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Daemon of the Blacks

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  1. Throughout the series Varys is established as having a huge spy network spanning all of Westeros and perhaps even Essos. Knowledge is his trade and his ''little birds'' are everywhere. But in Varys finest hour, in the process of the Targaryen restoration he wants so badly Varys seemed to have retired as a Master of Whispers. He extracts no meaningful information from his little birds and he offers Danny no information on the plotting of her enemies. Its the job of a Master of Whispers to sniff out nasty surprises like Jaime not defending Casterly Rock, the Tarley's meeting with Cersei or the Ironborn declaring for the Lanisters. Cersei hiring the golden company seems to have completely escaped Varys' notice too. Even if the little birds in Kings Landing went to Qyburn then Varys should still have spies in the Westerlands, the Iron Isles and Horn Hill yet no bird ever whispered those development into Varys ears. The result is all of Danny's southern allies getting easily slaughtered by Cersei and Euron and Cersei sacking Highgarden so she could afford the Golden Company. So what happened? Did Varys little birds get collectively arrested and lynched all across Westeros? Did Varys become lazy or did Danny not want any spy network at all? Because something seemed to have gone horrible wrong in Varys' spy network.
  2. Daemon of the Blacks

    Would you rather Cersei die as a villain or redeemed?

    I don't really think she can be redeemed. Cersei was always a nasty piece of work. Her inability to realize her limit and unwillingness to let go of power that wasn't rightfully hers brought a lot of harm to Westeros, and then when she suddenly became extremely competent last season she used that competence to terrorize the continent and obstruct any attempt of defending it against the dead. I don't see how she could redeem herself from that.
  3. Daemon of the Blacks

    [spoiler] Larys Strong

    Being connected to Perkin(if not outright being his boss) might even have endeared Larys to Aegon more since Perkin's men saved his half sister. While Aegon doesn't seem completely comfortable around Daemon's daughters like he's with Viserys there seems to be at least some bond with them.
  4. Daemon of the Blacks

    Cregan Stark: the fool wolf

    Probably because it would result in an angry Cregan coming for you and ask you could kindly explain that joke to his face before he beheads you. And after Cregan the powerful Stark family might not appreciate their ancestors being mocked either. Everyone would still remember all the people Cregan Stark killed once he finally formed his army.
  5. Daemon of the Blacks

    Cregan Stark: the fool wolf

    Its mentioned as one of the theories about the Lads but its probably the least likely one. A lord who weeps after a battle likely doesn't want more than is needed. For Ben Mushroom's theory about the Lads being scared of Cregan holds more water.The second Tully brother might have such motivations however, considering he never stopped fighting, sailing to Essos and becoming a mercenary after the Dance. Its a shame we don't really know anything about Kermit. We know that he's young, that he killed Borros and that he he caved in to Cregan, but we don't really get a personality profile like with Benjicot and Tully's late entrance into the war ensures his character gets introduced late and mostly vanishes after the war.
  6. Daemon of the Blacks

    So what was Criston Cole's deal?

    In the Dance of Dragon's Criston Cole seems to have some of the most passionate but also mysterious and dubious reasons to pick his side. He fights for neither family nor direct survival but is the one most aggressively tied to his side considering he decided to answer opposition by personally murdering the old man who disagreed with him. Cole's main motivation seems to be hate for Rhaenyra. According to Fire and Blood there are three possible reasons for his hatred. 1: Rhaenyra proposed to Cole and he rejected her out of disgust 2: Cole was the one who proposed to Rhaenyra and couldn't handle the rejection 3: Cole was morally repulsed by Rhaenyra and her family. Given Cole's actions I think him being the rejected party makes the most sense because its he who despises Rhaenyra rather than the other way around. I don't believe she even mentions him. If Rhaenyra got over it but Cole did not it makes sense for him to have suffered the rejection. Cole acting out of spite like going out of his way to kill her husband's lover or stealing her crown makes sense if he felt abandoned and humiliated by her, but it make a whole lot less sense if Rhaenyra was the one who proposed. After all, Rhaenyra marrying Leanor was enough to end any hypothetical awkward proposal. If Cole was that bothered by him he should be happy she's out of his hair rather then murder the boyfriend of her husband. But killing said boyfriend to punish the man who ''stole'' Rhaenyra from him is fairly understandable, if pretty vile. Cole being morally repulsed doesn't seem a very strong reason either because as a Kingsguard that's simply none of his business. So his queen to be is a slut and her husband is gay. So what? Kingsguard served kings a whole lot worse before Rhaenyra and they would serve even worse ones after her. With Kingsguards serving the iron dictator Maegor, the loony Aerys or the unworthy Aegon is would be petty if Cole had a problem with a mere slut. If the queen's behavior was a deal breaker it simply shows Cole was never fit for the job. One a more sympathetic note Cole did seem to have some real kinship with the Hightower branch. He's mentioned as having personally trained Aemond and the overly arrogant prince actually respects Cole to some extend. Aegon II too seemed to think very highly of Cole.
  7. Daemon of the Blacks

    Cregan Stark: the fool wolf

    I think Ben's problem there was his personality. He comes off as a very sensitive boy and the narration makes it a point to mention that he's especially shy at court. He handled himself fine in battle but politics seems to be something he wasn't quite ready for at the time.
  8. Daemon of the Blacks

    The Blacks or the Greens?

    Well they do have some enjoyable characters. Aemond might be a complete dullard but that's what makes him fun. He's basically joffrey riding a huge dragon and that's a lot of fun. Cole is quite vile but his actions makes since considering he's got a grudge and he's a strange mix of being both competent and flawed enough to drive his army to destruction. Alicent has quite a nasty fall from grace that's interesting to read up on. Daeron is pretty interesting and we see the war have a corrupting influence on it. Perhaps we see it a bit too well considering the ''sweet boy'' has more nasty moments than moments where he's a good kid. Its probably because he didn't really get a big focus but we see him involved in two sackings and a conspiracy with his nicer moments being told rather than shown. Lannister only became interesting once becoming Hand but then he became really interesting. And old Baratheon was a lot of fun to read. He seems so strangely casual, chatting to Aemond how he honestly doesn't have anything against girls.
  9. Daemon of the Blacks

    The Blacks or the Greens?

    That would be dishonorable. While keeping hostages isn't exactly a shining act of virtue its at least a conventional part of Westerosi political bickering. Its normal. Breaking established deals much less so. Cregan Stark would likely want to kill Aegon II but he's not the type to go ''Haha! you fell for my ploy! No black Cloak for you!''. If big Aegon says he'll throw little Aegon off the castle wall if he's not allowed to take the Black, and if Cregan agrees to it he doesn't seem the type to break his word, the lads even less so.
  10. Daemon of the Blacks

    The Blacks or the Greens?

    Given what we know about Aegon I think there's a solid chance. Even his treasonous arms instructor who Aegon despised, who tortured his best friend and tried to kill the wife of the little brother he adored got a chance to take the Black. Granted feeding his mom to a dragon and making him watch is definitely several miles worse but there is precedent of Aegon giving the chance to someone he hates very, very much. I don't think the lads would be a problem either. Benjicot is a soft boy. Given what we know about him he likely wouldn't have the heart to refuse a man begging to take the Black. And given his (crumbling) opposition to Cregan Kermit just wanted the whole war to be done with so he might not have a preference between death or the black. And Aegon II still had hostages. He could offer to take the black while at the same time putting a chained Baela and little Aegon on the wall with the message that if he dies, the hostages go with him. True he's overall in command and can fire people but firing Otto is just about the only thing he does. Crowning him was the work of his mother, the Triarchy was the work of Otto, Rooks rest was Cole's plan, getting destroyed in the Riverlands was all Aemond and taking back Kingslanding was done by Orros with the implied scheming of Lary to back him up. No real plan of action ever seems to have came from Aegon II.
  11. Daemon of the Blacks

    The Blacks or the Greens?

    Oh that will simply not do. To the Black Cells with you!
  12. Daemon of the Blacks

    The Blacks or the Greens?

    Aegon's last moment did get me to pity him at least a little bit. He seemed to at least entertain the idea of taking the black until his mother made him chance course. Despite being king Aegon didn't really seem all that much in charge. While him at first refusing the crown is probably propaganda the Green council did make him king without him doing or knowing anything about it(but obviously being willing to get along with it) then he gets into a coma for a while and was prevented from preventing his death by the corrupting influence of his mother. He's definitely a nasty piece of work, cruel, unforgiving, inept and possibly a pedophile but he also seems to be something of a puppet and not at all a boon to the Greens. He's no politician like Otto, he's no warrior like Cole, commander like Daeron or a dragon rider on par with Aemond. He's just the face of the Greens and its least remarkable member but that also makes him relatively ''harmless'' when compared to Cole, Alicent, or Aemond. While more cruel he also seems to lack the paranoia of his rival. When Aegon fed people to dragons or set them on fire it was because they really did something to raise his ire. At the end Rheanya was lashing out at imagined enemies like Addam or Nettles which eventually dragged Corlys and herself down.
  13. Daemon of the Blacks

    The Blacks or the Greens?

    Fire and Blood does seem to paint the Blacks as the underdogs. The Narration even makes it a point to mention the Greens hold the Iron throne, the red keep and the mayor cities of Westeros while the Blacks wouldn't even be able to defeat the Hightowers without their dragons. That said the roles do flip eventually. Once their king goes into a coma, Cole and lord Lanister get killed, the capitol falls and Aemond keeps being incompetent the Greens do look more like an underdog.
  14. Daemon of the Blacks

    The Blacks or the Greens?

    Then again the Brackens wouldn't be the Brackens if they weren't on the wrong side at least for a bit. I wonder if George doesn't like them since they are depicted as the inferiors of the Blackwoods in all three era's of conflict. In the main series the Bracken's end up siding with the Lannisters after the red wedding, contrasting the loyalty of the Blackwoods. In the Blackfyre rebellion its a Bracken who's the mastermind behind the multiple insurgencies while a Blackwood protected the Targaryen dynasty. And in the dance they join the Greens and are fairly quickly knocked out of the green faction without acquiring a leading role within the Black riverlords like the Blackwoods do.
  15. Daemon of the Blacks

    The Blacks or the Greens?

    Which of the two factions do you prefer during the Dance of the Dragons? Do you support the rightful queen Rhaenya or are you in league with the usurper Aegon II? Which side has your favorite commanders and which of your favorite houses ended up with your preferred faction? Which pretender was the legitimate one and why was it obviously Rhaenya? Some of my favorite houses like the Lanisters, Baratheons and Hightowers ended up with the Greens but despite that I found myself favoring the Blacks to a significant extend. All in all the Blacks seem far more capable than the Greens ever were. Aegon II was a pretty awful war leader and while Rhaenya was hardly any better she seemed to be the weak link in a faction of capable people while an air of incompetence surrounds the Greens. At Aegon's side were Aemond and Cole who felt it was a good idea to self destruct in the Riverlands and give the Blacks a chance to take the capitol, Cole had a pretty clever plot to kill Rhaenys but seemed unable or unwilling to correct the mistakes of either Aemond or Aemon. Otto hightower was pretty clever by enlisting the Triarchy, but somehow overlooked that his rival Daemon was the one who founded the Goldcloaks despite having been Daemon's rival for decades. Lord Lannister died pretty early in the war and for all his bluster Borros Baratheon got destroyed by ''boys and woman'' when he finally got around to fighting the Blacks. Prince Daeron seemed to be the only one who didn't blunder throughout the war but since he was just a kid he never rose far enough on the political ladder for the Greens to benefit from his skills. To contrast the mediocrity of the Greens the Blacks had some of the most capable commanders of the era like Corlys and Daemon while also earning the loyalty of very talented new blood like prince Jace, Benjicot, Alyn and Cregan Stark. Rhaenya, in all her genius eventually drove off Corlys and Daemon but she failed her faction rather than her faction collectively failing her like with the Greens. Generally the Black commanders speak more to the imagination. The have a rogue, dragon riding Targaryen pirate prince, an elderly ''sea serpent'' who traveled the world, Benjicot the capable kid general or a future legend like Alyn. In contrast the Green have a big brat riding a huge dragon, an incompetent king, a competent pencil pushing Hand that got fired, and the grand genius that was Unwin Peak. On the question of legitimacy the Blacks have a pretty easy win since their opponents blatantly disregarding the decree of the late king and killing the one who disagreed wasn't particularly legitimate of them.