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Veltigar

The Brightfyre theory

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One of the largest schisms to run through this forum is the eternal (or at least until tWoW comes out) dispute about Faegon’s true parentage. Some people on the forum believe him to be real, others think that he’s just some random Valyrian looking chap and the majority of posters follows what I like to describe as the “Classic Blackfyre theory”.
Neither of these origin stories is satisfying to me and several others. All of them are missing something, even the classic BF theory is not fully convincing to us. That’s why some of us came up with a new theory, which we have been spreading for several months now, and we thought that it was about time that it got its own thread.
So, here it goes: the Brightfyre theory is basically an expansion on the classic Blackfyre theory.
Now the classic BF theory states that Faegon is the result of the union between Illyrio Mopatis and Serra Blackfyre (which makes Varys a Blackfyre as well).
According to me and several other posters this scenario does not fully utilize all the available clues, parallels and isn’t as thematically grounded as our own alternative the Brightfyre theory.
In our alternative Faegon is the child of a union between Illyrio Blackfyre* and Serra Brightflame** (With Varys as Serra's brother), thus producing a child (Faegon) that unites the claims of both lines in one person.
Now let us look into clues that inspired our little theory:
1) Blackfyre heritage
We have all seen this evidence a thousand times so I’ll just be quick about it. If I have forgotten anything than please comment and I’ll edit it in.
_ The Dragon sign in AFFC
_Faegon being supported by the GC
_Illyrio’s “BF have died out in the male line” comment (implying that there are still descendants from the female line).
_The Black Dragon mention in Moqorro’s vision
2) Brightflame heritage
_ The connection to Lys where Aerion spend his years in exile
_ Jon’s mention of Aerion’s trueborn son in ACOK
_ The Bright Dragon mention in Moqorro’s vision
_ These two quotes link Egg, Aerion and Varys together:

The man who stepped through the door was plump, perfumed, powdered, and as hairless as an egg. --Catelyn IV, Game [added by OP: Catelyn is describing Varys. Egg is of course Aegon V's nickname]

"Daeron has common hair, sort of a pale brown, nothing special, but mine is like Aerion's and my father's. --TMK [added by OP: Egg (Aegon V) compares his hair to that of his older brother. In other words Varys, having inherited Aerion's hair shaves it like Aegon V did to hide his identity]

_ Another interesting find brought to you by Yolkboy and J. Stargaryen:

So In aCoK there are two speeches about shadows, one by Varys and one by Mel. I always thought they were possibly linked as Varys tells Tyrion shadows can kill, which is what happens with Mel's shadow assassins.

Varys tells Tyrion power is a mummers trick and a shadow. To gain power you have to cast a large shadow.

What casts the darkest shadow? A bright flame, according to Mel.

Dunno if this might be a purposeful nod or not, but just getting it out there. :P

=> I personally favor Varys and Serra being descendants of Aerion's trueborn son. But there is also an interesting SSM about the possibility of Aerion having fathered bastards in Lys. Some people therefore favor a Brightflame bastard as the ancestor of Varys and Serra

Varys was born a slave in Lys where Aerion was exiled and apparently sired a bastard or three (http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Many_Questions/)T

3) Illyrio as Faegon’s dad
_ He clearly loves the boy, which is strange since he was really indifferent about the two other Targs
_ The boy clothes in his manse
_ Perhaps the Statue (it could be off Illyrio himself)
4) Varys and Serra as Brightflame’s
_ Serra has Valyrian Looks
_ Varys shaves his head, just like Egg does in the D&E tales. Best explanation is that he’s trying to hide some Valyrian traits there
_ Serra’s (and therefore Varys’s) connection to Lys [uPDATE: in GoT 04X06; Varys has been confirmed as being a Lyseni. It's from the show and thus circumstancial evidence, but it points in the direction we deem the most likely]
_ Varys castration (power of kingsblood)

In addition to this, Aerion used to threaten to castrate Egg and Varys is a eunuch.

[added by OP: Irony can be a bitch]

In ASoS Varys helps Tyrion to escape and they eventually turn up in a peculiar chamber below the TotH. Main features: a mosaic of a three-headed dragon and a dragon's head brazier with coals burnt down to embers in its yawning mouth. A little hint to Aerion and his fiery cocktail? A parallel with the brazier where Varys' manhood was burnt?

5) General remarks, parallels, etc.
_ Illyrio was a warrior in his youth. We know martial prowess is one of the most important parts of House Blackfyre
_ Illyrio’s description matches nicely with that of Aegon IV the Unworthy (he’s fat, corrupt, etc.) when you lay them side by side. Just like Faegon seems to have a striking resemblance to the original Daemon Blackfyre. For more information on this particular clue, check out the second post of this thread (made by LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse).
_ In THK, the first time we are really introduced to Aerion’s madness is when we see him abuse his power to manhandle a bunch of mummers because the dragon in their puppet show died. Therefore there is a lot of irony in Aerion’s descendant being a mummer himself (Varys) and is about to bring his own mummer’s dragon into the game

House webber (spider sigil) wasn´t really loyal to the blackfyres. It was house osgrey.

=> [Added by OP: In tSS the last member of House Osgrey (loyal Blackfyre supporters) marries Lady Rohanne Webber (Sigil: a spider. They supported Daeron the Good against Daemon). Now, who do we know that is constantly identified with a "spider" (hint, hint Varys). In this pairing from tSS we could clearly see forshadowing towards a marriage between the House of our own Varys the spider and House Blackfyre]

LordToo-Fat and I were having a discussion that led to a potentially neat catch. As you know, Lady Gwyn was inquiring about whether or not we might have the Blackfyre/Brightflame lineages mixed up. LT-F asked if there was even anything linking Varys to the Blackfyres. I responded that in TSS we get a lot of Blackfyre talk + House Webber with its spider sigil, to which he replied:

And how does the Osgrey-Webber feud get resolved? They unite their Houses via marriage! Osgreys were Blackfyre supporters, and Ser Eustace ends up marrying the lady spider, which could be seen as an analog for Varys' sister. Naturally, the Webbers supported House Targaryen during the Blackfyre Rebellion. [Added by OP: As the user Paperwaver pointed out: Lord Osgrey was a lot older then Lady Webber. Just like House Blackfyre is older than Aerion's line]

Something else that occurred to me is that Osgrey and Webber ended up fighting over water. There were hard feelings for a long time prior, but the first blood is spilled over the damn that Lady Rohann had built. In other words, the water that was being denied to the Osgreys by House Webber.

Let's look at the first Blackfyre Rebellion. Though there was bitterness between the two sides beforehand, the "straw that broke the camel's back," according to GRRM, was when Daeron II arranged the marriage of Daenerys to the Prince of Dorne. And what did Maron Martell do to commemorate the marriage? He built Daenerys the Water Gardens. Daemon Blackfyre was denied his water Daenerys.

What this looks like to me is nearly perfect symbolism. Osgrey = (Daemon) Blackfyre. Webber = (Daeron II) Targaryen. Water = Daenerys.

partially :ninja: 'd by Veltigar by like 5 seconds!

_ It ties up loose ends. It is often (and quite correctly) stated that due to the Blackfyre’s enormous impact on the D&E tales they are bound to return in some form during ASOIAF. The same could be said of Aerion, who’s threatening presence still looms large over Egg, even after he’s banished.
_Another addition pointing to Targ blood for Varys:

I am told by the kind Lady G that this piece hasn't been brought up yet and that I should throw it in here, so here we go:

And above it all, frowning down from Aegon’s high hill, was the Red Keep; seven huge drum-towers crowned with iron ramparts, an immense grim barbican, vaulted halls and covered bridges, barracks and dungeons and granaries, massive curtain walls studded with archers’ nests, all fashioned of pale red stone. Aegon the Conqueror had commanded it built. His son Maegor the Cruel had seen it completed. Afterward he had taken the heads of every stonemason, woodworker, and builder who had labored on it. Only the blood of the dragon would ever know the secrets of the fortress the Dragonlords had built, he vowed.

I wondered whether this might be a hint how Varys learned about the secret passages and how to find them.

_ Yet again a great find:

I remember yolkboy or another poster made an analysis about the blackberries and Blackfyres. I can’t find that thread but here is a quote from ADwD:

“Come, drink with me,” the fat man said. “A scale from the dragon that burned you, as they say.” He poured for them from a flagon of blackberry wine so sweet that it drew more flies than honey. Tyrion shooed them off with the back of his hand and drank deep. The taste was so cloying that it was all he could do to keep it down. The second cup went down easier, however. Even so, he had no appetite, and when Illyrio offered him a bowl of blackberries in cream he waved it off.

Apart from the association of a Black Dragon loyalist with blackberries in TSS [added by OP: Lord Osgrey had burried his sons under Blackberry bushes], we have Illyrio drinking blackberry wine and eating creamed blackberries with Tyrion. He says “a scale from the dragon that burned you” while pouring the blackberry wine and I bet this dragon is the Black Dragon.

_ There is a certain irony in the fact that the Brightfyre theory makes Faegon’s claim even better in the sense that in unites both the older Targaryen and the BF claim, thus you could say that this trumps the claim Dany and Jon have.
_ It better explains Faegon’s full on Valyrian traits. Genetics might be sketchy in Martinverse but when two parents have strong Targaryen ancestry it’s much more likely to get a kid with the full Targ look
_ Thematically, a marriage alliance between the Scions of House BF (Illyrio) and House Brightflame makes a lot more sense than “two buddies teaming up to take down the system and then one buddy falls for the other ones sister” (which sounds like the premise of a bad heist movie). We have seen that alliances sealed by marriage are hugely important and an integral part of the fabric of this series (e.g. Rickard’s Southron ambitions, Ned and Jon marrying Cat and Lysa, Bobby B marrying Cersei, Dany marrying Drogo, etc.) and it would make a lot more sense if the Illyrio-Serra union happened along this line as well.
_ It better explains Illyrio’s trust in the GC and his motivation in general. We know he doesn’t really think highly of Westerosi and that he seems to symbolize the greedy free city merchant class. So, it really seems strange that he’s as convinced of the GC support as he seems to be. If he was just a merchant he would be a lot less certain of himself. I also highly doubt that he would risk his only son (whom he clearly loves) in order to claim the IT. If Illyrio wants a lot of power he would be better off trying to take over a Free City.
_ The Classic BF theory does not explain how on earth two BF descendants became slaves in Lys of all places. The Brightfyre theory on the other hand explains why Varys and Serra would have their connection to Lys.
_ yet another addition:

The story goes that the Band of Nine, which included Maelys Blackfyre, conquered Tyrosh imposing a ruler (who stayed in power a couple of years after Maelys died in the stepstones).

After taking Tyrosh the Maelys and the Golden Company attempted their conquest of Westeros, failing miserably.

It makes sense to speculate that if Maelys had a daughter she would have stayed/born in Tyrosh.

Aegon says he dyes his hair in honor to his Tyroshi mother. What if Illyrio had him dying his hair in honor to his own Tyroshi mother? Lies are more effective when they have some truth in them. Perhaps Aegon did have a Tyroshi grandmother.

[Added by the OP: Illyrio seems to have very good relations with Tyrosh. There was an important Tyroshi (a brother to the archon IIRC) present when Dany was introduced to Drogo]

_ Another good find if we take drafts into account:

3) The Blackfyre sword. From early drafts of ADWD, (f)Aegon theory supporters speculated that Illyrio sent Aegon the sword of house blackfyre within those chests that Tyrion thought had gold for the Golden Company. GRRM took out much information about the blackfyres from these chapters, probably because he was giving too much clues.

_ Another interesting find:

"He may be a true Targaryan after all..."

Tyrion

That sentence fits nicely with Blackfyre - Brightflame theory. It, first, shows doubt about boy's identity. And, at this point, not only the majority of forum members, but also some of book characters have their doubts about YG (Mace Tyrell, Daemon Sand, for example).

But, boy may be a true Targaryan...after all. Not quite a Targaryan we expected, but a Targaryan.

That was all I could come up with. There is definitely more stuff out there and I hope this thread will unearth some more hidden gems. Feel free to contribute :D
TL:DR Illyrio Blackfyre + Serra Brightflame = Faegon
[* Illyrio Blackfyre would be the child of a sister/daughter/niece of Maelys the Monstrous with some non-Blackfyre man (Perhaps one of Maelys's allies amongst the ninepenny kings. He's a Blackfyre because of course he would take his mother's name eventhough he now hides behind the name Mopatis]
[**I’m well aware that there is no such thing as a House Brightflame, Aerion’s descendants are Targaryen but to make things go more smoothly I have opted to consistently speak about Brightflame when talking about Aerion's descendants]

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a couple of thoughts.



1)



Aegon the Unworthy ... began his realm when he was young and handsome, and ended it old and corrupt. To provide some variety in the portraits, let us go with the older Aegon. By the end he was bloated, fat, corrupt. His eyes almost lost in the fat of his face, his legs too weak to support his belly, his mouth small and mean. His clothing should be silk and satin, bright and rich, and he would have lots of gold and gemstones about him; a chain, rings, etc.





Jewels danced when he moved his hands; onyx and opal, tiger’s eye and tourmaline, ruby, amethyst, sapphire, emerald, jet and jade, a black diamond, and a green pearl. I could live for years on his rings, Tyrion mused, though I’d need a cleaver to claim them.



Illyrio is a nice parallel of Aegon IV, due to his Jewels rings and so on..



The inclusion of a sapphire might hint a secret.


http://www.tearsofblood.org/#!home/mainPage



2) Another Blackfyre link to Illyrio directly is the Parallel with Lord Butterwell, one of the main supporters of the Second Blackfyre Rebellion (this I think is important since Aegon himself is a great parallelism of Daemon II)


Lord of Cheese/lord of Milk


Both have a link with the position of Master of Coin


Both are said to have great wine collections



3) The Blackfyre sword. From early drafts of ADWD, (f)Aegon theory supporters speculated that Illyrio sent Aegon the sword of house blackfyre within those chests that Tyrion thought had gold for the Golden Company. GRRM took out much information about the blackfyres from these chapters, probably because he was giving too much clues.



4) Blackfyre known location:



The Classic Blackfyre theory can´t explain how Serra and Varys Blackfyre end up being slaves in Lys. Now GRRM said Aerion left a couple of bastards in Lys. Clearly this theory has an advantage from that side due to the brightflame Lys connection. What about Illyrio?



Tyrion turned to Young Griff and gave the lad his most disarming smile. “Blue hair may serve you well in Tyrosh, but in Westeros children will throw stones at you and girls will laugh in your face.”


The lad was taken aback. “My mother was a lady of Tyrosh. I dye my hair in memory of her.”




The story goes that the Band of Nine, which included Maelys Blackfyre, conquered Tyrosh imposing a ruler (who stayed in power a couple of years after Maelys died in the stepstones).


After taking Tyrosh the Maelys and the Golden Company attempted their conquest of Westeros, failing miserably.


It makes sense to speculate that if Maelys had a daughter she would have stayed/born in Tyrosh.


Aegon says he dyes his hair in honor to his Tyroshi mother. What if Illyrio had him dying his hair in honor to his own Tyroshi mother? Lies are more effective when they have some truth in them. Perhaps Aegon did have a Tyroshi grandmother.


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This isnt so much a gripe with the Brightfyre theory, as it applies to both BF theories. What evidence suggests Serra and Varys are borther and sister? That they both come from Lys? No, sorry but I dont consider that a strong enough connection, there must be thousands of people who live in Lys. That doesnt affect the theory all that much of course, it just removes Varys as Aegon the Maybes uncle.

Before reading this I was in the "random Valyrian looks, but likely the son of Illyrio. No Blackfyre connection" camp. Now I am kind of more accepting that Aegon may have a connection to Brightflame or Blackfyre, although not conpletely sold on either. I dont really know what to think tbh :/

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This isnt so much a gripe with the Brightfyre theory, as it applies to both BF theories. What evidence suggests Serra and Varys are borther and sister? That they both come from Lys? No, sorry but I dont consider that a strong enough connection, there must be thousands of people who live in Lys. That doesnt affect the theory all that much of course, it just removes Varys as Aegon the Maybes uncle.

Before reading this I was in the "random Valyrian looks, but likely the son of Illyrio. No Blackfyre connection" camp. Now I am kind of more accepting that Aegon may have a connection to Brightflame or Blackfyre, although not conpletely sold on either. I dont really know what to think tbh :/

There isn´t much evidence to suggest Serra and Varys are brother and sister.. That of course is to be expected since we know very little of Serra.

Lys, bedslave, Valyrian looks, golden hair streaked by silver.. Kind of the inverse of Elaena Targaryen..Bastards invert sigil colors right?

And that is all.

Of course, the little we know does help, since it appears Serra has a similar background than Varys.

Furthermore, is it a coincidence that Illyrio (Varys´s friend and partner) ends up marrying serra?

The way Illyrio talks about Dany also helps, since it hints certain similarities. If we have clues of both Serra and Varys having blood of the dragon, then the brother and Sister link isn´t that much of a stretch.

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Even if the theory holds true, (F)Aegon would be neither a blackfyre or a targ, he would be a Mopatis, like his father. A relative of both, yes but so is Bob, Renly,Stannis, Shireen, Edric Storm, Gendry, Tansy, Oberyn, Doran, Quentyn, Arianne, all the sand snakes and whomever else had some targ from their (great great great) grandparents.


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It is as good a theory as most and it does tie several historical elements together.



This may explain how and why Varys came to the attention of Aerys. In the wake of the "War of the Ninepenny Kings" the Blackfyre side of the family would have been in shambles and the Brightflame side would have been new, abandoned in the East and without recognition or standing. Two young members from each weak Targaryen line finding each other and a common purpose would not be stretch. Learning the value of secrets and then intentionally moving the operation to KL (when it worked so well in the Free Cities) has always been a curious move that seemed more part of a long range plan than mere happenstance.



I think it was implied that Lord Steffon Baratheon found Varys for Aerys on his scouting trips to Essos, but Varys could have been introduced to Aerys through a different channel. Perhaps this would be another part of the puzzle.



A marriage pack to seal a Blackfyre/Brightflame deal would not be unusual. After all the current plan was for fAegon to wed Dany which would reunify the three outstanding Targ lines into a new one..


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I'm sold Veltigar. But then I told you that earlier, I love how this theory ties so many loose ends up.


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I definitely agree Illyrio and Varys are some combo of Blackfyre and Brightflame, but still not sold on Serra or Aegon himself. They could both still just be random people picked for their Valyrian looks.

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I think it's a good idea Veltigar and the details are much along the lines of what I've always thought.



One question-- how do you explain "extinct in the male line" is Illyrio is a Blackfyre himself? In that case fAegon is a male Blackfyre... (apologies if it's in your OP and I missed it)



Have you considered the reverse? That is Illyrio as a Brighflame and Serra a Blackfyre? Wouldn't all the essentials remain the same?


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I think, please correct me if I am wrong Veltigar, that the proposal is that Ilyrio is the son of a female descendant therefore he is of the female line? and this explains his surname Mopatis, it would be his fathers surname. His mother having been the Blackfyre/Brightflame. Yes?


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I think it's a good idea Veltigar and the details are much along the lines of what I've always thought.

One question-- how do you explain "extinct in the male line" is Illyrio is a Blackfyre himself? In that case fAegon is a male Blackfyre... (apologies if it's in your OP and I missed it)

Have you considered the reverse? That is Illyrio as a Brighflame and Serra a Blackfyre? Wouldn't all the essentials remain the same?

Illyrio is son of a daughter or a sister of Maelys blackfyre.Therefore part of a female line of house blackfyre.

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Im on board with this theory after seeing variations of it popping up over the last couple weeks. To me, the biggest question mark as to Illyrio/Vary's motivations for that highly risky and long term plan. There just doesn't seem to be any reason for them to be expending this type of mental and financial resources for a questionable claim to the IT - Illyrio would be giving up a life of pure luxury and prestige in Pentos, and Varys would be giving up some kind of undefined ability to keep track of intrigue and politics in KL. So, more succinctly, we have no real reason as to Illyrio's motivation to make any effort, and we have no motivation for Varys to even be in KL in his thankless job. "For the realm"? Sure.



This also makes more sense regarding the conversation between Varys and Illyrio in the Red Keep in AGOT, and their subsequent horrible plans regarding Dany and Viserys. I do admit, its a lot of random loose threads to tie up, but at least a blood connection makes sense as to the relationship between Illryio, Varys and Aegon.


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We also get that line about the male line extinction from Illyrio himself, so take that at what you will. Its like trusting something that Varys told someone, just because Varys said it. These guys are playing a horrendously long con, and I see no reason to think anyone is in on it besides them two, most likely not even Aegon himself.


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Illyrio is son of a daughter or a sister of Maelys blackfyre.Therefore part of a female line of house blackfyre.

Of course that occurred to me, but this part of the OP confuses that line of reasoning:

"In our alternative Faegon is the child of a union between Illyrio Blackfyre and Serra Brightflame*, thus producing a child (Faegon) that unites the claims of both lines in one person"

If he's Illyrio Backfyre, then he's a male Blackfyre. no? Just pointing out where clarification may be necessary. :)

My question still stands-- doesn't it work equally well in the reverse? (Maybe a tiny bit better as it would place fAegon's male descent squarely in the main branch of the family?)

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We also get that line about the male line extinction from Illyrio himself, so take that at what you will. Its like trusting something that Varys told someone, just because Varys said it. These guys are playing a horrendously long con, and I see no reason to think anyone is in on it besides them two, most likely not even Aegon himself.

Yes, the rest of westeros seem to think that the blackfyre threat is over.. Maelys was the last blackfyre pretender..

The fact that Illyrio is the one adding information about a possible female line is revealing in itself.

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It's a pretty nice theory. I like ideas that tie different parts together, rather than create new ones.



I just can't understand why they would need the Aegon identity though especially on top of the Griffon identity too. With so many respectable Targ ancestors, Brightflame would have plenty of backers. That's always my problem with the Aegon Blackfyre theories. The conspirators are working so hard to advance an easily discredited claimant.



These theories also pretty much ignore the existence of both JonCon and Septa Lemore. There's an underlying answer somewhere that explains their place in the story.


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Apart from this:

One question-- how do you explain "extinct in the male line" is Illyrio is a Blackfyre himself? In that case fAegon is a male Blackfyre... (apologies if it's in your OP and I missed it)

Have you considered the reverse? That is Illyrio as a Brighflame and Serra a Blackfyre? Wouldn't all the essentials remain the same?

I agree with this theory. There's been theories of a Aegon being a Blackfyre and Brightflame union before, but I'm sold on it even more now.

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Of course that occurred to me, but this part of the OP confuses that line of reasoning:

"In our alternative Faegon is the child of a union between Illyrio Blackfyre and Serra Brightflame*, thus producing a child (Faegon) that unites the claims of both lines in one person"

If he's Illyrio Backfyre, then he's a male Blackfyre. no? Just pointing out where clarification may be necessary. :)

My question still stands-- doesn't it work equally well in the reverse? (Maybe a tiny bit better as it would place fAegon's male descent squarely in the main branch of the family?)

Well you know females can and do transfer their former house name to their sons and daughters.. Otherwise house martell wouldn’t be ruling dorne today still. Virtually no house could keep their original name,..

During the hornwood inheritance controversy, the best claim was of Beren Tallhart son of Berena Hornwood (Sister of the late Lord hornwood). Lord Tallhart offered his son as heir to hornwood and one possibility was him taking the name Hornwood to keep the house alive.

The same could happen in (f)Aegon´s case.

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I think Varys is a Brightflame since he is from the city Aerion was exiled to, Lys.



I think Serra may be just a whore because unlike Tyrion (a Targ Bastard imho) Serra got and died of grey scale. Tyrion didn't get when in direct contact and we see from Daenerys that Targs apparently (who knows for sure) have a great immune system. I guess if she was Brightflame descendent her blood could be deluded.



I recently like that Illyrio is Blackfyre because he served in the GC and may have been wielding Blackfyre in his statue. Also Illyrio being Blackfyre would probably give a higher standing then Varys a slave/bastard of an exiled Targ. Varys may see his tutelage of Aegon as a psedo son since he can't have one of his own. Using the Aegon switch move instead of straight Blackfyre rebellion gives the Aegon Dorne right off the back and one key marriage and destabilized realm makes more sense then united front against essosians balckfyre who would seem more like a foreign conqueror.

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I think, please correct me if I am wrong Veltigar, that the proposal is that Ilyrio is the son of a female descendant therefore he is of the female line? and this explains his surname Mopatis, it would be his fathers surname. His mother having been the Blackfyre/Brightflame. Yes?

Mopatis may not be his real name. It could be dangerous trying to take power with the name Blackfyre.

Good theory veltigar

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