreseeable future, namely Benjen, Edmure and Renly. They had spare heirs in the case worse came to worse, and Rickard in fact had three sons. So there was no need for speedy marriages to produce extra heirs. And it is unlikely their children would die in battle anyway, as most people survive battles.

I also think Lyanna was too young to have married Robert. If she was sixteen when she died she was either 14 or 15 at Harrenhal, and this is really the earliest people usually marry. So their marriage was not delayed very much. For example, the Sansa-Tyrion match was a sort of emergency because Tywin was afraid of upsetting the Tyrells by refusing Sansa’s hand for Willas. 

Regarding some of the other issues.

I have presented the argument for my version of southron ambitions many times. It is true that Yandel doesn’t say the alliance structure put in place by Rickard was intended to replace the Targaryens explicitly but I argue this can deduced from the way he talks about the accusations brought against Rickard by the misguided men in addition to other clues. I have also never said Lady Dustin mentioned an anti-Targaryen conspiracy; I argue that we can infer this by her connecting the maesters to Rickard’s marriage plans and by thinking about why the Citadel would want to get involved in the match-making of the great houses.

*Regarding the Frey example, I think the point there was Robb and Lord Frey sealed a military alliance with the promise of a marriage and they could have gone through with a marriage then and there or at least once Robb had arrived in Riverrun. That they didn't seems to suggest a lack of urgency you find strange is not thought to be so in world.

When war is already raging, has just broken out, or is imminent, there may or may not be time to immediately arrange a betrothal, or to immediately arrange a marriage, whether between already betrothed or previously not betrothed. There are a number of examples of the different ways it can play out depending on the circumstances of those involved.

- the promises of Lord Eddard Stark and Lord Jon Arryn to wed Lord Hoster Tully's daughters before the Battle of the Bells
- the marriages of Lord Eddard Stark and Lord Jon Arryn to the daughters of Lord Hoster Tully after the Battle of the Bells
- the marriage of King Renly Baratheon to Margaery Tyrell before entering the war
- the negotiation of the betrothal of King Joffrey Baratheon to Margaery Tyrell before the Battle of the Blackwater
- the promise of King Robb to wed one of Lord Walder's women before the Green Fork, Whispering Wind, and Camp battles

None of these or other examples support your theory, in which, despite the fact that the realm had been at peace for decades since coming together to crush the Ninpenny Kings, Lord Rickard, in the midst of that peace, spent half-a-decade or more plotting with other great lords for an eventual war with House Targaryen, but didn't establish any actual marriage or blood ties.

And, in fact, all of the other supposed conspirators, like Lord Rickard, did nothing to build up their houses or create alliances with tangible ties using the marriageable sons, daughters, brothers, etc. they had at their disposal in the lead up to that inevitable war they supposedly plotted years for.

That the widowed great lords chose to remain unwed is not odd in light of the fact that they already had sons and daughters, and were in the midst of decades of peace. That they were patient in turning the existing betrothals into marriages, and in betrothing or wedding their other children, is not odd in light of the fact that they were in the midst of decades of peace.

But in a scenario in which they had made those betrothals in the first place as part of a plot for eventual war with the Targaryens, the long betrothals, and the lack of betrothals and marriages for all of those marriageable sons, daughters, brothers, etc. makes absolutely no sense in the context of the books, and the world that exists in the books.

Such a plot is a complete fantasy with no basis in or support from the books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

When war is already raging, has just broken out, or is imminent, there may or may not be time to immediately arrange a betrothal, or to immediately arrange a marriage, whether between already betrothed or previously not betrothed. There are a number of examples of the different ways it can play out depending on the circumstances of those involved.

- the promises of Lord Eddard Stark and Lord Jon Arryn to wed Lord Hoster Tully's daughters before the Battle of the Bells
- the marriages of Lord Eddard Stark and Lord Jon Arryn to the daughters of Lord Hoster Tully after the Battle of the Bells
- the marriage of King Renly Baratheon to Margaery Tyrell before entering the war
- the negotiation of the betrothal of King Joffrey Baratheon to Margaery Tyrell before the Battle of the Blackwater
- the promise of King Robb to wed one of Lord Walder's women before the Green Fork, Whispering Wind, and Camp battles

None of these or other examples support your theory, in which, despite the fact that the realm had been at peace for decades since coming together to crush the Ninpenny Kings, Lord Rickard, in the midst of that peace, spent half-a-decade or more plotting with other great lords for an eventual war with House Targaryen, but didn't establish any actual marriage or blood ties.

And, in fact, all of the other supposed conspirators, like Lord Rickard, did nothing to build up their houses or create alliances with tangible ties using the marriageable sons, daughters, brothers, etc. they had at their disposal in the lead up to that inevitable war they supposedly plotted years for.

That the widowed great lords chose to remain unwed is not odd in light of the fact that they already had sons and daughters, and were in the midst of decades of peace. That they were patient in turning the existing betrothals into marriages, and in betrothing or wedding their other children, is not odd in light of the fact that they were in the midst of decades of peace.

But in a scenario in which they had made those betrothals in the first place as part of a plot for eventual war with the Targaryens, the long betrothals, and the lack of betrothals and marriages for all of those marriageable sons, daughters, brothers, etc. makes absolutely no sense in the context of the books, and the world that exists in the books.

Such a plot is a complete fantasy with no basis in or support from the books.

1) The examples I gave show that houses contemplating, or embroiled in, war, don't always go through with planning for or going through with marriages when they could. You haven't explained, for instance, why arranging a marriage for Robb was not a priority as soon as war with the Lannisters was suspected and Bran crippled, or why Robb waited so long to marry a Frey. And other examples, such as that of Renly, show marriages can be carried out very quickly. So it seems many of these lords just do not think like you do, so your argument fails.

2) Another consideration you disregard is that too many marriages or hasty marriages, carried out with undue speed and while the bride and groom are quite young might alarm the suspicious king and give him cause to wonder what the marriages portended. 

3) The point about Lords Stark, Tully and Baratheon all having heirs young enough that they would not be lost in battle, thus lessening the need to procure marriages to be assured of more heirs, was not addressed.

4) The point about some of the children, such as Lyanna, being too young to be married much earlier anyway was not addressed.

5) Robert was in charge of Baratheon marriages, only Stannis was old enough for a marriage to be arranged in the years leading up to the rebellion, and Robert probably couldn't be bothered to do it.

6) I also don't know how committed or in the loop all these lords were. Remember, Hoster isn't getting a royal marriage out of this alliance, and he upped his demands (too husbands) following the death of Rickard, so if you want we can say he was half-in and so perhaps in no rush to fully commit by going through with the marriage, and the betrothal represented his tentative support. I am not endorsing this, but if it will ameliorate your issues we can run with it. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2018 at 12:49 PM, SFDanny said:

I can't speak for others but I believe the STAB alliance is constructing an alliance of Great Houses that can reject the authority of the Targaryen overlordship. The time of dragons is gone, and the power of the Iron Throne rests on each region, each former kingdom, continuing to accept the results of Aegon's conquest out of tradition, and most importantly, the power of the other former kingdoms in continuing to support Targaryen rule. IF enough of the High Lords can come together in support of each other's sovereignty, and their own vassal lords follow them, they can renounce the results of the Conquest and be independent Kingdoms again.

But in order to do so, it means confidence that at least the majority of the High Lords will stand with them. Hence the marriage pacts, and the foster relationships. It is critical to note that the opening act of Harrenhal is not only the stealing of Tywin's heir by naming Jaime to the Kingsguard, but also a destruction of a marriage pact that would tie the powerful Lannisters with the rest of the bloc. This is not just simple vengeance aimed at Tywin by the King, but a very nuanced maneuver to prevent the Lannisters from joining the bloc disguised as a honor that can't be refused.

When Hoster Tully negotiates with Tywin for the Jaime/Lysa match it is a fundamental shift in power coming into existence. It is hard to believe the Targaryens don't see the threat looming on the horizon, and Aerys, possibly with the help of others like Varys, deals with this threat in the best way possible. A stiletto hidden in a silk glove. If he had just issued a decree forbidding any of these marriages from taking place he would place himself in the same place Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys found themselves in trying to mandate the Great Houses to accept marriages between each other forced upon them by the Iron Throne - except without dragons to enforce the decree. In fact, Aerys might have even weakened his own support amongst the Tyrells and the Martells because of preempting the High Lord's right to negotiate his own marriages.

Step back and imagine a Westeros in which all of these marriages take place. A world in which five of the seven Great Lords are united by marriage alliances. The Dornish are tied to the Iron Throne through their own marriage alliance, but the Tyrells, who have no children of marriage age at the time, are very dependent on the support of their own vassal houses who rival the Tyrells themselves for power in the Reach. Hence the importance of the Blackfish/Bethany Rowan match. Add to that our uncertainty of when the Stannis/Selyse Florent was negotiated and we have a plan to tie six of the seven former kingdoms into an alliance. 

That is without any further ties than the ones we already know about.

In the face of this evidence your refusal to see a Grand Alliance  of Great Lords in formation is hard to understand. You can be sure the Targaryens saw it. Up to this point in the history of Westeros there had never been such web of alliances, that we know of, between the Great Houses in opposition to Targaryen power. The only thing that even approaches this is when the Targaryen themselves tried to force the marriages upon the Houses. This plan of Lord Rickard was not either started by or approved by the Targaryens. It is unique is Westerosi history up until the War of the Five Kings in which we have open war by rival lords for the Iron Throne or for independence.

But how can we be sure this just isn't an accident of history? A fad between Great Houses that was for benign purposes? Because we are told it is not.

This quote is already referenced by you and others, but I think you too easily dismiss it. This is a historian writing a history he thinks will be acceptable to the Baratheon/Lannister monarchs who hold the Iron Throne. That he admits the target of these alliances is Aerys is critically important. Why? Because he believes Robert/Joffrey/Tommen or their regents will accept this view of history. We can agree that it is not accurate in that the "crimes" of Aerys happen long after the start of these alliances. What can't be dismissed is that even the rebels themselves would accept that their alliances were targeted against Aerys - either in a defensive response to anticipated moves by Aerys or as I've put forward as an alliance to accomplish their own goals of building a new Westeros without Targaryen rule.

Yandel's statement gives no inside knowledge about the intentions of Rickard, Steffon, and Jon for fostering Ned and Robert with Jon, or Rickard and Hoster for arranging the betrothal of Brandon/Catelyn, or Rickard and Robert for arranging the betrothal of Lyanna/Robert, or Tywin and Hoster for negotiating the betrothal of Jaime/Lysa. He is merely oversimplifying the end result in hindsight, knowing that Jon raised his banners rather than execute Ned and Robert,  that Hoster eventually joined the rebels with the promises that Ned and Jon would wed his daughters, and that Tywin eventually joined the rebels when Aerys ordered the gates open thinking he had come to rescue him.

From the time Steffon fought next to Aerys and Tywin in 260 AC (a war Hoster and Brynden also fought in, and who knows who else), to the time Steffon died as a member of Aerys's small council on an errand to find a bride for Rhaegar in 278 AC, we have no indication he was anything but loyal to Aerys. So when Steffon and Rickard sent their sons to foster with Jon in 271-272 AC, we have no reason to believe that any of them had any intention against Aerys or House Targaryen behind it, and every reason to believe that Steffon is one of the last people Rickard or Jon would have ever tried to involve in a plot against Aerys or House Targaryen.

And when Robert asked Rickard for Lyanna's hand after having become best friends with Ned, and fallen in love with Lyanna, we have no reason to believe that either of them had any intention against Aerys or House Targaryen, and every reason to believe that Robert is one of the last people Rickard would have tried to involve in a plot against Aerys or House Targaryen, and that Storm's End is one of the last castles Rickard would have agreed to send his daughter to if he had been involved in a plot against Aerys or House Targaryen.

And whatever the issues between Tywin and Aerys, Tywin still had Cersei in King's Landing trying to wed her to a Targaryen at the exact same time he was negotiating with Hoster to take Lysa to wed his heir Jaime, including inviting Hoster to King's Landing, right under Aerys's nose, to complete the deal. We have no reason to believe that either of them had any intention against Aerys or House Targaryen (save, perhaps, Tywin being involved in Rhaegar's plots), and every reason to believe that Tywin is one of the last people Hoster would have tried to involve in a plot against Aerys or House Targaryen, and that Casterly Rock is one of the last castles Hoster would have agreed to send his daughter to if he had been involved in a plot against Aerys or House Targaryen.

The betrothal of Brandon and Catelyn seems to have been the very earliest of the betrothals or negotiated betrothals, and we have no reason to believe that this betrothal was done with the Targaryens, or independent kingdoms, in mind. In fact, all Hoster's betrothals would have done is legitimately put the neighboring Starks and Lannisters in line for his lands, while doing nothing to perpetuate his own male line with his unwed and unbetrothed son Edmure, and giving the Starks and Lannisters no real incentive to protect him and his male line, whether from Aerys and House Targaryen, or from anyone else.

IMO it is completely inconceivable that that betrothal was a foundation on which they attempted to bring the Baratheons and Lannisters, staunch allies of Aerys, into an anti-Aerys/Targaryen/Iron Throne alliance. It is, IMO, a completely convoluted and unsupported theory for things that are much more easily explained with simpler and more plausible explanations for the motivations of each of the great lords involved.

Had all the marriages gone through:

- Catelyn would have been in Winterfell with Brandon

- Lysa would have been in Casterly Rock with Jaime

- Lyanna would have been in Storm's End with Robert

Which demonstrates how completely exaggerated is the idea that all these houses would have had some strong cohesive tie. The Starks would have had ties to two houses, one of which was close to the Targaryens. The Tullys would have had ties to two houses, one of which was close to the Targaryens. The Lannisters, close to the Targaryens, would have had ties to one house. The Baratheons, close to the Targaryens would have had ties to one house. And the Arryns would have ties of love and friendship with two houses, though no marriage ties.

Until we get some more information that actually provide evidence, rather than projecting intentions backwards based on the end result, I completely reject any idea of a pre-war STAB alliance aimed against Aerys, the Targaryens, or the Iron Throne.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chaircat Meow said:

1) The examples I gave show that houses contemplating, or embroiled in, war, don't always go through with planning for or going through with marriages when they could. You haven't explained, for instance, why arranging a marriage for Robb was not a priority as soon as war with the Lannisters was suspected and Bran crippled, or why Robb waited so long to marry a Frey. And other examples, such as that of Renly, show marriages can be carried out very quickly. So it seems many of these lords just do not think like you do, so your argument fails.

2) Another consideration you disregard is that too many marriages or hasty marriages, carried out with undue speed and while the bride and groom are quite young might alarm the suspicious king and give him cause to wonder what the marriages portended. 

3) The point about Lords Stark, Tully and Baratheon all having heirs young enough that they would not be lost in battle, thus lessening the need to procure marriages to be assured of more heirs, was not addressed.

4) The point about some of the children, such as Lyanna, being too young to be married much earlier anyway was not addressed.

5) Robert was in charge of Baratheon marriages, only Stannis was old enough for a marriage to be arranged in the years leading up to the rebellion, and Robert probably couldn't be bothered to do it.

6) I also don't know how committed or in the loop all these lords were. Remember, Hoster isn't getting a royal marriage out of this alliance, and he upped his demands (too husbands) following the death of Rickard, so if you want we can say he was half-in and so perhaps in no rush to fully commit by going through with the marriage, and the betrothal represented his tentative support. I am not endorsing this, but if it will ameliorate your issues we can run with it. 

 

The examples you cited are not at all comparable or relevant to the completely peaceful context in which you theorize Rickard and other lords plotted half a decade or more, including their betrothals, for eventual war against the Targaryens. The examples you cited do not support your theory whatsoever.

More like two betrothals made years ago, with only one more being negotiated, and zero marriages to show for it, all over a span of years. Making the betrothals in the first place gives the suspicious king all he needs to wonder what they are about, so that is a poor excuse for why they made well known betrothals but no marriages.

It's not just about having spare heirs, but needing allies to go to war with the Iron Throne. Having sons, daughters, brothers, etc. old enough to be used to cement alliances, but making no effort to betroth let alone wed them to gain allies. So not only did the great lords not cement the ties between themselves, but they did not even cement their ties with their own regions. For instance, when Ned and Jon had to wed Catelyn and Lysa to gain Hoster as an ally, that brought only a portion of the swords of the Riverlands, because, just like the great lords of the Vale and Stormlands, he had not secured the support of some of his most powerful bannermen. Despite, IYO, plotting against the Targaryens for years.

Lysa, Catelyn, and Lyanna were all old enough to wed as is demonstrated throughout the books. In fact, all of them conceived and had children in 282-283 AC, though they need not have done so for marriages to have been consummated to cement alliances, had their houses actually been plotting for war with the Targaryens for years, which they clearly weren't.

Stannis was old enough to be betrothed when Steffon died, and was old enough to be betrothed or wed when and after Robert took over, but it was apparently not urgent, despite there being so few Baratheons, and IYO the Baratheon preparing for war with the Targaryens.

So you don't know if Tywin was committed, and you don't know if Hoster was committed, who was actually committed IYO? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

The examples you cited are not at all comparable or relevant to the completely peaceful context in which you theorize Rickard and other lords plotted half a decade or more, including their betrothals, for eventual war against the Targaryens. The examples you cited do not support your theory whatsoever.

More like two betrothals made years ago, with only one more being negotiated, and zero marriages to show for it, all over a span of years. Making the betrothals in the first place gives the suspicious king all he needs to wonder what they are about, so that is a poor excuse for why they made well known betrothals but no marriages.

It's not just about having spare heirs, but needing allies to go to war with the Iron Throne. Having sons, daughters, brothers, etc. old enough to be used to cement alliances, but making no effort to betroth let alone wed them to gain allies. So not only did the great lords not cement the ties between themselves, but they did not even cement their ties with their own regions. For instance, when Ned and Jon had to wed Catelyn and Lysa to gain Hoster as an ally, that brought only a portion of the swords of the Riverlands, because, just like the great lords of the Vale and Stormlands, he had not secured the support of some of his most powerful bannermen. Despite, IYO, plotting against the Targaryens for years.

Lysa, Catelyn, and Lyanna were all old enough to wed as is demonstrated throughout the books. In fact, all of them conceived and had children in 282-283 AC, though they need not have done so for marriages to have been consummated to cement alliances, had their houses actually been plotting for war with the Targaryens for years, which they clearly weren't.

Stannis was old enough to be betrothed when Steffon died, and was old enough to be betrothed or wed when and after Robert took over, but it was apparently not urgent, despite there being so few Baratheons, and IYO the Baratheon preparing for war with the Targaryens.

So you don't know if Tywin was committed, and you don't know if Hoster was committed, who was actually committed IYO? 

Your main objection seems to be something like this:

If houses are plotting and the plots are to be sealed by marriages, the bride and groom must get married as soon as they are 13 or 14 if the betrothal has already been arranged.

And that's just a daft unsupported premise which there is no reason to believe. Most people know it is better to wait to bear children until a bit later, weddings take time to arrange, and so on.

Even worse, only Cat was significantly above this age anyway, Lyanna may have been 14 at Harrenhal. So I just don't get it.

As for some of the other points, Hoster and Robert weren't going to be able to secure their bannermen's loyalties with one or two marriages. Even if Hoster had promised Lysa to one of his bannermen, that's only one lord out of what appear to have been half a dozen or so who fought for the Targaryens (same for the stormlands).  And there are always other considerations at play here too, like health of the potential partner, suitable matches in the relevant houses, etc. 

As for the examples I gave regarding lords sometimes not marrying when your logic seems to dictate they should I think they are relevant. They demonstrate that although you can make a case for why x or y ought to have married given their political ambitions people in world don't necessarily think like that, so your argument does not hold.

And you also didn't say why they weren't relevant, presumably it was even more crucial for Robb to marry in the context of GoT given it was wartime and so inexplicable by your logic why he did not.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/8/2018 at 3:56 PM, Rufus Snow said:

I'm afraid this isn't true, as Arya seems to find two separate septs there - one useable and one in ruins:

What I found most intriguing is that Harrenhal has a Godswood, and a proper one at that, with weirwoods in it. As you say, the Hoares were seveners, and no doubt many of their followers would still hold to the Drowned God, so why would Harren include some of those demon-trees in his power base? That Harrenhal had such a central role in Hoare's kingdom, Aegon's Conquest, and now this Tourney, cannot be coincidence. In fact, it's so central I suggest we should rename the 'STAB' alliance to the 'BATS' alliance, just seems more appropriate ;)

As for Rickard's 'southron ambitions', I think the phrase speaks more to Barbray's bitterness than any over-reaching plan and I don't see Rickard attempting to do much more than get closer to the throne and build up a bit more influence at court. Ned may be content to sit events out on the edge of the world, but Rickard seemed to want to tie the North more into the rest of the realm.

Good find, i didn't find anything on a sept there in my quick search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×