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About velo-knight

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  1. Bran's weirwood visions

    Yes, I am. I also tend to think the captive's name was Brandon Stark, because of the particular wording George used at the end of the execution / sacrifice. Given that Old Nan associated a Brandon Stark with the Night's King, this would tie things together quite nicely. A number of readers also think that the Night's King story is somehow a story predating, immediately following, or concurrent with the Long Night, instead of being separate legends from the age of heroes. I think the last scene is George showing us a pivotal moment that shaped the history of Westeros forever to follow. The way the scene lingers on it, and uses such striking imagery, and higher detail than the previous very old images, implies that it's very important.
  2. Bran's weirwood visions

    In addition to the common theories re: Lyanna + Benjen, and Dunk + Nan, I sometimes wonder if the sacrifice wasn't tied to the Night's King (and queen) in some way, or at least connected. We hear conflicting stories of whether the Old Gods need, want, or care about blood sacrifices in the stories, but it is clear that at least some magic can be worked through blood sacrifice, and there's no reason to doubt that applies in the North as well. It seems reasonable to assume that all the thing Bran sees that we also see - that is, that George describes for us - are meaningful to the story in some way. For the more recent visions, like Dunk and Nan, they're relevant simply because they are present for us to see and interact with the POVs (and Hodor is possibly their descendant). The older visions, however, have to be progressively more important to stay relevant: the Kings of Winter, the history of the North, and finally something very important that happened early in the reign of the Starks. That leaves us with just a handful of stories: the Last Hero, the Night's King, and the founding of Winterfell by Bran the Builder. It's hard to see how this sacrifice could be connected to Bran the Builder's stories, so it's instead connected in some way to the others. I'm torn on whether this sacrifice ended the Long Night, began it, or was merely part of it. The description of the woman making the sacrifice has me suspecting that the "corpse bride" was an exaggerated myth after the fact about the evil priestess queen who performed human sacrifice at the Winterfell heart tree, and possibly started a necromantic reign of terror.
  3. Jaehaerys I was a usurper.

    Under primogeniture, that's the case. Primogeniture isn't the only consideration in succession, however, and there are also other metrics, like proximity of blood.
  4. A new framework for some of the HotU visions

    Regarding false and true dragons: I'm wondering if true and false might refer to sigils vs the real thing. IE, Drogon et al are true dragons, and all the "dragons" that are actually people associated with dragon symbol are false.
  5. Jaehaerys I was a usurper.

    Those are very convincing examples, thank you. The only flaw I can see is Tyrion's quote to Aegon in ADWD, (Tyrion VI) It's clear to me that Tyrion believes an educated princeling (and an exile queen) would know that the law of the land was supposed to be primogeniture. Still, as you point out, the Iron Throne often behaves by proximity and in favor of strong male adults over less imposing individuals with stronger claims. That's a good point, we do see a clear example of this with Aerys II - Rhaegar - Aegon vs Viserys. Are there any other examples you know of? I think it's clear the text supports your view more than mine / the OP. I'm just not sure why that's the case, and it feels like it might be an oversight to me given the extremely powerful women that were around at the time. I think this is a matter of emphasis. We both agree that the council has placed Maegor's line behind all of Aegon V's - and crucially, there's no evidence that Maegor and his family disputed this after the council. In the case of the Queen-Who-Never-Was, she was much more powerful, but that's the inevitable consequence of being an adult dragonrider instead of a madman's son, named for the most hated king to sit the Iron Throne. Disinherited is maybe too strong a word for it, but my point remains that Jaehaerys never had even the moderate protection of a Great Council decision formally placing Rhalla and Aerea's claims below his. I guess the Great Councils to decide his own succession can be implied to have done this, but that doesn't really argue against the idea that his male preference might have served his political interests to weaken rival lines. I can't deny that. Would that risk being seen as tyrannical? Yes, but after siring a son Viserys was pretty much asking for problems by sticking to a fully cognatic system. It's worth noting how different this is from the actual Anarchy: a woman as the only child of the monarch at all, failing to make good on her claim but succeeding to peacefully make her son the heir (and in the process creating a precdent female-line inheritance that countries like France would never get), you get a sense that the arc of history bent a very different way with the Dance. Eh, another way to look at it is that Viserys was too inflexible to change his mind when the facts on the ground changed, and Rhaenyra was too preoccupied with other issues to ask that Viserys take additional steps to secure her inheritance. This is really interesting, and I'm glad you brought it up. I wish there was more clarity on why women's political power declined during the dragonlord period of the Iron Throne.
  6. Jaehaerys I was a usurper.

    I was responding to the line, "Uh, no. He jumped over one person. Dany wasn't born yet." I don't see how you can accept Dany as a person who's being usurped without accepting Rhaella. It's not about surnames. The King is dead, as are his heir Rhaegar, and his Rhaegar's heirs. His next heirs are his other children and their lines. After that, you go up one level, does the previous king Jaehaerys II have any other heirs? He has a daughter, Rhaella. Rhaella Targaryen is unquestionably closer to the current throne of Westeros ca. 283 AC than her aunt Rhaelle Targaryen or her heirs. She "wins" by either proximity of blood or seniority of line. Finally, agnatic succession usually discounts not just female claimants, but female lineages. I am not convinced that a male claimant from a significantly junior female line is superior to a female claimant from a senior line. I'm arguing about the beginning of his reign, not the end. By bringing up 100 AC I illustrated that a grand council was no less a new idea then - before it actually happened - than early in his reign. Again, the issue here is whether Aerea and Rhalla's lines are superior claimants to Jaehaerys, and I mentioned that the only way we know of to conclusively settle the issue without obliterating them or intermarrying completely is a great council. It was argued that the great council had not been invented when Jaehaerys came to power; I'm arguing that's irrelevant. A rhetorical flourish which obviously did not communicate the desired sentiment. I don't think anyone's arguing that a sister comes before a brother, but primogeniture - the normal, though not universal - basis for succession does hold that a daughter comes before her uncle. Again, while not ruling in their own right, these women transcended traditional gender roles with impunity, and demonstrated clearly that in a society ruled by dragonriders, male physicality is fairly meaningless. One would expect that it would be more socially acceptable to support women's claims early in the Targaryen reign, close to these women and before any council precedent had been established to weaken women's standing. I think a key here is that while succession to the Iron Throne has steadily become more agnatic over time, Jaehaerys had no way of knowing that when he took power. If his cousins had legitimate issue, it was in his clear political interest to weaken the claims of women relative to men. And because the nature of the Kingdom shifts very differently for the Anarchy and the Dance, with the pre-Dance Targaryens being a cross between medieval monarchs and the god-kings of Egypt or Rome. I recognize the similarity at issue, but I think they worked sort of in the opposite way: instead of being the first, semi-successful display of partial-cognatic inheritance that was tragically before it's time, I see the Dance as the last, desperate gasp of the relatively equitable role of male and female dragonlords when Viserys tried to force the realm to accept a de facto fully-cognatic system in reversal of the very precedent that made him king*. Between the devastation caused by the dragons and the total loss of their draconic trump card, the Targaryens basically had to accept a more traditional role for women. This reversal was so quick that, even though Daemon Blackfyre used many different spurious arguments to justify his rebellion, he rarely mentions that his lineage is senior to Daeron II - because a female lineage is basically useless for inheritance to the Iron Throne. Robert's rebellion actually seems to be an interesting reversal: even though he won his war with his hammer, he was high in the Targaryen succession in the female line and used that to justify seizing the throne. So there is now recent precedent for female successors being eligible to the Iron Throne, something Dany will likely solidify. *I mean, the UK only officially became fully cognatic and not male-preference cognatic what, this decade? I think there's a little defensiveness here, so I'd like to clear up a few things on my part. I don't have anything against Jaehaerys and he's pretty much everyone's favorite Targ king, but I do think the possibility of female lines that might have a superior claim to his was a potential driver of his thinking, and might have shaped the succession crisis surrounding him and his heirs.
  7. Jaehaerys I was a usurper.

    He jumped over Rhaella, who was also ahead of him. Rhaella or Dany, there were 2 until Viserys died. I'm not sure what you're arguing there. I was addressing @Lord Varys comment that when Jaehaerys took the throne, the Great Council hadn't been invented yet. Again, I'm not sure what bearing this has. The parallels are widely commented on, but rarely perfect, and there's nothing at all that requires them to be in the same order. The fact that the Westerosi wars of the roses seem to be lasting about half the time as the real ones, and the big difference between the Dance and the Anarchy, are both clear proof that George is drawing inspiration, not making carbon copies. The simple fact is that female political strength should be at it's apogee in living memory of Aegon's conquest, 2 out of 3 of the most powerful people in the realm were women, and both were respected as warriors and lawmakers.
  8. Jaehaerys I was a usurper.

    I won't argue with your analysis, but I think we're going about things a little legalistically. All these people have claims of various strengths, but the law is nominally primogeniture with the role of gender ambiguous and disputed. You pointed out that the heir does not always wind up being the child of the previous heir, but I see no evidence that it isn't supposed to work that way. That's what I see the usurpation argument as being about, just as Robert is unable to shake the fact that he's jumped over 2 individuals with clearly stronger claims. He's still the King - as Jaehaerys was - but this could undermine him and his heirs, just as it could for Jaehaerys. My primary point is that Councils appear to be the only consistent mechanism by which it's agreed an entire line can be disinherited. The only outlier - Prince Duncan - voluntarily surrendered his inheritance and his children have a commoner mother and therefore would never command lordly support. No council had been called by this point, but none was called in 100AC either, so I'm not sure what the counterargument is - there's a first time for everything. I think "necessarily" is a key word here, though. We don't have information either way, and Jaehaerys own very strong kingship likely meant that any challenge to the succession would wait until after his death. The very fact that his succession was complex and unclear must have exaggerated this possible threat, even if only in his mind. True, but an incomplete solution. First, you have to do it within one or two generations, before the number of people in the senior line is so many that any un-joined branches remain as a threat. Second, you need to hope that one of the joined branches ultimately succeeds, which at this point Jaehaerys may not have been confident of. Well, I don't think anyone arguing here that the "usurpation" wasn't successful - it obviously was, and Aerea and Rhalla were sidelined. I suspect it would've been much more of an issue if not for the personal charisma and strength of Viserys I. I can see fighting and jockeying for power much earlier, even though he ultimately set the Dance in motion.
  9. Jaehaerys I was a usurper.

    That may be true, but in the absence of a formal great council decision it would still be a usurpation. Bobby B won the throne and reigned for a decade and a half and people still named him usurper. Of his succession, yes. But - as Cat points out to Robb re: Jon - future female-line heirs to Aegon son of Aenys might not feel the same, and others might push that claim. This gives Jaehaerys a political motive to diminish the status of women in the succession. I mean, yes, he was, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't matter. For one, it sheds more light on the slow-moving succession crisis that followed him. It does diminish him, a bit, but it also makes him a man, and not the perfect figure we see, which I rather like.
  10. Jaehaerys I was a usurper.

    I wonder if this is the reason for his later - surprising - conservatism on the question of his own succession and in the Second Quarrel with Alyssane. Either he usurped because of some gender traditionalism here, or he favored male lines in his own succession because his own claim would be endangered otherwise.
  11. A new framework for some of the HotU visions

    If that's the case, it definitely fits Jon as the Young Dragon - he is the very first one Tyrion meets, and the very first one in the list. Nope, it's clear in ADWD this is what's happening.
  12. A new framework for some of the HotU visions

    True, but Aemon and Tyrion have met back in AGOT, no? It's telling that dragons young and old are mentioned first - Tyrion has already been amidst these two.
  13. A new framework for some of the HotU visions

    I'm not sure that means he can't be the, or at least an old dragon. He may still have an impact on the story even after his death, and depending on the time of Moqorro's vision and the death of Aemon they might be close together. Aemon's certainly had a huge impact on Samwell and Gilly, and they may go on to have a significant part to play in this story if Samwell's encounters in Oldtown are any indication.
  14. The Dustin succession crisis that apparently never was

    It may be that there are no other strong heirs to the Dustin lands, so Lady Dustin can rule them as a sort of placeholder. It's not a permanent solution - just as Ser Rodrik's offer to marry Lady Hornwood wouldn't have been a long-term solution - but it settles the immediate question of "who rules the Barrowlands right now". Keep in mind Lady Barbrey would initially have the support of her father's Ryswell family, and by the time that fades with the death of her father she'd already be ensconced in Barrowton. At that point, if House Dustin is extinct in the male line, it might prove difficult to press a claim until she passes. Marriage might join her to another house, and threaten to take the inheritance away from house Dustin, so there may be an understanding with whatever heirs are in the mix that Barb can rule as long as she's unmarried.
  15. House Targaryen Naming Conventions

    Perhaps some or all of those names are actually androgynous or semi-androgynous. If Dany is the PTWP that might tie into Maester Aemon's "the dragon has no sex" comment.