Lord Varys

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About Lord Varys

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    Definitely somewhere in King's Landing

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  1. Star Trek: Discovery

    Well, before they killed Tony I had hoped he would have showed up as a President in 6th or 7th season. With those time jumps they had that could have worked easily enough. But I guess that's out of the question now. I'll give the new thing a try.
  2. Well, I'm just saying that I find the two worlds/stories to be too similar for it to coincidence. There are more parallels to MST and ASoIaF than to the works George is simply citing or hinting at. And I'd say that those parallels are very strong at the core of the story, the way it was conceived in the 1990s. That doesn't mean the story isn't George's story but he draws more than a little bit of inspiration from MST. It is clearly a much larger story now, but hell, I'm pretty sure the answer to the mystery of the motivation/purpose Others is basically going to be the same answer behind the motivation of Ineluki and the Norns. I don't know DragonLance. But it is not just the robe. It is a king with personal issues being corrupted by an (evil) priest in red robes. That's true for both Stannis and Elias. And if you go back and check the atmosphere of Cressen's Prologue and the Davos chapters of ACoK and the atmosphere Tad is creating at the Hayholt after Pryrates is acquiring more and more power the parallels are very striking. Somewhere down the road Stannis/Mel and Elias/Pryrates parted ways, that's clear, but the parallels are there. I think it cannot be denied that George had the picture of Elias/Pryrates in his mind when he was creating Stannis/Mel.
  3. Daemon Blackfyre won the Battle of Redgrass Field

    I agree there. But that goes for any of the people who missed their shot at being king. How good would have been Aenys I's sons Aegon and Viserys? Or Prince Aemon, Princess Rhaenys, or Baelon the Brave? How good a queen would have Rhaenyra been had she ascended the Iron Throne as she was supposed? We have no idea, really. I personally like the idea that Prince Aegon was some half-mad guy without much promise. I'm just not all that interested in Daemon Blackfyre as a person. That is true for a lot of people. I'd like to know much more about the Dragonknight, for instance, and a lot of different people. I think we already have a good picture of Daemon Blackfyre. He was well-built, physically very strong, very capable warrior and knight. He was quite charismatic and capable to overcome the stain of his bastard birth quite effectively. He was also, I think, not the most intelligent of men and susceptible to flattery. I give him the benefit of the doubt and consider it possible that he thought he could be a good king and eventually grew to believe that his half-brother had wronged him, but to assume this we have to go with him not being very bright. Well, considering that Aegor Rivers was only twelve years old when Aegon IV died we can be reasonably sure that any talk of Daemon being the rightful king etc. only began years later, especially talk coming from Aegor. I'd say this cannot have began before the year 190 AC, perhaps even later than that. There might have been other people at court in 184 AC fearing the ascension of Daeron II who began repeating the slanderous tales about Naerys and Aemon, but the whole idea of Daemon being the true king came much later. Fireball was much older than the great bastards but he would only have turned against Daeron II after he was not given his white cloak, and that could easily enough have been only around 190 AC or so, too. Kingsguard usually don't die like flies. And certainly Aerys II's character trait wasn't all that good, either. In fact it was pretty bad. I was writing sort of in Westerosi prejudice mode. Nobody in Westeros likes the idea of man using magic to accomplish his goals. That even less manly than using poison to kill an enemy. That is not true. There is talk about Rhaenyra being a kinslayer because she might have commanded the death of Helaena or might have quietly killed Aegon II and deposed of the body so that she would not be accused of kinslaying. You are also seen as a kinslayer if you command the murder of a close relative. You don't have to do the deed yourself. And I'm pretty sure that is precisely the reason why Aerys I actually pardoned Bittersteel and sent him to the Wall. He knew that commanding the execution of his half-uncle would make him a kinslayer. Keep in mind how allergic the barbaric Ironborn are to the concept of kinslaying. Balon makes it clear that killing Euron would be kinslaying, regardless whether he, Victarion, or presumably some man under Balon's command would do it. That's a strong sign that this is a really powerful taboo. It seems that you kill a close relative quietly, with poison or by arranging some accident. But you don't do it openly in a way that can be traced back to you. And as a king or lord sitting in judgment over a close kinsman you better show mercy to him by allowing him to take the black instead of executing him. Unless, of course, he stands accused of a vile crime like regicide or kinslaying (or both) himself. I doubt that the people saw Tyrion's imminent execution at Tywin's command as kinslaying. That is why I think his disillusionment came only later. But I find it difficult to see him as a man who was loyal to Daemon if he helped to make them a pretender to the Iron Throne. That makes Daemon Blackfyre more his creation than Fireball a loyal man. And the same goes for Bittersteel, too. Could very well be that they once had more, especially during the Third Rebellion. During the Fourth not so much. Aegon V would have had a massive army to easily defeat 10,000 men of the Golden Company. Well, we know that the Golden Company was founded only after the Second Rebellion, and we know that Bittersteel fought among the Second Sons prior to that. I think he was able to combine the best things the two worlds had to offer. The professionalism of the free companies with the chivalry of the Seven Kingdoms. That worked pretty well. What kept them together and lifted them above the other companies seems to be their cause, their vision to one day return back home in triumph. That certainly is a powerful motivator. But I'd say any exiled lord who was a good commander/warrior in the service of an exiled king/prince could do that. I think I even asked George about that one on his NAB when 'Rogues' came out. But the memory is blurry. It has been a few years. I was referring to the debate between Tyrion and Oberyn about Viserys II's qualities as king. Those are reflected in Yandel's account on his reign, although Yandel seems to be more in Tyrion's camp. I agree with you about many parts of the Realm being ignorant about how things stood at court. Ned certainly was. But the important people knew. And their number was presumably growing each day. I think we can be fairly certain that the Iron Throne as an institution/the unity of the Realm is not going to survive the series unless there is a Targaryen restoration of some sort. Fake Baratheon child monarchs and despised Stannis are not going to restore or the authority of the Crown. Oh, and Robert is definitely not inspiring the new generation. Remember what Jon and Sansa think of him? I don't think they are alone there. Robert was a great warrior and charismatic leader in his youth. But now he is a fat drunkard. He is still fun to be around if you like to drink but one really wonders if such a man would actually be capable to draw many men to his banner if he were seriously challenged. Rhaegar apparently had more troops at the Trident than the rebels. And that without drawing heavily on the Reach. But then, aside from Robert's Stormlander host being completely ripped apart by the time of the Battle of the Bells we don't know how many men each of the three other rebel leaders - Ned, Hoster, and Jon - actually brought to the Trident. Perhaps Jon had had more losses in the Vale than we think? Or Ned wasn't able to gather as many troops as he would have liked? Or more Riverlanders than we know fought under the dragon banner?
  4. Star Trek: Discovery

    I'm not in agreement with @Werthead about Jonathan Rhys-Myers. I really liked his approach on Henry VIII, especially the narcissistic element that comes off rather well, the inability/unwillingness to see fault in himself. The show itself is at times rather erratic, with important historical figures disappearing when their actors decided not to renew a contract, and other people just suddenly popping up for a season and then disappearing into nothingness. You can't portray a historical period that way. Having problems connecting with 'Vikings', by the way. Watched the pilot last weekend with some friends. I just remembered that those assholes killed Audrey in the last season of this thing. So sad.
  5. Friends in the Reach

    They don't? 10,000 professional soldiers should make short work out of 20,000 Tyrell men. Even more shouldn't be that much of a problem if they can use the elephants to their advantage. Mace is most likely only going to throw 15,000-20,000 men against Aegon. He has to keep a decent portion of his army back in the city to keep the peace there. It definitely wasn't. My idea is only that Varys and Illyrio were okay with Aegon coming now in light of the fact that Dany was not coming. And was they learn that Dany allegedly died in Daznak's Pit they will be glad that Aegon didn't go into that snake pit. The plan was to wait for Dany at Volantis. They expected her to take the demon road and that she would be paying a heavy toll on that road. Aegon was then supposed to meet her as her savior and new best friend, offering to bolster her ranks with the Golden Company. They would have been partners.
  6. Star Trek: Discovery

    He also played the ex-husband of Audrey Raines in the 4th season of '24', I think. While they were always teasing us with the fact that the guy might be evil he died a hero if I remember correctly.
  7. Friends in the Reach

    I actually think Brienne is more important than Jaime in the fight against the Others. It is a possibility but I always said that the Second Dance is clearly also going to feature Euron and possibly also Stannis. The idea that it is a given that it will be Aegon vs. Daenerys is still only a possibility. A rather strong possibility but still not yet confirmed.
  8. Friends in the Reach

    Sure, if Cersei ends up hurting Jaime very much - say, by burning a captured Brienne alive or by doing some other heinous thing - I could see him doing something of that sort. I don't think Jaime is going to get a good ending. But he might not yet fight Daenerys when she is on the way to Westeros, no? The Three Daughters might feel threatened by Dany's people long before Dany's intention of coming west after all reaches Westeros. Even Varys and Illyrio should now be focused on helping Aegon with his campaign. They won't be able to use as many resources as they used to on Essos, especially after Illyrio has left Pentos for KL.
  9. Red robes and dog helmets are common fantasy tropes? Westeros as a world is clearly derived from Osten Ard. It is not a straight copy, of course, but you can see that it was more influenced by Osten Ard than, say, LeGuin's Earthsea, right? Many are. Especially if you look at the Tolkien pastiches. It might be that ASoIaF doesn't go down the Osten Ard road in the whole Others plot. We'll have to wait and see. But I'd be very surprised if there wouldn't be strong parallels there. The very fact that the evil monsters come from the far north is a strong parallel to the Norns.
  10. Friends in the Reach

    She can still die by his hand, at the very end of the series. There is no reason for us to assume this has to happen in the near future of the story. In fact, it could be a very sad murder with Cersei being already completely broken and destroyed, thrown into some cell by Dany, and Jaime just going in there for the sadistic pleasure of seeing the light in her eyes going out while her strangles her. If Cersei ends up teaming up with Euron she could certainly become one of the main threats for the people of Westeros. Once Tommen and Myrcella are dead she has nothing to lose and everybody to kill, and Euron will gladly help her with that. She could be directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of ten thousands of people in the conflicts to come. Sure. But Stannis and the Iron Bank have a deal. What kind of deal could Aegon offer the Three Daughters? He is not likely going to be able to help them. Aegon and the Yunkai'i or the Volantenes could also have a common enemy at one point but that doesn't mean they will ever into a formal alliance.
  11. Friends in the Reach

    I don't think he did. He knows how the favorable the situation right now is. KL and Westeros is ripe for the taking. Aegon will take it, dragons or not. The challenge will be to hold it. They are not likely to have a good picture of Euron's abilities as of yet. And once the news about Dany's alleged death comes they will be glad that Aegon did not go to Slaver's Bay. At least until they get the really good news on Dany. I'm not sure that Euron is going to burn Oldtown. He could also humiliate the Hightowers in battle and force them to surrender the city as his ancestors did. He wants the Iron Throne and to get it he should not overly antagonize his future subjects. If he burned Oldtown the Reach would definitely unite against him. And not only the Reach. And once Euron finds out about Aegon and Dorne declaring for him he might decide to attack them in retaliation, rather than continue the campaign against Oldtown. But we'll have to wait and see. If Aegon and Euron ever clash Aegon will die. There is no other option. Varys and Illyrio are, in fact, not sorcerers. They can't protect him from Euron. With the amount of foreshadowing we have of Euron sitting the Iron Throne there is a pretty good chance he might take it over Aegon's dead body. There is also a chance that he'll just take an empty city after Aegon has left the capital to march to some war. Euron and Cersei could essentially repeat Daemon and Rhaenyra's ploy by luring Aegon out of his city to meet an army from the West in battle while Euron's fleet takes an undefended KL. I doubt that Dany is ever going to try to come to Aegon's aid. And if George wants Dany to fight a real opponent upon her arrival in Westeros Euron would work so much better as an antagonist than Aegon. It is difficult to predict anything there because we don't know what characters might do after a certain point. It looks as if Euron could defeat the Redwynes, but will he win an overwhelming victory or is he going to lose some ships? How is the news about Dany's alleged death and her actual disappearance going to affect his plan? I think he will eventually ally with Cersei and whatever Lords of the West she might still control at that point. Without the dragons he needs another ally in Westeros and Robert's widow might the second best thing to a 'royal marriage' he can hope for. But none of us can foresee how the political situation in or near Westeros will be when Dany finally begins her journey west. Aegon could already be dead. Euron could already be dead. Both of them could still be alive. If George wants to give us a Second Dance between Euron and Aegon then Euron's fleet (perhaps with the help of the Three Daughters) could deal Dany's armada a very hard blow, sinking hundreds of ships and killing tens of thousands, with the fleet thereafter being dispersed so that a united landing at KL or another prominent harbor is impossible. In the meantime Aegon could consolidate his power in Westeros gathering enough strength to become a major challenge for Dany. I'd say they don't have any reason to favor Aegon. They have a good reason to oppose Daenerys but hardly any reason to ally themselves with Aegon. He has nothing to offer them in return.
  12. Jaehaerys I was a usurper.

    Sure, but the commoners we meet aren't necessarily as opposed to female rule as the lords. Targaryen women are a pretty important topic in that inn in White Harbor, after all. But the idea that Aegon III was derived from his father only, with the claim of his mother not even considered, is never even mentioned in any book.
  13. Hoster didn't have to declare for the Targaryens. He had been loyal to the Targaryens until that point. Ned was trying to convince him to rebel against his king. He was asking for his help, not the other way around. And regardless what were the feelings of Ned about Catelyn Hoster would have insisted that he fulfill the contract if Hoster decided to join the rebels. After all, Aerys had destroyed the prospect of the Catelyn-Brandon marriage by killing Brandon. But Ned-Catelyn wasn't the only condition the rebels had to agree to. It was Jon-Lysa as well, and that one clearly hurt Jon Arryn. He had to accept it anyway. The idea that the Tullys felt somehow 'honored' by the Stark marriage Rickard and Hoster originally brokered isn't confirmed by the text. We don't know anything about that match. Was Rickard approaching Hoster to make that match or was Hoster reaching out to Rickard? Somehow I doubt it was the latter. Hoster certainly decided to go with Ned and Jon because Aerys and Rhaegar hadn't made similar offers. If Aerys had reached out to Hoster offering Viserys as a husband to Lysa or Catelyn he most likely wouldn't have teamed up with the rebels. But no such offer was made as far as we know. They cried out 'the King of the Trident', too. That was the important point for them, not 'the King in the North' thing. They don't live in the North. We don't get that in AGoT but it becomes clear in the next book. And as I've said earlier Robb was actually proclaimed king by more Riverlords than Lords of the North. Most of the Northern lords and commanders were with Roose Bolton's army, not with Robb and the Riverlords at Riverrun. We have the Greatjon, Lord Rickard, Galbart Glover, and Maege Mormont as the Northmen proclaiming Robb king. Against that there are more Riverlords with Robb at Riverrun. They are the more crucial part of his kingdom, especially in light of the fact that they make him king and that their lands are the only part of his kingdom he actually sets a foot in while he is king.
  14. Friends in the Reach

    @Lost Melnibonean Thinking about this Three Daughters thing - isn't it unnecessary for Illyrio to broker such an alliance? If Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh intend to stick to their slaver culture even after Dany's people have taken Volantis, they would have to fight for their survival against her forces, and the best way to do that would be to unite their forces and try to challenge her with a united army. But the people in charge there most certainly would be smart enough to make such an alliance all by themselves. They don't need Illyrio Mopatis for that. And they can identify Daenerys Targaryen as an enemy of their way of life all by themselves, too. They don't need Illyrio to tell them that. In fact, if Dany only had the intention to sail to Westeros to cast down the usurping impostor who calls himself Aegon Targaryen the Three Daughters most likely would gladly cheer her own in that desire. They couldn't care less who the hell sits on the Iron Throne of Westeros as long as that person leaves them be. But if Dany intends to conquer their cities on the way to Westeros they would clearly become her enemies. The idea that Illyrio/Aegon can help the Three Daughters in any fashion makes no sense. Aegon has no ships, and Euron will see to it that things remain that way. After Euron has destroyed the Redwyne fleet he is on the way to become a very strong naval power in the region of the Stepstones, and if Dany rejects his offer of an alliance (which she most likely will, assuming it ever reaches her) then they will be enemies. In alliance with the Three Daughters Euron Greyjoy actually could have the power to crush or at least cripple Dany's armada at sea. The only way to defeat of weaken Dany's troops would be at sea. The Dothraki and all her other allies will be way too strong on land.
  15. Daemon Blackfyre won the Battle of Redgrass Field

    That is true. The problem I see there is that we know too little about Daemon to say whether he wanted to be a king or whether he was the man who could be a good king if he tried hard enough. The fact that it seems that other people (Bittersteel, Fireball, Peake, etc.) pushed him to rebel against his half-brother doesn't make me overly confident that he would have been able to do the right thing (however unpleasant it might be) after he had become king. Take Stannis as an example. The man is a shitty human being who uses foul magics to get what he wants yet he has such a rigid code of morals and impartial sense of justice that he would actually be a very good judge. And dispensing justice is one of the main duties of a king. If Stannis was king we could expect that the overwhelming majority of his subjects would actually get justice from him. In Daemon's case I'm not so sure. The man was very popular, and most likely enjoyed that popularity. Even if Bittersteel had been a great and capable administrator in all matters of state one wonders whether Daemon would have continued to listen to him after he finally wore a crown? He shows a tendency to listen to lickspittles and the like when he allowed Bittersteel and Fireball to convince him to rebel in the first place. I'd actually say Aegon V most likely was a very good king. The fact that his reign was troubled doesn't mean that he sucked as king. Jaehaerys I clearly was some prodigy but also had the advantage of having very capable advisers in Alysanne and Barth. He - and Maekar and Aegon V, too - might not actually have wanted to be king. That was a character trait Daemon Blackfyre clearly lacked. Well, if you reread TSS and TMK then you see that Bloodraven's reputation in Westeros is about as black as it can get thanks to his kinslaying, and we know that things are no longer as secure as they were under the Good King and Baelor Breakspear. Maegor's crown was constantly challenged, he was always at war. He failed to make peace with his enemies. Prince Aegon brought his death upon himself by rebelling against his uncle, but the treatment and murder of Viserys was just an atrocity. The same goes for his eradication of the Harroways. But you should keep in mind that kinslaying could be more easier overlooked in the dragon days than thereafter, explaining how Maegor, Daemon, Aemond, and Aegon II got away with a lot of stuff they did. The poisoning plots (Visenya killing Aenys I; Aegon IV killing his own father; Gerold killing Cerelle) are just rumors. Rumors are not black deeds done in the open. And Maekar killing Baelor was clearly an accident. Still, the fact that he killed his brother didn't make him more popular, that's quite clear. And the Golden Company is a military company. They follow strength. Maelys the Monstrous supposedly was the Targaryen equivalent to Gregor Clegane. His men would have feared the guy as well as been reasonably confident that he could lead them to victory. I'm not sure if Fireball was a man with absolute loyalty. The man seems to have been motivated by his hatred for Daeron II (who refused to give him a white cloak) not so much his loyalty for Daemon. I agree with the former but not necessarily the latter. Bittersteel is dead for a long time, and the Golden Company is still in perfect shape. In fact, I'd be surprised if they had been as strong as they are now in the days of Bittersteel. Elephants certainly would have made a difference during the Fourth Rebellion, don't you think? But I agree with you that Bittersteel created a very fine war machine. I'm just not sure that in itself is a exceptionally great. Couldn't have another exiled lord done the same thing? Agreed, I'm pretty sure they will crush the Tyrell army marching against them, with or without Dornish help, and even against overwhelming odds. I just point out that I think professional soldiers with discipline (and I think many of the other companies should also have discipline) should be much more effective than the Westerosi armies. We don't know precisely. Less than was cut from TPatQ but still a considerable amount, apparently. Sure, but this is a controversial issue. Some people think he was a great visionary guy, others don't think so. There wouldn't be a controversy if his reforms had been obviously great. That is certainly true as well. The inclusion of the two of the king's brothers into the Small Council as well as them both being great lords in their own right made them way too powerful. The same goes for Robert allowing the Lannisters to acquire so much power in light of Cersei not getting along all that well with his brothers. The prestige problem I see there is that Robert didn't do anything to reassert his personal authority. His successful rebellion weakened the unity of the Realm as the Greyjoy Rebellion proved. He put that one down because he was very good at fighting, at least back then (nine years later things are somewhat different) but he didn't care about the rot at his own court.