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Lady Blackfish

A Thread for Small Questions IV

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This doesn't quite cut it for me. Robert's revenge on the Targaryens goes far beyond killing Rhaegar on the Trident. Think about it for a second...Robert took EVERYTHING from the Targs. They were the ruling class for how many hundreds of years? Robert raises his rebellion and, when the dust settles, the king is dead, the city sacked, the prince is dead along with his wife and two children and the remaining two Targ kids are fled across the sea, pursued by assassins while Robert sits his Baratheon butt on the Iron Throne. Robert lost a woman. The Targaryens lost the entire seven kingdoms. I would say Robert's revenge for the slights done to him was more than complete. He was way ahead on the ol' scoreboard there. So why did he still hate them so much? Again, he wasn't just a concerned monarch looking to secure his throne...he was in a blind rage any time the subject was even addressed. He hated them like I hate boiled cabbage (shudder)

But that's just it: he doesn't want to take the throne from them per se (though that became a secondary goal and the only one he really achieved), but to annihilate them, Rhaegar in particular. They were the top of the ruling class, to which Robert also belonged, for not quite 300 years. Aerys' and (maybe) Rhaegar's behavior to other members of that class is what spread the rebellion. Killing Aerys for trying to have him killed, killing Rhaegar for abducting Lyanna: those were his real goals, to which we might add personal survival and the survival of his friends. Getting rid of the other Targaryens and punishing their supporters (and how in the hell could you support them? Give this to the Jacobites, James II and the pretenders weren't ultra-inbred psychopaths) was bound up with these goals. He was also unsure of his throne, as all usupers must be.

It doesn't matter if that cuts it for you or me. It cut it for him, and he met the Realpolitik Standard for having his way (that is, he won.)

Try steaming the cabbage, then mixing it in with mashed potatoes and garlic.

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Thanks for the added replies, guys. It still seems irrational to me, but I guess Robert Baratheon was a pretty irrational guy when you think about it. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't some bit of lore or history I had somehow missed in my readings.

I'll try the cabbage prepared the way you recommend, feardeathbywater, but I'm not terribly hopeful...

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He wanted to win Lyanna, but he can't because death is a fairly permanent barrier,

If he really cared about her at all, he would bring her back from the dead. There's nothing that says, "I think you're groovy" to a girl like voyaging directly into the mouth of Hell and wresting her immortal soul from the Stranger's icy grip.

EDIT: Or, I dunno, flowers?

Getting rid of the other Targaryens and punishing their supporters (and how in the hell could you support them?

Law and order? Familial connections (Elia, a daughter of the House Martell, was married to RhaegarTar(garyen)?

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and how in the hell could you support them? Give this to the Jacobites, James II and the pretenders weren't ultra-inbred psychopaths

I think there's plenty of good reasons for supporting the Targaryens. For one, they gave the realm 300 years of stabiulity and unification that it hasn't experienced before or since. The Baratheon dynasty barely managed 14 years before over half the kingdom seceeded.

Secondly, I doubt that the depths of Aerys' insanity was public knowledge at the outset of the war. Think about the sequence of events from a neutral, or Targaryen loyalist point-of-view; Lyanna goes missing. Somehow, Brandon Stark gets the idea that she was kidnapped by Rheagar - a notion that is only ever put forward by Baratheon and Stark supporters, you'll notice. Brandon rides to King's Landing and makes a direct and real threat to the life of the crown prince. Even with the sanest, gentlest and most rational of monarchs, this sort of behaviour would very likely result in imprisonment, and probably in death. The ensuing execution of Lord Rickard, and the death warrant of Robert and Ned, probably seemed somewhat unfair, but you can still follow the (ruthless) chain of logic that leads to those acts. It's the same logic Robert and his small council followed in ordering the murder of Dany, after all.

Thirdly, Rheagar seems to have been widely admired and respected, even by his enemies (with the exception of Robert)

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To what degree does the average noble believe in magic and such? Cersei seemed to think Qyburn's necromancy was entirely reasonable, but is that because she's insane, or what? Tyrion's PoV chapters made me think that people scoff at magic, but perhaps that's just Tyrion and Maesters?

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Those 300 years were more stable than, I imagine, the three centuries previous, but there were two (that we know of) major civil wars and at least one popular revolt -not to mention a few lunatics on the throne. One absolute ruler may be preferable to seven, and I'm sure the Riverlanders were grateful not to be living in a war zone (nice while it lasted!)

I forgot to mention that the cabbage should be chopped first. My bad.

The archmaesters, who are (probably) the most scientifically minded group in Westeros are probably the most skeptical of magic. On the other hand, they may be aware of it and simply wish it to be suppressed. Amongst the smallfolk the belief in magic could be close to universal, though mixed up with superstition. Nobles probably vary in how seriously they take the idea: Lord Hightower, ruler of the most cosmoplitan city in the Seven Kingdoms seems to believe, as did a few Targaryens. Somehow I can't see Tywin taking it seriously, nor Randyll Tarly either.

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That actually seems more likely than whatever I said, especially with those other references (good catch about the Tywin thing!) When I looked up the etymology of the word "hell", I found this:

Which doesn't necessarily suggest a negative afterlife. It could also tie in with the Hellenic (ha ha!) concept of Tartarus (torment), Asphodel Fields (limbo-ish kind of place), and Elysium (Paradise). Asphodel Fields, which sounds tedious and hellish, is reserved for people who weren't especially good or bad.

FWIW, I allways envisioned something just like that - only with seven realms that range from blissful to torment with the middle realm just sort of purgatory-ish for those on the cusp between being virtuous or sinful.

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To what degree does the average noble believe in magic and such? Cersei seemed to think Qyburn's necromancy was entirely reasonable, but is that because she's insane, or what? Tyrion's PoV chapters made me think that people scoff at magic, but perhaps that's just Tyrion and Maesters?

People believe in what they see, and functional magic has been a very real part of Martin's world, though not ubiquitous, apparently.

Ever since the demise of the last dragon, magic has been on a decline, however, so there has been less of it to actually see. Nevertheless, the memory of it probably lingers to some extent - there are hedge wizards who profits on that, probably. The maesters fight it because it offers an alternative to their own powerbase (both real and faux magic users). Tyrion's scoffing wrt Hallyne and the Pyromancers reflects Tyrion's own sceptic mind.

Of course, there is also a struggle between the religious centers and magic users who are not affiliated with them. Melisandre claims her powers are all emanating from R'hllor, and Thoros as well. That is another dimension - the powers of 'autonomous' magic against those who claims powers from the gods.

Cersei probably does not have much faith in magic - but she wants to believe that she can gain an edge on the male-dominated world... which magic is apt to do.

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Almost three years by now. Sansa was eleven starting out, Arya nine, Bran seven, Rickon three, Jon Snow 14. Now Sansa is 13, Bran 9, Rickon 5. I think Jon Snow may have turned 17 by now since his timeline is a bit ahead of the others and Arya may have turned 12 by now.

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Another way of looking at is that, King Aerys died in 283, and Dany who was conceived shortly before his death is 13 in aGoT. So the beginning of the series is 296 or 297 (SFDanny could be more exact), and we pass New Year's Day of 300 in aSoS at Joffrey's wedding.

Ned also mentions that he and Robert first rode out in Rebellion 15 years before, and Robb and Jon, both conceived during the war, are listed as 14, which gives us the rough 2 years of the Rebellion itself.

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Another way of looking at is that, King Aerys died in 283, and Dany who was conceived shortly before his death is 13 in aGoT. So the beginning of the series is 296 or 297 (SFDanny could be more exact), and we pass New Year's Day of 300 in aSoS at Joffrey's wedding.

Ned also mentions that he and Robert first rode out in Rebellion 15 years before, and Robb and Jon, both conceived during the war, are listed as 14, which gives us the rough 2 years of the Rebellion itself.

Something I've always wondered about in regards to character ages, do you think it takes people in Westeros 9 months to grow in the womb or something like 7? Don't know if this has been discussed before, sorry!

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Dany mentions she was born nine moons after the flight from King's Landing, so approximately 9 months.

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...and the remaining two Targ kids are fled across the sea, pursued by assassins...

Is there any evidence that Robert actually did send assassins when they were kids?

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Is there any evidence that Robert actually did send assassins when they were kids?

You mean, evidence enough to convict him at trial? Well, no, it's not like we can find his signature on a note at Sorrowful Man HQ, but we do have Viserys's lurid descriptions about the "Usurper's hired knives" pursuing them always (although Dany never actually sees them until after Viserys died).

Alternatively, it could be a bogeyman-type construct created by her older brother to influence her decisions.

"Eat your vegetables," Viserys would say when toddler Dany was being fussy about broccoli, "Or the Usurper's knives are gonna get ya!"

That's not to say that the knives weren't real:

"If the queen had a role in this or, gods forbid, the king himself ... no, I will not believe that." Yet even as he said the words, he remembered that chill morning on the barrowlands, and Robert's talk of sending hired knives after the Targaryen princess.

It could have just been talk, but Lord Stark found it chilling enoug.

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I always assumed Viserys was paranoid. The idea that Robert sent assassins fit into his own narcissism. Robert didn't seem to care until Dany got pregnant.

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I think it's at least possible that it's a combination of both.

I'd bet that Robert WANTED to send assassins. And I bet he intended to. I bet he told his dear council member Varys to send a letter. But do you think Varys ever actually hired any real assassins to kill Dany and Viserys? I doubt that.

As for why Viserys thinks that, I don't know that he's even "mistaken" or lying so much as misinformed. Who do you suppose Varys would have told about Robert wanting to send assassins? Perhaps his partner in crime, who, it would appear, has every reason to want to make sure Viserys hates Robert even more. Sure, Robert gave him plenty of reasons anyway, but Viserys was just a kid then. It's possible he could have gotten complacent and spent his days overseas, occasionally mumbling about that damn Robert. But by Illyrio telling him "Robert sent asssassins after you, you have to keep moving", well, now there's an immediate reason why Viserys has to deal with Robert...he needs to simply to stay alive.

Heck, maybe they DID send assassins after Viserys and Dany. Assassins like the one in the marketplace, who were never going to succeed. Send an assassin, let Illyrio know when to expect the attack, Illyrio's guards prevent it, and now Illyrio is not only more trustworthy, but there's actual proof of an assassin.

I always assumed Viserys was paranoid. The idea that Robert sent assassins fit into his own narcissism. Robert didn't seem to care until Dany got pregnant.

I can't remember if Viserys was still alive when he found out about Dany...I think so.

Anyway, I doubt that was the only thing that set him off. Who cares if Dany's pregnant with some horselords kid? The only reason to care is if the kid would be a threat to his throne. But if you're worried about some newborn being a threat to the throne, wouldn't you care way more about that 13 year old boy who is the ACTUAL heir to the throne (if you go by the Targaryen line)? I dunno, it doesn't make any sense to me that Robert would not care about Viserys but would care about Dany being pregnant.

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Renly specifically says that Jon Arryn convinced Robert to leave the Targaryen kids alone.

Robert never sent assassins after them until the events of the book. It was Viserys's paranoia, _maybe_ combined with some completely random would-be killers thinking of doing it on speculation that they could get a reward even if one was never formally offered. But probably not even that. Otherwise Viserys would have been knifed in an alleyway a long time ago, in his Beggar King days.

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