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Lord Varys

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About Lord Varys

  • Birthday 11/25/1982

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  • Most Devious 'Man' In The Seven Kingdoms
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    Definitely somewhere in King's Landing

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  1. Hizdahr zo Loraq is introduced as a very highborn, very well-connected Meereenese nobleman. That would imply that his father - if he was still alive during the sack of Meereen - was of equal rank and (nearly) equal standing. And that, in turn, means that the Loraq family were at the heart of the highborn oligarchy ruling Meereen. They would not be rich people with no political power. But in any case, as your example of Crassus shows - it would make no sense for the wronged parties to only blame Crassus for the deed when he was acting on behalf of the Roman senate. They grant imperiums, so they are, in the end, the ones responsible for the actions of the commanders and generals they create. To not be a part of the Great Masters one would not just have to speak against something ... but one would have to distance oneself publicly and openly from one's peers. I'm sure Dany would have accepted any Great Masters leaving Meereen and asking her to join her ranks before her forces started to besiege the place.
  2. The notion that Arya - who ends up leaving Westeros - was in any danger from Daenerys in the show is ludicrous. The Sansa thing also makes little sense. Also, the Jon-Dany thing, since they could fucking marry to resolve the issue. There is such a thing as co-rulership in existence in this world ... and even if it wasn't, they could fucking invent it. It really makes no sense to actually discuss this shit because it makes no sense.
  3. Would you actually tell your only other cousin she was your favorite cousin when you were actually married to your only other cousin and everybody in the room knew you were very much in love with the cousin you married? They could have made this a joke if Viserys had said something along the lines of 'Don't tell Aemma, but we all know that you have always been my favorite cousin' or 'Aemma aside, you were always my favorite cousin.' But the way it is said in the show it indicates he actually meant what he said - or at least he genuinely meant to flatter Rhaenys there. That Aemma was an Arryn is first introduced earlier when Viserys tells Rhaenyra that his own marriage had been an arranged marriage for reasons of state (he says something about the Vale having as large an army as the North which seems to make little sense in context - the best sense you could make of this talk is that Rhaenys and Corlys already knew they had the Starks on their side in 92 AC so Baelon arranged a match for his son with his Arryn cousin to ensure the Vale would back him if there was a succession war). It is then reiterated when the Blacks look for allies at the end of the season. But what the show never actually mentioned or introduced is the fact that Aemma Arryn was a Targaryen on her mother's side and that she and Viserys I were first cousins. One can kind of infer that this may have been the case since Aemma looked like a Targaryen, but the 'favorite cousin' quote about Rhaenys could actually be used as an argument against that idea in the show universe. Neither HBO's official family tree nor the credits of the show actually do establish that Aemma Arryn had Targaryen blood nor that she was another granddaughter of the Old King. Now, I expect that there is a decent enough chance that season 2 might establish that when Jeyne Arryn is introduced ... but strictly speaking the more interesting aspect there is how exactly Jeyne and Rhaenyra/Jace are related to each other on the Arryn side than dwelling or going back to the fact that Aemma Arryn had a Targaryen mother.
  4. 'Whiteness' isn't just skin color, but a larger, political concept in racist discourse (for instance, as I think Chomsky liked to point out, the Japanese were viewed as 'white' by the South African apartheid regime while the Chinese were not). 'White' in racist discourse are whatever people sit at the top of the racist or cultural hierarchy - their actual skin color doesn't really matter. Now, iconographically the depiction of the Mhysa moment in GoT certainly presented Daenerys the way a white savior would be presented - but even silly GoT doesn't present the Westerosi as 'white people' in the sense that they view themselves as a supreme race nor were there ever a colonialist or imperial force. (In fact, ethnically the Westerosi would be First Men/Andal/Rhoynish/Valyrian mongrels.) You can only have a white savior if there is a racial hierarchy in the world or setting you talk about. If that is lacking then you can say that the portrayal or depiction evokes the concept in the eyes of certain people, but that is then stuff that happens in the eyes of the beholder, not in the work as such. This is where it is actually important to acknowledge that we talk fantasy novels here - if Daenerys were a princess from a European country freeing slaves in slaver cities in the middle east, say, then we would have a clear white savior narrative (at least when the European princess we talk about would operate at a time when racial hierarchies were already a thing). The slaves Dany frees in Slaver's Bay should include light-skinned people as well as those of many races. I imagine Dothraki would actually make the bulk of the slaves in Slaver's Bay since the Dothraki are more likely to fight and enslave each others than the Lhazareen or others neighbors they have. And it is from the Dothraki that the Ghiscari would get the bulk of their slaves. Although we cannot dismiss the fact that the corsairs from the Basilisk Isles would also provide them with slaves - and the people they enslave would include the crews from ships from all corners of the world. But GoT really made no effort to accurately depict this. Don't beat yourself up too much. I don't remember when exactly that happened, but the show started to play up the slavery defense/justification angle much earlier. I think it may be season 5 where show Hizdahr is presented as the son of a guy who was killed by Dany's people despite the fact that he was a staunch abolitionist. This is part of an agenda to add 'depth' to an aspect of the story which definitely didn't need it ... and the point there was clearly to make Daenerys look bad for killing slavers. The books give us no indication that the ruling class of Meereen and the other slaver cities included people who were actively against slavery - in fact, considering the fact that the Ghiscari elites are as rich as they are only because of the slave trade it feels very unlikely that this is the case. Instead, the books give us the cynical pro-slavery shit arguments of Xaro Xhoan Daxos. It is also obvious as hell that the show's final take on Daenerys has nothing to do with their earlier portrayal of the character - nor the way other characters viewed her and her actions earlier. Especially Tyrion. But in context of the gritty and dark nature of the books - and the depths to which everybody will sink as winter takes hold - I actually see no way how the author could even portray Daenerys as a villain. If people had her repeat some of the Conqueror's feats they would kiss her feet and call her 'the Conqueress'. Not that it is bloody likely that there will be much castle- or city-burning in the thick of winter.
  5. This just dumbed down the Aemon-Baelon thing (the former is never mentioned by name in the show). The Prologue and later dialogue repeatedly establishes that Rhaenys and Viserys are cousins, not siblings. They even include the most moronic line ever by Viserys saying Rhaenys is his 'favorite cousin' ... which really makes no sense considering his beloved wife also happens to be his cousin (something the show also never established although they gave Aemma the Targaryen looks) and Rhaenys is his only female cousin aside from Aemma (he also would have at least three male bastard cousins with Saera's obscure children, but we have no idea if they exist in the show). That is, if we only talk first cousins - second cousins would also include the Baratheon descendants of Boremund.
  6. The problem of that kind of framing is, in my opinion, the idea that Martinworld includes or reproduces the kind of racial hierarchy we have in the real world. And it clearly doesn't. Whiteness as a political concept as created by the British Empire and other European nations doesn't exist in this world. The race or culture which can be reasonably constructed as a superiors is the Valyrian race/people/culture ... and the Ghiscari of Slaver's Bay as well as Dany herself are both part of that superior race/culture. Even if we were to view the Ghiscari not as a Valyrianized people - which they clearly are - they were a master race/culture themselves, before the Freehold of Valyria conquered the Empire of Old Ghis. The slaves in Slaver's Bay are just slaves - they are not racialized slaves, they come in all colors - like the runaways slaves who founded Braavos. It is a wrong take on the setting to equate the slaves in Slaver's Bay with PoC. Just as it is wrong to view the Westerosi as 'white' when they most obviously don't view themselves - nor are they viewed - as the rulers/most powerful people of the world ... nor have they ever been a colonizing force. Hell, even Valyria is more the American Empire than the British Empire in the sense that they didn't really try to colonize, say, Sothoryos. They did establish some military outposts and the like, but they didn't act like the British and took over huge countries. Daenerys turning against slavery can, perhaps, be interpreted as the last scion of the former Valyrian ruling class to try to make up for her ancestors crimes by finally ending slavery - although, of course, the Valyrians learned slavery from the Ghiscari, so while the slavery in Slaver's Bay continued under Valyrian rule the Ghiscari themselves invented the institutions of slavery. You can say that on a superficial level the Ghiscari and Lhazareen and Dothraki and Naathi do not look like Europeans - but that doesn't make them primitive natives in need of saving - nor are they described as such. And while you can say that the Dothraki are kind of clichéd Mongols/Huns, etc. ... the Westerosi people are very much clichéd and unrealistically portrayed pseudo-medieval knights, lords, kings, and, especially, peasants. Not to mention even more ridiculously portrayed 'wildlings'.
  7. If you check the books we only ever heard about the big dragon battles of the Conquest in the main books. Even as late as ADwD we merely got some name-dropping of other dragons - Alysanne's Silverwing, Rhaenyra's Syrax, Vhagar being Aemond's mount during the Dance, Balerion dying during the reign of Jaehaerys I. Even something as big as Meraxes and Rhaenys being killed in Dorne is something that has, so far, only been touched upon in the history books. Never mind that the fact that we got the skulls of the big dragons in the main books - providing George with a pretext and an opportunity to talk about the deaths of those dragons. While we know about the Dance from the books, the fact that there was another struggle between Targaryen dragonriders during the reign of Maegor is something we have not the slightest hints in the books. In fact, the very fact that Maegor was a usurper and not King Aenys' chosen and anointed successor is also something we only get from the history books. The way I imagine this thing it would be more like Aegon the Uncrowned's rebellion against Maegor than the Dance of the Dragons. As I said, more like a belated epilogue to the Dance than a devastating war. Although, of course, chances are pretty good that Aegon III's reign will be full of armed conflicts - the fake Daerons are likely going to make trouble during the reign of the Dragonbane and not during the reign of his sons. Both the Young Dragon and Baelor the Blessed should be way too popular with the people for an impostor to stir up trouble.
  8. Pretty obvious why they survived Unwin - the guy had but his daughter Myrielle, and if, say, Uncle Gedmund remains true and loyal to the king on whose council he sat when last we saw him ... then, well, it seems like only right and proper that he be given the lordship(s) of House Peake. Nope, since the reign of Aegon III stands, as of yet, as unwritten as the reign of Jaehaerys I was before FaB was published. We also have no clue about the deaths of the dragons that are yet alive at the end of the Dance, no clue how exactly the Cannibal and Silverwing bite the dust, no clue whether any of them is claimed by another rider before their deaths, no idea if we ever learn when and how Sheepstealer died (although I imagine that Gyldayn will give us a credible rumor or report confirming or implying that Sheepstealer is dead by the time the last dragon dies). I guess something like that will depend on the standing of Alys' son within the larger Realm. Is his rebellion going to inspire a considerable number of notable houses to support him. If that is the case then a victorious Aegon III would be well-advised to integrate such a daughter into his dynastic plans. If not, then she could easily enough be ignored. Also, of course, if my scenario about Alys and her son lasting until around 150 AC then Aegon III will be particularly lenient to them and they might even be on good footing for some time. If that is the case, then Aegon III treating such a hypothetical child gently would also not be surprising. We could, for instance, speculate that Alys' son ends up rebelling only because Aegon III doesn't grant him something he really desires - say, the hand of Princess Naerys or that of the second Laena Velaryon.
  9. In that context one should also keep in mind that Aegon III was actually married to Aegon II's daughter Jaehaera. She was his first queen and she died on his watch. Whatever Aegon III may have thought about his uncles and his step-grandmother Alicent, he likely didn't fault Jaehaera for their actions. And then there is also his friendship with Gaemon Palehair who may have been a natural son of Aegon II. All that should motivate Aegon III to try to work with Alys and her son as long as that is possible ... and it would also motivate him to pardon a child of Alys' son. And thinking about that - I think the death of Jaehaera might actually turn out to be the reason why Unwin Peake will eventually feel the full power of the wrath of the Iron Throne. Something like that cannot be ignored of forgiven. Nobody can arrange the actual murder of a queen and walk away afterwards. If Aegon and Viserys believe that Peake was behind this, he will pay for it eventually. They don't need proof of his involvement to destroy him.
  10. I don't think Viserys could have handled the situation of Alys Rivers and her son all by himself, although he likely will be Hand when that crisis reaches its peak, so he might very well command an army in his brother's name or something along that sort. But I do expect that dragonriders will be involved in that fight on both sides which would likely mean Alys' son on the one side and Lady Rhaena on Morning on the other. Rhaena could die with Morning at Harrenhal if the thing happens around 150 AC since that would give her enough time to give birth to her six daughters by Garmund Hightower if they are going to marry in 137 or 138 AC. Not with Aemond's son but possibly with a daughter of Aemond's son if she is still a babe or a toddler by the time Alys and her son are dealt with. Such a child could then become a ward of the Crown like Gaemon Palehair. And to ensure that such a girl would make no trouble Aegon III could betroth her to his heir Daeron. Chances that Jenny has any connection to Alys Rivers are very low. Jenny claims to have ties to the old kings of House Mudd, not to the Strongs.
  11. If Alys' son lives long enough to marry - which would be the case if he only dies around 150 AC - then he could indeed have one or multiple children. That could be not uninteresting in context. Say, Aemond's son marries in the late 140s and does have a daughter, she could survive the entire thing and might end up a ward of the Crown. That could then be the perfect explanation as to why Daeron I isn't married - they could betroth him to the only child of Aemond's son to ensure that this claim is taken over by the bloodline of Aegon III. But if she were born only in 149 AC or so, she would be too young to actually marry Daeron I during the latter's short reign. If she were born in 147 AC or earlier they could actually have a wedding in 160-161 AC. That could then also open the possibility for Daeron I having a posthumous daughter - which is a scenario I'd like. Also, of course, such a daughter could also end up as a Baratheon bride, strengthening their connection to the Targaryens.
  12. It is more likely that things only came to blow when the boy was already a youth or even an adult. Harrenhal only gets a new lord in 151 AC, Larys Strong's remains are only buried at Harrenhal years later, etc. so Alys and her son might have remained alive and in possession of Harrenhal until around 150 AC - and her son would have been around 20 by then, having been born sometime after Aemond's death in 130 AC. One imagines that, especially if Alys' son does have a dragon, Aegon III will be reluctant to actually attack Harrenhal. Rather he might end up confirming Alys and her son in their possession of Harrenhal, recognizing him as his (bastard) cousin in exchange for them acknowledging him as their king. After all, they just fought a bloody succession war which killed a lot of royal children and caused him a lot of grief, so we can imagine he doesn't want Aemond's son to suffer a similar fate. Eventually, though, once the boy is old enough, he might demand his uncle's throne, even more so since by all the precedents he, and not Rhaenyra's brats, is the rightful king (assuming Aemond and Alys were actually married). So we could see a very unpleasant late epilogue to the Dance, featuring one final dragon battle causing the death of the last healthy dragon(s). I'd even imagine that it will be Alys and her son who recover Vhagar's corpse and Dark Sister, making the sword her son's weapon when he challenges Aegon III. It would also not surprise me if Alys' son ended up marrying Myrielle Peake, with Unwin meeting his end as a supporter of the subsequent rebellion. Alternatively, I could also see Myrielle as the eventual wife of a fake Daeron.
  13. Mushroom's book seems to be less a history and more a collection of fancyful anecdotes and tales. Eustace, Munkun, and eventually Gyldayn actually wrote plotted histories. While Eustace's work 'The Reign of King Viserys, the First of His Name, and the Dance of the Dragons That Came After' also focused on and/or included court gossip and 'secret/private history elements' it was still a detailed history of the reign of Viserys I and the subsequent Dance, meaning it was a work of some substance. Mushroom's book, on the other hand, is titled 'The Testimony of Mushroom' and genre-wise would be more akin to Coryanne Wylde's 'A Caution for Young Girls' than a proper history since it clearly doesn't claim to tell the history of the reign of Viserys I or the Dance of the Dragons but is rather a kind of biography of Mushroom. The book doesn't end when Mushroom leaves court in 136 AC - it continues with Mushroom's other ribald exploits - like Coryanne Wylde's book covers not only her time with Jaehaerys and Alysanne on Dragonstone but also her later live in Essos. While we don't have as detailed a textual history on the Testimony as we have for Coryanne's book ... we certainly are entitled to doubt the accuracy of the copies that remain. King Baelor the Blessed had the book burned, so apparently only a few copies remain, and most likely no originals. But like with Coryanne's book the original scribe of Mushroom's Testimony wouldn't have been a septon nor a maester but some mummer or other scribe-for-hire, possibly even in Essos where Mushroom spent his later life. The chances that this book was accurately copied thereafter and not enlarged and changed like the copies of Coryanne's book were is not all that likely. That is - if we can actually be sure that the original manuscript actually contains Mushroom's own words and does not merely claim it does. After all, the book was not written by him, possibly because the guy was illiterate. In any case, while we can expect that Eustace and especially Munkun's book do have a clear narrative structure, a plot, and perhaps even a methodology of sorts, I'd expect Mushroom's book to just contain a succession of anecdotes and ribald stories, perhaps not even in chronological order.
  14. That does not seem particularly likely. The notion that Stannis can outbid a or a coalition of multiple Free Cities or motivate a significant number of sellsword companies to join him at the fucking Wall in winter is ... not exactly convincing. Gold is fine, but it doesn't warm you in winter. Not to mention that Braavos is far away from the Disputed Land where most of the sellsword companies actually operate. So far we only met companies who were - for one reason or another - not in the Disputed Lands. The Three Daughters also seem not exactly dependent on slave imports from Slaver's Bay - the Lyseni, for instance, are well-known breeders of slaves ... and they also enslave debtors and the like. We also know from FaB that the Three Daughters do not rely on slaves for their standing military and navy - they do have their own military which they bolster with sellswords and sellsails. Thus they do have the means to crush any slave uprisings that might happen, and Tyrosh and Lys are also safe from Dany's landbased Dothraki. If they were to combine their forces they could marshal sufficient strength at sea to cripple of crush Dany's armada - at least the part of her armada that is going to sail west from Meereen via Volantis. They could even be more powerful if they were to make common cause against Daenerys with Euron Greyjoy - which is something they might considering the Ironborn are now permanent guests in their waters and might even take over most of the Stepstones in preparation for their eventual attack on KL. The one way Daenerys Targaryen can yet be stopped or harmed in a meaningful manner (aside from a successful assassination attempt) is at sea. Ships can sink, and if they do sink all the people onboard are likely to die. Nobody will be able to stop her or deal her a devastating blow on land. Her advantage in numbers should carry the day there in effectively every scenario one can imagine. In that sense, the Three Daughters are indeed likely to combine their forces and attack Daenerys before she can attack Lys or Tyrosh herself - that (parts of) her armada are going to land there is kind of obvious. Even if they would not want to free the slaves there, they are very likely to take up provisions there ... and in context they are likely going to use the slavery there as a pretext suck them dry of food and other provisions in light of the fact that Westeros is a continent that has descended into chaos so it would be pretty hard for Dany's forces to live off the land if they were forced to fight campaigns there.
  15. No, the Volantene fleet is likely not going to be destroyed. The Volantene standing army and navy are slave soldiers, remember? The slave soldiers with the tiger stripes on their faces. They are mostly followers of R'hllor, so they will declare for Daenerys whenever Moqorro signals them to do so. There might be a brief battle there until the non-slave soldiers and officers in the Volatene armada (including the triarch(s) with them) are dealt with, but then the entire Volantene contingent in Slaver's Bay should be acting in the name of Daenerys - which means they will have more than enough ships to move people about. To properly end slavery and the slave trade they will likely then move the destroy Yunkai and the Wise Masters, followed by New Ghis (which they will need the ships to get to) and the other cities who entered the anti-Daenerys alliance (Tolos, I think, Elyria, and some others). And Qarth will have to pay as well - although Dany might see to that herself. What exactly Dany's people at Meereen - the freedmen/reformed Meereenese, Unsullied, sellswords, Ironborn, and former Volantene slaves - will do while she is away and perhaps even presumed dead is completely up in the air. It depends on what the various people want, what their leaders intend to do, how the dragons figure into all that, etc. The Volantenes might insist they return to Volantis as quickly as they can to free the slaves there. Thus we could see the big Dany bloc splitting up into smaller forces who act at the same time. A POV might go to Volantis, another might remain in Slaver's Bay, yet another might search for Dany in the Dothraki Sea. The notion that little to nothing will happen in Slaver's Bay after the battles and Dany is just going to rush back there for plot convenience as soon as she is able is pretty much nonsense. Her big decision in her last chapter was to not go back to Meereen. Instead she allowed herself to be captured by Khal Jhaqo who will now take her to Vaes Dothrak. And how long that's going to take we have no idea. If Dany's people reconnect with her eventually it might be by ways of a new dragonrider - Tyrion, Brown Ben, or Victarion - learning about Jhaqo's khalasar from some Meereenese or Yunkai'i schemer, correctly concluding they might have captured Dany in the wild - flying to Vaes Dothrak on dragonback to meet and talk to Daenerys there. The whole dragonrider thing will grant great mobility to three+ characters, and one hopes George will make use of that advantage to advance the plot.
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