Thursday, February 25, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 118

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 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.
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And now, up to ruling 118! Our guest judge this week is Michael, a member of the community who also serves the court as a clerk, checking our questions and helping us with keeping it all straight, for which we are immeasurably grateful.

Why is Bloodraven allied with the Children of the forrest ?

Main Opinion: Stefan
This remains kind of a mystery and will hopefully answered in “The Winds of Winter”. “The World of Ice and Fire” was purposefully sparse with details about Bloodraven’s tenure at the Wall and the ranging he led in which he vanished. Most likely, he discovered the threat of Others at some point prior to the ranging or during the ranging itself, and during that time also made contact with the Children. It must have been a pretty harsh revelation for him, essentially learning that he wasted his life prior, a revelation that must have been reinforced by decades of backward gazing through the treenet. But once Bloodraven had his revelation, allying with the Children becomes the logical course, and for them with him - greenseers are so rare that you should take one when you get one, although that logic also spawned Euron Crowseye, so make of it what you will.

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Amin
I agree that Bloodraven working with the Children made sense at least as soon as he met them up beyond the Wall, as he learned the full extent of the threat against the Others. However, I'm not quite sure he felt his life before was a waste to that extent, though he certainly had regrets about some parts of his life that would only be reinforced by seeing them over and over again in the treenet. There is also an idea that he may have maneuvered his own political downfall, in that not only did he kill a Blackfyre knowing he would face potential exile, but he specifically planned going to the Wall based on a vision before going there. I'm not quite there for accepting that theory, but it is one I'm going to think about further.

Concurring opinion: Michael
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Both Bloodraven and the Children come from living species, in contrast to whatever the Others truly are, and they have interests in the survival of their species and all living things. Bloodraven is also a greenseer so it makes sense that the Children would reach out to him.

Final Verdict: Because they were also fighting the Others.

What would have happened if Loras had lead the party against the Mountain?

Main Opinion: Stefan
The same thing that happened to Beric, possibly minus the resurrection thing. He would have been killed, because the Mountain’s orders were to catch Eddard Stark alive. There was no mention of anyone else, and the Mountain isn’t one to recognize the value in gaining such a hostage. Most like, Varys would have been proven right, Loras been killed and the Tyrells firmly in the anti-Lannister-camp.

Concurring Opinion: Amin
Loras would probably die; the Mountain is just too much for him and the King’s Men would be outnumbered anyway. That would have pushed the Tyrells more against the Lannisters, which would have probably helped the Starks, though if Ned refuses Renly offer, he might not be around to benefit that himself. Whether Renly gets word of it in time for it to affect his actions after Robert’s death is important, seems like they would not hear in time for him to be grieiving, but it is unknown whether Loras was the key point pushing him to going for the Throne (the HBO portrayal) or if Renly would have considered another option like supporting Stannis.

Concurring opinion: Michael
Maybe Loras does a reckless, stupid, heroic charge and takes the Mountain down with him, but Loras almost certainly dies. As a result, the Lannisters have no hope of a Tyrell alliance and King’s Landing falls to Stannis. It’s a good example of how lucky Tywin got, or had to be, in his campaign against the Starks to be successful.

Final Verdict: Loras dies.

Why isn’t the High Septon a member of the Small Council?

Main Opinion: Stefan
Because Martin let his world-building slip, I suppose. It doesn’t really make all that much sense that a Faith so unified with such a universal level of support is as docile as it is. But in-universe, the Faith was broken when Maegor the Cruel essentially destroyed their military orders and the High Septon accepted the outcome in his treaties with Jahaerys the Conciliator. The deal was sealed when the Faith moved to King’s Landing, basically suffering the fate of the French nobility at Versailles: at the center of power, yet without any real access to it.

Concurring Opinion: Amin
The Faith got enough out of the deal with Jahaerys that this option was probably not on the initial table, maybe one that was considered in the long run but never happened. The Faith seems fairly autonomous in running it’s own internal business and is even lending to the Crown, so it wasn’t particularly pressed to push for a seat on the council, that part of ruling left to the Crown along with the Crown’s duty in protecting the Faith. The High Septon had influence without that formal seat and it is only recently that the war conditions fanaticized and militarized the Faith to the point that they would want to take even more control (including over the justice system).

Concurring opinion: Michael
The faith are still ‘reeling’ from the Targaryen one-two punch of Maegor and Jahaerys. In AGOT the High Septon kneels to Joffery when asking what happens to Ned, which should give you an idea of how whipped they are. Most likely George wanted the faith to start off as benign and inconsequential, to make the religious revolution in AFFC all the more shocking and powerful.

Final Verdict: The Faith is incredibly weak politically, which may be a slip by Martin. 

8 comments:

  1. What is the point of the absurd story the Freys tell Manderly about Robb Stark turning into a wolf at the Red Wedding? I can't imagine they expect him to believe it, so why not come up with a better story or just tell the truth? They and everyone else know that Manderly is cornered and outnumbered, with his remaining heir a prisoner at Harrenhal.

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  2. Sorry if this has been posted before. What is the endgame for Arya and her faceless man training? Obviously to assassinate people. but who and for what narrative purpose? GRRM spends an enormous amount of time and plot energy keeping Arya in her own story arc for this to not have a pivotal role in the overall storyline doesn't he?

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  3. Heartsbane of HornhillFebruary 25, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    Have we seen the last Jon Snow POV chapter?

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  4. Heartsbane of HornhillFebruary 27, 2016 at 12:28 AM

    Since you post a bunch of his metas, I've got to ask about Poor Quentyn's Eldritch apocalypse. I'm on board with the potential for Aeron to raise something from the sea, but rather than a/the drowned god, or some Cthulu like being, wouldn't a second Nagga make for more symmetry? As many of the other Age of Heroes players are coming back into play? Also and this has little fact to back it up but Euron did drop a dragon egg into the sea. (I know you've dismissed this as another of Euron's lies) Still At least there is some precedent for a Sea Dragon in the story as opposed to a physical manifestation of the drowned god.
    Truth be told I don't even know if you guys are on board with the Eldritch apocalypse in Old Town, just want to gauge your thoughts.

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  5. Does Tyrion have some sort of special immunity to illnesses? He avoids catching both greyscale and the bloody flux when exposed to both.

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  6. Who are your top three candidates for the "friends in the Reach" of the Golden Company?

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  7. Did Robb send Roose to Harrenhal in full knowledge of the curse? Surely Robb knew that Roose was a danergous man and he could rid himself of a future problem, given what had happened during the Hornwood Affair.

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  8. How will Tyrion react when he finds out the Others are real and attacking? And just for fun, how will Arya react?

    Also, I know Stefan is a big fan of Poor Quentyn (I am as well), but what theories of his does each judge disagree with?

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