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graham15

Why Alyssa Velaryon was a "political match"

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It is quite strange that Aenys Targaryen would be paired with Alyssa Velaryon as a political match. The two houses were already close allies, Aenys' grandmother herself was Valaena Velaryon. That brings up the question as to why Alyssa was a "political match" for Aenys.

In my belief, there is only one possible reason why the two would be coupled for political reasons. Either Alyssa or her mother (a member of House Targaryen) had hatched a dragon. I believe that this other junior branch of House Targaryen was dragonless, as at the time of the Conquest only Visenya, Aegon and Rhaenys had dragons. 

I think it is more likely that Alyssa's mother would have hatched a dragon (perhaps Vermithor) being the first of her junior line to do so and after her marriage into House Velaryon. Aegon and his sisters would have been eager to not have House Velaryon as a second dragonriding house and potential rival. I think it is then likely Alyssa was the only one of her siblings to hatch a dragon herself (perhaps Meleys). Alyssa was then betrothed into House Targaryen's main line to prevent the spreading of the "dragonrider gene".

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If Visenya's mother had had a dragon, one would expect that it would have been used during the Conquest, and we would know about it. I think that we can safely assume that Baleron, Vhagar and Meraxes were all the dragons that the Targaryens had available when they started the Conquest. (and in any case, TPATQ reveals that Vermithor was born well into Aegon I's reign, around 30 AC)

Aenys marrying Alyssa needs no further justification than the Targaryen tradition of incestuous marriages. They had been marrying brother to sister for some time, and with no sister available, Aenys resorted to his cousin. The same situation happened some years after, when Viserys married his cousin Emma Arryn.

It's entirely possible, though, that the reason behind the incests would be the preservation of the gene-pool that allows them to bond with dragons, so your idea is not misguided.

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I'm not entirely sure we should describe this whole thing as a 'political match', anyway. It would be an arranged match, of course, following the traditional Targaryen marriage policy, but it is not a political match in the sense that the Conqueror and Visenya sealed a political alliance with a marriage, or something of that sort.

For that the Maegor-Ceryse is a much better candidate. It is clearly stated in the TSotD that Aegon agreed to the match because he hoped it would strengthen the ties between the Hightowers/Faith and the Targaryens.

For all we know there could have been genuine affection, perhaps even love, between Aenys and Alyssa. We do know that had intercourse as late as 38-39 AC, 16-17 years after their wedding. It was a stable and happy marriage.

Edited by Lord Varys

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