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The Reign of King Renly


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@Hugorfonics

 

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Idk about that. I mean he didn't rule through magic, agreed. But taking out Blackfyres? It's all shrouded in mystery, but DunknEgg have Targaryen magic in their books still

There's no mystery behind that, he loosed fuck ton of arrows on three of them, warred and defeated a fourth, used his spies to end the plots of a fifth and killed a sixth under the banner of peace.

Yeah they had magic... Which only got them killed.

 

 

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Balon made it clear that Starks attention was divided

And the current Stark is a pup, whereas Tywin is not. That added to Asha's statements of his father only rising because Robert and Ned died...

 

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Better odds then last rebellion.

Sure, from zero to one.

 

 

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Um, he's the type of guy to invade Highgarden

He hasn't done that yet. And he was quiet af during the latter's reign.

 

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Clocks still ticking though. Martells still looks for vengeance and will be trying to sabotage any usurpers govt

Yeah, with passive aggresiveness, anyway they aren't helping either.

 

 

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Stark + Storm. That's 2-3. No Greyjoy no Tyrell no Martell. In fact they may be hostile.

The Tyrells and a lot of Mace's most powerful bannermen are attached to Renly's hip. And the idea that the martells aid the Lannisters.

 

 

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strong

We watch him lose the tourney

We watch or are told that people like Robert, Loras, Jaime, Dayne lost touneys.

Besides, Renly isn't really talking about martial pr physical prowess but about  strenght of character/ to rule.

 

 

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yet generous,

Arrested Catelyn under a banner of truce

What has this to do woth whether he's generous or not.

 

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clever,

Convinced his sister in law could marry the king, because she looks like Lyanna?

I mean, he could... Both Pycelle and Cersei are sure that Robert was eventually going to fall for it.

 

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just,

Wanted to imprison and keep as a hostage a mother and her three children

You mean the Queen who was gunning at him and had actually commited treason? 

 

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diligent,

He's been getting drunk at a tourney for the past month

While keeping the morale of his army and watching his enemies kill each other and  court him.

 

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loyal to my friends

Ran when Ned needed him most

 

  1. Ned's not his friend.
  2. He gave Ned a solid advice and Ned refused to listen instead wanting to follow a plan doomed to fail. 

 

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and terrible to my enemies,

Hasn't made one move against Lannister

The Lannisters almost getting trounced by an angry mob say otherwise.

 

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yet capable of forgiveness,

15 years after the last dragons father was murdered Renly endorses a plan to kill her, pregnant and all

He says they should have been done it before, since they were a threat to them.

 

@Springwatch

 

 

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A man like Stannis would never, never consider the kingship open to competition. He is Robert's legitmate heir, therefore he becomes king when Robert dies. He makes his declaration, five months later or whatever, because people need reminding.

People don't know about his claim and as such are going to make their own decisions without that solid piece of knowledge, by the time Stannis comes forth, all the major players have resolved not to turn back from their positions.

Had he come before both Robb and Renly made his claims open, thpse two may have been forced to follow him.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Even so, that doesn't justify Renly's own attempt to take the crown.

Nobody ever said that it did ;-).

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

I could have put that better. Initially, Stannis expected his only opposition to be the Lannisters. Over time he learns that his expected allies are actually turning to Renly. They need reminding.

I'm not sure that's the case. Stannis had no reason to expect that Ned Stark and his allies would side with him, just as he had no reason to expect Lysa Arryn and her son would side with him. After Jon's death he didn't try to stay on good terms or form an alliance with Lysa, nor did he try to inform Ned about what he found out or try to win his support for a bid for the throne.

In fact, Stannis actively undermined both Robert and Ned by removing himself to Dragonstone, taking the royal fleet with him, and refusing to return to court or to answer the letters Ned wrote to Dragonstone.

In light of all that Stannis had no reason to believe Ned and his allies would side with him upon Robert's death. Had Ned not learned about the twincest in time, he would have been honor-bound to crown Joffrey and he would have dutifully tried to serve him as Lord Regent and Protector as Robert wished he would.

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

What people know and when is a bit fuzzy. For some reason Stannis chose to communicate by envoy (maybe even just Davos?). Anyway, that would take time. But each of those lords has ravens and fast messengers of their own, so word must have got out. Theoretically.

Stannis only seems to have started contacting individual lords via envoys after Renly had already crowned himself - which was total stupidity. Stannis being the guy who knew that Robert had no trueborn children could have undermined them and Cersei long before Robert even died ... thus making sure or increasing the likelihood that none of them would succeed. Instead he did nothing of that sort.

Even if Robert had never believed the story ... if it had circulated before Joff's coronation many lords and knights in the Realm may have developed their own doubts about his succession. Not to mention the effect it would have had if Ned had learned about the twincest earlier - say, shortly after his arrival in KL.

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

Melisandre backing him up with sorcery would take off the restraints to be sure. But I don't think she'd hang around for long. Just not interested - another vain king on another vain throne - would be her attitude.

I think Melisandre take on Stannis' role as savior is that he unites Westeros in that capacity, and him ruling with an iron fist over a population who do as they are told by Stannis and Melisandre is pretty much her vision.

Her endgame is for Stannis to fufill his role as as savior and save the world. That is why she makes him king. But that 'King Stannis' is only a means for another end for her doesn't mean she doesn't want Stannis to be king.

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

If Stannis wants to keep the Iron Throne, he'll have to mend his fences and keep his allies like every other king.

Would he now? I mean, I agree that in the end him not making any compromises would end in his destruction - and it is not that unlikely it would come to that. But it might take years to reach that point. Stannis could easily enough rule as long as, say, Maegor after he won the throne.

A scenario which has Stannis really establish himself on the Iron Throne would mean that the war (sort of) ended with his organized enemies being severely defeated in the field - the Westerlands, Reach, and Ironborn having lost the ability to challenge him, and him having sufficient strength to restore the King's Peace.

In such a scenario he could become a bloody tyrant without controlling a particularly large army - it would be enough that his army is the largest or one of the largest left while his determined enemies are all too weak to mount another challenge.

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

You're too much the historian, and not enough the novel reader.

Robert loves Ned. Ned loves Robert. Both of them love Jon Arryn (who presumably loved them back.) (Quotes available, but you know them anyway.) So there is a co-dependency that has force between them.

More specifically: He [Ned] was no Jon Arryn, to curb the wildness of his king and teach him wisdom.

This means that in the years they were together, Jon Arryn was trying to curb Robert's behaviour, and with some success (not all the time though!)

That is just Ned's opinion of what Jon did, though. Ned has a low opinion of himself, always thinking Brandon would have been a better lord when in fact Ned may have been a better lord than both Brandon and Jon. Robert clearly seems to have worsened throughout his reign in essentially every aspect, so Jon couldn't curb his wildness nor teach him any wisdom.

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

Back to Robert's point of view, when he takes Jon Arryn as Hand, and keeps him on - he's chosen someone who opposes his wild behaviour. Successfully or not, it doesn't matter - the interesting thing is the choice of Hand.

And again with Ned. Robert knows Ned's character very well, knows that Ned will oppose his excesses constantly, as he does, over the costs of the tourney, and the threat to Dany. Ned resists him to the point of anger and humiliation, demands to resign - and Robert likes him for it and makes him stay. He actually complains that the rest of his council are flatterers and fools.

I'm not under the impression Robert chose those men because he expected them to challenge him - he did it, because he loved them and because he felt he could trust them. Robert can clearly befriend and surround himself with people who are very different from him without actually listening to them.

Robert also didn't seem to expect Ned to oppose him in the Targaryen question ... and it is Jaime's attack on Ned and his subsequent serious injury which triggers his decision to reinstate him as Hand.

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

No, he wouldn't. But Davos did save Edric. Thematically, the king dreams, but the Hand acts, isn't that it?

Stannis was uncomfortable with the whole Edric sacrifice thing. Davos showed him what he should do instead, that a just king would try to defend his people against a common enemy, not use weirdo magic to make himself king.

But that's a one-in-a-million stunt. Davos cannot repeat that. Or rather: He could only repeat it a scenario where Stannis was equally conflicted.

If we wonder about the Shireen sacrifice that's likely to come then this won't be Shireen being sacrificed so that Stannis can be king, but rather Shireen being sacrificed to save the world.

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

I'm sure Stannis could find a better errand boy than Davos, but, the story went a different way, we'll never know.

Davos was only Stannis' second choice as errand boy. First he chose Alester Florent. He only made Davos his Hand when he had all but lost the war. And he might name a new Hand if he were ever to rule the Seven Kingdoms.

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12 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Even so, that doesn't justify Renly's own attempt to take the crown.

It does though.

Renly ultimately can make the claim that he needs to take the Throne to unseat the blatant and almost absurd Lannister tyranny. Every two days there would be a brand new story seeping out of the Red Keep that amounts to "Oh, look here, yet another Lannister monstrosity has occurred.

Stannis has a responsibility (both in general in response to tyranny, and specifically as someone who is aware of the Lannister bastards) to put forth his claim to the crown immediately. Stannis must claim the Throne the moment Robert dies, not half a year later (as he actually does).

That failure to raise the banner to fight for the crown and fight for justice is equal to abdication. By the time Renly proclaims himself king, Stannis has spent months sitting on Dragonstone with his thumb up his ass sulking.

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8 hours ago, The Jingo said:

Renly ultimately can make the claim that he needs to take the Throne to unseat the blatant and almost absurd Lannister tyranny. Every two days there would be a brand new story seeping out of the Red Keep that amounts to "Oh, look here, yet another Lannister monstrosity has occurred.

There is no such tyranny anywhere to be seen when Renly crowns himself. Sure enough, Cersei had Ned imprisoned ... but he did try to stop the coronation of Robert's anointed heir. He was a traitor. Joffrey reappointed the most successful Hand in decades. Tywin Lannister was much in his life, but never a tyrant.

Renly correctly guessed that his role at court wouldn't be the same under King Joffrey than it had been under King Robert ... but that's no justification to make yourself king. And although we don't know enough about the bad relations between Cersei and Renly, we have no basis to blame only Cersei for that.

8 hours ago, The Jingo said:

Stannis has a responsibility (both in general in response to tyranny, and specifically as someone who is aware of the Lannister bastards) to put forth his claim to the crown immediately. Stannis must claim the Throne the moment Robert dies, not half a year later (as he actually does).

Actually, Stannis (supposedly) knowing about the Lannister bastards means he had a duty to inform his king prior to Robert's death so the succession could have been changed. Stannis not telling anyone actually means he should also make no complaints after Robert's death. The only authority who could legally assess and rule upon the legitimacy of Cersei's children and the royal succession would have been King Robert himself. While he acknowledged Cersei's children as his seed and had Joffrey anointed as his Heir Apparent this simply was the case, legally speaking.

Stannis throwing dirt at Robert's wife and children after his brother's death cannot lead to a peaceful resolution of the succession crisis. Joff is Robert's anointed heir, and Stannis isn't. If he tries to take the throne by force - as he does - he goes against Robert's will. He is the traitor there, not Joffrey.

And if things come down to strength of arms and the like Stannis could just as well have no pretext but blatant ambition.

8 hours ago, The Jingo said:

That failure to raise the banner to fight for the crown and fight for justice is equal to abdication. By the time Renly proclaims himself king, Stannis has spent months sitting on Dragonstone with his thumb up his ass sulking.

That is certainly one of the big flaws of his story. And I think George definitely dropped the ball there. One of the few changes the TV show made that worked was have Ned be the one to inform Stannis about the twincest. That way Stannis' reluctance makes much more sense. In such a scenario he would not be unprepared for Robert's death nor expecting a succession war - whereas in the books he was preparing for both since he removed himself to Dragonstone.

Why Stannis would expect people to know something he himself refused to tell to both Robert and Ned in the wake of Jon's death is inconceivable. It is ridiculous to even try to find an answer to that question. Only if Stannis believed others knew or believed what he thought he knew about Cersei's children could he possibly expect that they would view him as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

Anyone honestly believing Joffrey was trueborn son would never want to support Stannis ... and knowing Stannis' personality they would also never dare to approach Stannis with such treason since just Stannis would uphold the law at any cost and stand with Joffrey as the rightful king if he believed he was the rightful king.

And then ... from the political point of view it is ridiculous to wait five months to make a proclamation. We see how Rhaenyra not knowing about her father's death in time prevented her own coronation and allowed the Greens to crown Aegon II instead. Did Stannis think it would be easier to cast down King Joffrey after he had been crowned? If so, how stupid is he, truly?

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no such tyranny anywhere to be seen when Renly crowns himself. Sure enough, Cersei had Ned imprisoned ... but he did try to stop the coronation of Robert's anointed heir. He was a traitor. Joffrey reappointed the most successful Hand in decades. Tywin Lannister was much in his life, but never a tyrant.

I'm talking about Joffrey's behavior. Monstrous acts like killing starving peasants in the open where everyone can see him and then telling them they have the leave to eat their dead.

Like do we really believe this is an isolated act? Joffrey's streak of cruelty and weakness has defined him his entire life. Every time he can he's going to find a new way to indulge his sadism, and he doesn't have the common sense to do it in private. He's doing this stuff in public. By the time that Renly has gone and crowned himself, Joff has probably already made a name for himself as being the next Aerys.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Actually, Stannis (supposedly) knowing about the Lannister bastards means he had a duty to inform his king prior to Robert's death so the succession could have been changed. Stannis not telling anyone actually means he should also make no complaints after Robert's death. The only authority who could legally assess and rule upon the legitimacy of Cersei's children and the royal succession would have been King Robert himself. While he acknowledged Cersei's children as his seed and had Joffrey anointed as his Heir Apparent this simply was the case, legally speaking.

Stannis throwing dirt at Robert's wife and children after his brother's death cannot lead to a peaceful resolution of the succession crisis. Joff is Robert's anointed heir, and Stannis isn't. If he tries to take the throne by force - as he does - he goes against Robert's will. He is the traitor there, not Joffrey.

I do agree that Stannis had a responsibility to tell people before Robert died. You're right there.

But Joffrey is not Robert's heir, legally speaking. Joffrey's claim to being Robert's heir is based on the fiction that he is Robert's son when this isn't actually the case.

Like let's say that you and I decide to form a contract. You're going to pay me $100,000 on the premise that I'm a licensed physician and you want me to act as your personal health advisor. If I'm not actually licensed as a physician, then the contract is void and you can't be compelled to pay me. It was made under false pretenses and can't stand up legally, because I'm not qualified to provide the services for which I am supposed to be paid for.

Joffrey is acknowledged as Robert's heir based on the assumption that he's Robert's trueborn son, born of his blood and seed. He's not acknowledged as Robert's heir on the basis of "Well I raised this kid like a son, so he is my heir regardless". If Robert knew that Joffrey wasn't his son, he would have smashed Joff's head in with his bare hands.

We can only ever claim Joffrey is Robert's heir under false pretenses, which would be in absolute violation of the spirit of the law (even if by letter, he's the acknowledged heir at the time of death).

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is certainly one of the big flaws of his story

It's just more of that dummy thicc Lannister plot armor as far as I'm concerned.

 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Anyone honestly believing Joffrey was trueborn son would never want to support Stannis

I'd pick Stannis over Joffrey, even if Joffrey was trueborn, because Joff is a sadistic loon.

It's the same way that people supported Robert over Aerys, because Aerys might have been the king by rights but his cruelty and madness were equal to abdication.

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42 minutes ago, The Jingo said:

I'm talking about Joffrey's behavior. Monstrous acts like killing starving peasants in the open where everyone can see him and then telling them they have the leave to eat their dead.

Like do we really believe this is an isolated act? Joffrey's streak of cruelty and weakness has defined him his entire life. Every time he can he's going to find a new way to indulge his sadism, and he doesn't have the common sense to do it in private. He's doing this stuff in public. By the time that Renly has gone and crowned himself, Joff has probably already made a name for himself as being the next Aerys.

No, he didn't. Joff wasn't viewed as a monstrous king by anyone outside his inner circle, even after he behaved like one. Tyrion is the twisted little money demon, remember? Not the golden-haired boy king who can play the nice guy if he feels like it.

Joff is still a boy and folks forgive or excuse his behavior.

I'd definitely agree that folks who saw and heard him giving the orders to shoot on the peasants wouldn't have liked him all that much - but even they may have doubted that the beautiful boy came up with such ideas all by himself.

Even as late the the Tyrell match Joff's behavior isn't public knowledge - Littlefinger needs his people to spread the truth about Joffrey, but Margaery and Olenna still feel the need to question Sansa about his behavior.

42 minutes ago, The Jingo said:

But Joffrey is not Robert's heir, legally speaking. Joffrey's claim to being Robert's heir is based on the fiction that he is Robert's son when this isn't actually the case.

Like let's say that you and I decide to form a contract. You're going to pay me $100,000 on the premise that I'm a licensed physician and you want me to act as your personal health advisor. If I'm not actually licensed as a physician, then the contract is void and you can't be compelled to pay me. It was made under false pretenses and can't stand up legally, because I'm not qualified to provide the services for which I am supposed to be paid for.

Joffrey is acknowledged as Robert's heir based on the assumption that he's Robert's trueborn son, born of his blood and seed. He's not acknowledged as Robert's heir on the basis of "Well I raised this kid like a son, so he is my heir regardless". If Robert knew that Joffrey wasn't his son, he would have smashed Joff's head in with his bare hands.

We can only ever claim Joffrey is Robert's heir under false pretenses, which would be in absolute violation of the spirit of the law (even if by letter, he's the acknowledged heir at the time of death).

In a sense, yes. But there are no paternity tests in this world. Like in the real world, a child born in wedlock is the husband's child, period. That's the default setting. And Robert acknowledged Cersei's children as his and he named Joffrey his Heir Apparent and successor. He even reinforced this in his last will - the one Eddard Stark chose to forge.

As king Robert is basically the only authority who could conclusively investigate the kind of accusation Stannis is making - and he is also the only one who can rule on his own succession and invalidate the claims of Cersei's children.

Stannis cannot prove his allegations nor does he have the authority to rule on the succession.

In context you can also not pretend to make Robert's decision for him. I agree that he most likely didn't know about the twincest and wouldn't have kept Joffrey as his heir if he had known ... but what if he had known and still decided he didn't want Stannis as his heir? He could have named Renly instead. Or he could have legitimized one of his bastards to name him heir (Edric Storm would be the best candidate for that).

But he could have also dismissed all the evidence pointing towards the twincest, deciding that Cersei's children were his seed and Joffrey his trueborn heir.

42 minutes ago, The Jingo said:

I'd pick Stannis over Joffrey, even if Joffrey was trueborn, because Joff is a sadistic loon.

It's the same way that people supported Robert over Aerys, because Aerys might have been the king by rights but his cruelty and madness were equal to abdication.

There you seem to be pretty much alone. Nobody seems to have abandoned Joffrey because he was a sadistic loon.

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In fairness, nobody "knew" of Joffrey as monstrous outside his inner circle because he had been the pampered, pompous, protected prince all of his life hidden behind Lannister Guardsmen. He did not have any authority, although the few instances where we see him give orders (to Sandor, to Mycah) it's clear who and what he is.

Once he is crowned, he is still hiding in the Red Keep. The first time he leaves to see Myrcella off - we all know how that went. The incidents afterwards ie with the crossbow don't help. They do see him as a monster.

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4 hours ago, nyser1 said:

Once he is crowned, he is still hiding in the Red Keep. The first time he leaves to see Myrcella off - we all know how that went. The incidents afterwards ie with the crossbow don't help. They do see him as a monster.

Westeros at large doesn't view him as a monster. As I said, even the Tyrells felt the need to question Sansa directly about her experiences with Joffrey - confirming that his attitude was neither broadly known or believed.

And far away from court nobody even mentions Joffrey's cruelty - not the Dornish, not the Ironborn, not the folks in the Vale or the people in Essos.

Robb has personal issues with Joff - but that's about Ned's execution, not about his general conduct. He doesn't care that Joff likes to force folks to fight to death over some land, or that he abuses his smallfolk.

The Lannisters with a bad reputation are Lord Tywin, the Kingslayer, the twisted little monkey demon, and Queen Cersei (to a point - Cersei seems to be viewed as arrogant and haughty but not exactly as cruel or monstrous).

And as I said - I also don't think Joff was necessarily a monstrous king in the making. He would have been a very bad king with the potential to becoming a tyrant. But he was also pretty stupid and easily distracted. A competent Hand like Tywin could make use of that and prevent Joff from fucking up his own government too much.

I don't think that's all that likely, but Joff definitely was better in this regard than, say, somebody like Stannis or Maegor.

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11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Westeros at large doesn't view him as a monster. As I said, even the Tyrells felt the need to question Sansa directly about her experiences with Joffrey - confirming that his attitude was neither broadly known or believed.

To me this always hit a bit different, like they were asking because there were rumours in spite of the fact that before showing up with Tywin there hadn’t been any Tyrell associates near the Red Keep’s inner circle. It didn’t feel like they found Sansa’s answer to be coming from left field, and they didn’t ask for any kind of proof or question her possible motivation for lying or w/e, more like ‘okay, so it’s true’.
 

Which would not be the way you’d take ‘your dream ticket that you literally went to war just to get is actually an admission to a horror show’ comment from a teenager whose place you are supplanting if this was in stark contrast with what you’d otherwise heard.

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

To me this always hit a bit different, like they were asking because there were rumours in spite of the fact that before showing up with Tywin there hadn’t been any Tyrell associates near the Red Keep’s inner circle. It didn’t feel like they found Sansa’s answer to be coming from left field, and they didn’t ask for any kind of proof or question her possible motivation for lying or w/e, more like ‘okay, so it’s true’.

They already knew about Joff's true personality because Littlefinger had his people spread rumors at Highgarden. Which means that Joff's true nature was not common knowledge in Highgarden. Olenna and Margaery felt they needed firsthand information about Joff before proceeding with the plan to assassinate him.

Joffrey isn't yet 'Joffrey the Cruel' or 'Joffrey the Mad' in the eyes of the public. Far to the contrary, actually.

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4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

They already knew about Joff's true personality because Littlefinger had his people spread rumors at Highgarden. Which means that Joff's true nature was not common knowledge in Highgarden. Olenna and Margaery felt they needed firsthand information about Joff before proceeding with the plan to assassinate him.

Joffrey isn't yet 'Joffrey the Cruel' or 'Joffrey the Mad' in the eyes of the public. Far to the contrary, actually.

Do we know LF did this? I almost mentioned him as a possibility, but discounted it because it could have sabotaged the very mission that his rep was kinda staked on. 
 

edit: I don’t dispute that he isn’t a monster to the common folk at large, I just think it’s circulating in much wider circles than his own amongst the upper nobility. 

Edited by James Arryn
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13 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Joffrey isn't yet 'Joffrey the Cruel' or 'Joffrey the Mad' in the eyes of the public. Far to the contrary, actually.

Who knows what they really think.

But for sure, I mean he gets the KG it beat her in public, it's awfully surprising that the story doesn't spread.

iirc when Loras is all hair shirt repentent about his versatile amount of crimes he doesn't even mention berating Sansa while the mightiest did their best to keep her pretty.

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On 1/10/2022 at 1:23 PM, OldLordWalder said:

Would Renly have made a good king. He had all the means necessary to become king. He had the support of the entire reach, including one of the richest houses of the seven kingdoms. If not Stannis and his blood magic, which no one could have anticipated, he wouldve managed to take kings landing. No problem. Even with stannis taking storms end, he couldve taken both him and the Lannisters. He could make common cause with Rob Stark, who has no beef with Renly or the reach, destroyed Tywins army and have become king of the 6 kingdoms. What would westeros look like under his rule? Renly is an extremely likable character, using his charisma to win over many major lords. He could face opposition from the faith if his relationship with Loras came to light, but other than that he wouldve had a fairly peaceful rule. If not for the threat of the white walkers. He is the perfect summer King but he doesnt seem like hes well apt for facing the long night, abiet better fit that Tommen and the current monarchy. Stannis probably wouldnt bend the knee to him, being the older sibling, and being the uncompramising person that he is, Stannis would rather die fighting for what he believes is right, however his men man not want to fight for a lost cause. He could prossibly be sent to the nights watch, so Renly doesnt begin his reign with kinslaying, which could helpful having such a seasoned commander at the wall. He also seems to fit perfectly with the whole vibe of the nights watch, living a hard and luxuryless life, dedicated to duty to the watch. Stannis is nothing if not dutiful.

What do you think wouldve happened if Melisandre never birthed her shadow babies to kill Renly and Cortnay Penrose? Would Renly ever actually take Kings Landing? he was taking his sweet time getting there. And if Stannis and the Lannisters are defeated, Rob Stark sated and his reign installed, what would Renlys Westeros look like. Would he actually bring change the the kingdoms or would he just be more of the same?

Renly would have been a disaster as king  . He may have resembled Robert , but he lacked Robert's strength . Even with Stormlands and The Reach he would not be able to stop any rebellion from the Iron Born ,  Dorne or the North . Renly was copper .

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5 hours ago, James Arryn said:

Do we know LF did this? I almost mentioned him as a possibility, but discounted it because it could have sabotaged the very mission that his rep was kinda staked on.

Littlefinger himself tells Sansa that he did this. Apparently, to lay the groundwork for the poisoning plot. He and Olenna started to work together to that end even before Littlefinger returned to KL.

5 hours ago, James Arryn said:

edit: I don’t dispute that he isn’t a monster to the common folk at large, I just think it’s circulating in much wider circles than his own amongst the upper nobility. 

It may be that there is more gossip than we see ... but the war would have made it more difficult to get together and talk about the luminaries of the Realm.

And in light of the fact that Joff is still a minor and the Queen Regent and the Hand are actually running the government, it would be very difficult for an observer to really determine whether Joff is set up to do something by the adults who run his government or whether he himself actually decided to do something ugly.

For instance, we who are aware for the inner workings of the court know that Cersei and her council did not, in fact, set up Joff to execute Ned. But who outside the inner circle actually knows and believes this? And who would talk about that with others?

Joff mistreating Sansa is him mistreating the daughter/sister of a traitor who also is a hostage against a rebel ... quite a few people who are aware of some of Joff's episodes there might not really have big issues with them because of who Sansa is.

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I think Renly would have made a good king. He was charismatic and inspired loyalty, which are important qualities for a ruler.  He seemed willing to compromise and award positions based on merit. In particular, he seemed popular amongst the Smallfolk, which is always helpful as it reduces the chance of things like the riots in King's Landing occurring.   

Another advantage he has is that he is not associated with previous negative events like the sack of King's Landing or the murders of Aegon and Rhaenys. This means that Dorne would be less likely to object to his rule and cause trouble. I am certain he would have been able to come to some sort of agreement with Robb that would have allowed them both to save face.

Out of all the pretenders in the War of the Five kings, he seemed the most 'kingly'.

One issue I found with judging how competent a king he would have been is that we do not see how he runs or administers the Stormlands as its Lord Paramount in the way we do with Ned in the North. So I find it hard to estimate how involved he would have been with ruling. Though for what it's worth we do see him take an active role in the small council. Also, he doesn't have to do everything as king. If he can delegate some tasks to the right people it should be fine.

Overall, I believe him winning would have lead to a decently stable and united realm with a better shot at combating the threat of the Others than the one we have now.

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