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One of the things that stood out to me while reading Fire and Blood was the continuous presence of House Stauton. They are always included when the important houses from the Blackwater Bay are listed. There are Stauntons among Rhaena's companions, the victims of the Shivers, Daella's suitors, the attendants of the Maiden's Ball, the kingsguard... Together with houses Darklyn and Towers, they are mentioned as one of the "wealthiest of Maegor's lords" that were forced to give up land by Jaehaerys. They speak in the Black council, and are able to resist several weeks of siege by Criston Cole's army. And from the World Bock we know that Symond Staunton served in Aerys' small council.

But there's no mention of the House in any of the five books of the main series. Do you think that's possible that the House was wiped out during Robert's Rebellion?

 

Have you noticed any other House in Fire and Blood that seems to have risen or fallen in terms of prominence?

 

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It's possible they no longer exist by the time of the novels. They are mentioned in the novels, though. But before that, we have Septon Sefton in "The Sworn Sword" being a Staunton, his brother Ser Simon one of Rohanne's unfortunate husbands.

Back in the day, these arms were the Staunton arms (according to George's heraldry notes), but George ended up changing it for AFfC. Possibly it was a Staunton of a different branch:

Quote

Next came Ser Horas Redwyne's turn. He fared better than his twin, vanquishing an elderly knight whose mount was bedecked with silver griffins against a striped blue-and-white field. Splendid as he looked, the old man made a poor contest of it.

Finally, they are mentioned in the context of the last Lord Darklyn not having wed a Staunton, suggesting they were around at least as of the Defiance of Duskendale.

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It's possible they were wiped out, or it's possible they were exiled either by Aerys (since he's done that with Merryweather and Connington when they were Hand) or by Robert. Symond Staunton was the master of laws and I wonder if he didn't have a hand in what happened with the Starks. 

41 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Have you noticed any other House in Fire and Blood that seems to have risen or fallen in terms of prominence?

I thought House Corbray was interesting. They seem to have fallen very low.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

 

Have you noticed any other House in Fire and Blood that seems to have risen or fallen in terms of prominence?

 

I’ll get the obvious answer out of the way and mention House Velaryon. But I’d also add House Massey, House Connington, and House Manderly. It really seems like the Manderlys were treated like a great house during the Targaryen dynasty. Jace and Alysanne both go to White Harbour before Winterfell, as though the Manderlys have special authority or priority.

Edited by James Steller

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The Stauntons survived Duskendale since we do know that Lord Symond Staunton was Master of Laws in the Year of the False Spring and one of Aerys II's cronies. He was the guy to suggest the king forbid tourneys when Harrenhal was announced and he later fed Aerys the idea that Rhaegar crowning Lyanna at the tourney was a sign that Rhaegar wanted to ally with the Starks against the king.

I've long suggested that Lord Symond was one of the men Aerys II burning during the war, and that House Staunton as was eradicated with him, possibly in a minor version of the Duskendale affair.

The pretext/reason for this could be connected to Lord Symond's suggestions regarding Rhaegar/Lyanna. If Aerys II later accepted that Rhaegar crowning/abducting/marrying Lyanna was an expression of his love and/or part of his interpretation of the promised prince prophecy he may have decided that Staunton had given him not only very bad advice but had also tried to convince the king to disinherit or even execute his son and heir.

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House Massey is a good one. Clearly a major house in the crownlands during Fire & Blood, but the only mention of the Masseys we have during the WotFKs is Ser Justin Massey, who was somewhere in line for inheriting Stonedance, and Wallace Massey, at the Night's Watch.

Houses Merryweather, Darry, and Connington have also obviously suffered declines due to their ties to the Iron Throne. House Velaryon as well, but at least they appear to still maintain wealth and seem to be the most powerful of Stannis's initial lords.

I wonder if Houses Hayford and Rosby are on their last legs because so many of their members died during Robert's Rebellion, like the Darrys.

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7 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

 

Have you noticed any other House in Fire and Blood that seems to have risen or fallen in terms of prominence?

 

House celtigar was also a prominent house who had at least two masters of coin for the targaryans. They always mentioned alongside the valeryons. They are also in possestion of a kraken horn and axel florent want to sack their island. It will be important for the future of tge house which side they are going to take in the wars to come. Stannis, Lannisters, Dany or Aegons. 

About staunton, is always tge possibilty they got no sons or heirs left.

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9 hours ago, Ran said:

Back in the day, these arms were the Staunton arms

That's actually super interesting. I always wondered what house that knight was from.

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Since the Velaryons didn't really decline all that much after the Dance - they were no longer the richest house in Westeros, and they no longer had two castles, but their fleet was still huge and Marilda and Alyn both seem to be rebuilding the Velaryon wealth - I'd say their relative insignificance stems from the Targaryen defeat in Robert's Rebellion. After all, Lord Lucerys Velaryon was Aerys II's Master of Ships, so it seems the Velaryons defended their almost hereditary claim to the office until very recently. Robert wouldn't have allowed them to continue in that, and they would have lost their entire - or nearly their entire - war fleet in that storm in the night of Dany's birth that destroyed the Targaryen fleet at Dragonstone. Most Velaryon ships would have been there, and later Robert wouldn't have permitted them to rebuild their fleet putting their remaining ships under Stannis' command.

But both they and the Celtigars kept their enormous wealth. That doesn't seem to be gone, and might become a factor later on.

The Masseys never were that much of a great house, although they are more significant than we have known before. The fact that Alyssa Velaryon's mother was Alarra Massey makes the Massey kin to House Targaryen. This certainly helped them to rose to prominence at court, but they didn't become particularly powerful or wealthy as far as we know.

That should be the case for the Celtigars, too. While it never came to a Targaryen-Celtigar marriage after the Conquest, chances are very high that the Celtigars intermarried with the Velaryons and that Valaena, Alyssa, Corlys, and Daenaera all have Celtigar ancestors - which would mean that they are kin to the Targaryens, too.

I guess some poor/insignificant branches of House Staunton might be still around, but I'd be very surprised if there were still a Lord Staunton of Rook's Rest. If the Stauntons were still around as a significant noble house, it should have been mentioned. The Stauntons would have played a role in the War of the Five Kings, especially during the fighting in the Crownlands. But also later on when Brienne travels the region close to the place where Rook's Rest should be. Nimble Dick and others should have mentioned the Stauntons.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

I guess some poor/insignificant branches of House Staunton might be still around, but I'd be very surprised if there were still a Lord Staunton of Rook's Rest. If the Stauntons were still around as a significant noble house, it should have been mentioned. The Stauntons would have played a role in the War of the Five Kings, especially during the fighting in the Crownlands. But also later on when Brienne travels the region close to the place where Rook's Rest should be. Nimble Dick and others should have mentioned the Stauntons.

I agree with you that the stauntons are a very loyal house to whomever sits on the iron throne. They are always seem to take to wrong side at the wrong moment and were after the dance in a downfall. If Symond Staunton was the one convincing Aerys II of Rhaegars conspiracy it looked like it worked. So it seems he was an Aerys II supporter maybe till the end and i can imagine that Robert took away all of the power of this house.. Varys himself could be the one warning Robert about their loyalty to the Targaryans. If they got the same faith as the darry's (losing half what allready was little), the Stauntons can be a minor without importance in wartimes and maybe are vassals to duskendale or maidenpool.

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I am inclined to think that House Staunton is still around - even if they haven't been mentioned.  It may just be that they currently have a passive Lord - maybe he's old, or a minor, or the Lady of the house holds power/is widowed.  With all of the turmoil during the the War of the 5 Kings and after - it could very well make sense for shrewd Lords to hold back any commitment.  Honestly, look at the Hightower's - there really isn't much mention of them Marching with the Tyrells/Renly at all.  Or it could be a play similar to Walder Frey during Robert's rebellion.  

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12 hours ago, Lord of Brewtown said:

I am inclined to think that House Staunton is still around - even if they haven't been mentioned.  It may just be that they currently have a passive Lord - maybe he's old, or a minor, or the Lady of the house holds power/is widowed.  With all of the turmoil during the the War of the 5 Kings and after - it could very well make sense for shrewd Lords to hold back any commitment.  Honestly, look at the Hightower's - there really isn't much mention of them Marching with the Tyrells/Renly at all.  Or it could be a play similar to Walder Frey during Robert's rebellion.  

If they were still there it is still very odd that nobody mentions them as being there or refusing to bestir themselves. They are portrayed as a major house of the Crownlands in the TWoIaF and FaB. We also learn of the existence of the Estermonts, Swanns, Hightowers, and all the other houses who do not really commit themselves to any side. And they are not exactly in the immediate neighborhood of KL.

It is certainly possible that there is a still a Lord of Rook's Rest around, but if that were the case we need a good explanation what this guy has been doing up to this point.

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12 hours ago, Lord of Brewtown said:

I am inclined to think that House Staunton is still around

I agree with you. No explanation is needed for their absence, just as no explanation is given why Lord Massey is not ever mentioned despite also being a significant player in events of the past.

It was very clear to me that GRRM intends the Stauntons to still exist. Rook's Rest is on the map in ADWD, and GRRM noted in 2003 that he decided to change the arms because he wanted them to play more on the name of the seat, i.e. at least as of 2003 the Stauntons were Lords of Rook's Rest.

Edited by Ran

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If they were still there it is still very odd that nobody mentions them as being there or refusing to bestir themselves. They are portrayed as a major house of the Crownlands in the TWoIaF and FaB. We also learn of the existence of the Estermonts, Swanns, Hightowers, and all the other houses who do not really commit themselves to any side. And they are not exactly in the immediate neighborhood of KL.

It is certainly possible that there is a still a Lord of Rook's Rest around, but if that were the case we need a good explanation what this guy has been doing up to this point.

 

I'm not sure I'd classify them as a 'major' house.  Maybe for the Crownlands, since they don't seem to have the actual population/resources of other regions.  Just my opinion, but even in the past, I wouldn't necessarily have classified them as any "greater" than the Mooten's (who actually seem more minor for the Trident Lords) or the Locke's, Flints, Caswell's, Errol's.  

Also, looking at the map:  even though in are in the KL neighborhood, how much did we really hear about Duskendale/Rykker's up until Roose ordered the march on Duskendale?   GRRM can't mention every lord.  Also, everything is given to us from a POV - those POV characters are human/may forget or omit information, or have different opinion as to what is important or worth mentioning (or even make "factual" mistakes/be misled).   

 

I could easily see the Staunton's not really knowing who to support, and trying to stay out of the conflicts.  Maybe just send a small contingent of men led by a petty lord or knight to King's Landing while reserving half or more of their strength (and I'm not sure they wouldn't top out at 1,000 troops at best).  In that case, I don't think it would be surprising that they are not mentioned, as no Staunton's would have been in high command/trust type positions for anyone, or making up a majority of any forces.  

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16 hours ago, Lord of Brewtown said:

 

I'm not sure I'd classify them as a 'major' house.  Maybe for the Crownlands, since they don't seem to have the actual population/resources of other regions.  Just my opinion, but even in the past, I wouldn't necessarily have classified them as any "greater" than the Mooten's (who actually seem more minor for the Trident Lords) or the Locke's, Flints, Caswell's, Errol's.  

Also, looking at the map:  even though in are in the KL neighborhood, how much did we really hear about Duskendale/Rykker's up until Roose ordered the march on Duskendale?   GRRM can't mention every lord.  Also, everything is given to us from a POV - those POV characters are human/may forget or omit information, or have different opinion as to what is important or worth mentioning (or even make "factual" mistakes/be misled).   

 

I could easily see the Staunton's not really knowing who to support, and trying to stay out of the conflicts.  Maybe just send a small contingent of men led by a petty lord or knight to King's Landing while reserving half or more of their strength (and I'm not sure they wouldn't top out at 1,000 troops at best).  In that case, I don't think it would be surprising that they are not mentioned, as no Staunton's would have been in high command/trust type positions for anyone, or making up a majority of any forces.  

Stauntons sounds more like a House Stokeworth/Rosby/Hayford to me,who are like petty lords.

Masseys were kings once and at times became independent from Durrandons & defied them.I think they were more significant before Andal invasion,as they gave lands and daughter to form House Bar Emmon.

Mootons gathered as many men as Darklyns during Aegon's landing(1500 each).Mootons are mentioned as very rich in FAB.They are not a minor house.Mootons are principal bannermen of the Tullys along with Brackens,Blackwood,Freys,Vances,Mallisters etc.Do you think Randyll Tarly will bethrode his son to a minor house?

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3 hours ago, Lightoftheast said:

Stauntons sounds more like a House Stokeworth/Rosby/Hayford to me,who are like petty lords.

Masseys were kings once and at times became independent from Durrandons & defied them.I think they were more significant before Andal invasion,as they gave lands and daughter to form House Bar Emmon.

Mootons gathered as many men as Darklyns during Aegon's landing(1500 each).Mootons are mentioned as very rich in FAB.They are not a minor house.Mootons are principal bannermen of the Tullys along with Brackens,Blackwood,Freys,Vances,Mallisters etc.Do you think Randyll Tarly will bethrode his son to a minor house?

Stauntons, Stokeworths, Rosbys and Hayfords still seem to be major crownlander houses, although not as strong as Masseys and Darklyns. They have at least played some role through the history of Seven Kingdoms unlike Langwards, Mallerys, Gaunts, Buckwells, Follards, Byrches, Blounts, Bywaters and at least a dozen other houses in crownlands.

Mootons surely are strong house(or at least were before the Robert's Rebellion), but Eleanor Mooton was also noted as heir to Lord Mooton so that might be another reason why Randyll married his son to her.

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On 1/9/2019 at 9:46 AM, The hairy bear said:

One of the things that stood out to me while reading Fire and Blood was the continuous presence of House Stauton. They are always included when the important houses from the Blackwater Bay are listed. There are Stauntons among Rhaena's companions, the victims of the Shivers, Daella's suitors, the attendants of the Maiden's Ball, the kingsguard... Together with houses Darklyn and Towers, they are mentioned as one of the "wealthiest of Maegor's lords" that were forced to give up land by Jaehaerys. They speak in the Black council, and are able to resist several weeks of siege by Criston Cole's army. And from the World Bock we know that Symond Staunton served in Aerys' small council.

But there's no mention of the House in any of the five books of the main series. Do you think that's possible that the House was wiped out during Robert's Rebellion?

 

Have you noticed any other House in Fire and Blood that seems to have risen or fallen in terms of prominence?

 

There is at least one mention of House Staunton in the main series, in AFFC, released in 2005:

"In Duskendale they love Lord Denys still, despite the woe he brought them. 'Tis Lady Serala that they blame, his Myrish wife. The Lace Serpent, she is called. If Lord Darklyn had only wed a Staunton or a Stokeworth . . . well, you know how smallfolk will go on. The Lace Serpent filled her husband's ear with Myrish poison, they say, until Lord Denys rose against his king and took him captive. In the taking, his master-at-arms Ser Symon Hollard cut down Ser Gwayne Gaunt of the Kingsguard. For half a year Aerys was held within these very walls, whilst the King's Hand sat outside Duskendale with a mighty host. Lord Tywin had sufficient strength to storm the town any time he wished, but Lord Denys sent word that at the first sign of assault he'd kill the king."

- AFFC: Brienne II

They were mentioned at least once before that in TSS in 2003:

"We are all children of the Seven, ser, but apart from that . . . dear me, no. Lady Helicent was sister to Ser Rolland Uffering, Lady Rohanne's fourth husband, who died in the spring. My brother was his predecessor, Ser Simon Staunton, who had the great misfortune to choke upon a chicken bone. Coldmoat crawls with revenants, it must be said. The husbands die yet their kin remain, to drink my lady's wines and eat her sweetmeats, like a plague of plump pink locusts done up in silk and velvet." He wiped his mouth. "And yet she must wed again, and soon."

- TSS

Much later, in TWOIAF, we learned that Lord Symond Staunton not only served on the small council of King Aerys II as master of laws, but was considered to have been one of his chief supporters against Rhaegar and his supporters at court. Two other members of his small council, Lord Qarlton Chelsted and Lord Lucerys Velaryon, are also said to have been among that small group.

The Mad King could be savagely cruel, as seen most plainly when he burned those he perceived to be his enemies, but he could also be extravagant, showering men who pleased him with honors, offices, and lands. The lickspittle lords who surrounded Aerys II had gained much and more from the king's madness and eagerly seized upon any opportunity to speak ill of Prince Rhaegar and inflame the father's suspicions of the son.

Chief amongst the Mad King's supporters were three lords of his small council: Qarlton Chelsted, master of coin, Lucerys Velaryon, master of ships, and Symond Staunton, master of laws. The eunuch Varys, master of whisperers, and Wisdom Rossart, grand master of the Guild of Alchemists, also enjoyed the king's trust. Prince Rhaegar's support came from the younger men at court, including Lord Jon Connington, Ser Myles Mooton of Maidenpool, and Ser Richard Lonmouth. The Dornishmen who had come to court with the Princess Elia were in the prince's confidence as well, particularly Prince Lewyn Martell, Elia's uncle and a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard. But the most formidable of all Rhaegar's friends and allies in King's Landing was surely Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning.

To Grand Maester Pycelle and Lord Owen Merryweather, the King's Hand, fell the unenviable task of keeping peace between these factions, even as their rivalry grew ever more venomous. In a letter to the Citadel, Pycelle wrote that the divisions within the Red Keep reminded him uncomfortably of the situation before the Dance of the Dragons a century before, when the enmity between Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra had split the realm in two, to grievous cost. A similarly bloody conflict might await the Seven Kingdoms once again, he warned, unless some accord could be reached that would satisfy both Prince Rhaegar's supporters and the king's.

- TWOIAF: The Fall of the Dragons - The Year of the False Spring

After the Harrenhal Tourney was announced, Chelsted advised Aerys to forbid the tourney, while Staunton went so far as to advise Aerys to forbid all tournaments. Lord Owen Merryweather, who served as Hand after Lord Tywin Lannister's resignation, was apparently able to convince Aerys that would only make him more unpopular, and Aerys made his choice to attend the tourney.

In such a climate, it was scarce surprising that Lord Whent's great tournament excited much suspicion. Lord Chelsted urged His Grace to forbid it, and Lord Staunton went even further, suggesting a prohibition against all tourneys.

Such events were widely popular with the commons, however, and when Lord Merryweather warned Aerys that forbidding the tournament would only serve to make him even more unpopular, the king chose another course and announced his intention to attend. It would mark the first time that Aerys II had left the safety of the Red Keep since the Defiance of Duskendale. No doubt His Grace reasoned that his enemies would not dare conspire against him under his very nose. Grand Maester Pycelle tells us that Aerys hoped that his presence at such a grand event would help him win back the love of his people.

- TWOIAF: The Fall of the Dragons - The Year of the False Spring

During the Harrenhal Tourney, Staunton and Chelsted are portrayed as the main lickspittle small councilors inflaming Aerys's suspicions against Rhaegar:

Prince Rhaegar emerged as the ultimate victor at the end of the competition. The crown prince, who did not normally compete in tourneys, surprised all by donning his armor and defeating every foe he faced, including four knights of the Kingsguard. In the final tilt, he unhorsed Ser Barristan Selmy, generally regarded as the finest lance in all the Seven Kingdoms, to win the champion's laurels.

The cheers of the crowd were said to be deafening, but King Aerys did not join them. Far from being proud and pleased by his heir's skill at arms, His Grace saw it as a threat. Lords Chelsted and Staunton inflamed his suspicions further, declaring that Prince Rhaegar had entered the lists to curry favor with the commons and remind the assembled lords that he was a puissant warrior, a true heir to Aegon the Conqueror.

And when the triumphant Prince of Dragonstone named Lyanna Stark, daughter of the Lord of Winterfell, the queen of love and beauty, placing a garland of blue roses in her lap with the tip of his lance, the lickspittle lords gathered around the king declared that further proof of his perfidy. Why would the prince have thus given insult to his own wife, the Princess Elia Martell of Dorne (who was present), unless it was to help him gain the Iron Throne? The crowning of the Stark girl, who was by all reports a wild and boyish young thing with none of the Princess Elia's delicate beauty, could only have been meant to win the allegiance of Winterfell to Prince Rhaegar's cause, Symond Staunton suggested to the king.

- TWOIAF: The Fall of the Dragons - The Year of the False Spring

As of now, while we know that Chelsted survived up until he was executed by Aerys just before Rhaegar left for the Trident, I don't believe there is any further mention of Staunton or his house beyond the Harrenhal Tourney, which isn't surprising considering their late addition to the main series in the first place.

It is possible that the Stauntons still exists in the main series, or that their remnants were killed during Robert's Rebellion, or sent to the Wall afterwards. Perhaps Lord Staunton led his house to the Trident with Rhaegar, and he fell there, or was among those who ran back to King's Landing, or perhaps even ran home to the much closer Rook's Rest.

Or perhaps he, like Chelsted, ran afoul of Aerys for some reason. In the event that Aerys's suspicions of Rhaegar swung back and forth rather than being sustained, or Rhaegar was finally able to convince Aerys of his loyalty, that might not have boded well for the lickspittles that had taken every opportunity to speak against Rhaegar, but had never been able to prove it.

I hope Symond and his role and fate receive at least some mention in TWOW.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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Symond Staunton, from what little we know of him, appears to have been both a lickspittle to Aerys and something of a shit stirrer. 

If he's still alive it should be obvious why he's not at a Kings Landing court with Robert and the Lannisters as they would be the last people to trust him and if he was killed it would also explain his heirs absence from court. 

Edited by Bernie Mac

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The Crownlands houses in general seem to have lost influence because they are presumably the biggest Targ loyalists, though House Rosby seems to have done okay (minus the procreation issues). There's almost always a Crownlands house in every Targ's small council and kingsguard.

However, their forces seem to be fresh since they didn't really respond to Cersei's call to defend KL, Stannis doesn't have a presence in the region anymore, and there is a Targ or two on the way...

Hightowers also seem to have lost influence, though they are still sneaky powerful based on the Sam chapters.

Peakes also lost influence but that's obviously from losing the rebellion against Maekar.

From the opposite perspective, the Tyrells seem to have gained a lot of influence. They are basically non-entities in the Fire and Blood era besides the first Tyrell lord leading an army in Dorne and a small council spot for Jaehaerys that the Tyrell lord doesn't even really do but are at least the second most powerful house in Westeros by the time of the main series.

 

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The fact that Rook's Rest is on a map doesn't make the Stauntons still hold it - Duskendale is still in existence, too, but the Darklyns are gone.

Even if the Stauntons still existed and held Rook's Rest they might no longer be the lords they once were but rather just petty lords or landed knights. 

Aerys did extinguish the Darklyns and Hollards - if he also burned Lord Symond then chances are pretty good that this did not exactly profit his family, although he may have not attainted/destroyed them all.

But then, another family might hold Rook's Rest now, just as the Rykkers got Duskendale.

Unlike the Stauntons, the Masseys actually do show up in the main series. We do not need the name of the Lord of Stonedance to know that the Masseys are still around if we get Ser Justin Massey.

And, yeah, the Mootons are a major house of the Riverlands. They control a major port town.

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