SunfyreTheGolden

Who was the best Targaryen King?

164 posts in this topic

9 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

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).

I think we discussed that thing in detail, once. I think the error there crept in with the chronology. Back in TSS the details of Daemon Blackfyre's seven sons - and who knows how many daughters - were not yet established.

With Daemon having to marry Rohanne as early as he does to make time for all her pregnancies before Daemon's death the time for a Daemon-Daenerys romance essentially disappears.

Or rather - there is still a chance for a romance there, but only while Daemon and Rohanne are already married, not before that. The idea that the 12-14-year-old Daemon and the 10-12-year-old Daenerys were deeply in love in the years before their father's death isn't all that likely. They would have been children. And if that had been the case - why on earth didn't these two royal children push their royal father to allow them to marry rather than marry Daemon to the Tyroshi woman? And the idea that Aegon the Unworthy entertained the notion of allowing his as of yet not legitimized bastard to take two wives - one of them a royal princess - when he himself as king shied away from such a scenario is pretty much ridiculous.

In that sense, the whole story of Aegon considering to allow Daemon two wives most likely is just a rumor the Blackfyre guys made up. It would be underline how much they believed in the specialness of this guy. And it is certainly possible that the relationship between Daeron and Daemon really began to deteriorate when Daemon actually dared to approach Daemon with as ridiculous a notion as taking Daenerys as a second wife - and he sure as hell could have started the legend that the Unworthy had given him permission to have two wives prior to his death, etc.

However, it is quite clear that being refused Daenerys' hand didn't have an immediate effect on the rebellion thing.

9 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

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?

No, I'm pointing out that things seem to be somewhat different in Westeros. There were rebellions against Aegon V who may have been on rather shaky grounds, just as the Peake rebellion against Maekar was.

Vice versa, I don't recall a case in medieval history involving a crowned and anointed king being deposed on the grounds that he wasn't fathered by the king. There is Edward V, of course, but the crucial part there is that he wasn't yet crowned and anointed.

Daeron and Daemon didn't fight for a crown after their royal father had died - like Rhaenyra and Aegon did - Daemon and all his cronies had accepted Daeron II as king, doing him homage, bending the knee to him, etc. for a period of twelve years. 

9 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

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.

No, it does not. Because all the people turning against the Boltons - or considering doing that, they have not really done so, not yet - only begin to act because their enemies make mistake after mistake. If Tywin hadn't died, Davos would have lost his head on the Sisters, if Cersei hadn't be stupid enough to send Ser Wylis Manderly back to White Harbor Lord Wyman would have done ... nothing. If Stannis had been fool enough to march with a wildling army against the Dreadfort he would have been destroyed, etc.

And, quite frankly, no Northman would turn against Roose and Ramsay if they had half-skinned Stannis Baratheon in their cage at Winterfell right now, having him beg to eat his fingers for all the North to see.

And again - toppling the Boltons, butchering the Freys in the North (and perhaps even lending the Riverlords a hand in destroying the Twins - isn't the same as a continuation of the war in the south. Nobody in the North seems to be dreaming about destroying Casterly Rock or conquering the West, no?

But that's more or less what you are suggesting the reaction to the death of the Young Dragon should have been. All of Westeros crying for the continuation for a war they had just lost twice, and paid very dearly for it.

9 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

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.

We got an indication of the Wayns in TSotD - they were one of the houses backing the Faith Militant. When the Targaryens burn your castle and take privileges and lands from you you are in decline. It was the same with the Osgreys. The Heddles seem to have been finished since the Second Rebellion, although they don't appear to have been that prominent. Black Tom just had the luck of marrying Lord Ambrose's oldest daughter.

Whether the Belgraves have anything to do with the Blackfyres we don't know at that point. And the impression we get from the Golden Company isn't really that all of the people there are genuine descendants of the houses they claim to be from. The Peakes are likely genuine, but the Mudds most likely aren't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Ran said:

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.

So I figured I'd sleep on it... but this still just doesn't sit with me.

Of course there had to be a figurehead for the rebellion, they were fighting to put a king on the throne.

But as we see with Egg and Aemon, and I think you kinda said, people looking to revolt can look for an available option.

Robert is another example, they didn't really revolt to make Robert king, but half way through the revolution he sort of shook out as the best option to replace Aerys. Ned revolted to end he killing of innocents, Robert to end dragonspawn, but in the end Honorable Ned gave the crown to Robert because he had the best claim, instead of seating himself on the throne. 

But what began the revolution was Aerys executing high lords and demanding the heads of Ned and Robert. (Of course this was precipitated by some roses and light treason)

The Daeron-Daemon situation began in a very similar way. Rumor of treason reaches King Daeron through Bloodraven, and he sends the Kingsguard to capture Daemon.

It isn't clear to me that Daemon would have revolted on his own, and its pretty clear his side wasn't well prepared to start a war. 

There may be a great parallel between Ned-Bittersteel and Tywin-Bloodraven, after the death of Robert-Aegon. Ned-Bittersteel trying to skip over the "heir apparent" because he's a bastard and the honorable move is to support the guy with the sword Stannis-Daemon. Tywin-Bloodraven support the bastard on the throne and use any means necessary to defeat their enemies.

And while Eustace states it as two princes claiming the throne, it wasn't quiet that simple... every conflict could be painted as simply as two sides struggling over power, but the details are important. 

Even simple Dunk cuts closer to the thick of it:

Some old dead king gave a sword to one son instead of another, that was the start of it.

So as you said, it comes down to the uncertainty of inheritance in the wake of Aegon's death... but it isn't so clear to me who was in the right.

Maybe it doesn't matter, but I can't help but ask if the terror of Bloodraven's rule might have been avoided if Daeron had given up the crown.

Aegon's intent seems to have been Daemon, why else legitimize his bastards and give him the sword? Maybe it really was just to cause trouble... but that doesn't really take away from the legitimacy of it.

There were rumors about Daeron being a bastard. Of course, we have no way of knowing either way.

Daemon appears to be considered the better man. All accounts I've read portray him as honorable and respected, the opposite of Bloodraven. 

So yes, the war was caused by an old king's sword and dying words, and his two princes both claiming the throne, but that doesn't mean both sides are equivalent or the same... moral judgements can still be made separate from who won and lost.

Two sides aren't morally equivalent just because they are opposed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Text

Re Daemon: I personally believe he intended to crown Daenerys as Queen of Love and Beauty at her wedding tourney. (I imagine Baelor Breakspear winning the final tilt would have left Daemon bitter and angry in this scenario.)

Re the Young Dragon: What I was suggesting was that people would want to continue the war in order to bring justice to Daeron I's murderers the same way you point out the Northmen and the Riverlanders both are plotting against the Freys/Boltons/Lannisters and we know for a fact this was the sentiment before Baelor I made peace.

This is where we differ: I believe the strong feelings present before peace was made would not have disappeared (at least not completely) whereas you believe they would have healed.

Re the Belgraves: The reason I brought up them and the Mandrakes is because in order for the Dance to be the worst war in Westerosi history and Maegor to have earned his sobriquet we ought to given some examples of prominent houses that were wiped out during the time of the Targaryen regime.

 

Edited by The Grey Wolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LiveFirstDieLater

We agree that the fundamental cause of the Blackfyre Rebellion is Aegon IV creating a rival to Daeron. Works for me.

As to moral equivalency, you're right. They weren't equivalent. Daeron the Good was clearly in the right, Daemon Blackfyre clearly in the wrong. :)

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

So I figured I'd sleep on it... but this still just doesn't sit with me.

Of course there had to be a figurehead for the rebellion, they were fighting to put a king on the throne.

But as we see with Egg and Aemon, and I think you kinda said, people looking to revolt can look for an available option.

Robert is another example, they didn't really revolt to make Robert king, but half way through the revolution he sort of shook out as the best option to replace Aerys. Ned revolted to end he killing of innocents, Robert to end dragonspawn, but in the end Honorable Ned gave the crown to Robert because he had the best claim, instead of seating himself on the throne. 

But what began the revolution was Aerys executing high lords and demanding the heads of Ned and Robert. (Of course this was precipitated by some roses and light treason)

The Daeron-Daemon situation began in a very similar way. Rumor of treason reaches King Daeron through Bloodraven, and he sends the Kingsguard to capture Daemon.

It isn't clear to me that Daemon would have revolted on his own, and its pretty clear his side wasn't well prepared to start a war. 

There may be a great parallel between Ned-Bittersteel and Tywin-Bloodraven, after the death of Robert-Aegon. Ned-Bittersteel trying to skip over the "heir apparent" because he's a bastard and the honorable move is to support the guy with the sword Stannis-Daemon. Tywin-Bloodraven support the bastard on the throne and use any means necessary to defeat their enemies.

And while Eustace states it as two princes claiming the throne, it wasn't quiet that simple... every conflict could be painted as simply as two sides struggling over power, but the details are important. 

Even simple Dunk cuts closer to the thick of it:

Some old dead king gave a sword to one son instead of another, that was the start of it.

So as you said, it comes down to the uncertainty of inheritance in the wake of Aegon's death... but it isn't so clear to me who was in the right.

Maybe it doesn't matter, but I can't help but ask if the terror of Bloodraven's rule might have been avoided if Daeron had given up the crown.

Aegon's intent seems to have been Daemon, why else legitimize his bastards and give him the sword? Maybe it really was just to cause trouble... but that doesn't really take away from the legitimacy of it.

There were rumors about Daeron being a bastard. Of course, we have no way of knowing either way.

Daemon appears to be considered the better man. All accounts I've read portray him as honorable and respected, the opposite of Bloodraven. 

So yes, the war was caused by an old king's sword and dying words, and his two princes both claiming the throne, but that doesn't mean both sides are equivalent or the same... moral judgements can still be made separate from who won and lost.

Two sides aren't morally equivalent just because they are opposed.

Nice imagination, but the gist of your post bears little to no resemblance to the facts presented in the books. There was no dispute about the succession in the aftermath of Aegon's death. Daeron peacefully succeeded his father as his only legitimately born son and heir, nearly two decades older than his next eldest son of note, and ruled for over a decade before two of Aegon's legitimized bastards attempted to usurp the throne. Neither Aegon's legitimization of his bastards nor giving Blackfyre to one of them changed that Daeron was nearly two decades older than the formerly bastard Daemon, and at no point did their places in the succession change. Aegon might have loved the idea of Daemon succeeding him, but even the extents of his efforts was just to sew seeds of chaos for Daeron's reign. 

Edited by Bael's Bastard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Nice imagination, but the gist of your post bears little to no resemblance to the facts presented in the books.

Thank you! 

Quote

There was no dispute about the succession in the aftermath of Aegon's death.

At least not openly that we know of...

Quote

Daeron peacefully succeeded his father as his only legitimately born son and heir, nearly two decades older than his next eldest son of note, and ruled for over a decade before two of Aegon's legitimized bastards attempted to usurp the throne.

Unless Daeron was a bastard... 

 
Quote

 

The king's quarrels with his close kin became all the worse after his son Daeron grew old enough to voice his opinions. Kaeth's Lives of Four Kings makes it plain that the false accusations of the queen's adultery made by Ser Morgil Hastwyck were instigated by the king himself, though at the time Aegon denied it. These claims were disproved by Ser Morgil's death in a trial by combat against the Dragonknight. That these accusations came at the same time as Aegon and Prince Daeron were quarreling over the king's plans to launch an unprovoked war against Dorne was surely no coincidence. It was also the first (but not the last) time that Aegon threatened to name one of his bastards as his heir instead of Daeron. 
After the deaths of his siblings, the king began to make barely veiled references to his son's alleged illegitimacy—something he dared only because the Dragonknight was dead. His courtiers and hangers-on aped the king, and this calumny spread.

 

 

 

Of course I understand that the above quote is intended to make me doubt the legitimacy of the rumors... but it would kinda explain a lot. 

It isn't totally unsupported by the text of the series either...

Quote

"I love him, Father, I truly truly do, I love him as much as Queen Naerys loved Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, as much as Jonquil loved Ser Florian. I want to be his queen and have his babies."

And...

Quote

"My father was Maekar, the First of his Name, and my brother Aegon reigned after him in my stead. My grandfather named me for Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, who was his uncle, or his father, depending on which tale you believe. Aemon, he called me …"

 

Just the fact that he's remembered as Daeron the Good makes me suspicious though... so grains of salt all around.

 
Quote

Neither Aegon's legitimization of his bastards nor giving Blackfyre to one of them changed that Daeron was nearly two decades older than the formerly bastard Daemon, and at no point did their places in the succession change. Aegon might have loved the idea of Daemon succeeding him, but even the extents of his efforts was just to sew seeds of chaos for Daeron's reign. 

But Daeron being a bastard means he was never rightful king...

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

But Daeron being a bastard means he was never rightful king...

To be a bastard would require some proof that he was a bastard. The one time it was put to a trial , it was proven a false accusation through the expedience of a trial by combat. After that, Aegon may have made remarks, but he never formally attempted to have Daeron declared illegitimate. More importantly, when he died, Daeron was still his acknowledged son and heir. 

He was cognizant enough on his deathbed to sign a decree legitimizing all of his bastards. If he truly wanted to disinherit Daeron, he could have signed that decree as well, but he did not. Instead, what he really wanted was just to screw things up: undercut Daeron, set up a rival in Daemon, and chuckle to himself at the thought of the realm barreling towards a civil war down the road.

Just bear in mind that Aegon IV is considered by GRRM to be the worst of the Targaryen kings, because of his gleeful misrule. Once you look at his behavior in the worst possible light, you're closer to the historic truth than otherwise.

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ran said:

To be a bastard would require some proof that he was a bastard.

I'm assuming you mean we can't know he was a bastard without proof, being a bastard or not isn't really dependent on proof being available later... nor can we ever expect to get proof either way.

But his dad openly insinuating the idea in court is certainly evidence, just not at all diffinitive.

Quote

The one time it was put to a trial , it was proven a false accusation through the expedience of a trial by combat. After that, Aegon may have made remarks, but he never formally attempted to have Daeron declared illegitimate. More importantly, when he died, Daeron was still his acknowledged son and heir. 

He was cognizant enough on his deathbed to sign a decree legitimizing all of his bastards. If he truly wanted to disinherit Daeron, he could have signed that decree as well, but he did not. Instead, what he really wanted was just to screw things up: undercut Daeron, set up a rival in Daemon, and chuckle to himself at the thought of the realm barreling towards a civil war down the road.

I'm a little confused, since it seems that Aegon did try to have Daeron publically proclaimed a bastard when he instigated (through a third party) the whole trial by combat where the Dragonknight won. However, he seemed to have some reason not to openly proclaim it, wether this was fear of the Dragonknight or some other repercussion, or just some evil scheme to cause chaos after his death... I can't say.

Quote

Just bear in mind that Aegon IV is considered by GRRM to be the worst of the Targaryen kings, because of his gleeful misrule. Once you look at his behavior in the worst possible light, you're closer to the historic truth than otherwise.

Oh, I'm not defending Aegon the Unworthy! 

But I'm going to try and be suspicious of other rulers too... like Baylor the Blessed, who has a positive monicker but wasn't a good king... that said, the pit of vipers stunt was badass, even if it was stupid and killed him.

Also, Aegon's doing things maliciously, and intentionally leaving the realm in disarray, doesn't speak very well of Daeron being left in charge... but I won't blame him or Daemon for the sins of their father(s).

I would guess we'll never know the truth of Daeron's heritage, but if even Aemon questioned it, I think there is enough to at least be suspicious.

Because in light of that suspicion, and back to the point of it boiling down to two princes fighting over a throne, and everything else we know about the great bastards involved, the Blackfyres are looking like a pretty sympathetic cause.

After all, if Daeron's legitimacy is in question, Eustace's whole "better man" with better friends argument might hold a lot of water.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I'm a little confused, since it seems that Aegon did try to have Daeron publically proclaimed a bastard when he instigated the whole trial by combat where the Dragonknight won.

It seems he put Hastwyck up to making the claim of infidelity. Hastwyck was killed in the trial by combat. This raises the question, of course, why King Aegon was incapable of making the declaration himself. The likely answer is that he wanted to stir the pot and cause trouble, but not so much trouble that he was going to face an open revolt. You have to imagine that the legendary Dragonknight, paragon of chivalry, hero, probably had a lot of people who'd back him... and to say the least, the Martells likely would, given that Aegon was trying to wriggle out of the peace Baelor made.

 

 

 

15 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

 

Also, Aegon's doing things maliciously, and intentionally leaving the realm in disarray, doesn't speak very well of Daeron being left in charge does it...

Given that it took the varying of efforts of the Dragonknights, the Martells, and Daeron and his allies to keep him in his rightful place, I'm not sure this follows.

My guess is that Aegon foresaw that there would be more trouble by naming Daemon legitimate and settng him up as a rival down the road, rather than a deathbed decree for a 14-year-old Daemon to be named his heir. You'd have to imagine that if he tried that, Daeron and co. would have quickly seen this as Aegon's last act of misrule and seized young Daemon -- then just a knight -- and basically sorted things out somehow. By only legitimizing him, he trusted that Daeron's instinct to approach things from a direction of law and order would make him accept said decree, and that his instincts as revealed later on would leave Daemon to grow older, form allies, etc. as he became a pole that attracted malcontents. 

Have you ever read the Flashman novels? Here's the first. George cited his idea of an Aegon IV novel as being inspired by Fraser's Flashman books. The titular character is a cowardly, brutish scoundrel, constantly up to no good. They're good fun, but simply seeing Aegon as the Targaryen Flashman will make it impossible to countenance that he had much in the way of goodness in him and that his instincts were largely base and malicious.

 

15 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

 

After all, if Daeron's legitimacy is in question, Eustace's whole "better man" with better friends argument might hold a lot of water.

The "better friends" thing is silly. Why harp on it? If we had old Ser Arlan still alive, no doubt _he_ could have rattled off a bunch of heroes who supported Daeron.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Ran said:

It seems he put Hastwyck up to making the claim of infidelity. Hastwyck was killed in the trial by combat. This raises the question, of course, why King Aegon was incapable of making the declaration himself. The likely answer is that he wanted to stir the pot and cause trouble, but not so much trouble that he was going to face an open revolt. You have to imagine that the legendary Dragonknight, paragon of chivalry, hero, probably had a lot of people who'd back him... and to say the least, the Martells likely would, given that Aegon was trying to wriggle out of the peace Baelor made.

 

 

 

Given that it took the varying of efforts of the Dragonknights, the Martells, and Daeron and his allies to keep him in his rightful place, I'm not sure this follows.

My guess is that Aegon foresaw that there would be more trouble by naming Daemon legitimate and settng him up as a rival down the road, rather than a deathbed decree for a 14-year-old Daemon to be named his heir. You'd have to imagine that if he tried that, Daeron and co. would have quickly seen this as Aegon's last act of misrule and seized young Daemon -- then just a knight -- and basically sorted things out somehow. By only legitimizing him, he trusted that Daeron's instinct to approach things from a direction of law and order would make him accept said decree, and that his instincts as revealed later on would leave Daemon to grow older, form allies, etc. as he became a pole that attracted malcontents. 

That makes a lot of sense, even if it's rather logical for the Unworthy himself, in a twisted sort of way! 

3 minutes ago, Ran said:

Have you ever read the Flashman novels? Here's the first. George cited his idea of an Aegon IV novel as being inspired by Fraser's Flashman books. The titular character is a cowardly, brutish scoundrel, constantly up to no good. They're good fun, but simply seeing Aegon as the Targaryen Flashman will make it impossible to countenance that he had much in the way of goodness in him and that his instincts were largely base and malicious.

I'll check it out! Thanks!

3 minutes ago, Ran said:

The "better friends" thing is silly. Why harp on it? If we had old Ser Arlan still alive, no doubt _he_ could have rattled off a bunch of heroes who supported Daeron.

I wonder how silly it is though... there's something to be said for the company a man keeps...

Since Aegon the Unworthy muddied the waters of inheritance with the sword, the bastards, the legitimising bastards, the calling of the legit one a bastard... it's hard to know the "legit" king.

So one starts to ask who the better king would be... and for that, the men around them matters, especially when those are men like Bloodraven (who ruled in all but name).

So if I was deciding who to support, the men matter, frankly more than the legitimacy of some inhertited claim...

And I for one would side with these men:

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?

Ser Quentyn Ball was the master-at-arms at the Red Keep. He taught my father and my uncles how to fight. The Great Bastards too. King Aegon promised to raise him to the Kingsguard, so Fireball made his wife join the silent sisters, only by the time a place came open, King Aegon was dead and King Daeron named Ser Willam Wylde instead. My father says that it was Fireball as much as Bittersteel who convinced Daemon Blackfyre to claim the crown, and rescued him when Daeron sent the Kingsguard to arrest him. Later on, Fireball killed Lord Lefford at the gates of Lannisport and sent the Grey Lion running back to hide inside the Rock. At the crossing of the Mandel, he cut down the sons of Lady Penrose one by one. They say he spared the life of the youngest one as a kindness to his mother."

...

Our word is good as gold has been their boast since the days of Bittersteel.

...

"So close a thing . . . if Daemon had ridden over Gwayne Corbray and left him to his fate, he might have broken Maekar's left before Bloodraven could take the ridge. The day would have belonged to the black dragons then, with the Hand slain and the road to King's Landing open before them. Daemon might have been sitting on the Iron Throne by the time Prince Baelor could come up with his stormlords and his Dornishmen.

 

As far as I can tell these are men of honor... loved, oathkeepers, sparing the defeated, treating a fallen foe with respect... 

They seem like the better men, especially compaired to Bloodraven who was a liar and oathbreaker, violated guest right, probably murdered Fireball and certainly dishonorably killed Daemon and his sons. 

So I don't think it's silly, but I would love to hear what heroes fought for the other side!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know basically nothing about any of these men outside of their martial prowess, except that Fireball was someone who rose beneath a corrupt king and who forced his wife into the silent sisters so he could become a Kingsguard, and that Bittersteel was a bitter, unhappy man who whispered poison into Daemon's ear and forged a sellsword company that would attract other bitter, unhappy men from Westeros for decades to come. 

I'm sure all the named individuals were skilled fighters. So were Wild Wyl Waynwood, Gwayne Corbray, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar, Bloodraven, etc.

I'm not sure what was dishonorable about killing people on the battlefield. Do you think Daemon didn't have archers in his army? Heh.

 

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Ran said:

You know basically nothing about any of these men, except that Fireball was someone who rose beneath a corrupt king and who forced his wife into the silent sisters so he could become a Kingsguard, and that Bittersteel was a bitter, unhappy man who whispered poison into Daemon's ear and forged a sellsword company that would attract other bitter, unhappy men from Westeros for decades to come. 

Fair enough, I do have very little regarding any of them to go on... all the information I have is second hand at best... but what I do have is stories about honor on one hand and dishonor on the other... so I'm working with what I have.

Quote

I'm sure all the named individuals were skilled fighters. So were Wild Wyl Waynwood, Gwayne Corbray, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar, Bloodraven, etc.

I'm not sure what was dishonorable about killing people on the battlefield. Do you think Daemon didn't have archers in his army? Heh.

He was missing his crossbows apparently! Haha

Its not just about being martial skilled, it's about honor, and it's the context, and the fact that it's one of a number of things Bloodraven did that I find troubling at best and almost certainly evil.

The example of the using arrows to mortally wound a son so as to keep the adversary there and kill him too just happens to be how he won in that case, to do it while Blackfyre was trying to help a fallen foe I find dishonorable and distasteful, kinslaying aside.

When we add that to the other examples of Bloodraven we have, there is added context as well... making me more willing to believe the account of him being a villain.

I don't think even Bloodraven denies oathbreaking, breaking guest right and kinslaying when he offered safe passage to Daemon's son and murdered him when he arrived.

Even in Dunk and Egg when we see the state of the kingdom under his rule it's one of a reign of terror, priests who speak out against him swinging in cages beside the road with their eyes burned out. 

After descending on Whitewalls, I also found his dealing with the traitors to be questionable... in that it's the opposite of Ned's advise, the man who casts the sentence should swing the sword, not quickly tick off names to die...

So I don't claim to have all the facts, but I never will, so my opinions on them, and their relative merits are based on what I've got.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Between the Hightowers (whose support was apparently half hearted), Peakes, and Brackens (who, BTW, all belonged to the Greens during the Dance), we have some of the most ambitious families re: the Iron Throne of the seventy or so years leading up to the First Blackfyre Rebellion.

The Hightowers had been this close to successfully usurping the throne from Viserys I's chosen successor (Rhaenyra). The Peakes and Brackens had plotted to make their daughters queens at the expense of the lives of the existing queens (Jaehaera, Naerys). The Brackens especially, who I imagine played a more significant role than most other houses in Daemon's rebellion, had a very recent and fresh vendetta against Daeron personally, as he had been largely responsible for pressuring Aegon to send Barba and Aegor away.

It is easy to see how houses like these and the bannermen and warriors from bannermen that supported Daemon while their liege lords supported Daeron, could have seen Daemon as an opportunity to increase their wealth, lands, titles, offices, etc. in a way that was not likely under Daeron. Some might have even envisioned themselves becoming the great lords of their region under Daemon.

Furthermore, I think there are implications that tend to be ignored about the tale that, even when he was still a bastard, Daemon was convinced he could follow in the footsteps of Aegon I and Maegor in having more than one wife. As a king, Daemon might have chosen or been persuaded to take a wife or wives in addition to his Tyroshi wife. And that he already had over half a dozen children by then doesn't discount the possibility that one or more of his supporters had such ambitions for their daughters.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

Nope. Alicent could have been as fertile as Aemma, giving the king no living sons, or only a daughter. Rhaenyra could die in childbirth (or even prior to childbirth of some illness).

Then have a bunch of illegitimate kids with Alicent and legitimize them if Rhaenyra dies.  Easy peasy.  Bringing in more kids, especially a son, from a second marriage is an invitation to civil strife.

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

The Great Council has some legalistic morons interpreting it setting an 'iron precedent'. But guess what - kings set legal precedent, not some councils. That's a monarchy, not a democracy. The king makes and interprets the law, not his subjects.

I am quoting the Wiki.  Which is canon.  And even if it isn't, Viserys comes to the throne on the idea that females cannot inherit before males.  He KNOWS how his lords will react.

Which brings me to my second point.  If you don't know how feudal politics work, don't talk about them.  You don't.  Kings explicitly don't set legal precedent, because the Great Council of 101 has the legitimizing seal of Jaehaerys I on it.  It is legal precedent.  Westeros isn't an absolute monarchy, as we see once the dragons die; it is called a feudal contract for a reason, there are rights and responsibilities on each side.

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

Viserys was compelled to remarry because House Targaryen was down to two male branches - one of them the barren branch of Daemon, the other Viserys' female branch. If Viserys had married any other woman - especially Laena Velaryon - the same shit would have happened.

Right.  His marrying anyone is going to cause problems.  Which he knows.  That's how feudal politics work.  You insist on looking at this from a modern point of view, but if you're a feudal noble, this is a clear message.  And Viserys, again, knows it! He knows his Lords don't want a woman sitting the Iron Throne as anything more than regent, because they made that vocally clear in 101.  So he knows knows knows that having a legitimate son means civil war.  That Rhaenyra and Aegon II are some of the most awful people in Westeros is secondary.  And we get no indication, at all, that Viserys marries to propogate more Targaryens - which, by the way, would be actively against the practice of all feudal nobles, who don't want tons of branches competing for one seat.  "heir and a spare" is the phrase, and it applies to overgrown family trees as well.

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

In fact, I daresay the Hightower cabal would have staged their coup even if Rhaenyra had been male. They were motivated by personal hatred, greed, and ambition. Perhaps not as many lords and knights would have supported them but they would have done it anyway.

This is impossible to know.  They launch their bid for the throne because lots of people hate Rhaenyra, for reasons that are almost all explicitly tied up in her gender.  And if no one but the Hightowers, and a cadet branch at that, are part of the "coup" (and it isn't a coup, Aegon is the legitimate heir) are rebelling, then... it's not much a rebellion and who cares?

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

So what? His family could have just dealt with what he the father and king had decreed. This is not a democracy. Alicent, Daemon, Rhaenyra, Aegon, etc. - they all have no right to question their king. 

Right, but he's saying one thing and doing another.  Rhaenrya is the "heir," but every single action Viserys takes belies that.  Again, you are ignoring years of actions by Viserys, let alone the fact that the nobles do have a say.

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

Otto, Alicent, Cole, most members of the Green Council, the Green Kingsguard, etc. share most of the blame for the Dance. They arranged Aegon II's coronation without thinking things through. If they had instead called another Great Council discussing the succession again - which Otto as the Hand could certainly have done - then one could actually respect them. But then - the reason that they did is most likely that Rhaenyra and Daemon (and their people) would have demolished their case by pointing out that Ser Otto Hightower had been the architect of Rhaenyra being declared the Heir Apparent - and perhaps event he first person to swear that oath of obeisance to her. If that fool forgot to include some kind of clause into the vow or the royal decree naming Rhaenyra the Heir Apparent stating that this only was the case while the king had no trueborn sons then he doesn't deserve to be let off the hook.

Again, the Great Council of 101, which we know set an "iron precedent", declares that a woman cannot inherit above a man.  We are additionally informed that Viserys I was told this many times, and refused to acknowledge it.  Lord Varys, this is one of those times when the text explicitly contradicts what you're saying.  Your counterargument is also not historically accurate.  So there isn't even an interpretation to be brought in from feudal poltiics in the real world.

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

And in general, a king can do as he wants anyway. He is not bound by any decrees or traditions, especially not in relation to as important a matter as his own succession.

Explicitly not true, both in universe and in the real world (see: English Charter of Liberties as an example).  You are confusing the idea of an absolute monarchy with that of a feudal monarchy.  Yes, the king has a great deal of power, mostly through the dragons.  But in both Westeros and the real world, the king's legal authority is often tenuous, and he needs buy in from his barons to do anything unless he does so through force of conquest.

Again, this is not a negotiation or matter of opinion.  You are wrong.  GRRM thinks you are wrong.  Every feudal historian living will tell you you're wrong.  This isn't Breitbart, where you get to create the opinion you want and then declare everything else fake news.  Go learn a little history.

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

That is just nonsense. Men are not responsible for the actions of their children. And neither are men responsible for the ridiculous legal presumptions of their family. Nobody forced Alicent and Otto to prop up Aegon the Elder as potential pretender to the Iron Throne.

But both children have a valid claim to the throne.  Aegon II isn't a "potential pretender".  He has a very valid legal claim, notably the same legal claim which allowed Viserys I to take the Throne!  This isn't a Daemon Blackfyre situation, where a clear pretender is capitalizing on widespread discontent to make a plea for the Iron Throne.  The Great Council of 101 sets an iron precedent; men inherit before women.  Viserys knew this, so if he wanted Rhaenyra to be his heir, he shouldn't have had more kids, because he had been explicitly told by his nobles, before and since, that a male child would be considered the rightful heir over his daughter, regardless of his wishes.  He ignored that advice.  He is 100% to blame for what happened, because both Rhaenyra and Aegon II have decent to excellent legal cases for inheriting.

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

Nope. Again - precedents are not binding. You can cite them, but you can also completely ignore them. You can also create new precedents by doing what you want to do. Especially if you are the king.

This society has traditions and stuff, but those traditions can be changed. Ask the crownless Starks, Lannisters, Arryns. Ask the lords who no longer can practice the Long Night because a king made a new law, etc.

No, no, no, no!  In feudal societies, precedents ARE considered binding.  Which is why feudalism as we know it came to exist!  Usually fiefs are given out by the king every time the vassal dies.  As time goes on and certain families inherit individual titles/lands, that tradition becomes binding.

To be the most generous, Viserys I knows that having a son will cause a disputed succession, because there are a ton of lords who have effectively said as much, because to allow that precedent to be cast aside would imperil their own successions.  At least generous, we take the actual, canonical text, which says that the Great Council sets an "iron precedent".  To allow Rhaenyra to ascend over Aegon II implicitly delegitimizes Viserys I himself and all he did.

On 11/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

One could perhaps say that people pushing Viserys to settle the succession at his age - just to ensure Daemon could not possibly become king - shouldn't have been so stupid/eager to think about what's going to happen after the death of the king.

But that's how things were. And in 105 AC the only alternative to Daemon was Rhaenyra.

Well that is the problem with a feudal monarchy.  But Daemon as king doesn't mean civil war.

Viserys I actively and knowingly causes the Dance, and this is all but made explicit by the text, which calls him weak willed in addition to all the other very clear evidence that Aegon II would be considered the legal heir of Rhaenyra.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Re Daemon: I personally believe he intended to crown Daenerys as Queen of Love and Beauty at her wedding tourney. (I imagine Baelor Breakspear winning the final tilt would have left Daemon bitter and angry in this scenario.)

I'd agree that he may have tried to stir up trouble and make a fool of himself, like Criston Cole did during Rhaenyra's wedding tourney, but it seems that wedding tourneys may not have had the whole 'queen and love and beauty' thing as a standard part of the procedures. It isn't part of Rhaenyra's or the Whitewalls wedding tourney, either. Thus one guesses that this kind of thing was usually part of a different type of tourney.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Re the Young Dragon: What I was suggesting was that people would want to continue the war in order to bring justice to Daeron I's murderers the same way you point out the Northmen and the Riverlanders both are plotting against the Freys/Boltons/Lannisters and we know for a fact this was the sentiment before Baelor I made peace.

We have proof of desire to kill the Dornish hostages, we have no proof of people pushing Viserys (and later King Baelor) to continue the war or avenge the murdered king by means of a new war.

It may even be that the Prince of Dorne ended up punishing some people for the murder of Daeron I. We don't really know who did it or who was responsible for it. @Ran might now, but I don't.

But the fact remains that not all the Northmen or Riverlords are on board of the 'Frey/Bolton revenge' idea, nor would those men plotting stuff go through with it if the enemy continued to have the upper hand.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

This is where we differ: I believe the strong feelings present before peace was made would not have disappeared (at least not completely) whereas you believe they would have healed.

I'm not saying they would have gone, either. I'm just saying they didn't play a role in the Blackfyre Rebellion. We have no evidence that Daeron's death was seen as this huge atrocity everybody was pissed about for decades. People got the Dance behind then, too. Just look how Unwin Peake could murder the daughter of the king - then his queen - in whose name he had been fighting during the Dance.

4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Re the Belgraves: The reason I brought up them and the Mandrakes is because in order for the Dance to be the worst war in Westerosi history and Maegor to have earned his sobriquet we ought to given some examples of prominent houses that were wiped out during the time of the Targaryen regime.

I agree with you there insofar as I'd like to see such eradications of houses, too, but the fact is that we don't need those for Maegor being a tyrant or the Dance being the worst war. Maegor can just kill a lot of people without good cause, just as the Dance could simply have been the war with the highest number of casualties. 

The Mandrakes sound like a house of First Men descent, so they could have been extinct for a long time (like the Mudds) only to be used by men in the Golden Company as a fancy name. And House Belgrave isn't the only house which has only been mentioned in passing up to this point. The Stauntons of Rook's Rest loom high in the history of Westeros yet they have yet to show up in the series. I'd like it if it turned out that Aerys II burned Lord Symond Staunton, his Master of Laws, at one point during the Rebellion, crushing the entire house in the process of it (perhaps not by mimicking the Duskendale approach but by simply attainting the entire line, and giving the castle to some other house or destroying it).

3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

At least not openly that we know of...

We know there was no such dispute. The succession can only be disputed in the open. We hear earlier that there were people who wanted to see Princess Daena crowned when Baelor the Blessed died, so if there had been people challenging Daeron's claim at the time of his father's death we would have heard that, too.

3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Unless Daeron was a bastard... 

Daeron wasn't a bastard. He cannot possibly be a bastard since he was born in wedlock and acknowledged by his father as his son upon his birth - not to mention his grandfather Prince Viserys, King Aegon III, and the later kings Daeron and Baelor.

Any child born in wedlock is legitimate unless the father (successfully) accuses his wife of adultery and refuses to acknowledge the child as his. Aegon the Unworthy never did such a thing.

It is the same with King Aenys, Rhaenyra's sons by Laenor Velaryon, and even Robert Baratheon's children by Cersei. Stannis and Ned believing - and even knowing - stuff has no impact on reality unless some real authorities rule on the issue. Ned could have done that as Hand, Lord Regent, and Protector of the Realm. But now Joffrey and Tommen are both crowned and anointed kings. Only some sort of divine ruling of the newly empowered Faith - backed, perhaps, by a testimony of Jaime Lannister - could transform Tommen and Myrcella Baratheon into bastards.

In the case of Daeron II King Aegon could have ruled on the matter. He was free to denounce his son as a bastard born of incest and adultery. He could also have chosen to not name him his heir - when he himself took the throne as well as during his reign or on his deathbed. He did neither.

And by the way - the whole issue of Ser Morgil fighting a trial-by-combat only concerned the accusation of adultery in general. Aemon and Naerys sleeping together doesn't make Daeron Aemon's son unless they had proof that Aegon IV didn't sleep with her around that time and Aemon - and only Aemon - did.

If that had been the case Aegon would likely have refused to acknowledge Daeron as his son on the day of his birth, and he most definitely would have never named his heir later on.

3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:
But Daeron being a bastard means he was never rightful king...

He was crowned and anointed. That's what makes you king, not your legitimate birth. King Aenys also ruled as king despite the fact that it is not that unlikely that he wasn't the Conqueror's seed.

3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I'm assuming you mean we can't know he was a bastard without proof, being a bastard or not isn't really dependent on proof being available later... nor can we ever expect to get proof either way.

Since there are no paternity tests in this world a bastard technically is only a person born outside of wedlock. A child born in wedlock is the child of the father unless he objects. And if he acknowledges a child as his it is not up to you - or anyone in this world - to challenge that.

3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I'm a little confused, since it seems that Aegon did try to have Daeron publically proclaimed a bastard when he instigated (through a third party) the whole trial by combat where the Dragonknight won. However, he seemed to have some reason not to openly proclaim it, wether this was fear of the Dragonknight or some other repercussion, or just some evil scheme to cause chaos after his death... I can't say.

It was just a trial about the adultery of the queen with her other brother, not about the paternity of the king's son. The insinuation there certainly was that - if Naerys was adulterous - Aegon might also not be Daeron's father, but the Dragonknight took care of the entire thing.

3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

After all, if Daeron's legitimacy is in question, Eustace's whole "better man" with better friends argument might hold a lot of water.

Not really. Then Daeron would be the son of a better man - Aemon the Dragonknight - and Daemon Blackfyre still be the illegitimate son of Aegon IV. Daeron would still be the better man - and most definitely the better king.

2 hours ago, Ran said:

My guess is that Aegon foresaw that there would be more trouble by naming Daemon legitimate and settng him up as a rival down the road, rather than a deathbed decree for a 14-year-old Daemon to be named his heir. You'd have to imagine that if he tried that, Daeron and co. would have quickly seen this as Aegon's last act of misrule and seized young Daemon -- then just a knight -- and basically sorted things out somehow. By only legitimizing him, he trusted that Daeron's instinct to approach things from a direction of law and order would make him accept said decree, and that his instincts as revealed later on would leave Daemon to grow older, form allies, etc. as he became a pole that attracted malcontents. 

One could even spin the thing much further. Aegon seems to have been the kind of guy who could read people like books - a narcissist who knew how to get what he wanted, without any concerns for the people around him, especially not his family.

By not naming Daemon his heir Aegon enabled Daeron II to reach out his hands to his half-siblings, and that may have been precisely what Aegon wanted him to do. The Blackfyre poison could only fester at this point if Daemon was allowed to live at court and be close to the royal family, perhaps even part of it. If Aegon had openly turned against Daeron on his deathbed, naming Daemon his heir, Daeron II might have been forced to move against Daemon instead of raising him - and the other bastards - at court. If Daemon had been executed, exiled, or sent to the Wall Daeron II may have been able to resolve the entire situation.

Instead, it seems Daeron II may have tricked himself into believing the whole strategy that worked with Brynden Rivers might also work with Daemon Blackfyre (and perhaps even Aegor Rivers). Win their allegiance by treating them kindly. It also seems to have worked with Shiera Seastar, by the way.

But we can say that it is very likely that Aegon IV would have named Daemon his heir if he had lived just a few years longer. If Daemon had been a man grown by the time of Aegon's death his chances of seizing the throne would have been much better - especially with Daeron stuck on Dragonstone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Then have a bunch of illegitimate kids with Alicent and legitimize them if Rhaenyra dies.  Easy peasy.  Bringing in more kids, especially a son, from a second marriage is an invitation to civil strife.

Legitimization isn't the kind of thing a king strives for. Or do you think Daemon and his heirs would just accept some bastards on the throne. Or the Velaryons of the older line?

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

I am quoting the Wiki.  Which is canon.  And even if it isn't, Viserys comes to the throne on the idea that females cannot inherit before males.  He KNOWS how his lords will react.

A king isn't bound by past precedents. Else the First Night would still rule in Westeros. His lords actually accept Viserys' decree. They do homage to Rhaenyra as Heir Apparent and Princess of Dragonstone. And they continue to do so after Aegon is born.

The wiki isn't canon. The actual quote is

Quote

In the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC thereby established an iron precedent on matters of succession: regardless of seniority, the Iron Throne of Westeros could not pass to a woman, nor through a woman to her male descendents.

It is the majority opinion of the legal gang, but the king isn't bound by any of that. In the eyes of many Asha Greyjoy and Alys Karstark have strong claims to Pyke and Karhold, but Arnolf Karstark and Euron Greyjoy don't care about that. And neither did King Viserys.

His decision to ignore the Great Council would have set a precedent, too.

Viserys is also not bound by the way he himself came to the throne when he regulates his own succession. Maegor usurped the throne. Does that mean his successor also has to steal the throne from him?

And we actually do have evidence that Viserys' decision had an impact on the history of the Realm. If the first Great Council really had set an 'iron precedent' then nobody would have considered the claims of Daena and her sisters upon Baelor's death, and nobody would have ever brought up the claim of simple Princess Vaella during the Great Council of 233 AC. Yet all those claims were actually considered.

Robert's ascension is another blow to this 'iron precedent' interpretation. Obviously King Robert is a Targaryen through the female line, right? So what is he doing on the Iron Throne when he cannot take it?

There is mention of anyone arguing that Viserys' own claim to the throne would be called into question if he named Rhaenyra his heir. In fact, his court supported that idea to prevent the prospect of a King Daemon, never mind the fact that his succession was favored by the outcome of the Great Council.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Which brings me to my second point.  If you don't know how feudal politics work, don't talk about them.  You don't.  Kings explicitly don't set legal precedent, because the Great Council of 101 has the legitimizing seal of Jaehaerys I on it.  It is legal precedent.  Westeros isn't an absolute monarchy, as we see once the dragons die; it is called a feudal contract for a reason, there are rights and responsibilities on each side.

Who cares about the seal of a dead king? 'We have a new king now', as Cersei would put it. King Viserys, not King Jaehaerys.

There is also no reason to believe the Great Council had any authority to tell King Jaehaerys what to do, either. The king asked the lords for their opinion. He could have ignored them. The fact that he chose to confirm their notion doesn't mean he was bound by it.

It is also pretty obvious that kings can and do set precedents all the time. Whenever a king rules on a controversial - or not so controversial - issue he creates a precedent. And the idea that the voice of the lords on the question of succession are particularly loud or relevant is by no means certain.

The fact that a king has a certain amount of duties to his lords - however ill-defined they are - doesn't mean the succession is among them.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Right.  His marrying anyone is going to cause problems.  Which he knows.  That's how feudal politics work.  You insist on looking at this from a modern point of view, but if you're a feudal noble, this is a clear message.  And Viserys, again, knows it! He knows his Lords don't want a woman sitting the Iron Throne as anything more than regent, because they made that vocally clear in 101.  So he knows knows knows that having a legitimate son means civil war.  That Rhaenyra and Aegon II are some of the most awful people in Westeros is secondary.  And we get no indication, at all, that Viserys marries to propogate more Targaryens - which, by the way, would be actively against the practice of all feudal nobles, who don't want tons of branches competing for one seat.  "heir and a spare" is the phrase, and it applies to overgrown family trees as well.

A king needs a queen, both in Westeros and reality. And a queen gives you children if she can. In light of the child mortality and life expectancy in a world like Westeros the idea that Viserys I should have been content with a single heir is just ridiculous. Aerys II and Rhaella weren't either. In fact, children usually are seen as a blessing in those cultures, not a curse. We also see this with Aerys/Rhaella when Yandel tells us that people were expecting them to have many more children after Rhaegar. Daeron II had four sons. Maekar six children. Daemon Blackfyre seven sons and an unknown number of daughters.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

This is impossible to know.  They launch their bid for the throne because lots of people hate Rhaenyra, for reasons that are almost all explicitly tied up in her gender.  And if no one but the Hightowers, and a cadet branch at that, are part of the "coup" (and it isn't a coup, Aegon is the legitimate heir) are rebelling, then... it's not much a rebellion and who cares?

This is rather easy to guess because as things turned out Rhaenyra and Alicent and their children grew to hate each other. If Rhaenyra had been a Rhaegar or some other male Targaryen and they had ended up hating each other just the same way Rhaenyra and Alicent did then things would have gone pretty much the same way. You do recall that Daemon Blackfyre and Renly also claim the throne on pretty feeble grounds, right? The right of primogeniture and other legal matters don't matter at all if you hate somebody - or your ambition tells you that this king would be a lot better than that king. That kind of rationale was Otto Hightower's explicit reasoning when he decided to push Viserys to name Rhaenyra his Heir Apparent. He didn't give shit about the Great Council, either.

Rhaenyra was the legitimate heir. She was named the Heir Apparent by her royal father, and no one questioned that Viserys had the authority to name her the Heir Apparent.

There is no evidence that the power of the king was restricted in that matter - or any other, in fact. Now, there were people who thought the king shouldn't have done that. Should have stuck to Andal tradition and the precedent of the Great Council, etc. But guess what - even those people didn't tell the king that he couldn't do what he did. And no one rebelled against King Viserys while he was alive.

That tells us that the people opposing Rhaenyra's ascent to the throne were all lickspittles, hypocrites, and traitors. None of them dared to denounce Viserys as a false king over the issue of the succession.

And pretty much no one hated Rhaenyra in 129 AC. Aside from the cabal at court. She was no longer as loved as she had been in her youth, but there is no indication that many people hated her. I'd not even go as far as to say that Lord Grover Tully and Ironrod Wylde hated her. They just thought she should not be queen. But those are different things.

As to the coup thing:

It is obviously a coup. It is done secretly in the night, the people involved in it know they are doing something they shouldn't do (evident by the amount of secrecy, deception, unlawful arrest, and murder they are using to accomplish their goals). They all turn against the will and wishes of their late king, and they know it. Otto Hightower speaking with the King's Voice there is a travesty. The man knows what his king would have wanted him to do and he did the exact opposite. Rhaenyra is neither informed about the death of her royal father nor told about the coronation of her half-brother.

And the thing is - Aegon II's coronation changes things. Now there is a crowned king in KL. There is a living, breathing male alternative to Rhaenyra sitting on the Iron Throne. It is rather easy to reconsider your options in such a reality. Do you remain loyal to the chosen and anointed heir of your late king, or do you go along with the facts the Hightowers and their cabal created in the capital?

And still half the Realm (or more) stood with Rhaenyra. The Greens were hoping everybody would fall in line after their coup. But they did not.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Right, but he's saying one thing and doing another.  Rhaenrya is the "heir," but every single action Viserys takes belies that.  Again, you are ignoring years of actions by Viserys, let alone the fact that the nobles do have a say.

What say? The say to ignore their dead king's wishes even before his body is cold. That's cowardice and treason.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Again, the Great Council of 101, which we know set an "iron precedent", declares that a woman cannot inherit above a man.  We are additionally informed that Viserys I was told this many times, and refused to acknowledge it.  Lord Varys, this is one of those times when the text explicitly contradicts what you're saying.  Your counterargument is also not historically accurate.  So there isn't even an interpretation to be brought in from feudal poltiics in the real world.

See above. You are making too much of that iron precedent thing. Laws are not made of iron in this world. They are made of pudding, and deliberately so.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Explicitly not true, both in universe and in the real world (see: English Charter of Liberties as an example).  You are confusing the idea of an absolute monarchy with that of a feudal monarchy.  Yes, the king has a great deal of power, mostly through the dragons.  But in both Westeros and the real world, the king's legal authority is often tenuous, and he needs buy in from his barons to do anything unless he does so through force of conquest.

There is no indication that the Targaryen kings were limited by any legal institutions. Basically it is take the shit the king is serving you or openly rebel. But rebellion is treason, so you are down to zero legal options. There is no Parliament, no Magna Carta, nothing restricting the power of the king in any way.

That is basically the very definition of an absolutist monarchy. It is a monarchy in which the king is the highest legal authority, unbound by law or other legal institutions. And absolutist monarch is also only a powerful as his subjects allow him to be. And he, too, can be overthrown by illegal rebellion. Any government can. 

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Again, this is not a negotiation or matter of opinion.  You are wrong.  GRRM thinks you are wrong.  Every feudal historian living will tell you you're wrong.  This isn't Breitbart, where you get to create the opinion you want and then declare everything else fake news.  Go learn a little history.

I suggest you change your tone a little bit here. This is civil discussion.

We do know that King Aerys II named his second son Viserys his new heir after the death of Rhaegar at the Trident. He ignored the claims of Aegon and Rhaenys, Rhaegar's children. We also do know that Aegon IV threatened to name one of his bastards his heir in Daeron's stead. Both proves that king had the legal right and power to name their heirs. They were not bound by primogeniture or anything, especially not if their eldest son died. In fact, then usually proximity won over primogeniture, both when monarchs were making calls (Jaehaerys I in 92 AC, Aerys II in 283 AC) and when the lords were asked their opinions in Great Councils.

It is pretty clear that a king isn't bound by tradition or a strict set of rules when he rules on his own succession.

And it is actually utter stupidity to assume that he would be. Laws and customs cannot prepare a king for reality. What about the 'iron precedent' of no females and no males through the female lines if all potential heirs are female (or males through the female line)? Is the Iron Throne then supposed to remain empty?

What if the heir favored by tradition is a senile man, a lackwit, or an infant, supposed to inherit a throne with the Realm in danger?

Kings would be utter fools if they followed the letter of the law - assuming they were bound by it - or tradition in such circumstances rather than trying to do what's best for their kingdom.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

But both children have a valid claim to the throne.  Aegon II isn't a "potential pretender".  He has a very valid legal claim, notably the same legal claim which allowed Viserys I to take the Throne!  This isn't a Daemon Blackfyre situation, where a clear pretender is capitalizing on widespread discontent to make a plea for the Iron Throne.  The Great Council of 101 sets an iron precedent; men inherit before women.  Viserys knew this, so if he wanted Rhaenyra to be his heir, he shouldn't have had more kids, because he had been explicitly told by his nobles, before and since, that a male child would be considered the rightful heir over his daughter, regardless of his wishes.  He ignored that advice.  He is 100% to blame for what happened, because both Rhaenyra and Aegon II have decent to excellent legal cases for inheriting.

No, by the 'iron precedent' interpretation of the Great Council Rhaenyra had no right to claim the Iron Throne at all. Which means Viserys I would either be succeeded by Prince Daemon, his male heirs, or by a son of his own body, never by Rhaenyra or male heirs of her body. In that sense, the decision of 105 AC was already going against the Great Council. It had nothing to do with Alicent - or any other future wife of Viserys I - giving him sons.

Alicent having sons made things more complicated. But then - who cares, really? The king had spoken on the matter.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

No, no, no, no!  In feudal societies, precedents ARE considered binding.  Which is why feudalism as we know it came to exist!  Usually fiefs are given out by the king every time the vassal dies.  As time goes on and certain families inherit individual titles/lands, that tradition becomes binding.

There is ample evidence that precedents are not binding. That's why they are precedents, actually. A legal system based on precedents is never binding. A precedent has to be acknowledged and cited as such. And even if people recognize it as such, people could cite other precedents - or invent some, by taking obscure legal decisions and (re-)interpreting them.

But the really important thing is that a precedents are not binding to courts and lawmakers in our day and age - and certainly not in the middle ages - simply because they can be overturned and changed when times change - or, frankly, if the people making them feel like it. That's how Queen Rhaenys came up with her Rule of Six, or how Jaehaerys I abolished the First Night. There were thousands and thousands of precedents for that yet that didn't matter after the king had spoken.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

To be the most generous, Viserys I knows that having a son will cause a disputed succession, because there are a ton of lords who have effectively said as much, because to allow that precedent to be cast aside would imperil their own successions.  At least generous, we take the actual, canonical text, which says that the Great Council sets an "iron precedent".  To allow Rhaenyra to ascend over Aegon II implicitly delegitimizes Viserys I himself and all he did.

There is no hint that there is 'a ton of lords' who are opposing Viserys' decision on making Rhaenyra the heir. In fact, the only people opposed to that idea when it is made are those who later support most loyally - the Velaryons and Prince Daemon.

The Tullys, Lannisters - even the Hightowers - all wanted to marry Rhaenyra while she was Heir Apparent.

And again - nobody ever said anything about Viserys I naming Rhaenyra his heir damaged his authority and status as king in any way, shape, or form. That is fantasy of yours. It is not in the text.

1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

Well that is the problem with a feudal monarchy.  But Daemon as king doesn't mean civil war.

It did, in fact. When Viserys I died, Otto Hightower claimed Daemon would be king in all but name, seeing to it that he himself and Alicent would be executed.

Otto hated Daemon with a passion. He was obviously willing to do anything in his power to prevent the man from getting close to the throne.

That is why the Rhaenyra-Daemon marriage is pretty much one of the last points where the disaster could have been averted. Rhaenyra and Alicent/Otto may have perhaps been able to reach a compromise of sorts. But Rhaenyra/Daemon and Alicent/Otto obviously not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

14 hours ago, Ran said:

You know basically nothing about any of these men outside of their martial prowess, except that Fireball was someone who rose beneath a corrupt king and who forced his wife into the silent sisters so he could become a Kingsguard, and that Bittersteel was a bitter, unhappy man who whispered poison into Daemon's ear and forged a sellsword company that would attract other bitter, unhappy men from Westeros for decades to come. 

I'm sure all the named individuals were skilled fighters. So were Wild Wyl Waynwood, Gwayne Corbray, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar, Bloodraven, etc.

I'm not sure what was dishonorable about killing people on the battlefield. Do you think Daemon didn't have archers in his army? Heh.

 

Actually we know more about both Aegor and Quentyn than that they were skilled warriors, and we can make some arguments on what they were like on what we know.

We know that Fireball was chivalrous, as commented by Duncan the Tall himself, we know that Fireball used the services of prostitutes, we know that he was apparently not so corrupt that Daeron II removed him from office upon ascension and Fireball kept his office across a decade of Daeron's rule. And we know he wanted to be Kingsguard, was promised to be Kingsguard and pushed his wife to the Silent Sisters in order to be a Kingsguard.

We know that Aegor didn't grow up at court and so would reasonably have been distant from Aegon IV, we know that Aegor did to my understanding love Shiera even if he didn't get the girl, we know that Aegor managed to turn the rout after Daemon's death on the Redgrass Field into a charge, we know that he had a wife but apparently either didn't have children or never pushed them to the top as it was to our knowledge always about the descendents of Daemon that Aegor was fighting for.

My view on these characters are, seeing as I don't experience any particular need to either trash talk or lionize them, are the following.

Fireball: That Quentyn was selfish I think goes without question giving his treatment of his wife and that he decided to betray his king in pursuit of his dream and that he happily slept with prostitutes seems to me that he was very focused on his own wants above the call of duty. But at the same time its fairly certain that being a Kingsguard wasn't just a fancy for Fireball. All he did and his apparent commitment to a knightly ideal, minus the loyalty, show rather clearly that he was very serious about it and that it was his great dream. So therefore I would say that Fireball was a man who was consumed with realizing his dream, regardless of how many number of eggs he had to break along the way.

Aegor: I think the great theme of Aegor was "pawn". Not in that he was weak willed or that he was dancing on another's line, but that he seems to have been moulded by his Bracken family (Brackens being 100% idiot assholes to the last, each and every time they appear) to keep the grudges of his mother and then essentially moulded future generations of the Blackfyre line to continue their ancestor's fight. The fact that however it was always Blackfyres, not Aegor's children, who were the ones pushed towards the throne seems to me that  Aegor's great commitment and loyalty was to Daemon's legacy and not his own. Not to mention that he must have been a very, very great commander if he could turn a rout after Daemon fell, into a charge and the army kept fighting all the way until the Dornish showed up with Prince Baelor. As such I think that Aegor was probably, as a person, more of a dependent than independent person and that he was very, very loyal to those who he attached himself to, even after their deaths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

We know that Fireball was chivalrous

Sure, performative chivalry is a thing in Westeros. Jaime Lannister had it in spades. Criston Cole, too. Loras Tyrell is another example, and of course Renly. 

Would I consider Fireball a "true knight", like Duncan the Tall (heh) or Prince Baelor? No.

We see it from Daemon as well. Daemon  was probably a better person than Fireball was, for whatever that's worth. Neither of them seem to have been as consistently "good" as Baelor or the picture we have of Daeron. Aegor was a bad customer who had reasons for being angry at the world, but those are explanations rather than excuses, I think.

(Also, I'm not sure Fireball remained master-at-arms once Daeron passed him over. I think this is an assumption based on his being in position to rescue Daemon, but it feels like if he was spending a lot of time with Daemon that he was probably not at court at lot.)

Your assessment of the characters seems pretty solid, although given Bittersteel's success in founding and leading a sellsword company, he probably needs more credit as a leader and not simply a follower. Still, even then, yes, the Golden Company had a cause to follow -- the return to Westeros.

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Ran said:

Sure, performative chivalry is a thing in Westeros. Jaime Lannister had it in spades. Criston Cole, too. Loras Tyrell is another example, and of course Renly.

I know that bashing on chivalry is a thing among certain individuals, mostly to do with its modern use or misuse of the term and its lack of place in the modern world where we've found that for example work towards equality is more useful than chivalry. But to return to the subject Jamie Lannister does not have chivalry in spades even if he's striving to become such, nor did Criston Cole. We don't know if Renly was chivalrous but I'm inclined to say no, while Loras Tyrell does seem to possess a degree of chivalry. And while I suspect that Loras Tyrell was mentioned as a kind of figure to be seen in a negative light I see no reason to consider him some horrible person.

19 minutes ago, Ran said:

Would I consider Fireball a "true knight", like Duncan the Tall (heh) or Prince Baelor? No.

And neither would I, mostly to do with Duncan and Breakspear being very, very chivalrous and obeying their knigthly vows as opposed to forget about them afterwards, and remembering those vows is very chivalrous.

19 minutes ago, Ran said:

We see it from Daemon as well. Daemon  was probably a better person than Fireball was, for whatever that's worth. Neither of them seem to have been as consistently "good" as Baelor or the picture we have of Daeron. Aegor was a bad customer who had reasons for being angry at the world, but those are explanations rather than excuses, I think.

How would you know if Daemon would seem or not seem to have been as consistently good as Baelor? We know less about Daemon's personality, save that he "won friends easily and women were drawn to him" and what we do see of him he is very chivalrous towards the fallen Kingsguard. I don't recall us being given any story about him being an ass so until we actually get that information, I'm more inclined to support my own conclusions.

I haven't to my knowledge made any kind of excuses for either Fireball or Aegor. If I have please show me where.

19 minutes ago, Ran said:

(Also, I'm not sure Fireball remained master-at-arms once Daeron passed him over. I think this is an assumption based on his being in position to rescue Daemon, but it feels like if he was spending a lot of time with Daemon that he was probably not at court at lot.)

And I am perfectly sure that Fireall was the master-of-arms at that time. If he was it would explain why he was in the Red Keep to start with and why he could save Daemon, as if he was a factor that wasn't accounted for when it went down. If he'd been one of Daemon's companions then I would think that steps would be taken to neutralize him during the arrest and he would have precious little space to save anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LionOfTheWest,

I'm very fond of medieval chivalry and chivalric literature, have books on the subject on my shelf, have written papers on it, and characters like Loras and Jaime and Renly and Barristan are among my favorites, warts and all.

So, no, I'm not "bashing", I'm just pointing out the reality that the characters in the earlier post I named all "perform" chivalry at some point without necessarily having the positive moral qualities that the chivalric code supposedly enforced down in their bones. Loras's flowers, Jaime's dream of being like Arthur Dayne, Renly's wading in to break up the commons fighting over his bit of antler, Cole's famed gallantry -- these people live within a chivalric understanding of how to act, but for some it's more surface level than for others. Fireball forced his wife into the silent sisters, slept with prostitutes, but hey, "they say" (worth remembering, that one) he spared the life of a youth after killing all of his brothers "one by one" as a kindness to the mother -- it was a chivalrous deed, but maybe had he been _really_ chivalrous, maybe he wouldn't have been fighting against Daeron Targaryen and Lady Penrose's sons might have all survived.

Daemon being an ass sort of follows from his rebelling against his brother for no particular reason beyond his own vanity and ambition and having his head turned by the councils of other vain, ambitious men. That his father set him up for it is also an explanation, not an excuse. It's the tragedy of Daemon Blackfyre, alas.

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now