Thursday is court day! Sorry for the delay.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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And now, up to ruling 113! Our guest judge this week is Javi Marcos, a previous judge of the Supreme Court and one of the admins of http://lossietereinos.com/, the biggest web about ASOIAF and GoT in Spanish. He had a collaboration in the Special Edition of Tower of the Hand: A Flight for Sorrows.
Is Meera Jon’s twin?
Main Opinion: Amin
No, I don't think so. I'm not sure about her age, but even if it fits the correct range, she is described like a person from the Neck, not a Stark or Targaryen (though we assume Stark features are dominant). Ned's promise to Lyanna may have been to have been to take care of her child himself, though we have no way to know for sure. If it was, then why only take one of them if there were two children, and the male one at that? If Ned wasn't obligated to take care himself, and Howland can take in Meera, then why not take Jon as well? If safety and staying out of sight is the primary concern, Greywater Watch is the place they should be kept, not split up. There's no stories of another baby travelling around with Ned down south, while there is confirmed information about Jon having a wet nurse there. Jojen would have probably picked up that Meera was not his sister via his dreams and made some comment about it. Howland would not have sent Meera over to Winterfell with Jojen in “A Clash of Kings”. There's simply no narrative need for it either, either as another head of the dragon or something to match Meera's current story arc.
Concurring opinion: Stefan
Absolutely agree here. This isn’t Star Wars. There’s neither a need for another Skywalker, as there are enough Starks as well as Targaryens around, nor would it add anything to the story. Plus, Meera isn’t the only named female character of the franchise, so she being connected to Jon has really nothing going for it other than a superficial resemblance of the actors in the show.
Concurring Opinion: Javi Marcos
No. R+L=J it's a serious stuff. The son of Lyanna and Rhaegar is the pure song of ice and fire, and only a main character of the saga and a head of the dragon could have that privilege. Meera is a support character. She serves as an introduction of the Reed family, a companion of his brother Jojen, not so skillful, not strong or athletic but with magical powers and a amazing knowledge of the past (remember the tale of The Knight of the Laughing Tree). She also serves to awake Bran as young man, making her almost the first love of his short life. Being just a tool, someone to flesh other characters, it would be stupid both narrative and thematically to give her the same legendary status as Jon. Also, she has green eyers and no recent Stark or Targaryen have those eyes.
Final Verdict: No relation here.
What if Hoster Tully had still been healthy in the war?
Main Opinion: Amin
If Hoster had been healthy, that would have almost certainly helped the Stark/Tully cause. While I'm not sure if, it is probably quite likely that both Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey knew that Hoster was sick and ailing. That may have factored into Tywin's calculation in raiding the Riverlands or Walder's hard ball negotiation stance with Catelyn and Robb. Hoster would have been a useful leader when it came to mustering and defending the Riverlands from Lannister agression. He would have been a useful source of information and knowledge for Robb, both militarily and diplomatically. He knew what happened to Lysa in regard to the aborted pregnancy, and perhaps he would have been able to understand and explain why Lysa was not supporting them. It is possible that he may have stymied the idea of the Riverlanders swearing direct allegiance to Robb, which would have helped Robb's problem of having to defend two different kingdoms. He may have acted differently in regards to the plan to let Tywin go West, which could change the entire war. So definitely would have been a big impact, and no surprise that Martin kept him out of the action.
Concurring Opinion: Stefan
Most likely, Hoster would have been much more adept at grasping all the political and strategic implications of what was happening. He might have been able to avoid Edmure’s disaster at the Golden Tooth and Riverrun and keep the army intact, posing a constant danger to Tywin, which changes the trajectory of the war from day one. It’s also likely that he wouldn’t have contend himself with sending ravens to the Eyrie and maybe gotten a clearer picture that something was going on there. Perhaps he might have even transferred command to Brynden, ridden to the Vale and made an direct appeal, which might have swayed the Royces at least to oppose Lysa more directly. Hoster just opens up a lot of possibilities that Edmure doesn’t have, and many of them not at all connected to Edmure’s abilities but simply to the connections and experience, simply the clout, Hoster has. He is the one surviving lord paramount from the Ninepenny Wars other than Tywin, don’t forget. There will be quite a lot of people listening to him.
Dissenting Opinion: Javi Marcos
He would have been a good leader, but he wouldn't really make a difference. Maybe he could have told Robb to not trust Walder Frey, but Brynden was also a smart and he neither (like any westerosi really) could imagine how Freys, Boltons and Lannister could ignore all the Westerosi laws and traditions to win the war. The war for Robb was lost since the moment Stannis lost in the Blackwater and had a ruthless and almost inhuman Tywin Lannister as an enemy.
Final Verdict: It would have helped Robb's war effort.
Why didn’t Cersei attack the only 3000 Sparrows?
Main Opinion: Amin
Cersei thought she could make use of them, which she did for some time. It also would be unwise to start a conflict within the city, even Cersei was cognizant of that danger. I don't recall there being a boiling point where it made sense for her to deal with them militarily, and once she was captured, then it was too late for her to order any sort of attack.
Concurring opinion: Stefan
Another important factor is that Cersei simply doesn’t have the means for an attack. The goldcloaks are utterly unreliable and don’t number more than three or four thousand themselves. The Lannister forces in the city are negligible. She couldn’t attack them if she wanted to, but as Justice Amin points out, she considers them allies anyway.
Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Javi Marcos
Because she underestimated them, like she underestimates everyone else around her...and overestimates herself. Not in a single moment in her mind crossed the thought that those freaking zealots could be dangerous for The Legendary Lannister Regime.
Final Verdict: It was neither advisable nor doable.