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Lord Varys

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About Lord Varys

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    Most Devious 'Man' In The Seven Kingdoms
  • Birthday 11/25/1982

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    Definitely somewhere in King's Landing

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  1. Lord Varys

    Targaryen dragon regulation?

    It is quite clear why he did that. Jaehaerys I had first hand experience with both Visenya and Maegor's cruelty and malice, he had to deal with the whole Aerea business (an adolescent loose cannon controlling the largest dragon alive), Rhaena's mood swings which nearly caused another Harrenhal (at Fair Castle and Storm's End), and the prospect of other dragonlord families in Volantis or elsewhere in Essos (which greatly troubled him and nearly caused a war between the Iron Throne and Braavos). The whole point of the Dragonpit and and the Dragonkeepers was to prevent dragon theft and to keep even the princes and princesses of the blood of the dragon away from the dragons who were, in the end, the property of the king. That this was his dragon policy is implicitly confirmed when the Dragonkeepers prevent Saera from entering the Dragonpit and Jaehaerys I himself is horrified at the thought that this particular daughter of his could become a dragonrider, indicating that he hadn't really considered allowing her a dragon prior to scandal with the fool. We do have reasons for Daella and Saera. Also for Maegelle, considering the fact that she was handed to the Faith at the age of ten. But to be sure - there is no reason to assume a dragonriding Targaryen couldn't become a septa, septon, maester, Kingsguard, or black brother. They could abandon their dragons, dumping them on Dragonstone or in the Dragonpit (where they could be safely locked away) or tnhey could just take them with them - a maester wouldn't be better or worse if he had a dragon, and the same goes for a septa/septon, etc. That takes things way too far. Jaehaerys I did not only allow his own sister-wife a dragon but wanted to give one to his daughter Daenerys and had no issues with Alyssa mounting Meleys. There is no reason to speculate Alyssa claimed a dragon spontaneously and without the king's permission (if she had done so, she would have been punished afterwards - not to mention that her father could have permanently separated her from her dragon). In fact, it seems clear that you had to ask the king for permission to enter the Dragonpit to try to mount a dragon - and the Dragonkeepers would only allow you to claim a dragon if you had the permission of the king. This we can draw both from Alyssa having to deal with the Dragonkeepers, the Dragonkeepers keeping Saera from the Dragonpit, and Viserra being able to hang out at the Dragonpit but not being allowed to claim a dragon. Also, it is quite clear that Jaehaerys I and Alysanne would have nothing of that nonsense their own parents and grandparents and their own grandchildren and great-grandchildren would do - namely throw dragons at young children. Aemon and Baelon and Alyssa were allowed to claim dragons only as youths at the cusp of manhood/womanhood. And considering that we have to assume that none of their children ever got those dragon eggs in the cradle (aside from, perhaps, Aemon where it may have lead nowhere) it is also quite likely that the origin story of Vermithor and Silverwing is just a later legend. Rhaena didn't put those eggs in the cradles of her younger siblings - if she had done that, all of Jaehaerys I's children would have gotten similar eggs. And then many more of his children would have been dragonriders. In fact, it might have meant that all of the surviving children would have been dragonriders. Vaegon did not decide to become a maester at a young age - his father forced him to go to the Citadel, and not as a young teen, but as a fifteen-year-old youth, a year before he became a man grown. We also don't know that he was uninterested in dragons although it makes sense to assume that he was - Jaehaerys I expected him to eventually grow into a proper Targaryen prince which, we can assume, would have involved him also to eventually claim a dragon. And after Aemon and Baelon and Alyssa had claimed their dragons, Vaegon would have been next. Maegelle wasn't considered as a dragonrider, and Daella, the child after Vaegon, was too afraid of dragons to ever claim one. If you cut to the heart of the matter the best take on this issue is that Jaehaerys I jealously guarded his dragons, and was determined to prevent other noble bloodlines and their offspring from acquiring a dragon, than that this was an issue of gender. Alyssa was married to Baelon and thus her dragon would not pass to the kin of her husband upon her death. Daella and Saera and Viserra would likely also not have been considered as brides from some of the men suggested if they had been dragonriders. If misogyny had been involved there then neither Princess Rhaenys nor Laena Velaryon would have been allowed to claim a dragon. The former definitely claimed a dragon with the king's permission - Meleys would have been housed in the Dragonpit after Alyssa's early death - and Laena may have mounted Vhagar in the last two years of her great-grandfather's reign - although we can be reasonably sure she wasn't yet a dragonrider at the Great Council. And with Meleys originally being Alyssa's dragon and Vhagar being Baelon's dragon and both of those Targaryens dying in KL it is quite clear that both dragons would have been at the Dragonpit when their riders, implicitly confirming that the king controlled access to both Meleys and Vhagar when Rhaenys and Laena claimed them. There was no weird dragon theft thing going on there as it sort of happened with Quicksilver and Aegon, Aerea and Balerion, or Aemond and Vhagar. That the Velaryons were allowed access to dragons with Vhagar and Seasmoke (or he could also have been hatched from an egg produced by Meleys, giving the Velaryons independent access to new dragons) in the last years of Jaehaerys I and the early years of Viserys I indicates in my opinion that the children of Rhaenys and Corlys were still seen as part of the royal family, unlike the Velaryons and Baratheons of earlier years who were never offered any dragons nor themselves ever considered to try to claim a dragon (both Alyssa Velaryon and Rogar Baratheon would have been able to greatly change their standing and position during the minority of Jaehaerys I if they had mounted Balerion or Vhagar or one of the younger drakes themselves).
  2. Lord Varys

    Why does anyone like the idea of "the Singularity"

    Many things can have positive consequences, but it is better if good things have even better positive consequences than when a broken watch tells the right time twice a day - and in the end that's the kind of 'knowledge' religions as religions can offer people. This doesn't change the fact that many non-religious concepts were swept up and taken over by various religions. I mean, if you are honest then the only difference between Joseph Smith and 'St.' Paul is that the former was convicted as the fraud that he was. I don't think something as, well, unconcrete as the nature of the human self would affect the day-to-day lives of people in a meaningful way. The question was real in every age. Even our stone age ancestors would have asked each other where the hell the animals and plants and humans came from. The point was that a Benedictine monk in the 8th century considering a Darwinian-like evolution would have either made no impact at all (because the idea would have been ridiculed) or he would have faced severe repercussions by his order's leadership who he was supposed to obey like a good little monk. Natural theology - the idea that nature and the way it is 'set up' is can count as proof for god's existence is a child of the 18th century (or was at least very fashionable in that century) - but that's also a sign of decline for actual theology. Religious doctrine and the contents of revelation are dying when you start to try to convince people that god is real by using arguments you think even people who do not already believe could swallow. And to be perfectly clear - the concept of a natural evolution of life isn't something that came up in the 18-19th centuries. This idea was considered even back in the days of Greek philosophy. The main issue why such ideas never took much steam is because people had no idea about the true age of the earth nor were they all that able to imagine the transition between generations in as short a time as would have been necessary. This was still a problem in the 19th century when science hadn't yet figured out how old the earth and the sun actually were - and how exactly the sun worked. It is actually not that great an accomplishment of Darwin's to realize that species are the way they are because they adapted to fit the environment they live in. This is the problem with human hubris - the idea that we are not things that evolved but things that were intentionally created like we create tools and dolls and toys to amuse ourselves. And of course animals and plants - on who we are dependent to survive - were also created to fulfill our needs rather than, you know, them having gone through exactly the same process to come into existence that we went through. But it was always part of the tradition. Jesus Christ supposedly actually existed and were actually nailed to that cross and did actually resurrect. He didn't die for 'our sins' and resurrect the Bultmann way, no? And if there is something a Christ believing in the nonsense story of Christ's resurrection and salvation must believe that there was some kind of original sin nonsense - because if that wasn't the case then there was no point in Christ dying and resurrecting at all. In that sense, the creation story in Genesis isn't as irrelevant to Christian doctrine as most of the other books of the Hebrew Bible (nobody really cares what judge followed whom or how wicked Jezebel was) and it is intellectual dishonesty to separate the concept (original sin isn't in the Hebrew text, it is much later construction derived from Christian ideology) from the actual text - meaning that people believing in Adam and Eve are more honest than people dismissing that notion but insisting that there still must have been some kind of silly original sin nonsense (which was never the actual point/theme of the Genesis story, anyway).
  3. Lord Varys

    Why does anyone like the idea of "the Singularity"

    I don't really argue with creationist. They are beyond rational discourse. Lukewarm people are still willing to change some aspects of their doctrine, so it can work there. Which is basically nonsense they draw from their own doctrine/ideology. There is no reason to believe that any of us are facing damnation or are in need of salvation. From what I know, the origins/mechanism of gravity is still not understood. We do know that it works but not what causes it, etc. Newton properly describing an actual principle at work is good science. We are all children of our time - and I don't really care about people's private beliefs. The issue is when things like that creep into their professional work. This doesn't stop at science but continues to law, politics, etc. In fact, it is much worse in the latter category. If you go by the traditional ways to interpret the Bible the literal interpretation is always one way to go by it. Taking the Bible literally is not wrong - it can also be an allegory, have some moral meaning that's not expressly spilled out in the text. But the idea that you can tell a true believer that he cannot or should not take a part of his holy scriptures as literally true is pretty weird. The lukewarm people just have moved goal posts - they still insist that Jesus and/or his sacrifice are real/relevant, or that at least the god is real, etc. Yeah, even quite a few believing Jews don't give a fig about damnation or salvation - and rightfully so, since most parts of the Hebrew Bible don't allow for an afterlife nor expect some kind of savior. I'd say that the irrational cultural enshrinement ridiculous religious ideas get is sort of a special case. If most societies were caring less about such superstitions since could move forward much faster. Granted, in the case we are discussing here I definitely say that religion isn't the main/only reason behind the whole insistence that we must have a self. But religions sticking to the idea of a soul or an afterlife help to perpetuate that idea. And to be sure - what you do as a private person is of no concern to me. It is only when superstitions start to influence or dictate things in the public sphere that I get concerned. Because that's the issue at hand. The question who created animal and plant life. If you said god had nothing to do with that - or that god wasn't necessary, which is what Darwin did - then you would have had massive problems in the middle ages. You would still have massive problems if as a cleric you declared that god had nothing to do with evolution and it was a mindless process, not destined/designed to bring forth naked apes worshipping the big naked ape in the sky they created in their image. Scientific questions were always a thing, just as people were always curious about their surrounding world.
  4. This wasn't a power bloc. It was a histocial accident that Robert and Ned and Jon were able to form a working coalition. In the end those marriages had less to do with the whole thing than Robert's charisma and personality (and, originally, Jon's decision to stand by Ned and Robert). How marriages alliances go you see when Walder Frey turns against Genna's family in the war, when Alester Florent stands with Mace and Renly rather than Stannis and Selyse, when Borros Baratheon turns against his first cousin Princess Rhaenys, when Lyonel Hightower's close relative Lord Redwyne ended up sending ... zero ships to assist Lyonel and Alyn Velaryon against the Greyjoys. Or just think how Daemon Velaryon - Queen Alyssa's brother and Aegon's and Viserys' maternal uncle - heroically stood with his nephews against the usurpation of Maegor the Cruel, defending them to his very last breath ... that never happened. The Estermonts and Hightowers don't give a fig about what their liege lords and close kin are doing. Lysa Arryn let her family and other relations die, and that despite the fact that a considerable number of Stark cousins live in the Vale. The Blackwoods and Brackens never overcame their feud despite the fact that they have married each other more than once or twice. And so on. If you look at Westerosi history then it is actually the exception, not the rule, if two noble houses linked by marriage end up on the same side in a conflict.
  5. Lord Varys

    Why did Aegon allow the former kings so much power?

    Distance. Check the royal progresses we know of. Aegon I went up north only three times in his reign, and Jaehaerys I also took his time visiting Winterfell and the North. But the Vale and the Westerlands were much closer to KL and were thus visited (and thus directly controlled) more often. We know that the wildlings were a constant threat in winter even after the Conquest - it would have been worse before that. Also, the Stark kingdom was the largest, which means Stark power would have been nonexistent in the far reaches of their realm. In the late 2nd and 3rd century the Starks had to deal with incursions and rebellions and invasions constantly - that kind of thing would have been much worse before the Conquest where they would also have to deal with proper wars with the other kingdoms. After the Starks had become the Wardens of the Targaryen kings their position strengthened - any invader or rebel would have known that if push came to shove the Starks could call upon the help of the Targaryen dragonriders to crush their enemies. FaB is the most actual version. The Lannisters not having close ties comes from TWoIaF before the Lannisters during the reign of Aenys, Maegor, and Jaehaerys I were actually covered in more detail. Obviously Lyman Lannister and Tymond Lannister actually tried to get closer to the Iron Throne - the former by trying to marry one of his sons to Queen Rhaena, the latter by putting himself forth as a suitor for the hand of Princess Daella. Rhaena's issues with the Lannisters are that they - due to their royal past and the splendour and power than came with Casterly Rock - never gave up the idea to reclaim what they lost. Meaning royal power. They were the only non-Valyrian house which actually openly tried to acquire dragons. Not other house ever dared to suggest to buy a dragon.
  6. Lord Varys

    Why did Aegon allow the former kings so much power?

    It isn't that much power ... the most powerful former kings in their own lands would have been the Starks. The North wasn't properly conquered, they just submitted without good reason. And very few Targaryen kings later on did care much about the North. Direct royal oversight in any issue would have been literally nonexistent. But as a power the Starks were constantly at odds with their own lords and people and the wildlings and winter, meaning they were never a threat to the cohesion of the united Realm as such. In fact, Winterfell likely was more interested in keeping close ties with the Iron Throne to get help in winter, against wildlings, or in case of a rebellion than the Targaryens cared about support from the North during an invasion, a Dornish war, or an uprising in the West, the Vale, or some other kingdom. And in a sense the same also goes for the Arryns and the Lannisters, although considering them being physically closer to KL their direct power would have been somewhat diminished. The Lannisters were always a house which had the potential to become a powerful rival to the royal house (as where the Hightowers in the 1st century) but they were kept in their place by sidelining them. But even with the ties to the Crown they have thanks to Cersei in the main series ... it is, in the end, Tywin, the man of the century, who really leads the Lannisters to the very top. A lesser man wouldn't have been able to do that, never mind the resources Casterly Rock gave them. Structurally, one has to assume that Aegon the Conqueror thought and acted in the same feudal terms as his lords. He didn't want to create a new system of government, he just wanted to become the only king in Westeros and to continue to rule in the same manner his predecessors had ... with the addition that he used his dragons to enforce this new thing he called the King's Peace which robbed both the former kings as well as the greater and smaller lords to no longer settle their differences by means of (private) wars and blood feuds. We do have to imagine the rule of the Iron Throne as substantially different than the rule of the previous royal houses because they either didn't have the concept of the King's Peace yet - or were too weak to enforce it. Some of the kings before the Conquest would have been little more than figureheads or nominal rulers of their domains - with their lords exercising much more power in their own domains than they later did under the Targaryens. And this, in turn, would have actually strengthened the position of the lords paramount, especially those who acted as Wardens, because they knew that whoever bannerman or subject challenged them would also challenge the Iron Throne and the dragonriders. Anybody rebelling against Highgarden or Riverrun or Winterfell after the Conquest would also rebel against the Iron Throne.
  7. Lord Varys

    Why does anyone like the idea of "the Singularity"

    Of course I know about that. But where is your argument here? If we were two Benedictine monks in the 8th century discussing the origins of animals and plants do you think you would get away by insisting the creation story of the plants and animals in Genesis was to be read only in one of the non-literal ways? I don't think so. Even if we were willing to move away a little bit from the Biblical text the idea that god himself did create each species perfectly at some point would be treated as the sacrosanct truth. The guy isn't the creator because he didn't create things... Oh, I know Origen ... he still got a proper classic education ;-). But he was posthumously condemned as a heretic in matters of the trinity. He is an example for how rational Christianity could have been ... not for what it became. But your faith is irrelevant in a rational discussion about reality. Any belief worth of being taken seriously by people entering into a rational discourse has to be rationally justified. This has never been done for any religion since we have modern science. Which is also the reason why people like Stephen Hawking (unlike Newton) didn't waste their life and talent by writing pointless papers about the nature of god or their personal relationship with this inconsistent concept. I personally do respect fundamentals more than those lukewarm fellows who think they can mix superstition and reality. Of course they are also arbitrarily picking and choosing, but at least they admit that their beliefs are fundamentally not rationally justified (especially such who actually believe in 'revelation'). The very fact that we do have to discuss the question of a soul and all that shows how religious dogma and doctrine frames the discussion about concsciousness and things. There is no justification to presuppose or even consider the possibility of a substantial self of any kind. Yet people basically rehash the same arguments about that for hundreds of years now. As I said, 'natural Platonism' and a general sense of entitlement and wishful-thinking (death is shitty) also are to be blamed there, but modern science burned many illusions and silly concepts without a trace ... yet this things remains like a zombie (not a ghost ;-)). At this point the idea that there might a soul is about as justified as the idea that Balerion the Black Dread lives in my garage.
  8. Princess Daella wasn't a dragonrider and would never become one due to her fear of dragons. Spreading out the dragonrider potential isn't that great an idea but no big deal while you control the actual access to dragons and dragon eggs. Rhaenyra had many suitors as heir apparent, but we can safely say that only Aegon the Elder, Laenor Velaryon, and possibly the Prince of Dorne were ever seriously considered matches. The idea that Viserys I would have married his darling daughter and heir to anyone less isn't very likely. Well, Aegon V didn't exactly want to marry his heir to a Tully or Tyrell. His second son was supposed to marry a Tully daughter, and his elder daughter the heir to Highgarden. That was a great honor and a sign of royal favor to those houses, but it is no surprise that Prince Duncan, the heir apparent, was betrothed to a Baratheon - of a cadet branch of House Targaryen with the royal blood of the old Storm Kings in their veins. That was a suitable match for a future king. The matches were supposed to help Aegon V with his reforms by making strong bonds with crucial noble families - but since they were made early in his reign (in 237 AC, four years after he took the throne) we can be reasonably sure most of his reforms were just plans at this point. But, of course, after his children fucked things up the Tyrells, Tullys, and Redwynes wouldn't have been of much help in all that. Assuming the Luthor-Olenna match isn't an indication that they formed a power bloc to actively oppose the reforms to spite Aegon V and his children.
  9. Lord Varys

    Why does anyone like the idea of "the Singularity"

    People always knew how to do complex things. Empiricism didn't need to be invented. It needed to systematized and allowed to undermine, overcome, and replace stupid fantasy presuppositions. Well, Kant metaphysical approach deals with more than just the senses, but it isn't some deep understanding that we can only know things the way we can know the way our epistemological framework works. Any actual science is empirical - even theoretical physics of our day and age. It either deals with aspects of reality or it is just fantasy. Well, people are complex, they can do many contradictory things. It is irrelevant what people privately believe when they do proper science (there is a reason why nobody gives two cents about Newton's or Mendel's (did he write any?) theological works. But if you let your fantasy beliefs intefere with your science you usually do not do science. Well, the trinity is just logically impossible. And that transsubstation doesn't work is rather obvious considering the nonsensical and arbitrary philosophical presuppositions behind it (which are just a ridiculous attempt to explain away the fact that there was no real transfiguation involved). Not that I'm aware of. Genesis was historically not read as an allegory - or if it was then not in the sense that anyone doubted that gods or deities weren't the one who had created the plants and animals and humans. Whether you buy the garden and original sin and the other stuff is another thing. But there was no other explanation but creationism for the origin of plants and animals that I'm aware of. It became a very strong argument for god with natural theology and all that in modern times (18th century and so).
  10. I actually think many, possibly all, of the wives of Daeron II's four sons were Targaryen cousins through the female line. This is confirmed for Queen Aelinor Penrose, the wife of King Aerys I, who was a cousin of her husband, suggesting that Aelinor was descended either from a daughter or Alyn Velaryon and Baela Targaryen (possibly even the second Laena Velaryon born at the end of FaB) or of one of those six daughters Rhaena Targaryen had with Garmund Hightower. There are many Targaryens through the female line around in the 2nd century. I think Queen Aelinor's father was Ronnel Penrose, the second husband of Elaena Targaryen, who may have fathered Aelinor on a first wife (sort of like Aemma Arryn had four older half-siblings by her father's first wife) and that he grew up with young Prince Aegon as a page and squire as the grandson of Baela or Rhaena. There is a curious quote in TWoIaF hinting at Daeron II's allies in the Stormlands and Dornish marches: Aegon IV's plan early in his reign (the failed attempt to conquer Dorne took place in 174 AC, two years after he had taken the throne) apparently involved inciting the Stormlords and Marcher Lords against the Dornishmen - who were Daeron's most powerful supporters. But Daeron apparently also had allies among those Stormlords and Marcher lords - at a point where his sons definitely were not yet married to anyone. [Baelor Breakspear was born the same year as Daemon Blackfyre (in 170 AC), meaning he was about four years old when his grandfather tried to conquer Dorne.] Thus we can deduce that the future Daeron II must have had allies among the Stormlords and Marcher lords (men who, due to their traditional hatred of the Dornishmen should have been in the Unworthy's camp - and later in the Blackfyre camp). Not all of them - but definitely some of them. And the best guess is that Daeron II's best friends were the very men whose daughters ended up marrying his two elder sons. Thus we can, I think, assume that both the father of Aelinor Penrose (tentatively Ronnel Penrose) and the father of Jena Dondarrion (future wife of Baelor Breakspear) grew up with Prince Daeron and became close friends of the future king - sort of like Aerys II befriended his own cousin Steffon Baratheon and Tywin Lannister during his childhood and youth at the court of Aegon V. This idea makes even more sense if we consider that two Penroses (Aelinor and Ronnel) were honored with Targaryen marriages despite their low standing (House Penrose is very undistinguished in Westerosi history despite Cortnay Penrose's loyalty to the late Renly and Edric Storm). And the Dondarrions may be famed Marcher lords but they have very humble roots. It strikes me as very unlikely that the Prince of Dragonstone and Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne - which Baelor Breakspear was from 184 AC onwards - would have been married to a Dondarrion if said Dondarrion wasn't also a Targaryen through the female line. We do know that Betha Blackwood (a relation of the King's Hand, Bryden Rivers, himself the son of a Targaryen king) was considered an unsuitable bride for Prince Maekar's youngest son and that this match would have faced serious opposition if Egg had been at the top rather than the end of the line of succession in 220 AC. The idea that Daeron II could have married his heir to a Dondarrion and his second son to a Penrose if that had been the only thing they were is very hard to swallow. This would have made the case of the Blackfyre partisan so much easier. Daeron II's own non-incestuous union had visibly diluted the royal blood - Baelor Breakspear, while being a great knight and better ruler, did favor his Dornish mother and did not look like a Targaryen - and thus it makes little sense that Daeron II would have continued that trend by not marrying his sons to Targaryen cousins. And we do know that Valarr did have some Valyrian features and that two, possibly three (Aemon) sons of Maekar had very distinct Valyrian features. We do know - due to Valarr's and Daeron's and Aerion's ages in THK - that both Baelor and Maekar (who must have been at least four years younger than Baelor, but it is very likely that he was even younger since I don't expect Myriah to have produced four sons in four years) were married and/or already had children by the time of the Blackfyre Rebellion in 196 AC, effectively confirming it that at least Baelor's and Maekar's brides were not rewards for loyal lords and knights during the Blackfyre Rebellion but rather marriages made earlier which likely helped Daeron II to crush the rebels (we do know that Maekar led the Dornishmen and Baelor the Stormlanders on the Redgrass Field). Since we can also reasonably expect that Princess Elaena married Ronnel Penrose in the first half of King Daeron II (she had four children with him and eventually married Michael Manwoody while Daeron II was still king) we can also expect that the marriage of the future Aerys I was arranged before the Blackfyre Rebellion - considering Aerys' character (he essentially seems to have been another version of (semi-)autist Vaegon) I doubt his parents would have insisted on a marriage if hadn't been their second son or if his match had only been made when Baelor and Maekar already had their sons. Rhaegel's wife - Alys Arryn - and Maekar's wife - Dyanna Dayne - are somewhat different. There were two Arryn-Targaryen marriages in the past, and the Arryns are the oldest bloodline of Andal royalty. Thus Alys can but doesn't have to be a some sort of a Targaryen cousin (although it is still possible). And since mad Rhaegel's twins Aelor and Aelora still seem to be children by 212 AC, it is also possible that Rhaegel was married to a daughter of Lord Donnel Arryn (who was a hero of the Redgrass Field) only after the Blackfyre Rebellion. But it is also possible that Rhaegel's mental issues were so severe that he and his lady wife had sex only very infrequently, or that they had other fertility issues. Dyanna Dayne and Maekar Targaryen could be a love match, a marriage that grew out of the fact that Queen Myriah had a dashing young Dayne girl among her ladies and companions. But it is also possible that either during the Conquest of Dorne or during Baelor the Blessed's peace negotiations or even later still when the future Daeron II and Myriah celebrated their wedding one of those Targaryen-Velaryons or Targaryen-Hightowers married into House Dayne and a daughter from that union eventually ended up marrying young Prince Maekar in the 190s. I think the Targaryens were always wary of considering a Lannister marriage. That would have given them too much prestige and power. Queen Rhaena realized that they wanted both the Iron Throne and dragons, and chances are that the more ambitious Lannisters never gave up that goal. About the relations between the Targaryens and the Tyrells we don't know enough, especially in the post-FaB years, but I'd say that despite their power they would not have been seen as suitable matches for the royal family for most of the kings. They were just upjumped stewards, after all.
  11. Lord Varys

    Why does anyone like the idea of "the Singularity"

    That is not really true. Ivory tower clerics controlling access and content of written knowledge rejected empiricism - the (mostly unknown) builders of the Gothic cathedrals knew how to do practical science. But my point was more that western religion only decided to not compete with science when it was clear they no longer could do that. If you could ask pre-20th century popes or John Calvin or the Mayflower gang about their opinion whose 'facts' should control society then you would get a very definitive answer. It is a rhetoric strategy to enshrine privileges based on nothing in our societal framework. Many gods are testable hypotheses - Jesus Christ is, basic logic deals with the trinity, transsubstation is nonsense, etc. The Olympian gods also were testable hypotheses, any deity which supposedly answers prayers or works miracles is a testable hypotheses. Many books of the Bible show how you the powers of various gods can be put to the test, etc. Unless I'm very much mistaken the age of the Earth was only discovered in the 20th century. The guys of the 19th centuries were speculating about the Earth being millions of years old, not billions. Creationism was the prevalent scientific theory about the complexity of life prior to modern evolutionary theories. But this is, of course, something that originates with religious dogma. Human presumption might also play a huge part. One does not want to be an animal and one prefers to be 'specially created' - like we make dolls or figurines, etc. But the evidence that this is nonsense was there for everybody to see.
  12. Tywin was made Hand, too. Jaime Lord Commander. Neither had anything to do with it. Nor is there any reason to assume most of Westeros would care whether a council man sided with the heir apparent against the Hand.
  13. Littlefinger continued to serve King Joffrey after the coup. Him getting a reward doesn't mean he betrayed Eddard Stark in an important manner - just that he was loyal to King Joffrey and Queen Cersei.
  14. Why should Renly care? Littlefinger would have sold Cersei to him as soon as his army approached the city. They got along pretty well.
  15. It seems that he may have intended to make Sansa's hand his reward for helping Cersei in the succession. Slynt got Harrenhal ... he got nothing. Why is that?