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In praise of Aegon VI Targaryen


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#1 Kaerys Snow

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:30 PM

Aegon, fake or not, did a very good job. GRRM has not revealed much about him, yet his actions so far were actually most promising:


1_Chosing the Best Plan

Sailing west was the only sane thing the boy could have done. Tyrion may not have had his best intentions in advising to land in Westeros, but there is no alternative. Dany would not have just married him and accepted his better claim, stepping down. She has proven to be a true dragon, for better or for worse, Aegon however is just a boy with a claim. Who really believes Aegon would have fared better in Mereen than in Westeros? His bold landing was well timed and when successful he can meet Dany with his head held high. It may not help much but it is certainly better than coming to her a beggar with a Blackfyre-loyalist army (especially now that Barristan his at her side).


2_Gaining the Loyalty of the Golden Company

The highest officers of the GC know about Aegon, but most of the war council was informed only a short time before Aegon arrived. Despite being just a boy and contrary to the best efforts of the GC commander, Aegon persuaded the GC leadership to execute his more than dangerous plan. Attacking Westeros with 10.000 men and a little bit hope? Aegon walked the fine line between boldness and rashness, between balls and idiocy. He chose the right path.


3_ Appointing a Hedge Knight to the Kingsguard

Contrary to the opinion of his mentor and father-figure JonCon, Aegon chose to elevate Rolly Duckfield, a mere hedge knight fathered by a smith, to a member of his Kingsguard. This reminds one of his namesake Aegon V (Egg), who chose a poor hedge knight named Duncan the Tall to teach him and later on to act as Lord Commander of his Kingsguard. Aegon VI argued wisely: loyalty is more important than nobility for a knight of the Kingsguard. Also there are still six more slots to fill, enough for any noble family who wants its son to join.


4_Attack on Storm’s End

Again, he is bold but correct in insisting on the leadership of the assault. A king must ride at the front of his men at least once a while to inspire them and to show them for what kind of man they risk their lives for. No one would respect a boy sitting comfortably in the back while his men die fighting. Aegon has not yet proven worthy of military leadership as he could not do any military feats. He must lead the attack.


5_Arguments against Aegon

Mostly, the bad reputation of Aegon stems from vastly exaggerated incidents: he flips over a table after being bullied by Tyrion for example. This is discussed in the thread: "Are people too harsh on Aegon?" in detail.

#2 Jslay427

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:34 PM

Good post, I agree with everything you wrote. I eagerly await learning more about this boy.

#3 Mladen

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:46 PM

1. He was maipulated by Tyrion to listen that advice
2. They are hired to help him, they can't deny his wishes.
3. Duck isn't Dunk
4. Great military skills? I doubt there were more than 50 men in SE

He is great guy, well read, not greatest material for the King, but far better than alternatives... He needs couple of harsh lessons, but all in all, not too bad. And, of course, there is a probable fact he is not who he claims to be...

#4 Dragon Roast

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:03 PM

It is a good case for him. He may still turn out to be fAegon VI, but he would make a better King than any of Cersi's children and perhaps some of the other more legitimate candidates. Regardless of whether or not he is fake, power will reside where men think it resides. It is an interesting wrinkle to the story and one that will cause many a schemer to quickly revise their plans--if they hope to stay in the game...

#5 Lady Beyond the Wall

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:03 PM

Good post, I agree with everything you wrote. I eagerly await learning more about this boy.


Ditto.

And....I chuckle at "he showed up too late in the story"
There are two books left, approx 3000 pages. More than enough time to develope a character.

#6 Kaerys Snow

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:24 PM

Thanks for your comments! I am glad to see that I am not the only one intrigued by the character. I cannot wait to see what happens, even though I am sure Aegon, JonCon and the GC will die and fail in a most gruesome way... /frown5.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':frown5:' />


1. He was maipulated by Tyrion to listen that advice
2. They are hired to help him, they can't deny his wishes.
3. Duck isn't Dunk
4. Great military skills? I doubt there were more than 50 men in SE


Well,
1. Even so, it is a good advice and listening to good advice is sound. Should he have gone to Dany and fail just to show his 'independence'? (by adhering to the plan of yet another schemer). No doing what he did was the best option, and there is no shame in chosing the best option.
2. A contract written in blood, and from the way the council went it was a consensual decision: Aegon did not say "you're mine because I paid you" - that would have been bad.
3. That remains to be seen. The point is, Aegon chose loyalty over nobility, which is great and emulates an undoubtedly great king.
4. Again, that remains to be seen. The point is, Aegon must prove himself on the field and this is a necessary first step. Who says his first feat must be beating the reborn Arthur Dayne...?

#7 Willard/Mitt Lannister

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:28 PM

My main concern about Aegon is that his personally behavior seems to contradict the statement that Varys makes about him in the Epilogue of ADwD.

Varys says something to the tune of "Aegon feels that it is his duty to be King, Tommen believes it is his right."

However, Aegon in the exchange of Tyrion says that Daenerys "has" to marry him. Now, I know that he rectifies this by going to attack Westeros. But, with 10,000 men (maybe soon to be 30,000 if Dorne backs him) he is by no means making a smart military decision. The Lannister/Tyrell/faithful Riverlander and Stormlander alliance would smash him and he isn't privy to the information we are about the fragility of that alliance. Varys throws him a serious bone by killing off Kevan. He could also be seriously compromised if Stannis' forces in the North (assuming the Pink Letter is untrue and Stannis wins the Battle of the Ice--which I believe he will) are combined with Sansa's or the 20,000 mercenaries from Braavos he sent Justin Massey to procure, that is a serious problem because Stannis' army is much more battle-experienced. Furthermore, in doing this he has potentially alienated Daenerys and her army could be as large as 50,000 (khalasar+Ironborn+survivors of Meereen) or even larger by the time he lands. Risks should be calculated to maximize benefit and this one seems a little extreme.

I will reserve judgment about the GC until we know their motives and whether or not he is a Targ or Blackfyre.

We don't know whether Duck has the military prowess that Dunk does. So, this is another decision which could be good, bad, or neutral--we don't know yet.

And, Storm's End proves good leadership so I will agree with you on that one. Although, to be fair it was JonCon's idea to attack the castle anyway.

I don't think that we know enough about Aegon yet to really assess him as a ruler.

#8 Mladen

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:28 PM

Well,
1. Even so, it is a good advice and listening to good advice is sound. Should he have gone to Dany and fail just to show his 'independence'? (by adhering to the plan of yet another schemer). No doing what he did was the best option, and there is no shame in chosing the best option.
2. A contract written in blood, and from the way the council went it was a consensual decision: Aegon did not say "you're mine because I paid you" - that would have been bad.
3. That remains to be seen. The point is, Aegon chose loyalty over nobility, which is great and emulates an undoubtedly great king.
4. Again, that remains to be seen. The point is, Aegon must prove himself on the field and this is a necessary first step. Who says his first feat must be beating the reborn Arthur Dayne...?


1. Yes, but listening advice because you see it as good and being manipulated are 2 different things
2. They know that everything he says for them is a law
3. Yes, but from all we have seen in ADWD, we can say Duck isn't Dunk.
4. We know how many men were in SE, so saying he demonstrated some great military skill by conquering it with force he had is plainly wrong.

#9 RedBean

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:41 PM

I'm on the fence about this kid right now. He hasn't accomplished any great feats that I should support him for, but neither has he committed any atrocities. As for your points, I disagree with Point #1, since Tyrion was totally playing Aegon and he didn't even realize it. He just took Tyrion's advice without thinking twice about it. Sure, it may end up benefitting him in the end, but that's more dumb luck than any intelligent thinking on his part.

Points #2 and #4 don't work for me either. The Golden Company is only following him because Illyrio is paying them (or because of the Blackfyre thing, either way it's not Young Griff's innate charisma that's keeping them around). And while it was bold for him to lead the assault, I don't think he actually came up with the battle plans himself. Most likely Jon Con or someone else did that for him.

I'd agree with the Duckfield thing, since it shows a certain determination to keep those loyal to him around, but again, Jon Con had to step in to make sure the other spots in the KG were open (a King guarded by 7 ducks wouldn't inspire much awe even in the war-torn Seven Kingdoms).

Edited by RedBean, 12 July 2013 - 04:42 PM.


#10 Mad Monkey

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:49 PM

I would take Rolly Duckfield over Arys Oakheart, Meryn Trant, Boros Blount, and Mandon Moore. Though I do agree that having seven of him would be foolish.

I like Aegon. I think that Varys has built him up to such an alarming degree that he'll almost certainly be disappointed with Aegon's performance; as far as we can tell, Aegon is an ordinary man with ordinary flaws and strengths, not this saintly ruler or the second coming of Jaehaerys the Conciliator. I do agree that we haven't seen enough of him to really judge him as a person.

#11 Kaerys Snow

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 05:18 PM

Again, thanks for your comments!

Aegon is presented with two plans by two parties (Varys/Illyrio vs Tyrion) and choses the better one – a risky one, which may turn out badly as Willard/Mitt pointed out precisely. Both parties think they manipulate him, and of course you can think like Tyrion that he is just the better schemer, and that Aegon fell for him. Or you could see Aegon acting like he did because he genuinely understands the plan is better. Lacking an Aegon pov none of this will ever be certain. All we know is that Harry Strickland tried to persuade him to the contrary, yet Aegon – who is supposedly just manipulated, if some are to believed – stuck to the plan and convinced the other officers of the GC. In my reading of the Essos war council of the GC it is by no means decided before Aegon enters the tent. They discuss.

Maybe it was badly written from my part to emphasize the obvious parallel ‘Dunk-Duck’ – it seems to incite discussion about the quality of Duck, which we cannot possibly assess as of yet. What it is important with regard to the question if Aegon can be a good king is his decision to rate loyalty higher than nobility. In the world of GRRM this has proven to be the correct and good choice. And Aegon made it, Dunk or Duck.

As for Storm’s End: again it seems it was bad writing from my part obviously, as my point is not so much if Storm’s End is a great military feat. My point is that a king, especially a young and unproven one, needs to lead, needs to be with his men at the front. He does that, which is good.


Lastly, I also think we have not yet seen enough to judge him fairly. This is why I wrote this op. Many posters did judge him, and not too nicely. But I think with the available evidence Aegon shows at least some potential for the good.

#12 Lady Beyond the Wall

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 05:43 PM

1. Yes, but listening advice because you see it as good and being manipulated are 2 different things
2. They know that everything he says for them is a law
3. Yes, but from all we have seen in ADWD, we can say Duck isn't Dunk.
4. We know how many men were in SE, so saying he demonstrated some great military skill by conquering it with force he had is plainly wrong.


On #2
Is it really thought that Duck could be Dunk? He is way too young.

#13 RenlyIsNotRight

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 05:47 PM

I'm not a big fan of (F)Aegon personally but I do give him props for doing in one book what Dany couldn't do in 5.

#14 Mladen

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 05:49 PM

On #2
Is it really thought that Duck could be Dunk? He is way too young.


It was meant as comparison. I don't see Duck as nearly as kind and benevolent figure as Dunk was... And equalizing those 2 characters is a mistake.

#15 Kaerys Snow

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:01 PM

It was meant as comparison. I don't see Duck as nearly as kind and benevolent figure as Dunk was... And equalizing those 2 characters is a mistake.


I did not mean to. So let's just focus on this: Aegon chosing loyalty over nobility, character over high birth; and forget all comparisons, ok?

#16 Mladen

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:11 PM

I did not mean to. So let's just focus on this: Aegon chosing loyalty over nobility, character over high birth; and forget all comparisons, ok?


For me, Aegon's gratest virtue, and I think this is far better than anything you mentioned, is the fact he saved Tyrion's life. He pleaded Jon to save him, which says a lot about him. This is where Aegon shows ability to move on, something dany was necver capable of. Also, this shows that Aegon is a dear lad who would never let anyone to die if he can save him. Of all the virtues you mentioned, non is so poignant as this one.

#17 OberynBlackfyre

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:19 PM

1. He was maipulated by Tyrion to listen that advice
2. They are hired to help him, they can't deny his wishes.
3. Duck isn't Dunk
4. Great military skills? I doubt there were more than 50 men in SE

He is great guy, well read, not greatest material for the King, but far better than alternatives... He needs couple of harsh lessons, but all in all, not too bad. And, of course, there is a probable fact he is not who he claims to be...


do not believe it ever said they were "paid". I think the only payment they have received is maybe some fold from Illyrio and the fact that they get to go back home.

plus I don't think they ever said he had any great military skill, just that he showed valor and courage by taking the lead in the attack. Whether it had 50, or 500, taking SE is formidable and proves a point, as Jon Conn stated.

#18 Mladen

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:23 PM

do not believe it ever said they were "paid". I think the only payment they have received is maybe some fold from Illyrio and the fact that they get to go back home.

plus I don't think they ever said he had any great military skill, just that he showed valor and courage by taking the lead in the attack. Whether it had 50, or 500, taking SE is formidable and proves a point, as Jon Conn stated.


Well, I doubt they sat there unpaid... Illyrio must have taken care of that. I give him credit, he is much realistic than anyone, braver, smarter, but he is manipukated too many times for a good King... Yes, taking SE showed his valor, but it wasn't some military campaign...

#19 OberynBlackfyre

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:26 PM

The fact that Aegon saved Tyrions life, and chose Dunk to be in his Kingsguard shows gratitude and honor. Tyrion did give him sound advice as to not trust anybody, and may have been completely correct in telling him to head West straight away. I honestly think that people invest too much in Daenerys, thinking that she will be the Targaryen to survive the outcome in the Dance of Dragons pt 2.


Alas, there is him most probably being a Blackfyre though....to those who say that makes him "unworthy" or "not correct" in his succession I simply say "MEH". Not even Daenerys has a "true" claim as she is from a House that lost the throne by right of conquest. Robert defeated the Targaryens fair and square, and took the throne. Thus making Dany an exile who has blood from a House that was once royal....and if Aegon IS a Blackfyre, he has the same blood through his veins.


the point is, Aegon was put into the book for a reason. So far we know he has temper, but is not Joffrey. We know he can be courageous, maybe gullible. Yet hands down he has been the most consistent and likable of the people who went for the throne.

Edited by OberynBlackfyre, 12 July 2013 - 06:30 PM.


#20 OberynBlackfyre

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:30 PM

Well, I doubt they sat there unpaid... Illyrio must have taken care of that. I give him credit, he is much realistic than anyone, braver, smarter, but he is manipukated too many times for a good King... Yes, taking SE showed his valor, but it wasn't some military campaign...


no one stated it was a military campaign, at least from what I read. We are not saying he is some great military mind like Tywin, just that he has what it takes to become one by choosing a frugal path and (like even Robb stated) letting the men see you before and during battle.

He was only "manipulated" once, and in the end it wasn't manipulation, but could be sound advice. Given Daenerys' actions what do you think she WILL do when she hears Aegon is already there?




edit: we can assume they were paid if we don't know for sure that they were. The only thing we DO know is that Illryio gave some chests as gifts, and that they wanted to try and win back their lands.

Edited by OberynBlackfyre, 12 July 2013 - 06:31 PM.