Lord Corlys Velaryon

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About Lord Corlys Velaryon

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  1. I know you're just saying this for context, but the previous century of the Targaryen dynasty - Rhaenys, Visenya, Alyssa, Rhaena, Alysanne, & Rhaenys - evidence o/w. (Not to mention, at least Daenys & Elaena on Dragonstone during the Century of Blood, plus Valaena who is not unlikely to have been a major influence on her daughters) Not just in terms of succession, the Dance & the death of the dragons definitely had a massive impact on the future ladies of House Targaryen (hell, straight away beginning with Baela & Rhaena), their (sometimes) role as co-ruling dragonriders (besides, unfortunately, Alyssa it seems) reduced to that of traditional Westerosi consorts (besides the incest where applicable), Whilst it only began after Aemma's death, Viserys did not intend for Rhaenyra to be a mere placeholder heir against Daemon whilst still he was still widowed & after Alicent had Aegon, in having her gain early exposure to ruling as his cupbearer in council meetings. I don't blame him at all for that. If anything, he should've been (far) harder on Daemon. Harwin Strong, the son & heir of Viserys' own Master of Laws, was probably gold cloaks captain who ratted on Daemon & whether or not (I doubt it was "the whore sitting in Daemon's lap" who did as that was most likely Mysaria, imo), Gyldayn treats Daemon's comments as fact, nor merely a rumour. What I do blame him for was remarrying whilst still retaining Rhaenyra as heir after he had sons - that was never going to work, especially with how he came to the throne. More heirs would help to keep Daemon further away from the Iron Throne, but House Targaryen was not going to fail even if his did (I wonder if he would've considered making Laenor his heir over Daemon in an AU where he doesn't remarry, Rhaenyra dies young, & he is dying or something). It's a (very) tough gig with someone like Daemon as a brother, but either Viserys should've never remarried or named Aegon the Prince of Dragonstone in his infancy/youth. Keeping Rhaenyra as his heir & having three half-Hightower sons (all dragonriders) after remarrying, along with a myriad of other stupidities throughout the rest of his reign, was the very height of short-sighted arrogance. He had his fucking head buried in the sand about the civil war that would occur after his death. By Viserys & the Blacks (well, not even that really wrt Rhaenyra & many of her court). Not by the Hightowers & the Greens. Not by many in the wider realm. The Blacks almost certainly gained more support during the Dance from things (if perhaps in sum) like their greater number of dragons, their outstanding commanders, & the support of Driftmark; than 25-year-old oaths Viserys had lords (or their fathers, etc) swear to Rhaenyra before her brothers were ever born (& not renewed afterwards). And then there would've been some number who didn't support her because of the obvious bastardy of her sons &/or Daemon being her husband & consort. Aemma's problem was very likely at least in part due to Jaehaerys, Baelon, &/or Viserys insisting that he impregnate her when she wasn't/barely a teen. Probably Baelon imo - Viserys seemingly never had a dragon before Balerion & certainly had no desire to claim one after the Black Dread's death, despite all the positives it could've done for him. So, why the hell did he bond with Balerion in the first place? Whether the dragon had previously been Aemon's or not, I believe Baelon pressured Viserys to claim Balerion (& far too prematurely rape his cousin) in an effort to further consolidate his position as his father's heir. In fact, I'll be surprised if Aemma being married to Viserys at 10 or 11 didn't contribute to the Second Quarrel. Viserys refused to allow Daemon to end his marriage to Rhea, neither of them wanted it. Perhaps he didn't to honour his (grand)father for making it, but still. If Daemon became king, he would've ended it. If Rhaenyra became Queen, it's not unlikely he would've successfully had his wife put aside (perhaps even as his niece's Regent). Viserys bears some of the blame for not being an uncle for many years. The succession wasn't as bad at the end of Maegor's reign as it was at the beginning of his father's - Jaehaerys had two sisters & two nieces (the former two with their own dragons). It was even better early in the reign of Viserys - Rhaenyra, Daemon, Laenor, & Laena (all dragonriders & young, although Rhaenys should still have been before her son, imo). And that just before Aegon, Aemond, Daeron, & Helaena were even born. If the Targaryen dynasty was not a dracocracy, then the lesser claimants of 101AC would've been in the succession afterwards too (some perhaps able to claim a dragon if they had the chance anyway). No way. Not with bloody Viserys at the helm, Rhaenyra & Aegon so outrageously entitled & enabled by Viserys/Daemon & Alicent/Otto respectively (of course, naturally tbf), the ambitions of the Hightowers (boo) & Velaryons (yay), & especially Daemon & Cole around. Jaehaera is the only (grandchild) princess on the side of the Greens & far too young for Jace. Helaena-Jace does sfa for the Greens with three dragonriding princes that have a superior claim to his mother, let alone him (obviously a bastard, despite his parents claiming o/w). Or for the Blacks for the same reason of Aegon, Aemond, & Daeron still being massive threats (as well as in the case of Jace-Jaehaera, of course). Matching Daemon's daughters with her half-brothers does nothing for Rhaenyra, only making them hostages & future brood mares for the Greens. I don't think it would've worked anyway, but there's simply far too many sons on both sides, far too few daughters, & large age gaps in some scenarios. Tell that to Visenya & Rhaenys: conquerors & dragonriders, the former a highly-skilled warrior in her own right & who created the Kingsguard). And Alyssa, Rhaena, & Alysanne: all brilliant politicians, highly respected figures, & the latter two dragonriders. And the Queen Who Never Always Was (see above, & indeed not only her deeds during the Dance, but already with experience riding Meleys in battle in the War for the Stepstones - link & link, note the plurals - perhaps also with her father in 92AC). This is really only a problem by such late timing & complete inaction. Aegon was 7 when Rhaenyra was wed to Laenor. After going through with marrying Alicent, their first son should've been named Prince of Dragonstone by the time their second son was born, at the very latest. Or you know, just married Laena (even if he waited a couple of years before trying for sons with her) in the first place, instead of thinking with his dick (possibly already having an affair with Alicent whilst Aemma was still alive). Although Gyldayn says o/w, I think Viserys may have even been influenced by Otto & Runciter to take Alicent as his wife, especially if he had already slept with her. It fits with what we know about the king & his Hand. Even if Rhaenyra only ever marries Aegon, not Laenor or Daemon, there would always be some form of power struggle. It may not lead to war, but it would not pretty at all. And Daemon & the Velaryons are left on the outer. If the Rogue Prince marries Laena & they have son/s, that's a big problem. Even if they still only have daughters, that's still some kind of threat which could only be negated if one (or more) was married to a son(s) of Rhaenyra & Aegon. In your scenario, Rhaenyra's "sons" by Laenor are still ahead in the succession to any children of the princess & her half-brother - unless forced by Viserys, this match wouldn't even lead to a wedding. And after the king's death, the dynasty is still bitterly divided. And would Rhaenyra even have trueborn kids with Aegon? Imagine the shitfight that could (& likely would) happen still in Viserys's reign if Rhaenyra was caught out cheating (which the Greens would be militant about). Most likely still with Daemon. Seven hells. Mayhaps I'm off with the definition, but the dragonriding Targaryen kings (the later ones certainly weren't, @LionoftheWest, Daeron II especially) were not 100% absolute monarchs. Aegon's concessions, Aenys & Maegor's utter multitude of dynasty-threatening problems, & Jaehaerys I's legalistics very much suggest o/w, imo. That they did, but in the eyes of many of their vassals, perhaps only by lordly inheritance, not (normal) royal succession. There's more than 160 named kings of the old Seven Kingdoms, save Dorne, & only 1 known successful Queen Regnant of the same - an unnamed Gardener. And we don't even know for certain if she was successful - not overthrown, or killed, or whatever. IIRC, there's none known for non-Dornish petty kingdoms. Seems to me like the First Men really did not like having ruling queens: that disparity, the Joffrey Lydden situation, & the more recent examples during & after Cregan's rule with the Starks (not to mention, George has outright said that there's never been a Queen or Lady of Winterfell in her own right). Either the Andals practiced the same, or did soon enough to better assimilate with their new First Men vassals. As much as I completely believe that the Old King made the wrong choice in passing over Rhaenys for Baelon & Viserys, I absolutely understand why he did with such ancient, continuous, & clear-cut precedents. And of course, coming to the throne himself over his nieces. Keeping Otto the fuck away & Rhaenyra at court (particularly if on the Small Council) would've helped to some (small) degree, but it still doesn't address anywhere near all of the Hightower influence on the matter & most importantly, her three dragonriding brothers (or all the Blacks supporting Rhaenyra when they rebel). Some form of the Dance is still inevitable in this case. What?! Martin outright says that "she was quick to anger & never forgot a slight" & a number of times in the text it's made abundantly clear how cruel Rhaenyra was at times: She blatantly had an affair with Breakbones & upheld their three bastards as trueborn Velaryons. The system & her father are fucked for making her marry Laenor (his attitude being the problem, not his sexuality), but she still made the choices she did. And it's not even like she was being physically & sexually abused by Laenor like Cersei was by Robert. I don't need to note the sheer number of problems this caused. She basically said that 10-year-old wounded Aemond should be tortured (at least, if he didn't answer solely spoken questions first) - with herself not unlikely bearing some responsibility for Luke taking out his eye, letting a fucking 5-year-old carry a dagger - to find out where he got the "Strongs" remark from. She had Daemon murder Vaemond (whilst there's argument she had the right for him to be arrested with Driftmark sworn to Dragonstone, killing him without trial or anything is not lawful) & fed his corpse to Syrax. At the very least, that's incredibly cruel to Vaemond, his family, brothers, & nephews. I'm biased as fuck with this one, but she (if only in hindsight) condemned Rhaenys to death by not allowing her sons to join her at Rook's Rest (or even calling Daemon back from Harrenhal for a bit to help instead). She had an exceedingly lavish & expensive party when she made Joff the Prince of Dragonstone, with winter very near & the war really straining the capital & wider realm financially & with food stores. Frankly, that's cruel. Biased again, but painting Addam & Nettles with the same brush as the Two Betrayers for them simply being bastards. In what may have partially come about by Daemon's outrageous suggestion to remove (i.e. kill) the Baratheons & Lannisters, replacing them with Ulf & Hugh respectively (the Sea Snake specifically said this would be cruel & foment mass rebellion, no less). Arresting her father in law for saving his LOYAL "grandson" from being executed on a false charge. Like Aerys II with Jon Arryn, demanding the Mootons fucking break guest right to eliminate Nettles. I do admit it's weird that Rhaenyra did not have Alicent executed, but that could've also been a gender thing &/or political advice. But really, she could still be & was a hostage. Helaena was utterly broken from the Blood & Cheese affair, which Rhaenyra did not condemn (this would absolutely be cruel itself, but she could've thrown Mysaria under the bus). She was very much a non-threat, a potential hostage, & her survival ensured that an actual threat couldn't claim Dreamfyre (if their dragon died, say). Or Rhaenyra simply just wasn't cruel in this case. But IIRC, she says at least twice that her half-brothers have to die during the Dance. In the result of a peaceful transition of power after her father's death & being crowned unopposed (heh, rightio), how does she deal with two belligerent, ambitious, & petulant dragonriding brothers & a third who'd more likely than not follow them (if reluctantly) into rebellion? Actually moving away from my "Rhaenyra is cruel" argument, I think she would have to have them killed anyway. Well, Aenys was very clearly Aegon I's heir. There was speculation as to his in turn for a couple of years until Aegon 1.5 was born after Rhaena. The succession was all over the shop during Maegor's reign. Jaehaerys named each eldest surviving son in turn (although I do wonder who his heir was before Aegon was born, if one was named at all) & (by his wish) after the GC of 101, Viserys. Most people want a clear inheritance, especially a royal one. Meanwhile, Viserys was refusing to name obvious (but disdained by no few) candidate Daemon & after Aemma's death, took the unprecedented step of naming his daughter as his heir. There were also the whatever months where he was widowed, with speculation & discussion as to who he would take as a new wife.
  2. We know that Daemon sent one raven from Harrenhal to Dragonstone on the subject of avenging Luke's murder, but not that it was necessarily only one, if perhaps that is most likely. Surely there would've been a number of ravens exchanged between the two strongholds during this time on the wider war, one or more could've included further correspondence on the revenge conspiracy. Gyldayn's not going to detail the whole process, not even in Fire & Blood, so there could've been more than one letter on the matter. We just don't know. Good point. That very likely rules out her being (directly) involved, but again & still, it's not a certainly w/o confirmation though. Again, good point. It isn't airtight at all (particularly as Mysaria could easily know that both Daemon & Rhaenyra would want as many rival royals & Hightowers killed as possible, especially after the Greens attempted to murder Rhaenyra &/or her sons on Dragonstone, if she knew about that), but is the best way to explain how comparatively ineffective the Blood & Cheese plot was. Exactly. The whole thing really came to bite them in the ass too anyway, as such a heinous action easily could. But take out Aegon & Aemond, perhaps even only Aemond & the Hightowers, & the war is near enough over. The rest is likely just technicalities & finalising. Without a dragon like Vhagar (& even then, by oneself), Daeron wouldn't be able to gather/retain enough support for the Greens, whether he would be made heir by the assassinations or still not. Particularly as Helaena (if she was even still alive) doesn't seem to have been overly keen on taking an active part in the war - not flying over KL with Aegon after their coronation, not being sent as an envoy to the Riverlands, Vale, &/or North, not joining in the Crownlands campaign (whilst not even being ready to defend the city in the absence of her brothers), or attempting to join Daeron in Oldtown after Aemond & Cole enacted their most ridiculous plan. Problem is we know that kings, Hands, & some queens (especially if not Targaryen themselves) had their own household guards. Alicent's lack of protection can be (partially) hand-waved by Blood & Cheese coming out of the secret passage close enough to her, but the Queen & her three children only being escorted & protected by one guard is utterly ludicrous, imo. It's one of many examples of GRRM's fingers on the scales against the Greens (tbf, there was some to the Blacks too), that really doesn't make sense. And where is Helaena's maids & servants & septa/s, especially with three royal kids in tow. She should've had several women with her most of the time, including at exactly this moment. The Hightowers are one of the richest & most powerful families in the realm, as well as the ones most entrenched in & controlling Viserys I's court. It was war & the Hightowers knew better than anyone what Daemon & Rhaenyra were & could be capable of. They were expecting an attack on the capital at any time. Sorry, it just doesn't fly at all.
  3. Actually, it'd be very interesting if it was say Raymun Fossoway, or someone like him. A Robert Reyne say perhaps, also. Although I'm not sure how or why he would go unpunished, let alone his daughter matched to the heir of Casterly Rock & that same kid made his squire. On the subject, those suggest to me that it's actually very unlikely that the Reynes fought for the Blackfyres again then - I could perhaps see it with the betrothal only in a weird ensure-their-future-support move, but absolutely not with Tywald being made Robert's squire. At best, his heir Roger would've been made Gerold's squire (i.e. ward) & more likely a direct hostage of the Crown, even an outright prisoner if Bloodraven so chose. It'll be interesting to see how The Sellsword will work into it all. IIRC, you & others have posited that Dunk may even give us a direct view into the Golden Company, with Bittersteel & Haegon themselves. That's interesting, but I very much doubt Dunk would be the one, though I suppose it is possible. @LionoftheWest Wrt your comment on the matter too, I wonder if Aerion may even bring in the Second Sons for the Red Dragon. Good point. I could definitely see it going either way - Aegor is captured first (perhaps with a separate command elsewhere - he & Fireball seem to have fought separately for much of the First, from Daemon too) & his king continues the fight (not unlikely to try & free him), or the pretender king is taken (could be where he is slain if Bittersteel refused to stand down). I'd actually be surprised if the murderer didn't work for Bloodraven one way or another, but the glamour proposal is very interesting. Of course, such could (& presumably did) explain how he would've seemingly got away from it.
  4. Absolutely! (And Rhaenys would've been a far, far better monarch than her bloody cousin, if perhaps having a reign troubled by some similar circumstances, like Daemon of course & Laenor's disinterest in fathering trueborn heirs - his sexuality wasn't particularly the problem, it was his attitude in such a society). And he was incredibly short-sighted & ignorant to believe the oaths that he had his vassals swear in 105AC, which were only technically (& literally) only against Daemon for Rhaenyra, would hold the same weight the next year & onwards when he remarried (to the daughter of such a man as Otto, his own Hand too, & of such a rich, powerful, & ambitious house as the Hightowers) & had sons. To so many, they counted for nothing wrt Aegon, his sons, Aemond, & Daeron. There would've been some (if not many) who fought for the Blacks not because of the oaths & the late king's wishes, but for more practical factors like the greater number of dragons they had & with such tested & skilled commanders as Daemon (as much as he would've turned perhaps as many to the other side), Rhaenys, & the Sea Snake, in contrast to the Greens.
  5. @Bael's Bastard I used to be adamant it was Aerion, but now I lean towards that not being the case. Even if the 3rd BfR caused Maekar & Brynden to put aside their differences, possibly even bond, I don't see proto-Stannis making Bloodraven his Hand if he had murdered Haegon in cold blood. Let alone unpunished. And to a lesser degree, Aerion; being summoned to court by his father (perhaps to even serve on the Small Council) when he became king, not being exiled again or anything (afawk), & perhaps being the Prince of Dragonstone depending on when Daeron died. That's an interesting thought wrt Bittersteel, but I really don't see him doing that. Although & by the same token, I do think there's a (very small) chance that he at least attempted to have Daemon the Younger assassinated to free up Haegon for the crown. (Most likely imo, Aegor just crowned Haegon anyway & Daemon died a natural death or Lord Rivers just had him quietly killed, having outlived his purpose). Given notoriously-disinterested-in-politics Aerys sent the Balon Greyjoy of his day (dude who just keeps rebelling & really should be executed) to the Wall instead of the chopping block, along with how the fuck the likes of the Yronwoods & everyone else (perhaps the Reynes &/or Peakes included) who supported the Black Dragon for the second or third time still retained so much (if losing anything major, land & castle-wise, at all); that not only a Targaryen supporter, but an actual member of their court, was who committed the heinous crime. Perhaps akin to Egg with Bloodraven, Aerys felt he had to show extra leniency & mercy to Bittersteel (& the Blackfyre supporters) because of what one of his men did to Haegon. @The Grey Wolf Good points. Actually, Aerion's actions need not necessarily be all bad, even considering Yandel's praise for Maekar & Egg. He was most likely both a hero & villain wrt what he did during the war, imo. We know he was a pretty decent fighter, obviously would've had the very best education, & serving in the Second Sons could've tempered him (to some degree) in any number of ways.
  6. And Jaehaerys is only 6, hardly that much better. If anything, there's a longer regency with Maelor for powerful & ambitious lords to potentially exploit afterwards (as much as a long, difficult, & risky process that would be). And unless Aemond is killed or incapacitated, he's still around to not be helping the Greens cause at all (besides only partially to take Rhaenys & Meleys, along with Aegon & Sunfyre).
  7. Because simply, he was a fucking idiot & one of the worst Targaryen kings. @Knight of the Winged Pig 100% agreed, but what was he meant to do with Lucerys about Aemond? He was only 4-5, reacting to his 9-10 year old half-uncle bashing he & his brothers. It was absolutely the wrong thing to do, but he is so young, in a situation he should not have to be in, Viserys' own grandson, & the nominal heir to Driftmark. Who should've been punished was whoever allowed a preschool (or kindergarten) aged kid carry his own fucking dagger, especially in the presence of other royal children (even if they were actually great friends - Rodrik Cassel was quite right to not allow a 14-year-old son of Winterfell & 12-year-old prince to use live steel against each other in the training yard). At the very least, (seemingly) without the necessary education that should go with it. Even in such a martial culture. So Rhaenyra, Daemon, &/or the master-at-arms are the ones truly responsible, imo. Perhaps even Viserys himself.
  8. @Lord Varys I'm not so sure we can say that Daemon did not tell anyone (i.e. Rhaenyra) what was going down to some greater degree than just "An eye for an eye, a son for a son. Lucerys shall be avenged." Or that Mysaria was the only one who made the actual details. The (high) likelihood that the initial intention to target the royals within Maegor's Holdfast suggests o/w. Perhaps also the above quote. @Knight of the Winged Pig Murdering only six-year-old Jaehaerys just makes two-year-old Maelor the heir. Not much of a gain for the Blacks. If anything, killing both princes makes Aemond the wannabe-Daemon the heir of Aegon II & that means potential disunity for the Greens.
  9. I wonder if Aegon or Aemond were initially the intended target, given the sheer advantage the Blacks would gain with the death of the king or his Baratheon-betrothed brother, riders of Sunfyre (obviously, a fucking beast from everything he survived during the Dance) & Vhagar (the largest & most powerful dragon) respectively, no less. Why would Yandel (& perhaps Gyldayn too in Fire & Blood, we shall see) mention that Cheese did not have knowledge of secret access to Maegor's Holdfast, if the plot was always only to attack the Alicent, Helaena, & the young kids in the Tower of the Hand, part of the wider Red Keep? As to your question, I could see it going either way, although it being Jaehaerys specifically doesn't make a great deal of sense to me. Killing the elder boy only makes two-year-old Maelor the heir, not much worse than only six-year-old Jaehaerys, tbh. And of course, the "kill the other one" option is well within Daemon's wheelhouse. It may be worth considering Rhaenyra in this too - it's not unlikely that she rubber-stamped it to some degree. If she had opposed it (not that she would've), at the very least she would have the power to attempt to stop it, if not actually do so. And we know that the Greens had already attempted to assassinate Rhaenyra &/or her son/s when their negotiation mission visited Dragonstone, with Arryk Cargyll posing as his brother Erryk to do so. The Queen Regnant (plus her prince-consort) would've been pissed about that. Really, the whole thing is very weird imo, though. Daemon & Rhaenyra were rather ruthless & not very nice people to say the least. If they're willing to have a very young & completely innocent family member murdered, risking the fallout that could (& did) produce, why not have Alicent & Helaena killed too? The Queen Dowager heard & saw everything (obviously the historical source for the ugly affair), with neither of them exactly friendly with her, shall we say. She was arguably the lead architect of the coup by the Greens, a highly skilled politician in her own right (even more so than her father, imo) & she was still a (major) thorn in Rhaenyra's side as her captive. Whilst the Queen-consort was one of only four dragonriders among the Greens, bound to their second largest (& around the fourth largest overall) dragon. Despite her nature, Helaena would by no means have necessarily been shattered like she was IOTL & however perhaps unlikely, there was a chance that the murder of a son would influence her to actually take the field against the Blacks on Dreamfyre. Blood & Cheese were able to capture Alicent (& kill her bedmaid), kill the royal guard (why the hell was their only one with four royals?!), & presumably able to escape with the head of Prince Jaehaerys. It's not that unlikely they were actually a historical source, given Yandel's knowledge that Cheese couldn't have gotten them into Maegor's Holdfast & it doesn't seem like he is speculating (or going off Gyldayn's, afawk). (I suppose unless they actually told Alicent, if Daemon's original intention was to have them infiltrate & murder in Maegor's. But why would they do that & they wouldn't necessarily have known of that anyway, if it was the case ... Perhaps Mysaria was the source instead). So, why would Daemon (& Rhaenyra) not have them seize Jaehaerys &/or Maelor alive (kill them if necessary), for the less heinous & far more politically advantageous act of taking them hostage?!
  10. No worries & thanks likewise for the creating this topic. I could certainly see those being possibilities, especially wrt Lucamore's proximity for the latter at least (as well as Blood as you suggest) & of course, his lustiness. Lyonel & his sons are other possibilities, for the later characters anyway, particularly Harwin given what we know about him.
  11. Apologies to all for the length of those & what has already been thoroughly covered. I had to post it all, though! EDIT: And the second post is like, what, only 20% of Sons? Sigh, seven hells.
  12. Do we know if Aegon married his sisters in the same ceremony, or separately? IIRC, we don't. If "it was said by some that Aegon wed Visenya out of duty & Rhaenys out of desire" is true, then it suggests his parent/s were dead when he took Rhaenys for his bride (whether with Visenya or not) or if they were alive, he convinced them to allow him to. The "out of desire" sounds like Aerion & Valaena had not planned on marrying their younger daughter to their son, perhaps intending to match her with a Velaryon (most likely Aethan), or just hadn't put much thought into it yet, especially if the siblings were rather young. Given their relationship as adults, Rhaenys may have felt the same way (presumably) as Aegon about him as a child - Shaera & Jaehaerys-esque. It's possible there was some lesser Targaryen male, but I doubt it - we would've most likely heard of one by now. And although I believe that Aerion fathered him & knew he did, I highly doubt that Orys was even considered for Rhaenys. Were their nuptials under Valyrian or Faith rites? One thing to consider there is whether they converted to the Seven as adults, or were they raised with it (if perhaps not exclusively) in their youth. If Septon Barre is correct, then the statues of the Seven in Dragonstone's sept were constructed from the masts of the ships that carried Aenar & co to their new home. The sept itself may have even existed before the arrival of the Targaryens, as Dragonstone very likely acted as a waypoint for the Valyrian steel trade to Westeros (indeed, I believe it was the primary reason the Freehold annexed the island in the first place). A sept for the overwhelming majority of Westerosi customers who worshiped the Seven would be accommodating & diplomatic. Imo, either ceremony is possible, but I lean towards a Valyrian one, especially if it involved all three siblings. Also, considering Visenya herself performed the Valyrian rites for the marriage of Maegor & Alys. As well as all the potential problems Lord Varys has highlighted. Frankly, the Princes Aenys & Maegor (along with further siblings, if their parents so desired) should've been born before the Conquest, let alone when their mothers were ~32 & ~40 respectively, during the middle of the First Dornish War. It makes no sense. Was it actually King Aegon - not Queen Visenya as rumoured - who was sterile & if so, was he in denial about it? I wonder if Aenys may have been fathered by a Velaryon, not some artist as rumoured - Queen Rhaenys was far too smart for that. There would be some delicious irony if it was Ser Corlys (as he most likely died saving Aegon) or Lord Aethan (it would actually make Aenys & Lady Alyssa half-siblings, not cousins). And of course, it seems like (imo) Visenya used some sort of sorcery wrt Maegor's conception, most likely to ensure a boy & one far stronger than Aenys, but perhaps there was even more to it than that. I wonder when Aegon started to bring Aenys on his progresses, seems like he was reasonably young. Was Aenys really "adequate as a fighter" or did his tutors over-praise his prowess? Probably both, imo. Interesting that Aegon gave Blackfyre to his elder son to train with occasionally & we get a further indication of his parenting style with the horses he gifted him. By no means was he a perfect dad, but eons ahead of the likes of Randyll Tarly. I wonder who, if anyone, encouraged Aenys' courtly & artistic interests & pursuits. Perhaps Alyssa, but that would've only been when he was older. We may be missing some close friends &/or mentors, outside of the chivalric arts. Aenys was clearly a popular prince, perhaps even to many & more of those less-inclined to his sort of personality shall we say, at least at his father's right-hand. I believe he rubbed off to some degree on Jaehaerys, who in turn influenced the likes of the younger Viserys I & Viserys II, & lifetime Baelor Breakspear & Prince Duncan (minus the Jenny of Oldstones-Baratheon business) as personable royals. And we're told that Prince Viserys was "a promising lad" & even "much loved by smallfolk & lords alike" despite his position in Maegor's court & everything that had & was happening with his family. Of course, Alyssa almost certainly had even greater positive affect on their children, but still. Maegor really was groomed to be his father's image (& then some, plus Visenya's) martially - a real sword in his hands at three. Interesting that Gyldayn believes the cat butchering episode was most likely a historical bias against him. I hope Fire & Blood covers more historical speculation for this time period, as what happened in The Rogue Prince & The Princess & the Queen. Of course, on a meta-level, we're supposed to recall Joffrey's kitteh surgery with reading about Maegor's. Died Ser Gawen wield Lady Forlorn? Maybe, maybe not, but I suspect he may have been a KG knight; given there would've been at least one on Dragonstone, Visenya founded the order, & Aenys was trained by (the) others. The young Maegor really was a mini-Visenya dialed up to 11, & then some. Martially, the Daemon Blackfyre or Dragonknight of his day though. The "half a year before his marriage" makes me suspect it played into Visenya giving Dark Sister to her son then (more on this later). Gyldayn's next two paragraphs sound like avuncular & (first) cousin marriages may be considered as incest among some (few) in Westeros, uncommon matches, but by no means are they illegal - that's only for sibling & parental incest, which it specifically mentions even the Faith only denounced. In Valyrian society, they were fall-backs if a sibling match was not possible. In Westerosi society, there's numerous examples of them that weren't/aren't problematic with the Faith or wider populace, & are/were generally used to bind claims to avoid dynastic conflicts (if sometimes detrimental to the woman in the relationship). And with those avuncular matches, most of them were not fully nuncle-niece or aunt-nephew, but half (e.g. Alyn Velaryon was Princess Baela's half-uncle). Who are these sorcerer princes? Probably only dragonlords, imo. I suppose it could've extended to the mages who held the Fourteen Flames in check, depending on what their relationships with the dragonlords were, but I wouldn't be surprised if these magical practitioners were slaves; let alone (near) equals of dragonriders. Are Craster's relations with his daughters the only examples of parental incest we know? Even the dragonlords may not have practiced it - outside of a "love match" (vomit), they'd have to be extremely desperate to resort to parental incest - even if there were no lesser member of the family to marry, surely someone else from another family would be possible & better. Did Ronard Storm marry a half-sister or was she a step-sister? Are step-siblings in a relationship considered (abominably) incestuous in Westeros? The First Men certainly do seem to have been more tolerant of (royal) polygamy than the Andals, but they very likely drew the line at sibling & parental incest, particularly if wildling customs are any indicator. The Essosi Andals of old having denounced the (most) heinous of Valyrian, especially dragonlords, customs is a nice world-building touch by GRRM. The Scouring of Lorath (which I believe triggered the Andal migrations to the Reach, ~700 years after the first invasions of the Vale) presumably wasn't the first time that the Andals suffered heavily at the hands of Valyrians, perhaps even the dragonlords, particularly considering the founding of Myr & the establishment of Qohor & Norvos by religious dissidents. It seems that only with the founding of Pentos (the 3rd last Free City?), that local Andals accepted the inevitability of Valyrian rule. I certainly understand Aegon's policy wrt to the Faith, the (partial) deference & acquiescence for no opposition from such a powerful institution, but I wonder if it was a bit too much & if he should've "asked" one of the more amenable High Septons (the initial one, who blessed & anointed him, for example) to actually declare his incestuous polygamy lawful. Mayhaps that could've eased tensions later down the line. A little bit of new(?) information on the Faith - certain rights & privileges (what though?), tax exemption, & solely internal justice; which Aegon confirmed, demonstrating imo that he had more room to move with them. An official declaration of the lawfulness of the Targaryen polygamy, incest, & fruits of those unions should've been possible. Also with Aegon's confirmations, the old kingdoms had clearly done the same. Still, I think the position of High Septon & the Faith Militant became even more powerful under Aegon's rule. Though political power was far more centralised than previously, the Father of the Faithful exercised even more of it, whilst still keeping the more zealous of his flock somewhat in check (tbf, dragons & the Conqueror's strong rule). The Warrior's Sons added another chapter, in the new capital itself, with a leader rising to Grand Captain by the reign of Aenys (if not earlier) when the Captain in Oldtown was Lord Hightower's younger brother, no less. Confirmation that Aenys & Maegor had no sisters, so what was with the announcement on Not A Blog stating that they would be among the supporting cast featuring? IIRC, there were a couple of daughters by Rhaenys in the first Sons reading, but they were dropped by the second ... Anyway, I think a little too much is made of the "informal" nature of the earliest Small Councils to when Jaehaerys formalised them to the level they (generally) existed as thereafter. Yes, Rhaenys & Visenya were essentially co-rulers with their brother, sitting the Iron Throne in their own right (if in his absence & arguably by his authority), (generally) most likely with even more power than a Hand. And the Master (or Mistress) of Whisperers was only introduced under Maegor with Tyanna as his spymaster (although I don't think it was completely official as it were, as she was only referred to as "the mistress of whispers" & seems to have derived more of her power as a co-queen & influence with Maegor). But it's obvious from so early as his initial landing coronation that Aegon had thought through his most prominent royal positions & they were powerful courtiers & administrators. Wow, Elio has said that the mention of Alyssa having a Targaryen mother in The World of Ice & Fire is an error. Aenys & Alyssa's degree of cousin relation may only be in the Velaryon line, not merely closest as the wording in Sons suggests. Perhaps most likely with Conquest-Lord Daemon being Aethan's father & a brother of Valaena, or something like that. Considering the losses to the royal fleet during the Conquest, necessitating Aegon (via Torrhen Stark) to hire the Braavosi sellsails against the Sistermen (& I believe the war fleet he had against the ironborn in 2AC was mostly made up of Reach & Westerlands vessels), it could've been many years before it was completely rebuilt & crewed. Particularly with how the First Dornish War was such a financial (the Stormlord ransoms presumably paying for Dorne's rebuilding & perhaps also how the Martells could genuinely have been able to hire a Faceless Man), political, & manpower drain. Aegon would've been an utter fool imo to not marry Alyssa to Aenys: Closest applicable female relation (perhaps his only not very distant), from the family of their oldest & most loyal supporters. Not a native Westerosi lady, which could cause anger from prominent vassals passed over for some other, with Aenys as the heir. An example for the native Westerosi houses to strive for, to potentially be rewarded with a royal match for leal service themselves in future. Rhaena was obviously named for her grandmother. No surprises that Visenya proposed betrothing the newborn princess to her son (geez, a baby being engaged is weird), nor that Aenys & Alyssa opposed it. Interesting though, albeit telling, that it was the High Septon's objection which specifically turned Aegon away from it. The king may have even decreed it officially considering the High Septon heard of it, although it could've been brought up in open court (say Rhaena's presentation) &/or His High Holiness informed by some royal servant (say Grand Maester Gawen). That he didn't actually condemn the match as unlawful incest & of course, that he proposed Ceryse Hightower (his maternal niece) instead, very much further evidences that avuncular relations are not abominable incest in the eyes of the Faith; with the vague disapproval as cover for obvious dynastic ambition. Personally, Aegon made a mistake. I think he would've been better encouraging a match for Ceryse to a Tyrell, Baratheon, Velaryon, Lannister, Stark, Tully, or Arryn. Perhaps even a Martell. And for Maegor, a maid from one of the Paramount houses, but ideally a Baratheon. Possibly even a Celtigar, Massey, or Bar Emmon. For timing, Maegor marrying Ceryse, & being related to the Hightowers through marriage, I think this High Septon was most likely the one who paid for the Sept of Remembrance on the Hill of Rhaenys. I wonder what, if anything, was there previously. Most likely a smaller & simpler sept, specially considering the late queen's brilliant knack for soft power, including with relation to the Faith in philanthropy & (if nominal) piety with the dominant religion. By the time of his marriage, I believe Maegor had been made Prince of Dragonstone by his father (likely pushed for by his mother), in-so-far as inheriting the seat after Aegon's death for his own line. The multiple mentions of the younger son as PoD, outside of the first, including the one here with his wedding. Not to mention, factoring into Visenya's later disgust when Aenys named Aegon 1.5 as PoD over Maegor when he was in (temporary) exile. I've always thought that Ceryse was unmatched at 21, because the Hightowers had always wished to wed her to a Targaryen prince, Aenys first. I just recalled how disgusting the bedding ceremonies are. And what a charming young man Maegor was. Seven hells, poor Ceryse. Saying it now, Maegor may have been sterile, perhaps as a side-effect of his conception. Viserys was seemingly named after Visenya. I wonder what were all the motivations for doing so & how the she viewed it. Jaehaerys may have been named for a Jacaerys, which was a traditional Velaryon name, but we've only encountered once with Jace near a century later. Most likely he would've been one of Alyssa's unnamed brothers. Alysanne clearly for her mother. Interesting that "some said (Maegor) stood behind his brother's daughters" in the succession, considering there was only ever one (known) successful (i.e. wasn't deposed) Queen Regnant in any of the pre-Conquest kingdoms. Some may have done so for a desire to not see Maegor ever sit the throne, with others perhaps looking to Valyrian succession, which may have been somewhat more progressive than inheritance in Westeros if Daenys & Elaena (both a co-ruling Lady of Dragonstone with their brother-husbands) were anything to go by. Along with & tied to that, the eldest daughter-eldest son marriage tradition. I'd really like to learn more about the Tullys of this time in Fire & Blood, particularly who was the Lord of Riverrun at this time, who was during Aenys & Maegor's reigns, & how they were related to Edmyn. Also, this tourney - who were the KG knights, how old & skilled were they, & who was the eventual champion? What weapon did Maegor use in melees - a sword, a mace, a warhammer, or something else? Aegon personally knighting Maegor was not unlikely the high point of their relationship, hopefully Visenya was there with the Hand ruling in their absence. A great honour being from his royal father & with Blackfyre, not to mention he was the youngest knight of his day - it definitely seems like knighthood was given to younger men during the Targaryen era than before the Conquest, perhaps with anyone under 18 rarely being knighted. Confirmation then that Aegon himself was knighted - my guess is by Ser Quenton Qoherys. Interesting that there were two separate campaigns against Sargaso Saan in consecutive years, suggesting he was a formidable foe, along with the "several bloody affrays" & the Crown launching them in the first place. I believe he led, or was at least part of, the pirate fleet that sacked Tall Trees Town in 19AC, which prompted Aegon to (finally) commission city walls & gates for KL. Interesting that Ser Osmund accompanied Aethan & Maegor, presumably as the commander of the royal forces, but neither Aegon or Visenya seem to have provided dragon support - they may have only needed the single campaign & sparing who knows how many men & ships. Who was the Giant of the Trident? I suspect he may have been a Strong descendant, whether male-line or female-line or bastard-line, given the location, his name, & dramatic potential with a Strong as Hand. Even better if it was he who won the joust in the Riverrun tourney. "On tourney ground & battlefield, however, Prince Maegor's accomplishment's far exceeded those of his brother" sounds like Aenys may have seen military action at some stage too. I don't think his march from Riverrun to Harrenhal in 37AC would count, so what would it have been? There's five years between Viserys & Jaehaerys, so it may be that Aenys also took part in some of the campaigns that Maegor did, but I doubt it. Perhaps it was earlier attempt to bring the Giant to justice. Ok, the dragons ... Yes, it's ridiculous that Princes Aegon (pre-Quicksilver) & Viserys did not claim one of these hatchlings/young dragons, afawk. Particularly as it says the ones after Quicksilver only hatched "in the later years of Aegon's reign" so they wouldn't have been overlarge or aggressive, plus less likely that some may have died. As has been said, Aegon 1.5 can really only be explained properly if the plan was for him to claim Balerion or Vhagar (the former unlikely at best, given Maegor's "only one dragon worthy of (me)" jab back at Alyssa & that he claimed the dragon), or he had one that was killed by the Poor Fellows at Crakehall. My guess is that Viserys had one, but his hostage status meant he couldn't escape on it & if it wasn't killed by Maegor, it was among the "their get" of Balerion & Vhagar the Dragonpit was for. That, I don't think Vermithor was previously his, before Jaehaerys had it. Hopefully Fire & Blood sorts them all out ... The "feast of friendship" is definitely something else I want to learn more about. What did Aegon think of it? Deria & her family? Which Dornish nobles went & which were absent? What did Visenya & Orys (& Argella) think of it? Which of the king's vassals, if any, attended? If any were invited, who were they & who went? What did Aenys think of it, especially wrt Rhaenys? His presence definitely suggests that Aegon wanted the peace to continue after his death. Perhaps he wished for Dorne to eventually be brought into the realm through the marriage of a grandchild (or great-grandchild) to a Martell, potentially even a double one as what happened 150-odd years later. A bit disappointing we didn't get more on royal progresses, especially Aegon's last one & a few details of Aenys & Alyssa taking them over. Are we meant to take it that Maegor never went on any of them, or at least only rarely did? Because there's explicit mention that Aegon pretty much brought Aenys along with him very regularly/all the time from some young age, whilst Maegor stayed with Visenya, mostly on Dragonstone. I suppose Maegor's martial prowess just wasn't worth demonstrating much to the wider realm, given his personality. Bloody hell! 100k people in KL by (seemingly) 33AC, no wonder it was (& somewhat still is) a clusterfuck. The Targaryens had left plenty of room within the city walls, but it clearly was not enough in retrospect. Oldtown & White Harbor obviously benefited from the planning associated with (far) slower growth, Lannisport & Gulltown presumably the same. And what an abomination the Aegonfort had become, I'd love to see some artwork of it eventually. I suspect having Dragonstone to go back to delayed the necessary rebuilding of the royal seat. Between progresses & Dragonstone stays & Aegonfort expansions, along with the city walls, Sept of Remembrance, Red Keep, & Dragonpit projects; it's not that surprising that public works by the Crown in KL & beyond only began during Jaehaerys I's reign, advocated foremost by Septon Barth.Aegon probably commanded Visenya to oversee the building of the Red Keep for her skills & shared interests in the project, particularly with a new Hand (Osmund's death & his own semi-retirement perhaps spurred the king to finally do something about the Aegonfort), but it does seem like he didn't want to be around her. Having, perhaps even specifically choosing, a rather minor local lord as Hand would mean they should be in KL working as much as possible; than if they were a more powerful & geographically-distant noble. Interesting that Aegon (10-11) & Viserys (7-8) were not with their parents on progress at Highgarden, but with their grandfather on Dragonstone when he passed. I wonder if that was the norm, or they just weren't on that one for whatever reason (GRRM to put in a Godfather reference?). Was Rhaena (13-14) with Aenys & Alyssa? I'm getting a cute image of the Painted Table set up for the Conquest - kind of like how Egg & Aemon played out the Redgrass Field on the terrain table of their father's maester - with one or both of the boys (or maybe Aegon himself, but he was showing them) in the elevated Dragonstone seat.
  13. Good point. The World of Ice & Fire had a fair number of errors, but that should be the least likely place for one with Sons also mentioning it. Also, particularly as the Conquest chapter was released as an excerpt like 2 years before release, IIRC. Agreed, it makes the greatest sense & is most likely that Alyssa was Daemon's sister, Aethan his eldest son, & Corlys a younger one. Grandsons, even if Valaena was still his sister & not his niece, could also work, but of course; that means Alyssa would not descend from Valaena's mother too, unless Valaena had a sister who married Daemon or his son, Aethan's father. Alyssa may have rode behind Aenys on Quicksilver when he flew from Highgarden to Dragonstone for his father's funeral. Obviously she wouldn't have when (heavily) pregnant with each of their children, but I'd extremely surprised if she was never a passenger during the royal progresses, especially once Aegon retired & she (seemingly) had no dragon of her own - look more of a (future) queen-consort to a Targaryen king (sometimes) riding on the same dragon as him, than always riding on a horse (or in a wheelhouse) with the royal entourage. Rhaena being "more than fond" of Androw Farman & Lord Velaryon (Aethan? Daemon? Someone else?) basically selling her out to Maegor (even considering she thought it was inevitable he would order her presence) had shaken my belief in the theory that she was the Sea Snake's mother, but it really should be the case. O/w, it doesn't make a great deal of sense that Corlys would allow Addam & Alyn to try & tame for-years-unridden & even wild dragons if their most "recent" Targaryen ancestry was (possibly) Valaena's mother - roughly six generations back. Yes, he was passing them off as Laenor's sons - his grandsons with the dragonriding Princess Rhaenys - but he wasn't stupid. For someone who never tamed a dragon (nor even attempted presumably), he would be extremely well-versed in dragonlore between his wife, their children, Daemon, Jaehaerys, Alysanne, Barth, etc. It's possible there were people - Corlys knew had relatively recent Targaryen ancestry - who were killed trying to tame a dragon before the boys from Hull even made their attempts. Hugh & Ulf almost certainly claimed Vermithor & Silverwing respectively before Alyn had a chance to attempt, hence having to try with the wild Sheepstealer. If perhaps unlikely (particularly given Alyn searched for Grey Ghost first to no avail), Corlys may have even refused to allow the younger Alyn to take part in the dragonseed plan, prior to Addam claiming Seasmoke. The "relentless & determined & glib of tongue" Addam & supportive Jace (& bold Alyn) could've been what convinced him to allow it. If Rhaena wasn't Corlys' mother (Sons now definitely rules out Aerea or Rhaella), the only way I could see it swing if Fire & Blood gives us evidence of several female Targaryen-male Velaryon matches pre-Conquest AND the applicable Velaryons after (i.e. Velaryon descendants of Valaena's mother) heavily intermarrying to retain that dragonlord lineage enough. I wonder if Alyssa had help from her Velaryon kin, which could at least make this slightly more plausible. Furthermore, if Vermithor & Silverwing were with Jaehaerys & Alysanne at Storm's End for many months/a couple of years, perhaps they were kept in the bowels of Storm's End, a la Rhaegal & Viserion in the Great Pyramid ... Going further down Tinfoil Brick Road, could Storm's End magical-warding resist/protect it to dragonfire? Rhaena was perhaps overly affected by fear & inexperience, or they were cut off from Dreamfyre, or perhaps she was even injured by the Poor Fellows. But if any of those, it comes back to this recurring problem with Sons far too often things are passed over & not explained when it would only take a sentence or whatever to cover. Yes, it happened a number of times within each of the other three historical texts, but sometimes there was enough of a hint that some readers could fairly speculate & that didn't occur enough in Sons, whilst skipping over things altogether (far) too much. In World, The Rogue Prince, & The Princess & the Queen they mainly just feel like (necessary) editing cuts for length, however Sons feels like a properly unfinished work, imo. Mayhaps it's mainly the same in truth, but I doubt it & the general editing of it isn't great either. Sorry, are you saying that they didn't flee to Pentos, or neither Tyrosh or Volantis, or both? I find it fascinating that Alyssa, Jaehaerys, & Alysanne may have hid out in Tyrosh or Volantis before they did in Storm's End. Particularly if they didn't have the dragons with them, specific nobility could've hidden the exiles in either city, but Volantis even more so with the distance & the greater exclusivity within the Black Walls. Assuming they did cross the Narrow Sea: What would powerful Essosi figures look to gain for doing so? Did they receive them during Jaehaerys' reign? If so, what were they? Is that a reason why there was Westerosi aggression against the Triarchy only after Viserys came to the throne? (I suspect the Johanna Swann episode may have been the final straw - separate from the king's slights against them - or at least used as a casus belli by Daemon & Corlys, though). If not, were there any repercussions for the Targaryen dynasty & their realm? If so for that , is that a reason why Westeros (afawk) didn't assist the Volantenes in any way against the Triarchy? Potential & valid points all with the rest of your comment. Spitballing: Perhaps the Arryns & Graftons not taking their shit, especially with their first-hand witnessing of Balerion & Vhagar in action respectively. Or they marched/sailed out of the Vale to join their brothers in the Riverlands & beyond. The Reach's two greatest historical rivals - Dorne & the Stormlands - are (seemingly) the only two southern regions without a chapter of the Warrior's Sons, nor a known, let alone prominent, presence of the Stars (the Kingswood ones I'm guessing is just overflow from/via the Crownlands, taking advantage of the vast forest & as fitting "fuck you" to Maegor). That could help to explain it. Furthermore, I think the Dornish nobility (especially the Martells), perhaps even (some of) the smallfolk, wouldn't put up with such rabble. They're the least likely of the southern regions to defer to the His High Holiness of the Starry Sept in Oldtown & they control access to & from their own domains, unlike the Reachmen, Westermen, Riverlanders, & Stormlanders. The show needed them & teleported them through time. Perhaps one of the unfortunately too many missing things that should've been included in Sons. Well, there's at least a fair number of people who've already been mentioned who could be used, several Grand Maesters & Hands. A Hightower or some insider to them would be good. Septons, maesters, & rebels in various situations would be valid possibilities. TIL. Although Valaena had most likely passed prior to the Conquest, perhaps even before Aegon married his sisters, given the lack of further mention of her (beyond being their mother) in World & Sons. Of course, we won't know for sure either way in Fire & Blood (hopefully). Very much more so the latter imo, potentially even the former used as a false excuse (or at least that avuncular marriages were deemed as abominable, i.e. unlawful, incest by the Seven) to secure the Ceryse-Maegor match. Interesting points, although the Visenya-Maegor incest thing would perhaps be a step too far, who would even believe that? Nice theory. It would add to the "rabble" aspect, make up the 30k easier (it was only 25-odd years from the First Dornish War & the nobility were largely not getting involved, at least directly), & explain their effective absence during Maegor's reign. It is known. 100% agreed. Also, Sharra Arryn proposed to Aegon during the Conquest. A tad optimistic, particularly as it included making Ronnel her heir & the Eyrie gaining all of the Riverlands east of the Green Fork & the Trident, but good on her. She was definitely one of the most impressive & interesting of the Conquest figures full-stop, let alone those not on Team Targaryen Agreed. Perhaps what I said further up in this post? Different dragons grow at different rates to different sizes, just as all animals do. At their deaths, Meraxes was at least six decades younger than Vhagar, but still larger. Sunfyre was a fucking boss during the Dance! Most likely only 20-25 & even though he presumably spent almost all of his life in the Dragonpit (although the Dragonpit = stunted dragons "theory" is complete BS, obvious from the other historical pieces). He survived Rhaenys & Meleys (arguably as/even more formidable than Daemon & Caraxes, imo) whilst driven into the ground by Vhagar (did Aemond give zero fucks about his brother's life?!), Mooton's would-be kill squad, Grey Ghost, & Baela & Moondancer from above; heavily injured for all but the first. Yeah, that's a weird one ... I think it certainly would've been possible with Dreamfyre too, especially if they worked together to target Maegor specifically (as was noted by others up-thread), but absolutely a massive risk. One that doesn't make a great deal of sense, wrt Alyssa especially. And of course, Balerion probably would've continued the battle anyway. The only alternative I can think of is if they knew (hello, Rhaena) Balerion was always stabled in the Dragonstone when not flying Maegor around, intending to attack the king in the Red Keep direct. Do you mean by Septon Moon? The guy was bit of an extremist to say the least, almost certainly condemning the polygamy (far) more anyway. Or the "committed murder & incest" instead? Eh, it's not explicitly stated that the avuncular thing (not that Rhaena was a consenting participant) was as abominable incest as parental or sibling coupling. And even though some/all of the religious zealots would've condemned it as the same, the text tells us o/w what the Faith & the realm viewed it as in truth/general. Completely agree. At the very least, hinted at; which World, Rogue, & Princess/Queen did (far) more often. Well, Vermithor is described as "a great bronze & tan beast" already in 48AC. Dreamfyre &/or Silverwing may not have been too far behind. At 30, Quicksilver was only the 1/4 the size of Balerion, not unlikely smaller than average at that age. Tessarion at ~15 was a third the size of Vermithor, whilst already being near in size to the ~35-year-old Seasmoke. As I said just above, dragons clearly grow at different rates to each other. But yes, it's still an excessive & ridiculous risk, even if all three siblings worked in unison for their dragons to target Maegor specifically. And of course, as you say, they weren't exactly experienced & mettled enough to ready to battle Maegor & Balerion. Perhaps Robar was just tripping balls & Alyssa & her kids were like "Oh, how cute, he's such a Baratheon." Perhaps Maegor was overwhelmed by his near zero support, with almost everyone else now openly against him, many of them suddenly. Indecisive as where to strike first & in what order afterwards. The dragon combat plan was near lunacy, but Alyssa & Robar couldn't have timed their proclamation of Jaehaerys any more perfectly. Was Aemond possibly scared of being struck by a projectile himself? He burns Darry & Lord Harroway's Town, fired upon at the former at least, to only attack fields & rather/very minor population & seat targets (besides a depopulated/abandoned Harrenhal). Seemingly, no Riverrun, no Raventree, no Twins, & no Maidenpool. Given the support the Blacks had in the Riverlands, not unlikely Seagard, Saltpans, Fairmarket, &/or Stoney Sept as well. Of course, Doylist it could just be one of GRRM's common finger on the scales against the Greens with the Dance, but there should still be a Watsonian explanation for it. It'd be far, far more trouble than it would be worth it. What's the point? A royal marriage for a daughter is far more advantageous than their own polygamy. It's very likely that the only First Men nobility who practiced polygamy successfully was only (established & secure) royalty, even then highly probable extremely rarely. Or at the least, it was (far) less prevalent among lesser houses. In almost every hypothetical situation (because there's sfa examples, even with the Targaryen ones), it would for the worse than the better. Celtigar was Valyrian-descended himself, not unlikely in some way pre-Conquest with the Targaryens, with a hard-on for a royal marriage; as evidenced by throwing his 12 & 13-year-old daughters(!) at a king like Maegor. The guy with two childless marriages, one of them two decades long, along with a third he didn't exactly have a healthy child from & didn't particularly respond well too. @Jaak The First Night is all-but-confirmed imo to have only been between a lord & his smallfolk, not nobility involved on both sides (besides perhaps Valyrians/dragonlords pre-Conquest considering the whole dragonseed thing & Orys Baratheon, if he had noble parents given his surname). Frankly, how could Alysanne not be against polygamy? Agreed, but the Sealord's son wasn't necessarily a wastrel when he was first betrothed to Laena. Nor was it necessarily expected he would succeed his father as head of the family (I hope we find out more in Fire & Blood) anytime soon. Gyldayn calls him "the boy" when he dueled Daemon & his could easily have been not that old, not unlikely younger than Corlys (even Rhaenys being older is a possibility). I think the implication of the match is mutually beneficial for trade &/or being anti-Triarchy. And not to mention, Rhaenys & Corlys wished for Laenor to be married to Rhaenyra. He was only ~11 when Laena was betrothed to the Sealord's son. If Viserys snubbed the Velaryons again, he could've been matched to the daughter/female relation of some other (very) powerful family in Westeros, or a Velaryon relation, or whatever. Perhaps Driftmark could've tried with the Greens for Helaena. Yes, she was 15 years younger than Laenor & Alicent would've wanted to have married her to Aegon the Elder once the Rhaenyra option fell through completely, but it wouldn't have been out of the realm of possibility at all. Whilst a great deal wrt Dreamfyre during this time period needs to be addressed in Fire & Blood, Rhaena most likely considered the continued safety of Aerea & Rhaella foremost, including her own to be able to provide such. I believe she didn't agree with Aegon's plans, at least not fully. He had far too little support. She likely knew of their mother's scheming on their behalf. Of course, they couldn't have necessarily predicted how much things could turn against Maegor in just a few short years, but imagine if Aegon had of been patient. Four dragons, only some of the depleted Faith Militant against them, & most of the great houses behind them. Of course, this only works if they can remain in Casterly Rock, but I don't think Lyman would've discounted the guest right. He only did so IOTL specifically due to how much Maegor rekt Aegon, because the prince went far too early. The only way I see Lyman relenting to Maegor would be if the king took Balerion on such an incredible burning spree against his vassals, that the survivors were in open rebellion against the Lannisters. Bingo.
  14. Well, I'll be a monkey's nuncle. That actually makes a lot of sense as to why a half-Targaryen Velaryon who would be/was the queen-consort (seemingly) never claimed her own dragon when there were more than enough around, neither too large or aggressive (all after Quicksilver only hatching in the later years of Aegon's reign). Tbf, the wording in Sons gave me the impression that the degree of relation between Alyssa & Aenys was closest in the Velaryon line: Aethan's father most probably being Conquest-Daemon, who in turn was perhaps most likely Valaena's brother. Can you confirm that Valaena still had a Targaryen mother, or was that an error too? If the latter, that would really put the dampener on the belief that Targaryen women married into House Velaryon at times pre-Conquest. @Lord Varys If Fire & Blood actually does end up with a "retcon" for Alyssa having a Targaryen mother & I'm correct about Sons highlighting the degree of cousin relation between Aenys & Alyssa as closest in the Velaryon line, it's unlikely that unnamed Targaryen lady would be a daughter or descendant of Lord Daemion, or perhaps even Lord Aerys.
  15. @TheDrunkenGiant Nice pick-ups. The Strongs are confirmed to have been around by the time of the Conquest, their name suggests they originally descend from the First Men, & the only other two examples of Artos come from the Starks & Flints, both FM houses. Many ancient houses were also formed by legendary figures, especially during the Age of Heroes. I also suspect that the Giant of the Trident was Strong-descended, whether male-line or female-line or bastard-line. It fits with his name, his location, & the dramatic potential with Ser Osmund as the Hand at the time. Perhaps he was even the knight who won the joust at Riverrun in 28AC. Definitely the house name points to their hereditary physicalities. Noble-born (to the Lord of Harrenhal no less) & likely with a strong (heh) frame, Larys most likely would've been a knight like his older brother Harwin if it weren't for his clubfoot (Prologue Pate notes the same for Mollander, whose father was probably only a hedge knight). Ser Osmund certainly seems to me like a proto-Lyonel, something of a warrior-scholar. He oversaw the planning & construction of KL's city walls & gates with Grand Maester Gawen, as well as (presumably) commanding the royal forces in the two campaigns against Sargaso Saan in the Stepstones. Aegon I's other Hands seem to also been in the same sort of mould: Orys Baratheon was his brother's main commander outside of Visenya & Rhaenys, successful during the Last Storm & the Vulture Hunt (I suspect he only had his own war-weakened Stormlanders in 4AC against full-strength Wyls & Yronwoods in the Boneway, without dragon support for some ineffable reason), plus clearly with some political knack with his effective rule of the Stormlands from Durrandon control. Edmyn Tully led the Riverlander revolt against the Hoares for the Targaryens & whilst Aegon was dealing with Reach & Westerlands, probably commanded the local effort that drove the remaining ironborn out of the Riverlands. I believe his resignation as Hand was part-wise due to Quenton Qoherys being succeeded by his lecherous grandson to Harrenhal, where Tully's daughter was perhaps still at. Alyn Stokeworth, with Visenya, oversaw the planning & initial construction of the Red Keep. Aenys retained him as Hand, despite telling Maegor they would rule the realm together & to wield Blackfyre in his service at their father's funeral (I believe Aenys named his brother as his Master of Laws, a position he may have even had himself). He was to lead royal forces & the royal fleet against Jonos Arryn, before Aenys changed his mind & sent him against Harren the Red instead, perhaps with too few men. Yes, Qyburn seems to have chosen Strong for unGregor for those reasons exactly (plus, Robert probably for Robert Baratheon). I don't think Robert Strong was ever meant to have a fully traceable & legit lineage though, he could've previously been some sellsword who had claimed the name for himself. And his "oath" of silence helps to cover prying (along with his "fuck off" size & scariness). Quite clearly many rightly suspect that Robert Strong is actually Gregor Clegane. Nevertheless, it's possible that House Strong continued in some form beyond the Hour of the Wolf with Larys' execution - there was at least one lesser branch with Ser Simon & his grandsons (who may not have been at Harrenhal when Prince Aemond returned to it & had Vhagar light it up), plus Lyonel had at least two daughters (who were lady companions to Rhaenyra).