Thursday, September 11, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 44

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.
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 44 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Thomas Fichtenmayer, who has the tumblr Stannisifthefury and covers Game of Thrones for He was already a guest judge in ruling 15.

Does Varys know that Sansa is in the Vale? He keeps a close eye on Littlefinger and knew of his desire for Sansa.

Main Opinion: Amin
It is true that Varys probably noticed that Littlefinger showed at least an unhealthy interest toward Sansa. It is unclear whether he knows about Littlefinger’s smuggling away of Sansa or where she is at the moment. There is no direct indication that he knows where she is and on the face of it, he is still looking for her. It is interesting that the “Mad Mouse” (Ser Shadrich), who is one of Varys’ potential agents or at least someone looking to collect on the gold Varys is offering for Sansa, is now in Littlefinger’s service and has met Alayne Stone. If he recognized her as Sansa, it is possible that his future actions may lead to Sansa’s reveal.

Concurring Opinion: Stefan
While Varys might know about Littlefinger’s interest, he might simply brush it off as the usual pedophilia that Littlefinger already amply displayed by selling children in his brothels. It’s nothing Varys isn’t familiar with. I’d believe that if Varys knew, he would have taken steps by now. Sansa is still Littlefinger’s secret, but how long she’ll remain it remains to be seen. Besides, Varys’s “keeping a close eye” is currently a bit impaired by the fact that he hides in the Red Keep’s tunnels.

Concurring Opinion: Thomas Fichtenmayer
It's almost certain that the Mad Mouse will probably be a factor in Varys learning of Sansa's whereabouts, but Varys currently has bigger fish to fry with his Pet Project conquering the Stormlands.

Final Verdict: Currently, Sansa is Littlefinger's secret. 

Is Tyrion a Chimera? (A+T+J = Tyrion?)

Main Opinion: Amin
With the release of A Dance with Dragons, the long running theory that Tyrion is Aery’s son gained a significant boost from new evidence present in the book. We have covered the issue tangentially in several past rulings, but I believe that our Court believes that it is a very viable theory. The problem is that for some, including myself, that fact that Tyrion wouldn’t be Tywin’s biological son takes something away from the Tywin/Tyrion relationship. There are arguments on of why it doesn’t take anything away or even adds something, but from my point of view it lessens the relationship. The Tyrion is Chimera theory (A+T+J = Tyrion) is a theory I initially thought was inspired merely to fill in some of the emotional gaps here by suggesting that Tyrion is both Tywin’s and Aerys’s son as a human chimera, specifically a fusion of two different foetuses in Joanna’s womb. The related points I have heard advocated is that it would explain Tyrion’s mistmatching eye colour and appearance. While human chimeras do exist, I would have thought it was something beyond George’s biological knowledge to write a chimera into his books, but he actually already has the Maelys the Monstrous and his fused twin’s head in the story, which I believe could technically be another example of a human chimera (it's unclear if George meant it to be identical or fraternal twins but with Martin Genetics the general example of fusing may mean more than the details). The theory might also explain why Tywin couldn’t confirm that Tyrion wasn’t his son, because he would have had sexual relations with Joanna at the appropriate time for her to be pregnant, in comparison to a situation where she became pregnant outside of the possible timerange. I can’t quite accept it though, despite my yearning, but I think it has moved beyond the range of pure crackpot theory mainly because of the presence of Maelys in the Blackfyre history.

Concurring opinion: Stefan
While “A Dance with Dragons” certainly allowed for the theory to be more than just viable, I still share Justice Amin’s hope that it won’t come to pass because I feel it would take something away from Tyrion’s character. That isn’t to say it won’t happen or that it would necessarily bad; Martin may have some idea about it that’s really good. However, given that J+L=R is almost certainly true, and they should both become dragonriders, doubling their “Your parents aren’t who you thought they are” seems a bit much.

Concurring Opinion: Thomas Fichtenmayer
I absolutely loathe the lannister/Secret Targ theories, and immediately reject any idea that points toward that direction. Tywin had Elia and her children butchered just because she was married to Rhaegar in place of Cersei. He annihilated the Reynes and Tarbecks for daring to show independence. If there was even a HINT of Aerys touching Joanna beyond his "liberties" at the bedding, he wouldn't have let that fly.

Final Verdict: Tyrion is Tywin's son. 

If Jaime had not killed the mad king would it have been Ned executioner style?

Main Opinion: Amin
If Jaime had not killed the king, then it is probably certain that Aerys would have been killed. Ned wasn’t against the idea of killing Aerys, just the fact that Jaime had been the one to do it, breaking his oath as a member of the kingsguard with what appeared to be self-serving and Lannister serving motivations. Ned would have kept Aerys alive until Robert arrived and/or waited for Robert’s instruction on what to do with him. Aerys was directly responsible for his crimes and Ned would have had no problem executing him, unlike the innocent Targaryen children that were murdered and sullied Robert’s cause in his eyes.

Dissenting opinion: Stefan
Not to take away Justice Amin’s logic, but there wouldn’t have been much Northern justice to dispense to, since Aerys was already in the process of comitting suicide by blowing up the city. Had Jaime not killed him, Aerys would have died because everyone else would have died, too, and Eddard would have been the most honorable man on the cinder.

Concurring Opinion: Thomas Fichtenmayer
While Ned might have said they should offer Aerys the black, you can bet that Robert, Tywin, et al would have pushed for his execution. 

Final Verdict: Aerys would have died in any case. 


  1. Great ruling you guys! I love Stannisisthefury and really enjoyed seeing Mr. Thomas in here again.
    Varys might not know the whole truth about Sansa's disappearance and location right now, but a master manipulator like him would definitely have his suspicions even if not confirmed...yet.

    I don't really care about Tyrions' true parent, really. I guess it would be cool if he is a secret Targ so he can ride Viserion, but a Targ or not, his father will always be Tywin and his heart will always be Lannister. Just like even though Jon's parents are R&L, he totally takes after Ned and he tries to model his life and actions after his...though I guess he might not be as wild a Lyanna he is moody and keeps things to himself like Rhaegar, but so did Ned so...

    Aerys was dead either way, though I always felt Ned would have just seized him and left his fate to all the members of the rebel alliance.

    QUESTION TIME: I don't remember if you already answered this. We know of 5 named bastards for Robert, one of which was killed by Cersei, and 2 unknown twins also killed around Lannisport Ibelieve, so my question is this:
    "Robert had like 16 bastards right? So where are the other bastards? Have we met them already or do you think we will? Do you think Satin and the twins Arron and Emrick or anyone from the Watch can be one of Robert's bastards?"

    1. Don't forget the girl from the Peach that wanted to ring Gendry's bells!!

  2. I agree that Tyrion being Aerys' son would take away much from his and Tywin's story arc. Hadn't heard the chimera theory before, I have no idea how viable it is biologically, I guess it's possible.given that genetics follow plot-logic in ASOIAF anyway (See "All Baratheons have black hair"), but I hope Tyrion is just who he appears to be.

    Cersei and Jaime as Aerys' children, now that's an "X is a secret Targaryen"-theory I could buy... have you addressed that one yet?

  3. Since Joanna lineage is unknown can not Tyrion get Targ blood from her side of the family?

    1. I have a theory you people can call crackpot; but I think is strongly possible, though without further evidence, we all know Aerys took too many liberties with Joanna at Tywin's wedding. It could be possible that Aerys had fathered the twins and Joanna decided to keep the secret (and her life probably) this line of thought would take us eventually that the only real son from Tywin is in fact Tyrion. Even the mismatched eyes could be a direct result from a cross between first degree cousins. Right?

    2. Yes, that theory has been debated often. You will find it here in the court as well.

  4. If you go back far enough, most everyone would have some distant relation to the Targs. GRRM seems to have purposefully left it open-ended for how "concentrated" that Targ blood needs to be to ride a dragon...