Werthead

Atlas of Ice and Fire

155 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Spicetown was the one the Velaryons never rebuilt. Vinetown was attacked by the Ironborn during the reign of Aerys I.

Also, in what text is Massey's Hook described as mountainous?

Otherwise, another fine job.

Lands of Ice and Fire shows Massey's Hook with mountains on it.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/18/2017 at 3:38 PM, Werthead said:

Lands of Ice and Fire shows Massey's Hook with mountains on it.

That makes wonder what the hell Bittersteel was thinking landing there during the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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16 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

That makes wonder what the hell Bittersteel was thinking landing there during the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion

Depends where he landed. The peninsula is pretty big and there's likely some areas that are quite reasonable to traverse.

The problem with all of the maps to date are that they are still ludicrously huge in scale, so the geographic features they depict are still generalised rather than specific. None of the published maps show the plethora of rivers that give the Riverlands their name, for example.

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18 hours ago, Werthead said:

Depends where he landed. The peninsula is pretty big and there's likely some areas that are quite reasonable to traverse.

The problem with all of the maps to date are that they are still ludicrously huge in scale, so the geographic features they depict are still generalised rather than specific. None of the published maps show the plethora of rivers that give the Riverlands their name, for example.

Huh. Never thought of that.

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9 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Huh. Never thought of that.

I'm pretty sure Bittersteel was not stupid enough to land in some backwater vale, forcing him to march his army across some rather large mountains.

However, we really have to ask ourselves what they were thinking when they were landing there of all places.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm pretty sure Bittersteel was not stupid enough to land in some backwater vale, forcing him to march his army across some rather large mountains.

However, we really have to ask ourselves what they were thinking when they were landing there of all places.

I have an idea or two about the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion but I don't want to derail this thread so I won't post those here.

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On 22/03/2017 at 3:27 PM, The Grey Wolf said:

That makes wonder what the hell Bittersteel was thinking landing there during the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion

In line with Lord Varys, I'd guess that the Golden Company landed at the base of Massey's Hook, instead of anywhere near Stondance. That said, I think Bittersteel was quite desperate at this stage:

  • The Blackfyres were soundly beaten in the Third Rebellion, if perhaps only towards the end. With Haegon's murder (very likely) at the hands of Aerion, Aerys probably showed leniency to Blackfyre supporters (helps to explain how the Yronwoods are still so powerful, plus the likes of the Reynes & the Peakes decades later if they fought for the Black Dragon again), as he did with Bittersteel.
  • If so, the Blackfyre loyalists would have retained a measure of power they could swear to the Black Dragon in a future campaign, but which wouldn't be for another 17 years - Bittersteel had to regroup, rebuild, wait for Daemon to come of age, & was most like seeing out Maekar's reign (especially if the Peake Uprising was a Blackfyre plot). Support is going to wane over that much time, especially after three defeats, even among some Blackfyre diehards - Bittersteel wasn't able to take proper advantage of anti-Targaryen sentiment (particularly Haegon's murder), especially once Aerys died & Maekar ascended. 
  • Meanwhile, those who were more only sympathetic to the Blackfyre cause, were only punished lightly (if they actually fought for the Black Dragon at all). That would embolden some to fight against the Targaryens again if it came out to, but I'd wager it turned more towards them.
  • Despite likely being a better claimant & potential king than his nephew, Aenys was usurping the Blackfyre succession & certainly wouldn't have had the support of Bittersteel & Daemon at the very least. Even with another Blackfyre murdered by a "Targaryen", this time Aenys by Bloodraven, Bittersteel wouldn't have been able to utilise it as much he could've with Haegon's death. Particularly once singularly suitable Egg was crowned & swiftly punished Brynden for his crime with the appropriate sentence.
  • The Golden Company would've already been seen far more as dangerous sellsword invaders (a fair number of them foreigners) than gloriously & justly returned Westerosi heroes. Bittersteel was ever more bitter & kept losing. Daemon was born & raised in Tyrosh/Essos, essentially a foreigner. That's all going to blunt local support for the Blackfyre cause.

It's all-but-confirmed imo that this is when Torwyn Greyjoy betrayed Bittersteel:

  • Frankly, any alliance with the Ironborn as a primary ally is desperate - Robb more likely than not wouldn't have sent Theon to his father had Lysa supported him, the Targaryen forces during the Wot9pK were greatly aided by Quellon & his 100 longships, etc. The 1st BfR was virtually only a land war & Daemon was basically winning until the end, Bittersteel wasn't involved in the 2nd, & although also unsuccessful; faired far better in the 3rd than 4th.
  • The Golden Company wouldn't have had the naval strength, most likely only hired ships & crews no less, to take on the combined power of King's Landing, Driftmark, & Dragonstone - perhaps not even any one of them. However, the Ironborn could, perhaps especially if the intention was for them to send a reaving feint to say the Bay of Crabs to lure out the ships of Dragonstone & Driftmark, whilst the main fleet entered Blackwater Bay (whether by sea or portaging their longships from the east) to eventually ferry the Golden Company across the Bay & fight with them.
  • Bittersteel would know their local support had waned since the 3rd & was a shadow of what it was during the 1st - their best chance was a quick & successful strike on King's Landing itself before the Targaryen loyalists could rally to the defense Egg & his royal family. This helps to explain the Massey's Hook landing instead of say at the Yronwood river (or Wyl) where they had strong & certain support, or at the Mander to attempt a 1st-esque rally of the Reach. And an ironborn betrayal certainly helps to explain how the GC were only able to make it to the Wendwater to meet Egg & his army - Torwyn likely tipped him off & may have even fought with him given how amazingly few men that the royal forces lost.
  • If that last is the case, it could have been an inspiration for Quellon to continue military cooperation with the Iron Throne during his own time on the Seastone Chair. As much as he was a reformer with the New Way; Quellon was a warrior & knew the benefits the Old Way could provide if utilised wisely, instead of doing away with it completely, unlike Harmund III. Quellon's men still would've paid the Iron Price to at least some degree against their dead foes, as would Torwyn's. Indeed, the chronology in TWoIaF suggests that the progressive Loron (possibly once a hostage of the Mallisters after Dagon was defeated) was most likely the only other Lord Greyjoy between Torwyn & Quellon, particularly as Dagon was Quellon's grandfather - it's not unlikely at all that Torwyn was even Quellon's father.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

Text

I agree that the Greyjoy alliance and betrayal probably took place in the Fourth, which explains why it was so poorly handled compared to the First and the Third, leaving aside the Fifth which was after Bittersteel's death. All the same, that does leave us a few questions:

1. Who else supported the Blackfyres apart from the Yronwoods given that it is said they had "little support" but not none or only one house?

2. Did the Peake Uprising actually have anything to do with the Blackfyres or was it something to do with Maekar's domestic policy that TWOIAF completely glossed over?

3. How much Blackfyre support was there exactly at Maekar's death given that Bloodraven clearly feared Aenys could actually win the popular vote?

4. The text says that Aegon V "summoned leal lords from all across the Seven Kingdoms" to oppose Daemon III, which sounds like Wendwater Bridge was a massive battle, in which case it makes little sense to me that less than a hundred men died on the Targaryen side even if they outmaneuvered and outnumbered the Blackfyres  but then again GRRM is not the best with numbers so there is that.

5. Were there any other battles apart from Wendwater? Not only would it be incredibly lame if the rebellion was just a single battle but also Aegon V would have needed quite a bit of time to muster that huge army of his.

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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@The Grey Wolf In the History of Westeros episode on either Bittersteel or the Golden Company, either Aziz or Steven Attewell (yeah, I need to go back & listen to them again) speculated that the Peake Uprising may have been a Blackfyre plot to kill Maekar, to pave the way for a less challenging invasion sometime afterwards.

I've long thought that the Peake Uprising was not just a rebellion from Starpike, but actually a forceful land-grab of Dunstonbury by the Peakes obviously for themselves, but also to secure a landing point for an incoming fleet carrying the Golden Company. (Near the mouth of the Mander, with the intention of sweeping upriver & trying to gain support among the Reachmen as Daemon I had at the start of the 1st - likely with eyes on taking Highgarden, similar to Aegon with Storm's End). Except Bloodraven got wind of it so Maekar was able to put it down quickly - he did have Reynes with him after all, who weren't necessarily at court during winter, unlike Egg's squire Tywald Lannister who would've been.

The Targaryens dealt with the Peakes so swiftly that Blackfyre scout ships in say Oldtown learned of the outcome of the Storming of Starpike & Bloodraven calling the Great Council, returning the news to the main fleet before it could even pass through the Redwyne Straits. Without a secure landing point & the gamechanger of Maekar's death & the GC, Bittersteel decided to turn around to put forth Daemon III's claim with the power of the Golden Company behind their back.

However, Bloodraven lured Aenys to KL well before his relatives could get back to Tyrosh to resupply, with them learning of his death (along with perhaps Egg's ascension) before they could make it to say Blackwater Bay. So, the Golden Company returned back to Essos to try again & I'm guessing when Bittersteel decides to seek an alliance with the Seastone Chair. That he did at some stage, makes me think that the Velaryons stayed loyal to the Targaryens all throughout the Blackfyre era, especially as Bloodraven was holding back the royal fleet during Aerys' reign too.

The Aziz/Steven is more likely, at the very least because of it's comparative simplicity. Although I'm not sure how the Peakes thought they could get away with it without direct Blackfyre support. The timeline isn't especially helpful, particularly with at least some lords of the realm travelling all the way to KL for the GC, although perhaps the Northerners may have been able to send their votes in via raven - it was winter, the Starks were related to Egg through marriage, & Edwyle may not have been +16 yet. And the Golden Company could have easily been delayed with logistics, storms, pirates, etc.

Also I think "a warning to any who might still have Blackfyre sympathies" is better explained if there was actually the possibility of Daemon presenting his claim in person, or at least represented by say Bittersteel or another relative, with the Golden Company looming. For the moment, I lean towards my headcanon along with the History of Westeros proposal as part of it (or at the very least, perhaps attempting to hammer & anvil Maekar themselves - Bittersteel & his men - which also would've produced the chance of taking Egg hostage).

Anyway, I tend towards the Battle of Wendwater Bridge being the only one between the royal forces led by Egg & the Golden Company, but there was a number of other localised battles across the realm: Yronwoods vs Marcher lords &/or other Dornish (as it seemingly happened in the 1st & 3rd too), likely the Brackens vs the Brackens, possibly something in the Reach (especially if including Hightower vassals &/or some continued fallout from the Peake Uprising) &/or the Three Sisters (the Sunderlands dragged them into two of them, but it was only themselves that were at the 2nd), etc.

Yes, the royal losses of <100 men is hard to swallow (though less so than what we're told about the Field of Fire), however this is why I think Torwyn actively fought against Bittersteel, perhaps with his longships sweeping upriver to catch them as they were crossing (along with the Targaryens attacking at the same time). The Ironborn may have suffered more losses than the Crownlanders &/or the details may not be necessarily accurate as towards the royal casualties.

We've seen with the Vale mountain clans in ACoK just how well raiders can dispatch scouts in the Kingswood, so the Golden Company could've easily been in the dark essentially. Not to mention, there was the Stormlander ambush of the far larger Targaryen army that killed more than 1000 of Orys' men & he had the scouting advantages of Rhaenys on Meraxes on his side (although I'd guess she was perhaps grounded or watching their rear instead at the time).

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I don't buy the idea yet that Aerion killed Haegon or that the Torwyn business took place during the Fourth Rebellion. The Third seems to be a major war, and if there was naval warfare involved and multiple battles to be fought it might make sense to assume that Bittersteel tried to get the Greyjoys on board. I don't think Dagon is long for this world in 211 AC. Somebody is going to put him down pretty soon, easily enough allowing Torwyn to be in charge in 219 AC.

I also don't think House Yronwood stood with Daemon III. It seems more likely that some second sons of that house joined the Golden Company with a token force.

9 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

4. The text says that Aegon V "summoned leal lords from all across the Seven Kingdoms" to oppose Daemon III, which sounds like Wendwater Bridge was a massive battle, in which case it makes little sense to me that less than a hundred men died on the Targaryen side even if they outmaneuvered and outnumbered the Blackfyres  but then again GRRM is not the best with numbers so there is that.

Oh, that certainly makes sense considering that the battlefield involves a bridge and thus a river, the Wendwater. If Aegon V controlled the terrain and used it to his advantage he could easily have lured the enemy in a pretty big trap. Say, by destroying said bridge while the enemy was trying to cross it in large numbers, or by attacking the enemy from behind and driving them into the river.

Egg is likely going to grow into a very competent battle commander.

9 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

5. Were there any other battles apart from Wendwater? Not only would it be incredibly lame if the rebellion was just a single battle but also Aegon V would have needed quite a bit of time to muster that huge army of his.

I don't think so. The plan seems to have been to land there, raise the banners, and draw Blackfyre loyalists to join their campaign, and then to march against KL, presumably. They waited some time and pretty much nobody came, while Aegon V called his banners.

But still, the Golden Company would have been there, possibly with 10,000 professional soldiers, or even more. That is a force not easily dismissed, especially not after a six-year-winter which took quite a few lives in Westeros.

We don't know how large Aegon V host was but he may have been forced to draw on quite a few regions (think of the contingent from the Westerlands) to assemble a large host.

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@Lord Varys The 3rd is certainly a possibility, but makes far less sense than the 4th, imo. For Bittersteel to seek alliance with the ironborn so soon after Dagon's reaving (which was only eventually defeated with royal intervention, possibly as late as 218 after Maekar became Prince of Dragonstone after Aelor's death) ... he doesn't seem to have been desperate enough.

The Blackfyres would lose too much support from the Reach & Westerlands, the former definitely their main local support base & the latter arguably second-only, for it to be worth it. Not to mention, the Ironborn strength would be not be high so soon after Dagon. And although it sounds like he prematurely ended his rule Brandon the Shipwright-esque, TWoIaF chronology seems to have Alton at the least sitting the Seastone Chair between Dagon & Torwyn.

If there were naval battles in the 3rd & Torwyn was part of that Rebellion, then Aegor probably would've had to have been supported by the Redwynes (or some Reach contingent most likely led by them) for their to have actually been battles. The Velaryons, Lannisters, & Arryns all-but-confirmed stayed loyal to the Targaryens, whilst Kiera of Tyrosh was most like still kept at court by the Crown to ensure Tyrosh wouldn't fully support (if at all) the Golden company with a fleet. And that's if she wasn't already married to Daeron. Despite sacking Qohor, that Bittersteel & his fellows had to sell their swords in the first place, means that money wasn't flowing into the Blackfyre invasion fund from Westerosi or Essosi supporters. Qohor probably only provided the capital to be able to launch the invasion, but not strengthen it with other hirelings, in the first place.

Why don't you think it was Aerion who murdered Haegon? His "actions" are contrasted to the heroics of his father & youngest brother, & along with Brynden (the only other prime suspect) he called for Aegor's execution. Not to mention, it does add fittingly to his Monstrous moniker. And if a member of the royal family did such a heinous deed to an unarmed prisoner, it helps to explain Aerys' leniency in sending Bittersteel to the Wall (the very highest sort of traitor - just look at his eacape on the way) & very likely also to the likes of the Yronwoods, etc who fought for the Black Dragon again.

~10000 men as the strength of the Golden Company during the 4th (or the 3rd) is perhaps a little high, especially as they may not have suffered a serious defeat in the 40 years now since the Wot9pK & seemed to have been rather cruisey in recent years besides under Homeless Harry. Whereas it was only 17 years between the 3rd & the 4th, when the Company was likely still growing & diversifying their ranks.

Isn't Tion the only Westerman, or indeed non-Crownlander, we know for certain who took part on the royalist side at Wendwater? Particularly given the relationship between the Crown & the Rock at the time, he was more likely just at court when the war was declared than having been home & bringing a Westerlands force.

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3 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

Text

Tion is the only casualty mentioned for the royalists because somehow they lost less than a hundred men but the corpses of the Blackfyre supporters were enough to make the Wendwater overflow its banks

As for the Golden Company strength I actually think they had MORE men during the Third and Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion and that because of the losses taken in those they have the numbers they do at present rather than the other way around as you seem to be suggesting

Regarding Aerion I don't think either he or Bloodraven was the one to murder Haegon because I don't think Aerys would have even bothered letting one or the other speak publicly in court if that was truly the case not to mention that Yandel says that Aerion committed actions, clearly implying he did more than just one bad thing during the Third Blackfyre Rebellion (though really it should be called the Second considered how Daemon II's plot didn't even get off the ground)

We are however united in our disagreement with @Lord Varys regarding Greyjoy and during which rebellion he betrayed Bittersteel

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@The Grey Wolf How do you think the Golden Company could raise such numbers so early in its existence with afawk, higher casualties & more frequent losses than in recent times, though? Primarily from exiles?

Aerion & Brynden's urges need not have been public during say court, could easily have been behind closed doors with perhaps the Grand Maester of the time providing us with the account. Aegor's trial may have only followed after this discussion. What do you think happened to Haegon then?

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6 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

@The Grey Wolf How do you think the Golden Company could raise such numbers so early in its existence with afawk, higher casualties & more frequent losses than in recent times, though? Primarily from exiles?

Aerion & Brynden's urges need not have been public during say court, could easily have been behind closed doors with perhaps the Grand Maester of the time providing us with the account. Aegor's trial may have only followed after this discussion. What do you think happened to Haegon then?

With regards to the Golden Company I think a lot more men than 10000 fled Westeros after the Redgrass Field or that the time in-between their exile and the Third Blackfyre Rebellion gave them time to bolster their numbers naturally since not only was there seven years between the company's formation (212 AC) and the Third (219 AC) but prior to that the exiles managed to survive about 14 years before having to "sell their swords to eat" if the fact that Bittersteel only joined the Second Sons in 211 AC, 15 years after the First, is any indication

As for Haegon I believe Yandel when he says the man was murdered after having given up his sword my assertion being that if either Aerion or Bloodraven had done the deed Aerys wouldn't have bothered letting them give their counsel on account of how damaging the deed would have been to the crown's reputation and for the record I do believe that the trial of someone like Bittersteel would not have been behind closed doors but rather public a la Tyrion's trial in ASOS

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11 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

@Lord Varys The 3rd is certainly a possibility, but makes far less sense than the 4th, imo. For Bittersteel to seek alliance with the ironborn so soon after Dagon's reaving (which was only eventually defeated with royal intervention, possibly as late as 218 after Maekar became Prince of Dragonstone after Aelor's death) ... he doesn't seem to have been desperate enough.

Why do you assume that Dagon lasted this long? And don't you think the Ironborn would be rather pissed at the Iron Throne if Aerys I ever bestirred himself and put the Kraken back into his place, killing a lot of them in the process? That would provide them with a very good reason to be receptive for an overture coming from Bittersteel and Haegon.

We know that Dagon was Quellon Greyjoy's grandfather. Say, Dagon is killed in 213 AC, or so, and has three sons. First comes the Holy Fool who eventually gets lost at sea with a sizable fleet (he wanted to conquer lands in the west). That could happen around 217-218 AC.

Torwyn is his younger brother who spend quite some time reaving in east, meeting Bittersteel there. Before he returned to Westeros to claim Pyke after the death of his elder brother he swore that blood oath to Bittersteel to help him should he try to come to Westeros.

When it happened he betrayed him and thus ensured that he stayed in power. After him, his younger brother Loron took over, who would be Quellon's father.

11 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

The Blackfyres would lose too much support from the Reach & Westerlands, the former definitely their main local support base & the latter arguably second-only, for it to be worth it. Not to mention, the Ironborn strength would be not be high so soon after Dagon. And although it sounds like he prematurely ended his rule Brandon the Shipwright-esque, TWoIaF chronology seems to have Alton at the least sitting the Seastone Chair between Dagon & Torwyn.

We have no reason to believe Haegon had a lot of support from the Reach. In fact, it is not necessary for the Blackfyres to ever have had much support if they had good commanders and generals and luck when winning some battles. If Haegon established himself somewhere (as Aegon has done right now) people would flock to his banner irregardless with whom he was also allied.

11 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

If there were naval battles in the 3rd & Torwyn was part of that Rebellion, then Aegor probably would've had to have been supported by the Redwynes (or some Reach contingent most likely led by them) for their to have actually been battles.

He could have had ships from the Free Cities, sellsails and the like. And Torwyn might actually have decided not to help Bittersteel, staying out of the war.

11 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

The Velaryons, Lannisters, & Arryns all-but-confirmed stayed loyal to the Targaryens, whilst Kiera of Tyrosh was most like still kept at court by the Crown to ensure Tyrosh wouldn't fully support (if at all) the Golden company with a fleet.

The Archon of Tyrosh is elected. By the time of the Third Rebellion Kiera's family (if she was ever in charge) might no longer have been the one in power.

11 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

Why don't you think it was Aerion who murdered Haegon? His "actions" are contrasted to the heroics of his father & youngest brother, & along with Brynden (the only other prime suspect) he called for Aegor's execution. Not to mention, it does add fittingly to his Monstrous moniker. And if a member of the royal family did such a heinous deed to an unarmed prisoner, it helps to explain Aerys' leniency in sending Bittersteel to the Wall (the very highest sort of traitor - just look at his eacape on the way) & very likely also to the likes of the Yronwoods, etc who fought for the Black Dragon again.

Neither Aerion nor Brynden are prime suspects for the murder of Haegon Blackfyre. We just don't know who did that. If this war was a major event then many people we don't know anything about were involved in the war, people who may have had their own reasons to murder Haegon.

I could see Aerion be behind the murder (if he had a good motivation to kill him) but I very much doubt he did the actual deed. That would mean Aerion was the one to capture Haegon in the first place.

The descriptions we have of the Third Rebellion suggest that various Targaryens (Maekar, Aerion, Egg, Bloodraven, and Aerys I) were involved in one way or another, but we have little reason to assume that this is connected to ending of the entire affair (Bloodraven's second duel with Bittersteel most likely led to the latter's capture but even that's as of yet unclear).

11 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

Isn't Tion the only Westerman, or indeed non-Crownlander, we know for certain who took part on the royalist side at Wendwater? Particularly given the relationship between the Crown & the Rock at the time, he was more likely just at court when the war was declared than having been home & bringing a Westerlands force.

I'd think the majority of Aegon V's was made up of Crownlanders and Stormlanders, with smaller contingents from the Reach, the West, and the Riverlands. Keep in mind that Dunk & Egg and Lyonel would have been still be best buddies back then. I'd not be surprised if they came up with a very effective stratagem to crush the Blackfyres, even if the two armies roughly of the same size.

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