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Canon Claude

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  1. And what exactly is Aegon supposed to do instead in that scenario?
  2. I don't understand. Why would a man dying in his sleep be an interesting story? Or do you mean to say that Torrhen might die some other way?
  3. I mean, we do know the basics. We know that Viserys will rule the realm bitterly while Aegon broods; the broken king and a broken reign sort of thing. Baela is going to have a tumultuous relationship with her Velaryon husband until she kicks it, and then he's going to move on to her cousin. Rhaena will have six daughters with one of the Hightowers. The fact that this is all that's been said about them suggests to me that they won't do anything ground-breaking or major. Rhaena isn't going to die in battle fighting dragons, Aegon isn't going to become another Maegor or another Jaehaerys, it all strikes me as resulting in a very mediocre reign for all of them. Otherwise, why has nothing been said about it? And it's not like there's a mystery to hide; we're not talking the Summerhall disaster here. There isn't going to be some disaster that nobody bothered to talk about, nor will there be a huge economic boom, or else why would it have been dubbed a broken reign? That said, there's lots of room for character development, and there's a few curiosities, too. The fact that Aegon named one of his kids after Rhaena and not Baela is an odd sign to me; Rhaena is the one with the dragon after all, so you'd think that would stand in the way of their relationship. Not so pointless, necessarily. Like I said, war creates jobs. Plus the Dornish would have been plundered during the conquest, and the Dornish never invade the Seven Kingdoms, so they don't do any domestic damage. Resources and manpower will be the only losses that the Iron Throne suffers. Plus the death of Daeron I is important, because then Baelor becomes king instead of whatever son that Daeron might have had. Viserys' branch never becomes in charge, and the whole history of Westeros is changed. The conquest will matter in several ways, I don't doubt it. True, Unwin never saw the sense in befriending Aegon rather than just using him as a figurehead, but that's not due to stupidity or incompetence. Tywin and Stannis never ever go out of their ways to make people like them, nobody calls them stupid. Unwin's failure isn't that he's too dumb, it's that he got too cocky and too ambitious. He'd successfully killed the Targaryen princess, a girl whom Aegon didn't even like. And to be fair, he did figure out that lesson eventually when he tried to make Aegon friendly with his daughter before the Cattle Show. And actually, that's another thing I like about Unwin as a character; he learns from his mistakes. What you use as examples of incompetence, I see as a learning curve. Owain Bourney's murder was clumsy (though it's not like he was alone in that, he was being backed up by House Hightower in killing Owain, so where's the incompetence?) and the Caltrops didn't make it work, but that's a different scenario. Unwin isn't in charge of the Caltrops, he's one member of many, and none of them have any real authority over each other. When the members get killed off, and Unwin is the last man standing after Second Tumbleton, he finds a limit to his ability when he can't rally the southern army. So, he conspires to take advantage of a surly boy king who is antisocial and emotionally dead inside. When that doesn't work, he plots to have the boy killed by a conspiracy which doesn't include him. It's almost like a reverse hero journey; Unwin goes from stabbing a rival in the eye at a war council to orchestrating an entire overthrow of power in King's Landing without setting foot in the city personally, and it almost worked. If Peake does nothing, they can't just touch him with impunity. Otherwise, how many nobles will see that as a threat against their own position. A whole noble house can die out just because the king holds a grudge? Kings who do that lose the support of their noblemen, in our history and in Westeros' history (Aegon IV, Maegor, Aerys II, Aegon II, Rhaenyra for that matter). And moreover, Unwin Peake brought 1000 soldiers and 500 mercenaries to a great council, why in seven hells would he ever be so careless as to openly rise up against a king looking for any excuse to kill him? That requires a level of stupidity that Unwin clearly hasn't sunk to in his entire life.
  4. Not necessarily true. Aegon III wasn't popular, he didn't ultimately die in that siege, and the Kingsguard who was besieging him turned loyal again. It's a gripping story but there was no disaster. Sure, it was a near miss that happened close to home, but I don't think it would touch the zeitgeist the way Jaime's kingslaying did.
  5. We're talking about GRRM, not Charles Dickens. The characters' names don't define their personality or their story arcs. 'Unwin' is an English surname that's well known enough without being common, and unique enough to stick in your mind. And not even a king could execute one of his most powerful lords without proof of his guilt. Otherwise you end up with someone like Maegor or Aerys II, and I don't need to remind you how that went for those psychopaths. If the king is actively targeting one of his lords in such an obvious manner, that's going to make him less popular. Again, the other lords have no idea that Unwin had anything to do with the secret siege. The fact that it's never brought up outside of FaB means that nobody really remembers it. It wouldn't surprise me that Unwin is able to use plausible deniability to avoid prosecution. And if he keeps his head down the same way that he did during the conspiracy against the Rogares, then I could easily see him being clever enough to offer veiled support to the pretenders and then backing off when they fail. Duplicity is kind of his thing, and if he suddenly abandoned it for brazen betrayal, that'd be the equivalent of Littlefinger's story arc in the hands of the Unspeakables.
  6. I don't understand what you're trying to say here. Torrhen was all about grand gestures to win over the smallfolk, it was Aegon III who brought that scheme to a grinding halt by saying he wasn't going to play the game anymore (admittedly, that's definitely a Stannis move, if ever there was one). But the regency is marked by economic disaster. The winter causes a massive famine in the North, the Iron Islands spent years laying waste to the Westerlands after their best warriors were slaughtered, and so many men are dead that it becomes known as the time when women ruled (yet somehow the only woman regent in King's Landing ends up doing dick-all in the story). My point is, all that damage isn't going to just go away, especially if there's four dragons that need to die, multiple pretenders to kill, and (in your eyes) at least one major lord who has to be defeated and killed before peace can return. You can't deny that that's a tall order for any ruler. Then why would Unwin be dumb enough to gamble on those doomed pretenders? He was smart enough to get away with killing a Targaryen princess. That alone would have gotten him drawn and quartered if he'd been caught. But even after this huge conspiracy is defeated and all the conspirators are tortured, not one of them testified that Unwin was involved. And I refuse to attribute that to mere luck on Unwin's part. Jaehaerys was capable of great thoughts. Our own history is full of boys who had to grow up quickly. Daeron I was definitely motivated by glory and triumph, but you don't just follow a 14-year-old boy because of his name or his desire to fight. You said it yourself; he needs to have one hell of a personality, one hell of a mind, to be able to win people over to his side. Daeron I is viewed as a legendary figure despite a pointless and destructive war; there needs to be more to him than just being an underage warlord. First of all, I covered this in my previous post; Gormon is not Unwin. It would be boring if every member of every family in Westeros had the same fates. Ned and Cregan are both Starks who travelled south and both tried to uncover a conspiracy, but with wildly different results. I would consider it bad writing if Unwin does the exact same thing as Gormon and suffers the same fate. What would be the point? GRRM doesn't repeat himself (quite) so blatantly as that. And second of all, Unwin came incredibly close to killing Aegon and Daenaera. The murder of a king is a big deal; they're the most powerful person in the realm, so if they're murdered, that makes for infamy. Even in the Seven Kingdoms, not that many kings die by murder. I can only think of Daeron I, Aegon II, and Aerys II (and I'm only counting those were confirmed to have been murdered, not war casualties or ambiguous deaths). Unwin's failure to kill the king wasn't due to his own mistakes; Aegon was saved by chance. If Gaemon hadn't died first and if Viserys hadn't thought to question Thaddeus Rowan, Aegon would be dead.
  7. I'm inclined to agree with you that Unwin will definitely support at least one of the fake Daerons, but I don't think that he would do it publicly. Unwin Peake is many things (ambitious, arrogant, resentful, bigoted), but he is not stupid. That's why he was able to commit murder, conspiracy, and treason without getting caught in the act. He was really good at acting through patsies or cronies rather than putting himself in the line of fire. And he would never throw his daughter away on some pretender that clearly wasn't a serious threat (or else there'd have been a Blackfyre-style kind of rebellion). The fact that a battered and severely depleted realm could still put down these pretenders should go a long way to explain how paltry and doomed their attempts ultimately were. Unwin wouldn't be dumb enough to die that way. My bet is that he continues to avoid being prosecuted for treason by leaning on plausible deniability. Maybe he provides financial support, or maybe he plays both sides, but I'm betting he'll evade any kind of satisfying punishment. It'll be his descendants who fail to learn the lesson, so that Gormon throws himself into being a great warrior without inheriting Unwin's craftiness.
  8. I always did wonder how Daeron I was in any kind of position to wage a giant war on Dorne so soon after the Dance of the Dragons. But it doesn't seem like Aegon had a particularly prosperous reign, especially since it isn't looked at fondly by anyone. And don't tell me it was all about Aegon's personality; people in power don't lose a popularity contest if their subjects are living happily. If the realm had really recovered so efficiently, Aegon would be looked at much more positively. This reminds me of that moment in Oliver Stone's JFK where one of the character says "the organising principle of any society... is for war." While I'm no expert on the subject, it does make sense to me. War has so often helped fuel an economic boom as a nation rallies around a unifying cause. And if that war is successful, it leads to profit. With that in mind, I'm willing to bet that Daeron I is responsible for the economic recovery of Westeros. He was smart enough to see how war can be used to bring the realm together in a way that never worked out for his dad. I'd be willing to bet that Aegon and his small council avoid expensive wars yet remain unable to get the Seven Kingdoms out of the economic slump caused by the civil war. Daeron will start talking a big game about how the kingdoms need to be united in war rather than divided, and so he bags on the Dornish as the perfect enemy. Everyone either doesn't care about them or despises them, but nobody loves them. The Dornish are the archetypal other who become scapegoats for Daeron's personal ambitions; he not only revitalises the realm, he also rallies it around the true king (and given that his name was Daeron, we can imagine Daeron I would be thinking about possible pretenders showing up again), and it provides Daeron with a legacy that will live on forever. And the proof is in Daeron I's legacy; he's not reviled for dying young in a destructive war, he's hailed as a heroic young figure. That makes me think that his war did lead to some kind of economic boom of sorts, which sticks around in the minds of the smallfolk. And then the death of Daeron I becomes tragic and glorious instead of a guy who gutted his already struggling subjects with an economic recession and disastrous war.
  9. Really? Brightroar is sillier, far as I'm concerned. I never said he'd be a good maester, but he's too proud to be a fool and too incompetent to be a military figure. By that logic, Daemon II might predecease his father too, and maybe Haegon or Aenys takes the throne instead. And to be honest, I don't see Daemon I, no matter how successful, surviving to the age of seventy. In fact, the only Targaryen king I can think of who made it that far was Jaehaerys. Nobody else lived that long, not even the good kings like Daeron II or Aegon V. Until GRRM writes about the huge Blackfyre civil war that tore Essos apart, I'll say that Blackfyre family squabbles are less damaging than Targaryen squabbles. But I do agree that yes, the Blackfyres are Targaryens with a different banner, but for simplicity, I'm talking about the different factions as distinct families.
  10. Bite your tongue! Daemon II doesn't matter to this scenario; he was 3rd in line to the throne, and assuming one of his older brothers survives, he'd probably become a maester instead. And the only thing we know about his older brothers is that they picked on Daemon II as children and they died on the battlefield fighting alongside their father. That's not enough to make a judgement on them as candidates for leadership. It took the Blackfyres several generations before they openly turned on each other, and when it happened, the guy who did it was that Cronenberg creation whose nickname was literally "Maelys the Monstrous." Daemon II didn't get Bittersteel's support, sure, but Gormon Peake was a fool to think that Daemon II would ever succeed where his father failed. And Aenys Blackfyre didn't betray his family through violence, he was just a naive idealist who trusted Bloodraven. We have no evidence of bloodshed and internal strife until Maelys, so I'd say that they managed to remain united far longer than House Targaryen ever managed. Because to be clear, Aegon I was still alive when the first rifts opened up within his family, and his sons usurped one another less than twenty years after Aegon I died.
  11. You're wrong about Dacey Mormont, she was not running away because she's a coward, she was running to raise the Northern soldiers outside the Twins. It would be super out of character for Dacey to just run away and try to save her own skin after all we know about her. Smalljon already flipped that table to cover the king, she didn't have to stand guard over him, and moreover, what would have been the point? She's got no weapons or armour on, the best thing to do was rally Robb's loyal troops.
  12. The great thing about unreliable narrators is that they can be used to justify any plot holes and goofs. Bran claims that Greatjon brings all his sons to war but Jon says some are still alive? Meh, one of them is wrong, simple as that. How would either of them know anyway? Bran's a little kid and Jon is at the Wall. And hey, this is a guy who out-drank Merrett Frey, I think the Freys admired him too much to kill him after he did that. Tytos has what, five sons? It's not exactly a tragedy if his son dies in the biggest war ever fought in the history of Westeros. And I guess maybe he was supposed to be kept alive but he chose to die fighting. Doesn't Hosteen Frey kill him? The Frey who's literally called "Ser Stupid"? Doesn't change the fact that if Edmure hadn't resolved the siege, then a lot of people were going to die. Edmure stopped that from happening, so he proved to be the most valuable hostage possible. The real question is probably what Edmure's fate would be after Walder Frey took Riverrun without the Lannisters' help. The Lannisters wanted Edmure alive, but Walder was probably going to kill him, as you said in your original post. Roslin wasn't going to inherit Riverrun, and she's probably not one of Walder's favourites, given that she's got a Tully in her belly, which means no special future for her. Riverrun went to Genna Lannister and her husband, so I can only assume that Walder didn't like Roslin all that much.
  13. I don't think it really matters who that bastard cousin even is. Regardless of whether they were male or female, they were not officially members of House Darry, so they posed virtually no challenge to Lancel Lannister. But to indulge you, I would personally bet that we've probably met them already, lurking somewhere in the corners of when Jaime Lannister visited Castle Darry. If I had a copy of Feast for Crows, I'd check back and see if there were anyone described that I'd pick as my specific guess. The point is they're not going to matter, as they've been swept aside as easily as the dozens of minor lordlings and knights whose families were disinherited post - Blackwater.
  14. Damn, that's cruel. Only three more novellas from Dunk & Egg? First of all, I want to see how Aegon became king. Maybe he or Dunk spy on the Great Council, or depending on Dunk's position, he could be a member of the Kingsguard already so he'd be more than privy to the council, as well as seeing the head of Aenys Blackfyre thrown onto the table by Brynden. Hell, he'd probably be the one to tell Aegon about what happened so Aegon orders the arrest of Brynden as soon as he's crowned. Depending on Dunk and Brynden's interactions in the story, it could be so dramatic. Brynden could become a sinister Stoker-like villain or he could be the kind of idealist that gets brutally killed in a David Simon show. Secondly, I want to see the disintegration of Prince Duncan's marriage betrothal, his abdication, and the fallout between Aegon V and Lyonel Baratheon. I'd love to see a small version of Robert's Rebellion which ends with a trial by combat. It'd be kind of funny to see the obvious Robert Baratheon stand-in an antagonistic, ambitious light. Thirdly, the Tragedy at Summerhall. Because the Tragedy at Summerhall.
  15. And if you looked at all the Lords Piper, there's going to be a certain percentage of them who would skin change and never want to switch back.
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