Episode 118: What If? – Part 3

Episode 118 for the week of September 1, 2013. After four years, What if? – Part 3 is here. Amin is joined by returning guest hosts Alex, Stefan, and Steven. We start with some chat about the TV show and Steven’s article, before jumping into the most detailed What If? episode yet. We chuckle over Eddard’s potential crowd surfing and have some heated discussion over battle strategy and marriage alliances. We spend most of the episode confused about ages and timelines.

Notes: This episode was recorded in July 2013, in the same weekend as GNO V. If you can’t get enough of the What Ifs, check out our subsequent crossover episode over at Boiled Leather  (second half of episode 22).

35 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Linecom1

    only about halfway through but great nerdy, guys night out type discussions. fantastic panel. really enjoying this so far.

  2. nadia

    Such a nerdy episode. Made my day!

  3. Andrew

    I’m loving the episode so far but I was hoping for a more balanced discussion. It seems that one guy (I can’t remember his name) is dominating the conversation.

  4. Is Winter Coming?

    Andrew, I’m assuming you are talking about Steven and I definitely agree that he’s been dominating the conversation and not giving the other podcasters a chance to have their say.

  5. Andrew – it’s something of a known risk. I literally can’t stop talking about “What Ifs?,” hence my blog.

    In my defense, the early part of the episode is about an article I wrote, which skews the numbers somewhat.

  6. Lord Littlefinger

    Re: Harry Turtledove. I think the way he does things is intentional. I mean obviously, if the south wins the civil war, probably most people you’ve heard of are never born in the next generation. probably none of them. But in some ways that isn’t very interesting to read about. His whole thing is sort of ceteris paribus, everything else being the same except the one variable. Its not supposed to be accurate, just entertaining.

    P.S. If Jamie marries Lysa, Tywin is still hand during Robert’s rebellion, So without Jon Arryn marrying a soiled Lysa, I think Hoster probably sides with the Targaryens/Tywin (its the Targaryens who raised up house Tully to overlord in the first place). The rebellion probably fails and Jon Snow becomes King of Westeros.

  7. Re: HT. I still think it’s lazy history.

    Re: Jaime/Lysa. Possibly. Or possibly the true purpose of the Southron Ambitions conspiracy kicks off and Aerys is deposed.

    And if the Rebellion fails, why would Jon Snow be king?

  8. Lord Littlefinger

    Yeah I’m presuming the purpose whole Southron ambitions thing was a grear council to depose Aerys. According to Jamie this was going to happen anyway, Rhaegar was going to depose Aerys after the trident. Jon Snow becomes king, because Rhaegar thinks he’s the prince who was promised and names him his heir.

  9. Except that in the vision, Rhaegar thought *Aegon* was the prince who was promised. And as the older son, Aegon would inherit.

    Nominating Jon Snow is a recipe for civil war.

  10. Lord Littlefinger

    Obviously Rhaegar changed his mind about Aegon, why else would he run off with Lyanna?

    Rhaegar? do something that might cause a civil war…. never….

  11. Anonymous

    Because of the “dragon has three heads” and Elia not being able to bear Mmore children.

  12. Lord Littlefinger

    touche. though i don’t think that’s what he was thinking. i think howland reed learned something on the isle of faces.

  13. Lord Littlefinger

    I’m not really a huge harry turtledove fan, I like his world war II series where aliens land. That one is pretty good, have you read it? Anyway, Turtledove isn’t being lazy, its just that his books are more like a lot of What Ifs all rolled together, what if Fredrick Douglas met Stonewall Jackson what if Guster met Roosevelt, What if the US invaded Canada. ect, ect. Thats really the point of his stories, its a feature not a bug, he wants it that way.

  14. Anonymous

    The US did invade Canada (War of 1812)

  15. Lord Littlefinger

    yes yes and during the revolution as well. but that’s not quite what i was referring to.

  16. Lex

    Kyle and Amin are 1812 experts.

  17. Lord Littlefinger


    BTW, the Lannisters don’t have a fleet. They did have one but Euron burned it. It doesn’t appear to have been rebuilt. That’s why Cersei needs the Redwynes so badly and tries to build a new war fleet in AFFC. Nor do the Tyrells ask Cersei to send the Lannister fleet to fight the Iron Born when they invade the shield islands. The only conclusion can be that there is no Lannister fleet.

  18. Pretty damn entertaining.

  19. David

    One point RE: Tyrek Lannister that I think your discussion skipped over: like Lancel, he had served as Robert’s squire, and was presumably privy to the strongwine-and-boars assassination plot.

    Jaime muses in A Feast For Crows that Varys might have had Tyrek spirited away for precisely that reason – being able to produce Tyrek at a critical moment to reveal the details of Robert’s death could turn out to be one of the final nails in the coffin of Lannister credibility. (Jaime III; p. 567 in the US paperback version.)

  20. Good point. I keep forgetting Tyrek.

  21. David

    No charge, Steven. I’m a particular fan of your blog, including your tete-a-tetes with SEK, so I also wanted to extend my appreciation for the time you put into producing this stuff for our collective enjoyment.

  22. Bittersteel

    You also have to remember the way Lannisters are dropping Tyrek is moving up in line for inheritance of the Rock which makes him extremely valuable.

    Tommen- not long for this world
    Lancel- Celibate

  23. David

    @Bittersteel: I take your point, but to clarify, doesn’t Tyrion precede Tommen on this list? I suspect we haven’t seen the last of the Imp anytime soon, though I suppose that might not stop Tyrek’s handlers from pressing a claim in Tyrion’s absence.

  24. Bittersteel

    No doubt Tyrion is far from finished but I can’t see him ruling the Rock for any length of time. He’s an acknowledged kinslayer and if he joins Dany a turncloak that wouldn’t garner much loyalty from his banner men. That actually got me thinking, Tyrek isn’t associated with the chaos the rest of family has caused. He’s the Lannister with no blood on his hands which makes him even an attractive candidate to lead the Westerlands.

  25. David

    @Bittersteel: I think you make a fair point RE: Tyrion’s kinslaying making him unpalatable to the current crop of westerlords, but I’d like to unpack the assumption that he’d need *Tywin’s* bannermen to become his own en masse.

    Hypothetical: what if Tyrion returns, demands fealty as Tywin’s heir, and uses some combination of the Second Sons, the Golden Company, and perhaps even Daenerys’ “true Targaryen” forces to destroy any Lannister bannermen that refuse to bend the knee?

    I agree with you that he’s far from the ideal candidate that Strongboar, Banefort, Brax, et al. have in mind. But given a choice between Tyrion’s cunning and Cersei’s mismanagement (with Tyrion in a position of military superiority), I think a good many westerlords would take discretion to be the better part of valor. Any who defy Tyrion have their lands & titles fed to Brown Ben & Co.

  26. Thanks very much!

  27. Lucas

    If Stannis was the older son I don’t think the rebellion would have happened. Judging from his persona, he would do his duty to his king and not risk treason for his little brother.
    So we could actually have a battle between the Baratheon’s.

    Robert would still rebel but he would not have Stannis (lord and heir of Storm’s End) and most of it’s bannerman so I think Robert and maybe Ed would have died in the rebellion since they would not have the numbers. And because of his loyalty to his king and duty, Stannis might have a big reward from Aerys and later Rhaegar…a completely different story

  28. Keep in mind, if Stannis is the older son, then the prince has stolen *his* fiancee and executed his father- and brother-in-law without due process of law, and (this is the part people tend to forget) called for his death.

    Robert’s part in the rebellion was never optional; Aerys made it a literal matter of life and death.

  29. Lucas

    Good point! I did not take into account that Robert and Lyanna marriage arrangement was just because he was the heir…With that in mind a rebellion is possible but could the Baratheon’s take the throne? Stannis would be in Robert’s place, like in the Trident? If so could he beat Rhaegar?

    Now I have to rethink a lot. Thanks again to point the marriage thing out. This will give me new things to talk about with my friends and doing our own “what if” ^^

  30. He would be the most logical choice for the rebels, since the oldest Baratheon heir as the second cousin is the closest relative to the Targaryens outside of the house.

  31. In the books Stannis tells someone that he considered to take the side of the dragon and only followed his liege lord into this because he was his brother.

  32. Harry

    Wow, this was a very high quality episode. I especially liked the “Greek god” discussion and how everything went right for the Lannisters. The “What if Stannis took King’s Landing” was also hilarious.

    I’ve read Steven’s “In Defense of Robb Stark” and so was excited that he was going to be on this episode. He had some very interesting opinions like the “tropes of the people of King’s Landing” and made great contributions to all topics. The only problem (as others have mentioned) was that he was dominating the conversation. Steven obviously knows about this (he even mentioned it halfway through the episode) so I hope he can try to cut back a little in any future episodes he joins. Amin, as the host, could also help a bit more in directing the conversation so that this domination doesn’t happen as much, but I understand that he was going for more of a casual get-together. I think a good example of the ideal conversation was when the choice for the leader of Robb’s other army was discussed. Everyone contributed to that discussion and it was great to listen to.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this episode. Definitely in my top 10!

  33. Anonymous

    This is amazing … I have never so sorely felt my shocking lack of knowledge, but I did like the defence of Robb (and Catelyn) – yes the Starks made some poor strategic decisions, but they also had some pretty shitty lack and circumstances beyond their control, and the Lannisters got pretty freaking lucky … still holding out hope for a Stark victory in the end (hopefully through Sansa). Anyway nice job!

  34. I have been incredibly interested if we will ever see Female Others in the books. We have evidence for their existence in the Nights King Tale. I’m just hoping for a scene with a hive queen type other riding in flanked by knight others sitting on a icy throne dais attached to the back of a giant white spider.

  35. Lex

    Awesome idea for a podcast episode. I’ve always been fascinated by alternative history speculation, but never thought about it with Westeros!

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