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Eustace vs Mushroom


James Steller
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24 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

We don't get the precise details of what she said or did at that time, but in that account Daemon tells her that Criston still thought of her as a girl rather than a woman. And the moment that Criston actually turns is after Laenor & Rhaenyra have both given their favors to their lovers at their wedding tourney. Criston beat Joffrey even worse than Harwin, and in the Green Council meeting he's the only one to reference Laenor and harp on how his alleged children can't reach the throne.

He's certainly a brutally violent man. But he's also said by Jaime to embody both the best & the worst of the KG. "[C]ommitting terrible acts and justifying them with an oath? That’s so Kingsguard." I don't think it's mere "premarital sex" that offends him. Rather, it's that Rhaenyra wanted to use him to get Laenor to reject her, and then when that didn't work she & Laenor embarked on a sham marriage in which each actually was with someone else (someone decidedly against Westerosi norms, in Laenor's case). That's not just a naive young girl with a crush on an older guy who had long supported her, that's some adult cynicism. Criston's vocal revulsion for Laenor's sexuality is consistent with a prudish characterization (in which he might be righteous in his own eyes even while he's not to a modern reader), whereas him having any sexual interest in anybody doesn't match the rest of the text that well.

Criston refusing her would only enhance his reliability!

We never hear of him speaking to those last two in confidence. He does admittedly refer to Cargyll going to the sept to pray before his mission to Dragonstone.

Criston hated Laenor because he was the “sissy” that Rhaenyra married instead of himself, a “real man.” Bear in mind that Criston also immediately allied himself with Alicent, who was rumored to have seduced the married King Viserys when she was no older than Rhaenyra in order to advance her house, which is pretty cynical. But that didn’t seem to bother him.

From the perspective of the current Westerosi, Criston Cole supported the rightful king, since Aegon II is remembered as the monarch from this era and Rhaenyra the pretender. That is the good Jaime was speaking of. The bad was him revolting out of disdain for the woman who spurned him. Arys Oakheart said as much a few chapters earlier.

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5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

You were responding to a discussion of Mushroom referring to the day being "black as Aemond's heart". If you think Aemond wasn't blackhearted at all, that would be a reason not to trust Mushroom. I argued that Eustace wouldn't have written that, partly because he is "dry" and just doesn't go on about people having black hearts.

Who cares? I don't agree that being 'blackhearted' is an insult, and it is completely pointless to even entertain speculations what fictional historians may or may not have written. And I'm at a loss why this is relevant. Mushroom supposedly liking Rhaenyra as a person - which I don't believe in light of the stories he tells about her and her family - has nothing to do with Aemond. Aemond is such a monstrous person that even fervent supporters of the Greens could dislike him and make such judgments - if you want to interpret them as judgment - in their works.

I mostly don't trust Mushroom. I think there are, perhaps, one or two instances where he is correct in his conclusions - say, in his speculation about who the actual father of the Hull boys might be. But that's not because he actually knows stuff other people don't, but because he can make good conclusions on information that was almost publicly available.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

But the quote doesn't come when the Strongs are killed. It comes when Aemond kills the child of someone whose tears Mushroom repeatedly informs us of. Mushroom is colorfully calling that (specifying that one day) a blackhearted action.

Again, any judgment any of the sources make who write decades or years after the facts is clouded by what they know about those people at the time of the writing.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Haldon attended the citadel, he acts like a maester to Young Griff, but he has no rebuttal to Tyrion after the latter tells him he's wrong. Gyldayn is a maester who wrote a history book, and he casts doubt on Haldon/Orwyle's dragon being the target, while not doing so for the one Tyrion identified.

Who cares? I talked about Tyrion here and Tyrion simply isn't a scholar. He is a well-read layman.

I mean, go along - believe that Mushroom and Tyrion are right of Byron Swann. But I don't.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

You plainly care that he could be mistaken or you wouldn't have written that. Beliefs pay rent in anticipated experiences when it comes to reality, but there's no experiences you'll anticipate as a result of your belief that Gyldayn might be wrong about a source he didn't even mention.

If we ask the question how reliable FaB as a whole is, how accurate a picture it paints of the *reality* of the historical figures it purports to depict, then everything is and should be under suspicion. Especially, as I said, direct quotes given in private, character assessments, speculations based on rumors, etc.

Anything that goes beyond official and widespread documents - proclamations and the like (which are things we see quoted rather often without Gyldayn explicitly mentioning them) or events which would be well-attested by a number of different court observers like coronations, burials, tourneys and celebrations, open court sessions and audiences, etc. - is in doubt.

All longer episodes and anecdotes are constructed (and in that sense false) narratives. The gist of it might be more or less accurate, but the details wouldn't be. Especially not the actual quotes given.

That goes especially for dialogue in council sessions or private conversations behind closed doors (like we get them so often for Jaehaerys and Alysanne).

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That is an opinion (whether someone "likes" another person is not really testable), not of the form "source X said that". And of course we don't have "confirmation" that the things Gyldayn tells us are correct, because that would require us to have evidence in addition to Gyldayn to confirm him but Eustace & Mushroom didn't even exist until they were invented for Gyldayn's history and thus nothing prior in ASoIAF can say anything about them as individuals. And once you remember that they are not real people but just characters invented for Gyldayn's history you should see how pointless it would be for GRRM to have Gyldayn tell us that about them when it was somehow not supposed to be "true". We don't get a sense of Gyldayn's character that would permit us to discount things from his POV (excepting something like him being a Westerosi maester and thus having some biases like skepticism toward magic). We don't get POV chapters from Eustace or Mushroom showing their positive & negative attitudes toward various characters, so instead GRRM can just sum up how we can think of them via Gyldayn.

Just stop pretending that this book is supposed to more than it is. It is just a fake history. It doesn't give us any actual truth about the fictional world. In that sense it is like a medieval chronicle pretending to tell us the truth about, say, the Anarchy a century or two after the events took placed, based on more contemporary sources.

That doesn't mean it is worth nothing - we now know much more about the Targaryens than before FaB was published - but the details cannot be trusted very far.

Just because George is actually a fantasy author and is not going write more books about that era doesn't mean the stuff in the book gets more credence. It remains what it is - a medieval style history book, which is deliberately written to be as unreliable as a medieval history book.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

If you don't think it's odd that Gyldayn portrays the Testimony so differently, saying nothing about its history of production (rather than Mushroom being Mushroom) making it unreliable, then what is his reason for treating the texts so differently?

I don't need Gyldayn or George to tell me how to assess spurious sources mentioned in a history book, thank you very much.

Gyldayn himself is no modern historian, so the way he assess and judges sources is also problematic.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Gyldayn is writing the text, and he explicitly says the text is valuable and contains truths. He does NOT say we should ascribe any of it to some mummer making latter "improvements".

Gyldayn's standards are obviously not my standards. But as you well know, Gyldayn himself tells us that only a few copies of the Testimony survived Baelor, and we don't know no the textual history of the copy or copies Gyldayn consulted.

What George told us about the manuscript industy in Martinworld via the Coryanne book strongly implies that the rigid standards in manuscript-copying applied to professional text written by maesters or septons like Eustace's history or the True Telling wouldn't necessarily be applied to Mushroom's Testimony, especially if the text was actually written by an Essosi scribe and only later translated into the Common Tongue (which is certainly possible).

In that sense, it is quite valid to wonder about the accuracy of the copies of the Testimony compared to the now lost original. Just as it is valid to question whether the scribe actually put down Mushroom's correct words.

In fact, if you recall the Mercy chapter and remember Phario Forel's take on the War of the Five Kings then we might get a glimpse at how The Testimony of Mushroom developed - the mummer troupe of the dwarf was looking for inspiration for comedies and plays in Mushroom's own time at court.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

It's not really "anonymous" since it explicitly refers to Mushroom himself being the one who said all that. And diligent historians will make use of any sources available to them regardless of whether the scribe signed his own name.

Just because a work pretends to be written by this or that person doesn't make it true.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Gyldayn writes about sex all the time, even when Mushroom isn't part of the conversation. This is the "tits and dragons" story, after all. And Mushroom serves as the only source by Rhaenyra's side.

Mushroom isn't a source 'at Rhaenyra's side'. He talks about events all over the place, and what he has to tell about Rhaenyra doesn't necessarily have more credence because he was physically close to her or the events he describes.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

No, we don't know what "corsair queen" or "Qartheen warlock" she served or who she was a slave for in Volantis. Similarly, we don't get Mushroom's details about the Sealord of Braavos or the crew of the Lisping Lady.

We know more about her life's journey and end than we know about Mushroom's.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

No one in the text calls it "nonsense". And the Greens had accused her children of being bastards who couldn't inherit, so this was a real shift in their position. Later in the Dance, Alicent proposes dividing the kingdoms so that each sides would keep the regions they then controlled. Nobody calls that "nonsense" either.

Folks don't have to identify nonsense for it to be nonsense, you know.

The so-called 'peace offer' grants Rhaenyra and the Velaryons only what they already had - or rather it pretended to do that, since it was conditional on Rhaenyra doing obeisance in front of the Iron Throne in person, meaning they could have just seized her when she showed up. It is also quite clear that Aegon and Viserys were supposed to be hostages for her good behavior.

The idea to split Westeros between the pretenders was laughable. It would have created two royal branches of House Targaryen and two independent kingdoms, destroying the unity of the Conqueror's Realm and turning one succession war into a possibly never-ending series of wars between two kingdoms. It wouldn't even be feasible since the very structure of the Realm couldn't stop this or that lord from deciding to acknowledge the other pretender as his or her monarch.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

He's not cited for that. Rather, Gyldayn just vaguely refers to "sources". Isn't it interesting that sections painting her in that kind of light don't explicitly cite Eustace?

Nope. Gyldayn always draws on sources and since he rarely mentions or quotes specific sources we cannot really pretend that the stuff he tells us is only drawn from this or that source when he mentions them specifically.

In this concrete case the fact that Gyldayn says that Alicent wanted to bathe in the blood of Blood's family matter-of-factly and then points out that all his sources don't tell if this actually transpired indicates that all his sources agree that Alicent wanted to do this.

In general, Gyldayn mostly mentions specific sources when they are at odds with each other or they are suspect.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Then why does Gyldayn explicitly point to that when explaining the riots!?

I didn't say it played no role. Helaena's death also played a role. But something as irrelevant as the murder or a royal woman or child wouldn't cause such major riots. We know what happened and the Gyldayn actually tells us why the people rioted. Because of high taxes - one group of rioters dealt with the Celtigar Master of Coin, after all - and because people were afraid that they would be killed by the Green dragons.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Isn't that somewhat inconsistent with you talking about how other sources must exist even if Gyldayn only cites a few named ones? Would the papers at Dragonstone have been destroyed for some reason before any histories could rely on them? Why did GRRM have Gyldayn quote that letter if we're supposed to ignore it?

If we had reason to believe Eustace or Munkun had access to the Dragonstone archives or if we had reason to believe Rhaenyra and her court would preserve letters about secret assassination plans then, yes, this might be possible. But we have no such reasons.

It is quite common for medieval historians to invent both dialogues and letters, so there is really no reason to assume that those letters are accurate.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That's your view, but not something they ever said. Instead Rhaenyra explicitly said she would have Aegon's head. Additionally, Aegon sidelines his mother & grandfather shortly after that, so he was plainly not a pawn of them at that time!

You do want to misunderstand me, right? Aegon II was a pawn of his grandfather and mother when he was made king. He was never groomed to rule and he may not even have the ambition to become king. If this was so, then Rhaenyra and Daemon would have known it. The Greens were the queen's party, not the party of Prince Aegon, after all.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Aemond is definitely not a pawn of the Hightowers. He screws things up from their perspective while Aegon congratulates him.

He was their pawn as well ... until he wasn't. He even was their pawn at Storm's End just a very stupid pawn who fucked things up.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

She's not called "the Kingmaker". Men with power made Aegon king.

Who cares what people in-universe call her? They even excluded her from their blood vow never mind that she, as Aegon's mother, was his most loyal supporter. Aegon II would have never been king without his mommy. She is the real Kingmaker, Criston Cole is just an extra compared to her.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The possibility of killing the latter two isn't even brought up. Aemond was in Harrenhal, away from KL where Mysaria was hiding and Blood & Cheese lived (and where Daemon himself had friends in low places).

LOL, what? Aemond was in KL at the time. Daeron was in Oldtown. I know that Aemond being a target isn't mentioned, but that's why this was my assumption, not something that's in the text.

I gave you the reasons why I don't buy the narrative as given and think that the weirdo decision to only kill Jaehaerys was something Blood and Cheese themselves made in their stupidity.

It is also kind of telling that Blood is caught when he tries to leave KL to go to Harrenhal to collect his reward from Daemon. Why should that be necessary? Couldn't Mysaria pay the thugs whatever she promised?

Chances are she cut ties with those morons after they turned this whole thing into this bloody shitshow, forcing Blood to demand payment from Daemon directly. One wonders what exactly Daemon would have done to the guy had he revealed to him he could have actually killed Alicent, Helaena, Jaehaera, Maelor and (technically) Otto in addition to Jaehaerys.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

If Mysaria ignored her actual assignment to kill the wrong person, resulting in the Blacks being held publicly responsible for the murder of an innocent child... why did she get promoted to unofficial Mistress of Whisperers!?

Obviously they didn't have *that much* of a problem with that - and neither did any of their noble and heroic followers. Most of the lowborn Riverlanders joining Rhaenyra did so after Blood and Cheese. And Mysaria was Daemon's old buddy and later again his lover, so it is quite clear why she served Rhaenyra in the role she later had.

It is actually easily explained how such a mixup could have happened. Daemon could exchange letters via raven with Dragonstone, but not with Mysaria in the slums of KL. To contact her he would have to send a messenger, and it is easily imaginable how a son of Alicent's might have become a son of Aegon's in all that.

But then - I think Blood and Cheese knew what they were hired for but decided to kill one of the children when they were in the Red Keep because they felt or knew they could not return to Mysaria without at least some success.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Was Daemon a prudent guy worried about "bad press", or was he a "rogue prince" notorious for his bad boy behavior?

In 129 AC he was a settled and rather prudent guy who didn't want the war to escalate or do anything bold or rash.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

So you don't think that was done by Big Walder, found with actual blood on his hands after talking about how he'd be Lord of the Crossing despite being behind Little Walder in the succession? People tend to treat that as the default explanation even if they don't believe it (and the person here I just linked disbelieving that doesn't thing it was "revenge" either!).

For the point here it doesn't matter who did it. If the Manderlys or the wildling women did it, we would understand why they did it.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

How can killing an innocent child be justified!? I can understand treating the cannibalized Freys as guilty men who deserved punishment. Even Little Walder was a terrible kid who was emulating Ramsay before he died. But we don't get anything like that for Jaehaerys. As I said, the more obvious comparison is Rickard Stark killing hostages because Jaime was freed despite killing Rickard's sons. Those hostages aren't combatants anymore, just as Jaehaerys was never a combatant.

It makes sense in context of that world where an attack on your family demands revenge in an 'eye for an eye' way. If you don't do that, you look weak.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The division between the blacks & greens began when Rhaenyra was a girl, before she had any children to form a dynasty. That's why the original story was titled "The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens", culminating in Rhaenyra's death.

That wasn't the original story but an abridged version of a part of the actual story.

Rhaenyra certainly began her party, but her followers followed her and her children, not the idea that an elder sister should come before a brother - nor the idea that women should rule in general, etc.

In a very real sense the Blacks turn Green and the Greens Black in the end - Aegon II wants his daughter as his heiress, in defiance of the weirdo interpretation of the Great Council, whereas Aegon III suddenly was the only male pretender left, so for all those Greens who just wanted a male monarch Aegon III was the guy to go with rather than Aegon II's rightful heir.

To somebody like Unwin Peake or the late Grover Tully Aegon III is the rightful king because he is make, whereas Aegon II's rightful heir - his only surviving child Jaehaera - has either a lesser or no claim to the Iron Throne at all.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

At the end of the Dance, Aegon was betrothed to Jaehara. Thus it would be both of their bloodlines.

Assuming the marriage would ever be consummated and Jaehaera never be set aside. Which was actually quite likely.

But you very well know that the Blacks didn't continue the fight because Aegon III was betrothed or married to Jaehaera. And we can be very sure that Aegon III would have never married Jaehaera if the Lads or the Northmen/Vale army had been forced to take KL by force.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

When the idea came up Munkun insisted the precedent excluded that as a possibility, so Aegon III went without an heir until his brother showed up. With Aerys I, The World of Ice and Fire doesn't even explicitly refer to her as heir, instead noting that she went mad with grief after accidentally killing the heir, then noting in a parenthetical that she killed herself later.

We know from Ran that the original material from George has Aelora as Heir Apparent and Princess of Dragonstone before her death. They just cut it for length.

Aegon III had heirs before Viserys' return - the regents just couldn't agree who they would name Heir Apparent. That is a difference. It was clear to all that it was one of Aegon's half-sisters. The only male claimant they had left was Gaemon Palehair and he was dismissed.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

They're fighting for Rhaenyra. She's at the top of the Black hierarchy alongside Daemon. Barristan Selmy behaving as the ideal KG at Duskendale and the Trident doesn't help because the person he fought for was Aerys, and that troubles him as he reflects on it (he does at least support Ned in opposing assassination). Ned Stark is the leader of his house and a hero because he opposes the murder of children (even if he didn't do anything about Mycah). Robb Stark takes up that cause and again opposes the murder of even enemy squires, punishing his own vassal for killing them. This makes him a hero. Davos Seaworth prevents Stannis from killing Edric Storm, because the onion knight/Hand is also a hero, and he then influences Stannis to act more like a hero by prioritizing his realm rather than his position on top of it. Stannis is Robert's rightful heir, but he's mostly an antagonist in A Clash of Kings, and only really gets to be a hero and "righteous" in GRRM's words when he goes to the Wall. Stannis' enemy Tywin explains his own decision (one he could not openly admit to) to kill Rhaegar's children by saying Robert "saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children". However much more competent Tywin is than Cersei & Joffrey, he's definitely a villain, and his villainy poisons the Lannister cause (even tainting Robert's regime, though he had no place in Robert's government). Theon is the opposite of a hero when he has the miller's boys killed, rather by following the advice of "Reek" (one of the worst characters in ASoIAF) he's acting villainous. Within the Dance, are there any people who meet GRRM's standards of heroism? Lord Mooton does when he refuses Rhaenyra's order to kill Nettles and instead lets her flee on Sheepstealer, then openly changing his banner to Aegon II to mark his rejection of Rhaenyra. To a lesser extent we could point to Marston Waters wrenching away Broome's sword before he could kill Baela, on Marston's own initiative and after Baela had nearly killed the king Marston served (since Aegon himself wound up approving of keeping her as a hostage, it doesn't fit the mold of defying a superior's orders).

Who cares about that? The Greens are mostly all thugs and traitors and opportunists, whereas most of the Blacks are good guys, never mind how you view their leaders.

Alicent has two monstrous sons in Aegon and Aemond, one incompetent daughter, and a seemingly good son who burns down a town full of refugees, committing one of the worst crimes in the entire war.

Rhaenyra and Daemon might be not exactly great people, but neither of them is as bad as Aegon and Aemond, and their descendants are all very good people. Ditto most of their allies. The Hull boys are actual heroes, the same many of the Blackwoods and other Riverlanders we meet.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The two causes were one child of Viserys sitting on the Iron Throne vs another. The lesson of the story is "everywhere the dragons dance the people died", just as "the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones". A ruler is only any good if they act to protect their people, and Team Smallfolk overthrew Rhaenyra (that Aegon II later put them down shows he's not a hero either).

LOL, Rhaenyra wasn't overthrown by team smallfolk, but by team religious fanatics.

Of course, the succession war as such is pointless - this is a shitty monarchistic world and nobody should care which royal prick sits on a throne that shouldn't even exist.

But within the context of the story the Blacks are the good guys, the one standing with the chosen heir, whereas the Greens are basically all traitors.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

There hadn't even been any battles yet! The phrase "eye for an eye" is telling, because the murder is a response to Aemond killing someone who had literally taken his eye. Aemond's act was not a pre-meditated decision, much less an order from up high, but Aegon II's approval (in contrast to the Hightowers) marks him as bad even if his courage in battle (like Rhaenys but unlike Rhaenyra) and willingness to endure severe pain would meet amoral standards of "heroism". We could also note that Lucerys was riding a dragon, a potent weapon of war of the sort that Daemon had just used to take power in the Riverlands over Lord Grover Tully's objections, and had only his own word that he would just use it for transportation rather than as a weapon. Aemond would ignore Lucerys' words, using logic similar to yours there.

Who cares? Is it confirmed that Daemon in distant Harrenhal got a detailed report as to how and why Aemond decided to murder Lucerys? Do you think he or Rhaenyra or anyone on the Black side is obliged to give Aemond the benefit or the doubt or to assume that Aemond was not also sent with the order to kill any representative of Rhaenyra's who might be at Storm's End?

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Sansa doesn't know how medicine works and accumulates in the body. She doesn't want him to shake when they go down the mountain, so she thinks of sweetsleep as actually protecting him.

She is told and she does know.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Did I ever call them "heroes"? If you believe Eustace/Munkun, then at least Daeron gets some credit for trying to stop that.

Daeron is one of the worst war criminals in the Dance, insisting on the sack of Bitterbridge and personally burning down the town.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The quotes we have from Aerys aren't mere delusional nonsense. "Let Robert rule over charred bones and cooked meat" is like Hitler's "Nero Decree". The bit about rising again as a dragon (like Aerion Brightflame believed) is just Jaime's speculation. Aerion Brightflame bears responsibility for his own actions, and Dunk is a hero for interfering with such actions via violence against him. It's not that Aerys isn't aware he's killing people or that killing people is normally considered a bad thing, rather he & Aerion have just elevated themselves above such norms and have no respect for people below them (with even his Hand Tywin Lannister being referred to as a "servant" whose daughter was thus ineligible to marry Rhaegar.

I'm not sure whether Aerion is responsible for his own actions when he develops the delusion to drink wildfire. In fact, I'm not even sure Dany was responsible for her own action when she jumped on the pyre - or when she earlier believed that killing Drogo and burning him and Mirri might hatch the dragon eggs. She seems to be quite mad there.

Aerys II goes from wrath to joy to sadness in a matter of minutes at Harrenhal. That isn't normal but pretty much a textbook case of somebody suffering from a severe mental illness. That he still can give coherent commands doesn't mean he is responsible for his actions.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

She was taxing people for those planned expenditures.

She taxed people because her coffers were completely empty. The idea that she taxed the people to throw a lavish celebration is wrong. We don't even know how much of her money would have gone in that celebration.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

You blamed Otto for how Aegon II turned out, on the logic that Otto was his grandfather. You then brought in the Blackfish's relationship to Robb as an example of how someone can be "crucial" even if they aren't the direct father and thus that the exchange of robes in a marriage ceremony doesn't matter... despite Brynden's lack of influence on how Robb grew up & turned out.

I'm right here, you have the ridiculous view that only a father is responsible for how his son turns out, even then when he doesn't want him to rule.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Jasper Wylde was not Master of Laws when that decision was made, he was preceded by Lyonel Strong.

But we also have no confirmation - or reason to believe - that Wylde ever told Viserys I that his heir shouldn't be his heir or that he couldn't possibly name his daughter his heir.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

I will grant this much: Robert would have wanted to be told, even if it would have made him very angry in his last moments alive. Ned knew Robert would order the deaths of Cersei & her children, which is why he warned Cersei and gave her the opportunity to flee (and practically canonically hid Jon Snow's parentage from Robert). Ned is thus like Davos, a Hand torn between his loyalty to his king and the imperative to spare children from the king.

Nope, that's just excusing Ned's lies. Robert was dying. Ned could have told Robert the truth while also ensuring any commands Robert might give involving the lives and well-being of Cersei's children might not be executed. He had that power, at least if Robert would have kept him as his Hand.

Ned also didn't know anything here. He feared Robert might command the murder of the children, he didn't know that. And in the end it isn't that decision to stops Ned from telling the truth - he cannot bring himself to cause Robert more grief by telling him the truth about Joff and his siblings.

Insofar as the royal succession is concerned Stannis is not the legal heir. Both because Robert named another heir - his legal son Joffrey - and because Ned had no idea who Robert would name his heir if he knew he wasn't the biological father of Cersei's children. He could have chosen to ignore that revelation. He could have legitimized one of his bastards to name them heir in Joff's stead. He could have only declared Joff a bastard, deciding that Tommen - a good lad - could be a better king under Ned's guidance than Stannis or Renly. I, personally, think Robert would have either gone with Tommen as king or the legitimization of Edric Storm, since the big thing he is proud of on his deathbed is handing the reins of government to Ned. And for that he needed a minor on the throne or else Ned couldn't rule as regent. He could also have decided to name Renly his heir since he was better suited for the throne than Stannis ... and in the capital, so they could crown him much faster than Stannis.

Ned has good intentions, to be sure, but he still betrayed his dying friend and made a decision he had no right to make.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

He told Jon Arryn under the belief that Robert wouldn't believe Stannis. It's not "treason" for him to have done that.

Sure it is. Stannis was not only Robert's brother but also a part of his government. Both means he had a duty to inform his brother about something like Cersei's betrayal. Not doing it meant he was aiding and abetting Cersei's usurpation by means of installing the false king Joffrey. Which then happens, thanks to Stannis' inaction.

As loyal servant to your king you are also obliged to give him bad information - even if you expect he might not listen to you you are still obliged to try your best.

Stannis had months to figure out the right way to tell Robert, perhaps even longer depending when exactly he first had his suspicions.

Not to mention that Ned sent multiple letters to Dragonstone asking Stannis to come back, etc. and the man never even replied. He could have told Ned about the twincest asking him that he would tell Robert. But he didn't do that, either.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Otto recommended going against the Great Council at a time when Viserys had no sons, and thus traditional succession laws would at least favor Rhaenyra over her uncle Daemon (which was why Cat was Hoster's heir before Edmure even while Brynden lived). He did NOT say they should choose the best possible ruler regardless of where they fit in the succession.

Traditional succession practices within House Targaryen actually never favored Rhaenyra.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Sunfyre was explicitly said to have a significant size & strength advantage over Moondancer, which is why it dominated when they were both on the ground and its damaged wing was less of a disadvantage vs Moondancer's speed & agility. Sunfyre had already been severely wounded in the fight with Meleys (hence the damaged wing), took "many grievous wounds" from Mooton's men (threescore of which it killed before the survivors fled) while on the ground near Rook's Rest, then got fresh wounds off Dragonstone when it attacked & killed the Grey Ghost (without Aegon riding it, perhaps just because it was hungry), then finally fought & killed Moondancer and still lived long enough after that for Rhaenyra to arrive and get eaten. That's a longer track record of surviving punishment and coming out on top than most dragons. The one time Tessarion fought other dragons, all three died (even if Tessarion died last at Tumbleton). For what it's worth, here's someone else's ranking/categorization of the dragons.

Give it up. Sunfyre wasn't a particularly large dragon.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

He was surrounded by the Tyrells at his wedding, and they're the ones who killed him. Tyrion & Sansa got blamed even though they weren't even aware there was an assassination plot, in part because they were both known to hate Joffrey (for good reason).

LOL, it is 'the Tyrells' now, just that you can pretend you made an accurate point here. Some Tyrells were involved, but certainly not all of them. Perhaps a handful or a dozen of people at the feast knew about the plan, not more. That's not Joff being surrounded by traitors. It is a very small cabal of traitors working very efficiently.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

You can look forward to what you want. LF is at risk from Sansa exposing him, but I don't see a simple path to the Tyrells getting busted (instead it's their association with the Lannister regime while the Sparrows & Young Griff are around that's their problem).

Cersei is still alive.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Larys & Corlys are his entire court?

If Aegon II had any loyalists left then Larys and Corlys would have been arrested after they committed their murders. Aegon II had so many loyal people about him that a Black leader caring about justice had to punish the murderers of Aegon II.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

When has GRRM not written Joffrey as stupid? There's the scene in the TV show where he complains to Tywin about rumored dragons in Essos & being excluded from SC meetings, but that's not in the books (and is for an older version of Joffrey).

Joff was smart enough to know when his life was in danger. There are multiple examples in the books. Aegon II never understood that.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

They were family via him being his grandfather, but I don't know that any "trust and friendship" was established between them beforehand. And if Aegon hadn't even planned on being king, it's not really a "betrayal" for him to replace a man behind that.

LOL, just drop it, you are making a fool of yourself. Otto was Aegon's grandfather and most important follower. Aegon II agreed to be king and wanted to be king after he was crowned (else he could have abdicated in favor of Rhaenyra which he never considered). Otto gave him that crown. He should have been grateful but he wasn't.

He never even gave the old man a lordship, now that one thinks of it. What a disgrace.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Not "lies", GRRM set it up as a clear parallel to Cersei's bastards and has folks without any dog in the fight like Mellos appearing to believe that.

That doesn't matter, Laenor Velaryon acknowledged the boys as his, so they are. If Robert had said it was a lie that Jaime (or some other guy who wasn't Robert himself) was the father of his children then this would have been the truth as well. There are no gene tests in Westeros. And there is also no indication that lords or princes or random people have a right to demand that royals prove to their satisfaction that their children are actually their seed.

You can spread rumors and whatnot - but then there will be a ruling by the king and that will be final. And Viserys I did rule on the parentage of his grandsons, did he not?

You also see it with the Naerys-Aemond story - there was a trial-by-combat there and that settled the question.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

If you run with scissors and trip, the subsequent stabbing is an accident. If you attack someone with wooden swords, then pull a knife on them when that doesn't work and slash at their face, it's not. And you were the one talking about "an eye for an eye"!

It was an accident since there is no indication that Luke ever wanted to cut out his uncle's eye. Alicent Hightower demanded that this young boy's eye be put out to punish him - which is sadism and madness or her part - and Rhaenyra reacted to that. And all she basically demanded is that the boy tell why he had called his nephews 'Strongs'. He wouldn't be question sharply if he were to tell the truth right away, would he?

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

What would be the legal basis for that? Couldn't he demand a right to a trial? There are some other instances where royal offspring married without permission, and nothing like that happened (even though Jenny of Oldstones wasn't even a noble).

Daemon and Laena had to go into exile after they married without royal permission. And what point would a trial be in this case? If the king didn't allow you to marry then this is a crime no matter what you think you are entitled to do. You cannot get out of that by winning a duel.

Not to mention that the king basically decides what your rights are, anyway. Jaehaerys I grants the Stinger the right to a trial-by-combat. Nobody would have stopped him if he had just mutilated the man the way he suggested it earlier. Ditto with Lysa, etc.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Criston refusing her would only enhance his reliability!

LOL, then imagine that he refused her. Never mind that it isn't in the text and their split there only takes place in 113 AC after Rhaenyra's wedding.

5 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

We never hear of him speaking to those last two in confidence. He does admittedly refer to Cargyll going to the sept to pray before his mission to Dragonstone.

Who cares? I never said that Eustace actually talked to them, I just offered a possibility how Eustace could have gotten that information.

That I find Eustace much more credible here than Mushroom's ridiculous version doesn't mean I say Eustace is confirmed to be correct. All we know for sure is that Daemon and Viserys quarreled and Daemon subsequently left.

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2 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

From the perspective of the current Westerosi, Criston Cole supported the rightful king, since Aegon II is remembered as the monarch from this era and Rhaenyra the pretender. That is the good Jaime was speaking of. The bad was him revolting out of disdain for the woman who spurned him. Arys Oakheart said as much a few chapters earlier.

I'm not sure that is why he is remembered in that way. I'd think the good part just is that he was a good knight and Kingsguard before 129 AC whereas the bad part started when he, a simple Kingsguard who was supposed to obey his king without having a political mind of his own, decided on whim to help to make a king of his own choosing, and plunging the Realm into civil war over this.

In a very real sense Jaime is actually a better Kingsguard than Criston Cole since he does his best to stay out of politics. His betrayal and murder of Aerys II doesn't come at a time when it was making a difference politically. Robert would have been king, even if Aerys II had been able to implement the wildfire plan (not that I think Jaime had to kill Aerys to stop it).

And the lesson Cole's example is to teach Loras is that a Kingsguard must not mess around with politics. Which is a temptation Loras as brother of the queen is most likely going to face.

The irony there, I think, will be that Jaime is going to become another Kingmaker when he sides with Aegon in his desire for redemption.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not sure that is why he is remembered in that way. I'd think the good part just is that he was a good knight and Kingsguard before 129 AC whereas the bad part started when he, a simple Kingsguard who was supposed to obey his king without having a political mind of his own, decided on whim to help to make a king of his own choosing, and plunging the Realm into civil war over this.

In a very real sense Jaime is actually a better Kingsguard than Criston Cole since he does his best to stay out of politics. His betrayal and murder of Aerys II doesn't come at a time when it was making a difference politically. Robert would have been king, even if Aerys II had been able to implement the wildfire plan (not that I think Jaime had to kill Aerys to stop it).

And the lesson Cole's example is to teach Loras is that a Kingsguard must not mess around with politics. Which is a temptation Loras as brother of the queen is most likely going to face.

The irony there, I think, will be that Jaime is going to become another Kingmaker when he sides with Aegon in his desire for redemption.

You may be right about that. 

Jaime won't be siding with any other kings while Tommem and Myrcella are still alive, and Aegon is already well on his way to becoming king without him. Not to mention that there's no way Jaime would get out of a meeting with Aegon alive--he killed the last Targaryen king and fathered the bastards that now sit the Iron Throne. Both JonCon and the Martells are going to want him executed if he's captured.

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3 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Jaime won't be siding with any other kings while Tommem and Myrcella are still alive, and Aegon is already well on his way to becoming king without him. Not to mention that there's no way Jaime would get out of a meeting with Aegon alive--he killed the last Targaryen king and fathered the bastards that now sit the Iron Throne. Both JonCon and the Martells are going to want him executed if he's captured.

Oh, but Jaime was already determined to effectively unmake Tommen and Myrcella as royal children by revealing their true parentage. His thoughts about the Dornish being pissed when he tells Myrcella the truth means he doesn't just want to tell his children the truth in private. He intends or expect this to have broader consequences.

Also, remember how he was keen to marry Cersei and put Tywin on the throne instead of Joffrey? He doesn't really care that his children are royalty.

Jaime might not be the same kind of 'Kingmaker' as Criston Cole, but if he goes through with the plan to destroy Tommen/Myrcella's claims to the Iron Throne after his meeting with Lady Stoneheart - which, to be frank, might be one of the few reasons why she is not going to kill him I can think of - then this might prove to be crucial step in Aegon's rise to the Iron Throne.

If a majority of the lords of the Realm were in agreement that Cersei's children aren't Baratheons then the game will be over very quickly and perhaps even without a fight.

And if Jaime Lannister were to actually publicly acknowledge Cersei's children as his own then people will listen to that. They cannot possibly ignore something like that.

And, no, I don't think Aegon would have to execute Jaime if he were to join him. Aerys II was just Aegon's grandfather, not his father. Rhaegar and Aerys II had considerable issues before and during the Rebellion, and Aegon, Rhaenys, and Elia were apparently hostages against Dorne at the end of the war - not honored members of the royal family.

Also - it seems as if Aerys II passed over Aegon and named Viserys his new heir after Rhaegar's death.

All that means that Aegon isn't *really* expected to avenge his royal grandfather. And if Jaime really helps him to take the Iron Throne they can make an exception there. In fact, one can see such a thing as Aegon demonstrating that he is the king and he makes the decision in his camp, not the people surrounding him. They may have their own agendas and old blood feuds ... but he doesn't.

My take on the Lannisters in general is that Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion will end up in completely different political camps in the latter half of the series - Jaime with Aegon, Tyrion with Dany, and Cersei with Euron.

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, but Jaime was already determined to effectively unmake Tommen and Myrcella as royal children by revealing their true parentage. His thoughts about the Dornish being pissed when he tells Myrcella the truth means he doesn't just want to tell his children the truth in private. He intends or expect this to have broader consequences.

Also, remember how he was keen to marry Cersei and put Tywin on the throne instead of Joffrey? He doesn't really care that his children are royalty.

Jaime might not be the same kind of 'Kingmaker' as Criston Cole, but if he goes through with the plan to destroy Tommen/Myrcella's claims to the Iron Throne after his meeting with Lady Stoneheart - which, to be frank, might be one of the few reasons why she is not going to kill him I can think of - then this might prove to be crucial step in Aegon's rise to the Iron Throne.

If a majority of the lords of the Realm were in agreement that Cersei's children aren't Baratheons then the game will be over very quickly and perhaps even without a fight.

And if Jaime Lannister were to actually publicly acknowledge Cersei's children as his own then people will listen to that. They cannot possibly ignore something like that.

And, no, I don't think Aegon would have to execute Jaime if he were to join him. Aerys II was just Aegon's grandfather, not his father. Rhaegar and Aerys II had considerable issues before and during the Rebellion, and Aegon, Rhaenys, and Elia were apparently hostages against Dorne at the end of the war - not honored members of the royal family.

Also - it seems as if Aerys II passed over Aegon and named Viserys his new heir after Rhaegar's death.

All that means that Aegon isn't *really* expected to avenge his royal grandfather. And if Jaime really helps him to take the Iron Throne they can make an exception there. In fact, one can see such a thing as Aegon demonstrating that he is the king and he makes the decision in his camp, not the people surrounding him. They may have their own agendas and old blood feuds ... but he doesn't.

My take on the Lannisters in general is that Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion will end up in completely different political camps in the latter half of the series - Jaime with Aegon, Tyrion with Dany, and Cersei with Euron.

that would be an interesting outcome. Jaimie has already given up on Cersei but would he endanger Tommen and Myrcella as pretenders and fruits of treason to tell the truth?

 

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10 hours ago, EggBlue said:

that would be an interesting outcome. Jaimie has already given up on Cersei but would he endanger Tommen and Myrcella as pretenders and fruits of treason to tell the truth?

In AFfC and ADwD he explicitly plans to reveal the truth to Tommen and Myrcella, and it is made clear that he doesn't just intend to tell them in confidence behind closed doors but so that it will also affect Myrcella's betrothal to Trystane Martell.

And that's before his meeting with Stoneheart. My guess is that his intention there is to finally be a man, confess what he and Cersei have done, and be an actual father to his surviving children. That this will destroy their royalty and turn them into bastards isn't something he seems to care about at all.

 

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9 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

In AFfC and ADwD he explicitly plans to reveal the truth to Tommen and Myrcella, and it is made clear that he doesn't just intend to tell them in confidence behind closed doors but so that it will also affect Myrcella's betrothal to Trystane Martell.

Doesn't he also suggest to Cersei that they should go public with their relationship and marry?

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2 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Doesn't he also suggest to Cersei that they should go public with their relationship and marry?

Yes, that's earlier, after his return from the Riverlands. There he says they should marry and Tywin should sit the throne in Tommen's stead.

It is pretty clear that Jaime's plot will continue in that direction just as the ultimate culmination of the twincest plotline will include the public and official condemnation of the children as bastards. Folks ignored it for so long that people are getting the impression that this doesn't matter ... but it does, at least when the right (or wrong) people actually believe it - or pretend in public that they believe it.

Cersei's trial-by-combat will be completely irrelevant, for instance, if Jaime were to publicly state that he is the father of her children. He would be soiling his own honor to an insane degree by doing that, so nobody is going to ignore that.

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To summarize a couple of things in FaB:

Whenever there is a story or anecdote where we have more than one version then we can only decide what's the more or most outlandish version. Just because Eustace sounds more plausible than Mushroom or vice versa doesn't mean either of them is true.

The very fact that the sources differ means the event as such is in question. If our most likely source claims to be an eyewitness - or is confirmed to be an eyewitness - then their scenario might be a tidbit more plausible, but if the text in question was written years or decades later then the text isn't worth all that much, especially insofar as details are concerned.

Whenever a source isn't an eyewitness - say, Eustace's and Mushroom's accounts on Rhaenyra's last words or Rhaenyra's behavior when her father threatened to disinherit her or the final battle of the Cargyll twins - then neither account is worth anything. We can only speculate which account sounds more plausible in light what else we know about the character in question - knowledge we draw from the episodes where our sources aren't in doubt and which are based on public events where our sources all agree on.

Such scenarios where the characters do something or talk about something are scenarios where the historical figures are completely in the hands of the people writing their story.

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On 1/14/2022 at 2:45 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

Criston hated Laenor because he was the “sissy” that Rhaenyra married instead of himself, a “real man.”

I do think there might be might be an aspect of him disliking Laenor for not performing masculinity. Gyldayn notes that Laenor was knighted shortly before the wedding because it was deemed that the prince consort ought to be a knight. This would imply that Laenor would not ordinarily meet the standards for knighthood. Criston was something like the apex of knighthood of his time (and replaced the previous version of that on the KG), rising up from steward's son to LC of the KG based purely on his knightly prowess (and often defeating all others in tourneys), so he may have looked down on that sham of a knighting. But if a "real man" is measured by his sexuality, Criston himself hadn't been known for performing that (in contrast to Daemon of "infamy", and even though Criston was "a favorite of all the ladies at court"). And if he'd thought that, he picked one of the worst organizations to join. I've seen others float the theory that Criston was a homosexual who projected his self-loathing outward, but I don't think there's evidence for that.

Rambling a bit about Criston and knighthood, there's another knight in the series who kills an opponent in a tourney in the first book (and was also furious toward a homosexual knight): Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane. He's supposed to be nigh-unstoppable for most fighters, and the fact that he was knighted by Rhaegar proves to Sandor what a sick joke knighthood is (his undead corpse being named to the KG after confessing to abominable crimes only enhances that). Later we get a historical knight Jaime regards as the Mountain of his time: the Smiling Knight. He's an antagonist and part of a band of outlaws, but is supposed to madly combine cruelty and chivalry together (admittedly we don't hear of him killing an opponent in a tourney, or even participating in any). He also serves as a foil to Arthur Dayne, the ideal knight of the KG (though one who nevertheless fights to the death keeping Ned Stark from a dying Lyanna and seems to have helped Rhaegar spark the civil war). Criston Cole is a further iteration on this theme in order to represent "the best and worst" of the KG, and knighthood. His combativeness in one tourney goes to such an extreme that he mortally wounds Joffrey and breaks the bones of Harwin (whose surname is shared with undead Gregor/"Robert"). People aren't happy about it, but he's still the winner and isn't actually punished for it (like Gregor wasn't for Hugh) because that's not actually a violation of the rules. He never openly dissents from his king (at most he disagrees with Prince Regent Aemond on strategy), and he vociferously spouts common Westerosi norms, but his dedication to his avowed cause manifests as murdering an old man, justified afterward by deeming all opponents traitors.

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Bear in mind that Criston also immediately allied himself with Alicent, who was rumored to have seduced the married King Viserys when she was no older than Rhaenyra in order to advance her house, which is pretty cynical.

Rumored by "[a] few" people like Mushroom. But even Mushroom didn't claim Criston knew that to be the case. At the time Criston got Alicent's favor, she was a married woman who had given the king sons of unquestioned paternity, and Gyldayn doesn't note any rumors of her cheating on Viserys (or being anything but chaste after he died).

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The bad was him revolting out of disdain for the woman who spurned him.

There were multiple reasons given for why he revolted, including the less "noble" reason that "he acted from ambition, for Prince Aegon was more tractable than his willful older sister". Aerys' recollection of the "spurned" motive was that they had been lovers prior to Criston even joining the KG, which doesn't fit the timeline (since she was 7 around that time).

On 1/14/2022 at 5:23 PM, Lord Varys said:

I'd think the good part just is that he was a good knight and Kingsguard before 129 AC

That seems overly binary. He beat Joffrey to death and severely injured Harwin. GRRM has said that all of us are mixes of good and evil, and that the villain is the hero of the other side.

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decided on whim

Hardly "on a whim". He'd been decidedly Green for a long time, and the Hightowers had already announced Aegon as the heir earlier in the Green Council meeting.

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In a very real sense Jaime is actually a better Kingsguard than Criston Cole since he does his best to stay out of politics.

Jaime never had any intention of adhering to his KG vows (or the pre-existing prohibition on incest) when he joined, and personally fouling up the succession and thus causing a civil war is not "stay[ing] out of politics".

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His betrayal and murder of Aerys II doesn't come at a time when it was making a difference politically.

He was explicitly choosing his father over his king, something his oaths prohibit.

On 1/14/2022 at 7:32 PM, Lord Varys said:

Jaime was already determined to effectively unmake Tommen and Myrcella as royal children by revealing their true parentage.

Because he's reckless and wants to (publicly) embrace them, not because he's rejecting them.

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he was keen to marry Cersei and put Tywin on the throne

That was more whimsical than Criston's choice of heir.

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And, no, I don't think Aegon would have to execute Jaime if he were to join him. Aerys II was just Aegon's grandfather, not his father.

Aerys II wasn't just the grandfather of Rhaegar's children, he was also the king Jaime swore to protect. Robert's decision to keep him on the KG was unusual, as we see from prior KGs of toppled kings (who were deemed guilty of failing to save their king rather than outright regicide). Stannis would have gotten rid of Jaime as well and Ned would have approved.

On 1/14/2022 at 11:18 PM, AlaskanSandman said:

I hope Tyrion becomes the new Mushroom and that no one believes his salacious stories about Jamie bedding his sister, Tywin bedding whores, and the Grand Maester Pycell bedding whores.

I took Mushroom to be inspired by Tyrion (and GRRM himself, who has said Tyrion is his favorite character).

On 1/15/2022 at 3:10 PM, Lord Varys said:

And that's before his meeting with Stoneheart. My guess is that his intention there is to finally be a man, confess what he and Cersei have done

 

He'd already confessed to her when he was alive.

On 1/15/2022 at 10:02 PM, Lord Varys said:

Whenever a source isn't an eyewitness - say, Eustace's and Mushroom's accounts on Rhaenyra's last words [...] or the final battle of the Cargyll twins

Mushroom was present on Dragonstone during the latter (and if he was right that Erryk spent four days cursing while slowly dying, might have heard his account), and there were surviving witnesses of the former. Gyldayn notes conflicting accounts of who separated Rhaenyra from Aegon III.

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On 1/14/2022 at 4:53 PM, Lord Varys said:

Mushroom supposedly liking Rhaenyra as a person - which I don't believe in light of the stories he tells about her and her family - has nothing to do with Aemond.

Mushroom accused Aemond's mother of poisoning King Viserys. The sole source for multiple instances in which Alicent argues for a more peaceful approach (and who never even acknowledges the existence of negative rumors about her) and Aegon being reluctant to displace Rhaenyra does not say anything about Aemond being black-hearted. Even Orwyle/Munkun doesn't.

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Aemond is such a monstrous person that even fervent supporters of the Greens could dislike him and make such judgments

I don't think Eustace likes Aemond that much, instead sympathizing with the Hightowers more during the Dance. But he still doesn't say that about him.

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but because he can make good conclusions on information that was almost publicly available.

Tyrion uses publicly available information to come to the same conclusion Mushroom did on Byron Swann, but Mushroom had the advantage there of being right by Rhaenyra (unlike the imprisoned Orwyle).

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I talked about Tyrion here and Tyrion simply isn't a scholar. He is a well-read layman.

A well read layman who comes to the conclusion not doubted by maester Gyldayn, and for which Haldon Halfmaester has no rebuttal.

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All longer episodes and anecdotes are constructed (and in that sense false) narratives.

Would you include the death of Aerea there? It's quoting from the written source of Septon Barth's writings, but it's a long segment in narrative-mode.

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It doesn't give us any actual truth about the fictional world. [...] we now know much more about the Targaryens than before FaB

How can both those statements be true? Is it like one of Raymond Smullyan's knaves that always lies and thus can be reversed to get the truth?

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Just because George is actually a fantasy author and is not going write more books about that era doesn't mean the stuff in the book gets more credence.

Sure it does. If GRRM hadn't introduced Munkun's True History as being unreliable and then hadn't had Gyldayn doubt parts of it, fewer readers would doubt it. More people do doubt Munkun because he did so. Absence of evidence is a kind of evidence of absence, and in this case the evidence is all deliberately created by GRRM for his own purposes.

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Gyldayn himself is no modern historian, so the way he assess and judges sources is also problematic.

Why does GRRM (himself no historian, modern or otherwise) write him that way? Why is he written to be more skeptical of A Caution than Mushroom's Testimonies?

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What George told us about the manuscript industy in Martinworld via the Coryanne book

Remember this is Gyldayn telling us that, so if you think Gyldayn isn't reliable on the question of which sources are reliable, that would also apply to this!

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especially if the text was actually written by an Essosi scribe and only later translated into the Common Tongue (which is certainly possible).

There's no indication any kind of translation took place. Mushroom was from Westeros and the people most interested in his account of events mostly in Westeros would have also been Westerosi. Baelor's decree wouldn't even be able to extend outside Westeros.

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Just because a work pretends to be written by this or that person doesn't make it true.

That is true, but there's also no indication that it is "pretend". Gyldayn instead says that "later accounts" (rather than public information) confirm enough of his stories & Eustace's to indicate "they contain at least some portion of truth". How is this person pretending to be Mushroom & having special access to "kings and lords and princes" able to guess in advance what those later accounts will confirm?

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Mushroom isn't a source 'at Rhaenyra's side'.

He writes of being right next to her as the dragonpit was being stormed. When discussing Byron Swann, Gyldayn notes that he was "at the queen's side in the Red Keep".

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what he has to tell about Rhaenyra doesn't necessarily have more credence because he was physically close to her or the events he describes.

Of course being closer to events (close enough to be an eyewitness) gives "more credence" than one would have otherwise. Which is why Gyldayn discounts Mushroom making claims about the Red Keep when he was on Dragonstone, and Orwyle about things happening above him when he was in the dungeons.

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We know more about her life's journey and end than we know about Mushroom's.

I will grant we at least know where A Caution begins & ends, whereas we don't know that for Mushroom's Testimony.

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Folks don't have to identify nonsense for it to be nonsense, you know.

Why doesn't anybody?

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The idea to split Westeros between the pretenders was laughable. It would have created two royal branches of House Targaryen and two independent kingdoms

That actually happened to the Roman Empire, as well as the Carolingian Empire (three parts for that), Alexander the Great's conquests, the Mongol empire (four parts), and others. It was normal for a realm to get too large to be effectively administered from one place and to fragment. What's bizarre is how large Westeros is for a single polity.

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But something as irrelevant as the murder or a royal woman or child wouldn't cause such major riots.

The US has seen riots over the deaths of people FAR less notable than a royal. Jacob Blake of Kenosha didn't even die! And the riot began the very night after Helaena died.

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and because people were afraid that they would be killed by the Green dragons.

Not merely the Green dragons. People attacked the non-Green dragons of the dragonpit in massed numbers, and died in such numbers as well in order to ensure their deaths.

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If we had reason to believe Eustace or Munkun had access to the Dragonstone archives

Is there any reason to think Munkun specifically would be denied access to what papers existed?

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or if we had reason to believe Rhaenyra and her court would preserve letters about secret assassination plans

Are we given any indication they destroyed such letters? Or even they regarded it as much of a secret except with regards to the Greens and then only up until the deed was done? Mysaria was named as the one who hired Blood & Cheese and gave them their task, and rather than trying to hide or deny association with her they raised up the former whore after she emerged from hiding on their arrival in KL. As I said, not acting like they cared much about "bad press".

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It is quite common for medieval historians to invent both dialogues and letters, so there is really no reason to assume that those letters are accurate.

In this case we know everything quoted was "invented" by GRRM. He can make any letters he wants appear in the record.

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Aegon II was a pawn of his grandfather and mother when he was made king.

There's a distinction to be made between what the Hightowers intended and how Aegon actually acted. Otto had already gotten Rhaenyra named heir, not because he assumed he'd be able to control her, but simply on the grounds that she wasn't Daemon. It would be a reasonable assumption on his part that Aegon would be less hostile to his interests than Rhaenyra/Daemon, and would at minimum not kill his own grandfather, and would hopefully leave at least as much governance to him as Viserys had. As with the last time Otto got involved in the succession, he made history but not as he intended. Aegon sidelined Otto precisely because he wasn't actually a pawn. Your assumption that Daemon must have also shared your assumption about Aegon being an irrelevant pawn, despite Aegon's own subsequent decision showing otherwise, is unfounded. If they really regarded Aegon as a "non-entity" acting as a puppet for his grandfather... the logical person to send Blood & Cheese after would be Otto! After all, he's not even a Targaryen at all, and thus wouldn't receive KG protection like Aegon is noted to have (as the reason he wasn't targeted). To the extent you think Daemon would have regarded Aegon as a puppet of his own mother, that just raises the question of why Blood & Cheese let her live when they had her tied up & helpless.

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He even was their pawn at Storm's End just a very stupid pawn who fucked things up.

The whole point of referring to someone as a "pawn" is to indicate they aren't acting on their own initiative but are under someone else's control, like a playing piece in a board game. A pawn in chess never just gets stupid and does something other than what its player makes it do.

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Who cares what people in-universe call her?

You should care because Westerosi understand Westeros on a deeper level than non-Westerosi (particularly us W.E.I.R.D. folks).

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They even excluded her from their blood vow

The members of the SC made a blood vow after Criston killed the one dissenter among them. Alicent was not a member of the SC.

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Aegon II would have never been king without his mommy.

Certainly, he would have never been born without her!

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She is the real Kingmaker, Criston Cole is just an extra compared to her.

Cole drew first blood in the Dance (thus prompting the blood oath) and served as Hand when Aegon sidelined the Hightowers. Since when does an extra displace a lead for large stretches of a story?

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Aemond was in KL at the time

Ah, you're right. I mixed up the timeline.

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the weirdo decision to only kill Jaehaerys was something Blood and Cheese themselves made in their stupidity

Wouldn't it be simpler for them to kill everyone and leave no witnesses? Cheese was smart enough to not get caught, I don't think he'd be so stupid not to realize that. The quotes we get (because there were surviving witnesses) indicate the single victim (not counting the bedmaid, I guess) was a requirement.

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Why should that be necessary? Couldn't Mysaria pay the thugs whatever she promised?

We don't know how much she promised, how much she had available to pay with, or whether her authority was sufficient to deem that this job had been completed to satisfaction.

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One wonders what exactly Daemon would have done to the guy had he revealed to him he could have actually killed Alicent, Helaena, Jaehaera, Maelor and (technically) Otto in addition to Jaehaerys.

Cheese was never caught, so there was still someone to experience that (my guess is that he wasn't punished at all, but also wasn't paid in full since he didn't have the head).

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Obviously they didn't have *that much* of a problem with that

As far as we can tell, zero problem at all.

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neither did any of their noble and heroic followers

Which should raise a question about just how "noble and heroic" they were.

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it is easily imaginable how a son of Alicent's might have become a son of Aegon's in all that

Alicent's sons aren't quite so fungible, seeing as how one was king (and as Gyldayn notes, would be heavily protected by the KG).

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I think Blood and Cheese knew what they were hired for but decided to kill one of the children when they were in the Red Keep because they felt or knew they could not return to Mysaria without at least some success.

If they knew the person they killed was not who they were hired to kill... why would Blood bring that wrong head to Daemon in Harrenhal!?

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In 129 AC he was a settled and rather prudent guy who didn't want the war to escalate or do anything bold or rash.

What makes you say that? We have him agreeing that he's "lived too long" before he engages in a dragon fight, during which he jumps off to his death.

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If the Manderlys or the wildling women did it, we would understand why they did it.

For that murder we get the wildling women denying to Theon it was one of theirs. For Jaehaerys we have Blood confessing who hired him. There's nothing indicating it's supposed to be a mystery.

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It makes sense in context of that world where an attack on your family demands revenge in an 'eye for an eye' way. If you don't do that, you look weak.

Bran was thrown out a window and has an assassin sent after him later. Ned never considers attacking Cersei's children in revenge, instead he seeks to protect them (and even Cersei herself, since she'd be traveling with them) from Robert once he realizes they're bastards born of incest. Oberyn Martell crippled Willas Tyrell, and while Willas' family (but not Willas himself) dislike Oberyn, there's no indication they sought to punish any of his kin for that. When Sandor is put on trial by the Brotherhood and people list his brothers' crimes, that's considered a valid defense, and it's only his own killing of Mycah that Beric adjudicates via combat.

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nor the idea that women should rule in general

I never claimed anyone believed in female-preference primogeniture.

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Aegon III was the guy to go with rather than Aegon II's rightful heir

Aegon III was named by Aegon II to be his rightful heir. There was talk of naming Jaehaera, but it never actually happened (perhaps because Aegon II was planning to remarry and father another heir).

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whereas Aegon II's rightful heir - his only surviving child Jaehaera - has either a lesser or no claim to the Iron Throne at all.

Going by Andal succession laws, a daughter can inherit before a more distantly related male relative. But the Targaryens had already deviated from that by disfavoring female heirs, so if you combine that precedent with Aegon II naming Aegon III his heir and Jaehaera doesn't have much standing over him.

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Assuming the marriage would ever be consummated and Jaehaera never be set aside. Which was actually quite likely.

Which kings have set aside wives married under the Seven? Baelor the Blessed would later, but he took holy vows.

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It was clear to all that it was one of Aegon's half-sisters.

Not to Munkun.

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The only male claimant they had left was Gaemon Palehair and he was dismissed.

I wouldn't consider him a serious claimant, since it was just Aegon III who suggested him.

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never mind how you view their leaders

You can't "never mind" the leaders. A fish rots from its head down.

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one incompetent daughter

I would classify her as a non-entity, falling into GRRM's "Mother's Madness" method of sidelining female characters (the other is the Dead Ladies' Club of women who die in childbirth).

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Rhaenyra wasn't overthrown by team smallfolk, but by team religious fanatics.

They were both (there were actually multiple groups involved in the uprising, some of which followed the Shepherd, but those were still smallfolk). And one of the points made in the link is that the people commonly express their grievances through a religious lens (which GRRM has them do multiple times throughout the history of Westeros). You can dismiss the Shepherd if you want, but all his claims that people would die within the year turned out to be true. GRRM borrowed a lot from Druon's "The Accursed Kings", and this is presumably borrowing from that, in which executions of men devoted to the divine herald doom.

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 Of course, the succession war as such is pointless - this is a shitty monarchistic world and nobody should care which royal prick sits on a throne that shouldn't even exist.

But within the context of the story the Blacks are the good guys

 

If the succession is "pointless" and the Blacks are led by people that flagrantly violate GRRM's #1 moral rule, what makes them "good guys"? GRRM was a conscientious objector during Vietnam, and it's not like the boat people fleeing afterward convinced him that Charlie was actually bad and should have been fought harder.

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the Greens are basically all traitors.

That's how the Greens describe the Blacks, thus justifying anything bad they do to them.

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Who cares?

Diligent readers. The narrative function is of escalation as this terrible war ensues. It's relevant that fighting had not yet broken out and people like the Hightowers were attempting a more diplomatic approach.

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Do you think he or Rhaenyra or anyone on the Black side is obliged to give Aemond the benefit or the doubt or to assume that Aemond was not also sent with the order to kill any representative of Rhaenyra's who might be at Storm's End?

There was no reason to think Aemond was going to expect any such person wherever he was going. It was an unplanned, unexpected meeting.

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She is told and she does know.

The maester says something about it staying in the flesh, but Sansa doesn't know medicine. Readers hear from the House of Black & White how much sweetsleep causes death, but Sansa doesn't have a copy of the book she's in. She's not directly administering it to her cousin either, rather she's asking the maester to provide it and he's doing as much as he thinks is safe (though she actually prevents one such dosing that would have made him sleep through the descent).

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That he still can give coherent commands doesn't mean he is responsible for his actions.

The standard for responsibility is supposed to be awareness of what you're doing and how it complies with norms (or violates them). People with bipolar disorder don't necessarily lose that sense of responsibility. Freddie De Boer certainly doesn't try to deny his own responsibility for making false accusations in a manic state prior to being hospitalized.

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She taxed people because her coffers were completely empty. The idea that she taxed the people to throw a lavish celebration is wrong. We don't even know how much of her money would have gone in that celebration.

She taxed people for current and future expenditures. And the description of the upcoming celebration as "lavish" indicates it was not goint to be trivial. A responsible person with empty coffers would hold off on such expenditures.

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you have the ridiculous view that only a father is responsible for how his son turns out, even then when he doesn't want him to rule.

A father has primary responsibility for all his children. That's called "patriarchy".

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excusing Ned's lies

Ned's lies are foundational to the series. I think you have an argument with GRRM. I personally think Ned screwed up royally in his meeting with Cersei, but I'm not GRRM and have a far more consequentialist view of morality.

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5 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Rumored by "[a] few" people like Mushroom. But even Mushroom didn't claim Criston knew that to be the case. At the time Criston got Alicent's favor, she was a married woman who had given the king sons of unquestioned paternity, and Gyldayn doesn't note any rumors of her cheating on Viserys (or being anything but chaste after he died).

Mushroom may have invented the rumor that Alicent also fucked the senile Old King, but the rumor that she and Viserys I already had an affair before their wedding is not something he invented. And it is something that makes considerable sense in light of the fact that Viserys I married Alicent rather hastily, barely a year after Queen Aemma's death.

Criston Cole was at court since 104 AC and a KG since 105 AC - he was right there when those rumors about Alicent and the king circulated - not to mention that as a KG he might have directly observed when Alicent and Viserys secretly met.

Also, as the Greens and Blacks developed Cole was at first a die-hard Black, meaning he would have been privy to all the rumors and stories the Blacks liked to tell about Alicent.

14 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Gyldayn notes that Laenor was knighted shortly before the wedding because it was deemed that the prince consort ought to be a knight. This would imply that Laenor would not ordinarily meet the standards for knighthood. Criston was something like the apex of knighthood of his time (and replaced the previous version of that on the KG), rising up from steward's son to LC of the KG based purely on his knightly prowess (and often defeating all others in tourneys), so he may have looked down on that sham of a knighting.

You completely miss how people in a medieval context view their betters. Criston Cole is pretty much a nobody, whereas Laenor Velaryon is the blood of the dragon. He is royalty, and as a royal the people of that society wouldn't have weirdo standards based on actual abilities and accomplishments.

You see that, for instance, with Sandor Clegane who is honestly confused that he is supposed to question the views or actions of Prince/King Joffrey.

5 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That seems overly binary. He beat Joffrey to death and severely injured Harwin. GRRM has said that all of us are mixes of good and evil, and that the villain is the hero of the other side.

George's on people has nothing to do with how people view a controversial historical figure in-universe.

Criston Cole is remembered as a great knight who became the reviled Kingmaker - and it is the latter that people dislike him for, not something that happened at wedding tourney to people who are long dead and forgotten (the Strongs are even extinct).

5 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Hardly "on a whim". He'd been decidedly Green for a long time, and the Hightowers had already announced Aegon as the heir earlier in the Green Council meeting.

Sure on a whim, just as the Small Council decided on a whim to crown Aegon instead of Rhaenyra. That is why they discussed the succession rather than agreeing from the start that Aegon should be king.

5 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Jaime never had any intention of adhering to his KG vows (or the pre-existing prohibition on incest) when he joined, and personally fouling up the succession and thus causing a civil war is not "stay[ing] out of politics".

The whole celibacy thing is a personal commitment. I was talking about the direct loyalty to the king, and there Jaime was actually more loyal to Aerys (until the very end) than Criston was to Viserys. Not to mention that Cole turned the king he made into his pawn, cost him his health and good looks, and nearly got him killed.

Also - while Jaime was fucked into joining the KG he never actually broke his celibacy vows as Aerys' Kingsguard.

5 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

He was explicitly choosing his father over his king, something his oaths prohibit.

As I said, he only betrayed his king when Aerys II was already done for. He would be deposed or killed no matter what Jaime did, meaning his treason wasn't all that relevant ... unlike it would have been if he had murdered him when Aerys had still had a chance to win the war. Or before the war even began.

5 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Mushroom was present on Dragonstone during the latter (and if he was right that Erryk spent four days cursing while slowly dying, might have heard his account), and there were surviving witnesses of the former. Gyldayn notes conflicting accounts of who separated Rhaenyra from Aegon III.

That is irrelevant. Mushroom is such an unreliable source that even things he could have personally observed are in doubt since he is the one reporting them.

Gyldayn shows how bad his standards are when Mushroom not being there is the reason why he doesn't buy Mushroom's version of the death of Lyman Beesbury - when the obvious reason that this version is the least likely is the simple fact that the Greens could not have been able to keep the death of the Master of Coin a secret - or the death of the king and entire coup that followed it - if he had been thrown out of a window to die on the spikes in the dry moat.

Hence, the guy was either murdered in the castle or he died in the dungeon.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

I don't think Eustace likes Aemond that much, instead sympathizing with the Hightowers more during the Dance. But he still doesn't say that about him.

Nobody sympathizes with the Hightowers.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Tyrion uses publicly available information to come to the same conclusion Mushroom did on Byron Swann, but Mushroom had the advantage there of being right by Rhaenyra (unlike the imprisoned Orwyle).

And that's worth nothing since Mushroom is a bad source by default.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Would you include the death of Aerea there? It's quoting from the written source of Septon Barth's writings, but it's a long segment in narrative-mode.

Barth's speculations about Aerea's whereabouts, etc. aren't worth that much, insofar as they speculations. But since the man refused to actually tell us what Aerea told them before her death it is difficult to say.

Since Barth wrote about Aerea very shortly after her death the report as such should be pretty accurate. It is mostly a summary of what Barth saw happening to her body, etc.

What's bogus from Barth, for instance, would be his version of Saera's diatribe in front of the Iron Throne - along with the words he has Alysanne and Jaehaerys say. He couldn't possibly memorize all that, but the gist of it can still be accurate. He might have even remembered one or two crucial phrases of Viserra accurately, while intentionally or unintentionally blowing up other aspects.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

How can both those statements be true? Is it like one of Raymond Smullyan's knaves that always lies and thus can be reversed to get the truth?

LOL, prior to FaB we didn't even have all the Targaryen names of that era. Those we learned from that book.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Remember this is Gyldayn telling us that, so if you think Gyldayn isn't reliable on the question of which sources are reliable, that would also apply to this!

LOL, Gyldayn giving us a glimpse at how the manuscript industry works isn't the same as Gyldayn judging historical sources. The manuscript industry still works the way it does in Gyldayn's time. He has empirical firsthand knowledge about that!

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

There's no indication any kind of translation took place. Mushroom was from Westeros and the people most interested in his account of events mostly in Westeros would have also been Westerosi. Baelor's decree wouldn't even be able to extend outside Westeros.

We don't know.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That is true, but there's also no indication that it is "pretend". Gyldayn instead says that "later accounts" (rather than public information) confirm enough of his stories & Eustace's to indicate "they contain at least some portion of truth". How is this person pretending to be Mushroom & having special access to "kings and lords and princes" able to guess in advance what those later accounts will confirm?

Because they could have actually known Mushroom and decided to write a better history than what the dwarf was telling them? Or because they had read Munkun and Eustace and decided to take another spin at those Dance of the Dragon thingy?

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The US has seen riots over the deaths of people FAR less notable than a royal. Jacob Blake of Kenosha didn't even die! And the riot began the very night after Helaena died.

It was the event that triggered the riots, but not the actual cause. The cause were the larger political situation.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Is there any reason to think Munkun specifically would be denied access to what papers existed?

Munkun's work followed Orwyle account. The alleged problem of Munkun's history is that he didn't double-check Orwyle's account but relied on it for whatever sections he had on 'court politics' - which didn't seem to have been the big focus of his work, anyway.

Why would he bother looking up papers if that was his take on things?

But, of course, we have no reason to assume that a single historian in Westeros actually has access to the private archives of the royal family, be they on Dragonstone or in KL. And since Munkun's later career is kind of weird - he seems to have been deposed and later reinstated as Grand Maester - I doubt he was actually Grand Maester when he wrote his big book.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Are we given any indication they destroyed such letters? Or even they regarded it as much of a secret except with regards to the Greens and then only up until the deed was done? Mysaria was named as the one who hired Blood & Cheese and gave them their task, and rather than trying to hide or deny association with her they raised up the former whore after she emerged from hiding on their arrival in KL. As I said, not acting like they cared much about "bad press".

There is no indication that the Blacks ever admitted that they were behind the whole thing. The investigation of the Greens revealed the name 'Misery' and Blood revealed that he wanted to bring the head to Daemon. But that's not proof. Blood was tortured, after all. And none of our sources tell us that Rhaenyra or Daemon or anyone on the Black side actually publicly confirmed that they were behind the assassination.

In that sense, Gyldayn, his unnamed source either saw the letter that's quoted in FaB or Gyldayn or his unnamed sources invented the alleged contents of that letter. We don't know and we cannot ever know.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The whole point of referring to someone as a "pawn" is to indicate they aren't acting on their own initiative but are under someone else's control, like a playing piece in a board game. A pawn in chess never just gets stupid and does something other than what its player makes it do.

A pawn can become a queen, and Aegon II eventually freed himself from his grandfather.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The members of the SC made a blood vow after Criston killed the one dissenter among them. Alicent was not a member of the SC.

Of course she was. She sat right there among them.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Cole drew first blood in the Dance (thus prompting the blood oath) and served as Hand when Aegon sidelined the Hightowers. Since when does an extra displace a lead for large stretches of a story?

He is just a little Hightower goon during the coup.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Wouldn't it be simpler for them to kill everyone and leave no witnesses? Cheese was smart enough to not get caught, I don't think he'd be so stupid not to realize that. The quotes we get (because there were surviving witnesses) indicate the single victim (not counting the bedmaid, I guess) was a requirement.

Perhaps Cheese never showed up again because Blood killed him? Him not showing up again doesn't mean he got away.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

If they knew the person they killed was not who they were hired to kill... why would Blood bring that wrong head to Daemon in Harrenhal!?

LOL, why do morons bring dwarf heads that are clearly not Tyrion to Cersei?

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Aegon III was named by Aegon II to be his rightful heir. There was talk of naming Jaehaera, but it never actually happened (perhaps because Aegon II was planning to remarry and father another heir).

We hear of no actual decree where Aegon II names an heir. And Corlys' original proposal had Aegon and Jaehaera as joint heirs, anyway. It was also tied to Aegon II offering pardons to all the lords who had fought for Rhaenyra, including those who take up arms again. And that never happens.

What we see them doing is making another promise to Corlys that Aegon would marry Jaehaera, etc. but we have to keep in mind that Corlys only makes his peace with Alicent and Aegon again because Larys tells him they want to murder him but he and Larys himself are going to murder Aegon first.

The remaining Greens actually view Jaehaera as the one with a stronger claim than Aegon III and the fact that the two are not crowned joint monarchs is because Aegon II is murdered and the Blacks win the actual war and proclaim their own pretender king. Jaehaera is later only included in the whole system as queen consort.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Going by Andal succession laws, a daughter can inherit before a more distantly related male relative. But the Targaryens had already deviated from that by disfavoring female heirs, so if you combine that precedent with Aegon II naming Aegon III his heir and Jaehaera doesn't have much standing over him.

Those are not 'Andal laws'. There was no queen in any of the Andal kingdoms but the Reach - so perhaps this kind of thing was law in the Reach back before the Conquest, but a single precedent isn't a law.

Aegon III isn't the rightful heir of Aegon II simply because he is the son of his attainted traitor half-sister. And Aegon II makes it very clear that this is his opinion.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Which kings have set aside wives married under the Seven? Baelor the Blessed would later, but he took holy vows.

A unconsummated marriage isn't even a marriage.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Not to Munkun.

Which is why Tyland Lannister mocked his silly objection.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

I wouldn't consider him a serious claimant, since it was just Aegon III who suggested him.

Aegon III was an anointed king. Of course his opinion matters.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

They were both (there were actually multiple groups involved in the uprising, some of which followed the Shepherd, but those were still smallfolk). And one of the points made in the link is that the people commonly express their grievances through a religious lens (which GRRM has them do multiple times throughout the history of Westeros). You can dismiss the Shepherd if you want, but all his claims that people would die within the year turned out to be true. GRRM borrowed a lot from Druon's "The Accursed Kings", and this is presumably borrowing from that, in which executions of men devoted to the divine herald doom.

The Shepherd didn't lead a social movement and never pretended to be. He was a religious fanatic and his 'political vision' wasn't shared by even a fraction of the denizens of KL - which is why he had such a pitiful end. People were afraid and ran amok in that night. That is all.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The maester says something about it staying in the flesh, but Sansa doesn't know medicine. Readers hear from the House of Black & White how much sweetsleep causes death, but Sansa doesn't have a copy of the book she's in. She's not directly administering it to her cousin either, rather she's asking the maester to provide it and he's doing as much as he thinks is safe (though she actually prevents one such dosing that would have made him sleep through the descent).

She heard what was going on. She knows. End of story.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The standard for responsibility is supposed to be awareness of what you're doing and how it complies with norms (or violates them). People with bipolar disorder don't necessarily lose that sense of responsibility. Freddie De Boer certainly doesn't try to deny his own responsibility for making false accusations in a manic state prior to being hospitalized.

Aerys II is clearly not suffering from bipolar disorder but a worsening case of something along the lines of paranoid schizophrenia.

If you don't see that the guy is sick it is your problem. The society he lives in is also sick beyond measure, allowing inbred madmen to rule them and never having established a legal procedure to depose a mad monarch.

33 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

She taxed people for current and future expenditures. And the description of the upcoming celebration as "lavish" indicates it was not goint to be trivial. A responsible person with empty coffers would hold off on such expenditures.

Obviously she already had enough money to make such plans. And who do you think that lavish celebration would have been for? The city and the court - everyone would have profited from the entertainment and stuff.

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On 1/17/2022 at 2:14 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

I took Mushroom to be inspired by Tyrion (and GRRM himself, who has said Tyrion is his favorite character).

This is why I tend not to discredit Mushroom. As I said, how many people would believe Tyrion over others when he say's Maester Pycell bedded whores, or Tywin Lannister bedded whores. Or that Cersei was banging Jamie, Osmund, or Lancel Lannister. Or that Robin Arryn was suckling at his mom's tit still. Or that Tyrion saved K.L. before Tywin or the Tyrells could. Im sure there are other stories that are true that Tyrion could tell that would be contested by other, more credible sources. Like the accounts of Maester Pycelle, which would likely paint Tyrion as a crazy person who chopped off his beard and threw him in a cage for no reason, and that Tyrion murdered his father and Joffery out of hate and jealousy. Making anything Tyrion says about Joffery, Jamie, Cersei, and Tywin become untrustworthy to others. 

Pycelle alone would discredit Tyrion in the eyes of the Maesters. Making it easy for the Arryns to discredit Tyrion. The Tyrells would claim the Victory over K.L. as they made up the largest force. 

If Tyrion chose to write his own account of the War of the Five Kings, it would be his onlyyy chance to try to save his name and reputation. Which it likely wouldn't.

 

 

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2 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

This is why I tend not to discredit Mushroom. As I said, how many people would believe Tyrion over others when he say's Maester Pycell bedded whores, or Tywin Lannister bedded whores. Or that Cersei was banging Jamie, Osmund, or Lancel Lannister. Or that Robin Arryn was suckling at his mom's tit still. Or that Tyrion saved K.L. before Tywin or the Tyrells could. Im sure there are other stories that are true that Tyrion could tell that would be contested by other, more credible sources. Like the accounts of Maester Pycelle, which would likely paint Tyrion as a crazy person who chopped off his beard and threw him in a cage for no reason, and that Tyrion murdered his father and Joffery out of hate and jealousy. Making anything Tyrion says about Joffery, Jamie, Cersei, and Tywin become untrustworthy to others. 

Pycelle alone would discredit Tyrion in the eyes of the Maesters. Making it easy for the Arryns to discredit Tyrion. The Tyrells would claim the Victory over K.L. as they made up the largest force. 

If Tyrion chose to write his own account of the War of the Five Kings, it would be his onlyyy chance to try to save his name and reputation. Which it likely wouldn't.

 

 

well, we certainly cannot discredit Mushroom entirely. however there surely is elements of exaggerations and lies in his record , not different from what Tyrion might write! for example he'd probably enlist Moonboy as one of Cersei's lovers!  but there's a difference between him and Tyrion. his occupation was entertainment , whereas Tyrion was Tywin Lannister's son whom Lord of Casterly Rock started the war for and later he was hand of the king in his father's place and married a woman who would have won him Winterfell! I guess we could assume even uptight maesters would take Tyrion's words more seriously than Mushroom's . 

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2 hours ago, EggBlue said:

well, we certainly cannot discredit Mushroom entirely. however there surely is elements of exaggerations and lies in his record , not different from what Tyrion might write! for example he'd probably enlist Moonboy as one of Cersei's lovers!  but there's a difference between him and Tyrion. his occupation was entertainment , whereas Tyrion was Tywin Lannister's son whom Lord of Casterly Rock started the war for and later he was hand of the king in his father's place and married a woman who would have won him Winterfell! I guess we could assume even uptight maesters would take Tyrion's words more seriously than Mushroom's . 

I highly doubt it. Tyrion never claims Moonboy is for sure banging Cersei. He only says she probably is to piss off Jamie and drive home the fact that Cersei has been playing Jamie and using men. The fact that Tywin went to war for Tyrion, and made him hand, only to have Tyrion kill him isnt likely to look good for Tyrion. Specially when Maester Pycelle has already likely written the Citadel about all these things and already smeared Tyrions name. The marrying of a woman that could have won him Winterfell would only be viewed as Tyrion making alliances with the Stark enemies to try to betray his family. They would paint him as sympathetic to the usurpers cause and add it to his motives for killing his father and Joffery. Joffery of which he had threated multiple times in front of other people including Pycelle who would have noted it.

Tyrions position doesn't make him more likely to be believed, it makes him less likely. Mushroom would have less motive for his supposed lies than Tyrion. Mushrooms only other reason would be for entertainment or maybe a few personal vendettas, but no where near the level of Tyrion Lannister a known Kin Slayer. A dwarf on top of a kin slayer too, who beds whores and is a known drunkard. 

 

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On 1/17/2022 at 6:10 PM, Lord Varys said:

Cole was at first a die-hard Black, meaning he would have been privy to all the rumors and stories the Blacks liked to tell about Alicent.

He was close to Rhaenyra specifically, I don't think he would have been in the loop with someone like Daemon. If it was just "a few" spreading the rumor, I don't think you can conclude Cole heard and/or took it seriously.

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Criston Cole is pretty much a nobody

He's LC of the KG and thus not a "nobody". It's not easy for someone to rise up in that society, but he'd done it.

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He is royalty, and as a royal the people of that society wouldn't have weirdo standards based on actual abilities and accomplishments.

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King Daeron was a good man. Why would you choose Daemon?" [...] "Daeron was spindly and round of shoulder, with a little belly that wobbled when he walked. Daemon stood straight and proud, and his stomach was flat and hard as an oaken shield. And he could fight. With ax or lance or flail, he was as good as any knight I ever saw, but with the sword he was the Warrior himself. When Prince Daemon had Blackfyre in his hand, there was not a man to equal him

Eustace Osgrey is a representative of the aristocratic class, not a "weirdo". To that we can add the rumors about Aenys not being the Conqueror's child because he wasn't a natural warrior like Maegor (who managed to usurp the throne from Aenys' son via force). Aenys was at best "adequate" with sword & lance and remembered poorly, whereas Jaehaerys was "fine" martially speaking and well-respected as the best Targaryen king. Aegon IV is hated in the present, but he was well-liked when young in part because he was skilled with the lance.

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You see that, for instance, with Sandor Clegane who is honestly confused that he is supposed to question the views or actions of Prince/King Joffrey.

Sandor is Joffrey's sworn shield, and regards it as his duty to protect Joffrey (up until he deserts in a battle Joffrey left). He does not have much respect for Tyrion, who does not fit the martial mold. Criston was not Laenor's sworn shield, nor was Laenor a child when he was married.

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Sure on a whim, just as the Small Council decided on a whim to crown Aegon instead of Rhaenyra

You seem to be using a completely different definition of "on a whim". They were not nearly indifferent, swaying this way and that as various flights of fancy popped into their heads from moment to moment.

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The whole celibacy thing is a personal commitment.

It's an oath all KG take, and the point (as with the NW) is for the man who swears it to be completely devoted to their cause, up until death, and not have any conflicts of interest due to family. Jaime chose his family over his king.

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I was talking about the direct loyalty to the king, and there Jaime was actually more loyal to Aerys (until the very end) than Criston was to Viserys.

No, Jaime killed Aerys, you can't get more disloyal than that. Criston was loyal up until Viserys died, and not by Cole's hand.

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Not to mention that Cole turned the king he made into his pawn, cost him his health and good looks, and nearly got him killed.

Aegon II bears responsibility for his own actions. We get no indication that Cole "turned [him] into his pawn", it's just something you repeat without evidence from the text.

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Also - while Jaime was fucked into joining the KG he never actually broke his celibacy vows as Aerys' Kingsguard.

Because Cersei was sent away. When Cersei came back to KL he violated them with her, just as he had always planned on doing.

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He would be deposed or killed no matter what Jaime did, meaning his treason wasn't all that relevant

It's certainly relevant to people like Stannis, Ned, Viserys, Daenerys, Brienne, etc. Young Griff justifies his choice of Rolly Duckfield by pointing out that the Kingslayer had the qualities Duck lacks.

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That is irrelevant.

No it isn't, which is why Gyldayn repeatedly makes note of whether a source (including Mushroom) was present.

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Nobody sympathizes with the Hightowers.

What makes you think Eustace doesn't? We know he had a close relationship with Alicent.

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He couldn't possibly memorize all that

GRRM can give Barth perfect memory if he feels like it :)

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Gyldayn giving us a glimpse at how the manuscript industry works isn't the same as Gyldayn judging historical sources. The manuscript industry still works the way it does in Gyldayn's time. He has empirical firsthand knowledge about that!

Gyldayn discussed the manuscript industry as part of his critique of a source. And I don't know why his "empirical firsthand knowledge" is more relevant for A Caution than the Testimony.

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Because they could have actually known Mushroom and decided to write a better history than what the dwarf was telling them?

I'm thinking things like Maester Norren's "Chronicles of Maidenpool".

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It was the event that triggered the riots, but not the actual cause.

A proximate cause is still a cause.

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Munkun's work followed Orwyle account.

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drew on many different sorts of materials, including maesters’ chronicles, memoirs, stewards’ records, and interviews with one hundred forty-seven surviving witnesses to the great events of these times

He's dinged for relying on Orwyle for "the inner workings of the court". But Orwyle wasn't part of Dragonstone's court.

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Why would he bother looking up papers if that was his take on things?

He seems to have looked up a large number of papers, and Orwyle wasn't on Dragonstone at that time.

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we have no reason to assume that a single historian in Westeros actually has access to the private archives of the royal family, be they on Dragonstone or in KL

Maesters handle ravens and the letters they pass. And as Grand Maester, Munkun is supposed to be trusted by the throne.

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And none of our sources tell us that Rhaenyra or Daemon or anyone on the Black side actually publicly confirmed that they were behind the assassination.

Raising up Mysaria is tantamount to that.

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A pawn can become a queen, and Aegon II eventually freed himself from his grandfather.

A queen piece on a chessboard is still a "pawn" in the exact same sense that it is moved around by the player rather than by its own initiative. If a person is called a "pawn" nobody assumes that means they can only move one step forward (or diagonally if someone else is there). Aegon accepted the Hand he started with, until he got fed up and replaced him. That's normal king rather than "pawn" behavior.

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Of course she was. She sat right there among them.

Being present in front of the SC does not make you a member. She had no title associated with it, like all the members have.

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He is just a little Hightower goon during the coup.

Nobody indicates the Hightowers told Cole to kill Lyman.

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Perhaps Cheese never showed up again because Blood killed him?

And Blood hid the body well enough that it was never found, but was not clever enough to slip out undetected himself? Why would he waste time doing that?

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why do morons bring dwarf heads that are clearly not Tyrion to Cersei?

Those are randos looking for a publicly announced reward, and they face no punishment for delivering the wrong head. Killing some dwarf traveling the roads doesn't take much, whereas Blood & Cheese penetrated somewhere few could get to.

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We hear of no actual decree where Aegon II names an heir.

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Name Young Aegon your heir. [...] His words swayed the king and council in their course. [...] told him of the king’s intent to grant him all he had requested

Some time passes between that and the Muddy Mess, and the marriage between Aegon III & Jaehaera (which was part of the deal making the former heir) happens directly after Aegon II dies.

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Corlys' original proposal had Aegon and Jaehaera as joint heirs, anyway. It was also tied to Aegon II offering pardons to all the lords who had fought for Rhaenyra, including those who take up arms again. And that never happens.

It's not Corlys' original proposal that gets adopted, but Larys' version.

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we have to keep in mind that Corlys only makes his peace with Alicent and Aegon again because Larys tells him they want to murder him but he and Larys himself are going to murder Aegon first

That's a separate issue from whether Aegon III is actually proclaimed heir. Larys' reasoning to Aegon II is that naming him heir won't actually imply he must become king.

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The remaining Greens actually view Jaehaera as the one with a stronger claim than Aegon III

It's not like they hadn't already rejected an heir named by a dead king!

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the fact that the two are not crowned joint monarchs

When has the Iron Throne ever had that? Where would they both sit?

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There was no queen in any of the Andal kingdoms but the Reach

Winterfell is distinctive in never having a ruling Lady, but the Vale had one during the Dance. The Lannisters became an Andal house when their king died without issue and his only daughter married an Andal who took the Lannister name.

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Which is why Tyland Lannister mocked his silly objection.

He pointed out there were no males available to come ahead of the females, but they still didn't designate a female heir because Munkun "put an end to the debate".

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Aegon III was an anointed king. Of course his opinion matters.

He was a child under a regency that Munkun referred to as "dead inside", interested in nothing, and only friends with Gaemon. His regents reversed his attempts to make decisions, and the claimed bastards had all been dismissed at the last Great Council (with Gaemon having already had his paternity attributed to a Lysene sailor by his own mother). Gaemon might have been better adjusted mentally than Aegon III, but nobody was going to take him seriously as a candidate.

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his 'political vision' wasn't shared by even a fraction of the denizens of KL


He had enough followers to kill all the dragons in KL, which was an impressive feat. I mentioned "multiple groups", and you have completely ignored the camps of Trystane Truefyre, Gaemon Palehair or Wat the Tanner (except when blaming the Greens for that last one).

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She heard what was going on. She knows.

Hearing is not knowing. Arya heard Illyrio, but she didn't understand what he was saying.

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Aerys II is clearly not suffering from bipolar disorder but a worsening case of something along the lines of paranoid schizophrenia.

Bipolar & schizophrenia often go together as schizoaffective disorder.

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If you don't see that the guy is sick

"Sick" is not the same as "not responsible for his actions".

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And who do you think that lavish celebration would have been for? The city and the court - everyone would have profited from the entertainment and stuff.

It was "for" her child. When Ned is annoyed by all the spending for the Hand's tourney, he's right, while Robert is irresponsible.

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7 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Im sure there are other stories that are true that Tyrion could tell that would be contested by other, more credible sources. Like the accounts of Maester Pycelle, which would likely paint Tyrion as a crazy person who chopped off his beard and threw him in a cage for no reason, and that Tyrion murdered his father and Joffery out of hate and jealousy.

Tyrion has some fantastic stories, but it's not just Tyrion. The story GRRM is telling is one where the fantastical happens. The maesters may be skeptical of magic, but magic is real.

2 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

The marrying of a woman that could have won him Winterfell would only be viewed as Tyrion making alliances with the Stark enemies to try to betray his family.

It's widely known that Tyrion never slept with Sansa. The accusation made against him is not that he was already in cahoots with Sansa when they married (which would have been odd since Tyrion's family supported the marriage), but that she made Joffrey's assassination the requirement to be willing to sleep with him.

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Mushrooms only other reason would be for entertainment or maybe a few personal vendettas, but no where near the level of Tyrion Lannister a known Kin Slayer.

Mushroom is suspected of exaggerating when he talks about himself being involved in the stories. Precisely because he was just a fool rather than an actual political player, he wouldn't be expected to be so important. Tyrion more naturally belongs in a prominent place in the histories, but anything he writes about himself would also be suspect.

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47 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

And Blood hid the body well enough that it was never found, but was not clever enough to slip out undetected himself? Why would he waste time doing that?

There is a chance that he did not want to share his reward. After all if Cheese had died Blood could keep all the money they earned by doing that wet work.

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