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Lord Varys

Drastic or unforgivable acts

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I'd like to know what kind of acts you think would make a character cross the line where he or she would be beyond 'good guy territory' by the standards of the novels.

I personally have great difficulties imagining something like that, especially in light of how war is conducted in this world. I mean, would you say Stannis/the Manderlys/Lady Stoneheart and her rebels staging another Red Wedding-like betrayal to deal with the Freys and Boltons to be something inherently bad?

Do you see ugly assassinations like Renly or Cortnay Penrose as irredeemable acts? Would you prefer it that a 'good guy' goes down like Ned or Robb rather than win by using dirty tactics?

And what about blatant murders like Arya killing the insurance guy or Dareon or even that poor Bolton guardsman? [On a personal level I find such murders much worse than betrayal/treason/backstabbing in war, because in war other lives besides your own are at stake, especially if you are general or monarch.]

I have great trouble imagining any person rising to real power in the future books be able to keep their hands clean the way Ned tried to keep his hands clean (he died before the war even properly started, after all). To deal with people like Euron, Roose, Ramsay, Cersei, Littlefinger, etc. you cannot hope to win by being a paragon of virtue.

And most of our young characters are long beyond being good people - Bran is a cannibal and mind-rapist at this point, Arya essentially a serial killer, Sansa is complicit in the slow poisoning of her own cousin (making her a kinslayer), Jon has betrayed his love Ygritte (and may not exactly be the same guy he is right now when he comes back from the dead), etc.

The idea that this is a story where people reach some kind of 'breaking point' or 'point of no return' in regards to the atrocities they commit is, I think, not exactly very well founded (Tyrion would be long beyond that already, as would be Arya, Jaime, and a number of other characters). In fact, one could even make the case that high morals, etc. are things only powerless people can afford - people like Davos o Brienne, who have very little responsibility in the grand scheme of things.

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36 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

In fact, one could even make the case that high morals, etc. are things only powerless people can afford - people like Davos o Brienne, who have very little responsibility in the grand scheme of things.

Well that's the thing, right. The more power you have, the more scope there is to make morally ambiguous choices. 

36 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And what about blatant murders like Arya killing the insurance guy or Dareon or even that poor Bolton guardsman?

Not only that, but I strongly believe that Arya will get a whole lot darker in the next book. IMO she's going to kill Missandei and steal her face, to get closer to Dany. Her language training with the Faceless Men is a big Chekhov's Gun for this. George likes to use child-killing to show that a character has crossed a moral event horizon. 

Edited by aromaticanalysis

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48 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'd like to know what kind of acts you think would make a character cross the line where he or she would be beyond 'good guy territory' by the standards of the novels.

Whatever Ramsay Snow does, both by the standards of the novels and of our world. Now, if he lived in our world, he would be medicated and helped. It wouldn’t be easy to deal with him, though.

The thing is that in Westeros, if you are a man like Ramsay who has fun the way he does and you don’t get killed when the enemy defeats you, your horrible acts can be forgiven if you take the black. You have a right to hope. On the contrary, if you are a woman who commits all the atrocities that Ramsay does and you get captured alive by your enemy... well, there’s no possibility of taking the black and I don’t think you are making it out alive. I doubt that the Silent Sisters are an option.

48 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

would you say Stannis/the Manderlys/Lady Stoneheart and her rebels staging another Red Wedding-like betrayal to deal with the Freys and Boltons to be something inherently bad?

By the standards of the novels, probably not.

48 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Do you see ugly assassinations like Renly or Cortnay Penrose as irredeemable acts?

Kinslaying is something unforgivable also in Westeros, but probably the assassination of Cortnay Penrose is accepted there.

48 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And what about blatant murders like Arya killing the insurance guy or Dareon or even that poor Bolton guardsman?

Here I cannot help but judge her in light of our standards, her age and her trauma. Frankly, I’m not able to think in terms of Westerosi standards, sorry.

48 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I have great trouble imagining any person rising to real power in the future books be able to keep their hands clean the way Ned tried to keep his hands clean

I agree with you.

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Off the top of my head, Ramsay and his hunting parties; Tywin and the “lesson” he taught Tyrion; most everything the Mountain and the Brave Companions do.

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Everything Tywin has done has been unforgivable and his associates. The Boltons, the Freys. Jaime pushing Bran, him and Cersei recklessly putting their children in danger. Robert dehumanizing Elia, Aegon, and Rhaenys’ deaths and some others. 

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Rape, enslavement, slow torture for pleasure, IMO.

I think Arya is too young to be held fully accountable for her actions, and allowance has to be made for the hell she has been put through.  I've never viewed the death of the guard as a big deal.  She had to escape.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'd like to know what kind of acts you think would make a character cross the line where he or she would be beyond 'good guy territory' by the standards of the novels

So, lots of characters go beyond 'good guy territory' for me but not necessarily into 'bad guy territory' if that makes sense? There are not many that I see as unable to ever cross back into good guy territory that have left it. 

Somethings that take you out of good guy territory IMO murder for reason other than self defense, abusing people, war crimes, stealing, raping, abuse of power.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

personally have great difficulties imagining something like that, especially in light of how war is conducted in this world. I mean, would you say Stannis/the Manderlys/Lady Stoneheart and her rebels staging another Red Wedding-like betrayal to deal with the Freys and Boltons to be something inherently bad?

Yeah tough question. I guess not. If they betrayed guest right I suppose it would be inherently bad in universe but I don't know why it would be any better or worse than the first RW. 

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Do you see ugly assassinations like Renly or Cortnay Penrose as irredeemable acts? Would you prefer it that a 'good guy' goes down like Ned or Robb rather than win by using dirty tactics?

No, not irredeemable but not good either. Prime example of what I mean by leaving good guy territory but not necessarily being stuck outside of it forever. 

Hmm... I don't know. I guess I would prefer it that the good guys win cleanly. But of the two options given I suppose I would rather them win with dirty tactics, just not too dirty.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And what about blatant murders like Arya killing the insurance guy or Dareon or even that poor Bolton guardsman? [On a personal level I find such murders much worse than betrayal/treason/backstabbing in war, because in war other lives besides your own are at stake, especially if you are general or monarch

Motive always means alot to me when weighing someomes crimes. I don't hold much against Arya for the guardsman because she was being held there & mistreated & he would have stopped her escape. The insurance man though is quite a bit worse IMO. Arya is one of my favorite characters but it certainly isn't because she is pure & innocent. She is dark & twisted & strong & adapts easily & is enjoyable to read. The insurance salesman doesn't make me think she has forever left gg territory forever because she is young, has been through a lot & is learning her way - doesn't make it justified by any means but I think there is still hope for her. 

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

have great trouble imagining any person rising to real power in the future books be able to keep their hands clean the way Ned tried to keep his hands clean (he died before the war even properly started, after all). To deal with people like Euron, Roose, Ramsay, Cersei, Littlefinger, etc. you cannot hope to win by being a paragon of virtue

I agree. A man like Ned never had a chance against people that are literally willing to do anything to keep or get power. 

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And most of our young characters are long beyond being good people - Bran is a cannibal and mind-rapist at this point, Arya essentially a serial killer, Sansa is complicit in the slow poisoning of her own cousin (making her a kinslayer), Jon has betrayed his love Ygritte (and may not exactly be the same guy he is right now when he comes back from the dead), etc.

I don't agree with every detail of this paragraph but I do agree that the Stark children & Dany  have left good guy territory. I think it can be argued that if they had not they would not have survived so I empathize with them. 

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that this is a story where people reach some kind of 'breaking point' or 'point of no return' in regards to the atrocities they commit is, I think, not exactly very well founded (Tyrion would be long beyond that already, as would be Arya, Jaime, and a number of other characters). In fact, one could even make the case that high morals, etc. are things only powerless people can afford - people like Davos o Brienne, who have very little responsibility in the grand scheme of things.

Absolutely, especially the bolded. As I mentioned earlier motive means alot to me so there isn't really a set point of no return for me but I would say I find Ramsay to be irredeemable because he does these things because he enjoys them. Gregor is irredeemable to me also. I think if I have a point of no return it's people doing bad things because they enjoy doing them, particularly when those things are against children. 

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13 hours ago, The Wolves said:

Robert dehumanizing Elia

For something the man didn't do.

 

For me, absolutely everything Tywin does or planned to do, Robert raping Cersei, Cersei handing over people to Qyburn/killing babies and child women/ sending a baby and a woman to slavrey put of spite, Theon betraying the Stark kids, Stannis trying to kill his own nephew to get a throne really soured me to him, Renly being able to kill his own brother. 

 

10 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

So, lots of characters go beyond 'good guy territory' for me but not necessarily into 'bad guy territory' if that makes sense? There are not many that I see as unable to ever cross back into good guy territory that have left it. 

 Somethings that take you out of good guy territory IMO murder for reason other than self defense, abusing people, war crimes, stealing, raping, abuse of power.

I feel the same, there acts you can justify and there are acts you simply cannot.

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13 hours ago, The Wolves said:

Everything Tywin has done has been unforgivable and his associates.

Here it's pretty hard to say. Like while his most famous acts, The Red Wedding and The Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion, were horrifying, they were also very strategically and politically sound.

So let's start with the Reynes and the Tarbecks. Consider for a moment the situation when Tywin arrived at Castamere. I think you'll agree that up to this point his actions weren't that wrong. Yes his catapults did bring down Tarbeck hall and kill almost everyone there, but he couldn't really storm the castle and the Tarbecks didn't want to negotiate or surrender. So the Tarbecks brought their doom upon themselves. The battle after is also pretty clear morally speaking, as all Tywin did was repel an enemy cavalry charge. And so we arrive at the gates of Castamere. Before we begin analyzing the possibilities, I think we can agree that Tywin could rightfully demand lord Reyne's head. So he has 4 possibilities:

1. Negotiate with the Reynes. This would be a political disaster, as the massage would be clear, the Lannisters are incapable of punishing their enemies. This would be added to the fact that house Reyne would still be alive and strong and with a massive revenge boner after the death of Lady Tarbeck. So basically if Tywin did that, the whole Westerlands would revolt against him, not just 2 houses.

2. Siege them out. While the more conventional solution, it would pose several problems. First off, a siege would take several years given the supplies lord Reyne probably has in his mine. During this time the Lannisters would be completely exposed to further rebellion.

So this leaves 2 options.

3. Storm the castle. In this case, almost all Reyne forces will die, as well as an enormous part of the Lannister host (and that is presuming the Lannisters win, which isn't a guarantee). The advantage of this scenarios is that he can execute Lord Reyne. However no matter the outcome the Lannister would lose almost all their forces and would be inviting further rebellion such a way. See the pattern? If Tywin looks weak, then his bannermen will have a perfect opportunity to rebel. Will they do that? Hard to say, but Tywin cannot take that risk. So he choses option 4.

4. Drown everyone. In this way, Tywin retains all his strength as well as wiping out a family that no matter what, will hate him forever. Is it ruthless and maybe cruel? Yes. Is is by far the best option available to him? Also yes.

So now we arrive at the big one. The Red Wedding. Here I thin Tywin was also correct. If he didn't do it, the war might have draged on for far longer, with even higher casualties. Here the only non combatant victims were a couple of Northern lords, which I will argue is more the Frey's fault then Tywin's I bet Tywin would have wanted all those nobles alive so they can bend the knee. The only people who were supposed to die were Robb and the Stark levies.

I would actually say that the only thing he did that was unforgivable was the Sack of KL. Cause at the end that's the beauty of Tywin. He does awful and cruel things, but he always does it with some pragmatism.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I personally have great difficulties imagining something like that, especially in light of how war is conducted in this world. I mean, would you say Stannis/the Manderlys/Lady Stoneheart and her rebels staging another Red Wedding-like betrayal to deal with the Freys and Boltons to be something inherently bad?

Yes. It's one thing to say kill a king who choose rebellion or a couple of guilty people, and another to kill everyone even remotely associated with those persons. The Northern Red Wedding will have no moral high ground compared to the real Red Wedding. They are both horrific acts.

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5 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

e .

4. Drown everyone. In this way, Tywin retains all his strength as well as wiping out a family that no matter what, will hate him forever. Is it ruthless and maybe cruel? Yes. Is is by far the best option available to him? Also yes.

So now we arrive at the big one. The Red Wedding. Here I thin Tywin was also correct. If he didn't do it, the war might have draged on for far longer, with even higher casualties. Here the only non combatant victims were a couple of Northern lords, which I will argue is more the Frey's fault then Tywin's I bet Tywin would have wanted all those nobles alive so they can bend the knee. The only people who were supposed to die were Robb and the Stark levies.

I would actually say that the only thing he did that was unforgivable was the Sack of KL. Cause at the end that's the beauty of Tywin. He does awful and cruel things, but he always does it with some pragmatism.

Yes. It's one thing to say kill a king who choose rebellion or a couple of guilty people, and another to kill everyone even remotely associated with those persons. The Northern Red Wedding will have no moral high ground compared to the real Red Wedding. They are both horrific acts.

The Red Wedding is where it goes wrong, in Macchiavellian terms.  It's meant to be a surgical strike, but it turns into a complete bloodbath.  There are now thousands of Northern fighters who have relatives who were slain in a treacherous manner, and who want vengeance.  It's a perfect example of an act that enrages one's enemies, without intimidating them.

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1 minute ago, SeanF said:

The Red Wedding is where it goes wrong, in Macchiavellian terms.  It's meant to be a surgical strike, but it turns into a complete bloodbath.  There are now thousands of Northern fighters who have relatives who were slain in a treacherous manner, and who want vengeance.  It's a perfect example of an act that enrages one's enemies, without intimidating them.

Exactly. I have no doubt that what Tywin had in mind was more on the lines of ,,imprison everybody, only kill Robb". Cause let's face it however much some people may have liked him (not me personally) the moment he declared himself ,,King in the North" his live was forfeit.

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23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'd like to know what kind of acts you think would make a character cross the line where he or she would be beyond 'good guy territory' by the standards of the novels.

"Good guy territory" by the standards of the novels. Ok. I feel like its kind of a loaded question. Like there are no "good guys" right? And even if there were what constitutes as a good guy? Ned? The one who was opposed killing Aegon, his sister, Lady and Dany but didnt do anything to stop it, so I think hes more like just a guy then anything. 

But there are good guys, I see what your saying. Dunk is a good example, hes done nothing wrong ever, except for constantly beating a child, I guess thats not one of the things that crosses the line lol. I guess Jon choking Alliser or executing Slynt isnt crossing the line either, though I disagree with it. 

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Jon has betrayed his love Ygritte

Which is totally personal and imo has little to do with anything. It makes him kind of an asshole, like Robb betraying Frey. I just dont see it as him being not good, just not great lol. It doesn't wash out the justice they seek to spread. 

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

people like Davos o Brienne, 

Brienne, maybe actually. Choosing not to die but instead act as an accomplice to the assassination of Jaime is not cool. Its kinda understandable and she has no real choice but I would say it downgrades her in the good guy department. But no line cross

Davos straight up tried to assassinate Meli with no accomplice, soley for vengeance. Thats definitely not cool and may have crossed the line... If it wasnt crossed long ago. Stannis is a bad guy, one who burns peoples culture and promises pirates mass rape on cities. Anyone who supports him is not a good guy, if they defeat the wildlings boltons and others I still see no way of them crossing that other line. Unlike Westerling that stuff actualy mattered... Kinda, after all its actually just wood and no one got raped, so maybe Stannis can cross back. Davos would have an easier time

Dany, eh, yea fuck it, she crossed it. 163 times. Its that vengeance angle. Revenge is not a good guy quality. Can expunging slavery wash out 163 crosses? Maybe? Idk. That is a really good thing to do. 

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And what about blatant murders like Arya killing the insurance guy or Dareon or even that poor Bolton guardsman? 

The guardsman I didnt really care much, insurance guy was a little worse. Dareon I mourn and would say thats the line crossed. Shes got to much of her father in her lol. Although shes more like Dany then Ned in the good guy department, actually trying to help people by putting her life at risk and fighting against stiff resistance. Still that murder thing is not good at all. Can you say Mercy? Lol nah, can you say vengeance? 

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Do you see ugly assassinations like Renly or Cortnay Penrose as irredeemable acts?

Not really. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, they wanna act like rebels so theyll be treated like rebels. 

Shadowbaby is weird. Very taboo, not necessarily bad. Just like kinslaying. Theyre not great, but not a line crosser either. (Idk maybe kinslaying is always bad, either way Stannis didnt know, and hes bad anyway lol)

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I mean, would you say Stannis/the Manderlys/Lady Stoneheart and her rebels staging another Red Wedding-like betrayal to deal with the Freys and Boltons to be something inherently bad?

Of course! Darrio tried to convince Dany to do that with terrorist slavers and I was disgusted, that wad for security of the state what your suggesting is pure revenge

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Pretty everybody, at least those still alive, is morally compromised to some extent.   Brienne, Sansa, and maybe Davos being exceptions (I do not believe for an instant that Sansa intends harm to Sweetrobin).  As for those already dead, Ned and Robb's problem was that they underestimated the venality of their adversaries, and had too rigid a concept of honor.  They lacked pragmatism (especially Ned, who could have easily launched a bloodless coup).

I also agree with @Lyanna<3Rhaegar that a character can fall off the good-guy list without becoming a bad-guy, and can get reinstated as well.  Actually, I think it might be more of a sliding scale (say, 1-10 with 1 being Ramsay and 10 being Brienne)

I'm not sure what acts are irredeemable.  Given the overall level of violence in Westeros, I don't think murder necessarily qualifies, although it can.  Things like torture and gratuitous cruelty, as well as significant betrayals will generally do it.

Arya is not on my bad-guy list, although she is in serious danger of falling on to it.  I think it is still possible to get reinstated to being a good-guy.  I think Dareon is her worst act, and I give her some leeway due to her age and experiences.  But I worry.

Jon is definitely on my good-guy list.  I don't hold Ygritte against him.

Stannis worries me, but hasn't made it to bad-guy status just yet.

Guess I'm getting cynical, or maybe just too forgiving.

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2 hours ago, Nevets said:

Pretty everybody, at least those still alive, is morally compromised to some extent.   Brienne, Sansa, and maybe Davos being exceptions (I do not believe for an instant that Sansa intends harm to Sweetrobin).  As for those already dead, Ned and Robb's problem was that they underestimated the venality of their adversaries, and had too rigid a concept of honor.  They lacked pragmatism (especially Ned, who could have easily launched a bloodless coup).

I also agree with @Lyanna<3Rhaegar that a character can fall off the good-guy list without becoming a bad-guy, and can get reinstated as well.  Actually, I think it might be more of a sliding scale (say, 1-10 with 1 being Ramsay and 10 being Brienne)

I'm not sure what acts are irredeemable.  Given the overall level of violence in Westeros, I don't think murder necessarily qualifies, although it can.  Things like torture and gratuitous cruelty, as well as significant betrayals will generally do it.

Arya is not on my bad-guy list, although she is in serious danger of falling on to it.  I think it is still possible to get reinstated to being a good-guy.  I think Dareon is her worst act, and I give her some leeway due to her age and experiences.  But I worry.

Jon is definitely on my good-guy list.  I don't hold Ygritte against him.

Stannis worries me, but hasn't made it to bad-guy status just yet.

Guess I'm getting cynical, or maybe just too forgiving.

The thing is, even the sympathetic guys are torturers in this story.  Jon Snow, Stannis, Jon Arryn, Daenerys, Qhorin, Mance, the Martells, Lord Manderly all use torture to obtain information/break people.  The bad guys are those who do it for pleasure.

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On 2/1/2020 at 11:01 PM, Lord Varys said:

I'd like to know what kind of acts you think would make a character cross the line where he or she would be beyond 'good guy territory' by the standards of the novels.

I personally have great difficulties imagining something like that, especially in light of how war is conducted in this world. I mean, would you say Stannis/the Manderlys/Lady Stoneheart and her rebels staging another Red Wedding-like betrayal to deal with the Freys and Boltons to be something inherently bad?

Do you see ugly assassinations like Renly or Cortnay Penrose as irredeemable acts? Would you prefer it that a 'good guy' goes down like Ned or Robb rather than win by using dirty tactics?

And what about blatant murders like Arya killing the insurance guy or Dareon or even that poor Bolton guardsman? [On a personal level I find such murders much worse than betrayal/treason/backstabbing in war, because in war other lives besides your own are at stake, especially if you are general or monarch.]

I have great trouble imagining any person rising to real power in the future books be able to keep their hands clean the way Ned tried to keep his hands clean (he died before the war even properly started, after all). To deal with people like Euron, Roose, Ramsay, Cersei, Littlefinger, etc. you cannot hope to win by being a paragon of virtue.

And most of our young characters are long beyond being good people - Bran is a cannibal and mind-rapist at this point, Arya essentially a serial killer, Sansa is complicit in the slow poisoning of her own cousin (making her a kinslayer), Jon has betrayed his love Ygritte (and may not exactly be the same guy he is right now when he comes back from the dead), etc.

The idea that this is a story where people reach some kind of 'breaking point' or 'point of no return' in regards to the atrocities they commit is, I think, not exactly very well founded (Tyrion would be long beyond that already, as would be Arya, Jaime, and a number of other characters). In fact, one could even make the case that high morals, etc. are things only powerless people can afford - people like Davos o Brienne, who have very little responsibility in the grand scheme of things.

I don't think there are particular acts that make a character completely irredeemable. The question is, are the characters able to grow for them and find a more righteous path? Or do they sink because of their acts to never come back again?

Take Theon for example. ACOK Theon is vain, cruel and stupid and in ADWD he does even worse shit (although out of fear of Ramsay). Now he seems to be in clear path of redemption. Take the child-throwing Jaime, a blatant evil and selfish act. Now he at least seem to have good intentions and is trying hard to not make further damage. Will he take the chance? Or will  he revert to is old "smiling knight" approach?

Now, take Victarion. Twice he in one chapter he is "giving the opportunity" to help innocents. He is no even asked to act beyond the boundaries of the ironborn values.

Quote

Who are they?" he asked the men who helped tie up their boat.

"Widows and orphans. They're to be sold as slaves."

"Sold?" There were no slaves in the Iron Islands, only thralls. A thrall was bound to service, but he was not chattel. His children were born free, so long as they were given to the Drowned God. And thralls were never bought nor sold for gold. A man paid the iron price for thralls, or else had none. "They should be thralls, or salt wives," Victarion complained.

"It's by the king's decree," the man said.

"The strong have always taken from the weak," said Nute the Barber. "Thralls or slaves, it makes no matter. Their men could not defend them, so now they are ours, to do with as we will."

It is not the Old Way, he might have said, but there was no time.

...

He shames Hewett as he once shamed me, the captain thought, remembering how his wife had sobbed as he was beating her. The men of the Four Shields oft married one another, he knew, just as the ironborn did. One of these naked serving wenches might well be Ser Talbert Serry's wife. It was one thing to kill a foe, another to dishonor him. Victarion made a fist. His hand was bloody where his wound had soaked through the linen.

- The Reaver, AFFC

If there was a man to oppose Euron in that matters it was Victarion yet he didn't act, so he is doomed by the narrative

 

 

 

 

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On 2/1/2020 at 5:01 PM, Lord Varys said:

I'd like to know what kind of acts you think would make a character cross the line where he or she would be beyond 'good guy territory' by the standards of the novels.

I personally have great difficulties imagining something like that, especially in light of how war is conducted in this world. I mean, would you say Stannis/the Manderlys/Lady Stoneheart and her rebels staging another Red Wedding-like betrayal to deal with the Freys and Boltons to be something inherently bad?

Do you see ugly assassinations like Renly or Cortnay Penrose as irredeemable acts? Would you prefer it that a 'good guy' goes down like Ned or Robb rather than win by using dirty tactics?

And what about blatant murders like Arya killing the insurance guy or Dareon or even that poor Bolton guardsman? [On a personal level I find such murders much worse than betrayal/treason/backstabbing in war, because in war other lives besides your own are at stake, especially if you are general or monarch.]

I have great trouble imagining any person rising to real power in the future books be able to keep their hands clean the way Ned tried to keep his hands clean (he died before the war even properly started, after all). To deal with people like Euron, Roose, Ramsay, Cersei, Littlefinger, etc. you cannot hope to win by being a paragon of virtue.

And most of our young characters are long beyond being good people - Bran is a cannibal and mind-rapist at this point, Arya essentially a serial killer, Sansa is complicit in the slow poisoning of her own cousin (making her a kinslayer), Jon has betrayed his love Ygritte (and may not exactly be the same guy he is right now when he comes back from the dead), etc.

The idea that this is a story where people reach some kind of 'breaking point' or 'point of no return' in regards to the atrocities they commit is, I think, not exactly very well founded (Tyrion would be long beyond that already, as would be Arya, Jaime, and a number of other characters). In fact, one could even make the case that high morals, etc. are things only powerless people can afford - people like Davos o Brienne, who have very little responsibility in the grand scheme of things.

GRRM wrote a "fun" novel, by his standards, and his characters will do over-the-top things to heighten the drama.  So a lot of it will be unforgivable.  I will say, one murder is unforgivable because the victim can't be brought back to life.  At least not as they were.  Any act that cannot be reversed can be considered unforgivable.  However, forgiveness will be coming from many sides.  There is also the matter of justice.  While it may be logical to kill somebody because of what they might do in the future, gosh, it is surely not justice.  Mirri believed Rhaego would grow up to become khal and then continue raiding and raping.  This is her belief.  Based on that belief, she murdered the innocent child.  From her point, it was logical.  Let me emphasize, from her point.  Not from any reasonable person though.  We know that destiny is not written and it is never justice to punish the innocent.  

There are also acts that harm people in order to help a greater number of people.  If the harmed are not innocent, then it is justifiable if their deaths came as a result of their own actions.  Take the slave masters.  They could have agreed to give up slaving.  Instead they chose to fight.  Their deaths are their fault.  No forgiveness necessary, nor guilt.

The old insurance man in Braavos was just a victim of Arya's ambition to learn the trade.  No, it was not justice.  It was logical from Arya's mind but she is not reasonable.  

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In no particular order:

1.  Tywin's slaughter of all the Reynes of Castamere, including, as I recall/infer, servants, women, most of whom had no input on the decision to rebel against House Lannister.

2.  Tywin's ordering the murders of Rhaegar's young children and (in my opinion, though he denied it in the books) their mother.  Just because the slaughter of the babies was expedient does not make it right.  Also, I believe that Tywin ordered all three murders not out of political expediency but to further his own agenda and to avenge (in his mind) an indirect insult to House Lannister:  Tywin wanted his daughter to become queen and a Lannister grandson to eventually sit on the Iron Throne; slaughtering a Targaryen baby and toddler who had a greater claim to the throne than Tywin's prospective future son-in-law and presenting their bodies wrapped in Lannister red cloaks to the man he wanted as Cersei's bridegroom was a sweetener on the 'deal' of the marriage alliance.  As for Elia...Tywin had originally planned for the young Cersei to marry Rhaegar; and denied, insultingly, by King Aerys, who said he would not have his servant's daughter marry his son.  Aerys chose Elia instead; and I believe that Tywin took insult and 'repaid' that insult eventually by ordering the murder of Rhaegar's innocent widow.

3.  Tywin's ordering Jaime to tell Tyrion that his commoner wife, the young and innocent girl Tysha, was a gold-digging whore who Jaime had found for him, and then having Tysha raped by 100 Lannister guards in front of Tyrion with Tyrion being the final rapist.  He contributed to Tyrion's becoming emotionally messed up when it comes to women; it's a terrible thing to do to one's own son, and what he had done to Tysha was unforgivable.  Since Tywin had the marriage annulled, he could have found a decent husband for Tysha among the smallfolk in either the Westerlands or somewhere farther away from Casterly Rock.  

4.  The Freys' receiving the Stark/Tully forces into the Twins as guests and then murdering most of them at the Red Wedding.  Not only is murdering the sister and troops of one's liege-lord dishonorable; the betrayal of guest-right is a sin against the social and moral codes of all Westeros.  A horrible thing to do, and unjustifiable even after Robb's insult of breaking his promise to marry a Frey daughter (especially since he did make amends by giving a Frey daughter a bridegroom who no Frey could normally hope to wed).

5.  Practically everything that Euron Greyjoy does.  Kills his brother, probably sexually abused his younger brothers; and generally behaves like the Westerosi incarnation of Genghis Khan or worse during the sample chapter from The Winds of Winter.  Somebody kill him, please.

6.  Ramsay's torture of Theon (why not just execute him) and his hunting/flaying/killing of servant girls, plus his treatment of Jeyne/fake Arya. Another one I want to see die ASAP.

7.  The Great Masters of Meereen's crucifixion/murders of 160 slave children.  Awful.

8.  Craster's incest with his daughters and giving the male newborns to the Others.

9.  Theon's murdering two little boys and allowing their mother to be murdered as well; because he's embarrassed by Rickon and Bran's escape and wants the world to believe that he killed them. 

 

There are probably other actions, but it's too depressing to remember them all.

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2 minutes ago, Raksha 2014 said:

In no particular order:

1.  Tywin's slaughter of all the Reynes of Castamere, including, as I recall/infer, servants, women, most of whom had no input on the decision to rebel against House Lannister.

2.  Tywin's ordering the murders of Rhaegar's young children and (in my opinion, though he denied it in the books) their mother.  Just because the slaughter of the babies was expedient does not make it right.  Also, I believe that Tywin ordered all three murders not out of political expediency but to further his own agenda and to avenge (in his mind) an indirect insult to House Lannister:  Tywin wanted his daughter to become queen and a Lannister grandson to eventually sit on the Iron Throne; slaughtering a Targaryen baby and toddler who had a greater claim to the throne than Tywin's prospective future son-in-law and presenting their bodies wrapped in Lannister red cloaks to the man he wanted as Cersei's bridegroom was a sweetener on the 'deal' of the marriage alliance.  As for Elia...Tywin had originally planned for the young Cersei to marry Rhaegar; and denied, insultingly, by King Aerys, who said he would not have his servant's daughter marry his son.  Aerys chose Elia instead; and I believe that Tywin took insult and 'repaid' that insult eventually by ordering the murder of Rhaegar's innocent widow.

3.  Tywin's ordering Jaime to tell Tyrion that his commoner wife, the young and innocent girl Tysha, was a gold-digging whore who Jaime had found for him, and then having Tysha raped by 100 Lannister guards in front of Tyrion with Tyrion being the final rapist.  He contributed to Tyrion's becoming emotionally messed up when it comes to women; it's a terrible thing to do to one's own son, and what he had done to Tysha was unforgivable.  Since Tywin had the marriage annulled, he could have found a decent husband for Tysha among the smallfolk in either the Westerlands or somewhere farther away from Casterly Rock.  

4.  The Freys' receiving the Stark/Tully forces into the Twins as guests and then murdering most of them at the Red Wedding.  Not only is murdering the sister and troops of one's liege-lord dishonorable; the betrayal of guest-right is a sin against the social and moral codes of all Westeros.  A horrible thing to do, and unjustifiable even after Robb's insult of breaking his promise to marry a Frey daughter (especially since he did make amends by giving a Frey daughter a bridegroom who no Frey could normally hope to wed).

5.  Practically everything that Euron Greyjoy does.  Kills his brother, probably sexually abused his younger brothers; and generally behaves like the Westerosi incarnation of Genghis Khan or worse during the sample chapter from The Winds of Winter.  Somebody kill him, please.

6.  Ramsay's torture of Theon (why not just execute him) and his hunting/flaying/killing of servant girls, plus his treatment of Jeyne/fake Arya. Another one I want to see die ASAP.

7.  The Great Masters of Meereen's crucifixion/murders of 160 slave children.  Awful.

8.  Craster's incest with his daughters and giving the male newborns to the Others.

9.  Theon's murdering two little boys and allowing their mother to be murdered as well; because he's embarrassed by Rickon and Bran's escape and wants the world to believe that he killed them. 

 

There are probably other actions, but it's too depressing to remember them all.

1.  was horrible, but I can see that fighting their way into the mine was not practical.  I agree about the others.

9.  is perhaps even worse than you think, as one of the children might have been Theon's.  The miller's wife seems to have been more than just a one night stand (which makes his willingness to stand by as she was murdered all the worse).

I think that LF's treatment of Jeyne Poole was a special kind of evil, as well.  Also, the creation of the Unsullied.

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