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Daecon Dayne

Question: Were there other distinguished families in Valyria before the Doom? Were the Targaryens ever subordinates to a superior house?

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Were the Targaryens the sole sovereign dynasty of Valyria? Or were there additional Dragonlord families? I'd love to hear about an ancient Valyrian house which might have rivalled/ruled over the Targaryens. From my recollections, nothing springs to mind.

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there were more powerful dragonlord families than the Targaryens but we dont really know much about them

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The Targs were by no means the most powerful ruling house in Valyria. They were one of three that escaped the Doom (The others being Velaryon and Celtigar), but the only ones who escaped with dragons.

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There were forty dragonlord families in Valyria and they were the must powerful people in the Freehold, and the Targaryens were among them, however, they were not near the most powerful of the forty families.

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Thanks for the info, folks. This has opened up a whole new branch of the series' canon for me to drool over. I think I'd implode if another Dragonlord came forth.

Celtigar seems eerily familiar... Was there not somebody in the events of ASoIaF who bore this name? I assume it wasn't a Dragonlord, else I would have had a stroke.

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Celtigar seems eerily familiar... Was there not somebody in the events of ASoIaF who bore this name? I assume it wasn't a Dragonlord, else I would have had a stroke.

The only Celtigar mentioned in the series that's alive is Lord Adrian Celtigar who fought for Stannis at The Blackwater.

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It's not too far fetched to guess that the power structure of Volantis is modeled after that of Valyria like most things in that city. In that case there might have been some Targaryens among the rulers of Valyria.

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I believe Valyria is modelled on Republican Rome. The 40 Great Families who dominated Valyrian politics were like the "30 Families" who dominated the Roman Senate. But, within that elite there was a kind of Ivy League, who enjoyed real pre-eminence.

The Targaryens were like the family of Julius Caesar or Mark Anthony. Very influential, but not quite part of the top flight.

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Valyria was a Freehold therefore no feudalism.

Ah, yeah. Forgot about that. I'd love a novella on Valyria from Martin, delving into the dynamics of how something akin to a republic gradually went on to become a conquest spearheaded by the Targaryens. I did a quick search and relearned that Valyrian houses did indeed swear to the Targaryens, resulting in a colossal superpower. Another great parallel with the Romans.

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The Targaryens were, undoubtly, one of the most powerful noble houses of the Valyrian Freehold.

Remember that not all the valyrians and their noble houses were destroyed in the Doom, sure, the Valyrians in Valyria were wiped out,but several colonies survived and, the greatest among them - Volantis - has several noble houses that don´t mingle with strangers and still control the only city in Essos that can rival Braavos.

Why there aren´t any other valyrian house with dragons in all Essos? Im sure that in the thousands of kms from the coast of the Narrow Sea to the sands of the Red Waste are plenty of space, resources and subjects to provide enough support, riches and prestige to any valyrians with dragons.

But, Probably the Dragonlords of Valyria, by tradition and practicable reasons (being near to the Fourteen Fires, a nexus to the strenght of their magic and dragons?) choosed to concentrate their forces in Valyria.

Until, one day, the Targaryens decided to go to Dragonstone.

Also, we must note this:

Valyrians subjugated Ghis with Dragons.

Valyrians subjugate Rhoyne with Dragons.

Valyrians - Targaryens - subjugate Westeros with Dragons.

For thousands of years the great nobles of Valyria - among them we must count the Targaryen dragonlords - ruled the greatest empire in the world, with suport of dragons.

After the Doom, the Volantene Valyrians implored to the Targaryens to return to Essos and rule over the remainings of the Freehold.

What is the meaning of all this?

The meaning is clear: the Targaryens were part of the "crème de la crème" of the valyryan society, they were part of a very elitist club of dragonlods, that were the true masters of the world.

And the only reason they still exist is simply because they listened to the prophetic words of a woman of their family and self-imposesed an exile over themselves in Dragonstone, waiting the impending and unavoidable destruction of their country.

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yea we don't know they name of the other 39 dragon lord families. Hell there were 2 that were fighting for majority control that kinda should have been named.

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I believe Valyria is modelled on Republican Rome. The 40 Great Families who dominated Valyrian politics were like the "30 Families" who dominated the Roman Senate. But, within that elite there was a kind of Ivy League, who enjoyed real pre-eminence.

The Targaryens were like the family of Julius Caesar or Mark Anthony. Very influential, but not quite part of the top flight.

Absolutely! Martin is such a history hound.

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Targaryen's only survived due to their castle being on Dragonstone far from Valyria.

House Celtigar & Velaryon have Valryian Blood but were not Dragonlords. House Blackfyre is a bastard Branch of the Targaryens although the male line is extinct, some beleive the female line continues through Varys & Aegon. Other houses with Valyrian blood include- Baratheon, Estermont & Hightower due to marriages with the Targaryens- see here http://awoiaf.westeros.org/images/c/c6/House_Targaryen_Family_tree.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WemjYwYCAy0 - This video explains Valryia and the Doom quite well :)

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Absolutely! Martin is such a history hound.

I don't know if Martin has given much information about Valyria. I assume that Volantis' constitution is similar to Valyria's. The three Triarchs who get elected annually are similar to the two Roman Consuls. All citizens have the right to vote, and the elections are genuinely competitive, but only the rich and well-born are contenders for the top jobs.

There is presumably a body similar to the Roman Senate.

Within such a system, you get families like the Appii Claudii, Caecilii Metelli, who are guaranteed a Consulship, so long as they don't disgrace themselves. Then, just outside that magic circle, you get families like the Julii Caesares (The Targaryens) who are guaranteed admission to the Senate, but have to be outstanding to get a Consulship.

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I believe Valyria is modelled on Republican Rome. The 40 Great Families who dominated Valyrian politics were like the "30 Families" who dominated the Roman Senate. But, within that elite there was a kind of Ivy League, who enjoyed real pre-eminence.

The Targaryens were like the family of Julius Caesar or Mark Anthony. Very influential, but not quite part of the top flight.

Yep. And, Romulus and Remus were sheppherds when they founded Rome, just like the early Valyrians were shepherds when they discovered the dragons. The Valyrians built major roads throughout their empire and were considered master stone workers just like the Romans. They fought multiple wars with Ghis (Carthage) early on in their rise to dominance. The Doom was the equivalent of fourteen superpowered Vesuviuses going off on the penisula of Italy (Valyria).

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I seem to recall from somewhere that the Targaryens were the least of the dragonlord families.

Hence their holding such a far-flung outpost of the Freehold, at Dragonstone.

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I don't remember anything about them being the least of the dragonlords. I would think they were a fairly average family of dragonlords until their self-imposed exile to Dragonstone.

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The info on this comes from a reading GRRM did at a convention from the upcoming World Book. He basically described how House Targaryen came to leave Valyria, gave some family tree info from then till the Conquest, and described the Conquest. No printed version was provided, so we're going on oral reports.

Since Valyria ruled for around 5000 years, the number of Dragonlord families was not constant- it varied from 20-40. The Targs were midrange. Dragonstone was taken by the Valyrians about 200 years before the Doom. (Please note that this is approx. the same time that Hardhome blew up.) Twelve years before the Doom, Aenar Targaryen removed to Dragonstone due to a prophetic dream his maiden daughter, Daenys the Dreamer, had. He took his 5 dragons, (including Belerion), and his client houses Celtigar and Verlaryon. The other dragonlords laughed and called him names (Aenar the Exile). Twelve years later Valyria blew up.

The talk included some info on Aegon the Conqueror's Small Council. A Massey served there, but since they weren't listed as a Targaryen client house, they may have already been in Westeros when Aenar got there. Meraxes and Vahgar were born/hatched on Dragonstone.

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Was their 'exile' to Dragonstone self-imposed?

I heard that they went to Dragonstone because of a prophecy about the Doom, but I also heard that the prophecy was invented after the Doom had occurred to protect their reputation.

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