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What was Renly's plan (after Robert's death) if he didn't know about the twincest?

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That's just bad form and a very ugly thing to do.

But necessary to be able to survive the Lannisters.

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The reason why I think Renly knew he would lay claim to the throne the moment he knew Robert would die is the fact that he acted as swiftly as he did

Escaping KL after Ned refused him is exactly what someone in fear for his life would do. And he was right to, because Ned's betrayed that very day, his guard and household slaughtered. Renly would have gone the same way. It has nothing to do with planning to take a throne.

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and never tried to make common cause with Stannis against the Lannisters. 

Stannis had been ignoring everyone for half a year or more at this point. It's no real surprise that Renly considered Stannis to have basically abandoned the field, and so no one to turn to for help.

Stannis literally waits for months to pass after Robert's death before he makes a formal claim to the throne, basically waiting to see how everything falls out before he lifts a finger.  Renly's able to get to Highgarden and then wait ~1 month before finally moving to claim a crown, and in all that time Stannis does or says nothing, and it looks like it takes at least another month or so before he proclaims in his own right. If he wanted to show he planned to get involved, he had opportunity and time to do it well before Renly married Margaery and claimed the crown, but he simply didn't. Which is why Renly assumes Stannis will not contest him, and is as surprised as can be to find Stannis has laid Storm's End to siege.

 

Edited by Ran

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sorry, that's no argument. You can have a plan without giving a crap about Mace Tyrell's mother, and you can be mistaken about power structures - which Renly wasn't, but even if I granted that he was here, what Renly and Loras (and possibly Mace) had there was still 'a plan'.

Even if Olenna Tyrell was the actual true ruler of Highgarden treating her son publicly in the ridiculous manner he was treated in the show, then this would all still be irrelevant - because the man deciding whether Margaery would be marrying King Robert or not would be King Robert. Olenna could not have possibly opposed the Margaery marrying the king. That's simply impossible. Even a great lord couldn't have opposed that, even if he had wanted to. Because refusing the king in such manners risks angering the king - there is a reason why Cat tells Ned he has to accept Robert's offer.

How do you know that? Have you ask Lady Olenna? Do you know how exactly the betrothal ended and whether Lady Olenna has reason to believe her version of the story or not? I don't think so. And there is nothing wrong with the way Luthor Tyrell died. He rode over a cliff - such things do happen.

Olenna makes it very clear that Mace wants his daughter to be queen. That's his desire, not hers. You are just ignoring the text here, and give basically no reason why you think she should be lying there - nor evidence that she does.

You also ignore Olenna's own words in the Renly thing - she makes it crystal clear that she never liked Renly, did not want to support him, and basically thought the fool was mad because of his Targaryen blood.

It is true that the Willas-Sansa match is a plan Olenna has come up with, and that she doesn't intend to tell Mace their true purpose when she asks him to demand from Tywin that she take Sansa for a visit to Highgarden. But one assumes part of the reason here is that she doesn't want Mace to appear suspicious when he asks Tywin - we can be reasonably certain that Mace would actually like the idea of marrying his heir to the presumptive heiress of Winterfell.

But this is actually a secret plan she plans to prepare (and possibly execute) behind her son's back. She doesn't run things, she uses clandestine means to get what she wants. This is actually the opposite of running things behind the scenes.

When he decides to crown and support 'King Renly' against his mother's objections. Also, when he decides to marry his daughter to King Joffrey, insisting that the Lannisters accept Loras in the Kingsguard.

Definitely not since Olenna isn't even in the capital at that point.

Pretty much nothing of that is idiocy, actually. Mace Tyrell's interests are different from Kevan's. Mace cares more about his daughter than about King Tommen. If Margaery is not acquitted one way or another, House Tyrell will no longer support King Tommen. They might actually do their best to destroy the Lannisters then to punish them for the shit Cersei pulled.

It is not stupid to put the Faith back into place - something suggested by Tarly rather than Mace - it is also rather smart to put pressure on Kevan to ensure that Margaery gets acquitted and Cersei properly punished since King Tommen is dependent on the Tyrell armies. Mace does not act because, when push comes to shove, he could just side with Aegon/Connington or stand aside while they slaughter the Lannisters.

He can still rather easily set aside his daughter's marriage with Tommen. It has never been consummated.

There is simply no textual evidence for any of them. Essentially all evidence we have that discusses those issues makes it clear that Olenna had nothing to do with any of that.

Mace insisted that Tyrion be convicted. Whether he knows that his son and mother poisoned Joffrey is unclear at this point. He could know - or not.

The fact that Olenna did not tell Mace about the Willas-Sansa plan could imply that she didn't tell him about Joffrey, either, but it seems clear that Margaery, Garlan, and Alerie all knew.

Can you give us any subtext where Olenna Redwyne makes it clear she wants the Iron Throne? And one what do you base those rather ridiculous ideas that Olenna would never have wanted her granddaughter be a second queen? 

Mace was open to the idea, he didn't exactly 'want it'. Tywin thinks he convinced him that this was a good idea, but we don't know how accurate Tywin's assessment was. I certainly buy that Olenna helped dissuade Mace here, in part because it is quite clear Olenna never wanted Cersei at Highgarden married to her grandson after she just arranged the murder of Cersei's son. That would be both risky and bad form. But, of course, Cersei's age and character also spoke against her.

But there is also the chance that Mace himself had doubts on the matter, and was welcoming his mother's arguments against the marriage proposal, giving him the pretext to reject the idea.

You stretch things too far when you insist that Mace wouldn't have been consulted on the matter of the marriage. What we know is merely that Olenna did not intend to tell him when he asked Tywin to allow Sansa to go to Highgarden. Whether Olenna would not inform her son before the marriage actually took place is quite another matter entirely.

But here it is quite clear that Olenna is effectively doing nothing but helping her son to fulfill his own ambitions. It is Mace who wants to advance House Tyrell, not Olenna. Olenna is a Redwyne, she is from a much nobler and more ancient bloodline than her son. She doesn't really a descendant of hers on the Iron Throne or at the side of a king to feel respected. Mace's ambitions may actually go back to his father Luthor. He was supposed to marry a Targaryen princess who then became a queen at her brother's side. Being rejected like that must have been much harder for Luthor than it ever was Olenna (who likely never had much use for Daeron the Gay). And Mace happens to be the son of a mother and a father who were both rejected as spouses by the royal family. Knowing that must have been a hard pill to swallow, helping to explain the ambitions he developed for his children.

You have been given a lot of that already. Your reading of both Renly's scheme and Olenna's assessment of both Renly's and her son's ambitions simply make no sense in this regard. I mean, even George clarified once on his blog that in his opinion the Mace Tyrell in the dreadful show is an amalgamation of his Mace Tyrell (an ambitious yet not necessarily particularly smart or subtle lord of great power) and his Ser Harys Swyft (who is basically a spineless, cowardly moron) - making it crystal clear that George doesn't even remotely think Mace Tyrell is his mother's hand puppet.

Lady Olenna certainly has a lot of influence in Highgarden, and possibly more influence over her son than the average lady dowager of a great seat as over her son, the ruling lord. But she clearly does not run things - neither up front nor behind the scenes.

Showing Robert a drawing of Margaery and thinking that he will upend his marriage and his kingdom in order to have her is not a "plan." It is a half-baked scheme. I can easily see Mace going along with this because he is that big of a fool. But Lady O? No way. Her goal is to make Margaery the queen so that a Tyrell will sit the IT. Being second queen with children that are three places away from the real prize is not something she would countenance. It's like saying, "I could have a brand new Ferrari if I want, but I'll take this top-line Hyundai instead."

How do you know she is telling the truth? Have you asked her? We can see she is lying because she contradicts this characterization of Mace a few minutes later in the very same conversation. And later, we learn that she can easily overrule Mace's inclinations when it comes to marriages, and we see how easily swayed Mace is by those around him, literally never coming up with an idea of his own or insisting upon and getting his way. Never, not once.

First off, 18yo Olenna Redwyne would not have the power to simply end her betrothal to Daeron Targaryen. This is a highly advantageous match for House Redwyne, and Lord Runceford would never allow his daughter, no matter how headstrong, to simply end it. Secondly, we know why the deal was canceled: Daeron saw his older brothers and sisters defy their parents, so he did as well in order to be with his boyfriend. So Daeron had a clear and compelling reason to call it off while Olenna had neither the motive nor the ability to. Ergo, Olenna is lying here.

There are so many things wrong with Luthor's story that it's hard to know where to begin. First off, horses do not simply walk off cliffs just because you tell them to. Horses do not have death wishes and they are perfectly capable of telling the difference between solid ground and empty air. So maybe Luthor was at a full gallop, crashed through a thick hedge and found himself at a cliff, or maybe the horse caught a root or the ground gave way under them. But he most definitely did not ride off a cliff just because he was not watching where he was going. The horse most certainly was.

But this is not the only problem with this story. Anybody who knows the first thing about falconry is that you're not supposed to be moving at all when your bird is in the air. The hawk is not your pet, it does not come back to you no matter where you are. It homes back to is original location, which is why you keep it hooded until you are ready to release it. If you let your bird go and then move to another place, the chances are very high that you will never see your bird again, and perhaps 1000 man-hours of training fly off on the wind. The whole point of hawking, after all, is you get to sit and watch while the bird gets the prey and your dogs retrieve it for you.

Secondly, there is absolutely no reason why Lord Luthor should be anywhere near a cliff if he is out hawking. The way it works is the bird takes the prey, kills it in the air and then drops it. Then your retrievers bring it back to you. If you are at a cliff, then all that happens is the bird drops the prey to the bottom of the cliff while you and your dogs are at the top with perhaps miles of ground to cross before they can get it. This is why hawking is done in fields and marshes and perhaps lightly wooded areas, but never anywhere near a cliff. The Tyrells have a long history of raising and training the finest birds in the land. Even if Luthor himself is clueless about all of this, his trainers and huntsmen and other party members are not.

So once again, a big fat steaming turd by Lady Olenna.

Even a king cannot marry a highborn maiden against her father's wishes, not unless he wants a war on his hands. Only complete fools like Joffrey thinks a king can do whatever he wants; those with half a brain realize that there are practical realities to ruling a kingdom, and one of those realities is that people don't look favorably on kings who flout sacred church institutions like marriage and steal high lord's daughters without so much as a thank you, let alone a fat dowry. If Robert had carte blanche in this regard, then there wouldn't have been any reason to arrange his marriage to Cersei as part of an alliance, he would just take her; he wouldn't bother asking Ned for Sansa's hand to Joffrey, he would just order it. Tyrion would not treat with the Martells to betroth Myrcella to Trystane, he would just command it in Joffrey's name. The Lannisters would not have to negotiate with the Tyrells for Margaery, they would simply demand her, upon pain of death.

Olenna is speaking to Sansa Stark, one of the most gullible characters in the book, so only the most gullible of readers can fail to see the lie here, particularly when it is contradicted at multiple points later in the text, including a few minutes later by Lady Olenna herself. But the best lies are always mixed with the truth, so she probably never did like Renly. But so what? You don't wed your daughter to a prospective king because you like him. You wed your daughter to make her queen, which itself is only a means to the real prize: your grandson ruling over the entire kingdom. This is the Game of Thrones, not the Game of Marrying Your Daughter to a Nice Man.

No, we can reasonably assume that Mace would be abhorred at the thought of marrying his son and heir to the daughter of a traitor, the sister of a rebel and the ward/hostage that they have winkled away from crown, jeopardizing the alliance they need to keep Margaery's crown. And he would feel this way until his mother sits him down and spins whatever tale she needs to convince him otherwise, and then he would be perfectly OK with it. This is the dynamic between mother and son that has been clearly and convincingly laid out in the text, over and over again.

Yes, a secret plan behind her son's back, one that will have consequences for House Tyrell for a generation. And yet still you maintain the fiction that Mace is the one in charge here and he decides how things are to be done. This "secret plan" would be inconceivable if Mace had any real authority to prevent it from happening, so this is just more proof positive that Lady Olenna is the real power in Highgarden.

Again, the only reason you think Renly-Margaery was against his mother's objections is because she says it was, and she is clearly and very obviously lying. And as we learn later, it was Lady Olenna who made the agreement with Petyr for Joffrey's betrothal while Mace dithered a blustered, and it was Petyr who put the idea of Loras on the Kingsguard into Mace's head, manipulating him into thinking it was his own. Mace is literally a leaf on the wind, going wherever it carries him.

So she's not in the capital. Ever heard of ravens, riders? And this isn't likely to be something that Mace and Olenna would disagree on anyway, nor would Tarly, or even Kevan for that matter. So sorry once again, but Mace doing what everybody agrees he should be doing is not proof of his independent, take-charge personality. Come on, Varys, Mace is Hand of the King and he has the only army anywhere near the capital. One word from him and he could remove both Kevan and Cersei from the Red Keep, take Tommon under his command, issue a royal decree that Margaery is innocent and then rule as both Hand and Regent for the next decade. He doesn't do this -- not because he sees that it's a foolish idea that would create more problems than it solves but because he has no idea that he has the strongest hand in the capital. Mace is politically, militarily and intellectually illiterate, which is why he always does what other people tell him, particularly his mother.

Lol, I can't show you subtext. You have to see it on your own. But Lady Olenna being the one to negotiate the Lannister alliance and betrothal, not Mace. Lady Olenna being the one to try to assassinate Tyrion, not Joffrey, because she sees the existential threat that Lannister control of the north brings to Highgarden. Lady Olenna craftily navigating her way through a hopelessly patriarchal society to become the titular head of the most powerful house in the kingdom. This woman has been playing the Game of Thrones all her life, and like any good lord, her objective is to acquire and maintain political power for House Tyrell -- all other concerns, including the health and happiness of herself and her descendants, is secondary. If you can't see it yet, then me pointing all of this out for you won't convince you of anything. You'll just have to wait until the subtext makes its way to the actual text.

Mace was "disposed" to the Willas-Cersei match. Of course it wasn't his idea because Mace has never had an original idea in his life. But he did want to move ahead on it until his mother told him what a bad idea it was, and then Mace "decided" not to go through with it. Once again, Lady Olenna's will overruling the inclinations of her oaf lord son.

Sure, Mace would have been "consulted" on the Sansa-Willas marriage, and part of this consultation would be Lady O telling Mace why it needed to happen, and if necessary hector and browbeat him into submission -- just like she did with Cersie's engagement and just like she did outside of Tywin's funeral. Each and every time we see or hear of them interacting, it is Lady O telling Mace what to do, never the other way around. The only person who claims otherwise is Lady Olenna herself, and as I've demonstrated, she reveals that lie with her own words.

 

 

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Ran said:

But necessary to be able to survive the Lannisters.

So you don't think Renly and Ned together could have been able to enforce Ned's installation as Lord Regent? In a setting where the City Watch would have not been invited into the castle? I say the chances for that wouldn't have been bad.

36 minutes ago, Ran said:

Escaping KL after Ned refused him is exactly what someone in fear for his life would do. And he was right to, because Ned's betrayed that very day, his guard and household slaughtered. Renly would have gone the same way. It has nothing to do with planning to take a throne.

Somebody fearing for his life would not try to usurp the throne - that's the deed of an ambitious man who is prepared to do everything it takes to get what he wants. Cersei judged Renly correctly - she was right about his plans to destroy her, and, perhaps, also about his plans to destroy her children - which were also, in Renly's mind, the children of his brother Robert.

A man acting from fear would have been less cocksure in ACoK and he would have called his banners and strengthened his defenses in the Stormlands.

And as I think I've rather poignantly laid out a couple of times already - in a succession crisis Renly was a potential asset to Cersei. With both Ned and Stannis making problems, Renly could have been Joffrey and Cersei's savior, not their enemy. The fact that he didn't even tried to come to terms with Cersei shows what he was after in the end.

36 minutes ago, Ran said:

Stannis had been ignoring everyone for half a year or more at this point. It's no real surprise that Renly considered Stannis to have basically abandoned the field, and so no one to turn to for help.

But since Renly himself actually assumes Stannis will stand with him against the Lannisters in his conversation with Catelyn (before the news about Storm's End reach them) it is clear that he thinks Stannis will also oppose Joffrey. Which means in Renly's mind they could have made common cause - that they did not is due to Renly rushing to his own coronation. Which is what he wants.

All we know about Renly's character - which is little enough - proves the man was very fond of himself. He wanted to shine, to be at the center of attention, and that's what leads him to want to be the king.

And it is quite clear that Ned means nothing to Renly. They are not close, they have no meaningful connection or interaction before their last conversation in AGoT. Renly did not just develop the notion that a crown would suit him better than both Robert and Stannis - and that he would be a much better king than either of them - just because Ned rejected his offer.

Wanting to be king if you are not the heir is a rather important decision. It is a decision that can get you killed. No one makes such a decision lightly, not even a vapid guy like Renly. At least in my opinion.

I don't think he was rotten enough to try to usurp the throne while he had no reason to believe Robert would die. But the boar provided him with an opportunity.

36 minutes ago, Ran said:

Stannis literally waits for months to pass after Robert's death before he makes a formal claim to the throne, basically waiting to see how everything falls out before he lifts a finger.  Renly's able to get to Highgarden and then wait ~1 month before finally moving to claim a crown, and in all that time Stannis does or says nothing, and it looks like it takes at least another month or so before he proclaims in his own right. If he wanted to show he planned to get involved, he had opportunity and time to do it well before Renly married Margaery and claimed the crown, but he simply didn't. Which is why Renly assumes Stannis will not contest him, and is as surprised as can be to find Stannis has laid Storm's End to siege.

Stannis may have only belatedly learned of Robert's death - nobody at court would have sent a raven to Dragonstone with the news. But he has long since crowned himself in the Prologue of ACoK, and he hast sent Davos out to talk to various Stormlords weeks before.

He certainly also refuses to reach out to Renly, but that's another problem.

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Posted (edited)

I imagine he had a checklist

1. Chow down on Loras

2. Marry Margeary

3. Proclamation of Kingship and send ravens

3.5 PARTY

4. Rally the Reach

5. Rally the Stormlands

5.5 PARTY

6. Take the Throne

6.5 PARTY

7. Give Stannis Storms End/destroy Stannis, whichever suits

8. Execute Cersei & Joffrey and maybe the other children, or perhaps keep them quiet another way

8.5 Allow Loras to chow down on him

9. Subjugate Tywin Lannister and the Westerlands

10. Subjugate Robb Stark and the North

9 & 10 are interchangeable depending on the mood, location and resources of Rob and Tywin

10.5 PARTY

11. Chow down on Loras

 

 

 

 

Were it not for a shadowbaby it was a simple and brilliantly effective plan

Edited by FitzChivalry Fartseer

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

So you don't think Renly and Ned together could have been able to enforce Ned's installation as Lord Regent? In a setting where the City Watch would have not been invited into the castle? I say the chances for that wouldn't have been bad.

If Renly had stayed despite Ned not accepting his plan, Ned maybe wouldn't have turned to Littlefinger... though he probably would have, to be honest, because he was actually calculating on having Renly's help regardless (as he thinks to himself when Renly fled) and still sought the City Watch.

But when he rejected Renly's offer to do the tactically smart thing, no, Ned had doomed himself. He was a goner. 

 

 

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Somebody fearing for his life would not try to usurp the throne - that's the deed of an ambitious man who is prepared to do everything it takes to get what he wants.

If I fear for my life because the people holding the throne want to destroy me, I kind of have to knock them out of the throne... and if I've a claim, well, why not me? Robert Baratheon removed Aerys because Aerys tried to have him executed without cause, and he became king. That's the lesson Renly learned.

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Cersei judged Renly correctly - she was right about his plans to destroy her,

Cersei is generally a terrible judge of people and their motives. But yes, he probably saw her for the villain that she was and wanted rid of her. Her children, we don't know what his plans were.

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A man acting from fear would have been less cocksure in ACoK and he would have called his banners and strengthened his defenses in the Stormlands.

He _fled_ from fear for his life. He raised an army and claimed the throne out of ambition, ambition both to rule _and_ the ambition of ridding himself of the only real danger to him there was in Westeros, namely the Lannisters.

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And as I think I've rather poignantly laid out a couple of times already - in a succession crisis Renly was a potential asset to Cersei. With both Ned and Stannis making problems, Renly could have been Joffrey and Cersei's savior, not their enemy. The fact that he didn't even tried to come to terms with Cersei shows what he was after in the end.

There is no coming to terms with Cersei. He's not an idiot. By right of blood, he has too much potential power in a realm where her children are in their minority and under a regency. She would not abide it.

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But since Renly himself actually assumes Stannis will stand with him against the Lannisters in his conversation with Catelyn (before the news about Storm's End reach them) it is clear that he thinks Stannis will also oppose Joffrey. Which means in Renly's mind they could have made common cause - that they did not is due to Renly rushing to his own coronation.

I hardly think he rushed it. According to the common timeline, more than two months pass between Robert's death and Renly proclaiming. Stannis had plenty of time to state his intentions before then.

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All we know about Renly's character - which is little enough - proves the man was very fond of himself. He wanted to shine, to be at the center of attention, and that's what leads him to want to be the king.

That, and the fact that if you want the Lannisters out of power, removing Cersei's children would be necessary. 

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And it is quite clear that Ned means nothing to Renly. They are not close, they have no meaningful connection or interaction before their last conversation in AGoT. Renly did not just develop the notion that a crown would suit him better than both Robert and Stannis - and that he would be a much better king than either of them - just because Ned rejected his offer.

Again, there's two months between Renly's flight and his crowning. That's a lot of time to think about what to do, and how to do it. Did he weigh the possibility of denouncing Cersei and attempting to take hold of the regency? Did he consider allying with Robb? Did he think about sitting things out? Maybe! We don't know. All we know is that there's a substantial passage of time in which he could have proclaimed himself as king, and then there's the time that he actually does so after waiting a long while (but not as long as Stannis!) for reasons we don't actually know.

I mean, I agree with him that when you look at it, he's a much better choice for king than the alternatives. 

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Wanting to be king if you are not the heir is a rather important decision. It is a decision that can get you killed. No one makes such a decision lightly, not even a vapid guy like Renly. At least in my opinion.

That's probably why it took two months for him to make the decision. His making the decision as soon as Ned rejects him, IMO, seems pretty fast and light! (I also don't think Renly is vapid. Frivolous and reckless, but not vapid.)

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I don't think he was rotten enough to try to usurp the throne while he had no reason to believe Robert would die. But the boar provided him with an opportunity.

You're again turning on his lightly making a decision when you say he didn't. Again, it took two months. 

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Stannis may have only belatedly learned of Robert's death - nobody at court would have sent a raven to Dragonstone with the news.

He only learned about it 3 months after the fact? He learns about Renly being crowned two months after Robert's death at the same time as he learned of Robert's death? When we know he has Saan and Davos and others who clandestinely collect information? And didn't Cersei send commands shortly after Robert's death for Stannis and others to come to court to bow to King Joffrey?

No, he knew within a week or two at most of Robert's death. He waited for Renly to bend the knee, for Robb to bend the knee, for all these other people to show their support for their "rightful" king. He knew he could do nothing without more forces, and so he waited, and he waited, and he waited, and refused to openly seek support, until finally he became convinced to chance putting trust in Melisandre. It's only then that he finally moved. 

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But he has long since crowned himself in the Prologue of ACoK, and he hast sent Davos out to talk to various Stormlords weeks before.

It's actually in Davos I where Stannis sends the letter that explicitly states that it is on that day that he lays claim to the Iron Throne. That is his formal claim to it. Before then, he keeps silent, other than sending Davos to sound out people secretly for their support.

 

Edited by Ran

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57 minutes ago, Ran said:

If Ned had accepted Renly's offer, he maybe wouldn't have turned to Littlefinger... though he probably would have, to be honest, because he was actually calculating on having Renly's help regardless (as he thinks to himself when Renly fled) and still sought the City Watch.

He thought he would have Renly because he was also anti-Lannister, but without an agreement he was smart enough to not count on him. But the reason why he has Littlefinger bring in the City Watch is to be in a position of overwhelming strength which would enable him to actual prevent open violence or keep it to a minimum. He would not have gone down that road had he agreed to Renly's deal because that would have essentially meant an attack on Maegor's Holdfast with Renly's and Ned's men in the middle of the night.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

But when he rejected Renly's offer to do the tactically smart thing, no, Ned had doomed himself. He was a goner. 

I think Littlefinger would have gladly given him the men he needed had he agreed to go through with his plan. We know by now that Littlefinger already coveted Sansa's hand back then (he asked Cersei for her hand while Ned rotted his black cell), and one assumes his 'modest price' after they had dealt with Stannis and were about to replace Joffrey with Renly would have been a great seat ... and Sansa's hand.

And as ridiculous as it sounds I think Littlefinger could actually have become a true friend of the Starks in such a scenario. He would have belatedly gotten what he always wanted, without all that backstabbing and betrayal. He could have made peace with himself, the Tullys, Brandon's ghost, and even himself. Or not. But it is a nice idea. In any case, riding Ned and Cat to ultimate power would have been much easier considering they actually trusted him. Cersei and Tyrion and Tywin did not to the same degree. He has to jump through a lot of hoops to get to the same place with them, and has a lot of luck on the way.

But that's another topic.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

If I fear for my life because the people holding the throne want to destroy me, I kind of have to knock them out of the throne... and if I've a claim, well, why not me? Robert Baratheon removed Aerys because Aerys tried to have him executed without cause, and he became king. That's the lesson Renly learned.

But Robert didn't always want to be king, did he? Unlike Renly, whose character sort of implies he always liked that idea, and it must have become an ever more attractive idea the more he looked like a young version of Robert.

Renly also never states that he crowned himself in self-defense. He is rather blunt about why he does what he does and the way he does it. He thinks he should be king, he thinks he would be a great king, and he thinks he has the strength to seize the throne. Those are his arguments. He never says he crowned himself to prevent the Lannisters from killing him - he may have left the city for that reason, but he didn't crown himself because of that.

I really think George gave us some more clues to 'the Baratheon mind' in FaB with Rogar and his brothers. They all resemble Robert, Stannis, and Renly in some aspects. Rogar is Robert insofar as he cannot openly admit that he actually covets the Iron Throne himself. When Lord Tully asks him whether he wants the throne himself, he denies it loudly - too loudly, one assumes. Borys Baratheon clearly covets Storm's End, very much like Stannis always did - he advises his lord brother to take the black rather than face King Jaehaerys after their plans have gone awry. And later he betrays ailing Lord Rogar because he cannot abide that Boremund Baratheon would succeed his father as Lord of Storm's End - like both Stannis and Renly couldn't suffer Joffrey as king.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

Cersei is generally a terrible judge of people and their motives. But yes, he probably saw her for the villain that she was and wanted rid of her. Her children, we don't know what his plans were.

We know he either wanted to steal what was theirs as the children of King Robert, or he wanted to steal it and kill them. I'm not insisting Renly definitely wanted to kill Cersei's children, I just think he would have had as many issues with that prospect as he had with killing Daenerys or Stannis.

Renly was no fool. He knew what it meant to usurp the throne - and his appeal is that he could make one of the worst rebellions in Westerosi history (a rebellion that was nothing but an ambitious power grab) look like a fun adventure.

Even if we pretend for a moment that Renly knew Cersei so well that it was impossible for her and Renly to come to an understanding - despite the difficult position the Lannisters were in when Robert died - then it must be quite clear that Renly certainly could have offered Tywin his help. Do you think Tywin would have rejected Renly's help if he had mobilized the Stormlanders and Tyrells to fight for King Joffrey against the Starks, Tullys, and Stannis? I don't think.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

He _fled_ from fear for his life. He raised an army and claimed the throne out of ambition, ambition both to rule _and_ the ambition of ridding himself of the only real danger to him there was in Westeros, namely the Lannisters.

Here we certainly are in agreement. I'd just emphasize that his desire to wear a crown and sit the Iron Throne was much more important than dealing with the Lannisters - because a King Renly certainly could grant pardons to the Lannisters. Cersei, Tywin, Jaime all had no claims to the Iron Throne. They could be pardoned. At his own court Renly can be magnanimous, at Robert's court he had to vie with Cersei and other factions for influence.

In that sense, I think his agenda dramatically changed the moment it became clear Robert would die.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

There is no coming to terms with Cersei. He's not an idiot. By right of blood, he has too much potential power in a realm where her children are in their minority and under a regency. She would not abide it.

See above. Perhaps Tywin would? Why did Renly never even try? I think that is - or at least can be seen - as a telling inaction. And, quite frankly, Renly is the first youngest brother of a king who ever tried to claim a throne over his older brother and the children of the king. Cersei certainly was right to see Renly as a danger to her queenship, but there are no hints she ever expected Renly to crown himself. They are all surprised when Renly proclaims his intentions, aren't they?

Cersei is willing to work with Ned after he finds out about the twincest - at least that's what she pretends to do in the godswood seduction attempt - so why not Renly? If he were to make her a very good offer they certainly could have worked something out.

I mean, you do recall that Alester and Tywin actually worked something out for Stannis. The deal was that he keep Dragonstone and marry his daughter to Tommen as a hostage, ensuring the island eventually goes to Joffrey's brother. Tywin did not insist that Stannis had to die even after the Blackwater.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

I hardly think he rushed it. According to the common timeline, more than two months pass between Robert's death and Renly proclaiming. Stannis had plenty of time to state his intentions before then.

Sure, but he rushed it in comparison to Stannis - and in the sense that he did not consult with any potential allies before doing it. Renly could not only have reached out to Stannis before crowning himself, but also to Robb, Hoster, Lysa, etc.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

Again, there's two months between Renly's flight and his crowning. That's a lot of time to think about what to do, and how to do it. Did he weigh the possibility of denouncing Cersei and attempting to take hold of the regency? Did he consider allying with Robb? Did he think about sitting things out? Maybe! We don't know. All we know is that there's a substantial passage of time in which he could have proclaimed himself as king, and then there's the time that he actually does so after waiting a long while (but not as long as Stannis!) for reasons we don't actually know.

Well, he made a show out of it. We know next to nothing about Renly's coronation but it seems to me he only crowned himself after he had made sure that a lot of people would attend the coronation - which was also his wedding to Margaery Tyrell. He first had to travel to Highgarden (by ways of Storm's End or not, which would have taken some time), convince the Tyrells of his plan, negotiate the marriage and the subsequent rewards and positions granted to members and allies of House Tyrell, await answers from crucial allies, and await the persons of those important people for his wedding. One assumes that they acted clandestinely in getting the people to Highgarden who attended the wedding, since it seems nobody realized what Renly was up to until he crowned himself at the wedding.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

That's probably why it took two months for him to make the decision. His making the decision as soon as Ned rejects him, IMO, seems pretty fast and light! (I also don't think Renly is vapid. Frivolous and reckless, but not vapid.)

Yeah, that was the wrong choice of words. He is actually pretty smart. And I think I already said once that I think Robert's death is the point where Renly realized he wanted to be king now. That would have been the moment where he decided he would eventually make a bid for the crown himself. It would have been the moment where he realized or admitted to himself that he actually coveted the throne himself. Perhaps he may have still reacted the way Lord Rogar did when Lord Tully accused him of trying to usurp the throne had Ned done the same in that night? Perhaps not.

But since Renly certainly did not foresee Robert's death he may have never made plans for that eventuality. It is certainly possible that he discussed things with Loras that evening - but I certainly think he knew what he wanted and what he would do when he left KL. And his entire behavior in ACoK makes it clear that being king was his choice. This was not a decision he needed input from Loras or Mace to make. In fact, it might be he had to use his charisma to convince both Loras and Mace to support him in this mad bid. 

In a scenario where Ned takes Renly's offer and they take Maegor's and Cersei/the children (and where either the children are Robert's or Ned, for some reason, never tells Renly what he found out) I think we would also not necessarily see Renly usurping the throne immediately. He would try to move himself into the same position Rogar had during Jaehaerys' minority, possibly replacing Ned as Lord Regent by convincing him to return to Winterfell. That way he could try to oust Joffrey and his siblings the way Rogar thought he could push Jaehaerys aside. Perhaps he wouldn't have been determined or willing to murder the children to advance himself but would have tried some other way.

But I definitely think he would have tried to claim the Iron Throne some way. He wouldn't have been content with some temporary regent position.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

He only learned about it 3 months after the fact? He learns about Renly being crowned two months after Robert's death at the same time as he learned of Robert's death? When we know he has Saan and Davos and others who clandestinely collect information? And didn't Cersei send commands shortly after Robert's death for Stannis and others to come to court to bow to King Joffrey?

Oh, yeah, forgot about the latter. But I mainly meant that, unlike Renly, Stannis was not there when Robert died. He would have learned about it days or possibly weeks after the fact. It is the first great court session where Joff demands that the lords all show up and do Joffrey homage as their king, but knowing Cersei it is not unlikely she never actually sent letters to Renly and Stannis delivering such commands.

Stannis had prepared for war since he left KL. That's why he took bulk of the royal fleet to the island, why he closed down the harbor, and why he hired the Saan and Myrmen. I guess he started the actual/obvious war machine only after he learned about Robert's death but he certainly was willing to go to war even while Robert still lived.

57 minutes ago, Ran said:

No, he knew within a week or two at most of Robert's death. He waited for Renly to bend the knee, for Robb to bend the knee, for all these other people to show their support for their "rightful" king. He knew he could do nothing without more forces, and so he waited, and he waited, and he waited, and refused to openly seek support, until finally he became convinced to chance putting trust in Melisandre. It's only then that he finally moved. 

It's actually in Davos I where Stannis sends the letter that explicitly states that it is on that day that he lays claim to the Iron Throne. That is his formal claim to it. Before then, he keeps silent, other than sending Davos to sound out people secretly for their support.

But he has long ago crowned himself before that. Shireen Baratheon is referred to as 'princess' and Stannis as 'king' in Cressen's Prologue. Stannis already had had his coronation when we first meet him in ACoK. He didn't proclaim himself to the world yet, but he clearly had a similar modest ceremony as Rhaenyra had when she was crowned on Dragonstone once she learned of her father's death.

And unlike Renly, Stannis was actually reaching out to people via Davos. It might even be he originally wanted to contact Renly via Davos - he was in the Stormlands and talked to some of them - those who were willing to receive him.

The letter makes Stannis bid official - and, yes, it in it he says he only claims the Iron Throne on the day he wrote/sent the letters, but it is clear that he has done so long before that, albeit only to his people on Dragonstone and the places who are subject to his rule.

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7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Showing Robert a drawing of Margaery and thinking that he will upend his marriage and his kingdom in order to have her is not a "plan." It is a half-baked scheme. I can easily see Mace going along with this because he is that big of a fool. But Lady O? No way. Her goal is to make Margaery the queen so that a Tyrell will sit the IT. Being second queen with children that are three places away from the real prize is not something she would countenance. It's like saying, "I could have a brand new Ferrari if I want, but I'll take this top-line Hyundai instead."

 

Give us any textual evidence for the bold. You keep repeating this stuff, but you never gave any evidence for this. Instead, there is a lot of evidence for the contrary, most of it coming for Olenna Redwyne herself.

Claiming you know when she lies and that you know what her goals are doesn't make it so.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

How do you know she is telling the truth? Have you asked her?

Because she has no reason whatsoever to lie there. She talks privately in a women's circle, and she is as blunt as she is in other situations where we hear her talk in this manner. It would be sign that Olenna was demented already if she were criticizing Mace for his ambitions if she actually shared those ambitions - and at least one person at the table (if not all, besides Sansa) know that this is the case. Yes, Olenna certainly also uses her bluntness to confuse or annoy people, but this clearly is a character trait, not an act. She is a very outspoken person.

I mean, why on earth would Olenna condemn Renly for his plans and failure and character, and extends her criticism to both Mace and Loras in the process of that? Why does she ridicule Mace in front of Sansa? Because she is actually pissed by what Mace did. He backed Renly, he married Renly to Margaery, he decided to name Loras to the Kingsguard, he decided to make Margaery Joffrey's queen. And she, Olenna, now has to ensure that the ambitions of her son don't end in disaster for House Tyrell. This is what's happening there, nothing else.

And we don't get it only from her. We also learn that Renly had the idea to marry Margaery to Robert, and was going to go through Mace via Loras to accomplish that. 

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

We can see she is lying because she contradicts this characterization of Mace a few minutes later in the very same conversation. And later, we learn that she can easily overrule Mace's inclinations when it comes to marriages, and we see how easily swayed Mace is by those around him, literally never coming up with an idea of his own or insisting upon and getting his way. Never, not once.

It might be that Mace valued the input of his mother in marriage matters. This doesn't mean she runs things. We also know that Visenya, Rhaenys, and especially Alysanne arranged many marriages in the Seven Kingdoms, including the marriages of their own children. Yet it is still clear that Aegon the Conqueror and Jaehaerys I ran things, not their women.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

First off, 18yo Olenna Redwyne would not have the power to simply end her betrothal to Daeron Targaryen. This is a highly advantageous match for House Redwyne, and Lord Runceford would never allow his daughter, no matter how headstrong, to simply end it. Secondly, we know why the deal was canceled: Daeron saw his older brothers and sisters defy their parents, so he did as well in order to be with his boyfriend. So Daeron had a clear and compelling reason to call it off while Olenna had neither the motive nor the ability to. Ergo, Olenna is lying here.

Actually, no. Olenna makes a rather vague references here. She is not saying she defied her father here, nor said anyone ever that said father would have thought a match with a prince who might be unwilling or incapable of consummating his marriage/father children on his daughter would be a proper match for a lady of House Redwyne. I mean, do you know Lord Runceford's relationship with House Targaryen at the time? Do you know whether he liked Aegon V, approved of his reforms, etc.? I don't think so.

Olenna is capable of ending her betrothal without actually being the person to petition to end it. She could convince Daeron to call it a day - she would have been the one who ended it. She could have convinced her father to agree to Daeron ending it - and she would have ended it. She could have created a situation where Daeron's sexual relationship with Jeremy Norridge was rubbed in the faces of the court and/or her own parents. If she arranged a scandal that made Daeron liking to suck relatively lowborn cock (for instance) and he was subsequently forced to choose between that and Olenna's hand it would have been she who ended that marriage.

The idea that Maester Yandel knows better what went on behind the scenes in the Olenna-Daeron affair is, quite frankly, not very likely. Yandel does not have to be lying, he could simply be mistaken.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

There are so many things wrong with Luthor's story that it's hard to know where to begin. First off, horses do not simply walk off cliffs just because you tell them to. Horses do not have death wishes and they are perfectly capable of telling the difference between solid ground and empty air. So maybe Luthor was at a full gallop, crashed through a thick hedge and found himself at a cliff, or maybe the horse caught a root or the ground gave way under them. But he most definitely did not ride off a cliff just because he was not watching where he was going. The horse most certainly was.

But this is not the only problem with this story. Anybody who knows the first thing about falconry is that you're not supposed to be moving at all when your bird is in the air. The hawk is not your pet, it does not come back to you no matter where you are. It homes back to is original location, which is why you keep it hooded until you are ready to release it. If you let your bird go and then move to another place, the chances are very high that you will never see your bird again, and perhaps 1000 man-hours of training fly off on the wind. The whole point of hawking, after all, is you get to sit and watch while the bird gets the prey and your dogs retrieve it for you.

Secondly, there is absolutely no reason why Lord Luthor should be anywhere near a cliff if he is out hawking. The way it works is the bird takes the prey, kills it in the air and then drops it. Then your retrievers bring it back to you. If you are at a cliff, then all that happens is the bird drops the prey to the bottom of the cliff while you and your dogs are at the top with perhaps miles of ground to cross before they can get it. This is why hawking is done in fields and marshes and perhaps lightly wooded areas, but never anywhere near a cliff. The Tyrells have a long history of raising and training the finest birds in the land. Even if Luthor himself is clueless about all of this, his trainers and huntsmen and other party members are not.

So once again, a big fat steaming turd by Lady Olenna.

Sorry, you seem don't to understand that Olenna was just speaking colloquially there. Her husband got himself killed whilst hawking by riding off a cliff. How exactly that happened is completely irrelevant. It did happen sort of that way - or Olenna believes it happened that way. If she had been telling a completely wrong version of events somebody at the table would have said something to contradict - like Margaery does on occasion.#

And she doesn't claim she was there and saw what happened, she just tells what was told to her in a manner that makes Luthor look like a moron. Presumably because she was pissed how her marriage turned out.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Even a king cannot marry a highborn maiden against her father's wishes, not unless he wants a war on his hands. Only complete fools like Joffrey thinks a king can do whatever he wants; those with half a brain realize that there are practical realities to ruling a kingdom, and one of those realities is that people don't look favorably on kings who flout sacred church institutions like marriage and steal high lord's daughters without so much as a thank you, let alone a fat dowry. If Robert had carte blanche in this regard, then there wouldn't have been any reason to arrange his marriage to Cersei as part of an alliance, he would just take her; he wouldn't bother asking Ned for Sansa's hand to Joffrey, he would just order it. Tyrion would not treat with the Martells to betroth Myrcella to Trystane, he would just command it in Joffrey's name. The Lannisters would not have to negotiate with the Tyrells for Margaery, they would simply demand her, upon pain of death.

I was trying to say that a king does never truly ask a man for his daughter's or sister's hand. He basically tells him that said man has the honor to give the king the hand of his sister or daughter in marriage. Even a king politely asking a for a woman's hand in marriage doesn't really ask.

We see this when Robert 'asks' Ned to become his Hand. Or when Aerys II decides to accept Jaime into his KG. Ned and Tywin technically could have objected ... but it would gone pretty bad for them if they had.

The comparison with Joffrey-Margaery is way off since there the Lannisters needed the Tyrells. Robert doesn't exactly need the Tyrells. Instead, making Margaery would greatly honor them considering that she would be the first Tyrell to marry a king.

Robert also sat rather shakily on his throne and thought he needed the Lannisters in a hypothetical later war. Kings can make alliances, but kings can also just take the women that they want if they are in a pretty powerful position. Maegor the Cruel didn't ask for his black brides. He took them, just as the Unworthy took his mistresses.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Olenna is speaking to Sansa Stark, one of the most gullible characters in the book, so only the most gullible of readers can fail to see the lie here, particularly when it is contradicted at multiple points later in the text, including a few minutes later by Lady Olenna herself. But the best lies are always mixed with the truth, so she probably never did like Renly. But so what? You don't wed your daughter to a prospective king because you like him. You wed your daughter to make her queen, which itself is only a means to the real prize: your grandson ruling over the entire kingdom. This is the Game of Thrones, not the Game of Marrying Your Daughter to a Nice Man.

Olenna never says she wants to make her daughter a queen. That's only in your head. You have no textual support for that idea. 

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

No, we can reasonably assume that Mace would be abhorred at the thought of marrying his son and heir to the daughter of a traitor, the sister of a rebel and the ward/hostage that they have winkled away from crown, jeopardizing the alliance they need to keep Margaery's crown. And he would feel this way until his mother sits him down and spins whatever tale she needs to convince him otherwise, and then he would be perfectly OK with it. This is the dynamic between mother and son that has been clearly and convincingly laid out in the text, over and over again.

Mace Tyrell never give any indication that he gives a damn whether people are 'traitors' when they can extend the wealth and power of House Tyrell. Willas ruling both Winterfell and Highgarden would help him with that.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Yes, a secret plan behind her son's back, one that will have consequences for House Tyrell for a generation. And yet still you maintain the fiction that Mace is the one in charge here and he decides how things are to be done. This "secret plan" would be inconceivable if Mace had any real authority to prevent it from happening, so this is just more proof positive that Lady Olenna is the real power in Highgarden.

Mace has has as much authority preventing that than anyone has who is (not) aware that a marriage is going to be made. If they intend to have him at the wedding - which I think Willas might want - he could try to end it. If they had Willas marry Sansa in secret he could not do that.

Do you think Tywin doesn't run Casterly Rock after Joanna's death? Tyrion also married behind his father's back - just as Aegon V did. Does this mean Jenny of Oldstones or Aegon's children run House Targaryen? Does Robb being tricked into a marriage mean he was not the King in the North and the King of the Trident but Jeyne or her mother?

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Again, the only reason you think Renly-Margaery was against his mother's objections is because she says it was, and she is clearly and very obviously lying. And as we learn later, it was Lady Olenna who made the agreement with Petyr for Joffrey's betrothal while Mace dithered a blustered, and it was Petyr who put the idea of Loras on the Kingsguard into Mace's head, manipulating him into thinking it was his own. Mace is literally a leaf on the wind, going wherever it carries him.

You buy that talk of Littlefinger's - talk that also confirms Olenna was the one behind the murder of Joffrey?

Littlefinger says this:

Quote

" (...) The old woman is not boring, though, I’ll grant her that. A fearsome old harridan, and not near as frail as she pretends. When I came to Highgarden to dicker for Margaery’s hand, she let her lord son bluster while she asked pointed questions about Joffrey’s nature. I praised him to the skies, to be sure … whilst my men spread disturbing tales amongst Lord Tyrell’s servants. That is how the game is played.
“I also planted the notion of Ser Loras taking the white. Not that I suggested it, that would have been too crude. But men in my party supplied grisly tales about how the mob had killed Ser Preston Greenfield and raped the Lady Lollys, and slipped a few silvers to Lord Tyrell’s army of singers to sing of Ryam Redwyne, Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. A harp can be as dangerous as a sword, in the right hands.
“Mace Tyrell actually thought it was his own idea to make Ser Loras’s inclusion in the Kingsguard part of the marriage contract. Who better to protect his daughter than her splendid knightly brother? And it relieved him of the difficult task of trying to find lands and a bride for a third son, never easy, and doubly difficult in Ser Loras’s case.
“Be that as it may. Lady Olenna was not about to let Joff harm her precious darling granddaughter, but unlike her son she also realized that under all his flowers and finery, Ser Loras is as hot-tempered as Jaime Lannister. Toss Joffrey, Margaery, and Loras in a pot, and you’ve got the makings for kingslayer stew. The old woman understood something else as well. Her son was determined to make Margaery a queen, and for that he needed a king … but he did not need Joffrey. We shall have another wedding soon, wait and see. Margaery will marry Tommen. She’ll keep her queenly crown and her maidenhead, neither of which she especially wants, but what does that matter? The great western alliance will be preserved … for a time, at least.”

The bold closes the case insofar as Littlefinger is concerned. He independently confirms what Olenna has told us already - Mace Tyrell wants to make his daughter a queen, Olenna has no such ambitions but, being a good and loyal mother, she helps her son to get what he wants.

Mace was the one who married Margaery to Renly, and he was the one who made Margaery Joffrey's queen - and he and Olenna then made Margaery Tommen's queen - because Mace wanted that. 

Littlefinger manipulated Olenna into helping him kill Joffrey by manipulating Mace into pushing Loras into the KG. That caused Olenna to conclude that Joff had to go. And who knows? Perhaps she and Mace talked about Joff's murder together back in Highgarden? We don't know that.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

So she's not in the capital. Ever heard of ravens, riders?

Sure. Ever heard about a guy as self-absorbed and arrogant as Mace Tyrell to patiently wait for his mother's answer days and weeks before making an important decision? The guy who wants to rebuild the Tower of the Hand twice as high? The guy who likes to sit in a huge throne shaped like a hand?

That is ridiculous. It would be completely out of character for this guy.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Come on, Varys, Mace is Hand of the King and he has the only army anywhere near the capital. One word from him and he could remove both Kevan and Cersei from the Red Keep, take Tommon under his command, issue a royal decree that Margaery is innocent and then rule as both Hand and Regent for the next decade. He doesn't do this -- not because he sees that it's a foolish idea that would create more problems than it solves but because he has no idea that he has the strongest hand in the capital. Mace is politically, militarily and intellectually illiterate, which is why he always does what other people tell him, particularly his mother.

LOL, no. Mace knows very well that he is the guy in charge now. He makes that clear to Kevan. Kevan is the Lord Regent, but Mace is the one in charge. He and Tarly push Kevan, not the other way around. And they all know it. That is why Margaery sits safe in the Red Keep and Cersei had to walk naked through the streets.

Mace is still willing to work in concert with Ser Kevan. He is no megalomaniac. But it is clear that the Tyrells are the stronger faction in the partnership, even if Kevan is technically in charge. And we'll see how things unfold now that Kevan is dead. Mace will be free to do whatever the hell he wants. And Tarly seems to like the idea to slaughter sparrows.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Lol, I can't show you subtext. You have to see it on your own. But Lady Olenna being the one to negotiate the Lannister alliance and betrothal, not Mace. Lady Olenna being the one to try to assassinate Tyrion, not Joffrey, because she sees the existential threat that Lannister control of the north brings to Highgarden. Lady Olenna craftily navigating her way through a hopelessly patriarchal society to become the titular head of the most powerful house in the kingdom. This woman has been playing the Game of Thrones all her life, and like any good lord, her objective is to acquire and maintain political power for House Tyrell -- all other concerns, including the health and happiness of herself and her descendants, is secondary. If you can't see it yet, then me pointing all of this out for you won't convince you of anything. You'll just have to wait until the subtext makes its way to the actual text.

Considering Lady Olenna left the plot back in AFfC I don't expect the woman to return on stage soon. We are continuing the war now, and Olenna is far to old to ride into battle...

But you are mistaken about Olenna's character. She cares about her children and grandchildren more than she cares about power. Killing Joffrey was necessary to ensure Margaery's safety, not to advance House Tyrell.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Mace was "disposed" to the Willas-Cersei match. Of course it wasn't his idea because Mace has never had an original idea in his life. But he did want to move ahead on it until his mother told him what a bad idea it was, and then Mace "decided" not to go through with it. Once again, Lady Olenna's will overruling the inclinations of her oaf lord son.

Well, I guess that's the reason why you refuse to listen to arguments in our discussion... Do you think you'll get macetyrellified if you listen to arguments ;-)?

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Sure, Mace would have been "consulted" on the Sansa-Willas marriage, and part of this consultation would be Lady O telling Mace why it needed to happen, and if necessary hector and browbeat him into submission -- just like she did with Cersie's engagement and just like she did outside of Tywin's funeral. Each and every time we see or hear of them interacting, it is Lady O telling Mace what to do, never the other way around. The only person who claims otherwise is Lady Olenna herself, and as I've demonstrated, she reveals that lie with her own words.

Olenna prevented Mace from making a scene in front of the court, a scene that could have given Cersei the pretext to react in an even more unpleasant manner. But her intervention didn't prevent Mace from continue to push his agenda - which still is to dominate Tommen's court.

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On 7/3/2019 at 5:23 PM, Lord Varys said:

Renly also never states that he crowned himself in self-defense. He is rather blunt about why he does what he does and the way he does it. He thinks he should be king, he thinks he would be a great king, and he thinks he has the strength to seize the throne. Those are his arguments. He never says he crowned himself to prevent the Lannisters from killing him - he may have left the city for that reason, but he didn't crown himself because of that.

He needed the Tyrells to protect himself. He would be exposed to the might of the realm, save possibly the North should he not get the Reach as allies. Sansa makes an excellent hostage but a bad choice for a spouse. Renly needed to deny the Lannisters the Tyrells as much as he needed the Tyrells support.

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On 7/3/2019 at 5:23 PM, Lord Varys said:

Renly also never states that he crowned himself in self-defense. He is rather blunt about why he does what he does and the way he does it. He thinks he should be king, he thinks he would be a great king, and he thinks he has the strength to seize the throne. Those are his arguments. He never says he crowned himself to prevent the Lannisters from killing him - he may have left the city for that reason, but he didn't crown himself because of that.

 

"He was old, yes, but a good man still. I hope he has not come to harm. The Lannisters are great fools." They climbed a few more steps. "On the night of Robert's death, I offered your husband a hundred swords and urged him to take Joffrey into his power. Had he listened, he would be regent today, and there would have been no need for me to claim the throne."

"Ned refused you." She did not have to be told.

"He had sworn to protect Robert's children," Renly said. "I lacked the strength to act alone, so when Lord Eddard turned me away, I had no choice but to flee. Had I stayed, I knew the queen would see to it that I did not long outlive my brother."

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4 minutes ago, Minsc said:

"He was old, yes, but a good man still. I hope he has not come to harm. The Lannisters are great fools." They climbed a few more steps. "On the night of Robert's death, I offered your husband a hundred swords and urged him to take Joffrey into his power. Had he listened, he would be regent today, and there would have been no need for me to claim the throne."

"Ned refused you." She did not have to be told.

"He had sworn to protect Robert's children," Renly said. "I lacked the strength to act alone, so when Lord Eddard turned me away, I had no choice but to flee. Had I stayed, I knew the queen would see to it that I did not long outlive my brother."

Yeah, I rediscovered those section yesterday during a reread. I did misremember there.

However, Renly isn't exactly coherent there. Before Stannis shows up he paints himself - in conversation with Catelyn, not in conversation with his followers! - as the guy who claimed the crown in self-defense. And Cat certainly sees through that ruse, at least in part:

Quote

Had you stayed, and lent your support to Ned, he might still be alive, Catelyn thought bitterly.

And then Renly continues on to show Cat his camp fires, i.e. the raw power he commands. And she understands that message, too.

It becomes very clear later on that Renly does not try to sell Stannis the idea he had to claim the crown to defend himself.

And if we go back to the AGoT exchange between Ned and Renly then it is quite clear that Renly does not directly mention a threat to his own life there:

Quote

Lord Renly glanced warily at Ser Boros on the far end of the span, at Ser Preston in the doorway behind them. “That letter.” He leaned close. “Was it the regency? Has my brother named you Protector?” He did not wait for a reply. “My lord, I have thirty men in my personal guard, and other friends beside, knights and lords. Give me an hour, and I can put a hundred swords in your hand.”
“And what should I do with a hundred swords, my lord?”
“Strike! Now, while the castle sleeps.” Renly looked back at Ser Boros again and dropped his voice to an urgent whisper. “We must get Joffrey away from his mother and take him in hand. Protector or no, the man who holds the king holds the kingdom. We should seize Myrcella and Tommen as well. Once we have her children, Cersei will not dare oppose us. The council will confirm you as Lord Protector and make Joffrey your ward.”
Ned regarded him coldly. “Robert is not dead yet. The gods may spare him. If not, I shall convene the council to hear his final words and consider the matter of the succession, but I will not dishonor his last hours on earth by shedding blood in his halls and dragging frightened children from their beds.”
Lord Renly took a step back, taut as a bowstring. “Every moment you delay gives Cersei another moment to prepare. By the time Robert dies, it may be too late … for both of us.
“Then we should pray that Robert does not die.”
“Small chance of that,” said Renly.
“Sometimes the gods are merciful.”
“The Lannisters are not.” Lord Renly turned away and went back across the moat, to the tower where his brother lay dying.

 The bold can be read as Renly being afraid for his life - and that's how he presents it to Cat later on - but the context here is that of a suggested power grab. Renly tries to persuade Ned to strike first to ensure the regency is going to be his.

But what does he imply in the conversation Cersei is preparing for? Ned and Renly's deaths, or rather a power grab of her own - to ensure the regency ends up in her hands? Perhaps both, perhaps only one. We don't know.

It is very easy for Renly and Stannis later to wring their hands and shed some false tears for Ned (Stannis never sheds any tears, of course, but he acknowledges that Ned was a good man, etc.) - after his death. They can pretend their act in part to right a wrong done to the Starks - especially after Ned's execution. But that's not even remotely the reason why they do what they did.

And just because Renly indicates in conversation with Cat that it was necessary to crown himself to save his life doesn't mean that this is not just a pretext.

As I laid out repeatedly - Renly could have saved his skin in a number of different ways without crowning himself. He took that radical step because he wanted to be king.

After all, he has no indication to even consider abdicating in favor of Stannis after he learns about the twincest. A man who only or mainly crowned himself in self-defense to save his life should consider the strength of the claim of his older brother once the man actually decides to press it. But Renly doesn't even entertain that idea.

And that act in and of itself speaks more loudly than Renly's words. I mean, the man has Robert's charisma. He knows how to befriend and bedazzle people. And the truth is not something that's written big on his agenda, with him pretending that Dorne is going to join him, etc.

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30 minutes ago, Minsc said:

"He was old, yes, but a good man still. I hope he has not come to harm. The Lannisters are great fools." They climbed a few more steps. "On the night of Robert's death, I offered your husband a hundred swords and urged him to take Joffrey into his power. Had he listened, he would be regent today, and there would have been no need for me to claim the throne."

"Ned refused you." She did not have to be told.

"He had sworn to protect Robert's children," Renly said. "I lacked the strength to act alone, so when Lord Eddard turned me away, I had no choice but to flee. Had I stayed, I knew the queen would see to it that I did not long outlive my brother."

To add onto this, we get confirmation from Cersei's POV chapter in AFFC that she was going to "deal with Robert's brothers."

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20 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

To add onto this, we get confirmation from Cersei's POV chapter in AFFC that she was going to "deal with Robert's brothers."

Yeah, but that was never in doubt.

What's in doubt is that Renly only had one choice after he could not persuade Ned to move against Cersei while Robert was dying - to crown himself. And that's just not true. It is an excuse. Sort of like Daemon Blackfyre's claimed that he had crown himself after Daeron II supposedly tried to kill him. That was an excuse, too.

And it is quite clear that Ned's downfall and eventual execution certainly played into Renly's hands. After Ned's death he could point to the Lannisters and call them mad tyrants. He could say that had he stayed in KL he would have suffered the same fate as Ned. And he actually did just that when talking to Cat.

But that doesn't mean Ned's fate had anything to do with Renly's own ambition and inner motivation to claim the throne.

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