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Kolx

What if Tywin never sacked KL

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Let’s say for whatever reason, Tywin can’t get to KL in time and instead Ned reaches it first. What would have happened? 
I guess Aerys would still have wanted to blow up the city and Jaime would still have killed him. But what would have happened with Elia and the targaryen princes? What would Tywin do in order to join Robert or would he change his mind and go for Viserys?

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When Tywin sacked King's Landing, he did it to ingratiate himself to the rebels' side in order to give his own house an advantage in the new regime. So if Tywin isn't going to sack King's Landing, it means that he's going to attack the rebels. Admittedly, doing so right after the Battle of the Trident would be a good time to do so, considering that many of them were dead or wounded, including Robert himself. That leads to a second battle against Tywin's attack; depending on the numbers involved, I'm not sure how it would go, but presumably Tywin would have a great chance. With Rhaegar dead, that also means Tywin has indirectly solved a problem for Aerys, since, from his perspective, he no longer has to worry about his trouble-making heir stealing more lords' daughters and possibly planning Aerys' overthrow.

I'm honestly kind of surprised that Tywin didn't consider this, because it means he would have likely crushed the rebellion, gone to King's Landing with the heads of the traitors, and offer his sympathies that Prince Rhaegar died bravely in battle with the foe, and maybe even asked his father to forgive him one last time (who's going to be able to refute it? Aerys certainly won't question it). Tywin then uses that leverage to betrothe Cersei to Viserys, ideally before Daenerys is born. 

 

But I'll entertain the idea of Tywin sitting in Casterly Rock, doing nothing as the rebels storm the capital where his eldest son is busy guarding the Mad King. 

The rebels would be led by Ned Stark, and presumably there would be a fair amount of them since they're riding to besiege the city. The Mad King wouldn't just let them come in, so there would be a siege. Ned's not one for serious risks, so rather than just charge straight into assaults, he'd probably establish a proper siege first while waiting for the others to recover from their wounds. The Tyrell army would be a big factor, though. Would they march to King's Landing and try to defend it? The city isn't invincible, but the longer the siege goes on, the more pressure is put on Mace Tyrell to act in defence of his king. They probably leave Storm's End besieged by a token force, and what likely happens is that the rebels get defeated by the Reach. And that means Mace Tyrell gets all the credit for saving House Targaryen. If he doesn't push another incest marriage, Viserys and/or Daenerys probably get spouses from the Reach.

 

The truth is, Tywin doing nothing was literally the worst thing he could have done, especially if Aerys won. He needed to ingratiate himself to one side or the other in order to maintain the sort of influence that he values more than some of his own children. 

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1 hour ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

When Tywin sacked King's Landing, he did it to ingratiate himself to the rebels' side in order to give his own house an advantage in the new regime. So if Tywin isn't going to sack King's Landing, it means that he's going to attack the rebels. Admittedly, doing so right after the Battle of the Trident would be a good time to do so, considering that many of them were dead or wounded, including Robert himself. That leads to a second battle against Tywin's attack; depending on the numbers involved, I'm not sure how it would go, but presumably Tywin would have a great chance. With Rhaegar dead, that also means Tywin has indirectly solved a problem for Aerys, since, from his perspective, he no longer has to worry about his trouble-making heir stealing more lords' daughters and possibly planning Aerys' overthrow.

I'm honestly kind of surprised that Tywin didn't consider this, because it means he would have likely crushed the rebellion, gone to King's Landing with the heads of the traitors, and offer his sympathies that Prince Rhaegar died bravely in battle with the foe, and maybe even asked his father to forgive him one last time (who's going to be able to refute it? Aerys certainly won't question it). Tywin then uses that leverage to betrothe Cersei to Viserys, ideally before Daenerys is born. 

 

But I'll entertain the idea of Tywin sitting in Casterly Rock, doing nothing as the rebels storm the capital where his eldest son is busy guarding the Mad King. 

The rebels would be led by Ned Stark, and presumably there would be a fair amount of them since they're riding to besiege the city. The Mad King wouldn't just let them come in, so there would be a siege. Ned's not one for serious risks, so rather than just charge straight into assaults, he'd probably establish a proper siege first while waiting for the others to recover from their wounds. The Tyrell army would be a big factor, though. Would they march to King's Landing and try to defend it? The city isn't invincible, but the longer the siege goes on, the more pressure is put on Mace Tyrell to act in defence of his king. They probably leave Storm's End besieged by a token force, and what likely happens is that the rebels get defeated by the Reach. And that means Mace Tyrell gets all the credit for saving House Targaryen. If he doesn't push another incest marriage, Viserys and/or Daenerys probably get spouses from the Reach.

 

The truth is, Tywin doing nothing was literally the worst thing he could have done, especially if Aerys won. He needed to ingratiate himself to one side or the other in order to maintain the sort of influence that he values more than some of his own children. 

Well thought out answer.

In truth and all honesty, I don’t think Tywin was ever going to support Aerys publicly again. Jamie’s appointment to the Kingsguard was the final straw in a series of slights over many years. He was either going to bide his time quietly or join the fray when the odds were overwhelmingly in favor of picking a side (which happened after the Trident).

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On 4/23/2021 at 8:32 PM, Floki of the Ironborn said:

When Tywin sacked King's Landing, he did it to ingratiate himself to the rebels' side in order to give his own house an advantage in the new regime. So if Tywin isn't going to sack King's Landing, it means that he's going to attack the rebels. Admittedly, doing so right after the Battle of the Trident would be a good time to do so, considering that many of them were dead or wounded, including Robert himself. That leads to a second battle against Tywin's attack; depending on the numbers involved, I'm not sure how it would go, but presumably Tywin would have a great chance. With Rhaegar dead, that also means Tywin has indirectly solved a problem for Aerys, since, from his perspective, he no longer has to worry about his trouble-making heir stealing more lords' daughters and possibly planning Aerys' overthrow.

I'm honestly kind of surprised that Tywin didn't consider this, because it means he would have likely crushed the rebellion, gone to King's Landing with the heads of the traitors, and offer his sympathies that Prince Rhaegar died bravely in battle with the foe, and maybe even asked his father to forgive him one last time (who's going to be able to refute it? Aerys certainly won't question it). Tywin then uses that leverage to betrothe Cersei to Viserys, ideally before Daenerys is born. 

 

But I'll entertain the idea of Tywin sitting in Casterly Rock, doing nothing as the rebels storm the capital where his eldest son is busy guarding the Mad King. 

The rebels would be led by Ned Stark, and presumably there would be a fair amount of them since they're riding to besiege the city. The Mad King wouldn't just let them come in, so there would be a siege. Ned's not one for serious risks, so rather than just charge straight into assaults, he'd probably establish a proper siege first while waiting for the others to recover from their wounds. The Tyrell army would be a big factor, though. Would they march to King's Landing and try to defend it? The city isn't invincible, but the longer the siege goes on, the more pressure is put on Mace Tyrell to act in defence of his king. They probably leave Storm's End besieged by a token force, and what likely happens is that the rebels get defeated by the Reach. And that means Mace Tyrell gets all the credit for saving House Targaryen. If he doesn't push another incest marriage, Viserys and/or Daenerys probably get spouses from the Reach.

 

The truth is, Tywin doing nothing was literally the worst thing he could have done, especially if Aerys won. He needed to ingratiate himself to one side or the other in order to maintain the sort of influence that he values more than some of his own children. 

The problem with either of those approaches is that they would have left Jaime in the KG and given Tyrion a real shot at inheriting Casterly Rock someday. By siding with the rebs, he at least has a chance to get Jaime dismissed so he could become heir. 

And I don't think the sack was about ingratiating himself to Robert as much as it was about getting Jaime out of the Red Keep alive. Tywin can't openly defy Aerys as long as he has Jaime, and he can't launch an attack on the keep from the walls of the city. So he instigated the sack in order to get his men close enough to the keep, under the guise of putting down the rioters, so that when he finally does attack he can get men like Westerling and Crakehall up over the walls and to Jaime's side before Aerys has him killed.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The problem with either of those approaches is that they would have left Jaime in the KG and given Tyrion a real shot at inheriting Casterly Rock someday. By siding with the rebs, he at least has a chance to get Jaime dismissed so he could become heir. 

And I don't think the sack was about ingratiating himself to Robert as much as it was about getting Jaime out of the Red Keep alive. Tywin can't openly defy Aerys as long as he has Jaime, and he can't launch an attack on the keep from the walls of the city. So he instigated the sack in order to get his men close enough to the keep, under the guise of putting down the rioters, so that when he finally does attack he can get men like Westerling and Crakehall up over the walls and to Jaime's side before Aerys has him killed.

Well, Tywin's official reason was ingratiating, as he said to Tyrion. So he could have been in denial, or he was lying, but it's tough to say for sure. 

But leaving Jaime in King's Landing isn't a problem if Tywin goes and kills the rebels after their battle of the Trident (or if they joined Rhaegar's host in time to join him at the Trident). Jaime's life wouldn't be in danger then, and Tywin could either ingratiate himself to Rhaegar, if he survives the battle, or Aerys if Rhaegar still dies. He'd be the loyal bannerman who could ask a reward, or win high office once again, and maybe he can be disposed of like Baelor the Blessed so that Viserys' regency begins.

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn

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11 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Well, Tywin's official reason was ingratiating, as he said to Tyrion. So he could have been in denial, or he was lying, but it's tough to say for sure. 

But leaving Jaime in King's Landing isn't a problem if Tywin goes and kills the rebels after their battle of the Trident (or if they joined Rhaegar's host in time to join him at the Trident). Jaime's life wouldn't be in danger then, and Tywin could either ingratiate himself to Rhaegar, if he survives the battle, or Aerys if Rhaegar still dies. He'd be the loyal bannerman who could ask a reward, or win high office once again, and maybe he can be disposed of like Baelor the Blessed so that Viserys' regency begins.

I think he said presenting the bodies of the children showed that he had committed to Robert, not sacking the city. In his conversation with Tyrion, he did say that Jaime was his top concern at that point.

Yes, if Tywin had destroyed the rebel army after the Trident, Jaime's life would not be in danger, but he would remain on the KG, ineligible to inherit CR, which is what Tywin wants. If Aerys remains king, he isn't likely to release Jaime because he still needs some way to ensure Tywin's trust. Maybe if Rhaegar became king, but by the time of the sack Rhaegar was dead.

And if you look at it from either the rebel or loyalist perspective at the Trident, Tywin's presence would not have been welcome. If he were to suddenly show up saying he's on your side, would you trust him? Where would you put his army? In the van? a flank? the rear? How could you be sure this is not some trick and the moment the battle is joined he wheels around and attacks you?

I don't think Tywin could have played it any other way, and he executed it near perfectly. The only cockup was not getting Jaime out of the RK as quickly as possible and then making up some story about how he was overpowered and nearly killed defending Aerys, who then flung himself out of a tower or something.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

The only cockup was not getting Jaime out of the RK as quickly as possible and then making up some story about how he was overpowered and nearly killed defending Aerys, who then flung himself out of a tower or something.

There's no way anyone could have prepared for that. Nobody knew about the caches of wild fire hidden across the city, or the fact that the Mad King would be mad enough to want to use them against everyone, including himself. And nobody could have foreseen that Jaime would actually kill his own king and sacrifice his honour and reputation to save all those people.

And I never defend Tywin Lannister, either.

Edited by James Steller

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On 4/26/2021 at 12:35 PM, James Steller said:

There's no way anyone could have prepared for that. Nobody knew about the caches of wild fire hidden across the city, or the fact that the Mad King would be mad enough to want to use them against everyone, including himself. And nobody could have foreseen that Jaime would actually kill his own king and sacrifice his honour and reputation to save all those people.

And I never defend Tywin Lannister, either.

It's got nothing to do with the wildfire. It's about getting Jaime out of the Red Keep before Aerys kills him or Jaime kills Aerys while at the same time providing a cover story for why Jaime didn't fulfill his vow as a kingsguard by giving his life for his king.

I'll bet both Westerling and Crakehall got an earful from Tywin afterward about not hustling Jaime out of the throneroom pronto.

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Well going off the scenario the OP presents, if the rebel host under Ned reaches the city first it likely would turn into a siege. He wouldn't be able to get into the city via trickery like Tywin and I don't see Ned having the stomach to order a bloody assault.  

From this point there are a lot of variables. 

Would Aerys go ahead with the wildfire plot if the city was besieged?

Would Mace Tyrell break the siege of Storm's End and risk a direct battle against the rebel host?

What would Tywin do if he got to King's Landing already under siege by the rebels?

So this is my take. I think the Tyrells will continue to be a nonfactor. Mace didn't abandon the siege of Storm's End after the Trident, I don't think he would in this scenario either. Not his style to risk his house's lives and assets on a very uncertain campaign. He'll stay on the side lines and either claim to have helped the winning side and want reward for that, or just dip his banners and call it a day without losing anything. Don't see that changing.

After the rebel host surrounds the city, Aerys will command Jaime to bring him the rebel Ned Stark's head. Jaime has no problem obeying this command since it's not his father's head, and he'll be on the battlements of the city ready to meet the attack. Ned will probably take a day or so to organize and deploy his forces and come up with a plan of attack. I could see him doing something like a series of feints to spread the defenders out along the battlements before his main assault falls at a chosen point to break through. But that will take time because he'll need to build siege equipment. 

By this time, Tywin's host arrives on the horizon. Even as Tywin is sorting out his plan as Stark beat him to King's Landing, Aerys sees the Lannister force seemingly joining the rebels and snaps and orders the wildfire caches lit. Since Jaime's on the battlements, the order gets carried out and the city is destroyed. The Mad King, Ellia and the children along with most of the city's population are burned alive. It's possible Jaime and some of the defenders on the walls manage to escape being on the periphery of it, but maybe they don't as well. No telling how explosive all that wild fire would be, it could even take out the besieging rebel army. 

Tywin doesn't hesitate and immediately attacks the rebel army from the rear even as he's agonizing over the fate of his son, since he wouldn't know one way or another if he lived or not yet. The opportunity is obvious even through his grief, he can crush the rebels here and now, and be regent to Viserys. Ned's army doesn't stand a chance being spread out and taken from the rear and is destroyed. He'd follow up by destroying the remnants of the rebel host that couldn't make the march from the Trident and presumably killing Robert as well. 

Tywin might even spin the burning of King's Landing as a dastardly ploy by the rebels. Regardless he is in control, the Tyrells probably will follow his lead from this point on and Storm's in finally falls since there's no relief coming. Tywin declares himself regent and engages Cersei to Viserys. This would of course leave to question where the seat of power would be. A rebuilt king's landing? Aerys vision of a city on the other side of the Trident coming true? A central location like Harrenhall? Casterly Rock? Regardless, even as Tywin consolidates his power, there's going to be three legendary kingsguards with a Targaryen child of their own. 

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11 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Well going off the scenario the OP presents, if the rebel host under Ned reaches the city first it likely would turn into a siege. He wouldn't be able to get into the city via trickery like Tywin and I don't see Ned having the stomach to order a bloody assault.  

From this point there are a lot of variables. 

Would Aerys go ahead with the wildfire plot if the city was besieged?

Would Mace Tyrell break the siege of Storm's End and risk a direct battle against the rebel host?

What would Tywin do if he got to King's Landing already under siege by the rebels?

So this is my take. I think the Tyrells will continue to be a nonfactor. Mace didn't abandon the siege of Storm's End after the Trident, I don't think he would in this scenario either. Not his style to risk his house's lives and assets on a very uncertain campaign. He'll stay on the side lines and either claim to have helped the winning side and want reward for that, or just dip his banners and call it a day without losing anything. Don't see that changing.

After the rebel host surrounds the city, Aerys will command Jaime to bring him the rebel Ned Stark's head. Jaime has no problem obeying this command since it's not his father's head, and he'll be on the battlements of the city ready to meet the attack. Ned will probably take a day or so to organize and deploy his forces and come up with a plan of attack. I could see him doing something like a series of feints to spread the defenders out along the battlements before his main assault falls at a chosen point to break through. But that will take time because he'll need to build siege equipment. 

By this time, Tywin's host arrives on the horizon. Even as Tywin is sorting out his plan as Stark beat him to King's Landing, Aerys sees the Lannister force seemingly joining the rebels and snaps and orders the wildfire caches lit. Since Jaime's on the battlements, the order gets carried out and the city is destroyed. The Mad King, Ellia and the children along with most of the city's population are burned alive. It's possible Jaime and some of the defenders on the walls manage to escape being on the periphery of it, but maybe they don't as well. No telling how explosive all that wild fire would be, it could even take out the besieging rebel army. 

Tywin doesn't hesitate and immediately attacks the rebel army from the rear even as he's agonizing over the fate of his son, since he wouldn't know one way or another if he lived or not yet. The opportunity is obvious even through his grief, he can crush the rebels here and now, and be regent to Viserys. Ned's army doesn't stand a chance being spread out and taken from the rear and is destroyed. He'd follow up by destroying the remnants of the rebel host that couldn't make the march from the Trident and presumably killing Robert as well. 

Tywin might even spin the burning of King's Landing as a dastardly ploy by the rebels. Regardless he is in control, the Tyrells probably will follow his lead from this point on and Storm's in finally falls since there's no relief coming. Tywin declares himself regent and engages Cersei to Viserys. This would of course leave to question where the seat of power would be. A rebuilt king's landing? Aerys vision of a city on the other side of the Trident coming true? A central location like Harrenhall? Casterly Rock? Regardless, even as Tywin consolidates his power, there's going to be three legendary kingsguards with a Targaryen child of their own. 

Personally, I think Floki’s scenario is more likely. Mace Tyrell is cautious, but I think if he learned that the depleted rebel forces were trying to encircle and besiege King’s Landing, that would give him with a golden opportunity to smash them and earn a great reward for his troubles. He’s cautious and risk averse, but he’s also ambitious, and that scenario is too good to ignore. Tywin probably knew that too, honestly, that’s why he acted so quickly and definitively after the rebels defeated Rhaegar. Part of it was to save Jaime, sure, but the other part was to seize the opportunity that Mace would likely have seized if King’s Landing hadn’t fallen so abruptly. 

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11 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

Personally, I think Floki’s scenario is more likely. Mace Tyrell is cautious, but I think if he learned that the depleted rebel forces were trying to encircle and besiege King’s Landing, that would give him with a golden opportunity to smash them and earn a great reward for his troubles. He’s cautious and risk averse, but he’s also ambitious, and that scenario is too good to ignore. Tywin probably knew that too, honestly, that’s why he acted so quickly and definitively after the rebels defeated Rhaegar. Part of it was to save Jaime, sure, but the other part was to seize the opportunity that Mace would likely have seized if King’s Landing hadn’t fallen so abruptly. 

It may well be, I just chose to respond to the OP's scenario with how I thought it would go. Not if Tywin did something else completely, which is a scenario worth discussing on it's own. I agree with you that Mace was ambitious and would even say he's smarter than people give him credit for, but that's another discussion entirely. In the novels Mace was still besieging Storm's End when Ned relieved it well after the sack of King's Landing. Presumably he had to get word of the crown's defeat at the Trident, and he didn't act on it at all and continued the siege of Storm's End. So both the Lannister and rebel armies would've arrived at King's Landing before Mace even decided to do something one way or another. He may well have decided to relieve King's Landing if the rebel forces were drawn into a lengthy siege and the Lannister forces stayed at home, but that wasn't the scenario asked about.

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On 4/25/2021 at 11:28 PM, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Well, Tywin's official reason was ingratiating, as he said to Tyrion. So he could have been in denial, or he was lying, but it's tough to say for sure. 

But leaving Jaime in King's Landing isn't a problem if Tywin goes and kills the rebels after their battle of the Trident (or if they joined Rhaegar's host in time to join him at the Trident). Jaime's life wouldn't be in danger then, and Tywin could either ingratiate himself to Rhaegar, if he survives the battle, or Aerys if Rhaegar still dies. He'd be the loyal bannerman who could ask a reward, or win high office once again, and maybe he can be disposed of like Baelor the Blessed so that Viserys' regency begins.

Wouldn't be in danger?

 

Mad king is off his tits mad. No, there is no scenario where leaving Jaime around the king would be acceptable. Tywin is going to just let the kingdom run itself into the ground around a mad king and then side with the next rebel, if the rebellion fails.

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Jaime would still have killed Aerys, as he'd have been plotting to destroy the city using wildfire regardless of whether it was Ned or Tywin arriving. Ned might not have instructed his men to ravage the city, but there's no such thing as a peaceful sacking of a city, and it would still have been carnage. The difference for Jaime is he'd have been thrown into the black cells by Ned for regicide if Tywin wasn't there to protect him. At that point I don't think even a proposed marriage to Cersei can allow Jaime to remain in the Kingsguard. Tywin either somehow negotiates Jaime's pardon and gets his heir back, or Jon Arryn convinces Robert to send Jaime to The Wall.

If Ned reaches King's Landing before Tyson, Elia and her children are spared. They'd have been taken into Ned's protection if he had any reason to suspect Robert would have done them harm, though I don't think Robert actually would have tried to execute them. He'd have bellowed about it, but hes not yet the embittered man we meet in Game of Thrones. But if there was talk about them being executed then it's something I imagine they quarrel about - they did quarrel about what actually happened to Elia & her children after all - but Jon Arryn would also be unlikely to advocate killing children. Elia would return to Dorne, though her children may have been fostered with Robert's allies similar to how Theon Greyjoy was after Balon's failed rebellion.

The relationship between Ned and Robert is somewhat strained by the opening of ASOIAF, though they still have great affection for one another. Given Elia and her children likely aren't going to be slaughtered, I don't think Ned storms out of King's Landing in quite the same fashion.

The biggest domino effect is on House Targaryen. Do the loyalists still flee with Aerys's surviving children to Essos if their nephew and niece haven't been so brutally murdered? I think they probably do, though there's always a chance that changes things. Even if Viserys and Daenerys still end up in Essos with Ser Willem Darry, Targaryen loyalists are less likely to withhold any sort of aid. One of the biggest deterrents was what happened to Rhaegar's wife & children, and the brutality of it. It wasn't just Tywin ingratiating himself to Robert - it was a message to any of the loyalists who may otherwise have considered raising their banners for Viserys. If Tywin, and by association Robert, could so brutality dispatch royalty, what would they do to those who still openly opposed them? With that removed and four potential Targaryen heirs around, and with ties to Dorne, there's definitely potential for a Targaryen restoration.

On the other hand, Elia isn't brutally raped and murdered. Her children are alive and, presumably, treated well by whichever lord has been entrusted with them. Do Doran and Oberyn have any appetite for revenge in this scenario, and even if so would they risk it knowing her children are essentially hostages in case of such an uprising?

What about Jon Snow? The murder of Elia's children is likely the reason Ned keeps his parentage secret, but I don't see that changing even if they're alive. Ned would likely feel guilty over depriving Jon of ever knowing them, but he'd still keep his promise and Jon would still be raised as his bastard.

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