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Floki of the Ironborn

Unwin Peake - How will his story play out from where we left off?

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I've gone into detail before about how I dislike Aegon III, but I do dislike Unwin Peake even more. Not that that's an insult, though; Unwin is one of the more interesting villains that GRRM has provided us so far, frankly. He's just as ambitious as Tywin, he's a capable warrior who's got a Valyian Steel blade stolen off a corpse, and he's equally subtle and unsubtle at the same time. By the end of Fire and Blood, he blustered his way into resigning his position as Hand of the King, but he also managed to kill the king's betrothed without getting his own hands dirty, and then all his cronies ended up nearly taking over anyway. Hell of an accomplishment for the man; he frequently came this close to wiping out House Targaryen, whether as part of a grand southron army, or as the mastermind of a conspiracy against the Rogares. And yet, there's no hard evidence to justify punishing him for what happened, so he's still very much in a position of power by the end of the book, with three castles, thousands of men, and a serious chip on his shoulder.

Naturally, we have no information on what happened to Peake. We can't even assume that his daughter carried on the family name. We never hear about other members of House Peake carrying Valyrian Steel blades, so we have to assume that they don't hold onto that sword for long, but where does it go? Does Unwin lose the sword somehow? Or is it still there after all? 

There's also been a lot of speculation on the three castles, considering that two of them are gone by the time Gormon Peake throws his lot in with Daemon II. People have argued about whether Aegon III took one of them away or whether both were lost after the First Blackfyre Rebellion. Personally, I don't see Aegon III being that proactive on any level, considering what a self-absorbed sadboy he was, but that's just me. 

Will Unwin get to live out the rest of his life as a powerful lord? Will he support one of the Daeron imposters? Any ideas?

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Regardless how you view Aegon III personally, his government won't be weak (Prince Viserys, Alyn Velaryon, Baela Targaryen ... even Rhaena is somebody to be reckoned with, considering she is now the only dragonrider left). They will do away with Alys Rivers and her brat, and a couple of fake Daerons, rebuilding the Realm so Daeron I has enough money and resources for his mad war.

And Lord Unwin should end up very badly. Not only should the king and Prince Viserys have marked him on a list of people to destroy - and if the king wants to destroy you then you won't thrive - but he himself is stupid enough to try something moronic, either siding with Alys and her son when they make their move, or, perhaps even more likely, being the primary sponsor and supporter of one of the fake Daerons.

Unwin was at Tumbleton and closely associated with Prince Daeron. If he put forth such a pretender, some people might buy that.

It is noteworthy the guy has no son - I expect cadet branches of House Peake (perhaps sons or grandsons of Gedmund Peake, who still is Master of Ships at the end of the regency) to continue the line, while Unwin and Myrielle will die without any heirs of their own body. Myrielle might end up as bride of one of those fake Daerons.

I'm also inclined to believe that Aegon III will take the first castle from the Peakes, with Daeron II taking the second.

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38 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Hell of an accomplishment for the man; he frequently came this close to wiping out House Targaryen, whether as part of a grand southron army, or as the mastermind of a conspiracy against the Rogares.

The conspiracy against Rogares was orchestarted by Larra Rogare and her mother, Johanna Swann. Johanna was working as a courtesan in a pleasure house owned by Lysandro Rogare, The Perfumed Garden. That's why fAegon's mother, Septa Lemore/Jeyne Swann, is the Perfumed Seneschal. Johanna hired Faceless Men to kill Lysandro, Drazenko, and her other ex-clients (all those people that in F&B were mentioned dying under strange circumstances in Lys after Larra went to 7K). Johanna paid for FM's work from vaults of Rogare Bank. That's why all that gold disappeared after Lysandro's death.

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54 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Regardless how you view Aegon III personally, his government won't be weak (Prince Viserys, Alyn Velaryon, Baela Targaryen ... even Rhaena is somebody to be reckoned with, considering she is now the only dragonrider left). They will do away with Alys Rivers and her brat, and a couple of fake Daerons, rebuilding the Realm so Daeron I has enough money and resources for his mad war.

I always did wonder how Daeron I was in any kind of position to wage a giant war on Dorne so soon after the Dance of the Dragons. But it doesn't seem like Aegon had a particularly prosperous reign, especially since it isn't looked at fondly by anyone. And don't tell me it was all about Aegon's personality; people in power don't lose a popularity contest if their subjects are living happily. If the realm had really recovered so efficiently, Aegon would be looked at much more positively. 

This reminds me of that moment in Oliver Stone's JFK where one of the character says "the organising principle of any society... is for war." While I'm no expert on the subject, it does make sense to me. War has so often helped fuel an economic boom as a nation rallies around a unifying cause. And if that war is successful, it leads to profit. 

With that in mind, I'm willing to bet that Daeron I is responsible for the economic recovery of Westeros. He was smart enough to see how war can be used to bring the realm together in a way that never worked out for his dad. I'd be willing to bet that Aegon and his small council avoid expensive wars yet remain unable to get the Seven Kingdoms out of the economic slump caused by the civil war. Daeron will start talking a big game about how the kingdoms need to be united in war rather than divided, and so he bags on the Dornish as the perfect enemy. Everyone either doesn't care about them or despises them, but nobody loves them. The Dornish are the archetypal other who become scapegoats for Daeron's personal ambitions; he not only revitalises the realm, he also rallies it around the true king (and given that his name was Daeron, we can imagine Daeron I would be thinking about possible pretenders showing up again), and it provides Daeron with a legacy that will live on forever. And the proof is in Daeron I's legacy; he's not reviled for dying young in a destructive war, he's hailed as a heroic young figure. That makes me think that his war did lead to some kind of economic boom of sorts, which sticks around in the minds of the smallfolk. And then the death of Daeron I becomes tragic and glorious instead of a guy who gutted his already struggling subjects with an economic recession and disastrous war.

Edited by Canon Claude

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51 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And Lord Unwin should end up very badly. Not only should the king and Prince Viserys have marked him on a list of people to destroy - and if the king wants to destroy you then you won't thrive - but he himself is stupid enough to try something moronic, either siding with Alys and her son when they make their move, or, perhaps even more likely, being the primary sponsor and supporter of one of the fake Daerons.

Unwin was at Tumbleton and closely associated with Prince Daeron. If he put forth such a pretender, some people might buy that.

It is noteworthy the guy has no son - I expect cadet branches of House Peake (perhaps sons or grandsons of Gedmund Peake, who still is Master of Ships at the end of the regency) to continue the line, while Unwin and Myrielle will die without any heirs of their own body. Myrielle might end up as bride of one of those fake Daerons.

I'm also inclined to believe that Aegon III will take the first castle from the Peakes, with Daeron II taking the second.

I'm inclined to agree with you that Unwin will definitely support at least one of the fake Daerons, but I don't think that he would do it publicly. Unwin Peake is many things (ambitious, arrogant, resentful, bigoted), but he is not stupid. That's why he was able to commit murder, conspiracy, and treason without getting caught in the act. He was really good at acting through patsies or cronies rather than putting himself in the line of fire. And he would never throw his daughter away on some pretender that clearly wasn't a serious threat (or else there'd have been a Blackfyre-style kind of rebellion). The fact that a battered and severely depleted realm could still put down these pretenders should go a long way to explain how paltry and doomed their attempts ultimately were. Unwin wouldn't be dumb enough to die that way.

My bet is that he continues to avoid being prosecuted for treason by leaning on plausible deniability. Maybe he provides financial support, or maybe he plays both sides, but I'm betting he'll evade any kind of satisfying punishment. It'll be his descendants who fail to learn the lesson, so that Gormon throws himself into being a great warrior without inheriting Unwin's craftiness. 

Edited by Canon Claude

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11 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

I always did wonder how Daeron I was in any kind of position to wage a giant war on Dorne so soon after the Dance of the Dragons. But it doesn't seem like Aegon had a particularly prosperous reign, especially since it isn't looked at fondly by anyone. And don't tell me it was all about Aegon's personality; people in power don't lose a popularity contest if their subjects are living happily. If the realm had really recovered so efficiently, Aegon would be looked at much more positively. 

Oh, I expect the Alys Rivers/Harrenhal war thing I expect to take place around 150 AC, to be a very ugly affair which might mark the deaths of Rhaena, Morning, Baela, and Silverwing (and Cannibal, too, if he ever ends up being claimed).

The Realm as such seems to have been pretty recovered during the Regency as such. Tyland and Unwin and Thaddeus and Torrhen didn't just scheme and plot. According to Kaeth's book, Aegon III's rule will be sober, meaning we are likely going to get a reasonably efficient government - most likely with no tourneys, no balls, feasts, expensive weddings, and other such nonsense. At least in the capital.

And, no, the king's personality seems to be essential for the whole memory thing, at least in George's world. Men who hang out with their lords and people can win their love even if they suck as rulers. But men who don't caper to the whims of their subjects won't be remembered fondly, even if they work well.

Just think how people view Stannis who, in the mere administration department, should do a decent, perhaps even exceptional, job. But all that means nothing if you have a shitty personality.

And while we can expect Aegon III's throne to be challenged a number of times, I doubt that his reign as such will suck. A couple of doomed pretenders won't endanger the prosperity of the Realm as such.

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With that kind of thinking, I'm inclined to think that Daeron I was smart enough to see how war can be used to bring the realm together in a way that never worked out for his dad. I'd be willing to bet that Aegon and his small council avoid expensive wars yet remain unable to get the Seven Kingdoms out of the economic slump caused by the civil war. Daeron will start talking a big game about how the kingdoms need to be united in war rather than divided, and so he bags on the Dornish as the perfect enemy. Everyone either doesn't care about them or despises them, but nobody loves them. The Dornish are the archetypal other who become scapegoats for Daeron's personal ambitions; he not only revitalises the realm, he also rallies it around the true king (and given that his name was Daeron, we can imagine Daeron I would be thinking about possible pretenders showing up again), and it provides Daeron with a legacy that will live on forever.

That was just a pointless war. And, no, a fourteen-year-old boy didn't have such great thoughts. The boy just wanted to be a big war king like Aegon I.

7 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

I'm inclined to agree with you that Unwin will definitely support at least one of the fake Daerons, but I don't think that he would do it publicly. He's not stupid enough to go full out treason. That's why he was able to commit murder, conspiracy, and treason without getting caught in the act. He was really good at acting through patsies or cronies rather than putting himself in the line of fire. And he would never throw his daughter away on some pretender that clearly wasn't a serious threat (or else there'd have been a Blackfyre-style kind of rebellion). The fact that a battered and severely depleted realm could still put down these pretenders should go a long way to explain how paltry and doomed their attempts ultimately were. Unwin wouldn't be dumb enough to die that way.

You mean like Gormon Peake wasn't stupid enough to back 'Daemon II'?

And Unwin Peake wasn't that smart ... a smart man would have succeeded in marrying his daughter to a king who was at his mercy, he wouldn't have used resignation as a threat, he would have succeeded at killing Aegon III and Daenaera.

I tend to agree that Aegon III is not going to face large rebellions aside from, perhaps, the Rivers rebellion thing - which I expect indeed to be the result of Aegon III's weakness, him deciding to allow Alys and her son to keep Harrenhal because he doesn't want another dragon war and because he doesn't want his cousin to suffer the fate of his own brothers ... or worse still, his own fate (traumatized for life). But when Alys' son approaches adulthood they will decide that the rightful king should have his throne after all, and then there is going to be a short and bloody little Dance.

But this doesn't mean those fake Daerons cannot be a pain in Aegon's ass. Of course, we know as much about the reign of Aegon III now we knew about the reign of Jaehaerys I prior to FaB ... meaning we know effectively nothing. There can be considerable war and strife during Aegon III's reign.

7 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

My bet is that he continues to avoid being prosecuted for treason by leaning on plausible deniability. Maybe he provides financial support, or maybe he plays both sides, but I'm betting he'll evade any kind of satisfying punishment. It'll be his descendants who fail to learn the lesson, so that Gormon throws himself into being a great warrior without inheriting Unwin's craftiness. 

The guy would not be named 'Unwin' if George is going to turn him into some kind of 'winner'. And if he murdered his queen and tried to murder Aegon III and Daenaera then they cannot allow him to live.

I don't expect Aegon III to give him a choice in the matter of rebellion. The king can threaten/goad a lord into rebellion simply by sending clear messages to him that he is marked for destruction. The king can incite Unwin's liege lord and neighbors into constantly harassing and threatening him, he can have the treasury check whether the guy has been paying his taxes correctly, he can fine him heavily for any transgression he learns about, etc.

My idea would be that Peake ends up in a position where he concludes that he has but one choice ... try to destroy Aegon III and his brother, or be destroyed by them.

But, of course, he might also end up joining Alys Rivers and her son. There is a subtle hint in that direction in FaB when Peake is the guy who dismisses the danger posed by Alys in FaB. He might be doing that because he is keeping his options open so that he might eventually be able to crown Aemond's son the new king.

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I always felt he threw away his best chance of achieving power behind the throne when agreeing to the poisoning of Ulf White.  There was a dragonrider he could control, if ever there was one.

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9 minutes ago, Lord Browndodd said:

I always felt he threw away his best chance of achieving power behind the throne when agreeing to the poisoning of Ulf White.  There was a dragonrider he could control, if ever there was one.

Ulf White couldn't be controlled, he was an unstable, deeply ambitious drunk. Unwin would have used him as a patsy if he thought he was useful, but Ulf shows no promise except for the fact that he has a dragon. Plus Aegon II was still alive anyway, so Unwin wouldn't have risked choosing the wild card. Only an idiot would have supported Ulf White's cause. 

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn

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10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, I expect the Alys Rivers/Harrenhal war thing I expect to take place around 150 AC, to be a very ugly affair which might mark the deaths of Rhaena, Morning, Baela, and Silverwing (and Cannibal, too, if he ever ends up being claimed).

The Realm as such seems to have been pretty recovered during the Regency as such. Tyland and Unwin and Thaddeus and Torrhen didn't just scheme and plot. According to Kaeth's book, Aegon III's rule will be sober, meaning we are likely going to get a reasonably efficient government - most likely with no tourneys, no balls, feasts, expensive weddings, and other such nonsense. At least in the capital.

I don't understand what you're trying to say here. Torrhen was all about grand gestures to win over the smallfolk, it was Aegon III who brought that scheme to a grinding halt by saying he wasn't going to play the game anymore (admittedly, that's definitely a Stannis move, if ever there was one). 

But the regency is marked by economic disaster. The winter causes a massive famine in the North, the Iron Islands spent years laying waste to the Westerlands after their best warriors were slaughtered, and so many men are dead that it becomes known as the time when women ruled (yet somehow the only woman regent in King's Landing ends up doing dick-all in the story). My point is, all that damage isn't going to just go away, especially if there's four dragons that need to die, multiple pretenders to kill, and (in your eyes) at least one major lord who has to be defeated and killed before peace can return. You can't deny that that's a tall order for any ruler.

15 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And while we can expect Aegon III's throne to be challenged a number of times, I doubt that his reign as such will suck. A couple of doomed pretenders won't endanger the prosperity of the Realm as such.

Then why would Unwin be dumb enough to gamble on those doomed pretenders? He was smart enough to get away with killing a Targaryen princess. That alone would have gotten him drawn and quartered if he'd been caught. But even after this huge conspiracy is defeated and all the conspirators are tortured, not one of them testified that Unwin was involved. And I refuse to attribute that to mere luck on Unwin's part. 

18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And, no, a fourteen-year-old boy didn't have such great thoughts. The boy just wanted to be a big war king like Aegon I.

Jaehaerys was capable of great thoughts. Our own history is full of boys who had to grow up quickly. Daeron I was definitely motivated by glory and triumph, but you don't just follow a 14-year-old boy because of his name or his desire to fight. You said it yourself; he needs to have one hell of a personality, one hell of a mind, to be able to win people over to his side. Daeron I is viewed as a legendary figure despite a pointless and destructive war; there needs to be more to him than just being an underage warlord. 

21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

You mean like Gormon Peake wasn't stupid enough to back 'Daemon II'?

And Unwin Peake wasn't that smart ... a smart man would have succeeded in marrying his daughter to a king who was at his mercy, he wouldn't have used resignation as a threat, he would have succeeded at killing Aegon III and Daenaera.

First of all, I covered this in my previous post; Gormon is not Unwin. It would be boring if every member of every family in Westeros had the same fates. Ned and Cregan are both Starks who travelled south and both tried to uncover a conspiracy, but with wildly different results. 

I would consider it bad writing if Unwin does the exact same thing as Gormon and suffers the same fate. What would be the point? GRRM doesn't repeat himself (quite) so blatantly as that.

And second of all, Unwin came incredibly close to killing Aegon and Daenaera. The murder of a king is a big deal; they're the most powerful person in the realm, so if they're murdered, that makes for infamy. Even in the Seven Kingdoms, not that many kings die by murder. I can only think of Daeron I, Aegon II, and Aerys II (and I'm only counting those were confirmed to have been murdered, not war casualties or ambiguous deaths). Unwin's failure to kill the king wasn't due to his own mistakes; Aegon was saved by chance. If Gaemon hadn't died first and if Viserys hadn't thought to question Thaddeus Rowan, Aegon would be dead.

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32 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

The guy would not be named 'Unwin' if George is going to turn him into some kind of 'winner'. And if he murdered his queen and tried to murder Aegon III and Daenaera then they cannot allow him to live.

 

We're talking about GRRM, not Charles Dickens. The characters' names don't define their personality or their story arcs. 'Unwin' is an English surname that's well known enough without being common, and unique enough to stick in your mind. 

And not even a king could execute one of his most powerful lords without proof of his guilt. Otherwise you end up with someone like Maegor or Aerys II, and I don't need to remind you how that went for those psychopaths. 

37 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't expect Aegon III to give him a choice in the matter of rebellion. The king can threaten/goad a lord into rebellion simply by sending clear messages to him that he is marked for destruction. The king can incite Unwin's liege lord and neighbors into constantly harassing and threatening him, he can have the treasury check whether the guy has been paying his taxes correctly, he can fine him heavily for any transgression he learns about, etc.

My idea would be that Peake ends up in a position where he concludes that he has but one choice ... try to destroy Aegon III and his brother, or be destroyed by them.

But, of course, he might also end up joining Alys Rivers and her son. There is a subtle hint in that direction in FaB when Peake is the guy who dismisses the danger posed by Alys in FaB. He might be doing that because he is keeping his options open so that he might eventually be able to crown Aemond's son the new king.

If the king is actively targeting one of his lords in such an obvious manner, that's going to make him less popular. Again, the other lords have no idea that Unwin had anything to do with the secret siege. The fact that it's never brought up outside of FaB means that nobody really remembers it. It wouldn't surprise me that Unwin is able to use plausible deniability to avoid prosecution. And if he keeps his head down the same way that he did during the conspiracy against the Rogares, then I could easily see him being clever enough to offer veiled support to the pretenders and then backing off when they fail. Duplicity is kind of his thing, and if he suddenly abandoned it for brazen betrayal, that'd be the equivalent of Littlefinger's story arc in the hands of the Unspeakables. 

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6 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

If the king is actively targeting one of his lords in such an obvious manner, that's going to make him less popular. Again, the other lords have no idea that Unwin had anything to do with the secret siege. The fact that it's never brought up outside of FaB means that nobody really remembers it. 

Yeah, I feel like you're overthinking a plot hole that has emerged because GRRM wanted to fill in the history pages. The fact that a Targaryen king was besieged in his own castle by duplicitous nobles and Kingsguard? That should have been a huge moment for the Seven Kingdoms' history (once the conspiracy was discovered, I mean). The same way that Jaime Lannister will never outgrow his Kingslayer nickname. By all logic and reasoning, Aegon's story should have become King's Landing legend as well, but because GRRM hadn't come up with it at the time, it's never brought up. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone in Winds of Winter thinks about it out of the blue in an effort to make it full canon.

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn

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4 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Yeah, I feel like you're overthinking a plot hole that has emerged because GRRM wanted to fill in the history pages. The fact that a Targaryen king was besieged in his own castle by duplicitous nobles and Kingsguard? That should have been a huge moment for the Seven Kingdoms' history (once the conspiracy was discovered, I mean). The same way that Jaime Lannister will never outgrow his Kingslayer nickname. By all logic and reasoning, Aegon's story should have become King's Landing legend as well, but because GRRM hadn't come up with it at the time, it's never brought up. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone in Winds of Winter thinks about it out of the blue in an effort to make it full canon.

Not necessarily true. Aegon III wasn't popular, he didn't ultimately die in that siege, and the Kingsguard who was besieging him turned loyal again. It's a gripping story but there was no disaster. Sure, it was a near miss that happened close to home, but I don't think it would touch the zeitgeist the way Jaime's kingslaying did. 

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3 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

I don't understand what you're trying to say here. Torrhen was all about grand gestures to win over the smallfolk, it was Aegon III who brought that scheme to a grinding halt by saying he wasn't going to play the game anymore (admittedly, that's definitely a Stannis move, if ever there was one). 

Oh, a lot of rebuilding happens during the Regency era. Tyland builds ships and graneries, Lady Johanna restores money to the treasury and extends loans for rebuilding efforts, even Tumbleton sort of recovers. And all the other regents and Hands also did pretty good work outside the schemes and plots we also read about.

I'd expect that the Dance and its aftermath will be overcome by 140 AC or so.

3 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

But the regency is marked by economic disaster. The winter causes a massive famine in the North, the Iron Islands spent years laying waste to the Westerlands after their best warriors were slaughtered, and so many men are dead that it becomes known as the time when women ruled (yet somehow the only woman regent in King's Landing ends up doing dick-all in the story). My point is, all that damage isn't going to just go away, especially if there's four dragons that need to die, multiple pretenders to kill, and (in your eyes) at least one major lord who has to be defeated and killed before peace can return. You can't deny that that's a tall order for any ruler.

The North has winter casualties in any winter ... and there wasn't even a war up there. Cregan had fewer winter corpses thanks to the Dance, because the Dustin army died in the south and many of the men from Cregan's army also didn't return home.

As for the dragons, Sheepstealer will die alone in the mountains, I imagine (although I think some Arryns must recover his corpse prior to 153 AC, or else the last dragon won't be the last dragon as such). Silverwing I hope ends up as the mount of Viserys or Baela ... but she could also just end up being killed by some dragonslayer on her island. If that happens, then only Morning, the Cannibal, and perhaps the dragon of Alys' son remain.

3 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

Then why would Unwin be dumb enough to gamble on those doomed pretenders? He was smart enough to get away with killing a Targaryen princess. That alone would have gotten him drawn and quartered if he'd been caught. But even after this huge conspiracy is defeated and all the conspirators are tortured, not one of them testified that Unwin was involved. And I refuse to attribute that to mere luck on Unwin's part.

Well, to be sure, we don't even know Unwin had a hand in that entire Rogare plot there. It is speculated, but not proven. However, we can expect that the king and his brother do believe Unwin is guilty, and that fact alone should make Unwin Peake afraid for his life. After all, what we see in FaB is how the regents and the court dealt with Peake and a conspiracy possibly run by Peake while the king was still a minor and his brother Viserys wasn't yet his Hand.

We have no idea what these brothers - and their half-sisters - will do when they will run the show.

You must realize that a regency government usually doesn't have the same kind of authority as a crowned and anointed monarch ruling in his own right. Regents can be toppled, deposed, arrested, etc. That doesn't happen all that often to kings.

3 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

Jaehaerys was capable of great thoughts. Our own history is full of boys who had to grow up quickly. Daeron I was definitely motivated by glory and triumph, but you don't just follow a 14-year-old boy because of his name or his desire to fight. You said it yourself; he needs to have one hell of a personality, one hell of a mind, to be able to win people over to his side. Daeron I is viewed as a legendary figure despite a pointless and destructive war; there needs to be more to him than just being an underage warlord. 

Yeah, he had charisma ... but his war was pointless.

3 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

First of all, I covered this in my previous post; Gormon is not Unwin. It would be boring if every member of every family in Westeros had the same fates. Ned and Cregan are both Starks who travelled south and both tried to uncover a conspiracy, but with wildly different results. 

I would consider it bad writing if Unwin does the exact same thing as Gormon and suffers the same fate. What would be the point? GRRM doesn't repeat himself (quite) so blatantly as that.

Well, all I'm pretty sure about is that the Unwin Peake story isn't over yet. He will go down somehow. I personally wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't slain in battle or executed, but rather murdered by one of his own cousins, possibly at the behest of the king or Prince Viserys. We know the latter is supposed to grow into a cold and calculating man after his wife abandons him. Thus it shouldn't surprise us if he sheds more than a little bit of blood to keep the Realm together ... and himself and his brother in power.

And that would certainly be somewhat different than the Gormon Peake fiasco.

3 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

And second of all, Unwin came incredibly close to killing Aegon and Daenaera. The murder of a king is a big deal; they're the most powerful person in the realm, so if they're murdered, that makes for infamy. Even in the Seven Kingdoms, not that many kings die by murder. I can only think of Daeron I, Aegon II, and Aerys II (and I'm only counting those were confirmed to have been murdered, not war casualties or ambiguous deaths). Unwin's failure to kill the king wasn't due to his own mistakes; Aegon was saved by chance. If Gaemon hadn't died first and if Viserys hadn't thought to question Thaddeus Rowan, Aegon would be dead.

Yeah, okay, that murder may have worked. But Peake shows his incompetence in other scenarios - that murder of Owain Bourney, the travesty that was the Caltrops agenda, his inability to keep the Green army together, the way he allowed power to slip through his fingers when he had pretty much everything. The way to marry his daughter to the king could have done so much better if he had befriended the boy, had ensured he liked his daughter before doing away with Queen Jaehaera. And so on.

13 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

We're talking about GRRM, not Charles Dickens. The characters' names don't define their personality or their story arcs. 'Unwin' is an English surname that's well known enough without being common, and unique enough to stick in your mind. 

Oh, that name means something.

13 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

And not even a king could execute one of his most powerful lords without proof of his guilt. Otherwise you end up with someone like Maegor or Aerys II, and I don't need to remind you how that went for those psychopaths. 

Nobody said anything about no proof of his guilt. That's why I talked about goading. But in general ... no, a king can destroy a lord or even an entire noble house with impunity. That happened all the time, under good and bad kings alike. And it is not that Peake is the darling of the Realm and everybody's well-connected friend. We even learn that his lands are actually pretty poor, meaning when push comes to shove our good Unwin is most likely not going to be able to offer many bribes.

13 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

If the king is actively targeting one of his lords in such an obvious manner, that's going to make him less popular. Again, the other lords have no idea that Unwin had anything to do with the secret siege. The fact that it's never brought up outside of FaB means that nobody really remembers it. It wouldn't surprise me that Unwin is able to use plausible deniability to avoid prosecution. And if he keeps his head down the same way that he did during the conspiracy against the Rogares, then I could easily see him being clever enough to offer veiled support to the pretenders and then backing off when they fail. Duplicity is kind of his thing, and if he suddenly abandoned it for brazen betrayal, that'd be the equivalent of Littlefinger's story arc in the hands of the Unspeakables. 

Well, Aegon III is supposed to have not been all that popular, no?

Also, Peake may not be proven guilty, but Aegon's people - the men conducting the trials at court - seem to have been pretty convinced he was guilty. Neither side is going to let this go.

And we do talk about the Targaryens here. They are not known for their mercy or their good hearts ... and if Peake was guilty of even half of what he seems to be guilty of Aegon and Viserys would make themselves into jokes if they allowed the man to get away with this.

I mean, perhaps Peake is going to try to stay out of everything and do nothing ... but the Targaryens won't let this go and destroy him anyway. Wouldn't surprise me at all.

16 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Yeah, I feel like you're overthinking a plot hole that has emerged because GRRM wanted to fill in the history pages. The fact that a Targaryen king was besieged in his own castle by duplicitous nobles and Kingsguard? That should have been like a 9/11 moment for the Seven Kingdoms. The same way that Jaime Lannister will never outgrow his Kingslayer nickname. By all logic and reasoning, Aegon's story should have become King's Landing legend as well, but because GRRM hadn't come up with it at the time, it's never brought up. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone in Winds of Winter thinks about it out of the blue in an effort to make it full canon.

The Secret Siege was dealt with. Peake wasn't there, so he wasn't directly responsible for this thing. On the list of reasons why Aegon and Viserys might want do away with Peake would the poisoning plot rank first, I imagine, the murder of Queen Jaehaera second (not because Aegon III loved her, but because she was his wife and cousin, and the queen, not deserving to be murdered by an ambitious traitor), and the Secret Siege and the treatment of Thaddeus Rowan third. After that would come the treatment of Aegon III under Peake and Long.

In fact, the latter alone should be enough to make King Aegon III dislike or even hate Peake. But compared to the other shit that's not all that important.

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11 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And we do talk about the Targaryens here. They are not known for their mercy or their good hearts ... and if Peake was guilty of even half of what he seems to be guilty of Aegon and Viserys would make themselves into jokes if they allowed the man to get away with this.

I mean, perhaps Peake is going to try to stay out of everything and do nothing ... but the Targaryens won't let this go and destroy him anyway. Wouldn't surprise me at all.

The Secret Siege was dealt with. Peake wasn't there, so he wasn't directly responsible for this thing. On the list of reasons why Aegon and Viserys might want do away with Peake would the poisoning plot rank first, I imagine, the murder of Queen Jaehaera second (not because Aegon III loved her, but because she was his wife and cousin, and the queen, not deserving to be murdered by an ambitious traitor), and the Secret Siege and the treatment of Thaddeus Rowan third. After that would come the treatment of Aegon III under Peake and Long.

In fact, the latter alone should be enough to make King Aegon III dislike or even hate Peake. But compared to the other shit that's not all that important.

I agree with you that Aegon is going to hold a grudge. He pretty much does nothing BUT hold a grudge for all the bad things that happened to him. But Canon Claude is correct, I think, that Unwin won't ever actually be brought down by proof in a trial. More likely, Aegon's going to want him to suffer and so abuses his power to have Unwin punished outside of the law. Which means that he's no better than Peake and is further proof of the Targaryens' unfitness to rule.

The Targaryens are the antithesis to the Starks: fire vs ice. Ice preserves and endures, just as the Starks endured as Kings of Winter in the North for millennia. Were they perfect? Not at all. But the Starks are clearly the better rulers because they swing the sword themselves, they're invested in the people of the North, and they are cold rather than hot-blooded. The Targaryens are a fire which burns the world and leaves a memorable impact, but it took them just three centuries of power to bring it all crashing down.

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Oh gods old and new... 

OP Floki, I'm just as intrigued as the next ASOIAF fan, but I hope to gods, old and new, that GRRM isn't. So as to he won't write anything pertaining to him. Rather write the main story. Finish it. Then maybe more Dunk & Egg stories etc.; and I will gobble them up.

Anyway, thank you for raising this point, thanks to everybody who's responded, interesting. I'll now go back and properly study D&E.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, to be sure, we don't even know Unwin had a hand in that entire Rogare plot there. It is speculated, but not proven. However, we can expect that the king and his brother do believe Unwin is guilty, and that fact alone should make Unwin Peake afraid for his life. After all, what we see in FaB is how the regents and the court dealt with Peake and a conspiracy possibly run by Peake while the king was still a minor and his brother Viserys wasn't yet his Hand.

We have no idea what these brothers - and their half-sisters - will do when they will run the show.

I mean, we do know the basics. We know that Viserys will rule the realm bitterly while Aegon broods; the broken king and a broken reign sort of thing. Baela is going to have a tumultuous relationship with her Velaryon husband until she kicks it, and then he's going to move on to her cousin. Rhaena will have six daughters with one of the Hightowers. The fact that this is all that's been said about them suggests to me that they won't do anything ground-breaking or major. Rhaena isn't going to die in battle fighting dragons, Aegon isn't going to become another Maegor or another Jaehaerys, it all strikes me as resulting in a very mediocre reign for all of them. Otherwise, why has nothing been said about it? And it's not like there's a mystery to hide; we're not talking the Summerhall disaster here. There isn't going to be some disaster that nobody bothered to talk about, nor will there be a huge economic boom, or else why would it have been dubbed a broken reign? 

That said, there's lots of room for character development, and there's a few curiosities, too. The fact that Aegon named one of his kids after Rhaena and not Baela is an odd sign to me; Rhaena is the one with the dragon after all, so you'd think that would stand in the way of their relationship. 

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, he had charisma ... but his war was pointless.

 

Not so pointless, necessarily. Like I said, war creates jobs. Plus the Dornish would have been plundered during the conquest, and the Dornish never invade the Seven Kingdoms, so they don't do any domestic damage. Resources and manpower will be the only losses that the Iron Throne suffers. Plus the death of Daeron I is important, because then Baelor becomes king instead of whatever son that Daeron might have had. Viserys' branch never becomes in charge, and the whole history of Westeros is changed. The conquest will matter in several ways, I don't doubt it. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, okay, that murder may have worked. But Peake shows his incompetence in other scenarios - that murder of Owain Bourney, the travesty that was the Caltrops agenda, his inability to keep the Green army together, the way he allowed power to slip through his fingers when he had pretty much everything. The way to marry his daughter to the king could have done so much better if he had befriended the boy, had ensured he liked his daughter before doing away with Queen Jaehaera. And so on.

True, Unwin never saw the sense in befriending Aegon rather than just using him as a figurehead, but that's not due to stupidity or incompetence. Tywin and Stannis never ever go out of their ways to make people like them, nobody calls them stupid. Unwin's failure isn't that he's too dumb, it's that he got too cocky and too ambitious. He'd successfully killed the Targaryen princess, a girl whom Aegon didn't even like. 

And to be fair, he did figure out that lesson eventually when he tried to make Aegon friendly with his daughter before the Cattle Show. And actually, that's another thing I like about Unwin as a character; he learns from his mistakes. What you use as examples of incompetence, I see as a learning curve. Owain Bourney's murder was clumsy (though it's not like he was alone in that, he was being backed up by House Hightower in killing Owain, so where's the incompetence?) and the Caltrops didn't make it work, but that's a different scenario. Unwin isn't in charge of the Caltrops, he's one member of many, and none of them have any real authority over each other. When the members get killed off, and Unwin is the last man standing after Second Tumbleton, he finds a limit to his ability when he can't rally the southern army. So, he conspires to take advantage of a surly boy king who is antisocial and emotionally dead inside. When that doesn't work, he plots to have the boy killed by a conspiracy which doesn't include him. It's almost like a reverse hero journey; Unwin goes from stabbing a rival in the eye at a war council to orchestrating an entire overthrow of power in King's Landing without setting foot in the city personally, and it almost worked. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I mean, perhaps Peake is going to try to stay out of everything and do nothing ... but the Targaryens won't let this go and destroy him anyway. 

If Peake does nothing, they can't just touch him with impunity. Otherwise, how many nobles will see that as a threat against their own position. A whole noble house can die out just because the king holds a grudge? Kings who do that lose the support of their noblemen, in our history and in Westeros' history (Aegon IV, Maegor, Aerys II, Aegon II, Rhaenyra for that matter). And moreover, Unwin Peake brought 1000 soldiers and 500 mercenaries to a great council, why in seven hells would he ever be so careless as to openly rise up against a king looking for any excuse to kill him? That requires a level of stupidity that Unwin clearly hasn't sunk to in his entire life.

Edited by Canon Claude

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Personally, I have no idea what’ll happen in the story, but I do hope that Aegon gets the chance to see Unwin Peake’s head mounted on a spike. Might give him some closure after all that he was forced to put up with.

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Well @Floki of the Ironborn, you've created a really interesting conversation here.   Have been reading through the comments.  Aegon III reminds me so much of Jon Snow I do not have words for the comparison.  Aegon was so lousy bleeding sad.  I think my favorite part of Fire & Blood was little Viserys verbally sparring with The Establishment of Stupid Adults.  Kick ass little guy and despite his solemnity, Aegon lent resolve to his little brother's threats and questions.   Seemed to take a sort of loud strength from it, not unlike when he let his cabinet go.   Grown Up like.  

I planned to come in with a smart allecky little comment "Someone will steal Orphan-maker from his corpse" and leave it at that, but there is so much more to say about a lot of things.  

To @Lord Varys, are Nettles and Sheepstealer off your list of those who might engage in another battle because they are gone or merely indisposed?  You often catch things I don't.  

I think there may be some end for Unwin, who was easy to dislike despite his cunning and ruthlessness, that will include his own corpse and a theft.  May it be yet another conspiracy involving his power.   What happened to all the Peake castles?  Seems the Peakes stayed in some sort of power long after Aegon & Unwin were dead in mention of them having a hand in exiling the Manderlys from the Reach.  I got such a "wants to be Tywin" vibe off this guy, of course, I got that a little from Robar Baratheon, too.  With that in mind I submit that the Peakes were indeed a strong and powerful family regionally up until fairly recently.  All I know for sure is that Orphan-Maker remains in Westeros.   

@Canon Claude, agree Unwin wasn't stupid.  Perhaps he underestimated a boy king and had inexhaustible lust for power?   

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1 hour ago, Canon Claude said:

True, Unwin never saw the sense in befriending Aegon rather than just using him as a figurehead, but that's not due to stupidity or incompetence. Tywin and Stannis never ever go out of their ways to make people like them, nobody calls them stupid. Unwin's failure isn't that he's too dumb, it's that he got too cocky and too ambitious. He'd successfully killed the Targaryen princess, a girl whom Aegon didn't even like. 

And to be fair, he did figure out that lesson eventually when he tried to make Aegon friendly with his daughter before the Cattle Show. And actually, that's another thing I like about Unwin as a character; he learns from his mistakes. What you use as examples of incompetence, I see as a learning curve. Owain Bourney's murder was clumsy (though it's not like he was alone in that, he was being backed up by House Hightower in killing Owain, so where's the incompetence?) and the Caltrops didn't make it work, but that's a different scenario. Unwin isn't in charge of the Caltrops, he's one member of many, and none of them have any real authority over each other. When the members get killed off, and Unwin is the last man standing after Second Tumbleton, he finds a limit to his ability when he can't rally the southern army. So, he conspires to take advantage of a surly boy king who is antisocial and emotionally dead inside. When that doesn't work, he plots to have the boy killed by a conspiracy which doesn't include him. It's almost like a reverse hero journey; Unwin goes from stabbing a rival in the eye at a war council to orchestrating an entire overthrow of power in King's Landing without setting foot in the city personally, and it almost worked. 

 

There exists a timeline where GRRM writes an ASOIAF novella series about Unwin Peake’s House of Cards-style climb to power during and after a massive civil war, followed by his downfall at the hands of the boy king who proved impossible to manipulate. 

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13 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

he blustered his way into resigning his position as Hand of the King, but he also managed to kill the king's betrothed without getting his own hands dirty,

Who has he killed there, what betrothed?

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