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Jaime's Inconsistent Memory about the Mace-and-Dagger Hand and Order of Events in the Rebellion

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I'm not sure if anyone else has pointed this out before, but is possible Jaime misremembers the time that Jon Darry told him they were sworn to protect Rhaella, but not from Aerys?

In AFFC, Jaime II, he recalls Jon Darry standing guard with him the day that Aerys burned his mace-and-dagger Hand, Lord Chelsted.

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The sight had filled him with disquiet, reminding him of Aerys Targaryen and the way a burning would arouse him. A king has no secrets from his Kingsguard. Relations between Aerys and his queen had been strained during the last years of his reign. They slept apart and did their best to avoid each other during the waking hours. But whenever Aerys gave a man to the flames, Queen Rhaella would have a visitor in the night. The day he burned his mace-and-dagger Hand, Jaime and Jon Darry had stood at guard outside her bedchamber whilst the king took his pleasure. "You're hurting me," they had heard Rhaella cry through the oaken door. "You're hurting me." In some queer way, that had been worse than Lord Chelsted's screaming. "We are sworn to protect her as well," Jaime had finally been driven to say. "We are," Darry allowed, "but not from him."

However in ASOS, Jaime V, he tells Brienne that the kingsguard "were all away" and Jaime was the only one in King's Landing when Lord Chelsted confronted Aerys about the wildfire. 

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[Jaime] floated in heat, in memory. "After dancing griffins lost the Battle of the Bells, Aerys exiled him. . . . 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. . . . 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.

"My Sworn Brothers were all away, you see, but Aerys liked to keep me close."

From Tyrion I, ACOK, we know that Aerys last Hand was only around for a fortnight or so. Even if Darry left the next morning, he would have to ride to Stoney Sept, rouse the men, and then go to the Trident in time to die during the thick of battle. While it makes plenty of sense for Aerys to unfortunately rape Rhaella the night of Chelsted's death, I feel like Darry's advice and pairing it with that day is a bit of an UnKiss on Jaime's part.

Am I missing something, or is this just a lil bit of a timeline goof on GRRM's part?

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This came uo before and was kind of settled here. When Chelsted was burned, Darry was back again from rallying Connington's men, Rossart was only made hand after the Trident, and at that point there were no other Kingsguard in the city.

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5 hours ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

This came uo before and was kind of settled here. When Chelsted was burned, Darry was back again from rallying Connington's men, Rossart was only made hand after the Trident, and at that point there were no other Kingsguard in the city.

Thanks for the link! Not sure I love the solution, but timelines in the series are a bit wonky to begin with

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I still don't like the ridiculous idea that Aerys II burned Chelsted while Rhaegar and the KG were still in KL and then waited until after the Trident to name a new Hand.

The best way to deal with that thing would just assume Jaime's misremembers during which royal rape after a burning he had his talk with Darry.

Within the context of the story it makes no sense, in my opinion, that Chelsted could find out about the wildfire plot and then be burned by the king without Rhaegar finding out what was going on and that having consequences of some sort - starting with Rhaegar claiming the Handship for himself to Rhaegar actually realizing the mad plan his mad father was trying to implement with the help of the alchemists.

It also would make little sense to assume that Chelsted would confront the king all by himself if Rhaegar was still around. Instead, one would expect that he would first talk to Rhaegar and then they would make plans together how the king could be stopped.

Also, it strikes me as pretty far-fetched to assume that Aerys II already planned the destruction of the capital while it still looked as if Rhaegar could win the war. The final implementation of the wildfire plan - i.e. the hiding of the caches everywhere in the city - seems to be something Aerys II and Rossart executed only after the Trident. They prepared for the worst earlier, producing sufficient wildfire to burn the city, but the idea to actually do this would have come after the Trident. That's also something you can draw from Dany's vision which Jaime also remembers - when Aerys talks about burning the city he implicitly talks about Robert: 'Let him be the king of ashes' indicates Aerys II only authorized the wildfire plan as such after Robert had won at the Trident.

If Aerys II was already deeply involved in the wildfire destruction business by the time Chelsted realized what was going - leading to his execution - then it also makes no sense that Aerys II would wait weeks or months before naming Rossart his new Hand. Rossart is chosen because he was already implementing the wildfire plot, so why the hell would the king not increase his authority and speed up the implementation of the plan by naming Rossart Hand immediately after he burned Chelsted? As Hand, Rossart could call on much more resources than he could as the king's pet alchemist.

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The Worldbook seems to further clarify that Aerys did not appoint Rossart until after the events of the Trident:

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BIRDS FLEW AND couriers raced to bear word of the victory at the Ruby Ford. When the news reached the Red Keep, it was said that Aerys cursed the Dornish, certain that Lewyn had betrayed Rhaegar. He sent his pregnant queen, Rhaella, and his younger son and new heir, Viserys, away to Dragonstone, but Princess Elia was forced to remain in King’s Landing with Rhaegar’s children as a hostage against Dorne. Having burned his previous Hand, Lord Chelsted, alive for bad counsel during the war, Aerys now appointed another to the position: the alchemist Rossart—a man of low birth, with little to recommend him but his flames and trickery.

 

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If Aerys II was already deeply involved in the wildfire destruction business by the time Chelsted realized what was going - leading to his execution - then it also makes no sense that Aerys II would wait weeks or months before naming Rossart his new Hand. Rossart is chosen because he was already implementing the wildfire plot, so why the hell would the king not increase his authority and speed up the implementation of the plan by naming Rossart Hand immediately after he burned Chelsted? As Hand, Rossart could call on much more resources than he could as the king's pet alchemist.

I think it’s fairly clear that the Wildfire plot was one of last resort.  And it was Rhaegar’s defeat and death that led Aerys to actually giving the green light for the plan to go forward.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/26/2021 at 11:13 PM, Frey family reunion said:

The Worldbook seems to further clarify that Aerys did not appoint Rossart until after the events of the Trident:

I think it’s fairly clear that the Wildfire plot was one of last resort.  And it was Rhaegar’s defeat and death that led Aerys to actually giving the green light for the plan to go forward.

Yes, but people actually argue or put forth the idea that Chelsted would have been burned weeks before the appointment of Rossart. It took Ned's comparatively small army about two weeks to reach KL, and they raced ahead. Rhaegar's larger host would have taken much longer, perhaps as long as three weeks or a month or more (and we also don't know how much time passed until the decisive battle took place, could be that there were days of maneuvering before time and place for the final battle were clear).

Even under normal circumstances it makes little sense to assume that a king in Aerys' position would not immediately name a new Hand after executing the old Hand. But in this case we would also have to assume that Rossart continued his work with the wildfire in secret for weeks (!) without the authority of the Hand since we do know that Chelsted was only burned because he confronted the king about the wildfire he had learned was already implemented. How can that make sense?

The main/only reason why Aerys made Rossart his Hand seems to be that the old Hand, Chelsted, didn't support the wildfire plan, so Aerys is cutting things short by making the wildfire guy the Hand, ensuring that the next Hand would not pull another Chelsted on him.

Edited by Lord Varys

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Yes, but people actually argue or put forth the idea that Chelsted would have been burned weeks before the appointment of Chelsted. It took Ned's comparatively small army about two weeks to reach KL, and they raced ahead. Rhaegar's larger host would have taken much longer, perhaps as long as three weeks or a month or more (and we also don't know how much times passed until the decisive battle took place, could be that there were days of maneuvering before time and place for the final battle were clear).

Even under normal circumstances it makes little sense to assume that a king in Aerys' position would not immediately name a new Hand after executing the old Hand. But in this case we would also have to assume that Rossart continued his work with the wildfire in secret for weeks (!) without the authority of the Hand since we do know that Chelsted was only burned because he confronted the king about the wildfire he had learned was already implemented. How can that make sense?

The main/only reason why Aerys made Rossart his Hand seems to be that the old Hand, Chelsted, didn't support the wildfire plan, so Aerys is cuts things short by making the wildfire guy the Hand, esuring that the next Hand would not pull another Chelsted on him.

I don't have an issue with a long delay between Hands.  I'm assuming that Chelsted was appointed before Rhaegar's return to King's Landing.  All Chelsted ended up being for Aerys, was a busy body that stuck his nose in Aerys' pet project.  

Rhaegar was now back in King's Landing, and basically fit the role that Connington did before him, which was command the royal armies.  Which at the time was the only real need Aerys had.  

So, if you are Aerys, why bother to create a new Hand?  You had Rhaegar to do the one thing that you needed.  Let Rhaegar fight the war, while you and Rossart plot your wildfire contingency plan.  And don't create a new Hand to cause trouble.

So when Rhaegar dies, it's time to put the plan in motion, so go ahead and appoint Rossart as Hand to give him the autonomy he needs, and let him got to work.  

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On 7/27/2021 at 1:07 AM, Frey family reunion said:

I don't have an issue with a long delay between Hands.  I'm assuming that Chelsted was appointed before Rhaegar's return to King's Landing.  All Chelsted ended up being for Aerys, was a busy body that stuck his nose in Aerys' pet project.

Chelsted was one of Aerys' cronies and a loyal follower of the king's party. Appointing him can be seen as a sign that Aerys didn't trust Rhaegar with that office. Although I also expect that Chelsted was appointed before Rhaegar had returned to court.

However, the closeness between Aerys and Chelsted is what made the final confrontation as powerful as it is. Chelsted knew his king better than most people at court, I imagine, so he must have known what he risked by opposing the king in the wildfire matter but he did it anyway.

On 7/27/2021 at 1:07 AM, Frey family reunion said:

Rhaegar was now back in King's Landing, and basically fit the role that Connington did before him, which was command the royal armies.  Which at the time was the only real need Aerys had.  

It so happened that one Hand commanded the king's armies during the war, Connington. Merryweather didn't do that. However, the job of a Hand is not just warfare, even in war. The government has to be run, the day-to-day business of the Crown continues in peace as well as in war. We see that with Tyrion as Acting Hand in ACoK.

A king as preoccupied/paranoid as Aerys needed a Hand to keep things going, that's why he named Hands after Tywin's resignation rather than abolishing the office or leaving it vacant.

On 7/27/2021 at 1:07 AM, Frey family reunion said:

So, if you are Aerys, why bother to create a new Hand?  You had Rhaegar to do the one thing that you needed.  Let Rhaegar fight the war, while you and Rossart plot your wildfire contingency plan.  And don't create a new Hand to cause trouble.

That still doesn't answer the question why Rossart didn't succeed Chelsted then and there. That would have helped with the wildfire plan and everything else.

On 7/27/2021 at 1:07 AM, Frey family reunion said:

So when Rhaegar dies, it's time to put the plan in motion, so go ahead and appoint Rossart as Hand to give him the autonomy he needs, and let him got to work.  

Why would you only appoint Rossart as Hand after the Trident? Rhaegar never was Hand nor is there any indication Aerys wanted him in that office. If Rossart had the autonomy to do stuff prior to the Trident - and he did - why would he need that office afterwards? And if you didn't trust Rossart prior to the Trident with the general defense of the city and the running of the government then why trust him with that after the Trident?

This is not an impossible scenario, but it is very weird, in my opinion, and raises more questions than it answers, especially when unreliable memories on Jaime's part would be the much better explanation.

This whole issue arises only if you have to insist that the Jaime-Darry conversation took place the night Chelsted was burned.

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Chelsted was one of Aerys' cronies and a loyal follower of the king's party. Appointing him can be seen as a sign that Aerys didn't trust Rhaegar with that office. Although I also expect that Chelsted was appointed before Rhaegar had returned to court.

If that was the case then I don't think Aerys would have allowed Rhaegar to have taken command over the royal armies.  I think it's more likely that Rhaegar wasn't present so Aerys appointed Chelsted, only to regret the appointment later.  Which is why he didn't appoint anyone else, until after the Trident, and then only because of very special circumstances.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It so happened that one Hand commanded the king's armies during the war, Connington. Merryweather didn't do that. However, the job of a Hand is not just warfare, even in war. The government has to be run, the day-to-day business of the Crown continues in peace as well as in war. We see that with Tyrion as Acting Hand in ACoK.

Sure, I just don't think any actual governance was going on at this time at least not from King's Landing.  Nor do I think that Aerys had any interest in in governing.  And while yes, a Hand could have been useful for most kings during this occassion, most kings weren't primarily interested in blowing up their kingdom in case things turned out poorly in the war.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That still doesn't answer the question why Rossart didn't succeed Chelsted then and there. That would have helped with the wildfire plan and everything else.

I think that would have raised too much suspicion if Aerys had appointed his pyromancer as Hand, and created too many unwanted questions.  I  don't think Aerys wanted Rossart to do anything other than his pet project.  So when it was time to actually blow the kingdom up, he made Rossart the Hand to give him the authority and autonomy to do whatever needed to be done to finalize the job.  Up until Rhaegar's death this was just a contingency plan, hence keep Rossart's influence quiet.

 

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Why would you only appoint Rossart as Hand after the Trident? Rhaegar never was Hand nor is there any indication Aerys wanted him in that office. If Rossart had the autonomy to do stuff prior to the Trident - and he did - why would he need that office afterwards? And if you didn't trust Rossart prior to the Trident with the general defense of the city and the running of the government then why trust him with that after the Trident?

I think i've answered that above.  Rossart was acting in secret prior to Rhaegar's death.  After his death Rossart had to have the authority to finalize the plans which would probably include commanding troops in addition to his pyromancers in Rossart's command.  After all they had to act quickly before too many people got wind of what was about to happen.

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On 7/28/2021 at 5:00 PM, Frey family reunion said:

If that was the case then I don't think Aerys would have allowed Rhaegar to have taken command over the royal armies.  I think it's more likely that Rhaegar wasn't present so Aerys appointed Chelsted, only to regret the appointment later.  Which is why he didn't appoint anyone else, until after the Trident, and then only because of very special circumstances.

I'm not sure why Aerys II would not just fire Chelsted and replace him with Rhaegar if he wanted Rhaegar to be the Hand. Qarlton Chelsted was a minor lord from the Crownlands, there is no reason to think the king couldn't fire him as quickly as he appointed him. Owen Merryweather and Jon Connington were both greater lords than Chelsted, after all.

Also notice that Aerys sent Selmy and Darry to fetch back the remnants of the Connington army, not the new Hand, There is no indication that the king thought the guy who was to lead the royal armies should also be his Hand.

On 7/28/2021 at 5:00 PM, Frey family reunion said:

Sure, I just don't think any actual governance was going on at this time at least not from King's Landing.  Nor do I think that Aerys had any interest in in governing.  And while yes, a Hand could have been useful for most kings during this occassion, most kings weren't primarily interested in blowing up their kingdom in case things turned out poorly in the war.

A lot of administrative stuff would have still happened during the war, like it did during the Dance - think of the merchants complaining about the Velaryon blockade. And the Hand would have shouldered most of that burden. Without a Hand the king himself would have to deal with those daily minutiae and you are quite correct that Aerys wouldn't have been interested in any of that.

Before the Trident Aerys wouldn't have thought House Targaryen would be defeated, so things would have continued as before.

On 7/28/2021 at 5:00 PM, Frey family reunion said:

I think that would have raised too much suspicion if Aerys had appointed his pyromancer as Hand, and created too many unwanted questions.  I  don't think Aerys wanted Rossart to do anything other than his pet project.  So when it was time to actually blow the kingdom up, he made Rossart the Hand to give him the authority and autonomy to do whatever needed to be done to finalize the job.  Up until Rhaegar's death this was just a contingency plan, hence keep Rossart's influence quiet.

Well, if Chelsted burned after the Trident - as I think he did - and Rossart was appointed immediately afterwards then I'd agree with you. At that point Aerys II wouldn't have cared much about quality government. But back before the Trident he should have. He wasn't planning to burn down the city if Robert was defeated.

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On 7/26/2021 at 4:07 PM, Frey family reunion said:

All Chelsted ended up being for Aerys, was a busy body that stuck his nose in Aerys' pet project.  

You say that like it's a bad thing. He was trying to stop Aerys from blowing KL to hell. 

On 7/29/2021 at 2:08 PM, Lord Varys said:

Well, if Chelsted burned after the Trident - as I think he did - and Rossart was appointed immediately afterwards then I'd agree with you. At that point Aerys II wouldn't have cared much about quality government. But back before the Trident he should have. He wasn't planning to burn down the city if Robert was defeated.

He might've, if he thought that it would truly turn him into a dragon. 

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