A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Out Of My Vulcan Mind, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, and that was his greatest mistake. If you're not willing to go for the first prize, then you shouldn't play the game at all.
     
  2. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    How was that his biggest mistake? Robb had no claim to the Iron Throne. The North rallied so strongly behind him because they wanted to be their own kingdom again, not subjects to a foreigner in the distant south. They had no interest in remaining united with the southern kingdoms, and Robb had no interest in ruling them.

    Besides, as it was, if he'd won the war he likely would have ended up in control of the North and the Riverlands, and possibly even the Vale of Arryn if his aunt decided to declare for him. That would have been the majority of Westeros anyway.
     
  3. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Neither did Aegon the Conqueror. It worked out pretty well for him.

    You can always rile up your armies with pillage, plunder, glory, and revenge. Rulling over is a much more attractive prospect than being ruled over, is. The willingness of your bannermen to conquer the South greatly increases when you start dividing claims to all of the Lannisters's gold mines between them.

    He would have had the majority of land, but not the majority of population or the majority of wealth. There's also the unfortunate fact that the North is going to be eaten by wights when the wall comes down.
     
  4. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    That's not really a viable argument from an in-universe perspective. Nobody involved in the War of the Five Kings (prior to Stannis) either weren't aware of or didn't care about what was going on beyond the Wall. If Robb had known that Mance Rayder was massing an army and the White Walkers were returning in force, then yeah, I'm sure he would have put aside his desire for revenge and focused his efforts on preparing the North for that, instead.
     
  5. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Not remotely supported by history. Breakaway states routinely come to exist in times of trouble, particularly ones wtih preexisting history as an independent realm.
     
  6. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Basically.

    Robb Stark's aims were never to conquer southern Westeros, but to re-establish the Kingdom of the North which his ancestors once ruled, and annex to it the Riverlands (the territory of House Tully, which was supporting the Starks but unlike them have no traditional claim of kingship).

    This is similar to the aim of Balon Greyjoy. The Iron Islands also were once an independent kingdom, and breaking away from Westerosi control to resume their murdering campaign was sort of his whole thing.

    One can say that Robb Stark's position was short-sighted. It's absolutely not what his father was going to do, but then, his father was aware that Stannis Baratheon was Robert Baratheon's rightful heir. As far as Robb knew Joffrey was Robert's rightful heir, but he could owe Joffrey no fealty, and the other brothers are also in the wrong so screw it KING IN THE NORTH.
     
  7. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    The real idiot was Balon, for not allying with the only other contender not interested in the territorial integrity of the Seven Kingdoms.
     
  8. InklingStar

    InklingStar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Of course, Euron and Victarion still have a chance to wreak some havoc...
     
  9. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    OK, I'm rewatching the series with a friend, and I noticed something I hadn't before... when Cersei is commiserating with Catelyn about Bran after his fall, she tells a story about losing her first boy, who she describes as "a black-haired beauty". Given that "the seed is strong", then shouldn't we assume that might have been Robert's child, not Jaime's? I don't recall if that detail is in the book and my copy is lent out at the moment...
     
  10. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That was an invention for the series. In the book, Cersei tells Ned that Robert did get her pregnant once, but Jaime found a woman to "cleanse" her (presumably with moon tea).
     
  11. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. Balon did try to align himself with the Lannisters after Blackwater but he would have been smarter to join in with the Starks. One of Robb's mistakes with Balon was arrogantly presuming that he would give him a crown. A usurper going to give another usurper a crown?

    I think if Robb had known about Joffrey not being Robert's trueborn heir sooner, he would have joined Stannis Baratheon under his banner. Although if Stannis was stupid enough to try to push the Red God on the North (and he might have), that alliance would have blown up in his face.
     
  12. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    In all likelihood.
    That's an invention of the series, one of many aimed at watering down Cersei. In the books Cersei aborted Robert's children because she didn't want them.
     
  13. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thought so... I wonder why they did that, other than to give Cersei the teeny bit more sympathy that they seem to be trying for than in the book.
     
  14. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    That's the only reason. The show has made numerous changes to Cersei's character, whitewashing, omitting, or reassigning most of her worst actions.
     
  15. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure Balon's decision was all that stupid. Putting aside the fact that the military aspect of his plan was much more easily achieved than what Robb wanted him to do, Robb's alliance scenario depended on the Lannisters (or whichever southern contender eventually triumphed) accepting the loss of the North, the riverlands, the Iron Islands, and at least part of the Westerlands. Balon's plan, on the other hand, involves the Seven Kingdoms losing "only" the Islands and the North. Still a bitter pill, but overall an easier one to swallow. Tyrion is at least not immediately opposed when he receives the offer (which, by the way, initially comes before the Battle of the Blackwater, not after). And later, Tywin's response to it is not rejection but to wait and see, because he has the Red Wedding in the planning stages. Balon's plan ultimately failed more because of that unlikely development, and because of later action by Theon (whose insistence on holding Winterfell and "killing" Bran and Rickon turned the North violently and permanently against the ironborn) and Euron (whose murder of Balon and claiming of the throne required Asha and Victarion to withdraw their occupying forces and attend the kingsmoot), than because it was flawed in conception.
     
  16. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They've made Cersei a lot less of a one-dimensional character but I'm hoping we start seeing batshit Cersei in the upcoming seasons. GRRM showed some of this during Blackwater. It can be a fun characterization.

    Tyrion mentally notes that if Cersei had had one child with Robert, she wouldn't be in the mess she's in.

    Theon's victory was a brilliant coup but he was too obsessed with holding Winterfell. If he had put it to the torch and taken Bran, Rickon, the Reeds, and the two Freys hostage, he would have put the Iron Islands in a better position. Of course, I'm convinced Balon still wouldn't have given him any credit.
     
  17. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Tywin didn't immediately reject it because there was no point in allying with Balon when he was already serving their interests by fighting the Starks, so best not to discourage him. The Lannisters are committed to ruling all the Seven Kingdoms. Once Robb is dealt with, there's no reason whatever to believe that they won't turn around and crush the Iron Islands too, which is easily within the power of the mainland forces, as was proved a decade earlier. Moreover, the Ironborn are a hostile power whose whole culture is based on reaving -- no holder of the Iron Throne would leave them independent for long.

    Balon's plan isn't more militarily feasible, either, from a long-term perspective. Theon's taking Winterfell wasn't part of his original design, so his original plan of attack was basically to seize the two westernmost fortresses in the North (Deepwood Motte and Torrhen's Square) - Winterfell and the northern and eastern forts (Last Hearth, Karhold, the Dreadfort, White Harbour, etc.) were to be left unmolested, and even the modest forces assembled by the Dreadfort garrison were more than sufficient to retake Winterfell. Particularly when winter comes, there's no viable long-term strategy for holding only a couple of the north's eastern fortresses against all the rest, let alone making the whole country submit.
     
  18. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thoughts whilst rewatching... is Gendry's claim to the Iron Throne as good or better than Stannis' is?
     
  19. Shurik

    Shurik Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Gendry is a bastard, he has no claim to the throne unless someone legitimizes his.
     
  20. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Bastards have no claim to the throne at all, unless they are legitimized.

    Now, in real-life, being a royal bastard has more than a few times led to taking the throne, or making the attempt.
     

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