Hey folks, I’m doing another AMA at r/asoiaf here. I’ll be answering questions all day here, so come on by!
Man, I’ll be disappointed if that Tyrek Lannister theory doesn’t pan out. That’s a solid one.
I like it too. Of course on the show, there’s no mention of Tyrek, but I’m sure the writers can figure out a way for Varys to dig up other dirt on Cersei with little or no difficulty.
Also, with so many other Lannister’s dropping like flies, Varys might find it useful to have a possible heir to CR, who was under his control, for the post war shakeout.
Well, Lancel’s still floating around somewhere on the show.
What do you think of The sailor’s wife being tysha..& lanna being tyrion’s daughter?
Lanna is described as 14 with golden hair & daughter to The sailor’s wife in the AFFC index.Then there’s the fact that TSW only beds those who marry her for the night!!
I am in agreement with nobodysuspectsthebutterfly. Not her.
Hello Steve, I just recently found and started reading your analysis’, and I was wondering if you could perhaps give me a historical and political perspective on the prospects of House Frey after the Red Wedding. What mechanisms exist in medieval society to react to such an act, and given the dynamics of the house, too many heirs that seem to be committing fratricide starting with the Frey heir that died unexpectedly in the wastelands (was it see Stevron?). Also in the context of the powers coming into play at the end of ADWD, what could all of these new actors pose for House Frey should they attain some measure of influence? I don’t see anyone wanting to touch the Freys after the RW, even if they need all the swords they can get.
Normally, outlawry would be the sentence for a crime of that magnitude.
In terms of the dynamics of the House, Walder’s actually making a smart play to spread out his kids in Seagard, Darry, Riverrun, etc. The problem is that he’s spreading his manpower thinly and that’s dangerous in a time of war.
Frey has enough offspring on enough sides/houses that’s he probably inoculated the House from total destruction. But a reckoning for the main perpetrators of the Red Wedding would be satisfying enough.
Even with the historical Black Dinner (or something similar), I think one of the neat things Martin has done with a fairly believable world-setting is to make that offense by a family so infamous that it’s hard to find anything comparable. You’ve got treason, regicide, and destruction of the Guest Right all in one go- it’s telling that even in the Blackwood v. Bracken chapter of ADWD, the Riverlords make a point of correcting “Robb Stark was killed” with, “Robb Stark was murdered! In violation of all laws and guest right!” . Any claimant to the Iron Throne would have to consider the benefits of extirpating the Twins as a way to cement some support both locally and otherwise. In the (unlikely) chance Stannis ever marches south of the Neck again…
Not to mention the fact, that NO claimant to the IT would EVER be willing to trust the Frey’s about ANYTHING. They’ve permanently poisoned as potential allies-you’d be better off swimming in shark infested waters than relying on their word.
Seven Hells Jaime didn’t even *try* to hide to his contempt for them-or personal disgust that he had to work with them.
And word to Steve about Walder’s desperation for new berths for his family making him spread his military strength far too thin. I still can’t get over the fact they sent *half* their army to the NORTH, because they were so greedy for prizes up there, they managed to miss the obvious fact that anyone heading North of the Neck wearing the Twins banner wasn’t coming back alive. That’s half Walder’s strength right there GONE, and they’re already losing men in the Riverlands as well with a LOT of potential chaos coming. Even in House Lannister *wanted* to protect the Frey’s they couldn’t-way things are going the Lannister’s soon won’t be able to protect themselves.
One thing I’m interested in seeing for the show in season 5 is whether we’ll get a reaction from Walder Frey to Twyin’s death-and any realization how badly screwed that leaves him. Remember his post RW gloating on the show, he specifically mentioned “I have Tywin Lannister! What does he have?” about the Blackfish. Foreshadowing anyone?!?
OT, but one thing I thought the show did that was an improvement on the books was actually have someone bring up the question of what would happen to House Lannister after Tywin was gone, (that great Iron Bank scene,) and show someone making their decisions accordingly. It always bugged me in the books that all these people and other houses were betting so *heavily* on House Lannister, or to be more betting on Tywin Lannister, without considering the question of the house’s future once the current Patriarch died. Didn’t take a clairvoyant genius to see once the Head Lion was dead the rest of the pride was gonna be in trouble. Anyone who’d ever met Cersei could have figured that out-but somehow no one ever did?!? Felt a bit like Martin was blinding people to the obvious to make things turn out worse for the Starks.
I figured that Cercei had successfully blamed all her failures on other people…from the POV of those who weren’t in the very upper echelons of power. So Ser Kevan knew that being part of any government that Cercei was in charge of was foolishness, but most of the lower houses didn’t know how much of the stupidity could be laid directly at her feet.
This would also have implied that Cercei is not someone who tries to rule herself and that she’d let her new hand do the actual ruling. If she makes the obvious choice of Ser Kevan, then you’ve got Tywin the Great’s brother keeping things together. Kevan is not very innovative, but everyone thought that all that was left was to mop up the North. I can see why most people woudn’t be panicking until they saw what Cercei did with no one to say “no” to her.
I think “obvious fact” is a bit presentist. The North was decimated at the Red Wedding, most of the houses have hostages safe at the Twins, it looked from the outside like a safe bet. Send your men up for a bit to make sure Roose gets settled, make some marriages to plant the Frey flag in the North, stay reasonably close to the Twins. But Stannis was kind of a wildcard.
That’s a fair point David. We readers know more than the general public. I certainly get the impression the Roses didn’t know how how unstable and dysfunctional the Lions really were until after they’d made the alliance and it was too late. And of course nobody realized how often Queen C had been protected by her own bad decisions by the Imp. Not even their own father…
Is there a Frey in (or heir to) Seagard? I know Black Walder got Jason Mallister to surrender Seagard and join the King’s Peace, but I don’t remember anything about the Freys getting Seagard (or forcing the Mallisters into a marriage there).
If I recall correctly, Black Walder is holding Seagard and Jason Mallister is a prisoner in his own dungeons.
Ah, you’re right, Black Walder does control Seagard. Here’s the summary (http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Greywater_Watch):
“Lord Jason returns from Greywater Watch and surrenders his castle at Seagard to Black Walder Frey after Black Walder threatens to hang his son, Patrek. Black Walder keeps him as a prisoner inside his own castle, alongside his son.”
Yeah, the Frey’s hold Seagard for now, but how much longer they can keep control of it is another question entirely. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re petitioning Tommen to give them the Mallister lands, or hoping to force a Frey bride on young Patrek.
Probably the former. Wouldn’t put it past Black Walder for the Mallisters to die “attempting to escape.”
Aw man, I missed your AMA. Is it okay if I ask a question on here?
I’ve seen people on the internet say that Stannis will take Iron Throne now that he has the backing of Iron Bank. Out of curiosity, where would Justin Massey find even find 20,000 sellswords to hire in Essos?
The Golden Company (which seems to be thought of as the largest and best of the free companies) is in Westeros, many of the other free companies (Second Sons, Windblown, etc) are in Slaver’s Bay about to either join Danerys or be destroyed by her army (Company of the Cat). Is this one of those rare moments in history where money might not tip the scales as much as usual?
You raise a good point. However, I doubt that those companies are the only men – keep in mind, most companies are rather small (a thousand or less), and we only know of a handful in Meereen.
So Stannis must have been thinking of hiring 20+ companies. So there must be many more than we’ve heard of.
I suspect Braavos alone would have a fair number of available sell-swords on hand (hell the Iron Bank’s Iron Rolodex probably has some small and mid-sized groups they can call on or have a generally good relationship with). Also, the sense I get from the various characters that have put in a few campaigns with different companies is that a fair number of sell-swords function like our version of oil derrick workers or roustabouts or commercial fishermen. They work a campaign here and there and move on to the next one. It’s possible a fair number may get a lucrative campaign or two and then take a season or two off – and so wouldn’t have departed for the Slavers’ Bay fighting yet.
Honestly, with the traditional Braavosi distrust of the Dragon Lords and the Slavers Bay cities, it wouldn’t be surprising if a fair number of Braavosi mercenaries drew the line at getting involved in that campaign and waited around for someone from Westeros’ increasingly messy civil war to come calling.
Agreed. I’m quite sure many if not most sellswords are free lancers, and can be found all over the Free Cities. And I can definitely see why Westeros would seem a better bet to them than Slavers Bay and all that mucking about with dragons.
That’s quite likely.
I think that if Dany finally enters the field the Iron Bank might decide to back her rather than Stannis. After all she is a ‘breaker of chains’ which makes the Braavosi her natural allies. Although come to think of it they might not be too happy that there are dragons in the world again.
They will *definitely* not be happy about dragons, because the dragons completely change all the old rules the Braavosi have been governed by. They might decide to support Dany anyway on the grounds it’s better to be on the bus than off it, but it could be that the Iron Bank is being set up to show the limits of even money as a form of power.
I think the Dragons are a deal-breaker for a city founded by escapees from the Dragon-riding Lords. Considering the time table the Iron Bank seems to work on, even if Dany operates on using the dragons for purposes that may…MAY align with Braavosi sensibilities…they may be more concerned about whoever comes after her, with a throne, and dragons, and a house propensity for going wild-fire-drinking crazy.
Though the mention of Justin Massey brings up my own question. Though he seems fairly solid for Stannis and fairly snarky about whatever his opinions are during the March on Winterfell – his “I’ve lost faith in more things than that” statement and his maneuvering to court Asha being meant to make up for his lost lands in the South…
House Massey swore themselves to House Targaryen before it was cool. They were dyed-in-the-wool Targaryen supporters during Aegon’s Conquest, stuck with them during the Blackfyre Rebellions, and presumably up until and after Robert’s Rebellion. Is there a non-trivial chance that once he hears of Aegon (false or true) landing in the Stormlands that he simply throws over Stannis’ cause and declares for him on the old principle of the family’s loyalty and as a chance to get his House seat back? Would that have consequences for Stannis or does the signed deed to the Bank’s Representatives function well enough to hire on sellswords, etc without Massey? Or is he genuinely devoted enough to Stannis to stick with him, especially now that he’s got the formal financial backing?
I dunno, I think if Massey was that kind of guy, he would have ditched Stannis after the Blackwater.
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