House words in Westeros aren’t just a catchy buzzword. They’re a mantra, an ethos to the way that this family works. Even after she’s Lady Stark, Catelyn Tully Stark makes decisions based on the Tully creed family, duty, honour. Daenerys spends her arc from Pentos to Meereen to the Dothraki Sea again figuring out what it means to bring fire and blood.
So if the Tyrells want to grow strong, work their way up the social chain, into positions of power, and have a Tyrell child one day be King on the Iron Throne… why marry the gay Baratheon brother?
This post could also be titled: the Tyrells knew all about the Lannister twins incest, because Mace’s enthusiasm for a Tyrell King only makes sense if he knew that a child born to Renly Baratheon had the best chance of ending up on the Iron Throne.
At least once a month, if not more on /r/asoiaf someone asks…
Hey guys – does anyone know why Benjen Stark took the black?
I mean, House Stark had just been decimated and sure, Ned was married but he only had one (legitimate) son and his wife was pretty pissed with him for bringing home a bastard… wouldn’t it be more prudent for Benjen to hang around, get married and supply some spare Starks?
Without fail. Every few weeks.
YES THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION. But from now on, I’m just going to copy/paste a link to this blog as my response.
Inspired by this thread on /r/asoiaf, I have some thoughts on whether Jon Snow actually does break his vows to the Night’s Watch when he decides to march on Winterfell to take on Ramsay Bolton. Also: shout out to @BryndenBFish and @PoorQuentyn for putting up with my tweeted pleas for help and ideas.
His decision, announced after he reads the “Pink Letter” to the hall full of wildlings and Watchmen, has fatal consequences. It is seemingly the final straw for many in the Watch, who take it upon themselves to exact justice on the Lord Commander who has broken his vows.
Many fans agree that when he declared he would ride to Winterfell and fight Ramsay, Jon openly and clearly breached his vows to the Night’s Watch, and thus what the For The Watch-ers did was completely justified. I’ve always found this a little hard to swallow. Now I’ve finally figured out a way to credibly argue that Jon was looking at the bigger picture.
TLDR: Jon’s decision is in keeping with his vow to defend the realm of Men from the Others, except there was no way in hell that he could ever adequately explain that to a Night’s Watch that has forgotten that keeping the Others at bay, and not keeping the wildlings out, is its raison d’être.
We don’t see much of Jon Arryn, or get to know him personally in GOT/ASOIAF, but he is key to all that happens. It is his death that starts the series off, the conspiracy around his death that turns us all on our heads at the end of ASOS, and the inability of the realm’s Kings to govern without him that drives the entire ‘game of thrones’/political storyline in both show and books.
Jon Arryn was able to unite the Rebellion behind the claim of Robert Baratheon and, given what we know about Robert’s lack of enthusiasm for being king, is the brains behind the period of stability and good governance that marked Robert Baratheon’s reign. But why did the rebellion go so hard, all or nothing to overthrown all the Targaryens, rather than just the unfit for rule Aerys II? Was it just Robert’s personal feelings about Rhaegar Targaryen that led Jon Arryn to lead a Rebellion against the dragon kings, or was there something deeper and more considered going on?
This post is going to lean heavily on the theory of Southron Ambitions, and my own take on it which I term “Southron Ambitions turned up to 11”. The crux of my approach to Southron Ambitions is that not only did the previous generation of Great Lords plan a series of political marriages to unite Westeros more than before following on from buddying up while on the road for the War of the Ninepenny Kings, but there was always an agenda to overthrow the Targaryens. The realm had been dissatisfied with Targaryen madness or unfitness for generations, and House Targaryen now lacked the dragonfire to demand compliance, and was ripe for removal.
The War of the Five Kings, and its ignoble ending at the Red Wedding, eradicated a lot of the claimants for the Iron Throne or any regional thrones in Westeros.
As we prepare for the launch of season 6 GOT, let’s review where we left everyone at the end of A Feast for Crows/A Dance of Dragons – specifically, those main characters that many think (or hope!) will go on to be future pawns in the Game of Thrones, or major players.
NB: I’m not up to date on the TV show. I’ve monitored Buzzfeed and Tumblr, and have a reasonably good idea of the deviations in plot and major points, but I haven’t actually watched past season 2 GOT myself. It’s on my To Watch list and I recently got the 5 season box set… but I haven’t actually sat down and binged yet as I’ve had stuff to do.