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Lord Varys

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  1. Of course the aim was to kill her. We have no idea what poison was used or how it works, but Belwas only survived because of his size and because he ate all the locusts so fast that he retched most or all of them up shortly before he ate them. And then he was tended by medical professionals who also may have identified the poison administering some antidote. It might very well be the case that a single locust contained a lethal dose for Dany assuming the poison was completely absorbed by her body. Myrcella, Shireen, and Dany can - Sansa and Arya not really, either. They could try to claim another Northern or Trident or even a Vale crown, but not the Iron Throne. Cersei could, perhaps, put forth a weak claim as Robert's widow ... but there is literally no chance that anyone would support that. Not after her walk and her quarrel with the Tyrells, the Faith, and soon Dorne. Aegon should have little trouble pushing aside Cersei's brats and Stannis ... but Dany is going to come to Westeros like Aegon the Conqueror did. With real dragons and - unlike Aegon - with a large army to make up for the size of her dragons. I'm sure Aegon won't be in a weak position when she shows up - but that doesn't mean people will stay in his camp for long, considering the fact that he might be fake and never acquire a dragon. The worst arguments people have been put forth about the locusts is that people wanted to abort Daario's child. There are actual people out there who think Hizdahr and the Green Grace care about Dany's children. They want the bitch gone. Her and her dragons. Yes, they also want to go with a King Hizdahr, want the new Meereen to be a monarchy rather than restore the oligarchical rule of the Great Masters. But they don't want Dany to be a part of that.
  2. Jeyne does sent 10,000 men in the end - there aren't a lot of men coming earlier (although we have a Royce knight at Rhaenyra's court, indicating that she had some support from there) but that seems because Rhaenyra already had taken the throne and they didn't think they needed more men. Not to mention that winter begins officially in 130 AC, meaning it was autumn in 129 AC and that would mean that the passes were already had or impossible to cross. With Aliandra there are ways to add some stuff - both the Greens and the Blacks could try to get her onboard through marriage. The Greens could offer Daeron's hand, the Blacks Joffrey's. Gyldayn's narrative certainly starts his story of the origins of the Dance with the succession of Jaehaerys I. 'The Heirs of the Dragon' doesn't just cover the reign of Viserys I but does indeed start with the death of Aemon and Baelon.
  3. I mean, with the poison it is so clear that Hizdahr was in on it. George even gives us his favorite dish earlier, telling us that he likes spicy food, and then his excuse to Barristan as to why he didn't taste the locusts was that hot spices don't agree with him. Now, chances are that the folks behind the poisoning attempt at the pit opening were not so much Hizdahr and the Green Grace but Yurkhaz zo Yunzak, Yezzan zo Qagaz and the other top leaders of the Yunkai'i. They did not only want to see a show of blood in the pit, but also be right there and watch Daenerys Targaryen dying in front of them. That would have been one of their conditions to agree to a peace. In context, though, it is not very likely that Dany will ever get the opportunity to take off any gloves in Slaver's Bay. Her people and (future) allies will have to deal with the Meereenese old guard and the Yunkish allies both. She is not going to make it back in time to do that all by herself. If Barristan has his way they might keep Hizdahr alive for Dany to execute him ... but they should figure out he was involved long before she returns.
  4. The realistic depiction of women in power went down the toilet for the ASoIaF setting when the show had Cersei rule as a queen regnant. She cannot and will not possibly do that in ASoIaF. With the books, though, we will have Aegon vs. Dany and not Jon vs. Dany, and we should have most of the people leaning towards the real dragon queen with actual dragons who birthed them rather than the fake dragonless dragon king. These people submit to power - which is why they fell over themselves to worship Aegon the Conqueror - and Aegon has none of that. Jon Snow also had none of that, either ... which is why his plotline in the show makes absolutely no sense. And in the books - any attempt to do away with feudalism, to strengthen central rule, to force something like Egg's reforms through - will be a good thing. As would, say, the summary execution and eradication of House Lannister, say. Most of them suck and they clearly are too wealthy and too powerful for a monarch to sit safely on his throne. Even a more extreme take - say, the culling of half of Westeros' nobility to show that a new era has begun - wouldn't concern me all that much. And one would argue that most of the enlightened in-universe folks wouldn't have that much of a problem with that. Especially if everybody realized that the petty ambitions and schemes of the lords were what allowed the Others to nearly kill everybody. In that sense it is quite obvious that the entire narrative of the later seasons of GoT go against the book setting. The worst part about those essays is the silly speculation as to who actually tried to poison Daenerys. If you want to parallel Dany to anyone she very much acts and behaves like her ancestor, King Aenys, in ADwD. Aenys is afraid of dragon battles, too, since his mother Rhaenys died with Meraxes in Dorne. Aenys had his mother, Dany had the Hazzea thing. Like Aenys, Dany wants to be a just queen to all who is loved for what she does. She craves praise because she is at a point in her life where she tries to rule for her people - and she includes the former slavers into those people just as she does the freedmen. Her desire there is so great that she doesn't realize that the Ghiscari don't love her and never will love her - they only tolerate her as long as she appears more like Maegor than Aenys. Reznak, the Green Grace, Hizdahr, and the Yunkai'i all slowly but surely turn Dany into their little pawn. They exploit her fears and desires both, and especially the Green Grace is very good at that. In the end they have her effectively betray everything she has accomplished so far. And this extends to both public and private life - they do not only ruin her anti-slavery politics but also her romance with Daario. In the end there is nearly nothing left of her, and she would have disappeared even if they hadn't poisoned her. And as you say there - George really showed with Jaehaerys I in FaB how a proper monarch acts. Not like some weak would-be moderator as the Conciliator name indicated, but a guy who very much establishes that he has the means and the strength of character to unleash his dragons if he has to ... but prefers not doing this unless he has to. Dany is not yet at that point - and that's not a surprise since, so far, she hasn't done anything with dragons. She hasn't be a dragonrider and has effectively only ever done extreme things when she felt she had no other choice at all.
  5. Nah, the Mushroom narrative there seems to be completely invented since he actually uses the same plot device twice - back in 111 AC as well as in 113 AC. Now, Mushroom actually stumbling on Harwin and Rhaenyra abed together might be true ... but that doesn't make the other stuff correct. And to be sure - Rhaenyra and Criston certainly can have had an affair in the book. The fact that nobody claims to have known they had one doesn't mean they didn't. It could mean they were successful at keeping it a secret. The best take on things could be that Rhaenyra-Criston had a clandestine affair going on for some time by the time the king chose a husband for her ... and then Criston realized he could not bear Rhaenyra marrying a man other than himself, summoned up his courage and asked her to run away with him and marry him abroad and she declined. The show's take on their relationship is actually pretty good there. Eustace's take both on Criston's feelings for Rhaenyra as well as for Daemon actually deflowering Rhaenyra make more sense. If Criston had repeatedly rejected Rhaenyra's advances she should have been mad with jealousy thereafter ... not him. But it seems to be the other way around. The Harrenhal fire remains a mystery. There is no indication that Mushroom was actually attending any Black Council session, so he is no good source on any of those, either. And Gyldayn never actually quotes Mushroom as a source for any of the Black Council talk he gives. The one exception would be Mushroom telling Jace to look for dragonseeds ... but that seems to be nonsense he invented to make himself seem important. The sources for the Black Council are more likely to be the writings of Maester Gerardys and other courtiers on Dragonstons as well as the eventual testimonies of the survivors of the Dance who were later interviewed by Grand Maester Munkun. We can imagine the guy did talk with, say, Corlys Velaryon when he started writing his book. And while he seems to have based a lot of the Green court stuff before Rhaenyra's ascension to the throne on Orwyle's confession, Orwyle wasn't on Dragonstone and could thus have written effectively nothing about the decision-making process there. Yes, the Mushroom story feels more realistic and more fun - but it clearly seems to have been created as the exact opposite to the more popular singers' version that would have already circulated by the time the Testimony was written down. The Hull boys conclusion might be right, but that is Mushroom showing he has brains, not Mushroom actually witnessing something firsthand. Mushroom should have no clue about Daemon and Nettles - the best source on them is the maester of Maidenpool. Eustace was there, too. And they were both inside the castle, so they are actually poor sources on what happened in the city. I mean, really go back and check how often Mushroom tells something that makes no sense or is irrelevant. I mean, who cares that he claims he was suspected to be involved in the murder of Aegon II and hid in a cask of flour? All you can gain from that is that he would like to flesh out the relationship between Harwin and Rhaenyra - which could be the characters from the TV setting or a historical version of them closer to the TV setting. If George were to write an actual novella or novel from the POV of some of those characters involved then he would completely recreate the setting. FaB is a history book about historical people, not real people. He said something similar about wanting to do the character of Viserys I justice after he watched the first season of HotD. But that also doesn't confirm that Viserys I's hobby horse was the history of Valyria or that he suffered from some kind of leprosy.
  6. Yeah, but regardless how old she is whenever the thing with Daemon starts ... she is an adult or almost an adult and 'her own woman' in the sense that the guy didn't force himself on her nor seduce her (if we go with the Mushroom 'Uncle, show me how to entice men' version). And that is certainly the narrative we also get for her eventual marriage with Daemon in 120 AC where we get the rumor that Rhaenyra comforted Daemon after the death of Laena and that's how she got pregnant with Aegon. For me it also seems clear that Rhaenyra is the one who wants Daemon in the show after Laena and Harwin's death. Daemon is certainly not disinterested, either, but he wouldn't have pushed things had she not given him very clear signals. In the book the sources do indicate that Daemon's interest in Rhaenyra may have only been part of his desire for the throne - even before she was named heir Viserys' only child would have been the perfect bride for his eventual successor - but that is clearly not the case in the show. There we see that Rhaenyra and Daemon have a unique bond. They very much care for each other long before the possibility of them becoming lovers is on the table. Both Daemon's support for Rhaenyra after her mother's death as well as him backing down in the second episode wasn't motivated by his secret desire to one day get into the pants of his niece. And while the choking thing certainly makes him an ass ... the vibe one gets from Daemon in the finale is more like that of a guy who is mentally not well, a half-mad loose cannon you have to watch, not somebody who is in charge. It is really telling there that Rhaenyra asks Jace to keep an eye on him. And while there is a cool part to the subsequent scene with the Kingsguard knights ... the guy also appears half-mad in his extreme threats there, like he also does when he fantasizes about Alicent murdering his dying brother. As I keep saying - the guy is like the young Mad King with muscles, a sword, and a dragon. And thinking about that ... if they go with a Nettles romance there they might depict it as the mad romance of a complete and irresponsible lunatic. Because that's what he is there, if you consider his duties to his family and dynasty. If the show actually depicts him as dead and we get a corpse, then the funeral could depict Rhaenyra, Baela, Rhaena, and Aegon all spitting on his remains. I guess, though, the finale could have done well with some of the scenes that were cut, especially by properly depicting stillborn Visenya and how her being a dead monstrosity affected both Rhaenyra and Daemon in the aftermath of the news about the death of Viserys and the coup. It will be equally interesting to see how the parallel story of Aemond and Alys is going to go - because as I wrote above somewhere this whole thing also only makes some sense if the guy is really, really infatuated with the woman ... to the point that he forgets/no longer cares that he is betrothed, that he is the Prince Regent running the government of King Aegon II, that his mother and his sister and his elder brother and niece and nephew and younger brother all need him and are dependent on him.
  7. All George confirms there is that in the show Harwin did indeed father the three boys. Which he does there. He never speaks about book Rhaenyra and book Harwin specifically. If you actually count all the instances where Mushroom is referenced, it is likely more 90% pointless/irrelevant nonsense and 10% reasonable theorizing. And also - Mushroom clearly has no bias for Rhaenyra that I can see. Go back and reread the book. He throws as much dirt at her as he does throw at Aegon II, perhaps even more. Eustace might do twist things around exactly twice. Once when he exonerates where Aegon II was when his father died and when he claims that Aegon did not want to steal his sister's birthright (he might not have wanted to be king but most definitely not because he thought Rhaenyra was the rightful queen). And then later when he talks about Rhaenyra cutting herself on the throne and getting fat from eating to many cakes and sweets. But that's it. Most of Eustace's other stuff is more believable than anything Mushroom says.
  8. But there can. There are lots and lots and lots of examples for this. I mean, George's narrative clearly has Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen as woman and man to allow them to fall in love and/or enter into an (arranged) marriage. That is how this silly thing could have been resolved. If you have two pretenders for a throne ... and then marry each other then the conflict is over. At least open conflict and civil war. But, seriously, the whole GoT setting is so full of holes and nonsense that it really makes no sense to seriously discuss it. @GZ Bloodraven 'Dune' also makes little sense as a white savior story. Not only is the Imperium not racialized and the Fremen not exactly people of color or 'natives' ... but Paul Atreides is basically a figure Fremen culture and ideology (shaped by the Bene Gesserit) take and exploit. The story is not about race but about political and religious ideology ... and how it turns people into monsters, basically. The Fremen also never actually need any saving. Never. They always controlled their planet and the spice-miners were always doing their stuff with their (clandestine) permission.
  9. As presented in the show I see little villainy there. Rhaenyra is no young girl, much older than in the book where she would also be almost a woman in 111 AC, and it isn't that they do start fondling each other because she is not interested. Isn't she already of age at that time as per the show rules? Things start with her and Alicent being 15, then Alicent is married to Viserys about a year later, then we jump ahead to Aegon turning two years, and in episode 4 Helaena has already been born. That would make Rhaenyra eighteen or thereabouts in episode 4. In context I'd say his shitty character comes to the fore when he doesn't know what he actually wants with his niece - something Rhaenyra at least understands later, at her wedding feast, when she teases him because of this. Abandoning her in this manner is just shitty, and worse is him later besmirching her honor by actually claiming he did have sex with her - most likely because he was not man enough to admit that he was impotent and/or was actually not asshole enough to actually deflower her. 'Grooming' as a term means that you only get close to somebody, win their trust, with the intention to sexually abuse them - and even if Daemon did that (which I think there is little to no evidence in book and show both for lack of time) then the fact that he wanted and eventually does marry her kind of undermines the idea. When you look at the book Daemon is the man who had the least time to try to worm his way into young Rhaenyra's mind and heart. We have Criston Cole, a grown and very attractive man, at her side since she was a small girl. We do have Harwin Strong at court in her larger circle, and many others, even Mushroom. The way I read the character in the book we do have a pampered princess there who grows up understanding that men very much desire her for both her looks and who and what she is. Being no Saera, she only takes what she really wants, though, and not everything that's offered. While we can imagine that Daemon could pay some visits to his 5-7-year-old niece without her giving consent while she wasn't yet the Heir Apparent, upon his return in 111 AC Rhaenyra was almost a woman grown, Heir Apparent and Princess of Dragonstone, about to become the leader of her own faction at court. During the months she spend a lot of time with Daemon, flew to Dragonstone and back, etc. we would not have a vulnerable young girl of 14 who could not turn away her uncle if she wouldn't want to spend time with him, like a normal girl in the real world might. Rhaenyra had her own household and was surrounded by her very own servants, tutors, maids, maesters, septas, and ladies ... and her very own sworn shield, Ser Criston Cole. The reason why Daemon was never turned away, why she spent as much time with him as she did ... was because she wanted to, and the only person who could do anything about it, her royal father, didn't object. If Rhaenyra had felt uncomfortable or pressured by Daemon, she could have easily gotten rid of him without a final confrontation or talk. All she would need to do is to instruct Ser Criston and the other people in her household to not allow Prince Daemon to entier her apartments. A princess - and especially Rhaenyra in her exalted position - decides who she receives and who is not getting an audience. While the show fails to portray Rhaenyra as she would have been - at the very center of court grand and joyous court along with Viserys and Alicent - it does show that Rhaenyra herself constantly seeks out Daemon, beginning with her looking for him in the pilot episode. This is, from the start, not a relationship where the younger person is at a disadvantage nor is she exploited, coerced, or abused ... until the season finale, that is. We also see how Rhaenyra effectively wears the pants, so to speak, in all her other relationships. With Criston, with Laenor, and with Harwin.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. '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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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'.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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 life 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. As I said, most of his stories are funny tales that are likely not true. They are there to entertain, like, say, the one about Jace and Jeyne Arryn or the one about himself trying to mount Silverwing. And everything that features his member we cannot really take seriously. The instances where I'd take him at his word are actually very few. Many things he says are also kind of irrelevant - I mean, yes, perhaps his description of baby Visenya is accurate ... or perhaps not. We cannot know. @Curled Finger If you want you can view Mushroom's story about Daemon not deflowering Rhaenyra but merely helping her to try and seduce Criston Cole as him kind of defending her honor since the crucial thing is her maidenhead and not how much porn she watched or how much petting she did. But then - he also claimed that he found her and Harwin Strong together after he had taken her maidenhead, so there is not much defence there. Gyldayn claims that Mushroom liked Rhaenyra well and Septon Eustace didn't - but I actually don't think the stories of both Gyldayn gives us properly reflect that. Eustace likes to foreshadow Rhaenyra's doom with his cutting stories and he mocks her for her girth and eating habits, but aside from that he seems to be pretty fair to her. Mushroom on the other hand completely destroys her reputation with his tales about her obsession with Criston Cole, her later affairs and the parentage of her elder sons. Not to mention the tale about the brothel queens he spins. If that indicates him liking her then I don't want to know what Mushroom says about somebody he loathed.
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