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Rhondinella

House Baratheon: Furious

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Renly is far too overhyped imo considering the only people who talked about what a good king he'd be were both in love with him. Oh, and Littlefinger preferred him to Stannis, that's not the greatest recommendation either.

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I also though it interesting that both Jaime and Olenna thought Renly was a light weight.

 

But I never understood the line of argument that Renly would be a good king because he asked some guy how his foot was doing.

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Renly would've been a good king because as he said he inspires love and loyalty in the people and the people he chose to surround himself with he would probably leave to running the realm.

 

Renly would have very clearly been a puppet for the Tyrells. Margaery and Olenna would have handled any necessary political machinations, Loras would have been a good wartime councillor.

 

This would leave Renly to do what he did best, look good and be loved by the people.

 

Really as long as he could manage to get hard enough to bang Margaery once or twice and get an heir inside her, he'd have been a fine king. It's like Tywin was telling Tommen, the best kings listen to their councillors long into their reigns.

Edited by Maximum Taco
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The problem with the people Renly surrounded himself with was that they all helped lull him into a huge trap. I get that none of them may have realized that Melisandre had supernatural powers, but there were clearly people in the world by this point who had them. It was the job of the Tyrells and of Renly to learn more about her, where she'd come from, and to protect themselves.

 

I think Show Renly was a nicer guy than Book Renly

(I don't have a lot of love for someone who insults disfigured children)

, but he seemed to have little to no plans for taking over until Loras got in his ear.

In the books he had plans to use Margaery as bait for Robert (which I'm dubious on, as I'm pretty sure Cersei would have just killed her and her child - she couldn't do that when Margaery was attached to Joffrey), but in the show, he just sort of fell into things. 

 

I wish we saw more of House Baratheon as young adults, as we barely ever saw any relationship between them as brothers on the show. That's why I tend to prefer fic or AU adaptations of them.

 

To me House Baratheon is (along with House Tyrell), the most modern house, in that they were/are all so damn dysfunctional and broken in ways that go beyond so and so lost their love and were never the same

(Lyanna really never "was" Robert's at all and I think he just used her to try to not face the way he'd wasted his life)

. Stannis, for instance, truly struggles to connect with anyone outside of those who work very hard to win his trust (even then it's a struggle), and it's not just, "Well, he's an asshole," it's obvious (to me anyway) that this is just something inside him that the era he was in couldn't contemplate. Then you have the three of them choosing to find close bonds elsewhere and not caring about some concept of family loyalty. And then there's Robert and Stannis not caring that Renly was gay - Stannis was very distant from his brother, but I never felt (on the show anyway - I haven't gotten that far in the books yet) like he was all that disdainful of Renly being gay, which I appreciate. 

 

I'd be happy to end the show with Stannis, Davos, and Shireen having a big role in ruling Westeros. I know that is not very likely, but I think they'd do a good job. 

Edited by SilverStormm · Reason: Please tag book spoilers in unprefixed threads.

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The problem with the people Renly surrounded himself with was that they all helped lull him into a huge trap. I get that none of them may have realized that Melisandre had supernatural powers, but there were clearly people in the world by this point who had them. It was the job of the Tyrells and of Renly to learn more about her, where she'd come from, and to protect themselves.

 

This is kinda of an insane expectation IMO. Before Mel, what supernatural powers were commonplace in Westeros? Who clearly had them?

 

I guess you could cite Thoros and Beric, but it's not as if everyone knew about that either. Magic is still a very rare occurance in this world, otherwise the Lannisters would be taking steps to protect themselves. Nobody really is because nobody believes in it, except Stannis and his camp. It's kind of unrealistic to expect the Tyrells to know that Stannis has a blood sorceress working for him. And even then, it's not a theat they should be expected to take seriously. It would be like telling Barack Obama that Kim Jong-Un is practicing voodoo magic and expecting Obama to take that seriously.

 

Also before this, Thoros, the only other Red Priest anyone knew, didn't have any real powers, he was really just a conjurer of cheap tricks. He was a priest and he didn't believe in the Red God's power. Why would anyone believe Melisandre is anything more without proof?

Edited by Maximum Taco
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I think we need Stannis to have a flashback episode showing what all three brothers were like back in high school. I figure Robert was jousting-team quarterback, Renly was class president, and Stannis was like class treasurer or something. Robert might also have been Sergeant-at-Arms, simply because he liked the sound of it. And Stannis was probably determined enugh to be a big deal in the math or chess club... assuming they didn't have anyone who could do math as complex as "If your brother has ninety per cent of the armies, how many are left for you?"

Actually, I think Ned Stark and Paetyr Baelish would be running for treasurer against each other. Varys was hall monitor. And Jon Arryn was gym teacher.

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This is kinda of an insane expectation IMO. Before Mel, what supernatural powers were commonplace in Westeros? Who clearly had them?

 

I guess you could cite Thoros and Beric, but it's not as if everyone knew about that either. Magic is still a very rare occurance in this world, otherwise the Lannisters would be taking steps to protect themselves. Nobody really is because nobody believes in it, except Stannis and his camp. It's kind of unrealistic to expect the Tyrells to know that Stannis has a blood sorceress working for him. And even then, it's not a theat they should be expected to take seriously. It would be like telling Barack Obama that Kim Jong-Un is practicing voodoo magic and expecting Obama to take that seriously.

 

Also before this, Thoros, the only other Red Priest anyone knew, didn't have any real powers, he was really just a conjurer of cheap tricks. He was a priest and he didn't believe in the Red God's power. Why would anyone believe Melisandre is anything more without proof?

 

Melisandre wasn't originally from Westeros, she was from an area where magic, or belief in magic, was more commonplace. Wariness of magic infiltrated Westeros at least somewhere (as with Varys, who was maimed for life because of a lunatic's quest for magic). I don't think it would have taken much (especially given the money and connections of the Tyrells) to look for more info on Mel's past or on how to stop her. Even if she truly had no powers before the dragons were reborn, they still should have been more wary of her, instead of Renly seemingly just laughing at her for her kooky comments.

 

I just felt like there was a lot of assuming, from Renly and from Loras and Margaery, that they had nothing to worry about.

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I think we need Stannis to have a flashback episode showing what all three brothers were like back in high school. I figure Robert was jousting-team quarterback, Renly was class president, and Stannis was like class treasurer or something. Robert might also have been Sergeant-at-Arms, simply because he liked the sound of it. And Stannis was probably determined enugh to be a big deal in the math or chess club... assuming they didn't have anyone who could do math as complex as "If your brother has ninety per cent of the armies, how many are left for you?"

Actually, I think Ned Stark and Paetyr Baelish would be running for treasurer against each other. Varys was hall monitor. And Jon Arryn was gym teacher.

 

LOL!

 

Stark probably would've been like a Hall Monitor or a Prefect. A guy who everyone didn't hate, but was annoyed with cause he kept enforcing the rules.

 

*Bell Rings*

*Pete Baelish is running through the halls*

Ned: Ah! No running. You're late Pete, gotta give you a detention

Pete: Ah c'mon Ned, for once in your life be cool.

Ned: Nope. Sorry. Break the rules, get a detention. Just get here five minutes earlier next time.

 

Varys would've been like the kid selling stolen test answers or homework.

 

Robert: You have the history test? the one about the Targaryen kings. All those guys have the same names. there's like 40 Aegons.

Varys: Oh I got it all. For a price.

Edited by Maximum Taco
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Really as long as he could manage to get hard enough to bang Margaery once or twice and get an heir inside her, he'd have been a fine king. It's like Tywin was telling Tommen, the best kings listen to their councillors long into their reigns.

I think Renly would have been a terrible king because he would have been a terrible example. His presence on the throne would undermine the entire principle of hereditary succession in Westeros. Since the prospect of free, fair and orderly elections seems unlikely, the alternative is warfare whenever a younger brother, nephew or whomever things he would be a better lord or king than the heir.

 

 

The problem with the people Renly surrounded himself with was that they all helped lull him into a huge trap. I get that none of them may have realized that Melisandre had supernatural powers, but there were clearly people in the world by this point who had them. It was the job of the Tyrells and of Renly to learn more about her, where she'd come from, and to protect themselves.

 

This is kinda of an insane expectation IMO. Before Mel, what supernatural powers were commonplace in Westeros? Who clearly had them?

I think someone like Jorah would have tried to find something out about Melisandre. He was often getting some intel for Daenerys about the people with whom she was dealing. But, and I think this actually supports your point, Jorah had spent several years in Essos and had seen a thing or two (not least of which was a young woman emerging unscathed with three baby dragons after spending all night in a raging bonfire).

It's not even clear how much Varys knows about Melisandre other than she's a red priestess from Asshy (sp?). Perhaps that's all he knows. Perhaps he knows more, but he's keeping silent for his own reasons.

If anything, I think Renly's death, and the manner of it, is an example of how sheltered Westeros was and how naive people were. It some ways it's a counterpoint to Ned's death. Both were good guys who thought all they had to do was X, Y or Z and Poof! Truth, justice and the American way would triumph. Both were ultimately killed by a then unpredictable element -- Joffrey's temperment vs. Meslisandre's magic -- that in an orderly, normal, rational world should never have happened.

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I think Renly would have been a terrible king because he would have been a terrible example. His presence on the throne would undermine the entire principle of hereditary succession in Westeros.

 

Well, then too bad nobody sicked a shadow baby on Aegon the Conqueror and his dragons, no?

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But Aegon admitted he was a conqueror. Renly's campaign was basically " Make me king because I'm cooler than my brother."  If his attitude had been "My brother Stannis has turned his back on the seven gods and a witch is making him burn people alive as heretics, so I need to step up as king and kill him," that would be an appropriate explanation for the sudden coupe. But it was clear that he simply thought Stannis was a dork. 

Edited by CletusMusashi
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And then there's Robert and Stannis not caring that Renly was gay - Stannis was very distant from his brother, but I never felt (on the show anyway - I haven't gotten that far in the books yet) like he was all that disdainful of Renly being gay, which I appreciate.

Robert had no more idea about Renly's sexual proclivities than he did about Cersei's. Unless you think his asking Renly about making the eight was teasing, but even so, Robert was an asshole, so I doubt it'd be good-natured teasing. Stannis

knew, he alluded to it at their parley when Renly bragged about his hot virgin wife

, but I get the feeling Stannis disapproves of any sexuality at all and probably has to remind himself that boning Melly was doing the Lord's work.

 

The thing about Renly and Robert is that they weren't really analogous to Aegon the Conquerer, they weren't building a new realm out of seven different kingdoms and setting up a brand new government. They had close blood ties to the previous king without being next in line. Robert at least never denied that, he never wanted to be king, so everyone knows his conquering and his blood put him on the throne. Without Viserys and Dany, who were exiles, Robert was next in line through his maternal Targ blood. (The Baratheons understood and endorsed getting rid of the last non-maester Targs, let's not forget that Renly "the compassionate" Baratheon said Viserys and Dany should have been killed years ago. Years ago as in when they were still children like their murdered niece and nephew.) And Renly understood his own blood claim, he was just being disingenuous about it when the guy right ahead of him was still alive and not about to run away to Essos. But once Stannis died, Renly would be next in line. And what is to say he wasn't going to kill Stannis? He was right about to defeat him in battle before Smoky Stan Jr. got him. Did he assure Stannis at the parley that Stannis alone would not be killed? Did he direct Loras or Brienne to make sure Stannis wasn't killed? What Book Renly does is

tell Loras to make sure Stannis's body isn't desecrated, and remind Cat that Stannis's claim only matters as long as he's alive

. And what was the alternative, locking Stannis up for the rest of his life? What if somewhere out there Melly or anyone else got someone to care about Stannis's imprisonment? Look at how that turned out for Richard II, Henry VI, Edward V and Mary, Queen of Scots in our world. I can see saying Smoky Stan Jr was an unfair weapon because Renly really couldn't defend against that, but imo it seems pretty unfair to act like only Stannis put the throne above their brotherly bond and Renly was as much a victim as a sacrificed Gendry would have been.

 

Yeah, the rules of primogeniture are arbitrary and unfair, but Renly wasn't trying to bring in representative government, he planned for a son by Marg to succeed him. Renly was born a member of the extended royal family, grew up a member of the ruling royal family, was lord of the castle his father and ancestors had held for centuries, and was four heartbeats away from rightfully inheriting the throne, one heartbeat once Robert was dead and the incest was revealed. Renly's problem wasn't primogeniture, it was that primogeniture didn't favor him enough as a third son. I doubt he planned to let the people choose which of his children would succeed him, that would be anarchy. But the danger of that would be there regardless. Any younger brother anywhere in Westeros could make a claim against the rightful heir to a castle, certainly Renly's own sons and grandsons could fight each other or other relatives for the crown. The entire society is built on the rights of primogeniture. Saying it doesn't matter while your elder brother is alive and then trying to pass the throne on to your own son while everyone else still follows primogeniture seems more than a bit risky to me. The real Wars of the Roses, as I understand them, can be traced back to Henry IV usurping Richard II's crown. Of course his grandson, Henry VI's mental instability had a lot to do with kickstarting the end of the Lancaster rule, but the House of York did have the better claim, if they didn't perhaps Henry VI would have only had to abdicate in favor of his son, Joffrey-like though he may have been.

Edited by Lady S.
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if Stannis was willing to retract his claim and support Renly, as he had supported Robert, Renly was willing to name Stannis as his heir. That's not an offer you make to someone who you honestly think should not be allowed on the throne. Therefore, in Renly's way of thinking, there was nothing about Stannis to invalidate him except for the simple fact that Renly thought the crown looked better on himself. Would I rather have Renly controlling the throne than Mellisandre? Sure. But Renly had no claim. Robert at least admitted that he was revolting (insert Mel Brooks joke here.) He didn't just randomly start saying "Oh, it's my turn! Targaryan Schmargaryan." 

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Yeah, and Robert had the excuse of Aerys being a murderous madman and Rhaegar not being the most stable leader either (whatever his relash with Lyanna was like, I think he should have anticipated that running off with her with no warning and leaving his wife and children in the protection of his insane father might cause some problems down the road), the really objectionable part of his usurpation was the murder of Rhaegar's children. Renly, as you said, had the excuse of Stannis turning to a foreign god, but he never objected on that ground. I don't see how trying to jump the line of succession because you're more likable, while retaining the structure of primogeniture for everyone else, wouldn't also cause problems down the road. If not having a winning personality was reason enough not to be allowed to inherit, there'd probably be a lot more rulers at risk.

 

I feel like the idea that everybody liked Renly and everybody hated Stannis worse than Joffrey is a big misconception. One dude in Robb's camp suggested fighting for Renly because he, unlike Stannis, had made his royal intentions already known, but when Robb pointed out that primogeniture was kinda important and Renly had no valid claim, more people agreed that Renly was not right, and the same guy (I think?) asked (before the Greatjon interrupted this discussion) if they should declare for Stannis, as if he was unopposed to that option. Renly had the support of his own bannermen and those commanded by his wife's family. Big whoop, so did Stannis, it's just that Dragonstone only commanded like five bannermen (and considering that they would all have been former Targ loyalists, Stannis must have some ability to command loyalty without chopping fingers off) and his wife's family wasn't one of the Great Houses. But the Stormlords went over to the other Baratheon brother soon enough after Renly's death, and only bent the knee to Joff after being defeated on the Blackwater. Does anyone really think the Tyrell army all fought for Joffrey because they honestly believed he was a better alternative? They went where Mace Tyrell told them to and Mace went for bachelor kings who would marry Marg. The only reason the audience hates Stan so much, as far as I can tell, is because of Melly's influence, which only Varys really objected to, and none of them even knew about her in s1 when Renly's plotting started, a plot with the sole basis of Stannis's lobster-like personality. I think it's also notable that Melly appears to be a recent newcomer to Dragonstone, what with no one knowing who she was before s2, so maybe the only reason Stan even agreed to meet her was his desperation for allies. Not to excuse anything Team Dragonstone has done with dark magic, but if Renly had supported both his older brothers instead of plotting with Loras against Stannis, and Robb Stark had known the secret his father died for before the Greatjon decided to play Kingmaker, Stan could have had the stormlords, the northmen, and the riverlords to help his tiny Dragonstone army and may never have turned to Mel's magic at all.

 

That said, if we assume Renly never knew about the incest before Stannis's letter, then I can see how he got in his position. He was scared for his life once Robert was killed and when Ned rejected his offer to seize Cersei's children (and he had to have been trying to rely on legality when he made that offer since why did he need Ned to lead his 100 swords? because Ned was named regent in Robert's will and Renly planned to help him achieve that position, he cared about such regulations when it suited him.), he felt he had to flee the city. And having done so, without knowing about the incest, he might expect Stannis to support the birthrights of Robert's sons, and think he had to depose Joff himself. Once the Tyrells had crowned him, given him a daughter they expected to be Queen and bear his heirs, and helped him amass the largest army in the field, he couldn't really tell them he'd changed his mind and was going to support Stannis and return to being just another lowly member of the Small Council. But that's if he didn't know about the incest before declaring himself king, which would mean he was the only member of that Council not to know. If he had known, I think it is a possibility he just preferred to scheme to get rid of the Lannisters his own way, since his original plan only required removing Cersei from power (first by

making Marg into Robert's Anne Boleyn

, then by capturing her children and becoming part of the power behind the throne), and just kept the secret from Robert so as not to make Stannis even temporarily Robert's heir.

 

I think it's interesting and pretty important that Renly and Stannis expressed their feelings about each other in similar ways. Renly said he loved Stannis once, implying he no longer bore any such feelings. And Stannis admitted to loving Renly after he was killed, but said he mourned the boy Renly was instead of the man he became. I agree that Renly didn't really believe Stannis should never be allowed to rule, as explained above, but I doubt he really expected the old lobster to agree to his terms either. I think they both went into that parley ready to have the other one killed if he didn't give in, it's just that Renly planned to do so with an army instead of a shadow.

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Very good post Lady S. Yes I believe Renly was the Tyrells attempt to gain influence and heirs on the throne. They Tyrells might have been pushing for and maybe even providing a lover to influence Renly for quite a time maybe not thinking the throne exactly but just to have power in the capital. Then when the succession problem came up saw a chance. Renly clearly was popular at court and Stanis unpopular so I can defiantly see many going to Renly's side especially with a Tyrell push. But of course when Renly died the Baratheon banners felt they had to side with Stanis and the Tyrell troops went home until Tywin made a deal with the Tyrells. In many ways this was a Lanister vs Tyrell contest for influence with the Tyrell only going for Lanister knowing they had no influence with Stanis having backed Renly. 

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Given that the Tyrells were the ones besieging Storm's End during Robert's Rebellion, they had good reason to want to work to ingratiate with the new dynasty after surrendering at the very end.  Either Jon Arryn arranged a deal with their new no-longer-enemies to have Mace's son sent to court to do his knightly training or the Tyrells decided to do so on their own to have an in with the royal family and try to smooth over any bad feelings. I don't think that the son of the man who almost starved l'il Renly (the show oddly never mentions Renly's whereabouts during the Rebellion but I'd think he should have been at Storm's End for the siege, unless stated otherwise) becoming adult Renly's lover is just one of the series's little coincidences.

 

And of course their best option of getting close to a Baratheon would be Renly, who was only a small child when they were still enemies. Robert really only held grudges against the Targs themselves, but between Tywin/Cersei, Ned Stark, and Jon Arryn, it would be more work for another Great Lord to gain real influence with him directly. And Stannis isn't much for letting go of bad feelings toward people he felt wronged by in the past, so I'm sure Renly's alliance with the people who starved them for a year was another thing that galled him about Renly's attempt at usurping, even though Loras and Marg had nothing to do with the siege of Storm's End. After all, that generation was only the one closest to Renly, but Mace was the one supplying the army and some of his bannermen would have been the same who helped besiege Storm's End.

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I think Robert had a hidden soft side, a cat-loving, baby-loving, sentimental side. If Tommen had been the eldest instead of sociopathic Joffrey, I think Robert might not have given up. But Joffrey was always a murderous, sadistic creep.

My impression was that Robert was a pretty popular, amiable, fun-loving King, at least to outer appearances.  Once the rebellion ended, the Kingdom was at peace for all of his reign, and Ned Stark was a genuine close friend of Robert's, which has to count for something.  I think Robert did not quite have Ned Stark's honor (but no one does except other Starks, really), and he had a touch of Tywin's pragmatism in dealing with Targaryens and warfare.  But I think inside, Robert was deeply depressed and hopeless after the loss of Lyanna, and grew more so as time went on.  He said something about drinking, eating, and whoring himself into an early grave, and I don't think that was just about gluttony and lust, but rather reflective of an actual desire to kill himself that ultimately worked.  He didn't want the Kingdom, he wanted Lyanna, but Robert lost her and got the Kingdom instead.  In fairness to Robert, had Cersei been a different, less vain, arrogant, cruel, and vindictive person, their marriage might also have faired better, but she was who she was.  Anyhow, he didn't seem to put too much effort into parenting, but in his defense, maybe he had to distance himself from Joffrey to avoid despising him, given what a monster Joffrey actually was.  I give Jaime the same pass.  Can't imagine what I would do in their place about the little sociopath.

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I don't think Robert has ever really been in a position where he's willingly sacrificed or put himself out for the love of another person.

 

Starting a rebellion doesn't count at all? Sure, it wasn't really a suicidal mission but one with a decent chance of success, but he could've lost.

 

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I've never believed in Robert's love for Lyanna. My thoughts on this are similar to Barristan's

about Aerys and Joanna

- -I think Robert wanted Lyanna, I'm sure he even enjoyed her company, but I don't think his love for her had any more depth than some idealized crush that likely would have turned ugly if she spurned his advances or flipside, she returns them and then he goes back to being the sexually incontinent person we all know him to be.

Obviously this is my opinion and maybe I'm judging Robert harshly, but I can't think of anything from his behavior

in the books

that would lead me to believe he would have lived happily ever after as he so insists if he'd only had Lyanna by his side. I fully expect that he would have disrespected Lyanna too only it wouldn't have happened on day one as it did with Cersei. I think Robert remained immature and never experienced a romantic relationship where he had to give. He didn't even really have a relationship with Lyanna. I also firmly believe that

short of Lyanna literally slapping him with the truth and screaming it in his face that she loves and prefers Rhaegar

that he probably wouldn't have accepted it.

Another way I compare Robert and Jaime is how different they are in their desire to be loved. Cersei doesn't have too many insightful quotes in the series, but one quote where she is so absolutely dead on was when she told Sansa, I think, about Robert having

the disease of wanting to be loved and that Tyrion is infected with the same affliction.

I feel like Robert got pleasure out of superficial love and worship. He liked smiles and tourney applause and sycophantic laughter. He wouldn't sacrifice in order to earn someone's love, he expects it to be given and given en masse I might add. IMO Robert valued quantity over quality and I think this is apparent in his attitude towards many things in his life.

There's no way I can see Robert remaining silent about Aerys plans to blow up the city. Robert would want everyone to know that he'd saved their asses so that they'd love him for it. The love of a lover and brother wouldn't have been enough for Robert whereas Jaime could deal with being despised as long as he had the love of Cersei and IMO Tyrion. Jaime values quality over quantity in this sense I feel. Robert would never be able to understand how Jaime has been happy to practice sexual loyalty to one person his entire life. He doesn't even understand it of his friend Ned Wylla claims aside for a moment. I even think a man like Robert would be the type to assume that he has had the better sex life all his years as king simply because he has variety and that it would never actually occur to him that some of the best sex can happen between two people who have been sexually devoted to each other long term.

Ultimately, Robert enjoyed fighting and wouldn't have only needed the Rhaegar/Lyanna situation to get him to be okay with going to war. I'm not saying that a situation as inflammatory would necessarily have presented itself but that "love" of Lyanna wouldn't have been Robert's primary reason for fighting or continuing to fight. I just think that's what he tells himself to make himself feel all tragic, romantic, and heroic.

Gah, with the wonky spoiler tags, my apologies!

Edited by Avaleigh
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This might all be true, I'm just saying that he did indeed "love" her or at the very least he thought that's what his feelings about her were. Maybe you're right and it was more of a possessive, I-wanna-have-that type of desire and I'm in no way arguing that he would've been a great husband or lover or whatever to her. Just that he did indeed start a war for her. Maybe not necessarily a completely selfless act, but his thought process was indeed "they kidnapped the woman I love, so war it is". So that has to account for something.

 

Also, it seems that book!Robert and show!Robert are a bit different. We don't know a lot about him and since the show doesn't tell a lot about the events before the first season, I assume that some of the complexities of his charecter in the books simply didn't make it onto the screen. Show, don't tell, and since he died early and we have no flashbacks, that few scenes in the first six or so episodes is really all we've got (aside from some Cersei snippets). Plus, I've read that the scene with him and Cersei where he talks about Lyanna wasn't even in the books, so it's quite possible that a bookreader can have a different impression. I'll be reading the books (at least the first three) in the next weeks, so maybe I'll see what you mean a bit better.

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This might all be true, I'm just saying that he did indeed "love" her or at the very least he thought that's what his feelings about her were. Maybe you're right and it was more of a possessive, I-wanna-have-that type of desire and I'm in no way arguing that he would've been a great husband or lover or whatever to her. Just that he did indeed start a war for her. Maybe not necessarily a completely selfless act, but his thought process was indeed "they kidnapped the woman I love, so war it is". So that has to account for something.

In the S4 opener, Oberyn told Tyrion that Rhaegar left his (Martell) wife to run off with another woman -- Lyanna Stark -- which implies that the other woman acted willingly. If Oberyn's account is accurate, I don't think Robert's actions account for anything other than selfishness and a bruised ego.

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Robert was a fighting a war for Lyanna in the sense that that was his personal reason for hating the Targs (his own extended family) and turning against them to overthrow their dynasty. But the war was not started purely for her sake, he didn't get a coalition of four Great Houses together just to help reunite him with his girlfriend. Brandon Stark was the one acting purely in reaction to Rhaegar/Lyanna when he got himself killed. Then Aerys decided to preemptively treat everyone involved with Lyanna Stark as a traitor and ordered Jon Arryn to send him Robert and Ned's heads. Instead Jon Arryn called his banners and sent Robert and Ned back to Storm's End and Winterfell to do the same, he was the one who effectively declared rebellion. The larger issue was that if the Mad King could roast Rickard Stark alive in the middle of court and then order the death of the new Lord Stark in the Eyrie, no one in any Great House was safe, and as each Great House was pretty much independent in their own region they had certain rights other people did not, and as the Targs hadn't had dragons in 100+ years, the Great Houses had no reason to support any king who did not grant them even the most basic of rights. Westeros was a huge realm of separate regions where, in the absence of fire-breathing aerial power, the power of any king on the Iron Throne depended on the support of his lords.
 
Robert's problems were more than just a broken heart, he suffered from a combination of being in a position he never wanted as king and being bitter about the one girl he wanted but never got to have. He talked about the Rebellion to both Ned and Renly as if it were the time of his life, a time when he was both fighting and womanizing, while he believed his betrothed was being daily raped and brutalized. If he had managed to "rescue" Lyanna, he might very well just want to move on and forget about her ordeal entirely. And if Lyanna was raped and Robert rescued her, he'd still be miserable in a different way because he just never wanted to be king. He alone was fighting the war solely to get back the girl he wanted, so getting the throne but not her was what made it a hollow victory. If Lyanna had just gotten sick and died before their wedding day, and Robert had married some other nice girl as Lord of Storm's End, I really doubt he'd be unable to get over Lyanna's memory. And given that Robert's vast appetite for sex was in force before becoming king was even a possibility, then if Lyanna had become the Lady of Storm's End as planned, I doubt he'd try hard at all to stay faithful to her, he just wouldn't throw it in her face the way he did with Cersei. Westeros isn't a society where most men feel any qualms about their own infidelity, but if he didn't hate his wife I think Robert would at least have the decency not to intentionally publicly disrespect and humiliate her, especially so when her brother is the person he really did love most in the world. I think his Lyanna fixation was partly about her being the one that got away and partly about Ned being his chosen family and this hot girl being Ned's sister. Imo the Ned connection was probably why he wanted to marry her, out of the hot noble bachelorettes, in the first place, rather than anything about Lyanna personally that put her above all other hot wife material. He even put the Joffrey/Sansa betrothal in terms of replacing his own betrothal to Lyanna by finally joining their Houses.

 

In the S4 opener, Oberyn told Tyrion that Rhaegar left his (Martell) wife to run off with another woman -- Lyanna Stark -- which implies that the other woman acted willingly. If Oberyn's account is accurate, I don't think Robert's actions account for anything other than selfishness and a bruised ego.


Oberyn's account is just the other side of the Rebellion, Dany being told how noble Rhaegar was by both Jorah and Barry would also imply that not everyone thinks he was a rapist. But Robert had no reason to believe Lyanna chose to run off when her own family didn't believe that. If she'd left any kind of note, her eldest brother shouldn't have rushed to King's Landing and Brandon and Rickard wouldn't have been horribly killed. If Ned found out the truth was different on Lyanna's deathbed, he certainly didn't tell Robert what happened. And while I think it likely Lyanna did willingly run off with Rhaegar, that doesn't mean she had a choice about staying with him since I'd hope she wouldn't choose to relax in a lovenest knowing her lover's father had horribly killed Rickard and Brandon as an indirect result of her love affair, and that her other elder brother was marching with her betrothed in war against her lover's family, meaning Ned's death was a real possibility as well. This other woman was only 16 when she died, so imagine a girl just a little older than show Sansa with the impetuosity found in some Starks. I agree that Robert would want to deny that Lyanna had rejected him if anyone tried to tell him that, but no one really did, and the people on the opposite side of any war will have their version of what the fight was about. I firmly believe in R+L=J but there's still a lot of unanswered questions there.

 

I should probably clarify that I greatly prefer Jaime to Robert, and do think Jaime is the better man, Robert's the only GoT character I can think of who isn't a straight-up villain but can't really muster any sympathy from me. Ned's loyalty to him frustrated me, perhaps more than Ned's other frustrating traits. I think Joffrey's sexism was learned from both Cersei and Robert, but taken to new levels as everything was with Joffers. In Joff/Cersei's first scene in 1.03 he complains about feudal armies as does Robert in his scene with Cersei in 1.05, so I suspect Joff was parroting Robert as Cersei was imitating Tywin. Making it look likely to me that his line to Cersei in s3 about women doing what they're told was also paraphrased from Robert. I don't think Cersei's general awfulness justified Robert abusing her and his bullying of Lancel just for the sake of Lancel being related to Cersei doesn't say anything good about him either. But characterizing as incapable of giving love in return sounds more reminiscent of Joffrey. Ned's love wasn't superficial and while I don't think Robert deserved his devotion as king, he probably was a good friend when they were younger for Ned to care so much for him. I don't think he'd ever be a faithful husband to anyone but love and sex aren't the same thing and men in Westeros aren't really expected to think of them that way, (Jaime appears to be the only one who does, Ned didn't even know Cat when they got married but his precious honor made him feel he should be faithful to her, and Stannis doesn't even like his wife very much but felt conflicted about his affair with Mel out of a sense of marital duty) and a philandering husband is far from the piece of shit husband, father and king that he became. I'm not a fan of Robert in any way really, but I don't think it's impossible for him be a loving father and philandering husband in a family with Lyanna. If he had a wife willing to look the other way, they could have even had a good relationship when he wasn't busy with other women. And while I think Cersei had reason to hate him, her judgement on anyone isn't worth much because her worldview is so fucked, and her speech to Sansa about love was just more of Cersei's bitter bullshit. I don't really want to continue the Jaime comparison in both threads so I'll leave it at that.

 

Anyhow, he didn't seem to put too much effort into parenting, but in his defense, maybe he had to distance himself from Joffrey to avoid despising him, given what a monster Joffrey actually was.  I give Jaime the same pass.  Can't imagine what I would do in their place about the little sociopath.

IA, we don't really even know what kind of relationship he had with Tommen and Myrcella.

I don't condone his knocking Joffrey's teeth out over the cat incident, but anyone should be horrified by their child mutilating live animals. And it seems Cersei thought that was no big deal, "just a bit of mischief", and kept him at a distance from all of the children after that. When he talks to Ned about knowing what kind of heir he produced, it seems he's ashamed about not loving his kids the way Ned does, but can't help feeling repulsed by Joffrey. 

He was concerned about who'd raise the kids after his death, which suggests he worried about how Cersei raised them. Obviously, as with so many things he could have tried harder and just not cared what the Lannisters wanted, but it's not quite the same as his forgetting about his bastards, since Cersei wanted to indoctrinate Joffrey herself without too much help from Robert.

Edited by Lady S.
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Robert was a fighting a war for Lyanna in the sense that that was his personal reason for hating the Targs (his own extended family) and turning against them to overthrow their dynasty. But the war was not started purely for her sake, he didn't get a coalition of four Great Houses together just to help reunite him with his girlfriend. Brandon Stark was the one acting purely in reaction to Rhaegar/Lyanna when he got himself killed. Then Aerys decided to preemptively treat everyone involved with Lyanna Stark as a traitor and ordered Jon Arryn to send him Robert and Ned's heads. Instead Jon Arryn called his banners and sent Robert and Ned back to Storm's End and Winterfell to do the same, he was the one who effectively declared rebellion. The larger issue was that if the Mad King could roast Rickard Stark alive in the middle of court and then order the death of the new Lord Stark in the Eyrie, no one in any Great House was safe, and as each Great House was pretty much independent in their own region they had certain rights other people did not, and as the Targs hadn't had dragons in 100+ years, the Great Houses had no reason to support any king who did not grant them even the most basic of rights. Westeros was a huge realm of separate regions where, in the absence of fire-breathing aerial power, the power of any king on the Iron Throne depended on the support of his lords.

It's been a while since I've seen Season 1, but the only Targaryen atrocities or reasons for war that I recall Robert talking about were about Lyanna. When Robert first arrived at Winterfell, he immediately wanted to visit her tomb; no mention was made of Ned's brother or father. I think Jaime and Ser Barristan spent more time talking about them than Robert ever did. Ditto during Robert & Ned's picnic on the Kingsroad. It was all Lyanna.

I agree that the larger issue was a number of Great Houses banding together to remove a danger to the realm, that is, a danger to themselves. But Robert wasn't the kind of man who thought that way. Robert was never much more politically sophisticated than Orson Lannister. I expect that type of thinking probably came from Jon Arryn and possibly Hoster Tully.

So, from Robert's perspective, I think his rebellion was all about Lyanna. I don't think he could admit to himself that Lyanna might choose someone else over him. Better for his ego that she was kidnapped. So, to a large extent, his personal rebellion was built on a delusion covering for wounded pride.

If Lyanna had just gotten sick and died before their wedding day, and Robert had married some other nice girl as Lord of Storm's End, I really doubt he'd be unable to get over Lyanna's memory.

In that case I think Robert would still be moping over Lyanna, but perhaps not as much and not as publicly. I think Robert is very much the kind of person who thinks about the road not taken, without ever realizing that it's bound to have fewer potholes than his actual life. And I think if Rhaegar hadn't runoff with / kidnapped Lyanna, Aerys wasn't mad and there was no rebellion, Robert ultimately would have been just as miserable as Lord of Storm's End as he was as King. The positions aren't that different. The politics in Storm's End would be different in scale, not in kind, than the politics in King's Landing.

But Robert had no reason to believe Lyanna chose to run off when her own family didn't believe that. If she'd left any kind of note, her eldest brother shouldn't have rushed to King's Landing and Brandon and Rickard wouldn't have been horribly killed.

At this point, we don't know what the Starks believed about Lyanna & Rhaegar. Moreover, even if Lyanna left a note and went willingly, her family might still object that Lyanna was soiled goods.

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At this point, we don't know what the Starks believed about Lyanna & Rhaegar. Moreover, even if Lyanna left a note and went willingly, her family might still object that Lyanna was soiled goods.

Rhaegar was already married when he took Lyanna/she ran off with him.  While I think the Targaryen's of days long ago had had kings with more than one wife, it seems that it had been awhile since something like that had happened, and I would guess they were all siblings.  At any rate, to protect Lyanna's honor, the Starks and Robert had interpret what happened as Rhaegar kidnapping Lyanna regardless of what actually happened.  Since she was a Stark herself, they probably could not imagine she would have willingly run off with him, or even married him as a second wife without the permission of the Stark in charge.  So I think that was in play as well as the personal pain it would have caused Robert to imagine that she might have gone with Rhaegar willingly.  As you guys have pointed out, however, Aerys's reaction to the Stark demands for her return forced the Arynn family and Ned and Robert into the Rebellion.  But given Robert' character, I do think he felt he was fighting for Lyanna's return, and all the romance caught up in that notion elevated his spirits.  While he was probably upset at the thought of her being raped, while the war was raging, was Rhaegar preoccupied on the battle field and therefore unlikely to be preying on her?  I'm murky on where Lyanna was for most of the war.

 

I definitely personally prefer Jaime to Robert, and I think Robert was a very flawed man.  But I think he would have been a better, far less self-destructive man if he had been able to marry Lyanna, or if not, if he had not been married to Cersei and boxed in by the Lannisters and schemers in King's Landing.  I think a lot of his open womanizing was an intentional insult to Cersei and declaration of independence to the Lannisters.  A young Robert married to a kind and gentle woman, or even a woman like Margaery Tyrell might have become a very different man in later life, and he might have been a very different father without a monster like Joffrey as his first born.

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But I think he would have been a better, far less self-destructive man if he had been able to marry Lyanna, or if not, if he had not been married to Cersei and boxed in by the Lannisters and schemers in King's Landing.  I think a lot of his open womanizing was an intentional insult to Cersei and declaration of independence to the Lannisters.  A young Robert married to a kind and gentle woman, or even a woman like Margaery Tyrell might have become a very different man in later life, and he might have been a very different father without a monster like Joffrey as his first born.

 

I can't pinpoint why but I always sympathized with Robert.   He was a buffoon and completely NOT cut-out to be King and he certainly did himself know favors through the years but than I picture YEARS with Cersei.    He loved someone (Lyanna, who may have never loved him back unbeknownst to him), lost her and was than marrooned with Lannisters.   He's cut out for fighting wars on the field of battle, not for the nastiness of Throne Room scheming and back-stabbing.   

 

Cersei is an emotional sadist and I've know doubt that in terms of slights and psychological torture, she gave as good as she got, if not better.   She's not applause worthy smart but she was smarter than him (with an innate cruelty and nastiness he didn't have).   She made sure he had know influence or minimal involvement with the children (the bastards she spawned with her brother) and when he did entertain the idea of doing the right thing and bringing one of his known bastards to Court (Myra Stone),  Cersei assured him that if he brought her to Court, she would have an accident, no doubt a fatal one.

 

He was as far from a prince as one could get BUT I think I'll always sympathize with him more than I ever could Cersei Lannister.

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In my previous post I forgot to mention that Robert told someone, Cersei I think, that he couldn't even remember what Lyanna looked like.

 

Yoren said the same thing about his brother who was killed by Willem, who in turn was killed by Yoren.

 

Both Robert and Yoren killed for revenge; neither one could remember what their loved one looked like any more; both killings led to a new way of life:  the kingship for Robert and the Night's Watch for Yoren.

 

I'm not sure what significance this has, if any.  Just thought I'd point that out.

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It's been a while since I've seen Season 1, but the only Targaryen atrocities or reasons for war that I recall Robert talking about were about Lyanna. When Robert first arrived at Winterfell, he immediately wanted to visit her tomb; no mention was made of Ned's brother or father. I think Jaime and Ser Barristan spent more time talking about them than Robert ever did. Ditto during Robert & Ned's picnic on the Kingsroad. It was all Lyanna.

I agree that the larger issue was a number of Great Houses banding together to remove a danger to the realm, that is, a danger to themselves. But Robert wasn't the kind of man who thought that way. Robert was never much more politically sophisticated than Orson Lannister. I expect that type of thinking probably came from Jon Arryn and possibly Hoster Tully.

So, from Robert's perspective, I think his rebellion was all about Lyanna. I don't think he could admit to himself that Lyanna might choose someone else over him. Better for his ego that she was kidnapped. So, to a large extent, his personal rebellion was built on a delusion covering for wounded pride.

In that case I think Robert would still be moping over Lyanna, but perhaps not as much and not as publicly. I think Robert is very much the kind of person who thinks about the road not taken, without ever realizing that it's bound to have fewer potholes than his actual life. And I think if Rhaegar hadn't runoff with / kidnapped Lyanna, Aerys wasn't mad and there was no rebellion, Robert ultimately would have been just as miserable as Lord of Storm's End as he was as King. The positions aren't that different. The politics in Storm's End would be different in scale, not in kind, than the politics in King's Landing.

At this point, we don't know what the Starks believed about Lyanna & Rhaegar. Moreover, even if Lyanna left a note and went willingly, her family might still object that Lyanna was soiled goods.

Robert does mention it during his picnic with Ned on the kingsroad when Ned doesn't want to talk about killing Dany, "Oh, it's unspeakable to you? What her father did to your family... That was unspeakable. What Rhaegar Targaryen did to your sister... the woman I loved. I'll kill every Targaryen I get my hands on." I don't think much of Robert's intellect, but he was a drunk, not a simpleton, he was an able general and speaks of the danger of the Dothraki in military and political terms. I agree he was fighting a rebellion to get Lyanna back because he certainly wasn't fighting for the throne, I was just being my typically pedantic self in saying Robert did not start the war at all and it wasn't fought just to get Lyanna back. It's not like Robert wasn't aware he'd also be winning the throne and that the war had a larger purpose than just reuniting him with Lyanna, he just didn't care about those other aspects. I assume Jon Arryn was the one to play Kingmaker and Hoster Tully maybe did consult, as a more experienced lord than Ned or Robert and peer of Jon Arryn's, whose only personal investment was that he had already made a marriage alliance with House Stark and then made another with House Arryn when Jon Arryn agreed to take Lysa off his hands. I think of it as similar to the rebellion of Robb Stark, another idiot wrapped up in his own notions of twu wuv, in that Robb was fighting to avenge his father and didn't really plan out the political side of things as much as maybe he should have, but he was aware there were larger issues at play. The riverlords supported him after he was proclaimed king because they were led by his maternal family and because House Lannister had started the war by invading the riverlands and Renly and Stannis did jackshit about that, and the northmen made him a king because when two different dynasties on the iron throne unjustly execute two consecutive Wardens of the North in less than 20 years and the newest Warden isn't even sure who should be on the Iron Throne, then it starts to sound good to say fuck the Iron Throne altogether.

Being Lord of Storm's End and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms is a difference of scale, yes, but I think it's a pretty big scale. If things get too big for the Lord of Storm's End, he has an overlord on the Iron Throne to defer to. And Robert was already Lord of Storm's End before the rebellion started, a role he was born and raised to hold, without any complaints that we know of, but he wasn't even living there, he chose to stay at the Eyrie when I'm sure he could have gone home after the death of his father. Then, after the rebellion Jon Arryn remained Lord of the Eyrie without living there and Renly was the new Lord of Storm's End while also living at court, so being Lord Paramount of an entire region can delegated without too much day-to-day involvement of the Lord. It's likely Robert could have delegated while living at Storm's End, and that his brothers and whoever was in charge during his time at the Eyrie would be happy to handle matters in the Stormlands too boring for Robert. But being lord of all seven (really, eight) kingdoms is a much bigger responsibility and Ned or Jon Arryn couldn't take charge of all of it, besides which and importantly they were surrounded by Lannisters and other schemers from Littlefinger and Varys to the Tyrells, none of whom would be present in the Stormlands in some non-RR AU.

 

I'd say we don't know what Ned believes about Rhaegar/Lyanna, but we know he never disputed Robert's version, and we know from Bran that his children were all raised believing Robert's version. Brandon Stark's rush to King's Landing looks more idiotic if his only objection was Lyanna being spoiled goods, so I see no reason to assume a note not in evidence. But as lawless said, Lyanna's wishes only matter so much when Rickard had already promised her to Robert and Rhaegar didn't ask Rickard's permission to make her either his mistress or his partner in bigamy. Rickard had no reason to want to admit Lyanna chose to run off either. And even if all her brothers knew Lyanna preferred Rhaegar to Robert, imo that's still a leap to running off with a married man to either be his mistress or bring back Aegon-the-Conqueror-style bigamy minus the sibling element. If either of her big brothers knew she ran off of her own free will, I think it'd only be Ned, and he'd only find out on her deathbed. I just don't see any reason to fault Robert and assume anybody on his own side tried to tell him Lyanna left of her own free will, especially since Lyanna running off with Rhaegar still begs the question of why she remained wherever after Aerys had her father and brother or why she'd support Rhaegar going to war against both Robert and Ned. Imo her free will only played a part to a certain extent and she didn't realize what she was getting into with Rhaegar. 

 

 

While he was probably upset at the thought of her being raped, while the war was raging, was Rhaegar preoccupied on the battle field and therefore unlikely to be preying on her?  I'm murky on where Lyanna was for most of the war.

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We don't really know what all Rhaegar was up to during the Rebellion, but from what we do know, the only time Rhaegar took to the field was when he personally faced Robert on the Trident. I don't really blame Robert for screwing around during the war since he was already doing so beforehand according to himself in the crypts, talking about only wanting to crack skulls and fuck girls as a teenager in the Eyrie, a betrothal isn't the same commitment as a marriage, and he didn't know when he'd ever get to marry Lyanna or even if he'd survive day-to-day during the war. The joyful way he boasted of his wartime exploits sounds imo like he wasn't so much worried about Lyanna's well-being as angry about her being stolen from him, but ymmv and we don't really know what was going through his head back then.

 

If anyone's interested, someone on youtube has organized the accounts of Robert's Rebellion from the blu-rays of S1-3 in two videos, along with all of the accounts of the Mad King and the Sack of King's Landing. The timeline is basically thus:

  • Rhaegar abducts Lyanna days before Brandon's wedding to Catelyn
  • Brandon hears of this and rides off south from the Riverlands to King's Landing at once
  • Brandon is arrested for treasonous threats and Lord Rickard is summoned to answer for him and work this out
  • Brandon and Rickard are then both executed without trial in the middle of court
  • Aerys sends a command to Jon Arryn to send him Ned and Robert's heads; Lord Arryn instead calls his banners in rebellion and Robert and Ned go back to their homes to do the same.
  • Robert marches from Storm's End and faces three different armies led by royalists at Summerhall, beating each in succession. (Robert mentions Summerhall in 1.03, saying a Tarly boy was his first kill.)
  • Robert goes to the Reach to face Mace Tyrell's army in Ashford, he is injured in battle and retreats north to the village of Stoney Sept in the Riverlands
  • Instead of attacking in the Riverlands and finishing off Robert, Mace goes east to besiege Storm's End
  • Ned comes back South with his northern army and stops in Riverrun to marry Catelyn in his brother's place, Jon Arryn is also there and Lysa is thrown into the deal to seal the rebel alliance with Lord Hoster
  • The new Hand of the King marches on Stoney Sept, all the bells are rung in warning, making the battle known as "the Battle of the Bells", the new Hand wastes time searching for Robert to defeat him in single combat instead of burning the whole village to the ground as Tywin would have, then Ned and Hoster arrive at the gates and help Robert drive out the royalists
  • Rhaegar finally makes an appearance and takes command of the remaining royalist forces, the rebels mass their combined power on the banks of the Trident and Rhaegar faces them there, Robert fights Rhaegar in single combat crushing Rhaegar's chest with his warhammer, the battlefield is then known as the Ruby Ford for the rubies shattered from Rhaegar's breastplate, but Robert is again injured and gives Ned command of taking King's Landing
  • Hearing the news of Rhaegar's defeat and death, Aerys separates the royal family by sending Viserys and pregnant Queen Rhaella to safety on Dragonstone (he should've sent Elia and her children away too since Rhaegar's son would be in line before his younger brother, but Aerys was a dick that way) 
  • Rhaegar's death is a decisive turn in Robert's favor so Tywin stirs from Casterly Rock at last and beats Ned to King's Landing, falsely offering aid to Aerys before sacking the city, Ned arrives in disgust to find Jaime on the Iron Throne and the other Targs slaughtered on Tywin's orders 
  • Davos sneaks through the Tyrell blockade to bring onions and salt beef to Stannis and co
  • Robert arrives and takes the throne, sends Ned to lift the siege of Storm's End
  • The Tyrell forces surrender to Ned and Robert then pardons the Tyrells and orders Stannis to root out the remaining Targs on Dragonstone 
  • Stannis takes Dragonstone, finding Queen Rhaella dead and that Viserys and baby Dany have been spirited across the Narrow Sea, Robert then makes Stannis the Lord of Dragonstone and Renly the Lord of Storm's End
Edited by Lady S.

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Robert does mention it during his picnic with Ned on the kingsroad when Ned doesn't want to talk about killing Dany, "Oh, it's unspeakable to you? What her father did to your family... That was unspeakable. What Rhaegar Targaryen did to your sister... the woman I loved. I'll kill every Targaryen I get my hands on."

Thanks. I wasn't sure.

I don't think much of Robert's intellect, but he was a drunk, not a simpleton, he was an able general and speaks of the danger of the Dothraki in military and political terms. I agree he was fighting a rebellion to get Lyanna back because he certainly wasn't fighting for the throne, I was just being my typically pedantic self in saying Robert did not start the war at all and it wasn't fought just to get Lyanna back. It's not like Robert wasn't aware he'd also be winning the throne and that the war had a larger purpose than just reuniting him with Lyanna, he just didn't care about those other aspects. I assume Jon Arryn was the one to play Kingmaker and Hoster Tully maybe did consult, as a more experienced lord than Ned or Robert and peer of Jon Arryn's, whose only personal investment was that he had already made a marriage alliance with House Stark and then made another with House Arryn when Jon Arryn agreed to take Lysa off his hands.

War may be politics by other means, but I too tend to think that Jon Arryn, and possibly Hoster Tully, focused a little bit more on the politics and Robert and Ned focused a little more on the warfare.

I think of it as similar to the rebellion of Robb Stark, another idiot wrapped up in his own notions of twu wuv, in that Robb was fighting to avenge his father and didn't really plan out the political side of things as much as maybe he should have, but he was aware there were larger issues at play. The riverlords supported him after he was proclaimed king because they were led by his maternal family and because House Lannister had started the war by invading the riverlands and Renly and Stannis did jackshit about that, and the northmen made him a king because when two different dynasties on the iron throne unjustly execute two consecutive Wardens of the North in less than 20 years and the newest Warden isn't even sure who should be on the Iron Throne, then it starts to sound good to say fuck the Iron Throne altogether.

I think Robb made 3 main mistakes

1. Burning the Frey bridge, as it were, by marrying Talisa

2. Being unable to decide if he was fighting for the freedom of the North, to kick Joffrey off the Iron throne or to crush the Lannisters

3. Executing Lord Karstark

To be fair, even if Robb had married Roslyn Frey and hadn't executed Lord Karstark, he would have been in a very tough position as King. Now he can't very well abandon the Riverlands and fall back to the North, nor can he really give up his kingship.

Though I'm not really sure what Robbb was doing while Tywin held court at Harrenhal for the latter part of Season 2.

Being Lord of Storm's End and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms is a difference of scale, yes, but I think it's a pretty big scale. If things get too big for the Lord of Storm's End, he has an overlord on the Iron Throne to defer to. And Robert was already Lord of Storm's End before the rebellion started, a role he was born and raised to hold, without any complaints that we know of, but he wasn't even living there, he chose to stay at the Eyrie when I'm sure he could have gone home after the death of his father. Then, after the rebellion Jon Arryn remained Lord of the Eyrie without living there and Renly was the new Lord of Storm's End while also living at court, so being Lord Paramount of an entire region can delegated without too much day-to-day involvement of the Lord. It's likely Robert could have delegated while living at Storm's End, and that his brothers and whoever was in charge during his time at the Eyrie would be happy to handle matters in the Stormlands too boring for Robert. But being lord of all seven (really, eight) kingdoms is a much bigger responsibility and Ned or Jon Arryn couldn't take charge of all of it, besides which and importantly they were surrounded by Lannisters and other schemers from Littlefinger and Varys to the Tyrells, none of whom would be present in the Stormlands in some non-RR AU.

I still contend that Robert would have eventually been just as bored as Lord of Storm's End as he was as King.

The fact that Robert wasn't even living at Storm's End when he was its lord shows me how little interest he had in governing. As Lord of Storm's End, Robert had an overlord, but for the vast majority of Storm's End issues, Robert would be the final say. Any vassal who went over his head to the Iron Throne risks making his Lord a lifetime enemy (imagine how Tywin would react if one of his vassals sought to go over his head).

As King, Robert deleted almost everything. He told Ned that Ned would run the show while Robert fucked around, and Robert meant it. Tywin said Robert only attended 3 meetings of the Small Council in 17 years, one of them being the meeting where he said he wanted Viserys and Daenerys killed. But with that rare exception, Robert's kingship was one of drinking, whoring and fighting, whether in the form of the Greyjoy Rebellion or watching tournaments.

Storm's End may not have schemers long the lines of Littlefinger, Varys and the Tyrells, but it probably does have second/third/fourth tier lords trying to better themselves, so there will be politics and scheming, only on a smaller scale. And Robert hated that.

But even without that, there would still be petitioners of all classes. In Season 2, one peasant asked Bran as the Acting Lord of Winterfell for help fixing his house, and another asked for help tending his sheep. In Season 4, a shepherd came to Daenerys to says that one of the dragons roasted his sheep, and the fellow whose father was crucified asked for permission to bury him. Listening to that all day would bore the shit out of Robert. I got the sense that neither Bran nor Daenerys were exactly thrilled to do it, but they did do it. Robert would say screw it and go hunting.

So ultimately, regardless of whom he married, and what his title was, I think Robert would have led the same dissolute miserable life.

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I disagree. I think Robert would have made a good local ruler. I think he would have enjoyed ocassional plunges into the minutiae of the daily troubles of shepherds and farmers. He would have identified with them, seen them as his people. That wouldn't have stopped him from enjoying the perogatives of being an aristocrat, mind you, but in his heart he'd always think of himself as working class. And again, not that he'd be actually working all the time, he'd just feel that he was and that therefor, after a hard day of allocating grazing rights and ordering barrels of tick repellent, he had earned his hunting trips, boisterous feasts, and one night stands. Likewise, i can see him taking time off from a hunt to help thatch a roof. He'd strip down to his breeches and climb the ladder while his retainers rolled their eyes and hoped he wouldn't demand that they do the same. Those would be the stories people would tell about him, ignoring the fact that they actually represented only a small part of his activities.

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That's an interesting take on Robert, dr pepper.  I would characterize him as a very "earthy" guy.  I think he liked warfare and tournaments a lot because he excelled at fighting, but I could also see him enjoying doing physical tasks in other ways sometimes.  He'd prefer it to sitting in a chair making decisions all the time, no doubt.  I think he had his flaws and propensities for excess before Lyanna was taken and died, but I think that afterward, he became secretly morose and melancholy, and never got over her death.  As a result he wallowed in his flaws and propensities for excess in a way he might not have if he had been married to Lyanna.  If that had happened, because he would have wanted her approval and affection, I think he would have made an effort to be a better Lord, so as to please her.  I imagine he would still have slipped and bedded the occasional tavern girl/peasant woman, but I think he would have made much more of any effort to be discrete, and those indulgences would have been slip ups instead of standard operating procedure.  He was in not only a loveless political marriage, he was married to a very vicious, resentful, vindictive person.  It's little wonder he went outside the marriage for affection, and I think that he tried to lose himself in intense liaisons with strangers.  It's kind of interesting that he was really promiscuous with lots of women, rather than having a mistress or two.  I guess having a mistress would have been very dangerous for the mistress, and I guess in his way, he was remaining true of heart to Lyanna, by never loving anyone else, even if he slept around. 

 

The Robert we saw was an affable, fun-loving man on the outside and he was probably quite popular with the small folk, who appreciated his earthiness, but I think it was masking a great inner moroseness and despair that led him to not ever try to take an active role in peace-time rule, and drove him to indulge his appetite for food, drink, and sex.  He didn't just know those habits were likely to kill him early, he wanted them to.  However, if Robert had married Lyanna, he probably would have made a very different effort at being a good ruler of Storm's End to make Lyanna happy, and he probably would have bonded with the kids differently -- because no monster Joffrey, but I also think he would have been more attached to offspring that resulted from a loving marriage to a woman whose brother was his best friend.

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We still don't know Lyanna's feelings for Robert. I tend to fall on the side that she ran off with Rhaegar, how would her marriage to Robert be if she was in love with another man and how would Robert react if he realized it. I think it's hard to really say how Robert would have been in a marriage to Lyanna as we don't know how Lyanna felt about Robert.

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An entire noble house completely erased. Wow. There's something truly epic and sad about that

 

Well, there's still Gendry, wherever he is.

 

The saddest part is all I'm left with is the contempt D&D had for Renly and Stannis as characters, and how it helped taint stories and moments that could have been far more than they were.

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An entire noble house completely erased. Wow. There's something truly epic and sad about that

I doubt they'll be the only one by the time the series is over.

Pete, I thought D&D liked Renly when he was alive with the way they set him up as so much more likable than Stannis, but maybe that was just them really disliking Stannis.

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I doubt they'll be the only one by the time the series is over.

The Martells, Greyjoys, and Tullys are all up to bat on that score.

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The Martells, Greyjoys, and Tullys are all up to bat on that score.

You're either forgetting House Arryn or you have a lot of faith in Lord Robin. ;) And the Targs are down to a woman who has vowed her dragons will be her only children, so that's not a great forecast either.

Edited by Lady S.
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An entire noble house completely erased. Wow. There's something truly epic and sad about that

Robert has plenty of bastards. One of them could be legitimatized. I wonder if Davos is glad or regretting saving Gendry (only because maybe Gentry dying could have prevented Shireen's death, or Mel would have convinced him to kill both of them). 

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I can see Jon having enough sympathy for another bastard to legitimize one but he'd have to know about it.

 

I can see whoever ends up winning the Iron Throne wanting to give Storm's End to somebody who had been faithful to their campaign. 

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Robert has plenty of bastards. One of them could be legitimatized. I wonder if Davos is glad or regretting saving Gendry (only because maybe Gentry dying could have prevented Shireen's death, or Mel would have convinced him to kill both of them). 

I don't think Davos knows how Shireen died yet, Mel didn't spell it out that she'd done it, and I'd think the natural assumption when hearing of Shireen's death after hearing of Stannis's defeat would be that the Boltons just butchered his family too.

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Robert has plenty of bastards. One of them could be legitimatized.

 

Legitimize one of Robert's bastards and you legitimize a claim to the Iron Throne.

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Pete, I thought D&D liked Renly when he was alive with the way they set him up as so much more likable than Stannis, but maybe that was just them really disliking Stannis.

 

He wasn't as unpleasant as he was in the books, but he was presented as weak (frightened of being cut, which I found hard to believe with a Baratheon, even if he was pampered), and they made his homosexuality into a joke and a fetish, as they have proceeded to do with every gay or bisexual man on this show since.

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Apart from Gendry, weren't all of Robert's bastard children slaughtered in GoT's own Massacre of the Innocents?

So far Mya Stone and Edric Storm haven't made appearances. I think it's safe to say they won't appear. Edric won't anyway since his story was pretty much given over to Gendry. I think all of the others in the books are dead. 

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Apart from Gendry, weren't all of Robert's bastard children slaughtered in GoT's own Massacre of the Innocents?

Only the ones sired in King's Landing, but he made the 8, so to speak, and wasn't trapped in the capital even after he took the throne. I tried to count them on rewatch once and didn't get a real tally, but there definitely weren't 19. Gendry should have some black-haired half siblings out there somewhere.

ETA:

He wasn't as unpleasant as he was in the books, but he was presented as weak (frightened of being cut, which I found hard to believe with a Baratheon, even if he was pampered), and they made his homosexuality into a joke and a fetish, as they have proceeded to do with every gay or bisexual man on this show since.

Oh yes, IA with that, I just didn't think it was as bad as what they did with Loras after Renly's death. In s1 they probably (wrongly) believed they were giving a balanced take by having Loras be the knight and Renly the politician. But I see a lot of effete Renly type comments among book nerds too, even though

the books portray him as built like Robert in his prime, and Loras was his squire so presumably Renly helped train him to knighthood.

Edited by Lady S.
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I found Book Renly more interesting and credible than Show Renly. And while Gethin Anthony is a perfectly fine actor he never really conveyed Renly's great charisma, nor did I thinkhe was handsome enough.

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