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How were the Florents ever a threat??


Canon Claude
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I still don’t get why people refer to House Florent as this rival to House Tyrell on the level of House Reyne, House Bolton, House Frey, any of them. All those other houses had ambition, and a history of ill will, but they also had a genuine amount of strength. The Freys are the second strongest house in the Riverlands, the Boltons are probably the third strongest behind House Manderly and Stark, while the Reynes did become the second strongest for a time. House Florent, we are told, has 2000 swords. 2000. And I don’t care how rich they are, they live in the Reach. Two thousand is a pitiful amount for that region. Hell, they’ve got less than  half the strength of House Frey.

If anything, the true rivals of House Tyrell would be any of these houses:

Peake: yes, they’ve been out of commission for a while, but they used to hold three castles and they used to be powerful enough to openly vie for the kingdom of the Reach.

Tarly: They are the most militarily powerful house in the Reach. Maybe not the most numerous, but they maintain the martial tradition of the marcher lords. Plus Randyll is rightly feared as a dangerous man who might have some more ambitions than one would assume.

House Hightower: the obvious one to me. They are as rich as House Lannister, and almost as powerful. They brought about one of the most devastating wars in Westerosi history and almost won it, all while House Tyrell just impotently sat it out. And they are still strong enough to be called a great house, not to mention they have the centre of the Andal faith in their city.

What is House Florent compared to any of that? Why would Robert and Jon Arryn bother to elevate that house by wedding Selyse to Stannis? It didn’t matter at all, not to Stannis or to the Reach. Randyll is married to a Floret, he still massacres his wife’s family followers with impunity. Leyton  Hightower is married to a Florent, but he’s not helping them when they lose their title and lands. It just seems so strange that anyone regards the Florents as having any influence whatever.

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22 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

I still don’t get why people refer to House Florent as this rival to House Tyrell on the level of House Reyne, House Bolton, House Frey, any of them. All those other houses had ambition, and a history of ill will, but they also had a genuine amount of strength. The Freys are the second strongest house in the Riverlands, the Boltons are probably the third strongest behind House Manderly and Stark, while the Reynes did become the second strongest for a time. House Florent, we are told, has 2000 swords. 2000. And I don’t care how rich they are, they live in the Reach. Two thousand is a pitiful amount for that region. Hell, they’ve got less than  half the strength of House Frey.

 

Make that 4th, and that is at most. Dustins control a huge portion of the North and the second most populated settlement. Boltons only managed to be a threat because they lucked out i.e. Georgus Vult.

That 2000 we are told of probably just the number that House Florent can raise all by itself, without the vassals.

Similar to The 3500 men Tywin set forth with against Reyne and Tarbecks being most likely just Lannister men with household guards and Lannisport men(Extended sample for this mention other houses joining later) or during the Dance of Dragons the 5000 men that leaves Oldtown being just Hightower men(remember some of their own vassals fought against Hightowers). Add to this that the 6 Lord's Declarant put together can raise 20.000 men, an average of ~3333 (Obviously since Royce are the most powerful most won't reach this figure) so 2.000 is quite high especially with just their own men.

As for the nature of the threat, it doesn't come simply form how many men they have, it comes from how vocal they are about being of older blood than the stewards Tyrell and being Gardener stock. Most families in the Reach are, but they aren't as vocal it seems. 

 

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I've always thought it was very strange that Robert would choose Selyse to marry Stannis, partly for this very reason. The Florents are not powerful in any way that actually matters. They could never challenge the Tyrells, not in a hundred years. They don't have the swords, and their 'influence' means nothing as has already been pointed out. The only way I can figure it is that Robert picked Selyse as a cruel joke. Stannis isn't comfortable with women, but he definitely doesn't like Selyse. I refuse to believe he picked Selyse himself. And the younger brother of a king can do much better than some minor nobleman's niece. 

22 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

As for the nature of the threat, it doesn't come simply form how many men they have, it comes from how vocal they are about being of older blood than the stewards Tyrell and being Gardener stock. Most families in the Reach are, but they aren't as vocal it seems. 

Words are wind. The Florents can say whatever they want, it doesn't make them a threat. Marriage ties didn't save them from getting killed by Randyll Tarly, and yes, Hightower does shelter the last Lord Florent, but he's not going to defend Brightwater Keep from the Tyrells.

33 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

That 2000 we are told of probably just the number that House Florent can raise all by itself, without the vassals.

There is no indication that that's what Stannis meant. And even if it was, why wouldn't he include the vassals? He's not speculating idly; he's considering his plans for war. That is the time when numbers matter most, and he said the Florents have 2,000 men in total. 

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1 hour ago, Canon Claude said:

I still don’t get why people refer to House Florent as this rival to House Tyrell on the level of House Reyne, House Bolton, House Frey, any of them. All those other houses had ambition, and a history of ill will, but they also had a genuine amount of strength. The Freys are the second strongest house in the Riverlands, the Boltons are probably the third strongest behind House Manderly and Stark, while the Reynes did become the second strongest for a time. House Florent, we are told, has 2000 swords. 2000. And I don’t care how rich they are, they live in the Reach. Two thousand is a pitiful amount for that region. Hell, they’ve got less than  half the strength of House Frey.

If anything, the true rivals of House Tyrell would be any of these houses:

Peake: yes, they’ve been out of commission for a while, but they used to hold three castles and they used to be powerful enough to openly vie for the kingdom of the Reach.

Tarly: They are the most militarily powerful house in the Reach. Maybe not the most numerous, but they maintain the martial tradition of the marcher lords. Plus Randyll is rightly feared as a dangerous man who might have some more ambitions than one would assume.

House Hightower: the obvious one to me. They are as rich as House Lannister, and almost as powerful. They brought about one of the most devastating wars in Westerosi history and almost won it, all while House Tyrell just impotently sat it out. And they are still strong enough to be called a great house, not to mention they have the centre of the Andal faith in their city.

What is House Florent compared to any of that? Why would Robert and Jon Arryn bother to elevate that house by wedding Selyse to Stannis? It didn’t matter at all, not to Stannis or to the Reach. Randyll is married to a Floret, he still massacres his wife’s family followers with impunity. Leyton  Hightower is married to a Florent, but he’s not helping them when they lose their title and lands. It just seems so strange that anyone regards the Florents as having any influence whatever.

Jon arryn and robert etc probably realized they need a house with a strong ancient claim to hang over the head of the tyrells BUT not as powerful as the hightowers etc......they are powerful.enough as it is. They also needed a lady of suitable age and heritage for stannis and finaly their keep may be pretty formidable and/or strategic for a campaign to end rebellions there!

Edited by astarkchoice
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1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

Jon arryn and robert etc probably realized they need a house with a strong ancient claim to hang over the head of the tyrells BUT not as powerful as the hightowers etc......they are powerful.enough as it is. They also needed a lady of suitable age and heritage for stannis and finaly their keep may be pretty formidable and/or strategic for a campaign to end rebellions there!

Firstly, Florent had no better of a claim than half the other lords of the Reach. And also, why not House Hightower? What better candidate to genuinely threaten the Tyrells and remind them that there's another house who could easily become the new Lords of the Reach? 

Secondly, I refuse to believe that Selyse was the best possible candidate for Stannis. She wasn't even the daughter of the Lord of Brightwater Keep. Even with her marriage to Stannis, her family supported Renly instead, so it was clearly a pointless marriage tie. 

Thirdly, it's clear that Brightwater Keep wasn't a formidable or strategic castle, or else why would Alekyne Florent flee to the Hightower once Garlan Tyrell came calling?

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2 hours ago, James Steller said:

Firstly, Florent had no better of a claim than half the other lords of the Reach. And also, why not House Hightower? What better candidate to genuinely threaten the Tyrells and remind them that there's another house who could easily become the new Lords of the Reach? 

Secondly, I refuse to believe that Selyse was the best possible candidate for Stannis. She wasn't even the daughter of the Lord of Brightwater Keep. Even with her marriage to Stannis, her family supported Renly instead, so it was clearly a pointless marriage tie. 

Thirdly, it's clear that Brightwater Keep wasn't a formidable or strategic castle, or else why would Alekyne Florent flee to the Hightower once Garlan Tyrell came calling?

They have an ancient claim that few have..the hightowers are the same yes and far more powerful but they are far too powerful to give that extra influence too esp as many are intermarried to the tyrells already (given the blacks vs greens letting hightowers  a step  closer to the crown may be risky)

 

She was possibly the only one unmarried at the time though and that marriage did stick stannis with the bulk of his limited backing on dragonstone all alone.

 

Garlan is backed by a powerful army though with most of the florent forces spread out due to their backing stannis

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14 minutes ago, astarkchoice said:

They have an ancient claim that few have..the hightowers are the same yes and far more powerful but they are far too powerful to give that extra influence too esp as many are intermarried to the tyrells already (given the blacks vs greens letting hightowers  a step  closer to the crown may be risky)

Riskier than House Lannister? Riskier than House Tyrell? The Dance of the Dragons is one thing, but it's clear that the Hightowers aren't unique when it comes to ambition. 

15 minutes ago, astarkchoice said:

She was possibly the only one unmarried at the time though

No, she wasn't. Delena Florent was right there, unmarried and sleeping with Robert. Not to mention the fact that Lynesse Hightower was still unmarried at the time. She could have married Stannis instead of Jorah Mormont.

19 minutes ago, astarkchoice said:

 

Garlan is backed by a powerful army though with most of the florent forces spread out due to their backing stannis

That just proves my point that Brightwater Keep is no Storm's End. 

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13 hours ago, James Steller said:

 

There is no indication that that's what Stannis meant. And even if it was, why wouldn't he include the vassals? He's not speculating idly; he's considering his plans for war. That is the time when numbers matter most, and he said the Florents have 2,000 men in total. 

In the very post you've quoted you can see an answer to this, vassals may or may not fight alongside their liege. We see this numerous times.

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12 hours ago, James Steller said:

Riskier than House Lannister? Riskier than House Tyrell? The Dance of the Dragons is one thing, but it's clear that the Hightowers aren't unique when it comes to ambition. 

No, she wasn't. Delena Florent was right there, unmarried and sleeping with Robert. Not to mention the fact that Lynesse Hightower was still unmarried at the time. She could have married Stannis instead of Jorah Mormont.

That just proves my point that Brightwater Keep is no Storm's End. 

House lannisster has brutaly thrown in its lot to roberts cause (if a bit late) and had married  into the new kings dynasty he most solid possible union. From jon arryns etcs  povs reach is the danger not house lannister 

 

Delena is further down the florent sucession line  though. Hightowers family head is  already married to a florent, so should the tryells act up you have a house with a better ancient claim to the reach (florents)  and the most powerful house in the reach (hightowers ) are married into both sides  so will be torn which side to back if any in the event of a rebellion

 

Few keeps are stormsend, as a very old house and close to oldtowns wealthy harbour we can assume they have a good castle and funds!  Also just noticed its slap bang  right between highgarden and hightower ! Useful for a king who may need to put down rebellion from one or both those formaly hostile  powerful houses!!

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20 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

I still don’t get why people refer to House Florent as this rival to House Tyrell

Who has said that?

 

21 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

What is House Florent compared to any of that? Why would Robert and Jon Arryn bother to elevate that house by wedding Selyse to Stannis? It didn’t matter at all, not to Stannis or to the Reach. Randyll is married to a Floret, he still massacres his wife’s family followers with impunity. Leyton  Hightower is married to a Florent, but he’s not helping them when they lose their title and lands. It just seems so strange that anyone regards the Florents as having any influence whatever.

We are not told the reasoning behind this marriage.

 

19 hours ago, James Steller said:

The only way I can figure it is that Robert picked Selyse as a cruel joke.

Who has told you Robert was the one choosing the marriage?

 

 

19 hours ago, James Steller said:

Words are wind. The Florents can say whatever they want, it doesn't make them a threat. Marriage ties didn't save them from getting killed by Randyll Tarly, and yes, Hightower does shelter the last Lord Florent, but he's not going to defend Brightwater Keep from the Tyrells.

On their own? No.

With the backing of the Crown? Absolutely.

 

 

17 hours ago, James Steller said:

Firstly, Florent had no better of a claim than half the other lords of the Reach. And also, why not House Hightower? What better candidate to genuinely threaten the Tyrells and remind them that there's another house who could easily become the new Lords of the Reach? 

Because with the backing of the Crown... it didn't really matter?

 

 

17 hours ago, James Steller said:

Even with her marriage to Stannis, her family supported Renly instead, so it was clearly a pointless marriage tie. 

Believe it or not, neither Robert nor Jon Arryn are basing their decisions on how to advance Stannis's power so he can grab the throne easily.

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

I still don’t get why people refer to House Florent as this rival to House Tyrell on the level of House Reyne, House Bolton, House Frey, any of them. All those other houses had ambition, and a history of ill will, but they also had a genuine amount of strength. The Freys are the second strongest house in the Riverlands, the Boltons are probably the third strongest behind House Manderly and Stark, while the Reynes did become the second strongest for a time. House Florent, we are told, has 2000 swords. 2000. And I don’t care how rich they are, they live in the Reach. Two thousand is a pitiful amount for that region. Hell, they’ve got less than  half the strength of House Frey.

If anything, the true rivals of House Tyrell would be any of these houses:

Peake: yes, they’ve been out of commission for a while, but they used to hold three castles and they used to be powerful enough to openly vie for the kingdom of the Reach.

Tarly: They are the most militarily powerful house in the Reach. Maybe not the most numerous, but they maintain the martial tradition of the marcher lords. Plus Randyll is rightly feared as a dangerous man who might have some more ambitions than one would assume.

House Hightower: the obvious one to me. They are as rich as House Lannister, and almost as powerful. They brought about one of the most devastating wars in Westerosi history and almost won it, all while House Tyrell just impotently sat it out. And they are still strong enough to be called a great house, not to mention they have the centre of the Andal faith in their city.

What is House Florent compared to any of that? Why would Robert and Jon Arryn bother to elevate that house by wedding Selyse to Stannis? It didn’t matter at all, not to Stannis or to the Reach. Randyll is married to a Floret, he still massacres his wife’s family followers with impunity. Leyton  Hightower is married to a Florent, but he’s not helping them when they lose their title and lands. It just seems so strange that anyone regards the Florents as having any influence whatever.

The only person who ever speaks ill of House Florent in the Reach is Lady Olenna, so it's unclear how much hostility they face from others. As you note, the Florents still make solid matches with Tarleys and Hightowers and Baratheons. And I think Olenna's objection is more that they Florents are funny-looking, not that they are overly powerful.

But they do have a claim to Highgarden, although a pretty old one and maybe no better or worse than a dozen other Reach houses. And that means Selyse's marriage to Stannis does matter, now. If Selyse becomes queen, she will have leverage when it comes to match-making in the Reach, just like Queen Alysanne did. Except that Selyse would use hert power to enhance the stature of House Florent and weaken that of House Tyrell, possibly putting a Florent on the high seat at Highgarden someday. Lady O does not want that to happen.

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10 hours ago, frenin said:

Who has said that?

Jaime compares House Florent to the Boltons, Freys, Reynes and Castameres. It's in the chapter when he returns to King's Landing.

10 hours ago, frenin said:

Who has told you Robert was the one choosing the marriage?

That's speculation on my part. I apologise if I didn't make that clear in my earlier post. But it makes sense to me, because Hoster Tully proves that the heads of houses can pick marriages for their younger brothers, and refusing them is a controversial action, given how the Blackfish's decision is regarded.

And I can't see why Stannis would choose Selyse on his own. It makes no sense to me whatsoever; her family could very well have been outside Storm's End during that siege, and Stannis still hasn't forgotten that. Not to mention he genuinely isn't attracted to Selyse. It reeks of either Jon Arryn advising Robert, or Robert picking Selyse as a joke. And as has been discussed already, the strategic reasoning behind elevating House Florent has holes in it.

10 hours ago, frenin said:

On their own? No.

With the backing of the Crown? Absolutely.

But you could say that about any house. Any house which the Crown supports will obviously have the favour. What advantage would House Florent have without that? At least the Hightowers are genuinely powerful and could plausibly challenge House Tyrell.

10 hours ago, frenin said:

 

Believe it or not, neither Robert nor Jon Arryn are basing their decisions on how to advance Stannis's power so he can grab the throne easily.

Heh, touché. All the more reason why I think it's likelier that Robert chose Selyse as a joke.  

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16 hours ago, James Steller said:

Jaime compares House Florent to the Boltons, Freys, Reynes and Castameres. It's in the chapter when he returns to King's Landing.

When talking about annoying houses envying their overlords place. Not about how dangerous they actually are on their own.

 

 

16 hours ago, James Steller said:

And I can't see why Stannis would choose Selyse on his own. It makes no sense to me whatsoever; her family could very well have been outside Storm's End during that siege, and Stannis still hasn't forgotten that. Not to mention he genuinely isn't attracted to Selyse. It reeks of either Jon Arryn advising Robert, or Robert picking Selyse as a joke. And as has been discussed already, the strategic reasoning behind elevating House Florent has holes in it.

Of all the imaginary slights Stannis believes Robert has done him, his wife doesn't ever come once.

Maybe and only maybe Selyse is advantageous enough?

 

 

16 hours ago, James Steller said:

But you could say that about any house. Any house which the Crown supports will obviously have the favour. What advantage would House Florent have without that? At least the Hightowers are genuinely powerful and could plausibly challenge House Tyrell.

But the Baratheons don't want the Hightowers. The Florents suit them just fine.

 

 

16 hours ago, James Steller said:

Heh, touché. All the more reason why I think it's likelier that Robert chose Selyse as a joke.  

Because he wasn't thinking on how to advance Stannis's position it means he chose her as a joke?

 

16 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that House Frey had the largest army. 

You're not wrong.

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The reasons that the Florents threaten the Tyrells in that part of the story is because they are married to Stannis Baratheon, the brother to the King and the same person they sieged to death at Storm's End. This is not a random marriage either, this marriage was orchestrated by Jon Arryn to keep The Tyrells in line because they stayed loyal to the Targaryens in the civil war. It's a clever way to say that if you dare to rebel or plot against the Iron Throne then The Baratheons will have big reasons to support and put the line of Stannis Bartheon on Highgarden.

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14 hours ago, Dreadscythe95 said:

The reasons that the Florents threaten the Tyrells in that part of the story is because they are married to Stannis Baratheon, the brother to the King and the same person they sieged to death at Storm's End. This is not a random marriage either, this marriage was orchestrated by Jon Arryn to keep The Tyrells in line because they stayed loyal to the Targaryens in the civil war. It's a clever way to say that if you dare to rebel or plot against the Iron Throne then The Baratheons will have big reasons to support and put the line of Stannis Bartheon on Highgarden.

Was it that clever? Because it amounted to nothing at all. 

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4 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Was it that clever? Because it amounted to nothing at all. 

The tyrells never rebellled  when robert was alive and  once he wasnt the florent potential claim  was no longer backed by the threat of king robert and his clear backing of  north, vale, riverlands, westerlands and stormlands military. 

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