UFT

Aegon the Conqueror's swordsmanship

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as he was essentially a conquering warrior prince, i imagine his skills were at least like a royal trained from birth such as robb. perhaps to the levels of rhaegar or the dragonknight. 

where would you guys place him? 

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23 minutes ago, UFT said:

as he was essentially a conquering warrior prince, i imagine his skills were at least like a royal trained from birth such as robb. perhaps to the levels of rhaegar or the dragonknight. 

where would you guys place him? 

No way to tell.

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25 minutes ago, UFT said:

as he was essentially a conquering warrior prince, i imagine his skills were at least like a royal trained from birth such as robb. perhaps to the levels of rhaegar or the dragonknight. 

where would you guys place him? 

The Dragonknight seems to be up there as the greatest in the last few centuries (although he's also clearly being mythologised to an extent). I would think if he was on that level, people would always be saying "Aegon the conqueror, the greatest swordsman ever to live" or something like that. I imagine he was strong and a good swordsman, but there's nothing to suggest he was exceptional. Endlessly practising with a sword when you have a dragon would be like soldiers today mastering martial arts when they have automatic rifles... I'd put him more at Robb's level.

Does he have any noted victories with a sword?

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He defeated the fool the Tolands sent against him. That was his greatest victory we know of.

I maintain that Visenya was the better swordswoman, the true champion of House Targaryen during Aegon's days. He himself would have been adequate, or perhaps even pretty good, but not all that exceptional. Especially not since he didn't really enjoy the whole knightly nonsense. He didn't ride in tourney nor did he fight in any melees we know of. At least not after he became king. 

Maegor the Cruel, Prince Daemon and Aemon the Dragonknight were the true steel of House Targaryen. And I guess Jaehaerys I, Aemond, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar, Aerion Brightflame, Aegon V, and Rhaegar weren't all that bad, either. The rest seemed to have sucked in that department.

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52 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

He defeated the fool the Tolands sent against him. That was his greatest victory we know of.

I maintain that Visenya was the better swordswoman, the true champion of House Targaryen during Aegon's days. He himself would have been adequate, or perhaps even pretty good, but not all that exceptional. Especially not since he didn't really enjoy the whole knightly nonsense. He didn't ride in tourney nor did he fight in any melees we know of. At least not after he became king. 

Maegor the Cruel, Prince Daemon and Aemon the Dragonknight were the true steel of House Targaryen. And I guess Jaehaerys I, Aemond, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar, Aerion Brightflame, Aegon V, and Rhaegar weren't all that bad, either. The rest seemed to have sucked in that department.

I'd agree with you except I'd also add that Daeron the Daring, the Young Dragon and of course a few of the Great Bastards (if you count them as being part of house Targaryen) also seem quite capable with Daemon easily being up there with the Dragonknight and the Rogue Prince.

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7 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

I'd agree with you except I'd also add that Daeron the Daring, the Young Dragon and of course a few of the Great Bastards (if you count them as being part of house Targaryen) also seem quite capable with Daemon easily being up there with the Dragonknight and the Rogue Prince.

Daeron the Daring was a young nice guy, not exactly a good fighter or leader. He got the name because he was such a good dragon scout, not because he showed a lot of valor or competence as a swordsman.

I considered including the Young Dragon as one of the better guys but we don't know how good a swordsman he really was. He was still very young when he died and considering he spent most of his short reign organizing a war and commanding his armies rather than in the practice yard I doubt he became a good swordsman. We don't even know whether he was ever made a knight.

Daemon Blackfyre would be one of the exceptional Targaryens, too, and Aegor and Brynden Rivers should be counted among the great guys in second row. If we count the Blackfyres Maelys the Monstrous might be also in the top league, alongside Maegor, Prince Daemon, the Dragonknight, and Daemon Blackfyre considering that George described him once as the Targaryen equivalent of Gregor Clegane.

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29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Daeron the Daring was a young nice guy, not exactly a good fighter or leader. He got the name because he was such a good dragon scout, not because he showed a lot of valor or competence as a swordsman.

I considered including the Young Dragon as one of the better guys but we don't know how good a swordsman he really was. He was still very young when he died and considering he spent most of his short reign organizing a war and commanding his armies rather than in the practice yard I doubt he became a good swordsman. We don't even know whether he was ever made a knight.

Daemon Blackfyre would be one of the exceptional Targaryens, too, and Aegor and Brynden Rivers should be counted among the great guys in second row. If we count the Blackfyres Maelys the Monstrous might be also in the top league, alongside Maegor, Prince Daemon, the Dragonknight, and Daemon Blackfyre considering that George described him once as the Targaryen equivalent of Gregor Clegane.

When I mentioned the two Daeron's I wasn't arguing that they would be counted among the greats I was pointing out that as two people who seem very martial in nature I doubt they would 'suck in that department'. I'd probably put those two at the lower end of the average spectrum, though of course it is possible that they were both either far better than that or far worse (we only have a limited amount of information on them)

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37 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

When I mentioned the two Daeron's I wasn't arguing that they would be counted among the greats I was pointing out that as two people who seem very martial in nature I doubt they would 'suck in that department'. I'd probably put those two at the lower end of the average spectrum, though of course it is possible that they were both either far better than that or far worse (we only have a limited amount of information on them)

Well, I'd still say that Daeron the Daring sucked. He wasn't an exceptional fellow and he didn't live long enough to become a great or even above average swordsman. The Young Dragon could have been better than I give him credit, but if he was then we don't know that yet.

Gyldayn also describes Aenys I as being 'adequate' as a fighter but also makes it clear that no songs would be sung about him in that department. Such people I'd count among the suckers.

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20 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, I'd still say that Daeron the Daring sucked. He wasn't an exceptional fellow and he didn't live long enough to become a great or even above average swordsman. The Young Dragon could have been better than I give him credit, but if he was then we don't know that yet.

Gyldayn also describes Aenys I as being 'adequate' as a fighter but also makes it clear that no songs would be sung about him in that department. Such people I'd count among the suckers.

I guess it comes down to what you'd class as a 'sucker'. For me that category is reserved for people like Joffrey, Boros Blount and Mace Tyrell. So for Targaryen's I'd probably leave that class to the likes of Daeron thr Drunkard, Rhaegal and Aerys I. Others, who we really have any information on their fighting prowess, I'd just class as low average; competent and trained but nothing special.

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4 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

I guess it comes down to what you'd class as a 'sucker'. For me that category is reserved for people like Joffrey, Boros Blount and Mace Tyrell. So for Targaryen's I'd probably leave that class to the likes of Daeron thr Drunkard, Rhaegal and Aerys I. Others, who we really have any information on their fighting prowess, I'd just class as low average; competent and trained but nothing special.

We don't know how good a lance or a swordsman Mace Tyrell was in his youth. He is apparently not that great a general but we don't know how well he did in the lists or in man-to-man combat.

Blount grew worse over time, and was perhaps never better than average. And Joffrey is a coward but not necessarily a bad fighter in training. He died young but had the stature, strength, and training to become a good fighter.

The criteria for 'suckers' there would be both ability and inclination. The epitome sucker would be Baelor the Blessed who neither had the physique nor the intention to ever become a good fighter - Daeron the Drunk certainly would have had the physique but lacked the inclination, and Aenys I lacked the physique but still did his best. Daeron II lacked the physique and certainly felt he was above that kind of thing, and the same should go for Aerys I.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He defeated the fool the Tolands sent against him. That was his greatest victory we know of.

I maintain that Visenya was the better swordswoman, the true champion of House Targaryen during Aegon's days. He himself would have been adequate, or perhaps even pretty good, but not all that exceptional. Especially not since he didn't really enjoy the whole knightly nonsense. He didn't ride in tourney nor did he fight in any melees we know of. At least not after he became king. 

Maegor the Cruel, Prince Daemon and Aemon the Dragonknight were the true steel of House Targaryen. And I guess Jaehaerys I, Aemond, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar, Aerion Brightflame, Aegon V, and Rhaegar weren't all that bad, either. The rest seemed to have sucked in that department.

Didn't Aegon defeat the  guy calling himself King of the Iron islands, when Aegon  landed his army on the Iron islands in 2 AC?

Edited by Daemon The Black Dragon

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I don't see why Aegon would need to be that good at sword fighting. 

It's like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indie faces an impressive swordsman but just shoots him.

Dragons are the gun. 

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He defeated the fool the Tolands sent against him. That was his greatest victory we know of.

I maintain that Visenya was the better swordswoman,

Borderline impossible. With the age of warfare depicted in the books, physical strength and size matters far more than skill past a certain point due to most armored sword fights devolving into grappling. Aegon was a tall and powerfully built man, Visenya was not.

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10 hours ago, Nihlus said:

Borderline impossible. With the age of warfare depicted in the books, physical strength and size matters far more than skill past a certain point due to most armored sword fights devolving into grappling. Aegon was a tall and powerfully built man, Visenya was not.

Still, we don't know how good Aegon was as a fighter. Or how strong Visenya truly was. Remember, she was reputed to be a sorceress and this is a fantasy series.

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11 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Still, we don't know how good Aegon was as a fighter. Or how strong Visenya truly was. Remember, she was reputed to be a sorceress and this is a fantasy series.

Unless we get hard evidence that she had superhuman strength or other such nonsense, there's no reason to assume she was anything other what she appeared to be. Which is a "voluptuous," likely pretty thin woman. Unless Aegon was a complete incompetent in a fight (which no self-respecting nobleman should be) he wouldn't have any trouble beating his sister due to possessing easily more than three times her upper body strength (average upper body strength difference between men and women is about x2, and Aegon was a big and muscular guy) and several dozen pounds on her. Visenya isn't even cited as a particularly skilled fighter iirc, not that it would help much.

Edited by Nihlus

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22 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

No way to tell.

True.

However we can make educated guesses. Most houses tend to give all their sons the same military education. For example Ned, Benjen, Robb and Jon Snow were quite good with the sword. Same about Garlan and Loras, the two Cleganes bruisers, Stannis and Robert etc. Talent does play a huge (sometimes to the ridiculous extent). You might find Samwell being useless with the sword despite coming from the Spartan like Tarly family. However as they say, the apple doesn't usually fall that much away from the tree so if a Lord insist in giving good military education to his kids then usually they will be at least decent with the sword.

Now to return to the main subject in hand, Visenya and Orys seem to be quite versed with the sword. I cant see why Aegon wouldn't have at least the same military upbringing. To be fair Aegon relied heavily on his dragons which might have neglected his other skills. There again, Aegon was not always a Lord which means that his formative years were pretty much dictated by his own father, the same man who shaped Visenya and Orys.

 

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16 hours ago, ChuckPunch said:

I don't see why Aegon would need to be that good at sword fighting. 

It's like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indie faces an impressive swordsman but just shoots him.

Dragons are the gun. 

As Visenya clearly demostrated to Aegon, dragons have their own limits. They can burn an entire castle to the ground but their immense size makes it impossible to enter a castle and protect somebody in it. That's the reason why a king need to be able to protect himself if possible and why the KG was created in the first place.

Many mention the Targ's efficiency as dragon riders which is fair enough. But the Targs also made sure that the ruling family had 2 Valyrian swords in their possession. There's a reason to that too.

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19 minutes ago, Nihlus said:

Unless we get hard evidence that she had superhuman strength or other such nonsense, there's no reason to assume she was anything other what she appeared to be. Which is a "voluptuous," likely pretty thin woman. Unless Aegon was a complete incompetent in a fight (which no self-respecting nobleman should be) he wouldn't have any trouble beating his sister due to possessing easily more than three times her upper body strength (average upper body strength difference between men and women is about x2, and Aegon was a big and muscular guy) and several dozen pounds on her. Visenya isn't even cited as a particularly skilled fighter iirc, not that it would help much.

LOL, I guess you reread the stuff you are talking about before entering a discussion. You seem to confuse Visenya with Rhaenys.

Visenya saved her brother's life from Dornish assassins that tried to kill them both and she cut her brother's cheek before he or his guardsmen could react.

Visenya clearly had the killer instinct to kill anyone in her path - including her stepson and nephew, by the way - something Aegon the Conqueror apparently lacked. Physical strength doesn't help you if you don't know how to properly use it. And yes, being quick and able to react when you are attacked is part of what makes a good fighter.

Aegon might have still not been that bad a warrior - but if he was good then we have no evidence proving that. He did not great feats of arms during the Wars of Conquest nor during the 37 years of his reign. And that is a fact.

And we actually have hints that magic can help you in fight or battle. Bloodraven is an albino - which means he is physically weak and suffered from poor eyesight even while he still had both of them (and there is talk that magic guided the arrows who killed Daemon Blackfyre and his twin sons on the Redgrass Field) - yet he was able to stand his ground against Bittersteel during two duels. If magic didn't help him there we don't know what did. The man was not nearly as powerfully built as Aegor Rivers.

17 hours ago, Daemon The Black Dragon said:

Didn't Aegon defeat the  guy calling himself King of the Iron islands, when Aegon  landed his army on the Iron islands in 2 AC?

Qhorin Volmark was killed by Aegon the Conqueror using Blackfyre, yes, but we don't know whether this was a proper duel - or part of some battle - or merely an execution. I strongly assume it was the latter because there is no sign the Targaryens had to fight the Ironborn after Balerion bathed them in fire, and the idea that Aegon would have agreed to the notion to fight a pretender king personally is insane. He didn't do that back while he was conquering the Seven Kingdoms, and there is no reason whatsoever why he should have done that after he had conquered them.

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19 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

LOL, I guess you reread the stuff you are talking about before entering a discussion. You seem to confuse Visenya with Rhaenys.

Visenya saved her brother's life from Dornish assassins that tried to kill them both and she cut her brother's cheek before he or his guardsmen could react.Visenya clearly had the killer instinct to kill anyone in her path - including her stepson and nephew, by the way - something Aegon the Conqueror apparently lacked. And yes, being quick and able to react when you are attacked is part of what makes a good fighter.

It's hilarious that you think this actually proves anything about Visenya's skill at arms. Neither Aegon nor the guardsmen were exactly expecting Visenya to cut her brother. An actual duel would be different. Same deal with the Dornish assassins, and that has the added "benefit" of us not knowing anything about how the situation played out.

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Physical strength doesn't help you if you don't know how to properly use it.

Again, unless Aegon was a complete wuss with no skill at all (which would be highly unlikely for a man of his upbringing) it's not actually that hard to leverage such a huge advantage. Fights between heavily armored combatants were all about wrestling and grappling, very messy affairs.

Quote

Aegon might have still not been that bad a warrior - but if he was good then we have no evidence proving that. He did not great feats of arms during the Wars of Conquest nor during the 37 years of his reign. And that is a fact.

We have no great feats for Visenya either. Except Aegon is a tall and powerfully built man with a lord's upbringing, while Visenya is much smaller and weaker. That automatically gives him an enormous advantage, and it would require a considerable amount of evidence for the assertion that Visenya was a better fighter to hold any water.

Quote

And we actually have hints that magic can help you in fight or battle. Bloodraven is an albino - which means he is physically weak and suffered from poor eyesight even while he still had both of them (and there is talk that magic guided the arrows who killed Daemon Blackfyre and his twin sons on the Redgrass Field) - yet he was able to stand his ground against Bittersteel during two duels. If magic didn't help him there we don't know what did. The man was not nearly as powerfully built as Aegor Rivers.

Bloodraven is not Visenya. If you don't have any evidence of her enhancing her fighting abilities with magic, then she didn't enhance her fighting abilities with magic.

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51 minutes ago, Nihlus said:

It's hilarious that you think this actually proves anything about Visenya's skill at arms. Neither Aegon nor the guardsmen were exactly expecting Visenya to cut her brother. An actual duel would be different. Same deal with the Dornish assassins, and that has the added "benefit" of us not knowing anything about how the situation played out.

We do know that Visenya was skilled at arms. And we are not talking about duels or anything. We are talking about who is the better fighter, and the ability to surprise someone during a fight is part of that. And Visenya didn't back stab Aegon or anything - she attacked his face, and he was helpless to stop her. If he didn't see that coming he was stupid and ill-prepared - and both are not characteristics you would use to describe a great fighter. Everyone who approaches you with a weapon is a potential threat, never mind who it is.

51 minutes ago, Nihlus said:

Again, unless Aegon was a complete wuss with no skill at all (which would be highly unlikely for a man of his upbringing) it's not actually that hard to leverage such a huge advantage. Fights between heavily armored combatants were all about wrestling and grappling, very messy affairs.

We are not talking about who might be able to overpower somebody in wrestling match or anything. Nor are we talking whether Aegon is physically stronger than Visenya or not - which we actually do not know. Dunk is also a massive and heavily-built youth but Aerion Brightflame, Lucas Longinch, and perhaps even Black Tommard Heddle were all better fighters than he is. His enemies underestimated his abilities and that allowed him to win in the end, using brute strength in most cases.

But brute strength does not make you a great fighter.

Or take Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane. The latter was clearly stronger than the former yet Oberyn still overpowered him, indicating that he was the better fighter who would have won the duel had he finished it quickly. Or take Bronn and Vardis Egen - the latter may have been physically stronger than Bronn yet he lost the duel.

51 minutes ago, Nihlus said:

We have no great feats for Visenya either. Except Aegon is a tall and powerfully built man with a lord's upbringing, while Visenya is much smaller and weaker. That automatically gives him an enormous advantage, and it would require a considerable amount of evidence for the assertion that Visenya was a better fighter to hold any water.

Visenya had the same upbringing as Aegon and trained with him in the yard on Dragonstone. And we don't actually know who put more effort into becoming a great fighter - she or he. The idea that being a man makes Aegon per se the better fighter does not convince me. On average this might be true but not (necessarily) in this special case.

Oh, and by the way - I never said I believe Visenya could defeat Aegon in a proper duel. They knew each other intimately and had trained together. Both would know each other's weaknesses very well so Aegon might have the knowledge to outmaneuver Visenya and use her weaknesses against her. Or not. Difficult to say. I honestly doubt Aegon had it in him to kill his sister-wife. But I think Visenya was perfectly capable of killing her brother-husband if she felt she had to - giving her the advantage you need to defeat a person you (sort of) love.

51 minutes ago, Nihlus said:

Bloodraven is not Visenya. If you don't have any evidence of her enhancing her fighting abilities with magic, then she didn't enhance her fighting abilities with magic.

Well, we don't know for sure Bloodraven was a sorcerer back during the First Blackfyre Rebellion, do we? Or during the days of Aerys I? We just have rumors and speculation - just as we do with Visenya. But we do know magic works in this world and is an important concept behind a lot things that do happen. Dismissing the possibility out of hand is foolish. If people are rumored to be sorcerers then we should take that into account when we are discussing those people.

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