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Was Renly plotting to kill Joff and Tommen prior to Robert's Death?

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2 hours ago, namfoodle said:

By “him” in the context of Cersei wanting him dead you mean Robert?

No I mean Renly. He tells Ned the Lannisters are more or less going to kill him and confirms it again to Catelyn.

2 hours ago, namfoodle said:

You may have something there about Renly not mentioning the twincest to Catelyn. Though in the text of the encounter it looks to me that Renly was warming up his main argument justifying breaking the rule of succession. Enjoining to set aside Cersei’s children on the grounds that they are not legitimate successors in the same breath might not be helpful to his case. And news of Stannis interrupted the conversation before Renly could marshal any secondary arguments.

And it is true, on the bridge Renly could have mentioned the twincest to Ned rather than arguing “the man who holds the king holds the kingdom”. Although in the context of the brief discussion I wonder if that information would have been helpful. He is trying to convince Ned to act quickly to secure hostages because he knows that the transfer of power will not be peaceful. His argument to Ned is that taking hostages will ensure a peaceful transfer of power and elevate Ned to Lord Protector. Mentioning the twincest, that the hostages are illegitimate and have no actual value, in the same breath tends to undermine and distract from that argument.

In any case Renly did not have time for the effort of convincing Ned of the twincest. Renly would not expect Ned (or Catelyn) take him at his word. There would be time enough to present the case for twincest to Ned after they were safely away from the city with the security of hostages. When Ned demurs Renly does not waste time pressing is case further. Rather he flees the city to gather his forces for the coming internecine war.

So, yes, I agree that Renly has reason to mention the twincest to both Ned and Catelyn but I’m not certain that he would have led with that information. And in each case the discussion does not last long.

I am skeptical about Renly's family loyalty as well. Renly was ready to kill Stannis despite the rule of succession and despite being his brother. It seems to me, and you may not agree, that Renly considered the rule of succession and family loyalty at some earlier time and rejected both for largely self-interested reasons.

I don't really know why there is reason to suspect Renly's family loyalty. He remained at court to continue ruling and went north to meet Robert on his way south at a time when he felt the Lannisters were dangerous. Stannis ran away due to the same fear of the Lannisters, started raising an army and navy while robert was alive, and went completely incommunicado until after Renly fled KL and crowned himself for survival. Then he attacks Renly's castle without provocation.

There is certainly a large amount of self preservation in Renly's activities but there's not much evidence to doubt his family loyalty. You and I align on that.

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5 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

I'm mostly on board with this, save for a few points.

I don't see why Olenna would want to, or need to, involve Petyr in any of this, nor is there any reason for Petyr to go along with this if asked. Whether Stannis or Renly ascends the throne, Petyr is like out as MoC. The only way he keeps his job is if the crown passes to Joffrey, thus his proposal to Ned to support Joffrey for the time being.

And if this whole thing was Olenna's plan, then the goal would not be to make Renly king, but to make Margaery queen. Renly would go along with it simply to rid the capital of Cersei and her children. King Renly only became the plan after Robert died and Ned refused to move against Cersei right away. And even then, the goal for Olenna was not to make Renly king but Margaery queen. That's been her goal since Margy took her first breath. It's why they named her Margaery, with the backward ae digraph that is so common in Targaryen names and lends her an air of regality. And if you look at Mace's children, you'll see there is a five-year or more gap between Garlan and Loras, who was born in the year following Rhaegar's marriage to Elia, and then Margaery a year after that -- perfect matches for the new royal princes and princesses that were bound to arrive shortly. That was also a facet of medieval life: the king or crown prince would marry, and there would be a sudden baby boom among the nobility.

The other thing is maybe they would expect Jaime to defend his sister against these accusation, but I'm not so sure he would. He doesn't want power and influence like Cersei does. He just wants her, alone, somewhere. He doesn't even care if they lose Casterly Rock or all their titles and everything else. All he needs is her and her sword. So when confronted with these accusations, he might very well just admit the whole thing, then she and him and their children are exiled together and he gets everything he wants.

Reading this I guess there are some assumptions at work that I do not understand or I have not been clear enough. I’m sorry about that and I’ll see what I can do to try to clear up a couple of points.

 

It is true that when the new monarch ascends the members of the council all must break their wands. That new monarch might request some of the old council’s members to return to their posts. But more likely choose new councilors.  I do not imagine that retaining the position of Master of Coin is important to Petyr.

 

Olenna’s project, it seems to me, is to make Margaery queen and gain influence and power for House Tyrrell. Margaery is a skilled manipulator and can use her influence with the king (whomever the king is) to position Tyrrells on the small council, or position their agents in other royal government functions. So, the goal was never specifically to make Renly king. Rather in the context of the story Renly was the horse that was chosen. Joffrey and the rest of the Baratheon children are not good choices as the expectation is that they will be found illegitimate and disinherited. Stannis is not likely to set aside his present wife for Margaery, so he is not a good choice.  

 

For Olenna’s project, it really does not matter who is king. The plan can work with any king willing to take the bait. And in fact, they do improvise. When their chosen horse (Renly) dies, they chose another horse (Joffrey).  

 

About Jamie, no one needs to specifically expect Jamie to act brashly.  I do think that they anticipate that Tywin will see the move to discredit Cersei as a threat to House Lannister itself and respond. The problem of setting aside the queen at is a key element in the Plantagenet and Capetian histories so I think it should be expected in the context of the story. Even without that history and just from the story ambitious Tywin is not likely to let the power and influence of his house just slip away.  

 

Still, I think it is not going out very far on a limb to suppose that passionate Jamie would act brashly to defend his sister.  That is why I phrased it the way that I did, as a speculation. Part of why I suppose this is that on this particular matter I do not suppose that a Queen Consort found guilty of twincest would be allowed the option of exile (as you suggest) or some other non-lethal punishment such perpetual house arrest (Isabela of France) or taking up life as a nun (Eleanor of Aquitaine).  I speculate that if found guilty of twincest Cersei would been in for it like Anne Boleyn or maybe even Guinevere, and require a dramatic rescue.  However, all of this is speculative and not central to the theory.

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19 hours ago, Minsc said:

Cersei is plenty stupid at times.  Furthermore, one of her biggest tools into trying to manipulate/win over people is her seduction skills as one of the most beautiful women in the realm.  Only unfortunately for her that tool doesn't work on either of Robert's brothers.  What with Stannis being sexually repressed and Renly being gay.  Nor if instead of Renly or Stannis that Robert's brothers had been more Edmure and Theon than it is possible that she would have been able to win them over more. 

Yes, but you have to keep in mind that Renly was still a very young child when his brother took the throne and married Cersei. Cersei wouldn't have to seduce or hit on young Renly to win his trust or affection. She could have been even kind of a surrogate mother figure for him, just as Robert - as his much older brother - in a sense took over as his father after Steffon's early death.

There is just not any explanation/elaboration as to why Cersei and Renly didn't get along. Especially not to the point where Renly thinks the Lannisters might kill him if they were to run Joffrey's regency government.

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19 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yes, but you have to keep in mind that Renly was still a very young child when his brother took the throne and married Cersei. Cersei wouldn't have to seduce or hit on young Renly to win his trust or affection. She could have been even kind of a surrogate mother figure for him, just as Robert - as his much older brother - in a sense took over as his father after Steffon's early death.

There is just not any explanation/elaboration as to why Cersei and Renly didn't get along. Especially not to the point where Renly thinks the Lannisters might kill him if they were to run Joffrey's regency government.

I doubt Renly spent enough time at court in his youth for them to establish that kind of relationship. 

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24 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yes, but you have to keep in mind that Renly was still a very young child when his brother took the throne and married Cersei. Cersei wouldn't have to seduce or hit on young Renly to win his trust or affection. She could have been even kind of a surrogate mother figure for him, just as Robert - as his much older brother - in a sense took over as his father after Steffon's early death.

There is just not any explanation/elaboration as to why Cersei and Renly didn't get along. Especially not to the point where Renly thinks the Lannisters might kill him if they were to run Joffrey's regency government.

Cersei isn't even all that maternal to her own children, i.e Myrcella and Tommen.  Moreover, if Renly spent his time at Storm's End I doubt Cersei visited all that often besides the first few years of her marriage.  Robert at least had the first six years before he became king to act more closer to Renly.  Yet, I don't even think Renly saw him as a parental figure.

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4 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

No I mean Renly. He tells Ned the Lannisters are more or less going to kill him and confirms it again to Catelyn.

I don't really know why there is reason to suspect Renly's family loyalty. He remained at court to continue ruling and went north to meet Robert on his way south at a time when he felt the Lannisters were dangerous. Stannis ran away due to the same fear of the Lannisters, started raising an army and navy while robert was alive, and went completely incommunicado until after Renly fled KL and crowned himself for survival. Then he attacks Renly's castle without provocation.

There is certainly a large amount of self preservation in Renly's activities but there's not much evidence to doubt his family loyalty. You and I align on that.

I guess I just read it entirely differently. I am skeptical about Renly’s family loyalty and I suppose both Stannis and Renly were consolidating their forces well in advance of Robert’s death.  They are not kings who can simply call their sworn banners.  I do not see how they would have been able to assemble forces to support their claims on short notice. They’d have to be building alliances with fellow lords well in advance, convincing each lord that your interests lay with my pretense to the throne, rather than with another pretender.

 

Historically it takes a great deal of politicking to convince the lot of barons (of France or England) to agree on anything, much less to agree on rebellion against the crown.  The barons did unite against the crown in the case if immensely unpopular Plantagenet kings John and Edward II, for example, but not until they had been alienated.  I can see Joffrey going the way of Edward, but not before the start of his reign, not before he had some time to alienate everyone.

 

So, I suppose Stannis had been preparing to press his claim the moment of Robert’s death, because it is his right and duty to do so, Robert’s children being illegitimate.  Is he afraid of the Lannisters, that is not the word I would use. Rather Stannis is aware that the Lannisters are formidable opponents and that he is in for a real fight.

 

Did Stannis attack Renly without cause? Well Stannis makes his case to Renly and expresses anger at Renly’s rejection of what is (to Stannis) the plain demand of the rule of succession. The king died without legitimate issue; the crown goes to the king’s oldest brother.

 

For Renly’s part it seems to me that he is without regard for family relations. He might well have let Stannis sit out the internecine war. But as Stannis has interposed himself Renly is ready to kill him. Having the greater host, he has every reason to anticipate that the result of the battle will be the death of Stannis.

 

It is painful to read Catelyn as the only party to the parley with a lick of sense.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

No I mean Renly. He tells Ned the Lannisters are more or less going to kill him and confirms it again to Catelyn.

I don't really know why there is reason to suspect Renly's family loyalty. He remained at court to continue ruling and went north to meet Robert on his way south at a time when he felt the Lannisters were dangerous. Stannis ran away due to the same fear of the Lannisters, started raising an army and navy while robert was alive, and went completely incommunicado until after Renly fled KL and crowned himself for survival. Then he attacks Renly's castle without provocation.

There is certainly a large amount of self preservation in Renly's activities but there's not much evidence to doubt his family loyalty. You and I align on that.

With Renly, we unfortunately have no clue when exactly he started to think he could or should be king. The original Margaery plan was simply a plan to replace Cersei with Margaery. Back then Renly didn't aim at the throne, but we don't really know what his ultimate goal was when he offered to help Ned to take Cersei and her children into custody.

Was this just an attempt to control Joffrey's regency government together with Ned? Or was it supposed to be his first step to set himself up as the next king in a Richard III-like fashion? First control the person of the next king and then ensure he his never crowned? We don't know.

Renly claims he only proclaimed himself king 'in self-defense', indicating that this possibility came only up after he fled from KL, but unfortunately we have no idea whether he truly believed this or whether that's just part of his later propaganda effort to appear non-threatening and nice.

The fact that he never tried to form an alliance with Stannis to work against the Lannisters kind of implies that his own personal ambition played the decisive role there. After all, the Lannisters were pretty much no threat to Renly around the time he crowned himself. He was a great lord in his own right and he had very close ties to the Tyrells, making him pretty much inviolable. He could offer his support to either Cersei/Tywin or the Starks and their allies and either side would agree to whatever terms he offered considering that both sides were already embroiled in an escalating conflict.

14 minutes ago, Trigger Warning said:

I doubt Renly spent enough time at court in his youth for them to establish that kind of relationship. 

I don't expect this would have happened, either, but if they spend much time apart then their personal relationship shouldn't have been that bad, either - neutral, say.

Bottom line is that the novels don't really explain why Cersei and Renly don't get along. There isn't even any textual basis for the assumption that Cersei may have wanted Storm's End for one of her children - while we do have Stannis complaining about not getting Storm's End in the books, we never hear Cersei complaining about Renly and Stannis getting Storm's End and Dragonstone, respectively.

It makes sense to assume she wouldn't have liked this, but the decision may have been made before Robert and Cersei married ... or at least before Cersei had produced any children.

10 minutes ago, Minsc said:

Cersei isn't even all that maternal to her own children, i.e Myrcella and Tommen.  Moreover, if Renly spent his time at Storm's End I doubt Cersei visited all that often besides the first few years of her marriage.  Robert at least had the first six years before he became king to act more closer to Renly.  Yet, I don't even think Renly saw him as a parental figure.

We do have some textual evidence that Renly spent some times as a knight/adult at Storm's End since that's where Loras and Renly's favorite place was and Loras squired at Storm's End and not KL.

However, we have no idea where little Renly was fostered during his minority after Robert had taken the throne. It could be that Robert had some castellan and maester look after Renly at Storm's End - sort of like he later had Renly foster Edric Storm at Storm's End, too - but if you look at that idea then this would actually be very odd. Renly was Robert's own brother, second in line to the Iron Throne while Robert had no children of his own, and still a young boy when Robert took the throne.

The standard procedure there would be to foster Renly at court to prepare him for whatever role Robert was grooming him for - and the fact that he was made Lord of Storm's End and eventually Master of Laws implies that Robert did expect Renly to share in his rule to no small degree. In that sense I'd find it very odd if Renly spent most of his youth at Storm's End and visited court only rarely or not at all.

But the problem is that we simply do not know how he spend his early years. And as I said above already - if Cersei and Renly had little to no contact for most of Robert's reign then their relationship may not have been loving and they wouldn't have been friends ... but also not rivals or enemies. That they were is pretty odd no matter how you spin it.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Just now, Minsc said:

Cersei isn't even all that maternal to her own children, i.e Myrcella and Tommen.  Moreover, if Renly spent his time at Storm's End I doubt Cersei visited all that often besides the first few years of her marriage.  Robert at least had the first six years before he became king to act more closer to Renly.  Yet, I don't even think Renly saw him as a parental figure.

Speaking of this I feel like exposure to how the Starks behave with Ned has set up expectations for the rest of Westeros to behave similarly, in comparison to other families and our own history across many cultures I'd say he's a lot more involved with raising his children than would be typical for a noble family. People often look on Renly and Stannis fighting each other as awful because they're brothers but really taking history as reference it's what noble families spent a load of their time doing and it's easy to see why since they're typically not raised as a family unit in the way we think of them today. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Trigger Warning said:

Speaking of this I feel like exposure to how the Starks behave with Ned has set up expectations for the rest of Westeros to behave similarly, in comparison to other families and our own history across many cultures I'd say he's a lot more involved with raising his children than would be typical for a noble family. People often look on Renly and Stannis fighting each other as awful because they're brothers but really taking history as reference it's what noble families spent a load of their time doing and it's easy to see why since they're typically not raised as a family unit in the way we think of them today. 

Well, Renly and Stannis fighting each other is awful from a pragmatic standpoint.

As far as being involved with raising children there could be worse examples... like Lysa Arryn, who breastfeeds her son when he's six years old and constantly coddles him otherwise.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

Bottom line is that the novels don't really explain why Cersei and Renly don't get along. There isn't even any textual basis for the assumption that Cersei may have wanted Storm's End for one of her children - while we do have Stannis complaining about not getting Storm's End in the books, we never hear Cersei complaining about Renly and Stannis getting Storm's End and Dragonstone, respectively.


Renly's a threat and Renly was likely politicking against her from the moment he got there to expand his influence and the influence of the Tyrells. It's a political environment and that's going to involve factionalism, I don't think we need personal reasons for why they "don't get along".  

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2 minutes ago, Trigger Warning said:

Speaking of this I feel like exposure to how the Starks behave with Ned has set up expectations for the rest of Westeros to behave similarly, in comparison to other families and our own history across many cultures I'd say he's a lot more involved with raising his children than would be typical for a noble family. People often look on Renly and Stannis fighting each other as awful because they're brothers but really taking history as reference it's what noble families spent a load of their time doing and it's easy to see why since they're typically not raised as a family unit in the way we think of them today. 

It is not so much about 'people liking each other the way modern nuclear families do' but that they do not want to kill each other. Noble and royal children are not necessarily close to each other in an intimate sense - although that's clearly the case for Tywin's children as much as the Starks - but they are still brought up to treat their kin as kin and not kill each other. And that includes in-laws as well.

Robert and Cersei very married to each other for the majority of Renly's life and that should have made Cersei as much a part of Renly's family as Stannis was. Doesn't mean they have to love each other very much ... but they should have been able to establish a working relationship of sorts. One that didn't include them trying to replace or kill each other.

This is why I think the author dropped the ball there. He should have properly explained to us why Renly wanted to get rid of Cersei and what exactly Cersei's problems were with Renly.

As I said above - Renly could have been a great ally against both Stannis and the Starks if he had been loyal to Joffrey.

Just now, Trigger Warning said:

Renly's a threat and Renly was likely politicking against her from the moment he got there to expand his influence and the influence of the Tyrells. It's a political environment and that's going to involve factionalism, I don't think we need personal reasons for why they "don't get along".  

That's not really it. Renly did not just want to expand his own influence - which was already great as the king's brother, the king's Master of Laws, and the Lord of Storm's End - he wanted to destroy Cersei Lannister as queen by convincing his brother to replace her.

That he was acting in the best interest of the Tyrells is nothing we can really assume, considering Mace Tyrell was neither at court nor did he agree to send Margaery to court to seduce Robert. Keep in mind that Loras himself had only come to court a short while ago for the Tourney of the Hand ... and he came alone. Neither Mace nor Garlan nor Margaery or any other Tyrell accompanied him. This would be quite strange if the Tyrells wanted to expand their influence at court or if they were scheming to make Margaery queen. Instead, what we should deduce from their absence is that the Tyrells weren't exactly keen to go through with that plan of Renly's there.

And this seems to have been a pretty old plot, considering that even Stannis knew about it as revealed by the conversation he was with Renly in ACoK. Chances are higher that he learned about it while he was still at court, not after he had removed himself to Dragonstone. It is also quite telling that Renly and Loras failed to get Margaery to court if we assume Renly wanted that to happen for about a year or so.

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Just now, Lord Varys said:

That's not really it. Renly did not just want to expand his own influence - which was already great as the king's brother, the king's Master of Laws, and the Lord of Storm's End - he wanted to destroy Cersei Lannister as queen by convincing his brother to replace her.

That he was acting in the best interest of the Tyrells is nothing we can really assume, considering Mace Tyrell was neither at court nor did he agree to send Margaery to court to seduce Robert. Keep in mind that Loras himself had only come to court a short while ago for the Tourney of the Hand ... and he came alone. Neither Mace nor Garlan nor Margaery or any other Tyrell accompanied him. This would be quite strange if the Tyrells wanted to expand their influence at court or if they were scheming to make Margaery queen. Instead, what we should deduce from their absence is that the Tyrells weren't exactly keen to go through with that plan of Renly's there.

 

You're looking at this in a very rigid way. Renly is aligned with the Tyrells through Loras and also has connections with the Reach. We know this from when Penrose lists off the houses that "love Renly best". Convincing Robert to replace Cersei absolutely is working to expand his own influence, Cersei holds a tremendous amount of power at court through Robert, we see this in how he bends to her will and in the appointments of Lannisters. That influence is backed by Tywin's power but flows through Cersei, by removing her Renly can fill that missing power vacuum with someone that's aligned with his faction. He doesn't need to be in direct league with the head of house Tyrell to benefit from them gaining influence at court, his connections to the Reach and his relationship with Loras make it obvious as to why a Tyrell queen would benefit him over a Lannister who at best he has no influence over and at worst is in complete opposition to him. 

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1 hour ago, namfoodle said:

I guess I just read it entirely differently. I am skeptical about Renly’s family loyalty and I suppose both Stannis and Renly were consolidating their forces well in advance of Robert’s death.  They are not kings who can simply call their sworn banners.  I do not see how they would have been able to assemble forces to support their claims on short notice. They’d have to be building alliances with fellow lords well in advance, convincing each lord that your interests lay with my pretense to the throne, rather than with another pretender.

We see probably a dozen lords call up their banners without blessing of the king. Tywin and Robb raise men to battle each other. Edmure deployed a small army to the goldentooth pass to prevent a RL incursion. Frey calls his bannermen up to essentially extort Robb. Stannis commandeers half the royal fleet and starts hiring sell swords months before Robert dies.  Ramsay and Manderly both do it *while* Robb is fighting in the south. Hell Tywin even did it as a heir to CR when he rooted out the reynes and Tarbecks.

It takes a while to assemble troops and develop alliances, which is what Renly did, but these westerosi nobles have definitely called sword banners to solve their problems.

1 hour ago, namfoodle said:

Historically it takes a great deal of politicking to convince the lot of barons (of France or England) to agree on anything, much less to agree on rebellion against the crown.  The barons did unite against the crown in the case if immensely unpopular Plantagenet kings John and Edward II, for example, but not until they had been alienated.  I can see Joffrey going the way of Edward, but not before the start of his reign, not before he had some time to alienate everyone.

Agreed but that's really not what we see in AGoT and ACoK

1 hour ago, namfoodle said:

So, I suppose Stannis had been preparing to press his claim the moment of Robert’s death, because it is his right and duty to do so, Robert’s children being illegitimate.  Is he afraid of the Lannisters, that is not the word I would use. Rather Stannis is aware that the Lannisters are formidable opponents and that he is in for a real fight.

That might be part of it but know he left KL because he thought Cersei poisoned Jon Arryn and to plan his next move.

1 hour ago, namfoodle said:

Did Stannis attack Renly without cause? Well Stannis makes his case to Renly and expresses anger at Renly’s rejection of what is (to Stannis) the plain demand of the rule of succession. The king died without legitimate issue; the crown goes to the king’s oldest brother.

A conditioned yes. You can hardly blame Renly for wanting to save himself and Stannis has been nowhere to be found for the better part of a year. Renly protects himself by gaining allies, and the best ally to gain requires his daughter to be queen. Renly skipping over Robert's children to be king is no worse when you add Stannis.

Had Stannis sided with Joffrey, he'd have been completely in the right to attack Renly. Had Stannis tried to work with Renly and been rebuffed, he'd have been completely in the right to attack Renly. Since he did neither he lacks really any moral or ethical justification to attack Renly or expect his support -- especially attacking Renly to get his support? -- and his attempts to explain his position and case for being crowned look a lot like bad revisionist fiction with a tinge of jealousy and desperation. Renly can't back down without losing his protection and Stannis is too proud to realize he's already essentially beaten before he starts.

1 hour ago, namfoodle said:

For Renly’s part it seems to me that he is without regard for family relations. He might well have let Stannis sit out the internecine war. But as Stannis has interposed himself Renly is ready to kill him. Having the greater host, he has every reason to anticipate that the result of the battle will be the death of Stannis.

It is painful to read Catelyn as the only party to the parley with a lick of sense.

Renly lost regard for Stannis, whom he doesn't like, when he disappeared from Robert's court and then it completely disappeared when Stannis attacked him and refused his generous* offer. Renly gains little with Stannis alive, and with him dead, Renly likely gains all of Stannis men and ships.

Both Catelyn and Renly make sensible proposals but Renly isn't going to go before a Great Council when he holds the largest forces by far and there's really no indication that another GC will work.

* From Renly's POV in a position of strength

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The fact that he never tried to form an alliance with Stannis to work against the Lannisters kind of implies that his own personal ambition played the decisive role there. After all, the Lannisters were pretty much no threat to Renly around the time he crowned himself. He was a great lord in his own right and he had very close ties to the Tyrells, making him pretty much inviolable. He could offer his support to either Cersei/Tywin or the Starks and their allies and either side would agree to whatever terms he offered considering that both sides were already embroiled in an escalating conflict.

Stannis hadn't answered letters for month and had essentially self-blockaded DS and large parts of Blackwater Bay, seizing anything that came within sight of the island. But make no mistake he was definitely at risk. As close as he is to Loras, Mace wants a grandson on the throne. We see him make that deal twice. He definitely could have tried to play his hand in a different way, but Cersei was planning on having him killed and he feared the Lannisters were going to kill him. I don't know how much more clear you can get than that.

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3 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:
Quote

Historically it takes a great deal of politicking to convince the lot of barons (of France or England) to agree on anything, much less to agree on rebellion against the crown.  The barons did unite against the crown in the case if immensely unpopular Plantagenet kings John and Edward II, for example, but not until they had been alienated.  I can see Joffrey going the way of Edward, but not before the start of his reign, not before he had some time to alienate everyone.

Agreed but that's really not what we see in AGoT and ACoK

It becomes kind of hard to respond to all of this as the quotes become fragmented. You are correct in that westerosi lords have an unusual ability to maintain troops as if they were all Lords Palatine and allowed to fight against one another. Still I think that rebelling against the king is not in the same class as resolving a dispute between lords. 

 

3 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:
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Historically it takes a great deal of politicking to convince the lot of barons (of France or England) to agree on anything, much less to agree on rebellion against the crown.  The barons did unite against the crown in the case if immensely unpopular Plantagenet kings John and Edward II, for example, but not until they had been alienated.  I can see Joffrey going the way of Edward, but not before the start of his reign, not before he had some time to alienate everyone.

Agreed but that's really not what we see in AGoT and ACoK

 

I'm not sure that I understand if we are agreeing or disagreeing. It is true that we are not seeing Joffrey have time to alienate the great and the good people of the land. Which is why there must be some other motivation inspiring open rebellion. That is why I believe that both Renly and Stannis were preparing for this long in advance. 

 

3 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:
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So, I suppose Stannis had been preparing to press his claim the moment of Robert’s death, because it is his right and duty to do so, Robert’s children being illegitimate.  Is he afraid of the Lannisters, that is not the word I would use. Rather Stannis is aware that the Lannisters are formidable opponents and that he is in for a real fight.

That might be part of it but know he left KL because he thought Cersei poisoned Jon Arryn and to plan his next move.

 

That is true. Though I imagine no one thinks of Cersei as a recreational poisoner. She did it for a reason. I do not recollect we ever get direct proof of her motivations but the supposition I am drawn to is she felt threatened by John Arryn working out the twincest. Simply keeping track of Robert's natural children doesn't seem to me to be sufficient threat, Arryn must have made the further inference. Stannis is the source of the suspicion and Arryn did the leg work of proving the matter. After that it is simple logic after that (at least to Stannis), he king has no legitimate issue, therefore the succession passes to the king's oldest brother, Stannis himself, who has a right and duty to ascend to the throne. 

 

3 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Renly skipping over Robert's children to be king is no worse when you add Stannis.

 

This area is a more complex. 

While we might not feel that either pretense to the throne is sound, Renly's claim is not equivalent to Stannis' claim. I really think that Stannis skipping over Robert's children to be king is based in the logic of succession. By contrast Renly comments suggest that his usurping Stannis' pretense will be justified by right of conquest, a bit of twisted logic. If one can claim justification by right of conquest without actually having conquered then all rebellions are justified, even the ones that fail.  

Renly does not actually complete a legal argument in support of usurpation (when discussing with Catelyn). The fragment of an argument that he does present is, apparently, "Stannis would make an appalling king". So it seems to me that he is not revealing is true thoughts. 

 

4 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Had Stannis sided with Joffrey, he'd have been completely in the right to attack Renly. Had Stannis tried to work with Renly and been rebuffed, he'd have been completely in the right to attack Renly. Since he did neither he lacks really any moral or ethical justification to attack Renly or expect his support -- especially attacking Renly to get his support? -- and his attempts to explain his position and case for being crowned look a lot like bad revisionist fiction with a tinge of jealousy and desperation.

 

I'd like to see the reasoning to this in greater detail. As far as I can tell they both offer one another a chance to join forces, albeit neither expect the other to accept. It is just a show (for whose benefit? Catelyn's?).

Stannis argues the logic of succession and objects to Renly's opposition, Renly dismisses Stannis' argument with an ad populum. 

Stannis studied her, unsmiling. “The Iron Throne is mine by rights. All those who deny that are my foes.”

“The whole of the realm denies it, brother,” said Renly. “Old men deny it with their death rattle, and unborn children deny it in their mothers’ wombs. They deny it in Dorne and they deny it on the Wall. No one wants you for their king. Sorry.”

We might not agree that Stannis' quaint argument is sound but it is logically valid. I do not see that Renly ever gets around to presenting a legal case for his pretense in this chapter either. Stannis goes on to attack Renly for opposing his claim. 

 

In this dialog there are some interesting lines that I overlooked earlier. 

Catelyn speaking,

"

This will not do. “Listen to yourselves! If you were sons of mine, I would bang your heads together and lock you in a bedchamber until you remembered that you were brothers.”

Stannis frowned at her. “You presume too much, Lady Stark. I am the rightful king, and your son no less a traitor than my brother here. His day will come as well.”

The naked threat fanned her fury. “You are very free to name others traitor and usurper, my lord, yet how are you any different? You say you alone are the rightful king, yet it seems to me that Robert had two sons. By all the laws of the Seven Kingdoms, Prince Joffrey is his rightful heir, and Tommen after him . . . and we are all traitors, however good our reasons.”

Renly laughed. “You must forgive Lady Catelyn, Stannis. She’s come all the way down from Riverrun, a long way ahorse. I fear she never saw your little letter.”

“Joffrey is not my brother’s seed,” Stannis said bluntly. “Nor is Tommen. They are bastards. The girl as well. All three of them abominations born of incest.”

Would even Cersei be so mad? Catelyn was speechless."

 

So Renly is familiar with the twincest during the previous discussion with Catelyn and did not cite the twincest as grounds for his rebellion. He was aware of the allegation it and did not mention it to Catelyn.  Which does not show that Renly was aware of the allegation prior to Stannis' PSA when he proposed seizing the royal children to Ned.  Though he might not have mentioned the matter if he was aware. 

 

 

 

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There is ample evidence in lord vs lord conflict and lord vs king conflict showing that at least in the last 50ish years in Westeros, bannermen have been willing to follow their lord's bidding at a relative drop of a hat. This is, as you say, in antithesis to traditional behavior for French and English nobles, but GRRM has written in strong LPs with amazing loyalty of followers.

Renly's argument is right of conquest with the thin veil of legitimacy via Targaryen blood, same as Robert's. He's not really making a legal argument and doesn't "need" to as Robert, whose claim was largely not contested afterward and successfully defended, was recognized as king. He's not relying on de-legitimizing Robert's children. He's skipping to the front of the line. It's treason to the crown no matter how many people he skips unless he wins.

Stannis is presenting his case, extremely late, that he's the rightful ruler of Westeros because he's Robert's heir. Robert's children are illegitimate but he presents literally no proof and has a small group of allies and supporters to back up his claim. In the eyes of Westeros, not only is he committing treason, he's also

Claim to the throne has always been sliding scale of relational proximity and support

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17 hours ago, namfoodle said:

Reading this I guess there are some assumptions at work that I do not understand or I have not been clear enough. I’m sorry about that and I’ll see what I can do to try to clear up a couple of points.

 

It is true that when the new monarch ascends the members of the council all must break their wands. That new monarch might request some of the old council’s members to return to their posts. But more likely choose new councilors.  I do not imagine that retaining the position of Master of Coin is important to Petyr.

 

Olenna’s project, it seems to me, is to make Margaery queen and gain influence and power for House Tyrrell. Margaery is a skilled manipulator and can use her influence with the king (whomever the king is) to position Tyrrells on the small council, or position their agents in other royal government functions. So, the goal was never specifically to make Renly king. Rather in the context of the story Renly was the horse that was chosen. Joffrey and the rest of the Baratheon children are not good choices as the expectation is that they will be found illegitimate and disinherited. Stannis is not likely to set aside his present wife for Margaery, so he is not a good choice.  

 

For Olenna’s project, it really does not matter who is king. The plan can work with any king willing to take the bait. And in fact, they do improvise. When their chosen horse (Renly) dies, they chose another horse (Joffrey).  

 

About Jamie, no one needs to specifically expect Jamie to act brashly.  I do think that they anticipate that Tywin will see the move to discredit Cersei as a threat to House Lannister itself and respond. The problem of setting aside the queen at is a key element in the Plantagenet and Capetian histories so I think it should be expected in the context of the story. Even without that history and just from the story ambitious Tywin is not likely to let the power and influence of his house just slip away.  

 

Still, I think it is not going out very far on a limb to suppose that passionate Jamie would act brashly to defend his sister.  That is why I phrased it the way that I did, as a speculation. Part of why I suppose this is that on this particular matter I do not suppose that a Queen Consort found guilty of twincest would be allowed the option of exile (as you suggest) or some other non-lethal punishment such perpetual house arrest (Isabela of France) or taking up life as a nun (Eleanor of Aquitaine).  I speculate that if found guilty of twincest Cersei would been in for it like Anne Boleyn or maybe even Guinevere, and require a dramatic rescue.  However, all of this is speculative and not central to the theory.

Yup, I think you pretty much have it. I do think, however, that at this point in time Petyr wants and needs to remain as MoC. If he loses that position, his only option is the Vale where, as yet, he is still too low to wed Lysa. So he would pretty much be out of the game if anyone but Joffrey takes the throne.

But everything else you stated is pretty accurate. Margaery as queen is the goal for Lady O, not Robert/Renly/Joffrey as king. And even then, this is only the means to her ultimate goal, which is to put Margy's son on the Iron Throne.

Yes, Cersei would probably lose her head if found guilty. But that will only come about if she loses a TbC. So Jaime will either confess their guilt, or he will fight for her innocence. If he fights and wins, it's all good. If he fights and loses, they both die. If Jaime confesses their guilt, however, or just threatens to, there is still a chance that they can escape, or negotiate an exile, together with their children, and live happily ever after (for Jaime) somewhere.

And Tywin would most likely start making war noises as all of this came to a head, but he knows he cannot take on the Iron Throne all by himself, and no other great house is likely to support him. So maybe he will be able to strike a deal as well, most likely sending them all into exile. 

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1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

There is ample evidence in lord vs lord conflict and lord vs king conflict showing that at least in the last 50ish years in Westeros, bannermen have been willing to follow their lord's bidding at a relative drop of a hat. This is, as you say, in antithesis to traditional behavior for French and English nobles, but GRRM has written in strong LPs with amazing loyalty of followers.

Renly's argument is right of conquest with the thin veil of legitimacy via Targaryen blood, same as Robert's. He's not really making a legal argument and doesn't "need" to as Robert, whose claim was largely not contested afterward and successfully defended, was recognized as king. He's not relying on de-legitimizing Robert's children. He's skipping to the front of the line. It's treason to the crown no matter how many people he skips unless he wins.

Stannis is presenting his case, extremely late, that he's the rightful ruler of Westeros because he's Robert's heir. Robert's children are illegitimate but he presents literally no proof and has a small group of allies and supporters to back up his claim. In the eyes of Westeros, not only is he committing treason, he's also

Claim to the throne has always been sliding scale of relational proximity and support

Yeah, it looks terribly convenient that Stannis would be the one making the claims about incest when he has the most to gain.

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To add on, what piqued Stannis' interest as to whether or not Robert's "kids" were Cersei and Jaime's? It had to have been more than physical appearance, otherwise Ned's kids would have been under scrutiny because only one of his legitimate children resembles him (Arya).

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22 hours ago, Trigger Warning said:

You're looking at this in a very rigid way. Renly is aligned with the Tyrells through Loras and also has connections with the Reach. We know this from when Penrose lists off the houses that "love Renly best". Convincing Robert to replace Cersei absolutely is working to expand his own influence, Cersei holds a tremendous amount of power at court through Robert, we see this in how he bends to her will and in the appointments of Lannisters. That influence is backed by Tywin's power but flows through Cersei, by removing her Renly can fill that missing power vacuum with someone that's aligned with his faction. He doesn't need to be in direct league with the head of house Tyrell to benefit from them gaining influence at court, his connections to the Reach and his relationship with Loras make it obvious as to why a Tyrell queen would benefit him over a Lannister who at best he has no influence over and at worst is in complete opposition to him. 

Oh, I get what Renly wanted to accomplish there ... what I don't get (because the author never explained it) is why Renly and Cersei were rivals in the first place. Renly already has tremendous influence at court as the king's brother, Master of Laws, and a great lord in his own right. And while replacing Cersei with Margaery would certainly increase Renly's own power since he would be the new queenmaker his entire plan is a messy and convoluted business indicating that this is not your average court intrigue. With that in mind one imagines that Renly needs considerable motivation to cook up this particular scheme which, in the end, certainly had the potential for civil war. If Cersei and Tywin were not to accept Robert's intention to set her aside they might have a Lannister rebellion at their hands.

I'm also not sure that Cersei's influence at court is greater than that of Renly. Renly sits on the Small Council, he actually governs the Realm while Cersei has no part in that. And since Robert is also not exactly a king who cared about the tedious business of ruling whatever influence Cersei through Robert wouldn't have been that big, either. After all, there are no Lannisters on the Small Council nor in any other high positions at court. The only appointments Cersei secured for her kin were Lancel and Tyrek being made Robert's squires.

In that sense I can only view the Renly-Cersei situation as Renly being motivated by the desire to get rid of Cersei. That was his goal.

But I agree that Renly controls his own friends in the Reach. He and Loras have their own powerbase there, independent of Mace Tyrell, which is clearly evident by the fact that, apparently, Loras and Margaery are the only major Tyrells with Renly on his progress/campaign while Garlan, Willas and Mace remained behind for some reason. I view this as reluctance on the Tyrell side to fully commit themselves to Renly, although most of their bannermen apparently were glad to get the opportunity to ride with 'King Renly'.

My best interpretation for this is that we should assume that Renly had made more than one tour of the Reach in recent years, first by himself (say, when he turned sixteen) and then later with Loras after he started squiring for him. We also know that he toured Dorne in recent years, so one imagines he may have done the same with the Reach. And it may have been that Robert and Jon had him do this as semi-official royal progresses so that House Baratheon's standing with traditional Targaryen loyalists would increase.

Cortnay Penrose's knowledge about the people who loved Renly best must come from a time when Renly established those friendships - after all, as castellan of Storm's End he wasn't part of Renly's campaign and could have had no firsthand knowledge about the men who flocked to Renly's banner after he had proclaimed himself king.

20 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Stannis hadn't answered letters for month and had essentially self-blockaded DS and large parts of Blackwater Bay, seizing anything that came within sight of the island. But make no mistake he was definitely at risk. As close as he is to Loras, Mace wants a grandson on the throne. We see him make that deal twice. He definitely could have tried to play his hand in a different way, but Cersei was planning on having him killed and he feared the Lannisters were going to kill him. I don't know how much more clear you can get than that.

Oh, I get it why Renly left court when he did. But I have trouble buying the idea that he felt he had no other choice but to proclaim himself king to defend himself against the Lannisters. He could simply raised his bannermen and his friends to form a coalition to oust Cersei and the other Lannisters as the faction controlling Joffrey's regency government - sort of like the Lords Declarant tried with Littlefinger after Lysa's death.

But with the number of men Renly controlled directly or indirectly - and this is a tremendous number considering how many men he draws to his banner in a very short amount of time - he could have easily defended himself against the Lannisters without actually crowning himself.

He could offered Stannis to help make him king. He could have sided with the Starks and Riverlords in their attempts to defeat the Lannisters after which he could have run the regency government of King Joffrey. He could have also just called his banners to do pretty much nothing - like Doran Martell did. He had the strength to offer assistance to either Stannis, the Lannisters, or Starks/Tullys.

The only convincing reason I see as to why this didn't happen is that Renly wanted to be king. The question that remains is at one point he was starting to see himself as king? Was this when he saw Robert was dying? Or only later, after Ned had rejected his offer and he had fled the city? We don't know.

What is odd, though, in any case is that Renly apparently didn't exchange any letters with Stannis after Robert's death. If you imagine you were the guy then you would (1) inform your brother about what had transpired in KL, and (2) ask what he is going to do now and/or what he thinks Renly should do now. This is veritable succession crisis, after all. The way I interpret that is that Renly was already determined to claim the throne when he left KL, or else he would have contacted Stannis before he reached that conclusion.

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