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Why are there Lannister Men-at-arms hanging around King’s Landing?


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Posted (edited)

So at the start of the Game of Thrones (ie during peacetime), there are random Lannister men-at-arms just hanging around King’s Landing. Why? Lord Tywin is not present, and they are his men. Jamie is a Kingsguard, so he shouldn’t have a retinue of guards. They are not there for Tyrion since apparently only keeps only two retainers.
 

I know you might say Cersei, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Daughters of great lords are always marrying into other families and they then use the guards of the new family. There are no Tully men hanging around Winterfell or the Vale, with the Tully daughters (well the Blackfish goes to the Vale, but it appears that he is not with a contingent of men). They apparently expect the loyalty of their husbands men. 
 

So why are there so many Lannister soldiers hanging around King Robert? It seem that Robert would and should object to this. He should have Baratheon men in droves, since he now controls the Crownlands directly, but it seems like all he has are the City Watch.  
 

Edited by Thedog
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Posted (edited)

Robert's accompanied by a retinue of knights and retainers when he heads North, it's likely that they're with him in King's Landing too but not worth mentioning. Tywin likely sent Cersei her guard to add to the prestige of the queen and to serve as an ever present reminder to the court of who she represents, besides it never hurts to ensure your daughter has the protection of men personally loyal to you when paying for them wouldn't even make you bat an eyelid. 

 

Edited by Trigger Warning
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3 hours ago, Trigger Warning said:

Robert's accompanied by a retinue of knights and retainers when he heads North, it's likely that they're with him in King's Landing too but not worth mentioning. Tywin likely sent Cersei her guard to add to the prestige of the queen and to serve as an ever present reminder to the court of who she represents, besides it never hurts to ensure your daughter has the protection of men personally loyal to you when paying for them wouldn't even make you bat an eyelid. 

 

A Queen he prestige through her husband. Tywin having men at court would seem to indicate that he thought that there would be situations where he thought Cersei might need swords who are not beholden to Robert (at least not any more beholden than any random commoner in Westeros). I guess that knowing Cersei her getting into a situation needing men did seem like a good precaution. 
 

nevertheless, i still Don’t get why Robert would let a force of men not loyal to him be permanently lodged under his roof.
 

Obviously there is precedent for a Queen having a sworn shield (in this case the Hound). But a force of armed men? That seems to undercut his power. 

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Baratheon men from where?  He has no holding of his own, so he would need to get them from Renly or Stannis, both of whom he dislikes, and the feeling is mutual.  He not going to ask them for anything. 

He also appears to be perfectly happy letting his wife dole out cushy jobs in the capital as patronage.  Being a man-at-arms would be such a cushy job.  Plus, Robert is a lazy and feckless ruler and doesn't really give a damn about that kind of thing. 

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49 minutes ago, Nevets said:

Baratheon men from where?  He has no holding of his own, so he would need to get them from Renly or Stannis, both of whom he dislikes, and the feeling is mutual.  He not going to ask them for anything. 

He also appears to be perfectly happy letting his wife dole out cushy jobs in the capital as patronage.  Being a man-at-arms would be such a cushy job.  Plus, Robert is a lazy and feckless ruler and doesn't really give a damn about that kind of thing. 

It really amazes me how in a history which includes men like Maegor, Aegon IV, Aegon II, Aerys II, and Daeron I, Robert still ends up being one of the worst kings ever to sit on the Iron Throne.

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Quote

Big Walder’s quarterings were the tree-and-ravens of House Blackwood and the twining snakes of the Paeges. They must be hungry for honor, Bran thought as he watched them take up their lances. A Stark needs only the direwolf.  (ACOK 16)

Lannisters are like that:  hungry for honor.  Having an escort of red cloaks reminds everyone who Cersei is.

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11 hours ago, Thedog said:

So why are there so many Lannister soldiers hanging around King Robert? It seem that Robert would and should object to this. He should have Baratheon men in droves, since he now controls the Crownlands directly, but it seems like all he has are the City Watch.  

I mean the City Watch is the bigger force in the city by a wide margin, the Goldcloaks completely dwarfs the other forces in the city combined. Why would Robert object if he simply doesn't care and doesn't see it as a threat to his power?

 

6 hours ago, Thedog said:

nevertheless, i still Don’t get why Robert would let a force of men not loyal to him be permanently lodged under his roof.

He didn't care.

 

6 hours ago, Thedog said:

That seems to undercut his power. 

Even having the Lannister men at arms, Cersei still needed the backing of the City Watch to overpower Ned, if Littlefinger had been true to his word and delivered the Gold Cloaks to Ned then Cersei would have died and the Lannister men at arms would have been put to the sword just like Ned's were.

No, it didn't really undercut his power.

 

 

4 hours ago, Nevets said:

Baratheon men from where?  He has no holding of his own, so he would need to get them from Renly or Stannis, both of whom he dislikes, and the feeling is mutual.  He not going to ask them for anything. 

Eh, I'd say that as the former Lord Paramount of the Stormlands and now their king, he could poach men in those lands without really paying attention to his brothers... He'd have to care enough to do it tho.

 

 

3 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Robert still ends up being one of the worst kings ever to sit on the Iron Throne.

Tbf, he's not worse king than any of those. In fact if he hadn't bankruptted the Realm, he would have been a pretty decent- good ish king as he gave the Realm 14 years of peace and plenty and managed to reconcile most of the realm with his usurpation. But yeah, bankrupting the Realm makes a bad king.

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10 hours ago, Nevets said:

Baratheon men from where?  He has no holding of his own, so he would need to get them from Renly or Stannis, both of whom he dislikes, and the feeling is mutual.  He not going to ask them for anything. 

 

As king, he would be direct lord of the Crownlands. That region doesn’t fall within any of his primary vassals’ domains. Accordingly lesser houses from the Crownlands would be his direct vassal, and likely the crown would also hold land within that region directly. So he could certainly recruit men from that land. Additionally he could recruit directly from King’s Landing. Targaryens had no problem finding men to be Dragonkeepers, and presumably had guards in addition to the watch. 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Nevets said:

Baratheon men from where?  He has no holding of his own, so he would need to get them from Renly or Stannis, both of whom he dislikes, and the feeling is mutual.  He not going to ask them for anything. 

He also appears to be perfectly happy letting his wife dole out cushy jobs in the capital as patronage.  Being a man-at-arms would be such a cushy job.  Plus, Robert is a lazy and feckless ruler and doesn't really give a damn about that kind of thing. 

Stannis, yes, but I’m not sure we see any real dislike between Renly and Robert; they were frequently hunting partners and while he doesn’t enjoy it when Renly laughingly stands up to him and mocks Joff and Cersei, Robert lets him get away with it in a way that seems old habit. Renly reminds so many who knew him of Robert when he was younger, I’m sure Robert enjoys some aspects of that.Though he might also sometimes think that that carefree enjoy life air of Renly’s reminds him of all the heavy responsibilities that keep him, in his mind, from being that man anymore. Renly’s smarter than Robert ever was, and much more of a player/politician, but smart enough not to rub it in Robert’s face. 
 

Regardless, Robert should have access to a retinue, if only drawn from the Crownlands. Or he might have been persuaded to dissolve the expense to pay for more tourneys or w/e with the understanding that Cersei’s men make it redundant. Medieval courts were incredibly expensive and as a result would routinely spend part/most of the year on the move from vassal to vassal as those hosts were then responsible for feeding and housing the king’s household who otherwise are by far a king’s greatest expense. 
 

In fact troublesome RL vassals were often effectively checked by the ‘honour’ of an extensive or repeated royal visit, drying up their coffers while apparently showing them great favour. Until Jon Arryn’s death we never hear of Robert going on circuit which is both weird (it’s basically an extended free pub crawl if you want it to be, which would seem to suit him) and incredibly bad leadership even without accounting for the constant revelry in KL. It should both lessen his ties with his vassals and more importantly beggar the Royal purse. 

Edited by James Arryn
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13 hours ago, Thedog said:

A Queen he prestige through her husband. Tywin having men at court would seem to indicate that he thought that there would be situations where he thought Cersei might need swords who are not beholden to Robert (at least not any more beholden than any random commoner in Westeros). I guess that knowing Cersei her getting into a situation needing men did seem like a good precaution. 
 

nevertheless, i still Don’t get why Robert would let a force of men not loyal to him be permanently lodged under his roof.
 

Obviously there is precedent for a Queen having a sworn shield (in this case the Hound). But a force of armed men? That seems to undercut his power. 

I think you're thinking of this in too rigid terms. She might be the queen but she's still an individual with her own retinue, as long as Tywin's footing the bill I'm sure Robert doesn't give a shit if she wants to have a household guard. Ned brought his household guard to King's Landing too because they're his retinue. Basically every noble staying in the Red Keep would likely have some armed retainers accompanying them as I'm sure Robert did as well the difference is Tywin can casually afford to give his daughter a large one so he does. 

I'm not sure what your point is about prestige, you can have many sources of prestige and a distinctly Lannister source in the capital benefits Tywin, paying for the Queen to have a load of men at arms in her personal service decked out in his livery is a potent reminder of who she represents and how much wealth he commands. 

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18 hours ago, Thedog said:

So at the start of the Game of Thrones (ie during peacetime), there are random Lannister men-at-arms just hanging around King’s Landing. Why? Lord Tywin is not present, and they are his men. Jamie is a Kingsguard, so he shouldn’t have a retinue of guards. They are not there for Tyrion since apparently only keeps only two retainers.
 

I know you might say Cersei, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Daughters of great lords are always marrying into other families and they then use the guards of the new family. There are no Tully men hanging around Winterfell or the Vale, with the Tully daughters (well the Blackfish goes to the Vale, but it appears that he is not with a contingent of men). They apparently expect the loyalty of their husbands men. 
 

So why are there so many Lannister soldiers hanging around King Robert? It seem that Robert would and should object to this. He should have Baratheon men in droves, since he now controls the Crownlands directly, but it seems like all he has are the City Watch.  
 

For the same reason Mel tells Jon to have a tail even though he doesn't (or shouldn't) need one at Castle Black: the trappings of power are as important as the power itself. She keeps her own guards for that very reason as well, IRRC. 

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It could be that Tywin was just not sure of the loyalty of the men from the Crownlands and King's Landing in particular, the Lannister had just brutally sacked the city not long ago after all, he then just never bothered to call them back, since they added the benefit of showing the power of house Lannister.

And for Robert he has the Gold Cloaks, a force of 2 000 men including at least a few knights and they are supposed to be loyal directly to him, sure they are disloyal in Agot but that does seem that it is because the succession is not clear, I would assume that the Gold Cloaks were kingmen's.

And just to add a bit, Renly seems to have a hundred men in King's Landing, it would most likely not just is own guards but it would seem that any one of importance has its own retinue even in the capital.

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8 hours ago, frenin said:

 

 

 

Tbf, he's not worse king than any of those. In fact if he hadn't bankruptted the Realm, he would have been a pretty decent- good ish king as he gave the Realm 14 years of peace and plenty and managed to reconcile most of the realm with his usurpation. But yeah, bankrupting the Realm makes a bad king.

Tbh, and this is in accordance with pretty much what everyone says, any of the peaceful/positive virtues of Robert’s reign were directly attributed to Jon Arryn, not Robert. It’s no coincidence that his death is, by design, the event that sees everything start to unravel. Without the twincest it’s possible Arryn could have kept the ship afloat for the duration, but Ned was not an ideal replacement. Maybe without the twincest undercurrents Robert doesn’t prioritize familiarity/trust as much and selects a better diplomat/administrator to succeed if Arryn dies of natural causes later on. Stannis and Tywin are both able but would be pr disasters, maybe Renly or Doran Martell or someone who hasn’t emerged yet as Jon was described as seemingly destined to live a long time yet without poisoning.

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6 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

Tbh, and this is in accordance with pretty much what everyone says, any of the peaceful/positive virtues of Robert’s reign were directly attributed to Jon Arryn, not Robert. It’s no coincidence that his death is, by design, the event that sees everything start to unravel. Without the twincest it’s possible Arryn could have kept the ship afloat for the duration, but Ned was not an ideal replacement. Maybe without the twincest undercurrents Robert doesn’t prioritize familiarity/trust as much and selects a better diplomat/administrator to succeed if Arryn dies of natural causes later on. Stannis and Tywin are both able but would be pr disasters, maybe Renly or Doran Martell or someone who hasn’t emerged yet as Jon was described as seemingly destined to live a long time yet without poisoning.

They were a team, for the good and for the bad. Arryn also let Robert bankrupt the realm and never  put any check on him. I usually tend to give/blame kings for the success and failures of their servants, unless those are into some shady shady shit, which is why i don't care that much whether it was Robert or Littlefinger the one who actually bankrupted the Realm, the latter served the former and it was the former's job to check the work of the latter.

Btw, Ned would have been a wonderful Hand, on that end Robert was pretty much right and he obviously left the Realm in the most capable and trustworthy hands possible.

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