Lord Varys

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  1. Whoever wants to discuss the new fake history piece - this would be the place. Fire away.
  2. That is not actually true. There was no 'North' back in the good old days of the Hundred Kingdoms. The Starks were just petty kings among others, who gradually conquered a large territory, eventually creating a kingdom of their own which finally was known as 'the North'. And in the lands of the Red Kings of the Dreadfort, say, Winterfell and the Starks would have been as foreign or distant a place as Lannisport and Oldtown were. There were also royal bloodlines that were (rumored to be) much older than the Starks - the Barrow Kings, for instance. The idea that the Starks (or Durrandons, Lannisters, Gardeners, etc.) have any 'right' to rule the kingdoms they eventually came to rule because they were fellow First Men doesn't make a lot of sense. If you are of that opinion you could also just say being French or German means you can have a right to conquer/rule all of Europe. But the real issue simply is that neither the Starks nor the Gardeners ever had the means to really permanently subdue as many lords and permanently control as much territory as they did. After all, they did not have any dragons. It is a tidbit more believable with the Gardeners due to their very special status as a semi-divine royal bloodline, ruling from a living throne and going back to the eldest son of Garth the Green, etc. as well as the interrelatedness and intermarriage of most of the Reach houses from the start, but the Stark conquered most of their territories in bloody wars. Even if all their subjects loved them - which they don't - the problem simply is that a kingdom as large as the North cannot be administered and controlled by the kind of infrastructure the Starks had - which includes no standing army, no police force, no royal bureaucracy of any kind, no cities and towns with a healthy economy, no vast network of streets which could serve both as trade routes as well as means to move armies throughout the kingdom, etc. The 'king' of such a 'kingdom' would be nothing more than a figurehead in this setting if we were looking a things realistically. In that sense, the Targaryen rule makes somewhat more sense because they forged their realm with dragonfire and then they kept in shape afterwards because people had grown accustomed to their rule and were actually thriving in this united realm which had greatly reduced the constant warfare and was also good for trade.
  3. If you are talking about realism then the notion that the Starks could actually rule a land as vast and undeveloped as the North for as long as they did. In a medieval setting - especially in this kind of early medieval setting - the power of a king only extended to his immediate surroundings. Without any infrastructure of their own at all the Starks (and the Lannisters, Gardeners, etc.) shouldn't have ruled much more land than the immediate surroundings of their castle.
  4. Things would be more fucked-up for the people in the North as well as in the rest of Westeros if the North - or any other of the former kingdoms - was independent again. That would mean more conflict, more exploitation, more war, and at the same time less trade, less cooperation, and less peace.
  5. I draw up that list in a mail to Ran a couple of weeks ago after I went through TRP and TPatQ again: Some of the things are glaring errors, others very easy to miss. - Jaehaerys I as the son of Aegon, son of Aenys I, rather than Aenys I's younger son. - Prince Daeron the Daring as Aegon II's son rather than his younger brother (a couple of times in TPatQ) - Jaehaerys I as father rather than grandfather of Viserys I (early on in TPatQ). At least in the sneak preview we got years back before 'Dangerous Women' came out. In the published version it got corrected. - Prince Daemon as Master of Coin for a couple of months vs. Lyman Beesbury serving both Jaehaerys I & Viserys I in that capacity (not necessarily a contradiction but it would be interesting to know what Beesbury did while Daemon was Master of Coin - was he dismissed from the council entirely, or just given another office?). - Mushroom is said to have attended Viserys I in his last couple of days something that might be at odds with the fact that he was the one who carried Rhaenyra's stillborn girl Visenya down to be cremated as well as the fact that he wasn't at KL when Lyman Beesbury was killed (both as per TWoIaF in your words and the lengthy Gyldayn quote on the stillbirth). - Were Viserys-Aemma truly married for a literal decade in 103 AC, or is that just an approximation? It would mean that the 16-year-old Viserys married an 11-year-old Aemma in 93 AC (Daella married Rodrik Arryn in 80 AC and died giving birth to Aemma in 82 AC). There could be a plot reason why it was deemed appropriate for Viserys to marry his child cousin but as per George's own rules Aemma would have been deemed a proper bride only 2-3 years later. A marriage in 94-95 AC, say, would still give her sufficient time for miscarriages and the one son she had prior to or after Rhaenyra's birth in 97 AC. Another way to deal with that would to change Aemma's birth date but that's established canon as per TWoIaF & TRP. - It would also be good to know the name of Aemma's son who died in the cradle - the one prior to 'the heir for a day'. - TRP contains that sentence: 'Ser Otto Hightower had continued in that office, serving the grandson as he had the father; an able man, all agreed, though many found him proud, brusque, and haughty.' -> It should read 'serving the grandson as her had the grandfather', of course. - Do we know what office Daemon took according to this sentence: 'Prince Daemon did remain at King’s Landing for half a year, and even resumed his seat on the small council, but neither age nor exile had changed his nature.' Wouldn't it make more sense if he resumed his office as Lord Commander of the City Watch? - There is an inconsistency in the account on Rhaenyra's wedding. The paragraph begins thus: 'Not long thereafter, Rhaenyra set sail for Driftmark, accompanied by her handmaids (two of them the daughters of the Hand and sisters to Ser Harwin), the fool Mushroom, and her new champion, Breakbones himself. In 114 AC, Rhaenyra Targayen, Princess of Dragonstone, took to husband Ser Laenor Velaryon (knighted a fortnight before the wedding, since it was deemed necessary the prince consort be a knight). The bride was seventeen, the groom twenty, and all agreed that they made a handsome couple. The wedding was celebrated with seven days of feasts and jousting.' This indicates the wedding and subsequent celebrations took place on Driftmark, the seat of Rhaenyra's husband. But when all is over it is indicated that it took place at KL as evidenced by those sentences: 'Ser Laenor returned to Driftmark thereafter, leaving many to wonder if his marriage had ever been consummated. The princess remained at court, surrounded by her friends and admirers.' I don't have the full text of 'The Heirs of the Dragon', of course, but I doubt that this is an inconsistency that comes from TRP being abridged. George would have to decide whether the wedding took place on Driftmark or in KL. I'd think Driftmark might make more sense, amending things so that Laenor stays on the island while Rhaenyra returns to court. But it could also be rewritten so that Laenor comes to court for the wedding. Would the Princess of Dragonstone and Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne marry at the seat of her future father-in-law or in the castle and city where she would one day rule? My gut feeling would indicate the latter, even more since Viserys I most likely would preside over this joyous occasion himself rather than give the Sea Snake the privilege to do so. - This sentence 'The prince named the girls Baela (after his father) and Rhaena (after her mother).' should better read 'after 'Laena's mother' or 'after his wife's mother'. - The Gerardys conundrum, of course. What is the new way of things? Is Orwyle just the replacement as the Grand Maester down the road or does he also 'take over' Gerardys' role as maester of Dragonstone who eventually becomes Grand Maester after Mellos' death? I really like the Dragonstone back story for the Grand Maester - be he Orwyle or Gerardys. And you can you give me some hint what the story of the true Gerarys is going to turn out to be? - There is talk in TPatQ that Sunfyre hatched on Dragonstone (speculation whether the dragon was drawn to the place of his birth, etc.). But if he hatched from an egg put in Aegon's cradle the dragon would most likely have hatched in KL since that's where he and his royal parents lived. If George does indeed want to make Dragonstone the place where Sunfyre hatched he could clarify this by making Sunfyre a hatchling given to young Aegon after his birth rather than have him hatch from an egg given to boy. - An inconsistency about the funeral on Driftmark: This sentence 'The next occurred at High Tide after Ser Laenor’s funeral (...)' indicates it was only Laenor's funeral the court attended. But this sentence 'Only the middle son, Prince Aemond, remained dragonless, but His Grace had hopes of rectifying that, and had put forward the notion that perhaps the court might sojourn at Dragonstone after the funerals.' implies there was more than one funeral, most likely meaning Laena and Laenor were cremated on Driftmark at the same time. If the latter is the case the text should reflect that. And it actually makes a lot of sense that the court and royal family would attend both funerals in any case - Laena and Laenor Velaryon were both very important people, after all. There is no reason not to believe that Laenor was murdered very shortly after Laena's death, perhaps before her own funeral. - In TRP we learn that Daeron the Daring was sent as a squire and cupbearer to Oldtown in 126 AC. In TPatQ we learn that he wept when he was informed about his father's death in 129 AC, but the context doesn't make it clear whether he was at court or not. Since he later is part of Lord Ormund Hightower's army one wonders whether he was there the entire time? I think that would make the most sense. I doubt that Alicent would have sent him away had he been at court in 129 AC. - Viserys I's corpse seems to have been discovered at night (at the hour of the bat), and subsequently the Kingsguard has to rouse the members of the Small Council from sleep, etc. I'm not sure that fits all that well with the touching last visit Helaena and her children pay the king. Surely the children would go to sleep early, and if they had visited the king before they went to bed (as they later visit Alicent each day) then it is somewhat odd that the dead king was only discovered later in the night when the grown-ups were all abed, too. I mean, he is the king, and a king is rarely alone, especially if he is as ill and weak as Viserys was at that time. Is that a discrepancy between the official tale and the rumors you refer to in TWoIaF that Alicent may have poisoned Viserys I? Was he visited by other people after Helaena and the children left? Or is this just an unintentional discrepancy? Stuff we would like to learn (and you guys, too, most likely): - The name of Otto Hightower's brother and wife, and the names of all their children. - How it came to be that Vermithor/Silverwing were not claimed by any of the later Targaryens up until the Dance and why they were kept on Dragonstone rather than in the Dragonpit (a possible explanation for that could be that the Old King decreed their mounts should be allowed to live out their 'retirement' in peace after he and Alysanne were gone)? It seems odd that Rhaenyra and Daemon's children would all favor young dragons while Helaena and Aemond were both claiming huge and old beasts... - I wonder whether it truly makes sense that Viserys I never claimed another dragon after Balerion's death. For one, he is the most powerful Targaryen king ruling over a virtual army of dragonriders yet he himself is none of them? That is odd, especially in light of the fact that a dragon grants a lot of power to its rider. Daemon had Caraxes, and the Targaryen-Velaryons had Meleys, Vhagar (!), and Seasmoke. Against all that Viserys I himself basically had just a crown to keep them in line. How was that enough? In addition, there is this talk of there being many dragons on Driftmark for the funeral of Laenor ('The next occurred at High Tide after Ser Laenor’s funeral, when king and court made the journey to Driftmark for the funeral pyre, many on the back of their dragons. (So many dragons were present that Septon Eustace wrote that Driftmark had become the new Valyria.)') - are we truly to believe that the dragonless king and queen went by ship (or as passengers atop Dreamfyre at Helaena's side) while the dragonriding princes and princes showed up with their beasts? It might be more interesting to change things so that Viserys I did claim another ancient dragon in the 90s, a beast perhaps previously ridden by Prince Viserys, son of Aenys I, or Alyssa Velaryon, etc., only to see that dragon die a slow and mysterious death in the late 120s while the king himself grew weaker and weaker. That could be another ill omen shortly before the outbreak of the Dance, another sign how rotten things had become (in more than one manner, of course, it could also be the first dragon that was poisoned - if any dragons were poisoned ;-)). A similar logistical problem might arise in 41 AC when Aenys I and the royal family move from KL to Dragonstone in the wake of the attempt on their lives. Go they by ship? If so, how do they take their dragons with them. Aenys I had Quicksilver and Jaehaerys/Alysanne perhaps already their dragons, too. Whether Alyssa and Viserys had any dragons I do not know, but it strikes as very likely if the younger children got some. - Did Princess Rhaenys and Laena and their huge dragons really take no part in the war on the Stepstones? That would be both very odd as well as pretty stupid on the part of Corlys/Daemon. And we do know that at least Meleys and Rhaenys are supposed to have experience in war. I guess having Laena/Vhagar on the Stepstones would demand changes on the Daemon-Laena marriage but Rhaenys/Meleys could have been there without any difficulty. And a younger Laena may not yet have caught Daemon's eye who would have been focused on different things at that point, anyway. There clearly are some issues, some real problems, others more subtle problems, other potential plot holes. And then there is the stuff one simply would like to know ;-). While being rather unlikely - due to the fact that no Targaryen was rejected by a dragon back in the days they still had dragons as far as we know - the point is that I - and presumably all the other readers - would like to know that this was the case. The problem isn't that Aegon and Viserys may not have been dragonriders, the problem is that there is no explanation given as to why this should be the case. And that is a plot hole.
  6. I'm going to make a few real editing decisions. We have those two sentences here: and In light of the fact that Prince Aenys (and presumably Alyssa, too) had already been on a royal progress getting as far as Highgarden, the logical conclusion there is that this progress continued when King Aenys decided to go to Oldtown for his anointing. In that sense the sentence should be reformulated alongside those lines: That way Aenys' weirdo travel arrangements makes sense. There is no way that the man first went to Riverrun, Lannisport, and Highgarden before he finally reached Oldtown. Especially not since he is in Riverrun when the crisis of Black Harren begins, and we do know that he did not continue from there to Lannisport, Highgarden, and Oldtown but returned back to KL. Thus Riverrun must have been the last stop on the grand royal progress prior to the beginning of the uprising. I'd actually like to learn more about the domestic lives of the brothers during those two years. How well did they get along. That could be rather interesting, showing the few not-fucked-up characteristics of Maegor. Not sure if that's really a contradiction. We know Aenys' family was with him, so chances are very high that they would also have been killed after the king was dead. What's a contradiction there is that TWoIaF claims they were in the Red Keep when they were in fact in the royal manse on Visenya's Hill which was the royal residence in KL while no one could yet live in the Red Keep. Could make for some interesting side bars. And especially the dirge could be in rhymes. This whole section reads as if a lot of stuff is missing. There is this mistake here, which should read this way: Maegor then deals with the Westerlords, but nobody actually deals with the pious lords in the Reach who are standing with the High Septon. One assumes that not only more than a few Hightower bannermen but also many other Reach houses - the Osgreys among them - stood with the Faith Militant. To break the Faith and the Hightowers as efficiently as they did Maegor and Visenya needed a sizable army in addition to their two dragons. Not to mention that they must have announced their coming and issued an ultimatum - yield or burn - or else things in Oldtown would never have unfolded the way they did. I mean, without an ultimatum rising the Targaryen banners could have been just been a ruse to trick the dragonriders into landing in the city where they could be separated from Vhagar and Balerion and then be killed. Not to mention that nobody would have likely killed the High Septon and subsequently yielded if they were not convinced that the Targaryens would then (hopefully) spare the city. That means there must have been an ultimatum or else they would have to hope that Visenya and Maegor magically learn - while flying their dragons - that they really want to yield and that the High Septon is dead. Not to mention that Oldtown would have never known that the dragons would come the next day if the Targaryens had not announced that they were coming. Dragons fly. They are much faster than messengers. And if the Targaryens were really moving directly from the West and the Riverlands to Oldtown then nobody in Oldtown could (or would) have expected this. In a sense, yeah, but Gawen spoke in favor of the 'correct' succession while Myres spoke against Maegor's polygamy. It is similar behavior but different issues. And, you know, it could have been Grand Maester Myres Hightower (or a Flowers with a Hightower father, or an in-law of Lord Martyn, etc.). Such a man would have certainly spoken in favor of Ceryse Hightower. More information on the Kingsguard would definitely be nice. But the first thing is really not an issue. Bastards and younger sons (like that younger son of the Lord of Griffin's Roost) have to make a living and a career of their own. Thus they end up in rather unexpected places occasionally. I don't think there were so much an issue for Jaehaerys I but rather for his lords and people. Now that the Faith was broken the corruption within the Faith and the privileges they had in comparison to the lords and smallfolk would have become a much more visible issue. Maegor didn't really care about bettering the lives of his subjects. In that sense, it wouldn't have mattered to him all that much that the Faith could sit in judgment over its own. Or rather - he did not get around to notice and do something about that. Hatchlings on Dragonstone would have been comparably safe, one imagines. I guess that could be revealed in the piece on Jaehaerys I. It is not unlikely that one of these knights ended up becoming the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard under Jaehaerys I.
  7. I don't think it does. They are still all descended from Aenar the Exile and Daenys the Dreamer, and the generations of Valyrian dragonlords before them. It clearly doesn't matter that not all of the unions in-between were incestuous or kin marriages. Else we would have long ago gotten a complete Targaryen family tree. They are still descended from this 'magical bloodline' that doesn't really care whether people are descended through the male or the female line. And you can always note that especially Aenys' children all inherited the blood of the dragon from both their parents, anyway. Aenys would have been half-Targaryen (like all of Viserys' children by Alicent are) but his wife Alyssa also has multiple - although somewhat more distant - Targaryen ancestors. Whether it matters for you that Aegon the Conqueror may not, in fact, be the founder of the royal House Targaryen of Westeros and the biological ancestor of Daenerys, Jon Snow, etc. is up to you. I'd say Aegon is still the father of Aenys and Maegor, never mind that he did not actually father them, just as Tywin is still the father of Tyrion, Ned the father of Jon, etc. He is the one who raised them, especially Aenys. We don't know. It is all speculation. Could be - or not. The way Gyldayn tells the tale it is also possible the man got some intestinal disease, had issues with his immune system due to the constant stress he was in, and combined with his general ill health that could easily enough explain how the news about his children could have killed him. @Linda ironically remarked that Aenys literally didn't have the stomach to deal with the Faith Militant. There is a certain symbolic meaning in that. In that sense, it is certainly possible that Visenya did all she could to save her royal nephew. After all, his death did also weaken House Targaryen. And at times people draw lines between dots that should not be connected. Sometimes things happen that greatly benefit certain people and then the conspiracy theorists cry 'causation' when it is just 'correlation'. That kind of thing happens very often in history. One wonders whether it would have been necessary for Visenya to kill her nephew. With Aenys being incapacitated, sick, and unable to make a firm and determined decision even in a healthy state was there really a reason to kill him? Couldn't Visenya have just left Dragonstone to bring back Maegor anyway? Also keep in mind that Aenys was effectively deposed as king. The High Septon denounced him and he fled his own capital, abandoning the lands his father, mother, and aunt had conquered four decades ago. If Maegor had returned during Aenys' lifetime and claimed his father's Iron Throne, crushing all the enemies of House Targaryen in the process, how many men would have continued to look to Aenys as their true king, the king who abandoned his people? Not all that many. In that sense one could argue that Visenya's motive to kill Aenys may not have been as convincing as it appears. And again - a motive is not a murder. Unless Visenya used some form of sorcery to kill Aenys Grand Maester Gawen should have noticed that the king had been poisoned when he first tried to heal him. And for all we know that man was truly loyal to his king.
  8. George wanted 'to know' Daenerys since he wrote 'The Glass Flower'. It is known.
  9. It sounds somewhat weird but in effect it is not unbelievable or strange - at least for such bastards that were actually acknowledged or cared for by their lordly or royal fathers. Joy Hill lives a very privileged life as the natural daughter of Gerion Lannister. Similar things may have happened to the more lucky Targaryen bastards. In effect, many noblemen pimped out or sold their daughters to kings. Just look at Aegon IV. If you or your family get a lot of favors people tend to part rather easily with their wives and daughters. And we also know that all the noblemen casually sleep around with the commoners - Edmure does so in the Riverlands, Robert always did it, Theon did it at Winterfell, Robb most likely did it, too, etc. While most of that sex wouldn't have been rape, getting involved with those lordlings would have always dishonored and shamed the women involved - especially (but not only) if they were already married. But then - how do you reject a nobleman or prince who is interested in you? That's right, you don't. The idea that anyone *really* liked the First Night thing is ridiculous, though. If you marry a woman in such a setting you want her children to be your children. Especially in a society where bastards are so vilified as they are in Westeros. Well, I guess they could also have participated in some campaign in the Riverlands. But if that was the case we would want to know about that. Exactly, then this whole thing could make some sense. And come to think of it - it could also serve as an explanation as to why Maegor did not continue treating the entire Velaryon family, Lord Daemon (or Aethan, or whoever he was), and Alyssa's other brothers and cousins the same way he treated Prince Viserys and previously all the members and kin of House Harroway. Maegor isn't the forgiving type. But if he had reason to believe that Vhagar might suddenly drop out of the nightly sky, making his Red Keep glow a bright red-hot the way Aegon made Harrenhal glow before he could get to his Balerion then ... well, he might have reconsidered such a cause of action. In any other scenario the idea that a man like Maegor would allow the Velaryons to live after Alyssa's escape isn't plausible, either. And one should also assume that not only Lord Velaryon but all his family and kin where encouraged to move permanently to the Red Keep in the wake of Alyssa's escape. There is no way that Maegor allowed them to continue living as they had before. After all, they could all be involved in this treason. And if they could be involved in it then, in Maegor's mind, they were involved in that. I guess that's just a coincidence. A lot of houses - Arryns, Starks, Tyrells, etc. - don't do anything in TSotD. Can you point me to that line? If that's to be read literally then the idea of Prince Aegon having ridden a dragon prior to Quicksilver might make some sense. The Poor Fellows could have attacked the progress, slaying Aegon's dragon in the process, and injuring/chasing off Dreamfyre, so that the Targaryen couple was dragonless and had to seek shelter at Crakehall. I think we should start a thread - best over in the TWoIaF forum - to collect all the errors, inconsistencies, plot holes, etc. we find not only in TSotD but also in TRP and TPatQ. That way we can at least draw attention to those things, and increase the likelihood that somebody does something about that. As far as I know both George and Anne know how to use the internet, too ;-).
  10. Sure, and we see how popular Gargon the Guest was with his people because he really, really liked this First Night thing. However, TSotD has this paragraph where Gyldayn talks about the people who dreamed about breaking the chains of the Dragon. There are strong hints there that things were much more savage back in the good old days of the Seven Kingdoms - and presumably even more so during the days of the Hundred Kingdoms. A lord would be stupid to antagonize the men who who are the foundation of his power. But back in the good old days those would essentially have been just a core group of people - his sworn swords, the garrison of his castle, perhaps a few other men. They were the steel and clubs who kept the commoners in line. If a lord insisted to humiliate/antagonize one (or too many) of these men he does this at his own risk. But fucking all the beautiful daughters of your peasants, craftsmen, servants, etc. should be perfectly fine. It also very effectively reinforces the gap in rank between common men and the nobility. By the way - the status of bastards in this society also seems to indicate that the First Night had no foundation in religion. Bastards are essentially villified and demonized in this culture. It wouldn't make a lot of sense if the First Night - which must have led to the conception of a lot of bastards throughout the history of the Seven Kingdoms - was a custom that was supported by doctrines of the Faith.
  11. Sure, that's how things stood during the Conquest. But ask yourself how a society where a thing like the First Night was actually widely practiced actually views (common) women. If you say they considered them 'human beings' or 'equal to men' in the sense that they are 'people', too, allowed to make their own choices in life, etc. then you would be wrong. And we can really only guess at the status women had back in the days when this custom of the First Night developed. In the form as we know it it was highly ritualized and connected to the marriage of a subject or levy, yet back in the glorious days of the Hundred Kingdoms things may have been much more 'down to earth' - meaning that a lord or petty king could pretty much have any woman he wanted to. And it is not that kings and lords don't really have this power during the series. They get what they want. I don't think the First Night originates with something like that. We have that kind of thing with the duties of the Prince of Pentos who has to ritually deflower two maids who fulfill certain religious functions/roles. Very ancient First Men culture seems to have been somewhat more egalitarian if the wildlings and Bran's vision of the woman (a priestess?) with the bronze sickle are any indication.
  12. Whatever it is, it clearly means that the women living on the lands of a lord or petty king are his property. It is also rather reminiscent of the aspect of marriage where the groom essentially buys the bride from her father. It is just that the bride does not really belong to her father but to the lord/petty king, and while he agrees to part with that treasure of his he demands one (final?) fuck with the woman he agrees to let go. It is disgusting.
  13. Rhaenys had been immensely popular. And the people instigating all that would have been the Kingslanders even if the High Septon also sent money to support this. They were not celebrating Rhaenys the Abominable Whore, they were celebrating Rhaenys the Queen. And you can make that difference. You do it all the time. Just look how fundamentalists can make compromises and deals with people who have the money and power. You only attack when you sense a weakness, and Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys were never weak. Aenys was. I know ;-). She is also afraid for her sons, of course, but even Daemon argues for caution. He says something along the lines that he is not going to risk (one of) their dragons unless he has to. And we see during the Dance that risking the life of the king/pretender - Aegon II - can backfire rather spectacularly. Basically, TSotD feels like sloppy writing at that point. George knows that Maegor died in 48 AC, and he knows that he never fought a dragon battle against Jaehaerys and company. But in a realistic setting this danger would have been there. And it would have been a real issue for all the people involved. The First Night was abolished by Jaehaerys I, following the advice/pressure of Alysanne. However, I'd be very surprised if this was a 'religious law/custom'. My point above was that marriage in general is a religious ritual/institution - like it was in the middle ages - and I really don't think the First Night was ever part of the Faith's concept of marriage. In fact, it is adultery, plain and simple. This thing seems to be some sort of ancient and quite barbaric First Men thing dating back to the days of the petty kings and thralldom. Considering the power (and fun) a lord or king could enjoy with that kind of custom it is hardly surprising that it survived as long as it did. I think that was just a bad joke. We never get a hint that a king could actually force the bride of a lord to share the bed with him. This seems to be some thing that really shows the power the lords and petty kings have (or had) over the smallfolk. They were away for four years. The rumors that they had fled to Tyrosh or Volantis would have been verified or falsified by then. Tyanna seems to have been a greater wonder than the cockless wonder that came later. She was really great at her job. Even if Alyssa and her children dyed her hair and disguised as commoners, etc., they could not possibly hide their Westerosi origins. They could not possibly disappear without a trace. And a trace is all a woman like Tyanna would need. Assuming she doesn't use magic to find people.
  14. The difference there is that the author writing as a historian should be precise. Balon Greyjoy certainly can think of his daughter Asha as a daughter, though. He actually does.
  15. Me, too. Apparently Balerion could do it long enough to make the towers of Harrenhal melt. It is not very likely that the wood and whatever flammable material was within the tower could make the outside of the towers twist and melt. Oh, you were interpreting it that way? What about King Aenys being sovereign enough to crown himself, like Napoleon did? He didn't need some old hag to put the crown on his head. The symbolism with coronations always is that the guy doing the crowning - or acting in the name of the deity sanctifying the monarch with the coronation - has more power/authority than the person receiving the crown. And that dichotomy is there in the books. The High Septons make Targaryen kings. And if they do that they can also unmake them. As the High Septon did with King Aenys. And I'm sure the new High Septon might or could do with King Tommen.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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 ;-).
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. 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.