Bastards of Kingsgrave continues our reviews of George RR Martin’s earlier works, this time providing spoiler filled discussion about the macabre short story Meathouse Man. We also chat about the r…
A bit out of date - I know. ;]
Bastards of Kingsgrave continues with our manga and anime reviews, covering Twin Spica. We have a spoiler filled discussion of the manga and anime. Episode 42 download link (right click and downloa…
This is dependent on a few routes that could have been taken, but in all of them, yes, someone would have done something about Aerys Targaryen.
The question is who and what. And the dependancies are whether or not we’re discussing within the framework of Robert’s Rebellion or assuming it never came to pass or wondering if Aerys’ “burn them all” plan would have come into fruition.
Assuming no Robert’s Rebellion:
The interesting thing is that Aerys’ “madness” was so pronounced even before the rebellion that his own son, Rhaegar, was already thinking of how to remove him from power- something Jaime knows by the way as we learn this through his POV:
Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime’s shoulder. “When this battle’s done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but… well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return.” Jaime, AFFC
That would have been assumably just removing Aerys from power. But Aerys would never have quietly stepped down, and he was paranoid enough, so who’s to say it would have worked? Considering Rhaegar’s popularity and Aerys’ very questionable choices, I would assume that he’d have a lot of support. That being said, it’s not an easy thing to dethrone a monarch (and let them live especially.)
But the point is that Rhaegar and others would have tried to do something about Aerys.
Assuming just in general after Robert’s Rebellion became successful:
There was never any doubt that Aerys would have been killed. Elia, Aegon VI, and Rhaenys were killed to secure Robert’s position. If they had to die, you can bet the actual king was needed to die as well. The second Robert defeated Rhaegar on the Trident, Aerys’ fate was more or less sealed.
“Seven hells, someone had to kill Aerys!” Robert said, reining his mount to a sudden halt beside an ancient barrow. “If Jaime hadn’t done it, it would have been left for you or me.” Ned, AGoT
Aerys was a goner the second the Targaryens lost. He didn’t even inspire the same loyalty and love Rhaegar did, he really had no hope of survival.
Which is partially what led him to his insane choice to put the entire city of King’s Landing up in flames.
The issue with Jaime, the reason he is so criticized for his choice is a lot like the Red Wedding actually.
Westeros functions as it does because of a certain level of trust and honor. It’s not the most stable of places, but people live by a code of honor- or are supposed to- that allows the system to work.
The reason the Red Wedding is considered so horrible that even people who hated the Starks and were against their Northern succession campaign are horrified and hate the Freys now is because it broke the system. The Freys and co. shattered the trust (the sacred tradition of guest right) that leaves the entire system in question and makes it so no one can be trusted to let their guard down. (It’s way more complex than this, but that’s just a summary.)
Likewise, it’s not that Jaime killed Aerys and, well, Aerys was such a great guy and killing is so uncommon, how could he??? It’s that Jaime was sworn, honor bound, to protect Aerys first and foremost with his life. Ned makes this position clear in the full conversation from Robert’s quote:
“Can you trust Jaime Lannister?”
“He is my wife’s twin, a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard, his life and fortune and honor all bound to mine.”
“As they were bound to Aerys Targaryen’s,” Ned pointed out.
“Why should I mistrust him? He has done everything I have ever asked of him. His sword helped win the throne I sit on.”
His sword helped taint the throne you sit on, Ned thought, but he did not permit the words to pass his lips. “He swore a vow to protect his king’s life with his own. Then he opened that king’s throat with a sword.”
“Seven hells, someone had to kill Aerys!” Robert said, reining his mount to a sudden halt beside an ancient barrow. “If Jaime hadn’t done it, it would have been left for you or me.”
“We were not Sworn Brothers of the Kingsguard,” Ned said. Ned, AGoT
So that’s one of (if not the) main reason(s) that Jaime is despised for killing Aerys. He was sworn to protect him and then killed him. It betrays the system.
But there’s the other thing, Ned (and others) believe that Jaime did this because of the greater glory of House Lannister. They believe he killed Aerys, so that Tywin could take King’s Landing, to take power for himself and/or because Robert’s side was the winning side and he wanted to join it.
"Do you remember the Trident, Your Grace?”
“I won my crown there. How should I forget it?”
“You took a wound from Rhaegar,” Ned reminded him. “So when the Targaryen host broke and ran, you gave the pursuit into my hands. The remnants of Rhaegar’s army fled back to King’s Landing. We followed. Aerys was in the Red Keep with several thousand loyalists. I expected to find the gates closed to us.”
Robert gave an impatient shake of his head. “Instead you found that our men had already taken the city. What of it?”
“Not our men,” Ned said patiently. “Lannister men. The lion of Lannister flew over the ramparts, not the crowned stag. And they had taken the city by treachery.”
The war had raged for close to a year. Lords great and small had flocked to Robert’s banners; others had remained loyal to Targaryen. The mighty Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the Wardens of the West, had remained aloof from the struggle, ignoring calls to arms from both rebels and royalists. Aerys Targaryen must have thought that his gods had answered his prayers when Lord Tywin Lannister appeared before the gates of King’s Landing with an army twelve thousand strong, professing loyalty. So the mad king had ordered his last mad act. He had opened his city to the lions at the gate.
“Treachery was a coin the Targaryens knew well,” Robert said. The anger was building in him again. “Lannister paid them back in kind. It was no less than they deserved. I shall not trouble my sleep over it.”
“You were not there,” Ned said, bitterness in his voice. Troubled sleep was no stranger to him. He had lived his lies for fourteen years, yet they still haunted him at night. “There was no honor in that conquest.”
“I cannot answer for the gods, Your Grace… only for what I found when I rode into the throne room that day,” Ned said. “Aerys was dead on the floor, drowned in his own blood. His dragon skulls stared down from the walls. Lannister’s men were everywhere. Jaime wore the white cloak of the Kingsguard over his golden armor. I can see him still. Even his sword was gilded. He was seated on the Iron Throne, high above his knights, wearing a helm fashioned in the shape of a lion’s head. How he glittered!”
“This is well known,” the king complained.
“I was still mounted. I rode the length of the hall in silence, between the long rows of dragon skulls. It felt as though they were watching me, somehow. I stopped in front of the throne, looking up at him. His golden sword was across his legs, its edge red with a king’s blood. My men were filling the room behind me. Lannister’s men drew back. I never said a word. I looked at him seated there on the throne, and I waited. At last Jaime laughed and got up. He took off his helm, and he said to me, ‘Have no fear, Stark. I was only keeping it warm for our friend Robert. It’s not a very comfortable seat, I’m afraid.’ “
The king threw back his head and roared. His laughter startled a flight of crows from the tall brown grass. They took to the air in a wild beating of wings. “You think I should mistrust Lannister because he sat on my throne for a few moments?” He shook with laughter again. “Jaime was all of seventeen, Ned. Scarce more than a boy.”
“Boy or man, he had no right to that throne.”
This is why, in my mind, it matters so much why he killed Aerys. His motivations for this moment were not selfish, he had been moved by witnessing Aerys’ cruelty (such as his treatment of his wife) and didn’t want the entire population of King’s Landing to die needlessly.
But the reason he is so despised has less to do with people being against actions taken against Aerys and more to do that he was the one who took actions against him as well as why they perceive he did so.
Commissioned by the talented artist nymre
She does amazing art and was the one who created this modern Zuko and Katara for me.
PLEASE DO NOT REPOST THIS ART
"The Seven have never brought me so much as a sparrow. It is time I tried another hawk, Davos. A red hawk.”
At the beginning. #sdcc (at San Diego Convention Center)
Bastards of Kingsgrave continues our reviews of George RR Martin’s earlier works, this time providing spoiler filled discussion about Remembering Melody and Portraits of His Children. We dig deep i…
Stefan and Amin return, joined this week by Jim McGeehin, a contributing writer to The War and Politics of Ice and Fire and regular essayist for the Tower of the Hand.
Episode 155 for the week of July 27th, 2014, in which we finally (after three long years!) complete our A Clash of Kings reread by covering the final two
this is my only hypothesis
Toph’s 1st child