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[twow Spoilers] Arianne II, Part 2

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16 hours ago, Illyrio Mo'Parties said:


I think Arianne isn't really ambitious per se, but that her ambition is an expression of her jealousy and resentment towards Quentyn. Those feelings run too deep. For years, her mother has been absent and her father distant, and she's developed this idea that her father loves Quentyn more than he does her. I wouldn't be surprised if those feelings predated her discovery of the apparent plan to disinherit her; certainly they must have been reinforced by the way Doran failed to react at her attempts to get his attention (e.g. humping Daemon Sand).

Arianne appears to have been close with Doran until the discovery of the letter. Her sleeping with Daemon (and mostly, revealing that to Doran), was a response to that. Arianne's behaviour in turn, made Doran decide that he should wait before telling Arianne about his plans and the secret betrothal, causing him to act cold and distant. Which in turn reinforces the idea Arianne already got from the letter, and that influences her behaviour. 

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From what I gleen  from the chapter so far, Arrianne is  way in over her head and has stumbled into becoming Connington's hostage.  She doesn't want to go to Storm's End, though may not have much of a choice. Still, isn't she behaving just like Quentyn by not allowing Daemon Sand go in her stead?

Connington will say he want's "friendship" with Dorne.  What he wants is gold, provisions and men and having Arrianne is one way to get what he wants.

Why doesn't Arrianne see that?  Is she, like Quentyn blinded, by what they think is the importance of Dorne?

Edited by TheReal_Rebel

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4 minutes ago, TheReal_Rebel said:

From what I gleen  from the chapter so far, Arrianne is  way in over her head and has stumbled into becoming Connington's hostage.  She doesn't want to go to Storm's End, though may not have much of a choice. Still, isn't she behaving just like Quentyn by not allowing Daemon Sand go in her stead?

Connington will say he want's "friendship" with Dorne.  What he wants is gold, provisions and men and having Arrianne is one way to get what he wants.

Why doesn't Arrianne see that?  Is she, like Quentyn blinded, by what they think is the importance of Dorne?

For such an important diplomatic mission, you need to go in person.

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39 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Come on, guys don't bring Varys into all that. Varys talked about Kevan undoing 'all the Queen's good work'. That doesn't mean he is backing Cersei or wants her back in charge. He wants 'her good work' to continue, and that work was destroying the Lannister-Tyrell alliance as well as the relationship between the Iron Throne/King Tommen and the Faith. Kevan stopped that and was about to reverse the process when Varys killed him.

Varys does not need Cersei back in charge for her to continue her work. She just has to do things that lead to an escalation between the Lannisters/herself, the Tyrells, and the Faith. And Mace certainly is set up to be a pawn in this scheme, too. He'll know that he didn't arrange the murder of Kevan, therefore he should blame Cersei.

If there is a trial involving Margaery then this certainly is a possible scenario. However, if that happens then I don't see Mace leaving KL and marching the Tyrell army against Storm's End. If there is an all-out war between the Faith and the Tyrells in the city then Mace will not be able to leave it nor will he be able to send many men against Aegon. The risk of losing the city in the process would be way too great. Especially if they do not kill the High Septon, take the Great Sept, and butcher the entire new leadership of the Faith Militant in the city.

Somehow I don't see that happening. I think the new High Septon and the Faith Militant are there to stay and to become a powerful force during the reign of Aegon VI Targaryen. But if there is the Margaery trial and she is found guilty and either supposed to be executed or actually executed then I really see no scenario in which Mace is not going to attack the Faith.

The Mercy chapter cannot serve as evidence for Cersei regaining power. It is an unfinished chapter, we know they are not set in stone, and that especially this chapter has a complicated origin story going back in its first draft to a time in which Cersei was still in charge in KL as Queen Regent.

If George just wanted to gain time, why did he not leave Cersei out of the entire mess? He could have made it so that Cersei's schemes against Margaery did work, or that she got out of the Great Sept without that walk. In such a scenario her regaining (or keeping) power would have made some sense. Cersei regaining power is as likely as Theon 'Crippled Castrate' Greyjoy ever winning at a Kingsmoot. It is just ridiculous. Eunuchs aren't men, and only men can rule (that is true on the Iron Islands even more than it is in Westeros - Varys could never be king). Women should not rule, but if they do they have to be careful. A woman who has been put into her place as thoroughly as Cersei was is never going to rise to power again. Not without turning the rules of this society on its head. 

The problem with Cersei being in power again is that this makes no sense politically regardless how you spin it.

1. Cersei's personal reputation was destroyed by the walk. She is still the king's mother, but she is also the laughingstock of high and low alive. The rabble threw shit at her! The way she was treated was actually a major step in Tommen's own destruction, and Kevan apparently was to stupid to see that. If you can treat the king's mother this way, then you can treat the king this way, too. And even the king's official - Kevan himself was only ruling in Tommen's name, so if the boy has no power to protect his own, then Kevan has no power, too.

The idea that anyone in KL would fight or obey Cersei after the walk even if she ends up winning her trial (without any incident revealing that her champion is a monstrous zombie) just doesn't make any sense.

2. Even if her reputation hadn't been destroyed, she lacks the men to seize power again. Even a Cersei cleared of all charges would have to stage a coup to take the Regency back. Who would help her with that? I just don't see anyone in the city who would.

3. The Tyrells were effectively in control of the city and castle even before Ser Kevan came to the capital. Mace and Tarly did allow him to take the Regency. The Tyrells greatly outnumber the Lannister forces in KL and so Cersei would have no chance to regain power even if her reputation was still as golden as her (cut off) hair.

Even if we imagine a scenario in which the Tyrells completely or nearly completely abandon the city (although I cannot really imagine such a scenario) the best Cersei could most likely accomplish is to create more chaos. The city and people there wouldn't follow regardless how she called herself. Her time as a ruler of KL is over, at least for the time being.

I can only see her getting a power again in the West or at the side of strong new husband (like Euron or another powerful lord).

Speaking about Cersei - has anybody ever considered the chance of her ending up as Alicent Hightower for the time being? Meaning that she is going to be captured and chained like Alicent was, being treated like a trophy by a victorious Aegon? Women usually are seldom executed, and any evil schemes Cersei Lannister perpetrated actually helped the Targaryen cause inadvertently (cuckolding Robert ruined the claims/reputation of her own children; arranging Robert's death made sure the Realm descended into chaos).

In such setting Cersei could actually survive long enough to pull off some weirdo wildfire revenge fantasy later on in the story (during the war between Aegon and Dany, for instance). She doesn't have to be a woman in charge for all of that, actually. But I really don't buy this idea.

I think Cersei emerged from the claws of the Faith as a much more dangerous foe than when she went into their dungeon. That last chapter where she appears subdued when talking to Kevan seems awfully ominous. If anything, she will follow a more subtle approach going forward.

Qyburn is loyal to her personally. She has unGregor. With Kevan dead, she is now the head of House Lannister, commanding all of its gold and all of its men. She is going to rule through Tommen. Especially if Margaery is out of the way.

The Tyrells have the western half of their realm under threat from the Ironborn - with some major southron towns about to be sacked if foreshadowing is anything to go by. They are about to have Aegon and Dorne invade from the east possibly threatening even Highgarden.

The Tyrell presence at King's Landing is about to drop significantly. And if Mace Tyrell perishes at Storm's End, well, I suspect the Queen of Thorns wants nothing to do with King's Landing and would rather take all her men back to the Reach and leave the Game of Thrones to others. Especially if the Reach is threatened on all sides by new foes.

In this chaos, a more subtle Cersei can make great gains, ruling through Tommen as her puppet.

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30 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I think Cersei emerged from the claws of the Faith as a much more dangerous foe than when she went into their dungeon. That last chapter where she appears subdued when talking to Kevan seems awfully ominous. If anything, she will follow a more subtle approach going forward.

Qyburn is loyal to her personally. She has unGregor. With Kevan dead, she is now the head of House Lannister, commanding all of its gold and all of its men. She is going to rule through Tommen. Especially if Margaery is out of the way.

The Tyrells have the western half of their realm under threat from the Ironborn - with some major southron towns about to be sacked if foreshadowing is anything to go by. They are about to have Aegon and Dorne invade from the east possibly threatening even Highgarden.

The Tyrell presence at King's Landing is about to drop significantly. And if Mace Tyrell perishes at Storm's End, well, I suspect the Queen of Thorns wants nothing to do with King's Landing and would rather take all her men back to the Reach and leave the Game of Thrones to others. Especially if the Reach is threatened on all sides by new foes.

In this chaos, a more subtle Cersei can make great gains, ruling through Tommen as her puppet.

I agree that Cersei is trying a more subtle approach now, but that isn't going to make a difference if she doesn't have any men. She may have Qyburn and his creature, but that seems to be it (and I'm not sure how loyal Qyburn is - if Mace offers to fund his research in exchange for the services of his monster do you see him turning Mace down?).

You cannot hope to rule a kingdom or a city which just two goons. That's not going to work.

Cersei already was the head of House Lannister when she was arrested, by the way. She was also the Queen Regent and the king's mother, yet nobody came to her help back then. What does this tell us? The Lannister men and assets are in the West - which is the reason why I think Cersei will jump on any chance to leave KL as soon as possible, most likely with Tommen in tow. She will believe that Mace/Tyrion killed Kevan and Pycelle, and she will also believe that will kill her and Tommen next. In such a mindset she cannot afford to stay in the city - she would only do that if she had no chance to escape.

If Margaery is found guilty/executed and this would happen before the battle between the Golden Company and the Tyrell army then there wouldn't be such a battle. The only thing keeping Highgarden and Casterly Rock together right now is the marriage between Tommen and Margaery. If that was to end then Mace will lose any reason to continue to support King Tommen. Which would most likely result into the Tyrells and the entire Reach to join Aegon. In such a scenario Cersei and Tommen wouldn't last for a fortnight in KL.

But even if that would work, Cersei won't be able to rule through Tommen because Tommen does not rule. The boy is politically a complete non-entity. Cersei cannot tell him what to do so that he then can give commands - because his court has already been set up in a way that pretty much everybody ignores the wishes of the king. If the Tyrells were gone and Aegon not - for some strange reason - about to conquer KL then another Hand and Regent would have to found to rule in Tommen's name, and Cersei would have to rule through that guy. But who could that be? Who would want to associate himself with a woman like Cersei Lannister at this point?

I don't see the Dornish army in the Prince's Pass attack the Reach or Highgarden. That would be a stupid move. Aegon needs to win the friendship of the Reach, not its enmity. Especially not the enmity of those friends the Golden Company supposedly still has in the Reach (who most likely not be happy if an Dornish army would destroy their castles and crops in the name of Prince Aegon). The Dornish army might instead come to help the Reach fight against the Ironborn. That way Aegon could win the allegiance of the Reach by showing that he wants to be a king who protects his people. Like Stannis did at the Wall.

43 minutes ago, TheReal_Rebel said:

From what I gleen  from the chapter so far, Arrianne is  way in over her head and has stumbled into becoming Connington's hostage.  She doesn't want to go to Storm's End, though may not have much of a choice. Still, isn't she behaving just like Quentyn by not allowing Daemon Sand go in her stead?

Connington will say he want's "friendship" with Dorne.  What he wants is gold, provisions and men and having Arrianne is one way to get what he wants.

Why doesn't Arrianne see that?  Is she, like Quentyn blinded, by what they think is the importance of Dorne?

If Arianne was to be taken hostage by the Golden Company they would lose Dorne and Dorne would help crush them. They cannot possibly do this. Even if Arianne was reluctant to join Aegon they would most likely let her go hoping that she would change her mind rather than force the issue. That would only be a short gain because, you know, once the Dornish armies have joined the Golden Company they would have to let her go, right? And once they did that nobody could stop the Dornishmen from going back home or turn on the Golden Company at the first opportunity.

This has to be an alliance among partners/friends/family or it is doomed from the start.

Edited by Lord Varys

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14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I agree that Cersei is trying a more subtle approach now, but that isn't going to make a difference if she doesn't have any men. She may have Qyburn and his creature, but that seems to be it (and I'm not sure how loyal Qyburn is - if Mace offers to fund his research in exchange for the services of his monster do you see him turning Mace down?).

You cannot hope to rule a kingdom or a city which just two goons. That's not going to work.

Cersei already was the head of House Lannister when she was arrested, by the way. She was also the Queen Regent and the king's mother, yet nobody came to her help back then. What does this tell us? The Lannister men and assets are in the West - which is the reason why I think Cersei will jump on any chance to leave KL as soon as possible, most likely with Tommen in tow. She will believe that Mace/Tyrion killed Kevan and Pycelle, and she will also believe that will kill her and Tommen next. In such a mindset she cannot afford to stay in the city - she would only do that if she had no chance to escape.

If Margaery is found guilty/executed and this would happen before the battle between the Golden Company and the Tyrell army then there wouldn't be such a battle. The only thing keeping Highgarden and Casterly Rock together right now is the marriage between Tommen and Margaery. If that was to end then Mace will lose any reason to continue to support King Tommen. Which would most likely result into the Tyrells and the entire Reach to join Aegon. In such a scenario Cersei and Tommen wouldn't last for a fortnight in KL.

But even if that would work, Cersei won't be able to rule through Tommen because Tommen does not rule. The boy is politically a complete non-entity. Cersei cannot tell him what to do so that he then can give commands - because his court has already been set up in a way that pretty much everybody ignores the wishes of the king. If the Tyrells were gone and Aegon not - for some strange reason - about to conquer KL then another Hand and Regent would have to found to rule in Tommen's name, and Cersei would have to rule through that guy. But who could that be? Who would want to associate himself with a woman like Cersei Lannister at this point?

I don't see the Dornish army in the Prince's Pass attack the Reach or Highgarden. That would be a stupid move. Aegon needs to win the friendship of the Reach, not its enmity. Especially not the enmity of those friends the Golden Company supposedly still has in the Reach (who most likely not be happy if an Dornish army would destroy their castles and crops in the name of Prince Aegon). The Dornish army might instead come to help the Reach fight against the Ironborn. That way Aegon could win the allegiance of the Reach by showing that he wants to be a king who protects his people. Like Stannis did at the Wall.

If Arianne was to be taken hostage by the Golden Company they would lose Dorne and Dorne would help crush them. They cannot possibly do this. Even if Arianne was reluctant to join Aegon they would most likely let her go hoping that she would change her mind rather than force the issue. That would only be a short gain because, you know, once the Dornish armies have joined the Golden Company they would have to let her go, right? And once they did that nobody could stop the Dornishmen from going back home or turn on the Golden Company at the first opportunity.

This has to be an alliance among partners/friends/family or it is doomed from the start.

Interesting speculation. I agree with much of it.

For Cersei to rule, you need a situation where the Tyrells still support the Throne, but they are diminished in King's Landing. So the way this can happen is if Mace rushes off to Storm's End, and the other half of their forces are forced to race to face Euron - maybe due to him sacking Oldtown or some such important conquest.

I agree with you that if Cersei doesn't have the Tyrells, then Aegon will be in King's Landing in no time.

I disagree about her position in King's Landing, though. In the absence of Tyrell opposition, who is there to oppose her? Who is on the Small Council with any authority? Kevan is dead. Pycelle is dead. Who is left with any power, other than Mace? If he is out of the way, then Cersei is the most powerful person left. Especially if she has Tommen in hand, Qyburn's covert support, and unGregor as her personal bodyguard.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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26 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Interesting speculation. I agree with much of it.

For Cersei to rule, you need a situation where the Tyrells still support the Throne, but they are diminished in King's Landing. So the way this can happen is if Mace rushes off to Storm's End, and the other half of their forces are forced to race to face Euron - maybe due to him sacking Oldtown or some such important conquest.

I agree with you that if Cersei doesn't have the Tyrells, then Aegon will be in King's Landing in no time.

I disagree about her position in King's Landing, though. In the absence of Tyrell opposition, who is there to oppose her? Who is on the Small Council with any authority? Kevan is dead. Pycelle is dead. Who is left with any power, other than Mace? If he is out of the way, then Cersei is the most powerful person left. Especially if she has Tommen in hand, Qyburn's covert support, and unGregor as her personal bodyguard.

Well, first we still have this insanely huge Tyrell army in KL - as I've stated above somewhere it might be as many as 40,000-50,000 considering that they are the remains of Renly's huge army of 80,000 men. Those people would not just disappear. Even if only a quarter of those men would remain in KL they would still call the shots. And if Mace and Tarly were both dead or away then some other Reach dude would call the shots. Even if we don't know the name of that guy.

The idea that the Tyrell army in KL will rush off to fight Euron makes little sense. That would be a pretty long march, after all, and without ships they could do nothing to help the Hightowers anyway. If Oldtown has been sacked then Oldtown has been sacked. Nothing is going to change that.

The news about the destruction of the Redwyne fleet will have a major impact on Mace and Tarly, I'm sure. But that wouldn't cause them to abandon KL, I think, but rather cause them to rethink their overall allegiances. Regardless of the Margaery marriage/situation they will ask themselves whether an alliance with King Tommen or Prince Aegon will help them more to deal with Euron. And my guess is that even Mace might conclude that Aegon might a better bet than Tommen in such a scenario.

As to Cersei in KL without any opposition (for whatever unbelievable reason):

Having no enemies isn't the same as having friends. Just because Cersei has no enemies left doesn't mean people will follow or obey her. You have to have authority to command people. Does Cersei still have any such authority left? I don't think so. At least not in KL. And you have to keep in mind the power of the Faith. If the Tyrells were to leave KL the Faith Militant would become the dominant power in the city, not Cersei. And they most likely would not allow her to get in charge again regardless how well the trial went for her. Assuming it goes well.

I think I agree with @LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse insofar as that it is unlikely that both trials end well for both queens. I think there won't be a trial for Margaery because I really have trouble imagining Mace not deciding that he and Tarly will not bow down to the sparrows. Depending on when this decision is made there is technically a chance that Cersei could suddenly become an ally of the Faith in the fight against the Tyrells. She will be the pliable queen who goes along with her trial whereas the haughty Tyrells defy the will of the gods. I guess the High Septon - who by this time will also have learned about Aegon - will bide his time and not yet unduly provoke Mace. So no fights in the city yet.

But Cersei's own trial-by-combat should destroy any prospects of her allying with the Faith. Ser Robert Strong isn't there to not be revealed as a monstrous zombie, and even if his identity wouldn't be revealed in the process of the fight (which I think it will) the High Septon is not the kind of person who would stomach sorcerers and demons rigging a holy trial. That will have to cause a response on his side.

If there is such a trial then I think we'll get a variation of the Oberyn-Gregor duel with Gregor revealing himself in the end. That will cause a massive uproar, and Gregor might run amok or something like that. Cersei will be returned to her tower cell in the Red Keep where she has been kept since Kevan and Pycelle's corpses have been discovered (because Mace and Tarly accuse her of having arranged the murder of Kevan and Pycelle). Gregor and Qyburn disappear somewhere in the city, with Gregor leaving a very long trail of corpses behind him. 

Regardless who is going to lead the army against Aegon - when the news about the Tyrell defeat will reach the city all hell will break loose. The High Septon will publicly proclaim Prince Aegon the true King of Westeros by divine revelation, causing anti-Tommen/Tyrells riot all over the city. During the following chaos, Qyburn and Gregor might be able to get into the Red Keep and break Cersei out of her cell. They will then try to (and perhaps successfully) flee the city, heading West either by ship (which could deliver them into Euron's clutches) or overland (which wouldn't be successful, most likely, considering that they would have to cross the Riverlands).

After that, the city will fall to Aegon pretty quickly, most likely being handed over to him without a fight by both the High Septon and Varys (who would have been the main instigator behind the riots).

That way Tommen and Cersei could remain in the game in some fashion, and possibly Myrcella, too, assuming she ever gets to KL. But I'm pretty sure either Tommen or Myrcella is going to die soon.

Cersei and Qyburn/Gregor joining Euron also makes sense from another perspective. Euron clearly is set up to become some sort of a sorcerer king or a king who very effectively uses sorcery and magic for his campaigns. If he crushes the Redwyne fleet he'll most likely use magic to do that, letting Pyat Pree and his colleagues create a massive (thunder)storm that only targets the Redwyne ships. Qyburn and his zombie would feel right at home in that company.

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4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, first we still have this insanely huge Tyrell army in KL - as I've stated above somewhere it might be as many as 40,000-50,000 considering that they are the remains of Renly's huge army of 80,000 men. Those people would not just disappear. Even if only a quarter of those men would remain in KL they would still call the shots. And if Mace and Tarly were both dead or away then some other Reach dude would call the shots. Even if we don't know the name of that guy.

The idea that the Tyrell army in KL will rush off to fight Euron makes little sense. That would be a pretty long march, after all, and without ships they could do nothing to help the Hightowers anyway. If Oldtown has been sacked then Oldtown has been sacked. Nothing is going to change that.

The news about the destruction of the Redwyne fleet will have a major impact on Mace and Tarly, I'm sure. But that wouldn't cause them to abandon KL, I think, but rather cause them to rethink their overall allegiances. Regardless of the Margaery marriage/situation they will ask themselves whether an alliance with King Tommen or Prince Aegon will help them more to deal with Euron. And my guess is that even Mace might conclude that Aegon might a better bet than Tommen in such a scenario.

As to Cersei in KL without any opposition (for whatever unbelievable reason):

Having no enemies isn't the same as having friends. Just because Cersei has no enemies left doesn't mean people will follow or obey her. You have to have authority to command people. Does Cersei still have any such authority left? I don't think so. At least not in KL. And you have to keep in mind the power of the Faith. If the Tyrells were to leave KL the Faith Militant would become the dominant power in the city, not Cersei. And they most likely would not allow her to get in charge again regardless how well the trial went for her. Assuming it goes well.

I think I agree with @LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse insofar as that it is unlikely that both trials end well for both queens. I think there won't be a trial for Margaery because I really have trouble imagining Mace not deciding that he and Tarly will not bow down to the sparrows. Depending on when this decision is made there is technically a chance that Cersei could suddenly become an ally of the Faith in the fight against the Tyrells. She will be the pliable queen who goes along with her trial whereas the haughty Tyrells defy the will of the gods. I guess the High Septon - who by this time will also have learned about Aegon - will bide his time and not yet unduly provoke Mace. So no fights in the city yet.

But Cersei's own trial-by-combat should destroy any prospects of her allying with the Faith. Ser Robert Strong isn't there to not be revealed as a monstrous zombie, and even if his identity wouldn't be revealed in the process of the fight (which I think it will) the High Septon is not the kind of person who would stomach sorcerers and demons rigging a holy trial. That will have to cause a response on his side.

If there is such a trial then I think we'll get a variation of the Oberyn-Gregor duel with Gregor revealing himself in the end. That will cause a massive uproar, and Gregor might run amok or something like that. Cersei will be returned to her tower cell in the Red Keep where she has been kept since Kevan and Pycelle's corpses have been discovered (because Mace and Tarly accuse her of having arranged the murder of Kevan and Pycelle). Gregor and Qyburn disappear somewhere in the city, with Gregor leaving a very long trail of corpses behind him. 

Regardless who is going to lead the army against Aegon - when the news about the Tyrell defeat will reach the city all hell will break loose. The High Septon will publicly proclaim Prince Aegon the true King of Westeros by divine revelation, causing anti-Tommen/Tyrells riot all over the city. During the following chaos, Qyburn and Gregor might be able to get into the Red Keep and break Cersei out of her cell. They will then try to (and perhaps successfully) flee the city, heading West either by ship (which could deliver them into Euron's clutches) or overland (which wouldn't be successful, most likely, considering that they would have to cross the Riverlands).

After that, the city will fall to Aegon pretty quickly, most likely being handed over to him without a fight by both the High Septon and Varys (who would have been the main instigator behind the riots).

That way Tommen and Cersei could remain in the game in some fashion, and possibly Myrcella, too, assuming she ever gets to KL. But I'm pretty sure either Tommen or Myrcella is going to die soon.

Cersei and Qyburn/Gregor joining Euron also makes sense from another perspective. Euron clearly is set up to become some sort of a sorcerer king or a king who very effectively uses sorcery and magic for his campaigns. If he crushes the Redwyne fleet he'll most likely use magic to do that, letting Pyat Pree and his colleagues create a massive (thunder)storm that only targets the Redwyne ships. Qyburn and his zombie would feel right at home in that company.

That's quite a leap ahead, I would say.

I agree that Cersei's best course of action is to flee to Casterly Rock, where she is totally secure against almost any threat. From there she can rebuild her strength. I just don't know if that's going to happen. She won't leave Tommen behind, and I don't know if she will be able to flee King's Landing with Tommen in tow. If she does, it removes a lot of legitimacy from those that remain behind.

The Euron link I find a bit more tenuous. I don't quite see it, yet.

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9 hours ago, RoamingRonin said:

I was in the middle of writing a huge theory based on Loras giving up Storm's End to Aegon... you saved me some embarrassment. :blush:

He may not have taken Storm's End, but I think he might end up yielding Dragonstone to another Dragon in the future. Especially if she arrives after Cersei has fucked with his family even more...

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, first we still have this insanely huge Tyrell army in KL - as I've stated above somewhere it might be as many as 40,000-50,000 considering that they are the remains of Renly's huge army of 80,000 men. Those people would not just disappear. Even if only a quarter of those men would remain in KL they would still call the shots. And if Mace and Tarly were both dead or away then some other Reach dude would call the shots. Even if we don't know the name of that guy.

The idea that the Tyrell army in KL will rush off to fight Euron makes little sense. That would be a pretty long march, after all, and without ships they could do nothing to help the Hightowers anyway. If Oldtown has been sacked then Oldtown has been sacked. Nothing is going to change that.

The news about the destruction of the Redwyne fleet will have a major impact on Mace and Tarly, I'm sure. But that wouldn't cause them to abandon KL, I think, but rather cause them to rethink their overall allegiances. Regardless of the Margaery marriage/situation they will ask themselves whether an alliance with King Tommen or Prince Aegon will help them more to deal with Euron. And my guess is that even Mace might conclude that Aegon might a better bet than Tommen in such a scenario.

As to Cersei in KL without any opposition (for whatever unbelievable reason):

Having no enemies isn't the same as having friends. Just because Cersei has no enemies left doesn't mean people will follow or obey her. You have to have authority to command people. Does Cersei still have any such authority left? I don't think so. At least not in KL. And you have to keep in mind the power of the Faith. If the Tyrells were to leave KL the Faith Militant would become the dominant power in the city, not Cersei. And they most likely would not allow her to get in charge again regardless how well the trial went for her. Assuming it goes well.

I think I agree with @LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse insofar as that it is unlikely that both trials end well for both queens. I think there won't be a trial for Margaery because I really have trouble imagining Mace not deciding that he and Tarly will not bow down to the sparrows. Depending on when this decision is made there is technically a chance that Cersei could suddenly become an ally of the Faith in the fight against the Tyrells. She will be the pliable queen who goes along with her trial whereas the haughty Tyrells defy the will of the gods. I guess the High Septon - who by this time will also have learned about Aegon - will bide his time and not yet unduly provoke Mace. So no fights in the city yet.

But Cersei's own trial-by-combat should destroy any prospects of her allying with the Faith. Ser Robert Strong isn't there to not be revealed as a monstrous zombie, and even if his identity wouldn't be revealed in the process of the fight (which I think it will) the High Septon is not the kind of person who would stomach sorcerers and demons rigging a holy trial. That will have to cause a response on his side.

If there is such a trial then I think we'll get a variation of the Oberyn-Gregor duel with Gregor revealing himself in the end. That will cause a massive uproar, and Gregor might run amok or something like that. Cersei will be returned to her tower cell in the Red Keep where she has been kept since Kevan and Pycelle's corpses have been discovered (because Mace and Tarly accuse her of having arranged the murder of Kevan and Pycelle). Gregor and Qyburn disappear somewhere in the city, with Gregor leaving a very long trail of corpses behind him. 

Regardless who is going to lead the army against Aegon - when the news about the Tyrell defeat will reach the city all hell will break loose. The High Septon will publicly proclaim Prince Aegon the true King of Westeros by divine revelation, causing anti-Tommen/Tyrells riot all over the city. During the following chaos, Qyburn and Gregor might be able to get into the Red Keep and break Cersei out of her cell. They will then try to (and perhaps successfully) flee the city, heading West either by ship (which could deliver them into Euron's clutches) or overland (which wouldn't be successful, most likely, considering that they would have to cross the Riverlands).

After that, the city will fall to Aegon pretty quickly, most likely being handed over to him without a fight by both the High Septon and Varys (who would have been the main instigator behind the riots).

 

I could see Jon Connington, Tyene and Nymeria conducting a real reign of terror in Kings Landing, like Rome under Sulla.

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50 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

That's quite a leap ahead, I would say.

I agree that Cersei's best course of action is to flee to Casterly Rock, where she is totally secure against almost any threat. From there she can rebuild her strength. I just don't know if that's going to happen. She won't leave Tommen behind, and I don't know if she will be able to flee King's Landing with Tommen in tow. If she does, it removes a lot of legitimacy from those that remain behind.

The Euron link I find a bit more tenuous. I don't quite see it, yet.

Cersei would flee to the Rock if she decides to set fire to King's Landing, a la Mad Aerys II. She might not be able to regain her power and reputation, but she can take revenge. If Tommen were to die, I think she's going to be setting fires. Myrcella is also coming home, so it remains to be seen how Maggy's prophecy will be fulfilled. Nymeria and Tyene might have a hand in it. And I hadn't thought at all about a possible alliance with Euron, especially if she's at the Rock. Very interesting. Is Euron the valonqar she's been dreading? 

39 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

He may not have taken Storm's End, but I think he might end up yielding Dragonstone to another Dragon in the future. Especially if she arrives after Cersei has fucked with his family even more...

Hah, I too made the mistake of thinking Loras, burned or unburned, was in charge of Storm's End as I was reading. He may very well side with Dany, depending on how important Aegon and JonCon decide Dragonstone is. It is definitely important symbolically, but they might save it for later and focus on the Lannisters and Tyrells. And by then Dany could be landing...

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5 hours ago, SeanF said:

I'm 99% certain that Quentyn is dead.  But, I think that the news of his death will have a big impact on Dornish policy.  Arianne will likely feel a mix of relief and regret, and project her feelings of guilt about her attitude towards her brother even more on to Dany.

Philip Larkin's poem sums it up very well.  I think that Doran's behaviour has fatally crippled his daughter's chances of winning the game of thrones.

The only way Quentyn is alive is if he's in a Darth Vader suit. 

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59 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

That's quite a leap ahead, I would say.

I agree that Cersei's best course of action is to flee to Casterly Rock, where she is totally secure against almost any threat. From there she can rebuild her strength. I just don't know if that's going to happen. She won't leave Tommen behind, and I don't know if she will be able to flee King's Landing with Tommen in tow. If she does, it removes a lot of legitimacy from those that remain behind.

The Euron link I find a bit more tenuous. I don't quite see it, yet.

If Cersei can get away, then she can also take Tommen with her. However, I'd not be surprised if the boy during such an escape, with her being directly responsible for his death. If Tommen is dead everything should be over, too, for the Lannister-Tyrell alliance. Even with Myrcella in KL - assuming she gets there - Willas isn't there to marry her, so Queen Myrcella and Mace Tyrell aren't exactly connected all that well. Not to mention the fact that the Trystane-Myrcella betrothal hasn't yet been formally dissolved.

4 minutes ago, Liver and Onions said:

Cersei would flee to the Rock if she decides to set fire to King's Landing, a la Mad Aerys II. She might not be able to regain her power and reputation, but she can take revenge. If Tommen were to die, I think she's going to be setting fires. Myrcella is also coming home, so it remains to be seen how Maggy's prophecy will be fulfilled. Nymeria and Tyene might have a hand in it. And I hadn't thought at all about a possible alliance with Euron, especially if she's at the Rock. Very interesting. Is Euron the valonqar she's been dreading? 

Right now, Cersei has no way to burn down KL. And KL is not going to burn now, assuming it is going to burn at all. Aegon will sit the Iron Throne, and Daenerys will sit the Iron Throne. Perhaps there won't be an Iron Throne at the very end of the series - but what kind of an ending would that be? Will the series close with the return of anarchy and perpetual war or the boring dreams of this or that character imagining a new castle/capital? That wouldn't be very interesting.

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4 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I think it is clear Cersei wins her trial by combat. Else the hype around unGregor will be anti-climactic. Especially after the way in which the hype around the original Gregor proved anti-climactic when the unknown entity of Oberyn defeated him.This time Gregor has to live up to his reputation.

So Gregor wins the trial by combat, and Cersei is restored. This ties in with Varys's whole plot to get Cersei back in power to continue creating chaos. So I think the Mercy Chapter gives us glimpses of the situation in King's Landing AFTER the trial, with Cersei back in power. Note also that Arya's timeline is significantly advanced compared to the rest of the chapters, so again, the Mercy chapter shows us the future rather than the present situation in King's Landing.

In essence, then, the entire drama with the Faith and Cersei's trial was merely a time-buying ploy by Martin, to explain why the Lannisters and Tyrells were not able to press their advantage while the Starks were laid low in the North, while the Riverlands were in chaos and while Aegon was still on his way to Dorne.

For all intents and purposes, Cersei will be back in the position she was before the Faith arrested her, with the main difference that two or three books will have gone by in the interim, allowing other plotlines to catch up with the Lannister/Tyrell alliance. Basically - to give the children time to learn what they were supposed to learn during the 5 year gap.

So Cersei is back in power, only for Dorne to enter the game, the Northern plot to reach its climax, Sansa to make her move from the Vale, the Riverlands to revolt against the Freys, the Tyrells to fall to Euron in the west and to Aegon in the east.

The Faith militant story was just a time-buying mechanism, which Martin was forced to include. It was not the downfall of Cersei as was thought at the time of Feast. She needs to be the Queen that is brought down by someone younger and more beautiful, when the time comes.

And I think Tommen has to die, and Myrcella needs to be crowned and die before Cersei is brought low by A Beauty! A Beauty! And then, of course, her little brother has to strangle her. 

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2 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

And I think Tommen has to die, and Myrcella needs to be crowned and die before Cersei is brought low by A Beauty! A Beauty! And then, of course, her little brother has to strangle her. 

Myrcella doesn't have to be Queen Regnant, though, to be a queen. She could be Aegon's first consort, too, or perhaps the botched Arianne crowning attempt was already enough for that.

If we assume that 'golden crowns' even refers to actually crowns. It could just refer to their golden hair.

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3 hours ago, TheReal_Rebel said:

From what I gleen  from the chapter so far, Arrianne is  way in over her head and has stumbled into becoming Connington's hostage.  She doesn't want to go to Storm's End, though may not have much of a choice. Still, isn't she behaving just like Quentyn by not allowing Daemon Sand go in her stead?

Connington will say he want's "friendship" with Dorne.  What he wants is gold, provisions and men and having Arrianne is one way to get what he wants.

Why doesn't Arrianne see that?  Is she, like Quentyn blinded, by what they think is the importance of Dorne?

She didn't  stumble into that. Her father sent her into that. 

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About my comment on Lysono and Daario (in the other thread? here? can't find!), yes, I am aware that Daario doesn't look as much as a woman as Lysono, but that's not the point. Just remember all those grandpas who saw men wearing long hair: even if they had the physical structure of the Mountain, they'd say: "he looks like a woman!". JonCon is just a grandpa at heart.

18 hours ago, RoamingRonin said:

The rumor about Jon raping Red Ronnet's sister and killed his brother is a lie, right? The rape most certainly didn't happen and I dont recall Jon saying he lost a relative in the fighting 

The little Griffins seem to be quite young. Jon calls them "the three young griffins", and I don't see him murdering children. Yet. He also said he wanted to know them because they're their blood. Maybe they were born after he left?

Also, how funny that the little Griffins have Tolkien's (Ronald) and Martin's (Raymund) names. THEY AREN'T DYING, OK? THEY SAFE. #GINGERSUPREMACY

16 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

If I know our man JonCon, and I believe I do, then the rumour mongers got it backwards!

Mean U_U 

14 hours ago, RoamingRonin said:

Appearance aside, this guy doesn't give good vibes. 

His name might be a hint. "Lysono" from Lys? Martin likes to be obvious about the names of people being fake.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Myrcella doesn't have to be Queen Regnant, though, to be a queen. She could be Aegon's first consort, too, or perhaps the botched Arianne crowning attempt was already enough for that.

If we assume that 'golden crowns' even refers to actually crowns. It could just refer to their golden hair.

 

I think it's both. Their "golden crows" is what make people doubt they are Robert's what eventually will condemn them. They need to be crowned with gold despite their hair is golden. That will be their curse.

 

 

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I dont have enough time to go trough all comments and see if anyone else wrote this, but here is what I find interesting:

SE fell in a day?? Mace didnt do it with larger army, so there must be some kind of a deal, but what deal? Between defenders and Aegon or Stannis and Aegon?

Arianne will dislike Aegon but try to seduce him in order to be Queen, or more important not to see Quentyn becoming her King. And this may lead to downfall of Aegon.

There were multiple hints that Aegon is a Blakfyre.

 

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6 hours ago, SeanF said:

For such an important diplomatic mission, you need to go in person.

Doran didn't send her there to make an alliance, he sent her to investigate and let him know if there should be an alliance in the first place, and not waste Dorne's money and blood on pretenders with no blood ties to Martells.

6 hours ago, TheReal_Rebel said:

From what I gleen  from the chapter so far, Arrianne is  way in over her head and has stumbled into becoming Connington's hostage.  She doesn't want to go to Storm's End, though may not have much of a choice. Still, isn't she behaving just like Quentyn by not allowing Daemon Sand go in her stead?

Connington will say he want's "friendship" with Dorne.  What he wants is gold, provisions and men and having Arrianne is one way to get what he wants.

Why doesn't Arrianne see that?  Is she, like Quentyn blinded, by what they think is the importance of Dorne?

She didn't stumble yet. By thinking that she has no choice but to go to JonCon she is making a mistake. She really should have send Daemon there regardless of her feelings of honor and such. And after her impetuous POVs earlier now she is behaving like Quentin by allowing her assumptions, pretensions of power to cloud her judgement.

She will not be JonCon's hostage - she will have a huge crush on fAegon who probably will have zero interest in her other than her Dorne connections. 

 

 

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