Lord_Pepsi_Cupps

Velaryons are not Valyrian?

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House Velaryon came from Valyria some time before the Targaryens - that's common knowledge.

Surprisingly, for how often the Velaryons come up in discussions here, this thought is uttered only twice in the main books: once by Davos and once by Cersei.

The claim itself isn't really questioned by readership, mainly because the Velaryons clearly LOOK Valyrian. But so do the Daynes, as we've known forever, and possibly the occasional Hightower, as has been more recently discussed.

Then, in TWOIAF, we get this as the clearest indication and confirmation of Valyrian descent, from which all others (there's one more direct one in TWOIAF) can be drawn:

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He was a scion of House Velaryon: a family of old and storied Valyrian heritage who had come to Westeros before the Targaryens, as the histories agree, and who often provided the bulk of the royal fleet.

I know I'm turning this seemingly clear confirmation on its head, but I'm curious about the statement that "the histories agree". This then is a matter of historical knowledge, rather than relatively recent-ish memory. Yandel, and presumably everyone else, knows it from histories, and we know how "reliable" those can be. Especially going far back enough.

But this is the real catch:

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Corlys Velaryon became a lord after his grandsire's death and used his wealth to raise a new seat, High Tide, to replace the damp, cramped castle Driftmark and house the ancient Driftwood Throne—the high seat of the Velaryons, which legend claims was given to them by the Merling King to conclude a pact.

The Velaryons have been here long enough for a LEGEND to exist, which is in itself a red flag. How reliable are those "histories that agree" about where the Velaryons came from, if we're talking about something this far in the past? The Manderlys came to the North a thousand years ago, and nevertheless those stories are very well and clearly understood - no legends required.

And here we do have a legend, and not just any legend: a Driftwood Throne, a pact, and the Merling King? This is seriously old stuff. It's the kind of story you might expect from some of the First Men families, not a recentish Valyrian arrival, or even an Andal-age family origin story. This "sea-people" imagery is tied most strongly to the Ironborn - it's as old as it gets, especially if you've delved into Ironborn origin myths (cc @LmL).

So I think the Velaryons, with their "Valyrian" looks might be in the same boat as the Daynes and the Hightowers. They are the remnants of the pre-Long Night arrivals from the Golden Empire of the Dawn (or the ancient Ashai'i, "the people so old they had no name"), the original purple-eyed folk. 

The Valyrian Velaryons story is the result of confusion (because there was a Valyrian family that came over and settled thereabouts), assumption (look at them! and that name! it's obvious!) and possibly also trickery.

The Daynes are secretive, the Hightowers are said to be "subtle and sophisticated" - there is a theme here for these houses to muddy their origins. So would the Velaryons have welcomed the "yeah we came from Valyria too!" spin, to help conceal something older? Their words are "The Old, the True, the Brave".

Anyway. J'accuse!

Edited by Lord_Pepsi_Cupps

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Hmm, interesting thought here LPC. At first I was like "what are you talking about?" but I do follow your logic. I was writing about them the other day for my next pod, and I was wondering about the house words. 

Still, TWOIAF goes on at length about how the Velaryons rules the narrow sea with boats and the Targs the skies wth dragons, and all that in the context of those families setting up shop in the Narrow Sea. Both Velaryons and Targs live on an island in the Narrow Sea, which makes sense as they were more recent immigrants.  I don't know, it seems like the maesters would have to have gotten a lot really wrong for this to be so. But the Merling King story is weird, definitely sounds like an older story. Could be an older myth that recentl became associated with Velaryons. Whatever the case, the myth parallels the Ironborn history - dragon people taking over islands from fish people. 

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We know that Dragonstone and the surrounding isles were a Valyrian outpost long before the arrival of the Targaryens. As such, surely it should have been inhabited by Valyrian families.

The name of the family is also consistent with the Valyrian origin, just as in the real world many immigrants were given their denonyms as surnames (Scott, Norman, Frank,...). It makes a lot of sense that they ended taking the deformed version of the name the Westerosi called them.

Also, it's worth noting that there are other Valyrian families in the zone, such as the Celtigars. 

In short, I find very hard to believe that a non Valyrian family could manage to settle a Valyrian territory and claim that they are the oldest Valyrian dynasty around.

5 hours ago, Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said:

the Velaryons clearly LOOK Valyrian. But so do the Daynes, as we've known forever, and possibly the occasional Hightower, as has been more recently discussed.

I'm not sure why you suggest the idea of Valyrian-looking Hightowers. If you are thinking in the offspring of Garmund Hightower and Rhaena Targaryen, then the reason of their looks would still be a Valyrian origin.

The Daynes are clearly a special case. I still think that they have a Valyrian connection of some kind (AFAIK George never outright denied this), but anyway their house is so ancient (going back to the long night) that we can't use them as being representative of anything.

And there's also this quote from TWOAIF: The great beauty of the Valyrians—with their hair of palest silver or gold and eyes in shades of purple not found amongst any other peoples of the world—is wellknown, and often held up as proof that the Valyrians are not entirely of the same blood as other men.

 

5 hours ago, Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said:

And here we do have a legend, and not just any legend: a Driftwood Throne, a pact, and the Merling King? This is seriously old stuff. It's the kind of story you might expect from some of the First Men families, not a recentish Valyrian arrival, or even an Andal-age family origin story.

There are many references in the books calling "lengendary" the earlier Andal adventurers from the Age of Heroes. For instance, the Lannister appendixes say that they descend from "the legendary trickster" Lann the Clever, or the story of Artys Arryn is also called a legend in TWOIAF.

Edited by The hairy bear

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My own speculation is that the Velaryons are a very old family linked to the first immigrants, who may have came before the Freehold was up and running. The origin of their weird name which is almost a demonym (velaryon = valyrian) may root in there; remember Jorah's alias: 'the andal'. Velaryons may have taken the name in time, thanks to a twist tongue which both gave them identity and prestige, considering their ancestral lands.

Edited by King Merrett I Frey

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The driftwood throne and the Merling King legends were red flag for me the first time read the in AWOIAF, but I have never circled back to this topic. Maybe they are from married into a First Men family or Ironborn family that had this legend.

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29 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

I'm not sure why you suggest the idea of Valyrian-looking Hightowers. If you are thinking in the offspring of Garmund Hightower and Rhaena Targaryen, then the reason of their looks would still be a Valyrian origin.

 

 

We get very few physical descriptions of Hightowers. Two that we get are for Alerie Tyrell-Hightower and Lynesse Mormont-Hightower, who have silver and golden blonde heir respectively. The later is described by Jorah as looking like Daenerys. Neither are descendants of Garmund of Rhaena. (But I had to check, so good call.)

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ETA: reply to @The hairy bear, sorry I'm on my phone, quoting is hard. Thanks for reading/replying!

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The Hightower look is highly speculative - you have to link up hints and omissions, and of course it all depends on how much you're willing to engage with it, everyone's got their own "lines" they won't cross when it comes to speculation. 

Dany reminds Jorah of Lynesse (which could mean nothing, he's just a fool in love - but remember how Jon's link to Lyanna is partly established in a casually roundabout way, through seemingly innocuous statements: by Arya looking like Jon, and Arya also looking like Lyanna). 

Secondly, Alerie Hightower is described as having silvery hair - no big deal, she's got adult children, she's just a woman that's gone grey. Maybe. But she is quite a young woman - this isn't obvious, so you don't immediately realise it, but she is described as younger than her husband Mace Tyrell, who is by our standards also still quite a youngish man. Alerie would be close in age to Cersei and Cat. If she had simply gone fully grey that young, you'd expect this to be noted, particularly when her beauty is being described. The only mention of a woman that age going grey is Lysa Tully, and in that case a big deal is made of this fact - it's premature and it's noted. So her silvery hair may be a hint at something. Overall it's curious we see so few Hightowers. But there are ONLY TWO Hightowers whose looks are addressed, (Lynesse and Alerie) and in both instances there is a surprising amount of room for speculation about possible "Valyrian" features. 

There's also a third possible hint. While in TWOIAF the picture of Alicent Hightower shows a dark haired woman, TWOIAF also shows all dragons breather normal coloured fire, which we know is wrong. Contrast the picture to the textual evidence that Jaehaerys confused Alicent with his daughter - again, coincidence, right? He's an old senile man, it can happen. Or it's a possible third hint that a Hightower could pass for a Targaryen. That could be three for three when it comes to the Hightower "look".

Or again, could be all just be a coincidence, it depends on where your speculative line is.

The Hightowers are also older than commonly thought - their origin story involving Uthor Hightower clearing Battle Isle of dragons, combined with stories about how ancient Battle Isle fortress is, puts them among the very earliest families about which ANYTHING is known. These events are described as lost in the mists of time or whatever - so if you link a family to those events, you get a family origin story that's incredibly old. Dayne-level old.

And there may actually be a hint about a Hightower connection with the Daynes: why name the very first Hightower "Uthor", clearly a hint at our world's King Arthur's father? Again, just another in a long line of meaningless coincidences... if considered in isolation from all the other ones.

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I disagree strongly that we can't use the Daynes for anything - sounds like you're just saying it would be simpler to ignore the fact that they look "Valyrian" - even though they're clearly older than Valyrian civilisation itself. On the contrary, this must be accounted for. They are not just a curiosity - their mythos and sword may go back to the Long Night itself! Why make them look "Valyrian" when it clearly makes no sense? It's about hiding in plain sight - they are not Valyrians, but they are evidence to the fact that the Valyrians have a prehistory. Their not the first purple eyed people.

There's a whole range of discussions in this forum about who the "people so ancient they had no name" were. The ones who taught the Valyrians about dragons - who presumably must have been dragonriders themselves, the original ones. Don't want to reinvent the wheel here, the discussions focus on the Great Empire of the Dawn / ancient Ashai.

All of this can be just random tidbits of data, but again, as with so many other examples in this story, things are not usually random and hiding in plain sight is the safest place to plant bits of story that will stay hidden until they suddenly "click" and make sense.

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As for the Velaryon legend itself....

Family legends about a "legendary trickster" (Lannister) and the Battle of Sevenstars (Arryn) are linked to easily understandable distortions of events - while for example the legend of the Winged Knight (the "legend" in the truer sense) is much more "fantastic" and predates the Arryns, as Yandel shows. The Merling King and the Driftwood Throne are not easily linked to any real event that we know of, nor is there a hint that it's a story absorbed from another family - why would a Valyrian family, an arrival from an advanced civilisation to a half-barbarian land, take up an existing story from that land as their own? Where's the need for that, or even the inclination? 

And we do know that sea-focused legends exist as the oldest layer of Ironborn mythos (giving it an early-First Man timing at the latest), as well as scattered hints of "fishy people" around the world - all possibly linked to remnants of an ancient civilisation.

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I'm completely aware I'm swimming against the current here on the Velaryon point, BUT to me the very way the Velaryon story is spoken of in TWOIAF is what makes me more rather than less suspicious: on the surface, a casual confirmation of the general belief; but within that a reference at "the histories"; and then an obviously difficult-to-understand legendary family tale.

How often do "random coincidences" really turn out to be just that in ASOIAF? It happens of course (eg, I don't think Dany's lemon tree means she was raised in Dorne), but with each new addition to the string of coincidences, the probability that it's not a coincidence grows exponentially. 

Edited by Lord_Pepsi_Cupps

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48 minutes ago, King Merrett I Frey said:

My own speculation is that the Velaryons are a very old family linked to the first immigrants, who may have came before the Freehold was up and running. The origin of their weird name which is almost a demonym (velaryon = valyrian) may root in there; remember Jorah's alias: 'the andal'. Velaryons may have taken the name in time, thanks to a twist tongue which both gave them identity and prestige, considering their ancestral lands.

hey thanks for reading! Which first immigrants do you mean? Because there's a long period between the end of the Long Night and the establishment of Valyria...

My theory above builds on the exiting one that the Daynes (and, in an extension of that theory, the Hightowers) are linked to the original arrivals on Westeros, which TWOIAF hints predates the First Men (and who built Battle Isle fortress). These are the original "nameless people" who the dragonriding valyrians are also descended from.

So the Velaryons share descent with the Valyrians - because they're both descended from the Golden Empire of the Dawn, not because the Velaryons came from Valyria.

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I'll just note that we are not limited to Jarah's description of Lynesse. Cat actually recalls Lynesse at one point from when she and Jorah had visited Winterfell and describes her hair as golden.

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43 minutes ago, Durran Durrandon said:

The driftwood throne and the Merling King legends were red flag for me the first time read the in AWOIAF, but I have never circled back to this topic. Maybe they are from married into a First Men family or Ironborn family that had this legend.

Thanks for reading DD! 

Wouldn't Yandel mention that? It just seems odd that a house arriving from an advanced civilisation (Valyria) to a half-barbaric land like Westeros would want to absorb an existing legend like that. They'd think they were above it, surely?

Again, all these houses that GRRM is really cagey about (Hightowers, Daynes..) makes me think are connected in some way. When there's hints at them being very old ("The Old..."), and purple/silver, I think Geodawnians.

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@Lord_Pepsi_Cupps @Durran Durrandon

I wasn't aware of this theory of the Hightower having Valyrian features. Thanks for the detailed explanations! There is not much evidence, but a case can certainly be made. Very interesting.

1 hour ago, Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said:

 

I disagree strongly that we can't use the Daynes for anything - sounds like you're just saying it would be simpler to ignore the fact that they look "Valyrian" - even though they're clearly older than Valyrian civilisation itself.

I think we are misunderstanding each other here. It seems that we both agree that the Daynes and the Valyrians share a common origin.

[In fact I tend to support the claim that the Daynes descend from Azor Ahai, known in Westeros as the Last Hero, that Dawn=Lightbringer, and that he came from the "Proto-valyrian" people in Essos]

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 why would a Valyrian family, an arrival from an advanced civilisation to a half-barbarian land, take up an existing story from that land as their own?

Foundational myths are not made up at the time of the Foundation. Most are fabricated by propagandists many years after to find a justification to the current state of things or promote any other particular agenda. For instance, the Roman Romulus and Remus appeared five centuries after their supposed existence, or the Chinese Yellow Emperor supposedly founded the country more than a thousand years before it was first mentioned in writing.

The Velaryons could have made up the story after centuries of inhabiting the Narrow Sea, where the cult of the Merling King seems to have been widespread (the spears of the merling King in the Blackwater, the Uppcliffs, the cult still continuing in Braavos,...). If they wanted to invent a cool history about their origin, it wouldn't involve a god from a distant land that no one around would knew about. If they were trying to become a naval power in the Narrow Sea, a sea deity worshipped in the zone was much more convenient.

Edited by The hairy bear

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15 minutes ago, Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said:

Thanks for reading DD! 

Wouldn't Yandel mention that? It just seems odd that a house arriving from an advanced civilisation (Valyria) to a half-barbaric land like Westeros would want to absorb an existing legend like that. They'd think they were above it, surely?

Again, all these houses that GRRM is really cagey about (Hightowers, Daynes..) makes me think are connected in some way. When there's hints at them being very old ("The Old..."), and purple/silver, I think Geodawnians.

So let's begin by acknowledging that you could totally be correct. We all seem to agree that the Daynes are descendants of Geodawnians. Some of think it is likely that the Hightowers are also descendants of the Geodawnaians. There is no reason the Velaryons couldn't be. @The hairy bear, makes a good point that they could have absorbed and perpetuated this story to validate their claims to land, appropriating the authority of a local deity, yada yada. As he points out, that tends to be how real history works I will refrain from adding examples to his, but their are plenty. However . . . this seems to be what Martin does. he pretends everything is like real history and he gets us to identify with people like Tyrion, who make fun of snarks and grumpkins, and has us believing that that all the legends false, and then, bam,"Haha, the maesters are wrong about almost everything. You should have listened to Old Nan and Septon Barth." The question is what was the point of including the Velaryons and this particular backstory for them. It seems like the only point might have been to included some other Valyrians and some cool characters for the Dance of Dragons. It does not seem like Martin is actively doing anything with the Velaryons, in the same way he seems to be putting the Daynes into play. (Certainly he put Ashara, Arthur, and Edric in their to give us some critical backstory and will use Gerald to move some key events forward, whether or not we ever see Dawn.). I also question whether or not he is really putting the Hightowers into play or if this is an idea he seeded, but may or may not use. It could be that Euron will sack Oldtown, take some esoteric knowledge from the Citadel or the Hightowers, and we will never get a more detailed backstory about the Hightowers and what Leyton and the Mad Maid are playing at. (Or maybe it will be totally relevant and important.)

Show Spoiler:

Spoiler

I mean, it's a bit like the High Sparrow. He could have had a really cool plan, but we are never going to know what that was. Are we?

 

What is a bit more interesting to me, is not so much whether the Velaryons are from Valyria of the GEOTD, its that they were used to bring up the damn Merling King again. That guy is always giving people mermaid wives and driftwood thrones to people.  Hell Baelish has a boat named after him. So, lets assume for a moment that the legends are all true or partially true and that the Velaryons are from the GEOTD and their arrival made them contemporaries of the Daynes, and the Hightowers and most importantly , the Grey King. What is the point of this connections between them the Merling King, athe Grey King and Ironborn?

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4 hours ago, Durran Durrandon said:

We get very few physical descriptions of Hightowers. Two that we get are for Alerie Tyrell-Hightower and Lynesse Mormont-Hightower, who have silver and golden blonde heir respectively. The later is described by Jorah as looking like Daenerys. Neither are descendants of Garmund of Rhaena. (But I had to check, so good call.)

They might be, though. Garmund could easily have been one of Lord Ormund's sons. In which case it would have made sense for one of his six daughter by Rhaena to have married whatever cousin inherited the Hightower after him.

So is it confirmed? Absolutely not. But is it possible? Certainly.

3 hours ago, Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said:

There's also a third possible hint. While in TWOIAF the picture of Alicent Hightower shows a dark haired woman, TWOIAF also shows all dragons breather normal coloured fire, which we know is wrong. Contrast the picture to the textual evidence that Jaehaerys confused Alicent with his daughter - again, coincidence, right? He's an old senile man, it can happen. Or it's a possible third hint that a Hightower could pass for a Targaryen. That could be three for three when it comes to the Hightower "look".

This is an interesting point. Did Alicent look enough like Jaehaerys's daughters (due to, e.g., her hair colour) to cause Jaehaerys to mix them up? Or did he confuse Alicent for his own daughers (later Saera in particular) because of another reason?

As to the artwork in TWOIAF.. not all of it is per GRRM's interpretation. It depends on the artist, mostly, as GRRM advised some artists more than others.

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Speaking in terms of symbolism, as I am wont to do, consider the Hightowers. Their sigil is their white tower, surmounted by a crown of flame, and their words are we light the way. Towers and swords are interchangeable - consider the white sword tower where the KG live, and the KG are called white swords themselves, meaning tower, man, and sword are symbollicaly unified. In Starfall we have the tower called the Palestone sword, named after the pale stone which made the sword Dawn, which is the sword of the Morning. Bur the knight who carries it is also called the SOTM, so once again - man, sword, tower, all the same. So the Hightowers have a flaming white sword which lights the way - remind anyone of anything? What I am suggesting is that they have shared symbolism with House Dayne, which suggests they might be on the same "team" - Geodawnians who because loyal to Westeros and potentially fought against the invading dragons from the east during the LN. Starfall and the Hightower are both island fortresses at a river mouth / strategic trade area, just like other Valyrian settlements - Dragonstone, Volantis, and Tyrosh. I think George is imaging them as Phoenecians in that sense, but hats a bit of a digression. Point is, it's easy to conceive of Hightower and Dayne as sharing an origin and motivation. 

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13 hours ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

They might be, though. Garmund could easily have been one of Lord Ormund's sons. In which case it would have made sense for one of his six daughter by Rhaena to have married whatever cousin inherited the Hightower after him.

So is it confirmed? Absolutely not. But is it possible? Certainly.

It is also possible that Garmund's eldest daughter by Garmund Hightower inherited the Hightower and ruled as Lady of Oldtown after her father (assuming Garmund was the eldest son of Lord Ormund which is not unlikely). In the Reach there was at least one Queen Regnant and thus female inheritance should be easier there than elsewhere, especially for a niece/cousin of the king. Aegon III, his sons, and Prince Viserys would want one of their own as the Lady of Oldtown rather than some other guy.

Eventually the son of such a daughter could have taken the Hightower name to continue the line just as the sons of Lady Oakheart and Lady Waynwood are doing right now. Or Garmund's eldest daughter could have married some Hightower cousin from a cadet branch.

The chances that the Hightowers have at least a drop of Targaryen blood are pretty high.

On 4.11.2016 at 0:13 PM, Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said:

The Velaryons have been here long enough for a LEGEND to exist, which is in itself a red flag. How reliable are those "histories that agree" about where the Velaryons came from, if we're talking about something this far in the past? The Manderlys came to the North a thousand years ago, and nevertheless those stories are very well and clearly understood - no legends required.

I don't think this carries all that far. We don't know how important the Velaryons were back in the Freehold. Perhaps they are an obscure Valyrian house with no connections to a powerful (dragonlord) family who just had the luck to be made overseers of Driftmark after the Valyrians had taken possession of Dragonstone? At that time the control of Dragonstone may have been in the hands of a more prominent family until Aenar bought the right to move there with his family. Thus we have no reason to assume the Velaryons played an important role in the Narrow Sea before the Targaryens came.

Quote

And here we do have a legend, and not just any legend: a Driftwood Throne, a pact, and the Merling King? This is seriously old stuff. It's the kind of story you might expect from some of the First Men families, not a recentish Valyrian arrival, or even an Andal-age family origin story. This "sea-people" imagery is tied most strongly to the Ironborn - it's as old as it gets, especially if you've delved into Ironborn origin myths (cc @LmL).

I agree that this is possibly old stuff but it is easy enough to assume that the Velaryons just overtook the house (and the attached legends) who ruled Driftmark before they arrived. If some maternal ancestor of House Velaryon made a deal with the Merling King then this is also true, in a sense, for the Velaryons. Just as the Baratheons might still carry the magical blood the Durrandons inherited from Elenei.

Or it could be just a legend that developed after their arrival. Keep in mind that they could be on Driftmark for 500 years.

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So I think the Velaryons, with their "Valyrian" looks might be in the same boat as the Daynes and the Hightowers. They are the remnants of the pre-Long Night arrivals from the Golden Empire of the Dawn (or the ancient Ashai'i, "the people so old they had no name"), the original purple-eyed folk. 

That is a very unlikely scenario and completely impossible to prove considering that multiple Targaryen-Velaryon matches are confirmed, giving as good enough an explanation as to why the Velaryons we meet since the Conquest have (mostly) Valyrian features. The idea that the Velaryons are just claiming to be Valyrian and did not have Valyrian features before they began to intermarry with the Targaryens would make more sense. But even that's not very likely.

The only special Dayne treat we know are purple eyes, by the way. Valyrian hair is not necessarily a trait that runs in the family. Darkstar has Valyrian hair and eyes but Edric and Ashara do not. And the Maekar-Dyanna match could be a hint that one of Garmund and Rhaena's daughter might have married into House Dayne, explaining why they have Valyrian traits.

The idea that a family like the Daynes should be able to preserve Valyrian features for millennia without practicing incest isn't very likely. The Lannisters and Starks might have been able to preserve their traits by often intermarrying with cousins and other not-so-distant kin. But if the founder of the Daynes was some sort of (proto-)Valyrian we cannot really assume his descendants married their own on a regular basis.

By the way - we know that Alerie Hightower is younger than Mace, making it rather unlikely that she already has grey hair. And Mace is only in his forties.

Thus I think we can be pretty certain that Alerie Hightower (and Lynesse Hightower as well) have Valyrian hair or hair that looks as if it was Valyrian. Dany's special hair is one of her most prominent features. Thus Lynesse Hightower most likely has at least similar hair. Her having common blond or yellow hair isn't making it likely that Jorah would make the connection between them. There has to be a striking resemblance.

Edited by Lord Varys

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@Lord Varys I know you are not a fan of the Dawn Age Dragonlords to Westeros theory - you've not been a fan since Durran Durrandon and I came up with it last year. That's fair, but you're not quite right about the Daynes.

First, George has said no Targs married into House Dayne. This their looks cannot be explained in this fashion

Its not just Darkstar's hair and eyes, and the fact that Arianne thinks their children would be as beautiful as dragonlords. Edric Dayne has dark blue eyes that, if I recall correctly, appear purple in certain lighting and sound very similar to Egg's and fAegon's eyes. He also has hair the color of ash, paler than blonde Arta says. That's in the right ballpark, potentially similar to Tyrion's paler that blonde hair. And Maekar married Dyanna Dayne and all their children came out Targ looking, save the drunkard who only got partial Targ looks, potentially a remnant of Maekar's Dornish mother. That all points to Dyanna having Targ-ish looks, and helps explain why Maekar may have consider her a worthy Targ bride even though Dayne is not a Great House. 

Its been a minute since I looked at all that, so correct me if I am wrong on anything there. I think that's all right. 

Finally, consider the fused stone fortress on Battle Isle. It is essentially ironclad proof of dawn age dragonlords in Westeros, so someone has to descend from them. As for maintaining a look through ten thousand years, obviously not in the real world, but it seems a distinct look can be maintained in Westeros. 

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31 minutes ago, Durran Durrandon said:

I think the magic DNA of the noble houses is well established.

Right, it's clearly a fantasy element and not meant to be realistic, at least I thought that was the general consensus.

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5 hours ago, Durran Durrandon said:

So, lets assume for a moment that the legends are all true or partially true and that the Velaryons are from the GEOTD and their arrival made them contemporaries of the Daynes, and the Hightowers and most importantly , the Grey King. What is the point of this connections between them the Merling King, athe Grey King and Ironborn?

Well. I've long thought that one of the many Chekhov's guns lying around is the string of Volcanoes down the eastern coast of Westeros (Hardhome, Dragonstone above ground, Spears of the Merling King as evidence of underwater eruptions). Almost like the Ring of Fire in the Pacific, but as far as we can tell only down the Westerosi side.

A large enough meteor impact can actually trigger volcanic eruptions, most prominently on the exact opposite side of the globe from the impact point. For example, the Deccan traps in India may have been "triggered" by the large meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs, and subsequently the enormous ongoing eruptions from the Deccan traps would have contributed to creating a planetary winter - so it wasn't just dust from the meteor that done it.

Hint hint.

From what I can tell, the Merling King is a variation of Drowned God / sea deity. Just as the Ironborn myths might be relating the tale of the tsunamis that accompanied the original moon-crash, the Merling King may be the personification of the underwater volcano that errupted in the Narrow Sea after the moon meteors struck (evidenced by the Spears of the MK). A sea dragon drowning islands in its wrath, etc.

If the Velaryons are indeed a remnant of the Geodawnian arrivistes at Westeros, then they would have been around during the Long Night cataclysm. A "pact" with the sea deity sounds like it's hinting at the resolution of a war (perhaps a metaphorical "war") - the volcano erupted, but the Velaryons survived and made a throne out the driftwood blown onto their island after the tsunamis settled. Thus the driftwood was a "gift" of the sea god that had almost destroyed them, but spared them.

I'm not sure about including a link to the Seastone Chair - but if the proto-Velaryons were among the original arrivals to the Iron Islands from the GEotD, they may have set up their seat there (hence the oily stone throne). The moon-crash made them flee but they survived "the sea deity" and his wrath, and built a new throne out of what they saw as a gift from that deity.

All that stuff about the people from the sea (merlings, selikes...) may indeed just be twisted tales of the Geodawnians. They were I believe the first seafarers, we've discussed that here before - this is what the Church of Starry Wisdom is hinting at ("starry wisdom" is celestial navigation, allowing ships to cross oceans rather than just skirt the coastline; it must have made the first seafarers seem like sorcerers, it's such a huge technology leap). If the Geodawnians (or one faction) were already widely feared for their seafaring "sorcery", then an angry boiling sea and tsunamis would have been retroactively tied to this "sea people". If they were "merlings", then this must be the work of their god, the Merling King, etc.

Lots to speculate about, but more than anything I see the Merling King story as a hint about the true age of the Velaryons. We may never know what all the "merman" mythology is really about.

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11 hours ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

This is an interesting point. Did Alicent look enough like Jaehaerys's daughters (due to, e.g., her hair colour) to cause Jaehaerys to mix them up? Or did he confuse Alicent for his own daughers (later Saera in particular) because of another reason?

As to the artwork in TWOIAF.. not all of it is per GRRM's interpretation. It depends on the artist, mostly, as GRRM advised some artists more than others.

In certain stages of Alzheimer's or just moments of cloudy judgment due to serious illness, you do get people mistaking their children for their spouses - presumably the physical similarity plays a part. But it can just be that she was there, taking care of him the way a daughter would, and he was just sick and confused.

It is beyond curious though that at every point at which we have a Hightower's appearance hinted at, there's these confusing double-meanings. Once, twice, but three times?

11 hours ago, Durran Durrandon said:

 I also question whether or not he is really putting the Hightowers into play or if this is an idea he seeded, but may or may not use.

As for whether the Hightowers will be important or not - I mean, why include them in tPatQ and The Rogue Prince? These aren't early versions of the story where he's just planting seeds to see if anything grows out of them later on, this was written after aDwD came out. GRRM isn't just keeping the Hightower question on a low fire, he's adding salt and seasoning to the dish.

And they're in such a prominent role as well - and not just for their scheming for power. All four of Alicent's children turned out to be dragonriders, and at least 2 of her 3 grandchildren were as well. This is something that more than one Targ queen apparently couldn't boast of. 

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The chances that the Hightowers have at least a drop of Targaryen blood are pretty high.

 

But then we circle back to the fact that Alicent is before Rhaena marries her Hightower. It's typical GRRM - at the same time he gives us a clear way for the present-day Hightowers to have relatively recently acquired Targ features (via Rhaena), he also drops another possible hint or two (Alicent's *possible* looks as per Jaehaerys confusing her for a daughter, her 100% dragonrider children) to undermine this apparent "clarification".

Edited by Lord_Pepsi_Cupps

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