Lord Varys

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About Lord Varys

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    Most Devious 'Man' In The Seven Kingdoms
  • Birthday 11/25/1982

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  1. That is what we would assume there. Or do you think that dragonfire burns as hot never mind the medium it burns from? Within a dragon the temperatures are very high, and that allows to breathe very hot fire. But they stuff they ignite would then burn 'normally'. Dragonfire isn't wildfire which is a burning liquid. I can actually confirm that. But it is made of Valyrian steel and square-cut rubies. We have known that for a long time. I like the idea of the Conqueror's crown showing up again but chances are that Varys and Illyrio could not secure that. It was lost in Dorne. If anyone has it would be a Dornish house, most likely the Martells. And then it should have been a gift Mariah or Maron gave to Daeron II. Or Elia/Doran to Aerys/Rhaegar at the wedding. I speculated a little bit about the crowns above. Aenys' golden ornate crown could still be in the possession of the Iron Throne. The Conqueror's crown was lost and may have been destroyed - by breaking the rubies out of the ring of Valyrian steel, say, because the Dornishman claiming it wanted to make it to money. Jaehaerys I's crown seems to be lost, too. Rhaenyra sold it to the Braavosi captain who took her back to Dragonstone, and one assumes this man also had the means to remove the gemstones and melt the gold down. Aegon III's modest golden circlet may have been destroyed at Summerhall. Egg wore it again, after Aegon III and Viserys II, but Jaehaerys II wore the warrior-crown of Maekar I. That seems to indicate that the Iron Throne retained Aenys' ornate crown, Aegon IV's crown (worn by the Unworthy, Daeron II, Aerys I, and Aerys II), and Maekar's warrior-crown. The latter could be the crown Robert wore, if we assume he didn't have a new crown made (which we don't know, actually). Joffrey seems to have had a new golden crown, one that doesn't really fit Tommen as Cersei notes in AFfC. In that sense, I'd not be surprised if Aegon is going to pull either Aenys' ornate crown - which would likely please the Faith - or the Unworthy's dragon crown last worn by Aerys II out of one of those chests. But they could also be using a replica of the Conqueror's crown, of course. But then - if they have Blackfyre and/or Dark Sister they really don't need the Conqueror's crown in addition to that. Especially not if they have another genuine Targaryen crown. Aenys crowned himself with his father's crown but he later had a the same type of 'second coronation' in Oldtown as his father had had (and later Maegor, too, in a sense). The High Septon gave him his new crown, and most likely also crowned him with that crown when he anointed him king. Jaehaerys I seems to have been the first king who only had one coronation and was both crowned and anointed by the High Septon in that first coronation. That is how it should be. One assumes it was this way, too, with Viserys I. Aegon II and Rhaenyra were both neither crowned nor anointed by the High Septon.
  2. It would have been lords and their authorities, of course, who punished such crimes after the Faith had no longer the right to do that by its own authority, but it would still have been the doctrines and moral and spiritual authority of the Faith which would have defined such crimes and laid out the punishments. Just imagine some petty lord on the lands of Lord Ambrose Butterwell being caught abed with his sister or daughter. Who do you think would have told pious Lord Ambrose how to punish such abominable behavior? Aerea was too young to marry King Jaehaerys in 48-50 AC. But, sure, she could have become Jaehaerys' third wife eventually, just as it is not unlikely that a maiden Aerea would have become King Maegor's seventh wife had he lived long enough to marry her, too. Kings ruled both the religious and the worldly sphere after Maegor and Jaehaerys. But they did only make exceptions from religious laws for themselves and their own. They were not running around making exceptions for polygamous or incestuous smallfolk. Marriage is a matter of religion both in the North and the Andal kingdoms. It is something you need the gods and/or septons for. Kings cannot marry people to each other, only septons, priests, or the old gods can. In the North marriages are less sanctified than in the North. Ran/Linda speculated that in the North - as well as among the wildlings - divorce should be remarkably easy. There are no vows exchanged there that one man and one woman are married for life. But that still doesn't mean that marriage is a secular thing up there. There is no secular sphere in a medieval society. Religion is everywhere, it influences and shapes all the customs and laws of such a society. And when a king or a lord does something he, too, is doing that within the framework of his religious culture. The Targaryens only wanted exceptions for themselves in the whole incest thing - and that is very much a quasi-religious tradition within that family. In everything else they adopted Andal religion and culture. They changed a lot in that regard. We can be pretty sure that the dragonlords of Valyria would have laughed at those Targaryen calling themselves 'Ser', participating in savage and primitive tourneys, praying to those seven gods of the Andals, etc.
  3. Well, in a sense it could be both, right? After all, the Faith's prohibition about polygamy was in effect long before the Targaryens came, and they did not really change their views on that - or the incest thing. It is just that the Targaryens got away with incestuous marriages because they were 'special'. Incest is still a crime in Westeros, a crime I think the Targaryen kings could still allow the Faith and their own authorities to punish. For instance, I'm sure Aegon V could have not only persecuted Jaehaerys and Shaera for marrying without their leave he could have also punished them for committing incest. It seems that even Targaryens need royal permission to arrange and/or enter into those incestuous unions of theirs. And the same is clearly true for setting aside your wife - for which Prince Daemon needed and did not get the permission of his royal brother - or to take another wife (for which Daemon Blackfyre apparently would have needed the permission of either King Aegon or King Daeron). I don't think the Targaryens made a special law for themselves allowing incest and banning polygamy, or something of that sort, but rather that polygamy came up occasionally and was then - for various reasons - not allowed by the kings. Take Egg's decision not to arrange incestuous marriages for his children as another example. He didn't formally ban Targaryen incest, either, but he also did not arrange such marriages for his children. If we assume that Prince Duncan also shared his view on that, and if we assumed for a moment Duncan had married his Baratheon girl and succeeded Aegon V as king, then Targaryen incest may have become impossible by the time King Duncan died. Because nobody would have allowed Jaehaerys and Shaera or Aerys and Rhaella to marry each other, and Duncan would also not have arranged marriages between his children and grandchildren. But can we be sure - or rather: does it makes sense to assume - that the people at court blamed (Aegon's) polygamy for Maegor and the succession war? Wasn't that, you know, something for which the personality and character of Maegor is to blame? A man like Maegor would have tried to take the throne in any case, regardless whether he was the son of Visenya or the son of Rhaenys. The reason why I think quite a few people should have suggested to Jaehaerys I to follow in the footsteps of his royal grandfather and take both his sisters to wife also have to do with succession issues. Rhaena's daughters by Aegon have a better legal claim than Jaehaerys I, so it would be a good way to make them part of his family to prevent the issue from developing into a crisis. Not to mention that the Targaryen incest tradition suggests that a male Targaryen marry his elder sister - Rhaena in that case - not the younger sister Alysanne. In that sense one expects this scenario to come up in 48-50 AC and the author to give us a good reason as to why this wasn't done. Rhaena's wish to marry Androw Farman could be a reason why nothing came of that. And perhaps Jaehaerys and Alysanne also did not want him to have another wife, etc. But I really don't see why they should, at that point, consider that polygamy was a problem in itself. That is certainly true. At least while the dragons are around. Afterwards it would be much more difficult to push the Faith and the Realm at large to accept something completely out of the ordinary. People are accustomed to Targaryen incest, but not to polygamy. And a king can no longer point to a large dragon when he meets resistance from his lords, knights, or smallfolk. In that sense the balance of power would have been shifting back to the Faith - and, of course, the lords - during the later years of Targaryen reign, even if this was not really visible. The Faith wasn't controlled by brute force - or conciliatory tones behind which lurked brute force - but rather by corruption and money. A king like, say, Aegon V could never have gotten away with polygamy if the thing had caused a major scandal and an uprising. Well, technically a king could ignore or push aside any such laws anyway. No king is bound by some ancient law. But I really don't think they felt the need to issue such laws. After all, the Faith already forbid polygamy, and that would have been enough. Vice versa, there would also not have been a Targaryen law allowing Targaryens to arrange incestuous marriages. They just did that. Or rather - the kings did. The Velaryons apparently could not do that. Else Corlys Velaryon would most likely have betrothed Laena to Laenor rather than this Braavosi wastrel. Well, George would still be inconsistent with the way he describes things during the Dance, where Rhaenyra's three dragonriding sons are considered to be no match for Vhagar and the other Green dragonriders even if Caraxes and Meleys supported them. Which, by comparison, is very odd. And it is not that the plot has Vermithor and Silverwing challenge Balerion. We just have Lord Baratheon claim they could do that. The issue is the question whether this is a claim anyone could believe that claim. I'd say there is no chance that anyone could believe it. Now, insofar as the man just lays out that they have two dragons while Maegor has only one he is correct. Whether that gives them any real advantage in battle between dragons is a completely different point. If we consider that two dragons like Vermithor and Silverwing could have actually defeated Maegor on Balerion - by killing the rider - then it is even more odd that Dreamfyre and Rhaena were not with Aegon and Quicksilver at the Gods Eye. There is no explanation given as to why Rhaena and her dragon weren't there. Surely they must have known that Balerion and Maegor - and Vhagar and Visenya, too, by the way - might show up... I doubt that there were worldly laws regulating the marriages of the people. Those would have been religious laws. And we already know that the Faith's doctrines do not permit polygamy. In that sense, it was always not permitted unless you were a king who could get what he wanted there. But that essentially only First Men kings could. During the Andal days polygamy was essentially dead for the kings, too, until the Targaryens came. It could be, though, that Jaehaerys I and Alysanne also forbid polygamy to the Northmen. We don't know the Stark marriage customs prior to the Conquest but it is possible that quite a few of them had more than one wife when they felt like it. That could have ended with the Conquest and unification of the laws. But then, the fact that there was a Brandon Snow during the Conquest makes it likely that Torrhen's father had not been married to Brandon's mother.
  4. I'd say that is adding 'color' to the character. And strictly speaking, we still don't know that Bloodraven is a sorcerer and can wear a glamor to show up as one Ser Maynard Plumm, right? We would not expect to read stuff like that in a history book. In that sense, it is up to the reader to decide what sorcery Visenya could or couldn't work, and whether she was a sorceress at all. However, with 'Nightflyers' in mind I'd say the 'Maegor is her male clone' idea is something we can seriously consider. And the idea of the great Conqueror being sterile is just too tasty to dismiss, either. Aenys is the son of some blond mummer, and Maegor Visenya's male clone. As another magical feat we could, perhaps, also consider the death of King Aenys. If Aenys actually improved for a time after Visenya took over his care she may not have used poisons but rather magic to kill. Not to mention that she may have cursed him to make him sick in the first place, or something of that sort. She was confined to her quarters, after all. Really not sure about that. It would depend on the sizes of the dragons, and one assumes they were all significantly smaller in 48 AC than Quicksilver was at her death. And we have to consider not just the dragons but the riders. Do we really think the 12-year-old Alysanne could have stood (or rather flown against) Balerion the Black Dread? And I'd not holding my breath for Jaehaerys, either. Both children wouldn't have been experienced dragonriders at this point, since they had been in hiding for a couple of years - assuming they were dragonriders while they were hiding (which some people are willing to doubt). I give it to you that Dreamfyre and Rhaena could have been big and experienced enough to dare attack Balerion directly. But then Dreamfyre would have died like Meleys did - or Moondancer. Sunfyre-Moondancer very much shows that the larger dragon will always defeat the smaller. Even Daemon had to use a suicidal ruse to bring down Vhagar. And he was a very experienced dragonrider, riding a dragon half the size of Vhagar. Even if we imagined Rhaena, Jaehaerys, Alysanne, and their dragons to be some experienced team of dragonriders who can coordinate their attacks precisely and thus make use of the mobility and speed of the younger dragons, we know that the armor of older dragons is harder and the fires of older dragons burn hotter. They might be able to fly away from Balerion, but they could never bring him down. Perhaps - perhaps they could kill Maegor on Balerion, but even that would have been a suicidal attack. Would Alyssa Velaryon allow her children to do something like that? Could they risk to kill their young pretender like that? Maegor did make short work out of Aegon and Quicksilver... In that sense - no, I find the idea that Dreamfyre, Vermithor, and Silverwing were a threat to Maegor pretty much ridiculous. Especially in light of the fear and caution Vhagar provokes in Rhaenyra's people during the Dance. She was smaller than Balerion, and Rhaenyra's larger dragons - Meleys, Caraxes, Syrax - were all larger than Jaehaerys' dragons could have been in 48 AC. But the issue here is not just the fact that Balerion should have been able to defeat those pet dragons, but also the idea that Maegor should have been desperate or even suicidal while he still had Balerion. Balerion is really a super weapon. Perhaps other dragons could threaten him, but if Maegor felt that was the case he was not forced to engage them in a fight. He could just take Balerion and burn essentially all the castles of all the rebels, beginning at Storm's End and Riverrun. And if he had the good sense to just show those would-be rebels his dragons quite a few - or perhaps all of them - would rather quickly realize that Maegor Targaryen was the rightful king after all. Even if they did not do that he could have done what Aemond did during the Dance. Show the Realm that the pretender on the Iron Throne cannot protect the people from his wrath. If Balerion burned scores and villages and towns the people would inevitably turn against Jaehaerys and his new government. And then Maegor could come back. This is an important point, and actually part of the reason why I find it odd that powerful lords did not try to follow in Aegon's and Maegor's footsteps after the Faith was finally broken. I mean, those men practice ridiculous stuff like the First Night. They really like to have a lot of women. Why not have multiple wives, too? If they were so willing to marry their daughters to a polygamist it is odd that they did not also like the idea themselves. Lord Celtigar gives the impression that taking more than one wife is completely normal. Thinking about the First Night - could there be a chance that Alysanne really had issues with this polygamy thing? I could see her pushing her sons and grandsons to best bury that idea very deep.
  5. The difference is important in the sense that condemning something as incest - and calling the people doing it abominations - is remarkable different from just saying something along the lines of 'our institution wouldn't look on this kind of thing with favor'. It is pretty clear that the avuncular marriage thing was the pretext used, but it is not the type of incest - if we want to count it as a degree of incest as Ran suggests above - that causes you or the children of such a union to be considered abominations.
  6. That is certainly something that should be done. And if @Ran doesn't do that I urge people to pester George with this stuff on conventions and the like. Those are not just minor inconsistencies. But a way to deal with this stuff - and to address the whole polygamy thing, too - could be to actually work with the fictional setting of this 'Fire and Blood' history: TWoIaF established that Maester Yandel found Gyldayn's manuscripts in the Citadel and is transcribing them. That would mean that in-universe he is very likely the editor of the first volume of 'Fire and Blood'. That could put him into the position of writing not just an editorial or preface - where he could tell us the history of the work, give a short biography of Gyldayn, etc. - but also allow him to comment on unclear, problematic, or controversial sections of Gyldayn's history. There could be sidebars or footnotes written by Gyldayn where he references his own scholarly work or quotes the work of other scholars to put Gyldayn into perspective. This could make the actual work much more interesting than just the Gyldayn text. And I really don't care who would write Yandel in that setting. Could be Ran/Linda, Anne, or George himself. I just want that the errors, inconsistencies, plot holes, etc. are corrected in a way that actually counts as canon. And I don't think it is too much to ask for this. It is not that hard to do that. Oh, and by the way - if anyone wants to paint Maegor as an evil incestuous dude: What about a rumor that Maegor shared Visenya's bed while Aegon and Aenys where on their royal progresses? Such things could really add fuel to 'Maegor, the incest monster', much better than the Maegor-Rhaena marriage ever could. As to the Dornish Poor Fellows: A great way to get them into the story could be to make a considerable chunk the Vulture King's rabble Dornish Poor Fellows... If many of those were killed during the battles that could explain why they essentially were a non-issue afterwards and then, presumably, quietly disappeared after the High Septon formally disbanded them. Well, it would great to actually get empirical evidence for that. Alyssa Velaryon marrying Aenys Targaryen gives the Targaryens Velaryon blood but not vice versa. If the last Targaryen marrying into House Velaryon prior to Princess Rhaenys marrying Corlys Velaryon was the Targaryen mother of Valaena Velaryon (and possibly Daemon Velaryon) then the Targaryens did not exactly intermarry with the Velaryons all that often. In that sense the claim that Laenor Velaryon had the blood of the dragon on both sides it rather questionable. We would also not say that a hypothetical son of Daenerys Targaryen and Quentyn Martell or Brown Ben Plumm would have 'the blood of the dragon on both sides', or would we? If half a dozen or so daughters of House Targaryen married into House Velaryon prior to the Conquest such a claim would make sense, but as of yet we have no evidence for that. The issue with Ottoman succession seems to be that there was no right of primogeniture there, and it was really that 'the strongest should rule'. Every son basically had the same blood claim, so things had to be fought out. But that kind of thing did also happen among the Merovingian and Carolingian kings. The issue there was not so much polygamy, it seems to me, but simply the custom to split up the lands and holdings of the father - essentially the kingdom - between the sons. The High Septon wasn't the brother of Lord Hightower but the brother of Lady Hightower, Ceryse's maternal uncle. I'd say we can say that the High Septon's own interest in this whole thing would have been to use the 'mind incest accusation' as a means to convince Aegon to marry his niece to his second son. Whether he, personally, cared about avuncular marriages all that much is unclear. I could see him being pragmatic about that. But we do know that the Most Devout and the Faith as an institution were very much against this incest thing, and an avuncular marriage in a family of people who prefer sibling incest - and cannot do it right now because there are no sisters - really sends the message that those people really want to continue their incestuous ways. The Aenys-Alyssa marriage already sent that message. She was picked as a bride for Aenys because she was, presumably, the most closely related female cousin.
  7. Sure, my pointing out of this fact is pointing out an inconsistency in the text. It may be that there is a reason as to why Viserys - while dragonless - did not claim his father's dragon. But then I want to see that reason be given in the text. Else the whole thing is a plot hole. And a rather glaring plot hole at that. Could be, but Alyssa did not hide on Driftmark, did she? And a dragon could have greatly helped the campaign of her son, not to mention keeping her and her other children safe. Sure, could have been a gamble. But Alyssa would have been the person Quicksilver would have been closest after Aenys. Surely Aenys took her along on the dragon's back occasionally. And it is not that she had no Targaryen blood or anything. She may have had more than Addam and Alyn of Hull who were just Corlys Velaryon's sons. I've read the suggestion that they might have claimed their dragons later, after the escape from Dragonstone. But quite honestly, that doesn't make a lot of sense - and if it was the case it should be a plot point in that story, not just happening off page. The fact that this is not mentioned constitutes another plot hole. As does the fact that Alyssa and her children could escape by ship without being discovered by Tyanna and Maegor in the years to come. Sailors talk, and if Tyanna can find Aerea and Rhaella it would be very odd that she could not find people essentially hiding in Maegor's backyard. It gets more glaring if they also hid with Vermithor and Silverwing, but even without the dragons it is somewhat of a stretch. But one assumes that Quicksilver was still chained while King Aenys was still alive, right? So who do you think would have given the order to unchain her? But Quicksilver couldn't have known any of that, could she? I mean, sure, perhaps dragons can feel the need and other emotions of their riders over (long) distances. There are hints in that direction with Aegon and Sunfyre, Dreamfyre and Helaena, and perhaps even Syrax and Rhaenyra (Rhaenyra's anger and grief over Joffrey's death might have led to Syrax's apparent suicide). However, we have no reason whatsoever to believe that a dragon feels or cares about the emotions of people he is not bonded with. And by the way - there is no hint whatsoever that there were dragons with Aegon and Rhaena at Crakehall. Dreamfyre sort of must have been there but if she had been there then Aegon and Rhaena would never have been besieged, right? They could have used her to attack the Poor Fellows or to fly away like Aegon the Elder fled from the Battle of the Gullet. Or at least Rhaena could have flown away to get help. That nothing of that sort happened or is discussed in the story is another plot hole. There are certain ways how to resolve this - but that's something the author should do. I like speculating a lot, but I don't like to explain away plot holes. And nothing indicates Aegon already had Quicksilver when they went to Casterly Rock. They are still animals. George makes it very clear that Balerion is no match for a dragon like Smaug because, you know, Smaug can talk. Smaug is intelligent. Balerion is an animal. A magical animal, true, but still an animal. Sure, that is a possibility. But if that's what happened then I'd like George to tell me ;-).
  8. Valaena Velaryon definitely had a Targaryen mother, since that's also mentioned in the published version of the history of the Conquest. I doubt that was an error there. The idea that Conquest-Daemon and Valaena were siblings makes sense to me. Aethan could then be Daemon's son, about the same age as the Targaryen siblings, or slightly younger. Ser Corlys Velaryon could be Aethan's younger brother. In that sense, Aenys and Alyssa would be cousins two ways - second cousins through Daemon and Valaena who were siblings, and then cousins of unknown degree on the Targaryen side due to the fact that Valaena's Targaryen mother would also have been some relation of Daemion's. Well, if something like that happened then the Targaryen lady could indeed be also a more distant relation, sure. That is unfortunate to hear. Can you at least address some of the inconsistencies with George and ask him for his private thoughts on the Quicksilver matter? That is really driving me nuts. It would also make sense to know whether Prince Aegon and Prince Viserys actually did not have any dragons - and if that was so, why the hell it was the case.
  9. Just to clarify - do you think Jaime would have been Hand if Ned had declined? That is by no means clear. The conversation between Jaime and Cersei Bran overhears indicates that it was equally likely from their point of view that Robert might have named Stannis, Renly, or Littlefinger. Robert later threatens Ned to name Jaime in his place but that is a threat to keep him in line, not necessarily a reflection of his actual plans. Well, the intention of the letter is pretty clear. Lysa praises Littlefinger as being clever when she mentions the letter in ASoS. There was a purpose to the letter, and it was not to warn anyone. After all, they had killed Jon Arryn, so why on earth should they warn anyone about the Lannisters? You don't have to be a genius to pick up on the Stark-Lannister tensions nor to predict what one of Jon Arryn's best friends would do if he had reason to believe the man had been murdered by the Lannisters. Again, what makes you think Jaime would have been Hand? Littlefinger neither foresaw nor planned Tyrion's arrest. And it is that thing that triggers the entire war. He fueled suspicions, but it is Tywin and Catelyn who begin that war. The whole thing puts the Starks at a disadvantage - if things had gone differently, if Cat had never met Tyrion on the road, then Tywin might have stayed out of the whole thing for quite some time. Note that it is indeed the letter that makes Ned accept Robert's offer. He intended to decline it prior to the letter, no matter the offer to marry Sansa to Joffrey or Catelyn's ambitions. If Littlefinger wanted Ned not to become Hand he would have had Lysa to write a rather different letter, one that would really convince them to stay away from court. No, I'm saying that Littlefinger wanted Ned to be Hand, and that's what he got. He was not dependent on that happening, of course. But it is what he wanted to happen. I don't know. Perhaps the Targaryen situation? Dany's wedding plans? Stannis' retreat to Dragonstone? Joffrey isn't a murderer. He never kills anyone with his own hands. He is the one who got drunk, though, isn't he? You do know that Joffrey was actually trying to do the right thing there, right? His royal father had said the Stark boy should be taken out of his misery, and that's what Joffrey tried to do in his own way. It was a mercy killing, a kindness, not the deeded of twisted and evil mind. Note that the dagger actually belonged to King Robert. Now, what do you think would have happened if Littlefinger had told Ned that, and if Ned had later confronted Robert about that? What would Robert have done when he had realized that Joffrey may have taken the dagger and tried to kill his best friend's son on the basis of something he, Robert, had said? How long would Ned have remained Hand in such a scenario...? Littlefinger keeps the Starks on edge - after all, Cersei is actually plotting to get Ned killed - without getting them to do anything foolish. For the time being Stannis would have been the heir presumptive, and arresting/executing Cersei, Jaime, and the children would have meant war with Casterly Rock. How likely is it that the fat drunkard Robert would have survived another war? Well, I'm sure Littlefinger wanted Robert to die eventually. With Ned as Lord Regent he could have become the Hand at his side, say, and then he could have gotten Dragonstone,or some other great seat they were freeing from their previous owner while fighting to keep King Joffrey and subsequently King Renly on the throne. When she showed up at court, of course. I think you realize that he made advances there, at least originally, but realized very quickly that things were not going as he would like them to go. In a sense, he did. He did everything he could to keep him in the city, he helped him to figure out the twincest without spilling the beans himself, and when Robert died he actually made a good suggestion as to how they should proceed. What do you think Littlefinger would have done if Ned had accepted his offer? Do you think he would have betrayed him then, too?
  10. Well, because he also wanted to exploit them, of course. The dagger lie helps him to get them to trust him. But he makes it clear he doesn't want them to act on that. He doesn't tell them about the twincest because he doesn't want Stannis to succeed Robert. And that's also the reason why he eventually betrays Ned because Ned simply insist to make Stannis the next king. And to be clear - I think Littlefinger wanted to replace Ned and marry Cat after he had gotten a great lordship. That would have been his original goal. Lysa was just plan B. But when he realized Cat wasn't interested, and when he saw Sansa for the first time he had a new plan. And in that plan Ned might not need to die. If Ned had gone along with his Joffrey-Renly plan he would have helped install Ned as the Lord Regent, in exchange for sharing his power at the very top and, of course, Sansa's hand. And then they would have been family. They could have actually worked together, as ridiculously as this sounds from our POV.
  11. That is what one would expect. @The Grey Wolf Aside from the Quicksilver conundrum and the dragonrider problem I find the account of the events at Oldtown to be the most incoherent. We get no ultimatum triggering the death of the High Septon, no talk about a Targaryen army in the Reach, etc. While it makes technically sense that Vhagar and Balerion could have subdued Oldtown, the people in the city must have known that Maegor was coming to act, and they must have acted expecting that killing the High Septon and yielding the city would make a difference. For that they need an ultimatum. And if Maegor and Visenya only showed up with their dragons then they would be completely helpless and vulnerable once they were separated from them. Or are we to expect that they just accepted the word of the Oldtowners and Hightowers that they were yielding. Raising the Targaryen banner doesn't mean you are honestly supporting the Targaryens, either. They must have brought an army of considerable size that's nowhere mentioned. That's where the Tyrells could come in, by the way, since they are very likely to side with their Targaryen overlords in this situation to ensure that they can keep Highgarden. Thus they could have raised 10,000 or more men to sack Oldtown on Maegor's command, if necessary. As to Maegor's personality, I think most of his less monstrous actions are things Visenya told him to do. One should expect Maegor to have wanted to burn down all of Oldtown and Visenya convincing him to give them an ultimatum and allow the Warriors's Sons to take the black, etc. Still, it is actually odd that Oldtown wasn't burned. The Sept of Remembrance was burned, too, and there is really no reason given why Maegor thought this was necessary. And later Visenya and Maegor both burned dozens of castles. But there are actually hints that the man was completely nuts. Note those 'half a year of trials and executions' that followed the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye? That makes it likely that Maegor had thousands of people executed, effectively - if not in reality - extinguishing quite a few houses. The idea he originally had might have been to treat the houses of all the people fighting with Aegon the way he later treated the Harroways. The absence of the Vale is really odd in the story. The Reach is the heart of chivalry, but the Vale the oldest Andal kingdom. There should be quite some pious people over there, and we know that the Warrior's Sons had a chapter there. A fleet controlled by Warrior's Sons could have attacked KL, or something like that. His reaction to the child of Alys seems to be a hint that he really loved that woman. The same wasn't really true for Jeyne and Elinor.
  12. That is why I pointed out that the suggestion that Jaehaerys I marry both his sisters should have been a very popular/compelling suggestion in 48 AC. Neither Maegor's nor Aegon's polygamy did immediately cause a succession crisis, nor did Maegor and his adviser see that problem when they had the council that led to the black brides marriage. After the Dance we can say that too many women and too many children, etc. can greatly fuel succession struggles. But the persons to blame for the wars after the death of Aenys should be Visenya, Maegor, and the Faith Militant - not polygamy. If Rhaenyra had been married to both Laenor Velaryon and Harwin Strong then the succession of Driftmark may have been somewhat murky but Rhaenyra was the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne - and thus her trueborn children would be her heirs, never mind who was the father of the children. As I've said, I think there are hints that remarriage became an unofficial taboo for a Targaryen who already had heirs. Else it is very likely that both Viserys II and Maekar would have remarried. You do not marry for love, you marry for matters of state. And if you are in line to the throne or even the king then you have a moral duty to give the Realm also a queen. In a sense, he just did that. After all, legitimizing a bastard is essentially declaring that the child is trueborn. And that means that the parents were married. No, polygamy was rare even in Valyria. It was not as common as incestuous marriage and mostly practiced by those mysterious sorcerer princes. The only polygamous Targaryen aside from Aegon and Maegor seems to be Aenar the Exile. He supposedly brought all his wives to Dragonstone. As I've said, there has to be some explanation why polygamy fell out of favor. I'm not saying it has to be some law or decree, but rather a succession of situations where people entertain it and then dismiss it. Best would be if people actually were more horrified by polygamy than incest, so that the Targaryens simply were less inclined to push that issue. But especially during the dragon days the issue must have come up when there was a conundrum that could have actually have been resolved by polygamy. And those issues were obviously there - Prince Aemon could have done fine with a second wife (to get a son), Daemon could have been happy, Viserys I could have gotten a son, Rhaenyra could have been happier with a gay and a straight husband, etc. I think the wildling customs can't be cited as being relevant in the North. And strictly speaking we don't know whether the ancient First Men kings in the North had multiple wives as certain Gardener and Durrandon kings. It is not unlikely but as of yet unconfirmed. For instance, it is pretty clear that cousin marriages among nobles are a non-issue in the North. Even avuncular marriages might be acceptable. That kind of thing seems to be very unpopular among the wildlings. Rhoynar culture in Dorne is monogamous. You can have paramours and bastards but those are then paramours and bastards. The Andals seem to have been monogamous at least since they began their migration to Westeros. They have stories about Hugor having a lot of wives but those seem to be comparable to stories about fertility deities. The condemnation of incest - both in Westeros as well as in primitive real world cultures - actually seems to be overwhelming religious/superstitious rather than founded in empirical knowledge. That is especially the case for continuous inbreeding. No on in Roman Egypt told the people there not to marry their sisters because that would cause problem for their descendants, nor did anyone advise the royal and noble families of Europe to stop their inbreeding. They had no idea that this was causing problems. If a child was sick then this was an individual issue, god cursing the child, or demons or unclean spirits possessing them.
  13. How do you know that it is not Littlefinger's goal to make Ned the Hand. Littlefinger and Lysa know Cat. They can guess at the fact that she would like her husband to be the Hand, and they can predict what she would tell him after she reads the letter. The point of the letter - or Littlefinger's entire scheming in AGoT - is to make Ned the Hand. And, presumably, to get Cat to KL, too, so that he can finally continue their relationship. He has no idea about there is a 'replacement Cat' in Sansa up there. If Ned had stayed up in the North whatever tensions there were between him and the Lannisters would have been completely irrelevant. The Starks would have continued to be a non-player in the political sphere. In the long run, Littlefinger doesn't really want to cause a war between Casterly Rock and Winterfell. He wants to advance himself. For the last decade he did that with the help of Lysa and Jon Arryn. Now he intends to do it with the help of Catelyn and Eddard Stark. He can also work with the Lannisters, of course, but they are not his favorite allies. He actually wanted to work with Ned and Cat. If Ned and Cat's marriage had been as happy as Jon and Lysa's - and Cat had given him any indication that she was willing to continue the romance he believed they had had, once - then Lord Petyr Baelish may have ended at Cat's side as Lord Protector of the North instead of the Lord Protector of the Vale. I know that, but what on earth makes you think Littlefinger - who never even met Ned - would have the same (likely correct) assessment of the situation. And, you know, depending how this Bran thing had went Ned sure as hell could have decided to resign as Hand. That would have been within his rights. Well, Renly surely showed up for some reason in the party there. Cersei would have been curious to find out what was going on. She could not afford to hang out with children the entire day. Sandor being absent is odd but one assumes that Sandor would actually have been the one to kill Sansa on Cersei's orders should Cersei and Joffrey truly have wanted Sansa dead. Cersei would never give such a task to Joffrey. Joff isn't smart enough for such a plan. Nor at this point corrupted enough. He honestly wanted to find and visit the place where his daddy Robert slew Rhaegar Targaryen. There is nothing mysterious about that.
  14. Oh, those are two levels. I maintain the position that both Prince Aegon and Prince Viserys should have had dragons. But assuming they had not I think it makes more sense to assume that a dragonless Prince Viserys would claimed Quicksilver than to assume the dragon searched for Prince Aegon all by himself. George usually has his characters act as if they were real people, and if you think how many people came forth to try to claim dragons during the Dance the idea that Alyssa did not consider her late husband's dragon when she fled is simply not very likely. Hell, as a Velaryon she could have claimed Quicksilver herself. Or she could at least have tried. Since we know that the younger Jaehaerys and Alysanne as well as the elder Rhaena all had dragons would make that very odd. It could make sense if there hadn't been any dragons around in the years of the childhood of those two princes. But there were. Well, wouldn't she then have gone to Driftmark where Alyssa and the other Targaryens she knew went? In addition, don't you think Quicksilver was chained at Dragonstone? Aenys would have brought her with him to Dragonstone and to our knowledge dragons were usually chained in or close to castles. Hours are more than enough time for that. Visenya would take hours to reach Pentos and then she and Maegor would also need hours to return. Could very well be. But unlike Arya and Sansa Visenya and Rhaenys are both very beautiful. Visenya is just less charming due to her personality but she doesn't have a horse face or anything. But there is talk about Visenya and Rhaenys competing for the attention of their brother-husband, etc. But as I usually say when we discuss those incest romances - those people are both romantic lovers and siblings. There is some sort of weird romantic bond there, but there is also a bond between siblings. That can make things very worse if the sibling relationship is totally fucked up, but it could also help them to relate on a different level. Visenya and Rhaenys competing for Aegon isn't the same as, say, Alys and Tyanna competing for Maegor... It can be seen as such. How much Visenya cared about such slights depends how strongly she was emotionally involved in that. Did she feel slighted by Aegon and Rhaenys or not? Did she actually want to marry Aegon at her own heart or was she, too, only following tradition by entering into this incestuous marriage? We don't know. I think the most hilarious line in TSotD is Visenya calling Aegon 'my love'. She didn't love that man. It is a fiction she maintained for the public. TSotD sort of hints at the motivation as to why Visenya was finally compelled to create this 'male clone' of hers through sorcery. Aenys' health really deteriorated in the wake Rhaenys' death in Dorne in 10 AC, and her own position as queen was also in danger when the lords pushed Aegon to take another wife. Thus the motivation to create Maegor would have been both to have a spare in case Aenys should follow his mother into the grave - which seemed to be very likely at the time - as well as to ensure that Aegon doesn't push her aside for a younger and beautiful queen. One who might also be fertile. The fact that Maegor is five years younger than Aenys is also very telling in this regard. It doesn't seem that Visenya felt a strong need to produce children for Aegon - not the natural way, not the adulterous way (as Rhaenys may have done), not the magical way. She only did that when she had to. And I think Maegor may have really trapped her there. Once she had a son - who may have been herself in a male body - she could not help but very much care for him, overlook his flaws, doing everything in her power to help his career, etc. Could very well be. But I think Visenya deteriorated to the corpse queen she later become - in the end she is only a fraction better than Maegor and Tyanna - over time. Sort of like Tywin actually had a sense of humor once, in his youth, and grew sterner and harder as the years part. In that sense Visenya might be somewhat comparable to Viserys III who, according to Ran, was remarkable different as a youth from the cold and calculating Hand and king he later became. Any chance you might sort of retroactively retcon Alyssa into having a Targaryen mother due to the sentence in TWoIaF? Lord Aerion certainly could have had a sister the age of Visenya, who was married to Aethan Velaryon around the time of the Conquest... The idea that the Targaryens should be down to exactly three people by the time of the Conquest always felt odd to me. At least without a good explanation as to why that is the case. I think Maegor's end causes a massive motivational problem. He simply wasn't finished. He still had Balerion. The idea of a depression or some cognitive problems could have caused him to lose hope, but the real madman in this context is Lord Baratheon who actually tries to sell his men the idea that Vermithor and Silverwing (and Dreamfyre) could stand against Balerion. They could not. And people would have known that. Public opinion could have turned against Maegor - and Maegor himself could have been afraid - if Vermithor, Silverwing, Dreamfyre, and Vhagar stood against him. But for that somebody in camp Jaehaerys would have to claim Vhagar... A really great way to resolve the Balerion thing could also be the rumor or report that Maegor tried to find or mount his dragon to burn his enemies at Storm's End - or wherever - and he could either not find or not mount Balerion because he evaded or rejected him. No idea whether this could work within George's framework of dragonlore - that's why it could just be a rumor - but it would be a nice possible explanation as to why Maegor did not use his dragon against Jaehaerys. The consensus among the debaters here on the basis of TSotD seems to be that Maegor was actually murdered - most likely by those four Kingsguard acting in concert -, and did not commit suicide. It would be greatly appreciated if the piece could have been enlarged some what, adding more details - especially on the whole Prince Aegon story -, as well as actually giving us more competing accounts and actually mentioning some sources. 'Fire and Blood' is going to stand as a book, and the later, more detailed accounts should fit well together with TSotD. In light of the fact of the missing dragonfire campaign against the Reach - Visenya burned the Riverlands, not the Reach - it might also be fun to see an Osgrey mentioned when they turn against the Reach. The same would also go on the history of Aegon's reign. The account on the Conquest is a very good read the way it is. But it covers only two years.
  15. Perhaps she tried and it didn't work? Perhaps she and Ceryse were truly barren while Alys, Elinor, and Jeyne were not? Perhaps she could help Maegor over come his fertility problem - he must have had real issues conceiving children or else he would have had at least a couple of bastards to legitimize - but could not repair herself? We know that magic comes at a cost, do we not? I'm pretty sure Melisandre is also unable to give birth to normal children... Ask Maegor. I'm sure he'll at least hear you out... Honestly, what is the point of that kind of question? We don't know how Maegor did that, and you do know that, right? Ser Morgan was quickly killed by Ser Joffrey's people after he had received his royal pardon. He didn't marry nor did he father any children. Are you sure that Maegor would not behead ravens? There are no 'secular bannermen' in this world. The Andals all follow the Seven. There are just lords that are more pious and those who are less pious. And there are those who refused to get involved in this struggle - that's what most of the really great houses did. The men fighting with Maegor were mostly Targaryen men. The only time some really prominent houses involved themselves in the war was during the campaign against Prince Aegon. Then the Tullys showed their faces. But they did not march against the Faith Militant. Sure, because the Hightowers - and perhaps even Ser Morgan himself - killed the High Septon. Sounds convincing to me. I was wondering about that. I'm very tempted to answer the same way I do to @Jaak's question. We don't know, is the answer to the first question. The same to the second question. We don't know anything about their childhood nor about the circumstances leading up to or around their wedding. I assume that Rhaenys, Aegon, Visenya, and the entire court and Realm - aside from the people who still wanted the Targaryens gone - rejoiced when Aenys was born. Aegon needed an heir, so this would have been a very happy day. Visenya may have been somewhat unhappy that she wasn't the mother of the heir but the important point at that time would have been that they finally had an heir. And when Rhaenys died we know that both Visenya and Aegon were very angry. I think Aegon would have been more angry than Visenya since he was the one who really loved her very deeply, but she was still Visenya's sister. And even if Visenya had resented her with all her heart - for which there is no indication - then this would have been still a severe blow to House Targaryen and thus an issue that would cause her distress. Just as Tyrion's abduction did for Tywin. Septon Murmison was the Hand of the King. He wanted to serve and please King Aenys. There is no indication that he was forced to marry Aegon to Rhaena. Back on Dragonstone whatever septons were there would have been exotic priests from a foreign land - this Westeros across the Narrow Sea. Prior to the Conquest Aegon wasn't the King of the Andals. Later he was. When Aegon and Aenys were Kings of the Andals it makes sense for them to want to marry the Andal way. But back on Dragonstone it is about as likely that they would want to be married by a priest who considered their marriage habits blasphemy as it is that the average Braavosi would go to the Sept-Beyond-the-Sea to get married. It seems that Henry VIII and the Anglican Church are pretty much the historical inspiration for this conflict. The Faith essentially became the Anglican Church after Maegor broke it, and the High Septon is essentially little more than the Archbishop of Canterbury - at least until the High Sparrow takes over. However, the analogy doesn't fit perfectly. The High Septon loses a lot of real political power but he - and not the king - is formally still the head of the Faith. The Targaryen kings did not make themselves the heads of the Faith, thus uniting worldly and spiritual power in their hands. In that sense the High Septon always kept the foundation and legitimation of his ancient powers and authority, and thus the present High Septon can restore that power.