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Canon Claude

Why did Tywin have to sack King’s Landing?

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Posted (edited)

Someone brought this up in another discussion, and it seems like they made a really good point. Tywin didn’t have to sack the city, he was welcomed in by King Aerys. Tywin could simply have strolled into the Red Keep with a number of his bannermen and killed or captured King Aerys and the rest of the royal family. Meanwhile, he could have sent other men to different parts of the city where there might be opposition (Tywin would have been very familiar with the gold cloaks’ distribution, after all his years as Hand) and quickly put down any opposition before it began. No citizens needed to be harmed, and the city could have been given intact to Robert on a plate. Jaime never needs to kill the king himself, and untold numbers wouldn’t have died.

He can say what he likes, but Tywin really does enjoy massacres, it seems

Edited by Canon Claude

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He had to prove his alliance. He was too late to ender the war and he needed something big to pay for this. What is bigger than sacking the capital and securing the Throne for the next King?

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One thing people seem to misunderstand is that a sack isn’t planned.

When you lay siege or attack a city, your soldiers will automatically look towards looting and raping. What motivates common man at arms to join an army is the possibility of finding loot.

It is a middle age army with very little discipline when compared to armies of today or the renaissance era.

Fact is that if Ned had to lay siege to kings landing, their would be an even bloodier sack of the city. That is because sieges are exhausting and will drive a common soldier to seek plunder. Once the gates are breached, commanders have no control over their soldiers because this is when men become beasts and all they seek is plunder and pleasure.

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16 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

One thing people seem to misunderstand is that a sack isn’t planned.

When you lay siege or attack a city, your soldiers will automatically look towards looting and raping. What motivates common man at arms to join an army is the possibility of finding loot.

It is a middle age army with very little discipline when compared to armies of today or the renaissance era.

Fact is that if Ned had to lay siege to kings landing, their would be an even bloodier sack of the city. That is because sieges are exhausting and will drive a common soldier to seek plunder. Once the gates are breached, commanders have no control over their soldiers because this is when men become beasts and all they seek is plunder and pleasure.

But Tywin was not laying seige to Kings Landing. The gates were opened to him very quickly and no battle was fought prior. Tywin's army did not breach any part of the city because there was no need for them to do so. 

The fact is that the only reason the sack took place is because Tywin encouraged it. His army's blood was not up; he simply told his commanders to go do some rape and plundering.

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1 minute ago, Nathan Stark said:

But Tywin was not laying seige to Kings Landing. The gates were opened to him very quickly and no battle was fought prior. Tywin's army did not breach any part of the city because there was no need for them to do so. 

The fact is that the only reason the sack took place is because Tywin encouraged it. His army's blood was not up; he simply told his commanders to go do some rape and plundering.

Dosent matter he still assaulted a city. You can’t peacefully take a city the way Tywin intended. It required lots of violence and that means their wouldve been fighting in the streets and the walls. You’d have houses full of money and valuables, lots of innocents that will be in the way.

At this point men are high on battle lust and only way to satisfy that lust is through more killing and raping.

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Posted (edited)

Tywin didn't have to sack King's Landing.

That's the problem.

If he wanted in on the Baratheon/Stark/Arryn/Tully shebang, all he had to do was get inside the Red Keep, have his soldiers quietly snatch control of the city from the City Watch, take the king into custody (which wouldn't have been hard) and then roll out the red carpet when Robert and friends arrived.

Edited by BlackLightning

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5 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

Dosent matter he still assaulted a city. You can’t peacefully take a city the way Tywin intended. It required lots of violence and that means their wouldve been fighting in the streets and the walls. You’d have houses full of money and valuables, lots of innocents that will be in the way.

At this point men are high on battle lust and only way to satisfy that lust is through more killing and raping.

Tywin's men were high on battle lust when there was no battle. The city opened its gates to Tywin. And no, Tywin didn't need to use "lots of violence" to take Kings Landing. He only needed to secure the Red Keep. Again, the city let his army enter peacefully. All that he needed to do was send men to take control of the Red Keep, which he did. The sack was an unnecessary war crime.

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Just now, Nathan Stark said:

Tywin's men were high on battle lust when there was no battle. The city opened its gates to Tywin. And no, Tywin didn't need to use "lots of violence" to take Kings Landing. He only needed to secure the Red Keep. Again, the city let his army enter peacefully. All that he needed to do was send men to take control of the Red Keep, which he did. 

Kings landing had a garrison several thousand strong. How will Tywin take the city peacefully? March up the red keep in good order, quickly seize the castle. But what about the thousands of soldiers down below in the city? What just negotiate with them once you corner yourself in the red keep.

Tywin needed to seize the city plain and simple. Their is no peaceful way of taking the city.

A good example is the Battle of Caen in 1346. Edward III led an english army into northern france. Once they arrived at Caen they noticed that the walls werent manned. This is because the garrison commanders quickly relocated the soldiers towards the bank of the river where all the wealthy merchants lived. This bank was defended by fortified positions on the bridges. Edwards army quickly seized the town, but at this point Edward and his commanders quickly lost control of the army. The army to throw themselves against the defenders whilst ignoring their commanders orders to regroup. Eventually the bank was secured and the English army proceeded to kill some fat rich merchants. It took days to bring some relevance of order into the army.

9 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

The sack was an unnecessary war crime.

Not considered a war crime during the middle ages and in asoiaf. 

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10 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

Tywin's men were high on battle lust when there was no battle. The city opened its gates to Tywin. And no, Tywin didn't need to use "lots of violence" to take Kings Landing. He only needed to secure the Red Keep. Again, the city let his army enter peacefully. All that he needed to do was send men to take control of the Red Keep, which he did. The sack was an unnecessary war crime.

Completely unnecessary.

And the horrific deaths of Princess Elia and her children make it even worst.

The way that the characters in the mummer's farce that was TV show reacted to Daniella's destruction of King's Landing is how Tywin (and Jaime) should've been treated and viewed after the Sack.

Because let's be honest: at least Daniella had the decency to commit such an atrocity out of blind rage. Tywin did it in cold blood out of pure spite and Jaime - as he idiotically decided not to say anything - is assumed to be a equally coldblooded accomplice.

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9 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

Completely unnecessary.

And the horrific deaths of Princess Elia and her children make it even worst.

The way that the characters in the mummer's farce that was TV show reacted to Daniella's destruction of King's Landing is how Tywin (and Jaime) should've been treated and viewed after the Sack.

Because let's be honest: at least Daniella had the decency to commit such an atrocity out of blind rage. Tywin did it in cold blood out of pure spite and Jaime - as he idiotically decided not to say anything - is assumed to be a equally coldblooded accomplice.

To be fair, Jaime did lose his reputation in both the books and the abomination.

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Just now, Canon Claude said:

To be fair, Jaime did lose his reputation in both the books and the abomination.

No. Lady Brianne lied when writing in the White Book by saying that Jaime died for his queen. She tried to save his reputation with a lie.

Speaking of Jaime's reputation....ha! Yet, for all that lost reputation, he's a Kingsguard knight at the beginning of the series who is able to take leave and command an army in flagrant defiance of the king's peace. Oh and then he became Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and went on to command more armies.

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6 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

No. Lady Brianne lied when writing in the White Book by saying that Jaime died for his queen. She tried to save his reputation with a lie.

Speaking of Jaime's reputation....ha! Yet, for all that lost reputation, he's a Kingsguard knight at the beginning of the series who is able to take leave and command an army in flagrant defiance of the king's peace. Oh and then he became Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and went on to command more armies.

Yeah, that part of AGOT makes little sense, but I can buy it given that Criston Cole set a precedent. And technically Jaime WAS marching in retaliation to Catelyn capturing his brother against the King’s Peace. Plus with Robert off on a hunt and Eddard imprisoned, who was going to stop him? 

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Posted (edited)

Why did Tywin have to sack the city? He didn't. He was just a bloodthirsty bastard.

Aerys had done him wrong with taking away his heir (naming Jaime to the Kingsguard) and potentially cuckolding him.

It was Tywin's way of giving a big middle finger to old Aerys and revenging himself.

Plus he got to ingratiate himself to Robert. Tywin knew which way the political winds were blowing.

Edited by Lord of Blackhaven

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Posted (edited)

I'd imagine they attacked as soon as they got enough men through the gate to overwhelm the defenders in that area. They'd have to micromanage thousands of men that know they're giving up on potential plunder all the way up to getting men into the Red Keep, then into Maegor's and around the king just adding layers and layers of complexity to the plan and this is assuming that Aerys wouldn't question why Tywin needs men in the Red Keep in the first place. The citadel is already garrisoned and a potential siege could mean days or weeks of fighting over the city walls so why would Tywin's men need to head there right away? Beyond that even if they got to the king that still doesn't mean fighting won't break out in the city (when there are literally thousands of royalists defending it) in which case the men would likely still plunder it. 

The reality is that when enemy cities are taken by storm they are plundered and even though they used subterfuge to overcome the outer wall they still stormed the city the same as they would a breach, Tywin's not going to come up with some convoluted plan to stop this when it's just the norm of the society they live in. 

Edited by Trigger Warning

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11 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

One thing people seem to misunderstand is that a sack isn’t planned.

When you lay siege or attack a city, your soldiers will automatically look towards looting and raping. What motivates common man at arms to join an army is the possibility of finding loot.

How many of Tywin´s soldiers knew they were certain to attack the city?

As far as Aerys and his men on the walls knew, Tywin´s army was coming as allies to defend a friendly city. Which meant no loot unless they could crush Eddard and loot Eddard´s camp - and Eddard´s army was the bigger and might retreat in good order even if repulsed.

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Posted (edited)

It was not an enemy city, as far as his soldiers knew, and it admitted his army peacefully.

The usual rule, up till 1945 or so, was that if the city’s commander rejected an offer of quarter, or made plain that they were uninterested in quarter, then you were entitled to sack the city if you took it.

Here, Tywin entered the city under the guise of being an ally, before turning his men loose on it.  So, that was a breach of the rules of war as they would have been understood in this world.  And, I imagine that spite was the main motivator. (Even someone as naive about war as Sansa, in ACOK, is able to distinguish between the two situations). Similar things were done in real life, but usually only if the defenders were deemed heretics, and thus beyond the rules of war (eg “Kill them all, for the Lord will know his own.”

I should add that the idea of out of control, drunken, soldiers going on the rampage was not the norm, although it did happen.  A sack was usually deliberate, and ordered from above.

Edited by SeanF

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

Completely unnecessary.

And the horrific deaths of Princess Elia and her children make it even worst.

The way that the characters in the mummer's farce that was TV show reacted to Daniella's destruction of King's Landing is how Tywin (and Jaime) should've been treated and viewed after the Sack.

Because let's be honest: at least Daniella had the decency to commit such an atrocity out of blind rage. Tywin did it in cold blood out of pure spite and Jaime - as he idiotically decided not to say anything - is assumed to be a equally coldblooded accomplice.

In fact, the sack of Kings Landing in the show was entirely in accordance with the laws of war.  Cersei was offered quarter, and responded by executing a prominent prisoner.  You can imagine how Henry V, say, or Caesar would have responded.  It’s another example of the two D’s ignoring the rules of this world (“I’ve never known bells to mean surrender”) to get to the end they wanted.

Edited by SeanF

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11 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

Tywin needed to seize the city plain and simple. Their is no peaceful way of taking the city.

 

False, because the city has already opened its gates. It doesn't get more peaceful than that.

The fault lies with their commander: Tywin Lannister. 

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Raping, booty, stolen goods, are ways a commander can reward his soldiers.  The northern forces would have done the same thing, though to a much lesser extent because Ned would have disapproved.  The Unsullied are guaranteed to not do this.  If your city is going to get taken, you had better hope it is by The Unsullied.  

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1 hour ago, Rondo said:

The northern forces would have done the same thing, though to a much lesser extent because Ned would have disapproved.

If my aunt had wheels instead of legs she would be a bicycle.

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