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Baelor vs Bloodraven who was right?


King17
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Baelor and Bloodraven had very different ideas on how to treat rebels

1 baelor believed "that clemency was best when dealing with an honorable foe. If a defeated man believes he will be pardoned, he may lay down his sword and bend the knee. Elsewise he will fight on to the death, and slay more loyal men and innocents". 

2 Bloodraven believed "That when you pardon rebels, you only plant the seeds of the next rebellion." 

who was right and why?

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12 minutes ago, King17 said:

Baelor and Bloodraven had very different ideas on how to treat rebels

1 baelor believed "that clemency was best when dealing with an honorable foe. If a defeated man believes he will be pardoned, he may lay down his sword and bend the knee. Elsewise he will fight on to the death, and slay more loyal men and innocents". 

2 Bloodraven believed "That when you pardon rebels, you only plant the seeds of the next rebellion." 

who was right and why?

In our case (I mean AsoIaF, the Long Night), Baelor was right. But this is always changing.

But you made me think about the case when Brynden executed Aenys Blackfyre.

I always tought that he foresaw something big and bad, and that's why he executed Aenys without hesitation. The quote you gave us made me realise that it might be that he was just simply doing things respecting what he believed was right, not pardoning any rebels.

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It depends of persons involved, but personally I am for giving men one last chance:

Even damn Tywin has better understanding of it than Bloodraven:

Quote

Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. And any man who must say 'I am the king' is no true king at all.

Quote

"My brother had a gift for inspiring loyalty. Even in his foes. At Summerhall he won three battles in a single day, and brought Lords Grandison and Cafferen back to Storm's End as prisoners. He hung their banners in the hall as trophies. Cafferen's white fawns were spotted with blood and Grandison's sleeping lion was torn near in two. Yet they would sit beneath those banners of a night, drinking and feasting with Robert. He even took them hunting. 'These men meant to deliver you to Aerys to be burned,' I told him after I saw them throwing axes in the yard. 'You should not be putting axes in their hands.' Robert only laughed. I would have thrown Grandison and Cafferen into a dungeon, but he turned them into friends. Lord Cafferen died at Ashford Castle, cut down by Randyll Tarly whilst fighting for Robert. Lord Grandison was wounded on the Trident and died of it a year after. My brother made them love him, but it would seem that I inspire only betrayal. Even in mine own blood and kin. Brother, grandfather, cousins, good uncle . . ."

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Bloodraven is stuck inside a tree and Baelor burned books. I just cant see any points made by such folk.

 

1) This is Baelor Breakspear, not Baelor the Blessed

2) Why would it change anything that Brynden is currently attached to the tree?

 

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3 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

He's been there too long.

He said this when talking to Baelor. When he wasn't even at the Wall, but likely a Hand or a commander at that time, in the serve og the IT. Likely during Daeron's reign.

Edit: Tho I'm not saying he was right.

Edited by Daeron the Daring
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This is, I believe, a very important question! 

And unlike others here, I do not think this is a case of grey area or middle ground, however it is important to note the details here. This issue also appears in the main ASoIaF series.

Quote

"Sometimes at court I would serve the king's small council. They used to fight about it. Uncle Baelor said that clemency was best when dealing with an honorable foe. If a defeated man believes he will be pardoned, he may lay down his sword and bend the knee. Elsewise he will fight on to the death, and slay more loyal men and innocents. But Lord Bloodraven said that when you pardon rebels, you only plant the seeds of the next rebellion." His voice was full of doubts. "Why would Ser Eustace rise against King Daeron? He was a good king, everybody says so. He brought Dorne into the realm and made the Dornishmen our friends."

The Sworn Sword

It should be noted that Bloodraven himself was given clemency and allowed to take the black instead of being executed for breaking his promise of safe passage and kinslaying.

When in doubt with this series I think it is worth taking a look at what Ned would do.

It is also important to distinguish between what is the "right" thing to do and what thing is the most efficient or beneficial for ones self. These are not the same, and the contrast between those trying to do what is "right" and those Machiavellian "ends justify the means" types is highlighted throughout the series. But in this case there may even be overlap.

Quote

"Mercy is never a mistake, Lord Renly," Ned replied. "On the Trident, Ser Barristan here cut down a dozen good men, Robert's friends and mine. When they brought him to us, grievously wounded and near death, Roose Bolton urged us to cut his throat, but your brother said, 'I will not kill a man for loyalty, nor for fighting well,' and sent his own maester to tend Ser Barristan's wounds." He gave the king a long cool look. "Would that man were here today."
Robert had shame enough to blush. "It was not the same," he complained. "Ser Barristan was a knight of the Kingsguard."
"Whereas Daenerys is a fourteen-year-old girl." Ned knew he was pushing this well past the point of wisdom, yet he could not keep silent. "Robert, I ask you, what did we rise against Aerys Targaryen for, if not to put an end to the murder of children?"
"To put an end to Targaryens!" the king growled.

A Game of Thrones - Eddard VIII

It is important to remember why one is fighting. Winning is not enough, how you win matters.

This is not to suggest everyone gets a pardon for everything. It is how one should treat a defeated foe (not to be construed with punishing crimes).

Quote

"Be quiet, Cersei. Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. And any man who must say 'I am the king' is no true king at all. Aerys never understood that, but you will. When I've won your war for you, we will restore the king's peace and the king's justice. The only head that need concern you is Margaery Tyrell's maidenhead."

A Storm of Swords - Tyrion VI

Even the author of the notorious demise of house Tarbeck and Reyne sees the wisdom of mercy for a defeated foe.

And while his logic is the pragmatic kind and not about morality, it still serves to underscore the point.

While much negative can be said of Robert as a King, and his hatred of Targaryens clearly blinded him, one of his better qualities was mercy and inspiring friendship in a defeated foe.

Quote

"My brother had a gift for inspiring loyalty. Even in his foes. At Summerhall he won three battles in a single day, and brought Lords Grandison and Cafferen back to Storm's End as prisoners. He hung their banners in the hall as trophies. Cafferen's white fawns were spotted with blood and Grandison's sleeping lion was torn near in two. Yet they would sit beneath those banners of a night, drinking and feasting with Robert. He even took them hunting. 'These men meant to deliver you to Aerys to be burned,' I told him after I saw them throwing axes in the yard. 'You should not be putting axes in their hands.' Robert only laughed. I would have thrown Grandison and Cafferen into a dungeon, but he turned them into friends. Lord Cafferen died at Ashford Castle, cut down by Randyll Tarly whilst fighting for Robert. Lord Grandison was wounded on the Trident and died of it a year after. My brother made them love him, but it would seem that I inspire only betrayal. Even in mine own blood and kin. Brother, grandfather, cousins, good uncle . . ."

A Storm of Swords - Davos IV

Those who would make friends of enemies and peace out of war must take the first step.

Mercy and forgiveness are positive qualities, especially for those in power, and especially when treating with a defeated foe.

Stannis admits this does not come naturally to him, and yet we see in Davos another possible example and maybe his most loyal man.

Another fantastic example of this is Jon and Mance. 

Mance spares Jon, and one could argue that this action more than anything caused Mance's invasion to fail. And yet, come the end of the day, this action also likely saved not only Mance himself, but the Wildlings at large.

This could obviously be a much longer rant, but I'll end here and say that I think it is a fantastic topic!

Edited by Mourning Star
grammar, clarity and format
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I think pardons can go a long way in trying to heal wounds, but at the same time, are we just pardoning rebels left and right without trying to understand why they rose in rebellion? If it's for spite, like with Bittersteel (and this may be a little reductive, admittedly), then no pardon for him and especially no mercy. It not like he wouldn't have caused trouble with the NW. Sending him to the Wall was like refusing to take responsibility for him. If Bittersteel had decided to foment a rebellion at the Wall, which seems to be very much in character for him, then it's the northmen who would have had to put that down.

For me, this goes back to the way Arthur Dayne handled the smallfolk in the Kingswood and his understanding of why they were protecting the Kingswood Brotherhood versus Jon Connington when he rolled up in Stoney Sept. He didn't try to understand why the town was protecting Robert. He just searched homes, offered pardons and rewards, which the town was clearly not interesting in, and stuck people in crow cages. Then we have what Myles Toyne told Jon Conn about what Tywin would have done. Burn the town with everyone in it and then give pardons to Tully, Arryn and Stark when they turned up. 

Ok great, butcher's work, but that still doesn't solve the problem as to why Arryn and Stark rose in rebellion and why people chose to support them. 

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose
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1 minute ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I think pardons can go a long way in trying to heal wounds, but at the same time, are we just pardoning rebels left and right without trying to understand why they rose in rebellion? If it's for spite, like with Bittersteel (and this may be a little reductive, admittedly), then no pardon for him and especially no clemency. It not like he wouldn't have caused trouble with the NW. Sending him to the Wall was like refusing to take responsibility for him. 

For me, this goes back to the way Arthur Dayne handled the smallfolk in the Kingswood and his understanding of why they were protecting the Kingswood Brotherhood versus Jon Connington when he rolled up in Stoney Sept. He didn't try to understand why the town was protecting Robert. He just searched homes, offered pardons and rewards, which the town was clearly not interesting in, and stuck people in crow cages. Then we have what Myles Toyne told Jon Conn about what Tywin would have done. Burn the town with everyone in it and then give pardons to Tully, Arryn and Stark when they turned up. 

Ok great, butcher's work, but that still doesn't solve the problem as to why Arryn and Stark rose in rebellion and why people chose to support them. 

I would argue that doing the right thing isn't less right because someone else takes it as an opportunity to do something wrong.

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5 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

This is, I believe, a very important question! 

And unlike others here, I do not think this is a case of grey area or middle ground, however it is important to note the details here. This issue also appears in the main ASoIaF series.

When in doubt with this series I think it is worth taking a look at what Ned would do. It is also important to distinguish between what is the "right" thing to do and what thing is the most efficient or beneficial for ones self. These are not the same, and the contrast between those trying to do what is "right" and those Machiavellian "ends justify the means" types is highlighted throughout the series. But in this case there may even be overlap.

It is important to remember why one is fighting. Winning is not enough, how you win matters.

This is not to suggest everyone gets a pardon for everything. It is how one should treat a defeated foe (not to be construed with punishing crimes).

Even the author of the notorious demise of house Tarbeck and Reyne sees the wisdom of mercy for a defeated foe.

And while his logic is the pragmatic kind and not about morality, it still serves to underscore the point.

While much negative can be said of Robert as a King, and his hatred of Targaryens clearly blinded him, one of his better qualities was mercy and inspiring friendship in a defeated foe.

Those who would make friends of enemies and peace out of war must take the first step.

Mercy and forgiveness are positive qualities, especially for those in power, and especially when treating with a defeated foe.

Stannis admits this does not come naturally to him, and yet we see in Davos another possible example and maybe his most loyal man.

Another fantastic example of this is Jon and Mance. 

Mance spares Jon, and one could argue that this action more than anything caused Mance's invasion to fail. And yet, come the end of the day, this action also likely saved not only Mance himself, but the Wildlings at large.

This could obviously be a much longer rant, but I'll end here and say that I think it is a fantastic topic!

It’s a case of balance, I think.  You’ve more reason to pardon a foe who has  conducted himself honourably, at least by this world’s standards, than you would a man like Vargo Hoat or Ramsay Bolton.

Likewise, there’s little point in sparing someone who rejects an offer of clemency, or accepts it and then rebels again.

Mance got lucky.  Jon would have killed him, had Stannis not arrived on the scene.

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11 minutes ago, SeanF said:

It’s a case of balance, I think.  You’ve more reason to pardon a foe who has  conducted himself honourably, at least by this world’s standards, than you would a man like Vargo Hoat or Ramsay Bolton.

Likewise, there’s little point in sparing someone who rejects an offer of clemency, or accepts it and then rebels again.

Mance got lucky.  Jon would have killed him, had Stannis not arrived on the scene.

The quote is literally about an honorable foe, not just anyone.

I would argue that Mance got very unlucky with Stannis's arrival, but that is sort of besides the point. It's pretty clear what Jon thought of the order to assassinate Mance.

Mercy begets mercy and bloodshed more bloodshed, it may be a risk, but you have to be what you want to see in the world.

Quote

"So you are fighting over a crown that one of you took from the other back when the Casterlys still held Casterly Rock, is that the root of it? The crown of a kingdom that has not existed for thousands of years?" He chuckled. "So many years, so many wars, so many kings … you'd think someone would have made a peace."
"Someone did, my lord. Many someones. We've had a hundred peaces with the Brackens, many sealed with marriages. There's Blackwood blood in every Bracken, and Bracken blood in every Blackwood. The Old King's Peace lasted half a century. But then some fresh quarrel broke out, and the old wounds opened and began to bleed again. That's how it always happens, my father says. So long as men remember the wrongs done to their forebears, no peace will ever last. So we go on century after century, with us hating the Brackens and them hating us. My father says there will never be an end to it."

A Dance with Dragons - Jaime I

 

Edited by Mourning Star
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26 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

He said this when talking to Baelor. When he wasn't even at the Wall, but likely a Hand or a commander at that time, in the serve og the IT. Likely during Daeron's reign.

Edit: Tho I'm not saying he was right.

He took the offer of the Wall, a choice he would deny to others, according to that quote. He sounds like a messy bitch.

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11 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

The quote is literally about an honorable foe, not just anyone.

I would argue that Mance got very unlucky with Stannis's arrival, but that is sort of besides the point. It's pretty clear what Jon thought of the order to assassinate Mance.

Mercy begets mercy and bloodshed more bloodshed, it may be a risk, but you have to be what you want to see in the world.

 

Jon thought the order despicable, and he was between a rock and a hard place.  Those who gave the order are the sort of people who do not merit clemency.

Stannis is an interesting case.  He can be both pretty cruel (his methods of execution) and very honourable (protecting prisoners from casual murder and rape, refusing to punish the people of Claw Island for their lord’s defection).

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13 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

He took the offer of the Wall, a choice he would deny to others, according to that quote. He sounds like a messy bitch.

I think he did allow some condemned traitors to take the Black.  After all, it’s still a severe punishment:  a suspended death sentence, and exile to a freezing penal colony.

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56 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Then we have what Myles Toyne told Jon Conn about what Tywin would have done. Burn the town with everyone in it and then give pardons to Tully, Arryn and Stark when they turned up. 

Ok great, butcher's work, but that still doesn't solve the problem as to why Arryn and Stark rose in rebellion and why people chose to support them. 

Completely agree with you. Especially in this case. Here you have a character going full Bloodraven and later full Baelor. Why would you give pardons to people that wanted to kill you?? Why do you think that burning alive someone who was very very close to those you're offering pardons is going to solve anything and not just harden their resolve??

You're very much right, there is something alluring for both the characters and the readers (including myself) to act as if going full Tywin, for lack of a better term right now, or just throwing pardons around is panacea.

This is especially true when you think about how Robert, and the kings before him, handled the Ironborn, they did not offer any kind of solution or tried to understand them at any level, they simply crushed them whenever they dared to raise against the Crown... and then just pardoned/left be the  ones that remained alive and called it a day. Thus ensuring perpetual rebellions.

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