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Surprisingly clever moves made by dumb or crazy characters


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ASOIAF is full of characters who think that they are great players of the game of thrones but are in truth inept at it, due to their arrogance and of their stupidity, naivety, paranoia or insanity. 

But sometimes even these kind of low than the sea level players pull an impressive move, either during a rare moment of clarity or simply out of dumb luck, that surprise and do bother their foes. 

What are examples of such moves made in ASOIAF, whenever it's in the main story or in flashbacks or in the history of the world (The World of Ice and Fire or Fire & Blood) ?

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Euron is crazy, but I don't think he would fit on your question because he is not inapt leader. But him killing Balon, winning the Kingsmoot with false promises, giving the shield islands to a bunch of fools that can't hold them, and the way he is moving against Old Town all seems very clever from his PoV.

So the other cunning but dumb/crazy that comes to mind is Cersei. Her idea of taking Tommen out of KL before Blackwater was smart, the assassination of Robert was very luck based but still worked.

Ramsey sending Theon to convince the surrender of the IB on the MC is not that clever, but it worked well and he risked nothing over a quick victory.

 

Edited by Arthur Peres
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2 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

So the other cunning but dumb/crazy that comes to mind is Cersei. Her idea of taking Tommen out of KL before Blackwater was smart, the assassination of Robert was very luck based but still worked

 

Yes I thought as an immediate short term solution getting Robert killed was a good idea. She is such a lashing out kind of person and this time it worked.

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Aurane Waters, hands down, no contest.  Nobody else even comes close.

He's displayed no overt evidence of scheming or foresight.  First he fought for Stannis, and when he was captured, he groveled.  Because he had some skill at sea (and because he reminds Cersie of Rhaegar, and she thinks with her vagoo) he ended up Master of Ships.

He promptly made off with the entire fleet and is now using it in a massive pirate enterprise in the Stepstones.  There's no evidence he has any plan.  He just made off with the fleet.  If he ever comes up against Euron...he's going to get eviscerated.  But, regardless of how he's totally inept.....he went from defeated foe to trusted servant to pirate king.

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Pretty much any of Cersei’s plans that actually work. She is not an intelligent person. Like at all. She tries so hard to be like Tywin but has none of his intimidation or reputation that makes his ruthlessness effective. And her “plan” for assassinating Robert was so stupid, and the only reason it worked was to move the plot along. It was pure luck.

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3 hours ago, Ring3r said:

He promptly made off with the entire fleet and is now using it in a massive pirate enterprise in the Stepstones.  There's no evidence he has any plan.  He just made off with the fleet.  If he ever comes up against Euron...he's going to get eviscerated.  But, regardless of how he's totally inept.....he went from defeated foe to trusted servant to pirate king.

It would be interesting to see that play out. The showdown which we were promised back when Oakenfist sailed against the Red Kraken.

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5 hours ago, Ring3r said:

Aurane Waters, hands down, no contest.  Nobody else even comes close.

He's displayed no overt evidence of scheming or foresight.  First he fought for Stannis, and when he was captured, he groveled.  Because he had some skill at sea (and because he reminds Cersie of Rhaegar, and she thinks with her vagoo) he ended up Master of Ships.

He promptly made off with the entire fleet and is now using it in a massive pirate enterprise in the Stepstones.  There's no evidence he has any plan.  He just made off with the fleet.  If he ever comes up against Euron...he's going to get eviscerated.  But, regardless of how he's totally inept.....he went from defeated foe to trusted servant to pirate king.

Do we know him to be dumb or crazy though?

Also we see the result of his encounter with Ironborn(or maybe Golden Company ships?) in Arianne sample chapter.

Edited by Corvo the Crow
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6 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Do we know him to be dumb or crazy though?

Also we see the result of his encounter with Ironborn(or maybe Golden Company ships?) in Arianne sample chapter.

That's the one sample chapter I've not gotten a chance to read.  I assume the pirate fleet gets smashed to bits?

You could argue that making off with the royal fleet is both dumb AND crazy......or brilliant.  Really depends.  From what little we got to read about Aurane Waters, it certainly looked like nobody but Cersie trusted him.  I think he's crazy, given what he did.

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11 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

It would be interesting to see that play out. The showdown which we were promised back when Oakenfist sailed against the Red Kraken.

Which itself was not a dumb move from Unwin Peake, if Oakenfist lost he would have been rid of a rival or now that rival would be disgraced if Alyn survived and if he won the Westerlands would be free of the Ironborn. 

Of course he couldn't have imagined that Dalton Greyjoy would have been killed by one the women he took as a salt wife and that the Ironborn would abandon Fair Isle and tear each other apart in a civil war so quickly and easily. Nor that Alyn would go beyond his mission and do something that would allow him to completely overshadow Unwin Peake, far more than a victory over the Ironborn could.

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Aerys II naming Jon Connington his Hand of the King against Robert Baratheon was a rare fairly reasonnable and smart decision made by the Mad King in a long line of follies and disastrous decisions which had started or worsened the rebellion and doomed him and his family in the end.

Jon Connington was a competent warrior and commander, and his appointment sent a strong political message, as Connington was a stormlander and that it showed that the loyalty of the stormlanders to Robert wasn't granted. 

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What about Mace Tyrell?

Everyone around from Cersei, Tyrion and Olenna all talk and think of him as a fool or idiot, but unlike others I don't think he made a bad decision yet.

He crowed Renly to join the royal family and was positioned to win the war until magic got in his way. He then joined the Lannisters and won the war at Blackwater

He made his daughter queen, his second son a powerfull lord in his own name, destroyed the biggest threat to his house, rewarded his vassals, and he is always getting more influence in the small council, that even Kevan has problems to control.

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1 minute ago, Arthur Peres said:

What about Mace Tyrell?

Everyone around from Cersei, Tyrion and Olenna all talk and think of him as a fool or idiot, but unlike others I don't think he made a bad decision yet.

He crowed Renly to join the royal family and was positioned to win the war until magic got in his way. He then joined the Lannisters and won the war at Blackwater

He made his daughter queen, his second son a powerfull lord in his own name, destroyed the biggest threat to his house, rewarded his vassals, and he is always getting more influence in the small council, that even Kevan has problems to control.

Indeed, though to be fair we don't how much he decides on his free will and how much he listens to his family, friends and advisors and the quality of his private council. 

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1 hour ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

Aerys II naming Jon Connington his Hand of the King against Robert Baratheon was a rare fairly reasonnable and smart decision made by the Mad King in a long line of follies and disastrous decisions which had started or worsened the rebellion and doomed him and his family in the end.

Jon Connington was a competent warrior and commander, and his appointment sent a strong political message, as Connington was a stormlander and that it showed that the loyalty of the stormlanders to Robert wasn't granted. 

Naming Tywin as his hand was way smarter.

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