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The Merling King

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  1. I agree and think it would make more sense if either Viserys claimed another dragon or they kept Balerion alive longer. Instead of Balerion dying, he could have become more lethargic and immobile but still capable of one more nuclear strike if needed. He could eventually die a couple years or right before Viserys. This would better explain why Daemon and the Velaryons never challenged his rule and why the realm was at peace with no Iron born and Dornishman testing the easy going party king.
  2. Aemon and Jocelyn having a son that died young would not change the plot that much but could be used to explain why they didn't/couldn't have more children besides Rhaenys. I think the bigger issue is the succession between Viserys-Rhaenyra/Aegon and the dance in general would have made more sense if below. 1) Viserys did not remarry and one of his sons with Aemma Arryns survived until at least adolescents or became another victim of the red spring in 120AC. This son could have been engaged to Laena Valeryon in place of Rheanyra and the Rhaenyra and Laenor match could have been a last minute replacement to keep the Velaryons happy and ensure Viserys bloodline continues on the iron throne. Damon could have still made the "heir for a day" remark about another son the died with Aemma. 2) Aegon, son of Baelon could have lived and married Alicent Hightower and had Aegon, Helaina, Aemond and Daron, 3) Maybe make Aegon the elder at least a little sympathetic and likable to contrast Rhaenyra. He doesn't have to be as outwardly charismatic and chivalrous as Renly or Damon Blackfyre but I think it would have added more nuance if he started out at least a little decent or even Harrold Hardyingish and was eventually manipulated by his mother and grandfather and then goes downhill after the death of Jaehaerys and the burns/injuries/addiction. Plus Aemond is a big enough asshole for the greens to match Daemon. This would have have made the dance more realistic in my opinion, if Westeros had to choose between the kings chosen heir Rhaenyra (a spoiled woman with supposed bastard children), the kings brother Daemon (who was removed from succession and has made many enemies throughout Westeros) and the kings nephew Aegon (a spoiled son of the kings youngest brother but who has the support of the Hightower's and many other powerful families) as opposed to the king choosing his older legitimate daughter over a younger legitimate son in a medieval aristocracy when said king was chosen over the older female line to begin with...
  3. Jon Hightower was the last hand for Aegon IV and also brought Sereni of Lys to court. I can only imagine that Lord Hightower was not happy to be removed from court with the other sycophants by Daeron ii and replaced by the Dornish….
  4. Dragonstone and Driftmark had more power and prestige during the dance but if you remove the dragons from the equation, I think Rhaenyra would be in a similar situation to Stannis without Mel.
  5. Aemond and Cole leaving KL to hunt Daemon and then Aemond leaving Cole to burn the Riverlands instead of linking up with the Hightower host and his fellow dragon riding brother are arguable the two stupidest decisions the greens make.
  6. Viserys II was made pretty powerful by Aegon III and basically helped rule and keep things together for his brother and nephews. He also might have poisoned his crazy nephew and pretty much skipped over his three nieces to take the iron throne without the need of a great council.
  7. I agree Bloodraven was cautious with Dunk and Egg for fear of upsetting or provoking Maekar to leave Summerhall. I don’t believe Maekar would have rebelled against his older brother and even if Bloodraven took Egg to court as a hostage, I doubt it would come to war because King Aerys would probably just put his foot down on the rare occasion and tell Bryden to send him home like he told them Bittersreel was going to the wall and not the block. I think If king Aerys predeceased Rhaegel or Aelor, Meakar might take issue with bloodraven trying to become regent for his mentally ill brother or minor nephew. Summerhall would give hime a power base but as stated, we don’t know anything about the lands, manpower or defensibility if the castle. Maekar would probably need to make alliances dependent on his military record and the general dislike of Bloodraven.
  8. I’m not sure killing Aegon the younger would have helped Aegon ii in his current situation but if Baella Targaryen had been captured or killed in the beginning, that would mean Sunfyre is not further injured and might be able to heal enough to fly and burn the Lads on the Kingsroad. Would the North and Vale still attack Kingslanding if Aegon II had the Stormlords and a semi-functioning dragon? The only other way I could see the greens winning more then a Pyrrhic victory even if he killed Rhaenyra and Aegon the younger, is if Boris Baratheon and the Stormlords had defeated the Lads and Riverlords, then maybe either Unwin Peake or Lionel Hightower (who refused the blacks peace in OTL but did nothing while Aegon II was still alive or when he heard Rhaenyra was killed or the Greens regained the capital...) reorganized the Oldtown/Reach and maybe Westerland forces to help defend Kingslanding against the Vale and North. Then if the Redwyne fleet could get Aegon II off Dragonstone and he offered general pardons maybe there could have been an uneasy peace between the Blacks and greens. But the greens were so incompetent and meant to lose from the start with so many Reach houses fighting against the Hightowers for no reason, the Redwyne fleet MIA, the Westerlands and Stormlands getting taken out in one or two battles, while the Riverlands are unstoppable and the North and Vale are left largely uninvolved and unharmed until the end. I think Aegon ii burned too many bridges and the Blacks would not bend the knee unless he had a dragon or larger army. Perhaps if Aegon died of his wounds naturally after killing Rhaenyra and Aegon the younger and Prince Daeron or Maelor survived and were propped up by the greens, it would been easier to come to a compromise.
  9. I agree both sides were led by horrible people and did horrible things but I think the blacks take the cake with Blood and cheese and also that Aegon II was the rightful heir by custom and the precedent set forth by the great council. I can’t think of any historical example were a king wants his elder daughter to succeed over a legitimate son. I find it unrealistic and personally think it would make more sense if Alicent Hightower would have married a third brother of Viserys and Daemon instead of Viserys, thus making Rhaenyra and the Targaryen-Hightower children cousins and King Viserys with only one child and no alternative heir of his own blood. That would at least be realistic and closer to the the historical basis of the Anarchy and civil war between Emperess Matilda and her cousins Stephen. With that said, the blacks do have a more likable supporting cast but the greens were written to be unlikable and incompetent from the start, even more so in F&B then TOATQ, like when John Roxton is made to be a rapist and Daeron the Daring is turned into a war criminal at Bitterbridge.
  10. Also because of the immortal family lines of the great houses and the importance of last names in Westeros, it would be hard for someone to become as powerful as say John of Gaunt or even Stephen of Blois, who were of royal blood but got most of there power by marrying a female heiress with wealthy lands and important titles. Its debatable if King Jaehaerys was trying to do this with prince Daemon by marrying him off to Rhea Royce but I assume that if they had any children they would take the Royce name like Joffrey Lynden took the Lannister name. I’m also surprised Alicent Hightower did not try to get a Baratheon marriage earlier for one of her sons in the hopes that Borros would not end up having a male heir and they inherit Stormsend either as lord or consort to the lady. But in general this doesn’t seem possible or very common in Westeros, at least up until recently with Tommen Baratheon having a claim to Kingslanding, Dragonstone, Stormsend and Casterly Rock but he will most likely not live long enough to grant these appendages to any children or favorites. Another recent example would be the Lannister’s taking over Darry and Hayford through marriage to female heirs but going against tradition and using the husbands name to replace the attainted or near extinct name of the female heiress. Also the Frey and Tyrells seem to be using there names to lay claim to the ancestral homes of the attainted Tully’s and Florents. Its interesting that after surviving uninterrupted for several millennia, that so many families seem to be dying out during the war of the five kings and leaving lands and lordships ripe for the taking but there is no mention of this occurring during or after the Conquest, the Dance or Blackfyre rebellions except for the cursed Harrenhal and the Peakes loosing two or there three castles.
  11. I could understand that argument in regards to Stannis and Renly but Baelor was the crown prince, hand of the king and protector of the realm... I think Baelor could have commanded his brother and nephews but was pragmatic enough to know it would open up a can of worms if he straight up pardoned someone for striking a prince of the blood or siding with a hedge Knight over his brother and nephews. I’m sure he was aware Blackfyre sympathizers would take note of any weakness or disfunction in the royal family.
  12. Did any post-dragon Targaryen prince have the power to contest the succession like Stannis and Renly Baratheon did or were none of the past princes as empowered as the Baratheon bros? Obviously a dragon grants you more power than a lordship and dragon riders like prince Maegor, the rogue prince Daemon, the Hightower-Targaryens and the Velaryon-Targaryens could/would contest sussesion but what about Targaryens post dance. Stannis showed off the limited resources of Dragonstone and I assume Summerhall had similar resources, wealth and manpower?
  13. Does House Velaryon and Redwyne have cadet branches and smaller vassals similar to House Harlaw? Harlaw seems more fleshed out and developed then either Driftmark or the Arbor due to the many Ironborn POV's but I was curious what people think. I would understand if Dragonstone is to small and infertile for multiple castles or holdfasts but I would think Driftmark or the Arbor would have just as many vassals or cadet branches as Harlaw. The Velayrons did have at least two castles, Driftmark and Hightide during there peak before the Dance of the Dragons but there was a plethora of uncles, nephews and cousins for Corliss as well as two thriving towns.
  14. If king Daeron II was present at the Tourney of Ashford would there still be a trial by seven? Baelor Breakspear seemed to be aware of his nephew Aerion’s nature and perhaps the king was as well. Baelor was chivalrous and idealistic but was pragmatic enough to know that he could not openly side against his family or completely upend the system and pardon a hedge knight for striking a prince of the blood royal without it potentially having far reaching consequences and it was only when Aerion cowardly invoked the right to trial by seven and he saw that great injustice was about to take place that he decided that he must do what was right despite the consequences. If king Daeron II was at the tourney would he have been more capable of putting an end to the trial or forcing single combat especially after Baelor decides to fight for Dunk? Would it be more embarrassing for the King and Targaryen family to pardon a hedge Knight and punish a secondary prince then see the crown prince fight his brother, nephews and kingsguard over said hedge Knight?
  15. Are you suggesting it would have been possible for Renly to stay neutral or offer token forces to either Joffrey or Stannis and possibly survive longer or until the current post Tywin chaos? I’m not sure Renly would have considered it at the time as he had the largest army and did not believe that Stannis was a legitimate threat with Melisandre or that the Tyrells wouldn’t jump ship to the Lannister’s if he accepted Stannis offer even if Stannis named Renly (and Margery’s potential child) heir to the throne.
  16. The current leadership seems to be either corrupt enough to bribe or pragmatic enough to switch to the winning side. It would have been interesting to see what happened if Renly makes it to Kingslanding. He was technically in charge of the gold cloaks as master of Laws. I wonder if he could have set something up with Janos Slynt to either betray the Lannister or open the city gates to his enormous host, similar to Daemon Targeryen and Luther Largent
  17. How do you think they will portray Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon, Tywin Lannisteresque or more Mace Tyrellish? It will be interesting to see how they developed his rivalry with Daemon and how he will compare and contrast with Corlys. He was certainly grasping and ambitious but despite the internal drama going on in the redkeep, he helped rule the realm for almost 20 years of peace and prosperity, if you combine his two tenures. I don’t think Viserys I was as hands off as Robert at least not during Otto’s first tenure as hand but both of there reputation took a hard hit after the dance. The greens also seem to go downhill after they replace Otto with Aemond and Cole. Was he a good hand or was it the dragons that kept the realm in check?
  18. Without Dragons, I don't know if the blacks would have as much support. The blacks would probably be more like Stannis stuck on Dragonstone with no Melisandre of shadowbabies. They have the wealth and fleet of house Veleryon but all they can really do is blockade and raid or maybe set up bases in friendly territories but where is the manpower coming from Difrtmark,, Dragonstone, mercenaries? The north and Vale provided limited support due to the coming Winter and subsequently the Hightowers and the Reach have to be depowered for the Riverlords and winter wolves to realistically hold out. According to F&B, the Redwynes are close kin to the Hightowers but are a totall no-show in the dance, I cant think of any reason besides oversight and they did not want there fleet burned, I understand why the greens would seek an alliance with the Triarchy on the east coast but it makes no sense that they offer Dalton Greyjoy MOS and then let him raid unchallenged. Did the greens forget about the Redwynes? Also Jace and Luc would not personally go to the North, Vale or Stormlands. They would have to communicate to potential supporters with Ravens or send envoys on week or month long journeys. The Greens already had a solid power base in Kingslanding, the Westerlands and the Reach. Most of the Riverlords were torn until Daemon showed up on Caraxes, so the Riverlands might have been more equal. Jeyne Arryn would most likely still support her cousin at the very least to protect her own position but would Creagan come south if Jace didn't personally build a relationship and supposedly make the pact of ice and fire? I don't know if Kinglanding would fall without dragons, even if Cole and Aemond leave and Aegon is still injured or incapacitated, especially if the Triarchy still attacks Driftmark, maybe I am underestimating the Goldcloaks loyalty to Daemon but again where is the manpower coming from. Again I could see Aemond going to Stomsend with an escort to gain support but not Luc or Jace The greens were meant to loose from the beginning, the Reach is torn even the Hightowers own vassals side with the blacks. I guess they took affront to the killing of Lyman Beesbury. The greens supposedly have the full or majority support of the Westerlands and Stormland but their armies are relatively small compared to WOTFK for 80 years of peace. You could probably drop a nuke on the Riverlands and they would still show up to the next battle with around 10k men, led by 13 year old Ben Blackwood. I always thought it would make more sense for Boros to route the Riverlords and then get defeated by the Northmen. The Greens are so incompetent, they make Renly and Mace look like Stannis and Randyl Tarley.
  19. What would happen if you removed dragons from The Dance of the Dragons? Who would benefit more, the greens or the blacks? Would the blacks even have a chance or without dragons would it be more drawn out like the anarchy and turn into a slow war of attrition and siege-craft?
  20. Out of the four large scale wars we have the most details about, I would rank them WO5k, RR, Conquest & Dance. The Blackfyre Rebellions look promising and I hope F&B give us a fuller description of the first and some details of the third, so we don’t have to wait for couple more D&E novels.
  21. House Darry most likely supported the Targaryens in all the Blackfyre Rebellions and remained in royal favor up until Robert’s rebellion. Tully, Blackwood, Bracken, Frey, Lothstrom, Butterwell... I assume the Valeryons and Baratheon’s were powerful and influential during this period but we don’t know when the Valeryons finally fell to 3rd class lords and if it happened before Robert’s Rebellions or when the Baratheon’s came back into the crowns good graces, even though I cant imagine Aegon III or Viserys holding a grudge against the infant son of Borros Baratheon. However in The Hedge Knight, there is no mention of Lionel Baratheon having any close ties or affection for the Targeryen princes at the Ashfird tourney. Im surprised we don’t know more about the small council during the time of Daeron II as it wouldn’t ruin any future D&E novels but I guess we will have to wait for F&B II for more info regarding the historical Small Council and Kingsgard from Aegon III to Aerys II.
  22. The Tyrells most likely ascended to royal favor during the reign of Daeron I. They were viceroys of Dorne before shit hit the fan. Leo Longthorn seems to be well respected by both the blacks and reds in THK and TSS, which is suprising if he wouldn’t commit fully to the loyalist until the RGF or he betrayed the rebels when he found out Daemon died. For all we know, he could be married or related to a Hightower or Redwyne.
  23. I never understood why Viserys never claimed another dragon, especially when he had two symbols of power, both Vhagar and Vermithor available when he became king. I lean towards the opinion that riders can bond with more then one dragon, even if it’s only after their original dragon dies. Rhanyra and Aegon II seemed to both believe they could ride a second dragon after there’s died. I get get that Viserys was lazy and complacent and might not have liked riding a dragon but just because he claimed a second dragon, it does not mean he has to ride it all the time or at all. It would at least give him security during the early years of his reign when the Valeryon's were still considered a threat. Alternatively I thought they should have kept Balerion alive longer and that would explain why Viserys never claimed another dragon. Instead of Balerion dying, he just becomes more lethargic and immobile and eventually dies a couple years before Viserys. Maybe Viserys just spends time siting and talking to him in the dragon pit about his crazy wife and daughter and annoying brother. This would explain why Daemon and the Velerions never challenged his rule and why the realm was at peace with no Iron born and Dornish testing the easy going king, because maybe just maybe Balerion could go nuclear one more time.
  24. Any thoughts on most powerful house(s) besides Targs during first Blackfyre rebellion period? For example the Hightowers/Valeryons were the most powerful during the Dance and the Lannister/Tyrells during the WO5k, once the Baratheon's lose control of the throne. Obviously the Martels are married to the crown at this time and have influence at court but due to there isolation and small population, they wouldn’t be able to project that much power? Could the Tyrells have been overpowered by Dearon I, giving Leo Longthorn the power to dip toes in both camps and show up late but still get kudos from loyalist? The Arryn’s we’re given a royal marriage and maybe lord Donnel was given a court title for his contribution at the redgrass field?
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