SunfyreTheGolden

Who was the best Targaryen King?

164 posts in this topic

I'll just point to what I said before: there's no actual evidence of anyone citing this as a particular factor for them. 34 years is a _long_ time. 15 years after Robert's Rebellion, the "knights of summer" are all ready to play war all over again. And as for older people -- Eustace Osgrey was almost certainly alive in 161 when Daeron was killed, was perhaps even a page or even young squire at the time, likely had kin (father, uncles, older cousins) who fought and/or died in it -- they just... I don't know, it's just not a factor, despite the fact that (as I noted) George knew all about Daeron's death many years prior to writing "The Sworn Sword".

I think people are perhaps not giving enough weight to the enormous symbol of Baelor's act of forgiveness and contrition -- if the man who was by tradition the most likely to seek vengeance (his brother and predecessor murdered!) instead forgave, well, that may have been quite potent for a lot of people.

That there was a general anti-Dornish sentiment among the groups that had interactions with them over the centuries is true. The death of Daeron I and the loss of tens of thousands of men were, at most, subsumed into just one more part of that... and it should be noted that after so much death, there were almost certainly many people who welcomed peace rather than throwing more of their sons into the grinder. But in any case, there's no sign that the death of the Young Dragon and 50,000 men in his elective war of conquest was a significant factor for anyone who followed Daemon Blackfyre.

Even if Daeron II had not unified the realm, bringing into Dorne into the fold, the Blackfyre Rebellion would still have happened. The excuses would just have been a bit different. As I said, the most important line anyone says about that rebellion is Eustace when he simply says that it was a fight between two princes. As soon as Aegon IV set up a rival to Daeron, every single knight or lord who had any kind of grievance suddenly had a destructive recourse: adhere to Daemon against Daeron. Daemon's existence led to a unification of disparate persons, many of them with what seem to be petty ambitions or petty grievances. Without Daemon, they would not have coalesced into what they became.

Edited by Ran

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I can sort of understand the tax thing, though still, it was just the right to collect them, not some major discount on taxes. But how much did the laws really change for most of the Andalized southron regions under the Targs, and how much would people have really cared about that a century or more after acclimating to whatever those changes were? I imagine if anything the laws changed the most for the north, and yet they don't seem to have lent any support to any of the Blackfyre Rebellions. Dorne's laws would have been notably different because they had adopted the laws and customs of the Rhoynar. But Dorne had also already renounced the title of king for the Rhoynish titles almost a millennium before the Targs reduced the other kingdoms. Sure, Dorne received some extra benefits, but they had also kept their independence for almost two centuries after the others did. That had to be taken into account.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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52 minutes ago, Ran said:

I'll just point to what I said before: there's no actual evidence of anyone citing this as a particular factor for them. 34 years is a _long_ time. 15 years after Robert's Rebellion, the "knights of summer" are all ready to play war all over again. And as for older people -- Eustace Osgrey was almost certainly alive in 161 when Daeron was killed, was perhaps even a page or even young squire at the time, likely had kin (father, uncles, older cousins) who fought and/or died in it -- they just... I don't know, it's just not a factor, despite the fact that (as I noted) George knew all about Daeron's death many years prior to writing "The Sworn Sword".

One can, perhaps, compare that entire setting to the aftermath of the Dance. If we think in categories of blood feuds and vengeance then this war simply wasn't over when Aegon II. Yet people - especially King Aegon III as well as his (extended) family were apparently willing to let bygones be bygones and chose to not let the Hightowers, Lannisters, and Baratheons pay for their treasons - which they certainly could have done without ever going to war.

When a war has gone on too long or cost too much there is a strong tendency to end it.

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I think people are perhaps not giving enough weight to the enormous symbol of Baelor's act of forgiveness and contrition -- if the man who was by tradition the most likely to seek vengeance (his brother and predecessor murdered!) instead forgave, well, that may have been quite potent for a lot of people.

I mentioned that somewhere above - if the king can forgive the Dornishmen who murdered his royal brother, then who are the men of the Seven Kingdoms who are crying for vengeance? This is not a democracy. It is up to the royal family and the royal government to avenge a slain king, and if they decide to not do that and instead forgive the enemy then that's the policy of the state.

This is a medieval setting before the invention of the printing press. 'Public opinion' as we know it was restricted to the upper classes, and they were sucking up to the Targaryens. So when King Baelor forgave the murderers of his brother most people wouldn't have objected to them. And those who may have objected were simply irrelevant. The king doesn't ask his lords whether he made a peace with another country or not.

In fact, with a man like Baelor - who was essentially the poster boy of the Seven - very few people in the Seven Kingdoms would have dared to speak openly against them because the Faith would have stood by him, supporting his every decision. That would have had enormous effect, especially among the smallfolk.

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That there was a general anti-Dornish sentiment among the groups that had interactions with them over the centuries is true. The death of Daeron I and the loss of tens of thousands of men were, at most, subsumed into just one more part of that... and it should be noted that after so much death, there were almost certainly many people who welcomed peace rather than throwing more of their sons into the grinder. But in any case, there's no sign that the death of the Young Dragon and 50,000 men in his elective war of conquest was a significant factor for anyone who followed Daemon Blackfyre.

That is another point. I'm not sure if you know any details on the issue - like, from which regions the majority of the 50,000 men Daeron I got killed came - but my gut feeling is that the majority would have been from the Stormlands, the Reach, and the Crownlands (followed by the Westerlands, the Riverlands, the Vale, and the North which might have sent smaller contingents or only token forces) simply because the hatred of the Dornish burnt hottest in the Marches and the adjacent regions, and thus those lands would have been most willing and eager to marshal huge hosts to crush them (the Crownlanders would have manned the royal fleet and gone out of the way to support their young king because they were closest to him).

Even if the Stormlanders and Reach men were hellbent on revenge after Daeron's murder, chances are still pretty good that they were no looking forward to a continuation of the war in light of the losses they may have suffered.

The Dance, the Winter Fever, and the six-year-winter must have killed a significant portion of the overall population of the Seven Kingdoms - which was now culled again by Daeron's war. In the end, maintaining farms and fields is much more important than mad dreams of conquest and vengeance.

And that's even more true for the people living in regions where Dorne is little more than a name. Why on earth should the Westerlanders or Vale men care whether the King on the Iron Throne is also the King of the Rhoynar? Why should their sons (continue to) die to avenge a stupid boy who thought he could play at war?

Lord Cregan Stark may have been pissed that his son and heir Rickon died in Dorne, but does this mean the man must have been hellbent to avenge him by crushing the Dornishmen? No. Just as there is no indication that the Northmen are hellbent to avenge Robb by conquering all the southern kingdoms, or anything of that sort.

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Even if Daeron II had not unified the realm, bringing into Dorne into the fold, the Blackfyre Rebellion would still have happened. The excuses would just have been a bit different. As I said, the most important line anyone says about that rebellion is Eustace when he simply says that it was a fight between two princes. As soon as Aegon IV set up a rival to Daeron, every single knight or lord who had any kind of grievance suddenly had a destructive recourse: adhere to Daemon against Daeron. Daemon's existence led to a unification of disparate persons, many of them with what seem to be petty ambitions or petty grievances. Without Daemon, they would not have coalesced into what they became.

I guess there was a chance to prevent that if Daemon had been able to get along better with Daeron. But the way Daemon Blackfyre is here described by Ser Eustace - as a prince - is pretty telling as to what rank and status Daemon's followers were willing to give him. That really implies that Daemon was no longer seen as a bastard by the time Osgrey joined him. And that, in turn, sort of entails that Daeron II actually must have gone out of his way to give him a place at court and the extended royal family. He could have crushed him easily enough - along with all those other so-called 'great bastards' when he took his crown. They were all children at that point. He could have sent them into exile, or forced them to live on some shabby farms or towers, far away from court and the eyes of the public.

34 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I can sort of understand the tax thing, though still, it was just the right to collect them, not some major discount on taxes.

The question there is whether the lords actually do pay all that many taxes. In a realistic medieval setting they would be most exempt from taxation. It isn't the same in the Seven Kingdoms, as Kevan notes in his Epilogue, but that might be because quite a few noble houses - the Lannisters, Redwynes, Hightowers, Butterwells, Tyrells, Graftons, etc. - might actually conduct a lot of trade themselves (or rather through their stewards and servants).

It is also not clear whether we are talking about the taxes House Martell owes the Iron Throne, or whether we are talking about the taxes the Dornishmen as a people owe the Iron Throne. We have no reason to believe that royal tax collectors ever bother the Lannisters or Starks in their castles about the taxes they, personally, owe, but rather about the taxes their vassals and levies owe the Iron Throne.

The Martells kept a lot of their sovereignty. The other former monarchs did not.

34 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

But how much did the laws really change for most of the Andalized southron regions under the Targs, and how much would people have really cared about that a century or more after acclimating to whatever those changes were? I imagine if anything the laws changed the most for the north, and yet they don't seem to have lent any support to any of the Blackfyre Rebellions. Dorne's laws would have been notably different because they had adopted the laws and customs of the Rhoynar. But Dorne had also already renounced the title of king for the Rhoynish titles almost a millennium before the Targs reduced the other kingdoms. Sure, Dorne received some extra benefits, but they had also kept their independence for almost two centuries after the others did. That had to be taken into account.

We don't know where the laws changed the most, just as we have really no clue what the differences were. One assumes the focus of the unification was on general things - the same punishment for the same crime, say, the same tax and rent system, the same way units, the same currency (if that wasn't already established by the Conqueror), the same succession laws, etc.

We have no idea whether the laws in the West and the Vale had more in common than the laws in the Riverlands and the North, say.

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8 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

I agree that a lot of the Blackfyre leaders were overtly ambitious, but I wouldn't dismiss the Dorne issue as "an excuse", and I'm convinced it played a significant part on turning people against Daeron.

The murder of the Young Dragon under a peace banner was a very serious breach of the basic rules of war. And it happened just 34 years before the rebellion. I imagine that the sons and brothers of the ones that died with Daeron I didn't have an easy time seeing some of the nobles that orchestrated that on court.

I assume that even many who sided with Daeron II (such as the lord Tyrell whose father was murdered on a bed under guest right) were probably not very enthusiastic about the union with Dorne under terms that were more advantageous than their own (keeping their own laws, gather the taxes,...). Perhaps they didn't dare to rebel against the Iron Throne, but hey may have not given Daeron II their full support either. And that would have also helped spread the rebellion.

More than 50.000 of Daeron's soldiers died in Dorne. That's a huge toll for a kingdom that had already taken a demographic hit due to the civil war just three decades before. Probably most noble familes in Westeros surely had some relative or friend that had been killed by the Dornish.

So, in short: while I agree that the leaders of the rebellion used Dorne as an excuse, it only worked because there was a strong (and justified) anti-Dornish sentiment in Westeros, and specially among the noble class. Perhaps a wiser king would have not pressed on the unification with Dorne so soon, or would have made sure that no Dornishmen obtained significant positions at court for some time. Perhaps the fact that she was happily married to Mariah blinded him to the perception that the realm had of Dorne.

I agree with most of this.

@Ran

It doesn't need to be literally spelled out word for word. There is such a thing as inference and logical deduction, not to mention RL history.

Furthermore, you make too big a deal out of Ser Eustace Osgrey. He is just one man in a single short story. He does not and cannot represent the entire Blackfyre faction nor can ambition and warmongery alone explain the depth and magnitude of support Daemon I drummed up.

Moreover, TWOIAF is written with the benefit of hindsight and posterity, which means the Blacks are going to be maligned at every turn and Daeron II exalted since he was the one who won the war.

Finally, people in medieval society did not rebel even when they disagreed with the king's decisions so your argument re Baelor's peace is false. Medieval rebellions were always couched in one of the following two ideas: Illegitimacy or Tyranny. The former denied the king was sacrosanct (because he wasn't the true heir) while the latter declared he had lost that position by exceeding his rights. Neither of those cases apply to Baelor, who I should point out, also made a walk of penance, something I'm pretty sure would have pissed off quite a few grieving families since that implied Daeron I and his 60000 men were the real bad guys.

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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Jaeharys I. An honerable second place to Viserys II, who probably saved the realm from complete destruction by his two oafs for nephews. 

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The Grey Wolf,

So we are agreed that there is no evidence for the claim that the Young Dragon’s death was a significant factor in the Blackfyre rebellion. This is progress! ;)

In all seriousness, while it's true that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", GRRM has written or been part of writing four different texts that go into detail regarding the first Blackfyre Rebellion (his detailed notes on the time period, TSS, TMK, TWoIaF), and has answered a number of fan questions as well, and surely this would have provided ample opportunity to mention that Daeron I's death was of great importance to fomenting the first rebellion. Eustace complains about Daeron II naming his heir Baelor after the "feeblest" Targaryen king, so it would have been easy for him to complain about how Daeron II lay down with the Martells who foully murdered his glorious namesake Daeron I... but, no, doesn't happen, despite Daeron I's death having been in his lifetime and his conquest likely involved some kin or acquaintances of his.

I think it may be worth noting that George actually repeatedly points to one thing as the "seed" that starts it all, which fits into my larger argument: see here and here, George repeatedly notes that the sword being given to Daemon started the first talk of the fact that he ought to have been king and so on, which falls straight in line with my contention that Eustace's remark about "two princes" is the most important statement there is in GRRM's writing regarding the causes of the Blackfyre Rebellion.

 

 

Edited by Ran

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5 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Furthermore, you make too big a deal out of Ser Eustace Osgrey. He is just one man in a single short story. He does not and cannot represent the entire Blackfyre faction nor can ambition and warmongery alone explain the depth and magnitude of support Daemon I drummed up.

You would actually have to prove that claim. I mean, did Robert or Stannis or Renly have good claims to the throne? Do they have just causes? That is up for debate. Daemon Blackfyre thought he should be king, pretty much like Renly did. And his followers agreed with him on that. As far as we know he didn't have a bigger agenda.

As to Ser Eustace:

The man is pretty interesting in regards to the fact that his tower is nowhere near the Dornish Marches. If there is a region in the Reach which shouldn't be overly concerned with Dorne it's the lands of the Rowans, bordering the West. Chances are that those people never fell prey to Dornish raiders, not even before the Conquest - instead they would have been constantly attacked by the Westermen.

Politically, both Baelor the Blessed and Daeron II seem to have been one of the strongest Targaryen kings, actually. It really seems the men judging the strength of a king looked at his physical strength or 'martial nature' and then decided to dismiss him as weak if he wasn't all that interested in that kind of thing (like Jaehaerys II was, too). But this world is more complex than that. The power and strength of a king depends on the amount of support he has for his policy, and Baelor the Blessed basically had the entire Realm at his back, especially the Faith and the smallfolk. Daeron II had the support of the majority of his subjects, too, else the union with Dorne wouldn't have happened - or people would have rebelled then and there, and not years later.

5 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Moreover, TWOIAF is written with the benefit of hindsight and posterity, which means the Blacks are going to be maligned at every turn and Daeron II exalted since he was the one who won the war.

That is conjecture on your part. Yandel doesn't really describe Daemon Blackfyre as a villain, nor do I get the vibe he was portrayed in a bad light. And in TSS George really goes out of the way to give one of Daemon Blackfyre's supporters a pretty loud and clear voice. If Yandel was slandering Daemon Blackfyre he wouldn't go out of his way to blame the men around him - Bittersteel, for the most part - for the rebellion. Instead he would omit everything that was praiseworthy about Daemon (his skills as a knight, his sense of chivalry, etc.) and only point out that he was an evil man for trying to steal his brother's throne.

5 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Finally, people in medieval society did not rebel even when they disagreed with the king's decisions so your argument re Baelor's peace is false. Medieval rebellions were always couched in one of the following two ideas: Illegitimacy or Tyranny. The former denied the king was sacrosanct (because he wasn't the true heir) while the latter declared he had lost that position by exceeding his rights.

There were also rebellions just to curb the power of the Crown or defend your own rights as the nobility. Not every rebellion had the goal to overthrow the king or the install a different pretender.

5 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Neither of those cases apply to Baelor, who I should point out, also made a walk of penance, something I'm pretty sure would have pissed off quite a few grieving families since that implied Daeron I and his 60000 men were the real bad guys.

That is also conjecture. We hear nothing about people being pissed about Baelor's peace. It is pretty obvious that Baelor's walk and subsequent peace wouldn't have happened if some warmongering lords and knights had decided to call their banners and invade Dorne all by themselves to avenge King Daeron in Baelor's name, while Baelor was still walking to Sunspear. If done correctly, such rebellious lords could even have caused Baelor's murder in Dorne since they could have given the impression that the young king was duplicitous.

Instead, nobody objected to it as far as we know.

In fact, it is not unlikely at all that a majority of the people of the Seven Kingdoms thought that this Young Dragon was a madman and a disgrace by the time of his death. They could have been secretly glad that he was dead if that only meant that this pointless was over now (which it did, thanks to Baelor).

As far as we know only Daeron I and couple of other men died with him in Dorne. The other men were all killed during the original conquest and because Daeron I and Lord Tyrell were incapable of dealing with the Dornish smallfolk, basically. Why would anyone later be keen to send another 50,000 men to Dorne to occupy the country if they had no reason to believe the Targaryens could do what they were trying to do?

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@Ran

My original point still stands. Ser Eustace is not and cannot be the be-all, end-all for why people supported Daemon Blackfyre.

Furthermore, no one has, so far as I know, ever asked GRRM if the death/murder of Daeron I and the pardoning of Baelor I contributed to the First Blackfyre Rebellion. I remember reading that someone asked him if Daena being the daughter of Aegon III played a role and he was supposedly caught off guard by the question before answering no.

Finally, if what we have of Fire & Blood Volume 1 is any indication GRRM could easily expand on his notes when he writes Volume 2 to explicitly tie in the reigns of the Young Dragon and Baelor the Blessed with the FBR. 

Indeed, it would not surprise me if Aegon IV used his cousin's murder to rile people up while he was gathering swords for his Dornish invasion, sort of like Northern politicians "waving the bloody flag" after the Civil War. Speaking of which, can you tell us if the invasion of 174 AC was the only one of its kind during Aegon IV's reign?


@Lord Varys

Your claim that people might have seen Daeron I at the time of his death as a madman who had it coming is entirely headcanon and I refuse to believe it given his personality, the fact people still supported him after the death of Lord Lyonel Tyrell, and the outrage at his murder.

Beyond that did you even bother reading my previous post fully?

People in medieval times justified rebellions through illegitimacy and tyranny (which did include taking away the rights of the nobility) because those ideas stripped the king of his sacrosanct nature. Again, neither of those apply to Baelor the Blessed. There were no doubts about his parentage and it is a king's right to decide foreign policy. Thus, even though Baelor's decision stuck in many people's craw there was nothing anyone could do about it except protest because to do anything more would be to commit treason by breaking the king's peace.

Finally, I do feel the need to point out that we know very little about the political landscape of Westeros during Baelor's reign, not to mention how good/bad relations with Dorne were during those ten years.

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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As I already noted, GRRM created a lot precisely where he had no notes. Where he did have extensive notes -- the stretch from Daeron I to Daeron II -- is the place where the details have changed very little over two decades. It's not that George can't expand on things, but it's more that this time period is settled in his mind and all that's left is to add incidents and little details. But he's written two novellas about the Blackfyres, and sections of the world book are about them, and the fact that your imagined continuing outrage against the Young Dragon's death is not apparent should at least give you pause to consider.

Why is it so vital to you that the Young Dragon's death be a catalyst for the Blackfyre rebellion? I understand that a couple of fan commentators have taken this to heart in their own arguments, IIRC, but this hardly means they're right. Or is it merely that you feel partisanship towards Daemon Blackfyre, are a fan, and want to justify his rebellion? Just say so if that's what is really your approach to things.

For my part, I'm just trying to suss out the reality of the situation as indicated by GRRM, based on the thousands of words there are on the subject of the era. For my part, it would probably be much more fruitful to examine Daemon's psychology as GRRM does paint a picture of a man that features some positive points: his valor, his chivalrous conduct towards foes met in the field of battle (although this has to be balanced with the fact that if he had won, he would have to wipe out Daeron and his numerous offspring to ensure his hold on the throne...), his apparent grief at the death of his eldest sons. And then consider him as a victim of Aegon IV's machinations as well. He might have become the next Aemon the Dragonknight, a legendary Kingsguard knight who guarded his half-brother's back. He might have become a great lord, perhaps even supplanting men like Baelor Breakspear or Bloodraven as Hand of the King. Some daughter of his might have wed one of Daeron's sons, eventually making him uncle of a king. There were a lot of possibilities that were shut out because of what Aegon IV did to him and to Westeros. 

Finally, you say Eustace can't be used as a representative of the Blackfyre faction, and yet that's what he clearly is: he provides the most in-depth explanation of why someone might have chosen to follow Daemon, rattling off several distinct reasons which certainly covered a very broad swath of Blackfyre's supporters. His key insight -- that Daemon and Daeron were simply "two princes" -- echoes what George himself has said when asked by fans about the reason for Blackfyre's rebellion, namely that Daemon as a legitimate rival to Daeron provided a figure that people with disparate reasons for being upset with Daeron could coalesce around and form a greater rebellion than might otherwise have happened without Daemon as a unifying figurehead. Is it possible some lord or two went to war over having lost a father or brother in Daeron's invasion, or out of personal animus towards the Dornish specifically because of the Young Dragon? Sure. Is it possible that the Young Dragon's death was a major and unifying cause for the Blackfyre Rebellion? No.

 

 

Edited by Ran

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29 minutes ago, Ran said:

Text

For me the issue is threefold:

First, the level of proof you're requiring (explicit word-for-word) would basically mean (to use an in-series example) Frey Pies couldn't be a thing. Second, as I've said before, just because GRRM has (per your word) detailed notes does not preclude him adding more when he actually sits down to write the whole thing out. As he himself says "it grows in the telling". Third, I find the binary reductionism of claiming all the Blackfyre supporters=ambitious warmongerers to be uninteresting from a thematic standpoint, not to mention it doesn't explain the sheer numbers that backed the Black Dragon, nor does it intersect with GRRM's penchant for moral complexity ("the human heart in conflict with itself") and showing the good/bad sides of both factions in a conflict (e.g-Dance of the Dragons, ASOIAF).

Beyond that my argument re the Young Dragon is precisely what you just said:

That it would have been an issue for at least some and that this issue would have contributed to the general anti-Dornish sentiment in Westeros, particularly after Aegon IV spent his whole reign stirring the pot, such that when Daeron II brought Dorne into the realm he made the same mistake Jon does in ADWD re the Wildlings: He pushes too hard, too fast and in so doing generates a backlash spearheaded by the lords of the Reach, who supported Daeron I (+ Aegon IV?) the most and were probably the most infuriated at seeing their ancient enemies getting (in their minds) all the rewards (four royal marriages, the concessions in the treaty, some offices of note, and major court presence in general since Daeron II brought "many" Dornishmen to KL when he assumed the throne).

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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57 minutes ago, Ran said:

Finally, you say Eustace can't be used as a representative of the Blackfyre faction, and yet that's what he clearly is: he provides the most in-depth explanation of why someone might have chosen to follow Daemon, rattling off several distinct reasons which certainly covered a very broad swath of Blackfyre's supporters. His key insight -- that Daemon and Daeron were simply "two princes" -- echoes what George himself has said when asked by fans about the reason for Blackfyre's rebellion, namely that Daemon as a legitimate rival to Daeron provided a figure that people with disparate reasons for being upset with Daeron could coalesce around and form a greater rebellion than might otherwise have happened without Daemon as a unifying figurehead. Is it possible some lord or two went to war over having lost a father or brother in Daeron's invasion, or out of personal animus towards the Dornish specifically because of the Young Dragon? Sure. Is it possible that the Young Dragon's death was a major and unifying cause for the Blackfyre Rebellion? No.

Yeah, it is extremely bizarre to claim Eustace can't be used as a representative of the Blackfyre faction, especially since he gives us our greatest insight into those of Daemon's supporters who were far removed from the Dornish marches and constant conflict with Dorne. If he demonstrated an obsession with Dorne, then we might have a case for houses far removed from the marches supporting Daemon over their feelings toward Dorne. But he doesn't. And other than possibly House Peake, can anyone name a house or warrior from a house located in or near the Dornish Marches that supported Daemon? I had trouble finding another, though I imagine there are more. Most of the Reach houses that participated appear to be located near the southwest coasts of the Reach and Westeros, or around the Gods Eye in the Riverlands. No doubt anti-Dornish sentiment would have been manipulated, but I don't see most of these houses and warriors joining Daemon over anything to do with Dorne. Sure, some or many of them might have lost people in Daeron I's war, but the same can be said of them losing people against each other in the Dance. That didn't stop them from fighting together under Daeron I. The Dornish just do not hold up to scrutiny as the or even a main cause of the Blackfyre Rebellion.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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@Bael's Bastard

Good point. We don't have any specific marcher lords mentioned. There's a Flowers -- could have been from the Marches? 

Of course, I suppose it's pretty unfair to note that in THK -- before George ever came up with the Blackfyres and the Blackfyre Rebellion -- you have a Caron and Swann participating at a tourney thrown by Lord Ashford with an eye towards impressing the Targaryens who would be present. And a Hightower, later said to have a foot in both camps. And a Bracken. And an Oakheart, a Penrose, and on and on. 

Leaving that aside, though, the thing that leapt out at me as I considered the houses named as being involved in some fashion in the rebellion is the fact that the Oakhearts are mentioned as also having had a foot in both camps. This is interesting to me because of the Green Oak, the Kingsguard knight treacherously killed alongside of Daeron. You'd think, hey, this is a perfect house to have a great deal of Dornish enmity due to their perfidy. And yet, here they are, supporting both sides. Hrm...

 

Edited by Ran

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@Ran

Unless you can confirm this we don't actually know the Green Oak died alongside Daeron I.

In fact, if I recall correctly, AFFC just says he died at the side of the Young Dragon in the Prince's Pass, which could have been before the false parley.

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4 hours ago, Ran said:

His key insight -- that Daemon and Daeron were simply "two princes" -- echoes what George himself has said when asked by fans about the reason for Blackfyre's rebellion, namely that Daemon as a legitimate rival to Daeron provided a figure that people with disparate reasons for being upset with Daeron could coalesce around and form a greater rebellion than might otherwise have happened without Daemon as a unifying figurehead.

I'm trying to make sure I understand, what you are saying...

I got the impression you are suggesting people backed Blackfyre because it was in their interest (or they had some interest in opposing Daemon) and he was simply a rallying point for them.

But what Eustace is saying the complete opposite right? In fact everything I've read points to the exact opposite being true...

So I must misunderstand something right?

 
 
Quote

 

"The castle?" He seemed confused. "Coldmoat . . . Coldmoat was promised me by Daemon, yes, but . . .
it was not for gain, no . . ."
"Why were you a traitor? If it wasn't just the castle."
Ser Eustace looked at Egg a long time before replying. "You are only a young boy. You would not understand."
"Well," said Egg, "I might."
"Treason . . . is only a word. When two princes fight for a chair where only one may sit, great lords and common men alike must choose. And when the battle's done, the victors will be hailed as loyal men and true, whilst those who were defeated will be known forevermore as rebels and traitors. That was my fate."
Egg thought about it for a time. "Yes, my lord. Only . . . King Daeron was a good man. Why would you choose Daemon?" 
"Daeron . . ." Ser Eustace almost slurred the word, and Dunk realized he was half drunk. "Daeron was spindly and round of shoulder, with a little belly that wobbled when he walked. Daemon stood straight and proud, and his stomach was flat and hard as an oaken shield. And he could fight . With ax or lance or flail, he was as good as any knight I ever saw, but with the sword he was the Warrior himself. When Prince Daemon had Blackfyre in his hand, there was not a man to equal him . . . not Ulrick Dayne with Dawn, no, nor even the Dragonknight with Dark Sister.
"You can know a man by his friends, Egg. Daeron surrounded himself with maesters, septons, and singers. Always there were women whispering in his ear, and his court was full of Dornishmen. How not, when he had taken a Dornishwoman into his bed, and sold his own sweet sister to the prince of Dorne, though it was Daemon that she loved? Daeron bore the same name as the Young Dragon, but when his Dornish wife gave him a son he named the child Baelor, after the feeblest king who ever sat the Iron Throne.
"You can know a man by his friends, Egg. Daeron surrounded himself with maesters, septons, and singers. Always there were women whispering in his ear, and his court was full of Dornishmen. How not, when he had taken a Dornishwoman into his bed, and sold his own sweet sister to the prince of Dorne, though it was Daemon that she loved? Daeron bore the same name as the Young Dragon, but when his Dornish wife gave him a son he named the child Baelor, after the feeblest king who ever sat the IronThrone. 
"Daemon, though . . . Daemon was no more pious than a king need be, and all the great knights of the realm gathered to him. It would suit Lord Bloodraven if their names were all forgotten, so he has forbidden us to sing of them, but I remember. Robb Reyne, Gareth the Grey, Ser Aubrey Ambrose, Lord Gormon Peake, Black Byren Flowers, Redtusk, Fireball . . . Bittersteel! I ask you, has there ever been such a noble company, such a roll of heroes?
"Why, lad? You ask me why? Because Daemon was the better man. The old king saw it, too. He gave the sword to Daemon. Blackfyre, the sword of Aegon the Conquerer, the blade that every Targaryen king had wielded since the Conquest . . . he put that sword in Daemon's hand the day he knighted him, a boy of twelve."

 

 

He didn't follow him out of self interest alone... 

You can judge a man by his friends... Blackfyre surrounded himself in heroes.

But even that was really just a product of a single simple truth...

Daemon was the better man.

What more righteous reason could you want?

And I understand that this could be explained away as the justifications of a done and dying man... but everything I read does seem to point to Daemon being the better man, and frankly, he was probably the rightful king.

 

As an example:

Quote

But when at last the Lady faltered, Blackfyre clove through Ser Gwayne's helm and left him blind and bleeding. Daemon dismounted to see that his fallen foe was not trampled, and commanded Redtusk to carry him back to the maesters in the rear.

 

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4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

I remember reading that someone asked him if Daena being the daughter of Aegon III played a role and he was supposedly caught off guard by the question before answering no.

I asked him that question once in some forum where readers could ask him questions (Ran put the thing in the SSMs somewhere). He made it clear that it was about the sword, not Daemon's maternal ancestry.

TWoIaF could have explored on all that. It did not. Which indicates George doesn't really want to reconsider this entire affair at this point. He certainly could should he ever get around to write a long treatise on the history of the reigns of those king but that's a thing for the (distant) future.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Finally, if what we have of Fire & Blood Volume 1 is any indication GRRM could easily expand on his notes when he writes Volume 2 to explicitly tie in the reigns of the Young Dragon and Baelor the Blessed with the FBR. 

He could - or not. But we are not talking about things that are in the future. We are talking about how things seem to be right now. In a sense, they are hanging in the balance, since any new tidbit of information creeping into the story through some remark about the past in a future book or Dunk & Egg novella has the potential of changing stuff.

But as of yet we have no indication to assume Daeron I's death played any role in the Blackfyre rebellion.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Indeed, it would not surprise me if Aegon IV used his cousin's murder to rile people up while he was gathering swords for his Dornish invasion, sort of like Northern politicians "waving the bloody flag" after the Civil War. Speaking of which, can you tell us if the invasion of 174 AC was the only one of its kind during Aegon IV's reign?

Ran doesn't have to tell us this - it is very much implied in the text of TWoIaF. King Aegon never again spoke of Dorne after that disaster.

And even there is no indication that there was still a strong resentment about the death of the Young Dragon - instead, Yandel presents us Aegon's failed war as a careful plot to estrange his son Daeron from his allies in the Stormlands by putting them against Daeron's strongest supporters (the Martells and Dorne).

It is certainly possible that Aegon publicly gave the Targaryen defeat in 161 AC as a pretext and justification for that war - but if he did that, then the resentment over the war didn't help the king and his cronies to continue the stillborn war after the wooden dragons had burned themselves, and the royal fleet was crushed in the storms.

If all of the Seven Kingdoms had been crying for (and dreaming about) vengeance for the Young Dragon throughout the entire reign of Baelor the Blessed then it would be rather odd that the wooden dragons fiasco and the loss of some ships deterred the warmongers.

That means that the times and the people did not exactly favor war.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Your claim that people might have seen Daeron I at the time of his death as a madman who had it coming is entirely headcanon and I refuse to believe it given his personality, the fact people still supported him after the death of Lord Lyonel Tyrell, and the outrage at his murder.

People were also outraged after the death of Aerys II by the hands of the Kingslayer. That doesn't mean all this people liked Aerys II or agreed with his policies or considered him a sane person.

But I never said that people thought Daeron was a complete nut case. I just used hyperbole to underline that it is by no means certain that people were eager to continue a stupid war that had already led to the death of 60,000 men - which would not really profit them all that much. I mean, come on, why should the majority of the lords and knights of the Seven Kingdoms want that tens of thousands of people die so that their dragon king can 'complete the Conquest' and add a desert wasteland to his domains.

Daeron speeches in 157 AC may have been inspiring. But when people realized the price of that adventure they may have called it madness in respect.

And if I'm not mistaken - not sure if @Ran remembers it, too - we have a rather old mentioning of George's where he points out that both Daeron I and Baelor the Blessed can be counted among the less obvious mad Targaryen kings. They are both rather extreme.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

People in medieval times justified rebellions through illegitimacy and tyranny (which did include taking away the rights of the nobility) because those ideas stripped the king of his sacrosanct nature. Again, neither of those apply to Baelor the Blessed. There were no doubts about his parentage and it is a king's right to decide foreign policy. Thus, even though Baelor's decision stuck in many people's craw there was nothing anyone could do about it except protest because to do anything more would be to commit treason by breaking the king's peace.

 

The idea is that if lords can rebel because of tax issues and other privileges and rights they think that are theirs - as they do later during the reign of Aegon V - then they could also have rebelled against Baelor and his sham peace. If that's how they felt.

Daeron II was the crowned and anointed king for twelve years when Daemon Blackfyre finally had summoned enough courage to make his move. If you accept a 'false king' this long you cannot really cite the whole 'Daeron Falseborn' story, either. That's ridiculous. It is obviously a pretext for a power grab. Daemon wanted to be king. And his followers wanted to see him on the throne. That's what the Blackfyre Rebellion is about.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Finally, I do feel the need to point out that we know very little about the political landscape of Westeros during Baelor's reign, not to mention how good/bad relations with Dorne were during those ten years.

We have a strong indication that they must have been pretty good. Daeron II and Prince Maron make a great public show of their gratitude towards Blessed Baelor. Baelor is the father of the peace treaty. Daeron and Maron were in the historic position to hammer out the details, but without Baelor's walk nothing would have happened.

After all, the place where the Targaryens and all their armies and occupying forces must have been really, really hated was in Dorne. They would have little reason to make peace with those cutthroats after they gave the dragon his due when they put down Daeron I. Yet Baelor's grand gesture of peace and humility obviously had an effect of them - else there wouldn't have been a peace nor a betrothal and marriage between Daeron and Mariah.

By the way - if we bring out recent events in the main series similar to the death of the Young Dragon - the Red Wedding, for instance - then this doesn't really support your idea of the psychology of the people there. Nobody in the North is crying for a continuation of war in the south. Some people - like the Manderlys and Glovers - are willing to plot against the Boltons and Freys but other Northmen - like Lady Dustin, the Ryswells, Arnolf Karstark and brood, and Hother Umber - are perfectly fine working with both the Boltons and the Freys (who are equally responsible for the Red Wedding).

Are you seeing Lord Manderly throwing away the life of his second son in another pointless war in the south after he has lost his first one there?

If Robb had been killed the way Daeron I was most of the North would have been able to make their peace with that. The Red Wedding is a harder pill to swallow.

4 hours ago, Ran said:

His key insight -- that Daemon and Daeron were simply "two princes" -- echoes what George himself has said when asked by fans about the reason for Blackfyre's rebellion, namely that Daemon as a legitimate rival to Daeron provided a figure that people with disparate reasons for being upset with Daeron could coalesce around and form a greater rebellion than might otherwise have happened without Daemon as a unifying figurehead. 

We have the very same thing with Renly in ACoK. What makes Renly king? The fact that he looks like his brother, King Robert. That and his charisma is what sets him apart from Stannis.

When push comes to shove people don't care about the right of primogeniture or other crap. Daeron II didn't look like a king, but Daemon Blackfyre did. So why shouldn't Daemon be king?

Even if Daeron was 'falseborn' - that would still not make Daemon Blackfyre the rightful king in his stead. Aegon's mistresses didn't give any sons until Barbra gave him Aegor, making Daemon Waters his oldest acknowledged bastard of high birth. But Aegon legitimized all his bastards on his deathbed, and chances are pretty high that a man rightfully claiming that he has slept with over 900 women during his life fathered quite a few sons on whores, serving girls, peasant women, etc. in the 150s and 160s.

And who knows? Perhaps even the boy Balerion was Aegon's seed? We don't know.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

First, the level of proof you're requiring (explicit word-for-word) would basically mean (to use an in-series example) Frey Pies couldn't be a thing. Second, as I've said before, just because GRRM has (per your word) detailed notes does not preclude him adding more when he actually sits down to write the whole thing out. As he himself says "it grows in the telling". Third, I find the binary reductionism of claiming all the Blackfyre supporters=ambitious warmongerers to be uninteresting from a thematic standpoint, not to mention it doesn't explain the sheer numbers that backed the Black Dragon, nor does it intersect with GRRM's penchant for moral complexity ("the human heart in conflict with itself") and showing the good/bad sides of both factions in a conflict (e.g-Dance of the Dragons, ASOIAF).

Eustace Osgrey isn't a warmonger. The man is multi-layered character. I have a lot of sympathy with the way the man is portrayed, actually.

There may have been many people following Daemon because they loved him, personally. Others may have believed the 'falseborn' story. Others that the man had been wronged by his royal brother (the story about the unjust arrest).

The tendency is pretty clear that Fireball and Bittersteel weren't exactly good or even nice people - and neither was Gormon Peake.

But Daemon himself seems to have been a good man, overall. He wouldn't have become a good king, most likely, but he was a good man.

And it is quite clear that the way the aftermath of the rebellions are described strongly indicates that out good guys are not condemning them. Dunk isn't, for instance, and Egg is learning from Dunk. Dunk is kind to both Eustace Osgrey and Gormon Peake. Even Daemon II Blackfyre.

One hopes that these two meet a second time. Daemon could have another dream about Dunk, and might even interpret that one correctly.

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

And other than possibly House Peake, can anyone name a house or warrior from a house located in or near the Dornish Marches that supported Daemon? I had trouble finding another, though I imagine there are more.

Lord Gormon wouldn't have been solely motivated by this Dornish thing. The Peakes must have their own festering wounds with the Iron Throne since the days of the Regency.

@Ran has never told us whether he knows what happened to Unwin Peake in the end, but chances are about zero, if you ask me, that Aegon III, Viserys, and their half-sisters allowed that man to get away with the murder of Queen Jaehaera, and all the other shit he tried during the rime he was in charge of the government.

The normal story of regents who try to reach to high during the days of the minority of a medieval monarch is downfall and death. We know Unwin Peake resigned eventually, but he wasn't destroyed as far as we know. But I'm pretty sure that the dragon must have shown the man his place later on - or perhaps even during the Regency account (we don't know all that much about what happened there).

But even if Unwin Peake got out of the whole thing alive, he would have still lost influence and standing with his peers, resulting in a growing resentment in the family over the years. Backing Daemon could have been part of Gormon Peake's plan to regain some lands Aegon III took from his house, etc.

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Most of the Reach houses that participated appear to be located near the southwest coasts of the Reach and Westeros, or around the Gods Eye in the Riverlands. No doubt anti-Dornish sentiment would have been manipulated, but I don't see most of these houses and warriors joining Daemon over anything to do with Dorne. Sure, some or many of them might have lost people in Daeron I's war, but the same can be said of them losing people against each other in the Dance. That didn't stop them from fighting together under Daeron I. The Dornish just do not hold up to scrutiny as the or even a main cause of the Blackfyre Rebellion.

One also has to keep in mind that we simply don't know a lot about the Blackfyre Rebellion. What about House Strickland, say? How important were they prior to the exile? From what part of the Reach are they, originally? We don't know.

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Grey Wolf,

It's Alester Oakheart who died in the Prince's Pass. For some reason people assume this was during the Dornish Conquest, but I suspect it was just one incident over millenia.  Each sentence is a different figure of Oakheart legend and history, depicted on different tapestries. So Edgerran is one tapestry, then Alester is another, then the Green Oak another still. I suggest the wiki should be edited on this point, I see.

The Green Oak was one of the Kingsguard murdered with Daeron.

LiveFirstDieLater,

Everything after that line is Osgrey's justification for why _he_ chose Daemon over Daeron. What I'm trying to stress, though, is that the only reason that Daemon was a choice as a person to follow that he was a "prince" who equal to the other "prince", Daeron -- they each had a claim to the throne. And the only reason Daemon had a claim of any kind to the throne was because of Aegon IV's deliberate actions to destabilize the realm by making a rival for Daeron out of one of his bastards. 

This goes for everyone else who rebelled. If there had been no figure they could rally around, their individual complaints against Daeron would likely not have been sufficient for an particularly effective revolt. They would just have groused, or negotiated, or made do, or maybe stirred up some local trouble, and that's it. But Daemon became a magnet for anyone who had cause to be upset with Daeron. 

Hence, everything else is an excuse. The actual cause of the Blackfyre Rebellion is Aegon IV's decision to screw the realm over by raising up a rival to Daeron from his deathbed. There may have been legitimate beefs among some few of the people who chose to follow Daemon, but without him the vast majority would not have stirred themselves against the crown.

 

Edited by Ran

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14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Lord Gormon wouldn't have been solely motivated by this Dornish thing. The Peakes must have their own festering wounds with the Iron Throne since the days of the Regency.

@Ran has never told us whether he knows what happened to Unwin Peake in the end, but chances are about zero, if you ask me, that Aegon III, Viserys, and their half-sisters allowed that man to get away with the murder of Queen Jaehaera, and all the other shit he tried during the rime he was in charge of the government.

The normal story of regents who try to reach to high during the days of the minority of a medieval monarch is downfall and death. We know Unwin Peake resigned eventually, but he wasn't destroyed as far as we know. But I'm pretty sure that the dragon must have shown the man his place later on - or perhaps even during the Regency account (we don't know all that much about what happened there).

But even if Unwin Peake got out of the whole thing alive, he would have still lost influence and standing with his peers, resulting in a growing resentment in the family over the years. Backing Daemon could have been part of Gormon Peake's plan to regain some lands Aegon III took from his house, etc.

One also has to keep in mind that we simply don't know a lot about the Blackfyre Rebellion. What about House Strickland, say? How important were they prior to the exile? From what part of the Reach are they, originally? We don't know.

I agree that the Peakes wouldn't have necessarily been solely motivated by anti-Dornish feelings. Just making the point that they are currently the closest thing to a possible house from the Dornish Marches that supported Daemon that we know of. I am not suggesting that the houses and individuals we know of are the extent of his support, but until we get more information that is what we have to go by. That said, while I don't find it a stretch that they had a hatred of the Dornish, the Peakes also already had a history of being very ambitious in regard to the Iron Throne decades before Daemon's rebellion, as you indicated. 

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Hence, everything else is an excuse. The actual cause of the Blackfyre Rebellion is Aegon IV's decision to screw the realm over by raising up a rival to Daeron from his deathbed. There may have been legitimate beefs among some few of the people who chose to follow Daemon, but without him the vast majority would not have stirred themselves against the crown.

It is not just that, it is Aegon the Unworthy giving the entire Realm a 'Fuck you!' on his deathbed. By legitimizing his entire illegitimate brood, he didn't exactly favor Daemon Blackfyre, specifically. He was giving them all the means and the incentives (although not the motivation) to turn against Daeron and each other.

It seems as if Aegon had intended to pit Daemon against Daeron if he had lived longer, legitimizing him when he came of age and making him so popular that he could use him to rid himself of Daeron, naming his his heir in the end.

But being the asshole he is he most likely would have still legitimized the entire brood to fuck up things for Daemon, too. Or whoever his successor would have been had he lived a few years longer.

And overall - what the hell were the issues the Stormlords and Reach lords had with King Joffrey or the Lannisters? The Tyrells and Redwynes had issues with Stannis over the siege of Storm's End (and perhaps also because of Stannis' Florent marriage) but there is no real reason why the hell the lords of the Reach and the Stormlands should prefer Robert's youngest brother over Robert's eldest son. Aside from, you know, ambition and power. King Renly is going to be more magnanimous to the lords who made him king than King Joffrey.

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I agree that the Peakes wouldn't have necessarily been solely motivated by anti-Dornish feelings. Just making the point that they are currently the closest thing to a possible house from the Dornish Marches that supported Daemon that we know of.

That is certainly true. However, since we see even there a potential other motivation - something that may have been more important for them than the Dornish thing - we cannot really cite the Peakes as Marcher Lords joining Daemon over the whole Conquest of Dorne thing.

Vice versa, we also have no clue whether the Peake Uprising that killed Maekar in 233 AC had anything to do with the whole Blackfyre thing. It is certainly possible, but while we don't know whether the Peakes stood with Haegon in 219 AC that's unclear.

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I am not suggesting that the houses and individuals we know of are the extent of his support, but until we get more information that is what we have to go by. That said, while I don't find it a stretch that they had a hatred of the Dornish, the Peakes also already had a history of being very ambitious in regard to the Iron Throne decades before Daemon's rebellion, as you indicated. 

The whole 'hatred of the Dornish' idea doesn't really fit well in the narrative of the rebellion. I mean, we do know that Daemon was supported by the Yronwoods. If there were Blackfyre supporters who hated the Dornish what did those people want/expect King Daemon to do? Was he supposed to attack/kill the Dornishmen? Wage a war against a country that was part of the united Realm for more than a couple of years?

@Ran's overall description above somewhere that the Dornishmen suddenly became competing with the other nobles for places at court is generally correct, I think, but the high nobility didn't really play a great role in the game at court in those years. The Lannisters had their short stint at court during the reign of Viserys I and the Dance, and the Arryns got their three marriages but no offices of note as far as we know. Dito the Starks and the Tullys (aside from Lord Edmyn's short tenure as Hand).

But then - Queen Mariah would have brought her own guard, ladies, servants, companions, knights, etc. from Dorne. Some Kingsguard could have been Dornish, and Mariah certainly seems to have been Daeron II's most trusted advisor, at least until she died.

The members of Daeron II's Small Council we know are Ronnel Penrose (technically Master of Coin), Ambrose Butterwell, Lord Hayford, and Baelor Breakspear as Hands, with perhaps Brynden Rivers serving as Master of Whisperers during Daeron II's last years (the man was at court when King Daeron died and the Great Spring Sickness devastated the city). Those decisions don't give the impression that Daeron II was favoring the Dornishmen. Rather that he favored his family - his cousin Elaena, son and half-brother. The Penrose Master of Coin - in addition to Aelinor Penrose as wife to Prince Aerys (and Jena Dondarrion as wife of Prince Baelor) strongly indicates that King Daeron unduly favored the Stormlanders to the highest degree. 

Even if we assume that Jena Dondarrion was also a Targaryen cousin - she was a Dondarrion and a Stormlander, too.

In the end, Michael Manwoody is the only known Dornish official in the service of the king, and he was sort of a mid-level agent, not a member of the Small Council. And he only happens to be Dornish because George actually chose to model the character after a former board member going by that very nickname, a man who died years ago and is still greatly missed by the people who actually knew him. In light of that, chances are not that high that Ser Michael Manwoody was created because George desperately felt that Elaena's third husband must be a Dornishman.

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

TWoIaF could have explored on all that. It did not. Which indicates George doesn't really want to reconsider this entire affair at this point. He certainly could should he ever get around to write a long treatise on the history of the reigns of those king but that's a thing for the (distant) future.

He could - or not. But we are not talking about things that are in the future. We are talking about how things seem to be right now. In a sense, they are hanging in the balance, since any new tidbit of information creeping into the story through some remark about the past in a future book or Dunk & Egg novella has the potential of changing stuff.

Ran doesn't have to tell us this - it is very much implied in the text of TWoIaF. King Aegon never again spoke of Dorne after that disaster.

The idea is that if lords can rebel because of tax issues and other privileges and rights they think that are theirs - as they do later during the reign of Aegon V - then they could also have rebelled against Baelor and his sham peace. If that's how they felt.

By the way - if we bring out recent events in the main series similar to the death of the Young Dragon - the Red Wedding, for instance - then this doesn't really support your idea of the psychology of the people there. Nobody in the North is crying for a continuation of war in the south. Some people - like the Manderlys and Glovers - are willing to plot against the Boltons and Freys but other Northmen - like Lady Dustin, the Ryswells, Arnolf Karstark and brood, and Hother Umber - are perfectly fine working with both the Boltons and the Freys (who are equally responsible for the Red Wedding).

One also has to keep in mind that we simply don't know a lot about the Blackfyre Rebellion. What about House Strickland, say? How important were they prior to the exile? From what part of the Reach are they, originally? We don't know.

I certainly hope he expands on the lead-up to the FBR because he clearly has changed his mind on some aspects (most notably the whole romance between Daemon-Daenerys).

Re my question to Ran: I was asking him whether or not there were any conflicts between 170-173 AC.

Re rebellion: Are you deliberately ignoring the part of my posts where I explain how medieval mindsets wouldn't have seen Baelor's peace as grounds for rebellion even if they didn't agree with it?

Re Starks: Barbrey has a personal beef with Ned, the Ryswells are related by blood to House Bolton, House Karstark was on bad terms with House Stark because of Lord Rickard's execution, and Hother clearly can't be trusted so your argument here falls short of the mark imo.

Re the FBR: One of the things I hope the FBR shows us is how certain families rose and fell from power. The Mandrakes were according to JonCon pretty significant at one point, as were the Belgraves, who don't show up in the series proper at all, to mention nothing of the Heddles, Waynes, etc.

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On 2017-11-30 at 5:34 PM, Ran said:

This  is the link. I'm cautious about this in the sense that we have it second hand from someone who may be substituting "absolute monarchy" for something else GRRM said, and that what is described doesn't really strike me as suggesting GRRM is denying the existence of the king's feudal obligations to his vassals.  "Absolute monarchy" often seems to have the meaning that lords have no rightful recourse against an unjust king -- because the concept of "justice" is solely the property of the king to define! -- but in fact there are agreed upon concepts of what is just and what is unjust, and what a vassal owes and what the suzerain owes. The recourse may be violent (rebellion) or less so (negotiation or capitulation), and the escalation to violence may lead to defeat or destruction, but still, these are legitimate things and we see in the text the sense that a king can indeed by just or unjust.

But if we simply mean by absolute only the sense that there is no formal means of putting a king to trial by law, then sure, I suppose he's absolute. But the actual relation between the king and his vassals is the feudal contract, and if contracts are broken, well, stuff can happen.

I've been sick so forgive me for a late reply.

Thank you for the link! I think you are right in that it could be misleading to take exactly what this guy may have written. To put it shortly I thik that you make a better argument with the feudal contract than the absurd idea of an absolute kingship who definies everything on a whim.

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