Lord Varys

The Book of Swords - The Sons of the Dragon SPOILERS

577 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Pukisbaisals said:

I tend to think that Maegor was fertile and Tyanna was really a poisoner.

If that was the case then it is still strange that neither Ceryse nor Alys or Tyanna had any pregnancy prior to 44 AC. Maegor had been sleeping with those three women for years at that point.

In addition, we do know that Maegor also slept with many other women, most likely since a very early age (something many Targaryen princes would do) and still didn't have a single acknowledged bastard child.

But then - it is of course not unlikely that Tyanna did indeed poison the children. That is the way TSotD spins the story. But the interesting question is why Maegor only impregnated women this late in life - did he make use of magic to do it?

It is not impossible that Tyanna played a double role there, like Mirri Maz Duur did in AGoT. Offering magical help to Maegor only to use that help to destroy his hopes. Jealousy could have driven her to do that.

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If this is true, then curious possibilities occur. First, at time of Maegor’s death   Rhaena could be on early stage of pregnancy.  With Elinor pregnant and other wives dead Maegor probably visited Rhaena more often. And, if Tyanna really was poisoner, then nothing threatened Raena’s child after her death.  So Rhaena could even give Maegor a healthy posthumous child. Such child would be a huge inconvenience to Targaryen clan, so they probably raised him under false identity.  Farman, perhaps?

If that was the case then we would know it by now. And there would be no reason to hush that thing up. Maegor was dead, and Jaehaerys I was king. And any child of Maegor's would have been as popular as Aerion Brightflame's son Maegor was in 233 AC.

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Another possibility – Rhaenyra’s daughter probably also was poisoned (maesters?). Rhaenyra gave birth to five healthy sons before Vysenya and Daemon fathered two healthy daughters. It is difficult to explain why Vysenya was malformed, unless as a girl she got too much of dragon blood from her pure dragon parents.

Nope, because there is a tendency that stuff like that does happen with Targaryen children. And also note that this was Rhaenyra's sixth pregnancy and she was already in her thirties at that time. Fertility decreases when women get older, and pregnancies get more and more dangerous for both the mothers and the children. It is not unlikely that the risk of malformed children also rises when the woman gets older. Queen Naerys also had a succession of stillborn children later in life.

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Tyanna predicted, that Elinor’s child also will be monstrous. She could know this if she poisoned her herself, else she knew something for sure about Maegor’s nature. But Vysenya also had to be aware on Maegor’s nature and she seemed to believe that Alys Stokeworth could give heir to Maegor.

You mean Alys Harroway. But nothing indicates that Visenya ever knew that something was wrong with Maegor. All she know until 44 AC is that Maegor had trouble conceiving children, not that his seed could only bring forth monstrous children.

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Monstrosities of Maegor’s wives looked a little bit different. Fetuses of Jeyne and Alys were similar, but one of Elinor’s was as at different stage of development, with wings. Tyanna died when Elinor was still pregnant, maybe thus poisoning was interrupted and fetus evolved to different stage of development. Of course it could be explained in right opposite way – Maegor was sterile and monstrosities were result of Tyannas efforts to get children (interrupted in Elinor’s case, thus her monstrosity looked different).

It could also simply be that Maegor was - as his alleged father, Aegon - simply too pure-blooded a Targaryen to be able to produce (m)any viable children. Aegon and Naerys have similar problems later on, Daemon and Laena, Viserys and Aemma, and especially Aerys II and Rhaella.

Nobody poisoned any of those children, right? Especially the case of Aegon-Naerys is interesting. Aegon was both a very potent as well as a very fertile man. His seed effectively always quickened. Yet he only got two living children from his sister-wife Naerys despite the fact that he slept with her throughout their entire marriage and eventually fucked her to death.

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There is also one a little bit suspicious moment involving Ceryse. When septon Murmison tried to make her fertile (at that time nobody yet suspected, that Maegor was the one who was sterile) she run to Oldtown. If women wanted to give heir to the prince she would probably tried all possible means, whatever stupid they may look. Maybe Ceryse avoided pregnancy herself and was afraid that Murmison could discover that.

That doesn't make any sense considering that Prince Maegor was in exile when she moved back to Oldtown. And Ceryse had essentially no reason whatsoever to prevent getting pregnant. She would have endangered her own standing as Maegor's wife that way, making her own life and Maegor's miserable, not to mention dishonoring her house - her father most likely had hoped for Hightower-Targaryen grandchildren and dragonriders.

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I think strongest argument on Maegor’s sterility is absence of his bastards. But Maegor was never told to frequent brothels. Maybe he didn’t need to, he was married at very early age and later had multiple wives. True family guy.

We know he did sleep around. It is mentioned in TWoIaF.

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On the other hand if Tyanna controlled fertility of his wives, she could also get rid of all possible bastards and their mothers. As a spy mistress she had all means for that and no scruples. Then the only gap of time, when Maegor could sire a bastard was after Tyanna’s death, during last months of his own life. Silver Denys fits this timeline if we believe, that he was trying dragonriding on his 80th anniversary. But if he inherited Maegor’s strength and temper, why not.

If Tyanna really wanted to prevent Maegor's wives from conceiving children why didn't she simply use moon tea disguised as a fertility potion (like Sybell Westerling did)? Or the magical alternative of a contraceptive or an abortifacient?

Surely that would have been easier and less suspicious than causing the fetuses to transform into monsters.

If I had to guess then Tyanna had nothing to do with any of the stillbirths and was just jumping on the chance to destroy Alys when she produced a monstrous child. Later on Maegor himself chose to blame her and she made a false confession to ensure he would kill her then and there, quickly, rather than give her the same treatment she gave to Alys Harroway and Prince Viserys.

By the way - considering that Silver Denys lived on Dragonstone chances are about zero that he is Maegor's bastard considering the man didn't live on Dragonstone throughout his entire reign. Smallfolk doesn't move all that much.

And, quite frankly, do we really believe a man around eighty tried to become a dragonrider? How stupid is that?

It is much more likely that this guy was so uneducated that he had no idea how old he himself was - like Dunk, say - nor how long ago King Maegor died. His looks indicate that he had Valyrian blood, but depending on the size of the population on Dragonstone as well as the number of bastards the Targaryens produced throughout the centuries many Dragonstonians may have had (quite prominent) Valyrian looks.

Especially if such bastard lines had intermarried with each other or with other people of Valyrian descent (people who came to Dragonstone with Aenar or the Velaryons). After all, as far as we know the Velaryons no longer intermarried with the Targaryens since Alyn-Baela yet Aurane Waters still has the silver-golden hair of the Valyrians (although not the purple eyes), and his half-brother Lord Monford apparently also had the Valyrian hair. That indicates that those traits can be pretty persistent under the right circumstances.

We see this with Hugh and Ulf, too. They both have the Valyrian looks (definitely confirmed for Ulf) yet we have no idea which Targaryen is their ancestor. Hugh is the bastard of a blacksmith, which means he wasn't fathered by a Targaryen as far as he knows, but his mother or grandfather(s) could have been unacknowledged Targaryen bastards. About Ulf's ancestry we don't know anything.

However, if rumors or stories within the families of these two people were floating around one would have expected that Rhaenyra and her people would have at least retroactively proclaimed that Hugh and Ulf were their long-lost cousins through this or that as of yet unrecognized illegitimate Targaryen cadet branch. The fact that nothing of that sort happened - or a legitimization like with Addam and Alyn - makes it very likely that simply nobody knew who the Targaryen ancestor(s) of those guys was.

After all, not all bastards are acknowledged by their fathers.

Edited by Lord Varys

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31 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Nobody poisoned any of those children, right? Especially the case of Aegon-Naerys is interesting. Aegon was both a very potent as well as a very fertile man. His seed effectively always quickened. Yet he only got two living children from his sister-wife Naerys despite the fact that he slept with her throughout their entire marriage and eventually fucked her to death.

How and when Naerys died is unknown so this is quite they unfounded accusation you at leveling at Aegon IV.

As for the rest i think you raise interesting points about why Targaryens seem to have such trouble at having children that survive to adulthood.

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45 minutes ago, direpupy said:

How and when Naerys died is unknown so this is quite they unfounded accusation you at leveling at Aegon IV.

We know she died in childbirth a year after the Dragonknight, most likely another stillbirth, miscarriage, or other complication causing both her death and the death of the child.

45 minutes ago, direpupy said:

As for the rest i think you raise interesting points about why Targaryens seem to have such trouble at having children that survive to adulthood.

It is much easier to actually look at the facts there than to speculate about poison and evil people.

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8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We know she died in childbirth a year after the Dragonknight, most likely another stillbirth, miscarriage, or other complication causing both her death and the death of the child.

I knew about her dying a year after the Dragonknight but had forgotten that it was in childbirth. I just looked it up in TWOIAF again previously i had only looked at the wiki.

9 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It is much easier to actually look at the facts there than to speculate about poison and evil people.

Agreed.

Although it is a refreshing change from people staring themselves blind on the possibility of the Targaryens having actual dragonblood as an explanation for the stillbirths and deformities, and tending to overlook any other possible explanation. The whole poison and evil people angle is so speculative that i like you see no reason to believe in it.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It could also simply be that Maegor was - as his alleged father, Aegon - simply too pure-blooded a Targaryen to be able to produce (m)any viable children. Aegon and Naerys have similar problems later on, Daemon and Laena, Viserys and Aemma, and especially Aerys II and Rhaella.

Nobody poisoned any of those children, right? Especially the case of Aegon-Naerys is interesting. Aegon was both a very potent as well as a very fertile man. His seed effectively always quickened. Yet he only got two living children from his sister-wife Naerys despite the fact that he slept with her throughout their entire marriage and eventually fucked her to death.

That's an interesting point you bring up there - I'd really like to know if any of the other Targaryen children who died in infancy, or were miscarried or stillborn had deformities similar to Maegor's children, Daemon and Laena's son, Visenya and Rhaego. As it's never mentioned, we could assume they didn't, but we can't be 100% sure.

I had never thought about Aegon IV and Naerys' children from this point of view. Before, I just assumed that those stillbirths/infant deaths were due to Naerys' frailty and overall poor health, but it could be something else. I just don't think those children would necessarily have noticeable dragon-like deformities, as Aegon IV would have likely used that as further "proof" of Naerys' alleged adultery (other health issues that made them non-viable being very possible).

 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

By the way - considering that Silver Denys lived on Dragonstone chances are about zero that he is Maegor's bastard considering the man didn't live on Dragonstone throughout his entire reign. Smallfolk doesn't move all that much.

And, quite frankly, do we really believe a man around eighty tried to become a dragonrider? How stupid is that?

It is much more likely that this guy was so uneducated that he had no idea how old he himself was - like Dunk, say - nor how long ago King Maegor died. His looks indicate that he had Valyrian blood, but depending on the size of the population on Dragonstone as well as the number of bastards the Targaryens produced throughout the centuries many Dragonstonians may have had (quite prominent) Valyrian looks.

I agree, it's extremely unlikely Denys was even old enough for the claim of being Maegor's bastard to even make sense. As he was probably unaware of who his Valyrian-blooded ancestor was, he just made up the Maegor thing.

I guess it's not impossible he was the descendant of a bastard child of Aenys, though. Or maybe a son of one of Jaehaerys I's sons?

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

t is not impossible that Tyanna played a double role there, like Mirri Maz Duur did in AGoT. Offering magical help to Maegor only to use that help to destroy his hopes. Jealousy could have driven her to do that.

I don't think Tyanna acted driven by personal motifs.

 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If that was the case then we would know it by now.

Not necessarily. Maybe only Targs or even maybe only Rhaena knew about this. Presence of Maegor's descendant cold renew tension between Targs and Faith, so they possibly wanted to find silent solution.

 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It could also simply be that Maegor was - as his alleged father, Aegon - simply too pure-blooded a Targaryen to be able to produce (m)any viable children. Aegon and Naerys have similar problems later on, Daemon and Laena, Viserys and Aemma, and especially Aerys II and Rhaella.

Nobody poisoned any of those children, right?

Why so? In background of political situation Targaryen children were in utmost danger.

Targaryens had number of very powerful enemies and rivals. So powerful, that surviving of Targaryen clan for three centuries looks like miracle. They couldn't challenge Targs in open war while Targs had dragons. Then they - sooner or later - came to simple conclusion - they need to exterminate the dragonriders, or at least reduce their number as much as possible.

And they did that by various means. Setting Targs against each other (Dance of Dragons), organizing assassinations which looked as mishaps (children of Jahaerys), involving them in fruitless marriages (like Rhaenyra and gay Laenor).

But I think simplest and probably least expensive way was to kill them in the womb or in infancy.

Queens were attended by handmaidens, servants and ladies in waiting, so there were plenty of possibilities to infiltrate hostile agents.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And Ceryse had essentially no reason whatsoever to prevent getting pregnant. She would have endangered her own standing as Maegor's wife that way, making her own life and Maegor's miserable, not to mention dishonoring her house

Not if that was Oldtown's plan.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Later on Maegor himself chose to blame her and she made a false confession to ensure he would kill her then and there, quickly, rather than give her the same treatment she gave to Alys Harroway and Prince Viserys.

Yes, this is likely possibility. Tyanna told all of this only to provoke Maegor to give her clean death. Last successful manipulation of spy-mistress.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

By the way - considering that Silver Denys lived on Dragonstone chances are about zero that he is Maegor's bastard considering the man didn't live on Dragonstone throughout his entire reign.

I can't accept this argument seriously.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And, quite frankly, do we really believe a man around eighty tried to become a dragonrider?

Not sure. Maybe we can answer this question when we ourselves will reach our 80th. Or maybe we should ask Walder Frey. Or maybe that's why Silver Denys needed assistance of his sons.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

t is much more likely that this guy was so uneducated that he had no idea how old he himself was - like Dunk, say - nor how long ago King Maegor died.

Yes, that's possibly too.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

ne would have expected that Rhaenyra and her people would have at least retroactively proclaimed that Hugh and Ulf were their long-lost cousins through this or that as of yet unrecognized illegitimate Targaryen cadet branch.

I don't think Rhaenyra had time to investigate genealogical trees during Dance of Dragons.

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2 hours ago, direpupy said:

Although it is a refreshing change from people staring themselves blind on the possibility of the Targaryens having actual dragonblood as an explanation for the stillbirths and deformities, and tending to overlook any other possible explanation. The whole poison and evil people angle is so speculative that i like you see no reason to believe in it.

There are other possibilities. I recall Ran/Linda suggesting once that physical closeness to dragons - some radiation, perhaps - could also mess with the fertility of the Targaryens. But then, with Maegor, Aegon IV, Naerys, Aerys II, Rhaella, Daenerys, etc. that idea doesn't make that much sense.

48 minutes ago, Helled said:

That's an interesting point you bring up there - I'd really like to know if any of the other Targaryen children who died in infancy, or were miscarried or stillborn had deformities similar to Maegor's children, Daemon and Laena's son, Visenya and Rhaego. As it's never mentioned, we could assume they didn't, but we can't be 100% sure.

We have it for Maegor's children and Rhaenyra's Visenya - and there are hints that Viserys' and Daemon's Baelon weren't that healthy, either.

This whole monstrosity thing is gradual. There are viable 'Targaryen monstrosities' out there. Bloodraven is an albino. Aegon-Helaena's Jaehaerys had too many fingers and toes. Their Jaehaera was a lackwit (as was Alysanne's Gael, presumably, and Prince Daeron's Vaella).

Aerys II's father Jaehaerys II was not simply a sickly, weakly man but had malformed, claw-like left hand, presumably from birth.

The Targaryens got a lot of 'lesser blood' from Mariah, Dyanna, and Betha but as things stand an accident of history/biology gave Jaehaerys II and Shaera more dragon blood than their siblings and cousins. That could explain why Aerys II and Rhaella had so much trouble to produce living children. 

48 minutes ago, Helled said:

I had never thought about Aegon IV and Naerys' children from this point of view. Before, I just assumed that those stillbirths/infant deaths were due to Naerys' frailty and overall poor health, but it could be something else. I just don't think those children would necessarily have noticeable dragon-like deformities, as Aegon IV would have likely used that as further "proof" of Naerys' alleged adultery (other health issues that made them non-viable being very possible).

Sure, it could be that those children weren't disfigured. But they were still stillborn, miscarriages, etc. and something would have caused this. It fits very well with the overall history of the family.

48 minutes ago, Helled said:

I agree, it's extremely unlikely Denys was even old enough for the claim of being Maegor's bastard to even make sense. As he was probably unaware of who his Valyrian-blooded ancestor was, he just made up the Maegor thing.

Or old people who actually had seen Maegor once saw a striking resemblance in his face there. You know how rumors grow out of proportion, etc.

48 minutes ago, Helled said:

I guess it's not impossible he was the descendant of a bastard child of Aenys, though. Or maybe a son of one of Jaehaerys I's sons?

Those were always my ideas for the dragon seeds. But then - descendants of Baelon and Aemon should actually be rather easy to identify. Especially if the women who slept with them were still around. Still, if we are talking about teenage Aemon or Baelon or Vaegon fathering themselves some bastards without ever acknowledging them then this could be too far in the past for anyone to know in 129 AC.

And the same goes for bastards of Aenys I. Although I guess he could have had some acknowledged bastards. We know he was popular with the women and he seems to have been the kind of guy who would acknowledge the children he fathered.

For Nettles I really like the idea that she is actually Daemon's own daughter, fathered on a woman on the Stepstones or sailor's woman, etc. he met during the Stepstones campaign.

But still - we see with Addam of Hull that dragonlord blood doesn't have to be all that fresh or pure to allow you to claim a dragon. Corlys Velaryon apparently didn't have a Targaryen mother or grandmother.

39 minutes ago, Pukisbaisals said:

I don't think Tyanna acted driven by personal motifs.

Why not?

39 minutes ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Not necessarily. Maybe only Targs or even maybe only Rhaena knew about this. Presence of Maegor's descendant cold renew tension between Targs and Faith, so they possibly wanted to find silent solution.

Or this is just baseless speculation. If there is no smoke then there is likely no fire. Do you see any smoke here?

39 minutes ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Why so? In background of political situation Targaryen children were in utmost danger.

Targaryens had number of very powerful enemies and rivals. So powerful, that surviving of Targaryen clan for three centuries looks like miracle. They couldn't challenge Targs in open war while Targs had dragons. Then they - sooner or later - came to simple conclusion - they need to exterminate the dragonriders, or at least reduce their number as much as possible.

And they did that by various means. Setting Targs against each other (Dance of Dragons), organizing assassinations which looked as mishaps (children of Jahaerys), involving them in fruitless marriages (like Rhaenyra and gay Laenor).

But I think simplest and probably least expensive way was to kill them in the womb or in infancy.

Queens were attended by handmaidens, servants and ladies in waiting, so there were plenty of possibilities to infiltrate hostile agents.

Sorry, this is just a silly conspiracy theory. If I wanted to eradicate the Targaryen line I'd not target the children I'd target the mothers and fathers. The Targaryens went through quite a few bottlenecks, especially after the Dance. Why didn't anyone poison Aegon III and Prince Viserys? What about Aegon IV, Naerys, and Daeron II? Why kill Rhaella's children and not Rhaella herself - and Aerys II and Rhaegar?

This just doesn't make any sense.

And there are no powerful enemies and rivals who targeted the dynasty as a whole.

Nor was the Rhaenyra-Laenor marriage a worse idea than any other arranged marriage - quite a few of those are childless as Daemon-Rhea show, without any of the partners being gay - or the Dance (or later the Blackfyre rebellions) a conflict that was arranged and set up by schemers.

I'm not saying poisoning plots aren't a thing. They very much are. But if anyone actually had secretly worked to eradicate the dynasty that way they would have succeeded or they had been caught. And there would be a much clearer pattern for us to see.

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1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Not if that was Oldtown's plan.

How should that make sense? That's like saying it was in Ned's interests to allow Joff to imprison and execute him. Or that Robert had an interest that Cersei fuck Jaime while he was passed out drunk.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

I can't accept this argument seriously.

But that is an important point. Dragonstone is an island and smallfolk is not allowed to travel or move around all that much. And we don't know what Silver Denys did for a living. Hugh was the son of a blacksmith. He is Dragonstonian by birth. And Ulf seems to be a similar case, as a master-at-arms on Dragonstone.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Not sure. Maybe we can answer this question when we ourselves will reach our 80th. Or maybe we should ask Walder Frey. Or maybe that's why Silver Denys needed assistance of his sons.

Then why not ask one of those sons to do the job? They would be grandsons of Maegor, too, right?

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

I don't think Rhaenyra had time to investigate genealogical trees during Dance of Dragons.

They could have just invented something. Like they did with Laenor being the father of Addam/Alyn.

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41 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:
1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

I don't think Tyanna acted driven by personal motifs.

Why not?

She was working for Pentos or maybe for aliance of several free cities. Eradication of Targs was in their best interest. Nothing personal, sheer politics.

Targaryens were threat to free cities for two reasons. Directly - as dragonriders  - they can turn their dragons east any time. And free cities prefer to deal with separate 7 kingdoms than with  one, united under rule of  a monarch. Disbanding of the Westeros kingdom would be in best interest of Free Cities. Elimination of Targs would be in best interests of Free cities, Oldtown, and most of great houses of Westeros....

So I see Tyanna as sort of secret agent tasked to eliminate Targs. She almost succeeded - if she found Alyssa's children she could manipulate Maegor in to killing them and then eliminate Maegor himself. She was pretty close to her goal....

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If I wanted to eradicate the Targaryen line I'd not target the children I'd target the mothers and fathers.

And that would be your mistake. Killing children in womb or infancy is less suspicious and easier than killing of grown persons.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The Targaryens went through quite a few bottlenecks, especially after the Dance. Why didn't anyone poison Aegon III and Prince Viserys? What about Aegon IV, Naerys, and Daeron II? Why kill Rhaella's children and not Rhaella herself - and Aerys II and Rhaegar?

What makes you think nobody poison them or use magic on them? Maybe did, just circumstances work in Targ's favour.  Not in Naerys case, though.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

And there are no powerful enemies and rivals who targeted the dynasty as a whole.

Oldtown, for one, as  Faith-Hightower-Citadel alliance, lasting for centuries. Free cities - each on their own or various possibly alliances. Any of great houses - they were kings before dragons came.

Power of Targs was in their blood, in ability to ride the dragons. To win, you only need to kill one family, that's it.

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not saying poisoning plots aren't a thing. They very much are. But if anyone actually had secretly worked to eradicate the dynasty that way they would have succeeded or they had been caught. And there would be a much clearer pattern for us to see.

Some of them succeeded - we have a lot of mysterious deaths, stillborns, miscarriages.

Some of them were caught - like Tyanna (presumably), Aerys' mistress and his son's wetnurse.

Too many players and too few information to see clearer pattern.

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22 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:
2 hours ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Not if that was Oldtown's plan.

How should that make sense? That's like saying it was in Ned's interests to allow Joff to imprison and execute him. Or that Robert had an interest that Cersei fuck Jaime while he was passed out drunk

ceryse was only part of plan. While Ceryse was ensuring that Maegor won't have legitimate children, other Oldtown allies dealt with Aenys - he was much easier to cow or influence.

Faith militant uprising was also Odtown's doing.  And it came close to elimination of Targs. if not for Maegor, Faith militant would exterminate all Targs or made them their puppets. Maegor saved the dynasty.

28 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

hen why not ask one of those sons to do the job? They would be grandsons of Maegor, too, right?

Grandsons had less dragon blood than son. Less chances to succeed.

 

29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

They could have just invented something. Like they did with Laenor being the father of Addam/Alyn.

They could, maybe just had no time at the moment.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

There are other possibilities. I recall Ran/Linda suggesting once that physical closeness to dragons - some radiation, perhaps - could also mess with the fertility of the Targaryens. But then, with Maegor, Aegon IV, Naerys, Aerys II, Rhaella, Daenerys, etc. that idea doesn't make that much sense.

We have it for Maegor's children and Rhaenyra's Visenya - and there are hints that Viserys' and Daemon's Baelon weren't that healthy, either.

This whole monstrosity thing is gradual. There are viable 'Targaryen monstrosities' out there. Bloodraven is an albino. Aegon-Helaena's Jaehaerys had too many fingers and toes. Their Jaehaera was a lackwit (as was Alysanne's Gael, presumably, and Prince Daeron's Vaella).

Aerys II's father Jaehaerys II was not simply a sickly, weakly man but had malformed, claw-like left hand, presumably from birth.

The Targaryens got a lot of 'lesser blood' from Mariah, Dyanna, and Betha but as things stand an accident of history/biology gave Jaehaerys II and Shaera more dragon blood than their siblings and cousins. That could explain why Aerys II and Rhaella had so much trouble to produce living children. 

Sure, it could be that those children weren't disfigured. But they were still stillborn, miscarriages, etc. and something would have caused this. It fits very well with the overall history of the family.

That's true about the milder cases of "monstrosities". Those are still fairly "mundane" in comparison to the dragonlike fetuses (being conditions that could happen in real life), but that doesn't mean that there isn't a connection there.

On Jaehaera and Gael, I tend to agree with what has been theorized by some people - that the former suffered from autism and the latter from Down syndrome. There's not enough evidence to support either, especially in Gael's case (evidence for it being that she could have been born when Alysanne was already in her 40s, and she's described as "simple"), but it's not out of the realm of possibility either.

I always wondered about Jaehaerys II's arm when I saw it being discussed in this forum. Was that particular deformity ever confirmed as canon anywhere or was it just extrapolated from the existing art Martin gave guidelines for?

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Those were always my ideas for the dragon seeds. But then - descendants of Baelon and Aemon should actually be rather easy to identify. Especially if the women who slept with them were still around. Still, if we are talking about teenage Aemon or Baelon or Vaegon fathering themselves some bastards without ever acknowledging them then this could be too far in the past for anyone to know in 129 AC.

And the same goes for bastards of Aenys I. Although I guess he could have had some acknowledged bastards. We know he was popular with the women and he seems to have been the kind of guy who would acknowledge the children he fathered.

Yes, that's true, sons of Aemon/Baelon/Vaegon would have been more easily indentifiable, but like you said, maybe those were bastards one or more of the princes fathered when they were rather young. Same for Aenys - he might have acknowledged any bastards of his, but not if he didn't know about them, or was already married and didn't want to risk offending his wife, etc. By the time of the Dance, Aenys had been dead for over 80 years, it's plausible no one would really remember if so-and-so had been descended from one of his bastards.

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Sorry, this is just a silly conspiracy theory. If I wanted to eradicate the Targaryen line I'd not target the children I'd target the mothers and fathers. The Targaryens went through quite a few bottlenecks, especially after the Dance. Why didn't anyone poison Aegon III and Prince Viserys? What about Aegon IV, Naerys, and Daeron II? Why kill Rhaella's children and not Rhaella herself - and Aerys II and Rhaegar?

The period right after Maegor's death and before Jaehaerys I reached his majority would have also been a good time for potential enemies to strike... Jaehaerys was only 14 at the time of Maegor's death and he was the only male Targaryen left. If someone had killed him before he married Alysanne and had any children, the male line of House Targaryen would have been extinct. Sure, Rhaena, Alysanne, Aerea and Rhaella would have still been around, but given the patriarchal society of Westeros, they probably wouldn't be able to continue the dynasty (or it would just be usurped by the family(ies) of any future husband(s)).

The same goes for the post-Dance era, before Viserys returned from Lys. After Aegon II's death, there were only Aegon III, Baela, Rhaena and Jaehaera left (and Jaehaera wouldn't live much longer).

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1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

She was working for Pentos or maybe for aliance of several free cities. Eradication of Targs was in their best interest. Nothing personal, sheer politics.

That is baseless speculation.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Targaryens were threat to free cities for two reasons. Directly - as dragonriders  - they can turn their dragons east any time. And free cities prefer to deal with separate 7 kingdoms than with  one, united under rule of  a monarch. Disbanding of the Westeros kingdom would be in best interest of Free Cities. Elimination of Targs would be in best interests of Free cities, Oldtown, and most of great houses of Westeros....

If that was the case then the Free Cities sucked at that agenda because they never so much as raised a finger against the Iron Throne or tried to topple the Targaryens.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

So I see Tyanna as sort of secret agent tasked to eliminate Targs. She almost succeeded - if she found Alyssa's children she could manipulate Maegor in to killing them and then eliminate Maegor himself. She was pretty close to her goal....

Why didn't she just kill Maegor himself back in Pentos? It would have separated the Targaryens from Balerion? Why didn't she kill Alyssa and her children during her own wedding feast? They had to attend it, you know.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

And that would be your mistake. Killing children in womb or infancy is less suspicious and easier than killing of grown persons.

Not if the king in charge is Aerys II or Maegor the Cruel. And the idea itself is nonsense, too. It is not easier to poison a child in the womb than a grown-up since that would only work by poisoning the mother.

The question in the case of Maegor's children actually is what kind of exotic fantasy poison only affects unborn children but leaves the mothers unharmed?

If you can administer that kind of poison you could also poison the mother.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

What makes you think nobody poison them or use magic on them? Maybe did, just circumstances work in Targ's favour.  Not in Naerys case, though.

The fact that we have no reason to believe that anyone tried to poison the Targaryens. I could just as well make up some conspiracy theory that the Targaryens wanted to kill the Starks and thus had a long-standing conspiracy going to arrange crises and turmoil in the North so that all the cadet branches of House Stark died out.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Oldtown, for one, as  Faith-Hightower-Citadel alliance, lasting for centuries. Free cities - each on their own or various possibly alliances. Any of great houses - they were kings before dragons came.

Power of Targs was in their blood, in ability to ride the dragons. To win, you only need to kill one family, that's it.

So what? There is no reason to believe that those people wanted to topple the Targaryens. The Hightowers wanted to become Targaryens, not kill them. And so did many of the other great houses. Tywin would have sucked Aerys' cock if the man had married Rhaegar to Cersei.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Some of them succeeded - we have a lot of mysterious deaths, stillborns, miscarriages.

So what? That's what happens in a medieval world. Childbirth isn't easy and child mortality is high.

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Some of them were caught - like Tyanna (presumably), Aerys' mistress and his son's wetnurse.

Right. As if Aerys accusing somebody makes it true. I guess you also think that there are people who smell Dornish (and that this is a bad smell)?

1 hour ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Too many players and too few information to see clearer pattern.

You really talk like a conspiracy theorist. I guess the Citadel is also producing chemtrails with all those ravens...?

54 minutes ago, Pukisbaisals said:

ceryse was only part of plan. While Ceryse was ensuring that Maegor won't have legitimate children, other Oldtown allies dealt with Aenys - he was much easier to cow or influence.

Faith militant uprising was also Odtown's doing.  And it came close to elimination of Targs. if not for Maegor, Faith militant would exterminate all Targs or made them their puppets. Maegor saved the dynasty.

This whole thing was about real issues - Maegor's treatment of Ceryse and the Targaryen incest marriage policy. This is a real conflict in a real world, not some conspiracy thing.

54 minutes ago, Pukisbaisals said:

Grandsons had less dragon blood than son. Less chances to succeed.

You should also be able to mount a dragon. An eighty-year-old could easily enough break more than just one bone in the process of that.

In addition, if a man could trick himself in believing he is Maegor's son he isn't exactly rational.

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1 hour ago, Helled said:

That's true about the milder cases of "monstrosities". Those are still fairly "mundane" in comparison to the dragonlike fetuses (being conditions that could happen in real life), but that doesn't mean that there isn't a connection there.

Sure. And some of those Maegor monstrosities don't look all that much 'dragon-like' either.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

On Jaehaera and Gael, I tend to agree with what has been theorized by some people - that the former suffered from autism and the latter from Down syndrome. There's not enough evidence to support either, especially in Gael's case (evidence for it being that she could have been born when Alysanne was already in her 40s, and she's described as "simple"), but it's not out of the realm of possibility either.

Jaehaera may have been autistic - but if she was, we have no idea how that affliction is caused in Martinworld. We know far too little about Gael and Vaella to make a proper diagnosis there.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

I always wondered about Jaehaerys II's arm when I saw it being discussed in this forum. Was that particular deformity ever confirmed as canon anywhere or was it just extrapolated from the existing art Martin gave guidelines for?

It is visible in the portrait of Egg and his sons in TWoIaF. Aside from that, we only have his portrait done by Amok as well as the description George sent him.

But then, we don't really know anything about Jaehaerys II as a person. We just have a very sketchy picture of him. ADwD and TWoIaF gave us some little details, but not that much.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

Yes, that's true, sons of Aemon/Baelon/Vaegon would have been more easily indentifiable, but like you said, maybe those were bastards one or more of the princes fathered when they were rather young. Same for Aenys - he might have acknowledged any bastards of his, but not if he didn't know about them, or was already married and didn't want to risk offending his wife, etc. By the time of the Dance, Aenys had been dead for over 80 years, it's plausible no one would really remember if so-and-so had been descended from one of his bastards.

Sure, in Aenys' case even an acknowledged bastard of his might not have been able to pass this fact down to his great-grandson, say. Just as Brown Ben Plumm has only a very sketchy knowledge of the 'family legend' that he is descended from some Targaryen princess. After all, it is not guaranteed that Hugh, Ulf, etc. were necessarily very close to their parents, grandparents, etc., or even had the chance to spent a lot of time with them.

Hugh is supposedly a blacksmith's bastard, indicating that the man might have known little and less about the family of that blacksmith unless his father actually cared for him.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

The period right after Maegor's death and before Jaehaerys I reached his majority would have also been a good time for potential enemies to strike... Jaehaerys was only 14 at the time of Maegor's death and he was the only male Targaryen left. If someone had killed him before he married Alysanne and had any children, the male line of House Targaryen would have been extinct. Sure, Rhaena, Alysanne, Aerea and Rhaella would have still been around, but given the patriarchal society of Westeros, they probably wouldn't be able to continue the dynasty (or it would just be usurped by the family(ies) of any future husband(s)).

Yes, that is another such bottleneck. And I'm with you there that the Targaryen dynasty would have died if Maegor had died without a male heir (i.e. succeeded in killing Jaehaerys). Unless Alyssa had claimed either Vhagar or Balerion they would have quickly lost control of the government, and many lords would have continued their rebellion, possibly even seceding from the Iron Throne in the process of that.

Could be that Rhaena or Alysanne would have succeeded in stopping the decline for a time by arranging a favorable marriage with one of the great houses, but that, in turn, could have caused the rivals of that house to opposing the central power even more. Even the Faith may have recovered, restoring the Faith Militant and continuing the crusade against the abominations.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

The same goes for the post-Dance era, before Viserys returned from Lys. After Aegon II's death, there were only Aegon III, Baela, Rhaena and Jaehaera left (and Jaehaera wouldn't live much longer).

To be sure, there was an attempt to poison Aegon III at one point. We don't know the details nor when exactly it happened but it caused the death of Gaemon Palehair. However, if one of the people really in charge of the care of the royal children had wanted to kill them it would have been very easy. We see how easy it was with Queen Jaehaera's murder, and especially Grand Maester Munkun could have fed the entire royal family a poison that would kill them slowly. Think of a variation of the sweetsleep plot Littlefinger and Sansa are using to rid themselves of Robert Arryn.

In that sense it is likely that whoever tried to poison Aegon III and failed wasn't a person that unlimited access to the king.

And, quite frankly, if you have the power a resources you could also set up some sort of variation of the Purple Wedding poisoning targeting the entire (numerous) royal family. You just have to have the resources to get the Tears of Lys into a dish the entire royal family is most definitely going to eat. And then you have to have some scapegoats in place.

If a powerful faction tried to kill all the Targaryens with poison they would have succeeded at that a long time ago. They could have killed Aegon and his sister-wives that way, years before Aenys was even conceived...

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

the Free Cities sucked at that agenda because they never so much as raised a finger against the Iron Throne or tried to topple the Targaryens.

It wasn‘t written in plain text, but that didn‘t mean Free Cities were idle. They might just not work in open way.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Why didn't she just kill Maegor himself back in Pentos? It would have separated the Targaryens from Balerion? Why didn't she kill Alyssa and her children during her own wedding feast? They had to attend it, you know.

Those are just speculative possibilities of alleged plot. Most of Pentoshi plots and actions are unknown. May be they chose different tactics.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is not easier to poison a child in the womb than a grown-up since that would only work by poisoning the mother.

The question in the case of Maegor's children actually is what kind of exotic fantasy poison only affects unborn children but leaves the mothers unharmed?

If you can administer that kind of poison you could also poison the mother.

As I told, killing mother would be very suspicious and it would only lead to new wife.

There is nothing exotic required, there are enough poisons acting that way, at least in our world.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no reason to believe that those people wanted to topple the Targaryens. The Hightowers wanted to become Targaryens, not kill them. And so did many of the other great houses. Tywin would have sucked Aerys' cock if the man had married Rhaegar to Cersei.

They wanted power one way or another. And some of them finally got it - by toppling Targaryens, by the way.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

So what? That's what happens in a medieval world. Childbirth isn't easy and child mortality is high.

This is exactly why killing fetuses and newborns draws no suspicion.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This whole thing was about real issues - Maegor's treatment of Ceryse and the Targaryen incest marriage policy. This is a real conflict in a real world, not some conspiracy thing.

 

 

Real world?

Those issues were pretexts, not the reasons. Uprising of Faith militant was well prepared in advance and orchestrated. And probably other turmoil – second Lodos, Vulture King, Harren the Red were set as diversions to shatter the kingdom.

 

But anyway, it seems like we have reached our limits of understanding and further discussion has no prospect.

 

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Jaehaera may have been autistic - but if she was, we have no idea how that affliction is caused in Martinworld. We know far too little about Gael and Vaella to make a proper diagnosis there.

I know there's not any information to go on for Gael's case, I just happened to come across that theory one day and felt it was a reasonable enough explanation. It could be proven wrong in Fire and Blood, or maybe not, I suppose it's not that likely we will get much more detailed information on Gael. Vaella, maybe, as she lived in more recent times.

 

17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is visible in the portrait of Egg and his sons in TWoIaF. Aside from that, we only have his portrait done by Amok as well as the description George sent him.

But then, we don't really know anything about Jaehaerys II as a person. We just have a very sketchy picture of him. ADwD and TWoIaF gave us some little details, but not that much.

I see. I do hope that gets clarified one day (maybe in a future Dunk & Egg tale?).

 

17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, in Aenys' case even an acknowledged bastard of his might not have been able to pass this fact down to his great-grandson, say. Just as Brown Ben Plumm has only a very sketchy knowledge of the 'family legend' that he is descended from some Targaryen princess. After all, it is not guaranteed that Hugh, Ulf, etc. were necessarily very close to their parents, grandparents, etc., or even had the chance to spent a lot of time with them.

Hugh is supposedly a blacksmith's bastard, indicating that the man might have known little and less about the family of that blacksmith unless his father actually cared for him.

True, judging from Brown Ben's case it's likely that most dragonseeds wouldn't even know which Targaryen they were descended from. Especially after a few generations had passed, as it seems to be the case with Ulf and Hugh.

 

17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yes, that is another such bottleneck. And I'm with you there that the Targaryen dynasty would have died if Maegor had died without a male heir (i.e. succeeded in killing Jaehaerys). Unless Alyssa had claimed either Vhagar or Balerion they would have quickly lost control of the government, and many lords would have continued their rebellion, possibly even seceding from the Iron Throne in the process of that.

Could be that Rhaena or Alysanne would have succeeded in stopping the decline for a time by arranging a favorable marriage with one of the great houses, but that, in turn, could have caused the rivals of that house to opposing the central power even more. Even the Faith may have recovered, restoring the Faith Militant and continuing the crusade against the abominations.

Even Alyssa and Rhaena, as capable as they were, would not succeed in keeping the Targaryen dynasty going for long, I agree. They would be left with Dreamfyre, who, while not a hatchling, was far from formidable, and Silverwing, who was probably a very young dragon still. Vermithor would be either dead (assuming Jaehaerys had been killed by Maegor in a manner similar to Aegon) or left riderless, and he was quite young as well.

It would be probable that Alyssa would indeed try to claim Vhagar or Balerion, but who's to say she would have succeeded? We know blood is not a guarantee of anything, and she did not even have any Targaryen ancestors (or any recent ones, anyway) given that retcon concerning her mother.

The Faith would definitely have a chance to recover in this scenario, and Rhaena and her daughters were already seen as "abominations" which makes things much more difficult for them.

As for marriage alliances, it could be a solution in the short term but I suspect that it would lead to more conflict, especially if both Rhaena and Alysanne married influential lords - both of those would want their descendants on the throne. It would be even worse once Aerea and Rhaella were old enough to marry as well, unless they were both made to join the Faith as per Maegor's plan for Rhaella (and also as a way to pacify the Faith somewhat?).

 

17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

To be sure, there was an attempt to poison Aegon III at one point. We don't know the details nor when exactly it happened but it caused the death of Gaemon Palehair. However, if one of the people really in charge of the care of the royal children had wanted to kill them it would have been very easy. We see how easy it was with Queen Jaehaera's murder, and especially Grand Maester Munkun could have fed the entire royal family a poison that would kill them slowly. Think of a variation of the sweetsleep plot Littlefinger and Sansa are using to rid themselves of Robert Arryn.

In that sense it is likely that whoever tried to poison Aegon III and failed wasn't a person that unlimited access to the king.

And, quite frankly, if you have the power a resources you could also set up some sort of variation of the Purple Wedding poisoning targeting the entire (numerous) royal family. You just have to have the resources to get the Tears of Lys into a dish the entire royal family is most definitely going to eat. And then you have to have some scapegoats in place.

If a powerful faction tried to kill all the Targaryens with poison they would have succeeded at that a long time ago. They could have killed Aegon and his sister-wives that way, years before Aenys was even conceived...

I had apparently assumed that the poisoning attempt had taken place after Viserys had already returned from Lys, that's why I didn't mention it (I was focusing more on cases where the continuation of male Targaryen line depended on a single individual). But yes, with Viserys there or not, it would not have been exceedingly difficult to orchestrate the poisoning of the whole royal family.

That's true, they could have targeted the dynasty right at the beginning. But maybe Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys were seen as too formidable to mess with, especially shortly after the Conquest. That said, there were assassination attempts during the First Dornish War, so that might not be much of an excuse.

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1 hour ago, Helled said:

I know there's not any information to go on for Gael's case, I just happened to come across that theory one day and felt it was a reasonable enough explanation. It could be proven wrong in Fire and Blood, or maybe not, I suppose it's not that likely we will get much more detailed information on Gael. Vaella, maybe, as she lived in more recent times.

With Gael I'm not even sure she was mentally disabled/challenged as such. She may have just been naive and not all that smart. The story of her being seduced by a singer who then ran away which caused her to kill herself sounds like something that might not have happened if she had been suffering from Down Syndrome. In that case, one assumes, she would have been constantly under the care of a string of servants, septas, etc.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

I see. I do hope that gets clarified one day (maybe in a future Dunk & Egg tale?).

He should feature prominently in some of the latter stories, if they are ever written.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

Even Alyssa and Rhaena, as capable as they were, would not succeed in keeping the Targaryen dynasty going for long, I agree. They would be left with Dreamfyre, who, while not a hatchling, was far from formidable, and Silverwing, who was probably a very young dragon still. Vermithor would be either dead (assuming Jaehaerys had been killed by Maegor in a manner similar to Aegon) or left riderless, and he was quite young as well.

It would be probable that Alyssa would indeed try to claim Vhagar or Balerion, but who's to say she would have succeeded? We know blood is not a guarantee of anything, and she did not even have any Targaryen ancestors (or any recent ones, anyway) given that retcon concerning her mother.

With the case of Addam of Hull in mind Alyssa's Targaryen ancestor should have been much more immediate than Addam's. His Targaryen ancestors would be farther removed than Princess Daenerys was for Quentyn Martell. Now, it is pretty obvious that the number of dragonlord ancestors also plays a role there. Else the Velaryons of today would look as Valyrian as the present-day Martells. After all, the last marriage between a Velaryon and a Targaryen we know of was nearly two hundred years ago (Alyn and Baela) yet Monford Velaryon and his half-brother Aurane Waters both still have Valyrian traits.

But, still, that wouldn't mean Alyssa could claim either Vhagar or Balerion, of course.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

As for marriage alliances, it could be a solution in the short term but I suspect that it would lead to more conflict, especially if both Rhaena and Alysanne married influential lords - both of those would want their descendants on the throne. It would be even worse once Aerea and Rhaella were old enough to marry as well, unless they were both made to join the Faith as per Maegor's plan for Rhaella (and also as a way to pacify the Faith somewhat?).

They could try to include them into their families via incestuous marriage, I guess, but their husbands would likely want their children to inherit the throne.

1 hour ago, Helled said:

I had apparently assumed that the poisoning attempt had taken place after Viserys had already returned from Lys, that's why I didn't mention it (I was focusing more on cases where the continuation of male Targaryen line depended on a single individual). But yes, with Viserys there or not, it would not have been exceedingly difficult to orchestrate the poisoning of the whole royal family.

That's true, they could have targeted the dynasty right at the beginning. But maybe Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys were seen as too formidable to mess with, especially shortly after the Conquest. That said, there were assassination attempts during the First Dornish War, so that might not be much of an excuse.

If there had been some conspiracy of powerful people trying to murder them it Aegon and his sister-wives wouldn't have had a chance. Especially if we assume the Citadel was behind it. Aegon was touring the Realm a lot. It would have been more than easy to plant some agents in some inn or small castle he would visit and arrange his death there.

And that is a very strong sign that nobody actually banded together to eradicate the Targaryen dynasty. Not in the beginning, and not later, when it would have been very easy.

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