How a lie led to Robert’s Rebellion and the end of a dynasty in ‘Recreation of Thrones’
Game of Thrones ended its seventh season with revelations and a gorgeous blow in the struggle between the residing and the lifeless. And whereas we had lengthy suspected who Jon Snow’s true parents have been, the royal mic drop additionally shook up every little thing we knew about Robert’s Rebellion, the struggle that kickstarted Recreation of Thrones.
As Bran advised a bewildered Samwell Tarly in the season 7 finale, Robert’s Rebellion—the struggle led by Robert Baratheon that marked the end of the Targaryen dynasty—“was constructed on a lie.” Everybody in Westeros knew about Robert’s Rebellion, whether or not they fought or lived by it or they grew up in its wake as a result of of the way it ended: with the almost full decimation of Home Targaryen and Robert Baratheon sitting on the Iron Throne.
Like the Dance of the Dragons, we all know each very a lot and little or no about Robert’s Rebellion. We got the structural benchmarks, the catalyst, and the way it performed out, but it surely’s solely from a sure perspective. There’s nonetheless rather more to parse by, particularly tidbits like Jon’s parentage which were revealed in the present however not in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Nonetheless, followers will ultimately be taught the full reality of what occurred in Robert’s Rebellion. Martin famous as a lot in a weblog put up that shot down the idea of HBO making a Robert’s Rebellion Game of Thrones spin-off prequel.
“We’re not doing Robert’s Rebellion both,” Martin wrote in a May 2017 blog post. “I do know 1000’s of you need that, I do know there’s a petition… however by the time I end writing A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, you’ll know each necessary factor that occurred in Robert’s Rebellion. There could be no surprises or revelations left in such a present, simply the performing out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know. That’s not a story I would like to inform simply now; it will really feel an excessive amount of like a twice-told story.”
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The bigger penalties of that struggle proceed to play out to today. Distrust grew between homes, friendships remained completely fractured, and youngsters grew up in exile or hidden from the reality of their heritage. And with simply six episodes left, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen might have to ultimately confront the elephant in the room of which one of them will end up on the Iron Throne.
Why is it known as Robert’s Rebellion?
Historical past is written by the victors, and a lot of what we find out about Robert’s Rebellion comes from those that gained it. Simply take a look at the recollection of Robert’s Rebellion in The World of Ice and Hearth, the encyclopedia the place its in-universe writer Maester Yandel caters to his viewers—the King of the Seven Kingdoms—and prospers Robert’s accomplishments.
Merely put, Robert’s Rebellion was his struggle. His vendetta with the Targaryens—notably King Aerys II Targaryen’s eldest son Rhaegar—was private as a result of Robert believed that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Robert’s betrothed, Lyanna Stark. Out of the three leaders of Robert’s Rebellion, he finally had the greatest declare to the Iron Throne. (Robert’s paternal grandmother was a Targaryen.) He killed his rival Rhaegar on the battlefield. And when it was throughout, he ascended to the throne.
Like many wars, the title used is dependent upon what aspect you’re on. According to Martin, the title wasn’t essentially one thing that was set in stone. Some individuals known as it Robert’s Rebellion whereas others (probably those that supported or have been sympathetic to the Targaryens) known as it the “Battle of the Usurper” as a result of Robert took the throne from the rightful Targaryen rulers.
What led to Robert’s Rebellion?
The struggle that eliminated the Targaryens from energy had a crystal clear catalyst, however these sides would have by no means come to blows—at that actual second, anyway—if a quantity of elements didn’t tie in first. And people earlier actions might have ultimately led to sure characters’ demise. For that, you possibly can take a look at the Tourney at Harrenhal, a grand match that introduced many of the noble homes and knights collectively in one place.
With Aerys—who was turning into consumed by paranoia and suspected Rhaegar was making an attempt to take away him from the throne—in attendance, it was even grander than it will have usually been. Aerys additionally oversaw the swearing in of Jaime Lannister into the Kingsguard, which Tywin Lannister noticed as an insult towards Home Lannister.
It’s additionally the place Rhaegar Targaryen first met Lyanna Stark. What we do know is that when Rhaegar gained the match, he topped Lyanna (and not his spouse Elia Martell) the queen of love and magnificence, one thing that many—together with Lyanna’s brothers and Robert Baratheon, her betrothed—took as an insult to Lyanna’s honor. It’s much less clear, though fans have some theories, whether or not they had met even earlier.
A number of months after the Tourney at Harrenhal, Rhaegar and Lyanna disappeared. Though we now know, thanks to Game of Thrones, that Rhaegar and Lyanna beloved one another and married willingly, many believed that she had been kidnapped in opposition to her will and raped by Rhaegar. (Though Lyanna had been promised to Robert, she was not thrilled about the prospect having heard about Robert’s illegitimate youngsters.) Her eldest brother Brandon, who had been on his manner to Riverrun to marry Catelyn Tully, went to King’s Touchdown to get justice.
Sadly, it didn’t work out like that. Aerys had Brandon arrested and charged with treason, ordered Brandon and Lyanna’s father Rickard to King’s Touchdown to reply for his son’s crimes. As Jon Snow recounted in “The Queen’s Justice,” Aerys burned each Brandon and Rickard (a minor departure from the books, the place solely Rickard was burned to loss of life) for his or her “crimes.”
Aerys then ordered Jon Arryn to give him the heads of his former wards Ned Stark (the new Lord of Winterfell) and Robert Baratheon, who have been at the Eyrie. Jon Arryn refused and known as his banners. After that, all hell broke free.
What sides did the main homes select in Robert’s Rebellion?
Like earlier wars, Robert’s Rebellion threatened to cut up Westeros in two. For Home Stark, Baratheon, and Arryn, the struggle was private: Jon Arryn aligned with the two younger males he helped foster, Ned misplaced his father and brother by Aerys’ hand, and each Ned and Robert have been making an attempt to get Lyanna again from Rhaegar. Home Targaryen sided with their very own whereas Home Martell’s assist for the Targaryens was private as a result of of Rhaegar’s spouse, Elia Martell, and their two youngsters, who Aerys was conserving hostage.
Home Tully supported the riot, throughout which Catelyn Tully married Ned after the homicide of Brandon Stark, the man she was supposed to marry; Jon Arryn married Catelyn’s sister, Lysa Tully, in the identical ceremony. Homes Tarly and Tyrell supported the Targaryens. And a few waited till the end was close to to declare sides: Home Lannister, Home Frey, and Home Greyjoy all waited till after the consequential Battle of the Trident to aspect with Robert.
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How did Robert’s Rebellion end?
The warring sides clashed all through Westeros for a number of months, however the two most consequential occasions occurred at the end of the struggle. One of them took out Rhaegar Targaryen. The opposite took out the king.
The Battle of the Trident turned the tide for Robert’s military. Though the Targaryens had extra males, Robert’s military had extra expertise, but it surely additionally allowed Robert to meet Rhaegar face-to-face The 2 fought each other in single fight earlier than Robert killed Rhaegar along with his warhammer. Robert didn’t escape from that battle unscathed. His accidents have been extreme sufficient that he allowed Ned to lead the armies onward.
After that, it was onto King’s Touchdown. By then, households who had stayed out of the fray (together with Home Frey) joined Robert’s aspect as the struggle began to wind down. King Aerys despatched Viserys and his spouse Rhaella to Dragonstone however saved Elia Martell and her youngsters in King’s Touchdown. Aerys appointed a pyromancer his new Hand of the King and needed to burn King’s Landing to the ground with wildfire. The Lannister military took management of the metropolis after letting Tywin and his military in, and having discovered of Aerys’ plan to “burn all of it” with wildfire, Jaime Lannister killed Aerys, the Hand of the King, and each pyromancer who had a hand to cease it from taking place. And Ser Gregor Clegane—aka the Mountain—raped Elia Martell and killed her and her youngsters.
What was the fallout of Robert’s Rebellion?
Robert Baratheon might have gotten maintain of the Iron Throne in the end, but it surely doesn’t imply it was a blissful ending for him or anybody else concerned. (For a glimpse, watch all of Recreation of Thrones.)
Ned and Robert have been by no means fairly the identical after the riot, and not simply because Robert turned king. Ned was offended with Robert for ordering the deaths of Rhaegar and Elia’s two younger youngsters—a rift that solely healed after Lyanna’s loss of life—and Robert’s wrath was sufficient of a menace that Lyanna made Ned promise to protect her newborn son and conceal him from Robert. As soon as they reunited in A Recreation of Thrones, Ned stop the small council reasonably than participate in a plot to ship assassins to kill a pregnant Daenerys Targaryen.
Robert was sad as properly. He beloved Lyanna Stark (or, as Ned suspected, the concept of her) and took half in a riot to get her again from Rhaegar, however in the end, Lyanna died anyway. Robert married Cersei Lannister, and it was an sad marriage proper up till the very end. Allies stopped trusting each other, making it ripe for some (like Littlefinger) to take full benefit, and the Martells—nonetheless outraged about the homicide of Elia Martell and her youngsters—secretly vowed revenge.
And throughout the Slender Sea, a couple of Targaryens in exile dreamed of sooner or later taking the Iron Throne. With all of the chaos in Westeros that spawned from Robert’s loss of life and every little thing that adopted, that throne he as soon as strove to sit on could be the least of everybody’s worries.
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