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EvanSol919

In defense of Rogar Baratheon

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I've noticed a lot of disdain for Rogar, some of which I don't think is fair so here is my rebuttal. 

First is the fact that he didn't support Aegon the Uncrowned. A lot of the major lords didn't support him. His father had been a weak king and Maegor had all the symbols of legitimacy - Aegon the Conqueror's crown, Blackfyre, the Iron Throne and Balerion. Also Visenya was still alive and she had Vhagar, the second largest dragon. Had Rogar supported Aegon at the time, he risked Storm's End's destruction. After Visenya's death Maegor could no longer use Vhagar so challenging him with 2, then 3 dragons was a much safer bet.

Second was his reaction to Jaehaerys and Alysanne's wedding. When their siblings married, it tore Westeros apart. Of course he and Alyssa would try to break it up. There's the story of Coryanne Wylde but we don't know exactly what happened; all of Fire and Blood is written from an unreliable narrator. Yes his suddenly decidedly to put Aerea on the throne was partially motivated by his wounded pride but I do think he was concerned about a second Faith uprising. 

Third is his relationship with Alyssa. Make no mistake, this was a political marriage meant to strengthen Jaehaerys' rule. It was not a love match. In regards to Alyssa's death, again we don't know what their marriage was like after they left for Storm's End. Yes he had affairs but many nobles did; again they did not marry for love. Some have demonized him for impregnating her after Boremund's birth. Alyssa was 47 and when women approach menopause, their menstrual cycles often become irregular. Maybe Alyssa thought that she had already gone through menopause and that having sex with Rogar was safe. Rhaena was angry that Rogar said to save the child but Maester Kyrie had said that there was nothing he could do for her. Was Rogar supposed to say no, don't try and save the child? Yes he should  have stayed during the c-section, I will not try and defend that. Given Rhaena's own relationships to pretty much everyone in her life, she was hardly one to criticize Rogar.

All in all, Rogar was a deeply flawed person but not the irredeemable man many in the fandom have labeled him. 

 

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Rogar Baratheon was a weak and cowardly windbag, all talk and no substance.

2 hours ago, EvanSol919 said:

I've noticed a lot of disdain for Rogar, some of which I don't think is fair so here is my rebuttal. 

First is the fact that he didn't support Aegon the Uncrowned. A lot of the major lords didn't support him. His father had been a weak king and Maegor had all the symbols of legitimacy - Aegon the Conqueror's crown, Blackfyre, the Iron Throne and Balerion. Also Visenya was still alive and she had Vhagar, the second largest dragon. Had Rogar supported Aegon at the time, he risked Storm's End's destruction. After Visenya's death Maegor could no longer use Vhagar so challenging him with 2, then 3 dragons was a much safer bet.

Don't think anybody ever made that point - even if they did, it is not exactly a strong point. However, in light of the windbag Rogar bragging he wanted to face Maegor the Cruel in single combat and that his axe was large enough to split a dragon's skull his reluctance to declare for Aegon the Uncrowned or support the Faith Militant and other rebels standing up against Maegor speaks for itself.

It also fits nicely with his other all talk and no show behavior when Jaehaerys I is crowned - first he is afraid of antagonizing Maegor's remaining loyalists by punishing all Maegor's people at court, then he is afraid of facing Septon Moon and Lords Oakheart and Rowan in the field.

2 hours ago, EvanSol919 said:

Second was his reaction to Jaehaerys and Alysanne's wedding. When their siblings married, it tore Westeros apart. Of course he and Alyssa would try to break it up. There's the story of Coryanne Wylde but we don't know exactly what happened; all of Fire and Blood is written from an unreliable narrator. Yes his suddenly decidedly to put Aerea on the throne was partially motivated by his wounded pride but I do think he was concerned about a second Faith uprising

There is no textual evidence for the bold. Alyssa was afraid of that, sure, but she cared about her children. Rogar did not.

Rogar suddenly declaring Princess Aerea the heiress after he has previously dismissed her claim because of her age and gender shows how corrupt a character he is.

2 hours ago, EvanSol919 said:

Third is his relationship with Alyssa. Make no mistake, this was a political marriage meant to strengthen Jaehaerys' rule. It was not a love match. In regards to Alyssa's death, again we don't know what their marriage was like after they left for Storm's End. Yes he had affairs but many nobles did; again they did not marry for love.

Rogar definitely never loved Alyssa. But Alyssa seems to have loved Rogar. It is not spelled out directly, but her reactions after Rogar's ultimate betrayal definitely indicates that she either loved the man or was at least very fond of him, trusting him with herself and her children.

There is also no indication that this was a political marriage on Alyssa's part. She had no reason to marry the man considering that the regency was rather short. If Alyssa and Rogar had married clandestinely back at Storm's End while Maegor was still alive it could have been a political marriage - the price Rogar demanded for his support. But that's not what happened, is it?

2 hours ago, EvanSol919 said:

Some have demonized him for impregnating her after Boremund's birth. Alyssa was 47 and when women approach menopause, their menstrual cycles often become irregular. Maybe Alyssa thought that she had already gone through menopause and that having sex with Rogar was safe. Rhaena was angry that Rogar said to save the child but Maester Kyrie had said that there was nothing he could do for her. Was Rogar supposed to say no, don't try and save the child? Yes he should  have stayed during the c-section, I will not try and defend that. Given Rhaena's own relationships to pretty much everyone in her life, she was hardly one to criticize Rogar.

Rhaena's criticism is in no way less accurate because she herself had severe issues with people, too. We have Gyldayn telling us that all warmth in the Rogar-Alyssa died when she chose her children over her husband, and Jaehaerys I even went as far as to punish his mother (or at least force her to continue her marriage with him) by sending her back to her husband. It got a tidbit better after the birth of Boremund, but the crucial fact here is that nobody ever said anything about menopause, etc. in the book. Alyssa was thought to be beyond her childbearing years when she had Boremund, and it was a difficult pregnancy. So any husband caring more about his wife than another son would have refrained from intercourse until it was essentially confirmed that Alyssa could no longer get pregnant.

Not to mention the possibility of them using moon tea to prevent pregnancies.

2 hours ago, EvanSol919 said:

All in all, Rogar was a deeply flawed person but not the irredeemable man many in the fandom have labeled him. 

Not sure if anyone ever called Rogar irredeemable, but it is quite clear that he never redeemed himself. He was pardoned for his treason when he should have either been executed or sent to the Wall, he didn't do anything of note or relevant after his disgrace and subsequent undeserved pardon, and then he died of a rather unpleasant sickness and did not get his death in battle.

In fact, the way Rogar and his brothers behave strongly indicates that the Targaryens should have either destroyed or attainted the Baratheon bloodline back then, considering their belligerent and treasonous traits. Because even when one concedes that Robert overthrowing Aerys II was not a bad thing, allowing those people to gain the throne was essentially the worst that could happen to the Realm - we see this in the self-destructive tendencies of Robert and Stannis and Renly.

The Targaryens were fucked up, too, but they are nowhere near as fucked up as the Baratheons.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, EvanSol919 said:

I've noticed a lot of disdain for Rogar, some of which I don't think is fair so here is my rebuttal. 

First is the fact that he didn't support Aegon the Uncrowned. A lot of the major lords didn't support him. His father had been a weak king and Maegor had all the symbols of legitimacy - Aegon the Conqueror's crown, Blackfyre, the Iron Throne and Balerion. Also Visenya was still alive and she had Vhagar, the second largest dragon. Had Rogar supported Aegon at the time, he risked Storm's End's destruction. After Visenya's death Maegor could no longer use Vhagar so challenging him with 2, then 3 dragons was a much safer bet.

Second was his reaction to Jaehaerys and Alysanne's wedding. When their siblings married, it tore Westeros apart. Of course he and Alyssa would try to break it up. There's the story of Coryanne Wylde but we don't know exactly what happened; all of Fire and Blood is written from an unreliable narrator. Yes his suddenly decidedly to put Aerea on the throne was partially motivated by his wounded pride but I do think he was concerned about a second Faith uprising. 

Third is his relationship with Alyssa. Make no mistake, this was a political marriage meant to strengthen Jaehaerys' rule. It was not a love match. In regards to Alyssa's death, again we don't know what their marriage was like after they left for Storm's End. Yes he had affairs but many nobles did; again they did not marry for love. Some have demonized him for impregnating her after Boremund's birth. Alyssa was 47 and when women approach menopause, their menstrual cycles often become irregular. Maybe Alyssa thought that she had already gone through menopause and that having sex with Rogar was safe. Rhaena was angry that Rogar said to save the child but Maester Kyrie had said that there was nothing he could do for her. Was Rogar supposed to say no, don't try and save the child? Yes he should  have stayed during the c-section, I will not try and defend that. Given Rhaena's own relationships to pretty much everyone in her life, she was hardly one to criticize Rogar.

All in all, Rogar was a deeply flawed person but not the irredeemable man many in the fandom have labeled him. 

 

I find his character and that of Alyssa very well written wonderful additions to the story, showing it is possible to write compelling dramatic human story, without resorting to flash of battles, or cosmic terror.

My opinion is that he is a flawed character, but has good intentions at heart, though he may be underestimating young Jaehaerys, Alyssane and Alyssa, though he has a reason when accounting troubled reign of Aenys and Maegor and wars of faith.

I absolutely don't see issue in him sending  Coryanne Wylde to seduce young Jaehaerys, it was most painless option at the time to try and stop marriage that could had ignited rebellions again.  

In general House Baratheon was foremost pillar of that dynasty, that would prove to be valuable ally in many occasions despite tense power dynamic, though Targaryens always tended to do slight them, until Mad King and Rhaegar gone too far. 

Edited by Eltharion21

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