Jump to content

How do you imagine the Small Council reunions and interactions in The Winds of Winter ?


Recommended Posts

What do you think will be the events and characters interactions that will happen with the Small Council during The Winds of Winter, with Kevan Lannister and Pycelle now being dead, Mace Tyrell being the Hand of the King, Cersei surely going to try to retake power and get revenge on the Sparrows while still trying to eliminate the Tyrells and everyone she thinks is against her, and the arrival of Nymeria Sand as Doran Martell's replacement, while Aegon and Jon Connington are coming and that Winter is finally here ? 

Who will most likely replace Pycelle as Grand Maester on the Small Council ?

What topics of discussions and schemes and political moves will be talked about and made here ?

How do you imagine the interactions and relations between the various members of the council ? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cersei will probably want Qyburn to be the new Grand Maester. Others will resist this, I'm sure. But if Cersei can summon up enough loyal swords from the kingsguard and the Gold Cloaks, she'll be able to enforce her will, much like she did in Game when Ned Stark pointed out that Joffrey was not the lawful heir.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main discussion should be about the trials. Mace will be hand, but will be manipulated to attack Aegon's forces despite his daughter havn´t been cleared from the accusations. This will be a mistake from him. He will meet Aegon at Agincourt 2.0 and will either die or be a captive. His army will be massacred. The Tyrells, at the apex of their power, will be given a crippling blow. 

The Grand Maester position won't most likely be filled. GRRM has enough characters to work with, winter is arriving and Qyburn can double as spymaster as well as Grand Maester. 

Lady Nym will obviously show up and basically provoke everyone with her presence. And will be provoked in turn by the presence of Robert Strong. It will be hard for her not to draw the right conclusions here. She will at some point kill Tommen. 

Cersei will win her trial, but Margaery will not. She will be found guilty (with Tyene as the Maiden) and the High Sparrow will act more and more as the character he is clearly based on - Ayatollah Khomeini. Morality will be preached. Sinners will be killed etc. People will be most unhappy in the long run. Cersei will do like she did in the show though...

Aegon will arrive and will take King's Landing easily. Arianne will be queen and everything will go swimmingly for a while. until Daenerys show up that is. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/25/2024 at 5:36 AM, Protagoras said:

Cersei will win her trial, but Margaery will not. She will be found guilty (with Tyene as the Maiden) and the High Sparrow will act more and more as the character he is clearly based on - Ayatollah Khomeini. Morality will be preached. Sinners will be killed etc. People will be most unhappy in the long run. Cersei will do like she did in the show though...

Would love to hear this breakdown. Their histories don't really have much in common minus the short bit about seizing power from a corrupt government, and the faith itself is modeled on the catholic church, not shia islam.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/24/2024 at 3:39 PM, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

Who will most likely replace Pycelle as Grand Maester on the Small Council?

No clue, as the Conclave at the Citadel has that vote and they might have want to wait out both the Ironborn situation as well as the trials of the queens and the Aegon situation. While it will be a priority for the people in charge at court to write to Oldtown about the Grand Maester's death, it will be not exactly the topmost priority since the Lord Regent has been murdered, too.

He has to be replaced first.

If the Conclave casts a vote then Maester Gormon (Tyrell), Mace's uncle, has a good shot. He supposedly was the leading candidate back when the Conclave intended to name a new Grand Maester after Tyrion first sacked Pycelle.

On 5/24/2024 at 3:39 PM, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

How do you imagine the interactions and relations between the various members of the council? 

We won't see any such interactions unless there are new POVs as no POV in KL is likely to attend a Small Council meeting. Cersei might meet with certain members, but chances are very low that they will allow her to attend meetings.

On 5/25/2024 at 9:50 AM, Aebram said:

Cersei will probably want Qyburn to be the new Grand Maester. Others will resist this, I'm sure. But if Cersei can summon up enough loyal swords from the kingsguard and the Gold Cloaks, she'll be able to enforce her will, much like she did in Game when Ned Stark pointed out that Joffrey was not the lawful heir.

She has no means to do that at all as the entire city is in the hands of the Tyrells. And most of the castle as well. Mace's first act after learning about Kevan's death might be to open the gates of the Red Keep to take over the castle completely.

Moreover, Qyburn isn't a maester. He can't be Grand Maester. And he wouldn't want to be as all he cares about are his experiments. He is the most competent of Cersei's cronies but the big reason that he is relatively ineffective in AFfC is that he mainly works on his zombie projects. His heart isn't in the spy business nor in politics in general.

On 5/25/2024 at 11:36 AM, Protagoras said:

The main discussion should be about the trials. Mace will be hand, but will be manipulated to attack Aegon's forces despite his daughter havn´t been cleared from the accusations. This will be a mistake from him. He will meet Aegon at Agincourt 2.0 and will either die or be a captive. His army will be massacred. The Tyrells, at the apex of their power, will be given a crippling blow. 

Little chance for Mace to do anything while Margaery is still on try. He made it clear to Kevan that he will sit on his hands until his daughter's name is cleared, and he and Randyll were firm on this matter. They won't change their mind. It could be they start a fight in the city by refusing the Faith the right to try Margaery as she is already safe in the Red Keep and they can declare her innocent through Tommen. But that would then be a fight the Faith has to start and they would lose while 30,000-40,000 Tyrell men are in the capital.

There might be an uprising against the Tyrells by the Faith in such a scenario if Mace's army loses against Aegon, but that will take some time.

Little chance for the Reach army to be massacred, though. Aegon wouldn't want that. If they make the Reach bleed too much he won't get any support from there. And if he doesn't get at least part of the Reach he won't get far.

But there is a good chance that Aegon will win. And then he will take KL shortly thereafter without much problems.

On 5/25/2024 at 11:36 AM, Protagoras said:

Lady Nym will obviously show up and basically provoke everyone with her presence. And will be provoked in turn by the presence of Robert Strong. It will be hard for her not to draw the right conclusions here. She will at some point kill Tommen. 

Chances are not bad that instead of doing much she and her entire retinue will be thrown into the black cells or at least tower cells as soon as Myrcella has a chance to talk to her mother, brother, or Mace. Arianne Martell tried to make her queen, remember. That was treason.

The idea that Mace would suffer a female Martell bastard on the council is also ludicrous. That won't happen. And Nym would very well advised to not actually try to push anyone.

She could do some things when the order in the city collapses - and that might happen sooner than later - but she cannot do much with her small retinue.

On 5/25/2024 at 11:36 AM, Protagoras said:

Cersei will win her trial, but Margaery will not. She will be found guilty (with Tyene as the Maiden) and the High Sparrow will act more and more as the character he is clearly based on - Ayatollah Khomeini. Morality will be preached. Sinners will be killed etc. People will be most unhappy in the long run. Cersei will do like she did in the show though...

That is effectively impossible at this point. It already starts with the fact that Cersei cannot really win a trial which has a zombie as her champion. Once it is out or obvious - and that already started if we consider Boros Blount's behavior - what he is, then her trial will be an obscene blasphemy. If her champion can't be killed how can her partake in an trial-by-combat?

And, well, the High Septon is also no real madman. He will have his hands full defending himself against the Tyrells if he messes with them and can't possibly focus much effort on sinners or morality.

The most likely scenario in my opinion is that there will be a huge chaos at Cersei's trial. It will serve as the beginning of the chaos in KL by way of revealing the true identity of Ser Robert Strong. Which then will trigger things like that:

- the High Septon declaring Cersei a cheater and thus guilty, which will also declare Tommen and Myrcella Jaime's bastards because they tied everything together in the trial.

- this could mark the moment where the Tyrells abandon Tommen as Margaery can't be the queen of a false bastard king.

- it will also mark the moment where Dorne cuts ties with Tommen since neither Nym nor Tyene will suffer the fact that the slayer of their father is now an undead KG.

- and it might provide Cersei with the opportunity to flee the city as the trial will likely take place in front of the Great Sept (like Ned's execution) whereas the chances are very low indeed she could ever flee from the Red Keep where she will be surrounded (now) by Tyrell guards.

- it could also result in Tommen's death if he attends the trial as he could be trampled or accidentally killed in the chaos.

In any case, this trial will likely be a very big thing as George is preparing for decades now. It can't be just a minor affair that works exactly the way we would expect a fight involving an undead Gregor Clegane to go. In a sense it should be the reverse to the duel between Oberyn and Gregor ... with Gregor perhaps kind of winning again, but not completely. And not in a way that will benefit Cersei or her house.

On 5/25/2024 at 2:59 PM, Darth Sidious said:

Varys is just getting started. He will work to make the council dysfunctional. 

Not sure Varys is going to have to do much. What he will do, I think, is to ensure the city falls to Aegon as easily and as bloodlessly as possible, and it seems to me he'll work both through the City Watch (with that obscure new Lord Commander Humfrey Waters) and the Faith (by helping them to eventually declare Aegon the rightful king).

We can also expect him to ensure that nobody who could start to become a problem later will be able to flee the city in the chaos. Which would include Tommen and Myrcella first and foremost, but perhaps also Margaery.

Cersei would have to leave earlier if she is going to stand a chance to fight another day. Varys would not allow her to flee to the West to raise armies against Aegon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that Mace would suffer a female Martell bastard on the council is also ludicrous. That won't happen. And Nym would very well advised to not actually try to push anyone.

Macy will need all the help he can get. His armies will be dealing with a massive IB invasion and besieging SE / the GC attack. Dorne has two armies in the mountain passes that can raze highgarden and oldtown with no one to defend them. If he's a fool, he'll lash out and get burnt and justify his mother's treatment of him. If he's actually smarter than people give him credit for, he won't make a big deal out of (another royal) bastard serving on the small council.

Dorne can make things very hot for anyone on the Iron Throne and also holds the only "legitimate" living relative of the current king who's too young to procreate.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Macy will need all the help he can get.

Well, he won't get Dorne's help in any case ... and chances are very low that he is going to bother trying to get it. He already made it clear he wants Myrcella for Willas or another member of his family.

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

His armies will be dealing with a massive IB invasion and besieging SE / the GC attack.

No massive invasion there, a nuisance that can and will be dealt with. And while Willas and Garlan are raising new armies they are not fighting yet - which means they could march north or east.

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Dorne has two armies in the mountain passes that can raze highgarden and oldtown with no one to defend them.

There is hardly no one there. Highgarden is always well defended. Renly left 10,000 men behind when he marched to war, and we don't know if Mace took those men with him when he marched to the Blackwater. As Highgarden is vulnerable from the sea while the Shields have not been retaken it also makes no sense to assume Willas and Garlan would march to the Shields while abandoning all defenses in the castles along the Mander as the Ironborn fleet could go up the Mander while they march down to the mouth.

And Oldtown is very well defended right now, obviously.

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

If he's a fool, he'll lash out and get burnt and justify his mother's treatment of him. If he's actually smarter than people give him credit for, he won't make a big deal out of (another royal) bastard serving on the small council.

Women don't serve on the Small Council, they don't even attend unless they are royalty.

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Dorne can make things very hot for anyone on the Iron Throne and also holds the only "legitimate" living relative of the current king who's too young to procreate.

No, Dorne doesn't. Nym is returning Princess Myrcella to King Tommen. Once she does that, Tommen's administration will eventually learn what actually transpired in Dorne. And then the peace will be over since Arianne Martell's treason will be revealed as well as the fact that she was the one behind Myrcella's disfigurement. Myrcella repeated the story Arianne told her to tell when talking to Balon Swann (a man she barely knew). But she is most likely not being so accommodating when questioned by her mother and the courtiers and servants of the Red Keep she knows and trusts.

Dorne is only delaying things. They know they are already at war, they are just trying to start the campaign when they know Quentyn and Dany are coming or that Aegon is really Elia's son.

Arianne's current plot is certainly important but it might not be her decision to start the war after all. If the truth about Myrcella's injuries and/or the truth about Ser Robert Strong gets out sooner than expected then war with Dorne might be declared by King Tommen's administration, not Sunspear.

It is true that the Iron Throne is in no shape to actually start hostilities in the current situation. But arresting Nym and her retinue would be easy enough. Also having Ser Robert execute her. Would actually be kind of ironic if that happened.

All of the quests of the Sand Snakes have the stench of suicide missions to some degree. Obara's is easiest as she should technically be able to take enough men to keep herself and Ser Balon safe. But we have no clue how many allies Ser Gerold has in the Dayne lands, nor how many men he could marshal nor how good he is at laying traps. Tyene is the smartest, so her chances are best, but if her true identity/agenda were to be uncovered she could suffer the same fate as Margaery and Cersei ... or worse. Nym's situation is the most dangerous as she just comes with a token force to a court and city who are not exactly friendly to Dorne and a situation where the fulfillment of her mission - returning Myrcella to court - could put her in severe danger. Nym might not even know the degree to which she is in danger as she wasn't part of the Myrcella plot and didn't witness Myrcella's injuries. Does she know Myrcella got hurt because Arianne wanted to make her queen? We don't know.

More importantly, she will arrive shortly after the Lord Regent and Grand Maester were mysteriously murdered and everybody will suspect anyone of foul play, including people who weren't there yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, he won't get Dorne's help in any case ... and chances are very low that he is going to bother trying to get it. He already made it clear he wants Myrcella for Willas or another member of his family.

He won't get it but he'd be a fool to actively antagonize them

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No massive invasion there, a nuisance that can and will be dealt with. And while Willas and Garlan are raising new armies they are not fighting yet - which means they could march north or east.

There are currently hundreds of IB ships on the shields waiting to sail up the mander and raid, Euron wants to attack oldtown. It's going to be quite a big issue for the Reach. But don't argue with me, take it up with Euron and Victarion:

“The plan was good, I grant him,” Victarion said as she knelt beside him. “The Mander is open to us now, as it was of old.” It was a lazy river, wide and slow and treacherous with snags and sandbars. Most seagoing vessels dared not sail beyond Highgarden, but longships with their shallow draughts could navigate as far upstream as Bitterbridge. In ancient days, the ironborn had boldly sailed the river road and plundered all along the Mander and its vassal streams”

And how does the most martial Tyrell react:

“The Knight of Flowers put a hand upon his sister’s shoulder. “If it please Your Grace, from those rocks the ironmen threaten Oldtown and the Arbor. From strongholds on the Shields, raiders can sail up the Mander into the very heart of the Reach, as they did of old. With enough men they might even threaten Highgarden.”

And how is that currently going:

“The ironmen had not been content with their new rocks, it seemed. They were raiding up the Mander in strength, and had gone so far as to attack the Arbor and the smaller islands that surrounded it. The Redwynes had kept no more than a dozen warships in their home waters, and all those had been overwhelmed, taken, or sunk. And now there were reports that this madman who called himself Euron Crow’s Eye was even sending longships up Whispering Sound toward Oldtown.”

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is hardly no one there. Highgarden is always well defended. Renly left 10,000 men behind when he marched to war, and we don't know if Mace took those men with him when he marched to the Blackwater. As Highgarden is vulnerable from the sea while the Shields have not been retaken it also makes no sense to assume Willas and Garlan would march to the Shields while abandoning all defenses in the castles along the Mander as the Ironborn fleet could go up the Mander while they march down to the mouth.

We know the disposition fairly well:

“Garlan is gathering men to retake the isles. The best part of our power remains with my lord father, though. We must send word to him at Storm’s End. At once.”

“Willas and Garlan can raise ten thousand men within a fortnight and twice that in a moon’s turn, but they cannot walk on water, Your Grace.”

Again you're arguing about points that haven't been made. They can raid up and down the entire Mander and the Tyrells can't stop them without ships. That means the Tyrells can either stretch their forces along hundreds of miles of river or concentrate them at the most valuable spots or retake the shield islands.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And Oldtown is very well defended right now, obviously.

And yet ... 

“Sam was aghast. “They cannot mean to raid Oldtown.”

“These are no mere reavers. The ironmen have always raided where they could. They would strike sudden from the sea, carry off some gold and girls, and sail away, but there were seldom more than one or two longships, and never more than half a dozen. Hundreds of their ships afflict us now, sailing out of the Shield Islands and some of the rocks around the Arbor. They have taken Stonecrab Cay, the Isle of Pigs, and the Mermaid’s Palace, and there are other nests on Horseshoe Rock and Bastard’s Cradle. Without Lord Redwyne’s fleet, we lack the ships to come to grips with them.”

Seems like everyone in the reach is fearing what the IB might do (conquer) but hey I'm sure you know better!

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Women don't serve on the Small Council, they don't even attend unless they are royalty.

Kevan Lannister accepted it:

“The seventh voice would be the Dornishwoman now escorting Myrcella home. The Lady Nym. But no lady, if even half of what Qyburn reports is true. A bastard daughter of the Red Viper, near as notorious as her father and intent on claiming the council seat that Prince Oberyn himself had occupied so briefly. Ser Kevan had not yet seen fit to inform Mace Tyrell of her coming. The Hand, he knew, would not be pleased. ”

No Mace would never like it but he'd be an idiot to accept it. He's not been an idiot so far. This also ignores the precedent of one of the Fossoway wives essentially being master of coin. We have no idea who is going to be in her escort with Myrcella but it will probably be a fairly prominent group.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No, Dorne doesn't. Nym is returning Princess Myrcella to King Tommen.

Ok so I will let Jaime Lannister know he doesn't actually have Edmure in his possession. Rough run there for the Kingslayer

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Once she does that, Tommen's administration will eventually learn what actually transpired in Dorne.

Oh ok. So the Dornish *do* have her in hand. Tommen's council may or may not learn.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And then the peace will be over since Arianne Martell's treason will be revealed as well as the fact that she was the one behind Myrcella's disfigurement. Myrcella repeated the story Arianne told her to tell when talking to Balon Swann (a man she barely knew). But she is most likely not being so accommodating when questioned by her mother and the courtiers and servants of the Red Keep she knows and trusts.

Yes the peace. So Now Dorne is free to use either army in the passes to attack the reach and / or support Aegon in the SL while Arianne is at his side. Cersei is currently in the custody of the Faith, and as you've argued elsewhere she won't be released once the, uh, Faith realizes her champion is an undead, headless zombie.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Dorne is only delaying things. They know they are already at war, they are just trying to start the campaign when they know Quentyn and Dany are coming or that Aegon is really Elia's son.

Yes. They have been setting up for war since ACoK. Astute obervation.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Arianne's current plot is certainly important but it might not be her decision to start the war after all. If the truth about Myrcella's injuries and/or the truth about Ser Robert Strong gets out sooner than expected then war with Dorne might be declared by King Tommen's administration, not Sunspear.

It won't be her decision unless Doran dies. She doesn't have enough men with her to do anything -- not enough to protect her if the situation goes south -- but observe at this point. 

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is true that the Iron Throne is in no shape to actually start hostilities in the current situation. But arresting Nym and her retinue would be easy enough. Also having Ser Robert execute her. Would actually be kind of ironic if that happened.

Arresting Nym and executing her retinue would be massively stupid in the face of 2 invasions and an ongoing war.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

More importantly, she will arrive shortly after the Lord Regent and Grand Maester were mysteriously murdered and everybody will suspect anyone of foul play, including people who weren't there yet.

That would be excessively stupid when you have both the heir and princess as well as her sworn shield to testify that they made progress slowly up the kingsroad via the Dornish passes and couldn't possibly have done anything in KL. This isn't Tyrion's trial where Balon can be used as a voice of reason to set up more damning witnesses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/29/2024 at 2:40 PM, Universal Sword Donor said:

Would love to hear this breakdown. Their histories don't really have much in common minus the short bit about seizing power from a corrupt government, and the faith itself is modeled on the catholic church, not shia islam.

Simply - the High sparrow is a self-deluded hypocrite. He likely sees himself as benevolent and does show acts of kindness as long as they are in agreement with his faith, but it is very clear that the man is a hardliner extremist. He has a nasty side that he presents against all those that he see in opposition of his faith - every time we see his organization, they beat and oppress people - so far indirectly. Yet he hides this beneath a veneer of self-sacrifice and soft-spokenness. But sinners for him is a tumor that needs to be cut off. For him and his fundamentalists there are no choice but a Westeros that are fully in tune with the morality of his gods. 

The ideas are clearly there - Widows are whores, all women are whores, women use sexuality to control men, torturing to extract confession and control are ok if i do it, clerical power and trials filled with said clerics instead pf real law is a great idea, institution of people without any authority but the divine is absolutely something I can do etc etc etc and his mob of bandits will force people to adapt to his religious fantasies, filled with false virtue of how holy they are for following rules in his book. He is clearly trying to transform Westeros into a theocratic state. 

The only reason he hasn't executed people or burnt Weirwoods or forced people harder is because he has lacked power. But that won't be an issue for long. That's why the comparison fails for you since he hasn't done his revolution yet. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/30/2024 at 2:57 AM, Lord Varys said:

Little chance for Mace to do anything while Margaery is still on try. He made it clear to Kevan that he will sit on his hands until his daughter's name is cleared, and he and Randyll were firm on this matter. They won't change their mind. It could be they start a fight in the city by refusing the Faith the right to try Margaery as she is already safe in the Red Keep and they can declare her innocent through Tommen. But that would then be a fight the Faith has to start and they would lose while 30,000-40,000 Tyrell men are in the capital.

There might be an uprising against the Tyrells by the Faith in such a scenario if Mace's army loses against Aegon, but that will take some time.

Little chance for the Reach army to be massacred, though. Aegon wouldn't want that. If they make the Reach bleed too much he won't get any support from there. And if he doesn't get at least part of the Reach he won't get far.

But there is a good chance that Aegon will win. And then he will take KL shortly thereafter without much problems.

Yeah, I read it too - but I don't really trust it. Because thematically Margaerys execution makes more sense in order to set up the Ayatollah Khomeni arc I think GRRM is going for with the High Sparrow. He needs to show that no one are high enough to defy his holy faith. Mace will be manipulated somehow. The plot demands it. 

And the trial will have 7 judges, each having an aspect of the faith. The High Sparrow will probably fill the role of the father himself. But which voice will be the most important one? The maiden of course! After all - the trial is about a so-called maiden's virtue. And who will fulfull that role. None other than Tyene - fair, "chaste" and with a gentle, sweet voice.

As for Agincort 2.0 and its aftermath, that's where Jons greyscale comes in. He will wipe out the opposition even if Aegon doesn't like it. 

On 5/30/2024 at 2:57 AM, Lord Varys said:

Chances are not bad that instead of doing much she and her entire retinue will be thrown into the black cells or at least tower cells as soon as Myrcella has a chance to talk to her mother, brother, or Mace. Arianne Martell tried to make her queen, remember. That was treason.

The idea that Mace would suffer a female Martell bastard on the council is also ludicrous. That won't happen. And Nym would very well advised to not actually try to push anyone.

She could do some things when the order in the city collapses - and that might happen sooner than later - but she cannot do much with her small retinue.

Myrcella will not say anything, but back Arianne. She had a great opportunity to talk to Balon Swann and she didn't. There are zero reasons this treason will reach the ears of the court. GRRM has enough plot points to deal with already. 

Mace will be forced to. The Iron Throne cannot afford more enemies atm, with fighting basically everywhere. He will, for the moment, swallow his pride and allow her in reluctantly. Because pissing her off could mean (in theory) that Dorne joins anyone else but them. Remember, her presence is seen as a token of (very false) support från the Martells.

On 5/30/2024 at 2:57 AM, Lord Varys said:

That is effectively impossible at this point. It already starts with the fact that Cersei cannot really win a trial which has a zombie as her champion. Once it is out or obvious - and that already started if we consider Boros Blount's behavior - what he is, then her trial will be an obscene blasphemy. If her champion can't be killed how can her partake in an trial-by-combat?

And, well, the High Septon is also no real madman. He will have his hands full defending himself against the Tyrells if he messes with them and can't possibly focus much effort on sinners or morality.

The most likely scenario in my opinion is that there will be a huge chaos at Cersei's trial. It will serve as the beginning of the chaos in KL by way of revealing the true identity of Ser Robert Strong. Which then will trigger things like that:

- the High Septon declaring Cersei a cheater and thus guilty, which will also declare Tommen and Myrcella Jaime's bastards because they tied everything together in the trial.

- this could mark the moment where the Tyrells abandon Tommen as Margaery can't be the queen of a false bastard king.

- it will also mark the moment where Dorne cuts ties with Tommen since neither Nym nor Tyene will suffer the fact that the slayer of their father is now an undead KG.

- and it might provide Cersei with the opportunity to flee the city as the trial will likely take place in front of the Great Sept (like Ned's execution) whereas the chances are very low indeed she could ever flee from the Red Keep where she will be surrounded (now) by Tyrell guards.

- it could also result in Tommen's death if he attends the trial as he could be trampled or accidentally killed in the chaos.

In any case, this trial will likely be a very big thing as George is preparing for decades now. It can't be just a minor affair that works exactly the way we would expect a fight involving an undead Gregor Clegane to go. In a sense it should be the reverse to the duel between Oberyn and Gregor ... with Gregor perhaps kind of winning again, but not completely. And not in a way that will benefit Cersei or her house.

Naah, this won't happen. The story more or less demands that Cersei will be back in charge at least somehow. She will not die or lose at this stage of the plot. It would also be a complete downer if Qyburns champion wouldn't get to do the thing the last book was set-up for him to do. Robert Strong will meet Lancel - and Lancel will die. 

Also, the High Sparrow is absolutely a madman who will act according to his faith regardless of how smart it might be. I wrote another post about that in this thread. 

I think you read the characters here wrong honestly. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Yeah, I read it too - but I don't really trust it. Because thematically Margaerys execution makes more sense in order to set up the Ayatollah Khomeni arc I think GRRM is going for with the High Sparrow. He needs to show that no one are high enough to defy his holy faith. Mace will be manipulated somehow. The plot demands it. 

That is just another way to say 'I want that to happen' but can't say how it would make sense within the plot and characters set up so far.

Mind you, I do not doubt that George has introduced the sparrows and the new High Septon in AFfC to play a considerable role as the story advances, but not in this manner. They are likely to be the core part of the popular movement that will first make things very easy for Aegon to seize power and then, later, as winter takes the land into its grip and people get ever more desperate, to be one of the reasons why there will be a war with Daenerys.

Even if Margaery were to be declared guilty, there is little to no chance that they can execute her, as she won't be in the Faith's clutches for the trial. She was freed by Randyll, and she will be escorted back to the Great Sept by Tyrell troops ... and there will remain enough such troops on the hill and in front of the Great Sept to take her back to the castle even if she were found guilty.

The Faith doesn't have the power (yet) to defy the Tyrell army in KL. Not without committing suicide.

Declaring Margaery guilty would also very likely break the Faith's power and support in KL as she is still very popular with the Kingslanders. The city people would not rise up and try to defend the sparrows and the new High Septon against Mace and Randyll if they actually killed Margaery before the Tyrells attack.

3 hours ago, Protagoras said:

And the trial will have 7 judges, each having an aspect of the faith. The High Sparrow will probably fill the role of the father himself. But which voice will be the most important one? The maiden of course! After all - the trial is about a so-called maiden's virtue. And who will fulfull that role. None other than Tyene - fair, "chaste" and with a gentle, sweet voice.

That is certainly a nice idea and I could see that happening ... but the timeline would only allow this if the trial took place in weeks or months from now. Keep in mind - Nym and Myrcella aren't in KL yet, either. How do you imagine Tyene got there before them? And if she did, how believable would it be that a newcomer could worm her way into the High Septon's inner circles in a couple of days?

That doesn't work. And the big catalyst will be Cersei's trial-by-combat which was scheduled first. Even if the double murder is going to affect the timetable - which is possible - chances that they will have time or take the time for the second trial thereafter are very slim. Even more so if Tommen were to be declared a bastard very soon - either as a result of Cersei's trial going awry or as a result of things Jaime might do in the Riverlands - as nobody would bother much with Margaery's virtue if she is no longer a queen as Tommen is no longer a king. That is actually a more likely scenario than there being two trials in a row.

If Mace and/or Randyll will march against Aegon very soon then any trials not done yet will be put on hold ... if they are not cancelled completely. And nobody can force Mace as Margaery safely surrounded by her own men in the castle. The Faith can't get to her.

Tyene might more play a role in convincing the sparrows to cut ties with Tommen/Myrcella for good and declare for Aegon. And also to influence the Faith's policies as Arianne takes her place as queen at Aegon's side.

3 hours ago, Protagoras said:

As for Agincort 2.0 and its aftermath, that's where Jons greyscale comes in. He will wipe out the opposition even if Aegon doesn't like it. 

Jon wants to eradicate Robert's bloodline and we can see him doing that. But he has little problems with the Reach who were actually on his side back during the Rebellion. The Golden Company even hope for - and seem to have good reason to expect - support from certain Reach houses.

Chances are more likely that we are not going to see less of a crushing defeat there, and more a slow defection of Reach forces to Aegon or a refusal to fight against him. Him taking Storm's End should have very strong ripple effects. Nobody could do that in a long time, especially not Mace Tyrell during the most recent war. It is one of the old royal seats and the ideal place for Aegon to proclaim himself and his intention to take the throne, mirroring and evocating the beginning of the campaign of Jaehaerys I in 48 AC.

If he then also has Mathis Rowan at his side when he is facing the Tyrell forces, an easy victory becomes even more likely.

Any victory involving a much bloodshed would lead to resentment in the Reach and then Aegon would simply gain no lasting support. Especially not the numbers to remain a player in the game until Dany shows up.

3 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Myrcella will not say anything, but back Arianne. She had a great opportunity to talk to Balon Swann and she didn't. There are zero reasons this treason will reach the ears of the court. GRRM has enough plot points to deal with already. 

That would make no sense. Myrcella didn't know Balon Swann who only joined the KG after she left for Dorne. And Arianne isn't there to tell her what to say, nor would there any Dornish attendants once she is back in her own apartments in Maegor's Holdfast. She might not tell the truth immediately, but she will be questioned repeatedly, and there is no reason to assume she would not want to tell the truth to her mother/brother or other people she trusts when she feels safe and his back at home.

If George and Doran had wanted to bury this truth for good they should have killed Myrcella back in Dorne, on her way to KL, or they should have refused to return her in the first place.

3 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Mace will be forced to. The Iron Throne cannot afford more enemies atm, with fighting basically everywhere. He will, for the moment, swallow his pride and allow her in reluctantly. Because pissing her off could mean (in theory) that Dorne joins anyone else but them. Remember, her presence is seen as a token of (very false) support from the Martells.

Mace already thinks he can crush Aegon at any point in time, even if he were to take Storm's End. He doesn't feel threatened by the general situation, not even with the Ironborn situation causing trouble in the Reach. He won't just change into a less confident character just because you think he has to.

But to be sure - perhaps they even allow Nym on the council. But the idea that this will give her any kind of real power or influence on policy, the government, or in the castle is very low. Mace has such a huge advantage in numbers that he controls everything now - the city and the castle. Any real opposition against him would be crushed. And if Nym were to be put into a tower cell then those news wouldn't travel to Sunspear all that fast. After all, the Grand Maester is dead and Pycelle wouldn't have sent ravens to Dorne anyway. And Mace will decide who is going to tend the ravens until the arrival of the new Grand Maester, etc.

3 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Naah, this won't happen. The story more or less demands that Cersei will be back in charge at least somehow. She will not die or lose at this stage of the plot. It would also be a complete downer if Qyburns champion wouldn't get to do the thing the last book was set-up for him to do. Robert Strong will meet Lancel - and Lancel will die.

We don't even know if it will be Lancel. He will meet Osney Kettleblack, the main accuser of the queen dowager. And perhaps others. But Lancel is a crucial new knight in the restored order of the Warrior's Sons ... how stupid would the High Septon be to throw away Lancel's life by forcing him to fight Ser Robert?

The crucial reason why the trial-by-combat cannot go the way we expect it to go is that this rarely happens. I mean, you are sounding as confident as Oberyn Martell - talking crap like 'this is not the day I die'. Sure enough, chances are very low that Ser Robert Strong will be killed by his opponent in the trial - because he is already dead and might only be destroyed by fire or by hacking his body to pieces (like it is with the wights) - but this doesn't mean things will go as expected for Cersei. Because the overall plot doesn't indicate that Tommen/Myrcella will retain power in the city for long. It wouldn't be a Martin novel if the trial-by-combat chapter went exactly the way Cersei and Qyburn expect it to go. Sure enough, it will also not result in Cersei's death ... but it could very well result in her being condemned. I mean, what do you expect to happen if Ser Robert's true identity and nature is revealed somehow - say, by him receiving a deadly wound that doesn't kill him, his opponent knocking of his helmet and revealing the rotting face of an undead monstrosity? Is then everybody going to nod solemnly and shrug and congratulate Cersei on her choice of a champion? There is no chance of this to happen. Yes, Ser Robert is a great bodyguard ... but also a great liability politically if people know what the hell he is. Especially if he is used as means to cheat at religious trial.

And Cersei needs to return to her base of power (the West) and/or make new alliances outside KL to remain a crucial player. If she remained in KL she can only die at Aegon's hands or become a hostage. The trial is not going to mark her doom or death, but the beginning of the end of her time in KL. And likely also the moment the alliance with Dorne will end. Because neither Nym nor Tyene - if they are there to witness this event - will be able to ignore that the killer of their father is now an undead KG.

The Areo chapter in ADwD set all that up by focusing on the skull Cersei sent to Sunspear. They wondered why the skull might be fake ... indicating that they will soon learn that it was and, for the Sand Snakes in KL, at least, this will be last straw. For Arianne the decision to actively declare for Aegon and command the armies to advance will take place at Storm's End - perhaps in time to help Aegon with the Tyrells, perhaps not - but in KL this revelation could very well result in Nym (and Tyene) to actively turn against Tommen.

Nym won't serve on a council which has her dad's killer as guard outside the council chamber.

3 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Also, the High Sparrow is absolutely a madman who will act according to his faith regardless of how smart it might be. I wrote another post about that in this thread.

You seem to be too influenced by the show there. Reread AFfC and you will get a very different image of this guy. He wants to restore the old power and glory of the Faith, but he isn't a fanatic in the sense that he goes after 'sinners' in an irrational way. He mostly applies the rules of the Faith the way they have been in the past. Meaning that there is real penance for sins, for example the treatment of certain members of the Most Devout. Ditto with what was demanded of Cersei. He even compromises with Kevan in the Cersei case, never mind that Cersei actually arranged the murder of his predecessor. The man is a shrewd politician.

It seems clear to me that the trials of the two queens weren't suicidal operations pushed to extreme by way of provoking the anger of the most powerful lords in the Realm ... but rather risky power play to force the Iron Throne to restore old rights and privileges to the Faith. We saw how the High Septon played Cersei in this regard by first overturning the laws of Maegor and then Jaehaerys I. And he continued to pressure Kevan in a similar manner, resulting in Cersei's walk. But the idea he would overplay his hand by actually allowing the judges he himself will pick and control to condemn Queen Margaery are very low. This would provoke Mace and Randyll into violence and would also undermine or end the reign of King Tommen. He is dependent on Tyrell support - and so is the High Septon to a point, as Tommen is the king who overturned the laws of Maegor and Jaehaerys I.

The Faith can and will eventually switch to Aegon, but not by way of forcing its own by condemning Margaery. That would antagonize the Tyrells and could easily enough be a Pyrrhic victory or mad gamble resulting in Margaery going down ... only for the Tyrells to storm the Great Sept, butcher the sparrows by the droves, killing the High Septon (or driving him into hiding), and the installation of a new, pliable High Septon, ending the reign of the sparrows.

Moreover, if House Tyrell were to cut ties with Tommen face in the wake of Margaery's fall ... their logical decision would be to join Aegon with the entire strength of the Reach. That could then see Mace deposing Tommen, destroying the sparrows and the High Septon in Aegon's name. That would mean if there was a trial of Margaery before Mace leaves the city, a trial resulting in Margaery's condemnation ... then House Tyrell would have no reason or incentive to (1) not destroy the sparrows, and (2) to defend King Tommen against Aegon or anyone else.

Mace and the Reach only stand with Tommen because Tommen is married to Queen Margaery. If she is gone or if the marriage is gone or if Tommen is gone (or declared a bastard in public) then the alliance is over.

If there are no changes to Arianne 2 and the news that the Tyrells march against a Storm's End captured by Aegon then it cannot be that Margaery has been condemned in a trial by then. Such a trial might have been cancelled or postponed, to perhaps happening at a later time ... but if Margaery were condemned or dead then Mace would simply not defend King Tommen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Snip

Ok, let's take this more in detail then.

First, I think it's clear that we analyze the books differently. You seem to look from a Watsonian perspective, whereas I prefer the Doylist approach. Nothing is wrong with your take necessary, it's a great method to discuss what characters ought to do - but it's not the best one to figure out where the story is going in general. We need to think about the writer, not the characters. What are GRRMs goals here?

If I understand you correctly we seem to both be convinced about Aegon's rise to power. Great - but how will it happen exactly? Will he just go for the capital one step at a time and defeat all armies opposing him? Not very likely - the Tyrells are simply too strong. Even if Mace is losing hard against Aegon, we are still talking about an army of originally 70.000! In addition, we have Lannister forces and King's Landings gold cloaks. It is simply too much. So how will GRRM solve this? Well, Tarly betrayal and a trial by combat that devolves are certainly possible - but here is the thing. GRRM has already done this! We don't want nor need another trial by combat that something goes awry with. It will be Oberyn all over again. So, Cersei will win her trial by combat and quickly, so we can focus on the actual important trial - GRRM is subverting expectations here since everyone seems to believe that Margaery's trial was going to be the short, unimportant one while Cerseis will have something happen in it. 

But instead we will have a very important trial of the Queen by the Faith (very clearly unprecedented and a clear sign that the High Sparrow is not a reasonable man. A reasonable man would have dropped the trial entirely for political favors). It will be the event EVERYONE will be talking about. Forget weddings or tourneys, I expect chapters after chapters in King's Landing, where this trial is the main focus, with every word from Margaery weighted and the only thing that nobility and the smallfolk will talk about. And many want her dead - Cersei, Martells, Varys etc. The High Sparrow is certainly in that category too - a self-deluded hypocrite who already believes that she is guilty. But the event itself. We are talking weeks, if not months. And when Mace hears about Aegon building up his strength more and more he will not wait around. How this happens is uncertain, but my guess is that he will be manipulated to attack despite his daughter not being acquitted yet ("Let us all pray to the crone for wisdom so she can guide this trial to the truth...even if it takes a long long time"). And his loss and Aegon's presence close will indeed turn the faith to Aegon.

As for Randyll, it's clear that the High Sparrow isn't backing down. Even when confronted with the power of the Reach the High Sparrow forced Randyll to swear a holy oath to return the Tyrell women. They will ABSOLUTELY be in the High Sparrows clutches. Remember, this trial is happening despite the fact that he KNOWS that the evidence was created by Cersei. This is the actions of a fanatic unwilling to compromise with what he sees as enemies of his faith. As for the show - I think they were given correct instructions but botched it up due to the fact that Dumb & Dumber had no idea what the hell they were doing. They were most likely told that The High Sparrow was a violent religious fanatic and imagined American gay oppression...sigh. And let's be clear - the accusations of adultery, if true, means execution. 

And this also explains why Tyene is IMPORTANT. Why her identity outwards of this pure, chaste woman matters. Why her mission to infiltrate the faith matters. Because she will be a judge in the trial. And the most important one. Because the seven judges will be chosen for their similarity to their divine representations, so the Smith for example will most likely be filled by a religious metalworker and the Warrior is likely to be Ser Theodan. This is a gardener at work. And someone has already been described as the optimal candidate for the Maiden. What was he quote again? Oh right: "She was sitting cross-legged on a pillow beneath the raised dais where the high seats stood, but she rose as they entered, dressed in a clinging gown of pale blue samite with sleeves of Myrish lace that made her look as innocent as the Maid herself".

But let's say she is not among the judges (unlikely) - well this trial is not about Margaery, it's about the war. People have suffered. And here is pretty, perfect Margaery - raised to be queen who hasn't suffered at all. She represents the corrupt ruling class that destroyed everyone's lives - or so the sparrows will see it anyway. In addition - Qyburn still holds the witnesses. And they will sing whatever Cersei wants them to sing. 

As for Mace, he might look like he is in control on paper, but "ineffective" is basically his middle name. He will have no idea how to deal with Lady Nym and will be forced to accept her at court. But, most importantly, he will not in this scenario stay for long in King's Landing! My idea hinges on that he will meet and lose against Aegon before the trial is completely over. 

As for Jon, his massacre of the Tyrell troops will indeed be used against Aegon...but later. Right now, he will have several high-value captives, maybe including Mace himself as well as an important victory under his belt. Despite the Reach's misgiving, they will support him. And many houses in The Reach have grudges against the Tyrells. No one will condone murder of course, but those Reach Lords supporting him will be of the more ruthless kind - they have to be, since they betray their leige lord. There is no way back for them after fighting for Aegon. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Ok, let's take this more in detail then.

First, I think it's clear that we analyze the books differently. You seem to look from a Watsonian perspective, whereas I prefer the Doylist approach. Nothing is wrong with your take necessary, it's a great method to discuss what characters ought to do - but it's not the best one to figure out where the story is going in general. We need to think about the writer, not the characters. What are GRRMs goals here?

The way to guess to a point at George's short term goals is to check where the characters are when we last saw them and where they could go from there without behaving out-of-character or things happening that make little to no sense in the setting.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

If I understand you correctly we seem to both be convinced about Aegon's rise to power. Great - but how will it happen exactly? Will he just go for the capital one step at a time and defeat all armies opposing him? Not very likely - the Tyrells are simply too strong. Even if Mace is losing hard against Aegon, we are still talking about an army of originally 70.000!

It may have been 80,000 originally, actually. But half went back to Highgarden in AFfC, so now the combined forces under Mace's command are 30,000-40,000.

That is a lot but in light of the situation in KL - regardless what exactly will happen in the wake of the double murder and with the trials, etc. - he is most likely not going to march with all those troops against Aegon. But rather, say, half or two thirds so that the others can keep the peace in the city in his absence ... and ensure that there are no uprisings against his rule. Which then means the Golden Company (if all make it to Storm's End in time) and whatever other troops might Aegon have gained by then might only face 15,000-20,000 men.

If Mace were to lose at Storm's End the city could fall bloodlessly or very easily to Aegon even if another 15,000-20,000 men in KL simply because they lost their general. If Mace were to die or if he were to captured and forced to bend the knee to Aegon his men wouldn't continue the fight. The Reach stood with Aerys II during the Rebellion, so we can expect them not to be die-hard anti-Targaryen now.

Also, of course, Varys will see to it that city will open the gates to Aegon, etc.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

In addition, we have Lannister forces and King's Landings gold cloaks.

The former are effectively a non-factor. There are a couple of hundred household guards, that's it. The City Watch is a factor but the new Lord Commander, the obscure Humfrey Waters who was put in command after the arrest of the Kettleblacks, is a complete unknown. Cersei didn't even know the man. And as he was put in command before the arrival of Mace and Randyll chances are good that he is no Tyrell man and possibly a man with Targaryen leanings. He was the formerly the captain of the Dragon Gate which might be one of the implicit clues.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

It is simply too much. So how will GRRM solve this? Well, Tarly betrayal and a trial by combat that devolves are certainly possible - but here is the thing. GRRM has already done this! We don't want nor need another trial by combat that something goes awry with. It will be Oberyn all over again. So, Cersei will win her trial by combat and quickly, so we can focus on the actual important trial - GRRM is subverting expectations here since everyone seems to believe that Margaery's trial was going to be the short, unimportant one while Cerseis will have something happen in it.

There is a small chance to make the Margaery trial interesting - starting with the question of POVs. Cersei doesn't give shit about Margaery and wouldn't be a good spectator even if she wanted or was forced to attend. I would actually like to see Margaery's trial as an actual trial might be interesting as a scene and longer plot ... but there seems to be little to no time for that. Not just because of the plot in KL taking up speed as the Aegon threat gets closer but also because TWoW as a book cannot waste too many pages on a character who isn't even a POV - and whose entire family is not represented among the POVs. If we got a Margaery or Mace POV in TWoW such a story might make more sense, ditto if we had Tyene as a POV.

Cersei's trial-by-combat will be a new one as it will involve an undead monstrosity ... one we have yet to see in action. Ser Robert Strong has been built very slowly since AFfC. It is like saying: 'We saw some wights murder people back in AGoT, so we better don't repeat such scenes in the future.'

But overall - there isn't even a guarantee that there will be any trials. Yes, there were dates set for the trials in the Epilogue. But that was before the double murder. Its effects might not only affect the timetable as Mace and Randyll might first want to deal with naming a new regent, filling the vacant positions on the council, trying to find the people responsible for the double murder ... or pin it on some scapegoat and sentencing them to death.

Kevan was the acting head of state, the man running the government in the name of the minor. His murder is a huge crisis of state. And if I were Mace I'd actually accuse Cersei of the double murder - like she did with Tyrion in Joff's case - and then imprison her to conduct my very own trial with my own men for the murder of the Lord Regent and the Grand Maester.

And if she were to insist on a trial-by-combat in that trial I'd say that the case of King Tommen/the late Lord Regent/the accusing Hand of the King would be championed by Ser Robert Strong.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

But instead we will have a very important trial of the Queen by the Faith (very clearly unprecedented and a clear sign that the High Sparrow is not a reasonable man. A reasonable man would have dropped the trial entirely for political favors). It will be the event EVERYONE will be talking about.

Well, it seems that is exactly what he is going to do. He will insist on a trial to reinforce the moral authority of the Faith over the queen (and thus also the king, in a sense), and he will show the power and generosity of the Seven by restoring the lost/doubtful to Queen Margaery.

At least that seems to have been the plan when she was arrested and subsequently released. Even if Tyene were one the judges and highly influential in a couple of days ... it would be very hard for George to make sense of her influencing the other judges to condemn Margaery as that would go against their very own interests.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Forget weddings or tourneys, I expect chapters after chapters in King's Landing, where this trial is the main focus, with every word from Margaery weighted and the only thing that nobility and the smallfolk will talk about. And many want her dead - Cersei, Martells, Varys etc. The High Sparrow is certainly in that category too - a self-deluded hypocrite who already believes that she is guilty. But the event itself. We are talking weeks, if not months. And when Mace hears about Aegon building up his strength more and more he will not wait around. How this happens is uncertain, but my guess is that he will be manipulated to attack despite his daughter not being acquitted yet ("Let us all pray to the crone for wisdom so she can guide this trial to the truth...even if it takes a long long time"). And his loss and Aegon's presence close will indeed turn the faith to Aegon.

This can't last for months as the entirety of TWoW will likely not even cover months. If there are trial(s) then it should be at best one chapter for each. With Cersei's trial being the highlighted one as she is the only POV in town and very much interested in her own survival ... whereas she might not even attend or care much to follow Margaery's trial even if she attended it.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

As for Randyll, it's clear that the High Sparrow isn't backing down. Even when confronted with the power of the Reach the High Sparrow forced Randyll to swear a holy oath to return the Tyrell women. They will ABSOLUTELY be in the High Sparrows clutches.

Randyll himself doesn't give shit about that vow. He insisted that they should storm the Great Sept and crush the sparrows. Even if that doesn't happen then chances are very low that Margaery's person will actually be delivered physically into the hands of the sparrows. She will come to the trial and attend it - but surrounded and protected by Tyrell soldiers.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Remember, this trial is happening despite the fact that he KNOWS that the evidence was created by Cersei. This is the actions of a fanatic unwilling to compromise with what he sees as enemies of his faith.

Him insisting on a trial doesn't mean he wants to condemn Margaery. A trial can also be conducted to clear the name of the accused. And to me it seems that this is the deal Mace and Margaery made with the High Septon - just as Kevan made a deal involving Cersei's walk plus the trial-by-combat ... with the goal of Cersei getting an acquittal in the latter.

You do notice that the High Septon must know Kevan/Cersei will use a KG that is going to make short work of whatever champion the Faith puts against her. He apparently is also kind of okay then with the fact that Cersei gets away alive.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

And let's be clear - the accusations of adultery, if true, means execution.

That would remain to be seen. The marriage between Tommen and Myrcella wasn't consummated yet so they are not really married by the Faith's own standards.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

And this also explains why Tyene is IMPORTANT. Why her identity outwards of this pure, chaste woman matters. Why her mission to infiltrate the faith matters. Because she will be a judge in the trial. And the most important one. Because the seven judges will be chosen for their similarity to their divine representations, so the Smith for example will most likely be filled by a religious metalworker and the Warrior is likely to be Ser Theodan. This is a gardener at work. And someone has already been described as the optimal candidate for the Maiden. What was he quote again? Oh right: "She was sitting cross-legged on a pillow beneath the raised dais where the high seats stood, but she rose as they entered, dressed in a clinging gown of pale blue samite with sleeves of Myrish lace that made her look as innocent as the Maid herself".

Sure, she could play such a role. It is just not very likely it will fit timeline-wise. Nor that her word will be more important than those of the other judges. That the judges will all be representations of the Seven is weird, though, as that would also include a representative of the Stranger. It is rather that there will be three septas and four septons, one of them being the High Septon himself.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

But let's say she is not among the judges (unlikely) - well this trial is not about Margaery, it's about the war. People have suffered. And here is pretty, perfect Margaery - raised to be queen who hasn't suffered at all. She represents the corrupt ruling class that destroyed everyone's lives - or so the sparrows will see it anyway. In addition - Qyburn still holds the witnesses. And they will sing whatever Cersei wants them to sing. 

No, the witnesses were all handed to the Faith. Only the Blue Bard is sticking to Cersei's story and he is quite mad already.

Margaery is not symbol of the corrupt ruling class but a queen beloved by the people of King's Landing. Nobody wants her dead. The Kingslanders even demanded her release and protested outside the Great Sept.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

As for Mace, he might look like he is in control on paper, but "ineffective" is basically his middle name. He will have no idea how to deal with Lady Nym and will be forced to accept her at court. But, most importantly, he will not in this scenario stay for long in King's Landing! My idea hinges on that he will meet and lose against Aegon before the trial is completely over.

For that to happen the man would have to be a completely different character. He repeatedly said he would do nothing until his daughter is acquitted, and he is far from ineffective in his pursuit of power. Why would his attitude change now that he is running things? That just makes no sense.

14 hours ago, Protagoras said:

As for Jon, his massacre of the Tyrell troops will indeed be used against Aegon...but later. Right now, he will have several high-value captives, maybe including Mace himself as well as an important victory under his belt. Despite the Reach's misgiving, they will support him. And many houses in The Reach have grudges against the Tyrells. No one will condone murder of course, but those Reach Lords supporting him will be of the more ruthless kind - they have to be, since they betray their leige lord. There is no way back for them after fighting for Aegon. 

The much better take there is that they just willing switch to Aegon's side without much bloodshed. After all, if there are some Reach lords who want to switch from the start they can serve as catalysts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The way to guess to a point at George's short term goals is to check where the characters are when we last saw them and where they could go from there without behaving out-of-character or things happening that make little to no sense in the setting.

Not if you want to understand more than the earliest events. Writer intent is important. 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is a small chance to make the Margaery trial interesting - starting with the question of POVs. Cersei doesn't give shit about Margaery and wouldn't be a good spectator even if she wanted or was forced to attend. I would actually like to see Margaery's trial as an actual trial might be interesting as a scene and longer plot ... but there seems to be little to no time for that. Not just because of the plot in KL taking up speed as the Aegon threat gets closer but also because TWoW as a book cannot waste too many pages on a character who isn't even a POV - and whose entire family is not represented among the POVs. If we got a Margaery or Mace POV in TWoW such a story might make more sense, ditto if we had Tyene as a POV.

Cersei's trial-by-combat will be a new one as it will involve an undead monstrosity ... one we have yet to see in action. Ser Robert Strong has been built very slowly since AFfC. It is like saying: 'We saw some wights murder people back in AGoT, so we better don't repeat such scenes in the future.'

But overall - there isn't even a guarantee that there will be any trials. Yes, there were dates set for the trials in the Epilogue. But that was before the double murder. Its effects might not only affect the timetable as Mace and Randyll might first want to deal with naming a new regent, filling the vacant positions on the council, trying to find the people responsible for the double murder ... or pin it on some scapegoat and sentencing them to death.

Kevan was the acting head of state, the man running the government in the name of the minor. His murder is a huge crisis of state. And if I were Mace I'd actually accuse Cersei of the double murder - like she did with Tyrion in Joff's case - and then imprison her to conduct my very own trial with my own men for the murder of the Lord Regent and the Grand Maester.

And if she were to insist on a trial-by-combat in that trial I'd say that the case of King Tommen/the late Lord Regent/the accusing Hand of the King would be championed by Ser Robert Strong.

Exactly my point. The trials will be delayed. Hmm - new take. Let's say Mace does exactly that he talked to Kevan about? Namely that he uses Tommen to declare Margaery innocent and then march towards Storm's End? After all - the king has declared his daugther innocent and (in his mind) the accusation have therefore been dealt with. Yes, he is that stupid. 

The Faith cannot do much about that for the moment, due to Tyrell numbers, but later - when Mace marches and loses - Tarly will give the girls over, the High Sparrow (who is now enraged over Maces actions) will conduct the trial and Margery will be found guilty due to previously named reasons as well as this provocation. Yeah, that can work too.

You are also way way overthinking Mace here. He is a dud, not a mastermind. This story is not "How Mace did everything right and won the throne". 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, it seems that is exactly what he is going to do. He will insist on a trial to reinforce the moral authority of the Faith over the queen (and thus also the king, in a sense), and he will show the power and generosity of the Seven by restoring the lost/doubtful to Queen Margaery.

“B-but,” she sputtered, “you preach the Mother’s mercy…”

“Ser Osney shall taste of that sweet milk in the afterlife. In The Seven-Pointed Star it is written that all sins may be forgiven, but crimes must still be punished. Osney Kettleblack is guilty of treason and murder, and the wages of treason are death.”

This is the generosity of the faith. Nothing else. Because that's how religious fanatics work.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

At least that seems to have been the plan when she was arrested and subsequently released. Even if Tyene were one the judges and highly influential in a couple of days ... it would be very hard for George to make sense of her influencing the other judges to condemn Margaery as that would go against their very own interests.

This can't last for months as the entirety of TWoW will likely not even cover months. If there are trial(s) then it should be at best one chapter for each. With Cersei's trial being the highlighted one as she is the only POV in town and very much interested in her own survival ... whereas she might not even attend or care much to follow Margaery's trial even if she attended it.

Randyll himself doesn't give shit about that vow. He insisted that they should storm the Great Sept and crush the sparrows. Even if that doesn't happen then chances are very low that Margaery's person will actually be delivered physically into the hands of the sparrows. She will come to the trial and attend it - but surrounded and protected by Tyrell soldiers.

Nope, the trial will still take months and we will certainly have many chapters about this in the next book. As you said - everything will be delayed, so therefore it is impossible for Margaery to be found not guilty during such short timespan. Unless Mace forces the issue and are dumb enough to think that is the end of it. Yes, I like this new take better. Mace will not be manipulated, he will "solve" the problem and are dumb enough to believe that it will stick.

Then when the trial do start for real the judges will be angry over Mace power move in addition to everything else. 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Him insisting on a trial doesn't mean he wants to condemn Margaery. A trial can also be conducted to clear the name of the accused. And to me it seems that this is the deal Mace and Margaery made with the High Septon - just as Kevan made a deal involving Cersei's walk plus the trial-by-combat ... with the goal of Cersei getting an acquittal in the latter.

Deal? This is not a man that really makes deals. This is a man who, as you said yourself, "reinforce the moral authority of the Faith" - but again, this is a man who is a hardliner extremist. He seen them as enemies of his faith and he will act thereafter. He will show the ruling class that no one, NO ONE, is above the gods and killing Margaery Tyrell is the perfect way to enforce such a message. Either you bow down to the Seven...or you lose your head!

You lack of understanding about the High Sparrow are by far your weakest argument. Have you not met religious people in your life? How they act? How they think?

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You do notice that the High Septon must know Kevan/Cersei will use a KG that is going to make short work of whatever champion the Faith puts against her. He apparently is also kind of okay then with the fact that Cersei gets away alive.

The High Sparrow has no idea who Robert Strong is and has probably heard that the Kingsguards are seen as weak and useless. He will be confident in that his champion, most likely Lancel, will win and when that doesn't happen he will see this as a sign from the Seven themselves.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That would remain to be seen. The marriage between Tommen and Myrcella wasn't consummated yet so they are not really married by the Faith's own standards.

See my quote above about the Mother’s mercy. 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, she could play such a role. It is just not very likely it will fit timeline-wise. Nor that her word will be more important than those of the other judges. That the judges will all be representations of the Seven is weird, though, as that would also include a representative of the Stranger. It is rather that there will be three septas and four septons, one of them being the High Septon himself.

Honestly, I think its clear that is what he is going for. The trial is unprecedented and it fits his theocratic Khomeini persona. And it is also an excellent way to work Tyene into the story. If not - what exactly is her role in all this. A background character seem in a short scene in a sept? No, I don't think so. 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No, the witnesses were all handed to the Faith. Only the Blue Bard is sticking to Cersei's story and he is quite mad already.

“Osney Kettleblack and the Blue Bard are here, beneath the sept. The Redwyne twins have been declared innocent, and Hamish the Harper has died. The rest are in the dungeons under the Red Keep, in the charge of your man Qyburn.”

Qyburn, thought Cersei. That was good, one straw at least that she could clutch. Lord Qyburn had them, and Lord Qyburn could do wonders. And horrors. He can do horrors as well". 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Margaery is not symbol of the corrupt ruling class but a queen beloved by the people of King's Landing. Nobody wants her dead. The Kingslanders even demanded her release and protested outside the Great Sept.

A lot of people want her dead. A lot of influential people. Some might protest, but soon her good deeds will be forgotten.

But again - she is the realms "darling girl", born to a life of privilege. She is absolutely a symbol of the corrupt, care-free upper class in a time where war, famine, rape and suffering plagues the land. Many have lost everything. And here is pretty little Margaery, daugther to one of the great lords of the land.

The court will TEAR her apart.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

For that to happen the man would have to be a completely different character. He repeatedly said he would do nothing until his daughter is acquitted, and he is far from ineffective in his pursuit of power. Why would his attitude change now that he is running things? That just makes no sense.

Yeah, I kind of agree. My new explanation works better. 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The much better take there is that they just willing switch to Aegon's side without much bloodshed. After all, if there are some Reach lords who want to switch from the start they can serve as catalysts.

Everyone want bloodless victories. That isn't going to happen here. And when Jon do what he will do they will have nowhere to go. Either fight for Aegon or be executed as traitors.

Also, everyone likes a winner. With that victory many will seek Aegon out and fight for him - regardless of such massacre. After all, if you fight against him you might be massacred too. Tywin brutality do work unfortunately. People like to talk that they would stand up to a tyrant, but in practice people value their life and their future far more. 

So as long as Jon and Aegon win, his Agincourt massacre will be ignored. For the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Not if you want to understand more than the earliest events. Writer intent is important.

But it is hard to predict events in the more distant future. Think about something as crucial as Aegon's invasion of Westeros with the Golden Company. Nobody foresaw that because it happened beyond the scope the sample chapters and events one could reasonably predict on the basis of ASoS and AFfC.

There are certain general plots and events we can predict on the basis of slowly advancing plots like the threat of the Others, Dany's going to Westeros, etc. ... but it is foolish to pretend to know how any of that will unfold.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Exactly my point. The trials will be delayed. Hmm - new take. Let's say Mace does exactly that he talked to Kevan about? Namely that he uses Tommen to declare Margaery innocent and then march towards Storm's End? After all - the king has declared his daugther innocent and (in his mind) the accusation have therefore been dealt with. Yes, he is that stupid.

The Faith cannot do much about that for the moment, due to Tyrell numbers, but later - when Mace marches and loses - Tarly will give the girls over, the High Sparrow (who is now enraged over Maces actions) will conduct the trial and Margery will be found guilty due to previously named reasons as well as this provocation. Yeah, that can work too.

You are also way way overthinking Mace here. He is a dud, not a mastermind. This story is not "How Mace did everything right and won the throne". 

The first part is a scenario I could see if current developments ended up pushing Mace to act more quickly than he wants. Say, after Storm's End is actually fallen and crucial Stormlords and even some Reach lords start to declare for Aegon.

Problem with the idea of Randyll handing over Margaery, etc. is that I see no chance that Randyll will stay behind in KL when Mace marches to war. The guy is the best soldier in the Realm and likely keen to show his abilities.

And if Tommen were to declare Margaery innocent then there will simply be no further trial and we might see Margaery as the person running Tommen's government in Mace's absence.

And the Faith will react to Mace's provocation if the trial is cancelled, meaning they will keep sufficient soldiers behind to keep the peace in the city. The Faith won't be able to force Tommen's government to hand Margaery over. And if they try to push the issue with force then they will be answered by force.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

“B-but,” she sputtered, “you preach the Mother’s mercy…”

“Ser Osney shall taste of that sweet milk in the afterlife. In The Seven-Pointed Star it is written that all sins may be forgiven, but crimes must still be punished. Osney Kettleblack is guilty of treason and murder, and the wages of treason are death.”

This is the generosity of the faith. Nothing else. Because that's how religious fanatics work.

That is how jurisprudence works. Crimes have to be punished. Big deal. Cersei thought the High Septon had no teeth at all, were all prayers and no substance. That was a mistake. But not all sins are crimes. And in Margaery's case the notion that she committed adultery as queen even if she were proved to be guilty somehow will be a stretch ... as she is not formally married. The match can be set aside as the marriage hasn't been consummated yet.

So sentence-wise it could be akin to wanton widows sleeping around - and that's something Cersei already confessed to without facing the death penalty.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Nope, the trial will still take months and we will certainly have many chapters about this in the next book. As you said - everything will be delayed, so therefore it is impossible for Margaery to be found not guilty during such short timespan. Unless Mace forces the issue and are dumb enough to think that is the end of it. Yes, I like this new take better. Mace will not be manipulated, he will "solve" the problem and are dumb enough to believe that it will stick.

Then when the trial do start for real the judges will be angry over Mace power move in addition to everything else. 

That could make sense if Aegon and other threats King Tommen is going to face would sit on their hands for effectively all TWoW - or even longer. That can't happen. The other really huge blow will come with Euron crushes the Redwyne fleet early in TWoW. Then we have Lady Stoneheart in the Riverlands, etc. 

They cannot waste much time with a trial even if they wanted to.

If Aegon is going to have success the High Septon is more likely to declare Tommen/Myrcella illegitimate and Aegon the rightful king rather than to continue to bother with the (kind of) wife of a false king.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Deal? This is not a man that really makes deals. This is a man who, as you said yourself, "reinforce the moral authority of the Faith" - but again, this is a man who is a hardliner extremist. He seen them as enemies of his faith and he will act thereafter. He will show the ruling class that no one, NO ONE, is above the gods and killing Margaery Tyrell is the perfect way to enforce such a message. Either you bow down to the Seven...or you lose your head!

You lack of understanding about the High Sparrow are by far your weakest argument. Have you not met religious people in your life? How they act? How they think?

The High Septon constantly compromised throughout AFfC. Much to his own advantage, to be sure, but he did compromise. He forgives the Iron Throne a debt of almost a million gold dragons. He allows Cersei to live despite the fact that he knows she had his predecessor murdered - and committed many other crimes. He also agreed to hand over Margaery and her cousins to Randyll. He let Qyburn and Kevan visit Cersei, he allowed Cersei a trial-by-combat and her walk, etc.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

The High Sparrow has no idea who Robert Strong is and has probably heard that the Kingsguards are seen as weak and useless. He will be confident in that his champion, most likely Lancel, will win and when that doesn't happen he will see this as a sign from the Seven themselves.

So you assume the septas attending and watching Cersei day and night right now don't inform the High Septon about the new KG? You think Cersei's original plea to Kevan to name the zombie creature to the KG wasn't overheard by the Faith? They talked about this in the Great Sept.

What Ser Robert is or might be is already partially out. The man doesn't eat, drink, or shit. He is monstrously large and constantly armored and wearing a helmet. It is not hard to get to the bottom of this.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Honestly, I think its clear that is what he is going for. The trial is unprecedented and it fits his theocratic Khomeini persona. And it is also an excellent way to work Tyene into the story. If not - what exactly is her role in all this. A background character seem in a short scene in a sept? No, I don't think so. 

A long term plot laying the groundwork for the eventual alliance of Aegon and the Faith - and also the Faith's blessing and support for Aegon's marriage to Arianne. Tyene is Arianne's closest confidant, after all.

Tyene also has no issues with Margaery Tyrell. And neither do any of the other Sand Snakes. They want to kill/hurt Lannisters, not Tyrells.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

“Osney Kettleblack and the Blue Bard are here, beneath the sept. The Redwyne twins have been declared innocent, and Hamish the Harper has died. The rest are in the dungeons under the Red Keep, in the charge of your man Qyburn.”

Qyburn, thought Cersei. That was good, one straw at least that she could clutch. Lord Qyburn had them, and Lord Qyburn could do wonders. And horrors. He can do horrors as well". 

Ah, I forgot that part.

But that is a double-edged sword now. If crucial witnesses are still in the Red Keep who will be in charge of them now that the Lord Regent is dead? Mace Tyrell, of course, as he can arrest or fire Qyburn at his leisure - he is already no longer on the council and was only retained as Master of Whisperers because the Lannisters still had considerable power in the government through Pycelle and Kevan.

But that time is now over. Mace will either send his own people to the prisoners to ensure they now sing his song ... or he will Qyburn force to do that for him. And Qyburn could do nothing to stop him.

In fact, part of the reason why Cersei is likely going to try to flee the city sooner rather than later is (1) fear that whoever murdered Kevan/Pycelle is now after her and Tommen, (2) the Tyrells might kill her now that her uncle can no longer protect her (she must know that the Tyrells know that she arranged the entire Margaery thing), and (3) because Qyburn will fear for his life and work because of his role in the Margaery scandal. Even Pycelle feared for his life because of the testimony he gave regarding moon tea and Margaery.

The idea that these two might believe they can work or even co-exist next to Mace and Margaery is very unlikely. And a coup is impossible as they simply don't have the numbers to pull one. They could use the zombie monster to murder crucial people, but that wouldn't convince the Tyrell army that Cersei is in charge now.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

A lot of people want her dead. A lot of influential people. Some might protest, but soon her good deeds wll be forgotten.

But again - she is the realms "darling girl", born to a life of privilege. She is absolutely a symbol of the corrupt, care-free upper class in a time where war, famine, rape and suffering plagues the land. Many have lost everything. And here is pretty little Margaery, daugther to one of the great lords of the land.

The court will TEAR her apart.

I really suggest you reread how Margaery is seen by the people.

2 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Also, everyone likes a winner. With that victory many will seek Aegon out and fight for him - regardless of such massacre. After all, if you fight against him you might be massacred too. Tywin brutality do work unfortunately. People like to talk that they would stand up to a tyrant, but in practice people value their life and their future far more. 

So as long as Jon and Aegon win, his Agincourt massacre will be ignored. For the moment.

Oh, there could be many dead in battle, to be sure, but massacre usually means the butchering of the defeated after they yielded or the sacking of cities, etc. That I don't expect to happen at Storm's End.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But it is hard to predict events in the more distant future. Think about something as crucial as Aegon's invasion of Westeros with the Golden Company. Nobody foresaw that because it happened beyond the scope the sample chapters and events one could reasonably predict on the basis of ASoS and AFfC.

There are certain general plots and events we can predict on the basis of slowly advancing plots like the threat of the Others, Dany's going to Westeros, etc. ... but it is foolish to pretend to know how any of that will unfold.

I remember that people have been speculating about a fake Aegon for quite some time now. Before ADwD was released most certainly. In what forms that would take was not known of course, but I would count that as a point in favor of "Team text analysis".

Also, of course all my "predictions" will be more like guesses rather than facts, but they will be reasonable, logical estimations compared to, what I like to call them, "emotional word interpretation thread", where people do plenty of baseless speculation and interprets meanings and words very creatively (Wittgenstein would be proud) in order to present new ideas, that often raises more question than it answer and comes off as navel-gazing. But I don't think that's what I am doing here. I am simply putting forward logical steps the story might progress based on what I have seen so far. That doesn't mean I can't be wrong - they are still guestimations after all. But I don't consider the process meaningless either.

 
21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The first part is a scenario I could see if current developments ended up pushing Mace to act more quickly than he wants. Say, after Storm's End is actually fallen and crucial Stormlords and even some Reach lords start to declare for Aegon.

Problem with the idea of Randyll handing over Margaery, etc. is that I see no chance that Randyll will stay behind in KL when Mace marches to war. The guy is the best soldier in the Realm and likely keen to show his abilities.

And if Tommen were to declare Margaery innocent then there will simply be no further trial and we might see Margaery as the person running Tommen's government in Mace's absence.

And the Faith will react to Mace's provocation if the trial is cancelled, meaning they will keep sufficient soldiers behind to keep the peace in the city. The Faith won't be able to force Tommen's government to hand Margaery over. And if they try to push the issue with force then they will be answered by force.

Good, we are getting somewhere.

Randall will be ordered to hold his army and guard the city. Indeed, if he is going traitor this might be another straw for him. He has now fought in two wars for Mace Tyrell, and both times he risked his own life and held key commands in Reach victories. Yet both times, he walked away with nothing. And now he gets another rewardless, thankless job while his liege lord hogs the glory. He is not going to go the extra mile, accepting condemnation from the Faith for breaking his wow. Nor is he likely to back Margarey if Mace is indisposed or dead, which is likely at that point. 

Not saying it will happen (the man has acted very loyal so far), but I can see him cutting a deal with Varys, especially if the situation in the city becomes desperate. Because the only thing he needs to do...is nothing. When Margaery is found guilty (which she will) he will have 2 options - attack the faith, risk mutiny in his own troops and be condemned or do nothing, risking his liege ire but will be seen as a man that didn't massacre the Faith. 

 
21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is how jurisprudence works. Crimes have to be punished. Big deal. Cersei thought the High Septon had no teeth at all, were all prayers and no substance. That was a mistake. But not all sins are crimes. And in Margaery's case the notion that she committed adultery as queen even if she were proved to be guilty somehow will be a stretch ... as she is not formally married. The match can be set aside as the marriage hasn't been consummated yet.

So sentence-wise it could be akin to wanton widows sleeping around - and that's something Cersei already confessed to without facing the death penalty.

They are indeed formally married. This happens early in AFFC and they spend the wedding night in the same bed at the Tyrells' insistence. True, no consummation has taken place, which makes it easier to set aside. But here is the thing, The Tyrells don't want to set it aside. They claim (and will claim) that Margaery is legally married to Tommen for all intents and purposes. They can't really change their minds now, where the accusations come flying, and claim "oh, they weren't really married regardless of what we said previously". This is why Margaery wants to clear her name. Because she very much intends to keep her crown. But it also means that the accusations, if true, are a death sentence. Adultery is still adultery, even if the king is a minor. Just because the marriage can be set aside doesn't mean that adultery "doesn't count". 

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That could make sense if Aegon and other threats King Tommen is going to face would sit on their hands for effectively all TWoW - or even longer. That can't happen. The other really huge blow will come with Euron crushes the Redwyne fleet early in TWoW. Then we have Lady Stoneheart in the Riverlands, etc. 

They cannot waste much time with a trial even if they wanted to.

If Aegon is going to have success the High Septon is more likely to declare Tommen/Myrcella illegitimate and Aegon the rightful king rather than to continue to bother with the (kind of) wife of a false king.

Oh, there will absolutely be another trial for Margaery if Tommen absolves her. The Faith and their extremist leader will not accept that the state has overruled the church. They will take up the trial again when they are able to and either withdraw their blessing to Tommen or argue that the King has been exploited by bad councillors who undermine The Faiths monopoly over moral matters.

And the Faith can do more than you think. We saw that in the Dance, where the Shepherd basically became a ruler after storming the Dragonpit. Dumb people, especially fueled by desperation, have always been willing to die in the name of their faith. If the High Sparrow declares that Tommen's regime is ungodly and must be crushed by any decent follower of the Seven there will be hell to pay. 

Because invasions take time and unlike the show people can't teleport. So, there will be plenty of chapters about Aegon's advance, about Euron's advance, about the struggle in the north, about BwB in Riverlands etc. These things will take up the majority of the book. The struggle with Daenerys for example will be the book after that. She still has things to do in Essos and the plot can't go too fast - it needs to breathe a little. And we will have a lot of Cersei chapters likely in King's Landing where she will follow the progress in the trial for us. So, I expect Aegon will not take the throne, until the late middle or even the end of Winds of Winter. And that the very last chapter will be Daenerys' arrival to Westeros.

You will absolutely see a drawn out trial, panic in the city, uprisings, wildfire deaths etc. This is why Aegon won't have to fight to get King's Landing. The city and its factions will take care of that themselves over the course of a book and many, many chapters.

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The High Septon constantly compromised throughout AFfC. Much to his own advantage, to be sure, but he did compromise. He forgives the Iron Throne a debt of almost a million gold dragons. He allows Cersei to live despite the fact that he knows she had his predecessor murdered - and committed many other crimes. He also agreed to hand over Margaery and her cousins to Randyll. He let Qyburn and Kevan visit Cersei, he allowed Cersei a trial-by-combat and her walk, etc.

Hah - he isn't compromising as much as he is building his strength. And again, this is because he, so far, has lacked power to do more. But every finger he has been given has he expanded upon, gaining even more power. And soon he won't need to negotiate. Soon Khomeini's revolution is here. The things he gives are things he doesn't need - like money the crown cannot pay anyway or things that cost him nothing, like allowing Cersei visits. For example, it's not within his power (yet) to deny Cersei a trial by combat, yet you see that as something he "gave up". He shouldn't have any power what-so-ever, but despite that he still forces nobles to dance to his pipe.

He needs to be dealt with violently, and hard. Unfortunately that won't happen.

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

So you assume the septas attending and watching Cersei day and night right now don't inform the High Septon about the new KG? You think Cersei's original plea to Kevan to name the zombie creature to the KG wasn't overheard by the Faith? They talked about this in the Great Sept.

What Ser Robert is or might be is already partially out. The man doesn't eat, drink, or shit. He is monstrously large and constantly armored and wearing a helmet. It is not hard to get to the bottom of this.

Of course the septas attending and watching Cersei day and night report to him - but about her chastity and general behaviour. And everyone knows they are spies which means people will be tight-lipped around them. Indeed, Cersei realizes that she must play this smart, which is why she is acting the way she does. If ser Robert Strong has been mentioned to him it will be in passing, like "there is a new Kingsguard, he is very large, but since he has taken a holy vow of silence I haven't spoken with him".

And of course they don't know about the zombie part. They haven't met nor have any information about Gregor Clegane. They hardly know about Qyburns science or they most certainly would have said something since his experiment is a blasphemy. And they have no access to anyone that can give them better information, like say a Kingsguard knight, who has good reason to see them as enemies after what "they did" to one of their members.

The one person we see suspects anything is the now dead Kevan, who lives in the Red Keep and has access to a lot of useful information, including reports from Kingsguards, awareness of Qyburn and spends his time around Ser Robert Strong constantly. This is hardly common knowledge. And even if the Faith found out - would the High Sparrow even believe it? Resurrection is not something he will accept from a non-spiritual source.

Sure, it is easy to figure out - IF you have an incentive to do so and specifically look for it, like Lady Nym. It's like finding a secret compartment - you probably won't find it unless you have good reason to assume that something is out of the ordinary. But the High Sparrow has no direct interest in him. He is just one of many that serve in the castle. For him it will just be a large unknown man that might fight for the crown, but even if so, the gods will certainly give his warrior who fights for the truth the victory, right?

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

A long term plot laying the groundwork for the eventual alliance of Aegon and the Faith - and also the Faith's blessing and support for Aegon's marriage to Arianne. Tyene is Arianne's closest confidant, after all.

Tyene also has no issues with Margaery Tyrell. And neither do any of the other Sand Snakes. They want to kill/hurt Lannisters, not Tyrells.

The Faith will join Aegon due to the lack of good options after things turn to shit in King's Landing. They will simply have no one else to back. Sure, Tyene can certainly smooth some things over - but even if so it's a waste of her character. Lady Nym will be given lots of space front and center. Obara will be given at least several chapters in the hunt for Darkstar. 

And so will Tyene. The characters were set up as Charlie's Angels and they will act the bit. Yes, she doesn't really care about Margaery, but her death will create a wedge between the Lannisters and the Tyrells and will more or less force the Faith to back Aegon. Both of these things are good for Arianne and the Martells - we do seem to be in agreement that they will join Aegon with a marriage, no? And turning the situation in the City to shit will also give her at least some of the vengeance she craves. Wouldn't it be great that the city that took both Elias and Oberyn's life were reduced to civil war and death?

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Ah, I forgot that part.

But that is a double-edged sword now. If crucial witnesses are still in the Red Keep who will be in charge of them now that the Lord Regent is dead? Mace Tyrell, of course, as he can arrest or fire Qyburn at his leisure - he is already no longer on the council and was only retained as Master of Whisperers because the Lannisters still had considerable power in the government through Pycelle and Kevan.

But that time is now over. Mace will either send his own people to the prisoners to ensure they now sing his song ... or he will Qyburn force to do that for him. And Qyburn could do nothing to stop him.

In fact, part of the reason why Cersei is likely going to try to flee the city sooner rather than later is (1) fear that whoever murdered Kevan/Pycelle is now after her and Tommen, (2) the Tyrells might kill her now that her uncle can no longer protect her (she must know that the Tyrells know that she arranged the entire Margaery thing), and (3) because Qyburn will fear for his life and work because of his role in the Margaery scandal. Even Pycelle feared for his life because of the testimony he gave regarding moon tea and Margaery.

The idea that these two might believe they can work or even co-exist next to Mace and Margaery is very unlikely. And a coup is impossible as they simply don't have the numbers to pull one. They could use the zombie monster to murder crucial people, but that wouldn't convince the Tyrell army that Cersei is in charge now.

Mace Tyrell has no idea who Qyburn is nor his importance. Nor has he any reason to torture the witnesses since most if not all have recanted on their words (for now). He doesn't like the process anyway, so - if pressed for time, which he will be, it is likelier that he, as I said, uses Tommen to declare Margaery innocent so he can march towards Storm's End. 

And again, the man is not a big thinker. When he does things he does them loud and obvious, like when he tried to force Garth into the council very unsubtly or when he raised his banners to join Renly and make his daughter queen. Indeed, Kevans murder is an excellent reason for not staying in the city longer than possible. "Cersei can deal with her own problems and are close to execution anyway. Let's clear my daughter by decree, leave and deal with this pretender". Or that's how he will think. 

Also, Cersei will not flee the city. It's her home. And (more importantly) she is a POW character. And more importantly the only POW character in King's Landing. There is nothing to report or do with her in Casterly Rock. It simply doesn't fit the story, at least for now, and therefore it will not happen. We as readers need to know what happens in the City. So she will stay there at least until another POW character shows up - like Arianne or Jon Connington.

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I really suggest you reread how Margaery is seen by the people.

Which people? The mid-upper class "city snobs" in King's Landing who own things and have suffered little? Or the common people, the "heartland of Westeros" if you will, that struggle for their daily needs and have suffered from the war - you know, the people who lead the sparrow movement! And how many do you think there are of each respective group?

Again, many people have suffered. And she is born privileged. It is enough. Religious fanatics tend to not have the most objective leanings when it comes to law (or anything tbh). 

I am not the one that needs a reread here. 

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, there could be many dead in battle, to be sure, but massacre usually means the butchering of the defeated after they yielded or the sacking of cities, etc. That I don't expect to happen at Storm's End.

That is exactly what I think will happen. Some nobles will yield, but will be executed because Jon Connington is afraid that they could rejoin the fight (at this point the battle between the forces outside Storm's End is not entirely over). Granted, I am not as certain of this as I am about other things I have written, but I find it likely due to the Agincourt similarities. 

Edited by Protagoras
Shitty site that removes my text
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

I remember that people have been speculating about a fake Aegon for quite some time now. Before ADwD was released most certainly. In what forms that would take was not known of course, but I would count that as a point in favor of "Team text analysis".

Ah, no, fake Aegon was on the table since Aegon became a potentiality all the way back with the Mummer's Dragon prophecy in ACoK.

I meant a different thing, namely Aegon's decision to invade Westeros with the Golden Company but without Daenerys and her dragons. That's something nobody foresaw prior to ADwD because there was no way to predict it. (Some people might have suggested or guessed at something like that, but that would then have just been very lucky guesses based on no clues.)

But all of AFfC only makes sense in light of George's plan to have Aegon come to Westeros soon and without dragons. The entire Cersei plot of conspiracies and infighting in KL only makes sense if you assume this new player is going to succeed in his quest for the throne with a very small army. While we didn't know that Aegon would come to Westeros without Dany it made no sense that Westeros descended into chaos, central rule eroded to the point that no organized resistance of any kind would be possible if Dany showed up eventually.

Now it is clear that Aegon and Euron/Cersei might be the focal points of resistance against her ... because she is not going to arrive in Westeros for quite some time.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Randall will be ordered to hold his army and guard the city. Indeed, if he is going traitor this might be another straw for him. He has now fought in two wars for Mace Tyrell, and both times he risked his own life and held key commands in Reach victories. Yet both times, he walked away with nothing. And now he gets another rewardless, thankless job while his liege lord hogs the glory. He is not going to go the extra mile, accepting condemnation from the Faith for breaking his wow. Nor is he likely to back Margarey if Mace is indisposed or dead, which is likely at that point. 

I'm not sure. Randyll seems to be very loyal to Mace and shows no sign whatsoever about being unhappy with the rewards he gained during the war so far. He happens to sit on the Small Council and is now the second most powerful man in the Realm, according to Kevan the brain behind Mace Tyrell. So why should he turn against him?

If we had hints that he was unhappy or pissed about things then we good reason to speculate in that direction. But I'd actually think that Randyll Tarly is going to be Aegon's most dangerous enemy ... at least while Tommen is yet king.

And, again, reread the text. Randyll has no respect for 'the Faith'. He wants to clean out the Great Sept and butcher all the sparrows. 

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Not saying it will happen (the man has acted very loyal so far), but I can see him cutting a deal with Varys, especially if the situation in the city becomes desperate. Because the only thing he needs to do...is nothing. When Margaery is found guilty (which she will) he will have 2 options - attack the faith, risk mutiny in his own troops and be condemned or do nothing, risking his liege ire but will be seen as a man that didn't massacre the Faith. 

If they decide not to send Margaery back then there simply won't be a trial. Ditto if they have Tommen declare her innocent. Then the Faith would actually have to declare war on/denounce Tommen as his royal authority would be what they are opposing. If the king says the queen is innocent then the Faith can only force a trial if they say the king can't give a verdict on that issue. And that is clearly wrong. Even if we accept that the laws of Jaehaerys I have been overturned then this doesn't mean the king suddenly has no longer the power to rule on his own issues. Cersei as Queen Regent promised the High Septon that he would be allowed to try Queen Margaery and her cousins ... but just as the guy then presumed to arrest Queen Cersei Mace as Hand or the new regent could easily enough declare that the Faith is no longer allowed to conduct this trial.

Not to mention that, you know, if push came to shove Mace could also send Margaery back home to Highgarden with or without Tommen. They are not glued to the Red Keep.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

They are indeed formally married. This happens early in AFFC and they spend the wedding night in the same bed at the Tyrells' insistence. True, no consummation has taken place, which makes it easier to set aside. But here is the thing, The Tyrells don't want to set it aside. They claim (and will claim) that Margaery is legally married to Tommen for all intents and purposes. They can't really change their minds now, where the accusations come flying, and claim "oh, they weren't really married regardless of what we said previously". This is why Margaery wants to clear her name. Because she very much intends to keep her crown. But it also means that the accusations, if true, are a death sentence. Adultery is still adultery, even if the king is a minor. Just because the marriage can be set aside doesn't mean that adultery "doesn't count". 

You can set aside a marriage when it hasn't been consummated because you are only married when you consummate your marriage. That is how marriage is defined in this world. An annulment isn't a divorce, it is the retroactive discovery that the marriage you investigate never actually existed because certain things that constitute a marriage didn't take place.

And the only criterion for this in Westeros we know so far is consummation. Tyrion and Sansa are not truly married, either, because their marriage wasn't consummated, too.

Thus it makes no sense to assume that Margaery couldn't wiggle out of a verdict of guilty of adultery by pointing out that she wasn't actually properly married to King Tommen. It would then only be fornication. That would be a lost resort, of course, as it would destroy her queenship ... but it would be better than death.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Oh, there will absolutely be another trial for Margaery if Tommen absolves her. The Faith and their extremist leader will not accept that the state has overruled the church. They will take up the trial again when they are able to and either withdraw their blessing to Tommen or argue that the King has been exploited by bad councillors who undermine The Faiths monopoly over moral matters.

And who should be doing that if the power balance is the way it is - tens of thousands of Tyrell soldiers vs. unwashed and untrailed rabble and a few average/mediocre knights?

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

And the Faith can do more than you think. We saw that in the Dance, where the Shepherd basically became a ruler after storming the Dragonpit. Dumb people, especially fueled by desperation, have always been willing to die in the name of their faith. If the High Sparrow declares that Tommen's regime is ungodly and must be crushed by any decent follower of the Seven there will be hell to pay. 

Those people were mad with fear of a dragon attack. No dragons are coming to Westeros right now.

The High Septon could stir up trouble for the abomination born of incest and adultery that is Tommen, but Margaery is popular with the people. Just go back and read all the passages where she is mentioned.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Because invasions take time and unlike the show people can't teleport. So, there will be plenty of chapters about Aegon's advance, about Euron's advance, about the struggle in the north, about BwB in Riverlands etc. These things will take up the majority of the book. The struggle with Daenerys for example will be the book after that. She still has things to do in Essos and the plot can't go too fast - it needs to breathe a little. And we will have a lot of Cersei chapters likely in King's Landing where she will follow the progress in the trial for us. So, I expect Aegon will not take the throne, until the late middle or even the end of Winds of Winter. And that the very last chapter will be Daenerys' arrival to Westeros.

Oh, just sit down and count the POVs, the pages of the book (about 1,000+), and the number of chapters the average POV has gotten in the novels we have so far. There is no chance that we will get multiple chapters on those trials, nor is there is a good chance that the Aegon plot will advance slowly. Storm's End is very close to KL, so the issue will be pushed soon. Anything else makes no sense. If Aegon weren't pressing his advantage his enemies in KL and elsewhere could regroup, marshal new armies, etc. The window in which he will be able to seize the throne easily will close soon.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

You will absolutely see a drawn out trial, panic in the city, uprisings, wildfire deaths etc. This is why Aegon won't have to fight to get King's Landing. The city and its factions will take care of that themselves over the course of a book and many, many chapters.

But that is all not really necessary as a plot. There are so many easier ways to get there as KL loathes the Lannisters and loves the Targaryens.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Of course the septas attending and watching Cersei day and night report to him - but about her chastity and general behaviour. And everyone knows they are spies which means people will be tight-lipped around them. Indeed, Cersei realizes that she must play this smart, which is why she is acting the way she does. If ser Robert Strong has been mentioned to him it will be in passing, like "there is a new Kingsguard, he is very large, but since he has taken a holy vow of silence I haven't spoken with him".

And of course they don't know about the zombie part. They haven't met nor have any information about Gregor Clegane. They hardly know about Qyburns science or they most certainly would have said something since his experiment is a blasphemy. And they have no access to anyone that can give them better information, like say a Kingsguard knight, who has good reason to see them as enemies after what "they did" to one of their members.

The one person we see suspects anything is the now dead Kevan, who lives in the Red Keep and has access to a lot of useful information, including reports from Kingsguards, awareness of Qyburn and spends his time around Ser Robert Strong constantly. This is hardly common knowledge. And even if the Faith found out - would the High Sparrow even believe it? Resurrection is not something he will accept from a non-spiritual source.

Sure, they might not really know his nature completely, but they might learn it slowly and the nature of the monster will be revealed at the trial. And then they can't just accept that. Not just the Faith, but pretty much everybody who is going to witness the event will be horrified and turn on Cersei even more.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

The Faith will join Aegon due to the lack of good options after things turn to shit in King's Landing. They will simply have no one else to back. Sure, Tyene can certainly smooth some things over - but even if so it's a waste of her character. Lady Nym will be given lots of space front and center. Obara will be given at least several chapters in the hunt for Darkstar. 

Why do you think the Faith won't just set up the High Septon as the new god-king of Westeros and instead back another fake in Aegon? You think he is Khomeini, and Khomeini destroyed a king.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

And so will Tyene. The characters were set up as Charlie's Angels and they will act the bit. Yes, she doesn't really care about Margaery, but her death will create a wedge between the Lannisters and the Tyrells and will more or less force the Faith to back Aegon. Both of these things are good for Arianne and the Martells - we do seem to be in agreement that they will join Aegon with a marriage, no? And turning the situation in the City to shit will also give her at least some of the vengeance she craves. Wouldn't it be great that the city that took both Elias and Oberyn's life were reduced to civil war and death?

The destruction of Margaery doesn't force the Faith to back another king. They could take over themselves or they could turn a Tommen freed from the Tyrells into their own little puppet. If they want to ally with Aegon antagonizing the Tyrells might actually cause problems for them as Aegon the pretender might already draw lords of the Reach to his banner down at Storm's End. If the Faith harmed or even killed Margaery in the wake of Mace's defeat at Storm's End - and if he were to bend the knee to Aegon there - then it could be expected that a Tyrell/Reach-influenced Aegon might actually destroy the new High Septon and the sparrows in the wake of his rise to the throne.

If the Faith wants Aegon to be the king - and there are hints in that direction as the sparrows are looking for a savior - then they would have to turn against the Lannisters and Tommen more than against the Tyrells.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Mace Tyrell has no idea who Qyburn is nor his importance. Nor has he any reason to torture the witnesses since most if not all have recanted on their words (for now). He doesn't like the process anyway, so - if pressed for time, which he will be, it is likelier that he, as I said, uses Tommen to declare Margaery innocent so he can march towards Storm's End. 

LOL, sorry, but that is just nonsense. Nobody in Mace's position would (1) suffer the creep who actually arrested and interrogated the men who accused his daughter on his court and council, nor (2) continue to allow this man to be in charge of said men.

Qyburn survived so far because he was useful to both Cersei and Kevan ... but now he can only survive if he either flees with Cersei or sells Cersei out to the Tyrells. That is an option, too.

But in either case - only the Blue Bard might actually accuse Margaery at a hypothetical trial ... and he is already mad. The other accusers won't repeat their stories.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

And again, the man is not a big thinker. When he does things he does them loud and obvious, like when he tried to force Garth into the council very unsubtly or when he raised his banners to join Renly and make his daughter queen. Indeed, Kevans murder is an excellent reason for not staying in the city longer than possible. "Cersei can deal with her own problems and are close to execution anyway. Let's clear my daughter by decree, leave and deal with this pretender". Or that's how he will think. 

What he is thinking is 'the pretender is a feigned boy of no importance'. What's important to him is his daughter.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Also, Cersei will not flee the city. It's her home. And (more importantly) she is a POW character. And more importantly the only POW character in King's Landing. There is nothing to report or do with her in Casterly Rock. It simply doesn't fit the story, at least for now, and therefore it will not happen. We as readers need to know what happens in the City. So she will stay there at least until another POW character shows up - like Arianne or Jon Connington.

She can stay there for 1-2 chapters - one chapter aftermath of the double murder, second chapter trial-by-combat ending a in catastrophe, third chapter flight.

Then we don't have KL chapters but see the disintegration of the city from the outside through Jon and Arianne's eyes. What happens there in-between we could learn through letters and reports and also through conversations later on (Varys could tell Aegon how things went down, etc.).

KL is not Cersei's hope. She hates the city and only didn't move the court to CR because she knew it would undermine Tommen's legitimacy. But once her son and king is dead, nothing is going to keep her there. And she also might to try to flee with Tommen causing his death in the process as she will fear for his life in the wake of the double murder as much as she fears for her own.

This whole thing actually did confirm that the Imp and other assassins hide in the walls and come out to kill her family.

9 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Which people? The mid-upper class "city snobs" in King's Landing who own things and have suffered little? Or the common people, the "heartland of Westeros" if you will, that struggle for their daily needs and have suffered from the war - you know, the people who lead the sparrow movement! And how many do you think there are of each respective group?

The sparrows are refugees from the Riverlands, they are not Kingslanders. The Kingslanders love Margaery for her charities and they also like the Tyrells for drowning the city in food after the Blackwater.

She is popular in the city. People demanded that the sparrows release her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So who's in charge of the Lannister forces in Kings Landing, now that Kevan is dead? The Tyrell's seems to have the majority of the power in Kings Landing, after that ending and Mace seems to have all the power, now that Kevan is gone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...