Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

FAN: Discuss various fictional worlds that don't qualify for SF.

Moderator: Steve

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14186
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-12-29 10:01pm

Okay, so we know that when Mad King Aerys decided that burning Lord Paramounts and their families was a good idea, it started a rebellion that ended with him being backstabbed by his own Kingsguard, and the rest of the Targaryens either being murdered or driven into exile so that Robert could take the throne- a throne he proved unable to rule responsibly, and which his heirs, such as they were, proved unable to hold.

But is there an alternative?

Now, I'm not a monarchist, but I think that within the setting of GoT, there's actually some merit to keeping the Targaryen dynasty around, since a nice democratic republic doesn't seem to be a realistic option. :wink: The kingdom needs to remain united, especially since we have the benefit of foreknowledge that the White Walkers are due a couple decades or so down the line. And to prevent the years of bloody civil war.

The problem is... what exactly is holding the Seven Kingdoms together at this point? I mean, we've got powerful elements of the North, the Iron Islands, and probably others who are probably just itching for a chance to declare independence. Under the first Targaryens, it was held together by dragon fire. That's gone (for the time being). All that's left is... law, and tradition. Take that away, and the only thing holding the realm together (or more likely failing to hold it together, since no one kingdom is powerful enough to dominate all the others without dragons) is naked force. IIRC, that was basically Renly's argument, when he made his bid for the throne. That the only real legitimacy left is "I've got an army". Which means an endless cycle of war as every ambitious person who can get some armed men behind them makes a bid for the Iron Throne, at least until someone is strong enough (like Danaerys) to hold it all together by force.

So, what if, rather than putting Robert on the throne, they had instead simply removed Aerys (and falsely-accused-of-rape-Raegar, I suppose) on the grounds that they have violated their duties as King/prince (IIRC, under feudal systems, lords generally had responsibilities to their vassels, as well as vice-versa), cut off their heads or given them a choice between the headsman and the Wall, and put one of the other Targaryens on the throne? Could this have worked? Would their be a legal or cultural basis for such a move in the setting?

Of course, there is the little problem that the next in line, if I'm remembering my Targaryen family tree correctly, is freaking Viserys, perhaps the one character who might actually be more of a vile, useless nut job than Joffery. But there is the nature vs. nurture question- would Viserys have turned out so badly if he hadn't grown up an exiled orphan? In any case, in this hypothetical, a precedent would have been established that while the dynasty endures, a king can be removed if he fails in his duties to his subjects.

Perhaps this could even be a first step towards some kind of constitutional monarchy or democracy- a understanding that while the lords are loyal to the crown, their are some lines that the king cannot cross without the Lords Paramount removing him.

So, would it have been possible to overthrow Aerys and Raegar, and put Viserys on the throne, with the queen or one of the victorious rebel lords acting as his regent until he came of age, thus preserving the legitimacy of the monarchy? Would the other kingdoms have accepted this? Would Robert's ego have accepted it (yes, he grew to hate the throne, but that was after years of unhappy marriage and disillusionment with the responsibilities of being king)?

Or am I completely off-base here?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10286
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-12-30 04:15am

There is precedent for doing that, calling a council of lords to select the heir. In the books it's explicitly stated they did this for Maekar's sucession over looking some of the children to offer it to Aegon V (and secretly Aemon first)

I think Ned actually did want to do that for the rebellion but without getting Robert onboard it wouldn't have happened.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14186
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-12-30 01:17pm

So it was all just Robert being a dumbass?

That makes sense, I guess. And its pretty fucking ironic given how he ended up feeling about having the throne.

It also confirms my view that for all the fan-bashing he gets for being too "honourable" Ned is one of the very few people in the setting who has their head on straight.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Coop D'etat
Padawan Learner
Posts: 449
Joined: 2007-02-23 01:38pm
Location: UBC Unincorporated land

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Coop D'etat » 2017-12-30 02:33pm

The problem with this is that you're installing a monarch with an intimate personal grudge against the leaders of the rebellion to the throne. Firstly that's not going to fly with the leaders of Houses Stark, Baratheon, Tully and Arryn who took great personal risks to bring down the previous regime. Secondly that sets up a potentially nasty conflict a generation down the line when the boy Targaryean takes power for himself.

Robert really was the most viable option for future stability for the Seven Kingdoms. He had a reasonable blood claim as the closest relative to the ruling dynasty, had the charisma to be acclaimed king by his followers and had the backing of a strong political coalition. This got undermined by a mediocre reign as monarch, but he was the best horse to back at the moment of decision. In fact, the combination of his personal clemacy and Jon Arryn's diplomacy did a remarkably good job at the begining of his reign to knit the realm back together again after the war.

As for Ned, the fan bashing is wrong. He does have his head on straight and his failures were mostly due to bad luck, too much trying to work through Robert rather than taking over administration in his name and having the basic human decency to not want to perpetuate infanticide.

User avatar
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10286
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-12-30 02:44pm

Oh I think I made an error. I dont think Ned suggested a council of Lords for Aerys Ii's succession. It may have be Catelyn at Stannis and Renly's parley.

An interesting scenario may have been Rheagar winning the Civil War. A Barristan chapter suggests he'd realised how mad Aerys was just before the Battle of the Trident and was going to take steps.
From all accounts bar Robert's he'd have made a good king.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
Coop D'etat
Padawan Learner
Posts: 449
Joined: 2007-02-23 01:38pm
Location: UBC Unincorporated land

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Coop D'etat » 2017-12-30 02:55pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2017-12-30 02:44pm
Oh I think I made an error. I dont think Ned suggested a council of Lords for Aerys Ii's succession. It may have be Catelyn at Stannis and Renly's parley.

An interesting scenario may have been Rheagar winning the Civil War. A Barristan chapter suggests he'd realised how mad Aerys was just before the Battle of the Trident and was going to take steps.
From all accounts bar Robert's he'd have made a good king.
Rhaegar was so consumed with fulfilling prophesies for the future that he created massive political problems in the here and now. He'd probably be a worse king than Robert who at least had the sense to delegate the jobs he didn't want to do to more competent people. Let's not forget that the entire rebellion his is his fault as much as it was Aerys's due his stunt with Lyanna Stark kicking of the affair. A mistake he doubled down on by backing his father against the rebels. A council to remove Aerys was a great idea that he completely failed to execute on when it was appropriate to do so, before the rebellion. After the rebellion he's fought for the right for the crown to execute lords without trial and demand their vassals do the same at their command, that genie isn't going back inside the bottle.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14186
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-12-30 02:57pm

Rhaegar might have been okay, yeah. A "what if?" where Rhaegar wins at the Trident would be fascinating if done well. Actually, I might have to make another thread...

Another possibility that comes to mind: Tywin. Now, this is obviously going to be way, way out of character for canon Tywin, but...

A while back, over on Spacebattles (I don't have an account there, but I do browse the threads from time to time), there was a "what if you were Tywin at the end of the rebellion" type thread, IIRC, which, indirectly, was one of my inspirations for this topic. Because when I tried to think of what I would do in Tywin's shoes at that point in the timeline, "Coup Aerys and then install Viserys with myself as Regent/Hand" was basically the best plan I came up with. It could work for Robert's Rebellion too, of course.
Coop D'etat wrote:
2017-12-30 02:33pm
The problem with this is that you're installing a monarch with an intimate personal grudge against the leaders of the rebellion to the throne. Firstly that's not going to fly with the leaders of Houses Stark, Baratheon, Tully and Arryn who took great personal risks to bring down the previous regime. Secondly that sets up a potentially nasty conflict a generation down the line when the boy Targaryean takes power for himself.
There is that. Although, how old was Viserys at this point? Is he likely to grow up hating the rebels if he's raised by their propaganda, with one of them as regent*, with only a vague memory of dear old pyromaniac dad?

If not... there's always arranging an "accident" for Viserys, and letting the throne go to... whatever his name is. Rhaegar's kid who Clegane killed (Danaerys being out of the question in this scenario because of stupid male succession bullshit).

*Ned would, naturally, be my favourite for regent, mostly because he's the one I'd most trust not to try to overstay his welcome once Viserys came of age.
Robert really was the most viable option for future stability for the Seven Kingdoms. He had a reasonable blood claim as the closest relative to the ruling dynasty, had the charisma to be acclaimed king by his followers and had the backing of a strong political coalition. This got undermined by a mediocre reign as monarch, but he was the best horse to back at the moment of decision. In fact, the combination of his personal clemacy and Jon Arryn's diplomacy did a remarkably good job at the begining of his reign to knit the realm back together again after the war.
Yeah, I can see why Robert could be viewed as the best option at the time. But I'm looking at it long-term, and, admittedly, with the benefit of hindsight.
As for Ned, the fan bashing is wrong. He does have his head on straight and his failures were mostly due to bad luck, too much trying to work through Robert rather than taking over administration in his name and having the basic human decency to not want to perpetuate infanticide.
And trusting Littlefinger. Don't forget trusting Littlefinger. Though that is somewhat forgivable given that his main source of information on Littlefinger was likely that he was his wife's childhood friend.

Honestly, he probably could have survived everything else if he hadn't trusted fucking Littlefinger.

But yeah, Ned's story is basically the tragedy of a decent man trying to do his best, getting trapped by conflicting loyalties and duties, and ultimately being swallowed up by a corrupt system due to having inaccurate/partial information.

Though his legacy is a family which is able to survive and hold itself together despite everything they've been through, while, say, the Lannisters and Baratheons promptly tore themselves apart.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Coop D'etat
Padawan Learner
Posts: 449
Joined: 2007-02-23 01:38pm
Location: UBC Unincorporated land

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Coop D'etat » 2017-12-30 03:22pm

You also have to grade Ned on a curve on Littlefinger, he's an out of context problem for a Westerosi noble (unlike a modern reader) and none those dealing with him have any idea of what his game is. It only became relevant to Ned when Cersei, who he's boxed into a corner with a competent investigation of Arryn's murder, rolls a natural 20 on a hamfisted assasination attempt going right. This lucky stroke also lets Tywin Lannister out of the corner Ned has forced him into in the Riverlands (Tywin's putative hyper competence is highly overstated).

Regarding Twyin's best actions in the Rebellion, its hard to do better than he did in the OTL. He leverages his late arrival into a royal marriage and a place in power brokers of the new regime. Couping Aerys post-Trident isn't viable, Robert is already on the verge of winning and can steamroller any opposition at this point, plus Tywin would be exposed in the capital against an oncoming rebel army too far from the only other loyalist army in the field under Mace Tyrell (whose not inclined to stick his neck out for Tywin in any event) at Storm's End. His main misplay was an excess of brutality in the sack of King's Landing and the murder of Elia and her children alienating the Martells and the KL commons, but counter-productive excessive brutality with an excuse of realpolitik is what Tywin does.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14186
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-12-30 04:05pm

Coop D'etat wrote:
2017-12-30 03:22pm
You also have to grade Ned on a curve on Littlefinger, he's an out of context problem for a Westerosi noble (unlike a modern reader) and none those dealing with him have any idea of what his game is. It only became relevant to Ned when Cersei, who he's boxed into a corner with a competent investigation of Arryn's murder, rolls a natural 20 on a hamfisted assasination attempt going right. This lucky stroke also lets Tywin Lannister out of the corner Ned has forced him into in the Riverlands (Tywin's putative hyper competence is highly overstated).
Internet tough guys fan boy over ruthless amorality, I guess?

I mean, Tywin did do pretty well for himself, up to a point. But I think his pride caused him to overplay his hand, and he's lucky he did as well as he did.
Regarding Twyin's best actions in the Rebellion, its hard to do better than he did in the OTL. He leverages his late arrival into a royal marriage and a place in power brokers of the new regime. Couping Aerys post-Trident isn't viable, Robert is already on the verge of winning and can steamroller any opposition at this point, plus Tywin would be exposed in the capital against an oncoming rebel army too far from the only other loyalist army in the field under Mace Tyrell (whose not inclined to stick his neck out for Tywin in any event) at Storm's End.
That's all valid to a point, but I wonder if you're overrating the inassailability of Robert post-Trident somewhat.

If nothing else, Tywin ought to have the only more or less fresh army on the field at this point, and the Lannister force is nothing to sneeze at- my understanding was that it was the only real professional standing army (as opposed to feudal knights and peasant levies padded out with sell-swords) on the continent, though that might just be fanon I picked up somewhere.
His main misplay was an excess of brutality in the sack of King's Landing and the murder of Elia and her children alienating the Martells and the KL commons, but counter-productive excessive brutality with an excuse of realpolitik is what Tywin does.
My understanding was that, while morally abhorrent, Westrosi Realpolitik basically demanded the deaths of the children to prevent future wars over the succession.

But Elia... yeah, that was stupid, as well as morally bankrupt. Murdering (and raping, because what do you expect to happen when you send fucking Gregor Clegane) an innocent woman who's death will deeply piss off one of the kingdoms for no reason is probably the single dumbest move Tywin ever made.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Coop D'etat
Padawan Learner
Posts: 449
Joined: 2007-02-23 01:38pm
Location: UBC Unincorporated land

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Coop D'etat » 2017-12-30 07:08pm

The Lannister forces aren't really portrayed as significantly more professional than the other Westerosi in the books, they are the same kind of levies of local knights and middle classes who take up soldiering on the side everyone fields, albeit generally better equipped than average due to wealth and more experience than average because Tywin campaigned frequently to rebuild his house's standing. They aren't a standing force, and matched head to head to the Stark-Tully forces in the novels they don't perform much better man-to-man to other regional armies. This incidently is why Tywin has to march home at the end of the 2nd novel to face Robb's chevanche into the Westerlands, if he doesn't than his army of feudal levies disintegrates as he fails to defend their homes and Tywin himself looks weak in his failure to defend his own territory. If he was leading professionals he wouldn't be so constrained in his choices.

There is a fanon tendency to see Tywin and the Lannisters as proto-modern which isn't in the books at all, if anything they are arch-conservatives. Gold isn't
lent for return on investment but political standing, the military is a feudal levy and not a standing army or a mercenary force, Lannister understanding of finance is as primitive as the rest of the noble classes (as evidenced by how one of the most bookish Lannisters can't make heads or tails about what Littlefinger is doing with state money).

As for Westerosi Realpolitik, the generally accepted way of getting rid of inconvient people with heritary claims is to ship them off to a social order that can't marry or hold lands, the Maesters, Watch or Faith (applies to females). This provides a form of social death sans brutality, much like sending someone to a monastary in our Middle Ages. Tywin instead always goes for the transgressive brutal option in his political dealings, which builds fear but also contravenes Machievelli's dictim against being despised to his house's future detriment and likely future collapse.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14186
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-12-30 07:13pm

Hmm... so the conventional, socially acceptable way of dealing with the children was to wait until they were a little older and ship them off to the Wall/Maesters/Faith?

Okay, that just makes Tywin even more of a dick, and even more of a moron.

Yeah, he's not nearly as sharp as he's made out to be.

Question for book fans: how much of a fan base did Tywin have before the show, or do people just like him because Charles Dance is awesome?

Another interesting thought: do you think that being sent to the Wall will be able to serve that purpose in future, after Jon's actions in quitting the Night's Watch? Yes, he technically died and came back, so he served until death, but even if one accepts that, how many people will believe that happened, as opposed to just being Stark propaganda? If you can go to the Wall and then leave, raise an army, and become King in the North, it kind of eliminates "Send them to the Wall" as a non-murder way of dealing with problematic nobility.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Coop D'etat
Padawan Learner
Posts: 449
Joined: 2007-02-23 01:38pm
Location: UBC Unincorporated land

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Coop D'etat » 2017-12-30 07:18pm

Medieval law was very precedent heavy, and Westerosi legal norms seem to run the same way. So I'd say that the Watch as a method of giving a humane out to political enemies would be significantly undermined by Jon leaving the Watch. Now there is a dangerous precendent to point to if someone else does the same.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30010
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-12-30 11:30pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-12-30 01:17pm
So it was all just Robert being a dumbass?

That makes sense, I guess. And its pretty fucking ironic given how he ended up feeling about having the throne.
Well, consider who the options are:

1) Aerys. Obviously not on.
2) Rhaegar. Also not on; Robert and Ned both have massive personal grudges against him for kidnapping Lyanna.
3) Aegon, Rhaegar's infant son. Heir to the throne if Rhaegar's out of the picture. Note that Tywin Lannister took some pains to have him and his sister killed so they couldn't be put on the throne as figureheads for a long regency.
4) Viserys. Kind of an option, but if he's put on the throne it will literally be over the dead bodies of his father and older brother. Not likely to end well. Also, Viserys arguably shouldn't inherit as long as Rhaegar's children are alive, and if Rhaegar's children are dead it's because the rebellion is in full Targaryen-killing mode and the odds are that Viserys and Daenerys end up being spirited away across the see.
5) Rhaenys and Daenerys Targaryen present many of the same obstacles as their brothers, plus the whole "women don't inherit thrones" crap that the dynasty has going on.

I'm not saying it wouldn't have been a good idea to put little baby Aegon on the throne as "Aegon the..." uh, fifth or sixth. But that idea was rather messily pre-empted, plus it would have been inherently risky to have a baby king grow up under the regency of men who'd killed his father and grandfather.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20180
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2017-12-31 05:09am

Why should there be a constitutional monarchy when there could be a republic after the disillusionment with kings and nobility in general?

From the books, I really like Daenerys because she kills the masters and Tyrion because he’s just made so likeable by GRRM.

The overall state of the world in ASOIAF is a deeply stagnant feudalism that lasts for many centuries, and given the peculiarities of their world, it is quite likely that changing this state isn’t possible. That’s because the story is made that way, and it is written with several points in mind.

None of which would be pressed by setting up a “nice” constitutional monarchy or something.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10438
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Vendetta » 2017-12-31 05:38am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-12-30 04:05pm
But Elia... yeah, that was stupid, as well as morally bankrupt. Murdering (and raping, because what do you expect to happen when you send fucking Gregor Clegane) an innocent woman who's death will deeply piss off one of the kingdoms for no reason is probably the single dumbest move Tywin ever made.
Not throwing Clegane under the bus afterwards made it worse. To be honest Tywin doesn't suffer enough from keeping House Clegane around, he should be experiencing consistent low level drain on his economy as Clegane's mismanagement of his lands and one-step-above banditry actions himself spill out beyond his own demense into other Lannister lands.

It would have been a perfect excuse to rid himself of an ornery and unproductive vassal.

User avatar
Imperial Overlord
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11862
Joined: 2004-08-19 04:30am
Location: The Tower at Charm
Contact:

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2017-12-31 06:57am

Vendetta wrote:
2017-12-31 05:38am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-12-30 04:05pm
But Elia... yeah, that was stupid, as well as morally bankrupt. Murdering (and raping, because what do you expect to happen when you send fucking Gregor Clegane) an innocent woman who's death will deeply piss off one of the kingdoms for no reason is probably the single dumbest move Tywin ever made.
Not throwing Clegane under the bus afterwards made it worse. To be honest Tywin doesn't suffer enough from keeping House Clegane around, he should be experiencing consistent low level drain on his economy as Clegane's mismanagement of his lands and one-step-above banditry actions himself spill out beyond his own demense into other Lannister lands.

It would have been a perfect excuse to rid himself of an ornery and unproductive vassal.
Yes, but Tywin over values being feared and thus likes having a rabid dog he can sick on his enemies, and perhaps more importantly to Tywin, terrorize his vassals. A lot of Tywin's "pragmatism" is actually just him being a ruthless dick. Clegane didn't get thrown under the bus because the Martels were on the losing side and while there were no witnesses that came forward. Robert was cool with it because he wanted every Targaryen dead and the Lannisters had just handed him King's Landing on a platter. It's notable that Tyrion, who is more of a pragmatist and less of a dick, is the one that tells Tywin that Clegane can be hung out to dry in response to Tywin's criticism of Tyrion's hill folk warriors.
The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

Librium Arcana

User avatar
FaxModem1
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6423
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2017-12-31 07:40am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2017-12-31 05:09am
Why should there be a constitutional monarchy when there could be a republic after the disillusionment with kings and nobility in general?

From the books, I really like Daenerys because she kills the masters and Tyrion because he’s just made so likeable by GRRM.

The overall state of the world in ASOIAF is a deeply stagnant feudalism that lasts for many centuries, and given the peculiarities of their world, it is quite likely that changing this state isn’t possible. That’s because the story is made that way, and it is written with several points in mind.

None of which would be pressed by setting up a “nice” constitutional monarchy or something.
Because there hasn't really been the equivalent of a Renaissance or Enlightenment to have a populace who embrace the ideas of a republic? In the peasant minds, there's got to be a king or queen, just because there's always been one. There would also need to be power players who want a republic in the first place. No educated populace, no nobles who want to upend the system completely, just change who is sitting in the chair.
Image

User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10438
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Vendetta » 2017-12-31 04:23pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2017-12-31 07:40am
K. A. Pital wrote:
2017-12-31 05:09am
Why should there be a constitutional monarchy when there could be a republic after the disillusionment with kings and nobility in general?

From the books, I really like Daenerys because she kills the masters and Tyrion because he’s just made so likeable by GRRM.

The overall state of the world in ASOIAF is a deeply stagnant feudalism that lasts for many centuries, and given the peculiarities of their world, it is quite likely that changing this state isn’t possible. That’s because the story is made that way, and it is written with several points in mind.

None of which would be pressed by setting up a “nice” constitutional monarchy or something.
Because there hasn't really been the equivalent of a Renaissance or Enlightenment to have a populace who embrace the ideas of a republic? In the peasant minds, there's got to be a king or queen, just because there's always been one. There would also need to be power players who want a republic in the first place. No educated populace, no nobles who want to upend the system completely, just change who is sitting in the chair.
Nobles might not want to upend the system, but they might still want to knock the guy on the top down a few rungs without actually replacing them directly, as happened with the Magna Carta (after a war or so).

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14186
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-12-31 05:12pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2017-12-31 05:09am
Why should there be a constitutional monarchy when there could be a republic after the disillusionment with kings and nobility in general?
Going straight from feudalism to a republic is... I won't say impossible, but its a hell of a leap.

Where is the impetus for such a leap going to come from, in Rebellion era Westeros? Who, with any influence or resources, would actually back such a thing?

I mean, if you were in Robert or Rhaegar or Tywin's place, I suppose you could declare a republic- and probably have most of your vassles promptly turn on you, if they even understand what the hell you're talking about.

IIRC, there's a line in the first book where Tyrion reflects on the customs of his hill folk warriors, and how at their meetings everyone gets a say- and scoffs at it. And Tyrion is generally considered one of the more "enlightened" characters in the setting. And forget democracy- to my recollection, no one in the setting seriously considers getting rid of monarchs, or the feudal nobility.

There are non-monarchies in the setting, IIRC, in Essos. But selling the idea in Westeros would take some doing, I think.
From the books, I really like Daenerys because she kills the masters and Tyrion because he’s just made so likeable by GRRM.
They're two of the more progressive-minded of their world- and yet, Daenerys is essentially setting herself up as an absolute monarch backed by dragon fire, and Tyrion, well... see above.

I've stated my own preference for democratic republics over hereditary monarchies, even constitutional ones, many times. But I'm realistic enough to see that going straight from feudalism to republic is probably a bit much to hope for. A constitutional monarchy, where there are clear limits on the rulers' power, and rights that are protected by iron-clad law, is a possible stepping stone in the right direction.
The overall state of the world in ASOIAF is a deeply stagnant feudalism that lasts for many centuries, and given the peculiarities of their world, it is quite likely that changing this state isn’t possible. That’s because the story is made that way, and it is written with several points in mind.
None of which would be pressed by setting up a “nice” constitutional monarchy or something.
[/quote]

Actually, the setting has evolved quite a bit over time. And as I said, there are alternative forms of government in Essos. There's no reason the setting couldn't evolve further that I can see, given time- especially with the massive upheaval the coming winter is going to cause (perhaps analogous to the number the Black Death did on feudalism?). But no, its not going to go straight from feudalism to republic, and I'd laugh if it did.

A constitutional monarchy would, as I said, serve as a somewhat plausible stepping stone to a fully democratic government (probably over a period of centuries), and set clear limits on the shit powerful people are allowed to get away with. Best of many shitty options.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30010
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-12-31 05:38pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2017-12-31 05:09am
Why should there be a constitutional monarchy when there could be a republic after the disillusionment with kings and nobility in general?
We see very, very little evidence that there's enough popular support for overthrowing the aristocracy to have this happen. The "smallfolk" of Westeros just aren't at the same level of revolutionary zeal as, say, the French sans-culottes of the 1780s.

Now, Essos contains a variety of places that are ripe for conversion to republics, and some that already are, because there's little or no feudal hierarchy and a power vacuum created by Dany's crushing of slave states...
The overall state of the world in ASOIAF is a deeply stagnant feudalism that lasts for many centuries, and given the peculiarities of their world, it is quite likely that changing this state isn’t possible. That’s because the story is made that way, and it is written with several points in mind.
I don't know. ASOIAF seems no more immune to progress and cultural evolution than, say, the real world. As long as the entire world isn't plunged into an apocalypse that crushes all progress and reduces humanity to extinction or small tribes, I imagine that they would eventually undergo an Earth-style industrial revolution, the rise of more progressive forms of government, and so on.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4449
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by LaCroix » 2018-01-02 11:55am

As the High Sparrow implied, there is a non-trivial chance for a theocratic revolt if the smallfolk are urged on by the clergy. But this would only replace the aristocracy by a theocracy, and apart from the High Sparrow, who might be benevolent towards the masses, the rest of the clergy is just as power-hungry as their highborn brethren (as they are mostly appointed highborns, "second/third sons", so to speak)

Even if that revolt were to overthrow the lords (by denying them their levy and crushing them by numbers), it doesn't seem to be a more pleasant place to be for the smallfolk, mid- to long term.

Being so old, there is only so much time the HS could steer the realm, and his precedessor would either be one of his fanatics, which wil result in inquisitional purges and terror all over the land, or a bigot that pretty much reverts everything to the status quo, just with the clergy being more powerful.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11979
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-02 12:07pm

Said theocratic revolt is more credible in the South and King's Landing. The North seems to mostly give lip service to the Seven, preferring their old gods and weirwoods. I suspect if a theocratic revolt happened, you'd quickly see a split between North and South given the religious tendencies to go 'you MUST bow before THIS god and no other', which would only be reinforced by a new theocratic government. IIRC there has always been a bit of religious tension over allowing the weirwoods to stand, something like that.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14186
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-02 07:50pm

Yup.

The North would definitely split. Given that they've rebelled thrice, and gone full King in the North twice, in the last few decades, even without an inquisition/crusade against their faith.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14186
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-03 07:51pm

Coop D'etat wrote:
2017-12-30 07:08pm
The Lannister forces aren't really portrayed as significantly more professional than the other Westerosi in the books, they are the same kind of levies of local knights and middle classes who take up soldiering on the side everyone fields, albeit generally better equipped than average due to wealth and more experience than average because Tywin campaigned frequently to rebuild his house's standing. They aren't a standing force, and matched head to head to the Stark-Tully forces in the novels they don't perform much better man-to-man to other regional armies. This incidently is why Tywin has to march home at the end of the 2nd novel to face Robb's chevanche into the Westerlands, if he doesn't than his army of feudal levies disintegrates as he fails to defend their homes and Tywin himself looks weak in his failure to defend his own territory. If he was leading professionals he wouldn't be so constrained in his choices.
Now that I think about it, this might also be a book/show divergence, at least in part. The show Lannister troops seem to have pretty uniform... uniforms, gear, and armour, which implies more of a standing, professional force.

Although I think any political leader, even today, would face some serious reprecussions if they left their lands completely open to enemy raids.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20180
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: Game of Thrones political hypothetical.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-04 11:30am

If the setting is not immune to progress, technically they should be entering pre-industrial age by the time of the books. GRRM does not describe economy that much, but politically it seems like really early feudalism, with serfdom, primarily agrarian mode of production, no manufacture or factory in sight, sieges and actual keeps and castles, not palaces. They had over half a millenia to move to late feudalism, but it does not seem like there was a lot of movement. Even the seven kingdoms and the ruling noble houses are implied to last for from over a thousand years to several millenia by the time of the books. I mean, a thousand something years before events of ASOIAF there is an invasion of Dorne with all the bookverse’ feudal attributes seemingly already in place.

I blame the fantasy winters, although it does fail to explain why the other parts of the world aren’t undergoing a transition faster. Slaver’s Bay is also locked in the slave production mode for an extremely long time.

The merchant class is weak, although sea trade exists and even plays into the story at key moments. Braavos looks like a stand in for Netherlands or a city-state with more progressive policies and flourishing commerce, but it also existed for a loong time (just google about when Valyria was)...
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

Post Reply