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RainwoodOwl

What if Tywin Sacked Duskendale?

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Posted (edited)

Barristan's POV at the end of ADWD has a recurring theme of regret: if only he had won the tourney at Harrenhal, if only he had been more effective convincing Dany to turn West sooner, if only Ashara had turned to him and not Ned etc. He also thinks about saving the Mad King from Duskendale and how Tywin gave him a day before burning the town. I think it's an interesting counterfactual. What if Tywin overrode Barristan as Hand and ordered the sack of Duskendale? Would the Darklyns have killed Aerys II as they threatened or would they have surrendered him in a last chance gambit for lenience? If Aerys II was killed at Duskendale and Rhaegar crowned, would this have avoided Robert's Rebellion? Or would Rhaegar still ultimately kidnap Lyanna and set off the rebellion anyway? 

 

Edited by RainwoodOwl

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I don't know whether the Darklyns might have given up Aerys during Tywin's sack. It's possible, definitely.

As to Rhaegar becoming king, lots might have been different. Robert's rebellion very likely would not have been successful without the extra years of cruelty from Aerys poisoning lords against House Targaryen. Rhaegar abducting Lyanna would have been met with opposition from Robert and the Starks, but it might have been more muted if Rhaegar made her his second queen and Robert and the Starks knew they wouldn't have much lordly support in a rebellion (because of the absence of Aerys' cruelty and, perhaps, faith in a new, younger, fairer king). Furthermore, Rhaegar probably would have taken Lyanna to King's Landing, rather than the Dornish Marches, and by responding more quickly might have been able to avoid many of the misunderstandings that seem to be at the heart of his abduction of Lyanna.

I think a more important note is that Rhaegar might never have been interested in Lyanna in the first place. I think there was love between them, but I don't believe Rhaegar would have taken the action he did if Elia had been well enough to have a third child. Rhaegar's overarching desire was to ensure the dragon had three heads. 

The defiance of Duskendale was in 277AC, and Rhaegar and Elia were betrothed in 279. If Rhaegar had become king in 277AC, he might have chosen for himself a different wife and whoever that woman was, she might have been able to safely deliver him the three children he was so keen to have. It might have even been Cersei. Rhaegar in 277 was eighteen years old, old enough to rule without a regent and probably a capable young man even then. Even so, he might have appreciated the guidance and continued service of Tywin as Hand, just as the first Viserys had Otto Hightower continue as Hand after the death of Jaehaerys the Conciliator.

In summary, I think there's a high chance that Aerys' death at Duskendale would have prevented Robert's rebellion, whether or not Rhaegar absconded with Lyanna. It's far from certain, however. Targaryen power and prestige had much diminished in the previous century.

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I think in a sack Aerys would have died regardless. Either the Darklyns would have killed him, or Tywin would have sent Gregor to do the job, and then pin it on the Darklyns. The results would have been actually pretty good, as Rhaegar probably would have been an actually good king.

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

 Tywin would have sent Gregor to do the job

Gregor was 12 the year of the Defiance of Duskendale. Although Tywin surely had Lorch or other dogs available. :P

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Posted (edited)

A Rhaegar reign would have caused a rebellion if he was anything like Egg.  In truth, the nobles were happy with Aerys on the throne because the economy was strong and stable.  Executing people suspected of crimes against the crown is not cause enough to remove him from power.  The lords themselves were cruel. A lot more cruel.  The only objection was the manner of execution but the same thing is being done by Stannis today.  Varys would have supported Rhaegar if he felt the dopey prince was the right person to rule.  It is false belief to think the nobles hated Aerys and wanted him gone. 

Edited by Aline de Gavrillac

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24 minutes ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

It is false belief to think the nobles hated Aerys and wanted him gone. 

What do you base this on? Except Viserys, everyone who speaks of Aerys does so with scorn.

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1 hour ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

A Rhaegar reign would have caused a rebellion if he was anything like Egg.  In truth, the nobles were happy with Aerys on the throne because the economy was strong and stable.  Executing people suspected of crimes against the crown is not cause enough to remove him from power.  The lords themselves were cruel. A lot more cruel.  The only objection was the manner of execution but the same thing is being done by Stannis today.  Varys would have supported Rhaegar if he felt the dopey prince was the right person to rule.  It is false belief to think the nobles hated Aerys and wanted him gone. 

Okay, I'm not even a big Stannis fan, and even I don't compare his burning people to Aerys burning people. Aerys basically lured a great lord to his court after arresting his son for rightly being pissed that his sister was abducted by the crown prince, and then burning said great lord alive after reneging on a fair trial by combat.

Stannis is depicted as not being a fan of burning people alive, and only does it to placate Melisandre or his own Rhlorr-worshipping followers. He didn't burn anyone in his Winterfell campaign until four men were revealed to be cannibals, and only then did he allow Mr. Giantslayer and his cronies to slake their desire for fire. 

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A lot of the Rhaegar theories would make sense since the man would have legal power to actually see them done,

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The Lords of the realm were pretty content with the way Tywin was running the kingdom so, assuming Tywin would remain as hand, it would likely be a smooth transition to Rhaegar's reign.  This would remove the need to call a tourney at Harenhall, which would make it less likely that he meets Lyanna and starts a rebellion.  But Rhaegar being Rhaegar, who knows if he still finds a way to eff everything up?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2020 at 11:07 AM, Aline de Gavrillac said:

A Rhaegar reign would have caused a rebellion if he was anything like Egg.  In truth, the nobles were happy with Aerys on the throne because the economy was strong and stable.  Executing people suspected of crimes against the crown is not cause enough to remove him from power.  The lords themselves were cruel. A lot more cruel.  The only objection was the manner of execution but the same thing is being done by Stannis today.  Varys would have supported Rhaegar if he felt the dopey prince was the right person to rule.  It is false belief to think the nobles hated Aerys and wanted him gone. 

Maybe. I know Rhaegar was different from your standard Targ, but I don't know that he would've been as radical as Egg. We'll never know, but he did not have the extensive upbringing amongst smallfolk to impart the empathy Egg had. As an educated prince and given the events surrounding his tragic birth amongst the fires of Summerhall, I'd like to think Rhaegar would know the mistakes of Aegon the Unlikely and not make them had he lived. 

Edited by RainwoodOwl

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