Thursday, December 4, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 56

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 56 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Tyler Kendal, a teacher of history and literature. He is a moderator of the A Song of Ice and Fire subreddit at

Do you think the Wall will come down in a Pip or Grenn prologue or epilogue?

Main Opinion: Amin
I hadn’t thought of that, it could work. It seems like they would be good characters to give that kind of side view, though if following the general rule of prologues and epilogues, that mean Pip or Green would die at the end of the chapter. I don’t think Jon will be out of action for long, so he will probably be around to witness the event. Melisandre is also an option, if George wants to give her another POV chapter.

Concurring Opinion: Stefan
It would work pretty well in my opinion. Having either Grenn or Pyp in such a chapter would serve as a pretty hard hit from the beginning on, knowing that they’ll die, keep in with the general pattern of southern and northern prologues and allow the event to be devestating. And by the way, we’re all in agreement that Checkov’s Wall will fall, right?

Dissenting Opinion: Tyler Kendall
No. The Wall is literally and figuratively a pillar of the series. While it may indeed fall before we see the series out, this is far too large of an event for a prologue or epilogue. Thus far prologues, while having important events, have been subtle stage-setters. We see that Others are real and the Night's Watch for the first time, that Stannis and Mel are ready to enter the fray, an imminent attack from The Others, hints of important events in Old Town and learn more about warging from a defeated wildling. Having The Wall come down is simply too important of an event for a prologue. From the five books, only two have feature epilogues, which I feel is placed at the end of a larger "chapter" of the story. I believe the next epilogue that we see will come at the end of A Dream of Spring, and if The Wall is to fall it will happen before the very final chapter of the series. Pip and Grenn would make for intriguing prologue or epilogue POVs though...

Final Verdict: It is a possibility. 

How big of a dick is Jaime Lannister for killing Aerys yet leaving his plot (and, subsequently, all the caches of wildfire hidden in kings landing that Rossart was told to light up) unmentioned and lurking beneath the surface (literally) of kings landing, just waiting for the city to go up like a match at the first mishap (Dragons?) with those caches?

Main Opinion: Amin
Jaime is not a ‘dick’ for that, though perhaps he did not handle the aftermath of the situation as well as possible. We know that he did take time later on to eliminate the other pyromancers who may have still triggered the wildfire statches later on. Jaime was focussed on intentional trigger of the wildfire, not accidental fires. Certainly, a dragon attack was not a possibility to be considered. Perhaps he looked for the caches and did not find them, but he could have done more, yes.

Dissenting opinion: Stefan
Jaime is probably the biggest dick of Westeros. He does things because he wants to do them, and he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what other people think. This is what bites him in the ass big time and gives him the “Kingslayer” moniquer. Plus, the caches could have been found if he had alerted everyone important to the fact, which would also have been the number one proof that, yes, it was necessay to slay Aerys on the spot and not wo wait for someone without the vow to do it. But Jaime is Jaime, and he does what he wants.

Dissenting Opinion: Tyler Kendall
It makes Jaime a huge dick, no question. It is made worse by what I feel is his motivation: his desire to be seen as an outsider. We see it in his refusal to disclose his true reason for killing The Mad King. Rather than telling the truth he embraces the "kingslayer" moniker. Had he just explained Aerys' plan he would have been hailed as a hero. In the case of the wildfire he kept this information to himself and it is a small miracle that they were not ignited in the years after. "That boy had wanted to be Ser Arthur Dayne, but someplace along the way he had become the Smiling Knight instead." Jaime reflects in A Storm of Swords, except he didn't just become the Smiling Knight. He chose to. And that makes him a huge dick.

Final Verdict: Ser Jaime is Ser Dick-a-lot.

Did Jaime (inadvertently) safe Bran's life? My reasoning is: if Bran had come out with what he'd seen while Robert was alive, then the Lannisters would have been easily crushed. Robert's heir had been Stannis, one of the greatest commanders alive, and the realm had been more stable than before. This would have gone against Varys' plans, who might have done something about Bran before he ever revealed his knowledge.

Main Opinion: Amin
Well, Bran might have been frightened into or otherwise talked into not saying anything, so the issue would never force Varys’ hands or anyone else’s hands. It is also taking things a few steps and connections too far to assume Varys would eliminate Bran. Killing Bran might start up the conflict between Lannister and Stark earlier than planned, defeating the suggested purpose or removing him. Jaime may have certainly helped out Bran in some ways, considering that Bran was forced into a path that led to opening his third eye and using his full warging and skinchanging abilities. That is a mixed bag of good and bad, without getting into the suggestion of saving Bran’s life.

Concurring Opinion: Stefan
I would be very careful with such assumptions. Saving his life? I don’t know. I mean, there was no way they would just let Bran spill the beans and not do anything to counteract this. Ultimately, it may have just sped up the murder of Robert, who might have been killed in Winterfell under very suspicious circumstances. But let’s face it, the point is moot. The events surrounding Bran’s fall are way too intricately woven together to pen out any other way than they did, because the subtle web of events spun in “A Game of Thrones” builds the whole foundation of what’s to come.

Concurring Opinion: Tyler Kendall
Had Jaime not pushed him perhaps Bran runs to Ned right away and tells him what he saw. His father proceeds to tell Robert and a civil war begins, with Bran staying safe in Winterfell as his father, Robert and their allies wage war. Perhaps he is too scared to tell and is taken to King"s Landing as planned where he becomes a hostage or worse once things go bad. What we cannot argue is that Jaime set Bran on his current course, which is potentially giving his life a greater purpose than it ever would have otherwise. Let's assume that he survives until adulthood. Bran's ambition was wear the white cloak of The Kingsguard. If he had failed at this aim he likely would have served as a bannerman to his older brother Robb and/or been married of to secure an alliance. Jaime's push led directly to Bran's true purpose and saved him from a life of servitude.

Final Verdict: We don't really like the premise, but Jaime's action was vital to how things played out.


  1. How relevant is Jenny's Song to the Song of Ice and Fire? Does it explain the Prince that was promised or does it explain the tragedy at Summerhall or both?

  2. Hoping you will tackle the 'how did Ned know to go to the Tower of Joy' question.

  3. Whom could Jaime have told that there's all that wildfire just lying around? Someone in charge,sure- but the last guy in charge tried to use it for the worst possible reason.
    It's a really complicated question, isn't it? When you know there's a massive bomb lying around, do you go to someone to handle it, if that person's also the one who would have reasons to abuse it?

  4. Telling Ned Stark may have been a start, rather than saying 'Do not worry, I was only keeping the warm for our dear friend, Robert', when Ned found him sat on the Iron Throne with the king at his feet!

  5. Should we make anything of the number of instances where we see the Lannisters stealing or appropriating someone else’s wealth or partrimony (for lack of a better term): Lann the Clever allegedly tricking the Casterleys out of Casterley Rock and its vast wealth, Tywin seizing Ice from the Starks, the Lannisters taking about a third of the royal treasury back to Casterly Rock for safe keeping during the “Dance of the Dragons” (probably pocket change compared to their own wealth, but I don’t recall ever reading about it being returned). “Spoils of War” and all that, but it did strike me that we see them profiting from trickery more than any other major house.

    1. (not that being tricksy is necessarily a bad thing)

  6. How old was Jaime when it happened, 16 I believe. Instead of getting praise for stopping the possible destruction Jaime got grief for killing the King while being a Kingsguard. . Jaime witness other Kingsguards not doing anything when the Madking was at his maddest , and if you can believe his Hot tub confessions, a confused youngster, I will give young Jaime a pass on this

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