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The Merling King

Targaryen marriage alliances and power-blocs in post dragon Westeros

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Any thoughts on the importance of Targeryen power bloc’s in post dragon Westeros, for example the Vale- Stormlands- Dorne alliance formed by Daeron ii and the attempted power block of Aegon V through marriages. Do you think the Stormlands and the Vale are key to any Targeryen coalition? Also do you think the Targaryens were hesitant to bing in over-powefull houses like the Lannister and Tyrells after what happened with the Hightower’s and the Valeryons during the dance?

Edited by The Merling King

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55 minutes ago, The Merling King said:

Any thoughts on the importance of Targeryen power bloc’s in post dragon Westeros, for example the Vale- Stormlands- Dorne alliance formed by Daeron ii and the attempted power block of Aegon V through marriages. Do you think the Stormlands and the Vale are key to any Targeryen coalition? Also do you think the Targaryens were hesitant to bing in over-powefull houses like the Lannister and Tyrells after what happened with the Hightower’s and the Valeryons during the dance?

I actually think many, possibly all, of the wives of Daeron II's four sons were Targaryen cousins through the female line. This is confirmed for Queen Aelinor Penrose, the wife of King Aerys I, who was a cousin of her husband, suggesting that Aelinor was descended either from a daughter or Alyn Velaryon and Baela Targaryen (possibly even the second Laena Velaryon born at the end of FaB) or of one of those six daughters Rhaena Targaryen had with Garmund Hightower.

There are many Targaryens through the female line around in the 2nd century.

I think Queen Aelinor's father was Ronnel Penrose, the second husband of Elaena Targaryen, who may have fathered Aelinor on a first wife (sort of like Aemma Arryn had four older half-siblings by her father's first wife) and that he grew up with young Prince Aegon as a page and squire as the grandson of Baela or Rhaena.

There is a curious quote in TWoIaF hinting at Daeron II's allies in the Stormlands and Dornish marches:

Quote

Perhaps it was for this reason that Aegon turned his attention to Dorne, using the hatred for the Dornishmen that still burned in the marches, the stormlands, and the Reach to suborn some of Daeron's allies and use them against his most powerful supporters.

Aegon IV's plan early in his reign (the failed attempt to conquer Dorne took place in 174 AC, two years after he had taken the throne) apparently involved inciting the Stormlords and Marcher Lords against the Dornishmen - who were Daeron's most powerful supporters. But Daeron apparently also had allies among those Stormlords and Marcher lords - at a point where his sons definitely were not yet married to anyone. [Baelor Breakspear was born the same year as Daemon Blackfyre (in 170 AC), meaning he was about four years old when his grandfather tried to conquer Dorne.] Thus we can deduce that the future Daeron II must have had allies among the Stormlords and Marcher lords (men who, due to their traditional hatred of the Dornishmen should have been in the Unworthy's camp - and later in the Blackfyre camp). Not all of them - but definitely some of them. And the best guess is that Daeron II's best friends were the very men whose daughters ended up marrying his two elder sons.

Thus we can, I think, assume that both the father of Aelinor Penrose (tentatively Ronnel Penrose) and the father of Jena Dondarrion (future wife of Baelor Breakspear) grew up with Prince Daeron and became close friends of the future king - sort of like Aerys II befriended his own cousin Steffon Baratheon and Tywin Lannister during his childhood and youth at the court of Aegon V.

This idea makes even more sense if we consider that two Penroses (Aelinor and Ronnel) were honored with Targaryen marriages despite their low standing (House Penrose is very undistinguished in Westerosi history despite Cortnay Penrose's loyalty to the late Renly and Edric Storm). And the Dondarrions may be famed Marcher lords but they have very humble roots. It strikes me as very unlikely that the Prince of Dragonstone and Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne - which Baelor Breakspear was from 184 AC onwards - would have been married to a Dondarrion if said Dondarrion wasn't also a Targaryen through the female line. We do know that Betha Blackwood (a relation of the King's Hand, Bryden Rivers, himself the son of a Targaryen king) was considered an unsuitable bride for Prince Maekar's youngest son and that this match would have faced serious opposition if Egg had been at the top rather than the end of the line of succession in 220 AC. The idea that Daeron II could have married his heir to a Dondarrion and his second son to a Penrose if that had been the only thing they were is very hard to swallow. This would have made the case of the Blackfyre partisan so much easier. Daeron II's own non-incestuous union had visibly diluted the royal blood - Baelor Breakspear, while being a great knight and better ruler, did favor his Dornish mother and did not look like a Targaryen - and thus it makes little sense that Daeron II would have continued that trend by not marrying his sons to Targaryen cousins. And we do know that Valarr did have some Valyrian features and that two, possibly three (Aemon) sons of Maekar had very distinct Valyrian features.

We do know - due to Valarr's and Daeron's and Aerion's ages in THK - that both Baelor and Maekar (who must have been at least four years younger than Baelor, but it is very likely that he was even younger since I don't expect Myriah to have produced four sons in four years) were married and/or already had children by the time of the Blackfyre Rebellion in 196 AC, effectively confirming it that at least Baelor's and Maekar's brides were not rewards for loyal lords and knights during the Blackfyre Rebellion but rather marriages made earlier which likely helped Daeron II to crush the rebels (we do know that Maekar led the Dornishmen and Baelor the Stormlanders on the Redgrass Field).

Since we can also reasonably expect that Princess Elaena married Ronnel Penrose in the first half of King Daeron II (she had four children with him and eventually married Michael Manwoody while Daeron II was still king) we can also expect that the marriage of the future Aerys I was arranged before the Blackfyre Rebellion - considering Aerys' character (he essentially seems to have been another version of (semi-)autist Vaegon) I doubt his parents would have insisted on a marriage if hadn't been their second son or if his match had only been made when Baelor and Maekar already had their sons.

Rhaegel's wife - Alys Arryn - and Maekar's wife - Dyanna Dayne - are somewhat different. There were two Arryn-Targaryen marriages in the past, and the Arryns are the oldest bloodline of Andal royalty. Thus Alys can but doesn't have to be a some sort of a Targaryen cousin (although it is still possible). And since mad Rhaegel's twins Aelor and Aelora still seem to be children by 212 AC, it is also possible that Rhaegel was married to a daughter of Lord Donnel Arryn (who was a hero of the Redgrass Field) only after the Blackfyre Rebellion. But it is also possible that Rhaegel's mental issues were so severe that he and his lady wife had sex only very infrequently, or that they had other fertility issues.

Dyanna Dayne and Maekar Targaryen could be a love match, a marriage that grew out of the fact that Queen Myriah had a dashing young Dayne girl among her ladies and companions. But it is also possible that either during the Conquest of Dorne or during Baelor the Blessed's peace negotiations or even later still when the future Daeron II and Myriah celebrated their wedding one of those Targaryen-Velaryons or Targaryen-Hightowers married into House Dayne and a daughter from that union eventually ended up marrying young Prince Maekar in the 190s.

I think the Targaryens were always wary of considering a Lannister marriage. That would have given them too much prestige and power. Queen Rhaena realized that they wanted both the Iron Throne and dragons, and chances are that the more ambitious Lannisters never gave up that goal. About the relations between the Targaryens and the Tyrells we don't know enough, especially in the post-FaB years, but I'd say that despite their power they would not have been seen as suitable matches for the royal family for most of the kings. They were just upjumped stewards, after all.

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8 hours ago, The Merling King said:

Do you think the Stormlands and the Vale are key to any Targeryen coalition?

I think the Stormlands do are the key to every Targ coalition, with the exception of the Robellion, the Baratheons were traditionally key allies to the Targs, that's make clear in the  Dance where both parties want Borros aid. The Vale is a curious case, too.

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I think the Targaryens were always wary of considering a Lannister marriage. That would have given them too much prestige and power. Queen Rhaena realized that they wanted both the Iron Throne and dragons, and chances are that the more ambitious Lannisters never gave up that goal.

I think the Targaryens were less concerned when they had dragons as Lannister’s were considered potential suitors for both Princess Daella and Princess Rhaenrya. 

 

10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

About the relations between the Targaryens and the Tyrells we don't know enough, especially in the post-FaB years, but I'd say that despite their power they would not have been seen as suitable matches for the royal family for most of the kings. They were just upjumped stewards, after all.

I agree regarding the Tyrells and was suprised Aegon V offered his daughters to the Tyrells and Tully’s. Do you think the largess had worn out or was he desperate to pass his reforms? 

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49 minutes ago, The Merling King said:

I think the Targaryens were less concerned when they had dragons as Lannister’s were considered potential suitors for both Princess Daella and Princess Rhaenrya. 

Princess Daella wasn't a dragonrider and would never become one due to her fear of dragons. Spreading out the dragonrider potential isn't that great an idea but no big deal while you control the actual access to dragons and dragon eggs. Rhaenyra had many suitors as heir apparent, but we can safely say that only Aegon the Elder, Laenor Velaryon, and possibly the Prince of Dorne were ever seriously considered matches. The idea that Viserys I would have married his darling daughter and heir to anyone less isn't very likely.

49 minutes ago, The Merling King said:

I agree regarding the Tyrells and was suprised Aegon V offered his daughters to the Tyrells and Tully’s. Do you think the largess had worn out or was he desperate to pass his reforms? 

Well, Aegon V didn't exactly want to marry his heir to a Tully or Tyrell. His second son was supposed to marry a Tully daughter, and his elder daughter the heir to Highgarden. That was a great honor and a sign of royal favor to those houses, but it is no surprise that Prince Duncan, the heir apparent, was betrothed to a Baratheon - of a cadet branch of House Targaryen with the royal blood of the old Storm Kings in their veins. That was a suitable match for a future king.

The matches were supposed to help Aegon V with his reforms by making strong bonds with crucial noble families - but since they were made early in his reign (in 237 AC, four years after he took the throne) we can be reasonably sure most of his reforms were just plans at this point. But, of course, after his children fucked things up the Tyrells, Tullys, and Redwynes wouldn't have been of much help in all that. Assuming the Luthor-Olenna match isn't an indication that they formed a power bloc to actively oppose the reforms to spite Aegon V and his children.

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On 2/13/2020 at 9:46 PM, The Merling King said:

Any thoughts on the importance of Targeryen power bloc’s in post dragon Westeros, for example the Vale- Stormlands- Dorne alliance formed by Daeron ii and the attempted power block of Aegon V through marriages. Do you think the Stormlands and the Vale are key to any Targeryen coalition? Also do you think the Targaryens were hesitant to bing in over-powefull houses like the Lannister and Tyrells after what happened with the Hightower’s and the Valeryons during the dance?

The most serious power-bloc to threaten the Targs was in the lead-up to Roberts Rebellion when Starks started marrying Tullys and Baratheons, Tullys married Arryns, and even Lannisters and Martells were scheming to get in on this action. A north-westerlands-riverlands- Vale-Dorne bloc would have been deeply troubling not just to the Targs but the Tullys as well. They are the ones, after all, who had the largest army and navy until then, and the Gardeners for thousands of years before that. This is why the Tullys supports Aerys, after all, not because they had any great loyalty to him personally, but they needed to nip all of this alliance-making in the bud.

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6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The most serious power-bloc to threaten the Targs was in the lead-up to Roberts Rebellion when Starks started marrying Tullys and Baratheons, Tullys married Arryns, and even Lannisters and Martells were scheming to get in on this action. A north-westerlands-riverlands- Vale-Dorne bloc would have been deeply troubling not just to the Targs but the Tullys as well. They are the ones, after all, who had the largest army and navy until then, and the Gardeners for thousands of years before that. This is why the Tullys supports Aerys, after all, not because they had any great loyalty to him personally, but they needed to nip all of this alliance-making in the bud.

This wasn't a power bloc. It was a histocial accident that Robert and Ned and Jon were able to form a working coalition. In the end those marriages had less to do with the whole thing than Robert's charisma and personality (and, originally, Jon's decision to stand by Ned and Robert).

How marriages alliances go you see when Walder Frey turns against Genna's family in the war, when Alester Florent stands with Mace and Renly rather than Stannis and Selyse, when Borros Baratheon turns against his first cousin Princess Rhaenys, when Lyonel Hightower's close relative Lord Redwyne ended up sending ... zero ships to assist Lyonel and Alyn Velaryon against the Greyjoys. Or just think how Daemon Velaryon - Queen Alyssa's brother and Aegon's and Viserys' maternal uncle - heroically stood with his nephews against the usurpation of Maegor the Cruel, defending them to his very last breath ... that never happened.

The Estermonts and Hightowers don't give a fig about what their liege lords and close kin are doing. Lysa Arryn let her family and other relations die, and that despite the fact that a considerable number of Stark cousins live in the Vale. The Blackwoods and Brackens never overcame their feud despite the fact that they have married each other more than once or twice.

And so on. If you look at Westerosi history then it is actually the exception, not the rule, if two noble houses linked by marriage end up on the same side in a conflict.

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19 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

and even Lannisters and Martells were scheming to get in on this action.

Why would they??

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This wasn't a power bloc. It was a histocial accident that Robert and Ned and Jon were able to form a working coalition. In the end those marriages had less to do with the whole thing than Robert's charisma and personality (and, originally, Jon's decision to stand by Ned and Robert).

How marriages alliances go you see when Walder Frey turns against Genna's family in the war, when Alester Florent stands with Mace and Renly rather than Stannis and Selyse, when Borros Baratheon turns against his first cousin Princess Rhaenys, when Lyonel Hightower's close relative Lord Redwyne ended up sending ... zero ships to assist Lyonel and Alyn Velaryon against the Greyjoys. Or just think how Daemon Velaryon - Queen Alyssa's brother and Aegon's and Viserys' maternal uncle - heroically stood with his nephews against the usurpation of Maegor the Cruel, defending them to his very last breath ... that never happened.

The Estermonts and Hightowers don't give a fig about what their liege lords and close kin are doing. Lysa Arryn let her family and other relations die, and that despite the fact that a considerable number of Stark cousins live in the Vale. The Blackwoods and Brackens never overcame their feud despite the fact that they have married each other more than once or twice.

And so on. If you look at Westerosi history then it is actually the exception, not the rule, if two noble houses linked by marriage end up on the same side in a conflict.

It would have been the makings of exactly the kind of marriage-bound alliance that Highgarden has maintained with its bannermen for thousands of years. As long as the other kings/high lords did the same with their banners, the Reach's power is unchallenged. Uniting through marriage would threaten that balance, and this is the first time in recorded history, as far as we can tell, that some many great houses are looking to inter-marry at once.

Even if this does not hold in the long term, it is quite the problem right now, both for the Targaryens and the Tyrells. And in the end, Tywin wound up controlling nearly all of it, which is a HUGE problem for the Tyrells.

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27 minutes ago, frenin said:

Why would they??

Tywin and Hoster Tully were discussing marrying Jaime to Lysa. Prior to that, Johanna was working with the princess of Dorn to wed Jaime to Elia and Cersei to Oberyn.

It's all about building alliances to counter the might of the Iron Throne if push ever came to shove. But at the same time it also counters the might of Highgarden.

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4 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Tywin and Hoster Tully were discussing marrying Jaime to Lysa. Prior to that, Johanna was working with the princess of Dorn to wed Jaime to Elia and Cersei to Oberyn.  It's all about building alliances to counter the might of the Iron Throne if push ever came to shove. But at the same time it also counters the might of Highgarden.

 

But the first happened well after the latter and neither Tywin nor Hoster or the Martell had a problem with the IT. What did the roses to Twin?? They were nowhere to be seen at court and Tywin was clerly the most powerful lord in the land, why would the Martells want to court the power of Higharden if it's not a threat to them??

 

 

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20 hours ago, frenin said:

But the first happened well after the latter and neither Tywin nor Hoster or the Martell had a problem with the IT. What did the roses to Twin?? They were nowhere to be seen at court and Tywin was clerly the most powerful lord in the land, why would the Martells want to court the power of Higharden if it's not a threat to them??

 

 

It's all the Game of Thrones. Nobody may have specific designs on Highgarden, but they are the most powerful house in the realm. So it's all about creating your own power center if push were ever to come to shove. After Duskendale, of course, the Mad King is getting madder by the minute, so the need for the great houses to unite is growing as well.

Dorne and the Reach are long-time enemies, so they don't need an excuse to consider Highgarden a threat. And note that just before arriving at Casterly Rock, Elia and Oberyn were in Oldtown sizing up the Hightowers for potential matches. 

We don't know what was going on between Tywin, Hoster and the other lords vis the Iron Throne. Things were not good between Aerys and Tywin, and by the time Jaime/Lysa was being discussed, so Tywin may already have been contemplating an eventual break with Aerys. It never got past the initial discussion stage, but the mere idea that the great houses are suddenly, after all these centuries, talking about intermarriage would be distressing to both Aerys and the Tyrells.

And I also suspect that Lord Luthor Tyrell was either oblivious or not overly concerned by all of this, which is why Lady Olenna had him killed.

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On 2/14/2020 at 6:43 AM, frenin said:

I think the Stormlands do are the key to every Targ coalition, with the exception of the Robellion, the Baratheons were traditionally key allies to the Targs, that's make clear in the  Dance where both parties want Borros aid. The Vale is a curious case, too.

Stormlands and Vale are closest in proximity to KL excluding the always fractured Riverlands. I think the Targaryens usually put a loyal lord in Harrenhal for added security. Does anyone think the Vale- Stormlands- Dorne coalition of Daeron Ii is powerful enough to create hegemony across dragon-less Westeros. I’m surprised that Daeron II did not try to repeat his Stormlands policy and wed a grandchild to a Reacher marcher lord like the Tarly’s or a powerful second house like the Redwynes to secure Reach support against the Blackfyres.

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13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

It's all the Game of Thrones. Nobody may have specific designs on Highgarden, but they are the most powerful house in the realm. So it's all about creating your own power center if push were ever to come to shove. After Duskendale, of course, the Mad King is getting madder by the minute, so the need for the great houses to unite is growing as well.

 

But the most powerful house in the Realm are the Lannisters bar the own royal house. The Mad King is also not leaving his castle, how can threat Mace or Hoster?? Let alone people like Rickard or Jon Arryn?? Unless they are reckless enough to go near his reach, he's not going to touch them.

 

 

13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 Dorne and the Reach are long-time enemies, so they don't need an excuse to consider Highgarden a threat. And note that just before arriving at Casterly Rock, Elia and Oberyn were in Oldtown sizing up the Hightowers for potential matches. 

 

Isn't Hightower a Reach House?? Dorne and the Reach have not been enemies since Daeron's 2 reign.

 

 

 

13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 We don't know what was going on between Tywin, Hoster and the other lords vis the Iron Throne. Things were not good between Aerys and Tywin, and by the time Jaime/Lysa was being discussed, so Tywin may already have been contemplating an eventual break with Aerys. It never got past the initial discussion stage, but the mere idea that the great houses are suddenly, after all these centuries, talking about intermarriage would be distressing to both Aerys and the Tyrells.

 

  1. Tywin wanted to marry Cersi to a Targ prince.
  2. Why the Tyrells should be distressed?? 
  3. Aerys was worried about Rhaegar.

 

 

13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 And I also suspect that Lord Luthor Tyrell was either oblivious or not overly concerned by all of this, which is why Lady Olenna had him killed.

Tinfoil.

 

 

2 hours ago, The Merling King said:

Stormlands and Vale are closest in proximity to KL excluding the always fractured Riverlands. I think the Targaryens usually put a loyal lord in Harrenhal for added security. Does anyone think the Vale- Stormlands- Dorne coalition of Daeron Ii is powerful enough to create hegemony across dragon-less Westeros. I’m surprised that Daeron II did not try to repeat his Stormlands policy and wed a grandchild to a Reacher marcher lord like the Tarly’s or a powerful second house like the Redwynes to secure Reach support against the Blackfyres.

Not like the STABL alliance but yes, since the other realms weren't uniting together, the combined force of Dorne-Crownlands-Vale-Stormlands should give pause to anyone. But with another targ pretender, it ofc crumbled.

It's also rather funny that the Stormlands and the Baratheons who were many times key allies to the Targs ended up overthrowing them.

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16 hours ago, frenin said:

But the most powerful house in the Realm are the Lannisters bar the own royal house. The Mad King is also not leaving his castle, how can threat Mace or Hoster?? Let alone people like Rickard or Jon Arryn?? Unless they are reckless enough to go near his reach, he's not going to touch them.

Isn't Hightower a Reach House?? Dorne and the Reach have not been enemies since Daeron's 2 reign.

  1. Tywin wanted to marry Cersi to a Targ prince.
  2. Why the Tyrells should be distressed?? 
  3. Aerys was worried about Rhaegar.

Tinfoil.

 

Were still talking about the run-up to Robert's Rebellion, right? How do you figure the Lannisters are the most powerful? In seven months, Tywin was able to raise roughly 12,000 to march on King's Landing. Tyrells could field upwards of 50,000, plus the Redwyne fleet, which dwarfs the Lannister fleet. The Reach has been the hegemon for thousands of years. It takes two or three other great houses to equal their might. But all that has changed now.

The Mad King is lord of all the seven kingdoms. He can raise levies from six of the seven if one house becomes troublesome. Even two houses cannot hope to match the power of the Iron Throne. Four though . . .

Likewise, no single house would dare challenge the Reach, nor two, but four . . .   Read the World Book. The only time Highgarden has ever fallen is when the Gardener king at the time made a series of unwise marriages for his daughters, which led to conflict among his banners and the Reach was invaded simultaneously by the westerlands, stormlands and Dorne. Highgarden was sacked; the Oaken Chair that served Gardener kings for thousands of years was hacked to pieces, by the Dornish.

The MK doesn't have to leave his castle in order to send an army into the field, as proven on the Trident. And even then, it's not about the Mad King, it's about the Iron Throne. The MK won't be king forever.

Yes, Hightower is a Reach house, and yes, Dorne and the Reach haven't fought one another openly for a very long time. But this hardly means they are friends. The Reach hates Dorne. Everybody hates Dorne. They are sexual deviates, allow women to rule, and fight using stealth, poisons and other cowardly weapons. What better way to drive a wedge between Highgarden and one of its principal vassals than to add a little Dornish blood to the mix?

Yes, Tywin wanted to marry Cersei to a Targ prince. He didn't though, he married her to a Baratheon king. In one move, he extended his influence from just the westerlands to include both the Iron Throne (and the crownlands) and the stormlands. And just before he died, he had extended that influence even further to control the riverlands through Genna and the north through Tyrion. This creates a Lannister-led power bloc comprising well over half the kingdom, enough to dwarf any army the Tyrells could field. And Tywin is not your typical lord who merely defeats his enemies and then raises them up again minus some lands and honors. He is a ruthless mad dog warlord who burns your lands from horizon to horizon, murders smallfolk in the tens of thousands and leaves them rotting in the dirt, razes your castles to the ground and utterly obliterates your entire line for all time. This is a terrifying prospect for any Tyrell with an ounce of sense.

Anyone who knows anything about horses and hawking can see that this story of Lord Luthor's death is a big fat lie. It doesn't matter what the rider is looking at, no horse is just going blithely walk off the edge of a cliff. Horses are not (that) stupid, nor do they have death wishes. They know full well what happens if they step into empty air. Even if he was at a full gallop, the horse will stop and Lord Luthor goes over the cliff. So maybe some ground gave way or maybe the horse caught a root, but it most certainly did not just ride over the cliff because Luthor was not paying attention.

But this is not the only problem with this story. The fact is, if Luthor was looking up at his bird (and there is really no other plausible reason for him to be looking up), then he should not have been moving at all. The way it works is that you release your bird, it flies out and makes the kill, then drops it and your retrievers bring it back to you. The whole point is that you don't have to move an inch. In fact, it would be foolish to do so. The hawk does not return to you because it wants praise or a treat. It's not a dog. The hawk homes back to its original location. That's why you keep it hooded until it's time to release it: you don't want it homing back to your castle or to some point on the way the hunting grounds. If you let the bird go and then move to another location, all that happens is the bird homes back to its original location, sees that your not there, and that's likely the last you well ever see that bird, and hundreds of man-hours of training flies off with the wind.

Thirdly, there is absolutely no reason why anyone in their right mind would be hawking anywhere near a cliff. All that will happen then is the bird will fly over the edge of the cliff, make a kill, and then drop it to the bottom, leaving you and your dogs miles away. Hawking is always done in flat lands or marshes or some other manageable area.

Sure, Lord Luthor, head of the house that prides itself on the quality of its horses, dogs, hawks and other working animals, may not have the faintest clue what he is doing, but you can bet his trainers, huntsmen and others in his party do. So, no, this story about his death is a flat-out lie, and Lady Olenna is the most likely murderer here because she then became the chief decision-maker at Highgarden.

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15 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Were still talking about the run-up to Robert's Rebellion, right? How do you figure the Lannisters are the most powerful? In seven months, Tywin was able to raise roughly 12,000 to march on King's Landing. Tyrells could field upwards of 50,000, plus the Redwyne fleet, which dwarfs the Lannister fleet. The Reach has been the hegemon for thousands of years. It takes two or three other great houses to equal their might. But all that has changed now.

 

1. Source?? Do you know if Tywin only took cavalry or if he took with him infantry??

2. The Reach hasn't been the hegemon for thousands of years, manpower isn't all.

 

 

15 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 The Mad King is lord of all the seven kingdoms. He can raise levies from six of the seven if one house becomes troublesome. Even two houses cannot hope to match the power of the Iron Throne. Four though . . .

 

And 5 or two if the rest of the Kingdom decides not to answer the call.

 

 

 

15 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 Likewise, no single house would dare challenge the Reach, nor two, but four . . .   Read the World Book. The only time Highgarden has ever fallen is when the Gardener king at the time made a series of unwise marriages for his daughters, which led to conflict among his banners and the Reach was invaded simultaneously by the westerlands, stormlands and Dorne. Highgarden was sacked; the Oaken Chair that served Gardener kings for thousands of years was hacked to pieces, by the Dornish.

 

I did, on top of my head, Argilac Durrandon beat their asses and killed their King. The Gardeners lost and retook lands many times just as the rest. Storm's End never fell and the same goes to Casterly Rock, does that mean they never met defeat??

 

 

16 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The MK doesn't have to leave his castle in order to send an army into the field, as proven on the Trident. And even then, it's not about the Mad King, it's about the Iron Throne. The MK won't be king forever.

 

He was virtually prisoner in his own home, the control he could exercise over his most nearer bannermen was limited, let alone people like Quellon, Doran or Rickard.

 

 

16 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 Yes, Hightower is a Reach house, and yes, Dorne and the Reach haven't fought one another openly for a very long time. But this hardly means they are friends. The Reach hates Dorne. Everybody hates Dorne. They are sexual deviates, allow women to rule, and fight using stealth, poisons and other cowardly weapons. What better way to drive a wedge between Highgarden and one of its principal vassals than to add a little Dornish blood to the mix?

 

The Reach hates Dorne, that's why Baelor Hightower was ready to marry Elia, and no. Not everyone hates Dorne, i've never seen a westermen, nothmen or valemen hating them. Dorne and the Reach aren't friends, not what i  said anyway. If Highgarden did not want the marriage to happen, Mace would express his opinion on the matter.

 

 

 

16 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 Yes, Tywin wanted to marry Cersei to a Targ prince. He didn't though, he married her to a Baratheon king. In one move, he extended his influence from just the westerlands to include both the Iron Throne (and the crownlands) and the stormlands. And just before he died, he had extended that influence even further to control the riverlands through Genna and the north through Tyrion. This creates a Lannister-led power bloc comprising well over half the kingdom, enough to dwarf any army the Tyrells could field. And Tywin is not your typical lord who merely defeats his enemies and then raises them up again minus some lands and honors. He is a ruthless mad dog warlord who burns your lands from horizon to horizon, murders smallfolk in the tens of thousands and leaves them rotting in the dirt, razes your castles to the ground and utterly obliterates your entire line for all time. This is a terrifying prospect for any Tyrell with an ounce of sense.

 

Well, ofc he didn't. The Targs were a lost cause after the Trident, that does not mean that prior the Robellion, Tywin wanted to marry Cersei with a Targ. How the incredibly random events 16 years later influence his decisions in the past??

Didn't know Tywin had done all that to the Stormlands or Vale, perhaps because had he done that that Stannis would have a powerbase in the south. Hell, he didn't even do that with the Starks.

I doubt that is a terrying prospect for the Tyrells because there is no beef between them.

 

 

The rest again, it's just tinfoil, Olenna is not the chief decision.maker at Highgarden. Others have already told you, i won't go to that road,

 

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2 hours ago, frenin said:

1. Source?? Do you know if Tywin only took cavalry or if he took with him infantry??

2. The Reach hasn't been the hegemon for thousands of years, manpower isn't all.

 

 

And 5 or two if the rest of the Kingdom decides not to answer the call.

 

 

 

I did, on top of my head, Argilac Durrandon beat their asses and killed their King. The Gardeners lost and retook lands many times just as the rest. Storm's End never fell and the same goes to Casterly Rock, does that mean they never met defeat??

 

 

He was virtually prisoner in his own home, the control he could exercise over his most nearer bannermen was limited, let alone people like Quellon, Doran or Rickard.

 

 

The Reach hates Dorne, that's why Baelor Hightower was ready to marry Elia, and no. Not everyone hates Dorne, i've never seen a westermen, nothmen or valemen hating them. Dorne and the Reach aren't friends, not what i  said anyway. If Highgarden did not want the marriage to happen, Mace would express his opinion on the matter.

 

 

 

Well, ofc he didn't. The Targs were a lost cause after the Trident, that does not mean that prior the Robellion, Tywin wanted to marry Cersei with a Targ. How the incredibly random events 16 years later influence his decisions in the past??

Didn't know Tywin had done all that to the Stormlands or Vale, perhaps because had he done that that Stannis would have a powerbase in the south. Hell, he didn't even do that with the Starks.

I doubt that is a terrying prospect for the Tyrells because there is no beef between them.

 

 

The rest again, it's just tinfoil, Olenna is not the chief decision.maker at Highgarden. Others have already told you, i won't go to that road,

 

The WB says it was Tywin's army. It makes no mention of just cavalry or a sizable host left in the westerlands. 15 years later, Tywin has a total of 35,000, less than half of what the Tyrells put into the field, let alone what they could have put on the water. Mern Gardener brought one-and-a-half times more men to the Field of Fire than Loren Lannister. Lancel Lannister only invaded the Reach when Gyles Gardener was off invading the stormlands. Lancel was easily checked, and killed, by House Osgrey, the Marshall of the Northwatch, and then routed by Gyles. If not for that, Gyles would very likely have conquered the stormlands. Eventually, the Gardeners did take much of the western stormlands from the Durrandons. 

The Reach has had the largest population by far, which means it can field the largest army by far as long as it has its political act together. This is the definition of a hegemon: the most powerful member of a group, although not necessarily more powerful than all members of the group. And it's been this way for thousands of years. Why else do you think all of the fighting over the centuries has taken place in the Riverlands, not in the wide open Reach that consists of little more than league upon league of open farmland?

Yes, if the rest of the kingdom decides to defy the king, he is in big trouble. All the more reason to nip this alliance-building in the bud.

Sure, Gardeners have been defeated in battle, lost kings in battles and even lost wars. But the Reach has never been overrun nor Highgarden destroyed nor any of their lands taken except that one time. Storm's End and Casterly Rock have never fallen because they are kick-ass castles: Highgarden is a normal castle siting in the wide open surrounded by thorny rose bushes. Likewise, the stormlands, westerlands, Dorne, Vale, north and riverlands all have natural defenses -- mountains, deserts, harsh winters, even rivers afford some protection -- the Reach has nothing,

Sorry, but facts are facts. Aerys ordered the army raised. He sent the men out to do it, not Rhaegar. He was not a prisoner. He maintained full command and control the whole time, even executing underlings and bannermen who failed to do his bidding, including Rickard.

Yes, Baelor Hightower to Elia Martell; what better way to drive a wedge between the Tyrells and one of their principal houses? It never went anywhere though, most likely because the Hightowers knew what a shitstorm it would cause. So the Martells went to Casterly Rock instead.

Yes, everyone hates the Dornish, but the Reach in particular because of the poor history between the two. Read the book. Look at Aerys Oakheart's impression of the Dornish people (save for Arianne, even though he still feels he is betraying his family by loving her, and even dressing like a Dornishman). Look at Mace's reaction to the Dornish appearing for his daughter's wedding. Look at the fuss kicked up after Daeron Targ married Myriah Martell: it was one of the main drivers of the Blackfyre Rebellion. Then Rhaegar takes a Dornish wife and suddenly the principal houses start aligning to counter the Iron Throne. Nobody wants anything to do with the Dornish.

Of course Tywin doesn't know how things are going to play out. His intention was to marry into House Targaryen. When that failed, he started shopping Jaime to Hoster Tully, all while still holding out hope that Cersei could snare Viserys. Tywin is an opportunist; he plays both sides. 

Tywin's approach to conflict is clear: utterly destroy your opponent: the Reynes, Tarbecks, even the Targaryens; he slaughters them all, even their children. He burns everything in sight, destroys castles, sacks entire cities after feigning loyalty to get inside . . . He is the most ruthless, heartless war lord on the continent right now -- destroyer of dynasties. He murders entire armies and sacks entire cities through treachery and deceit. Just look at the destruction witnessed by Cat, Arya, Jaime in the riverlands. Everything is destroyed, every village, town, holdfast and keep, fields blackened from horizon to horizon, mile upon mile of rotting bodies, brigands and sellswords out raping septas, silent sisters and little girls, waves of ragged humanity flooding to King's Landing to escape the carnage. "I want to see the riverlands afire from the God's Eye to the Red Fork." This is Shermanesque total war, a level of destruction that the realm has not seen since the Dance of the Dragons. This could be the Reach if they let Tywin Lannister amass the power to rival Highgarden.

Um, there is a huge beef between the rose and the lion. The Tyrells just murdered the Lannister boy-king, Tywin's grandson (accidentally, of course, but that's another story). Houses with no beefs against one another do not plot to kill each other. And the fact is that the Reach and the westerlands share an ill-defined border that is a good 800 leagues long -- fertile ground for all kinds of conflicts to arise over dams, mills, hunting grounds, farmlands and all the other things that bring wealth to houses. This is not just an immediate threat; it's an existential one.

Everything I told you about hunting and hawking as a fact. Look it up if your curious. This story is a lie, plain and simple.

Olenna "hectors her son mercilessly". She undid the Cersei-Willas match simply because she was "too used." She upbraided Mace right in front of the Queen about Garth becoming Master of Coin. She negotiated the alliance/marriage with Petyr while Mace blustered and was manipulated into thinking others' ideas were his own. She is the power center in Highgarden and the imbecile Mace is merely the figure head. She has the wherewithal to see the dramatic power shift that has just taking place. This is the driving factor in all of her actions, up to and including the plot to kill Tyrion at Joffrey's wedding.

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On 2/17/2020 at 11:37 PM, frenin said:

Not like the STABL alliance but yes, since the other realms weren't uniting together, the combined force of Dorne-Crownlands-Vale-Stormlands should give pause to anyone. But with another targ pretender, it ofc crumbled.

If the crown had the full support of the Reach and Westerlands they probably would have defeated STAB?

 

On 2/17/2020 at 11:37 PM, frenin said:

It's also rather funny that the Stormlands and the Baratheons who were many times key allies to the Targs ended up overthrowing them.

I feel like the first half of the Targaryen dynasty had the Targ-Baratheon-Valeryon trifecta similar to the current Tyrell-Redwyne-Hightower marriage alliances but with dragons so the Targaryen were much more secure then the Tyrells. Sure the Hightowers and Arryns have both gotten a piece of the action but not compared to the other two in the first century and half. It’s true both Baratheon’s and Valeryon’s have overstepped throughout the years but they were key supporters so it is ironic that the Baratheon’s replaced them. In regards to the Valeryon’s, I think they were completely de-powered to further isolate the Targeryens. I’m still not sure how they fell so far compared to the Hightowers, I know they lost a lot during the dance and Lyseni Spring but I would think they would have been able to rebuild over 150 years as Tywin showed it was possible to restore a house to greatness in one generation. Plus it would have made sense for the Targaryens to continue to support the Velaryon’s to keep there fleet supreme after the dance and Lyseni Spring fiasco? Imagine if the Valeryons were as powerful during RR as the DOTDs, they don’t even seem to be on the Redwyne level.

Edited by The Merling King

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

The WB says it was Tywin's army. It makes no mention of just cavalry or a sizable host left in the westerlands. 15 years later, Tywin has a total of 35,000, less than half of what the Tyrells put into the field, let alone what they could have put on the water. Mern Gardener brought one-and-a-half times more men to the Field of Fire than Loren Lannister. Lancel Lannister only invaded the Reach when Gyles Gardener was off invading the stormlands. Lancel was easily checked, and killed, by House Osgrey, the Marshall of the Northwatch, and then routed by Gyles. If not for that, Gyles would very likely have conquered the stormlands. Eventually, the Gardeners did take much of the western stormlands from the Durrandons. 

 

It makes no mention of anything and we have no reason to assume, those 12k or 35k are what Tywin is capable to muster. Stafford had quickly raised another army in no time too.

The tale of the little lion is a pretty tale but we have little reason to assume it was like that, or that the Gardeners would've likely conquered the Stormlands. We're told that there were a saga of very innefectual kings in the Durrandon side, whenever a competent one popped up, it wasn't so easy.

 

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

 The Reach has had the largest population by far, which means it can field the largest army by far as long as it has its political act together. This is the definition of a hegemon: the most powerful member of a group, although not necessarily more powerful than all members of the group. And it's been this way for thousands of years. Why else do you think all of the fighting over the centuries has taken place in the Riverlands, not in the wide open Reach that consists of little more than league upon league of open farmland?

 

Except that it isn't, it's size and manpower has changed a lot though time.  We were ever told that they were the hegemon of anything.

In the Riverlands, desunion is the norm. Thefew rare times, they were united, they lasted a long.

 

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

 Yes, if the rest of the kingdom decides to defy the king, he is in big trouble. All the more reason to nip this alliance-building in the bud.

 

If he tries to bid all alliance building in the bud, he would be in big trouble regardless. Not that Aerys was said to fear this alliance.

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

Sorry, but facts are facts. Aerys ordered the army raised. He sent the men out to do it, not Rhaegar. He was not a prisoner. He maintained full command and control the whole time, even executing underlings and bannermen who failed to do his bidding, including Rickard.

 

What are you talking about?? Rickard was very specifically on Aerys reach. Aerys had no intention of ruling and he wasn't enacting any troublesome laws, what army was he raising again??

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

 Yes, Baelor Hightower to Elia Martell; what better way to drive a wedge between the Tyrells and one of their principal houses? It never went anywhere though, most likely because the Hightowers knew what a shitstorm it would cause. So the Martells went to Casterly Rock instead.

 

Or because Elia kept laughing at Baelor's face...  If the Hightowers hated the dornish so much, the match wouldn't have been proposed.

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

 Yes, everyone hates the Dornish, but the Reach in particular because of the poor history between the two. Read the book. Look at Aerys Oakheart's impression of the Dornish people (save for Arianne, even though he still feels he is betraying his family by loving her, and even dressing like a Dornishman). Look at Mace's reaction to the Dornish appearing for his daughter's wedding. Look at the fuss kicked up after Daeron Targ married Myriah Martell: it was one of the main drivers of the Blackfyre Rebellion. Then Rhaegar takes a Dornish wife and suddenly the principal houses start aligning to counter the Iron Throne. Nobody wants anything to do with the Dornish.

 

Nope, not everyone. 

- Arys comes from the Reach and his house is specially prejudiced since Wyl of Wyl's shenanigans. He does not really believe he's betraying any family but the Kingsguard.

- Mace and his family had a very good reason to dislike the Dornish since the Wyllas's accident.

- The fuss happened because Dorne and the IT had fought a very bitter war decades earlier. No one cares about that in the present.

- None of the principal houses were aligning to counter the IT and especially not because of Dorne.

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

 Of course Tywin doesn't know how things are going to play out. His intention was to marry into House Targaryen. When that failed, he started shopping Jaime to Hoster Tully, all while still holding out hope that Cersei could snare Viserys. Tywin is an opportunist; he plays both sides. 

 

But that's not true, he never gave up Viserys, Lysa Tully was just a great match. 

 

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

 Tywin's approach to conflict is clear: utterly destroy your opponent: the Reynes, Tarbecks, even the Targaryens; he slaughters them all, even their children. He burns everything in sight, destroys castles, sacks entire cities after feigning loyalty to get inside . . . He is the most ruthless, heartless war lord on the continent right now -- destroyer of dynasties. He murders entire armies and sacks entire cities through treachery and deceit. Just look at the destruction witnessed by Cat, Arya, Jaime in the riverlands. Everything is destroyed, every village, town, holdfast and keep, fields blackened from horizon to horizon, mile upon mile of rotting bodies, brigands and sellswords out raping septas, silent sisters and little girls, waves of ragged humanity flooding to King's Landing to escape the carnage. "I want to see the riverlands afire from the God's Eye to the Red Fork." This is Shermanesque total war, a level of destruction that the realm has not seen since the Dance of the Dragons. This could be the Reach if they let Tywin Lannister amass the power to rival Highgarden.

 

And what he didn't do that with the Stormlands, the Vale or the North?? Why was he so afraid of Stannis 

 Perhaps because he isn't an idiot,not always at least,  and knows that approach is simply stupid there??

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

Sure, Gardeners have been defeated in battle, lost kings in battles and even lost wars. But the Reach has never been overrun nor Highgarden destroyed nor any of their lands taken except that one time. Storm's End and Casterly Rock have never fallen because they are kick-ass castles: Highgarden is a normal castle siting in the wide open surrounded by thorny rose bushes. Likewise, the stormlands, westerlands, Dorne, Vale, north and riverlands all have natural defenses -- mountains, deserts, harsh winters, even rivers afford some protection -- the Reach has nothing,

 

That you know of, you know 6000k years of story, kind of hard of believing that never happened and if they were defeated in battle and lost wars it's kind of hard to believe their lands were not taken.

The Stormlands and Riverlands  and the Westerlands with the Reach iirc, don't have natural defenses. 

 

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

Um, there is a huge beef between the rose and the lion. The Tyrells just murdered the Lannister boy-king, Tywin's grandson (accidentally, of course, but that's another story). Houses with no beefs against one another do not plot to kill each other. And the fact is that the Reach and the westerlands share an ill-defined border that is a good 800 leagues long -- fertile ground for all kinds of conflicts to arise over dams, mills, hunting grounds, farmlands and all the other things that bring wealth to houses. This is not just an immediate threat; it's an existential one.

 

Are the Lannisters aware of that?? Because so far, people think Tyrion did it. And i did not remember no one fighting over that ill defined border, don't really know how it can be ill defined if it's been there for at least 300 hundred years.

 

 

 

On 2/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, John Suburbs said:

Olenna "hectors her son mercilessly". She undid the Cersei-Willas match simply because she was "too used." She upbraided Mace right in front of the Queen about Garth becoming Master of Coin. She negotiated the alliance/marriage with Petyr while Mace blustered and was manipulated into thinking others' ideas were his own. She is the power center in Highgarden and the imbecile Mace is merely the figure head. She has the wherewithal to see the dramatic power shift that has just taking place. This is the driving factor in all of her actions, up to and including the plot to kill Tyrion at Joffrey's wedding.

That's just not true. Mace can head from time to time to his mother's advice, but he's the one in command.

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17 hours ago, frenin said:

It makes no mention of anything and we have no reason to assume, those 12k or 35k are what Tywin is capable to muster. Stafford had quickly raised another army in no time too.

The tale of the little lion is a pretty tale but we have little reason to assume it was like that, or that the Gardeners would've likely conquered the Stormlands. We're told that there were a saga of very innefectual kings in the Durrandon side, whenever a competent one popped up, it wasn't so easy.

 

 

 

Except that it isn't, it's size and manpower has changed a lot though time.  We were ever told that they were the hegemon of anything.

In the Riverlands, desunion is the norm. Thefew rare times, they were united, they lasted a long.

 

 

 

If he tries to bid all alliance building in the bud, he would be in big trouble regardless. Not that Aerys was said to fear this alliance.

 

 

What are you talking about?? Rickard was very specifically on Aerys reach. Aerys had no intention of ruling and he wasn't enacting any troublesome laws, what army was he raising again??

 

 

Or because Elia kept laughing at Baelor's face...  If the Hightowers hated the dornish so much, the match wouldn't have been proposed.

 

 

Nope, not everyone. 

- Arys comes from the Reach and his house is specially prejudiced since Wyl of Wyl's shenanigans. He does not really believe he's betraying any family but the Kingsguard.

- Mace and his family had a very good reason to dislike the Dornish since the Wyllas's accident.

- The fuss happened because Dorne and the IT had fought a very bitter war decades earlier. No one cares about that in the present.

- None of the principal houses were aligning to counter the IT and especially not because of Dorne.

 

 

But that's not true, he never gave up Viserys, Lysa Tully was just a great match. 

 

 

 

And what he didn't do that with the Stormlands, the Vale or the North?? Why was he so afraid of Stannis 

 Perhaps because he isn't an idiot,not always at least,  and knows that approach is simply stupid there??

 

 

That you know of, you know 6000k years of story, kind of hard of believing that never happened and if they were defeated in battle and lost wars it's kind of hard to believe their lands were not taken.

The Stormlands and Riverlands  and the Westerlands with the Reach iirc, don't have natural defenses. 

 

 

 

Are the Lannisters aware of that?? Because so far, people think Tyrion did it. And i did not remember no one fighting over that ill defined border, don't really know how it can be ill defined if it's been there for at least 300 hundred years.

 

 

 

That's just not true. Mace can head from time to time to his mother's advice, but he's the one in command.

If Tywin could have raised more than 12K in the eight months or so that the war has been raging, he would have done so, and he would have marched the whole lot to King's Landing to ensure his victory there. There was no guarantee, after all, that even after he sacked and burned the city and murdered the Targs that the rebels would welcome him with open arms.

The Reach has been the hegemon on the continent for thousands of years. This is an established fact. It always had the largest population, the largest number of banners, it provides the most valuable commodity of all: food. And aside from the one time when political strife led to its downfall, it has never been overrun despite having no natural defenses with which to defeat an invading army. All it has is its population.

The Gardeners did seize and hold sizable areas of the stormlands for lengths of time. Nobody has ever held any part of the Reach for any longer than it took for the Reach army to defeat the invaders. The Gardeners also had no reason to use its hegemony to conquer other lands; they already have the best, most fruitful lands on the continent. They utilize their hegemony for defense, not offense.

We don't need to be told that they were the hegemon, we can see it for ourselves. These are the facts laid out in the text. Literally, right from the World Book:

Quote

Once and always a great realm, the Reach is many things to its inhabitants: the most populous, fertile and powerful domain in the Seven Kingdoms, its wealth second only to the gold-rich west; a seat of learning; a center of music, culture, and all the arts, bright and dark; the breadbasket of Westeros; a nexus of trade; a home to great seafarers, wise and noble kings, dread sorcerers, and the most beautiful women in all of Westeros.

The riverlands, the entire riverlands, was never united until the Hoares united it. At best, you had river and marsh kings who would carve out a piece here and there and rule it for several hundred years. The Gardeners ruled the entire Reach in an unbroken line since before the Andal invasion at least two thousands years ago and possibly as long as six.

There has never been this kind of alliance-building in the realm, pre- or post-conquest. Look at all the available family trees. At best you'll see a kingdom/great house marrying into someone else's banner, like a Stark to a Royce or a Blackwood, but rarely do you see a Tully to a Lannister or an Arryn to a Stark -- and never multiple marriages of this kind taking place all at once, never.

This is exactly what Aerys feared. It's why he went to Harrenhal after holing himself up in his castle for three years. Do you think he just suddenly felt like taking in a tourney?

What are you talking about? Aerys had no intention of ruling? He was the king. He'd been ruling for 20 years. The text is clear: Aerys sent JonCon and Darry into the Reach to reassemble the army, not Rhaegar; Aerys forced Lewyn to bring up the Dornish, not Rhaegar; Aerys sent the Tyrell army to Storm's End, not Rhaegar. Rhaegar was nowhere to be seen until he suddenly pops up in King's Landing and Aerys, who for months has been dealing with the shitstorm that Rhaegar caused, just hands over his army to the man he suspects is trying to usurp him. In no way, shape or form was Aerys limited, even to the point of executing high lords who displease him in the most gruesome, hideous manner he could think of.

The Hightowers were one of many houses that Elia and Oberyn were trotted off to. Others were Dayne, Redwyne, one or more of the Shield Island houses, Crakehall. No matches were ever proposed, at least not publicly, not even to the Lannisters. It was all a fishing trip -- possibly a sign that the Dornish were looking to build alliances to counter the Iron Throne as well. But nobody wants Dornish blood in their line, so it was all for naught -- even if Baelor had not farted.

Yes, like I said, the Reach has a particular antipathy for Dorne because of their mutual history of bloodshed. And yes, they do care about wars decades, even centuries earlier:

Quote

He was a man of the Reach and the Dornish were his ancient foes, as the tapestries at Old Oak bore witness. Arys only had to close his eyes to see them still. Lord Edgerran the Open-Handed, seated in splendor with the heads of a hundred Dornishmen piled around his feet. The Three Leaves in the Prince's Pass, pierced by Dornish spears, Alester sounding his war horn with his last breath. Ser Olyvar the Green Oak all in white, dying at the side of the Young Dragon. Dorne is no fit place for an Oakheart.

And again, from the World Book:

Quote

Dissatisfaction at these concessions was one of the seeds from which the first Blackfyre Rebellion sprang, as was the belief that Dorne held too much influence over the king -- for Daeron II brought many Dornishmen to his court, some of whom were granted offices of note.

also,

Yet, too many men looked upon Baelor's dark hair and eyes and muttered that he was more Martell than Targaryen, even though he proved a man who could win respect with ease and was as open-handed and just as his father. Knights and lords of the Dornish Marches came to mistrust Daeron, and Baelor as well, and began to look more and more to the old days, when Dornishmen were the enemy to fight, not rivals for the king's attention or largesse. And then they would look at Daemon Blackfyre -- grown tall and powerful, half a god among mortal men, and with the Conqueror's sword in his possession -- and wonder.

So, sorry friend, but the text is clear. Nobody likes the Dornish. They're weird. And their influence at court and entrance into the royal bloodline was one of the precipitating factors of the Blackfyre rebellion.

Tywin would probably haven taken Viserys if an offer had been put on the table. It wasn't, so he started talking to Hoster about Lysa. Do you see the pressure tactic here? If I can't marry into House Targaryen, then I will marry into House Tully instead. One thing he is not doing is talking about either Cersei or Jaime to any of his bannermen, the way it's been done for thousands of years. Marriage alliances between the great houses are serious business because it creates a larger base of power than two individual houses. Multiple houses pose an even more serious problem because the crown has very little lands from which to draw its own levies. It has to rely on the great houses, and thus it needs their political support, not opposition, in order to counter threats. This is why these kinds of alliances hadn't been done before and why the Iron Throne, particularly under Good Queen Allysanne, inserted themselves into the matchmaking of the great houses.

Tywin did not invade the stormlands, Vale or north. He would have used the same tactics if he had. He wasn't afraid of Stannis; he just recognized him as his most serious opponent. Tyrion held the same view. And they are right. Of all the combatants, Stannis has the most battle experience, having proven himself both offensively and defensively many times.

The Reach has lost when they tried to take others' lands. They have never suffered a significant loss that cost them their own lands, save that one time. Have you ever looked at the map? The stormlands are full of mountains and dense forests that make it difficult to maneuver an army and easy to become trapped by those who know the land. Likewise, the westerlands are full of mountain ranges, deep forests, rivers and other natural defenses. The riverlands has rivers that are difficult to cross and forces you to divide your army. At best, you can hold one or two pieces at a time, which is why it was so contested over the centuries until the Hoares showed that in order to control the riverlands you had to control the rivers. The Reach has none of this; just wide open farmland as far as they eye can see. It's only mountains are in the south, and there is a huge pass to and from Dorne large enough to march a hundred armies through. It's only main river is the Mander, which Highgarden has to sail against the current to utilize but anyone invading from the east or north can use to bring them right into the heart of the Reach.

It doesn't matter what the Lannister know or don't know. The fact is their "ally" has just murdered their king, grandson of Lord Lannister. If they were all such good friends and they had such faith and trust in Tywin, then there is no reason for them to think Joffrey will hurt Margaery even if he wanted to (assuming you subscribe to the utterly discredited theory that that is why Joffrey died).

Read the Sworn Sword. These kinds of disputes happen all the time. When they cross the borders of the great houses, the dispute as adjudicated by the king, who happens to be Tywin's grandson. And when civil order breaks down, as it has now, it's every house for itself and the one with the largest army usually wins and gets to take lands, gold, titles and other goodies from the loser. And as I said, when you lose to Tywin, your family is exterminated.

Nonsense, Mace has never done a single thing over his mother's objections. He doesn't even overrule his own bannermen. He just agrees with whatever they say. Read the man on the page. He is a bumbling idiot who can be either intimidated or manipulated into doing whatever the stronger personality in the room wants. In most cases, that is Lady Olenna.

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