Lord Varys

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  1. That isn't the thing. Cersei is the one in charge of the relationship. She makes the advances, she allows Jaime to seduce, touch, kiss, pleasure her. Cersei also uses Jaime's lust for her to get what she wants when she wants something - but she doesn't only have sex with Jaime when she wants something of him. She very much loves the guy. Cersei and Jaime had sex since they were 6-7 years old. Back then they innocently explored their sexuality. This was not some kind of manipulation game. Cersei only later grew resentful of Jaime's privileged life when she experienced firsthand how much differently he, as a male, was treated in this world. Cersei disguised herself as Jaime in their childhood, playing the part of a boy a couple of times. One has also to keep in mind that Cersei is under a lot of pressure and stress since we first meet her. She needs all the help she can get, and she has every right to expect that her twin brother and lover stands at her side. He is the father of her children - by his own volition. He wanted to fuck her and make some little Lannister bastards. That isn't their first time. Their first time was in their childhood. Jaime is her twin brother. He is her first and deepest love. Even if ended their on-and-off relationship (they wouldn't have had much sex while Jaime was squire at Crakehall, nor later on after Jaime joined Aerys II's Kingsguard) they would always have jumped on the chance to fuck each other when they had the opportunity. They could have both learned to love their spouses, but considering their innate narcissism they would, most likely, have never been enough. Rhaegar looked great, but he wasn't exactly the kind of character a woman like Cersei would be happy with. At least not for long. However, if they lived apart from each other for years and decades their bond may have lessened, overtime. But I don't think they would have ever completely severed it. They are not just lovers, they are twins. Cersei also never knew Prince Rhaegar. She loved him about as deeply as Sansa loved Joffrey or Loras. Most likely even less, considering that they would have met only a few times and then during formal occasions. Cersei was only about ten years old when King Aerys II rejected Cersei as bride for Prince Rhaegar - who also happened to be seven years older than Cersei. How much in love with Rhaegar could a preteen girl have possibly been?
  2. Oh, my mistake. I misremembered the numbers. But the general point was that of 55,000 enemy fighters only a tiny fraction died in the Field of Fire. This was neither a slaughter nor a particularly bloody battle. It was a powerful and intimidating show of force and strategic acumen, but not cruel and bloody. It established Aegon as a man worthy of being the king of a united Realm. Who wouldn't want to swear fealty to a bad ass like that?
  3. That is all not proof. Proof is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence. That is not what we have, and that is not what the people of Westeros have. I very much believe that Jon Snow is Rhaegar's son by Lyanna. And I'm also pretty sure they were married. What I don't believe is that the people knowing about that can be considered proof that's going to convince many people. If people don't take Stannis' word that his nephews and niece are abominations and bastards then why on earth should anybody listen to Howland Reed, Wylla, or some Daynes? Not to mention nonsensical/esoteric stuff like prophecies and dreams. Sure, Daenerys will love and marry Jon, that was obvious from the start. The blue flower and the wall of ice shows up in the vision triplet dealing with Dany's husbands. But this doesn't have to mean that Dany and her dragons have anything to do with 'proving' Jon Snow's true parentage. Nor is it necessary for them to know or care about their close kinship or Jon's true identity when they are fucking each other's brains out. They can do all that just because they are teenagers. Jon is very likely no lie in 'the Slayer of Lies' triplet. Those lies seem to be enemies or adversaries or rivals of Daenerys - Stannis, Aegon, and the shadow beast. I assume it is the same lies three times - Stannis claims to be the savior of mankind, and he isn't, Aegon will claim that he is the savior of mankind (as Rhaegar's son, the promised prince) which is not going to be true (either because he isn't Rhaegar's son or because Rhaegar was wrong in his belief that Aegon was the promised prince), and whoever the shadow beast is (Euron, perhaps?) might also claim to save Westeros from the Others, etc. Varys has brown eyes. There are official illustrations of the man, drawn as per George's own descriptions. Could very well be. It is a pity that Kevan saw no silver-golden stubble on Varys' head. That's actually wrong. The indication we have is that Illyrio is the one in charge, and Varys is the one executing his directives. At least that's how it seems to be in AGoT when Arya overhears their conversation. Illyrio is also the guy managing the Targaryens in exile, the Dothraki, the Golden Company, and Aegon. He is the one overseeing the crucial parts of the real plan, the plan that has yet to be implemented. Varys is just the guy collecting data and confusing/manipulating the enemy. That doesn't mean Illyrio and Varys are not essentially equal partners or that Varys isn't the genius who made Illyrio the man he is today. However, chances are pretty good that Illyrio is the father of the entire Aegon plan. The boy is likely his son. Varys may have decided to go along with it and help him because he wants to use Aegon as a means to an end to create a lasting peace. That is just a lot of speculation. There is no reason to assume that Saera Targaryen had any children, nor that any children she may have were the ancestors of Illyrio's Serra. Nor is it very likely that there would be any meaningful connection between Serra and her distant ancestor Saera if that was the case. There is also no reason to assume Varys and Serra are related, never mind that they are from the same place. I mean, Varys and Illyrio rose to power and prominence long before Illyrio bought and married the Serra woman. Why didn't they look for Varys' sister earlier? Why did Varys go to KL to serve Aerys instead of looking for his sister? If she was in Lys it shouldn't have been all that difficult to find her. Chances are that Illyrio never really loved the Serra woman, and only married her to ensure that his son Aegon was accepted as his legitimate son and legal heir by the authorities of Pentos. Sure, they did. Maelys the Monstrous was the last Blackfyre pretender and the last Blackfyre. Afterwards there were just Blackfyre descendants through the female line who simply aren't Blackfyres. As far as we know Myles Toyne and Harry Strickland are both no Blackfyre descendants, either. They controlled the Golden Company after Maelys - and Toyne isn't likely to have been Maelys' immediate successor. They may have been 1-2 captain-general between Maelys and Toyne. Actually, Varys was personally in Lys when he and Illyrio made their pact with Connington and Toyne and handed little Aegon over to Connington. There is no reason no evidence for any of that, nor any reason to assume it might be the case. We don't know how old Varys is (I assume he was at least in his mid-twenties in 278 AC) but we do know that Illyrio Mopatis controls and directs the Golden Company, not Varys. LOL, no. If anyone is Calla Blackfyre and Bittersteel descendant it is Illyrio, not Varys. Illyrio is the father of Aegon, not Varys. Going through Serra is just overly complicated and still doesn't explain why the hell Illyrio - the one actually living and loving Aegon - enacts this mad plan which permanently separates him from his only child. The idea that Illyrio would do that kind of thing because his dead wife (and best friend) would ask him to is just silly. Why on earth should that man care that Serra and Varys want to put his son on the Iron Throne? Illyrio Mopatis is a Pentoshi. Aegon's future should be in Pentos (or Essos) not in savage Westeros. That is not there makes only sense if Illyrio himself is invested in Westeros. And that he is. The man speaks the Common Tongue, hangs out with Westerosi, etc. You don't have to make up numbers like that. If it was that easy, everybody would know who the hell this Varys chap was (or Illyrio, as in my scenario). The fact that nobody knows - and nobody ever found out - only makes sense if there are a couple of female generations between Calla's daughter by Bittersteel and Illyrio's mother. And that is likely the case. Bittersteel's children would have been as prominent as the Blackfyre sons themselves - daughters less so than sons, but still. And Bittersteel could have had sons, too, sons who died during the Blackfyre rebellions (especially the Third and Fourth) or during the many campaigns the Golden Company fought in Essos. But the daughters would have lived and produced offspring. Bittersteel's elder daughters would have likely married Blackfyre pretenders (I'm inclined to believe that Haegon Blackfyre married one of his sisters, but his son Daemon III may have married one of Calla's daughters) but the younger daughters could have been used to seal alliances in Tyrosh and elsewhere. And daughters and granddaughters from such unions could have gone pretty much anywhere, even to distant Pentos. That contradicts the text. Pycelle - the source making Varys a born Lyseni - claims that Varys was born a slave in Lys. That likely means that his mother was a slave, too. Now, it is possible that Varys' mother was the sister or daughter of Daemon (IV) Blackfyre, the one Maelys Blackfyre killed. She may have been sold into slavery afterwards, eventually giving birth to Varys (we don't know how long Maelys commanded the Golden Company, or how old he was when he died - on his picture he looks pretty shabby and old in 260 AC - we don't even know whether he was a grandson or great-grandson of Daemon Blackfyre) But that's just one scenario. Varys could also be a descendant of Daemon III Blackfyre (or a descendant of one of his brothers). He could be a descendant of Aenys Blackfyre or a descendant from the sixth or seventh Blackfyre son (Daemon (IV) and Maelys might also be descended from any of them). We just don't know. And we should not really presume we do and can figure it out at that point. Because we can't. We don't have enough information. Especially not with Varys - because he could also be just some Blackfyre or Targaryen bastard. Or the descendant of such a person. Like Brown Ben Plumm or Rennifer Longwaters. Exactly. And as I've said. It is not that difficult to figure it out. If Stannis can uncover the twincest, Varys can surely uncover who the hell Jon Snow's mother is. This doesn't mean he would have conclusive proof - Stannis doesn't have any proof, either - it simply means he could have figured it out. He could have seen through Ned's clumsy excuses and lies, realizing that this obscure bastard was about as old - or exactly as old - as Lyanna Stark's child by Prince Rhaegar would have been, had it lived. And it is pretty much out of the question that nobody at court - especially not Varys - didn't know that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and that Lyanna was pregnant. There was no reason to keep any of that a secret, nor would there have been any way to keep this a secret even if the people involved would have tried to keep it that way. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what Rhaegar and Lyanna were doing at that tower (or wherever they were). Again, chances are pretty good that this plot line is going to come back eventually. We don't know what Ned and Varys talked about in the black cell after Ned's last chapter, nor do we know what eventually broke dear Ned's back. Was it the threat to Sansa, or was it something else? We don't know. We think we know, but we don't know. And that's pretty deliberate on George's part.
  4. It is not unlikely, and I think they may have had children who are still around today, but it is impossible to say at this point. All we can say is that Rhaegar was Aegon V's first great-grandchild, meaning that Duncan and Jenny's children - if they existed - didn't have any children of their own in 259 AC. Duncan's children may no longer be counted as Targaryens/members of the royal family due to the fact that he gave up his claim to the Iron Throne. That could have allowed them to disappear beyond the radar. There is a theory that the Reeds are descendants of Duncan and Jenny. I remember discussing this thing to death with @Ibbison from Ibben. We only know that Aegon V, Prince Duncan, and Dunk died at Summerhall. Jenny may have died there, too, but it is possible she survived and just went mad. Aerys, Rhaella, Jaehaerys II, and Queen Shaera all survived. Steffon Baratheon's mother Princess Rhaelle may have died there, but she could also have died in childbirth, explaining why Steffon doesn't have any siblings. Aside from those, we can speculate that Prince Maegor, Princess Vaella, Princess Rhae, Princess Daella (who I think was long dead at the time), and Princess Daenora were there and died there, if they were still alive. Egg's nephew Maegor wouldn't have been even thirty at that time, and Princess Vaella shy of forty.
  5. Varys has been theorized to have Targaryen ancestry since, well, forever. Since we realized that he was the guy Illyrio spoke with in AGoT. The idea that the Serra woman has Blackfyre ancestors isn't exactly favored by me. She was a whore, and the Lysene whores all have Valyrian features. She may have been used only to ensure that Illyrio produce a son looking like Prince Rhaegar's son - and I think she wouldn't have been the only woman Illyrio impregnated. Just the one who gave him a son he could use for the plan. Illyrio is the one who has arranged a pact written in blood with the Golden Company. He controls and directs their every move. It makes no sense that he could do that if he is just some guy who was married to a Blackfyre-turned-whore. But if Illyrio himself was a Blackfyre descendant then this all makes a lot of sense. It could also work with Serra but then he and Varys would do stuff basically for the sake of a dead woman - not all that believable, especially since Illyrio could also just raise Aegon as his own son, actually being a father for the boy. The crucial hint as to where the Blackfyre link comes in her is, in my opinion, the apparent marriage between Daemon Blackfyre's eldest daughter Calla and Bittersteel. They were betrothed, and if they married and had children then I think Illyrio is descended from one of their daughters - most likely through a succession of daughters, very much obscuring the bloodline, and explaining why nobody knows (not Viserys III, not Jorah, not Aerys II in the past, nor Robert) who the hell this Illyrio Mopatis fellow actually is. Illyrio being descended from Bittersteel and Calla Blackfyre could also explain his sway over the Golden Company. Bittersteel was the legendary and founder and worshiped longterm captain-general of the company. If a great-grandson of his approached the company, the officers would have to listen. Varys could be pretty much everything. A Targaryen/Blackfyre bastard, or the child of a daughter or sister of one of the last Blackfyre pretenders. Daemon Blackfyre had seven sons, two of which are as of yet nameless, and an unknown number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
  6. You can keep that tidbit out of the whole thing. He could also be some other Targaryen descendant. But he has to have a personal motivation as to why he is working with Illyrio of all people - and, much more importantly, why the hell he took it upon himself to risk his life daily at the court of Aerys II (and later Robert Baratheon) when he could just as well have enjoyed the remainder of his life at some vast estate in Pentos. Varys isn't even Westerosi by birth, as far as we know. Why is focusing on the Seven Kingdoms and not, say, the unification of the Free Cities and his and Illyrio's rule? The best way to explain this kind of thing is to assume he has a deep personal - likely a family - connection to the Seven Kingdoms. Illyrio's own personal motivation would be enough as to why they use Aegon. If the boy isn't Rhaegar's son it is very likely that he is Illyrio's son. And Illyrio would only use him in this game of his if Westeros and the Iron Throne would matter to him - which they are only likely to do if he thinks he and his ancestors (the Blackfyres) had anything to do with all that. But with Varys we have to keep in mind that Aegon is also a means to an end. He wants him to be this great king he paints for the dying Kevan. Illyrio might be very much invested in his son becoming king - but Varys might turn against Aegon should he ever reach the conclusion that the lad isn't going to do what he is supposed to do. That's when Varys could actually work rather well with either Daenerys or Jon Snow, or both. After all, in the very long run these two are likely to be the people who might bring real social change to Westeros.
  7. We don't need Ned's thoughts to figure out - or suspect - the truth of Jon Snow's parentage. All we need is the circumstantial evidence Varys has access to in much greater detail. He was King Aerys II's Master of Whisperers. He would have known what Aerys and Rhaella knew about Rhaegar and Lyanna. He may have known that they were married, he may have learned that Lyanna was pregnant when Rhaegar returned to court. From there it is not all that far to conclude the cause of Lyanna Stark's death. And then this awfully convenient motherless bastard son of Eddard Stark's shows up. It is not difficult to connect the dots, especially if you have more information on the events happening at the tower of joy than we do at this moment. Ned would have had to tell a story about his sister's death, and the fate of the Kingsguard there. This is not exactly a super secret or anything. It is easy to figure out what was going on there, even if you don't have proof that this is the case. And Varys is one of the people who might have been able to figure it out from the start. He most definitely would have had he decided to investigate Ned's story later on - say, by having agents of his investigate what happened at Starfall. And by the way: While we do know that Cat, Robb, and Jon don't suspect that Jon isn't Ned's son, we have no clue whatsoever what Benjen or Robert thought on the matter, nor do we know what other people think of his parentage. It never comes up. But that doesn't mean all people buy Ned's story. LOL, no. Or rather: Not if the idea that Varys himself and Aegon, too, are Targaryen descendants through the Blackfyre side of the family is true. If Aegon happened to be Illyrio's son by this Serra woman - and Illyrio himself happened to be a Blackfyre descendant through the female line (or the Serra woman) - and if Varys, too, was castrated by this sorcerer because he was a legitimate or illegitimate Blackfyre descendant, then both Varys and Aegon should be as popular with Dany's dragons as Brown Ben Plumm is. Dragons prove nothing in this regard. Nothing at all. But then - people in their stupidity might interpret Aegon becoming a dragonrider as 'proof' that he is Rhaegar's son when he in fact is nothing but a very distant cousin of Prince Rhaegar's. After all, Aegon looks like Rhaegar. Jon doesn't. Newsflash: There is no proof that Lyanna Stark is Jon Snow's mother, is there? We are talking about why Varys would completely ignore Jon in his Targaryen schemes. The reason is that he doesn't look the part - and, perhaps even more importantly, that Ned Stark destroyed his worth as a pretender immediately after his birth by disguising him as his bastard son. If the Realm at large had learned and come to accept the fact that there was another Targaryen pretender out there in Rhaegar Targaryen's son by his second wife Lyanna Stark, then said child could have had the potential to become a pawn in a game like Varys'. But that never happened. And it would have been exceedingly difficult to make it happen after Ned made Jon his son. There are some hints that Varys may have intended to recruit Ned to his Aegon/Targaryen plan in AGoT, but since Jon was already at the Wall at that time - and quite superfluous in light of the fact that Varys and Illyrio were building up their Aegon - chances are not that great that he was interested in including Jon in his plans. But then - who knows? It might happen in the future. Aegon claims to be Rhaegar's son. If he still rules and lives by the time the news about Jon's parentage are revealed those two half-brothers might reach out to each other. Or the men he wants to fight with slay or poison him because they see him as a bastard upstart. Just look at the fate of the Two Betrayers. Sure, but that would mean that Dany ends up marrying the men who are going to claim the other two dragons in the near future - which do include Brown Ben, Tyrion, and Victarion. Jon Snow isn't part of that list. And should one of those dragonriders betray Dany and die, so that Jon can eventually claim one of her dragons, she is not likely going to be in all that much of a trusting mood. If one dragonrider can betray her, so can another, right? Besides, this is a completely irrelevant point. Being a dragonrider doesn't prove anything aside from the fact that you are, most likely, some dragonlord's distant descendant. It doesn't mean you are Rhaegar's son or a royal prince. He is crucial for the plan, but the difference between Aegon and Jon is that Aegon looks like Rhaegar's son and actually claims to be a son of Rhaegar's the people of Westeros actually knew existed. Nobody even knows the name of the son Rhaegar and Lyanna may have had. There is no need for conspiracy theory or vast theorizing here since there is no need to assume that the whereabouts of Lyanna Stark and the Kingsguard protecting her were a secret at court after Rhaegar's return. Ned could have learned where Lyanna was from pretty much anyone. There is no reason to believe that Varys wants to protect the Targaryens. He cares about them - or perhaps only about the Targaryen name - as means to an end. And you also do recall that Ned wouldn't have been asking Varys about the whereabouts of some Targaryens, but rather the whereabouts of the Lady Lyanna Stark, his own beloved sister... There is little reason for him to keep that a secret, especially not since he already has Aegon at that point, right? Or made the plan to create his own Aegon. It may have been Robert who also talked to Varys about Lyanna's whereabouts. You do recall that the man was injured at the Trident, and thus perhaps not exactly in the shape to travel to Dorne? But then - perhaps he wanted to go along but Ned made it clear that he wouldn't suffer him coming with him after their falling out. This was no insignificant fallout - we don't know what would have happened had Lyanna lived. Perhaps Ned would have taken her and the child to Sunspear or Dragonstone, declaring for the Targaryens in the process of that? It is only Lyanna's death and the shared grief that restores Ned and Robert's friendship. How could have used that secret at that point? Jon Snow is at the Wall, as politically insignificant as Maester Aemon. Up there he is pretty much safe - threatening Sansa who is there, in KL, is much safer. And besides - you also do recall that we never witness Varys' final conversation with our dear Ned. His last chapter ends with the threat to Sansa's life, then we cut to his execution from Arya's POV. We don't know what Varys and Ned talked about when Ned finally gave in to the threat and agreed to confess his treason. They would have talked about something. There is also a reason why George had Ned bring up that whole thing about writing a letter in that chapter. It might turn out to lead nowhere, but the potential that Ned told (or confirmed) crucial things in his conversations with Varys is by no means far-fetched. George didn't intend to give us very big clues - or outright revelations - on the Jon Snow thing in AGoT. But he certainly could have put some subtle seeds in those chapters, seeds that will carry fruit later down the road. The context one should consider here is that Varys is more transparent insofar as he actually wants to keep/restore peace and order in the Seven Kingdoms. That's his ultimate goal, and that's not that difficult to figure out. But that doesn't mean we should assume Littlefinger knows about the Aegon plan, etc. The idea is that Varys and/or Illyrio are Blackfyre descendants through the female line. Illyrio is Aegon's true father, and they want their blood on the Iron Throne. They have a personal motivation there. They use the Targaryen name because it is the royal name of the Seven Kingdoms, the name that can unite the Realm again. The Blackfyre cause is dead and gone, and they can only succeed if they hide behind the red dragon. The idea that material like Tommen or Edric Storm can do the same thing is pretty much insane. Those are bastards and pretenders, without the royal looks or the royal name. Varys knows how the Westerosi people think. That's why he has come up with the Aegon plan. When all goes to hell people want to believe that King Arthur is going to come back from Avalon to save them all. That's what he is giving them. Well, a King Aegon VI may be set up to continue the reforms of his famous ancestor and predecessor, Aegon V. Robert's reign was a corrupt madhouse. The smallfolk and the Realm were way better off during (most of) the reign of Aerys II - not due to that man's competence, of course, but Tywin's, but people still credit the king with everything good, not his officials. We see it from ACoK on how the people start to idealize the good old days of the old king - Aerys II, not Robert Baratheon. If Varys himself is a Targaryen descendant, then the Targaryen connection to sorcery and magic would be his own. He might hate magic and those who practice it, but that doesn't mean he hates himself or his family. It makes, if you compare it to the approach of Ozymandias in 'Watchmen'. Robert's Rebellion destabilized the kingdom, moving Westeros closer to the days of the warring Seven Kingdoms of old than they have been in centuries. We see this happening when Robert dies - Varys doesn't cause the War of the Five Kings, in fact, he tries to prevent or at least postpone it. It happens on its own, because the men in charge are all overly ambitious, and care only about their personal agendas. By allowing a kingdom to descend into chaos while having a cure up his sleeve Varys can create a lasting peace if he plays his cards right. Prince Aegon is set up to become another Jaehaerys the Conciliator, creating a peace that might last for a hundred years. The idea that this could have worked with a men like Stannis or Renly, or some children with dubious claims or ancestry simply doesn't hold much water.
  8. Because they were the children of Cersei Lannister, the queen at Robert's side. Nobody had any reason to assume they were not Robert's seed. Just as nobody would suspect that Jon Snow and Aegon were the children of their respective parents (Rhaegar and Elia/Lyanna) if there was no reason to doubt they are who they (most likely) happen to be. But the scenario we are talking about doesn't have Jon or Aegon as the children of their true parents, running around with them, do we? Who would Eddard Stark's bastard on the Iron Throne on the basis of him being a dragonrider? Jon being a skinchanger could most definitely play into him becoming a dragonrider. The fact that the Valyrian dragonlords bonded with their dragons with other magics doesn't mean that skinchangers can't use their mojo to do the same (or a similar) trick.
  9. You do not what a public movement is, right? There would be nobles and knights in such a movement, too, of course, but Aegon doesn't need a majority of them to take his throne. A broad enough public movement is all he needs. And he'll get that. That is an irrelevant point. Dragons were never part of Varys' plan, and I was talking about the reason why Varys - if he knows or suspects who Jon Snow is - completely ignores the boy in his schemes. As to your general point: Dragons don't prove anything. Imagine the likes of Brown Ben Plumm, Tyrion, Victarion, or Euron gaining one of Dany's dragons. Will all of them afterwards be seen as Targaryens? Most likely not. Brown Ben has Targaryen ancestors, and Tyrion might be Aerys' son, but them becoming dragonriders is not going to make them royal or members of the royal family. A dragonriding Jon Snow could claim a dragon as a skinchanger (who may or may not have the ability to master dragons) not because he has dragonlord blood. Or people could believe he used spells and magic to accomplish that, as they most likely will do should Victarion or Euron - thanks to the magical horn Dragonbinder - ever become dragonriders. But finally, there simply is the fact that Jon Snow could be nothing but another Brown Ben Plumm. Through his unknown mother he could be a descendant of Aegon the Unworthy or some other fertile Targaryen. Hell, that could even be the case through his Stark ancestry, considering that we don't have a complete family tree through the various female lines - not to mention the possibility that the legal father might not always be the biological father in all those family trees. Vice versa, Prince Aegon becoming a dragonrider would also not prove his specific Targaryen ancestry. If he happened to be the (illegitimate) descendant of some Blackfyre through the female line he should have just as much potential to claim a dragon as Prince Rhaegar's trueborn son.
  10. Not when we are talking about kings in the kind of scheme Varys has created here. Aegon is supposed to be worshiped as the savior of the people and the Seven Kingdoms because he represents everything that is good and great in this world. He is going to make things as they once were, in the idealized golden (Targaryen era) past. He is not some kind of goon propped up to make common cause with some corrupt lords. He is set up to be loved by the people, and when the people love you they will die for you. They will all bend their knees when they see Aegon's silver-golden hair and look into his purple eyes. And the lords will follow the lead of their men. Or they will be swept away like leaves.
  11. Varys was around during Robert's Rebellion. He would have kept his eye on Rhaegar and Lyanna. It is not all that difficult to figure this great mystery out. All Varys needed to do was to what the average reader does. Is it likely that Eddard Stark had a bastard? Were Rhaegar and Lyanna married? How did Lyanna Stark die? Why on earth were those Kingsguard there? And so on. Varys would be pretty stupid to not suspect something. And that doesn't just extend to Varys but to many other contemporaries in crucial positions during the war. How do you know that? I say the strength of a claim depends on how many people declare for him, not how many prominent lords vouch for him. Having prominent lords helps you, too, but lords alone do not make kings. Swords and soldiers do. A successful pretender needs the people on his side, not just the lords. Aegon will make use of his looks. He has announced that he'll wash his hair and declare himself and his intentions at Storm's End. And that will be the big tipping point. The people will take up their arms, rally to his banner, and shove him on the throne. He won't have to take anything. They will give it to him because they will worship him as a their savior. Because he is Rhaegar's son, and looks like his father.
  12. My guess is that Aegon V may have come to the conclusion that he needed *really* hot temperatures to hatch those seven dragon eggs. We do know that wildfire burns very hot, and we do know that the temperature was also a factor in the hatching of Dany's eggs - at least in her mind. Remember that she concluded that the brazier in which she put the eggs earlier weren't burning hot enough to do the trick. I'm pretty sure he did what he could. For all we know whoever betrayed him or sabotaged things ended up spreading the wildfire throughout the castle, igniting it when the ritual began, when everybody was distracted. But then, wildfire is a very dangerous substance. A single jar being knocked down could cause a massive fire. Certainly possible. George is not likely to make the Aerion-Dunk relationship two-dimensional or uninteresting. I'd actually find it interesting if they had to work together on occasion. And the Third Rebellion would be the perfect opportunity for this kind of thing to happen. It seems to be pretty obvious that he'll marry eventually. He has no intention to join the KG, and while both Daeron and Aerion are still around he would be essentially retarded to take the while cloak. He doesn't like either of them very much. In that sense, the widow when Dunk joins the KG is either in the years up the Third Rebellion (while Aerys I is still king, and his heirs are Rhaegel, Aelor, and Aelora rather than Maekar and his sons - Dunk may have been willing to King Aerys I, Bloodraven, and Rhaegel's children) or after 232 AC - when Aerion has died. If he doesn't join the KG during the reign of Aerys I he has about two decades to live a normal life, take a wife, settle down somewhere (likely Pennytree), and have some children of his own. Or at least try to do just that. The idea that it is Daella he marries is the fact that the Tarths are apparently descended from both the Targaryens and Ser Duncan the Tall. Why not combine that by making Dunk and Daella's daughter the grandmother of Brienne? The other thing is that Daella is the sister Egg is betrothed to marry - something he doesn't do. It would be a very fitting twist if Dunk ended up with the very sister his friend was supposed to marry. And Daella is Egg's older sister, which makes her closer in age to Dunk than Egg himself and their sister Rhae is. Yes, even if it wasn't Daella, the scenario that Dunk is going to marry, have at least one child, and lose his wife pretty early in life is pretty likely. I'm pretty sure we'll see the guy eventually. Perhaps first in an Essosi Dunk and Egg story, but most definitely in whatever story covers (part of) the Third Blackfyre Rebellion. I could see them sympathizing with some of the exiles in the Golden Company, but not Bittersteel, and most likely also not the Blackfyres with him. Daemon the Younger was a nice guy. That doesn't make it likely Haegon, Daemon III, Aenys, or the two younger sons (and their descendants) are all nice guys. Well, when we first heard about the marriage alliances of Aegon V's three sons, my idea was that Egg had betrothed his oldest son Duncan to a Blackfyre heiress. He could (and should) have been the king trying to mend the rift between those two branches of House Targaryen through marriage. It is a pity, that nothing of that sort happened. There was really no reason to assume that something of that sort would have happened. Daemon was a naive youth who know pretty much nothing - hurting and harming them would only harden the Blackfyre resolve. Having Daemon as a guest at the Red Keep really make King Aerys I look very good. If he mistreated the Blackfyre pretender then Haegon and Bittersteel could get the necessary support to launch another rebellion/invasion, just as Aegon II threatening to cut off his nephew's ear wasn't exactly popular with anyone... Aerion could end up developing a close link with Bloodraven and Aerys I eventually, although I'm not sure he was the kind of guy these two would have been keen to have around. Although Bloodraven and he might have been reasonably close during Maekar's reign. I hope we'll meet him again in a story taking place at court. After all, we should eventually meet the royals there, preferably before Rhaegel's death in 215 AC. Daemon's death could be part of a story, too. I've been tossing around the idea that the masked ball where Princess Aelora was raped was used by Blackfyre partisans and agents to murder members of the royal family. Daemon II might have been killed to allow Bittersteel to finally crown Haegon and launch the Third Rebellion. We don't know when that masked ball happened, but it could have been part of the celebrations for King Aerys I's ten year anniversary - which also happen to take place in 219 AC, the year of the Third Blackfyre Rebellion. He indicates that he believes in them. And he and Aerys I may have been very interested in any dreams he later had.
  13. Who cares about that? Most Westerosi have never been to Essos, and many of them might not even know how the people of Lys and Volantis look. People would also have to vouch for such a person, of course (as Jon Connington does), but the crucial thing to convince people that this whole fairy-tale story might be true is that the pretender looks the part. If he doesn't, then the guy isn't the right material to play the role in the game. No person in their right mind would work with somebody with the looks of Jon in the kind of game Varys and Illyrio are playing. Just as nobody would be using a black-haired boy as a Lannister pretender, a golden-haired child as Baratheon pretender, etc. You have not been reading what I've written. I said that Varys might know who Jon actually is - and that if he does, he simply doesn't give shit about him because he looks the way he looks. He is of no use in Varys' game. Varys wants his plan to succeed, not invest a lot of time, money, and effort into a doomed pretender. And Jon would have been a doomed pretender if anybody had put him forth as a pretender to the Iron Throne. Whether he can take the throne on the basis of his own merits, deeds, heroics, connections to his aunt, etc. is a completely separate issue.
  14. Varys knows that power resides where people believe power resides. That's the entire point of his scheme. People are going to want to believe that his Aegon is Rhaegar's son. But nobody in their right mind would conceive a scheme for a Targaryen restoration with boy in the middle of it who doesn't look the part of the Targaryen prince, whose very existence has been concealed from the public, and who has been raised as a bastard. That is just common sense. And it doesn't just extend to Jon. Nobody would parade around a Princess Rhaenys as a pretender, even if people had reason to believe she was still alive. Because she doesn't look Targaryen. It would be the same if Baelor Breakspear was believed to be dead as a child - nobody would give a fig about a prince who looks Dornish, either.
  15. See above. Jon looks like a Stark. He is of no use in a Targaryen restoration scheme since his looks do not give his identity away. It won't be easy to convince people that Eddard Stark's bastard is actually a Targaryen prince - never mind, how good the evidence is.
  16. Well, it isn't very likely that he was. And it isn't even clear that there was sabotage or a betrayal. There could have been. But perhaps it was just a very unlucky accident. Like Rhaella going into labor early, and somebody accidentally knocking down a jar of (burning) wildfire in the subsequent commotion. That could have been enough. So many people dying could have been caused by Aegon V, Duncan, etc. trying to save the dragon eggs from destruction, preventing them from getting out of the castle while there was still time. Considering that we do know that the gathering at Summerhall was supposed to celebrate the birth of Prince Rhaegar we can be reasonably sure that the answer to this question is a resounding no.
  17. That is a false equivalence. King Aerys II is known as 'the Mad King' for a reason. Aegon V isn't the Mad King. Nor is he known as 'the Stupid King'. Jaime doesn't look up to Dunk. He never knew him, and he barely ever thinks about him. Why do you continue to compare Jaime to Dunk? Those two men have pretty much nothing in common. You could just as well compare Ramsay to Sansa. Sure, and there is likely going to be a twist there, but a twist which is likely connected to the people involved in the whole thing, people who we barely know at that point. We don't even have an idea who was there, and how the people being there were connected to King Aegon V. There are other suspects out there who might have been not exactly keen on seeing King Aegon V acquiring dragons - the lords who opposed his reforms, the maesters who didn't want the dragons return, etc. Dunk isn't at the top of that list. Far to the contrary, actually. LOL, no. Because comparing Aegon V to Stannis is a false equivalence, too. Stannis was never a good man, he had always a shitty and miserable character. He was always unhappy, always pissed at something (the gods for killing his parents, his brother for being Robert, himself for being not as great a guy as Robert, Renly for being Renly, etc.). Aegon V is nothing like that, and you know it.
  18. Well, I told you that our views are not that different, didn't I? Discussions only work if there is something to discuss, though ;-). Well, to be frank, I don't think Aegon V made a plan where the wildfire was supposed to burn down the castle. Nor do I think he was stupid enough to not make precautions should something go wrong. I think somebody sabotaged his efforts, or something happened that messed with his precautions. And then all hell broke lose. Wildfire itself is dangerous but not necessarily something we should associate with 'madness'. That is an interesting question, isn't it? Still, we don't know yet when Dunk joined the KG. The first time he is mentioned as a KG is in 236 AC when he kills the third Daemon Blackfyre. Considering that one or multiple KG could have died alongside King Maekar at Starpike in 233 AC, it is possible that it was indeed King Aegon V who handed Dunk his white cloak. But we don't know that yet. One assumes that Dunk and Aerion remained stalwart enemies throughout most of the reign of King Aerys I, but the Third Blackfyre Rebellion has the potential to change that. Dunk could save Aerion's life during that war - or perhaps even vice versa. They will all have common enemies during this war. If Dunk and Egg remain as close as they are throughout their lives then Dunk is likely to spend considerable time at the court of King Maekar - after all, we do know that Maekar called all his sons to court after he took the Iron Throne. If it turned out that Dunk joined the KG, say, around 225 AC, say, then he would technically also be obliged to protect - and even obey - Prince Aerion. Especially after the death of Prince Daeron since that would have made Aerion the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne. But then, my personal guess is that Dunk actually ended up marrying Princess Daella after the Third Blackfyre Rebellion (a marriage arranged and approved of by King Aerys I and Bloodraven - and perhaps even Maekar, if Dunk played a crucial role during that war) with whom he then lived at Pennytree (or some other castle) until her early death in childbirth. Their daughter would then have been raised at court, eventually becoming the mother of Lord Selwyn Tarth. In that scenario, Dunk would have been willing to join the KG only after Daella's death and Aegon V's ascension to the Iron Throne. I guess there is a chance that the pretender Haegon and Bittersteel give him a new perspective on them, especially (but not only) during the Third Rebellion. Keep in mind that Dunk and Egg might actually serve with Bittersteel and various Blackfyres in the Golden Company during their scheduled stint in Essos. They would do that incognito, of course, but it might still be enough for them to learn what kind of people Bittersteel and some of the Blackfyres are. Daemon the Younger didn't go into a dungeon cell. Bloodraven talks about him becoming an honored guest at the Red Keep. We are talking about royalty and close relations here. Daemon the Younger is King Aerys I's first cousin and Bloodraven's nephew. Royal and noble prisoners are rarely thrown in ugly cells. Just think about Jaime's imprisonment at Riverrun. He only went into the ugly cell after he tried to escape. Now, if they intended to execute Daemon they may have treated him like Cersei treated Ned. But that's clearly not the plan. In fact, it would not surprise me if Daemon the Younger eventually ended up joining Aerys I's and Bloodraven's sorcerer cabal at court due to his prophetic dreams. They would have been rather interested in them...
  19. How should I know? The idea probably was to ensure that a biological descendant of Corlys and Rhaenys does not only sit the Iron Throne (in Baela's child by Jacaerys Velaryon) but also inherits Driftmark eventually (in Rhaena's child by Lucerys Velaryon). Besides, Laena Velaryon was the rider of Vhagar when those betrothals were made. Rhaenyra needed her and Daemon both when the time came to take her throne. They were both more important than the support any great house could muster.
  20. It is pretty much impossible to give such people proper titles when we don't really know what kind of titles would exist. We can say that there should be a clear difference in rank and prestige reflected in titles between really great mid-tier houses like Frey, Royce, Redwyne, Reyne, etc. and the likes of the Baelishs, Crabbs, Brunes, etc. But we cannot really say who deserves what title, especially not since titles usually stick and do not always accurately reflect the real prestige, power, and wealth a noble family actually commands. For instance, the Freys could easily be mere lords or barons, just awfully rich ones, whereas the Westerlings of the Crag could be impoverished marquesses. If a house is favored by the king - like the Tullys, Tyrells, etc. - they could easily gain great titles (just as Littlefinger does in ASoS) but not all houses of power and influence necessarily need such titles - they would crave them, though. That is not very likely considering that title accumulation isn't a thing in the Seven Kingdoms. The only son who holds a title in his own right is the Prince of Dragonstone. And even he has to receive said title from the king.
  21. Well, I phrased it that way because it is hilarious to assume that Dunk would do anything but that in the scenario we are talking about here. He would not try to sabotage the attempt to hatch the dragon eggs or mess with the wildfire involved in the ritual. He would just put the mad dog down. There certainly is a possibility that Dunk wasn't exactly a fan of Egg's plan to hatch the dragon eggs - and perhaps even wary/skeptical of the whole wildfire part of the plan - but the chances that he had anything to do with the whole thing going to hell are very low indeed. To be fair, we don't yet know the context of the entire trial-by-combat thing but the fact that Dunk ended up being the guy fighting Lyonel when no one in the universe could have forced him to do that is, quite frankly, pretty telling. Even if we assume Aegon V/Prince Duncan's honor had to be defended by a knight of the Kingsguard, then we still don't have an explanation as to why Dunk thought he should be the one to fight. The very strong vibe I get from that is that Dunk had become Egg's man, body and soul, at that point, willing to do anything to defend his friend and his friend's family - and perhaps especially the life and honor of the young prince who was named after him. Duncan the Tall and Duncan the Small are not unlikely to turn out to be the best buddies ever. There is also the possibility that we see a variation of the Osgrey-Webber theme here, with Dunk volunteering to do something stupid to get two people to finally talk to each other (again). And it seems to have sort of worked, considering that Lyonel apparently survived the encounter (although I'd find it very interesting if it turned out that Dunk maimed or severely injured Lyonel in the process of the duel - that would be a very ugly yet fitting twist after Ashford). But then, we don't yet know when exactly Dunk joined the Kingsguard. If it was during the reign of Maekar or even Aerys I then he would have to be pretty fucked up at that point, considering that he would have been willing to serve Aerion as Kingsguard (both while he man was a prince and in the very likely scenario that the man ended up on the Iron Throne). And we should also keep in mind that he apparently made short work of Daemon III Blackfyre, which is also not something we would expect the man to do who really formed some sort of bond with Daemon II Blackfyre in TMK.
  22. The impression we get is that the Baratheon girls are somewhat older. I mean, Boremund Baratheon was born around 50 AC, or so, and he died just quite recently. That makes it likely Borros himself was born in the 70s AC, making daughters closer to Rhaenyra (and her older half-brothers) in age than to Rhaenyra's sons. Rhaenyra made those betrothals when both her sons and Laena's daughters were still very young. A marriage pact with a Baratheon daughter would have been an awkward affair - Jace or Luke would have likely have married a woman in her thirties when they were mid-teens...
  23. He might, but it isn't very likely. If he suspects something he most likely decided long ago that a Targaryen with Stark looks is not going to be of any use in a Targaryen restoration scheme. If little Aegon had looked like his sister Rhaenys he wouldn't have been of any use, either.
  24. Roughly that might be the case. However, it is completely unclear what kind of authority the lords who actually command bannermen do have over those people. Is it mainly a jurisdictional thing (like is implied for Lord Rowan in the case of Lady Webber vs. Ser Eustace Osgrey) or do they act as an effective stand-in for the king? It is pretty clear that the formal royal dynasties of Stark, Lannister, and Arryn have more prestige and do command the hearts and souls of more of their vassals than, say, the Tullys or Tyrells, but we don't really know where informal power begins and legal power stops. The powerlessness of the Tullys and the Tyrells to command their bannermen during the Dance, say, shows how little power those houses can actually have under certain conditions. And then you have also to consider the whole Warden system - which grants special powers to the Lannisters, Starks, Arryns, and Tyrells. Realistically speaking, a powerful lord is simply a power in his own right. We see this best with Walder Frey. He can pick and choose whether to support the Tullys/Starks or the Iron Throne, indicating that from the POV of the king the lords are all beholden to serve him first, especially if one of the great houses sat above said lord is committing treason or inciting a rebellion. We see this also when certain Stormlords, Riverlords, and Lords of the Vale sided with Aerys II rather than the rebels during the Rebellion.
  25. This is just nonsense. Mainly because important members of the royal family - Prince Duncan Targaryen, King Aegon V himself, and possibly Jenny of Oldstones, her children (assuming she had any), Queen Betha, Princess Rhaelle, Prince Maegor, Princess Vaella, etc. - died in the tragedy of Summerhall. If Aegon V had cooked up some mad scheme, and Dunk had found out about that, he would have just put down the madman, not started some kind of chaos that caused the castle to burn down, nearly eradicating the entire Targaryen family. Not to mention, you know, that Aegon V would have to have been retarded to actually allow a man like Dunk to actually attend a gathering where he intended to go through with such a crazy ritual. And for that matter - he would also have to be retarded to invite anybody close to him to such a thing. The only person he would need there would be Princess Rhaella - Aerys, Jaehaerys, Duncan, Dunk, etc. should be elsewhere, not in the middle of things. The king would be alone with the mother of his sacrifice and the cruel and loyal thugs who would help him with his plans. But there is no indication that any of this happened. And not just that - the very idea that a man like Egg is going to become this twisted is pretty much insane. If people think that is possible then we could just as well assume that Dunk would actually follow Egg in this madness. After all, the great Ser Duncan the Tall is the one who was really twisted and changed by his career. In 209 AC he effectively kissed the feet of Ser Lyonel Baratheon in gratitude for defending him in a Trial of Seven. In 239 AC he fought in a trial-by-combat against the very man who once saved his life and honor. Dunk didn't exactly live up to his high ideals as a Kingsguard. The right thing to do would have been to have the Targaryens deal with their own crisis. What is more important? The sexual desires of Prince Duncan, or the debt a knight owes to another knight?