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Angel Eyes

How did Tywin reach King’s Landing before the Rebel army?

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I think the Rebel army at the Trident River, judging by maps, is closer to King’s Landing than Casterly Rock, and it would have taken a day or two at least for a raven to arrive at Casterly Rock. They’re also traveling over open country. Did Ned wait for Robert to heal enough to travel, or were they moving at a furlong a fortnight?

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Ned will not have marched the Van immediately after battle, they will have been afforded rest. Ned would also be cautious, the Crownlands is big Targ territory and thousands survived and fled the Trident, he's going to be wary of attack. His Van may also not have all been horsed. slowing his movement. 

Tywin on the other hand was desperate to get their first, his army were fresh. 12k horse is feasible for the Westerlands and he did not have to worry about ambush.

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11 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

I think the Rebel army at the Trident River, judging by maps, is closer to King’s Landing than Casterly Rock, and it would have taken a day or two at least for a raven to arrive at Casterly Rock. They’re also traveling over open country. Did Ned wait for Robert to heal enough to travel, or were they moving at a furlong a fortnight?

Tywin sat out the war for a reason--waiting to see whom to back in his desire to take down Aerys. He wanted Aerys out and his family restored to power in King's Landing.

Pretty sure his plan was to take King's Landing after the Trident no matter what, so he had his men ready and marching by the time the Trident started. That way, his army was fresh and safe--and ready to take King's Landing at the right moment.

He would have taken it for Rhaegar if Rhaegar won (Rhaegar, too, sat out the war--seems likely he and Tywin planned this together). But if Robert won, he'd take KL for Robert. Playing both sides means Tywin can come out on top no matter what.

Either way, Aerys would have been dead: Tywin had wanted that for years.

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11 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

I think the Rebel army at the Trident River, judging by maps, is closer to King’s Landing than Casterly Rock, and it would have taken a day or two at least for a raven to arrive at Casterly Rock. They’re also traveling over open country. Did Ned wait for Robert to heal enough to travel, or were they moving at a furlong a fortnight?

This recently came up in a discussed about Jon Arryn's opinion of Lyanna. I will repeat what I posted there.

It's not inherently inconceivable that Tywin and his force of 12,000 could have reached King's Landing before Ned arrived with Robert's van, but we are obviously missing pertinent details as to how and why Tywin was able to reach King's Landing first.

We are told that when the Targaryen host broke and ran, Robert gave the pursuit into Ned's hands, and he followed the remnants of Rhaegar's army to King's Landing:

"You took a wound from Rhaegar," Ned reminded him. "So when the Targaryen host broke and ran, you gave the pursuit into my hands. The remnants of Rhaegar's army fled back to King's Landing. We followed. Aerys was in the Red Keep with several thousand loyalists. I expected to find the gates closed to us."

- AGOT: Eddard II

We are told that Rossart was named Hand after news of Rhaegar's death reached the Red Keep:

Birds flew and couriers raced to bear word of the victory at the Ruby Ford. When the news reached the Red Keep, it was said that Aerys cursed the Dornish, certain that Lewyn had betrayed Rhaegar. He sent his pregnant queen, Rhaella, and his younger son and new heir, Viserys, away to Dragonstone, but Princess Elia was forced to remain in King's Landing with Rhaegar's children as a hostage against Dorne. Having burned his previous Hand, Lord Chelsted, alive for bad counsel during the war, Aerys now appointed another to the position: the alchemist Rossart—a man of low birth, with little to recommend him but his flames and trickery.

- TWOIAF: The Fall of the Dragons - The End

We are told that Ned raced south with Robert's van, but that Tywin's forces reached King's Landing first:

"Ned Stark was racing south with Robert's van, but my father's forces reached the city first. Pycelle convinced the king that his Warden of the West had come to defend him, so he opened the gates. The one time he should have heeded Varys, and he ignored him. My father had held back from the war, brooding on all the wrongs Aerys had done him and determined that House Lannister should be on the winning side. The Trident decided him.

- ASOS: Jaime V

We are told that Jaime killed Rossart during the Lannister sack of King's Landing after Rossart had held the office for a fortnight:

"Aerys Targaryen's last Hand was killed during the Sack of King's Landing, though I doubt he'd had time to settle into the Tower. He was only Hand for a fortnight. The one before him was burned to death. And before them came two others who died landless and penniless in exile, and counted themselves lucky. I believe my lord father was the last Hand to depart King's Landing with his name, properties, and parts all intact."

- ACOK: Tyrion I

Those purple eyes grew huge then, and the royal mouth drooped open in shock. He lost control of his bowels, turned, and ran for the Iron Throne. Beneath the empty eyes of the skulls on the walls, Jaime hauled the last dragonking bodily off the steps, squealing like a pig and smelling like a privy. A single slash across his throat was all it took to end it. So easy, he remembered thinking. A king should die harder than this. Rossart at least had tried to make a fight of it, though if truth be told he fought like an alchemist. Queer that they never ask who killed Rossart . . . but of course, he was no one, lowborn, Hand for a fortnight, just another mad fancy of the Mad King.

- ASOS: Jaime II

It would appear that Ned began the pursuit of the remnants of Rhaegar's forces relatively soon after they broke and ran, and that they raced south to King's Landing, yet it took at least approximately a fortnight for them to reach the capital.

But somehow Tywin and his forces reached King's Landing first, despite Ned knowing first hand when the battle was won, and Tywin having to wait to wait to receive word of the results of the battle.

Tywin had to have been as close to King's Landing as he could possibly get, and to have been somewhere where he could quickly receive word of the results of the Battle of the Trident.

Looking at the maps from TWOIAF, the easternmost border of the Westerlands is almost directly south but still a little to the west of Riverrun, and the border where the Goldroad crosses to the next region is even a bit further west.

Did Tywin's forces really move that much quicker than Ned's, whose forces appear to have moved pretty fast? Did Tywin perhaps chance crossing a ways into neighboring territory before knowing the result of the battle? If so, from whom did he receive word of the result of the Trident?

We know that Tywin got there first, so it is just a matter of what variables made that happen.

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Tywin wanted to be on the winning side, not just to congratulate the winner after the war was done. It makes sense that he would prepare his forces to intervene quickly in the war - after he decided which side he would strike the pivotal blow for. The news of the Trident decided him, but not while he was sitting alone in Casterly Rock. Just where he and his forces were as they waited the news of the outcome at the Ruby Ford is a good question, but we can rule out anything not within striking distance.

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13 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

I think the Rebel army at the Trident River, judging by maps, is closer to King’s Landing than Casterly Rock, and it would have taken a day or two at least for a raven to arrive at Casterly Rock. They’re also traveling over open country. Did Ned wait for Robert to heal enough to travel, or were they moving at a furlong a fortnight?

In addition to other comments about Ned having to gather a force first and Tywin not starting out at CR but probably at Deep Den or even farther east on the Goldroad, we should also remember that, according to Martin, the maps are about as accurate as actual medieval maps -- which is to say, not accurate at all. So the distance for the two armies could have been far shorter for Tywin than it appears.

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If I remember correctly, when Rhaegar arrived to KL, from wherever he was, he convinced his father to ask for help from Tywin, so Aerys has sent a raven to Casterly Rock, but there was no reply. But even though there was no reply, it doesn't mean, that Tywin didn't gathered his people, and went with them towards KL, after he read that message. So while Rhaegar was gathering Targaryen forces, then marching towards Trident, fighting at Trident, died, while Ned left wounded Robert and marched towards KL, all that time Lannister troops were on their way from Westerlands to KL, so they have arrived there shortly prior Ned's arrival. Distance between KL and Lannisport is just a bit longer than KL->Trident+Trident->KL. But that difference in distance was compensated with time, that lasted the battle at Trident. And, probably, Tywin was gathering his troops about the same amount of time, as Rhaegar was gathering his. Seems, that Ned has arrived to KL 30-60 minutes later than Tywin, because he had spent that time with wounded Robert, receiving instructions from him, or something like that.

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Another oddity is that Ned found Jaime sitting on Iron Throne without any support. That is odd bc Tywin wanted Jaime as his heir so he should have send some bodyguards to make sure that Jaime is not either captured or killed. So rebels somehow could reach Red Keep b4 Tywin could gain total control. 

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13 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

I think the Rebel army at the Trident River, judging by maps, is closer to King’s Landing than Casterly Rock, and it would have taken a day or two at least for a raven to arrive at Casterly Rock. They’re also traveling over open country. Did Ned wait for Robert to heal enough to travel, or were they moving at a furlong a fortnight?

\/      \/

1 hour ago, Geddus said:

I think it's also possible that GRRM just didn't think it through.

 At the publishing of the first book, GRRM did not have the geography of westeros locked in. he had rough ideas. The point is that Tywin waited to see which side won before he commited his forces and that he was willing to sack the city and kill the prince's wife and children to prove his loyalty. It is really sad that we are nearly a decade between book releases so us loyal fans end up discussing technical aspects of troop movements published 20 years ago instead of getting to read the next part of the story 

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1 hour ago, Geddus said:

I think it's also possible that GRRM just didn't think it through.

This. Although Tywin's army may have been already moving through or encamped in the Riverlands at that point. It is not inconceivable.

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1 hour ago, Loose Bolt said:

Another oddity is that Ned found Jaime sitting on Iron Throne without any support. That is odd bc Tywin wanted Jaime as his heir so he should have send some bodyguards to make sure that Jaime is not either captured or killed. So rebels somehow could reach Red Keep b4 Tywin could gain total control. 

No, it was Tywin’s men who found Jaime after killing Aerys. He had hoped to escape unnoticed but Crakehall and Westerling arrived before he could leave

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55 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

No, it was Tywin’s men who found Jaime after killing Aerys. He had hoped to escape unnoticed but Crakehall and Westerling arrived before he could leave

Yeah they were already there.

Quote

"The castle is ours, ser, and the city," Roland Crakehall told him, which was half true. Targaryen loyalists were still dying on the serpentine steps and in the armory, Gregor Clegane and Amory Lorch were scaling the walls of Maegor's Holdfast, and Ned Stark was leading his northmen through the King's Gate even then, but Crakehall could not have known that. He had not seemed surprised to find Aerys slain; Jaime had been Lord Tywin's son long before he had been named to the Kingsguard.

ASOS Jaime II

Tywin probably thought Jaime would be dead. After all, Aerys named him to the Kingsguard to piss Tywin off and take away his heir, right?

Edited by Legitimate_Bastard

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5 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Yeah they were already there.

Tywin probably thought Jaime would be dead. After all, Aerys named him to the Kingsguard to piss Tywin off and take away his heir, right?

Maybe--but Crakehall isn't surprised, according to Jaime. Which suggests he wasn't thinking Jaime would be dead. He--and likely Tywin--believed Jaime would pick Tywin when Tywin took the city. Thus setting up Jaime to either kill or capture Aerys.

And, given that Rhaegar told Aerys to send to Tywin, I buy @Voice's theory that Rhaegar made the same assumption. Rhaegar saw how panicked Jaime was and left him there alone anyway. No one ever accused Rhaegar of being stupid, but he left young, inexperienced, freaked out Jaime alone with Aerys and his creepy pyromancers. 

Leaving one KG with teenaged Jaime wouldn't have made a key difference at the Trident. But it could have made a massive difference to how well Aerys was guarded if/when Tywin showed up. And Rhaegar wanted his father off that throne. He likely planned on Tywin's taking the city--and Jaime's deferring to Tywin. He set Jaime up.

And yes, I do think Rhaegar and Tywin were in cahoots on this--but Tywin was also ready to play either side. He knew to hedge his bets.

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10 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

He would have taken it for Rhaegar if Rhaegar won (Rhaegar, too, sat out the war--seems likely he and Tywin planned this together). But if Robert won, he'd take KL for Robert. Playing both sides means Tywin can come out on top no matter what.

That's quite a risk. Rhaegar was officially fighting on behalf of his father, violently overthrowing said father (and sacking the city) doesn't sit very well with that. And if Rhaegar wins and Tywin supports him, Tywin doesn't need to race to beat him to King's Landing.

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34 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That's quite a risk. Rhaegar was officially fighting on behalf of his father, violently overthrowing said father (and sacking the city) doesn't sit very well with that. And if Rhaegar wins and Tywin supports him, Tywin doesn't need to race to beat him to King's Landing.

If Rhaegar won, I assume Tywin would have been holding Aerys and the city for Rhaegar.

Rhaegar told Jaime he would call a council--removing Aerys is something Tywin and Rhaegar have been trying to do at least since Dunskendale. And definitely since Harrenhal. So, someone needs to get Aerys secured ASAP.

But no two ways about it: Rhaegar's life is easier if Aerys gets killed before Rhaegar calls that council--if a scared kid freaks out and kills him.

No way either Rhaegar or Tywin could be sure Jaime would kill Aerys, but they could be pretty sure he'd turn Aerys--the king he hated and feared--over to Tywin instead of defying his father.

One way or another: Rhaegar and Tywin both have the same goal: depose Aerys. And Tywin has that goal whether or not Rhaegar wins. So, he would rush and take the city either way, I think.

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8 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

If Rhaegar won, I assume Tywin would have been holding Aerys and the city for Rhaegar.

Rhaegar told Jaime he would call a council--removing Aerys is something Tywin and Rhaegar have been trying to do at least since Dunskendale. And definitely since Harrenhal. So, someone needs to get Aerys secured ASAP.

But no two ways about it: Rhaegar's life is easier if Aerys gets killed before Rhaegar calls that council--if a scared kid freaks out and kills him.

No way either Rhaegar or Tywin could be sure Jaime would kill Aerys, but they could be pretty sure he'd turn Aerys--the king he hated and feared--over to Tywin instead of defying his father.

One way or another: Rhaegar and Tywin both have the same goal: depose Aerys. And Tywin has that goal whether or not Rhaegar wins. So, he would rush and take the city either way, I think.

So with that being said - could Tywin just have been booking it toward KL with the intent to sack regardless of the winner. IF Rhaegar had won at the Trident and Tywin had secured KL would Rhaegar have forgiven the sacking if Tywin handed the capital right back to him? Of course, in that scenario Tywin would not have had Lorch and Clegane commit the murders they did.

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If Rhaegar won I don't think Tywin would have sacked the city, he would have simply taken the Red Keep and held it until the royal army came back.

I also don't think Rhaegar set Jaime up, if he was in cahoots with Tywin which Kingsguard was left with Aerys wouldn't have made any difference. Actually it would have made more sense to bring Jaime to the Trident.

Edited by Geddus

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5 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

So with that being said - could Tywin just have been booking it toward KL with the intent to sack regardless of the winner.

Sack or "take"--yes.

5 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

IF Rhaegar had won at the Trident and Tywin had secured KL would Rhaegar have forgiven the sacking if Tywin handed the capital right back to him? Of course, in that scenario Tywin would not have had Lorch and Clegane commit the murders they did.

Agreed. Though I think there's an excellent chance Elia would not have lived long. Her delicate state would have resulted in some kind of death (helped by Pycelle or something)--and Cersei would have been Queen.

I've been thinking for a while there's a decent chance the Kingswood Brotherhood were supported/goaded by Tywin when they attack Elia--it's such an insane idea otherwise. And we learn via the Bloody Mummers that Tywin will use outlaws to do his dirty work.

So, if Elia "accidentally" died when Tywin took the city, seems like he'd find a scapegoat--and marry Cersei to Rhaegar.

1 hour ago, Geddus said:

If Rhaegar won I don't think Tywin would have sacked the city, he would have simply taken the Red Keep and held it until the royal army came back.

:agree:Saying he was loyal and keeping the city from rebel retaliation, or something.

1 hour ago, Geddus said:

I also don't think Rhaegar set Jaime up, if he was in cahoots with Tywin which Kingsguard was left with Aerys wouldn't have made any difference. Actually it would have made more sense to bring Jaime to the Trident.

But Aerys had stressed the KG--and Jaime was the one breaking. If Rhaegar actually want Aerys guarded well, he'd bring back "Hightower the Devoted," not leave "Jaime the Way-too-Young-and Totally-Freaked-Out."

Or at least leave Darry: "You donned that cloak, you promised to obey." Rhaegar hears Darry say that--but leaves freaked out Jaime alone with Aerys anyway. I don't think Rhaegar wanted Aerys well-guarded--he left the kid who had to be reminded to obey to guard a king that kid hated.

If Rhaegar didn't want Aerys well guarded, Jaime's the perfect choice--Jaime without any other KG backup. 

Especially if Rhaegar knew Tywin would take the city--then Jaime's a really, really perfect choice.

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