After reading the 'The First Law' trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, I was left with some nagging questions.

When Bayaz' plan is revealed in 'The Last Argument of Kings'

at the table with Glokta, Bayaz explained that Yoru Sulfur killed prince Reynault so that Bayaz could make Jezal king to get the power and authority that he needed. If the king didn't die before the Gurkish invaded, Bayaz's plan would have failed.

Prince Ladisla would become king after his father had passed. Although

West killed prince Ladisla in the North, he was not influenced by Bayaz to do so. Bayaz had noone left in the North to order to kill prince Ladisla. So if West would have let Ladisla live, Bayaz's plan would again have failed.

Are those 2 deaths coincidences or somehow part of Bayaz's plan?

3 Answers 3


I don't have any quotes at the moment, but when I read the book it seemed that the king's death was inevitable anyway. So I don't think Bayaz had to worry much about that, though I'm sure he would have finished the king early to speed up time tables if need be. Ladisla on the other hand was basically a disaster waiting to happen, and I assume Bayaz knew as much. Giving a spoiled prince the command of 1/3rd of your forces is a perfect way to get him killed off. It was a fluke that Ladisla lived through that battle, and then lucky that West killed him in the end.

But I'd also assume should Ladisla have made it out alive, there was a contingency plan to have him assassinated anyway. As Bayaz tells Jezal that he had set others up for potential kings as well and that Jezal happened to be lucky that Bayaz picked him, but he can be replaced.

  • 1
    Interesting. So you think Bayaz (or Valint and Balk) had an influence on why Prince Ladisla was in the North? But then again Burr put him well away from where the action would be. Did Bayaz also take into account that Burr would have misjudged the movement of Bethod's army? That seems like a very risky plan. Even if the whole war over Angland was intended to kill Ladisla, i believe that Bayaz had better options, no?
    – jan
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 13:18
  • like i said i believe there were probably backups as well, a few soldiers near the prince who would have killed him or maybe a stray arrow ect. but overall i think we all knew that the prices army was going to be the one to take the brunt of the northmen's attacks, and as the other generals always doubted the abilities of the northmen, where as Bayaz would not, that it was pretty much Guarantied that the prince would at least see combat, opening up chances of getting shot, as well as the prince may have rode into combat himself(he seemed to think he was invicable) lol.
    – Himarm
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 13:33

On "Heros", Bayaz makes a statement about making big plans and being prepared for the unexpected. I don't remember exactly the phrase and I haven't the book here, so sadly I cannot reproduce it, but the meaning was something like doing plans is not only to create incredibly complex and failproof strategies, it's more about being able to foresee where your plans could fail and having alternatives (and being a bit lucky too).

I don't know if Joe added this scene after being questioned about Bayaz's incredible plans of if it's something that he just wanted to do.


From what we know of Bayaz, it is safe to assume he had contingency plans to assassinate both old King Guslav and his son Ladislas if necessary.

Guslav was old, sick, and might have died without Bayaz' help. Then again, the timing was convenient, so it may be that Bayaz or one of his agents hastened the king's death. The text doesn't tell us one way or the other.

Ladislas was stupid and reckless, and in particular he was unwilling to obey more experienced soldiers who were trying to keep him safe from harm. So when he went to war in the North there was a good chance he would get himself killed -- which is what happened, although probably not in the way Bayaz would have expected. In this instance we don't know what alternative plans Bayaz had.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.