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[Spoilers] Episode 106 Discussion


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15 minutes ago, MisbornHeir said:

It's inherently bad in regard to the power structure put in place by Aegon. How can a Targaryen be a conqueror if they can't control their own succession/vassals? The social contract you refer to is an invention of our 18th century, not something that existed in medieval times and certainly not Westeros.

He shouldn't of let them vote to begin with. He should of made Rhaenys his heir. And 'despotic' is a pretty typical trait for absolute monarchies. Weak kings led to the realm destabilizing and presuming far too much (e.g. Aerys)

Couple of points:

1. Magna Carta

2. The thing was King Joe didn't feel pressure to make his other son his heir, he WANTED to. Which is why Alysane was so pissed.

3. Generally, the big deal of Westeros making no sense from a Medieval perspective is the majority of the law and negotiations for nobility happened through the church. Absolute monarchy didn't exist because vassals and monarchs were subject to the law of the church who did a lot of enforcing of it through social pressure and recognition of legitimacy. Stephen became King because of his many-many promised bribes but also the Pope recognizing his claim.

He flat out lost because he lost that recognition and couldn't get a coalition without it.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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9 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Unless Aegon gave up his claim, which he said he would do.

Also, Viserys disinherited Daemon.

Which Rhaenyra could do.

 If Rhaenyra disinherits Aegon, his siblings, and she only has her bastard kids, then she has no heir.

Also, would be a lot harder to make a case to disinherit a boy who at that point didn't do anything wrong than it is for Daemon, a grown ass man who alienated most of the realm.

And I would hardly put much stock in 13 year old Aegon wanting or not to be king.

 

21 minutes ago, MisbornHeir said:

It's inherently bad in regard to the power structure put in place by Aegon. How can a Targaryen be a conqueror if they can't control their own succession/vassals? The social contract you refer to is an invention of our 18th century, not something that existed in medieval times and certainly not Westeros.

He shouldn't of let them vote to begin with. He should of made Rhaenys his heir. And 'despotic' is a pretty typical trait for absolute monarchies. Weak kings lead to the realm destabilizing and presuming far too much (e.g. Aerys)

Both in Westeros and real life, no ruler, not even an absolute one, rules alone (also, the Magna Carta has been around since the 13th century, the HRE was an elective monarchy even before that, etc). Even with dragons, the Targaryens can only govern if the society of Westeros allows them. Dorne shows that they can be beaten with the right tactics, and that was not even the strongest area in 7 Kingdoms.

Moreover, the Grand Council wasn't just designed to get the lords on board, it was also to get the family and other claimants on board- this probably the most important point. Someone like the Velaryons, the richest family with dragons, can easily rally the troops for a bid to the throne. By giving them the chance to speak their case, try peacefully, and be soundly beaten (and other claimants try, and not even be taken seriously), shows their cause is hopeless and forces them to accept the result.

If Viserys called for a Grand Council and Rhaenyra was an overwhelming winner, like Viserys himself was, then the Hightowers and anyone that wanted to support them would know it's a pointless affair to try to become rulers. By contrast, if Aegon wins, then Viserys is forced to accept him as the heir, and Rhaenyra has no case.

 

45 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Rhaenyra *might* have executed Alicent and her children on ascending the throne (but, I see no evidence that it was her intention).

But, that could be used as a justification for rebelling against any ruler.  Every ruler has subjects they don’t like/ potentially have rival claims, but that’s no reason to pre-emptively strike against that ruler.

There's a big difference between "the ruler doesn't like person A" and "person A has an excellent claim to the throne, possibly a better one than the ruler, that can be pressed at any time". It's the difference between some lord that Robert had a problem with before and Aerys' children and grandchildren

 

Edited by Winterfell is Burning
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23 minutes ago, MisbornHeir said:

It's inherently bad in regard to the power structure put in place by Aegon. How can a Targaryen be a conqueror if they can't control their own succession/vassals? The social contract you refer to is an invention of our 18th century, not something that existed in medieval times and certainly not Westeros.

Feudalism was inherently an intrinsic series of power relations and contracts between lords and vassals.

Westeros has already seen lords proclaim kings — and in the case of the Great Council, they weren’t even asked to do that, they were invited by the king to vote on a question that he put to them.

Plenty of smart medieval monarches understood that mobilizing a consensus among nobles was a good political strategy. Especially so when the certain outcome of the Council will be to endorse the position that the king wants anyway and help settle the matter within his own family.

23 minutes ago, MisbornHeir said:

He shouldn't of let them vote to begin with. He should of made Rhaenys his heir. 

He did not want Rhaenys as heir, he wanted Baelon/Viserys.

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13 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

According to some legends, a few American presidents are named George.

James is actually the most common first name for presidents with six.  Then John and William.  There've only been three Georges. 

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1 hour ago, Colonel Green said:

Yes, it is. Bastards are considered inherently sinful and lesser in the culture of Westeros, as are the women who bear them. Beyond that it does concern Alicent because it is her children who are being deprived of their birthright, as tradition and the letter of the law would have it.

We the audience don’t share these ideals, but it’s an entirely plausible mindset in-universe. It’s just that with Alicent, unlike Eddard Stark, GRRM didn’t stack the deck in her favour by making Jacaerys a complete psychopath.

The letter of the law states that the children of the first wife cannot be disinherited in favor of the children of the second wife barring the case where the children of the first wife are guilty of unspeakable crimes.

It's called the Widow's Law and it had been on the books for at least half a century at this point.

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1 minute ago, Colonel Green said:

Feudalism was inherently an intrinsic series of power relations and contracts between lords and vassals.

Westeros has already seen lords proclaim kings — and in the case of the Great Council, they weren’t even asked to do that, they were invited by the king to vote on a question that he put to them.

Plenty of smart medieval monarches understood that mobilizing a consensus among nobles was a good political strategy. Especially so when the certain outcome of the Council will be to endorse the position that the king wants anyway and help settle the matter within his own family.

He did not want Rhaenys as heir, he wanted Baelon/Viserys.

Points taken. I suppose my reasoning came from an ideals perspective of the discussion (without acknowledging sufficient realities).

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52 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

@frenin

The thing is we NEVER see what the realm actually thinks. Heirs of the Dragon focuses almost entirely on KL and even then only on a superficial level (we don't even know if Viserys made any improvements to the capital's infrastructure the way his grandfather did!). Furthermore, F & B doesn't go into great detail about Jace's trip. Hell, it offers three different versions of how negotiations with Cregan and Jeyne went down!

On top of that, the Greens' side of the narrative gets far less focus and detail in general. Why a lot of houses in the Reach (such as the Roxtons) backed the Greens but not their own bannermen or kin (looking at you Redwyne!) isn't explained. Nor why the Lannisters or Brackens sided with the Greens (other than the fact GRRM wanted the Blackwoods to be Black). On top of that you have houses taking down Aegon II's banner when he's murdered but who these houses are and where the hell they were during all the fighting goes unanswered. A final example would be the fact that House Vance of Atranta also declares for the Greens...but then gets taken out off-page without so much as a sentence explaining how. The storming of Stone Hedge "ends" Aegon II's support in the Riverlands BUT WHERE WAS THIS SUPPORT? GRRM didn't show OR imply it!

Hell, the Silent Five get mentioned after the fact, with their actions having been nothing noteworthy!

This omission of detail shows in the fact that even though the Greens are almost always characterized as having more men the list of Blacks on the wiki is way, way, way longer than the list of Greens.

Sure but the actions of the Realm goes against the narratve both in and out of universe that the Realm cared enough about the bastardry of the children. Jace wouldn't get the support of two  kingdoms nor Luke would be given the hand of a Baratheon girl if they cared about it, either during the Dance r in the regency, this is never addressed.

 

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Just now, BlackLightning said:

The letter of the law states that the children of the first wife cannot be disinherited in favor of the children of the second wife barring the case where the children of the first wife are guilty of unspeakable crimes.

It's called the Widow's Law and it had been on the books for at least half a century at this point.

The law wouldn't remove the cultural taboo, however. 

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4 minutes ago, MisbornHeir said:

The law wouldn't remove the cultural taboo, however. 

The cultural taboo is doesn't matter. Maybe in the Iron Islands and maybe with men like Randyll Tarly but not overall.

Women in positions of hard power are not unheard of in Westeros. In fact, it happens often enough for it not to be a problem. You have multiple highborn women from across the realm leading armies, fighting battles, commanding dragons and issuing wartime policies throughout the story of the Dance and its prelude...

If it were such a big taboo that would make an established law, then Casterly Rock and all its wealth would've fallen to the Ironborn because no one would've been able to take orders from Johanna Lannister. And we would've in turn had a very different story when it came time for ASOIAF.

 

The law is the law. The king's word is also law.

If the king says that his firstborn child from his first marriage is his heir over and over and over and over again, then that is that. The fact that the law also supports his desire only makes it that much more potent.

Regardless of the idiocy of Rhaenyra and Laenor and how it led to the proliferation of those beloved baseborn children, the Iron Throne clearly belongs to Rhaenyra and hers is the power to rule and decree as she sees fit.

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28 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

The letter of the law states that the children of the first wife cannot be disinherited in favor of the children of the second wife barring the case where the children of the first wife are guilty of unspeakable crimes.

It's called the Widow's Law and it had been on the books for at least half a century at this point.

Rhaenyra was not disinherited, she naturally (per ordinary events) fell behind her half-brothers in the ordering.

The Widow’s Law does not purport to place all children of a first wife ahead of all children of a second wife in succession. 

Moreover, the letter of the law I was referring to is that (as Lord Strong states in this episode) legally what Rhaenyra is doing with her children is a crime.

14 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

The cultural taboo is doesn't matter. Maybe in the Iron Islands and maybe with men like Randyll Tarly but not overall.

Women in positions of hard power are not unheard of in Westeros. In fact, it happens often enough for it not to be a problem. You have multiple highborn women from across the realm leading armies, fighting battles, commanding dragons and issuing wartime policies throughout the story of the Dance and its prelude...

If it were such a big taboo that would make an established law, then Casterly Rock and all its wealth would've fallen to the Ironborn because no one would've been able to take orders from Johanna Lannister. And we would've in turn had a very different story when it came time for ASOIAF.

 

The law is the law. The king's word is also law.

If the king says that his firstborn child from his first marriage is his heir over and over and over and over again, then that is that. The fact that the law also supports his desire only makes it that much more potent.

Regardless of the idiocy of Rhaenyra and Laenor and how it led to the proliferation of those beloved baseborn children, the Iron Throne clearly belongs to Rhaenyra and hers is the power to rule and decree as she sees fit.

While women can hold vassal lordships in Westeros, it is pretty clear custom that women do not inherit paramount lordships or the crown — otherwise 8000 years of history (outside Dorne) would feature lots more such women other than an unnamed Gardener and Jeyne Arryn (whose accession triggered a coup attempt based on her gender).

Edited by Colonel Green
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32 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

If Viserys called for a Grand Council and Rhaenyra was an overwhelming winner, like Viserys himself was, then the Hightowers and anyone that wanted to support them would know it's a pointless affair to try to become rulers. By contrast, if Aegon wins, then Viserys is forced to accept him as the heir, and Rhaenyra has no case.

The difference is the Great Council of 101 was called because Jaehaerys' named heir died.  Viserys had already named Rhaenyra heir, both in the show and the books, before Aegon was born.  If he goes back on that without any (at least public) cause, he looks weak.  Weaker still than he already does.

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@DMC

Why would Viserys look weak? He could easily say "now that I have a living, trueborn son Rhaenyra is no longer heir to the Iron Throne". In a medieval setting like Westeros he doesn't need more reason than that. Hell, I can't think of a single RL monarch who chose an elder daughter over a younger son, which is saying a lot considering how many monarchs there have been throughout history.

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1 minute ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

Hell, I can't think of a single RL monarch who chose an elder daughter over a younger son, which is saying a lot considering how many monarchs there have been throughout history.

How many RL monarchs had the lords of the entire realm come and proclaim their fealty upon naming their daughter heir?

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18 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

According to the wiki, Aegon is supposed to be 13, and Helaena 11 in this episode. Both look much older to me.

Agreed

That's why the whole Laena thing in episode 2 was so jarring. The girl did not look like she was only a little younger than Rhaenyra and Alicent.

13 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

Rhaenyra was not disinherited, she naturally (per ordinary events) fell behind her half-brothers in the ordering.

If Rhaenyra is named the heir to the Iron Throne and she has that taken away from her, that is called being disinherited. It's literally what the word means.

You'd have an argument there if Viserys hadn't (repeatedly) reiterated the fact that Rhaenyra is still the heir to the Iron Throne after the birth of Aegon, Helaena and Aemond.

15 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

The Widow’s Law does not purport to place all children of a first wife ahead of all children of a second wife in succession. 

 

It does.

Matters of succession and matters of inheritance, at the end of the day, are one and the same.

Westeros (and much of the ancient, classical and medieval world) just has "winner take all" stance towards it.

17 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

Moreover, the letter of the law I was referring to is that (as Lord Strong states in this episode) legally what Rhaenyra is doing with her children is a crime.

Oh yes. This is true.

It is a crime--unless the King legitimizes them, at which point it would no longer be a crime. Which he basically has done already.

But if it was really such an egregious crime, then Alicent wouldn't be the only one in the Red Keep pitching a fit about it. Literally...she is the only one in the Red Keep pitching a fit about it.

Her own allies don't even care.

Larys the Clubfoot Sociopath is indifferent...like most sociopaths are. He actually spouts a poignant bit of wisdom about how her complaints are not only a dangerous dead-end but that they are exposing her as a hypocrite. She can't even see her own children for what they are. How dare she rail against the likes of Viserys, Rhaenyra, Laenor, etc. when she does the same thing...and worse.

And Criston? He's spiteful and petty and probably very jealous, yes...but he doesn't care either. He hates Rhaenyra so much that it doesn't matter what she does. She could be Mother Teresa and he'd still hate her guts. In fact, he probably secretly wishes that they were his babies.

 

Not even Lyonel is that upset about it. He only gets upset about it when Harwin lets himself be manipulated into making a stupid spectacle about it in public...

 

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1 hour ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

 If Rhaenyra disinherits Aegon, his siblings, and she only has her bastard kids, then she has no heir.

Except they're legally not bastards. It's a slanderous claim that only her political enemies use.

The monarch would have to declare them bastards.

Which Rhaenyra wouldn't do.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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18 minutes ago, DMC said:

How many RL monarchs had the lords of the entire realm come and proclaim their fealty upon naming their daughter heir?

Exactly @The Grey Wolf Strikes Back

Ordinarily, it wouldn't be a problem for Viserys to go back on his word on this issue. But Viserys goes back on his word all the time. Not only that:

  • He can't properly kill an animal that is being restrained by half a dozen men
  • he is in poor health almost all of the time
  • he is a definitively unhappy people-pleaser
  • he can't adapt to rapidly changing circumstances
  • he schedules these big events only for him to lose control of them
  • he can't effectively deal with -- much less control -- his out-of-control brother...which is his more basic responsibility as the head of his House
  • he avoids conflict like it's the plague (which means that he allows conflict to unfold before him and does nothing about it)
  • he can't effectively address foreign policy issues that have real domestic consequences

To go back on his decision to name Rhaenyra as his heir (what with the great ceremony he had with hundreds of lords and knights in attendance) would topple him and the realm would soon descend into lawless chaos.

Think that's some extreme logic. Let's look at Tytos Lannister and his rule of the Westerlands and House Lannister. It's a miracle Tywin was able to fix that mess.

Edited by BlackLightning
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