Monday, June 8, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 80

Thursday is court day! This week, we're really late. Apologies.
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 stefan_sasse@gmx.de, 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.
And now, up to ruling 80 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Jay, who swore his sword to House Manwoody many winters past, though his words are The pen is mightier. He recently graduated from a modern Citadel, forging links in literature and writing. He hopes to someday write something half as good as A Song of Ice and Fire. Jay just moved from the Pacific Northwest to the Kings Landing of the U.S.

When maester Aemon dies, he tells Sam that he should advert the Citadel and Melisandre about dragons? Will he do it? What will Mel will do about Dany? Will be Mel key in a future meeting between Jon and Dany?

Main Opinion: Stefan
Sam is right now under the tutelage of the Sphinx, who seems to be intent on keeping the circle of people in the know small. Therefore, Sam most likely won’t tell the Citadel about dragons, and he might also be precluded from sending a raven to the Wall. I doubt he’ll be a ressource to the Watch anytime soon, which might just be adding to the whole drama. Melisandre, on the other hand, is too obsessed with Stannis to concern herself with Dany, even if she lands. At best, she’ll try to think about stealing her dragons, but I doubt she’ll turn 180 degrees and embrace her as the new savior. However, much of this depends on how Dany will interact with the Faith of R’hollor in the future.

Concurring Opinion: Amin
I agree that Sam is unlikely to talk about dragons at the Citadel given his current company and Marwyn’s request. I am not sure about the Wall, he may send a raven, but they have bigger things to worry about right now, and will probably hear about the dragons from other sources as well as word spreads. As for Melisandre, I find it difficult to predict how she will react. She has had tunnel vision so far with Stannis, so she is unlikely to react unless she sees Dany and the dragons in person. We do know that she believes she is acting for a just cause, so she may be flexible enough to adapt, particularly if Dany has any R’hollor followers or even red priests with her.

Dissenting Opinion: Jay
Sam is a sworn brother of the Night’s Watch and journeyed to the Citadel with the explicit intention to help and support his order. He took great stock in whatever maester Aemon said and most likely will honor his dying words. How the Sphinx and the leadership of the Citadel will react will have to wait for The Winds of Winter. My guess is Samwell will be met mostly with skepticism and ridicule. I do agree with Justice Stefan that alerting the Wall could prove problematic, though when Melisandre eventually does hear of Dany’s dragons I think she will be fascinated. Dragons are “fire made flesh,” which is pretty cool even if you’re not a pyromaniac bent on world domination. She could easily see the dragons as a tool to be harnessed in her war against the Great Other. Melisandre has taken great interest in Jon so when he inevitably meets Dany(assuming he lives through the multi-stabbing), Melisandre will most likely play an important role. Maybe a vision leads them together, maybe the news of dragons forces Jon and Melisandre into Dany’s camp.

Final Verdict: Most likely, Sam won't influence the outcomes at the Wall for some time. Melisandre might come around to Dany, but not instantly. 

What do you think about the theory that Doran sent Quentyn knowing he would fail, to get rid of him?

Main Opinion: Stefan
Absolutely nothing. There is zero textual evidence for it, and it doesn’t make any sense. If Doran wanted to get rid of Quentyn (why?!), he could have arranged for some mishap in Dorne. There are plenty of people who want him dead. Seriously, all he needed to do was to tell Aryanne or a random Sandsnake. Doran doesn’t kill children, least of which his own. That he will lose all of them is the tragedy that befalls all those are consumed by the thought of revenge. Just look at Walder Frey.

Concurring Opinion: Amin
I agree, Doran cares deeply for all his children, and he would not setup Quentyn in that way. It doesn’t make sense to set him up for failure, and there were easier ways to get rid of him even if there was some reason to do so.

Concurring Opinion: Jay
Doran certainly knew Quentyn might fail and die on his mission, but this “theory” doesn’t add up as plausible on multiple levels. Every time we seem Doran he seems to be a loving father, he even wants Quentyn to succeed him as Prince of Dorne. It also doesn’t change much in Sunspear if Quentyn dies, Arianne is still the heir and Doran has another son in Trystane. Perhaps because Quentyn is expendable as far as family lineage goes is a key reason he was the one sent on the dangerous quest. There’s no guarantee he even makes it across the Narrow Sea in one piece. But Quentyn did make it far, just not far enough. As he puts it, “Adventure stinks.”

Final Verdict: This theory certainly isn't true. 

If Dany gets the Throne, would she permit Lannister, Tully, Arrin, Baraethon and Stark to keep their lands and titles?

Main Opinion: Stefan
It is my general feeling that there won’t be any need for her to concern herself with such matters. Dany will fight an ugly civil war with her brother and burn a lot of Dorne before she needs to face the Others, and in my feeling, this is an encounter neither she nor the monarchy will survive intact. I can’t imagine that the whole point of the story is for her to sit the throne and dole out titles all over again. But as a political move, it might at least partially be necessary. Lannister is an easy pick - Tyrion gets it. Tully - who cares? The Riverlands will not play a significant role anymore. They were the stage for Act 1, and Act 1 is long done. The Arryns are dead anyway, and whether or not Sansa or Harry the Heir will get anything of it depends on the outcome of those specific intrigues. The Starks will certainly retain the North, or how else will Bran ever rebuild Winterfell? But in general, I don’t have the sense that we will get a Tolkienesque ending in which everyone happily is rewarded like it’s “A Clash of Kings” all over again.

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Amin
Dany is wise enough to maintain the major houses if there are claimants who will swear allegiance to her. She is starting to learn that Robert’s Rebellion was not as black and white as Viserys portayed it, and hopefully will know the full story by the time she arrives. Of all the houses, Baratheon is probably the one most in danger of losing its place due to the death of most of the relevant members. Hopefully Shireen survives to inherit, but if not, one of Robert’s bastards might take over or Dany might use the opportunity to raise a new ruling house in the Stormlands (assuming she gets the Throne).

Concurring Opinion: Jay
Should the time come when Dany sits upon the Iron Throne and has the opportunity to carve up the Seven Kingdoms and give out titles I think she will follow the example of her forebearer, Aegon I, and leave whatever great houses she can in control of their herediatary lands. Installing an outsider as overlord usually stirs up the locals, just look at the Tyrell regent in Dorne. Whoever is alive when this time comes and has the right last name will have a good chance to become the lord or lady of a great house. I will go out on a limb and say Cersi Lannister will be the Lady of Casterly Rock before all’s said and done. 

Final Verdict: Most likely, Dany won't shake up the political fabric too much.

18 comments:

  1. Is this the most ironic line in the books? When discussing Mance Rayder's child, Jon said, "The child's blood is no more Royal than my own."

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    1. Meh, that line was overly wink-wink for my tastes. It's a bit too a-ha! regarding Jon's parentage and secondly, even without R+L+J Jon's blood is royal to an extent. Stark had been Kings in the North for untold thousands of years; they *are* royalty.

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  2. I find the naming conventions of married people inconsistent. Some take the last name of the spouse (Catelyn Stark, Lysa Arryn, Genna Frey, Lady Merryweather) but some don't (Cersei Lannister).

    Sansa is never referred to as Sansa Lannister, the whole kingdom was searching for Sansa Stark after the Purple Wedding. Margery is still referred to as Tyrell, even though she's married a Baratheon three times. Is that based on regional preference, personal preference, or author preference?

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    1. I thought we covered this at some earlier ruling already, but it's more or less an acknowledgment of status. Cersei is Cersei Baratheon, but no one cares about the formalities because it's obvious she's still feeling Lannister. Catelyn is Catelyn Stark, but she is referred to as Catelyn Tully when it suits friends and foes alike. Lysa has shed her home, so she's Lysa Arryn throughout. And so on, and so forth.

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  3. "Rhaelle, the daughter of Aegon V married into House Baratheon and was the mother of Steffon, the father of Robert, Stannis, and Renly."

    Does this mean that Gendry, Edric Storm and Mya Stone are somewhat likely candidates for dragonriders as they have Targaryen blood in them??

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    1. Maybe, but it won't matter.

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    2. How so?
      Are they not major characters enough to get considered for that?

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    3. That and that Jon, Tyrion and Dany (they will be the dragonriders) will most likely die in their final mission.

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    4. That's a very very bleak outlook on things!

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    5. Yeah, perhaps, even most likely, not all of them. But seriously, the story ending with Gendry, Edric and Mya riding dragons? Characters we effectively don't know? Nah.

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    6. Well I didn't think all of them but perhaps one.
      Do we really trust unjon with that privilege?

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  4. VERSION)

    http://perfectmusiclyrics.blogspot.com/2015/06/watch-coldplays-game-of-thrones-musical.html

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  5. I wonder if Melisandre is in communication with the central authority of the red religion. I would love to see the communique and her reaction to a Volatis' change of heart. The rpg posits that the red priests can communicate through fire for whatever it's worth.

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  6. Thinking in military terms, what clues do we have about the white walkers' intentions based on their patterns and nature of attacks?

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    1. i was asking myself the same thing today...

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