Friday, September 5, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 43

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 stefan_sasse@gmx.de, 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 43 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is K-K Bracken, the writer of the Game of Thrones Comedy Show in Columbus, Ohio and an attendee of the Ice and Fire Convention each May at Ravenwood Castle in Ohio.  Her personal tumblr is http://zombee.tumblr.com

Why did Cersei want Trystane dead?

Main Opinion: Stefan
Because she is seeing enemies in every shadow by now. Cersei’s motto is summed up nicely in the show: “Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy.” And there is no “us” anymore, so there are only enemies. The only solution Cersei ever learned to cope with enemies is, thanks to Tywin’s bright example, eradicating them completely. Since she lacks the strength that Tywin Lannister possessed back in the day, she has to run circles around her targets and pick the easy ones, using ploys that convey all of her political skills. While she certainly is a dangerous enough enemy, said skills aren’t really that impressive, which is why her plots tend to succeed against targets like the Knight of Flowers, who wouldn’t recognize one if you drew them a flowchart, and tend to fail against any serious opposition. But Trystane is just one of the many, many enemies that Cersei Lannister thinks need to be eliminated in order to make her life safe, and she sees a chance for a harebrained plot, and so she takes it.

Concurring Opinion: Amin

Cersei saw Dorne a threat since the Red Viper tried to meddle in her affairs by getting involved in Tyrion’s trial, and before that she was aware of the enmity that House Martell held toward her house. She wants Myrcella back and fears that she would otherwise be married off wihout a choice just like she was to Robert; ironically, Trystane seems to be a amiable child and good match for Myrcella in temperament.

Concurring Opinion: K-K
Besides seeing enemies around every corner, sending Myrcella to Dorne was Tyrion’s scheme. Therefore, for Cersei, it must be opposed.  Myrcella is both her daughter and a surrogate for a younger version of Cersei.  She is resentful that Myrcella was bargained to Dorne as a hostage and sees her own forced and failed marriage to Robert in everyone else’s pairings.  Even the method of murder—death by hunting accident—is a parallel to Cersei’s most successful scheme.

Final Verdict: Cersei sees enemies everywhere and isn't afraid to take action against them.

Why didn't Ned Stark return the bones of his friends from the Battle of the Tower of Joy? It seemed strange to return Lord Dustin's horse but not his bones. 

Main Opinion: Stefan
Soldiers are usually burried where they fall. Bringing them back is a tradition that has only taken up since fighting takes place at places where you suspect they won’t stay buried. Hence the US has extensive soldier’s cemetaries in Europe, but none in Vietnam or Iraq. The same is true for Westeros: no one could expect that Eddard would get a proper burial in King’s Landing, so giving his bones back is necessary in order to get terms with the Starks. Lyanna is a very personal matter. Plus, there are also the practicalities to consider: after the Tower of Joy, only Eddard and Howland Reed were left alive, and they had a babe in arms and a dead sister to carry. How would they have sat down at that desolate tower, boiled the bones of five people (which is really ugly work) and then transported the bones north? Easier to lay them to rest with the finest adversaries they ever faced at a really beatuiful place. The Northeners tend to remember their dead at the Hearttrees anway (so far the Starks seem the only ones with tombs), so where you bury the dead matters little.

Concurring Opinion: Amin
Ned thought he gave them a decent burial and Justice Stefan covers well all the logistical and practical issues. It seems that no one else is complaining about it that much and one would think they could send someone to return the remains if it was bothering the other family members to the extent that it irked Lady Dustin.

Concurring Opinion: K-K
Both Northerners and Southroners bury and entomb their dead, but it seems that grand ceremony associated with death is reserved for the great houses. Lannisters and Starks have special tombs in their respective strongholds, Tullys are burned in boats, etc.  Without those specific rituals attached to a noble house, it seems logical that the place of burial is less important than the treatment of the dead. 

Final Verdict:  It made sense at the time to bury the fallen men where they fell.

Who will be the first to kill a dragon? And if and when that happens will the Dragonslayer be revered or reviled? 

Main Opinion: Stefan
I don’t have a clue. I guess it would be in line if the dragonslayer would simply be some random guy operating a trebuchet or something, his name never to be known. When a dragon dies (note that I’m not saying “if”) I guess it will be in battle, and in a battle between Dany and Aegon to drive home the senselesness of it all in the face of an Other invasion. Therefore, the dragonslayer will most likely be reviled by the winning side (Dany) and revered by the losers (Aegon’s guys). But the latters will quickly turn silent when Dany roasts some others.

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Amin

As Justice Stefan put it, any dragonslayer will be both revered and reviled. I don’t think the loss of a dragon would be due to Aegon, more likely due to Euron’s plans or some other attempted stealing of a dragon. It is true that Aegon and Dany do seem to be following a path eerily reminiscent of past Targaryen civil wars, but Aegon’s side is not merely outnumbered in dragonpower but completely lacking it.

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: KK

I hypothesize that only Drogon will remain to do battle with the Others. How that happens is a complete mystery to me.  Will the Maesters succeed in their schemes to rid the world of magic?  Could it be Sandor, who is crippled, but fears fire above everything? Or Victarion, who blunders every move he tries to make? If The Princess and the Queen is any indicator, I would not be surprised if one of the dragons dies at the hands of a mob. Knowing Martin, I would also not be surprised to see one of Dany’s most loyal followers kill a dragon—Barristan or Jorah are at the top of that list.  I don’t see Aegon or his allies killing a dragon as presumably he would want to be a rider—but I could see Aegon’s death being similar to Quentyn Martell’s.

Final Verdict:  If and when it happens, the dragonslayer will be both revered and reviled.

9 comments:

  1. thanks for Trystane thing, I could not imagine why somebody would like to kill a boy like him but now is clear

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  2. don't know if already told, but do you really believe that Stannis will win the battle of ice and also destroy the Boltons afterward ? are the Boltons so stupid that can loose their obvious advantage ?

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    1. If the Freys lose the Battle of Ice and the Manderley's join Stannis, who gets to Winterfell then the game is up for the Bolton's. They will have enemy's inside and outside.
      Roose Bolton had to remind Ramsey about the suspected disloyalty of the Northern Houses, so he knows he needs the Freys to win that battle.
      Stannis will win it. He is a great commander and the Manderley's will turn on the Freys

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  3. even so : with the Frey defeated and Manderly with Stannis, the situation is that Bolton is in Winterfell with food and army and without the Freys that are so hated by the Nothern houses ; so Bolton is in a good position and without ennemies in Winterfell ; Stanis is outside in snow, hungry and exhausted after a hard batle

    I see that Bolton who is not stupid has an enormous advantage .

    Please give me logical arguments not wishful thinking

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    1. Depending on how much time you have, this is the most comprehensive answer I can imagine. Thousands of words.

      http://branvras.free.fr/HuisClos/Contents.html

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    2. Bolton has very little advantage because the being holed up means illness spreads easily and the remaining Northern Houses could turn on them. He maybe Warden of the North but Stannis would control the North outside of Winterfell.
      If Rickon is retrieved from Skagos then the Bolton's, as well as the Frey's are done for.

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  4. I really like the idea of the Hound as a dragonslayer

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    1. Thanks, it was an idea I got the first time I ever read through the books and it's stuck with me. I don't think it will happen for a multitude of reasons but it would be cool.

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