The Twinslayer

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  1. The discussion between Little Walder and Big Walder is interesting for a few reasons, not the least of which is that it's a discussion of proximity v precedence. Little Walder starts by assuming that proximity controls, and Big Walder makes the case for precedence. I'm not sure how reliable Big Walder is, though, because he seems to think that Jinglebell and all his (Jinglebell's) sons are high on the list. And that seems very unlikely. Also, Catelyn's thoughts on Ryman are not all that clear. She does not say that Ryman is heir by dint of being Stevron's firstborn son. She just says that with Stevron dead, Ryman is now the heir. She does not say that that happened automatically. Which is interesting because in AGOT, Lord Walder asserts that he has the right to simply choose his heir. He has to know that with a family as large as his, and with children from so many different wives, he has created a recipe for a Frey family civil war. And with his advanced age, it is likely he will outlive some of his sons. So it makes sense that he would lay down some clear rules, in the same way Henry VIII tried to do in real-world history. So if House Frey is going to follow strict male-preference primogeniture when Walder dies, then that may just be because that is how Lord Walder has set it up in his own unique circumstances. And that is not enough to persuade me that Aerys had to alter the line of succession in House Targaryen in order for Viserys to be his heir.
  2. I think that the universe of possibilities includes my theory (that based on past precedent, Viserys came before Aegon) or yours (that after Rhaegar died, the succession was unclear). I don't think it includes the possibility that Aegon was the heir until Aerys did something affirmative to displace Aegon. I think Dany's dragons will be more important than peoples' memory of Rhaegar -- who, after all, was only an adult for a few years, who married a Dornish woman, who ran off with a high lord's fiancé, and who lost the only battle he ever fought. Male-preference primogeniture appears to be the default rule in Westeros (except for Dorne) when the claimants are the children of the former lord or king. But I am not aware of any reference in any of the books to a default rule whereby primogeniture trumps proximity when the competing claims are from the king's (or lord's) grandson vs the king's (or lord's) younger son. All we have is the SSM on the Hornwood inheritance where GRRM said the issue was up for debate plus the one historical precedent where the son (Egg) was crowned instead of the grandson. Dany might have an issue when pressing her claim against Aegon based on her gender due to the way in which the Dance of the Dragons was resolved, as you point out. But I think she could overcome that based on the fact that kings and lords reserved the right to appoint their own heirs and that Viserys appointed her. But I do think that for the reasons you describe, Dany v Aegon is a closer question than Viserys v Aegon.
  3. There is an interesting assumption built into this post: that Aerys had to take some affirmative step to displace Aegon in favor of Viserys. I doubt that is correct. It is more likely that Viserys, as the son of a king, came before Aegon, who was just the son of a prince, automatically. GRRM discussed the competing nature of these claims in his SSM on the Hornwood inheritance. He called it precedence (the prince's son) vs proximity (the king's son). And then he gave us an example of how it played out for House Targaryen: when King Maekar died, Prince Maegor, as the son of an older but dead prince, had a claim, but so did Maekar's surviving youngest son, Prince Aegon (Egg). Of course, Egg became king and Maegor did not. And this is consistent with the approach taken in several instances in real-world medieval history (e.g. when John became king of England in 1199). Other arguments in favor of Viserys that came up at prior Great Councils included not being an infant and having more Targaryen blood. So until we hear differently from GRRM, I would assume that Viserys became the heir automatically when Rhaegar died. Any effort to make Rhaegar's son the heir would have required an affirmative act by Aerys. Meaning that Dany's claim is stronger that Aegon's (or that of any other child of Rhaegar).
  4. There was an amusing post a few years ago where someone collected all of the references to things happening "at Harrenhal." Arya met Roose Bolton "at Harrenhal." Jaime jumped into a bear pit "at Harrenhal." That kind of thing. The point was that Barristan says that Ashara was dishonored "at Harrenhal" but he does not say it happened during Lord Whent's tourney, or even that it happened during the year of the False Spring. It also pointed out that Ashara Dayne might have stayed at Harrenhal when winter returned after the tourney and that she may have spent much or all of the Robert's Rebellion there. And that Harrenhal is not far from Riverrun and Stony Sept, such that Ned Stark could have gone there before or after his wedding to Catelyn Stark. The point is that it does not matter whether Jon is older or younger than Robb: either way, he could have been conceived by Ned and Ashara "at Harrenhal" at whatever time GRRM decides Jon was conceived.
  5. I don't find this convincing at all. Jorah -- no great legal scholar -- is not suggesting to Dany that polygamy would be legal in Westeros. He is saying that if she is going to conquer Westerns with three dragons, like Aegon the Conqueror did, she can rewrite the rules, the way Aegon the Conqueror did. And, he is trying to talk her into giving him a dragon and going to bed with him. The more relevant conversation is the one Dany has with the Green Grace, where Dany suggests she might marry Hizdahr pursuant to Westerosi rites and the Green Grace says that a marriage that does not comply with Meereenese customs would make Dany a concubine and her children bastards. The obvious inference is that a child born in Westeros of a marriage falling outside Westerosi norms would also be considered a bastard. As I indicated above, I am a proponent of the theory that Jaehaerys formally outlawed polygamy when he promulgated the uniform code of laws as a way to appease the Faith because he needed to maintain the legality of his incestuous marriage but did not have any use for polygamy. That is the most logical explanation for the fact that no Targaryen king after Maegor attempted to take a second wife.
  6. While I don't usually indulge in spoilers, I won't have time to read Sons of the Dragon for a while so I am making an exception by perusing this thread. I think there are very strong hints that some Targaryens are able to bond with animals in a fashion similar to skin changing and/or that a part of them survives in the animal after the person dies. In particular, the descriptions of Balerion the Cat (owned by Princess Rhaenys, daughter of Rhaegar and Elia) hint at the possibility that Rhaenys continues to exist in a fashion similar to the "second life" Varymyr Sixskins describes in the prologue to ADWD. So a possible explanation for what you are calling the Quicksilver conundrum is that King Aenys had a second life in Quicksilver and that it was his decision to seek out Prince Aegon so that Aegon could bond with the dragon. Very much looking forward to reading this. From your description, this sounds like confirmation of a very obvious point I have made before: the (R+L=J related) theory that one member of the kings guard must always be with the king is ridiculous given that the kings guard was created (and their vow was formulated) at a time when the king regularly hopped on a dragon leaving all the kings guard members behind on the ground. I would not expect to find confirmation of the "polygamy is illegal" theory in a book covering the reigns of Aenys and Maegor. The theory is that polygamy was formally outlawed during the reign of Jaehaerys the Conciliator, which came after both Aenys and Maegor were dead. You are familiar with this theory. In short, we know from prior books that Jahaerys earned the honorific "the Conciliator" because he made peace with the Faith and passed a uniform code of laws for all of Westeros. When he did that, he did not annul his then-existing incestuous marriage. But we also know that neither he nor any other Targaryen king who followed him even tried to enter into a polygamous marriage, and it never occurred to anyone that Robb Stark could keep his betrothal vow to the Freys after he married Jeyne Westering. This suggests that polygamy was formally outlawed during Jaehaerys' reign. So we should not look for confirmation of that law in Sons of the Dragon.
  7. Jon Arryn did well but Hoster Tully really did well. At the beginning of AGOT he was positioned so that one day three of his grandsons would rule the Vale, the North and the Riverlands, while a great-grandson (through Sansa) would sit the Iron Throne.
  8. Those quotes are part of it. Selmy says that if he had been a better knight, he would have unhorsed Rhaegar. He also says that his failure to do that haunted him more than all his other failures. So we need to figure out what, in Barristan's opinion, makes a good knight. Is it skill at arms? Or something else? Fortunately for us, he tells us in the Kingbreaker chapter: "As the afternoon melted into evening, he bid his charges to lay down their swords and shields and gather round. He spoke to them about what it meant to be a knight. 'It is chivalry that makes a true knight, not a sword,' he said. 'Without honor, a knight is no more than a common killer. It is better to die with honor than to live without it.' The boys looked at him strangely, he thought, but one day they would understand." So there you have it. Skill at arms does not make a good knight. Honor does. So when Barristan says that had he been a better knight, he would have defeated Rhaegar in the joust, it does not mean he would have won if he was a better jouster. It means he would have won if he had been more honorable. The dishonorable thing he did was to let Rhaegar win when he could easily have dispatched Rhaegar. If he had done the honorable thing, and won, then Ashara, Rhaegar, Lyanna, Brandon, Arthur, and all the rest might still be alive. That is why he is haunted. It has nothing to do with being beaten by a better jouster.
  9. I think Selmy pretty much admits that he threw the final tilt to let Rhaegar win the tournament. In AGOT, Ned tells us that in an earlier round, Rhaegar unhorsed Brandon. I have sometimes wondered whether Brandon was part of the conspiracy and if he let Rhaegar win, too. That would give Brandon added reason to be angry at Rhaegar for first crowning Lyanna queen of beauty and later abducting her. "I let you win the tournament and you repay me by using that victory as a means to insult my house and try to seduce my sister?"
  10. It has to be a coincidence. The Whent lady reigned as queen of beauty until the final joust. Rhaegar took her crown and gave it to Lyanna. The flowers in that crown have no special significance for Lyanna. Keep thinking about this. Barristan says if he had been a better knight, he would have won the joust against Rhaegar. Elsewhere he says that prowess at arms does not make a good knight, honor does. We also see in The Mystery Knight an attempt to rig an important tourney. Perhaps Rhaegar rigged the tourney at Harrenhal to make himself look better than he was.
  11. Thanks. The first quote showing that there is a betrothal vow is Joffrey saying that when he was betrothed to Sansa, he took a holy vow. Another is in the Appendix to ACOK, which says: "Robb Stark agreed to a betrothal, promising to marry" a Frey after the war was over. Notably, at the time, Robb was not a king or even a lord -- his father was alive in King's Landing and Catelyn was regent of the North. This is a great example, because Cat did the negotiations but they were not final until Robb -- still a minor and not yet a Lord -- agreed and took a vow. I don't know whether Lyanna took her betrothal vow before a heart tree or before the Seven. It could be that she made the vow before the Seven, since we know that Ned (follower of the Old Gods) married Cat (follower of the Seven) in a sept. We know Joffrey took a betrothal vow to Sansa, and there is every reason to believe he did it before the Seven, since he followed the New Gods. There is also every reason to believe that Robert gave his betrothal vow to Lyanna before the Seven, too, since he was a follower of the New Gods. My guess is that Sansa returned Joffrey's vow before the Seven as well. If they followed the Robert/Lyanna precedent, that suggests that Lyanna also swore to the Seven that she would marry Robert and no other. But it is possible she made her oath to the Old Gods. But I am laughing a little at your suggestion that it did not happen unless I can find a passage in the books that describes it -- since you believe Rhaegar and Lyanna went through a marriage ceremony yet it is not described anywhere in the books. If you are speaking in more general terms -- that we have not yet seen the form a Northern betrothal vow takes -- I would just say that we always knew that Northerners could marry but we did not see the Northern marriage ceremony until ADWD. With two books left to go, if GRRM wants to show us the Northern betrothal vows, he has plenty of time to do that. "The boy . . . the child would be a bastard," said Jon. Just as Rhaegar said to Lyanna. I think Ned would despiser her if he thought she went willingly. Remember the "all for Brandon" speech? He thinks you just have to do your duty. He did not want to be Lord of Winterfell, or lose his father, brother and sister to early deaths. If he thought Lyanna had played a part in her own abduction he would see that as a serious affront. But he would also see it as irrelevant to Rhaegar's own culpability. In the medieval culture, Rhaegar would still be a rapist even if Lyanna went willingly, simply because they did not have Rickard's permission.
  12. It is clear from the context of Joffrey's discussion of his vow that he personally took a holy vow to marry Sansa. He and the High Septon are discussing specifically whether he is required to go through with the marriage when Joffrey refers to his holy oath. And there is no evidence in the books that any king ever took a coronation oath, or bound himself in any way to follow the law. We see Robb being proclaimed king in the North and we see his vassals swear fealty to him. But we don't see him swearing any oath to them. We also see Joffrey's vassals swearing fealty to him but we don't see him taking any coronation oath. So I am not the one making up fantasy oaths. And your quote on the Blackfish does not say what you think it says. Hoster says it was his right to make a match for Brynden, he arranged a match with the Redwynes and he had three "other offers." That suggests that he ordered Brynden to marry, the first step of which is betrothal, and Brynden refused. That makes much more sense than your interpretation -- which is that the Lord swears to the betrothal and then the vassal decides whether to honor that oath by taking the marriage vows. That would place the Lord's honor in the hands of his vassal and would be a recipe for disaster. Regarding Egg's children, Barristan says that they "wed for love, in defiance of their father's wishes." But it also says hat because he had "followed his own heart," Egg "allowed his sons to have their way." That indicates to me that Egg arranged for them to be released from any pre-existing betrothals, just as Joffrey was released from Sansa. If he is ablnything like the medieval popes, the High Septon could do that just as easily after the fact. But there is good reason to think that a marriage performed when one of the participants is betrothed to someone else is invalid and the children are bastards. GRRM is heavily influenced by the Wars of the Roses, and will be well-aware that the children of Edward IV were declared illegitimate on grounds that he was betrothed to Eleanor Talbot when he married his wife. (I am not convinced that was true, but the point is that it shows the legal impact on the children if one of his parents was betrothed to someone else at the time of the marriage). In addition, we have the Green Grace telling Dany that a marriage performed in Meereen under Westerosi rites would not be recognized and any children would be bastards. So GRRM has told us that going through a marriage ceremony does not necessarily make a child legitimate. The followers of the Old Gods do have someone who can release them from a betrothal vow: the fiancé. If Lyanna wanted out of her vow to Robert, she (or Rickard) could have sought Robert's agreement to dissolve the betrothal.
  13. My friend, what you are saying is simply incorrect. The High Septon does not absolve Joffrey of a vow Robert made on his behalf. He is absolved of a vow he made personally. Cersei says: "For the good of the realm, set Sansa Stark aside." Notably, that is the same language she uses to describe what Robert would have to do to her if he wanted to marry someone else: "How long till he decides to put me aside for some new Lyanna?" The High Septon then makes clear that Joffrey made promises to Sansa: "Their crimes against the realm have freed you from any promise you might have made." And Joffrey makes clear that he personally made a vow, in addition to any bargain Robert made on his behalf: "I would like to heed the wishes of my people, Mother, but I took a holy vow." I can't see any reason for the suggestion that Lyanna refused to take the betrothal vow when she was betrothed to Robert. She may have been reluctant (based on one passing comment to Ned) but there is nothing to suggest she refused the vow. On the contrary, it is widely accepted that there was a valid betrothal. As to Dany's hopes that Daario would prevent her marriage, you need to take into account that (1) Dany promised to marry Hizdahr, (2) Daario could prevent that by kidnapping her, but (3) Dany says nothing about marrying Daario after the kidnapping. What we have instead is a discussion about the fact that Dany could go through a marriage ceremony that would not be valid, rendering her children bastards (referring to Dany's desire to marry Hizdahr pursuant to Westerosi rites). The takeaway is not that, if Daario kidnapped her he could marry her and have trueborn children. It is that he could kidnap her and stop the marriage to Hizdahr. Which is exactly what Rhaegar did when he kidnapped Lyanna. And that any children she had with Daario would then be bastards. Just like Jon. Finally, where do you get the idea that the Blackfish was betrothed to Bethany Redwyne but refused to go through with the wedding. Hosted just says he had an offer from the Redwynes, he ordered Brynden to take it, and Brynden refused. I take that to mean that Brynden refused to take the betrothal vow. Not that Hoster betrothed him and he refused to carry out the marriage.
  14. We don't ever see a betrothal ceremony but we know they take a solemn vow from several sources. For example, in Sansa's final chapter in ACOK, Joffrey says that when he was betrothed to Sansa, "I took a holy vow." Robert and Lyanna swore holy vows to marry each other. Lyanna would have needed to have been absolved of that vow prior to marrying anyone other than Robert.
  15. I think this proves my point. A person being betrothed takes a sacred vow. Here, GRRM said that the person can't be forced to say the words. (Although it looks like he said this before Euron imposed a marriage on Asha while she wasn't even present, so he may have changed his mind on that one, too). Anyway, unlike the Blackfish, Robert and Lyanna did say the words. They were betrothed. I don't think Lyanna was free to marry someone else unless/until she was released from that vow and neither she nor Rhaegar had the power to do that. Just as Rhaegar took a sacred vow to the Seven that he would be monogamous with Elia. After that, he was not free to marry anyone else (unless he put Elia aside, since Cersei seems to suggest that Robert could have done that to her. But that would have likely required the approval of the king and the High Septon and Connington would have known about, so I think we can safely conclude that that did not happen). Yes, and per his original outline for the story, we know that he intended for Robb and Joffrey to meet in battle and for Robb to wound Joffrey. And for Tyrion to sack Winterfell. And for Catelyn and Arya to travel beyond the Wall with Bran. But none of that happened either. I would not assume that Jon is still alive, or that he will be resurrected, based on an SSM saying he would one day learn who his mother is. I think it is pretty clear from Connington's POV that he was present at Elia's wedding and he believes that is the only wedding Rhaegar had. We also know that Connington was one of Rhaegar's closest companions, he was closely involved in Aerys' counsels as Hand of the King for a good portion of the rebellion, and that he likely was with Rhaegar when Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna. So if someone comes along claiming that Rhaegar and Lyanna married and that Jon is Rhaegar's true born son, Connington is going to dispute that in a very persuasive way. And I don't think the Freys are unusual in their view of betrothals. Robert certainly seems to have shared their view. As did Brandon Stark.