Good Guy Garlan

My kingdom for a convincing explanation for this

49 posts in this topic

I'm talking about Illyrio giving the dragon eggs to Dany. 

Now, I've seen several arguments for this, so I'll offer my own refutations:

1) The eggs were really meant for Drogo as a tribute for not pillaging Pentos: Probably the most convincing argument, though not enough for my liking. For one thing, Illyrio didn't need to give him all 3 eggs, surely one would've been more than enough. Also, the Dothraki never seem to consider the eggs as a trophy as are all the other stolen relics and deities. They also never attempt to trade them for anything. Additionally, Dany being the last female Targ and a princess in exile is more than valuable by herself, she doesn't need the eggs to boost her value as a bride. Point being, Drogo doesn't seem to really care about the eggs; they seem more like a gift meant for Dany alone, which leads me to my next point.

2) Illyrio is filty rich as it is and he didn't need the eggs: Well, I don't know if there's such a thing as being rich enough to literally throw money away, especially if you're planning a massive undertaking like sitting your own secret pretender on the Iron Throne. Illyrio wasted the eggs on a girl he thought was gonna die anyway instead of selling them to buy resources Aegon's sure gonna need, like sellswords or bribes. And yeah, Illyrio made a profit by arranging Drogo's wedding but 3 dragon eggs are surely worth more. Just think of how many Unsullied and sellswords he could've bought, how many Triarchs and lords he could've bribed. Money is key when your opponents are the Iron Bank and the Lannisters of Casterly Rock.

3) He gave Dany the eggs so she could sell them to buy ships for Drogo's invasion: Seriously, I've seen this argument and I'm like, Er, Illyrio actually has a lot of ships of his own, so...

But here's the main thing. Other than the monetary value of the eggs, they serve another, far more important function: They legitimize a Targ, being an enduring symbol of that House. That's dounly important if the claimant you're backing is supposedly back from the dead with no actual proof of being a Targ. Aegon showing up with 3 dragon eggs in his possession could've been a defining factor, it could've swayed many undecided lords that he's indeed the real Aegon. This is particularly striking considering that in "The Mystery Knight" a key part of the plot consists of Blackfyre loyalists conspiring to get a dragon egg to lend legitimacy to their claimant. 

Honestly, the only explanation I can think for this is if there's a cellar in Illyrio's mansion full of dragon eggs. Otherwise, it looks like a plot hole to me. 

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Because GRRM needed Dany to somehow get three dragon eggs.

Giving them to Aegon wouldn't give him credibility unless people thought they were original Targ eggs.  If anything, it might make him look more suspicious - it's one thing to smuggle a baby out of KL, but a baby with three dragon eggs? Nobody's buying that.

They wouldn't have given Dany legitimacy either, except she got them to hatch.

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Not really. The idea that Illyrio wanted Dany to use them to get a fleet and maybe even some sellswords too makes a lot of sense because actually, Pentos/Illyrio doesn't have a whole lot of ships. Braavos won't let them. In total, Pentos as a state is not allowed to have more than twenty warships, so I'm finding it hard to imagine Illyrio having a personal fleet that is any bigger than that, let alone big enough to ship Drogo's army across the Narrow Sea. They also aren't allowed to hire sellsails or sellswords, which is probably why Illyrio went through the whole Drogo-Dany marriage instead of just selling the dragon eggs and using the money to hire a f***ton of sellswords.

A less credible theory is that Illyrio wanted the eggs to hatch, and gave them to Dany because of some reason we aren't privy to yet. This sort of also ties in to the Illyrio=Targ/Brightflame/Blackfyre theories.

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Well, according to the Golden Company, Illyrio's plan keeps changing. I think he was playing the True Targaryen game with Dany, and the Golden Company believed that Viserys would join them with a Dothraki horde at his back: and Aegon is, at the very least, a back-up plan which they kept in reserve for if Dany did not come back from the Dothraki lands - since she seems to have decided to make herself Queen in Meereen.

Whether or not Aegon is even the real thing, or a fake, who knows?

And it's even possible that Illyrio and Varys are not playing the same game, and that Varys knows Aegon to be a fake and a Blackfyre or Brightflame descendant, but Illyrio believes him to be real and is backing him as the second choice behind a Dany who appears not to be interested in showing up at all...

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I think it's some mixture of No. 1 and 2. He really is a rich guy that can throw away insane luxuries on a whim. The gift is not only for Daenerys, but also for Drogo himself as a form of dowry and show of power from Illyrio's side. I imagine it was meant to cement his wealth to the strongest khalasar.. if that counts for anything to them.

There's also something else you have to take into consideration: the importance of the petrified dragon eggs seems to have changed a lot since Dunk's days. Back then the Targaryens were still at the height of their power (well, sort of); the eggs would have naturally been seen as a strong status symbol. But it's been a long time since Whitewalls. The Targaryens have been gone for a while and dragons even longer. There is no threat of Blackfyres anymore, no need for old dragon eggs to prove your legitimacy. What lord or peasant in Westeros currently would remember Whitewalls? Who would care if you showed up with a bunch of rock-eggs? A few, I'm sure, but not that many. Not enough to make as big an impact as it used to back in Dunk's day.

Aegon has tutors and money and JonCon at his side to prove his legitimacy. But more importantly, he has strength. What difference would those old, dusty and irrelevant eggs make? There are petrified dragon eggs scattered all over Essos apparently, maybe Illyrio still has some. And who knows, maybe Aegon will pull out a stone egg towards the end of the story. And, naturally, it'll never hatch for him.

tl;dr: It was a thoughtless throwaway gift meant to impress Drogo and further hype Dany in his eyes so he'd invade Westeros for them. And after the eggs hatched he really really REALLY regrets giving them to her.

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6 minutes ago, maudisdottir said:

Because GRRM needed Dany to somehow get three dragon eggs.

Giving them to Aegon wouldn't give him credibility unless people thought they were original Targ eggs.  If anything, it might make him look more suspicious - it's one thing to smuggle a baby out of KL, but a baby with three dragon eggs? Nobody's buying that.

They wouldn't have given Dany legitimacy either, except she got them to hatch.

My kingdom is yours, my lady.

I'm not entirely sure re: the eggs. The eggs imply some sort of connection to House Targaryen, however tenuous or implausible. Aegon empty-handed doesn't have the same oomph. 

7 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

Not really. The idea that Illyrio wanted Dany to use them to get a fleet and maybe even some sellswords too makes a lot of sense because actually, Pentos/Illyrio doesn't have a whole lot of ships. Braavos won't let them. In total, Pentos as a state is not allowed to have more than twenty warships, so I'm finding it hard to imagine Illyrio having a personal fleet that is any bigger than that, let alone big enough to ship Drogo's army across the Narrow Sea. They also aren't allowed to hire sellsails or sellswords, which is probably why Illyrio went through the whole Drogo-Dany marriage instead of just selling the dragon eggs and using the money to hire a f***ton of sellswords.

A less credible theory is that Illyrio wanted the eggs to hatch, and gave them to Dany because of some reason we aren't privy to yet. This sort of also ties in to the Illyrio=Targ/Brightflame/Blackfyre theories.

He did send three ships to Dany and we know he's got more because Salladhor stole one. The eggs just seem like a convoluted complication if he wanted Dany to sell them. For starters, Drogo was unlikely to sail anywhere until after the assassination attempt, so the whole thing is flimsy. 

 

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The gift of the eggs came in the form of a chest that also contained fine fabrics. I have assumed that the chest Ilyrio sent along on the Shy Maid, containing used children's clothing, was somehow meant to parallel the chest with the dragon's eggs. The second chest was opened after Tyrion happily swam in the river (baptism? rebirth?), and he and Septa Lemore sewed a new outfit for Tyrion that has very specific colors and design details but, essentially, becomes a fool's motley. I suspect the outfit for Tyrion represents his many biological and/or adopted identities - he is wearing his "true colors" when he emerges from the river.

Maybe the swim in the river for Tyrion is the equivalent of Dany walking into the fire of Drogo's pyre. Is it after he swims in the river and wears the new outfit that Tyrion "outs" Aegon, saying he is not really Griff, Jr.? If so, I think we are seeing Tyrion "hatching" a dragon at that point. Septa Lemore could play the role of Mirri Maz Duur, Jon Connington / Griff might be Ser Jorah. The giant turtle in the river could be the stallion that mounts the world. Or Drogo. I dunno - this part is a new line of thinking.

What would really be interesting is if there are three Targs on the Shy Maid, to match the three dragon eggs hatched by Dany. Aegon, Tyrion and . . . ?

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1 minute ago, Seams said:

What would really be interesting is if there are three Targs on the Shy Maid, to match the three dragon eggs hatched by Dany. Aegon, Tyrion and . . . ?

Lemore? I recently came across a theory about her being Aegon's mom. I don't believe it myself but it would be wild. 

Also, it's long been theorized that Blackfyre, the sword, is also in one of those chests. So the paralell would be: 

Dany - eggs = symbol of House Targaryen because the Blackfyres never had no dragons

Aegon - sword = symbol of House Blackfyre

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The best explanation is that Illyrio had enough dragon eggs to spare some. Aegon might have some of his in one of those chests, perhaps even more than Dany.

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8 minutes ago, Good Guy Garlan said:

Lemore? I recently came across a theory about her being Aegon's mom. I don't believe it myself but it would be wild. 

Also, it's long been theorized that Blackfyre, the sword, is also in one of those chests. So the paralell would be: 

Dany - eggs = symbol of House Targaryen because the Blackfyres never had no dragons

Aegon - sword = symbol of House Blackfyre

Sounds good to me. I would love it if Elia survived - she is always described as being so frail and fragile, but everything we know about Martell women tells us that they are super smart warriors and strategic thinkers. I think there will be some secret about Elia that comes to light later.

And a good Septa Lemore backstory would help to strengthen my suspicions about a parallel hidden past for Septa Mordane, who I believe was an important mother of someone. (I doubt the author just threw her in as a random bad luck footnote when she was beheaded and her head just happened to be mounted on the wall of the Red Keep next to Ned Stark.) Just as Lemore helped Tyrion to sew his fool's motley, Septa Mordane also helped the Stark girls to learn to sew.

The dragon eggs as a wedding gift should probably also be examined in the context of the groom's gifts given to Joffrey before the purple wedding. (We don't really see the gifts given to Margaery.) I suspect the equivalent gift to Joffrey is the Widow's Wail sword, although we might have to single out three of Joffrey's gifts to equal the three dragon's eggs. If so, I would add the wine chalice with the seals of the seven major houses of Westeros and the book, Lives of Four Kings, given by Tyrion. There's almost a rock-paper-scissors situation, with Joffrey using the sword to destroy the book and the wine chalice - from which Joffrey said he wanted to chip off the direwolf sigil - possibly containing poison that kills Joffrey. The sword and wine cup also came from people trying to build dynasties: Tywin Lannister and Mace Tyrell. We suspect that Ilyrio is also trying to build (or restore) a dynasty with his strategic support for various Targs, Blackfyres and (perhaps) other bastard Targs.

Tyrion isn't trying to build a dynasty, as far as we know, but his book was about past kings that were part of a dynasty. Maybe the four kings in he book were the "eggs" that were hatched at Joffrey's wedding feast. In the past, I've speculated that they might represent kings involved in the War of the Five Kings, with Joffrey about to become the fourth death among the five (Renly, Balon, Robb, Joffrey). But maybe they represent future monarchs; those just hatching. (Tommen, fAegon, Dany, and Robb's heir?)

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2 hours ago, Good Guy Garlan said:

He did send three ships to Dany and we know he's got more because Salladhor stole one. The eggs just seem like a convoluted complication if he wanted Dany to sell them. For starters, Drogo was unlikely to sail anywhere until after the assassination attempt, so the whole thing is flimsy. 

 

So we know he has four ships. It's not exactly a fleet. Once again, Pentos is not allowed to have more than 20 war ships. Ergo, Illyrio has less than 20 warships and some non war based trade/transport ships; i.e not enough to move Drogo to Westeros. If he can't buy ships himself (because that would bring Braavos down on Pentos with their badass fleet, badass assassin's and infamously ruthless bankers) so he gives the eggs to Dany so she can get her fleet. I'm not saying that's why; I'm just saying it's actually plausible.

Personally, I think it's more likely that the already wealthy Illyrio figured that getting in Dany's good books by giving such a great gift was more important than just selling the eggs. Either that or he somehow knew/hoped that they'd hatch and wanted that to happen for a reason we aren't allowed to know about yet.

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2 hours ago, Good Guy Garlan said:

3) He gave Dany the eggs so she could sell them to buy ships for Drogo's invasion: Seriously, I've seen this argument and I'm like, Er, Illyrio actually has a lot of ships of his own, so...

I don't find the idea of giving Dany the eggs convincing at all. It would be hugely symbolic in convincing everyone of Aegons true identity if he had the eggs. I do believe GRRM thought up Aegon some time after the first book had been published.

However I think 3 is the best justification. Illyrio wants Drogo to attack Westeros first of all (who probably acts as vengeance for assassinating Dany) and pillage it. Aegon will then sweep in as an avenging angel, unite the realm and expel the uncouth barbarians. Illyrio cannot directly supply ships to the Dothraki because he then wants to join Aegon in Westeros. So he gave the dragon eggs that can help finance the war when the Dothraki needed it.

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2 is actually pretty good. No matter how much money Illyrio does or does not have, he at the very least wants people to think he can afford to just give away dragon eggs at whim.

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3 hours ago, Good Guy Garlan said:

snip 

Or it could have been nothing more than Illyrio needing to give Dany a gift worthy of a khaleesi, and dragons being the symbol of her house it was obvious that he should give them to her. And a jaw-dropping gift like this would also convince Drogo that he is not just getting some pretender, but a real princess from the Seven Kingdoms.

And if Jorah is any judge, the eggs are valuable, but not that valuable:
 

Quote

 

GoT, Dany X:

"My queen, Drogo will have no use for dragon's eggs in the night lands. Better to sell them in Asshai. Sell one and we can buy a ship to take us back to the Free Cities. Sell all three and you will be a wealthy woman all your days."

 

Elsewhere he says they are more precious than rubies, but it's not like they would have contributed mightily to Illyrio's army. Living dragons, of course, are a different story, but I can't imagine how Illyrio could have thought that Dany would be the one to unlock that secret.

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8 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Or it could have been nothing more than Illyrio needing to give Dany a gift worthy of a khaleesi, and dragons being the symbol of her house it was obvious that he should give them to her. And a jaw-dropping gift like this would also convince Drogo that he is not just getting some pretender, but a real princess from the Seven Kingdoms.

And if Jorah is any judge, the eggs are valuable, but not that valuable:
 

Elsewhere he says they are more precious than rubies, but it's not like they would have contributed mightily to Illyrio's army. Living dragons, of course, are a different story, but I can't imagine how Illyrio could have thought that Dany would be the one to unlock that secret.

This is the most accurate explanation. Eggs are precious but they cannot buy a fleet 

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Just now, the snow dragon said:

This is the most accurate explanation. Eggs are precious but they cannot buy a fleet 

The eggs didn't really have a set value, just whatever you could find someone willing to pay for them.

But from a symbolic point of view to fAegon, they would be priceless. There will be a lot of scepticism and if he had those eggs they would help just as much as having Connington as a foster father. That's my only real reason I feel that part of the story was a retcon. It's not a serious issue to me, most of the writing feels very genuine and logical and in something this big I don't mind overlooking the odd thing.

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Because Illyrio giving them to her for some reason is better than her just stumbling over them in the desert, which is apparently what was going to happen originally.

I think John Suburbs might have it: they're worth a lot, but they ain't worth so much that Illyrio can't afford to give them away. An inert dragon's egg appears to be worth a ship. Illyrio probably has loads of ships, notwithstanding comments above. (Warships are their own thing; the idea that a major trading port like Pentos wouldn't have a large commercial fleet is silly.)

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12 hours ago, Good Guy Garlan said:

2) Illyrio is filty rich as it is and he didn't need the eggs: Well, I don't know if there's such a thing as being rich enough to literally throw money away, especially if you're planning a massive undertaking like sitting your own secret pretender on the Iron Throne. Illyrio wasted the eggs on a girl he thought was gonna die anyway instead of selling them to buy resources Aegon's sure gonna need, like sellswords or bribes. And yeah, Illyrio made a profit by arranging Drogo's wedding but 3 dragon eggs are surely worth more.

I'd like to challenge this point here. In Dany's assessment, the opposite was true:

It was a truly magnificent gift, though she knew that Illyrio could afford to be lavish. He had collected a fortune in horses and slaves for his part in selling her to Khal Drogo.

So, she reasons, old Illyrio still made a profit. It wasn't exactly throwing money away. If a casino made a million dollars off you, and threw tens of thousands of dollars of complimentary stuff at you, it isn't throwing money away - it's keeping the customer stupid and satisfied. I'm not saying that business strategy is a sure guaranteed winner, but it's certainly legitimate.

8 hours ago, Makk said:

The eggs didn't really have a set value, just whatever you could find someone willing to pay for them.

But from a symbolic point of view to fAegon, they would be priceless. There will be a lot of scepticism and if he had those eggs they would help just as much as having Connington as a foster father. That's my only real reason I feel that part of the story was a retcon. It's not a serious issue to me, most of the writing feels very genuine and logical and in something this big I don't mind overlooking the odd thing.

So, people in Westeros wouldn't stop to think that golden eggs could be just bought, like cheese (although, to be fair, lots of cheese)?

"He has a dragon egg, that one."

"Huh. Did Prince Aegon have a dragon egg in his crib?"

"Uhm, nope, no. He must needs got it somewhere else."

"So, bought it?"

"Or someone bought it for him."

"So he must be a real Targaryen, and the heir to the throne!"

"Must be. He also has big heaps of cheese."

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, maudisdottir said:

Because GRRM needed Dany to somehow get three dragon eggs.

This. Probably GRRM looked for various options to get Dany run into some eggs. Being gifts by Illyrio was probably the most believable one. The llyrio-Varys conspiracy was probably not very advanced in GRRM's mind so leaving us with a "plot hole".

This hole, however, can be easily repaired by giving Aegon some eggs too.

Edited by rotting sea cow

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