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Renly's Plan and what he knew.

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I agree that Joff may have had reasons to avenge his mother - but if Robert had lived three to four decades after he had replaced Cersei as queen and if Cersei was not executed or anything to get rid of her, then chances are pretty good that Joff would have gotten over the issue by that time. They could have decided to marry him to a Tyrell, too, you know.

If Cersei was still around, I expect she'd be doing a lot more to encourage Joffrey's hostility toward the Tyrells, just as Bittersteel's maternal kid did toward the Blackwoods. I also don't know how Cersei would be removed without some accusations serious enough to disqualify her as queen, most of which I expect would qualify as treason and carry capital sentences.

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He implies that he fled court because he feared Cersei both when he talks about the Lannisters not being merciful and when he later justifies claiming the throne. But I don't necessarily buy that. I think Renly abandoned Ned because Ned didn't give him the opportunity to actually seize Cersei and her children, effectively controlling the post-Robert government.

After Robert dies, Renly advocates using his men to violently seize power. With him absent, the Lannisters violently seize power instead. That makes it seem more like that situation made power up for violent grabs rather than his life being in danger earlier.

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Joff being behind the attempt on Bran is already subtly hinted at in AGoT. Sandor offers to put down the direwolves for him, it is not far from there to assume he would find a moron to actually kill the Stark boy - even more so after the king himself declared it would be a mercy. You have to keep in mind that this was a point when Joff did actually not want to be cruel - he wanted to be brave enough to do a good deed (a mercy-killing) nobody was strong enough to suggest or command.

Joffrey had some issues with Robb already, but he had no problems with Bran, nor with the Starks as such (aside from talk he may have overheard from his mother and uncle) - that only started with the Arya episode on the way back to KL.

Joffrey being cruel goes back a ways. He was certainly cruel to Mycah, and also wanted to use live steel when sparring at Winterfell. Mercy killing is what's atypical for him. And he never again goes for the M.O of hiring a cutpurse, particularly via an extremely valuable item. Even in King's Landing I wouldn't expect Joffrey to have those kind of contacts, out in the provinces would be an even larger ask.

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Renly just asked Ned's opinion on Margaery's looks - he never asked him to support his efforts to replace Cersei with Margaery. Had he done that Ned may have actually tried to help him with that once he had figured out the incest thing - or started to really believe Cersei wanted to kill Robert (which started after Varys' visit during the Tourney of the Hand).

It was a first step, and Renly didn't want to seem like he was doing it specifically to advance his political interests.

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Renly could basically make the same argument Jon Arryn made when he forced Robert to marry Cersei - you need the Tyrells should Lord Tywin or his heirs ever rebel against the Iron Throne in answer to what the king did to Cersei, Jaime, and their children. The Tyrells are the key factor to counter this threat considering the fact that the Reach has a rather long border with the West and can field the most troops in the Seven Kingdoms.

Jon Arryn made the argument when Robert was new on the throne and Oberyn Martell had been trying to rally support for Viserys. Robert is on more solid ground now, and if Cersei's children aren't being removed the Lannisters nearly as badly harmed by her removal. They still wouldn't be happy, just as the Brackens weren't, but it's less of a necessity to bring the Tyrells on board if war doesn't immediately break out. Then again, a Baratheon warred with the Crown over a merely broken betrothal, which is more acceptable to break than an actual marriage, and we really don't know how the latter could happen.

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If the Riverlands and the Reach stayed neutral in this then Tywin could become a serious threat despite the fact that Robert had the Vale and the Stormlands and the North on his side because all Tywin needed to deal with Robert would be to raise a larger army than him and get it faster than he could call upon his far-away allies to KL.

The Stormlands are even closer to King's Landing. Even the Vale is closer, although they'd likely make that trip by boat. The Riverlands allied with Robert before, and Hoster is still in charge. Tywin could probably defend Casterly Rock, but attacking Robert in KL would be difficult even for a very wealthy Lord. Robert was able to unite the realm behind him when Balon Greyjoy rebelled, and Tywin is hardly liked in other kingdoms.

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But we have believable reports that Robert Baratheon spent hours (!) at Jon's bedside during which time Jon Arryn made no attempt to make himself understood. Instead, only his last words are construed to be some weirdo reference to the Baratheon bloodline (I personally think Lysa's interpretation that they refer to their own son, Lord Robert, makes much more sense ;-)). The Tears of Lys don't fry the brain, they kill in the guts. Jon may have been in severe pain when Robert visited him, but he cannot have been completely incoherent while he was not yet knocking on death's door. Thus we have to conclude that he was (1) not suspecting that he had been poisoned (or else he would have told his king about his suspicion) and (2) he was not sure enough that Cersei's children were Jaime's or else he would have told Robert in an understandable fashion about those suspicions, too. Instead, he only made a weirdo reference to that once he was so far gone he did not longer make sense.
 

That all happened offpage, I don't think we can be so sure how coherent Jon was throughout it. We just know what he kept repeating at the end, and what Lysa, Ned and Pycelle concluded. I think we're supposed to believe that Lysa is irrational about her own son and that Ned and Pycelle were on the right track, given their knowledge of Arryn's genealogical research. Jon Arryn certainly didn't believe his own son was "strong" at the time, and was in fact trying to get him away from Lysa's harmful influence.

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Edric Storm is just on black-haired boy. That's not enough to suspect that the king's children are not his.

Ned discovers that Jon went with Stannis, of all people, to a brothel where another one of Robert's black-haired bastards was found. Jon and Stannis also both visited Tobho Mott where they saw Gendry. The genealogy book then confirmed that the phenotype was found in all Baratheon offspring.

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Pycelle talks about that after Robert's death. We don't know what exactly he knew or suspected back when Jon Arryn was still alive. He claims he knew Cersei wanted Jon to die, but we cannot be sure he knew why back then. Pycelle could only have put the thing together when Ned declared that Joff had no claim to the throne - or when Stannis' letter was discussed at council.

Pycelle acted to ensure Jon's death, and when he admits to doing so to further Lannister interests, which has been consistent with all his behavior we know of, I think we should believe him. Pycelle gave Jon Arryn the book of genealogy, so he knew more than most about Jon's investigation. He had no particular reason to want Jon dead aside from that investigation.

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But then - if Pycelle knew or suspected before then this may have to do with him being rather close to Cersei for years. And with him likely having played a crucial role in the birth of the royal children he may have witnessed certain crucial looks between Jaime and Cersei other courtiers were not privy to (we do know that at least some royal births took place while the king was away hunting, meaning that Jaime could have been closer to Cersei in those crucial times than he was after Robert had returned to court).

In any case - we cannot use what Pycelle knew or suspected and then transfer that to the knowledge of other courtiers like Renly (who would have been on the council for only a couple of years) or Littlefinger (who is also only Master of Coin for only a couple of years).
 

True, Pycelle may have known more than some other people. But the more people that knew, the more Renly would stand out for not knowing. Ned figured it out in a much shorter amount of time in King's Landing.

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Stannis also desperately needs an heir, too, and he, too, ignores his wife. Shireen isn't a proper heir and everybody knows it, even Stannis himself - there is a reason why he offers Renly to name him his heir until he has a son. An unpromising pretender like Stannis looks even more unpromising without a son to take up his torch should he die in battle.

Renly is at least an heir, and since Robert inherited through his grandmother, Shireen's offspring might potentially do so as well. For what it's worth, Selyse attributes their lack of sons to Robert's misuse of their marriage bed cursing them.

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If Stannis can ignore that kind of thing, then Renly could put it on hold indefinitely, too. Just like Stannis did - who presumes to lecture Renly on the issue of fathering male children.
 

Stannis at least does have Renly as an heir and one child. He actually did perform his marital duties, if grudgingly, whereas Margaery remains a maid.

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Who is going to insist? Mace, who isn't even with Renly on his campaign despite him being 'his Hand'? Willas and Garlan who are not with him, either? Olenna, who opposed the idea of 'King Renly' in the first place and was ignored? The only Tyrell Renly seems to be listening to is Loras Tyrell, and Loras may have been the one who was not all that eager to see his lover spend time with his sister...

The Tyrells come to the capital at the end of ACOK, and they get very involved. They even commit regicide for Margaery. If/when Renly takes King's Landing, the Tyrells will definitely be there making demands.

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He could also fear that Renly might develop a real affection/love for Margaery - who is a woman who looks very much like he does. Or start to spend more time with her and the children she gave him than he does with her. We don't know anything about the internal dynamics of the Tyrell family, but such fears are not unlikely. And once Margaery finally is queen in more than name she might insist be treated as such - refusing to be just some puppet in the background.

Renly's behavior around Margery and Loras that we know of was not of the sort to generate jealousy in the latter.

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In the scenario where it is done behind his back, yes, that's a risk. Not when he is in on it. And not necessarily when he finds out later - like Viserys I may have done - if he loves the woman involved. You don't have to kill your wife or daughter if you are the king.

Rhaenyra was not married to a king, so her offense was not as severe, and was not actually an offence against Viserys.

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Because there are (rather believable) rumors that King Aenys' father wasn't Aegon the Conqueror. And then there is the rather convenient pregnancy of Visenya Targaryen when the king is about to take another wife. Aegon and his sisters were married for (a) decade(s) yet there are only two children and not even talks about other pregnancies, miscarriages, stillborn children, or children who died in the cradle (like we get them for essentially all other Targaryen couples who often had sex with each other while they were married).

That strongly indicates that Aegon the Conqueror was, in fact, infertile. Something that might even have been an open secret/suspicion when Sharra Arryn offered to marry Aegon during the Wars of Conquest - keep in mind that her offer included that Aegon acknowledged her son Ronnel as his new heir. Which may not have been a presumptuous demand on her part but rather a barely hidden ploy to allow him to have some heir of his own considering he was apparently uncapable of impregnating not only one but two sister-wives.

Aegon's favorite wife died not long after the birth of their first child. Visenya's pregnancy seems fishier, specifically in that blood magic might have been involved. We know less about Aegon than the kings who came after him. I think you're reaching to conclude it's "strongly suggested". Stannis only has one child, but the people who claim he's not the father are just engaged in propaganda against his cause. Jon Arryn also only had one child, and while some fans seem to think Littlefinger is the father, Lysa herself doesn't. Sharra Arryn wouldn't have had much personal knowledge of his fertility, she was just reaching for whatever advantage she could get.

 

 

12 hours ago, Ran said:

She was capable of arranging poisonings and such for those who crossed her (and we know she had a particularly dislike for his smirks and the like), but Renly was not terribly concerned by that. Renly was not terribly concerned by many things, though, because he generally saw himself winning out and figured any complications he could deal with as they came rather than spending his time worrying his pretty little head over all the possible complications in advance.

It's a lot more keeping with Renly's character that he came up with a plan that was not fully formed, than to suppose he had come up with one that was.

Those are some good points.

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It's not exactly what he says. He seems to make the assumption that Stannis will have given up his claim and so the only thing to do would be to follow him, but it's clear from the discussion with Catelyn that that he hasn't really given it all too much thought. He doesn't think very much of Stannis, or about him.

That just strikes me as too thoughtless even for Renly. He knew Stannis well enough, particularly the mockable aspects of his personality.

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That's an incredible reach. Renly is ambitious and sees a way to cut out the detested Lannisters from influence with the help of the Tyrells. Why would he try to work something out with Tywin, of all people?

Renly doesn't have Ned's personal distaste for Tywin, the Lannisters he's grown irritated with are in King's Landing.

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No. They know that it's Renly and Loras who are sending letters to Mace urging him to send Margaery, which sounds not at all like this notion people are putting forward of the Tyrells being the masterminds of the plot. Renly and Loras are the drivers of the plot, playing on Mace's ambition. And Mace's ambition, by the by, is always explained as his having his daughter be a queen; the idea that this could mean a grandson on the Iron Throne is icing on the cake later on, but it was not at all what was indicated by anyone involved or familiar with the plot prior to the option of marrying Joffrey coming up.

The Tyrells actually succeed in making Margaery queen after Renly dies. That makes it seem like Tyrell scheming is the consistent factor rather than Renly. Mace is a cautious man who could have some reservations about sending his only daughter to King's Landing, particularly if there's a risk of Robert deflowering her without marrying her.

Having a grandson as heir is arguably the biggest benefit of having a queen for a daughter. It unites the interests of houses together, which is why they have marriage alliances in the first place.

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Pycelle knew that Jon Arryn needed to die because "he knew" about he incest, but apparently we're supposed to believe that Pycelle understood that Renly also knew about it but that was all right, because he was just going to use it to put Margaery in Robert's bed...

You were responding to King Peaches, who was saying that other people only knew about Renly's scheme with Margaery, and not about what would happen with her children vs Cersei's.

 

 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Olenna makes it clear she opposed this idea, and depending how close Lady Olenna is with her older grandsons (Willas and Garlan) they may have been not exactly fans of that idea, either.

Olenna tells Sansa that when she wants Sansa to trust her and confide in her. Dontos Hollard tells Sansa not to trust the Tyrells, as they are just Lannisters with roses, and what we know of them backs him up. Olenna certainly doesn't tell Sansa that once Joffrey's nature is confirmed they're going to poison him, frame Tyrion and Sansa, then marry Margaery to Tommen.

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Renly's actual plan there could have been to repeat what Tywin's men did during the Sack (or a milder version of that). We don't know what he really wanted to do.

That's my suspicion, which is a reason for Ned not to accept his offer.

 

6 hours ago, Seams said:

I believe you are forgetting about the championship jousting match between Ser Loras and Gregor Clegane, where Ser Loras rides in on a horse in estrus. He knew this would put Gregor at a disadvantage, although he may not have known that it would enrage him to the extent that it did, and put his own life in peril.

The nature of the jousting trick leads me to suspect that Loras was an active conspirator in bringing Margaery to King's Landing to tempt and distract the king.

Loras is good at knocking men off a horse with a stick, but that does not make him wise. Renly's planned attack against Stannis, in which Loras would have led the vanguard, was reckless. Dragonstone confirmed that he's braver than he is clever.

4 hours ago, Peach King said:

I would say they were bad. He didn't even offer him a seat on the Small Council. Though I don't blame Renly as the Tyrells probably wouldn't approve and it's not like Stannis brought anything to the table.

A seat on the high council isn't worth nearly as much as a feudal claim, although it's not nothing. I don't actually know what Renly's duties were as Master of Laws though.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He is not exactly the guy one would expect to catch on something as subtle as the incest. People fool themselves when they believe this was almost an open secret. Even Stannis has no proof that his beliefs are factually correct and actually wages are war against his nephews without knowing that he is truly in the right - and he is actually in the wrong in his belief that Cersei murdered Jon Arryn.

It wasn't that subtle. Bran caught them after they spent only a short time at Winterfell, and when Jaime was suspiciously absent from the hunt of the king he's supposed to be protecting. Jaime recalled that they had sex right near a passed out Robert when Arya had run off after the Trident and Cersei was insisting that Jaime find her before Ned's men did so she would pay for hitting Joffrey. They seem to have been downright reckless and only getting away with it because Robert was a drunk who'd lost interest in Cersei.

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23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is not him being political savvy, that is him being able to fool another knight with a cheap trick. Loras is too thick to see through the fact that Ned tries to save his life when he doesn't allow him to arrest Clegane, Loras does not see through Littlefinger's ploy to make him a Kingsguard (not to mention that he doesn't understand what he tries to accomplish that way), and he is played like a good little puppy by Cersei in AFfC.

1) Loras is also able to create a persona that is charming and likable, and he has good PR skills like giving out roses to girls in tourneys.

2) He wouldn't have died anyway as Tywin would give up Gregor instead of inciting a war with the Tyrells.

3) Mace was fooled too, and Mace is not an idiot. https://poorquentyn.tumblr.com/post/129516170018/hello-you-mention-in-your-ask-about-renlys

Besides that was the perfect job for Loras, especially as a third son.

4) Loras offered to go, Cersei never manipulated him. Besides I'm one of the ones who believes Loras had an ulterior motive.

Hes from an ambitious family, and that's enough, even if he's not personally ambitious. 

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

What we know is that this was Renly's plan and he was using Loras to persuade his father to send Margaery to court. Loras gives never any indication that he wanted Margaery to be queen or he himself being an effectual 'king consort' at Renly's side. All he seems to be about was Renly - which is actually fitting considering that the man made him his lover at a rather impressionable age (it seems that their relationship started when Loras was 13-14 and still Renly's squire at Storm's End).

We know that he wrote letters urging Mace to send Margaery to court. That is not enough to say this was Renly's plan. This was probably not the first time the plan was discussed. 

No reason to believe it started when Loras was 13. Personally I believe it started 1 or 2 years prior since it seemed like Loras never got out of the honeymoon stage. Loras is about the people he loves, not just Renly. Loras was capable of ordering Renly not to let Brienne into the Rainbow Guard, so I wouldn't say he was cowed by Renly.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Renly's main motivation to replace Cersei as queen is to replace Cersei as queen. He uses Margaery as pawn in his game, he is not used by the Tyrells.

How do you know that was Renly's main motivation? We are never told his motivation. Arrogant and egotistical people can be influenced to act in other people's interests, you just have to make them believe it was their idea in the first place. Just look at Cersei and Joffrey. Later we see Mace go on to marry Margaery to three other kings, so the plan could have originated with the Tyrells. And the fact that Renly was crowned at Highgarden is significant.

Why did the Tyrells not tell Renly to get lost and betroth Joffrey to Margaery instead? Because he's a lot easier to control and more amenable to their desires.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Renly expected Stannis to stand with him against the Lannisters - or rather: not to fight with them against him. He never expected - and was both surprised and pissed - that Stannis would besiege Storm's End and thus actively turn against him.

EDIT: I think his offer of the peach as a symbol of peace was genuine, but half hearted.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know Loras writes letters to his dad urging him to send Margaery to court - which means Mace has to be persuaded to do that. This is not a plan that originated with a leading member of House Tyrell. Instead, it is Renly's plan - and Renly uses his lover who happens to be Mace Tyrell's favorite son to get the old man on board.

Now the word "urging" here doesn't mean Mace had to be persuaded. It could mean Loras was telling Mace "Hey dad everything is in place, it's time for the next phase of the plan - hurry up and send Margaery to court."

Again, it's not enough to say Renly thought up the plan. I'd actually say Renly was a side character who was mostly there to introduce the real power players - the Tyrells.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

For that, Margaery first has to give King Robert any children, and there has to be found a pretext how to remove the king's other children from court and/or life. This wouldn't be easy if King Robert and Queen Cersei had somehow ended their marriage on more or less amicable terms.

If not, then the fate of the children would have likely been decided along with the fate of Cersei when she was set aside, not only in the years or decades thereafter.

Are you saying Robert would just set his queen and true born heirs aside just cause?

No way that'll lead to any problems!

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No, that's just wrong. There is no evidence supporting this, and a ton of evidence actually contradicting any such idea.

It is also rather ridiculous to assume that Renly 'Porn Book' Baratheon ever cared about what kind of boring books the Hand read. Renly doesn't even seem to grasp who his paternal grandmother was (Princess Rhaelle Targaryen) - instead he believes he and Robert and Stannis are only tangentially related to House Targaryen thanks to some marriages involving 'second sons and elder daughters' (such Targaryens and Baratheons never married each other).

He is not exactly the guy one would expect to catch on something as subtle as the incest. People fool themselves when they believe this was almost an open secret. Even Stannis has no proof that his beliefs are factually correct and actually wages are war against his nephews without knowing that he is truly in the right - and he is actually in the wrong in his belief that Cersei murdered Jon Arryn.

I never said Renly read any books. Tyrion who wasn't even at court knew about the incest, Cersei and Jaime were not subtle. Renly lived at court long enough that he and Loras were a source of gossip and Cersei bitterly remembers "Renly's mocking". 

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm talking about real information on Renly and his goals and plans and thoughts like those we get from other POVs about the characters I mentioned. Aerys II and Rhaegar are more complex characters than Renly Baratheon despite the fact that we met neither of them in the main series.

We know plenty about Renly. 

1. He "worshipped" Robert when he was young, according to Stannis.

2. He was awed by Robert slaying the boar and he later tried to emulate Robert with his quest for kingship.

Renly shrugged. “Tell me, what right did my brother Robert ever have to the Iron Throne?…..Robert won the throne with his warhammer.” he swept a hand across the campfires that burned from horizon to horizon. “Well, there is my claim, as good as Robert’s ever was.”

-ACOK, Catelyn III

3. His quest for kingship was due to his desire for attention and prestige.

It was just the sort of notion that would appeal to Renly Baratheon; a splendid new order of knighthood, with gorgeous new raiment to proclaim it. Even as a boy, Renly had loved bright colors and rich fabrics, and he had loved his games as well. "Look at me!" he would shout as he ran laughing through the halls of Storm's End. "Look at me, I'm a dragon," or "Look at me, I'm a wizard," or "Look at me, look at me, I'm the rain god."  

The bold little boy with wild black hair and laughing eyes was a man grown now, one-and-twenty, and still he played his games. Look at me, I'm a king, Cressen thought sadly. 

-ACOK, prologue.

4. He has close ties with the Tyrells.

5. He apparently was all flash and no substance according to several characters in the books. (Olenna, Jaime, Stannis, Donal Noye)

6. He is idealistic and glorifies war, seen by his battle plan against Stannis which consisted of his lover "breaking" Stannis' men by charging into the sunrise.

7. He dislikes Stannis.

8. His philosophy is to enjoy life to the utmost as life is short, as seen by his offer of the peach to Stannis.

9. He has a mocking personality. He mocks anyone under the sun and it isn't personal.(Joffrey, Cersei, Barristan, Ilyn Payne, Littlefinger, Shireen, etc etc)

10. He starved at the Siege of Storm's End as a child with Stannis, and Stannis "loved the boy he was". They were close before Robert gave Storm's End to Renly.

11. His name is still brought up several times in the succeeding books, GRRM doesn't let him be forgotten. Whether this will be significant we will wait and see.

12. His "ghost" appears three times in the series - the first time when Catelyn thinks he looks like the ghost of Robert, the second time when "Renly's shade" appears in the Battle of the Blackwater, the third time when Brienne meets Gendry and thinks it's Renly. There is a theme of him not being what people think he is.

13. He was able inspire the devotion of the small folk, romantics like Brienne and Loras, and win the fealty of hard men like Randyll Tarly and Cortnay Penrose.

14. He thought Brienne was absurd but still let her in the Rainbow Guard, and was willing to let Robb keep his title, showing he's capable of compromise.

15. He has a hard side as shown when he starved KL and made Catelyn stay behind to watch the slaughter. In the end however he was all talk and no show and it's unclear if he thought fully of the weight of his actions.

What we don't know was his motivation in making Margaery queen.

Edited by Peach King

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Why were Petyr's boots dusty from riding, and why was he wearing the same clothes as the day before the morning he betrayed the Ned? Clearly Petyr left the city overnight. Why? Renly and Loras and their retainers left the city. 

Most readers presume Varys told Petyr that Robert named Eddard regent and protector, but perhaps Varys did not tell Petyr; perhaps Renly did. 

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"Now look at the other side of the coin. Joffrey is but twelve, and Robert gave you the regency, my lord. You are the Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm. The power is yours, Lord Stark. All you need do is reach out and take it. Make your peace with the Lannisters. Release the Imp. Wed Joffrey to your Sansa. Wed your younger girl to Prince Tommen, and your heir to Myrcella. It will be four years before Joffrey comes of age. By then he will look to you as a second father, and if not, well . . . four years is a good long while, my lord. Long enough to dispose of Lord Stannis. Then, should Joffrey prove troublesome, we can reveal his little secret and put Lord Renly on the throne."

Eddard XIII, Game 47

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He is a child still, Stannis declared, his anger ringing loud in the empty hall, a thieving child who thinks to snatch the crown off my brow. What has Renly ever done to earn a throne? He sits in council and jests with Littlefinger, and at tourneys he dons his splendid suit of armor and allows himself to be knocked off his horse by a better man. That is the sum of my brother Renly, who thinks he ought to be a king. I ask you, why did the gods inflict me with brothers? 

Prologue, Clash

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"I am of the king's council, yet not the king's blood, so I would make a poor hostage. I knew Ser Loras passing well when he was here at court, and gave him no cause to mislike me. Mace Tyrell bears me no enmity that I know of, and I flatter myself that I am not unskilled in negotiation."

Tyrion VIII, Clash 38

I am thinking that Petyr was in cahoots with Renly and Loras.

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5 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Why were Petyr's boots dusty from riding, and why was he wearing the same clothes as the day before the morning he betrayed the Ned? Clearly Petyr left the city overnight. Why? Renly and Loras and their retainers left the city. 

Most readers presume Varys told Petyr that Robert named Eddard regent and protector, but perhaps Varys did not tell Petyr; perhaps Renly did. 

Eddard XIII, Game 47

Prologue, Clash

Tyrion VIII, Clash 38

I am thinking that Petyr was in cahoots with Renly and Loras.

I wouldn't be surprised to be honest. Littlefinger is all about causing chaos and Really declaring himself King certainly caused more chaos as Robb and subsequently Balon were proclaimed kings; Robb because the North didn't see good options and Balon was an opportunist.

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Petyr didn't leave the city. He rode out to the gold cloaks barracks (which are mostly not in the Red Keep; one is, but the East and West Barracks, which are probably the largest and no doubt where Slynt keeps his offices, are at the Dragon Gate and the Gate of the Gods) to carry out the bribery that he told Ned he would. Hence Ned not thinking it odd, and indeed Littlefinger seeming to confirm the connection by telling Ned he had accomplished the task set to him.

Unbeknownst to Ned, though, he was arranging things on Cersei's behalf, not Ned's.

Edited by Ran

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19 hours ago, Peach King said:

When he meets Stannis for the parley in ACOK it's clear he only did so to mock him, otherwise he would have offered him terms that he would actually accept. 

The parley has a comparable scene that may provide a layer of meaning to the Renly / Stannis interaction:

"You need to come south" Robert told him. "You need a taste of summer before it flees. In Highgarden there are fields of golden roses that stretch away as far as the eye can see. The fruits are so ripe they explode in your mouth - melon, peaches, fireplums, you've never tasted such sweetness. You'll see, I brought you some. Even at Storm's End, with that good wind off the bay, the days are so hot you can barely move. ... And the girls, Ned!" he exclaimed, his eyes sparkling. "I swear women lose all modesty in the heat. They swim naked in the river, right beneath the castle. Even in the streets ... when they start sweating and the cloth sticks to their skin, they might as well be naked." The king laughed happily.

"Come south with me, and I'll teach you how to laugh again," the king promised. "You helped me win this damnable throne, now help me hold it. We were meant to rule together. If Lyanna had lived, we should have been brothers, bound by blood as well as affection. Well, it is not too late. I have a son. You have a daughter. My Joff and your Sansa shall join our houses, as Lyanna and I might once have done."

[AGoT, Eddard I, Chap. 4]

The gift of fruit - Highgarden fruit. The appeal to brotherhood. The offer to let the other man be the power behind the throne. The offer to let the other man's daughter inherit. The heir of the Laughing Storm and the other man, who does not know how to laugh.

The inability to move at Storm's End may be an allusion to Renly's eventual burial place at Storm's End. The naked woman in the river is foreshadowing about Catelyn's fate as she will end up in the Trident after the Red Wedding. At the Renly / Stannis parley, of course, Catelyn is the POV and witness to the meeting of the two brothers. The naked woman in the streets of King's Landing foreshadows Cersei's walk of shame. The Joff and Sansa match is irony, but Gendry (a Robert and Renly clone) and Arya (a Lyanna look-alike) will become close.

Robert talks about the statue of Lyanna in the crypt and says it does not match her beauty. In another scene, Ned looks at the miniature of Margaery and says it does not look like Lyanna.

Clearly a number of parallels and hints about what is to come. Of course, Ned does accept Robert's appointment as Hand while Stannis refuses and (probably) plays a deliberate role in the assassination of Renly. Robert and Ned both end up dead. What does fate have in store for Stannis?

If we take Robert's sales pitch to Ned as a hint about Renly's peach speech, we might tip the balance toward sincerity in analyzing the motives of the younger brother. I think Renly realized that he needed a balancing figure who had strengths other than his own, just as Robert did. He wanted Ned to take certain actions against Cersei that he would back up, but he left King's Landing at a critical point (like Robert disappearing at Stony Sept?). His "Plan B" was to try to get Stannis to work with him. That didn't pan out, either.

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13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

If Cersei was still around, I expect she'd be doing a lot more to encourage Joffrey's hostility toward the Tyrells, just as Bittersteel's maternal kid did toward the Blackwoods. I also don't know how Cersei would be removed without some accusations serious enough to disqualify her as queen, most of which I expect would qualify as treason and carry capital sentences.

After Robert dies, Renly advocates using his men to violently seize power. With him absent, the Lannisters violently seize power instead. That makes it seem more like that situation made power up for violent grabs rather than his life being in danger earlier.

Joffrey being cruel goes back a ways. He was certainly cruel to Mycah, and also wanted to use live steel when sparring at Winterfell. Mercy killing is what's atypical for him. And he never again goes for the M.O of hiring a cutpurse, particularly via an extremely valuable item. Even in King's Landing I wouldn't expect Joffrey to have those kind of contacts, out in the provinces would be an even larger ask.

It was a first step, and Renly didn't want to seem like he was doing it specifically to advance his political interests.

Jon Arryn made the argument when Robert was new on the throne and Oberyn Martell had been trying to rally support for Viserys. Robert is on more solid ground now, and if Cersei's children aren't being removed the Lannisters nearly as badly harmed by her removal. They still wouldn't be happy, just as the Brackens weren't, but it's less of a necessity to bring the Tyrells on board if war doesn't immediately break out. Then again, a Baratheon warred with the Crown over a merely broken betrothal, which is more acceptable to break than an actual marriage, and we really don't know how the latter could happen.

The Stormlands are even closer to King's Landing. Even the Vale is closer, although they'd likely make that trip by boat. The Riverlands allied with Robert before, and Hoster is still in charge. Tywin could probably defend Casterly Rock, but attacking Robert in KL would be difficult even for a very wealthy Lord. Robert was able to unite the realm behind him when Balon Greyjoy rebelled, and Tywin is hardly liked in other kingdoms.

That all happened offpage, I don't think we can be so sure how coherent Jon was throughout it. We just know what he kept repeating at the end, and what Lysa, Ned and Pycelle concluded. I think we're supposed to believe that Lysa is irrational about her own son and that Ned and Pycelle were on the right track, given their knowledge of Arryn's genealogical research. Jon Arryn certainly didn't believe his own son was "strong" at the time, and was in fact trying to get him away from Lysa's harmful influence.

Ned discovers that Jon went with Stannis, of all people, to a brothel where another one of Robert's black-haired bastards was found. Jon and Stannis also both visited Tobho Mott where they saw Gendry. The genealogy book then confirmed that the phenotype was found in all Baratheon offspring.

Pycelle acted to ensure Jon's death, and when he admits to doing so to further Lannister interests, which has been consistent with all his behavior we know of, I think we should believe him. Pycelle gave Jon Arryn the book of genealogy, so he knew more than most about Jon's investigation. He had no particular reason to want Jon dead aside from that investigation.

True, Pycelle may have known more than some other people. But the more people that knew, the more Renly would stand out for not knowing. Ned figured it out in a much shorter amount of time in King's Landing.

A seat on the high council isn't worth nearly as much as a feudal claim, although it's not nothing. I don't actually know what Renly's duties were as Master of Laws though.

It wasn't that subtle. Bran caught them after they spent only a short time at Winterfell, and when Jaime was suspiciously absent from the hunt of the king he's supposed to be protecting. Jaime recalled that they had sex right near a passed out Robert when Arya had run off after the Trident and Cersei was insisting that Jaime find her before Ned's men did so she would pay for hitting Joffrey. They seem to have been downright reckless and only getting away with it because Robert was a drunk who'd lost interest in Cersei.

The part about the phenotype proving that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen were illegitimate has always been a little suspect with me, since using that logic, only Jon and Arya would be Ned's offspring. 

I've always wondered how Jaime and Cersei managed to get down the tower after Jaime pushed Bran without anyone noticing, or did Bran lie at the foot of the tower for hours without anyone noticing?

What does a Master of Laws do?

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31 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

The part about the phenotype proving that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen were illegitimate has always been a little suspect with me, since using that logic, only Jon and Arya would be Ned's offspring. 

I've always wondered how Jaime and Cersei managed to get down the tower after Jaime pushed Bran without anyone noticing, or did Bran lie at the foot of the tower for hours without anyone noticing?

What does a Master of Laws do?

Not really. Baratheon children with a Lannister parent, as noted in that draft tome, always look like Robert going back hundreds of years. All his bastards have the same hair as himself and his brothers.

Nowhere does the book set up that all Starks or all Lannisters have the exact same hair. What it does kind of set up is that family members who marry will generally share the same looks with their children (see Tywin/Joanna-Cersei/Jaime or Rickard/Lyarra-Ned/Benjen/Lyanna/Brandon). The only exception there is Tyrion* and my god I hate that I brought that up. 

* plz no one call him a son of aerys'

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2 hours ago, Seams said:

If we take Robert's sales pitch to Ned as a hint about Renly's peach speech, we might tip the balance toward sincerity in analyzing the motives of the younger brother. I think Renly realized that he needed a balancing figure who had strengths other than his own, just as Robert did. He wanted Ned to take certain actions against Cersei that he would back up, but he left King's Landing at a critical point (like Robert disappearing at Stony Sept?). His "Plan B" was to try to get Stannis to work with him. That didn't pan out, either.

Yeah, you might have convinced me. It's just like Stannis' offer to Renly, which was also a last attempt at reconciling with his brother. Stannis had to be convinced by Mel to agree to the parley. But neither brother wanted to back down.

 

1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

What does a Master of Laws do?

https://racefortheironthrone.tumblr.com/post/181869203911/im-interested-to-know-what-do-you-think-since This is a good summary.

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31 minutes ago, Peach King said:

It has some good speculation, but the detail it claims to be factual -- the first paragraph -- is wrong. The King's Justice is in charge of the dungeons, and there is nothing anywhere that says the King's Justice answers to the Master of Laws. When Longwaters describes the hierarchy, he makes this pretty clear:

 

Quote

"Certain of them went to the master of coin, others to the master of whisperers. All to the chief gaoler and the King’s Justice. It has always been so in the dungeons."

The speculative stuff is, as I said, good, but the issue with the idea of the Master of Laws acting as the chief judge of cases in King's Landing is that George has said that it's the king who judges cases in KL. Which obviously doesn't really make sense, but in any case, we can't positively say that's the case just because an alternative makes more sense. (As a tangent, on Blood of Dragons we came up with a hierarchy for the court that touched on legal apparatus to try and work around the "King judges cases" thing. And maybe we're at fault for Atwell getting the connection to the Master of Laws wrong, since we decided for our game to slot him under the MoL. If George ever asks Linda and I for advice on the legal system in KL, you know the direction of our thinking on the matter of courts and such...)

For that matter, he's also wrong on why Wylde was called Ironrod. Per F&B: 

Quote

Lord Wylde's unbending attitudes on matters of law earned him this sobriquet, Septon Eustace says.

Nothing about harsh physical punishments, just that he was strict in his interpretations of the law. (Mushroom of course gives a different reason.)

Edited by Ran

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On 9/10/2019 at 11:34 PM, argonak said:

Are you  refferring to Loras taking the job of capturing dragonstone?  I think thats actually a point for him.  Sure he gets wrecked (we're told), but his house benefits hugely from this action by freeing up their fleet, and it cost Lannisters a lot of soldiers who could otherwise have just sieged it down.  Its hugely honorable and if he's really crippled, I expect Tommen will retire him from the King's guard, given the precedent of Barristan.  And that could even be a win for Highgarden, as they get a potentially still marriageble son back from the King's Guard.  The only downer is Margaery's current situation with the Sparrows.

It is quite clear that Loras was played there by Cersei, and Margaery's reaction proves that. As does Loras deciding to actually personally lead the storm on Dragonstone. You can make a case that such a storm was technically beneficial to his house and the Reach - but what was moronic was to actually lead the storm. He should have stayed back and allow other men to get killed and crippled and disfigured in the fighting. But he did not.

And that's my point - Loras is a bold and rash young man, a man who, like every young man in this series (especially those who excel at arms) believes he is immortal (which is actually a recurring theme with those youths in the series). He is not particularly savvy as a politician. The idea that he is the kind of guy who would come up with the idea to make his sister a queen is pretty far-fetched.

On 9/10/2019 at 11:39 PM, Ran said:

GRRM is pretty clear that Renly is speaking in broad, flippantly general terms not because he isn't aware of who his grandmother is, but because he's indicating none of it matters in his mind, it wasn't blood that decided anything but might. It's why he called it a "slender" reed, it was taking Renly's statement as being literal fact rather than the hyperbole that GRRM intended.

I know that - but the point is that Renly still comes across as a guy who doesn't know who his grandmother was. That's part of his character - if George had wanted to make a point that Renly didn't care about grandma Rhaelle insofar as Robert's claim is concerned he should have had Renly mention her rather than obscure marriages between people who most likely didn't even exist.

As things stand Renly's apparent ignorance about his own family is part of the story and can thus be cited as an aspect of his overall careless character and/or incompetence. As such I think it is perfectly valid to beat him up for that since that seems the same kind of behavior that lead him to his belief that Dorne would join him (which was likely based on him believing he was 'popular' with whatever Dornishmen he hung with when he visited Dorne a couple of years ago).

And by the way: The SSM seems to support the idea that George had not yet figured out or decided that Renly's grandmother actually was a Targaryen princess. He seems to be implying there that Renly's claims about the relations between the Targaryens and the Baratheons are correct.

On 9/10/2019 at 11:39 PM, Ran said:

Given that Renly's personal life is a matter that is still relevant into AFfC and forms a part of the motivation for Cersei's plotting, I think he's had a pretty outsized impact for a character killed off by the middle of ACoK, and I don't feel he's been underserved at all. But this is a matter of personal taste and it need not be argued over; de gustibus non est disputandum, etc.

You are right there. I just feel that Robert's reign and family is very much underserved by all the background stuff we have gotten so far. Did you ask George for more on Robert's reign and the political dynamics in the years leading up to AGoT? Not knowing anything about what Renly did during his brother's reign is only part of that - we also have no clue who sat on the council prior to Renly and Littlefinger, how it came that these two were chosen. Hell, we don't even know whether Robert granted Storm's End to Renly the same time he gave Dragonstone to Stannis.

Those would all be rather interesting background details.

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On 9/11/2019 at 7:51 AM, Lost Melnibonean said:

I am thinking that Petyr was in cahoots with Renly and Loras.

Aside from the interactions between them that we know of, Petyr suggested that eventually Joffrey could be replaced with Renly, and specifically not Stannis.

16 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It is quite clear that Loras was played there by Cersei, and Margaery's reaction proves that. As does Loras deciding to actually personally lead the storm on Dragonstone. You can make a case that such a storm was technically beneficial to his house and the Reach - but what was moronic was to actually lead the storm. He should have stayed back and allow other men to get killed and crippled and disfigured in the fighting. But he did not.

And that's my point - Loras is a bold and rash young man, a man who, like every young man in this series (especially those who excel at arms) believes he is immortal (which is actually a recurring theme with those youths in the series). He is not particularly savvy as a politician. The idea that he is the kind of guy who would come up with the idea to make his sister a queen is pretty far-fetched.

I agree, which is why I am less apt to think of Dragonstone as a "trap". Loras could have protected himself better than there was nothing done specifically to goad him into taking such risks

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On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

If Cersei was still around, I expect she'd be doing a lot more to encourage Joffrey's hostility toward the Tyrells, just as Bittersteel's maternal kid did toward the Blackwoods. I also don't know how Cersei would be removed without some accusations serious enough to disqualify her as queen, most of which I expect would qualify as treason and carry capital sentences.

We don't know how Renly thought Cersei could/would be set aside, only that both Renly and Cersei believed this could be done. How it would have worked out is an impossible question to answer as is how what the people involved would have done to cling to power or get their revenge.

However, part of the point is that Renly is clearly not the guy who would or did thing so far ahead. He wanted to replace Cersei with Margaery. That was his plan.

I mean, you see how moronic those 'great players' occasionally are. Otto Hightower makes Rhaenyra Targaryen the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne - and a year later he marries his daughter to the king. Didn't he know he was going to (try to) do that a year before? We will never know, but stuff like that makes the man look like a moron with hindsight in mind.

But the point of such behavior is likely to underline that those people are not necessarily political geniuses who plan ahead. They react to situations, they take chances which present themselves, they do something and worry about the consequences later, etc.

And Renly fits that kind of guy perfectly. He didn't have a good claim to the throne but he crowned himself anyway. He literally worried about the Lannisters and Stannis later.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

After Robert dies, Renly advocates using his men to violently seize power. With him absent, the Lannisters violently seize power instead. That makes it seem more like that situation made power up for violent grabs rather than his life being in danger earlier.

All we can say is that he paints himself as being somewhat in danger from the Lannisters. I think he uses that as an excuse to make himself look better - just as many readers actually excuse Stannis for abandoning Robert and Ned by claiming he was 'in mortal danger' from Cersei when in fact she had no plans to poison Stannis and Stannis never actually stated that he had been afraid for his life or that he was afraid of Cersei Lannister, a mere woman, personally (the man did not leave court because he was afraid Cersei would spike his salt water) - but in fact he left KL because he had already decided he would claim the throne himself (or had already went down half that path or so).

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Joffrey being cruel goes back a ways. He was certainly cruel to Mycah, and also wanted to use live steel when sparring at Winterfell. Mercy killing is what's atypical for him. And he never again goes for the M.O of hiring a cutpurse, particularly via an extremely valuable item. Even in King's Landing I wouldn't expect Joffrey to have those kind of contacts, out in the provinces would be an even larger ask.

It is quite clear how the thing went. The guy was some low-life sellsword, freerider, or hedge knight who attached himself to the royal party on their way to Winterfell. Joffrey did not spent his days on the journey in the royal wheelhouse. He would have been out and about with Sandor Clegane and the other guys he was hanging out with. While Joff isn't the kind of prince who would befriend smallfolk the way Arya did, there are many scenarios imaginable how he might have made the acquaintance of that particular guy - say, he drank with the Hound one night in an inn when Joffrey was with them, and he desperately tried to please his prince, enter his service, etc. Joff certainly could have remembered something like that.

It is also quite clear Joff adores his father, King Robert, and wants not only win his affection but also walk in his warrior-king footsteps. Robert is the one who drunkenly proclaims in front of Cersei and the children that it would be a mercy to allow Bran to die. Joff heard that and set out to prove to himself that he was really kingly material, a worthy son of the warrior-king Robert Baratheon.

There is really nothing wrong with that particular plot. The reason why people don't like that so much is that it doesn't fit with the overall 'conspiracy theory angle' most readers usually use when explaining mysteries in the novels. But while there are real conspiracies there have always been - especially in the first book - many accidents and coincidences which shaped the story. And the attempt on Bran is just one such.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

It was a first step, and Renly didn't want to seem like he was doing it specifically to advance his political interests.

Not sure how you can say that this indicates that Renly actually wanted to get Ned on board with his plan. He wanted to assess whether the talk that Margaery resembled Lyanna was accurate - which was an important part of his plan to make Robert fall in love with Margaery - but if he wanted Ned on board with the plan he would have actually hinted at the actual plan - or at least try to bond with Ned over their mutual loathing of the Lannisters.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Jon Arryn made the argument when Robert was new on the throne and Oberyn Martell had been trying to rally support for Viserys. Robert is on more solid ground now, and if Cersei's children aren't being removed the Lannisters nearly as badly harmed by her removal. They still wouldn't be happy, just as the Brackens weren't, but it's less of a necessity to bring the Tyrells on board if war doesn't immediately break out. Then again, a Baratheon warred with the Crown over a merely broken betrothal, which is more acceptable to break than an actual marriage, and we really don't know how the latter could happen.

The Stormlands are even closer to King's Landing. Even the Vale is closer, although they'd likely make that trip by boat. The Riverlands allied with Robert before, and Hoster is still in charge. Tywin could probably defend Casterly Rock, but attacking Robert in KL would be difficult even for a very wealthy Lord. Robert was able to unite the realm behind him when Balon Greyjoy rebelled, and Tywin is hardly liked in other kingdoms.

My point simply is that a Robert fearing retribution from Tywin or his heirs over the Cersei issue when the incest came out would not have been in need to be in love with Margaery to consider it a reasonable decision to make her his queen. I think you do recall that Cersei also realized this when Tyrion suggested to offer Joff's hand to Margaery after Renly's death.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

That all happened offpage, I don't think we can be so sure how coherent Jon was throughout it. We just know what he kept repeating at the end, and what Lysa, Ned and Pycelle concluded. I think we're supposed to believe that Lysa is irrational about her own son and that Ned and Pycelle were on the right track, given their knowledge of Arryn's genealogical research. Jon Arryn certainly didn't believe his own son was "strong" at the time, and was in fact trying to get him away from Lysa's harmful influence.

The point just is that all that doesn't amount to proper evidence and it is a fact that Jon Arryn never shared his suspicions with Robert. And considering that Robert spent hours with the old man, joking with him and talking about the past it is hardly imaginable that Jon was completely incapable of following and/or participating in the conversation.

What 'the seed is strong' actually meant is completely unclear. Could be something referring to his suspicions, could be what Lysa believed, could be something from Jon's youth that came back to him in his last moments, could be some nonsense. We don't really know. We only know how people chose to interpret that line.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Ned discovers that Jon went with Stannis, of all people, to a brothel where another one of Robert's black-haired bastards was found. Jon and Stannis also both visited Tobho Mott where they saw Gendry. The genealogy book then confirmed that the phenotype was found in all Baratheon offspring.

In all the Lannister-Baratheon offspring. That is a difference. FaB gave us other examples - Jocelyn Baratheon's grandchildren and great-grandchildren had the silver-golden hair and the purples eyes of the Velaryons/Targaryens.

But one could easily make the case, countering Jon and Stannis' 'bastard evidence' that Cersei Lannister happens to come from a purified and thus, presumably, stronger Lannister bloodline considering that her parents Tywin and Joanna Lannister were golden-haired, green-eyed first cousins - a case that could likely not be made for the Baratheons and Lannisters who wed in the past and whose offspring is mentioned in the book.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Pycelle acted to ensure Jon's death, and when he admits to doing so to further Lannister interests, which has been consistent with all his behavior we know of, I think we should believe him. Pycelle gave Jon Arryn the book of genealogy, so he knew more than most about Jon's investigation. He had no particular reason to want Jon dead aside from that investigation.

Considering his devotion to the Lannisters it may have been enough for him to know the queen wanted him dead. He may not have needed more explanation than that.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

True, Pycelle may have known more than some other people. But the more people that knew, the more Renly would stand out for not knowing. Ned figured it out in a much shorter amount of time in King's Landing.

Ned figured it out because he had a reason to believe the Lannisters poisoned Jon Arryn.

People really seem to forget that Cersei and Jaime are TWIN SIBLINGS. It is not strange for them to feel a great affection for each other, and even show that in front of others. Jaime likely could kiss or touch or embrace Cersei in front of the entire court and nobody - especially not Robert himself - would jump to the conclusion 'Gotcha, they are fucking each other'.

To actually imagine they have an incestuous sexual relationship (and that all the king's children are the offspring of this union) you have to have either a very filthy mind or oversee or overhear something that cannot be explained as mere brotherly or sisterly affection.

And nothing indicates Cersei or Jaime ever publicly exchanged French kisses or had sex in front of others. We don't know what led Stannis believe what he believed, but chances are pretty high that he never had more a 'it would be pretty fucked up if this were the case' case in this entire affair. His confirmation seems to be the sudden death of Jon Arryn - and that really doesn't cout as evidence for anything.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Renly is at least an heir, and since Robert inherited through his grandmother, Shireen's offspring might potentially do so as well. For what it's worth, Selyse attributes their lack of sons to Robert's misuse of their marriage bed cursing them.

I know that, but it is still quite clear that Stannis is doing himself and his dynasty a disservice by not trying to impregnate Selyse after he has declared himself king. And if he doesn't care it is not surprising that other would-be kings (among them his own brother) wouldn't care, either.

Stannis never sees Renly as his heir considering that Renly publicly claims the throne before Stannis does - and Stannis later only offers to name Renly his heir, he never does so.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

The Tyrells come to the capital at the end of ACOK, and they get very involved. They even commit regicide for Margaery. If/when Renly takes King's Landing, the Tyrells will definitely be there making demands.

They could try. But the only Tyrell Renly is likely to listen to would be Loras. And he might not exactly keep to see Renly fuck Margaery.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Renly's behavior around Margery and Loras that we know of was not of the sort to generate jealousy in the latter.

It is just an idea. But I have to say that if I were Margaery and had any ambition or desire to be a proper queen I'd be quite pissed how my 'husband' is treating me at table (ignoring me in conversation and feeding me occasionally as if I were nothing but a pet bird) while showering my brother with attention and affection.

And we do know that Loras was very much in love with Renly. Would he have been fine with Renly sleeping with Margaery? We actually don't know.

The Tyrells are a very functional family but Margaery was still very young and the years do change people. The time may have come when she may have wanted to show both her 'husband' and her brother that she wanted to get more out of her queenship than she got originally.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Rhaenyra was not married to a king, so her offense was not as severe, and was not actually an offence against Viserys.

It is still quite clear that Viserys I would have sat in judgment over Rhaenyra had she been ever accused of adultery.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Aegon's favorite wife died not long after the birth of their first child. Visenya's pregnancy seems fishier, specifically in that blood magic might have been involved. We know less about Aegon than the kings who came after him. I think you're reaching to conclude it's "strongly suggested".

Well, one can discuss how strong the suggestion is, but I really think it is pretty obvious in those lines about King Aenys:

Quote

So unlike King Aegon was he that a few even dared suggest that His Grace was not the boy’s true sire, that Aenys was some bastard born of one of Queen Rhaenys’s many handsome favorites, the son of a singer or a mummer or a mime. [...] Aenys would not disgrace himself in battle, his tutors told one another, but no songs would ever be sung about his prowess. Such gifts as this prince possessed lay elsewhere. Aenys was a fine singer himself, as it happened, with a strong sweet voice.

I think it is hardly a coincidence that Aenys may have inherited his singing voice from his true father. This is as far as one can go in a scenario where the milkman's child did succeed to his legal father's throne.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Stannis only has one child, but the people who claim he's not the father are just engaged in propaganda against his cause. Jon Arryn also only had one child, and while some fans seem to think Littlefinger is the father, Lysa herself doesn't. Sharra Arryn wouldn't have had much personal knowledge of his fertility, she was just reaching for whatever advantage she could get.

Well, but one assumes very few people would dare tell rumors about bastardy about the Conqueror's only child and heir if there were no reason to believe that Queen Rhaenys did not entertain some lovers. And it seems to be pretty clear that if she did use them to get pregnant that she did that with the connivance - and perhaps even at the behest - of King Aegon himself considering the mighty Conqueror was incapable of fathering an heir on his two sister-wives for 6-7 years since the Conquest and 8-9 years since the beginning of the wars (and some or many years before that, depending when exactly Aegon and his sisters married each other - with them already being in their mid-twenties when the Conquest began they could have been married a decade or more before the Conquest, which would mean Aegon got his first child after twenty years of marriage).

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

Olenna tells Sansa that when she wants Sansa to trust her and confide in her. Dontos Hollard tells Sansa not to trust the Tyrells, as they are just Lannisters with roses, and what we know of them backs him up. Olenna certainly doesn't tell Sansa that once Joffrey's nature is confirmed they're going to poison him, frame Tyrion and Sansa, then marry Margaery to Tommen.

Sure, but there is no reason whatsoever to not buy Olenna's outspoken and blunt claim that Renly was a moron, that it was a mistake to back him, and that she had never supported him. Margaery actually feels she has to defend Renly there, indicating that this wasn't part of a some charade but actually Olenna Redwyne speaking her mind.

And while she uses her bluntness and outsokenness as a ploy to confuse people, there is no reason she invents things or outright lies when she is blunt. It is part of character to speak her mind.

On 9/11/2019 at 4:44 AM, FictionIsntReal said:

It wasn't that subtle. Bran caught them after they spent only a short time at Winterfell, and when Jaime was suspiciously absent from the hunt of the king he's supposed to be protecting. Jaime recalled that they had sex right near a passed out Robert when Arya had run off after the Trident and Cersei was insisting that Jaime find her before Ned's men did so she would pay for hitting Joffrey. They seem to have been downright reckless and only getting away with it because Robert was a drunk who'd lost interest in Cersei.

See above for more on my thoughts on Jaime and Cersei. Keep in mind that those things all happened behind closed doors with Jaime attending Cersei as her twin brother and Kingsguard/sworn shield. There was nothing fishy in him being with Cersei and Robert ... and nobody but a passed-out Robert to witness what they did.

We can be pretty sure Cersei and Jaime knew how likely it was that a servant would burst into the king's apartment when they had told them not to disturb them. And people hearing sounds indicating sex from the royal apartments would expect that the king and the queen were having fun - not the queen and her twin brother.

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On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

Hes from an ambitious family, and that's enough, even if he's not personally ambitious.

Again, no indication that he is a plotter or acting as a pawn to whoever in his family that is ambitious.

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

We know that he wrote letters urging Mace to send Margaery to court. That is not enough to say this was Renly's plan. This was probably not the first time the plan was discussed.

If it had been discussed at Highgarden then why didn't Margaery and Mace accompany Loras to KL for the tourney? Why is no Tyrell hanging out at court aside from Loras - and he is technically only visiting?

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

No reason to believe it started when Loras was 13. Personally I believe it started 1 or 2 years prior since it seemed like Loras never got out of the honeymoon stage. Loras is about the people he loves, not just Renly. Loras was capable of ordering Renly not to let Brienne into the Rainbow Guard, so I wouldn't say he was cowed by Renly.

Just throwing out a number there, but keep in mind that Loras was only turning 16 during AGoT (he was still 15 at the nameday tourney), and he is a very handsome and apparently well-built youth who may have had the right looks for a man like Renly even at the age of 12-13. And in this world - if a girl can be fucked when she starts to bleed a boy should be old enough to fuck and be fucked when he can (properly) shoot his load.

That whatever romance Renly and Loras had started and evolved at Storm's End when Loras was still Renly's squire (and thus both at his mercy and in a relationship with his knightly master who happened to be a man grown, the Lord of Storm's End, and the brother of the king) is evident from the fact that Loras himself tells us that he buried Renly at that 'special place' they shared near Storm's End.

I have great trouble imagining that a youth like Loras could manipulate Renly when in fact the age gap between the two would imply that Renly was the one who groomed and eventually seduced Loras. I mean, the very idea Loras was sent to Storm's End to seduce Renly is ridiculous. Squires usually enter service at 9-10 years or so - do we believe Loras Tyrell knew he was gay at that age? Do we think his family knew? And that they sent off the boy with instructions to seduce his master?

That makes no sense to me.

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

How do you know that was Renly's main motivation? We are never told his motivation. Arrogant and egotistical people can be influenced to act in other people's interests, you just have to make them believe it was their idea in the first place. Just look at Cersei and Joffrey. Later we see Mace go on to marry Margaery to three other kings, so the plan could have originated with the Tyrells. And the fact that Renly was crowned at Highgarden is significant.

Renly himself makes it clear that he schemed to make Margaery Robert's queen. If it had been the idea of the Tyrells one would expect him to have phrased that somewhat differently. Not to mention that they would have acted differently then - there would have been no need for Loras to urge.

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

Why did the Tyrells not tell Renly to get lost and betroth Joffrey to Margaery instead? Because he's a lot easier to control and more amenable to their desires.

Joffrey was betrothed to Sansa Stark at the time. Not to mention that Mace's favorite son - Loras - was Renly's lover. These two wanted to make Renly king, not the Tyrells as such. Loras and Renly convinced Mace and his bannermen.

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

Now the word "urging" here doesn't mean Mace had to be persuaded. It could mean Loras was telling Mace "Hey dad everything is in place, it's time for the next phase of the plan - hurry up and send Margaery to court."

Then why wasn't she there for the tourney?

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

Again, it's not enough to say Renly thought up the plan. I'd actually say Renly was a side character who was mostly there to introduce the real power players - the Tyrells.

They came much later. The only Tyrells with Renly were Loras and Margaery (in ACoK).

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

Are you saying Robert would just set his queen and true born heirs aside just cause?

No way that'll lead to any problems!

Would depend on the scenario. But Renly's plan was about replacing Cersei with Margaery, not Robert's heirs. Robert's succession was a matter for the future, if Renly cared about that at all.

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

I never said Renly read any books. Tyrion who wasn't even at court knew about the incest, Cersei and Jaime were not subtle. Renly lived at court long enough that he and Loras were a source of gossip and Cersei bitterly remembers "Renly's mocking". 

See above.

On 9/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, Peach King said:

We know plenty about Renly. 

Not his true eye color, though. Are they green or blue ;-)?

On 9/11/2019 at 2:51 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

I am thinking that Petyr was in cahoots with Renly and Loras.

I agree with Ran on where Petyr was, but I've always argued that Littlefinger suggesting to Ned to eventually make Renly king either indicates he could work very well with Renly (which is why I think Littlefinger actually planned to open the gates of KL to Renly if his vast army had ever descended on the capital) or he was actually plotting with him.

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1 hour ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Aside from the interactions between them that we know of, Petyr suggested that eventually Joffrey could be replaced with Renly, and specifically not Stannis.

I've always argued that Littlefinger's main (or perhaps only) reason to betray Ned when he did betray was that he insisted on making Stannis king. Littlefinger could work with every pretender but not that one. Stannis would either fire or hang him, and Littlefinger could have neither.

1 hour ago, FictionIsntReal said:

I agree, which is why I am less apt to think of Dragonstone as a "trap". Loras could have protected himself better than there was nothing done specifically to goad him into taking such risks

But Cersei saw right through him and knew he most likely would get himself killed. That means she played him. And he behaved like a proper little tin soldier.

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19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Again, no indication that he is a plotter or acting as a pawn to whoever in his family that is ambitious.

There are indications - like the fact that he was based on Piers Gaveston, an ambitious plotter in Edward II's (Renly's) court. That most of Renly's actions in ACOK seemed inspired by Tyrell notions, even after he left Highgarden and the only Tyrells with him were Margaery and Loras. That Renly is set up as a puppet in ACOK (his crown and way of dress). That Renly and the Tyrells is supposed to be the new generation of Robert and the Lannisters (and Robert did whatever the Lannisters asked). That Mace is ambitious and wants royal favour and uses Margaery as a pawn, so there's no reason to think he wouldn't use Loras as well.

Why do you think he was sent to Storm's End? Renly is only about 4 years older than Loras, and never said to be much good at  the sword - that's an indication this was a political move by the Tyrells to get close to the crown. Renly was estranged from his family, so a close alliance could be formed.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If it had been discussed at Highgarden then why didn't Margaery and Mace accompany Loras to KL for the tourney? Why is no Tyrell hanging out at court aside from Loras - and he is technically only visiting?

Mace stayed at Highgarden for the same reason he stayed at Highgarden during the wot5k - he's cautious and doesn't commit entirely to something he's not sure of.

The other way around - Loras visited Highgarden sometime in AGOT, and he lived at court. He also had 20 men in his personal guard, which is a huge amount for a third son.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Just throwing out a number there, but keep in mind that Loras was only turning 16 during AGoT (he was still 15 at the nameday tourney), and he is a very handsome and apparently well-built youth who may have had the right looks for a man like Renly even at the age of 12-13. And in this world - if a girl can be fucked when she starts to bleed a boy should be old enough to fuck and be fucked when he can (properly) shoot his load.

That whatever romance Renly and Loras had started and evolved at Storm's End when Loras was still Renly's squire (and thus both at his mercy and in a relationship with his knightly master who happened to be a man grown, the Lord of Storm's End, and the brother of the king) is evident from the fact that Loras himself tells us that he buried Renly at that 'special place' they shared near Storm's End.

Ok....gross. Joffrey's nameday tourney was at the start of the year, the Hand's tourney near the end. So, a year ago Loras would still have been 15 and a few months. Loras is described "as slender as a reed" so I wouldn't say he's well built. You can show special places to your friends, so that doesn't mean anything to me. I don't think Renly would be into a 12 year old.

(You seem to have a fixation on saying things of a gross sexual nature - I would get that checked out if I were you.)

By the way Loras keeps talking about Renly, it does look he was in the infatuation (read:early) stage of love. It's up to the reader, but I prefer to think it started a year or two before.

Loras was also the son of a Lord Paramount who would take issue if he was mistreated, he was a powerful person in his own right.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I have great trouble imagining that a youth like Loras could manipulate Renly when in fact the age gap between the two would imply that Renly was the one who groomed and eventually seduced Loras. I mean, the very idea Loras was sent to Storm's End to seduce Renly is ridiculous. Squires usually enter service at 9-10 years or so - do we believe Loras Tyrell knew he was gay at that age? Do we think his family knew? And that they sent off the boy with instructions to seduce his master?

This is an uncomfortable topic. I don't think that was GRRM's intention. Seduction isn't necessary, and probably not what the Tyrells had in mind (as the treatment of Satin and the maester in Victarion's ship implies, its considered shameful to er, be on the receiving end, and the Reach has a highly martial, masculine and religious culture). Knights form close bonds with their squires, as Cersei said. Most squiring is political in nature, like marriage. Also, he doesn't have to manipulate him, just sell his family's ideas to Renly - and if Renly saw the value in it, he would go along with it.

Loras was at court in KL. He would report matters to his family (like what Robert was doing, what the Lannisters were doing, Ned's coming, etc) and the Tyrells could tell him what to do next. The Tyrells needed Renly, as Renly was the brother to the king, the one who could get close to him and  convince him. Loras couldn't just walk up to the king and talk about his beautiful sister. If Mace put a grandson on the throne, he'll have secured his authority on the Reach.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Renly himself makes it clear that he schemed to make Margaery Robert's queen. If it had been the idea of the Tyrells one would expect him to have phrased that somewhat differently.

That doesn't say anything about his motivation. In the conversation you're referring to, Stannis says Renly was scheming to make her Robert's whore - and Renly corrects him saying he was scheming to make her queen. "I and the Tyrells" is an unnecessary tack on. Also?, again, he's arrogant and egotistical.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Joffrey was betrothed to Sansa Stark at the time. Not to mention that Mace's favorite son - Loras - was Renly's lover. These two wanted to make Renly king, not the Tyrells as such. Loras and Renly convinced Mace and his bannermen.

That could have easily been set aside. Her family was warring with the Lannisters. As FictionIsntReal said, Olenna only said that she never wanted to support Renly when he was a dead traitor and she was in enemy territory. People lie.

These are cold blooded politicians. Mace isn't just going to support a usurper just because his son likes him. He would have to see the value in it.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Then why wasn't she there for the tourney?

They came much later. The only Tyrells with Renly were Loras and Margaery (in ACoK).

Because they had to get Robert interested in Margaery first. No use sending her to KL if Robert wasn't even interested, if there wasn't any hope that Robert would fall in love with her they would have just been wasting their time. It also increases the risk that Cersei would catch on to the plan. 

So, the "go ahead" to send Margaery to court was only given when Robert showed interest. And he did - he talked about Margaery's beauty to Ned. Notice how the letter was sent only after that incident.

I mean the Margaery plan was there in the background to show the extent of Tyrell ambition.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Would depend on the scenario. But Renly's plan was about replacing Cersei with Margaery, not Robert's heirs. Robert's succession was a matter for the future, if Renly cared about that at all.

Then how can you come to the conclusion that Renly wanting Ned to get the kids into his custody is him actually wanting to kill them?

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

See above.

How is that relevant to the fact that the incest was not subtle at all, or that Renly was there for a long time at court? Tyrion would only come for brief visits and he knew about the incest. 

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not his true eye color, though. Are they green or blue ;-)?

Renly is not that shallow a character.

Renly's motivation is mostly a desire for  attention. And he never hated the Lannisters. I think that's even more reason to believe the scheme was cooked up by the Tyrells.

Blue eyes look green in different lighting, or can change depending on what you wear.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And Renly fits that kind of guy perfectly. He didn't have a good claim to the throne but he crowned himself anyway. He literally worried about the Lannisters and Stannis later.

Yep - he wasn't worried because he knew the Lannisters could be discredited easily, and that Stannis wouldn't join the Lannisters.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

All we can say is that he paints himself as being somewhat in danger from the Lannisters. I think he uses that as an excuse to make himself look better - just as many readers actually excuse Stannis for abandoning Robert and Ned by claiming he was 'in mortal danger' from Cersei when in fact she had no plans to poison Stannis and Stannis never actually stated that he had been afraid for his life or that he was afraid of Cersei Lannister, a mere woman, personally (the man did not leave court because he was afraid Cersei would spike his salt water) - but in fact he left KL because he had already decided he would claim the throne himself (or had already went down half that path or so)

My point simply is that a Robert fearing retribution from Tywin or his heirs over the Cersei issue when the incest came out would not have been in need to be in love with Margaery to consider it a reasonable decision to make her his queen. I think you do recall that Cersei also realized this when Tyrion suggested to offer Joff's hand to Margaery after Renly's death.

Exactly - how would Renly know he was in danger unless he knew a trueborn and black haired Baratheon was an existential threat to Joffrey's rule?

GRRM himself said Stannis fled because he believed Robert would not believe him. Jon Arryn had just died mysteriously so Stannis had good reason to be afraid.

But is Robert reasonable? No. Is Robert a man who would agree to a political match sight unseen when the last political match he agreed to sight unseen was Cersei? Probably not.

That situation was entirely different. The Lannisters desperately needed the Tyrells. Robert wouldn't/doesn't. The likeliest outcome is that he abdicates the throne and becomes a sellsword in Essos, like he confessed to as wanting to do to Ned, but only wouldn't because that would leave the throne to Joffrey. Renly is his brother, so perhaps he heard the same sentiments from Robert.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

People really seem to forget that Cersei and Jaime are TWIN SIBLINGS. It is not strange for them to feel a great affection for each other, and even show that in front of others. Jaime likely could kiss or touch or embrace Cersei in front of the entire court and nobody - especially not Robert himself - would jump to the conclusion 'Gotcha, they are fucking each other'.

To actually imagine they have an incestuous sexual relationship (and that all the king's children are the offspring of this union) you have to have either a very filthy mind or oversee or overhear something that cannot be explained as mere brotherly or sisterly affection.

Then why did Ned jump to that conclusion? And Jaime and Cersei were not subtle at all, so there was a great chance of overseeing or overhearing them, especially if you were a member of the Small Council. Also Renly was having a secret love affair himself, so he would know all about the hiding places in the Red Keep, and how people in clandestine relationships acted.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, but there is no reason whatsoever to not buy Olenna's outspoken and blunt claim that Renly was a moron, that it was a mistake to back him, and that she had never supported him. Margaery actually feels she has to defend Renly there, indicating that this wasn't part of a some charade but actually Olenna Redwyne speaking her mind.

Then why did she lie about breaking her betrothal? Daeron was actually gay and ran off with his boyfriend Jeremy. Maybe that made Olenna a bit homophobic. She's precisely the type to lie to save face.

And that Margaery stood up for Renly is in my opinion an indication that she wasn't greatly opposed to the plan to make her queen. 

Edited by Peach King

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8 hours ago, Peach King said:

There are indications - like the fact that he was based on Piers Gaveston, an ambitious plotter in Edward II's (Renly's) court. That most of Renly's actions in ACOK seemed inspired by Tyrell notions, even after he left Highgarden and the only Tyrells with him were Margaery and Loras. That Renly is set up as a puppet in ACOK (his crown and way of dress). That Renly and the Tyrells is supposed to be the new generation of Robert and the Lannisters (and Robert did whatever the Lannisters asked). That Mace is ambitious and wants royal favour and uses Margaery as a pawn, so there's no reason to think he wouldn't use Loras as well.

Loras may be based on Piers Gaveston but he has pretty much nothing in common with him. He isn't an up-start at a king's court, but merely the lover of a pretender king who dies early. And he isn't really a plotter trying to exploit the guy who showers him with favors.

The fact that Loras is not a real plotter is essentially proving by the fact that Olenna kills Joffrey to save her grandson Loras from himself - Littlefinger's ploy to make Loras a Kingsguard set him up as a potential kingslayer - because Loras would most likely not stand idly by while Joffrey mistreats Margaery. If Loras had been politically savvy then his grandmother could have talked to him about all that. Instead, the guy may not have been told about the plan to kill Joffrey.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Why do you think he was sent to Storm's End? Renly is only about 4 years older than Loras, and never said to be much good at  the sword - that's an indication this was a political move by the Tyrells to get close to the crown. Renly was estranged from his family, so a close alliance could be formed.

Renly was not close to Stannis but he wasn't that estranged from Robert. And while Renly wasn't Robert's equal as a warrior, he was a pretty good tourney knight. He does pretty well in the Tourney of the Hand.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Mace stayed at Highgarden for the same reason he stayed at Highgarden during the wot5k - he's cautious and doesn't commit entirely to something he's not sure of.

That is not addressing the point - bringing Margaery to court himself and presenting her to Robert (or accompanying/watching Loras in the lists) isn't the same as insisting Margaery replace Cersei as queen - or putting her in Robert's bed.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

The other way around - Loras visited Highgarden sometime in AGOT, and he lived at court. He also had 20 men in his personal guard, which is a huge amount for a third son.

Loras didn't live at court. And his family is the second or third richest family in the entire Realm. Mace's cousin Lazy Leo (an acolyte at the Citadel and future maester) runs around with a full purse - it is hardly surprising that his favorite son has both a giant allowance and his own guard.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Ok....gross. Joffrey's nameday tourney was at the start of the year, the Hand's tourney near the end. So, a year ago Loras would still have been 15 and a few months. Loras is described "as slender as a reed" so I wouldn't say he's well built. You can show special places to your friends, so that doesn't mean anything to me. I don't think Renly would be into a 12 year old.

(You seem to have a fixation on saying things of a gross sexual nature - I would get that checked out if I were you.)

I find it rather curious that people don't seem to catch on the underlying power dynamic and the potential for seduction and abuse that's in the Renly-Loras relationship. Dany ended up 'loving' Drogo, too, but that doesn't change the fact that he is both a rapist and a child molester.

I don't have to shield fictional characters who started a relationship with an adolescent from a position of power over them from the possibility that Renly helped Loras to 'discover' the pleasures of sex. Especially since Loras himself gives us the hint that Renly showed him pornography - something Renly most likely did not do to properly 'educate' the boy who was serving him as squire.

Defending Loras-Renly as a proper relationship among equals is basically the same as saying a teacher and his pupil have a relationship among equals - they don't. That doesn't mean it cannot be a romance, but it is not the kind of romance I'd praise.

A romance I could praise is the Daeron-Jeremy-thing since they were both squires to some other guy when they met and fell in love. But Loras was Renly's squire and that puts a completely different spin on the power dynamics of their relationship.

The real problem with the Renly-Loras thing is that Loras would have been handed over to Renly at a very early age - at 9-11 (Egg is nine when he becomes Dunk's squire, Pod is eleven when he becomes Tyrion's squire and he was somebody else's squire before that, etc.). Even if Renly didn't hit on Loras before the boy reached a certain age - 13-14, say - then chances are still pretty good that Renly started to feel attracted the boy before that. And that would have certainly shaped the friendship and relationship they had - even if Renly behaved as a complete gentleman until Loras himself made advances (if that's what happened).

Loras is obviously a youth who developed rather quickly considering he was knighted at the age of fifteen - which means he was, at least insofar as strength of arms is concerned, well past behind squires of equal age (or even those who were a couple of years older).

And if Renly-Loras had a meaningful relationship - and not just some of fling or affair that lasted a fortnight or a couple of months - then it must have started a while back. And Loras' quote about the sun setting with Renly's death, etc. strongly implies that this was not just a passing infatuation or an affair for Loras. Renly was the love of his life.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

By the way Loras keeps talking about Renly, it does look he was in the infatuation (read:early) stage of love. It's up to the reader, but I prefer to think it started a year or two before.

If it was two years before AGoT it could have been when Loras was still thirteen or had just recently turned fourteen.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Loras was also the son of a Lord Paramount who would take issue if he was mistreated, he was a powerful person in his own right.

We know that even a hedge knight as the right to physically chastise a prince who serves him as squire, so Renly Baratheon certainly had the right to do similar things to Loras Tyrell. In addition to, of course, humiliating tasks, brutal training, etc. There is no indication that you can call your dad to complain about being mistreated in a knight-squire relationship.

Doesn't mean Renly treated Loras badly - just that I find the idea hilarious Loras would have been the active part initiating the relationship - or the one seducing Renly.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

This is an uncomfortable topic. I don't think that was GRRM's intention. Seduction isn't necessary, and probably not what the Tyrells had in mind (as the treatment of Satin and the maester in Victarion's ship implies, its considered shameful to er, be on the receiving end, and the Reach has a highly martial, masculine and religious culture). Knights form close bonds with their squires, as Cersei said. Most squiring is political in nature, like marriage. Also, he doesn't have to manipulate him, just sell his family's ideas to Renly - and if Renly saw the value in it, he would go along with it.

There were people who suggested that Loras was sent to Storm's End to seduce Renly. I didn't say you were one of them, though. To me it is much more likely that Renly realized what kind of influence and power he could gain by using Loras to bind the Tyrells to him rather than the other way around. Keep in mind that we only have confirmation that Loras loved Renly (very much) - not that Renly felt the same way about Loras. I'd not be surprised if it turned out that Renly had other lovers besides Loras - and I think it is a given that Renly must have had other lovers before he took on Loras as a squire.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Loras was at court in KL. He would report matters to his family (like what Robert was doing, what the Lannisters were doing, Ned's coming, etc) and the Tyrells could tell him what to do next. The Tyrells needed Renly, as Renly was the brother to the king, the one who could get close to him and  convince him. Loras couldn't just walk up to the king and talk about his beautiful sister. If Mace put a grandson on the throne, he'll have secured his authority on the Reach.

But there is no indication that Mace or any Tyrell back at Highgarden ever entertained the notion Margaery could replace Cersei as queen. That's something that Renly (and Loras) came up with.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

That doesn't say anything about his motivation. In the conversation you're referring to, Stannis says Renly was scheming to make her Robert's whore - and Renly corrects him saying he was scheming to make her queen. "I and the Tyrells" is an unnecessary tack on. Also?, again, he's arrogant and egotistical.

My point is that there is no basis to believe the Tyrells were the driving force in this scheme.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

That could have easily been set aside. Her family was warring with the Lannisters. As FictionIsntReal said, Olenna only said that she never wanted to support Renly when he was a dead traitor and she was in enemy territory. People lie.

But there is no indication that this was a lie. What's your evidence that it should have been a lie?

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

These are cold blooded politicians. Mace isn't just going to support a usurper just because his son likes him. He would have to see the value in it.

There was certainly value to it. He allowed himself to be convinced - by Renly and Loras. His mother argued against it and was ignored. And Mace's other sons may not have been the greatest fans of that idea, either.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Because they had to get Robert interested in Margaery first. No use sending her to KL if Robert wasn't even interested, if there wasn't any hope that Robert would fall in love with her they would have just been wasting their time. It also increases the risk that Cersei would catch on to the plan. 

The way to get a king interested in a woman is to actually present her to him. Showing her a picture also sort of helps, but if I were keen to put my daughter in the bed of the king I'd definitely not be reluctant to bring her to court.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

I mean the Margaery plan was there in the background to show the extent of Tyrell ambition.

It is there to show Renly's ambition, not the Tyrell ambition.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Then how can you come to the conclusion that Renly wanting Ned to get the kids into his custody is him actually wanting to kill them?

Because at that point King Robert no longer could marry Lady Margaery Tyrell, could he? He was dying. And Renly may have already thought that he would look very handsome on the Iron Throne.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

How is that relevant to the fact that the incest was not subtle at all, or that Renly was there for a long time at court? Tyrion would only come for brief visits and he knew about the incest. 

Tyrion is the brother of Cersei and Jaime Lannister. He knows them much more intimately - and on a completely different level - than Renly or any other non-Lannister courtier.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Renly is not that shallow a character.

Renly's motivation is mostly a desire for  attention. And he never hated the Lannisters. I think that's even more reason to believe the scheme was cooked up by the Tyrells.

Blue eyes look green in different lighting, or can change depending on what you wear.

That whole thing was a joke. The error there shows that George didn't care all that much about Renly. He doesn't get the eye colors of the important characters confused.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Exactly - how would Renly know he was in danger unless he knew a trueborn and black haired Baratheon was an existential threat to Joffrey's rule?

My point is that I don't buy his claim that he had to crown himself to defend himself against the Lannisters. That's nonsense. What's clear, though, that he had reason to believe Cersei wasn't exactly his best friend and might be willing and able to harm him severely should she run the regency government of a King Joffrey. After all - while Renly did not know about the incest, it seems Cersei did know about Renly's plan to make Margaery Tyrell Robert's new queen. And even if she did not know this - she certainly did not like Renly - just as Renly didn't like Cersei.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

GRRM himself said Stannis fled because he believed Robert would not believe him. Jon Arryn had just died mysteriously so Stannis had good reason to be afraid.

Jon Arryn was an old man who died of an illness - there was nothing 'mysterious' about his death or else Robert would have believed that this was a strange death, too. Stannis jumped to a conclusion without sufficient evidence.

Stannis may be correct that Robert wouldn't have bought his story - but we will never know because Stannis refused to do his duty and try to convince his king and brother what he thought was 'the truth'. Instead he left court, prepared for war, and waited for his brother to die. It would have been his duty to tell Robert not only about the crimes of his wife and brother-in-law but also about the poisoning of Jon Arryn. Thanks to Stannis, King Robert was unable to rule on the Cersei-Jaime issue and thanks to Stannis there was also no proper investigation of the death of Jon Arryn.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

But is Robert reasonable? No. Is Robert a man who would agree to a political match sight unseen when the last political match he agreed to sight unseen was Cersei? Probably not.

That would depend on the political situation (Joffrey's government also decided to offer his hand before any of them had seen the Lady Margaery). But nobody said anything to Robert marrying Margaery 'unseen'. My point was that in the scenario given Robert didn't need to be in love with Margaery to marry her - he can certainly think she is cute, attractive, etc.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

That situation was entirely different. The Lannisters desperately needed the Tyrells. Robert wouldn't/doesn't. The likeliest outcome is that he abdicates the throne and becomes a sellsword in Essos, like he confessed to as wanting to do to Ned, but only wouldn't because that would leave the throne to Joffrey. Renly is his brother, so perhaps he heard the same sentiments from Robert.

That would mean Stannis becomes king - something Robert might fear even more than handing power to Joffrey/Cersei. Joff and Cersei were pretty clear, but Stannis has a completely different personality than Robert, and priorities and ideas that Robert views as ludicrous (like outlawing prostitution).

One should also consider the positive effect another war could and likely would have had on Robert. Crushing the Lannisters could have reinvigorated him.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Then why did Ned jump to that conclusion? And Jaime and Cersei were not subtle at all, so there was a great chance of overseeing or overhearing them, especially if you were a member of the Small Council. Also Renly was having a secret love affair himself, so he would know all about the hiding places in the Red Keep, and how people in clandestine relationships acted.

Because Ned was fed ideas about the evil Lannisters (in addition to his own prejudices since the Sack) since the very beginning of AGoT. He thought the Lannisters poisoned Jon Arryn, he considered they were behind Bran's fall and the attempt on his life, he knew what Cersei did to Mycah and wanted to do Arya, he was told Cersei plotted to murder Robert, etc.

He was trying to blame the Lannisters for all the bad things he was investigating - and the idea that Cersei's children were not Robert's was the notion that made sense of all what he thought the Lannisters had done in the past. Especially in light of what he learned about Jon's investigation.

Had he not been so focused so strongly on the Lannisters he may have never figured it out.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

Then why did she lie about breaking her betrothal? Daeron was actually gay and ran off with his boyfriend Jeremy. Maybe that made Olenna a bit homophobic. She's precisely the type to lie to save face.

We don't know that Olenna died there. Yandel doesn't give us specifics about the dissolution of the betrothal of Olenna Redwyne and Daeron Targaryen. I certainly buy that Daeron did not go through with the marriage because of Jeremy - but it could still have been Olenna Redwyne who arranged the formal dissolution of the betrothal (and the subsequent marriage between herself and Luthor Tyrell). It is one thing not to go through with a marriage - that means you are betrothed until you dissolve the betrothal. And whether Daeron did the latter we don't know. In fact, we don't even know whether Daeron never wanted to marry Olenna. Could be he offered that they have some sort of menage à trois and Olenna decided that she didn't want that kind of 'marriage'.

8 hours ago, Peach King said:

And that Margaery stood up for Renly is in my opinion an indication that she wasn't greatly opposed to the plan to make her queen. 

According to Littlefinger, Margaery herself is not particularly eager to be queen.

And the funny thing is that the all-so-ambitious Tyrells are not trying to offer Margaery's hand to Joffrey after Renly's death. The Lannisters reach out to them through Littlefinger and they accept their offer - but they are not so ambitious that they try to throw Margaery on any guy who wears a crown.

 

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15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Loras may be based on Piers Gaveston but he has pretty much nothing in common with him. He isn't an up-start at a king's court, but merely the lover of a pretender king who dies early. And he isn't really a plotter trying to exploit the guy who showers him with favors.

The fact that Loras is not a real plotter is essentially proving by the fact that Olenna kills Joffrey to save her grandson Loras from himself - Littlefinger's ploy to make Loras a Kingsguard set him up as a potential kingslayer - because Loras would most likely not stand idly by while Joffrey mistreats Margaery. If Loras had been politically savvy then his grandmother could have talked to him about all that. Instead, the guy may not have been told about the plan to kill Joffrey.

It suggests that he was sent to Renly to gain his favour.

We don't actually know who knew besides Olenna. Margaery has some inconsistent behaviour, like going to a lord for a toast just before Joffrey drank from the poisoned cup - which would have implicated the lord and made it more likely for Margaery to get poisoned too. Her reaction at Joffrey's death was also either genuine or some great acting.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Renly was not close to Stannis but he wasn't that estranged from Robert. And while Renly wasn't Robert's equal as a warrior, he was a pretty good tourney knight. He does pretty well in the Tourney of the Hand.

GRRM said Robert rarely saw Renly until he came to court. Robert was fond of him, but was not especially close to him.

Stannis says Renly would only compete in tourneys to get knocked off his horse by a better man. That's what we see in the Tourney of the Hand. 

Loras could have been squiring for Jon Arryn or Bronze Yohn or Edmure Tully if it was Jon Arryn doing the planning. This was a move by the Tyrells.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is not addressing the point - bringing Margaery to court himself and presenting her to Robert (or accompanying/watching Loras in the lists) isn't the same as insisting Margaery replace Cersei as queen - or putting her in Robert's bed.

If there was a sudden influx of Tyrells in court why wouldn't Cersei be suspicious? Why would Mace make the long trip to KL if he wasn't assured Robert would take an interest in Margaery? Also Margaery was quite young - only 14.

Waiting was a good idea. No one expected the boar attack.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Loras didn't live at court. And his family is the second or third richest family in the entire Realm. Mace's cousin Lazy Leo (an acolyte at the Citadel and future maester) runs around with a full purse - it is hardly surprising that his favorite son has both a giant allowance and his own guard.

Yes he did - see here. https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/153072-how-much-does-mace-tyrell-know-about-loras/&page=3&tab=comments#comment-8402975 

Then why did Tyrion, the heir to Casterly Rock, have only 2 retainers?

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I find it rather curious that people don't seem to catch on the underlying power dynamic and the potential for seduction and abuse that's in the Renly-Loras relationship. Dany ended up 'loving' Drogo, too, but that doesn't change the fact that he is both a rapist and a child molester.

I don't have to shield fictional characters who started a relationship with an adolescent from a position of power over them from the possibility that Renly helped Loras to 'discover' the pleasures of sex. Especially since Loras himself gives us the hint that Renly showed him pornography - something Renly most likely did not do to properly 'educate' the boy who was serving him as squire.

Defending Loras-Renly as a proper relationship among equals is basically the same as saying a teacher and his pupil have a relationship among equals - they don't. That doesn't mean it cannot be a romance, but it is not the kind of romance I'd praise.

A romance I could praise is the Daeron-Jeremy-thing since they were both squires to some other guy when they met and fell in love. But Loras was Renly's squire and that puts a completely different spin on the power dynamics of their relationship.

Every marriage in Westeros is non equal and has a potential to be abusive by our standards. Men have the power to hit and rape their wives, have paramours while they can't, can silence and chastise them, etc. There's just not a lot of value in that statement.

And we can't say anything definitive about their relationship.

Loras said Renly owned "books that would turn a Septon blind". This was to show that Renly was a jock and anti intellectual, nothing else.

And I mostly meant how you bring up uncomfortable topics when the thread doesn't call for it. (Eg. saying Bran could warg into a wolf and commit beastiality if he wanted to release his "sexual urges", saying Ygritte saw Jon as an exotic sex toy, saying Tyrek would force himself on a 9 or 10 year Ermesande, etc etc) Sorry but you seem to have some kind of sick sexual fetish.

You could just tell yourself they started after Loras was a knight, but instead you tell yourself Loras was 12 for some reason.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The real problem with the Renly-Loras thing is that Loras would have been handed over to Renly at a very early age - at 9-11 (Egg is nine when he becomes Dunk's squire, Pod is eleven when he becomes Tyrion's squire and he was somebody else's squire before that, etc.). Even if Renly didn't hit on Loras before the boy reached a certain age - 13-14, say - then chances are still pretty good that Renly started to feel attracted the boy before that. And that would have certainly shaped the friendship and relationship they had - even if Renly behaved as a complete gentleman until Loras himself made advances (if that's what happened).

Loras is obviously a youth who developed rather quickly considering he was knighted at the age of fifteen - which means he was, at least insofar as strength of arms is concerned, well past behind squires of equal age (or even those who were a couple of years older).

Dunk was 18. Tyrion was 25. Renly would be 12-13, if Loras was 9. That's not an age when you hand someone a squire. Renly was probably 16 and a "man grown", and thus better equipped to handle a squire, and Loras would be 12. 

Jon says that "down in the Seven Kingdoms boys of twelve were often pages or squires". There are plenty of squires who are 12 or older.

Ok, man, gross. I don't even want to touch this topic, but his knighthood came from his talent, not his strength. He's always observed to be a bit delicate.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And if Renly-Loras had a meaningful relationship - and not just some of fling or affair that lasted a fortnight or a couple of months - then it must have started a while back. And Loras' quote about the sun setting with Renly's death, etc. strongly implies that this was not just a passing infatuation or an affair for Loras. Renly was the love of his life.

Tyrion and Tysha? Have you ever been a teenager?

Ok weirdo, if you want Renly to fuck a 12 year old so badly, you can believe that's what he did.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If it was two years before AGoT it could have been when Loras was still thirteen or had just recently turned fourteen.

It could have been 14 and like 7 months if you want it to be. The author doesn't care about timelines. And I'm talking about from the time of the Tourney of the Hand specifically, when we first meet Loras.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Doesn't mean Renly treated Loras badly - just that I find the idea hilarious Loras would have been the active part initiating the relationship - or the one seducing Renly.

 

There were people who suggested that Loras was sent to Storm's End to seduce Renly. I didn't say you were one of them, though. To me it is much more likely that Renly realized what kind of influence and power he could gain by using Loras to bind the Tyrells to him rather than the other way around. Keep in mind that we only have confirmation that Loras loved Renly (very much) - not that Renly felt the same way about Loras. I'd not be surprised if it turned out that Renly had other lovers besides Loras - and I think it is a given that Renly must have had other lovers before he took on Loras as a squire.

Why not? Loras is very aggressive and outspoken, not afraid to speak his mind. He chastised Renly for letting Brienne into the Rainbow Guard. He certainly isn't some shrinking violet.

And what are you saying now? That their relationship must have been significant and lasted a long time - but Renly didn't actually care? 

If Renly had other lovers, why was the gossip in King's Landing only about him and Loras? Why does no one ever hint at Renly sleeping around - even people who dislike him? You're also saying Loras didn't live at court - why would Renly let the "source of his power" as you put it go home where he can't utilize him?

Also Renly would have been 13 if he took on a 9 year old Loras as a squire - you're saying a 12 year old boy would have hordes of lovers?

At least be consistent. 

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know that even a hedge knight as the right to physically chastise a prince who serves him as squire, so Renly Baratheon certainly had the right to do similar things to Loras Tyrell. In addition to, of course, humiliating tasks, brutal training, etc. There is no indication that you can call your dad to complain about being mistreated in a knight-squire relationship.

Egg was on the road, he couldn't call his ma and pa. Randyll Tarly is spoken of badly because of how he treats his squires. Loras is the favored son and was sent there because the Tyrells wanted to make nice with the Baratheons - he can't compare.

And I specifically meant Renly forcing himself on Loras. I'm sure that's not standard for a knight-squire relationship, and Loras himself would be brought up to see it as wrong.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But there is no indication that Mace or any Tyrell back at Highgarden ever entertained the notion Margaery could replace Cersei as queen. That's something that Renly (and Loras) came up with.

My point is that there is no basis to believe the Tyrells were the driving force in this scheme.

Except lots of things.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But there is no indication that this was a lie. What's your evidence that it should have been a lie?

There was certainly value to it. He allowed himself to be convinced - by Renly and Loras. His mother argued against it and was ignored. And Mace's other sons may not have been the greatest fans of that idea, either.

See bottom of my post. She lied about Daeron and Jeremy.

Yes, and the value was that Renly would be their puppet king.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The way to get a king interested in a woman is to actually present her to him. Showing her a picture also sort of helps, but if I were keen to put my daughter in the bed of the king I'd definitely not be reluctant to bring her to court.

As I said, Mace is cautious and doesn't commit. So yeah he probably wasn't "keen" as yet and was waiting for the signal to go forward.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is there to show Renly's ambition, not the Tyrell ambition.

Because at that point King Robert no longer could marry Lady Margaery Tyrell, could he? He was dying. And Renly may have already thought that he would look very handsome on the Iron Throne.

Except Renly wants attention and to be popular, and was already one of the most powerful people in KL.This is stated by Maester Cressen, and is seen with his vanity, his creation of the flamboyant "Rainbow Guard", and when he doesn't back Stannis and later kill him, which would be a much smarter course of action.

I'm struggling to understand that last part.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Tyrion is the brother of Cersei and Jaime Lannister. He knows them much more intimately - and on a completely different level - than Renly or any other non-Lannister courtier.

He really doesn't. He didn't know Jaime was lying to him for 15 years of his life. And like you yourself said, why would Tyrion jump to the conclusion that Jaime and Cersei were fucking each other just because they were extremely close?

They weren't cautious, and they weren't subtle.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

My point is that I don't buy his claim that he had to crown himself to defend himself against the Lannisters. That's nonsense. What's clear, though, that he had reason to believe Cersei wasn't exactly his best friend and might be willing and able to harm him severely should she run the regency government of a King Joffrey. After all - while Renly did not know about the incest, it seems Cersei did know about Renly's plan to make Margaery Tyrell Robert's new queen. And even if she did not know this - she certainly did not like Renly - just as Renly didn't like Cersei.

Not "liking" someone is not a reason to concoct an elaborate plan to depose them, especially someone as lazy as Renly. Also there is nothing indicating Renly didn't like her. Him mocking her and Joffrey is not evidence of his dislike, as he mocks everyone. His comments in ACOK don't count either - as he had made himself an enemy of the Lannisters and he was trying to establish himself as a just king and ally to Catelyn.

Cersei makes a vague statement that Robert might replace her for a new Lyanna. That doesn't mean she knew. She certainly doesn't think about it in her thoughts, while she sees Margaery as the "younger, more beautiful queen" she doesn't mention how she almost got replaced by her in AGOT.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That whole thing was a joke. The error there shows that George didn't care all that much about Renly. He doesn't get the eye colors of the important characters confused.

Then why does he bring him up again and again even after his death?

And that actually proves my point - Renly wasn't important, the Tyrells were. Ultimately, he was a vessel for Tyrell power.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That would depend on the political situation (Joffrey's government also decided to offer his hand before any of them had seen the Lady Margaery). But nobody said anything to Robert marrying Margaery 'unseen'. My point was that in the scenario given Robert didn't need to be in love with Margaery to marry her - he can certainly think she is cute, attractive, etc.

That would mean Stannis becomes king - something Robert might fear even more than handing power to Joffrey/Cersei. Joff and Cersei were pretty clear, but Stannis has a completely different personality than Robert, and priorities and ideas that Robert views as ludicrous (like outlawing prostitution).

One should also consider the positive effect another war could and likely would have had on Robert. Crushing the Lannisters could have reinvigorated him.

Nah, that's not enough. Robert could marry whoever he wanted. He could marry a girl from a lower house if he wanted. He could have legitimized Edric Storm. He could have done whatever.

The "political situation" if the incest was revealed would be that the Lannisters couldn't do jackshit, so there would be no war.  

It's the perfect situation for Robert. Stannis would be stuck with the boring duties, why would Robert care if he's off in Essos, fighting and whoring? 

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Because Ned was fed ideas about the evil Lannisters (in addition to his own prejudices since the Sack) since the very beginning of AGoT. He thought the Lannisters poisoned Jon Arryn, he considered they were behind Bran's fall and the attempt on his life, he knew what Cersei did to Mycah and wanted to do Arya, he was told Cersei plotted to murder Robert, etc.

He was trying to blame the Lannisters for all the bad things he was investigating - and the idea that Cersei's children were not Robert's was the notion that made sense of all what he thought the Lannisters had done in the past. Especially in light of what he learned about Jon's investigation.

Had he not been so focused so strongly on the Lannisters he may have never figured it out.

Renly also was there for Mycah. Also Ned never knew what Jaime was going to do to Arya.

And if Renly disliked them like you claim - that's even more of a reason he would jump to such a conclusion. The lover of the queen would have to have constant access to her, as what they're doing is treason, and very very dangerous.

Robert told Ned he hadn't had sex with Cersei in years, there's a possibility he made an offhand comment to Renly too. Robert spent all his time with whores. So if Renly overheard any noises he would have to know the queen has a lover.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't know that Olenna died there. Yandel doesn't give us specifics about the dissolution of the betrothal of Olenna Redwyne and Daeron Targaryen. I certainly buy that Daeron did not go through with the marriage because of Jeremy - but it could still have been Olenna Redwyne who arranged the formal dissolution of the betrothal (and the subsequent marriage between herself and Luthor Tyrell). It is one thing not to go through with a marriage - that means you are betrothed until you dissolve the betrothal. And whether Daeron did the latter we don't know. In fact, we don't even know whether Daeron never wanted to marry Olenna. Could be he offered that they have some sort of menage à trois and Olenna decided that she didn't want that kind of 'marriage'.

Olenna lied, she's a liar. Why would Olenna want to break her betrothal to a handsome Targaryen prince? She said they had "queer notions", this is GRRM laying it on not too subtly that she knew he was gay and got pissed off because he ran off with Jeremy.

The rest of Egg's kids broke off their betrothal for love, so Daeron just continued the tradition.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

According to Littlefinger, Margaery herself is not particularly eager to be queen.

And the funny thing is that the all-so-ambitious Tyrells are not trying to offer Margaery's hand to Joffrey after Renly's death. The Lannisters reach out to them through Littlefinger and they accept their offer - but they are not so ambitious that they try to throw Margaery on any guy who wears a crown.

Why would Littlefinger know shit about Margaery's true feelings? Everything he says should be taken with a truckload of salt. GRRM said the Margaery we see in the show is what Margaery would be like a little older - someone who wants to be THE queen, not just a queen. I think the author's opinions trump the opinions of a well known liar.

Then why were they waiting in Bitterbridge? They were waiting for the Lannisters to come to them. If they came grovelling at the Lannisters' feet that wouldn't be a power move would it? They wanted the Lannisters to need them. If they immediately struck an alliance they would be seen as desperate and underhanded, but instead they're seen as saviours who saved the Lannisters from Stannis. The Tyrells understand PR.

If you're arguing the Tyrells aren't actually ambitious, that's hilarious. Willas got crippled precisely cause of their ambition. Mace already had a custom built "Hand" chair and stacked the council with Tyrells and their bannermen within weeks. They need to be ambitious because their shaky claim on Highgarden comes from the throne.

Edited by Peach King

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13 hours ago, Peach King said:

It suggests that he was sent to Renly to gain his favour.

But Piers Gaveston was not sent to Edward I to seduce his son, no? Loras squiring for Lord Renly certainly helped House Tyrell but we don't need to imagine - or have reason to believe - that there was more to that than, say, Jaime squiring with Lord Crakehall or Ned and Robert being fostered with Jon Arryn. This kind of thing is done to establish lasting connections and friendships.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

We don't actually know who knew besides Olenna. Margaery has some inconsistent behaviour, like going to a lord for a toast just before Joffrey drank from the poisoned cup - which would have implicated the lord and made it more likely for Margaery to get poisoned too. Her reaction at Joffrey's death was also either genuine or some great acting.

Margaery certainly was in on the poisoning plot - but the point is that her playing along isn't the same as her wanting to be queen.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

GRRM said Robert rarely saw Renly until he came to court. Robert was fond of him, but was not especially close to him.

Yeah, but they certainly got along better than Stannis and Robert.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Stannis says Renly would only compete in tourneys to get knocked off his horse by a better man. That's what we see in the Tourney of the Hand.

Stannis' claim there might not be entirely unbiased or accurate. We don't even know whether Stannis is a knight or not - but even if he is (which is pretty likely) he clearly can't compete with either Renly or Robert in the lists or the melée.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

 Loras could have been squiring for Jon Arryn or Bronze Yohn or Edmure Tully if it was Jon Arryn doing the planning. This was a move by the Tyrells.

Him squiring for Renly certainly was a success. But it would have been more prestigious if he had been Stannis' or the king's own squire, no?

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

If there was a sudden influx of Tyrells in court why wouldn't Cersei be suspicious? Why would Mace make the long trip to KL if he wasn't assured Robert would take an interest in Margaery? Also Margaery was quite young - only 14.

Man, are you not following? The Lord of Highgarden coming to court to watch his son in the lists - both for the nameday tourney and the Tourney of the Hand - would have been not 'suspicious' at all.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

That is no confirmation for your claim. Loras Tyrell remained at court after the tourney, but he did not live there previously. And the time he spent there - which is weeks - is more than enough for Littlefinger to befriend him.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Then why did Tyrion, the heir to Casterly Rock, have only 2 retainers?

Because his father loathes him.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Every marriage in Westeros is non equal and has a potential to be abusive by our standards. Men have the power to hit and rape their wives, have paramours while they can't, can silence and chastise them, etc. There's just not a lot of value in that statement.

It is good that you realize that most (arranged) marriages in Westeros are abusive. I made it clear that this also happens to be the case for homosexual relationships.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Loras said Renly owned "books that would turn a Septon blind". This was to show that Renly was a jock and anti intellectual, nothing else.

It also shows that Renly showed those books to a youth who wasn't even an adult yet (Loras was knighted at the age for fifteen, a year before he became a man grown). If Dunk starts to show Egg pornography we know things start to go in a weird direction, don't you think?

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

And I mostly meant how you bring up uncomfortable topics when the thread doesn't call for it. (Eg. saying Bran could warg into a wolf and commit beastiality if he wanted to release his "sexual urges", saying Ygritte saw Jon as an exotic sex toy, saying Tyrek would force himself on a 9 or 10 year Ermesande, etc etc) Sorry but you seem to have some kind of sick sexual fetish.

The bestiality part is brought up by George R. R. Martin in his Varamyr Prologue and seems to be part of the life of a skinchanger and greenseer that's going to be explored - just as it is indicated that Bran does want to use Hodor to have sex with or express his love for Meera. Ygritte didn't respect Jon's boundaries and essentially raped him (forced him to have sex by threatening to reveal his lie if he would not comply). I don't recall what I said about Tyrek and Ermesande, but I think it is quite clear that the guy would have to deflower Ermesande (just as Olenna pushed for Tommen to impregnate Margaery as soon as possible with her suggestion of them sleeping together as 'husband and wife') at a rather early age simply to finally get around to be properly married to her and to father himself an heir. He is in his teens when he marries the babe and will be in his later twenties when she comes off age. Chances are not that great that he will wait until she is 15 or 16.

Viserys I married Aemma Arryn when she was eleven and consummated his marriage two years later. That would be my guess for Tyrek and Ermesande, too.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

You could just tell yourself they started after Loras was a knight, but instead you tell yourself Loras was 12 for some reason.

When Loras was a knight he would have left Storm's End. My guess is that whatever thing they had started when they were still living together there.

I didn't specify an age - I said I think for it to be as meaningful for Loras as it appears to be it has to be a relationship that lasted some time (years, in my opinion).

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Dunk was 18. Tyrion was 25. Renly would be 12-13, if Loras was 9. That's not an age when you hand someone a squire. Renly was probably 16 and a "man grown", and thus better equipped to handle a squire, and Loras would be 12. 

You seem to be confused about the age gap here. Renly was born in 277 AC and Loras in 282 AC. That's an age gap of five years. If we assume Renly was knighted at 16 - which seems reasonable for a brother of the king who is a decent warrior - then he could have taken in an 11-year-old Loras as a squire. If he was knighted a year or so later, then Loras would have been twelve.

But we should also keep in mind that not only knights have squires. Tyrion isn't a knight yet Pod serves as his squire all the same. The Lord of Storm's End who was also the brother of the king could have had a squire serving him while he himself was not yet knighted.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Jon says that "down in the Seven Kingdoms boys of twelve were often pages or squires". There are plenty of squires who are 12 or older.

Sure, but we talk about when such an apprenticeship starts - and it starts at a rather early, impressionable age.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Ok, man, gross. I don't even want to touch this topic, but his knighthood came from his talent, not his strength. He's always observed to be a bit delicate.

Well, one can ask whether Renly's decision to knight him came only from his talents at arms or whether their emotional connection had something to do with him deciding to knight Loras at such a young age. But Loras is not delicate. He is not as powerfully built as some of the other great warriors (Garlan is stronger, the Hound, Jaime, Gregor, etc. are stronger) but he is very strong. He can hold his own against Brienne, he is not just some guy who is good with a lance.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Tyrion and Tysha? Have you ever been a teenager?

Ok weirdo, if you want Renly to fuck a 12 year old so badly, you can believe that's what he did.

Sure, and I don't have issues when two thirteen-year-olds have sex with each other. An eighteen-year-old and a thirteen-year-old are a different matter. And, frankly, by our standards one could even say a fifteen-year-old fucking a twenty-year-old is not exactly the kind of thing one wants for his child - especially if said twenty-year-old was effectively the teacher of the younger person before they started their sexual relationship.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Why not? Loras is very aggressive and outspoken, not afraid to speak his mind. He chastised Renly for letting Brienne into the Rainbow Guard. He certainly isn't some shrinking violet.

That is Loras being pissed that Renly rewards the woman who defeated him. It doesn't indicate the guy is the one leading Renly around - and Renly did what he wanted, anyway.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

And what are you saying now? That their relationship must have been significant and lasted a long time - but Renly didn't actually care? 

No, I just pointed out that while we know Loras was very much in love with Renly we have no proof Renly was as much in love with Loras (or as faithful as he was) as Loras was with him. That's just a fact.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

If Renly had other lovers, why was the gossip in King's Landing only about him and Loras? Why does no one ever hint at Renly sleeping around - even people who dislike him? You're also saying Loras didn't live at court - why would Renly let the "source of his power" as you put it go home where he can't utilize him?

It is indicated that there were not just rumors about Renly and Loras. And I did not say Renly was sleeping around - I said we don't know how exactly he felt about Loras and that Loras was likely not his own lover - especially if you imagine that the relationship only started when Renly was approaching his twentieth year. One imagines he made his first sexual experiences around the time Loras made his.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Egg was on the road, he couldn't call his ma and pa. Randyll Tarly is spoken of badly because of how he treats his squires. Loras is the favored son and was sent there because the Tyrells wanted to make nice with the Baratheons - he can't compare.

We know that even kings can be mistreated by their masters-at-arms - just look how Gareth Long deals with Aegon III.

A squire is essentially the servant of his knightly master - and now tell me how you would deal with me if I were your knightly master and starting to make advances. Even if you find me attractive - we can all agree that this kind of thing should not start in a relationship where I have all the power and you have none - not to mention an age gap of five years.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Yes, and the value was that Renly would be their puppet king.

Renly was nobody's puppet.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

As I said, Mace is cautious and doesn't commit. So yeah he probably wasn't "keen" as yet and was waiting for the signal to go forward.

Mace might be many things, but he is not cautious. He is rather straightforward with what he wants, and has shown countless times that he demands or takes what he wants. He is not cautious - how did you come up with that?

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Except Renly wants attention and to be popular, and was already one of the most powerful people in KL.This is stated by Maester Cressen, and is seen with his vanity, his creation of the flamboyant "Rainbow Guard", and when he doesn't back Stannis and later kill him, which would be a much smarter course of action.

Renly's ultimate vanity is his desire to be king. He doesn't need the Tyrells to come up with that desire - although they supported him in that.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

I'm struggling to understand that last part.

The point is that I think Renly may have already decided that he wanted to be king in the end when Ned rejected his offer.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

He really doesn't. He didn't know Jaime was lying to him for 15 years of his life. And like you yourself said, why would Tyrion jump to the conclusion that Jaime and Cersei were fucking each other just because they were extremely close?

Seriously, you are trying to compare the fact that Jaime successfully kept a particular thing from him (the truth about Tysha) to the twincest?! That's ridiculous. The former is a particular fact Tyrion had no way of figuring out by himself and the latter is the continuous romantic and sexual relationship of his twin siblings which started before Tyrion's birth. Tyrion grew up with Jaime and Cersei, he knows how much they love each other. It makes sense for him to figure out the truth (although we don't know exactly when that happened) whereas Renly didn't exactly live many years around Cersei and Jaime nor had he a particularly close relationship with these two.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

They weren't cautious, and they weren't subtle.

Even if they weren't - what's a fact is that Renly had no clue about their relationship.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Not "liking" someone is not a reason to concoct an elaborate plan to depose them, especially someone as lazy as Renly. Also there is nothing indicating Renly didn't like her. Him mocking her and Joffrey is not evidence of his dislike, as he mocks everyone. His comments in ACOK don't count either - as he had made himself an enemy of the Lannisters and he was trying to establish himself as a just king and ally to Catelyn.

Sure it is. For both of them. Renly was an ambitious guy who had no scruples stealing the throne that rightfully belonged either to his nephews or brother, and Cersei really has no issues destroying any people in her path.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Cersei makes a vague statement that Robert might replace her for a new Lyanna. That doesn't mean she knew. She certainly doesn't think about it in her thoughts, while she sees Margaery as the "younger, more beautiful queen" she doesn't mention how she almost got replaced by her in AGOT.

Which is why I said 'it seemed she knew' - because quite a few people knew about Renly and Loras' plan to replace Cersei with Margaery.

But you know - Cersei knows her children are not Robert's, and she knows that they don't like like either Robert, Stannis, or Renly. She knows that if Stannis or Renly were to question the parentage of her children they would actually have a point - giving her a very good motive to deal with these two (potential) rivals of her sons. And that's what she said she wanted to do - deal with Robert's brothers before she deals with him.

The knowledge or beliefs of Robert's brothers don't figure into that at all.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Nah, that's not enough. Robert could marry whoever he wanted. He could marry a girl from a lower house if he wanted. He could have legitimized Edric Storm. He could have done whatever.

Sure, but marrying a house from a lesser house would have been STUPID. Not everyone is eligible to be queen. You have to meet certain criteria. Margaery Tyrell would have been ideal - just as Cersei seemed ideal back when Robert married her.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

The "political situation" if the incest was revealed would be that the Lannisters couldn't do jackshit, so there would be no war.

There could have been. Tywin would have tried to avenge his golden twins if Robert had executed them - and perhaps even murdered Cersei's children.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

It's the perfect situation for Robert. Stannis would be stuck with the boring duties, why would Robert care if he's off in Essos, fighting and whoring? 

Because Robert clearly would not like Stannis running the Seven Kingdoms. He has completely different values and policies in mind.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Renly also was there for Mycah. Also Ned never knew what Jaime was going to do to Arya.

And what has Mycah to do with the incest? I listed the Mycah incident because it fueled Ned's hatred and distrust of the Lannisters in general. Ned never knew what Jaime wanted to do to Arya, but he knew what Cersei wanted Robert to do to Arya when he sat in judgment over her. And he could guess what Sandor Clegane might have done to Arya had he found her first...

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

And if Renly disliked them like you claim - that's even more of a reason he would jump to such a conclusion. The lover of the queen would have to have constant access to her, as what they're doing is treason, and very very dangerous.

What? Do you think every guy who doesn't like the brother of his sister-in-law fucks her? Why on earth should really even believe that Robert's children are not his?

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Robert told Ned he hadn't had sex with Cersei in years, there's a possibility he made an offhand comment to Renly too. Robert spent all his time with whores. So if Renly overheard any noises he would have to know the queen has a lover.

Robert essentially tells Ned he is Joffrey's father - he believes that to be the case. He wonders how he could have fathered such a son, but he doesn't doubt he did.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Olenna lied, she's a liar. Why would Olenna want to break her betrothal to a handsome Targaryen prince? She said they had "queer notions", this is GRRM laying it on not too subtly that she knew he was gay and got pissed off because he ran off with Jeremy.

Again, we don't know exactly what happened. Yandel doesn't give us any details - and is likely not exactly privy to behind-the-scenes-machinations.

But even if she lied there - this doesn't prove or even indicates she lied about the Renly plan.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Why would Littlefinger know shit about Margaery's true feelings? Everything he says should be taken with a truckload of salt. GRRM said the Margaery we see in the show is what Margaery would be like a little older - someone who wants to be THE queen, not just a queen. I think the author's opinions trump the opinions of a well known liar.

Littlefinger is a character in the books who actually interacted with Margaery Tyrell. He knows more about her than you. And his assessment of her is the only assessment of her character we have. There is no basis for the idea that she wants to be queen. Instead, what we know indicates she doesn't care much about that.

How an older Margaery would behave we will never know.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

Then why were they waiting in Bitterbridge? They were waiting for the Lannisters to come to them. If they came grovelling at the Lannisters' feet that wouldn't be a power move would it? They wanted the Lannisters to need them. If they immediately struck an alliance they would be seen as desperate and underhanded, but instead they're seen as saviours who saved the Lannisters from Stannis. The Tyrells understand PR.

They were not waiting - the armies had just not returned back home. Loras was the only Tyrell there - the negotiations about the Joffrey-Margaery marriage took place at Highgarden.

13 hours ago, Peach King said:

If you're arguing the Tyrells aren't actually ambitious, that's hilarious. Willas got crippled precisely cause of their ambition. Mace already had a custom built "Hand" chair and stacked the council with Tyrells and their bannermen within weeks. They need to be ambitious because their shaky claim on Highgarden comes from the throne.

I'm not saying the Tyrells are not ambitious - Mace certainly is. What I'm saying is that the evidence we have indicates that Renly (and Loras) made the plan to make Margaery Robert's queen. And Renly and Loras also convinced Mace to back Renly's bid for the throne. Afterwards Mace continued to push the 'my daughter should be queen' idea with various other candidates. And the man certainly hungers for high office, royal favors, etc. He is not a modest or humble man.

But that doesn't mean all members of the house share his ambitions (his mother doesn't) and it seems some of his own sons also don't share those ambitions. Loras supported Renly's ambitions - but after his death he no longer has any agenda. He is happy to be just a Kingsguard.

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On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

But Piers Gaveston was not sent to Edward I to seduce his son, no? Loras squiring for Lord Renly certainly helped House Tyrell but we don't need to imagine - or have reason to believe - that there was more to that than, say, Jaime squiring with Lord Crakehall or Ned and Robert being fostered with Jon Arryn. This kind of thing is done to establish lasting connections and friendships.

I didn't say he was sent there to seduce him.

What kind of person thinks of a 16 year old as a good fit for a guardian?

1. Renly is young - you'd think they'd want someone more experienced.

2. Renly is not a good swordsman, or is never said to be.

3. Renly is the brother of the king, and the boy Mace starved for a year during Robert's Rebellion.

All this says it was Tyrell scheming.

Here's a comparison of the relationships here.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Margaery certainly was in on the poisoning plot - but the point is that her playing along isn't the same as her wanting to be queen.

How can you ignore the author's own words on the matter? Show Margaery is Margaery.

Why would Margaery tell Joffrey that Lord Buckler wanted to toast them? If Joffrey asked her to drink, she couldn't refuse, and would be at great risk. That isn't the way someone who knew about the poison would act.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, but they certainly got along better than Stannis and Robert.

Stannis' claim there might not be entirely unbiased or accurate. We don't even know whether Stannis is a knight or not - but even if he is (which is pretty likely) he clearly can't compete with either Renly or Robert in the lists or the melée.

Him squiring for Renly certainly was a success. But it would have been more prestigious if he had been Stannis' or the king's own squire, no?

They still weren't close.

I read the wiki, and it says Renly was knocked down on his first joust (against the Hound). Stannis was right.

Stannis hates the Tyrells. Robert was overloaded with the Lannisters (and drunk, fat and uncaring). Renly was the best target, not being linked to any House besides his own.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Man, are you not following? The Lord of Highgarden coming to court to watch his son in the lists - both for the nameday tourney and the Tourney of the Hand - would have been not 'suspicious' at all.

That is no confirmation for your claim. Loras Tyrell remained at court after the tourney, but he did not live there previously. And the time he spent there - which is weeks - is more than enough for Littlefinger to befriend him.

Of course it is - because he would be bringing his daughter with him along with an entourage. There was no proof of the incest, so there would likely be an altercation with the Lannisters. It would depend on Robert's attachment to Margaery.

Loras was the one who could come to check the lay of the land. Slow and steady is the Tyrell way. That's why their sigil is a Rose.

And if you want a Doylist reason, it's because GRRM wanted Mace to be in the background and introduce him as a major player later on. Like Stannis.

A few weeks is not enough to know someone extremely well.

You have no basis for your claim that Loras didn't live at court, you just want it to be so because you want Loras to have been 12 when he got in a relationship with Renly.

Here are several more indicators he lived in KL, from the same thread:

1. Hes a third son, a free agent who could choose his own way. We see people hang around in KL without a reason in these books all the time - like Rhaegar's friends.

2. He purchases his armour from Tobho Mott's, and is a frequent customer.

3. Littlefinger, Jaime, Cersei, Gregor and his henchmen all know about the gay. Some of these aren't observant people, so Loras would have to be in KL for a long time.

4. His love for Renly and his stubborn and forceful nature.

5. The Tyrells would want him to stick close to Renly.

6. He could be the eyes and ears in the capital.

7. Being at the capital would bring him most exposure and fame.

8. It's clear Loras went to Highgarden and back (Renly only begins plotting when people arrive at the capital) but was in the capital before that (because the armour he wears at the tourney was from Tobho Mott).

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Because his father loathes him.

Good point. But then why did Lady Tanda (a lady), the Redwyne Twins (who are heirs and more important than Loras, and from a house as rich as the Tyrells), Bronze Yohn (a lord), and Balon Swann, all have only 50 men between them?

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

It is good that you realize that most (arranged) marriages in Westeros are abusive. I made it clear that this also happens to be the case for homosexual relationships.

It also shows that Renly showed those books to a youth who wasn't even an adult yet (Loras was knighted at the age for fifteen, a year before he became a man grown). If Dunk starts to show Egg pornography we know things start to go in a weird direction, don't you think?

It also means it's reductive to label all of them as abusive.

No, that's just your mind seeing things that aren't implied. GRRM introduced the line to show Renly didn't care for books and for humor, nothing more. Teenagers look at porn mags all the time, lol.

Also he never says Renly showed him, maybe he saw a few in his library or his room.

How do you know he wasn't knighted? You have no proof he didn't live at court.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

The bestiality part is brought up by George R. R. Martin in his Varamyr Prologue and seems to be part of the life of a skinchanger and greenseer that's going to be explored - just as it is indicated that Bran does want to use Hodor to have sex with or express his love for Meera. Ygritte didn't respect Jon's boundaries and essentially raped him (forced him to have sex by threatening to reveal his lie if he would not comply). I don't recall what I said about Tyrek and Ermesande, but I think it is quite clear that the guy would have to deflower Ermesande (just as Olenna pushed for Tommen to impregnate Margaery as soon as possible with her suggestion of them sleeping together as 'husband and wife') at a rather early age simply to finally get around to be properly married to her and to father himself an heir. He is in his teens when he marries the babe and will be in his later twenties when she comes off age. Chances are not that great that he will wait until she is 15 or 16.

Viserys I married Aemma Arryn when she was eleven and consummated his marriage two years later. That would be my guess for Tyrek and Ermesande, too.

All I'm saying is you don't have to constantly say gross stuff and bring up the image of children in sexual situations in every thread.

Olenna wasn't pushing for Margaery to sleep with Tommen. Tommen is only 8. Sleeping in the same bed as him gets him away from Cersei's influence.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

When Loras was a knight he would have left Storm's End. My guess is that whatever thing they had started when they were still living together there.

I didn't specify an age - I said I think for it to be as meaningful for Loras as it appears to be it has to be a relationship that lasted some time (years, in my opinion).

Maybe he got knighted at KL. Also there is more evidence he stayed at the capital than the other way around.

Well your opinion is wrong. Loras is a teenager. Every relationship is meaningful and significant at this age. Tyrion even makes a crack about it ("I see now, you are seventeen").

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

But we should also keep in mind that not only knights have squires. Tyrion isn't a knight yet Pod serves as his squire all the same. The Lord of Storm's End who was also the brother of the king could have had a squire serving him while he himself was not yet knighted.

Sure, but we talk about when such an apprenticeship starts - and it starts at a rather early, impressionable age.

Renly would only formally be the ruling Lord of Storm's End when he came of age (i.e at 16).

It could start at 11, 12, or even 13.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Well, one can ask whether Renly's decision to knight him came only from his talents at arms or whether their emotional connection had something to do with him deciding to knight Loras at such a young age. But Loras is not delicate. He is not as powerfully built as some of the other great warriors (Garlan is stronger, the Hound, Jaime, Gregor, etc. are stronger) but he is very strong. He can hold his own against Brienne, he is not just some guy who is good with a lance.

Brienne overpowered him. But I'm dropping this part of the convo because it makes me uncomfortable.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Sure, and I don't have issues when two thirteen-year-olds have sex with each other. An eighteen-year-old and a thirteen-year-old are a different matter. And, frankly, by our standards one could even say a fifteen-year-old fucking a twenty-year-old is not exactly the kind of thing one wants for his child - especially if said twenty-year-old was effectively the teacher of the younger person before they started their sexual relationship.

I brought up Tysha and Tyrion because that is a romantic relationship which lasted only weeks but which Tyrion thinks of constantly.

Therefore your stating that the relationship must have lasted for a long time for Loras to utter his candle quote is a flawed statement.

The info that Renly was born in 277 AC comes from the app, which isn't canon. Only direct quotes are canon. Renly was "near twenty" in AGOT, we aren't given an age. Loras was 17 in ACOK (Catelyn thinks he's 2 years older than Robb, who was 15, after Renly's death he also says he's 17) and Renly was 21. So one could even say they have a 3-4 age gap if they wanted to.

If you're going to say the app is canon, I could link you to a post where you yourself say its not canon. (It might seem like I'm stalking you but fear not, I just like to look at old threads).

Given Renly's young age, lack of skill with the sword (and it's not even known if he's a knight), and his lordly duties, Loras was likely taught by a maester-at-arms. The squiring was political in nature.

And by our standards - almost no relationship in the series is healthy.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

That is Loras being pissed that Renly rewards the woman who defeated him. It doesn't indicate the guy is the one leading Renly around - and Renly did what he wanted, anyway.

I didn't say Loras led Renly around. I meant he was able to speak his mind to Renly and voice his opinions. It must have meant Renly would listen to him in the past.

Loras' aggressiveness and forceful personality and defiance of authority (look at his attitude towards Jaime) make it equally possible he initated the relationship.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

No, I just pointed out that while we know Loras was very much in love with Renly we have no proof Renly was as much in love with Loras (or as faithful as he was) as Loras was with him. That's just a fact.

You were saying they would have a long and meaningful relationship but were also saying it's likely Renly only saw him as a fling. Only one is possible.

Quote

 

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

It is indicated that there were not just rumors about Renly and Loras. And I did not say Renly was sleeping around - I said we don't know how exactly he felt about Loras and that Loras was likely not his own lover - especially if you imagine that the relationship only started when Renly was approaching his twentieth year. One imagines he made his first sexual experiences around the time Loras made his.

We never got any indication that Renly was unfaithful to Loras. If GRRM wanted to hint at that it would be easy to slip in a sentence in some passage.

But yeah he would have lovers before Loras.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

No, 

We know that even kings can be mistreated by their masters-at-arms - just look how Gareth Long deals with Aegon III.

A squire is essentially the servant of his knightly master - and now tell me how you would deal with me if I were your knightly master and starting to make advances. Even if you find me attractive - we can all agree that this kind of thing should not start in a relationship where I have all the power and you have none - not to mention an age gap of five years.

Gareth Long was not allowed to strike Aegon III. He was also despised, as is Randyll Tarly, it carries a social stigma to mistreat your squires.

And even if, striking your wife is allowed, but Mace and Olenna didn't allow that when they married Joffrey to Margaery.

But it wasn't five years.

And we don't know how or when it started. It would be a risk for Renly as well, because Highgarden could hate him for "unmanning" Loras. And a power imbalance doesn't necessarily render a relationship toxic (Robb and Jeyne is an example).

And if it was after Loras was knighted, it would be the equivalent of a teenager working as a clerk in a departmental store going out with an older teenager who's the manager after they quit their job.

I'd rather be in that type of relationship than be forcibly married off to someone I don't know.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Renly was nobody's puppet.

He might be a self aware puppet, but he was still a puppet. He would have been more dependent on the Tyrells than Robert was on the Lannisters.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Mace might be many things, but he is not cautious. He is rather straightforward with what he wants, and has shown countless times that he demands or takes what he wants. He is not cautious - how did you come up with that?

It's all in the previous pages man, I'm too lazy to type it all out again.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Renly's ultimate vanity is his desire to be king. He doesn't need the Tyrells to come up with that desire - although they supported him in that.

I didn't say they came up with that desire.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Seriously, you are trying to compare the fact that Jaime successfully kept a particular thing from him (the truth about Tysha) to the twincest?! That's ridiculous. The former is a particular fact Tyrion had no way of figuring out by himself and the latter is the continuous romantic and sexual relationship of his twin siblings which started before Tyrion's birth. Tyrion grew up with Jaime and Cersei, he knows how much they love each other. It makes sense for him to figure out the truth (although we don't know exactly when that happened) whereas Renly didn't exactly live many years around Cersei and Jaime nor had he a particularly close relationship with these two.

Still doesn't change the fact that they weren't subtle. Bran caught them in ~5 minutes, Robert could have caught them if he wasn't such a drunkard. 

He didn't grow up with them. Jaime left to be a squire when he was 4 - and Cersei left for court when he was 5. He lived at Casterly Rock his whole life. When he was 8, Jaime was named to the Kingsguard, and after that they would meet only for visits.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Even if they weren't - what's a fact is that Renly had no clue about their relationship.

Sure it is. For both of them. Renly was an ambitious guy who had no scruples stealing the throne that rightfully belonged either to his nephews or brother, and Cersei really has no issues destroying any people in her path.

You can't prove it.

Renly wasn't ambitious for power, he wanted acclaim. He was already one of the most powerful people in KL.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Which is why I said 'it seemed she knew' - because quite a few people knew about Renly and Loras' plan to replace Cersei with Margaery.

But you know - Cersei knows her children are not Robert's, and she knows that they don't like like either Robert, Stannis, or Renly. She knows that if Stannis or Renly were to question the parentage of her children they would actually have a point - giving her a very good motive to deal with these two (potential) rivals of her sons. And that's what she said she wanted to do - deal with Robert's brothers before she deals with him.

The knowledge or beliefs of Robert's brothers don't figure into that at all.

Well, she didn't know.

You seem to be supporting me in my argument. Exactly - Renly had great reason to fear Cersei, because she would be destroyed if the truth of the incest came out, so had great reason to get rid of him. That's why he was so panicky after Robert's death.

Maybe he feared being stripped of his seat in the Small Council, but that doesn't warrant such a reaction, considering he never even utilized it. Maybe he was scared of losing Storm's End, but you can't just strip a popular Lord Paramount of his seat of power, there would have been an outcry. 

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Sure, but marrying a house from a lesser house would have been STUPID. Not everyone is eligible to be queen. You have to meet certain criteria. Margaery Tyrell would have been ideal - just as Cersei seemed ideal back when Robert married her.

There could have been. Tywin would have tried to avenge his golden twins if Robert had executed them - and perhaps even murdered Cersei's children.

Because Robert clearly would not like Stannis running the Seven Kingdoms. He has completely different values and policies in mind.

Well Robert is STUPID. And doesn't care. No one can force him to do anything.

If he thought that the situation was like the one in which he was forced to marry Cersei,  that's even more reason he wouldn't just marry Margaery. Cersei seemed beautiful and desirable the first day he met her too.

Against the rest of the 6 kingdoms? No, Tywin is not suicidal. He would scheme, but not go to war.

Like I said, he could legitimize one of his bastards if he feared that. And why would that matter if he's in Essos?

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

What? Do you think every guy who doesn't like the brother of his sister-in-law fucks her? Why on earth should really even believe that Robert's children are not his?

Robert essentially tells Ned he is Joffrey's father - he believes that to be the case. He wonders how he could have fathered such a son, but he doesn't doubt he did.

Like I said, Renly's proximity to the twins, that he would be the only Small Council member who wouldn't know (and therefore an anomaly), his interaction with several black haired Baratheons (Edric, Robert, Shireen, Stannis, maybe Gendry).

And Robert is blind and deaf. Renly is considerably smarter.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Again, we don't know exactly what happened. Yandel doesn't give us any details - and is likely not exactly privy to behind-the-scenes-machinations.

But even if she lied there - this doesn't prove or even indicates she lied about the Renly plan.

The most fitting explanation is that Daeron ran off with Jeremy. He followed the examples of his brothers and sister.

Of course it does. She lied to make herself look better in both the cases. She also has a natural contempt for men who aren't Willas.

Maybe Olenna was even reminded of the past and the Margaery-Loras-Renly triangle brought back unwanted memories of being cast aside by a gay guy.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

Littlefinger is a character in the books who actually interacted with Margaery Tyrell. He knows more about her than you. And his assessment of her is the only assessment of her character we have. There is no basis for the idea that she wants to be queen. Instead, what we know indicates she doesn't care much about that.

How an older Margaery would behave we will never know.

Ok if you're claiming the author is in the wrong here....it seems we've run out of arguments.

We actually aren't privy to Margaery's thoughts about being queen at all.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

They were not waiting - the armies had just not returned back home. Loras was the only Tyrell there - the negotiations about the Joffrey-Margaery marriage took place at Highgarden.

They were standing around in Bitterbridge instead of going directly to Highgarden. And IIRC Littlefinger first met Loras, then went to Highgarden. And this doesn't disprove my point? They were waiting for the Lannisters to come to them. This actually shows Mace's caution even more.

This could even mean they knew the Lannister kids were incest bred and weren't too willing to marry them. Olenna's comments while she was talking to Sansa shows that she believes they are.

On 9/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

I'm not saying the Tyrells are not ambitious - Mace certainly is. What I'm saying is that the evidence we have indicates that Renly (and Loras) made the plan to make Margaery Robert's queen. And Renly and Loras also convinced Mace to back Renly's bid for the throne. Afterwards Mace continued to push the 'my daughter should be queen' idea with various other candidates. And the man certainly hungers for high office, royal favors, etc. He is not a modest or humble man.

But that doesn't mean all members of the house share his ambitions (his mother doesn't) and it seems some of his own sons also don't share those ambitions. Loras supported Renly's ambitions - but after his death he no longer has any agenda. He is happy to be just a Kingsguard.

Nah.

-Sending Loras to squire for Renly

-That he was based on Piers Gaveston

-The story being based on the War of the Roses

-That Renly only began his Margaery plot when people began arriving in KL (i.e when Loras was there)

-The portrait of Margaery which Renly had no way of having on his person

-That Renly's main motivation is attention

-That Renly is dead but the Tyrells are still plotting and "growing strong", they have already moved on to 2 kings and perhaps a 3rd 

-That Mace very much needs a grandson on the throne for legitimacy

-The symbolism surrounding Renly's dress and crown and tent 

-That he was crowned at Highgarden

-That his strategy consisted of feasting, waiting and starving the enemy (like Mace Tyrell in RR)

-That Renly lists mostly Reachmen in his army, and his advisors are Reachmen too

-That he gave all manner of privileges to the Tyrells

-That Mace Tyrell stayed behind at Highgarden all the while

-That the Tyrells are using Tommen as their puppet king, indicates that the Tyrells were the driving force. 

Mace Tyrell is a cold blooded man, as his reaction to the Targaryen children and his starving a teenager and young boy almost to  death shows. This is not a man who would follow his son's lover just by virtue of him being his son's lover. He did it because he saw the advantages in it.

And you're saying Mace hungers for royal favours but also that sending Loras to squire for Renly had nothing to do with that!

Sorry, but Lady Olenna is a liar. She does want power - she tried to marry off Sansa to Willas. The marriage of Mace to a Hightower and Garlan to a Fossoway was likely her doing as well, all in an effort to bind the Reach together. She also negotiated the Joffrey marriage according to Littlefinger, while Mace blustered in the background.

Why wouldn't Olenna want her great grandson on the throne? That would ensure that their uppity bannermen remain quiet.

Edited by Peach King

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