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the Last Teague

The Kingsguard doesn't precisely shine in FaB

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I fondly remember a chapter of ASoS where Jaime Lannister and Loras Tyrell discus about unsung heroes of the Kingsguard. When I started reading FAB one of my (minor) expectations was of finding more little gems like that. And sadly I've been disappointed. I know ASOIAF isn't a place for chavalry tales, but I hoped to find small islands of heroism into the ocean of cynicism.  Know more about Neveryelds and the White Owl. Instead of that we have Criston Cole and Marston Waters. Cole wasn't as machiavelic as I hoped, more like a narrow-minded zealot. And Waters is interesting becouse he is a simple man caught in the middle of a storm (I feel even a small bit of sympathy for him), but little more.

I mean... really, every time a white knight is mentioned is for seeing him killed (to show another fighter was better) or quickly dismissed. They only shine punctualy at tourneys and the like.  That's probably why I started writing a fanfic about Willis Fell becoming some sort of surrogate parent for poor Jaehaera. Before dying from the Shivers, begging her pardon for leaving her alone.

In other Martin books the Kingsguard are somewhat better. I mean Gwayne Corbray fighting the Black Dragon for hours? That's badass. But not knowing why Ryam Redwine became so remembered? That's cold, GRR.

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One assumes Ryam Redwyne is little more than a name the singers used as a template to create a hero. I mean, what could he have possibly done that was so great? The Realm was largely at peace during the reign of Jaehaerys I. Sure, it would have great to see him save the life of his king on one occasion, or do something other of note, but chances were always not that high that he would have done something truly great - like the Dragonknight supposedly during the Conquest of Dorne and then later when he saved Baelor and finally his own rotten brother.

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The standoff with Roger is pretty badass. Was pretty disappointed with Ryam Redwyne doing next to nothing though. Guess you can read that as illustrating how empty things like tourney glory are though. 

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George could have done more on the KG front if he had bothered to expand more on the reign of the Conqueror - more details on the Dornish War - and King Aenys - attacks by the Poor Fellows - and Maegor - a lot of military campaigns.

The occasional thwarted assassination attempt could also have been fun. Aegon I may no longer have fought wars after the Dornish War was over, but there could have been men trying to kill him, anyway, independent of Dorne.

It is really a pity that we basically learn next to nothing about the KG prior to Jaehaerys I.

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glad to see I'm not the only one starving for a good whitesword epic.

Damn, when I get to the Dance with Dragons, I was so desperate I ever apreciated one knight killed two soldiers defending Rhaenyra at Dragonstone.

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This is true heck we have no feats even from Aegon's first KG as Varys Said Ryam is a legendary knight up there with the dragon knight, arthur dayne and barry from what the stories say yet he didn't do much other than win tourneys and discover what lucamore was doing. Heck Myles Morrigen who i didn't even knew existed did more along with Ser Dogget. What did Corlys do when he became the first KG commander.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Destiny Arrives said:

What did Corlys do when he became the first KG commander.

I'd imagine my namesake was one of the two KG who died defending Aegon I, especially as Ser Addison Hill suceeded Ser Corlys as LC at some stage (very likely still during the Conqueror's reign). Definitely a missed opportunity by George not to include that in F&B, that the first LC set the example for the honour & legendary status of the KG (not to mention, Velaryon loyalty & importance to the Targs) & that only a man such as the Sea Snake could carry the same name.

Edited by Lord Corlys Velaryon

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21 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

I'd imagine my namesake was one of the two KG who died defending Aegon I, especially as Ser Addison Hill suceeded Ser Corlys as LC at some stage (very likely still during the Conqueror's reign). Definitely a missed opportunity by George not to include that in F&B, that the first LC set the example for the honour & legendary status of the KG (not to mention, Velaryon loyalty & importance to the Targs) & that only a man such as the Sea Snake could carry the same name.

Yea i'm saying especially since the book keep's saying they were the second family of westeros after the Targs

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Oddly enough, the only KG of note is that of Aerys "The Mad King."  Gerold Hightower, Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy, Lewyn Martel, Oswell Whent, Jaime Lannister, and Jonothor Darry seem to be the last truly formidable group.  If they had all been on the Trident with Rhaegar I can foresee a very different outcome.

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The KG didn't really seem to distinguish themselves during Aegon's reign.They all seemed formidable up until Robert's Rebellion.Then we got Baristan and Jaime and the dregs of the realm filled out Joff and Tommen's reigns.

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This might explain what he's doing with the King's Guard:

Quote

"I am particularly irritated by fantasy where you can always tell the bad guys because they are ugly and wear black. That's why I deliberately pulled a twist on that with my Night's Watch. Sure they are criminal scum but they are also heroes and they wear black and I wanted to play with the convention a little. As for the knights, sure, I think it's an interesting question too. It not only affects fantasy but our history, too. We've always had a class of 'protectors.' The church divided us into knights and those the knights were supposed to protect, with the church praying for both. The worker, the prayer and the fighter. Of course, the way it often worked out is the people the peasants often needed the most protection from were their own protectors. I think there is a powerful story in that. The ideals of knighthood embody some of the finest ideals the human race has ever come up with. The reality was somewhat less than that, and often horribly so." - GRRM, 2000

 

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Arianne's critique of the King's Guard is also on point, and could apply even as far back as Maegor:

Quote

“My uncle always said that it was the sword in a man’s hand that determined his worth, not the one between his legs,” she went on, “so spare me all your pious talk of soiled cloaks. It is not our love that has dishonored you, it is the monsters you have served and the brutes you’ve called your brothers.

 

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I get the impression B&F takes too much time describing the worst Kingsguard. Like Maegor's bullies, and too little detailing heroes. Or mediocrities like Marston Waters. That makes difficult to believe they have a good reputation at the begining of ASOFAI. 

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On 3/6/2019 at 11:08 PM, Stallion That Mounts Texas said:

Oddly enough, the only KG of note is that of Aerys "The Mad King."  Gerold Hightower, Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy, Lewyn Martel, Oswell Whent, Jaime Lannister, and Jonothor Darry seem to be the last truly formidable group.  If they had all been on the Trident with Rhaegar I can foresee a very different outcome.

No, we really can't, because the failure at the Ruby Ford was that Robert killed Rhaegar, not that the other Royalist commanders did their jobs poorly.  Three or four knights won't change the outcome of the battle unless they come into contact with Robert personally.

 

And Robert's KG is meant to be shit, because it's meant to reflect the corruption and indifferent carelessness of Robert's regime in general.  That being said, its not certain whether they're all THAT bad. Jaime is unsuitable for obvious reasons, but from the perspective of martial ability he's fine.  Ditto Selmy.  So is Arys Oakheart.  Mandon Moore seems competent if not outstanding, and is probably a political appointment of Jon Arryn's.  We don't know a ton about Preston Greenfield.  His brutal treatment of Sansa and his having a lover make him no worse than the rest of Aerys II's Kingsguard, who were uniformly bad people and some of whom had lovers.  Really, Boros Blount and sort-of Meryn Trant are the only outright unacceptable KG we know of, and both are meant to emphasize Cersei's malign influence and Robert's drunken carelessness.

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On 3/16/2019 at 7:22 PM, Rose of Red Lake said:

Arianne's critique of the King's Guard is also on point, and could apply even as far back as Maegor:

 

Agreed.  The Kingsguard is meant to be a deconstruction of how the knightly oaths people in Westeros swear are ignoble and false.  The most acclaimed Kingsguards are full of men who break their primary vows to defend the weak and innocent, because being good with a sword and willing to accept any order is what is prized.  Its consistently the social outsiders who perform the truly heroic acts.  Brienne, a woman warrior (not a knight).  Sandor (the non-knight) who gets his redemption arc and who gets humanized.  Addam of Hull, a bastard.

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1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Agreed.  The Kingsguard is meant to be a deconstruction of how the knightly oaths people in Westeros swear are ignoble and false.  The most acclaimed Kingsguards are full of men who break their primary vows to defend the weak and innocent, because being good with a sword and willing to accept any order is what is prized.  Its consistently the social outsiders who perform the truly heroic acts.  Brienne, a woman warrior (not a knight).  Sandor (the non-knight) who gets his redemption arc and who gets humanized.  Addam of Hull, a bastard.

And Dunk IMO.

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13 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

And Dunk IMO.

Well, then It's ironic that Dunk later becames Commander of the Kingsguard.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Agreed.  The Kingsguard is meant to be a deconstruction of how the knightly oaths people in Westeros swear are ignoble and false.  The most acclaimed Kingsguards are full of men who break their primary vows to defend the weak and innocent, because being good with a sword and willing to accept any order is what is prized.  Its consistently the social outsiders who perform the truly heroic acts.  Brienne, a woman warrior (not a knight).  Sandor (the non-knight) who gets his redemption arc and who gets humanized.  Addam of Hull, a bastard.

The oaths aren't bad per se. It's the lack of respect for them. To be able to deconstruct the Kingsguard myth, first you have to build one, and B&F doesn't acomplish that, in my opinion.

The most acclaimed Kingsguards are those who fulfill the ones. People remember knights dying defending Aegon I, but not torturing poor Maegor wifes. 

It must be noted Brienne is precisely a person really commited to knightly ideals. She is discovering the prize of heroism.

Sandor is not a hero. I don't care how much he is obsessed with a young girl. Taking pride in killing civilians, deserting his men, kidnapping children and being a drunkard is nothing heroic. It's just sunking more and more in his cesspool of life. Will he redeem someday? Mayhaps, if he is still alive. Personaly I don't miss him.

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