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The Reign of King Renly


OldLordWalder
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2 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Greed would be another word for it. So would pride. And as Dany's and Robb's arcs are both proof of, conquering and ruling are very different.

Well yeah, history is full of greedy conquerors, some of them even made decent rulers.

 

 

2 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

We know he was party to Robert's apathetic rule and argued against Ned when he complained about the realm being in debt. 

So was Jon Arryn and Stannis Baratheon.

And Renly didn't argue against Ned, he said it was likely Robert's fault which isn't that far off.

 

 

2 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

All the evidence points to him being a selfish individual

That says little about his actual capabilities as ruler tho.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Greed would be another word for it. So would pride. And as Dany's and Robb's arcs are both proof of, conquering and ruling are very different.

 

But Renly’s conquering is not based on brilliant military gambles or magic, but rather on political instincts, the ability to make deals, build popularity and read the room. Ie, built for ruling.

Edited by James Arryn
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16 hours ago, James Arryn said:

But Renly’s conquering is not based on brilliant military gambles or magic, but rather on political instincts, the ability to make deals, build popularity and read the room. Ie, built for ruling.

Robert had that same charisma and ability to build popularity, making friends from foes and the such. That alone isn't enough to make a good ruler.

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2 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

Renly attended every Small Council meeting. 

That's a point in his favor. A point against his is him stopping at every castle along the way to hold feasts and tournaments in the middle of a military campaign. Something even Robert didn't do.

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20 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

That's a point in his favor. A point against his is him stopping at every castle along the way to hold feasts and tournaments in the middle of a military campaign. Something even Robert didn't do.

No, that was a strength. Several of the greater strategists like Tyrion and LF comment on the wisdom of it. Firstly, he was building and retaining his strength, while doing the opposite to KL. Tourneys are great martial practice as well; the fact that he kept such a huge force well fed and with great morale was one of the better military accomplishments in the novels. His victory had essentially become a certainty but for the completely unknown shadowbabies. What possible need to rush while your enemies are tearing each other apart and the city you will conquer is withering on the vine to the point where you will likely be greeted with joy by the populace.  
 

As said earlier, he had much more interest in actual ruling than Robert did, and much less in getting drunk and laid. He had much much better political nous and the ability to make deals. With Robert he shared the charisma and ability to make friends and the enjoyment of martial sports, but in virtually every other way he was much more suited to rule. In fact he was in some ways too much of a good modern ruler for the context of the books, but not to the point of breaking credibility.
 

I’d say the biggest point against him/for Robert was that he didn’t have a Jon Arryn. The Tyrells are a formidable political machine, but Loras is his real close connection and he’s pretty much just a great warrior at this point. Margery or QOT or maybe even Garlan* would be better chief political advisors and it was unclear who would be Renly’s. He gave preference to Loras in battle, but that’s what Loras is there for. Anyways, not a big enough deal to keep him from basically getting every single call right in the books, but a minor question mark for the peacetime. 
 

*just because he seems to be apparently great at everything. 
 

edit: it’s a vehicle for the books, the fact that evidently good rule was seemingly inevitable except for the first big Deus Ex Machina in the books/Stannis’ unreal obstinance. That was the entire point. No Stannis stupidity, no Lannisters, peace and good rule and compromise with the North. Good for Westeros, bad for books. The only narrative counterpoint was provided by Cat’s adopted northern prejudices which all proved to be wrong. 

Edited by James Arryn
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21 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

I doubt it.

He was a lot like Robert despite his different tastes. He'd be caught up in the pageantry and splendor and would turn a blind eye to the common folk. Why? He did the same thing as Robert's councilor.

The fact he put his claim forward just because he could says everything about his character and reasons for doing it.

Plus, like Robert, he would probably be bored of ruling.

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3 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Plus, like Robert, he would probably be bored of ruling.

What in the books makes you say that? He’s very unlike Robert in terms of being conscientious. He attends every SC meeting; Robert was never interested in those things, Renly evidently is. 

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36 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

He attends every SC meeting

"He sits in council and jests with Littlefinger"

He didn't seem to do anything of value at those meetings. As others have pointed out, he was, by all accounts, more interested in the idea of being king than actually ruling.

Edited by Takiedevushkikakzvezdy
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2 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

"He sits in council and jests with Littlefinger"

He didn't seem to do anything of value at those meetings. As others have pointed out, he was, by all accounts, more interested in the idea of being king than actually ruling.

Lol, yes, that’s an objective (and perceptive) comment coming from his rival (who skipped council to sulk). Good thing we know that Littlefinger was also frivolous or else we might not take this take seriously. No, wait…

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On 4/9/2022 at 3:31 AM, Lord of Brewtown said:

I also think it's important to point out that Renly was incredibly popular with the commoners (as noted in the tourney for the hand of the king)- which could have given him the power/lever to accomplish a lot as King.

The commoners liked his personality. There is no guarantee that they would like him as ruler, especially after a few years.

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2 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

The commoners liked his personality. There is no guarantee that they would like him as ruler, especially after a few years.

The same can be said about any person. We're not Nostradamus.

Renly offers his advice at every single small council meeting that's depicted, and in particular takes Slynt to task for his failure to keep things under control. To say that he did nothing of value at the meetings is clearly untrue. 

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3 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

The commoners liked his personality. There is no guarantee that they would like him as ruler, especially after a few years.

I would take Stannis's take seriously about Renly but then I remember that he unironically called for the ban of prostitution in King's Landing even after having a historical precedent about how that was a very stupid idea.

Going to work and putting up and make serious faces doesn't mean you're actually competent at your job.

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59 minutes ago, Ran said:

The same can be said about any person. We're not Nostradamus.

As readers, we know more than the smallfolk of Westeros do.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

Renly offers his advice at every single small council meeting that's depicted, and in particular takes Slynt to task for his failure to keep things under control. To say that he did nothing of value at the meetings is clearly untrue. 

Janos Slynt was incredibly corrupt, which I presume Renly knew as Master of Laws. So that might as well have been a publicity stunt for Ned on his part. The only one from Robert's government who seems to be genuinely against Slynt is Stannis, and he wasn't present at that meeting.

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Just now, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

As readers, we know more than the smallfolk of Westeros do.

But we do not actually know how someone will turn out. No one who saw Robert mount the throne knew that he would go the way he did. And, notably, he didn't to begin with -- he was fine up through the Greyjoy Rebellion, apparently. Something changed afterward, and all of Donal Noye's bloviating about true steel is post facto reasoning. 

1 minute ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Janos Slynt was incredibly corrupt, which I presume Renly knew as Master of Laws.

Everyone knew it, yes. Robert preferred the devil you know.

2 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

So that might as well have been a publicity stunt for Ned on his part.

Or maybe it was his genuinely expressing annoyance at Slynt not keeping the peace. Or maybe he actually saw it as an issue that would finally allow them to get rid of this particularly corrupt Commander of the City Watch. Or maybe he saw it as an issue that would allow him to get rid of a particularly corrupt Commander of the City Watch that he thought was too in the pocket of Cersei.

All we really know is that at each and every small council, he offers his advice. He doesn't just sit around and make jokes, whatever Stannis chose to say. 

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On 4/9/2022 at 6:25 PM, Lord Lannister said:

The fact he put his claim forward just because he could says everything about his character and reasons for doing it.

Except that's not really a fact.

Renly put his claim forward, as others have noted, because he didn't really have any other options as he saw it. He preferred to take control of Joff (and presumably Tommen), a move which in itself was as much about self-preservation as ambition: Renly understood that the Lannisters were going to do the same and that if/when they did, they would have to eliminate both Renly and Stannis.

But then Ned ends that, and what can Renly do then? Assume he doesn't know about the incest, and there's no textual evidence as far as I can recall that he did. Heck, assume he did know about the incest - even in that scenario, unless he knows that Stannis knows, Renly probably doesn't anticipate that Stannis will even declare for the throne. And once Stannis does do that, it's too late.

One might argue that at that point, Renly should chuck his claim and go over to Stannis. But that looks a lot like not just political but actual suicide at that stage. Renly can't count on his allies backing Stannis too: for a start, Stannis is married already, so Marge doesn't get to be Queen in that scenario. The best case is that Mace settles for Loras marrying Shireen instead and there are all sorts of problems with that, not least that it depends on Mace, Stannis, and Loras all agreeing to it. It's not something Renly can just decide. Then, of course, there's no love lost between Mace and Stannis anyway. That makes Mace's end of the deal more difficult: how much influence would he have in a Stannis court as opposed to a Renly court?

Renly is in a situation where he wins or he dies. Gambling on Stannis' cause because he's the elder brother, when the evidence that Stannis is the rightful heir is widely questioned, doesn't seem like a smart move.

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On 2/14/2022 at 2:31 PM, frenin said:

Renly is charming and well loved, he wouldn't have that a hard time winning over enough people to counter whatever influence the Tyrells might have on him.

Since the Tyrells would have been absolutely vital to him becoming king, they would have much more leverage over him than the smallfolk would. And that's assuming he would want to go against the Tyrells in the first place, which I find very unlikely, given how close he was to them. I mean, the guy was literally in bed with them.

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3 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Since the Tyrells would have been absolutely vital to him becoming king, they would have much more leverage over him than the smallfolk would. And that's assuming he would want to go against the Tyrells in the first place, which I find very unlikely, given how close he was to them. I mean, the guy was literally in bed with them.

Sure but Renly had a lot of people devoted to him among Mace's bannermen and it's up to Renly to keep peace among his vassals and finding new allies to counter them.

And what do you want Renly to do about the smallfolk? He's no Aegon V, so long the smallfolk live in peace and have enough tourneys to entertain themselves, he'd have succeeded in most of the noble's eyes. 

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