Thursday, August 4, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 141

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.
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And now, up to ruling 141! Our guest judge this week is Michal Schick has been an ASOIAF fan since 2003, and currently covers the books, as well as Game of Thrones and other nerd-friendly properties for She is a regular host on Vassals of Kingsgrave, and hangs out on Twitter as @inkasrain.

If you had to travel Westeros with three non-pov sidekicks, who would you choose?

Main Opinion: Amin
Sidekicks assumes that the characters don’t mind being with me and would cover my back. If that’s the case, I’ll take Podrick, the Hound, and Garlan Tyrell. Podrick would not only a decent guy but could act as a squire, cause one would be needed presuming it’s just us 4. The Hound would keep us safe and Garlan would be lordly enough to make use of his connections while seeming like he might be the type of guy who would go along with this (lets assume a young Garlan not the current married one). In terms of realistic party harmony though, we’ld probably have to dump the Hound and sub in someone like Brienne or Sarella.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Stefan
How could you ever leave without Podrick? It’s clear you need that guy. I assume I’m a knight in this scenario so he is so awed by my presence that he does what he should. Then we have a person to make the connections, but Garlan is too high-profile, he will ruin all the fun. Tom of Sevenstrings seems fun and to know his way around. Plus, there’ll be at least one flight from some castle because he got into bed with the lord’s daughter, so that’s a box checked. Third, I’ll take Nymeria Sand. She can fight, she’s certainly fun when she’s on your side, with me she won’t start any wars, and we’re a bit more diverse in culture and gender as a group. Perfect. Let’s make that movie.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Michal
I definitely agree with Amin that Podrick Payne is a must-have travel companion -- he's loyal, a good helper, and smart where it counts. But I'd choose badass lady Alysane Mormont as my warrior, and Howland Reed as my scholar. Aly's as fierce as any wildling, and Howland knows his way around sticky situations... and I hear he tells GREAT stories.

Final Verdict: Podrick Payne, and company. 

What is the worst decision in ASoIaF in the last 20 years? The public vote on the apoiaf forums has gotten it down to the last 2: Rhaegar running off with Lyanna and Cersei rearming the Faith

Main Opinion: Amin
Cersei rearming the Faith, if it is allowed to stand. Rhaegar running off with Lyanna was a foolish thing, though it was hard to predict the long lasting consequences from it. It was Brandon going in foolishly and then Aerys totally overreacting that set the fire after that. There were other scenarios where it could be a bad thing to do but still could have been worked out. It was something that needed other catalysts to lead to the impact it had. Even with the huge consequences, if it hadn’t been this scenario, it is possible that Targaryens would have run into trouble some time later since they lacked Dragons while there as a large marriage alliance growing to counterbalance them. In contrast, Cersei’s rearming the Faith was a huge mistake. Even the Targaryens could not defeat the militarized Faith outright, they needed to negotiate after years of war. The Faith became used to not having its own arms, which in terms of societal stability is a good thing: it’s not good to have an overly powerful religious element that can directly control any goverment, and re-arming the faith gives them too much secular impact. This is something that could have generations of consequences for Westeros unless someone is able to stop the recent re-arming from continuing or becoming an established idea.

Concurring opinion: Stefan
It wasn’t the abduction itself that started the war, that could have been cleared up had Aerys not been totally mad. Had he invited Brandon in and disarmed his rage, found Rhaegar and kept Brandon cool, Lyanna would have had to make an awkward confession and the thing would go down as the Major Scandal of the Year of the False Spring instead of a major war. However, I know that you never let children or religious fanatics go anywhere near weapons, so that’s a really dumb idea of Cersei’s with really devestating consequences.

Dissenting opinion: Michal
I have to go with the initiating disaster of the series, and say that Rhaegar and Lyanna's elopement/kidnapping was the bigger mistake. Cersei's choice was boneheaded and will likely prove catastrophic, but it seems like the damage is more-or-less confined to King's Landing for now. I also have to give Cersei an ironic pass based on her lack of intelligence; she clearly is not smart enough to conceptualize the consequences of rearming the Faith. Rhaegar, on the other hand, seems to have been a thoughtful and politically cognizant prince. He knew how fragile Aerys' grip was on both his sanity and his kingdom, and understood that there were forces roiling for change that involved the Starks. While I don't know that Rhaegar could have predicted Brandon's subsequent idiocy, he should have been more cognizant of the fact that running away with the betrothed daughter of a Great House could precipitate an extreme response. There were too many powerful people involved, most of whom would be seriously pissed off by Lyanna's disappearance -- Rhaegar should have known that a violent answer would at least be possible, if not very likely. Tallying in the deaths of thousands of innocents, and the fact that that the events of Robert's Rebellion continues to echo ominously through to the present day, I really have to give the Crown of Shame to Rhaegar and Lyanna.

Final Verdict: Arming the Faith. 

What is the best name for the ASOIAF world: Planetos, Terros, Earthos, Grrth, the Known World, simply Earth, or something else?

Main Opinion: Amin
Planetos seems about right to me, I think I’ve used that term before. No real reason to tie it to Earth with Terros or Earthos. Maybe the real name is sitting in Haviland Tuf’s computer on his seedship or somewhere in the databases of Avalon.

Concurring opinion: Stefan
Planetos seems about right. Fits in with the rest of the style the best.

Concurring opinion: Michal
Planetos is my name of choice, but "Grrth" is very amusing!

Final Verdict: Planetos.


  1. How will Ser Jorah react when he finds out Ned Stark's bastard has his family's ancestral sword?

  2. More of an American pop culture question. Who is more of an inspiration for the character of Tyrion Lannister - the real life Santa Fe resident and diminutive and excellent popsinger songwriter Paul Williams or Robert "Mongo" Fredrickson, the fictional pulp creation of the Rockland County MY NJ borderline, occult thriller writer George Chesbro?

    1. I really have no clue what you are talking about :D

  3. Say the question about the worst decision was not limited to the past 20 years. Does anything even slightly compare with Aegon the Unworthy legitimizing his bastards?

  4. Hi,

    What future did Rickard have planned for Ned once he stopped being a ward of House Arryn? Presuming Robert's Rebellion never took place