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The Sack of King's Landing (Complete Guide to Westeros)

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"The Sack of King's Landing" is a set of four featurettes in "History & Lore" section of the Complete Guide to Westeros, one of the special features present in the Blu-ray of Season 1 of Game of Thrones. They are narrated, respectively, by Mark Addy as King Robert Baratheon, Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen, Donald Sumpter as Maester Luwin, and Charles Dance as Lord Tywin Lannister.

SynopsisEdit

Robert BaratheonEdit

Robert Baratheon reflects on his victory over the Targaryen dynasty and the necessity for the death of Rhaegar Targaryen's children.

Viserys TargaryenEdit

Viserys Targaryen bitterly recounts Tywin Lannister's treachery bringing down the Targaryen dynasty.

LuwinEdit

Luwin details the downfall of the Mad King and the death of the royal family, as well as how it impacted those who won the war.

Tywin LannisterEdit

Tywin Lannister reminisces on the part he played in defeating the Targaryens and the rewards his family reaped for it.

Robert Baratheon's perspectiveEdit

Robert Baratheon: For our rebellion to succeed, King's Landing had to be taken, forcefully. No one was foolish enough to believe that Aerys was gonna hand his crown over peacefully. The Mad King's reign needed to end. What Tywin Lannister's forces did was unfortunate, but it was necessary to secure the Iron Throne, and bring peace and justice to the Seven Kingdoms.

My glorious victory at the Trident left me wounded, but I sent my personal maester to attend to Ser Barristan Selmy instead; his wounds were more severe. Even though Ser Barristan was a member of Aerys' Kingsguard and fought on the opposing side, that man's bravery and loyalty were something to behold.

But this meant my wounds would take longer to heal and I couldn't ride to King's Landing myself. I sent the one man I trusted over anyone else in this world, Ned Stark, in my place. Had I been able to ride, perhaps I could have reached King's Landing sooner and prevented some of the violence that occurred when the Lannisters entered the city. Still, what Lord Tywin did was for the greater good.

Even what happened to Princess Elia and her children. Babies or no, theirs was the same cursed blood that flowed within the Mad King's veins. They were dragonspawn and couldn't be allowed to survive. What would they grow to be? Loyal subjects?

Ned, with his damn northern honor. He and I had our first major fight over the deaths of the Targaryen children. Ned called it murder. Murder!? It was war!... It was war...

Lord Stark demanded that the Lannisters be held responsible for their crimes. Was it a crime to put an end to a family of lunatics born of incest? I wouldn't - and still won't - blame Tywin. Instead, I sent Ned Stark south to finish off the remaining Targaryen loyalists.

It was only Lyanna Stark's death that reconciled us. Ned had lost his sister. I had lost my betrothed and beloved. We shared that sad bond together, Ned and I. Through it, our friendship was made strong again.

As for the Mad King's surviving heirs... those that were able to scurry away in the face of my fury now live somewhere across the Narrow Sea.

They had best stay there. If they ever set foot in Westeros again, they will face the king's justice.

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Viserys Targaryen's perspectiveEdit

Viserys Targaryen: The Battle of the Trident may have been an important victory for the Usurper, but it was the treachery and barbarism of Tywin Lannister that sealed the fate of the Targaryen dynasty.

My father, King Aerys, had ever been a friend to the Lions of the Rock. Aerys graciously brought Tywin to court, making him the youngest Hand of the King in history. He gave him power. He gave him respect. He made it possible for Tywin to restore House Lannister to glory. Aerys and Tywin governed side by side for twenty prosperous years.

Still, when the Usurper called his banners in rebellion, Tywin Lannister ignored his king's pleas for help, and stayed holed up in his stronghold of Casterly Rock. In time, my brother Prince Rhaegar was dead. The realm was in turmoil. And the Usurper's forces were said to be riding for King's Landing.

What a glorious sight it must have been when a force of ten thousand Lannister men showed up at the gate of the capital with Lord Tywin at their head, pledging support to his beleaguered king. Aerys opened the gates for his old friend. Instead, Lannister and his men proceeded to plunder and destroy the city that he had called home for decades.

As the capital was ravaged and its people terrorized, Jaime Lannister, son of Lord Tywin, proved every bit as treacherous. He killed my father, the king, at the foot of the Iron Throne. The Lannisters entered the Red Keep and Tywin ordered the deaths of the rest of the royal family. It is said Princess Rhaenys was found cowering under her father's bed and put to the sword. She was only a child. As for Rhaegar's widow, Elia, she was forced to watch as Lannister thugs dashed her baby son's head against a wall, before being raped and murdered herself.

As I was the heir to my father's throne, I had been spirited away to Dragonstone with my mother, Queen Rhaella, who was with child. As a raging summer storm battered the island fortress and destroyed the Targaryen fleet as it lay at anchor, my sister Daenerys was born. My mother, the queen, died giving birth.

Now, some seventeen years later, the rightful king still lives in exile. But a day of reckoning is coming. I will sail west, as Aegon the Dragon did centuries before. I will take back my father's throne with blood and fire. And I will punish the treacherous dogs who sought to destroy my family. And the people shall rejoice...

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Luwin's perspectiveEdit

Maester Luwin: Robert Baratheon's victory at the Trident was a turning point in the war for the Iron Throne. While it was clear the gods were smiling on the rebel forces, Aerys Targaryen still held the Red Keep at King's Landing. As Robert was wounded and unable to ride, it was up to Eddard Stark to make for the capital and force the Mad King to give up the throne.

Lord Stark reached the city gates to find that Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, had already sacked the city in Robert's name. House Lannister had remained neutral up to this point, ignoring requests for help from both the crown and the rebels. Now that Robert's eventual victory was assured, it seemed Lord Tywin had finally chosen a side.

Lord Eddard was horrified by what he saw when he entered the city - homes looted and burned, women raped, scores of innocent citizens killed. Disgusted, he led his force up Visenya's Hill to the Red Keep. Upon entering the throne room, he found King Aerys lying in a pool of blood... dead, by the hand of his own sworn Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister - who sat brazenly upon the throne.

Demanding to know the whereabouts of Queen Rhaella, Lord Eddard was informed the queen and her son Viserys had been spirited away to Dragonstone before the Lannisters arrived. But other members of the royal family were not as fortunate. Elia Martell of Dorne, who was the wife of Prince Rhaegar, had been raped and murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane on Lord Tywin's orders. Ser Gregor and his men had also butchered Rhaegar's young children.

When Robert was well enough to reach the capital, Lord Eddard demanded the Lannisters answer for their heinous crimes. Robert refused, and sent himself to relieve the Baratheon stronghold of Storm's End, which was still under siege by forces loyal to the crown. Whatever words passed between the two old friends are known only to them, but Lord Eddard is said to have left King's Landing in anger.

Later, when Robert was crowned, he appointed Jon Arryn as Hand of the King. Lord Arryn's first order of business was to broker a truce with the Martells of Dorne, who were outraged by the brutal murder of Princess Elia and her children.

Following the death of Lyanna Stark, who had been betrothed to Robert, Houses Baratheon and Lannister were joined in marriage when the new king took Tywin Lannister's eldest daughter, Cersei, as his queen.

As for Eddard Stark, he returned to his stronghold of Winterfell, forever haunted by his sister's death, and the shameful way that Robert had secured his throne.

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Tywin Lannister's perspectiveEdit

Tywin Lannister: Rhaegar Targaryen lay dead on the banks of the Trident, his royal army shattered and in retreat. The days of the dragon kings were clearly numbered. Until that moment it would have been foolish to commit Casterly Rock to either the crown or the rebellion. What would House Lannister have to gain in supporting a raving madman or in entering a crusade to put Robert Baratheon on the Iron Throne?

But chaos benefits nobody. It was time for House Lannister to do what it could to ensure a return of peace and prosperity to the land. I, Tywin Lannister, brought ten thousand Lannister troops to the gates of King's Landing, in order to bring the bloodshed to a quick and decisive conclusion. King Aerys had been sending ravens for months begging for my support to end the uprising. In a way, his pleas had been answered.

As I had suspected, Aerys opened the city gates and welcomed my men. The plan was clear: crush Aerys's remaining bannermen and remove the remnants of the royal family as quickly and efficiently as possible. Any alternative meant years of further war and a fragmented Seven Kingdoms. Our means were bloody, but the results spoke for themselves.

As for Aerys, it is true he met his fate at the hands of my son. Aerys had kept Jaime close during the rebellion, thinking himself clever in keeping my son as a hostage - should I decide to pledge support to the rebel cause. This proved to be his greatest mistake, for when the time came Jaime did his duty as a Lannister... and drove his sword into the Mad King's back.

With that, Robert Baratheon's crown was secured. The new king recognized our role in his ascension to the throne, just as he recognized how useful the might and riches of Casterly Rock would be... if he wanted to keep it. To that end, I offered his daughter Cersei as his queen. Had Aerys not spurned this same offer years earlier, perhaps things would have worked out differently.

With Robert and Cersei crowned as King and Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, it was a new day. The dragon was vanquished, and the Seven Kingdoms would thereafter belong to the stag... and the lion.

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