PDA

View Full Version : [ASoIaF] Duel of the Worst Rulers: Jeoffrey vs Viserys



Cikomyr
2012-02-09, 10:06 PM
So.. let's say either one of them had actually grown into full-fledged Kinghood. Which one would have thrived better? Being hated the most? Which one would provoke a revolution the quickest? :smallbiggrin:

Seraph
2012-02-09, 10:55 PM
Viserys would have been dangerously insane, true, but so long as he had someone willing to deflect his worst excesses it probably wouldn't be much worse than the pre-Aerys targaryens. So long as his ego is satisfied he's not necessarily destructive, he just needs to be babied 24/7 with constant assurance that he's the one in charge.

Joffrey, though? bitch is a crazy sadist. He probably would have started the whole "The Most Dangerous Game" shebang or the like inside of his first year and incited an armed revolution.

They're both insane, but while Visery's insanity is mostly lashing out from internalized inferiority, Joffrey is full-on, caligula style crazy.

TheSummoner
2012-02-10, 01:35 AM
Agreed with Seraph.

Viserys was a prick, but he can atleast be given the benefit of the doubt that it was caused by a massive inferiority complex. Daenerys had even commented that he could be quite sweet when he was in a good mood. The guy deserved no less than what he got, but you can't deny he had a crappy life.

Joffrey on the other hand. We're talking about a kid who cut open a pregnant cat because he wanted to see the kittens, ordered his knights to cut down a crowd of commoners because one of them threw crap at him, and who was fully planning on raping Sansa before getting a fate that was much less than he deserved.

Both of them were monsters, but only one of them was a spoiled brat.

hamlet
2012-02-10, 08:22 AM
The reason Viserys seems "lesser" is merely because he had no effective means of externalizing his frustration and anger. Give him that outlet, i.e. make him a king and give him power, and I think he'd rapidly become as bad as if not worse than Joffrey.

The only thing keeping that particular fruitbat in check was that his rage and hostility had become internalized. Joffrey always had the outlet for it and so it manifested more clearly.

Friv
2012-02-10, 09:25 AM
I will take a man prone to outbursts of vicious anger, no matter how cruel those outbursts get, over a man who is a sadistic psychopath any day of the week.

Viserys could have been managed, conceivably. He would have been a terrible king, but not an insurmountable one.

Joffrey was already well on his way to proving that he was an insurmountable problem, and every attempt to rein him in just made things worse.

INDYSTAR188
2012-02-10, 09:52 AM
Jeoffrey would have been much worse. Jeoffrey has had Cersei's constant grooming and influence and morality his entire life. Viserys was unstable, emotional, angry, childish, but predictable. I wouldn't wish either on anyone, but given a choice I would grudgingly choose Viserys.

hamlet
2012-02-10, 10:21 AM
Yes, Vyseris was "merely" violent and cruel when he had his outbursts, but I get the sense from him that he would have broadened his cruelty and violence to scales that would have made him "insurmountable" to steal the word being used above.

It's also implied heavily that he was "branching out" so to speak into thoughts of raping his sister whether she was interested or not. He probably would have expanded his "interests" into things more akin to what Joffrey had the luxury to explore.

INDYSTAR188
2012-02-10, 12:08 PM
Yes, Vyseris was "merely" violent and cruel when he had his outbursts, but I get the sense from him that he would have broadened his cruelty and violence to scales that would have made him "insurmountable" to steal the word being used above.

It's also implied heavily that he was "branching out" so to speak into thoughts of raping his sister whether she was interested or not. He probably would have expanded his "interests" into things more akin to what Joffrey had the luxury to explore.

At least we could count on Viserys having to bumble his way into decisions, whereas Jeoffrey has Cersei to make all the shrewd decisions for him. I can see Viserys being assassinated just as fast as Jeoffrey, and also making greater mistakes, but I agree they're about even on the despicable human being meter.

hamlet
2012-02-10, 12:43 PM
At least we could count on Viserys having to bumble his way into decisions, whereas Jeoffrey has Cersei to make all the shrewd decisions for him. I can see Viserys being assassinated just as fast as Jeoffrey, and also making greater mistakes, but I agree they're about even on the despicable human being meter.

Yes, Joffrey had his mother to make critical decisions for him, but to be fair, it's not as if she did any better with them. Cersei, in her way, is worse than the two of the others combined.

Cikomyr
2012-02-10, 01:01 PM
Yes, Joffrey had his mother to make critical decisions for him, but to be fair, it's not as if she did any better with them. Cersei, in her way, is worse than the two of the others combined.

She might not have been the sharpest knife in the armory, but she didn't came close to Joeffrey's stupidity level. Killing Eddard was simply the ultimate worst decision he'd ever taken, or any other character too. There was nothing to be gained, everything to lose.

TheSummoner
2012-02-10, 01:09 PM
And Cersei only really gets crazy when she thinks her own safety/position of power or that of her children is threatened.

Mewtarthio
2012-02-10, 02:28 PM
And Cersei only really gets crazy when she thinks her own safety/position of power or that of her children is threatened.

That being said, she always thinks her own safety and that of her children is being threatened. By everyone she meets (except the people who really are threats).

TheSummoner
2012-02-10, 02:52 PM
Eh, later on certainly, though but she wasn't quite as paranoid early on... And after some of the stuff that happened, she's got plenty of reason to be paranoid, even if she is a horrible judge of character. (not that that stuff that happened wasn't Joffrey's own dumbassed fault. In particular I'm thinking of the "King Bread" part of book 2.)

Selrahc
2012-02-10, 03:39 PM
There was nothing to be gained, everything to lose.

Well. If Ned had been sent up to the wall, there is every chance the Lannisters could have lost him during the ride. If Robb or Beric Dondarion took it in their head to avert Lannister justice, then the Northern rebellion could have been led by Ned. Ned would have made common cause with Stannis and would not have lost Winterfell to Theon. That is a much more deadly and focussed threat to the Lannisters. So I can see some merit in ending the threat of Ned Stark, and throwing his lands into the care of a young untested boy.


It's interesting just *how* weak the Lannisters position is in book 2. They have almost nothing beyond the Lannister lands and Kings Landing. They lose Harrenhal, Jaime Lannister, and almost every battle they're in. They have *no* notable families backing them. Renly and Robb stark look fit to carve them in twain. Stannis and Theon reaaaalllly were a massive boon. Taking their small forces and doing more damage than a lannister army ever did.

hamlet
2012-02-10, 03:51 PM
Ned, being who he was, would have made it a point to get himself to the wall. He would not have broken his word by doing an end run like that.

Cikomyr
2012-02-10, 03:55 PM
Except that Ned "I am so bloody honorable I will tell my current worst ennemy that I plan to have her shown as a traitor before being ready" Stark would have taken the Black if he was sworn to it.

With the Black taken, Jaime and Ed/Sansa exchanged (or even have Sansa married to Joeff), you could have struct some truce between the two factions. With Robb off their back, Twynn's host could have moved south quicker to defend King's Landing, and the ironmen couldn't have taken Winterfell.

You would have had a nice new officer on the Wall, too.

Kato
2012-02-10, 03:57 PM
So I can see some merit in ending the threat of Ned Stark, and throwing his lands into the care of a young untested boy.
You are forgetting who we are talking about... this is NED STARK. If the king says 'go to the wall' he'd probably kill anyone trying to stop him... (Also, they would have most likely shipped him up there)




It's interesting just *how* weak the Lannisters position is in book 2. They have almost nothing beyond the Lannister lands and Kings Landing. They lose Harrenhal, Jaime Lannister, and almost every battle they're in. They have *no* notable families backing them. Renly and Robb stark look fit to carve them in twain. Stannis and Theon reaaaalllly were a massive boon. Taking their small forces and doing more damage than a lannister army ever did.


Dunno... I guess Robb really had just... well, the north is about the size of all southern kingdoms combined but I'd still argue the Lannisters had just not yet really gotten into the fight. Tywin beat the Northmen iirc (in the battle where Tyrion brought his mountain tribes) and Clegane and his men, if not an army, are a devastating force though they didn't get much action. Not saying The north wasn't at an advantage but I don't think the Lannisters were that powerless.

Dienekes
2012-02-10, 04:05 PM
Barter for a switch Jaime/Ned with the caveat Ned gets the Wall. Hold onto Sansa and complete the marriage as soon as possible. Lannisters get Jaime back and makes the war only 1 front with both the main enemies (Stannis and Renly) forced to fight each other before they engage the Lannisters.

If the wedding is completed they may even have North support because if either Renly or Stannis win Sansa will probably need to be killed to make room for the next crown. Renly might keep her alive, but Stannis would probably kill her straight out for bedding an abomination created through incest.

Yeah, I'm not seeing the murder of Ned as anything but an idiotic decision.

Of the two terrible rulers. Joffrey is worse. Oh they're both sociopaths, they're both idiots, and they're both going to eventually lead to themselves getting rebelled upon or straight out killed. But of the two of them Viserys put up with Dothraki hospitality and listened to his advisers for months, before he got drunk and got himself killed. I doubt Joffrey would have lasted more than a week.

Kato
2012-02-10, 04:11 PM
Oh, I forgot the actual topic of the thread... I'll ahree with most: Viserys would have been terrible, but he is not a sociopath or whatever mental disorder Joff suffered from. His "father" was a poor king, but he was ridiculous. I start to wonder if Westeros will ever have a proper king...

Book 4:

If only the Dornish princess would have been successful in putting Myrcella on the throne. Now that's an interesting theory.

Axolotl
2012-02-10, 04:24 PM
You are forgetting who we are talking about... this is NED STARK. If the king says 'go to the wall' he'd probably kill anyone trying to stop him... (Also, they would have most likely shipped him up there)But once he's at the Wall he's also garunteed to write a letter saying "By the way Joffrey is Jaime's son and Stannis is the rightful king." which will certainly keep Robb against them and make it much harder to ally with the Tyrells or Dorne. Killing Ned is the only way to keep Stannis looking like an opertunistic usurper, which they need.





Dunno... I guess Robb really had just... well, the north is about the size of all southern kingdoms combined but I'd still argue the Lannisters had just not yet really gotten into the fight. Tywin beat the Northmen iirc (in the battle where Tyrion brought his mountain tribes) and Clegane and his men, if not an army, are a devastating force though they didn't get much action. Not saying The north wasn't at an advantage but I don't think the Lannisters were that powerless.
The only battles they win are one which was a distraction and the ones designed by Roose to weaken his enemies before he took control of the North. In every important battle with the North they lose, they lose Riverrun, they let Harrenhal get captured, their attempts to retake the Riverlands get driven back with heavy casulties and Robb gets free reign to raid their home lands while they defend King's Landing. The only reason they win the Blackwater is because of Tyrion's strategy, littlefinger's Diplomacy and Tywin being in the right place at the right time. In terms of pure numbers they only have one of the seven kingdoms, Robb has two, Renly has two and none of them are in very good positions to ally with the remaining groups.

The only reason the Lannisters had a chance is that almost everyone in Westeros with a working brain is on their side.

Kato
2012-02-10, 04:39 PM
But once he's at the Wall he's also garunteed to write a letter saying "By the way Joffrey is Jaime's son and Stannis is the rightful king." which will certainly keep Robb against them and make it much harder to ally with the Tyrells or Dorne. Killing Ned is the only way to keep Stannis looking like an opertunistic usurper, which they need.

Wait, there are people wjo actually believed Stannis was lying? :smalltongue:



The only reason the Lannisters had a chance is that almost everyone in Westeros with a working brain is on their side.


Yes, they lose most of the battles, no questions asked but I still think the war wasn't that easily won. The Lannisters were in all the wrong places with their main force.

Also, you're giving too little credit to people like Roose, Prince Doran, Raymund Tarly, Petyr (he's on his own side) amd probably a dozen others I forgot. Yeah, Tywin and Tyrion are useful but they got their.. well, not equals but close to that.

Eldan
2012-02-10, 04:56 PM
But once he's at the Wall he's also garunteed to write a letter saying "By the way Joffrey is Jaime's son and Stannis is the rightful king." which will certainly keep Robb against them and make it much harder to ally with the Tyrells or Dorne. Killing Ned is the only way to keep Stannis looking like an opertunistic usurper, which they need.


He did publicly admit that those were vile lies. Sure, the rumours are out, but he doesn't have any actual proof. And without the revolt in the North, Stannis and Renly could have been dealt with a lot easier.


And we'd get to see Commander Stark.

Dienekes
2012-02-10, 04:58 PM
But once he's at the Wall he's also garunteed to write a letter saying "By the way Joffrey is Jaime's son and Stannis is the rightful king." which will certainly keep Robb against them and make it much harder to ally with the Tyrells or Dorne. Killing Ned is the only way to keep Stannis looking like an opertunistic usurper, which they need.

Again, hold onto Sansa. We've already seen once that Ned is willing to lie for the lives of his children, specifically Sansa.

McStabbington
2012-02-10, 05:12 PM
Given the choice between Joffrey and Viserys, I'd probably pick Viserys. He's a bully and a blustering coward, but those are vices that can be managed. If you note, Dany, Illyrio and Jorah do a pretty good job of keeping him contained and appeased. Had he never left Illyrio's estate, he would have had a fairly decent shot at retaking the Seven Kingdoms. So his fatal mistake was imprudence and lack of judgment, which can be managed so long as you keep reassuring him that he's the center of the cosmos.

Joffrey, on the other hand, had the same kind of brutality but was increasingly uncontrollable by anyone. Cersei couldn't keep him in line any more, but she also managed to keep anyone else from effectively curbing his impulses. The result of this vicious fighting to prevent an enemy (real or imagined) from holding Joffrey's leash resulted in a monster that had no leash at all. The only people I can think of who might have been able to bring him to heel were Tywin and Ned, and those two were either dead or needed more pressingly elsewhere.

Axolotl
2012-02-10, 05:13 PM
Wait, there are people wjo actually believed Stannis was lying? :smalltongue:Well Robb thought Joffrey was the rightful king for a start, and if Ned had told him to ally with Stannis he would have, which would put the Lannisters in a very difficult position. Also it's much easier for Renly and the Tyrell to dismiss Stannis claiming he's the King than it is for them to dismiss Ned saying it because he's less obviously biased. In addition there's probably a fair ammount of Bannermen who would fell duty bound to join Stannis (I'm sure Tarly would be just waiting for an excuse to join Stannis).




Yes, they lose most of the battles, no questions asked but I still think the war wasn't that easily won. The Lannisters were in all the wrong places with their main force.

Also, you're giving too little credit to people like Roose, Prince Doran, Raymund Tarly, Petyr (he's on his own side) amd probably a dozen others I forgot. Yeah, Tywin and Tyrion are useful but they got their.. well, not equals but close to that.
The war isn't won yet, while the Lannisters certainly now have numerical superiority they're surrounded by an all-star line-up of badasses trying to take them down.

And for the second part, Roose was on their side, Petyr was working with them until they secured control (as was Varys), Tarly was held back by working for Renly and Doran was playing a waiting game. Balon was an idiot, Robb inexperienced with subpar advisors, the only people on their level actively opposing them was team Stannis, who had virtually no supporters.

TheSummoner
2012-02-10, 05:32 PM
Viserys put up with Dothraki hospitality and listened to his advisers for months, before he got drunk and got himself killed. I doubt Joffrey would have lasted more than a week.

I think that's a good thing to keep in mind. I don't think anyone is going to claim Viserys was smart, but the stupidest thing he did was a result of him being drunk off his ass (and him getting that drunk could easily be attributed to depression.) Joffrey on the other hand had the brilliant idea to tell a small number of knights to cut down a huge crowd of already pissed off civilians that had him surrounded.

Axolotl
2012-02-10, 06:22 PM
He did publicly admit that those were vile lies. Sure, the rumours are out, but he doesn't have any actual proof. And without the revolt in the North, Stannis and Renly could have been dealt with a lot easier.


And we'd get to see Commander Stark.But Ned doesn't need proof all he has to do is tell Robb and then Stannis gains the armies of the North and the Riverlands.


Again, hold onto Sansa. We've already seen once that Ned is willing to lie for the lives of his children, specifically Sansa.Who they can't harm if Robb keeps Jaime, which he would unless the hand over Sansa as well as Ned.

Dienekes
2012-02-10, 07:42 PM
Who they can't harm if Robb keeps Jaime, which he would unless the hand over Sansa as well as Ned.

Then they hold onto Ned and Sansa. Remember, Robb only started his attacks to save his father. They're offering Ned and Sansa safety as well as making Sansa the most powerful lady in Westeros (theoretically). It's not until after Ned's dead that Robb gets it in his head to be king. They have no reason to not take the deal.

BRC
2012-02-12, 02:54 PM
The thing is, most of Viserys' character came from his situation, him being told he was supposed to be a King, instead he survives by charity. I'm not saying he's a nice guy, but we don't really know how he would behave outside that rather limited scenario. Extrapolating, I would say that, had he become King, he would have been paranoid, obsessed with not losing the throne again. My guess is that so long as things were peaceful and he had decent advisers, he would just sit on the throne like a good little monarch and not do very much to screw things up. The moment he suspected a plot, he would start executing people in a paranoid frenzy, somebody clever (Like Littlefinger) would feed his delusions and win favor by hunting down "Conspirators" while actually plotting to seize power. But I'm just dealing with hypotheticals here.
Still, had he continued his reign, Joffery would have been far worse. Viserys seems like the type to, when he gets bored, make all the Lords come to kings landing and re-swear loyalty to him or something similarly meaningless that re-affirms his power. When Joffery gets bored, he has people fight to the death.

On the subject of the war in general, Ned would take his oath very seriously. Had he gone to the wall, he would have been a good little watchman. Writing letters would be intervening in the politics of the seven kingdoms, which is against the Oath, and Ned would not do that.

Remember than Ned endorsed Stannis before he was captured. Had they not executed Ned, Rob would likely have either just demanded the safe return of his sisters and stayed out of the war, or sided with Stannis.

As for the war itself

The Lannisters were smart, but also more than a little bit lucky.

Lets start with Robb. The North is by far the biggest of the seven kingdoms, and the Starks are beloved in the North. After the battle of the Whispering Woods, Robb was something of the Juggernaut. What's more, he had the easiest goal. He didn't need to take Kings Landing, all he had to do was cause enough trouble and force whoever was in charge to recognize the North's independence. Had he honored his deal with the Freys he may have won. Instead, he married whatshername and insulted Walder. Tywin used that to get Walder to pull off the Red Wedding, which broke the Stark forces.

Next up is Renly. Renly had the backing of House Tyrell , who, though they don't do all that much, are quite a big deal. With the Lannister forces busy in the north, he was probably the one best-positioned to take King's Landing.
Or he would have been, had Stannis not taken him out. I'm pretty sure he also controlled the Baratheon's homeland.


Otherwise, Dorne was staying out of it, and didn't have the troops to really contribute anyway (Dorne is almost impossible to take, because anybody who tries dies in the desert, but they don't have many soldiers). The Veil had plenty of troops, but Lyssa was keeping it out of the war. The Ironmen were just waiting for another excuse to rebel and return to the good old days of looting and pillaging. None of them are likely to rush to the Lannister's aide.

Basically, the Lannisters would have been screwed had it not been for Stannis taking out Renly and Robb insulting Walder.

Even WITH Those things happening, Stannis is still in the north, the Tyrell's are doing a silent coup from within King's Landing, The Grand Septon has an army, a Targeryan army has landed, and the Iron Bank of Bravos is knocking on the door, asking for their money back.

Seerow
2012-02-12, 03:01 PM
Re: The war.

Rob insulting the Freys was actually a plot instigated by Tywin. He set up the whole Jeyne thing specifically to **** over Robb. That much at least was not pure luck, but rather a political masterstroke, if one that was more than a little ****ed up.

However the Lannisters did get really lucky wrt Renly and Stannis. Had the two worked together, they probably would have won. But instead Stannis kills Renly, pissing off Highgarden, which causes them to run to the Lannisters and turn a losing battle around in their favor.




Anyway, that aside I personally don't think this can be categorized as worst rulers. Viserys never rules more than his sister. Joffery, while King, still plays second fiddle to his mother, who was a terrible leader. This contest is more "Who is the more irritating psychopath" and less "Which of these is a terrible leader".

If you want to compare terrible leaders, I say Cercei in AFFC vs Dany in ADWD would be a far more entertaining comparison.

douglas
2012-02-12, 03:54 PM
She might not have been the sharpest knife in the armory, but she didn't came close to Joeffrey's stupidity level. Killing Eddard was simply the ultimate worst decision he'd ever taken, or any other character too. There was nothing to be gained, everything to lose.
Yeah, that one was so stupid that even the characters in the book started expressing "wtf was he thinking" opinions of it.


Well. If Ned had been sent up to the wall, there is every chance the Lannisters could have lost him during the ride. If Robb or Beric Dondarion took it in their head to avert Lannister justice, then the Northern rebellion could have been led by Ned. Ned would have made common cause with Stannis and would not have lost Winterfell to Theon. That is a much more deadly and focussed threat to the Lannisters. So I can see some merit in ending the threat of Ned Stark, and throwing his lands into the care of a young untested boy.
As a few people have already point out, this is Eddard Stark we're talking about. If he says he'll take the black and go to the Wall, then he'll take the black and go to the Wall.


But once he's at the Wall he's also garunteed to write a letter saying "By the way Joffrey is Jaime's son and Stannis is the rightful king." which will certainly keep Robb against them and make it much harder to ally with the Tyrells or Dorne. Killing Ned is the only way to keep Stannis looking like an opertunistic usurper, which they need.
There's a reasonable chance Ned would decide that doing so would be interfering in politics and breaking his oaths to the Night Watch, in which case he'd never do it.

Even if he does write such a letter, though, it would have to compete with the spectacle of his public statement to the contrary, and with the seriously screwed up politic scene I doubt anyone who really matters would care. Robb might be persuaded to join Stannis, but with how separated Robb and Stannis (and their armies) were I don't think it would have made a difference before the Red Wedding made it all moot.

Axolotl
2012-02-12, 04:15 PM
There's a reasonable chance Ned would decide that doing so would be interfering in politics and breaking his oaths to the Night Watch, in which case he'd never do it.The key word there is chance, this really isn't something you should risk, it's also possible Ned'll decide that he has a duty to his son and his rightful King. Or he may tell someone else at the wall, considering that's where all the political dissidents get set it simply is too much of a risk to let him go.


Even if he does write such a letter, though, it would have to compete with the spectacle of his public statement to the contrary, and with the seriously screwed up politic scene I doubt anyone who really matters would care. Robb might be persuaded to join Stannis, but with how separated Robb and Stannis (and their armies) were I don't think it would have made a difference before the Red Wedding made it all moot.His public statement seen by who? Lannister loyalists and a crowd of peasents, it's not much really.

Also Robb joining Stannis is a massive boost for him, since it makes it far harder to convinve people to betray Robb and it makes it harder to convince third parties to join the Lannisters, I mean take the Tyrells, after Renly dies then they can either join Jofrey or Stannis, if Stannis already has support of the North and The Riverlands then it doesn't make sense to join just the Lannisters because they're the losing side, and if you have indications from reliable people that Joffrey isn't even the rightful king anyway, it's an option with very few benefits. Even Balon when presented with an alliance with between Robb and Stannis is less likely to target the North for his rebellion since the Lannisters are less likely to win.


As for Cersei, I think her biggestproblem was assuming the Tyrells were her only enemy, I mean she's somewhat right in that they are a threat to her but she seems to forget all the other much more dangerous enemies.

douglas
2012-02-12, 04:44 PM
His public statement seen by who? Lannister loyalists and a crowd of peasents, it's not much really.
To counter this: his hypothetical letter seen by who?

Stannis and Renly already have the news and aren't going to believe anything the Lannisters say about it anyway. Pretty much everyone else has already either picked a side or started their own side, and don't much care what anyone has to say about the legitimacy of the line of succession. Robb is the only one who I think might be significantly influenced by it and has the power to do something about it, and how could any letter Ned could possibly write cause a worse reaction from him than executing Ned would?

Axolotl
2012-02-12, 04:57 PM
To counter this: his hypothetical letter seen by who?

Stannis and Renly already have the news and aren't going to believe anything the Lannisters say about it anyway. Pretty much everyone else has already either picked a side or started their own side, and don't much care what anyone has to say about the legitimacy of the line of succession. Robb is the only one who I think might be significantly influenced by it and has the power to do something about it, and how could any letter Ned could possibly write cause a worse reaction from him than executing Ned would?Well, I'd guess Tarly would pay attention since he seems to be very much the duty-focused type and discrediting Joffrey's claim certainly doesn't make an alliance with the Tyrells any easier to make. But really the only person Ned needs to tell is Robb, yes his reaction won't be worse but your most powerful enemies (that are visible at that time) forming an alliance is bad news. Especially since at that point Robb is in a much better position to be forming an alliance with the Arryns or the Ironborn than the Lannisters are.

douglas
2012-02-12, 05:33 PM
Powerful enemies forming an alliance is generally bad news, yes, but how bad depends on how much they are able to act on that alliance. Robb and Stannis are a long way apart, much too far to support each other directly, and even communicating between them would be difficult. If they ever actually get physically together, then yes it could be bad, but that is far off and speculative. In the mean time, they both hate the Lannisters regardless and killing Ned ends the only chance there ever was of negotiating Robb into backing down. The chance of Robb and Stannis maybe getting together in the far off future is a risk that is easily acceptable for the reward of a chance to get Robb to exit the fight entirely.

As for alliances with the Arryns and Ironborn, Robb tried. I don't think he was able to reach the Arryns, though my memory is hazy on that subject, and the Ironborn responded by sacking Winterfell. Being officially allied with Stannis would not have changed either of those results.

TheSummoner
2012-02-12, 05:38 PM
Lysa was pretty determined to stay out of the war. I really doubt anything short of a full army marching on the Eyrie would've gotten her involved (and even then she might've just let the mountain do her fighting for her)

As far as Stannis is concerned, let's not forget that people more or less hate him. An alliance might've hurt Rob's cause more than help it.

Forum Explorer
2012-02-12, 05:44 PM
Well if you accept the idea that the Red Wedding was at least partially caused by that weird ritual with the leeches then an alliance would mean that Robb would have gotten out alive.

However they can reach one another. Stannis has a strong navy and could ferry troops from the North down to fight at King's Landing.

Axolotl
2012-02-12, 06:03 PM
Powerful enemies forming an alliance is generally bad news, yes, but how bad depends on how much they are able to act on that alliance. Robb and Stannis are a long way apart, much too far to support each other directly, and even communicating between them would be difficult. If they ever actually get physically together, then yes it could be bad, but that is far off and speculative. In the mean time, they both hate the Lannisters regardless and killing Ned ends the only chance there ever was of negotiating Robb into backing down. The chance of Robb and Stannis maybe getting together in the far off future is a risk that is easily acceptable for the reward of a chance to get Robb to exit the fight entirely.But even if they aren't co-ordinating their attacks at all it would still be very bad the Lannisters, for a start it means things like the Red Wedding, wouldn't work. Alliances with the Tyrell's would be harder it just makes the war harder. And Robb sin't going to ally with Joffrey no matter what happens. Ned alive has a secret that can bring down Lannister rule, I mean as of Book 5 Cersei is on trial for he life against accusations that Ned could help prove accurate, he's simply too dangerous to let live. I agree they shouldn't have killed him when they did but leting him go to the wall is just too much of a risk.


As for alliances with the Arryns and Ironborn, Robb tried. I don't think he was able to reach the Arryns, though my memory is hazy on that subject, and the Ironborn responded by sacking Winterfell. Being officially allied with Stannis would not have changed either of those results.Yes but from the perspective of the Lannisters they both have good reasons for allying with Robb over them. Theon for a start would for most houses be enough for the Ironborn to ally with Robb, hell just a working brain for Balon should have been enoughto see it was the best option. As for the Arryns, Lysa is Catelyn's sister, they have past friendships with the North and the Riverlands and the Lannisters think that Lysa thinks that the Lannisters killed Jon. Once again if it weren't for a severe lacking in the brains department (and Littlefinger) then the Lannisters would be in alot more trouble.

BRC
2012-02-12, 06:06 PM
Lysa was pretty determined to stay out of the war. I really doubt anything short of a full army marching on the Eyrie would've gotten her involved (and even then she might've just let the mountain do her fighting for her)

As far as Stannis is concerned, let's not forget that people more or less hate him. An alliance might've hurt Rob's cause more than help it.

Eh, until he started burning Septs I didn't get the impression he was widely hated. He certainly wasn't likeable, especially not when compared to his charismatic brothers, but I don't think he was actually Hated per say, just a stick in the mud.
While this means it would be difficult for him to win over allies, I don't think an alliance with Stannis would have hurt Rob except among the "King in the North" Crowd, and even then they wouldn't be mad because Stannis is slightly unpleasant.


Really, everything you need to know about Stannis come from Davos Seaworth's backstory. Davos is a smuggler, he saves Stannis by slipping a ship full of food through a blockade, for this, Stannis makes him a Lord and takes him into his inner circle. For the smuggling, he cuts off three of his fingers. Stannis is Lawful to the core, and while that dosn't make him a fun guy to hang around with, that alone won't get him enemies.

Knaight
2012-02-12, 06:15 PM
If you want to compare terrible leaders, I say Cercei in AFFC vs Dany in ADWD would be a far more entertaining comparison.

I'd call this one pretty cut and dry really. They're both terrible leaders, but Dany has actually managed to surround herself with people loyal to her, and get rid of those that aren't. Cersei, meanwhile, has managed to surround herself with people who are just waiting to stab her in the back, while getting rid of the people actually loyal to her. Plus, while Dany has done a lot of very stupid things, she has nothing on the level of reforming the Faith Militant, a potentially powerful religious group that opposes everything Cersei stands for. Plus, the whole matter with Qyburn is just asking to blow up in her face.

Kato
2012-02-12, 06:18 PM
As far as Stannis is concerned, let's not forget that people more or less hate him. An alliance might've hurt Rob's cause more than help it.

What BRC said... Stannis is not someone you love but until he got all wrapped up by Melisandre (and it became open knowledge) he was probably the best of the Baratheons when it came to ruling a kingdom.
I guess he just had a really poor choice of lands so he couldn't draw the armies he wanted... Renly had his charisma and thanks to Loras all the power of Higharden behind him... If Stannis ad Robb would have allied, Stannis march on King's Landing might have ended differently. (And if it wasn't for Melisandre and Renly's death and revival...)

TheSummoner
2012-02-12, 06:44 PM
What BRC said... Stannis is not someone you love but until he got all wrapped up by Melisandre (and it became open knowledge) he was probably the best of the Baratheons when it came to ruling a kingdom.
I guess he just had a really poor choice of lands so he couldn't draw the armies he wanted... Renly had his charisma and thanks to Loras all the power of Higharden behind him... If Stannis ad Robb would have allied, Stannis march on King's Landing might have ended differently. (And if it wasn't for Melisandre and Renly's death and revival...)

He certainly was the most qualified to lead of the three Baratheon brothers, but that doesn't mean people would follow him. Look at Renly... No where near suited to lead. He considered the entire thing a big game... But the people flocked to him because he was charismatic and they loved him for it.

Seerow
2012-02-12, 06:51 PM
I'd call this one pretty cut and dry really. They're both terrible leaders, but Dany has actually managed to surround herself with people loyal to her, and get rid of those that aren't. Cersei, meanwhile, has managed to surround herself with people who are just waiting to stab her in the back, while getting rid of the people actually loyal to her. Plus, while Dany has done a lot of very stupid things, she has nothing on the level of reforming the Faith Militant, a potentially powerful religious group that opposes everything Cersei stands for. Plus, the whole matter with Qyburn is just asking to blow up in her face.

Do note I specified Dany in ADWD.

She was far from surrounded by people she could trust. She had a few trusted people, sure, but she insisted on trying to stay and rule a hostile nation, and made blunder after blunder in doing. In the end she avoided deadly poisoning only by sheer luck. She also probably managed to make an enemy of the Martells, by spurning and then accidentally bbqing their Prince.

Cercei had her own set of terribleness, sure. But I'd argue the two are comparable, and it's nowhere near as clear cut as you make it out to be.

TheSummoner
2012-02-12, 07:02 PM
If nothing else, Dany could be given some leeway since she has to make due with the limited resources available to her. Cersei has no such excuse.

Knaight
2012-02-12, 07:14 PM
Do note I specified Dany in ADWD.

She was far from surrounded by people she could trust. She had a few trusted people, sure, but she insisted on trying to stay and rule a hostile nation, and made blunder after blunder in doing. In the end she avoided deadly poisoning only by sheer luck. She also probably managed to make an enemy of the Martells, by spurning and then accidentally bbqing their Prince.

Cercei had her own set of terribleness, sure. But I'd argue the two are comparable, and it's nowhere near as clear cut as you make it out to be.
There are enemies around her, yes, but she actually has trustworthy people around, and hasn't been getting rid of them. As for the Martells, that was pretty much entirely bad luck - that Quentyn would do something that stupid is really not something that could have been predicted. Trying to steal a dragon when there is another dragon around is somewhere on the level of executing Ned Stark as far as blunders go. Cersei, by contrast, had a nice situation handed to her on a platter and still managed to screw it all up.

BRC
2012-02-12, 11:10 PM
I wouldn't call Ceseri's Situation "Nice". She's lost her father and brother, she's facing a refugee crisis, her son (The king) was just killed, she's running out of money. Her list of allies is rapidly shrinking, and she's facing a silent coup from House Tyrell, which has managed to get through the entire war unscathed.

Seriously, look at the Tyrells, they started as one of the more powerful houses in Westeros. They hitched their wagon to Renly, but joined up with Stannis when he got assassinated (No major battle, they didn't lose many troops). They fight in the Battle of the Blackwater, but it's their turning against him that decides the battle, so once again their forces don't take that big a hit.

Anyway, Ceseri's position wasn't exactly good from a "keeping the Lannisters in power" perspective. But her decision (To revoke the ancient ban on the Church having soldiers) was incredibly stupid. All she did was create yet Another faction vying for power in King's Landing, this one with the support of the commoners and no way for her to control it.
Although I suppose she did make a new enemy for Stannis to deal with if he ever tries to take the city again, considering his worship of the Red God the Septon's new troops will oppose him, but that's not much consolation.

Also, since this has kind of drifted away from the original topic...
Some Discussion/theories (I'm just going to say spoilers up to DWD)

Am I the only one who is really interested to see where Sansa's story arc is going? After four books of being annoying and useful only because she provided a PoV at King's Landing, she's finally developing her character, taking Scheming lessons from Littlefinger. Arya's been learning from a succession of Murderous Mentors since the first book, it's nice to see her sister finally gaining a skillset.

Although I have a feeling that, eventually Arya is going to be sent to kill either Dany, Sansa, or "Arya" (The girl that the Lannisters sent the Boltons).

INDYSTAR188
2012-02-14, 01:21 PM
Does anyone else think that Coldhands might be Benjen Stark?

Knaight
2012-02-14, 08:14 PM
Does anyone else think that Coldhands might be Benjen Stark?

I've filed that one under "maybe". There's evidence for it, but there's evidence for some of the competing hypotheses as well.

Peacemoon
2012-12-24, 10:32 AM
Viserys is better because he can actually count to ten.

Cikomyr
2012-12-24, 10:44 AM
Thread from the grave, I turn you with the power of the Giant!!