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Count of dragonseeds lost on Princess and Queen


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#1 Jaak

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:50 AM

Total number of claimants:

 

A score of the queen's own household knights offered themselves as dragonriders, amongst them the Lord Commander of her Kingsguard, Ser Steffon Darklyn, along with squires, scullions, sailors, men-at-arms, mummers, and two maids.

20 household knights, incl. Steffon Darklyn, 2 maids, others not specifically counted.

 

Sixteen men lost their lives during an attempt to become dragonriders. Three times that number were burned or maimed.

Totals 16 and 48 respectively.

 

Steffon Darklyn was burned to death whilst attempting to mount the dragon Seasmoke. Lord Gormon Massey suffered the same fate when approaching Vermithor.

That´s 2 named dead.

 

A man called Silver Denys, whose hair and eyes lent credence to his claim to be a bastard son of King Maegor the Cruel, had an arm torn off by Sheepstealer. As his sons struggled to staunch the wound, the Cannibal descended on them, drove off Sheepstealer, and devoured father and sons alike.

Plural. At least 2 sons. So a minimum of 3 dead.

 

The largest and oldest of the wild dragons was the Cannibal, so named because he had been known to feed on the carcasses of dead dragons, and descend upon the hatcheries of Dragonstone to gorge himself on newborn hatchlings and eggs. Would-be dragontamers had made attempts to ride him a dozen times; his lair was littered with their bones.

When had dragon taming been allowed or encouraged before? How many Targaryen princes or princesses had died trying to tame Cannibal? And at which age?

Also, Vhagar is described as big enough to ride a horse down his gullet. How good is a big old dragon like Cannibal at getting meat off the small human bones? Could a dragon chew up the bones with the meat on them instead?

 

None of the dragonseeds were fool enough to disturb the Cannibal (any who were did not return to tell their tales).

Yet the total dead is specifically given as 16. And the previous 12 attempts did get recorded (though possibly some of the 12 had survived).

 

Sheepstealer proved easier to flush out, but he remained a vicious, ill-tempered beast, who killed more seeds than the three "castle dragons" together.

2 named victims of Vermithor and Seasmoke. The minimum 3 of Denys & Sons attributable to Cannibal means meximum of 13 for all others, no one found Grey Ghost, so a maximum of 6 for castle dragons.

 

Alyn Velaryon would carry the scars of the encounter on his back and legs for the rest of his long life. Yet he counted himself fortunate, for he lived. Many of the other seeds and seekers who aspired to ride upon Sheepstealer's back ended in Sheepstealer's belly instead.

Maximum of 11, because 2 named victims of castle dragons, and minimum 3 of Cannibal.



#2 Buried Treasure

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:22 AM

Dragonseeds are not necessarily equal to dragonriders.

 

Presumable of the attempted dragonriders some would have been known by the witnesses to have had no Valaryian  blood (Darklyn and Massey are possible examples as their lineages would have been known) and some did have almost certain Targ blood (Addam of Hull). Most of the attemptees seemed to be unknowns, with potential for Targ blood simply due to being natives of Dragonstone.

 

There definitely seemed to be confirmation bias with respect to the successful dragonriders actually being dragonseeds.

 

 



#3 joluoto2

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:44 AM

Not all dragon seeds can be dragon riders.



#4 Jaak

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:53 AM

Repeating the question: how old had the 12 Targaryen princes and princesses been whose bones littered the lair of Cannibal?



#5 Lord Varys

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:04 AM

There is no confirmation whatsoever that any Targaryen prince/princess ever died from trying to tame a dragon. My guess is that the would-be dragonriders mentioned in passing when the Cannibal is discussed refer to the population of Dragonstone and/or people who traveled to Dragonstone to claim the unclaimed dragon living there. No one ever tried to claim him, the would-be dragonriders all tried Sheepstealer and attempted to find Grey Ghost.

 

We have to keep in mind that the Cannibal is apparently one of the oldest dragons alive, he might have attracted would-be dragons back when he was still younger and had not earned his bad reputation.

 

If any Targaryens had been killed in the process of trying to claim a dragon we would know of that by now. If that was the case, Alicent would have never allowed Helaena and Aemond to try to claim Dreamfyre and Vhagar. Especially not since her children were only half-Targaryens, and popular belief supports the theory that Targaryen blood is needed to become a dragonrider.

 

And we should indeed also keep in mind, that Jace put out a call for dragonrider candidates. They did not try to find Targaryen bastards, or the descendants of Targaryen bastards. All they did was offering rewards to any person who could successfully claim a dragon. That did incite people to try it despite the fact that they did know that they had no Targaryen ancestors.

 

Silver Denys is obviously a fake. He would have to be past eighty if he truly was a son of Maegor's, and we all know that it's very unlikely that Maegor ever fathered any children.

 

As a Dragonstone native Netty could have Targaryen/Valyrian ancestors, as well as Hard Hugh Hammer and Ulf White. My guess is that both the blacksmith and the Dragonstone man-at-arms was born on Dragonstone. Smallfolk does not travel far in a feudal society like Westeros. And it's all pretty clear that only people on Dragonstone and Driftmark (i.e. the regions Rhaenyra controlled directly) were responding to Jace's offer. The Blacks most likely tried to keep this thing a secret to prevent the Greens from launching an all-out dragon attack on Dragonstone before the Blacks could recruit additional riders.


Edited by Lord Varys, 10 February 2014 - 08:16 AM.


#6 Jaak

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:30 PM

There is no confirmation whatsoever that any Targaryen prince/princess ever died from trying to tame a dragon. My guess is that the would-be dragonriders mentioned in passing when the Cannibal is discussed refer to the population of Dragonstone and/or people who traveled to Dragonstone to claim the unclaimed dragon living there. No one ever tried to claim him, the would-be dragonriders all tried Sheepstealer and attempted to find Grey Ghost.

 

We have to keep in mind that the Cannibal is apparently one of the oldest dragons alive, he might have attracted would-be dragons back when he was still younger and had not earned his bad reputation.

We hear "largest and oldest of wild dragons alive". How is its age and size compared to Vermithor? Certainly no wild dragon matched the size of Vhagar.

Cannibal was older than Sheepstealer... but when would the 12 dead non-Targaryen dragontamers have been encouraged or allowed to try Cannibal?



#7 Lord Varys

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:11 PM

Well, this whole stuff is tricky. If Gyldayn is right and Vermithor is the oldest/largest dragon alive after Vhagar's death, then we might have to assume that Jaehaerys I was not Vermithor's first rider but one of the daughters of Aegon I. Sheepstealer supposedly hatched 'when the Old King was still young' which kind of indicates to me it may have been when Jaehaerys was still alive. The Cannibal is older than Sheepstealer and - if Gyldayn is right about Vermithor - younger than Vermithor.

 

My guess is that Vermithor hatched in the beginning of the reign of Aegon I, at about the same time/shortly after Quicksilver, and that the Cannibal belonged to a clutch of eggs that hatched when Aegon's first granddaughter was born (i.e. during the later years of Aegon I).

 

Thus the Cannibal may have become a prominent target of non-Targaryen dragonriders during the troubled reigns of Aenys and Maegor. The fact that the Targaryens lived on Dragonstone until the Red Keep was finished could also help explaining why there were wild dragons on Dragonstone - the Cannibal and Sheepstealer escaped while all the Targaryen dragons lived on Dragonstone.



#8 Jaak

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:42 PM


 

Well, this whole stuff is tricky. If Gyldayn is right and Vermithor is the oldest/largest dragon alive after Vhagar's death, then we might have to assume that Jaehaerys I was not Vermithor's first rider but one of the daughters of Aegon I. Sheepstealer supposedly hatched 'when the Old King was still young' which kind of indicates to me it may have been when Jaehaerys was still alive. The Cannibal is older than Sheepstealer and - if Gyldayn is right about Vermithor - younger than Vermithor.

I don´t quite see why. "Old King was still young" still allows a fair range - Jaehaerys might still be described as "young" when he was a "young king". Which means that if Vermithor hatched when Jaehaerys was a child - Viserys, 7, had unhatched egg, but Jaehaerys and Jaehaera both had dragons age 6 - there could have been a reasonable timespan in Jaehaerys´ youth when first Cannibal and then Sheepstealer hatched.

But yes... Maegor refused to ride a dragon before Balerion, and the fate of Aenys´ Quicksilver is not mentioned - still we have the sisters of Aenys. What became of them and their dragons? One wed Maegor who was barren... but the other/s?

#9 Apple Martini

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:11 PM

Repeating the question: how old had the 12 Targaryen princes and princesses been whose bones littered the lair of Cannibal?


Where is there indication that princes or princesses had tried to tame the Cannibal? A dragonseed is not really a prince or princess, but a bastard of Targaryen descent. I also don't think that the ones who tried and failed did so with any specific decree or order. "Shits and giggles" comes to mind.

I also think the Nettles story throws the entire Targ blood thing into doubt.

A lot of what you're asking about specific dragons and their riders and their fates is pretty much unanswerable until GRRM discusses it, or the World book comes out.

Edited by Apple Martini, 10 February 2014 - 03:12 PM.


#10 Lord Varys

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:17 PM

The thing is that we don't know how yet how old Jaehaerys was when he ascended the Iron Throne. I used to favor the possibility that he and Alysanne were still children when Aenys died, but that does not need to be the case. If they were born, say, a decade before Aegon's death then Jaehaerys would have been a man grown when Maegor died. And then it would not be unlikely that Jaehaerys was not exactly a young man when he ascended the Iron Throne. The main point supporting that theory is that Jaehaerys would not have grown all that old if he was still a child when his father died.

 

It seems that Aenys was born shortly after the Conquest (it's unlikely that Aegon had any children pre-Conquest since the Arryn queen wanted him to marry her and declare her son Ronnel his heir - that would be a very strange suggestion if Aegon had already a son) which would indicate that he was in his mid-thirties or so when Aegon died. If he was married in his late teens he would have been more than old enough to have a bunch of children (and it seems he has either three or four children - we know his firstborn was a daughter but whether she was Rhaena or another as of yet unnamed princess we don't yet know).

 

My best guess as to why the elder wild dragons may go back into Aegon's reign is because he may have expected to have more children with Rhaenys. And if both Vhagar and Meraxes produced eggs before Meraxes died then Aegon may had really more dragon eggs and dragon hatchlings than he had Targaryen children.

 

If there was opposition against Maegor's rise at Aenys' court, and if we assume that Jaehaerys was not exactly a small boy at his father's death, it may be that Maegor had his young dragon killed or prevented him from bonding with one, forcing Jaehaerys to claim the dragon of one of his aunts upon her death. That would for an interesting story. It's somewhat strange that Gyldayn seems to believe that Vermithor was bigger than Silverwing who should be about the same age as Vermithor (give or take a few years if Alysanne was younger than Jaehaerys). But if Vermithor was about 20 years older this could make sense, especially since he would not have spent his youth under the domes of the Dragonpit...



#11 Jaak

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:53 PM

Where is there indication that princes or princesses had tried to tame the Cannibal? A dragonseed is not really a prince or princess, but a bastard of Targaryen descent. I also don't think that the ones who tried and failed did so with any specific decree or order. "Shits and giggles" comes to mind.

How would, say, Maegor have treated a man from nowhere who showed up successfully claiming Cannibal?

 

Actually, to think of it, where would a successful dragon thief get a better reception - King´s Landing, or Essos?



#12 Lord Varys

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:13 AM

It's possible that Maegor may have been the one searching for dragonriders. He had Balerion, yes, but Visenya would have been very old when he ascended the Iron Throne and not exactly capable of assisting him in battle. It's entirely possible that Aenys' side of the family - Jaehaerys, Alysanne, Rhaena, and possible another sister - stayed out of the war and/or refused to attack their subjects on dragonback (or Maegor prevented at least Jaehaerys from doing so if he usurped his throne).

 

If my assumption is correct and Vermithor was originally the dragon of one of Aenys' sisters (perhaps even the one who was Maegor's first wife) then that dragon would have been among the larger beasts at this particular time (Silverwing and Dreamfyre may have still be young and small). Maegar may have thought that additional dragonriders could come in handy.

 

But the other possibility is that the fact that an unclaimed dragon had made up his lair on Dragonstone attracted adventurers and ambitious men far and wide. The Targaryens were apparently either unwilling or incapable to put a stop to the Cannibal's attacks on their hatcheries, which indicates that they did not exactly put armed guards before the Cannibal's lairs, either. In TPatQ people don't even know exactly where he or Grey Ghost have made up their lairs...