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Alyn Oakenfist

Was the drowning of the Reynes justified?

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I'm not talking about morality here. The drowning is obviously morally wrong (maybe not so from an utilitarian perspective). I'm talking about weather it was the best course of action from a political and strategic point of view.

Edited by Alyn Oakenfist

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From a strategic point of view certainly. They could have outlasted Tywin. 

“You cannot fight your way in, and we have food and water sufficient for three years,” he wrote

Can Tywin keep that army there for three years?  What happens if they are needed elsewhere, either another internal or external threat? The longer the siege goes on the more important House Lannister looks.

 Given time, Lord Roger could have assembled a much larger host, for House Reyne had many friends in the west, and his own repute as a warrior would surely have drawn many freeriders, hedge knights, and sellswords to his side.  In his haste to respond to his sister’s peril, however, his lordship had set forth with less than a quarter of his full strength

And who is to say that Tywin will be left unchallenged outside Castamere in that time? The Reynes were rich, powerful and influential and Tytos not respected. If the Reynes had time to properly plan, they may have been able to raise more allies in their bid to topple the Lannisters.

At the end of the day, most of those 300 would have died or been stripped of their nobility whether it was one day or 3 years. Delaying only weakened House Lannister.

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You can argue that it was justified, and you can argue that Tywin secured the Westerlands for himself when he slaughtered the Reynes and Tarbecks, though it also meant that his reign was a reign of fear. He would only be obeyed if he was powerful enough to defeat the opposition. This is in contrast to Eddard Stark or Renly Baratheon, who ruled more by love than fear. That’s why a whole army of Northmen are besieging Winterfell in the deep snow to defend Ned’s daughter even though Stark’s been dead for years at that point. Tywin’s family is falling apart and the Westerlands won’t be so quick to fight for them if things get worse.

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3 hours ago, James Steller said:

Renly Baratheon, who ruled more by love than fear.

First off we know nothing of how Renly reigned in the Stormlands, given that the Stormlords could have only been loyal out of love for Robert. As for what happened during the Wot5k you can argue that the people who sided with him did it out of political gain and not out of loyalty. He secured the Reach through his marriage with Margery and his ,,friendship" with Loras. So given that he seemed the strongest pretender it is normal that  lot of people sided with him. That doesn't show loyalty.

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

First off we know nothing of how Renly reigned in the Stormlands, given that the Stormlords could have only been loyal out of love for Robert. As for what happened during the Wot5k you can argue that the people who sided with him did it out of political gain and not out of loyalty. He secured the Reach through his marriage with Margery and his ,,friendship" with Loras. So given that he seemed the strongest pretender it is normal that  lot of people sided with him. That doesn't show loyalty.

Touché. I actually went against my own grain by naming Renly. My instinct was to name Stannis, but I figured people would complain about that not being true (even though his soldiers were described as being very loyal to him from Asha’s POV and Davos is another clear example of Stannis winning people to his side). I just thought Renly was overall more popular and seemed more easygoing than Stannis, and so men fought for Renly even after he was dead. 

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2 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Touché. I actually went against my own grain by naming Renly. My instinct was to name Stannis, but I figured people would complain about that not being true (even though his soldiers were described as being very loyal to him from Asha’s POV and Davos is another clear example of Stannis winning people to his side). I just thought Renly was overall more popular and seemed more easygoing than Stannis, and so men fought for Renly even after he was dead. 

Well Stannis does inspire a lot of loyalty, just not in his nobles. His no nonsense kind of attitude makes him beloved by his men, alongside his tactical genius and willingness to get down in the gutter with them, however this same attitude makes him very unappealing to the nobles who are really into hypocrisy and flattery. As for people fighting for Renly after his death, I doubt that. The storm lords flocked to Stannis after Renly's death, with no exceptions, besides Penrose. If they were so loyal why didn't they try doing anything. As for Renly's ghost I have serious doubts that Renly's armor is what turned the storm lords, rather then the fact that when the Lannister-Tyrell host arrived they had clearly lost the battle. But I do agree with you that the westerman loyalty towards Tywin is based more on fear and maybe some grudging respect, while the loyalty for Ned Stark was so strong that the northmen are still fighting for him.

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I could be wrong here, but didn't Tywin gave them several chances to surrender only to be ignored or mocked ?

Also I'm pretty sure that changing the curse of a river is something you would realize that others were doing, and the sensible think to do would be to surrender, but the Reynes refused to do so.

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I believe it was fully justified.

The drowning as well. It is war after all, and during a siege the enemy would use any method necessary to storm the castle. 
A quick siege is always strategically great. 

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6 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

something you would realize that others were doing

Not sure given that the entrances were sealed off. Also by that point I'm pretty sure Tywin was done negotiating. But you are right that they had been given way too many chances to surrender and only lose their own head (like just lord Reyne's and lord Tarbeck's) even when Tywin smashed the Tarbecks. Giving them mercy after all the defiance would have only incited more rebellion both from the Reynes and from other vassals.

3 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

I believe it was fully justified.

The drowning as well. It is war after all, and during a siege the enemy would use any method necessary to storm the castle. 
A quick siege is always strategically great. 

From a tactical point of view it was obviously the best course possible. 0 losses and complete victory. Also there wasn't much point in saving the castle per se as the mines seemed to have run dry by that point. What's more interesting is the political fallout of wiping out the second most powerful house in the Westerlands.

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4 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

I could be wrong here, but didn't Tywin gave them several chances to surrender only to be ignored or mocked ?

Also I'm pretty sure that changing the curse of a river is something you would realize that others were doing, and the sensible think to do would be to surrender, but the Reynes refused to do so.

It's in stages:

Ignoring his father, he demanded the houses to pay back the loans. Reynes and Tarbeck refused. Tarbeck came to negotiate with Tywin's father, but Tywin imprisoned him. In response Ellyn took Lannister hostages delivering the message (including Tywin's brother in law). She messaged them over the exchange of prisoners/hostages, and Tywin wanted to send her husband back in 3 pieces (she held 3 Lannister hostages, 2 were Lannisport). Tywin's father overruled Tywin, set Lord Tarbeck free and forgave them their loans/debts.

Within the year, again without his father's knowledge, Tywin sent a message, demanding the Reynes and Tarbecks would have to come to court to pay for their crimes. They refused and he sent an attack.

The surrender request was actually done by Reynald Reyne, once he had everyone secure inside Castamere. So, a Reyne asked Tywin to surrender (and this was after Tywin had executed Lord Tarbeck and his sons after being caught at the battle of Tarbeck Hall, the destruction of Tarbeck Hall and having Ellyn's last surviving grandon (a child) drowned in a well, and her daughter forced into the Silent Sisters. Lord Tarbeck asked for his sons to be spared. Tywin did not spare them.

Tywin did not demand a surrender of the Reynes. If you know that Tywin would not spare or accept a surrender of you anyway, but will kill all of your family, why would you even surrender?

 

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Leaving aside the morality like you said, it was justified in terms of being the most expedient way to crush the Reynes. A direct assault would've been costly if not impossible, and a siege would've taken years. In one bold stroke Tywin eliminated them at no cost and solidified his control over the Westerlands. 

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5 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

It's in stages:

Ignoring his father, he demanded the houses to pay back the loans. Reynes and Tarbeck refused. Tarbeck came to negotiate with Tywin's father, but Tywin imprisoned him. In response Ellyn took Lannister hostages delivering the message (including Tywin's brother in law). She messaged them over the exchange of prisoners/hostages, and Tywin wanted to send her husband back in 3 pieces (she held 3 Lannister hostages, 2 were Lannisport). Tywin's father overruled Tywin, set Lord Tarbeck free and forgave them their loans/debts.

Within the year, again without his father's knowledge, Tywin sent a message, demanding the Reynes and Tarbecks would have to come to court to pay for their crimes. They refused and he sent an attack.

The surrender request was actually done by Reynald Reyne, once he had everyone secure inside Castamere. So, a Reyne asked Tywin to surrender (and this was after Tywin had executed Lord Tarbeck and his sons after being caught at the battle of Tarbeck Hall, the destruction of Tarbeck Hall and having Ellyn's last surviving grandon (a child) drowned in a well, and her daughter forced into the Silent Sisters. Lord Tarbeck asked for his sons to be spared. Tywin did not spare them.

Tywin did not demand a surrender of the Reynes. If you know that Tywin would not spare or accept a surrender of you anyway, but will kill all of your family, why would you even surrender?

 

Tywin was wrong not to allow them to send the non-combatants to the surface.

I would probably not have accepted a surrender from the rest, in his place.  The Reynes had plagued the Westerlands for years.

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22 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

From a strategic point of view certainly. They could have outlasted Tywin. 

“You cannot fight your way in, and we have food and water sufficient for three years,” he wrote

Can Tywin keep that army there for three years?  What happens if they are needed elsewhere, either another internal or external threat? The longer the siege goes on the more important House Lannister looks.

 Given time, Lord Roger could have assembled a much larger host, for House Reyne had many friends in the west, and his own repute as a warrior would surely have drawn many freeriders, hedge knights, and sellswords to his side.  In his haste to respond to his sister’s peril, however, his lordship had set forth with less than a quarter of his full strength

And who is to say that Tywin will be left unchallenged outside Castamere in that time? The Reynes were rich, powerful and influential and Tytos not respected. If the Reynes had time to properly plan, they may have been able to raise more allies in their bid to topple the Lannisters.

At the end of the day, most of those 300 would have died or been stripped of their nobility whether it was one day or 3 years. Delaying only weakened House Lannister.

I believe the biggest reason why Tywin had to quickly deal with Reynes and why he couldn't afford a siege was Tytos. He would have ordered Tywin to stand down and again forgiven Reynes for everything. So Tywin had to deal with Reynes before that would happen.

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On 2/18/2020 at 10:50 AM, James Steller said:

You can argue that it was justified, and you can argue that Tywin secured the Westerlands for himself when he slaughtered the Reynes and Tarbecks, though it also meant that his reign was a reign of fear. He would only be obeyed if he was powerful enough to defeat the opposition. This is in contrast to Eddard Stark or Renly Baratheon, who ruled more by love than fear. That’s why a whole army of Northmen are besieging Winterfell in the deep snow to defend Ned’s daughter even though Stark’s been dead for years at that point. Tywin’s family is falling apart and the Westerlands won’t be so quick to fight for them if things get worse.

The Starks didn't rule by love.  No way.  Remember how they got there.  They slaughtered people right and left to dominate the north.  Lady Dustin is not alone in wanting to keep her men at home but had to give in for fear of what the Starks might do to her family. 

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The Reynes who made the decision to rebel were guilty of treason.  The serving people and the children had no say in that matter.  Collateral damage is present during war but this was more than a few people getting caught by a blast.  It was a deliberate execution by the Lannisters of people whose only crimes were related by blood to the Reynes.

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On 2/19/2020 at 2:45 AM, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Well Stannis does inspire a lot of loyalty, just not in his nobles. His no nonsense kind of attitude makes him beloved by his men, alongside his tactical genius and willingness to get down in the gutter with them, however this same attitude makes him very unappealing to the nobles who are really into hypocrisy and flattery. As for people fighting for Renly after his death, I doubt that. The storm lords flocked to Stannis after Renly's death, with no exceptions, besides Penrose. If they were so loyal why didn't they try doing anything. As for Renly's ghost I have serious doubts that Renly's armor is what turned the storm lords, rather then the fact that when the Lannister-Tyrell host arrived they had clearly lost the battle. But I do agree with you that the westerman loyalty towards Tywin is based more on fear and maybe some grudging respect, while the loyalty for Ned Stark was so strong that the northmen are still fighting for him.

How are they supposed to fight for a dead body??? Renly had no heir. They couldn't stay neutral since now they were in Rebellion with the crown. Some even went over to Stannis because they thought of him as Renly's heir. The smallfolk also mourned him, the people of KL loved Margaery in part because they loved Renly, there were people calling out his name even after he was dead. So yeah Renly was loved. 

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7 hours ago, Jeeves said:

The Reynes who made the decision to rebel were guilty of treason.  The serving people and the children had no say in that matter.  Collateral damage is present during war but this was more than a few people getting caught by a blast.  It was a deliberate execution by the Lannisters of people whose only crimes were related by blood to the Reynes.

Yes it was morally wrong, but politically it was probably the right things to do. 1. Had any Reynes survived, they would have had a massive revenge boner regardlessly of how many Reynes died or how. Think of it this way, if all the Blackfyre children had been captured and put to death after the first rebellion it would have been horrific, however it would have prevented 4 other rebellions and 2. Tywin couldn't offer them clemency after all they did and as such they weren't likely to surrender, storming the place would have been catastrophic and siegeing it out could have allowed Tytos to intervene, pardon the Reynes, order Tywin to come back and undue all the good Tywin did for the House.

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It's a worthwhile comparison between Tywin vs. Reyne and Aerys vs. Darklyn.  Aerys was a little less cruel when you consider what the Darklyns did to him.  The Reynes never laid a hand on Tywin.

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53 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

It's a worthwhile comparison between Tywin vs. Reyne and Aerys vs. Darklyn.  Aerys was a little less cruel when you consider what the Darklyns did to him.  The Reynes never laid a hand on Tywin.

Well yes but actually no. The Darklyn's only threat to the Throne came when they captured the king. The Reynes were an existential threat to the Lannisters, having become a second power pole in the Westerlands, having only been defeated through Tywin rushing them, combined with his tactical and strategic genius.

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3 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

It's a worthwhile comparison between Tywin vs. Reyne and Aerys vs. Darklyn.  Aerys was a little less cruel when you consider what the Darklyns did to him.  The Reynes never laid a hand on Tywin.

This is what I was thinking, too. I think GRRM can use some of the elements to create a parallel without using all of the elements. What can we learn from the parts that are similar, even if there is not a 100% match?

  • Most of the anger was directed at Lady Darklyn, who was singled out for special punishment, and Ellyn Reyne/Tarbeck.
  • A child was dealt with separately: Dontos Hollard was spared at the request of Ser Barristan Selmy; Rohanne Tarbeck's son ("Last Lord Tarbeck") was thrown down a well by Ser Amory Lorch. (Or spared and smuggled to Essos where he became a bard.)
  • The House was wiped out.

I have also wondered about a parallel between House Darklyn and House Stark, with the accusation/taking of Tyrion by Catelyn as the comparable catalyst to the taking of Aerys.

The role of Amory Lorch in the Reyne story might indicate that we should also be looking at Rhaenys and the attack on the royal family as parallels for the revenge against Houses Reyne and Darklyn. For some reason, Tywin and Aerys felt the need to completely destroy the people associated with each House - but may have made a fatal error by allowing one boy child to survive. If there is a parallel in the deaths of Aerys, Elia and Rhaenys (with Rhaegar dying in battle, like some of the elder Tarbeck males) does this strengthen the likelihood that Young Griff / Aegon is a survivor comparable to Ser Dontos (and, possibly, Last Lord Tarbeck)?

If you look at some of the past speculation about Lann the Clever, there was a thread where someone made a persuasive case that Lann was a woman who infiltrated Casterly Rock by marrying into the ruling family. This would be consistent with Cersei's takeover of the Iron Throne by marrying Robert  bearing his "heirs" and becoming regent. I suspect we will also see something similar with Rohanne Webber marrying into the Lannister clan when the Dunk & Egg saga is complete or in other materials that have not yet been released.

With those models in mind, Tywin might have been very leery of Ellyn Reyne's clever manipulation of marriage and power and wealth in the westerlands. He did not want to be outwitted by a "new" Lann who wanted to rise in the high born power structure of Westeros.

It's interesting that Ser Dontos grew up to play a strategic role in bringing down Joffrey, the scion of House Lannister (even if he didn't realize his true paternity). I think there is a definite parallel between the Darklyns and the Reynes.

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