Thursday, April 21, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 126


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And now, up to ruling 126! Our guest judge this week is K-K Bracken. She writes for The Geekiary and is working on a novel. She is a volunteer for Ice and Fire Con and has a Geekiary page here.


How did Ned come to have Ice? Wouldn't his father have had it when he went to King's Landing? If Ice was left at Winterfell because Rickard wanted to avoid exacerbating the situation (although traveling unarmed all that way seems a little crazy), did Ned travel back to Winterfell in the midst of Robert's Rebellion to retrieve it?

Main Opinion: Amin
Either Ice was left in Winterfell or it was retrieved at the end of the war. Rickard wouldn’t have gone unarmed if he left it behind, he just would have had a regular sword with him. If it was with Rickard, then it was probably put into storage at KL rather than sent back, given that the rest of the Starks were considered traitors. There was no immediate need to do anything with it, the Targaryens being less desperate than the Lannisters for Valyrian steel and did not think to melt it to create new weapons.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Stefan
In my head-canon, Ice isn’t really used in combat. It doesn’t make a practical weapon for a commander of any sort, and Eddard doesn’t seem the type to use a Greatsword in combat, either. He’s not an Umber. Besides, given how closely he follows family tradition, it seems likely that Ice has been used as a ritualistic weapon for quite some time. If you look at the way Theon hands it to Eddard in the first AGOT chapter, it seems very likely that it is only used for ceremonial purposes, not for fighting. Plus, you don’t take a greatsword to court. How does that look?!

Concurring opinion: K-K Bracken
A greatsword of Ice's size seems like an impractical weapon for normal-sized men. Rickard would have had a sword/weapon that he could use in normal combat. We only see Ice in action for executions, so I don't think it rightly matters where it was when the Starks went to King's Landing on behalf of Lyanna. Either it stayed in Winterfell or Robert gave it back to Ned after the war was finished.

Final Verdict: Rickard likely didn't have Ice with him. 

The child Eddard Stark brings back from the South to be raised at Winterfell is a girl, what changes? (Is the world doomed?)

Main Opinion: Amin
She may have a somewhat easier upbringing than Jon, if Catelyn sees her as less of a threat to her legitimate children. She might be fostered elsewhere early on or sent to live with a loyal lord’s family if not remaining at Winterfell when Ned leaves. I don’t think Ned takes her south. As for the Wall, things might have been worse up there but for Westeros and the world in general, the prophecy would find a way to work out.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Stefan
I agree that Catelyn’s reaction would be somewhat mullified by a girl because she wouldn’t pose a threat to Robb’s legitimacy. I guess she would have a much easier time including the girl in the rest of the family. As for the dooming part, it wouldn’t. No one says that Azor Ahai Reborn needs to wield a sword, after all, nor is it guaranteed that Jonina Snow wouldn’t come after Arya and Lyanna and, being a bastard, follow down a path like Meera did. Even if she became a lady-type, she could do much to still fulfill the prophecy. I think there’s no reason why she couldn’t.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: K-K Bracken
Catelyn's anger at Jon was mostly misdirected anger at Ned, so I don't think her feelings toward girl-Jon would have been that different than her feelings toward boy-Jon. Considering it would have been better for Jon if Ned had fostered him out like other noble bastards, I don't think he would have let girl-Jon go either. Instead of the Wall, she would have been married off to a respectable Northern bannerman (which Ned would have let her help choose, lest history repeat itself like it did with Lyanna and Robert). I think the prophecy would still find a way to work itself out, regardless of the gender of Jon Snow.

Final Verdict: It has an easier time with Catelyn, and the prophecy would find a way.

What’s Edmure’s endgame?

Main Opinion: Amin
Survive. Do what it takes to live, outlive your enemies, and ultimately rise back to power. It worked so far for Stannis, it may work for Edmure, to the point that he ends up again as ruler of the Riverlands. He will have been hardened by his experiences and he will be somewhat different, while still retaining that Edmure core personality.

Concurring Opinion: Stefan
Edmure will survive, and finally take up residence as lord of Riverrun, although not as Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. But the latter title always was too big for him anyway, and ruling a somewhat manageable estate wise and well and without fuzz seems to be the right thing for him.

Concurring opinion: K-K Bracken
Keep his son alive, keep his wife alive, keep his bannermen and smallfolk alive, keep himself alive, in that order.

Final Verdict: He survives. 

15 comments:

  1. I buy your argument that Brandon/Rickard don't carry Ice to KL. When Ned journeyed from the Vale through the Sisters, he could have made it to Winterfell and picked up Ice.

    Why did Ned the Hand take it to KL? I don't think he was carrying it when Ned was arrested - the Lannisters probably got the sword by taking all of his possessions in the Tower of the Hand. But why carry it at all to KL? He wouldn't want to be armed ceremonially before the king, he wouldn't be doing any executions. Why not leave the sword at Winterfell with his heir?

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    1. I would think that this is more or less an oversight by Martin. He wanted Ned to bring Ice along so it could be melted down by the Lannisters, and so he let Ned bring it.

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  2. Heartsbane of HornhillApril 21, 2016 at 4:05 PM

    I'm not sure a greatsword particularly of Valyrian Steel is impractical in battle.
    Savage Sam Tarly wielded Heartsbane quite ably in the vulture hunts. I believe the line was Heartsbane was red from hilt to point with the blood of Dornish outlaws.

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    1. He's called Savage Sam Tarly, not "stay in formation in a disciplined way"-Sam Tarly.

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    2. Heartsbane of HornhillApril 22, 2016 at 12:48 AM

      Hahahaha, but the point is about the sword and it's usefulness right? We're trying to determine if a Stark Lord would carry a Valyrian Steel Sword around for the kind of Combat he might encounter in ay a Trial by Combat.
      Savage Same and Heartsbane, which is also a VS Great Sword, would indicate that yes Ice would be more than a ceremonial ornament.

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    3. Yeah, I didn't want to imply that you can't swing Ice with success in combat; just that Ned isn't the type of guy who would do that. He is a longsword person, since he's very much a battle commander. There will surely have been Starks who carried the thing into combat, but Ned doesn't seem the type, and neither does daddy.

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  3. Tend to think that if Jon Snow had been a girl, she would have been raised as a sort of companion to Sansa/Arya - especially if one or both was to be sent south in a marriage pact; it would help her to have a trusted ally to take south with her. That said, when it came to the move to KL, the girl would not have been taken south.

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    1. Jonella simply is no danger to the inheritance at all. She would have been like Joy Hill for the Lannisters. Nice girl, fun to have around. Let's find a landed knight for her sometime.

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  4. Would Jonella and Ghost march off to war with Robb (assuming she is has the wolfblood, and if she was already married its possible that it was to one of the Northern heirs who mostly made up Robb's Wolfguard)? Or do you think she would stay at Winterfell with Bran and Rickon, in which case she either can put a stop to Theon/Ramsay or Makes it to the Wall/Skagos and back in the path of her destiny?

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    1. Johnella stays in Winterfell (or, more likely, with her husband or ward). Female warriors may be ok on Bear Island, but the Starks and their surrounding lords are way too conservative to allow a girl to be trained at arms.

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  5. I just need to announce that Johnella is nearly as creepy as the word Nuncle.

    Perhaps they could've married Johnella off to Theon, or Ramsay.

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    1. Never to Ramsay, and she would be too lowborn for the heir of the Iron Islands. In fact, marrying off Theon is in general a bad idea and tantamount to a declaration of war.

      Jonella. Jonella. Jonella.

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    2. Two Snows marrying, What's wrong with that?
      They could become house Blizzard.

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  6. To pick a nit: This should be ruling #126, not #125. ;)

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  7. Will the Karstarks ever learn that Roose let Jaime go?

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