purple-eyes

Why did not Daemon Targaryen rebel against Rhaenyra after she ordered to murder Nettles?

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I was revisiting the Dance of Dragons and realized that Daemon was very unhappy about Rhaenyra's order of killing Nettles. 

He spoke in anger that these are words of bitch. It looks like for me his trust in Rhaenyra was completely gone.

Then why did he still fight so hard to kill Aemond by himself, almost like a suicide?

It would work much better if Daemon and Nettles both rebelled against Rhaenyra. They have two giant dragons, likely largest one after Aemond's dragon. Together these two can kill Aemond more easily, capture King's landing and Rhaenyra, then take the throne for himself with Nettles as his new queen. After all, if Rhaenyra and Aegon both die, the best candidate for the throne would be Daemon anyway, or at least he can serve as the prince reagent for young Aegon III. 

There were so many options available for Daemon since he owned two dragons (with his lover Nettles), yet he chose the bitterest one.

Seems out of character to me and did not make much sense (except GRRM wanted him to have a glorious one-on-one fight as end). What do you think?

 

 

 

 

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Daemon is set up as an manic-depressive madman. He was incapable to participate in day-to-day government, he had grand plans that never led anywhere (like the Stepstones campaign) because he gave them up, and he clearly sucked completely after Rhaenyra had taken KL.

The affair with Nettles in itself madness already. He had a responsibility not only to his royal wife and children - both his sons by Rhaenyra and his daughters by Laena - but also to the whole power-and-ambition thing that drove him to marry Laena and Rhaenyra in the first place.

He is the kind of guy who doesn't know what to do with power when he finally has it. He has to fuck it up, like Cersei.

What madness drove him to send Nettles away and kill Aemond in that suicidal attempt is completely unclear. If Daemon felt really this betrayed by Rhaenyra, why didn't he and Nettles join Aemond? Together they would have been an unstoppable force. They could have reached some compromise - kill Rhaenyra, replace her with Aegon III, marry him to Jaehaera, and co-rule the Realm as regents and protectors for the young king. Aemond was no fan of Aegon II, and at that time the man was believed to be dead, anyway.

Even if that was no option there is simply no explanation as to why Daemon didn't go with Nettles, disappearing from the radar like Aemond had done before. Nobody could have stopped him.

He could also have just taken his dragon to KL to remove Rhaenyra from power himself. He had a large dragon, and the City Watch was essentially his.

The fact that Daemon didn't turn openly against Rhaenyra but at the same time sacrificed his own life to kill one of her worst enemies is very odd. And there is simply no explanation for any of them.

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To me, it's a last grand gesture from a person who was a larger-than-life figure. His son still lived and would inherit the realm if Rhaenyra won, and yet there was a breach between him and Rhaenyra that would have required essentially rending their already-tattered faction apart if he turned against her (as Varys suggests). 

The last exchange with Aemond is also a hint in this direction: he agrees with Aemond that he has lived too long. To me, this reads like someone who has reached a point where he doesn't have the same appetites that he once had. Daemon lived on stirring the pot and causing trouble in his quest to satisfy his ambition and desires, but at the end he found that simply choosing the most destructive path no longer had an appeal. Perhaps that's because of Nettles, perhaps it was simply a realization in him after the slaughter that had enveloped Westeros during the Dance.

So, given that, Aemond was a foe he could fight cleanly, without regrets or hestitation or complication, and that must have appealed to him.

 

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Daemon knew that one day he would have to answer for the the lewd erroneous comments he made about the men and women of the Vale. Daemon was a promiscuous scoundrel not worthy of a Queen, Lady or any woman. Him and Nettles couldn't ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after because Daemon would abandoned her at some point as well for another lover. Rhea Royce was a saint for putting up with his shenanigans. 

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1 hour ago, purple-eyes said:

I was revisiting the Dance of Dragons and realized that Daemon was very unhappy about Rhaenyra's order of killing Nettles. 

He spoke in anger that these are words of bitch. It looks like for me his trust in Rhaenyra was completely gone.

Then why did he still fight so hard to kill Aemond by himself, almost like a suicide?

It would work much better if Daemon and Nettles both rebelled against Rhaenyra. They have two giant dragons, likely largest one after Aemond's dragon. Together these two can kill Aemond more easily, capture King's landing and Rhaenyra, then take the throne for himself with Nettles as his new queen. After all, if Rhaenyra and Aegon both die, the best candidate for the throne would be Daemon anyway, or at least he can serve as the prince reagent for young Aegon III. 

There were so many options available for Daemon since he owned two dragons (with his lover Nettles), yet he chose the bitterest one.

Seems out of character to me and did not make much sense (except GRRM wanted him to have a glorious one-on-one fight as end). What do you think?

 

 

 

 

It doesn't make sense to rebel.  You do not rebel against your queen for something so trivial as love.  It would have been an act of stupidity to rebel against your queen just because she wanted Nettles dead. 

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15 minutes ago, Wm Portnoy said:

It doesn't make sense to rebel.  You do not rebel against your queen for something so trivial as love.  It would have been an act of stupidity to rebel against your queen just because she wanted Nettles dead. 

Well, people have rebelled for far less that. Lord Baratheon rebelled simply because his daughter was rejected by a prince. Daemon literally called her a bitch so there was no respect anyway.  

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Oh, By the way, after re-reading, I am also totally in the theory that Nettles is a children of forest. 

She might be Leaf, or simply a COTF like Leaf. And she is very likely the ancestor of GOHH. 

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Daemon was not dispositioned towards ruling on his own, he couldn’t imagine a life outside of the one of privelage he’d always known, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to work with the Greens. They way he went was really the only one that made much sense.

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I agree with parts with @Lord Varys about Daemon's character.

The reason I think he picked the choice he did was that after "Blood and Cheese" he'd burn the last bridge over to the Greens (and may have felt repulsion to join with Aemond after Aemond killed his son-in-law) and with Nettles he had burned the bridge to Rhaenyra. And do remember that just like the Greens fought for Aegon II and would not accept Hugh Hammer to take the throne instead of a son of Viserys I likewise think that the Blacks primary fought for Rhaenyra and if Daemon turned on their queen, he'd only make himself an enemy of the Blacks in general. Sure he'd have the city watch and two dragons if he and Nettles claimed the throne, but it would be the two of them and the Goldcloaks against the rest of Westeros. Just like Maegor couldn't turn his last time around so I don't think that Daemon would have been able to turn things around against such odds.

Now the reason for his fight with Aemond was, i think, that he wanted to somewhat salvage his legacy and that a heroic death in battle and an end in a blaze of glory was probably more desirable for him than exile in disgrace and a leaving a legacy behind as an traitor to his queen and the mother of his children.

Edited by LionoftheWest

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4 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

I agree with parts with @Lord Varys about Daemon's character.

The reason I think he picked the choice he did was that after "Blood and Cheese" he'd burn the last bridge over to the Greens (and may have felt repulsion to join with Aemond after Aemond killed his son-in-law) and with Nettles he had burned the bridge to Rhaenyra. And do remember that just like the Greens fought for Aegon II and would not accept Hugh Hammer to take the throne instead of a son of Viserys I likewise think that the Blacks primary fought for Rhaenyra and if Daemon turned on their queen, he'd only make himself an enemy of the Blacks in general. Sure he'd have the city watch and two dragons if he and Nettles claimed the throne, but it would be the two of them and the Goldcloaks against the rest of Westeros. Just like Maegor couldn't turn his last time around so I don't think that Daemon would have been able to turn things around against such odds.

Now the reason for his fight with Aemond was, i think, that he wanted to somewhat salvage his legacy and that a heroic death in battle and an end in a blaze of glory was probably more desirable for him than exile in disgrace and a leaving a legacy behind as an traitor to his queen and the mother of his children.

Pretty much this. But I also think he was maybe tired. He does agree with Aemond when he says he'd lived too long. Much as Daemon was a loose canon, a rebel and someone who did what they wanted when they wanted, I don't think old age and leadership agreed with him.

I do disagree with @Lord Varys a bit. Sure he had a duty to his wife and children, but having an affair with Nettles while they were on the campaign isn't really neglecting that duty. He would never have joined Aemond; first of all, as Lion of the West said, he burned that bridge with Blood and Cheese and beyond that I think he hated the Hightower brood almost as much as Rhaenyra did.

Add in the fact that Aemond was essentially the only other person in the living Targaryen family who could potentially outshine Daemon's legacy at some point, I think Daemon wanted to a) cement his legacy by going out like a badass and b). prove himself the better warrior.

14 hours ago, purple-eyes said:

I was revisiting the Dance of Dragons and realized that Daemon was very unhappy about Rhaenyra's order of killing Nettles. 

He spoke in anger that these are words of bitch. It looks like for me his trust in Rhaenyra was completely gone.

Then why did he still fight so hard to kill Aemond by himself, almost like a suicide?

It would work much better if Daemon and Nettles both rebelled against Rhaenyra. They have two giant dragons, likely largest one after Aemond's dragon. Together these two can kill Aemond more easily, capture King's landing and Rhaenyra, then take the throne for himself with Nettles as his new queen. After all, if Rhaenyra and Aegon both die, the best candidate for the throne would be Daemon anyway, or at least he can serve as the prince reagent for young Aegon III. 

There were so many options available for Daemon since he owned two dragons (with his lover Nettles), yet he chose the bitterest one.

Seems out of character to me and did not make much sense (except GRRM wanted him to have a glorious one-on-one fight as end). What do you think?

Yeah Daemon was unhappy with Rhaenyra's order to kill Nettles and maybe he didn't trust her anymore (she had kind of lost it at that point, so fair enough) but he wasn't going to abandon the cause he'd faught for nearly two years over something like that. Especially since he hates the Green's far more the Black's even at that stage in the war.

You're also forgetting that Daemon's son was with Rhaenyra and his daughters both on Dragonstone so he wouldn't have risked that. Aegon might be safe but he's got no guarantee's that Rhaenyra (while at her Maegor phase) wouldn't have killed them both.

Third counterpoint, even with him and Nettles and the Gold Cloaks it would be next to impossible to win. They'd still have to fight Aegon and Sunfyre and whatever forces he has at Dragonstone plus whatever sellswords he hires with his stashed away treasury, the Baratheon army at their doorstep and Daeron and the Hightower army (one of the biggest armies still in the field) at Tumbleton and that's just the Green's. Third party factions include Hugh and Ulf and their dragons sitting at Tumbleton plus uprisings in the city (Palehair and Truefyre). Even with the Black forces they'd struggle. But turning against Rhaenyra means they also have to deal with the army she currently has at King's Landing; Velaryon's, Manderly's and Valemen I believe, as well as Syrax; plus the army of 4k Addam Velaryon (who has a dragon as well) raises later on, and the Tully forces Kermit thrashes the Baratheon's with (Velaryon and Tully army might be the same, or one might bolster the other for the Kingsroad; not clear). He would also have to fight the entirety of the Vale; excluding whatever they have in KL; and the army Cregan Stark in bringing down from the North. He'd have to do all that with just the City Watch and two dragons? No chance and he knows it.

Finally, in regards to the bolded section of the quote; no. Caraxes and Sheepstealer are not the biggest dragons after Vhagar. That would be Vermithor and Silverwing, Hugh and Ulf's dragons, and then Dreamfyre and Sunfyre I think, though thats not comfirmed.

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13 hours ago, Ran said:

To me, it's a last grand gesture from a person who was a larger-than-life figure. His son still lived and would inherit the realm if Rhaenyra won, and yet there was a breach between him and Rhaenyra that would have required essentially rending their already-tattered faction apart if he turned against her (as Varys suggests).

Well, it wouldn't have been that difficult to remove 'the whore' from the equation, would it? Rhaenyra's letter commanded Lord Mooton to kill Nettles but to send Rhaenyra's consort back to KL because she needed him. That means Daemon could have returned to court without any difficultly, and it shouldn't have been that difficult for Daemon to murder Rhaenyra there with his own hands in the royal apartments. Or put some poison in her morning tea. Daemon knew how to kill people, and he also knew how to stage coups. If Daemon had painted the whole Nettles affair as an attempt on his life rather than Nettles I'm sure he would have gotten more than enough sympathy to publicly destroy Rhaenyra. But just murdering her after a show of unity would have been essentially the easiest thing in the world for a man like him.

By the way: This fact that Rhaenyra had sent a letter to Lord Mooton to kill Daemon's paramour and then send him back KL to continue his duties is so mad in and of itself that I'm seriously wondering if somebody messed with the content of that letter. I do not doubt that Rhaenyra may have wanted to arrest Nettles - the same way she decided to arrest Addam - but there is a difference between arrest and execution. The danger of rogue dragonriders is gone as soon as rider and dragon are separated, you don't need to kill the riders to be sure. And the idea that anyone - even a Rhaenyra who grew more and more paranoid, believing that pretty much anyone might be out to get here (which wasn't completely wrong, either) - would have believed that Daemon would continue to help her if he was actually in love with Nettles and she was killed on Rhaenyra's orders is pretty much insane. Any sane person at Rhaenyra's court would have urged her to reconsider such a decision as to ensure that Prince Daemon doesn't interpret this as an attack on his own person. And we also hear about the Mootons discussing what to do with Daemon in light of all that. The option to kill him, too, is on the table, since they know that Daemon may be a danger to them afterwards. How on earth can we believe that Rhaenyra and her people didn't see that danger, too?

We have a similar issue there with the letter to Lord Borros. It is no coincidence that George has Gyldayn tell us the man was illiterate and thus dependent on his maester not only to open but also to read his letters to him. Borros only turns openly against Lucerys and Rhaenyra after the man has heard the contents of the letter, whispered into his ears by his maester. I don't doubt it still contained the essence of what Luke knew was in the letter - the request for help against the Greens - but what might have been written as plea for help full of respect for Lord Borros and Princess Rhaenys' other Baratheon kin (Rhaenys was, in fact, Borros' first cousin) reached Borros' ears as a haughty demand to fight for her.

If Rhaenyra dictated the order to whatever maester/person was overseeing the ravens at that point (it wouldn't have been Orwyle, most likely) then the letter that arrived at Maidenpool may not have contained exactly the orders Rhaenyra spoke.

You have the odd phrase in TWoIaF that the Nettles affair 'drove a final wedge' between Rhaenyra and Daemon. Did they quarrel over other things prior to the Nettles affair? TPatQ doesn't really cover much about Daemon-Rhaenyra after they are reunited in KL. The only thing that's mentioned is that Rhaenyra did not go along with Daemon's mad idea of making Hugh and Ulf great lords of the Realm. Does this already qualify as a 'first wedge'?

And by the way - do you guys know why the hell Lady Baela remains on Dragonstone instead of accompanying Rhaenyra and her ladies to court? They sent Joffrey Velaryon and Rhaena to the Vale at one point but Joffrey later joined his mother. And the fact that they left Baela and her dragon on Dragonstone the entire time makes not much sense. Has this something to do with the Daemon-Rhaenyra thing? Did she deliberately keep his daughters away from him?

13 hours ago, Ran said:

The last exchange with Aemond is also a hint in this direction: he agrees with Aemond that he has lived too long. To me, this reads like someone who has reached a point where he doesn't have the same appetites that he once had. Daemon lived on stirring the pot and causing trouble in his quest to satisfy his ambition and desires, but at the end he found that simply choosing the most destructive path no longer had an appeal. Perhaps that's because of Nettles, perhaps it was simply a realization in him after the slaughter that had enveloped Westeros during the Dance.

It is pretty clear that he is pretty suicidal in the end - which is likely a symptom of his mental disorder, not something a sane person would conclude at the point in life he is in. If the Nettles affair was something he enjoyed and was happy with then one could imagine her death causing him to fall into a deep depression, but not a separation he essentially enforced himself. He could have gone with Nettles. And they could have enjoyed the remainder of their lives in peace in Pentos or wherever else Daemon had some buddies left.

The other possibility is that he felt deeply betrayed and hurt by Rhaenyra's order. If the Nettles thing was more some sort of 'friendship with benefits' or a strict sexual affair, caused by the fact that they were stuck with each other for days and days, then this whole thing could have gotten to him and he might have concluded that there is no reason to continue the entire charade if that's the level they had sunken to.

But then - even that would be madness considering Daemon's son(s) and daughters actually needed him. However you spin it, he had a responsibility to his children - if not his wife - and both Aegon and Baela paid a rather steep price for their father's irrational death wish.

We have talked a lot about as to why Aegon III and Viserys never restored their mother's queenly title - and this is odd, especially in light of the fact that Aegon was with his mother nearly the entire war, he saw her, her fear, and her death - but I'm pretty sure they would have resented their stupid father even more than their mother for abandoning them for some lowborn whore and a completely suicidal action.

The interesting question here is whether he actually died. I think the chance is pretty high that we might meet Daemon Targaryen again with green skin and antlers, if anyone ever visits the Isle of Faces. He could have survived the fall.

13 hours ago, purple-eyes said:

Well, people have rebelled for far less that. Lord Baratheon rebelled simply because his daughter was rejected by a prince. Daemon literally called her a bitch so there was no respect anyway.  

That is not exactly true. Lord Borros was already entrapped because Aemond had arrived first, and he most likely had already agreed to give him the hands of one of his daughters. But he was willing to hear Luke out until he heard the contents of the letter by way of his maester. Then his entire behavior changes. The question which of his daughter Luke will marry if he helps Rhaenyra is already an insult.

I'm not sure if Borros had decided to join Rhaenyra if the maester had read the contents of the letter accurately, but I'm pretty sure he would have kept Aemond long enough in his hall to prevent him from killing Luke. And that would have been more than enough considering that Borros later didn't have the courage to enter the war until it was basically over and he had no longer any reason to fear a dragon attack.

5 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

The reason I think he picked the choice he did was that after "Blood and Cheese" he'd burn the last bridge over to the Greens (and may have felt repulsion to join with Aemond after Aemond killed his son-in-law) and with Nettles he had burned the bridge to Rhaenyra.

Aemond should actually have been pretty happy for the removal of both Jaehaerys and Maelor. It put him closer to the Iron Throne, and we also do know he had little love and respect for Aegon II. In war you have to make compromises. Vice versa, Daemon shouldn't have been that distraught over the death of Lucerys. It put his own son, Aegon, closer to the Iron Throne. The fact that he felt he had to revenge Luke - to show the Realm that Rhaenyra's faction wouldn't just accept the murder of Lucerys - doesn't mean he loved or even liked the boy. This is a world where blood feuds are part of politics.

Tywin despised Tyrion yet he had to go to war with the Tullys to defend the honor of his house.

5 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

And do remember that just like the Greens fought for Aegon II and would not accept Hugh Hammer to take the throne instead of a son of Viserys I likewise think that the Blacks primary fought for Rhaenyra and if Daemon turned on their queen, he'd only make himself an enemy of the Blacks in general. Sure he'd have the city watch and two dragons if he and Nettles claimed the throne, but it would be the two of them and the Goldcloaks against the rest of Westeros. Just like Maegor couldn't turn his last time around so I don't think that Daemon would have been able to turn things around against such odds.

We learn repeatedly that Prince Daemon is Rhaenyra's top asset. He also has a lot of enemies but he also has a lot of friends. He is the one who rallies the Riverlords to her cause, he is the one who leads her armies most of the time. I don't doubt that some people were in the game only because of Rhaenyra - the Vale, perhaps - but considering that they continued the war in Aegon III's name anyway I don't see any reason why they couldn't have done so if Rhaenyra just suddenly died.

As I lay out above, nobody forced Daemon to publicly rebel against and depose Rhaenyra. He could have just silently murdered her. As her consort he had unlimited access to her. And to soften things for the Velaryons Daemon could have married one of his daughters - Baela or Rhaena - to young Aegon III and the other to Ser Addam.

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@Adam Yozza

Good assessment on the vagaries of the idea of Daemon turning against Rhaenyra. It's just not very sensical. Despite that, Daemon thirty years earlier may well have done something like that, but it's clear that at that stage in the Dance he was beyond that kind of self-destructive behavior. 

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50 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

I do disagree with @Lord Varys a bit. Sure he had a duty to his wife and children, but having an affair with Nettles while they were on the campaign isn't really neglecting that duty.

Actually, it is. Rhaenyra had the right to take Daemon's head for this. And if he had been the female consort of a monarch nobody would even second-guess this.

50 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

He would never have joined Aemond; first of all, as Lion of the West said, he burned that bridge with Blood and Cheese and beyond that I think he hated the Hightower brood almost as much as Rhaenyra did.

Still, if he suddenly also hates Rhaenyra killing one of her enemies doesn't make a lot of sense. Even if we assume Aemond and Daemon really hated each other with a passion (we have no reason to believe that they did, on a personal). As to Blood and Cheese and Luke's death - see above.

This Daemon-Aemond thing is the kind of a apocalyptic last duel thing that makes sense if Daemon had lost everything at this point - which objectively didn't at that point. He still had at least one son, two daughters, and the pretty good chance to rule the Seven Kingdoms after all. If Daemon had believed Aegon the Younger, his daughters, Rhaenyra, Nettles, etc. were dead, or if he had for some other reason believed that things were no longer worth it his actions would make sense from a rational point of view.

But they don't, as things stand. Which is the reason why I referred above to Daemon as a mad manic-depressive. He wasn't one of the stable Targaryens. He is a lighter version of Aerys II and Aerion. Aerion for the sadistic tendencies, and Aerys II for the irrational mood swings.

50 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

Add in the fact that Aemond was essentially the only other person in the living Targaryen family who could potentially outshine Daemon's legacy at some point, I think Daemon wanted to a) cement his legacy by going out like a badass and b). prove himself the better warrior.

Well, if that was his motivation he would have to be even madder as I wrote above. No sane person thinks in criteria like this. Not to mention that Daemon most likely had zero respect for Aemond. He played the man like puppet throughout the Dance, and he even played him when he convinced him to come to Harrenhal. He already knew how he would kill him. And he knew that he would succeed at that.

If Aemond hadn't been such an overconfident moron he would have stayed away from Harrenhal. If you don't care to survive a man riding a dragon the size of Caraxes can rather easily kill both Vhagar and her rider. 

50 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

Yeah Daemon was unhappy with Rhaenyra's order to kill Nettles and maybe he didn't trust her anymore (she had kind of lost it at that point, so fair enough) but he wasn't going to abandon the cause he'd faught for nearly two years over something like that. Especially since he hates the Green's far more the Black's even at that stage in the war.

He essentially abandoned both his wife and his children and the entire cause he fought for. Aemond was basically a political non-entity at that time. He was burning some backwater lands, but so what? That was a nuisance, not a main problem. Throwing away his own life to kill Aemond and Vhagar was simply stupidity from a political point of view. 

50 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

You're also forgetting that Daemon's son was with Rhaenyra and his daughters both on Dragonstone so he wouldn't have risked that. Aegon might be safe but he's got no guarantee's that Rhaenyra (while at her Maegor phase) wouldn't have killed them both.

See above. Daemon would have returned to KL as Rhaenyra's honored consort and only turned against her when she completely defenseless or he had men he could trust around him. We are talking about castle coup here, not some civil war scenario.

50 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

Third counterpoint, even with him and Nettles and the Gold Cloaks it would be next to impossible to win. They'd still have to fight Aegon and Sunfyre and whatever forces he has at Dragonstone plus whatever sellswords he hires with his stashed away treasury, the Baratheon army at their doorstep and Daeron and the Hightower army (one of the biggest armies still in the field) at Tumbleton and that's just the Green's.

With Caraxes and Sheepstealer they would have two additional dragons in KL, in addition to Ser Addam's Seasmoke. Rhaenyra's Syrax wouldn't be of use anymore, but they could have taken those three - perhaps in addition to Joffrey's Tyraxes - to crush the Hightower army at Tumbleton. Addam did a lot of damage there when he went there, completely surprising them. Three dragons more would have destroyed them utterly. Ulf and Hugh and their dragons were of no use there, because they were surprised.

And then the Baratheons wouldn't have raised so much as a finger against Daemon and his people, not to mention the fact that there wouldn't have been an uprising in the city (and if it had happened the dragons wouldn't have been killed in the process of it).

Aegon II would have lost Dragonstone as quickly as he seized it. That was only a success for him because Rhaenyra fell into his lap shortly thereafter. Without that, Daemon and his dragonriders could easily have retaken the castle. The entire garrison would have stumbled over each other to arrest and hand the pretender to Daemon if they could just save their miserable lives in the process of that. Crippled Sunfyre would have been no match against Caraxes, Sheepstealer, Seasmoke, etc.

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9 minutes ago, Ran said:

@Adam Yozza

Good assessment on the vagaries of the idea of Daemon turning against Rhaenyra. It's just not very sensical. Despite that, Daemon thirty years earlier may well have done something like that, but it's clear that at that stage in the Dance he was beyond that kind of self-destructive behavior. 

You do knot that this sounds very weird in light of the thing he actually does, right ;-)?

It would make some sense if he had really suffered some strong personal losses during the war - or at least believed he did. But there is no hint in that direction. The apparent loss of Viserys may qualify as such but if he cared about that it is never mentioned anywhere.

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Self-destructive in the sense I meant is about his legacy, not his self. If anything, the action he chose enhanced his legacy.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Aemond should actually have been pretty happy for the removal of both Jaehaerys and Maelor. It put him closer to the Iron Throne, and we also do know he had little love and respect for Aegon II. In war you have to make compromises. Vice versa, Daemon shouldn't have been that distraught over the death of Lucerys. It put his own son, Aegon, closer to the Iron Throne. The fact that he felt he had to revenge Luke - to show the Realm that Rhaenyra's faction wouldn't just accept the murder of Lucerys - doesn't mean he loved or even liked the boy. This is a world where blood feuds are part of politics.

We have no reason to think that Aemond would be happy for the death of his brother and his nephews. In fact I'd dare say that Aemond had not particular will to sit the Iron Throne due to the simple fact that when everyone thought that Aegon II was dead, Aemond didn't crown himself as king.

And compromisses are not usually to surrender both decency, honor and public face for something you don't really need.

While blood feuds are part of the politics GRRM tends to write people with emotions, biases and personalities and not just power-hungry cardboard characters. Thus there's no need to reduce either Aemond or Daemon to "Power is all that matters" archetypes.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Tywin despised Tyrion yet he had to go to war with the Tullys to defend the honor of his house.

Totally different characters with totally different relations and totally different circumstances.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We learn repeatedly that Prince Daemon is Rhaenyra's top asset. He also has a lot of enemies but he also has a lot of friends. He is the one who rallies the Riverlords to her cause, he is the one who leads her armies most of the time. I don't doubt that some people were in the game only because of Rhaenyra - the Vale, perhaps - but considering that they continued the war in Aegon III's name anyway I don't see any reason why they couldn't have done so if Rhaenyra just suddenly died.

And if Rhaenyra suddenly dies then why should people just bow down to Daemon? Most of them would probably have prefered to see Rhaenyra's son rather than her uncle take the throne and it would have caused a schism among the Blacks if lords to some degree would have followed Daemon. And do recall that no one to my knowledge fights for Daemon. Many apparently admires him but he's not the only prominent Black. Corlys could also make a claim to be a regent for Rhaenyra's heir, for which Daemon was to my knowledge never named, as could the Lords Tully and Stark and Lady Arryn.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As I lay out above, nobody forced Daemon to publicly rebel against and depose Rhaenyra. He could have just silently murdered her. As her consort he had unlimited access to her. And to soften things for the Velaryons Daemon could have married one of his daughters - Baela or Rhaena - to young Aegon III and the other to Ser Addam.

And silently murdering Rhaenyra would not have landed power into Daemon's lap but more likely allowed the Blacks to open up a can of internal strife. Not to mention that a fair number would have pointed their finger at Daemon given his easy access to their queen and apparently willingness to take before Rhaenyra's corpse has grown cold.

In short the same reasons as to why Tyrion isn't summoned to take over Casterly Rock after Tywin dies, accused of regicide and patricide, so would also Daemon find that road blocked for him as other men, and women, would seek to take over the Black leadership and by his actions Daemon would have been taken out of the equation.

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9 hours ago, Ran said:

Self-destructive in the sense I meant is about his legacy, not his self. If anything, the action he chose enhanced his legacy.

Once he reached the conclusion to kill himself he really chose a glorious exit. The question is why (and how) on earth did he reach that conclusion. It was basically a 'Fuck you, I'm out of here!' in the face of his lover, wife, son(s), and daughters.

Something worthy of a madman with severe mood swings, not something a sane person would do. The Daemon in a saner, calmer phase was the man who cautioned against using the dragons to burn down KL - something they actually could have done early on during the war, especially while Aemond was at Storm's End.

6 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

We have no reason to think that Aemond would be happy for the death of his brother and his nephews. In fact I'd dare say that Aemond had not particular will to sit the Iron Throne due to the simple fact that when everyone thought that Aegon II was dead, Aemond didn't crown himself as king.

We know the man actually wore the crown of his older brother - something a regent usually is not entitled to do - and made fun of his older brother by pointing out that the crown looked much better on him than it ever did on Aegon.

That is sending the message that man wanted to sit the throne and the power that came with being king. In fact, there were effectively two Green kings - Aegon II and Aemond. The only difference is that Aemond didn't call himself king. But he effectively was king after Aegon got injured.

In light of that it is rather unlikely he was all that unhappy about the death of his nephew. If Aegon II had died at Rook's Rest (or succumbed to his injuries in the Red Keep) Aemond wouldn't have handed the crown of the Conqueror to Prince Maelor. He would have crowned himself, with the full support of the entire court.

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While blood feuds are part of the politics GRRM tends to write people with emotions, biases and personalities and not just power-hungry cardboard characters. Thus there's no need to reduce either Aemond or Daemon to "Power is all that matters" archetypes.

That's how Gyldayn paints both those men pretty thoroughly. They both crave power. Daemon essentially craved the Iron Throne since before his brother became king - and he continued to do throughout the reign of Viserys I. That's why he married both Laena Velaryon and Rhaenyra Targaryen. Love had nothing to do with that.

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Totally different characters with totally different relations and totally different circumstances.

Pretty much the same circumstances. Aemond killing Lucerys made the Blacks look weak and vulnerable. Aegon II held the capital. They had to do something to remind their enemies, their potential allies, and the entire world that you don't get away with stuff like that. You have to pay the price.

And that's how the political game is played in this world. If you are harmed you strike back in kind. Or even harder, to show the other side their place. That's the kind of thing Tywin beat in his own children, and that's the way you stay in charge in this world. If you show any weakness the dogs will come for you and your family.

People don't care about the fact that you have dragons if they know or believe you are too afraid to use them. That's why people dared to rebel against Aenys, too.

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And if Rhaenyra suddenly dies then why should people just bow down to Daemon? Most of them would probably have prefered to see Rhaenyra's son rather than her uncle take the throne and it would have caused a schism among the Blacks if lords to some degree would have followed Daemon.

Nobody said anything about Daemon seizing the throne. Just seizing the regency for his young son Aegon, or his step-son Joffrey. Hell, he could even have confined his quarrelsome wife to her quarters on the basis of 'insanity'. Issuing such sick orders certainly could have given him pretext for that.

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And do recall that no one to my knowledge fights for Daemon. Many apparently admires him but he's not the only prominent Black. Corlys could also make a claim to be a regent for Rhaenyra's heir, for which Daemon was to my knowledge never named, as could the Lords Tully and Stark and Lady Arryn.

Aside from Corlys, none of those people were in the capital. They would not be asked about their opinion, just as nobody asked Lord Baratheon, Lord Lannister, or Lord Hightower about their opinion when Aemond declared himself the Prince Regent.

The City Watch was Daemon's, as far as we know. And we are talking about the time prior to the Storming of the Dragonpit. Daemon was feared. His presence in the city most likely would have quelled this entire uprising which was partially caused by the news of his death. Daemon would have mounted Caraxes and burned the Kingslanders if they had rebelled against the Iron Throne. And people would have known that - or at least feared that he would do that.

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And silently murdering Rhaenyra would not have landed power into Daemon's lap but more likely allowed the Blacks to open up a can of internal strife. Not to mention that a fair number would have pointed their finger at Daemon given his easy access to their queen and apparently willingness to take before Rhaenyra's corpse has grown cold.

People die all the time in this world. And rumors are not facts. Rhaenyra apparently wasn't exactly all that loved at that point, anyway. And if there would have been any objections then there were more than enough dragons to devour such people.

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In short the same reasons as to why Tyrion isn't summoned to take over Casterly Rock after Tywin dies, accused of regicide and patricide, so would also Daemon find that road blocked for him as other men, and women, would seek to take over the Black leadership and by his actions Daemon would have been taken out of the equation.

Only if people actually could prove he killed his wife, or had the power to condemn him for his actions. As per Rhaenyra's own wishes Daemon was the Lord Protector of the Realm. He was the most powerful person after her, and it is not that the Hand of the Queen, Corlys Velaryon, was Rhaenyra's greatest fan. At that time he was actually in a prison cell himself, considering that the Addam Velaryon imprisonment happened around the same time as the Nettles order.

We would see Daemon/Caraxes arriving at KL a day or two after the letter arrived in Maidenpool, if he had returned to KL.

But the question what would have actually happened is pretty moot. The fact is that a man like Daemon would have known that there was a pretty decent chance that he could pull something like that off. He was confident enough to do a lot of things, including killing Aemond the way he did. Putting a mad woman back in her place should have been a remarkably easy task by comparison.

It would have been a much more alluring idea than the suicide he actually committed. Which was completely pointless.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Am I the only one who thinks Nettles is actually Daemon's daughter? As for why he didn't rebel the answer is simple it's illogical; his sons are in line for the throne, and Aegon II would most likely kill him. If I'm correct and Nettles is his daughter then he can explain himself to his wife, but if she's just his mistress that's a silly reason to rebel against the woman he crowned queen. 

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3 hours ago, Pikachu101 said:

Am I the only one who thinks Nettles is actually Daemon's daughter? As for why he didn't rebel the answer is simple it's illogical; his sons are in line for the throne, and Aegon II would most likely kill him. If I'm correct and Nettles is his daughter then he can explain himself to his wife, but if she's just his mistress that's a silly reason to rebel against the woman he crowned queen. 

No, you are not. Whenever the secret identity and parentage of Nettles is discussed I usually suggest that idea. My scenario is that she may have been a child he fathered on a woman he met during the Stepstones campaign, and who ended up on Dragonstone or Driftmark via Corlys' ships, giving birth to the girl there. Once Jace invited potential dragonseeds to make their attempts, her mother would have told who her father was, and the rest is history.

Whether they also had an affair is kind of an open question. All we know is that they spent a lot of time together. Could be that they also had an affair (that wouldn't be impossible with the incest thing going) but it is also possible Daemon just wanted to be a good father, for once in his life. Men his age can have rather strange notions.

In that scenario the letter from Rhaenyra would have stung very much considering that the wife - who he may have grown fond of, after all - was actually trying to kill his own daughter. That kind of thing can really break you. It can cause a crisis where you ask yourself why on earth you are doing all that shit.

But if Daemon actually had a deep and emotional romance going there with Nettles it makes absolutely no sense that he would send her away and throw away his own life.

That is a completely irrational and ridiculous decision in that context. And if Nettles wasn't his daughter but just a person he deeply loved we can only make sense of the whole thing if we count the man among the truly mad Targaryens. He would have been acting as 'rational' there as Aerion did when he thought Tanselle was 'a traitor' because of the play or Aerys II did when he thought everybody and their grandmother were out there to murder his children.

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know the man actually wore the crown of his older brother - something a regent usually is not entitled to do - and made fun of his older brother by pointing out that the crown looked much better on him than it ever did on Aegon.

Mockery is not the same as wishing someone dead. I know that its kind of a popular sentiment in much fiction to kill, or wish people dead, for dislike in general but I don't think that's the case in Westeros. Baelor Breakspear didn't arrange for Aerion to be murdered despite the fact that Baelor proboably didn't like Aerion very much. Thus just because Aemond may have fancy notions of his own worth does not mean that Aemond didn't risk his life for Aegon II's case or that he wished his older brother dead. The most important part of this is that Aemond never took the title king.

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That is sending the message that man wanted to sit the throne and the power that came with being king. In fact, there were effectively two Green kings - Aegon II and Aemond. The only difference is that Aemond didn't call himself king. But he effectively was king after Aegon got injured.

No. The one with the title of king is the king. Bloodraven and Tywin also ruled more than their respective kings but neither of them were kings or seems to have sought to be kings regardless of how much power they had. If Aemond wanted to be the king then he would have taken the royal title as well. The fact that he didn't shows that he didn't want to be king.

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In light of that it is rather unlikely he was all that unhappy about the death of his nephew. If Aegon II had died at Rook's Rest (or succumbed to his injuries in the Red Keep) Aemond wouldn't have handed the crown of the Conqueror to Prince Maelor. He would have crowned himself, with the full support of the entire court.

No. In light of his aversion to claiming the throne it shows that he's very much fighting for his older brother and that he does not intend to steal the crown from his nephew. Aemond had many flaws but he was not a Maegor to press a claim against his own brother's sons under the pretension of practicality. 

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That's how Gyldayn paints both those men pretty thoroughly. They both crave power. Daemon essentially craved the Iron Throne since before his brother became king - and he continued to do throughout the reign of Viserys I. That's why he married both Laena Velaryon and Rhaenyra Targaryen. Love had nothing to do with that.

I actually disagree. I think you are right in that both of them were kind of the same personality types. But power wasn't the game here. It was glory and recognition as well as an attraction for violence to solve disputes. If you want to look at power as the main attraction then I would think that Aegon II, Alicent and Rhaenyra was more into that kind of person. I do not deny tha Daemon felt attracted to power but I don't see it as his main motivating force. In my opinion obscurity was more threatening to him than being powerless.

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Pretty much the same circumstances. Aemond killing Lucerys made the Blacks look weak and vulnerable. Aegon II held the capital. They had to do something to remind their enemies, their potential allies, and the entire world that you don't get away with stuff like that. You have to pay the price.

Absolutely. Westeros is a barbaric place and reverts to barbaric means at many times.

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And that's how the political game is played in this world. If you are harmed you strike back in kind. Or even harder, to show the other side their place. That's the kind of thing Tywin beat in his own children, and that's the way you stay in charge in this world. If you show any weakness the dogs will come for you and your family.

Not really political. That's how the social construction in Westeros is created and what kind of norms are drilled into the people as they grow up. But to a degree you are right in how it governs people's behavior.

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People don't care about the fact that you have dragons if they know or believe you are too afraid to use them. That's why people dared to rebel against Aenys, too.

Well, they dared to rebell against Maegor as well. Just because you have dragons don't mean that everyone will roll over for you. And that's something that I think that Danaerys fans will find to their suprise. Everyone will not just roll over for Danaerys because she has dragons and she will not auto-win because she has dragons.

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Nobody said anything about Daemon seizing the throne. Just seizing the regency for his young son Aegon, or his step-son Joffrey. Hell, he could even have confined his quarrelsome wife to her quarters on the basis of 'insanity'. Issuing such sick orders certainly could have given him pretext for that.

No, not at all. Rhaenyra is the monarch while Daemon is only a consort to that monarch. Rhaenyra is the one with power in that relationship and Daemon has no right to do anything but obey his queen. It is not for him to judge the queen for her power is absolute and that is regardless of her mental health. In fact if Daemon had tried that all but those who were in on the plot to overthrow Rhaenyra would see it as the naken rebellion it would be.

In short Daemon has no right to judge or confine his queen. His position is to advice and obey. And that's the end of it.

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Aside from Corlys, none of those people were in the capital. They would not be asked about their opinion, just as nobody asked Lord Baratheon, Lord Lannister, or Lord Hightower about their opinion when Aemond declared himself the Prince Regent.

Its really enought that Corlys is present for he was Rhaenyra's man and continued to be so also after his imprisonment. He would not accept Daemon to remove Rhaenyra and would be more likely to attempt to get back into his queen's favor by freeing her than going along with Daemon's scheme.

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The City Watch was Daemon's, as far as we know. And we are talking about the time prior to the Storming of the Dragonpit. Daemon was feared. His presence in the city most likely would have quelled this entire uprising which was partially caused by the news of his death. Daemon would have mounted Caraxes and burned the Kingslanders if they had rebelled against the Iron Throne. And people would have known that - or at least feared that he would do that.

Maegor tried that route as well. Didn't work out very well in the long run for him either. So sure Daemon would could be a new Maegor and hold on to power for a few years, but in the end he would not survive better than Maegor did.

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People die all the time in this world. And rumors are not facts. Rhaenyra apparently wasn't exactly all that loved at that point, anyway. And if there would have been any objections then there were more than enough dragons to devour such people.

She was respected enough for armies to have been in the field for her and people dying for her, lords dying of their own free will to fight for her. And again look at Maegor. A big dragon does not mean that all your enemies fall over themselves to surrende to you.

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Only if people actually could prove he killed his wife, or had the power to condemn him for his actions. As per Rhaenyra's own wishes Daemon was the Lord Protector of the Realm. He was the most powerful person after her, and it is not that the Hand of the Queen, Corlys Velaryon, was Rhaenyra's greatest fan. At that time he was actually in a prison cell himself, considering that the Addam Velaryon imprisonment happened around the same time as the Nettles order.

Corlys and Addam were both pretty hard core for Rhanyra or else it seems more reasonable that Corlys would have thrown in their support behind Aegon II when he actually freed them. But we know that Corlys didn't really support Aegon II but undermined his new king with schemes and finally murdering Aegon II. I see no reason as to why Corlys would be more favorable to Daemon if Rhaenyra just happened ot die while in Daemon's care. People are not that stupid and always ready to think the worst of people with power over them. Just like people could figure out that Tyrion killed Tywin, so they could figure out that Daemon killed Rhaenyra.

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We would see Daemon/Caraxes arriving at KL a day or two after the letter arrived in Maidenpool, if he had returned to KL.

And he would be arrested on the spot as soon as he's separated from his dragon or possibly facing Black dragons coming to fight him. He's not going to walz into the Red Keep and issue a ton of orders that people will obey.

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But the question what would have actually happened is pretty moot. The fact is that a man like Daemon would have known that there was a pretty decent chance that he could pull something like that off. He was confident enough to do a lot of things, including killing Aemond the way he did. Putting a mad woman back in her place should have been a remarkably easy task by comparison.

Putting a ruling queen in her place is no easy feat as people have an obligation to obey her, not Daemon. And we can see in the case of Aerys II that there are many people who are perfectly ready to follow the commands of a mad ruler.

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It would have been a much more alluring idea than the suicide he actually committed. Which was completely pointless.

Not really. A death in battle and a blaze of glory for coming generations to remember would be more in character for him than to try and fight the whole world by himself and be condemned by that very same world for all time to come. At that point legacy was more important than power for Daemon.

Edited by LionoftheWest
Cleared up the text to remove errors, clarify etc.

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