Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

On 6/23/2021 at 5:46 PM, Lord Varys said:

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.

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.

Again no. The tyrells were for sale. If renly can’t offer a king for a grandson the Lannisters can and will. Renly as an LP is still at risk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Again no. The tyrells were for sale. If renly can’t offer a king for a grandson the Lannisters can and will. Renly as an LP is still at risk

Not really. For one, Renly himself could offer his help to Cersei/Tywin against the Starks/Tullys, Stannis, and the Vale (which they originally thought might side with the Starks), second, Renly is a great lord in his own right and popular with both his own bannermen as well as many Reach lords, meaning Mace trying to make arrangements with the Lannisters against the will of Renly/Loras and some of his more crucial bannermen would cause severe problems for him.

But most importantly: The Tyrells never made overtures towards House Lannister. Tyrion and Cersei approached them via Littlefinger. If they hadn't done that, there wouldn't have been an alliance. Obviously the Lannisters could overcome their animosity and even forgive the Tyrells the entire Renly thing. Meaning there is no good reason given why Renly couldn't have reached a similar conclusion.

Also, there is no indication that Mace was obsessed with having a royal grandchild prior to the Renly marriage. But if Renly had never crowned himself and Renly had never married Margaery, there is no basis for the idea that he would have even considered an alliance with the Lannisters.

Renly had every opportunity to save his life and better his overall position by just calling his banners and offering the strength he controlled directly or indirectly to the other pretenders in the field - just as Robb wasn't forced to proclaim himself king after he won a couple of victories. Originally, the Starks also rebelled against the Iron Throne with no intention to secede from the Realm or make their leader an independent king. There is no reason why Renly could have taken the same road.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Renly had every opportunity to save his life and better his overall position by just calling his banners and offering the strength he controlled directly or indirectly to the other pretenders in the field - just as Robb wasn't forced to proclaim himself king after he won a couple of victories. Originally, the Starks also rebelled against the Iron Throne with no intention to secede from the Realm or make their leader an independent king. There is no reason why Renly could have taken the same road.

Are you suggesting it would have been possible for Renly to stay neutral or offer token forces to either Joffrey or Stannis and possibly survive longer or until the current post Tywin chaos?

I’m not sure Renly would have considered it at the time as he had the largest army and did not believe that Stannis was a legitimate threat with Melisandre or that the Tyrells wouldn’t  jump ship to the Lannister’s if he accepted Stannis offer even if Stannis named Renly (and Margery’s potential child) heir to the throne.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, The Merling King said:

Are you suggesting it would have been possible for Renly to stay neutral or offer token forces to either Joffrey or Stannis and possibly survive longer or until the current post Tywin chaos?

Of course, that's exactly what I'm saying. I'm saying Renly was in no way 'forced' to proclaim himself king.

1 hour ago, The Merling King said:

I’m not sure Renly would have considered it at the time as he had the largest army and did not believe that Stannis was a legitimate threat with Melisandre or that the Tyrells wouldn’t  jump ship to the Lannister’s if he accepted Stannis offer even if Stannis named Renly (and Margery’s potential child) heir to the throne.

We don't know what Renly considered, but since Renly doesn't seem to have been proclaimed king by a war council of lords who didn't know what else to do - like it was with Robb - we have to imagine that Renly became king because he wanted to be king. And he clearly didn't bother to consider other options before doing that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2021 at 10:41 AM, Lord Varys said:

We don't know what Renly considered, but since Renly doesn't seem to have been proclaimed king by a war council of lords who didn't know what else to do - like it was with Robb - we have to imagine that Renly became king because he wanted to be king. And he clearly didn't bother to consider other options before doing that.

Again he tried twice to displace Cersei without even trying to gian more power, so saying he didn't check his other options first is demonstrably false. Then on top of that both he and his brother were going to be targeted by the most powerful person in the kingdom, Cersei as the Queen Regent, for murder / death in the near future. He'd already been demanded to return or be attainted as a traitor (along with Mace and Loras). Given that he already perceives Cersei as a thread worth toppling and then fleeing from in the capital AND Joffrey beheads a guy he promised to send to the wall (as a traitor), what are his options there?

He's not going to treat with the Lannisters. Staying neutral only allows for the crown or other claimants to whittle away his (potential) support. Canonically the Tyrells sell their support twice and given that Mace needed to proclaim loyalty as well, it's just as likely, if not more likely, that he named his price as for an alliance with Renly as Renly made the overture.

Renly doesn't have a lot of good options in the long game where Cersei wants him and Stannis dead no matter what. That circumstances made it easy for him to crown himself king since Mace had every reason not to trust Cersei and Joffrey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Again he tried twice to displace Cersei without even trying to gian more power, so saying he didn't check his other options first is demonstrably false. Then on top of that both he and his brother were going to be targeted by the most powerful person in the kingdom, Cersei as the Queen Regent, for murder / death in the near future. He'd already been demanded to return or be attainted as a traitor (along with Mace and Loras). Given that he already perceives Cersei as a thread worth toppling and then fleeing from in the capital AND Joffrey beheads a guy he promised to send to the wall (as a traitor), what are his options there?

Cersei is pretty much irrelevant in all this. She is just Joff's regent, she can be replaced ... and even if she weren't, she would only serve three years as regent. Then Joff would run his own government. Renly could have easily just ousted the Lannisters and set up himself as Joff's regent.

And to be crystal clear here: Renly Baratheon is the most powerful person in the Seven Kingdoms after Robert's death because he controls about 100,000 men. Cersei has pretty much no support outside the capital ... and her father and brother don't have the men to wage a war against the Reach and the Stormlands.

We see how Joff attainted the Tyrells and the Martells and the Arryns, etc. ... and that led nowhere. They all were able to make their peace with the Iron Throne and reap considerable rewards along the way. Renly could have done the same.

Nobody said Renly couldn't have assembled an army to show his strength - that would be part of the game. The point is that it makes no sense to insist he had to crown himself to keep his life and property.

33 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

He's not going to treat with the Lannisters. Staying neutral only allows for the crown or other claimants to whittle away his (potential) support. Canonically the Tyrells sell their support twice and given that Mace needed to proclaim loyalty as well, it's just as likely, if not more likely, that he named his price as for an alliance with Renly as Renly made the overture.

There is no indication that Mace made an overture when Renly made himself king. This whole thing seems to have been Renly's idea, not Mace's. Renly is a king who is worshipped and adored by the men around him. He isn't a guy who bought the Reach by marrying Margaery.

There is also no indication that anyone in the Reach or the Stormlands would go with a King Joffrey whose government was run by the Lannisters because this family is tremendously unpopular with those people ... unlike Renly himself. Of course Renly could have lost the Stormlands to a King Stannis if he hadn't proclaimed himself first ... but so what? Stannis is Renly's elder brother, so Renly should have supported him, too, right?

33 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Renly doesn't have a lot of good options in the long game where Cersei wants him and Stannis dead no matter what. That circumstances made it easy for him to crown himself king since Mace had every reason not to trust Cersei and Joffrey.

Cersei may have wanted Renly dead in the same way she wanted Ned dead - they were her rivals for the control of the government. But the Lannisters made their peace with Lysa Arryn and Mace Tyrell and Doran Martell easily enough. They even tried to make a peace with Ned and the Starks. They could have done the same with Renly. There is no question about that. And one can easily see how this could have gone if Renly just hadn't crowned himself. After Robb's victories in the Riverlands the Lannisters are in very bad shape. If they had asked Renly for help it could have gone as it went when the Lannisters sent Littlefinger to ask Mace for his help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/28/2021 at 10:09 PM, Lord Varys said:

And to be crystal clear here: Renly Baratheon is the most powerful person in the Seven Kingdoms after Robert's death because he controls about 100,000 men.

Renly only controlled the Reachmen _after_ he proclaimed himself. Before that he would have only had the Stormlands. And, of course, everybody expected Tywin to make short work of Robb at the time. So, when  Renly made his claim he expected it to come down to himself and his forces against Tywin's and Jaime's hosts, which were bigger than what he could have gotten from the Stormlands alone.

Regarding Stannis, if he wanted Renly's allegiance, he should have contacted him and proclaimed himself sooner instead of sitting idle on his rock and creating an impression that he wasn't going to dispute Joffrey's succession and Cersei's regency. Ditto Robb's allegiance. Even so, it is doubtful that many Reachmen would have supported a Stannis-Renly combo, since many of them, the Tyrells foremost of those, had beef with Stannis and/or the Florents and were reasonably afraid of them being in power. But the Stormlanders + Stannis ships and forces + Florents + Stannis's command experience and Renly's charisma may have been enough.

 

On 6/28/2021 at 10:09 PM, Lord Varys said:

There is no indication that Mace made an overture when Renly made himself king. This whole thing seems to have been Renly's idea, not Mace's. Renly is a king who is worshipped and adored by the men around him. He isn't a guy who bought the Reach by marrying Margaery.

 

There is no indication that Mace would have joined Renly without the promise of a grandchild on the Iron Throne, something that he wanted so badly that he was prepared to marry Margaery to Joff, despite all the rumors about his bastardy and terrible personality. It made great sense for Mace to remain neutral and sit that one out, he had to be enticed by marriage and Handship to throw his hat in the ring for Renly. Or do you think that Renly honestly considered Mace the best available candidate for his Hand? 

 

On 6/28/2021 at 10:09 PM, Lord Varys said:

Cersei may have wanted Renly dead in the same way she wanted Ned dead - they were her rivals for the control of the government.

I suspect that there was more to it. Renly was dangerous to Cersei's children in the same way that Robert's bastards were - he was the image of young Robert and invited comparisons.  Additionally, he was a great lord with his own power base, there was bad blood between him and Joffrey and second generation of a new dynasty is always the most vulnerable. It made sense to get rid of him if possible. Ned was a completely different case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Maia said:

Renly only controlled the Reachmen _after_ he proclaimed himself. Before that he would have only had the Stormlands. And, of course, everybody expected Tywin to make short work of Robb at the time. So, when  Renly made his claim he expected it to come down to himself and his forces against Tywin's and Jaime's hosts, which were bigger than what he could have gotten from the Stormlands alone.

I don't think it is the case that Renly only controlled the Reach men after he had crowned himself king. Crowning Renly was treason, and as the Golden Company later claims the Tyrells might mistaken about the influence they have in the Reach. If that is true then Mace supporting Renly and Margaery marrying him cannot have been the deciding factor why so many powerful Reach houses became vast friends with Renly so fast. Cortnay Penrose lists Loras, Mathis Rowan, Randyll Tarly, Arwyn Oakheart and Brienne among those who loved Renly best. There is only one Stormlander there, Brienne.

Instead, one should rather assume that Renly and Loras had made a powerful circle of friends among crucial lords of the Reach long before Robert's death. And when they showed up at Highgarden and told Mace that Renly would be king nobody at Highgarden could tell them no.

But in my opinion it is quite clear that Renly and Loras could just as well have gotten the Stormlands and the Reach to marshal an army to get rid of the Lannisters dominating the regency government of King Joffrey - just as the Starks and Tullys originally also didn't marshal armies to crown their own king.

3 hours ago, Maia said:

Regarding Stannis, if he wanted Renly's allegiance, he should have contacted him and proclaimed himself sooner instead of sitting idle on his rock and creating an impression that he wasn't going to dispute Joffrey's succession and Cersei's regency. Ditto Robb's allegiance. Even so, it is doubtful that many Reachmen would have supported a Stannis-Renly combo, since many of them, the Tyrells foremost of those, had beef with Stannis and/or the Florents and were reasonably afraid of them being in power. But the Stormlanders + Stannis ships and forces + Florents + Stannis's command experience and Renly's charisma may have been enough.

Of course, Stannis acts like a moron in all this, too, although we have no idea when exactly he learned about Robert's death - Cersei wouldn't have sent any letters to Dragonstone - so there is a chance that part of the explanation why acted so slowly is that he got the news pretty late. Still, it is his fault that he told nobody about his twincest suspicions, etc.

Stannis didn't like Mace and Paxter very much because of the siege of Storm's End, but we never hear anything about them disliking Stannis for that. The man is just generally very unpopular, something that has mostly to do with his shitty personality. That said - if Loras and Renly could convince basically the entire Reach to crown 'King Renly' they sure as hell could have also gotten the same people - or most of the same people - to support a King Stannis. Especially if at that time the story about the twincest had been out. Then even more people might have declared for Stannis since the story about the twincest should have made the Lannisters even more unpopular.

3 hours ago, Maia said:

There is no indication that Mace would have joined Renly without the promise of a grandchild on the Iron Throne, something that he wanted so badly that he was prepared to marry Margaery to Joff, despite all the rumors about his bastardy and terrible personality. It made great sense for Mace to remain neutral and sit that one out, he had to be enticed by marriage and Handship to throw his hat in the ring for Renly. Or do you think that Renly honestly considered Mace the best available candidate for his Hand? 

I actually don't see big hints that Mace, specifically, was Renly's greatest fan. Only Margaery and Loras are with Renly - Mace remained behind at Highgarden along with Garlan and Willas. The impression you get from that is that Mace was swayed by his favorite son, Loras, to support Renly but in a way that allowed the house to make a separate peace if Renly's campaign were to fail. Which they then actually did.

And that there has to be another royal match for Margaery as price is pretty obvious. Renly married Margaery, so any other pretender wanting to ally himself with the Tyrells would have to offer another royal marriage.

But it seems clear to me that the whole Lannister-Tyrell alliance only happened because the Lannisters acted faster and smarter than Stannis. If Stannis had offered a similar alliance by offering Shireen's hand to Willas - and, perhaps, also to set aside Selyse for Margaery - then Mace should have accepted that to. At least as long as Stannis was able to convince them that he was not behind Renly's murder. It seems that Loras believed Stannis was the guy behind Brienne, which seems to be part of the reason why the crucial Reach lords did not join Stannis and returned to Bitterbridge. Loras took charge of those people.

3 hours ago, Maia said:

I suspect that there was more to it. Renly was dangerous to Cersei's children in the same way that Robert's bastards were - he was the image of young Robert and invited comparisons.  Additionally, he was a great lord with his own power base, there was bad blood between him and Joffrey and second generation of a new dynasty is always the most vulnerable. It made sense to get rid of him if possible. Ned was a completely different case.

Oh, Cersei certainly had additional motives to get rid of Renly. But only in a scenario where she could arrange an accident or something like that which wouldn't cause an uprising or rebellion. But as soon as the war started it wouldn't make much sense to deliberately antagonize Renly in light of the number of men he directly or indirectly controlled. The Lannisters made peace with the Martells, the Tyrells, and the Arryns, after all - if Renly hadn't crowned himself he may have received similar offers.

What we don't really know is what Renly's issues were with Cersei. He wanted to replace her with Margaery, after all. You need to have a pretty good motive to want to do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/22/2021 at 4:43 PM, Ran said:

Same. In that vein, though, a previous thread where I and others discussed why the evidence does not support the assertion that Renly knew.

As it happens I'm in that thread arguing too, add another 2 years on and I've still not been presented with any textual evidence and never will be because so far there is none. Yet the debate rages on. 

Edited by Trigger Warning
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...