Jump to content
Widowmaker 811

Rickard's Ambitions: A Survey

Recommended Posts

The marriage between Robert and Lyanna would have created a strong bond between the two houses.  That alone will not be enough to threaten Targaryen rule.  However, add the marriage between Brandon and Catelyn and the balance of power changes.  I want to know what you believe. 

Do you believe Rickard Stark was plotting against King Aerys Targaryen?

It is generally believed Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark.  If this is true, what do you believe were his reasons?  

What if Lyanna Stark ran away of her own choice.  For those who do not like Lyanna: Would you feel better about her if she did this to stop her father's marriage/political ambitions?

You are King Aerys Targaryen.  How do you handle the potential danger of these marriage alliances?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The bethrothal between Robert and Lyanna was done because Robert asked for it. 

 

2 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Do you believe Rickard Stark was plotting against King Aerys Targaryen?

At all.

 

 

2 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

What if Lyanna Stark ran away of her own choice.  For those who do not like Lyanna: Would you feel better about her if she did this to stop her father's marriage/political ambitions?

I doubt that Lyanna wanted her father's dead, if she ran away, it would be because she particularly wanted no part in her bethrothal.

 

 

2 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

You are King Aerys Targaryen.  How do you handle the potential danger of these marriage alliances?

Not by brutally murdering them, that's for sure.

I would've offered my heir to Lyanna instead of marrying him to the Martells out of spite, I would've offered my grandaughter to marry Edmure and offered Hoster the honor for Edmure to serve as my cup bearer and fpr him to grow close Viserys and my son Viserys to become Jaime's squire and tenpted Tywin about a marriage with him and Cersei. NOT insulting my Dornish daughter in law and her kingdom.

Exactly the same that happened in the rebels, the Robellion worked, among other things, because there was a strong bond between Robert, Ned and Jon Arryn. Aerys had a similar bond with both Steffon and Tywin that would've secured his throne for generations had he not screwed that up, but he could've always tried it again with the new generation of heirs.

Basically, not alienating everyone. Aegon 5 tried to do it, Aerys had it and screwed it and Rhaegar's pals were not relevant enough. That's one of the reasons Joffrey almost loses the war. And Cersei tried to do it right with Tommen.

 

Quote

The litter began to slow, which could only mean that they were near the top of the hill. “You should bring this son of yours to court,” Cersei told Lady Merryweather. “Six is not too young. Tommen needs other boys about him. Why not your son?” Joffrey had never had a close friend of his own age, that she recalled. The poor boy was always alone. I had Jaime when I was a child … and Melara, until she fell into the well. Joff had been fond of the Hound, to be sure, but that was not friendship. He was looking for the father he never found in Robert. A little foster brother might be just what Tommen needs to wean him away from Margaery and her hens. In time they might grow as close as Robert and his boyhood friend Ned Stark. A fool, but a loyal fool. Tommen will have need of loyal friends to watch his back.

Marriages are not the only way of having a House allegiance.

Edited by frenin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My idea is that Rickard simply wanted to strengthen the standing of his house in comparison to the other great houses and expand the influence he, personally, wielded in the Realm at large with his peers and the royal court. The Starks had been aloof and distant lords in the past, effectively proud backwater nobility, and he wanted to change that. His ultimate goal may have been to replace Tywin as Hand, or at least gain a seat on the Small Council.

And I'm inclined to believe Rhaegar realized that Rickard Stark had become an influential voice in the Realm - a man people would listen and possibly follow if he were to make his voice heard. He was the guy with ties to the Lord of Storm's End (although he was also Rhaegar's second cousin, meaning he could have gotten his ear, too, one imagines, prior to Harrenhal), but, more importantly, also to the Lord of Riverrun and the Lord of the Eyrie.

If Harrenhal had turned into this informal Great Council Rhaegar originally wanted it to be then getting the Starks on his side could have been the first step to have the support of the North, the Vale, and the Riverlands in an attempt to curtail the powers of his increasingly erratic father.

And it seems as if those people in Aerys II's faction who feared Rhaegar might do this also consider a Rhaegar-Rickard alliance as a danger, which, I assume, implicitly confirms that Rickard had become a heavyweight among the great lords of the Realm.

The idea that Rickard tried to form an anti-Targaryen coalition makes no sense at all in my opinion. If that were the case Lord Rickard would have never gone to KL without a powerful army - which he would have either taken time to raise in the North or would have been given by his buddy, Hoster Tully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rickard and Robert wanted to remove the Targaryens from the throne. Perhaps they didn't like the way Duskendale was handled.  And yeah, I would like Lyanna if she was working to undermine her father.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Do you believe Rickard Stark was plotting against King Aerys Targaryen?

Not in the slightest. He wanted to increase house Stark's influence in southern politics. The Riverlands was the natural choice because they are the only  region to share a border with the North. Lyanna was betrothed to Robert because Robert was smitten and asked for it. Rickard agreed because it got Lyanna a marriage to a current Lord Paramount with the bonus that he's quite young as well and a second cousin to the Crown Prince. It was the most convenient betrothal. But if Jaime or Rhaegar had been the one to ask instead, Rickard would have been just as quick to jump on it.

4 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

It is generally believed Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark.  If this is true, what do you believe were his reasons? 

Prophecy, no other way to explain it really. Nothing else fits with what we know of his character.

4 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

What if Lyanna Stark ran away of her own choice.  For those who do not like Lyanna: Would you feel better about her if she did this to stop her father's marriage/political ambitions?

I think she did leave of her own accord but not to spite her father's plans. It was either she was a) unhappy with Robert/the concept of official betrothal specifically or b) in love with Rhaegar. Or both. They're not mutually exclusive.

4 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

You are King Aerys Targaryen.  How do you handle the potential danger of these marriage alliances?

Certainly not by murdering a bunch of nobles including an LP and his heir, and the heir of another kingdom. If I'm worried about a possible anti-Targ alliance, I'm certainly not going to give them a golden excuse to otherthrow me.

1st) Don't alienate Tywin. Don't name Jaime to the Kingsguard, don't mock him, don't lust after his wife, follow at least some of his advice rather than doing the opposite for no reason than spite. Make him feel appreciated and valued, but keep his power and ego in check. Don't give him that royal marriage he wants but do give him other honours. Jaime as Royal Squire for Rhaegar to mold him into a future Hand maybe?

2nd) Counter betrothal's. Assuming Elia and Rhaegar have already happened, then betroth Viserys and Lysa (bit of an age difference but like either Hoster or Aerys would care) and Rhaenys and one of the Tyrell boys (who shouldn't be too much older than her). Name Jon Arryn to the Council in some role or way and tempt the Stark's with an offer for a betrothal to Aegon if either Rickard, Brandon or Ned have a daughter in the next 4/5 yrs. Bring Edmure to court as a page. Keep the Baratheon's sweet by making sure Rhaegar stays the hell away from Lyanna and finding a position for one of them at court. Maybe offer to have Stannis become a captain in the City Watch with the intention of making him Commander one day.

That would have the Lannisters tied in with the Aerys-Tywin friendship. The Martell's, Tully's and Tyrell's by betrothal/marriage. The Tully's, Baratheon's and Arryn's by virtue of having either their lord or heir both indebted to me and in close proximity (in case I need hostages for any reason). That neuters the Stark's even if the prospect of the future Queen being a Stark doesn't commit them to the future success of House Targaryen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you believe Rickard Stark was plotting against King Aerys Targaryen?

The motives behind the Game of Thrones are often defensive. They see the rise of power of someone who isn't likely their bff and they get paranoid, which in turn creates a paranoid reaction, which makes the other more paranoid, and on and on. Everyone wants to be king or queen. But would the Tyrells have made any significant moves if they didn't worry so much about the Lannisters and specifically Tywin? I suspect that Aerys' erratic behavior especially in intervening in the affairs of the major houses which past Targs were wise to avoid and Rhaegar's perceived weakness at the time made the other lords very defensive and Aerys proved them correct in that. So not ambition, just protectionism. And rightly so.

The World of Ice and Fire - The Westerlands

Ultimately the Lannister domains extended from the western shore to the headwaters of the Red Fork and Tumblestone, marked by the pass beneath the Golden Tooth, and from the southern shore of Ironman's Bay to the borders of the Reach. The boundaries of the westerlands today follow those of the Kingdom of the Rock as it was before the Field of Fire, when King Loren Lannister (Loren the Last) knelt as a king and rose as a lord. But in bygone days, the boundaries were more fluid, particularly to the south, where the Lannisters oft contended against the Gardeners in the Reach, and to the east, where they warred against the many kings of the Trident.

 

It is generally believed Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark.  If this is true, what do you believe were his reasons?  

What if Lyanna Stark ran away of her own choice.  For those who do not like Lyanna: Would you feel better about her if she did this to stop her father's marriage/political ambitions?

Neither love nor kidnapping/rape fit all of the characters involved so I'm leaning toward political which turned romantic as time went on. Not too invested in this particular theory, but I strongly suspect that what happened is along these lines, especially as it's a better fit for the books and this world. As R+L have been compared to Jefferson and Sally Hemings, I suspect it's complicated and we never get the full story.

https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/146495-rlj-theory-thats-neither-eloping-nor-kidnapping/

 

You are King Aerys Targaryen.  How do you handle the potential danger of these marriage alliances?

Stop being bat**** crazy and freaking everyone out so they'll feel comfortable enough to go back to marrying their bannermen's daughters.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Do you believe Rickard Stark was plotting against King Aerys Targaryen?

No he wanted to gain influence in the South and put an end to the isolationist policy took by his ancestors. But Rhaegar was definitely plotting against his father imo.

6 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

It is generally believed Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark.  If this is true, what do you believe were his reasons?  

I don't buy it, they ran away together and willingly imo, they were in love and their story have ended tragically. 

6 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

You are King Aerys Targaryen.  How do you handle the potential danger of these marriage alliances?

Strengthen my alliance with Tywin, by marrying Rhaegar and Cersei, and make a new one with the Tyrell by marrying Viserys to Margaery and Daenerys to Willas when they'll be old enough. Also I would take Edmure and Benjen as squires to make them be loyal to me or else use them as hostages if their fathers try to do anything dangerous. With all of that, no rebellion I guess, otherwise I would have the Lannister and Tyrell to back me up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what Rickard's intent towards the Targaryens was.  But it would have been bad for the Targaryens if those marriages had happened.  I would not care what Rickard wanted to do.  I would command Rickard and Robert to marry their bannermen's daughters instead.  I will have them killed if they refused to obey.  They were becoming dangerous to the Targaryens.  Something had to be done to protect the Targaryen dynasty.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Lady Topspin said:

I don't know what Rickard's intent towards the Targaryens was.  But it would have been bad for the Targaryens if those marriages had happened.  I would not care what Rickard wanted to do.  I would command Rickard and Robert to marry their bannermen's daughters instead.  I will have them killed if they refused to obey.  They were becoming dangerous to the Targaryens.  Something had to be done to protect the Targaryen dynasty.  

The way to prevent rebellions is actually acting like a paranoid  tyrant, because people love that. And kill them ofc, because killing them didn't get him overthrown...

Edited by frenin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Lady Topspin said:

I don't know what Rickard's intent towards the Targaryens was.  But it would have been bad for the Targaryens if those marriages had happened.  I would not care what Rickard wanted to do.  I would command Rickard and Robert to marry their bannermen's daughters instead.  I will have them killed if they refused to obey.  They were becoming dangerous to the Targaryens.  Something had to be done to protect the Targaryen dynasty.  

Tyranny. That's exactly the way to go to get people 's love. Oppress them, then wonder why they rebel. What a great mindset. 

As much as I enjoy the Targaryens, they got where they got through a series of self-inflicted wounds. End of story. If Aerys was worried about some kind of an alliance between these great lords, he could have bought into it by marrying his heir to Lysa or Lyanna or kept Tywin by his side by marrying Rhaegar off to Cersei. What he did to Rickard and Brandon (and I'm sure he was aided and abetted by his small council, considering what we're told in the World Book) completely crossed the line and you'd think he would have stopped there, but he decided that he had to also have Ned and Robert's heads for whatever reason.

The word disaster wasn't written all over this one at all.

More to the OP, I don't think there was any sort of alliance to take down the Targaryens. If there was, Hoster Tully wouldn't have sat on his hands. Instead, he decided to negotiate a marriage for Lysa in exchange for his support for the rebellion. These men were not forming a block against the king and his family. It doesn't even seem like they spoke to each other all that much if anything, otherwise they would have had their ducks in a row when the time came to execute their plans. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As other have said, I have a very time believing Rickard, or Hoster, or Arryn or Robert, were actually taking part in any explicit and/or coordinated conspiracy.  Occam's razor and all, but it plainly appears to me he was trying to gain influence the way any great lord does - via marriage alliances, closer ties through wardship, and becoming more active in southern politics as opposed to the historically isolationist tendencies of Stark lords.  As for Lyanna or Rhaegar, who da fuck knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't have solid proof of intent but I can understand why the Targaryens could not let Rickard's form those strong alliances.  I can also confidently say that Rickard was not loyal to his king.  A loyal warden should never do anything to increase his power beyond that of his boss.  Of course the matter should first be handled peacefully.  Aerys should order those people to pick somebody else for their sons and daughters.  Make choices that are less threatening to the crown.  And they must obey the king's order.  It is rebellion if they refused to obey. 

Let's look at it this way.  Would the Starks allow their bannermen to form a coalition which could threaten their rule?  They would not.  The Lannisters would not.  Would the Starks tolerate if Lady Dustin had refused to send men to join in Robb's Rebellion?  They would not.  The Targaryens could not allow Rickard to build his coalition.  Try it nicely first and if Rickard refused to obey (which is treason) then there is no choice but to fight him.  Better if he could be lured into a trap and ambushed.  Much better if it can be made to look like an accident.  Not just Rickard.  Robert and Brandon must also die.  Weaken the Starks and the Baratheons first.  Parade Robert and Brandon and accuse them of treason before a public execution. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

A loyal warden should never do anything to increase his power beyond that of his boss.

He didn't do it. 

 

33 minutes ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

Aerys should order those people to pick somebody else for their sons and daughters. 

No, he shouldn't. That's the very definition of tyranny. Aerys does not have a say on that.

 

39 minutes ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

It is rebellion if they refused to obey. 

And rebellion is what the King should try to avoid.

 

40 minutes ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

Let's look at it this way.  Would the Starks allow their bannermen to form a coalition which could threaten their rule?  They would not. 

If they felt threatened, they would be smart enough to disrupt peacefully the coalition, the way to do it is form a bigger coalition on their own, they can afford that, they are the ones in power. But yes they would.

The Boltons are related to the Ryswells and Dustins and no one gave a damn, the Freys were married to practically every Kingdomn before the war, they married with Tywin's sister!, marriages with the crown and the  Great Lords's most powerful bannermen are a norm, the Redwynes wanted to marry with the Tullys, the Hightowers married with the crown several times etc etc etc. 

Long story short, only a paranoid mad man would create a fuzz over that.

 

 

46 minutes ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

The Targaryens could not allow Rickard to build his coalition.  Try it nicely first and if Rickard refused to obey (which is treason) then there is no choice but to fight him.  Better if he could be lured into a trap and ambushed.  Much better if it can be made to look like an accident.  Not just Rickard.  Robert and Brandon must also die.  Weaken the Starks and the Baratheons first.  Parade Robert and Brandon and accuse them of treason before a public execution. 

Yeah there is no way that ends badly for the Targaryens. 

Why negotiate when you can just be a tyrant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Lady Topspin said:

I don't know what Rickard's intent towards the Targaryens was.  But it would have been bad for the Targaryens if those marriages had happened.  I would not care what Rickard wanted to do.  I would command Rickard and Robert to marry their bannermen's daughters instead.  I will have them killed if they refused to obey.  They were becoming dangerous to the Targaryens.  Something had to be done to protect the Targaryen dynasty.  

Best way to start a war while you can avoid it peacefully. There is not any shred of evidence that Rickard was plotting against his king, all we can conclude is that lord Stark wants to gain political influence in the South. The propositions I've made before might counter his ambitions without spilling blood, I should also add a Jaime/Lysa marriage and Hoster wouldn't try anything stupid. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. A king who acts like a tyrant should act even more like a tyrant by executing his lords, even there are no laws that forbid said lords from marrying their children to each other. But a girl who kills someone because he's a rapist and a murderer is crazy and imbalanced and has mental issues. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rickard Stark’s Southron Ambitions (i.e. the marriage alliances with Great Houses) are grounded on legitimate geopolitical concerns. There is no conspiracy. He was right to look for ways to empower his House.

A Brief History

After Aegon’s Conquest, some regions prospered and some regions lost power/wealth/importance. The Targaryen Rule proved to be extremely disappointing, even harmful to the North.

  1. Numbers alone can tell how much the Night’s Watch deteriorated during the Targaryen era.
  2. Good Queen Alysanne’s New Gift robbed the Starks of taxable land and as expected, it did not help the Night’s Watch either.
  3. Targaryens were obsessed with conquering Dorne, where they spent too much resources and lives, including Rickon Stark. The true enemies of the North were at the north (wildlings) and the west (ironborn) but they were forced to fight the wars of dragonlords elsewhere.
  4. While Targaryens were fighting their civil wars against the Blackfyres, they could not help the North against Dagon Greyjoy’s raids.
  5. As far as we know, the Targaryens did not help the Starks during the Skagosi rebellion or Raymun Redbeard’s invasion. Both of these relatively recent events caused deaths of Lord Starks and great instability in the North.
  6. We do not know it for sure yet but I think Beron Stark and his family spent the Great Spring Sickness quarantined at the Vale. That way, they were spared from the fate of Lord Rodwell Stark who most probably died to this plague at Winterfell. These were troubled times as Stark Lords were dropping like flies. The Vale marriage with the Royces might have saved the ruling branch of the Starks from extinction. If not for that, there would be even less Starks by now.

To summarize, Targaryens did not lift a finger for the Starks when they were in need; instead they constantly exploited them and undermined their rule. On the other hand, Lord Beron Stark’s marriage to the Royces proved helpful and eye opening. Rickard Stark saw the writing on the Wall: Targaryens were unreliable overlords. Starks had to rely on their own pack to survive. He was right to make connections with Southron Houses so that he could have used their help against the constant danger of the wildlings, inevitable raids from the ironborn or another rebellion in the North. He did not want to overthrow the Targaryens. No one did. Rickard Stark was trying to make his House self sufficient. To be clear, no one plotted to overthrow the Targaryens and put Robert or someone else on the Iron Throne before the Rebellion. It was only Rickard Stark's ambitions and it was only about empowering the Starks in the North in dealing with their own troubles in the North.

With this perspective, there are two ways to read the frustration of Lady Dustin about Rickard Stark's Southron Ambitions:

  1. On the personal level, she is furious because she was denied of a Stark marriage.
  2. On the symbolic level, she is the voice of all the Northern vassals of the Starks who would not want the Starks to have Southron marriages. The increase of wedding pool of the Starks means more competition for the Northern Houses. That means less Stark marriages for them and less power.

Which brings us to the final part: Like most geopolitical moves, the Southron Ambitions of Rickard Stark had its drawbacks.

  1. This would disrupt the power balance in the North. As explained above, the vassals of the Starks would get less Stark marriages. This would result in more rebellious vassals for the Starks.
  2. Opening the floodgates in the matter of southron marriages would risk the Andalization/Sevenization of the North in the long term. Cultural assimilation might cause trouble for the Starks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding...

That the rebellion ended with everyone being all, "uh, now what?" and finally ending up dumping the kingship on Robert by process of elimination and then Brandon and Rickard storming the castle of homicidal crazy dude makes any discussion of a big Targ-takedown conspiracy nonsensical. They'd have had a plan if there was.

With Jaime/Lysa, Lysa/Jon, Cat/Brandon/Ned, these families were talking to each other as they were all operating out of the norm. As I said before, I think defense in case Aerys went nuclear makes the most sense.

On thinking, I rather like the idea that instead of Rickard being less-isolationist, he knew something was up north of the Wall and was trying to build alliances for that. That would mean that Rickard definitely wouldn't want to take out the dragon people and it would make removing Aerys in favor of Rhaegar more imperative. No proof, though, but it's an interesting idea that ties into and feels organic to the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

On thinking, I rather like the idea that instead of Rickard being less-isolationist, he knew something was up north of the Wall and was trying to build alliances for that. That would mean that Rickard definitely wouldn't want to take out the dragon people and it would make removing Aerys in favor of Rhaegar more imperative. No proof, though, but it's an interesting idea that ties into and feels organic to the story.

This is what I think happened, personally.

And the marriages outside the north had already started. You brought up the Royce marriage, but that marriage was followed by a Blackwood marriage (giving the Starks ties to both Blackwood and Targaryens if Melantha and Betha turn out to be sisters), and it gives us ties of kinship between Bloodraven and the new Warden of the North. Jocelyn Stark was shipped off to the Vale and her daughters married into House Templeton, Waynwood and Corbray, giving Rickard first cousins there. So fostering Ned in the Vale may not even be all that weird. 

I think that Steffon fostering Robert in the Vale is weirder than Rickard fostering Ned there, tbh. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

 

I think that Steffon fostering Robert in the Vale is weirder than Rickard fostering Ned there, tbh. 

He was already close friends with House Lannister and House Targaryen, so why not expand that influence? The Great Houses would want to foster their kids to houses which share an equal level of power with each other. Otherwise the lesser houses would just want to flatter their wares and tie themselves to them. Look at Brandon Stark in the Rills and Lord Ryswell encouraging a marriage between Barbrey and Brandon. Look at Rickard Karstark trying to make his prepubescent child make an impression on Robb Stark when they go visiting. I can imagine that the Great Houses might not want their kids raised somewhere where their kids will be spoiled rotten. At least, I imagine Steffon could be that kind of guy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Willam Stark said:

Best way to start a war while you can avoid it peacefully. There is not any shred of evidence that Rickard was plotting against his king, all we can conclude is that lord Stark wants to gain political influence in the South. The propositions I've made before might counter his ambitions without spilling blood, I should also add a Jaime/Lysa marriage and Hoster wouldn't try anything stupid. 

Aerys has the authority to order those engagements dissolved.  That is the approach he should have taken before executing Rickard and Brandon.  Execute them only if they refuse to obey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...