fractured realms

~*Stanchez Appreciation Week 2017*~

~*Road Trip*~

((I know I’m late for the last day but I wanted to post this anyway- I guess I’ll put a warning because this contains some big spoilers for Fractured Falls- Read on if you want!~))

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“Come walk with me, Rick..”

This is Stanley showing Rick the Spirit Realms (Or Astral Planes), walking from one to the other. and so on. There are many levels in these Realms, too many to comprehend, actually.

To fit into simple categories: There are the Lower Realms, Neutral Realms, and the Higher Realms. Here you can see Stanley bringing Rick from the Lower Realms, and into the Higher Realms. Educating him on the many levels and beings that inhabit them.

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inkykate reblogged this post and said:

I hate that I’m a Rhaegar apologist, but, since this laid it all out there, I can’t help adding my two cents.

I don’t think Rhaegar’s decision to “run away” with Lyanna was him abandoning the political narrative; I think it was the culmination of it.

As the adult Crown Prince, Rhaegar had a significant amount of influence, but his power would always be trumped by his father’s. He did not get to chose who he married. Aerys did. And Aerys chose frustrating Tywin’s ambitions over making a good match for his only adult child. (And remember Viserys was only two or three when Rhaegar married; there was probably little hope that he would make it into adulthood.)

For all her personal virtues, Elia Martell was not a good match. Dorne is culturally and geographically isolated from the rest of Westeros. Her brothers did not make matches that strengthened their families ties in a substantial way to any of the other great houses. Doran married a woman from Essos. Oberyn already had three (bastard) daughters by the time Rhaegar and Elia were betrothed, making it highly unlikely that as a second son with his reputation he would ever make a good match. And, as Aerys would demonstrate in his distaste for his first grandchild’s appearance, there is definitely some ethnic prejudice towards the Dornish in Westeros.

Rhaegar marrying Elia gained the crown a firm alliance with only one of the seven kingdoms.

Now the hold of the Targaryen dynasty has been failing since the last dragon died. To start, there were very few Targaryens left. Aerys in his madness was fermenting the discord that already existed in the realm. And men always want more power. After all, if the Targaryens were now just men, then only the loyalties of other houses of the realm could keep another Great House from taking the throne. And I think it’s highly likely that Rhaegar realized he was standing on a political land mine.

Even if the meeting at Harrenhal had been able to proceed as planned, Rhaegar would have had to believe completely in the loyalty of those men to betray his father - and not to use the chaos to usurp his own claim. And, since Aerys was alerted to the possibility of a revolt, then it’s unlikely he would have had any of that confidence to proceed when the meetings fell apart. Worse for Rhaegar still - the tourney at Harrenhal likely put into even sharper focus how mad his father was perceived to be, how mad his father was, and how fractured the realm he hoped to rule was.

I don’t think Rhaegar would have left the tourney feeling as though not doing something was an option, but I think he would have realized that the chance of the realm not falling into war were slim. Then Aegon is born and Elia can no longer bear children.

This changes his perspective. Beyond “the dragon must have three heads,” there was no guarantee that Aegon would survive infancy, or that an accident wouldn’t take either of his children. Where his own mother had miscarried and lost babes again and again, there was always the possibility that he would one day have a living sibling. Worse, once Aerys learned of her barrenness, Elia’s position at court could become uncertain - while she had been used to insult Tywin, Aerys certainly had no affection for Elia after. It would not be outside the realm of possibility that Aerys would insist that Rhaegar take another wife or a mistress to produce more potential heirs. And, if Aerys knew, he would thus be involved in the process - and there would be no guarantee that the women he would put forth wouldn’t seek to advance their own standing and their own children by conspiring against Elia. (There’s also the chance Aerys might make that leap to mistress or second wife himself.)

So: 1) Alliances for a common cause (usurping a mad King) are off the table. 2) The crown needed allies to hold the realm together. 3) Elia’s barrenness would eventually be known. 4) Viserys and Rhaegar’s children are too young for marriage alliances to be effective. And thus, 5) if Rhaegar would need to make another marriage alliance, he would need to chose for himself.

And Lyanna’s the best choice for a second wife. Their connection at Harrenhal aside, the Stark’s are an old house and wardens of the largest territory in Westeros. Geographically, this would put allies for House Targaryen on each end of the kingdom. Better still, Lyanna has three brothers - one who is engaged to the eldest daughter of House Tully and the other who fostered with Lord Baratheon at the Vale with House Arryn. Essentially, the same alliances that ended Targaryen rule could have been used to hold it together. And what Rhaegar would have known of Lyanna’s character, if he did come to know her as the Knight of the Laughing Tree, would have reassured him that she wouldn’t be likely to conspire against Elia and her children.

It’s worth noting that Lyanna’s ‘abduction’ did not lead to any Houses revolting. Instead it was the deaths of Brandon Stark, who was on the way to his wedding to Catelyn Tully when he veered off to King’s Landing to call Rhaegar out, and Rickard Stark, who either remained at Winterfell or rode on to Riverrun following Lyanna’s abduction, that preceded the rebellion. And it was King Aerys calling for Ned’s (who had remained in the Vale) and Robert’s heads that led to Jon Arryn condoning the calling of banners. In short, it was when Aerys unjustly calling for an end of one of the great houses that caused the war.

Now, if this was the path that Rhaegar took, he misjudged three things: 1) Brandon’s location and what that would mean for his ability to reign in his temper, 2) the influence of the Small Council on Aerys to minimize any of his reactions, and 3) Robert’s feelings for himself* and Lyanna, in spite of the fact that he was going around fathering bastards.

(*I don’t think this gets examined enough. Robert is Rhaegar’s second cousin. Robert’s parents died looking for a wife for Rhaegar in Essos. And so forth.)

I also don’t think that Rhaegar could sue for peace once the war started. He needed to be winning if there was any hope for a Targaryen dynasty after the war. And I also think that it’s very possible that Lyanna was bedridden through much of her pregnancy - because she was in danger of miscarrying from either a shock or illness. Because their child, the embodiment of joining their houses, could have brought stability and peace to the realm had it all gone more to plan.

Hi! I really appreciate the political outlook of Rhaegar’s marriage to Elia but there’s also a lot I disagree with here. Allow me to condense this into main points for clarity’s sake and so I don’t end up arguing the same point at different intervals. God knows this is long enough as it is.

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buffyboleyn  asked:

Apologies if you've answered this before but in ASOS, why does Tywin propose that Jaime marry Margaery and therefore want to take Margaery out of the running as queen? Should we chalk it up to not wanting to share power with the Tyrells or any other family until he absolutely has to (when Tommen is of age and needs heirs)? What brides would Tywin be happy with for Tommen and Jaime with, hypothetically?

While I’m sure that Tywin wants to retain as much power as possible for himself and for House Lannister, I think it’s a little more nuanced than what you’re suggesting. 

Lord Tywin rose as well. “A duty to House Lannister. You are the heir to Casterly Rock. That is where you should be. Tommen should accompany you, as your ward and squire. The Rock is where he’ll learn to be a Lannister, and I want him away from his mother. I mean to find a new husband for Cersei. Oberyn Martell perhaps, once I convince Lord Tyrell that the match does not threaten Highgarden. And it is past time you were wed. The Tyrells are now insisting that Margaery be wed to Tommen, but if I were to offer you instead—”

All of the marriages that Tywin has proposed have been attempts to bring together a fractured realm while strengthening the Lannister hold on the Iron Throne. Tywin was trying to hold the North through Tyrion’s marriage to Sansa. For Cersei, Tywin proposed matches to the Arbor, the Iron Islands, Dorne, and Highgarden: 

“I have considered the Redwyne twins, Theon Greyjoy, Quentyn Martell, and a number of others. But our alliance with Highgarden was the sword that broke Stannis. It should be tempered and made stronger. Ser Loras has taken the white and Ser Garlan is wed to one of the Fossoways, but there remains the eldest son, the boy they scheme to wed to Sansa Stark.”

The Lannisters need to bolster their military strength through marriage alliances. At full strength, the Westerlands can field about 35k men, while the Reach can put over 100k men in the field. The Lannisters are far below full strength right now. Also, the Lannister fleet that is anchored off Lannisport has only 20 to 30 ships, and coastal Westerlands lords have only 1-3 warships each. The Westerlands have never been a great naval power, unlike the Redwynes (who have 200 warships) and the Greyjoys, who are currently in rebellion. Some sort of marriage with Highgarden is necessary to secure that military strength, that “sword that broke Stannis”. 

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