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@Lord Varys

 

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And what's the point of being on the winning side if not to reap rewards? Just being on the winning side would mean nothing if you didn't get rewards, right?

I never said Tywin turned against Aerys so he could marry Cersei to Robert - he knew Lyanna was still alive at the time. But it put him into a position where he could demand rewards and favors from Robert.

Avoiding the shunning of the new administration?? Avoiding any possible retaliation of the new administration, the new administration promoting other Houses in the west to rival the Lannisters... it's not about getting any rewards, it's about not being in the blacklist and what that could entail.

No it didn't, Tywin took a city the rebels were about to take, he wasn't in a position to demand much, Walder Frey (who puls the same sneaky) perfectly knows he's not getting nothing for arrive late to the party but he didn't want to end like poor old Lord Goodbrok when rebel leader Hoster comes up before his door demanding why the hell he didn't followed his liege, he knows he is getting nothing but he also knows he stands to lose a lot, so he jumps in, in the last minute, Tywin, as he says as much, does the same, Cerseor any juicy rewards wasn't in his mind when he made his move.

 

 

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Sure, exactly the same situation. If Viserys III tried to destroy Tywin he would fight him and all his allies. Just as he fought everyone who tried to bring down Joffrey.

No, not the same thing, Tywin couldn't go after Jaime even if he wanted, it's not that he didn't give a fuck about Jaime, just like Robb cared about his sisters but was realistic.

I never argued the fact that Tywin would fight, he wouldn't have other option, i' ve discussed the fact that Tywin would rather that option instead of you know atually back Robert and defeat Viserys

 

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Tywin did invade the Riverlands while Robert was still alive. He even started to raise troops while Robert was still alive - he did that after Jaime fled KL before Robert even went hunting.

No, Tywin sent Gregor incognito  so the Riverlords were dumb enough to break the King's Peace, he only invaded the Riverlands after Robert was dead and Ned was seized.

 

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LOL, even the Rubicon wasn't Caesar's Rubicon. There were negotiations afterwards ... and, you know, last time I looked Brutus, Cicero, and a bunch of others were pardoned after Pompey was dealt with.

 Yeah but Caesar was dead after he decided attack Rome if he were to lose, just as Tywin is dead if a Targ comes to power and more specifically if Viserys comes to power.

Feeling that you'll get stuck here and you'll go round and round and and unfortunately, my knowledge about Roman civil wars is not very deep, i'll cut to the chase so you can't elude the obvious.

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"Today, the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" is a metaphor that means to pass a point of no return."

So when i say the Sack was Tywin's Rubicon, i think you understand perfectly what i'm saying, if i say Alea iacta est, i'm saying the same, Tywin had made his mind and had to stuck with his decision because there would be no longer a place for him in a Targ regime after the Sack.

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Robert wasn't only killed because of the incest. Cersei also feared the man would replace with another wife.

You don't even seem to be able to discuss the hypothetical. A brutal war restoring Viserys III would cause as many wounds as the Dornish Wars or the Dance - and those ended, too. Cregan Stark had an army but could not destroy the Baratheons, Hightowers, and Lannisters. Vice versa, the Hightowers and Lannisters, while still having considerable resources failed to continue the war after Aegon II's death - in fact, they even refused to raise new armies for their king after his restoration to crush the remaining rebels in the field.

And that's the parallel I'm drawin here:

Tywin staying out of the Robert-Viserys III war would weaken the Targaryen loyalists - the power base Viserys III would need to rely on his mad quest for revenge in the Westerlands. The chances that they would be willing to start another campaign after they just crushed the Baratheon coalition makes simply no sense. It would also be ludicrous to assume Viserys III could rely on the levies of the lords of the houses who had supported Robert during the previous war. Opening another front and fighting another war - which could last for years - would risk another rebellion among the people he had just pacified.

He was killed specifically because of the incest, Cersei wanted to kill her true enough but she wanted to wait, Cersei motive to kill him in such a hurry was because was either her and her family or Robert.

You do keep discussing your own strawman here, Tywin betraying Robert because he already has royal grandsons in no way is comparable to Tywin betraying Robert for Viserys when the guy is coming for them, if I said that Ned is likely to betray Robert for Viserys because he already has betrayed him by not telling him he was raising Robert's greatest enemy. Is like apples to oranges painted red to look like apples.

 

I do think that there would be a lot of wounds, that's not a reason why Viserys would not take the chance to finish a foe he can never come to trust, there is a necessity to deal with Tywin, that's not an option.

And Cregan didn't go on his mad quest because those regions actually surrendered, Cregan only had his northern armies and a few levies of the Riverlands to go an take on 3 Kingdoms with the mightiest castles, Viserys would have the power of all the Kingdoms and only would be dealing with the Westerlands, why Viserys could not trust on those levies i wonder?? He is sending them to attack one of the most reviled man in Westeros or do you think the rebels would just forget that the man has just betrayed their beloved Kongs and lieges?? A mad quest in Westeros actually offers plunder an insane amount of gold and a further unification of Westeros under his banner, just as Westeros rallied around Robert and the Young Dragon when they were facing the Ib and Dornish. It's not even about wanting, Tywin needs to be dealt with,  you just can't leave the Westerlands in a limbo, nor you can offer him a pardon (the folly of this idea can't be stated enough), nor you have any reason to do that and allow the second most powerful region become another Dorne while those you hate are at charge of it and you don't know neither you trust about what they would be doing there.  Call the banners, say you're avenging Rhaegar' sweet kids, i don't think the rebels give a damn about them tho but they sure as hell would want to avenge Tywin's betrayal and they'd be as thirsty for  Lannister blood  as half the Realm is now, there is no better cause to rally the Targ loyalist and even if you are of the opinion the IB wouldn't just smell blood and go for it, Viserys offering a free pass on whatever the hell they might do in Lannisport and some good Casterly Rock's gold can and would do the trick,  he can sweettalk the Western lords, or threaten them, he can pardon them or bribe thm with Casterly Rock and the title of LP or he could just crush them, it's not a difficult task, not the war but the siege would last for years, neither is mad quest giving the fact that Viserys is the winner in those scenatios he doesn't get Red Krakened,  Viserys would get his vengeancem some Houses gold and other the Westerlands, seems doable.

The idea that after Tywin shows up to be a two times traitor and becomes a two times traitor and gets away with the murder is hilarious, the amount of people who would want to find out if he really does shit gold would be higher than Casterly Rock, the only outcome that is ludicrous is that in which Tywin simply walks away, even when absolutely everybody hates him, he still gets to walk away because he's Tywin, taking the Westerlands would somehow become harder than invading the North during the long night, Viserys would not and even if he does he'd be turned down, any hostages from the Westerlands families to ensure future loyalties and ease a possible invasion, he don't even tries to win over the westermen, those men, who reportedly only fear Tywin would somehow remain loyal etc, this scenario is a miracle more than a possibility.

And if the Baratheons are dead, around whom those Baratheon loyalists would rally around?? 

 

 

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The point is that Tywin could have tried to do that if he his daughter had not married Robert. That's the entire point. Nobody said he would have done it.

The point  is, Tywin couldn't do that nor he'll be willing to do that.

 

 

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All I need is to point out that people made peace under more difficult circumstances.

Ofc, you also need to ignore the context in which those people made peace, a mysterious and miraculous letter and a mad pious ma, Viserys has neither.

 

 

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Man, it is part of politics what Viserys III is going to believe. He could insist that Tywin wanted his family killed ... or he could decide to believe that Jaime and Clegane and Lorch acted without Tywin's knowledge or consent.

Yeah and he could go and try to believe that Tytos Lannister was the one sacking KL and betraying his father.

 

 

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Yes, because all people grow as old as Walder Frey in this world.

Not at all but it's not a chance you want to take.

 

 

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He would need the money before he has the Rock, not the after. People don't fight for promises.

Sellswords and merchants don't  fight for promises, Westerosi do fight for promises.

 

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Can we? Would depend how many people Viserys III has to kill to defeat Robert. But this would have to be combined with the willingness of the lords to follow their king in this western campaign.

O, we absolutely can all Westeros have enough power to deal with the Westerlands even after a brutal war, i don't see why lords would turn their noses in taking on Tywin.

Wven if you want to believe that Westeros has not enough manpower to defeat the West, that only buys Tywin a few years with a damocles sword on his head.

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It means bannermen can be more powerful than their overlords.

No, Richer isn't the same as more powerful, i don't remember no one saying Corlys Velaryon was more powerful than his King, nor do i ever heard Lymand Lannister were more powerful than Jaeharys or the Manderlys than the Starks.

 

 

 

 

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Nope, the Lannisters don't have quarrelsome or powerful rival lords like the Boltons/Manderlys or the Royces. Even the Reynes never dared to supplant Tytos or take over the West and Casterly Rock - they just tried to secede from the dominion of Casterly Rock. That's a very obvious difference. Roose Bolton crushed the Starks replaced them with his own house. There are no such people in the West, not even back when a weakling like Tytos ruled at the Rock.

 I knew that was coming, the Manderlys never acted against the Starks  nor they ever were the Starks rivals., Roose only acted because there was a civil war the Starks seemed to be about to lose and that was his time, the Reynes and Tarbecks didn't have the power to actually commit treason against the crown and end the Lannisters, just as the Boltons didn't betray the Starks after all the shit that happened to them after Cregan and Rickon died but  Robb Reyne and the Tarbecks sure as hell rebelled against the Grey Lion and supported the Black Dragon, what do you think would've happened to all those Great Houses whose mightiest bannermen betrayed them for Daemon?? In a war that aimed to chanfe completely the status  quo?? Or do you think the Reynes, the Yronwoods and the Brackens and the Peakes and Osgreys fought for Daemon without wanting  to depose their overlords or trying to get back status and power they thought they were stolen??

The Boltons had been loyal for centuries and we do see the Houses and smallfolk in the North do consider the Starks their natural leaders, otherwise Ramsay would've never married Arya Stark, we wouldn't have ceaseless reminders about how loved and respected were The Ned and the Starks and the promises that were made we wouldn't have Dustin saying Jeune's cries are worse than Stannis ecause the northern lords love the Starks and they love the Ned's little girl, we wouldn't have three  sides, Stannis, Manderly and Roose trying to use the Stark name as way of rallying the lords into their respectives agendas and a long etc Have we ever had anything like that in the Westerlands?? In this dire moment in which, Dany, Young G and Stannis are coming in their times to finish off the weakened lion, did we ever seen a loyalty sample such as we see in the North after Robb and House Stark's fall?? No one in the Westerlands, not Lannisport,  love the Lannisters, they merely feared them and that fear was useful when they had two great leaders in Tywin and Kevan, how many Western Lords do you  think will stick around to protect Cersei and the kids?? 

Even after her House has been attainted and defeated, after the Crown has chosen another Warden of the North, everyone from Dorne to the Wall, from Oberyn Martell to Lysa Arryn acknowledges as the Lady of Winterfel or the key to the North, no one seem to be of Roose as something more than a momentary patch, even after all that has happened to her House, Sansa Stark still is the most eligible woman in the Westeros and we see the Tyrells, the Arryns and the Lannisters fighting over her, they all want this ruined woman, because they all know that no matter what, only Stark blood can win the North, Roose know that as much and that's why he's marrying his son to Arya. Do you think people would go to that lenght for Cersei had the Lannisters were defeated?? Or the Tyrells?? We've seen how the Tullys' been attainted and stripped of all and nothing had happened, the Arryns must be the only southern Kingdom whose ties with their land seemed really strong, neither the Lannister and ofc not the upjumped Tullys and Tyrells have that connection with their land and Lords so far.

The Royces btw have never betrayed the Arryns till our knowledge reach.

Jaime's words put it perfectly, the thought that the Reynes were not just waiting for the opportunity as Roose were but they just thought the Lannisters couldn't go is just funny.

 

 

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Again, Visenya Targaryen thought they could have never taken the Rock. I take your word over yours any time.

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Legends says that Visenya Targaryen, upon seeing it, thanked the gods that King Loren rode forth to face her brother Aegon on the Field of Fire, for if he had remained within the Rock, even dragonflame would not have daunted him

Visenya never said the Castle couldn't be taken, if she ever said those words and it's not just PR or just Visenya overpraising a mighty Castle, she said that dragonflame wouldn't tame Loren, which is true enough, you can't just burn a Rock three times higher than the Wall with just three dragons, that doesn't mean the Castle can't be taken if the siege lasts long enough, the only logical conclussion to draw from "Casterly Rock can't be taken by siege" is that the castle has infinite water and food resources, which is just ludicrous. One thing is that the siege might be long but the idea that it can't be taken is absurd to incredible degree.

 

On 9/21/2019 at 6:15 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

I don't think Dorne is that religiously distinct. There's much more of an ethnic rather than religious difference between the Dornish and the rest of Westeros.

Do you thibk so?? The sexuality and women treatment seem to be actually a religious problem too, the rule of six is an evidence of this, not that they do not follow the Faith but their faith is a bit different.

Edited by frenin

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On 9/21/2019 at 1:25 PM, Lord Varys said:

Sure, but Balon correctly predicted that Tywin would prevail. And he know he would he was the kind of man who would know no mercy should he attack the West. That was what kept him at bay.

Tywin prevailed after Roose Bolton betrayed Robb Stark, and Roose said that he decided Robb was going to lose after Theon seized Winterfell. Lannister victory was far from inevitable when Balon made his decision, and Balon was stupid enough to try to get a boon from Tywin afterwards when Tywin didn't need anything from him. The only conclusion I can draw is that Balon was simply an idiot.

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Cersei is very outspoken about the fact that she murdered Robert when she talks Tyrion in ACoK. Chances are rather low that she did not also mention or at least hint at her involvement in Robert's death in her letters to her father. The idea that Cersei would keep things for her father (who she trusts and respects, at least at this point) that she freely shares with the brother she loathes makes little sense.

And Cersei did not tell Tyrion she arranged Robert's death because of the twincest. It seems that it was a given in the overall Lannister grab for power that the drunkard had to go.

Cersei is open about it after it's already occurred and they're dealing with the consequences. She didn't tell Tyrion about it beforehand, as he and Tywin both would have likely told her that her methods were sloppy. When I said Cersei's motivations were personal, I didn't just mean the twincest, although that is tied into it. Cersei hated being married to Robert, which is why she made sure to have no trueborn children by him. When Tywin arrives in King's Landing he orders Cersei to marry again and disprove the rumors about her. To me, this shows that the two of them were not at all on the same page regarding her marriage.

As for "the overall Lannister grab for power", I think that was motivated by the fears that cropped up late in Robert's regime which included the threat of twincest accusations being levelled against them. If Cersei's children aren't rejected as illegitimate but still next in the line of succession, Tywin might be unhappy about Cersei being removed, but I think he'd be less inclined to view that as requiring Robert be assassinated.

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I never said Tywin turned against Aerys so he could marry Cersei to Robert - he knew Lyanna was still alive at the time. But it put him into a position where he could demand rewards and favors from Robert.

I wouldn't say he knew for a fact, but he also had no information indicating she was dead.

 

On 9/21/2019 at 4:27 PM, frenin said:

@Lord VarysDo you thibk so?? The sexuality and women treatment seem to be actually a religious problem too, the rule of six is an evidence of this, not that they do not follow the Faith but their faith is a bit different.

Sexuality seems less of a focus for the Faith in GRRM's writing than it was in the tv show. There's plenty of material in the books about the Dornish being regarded as different from other Westerosi, but I don't recall those passages singling out religion specifically.

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4 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Tywin prevailed after Roose Bolton betrayed Robb Stark, and Roose said that he decided Robb was going to lose after Theon seized Winterfell. Lannister victory was far from inevitable when Balon made his decision, and Balon was stupid enough to try to get a boon from Tywin afterwards when Tywin didn't need anything from him. The only conclusion I can draw is that Balon was simply an idiot.

Balon was pretty smart. He took on the weakest target in the War of the Five Kings, and if Euron hadn't killed him he could have kept all he gained, and perhaps even gained even more pieces of the North. The Starks don't have the resources to ever bring the war to the Iron Islands - unlike Tywin. He could and would have destroyed the Ironborn if they had targeted the West instead of the North.

4 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Cersei is open about it after it's already occurred and they're dealing with the consequences. She didn't tell Tyrion about it beforehand, as he and Tywin both would have likely told her that her methods were sloppy. When I said Cersei's motivations were personal, I didn't just mean the twincest, although that is tied into it. Cersei hated being married to Robert, which is why she made sure to have no trueborn children by him. When Tywin arrives in King's Landing he orders Cersei to marry again and disprove the rumors about her. To me, this shows that the two of them were not at all on the same page regarding her marriage.

You are making a lot of assumptions here that are not really backed up by the text. Tywin only starts to get skeptical about his dear daughter once thugs like Slynt are given Harrenhal, Joffrey executes Ned Stark, and plans to march the City Watch against Robb.

Prior to that we get a lot of circumstantial evidence that Tywin and Cersei were in cahoots to deal with Robert. He commanded Tyrek and Lancel to obey Queen Cersei in all things when they were made Robert's squires, setting up the strongwine scenario, it seems as if one of Tywin's men - Lannister men - would have been the one to slay Robert in the melée (if that was a real plan), indicating the man may have known about that, and, most importantly, Cersei has Tywin named Hand of the King in absentia as soon as she has staged her coup and seized the regency government of King Joffrey. The latter implies that she must have been in contact with her father to offer him the Handship and get his approval.

If that hadn't been the case then she could just as well have named Jaime the Hand - who was absent, too, but not yet imprisoned by the Starks. Jaime would have been her natural choice considering the fact that they were very close - the fact that this didn't happen implies that Cersei and Tywin were more on the same page at this time.

Finally, Tywin's insistence that Cersei remarry only comes up after Stannis' letter and the damage it does to the Lannister cause. He decides it is necessary for both his twins to marry so those rumors can be put to rest. Without Stannis writing letters about the twincest he may never have suggested that either Cersei or Jaime remarry. He is also unhappy with Joffrey's education once he gets a good look on the new king. All that, in combination with Jaime's change after his return and Tyrion's changes during his stint as Acting Hand, greatly contributes to the fucked-up state the Lannisters are in around the time Tywin dies. They were always a dysfunctional family, but they still tried to work together and protect and advance each other. We have that in AGoT when Tyrion would never betray Cersei/Jaime's involvement in Bran's fall despite the fact that he had figured it out. And Tywin goes to war for Tyrion.

And the manner in which Tywin tells Tyrion about Robert's death in AGoT also implies he had no issue with the fact that the man was dead:

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“And what is our fearless monarch doing whilst all this ‘butcher’s work’ is being done?” he wondered. “How has my lovely and persuasive sister gotten Robert to agree to the imprisonment of his dear friend Ned?”

“Robert Baratheon is dead,” his father told him. “Your nephew reigns in King’s Landing.”

That did take Tyrion aback.

More importantly, we know Jaime joined his father after he fled the city - and at this point he certainly was in on Cersei's plots to get rid of Robert. He would have known about the melée plan and, possibly, even about the strongwine scenario (Cersei must have had such wine on the ready to use it during Robert's next hunt). In fact, it might be that the strongwine scenario was already the plan for the melée - get Robert so drunk that he gets himself killed or at least severely injured in the fighting. I mean, in the end, Robert wasn't murdered. The strongwine made him drunk, but it was just increasing the probability that he would have an accident. He still could have hit the boar before he ripped him to pieces - or he could have decided not to prevent Selmy and Renly from interfering with his kill.

The idea is not that Cersei wrote her father a detailed letter about her plans - but rather vaguely alluded to the fact that Robert might die soon, living as dangerous a life as he did.

If Cersei plotted to get Robert killed before Ned confronted her about the incest then he reasons for that might have met with Tywin's approval, especially he had known about Renly's plot to replace Cersei as queen - and even more so after Tyrion's abduction (because a living Robert could eventually become a problem in that scenario).

4 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

As for "the overall Lannister grab for power", I think that was motivated by the fears that cropped up late in Robert's regime which included the threat of twincest accusations being levelled against them. If Cersei's children aren't rejected as illegitimate but still next in the line of succession, Tywin might be unhappy about Cersei being removed, but I think he'd be less inclined to view that as requiring Robert be assassinated.

It is pretty clear the Lannisters as a family are pushing very hard to take over the government. Cersei certainly has her own ambitions, but they are - and always have been done - on behalf of her family. Tywin and Jaime (and even Tyrion) were to profit from all that, too. Tywin wanted to reclaim the Handship - this is how Tyrion introduces his father to the clansmen (before he knows Joffrey has named Tywin his new Hand):

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"May I present my lord father, Tywin son of Tytos of House Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, Warden of the West, Shield of Lannisport, and once and future Hand of the King."

 

4 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

I wouldn't say he knew for a fact, but he also had no information indicating she was dead.

Exactly. And the default approach in such a setting is that you don't take it as a given that your daughter is going to replace a living betrothed.

Still, though, if Tywin sat out the war then his chances to marry Cersei to a Robert lacking a betrothed would have been about as high as Mace Tyrell's chances to marry one of his sisters or cousins or nieces to either Robert or Stannis (who ended up marrying a Florent) were after the war. A royal bride can be part of marriage alliance, but it always is a sign of great favor, and always advances the bride's family.

If the Lannisters had stayed out of the war then Robert likely would have chosen his new bride from one of the families who fought with him - a Stormlander woman, one of the Vale, the Riverlands, or even another from the North instead of Cersei Lannister. That choice could have slighted the men who bled with him during the war.

And if had wanted to make a peace offer then he would have asked for a Dornish, Reach, or Crownlands bride - favor the cowards who stayed out of the entire war would have been the least likely course - especially not a house with as close ties to the Targaryens as the Lannisters.

4 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Sexuality seems less of a focus for the Faith in GRRM's writing than it was in the tv show. There's plenty of material in the books about the Dornish being regarded as different from other Westerosi, but I don't recall those passages singling out religion specifically.

 

On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 PM, frenin said:

@Lord Varys Avoiding the shunning of the new administration?? Avoiding any possible retaliation of the new administration, the new administration promoting other Houses in the west to rival the Lannisters... it's not about getting any rewards, it's about not being in the blacklist and what that could entail.

You just seem to overestimate the power a king who took power after a bloody civil war would have - especially in relation to as powerful a family as the Lannisters.

On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 PM, frenin said:

No it didn't, Tywin took a city the rebels were about to take, he wasn't in a position to demand much, Walder Frey (who puls the same sneaky) perfectly knows he's not getting nothing for arrive late to the party but he didn't want to end like poor old Lord Goodbrok when rebel leader Hoster comes up before his door demanding why the hell he didn't followed his liege, he knows he is getting nothing but he also knows he stands to lose a lot, so he jumps in, in the last minute, Tywin, as he says as much, does the same, Cerseor any juicy rewards wasn't in his mind when he made his move.

If you say so. I assume you know Tywin's mind much better than I do. The text doesn't seem to back you up there - Tywin continued to try to marry Cersei to Rhaegar or Viserys even after Aerys II had rejected her and Rhaegar had already married Elia Martell. That implies the man was rather tenacious in the pursuit of his own agenda. And since Tywin had already decided that Robert would be king when he turned against Aerys II it seems rather obvious he may have had a reward in his mind for his heroic pursuit of the Baratheon cause.

He may have planned to push Robert to dissolve the Stark betrothal, to use Cersei's beauty to seduce Robert to marry her rather than Lyanna, etc.

In any case, the Sack put Tywin in Robert's good graces - had that not happened Jon may have never entertained the notion of marrying Cersei to Robert, nor may Robert have considered the suggestion had he been approached by either Jon or Tywin himself.

On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 PM, frenin said:

Yeah but Caesar was dead after he decided attack Rome if he were to lose, just as Tywin is dead if a Targ comes to power and more specifically if Viserys comes to power.

Since Caesar pardoned many of the men he defeated, there is certainly also the chance that some of those men may have pardoned Caesar had they defeated him, no?

On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 PM, frenin said:

So when i say the Sack was Tywin's Rubicon, i think you understand perfectly what i'm saying, if i say Alea iacta est, i'm saying the same, Tywin had made his mind and had to stuck with his decision because there would be no longer a place for him in a Targ regime after the Sack.

Immediately thereafter, sure. But we are talking about a different Targaryen king, and fifteen years later, in a scenario where Cersei Lannister did not marry Robert Baratheon and Tywin Lannister may have completely different allegiances and plans how to advance his family.

If he felt side-tracked/ignored by Robert, if Cersei married into a family which played a crucial role in the restoration of Viserys III - let's say she married Willas Tyrell - then we are talking about a different scenario. One where it might be profitable for both Viserys III and Tywin Lannister to let bygones be bygones.

I mean, Viserys III certainly could not risk antagonizing the Tyrells by insisting that the their in-laws be destroyed if Tyrell men played a crucial role in restoring him to the throne, no?

On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 PM, frenin said:

You do keep discussing your own strawman here, Tywin betraying Robert because he already has royal grandsons in no way is comparable to Tywin betraying Robert for Viserys when the guy is coming for them, if I said that Ned is likely to betray Robert for Viserys because he already has betrayed him by not telling him he was raising Robert's greatest enemy. Is like apples to oranges painted red to look like apples.

Tywin would need a reason to betray Robert for Viserys III, certainly - a laid one out above. He wouldn't do that without a reason, but such a reason is easily imagined.

On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 PM, frenin said:

And Cregan didn't go on his mad quest because those regions actually surrendered, Cregan only had his northern armies and a few levies of the Riverlands to go an take on 3 Kingdoms with the mightiest castles, Viserys would have the power of all the Kingdoms and only would be dealing with the Westerlands, why Viserys could not trust on those levies i wonder?? He is sending them to attack one of the most reviled man in Westeros or do you think the rebels would just forget that the man has just betrayed their beloved Kongs and lieges?? 

Why would be Tywin particularly loathed fifteen years after the Sack in a scenario where Viserys III himself only reclaimed his throne in another, presumably bloody civil war? Wouldn't Viserys III himself be reasonably reviled in such a setting, having (possibly) eradicated all the Baratheons, Arryns, Tullys, and Starks he could find? You seem to be insisting that Viserys III would have to hate Tywin with every fiber of his being - but considering that in our scenario Tywin state out of the restoration war while the original rebels (Baratheons, Arryns, Starks, and Tullys) would have fought against Viserys III and his coalition it is rather obvious that Viserys III's hatred would have first been directed against those houses. And we can be reasonably sure that it would have opened rather severe wounds if he had given them all the same treatment the rebels previously had given his family.

The idea that he could count on the lords and people of great houses he utterly destroyed, including their women and children, doesn't convince me. That's like imagining the Freys and Boltons can now count on the loyalty of the Riverlanders and Northmen just because they are technically in charge right now.

On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 PM, frenin said:

The idea that after Tywin shows up to be a two times traitor and becomes a two times traitor and gets away with the murder is hilarious, the amount of people who would want to find out if he really does shit gold would be higher than Casterly Rock, the only outcome that is ludicrous is that in which Tywin simply walks away, even when absolutely everybody hates him, he still gets to walk away because he's Tywin, taking the Westerlands would somehow become harder than invading the North during the long night, Viserys would not and even if he does he'd be turned down, any hostages from the Westerlands families to ensure future loyalties and ease a possible invasion, he don't even tries to win over the westermen, those men, who reportedly only fear Tywin would somehow remain loyal etc, this scenario is a miracle more than a possibility.

Again, the scenario with Cersei's other husband - Willas Tyrell, in my example, but it could just as well be a Rowan or a Hightower or a Dayne or even one of the Targaryen loyalists in the Riverlands (Mooton, Darry, Whent, etc.) - could smoothen things out.

On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 PM, frenin said:

And if the Baratheons are dead, around whom those Baratheon loyalists would rally around?? 

Some distant cousin or some pretender of their own making. Or perhaps not all Baratheons are dead (some could have gotten away). The Blacks continued to fight even after Rhaenyra's death while her last son was Aegon II's hostage (meaning they were effectively without a pretender). The Faith Militant also fought against the Targaryens but not for some other pretender - just as the Brotherhood Without Banners did under Beric.

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16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Balon was pretty smart. He took on the weakest target in the War of the Five Kings, and if Euron hadn't killed him he could have kept all he gained, and perhaps even gained even more pieces of the North. The Starks don't have the resources to ever bring the war to the Iron Islands - unlike Tywin. He could and would have destroyed the Ironborn if they had targeted the West instead of the North.

The North lacks much in the way of wealth to be gained by raiding, and the Ironborn are much better at raiding by sea than holding inland territory. That's why they're all getting kicked out of the North, even after Robb was killed. The Ironborn have also destroyed the Lannister navy before, then it was Stannis who retaliated and defeated them at sea.

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You are making a lot of assumptions here that are not really backed up by the text. Tywin only starts to get skeptical about his dear daughter once thugs like Slynt are given Harrenhal, Joffrey executes Ned Stark, and plans to march the City Watch against Robb.

Elevating Slynt and dismissing Barristan are some of the first things she does after she takes power. Prior to that she's not really in a position to make political moves that would be public knowledge.

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Prior to that we get a lot of circumstantial evidence that Tywin and Cersei were in cahoots to deal with Robert. He commanded Tyrek and Lancel to obey Queen Cersei in all things when they were made Robert's squires, setting up the strongwine scenario, it seems as if one of Tywin's men - Lannister men - would have been the one to slay Robert in the melée (if that was a real plan), indicating the man may have known about that, and, most importantly, Cersei has Tywin named Hand of the King in absentia as soon as she has staged her coup and seized the regency government of King Joffrey. The latter implies that she must have been in contact with her father to offer him the Handship and get his approval.

The way Cersei controlled Lancel was to sleep with him. Kevan is very unhappy about that, and I doubt Tywin would have approved either. Jaime of course doesn't approve, but he also scoffs at the idea of using a third party to assassinate someone rather than doing it himself. When Littlefinger is pointing out spies in King's Landing, he mentions some belong to him, Varys, and the Queen rather than Tywin. The impression I get is that she has autonomy in King's Landing and is generally assumed to be acting on behalf of House Lannister. Pycelle and Ilyn Payne are regarded as being Tywin's men specifically rather than hers, but the former tells Tyrion he helped speed Jon Arryn to his grave due to a non-verbal cue from Cersei rather than being explicitly in on any of her assassination plans or instructions from Tywin, and the latter beheads Ned Stark despite it not being what Cersei or Tywin wanted. And your own quote about Tyrion expecting Tywin to be hand despite not being in cahoots with Cersei himself undercuts the conclusion you think his Handship implies.

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If that hadn't been the case then she could just as well have named Jaime the Hand - who was absent, too, but not yet imprisoned by the Starks. Jaime would have been her natural choice considering the fact that they were very close - the fact that this didn't happen implies that Cersei and Tywin were more on the same page at this time.

Cersei herself tells us why she doesn't name Jaime as Hand: he doesn't take anything seriously, whereas Tywin hates people laughing at him and had a long and accomplished tenure as Hand.

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Finally, Tywin's insistence that Cersei remarry only comes up after Stannis' letter and the damage it does to the Lannister cause. He decides it is necessary for both his twins to marry so those rumors can be put to rest. Without Stannis writing letters about the twincest he may never have suggested that either Cersei or Jaime remarry. He is also unhappy with Joffrey's education once he gets a good look on the new king. All that, in combination with Jaime's change after his return and Tyrion's changes during his stint as Acting Hand, greatly contributes to the fucked-up state the Lannisters are in around the time Tywin dies. They were always a dysfunctional family, but they still tried to work together and protect and advance each other. We have that in AGoT when Tyrion would never betray Cersei/Jaime's involvement in Bran's fall despite the fact that he had figured it out. And Tywin goes to war for Tyrion.

As you've noted, Tywin had done a lot of angling to get prestigious marriages for his first two children, and this was for political reasons. Jaime was taken away as a political pawn when Aerys inducted him into the Kingsguard, so I'll agree with you that Tywin was acting in response to the letter. However, there he was also reacting in response to the dismissal of Barristan, which was unprecedented within the kingsguard and undesirable in itself but also provided a precedent to give Jaime the out Tywin has long wanted for him. You didn't mention Tyrion, but he actually does wind up married for political reasons, and this might not have happened in a less chaotic scenario, as Tywin seemed to have given up on arranging a good marriage for him earlier. I think an unmarried Cersei still would have appeared to Tywin as too valuable a political token not to use though, even in the absence of Stannis' letter.

I agree that the Lannisters generally "try to work together and protect and advance each other", but to me that means that they don't always require explicit coordination between each other. Tyrion isn't told about how Bran fell, he just figured it out and went along with it.

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And the manner in which Tywin tells Tyrion about Robert's death in AGoT also implies he had no issue with the fact that the man was dead:

Nobody ever claimed Tywin and Robert were friends, Robert was rather open in his disdain for the Lannisters whom he nevertheless permitted a lot of influence. But Tywin is just delivering the facts rather than an opinion on them, and unlike with Littlefinger and the incest we get no indication that Tywin was expecting this.

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More importantly, we know Jaime joined his father after he fled the city - and at this point he certainly was in on Cersei's plots to get rid of Robert. He would have known about the melée plan and, possibly, even about the strongwine scenario (Cersei must have had such wine on the ready to use it during Robert's next hunt). In fact, it might be that the strongwine scenario was already the plan for the melée - get Robert so drunk that he gets himself killed or at least severely injured in the fighting. I mean, in the end, Robert wasn't murdered. The strongwine made him drunk, but it was just increasing the probability that he would have an accident. He still could have hit the boar before he ripped him to pieces - or he could have decided not to prevent Selmy and Renly from interfering with his kill.

Jaime might have wanted to kill Robert himself, so perhaps he would have been the man in the melee. Cersei actually had to take steps to prevent Jaime from incautiously killing Robert himself. As for the strongwine, Lancel confesses to both that and sleeping with Cersei to Jaime all in one scene, and I took that to mean both were news to Jaime, although only the latter was upsetting.

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The idea is not that Cersei wrote her father a detailed letter about her plans - but rather vaguely alluded to the fact that Robert might die soon, living as dangerous a life as he did.

That's plausible. Robert himself didn't seem to think he was going to live a long life, and didn't suspect foul play when he died.

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If Cersei plotted to get Robert killed before Ned confronted her about the incest then he reasons for that might have met with Tywin's approval, especially he had known about Renly's plot to replace Cersei as queen - and even more so after Tyrion's abduction (because a living Robert could eventually become a problem in that scenario).

Even before Ned confronted Cersei, I think we can assume that Pycelle relayed to her that he was following in Jon Arryn's footsteps regarding his genealogical research. After Tyrion is abducted and Gregor attacks the Riverlands, it is important that Robert doesn't survive to react. But the means chosen made his death far from a certainty that the Lannisters could rely on.

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It is pretty clear the Lannisters as a family are pushing very hard to take over the government. Cersei certainly has her own ambitions, but they are - and always have been done - on behalf of her family. Tywin and Jaime (and even Tyrion) were to profit from all that, too. Tywin wanted to reclaim the Handship - this is how Tyrion introduces his father to the clansmen (before he knows Joffrey has named Tywin his new Hand):

I think a number of people, including all the Lannisters, simply regard Tywin as the most competent person available to serve as Hand.

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If you say so. I assume you know Tywin's mind much better than I do. The text doesn't seem to back you up there - Tywin continued to try to marry Cersei to Rhaegar or Viserys even after Aerys II had rejected her and Rhaegar had already married Elia Martell. That implies the man was rather tenacious in the pursuit of his own agenda. And since Tywin had already decided that Robert would be king when he turned against Aerys II it seems rather obvious he may have had a reward in his mind for his heroic pursuit of the Baratheon cause.

Did Tywin try to get Rhaegar to marry Cersei after Rhaegar himself had married?

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On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Balon was pretty smart. He took on the weakest target in the War of the Five Kings, and if Euron hadn't killed him he could have kept all he gained, and perhaps even gained even more pieces of the North. The Starks don't have the resources to ever bring the war to the Iron Islands - unlike Tywin. He could and would have destroyed the Ironborn if they had targeted the West instead of the North.

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No, he wasn't,  He chose the only target he could never hold, the only reason why he had succes was because Robb was in the South, the Boltons were being treachearous and more importantly, because Theon was smart enough to take Winterfell, leaving the North in confussion and dissarray, had not been because of that, Balon's plan would've been doomed.

The only thing the Starks need to bring war into the Iron Islands is timber and they happened to have a whole lot of that.

 

On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

You just seem to overestimate the power a king who took power after a bloody civil war would have - especially in relation to as powerful a family as the Lannisters.

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Hmm Robert was capable of marginalizing the Tyrells and even place a threat inthe Reach by marrying his brother to the ambitious Florents, Robert could and would weak or shun any family he deemed untrustworthy.  And retaliations can come within time, not have to happen right away.

In a new administration, those who wanted favors would go to Robert and everyone thought the Targs were done for good, so Robert seemed to be around for a long time, as it happened, the idea that Robert wouldn't have the power to to slowly undermine Tywin, or to appoint other western house as the crown unofficial favourite is ludicrous.

 

On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

If you say so. I assume you know Tywin's mind much better than I do. The text doesn't seem to back you up there - Tywin continued to try to marry Cersei to Rhaegar or Viserys even after Aerys II had rejected her and Rhaegar had already married Elia Martell. That implies the man was rather tenacious in the pursuit of his own agenda. And since Tywin had already decided that Robert would be king when he turned against Aerys II it seems rather obvious he may have had a reward in his mind for his heroic pursuit of the Baratheon cause.

He may have planned to push Robert to dissolve the Stark betrothal, to use Cersei's beauty to seduce Robert to marry her rather than Lyanna, etc.

In any case, the Sack put Tywin in Robert's good graces - had that not happened Jon may have never entertained the notion of marrying Cersei to Robert, nor may Robert have considered the suggestion had he been approached by either Jon or Tywin himself.

You are just sharpshooting as usual, Tywin never said or even implied that he had a marriage proposal in mind, he only talks about the Lannisters being in the winning side that's that and Robert's intentions towards Lyanna were too well known so he could expect that just pushing him, Robert had literally waged a war for Lyanna, that idea sounds unreasonable.  Nor was Tywin the one who decided Robert would be King, the Trident decided that, Tywin just as Walder and  many others who jumped in the last minute knew there was a new King when Rhaegar fell and Tywin just as Walder didn't want to be on the losing side, that's all.

"Heroic pursuit"... Yeah, Tywin didn't do anything the rebels were not about to do, Tywin sneaking at the last time and stealing the win, won't get him any rewards and Tywin does seem to think that. because he never talks about him getting any rewards for the Sack.

Tywin waiting for Aerys to come to sense is one thing, Cersei was literally the most eligible maid back in the day, she literally was the only one available between the Great Houses, Elia, Lysa, Cat and Lyanna were all either married, bethrothed or soiled

Robert didn't care about marrying Cersei, there is no reason to assume that Robert was proner to marry her because of the Sack, Robert made clear he didn't want to marry after Lyanna died, period, not that he only wanted to marry loyalist, he made clear that he didn't want to do it, the razionalization behind the marriage is all old Jon's.

 

 

On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Since Caesar pardoned many of the men he defeated, there is certainly also the chance that some of those men may have pardoned Caesar had they defeated him, no?

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A doesn't imply B, You can be forgiving but that doesn't entail i have to be forgiving too.

 

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On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Immediately thereafter, sure. But we are talking about a different Targaryen king, and fifteen years later, in a scenario where Cersei Lannister did not marry Robert Baratheon and Tywin Lannister may have completely different allegiances and plans how to advance his family.

If he felt side-tracked/ignored by Robert, if Cersei married into a family which played a crucial role in the restoration of Viserys III - let's say she married Willas Tyrell - then we are talking about a different scenario. One where it might be profitable for both Viserys III and Tywin Lannister to let bygones be bygones.

I mean, Viserys III certainly could not risk antagonizing the Tyrells by insisting that the their in-laws be destroyed if Tyrell men played a crucial role in restoring him to the throne, no?

 

 

Since Viserys hates the usurper dogs as much as ever during AGOT i just don't have a reason to believe that his hatred would somehow vanish and since the Targ hatred wouldn't somehow vanish, Tywin had to aware that he won't be welcome in any Targ restoration, that at best his head and at worst his entire House are falling.

Lysa Arryn being married to Jon didn't stop her for killing him, not she even remorse for causing the fall of her House abd the death of her kin, Emmon Frey being married to Genna Lannister didn't stop the Twins for going to war with Robb and even when it stands to reason that Walder Frey wouldn't wan to see his kin being harmed, that doesn't mean he cared aout the fate House Lannister might suffer if Robb prevailed,  once Cersei marries Willas, she'd be a Tyrell and Mace wouldn't want her or her grandkids to suffer any harm but that doesn't mean he is going to facethe flames for Tywin, especially if enough of his own bannermen dislike the Lannisters, ie Rowan, in an scenario where Tywin backstabs his second King in a row, there woudn't be much hands raising for them.

 

On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Tywin would need a reason to betray Robert for Viserys III, certainly - a laid one out above. He wouldn't do that without a reason, but such a reason is easily imagined.

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 And i laid one rebuttal to your reason.  Robert was Tywin's only lifeboat.

 

On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Why would be Tywin particularly loathed fifteen years after the Sack in a scenario where Viserys III himself only reclaimed his throne in another, presumably bloody civil war? Wouldn't Viserys III himself be reasonably reviled in such a setting, having (possibly) eradicated all the Baratheons, Arryns, Tullys, and Starks he could find? You seem to be insisting that Viserys III would have to hate Tywin with every fiber of his being - but considering that in our scenario Tywin state out of the restoration war while the original rebels (Baratheons, Arryns, Starks, and Tullys) would have fought against Viserys III and his coalition it is rather obvious that Viserys III's hatred would have first been directed against those houses. And we can be reasonably sure that it would have opened rather severe wounds if he had given them all the same treatment the rebels previously had given his family.

The idea that he could count on the lords and people of great houses he utterly destroyed, including their women and children, doesn't convince me. That's like imagining the Freys and Boltons can now count on the loyalty of the Riverlanders and Northmen just because they are technically in charge right now.

Because in your own scenario, Tywin is not only despised for the Sack but he had again betrayed another King, how is that not going to leave a trail of resentment?? Viserys would have to deal with the STAB first in that much we can agree but, whether he open severe wounds or not he had to deal with Tywin next and no one is going to argue much against that command, or do you think the STAB's armies are just going to forgive and forget the fact that Tywin backstabbed Robert

If the Lannisters command the Riverlords to destroy House Frey, how many Riverlords do you think would refuse because they don't trust or hate the Lannisters?? I'll tell you how many, zero. Everoyne of them would gleefully take the chance of getting even with the Twins no matter whom gives the commands and that doesn't even mean that they are loyalists now, they just hate the Freys far more.

 

On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Again, the scenario with Cersei's other husband - Willas Tyrell, in my example, but it could just as well be a Rowan or a Hightower or a Dayne or even one of the Targaryen loyalists in the Riverlands (Mooton, Darry, Whent, etc.) - could smoothen things out.

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 Rowan and the Dornish won't marry Cersei, Hightower was also married and the Riverlords, if Mooton and Whent were still loyalist and we just don't have a reason to believe that, are simply not prominent enough to matter, Mace Tyrell also isn't exactly the bravest man, if he sees that enough people want Tywin put down, or if he sees a benefit fir it, he is not risking his new King's wrath because of Tywin.

 

On 9/28/2019 at 11:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Some distant cousin or some pretender of their own making. Or perhaps not all Baratheons are dead (some could have gotten away). The Blacks continued to fight even after Rhaenyra's death while her last son was Aegon II's hostage (meaning they were effectively without a pretender). The Faith Militant also fought against the Targaryens but not for some other pretender - just as the Brotherhood Without Banners did under Beric.

They are not making a Estermont King, not a chance, Aegon III wasn't dead, so he was effectively a pretender and even if Young Egg died, the Blacks had and heir in Rhaena and her sister,  the comparation with the Faith Militant is just absurd, a dynastic war is not the same as a religious crusade and we know that what Beric is doing isout of the norm.

 

@FictionIsntReal

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Sexuality seems less of a focus for the Faith in GRRM's writing than it was in the tv show. There's plenty of material in the books about the Dornish being regarded as different from other Westerosi, but I don't recall those passages singling out religion specifically.

In TWOIAF we are told that the Faith has always tried to lead the Dornish into the right direction or something or the sort, not that there is that much of a problem but the Rhoynar way of life strongly somethings of the Faith but the Oldtown just don't seem to care enough about that.

Edited by frenin

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On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

The North lacks much in the way of wealth to be gained by raiding, and the Ironborn are much better at raiding by sea than holding inland territory. That's why they're all getting kicked out of the North, even after Robb was killed. The Ironborn have also destroyed the Lannister navy before, then it was Stannis who retaliated and defeated them at sea.

Balon's assessment on his hold over the North seems accurate. Nobody in White Harbor or the eastern regions of the North lifted so much as a finger to help the Tallharts and Glovers to free themselves from the yoke.

The Northmen could only oust the Ironborn because Balon died and Victarion and Asha's forces left for the Kingsmoot and left on token forces back in the occupied castles.

I'm not saying the Ironborn would have conquered the entire North - that wasn't even the plan. But half of it (or perhaps only a third of it) most definitely.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Elevating Slynt and dismissing Barristan are some of the first things she does after she takes power. Prior to that she's not really in a position to make political moves that would be public knowledge.

That doesn't mean she wasn't scheming and influencing things behind the scenes. And Tywin would have known about that. The appointment of the squires indicates as much.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

The way Cersei controlled Lancel was to sleep with him. Kevan is very unhappy about that, and I doubt Tywin would have approved either.

You are confusing the time line. Cersei only sleeps with Lancel after Jaime fled the city and Robert died. Prior to that the only two men Cersei had ever slept with were - to our knowledge - Jaime and Robert. Lancel is a replacement for Jaime.

Cersei did not need sex to convince Lancel to give Robert a special skin of wine - and that's all he really did. He didn't kill him, nor did he something to him that was a great risk. The wine wasn't poisoned. If Lancel had killed Robert with his own hands or had actually put a poison in his wine or food we could, perhaps, assume that he demanded some reward in return.

But as things stand Lancel did what Cersei told him because Lord Tywin had commanded him to obey her in all things - and only later was he sort of rewarded by being allowed to have sex with the queen. I can see Cersei hinting at such a thing before Robert's death but there is no chance she would have slept with him while Jaime was still around.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Jaime of course doesn't approve, but he also scoffs at the idea of using a third party to assassinate someone rather than doing it himself. When Littlefinger is pointing out spies in King's Landing, he mentions some belong to him, Varys, and the Queen rather than Tywin. The impression I get is that she has autonomy in King's Landing and is generally assumed to be acting on behalf of House Lannister. Pycelle and Ilyn Payne are regarded as being Tywin's men specifically rather than hers, but the former tells Tyrion he helped speed Jon Arryn to his grave due to a non-verbal cue from Cersei rather than being explicitly in on any of her assassination plans or instructions from Tywin, and the latter beheads Ned Stark despite it not being what Cersei or Tywin wanted. And your own quote about Tyrion expecting Tywin to be hand despite not being in cahoots with Cersei himself undercuts the conclusion you think his Handship implies.

Well, I'm sure Cersei and Tywin were in cahoots - their agenda was to advance House Lannister at court whatever the cost. And Tywin clearly wanted the Handship back. Cersei may have preferred Jaime to Tywin, but she obviously reconsidered after Robert's death - most likely due to the fact that she needed the Lannister armies to keep Joff on the throne.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Cersei herself tells us why she doesn't name Jaime as Hand: he doesn't take anything seriously, whereas Tywin hates people laughing at him and had a long and accomplished tenure as Hand.

Cersei flat-out says back during the conversation between her and Jaime Bran overhears that Jaime should be Hand. Jaime doesn't want the office, but Cersei wants him to have it - just as she wants him to take it after their father's death in AFfC. She wants him at her side. She also gets angry, occassionally, about the fact that he doesn't take things seriously. But if asked Cersei 'Who do you want to be Hand?' when she was in a neutral/good mood her immediate gut answer would be: 'Jaime!'

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

As you've noted, Tywin had done a lot of angling to get prestigious marriages for his first two children, and this was for political reasons. Jaime was taken away as a political pawn when Aerys inducted him into the Kingsguard, so I'll agree with you that Tywin was acting in response to the letter. However, there he was also reacting in response to the dismissal of Barristan, which was unprecedented within the kingsguard and undesirable in itself but also provided a precedent to give Jaime the out Tywin has long wanted for him. You didn't mention Tyrion, but he actually does wind up married for political reasons, and this might not have happened in a less chaotic scenario, as Tywin seemed to have given up on arranging a good marriage for him earlier. I think an unmarried Cersei still would have appeared to Tywin as too valuable a political token not to use though, even in the absence of Stannis' letter.

The difference here is that Cersei was the Queen Regent after the coup. He served as Hand at her pleasure, not the other way around. Tywin would have to fight Cersei and take nominal power from her to force her to take another husband. That could have been an ugly thing. With Stannis' letters Tywin felt he had to do fight this battle - this would have been different if nobody had ever accused Cersei of adultery. Then Cersei could have lived out the remainder of her life as Queen Regent and later as Dowager Queen. And if she had intended to take another husband further down the road she could have married a man of her own choosing. There would have been no need for her father to involve herself in this issue to the degree he did.

Tyrion only comes up as a marriage candidate for Sansa because they have to act fast and Jaime isn't around. In fact, in Lancel had already recovered at the time he may have suggested him rather than Tyrion. They had no time to lose. It would not do to arrange a match and send for the Lannister cousin - they had to announce the wedding and go through with it the next day to prevent the Tyrells from meddling with Sansa in the future.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

I agree that the Lannisters generally "try to work together and protect and advance each other", but to me that means that they don't always require explicit coordination between each other. Tyrion isn't told about how Bran fell, he just figured it out and went along with it.

True enough. But I really don't think Tywin was the kind of man who did not see or expect that Cersei would remove their opponents at court, the king and his brothers included, by any means necessary.

And Cersei must have been in close contact with her father at least since Jaime fled the city (when she also learned about Tyrion's arrest), but possibly already since Jon Arryn's death and the politicking around the appointment of a new Hand. Cersei arranged for Tywin to accept Lord Robert Arryn as a ward, for instance.

Tywin would have wanted Cersei to know what to do at court with Robert in relation to his Riverlands plans, and Cersei would have wanted to inform her father about the things Ned and Robert did. And they both knew Pycelle would never inform either Robert or Ned about letters that came from Casterly Rock or letters Cersei sent to her father.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Nobody ever claimed Tywin and Robert were friends, Robert was rather open in his disdain for the Lannisters whom he nevertheless permitted a lot of influence. But Tywin is just delivering the facts rather than an opinion on them, and unlike with Littlefinger and the incest we get no indication that Tywin was expecting this.

I agree that I read something into those lines there. But if we consider that this man actually arranged the Red Wedding and the flooding of Castamere I really doubt he couldn't recognize a regicide when he saw one. And what Tywin knew or suspected about the twincest is unclear. I'd be surprised if he needed Stannis' letter to come up with the idea. And I really don't think he had issues with the concept as such. He married his first cousin, and he worshiped the Targaryens and desperately tried to marry his daughter to the Prince of Dragonstone. Tywin wanted to be a Targaryen, just as Lady Dustin wanted to be a Stark (and Ellyn Reyne wanted to be a Lannister). The fact that Aerys II did not want him and his daughter turned love into hatred, but subconsciously Tywin should have been proud of the fact that his golden twins 'pulled a Targaryen' behind everybody's back. He would never admit that, of course, because they could not take the sibling incest marriage route - and Cersei/Jaime's love messed with his dynastic plans - but I actually think he likes the fact that he is the only grandfather of his grandchildren, and they did not inherit any traits from the drunkard king and his ilk.

But that's just my take on the character.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Jaime might have wanted to kill Robert himself, so perhaps he would have been the man in the melee. Cersei actually had to take steps to prevent Jaime from incautiously killing Robert himself. As for the strongwine, Lancel confesses to both that and sleeping with Cersei to Jaime all in one scene, and I took that to mean both were news to Jaime, although only the latter was upsetting.

Not sure it would have been proper for a KG to fight the king in a melée. Nor do I think that Jaime was particularly eager to become a kingslayer all over again - especially not publicly. But who knows? That's difficult to say. I'd rather expect that Gregor, Sandor, or some other Lannister toady would have done the deed.

Lancel sees himself as a kingslayer, too. He ravages in his guilt in his newfound piety. But he isn't a murderer as such - not matter what he believes. All he did was increase the possibility that Robert would get himself killed. Sure, that's certainly treason to a point, but it isn't murder. If I gave you strongwine expecting that you would drive home thereafter and get yourself killed then I certainly would be a piece of shit - but I'd not be a murderer because I'd not be the guy who made you drive home. And Lancel did not make Robert want to kill the boar all by himself. Nor did he arrange for him to meet the boar when he was already so drunk that he the risk that he might get himself killed was very high.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

That's plausible. Robert himself didn't seem to think he was going to live a long life, and didn't suspect foul play when he died.

Robert says something along those lines, but one expects that he was thinking about dying, perhaps, in his late forties or early fifties. He is only in his early thirties when he dies. His way of life would indeed get him into an early grave compared to the few lucky bastards who lived to their seventies or eighties, but I doubt he expected to die before Myrcella and Tommen came of age.

Cersei certainly could have informed her father about the dangers they were in - Renly's plan to replace her as queen, Ned's hatred of the Lannisters and his hold over Robert, a variation of the Jon Arryn threat (he and Stannis were plotting against them, too, say, not the reason why they were a danger, merely that they were).

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Even before Ned confronted Cersei, I think we can assume that Pycelle relayed to her that he was following in Jon Arryn's footsteps regarding his genealogical research. After Tyrion is abducted and Gregor attacks the Riverlands, it is important that Robert doesn't survive to react. But the means chosen made his death far from a certainty that the Lannisters could rely on.

Sure, but we don't know if Cersei had a contingency plan for a scenario where neither the boar nor another hunting accident killed Robert. Would she have just had Sandor slay Robert in Maegor's Holdfast? Tried to arrange an accident there, say, on the drawbridge so he falls to his death on the spikes? We don't know.

But she must have had some ideas, possibly even escape plans should push come to shove. And one assumes she must have told some of those things to her father - say, that she and the children would need his help soon, that she might be forced to flee to him, that she might be forced to kill Robert/stage a coup to save them all, etc.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

I think a number of people, including all the Lannisters, simply regard Tywin as the most competent person available to serve as Hand.

I'm not sure Tyrion really is of that opinion, but it might be. In any case, part of the gist of that introduction is that Tyrion expects his father to become Hand of the King again in the future - something that wouldn't work if he thought the man no longer coveted the office. Then he may have said something like 'greatest Hand of the King in living memory'.

On 9/29/2019 at 5:29 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Did Tywin try to get Rhaegar to marry Cersei after Rhaegar himself had married?

Yeah. He called Cersei to court to wait either for Elia's death in childbirth or until Prince Viserys was old enough to marry. And one also assumes part of the plan was to get Cersei to eventually woo either of those princes. Just like Otto and Alicent Hightower did it with Viserys I.

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If Balon was smart, he would have raised the Westerlands instead of the North.

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On 9/30/2019 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

Balon's assessment on his hold over the North seems accurate. Nobody in White Harbor or the eastern regions of the North lifted so much as a finger to help the Tallharts and Glovers to free themselves from the yoke.

The Northmen could only oust the Ironborn because Balon died and Victarion and Asha's forces left for the Kingsmoot and left on token forces back in the occupied castles.

I'm not saying the Ironborn would have conquered the entire North - that wasn't even the plan. But half of it (or perhaps only a third of it) most definitely.

The North was rather busy at the time warring south of the neck. At any rate the low productivity of northern land means you can't extract much wealth per acre, and the Ironborn would have real disadvantages at holding any inland acres. Harwyn Hoare went after the Riverlands rather than the North for a reason.

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That doesn't mean she wasn't scheming and influencing things behind the scenes. And Tywin would have known about that. The appointment of the squires indicates as much.

The appointment of squires was both a matter of public knowledge and a common thing for in-laws to do. Whether Tywin would know about things Cersei kept secret from others is another story.

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You are confusing the time line. Cersei only sleeps with Lancel after Jaime fled the city and Robert died. Prior to that the only two men Cersei had ever slept with were - to our knowledge - Jaime and Robert. Lancel is a replacement for Jaime.

Cersei attempts to seduce Ned, brings it up as her natural respond to any man other than the presumably unreceptive Stannis, and actually does sleep with Osney Kettleblack in order to get him to carry out her plans, and Taena Merryweather both to cultivate an informant and because Cersei feels like it. Given how reflexively she goes for that move, I'm guess that it wasn't just Robert and Jaime even at that point, although that would just be guessing.

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The difference here is that Cersei was the Queen Regent after the coup. He served as Hand at her pleasure, not the other way around. Tywin would have to fight Cersei and take nominal power from her to force her to take another husband. That could have been an ugly thing. With Stannis' letters Tywin felt he had to do fight this battle - this would have been different if nobody had ever accused Cersei of adultery. Then Cersei could have lived out the remainder of her life as Queen Regent and later as Dowager Queen. And if she had intended to take another husband further down the road she could have married a man of her own choosing. There would have been no need for her father to involve herself in this issue to the degree he did.

I think Tywin might feel entitled to order his offspring around regardless. He's always been willing to do the ugly thing, escalating further than anyone else is willing to.

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True enough. But I really don't think Tywin was the kind of man who did not see or expect that Cersei would remove their opponents at court, the king and his brothers included, by any means necessary.

Robert ruled for many years without any Lannister opponents that we know of being pushed aside. The first absence on the Small Council that we know of was Jon Arryn, whose investigation did pose a threat to the Lannisters but turned out to be caused by Littlefinger. Stannis flees of his own volition while Renly sticks around and is only eventually eliminated by Stannis. The one the Lannisters can take credit for is Ned Stark.

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And Cersei must have been in close contact with her father at least since Jaime fled the city (when she also learned about Tyrion's arrest), but possibly already since Jon Arryn's death and the politicking around the appointment of a new Hand. Cersei arranged for Tywin to accept Lord Robert Arryn as a ward, for instance.

Tywin would know about the ward he was accepting, but that was also something Robert was on-board with.

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Tywin would have wanted Cersei to know what to do at court with Robert in relation to his Riverlands plans, and Cersei would have wanted to inform her father about the things Ned and Robert did. And they both knew Pycelle would never inform either Robert or Ned about letters that came from Casterly Rock or letters Cersei sent to her father.

Tywin presumably would have wanted to know about the plan to dismiss Barristan Selmy and replace him with Sandor Clegane, along with elevating Janos Slynt to lord of Harrenhall, but he wasn't informed and he didn't get to give any input until it already happened. So just because he might have wanted to know what Cersei was up to didn't mean he always did. Her planning to assassinate the king is something I could definitely see her not telling her father, who would have probably come up with more reliable means of accomplishing that.

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I agree that I read something into those lines there. But if we consider that this man actually arranged the Red Wedding and the flooding of Castamere I really doubt he couldn't recognize a regicide when he saw one. And what Tywin knew or suspected about the twincest is unclear. I'd be surprised if he needed Stannis' letter to come up with the idea. And I really don't think he had issues with the concept as such. He married his first cousin, and he worshiped the Targaryens and desperately tried to marry his daughter to the Prince of Dragonstone. Tywin wanted to be a Targaryen, just as Lady Dustin wanted to be a Stark (and Ellyn Reyne wanted to be a Lannister). The fact that Aerys II did not want him and his daughter turned love into hatred, but subconsciously Tywin should have been proud of the fact that his golden twins 'pulled a Targaryen' behind everybody's back. He would never admit that, of course, because they could not take the sibling incest marriage route - and Cersei/Jaime's love messed with his dynastic plans - but I actually think he likes the fact that he is the only grandfather of his grandchildren, and they did not inherit any traits from the drunkard king and his ilk.

But that's just my take on the character.

Tywin's method is terror, retaliating on such a large scale that his enemies learn that they will regret opposing him. We don't know of him hiring any faceless men or having anyone poisoned.

Your view of his take on the Targaryens is very much your own. I really don't think he "worshiped" them, rather he served them because they were in charge. His captain of the guard openly expressed disrespect for the king relative to Tywin, and Tywin himself was able to terribly betray them easily enough. Tywin married his cousin, but that's common in westeros, whereas sibling incest is regarded as an abomination. Tywin seems to be colder than most westerosi, but I don't think his attitude toward sex and marriage is that distinct.

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Not sure it would have been proper for a KG to fight the king in a melée. Nor do I think that Jaime was particularly eager to become a kingslayer all over again - especially not publicly. But who knows? That's difficult to say. I'd rather expect that Gregor, Sandor, or some other Lannister toady would have done the deed.

Ned and Barristan argue that it wouldn't be proper for any man to fight the king, so you've got a point there. Regarding Jaime though, he says he would have killed Robert had he woken up during the tryst with Cersei, and Cersei finds the threat from him credible enough that she has to hide the bruises Robert sometimes gives her.

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Cersei certainly could have informed her father about the dangers they were in - Renly's plan to replace her as queen, Ned's hatred of the Lannisters and his hold over Robert, a variation of the Jon Arryn threat (he and Stannis were plotting against them, too, say, not the reason why they were a danger, merely that they were).

I think the nature of the threat Jon Arryn posed would be rather important in reasoning over how to counter it. Ned's hatred of the Lannisters wouldn't exactly be news.

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Sure, but we don't know if Cersei had a contingency plan for a scenario where neither the boar nor another hunting accident killed Robert. Would she have just had Sandor slay Robert in Maegor's Holdfast? Tried to arrange an accident there, say, on the drawbridge so he falls to his death on the spikes? We don't know.

But she must have had some ideas, possibly even escape plans should push come to shove. And one assumes she must have told some of those things to her father - say, that she and the children would need his help soon, that she might be forced to flee to him, that she might be forced to kill Robert/stage a coup to save them all, etc.

It's not like she had a contingency plan when Robert didn't participate in the melee. The strongwine might even have been an impulsive move after Robert struck her. Cersei appears to be bad at planning, so there might not have been a plan at all.

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13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The North was rather busy at the time warring south of the neck. At any rate the low productivity of northern land means you can't extract much wealth per acre, and the Ironborn would have real disadvantages at holding any inland acres. Harwyn Hoare went after the Riverlands rather than the North for a reason.

Whether it would have been profitable is a different question. However, it seems to me that the Iron Islands are indeed less fertile than certain regions in the North. I mean, Asha seriously believes Sea Dragon Point would be a gain for the Ironborn.

How far inland the power of the Ironborn would eventually stretch is a different question, but it seems clear they could have kept a chunk of the North.

Especially since Balon was correct in his assessment that Tywin would crush Robb. If he had lived and Vic had never left Moat Cailin then the Boltons and Freys would have been unable to return north and neither Stannis nor the Boltons would have been able to retake Deepwood and Moat Cailin.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The appointment of squires was both a matter of public knowledge and a common thing for in-laws to do. Whether Tywin would know about things Cersei kept secret from others is another story.

Sure enough, but it is still very telling that Tywin commanded his nephews to obey Cersei in all things. That borders on treason considering that they were the king's own squires...

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Cersei attempts to seduce Ned, brings it up as her natural respond to any man other than the presumably unreceptive Stannis, and actually does sleep with Osney Kettleblack in order to get him to carry out her plans, and Taena Merryweather both to cultivate an informant and because Cersei feels like it. Given how reflexively she goes for that move, I'm guess that it wasn't just Robert and Jaime even at that point, although that would just be guessing.

There is no evidence for that. It strikes me as completely unlikely that she would have had another affair with both Robert and Jaime constantly around her.

Osney only gets to sleep with Cersei after he delivered - after he had murdered Tyrion's High Septon. Cersei knows that men are attracted to her, but the promise of sex isn't the same as actually having sex. Lancel offered Cersei comfort in the difficult times after Robert's death - he was essentially a replacement for Jaime. She didn't even need the sex to control him - in fact, it seems sleeping with Cersei what made Lancel arrogant and over-confident.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

I think Tywin might feel entitled to order his offspring around regardless. He's always been willing to do the ugly thing, escalating further than anyone else is willing to.

But the fact remains that the reason why Tywin says Cersei and Jaime have to (re-)marry is because of the rumors about the incest. That's the reasoning behind that - in Jaime's case there is also the fact that Jaime is his heir and should continue the line of Casterly Rock, of course, but there was no need to force Cersei into another marriage if they hadn't to deal with the incest thing. He may also have suggested it considering marriages could have helped them strengthen the ties to various allies, but the crucial thing are the incest rumors.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Robert ruled for many years without any Lannister opponents that we know of being pushed aside. The first absence on the Small Council that we know of was Jon Arryn, whose investigation did pose a threat to the Lannisters but turned out to be caused by Littlefinger. Stannis flees of his own volition while Renly sticks around and is only eventually eliminated by Stannis. The one the Lannisters can take credit for is Ned Stark.

True enough. However, we don't know any details about Robert's reigns nor the previous Master(s) of Coin or Master(s) of Law. Renly and Littlefinger are both rather recent additions to the council. Could very well be that Cersei had had a role in removing those people.

And one has to keep in mind that Cersei seems to be only rather recently been concerned about Robert becoming unruly and Renly plotting to replace her.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Tywin would know about the ward he was accepting, but that was also something Robert was on-board with.

Sure, and Robert himself says that Tywin offered to take the boy as ward - which, if correct, means Tywin must have written about that to court, which he only would have done if Cersei contacted him about that first.

And considering that this was a hostage situation with Cersei planning to use Lord Robert as a hostage against Lysa and what she may have known about the incest, Cersei would also have to inform her father at least about the fact that Lord Robert would have to suffer and/or die if Lysa would misbehave.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Tywin presumably would have wanted to know about the plan to dismiss Barristan Selmy and replace him with Sandor Clegane, along with elevating Janos Slynt to lord of Harrenhall, but he wasn't informed and he didn't get to give any input until it already happened. So just because he might have wanted to know what Cersei was up to didn't mean he always did. Her planning to assassinate the king is something I could definitely see her not telling her father, who would have probably come up with more reliable means of accomplishing that.

Tywin was in the field later, which would have made contact with him more difficult. Not to mention that rather quick decisions had to be made around the time of the coup.

But it is clear, for instance, that Tywin was told and accepted the offer to be made Hand - else the royal announcement that Lord Tywin is Ned's replacement as Hand would be meaningless. Robert could also only announce that Ned was Hand after Ned had accepted the position.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Tywin's method is terror, retaliating on such a large scale that his enemies learn that they will regret opposing him. We don't know of him hiring any faceless men or having anyone poisoned.

True enough. But we know he imagined the Red Wedding as an arrow gone astray - i.e. a murder disguised as a hunting accident - so he clearly is aware of that kind of thing.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Your view of his take on the Targaryens is very much your own. I really don't think he "worshiped" them, rather he served them because they were in charge. His captain of the guard openly expressed disrespect for the king relative to Tywin, and Tywin himself was able to terribly betray them easily enough. Tywin married his cousin, but that's common in westeros, whereas sibling incest is regarded as an abomination. Tywin seems to be colder than most westerosi, but I don't think his attitude toward sex and marriage is that distinct.

Tywin paid back the debts of the Iron Throne from the days of Jaehaerys II with Lannister gold! Something he doesn't even consider doing for his own royal grandsons. That shows a level of devotion that's unseen in Tywin Lannister. This was back at the beginning of Aerys II's reign, of course, but it - as well as his later attempts to make Cersei Rhaegar's wife or his hopes that Aerys II would sent for Tywin after Merryweather failed - shows the man's behavior is more that of a spurned lover.

The Payne incident happened at a time when the friendship on Aerys II's was essentially over.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Ned and Barristan argue that it wouldn't be proper for any man to fight the king, so you've got a point there. Regarding Jaime though, he says he would have killed Robert had he woken up during the tryst with Cersei, and Cersei finds the threat from him credible enough that she has to hide the bruises Robert sometimes gives her.

That's Jaime doing something rash. The other thing would be Jaime premeditating another king's murder. I don't think he would have been eager to do that. In fact, it seems rather clear he also simply snapped and decided spontaneously to murder Aerys II. It was the message in which the king commanded him to bring him his father's head.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

I think the nature of the threat Jon Arryn posed would be rather important in reasoning over how to counter it. Ned's hatred of the Lannisters wouldn't exactly be news.

I guess it could have been enough to tell Tywin he had problems with Cersei and Lannister influence at court. I'm not sure how well known Ned's feelings for the Lannisters were. He hadn't been at court for years and time could have changed things.

13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

It's not like she had a contingency plan when Robert didn't participate in the melee. The strongwine might even have been an impulsive move after Robert struck her. Cersei appears to be bad at planning, so there might not have been a plan at all.

The strongwine may have already been a part of the melée plan. Easier to get Robert killed, maimed, or injured if he is too drunk to properly fight or defend himself.

The idea Cersei suddenly had a rather special strongwine at the ready when she needed it is not all that convincing to me.

According to Varys Ned killed Robert by telling Cersei about the incest. If that's correct then Cersei sent word to Lancel after the conversation in the godswood which was quite some time after Robert had started hunting.

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On 10/6/2019 at 12:25 PM, Lord Varys said:

How far inland the power of the Ironborn would eventually stretch is a different question, but it seems clear they could have kept a chunk of the North.

I wouldn't say it's "clear". England wasn't able to keep any land in France, although it took roughly a century to fully kick them out. The Iron Islands are just a bunch of pirates who never seem to demonstrate much competence in fighting on land or holding it.

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Especially since Balon was correct in his assessment that Tywin would crush Robb. If he had lived and Vic had never left Moat Cailin then the Boltons and Freys would have been unable to return north and neither Stannis nor the Boltons would have been able to retake Deepwood and Moat Cailin.

Balon winds up being correct as a result of a chain of events sparked from his own actions, which wind up benefiting the Lannisters much more than the Ironborn. If he had attacked elsewhere Tywin would have been too busy to do anything about it, and the other kings would only have considered it any kind of priority if they were Balon's new target. Stannis didn't get to attack the Ironborn because he took Moat Cailin first, but because he sailed around the east coast. It's an extra difficulty, but it's not impossible. Robb also seemed to think that Howland Reed's crannogmen could get around it in order to attack from the north.

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Sure enough, but it is still very telling that Tywin commanded his nephews to obey Cersei in all things. That borders on treason considering that they were the king's own squires...

It could be viewed that way, and I'd agree that Tywin prioritizes loyalty to his own house over loyalty to any king not of his bloodline. But it also doesn't require him to know or approve of the particulars of what Cersei got up to. I don't think he expected the fiasco that would ensue in King's Landing, perhaps because Cersei hadn't engaged in such high-stakes plotting before, or at least not to his knowledge.

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There is no evidence for that. It strikes me as completely unlikely that she would have had another affair with both Robert and Jaime constantly around her.

Perhaps. I also think that if Cersei really had married Rhaegar, she wouldn't have given up her affair with Jaime. When she met with Maggy the Frog, she was hoping to marry Rhaegar while also believing that Jaime belonged solely to her.

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True enough. However, we don't know any details about Robert's reigns nor the previous Master(s) of Coin or Master(s) of Law. Renly and Littlefinger are both rather recent additions to the council. Could very well be that Cersei had had a role in removing those people.

As we don't know anything about them, I don't think we have any reason to think Cersei had anything to do with their absence. Renly and Littlefinger don't seem like they would have been her preferred candidates for any position.

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And one has to keep in mind that Cersei seems to be only rather recently been concerned about Robert becoming unruly and Renly plotting to replace her.

I think you're right, although I also think she's hated Robert for much longer.

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True enough. But we know he imagined the Red Wedding as an arrow gone astray - i.e. a murder disguised as a hunting accident - so he clearly is aware of that kind of thing.

I know Cersei and Randyll Tarley have talked in such terms, but I don't recall Tywin doing so. I suppose his proposal to assault Duskendale and crown Rhaegar if Aerys happens to die would be close.

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Tywin paid back the debts of the Iron Throne from the days of Jaehaerys II with Lannister gold! Something he doesn't even consider doing for his own royal grandsons. That shows a level of devotion that's unseen in Tywin Lannister. This was back at the beginning of Aerys II's reign, of course, but it - as well as his later attempts to make Cersei Rhaegar's wife or his hopes that Aerys II would sent for Tywin after Merryweather failed - shows the man's behavior is more that of a spurned lover.

I think Tywin wants proximity to power, but certainly by the time Merryweather is hand he's no longer in "worship" mode.

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The Payne incident happened at a time when the friendship on Aerys II's was essentially over.

Aside from merely being a spat between friends, there was a policy manifestation of their dispute. Tywin was regarded as an able administrator, which is what Payne was referring to, and Aerys was undermining his decisions out of simple jealousy and spite. I think Tywin is proud enough of his own wisdom that he would have been angry even if Aerys hadn't misbehaved toward Joanna.

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The idea Cersei suddenly had a rather special strongwine at the ready when she needed it is not all that convincing to me.

How rare is strongwine? I don't think it's something like the Strangler that wouldn't be easy to get ahold of. My guess is that it would be rather easy for the royal retinue to obtain some, particularly as the King is a big drinker anyway.

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