RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup!

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Hey folks! So work on the Reach essay of the Politics of the Seven Kingdom series has begun, but I can already tell from the outline that this may be as long if not longer than the Westerlands essay and will definitely need to be broken up into several parts.

So in the mean-time, what do we have on the Tumblrs?

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15 thoughts on “RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup!

  1. Steven Xue says:

    I always thought the punishment for royal adultery didn’t really depend so much on laws but rather on how much influence and power a cheating royal consort’s family had and how much blow back would come from executing them. When it came to Anne Boleyn, there really wasn’t anything that would have given Henry VIII second thoughts about sending her to the block. Her father was just a earl with a modest estate who wasn’t in a position to retaliate. In fact what influence and power he had came from the king. If Thomas Boleyn was in a stronger position and could be a threat to his son in law then adultery or not, Anne would have been spared.

    This reminds me of the Tour de Nesle Affair which I really enjoyed reading about in Maurice Druon’s historical fiction The Iron King. In one chapter after King Phillip the Fair had sentenced his daughters in laws to life imprisonment after their adultery became public, one of his councilors asked him why he simply didn’t execute the princesses, to which the king pointed out that if he had done so it would have brought tensions between the royal family and the houses of Burgundy and Artois who were very powerful and that would of been very troublesome for the kingdom of France.

    This is sort of why I think Robert might not have executed Cersei and her children if Ned had succeeded, but instead imprisoned them. Because at that time he still greatly depended on the wealth of Casterly Rock to finance his extravagant lifestyle. Not to mention Tywin being very powerful and dangerous might have been enough to give Robert in all his hot headedness second thoughts about killing his daughter.

    • Well, the words privilege and law are connected for a reason.

      Here’s the thing about Robert – he could also have decided that Cersei’s treason would be a great opportunity to cancel the debt with a clear excuse.

    • Crystal says:

      This made me think of Bethany Bracken: Since she wasn’t Aegon the Unworthy’s *wife* she couldn’t have commited *adultery* with Terrence Toyne of the Kingsguard. So, legally, she couldn’t have been executed for adultery against a man she wasn’t even married to (I mean, Aegon was the adulterer here!) – so, considering that even a tyrant like Henry VIII had to have some legal precedent, no matter how flimsy, for executing Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard, what legal precedent was there for executing Bethany? I wonder if it was something like “corrupting a Kingsguard” on top of “we hate the Brackens because Barba was such a b*tch to Queen Naerys.” Considering that Aemon was the Lord Commander of the KG *and* Bethany’s sister was so awful to Aemon’s own beloved sister – I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an element of revenge to Bethany’s execution that had little to do with Bethany herself, but her adultery with a KG offered an opening.

      Melissa Blackwood was smart, as well as kind-hearted, in making friends with Naerys and Daemon (the future king, remember?). Just as Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Katherine Parr made sure to treat Princess Mary (and later Elizabeth and Prince Edward) well – this wasn’t just humane, it was insurance for when and if the King died. In Melissa’s case, it meant her son was accepted at court where Barba’s son was left at Stone Hedge, and Melissa was able to retire in honor and not disgrace (even if she died not long after; I’m not sure of the timeline here).

    • Jim B says:

      But how “powerful and dangerous is Tywin,” really?

      Tywin’s strengths are:
      1) He’s the head of one of the Great Houses.
      2) He controls a fair amount of wealth.
      3) He’s a capable administrator.
      4) He’s a decent general.
      5) He’s utterly ruthless and willing to violate social norms to achieve his short-term goals.

      In an alternate timeline where Cersei and Jaime’s treachery is uncovered and Robert lives, I’m not sure how far these assets get Tywin. (3) is pretty irrelevant in this context. (1) and (4) are nice and all, but Robert would have equal or better generals, and multiple Great Houses on his side: the North, the Riverlands, and the Stormlands for sure.

      To have even a fighting chance, Tywin would need to pick up the Reach as an ally, but when Robert can offer Margaery the throne, and Tywin doesn’t have any good marriage candidates to offer (Joffrey and Tommen presumably being dead), that seems unlikely. Littlefinger hasn’t had enough time to take full control of the Vale, and it’s not clear why he would want to intervene to help a losing cause. Dorne probably doesn’t have much love for either side, and the Iron Islands aren’t strong enough to make much of a difference.

      For the same reason, (5), and more specifically Tywin’s gambits of appealing to disgruntled Lesser Houses like the Boltons and the Freys aren’t likely to work in this context, where Tywin doesn’t currently control the throne and the capital and the right to hand out royal goodies, or even have a plausible claim to the throne (other than “right of conquest assuming I eventually win”). And Tywin himself is vulnerable to a version of that same tactic: Robert can declare House Lannister attainted, and elevate whichever Lesser House of the west seems most willing to switch sides. (And Robert is capable of being pretty damn ruthless himself.)

      As to the wealth, well, as Steven points out, the Crown can declare its debts to the Lannisters void, which wipes out one chunk. I suppose Tywin’s best shot might be to hire mercenaries and hope he can draw the fight out long enough to negotiate a peace. Actually, given what we know, Tywin’s best shot is likely that Varys pulls some strings to keep the fight going until one of the Targaryen contender/pretenders shows up.

      Anyway, my point is that while Tywin isn’t an opponent to be taken lightly, he’s not such a scary figure that Robert should really hesitate to take action, and of course being Robert, he wouldn’t care much anyway.

  2. Brett says:

    7. It’s interesting how relatively limited the reach of the Valyrian Empire was, especially since they seemed to prefer doing a relatively light level of direct control that involved the transfer of tribute (in gold and slaves) from subjugated areas. Given that Qarth was rich and prosperous, you’d think they would have mounted some time of tributary expedition just to shake them down for gold and slaves – but they didn’t.

    • Sean C. says:

      Valyria does pose a bit of a worldbuilding problem in that regard, since the premise of the series holds that three dragons were enough to subdue all of Westeros (except Dorne). You would think, then, that a society with hundreds of dragons would pretty much be able to rule the world.

      • Grant says:

        Politically they seem to have been very divided against each other. It took the united Rhoynar counteroffensive rolling back their empire to get them to send out a sizable dragon force to deal with the problem.

        So perhaps there was a family named the Ramarons with thirty dragons who could have led a force to expand even further. And perhaps there was another family named the Davaerons with twenty six who would take the opportunity to seize everything the Ramarons had the moment they sent their military strength away from the homeland.

        As for Westeros, Aegon used dragons to defeat (most of) the kings, but it was generally leaving the noble families in place when he could with things largely the same as they had been before his invasion that let him keep control of Westeros. A dragon’s an incredible weapon, but it can’t really hold ground for very long on its own.

        • Brett says:

          That’s what I think it might have been, too. Competition within Valyria among the noble families was probably intense (and possibly bloody), and so they’d be afraid to keep any significant fraction of their strength out on conquest more than a few days flight away from Valyria. That might also explain why there were so few dragon-riders in the Free Cities when the Doom happened.

          It might have had to do with magic as well. The Valyrians literally turned their capital city into a series of channels of flowing lava separating towers for magical purposes. Maybe the magically powerful houses were reluctant to leave their source of magical power for long.

        • Steven Xue says:

          Very good points. I would also speculate that the Valyrian Peninsula alone may have had an overabundance of mineral wealth and was fertile enough to grow any crops they needed (sort of like the Westerlands and Reach put together), therefore the Valyrians themselves had all they needed and really didn’t have to expand their borders to enrich themselves like a lot of empires do. The few times they went out on a united front to destroy and conquer a great enemy was to acquire more slaves.

  3. thatrabidpotato says:

    Pardon the ignorance, but I was always under the impression that drawing and quartering was the same punishment? I didn’t know there was a difference between them.

  4. Grant says:

    Is it called 0 AC? Wouldn’t it be called 1 AC and the year before Aegon started his invasion 1 BC?

    As for the Valryians, if their system needed magic and blood sacrifice to endure I don’t see how they could have ended the slavery in the system.

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