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King Ned Stark

Another (f)Aegon thread I guess

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As far as Elia moving from Dragonstone to King's Landing 6 months or so after Aegon's birth ... it seems as fairly clear that she wasn't given a choice in the matter. It's possible, even probable, that left to their own judgement, she and her maester(s) would have left her at Dragonstone to recover for a longer period of time, even without the war. However, Aerys demanded her and her children come to the Red Keep - there'd've been a limit on how long his demands could be stalled on.

Also, and I could be wrong about this, but aren't first births harder on the mother than subsequent births? I mean, IIRC, there are physiological changes to the hip bones/waist, such that someone who knows what they're doing can tell if a woman has given birth or not.

 

But, fAegon is not the son of Rhaegar and Elia. Nor is he some child that Rhaegar and Elia passed off as their own son because the real one was stillborn or miscarried.

FAegon may or may not be a Blackfyre. He may or may not be Illyrio's son. He may or may not just be some random kid with the right looks.

FAegon is not the real deal.

 

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52 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

Well, for the record, I don't think Ashara had a child, especially with Ned, was a mistake to even mention her; only that through the story it is possible she had an illegitimate child that was unaccounted for.  But forget Ashara for now.

Are we cracking pots?  I don't know, I guess only a serious look will tell.  However, if there is conventional thinking in why Rhaegar did what he did, then that conventional thinking relies on unknown prophecy or information not privy to the reader, coincidences, and some very abnormal behavior from a guy some very reliable sources said was honorable and very able.

Trying to figure out why Rhaegar did what he did let me realize that you shouldn't rule out an idea, however improbable, if it is possible.  As I said, it's a similar trick he used with Ned having a bastard, he states it out plain, and then leaves clues as to why it should be questioned.

Why would Rhaegar leave a near-death Elia?  Or his savior baby a couple months after he is born?  If he is worried about the 3rd HotD, what's the rush?  He just fathered 2 in 3 years.

But it's the timeline that made me question if Elia ever even had Aegon.  The timeline almost, almost, rules out the HotU vision being true all by itself.  When you add Rhaegar's actions on top of the timeline, then you have to question everything else.  If he already had a male heir he thought was the PtwP, then nothing he does after that makes sense unless he had the clearest prophetic vision anyone has ever had in the books.

Would it not add reason to why he included all the baby swaps and hidden identities, if that was indeed a catalyst for the entire story?

The fact that Elia, who couldn't travel in her youth, was bedridden for six months, but has a healthy baby a year later (that nearly killed her), and yet can travel to Kings Landing around six months after that, doesn't seem a bit far fetched to anyone?

I don't think it is as much about prophetic visions as it is about knowledge from books. Recall that he kept a correspondence with Aemon concerning the PtwP issue. And here are the most relevant quotes:

Quote

That had been one of his last good days. After that the old man spent more time sleeping than awake, curled up beneath a pile of furs in the captain's cabin. Sometimes he would mutter in his sleep. When he woke he'd call for Sam, insisting that he had to tell him something, but oft as not he would have forgotten what he meant to say by the time that Sam arrived. Even when he did recall, his talk was all a jumble. He spoke of dreams and never named the dreamer, of a glass candle that could not be lit and eggs that would not hatch. He said the sphinx was the riddle, not the riddler, whatever that meant. He asked Sam to read for him from a book by Septon Barth, whose writings had been burned during the reign of Baelor the Blessed. Once he woke up weeping. "The dragon must have three heads," he wailed, "but I am too old and frail to be one of them. I should be with her, showing her the way, but my body has betrayed me."

It seems clear Aemon was not basing this claim off of a dream, rather that it is knowledge from rare books, books that Rhaegar certainly read as well. Books that give details about AAR and dragons. And then we have also have this quote:

Quote

"You are." The woman rose in a swirl of scarlet silk, her long copper-bright hair tumbling about her shoulders. "Swords alone cannot hold this darkness back. Only the light of the Lord can do that. Make no mistake, good sers and valiant brothers, the war we've come to fight is no petty squabble over lands and honors. Ours is a war for life itself, and should we fail the world dies with us."

The officers did not know how to take that, Sam could see. Bowen Marsh and Othell Yarwyck exchanged a doubtful look, Janos Slynt was fuming, and Three-Finger Hobb looked as though he would sooner be back chopping carrots. But all of them seemed surprised to hear Maester Aemon murmur, "It is the war for the dawn you speak of, my lady. But where is the prince that was promised?"

"He stands before you," Melisandre declared, "though you do not have the eyes to see. Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai come again, the warrior of fire. In him the prophecies are fulfilled. The red comet blazed across the sky to herald his coming, and he bears Lightbringer, the red sword of heroes."

So Rhaegar should have been actively trying to have 3 children in order to fulfill the prophecy. And if Elia couldn't have another child, then he needed to find another woman with skinchanging/dragon rider genes. Enter: Lyanna as the KotLT.

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40 minutes ago, Kytheros said:

As far as Elia moving from Dragonstone to King's Landing 6 months or so after Aegon's birth ... it seems as fairly clear that she wasn't given a choice in the matter. It's possible, even probable, that left to their own judgement, she and her maester(s) would have left her at Dragonstone to recover for a longer period of time, even without the war. However, Aerys demanded her and her children come to the Red Keep - there'd've been a limit on how long his demands could be stalled on.

Also, and I could be wrong about this, but aren't first births harder on the mother than subsequent births? I mean, IIRC, there are physiological changes to the hip bones/waist, such that someone who knows what they're doing can tell if a woman has given birth or not.

But, fAegon is not the son of Rhaegar and Elia. Nor is he some child that Rhaegar and Elia passed off as their own son because the real one was stillborn or miscarried.

FAegon may or may not be a Blackfyre. He may or may not be Illyrio's son. He may or may not just be some random kid with the right looks.

FAegon is not the real deal.

You may be right (I really don't know) but regardless we should keep in mind that many maesters were anti-dragon, anti-prophecy, and anti-Targaryen. So it is possible that the maester simply took advantage of the situation and lied about Elia's ability to bear more children.

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1 hour ago, King Ned Stark said:

Well, for the record, I don't think Ashara had a child, especially with Ned, was a mistake to even mention her; only that through the story it is possible she had an illegitimate child that was unaccounted for.  But forget Ashara for now.

Are we cracking pots?  I don't know, I guess only a serious look will tell.  However, if there is conventional thinking in why Rhaegar did what he did, then that conventional thinking relies on unknown prophecy or information not privy to the reader, coincidences, and some very abnormal behavior from a guy some very reliable sources said was honorable and very able.

Trying to figure out why Rhaegar did what he did let me realize that you shouldn't rule out an idea, however improbable, if it is possible.  As I said, it's a similar trick he used with Ned having a bastard, he states it out plain, and then leaves clues as to why it should be questioned.

Why would Rhaegar leave a near-death Elia?  Or his savior baby a couple months after he is born?  If he is worried about the 3rd HotD, what's the rush?  He just fathered 2 in 3 years.

But it's the timeline that made me question if Elia ever even had Aegon.  The timeline almost, almost, rules out the HotU vision being true all by itself.  When you add Rhaegar's actions on top of the timeline, then you have to question everything else.  If he already had a male heir he thought was the PtwP, then nothing he does after that makes sense unless he had the clearest prophetic vision anyone has ever had in the books.

Would it not add reason to why he included all the baby swaps and hidden identities, if that was indeed a catalyst for the entire story?

The fact that Elia, who couldn't travel in her youth, was bedridden for six months, but has a healthy baby a year later (that nearly killed her), and yet can travel to Kings Landing around six months after that, doesn't seem a bit far fetched to anyone?

 

As I suggested up thread, I don't think you need to fixate on that vision as an actual snapshot of an even that actually happened exactly as Daenerys saw it. Here's the vision...

Quote

Viserys, was her first thought the next time she paused, but a second glance told her otherwise. The man had her brother's hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac. "Aegon," he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. "What better name for a king?"

"Will you make a song for him?" the woman asked.

"He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads." He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way.

First, I would submit, that this is one of three visions that the author uses to help our understanding of what is going on in the plot, the other two being the first vision of the beautiful woman sprawled naked on the floor, and a vision of Aerys's plan to burn King's Landing. Here, we have a vision of Rhaegar wrestling with the prince-that-was-promised prophecy. What is described to the reader in the vision does not have to be taken literally. Rather, I think we should read it symbolically so that we can figure out what it represents. The eye color, the harp, and the melancholy tone are designed to hint that the man is Rhaegar. Since the vision of Rhaegar called the babe Aegon, we can presume the babe is his first true born son, Aegon. And since we know that Aegon's mum was Elia, the fact that the woman is nursing Aegon, is designed to convey to the reader that the woman is the babe's mother, Elia. 

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On 9/8/2017 at 8:50 PM, Dorian Martell's son said:

Only Ghost is Rhaegar's  The rest are Tormund's 

In that case Ghost for the Direwolf that was Promised. Shaggy for King Beyond the Wall.

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On 9/8/2017 at 9:14 PM, Wild Bill said:

I thought about Elia protecting any baby as I posted. You are right.

Ah, you see through my internet anonymity... My assistant, D'ela Street (bastard name from the remote Backalli region) was a bit hasty in her fact checking.

Anyway, on this subject, I'm working backwards. We have an apparent heir, so a swap is necessary. What is the evidence for a swap? None, or little, or something. But why does the heir have to be legitimate? Anybody that looks and acts right will do. It could be a Blackfyre, or Illyerio's child, or some street kid.

All that said, I, realize that we have hit upon the actual solution, and it is brilliant! Better, it creates the long desired, decisive, unification of the Aegon theories into TPTWP.

However, there is one kink (already) brought up.

D'ela has made up for her mistake about Aerys and Rhaegar with some brilliant mining of extant ephemera.

The evidence is post-shadowed by Jon's baby swap at the Wall. Jon has no money, no connections, and hostile people around him, but pulls off a baby swap no problem. Only Gilly, Aemon, and maybe Val seem to know about it. 

Now, knowing what Jon has pulled off with limited resources, imagine a spymaster with massive connections and resources and a castle with secret passages (which he seems to know like the back of his hand) swapping a baby. Totally possible. 

The only real reason to switch babies at the Wall is to prove that Varys could have done the same thing. Technically, it even counts as foreshadowing because the Wall swap occurs before we learn from Varys about his swap. So it's a foreshadowed past event...I think?

You're right, he doesn't have to be legitimate, but...I like the story potential. The drama factor is so much higher in some of the potential arcs.

1) He gets the Iron Throne but goes mad and Varys' dream of the perfect prince/king must die, as must Aegon. Varys will kill the kid himself because he was the one who inflicted him upon Westeros.

2) Dany fights and kills Aegon and then finds out he really was her nephew. That will make her a bit less dracarys-happy when she meets her other nephew, I would think. It would also make her a kinslayer, and even without the stigma it would haunt her the way Baelor's death haunted Maekar.

3) Dany doesn't know whether he's legit or not but someone else comes forward as a Blackfyre to take the throne and Dany and Aegon team up to take the pretender down, figuring they'll settle the succession later. The pretender kills Aegon, and Dany avenges the boy she thinks was her last living relative. Then she goes and meets another last living relative. 

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On 9/9/2017 at 0:47 PM, Kytheros said:

Sure, the city potentially shuts down once it gets to Tywin that Elia and the children weren't in the Red Keep when Clegane and Lorch got there and he finds out from Pycelle that they had still been in King's Landing. But that wouldn't happen right away.

However, Clegane and Lorch? Their initial assumption is probably that Elia and children had left for Dragonstone before the Lannisters arrived. They go rampaging off in a new direction, and don't tell Tywin right away.

No, it would take all of maybe 15 minutes, less if there's any kind of signal arranged in advance.

Clegane and Lorch's assumptions are hard to pin down. Maybe they would have thought of Dragonstone. Maybe they would have thought they were somewhere in the castle.

If you mean they joined the general sack of the city I have to disagree. Tywin gave them orders and you do not go back to Tywin Lannister and say "Oh, sorry, I couldn't do that so I did something else instead."

On 9/9/2017 at 0:47 PM, Kytheros said:

In addition, Varys, and thus presumably Elia, would know that Ned's host isn't far from the city - meaning they wouldn't need to hide from the Lannisters for very long before either the Lannisters weren't in charge anymore and the confusion of handing off control gave them an opportunity to slip out, or the Lannisters were getting attacked in turn.

Plus, there's no indications that anyone on the allied or Lannister sides would have known anything about the secret passages in the Red Keep. Those passages would have been a reasonable place to hide, at least for a while.

Ned is still the enemy and at this point he is known only as the son of a man Aerys roasted to death, and brother of another man who strangled to death trying to prevent said roasting. Ned is not a known quantity and there is no reason to assume he would impose any kind of order or be able to pull rank on Tywin Lannister.

The passages would have been a fine place to hide, but only under certain circumstances: the children are drugged and thus not making noises that will carry really really well in empty passages made of stone (seriously the acoustics in those passages must be amazing!), and/or there is no one looking for them when they come out of hiding. They would have had to stay in those passages for days, if not weeks. They'd have to know in advance that they'd have to stay that long and have things like food and diapers for the baby, and toys for both children. And they'd need attendants for the kids as well, which means more food and more sanitation issues. 

On 9/9/2017 at 0:47 PM, Kytheros said:

And there are limits on how thoroughly King's Landing could be locked down and searched.

If Elia and the children aren't found in initial search of the Red Keep, and in the secret passages they wouldn't be, and nothing turned up after searching the city for a day or so, then it would likely be assumed that they either successfully escaped the city and fled to Dragonstone or Dorne, or that they tried to flee, but got caught up in and anonymously killed during the Sack as random civilian collateral damage, bodies probably burned or otherwise damaged beyond easy recognition.

 

I just don't buy into fAegon being the son of Rhaegar and Elia in truth.

With three or four armies converged on the city, and the gold cloaks joining in, I think the limits would be almost non-existent. The lockdown would be temporary, just until they could mount a decent search and mount triple or more guards on every entrance and exit to the city.

A day or so? There's a throne at stake and the dead bodies of Rhaegar's children are Tywin's apology for not supporting Robert all along, and his ticket to getting Cersei married to a king. There's no way Tywin would give up after a day or so.

Dragonstone can only be reached by boat. If they'd left by boat, someone would have seen them. There would likely be enough gold (and possibly more) offered to loosen the tongue of almost anyone who would have been around the docks. Tywin would not just assume they went to Dragonstone, he'd find evidence that they did, or finding no evidence, look elsewhere. If there was any chance they thought Elia and the kids had escaped to Dorne they would have sent men toward Dorne.

I doubt anyone would think they got caught up in the sack and killed anonymously. First of all none of the royalists would chance that kind of escape, for the reason that it's likely they could be killed accidentally, and Tywin likely knows it. Second, someone on the streets would have recognized Elia and offered to hide her and her children--if only to spite the invading Lannister forces--which is why there would be searching of every building and home in the city. And Tywin would be a lot more careful about making sure he had the right children before having them killed if they hadn't been in the castle when his goons got there. He'd also be thinking that they might have split up, in order to give each of the kids a greater chance to escape, so the searches would keep going as long as he held out any hope of finding those kids. He'd get Robert's permission to keep it up too with some line like "It is not for the king to worry himself with such unpleasant tasks. Leave it to me, your grace."

I did have an inkling that you might feel that way. :)

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On 9/9/2017 at 2:03 PM, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

Tywin did not tell Gregor Clegane not to kill Elia ,if the quote is right .

Yes, because he thought he didn't have to tell him that, which means that he did not order Elia's death.

If he said "Kill Princess Rhaenys and Prince Aegon." then he would not expect to have to add "Oh, and by the way, don't kill their mother."

He didn't expect Gregor to take initiative on this assignment.

8 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Then why would Varys concoct the pisswater prince story? Or do you believe that Aegon is a pisswater prince, and the real Aegon is somewhere, or someone, else? 

I'm looking at it from the perspective that it's still the same swap (with the pisswater prince subbed in as Aegon's stunt double, per Varys' story) just done earlier.

6 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Since we are cracking pots (we are, aren't we?), how about Rhaegar knew that Eddard knocked up Ashara, and since he and Elia were looking for a boy they could pass off as their own, brought Ashara to Dragonstone, adopted her boy, named him Aegon, and got her to tell Barristan, and maybe others, that she had a stillborn daughter. Ashara then returns to Starfall believing that her bastard son is the heir to the crown prince. But then Eddard arrives and tells her that not only has he just killed her brother, but that Aegon's wee head was smashed to pulp against a castle wall. Then, regretting everything, she throws herself from the tower into the sea. Oh, but just before she leaps out the window, she turns to Eddard and says, "The boy was yours, my dear Ned. I am so sorry" 

F%#&, I just about convinced myself...

Ned would have to have knocked up Ashara before Harrenhal because Elia was already pregnant with Aegon (or pretending to be?) at that time.

5 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

<snip

The fact that Elia, who couldn't travel in her youth, was bedridden for six months, but has a healthy baby a year later (that nearly killed her), and yet can travel to Kings Landing around six months after that, doesn't seem a bit far fetched to anyone?

 

To the snipped part, I'll just say that while you make excellent points there is still a TON we don't know about what happened. We don't know if Rhaegar ever decided Aegon wasn't TDtwP.

There's always the theory that Aerys somehow found out Lyanna was the KotLT and ordered her arrested. Whether Rhaegar himself is ordered to arrest the girl (because he crowned her QoLaB at HH), or Arthur Dayne goes to him and tells him what's up, I could see Rhaegar intervening to save her life. We're talking about an innocent young girl and the daughter of the Warden of the North, who's also engaged to Rhaegar's cousin. Think of the consequences of Aerys burned Lyanna Stark. I mean, it could have started a war. :P

I'd love to see the scene when Aerys summons Rhaegar back to KL...

Rhaegar: What? You said arrest her, and I did. You never said what to do after I arrested her. 
Aerys: I didn't say to take her to Dorne.
Rhaegar: You didn't say not to take her to Dorne. By the way, she's expecting.
Aerys: Already? That's my boy! I mean...uh...you're grounded. Just as soon as you kill Robert, you are restricted to Dragonstone.
Rhaegar: Fine. Whatever.
Aerys: Where are you going?
Rhaegar: I'm going to my room. I'm going to play my harp until it's time to go kill people. *mumbles* You really suck.
Aerys: What was that?
Rhaegar: I said "Wish me luck."

 

Speaking as someone who nearly died giving birth to her first child, this is actually possible. The first one is usually the hardest. Now, we know having Aegon almost killed her, but we don't know WHY that is. Was it blood loss? Was it how long she was in labor? In either case, if given the best of care she could probably recover faster from his birth than she did from the first one, because her body had already been through it. The health of the baby doesn't factor in--Rhaenys was a healthy baby too.

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2 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

The evidence is post-shadowed by Jon's baby swap at the Wall. Jon has no money, no connections, and hostile people around him, but pulls off a baby swap no problem. Only Gilly, Aemon, and maybe Val seem to know about it. 

Now, knowing what Jon has pulled off with limited resources, imagine a spymaster with massive connections and resources and a castle with secret passages (which he seems to know like the back of his hand) swapping a baby. Totally possible.

The only real reason to switch babies at the Wall is to prove that Varys could have done the same thing. Technically, it even counts as foreshadowing because the Wall swap occurs before we learn from Varys about his swap. So it's a foreshadowed past event...I think?

You're right, he doesn't have to be legitimate, but...I like the story potential. The drama factor is so much higher in some of the potential arcs.

...

All in all, pretty nice. :)

Though, my bolded bits give a Jon Snow = George Smiley, which is not expected in the text, given his character. But still, Jon does a baby swap showing a notion of Jon being a real (real politik) leader and such. :)

Edit: though I think the direct act, by Jon, in the books is quite a bit different than the unlikely reveal of Varys as he kills Kennith Lannister, since it 1) seems out of context, and 2) as others have mentioned that perhaps Vary's (ex)spiders are listening and Vary's is playing to their audience  - Queron and Circei...

Edited by Wild Bill

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57 minutes ago, Wild Bill said:

All in all, pretty nice. :)

Though, my bolded bits give a Jon Snow = George Smiley, which is not expected in the text, given his character. But still, Jon does a baby swap showing a notion of Jon being a real (real politik) leader and such. :)

Edit: though I think the direct act, by Jon, in the books is quite a bit different than the unlikely reveal of Varys as he kills Kennith Lannister, since it 1) seems out of context, and 2) as others have mentioned that perhaps Vary's (ex)spiders are listening and Vary's is playing to their audience  - Queron and Circei...

You have a point there about the direct act. But that's a hazard when something is supposed to have happened in the past. We can't see Varys swapping anyone, because it was more than a decade ago. I don't see Varys' mention of Aegon as being out of context. He's a pretty fair guy and wants Kevan to know that this killing him thing is not personal. Kevan was a decent man so Varys is giving him some respect in telling him why he's killing him. He's basically saying "Look, you're doing too good a job. I have to remove you because Aegon (who I saved, and I'd totally tell you more, but I'd have to kill you...oh wait!) is coming and I need the realm de-stablized so we can kill some of your family members who are in the way of him sitting on his throne."

Varys doesn't have ex-spiders yet. The little birds are still his. We know this because they come in to finish Kevan off. We have no idea what Qyburn is really up to. He could even be working with Varys. If the baby swap story was just for Cersei's benefit, I think Varys would have gone farther, added some details about the little prince crying for his mother on the boat to Essos maybe.

Edited by Lady Blizzardborn

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On 9/12/2017 at 7:57 PM, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I think Howland Reed was basically sent on a mission by the Green Men to set up the Rhaegar-Lyanna relationship.

I actually think he was probably trying to force Rickard's hand into an alliance by getting Lyanna pregnant. Rickard couldn't break his betrothal deal with House Baratheon, but he could have been forced into supporting Rhaegar if Rhaegar broke the deal for him by getting Lyanna pregnant and then offered to name his child by Lyanna as the new heir.

The flip side of that is Rhaegar could have made overtures with Rickard and asked to marry Lyanna. If Rickard was open to that idea, then he would have had to Robert and Robert might've just said no to breaking the engagement. When she vanishes in the riverlands with Rhaegar, it wouldn't be hard for him (or even Brandon if he knows about this) to believe that the prince who never got told no in his life kidnapped Lyanna and had his way with her.

Quote

I think Howland Reed was basically sent on a mission by the Green Men to set up the Rhaegar-Lyanna relationship.

I like how the guy who didn't sit a horse all that well rode all the way to Dorne. I've been convinced for a while that Howland knew exactly what they would find in that tower.

15 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

There's always the theory that Aerys somehow found out Lyanna was the KotLT and ordered her arrested. Whether Rhaegar himself is ordered to arrest the girl (because he crowned her QoLaB at HH), or Arthur Dayne goes to him and tells him what's up, I could see Rhaegar intervening to save her life. We're talking about an innocent young girl and the daughter of the Warden of the North, who's also engaged to Rhaegar's cousin. Think of the consequences of Aerys burned Lyanna Stark. I mean, it could have started a war. :P

Honestly, I think that this is the missing thread. Revealing the story of the KotLT at a very key moment. Rhaegar is a threat to Aerys, but he becomes an even bigger threat once he has a male heir and this whole situation with Lyanna where he takes off with her unfolds after Aegon is born. When Aegon enters the picture, Rhaegar has an heir and if he has plans to rebel or "rebel", Aegon's birth makes it easier. There's this prince everyone loves, and now he has a son to follow in his footsteps.

Aerys is mad and Barristan says that Viserys was his father's son in ways that Rhaegar never was, so Viserys might have been displaying some tendencies for madness when he was a very young child. Revealing the identity of the KotLT and Rhaegar's role in it could be done in hopes that he will be pushed out of the line of succession, and maybe by extension Aegon too, which would leave Viserys. Add in Aerys's paranoia that there are traitors everywhere, and he might think that the Rhaegar has been plotting with the Starks. He crowned Lyanna at Harrenhal after all.

Aerys murdered Brandon and Rickard in a very savage way. We know he burned people, but slowly roasting someone in their armor while the son strangles himself to death trying to rescue his father? That was a different level of savagery altogether.

And we still don't know why Aerys chooses Viserys as his heir over Aegon. If he was counselled (by Varys?) to do that, that's another way of coming at his Blackfyre restoration if indeed that's who our Young Griff is. Westeros having two kings who are erratic and not sound of mind succeeding each other is another way to come at this possible restoration. 

Just my several cents on this. 

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5 hours ago, Widow's Watch said:

The flip side of that is Rhaegar could have made overtures with Rickard and asked to marry Lyanna. If Rickard was open to that idea, then he would have had to Robert and Robert might've just said no to breaking the engagement. When she vanishes in the riverlands with Rhaegar, it wouldn't be hard for him (or even Brandon if he knows about this) to believe that the prince who never got told no in his life kidnapped Lyanna and had his way with her.

Also possible, good point

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On 9/14/2017 at 1:29 PM, Widow's Watch said:

<snip

Honestly, I think that this is the missing thread. Revealing the story of the KotLT at a very key moment. Rhaegar is a threat to Aerys, but he becomes an even bigger threat once he has a male heir and this whole situation with Lyanna where he takes off with her unfolds after Aegon is born. When Aegon enters the picture, Rhaegar has an heir and if he has plans to rebel or "rebel", Aegon's birth makes it easier. There's this prince everyone loves, and now he has a son to follow in his footsteps.

Aerys is mad and Barristan says that Viserys was his father's son in ways that Rhaegar never was, so Viserys might have been displaying some tendencies for madness when he was a very young child. Revealing the identity of the KotLT and Rhaegar's role in it could be done in hopes that he will be pushed out of the line of succession, and maybe by extension Aegon too, which would leave Viserys. Add in Aerys's paranoia that there are traitors everywhere, and he might think that the Rhaegar has been plotting with the Starks. He crowned Lyanna at Harrenhal after all.

Aerys murdered Brandon and Rickard in a very savage way. We know he burned people, but slowly roasting someone in their armor while the son strangles himself to death trying to rescue his father? That was a different level of savagery altogether.

And we still don't know why Aerys chooses Viserys as his heir over Aegon. If he was counselled (by Varys?) to do that, that's another way of coming at his Blackfyre restoration if indeed that's who our Young Griff is. Westeros having two kings who are erratic and not sound of mind succeeding each other is another way to come at this possible restoration. 

Just my several cents on this. 

Excellent points, except for the last bit. Not that it isn't a good point, but I don't think Aerys needed anyone counseling him to pass over Aegon for Viserys. He wouldn't want that half-Dornish kid on the throne, especially if he viewed the boy's father as a traitor conspiring against him and planning to depose his own father. Add to that the possible power and influence the Martells get if baby Aegon becomes king. Viserys is the next in line, so it makes sense that Aerys would name him heir.

I don't think Varys was involved in the decision firstly because we know Aerys wasn't listening to him much, given that he took Pycelle's advice over Varys' when it came to Tywin Lannister at the gates. Also, even if Viserys were to become king after Aerys, Aegon would still exist and be next in line until Viserys produced any sons, which might not have ever happened. Varys would have to have known that Tywin was going to show up and order baby Aegon's death. And if he had known that and wanted it to happen, he wouldn't  have begged Aerys not to open the gates.

Edited by Lady Blizzardborn

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@Lady Blizzardborn, counsel may have been a poor choice of word on my part. Varys is more the "lemme drop the info, look all sad and distressed about it, plant ideas and see what grows from that."

Varys is very adaptable and knows how to roll with the punches and we saw how he got Barristan Selmy dismissed from the Kingsguard.

About Aerys listening to Pycelle over Varys. That may not have had anything to do with how much power Pycelle wielded over Varys. What we know is that Rhaegar convinced his father to swallow his pride and summon Tywin which we know Aerys ended up doing. So maybe him listening to Pycelle had more to do with Rhaegar than it did with Pycelle himself?

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14 hours ago, Widow's Watch said:

@Lady Blizzardborn, counsel may have been a poor choice of word on my part. Varys is more the "lemme drop the info, look all sad and distressed about it, plant ideas and see what grows from that."

Varys is very adaptable and knows how to roll with the punches and we saw how he got Barristan Selmy dismissed from the Kingsguard.

About Aerys listening to Pycelle over Varys. That may not have had anything to do with how much power Pycelle wielded over Varys. What we know is that Rhaegar convinced his father to swallow his pride and summon Tywin which we know Aerys ended up doing. So maybe him listening to Pycelle had more to do with Rhaegar than it did with Pycelle himself?

Maybe. But it seems to me that if Aerys was distrusting Rhaegar, he would have suspected that Tywin might turn. On the other hand, Aerys was insane so logic doesn't necessarily play into things here.

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On 9/13/2017 at 11:55 PM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

You have a point there about the direct act. But that's a hazard when something is supposed to have happened in the past. We can't see Varys swapping anyone, because it was more than a decade ago. I don't see Varys' mention of Aegon as being out of context. He's a pretty fair guy and wants Kevan to know that this killing him thing is not personal. Kevan was a decent man so Varys is giving him some respect in telling him why he's killing him. He's basically saying "Look, you're doing too good a job. I have to remove you because Aegon (who I saved, and I'd totally tell you more, but I'd have to kill you...oh wait!) is coming and I need the realm de-stablized so we can kill some of your family members who are in the way of him sitting on his throne."

Varys doesn't have ex-spiders yet. The little birds are still his. We know this because they come in to finish Kevan off. We have no idea what Qyburn is really up to. He could even be working with Varys. If the baby swap story was just for Cersei's benefit, I think Varys would have gone farther, added some details about the little prince crying for his mother on the boat to Essos maybe.

I've had a revelation...impressions of Kevan might be mistaken. Vary's kills him, personally (!!!). What did Kevan know, and when did he know it? 

Kevan does seem to be a rather bland Lannister - perhaps the "mist" of Castermere - which tracks nicely with John le Carre's character, George Smiley, who is the anti-Bond - an intellectual character who is mostly known for his... blandness (not forgetting allusions to his WWII heroism). But George does figure out everything in the end. Perhaps George (Martin) has realized [connection severed - no internet connection]

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