The Ravenry: Week of 7/13/2015

Hello, intrepid historians!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly, a little while back we here at the blog partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, myself and NFriel – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

So every Monday we present to you The Ravenry.  We collect the questions we’ve answered during the previous week over on the Tumblr in post form, with a brief description of each, and publish it here, and link that post on Twitter and Facebook as well. With NFriel crafting a champion-caliber piece for her next installment of the Three Heads of the Dragon series, the Hand sat the Throne yet again to write up some meta on the ASOIAF-universe

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 13 July:

As always, we love to hear your text-based questions, so if you have a burning question about ASOIAF, click this link to send us a raven. The more specific the question, the better text-based answer we can write, although we do our best to answer them all.

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King


Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Character Analysis, ASOIAF History, ASOIAF Meta, ASOIAF Military Analysis, ASOIAF Political Analysis, ASOIAF Speculation, Ravenry

7 responses to “The Ravenry: Week of 7/13/2015

  1. Archer0596

    Can someone clarify the Stannis viewing Daenerys as illegitimate thing to me, because it makes no sense. From what i remember, Stannis, whatever his feelings for Aerys still considered him the “rightful king”. (“It was a hard choosing”, which side to support in the rebellion, in his own words).

    Blood runs thicker than blood, and he owed his loyalty to Robert, which is why he did not support the Targs. But with Robert gone, his loyalties SHOULD be with the Targs, imo. Just that, to the best of his knowledge, the Targs are all dead (he knows that assassins were sent after Viserys and Dany, and likely thinks them dead. doesn’t know of Aegon. The sheer fact that the Golden Company leaders – or at least some of them – would consider allying with him says that they expect he’ll bend the knee to a Targ.)

    • Archer0596

      *Blood runs thicker than water, I meant. Sorry,a bit airheaded at times

    • somethinglikealawyer

      Why would Stannis support the Targaryens? There’s no recrimination about the Rebellion, he sailed to capture Rhaella, Viserys, and Daenerys at Dragonstone. He views the rebellion, or at least Robert’s usurpation of the Throne, as a just action. Supporting Daenerys means invalidating the rebellion, and that’s not in line with his opinions on the matter.

  2. Archer0596

    The Eddard Stark War of the Five Kings is likely wrong too. Despite everything, “there must always be a Stark in Winterfell”. Robb took a desperate measure putting Bran in charge, Eddard would likely have kept Robb as head, meaning the entire war goes differently. He might have been able to win half the Vale, but as Balon was already planning on rebelling, I doubt his leverage over Theon leads to much. Over and above that, Eddard isn’t rash enough to split his army into two, meaning the battle of the south goes differently. There’s only one battle, which would happen much later and likely at the green fork. This means that Riverrun’s already fallen to Jaime Lannister.

    I agree that Eddard would declare for Stannis, but this means Stannis comes north to join up with Eddard. SO siege at Storm’s End = no dead Renly.

    So, Im what we’re looking at is a Eddard-Tywin standoff in the riverlands, with most- all riverlander forces decimated.Jaime going back south to defend KL against some Vale forces and Renly. No Tully forces,means that Northern army is about the same size as Robb’s north+riverlands army (as more men willing tolay their lives down for Eddard, and he’s lesslikely to march south with an incomplete host like Robb).
    Robb routing the ironborn, land invasion quickly would then be forcing a Lannister-Greyjoy alliance.
    By neccessity, this would mean that Tyrion would have to strongarm bealish into making Lysa declare for Joff. This leaves us like this:
    Tywin taking the defensive in the Riverlands,slowly backing away from Ned’s army and holing up in Harrenhal. Probably being beseiged by a northerner army with some elements ofStannis’s 5,000 men. The riverland forces are for all purposes destroyed.

    Robb and the Greyjoys reach a stalemeate in the north. Grejoys can’t hold any land in the North,and Robb has no way to get his army to the Iron Islands reliably.

    In KL,you have Tyrion,Jaime and the Vale army facing off against the Stormlands-Reach 100,000 man army of Renly.

    the Martells, because of theirsecret alliace with the targs (viserys marriage) stay neutral throughout.And you’ve actually got a pretty balanced war.

    • Archer0596

      PS. I doubt Eddard’s condemnation hurts Renly AT ALL.Renly’s men are Renly’s out of his own personal charisma, his likeness to Robert, and because “no one likes”Stannis. Most of the people that support him want glory, not honor. So Eddard’s condemnation means little, if anything, to his army

    • Archer0596

      PPS. Also, Balon would still attack the North. Lannisport has a fleet. But for Stannis’s fleet to get anywhere near the Iron Islands,itwould have to swing around Westeros and take on and bet the Redwynes AND the Lannister fleet.I doubt the royal fleet is large enough to survive three large-scale naval attacks. Plusmoving the royal fleet to the west exposes Dragonstone to be attacked, and allows both Storm’s end and KL to be resupplied/evacuated by sea. This gives up significant tactical advantage just to take on minor raiding.

    • somethinglikealawyer

      I’m sorry, but I can’t see your reasoning matching the political situation in the text, nor does it seem in-line with how the actors are portrayed.

      Eddard has split his army before. He advanced his forces to Stoney Sept for the Battle of the Bells, but the rest of his slower infantry was still heading down the Kingsroad. The Ruby Ford, as shown on the map, is on the Kingsroad, not the River Road.

      Renly’s grasp on the Stormlanders is not as strong as you think it is. Davos mentions many secret meetings among Stormlander houses, suggesting that most of the more cautious houses are feeling out the political situation and that they jumped on board with Renly not for his personal charisma, but because his command of the Reach forces gives him a massive army. With Stannis only having 5,000 or so troops, they’re not declaring for Stannis because they don’t think he can win. Eddard condemning Renly and declaring for Stannis means that Stannis now has a good 25,000 troops which swells to 45,000 once Robb relieves the Riverlands. Renly’s victory looks much less guaranteed. I’d imagine instead, Renly declaring himself the King in Highgarden would get a Richard of York treatment, where his gloried ascension is met with a few coughs with Stannis already commanding a hold of a third of the Seven Kingdoms.

      And my answer on Balon shows why he would attack the West instead of the North. Balon attacks the North because he views himself as safe from reprisal. If Renly’s tenuous political position erodes as I see it doing (based upon the meetings that Davos has in the books), then he isn’t facing a fractured kingdom, he’s facing a bog-standard two-faction civil war, both of whom have ships and talented admirals.

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