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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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  1. The original origin of Oldtown and the Hightowers is lost in the midst of the Dawn Age. There isn't even an origin story for the Hightowers and their city the same we have for many of the other houses. The first Hightower mentioned is King Uthor of the Hightower. He married a daughter of Garth Greenhand, Maris the Maid, and he built the first Hightower of stone ... but he wasn't the founder of the house nor the first Hightower king. He didn't even build the first Hightower, so there were Hightowers before him. And the chances are pretty good that the ultimate origins of Oldtown and the Hightowers are to be found beyond Westeros since Oldtown supposedly was a trading port in those ancient days. The Daynes could also have origins abroad, and they seem to be as old as the Hightowers, with their history allegedly stretching back ten thousand years. But neither of that makes Valyrian origins very likely. Valyria wasn't around in the Dawn Age as far as we know. It might have been found around/shortly after the Long Night, but not before. However, there is certainly a chance that Valyrian adventurers and explorers intermarried with early Hightowers when they first visited Westeros thousands of years ago.
  2. Yes, for a book big enough to be published there must be significant more material than just the rivers and beacon-hills piece or the Ósanwe-kenta. More information on the Ainur incarnation thing would be rather interesting. Especially in regards to the Istari, Melian, the Valar and Maiar themselves, and the evil guys. How things went with Balrogs and the early dragons (Glaurung seems to have been some kind of Ainu spirit, too, being called a daemon at one point) could be rather interesting. It would also be great if there were more on those Boldog spirits which were supposed to be spirits in Orc-form which commanded the Orcs in the early days. To give you a little treat there, the Ósanwe-kenta establishes in a footnote that Sauron first lost his bodily form when being confronted by Huan and Lúthien, contrary to the Lay of Leithian account. There might be other surprises like this one in those texts. This is also a kind of good retcon, in my opinion, helping to explain why Sauron doesn't really involve himself in the War of Wrath or commands any armies after his confrontation with Lúthien, the action passing from Sauron to Balrogs and dragons. He may have been without a proper body, only taking on one when he yielded to Eonwe at the end of the war. I think this was rather significant for people who thought Sauron could only return from 'death' multiple times because he had the Ring as an anchor. But if his body was destroyed once before he even made the Ring that's off the table. But then, it also seems Manwe himself slew Balrogs back during the Battle of the Powers, and one imagines they came back later again, at least once (in light of the fact that there were very few Balrogs in existence in the final version of the mythology), so even the lesser evil spirits seem to be able to return from death at least once. Of course, because it is such an impotent and pitiful image. Sauron looks like a lamp, a tool, not like a powerful being. Especially in the moment the Dark Tower is destroyed. The image of the Red Eye used in FOTR was a good idea, symbolizing Sauron's searching mind and even the evil of the Ring as such, since that's completely in accordance with the book. But Sauron himself is a physical being in a physical body in a physical tower. If they go by Tolkien's metaphysical concepts then Sauron would have to be shapeshifter at that time. It is told that, after the fall of Númenor, he could no longer appear fair ... but even while he was Annatar he was also the Dark Lord, and surrounded his seat with fire, etc. So one imagines that he is going to look differently in Mordor when overlooking the building of Barad-dûr or forging the One Ring than he does when he seduces Celebrimbor or, later, the future Nazgûl, hands out the rings to the dwarves, etc. The last time he would have taken the shape of Annatar would have been when he prepared to seduced Pharazôn. What I don't think Sauron can be in the SA is completely cast aside his body like Valar and Maiar can do when they are not fully incarnate. Most definitely not after he made the Ring, but even before he should have lost too much of his original power since he already lost his body once before. And I'd expect that he can only modify his man-like body, making it fairer, nicer, more handsome, and dial up the Dark Lord characteristics (what little we know of the Sauron Elendil and Gil-galad faced makes it likely the body was somewhat resembling a Balrog, considering the Ring was that hot when Isildur took it and Gil-galad was apparently burned to death by Sauron's touch). But they could also go with Sauron just having the Annatar body, and the Dark Lord persona being created by acting and special effects without there actually being a physical transformation or a different actor entirely. Technically the Sauron Dark Lord persona could also rule like some kind of handsome fallen angel kind of character, without feeling the need to change his body. That is left ambiguous to a point in the books.
  3. Have to agree with that. I still remember how I felt when I first learned that there would be a 10-15 minutes duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan with literally little to no dialogue. That was the worst thing Lucas could do. This is a scene people envisioned and expected to be meaningful because of the emotional relationship between these two ... there should have been a lot of pleading, arguing, persuading, cursing, begging, etc. Not two stoic robots going through the motions. I've to say I like the fight in the senate rodunda since that sends the nice symbolic message that those pods are now truly just empty impotent chairs. I find the plot of AOTC is pretty good if you take the novelization, but the botched version of it that's now the film (even with all the cut scenes that float around) is truly completely nonsensical. Everything would have been better with more dialogue in that movie, even the shitty romance. To be sure, Stover once told me how heavily Lucas himself edited the novel ... he was quite irritated by that, since he apparently never got that before or after from a book he wrote, meaning the prose as it is is actually to a good chunk Lucas (and the editing did not affect plot at all, just which words and phrases were used). I remember, finding the book heavily imbalanced with the first third of the novel deal with the Invisible Hand stuff, but Stover confirmed that this was how the script looked at the time ... and there was nothing cut in the later chapters.
  4. Daenerys has one dragon, not three. She can ride but one and she has mounted Drogon now. Viserion and Rhaegal will go to other people and they might support her ... or turn against her, try to make themselves into kings, etc. Dragons are power, not little girls with fair hair. And of course it is to be expected that Dany won't remain beautiful forever. I expected her to become disfigured or crippled in ADwD, and I think chances are pretty high that something like that will happen eventually. The deposition of a king doesn't depose a dynasty, especially not if the same dynasty does the usurpation. I mean, don't you get it? Robert's claim, his success, goes back to him being a Targaryen descendant ... just as Henry Bolingbroke and Richard II both had the same royal grandfather (Edward III), like the Lancasters and Yorks were two branches of the same family. The Baratheons aren't a new dynasty, they are the same dynasty as the Targaryens ... and since Robert's legal claim to kingship is based on his royal blood he cannot be king and claim Viserys III or Daenerys can't - because they have the same blood. And nobody ever did, since there is no indication that the Baratheon regime even tried to disinherit or attaint the Targaryens in exile. This is stuff you want to believe, not something that's actually in the text. Overthrowing a king isn't the same as overthrowing a dynasty. I mean, take rise of Henry IV ... they passed over Richard II's presumptive heir from the elder line of Lionel of Antwerp ... but that didn't prevent the Yorkists later to use that claim to cast down and eventually kill Henry IV grandson Henry VI. And for the hundredth time - nobody says that Viserys III was the factual sitting king while Robert was on the throne. But he was the rightful king, like Aegon the Uncrowned or Rhaenyra, etc. - the chosen heir of the last king. There is nothing rightful about King Robert. He came into his throne by treason and butchery (I mean the Sack there). Deposing the Mad King is one thing, torching the line of succession and murdering innocents to put a corrupt moron on the throne another. The Baratheon dynasty could, perhaps, have a shot to establish themselves as the rightful kings/dynasty if they have produced more than one proper monarch ... and said monarchs had also done something to make themselves as immortal as the Young Dragon or the Conqueror. Robert is already a dead man walking and poor excuse for a king in the beginning of AGoT. He doesn't even look kingly, as Jon notes. To be clear, I meant keeping company there. Denethor used the palantír and whenever he looked east he kept mental company with Sauron. There was interaction there. Not if you just ask whether Denethor is burning in hell now. He killed himself which means hell in a Christian context, and he tried to murder his own son, which is also a heinous crime. That he could have harmed even more people is clear, but we have to count him among the condemned, not the saved people. I mean, this is a Catholic writing about a suicide. Which shows his weakness. As a man from the West he should have believed in victory no matter what, knowing about what his forebears all accomplished from Beren and Tuor and Eärendil to Elendil and his sons. This is a world of demons and angels, not one where you should pretend they don't exist - or that only the demons are real. His mistake was to misinterpret what he saw - which he wouldn't have if he hadn't used the stone to look east. Sauron still destroyed him, and his stupidity was to not see this. To not consider that the Dark Lord might be smarter than he was, that he would pick the images he saw to break him. But he is dead wrong there. Sauron's entire power is built on sand, he himself ensured he would be destroyed by making the Ring. And Denethor should have known that after he learned of the plan to destroy it ... especially in combination with the knowledge he had about the fact that the good guys get divine help. I mean, how stupid must that guy be to tell an angel who just came back from death and god himself that there is no hope? That is presumption and hubris. Denethor knows who and what Gandalf is. Still no excuse for murder. And, no, they should have been able to hold Minas Tirith even without Aragorn. Éowyn and Merry dealt with the Witch-king, and Gandalf would have kept the enemy out of the city even after the gate was broken. Without Aragorn victory may have been more costly and would have involved more magic than it did, but Gandalf wasn't at Minas Tirith to allow the city to fall. He was sent back by Eru to ensure Sauron's downfall, and he would have seen to it that this happened. It was the divine plan that Sauron would fail. But Sauron apparently exploited it. He actively played Denethor by coercing him into depression. If you go back and read the book you notice the change in Denethor when he last consorts with the Dark Lord. He is completely broken then ... and that's no coincidence. Of course, Saruman's posthumous punishment is likely much worse than Denethor's. But both would end up in hell for what they did, assuming the idea is that there is eternal punishment for fallen Maiar (we have no idea). But Denethor won't join Eru Ilúvatar in the afterlife. I mean, you do recall that he even tainted the Anor stone which later always showed his burning hands unless you had the strength of will to get beyond that. You can interpret this as a glimpse of Denethor's ultimate fate in the afterlife ... and it definitely also symbolizes that he died an unrepentant sinner. Of course he knew. Denethor and Faramir very much alike in character and intelligence, and you don't need to be a genius to know that those Istari are immortal but not Elves. So what the hell are they? Even the Red Book's appendices spill out what they are, and that's edited and written mostly by Hobbits. They have good reason to believe that Sauron is a god. If the devil showed up right now and showed his divine powers we would all worship and submit to him if no other power of equal or greater might showed up to counter him. Which is why Denethor's failing is actually very significant. He knew the truth, he is talking to an angel, and he still abandoned all hope and destroyed himself and tried to destroy the future of his house. He is a guy who, within the framework of the story, truly does know the difference between good and evil and sin and virtue. You cannot say the same of any man growing up under the shadow of Sauron - at Barad-dûr itself, say, or in Mordor, or in a land completely under the dominion of Sauron's followers. Morals, culture, religion, etc. would all be dominated by 'Sauronism', and people could not know that there might be another way. Even more so if we assume that the taint Melkor put on everything grows stronger if you are in the presence/under the power of a Dark Lord. I didn't say it is exactly the same thing. But then, who knows - I mean, Orcs are a different race, so perhaps people just think men are better than they are because they want to believe it? I mean, even Gandalf's seems to have no issues with eradicating Orcs completely - he defends Gollum not being an orc and just an enemy ... but he never says that the Orcs have a right to live, no? The point just is that the chances that you have 'free will' in the sense that theological signficant if you live under the shadow of Morgoth or Sauron - be you Orc or Man or even Elf - is not exactly well-founded within the framework of the story. That your view might change after the Dark Lord is vanquished is another matter entirely. My point is about the people living and dying while the Dark Lords are around. Again, it is breaking the rules of dynastic succession to place some guy on the throne when the throne belongs to others. Even people like Robb know that - he wants to kill Joff but has no intention to harm Tommen or Myrcella, stating that Tommen has to follow Joffrey as his heir, and not one of the uncles. This is the core principle of that world ... and breaking it means whoever steals the throne cannot say he is the rightful king. Might still be a king, though, if he wears a crown. It is the same with Maegor - that guy also was never the rightful king, never mind that he ruled for six years. It shows how damaged the dynasty is, and even the concept of kingship as such. But you still need royal blood to want to be king. So far nobody supported the bid of some guy for the Iron Throne. It may come to that in the future, though. I mean, if you want to, you can also pretend that half of Westeros or so were more or less happy with Robert as their king. There were no great calamities, a lot of entertainment in the capital, and the guy knew how to party. But it is a fake peace, fake tranquility as we well know. Everybody was sharpening their knives, from Dorne to beyond the Wall, and in Essos as well. And the way the Baratheons fucked things up after Robert's death will only strengthen the desire for the good old days, i.e. the Targaryen days. We see this happening with even Aerys II being idolized by the common people. And this kind of thing works because the Targaryens are a myth, larger than life, the magical dynasty. They are King Arthur at Avalon or Friedrich II beneath the Trifels. They will come back when the people need them, and when they come back then everything will be fine again. It won't, in the story, but people will still believe that it will. That is the entire point of the Aegon story. The story is not going to be that Aegon or Dany or Jon will have to prove that they should be kings ... instead people will want them to be kings because of who they are and from they are supposedly descended from. And they are (descended from) Targaryens. There you show that you don't seem to understand that the Conquest of Aegon the Conqueror wasn't 'unnecessary'. Or, perhaps it was, but it wasn't bad. Very few people died in that war, and afterwards things got better for all the Targaryen subjects. The Wars of the Conquest are surprisingly bloodless (save the Dornish War, of course). If the Iron Throne symbolizes something then most likely (1) the transformation of war and conquest into justice by means of transforming weapons of war into a throne, and then (2) by having a throne made from weapons the danger of being a king is made painstakingly explicit. If you are not cautious you cut yourself - making it clear that your decisions affect yourself as much as others and can have dire consequences. That much is made clear as early as Ned's stint on the throne and the whole 'a king should never rest easy' thing. Problem here is - Aegon the Conqueror is not presented as a usurper, and neither is the Iron Throne presented as a tyrant's chair. Oh, well, I like to think that Aldarion's change of the succession law was bad (women should not rule and did not rule in Gondor or Arnor) so all the kings of Númenor descended from Ancalime were not *really* the rightful kings, including all those who later fucked things up. It went against the natural order of things. But the overall point is that the entire Númenor thing is also an attempted usurpation thing - the people crave powers they are not supposed to have, they want to be immortal and, eventually, they want to be the Lords of the West (which Tolkien hits us on the head with by means of Adûnakhôr's royal name). But I'd not describe Gimilzôr as evil - he was a bad king and perhaps even somewhat of a tyrant, but the point the Númenóreans go down the path of no return is with Pharazôn ... and, to be precise, with Sauron turning them into devil-worshippers. And perhaps even that could have been forgiven if they had repented, put down Sauron, and not tried to conquer Valinor. We don't know. I know that, but such a concept of property is just silly, especially if it stretches through millennia. Aragorn having a claim to anything is just a joke, after 1,000 years. The point here is that Tolkien's concept of 'property' and 'kingship' is infinitely stronger than that of Martin - where I say people still recall the Targaryens are the true kings two decades after Aerys II was deposed, and not a thousands years later. Tolkien's world is one of idealized divine kingship. Not really, considering there is no basis for this palantír property concept. The stones weren't even made by Númenóreans. Their true owners are the Noldor who made them. I mean, sure, they gave them away, but so did the stewards when they gave the key of Orthanc to Saruman. He was 'the rightful owner' then the same way Denethor was as a representative/servant of the kings. Yet somehow there is a difference there. Do you see that this kind of concept has nothing to do with the Iron Throne ... because nobody ever says anything about the power of the Iron Throne being corrupt or evil or something the people having it are not entitled to. Well, and what if Sauron had repented and decided to be a good little tin soldier in Aule's hosts after he made the One Ring? Sauron isn't completely evil nor beyond redemption in principle. Any person more powerful than Sauron himself - as well as Sauron himself if he changed his mind - should be able to break the power of the Ring or even change what it does. Thankfully people still do revolutions ;-). Every monarchy is by 'consent of the people' - an absolute monarchy also needs soldiers and bureaucrats, etc. which are ... people governed by it. In fact, the amount of people Louis XIV had to get on board for his regime was likely higher than William the Conqueror needed in England. The difference there is about the class structure of the society - does the king have to rely on a strong nobility or does he have a standing army and bureaucracy drawn from the commoners? Ideologically, most monarchy were always absolutist. The English, French, your Byzantines, they were all absolutists. Couldn't enforce all aspects of that, but they always viewed themselves as such. The reason Aragorn is king and not, say, Gandalf - the actual leader of the alliance against Sauron, and the man keeping the resistance alive and rekindling hope in the good guys - is that Aragorn has royal blood, nothing else. All Aragorn is he is because of his blood. It is what gives him healing hands, it is what gives him long life and insight and strength of will. Those are all gifts given to him by his royal birth. All Aragorn does he only can do because of who he is by right of birth and blood - that's why he can walk the paths of the dead, can command the dead, and can force them to fulfill their vows. Only Isildur's heir could do that. He just goes through the motions, if you will. And where do you get the ridiculous assumption that Aragorn would have made an attempt sooner? We are never told why he waited ... but it seems that he did wait because he didn't bother taking over a kingdom which might be destroyed by Sauron, anyway. And which he himself could help to destroy by causing a civil war to try and take the throne. Gondor lost its king because they crowned a false king in Earnil II. The rightful king was Arvedui, he should have been king, there was even a prophecy that things could get better if he became king. Some people in Gondor thought they knew better and they paid the price for that by losing their kings for good. You can interpret that as divine punishment, like the dying of the white tree, both in Minas Tirith and in Númenor. I think you know that dictators can also stage such scenes. And the will of the people pales in light of the eagle of Manwe declaring much earlier that the king has come again and will live among the people of Minas Tirith all the days of their lives. People are at best ratifying the divine will here, they are not shaping history. Nobody ever said that obedience to any king is absolute, neither witih Tolkien nor Martin (although I'd say that obedience to the Elder King would be absolute in Arda). Of course there are things you can differ - like when you have a heretic as king or steward (which Denethor was when he decided to kill himself - he even says that he is following the example of the 'heathen kings of old'). But a heretical king is still the king, and it is not your place to depose him. Even Gandalf has no right to depose Denethor as steward. And in Beregond's case you should keep in mind he was still punished for his transgression. It was a veiled reward, of course, but still came in the disguise of punishment ... which tells you something there. Generally, Tolkien and Martin both have a medieval concept of monarchy - where laws are not really made, but collected and interpreted but you rarely introduce something completely new. And that also extends to absolutist kings in early modern times. They did not think they could do what they wanted, but rather rule without being confined by other groups. But the concept of kingship of, say, Louis XIV wasn't all that far apart from the concept of Philip the Fair or the monarchistic ideology of the popes from the 11th century onwards.
  5. Nah, this isn't legit. That's badly written fan fiction with the person doing it having little knowledge about the novels.
  6. Nobody needs to sew dragon banners - they already have them. The entire Crownlands are Targaryen loyalists, have always been. Stokeworth will side with Aegon, considering Bronn has nothing good to expect from Tommen. Rosby, too, considering that Cersei fucked with Gyles' ward. The Crackclaw Point folk, too, and what remains from the Narrow Sea lords. And the Kingslanders, too. It might be too subtle for some people, but the play about the lions being devoured by the dragon from the egg is clear foreshadowing what's going to happen in the city. The people will get rid of Tommen and his ilk, and replace him with Aegon. And that will go even smoother in light of the fact that the only soldiers left to 'King Tommen' are Reach men - who are predominantly Targaryen loyalists, too. They are not Westermen who sacked the city in Tywin's and Robert's name - they are men who fought with Rhaegar at the Trident or besieged Storm's End with Mace. Some of them might even be men whose peers were cut down by Tywin's army during the Sack. If push comes to shove they will either stand aside and let the Golden Company install Aegon as king ... or they will actively turn against Tommen and put him down. Either way, Aegon is going to win.
  7. Because she died before such a thing could be reasonably well entertained? Aenys was born in the midst of the Dornish War, and Rhaenys had to suckle him herself as the histories tell us, since he refused the milk given by wetnurses. That would have prevented Rhaenys from getting pregnant very shortly after Aenys' birth, and to properly do this kind of thing - and prevent the real impression that the queen's child is fathered by the king - they would have to be together at the time of conception. That would be twice as difficult in war, but also in peace times. We don't know any details, but Aenys being completely devastated after the death of his mother would imply they were very close, meaning Rhaenys and the boy likely spend 7-10 AC mostly at one of the residences - and if I had to guess that more likely on Dragonstone than the Aegonfort, which wouldn't have been the best place to raise a sickly child - while Aegon went on his progresses, spend time at the other residence, and flew out into the field to continue his war. Also, one could imagine that Rhaenys was very concerned for the well-being of her sickly only child, hovering out the boy in those years and not being all that interested in trying again ... regardless with whom. Considering Visenya was the truly martial sister-wife, we could also assume that she was more with Aegon in the field in those wars, doing her decent share of castle burnings and the like while it fell to Rhaenys to sit the Iron Throne in the absence of both her siblings. Overall, you get a 'divided we stand' vibe from the Targaryen siblings - that's also how they did it during the Conquest. But I imagine the plan would have been to produce more children after the end of the war. She was the youngest of the siblings - I'm not sure we have a canonical birth year for her, but Visenya is now confirmed to have been to years Aegon's elder, so if Rhaenys was two years his younger (and not just one year) then she would have been not that old in 11 or 12 AC. That Aegon eventually turned to Visenya to produce heirs was clearly unplanned and an emergency solution. It was a way to produce a spare should Aenys die - and looked like a possibility in 10 AC - as well as shut down the morons who were trying to push another queen on Aegon. Which, I imagine, would have further destabilized the internal Targaryen power machine in the wake of Rhaenys' death. Especially to the detriment of Visenya who, as a childless queen, could have easily be pushed aside in favor of a young and hot wife Aegon may have chosen ... especially if she had been fertile. Her dragon would have countered that to a point, but a queen's function is to breed, and if she doesn't do that, she has problems. I don't know, Alyssa and Aenys are cousins twice over - closer cousins of unknown degree on the Velaryon side, since we have to assume that Aenys' grandmother Valaena Velaryon was Alyssa great-aunt or something, and somewhat more distant cousins on the Targaryen side if Valaena's Targaryen mother is also the mother of the first Daemon Velaryon (and a close relation of Aenys' immediate Targaryen ancestors - a sister rather than a distant cousin to Aelyx, Baelon, and Daemion, say). Also, I guess we can tentatively assume that the Masseys were not exactly completely unrelated to the Velaryons at the time of the Aethan-Alarra match. One expects that the Velaryons intermarried with the local noble houses since they first came to the Narrow Sea, especially since so far nothing indicates they ever practiced sibling incest. There is a funny thing there that Corlys and Rhaenys are also rather closely related on the Velaryon side. People tend to overlook that Rhaenys' grandmother and Corlys' grandfather (Alyssa and Daemon Velaryon) were siblings. They are second cousins on the Velaryon side - on the Targaryen side their most recent common ancestor would have that Targaryen mother of Valaena Velaryon - if she is also the ancestor of the main Velaryon branch. And Jaehaerys-Alysanne turning out to be as fertile as they were - and Rhaena-Aegon also have success in the birthing bed quickly - with their mother not exactly bringing in something we could call 'fresh or unrelated blood' doesn't seem to underline for me that we should take away that the incest was Aegon's problem there - especially since we have no clue how inbred the Dragonstonian Targaryens were. The only incest matches that we know about are Gaemon-Daenys and Aegon-Elaena. The rest could all have married more distant relations or even outside the family altogether. And if some of them had Velaryon wives then the first such marriage would count as 'fresh blood' because we can assume that they didn't intermarry with Velaryons while they were back in Valyria. Instead, I'd go with the idea that the Targaryens generally do have a fertility issue problem - something that's there and comes to the fore once in awhile. The Conqueror would be the most extreme case if I'm right with the idea that he didn't father any children, but Maegor is another, then we have Aemon-Jocelyn, Aemma Arryn (who seems to have been the problem in her marriage with Viserys), Daemon with Rhea Royce (although 'no intercourse' may have been their problem), Naerys, possibly Daeron-Kiera and Aerion-Daenora (each only child despite the fact that they could have been married for years), Duncan-Jenny (if their marriage was childless), Jaehaerys-Shaera (who must have tried to have more than the two children they had, considering the length of their marriage), and, of course, Aerys-Rhaella. Especially the later cases are interesting, considering that those Targaryens weren't particularly inbred compared to the earlier generations, even though Aerion then married a cousin and Jaehaerys II his sister. Duncan's Jenny wouldn't have been even a very distant relation, one imagines, so theirs should actually have been a rather fruitful marriage... Oh, I hope he never says anything about that thing. It is supposed to be vague. It would spoil the fun if he made proclamations about that - like him telling us when Mushroom was right or dead wrong. But what would interest me is if George has ever said anything about who the presumptive heir of the Conqueror and his sister-wives was before Aenys' birth? Did you ever ask him about that? They had no children, but if Aegon died somebody would have to follow him. I guess the women would have taken over, but they would also have to make preparations for a next generation since they would not get any younger. My guess is that it would go down to the second Daemon Velaryon (who seems to have been born around the Conquest) and Rogar Baratheon's father - who has to have been born around 1 AC if he is to have Rogar in 17 AC. And about what we all would like to know more about is what kind of problems Jocelyn and Aemon had in the children department. Because the point you make above - that Aegon and Rhaenys could have tried to have more children - should definitely be the case for Aemon and Jocelyn. Especially in light of the fact that their only child was a girl.
  8. Bah, Lucas' bad taste was never more evident then in the fact he actually did reshoots to include that pointless droid factory scene in AOTC. There was the Coruscant chase, the asteroid field chase, and the big battle in the end - why not focus more on the plot and less on fake tension?
  9. Sure, they do not win the ground battle - because the point of the plot there is this whole symbiosis thing - that Naboo and Gungans have to work together to defeat their common enemy. But the message still is that the Gungans are stronger than the Naboo, being able to marshal an army to fight the droids when the Naboo couldn't even do that. All they contribute to the fighting are a couple of star fighters and pilots. But compared to ROTJ the situation in TPM is completely different. In the former movie the Emperor didn't send troops to the moon to conquer it and pacify/enslave the Ewoks. They were to lure the rebels into a trap and protect the shield generator the Ewoks had no issues with at all ... until they hooked up with the rebels and decided to fight with them. Whereas the Gungans face and hold their own (for quite some time) against the full power of the gigantic Trade Federation army which was deployed on Naboo for the specific purpose to conquer and hold the entire planet, Naboo and Gungans included, whereas the Ewoks and the rebels outmaneuver and defeat only a rather small contingent of stormtroopers in a scenario where the Empire was neither prepared for nor expected to fight against the Ewoks at all. If the Emperor had wanted to crush the Ewoks he could have done so easily enough - not just with orbital bombardment but, one assumes, but by actually sending troops in larger numbers who were actually prepared to fight insurgents in a jungle environment. You have to keep in mind that the forest moon was original 'the sanctuary moon' in orbit of the capital planet of the Empire, a place where the Empire had little to no military presence. And this is also the case with Endor as we see it - there is just the shield generator on the moon, the landing dock, and perhaps some other isolated outposts. The Empire doesn't control the people on the ground on that world. Just stop remembering me of that shit. As I said earlier, that movie actually gave the same stupid plot (lure the rebels into a trap by endangering yourself and giving them the theoretical means for your destruction) to the same guy who died the first time implementing this 'plan' in ROTJ. Even a narcissistic madman cannot be that stupid. But the shitty fact that Palpatine had all the cards in his hands - nobody knew he was alive, so he could have raised his fucking armada out of the atmosphere before even broadcasting that he was alive!!! - makes the entire attack plan there break down. OT & PT 'desperate battle plans' do not rely on the bad guy being an utter moron but rather believable overconfidence on the side of the villains ... and in the end they win due to good look or, as we should put it, the will of the Force - like when Anakin can blow up the control ship, Luke blows up the Death Star, Luke gets through to Vader, and an unlikely alliance of Ewoks and rebel can blow up the shield generator, so Lando and Wedge can do their jobs. I think I laid out in one of the earlier threads that I think AOTC is actually the best PT movie ... if it still told the same story as the novelization and the script do. But it was gutted in the editing room. You really don't get anything about the plot in that movie if you don't have the background, because not even the factions are properly introduced. I a political movie you do need political exposition. I guess the way to go could have been to make the new Queen of Naboo a separatist and Padmé actually trying to keep her world in the Republic ... or also leaning towards secession until Anakin convinced her otherwise. Or them getting to the bottom of what Dooku might be and who he allies with (the mega-corporations) could have lead to her sobering up. And just make the entire romance thing not part of a vacation but have it take place in the background of summit on a lush planet where Republic and Confederate dignitaries meet to prevent an armed conflict. That would have knit the plot tighter together and Padmé/Anakin could have eventually been forced to run away or fake her death to uncover who was behind the attempts on her life, while Obi-Wan could have followed the trail to discover the clone army. The core mistake of the PT is that the first movie didn't set the stage for the Clone Wars - or at least the main factions of the Clone Wars. The Separatist movement should already have been a thing in TPM - or, as I'd have preferred it, there should have been another movie between TPM and AOTC to build up things some more.
  10. Oh, to be clear there is a fact there, and two different rumors. The fact is that Queen Rhaenys was a great patron of singers and mummers and the like, and surrounded herself with a coterie of male favorites. This is not a rumor, it is a fact. The first rumor says that whenever King Aegon did his marital duties with Queen Visenya - which allegedly didn't happen all that often compared to Rhaenys (only one in ten 'sex nights' for Aegon were spent with Visenya - the other nine with Rhaenys) - Queen Rhaenys (one imagines because of jealousy) entertained herself by having sex with some of her favorites. The second rumor, coming up after Aenys' birth and when it became clear he did not resemble his alleged all that much, is that Aenys was produced by the Conqueror's seed but by one of Rhaenys' many alleged lovers from the circle of her favorites. The idea that she had affairs is not based on the looks/qualities of her son, but on the fact that she was surrounded by handsome favorites. In that sense - this whole thing is actually pretty telling, especially if you think about what Cersei could pull right under Robert's nose. And Aegon was a much more active king, having two royal residence he switched back and forth between, and then making a progress essentially every year. Not to mention the First Dornish War which took place during most of the years Rhaenys was still around. The line which - in my opinion - is supposed to give the truth away without actually doing it - is when Gyldayn - after mentioning the singers among Rhaenys' favorites - goes on mentioning that Aenys was a fine singer himself, with a soft, sweet voice. That is the way you do it when you write a history which officially cannot state Aenys Targaryen wasn't the Conqueror's son because he ascended the throne as his son and all the Targaryens are descended from him. But the idea for both Aenys and Maegor not being Aegon's biological sons is not the king being cuckolded in secret in Rhaenys' case, but them realizing that they had to take measures to ensure the survival of the dynasty. Aegon would have given Rhaenys permission to explore other ways to get pregnant, just as Visenya would have looked for help in sorcery to produce Maegor. You have to keep in mind that the late birth of Aenys means they were without a clear heir for seven years after the Conquest ... after a war that left scars and at an age when conceiving children would get ever more difficult, not to mention staying alive. After the Conquest they could realistically expect, say, ten years of good health, and another ten of decent health. That Aegon and Visenya lived into the sixties and seventies in good health was luck if you compare them to their descendants. And in general - most Targaryens actually do look like their parents of close relatives. And to be clear - Aenys may very much have looked like Aegon physically - just as his sons (Jaehaerys included) could have had their father's nose, face, hands, etc. - but he wasn't all that impressive insofar as physical build, force of will, and prowess at arms were concerned. The tricky thing with Aenys' character is that we don't know anything about his grandfather Aerion's character or the other Targaryens on Dragonstone ... but if you look further down the family tree then 'the Aenys-trait' sort of comes back in Viserys I, Daeron the Daring, Baelor the Blessed, Daeron II, Daeron the Drunk, Jaehaerys II, etc. Just as Vaegon's apparent autism comes back in Jaehaera, Aegon III, and especially Aerys I. There is a limited variety in the Targaryen bloodline - mostly they turn out to be physically and mentally impressive, but they never bred out the bad traits. She may have been stupid to consider seducing Aegon ... but such a marriage alliance proposal wasn't dumb. Oh, well, Westerosi are dumb. With the inbred Targaryens it is not a surprise that certain traits jump a generation. Just how prowess at arms jumps around - you have Maegor, Jaehaerys, Daemon, Aemond, the Dragonknight, Daemon Blackfyre, Baelor Breakspear, and so on. Similarly, being unusually smart/competent also jumps around - that's with, say, Aemon and Baelon, Viserys II, Daeron II, Aegon V, Maester Aemon, Rhaegar, and so on. Even things like gluttony pop up again and again, with Viserys I, Aegon II, Aegon IV, and so on. Looking for a specific trait in a direct descendant is stupid. I think that's very much illustrated in FaB when people remark on how Jaehaerys I resembles his uncle Maegor when he is angry. They are uncle and nephew, part of the same family, and not as far apart as one would like or expect. With Aenys and Maegor the interesting thing is that both are dialed-up, male versions of their mothers. Rhaenys was changeable, fickle, and no true warrior ... and her son takes those traits to the next level. Just as Visenya was a stern, unforgiving warrior with a dark side, and Maegor is mirrors her there in the extreme. Neither of 'the Conqueror's sons' have much in common with their 'father'.
  11. Well, the entire point there is that a technological inferior species can overpower/defeat a more techological advanced enemy. That is Lucas telling the Vietnam story. And I'd say it works better with the Ewoks than it would have with Wookiees because the latter would have been seen as bad ass from the start, whereas the Ewoks clearly aren't. And it is not really that one would have to imagine the Ewoks as 'winning a war'. They were just taking out a limited number of Imperial troops on the ground, who - in their overconfidence -, were not prepared to fight the indigenous teddy bears nor were they very familiar with the terrain. The way the battle is depicted is completely unrealistic, of course, considering the Ewoks had no time to even properly prepare for battle. But if you ignore that you can make the thing work if you want to. Connecting Jabba more with the Empire would be great. Going back to Tatooine in ROTJ I actually like, especially because of that fun talk Luke has with blind Han about his home planet. Anakin shouldn't have been born on Tatooine ... or the Jedi shouldn't have encountered him there. For him a place like Nal Hutta or Nar Shaddaa would have been a much better setting.
  12. People seem to have rewatch TPM here. The Gungans are the more technological advanced and more powerful species on Naboo. The Naboo were no match for the battle droids, the Gungans are. The Gungans also have a more naturalized technology, they fit in with nature, are self-sufficient, and really don't need the Naboo for anything until a common enemy threatens them both. Jar Jar Binks is not representative of the Gungans ... as can be seen during the entire battle sequence.
  13. The problem is that Aegon the Conqueror was married to Rhaenys for a decade or more before Aenys was born. He is born in 7 AC and you have to add the two years of the Wars of the Conquest ... and it is not stated that the siblings married immediately/shortly before the Conquest. They were already in their early/mid-twenties in 2 BC, and that is a rather late age for marriage, especially when we talk about the incestuous marriage practices of House Targaryen. There you marry in your early, mid- or late teens. Thus chances are that Aegon-Rhaenys were already married for not little more than a decade by 7 AC but perhaps even a time being closer to twenty years. And there are no other pregnancies miscarriages, stillbirths, or children dying in the cradle recorded for them. In light of the fact that women are most fertile in her late teens/early twenties this is all quite remarkable, especially since we are sent the message that Aegon and Rhaenys had sex often and quite regularly throughout their marriage. And then there are the rumors repeated even 300 years later that Queen Rhaenys entertained multiple lovers, increasing the likelihood that she just reached a point where she couldn't take Aegon failing her in the pregnancy department and helped herself with multiple sperm donors. With Visenya it is even more suspicious. She would have been married to Aegon as long as Rhaenys - or possibly even longer as her in light of that the she was the elder sister and we don't know for sure that there was only one marriage ceremony for both sister-wives - yet with her there is specifically recorded no pregnancy prior to Maegor (when Visenya was around forty) since it is stated that Visenya was 'childless and perhaps barren' when Rhaenys died, and the king was pushed to take another wife. A barren woman usually doesn't get pregnant. They wouldn't have said Visenya was 'perhaps barren' if she had had multiple (failed) pregnancies in the past. Another crucial point indicating that people even back during the Conquest thought Aegon might not be capable of fathering children is the fact that Queen Sharra Arryn offered Aegon to marry him if she named her son his heir in return. In light of the fact that Aegon had two wives already it seems very presumptuous that he would not produce a large family, doubling the number of children the average husband would have in a monogamous marriage. Queen Sharra would not have lived in a vacuum. She would have known how long Aegon was married to his sisters and that neither sister had given him a child so far. Meaning her offer may have been both ambitious on her part as well as helpful to Aegon who could gotten a proper heir in Ronnel Arryn. It is not that relevant whether Aegon was 100% sterile ... but rather that he is not the father of Aenys or Maegor because he couldn't impregnate either of his wives. Saying he was sterile just helps to underline or stress that idea. But I think you can say chances are very high he could not father children on any woman. The reason those rumors died down was Aenys bonding with the dragon Quicksilver. Dragons are viewed as markers of legitimate birth with the Targaryens, despite the fact that they would not give a damn whether the riders they bond with are born true or false nor whether they have the blood of the dragon on both sides. It is similar with Rhaenyra's sons - when their dragon eggs hatch and they mount their dragons the rumors surrounding their parentage also lose credence to a point. And you are right that Aemon-Jocelyn having only one child is also quite odd. It is a mistake on George's part, I think, to not more elaborate on that. Laena/Laenor not so much, I'd say, because Corlys and Rhaenys could have decided that they did not want more children.
  14. He employs mutilated children ... he doesn't mutilate them himself. And they die doing their jobs. Nobody ever says anything about them being killed. You do have to read the books, you know.
  15. The Brackett draft was finally revealed to a broader public a couple of years back, and it was quite remarkable how much of the finished movie was in even then. The improvisation stuff on set had little effect on the story as a whole ... although one has to say that things like Han's 'I know' really are what makes the stuff great. But that's basically just actors knowing what their characters are about. What makes TESB a great movie is mainly the personal dynamics between the characters, the overall chase setting which creates a lot of tension, the Vader revelation, and, of course, the double cliffhanger for both Han, and a sense, the Luke-Vader dynamic. ROTJ could hardly top that, considering it would close on a positive note and have to resolve all the earlier stuff. But still, the Luke-Vader-Emperor confrontation is great, as is the overall plan with its twists and turns. I guess it would have been better with Wookiees instead of Ewoks, but that's just a question of taste. Speaking about this - I just realized how much of super weapon rehash TROS was, with the Emperor making exactly the same mistake with Rey and her Resistance than he made with Luke and the Rebellion. People recycling the same plot so the very same character can plot the same thing? That's just stupid on so many levels.
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