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An entire royal line wiped out in one battle?

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For Mern IX Gardner to have had all his possible successors accompanying him at the Field of Fire is ridiculously foolish.

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His four sons rode beside him, and both of his young grandsons attended him as squires.

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King Mern IX was amongst the dead, together with his sons, grandsons, brothers, cousins, and other kin. One nephew survived for three days. When he died of his burns, House Gardener died with him.

The World of Ice and Fire - The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest

Shouldn't he have left at least one of them behind at Highgarden (a designated survivor so to speak)? They had to have known they wouldn't have much of a chance against dragons, seemingly having had no defense against them. In the days leading up to the Battle of Hastings, Gyrth had suggested to King Harold, that he be the one to engage William of Normandy in the field and that Harold, himself, face him in London. Harold ignored such advice, and he and two of his brothers died at Hastings. Harold had sons who had apparently survived him, and are only said to have disappeared from history in the 1070's.

One possibility is that they didn't all die at the Field of Fire, but Maester Yandel simply had to erase their names from history to appease House Tyrell. After all, he did minimize the roles Ned Stark and Stannis Baratheon played in Robert's Rebellion to placate the Lannisters.

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Maybe. Maesters are treacherous creatures, it wouldn't surprise me if Yandel lied about it too.

Or perharps Mern was just a arrogant king that thought his host was undefeatable.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, All Things Ice and Fire said:

For Mern IX Gardner to have had all his possible successors accompanying him at the Field of Fire is ridiculously foolish.

Sure, but that's what he did.

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Shouldn't he have left at least one of them behind at Highgarden (a designated survivor so to speak)?

Would have been smart for the house, but he didn't do that, either.

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They had to have known they wouldn't have much of a chance against dragons, seemingly having had no defense against them.

No, apparently the man actually believed they could defeat the Targaryens. Perhaps not the dragons, but their army, and he and Loren apparently thought that would somehow break their power.

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In the days leading up to the Battle of Hastings, Gyrth had suggested to King Harold, that he be the one to engage William of Normandy in the field and that Harold, himself, face him in London. Harold ignored such advice, and he and two of his brothers died at Hastings. Harold had sons who had apparently survived him, and are only said to have disappeared from history in the 1070's.

Harold had a very bad claim to the English throne, not being an Aetheling himself, so his sons simply were not much of a threat to William and his successors - unlike Edward the Confessor's actual blood relations who continued to vex the Normans for quite some time, and who only stopped doing that after Henry I had married one of their women.

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One possibility is that they didn't all die at the Field of Fire, but Maester Yandel simply had to erase their names from history to appease House Tyrell. After all, he did minimize the roles Ned Stark and Stannis Baratheon played in Robert's Rebellion to placate the Lannisters.

Sound like nonsense to me. Yandel has no need to please House Tyrell by messing with dead history (and the Conquest is very dead history) especially since it is common knowledge that the Gardeners were extinct on the Field of Fire (it is also not Yandel who wrote the account of the Conquest but Gyldayn).

All we need to make sense of the Gardener extinction is that the house was about as numerous in the royal branch as are the Starks or Targaryens during the main series. If they were, due to some tragedies, infertile queens, accidents, plagues, etc., down to only King Mern IX, his sons and grandsons and the few nephews and close cousins the man apparently had, then it is rather easy to imagine how the Field of Fire effectively extinguished the Gardeners.

Make no mistake, the bloodline was not eradicated, but the ruling male branch was gone after that. But there are claims that Septon Matheus was a descendant of Mern IX (or his brother or uncle), most likely through the female line, and we do have every reason to believe that the Florents are actually descended from a sister or daughter of King Mern IX (in fact, it might be that the name is Septon Matheus (Gardener) Florent), and there clearly were other noble houses of the Reach - pretty much all of them, most likely - who had intermarried with the Gardeners in the past centuries, all having various degrees of Gardener blood. The Tyrells are some of those who don't have that much Gardener blood despite the fact that history apparently records nine Gardener daughters who married into House Tyrell.

However, you must keep in mind that this is a medieval society. The nobility certainly are obsessed with their family trees and bloodlines and ancestors, but they live in a rather primitive society, and they lack the means to actually properly keep track of all their ancestors and their many cousins. I mean, the Iron Throne has no clue who Lord Gyles Rosby's legal heir is. The man died recently, and a couple of claimants have come forth. They now have to rule on that thing, they don't *know* who the rightful heir is.

Edited by Lord Varys

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How do you know that King Mern IX was also following the advice of his steward Harlen Tyrell? Margery has implied that may have been the case.

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2 hours ago, M.Alhazred said:

How do you know that King Mern IX was also following the advice of his steward Harlen Tyrell? Margery has implied that may have been the case.

That is show nonsense.

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Sure, he should've left a male from his bloodline behind but he didn't.  The male line of House Gardener ended  at the field of fire but the female line survived. 

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21 hours ago, All Things Ice and Fire said:

For Mern IX Gardner to have had all his possible successors accompanying him at the Field of Fire is ridiculously foolish.

Trying to charge a flying dragon with cavalry (which can't fly) is ridiculously foolish. Mern (as well as many of his colleagues) was a silly man.

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2 hours ago, Myrish Lace said:

Trying to charge a flying dragon with cavalry (which can't fly) is ridiculously foolish. Mern (as well as many of his colleagues) was a silly man.

Prhaps he thought Aegon had honour.

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4 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

That would be stupidity, not honour

From Mern's side? Surely, but no one can deny that dragons are a coward's weapon

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9 hours ago, The Hoare said:

From Mern's side? Surely, but no one can deny that dragons are a coward's weapon

No, from Aegon’s side if he went to battle with dragons and decided to fight without them. Call it cowardly if you want but far rather live as a coward than die as an idealistic twit

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Posted (edited)
On 6/17/2019 at 12:35 AM, All Things Ice and Fire said:

For Mern IX Gardner to have had all his possible successors accompanying him at the Field of Fire is ridiculously foolish.

The World of Ice and Fire - The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest

Shouldn't he have left at least one of them behind at Highgarden (a designated survivor so to speak)? They had to have known they wouldn't have much of a chance against dragons, seemingly having had no defense against them. In the days leading up to the Battle of Hastings, Gyrth had suggested to King Harold, that he be the one to engage William of Normandy in the field and that Harold, himself, face him in London. Harold ignored such advice, and he and two of his brothers died at Hastings. Harold had sons who had apparently survived him, and are only said to have disappeared from history in the 1070's.

One possibility is that they didn't all die at the Field of Fire, but Maester Yandel simply had to erase their names from history to appease House Tyrell. After all, he did minimize the roles Ned Stark and Stannis Baratheon played in Robert's Rebellion to placate the Lannisters.

It is quite possible some of Gardner's survived but lacked power to rise again, and merged with other Houses or were omitted from records by maesters as inconsequential, and lot of Reach houses anyway claims origin from Garth Greendhand.

I found interesting part in  show Histories and Lore: House Tyrell by Margery Tyrell which insinuates that their stewards had part in downfall of the Gardners ( I doubt it is a canon though).

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Our Words are Growing Strong and  under our stewardship, Reach did just that and so did we.

Until a blundering king almost cost us everything. Aegon Targaryen had landed in Westeros. King Mern allied us with the Rock to repel the upstart's army. One can only marvel King Mern did not reconsider when he saw
living dragons against him. Perhaps he should have sought counsel from his trusted stewards before he set out, then again perhaps he did...

 

 

Edited by Eltharion21

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What´s odd is that between four sons, Mern had precisely 2 grandsons old enough to ride as squires - but no babies too young for war.

Nor daughters. Nor granddaughters. Nor sisters, nieces or aunts.

Harrenhal of Hoares was burnt. Any noncombatants - underage boys or daughters not married off elsewhere - burnt with Harren.

 

But Highgarden was not burnt. So, with a minimum of 12 adult males (Mern, specified 4 sons, 2 grandsons,. minimum 2 brothers, 2 cousins, 1 nephew), it is odd that there was not a single underage boy and not a single woman.

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9 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

No, from Aegon’s side if he went to battle with dragons and decided to fight without them. Call it cowardly if you want but far rather live as a coward than die as an idealistic twit

Then don't fight at all

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5 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

It is quite possible some of Gardner's survived but lacked power to rise again, and merged with other Houses or were omitted from records by maesters as inconsequential, and lot of Reach houses anyway claims origin from Garth Greendhand.

We know one such alleged descendant in Septon Matheus - although I think he is a Gardener descendant through the female line, no Gardener himself). If there had been close male line Gardener cousins left one should have expected uprisings from them in the decades after the Conquest.

5 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

I found interesting part in  show Histories and Lore: House Tyrell by Margery Tyrell which insinuates that their stewards had part in downfall of the Gardners ( I doubt it is a canon though).

That is indeed show nonsense and a rather clichéd take on the thing in my opinion, playing up the role of House Tyrell to enormous proportions.

4 hours ago, Jaak said:

But Highgarden was not burnt. So, with a minimum of 12 adult males (Mern, specified 4 sons, 2 grandsons,. minimum 2 brothers, 2 cousins, 1 nephew), it is odd that there was not a single underage boy and not a single woman.

This is as odd as Jaehaerys I's eight adult children only producing four legitimate grandchildren.

And while no female kin or descendants of King Mern IX are mentioned, we can be reasonably sure that such people did exist. And one of them would have recently married into House Florent.

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Some years prior to the Conquest the King of the Reach, Garse VII, was slain in battle. I guess it is reasonable to assume that he was not the only Gardener who died that day (a king is usually well protected, if he dies, the people around him use to die as well), so that could be one of the reasons why there were not that many male Gardeners of the main branch at the time of the Conquest.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know one such alleged descendant in Septon Matheus - although I think he is a Gardener descendant through the female line, no Gardener himself). If there had been close male line Gardener cousins left one should have expected uprisings from them in the decades after the Conquest.

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If there was descendant from male line in Aegon I's time he would give them to Faith, Citadel and Night's Watch. After all, Targaryen kings force their own kin to join these organizations to avoid bloodshed/succession crisis. Not sure about others, but in Night's Watch these Gardener descendants would learn true meaning of duty from LC Hoare.

Edited by Prince Yourwetdream Aeryn

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Arryns fought, destroyed Targaryen fleet and Master of Ships. Surviving Arryns got a second chance to yield. Loren Lannister fought, and not only that - he was captured. He got second chance to yield, too. So why should legitimate Gardeners, if surviving, have been disinherited?

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Posted (edited)

In Medieveal society it was a big honor for a Lord if he and  his kin led the armies and so Mern Gardener asked for the honor since he had the bigger host. Also most people don't really realise how medieval battles worked, people believe that one of the two armies was erased but this is a very rare case. In most medieval battles only around 10% of the army or even less died, the rest retreated or surrendered. So it is quite possible that Mern just didn't expect ALL his kin to die in one battle, especially in that one battle where they had the biggest host in the history of Westeros. Dragons were a wild card back then after all, noone knew how to measure their strength, Even many Northmen wanted to fight the Targaryens in open field and that was AFTER the Field of Fire.

Edited by Dreadscythe95

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