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Heresy 237 The Ballad of Trouserless Bob Baratheon

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Welcome to Heresy 237, the latest episode of the long-running thread taking a slantwise look at the Song of Ice and Fire.
Perception is everything and just by way of a break I’d like to start this one off with a couple of thoughts on Trouserless Bob, or to give him his due Robert Baratheon, First of his Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm of Westeros


Its fair to say that he has a pretty bad press, but how fair is it ?


The King we meet at the very beginning is, to put it simply, a fat, lecherous drunk who instead of ruling wisely drinks more wine than coffee and rattles any woman who is too poor to resist and/or too slow to run away. In the meantime the Seven Kingdoms go to rack, ruin and bankruptcy.


Yet it was once very different.


“He saw the king as he had been in the flower of his youth, tall and handsome, his great antlered helm on his head, his warhammer in hand, sitting his horse like a horned god. He heard his laughter in the dark, saw his eyes, blue and clear as mountain lakes.”


On sheer physical appearance alone he’s impressive and there’s that reference to the Horned God – why is he wearing those horns in the first place. Once again its his deeper ancestry which may be more significant than his connection to the parvenu Targaryens.


Consciously or unconsciously his early behaviour is another nod to the Horned God:  
"Robert will never keep to one bed," Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm's End. "I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale." Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. "Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man's nature."

Bob at this stage is indeed a very young man, sowing his oats liberally, but yet Lord Rickard Stark considers him a suitable match for his own wild daughter, dynastic considerations aside, she would have been a true match and the two of them probably quite unstoppable.
Is that why it happened ?


Lord Richard and the Blessed St. Jon of Arryn were actively working to make it happen, but then Lyanna was snatched away and died.
The marriage never happened, instead Bob was married off to a woman he never loved purely for political expediency and driven into a destructive spiral of drink and dissolution as he sought to escape a woman who hated him and a destiny snatched away.

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Posted (edited)

Regarding Dick acceptance of Bob's behaviour

Quote

The maesters will tell you that King Jaehaerys abolished the lord's right to the first night to appease his shrewish queen, but where the old gods rule, old customs linger. The Umbers keep the first night too, deny it as they may. Certain of the mountain clans as well, and on Skagos … well, only heart trees ever see half of what they do on Skagos.

And Dick's son was Brandon of the Bloody Blade reborn:

Quote

"Brandon loved his sword. He loved to hone it. 'I want it sharp enough to shave the hair from a woman's cunt,' he used to say. And how he loved to use it. 'A bloody sword is a beautiful thing,' he told me once."

"You knew him," Theon said.

The lantern light in her eyes made them seem as if they were afire. "Brandon was fostered at Barrowton with old Lord Dustin, the father of the one I'd later wed, but he spent most of his time riding the Rills. He loved to ride. His little sister took after him in that. A pair of centaurs, those two. And my lord father was always pleased to play host to the heir to Winterfell. My father had great ambitions for House Ryswell. He would have served up my maidenhead to any Stark who happened by, but there was no need. Brandon was never shy about taking what he wanted. I am old now, a dried-up thing, too long a widow, but I still remember the look of my maiden's blood on his cock the night he claimed me. I think Brandon liked the sight as well. A bloody sword is a beautiful thing, yes. It hurt, but it was a sweet pain.

 

Edited by Tucu

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14 hours ago, Tucu said:

Regarding Dick acceptance of Bob's behaviour

And Dick's son was Brandon of the Bloody Blade reborn:

 

I think that this is a fair point and entirely apposite. There's a general assumption that Lyanna would never have married Bob, or even that her disappearance was a matter of being rescued/escaping from him - by getting involved with an older man cheating on his wife [and children] !!!

Had she not been abducted Lyanna would have married Bob and without dragons the Targaryens would not have been able to withstand the threat posed by a new dynasty uniting the First Men and the Andals against them. True, Bobby was a disappointment in the end, but the real and lasting embitterment at having Lyanna snatched away from him must not be underestimated or ignored.

Both of them are dead, long dead, but the question remains anent the who and why. Various parties gained, but who had sufficient motive to set the whole thing, with both intended and unintended consequences, rolling.

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First, my going in position on Robert Baratheon, first of his name ...

He cannot get enough praise for killing Rhaegar Targaryen, the harp of doom.

Carrying over from the last thread: was Lyanna kidnapped just to prevent house Stark from marrying house Baratheon?

(If Robert would have been killed, Stannis would have stepped in as Ned did for Brandon?)

If so, who wants to prevent this? Aerys, Tywin, both?

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I've already opened up one can of worms.  I'm not sure I want to jump into another one.  :D

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Posted (edited)

Tywin was going to join the Great Barons Alliance (Lannister<->Tully<->Stark<->Baratheon with the Arryns fitting somewhere) but Cersei's intervention forced a change of plans when she took out his heir of the board. Not sure if Tywin just withdraw from the game for a while or he kept playing undercover. Were Aerys' laughs offensive enough ? he wiped out the Reynes and Tarbecks for less.

Rhaegar was playing with the poor hand that his predecessors left him. Egg's descendants offended the Tyrells, Redwynes, Tullys, Baratheons and Lannisters. In the Reach this led to a strong alliance between Tyrells, Hightower and Redwyne. Rhaegar got left with Dorne. Offending the Baratheons again doesn't sound like a smart move but this is what officially happened.

Edited by Tucu

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Not smart and it obviously went very badly wrong, but we've talked before about how Jon's parentage may be a big red herring, especially as there's no evidence of Lyanna and Rhaegar getting it together before the dirty deed and Lord Eddard never thinks of Rhaegar as Jon's father. Rhaegar was trying to prevent the alliance between the Starks and the Baratheons. 

I'd suspect, given that he evidently went to parts unknown before pouncing, that he went first to the Lannisters to get the muscle for the operation and that's when it started to unravell

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54 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I've already opened up one can of worms.  I'm not sure I want to jump into another one.  :D

Jump... Jump... :commie:

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11 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Jump... Jump... :commie:

Bravery is for the Scots.  I think I'll listen for a bit longer.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Not smart and it obviously went very badly wrong, but we've talked before about how Jon's parentage may be a big red herring, especially as there's no evidence of Lyanna and Rhaegar getting it together before the dirty deed and Lord Eddard never thinks of Rhaegar as Jon's father. Rhaegar was trying to prevent the alliance between the Starks and the Baratheons. 

I'd suspect, given that he evidently went to parts unknown before pouncing, that he went first to the Lannisters to get the muscle for the operation and that's when it started to unravell

Makes me wonder if this was a fabricated offence to shame Aerys and rise Rhaegar. Then things got out of control. Curiously Lord Frey let Ned's army through without the high toll he charged during the WotFK.

Edited by Tucu

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I know that this is a pet theory of BC’s but it has never really rung true to me, either here or in a number of other poster’s threads that have tried to attribute a political subtext to Rhaegar’s actions.

Once again, I think we’re trying to overcomplicate things.  Rhaegar’s story arc should be pretty simple.  He’s a man completely consumed with prophecy, specifically a prophecy that has to do with an upcoming apocalypse.  And any of the seemingly hair brain things he’s been doing is probably to further this obsession and consequences be damned.

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@Melifeather  Sorry, I'm going to jump off here and circle back to something Feather said about how GSeers experience time.  If they don't experience time in the same way and a day for a GSeer could be years in real time, can this account for the seasons being unbalanced?  For example, if the Tourney at Harrenhall is a closed time loop; where Bran appears from his future; is this at a time when Bran is experiencing spring and could this be the underlying 'magical cause' that unbalances the seasons?  

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30 minutes ago, LynnS said:

@Melifeather  Sorry, I'm going to jump off here and circle back to something Feather said about how GSeers experience time.  If they don't experience time in the same way and a day for a GSeer could be years in real time, can this account for the seasons being unbalanced?  For example, if the Tourney at Harrenhall is a closed time loop; where Bran appears from his future; is this at a time when Bran is experiencing spring and could this be the underlying 'magical cause' that unbalances the seasons?  

... let's do the time warp again ...

Wasn't one of the Rocky Horror Picture Show's cast in a wheelchair?

Is Meat Loaf Robert Baratheon reborn?

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, alienarea said:

... let's do the time warp again ...

Wasn't one of the Rocky Horror Picture Show's cast in a wheelchair?

Is Meat Loaf Robert Baratheon reborn?

LOL! Let me put it another way.  If Bran effects Hodor using his 'powers' (whatever they turn out to be) and that ripples back in time tp affect Hodor in the past.  If Bran has shown up at the tourney to be a knight for the day;  is the effect that ripples back in time, the false spring?

But the question is really for Feather.  So don't let me distract you from your convo with Tucu and BC.  I'm also finding that interesting.  But I'm just going to listen for now.

"The Harp of Doom"....:rofl:  continue...

Edited by LynnS

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3 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I know that this is a pet theory of BC’s but it has never really rung true to me, either here or in a number of other poster’s threads that have tried to attribute a political subtext to Rhaegar’s actions.

Once again, I think we’re trying to overcomplicate things.  Rhaegar’s story arc should be pretty simple.  He’s a man completely consumed with prophecy, specifically a prophecy that has to do with an upcoming apocalypse.  And any of the seemingly hair brain things he’s been doing is probably to further this obsession and consequences be damned.

Yes, I can see how Rhaegar would become obsessed by the prophesy, especially if you think it's about you.  Starting with Aerys who clearly thought it would be his first-born and growing up thinking that you must be the one who wakes dragons from stones.  Until' he discovers that he doesn't fit the requirements and must be a warrior instead.  So now it becomes about siring the PWIP.  He also thinks it's his first born but the Targs have their own Musgrave ritual, knowledge and truths that have been forgotten.  So he scours every possible source for information and I think that includes Aemon.  When Aemon says that the problem was a mistranslation and they thought it would be a prince rather than a princess;  who are they?  I'm guessing those involved included Oberyn and Doran.  Oberyn spent time at the Citadel perhaps to find out as much as he could about the prophesy.  What if he came in contact with Marwyn, He might be a source for hatching dragons eggs and rituals involving blood sacridfce and fire.     

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, alienarea said:

First, my going in position on Robert Baratheon, first of his name ...

He cannot get enough praise for killing Rhaegar Targaryen, the harp of doom.

Carrying over from the last thread: was Lyanna kidnapped just to prevent house Stark from marrying house Baratheon?

(If Robert would have been killed, Stannis would have stepped in as Ned did for Brandon?)

If so, who wants to prevent this? Aerys, Tywin, both?

Kidnapping Lyanna to prevent a marriage to Robert is getting too far ahead of what was happening at the time. Who could have guessed when Lyanna went missing that the rebels would win and the prospective groom would become king?

I still believe that Tywin was the master puppeteer that pulled all the strings. Tywin wanted to make Cersei a queen and was greatly insulted when Aerys refused him Rhaegar. The Rebellion was an elaborate revenge.

7 hours ago, LynnS said:

@Melifeather  Sorry, I'm going to jump off here and circle back to something Feather said about how GSeers experience time.  If they don't experience time in the same way and a day for a GSeer could be years in real time, can this account for the seasons being unbalanced?  For example, if the Tourney at Harrenhall is a closed time loop; where Bran appears from his future; is this at a time when Bran is experiencing spring and could this be the underlying 'magical cause' that unbalances the seasons?  

Thanks for tagging me. I was wondering why it was so quiet. I was still looking for comments on the previous thread!

As for my thoughts regarding the sporadic seasons…I can’t help but recall what happened when Dr Strange placed time into a loop. Not only did it circle around back to the beginning once Dr Strange was killed, it also moved extremely slow for everyone else. So I’m thinking that while humans are experiencing a nine year summer, the greenseer is off doing something in the past.

Edited by Melifeather

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3 hours ago, Melifeather said:

As for my thoughts regarding the sporadic seasons…I can’t help but recall what happened when Dr Strange placed time into a loop. Not only did it circle around back to the beginning once Dr Strange was killed, it also moved extremely slow for everyone else. So I’m thinking that while humans are experiencing a nine year summer, the greenseer is off doing something in the past.

I'm wondering about Bran's dream of spring and if his presence at the tourney is marked by a ripple back effect causing the false spring.  Is there someone who dreams of winter?

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, alienarea said:

... let's do the time warp again ...

There is this:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Tyrion VI

That took Tyrion by surprise. He had been no more than an ugly boy at Casterly Rock when the city fell. "So the Sack of King's Landing was your work as well?"

"For the realm! Once Rhaegar died, the war was done. Aerys was mad, Viserys too young, Prince Aegon a babe at the breast, but the realm needed a king . . . I prayed it should be your good father, but Robert was too strong, and Lord Stark moved too swiftly . . ."

"How many have you betrayed, I wonder? Aerys, Eddard Stark, me . . . King Robert as well? Lord Arryn, Prince Rhaegar? Where does it begin, Pycelle?" He knew where it ended.

Rhaegar may have been obsessed with prophesy; but he couldn't avoid the game of thrones.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Jaime V

"Gold armor?" Her voice sounded far off, faint.

He floated in heat, in memory. "After dancing griffins lost the Battle of the Bells, Aerys exiled him." Why am I telling this absurd ugly child? "He had finally realized that Robert was no mere outlaw lord to be crushed at whim, but the greatest threat House Targaryen had faced since Daemon Blackfyre. The king reminded Lewyn Martell gracelessly that he held Elia and sent him to take command of the ten thousand Dornishmen coming up the kingsroad. Jon Darry and Barristan Selmy rode to Stoney Sept to rally what they could of griffins' men, and Prince Rhaegar returned from the south and persuaded his father to swallow his pride and summon my father. But no raven returned from Casterly Rock, and that made the king even more afraid. He saw traitors everywhere, and Varys was always there to point out any he might have missed. So His Grace commanded his alchemists to place caches of wildfire all over King's Landing. Beneath Baelor's Sept and the hovels of Flea Bottom, under stables and storehouses, at all seven gates, even in the cellars of the Red Keep itself.

"Everything was done in the utmost secrecy by a handful of master pyromancers. They did not even trust their own acolytes to help. The queen's eyes had been closed for years, and Rhaegar was busy marshaling an army. But Aerys's new mace-and-dagger Hand was not utterly stupid, and with Rossart, Belis, and Garigus coming and going night and day, he became suspicious. Chelsted, that was his name, Lord Chelsted." It had come back to him suddenly, with the telling. "I'd thought the man craven, but the day he confronted Aerys he found some courage somewhere. He did all he could to dissuade him. He reasoned, he jested, he threatened, and finally he begged. When that failed he took off his chain of office and flung it down on the floor. Aerys burnt him alive for that, and hung his chain about the neck of Rossart, his favorite pyromancer. The man who had cooked Lord Rickard Stark in his own armor. And all the time, I stood by the foot of the Iron Throne in my white plate, still as a corpse, guarding my liege and all his sweet secrets.

 

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, LynnS said:

LOL! Let me put it another way.  If Bran effects Hodor using his 'powers' (whatever they turn out to be) and that ripples back in time tp affect Hodor in the past.  If Bran has shown up at the tourney to be a knight for the day;  is the effect that ripples back in time, the false spring?

But the question is really for Feather.  So don't let me distract you from your convo with Tucu and BC.  I'm also finding that interesting.  But I'm just going to listen for now.

"The Harp of Doom"....:rofl:  continue...

Behold the original Harp of Doom: The Dagda's harp. It could make women weep, men party and everyone sleep/dream. It could also summon winter and summer. The Dagda use the harp to send some giants (Fomorians) into eternal sleep.

Edited by Tucu

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Tucu said:

Behold the original Harp of Doom: The Dagda's harp. It could make women weep, men party and everyone sleep/dream. It could also summon winter and summer. The Dagda use the harp to send some giants (Fomorians) into eternal sleep.

:cheers:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Eddard IV

Outside, wagons and riders were still pouring through the castle gates, and the yard was a chaos of mud and horseflesh and shouting men. The king had not yet arrived, he was told. Since the ugliness on the Trident, the Starks and their household had ridden well ahead of the main column, the better to separate themselves from the Lannisters and the growing tension. Robert had hardly been seen; the talk was he was traveling in the huge wheelhouse, drunk as often as not. If so, he might be hours behind, but he would still be here too soon for Ned's liking. He had only to look at Sansa's face to feel the rage twisting inside him once again. The last fortnight of their journey had been a misery. Sansa blamed Arya and told her that it should have been Nymeria who died. And Arya was lost after she heard what had happened to her butcher's boy. Sansa cried herself to sleep, Arya brooded silently all day long, and Eddard Stark dreamed of a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell.

 

Edited by LynnS

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