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The Jingo

What if Rhaegar had survived the Battle of the Trident?

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I think you're massively overestimating Aerys's power at that time. If Rhaegar won, or hell if he even survived, he would have no problem in force abdicating Aerys. Who in their right minds (besides Varys who's playing his own game) would support Aerys and Viserys over Rhaegar.

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6 hours ago, OberynBlackfyre said:

I think the only option that is worth considering is if Rhaegar had simply won the battle of the Trident. 
 

For this to take place I believe this means that Robert and Rhaegar never personally battle, or that Robert is carted off after he is injured (which he was). 
 

The war would have gone on for MUCH MUCH longer. I believe that the Rebels at that point would retreat back to The Vale and maybe even to Moat Cailin. 
 

the interesting thing about that is that this puts them in a very good strategic advantage. With being in two places that essentially can’t be taken by siege, you leave the Targaryen army with nothing except to try and stomp out Rebels where they can. However I don’t think they will attack Riverun because that would leave their back exposed to the existing armies of Moat Cailin and the Vale. 
 

I think what this results in is perhaps the first “fleet” that the North has seen in centuries. They build ships at Gulltown and White Harbor, maybe even purchase sell sails  and then they make for Dragonstone or Blackwater. The Redwyne fleet would have to meet them, in which case Storms End would no longer be blockaded by sea. If they only make that feint then it’s enough of a distraction for the armies to come down from Riverrun Vale and Moat Cailin, with fresh levies. Not to mention perhaps more people in the Stormlands if Robert himself can land back in Storms End proper. 
 

if the Northern fleet (which would still be smaller than Redwynes I’m sure) can okay it smart, they keep up the threat of attacking Dragonstone and Kings Lansing, where Aerys will want them kept very close for protection. All the while they can be putting troops into Storms End. 
 

the remnants of Rhaegars host would be back at Kings Landing, but with Aerys being paranoid all the Rebel Lords would need would be either the Riverlands or Vale host to stay and “besiege” the city or at least threaten it, while the other armies go and face the Tyrells in battle. Against Mace Tyrell who won no notable victories and if the Rebel Lords played it right, will have the threat of sorties coming from Storms End to contend with as well. 

- The length of the war depends on if Robert dies or not. Robert had an unrelenting hatred of Rhaegar and probably would have fought to the end even if alone. But there's no indication that the other rebel leaders couldn't have been negotiated with by Rhaegar. Even Ned - the man whose sister was supposedly kidnapped and raped - expresses no particular hatred of Rhaegar or the other Targaryens. If Rhaegar killed Robert and then usurped Aerys, negotiations would likely occur immediately and be swiftly concluded. Rhaegar's actions were dumb and grounds for offering compensation to the Starks and Baratheons, but it was Aerys who sparked actual rebellion by acting the tyrant. Remove Aerys from the picture and the onus of the war is essentially over.

- While the North and the Vale have a good defensive position, they're not unconquerable. Neither was Dorne. It simply requires the right military and diplomatic strategy if you plan to take those regions by conquest. However, in the context of Robert's Rebellion it might not be feasible to conquer and occupy both considering the losses the royalist forces have taken at this point.

- The North would not have time to build a fleet. A royalist victory at the Trident would convince the Greyjoys to side with the royalists and reave the western coastline, destroying any attempts to build a Northern fleet in the West. The Greyjoy war effort was motivated by a desire to plunder the losing side rather than ideals. As for the East, the Manderlys do have a fleet but it's significantly smaller than the Redwyne fleet, which would pursue it in a battle of annihilation. A royalist victory at the Trident would have motivated the Tyrells to stop sitting on the fence and take Storm's End via assault, which wouldn't be difficult after a year of starvation. At that point they have Stannis and Renly as hostages to force the Stormlands army to disperse, and they can move the Redwynes to assault the North and Vale.

- As far as manpower goes, the Stormlands are tapped out. In terms of troop numbers they muster one of the smallest armies in Westeros. They're only barely largely than the Crownlands. So even if Robert escaped the Trident and traveled back to rally them, he'd be scraping the barrel and probably wouldn't be able to muster more than a couple thousand troops that Randyll Tarly immediately obliterated.

- In regards to Riverrun, there is very little possible of relief by an army from Moat Cailing or the Bloody Gate. Marching from the North/Vale requires that they cross at either the Twins or the Ruby Fork to relieve Riverrun. But a loss at the Trident would bring Walder against the Tullys in an effort to get some rewards from the crown, so the Twins are closed to the rebels. Which means if they intend to relieve Riverrun they essentially have to march around the entire Riverrlands in a circle, giving the Targaryens more than enough advance notice to muster defensively (possibly at the Ruby Ford to prevent them from entering the southern Riverlands at all.

The mystery factor is Tywin, who might come out and side with the crown after Aerys dies or might side with the rebels and relieve Riverrun.

 

3 hours ago, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

Obviously.  He would not want the grandson of his enemy to inherit his throne.  

Aerys' opinion is irrelevant. He was massively unpopular and even his own Kingsguard took Rhaegar's orders over his.

The most likely result of a Rhaegar victory at the Trident is that he marches back to King's Landing to make the regime change he implicitly promised Jaime, only for Aerys to do the same as per canon and order the city burned so Rhaegar dies while Aerys is 'reborn as a dragon', only for Jaime to kill him again.

3 hours ago, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

1) King Dad would send him to the wall.  He was useless anyway.  Prince Viserys was the chosen successor to the throne.

2) The Trident is but one battle.  Many mishaps contributed to the bad guys winning.  The Targaryens lost their armada.  Rhaegar would be executed if the rebels won eventually.

3) Aerys might reconsider making him his heir again.  It depends.  If Rhaegar had children with a Stark, oh no.  Doran might ask to have the baby killed to ensure the throne passed to his kin, should something happen to the real Aegon.  Nobody would want the son of that mating to have any claim.  Assuming such a mating even took place.

4) It's going down badly for all the Targaryens if the rebels won the battles after the Trident though.  

1 and 3) As mentioned above, Aerys is a nonfactor. Rheagar planned to overthrow him anyway, and it's pretty doubtful Rhaella (who was safe on Dragonstone) would crown her child son over her adult son who just freed her from a marriage to her cruel and rapist brother. Which means that they return from Dragonstone and Viserys is in Rhaegar's custody, and thus is in no position to make a bid for the throne even if he wanted to (which is doubtful since he idolized Rhaegar).

Though yes, you're right in that the Dornish would probably aim to poison Jon and Lyanna to protect Aegon and Rhaenys.

2) The Targaryen armada is one of the few parts of their army that took few is any losses at all. There is no record of naval battles and the only naval action by either side up to the point of the Trident is the Redwyne fleet siege of Storm's End.

But otherwise yes, the Trident is only a single battle. The reason canonically it ended the war is because it was a decisive battle. Rhaegar died and the royalist army was crushed. If the leaders of both sides survive and the armies disengage in good order then the war will go on.

4) Indeed sir.

 

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On 1/18/2020 at 2:17 PM, The Jingo said:

- The length of the war depends on if Robert dies or not. Robert had an unrelenting hatred of Rhaegar and probably would have fought to the end even if alone. But there's no indication that the other rebel leaders couldn't have been negotiated with by Rhaegar. Even Ned - the man whose sister was supposedly kidnapped and raped - expresses no particular hatred of Rhaegar or the other Targaryens. If Rhaegar killed Robert and then usurped Aerys, negotiations would likely occur immediately and be swiftly concluded. Rhaegar's actions were dumb and grounds for offering compensation to the Starks and Baratheons, but it was Aerys who sparked actual rebellion by acting the tyrant. Remove Aerys from the picture and the onus of the war is essentially over.

- While the North and the Vale have a good defensive position, they're not unconquerable. Neither was Dorne. It simply requires the right military and diplomatic strategy if you plan to take those regions by conquest. However, in the context of Robert's Rebellion it might not be feasible to conquer and occupy both considering the losses the royalist forces have taken at this point.

- The North would not have time to build a fleet. A royalist victory at the Trident would convince the Greyjoys to side with the royalists and reave the western coastline, destroying any attempts to build a Northern fleet in the West. The Greyjoy war effort was motivated by a desire to plunder the losing side rather than ideals. As for the East, the Manderlys do have a fleet but it's significantly smaller than the Redwyne fleet, which would pursue it in a battle of annihilation. A royalist victory at the Trident would have motivated the Tyrells to stop sitting on the fence and take Storm's End via assault, which wouldn't be difficult after a year of starvation. At that point they have Stannis and Renly as hostages to force the Stormlands army to disperse, and they can move the Redwynes to assault the North and Vale.

- As far as manpower goes, the Stormlands are tapped out. In terms of troop numbers they muster one of the smallest armies in Westeros. They're only barely largely than the Crownlands. So even if Robert escaped the Trident and traveled back to rally them, he'd be scraping the barrel and probably wouldn't be able to muster more than a couple thousand troops that Randyll Tarly immediately obliterated.

- In regards to Riverrun, there is very little possible of relief by an army from Moat Cailing or the Bloody Gate. Marching from the North/Vale requires that they cross at either the Twins or the Ruby Fork to relieve Riverrun. But a loss at the Trident would bring Walder against the Tullys in an effort to get some rewards from the crown, so the Twins are closed to the rebels. Which means if they intend to relieve Riverrun they essentially have to march around the entire Riverrlands in a circle, giving the Targaryens more than enough advance notice to muster defensively (possibly at the Ruby Ford to prevent them from entering the southern Riverlands at all.

The mystery factor is Tywin, who might come out and side with the crown after Aerys dies or might side with the rebels and relieve Riverrun.

 

Aerys' opinion is irrelevant. He was massively unpopular and even his own Kingsguard took Rhaegar's orders over his.

The most likely result of a Rhaegar victory at the Trident is that he marches back to King's Landing to make the regime change he implicitly promised Jaime, only for Aerys to do the same as per canon and order the city burned so Rhaegar dies while Aerys is 'reborn as a dragon', only for Jaime to kill him again.

1 and 3) As mentioned above, Aerys is a nonfactor. Rheagar planned to overthrow him anyway, and it's pretty doubtful Rhaella (who was safe on Dragonstone) would crown her child son over her adult son who just freed her from a marriage to her cruel and rapist brother. Which means that they return from Dragonstone and Viserys is in Rhaegar's custody, and thus is in no position to make a bid for the throne even if he wanted to (which is doubtful since he idolized Rhaegar).

Though yes, you're right in that the Dornish would probably aim to poison Jon and Lyanna to protect Aegon and Rhaenys.

2) The Targaryen armada is one of the few parts of their army that took few is any losses at all. There is no record of naval battles and the only naval action by either side up to the point of the Trident is the Redwyne fleet siege of Storm's End.

But otherwise yes, the Trident is only a single battle. The reason canonically it ended the war is because it was a decisive battle. Rhaegar died and the royalist army was crushed. If the leaders of both sides survive and the armies disengage in good order then the war will go on.

4) Indeed sir.

 

-The Vale and North aren’t unconquerable but they had heavy losses as well, as the battle of the trident was probably one of the bloodiest conflicts in Roberts Rebellion. They aren’t going to go and take an army and smash it against Moat Cailin or the Bloody Gate- both of which leave their backs unchecked. 
 

-Tywin had not declared for anyone. The threat of him especially with a paranoid King would not make them Royalists bold in leaving Kings Landing open. The only reasons KL was left open was BECAUSE Rhaegar lost and his host was scattered. That wasn’t supposed to happen. 
 

-I don’t see how the Greyjoy’s join the Royalists as they didn’t join the North or Vale or Riverlords. They were content to stay out of it.  If they had joined in, it would be to crown themselves PERIOD. Even then Casterly Rock having the ships at Lannisport would have been a big issue and chance for them. 

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On 1/17/2020 at 3:08 AM, The Jingo said:

1) I suppose I agree.

2) This situation is not unlikely at all. All it requires is that the main rebel leaders not die and not be captured during the battle. As for Aerys, he's kind of irrelevant.

3) Same as above. Rhaegar would negotiate in his own right because Aerys is just a guy and everybody hates him. It doesn't matter if he's 'king', that doesn't preclude Rhaegar usurping him.

4) I agree. I'm not sure the rebellion would continue for a 'long time', but I doubt it would immediately cave as some people imagine.

Aerys was always relevant.  He is the king.  The monarch.  Many people were willing to die and kill at his command.  The only people who hated Aerys were the Starks and the Baratheons, awful people in my opinion who were probably plotting against their king.  

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16 hours ago, OberynBlackfyre said:

-The Vale and North aren’t unconquerable but they had heavy losses as well, as the battle of the trident was probably one of the bloodiest conflicts in Roberts Rebellion. They aren’t going to go and take an army and smash it against Moat Cailin or the Bloody Gate- both of which leave their backs unchecked. 
 

-Tywin had not declared for anyone. The threat of him especially with a paranoid King would not make them Royalists bold in leaving Kings Landing open. The only reasons KL was left open was BECAUSE Rhaegar lost and his host was scattered. That wasn’t supposed to happen. 
 

-I don’t see how the Greyjoy’s join the Royalists as they didn’t join the North or Vale or Riverlords. They were content to stay out of it.  If they had joined in, it would be to crown themselves PERIOD. Even then Casterly Rock having the ships at Lannisport would have been a big issue and chance for them. 

- I didn't suggest the North and Vale are unconquerable. I said they'd endured manpower losses and a competent leader of the Royalists could increase those losses. Rhaegar doesn't really have the capacity to occupy the North and the Vale militarily, but he doesn't actually have to. If he raids and burns seaside cities/towns, he inflicts casualties. He also denies the North and Vale the ability to trade with other regions, which would lead to great economic hardship across felt across the rest of each region. I also mentioned diplomacy, because the North and the Vale aren't universally loved by their lords. House Bolton's betrayal of Robb wasn't an anomaly, both the Starks and the Arryns have faced rebel bannermen before and the support of the Iron Throne could certainly inspire someone else in the North/Vale to rise up at the thought of royal rewards.

- I know Tywin is a wildcard, but that doesn't mean he's going to not declare for anyone. Tywin's allegiance was decided by the Battle of the Trident. When Robert won he knew he had to get in quick and decisively to get a slice of the spoils, so he sacked King's Landing. But remember he was already marching at this point. If Rhaegar had won at the Trident Tywin would have just as quickly and decisively turned to burning the Riverlands and taking their holdfasts in the name of King Aerys. Tywin's an opportunist, not a coward, and he knows when to move in order to secure rewards without the costs.

- The Greyjoy's allegiance was also decided by the Battle of the Trident. Robert's victory spurred Quellon's sons, who told their father he needed to move quickly to get some sweet loot. So that's exactly what the Greyjoy's did. They declared for King Robert and started raiding the Reach. If Rhaegar had won they would have declared for King Aerys and started looting the North. Independence was not on the table for any of the Greyjoys at this time, and in general Quellon would have always opposed it because he desired greater ties between the Ironborn and the realm. Independence was Balon's brainchild, and only happened after years of planning and in a realm with a new dynasty.

 

6 hours ago, Centurion Piso said:

Aerys was always relevant.  He is the king.  The monarch.  Many people were willing to die and kill at his command.  The only people who hated Aerys were the Starks and the Baratheons, awful people in my opinion who were probably plotting against their king.  

Everyone hated Aerys including his own wife and son. They only person that fondly remembers Aerys is Viserys, who was too young to know any better. Rhaegar would have overthrown him upon returning to King's Landing, and people would have rejoiced.

There's a reason that everyone calls him the Mad King. He wasn't just burning Starks, he was burning random smallfolk and minor lords too for spurious reasons.

The royalist armies didn't fight for Aerys, they fought for Prince Rhaegar.

Edited by The Jingo

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On 1/26/2020 at 10:20 AM, The Jingo said:

- I didn't suggest the North and Vale are unconquerable. I said they'd endured manpower losses and a competent leader of the Royalists could increase those losses. Rhaegar doesn't really have the capacity to occupy the North and the Vale militarily, but he doesn't actually have to. If he raids and burns seaside cities/towns, he inflicts casualties. He also denies the North and Vale the ability to trade with other regions, which would lead to great economic hardship across felt across the rest of each region. I also mentioned diplomacy, because the North and the Vale aren't universally loved by their lords. House Bolton's betrayal of Robb wasn't an anomaly, both the Starks and the Arryns have faced rebel bannermen before and the support of the Iron Throne could certainly inspire someone else in the North/Vale to rise up at the thought of royal rewards.

- I know Tywin is a wildcard, but that doesn't mean he's going to not declare for anyone. Tywin's allegiance was decided by the Battle of the Trident. When Robert won he knew he had to get in quick and decisively to get a slice of the spoils, so he sacked King's Landing. But remember he was already marching at this point. If Rhaegar had won at the Trident Tywin would have just as quickly and decisively turned to burning the Riverlands and taking their holdfasts in the name of King Aerys. Tywin's an opportunist, not a coward, and he knows when to move in order to secure rewards without the costs.

- The Greyjoy's allegiance was also decided by the Battle of the Trident. Robert's victory spurred Quellon's sons, who told their father he needed to move quickly to get some sweet loot. So that's exactly what the Greyjoy's did. They declared for King Robert and started raiding the Reach. If Rhaegar had won they would have declared for King Aerys and started looting the North. Independence was not on the table for any of the Greyjoys at this time, and in general Quellon would have always opposed it because he desired greater ties between the Ironborn and the realm. Independence was Balon's brainchild, and only happened after years of planning and in a realm with a new dynasty.

 

Everyone hated Aerys including his own wife and son. They only person that fondly remembers Aerys is Viserys, who was too young to know any better. Rhaegar would have overthrown him upon returning to King's Landing, and people would have rejoiced.

There's a reason that everyone calls him the Mad King. He wasn't just burning Starks, he was burning random smallfolk and minor lords too for spurious reasons.

The royalist armies didn't fight for Aerys, they fought for Prince Rhaegar.

-I don’t remember the Greyjoy’s raiding the Reach AT ALL during or around Roberts Rebellion. If you could provide a quote or a location for that context I’d be happy to read it because I love the Ironborn and that seems way out of character for them.  
 

-With Tywin, id also need proof to show that he was ALREADY marching at the time of the Battle of the Trident.  If this is true I think it would have changed A LOT of decisions for Rhaegar, Robert & Co, etc.  

 

-what you’re saying about the Vale and North is just flat out not true. Lol not trying to be snarky but the only way you actually defeat either the Vale or the North is...well by DEFEATING THEM. 
The North is essentially isolated and the only way in is through Moat Cailin.  To even destroy towns and cities like you suggest, he would HAVE TO go through Moat Cailin first and would lose thousands upon thousands of men, and open himself up to attack from the Riverlands and the Vale.  The North has its own economy and the only way you stop the trade is if you do something like take White Harbor, which could not happen unless you sent ships (they didn’t have the power) or invade the North after taking Moat Cailin which no one from the South has EVER through force. 
The Vale is the same thing. It’s basically protected on the high road and from the bloody gate. The mountains give it its own barrier and makes people have to crash again and again on the Bloody Gate. 
the Vale is also VERY fertile and shares a bay with the North, so they would be able to supply each other. 

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