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Why do people think Tywin can solve all his issues via gold?


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Frequently I see quite a lot of people discussing how in the event the incest was revealed etc. and Tywin went to war, he could just use his gold to hire every single mercenary company in existence/bribe everyone and win/cause a load of damage this way. I think this is a bit of a silly assumption to make, because:

  • Firstly, it would take time to ship sellswords there, and he'd have to contact them first, he had to get the Brave Companions over prior, and any ships can be intercepted by the Royal Fleet, not to mention some of the companies are quite far away
  • If Tywin starts hiring en masse, the sellswords will start charging more and more. Tywin has a lot of money but he doesn't have an infinite amount, at the very least he'd have to mine more gold which takes away troops from the war effort
  • The more gold Tywin throws around the more value his remaining gold loses
  • If throwing money at things was enough to fix them House Lannister wouldn't be in such a state

So I don't get why people make this assumption. If the incest was discovered the Lannisters were finished. Literally everyone would jump on the chance to take them out. The 'rule through fear' method only works when you are on top. In such a scenario Tywin is no longer on top. People would smell blood on the water/know which way the wind was blowing. People also assume all his vassals would stick by him in such a scenario but I think that is overly optimistic. They aren't going to stay onboard a sinking ship. Honestly, it feels like people really overrate how Tywin would perform in such a scenario.

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:agree:

24 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Literally everyone would jump on the chance to take them out. The 'rule through fear' method only works when you are on top. In such a scenario Tywin is no longer on top. People would smell blood on the water/know which way the wind was blowing. People also assume all his vassals would stick by him in such a scenario but I think that is overly optimistic. They aren't going to stay onboard a sinking ship.

And the above is spot on imo. Let’s also keep in mind that I’m not the only person who despises Tywin and his methods. I’m sure plenty of Westerosi do as well, especially among his vassals… I bet they have nightmares featuring the Reynes, so I’d definitely expect many of them to jump ship as soon as they smelled blood in the water. And rightly so… ruling through fear may have advantages for some, but it sure as shit has plenty of disadvantages too. 

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It's good to remember that Tywin had more up his sleeve than gold though.  The Red Wedding is an example of his treachery.  He also tried to take advantage of currents events, such as, sending Janos Slynt to the Wall when he wanted to get rid of him in KL.  Later working with Ser Alliser, Bowen Marsh, and Othell the builder to arrange for Slynt to be voted in as Lord Commander of the Night Watch.  This way Tywin would have a Lannister ally and deliver the Watch as his personal force in the North.  Fortunately, that did not work.  

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Some of the "he can just hire mercs" may come from video games like Total War or Crusader Kings where - from what I recall at least, I haven't played one in a couple of years - mercenaries tend to either hang out in a region waiting for someone to hire them, or effectively exist in a void waiting to pop up wherever needed at the drop of a coin. And indeed this button to hire emergency troops "on the spot" is really the only reason ever to use mercenaries, as it's always more cost-efficient to just build up your own armies if you have the time to do so. Now in parts of Essos it might be that there genuinely is always a free company a couple of days away (unlikely really, but given military logistics in ASoIaF, not wholly ridiculous) but none of them are in Westeros, and the idea that the mercenaries will have to reach Westeros first doesn't seem to be considered.

Indeed, we see what happens when by far the most potent of the free companies tries to sail to Westeros in ADwD, and their troops are scattered all up and down the eastern coast (hostile territory for Tywin!) Hardly inspiring.

Also, and in addition to everything you say, I think people who propose this massively overestimate the quantity of mercenaries available for hire, as if there are a million billion men available if he can just afford them. We do in fact have a list of the major free companies in ADwD and they number as follows:

  • Golden Company: 10,000
  • Windblown: 2,000
  • Company of the Cat: 3,000
  • Long Lances: 800
  • Second Sons: 500
  • Stormcrows: 500

Even if we assume that all of these are in western Essos when Tywin needs them (they're not) and that they'll all fight for him (seems very unlikely, especially the Golden Company) and that he can afford to hire all of them (even less likely!) he's only getting about an extra 16-17,000 men out of the deal, increasing the forces available to him by maybe 50%. That's not negligible, but if he ends up fighting more than one kingdom at once at full strength (and we can assume at least the North and Riverlands, and almost certainly the Stormlands too) it's not enough to make any decisive difference, and if we add the Vale and the Reach into the mix as well it's barely more than a speedbump.

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I have a two word response for Tywin on the incest being revealed.  "Prove it!".  

Even in the current story the incest has been revealed (thank you, Stannis).  And the response has been a collective shrug.  The Lannisters are still in charge, and to the extent they are in trouble, the incest isn't the problem.

Ned is pretty much an unknown quantity, so if Tywin wants to cast him as an Iago pouring poison into Robert's ear, he may be able to do so (I'm assuming there is no public confession from Jaime or Cersei).  

Tywin would not be helpless.  He could probably keep his own vassals on side.  The Tyrells are a wild card.  A lot would depend on what Robert did, or was able to do.  But I wouldn't count Tywin out.  He's a very capable political operator, and a ruthless son of a bitch to boot.

Edited by Nevets
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3 minutes ago, Nevets said:

I have a two word response for Tywin on the incest being revealed.  "Prove it!".  

They don't have to prove it prove it though. North and Stormlands are going to side with Robert. The Riverlands will follow suit. The Ironborn would seize the chance to raid the West. Dorne hates the Lannisters. I could see the Vale sitting out and maybe the Reach at a push, but really people will be jumping on this opportunity to attack Tywin.

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For all of Tywin's many, many, MANY faults, he's sadly still one of the best Hands we've had in the series. He's a horrible person, and possibly one of the worst humans in the series, but when it came to ruling, the man got shit done. He was able to keep Aerys in power for years, despite the guy being a complete nut. Likely he would have been able to do the same for Joffrey. In many ways the guy is the complete opposite of Ned, IMO.

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2 hours ago, Nevets said:

I have a two word response for Tywin on the incest being revealed.  "Prove it!".  

 

I don't think that's the way it would play out, though, so long as Robert is in play. Ned tells Robert, Robert either believes him or doesn't. Ned clearly thinks Robert will. Bob immediately arrests Cersei and Jaime and their kids, and very possibly Lancel and Tyrek for good measure.

Now, if events track the way they do in AGoT, Tywin is already raiding the Riverlands because of Tyrion's arrest by Cat and may well have already attacked the king's banner. Robert doesn't need an excuse to come down on him like a ton of bricks because Tywin has already given him one. Tywin's choice is to suck it up and grovel for mercy to Robert, which might or might not work, or go down fighting.

It's also a completely different situation from the war that kicks off on Robert's death, because there what we have is a disputed succession and lords having to pick sides. Robert doesn't have that issue. He's the undisputed king, and if he calls the realm to war, they're supposed to follow. Lysa won't have the authority to hold the Vale back, as she does in the WotFK. To side with Tywin is to rebel against Robert, and for what? Is anyone other than Tywin going to go to war to reinstate Joffrey's claim to the throne? No.

Robert doesn't actually need to prove anything. The point of failure in the revelation is whether he believes Ned, but everyone thinks he will.

There is of course one other possibility.

If they are sensible, Jaime and Cersei immediately plead innocence and demand trial by combat with Jaime representing both of them. If Jaime wins that, then they're proven innocent, and Cersei's kids are reinstated. Worst-case scenario, Robert fights him himself, loses (fatally), and then Ned and co lose their legal legitimacy and are faced with an understandably furious King Joff. Even if they put in Barristan instead, it's way too big a risk: there's nobody in Westeros who's odds-on to beat the Kingslayer in a straight fight. And Honourable Ned absolutely will not see any way to avoid this. One might expect Renly to ensure that Jaime falls down some stairs in the Black Cell and breaks something important, but you never know.

 

Edited by Alester Florent
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7 hours ago, Alester Florent said:

If they are sensible, Jaime and Cersei immediately plead innocence and demand trial by combat with Jaime representing both of them.

Even if they do that, Tywin is still going to be found guilty of breaking the King's Peace assuming Robert doesn't die.

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Robert’s fury would likely make w/e legal construction people are imagining kinda irrelevant. I think maybe people are mistaking this for a constitutional monarchy or similar, whereas it’s just absolute rule, meaning the very foundation of the law is the will of the monarch, not any ‘rights’ an individual or people generally might be said to have. If those rights conflict with the royal will, they will be the first to fall. It’s a completely different concept of justice/law from the modern western one. The supreme access to justice was the chance to present your case to the king. After that the process of law is the king deciding w/e he decides for w/e reason he wants.
 

Trial by combat is slightly anachronistic to the era in RL English history that the books emulated, in that it’s heyday was much earlier, and by the time of the WotR trials by combat had become relatively rare even by the 11th century and had been replaced by the jury system for over a century and a half…and not our kind of jury system either. Think of more an officially sanctioned popularity contest where the person with more communal support…ie generally the more powerful/established of the two…would win. But the ‘right’ to trial by combat was much more often refused than allowed in any event, and in most systems both parties also had to agree on trial by battle (provided they were ~ of the same station.) 
 

Because the second point of law in a feudal/absolute monarchy (after reflecting the royal will) is preserving the status quo (or King/Queen’s Peace) which literally means keeping people in their current station. Effectively ‘absolute conservatism’ centuries before the advent of the political movement, the preservation of class and station and hierarchy/vertical power delineation. The historical examples of, say, a trial of combat (or indeed of any kind) during the feudal era ASoIaF reflects over a dispute between the peasant and the king or baron are notably absent from any records. 

Don’t think there is this overriding respect for/authority of jurisprudence…it was absolutely secondary to the royal will. If you walked into a room with a monarch and that monarch decided then and there that they wanted you to die, 99.999999% of the time that’s what happens and you are lucky if it doesn’t happen on the spot, and you get taken outside and allowed a moment to pray/say goodbye or w/e and then are killed. Because the font of justice is the royal will, all law flows from him/her, and all other laws are secondary at best.

How often over the course of the books did we see summary royal justice? Or even just feudal justice? How concerned with the rule of law founded on civil rights does a Stannis or Randyll Tarly or even Ned Stark seem when meeting out punishment.

Think of how it works and what it says; it’s not even law that makes Ned ‘look the man in the eyes’ before executing him based on Ned’s assessment of guilt on w/e reasoning he wants, it’s custom. But more importantly, it all flows from the top down, if Ned decides to skip it, there’s nothing Gared can do. Did Gared actually get a trial from the honourable Ned Stark? No, he got whatever the representative of royal power present (in this case Ned) chose to allow him, in this case the chance of last words and the remote possibility that those will somehow move Ned to commute the death sentence. Think about how absolute and, from a modern perspective of justice, arbitrary that is even for honourable old Ned. Gared was neither offered nor expected any ‘trial’. Ned chose, as Stark custom, to ‘question’ him, but that is 100% Ned’s choice and Ned has 100% of the power to decide whatever he wants in response to his ‘questioning’. That’s the law in practice…trickle down justice

The purpose of law in a feudal/monarchical system is to fulfill and preserve the king’s will and peace, not to give the denizens of the realm their ‘rights, and most lords and kings are less concerned with maintaining custom than Ned is’. Don’t think of the law as something that strives to give everyone the same access to the same justice or anything like that; trials were much, much, much more likely to be another weapon used by the powerful to take something from the less powerful. The ~ exception was within ‘classes’ for lack of a better term. 

Think Dunk at Ashford; we are specifically told that Dunk was lucky that people above/equal to Aerion in the hierarchy were present and CHOSE to intercede because otherwise his fate was w/e Aerion decided it would be. That’s the only reason we see any kind of trial, because it followed the top down flow of judicial purpose. He was both considered and saw himself as a condemned man until Baelor offers a legal solution but more importantly tells Dunk that his presence and decision are the guarantor of those legalities because without those Aerion could just laugh off any ‘legal’ arguments. Legally, in fact, in the sense of common law as we seen practiced throughout the books, the Kingsguard should and normally would have cut Dunk down on the spot after he attacked a royal, or at best after a summary trial (again, not the modern version, just the ~ announcement of royal judgment based on w/e rumination that royal chose. We’ve seen countless examples of how the Kingsguard react to an attack of the royal they are protecting, and how often legal procedures were involved. 

All this to say that, by and large, Cersei, Jaime and the children will get w/e fate Robert decrees, and that includes whether he cares enough about upsetting Tywin enough to even bother with some kind of trial. Because that…the collective power of his barons…is the only real factor that can check royal authority, and even that is a choice/calculation entirely up to the royal him/herself. Robert in this scenario would be very unlikely to care…he might even declare Tywin an outlaw and traitor. Which, again, reminder, would legally make Tywin an outlaw…sans trial, sans any ‘legal’ procedure except the formal declaration of royal will and judgment. 

So don’t think of law as founded on constitutions or legal codes or w/e, think of people walking around without tongues or hands or feel or eyes or nose or head because their king had decided that was what he wanted. That is how law works when its bedrock and purpose are to fulfill and defend the royal prerogative, and after that the power of the aristocracy over everyone below them. Think of the vast majority of examples we see of Dany or Viserys or Aegon or Ned or Robb or whoever making legal judgments. What was involved outside of the royal deciding, whatever their reasoning. There was no public defendant, there was no trial, there was w/e the personality in charge decided there was before they made their judgment. Think of Richard Karstark’s ‘trial’. Or any of the others, including the ‘watcher’. What was the legal procedure? Their king decided their guilt and fate. That’s it, that’s the trial.
 

In RL the trial system evolved as it did not as some growing recognition of human rights, but because it was practically impossible for the king/queen or their royal representatives to be present to give summary judgments in enough places enough times; if the royal was presented and was so inclined, that made the need for anything we’d recognize as a trial redundant. The one thing Cersei et al have going for them is their relatively high place in the power structure, but, well…does Ned warn Cersei to prepare a legal defence or summon her greatest champion? No, he tells her to take the children and run, because their fate will almost certainly be entirely determined by what Robert wants it to be. 

Edited by James Arryn
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13 hours ago, sifth said:

For all of Tywin's many, many, MANY faults, he's sadly still one of the best Hands we've had in the series. He's a horrible person, and possibly one of the worst humans in the series, but when it came to ruling, the man got shit done. He was able to keep Aerys in power for years, despite the guy being a complete nut. Likely he would have been able to do the same for Joffrey. In many ways the guy is the complete opposite of Ned, IMO.

Well, Ned and Tywin are opposite sides of the same coin: they're a subversion of the idea that a good man can be a good ruler. Tywin is a horrible person with his kids (just read Tyrion's backstory, nobody deserves to have their spouse gang-raped ordered by their father), but he's a damn good administrator (at least in his first tenure). Ned on the other hand is a fundamentally good man, does his best to be a good father, and is disturbed by unnecessary bloodshed but because of his soft heart leaves the kingdom in disarray.

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Ok lets assume.robert doesnt die and ned has the talk with him. 

If jamie and cersei + kids cant flee kl theyl demand a trial by combat which few will match jamie in (or the mountain if jamie cant defend himself) however that said before it comes to that  they already have a queen there, 2 KG are said to be cerseis creatures , lancel  who is near rovert all the time is both infatuated by cersei (and bullied by robert ),both varys and LF want chaos ,pycelle is a lannister stooge and joffery has the hound close by

Thus if the stupid drunk boar plan fails theres always pycelles extensive posions to be delivered by lancel or just if her spies report ned and robert are speaking in private to flee or depending where they are burst in and bring joffery (with the hound) and plee that ned is lying,look at your son etc ...if that fails in short order jamie+ the hound must kill robert ,ned and any kg  robert kept in the room....in short order with the king + hand dead people.will instinctively obey the queen thus the lannisters will have siezed kl and thus the surrounding crownlands.

But thats roughly where the books start so lets do worst case , Should they fall back to westerlands and robert wants them wiped out  they have formidable castles there to try and stem combined invasion forces (robb we forget had a magic dog find him.a secret path to bypass such a chokepoint) 

As.for unlimited gold we know pre war the 3 sisters were prepping for war  in the disputed lands thus many merc companies werent up for sale BUT if they werent given the golden company is 10k for that to 'work' in the setting it must be equaly easy for the other 2 cities to raise at least that to be safe ....  so in the disputed lands we can assume  theres at least 30k upwards of merc muscle for sale there. Id say more like  40- 50k would fit otherwise the golden company would be able to make outragous demands for its services.

They arent gonna radicaly up their prices pre war as any sellsword company doing that by now would have been left behind by the competion in essos, the price of hiring sellsword comapnies would be known thus anyone taking the piss would be left on the shelf.

For other forces we know salador saan was one sellsail and his going rate was 30 thousand dragons a month for like 24 ships, dany had 3.ships packed with goods so precious they may as well have been gold and they would got her 1000 unsullied ....how many bog stansard slaves  troops this would buy we dont know but its assumed those can be bought too. Assasins of couse exist and can get to westeros themselves, facless men of course would want something more than just gold but theres cheaper alternavives. We know eylria can field like 300 crossbowmen and  tolos slingers but these are very far away.

The problem is getting these forces over the water,unless volantis and other free cities hungry for gold  use their huge fleets to deliver the mercs and  hypociticaly declare any attack on the transports delivering them an act of war! But the redwyne fleet is is in the way and it seems a huge risk for limited gain.

Overall its be hard to see tywin surviving as dorne would want in, margery would be his queen in no time, LF would prob make lysa throw in her lot with the regime this the vale is comming, the stormloands and crownlands too. The north too !

What are tywins options ? He could try and reach out to walder frey through his sister  to get him to use the twins to block the north+vale forces going south but the old fox would be unlikely to back a seemingly lost cause

The bigìgest boon he has is if  balon has already decided to attack the north BUT wont happen as. hes openly swore allegiance to robert so as long as bobbybs alive he must be seen to be true to his.word by men

 The biggest issue is we know varys and ilyrio want a war , one to break the robert rebellion alliance up a bit for faegon........ thus simply put he cannot allow robert and margery to be wed as thats game over for any thoughts of a coup, so it makes sense that hed ensure  robert dies and cersei vs.ned could only have one winner.

Edited by astarkchoice
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4 hours ago, James Arryn said:

Robert’s fury would likely make w/e legal construction people are imagining kinda irrelevant. I think maybe people are mistaking this for a constitutional monarchy or similar, whereas it’s just absolute rule, meaning the very foundation of the law is the will of the monarch, not any ‘rights’ an individual or people generally might be said to have. If those rights conflict with the royal will, they will be the first to fall. It’s a completely different concept of justice/law from the modern western one. The supreme access to justice was the chance to present your case to the king. After that the process of law is the king deciding w/e he decides for w/e reason he wants...

I agree, but if a sufficient public fuss were made quickly enough about the arbitrary execution of a great lord's children on an outrageous charge, this could conceivably be enough of an echo of Aerys to give Robert pause and follow the "proper procedures". Moreover, we know what Robert is like and if Jaime offers him the effective challenge, would he jump on that chance to get stuck into an actual fight? We know he's eager for battle and envious of Jaime in particular for his continual martial reputation: would he be able to refuse the chance to kill the Kingslayer in single combat?

What I forgot, though, is that by the time this is playing out, Jaime is no longer in King's Landing, and since Ned, Sansa and Arya remain at liberty, Robb would have no particular reason not to execute Jaime as soon as he's captured.

Realistically, the war probably wouldn't follow the same path, of course: while Tywin would probably still launch his strike on the Riverlands (knocking his immediate neighbour out of the war and securing forward positions to inflict attrition on the loyalist armies) he would be less likely to push on to the Trident unless he's trying a desperate move to storm King's Landing, so Jaime might not be so isolated at the siege of Riverrun; this would also affect Robb's calculus of whether he crosses at the Twins (more easily in this context, since Walder isn't brave enough to defy the king's army) and continues his surprise march on Riverrun or continues south down the Kingsroad to join up with the Vale knights and Robert and Ned's Crownlands army before marching west in force (Robb is also directly answerable to Ned in this context, who might well insist on the latter).

Tywin also has to worry about his southern flank, of course, since the army of the Stormlands and/or Reach has no reason to wander up the Roseroad and instead, if they're fighting, would most likely gather at Goldengrove instead of Bitterbridge, before being able to attack Crakehall and Lannisport.

However it plays out, Tywin's basically screwed.

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You're right.

The thing is I don't think people can really imagine losing and losing badly. 

That's why there are always common alternatives to him if not winning at least going out with a bang but yeah if the twincest was discovered he's screwed.

 

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18 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

ruling through fear may have advantages for some, but it sure as shit has plenty of disadvantages too. 

People often go on about that Machiavelli quote but they forget the second part.. Fear is only better that love if you can only chose one of the two. A good ruler should be able to inspire love and fear.

Edited by Craving Peaches
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34 minutes ago, Alester Florent said:

Moreover, we know what Robert is like and if Jaime offers him the effective challenge, would he jump on that chance to get stuck into an actual fight? We know he's eager for battle and envious of Jaime in particular for his continual martial reputation: would he be able to refuse the chance to kill the Kingslayer in single combat?

When talking about the twincest in case of Robert finding out Martin has always being clear that Cersei and the kids will certainly die, echoing both Ned and Cat's believes that they would not be really given any trial at all, and validating Ned's choice to tell Cersei. 

I don't think there was a chance they could have gotten a fair trial.

 

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The problem is  real.world vs fantasy   the lannister gold reserves are apparently unlimited !   mines that have been paying out for centuries with 0 signs of stopping thus with every banker and creditor on planetos they can borrow vast amounts vs what their mines and lannisports trade alone can cover(which is considerable anyway) . This DOES give tywin a sort of batman  prep time like advantage if he has time.

Now if he hqd enough time theres easily 40-50k more  sellsword military to add to his forces, theres unlimited slave troopers from rubbish to unsullied ,theres assasins of all shades, theres entire states or even factions within states  who could be bribed to throw their considerable. muscle west.

We know stannis hired 2 sellsail captains who added like 50 ships to his navy..thus we can assume theres at least x5 or x10 that out there in plantoes vast sellsail/pirate slaver friendly seas (shit theres entire iron islands sized regions apparently awash with them) .....given enough time he can ram.enough hired muscle to potentialy take on all of westeros at once and make it competitive!!!!

The issue is he doesnt have the time,shit kicks off in kl and in no time robert is dead.

His main advantage in any  short term  is his daughter is queen,pycelle is his, 2 kingguard  are hers and the capital crawls with cerseis spies and they have their household guard..... but if hed been less.snobby about trade and essosi lords and/or cersei had been honest with him earlier hed have time to prep to use his scrooge mc duck like assets !!!

Edited by astarkchoice
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On 5/5/2023 at 12:46 PM, Craving Peaches said:

So I don't get why people make this assumption. If the incest was discovered the Lannisters were finished. Literally everyone would jump on the chance to take them out. The 'rule through fear' method only works when you are on top. In such a scenario Tywin is no longer on top. People would smell blood on the water/know which way the wind was blowing. People also assume all his vassals would stick by him in such a scenario but I think that is overly optimistic. They aren't going to stay onboard a sinking ship. Honestly, it feels like people really overrate how Tywin would perform in such a scenario.

The incest is basically an open secret. Stannis' entire claim, which has garnered much support, rests on the incest claim. And there's no way the Tyrells don't know that the kids are incest babies. But the Lannisters are the most wealthy house, and that holds sway enough to allow their coup. So, if it were discovered discovered, Tywin could no doubt "Logan Roy" his way out of the problem, maybe not with money, but definitely with influence. 

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55 minutes ago, GZ Bloodraven said:

but definitely with influence. 

Over whom?

 

56 minutes ago, GZ Bloodraven said:

But the Lannisters are the most wealthy house, and that holds sway enough to allow their coup.

No, the fact that there is plausible deniability allows their coup, it has little to nothing to do with their wealth.

Renly had a better offer to make so they took it, once he died the Lannisters were the highest bidder. They offered Robert's son. Good enough.

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