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Alyn Oakenfist

What would you have done if you were Tywin at the gates of Castamere?

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Posted (edited)

So the basic picture. If you are Tywin at the gates of Castamere with the following facts:

- You basically won this rebellion, but as they are storming the Reynes would be incredibly bloody and by no means a guaranteed success.

- You can however direct the stream killing everybody bloodlessly

- Keep in mind that the minor houses had the best  of times under Tytos. Now that Tywin is calling back loans the threat to them is very serious so the danger of more houses standing with the Reynes against house Lannister is very much there.

- Also the Reynes have somewhat of a history, going against House Lannister whenever possible.

Honestly for as ruthless as it is, I probably would have done what Tywin did. Yes it's a bit monstrous, but it's probably the least bloody solution. Storming the castle would kill far more then drowning it, while siegeing it out would probably kill just as many from disease in your camp and hunger in theirs, not to mentio it would probably lead to more bloodshed. And keeping any Reynes active in the Game would innevitably lead to more rebellions down the road. So yeah I would do a Tywin, though I would first send an offer stating basically ,,Hey you all join the NW, even the kids, and I don't drown you". You?

Edited by Alyn Oakenfist

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10 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Keep in mind that the minor houses had the best of times under Tytos.

Disagree that this is a fact:

  • On the south border, a minor lord & 3 landed knights switched fealty to Highgarden, because the Rock couldn't protect them.
  • Outlaws of all kinds plagued the West, likely disproportionately affecting minor houses, rather than more major ones.
  • The Tarbecks were dispossessing their smaller neighbours for their land, whether by force or with coin (or both).

Sure, some would've borrowed gold from Tytos without repaying &/or didn't pay the full taxes they owed the Rock, but the Westerlands was such a clusterfuck of lawlessness & misrule in general that these perks just didn't make up for that. Or at least, certainly not for some of the minor houses under Tytos.

10 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Now that Tywin is calling back loans the threat to them is very serious so the danger of more houses standing with the Reynes against house Lannister is very much there.

There's about zero chance of that. Firstly, many of the houses that owed debt to Casterly Rock had already either started paying that when Kevan's company rocked up or given up a hostage if they couldn't pay. Secondly, Tywin had brutally ended the Tarbecks & the Reynes were about to suffer the same fate (or at absolute best, permanently broken as a rival power to the Lannisters), so there was now no alternative they could flock to. Getting a visit from Kevan's 500 knights & having to accommodate them is one thing, but doing the same as what the Reynes & Tarbecks had just done would be suicide! Particularly now that Tywin directly had a larger force at his command than what went to the Stepstones from the west, backed by many of the other major houses from the northern half of the Westerlands (all that could participate in the revolt with how quickly it progressed & ended).

The Red Lion's surviving friends were now isolated & greatly outnumbered, they'd swiftly bend the knee, if they hadn't already actually joined Tywin at Castamere so as not to suffer the same. The houses of the south & east - Crakehall, Serrett, Lydden, Lefford, etc. - whether initially pro-Lannister or pro-Reyne/Tarbeck or neutral, would fall into line also. Indeed, Kevan & his knights may have first turned south/east from the Rock, given the detail of Harys Swyft of Cornfield handing over his daughter & only then Walderan Tarbeck travelling to treat with Tytos, with events escalating & progressing from there. Kevan's company had done what they could in the south & east, with Tywin deciding on & preparing for his course of action against the Reyne & Tarbecks in the north, after Lady Ellyn's antics.

10 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Also the Reynes have somewhat of a history, going against House Lannister whenever possible.

Not really. Robb Reyne fought for Daemon I Blackfyre, but we don't know for certain if his family also did or the house was split or just stayed neutral besides. Nonetheless, more likely than not they stayed loyal to the Lannisters & Targaryens during the 3rd BfR, helping to explain the Tywald/Tion-Ellyn match & their fellow participation against the Peake Uprising. They stayed loyal to the Lannisters under Gerold, only becoming what they would be under the comically horrendous Tytos. They followed the Rock in joining the Greens during the Dance & were noticeably close to the Lannisters early in Jaehaerys I's reign, at least.

11 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Yes it's a bit monstrous, but it's probably the least bloody solution.

That's true, especially with how delusional Reynard was with his terms to Tywin, still believing he could sweet talk the Reynes out of this whole ordeal. Doesn't mean that Tywin had to go directly for it without delivering his own terms at least, though.

11 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

And keeping any Reynes active in the Game would inevitably lead to more rebellions down the road.

As I've already noted, the Reynes were already done for good & of course, the Tarbecks had already been utterly extinguished.

10 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

You?

Personally, I'd change a few things going back to earlier in the revolt & then moving on to Castamere:

1) Give Walderan & his likewise captive kin the choice of being executed for their treason or to join the Night's Watch.

2) Storm, but not destroy, Tarbeck Hall so that it could be given to one of my brothers (Kevan if Castamere doesn't come to surrender, Tygett if it does).

3) If Ellyn is captured alive, give her the choice of execution or to join the Silent Sisters.

4) Rohanne & Cyrelle are given the choice of joining the Faith or marrying a Lannister (or even execution, if they so wish). One or both could wed Kevan &/or Tygett, if they want them. If the brothers don't, the women can be matched to a cousin like Stafford (assuming they wish to marry instead of becoming a septa).

5) Rohanne's son is kept alive at the Rock as a hostage to his mother &/or aunt's good behaviour. If they step out of line, off to the Wall for him & off to the Silent Sisters (or the block) for them. If he acts out as a child, to the Wall; as an adult, off with his head. If he grows up to be a good Lannister toadie, then perhaps he could be given a suitable wife & small keep in the south of the Westerlands (or perhaps even elsewhere in the realm), or something like that.

6) At Castamere, I'd give my terms to Reynard (pretty much same as above - men of the house for the block or the Watch, women for the Faith, marriage to a Lannister or loyalist, or death if they so wish too) & detail the plan to drown them if the entire family, garrison, & household doesn't come out & surrender within the hour. If they don't, then the flooding begins, as harsh & unfortunate as that would be, having costed you nothing for making the offer. If they do, then you've gained rich Castamere for the loyal & deserving Kevan, maybe with a Reyne bride for him to help seal it, if he so wants. Same with Tygett for Tarbeck Lannister/Golden (Lion) Hall.

I can understand why Tywin destroyed both seats, but it really was unnecessary overkill & a wasted opportunity (along with the unconditional killing of the women & servants) to further House Lannister's supremacy of the West in requisitioning them from traitors to his most Lannister brother/s. It's not like this completely alien to Tywin either: he presumably had no problems with Tyrek being wed to infant Ermesande Hayford to secure that inheritance, then later gives Darry & Amerei Frey to Lancel & Riverrun to Genna's line - rather than any of Stevron's lesser descendants, or Walder's other (grand)sons (say Lothar who actually organised the Red Wedding). And of course, most of us readers (myself included), aren't vicious (& many other negative traits) like Tywin & so would demonstrate a greater degree of flexibility of how we would've handled this rebellion instead.

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1 hour ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

Doesn't mean that Tywin had to go directly for it without delivering his own terms at least, though.

I agree, though it is clear that Tywin wasn't gonna give them any terms. He wanted to make an example of them and show the Westerlands just how powerful House Lannister was now. The Tarbecks were a weak house without any real power, destroying the second most powerful house in the Westerlands though, now that's an example. So it's clear why Tywin didn't send terms, still it probably would have been wiser to send the NW or drown terms to the Reynes, as he would be both flexing his power and show he is somewhat fair. Plus Reynard was so delusional he probably would have declined so the result would have been the same.

1 hour ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

At Castamere, I'd give my terms to Reynard (pretty much same as above - men of the house for the block or the Watch, women for the Faith, marriage to a Lannister or loyalist, or death if they so wish too) & detail the plan to drown them if the entire family, garrison, & household doesn't come out & surrender within the hour. If they don't, then the flooding begins, as harsh & unfortunate as that would be, having costed you nothing for making the offer. If they do, then you've gained rich Castamere for the loyal & deserving Kevan, maybe with a Reyne bride for him to help seal it, if he so wants. Same with Tygett for Tarbeck Lannister/Golden (Lion) Hall.

Quite agree here, that's why I asked at the gates of Castamere. Before there were many chances of death of the Watch for the two houses, but once the Reynes boarded themselves in it becomes trickier. I do agree though that losing the castles was overkill, though tbf they both were dry of gold so their economic value wasn't that great.

 

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I disagree that the mass slaughter of all the Reynes by suffocation and drowning was a "bloodless" victory. If you define "bloodless" as not involving spurting blood, maybe, but it's more accurate and accepted to use "bloodless" to mean "no human deaths." Sure, Tywin himself lost zero men, and maybe that's what you meant to say. But the Reynes slaughter was still  what we'd now consider a war crime.

So the Reynes owed money to House Lannister. Now they can never repay it, nor can their things be sold or confiscated as repayment. Moreover, while Tywin established himself as a man to fear, he also engendered a hatred of House Lannister that spread throughout all Westeros. Nobody will trust House Lannister; if it's ever in trouble, no one will rush to its aid. (Unless gold is involved.) Tywin thought this was a good outcome. I don't.

I think House Stark is a better model, if you've got to have feudal rule. Providing refuge for all the smallfolk when the winter winds blow. Stockpiling food and supplies to be used by all. Ensuring their bannermen do the same. Spending their resources in taking care of the North, as opposed to huge elaborate castles and fancy clothing.

Clearly, this "stark" (heh) contrast was intentional on GRRM's part!

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57 minutes ago, zandru said:

I think House Stark is a better model, if you've got to have feudal rule. Providing refuge for all the smallfolk when the winter winds blow. Stockpiling food and supplies to be used by all. Ensuring their bannermen do the same. Spending their resources in taking care of the North, as opposed to huge elaborate castles and fancy clothing.

And boy did it turn out so great for them.

57 minutes ago, zandru said:

So the Reynes owed money to House Lannister. Now they can never repay it, nor can their things be sold or confiscated as repayment.

The problem wasn't the gold, House Lannister had enough of it, the problem was the fact that their vassals were behaving more and mroe like overlords and when Tywin tried to put them in line they flat out revolted.

1 hour ago, zandru said:

drowning was a "bloodless" victory. If you define "bloodless" as not involving spurting blood, maybe, but it's more accurate and accepted to use "bloodless" to mean "no human deaths." Sure, Tywin himself lost zero men, and maybe that's what you meant to say. But the Reynes slaughter was still  what we'd now consider a war crime.

Not really a warcrime though. They were actively at war and the military (the garrison) were keeping civilians among them so drowning them is not a warcrime judging by our laws. As for bloodless, it was generally bloodless, with only a couple hundreds dying, as opposed to thousands that would have died had Tywin been forced to storm or siege the castle.

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1 minute ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

And boy did it turn out so great for them.

The Starks were fine in the North. It was when Lord Eddard went south that it all hit the fan. Note how his erstwhile bannermen and the tribes of the North remain loyal to The Ned and House Stark, even after House Bolton is named Warden of the North, and Stannis comes in as King.

4 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

As for bloodless, it was generally bloodless, with only a couple hundreds dying, as opposed to thousands that would have died had Tywin been forced to storm or siege the castle.

As I said, it was "bloodless" only insofar as House Lannister had no losses. I'm actually shocked that you find no fault with smothering and drowning hundreds of people, noncombatants and soldiers alike. Of course there would be "civilians among them" - the whole castle was fleeing to safety - or what they assumed was safety. Remember, this was not simply a case of two armies clashing on the field. It was an army defending the home of its house v an invading force.

Nobody "forced" Tywin to do anything. It was his choice. Yes, I know bad things happen in wars and people will always die. But mass slaughter, with no chance to surrender and no way to escape, is unacceptable.

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7 minutes ago, zandru said:

I'm actually shocked that you find no fault with smothering and drowning hundreds of people, noncombatants and soldiers alike.

Nice strawman

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1 hour ago, zandru said:

Nobody will trust House Lannister; if it's ever in trouble, no one will rush to its aid. (Unless gold is involved.)

Ehh... I wouldn't be so sure of that. He got a Lannister-Tyrell (-Bolton-Frey) alliance didn't he? And he wasn't left to deal with the Greyjoy's alone. There aren't any signs Tywin's bannermen are any more/less loyal to him than Stark bannermen.

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2 hours ago, zandru said:

I think House Stark is a better model, if you've got to have feudal rule. Providing refuge for all the smallfolk when the winter winds blow. Stockpiling food and supplies to be used by all. Ensuring their bannermen do the same. Spending their resources in taking care of the North, as opposed to huge elaborate castles and fancy clothing.

But the Boltons rebelled at every chance they got

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Nice strawman

It isn't a "strawman", it's the basis for my entire argument.

1 hour ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

Ehh... I wouldn't be so sure of that. He got a Lannister-Tyrell (-Bolton-Frey) alliance didn't he?

I'm sure that making Lord Tyrell's daughter the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms had nothing to do with it. Nor did granting Lord Bolton Winterfell and being named Guardian of the North. Naw. Couldn't have had any relationship.

Not to mention Tywin Lannister was Walder Frey's last ally, given the kingdom-wide hatred of the Freys after the Red Wedding. Tywin had old Walder's proverbial nuts in a vice, as it were.

56 minutes ago, TheLastWolf said:

But the Boltons rebelled at every chance they got

Just the Boltons? Not a bad track record.

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29 minutes ago, zandru said:

Just the Boltons? Not a bad track record.

Tywin's the same. Only the Reynes rebelled against Tywin, and unlike the Starks Tywin didn't give them a second chance to rebel.

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6 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Tywin's the same. Only the Reynes rebelled against Tywin, and unlike the Starks Tywin didn't give them a second chance to rebel.

You have me there.

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7 hours ago, zandru said:

I'm sure that making Lord Tyrell's daughter the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms had nothing to do with it. Nor did granting Lord Bolton Winterfell and being named Guardian of the North. Naw. Couldn't have had any relationship.

Not to mention Tywin Lannister was Walder Frey's last ally, given the kingdom-wide hatred of the Freys after the Red Wedding. Tywin had old Walder's proverbial nuts in a vice, as it were.

Sure, but so what? All alliances in Westeros are forged through blood relations or political gain or fostering. Robb gained support from the Riverlands this way. I'm sure most of the other regions thought Ned was really neat but of them, only Renly offered an alliance, and that was because he was moving against the Lannisters.

I'm not saying trustworthiness means nothing, but I don't think it affects whether you'll get military aid.

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Once Tywin had diverted the stream and the halls of Castamere were starting to flood, he could have easily allowed the people inside to come out unarmed and make them prisoners. That way, he could have saved the lives of all the innocent people there (women, children, and servants who never had a say on the policies of his lord). The ones he deemed guilty, he could have forced to choose between taking the black or die.

But Tywin was needlessly cruel, and preferred to hear the cries of three hundred people as they drowned. He thought that being absolutely ruthless was the right way to repair the reputational damage that Tytos had caused to the Lannisters. And it was a very bad choice.

9 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Not really a warcrime though. They were actively at war and the military (the garrison) were keeping civilians among them so drowning them is not a warcrime judging by our laws. As for bloodless, it was generally bloodless, with only a couple hundreds dying, as opposed to thousands that would have died had Tywin been forced to storm or siege the castle.

  1. It's always a war crime always that you have the ability to obtain your goals without killing civilians and you choose not to do it.
  2. Tywin wasn't even the lord of the West at that point. The Reynes owed money to Tytos, not to him. Tywin had not legal authority, and was acting as a rogue.
  3. The idea that "thousands" would have died if Tywin had stormed or besieged the castle has no basis. The Reynes had abandoned their lodgings and were hiding on a mine. They had not prepared for a siege, and it's unlikely that they had provisions to last a single week. The obvious motivation of Tywin's decision to murder everyone immediately was to avoid that his father could react by imposing peace and offering the Reynes a dignified way out.

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3 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

Sure, but so what? All alliances in Westeros are forged through blood relations or political gain or fostering

You seem to have missed my point. There is a role for good relations, in which other Houses will do things because of historical ties and the record of being treated decently. Then there's flat-out bribing and threats. Winterfell relies most on the first method, the Lannisters on the second. Once the Lannisters are out of coin, political patronage, and followers, they are toast. The Starks are still a force in the North, even though they're apparently all dead. And Ned Stark's influence has lived on, for at least four books after his execution.

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3 hours ago, zandru said:

You seem to have missed my point. There is a role for good relations, in which other Houses will do things because of historical ties and the record of being treated decently. Then there's flat-out bribing and threats. Winterfell relies most on the first method, the Lannisters on the second. Once the Lannisters are out of coin, political patronage, and followers, they are toast. The Starks are still a force in the North, even though they're apparently all dead. And Ned Stark's influence has lived on, for at least four books after his execution.

As far as we know, the Westerlands are still loyal to Casterly Rock. House Stark, meanwhile, have suffered a Bolton betrayal and pissed off the Karstarks.

And handing out gold seems like a fine way to foster good relations to me. Tywin doesn't just Castamere his way to power. He is ruthless in some situations, and generous in others.

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