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Stannis is the man....nis

The problem with Bran being king narrative wise

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There have been a lot of thoughts given on why Bran becoming king in the way he did was utterly ridiculous and felt unearned. I myself have shared a lot pf the same feelings but it wasn't until rewatching the last council scene that it dawned on what the real problem is. He leaves the small council to go find Drogon and let them run the country. So he doesn't have any real interest in ruling and instead leaves it to the council to do it. You know who that sounds similar to...….Robert Baratheon! It hit me like a lighting bolt but the story has gone back to square one with a king who doesn't have any real interest in running the country which is how this whole mess got started in the first place. So after all the misery Westeros has gone through they get stuck right back were everything was in season 1 and nothing has truly changed. Which is horrible storytelling and why it causes such a problem narrative wise

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Yeah, exactly...what happened to realpolitik? 

Is Bloodraven going to give Bran any ruling lessons? You'd think he would since he, ya know, ruled...

King Arthur as Merlin who becomes a god-king is really...weird. Don't get me wrong, I like Bran and I prefer him over a Targaryen restoration any day, but its making me question his writing abilities, because what he says in interviews doesnt match with the story (Bran's tax policy, anyone?) and what he is trying to convey about history and stories just becomes a jumbled mess in TV and in book form. 

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Posted (edited)

From time to time, a king has difficult decisions to take, taxes, wars... whatever. And if he is not loved by his people, if he is not listening to them, showing compassion and sharing the plight, it will go bad. Margaery, Robert, Aegon V, Mance Rayder and others knew it. But Bran is a freak, he is suited for ruling from the background, master of spies, counselor. But he isn't for the figure of authority, the leader, the "Father".

Edited by BalerionTheCat

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Posted (edited)

GRRM's world really minimizes the role of king across the board compared to other works.

Aegon I was hands off. The Targs held the kingdoms together for so long because in general they were hands off with the other kingdoms basically letting them roll as they've always done. The Targs didn't place representatives in each kingdom and try to meddle. It was Aerys who really meddled with various kingdoms' inner workings and we saw a rebellion come from that.

With Robert, we saw that it was the Counsel which ruled and Robert only stepped in on big things, or what he perceived to be big things like yet another tourney. In GRRM's world, it's the people who pull the strings which really hold power, not so much the kings themselves, hence Varys and LF having a drastically out-of-proportion influence on the events of the books. We see the role of counsel in Dany's arc, as well. The free-cities are often ruled as triarchs or with a more complex and realistic system of rule than the single autocratic monarch.

When we look at how our society tends to portray kingship and how it should function, yeah, Bran's a weird fit. But in ASOIAF as it's actually written, Bran's being the keel of the ship and leaving the day-to-day rule to a diverse bunch of counselors fits right in. GRRM seems deeply skeptical of the autocratic monarch (Aerys, Cersei & Dany going off the rails as their counselors were lost or lesser quality) and sees rule by a number of voices to be a more solid choice.

 

Edited by Lollygag

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11 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

GRRM's world really minimizes the role of king across the board compared to other works.

Aegon I was hands off. The Targs held the kingdoms together for so long because in general they were hands off with the other kingdoms basically letting them roll as they've always done. The Targs didn't place representatives in each kingdom and try to meddle. It was Aerys who really meddled with various kingdoms' inner workings and we saw a rebellion come from that.

With Robert, we saw that it was the Counsel which ruled and Robert only stepped in on big things, or what he perceived to be big things like yet another tourney. In GRRM's world, it's the people who pull the strings which really hold power, not so much the kings themselves, hence Varys and LF having a drastically out-of-proportion influence on the events of the books. We see the role of counsel in Dany's arc, as well. The free-cities are often ruled as triarchs or with a more complex and realistic system of rule than the single autocratic monarch.

When we look at how our society tends to portray kingship and how it should function, yeah, Bran's a weird fit. But in ASOIAF as it's actually written, Bran's being the keel of the ship and leaving the day-to-day rule to a diverse bunch of counselors fits right in. GRRM seems deeply skeptical of the autocratic monarch (Aerys, Cersei & Dany going off the rails as their counselors were lost or lesser quality) and sees rule by a number of voices to be a more solid choice.

 

Jaeherys I wasn't quite that hands off, between him and his wife, a lot of new laws were made. And despite this, he had the longest reign. And real-life monarchs left a lot of day to day activities to lesser people, too, it's not an ASOIAF thing.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

Jaeherys I wasn't quite that hands off, between him and his wife, a lot of new laws were made. And despite this, he had the longest reign. And real-life monarchs left a lot of day to day activities to lesser people, too, it's not an ASOIAF thing.

I stick to ASOIAF proper (like most readers) and have only done a very spotty read of TWOIAF (got it mainly because of the pretty pictures!) From what I've picked up here and there on the forum, though, J was pretty engaged with the Westerosi which means their condition was a major influence in his decisions. Message being that this is where the strong monarch can work well because his prioritizing the condition of his people is an indirect rule by many voices. Def correct me if I have the wrong impression, though. Sansa's ending fits this message as she claims independence because it's the only thing the Northerners will accept and she eats with them, talks to them, knows their conditions, their needs, so even if Sansa ended with the trappings of the stereotypical high fantasy monarchy, that wasn't how she operated.

I imagine some kings left day-to-day rule to others as there were all kinds. I'm like most people and can't be bothered to pay attention to the rl history of monarchies so I can't speak to that.

Edited by Lollygag

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2 hours ago, Lollygag said:

GRRM's world really minimizes the role of king across the board compared to other works.

Most of GRRM kings are cruel, weak, stupid, uncaring... Most of them believe, once they (or their ancestor) won on the battlefield, they can do what they want. The "bend the knee" ceremony prevents anyone to betray or work against them. They can treat anyone as their slave. They own land and people. Every time it ends in blood and rebellion.

From Mance Rayder and Jon, maybe Doran Martell too, I believe GRRM is telling the king should serve his people, not the other way. Mance died rather than doing what was against the good of his people. Power bring responsibility, not irresponsibility.

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19 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

From Mance Rayder and Jon, maybe Doran Martell too, I believe GRRM is telling the king should serve his people, not the other way. Mance died rather than doing what was against the good of his people. Power bring responsibility, not irresponsibility.

The show wrote this confusingly. Tormund asked how many had to die because of Mance's pride because he didnt bend the knee. I guess they were trying to convey that Mance should have bent the knee rather than attacking the Watch in an unnecessary war. All they were asking for was aid, but he felt he had to go to war? I felt like they were trying to retrofit this into Jon's dilemma with Dany.

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17 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The show wrote this confusingly. Tormund asked how many had to die because of Mance's pride because he didnt bend the knee. I guess they were trying to convey that Mance should have bent the knee rather than attacking the Watch in an unnecessary war. All they were asking for was aid, but he felt he had to go to war? I felt like they were trying to retrofit this into Jon's dilemma with Dany.

But Mance said, "Fuck my pride." ... "It's better than betraying everything I believe." ... "If you can't understand why I won't enlist my people in a foreigner's war, there's no point explaining."

It's not whether it was the right or wrong decision. Apparently the right given Stannis fate. Mance was not knowing the future. He was doing what he thought best for his people.

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30 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

But Mance said, "Fuck my pride." ... "It's better than betraying everything I believe." ... "If you can't understand why I won't enlist my people in a foreigner's war, there's no point explaining."

It's not whether it was the right or wrong decision. Apparently the right given Stannis fate. Mance was not knowing the future. He was doing what he thought best for his people.

Why do you think they had Tormund criticize Mance then?

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On 6/20/2019 at 9:43 PM, Stannis is the man....nis said:

There have been a lot of thoughts given on why Bran becoming king in the way he did was utterly ridiculous and felt unearned. I myself have shared a lot pf the same feelings but it wasn't until rewatching the last council scene that it dawned on what the real problem is. He leaves the small council to go find Drogon and let them run the country. So he doesn't have any real interest in ruling and instead leaves it to the council to do it.

Bran has a comparative advantage in finding Drogon, which is a rather important animal. I don't think we can assume he won't be doing any governance. Bran had done that sort of thing in Winterfell while Robb was away.

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1 hour ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Why do you think they had Tormund criticize Mance then?

I was surprised Tormund said that. At the time, it was obvious bending the knee would have been an error. Whether facing Ramsay, Cersei or Daenerys, they would all be dead now. The Free Folks are not calling themselves such for naught. I put it on inconsistent writing by D&D.

But I believe, it's not about kneeling. Sam: "You've also spared men. Thousands of wildlings when they refused to kneel."

But about pride. Not Mance's clearly, Tormund is wrong here. But Jon and Daenerys. Sam again: "You gave up your crown to save your people. Would she do the same?"

 

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4 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

I was surprised Tormund said that. At the time, it was obvious bending the knee would have been an error. Whether facing Ramsay, Cersei or Daenerys, they would all be dead now. The Free Folks are not calling themselves such for naught. I put it on inconsistent writing by D&D.

But I believe, it's not about kneeling. Sam: "You've also spared men. Thousands of wildlings when they refused to kneel."

But about pride. Not Mance's clearly, Tormund is wrong here. But Jon and Daenerys. Sam again: "You gave up your crown to save your people. Would she do the same?"

That's why I think Tormund may have been talking about the attack on the Wall, because he said people died because of his pride. The writing is unclear because no one died except Mance when Stannis threatened him. I could agree with Tormund if that's the case; war wasnt the best way to solve their problem, bending the knee and joining the realm was. 

I loved that line by Sam. I also like Tormund telling Jon he'll never be a kneeler again.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

But Mance said, "Fuck my pride." ... "It's better than betraying everything I believe." ... "If you can't understand why I won't enlist my people in a foreigner's war, there's no point explaining."

It's not whether it was the right or wrong decision. Apparently the right given Stannis fate. Mance was not knowing the future. He was doing what he thought best for his people.

Mance's and the wildlings bending the knee is nearly like asking if normal people would rather die or live like slaves... What is the point of them surviving if they loose what makes them wildlings? 

Mance was totally right in not bending the knee because he had the war for the wall won with few casualties for his side. He couldn t predict that Stan is would appear and crush him... And afterwards bending the knee would be like selling his people to Stannis... Jon saved the wildlings in more ways than one by understanding them and making a deal good for everybody. 

Jon and Danny are a totally different scenario. Jon doesn t have the means to fight Danny and the way of life of the northerns would t change that much if he bends the knee... It is a matter os discussing the terms of surrender... 

The show just didn t understand why the wildlings wouldnt bend the knee. And made Jon and the northerns completly stupid with northern independence even against 3 dragons, 100K dothriaki, Cersei and an army of the dead... It was just stupid. 

Edited by divica

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6 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

That's why I think Tormund may have been talking about the attack on the Wall, because he said people died because of his pride.

But Thorne, Slynt and their like ruled the Wall. No deal was possible then. Not much better I feel in Mormont and Ned time. Ned wasn't the king, he couldn't accept the Wildlings in Robert's kingdom. Beside, there was a deep hatred for men like The Weeper, Rattleshirt, the Magnar of Thenn and others.

Mance took 20 years or so to unify, not submit, most of the FF under his leadership. No way they would bend the knee. It's not Mance's pride who killed them. But their own pride. Tormund first of them... Not their pride. The price of their freedom.

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41 minutes ago, divica said:

Jon and Danny are a totally different scenario.

It is more a remake of Torrhen Stark. "You gave up your crown to save your people". Mance had not this authority on his people. They are not sheep following their king.

48 minutes ago, divica said:

the way of life of the northerns would t change that much if he bends the knee...

Don't know if Dany would be like other Targaryens. But Jon thought he could teach her how to deal with the North.

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42 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

But Thorne, Slynt and their like ruled the Wall. No deal was possible then. Not much better I feel in Mormont and Ned time. Ned wasn't the king, he couldn't accept the Wildlings in Robert's kingdom. Beside, there was a deep hatred for men like The Weeper, Rattleshirt, the Magnar of Thenn and others.

Mance took 20 years or so to unify, not submit, most of the FF under his leadership. No way they would bend the knee. It's not Mance's pride who killed them. But their own pride. Tormund first of them... Not their pride. The price of their freedom.

But they were preparing for war during Mormont's time, and the war was pointless and solved nothing anyway?

I'm guessing you disagree with Tormund here. I don't really care, I still think its confusing writing. They didnt explain this deeply enough. 

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37 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

But they were preparing for war during Mormont's time, and the war was pointless and solved nothing anyway?

I'm guessing you disagree with Tormund here. I don't really care, I still think its confusing writing. They didnt explain this deeply enough. 

I agree it's confusing writing. I don't think many FF would say what Tormund said. But given Ned beheading a NW brother without caring for what he said. Given Mance having the care of coming to WF to see the king and his court. Do you think he came for holidays? Mance looked for alternatives. But I don't think he had any possibility of avoiding his people to bleed.

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