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Targaryens & Incest

39 posts in this topic

10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We actually don't know whether there was a Targaryen sorcerer prince. Aenar had multiple wives but he could have been one of the few (Targaryen) dragonlords who followed in the footsteps of the sorcerer princes and had multiple wives.

But the vibe we get from the sorcerer princes practicing polygamy on a more regular basis is that they were an even more elite class of Valyrians than the dragonlords. Valyrian power was rooted in fire and blood magic, and those sorcerer princes would have been the Valyrians ruling and controlling the Valyrian mages and sorcerers. Those people could very well have been even more powerful than the dragonlords.

But it is of course possible that many sorcerer princes also happened to be dragonlords.

Sure, that is possible. You would have to ask George whether that ever happened, though. I could see it happening with a desperate widowed matriarch dragonlord. But it may be that parent-child incest was taboo even in Valyria. Or only practiced as a last resort. We don't know.

Well, marrying your own close kind also helps keeping the land and property the family owns closely together. Valyria wasn't a feudal society where the eldest son inherited the entire estate. All children of a dragonlord would have inherited an equal share of their parents' property. And if too many such children marry in other families then the wealth the core families continues to control diminishes.

And you do know that cousin marriages come immediately behind the ideal of sibling marriages, right? Those could have always included cousin marriages among different dragonlord bloodlines. Just look how many Targaryen-Velaryon cousin marriages there were. Similar cousin marriages could have happened between many a dragonlord house back in the day.

I doubt that there were many female dragonlords who were first to live celibate lives or ended as old maids. That would have been the quick end of a dragonlord house. Dragons are power. If you don't produce another generation of dragonlords your family can technically own dozens of dragons - if those dragons are riderless they won't be able to defend you when your house of Valyria itself is threatened.

But we are not comparing it to cousin endogamy, we are comparing it to normal marriage habits. The various dragonlord families would have been cousins, of course, if they occasionally intermarried, but if the ideal of sibling marriages worked most of the time they would have been rather distant cousins compared to a group of noble or royal families who constantly intermarried among themselves.

You are creating a rather ideal setting here, distributing males and females equally among the descendants. The issue I'm talking about happens when we have three daughters and one son, say, or three sons and one daughter. Or only daughters and only sons. Then you have to look elsewhere for brides.

However, if the sibling thing was considered to be ideal then cousin marriages among various dragonlord branches wouldn't have happened all that often. We see this with Aegon III's and Viserys II's children. They marry their siblings, not their cousins.

The situation in Westeros seems to be even more extreme. Franz-Ferdinand of Hapsburg himself remained Franz-Joseph's heir but his children were cut out of the succession because of his morganatic marriage. In Westeros Duncan's marriage to Jenny made it impossible for him to be accepted as king.

How could they? He was one of them. The question is not who you fuck it is who inherits your property. And whores, slaves - presumably lesser men as well - did not have the right to claim the property of a dragonlord back in Valyria.

We don't know that but I doubt that being a dragonrider made you a dragonlord by the laws of Valyria. A dragon is just a dragon, and just as Ulf and Hugh did not magically become Targaryens when they claimed their dragons one assumes that some bastard a dragonlord fathered on a slave or whore who claimed a dragon did not suddenly become a fully accepted member in the elite club of the dragonlords. There were many dragonriders in Valyria, after all, and not all of them would have been equally powerful, wealthy, and influential. 

See above. It may have more to do with the intention to keep the wealth of the house intact than with the blood purity thing. After all, other incestuous dragonlord families would have had as much or even more 'blood of the dragon' than your own family. And one assumes that a lesser dragonlord family - like the Targaryens - would have rejoiced at the prospect of marrying one of their children to the scion of one of the most powerful dragonlord families of the Freehold.

See above.

Well, if we assume they figured the whole kin and incestuous marriage thing out empirically then things could have gone like that:

The first dragonlord (couple) founds what is going to become the Freehold of Valyria. He/they have established the magical 'blood of the dragon' link to the dragons of the Fourteen Flames and have a couple of children. They take spouses of their own and have children of their own, etc. who make up the elite of the growing Freehold. A couple of generations down the line the dragonlord families have more and more difficulties to keep their dragons in line. A growing number of dragonlord descendants fails to bond with dragons and some cadet branches started by the original couple even die out. People realize that those dragonlord families who continuously intermarried with each other - to establish and seal alliances among the various houses - are much better off than those who didn't do that. They realize that the blood of the dragon must be kept pure if they want to continue to control the dragon. And if cousin marriages help then sibling marriages might be even better. That way about forty dragonlord families are in existence around the time of the Doom - one assumes that this number wasn't exactly stable throughout the millennia.

The idea that each dragonlord family bonded with a special dragon bloodline makes less sense considering the fact that this necessitates that the spell ritual how to do that was not a closely guarded secret. Establishing this original link between human beings and dragons must have been a very powerful, miraculous magical event. Perhaps even more singular a magical event than Dany hatching the dragon eggs. I doubt that forty families were able to perform that spell individually. Not to mention that the number of the dragonlord families might have slowly increased over time. Some spare daughters might have married other non-dragonlord Valyrians, founding a new dragonlord house using the family name of their husbands. Others might go back to legitimized (and very lucky) dragonlord bastards. And so on.

Maybe it wasn't that secret. Just very difficult. Maybe 4000 sorcerors tried, but only 40 succeeded. And maybe there was only a century or two long window to do so, before there were no wild dragons left as they had all been bonded to bloodlines or killed off. Maybe there were never more than a few score wild dragons in Valyria to begin with, and their numbers only grew into the hundreds after thousands of years of dedicated breeding by the dragonlord families.

Basically the incest practice only has greater significance if it is a neccessity for retaining the family dragonbond over time. Else they could just intermarry with other dragonlord families, which makes incest unnecessary.

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5 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Maybe it wasn't that secret. Just very difficult. Maybe 4000 sorcerors tried, but only 40 succeeded. And maybe there was only a century or two long window to do so, before there were no wild dragons left as they had all been bonded to bloodlines or killed off. Maybe there were never more than a few score wild dragons in Valyria to begin with, and their numbers only grew into the hundreds after thousands of years of dedicated breeding by the dragonlord families.

Still, if there was a spell to do that where is the knowledge about that? Surely Aenar and his children would have known how to do it and taken the lore with them to Dragonstone.

And how are we to imagine that only one human bloodline can acquire 'the blood of the dragon'. I mean, whatever ritual is involved there could surely be repeated by another unrelated person or group of persons who don't have 'the blood of the dragon' yet. And then two families could bond with the dragons whose blood they acquired, no?

That is what happens later anyway when 'the blood of the dragons' spreads among various bloodlines. 

The vibe we get in general is that the Targaryens - and the other dragonlords before them - simply had an affinity to all the dragons, similar to how the skinchangers can master all animals, and not just one kind of animal, or only a particular bloodline of animal. Sure, dragonlords/dragonriders can only 'marry' one dragon at a time, unlike skinchangers, but 

5 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Basically the incest practice only has greater significance if it is a neccessity for retaining the family dragonbond over time. Else they could just intermarry with other dragonlord families, which makes incest unnecessary.

Well, without the incest it is not guaranteed that the various dragonlord families do not also intermarry with non-dragonlord families, no? I mean, it is hardly a guarantee that there is always a dragonlord cousin from another dragonlord family around if you want to find a spouse for your child. The incest ensures that the blood isn't spread too far while also providing you with enough spouses for your own children - assuming enough children of both sexes are born.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, marrying your own close kind also helps keeping the land and property the family owns closely together. Valyria wasn't a feudal society where the eldest son inherited the entire estate. All children of a dragonlord would have inherited an equal share of their parents' property. And if too many such children marry in other families then the wealth the core families continues to control diminishes.

No, the wealth diminishes if the children marry members of other families poorer than themselves. Do not forget the return flow, of property brought in.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I doubt that there were many female dragonlords who were first to live celibate lives or ended as old maids. That would have been the quick end of a dragonlord house. Dragons are power. If you don't produce another generation of dragonlords your family can technically own dozens of dragons - if those dragons are riderless they won't be able to defend you when your house of Valyria itself is threatened.

There may have been female dragonlords who wished to do just that. Like Rhaenyra did complain that she could not ride a dragon for a time after birth. It´s possible that some Valyrian women may have resented being subject to control of a husband, especially if having few options available. And long-term celibacy in childbearing age includes widows not remarrying.

Or possibly divorcees. In Westeros, divorce is unacceptable. In Rome, monogamy was required but divorce was easy. Was divorce accepted in Valyria? In Essos?

If dragons are power, do you want to keep your sister barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and her dragon riderless? Or would you be willing to accept her being an old maid, as her price for being in good humour and riding her dragon by your side?

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The situation in Westeros seems to be even more extreme. Franz-Ferdinand of Hapsburg himself remained Franz-Joseph's heir but his children were cut out of the succession because of his morganatic marriage. In Westeros Duncan's marriage to Jenny made it impossible for him to be accepted as king.

Normal pattern of Europe outside Germany. One either is married or is not. Compare George IV and Edward VIII. George IV celebrated a marriage - because of no approval the marriage was a nullity and George IV could go on to marry Caroline without any process of divorcing mrs. Fitzherbert, nor was he disqualified from throne though mrs. Fitzherbert was a Papist. Edward VIII was forced to abdicate, and then his marriage to Wallis Simpson was valid.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

How could they? He was one of them.

The lords of Westeros did disinherit Duncan.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The question is not who you fuck it is who inherits your property. And whores, slaves - presumably lesser men as well - did not have the right to claim the property of a dragonlord back in Valyria.

That´s not clear.

We know, for example, that Westeros observes fairly strict laws of inheritance by blood and legitimacy relationship, which lords and property owners are not allowed to overrule. We do not know whether this was the case in Valyria.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't know that but I doubt that being a dragonrider made you a dragonlord by the laws of Valyria. A dragon is just a dragon, and just as Ulf and Hugh did not magically become Targaryens when they claimed their dragons one assumes that some bastard a dragonlord fathered on a slave or whore who claimed a dragon did not suddenly become a fully accepted member in the elite club of the dragonlords. There were many dragonriders in Valyria, after all, and not all of them would have been equally powerful, wealthy, and influential. 

But it was not a club of equals. The 40 families were not equal to each other, nor were the members of each family equal - for example Targaryens at the time of Aenar had 5 dragons, yet Aenar was not the equal of all other Targaryen dragonlords. How old was Balerion at the time of Exile, and who were the other Targaryen dragonlords at Exile?

Because the club was a club of unequals, just like the elite club of Westeros´ "Lords" has a total membership of approximately 2000 and ranges from the top (Stark, Arryn, Tyrell, Lannister, Baratheon, Martell) all the way to Lord Baelish of Sheepshit, the elite club of Dragonlords with total membership of certainly over 300, but plausibly under 1000 could have low status members. And accept new members at legitimate but low status.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Not to mention that the number of the dragonlord families might have slowly increased over time. Some spare daughters might have married other non-dragonlord Valyrians, founding a new dragonlord house using the family name of their husbands. Others might go back to legitimized (and very lucky) dragonlord bastards.

Westeros went from 1 dragonlord family (Targaryen) to 2 (Targaryen and Velaryon), then almost went to 3 (Targaryen, Velaryon and Royce).

Hugh, Ulf and Nettles never picked surnames. (Addam did magically become a Velaryon).

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1 hour ago, Jaak said:

No, the wealth diminishes if the children marry members of other families poorer than themselves. Do not forget the return flow, of property brought in.

Well, if people control their lands and holdings individually then no property would be brought into a family. It may be that those dragonlord families were organized differently than the feudal families of Westeros. There seem to have been heads of families like Aenar but we don't know how much authority they had, say, over the other family members.

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

There may have been female dragonlords who wished to do just that. Like Rhaenyra did complain that she could not ride a dragon for a time after birth. It´s possible that some Valyrian women may have resented being subject to control of a husband, especially if having few options available. And long-term celibacy in childbearing age includes widows not remarrying.

Well, considering that the female dragonlords usually married their brothers I doubt their men cared all that much about their wishes.

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

Or possibly divorcees. In Westeros, divorce is unacceptable. In Rome, monogamy was required but divorce was easy. Was divorce accepted in Valyria? In Essos?

Could be. We don't know. But since I don't think many dragonlord siblings actually were romantically attracted to and wanted to marry each other I'd be surprised if divorce was common.

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

If dragons are power, do you want to keep your sister barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and her dragon riderless? Or would you be willing to accept her being an old maid, as her price for being in good humour and riding her dragon by your side?

One dragon is no dragon if you want to play the really big game and become a really big and powerful dragonlord family.

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

Normal pattern of Europe outside Germany. One either is married or is not. Compare George IV and Edward VIII. George IV celebrated a marriage - because of no approval the marriage was a nullity and George IV could go on to marry Caroline without any process of divorcing mrs. Fitzherbert, nor was he disqualified from throne though mrs. Fitzherbert was a Papist. Edward VIII was forced to abdicate, and then his marriage to Wallis Simpson was valid.

Franz-Ferdinand had entered into a binding marriage, too. The fact that the blood of his wife wasn't noble enough prevent his children by his wife to succeed him as emperor one day. This has nothing to do with the validity of a marriage.

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

The lords of Westeros did disinherit Duncan.

Not exactly. Duncan abdicated. It was his call. Or rather Aegon V made it his call. I'm sure the king could also have disinherited his son. But the lords cannot do that. They can complain and refuse to acknowledge such an heir, etc. 

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

That´s not clear.

We know, for example, that Westeros observes fairly strict laws of inheritance by blood and legitimacy relationship, which lords and property owners are not allowed to overrule. We do not know whether this was the case in Valyria.

Valyria is not a feudal society. Their rules would have been much different and, presumably, somewhat more modern - or at least similar to those in Rome or Greece. 

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

But it was not a club of equals. The 40 families were not equal to each other, nor were the members of each family equal - for example Targaryens at the time of Aenar had 5 dragons, yet Aenar was not the equal of all other Targaryen dragonlords. How old was Balerion at the time of Exile, and who were the other Targaryen dragonlords at Exile?

Sure, they were all equals insofar as their were all part of the dragonlord elite. There are differences of power and prestige among them, to be sure, but nobody ever said anyone riding a dragon is also recognized as a dragonlord.

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

Because the club was a club of unequals, just like the elite club of Westeros´ "Lords" has a total membership of approximately 2000 and ranges from the top (Stark, Arryn, Tyrell, Lannister, Baratheon, Martell) all the way to Lord Baelish of Sheepshit, the elite club of Dragonlords with total membership of certainly over 300, but plausibly under 1000 could have low status members. And accept new members at legitimate but low status.

You enter the nobility club in Westeros only if you actually are ennobled. Which means if the king grants you a lordly title or grants you some land so you can become a landed knight. If you live in Valyria but have just a dragon but neither name nor land you might be similar to a sellsword or sworn sword in Westeros. A dragon does not give you political or economic power.

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

Westeros went from 1 dragonlord family (Targaryen) to 2 (Targaryen and Velaryon), then almost went to 3 (Targaryen, Velaryon and Royce).

We don't know whether Viserys I would have allowed any children of Rhea Royce to claim dragons. That's a privilege, not something anyone has the right to do. We don't even know whether Aemma Arryn was a dragonrider and she became queen.

1 hour ago, Jaak said:

Hugh, Ulf and Nettles never picked surnames. (Addam did magically become a Velaryon).

No, he Addam and Alyn of Hull were legitimized by royal decree like all the legitimized bastards of Westeros are. That is how things go. Sure, the fact that Addam claimed Seasmoke might have supported Marilda's claim that they were Laenor's sons but these two were legitimized as Velaryons because they were Velaryon descendants and the people in power wanted to acknowledge that.

The dragonlords of Valyria might occasionally have had the interest to do a similar thing but I doubt this happened often or was something their dragonlord peers looked on favorably. If you have properly legitimate offspring born by your sister-wife or cousin-wife you don't need some bastard you fathered on some whore or concubine to continue your line.

Sure, if you have some well-bred whore with Valyrian features from Lys things might be different if you have Daemon Blackfyre-like son by such a woman, but one assumes that this was the exception, not the rule. Just as legitimizing bastards was rather uncommon in Westeros, too.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Could be. We don't know. But since I don't think many dragonlord siblings actually were romantically attracted to and wanted to marry each other I'd be surprised if divorce was common.

In Egypt, sibling incest was common and so was divorce. Come to think of, we do not know why precisely these Greeks (that is, the non-royal, commoner families) preferred siblings to more distant kin.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not exactly. Duncan abdicated. It was his call. Or rather Aegon V made it his call. I'm sure the king could also have disinherited his son.

I´m not sure about that.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But the lords cannot do that. They can complain and refuse to acknowledge such an heir, etc. 

What precisely did Tywin plan to do about Tyrion?

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Valyria is not a feudal society. Their rules would have been much different and, presumably, somewhat more modern - or at least similar to those in Rome or Greece. 

Sure, they were all equals insofar as their were all part of the dragonlord elite. There are differences of power and prestige among them, to be sure, but nobody ever said anyone riding a dragon is also recognized as a dragonlord.

Nobody ever said they were not.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You enter the nobility club in Westeros only if you actually are ennobled. Which means if the king grants you a lordly title or grants you some land so you can become a landed knight.

It was not King who granted land to Clegane ancestor. Nor did they get a lordship.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If you live in Valyria but have just a dragon but neither name nor land you might be similar to a sellsword or sworn sword in Westeros. A dragon does not give you political or economic power.

Westeros has in the order of magnitude of 20 000 knights maybe. Valyria likely had under 1000 dragonlords. A landless dragonlord was much higher in terms of market value than a landless hedge knight.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The dragonlords of Valyria might occasionally have had the interest to do a similar thing but I doubt this happened often or was something their dragonlord peers looked on favorably. If you have properly legitimate offspring born by your sister-wife or cousin-wife you don't need some bastard you fathered on some whore or concubine to continue your line.

Sure, if you have some well-bred whore with Valyrian features from Lys things might be different if you have Daemon Blackfyre-like son by such a woman, but one assumes that this was the exception, not the rule. Just as legitimizing bastards was rather uncommon in Westeros, too.

Do you need to just "continue your line", or does power come from ridden dragons?

Targaryens had no serious rivals outside family, and they ended up sitting on effective seven riderless dragons besides the ten ridden ones. (Silverwing, Vermithor, Seasmoke, Cannibal, Grey Ghost, Sheepstealer, considering that Rhaenyra had mounted Syrax at 7 and Baela was 13, I´m including Moondancer, though not Stormcloud).

In Old Valyria, a family with riderless dragons left over from dead members or hatched from eggs might have taken the basic foresight of cosying up to known bastards just in case, in peacetime, and thereby increased their ranking, say, from family number 30 out of 40 to family number 20.

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40 minutes ago, Jaak said:

In Egypt, sibling incest was common and so was divorce. Come to think of, we do not know why precisely these Greeks (that is, the non-royal, commoner families) preferred siblings to more distant kin.

Sure, could be that the dragonlords also divorced each other. But what it the point of that? Your sister might then no longer be your wife if you divorce her but she remains your sister. You don't get her out of your family the way you can cut ties to an unrelated woman you divorce.

40 minutes ago, Jaak said:

I´m not sure about that.

The king names and acknowledges his heirs. He is the supreme authority not just in his family but in the entire Realm.

40 minutes ago, Jaak said:

What precisely did Tywin plan to do about Tyrion?

He didn't need to do anything about him. He had already made it clear that Tyrion was not his heir.

40 minutes ago, Jaak said:

It was not King who granted land to Clegane ancestor. Nor did they get a lordship.

Great lords can also give you lands. But such people don't exactly become ennobled in that way the way a real lord is. A knight can be a nobleman but doesn't have to. Lords and their children are always highborn. And only the king can make you a lord.

But the issue here is whether being a dragonrider makes you a dragonlord and a person of power among the elite of Valyria.

40 minutes ago, Jaak said:

Westeros has in the order of magnitude of 20 000 knights maybe. Valyria likely had under 1000 dragonlords. A landless dragonlord was much higher in terms of market value than a landless hedge knight.

Perhaps outside of Valyria itself. But from the point of view of the dragonlord families one dude with a dragon would have been nothing. And even if they had been willing to use him or employ him or work with such a person - that doesn't mean they would allow such a creature to sit at their table or live in their topless towers.

40 minutes ago, Jaak said:

Do you need to just "continue your line", or does power come from ridden dragons?

Dragons make you powerful in Valyria but they are not the only thing to do so. If you don't have lands, wealth, political connections, a name, etc. a dragon wouldn't help you all that much. It can be killed, after all. By other dragons and perhaps even by sorcery and Valyrian steel weapons.

40 minutes ago, Jaak said:

Targaryens had no serious rivals outside family, and they ended up sitting on effective seven riderless dragons besides the ten ridden ones. (Silverwing, Vermithor, Seasmoke, Cannibal, Grey Ghost, Sheepstealer, considering that Rhaenyra had mounted Syrax at 7 and Baela was 13, I´m including Moondancer, though not Stormcloud).

The Targaryens weren't competing with rival dragonlord families. And when they were forced to find riders for their riderless dragons they did. Just as the Valyrian dragonlord houses would have during the Ghiscari Wars and their many other military campaigns, not to mention their civil wars and other squabbles.

But still - a dragonlord who was the son of a whore or a slave would have been the laughingstock of his peers, about as likely to be accepted by his peers as Gendry or Glendon Ball. Under certain circumstances they could be accepted but chances are not that likely that this kind of thing is going to better reputation of a house.

40 minutes ago, Jaak said:

In Old Valyria, a family with riderless dragons left over from dead members or hatched from eggs might have taken the basic foresight of cosying up to known bastards just in case, in peacetime, and thereby increased their ranking, say, from family number 30 out of 40 to family number 20.

I could see something like that if those family members were fathered on other highborn members of a dragonlord family or at least Valyrian nobility but the chances that the children of whores and slaves were adopted into the family on a regular basis doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Especially not if the mothers of those children weren't Valyrian themselves.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, could be that the dragonlords also divorced each other. But what it the point of that? Your sister might then no longer be your wife if you divorce her but she remains your sister. You don't get her out of your family the way you can cut ties to an unrelated woman you divorce.

It gets around monogamy, where applicable.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The king names and acknowledges his heirs. He is the supreme authority not just in his family but in the entire Realm.

Tell that to Ironrod or any other Green - indeed anyone who numbers Aegon Dragonsbane as III. Viserys I named his heiress, and you see what happened.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He didn't need to do anything about him. He had already made it clear that Tyrion was not his heir.

Randyll Tarly thought he needed to do something about Samwell.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Great lords can also give you lands. But such people don't exactly become ennobled in that way the way a real lord is. A knight can be a nobleman but doesn't have to. Lords and their children are always highborn. And only the king can make you a lord.

But the issue here is whether being a dragonrider makes you a dragonlord and a person of power among the elite of Valyria.

Perhaps outside of Valyria itself. But from the point of view of the dragonlord families one dude with a dragon would have been nothing. And even if they had been willing to use him or employ him or work with such a person - that doesn't mean they would allow such a creature to sit at their table or live in their topless towers.

Petyr of Sheepshit was allowed to live in Riverrun and dance with Catelyn. Did not make him an equal.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Dragons make you powerful in Valyria but they are not the only thing to do so. If you don't have lands, wealth, political connections, a name, etc. a dragon wouldn't help you all that much. It can be killed, after all. By other dragons and perhaps even by sorcery and Valyrian steel weapons.

A dragon can be killed, but so can a landowner. A dragon will refuse an unfamiliar rider in a way land will not swallow up an usurper or gold burn a thief.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But still - a dragonlord who was the son of a whore or a slave would have been the laughingstock of his peers, about as likely to be accepted by his peers as Gendry or Glendon Ball. Under certain circumstances they could be accepted but chances are not that likely that this kind of thing is going to better reputation of a house.

I could see something like that if those family members were fathered on other highborn members of a dragonlord family or at least Valyrian nobility but the chances that the children of whores and slaves were adopted into the family on a regular basis doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Especially not if the mothers of those children weren't Valyrian themselves.

How did Old Valyria treat children whose mothers were known dragonlords and fathers were bears?

It was most widely suggested that all of Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey were fathered by ser Harwin Strong. Other alternatives are Laenor Velaryon and Qarl Correy. It was quoted against her sons - but they obviously rode dragons. They would have been dragonriders all the same as House Strong or House Waters.

Jaenaera Belaerys and her dragon undertook three years voyage on her dragon to seek an end of Sothoryos. Triana and three other women won elections as Triarch of Volantis. Was there ever a female Archon of Valyria?

Also - how much would the career of a Valyrian dragonlord be damaged by rumours, or admitted truth, that his father was a household slave of his mother? Girl General of Yunkai is 16, and she commands an army of "strapping" slaves supposedly bred by herself, with no parents or husband in evidence as a guardian. She gets her turn as Supreme Commander. Suppose Malazza feels horny and also decides she does not want her line to end - she´d like to breed, and the most strapping men nicely available are the ones she owns. Would bearing a child fathered by her slave discredit her in Yunkai, in a way being a 16 year old girl in the first place did not?

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23 hours ago, Jaak said:

It gets around monogamy, where applicable.

Sure, but do you think you can stabilize the collective power of a family by divorcing your sister-wife? Couldn't that cause a strife within your family resulting in your children taking sides, ripping a glorious dragonlord house apart in the process?

23 hours ago, Jaak said:

Tell that to Ironrod or any other Green - indeed anyone who numbers Aegon Dragonsbane as III. Viserys I named his heiress, and you see what happened.

Apples and oranges. For one, nobody doubted or questioned King Viserys' power to name an heir. His decree stood and wasn't challenged while he was alive. But the important part here is that Viserys went against convention while a dragonlord preventing a whore's son or a slave's son most certainly would act within the cultural framework of his society. The idea that the Valyrian society gave any rights to the children of slaves is very unlikely if you think about it. That could have allowed those Lysene dragonlord bastards to actually lay claim to the lands and dragons of the dragonlords. Why on earth would they allow something like that?

23 hours ago, Jaak said:

Randyll Tarly thought he needed to do something about Samwell.

Randyll Tarly chose to send Sam to the Wall. He was not forced to do that. He could have given Sam to the Faith or the Citadel or he could have simply forced him to publicly give up his claim - like Aegon V did with Duncan.

23 hours ago, Jaak said:

Petyr of Sheepshit was allowed to live in Riverrun and dance with Catelyn. Did not make him an equal.

Sure, but he was still of legitimate noble birth and thus infinitely closer to the Tullys than a peasant or slave would be. Nobody ever doubted that there would be class differences between the dragonlord families - but they are also a class collectively and have certain collective interests - like ensuring that the rabble never joins the elite club of the dragonlords and that the dragonlords don't pollute their blood by marrying lesser men. There is a pretty good chance that a dragonlord marrying a whore or a slave - or trying to legitimize offspring from such a union - would become an outcast among his peers.

23 hours ago, Jaak said:

A dragon can be killed, but so can a landowner. A dragon will refuse an unfamiliar rider in a way land will not swallow up an usurper or gold burn a thief.

That has nothing to do with anything. A dragon wouldn't help you in Valyria if you don't have the coin to buy yourself a house - let alone one of those topless towers. How will you get political power? How should anyone rally to a single dragonrider rather than continue to follow the families who control dozens or scores of dragons?

23 hours ago, Jaak said:

How did Old Valyria treat children whose mothers were known dragonlords and fathers were bears?

Most likely like freak outcasts.

23 hours ago, Jaak said:

It was most widely suggested that all of Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey were fathered by ser Harwin Strong. Other alternatives are Laenor Velaryon and Qarl Correy. It was quoted against her sons - but they obviously rode dragons. They would have been dragonriders all the same as House Strong or House Waters.

Rumors are irrelevant. Rhaenyra Targaryen's sons were the acknowledged sons of her consort, Laenor Velaryon.

23 hours ago, Jaak said:

Jaenaera Belaerys and her dragon undertook three years voyage on her dragon to seek an end of Sothoryos. Triana and three other women won elections as Triarch of Volantis. Was there ever a female Archon of Valyria?

We don't know anything about that. And the Belaerys thing has nothing to do with anything.

23 hours ago, Jaak said:

Also - how much would the career of a Valyrian dragonlord be damaged by rumours, or admitted truth, that his father was a household slave of his mother? Girl General of Yunkai is 16, and she commands an army of "strapping" slaves supposedly bred by herself, with no parents or husband in evidence as a guardian. She gets her turn as Supreme Commander. Suppose Malazza feels horny and also decides she does not want her line to end - she´d like to breed, and the most strapping men nicely available are the ones she owns. Would bearing a child fathered by her slave discredit her in Yunkai, in a way being a 16 year old girl in the first place did not?

I'm pretty sure it would. After all, the other dragonlords - as well as the Yunkai'i - most likely don't want some mongrel sitting at their tables. Most dragonlords of non-Valyrian (incestuous) ancestry wouldn't exactly look Valyrian, by the way. It wouldn't be rumors that they weren't one of them. Their looks would give them away.

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On 9/27/2017 at 8:29 AM, Angel Eyes said:

So does any of this explain why there were some non-viable lizard babies, i.e. Rhaego?

Some targ children were born like that. apparently. 

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3 hours ago, manchester_babe said:

Some targ children were born like that. apparently. 

Born and don't survive. 

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, but do you think you can stabilize the collective power of a family by divorcing your sister-wife? Couldn't that cause a strife within your family resulting in your children taking sides, ripping a glorious dragonlord house apart in the process?

So could quarrelling while staying married till death doth you part.

Say you've been married for 7+ years, with no children and no idea which of you is barren. You might marry polygamously an extra wife and hope that your sister tolerates the neglect. Or you might offer her the option of amicable divorce, you're allowed to take two sets of in-laws between the two of you and she gets to pick a suitable husband, and you agree that if it was you who was barren after all, your nephew will inherit (optionally after his mother reigning in her own right).

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Apples and oranges. For one, nobody doubted or questioned King Viserys' power to name an heir. His decree stood and wasn't challenged while he was alive. But the important part here is that Viserys went against convention

Pretty obviously they did question his right, for they did not obey his decree after he was dead. Ironrod died asserting that son comes before daughter - i. e. that Viserys' action naming an heir had been ultra vires, unconstitutional, contrary to fundamental laws of the realm.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

while a dragonlord preventing a whore's son or a slave's son most certainly would act within the cultural framework of his society. The idea that the Valyrian society gave any rights to the children of slaves is very unlikely if you think about it. That could have allowed those Lysene dragonlord bastards to actually lay claim to the lands and dragons of the dragonlords. Why on earth would they allow something like that?

Because that would be giving rights to the father of the bastard, to name his heirs, not giving rights to the bastard, to claim his father's lands if his father did not choose to name him.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Randyll Tarly chose to send Sam to the Wall. He was not forced to do that. He could have given Sam to the Faith or the Citadel or he could have simply forced him to publicly give up his claim - like Aegon V did with Duncan.

Possibly he feared Samwell pulling Aegon II?

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, but he was still of legitimate noble birth and thus infinitely closer to the Tullys than a peasant or slave would be.

Legitimate, sure. Noble? His father had been a Lord - but his grandfather had been a hedge knight. Not a landed knight, not even a household knight.

Which was the bigger step - the one from a peasant to Lord Baelish (or Lord Protector of Stokeworth...), or the one from lord Baelish to Tully?

 

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8 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

Born and don't survive. 

with wings and scales. :-)

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4 hours ago, Jaak said:

So could quarrelling while staying married till death doth you part.

Say you've been married for 7+ years, with no children and no idea which of you is barren. You might marry polygamously an extra wife and hope that your sister tolerates the neglect. Or you might offer her the option of amicable divorce, you're allowed to take two sets of in-laws between the two of you and she gets to pick a suitable husband, and you agree that if it was you who was barren after all, your nephew will inherit (optionally after his mother reigning in her own right).

What are you talking about here? There are no dragonlord lordships in Valyria as far as we know.There might be heads of families, yes, but this doesn't mean the other members of a dragonlord family own nothing in their own right. Valyria wasn't a feudal society.

And polygamy wasn't a thing among the dragonlords. Divorce makes no sense whatsoever if you only have one close relation to marry. You are supposed to marry your sister or other close kin. Divorcing a sister for some unrelated wife would cause problems.

4 hours ago, Jaak said:

Pretty obviously they did question his right, for they did not obey his decree after he was dead. Ironrod died asserting that son comes before daughter - i. e. that Viserys' action naming an heir had been ultra vires, unconstitutional, contrary to fundamental laws of the realm.

When you are dead you no longer have any power, sure. But the test of loyalty and power comes when you are still alive and around, not when you are dead and gone.

4 hours ago, Jaak said:

Because that would be giving rights to the father of the bastard, to name his heirs, not giving rights to the bastard, to claim his father's lands if his father did not choose to name him.

It is quite clear that a crucial part of Valyrian culture was to keep your (dragonlord) bloodline pure. That is what led to the incest in the first place. And once that had taken root the chances are very low that any dragonlord would have accepted or even intended to make a mongrel bastard his heir or even an official family member. There might have been some exceptions - assuming such a child looked Valyrian - but not that many. Valyria wasn't a monarchy were the guys in charge had the power to do more or less what they wanted to do. They had to take the other dragonlords - and sorcerer princes and whoever else had a say in the Valyrian government - into account. And if you made yourself an outcast in the eyes of the Valyrian establishment if you tried to leave parts of your holdings to a mongrel bastard then you most likely do not do that.

4 hours ago, Jaak said:

Possibly he feared Samwell pulling Aegon II?

LOL, right. Samwell Tarly, the biggest coward this side of the Wall. A guy that trembles when Lord Randyll merely glances in his direction. Sam would have done nothing to challenge Dickon's claim, and Randyll's bannermen and vassals wouldn't have supported this sorry creature, either. Especially not if Randyll had imprisoned Samwell for the remainder of his life.

4 hours ago, Jaak said:

Legitimate, sure. Noble? His father had been a Lord - but his grandfather had been a hedge knight. Not a landed knight, not even a household knight.

If your father is a lord you are of noble birth. Sure, Petyr is a very small lord but he is part of the nobility.

4 hours ago, Jaak said:

Which was the bigger step - the one from a peasant to Lord Baelish (or Lord Protector of Stokeworth...), or the one from lord Baelish to Tully?

Definitely the former. Noble blood sets the nobility apart from common men - hence the name 'common men', right? A marriage between a Tully daughter and a peasant is effectively impossible. A marriage between Lord Baelish and a Tully daughter is conceivable, although unusual.

The crucial element there is money, though. I doubt one of the great houses would ever arrange a marriage with a commoner but some of the lesser houses do. Consider the recent marriages of the Westerlings or Lord Lyonel Corbray marrying that merchant's daughter.

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9 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

What are you talking about here? There are no dragonlord lordships in Valyria as far as we know.There might be heads of families, yes, but this doesn't mean the other members of a dragonlord family own nothing in their own right. Valyria wasn't a feudal society.

Yes, but when a Valyrian with no children died, someone had to inherit the property.

9 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Valyria wasn't a monarchy were the guys in charge had the power to do more or less what they wanted to do. They had to take the other dragonlords - and sorcerer princes and whoever else had a say in the Valyrian government - into account. And if you made yourself an outcast in the eyes of the Valyrian establishment if you tried to leave parts of your holdings to a mongrel bastard then you most likely do not do that.

We see what dragonless Old Blood do in Volantis. They expelled Vogorro's widow - but did allow her to keep the sale price of his manse. They had had no children, and the law quoted against Vogorro's Whore had been specifically one against freedmen. Had Vogorro had children, would the Old Blood have allowed the children to stay, and the mother to stay as a resident guest of her children?

So, if a dragonlord marries an unsuitable wife and has children... what will the other dragonlords do, besides raising eyebrows? If the mongrel attempts to ride a dragon and the dragon hurts the child... sure, homeric laughter "I told you so!" where a pureblood would have got compassion. But if the mongrel rides dragon, no notable problems... they'd keep looking down, but is the child outright out-of-club?

9 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If your father is a lord you are of noble birth. Sure, Petyr is a very small lord but he is part of the nobility.

Is Morros Slynt of noble birth?

9 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Definitely the former. Noble blood sets the nobility apart from common men - hence the name 'common men', right? A marriage between a Tully daughter and a peasant is effectively impossible. A marriage between Lord Baelish and a Tully daughter is conceivable, although unusual.

How about a marriage between the Lady Stokeworth and Bronn son of you wouldn't know him?

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5 hours ago, manchester_babe said:

with wings and scales. :-)

And holes in their hearts. Just ask Visenya, daughter of Rhaenyra... oh wait.

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Nobody ever doubted that there would be class differences between the dragonlord families - but they are also a class collectively and have certain collective interests - like ensuring that the rabble never joins the elite club of the dragonlords and that the dragonlords don't pollute their blood by marrying lesser men. There is a pretty good chance that a dragonlord marrying a whore or a slave - or trying to legitimize offspring from such a union - would become an outcast among his peers.

There is a room for diversity of opinion as to what their collective interests in the matter are. A possibility is ensuring that every dragonlord is in the elite club and no dragon is left out as a potential focus of opposition, even if with polluted blood.

Quote

That has nothing to do with anything. A dragon wouldn't help you in Valyria if you don't have the coin to buy yourself a house - let alone one of those topless towers. How will you get political power? How should anyone rally to a single dragonrider rather than continue to follow the families who control dozens or scores of dragons?

How does the family get to control dozens or scores of their dragons? Cannot even have to raise armies out of their trousers like late lord Frey did - blood purity means they must raise armies out of their cunts. Possible, but slow, painful and risky.

Note: a fool and his money are soon parted. Part a fool and his money and you have his money. Get rich by robbing your neighbour, hire soldiers, rob more neighbours etc.

You can part a fool and his dragon, but if you do, nobody has the dragon. Which is why a fool and his dragon are not parted as readily as a fool and as his money. A dragon is an asset easier to protect, even if the owner is a fool, because it is useless in wrong hands.

If dragons are power, it is a power you cannot rob like money or land. It is a power that comes from willing cooperation of dragonriders.

Dragons were power in Valyria. So is military training in Westeros.

What would a Valyrian family do if by accidents of birth and death they ended up land rich, dragon poor (like Greens) or dragon rich, dragonrider poor (like Blacks)?

Tower of Standfast pre-196 supported 3 knights and 1 squire - all related. By 207, the same tower had just 1 knight, plus 2 servants (Sam Stoops and his wife). By 209, they were back at 3 knights and 1 squire, but this time only 1 was family member.

Ser Bennis and "Ser" Duncan were unrelated and lowborn, but they did sit at ser Eustace´s table (sheer practicability - did Eustace afford several?).

It could be logical if a dragonlord family got to command dozen or score dragonriders by accommodating them in their table. A single lowborn dragonrider, son of a whore or a slave? At the bottom of a table. BUT at the table of dragonriders, not with the servants. And there might be other outsider dragonriders in the family. Like dragonriders who have left their birth family - like Robar Royce, Sandor Clegane or Merrett Frey. To become great by taking in dragonriders who want out of the other 39 families is a temptation - some or several of the 40 might succumb. So pureblood outsiders somewhere in the middle of the table, above the bastards but below those actually born into the family...

And the hedge dragonlord turned household dragonlord might eventually be further integrated. Like, a brother born into the family gets to marry his sister... pretty and well behaved. A hedge dragonlord also gets married to a dragonlord... one who has been caught at stables naked with three stablehands. (Besides, being in stables with stablehands is pretty damning evidence she consented. She cannot credibly cry rape - her dragon was right there in the stable. Had she cried rape, it would have made short work of any stablehands!)

Edited by Jaak

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3 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

And holes in their hearts. Just ask Visenya, daughter of Rhaenyra... oh wait.

You can't. :-)

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9 hours ago, Jaak said:

Yes, but when a Valyrian with no children died, someone had to inherit the property.

Presumably somebody did. Someone always inherits. If a dragonlord dies childless his next of kin most likely took possession of his holdings and dragons. And if none could be found the estate may have been demolished and the dragons claimed by another dragonlord house.

9 hours ago, Jaak said:

We see what dragonless Old Blood do in Volantis. They expelled Vogorro's widow - but did allow her to keep the sale price of his manse. They had had no children, and the law quoted against Vogorro's Whore had been specifically one against freedmen. Had Vogorro had children, would the Old Blood have allowed the children to stay, and the mother to stay as a resident guest of her children?

We don't know how it would have gone but it is irrelevant to the question at hand. The Valyrian dragonlords were very obsessed with the purity of blood. The Volantenes seem to be to a lesser degree, indicating that the rules may have been even more strict in Valyria than they are in Volantis.

9 hours ago, Jaak said:

So, if a dragonlord marries an unsuitable wife and has children... what will the other dragonlords do, besides raising eyebrows? If the mongrel attempts to ride a dragon and the dragon hurts the child... sure, homeric laughter "I told you so!" where a pureblood would have got compassion. But if the mongrel rides dragon, no notable problems... they'd keep looking down, but is the child outright out-of-club?

There could even be laws in place making it a crime punishable by death - perhaps even a very cruel death - if someone who isn't supposed to claim a dragon successfully claims one. The idea that being a dragonrider makes you part of the ruling elite of Valyria is just unfounded. 

Think about it, What should the dragonlords do with such a mongrel? He most likely would have non-dragonlord ancestors so they can't risk diluting their precious blood by allowing him to marry their sons and grandsons.

9 hours ago, Jaak said:

Is Morros Slynt of noble birth?

He is of noble blood since King Joffrey granted his father a lordship but he is not of noble birth, no.

9 hours ago, Jaak said:

How about a marriage between the Lady Stokeworth and Bronn son of you wouldn't know him?

Bronn didn't marry the Lady Stokeworth he married the younger daughter of the Lady of Stokeworth. That aside, this was a very special case. Tanda was desperately looking for a husband for her dishonored lackwit daughter. Under such circumstances strange weddings can occur - but it is also quite clear that the Storkeworths are pretty much finished now.

3 hours ago, Jaak said:

There is a room for diversity of opinion as to what their collective interests in the matter are. A possibility is ensuring that every dragonlord is in the elite club and no dragon is left out as a potential focus of opposition, even if with polluted blood.

See above. The dragonlords could kill people who presume to claim dragons they have no right to. Just as they might have had rules in place to prevent the dragonlords from moving to other cities, etc. Aenar Targaryen seems to be the only dragonlord who ever permanently left Valyria and the Lands of the Long Summer to settle somewhere else. One assumes that a dragonlord had a very high price to pay - sell all his goods and property in Valyria, become an exile for life, etc. - to get permission to permanently leave the Freehold.

3 hours ago, Jaak said:

How does the family get to control dozens or scores of their dragons? Cannot even have to raise armies out of their trousers like late lord Frey did - blood purity means they must raise armies out of their cunts. Possible, but slow, painful and risky.

Well, if there were dragonlord families who had dozens or scores of dragons those people must have been fertile and numerous, of course. There is no way around that. And that's also where the intermarriage thing with other dragonlord families comes in. They don't practice polygamy, and they most likely did not always have enough sons or daughter for the sibling incest. That means there would have been spares around quite often. Some of them might have been able to marry other close kin, but not necessarily all of them. Now, if you are in need of dragonriders as well as political allies the path is pretty clear - you marry your spares to the spares of other dragonlord families or dragonless cousins of other dragonlord families.

But in principle - we don't have an idea how a dragonlord family controlled their dragons and their dragonriders. Could very well be that there were a mercenary class among landless dragonriders in Valyria.

3 hours ago, Jaak said:

If dragons are power, it is a power you cannot rob like money or land. It is a power that comes from willing cooperation of dragonriders.

Not necessarily. Sorcery is power, too, and Valyrian sorcerers might not only have been able to steal dragons from other dragonlords but also to kill dragons without that much difficulty.

3 hours ago, Jaak said:

It could be logical if a dragonlord family got to command dozen or score dragonriders by accommodating them in their table. A single lowborn dragonrider, son of a whore or a slave? At the bottom of a table. BUT at the table of dragonriders, not with the servants. And there might be other outsider dragonriders in the family. Like dragonriders who have left their birth family - like Robar Royce, Sandor Clegane or Merrett Frey. To become great by taking in dragonriders who want out of the other 39 families is a temptation - some or several of the 40 might succumb. So pureblood outsiders somewhere in the middle of the table, above the bastards but below those actually born into the family...

There would certainly have been some sort of hierarchy. But considering that - if what we think we know is true - a dragonlord - any dragonlord - could only bond with one dragon. They were all equal in that sense. That would mean that the means to figure out where you were in the family hierarchy would have little to do with dragons and more with your purity of blood, abilities, property, wealth, etc.

I'm reasonably confident that the really powerful dragonlords never really rode their dragons in battle - if they rode them at all. They would have sat in their tower, giving orders to other lesser dragonlords who would then risk their own lives and the lives of their dragons for them. That's how power usually works.

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18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't know how it would have gone but it is irrelevant to the question at hand.

It´s not. It´s a point of reference of how the Valyrians behaved.

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Valyrian dragonlords were very obsessed with the purity of blood. The Volantenes seem to be to a lesser degree, indicating that the rules may have been even more strict in Valyria than they are in Volantis.

By which indications? Valyria is unknown in detail.

We have the fact of incest. Ptolemies practiced incest, too... alongside outcest.

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There could even be laws in place making it a crime punishable by death - perhaps even a very cruel death - if someone who isn't supposed to claim a dragon successfully claims one. The idea that being a dragonrider makes you part of the ruling elite of Valyria is just unfounded. 

Death of whom?

So dragon theft may be a heinous felony, like horse theft or grand theft auto.

Was it a public crime if the head of a dragonlord family authorized an unsuitable person to ride a dragon owned by the family?

Was it a public crime if the head of a dragonlord family authorized an otherwise fully suitable family member to ride a dragon without a prior formal licence from a public authority?

Was it a public crime to ride a dragon while under influence of alcohol or other mind altering substances?

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Think about it, What should the dragonlords do with such a mongrel? He most likely would have non-dragonlord ancestors so they can't risk diluting their precious blood by allowing him to marry their sons and grandsons.

Unlike their dragons, the dragonlords lacked cloacae and were of fixed sex. Even if the did marry men to men, neither of them having a cunt would have produced no children.

In any case, they are already marrying their sisters, not the other 39 dragonlord families. Even if they do intermarry, they do not depend on intermarriage. Having "41st" and by far the smallest dragonlord family, which none of the other 40 will intermarry with, is not much of a threat.

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Bronn didn't marry the Lady Stokeworth he married the younger daughter of the Lady of Stokeworth.

Yes, but now he is married to Lady Stokeworth.

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 Just as they might have had rules in place to prevent the dragonlords from moving to other cities, etc. Aenar Targaryen seems to be the only dragonlord who ever permanently left Valyria and the Lands of the Long Summer to settle somewhere else.

He stayed away for 12 years. We do not know if there may have been dragonlords who came back 20 or 50 years after departure 100 or 1000 years before Aenar.

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

One assumes that a dragonlord had a very high price to pay - sell all his goods and property in Valyria, become an exile for life, etc. - to get permission to permanently leave the Freehold.

I´m not sure this would be encouraged. If anything, this discourages return.

Could there be Valyrian nobles at Dragonstone who moved to join Aenar, but did NOT sell their lands to cash in the principal, collected the income as absentee landlords... and were screwed when Doom did come?

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not necessarily. Sorcery is power, too, and Valyrian sorcerers might not only have been able to steal dragons from other dragonlords but also to kill dragons without that much difficulty.

Killing dragons does not give power the way stealing them does.

Can sorcery or a dragon horn be used not only to bond a riderless/wild dragon to an owner, but to take away a dragon fro its rider?

Can a sorceror or a dragon horn user mount a dragon if he or she already rides another dragon?

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There would certainly have been some sort of hierarchy. But considering that - if what we think we know is true - a dragonlord - any dragonlord - could only bond with one dragon. They were all equal in that sense.

Only count.

Usable horses come in a narrow range of sizes. And the offensive arms of a horse are lance and sword... which depend on the physical fitness and military training of the rider.

Usable dragons are wildly different. Vermax, Arrax, Tessarion and Moondancer were usable and fighting. Yet hugely different from Vhagar, Meraxes and Balerion.

And the real offensive arms of a dragon are fire, teeth and claws - not anything wielded by the rider.

A physically unfit or militarily untrained rider on a big old dragon outmatches a fighter in his prime on a young dragon his age.

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm reasonably confident that the really powerful dragonlords never really rode their dragons in battle - if they rode them at all. They would have sat in their tower, giving orders to other lesser dragonlords who would then risk their own lives and the lives of their dragons for them. That's how power usually works.

A question is what glass candles were good for.

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