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

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8 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Sack or "take"--yes.

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.

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

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.

Yes, I could totally see some accident befalling Elia. Tywin wouldn't miss out on the golden opportunity to have his daughter become Queen.

I'm sure it wouldn't have taken much Lannister gold to get the KB to attack Elia, also. I think you are right on the money.

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2 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Yes, I could totally see some accident befalling Elia. Tywin wouldn't miss out on the golden opportunity to have his daughter become Queen.

Yes--that's been Tywin's dream since Cersei was little.

2 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I'm sure it wouldn't have taken much Lannister gold to get the KB to attack Elia, also. I think you are right on the money.

:cheers: Yes--and Tywin seems to have despised the Martells. He rejected them and instead offered Tyrion as husband for Elia. So they took his marriage plan and married Elia to Rhaegar. That's not something proud lion Tywin would take on the chin.

It's one of the reasons why I think there's even a chance that Tywin knew where Rhaegar was--they both sat out the war on purpose. Then, right when needed most, Rhaegar is suddenly findable. . . .lots of ways this could have gone down. But given how Tywin takes the city right on cue, seems like there's a chance he and Rhaegar coordinated on Rhaegar's "finding" and return. Maybe.

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19 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

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.

I don't understand what difference would it make for Rhaegar. But if Tywin was plotting with the prince I'm sure he would have wanted his son safe, which means away from the pyromaniac madman.

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On 2/18/2019 at 1:59 PM, 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. 

Jaime did have support by the time Ned arrived:

Quote

"Aerys was dead on the floor, drowned in his own blood. His dragon skulls stared down from the walls. Lannister's men were everywhere. Jaime wore the white cloak of the Kingsguard over his golden armor. I can see him still. Even his sword was gilded. He was seated on the Iron Throne, high above his knights, wearing a helm fashioned in the shape of a lion's head. How he glittered!"

. . .

"My men were filling the room behind me. Lannister's men drew back. . . ."

 

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4 hours ago, Geddus said:

I don't understand what difference would it make for Rhaegar.

Because Rhaegar needs his father off that throne. That's been his goal for a while. 

It would be very helpful if Tywin's men "secured" Aerys and any remaining supporters when they "secured" the city.

And if Aerys was "unreasonable" and had an "accident" that led to his death? No one would weep. And it would be very, very helpful to Rhaegar.

it's much easier not to have to call the Great Council. Or to depose his father. And a king is only fully deposed when he's decomposing. Rhaegar's studied the history of the Targs--no way he doesn't know this.

4 hours ago, Geddus said:

But if Tywin was plotting with the prince I'm sure he would have wanted his son safe, which means away from the pyromaniac madman.

Absolutely. 

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23 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

It's one of the reasons why I think there's even a chance that Tywin knew where Rhaegar was--they both sat out the war on purpose. Then, right when needed most, Rhaegar is suddenly findable. . . .lots of ways this could have gone down. But given how Tywin takes the city right on cue, seems like there's a chance he and Rhaegar coordinated on Rhaegar's "finding" and return. Maybe.

It's a lot to put on Tywin's hatred of Aerys.

Quote

He floated in heat, in memory. "After dancing griffins lost the Battle of the Bells, Aerys exiled him." Why am I telling this absurd ugly child? "He had finally realized that Robert was no mere outlaw lord to be crushed at whim, but the greatest threat House Targaryen had faced since Daemon Blackfyre. The king reminded Lewyn Martell gracelessly that he held Elia and sent him to take command of the ten thousand Dornishmen coming up the kingsroad. Jon Darry and Barristan Selmy rode to Stoney Sept to rally what they could of griffins' men, and Prince Rhaegar returned from the south and persuaded his father to swallow his pride and summon my father. But no raven returned from Casterly Rock, and that made the king even more afraid. 

If Rhaegar wanted Tywin and his forces in the city, then why didn't they respond to Aerys's summons? If they were in a conspiracy together would it not help Rhaegar to have Tywin already in King's Landing? This plot seems to depend on Pycelle's ability to get Aerys to agree to let the Lannisters into the city gates. Pretty flimsy plotting it seems to me.

Edited by SFDanny

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33 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

It's a lot to put on Tywin's hatred of Aerys.

Agreed--but we do know Tywin's hatred is grand and mighty.

And Aerys had been playing "goad the lion" for a while--Cersei, Jaime, marrying Rhaegar to a Martell (after Tywin rejected the Martells).

The guy who obliterated the Reynes, who made his father's mistress walk through the streets, who had Masha Heddle killed and gibbetted for not saving Tyrion from Cat (what was that poor old woman supposed to do???)--Tywin knows how to hold a grudge--and how to exact revenge.

33 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

If Rhaegar wanted Tywin and his forces in the city, then why didn't they respond to Aerys's summons? If they were in a conspiracy together would it not help Rhaegar to have Tywin already in King's Landing? This plot seems to depend on Pycelle's ability to get Aerys to agree to let the Lannisters into the city gates. Pretty flimsy plotting it seems to me.

My guess (and I fully admit I'm guessing)--Tywin wasn't supposed to come as Aerys' ally. But as Rhaegar's. So, maybe, not answering with a raven was a way to keep Aerys desperate. I'm thinking there's a chance that summons was Rhaegar's way to help set Aerys up to trust Tywin and let him into the city when he came.

And Tywin wouldn't be there to protect Aerys--but to secure him for future deposing.

Plus marching on the city later: it gives Tywin some plausibility, "Hey, I got there fast as I could--had to rally my men and that takes time, blah, blah."

Maybe.

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4 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Agreed--but we do know Tywin's hatred is grand and mighty.

And Aerys had been playing "goad the lion" for a while--Cersei, Jaime, marrying Rhaegar to a Martell (after Tywin rejected the Martells).

The guy who obliterated the Reynes, who made his father's mistress walk through the streets, who had Masha Heddle killed and gibbetted for not saving Tyrion from Cat (what was that poor old woman supposed to do???)--Tywin knows how to hold a grudge--and how to exact revenge.

My guess (and I fully admit I'm guessing)--Tywin wasn't supposed to come as Aerys' ally. But as Rhaegar's. So, maybe, not answering with a raven was a way to keep Aerys desperate. I'm thinking there's a chance that summons was Rhaegar's way to help set Aerys up to trust Tywin and let him into the city when he came.

And Tywin wouldn't be there to protect Aerys--but to secure him for future deposing.

Plus marching on the city later: it gives Tywin some plausibility, "Hey, I got there fast as I could--had to rally my men and that takes time, blah, blah."

Maybe.

Don't you think that if Rhaegar and Tywin were secret allies that Rhaegar would have wanted Tywin to show up at the Trident? Or does this conspiracy depend on Rhaegar believing he will win at the Trident by himself?

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I'm up for the idea that Rhaegar and Tywin might have been discussing or laying plans prior to the Harrenhal Tourney, but I don't think there's any chance that they had any active plans during Robert's Rebellion. As for the summons Rhaegar persuaded Aerys to send, I suspect that Rhaegar was hoping to revive any previous cooperation he had or hoped to establish with Tywin, but that Tywin either didn't receive it (in which case I suspect Pycelle of preventing the message from being sent or reaching Tywin), or Tywin did receive it and just ignored it. In either case, I don't think there was any active plan between Rhaegar and Tywin, and I don't think Rhaegar was wanting or hoping for Tywin or his son to act against Aerys without him. 

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41 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Don't you think that if Rhaegar and Tywin were secret allies that Rhaegar would have wanted Tywin to show up at the Trident? Or does this conspiracy depend on Rhaegar believing he will win at the Trident by himself?

I'm assuming Rhaegar was pretty sure he'd win--he had good reason to, given that he had more men. And that he intended to take out Aerys when he came back--a feat which would be easier if Tywin secured the city.

I'm not sure when Rhaegar intended to come back--did he always intend to come back and fight a final battle, be the hero and thus have ground to take out Aerys? Did he only come back because Aerys threatened his family? Not sure. Hoping Martin will explain himself soon.

But the ultimate goal is Rhaegar's prophecy driven stuff--and really seems like part of that is getting rid of Aerys. Tywin taking KL helps.

Though it also lets Tywin hedge his bets--a factor I doubt was lost on Rhaegar.

18 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I'm up for the idea that Rhaegar and Tywin might have been discussing or laying plans prior to the Harrenhal Tourney, but I don't think there's any chance that they had any active plans during Robert's Rebellion.

Why not? Wars help with deposing people. And both Tywin and Rhaegar want Aerys out. And they both sat out the war until an opportune moment. Seems very plausible they did so in tandem.

18 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

As for the summons Rhaegar persuaded Aerys to send, I suspect that Rhaegar was hoping to revive any previous cooperation he had or hoped to establish with Tywin, but that Tywin either didn't receive it (in which case I suspect Pycelle of preventing the message from being sent or reaching Tywin), or Tywin did receive it and just ignored it.

I'm not sure I'm reading you right--do you think Rhaegar was hoping to revive Rhaegar's cooperation with Tywin? If so, Tywin's taking the city for Rhaegar really would have fit that bill, if Rhaegar could have closed at the Trident. 

Or are you thinking that the summons would revive Aerys's cooperation with Tywin??

Also--why are you would Pycelle do this? Tyrion has that odd question to Pycelle, asking how many Pycelle has betrayed--Ned, Arryn, and Rhaegar--are you thinking Pycelle betrayed Rhaegar, too? If so, why does Pycelle insist he always serves Lannister?

18 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

In either case, I don't think there was any active plan between Rhaegar and Tywin, and I don't think Rhaegar was wanting or hoping for Tywin or his son to act against Aerys without him. 

But Tywin's taking the city for Rhaegar wouldn't be acting against without Rhaegar--it would be planned.

And if Aerys had an "accident" during Tywin's occupation, all the better for Rhaegar.

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3 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Because Rhaegar needs his father off that throne. That's been his goal for a while. 

It would be very helpful if Tywin's men "secured" Aerys and any remaining supporters when they "secured" the city.

And if Aerys was "unreasonable" and had an "accident" that led to his death? No one would weep. And it would be very, very helpful to Rhaegar.

it's much easier not to have to call the Great Council. Or to depose his father. And a king is only fully deposed when he's decomposing. Rhaegar's studied the history of the Targs--no way he doesn't know this.

No, I get that, I just don't understand why he would need specifically Jaime to be there. Even if a loyal Kingsguard was with Aerys, what could he do?

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1 hour ago, Geddus said:

No, I get that, I just don't understand why he would need specifically Jaime to be there. Even if a loyal Kingsguard was with Aerys, what could he do?

Oh! Sorry--misunderstood you.

Okay--I meant that with Jaime there, Tywin and Rhaegar could be more sure that Jaime would turn on Aerys. I don't think they could count on him killing Aerys (though that would be a possibility--Crakehall seems completely unsurprised). But refusing to attack Tywin and instead turning on Aerys? Yes.

A loyal KG might convince Aerys to flee. Stand and fight. Create more problems.

Jaime would be less likely to do all those things. A when he notes Crakehall's rlack of surprise, even Jaime seems to realize that Tywin counted on Jaime's being his son more than Aerys' KG.

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4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Why not? Wars help with deposing people. And both Tywin and Rhaegar want Aerys out. And they both sat out the war until an opportune moment. Seems very plausible they did so in tandem.

@Sly Wren

Because I think that if Rhaegar and Tywin had been crafting a plot, it was probably thrown into disarray as a result of Jaime being named to the KG, Aerys's attendance at Harrenhal, and Rhaegar's actions re: Lyanna during and after Harrenhal.

Tywin didn't just want Aerys out, he wanted his daughter to be Queen, and his grandchildren to be Kings.

Most of the early battles were between partial rebel (mostly Robert and his Stormlanders) and partial royalist (royalist Stormlanders, Reach men) forces, and I wouldn't be surprised if they happened in pretty quick succession.

The only really major battle Rhaegar missed was the Battle of the Bells, which started out with a wounded Robert being surrounded and hunted by royalist forces at Stoney Sept, and in which Robert was saved from certain death by the arrival of the North and newly won over Tullys.

Up to that point, the North, Vale, and Riverlands forces hadn't been present in any of Robert's battles south of the Trident (Jon's helped Robert escape Gulltown, and put down royalist Vale lords, but hadn't yet been able to link up with Robert and his forces).

Rhaegar goes north for the first battle against the closest thing to the full strength of the rebels. Pretty much the least opportune battle for him.

Tywin, on the other hand, waited for Rhaegar to be dead and the royalist cause to be dead with it. The fall of KL was only a matter of time.

They can hardly be compared.

4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

I'm not sure I'm reading you right--do you think Rhaegar was hoping to revive Rhaegar's cooperation with Tywin? If so, Tywin's taking the city for Rhaegar really would have fit that bill, if Rhaegar could have closed at the Trident. 

Or are you thinking that the summons would revive Aerys's cooperation with Tywin??

Yes. And depending on whether Rhaegar or Aerys was responsible for the contents of the summons, I think Rhaegar might have tried to pull out all the stops he could to convince Tywin to join in on his the royalist side.

No, I think Rhaegar was just trying to keep Aerys occupied long enough for the rebels to defeated, then come back with the royalist army and set about making changes.

Rhaegar didn't need Tywin, or anyone else, to take King's Landing. He had already assumed command of all seven KG, and the royalist army.

When Tywin didn't answer the summons, Rhaegar leaving Jaime with Aerys not only gave Aerys a sense of comfort that he had a hostage in case Tywin tried to act against him, but also gave Tywin pause if he had any inclination to join the rebels or act against the royalists.

4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Also--why are you would Pycelle do this? Tyrion has that odd question to Pycelle, asking how many Pycelle has betrayed--Ned, Arryn, and Rhaegar--are you thinking Pycelle betrayed Rhaegar, too? If so, why does Pycelle insist he always serves Lannister?

To prevent Tywin from helping saving the Targaryen regime. If Tywin helps the royalists defeat the rebels, and the realm is able to weather Aerys and Rhaegar's actions, there's a chance for the Targaryen regime to be stabilized. 

IMO, Pycelle was/is among a Citadel fraction that wished to see the Targaryens overthrown. And I have little doubt that Pycelle is being at least somewhat honest when he claims he had hoped Tywin would become king. If he was/is indeed part of an anti-Targaryen faction of maesters, I could see Tywin having been his preferred candidate to replace them.

By making sure that Aerys's summons never reaches Tywin, Pycelle makes it likely Tywin doesn't join in on the side of the Targaryens, and rescue their regime. And when he sees Tywin arrive at the gates of KL, while Aerys has reason to believe Tywin is finally answering his summons, Pycelle knows Tywin never received that summons, and has not received any summons or offer from the Targaryens that would cause him to be coming for their benefit.

4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

But Tywin's taking the city for Rhaegar wouldn't be acting against without Rhaegar--it would be planned.

And if Aerys had an "accident" during Tywin's occupation, all the better for Rhaegar.

King's Landing is already under royalist control, and Rhaegar has now assumed command of the KG and army. He needs Tywin's forces against the tens of thousands of rebels massing at the Trident, not taking the royalist held capital. I just don't that this would be a plan Rhaegar would have, especially after Tywin had ignored the summons after the Battle of the Bells, and was still ignoring it when Rhaegar rode off to the Trident.

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1 hour ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Sly Wren

Because I think that if Rhaegar and Tywin had been crafting a plot, it was probably thrown into disarray as a result of Jaime being named to the KG, Aerys's attendance at Harrenhal, and Rhaegar's actions re: Lyanna during and after Harrenhal.

Ah! Got it. But is there any reason that their reactions to the war weren't also a plot?

Rhaegar went along with Tywin at Duskendale, where Tywin used the Darklyns' grievance to try to get Aerys killed. Tywin seems to have goaded Aerys into going to the Darklyns in the first place. And possibly even goaded the Darklyns into rebellion. 

Thus, Tywin uses others' grievances to start violence to get an enemy killed: he did a similar thing with Robb.

So--any reason why Tywin and Rhaegar wouldn't use the Rebellion? Or even spark the Rebellion--as we see Tywin do with the Defiance and the Red Wedding?

If so, Rhaegar and Tywin would be communicating all along.

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Tywin didn't just want Aerys out, he wanted his daughter to be Queen, and his grandchildren to be Kings.

Yup--it's one of the reasons I suspect Tywin being behind the Kingswood Brotherhood's attack on Elia.

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Rhaegar goes north for the first battle against the closest thing to the full strength of the rebels. Pretty much the least opportune battle for him.

Unless he wins. If he wins, he's the grand hero who ended the rebellion sparked by his rotten, mad father. And he's got superior numbers.

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Tywin, on the other hand, waited for Rhaegar to be dead and the royalist cause to be dead with it. The fall of KL was only a matter of time.

Given how quickly Tywin gets to KL, seems like a whopping good chance he was ready to march or already marching before the Trident ended.

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Yes. And depending on whether Rhaegar or Aerys was responsible for the contents of the summons, I think Rhaegar might have tried to pull out all the stops he could to convince Tywin to join in on his the royalist side.

Unless Tywin is already on Rhaegar's side--in which case, that summons was mummery on Rhaegar's part. Like leaving Jaime behind.

Quote

No, I think Rhaegar was just trying to keep Aerys occupied long enough for the rebels to defeated, then come back with the royalist army and set about making changes.

Rhaegar didn't need Tywin, or anyone else, to take King's Landing. He had already assumed command of all seven KG, and the royalist army.

Possible--but it would be a whole lot easier if some "accident" befell Aerys before Rhaegar got there--deposing a king is difficult. Rhaegar knows the Targ history of civil wars. And you can't be sure a king is deposed until he's decomposing. No way Rhaegar's not aware of all of this.

Tywin's taking the city and Aerys' having an accident? That would help Rhaegar immensely.

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When Tywin didn't answer the summons, Rhaegar leaving Jaime with Aerys not only gave Aerys a sense of comfort that he had a hostage in case Tywin tried to act against him, but also gave Tywin pause if he had any inclination to join the rebels or act against the royalists.

Yes--but is also leaves Aerys with a freaked-out guard. A really deadly swordsman, who's unstable and cracking. And Tywin clearly had no "pause"--Crakehall isn't surprised, according to Jaime. Jaime realizes his father assumed he'd turn on Aerys.

Given Jaime's behavior when Rhaegar left, given that Rhaegar may have heard from Hightower how Jaime was doing--Rhaegar left a really bad protector with Daddy. On purpose. And without a superior KG to keep Jaime steady. 

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To prevent Tywin from helping saving the Targaryen regime. If Tywin helps the royalists defeat the rebels, and the realm is able to weather Aerys and Rhaegar's actions, there's a chance for the Targaryen regime to be stabilized. 

IMO, Pycelle was/is among a Citadel fraction that wished to see the Targaryens overthrown. And I have little doubt that Pycelle is being at least somewhat honest when he claims he had hoped Tywin would become king. If he was/is indeed part of an anti-Targaryen faction of maesters, I could see Tywin having been his preferred candidate to replace them.

I'm liking this a lot--would make sense of some of Pycelle's bootlicking.

Quote

By making sure that Aerys's summons never reaches Tywin, Pycelle makes it likely Tywin doesn't join in on the side of the Targaryens, and rescue their regime. And when he sees Tywin arrive at the gates of KL, while Aerys has reason to believe Tywin is finally answering his summons, Pycelle knows Tywin never received that summons, and has not received any summons or offer from the Targaryens that would cause him to be coming for their benefit.

Hmmmm. . . . workable. Though given how much Tywin hates Aerys, seems like there's little reason to think Tywin's innately going to help. 

Are you thinking Pycelle is the puppet-master here? I'm struggling to see it--even though I kinda like the idea. Seems more like he's doing Tywin's bidding vs. the other way round. Are you thinking of something specific that might point to his manipulation of Tywin?

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King's Landing is already under royalist control, and Rhaegar has now assumed command of the KG and army.

Right--under Aerys' control. Rhaegar needs to depose Aerys. He needs some forces who are pro-Rhaegar and anti-Aerys. And, if possible, needs Aerys to have an "accident"--gives Rhaegar plausible deniability.

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He needs Tywin's forces against the tens of thousands of rebels massing at the Trident, not taking the royalist held capital. I just don't that this would be a plan Rhaegar would have, especially after Tywin had ignored the summons after the Battle of the Bells, and was still ignoring it when Rhaegar rode off to the Trident.

Unless he and Tywin were sitting out the war on purpose in tandem. And unless Rhaegar really thought he could win--which he really seems to think. 

Edited by Sly Wren
I cannot spell.

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11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Ah! Got it. But is there any reason that their reactions to the war weren't also a plot?

@Sly Wren

Personally, I don't see any reason to think that their reactions to the war were a plot.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Rhaegar went along with Tywin at Duskendale, where Tywin used the Darklyns' grievance to try to get Aerys killed. Tywin seems to have goaded Aerys into going to the Darklyns in the first place. And possibly even goaded the Darklyns into rebellion.

Thus, Tywin uses others' grievances to start violence to get an enemy killed: he did a similar thing with Robb.

Yandel gives us no insight into anything Rhaegar might have said or done while outside Duskendale with Tywin and the small council, including any response he might have had to what Tywin is reported to have said. I don't think we can say Rhaegar nefariously "went along with" anything intended to harm Aerys. Nor do I think that we can determine, as believable as it may seem, that Tywin was intentionally responsible for Aerys going to Duskendale or the Darklyns taking Aerys captive.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

So--any reason why Tywin and Rhaegar wouldn't use the Rebellion? Or even spark the Rebellion--as we see Tywin do with the Defiance and the Red Wedding?

If so, Rhaegar and Tywin would be communicating all along.

I don't see any reason to think that Tywin or Rhaegar sparked, or used, Robert's Rebellion, or were in communication during Robert's Rebellion.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Yup--it's one of the reasons I suspect Tywin being behind the Kingswood Brotherhood's attack on Elia.

It's an interesting idea, and I can see how it might seem believable that Tywin would do such a thing, but I'm not convinced that he was behind the Kingswood Brotherhood's attack on Elia.

11 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Unless he wins. If he wins, he's the grand hero who ended the rebellion sparked by his rotten, mad father. And he's got superior numbers.

It would have been most opportune for Rhaegar to join the war and defeat Robert at Summerhall, while all Robert had were his Stormlands loyalists, and while he was having to fight his own Stormlands bannermen who had chosen to remain loyal to the Targaryens. Or at Ashford, while all Robert had were his Stormlands loyalists and the former Stormlands royalists that he had won over after the battles at Summerhall, against the might of the royalist Reach. Or even at Stoney Sept, while Robert was wounded and essentially alone, being surrounded and hunted by royalist forces, before the Stark, Tully, and Vale forces were finally able to join up with Robert for the first time during the war, and save him.

After the Battle of the Bells, going into the Battle of the Trident, when the rebel forces of the Stormlands, North, Riverlands, and Vale were finally going into a battle together for the first time in the war, was the least opportune time for Rhaegar to join the war. Rhaegar might have had superior numbers, but Yandel tells us the rebels had only somewhat fewer men, and that they were more tested in battle, while much of Rhaegar's force was raw and new, likely made up of those he had marshaled just before leaving King's Landing for the Trident. The Dornish alone, men who might have sat out the war or joined the rebels had Aerys not been holding Elia and her children, made up a quarter of Rhaegar's forty thousand.

12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Given how quickly Tywin gets to KL, seems like a whopping good chance he was ready to march or already marching before the Trident ended.

I don't doubt that Tywin and his 12,000 men were at the very least massed at the easternmost edge of the Westerlands, waiting to hear the results of the Trident. But they didn't get there all that quickly. It took them at least a fortnight after word of Rhaegar's death reached Aerys to arrive in King's Landing, arriving only slightly ahead of Ned with Robert's van. All of which supports the claim that Tywin was taking and wait and see approach, and that the results of the Trident decided him. I see no reason to doubt that. If it had been the plan for him to take the city for Rhaegar, he could have during the weeks before Rhaegar left, or as he was leaving, or during the weeks he was traveling to the Trident. But all the information we have to go on indicates his move to approach and take the city only occurred after Rhaegar's death.

12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Unless Tywin is already on Rhaegar's side--in which case, that summons was mummery on Rhaegar's part. Like leaving Jaime behind.

I don't see a good case for this.

12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Possible--but it would be a whole lot easier if some "accident" befell Aerys before Rhaegar got there--deposing a king is difficult. Rhaegar knows the Targ history of civil wars. And you can't be sure a king is deposed until he's decomposing. No way Rhaegar's not aware of all of this.

Tywin's taking the city and Aerys' having an accident? That would help Rhaegar immensely.

I don't think there is a good case for this. I don't see any hint that Rhaegar wants Aerys dead, but aside from that, I don't think a dead Aerys solves more problems for Rhaegar than it creates. I don't think Rhaegar was looking to sit a throne build on his illegally slain king father. Had he been victorious he would have been returning having taken all seven KG under his command, taken the royal forces under his command, and having secured the surrender of the remaining rebels, with the realm having witnessed Aerys's state at Harrenhal, and having experienced the lines he was willing to cross the with execution of Lord Stark and his heir, the execution of Lord Arryn's heir, and the demand that Lord Baratheon and the new Lord Stark be executed by Lord Arryn, no doubt with a threat that Lord Arryn would be executed if he didn't. A victorious Rhaegar doesn't need the help of the sort of Lannister accidents that soiled Robert's reign from the get go.

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Yes--but is also leaves Aerys with a freaked-out guard. A really deadly swordsman, who's unstable and cracking. And Tywin clearly had no "pause"--Crakehall isn't surprised, according to Jaime. Jaime realizes his father assumed he'd turn on Aerys.

Given Jaime's behavior when Rhaegar left, given that Rhaegar may have heard from Hightower how Jaime was doing--Rhaegar left a really bad protector with Daddy. On purpose. And without a superior KG to keep Jaime steady. 

I don't see a good case for this. Jaime had done nothing to fall short of being a good knight and a good Kingsguard. Rhaegar had no reason to assume Jaime would do something so extreme as murder his father. Tywin claims to have both feared what Aerys would do and feared what Jaime might do. "Ned Stark's van was rushing south from the Trident, and I feared it might come to swords between us. And it was in Aerys to murder Jaime, with no more cause than spite. That was the thing I feared most. That, and what Jaime himself might do." (ASOS: Tyrion VI). But again, I see no reason to think that Rhaegar and Tywin were working together during the war. Rhaegar had no reason to believe that Aerys's safety was threatened by or dependent on a single Kingsguard knight. As Ned says, "Aerys was in the Red Keep with several thousand loyalists." (AGOT: Eddard II).

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

I'm liking this a lot--would make sense of some of Pycelle's bootlicking.

Hmmmm. . . . workable. Though given how much Tywin hates Aerys, seems like there's little reason to think Tywin's innately going to help. 

Are you thinking Pycelle is the puppet-master here? I'm struggling to see it--even though I kinda like the idea. Seems more like he's doing Tywin's bidding vs. the other way round. Are you thinking of something specific that might point to his manipulation of Tywin?

If Aerys's summons is sent off, there is at least some chance that Tywin chooses to answer it. And depending on whether the contents of that summons were dictated by Aerys or by Rhaegar, it's not inconceivable that it included carrots to try to entice Tywin to return. Perhaps carrots such as offering Tywin his old office, and/or releasing Jaime from the Kingsguard, and/or matching Cersei with Viserys.

After the Battle of the Bells, when Rhaegar is said to have persuaded Aerys to summon Tywin, Kevan recalls having "expected that afterward Aerys would have no choice but to summon Tywin once more … but the Mad King had turned to the Lords Chelsted and Rossart instead, and paid for it with life and crown." (ADWD: Epilogue). It is possible Tywin received such a summons and hid it from Kevan, but in my opinion, that doesn't seem likely.

I think it much more likely that Tywin never received that summons. And though there might be a number of reasons that a summons doesn't make it to a castle, I think there is reason to suspect that the Grand Maester, Pycelle, could have had a hand in it in this case.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that Pycelle is a puppet master, but that he has ulterior motives. I think he genuinely thinks the world of Tywin, and genuinely would have preferred for him to be king. But I don't necessarily think he is just randomly a Lannister loyalist. I think he prefers Tywin as the best candidate to replace the Targaryens as part of an anti-Targaryen faction/plot of maesters.

By preventing Tywin from receiving Aerys's summons he isn't necessarily working against Tywin, so much as trying to create the conditions in which Tywin can assume the role Pycelle seems to him as being best suited for. As Pycelle told Tyrion, and as Yandel tells us of Pycelle's thoughts on Tywin:

That took Tyrion by surprise. He had been no more than an ugly boy at Casterly Rock when the city fell. "So the Sack of King's Landing was your work as well?"

"For the realm! Once Rhaegar died, the war was done. Aerys was mad, Viserys too young, Prince Aegon a babe at the breast, but the realm needed a king . . . I prayed it should be your good father, but Robert was too strong, and Lord Stark moved too swiftly . . ."

- ACOK: Tyrion VI

 "The gods made and shaped this man to rule," Grand Maester Pycelle wrote of Tywin Lannister in a letter to the Citadel after serving with him on the small council for two years.

- TWOIAF: Aerys II

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Right--under Aerys' control. Rhaegar needs to depose Aerys. He needs some forces who are pro-Rhaegar and anti-Aerys. And, if possible, needs Aerys to have an "accident"--gives Rhaegar plausible deniability.

By this point he has effectively taken control of most if not all of the major force at Aerys's disposal. And a Rhaegar returning victorious with those forces at his command is not likely to have to worry about them disobeying him when he initiates a council to make changes, including to restrict or remove Aerys's power and ability to make commands. I see no evidence that Rhaegar wanted or intended for Aerys to have an accident. And I disagree that such an accident helps Rhaegar, or helps him more than doing things the way he indicates he intends to do them. I don't think him telling Jaime that he intends to call a council and make changes when he returns mummery for Jaime's, or anyone else's, sake. I think it is likely that is what he intended to do. At that point, going into the biggest battle of the war, he doesn't have the time or opportunity to deal with Aerys. That is something that has to wait until after. So he leaves Jaime, giving Aerys a false sense of security, and IMO, trying to keep Tywin from making a move towards King's Landing while he is away.

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Unless he and Tywin were sitting out the war on purpose in tandem.

Which I don't see a good case for.

13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

And unless Rhaegar really thought he could win--which he really seems to think. 

Of course I think Rhaegar wanted and intended to win. But having Tywin's 12,000 men with him at the Trident would have given him by far superior numbers and many more knights, where he only had slightly superior numbers, a small fraction of knights, a lot of inexperience, and a quarter of his forces with questionably loyalty. The time and place Rhaegar needed Tywin was against the for-the-first-time combined forces of Baratheon, Stark, Tully, and Arryn, not waiting at the edge of the Westerlands to hear the results of the Trident.

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On 2/18/2019 at 2:31 AM, Angel Eyes said:

They’re also traveling over open country.

Any chance they stopped marching at Tumbler's Fall and then sailed down the blackwater to King's Landing, as they did against Stannis in ACOK?

I'm aware that in ACOK it was the Tyrells brought the boats, but still sounds as a good reference of massive troops fast transportation during war times.

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The distance between the edge of the Westerlands along the Gold Road to Kings Landing is about equal from the Ruby Ford to Kings Landing. 

 

Seems to me Tywin was simply waiting on word on when to march, he may honestly not have even cared who won. 

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