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Lord Varys

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  1. Lord Varys

    Secrets best left buried (Fire & Blood)

    The difficult thing is that we know essentially nothing about Aerea's time in Valyria? Did she interact with other people there? If so, where they humans, monstrosities, demons, etc.? Was she part of a group of individuals there or completely on her own? Valyria is not Dany's 'Dragonstone' in the Dothraki Sea... Also, considering the destruction in Valyria Balerion would likely have to fly very far across the Lands of the Long Summer to hunt down food for himself, I don't think it is a given he (or they, if Aerea routinely accompanied him on hunting trips) was stuck in Valyria the entire time. But this is all a complete void we cannot really fill. All I think we can do is to sift the less likely from the more likely scenarios. And both Balerion's wounds and Aerea's infection/possession implies they were doing more than just subsisting in the middle of nowhere. We have no clues where in Valyria or the Lands of the Long Summer you get what killed Aerea or where there are monsters large enough to injure Balerion pretty severely, but chances are pretty high, I'd think, that this doesn't happen out in the open at pretty every place... In that sense, I think these two - or at least Aerea - did some exploring - and Balerion then had to deal with the monsters Aerea roused... But if Aerea chanced upon a community of beings in Valyria/the lands around Valyria she and Balerion might actually have been separated for a time.
  2. Lord Varys

    Secrets best left buried (Fire & Blood)

    Not really. The man is not suicidal. And he is no great genius, either. He great plan is something grown entirely out of chance. Had he not chanced on the ship carrying Pyat Pree and the other Qartheen he wouldn't have returned to Pyke. He would still be nothing but a pirate.
  3. Lord Varys

    Secrets best left buried (Fire & Blood)

    Euron may also have lied about having a dragon egg. Nobody has independently confirmed that claim, no? In addition, one also has to ask the question why Balerion should have wanted to stay with Aerea for as long as he did? He should have had countless opportunities to just fly away and abandon her, right? Not to mention devouring/killing her if he had had enough of her and felt annoyed by her presence... Oh, well, we don't know how it came that Aerea/Balerion left Valyria. She must have had access to food there, or else she would have been long dead. The fact that he allowed Viserys on his back puts this really into perspective. Aerea was much more strong-willed than this guy, so even if we take into account that the Black Dread seems to have been already dying at that time, it is still odd to assume he should have bowed down to Viserys and not Aerea. And with Aegon and Maegor apparently never having any problems with Balerion - and neither young Laena nor young Aemond with Vhagar - I don't really think it makes much sense to assume that Balerion's bond with Aerea was much different. It is a pity that we didn't get another rider for Dreamfyre.
  4. Lord Varys

    A+J=T v.9

    She is his aunt, she is not a person who knows him best. They didn't spend much time together after his childhood. Jaime squired at Crakehall, went to the Kingswood, and then he joined the KG gluing him to KL for most of his adult life - first under Aerys II and then under Robert. There seem to have been some extended visits allowing him to bond with Tyrion, but nothing indicates he was particularly close to his aunt. And it is quite clear that she doesn't really understand what drives him. Jaime does not like to be treated like a pawn moved at the will of others. He does not like it that Cersei or Tywin make his decisions for him - he did not like it be named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard in his absence, that men were named to the KG he supposedly commanded without first consulting him, and that his sister and father made plans for his future after the victory without so much as asking his opinion first. This has little to do with loyalty of the type Kevan may or not be feeling - and we don't really know what drove Kevan. Brotherly loyalty or rather the realization that sticking to Tywin would allow him to raise as high as a younger brother of a great lord could possibly rise. But to get back on track - Genna has no clue as to why Jaime joined the KG. His admiration for Ser Arthur Dayne had essentially nothing to do with that. You only cite the threats. You have to go to the passage when Tyrion learns that Alayaya has been whipped by Tywin. His thoughts make it clear that he feels he now has to treat Tommen in kind - that thing breaks down immediately since he then learns he no longer has Tommen, but the chances are not that low that he would have punished Tommen in kind to demonstrate he was not making weak threats. Tyrion once was a kind boy but Tywin twisted him in no small degree. Tyrion consciously and unconsciously emulates Tywin due to all the lessons he learned. Oh, there wouldn't necessarily be a need for Tywin to test anything. All he would need to know that Tyrion is not his son is that Aerys and Joanna had sex around the time of Tyrion's conception and that he, Tywin Lannister, did not have sex with his lady wife in that particular time. And that this is the case is not impossible at all if Joanna and Aerys actually had a consensual affair - and even if not, Tywin and Joanna may have just been too occupied with other things during the anniversary tourney and then after the Aerys-Joanna thing Joanna was not exactly inclined to share the bed with Tywin afterwards.t Dragons don't prove anything, by the way. Sure, the Lannisters apparently don't have the blood of the dragon officially but Tytos and/or Jason Lannister could easily enough have not been Lord Gerold's son(s) but rather the seed of Aegon V. Lady Rohanne Webber Osgrey Lannister has a history with Dunk and Egg, and she could certainly have had an affair with the latter. If Tyrion became a dragonrider nobody does have to come to the conclusion that he is the son of Aerys II. They could find other ways to explain this. Not sure what kind of rumors you are talking about here. Tywin certainly could have known about the twincest, but there are no rumors that the twins are Aerys' children in those books. None at all. Not really. They are in love as twins, but that's something that can and does happen. The Targaryen practice incest but they are not carrying the trait of falling in love with their siblings in their blood. Cersei becoming unhinged somewhat is also not a trait exclusive to the Targaryens. Alannys Harlaw and her sister are unhinged, too, as were Catelyn (after Bran's death and later as Lady Stoneheart) and Lysa Tully. In fact, there are noteworthy parallels between Catelyn and Rhaenyra yet nobody seems to insist that Cat and Lysa must be Targaryen descendants/children of Aerys II - although that's certainly possible. The idea that Cersei/Jaime are not Tywin's is an idea completely based on fan speculation. There is no concrete textual evidence whatsoever pointing in that direction. Unlike in Tyrion's case. Just to clarify: Tyrion could ride a dragon without being Aerys' son. George can make that happen without going down that road.
  5. Lord Varys

    The three Kingsguard were loyal to Rhaegar, not Aerys.

    At this point no connection between the Ghost of High Heart and the Green Men has been established. Why should we assume Howland must have known things she knew/prophesied? It is noteworthy, though, that Brandon Stark and the Reeds do not, in fact, go to Greywater Watch to get special knowledge from Howland nor do they continue from there to the Isle of Faces. They go beyond the Wall. It may be that Bloodraven is in magical contact with the Green Men via the weirwoods, but if that's the case this has yet to be established. Nothing we know indicates that such a connection influenced the decisions of the people in the main series at this point.
  6. Lord Varys

    The Pact of Ice and Fire

    If we speculate about a Stark betrothed for Daeron I then one of Lord Cregan's daughters by Black Aly - especially one of the younger daughters - seems to me much more likely than a daughter of Rickon's.
  7. Lord Varys

    Who builds better ships?

    Yeah, although we'll have to wait and see where his voyages go and how successful and profitable his enterprises actually are. The first voyage seems to have been fun, but not exactly very profitable. They kept Castle Driftmark and certainly would have stored some stuff there. But High Tide and all the valuables and treasures stored there were lost. That's when House Velaryon likely lost it status as richest house in the Seven Kingdoms, most likely. But the fleet Alyn controls is still very large, and his cousins have ships of their own. Oh, the Velaryons not replacing the ships they lost at Dragonstone is just an assumption on my part. If they had remotely as many ships as Alyn had during the War of the Five Kings Stannis' fleet would have been enormous. They still have ships in ACoK and they are still the strongest house sworn to Dragonstone, but their ships do not make up the majority of the royal fleet under Stannis' control. Which means either the Velaryons lost the bulk of the war ships at the end of the Rebellion in the storm, or their fleet declined for some other reasons during the centuries due to some other tragedies. If the latter were the case we don't know anything about that at this point. And since Alyn seems to have been rebuilding Velaryon wealth chances are not that great that such a decline took place - after all, Lord Lucerys Velaryon was Master of Ships under Aerys II, implying that the Velaryons kept their 'almost hereditary' office until the end of the Targaryen reign. That implies the Velaryons remained important. One assumes the current weakness of House Velaryon stems from the fact that Monford has only a boy heir. Davos gives us the impression both the Velaryons and the Celtigars are still very rich and very haughty and arrogant because of that, that implies they did only decline in political and military power, not so much in wealth. Robert's rise should have been very unpleasant for the lords of the Narrow Sea since they have been Targaryen men since the beginning, and Robert couldn't really risk them assisting Viserys III in an invasion - not to mention that historically the Velaryons and Baratheons were competing for the position of second house in the Realm, meaning that Robert would have likely not been very lenient to them even if they hadn't been traditional Targaryen loyalists. I expect Driftmark and the Velaryons to feature more prominently in the main series when Aegon and/or Daenerys rise to the Iron Throne. A restored Targaryen monarch is very likely to call or draw traditional Targaryen men to court.
  8. Lord Varys

    Secrets best left buried (Fire & Blood)

    Perhaps the Undying were there - before the Doom struck Valyria. Or, more likely, the Undying captured Dragonbinder during a war between Valyria and Qarth (or some dragonlord families) prior to the Doom. It is even possible that one of the Undying was an exiled dragonlord from Valyria, taking all his possessions with him when he moved from Valyria to Qarth. The idea that an artifact as fragile as that horn actually survived the Doom of Valyria is completely preposterous, too, if you think about that for a moment. Dragons burned in that fire, how should that horn have survived that inferno intact? And how on earth should have Euron stumbled on it? We have a much better scenario to explain him having the horn - especially since he fails to mention his Qartheen prisoners in his conversations with his Ironborn in AFfC. Why do you think is that?
  9. Lord Varys

    King Tommen

    No idea. I think, though, that either he or Myrcella might die a very cruel death in the dry moat of Maegor's Holdfast. FaB made this the prominent place of death for a number of people, and it has yet to show this grisly prominence in the main series. Thus I'm pretty certain we are going to see a major character dying on those spikes. Considering Tommen and Myrcella are not POVs it might even be that one of them dying in this manner might turn out to be as mysterious as the death of Queen Jaehaera with neither Cersei and the other POVs and characters at first knowing who is responsible.
  10. Oh, we have no evidence that Ned ever 'showed up' with a newborn infant at court. If I were Ned I'd talk only about Lyanna and her death, not about any bastards I may have fathered around the same time. Keep in mind that Catelyn believes Ned fathered Jon Snow after their wedding - which implies that the official birth date of 'Jon Snow' is likely not exactly identical with that of Lyanna's child. Ned certainly talked with Robert about his bastard and the mother of his bastard at one point, but there is no reason to assume this took place after he returned from Dorne at the end of the Rebellion. It could have been during a later visit to KL - after Robert had learned that Ned was raising a bastard son of his at Winterfell (something Ned also had no reason to announce to the court). Their conversation about Jon could have taken place as late as their last meeting - during the Greyjoy Rebellion. In that sense, I think the assumption many people make that Ned couldn't have possibly told anyone about Lyanna's pregnancy because that would have caused people to immediately jump to the conclusion that this 'Jon Snow' boy must or might be Lyanna's child are not well-founded. All Ned needed to do to get away with his story is to keep 'Jon Snow' and Lyanna's death in childbirth two completely separate issues. And the way to do that would have to introduce 'Jon Snow' only into the world at a point in time when Robert and his court had already bought Ned's version of the Lyanna story. We do know that at this point nobody (openly) suspects Alayne Stone is Sansa Stark - never mind the fact that it should be much more easier to track down a 13-year-old bastard girl (and figure out that it did not exist until very recently) than it should be to determine whether Eddard Stark's bastard is actually Lyanna Stark's son. Thus it seems very likely that it is actually remarkably easy in this world to disguise children the way Ned Stark did - because, as Littlefinger said, bastards are distasteful and shameful affairs, and the noblemen do their best to overlook their presence - or even existence. One should also keep in mind that once Lyanna's child was successfully remade into Ned's bastard any danger the boy could possibly pose to Robert was gone. Nobody knew Lyanna gave Rhaegar another son, nothing in the boy's appearance reveals his Targaryen ancestry. This means there is literally neither a reason to believe there is such a child nor a way to prove that 'Jon Snow' is such a child - which is going to be relevant later on, since all 'Jon Snow' has to prove his real parentage are, most likely, weirdo visions from a greenseer and tales told by people who claim to know stuff. That's even worse than Stannis' claim that Cersei's children are not Robert's. Even if Robert were to suspect something - and there are hints that he might suspect something, considering he talks about Ned's bastard during a conversation where he wants to talk to him about the surviving Targaryens - there is no chance that 'Jon Snow' would be in any danger from him while he remained 'Jon Snow', Ned Stark's bastard. The difference between Lyanna's child and Elia's children is that the latter are confirmed royal children who lived at court and whose claims are known to all Westeros - Lyanna's child was not born at court, nor presented to the king its birth announced to the world. Officially and in the eyes of the public this child never existed. And that's why 'Jon' could be raised in plain sight, basically.
  11. Lord Varys

    Who builds better ships?

    Oh, by the time of the Regency Driftmark looks still very strong - they were much stronger still before the Gullet, but Alyn Velaryon is not a minor lord. Unless some other great tragedy strikes between 136 AC and Robert's Rebellion I'd say the destruction of the Targaryen fleet off Dragonstone in the night of Dany's birth - most ships would have been Velaryon ships, presumably - in combination with Robert flat-out barring them from replacing the lost war ships after he took power - and placing the entire newly built royal fleet under Stannis' command as Lord of Dragonstone - is what caused the Velaryons to decline. Prior to that they should have still been pretty great lords. Not as great as the Sea Snake, of course, but Alyn Oakenfist seems to have been not that far behind his (grand)father insofar as fame is concerned. House Velaryon should have reaped great rewards just for the role Lord Alyn played in the Conquest of Dorne.
  12. Lord Varys

    Renly winning would have been a disaster.

    No, we have evidence that Renly said he would have a son before the end of the year. That doesn't tell us anything about whether he wanted children or not. Nor does it say anything about who would have fathered that son. Not exactly. For once, we don't buy that Renly and Loras are actually going to pray, no? So the talk of praying here is code for 'having sex' or at least 'being intimate in a romantic way'. We can all buy that it has been long that Renly has actually prayed, but do we really think the last time Renly and Loras fucked was so long ago that Renly had forgotten how? I don't think so. The overall way in which Margaery-Renly-Loras are described and observed by Catelyn implies that Renly did not exactly spend his nights with her. This is later confirmed when Margaery and the Tyrells insist Margaery is still a maiden - something I actually buy. I don't see any reason to believe Renly ever deflowered her. See above. He claimed he would have such a son. Just as he claimed Dorne would join him. Give me a quote where Tywin or any Lannister chides Cersei for not producing trueborn Baratheon heirs. Nobody blames her for any of that - not Tywin, not Kevan, not Tyrion, no one. It is your opinion that this was a stupid move - and to a point I can agree with that. But you do know that Stannis has no proof about the true parentage of Cersei's children, right? If Cersei's children had been Robert's seed but had still had blond hair for some freak reason then Stannis would have still tried to steal the throne, and Renly would have gone to war, too. Renly does not claim the throne because he thinks Cersei's children have no right to the throne. The taint of bastardy can be arbitrarily invented, too. Like Aegon IV and the Blackfyre cronies did in the case of Daeron II. Or like Stannis did in the case of Cersei's children - that he happened to have guessed correctly doesn't mean he was justified to arbitrarily declare his brother's sons to be bastards. But, again - give us quotes where Tywin and Mace care about the legitimacy of royal children. The Tyrells believe that Joffrey and Tommen are not Robert's children - yet they still marry Margaery to each of them to make her queen. A King Renly and Queen Margaery would have needed heirs, yes, but it is not necessary that such heirs be fathered by King Renly. If Renly had had the same problem as Aegon the Conqueror (who was very likely sterile) they would have found a solution, too. The Strongs had pretty much nothing to do with the outbreak of the Dance. This was about Rhaenyra's succession - the succession of her children was just a minor detail muddying the water some more. Alicent and Otto would have acted exactly the same way they did if her children by Laenor had all had purple eyes and silver-gold hair. No, it was another precedent of the same type. Prior Renly's hypothetical successful rebellion and usurpation the only precedent people could point to was Robert's ascension. Now they would have two such precedents - the first one set by Robert, the second one set by Renly. How do you know that? Robert's victory was already a disaster. It invited Balon Greyjoy to crown himself and rebel, something no Ironborn lord had down since the Conquest. It basically caused the entire War of the Five Kings because both the king's brothers and many lords of the Realm care more about brute strength than the rule of law. After Robert's death four lords emulate Robert - Renly, Stannis, Balon (yet again), and Robb. They all follow Robert's example, something that didn't happen before Robert. Making your followers happy and being popular is not the same as being a good king. Robert was popular and a people person, too, yet he was one of the worst kings Westeros ever had. I'm not saying Renly would have been as worse as Robert, but I really don't see many qualities in him that make it likely he would have been more than average as a king. If there is no evidence that he was I've no reason to believe that he was. The time to think that a guy is great is when you have reason to believe he is great, not when you cannot prove that he is not great. Without evidence that she wanted to murder Renly and Stannis you cannot pretend that this is a given. Cersei was sincerely offering Ned to join her or to go back home to Winterfell. There are other ways to deal with people than just killing them - she even wanted him to go to the Wall after he was arrested. She did not want to see him executed. And what right does Renly have to hold Storm's End? It should have gone to one of Robert's children or Stannis, not the youngest brother. What the king gives the king can take again.
  13. Lord Varys

    The three Kingsguard were loyal to Rhaegar, not Aerys.

    If that were the case, then this prophecy should have been made when the woods witch made her prophecy to Jaehaerys II during the reign of Aegon V, no? Rhaegar thinks his son by Elia Martell is the promised prince whose song is the song of ice and fire, meaning that he had that information at least at this point. That, in turn, means chances are not that bad that the information had already been there when the marriage of Prince Rhaegar was arranged - as there is no indication that either Aerys II or Rhaegar met/interacted with/asked the Ghost of High Heart anything about the prophecy in the years between the betrothal of Rhaegar to Elia and the birth of Rhaegar's son Aegon. Considering a significant portion of the readership makes this rather obvious (and somewhat ham-fisted) connection of ice-Stark and fire-Targaryen (with Jon Snow being either 'very super special' because he is this song of ice and fire in the flesh, or because his parentage causes him to have that song) it is completely implausible that the people being obsessed with the prophecy never made that connection. The fact that a Targaryen-Stark marriage was never a priority to the Targaryens strongly implies this interpretation is pretty much a dead end. The magical bloodline bringing forth the promised prince is the Targaryen bloodline, apparently, they are the ones who wait for a prince who has been promised, not any other family/house. There is no chance that the child born to Rhaegar and Lyanna was seen as 'a/the rightful king' by anyone, nor is there any chance that his mother and three bodyguards in the middle of nowhere were setting up 'a regency government' for a boy who wasn't a king. Like in the real (medieval) world there are no fixed rules how a regency for a minor or incapacitated king works. If the heir is a minor then usually the dying monarch leaves a will appointing a regent or regency government, but that is not necessarily followed - the regency is settled after the death of the monarch, and with the monarch dead his voice/opinion on the matter is irrelevant. We see this countless times in the real world and in Westerosi history. Robert wanted Ned to serve as regent for his minor son, but Cersei seized the regency. Before you set up a regency government you first have to have a king, though. Which means a coronation/anointing or at least a proclamation of the heir/claimant/pretender you want to see on the throne. This is best evident in how Prince Aegon is seen right now by his own followers. He is still a prince, not King Aegon VI. Connington and the other members of the gang don't give each other fancy titles on the Shy Maid, Connington was the the Lord Regent of young King Aegon until the boy celebrated his sixteenth nameday, etc. Until such a time as Aegon is crowned king he will remain a mere prince, despite the fact that he and his gang think he has the best claim to the Iron Throne. And only when he is king and sits on the throne, etc. will he have a proper government. Also, in Westerosi history we see that a proper regency government is only set up when a king is actually installed - not before. This is most evident in the case of Aegon III where the regency council of seven regents and the Hand and the Protector of the Realm are only named after Aegon III is crowned and anointed king. Jaehaerys I also only becomes a proper king in his Oldtown coronation and while it is clear that his mother is going to serve as his regent and Lord Rogar as Protector of the Realm and Hand and he names a Lord Commander of the Kingsguard before his coronation, the proper regency government is only set up after the Oldtown coronation. In that sense, Lyanna was at best the dying guardian of her child, whereas the KG at the tower could have sworn their personal loyalty to the newborn prince (assuming there was a proper marriage and they accepted its validity). Them doing that would not make him king. In fact, it is a completely ridiculous assumption that they would proclaim a newborn infant king in the middle of nowhere or do him homage as king at a moment when the war has been lost and the Targaryen dynasty has been pretty much deposed (Dragonstone excluded at this point). This would only endanger the life of the child - 'to crown her is to kill her', as both Illyrio and Tyrion understand when Myrcella is discussed. If the KG at the tower cared about the life of Lyanna's child - which we assume - they would not proclaim it king. Even if they thought the child had the best claim they would wait for the right moment to press that claim - like Connington and company do with Prince Aegon. But chances are not that great that anyone there thought Lyanna's infant child had the best claim. He was born in the middle of nowhere, after the death of his princely father and possibly even after the death of King Aerys II. The hope for the future of House Targaryen lay with Viserys III - still a child, but much older than Lyanna's child (or the other children allegedly killed in KL), and thus much more likely to draw people to his banners. Even if there had been a peaceful succession and the choice had been between Rhaegar's infant son and Viserys most of the court and Realm would have favored Viserys because his ascension would have meant a shorter regency and thus more stability. Finally, we also have more than ample evidence that the Kingsguard played no deciding role when the succession was in doubt or questioned. Nobody ever asked them for their opinion who should sit the throne. They just did as they were told. And when they actually showed some initiative - like Criston Cole or the two morons who thought that Jaehaerys I would reward their treason - then they paid very dearly for presuming to think for themselves. Thus it would be completely out of character for the three KG with Lyanna to actually presume to make a king in the middle of nowhere, especially since no member of the royal family or King Aerys II's government was with them. We see during the Dance that even great lords are reluctant to proclaim kings - after the news of the death of Prince Aemond reach the Greens at Tumbleton they do not crown Daeron the Daring their king, nor do they declare him Prince of Dragonstone - because they do not know whether Aegon II is alive or dead. Many people have made assertions and declarations what the KG at the tower may or must have known when Ned arrived there - but even if we were to grant all that (which I'm not doing - they may have had rumors and reports that Rhaegar and Aerys II were dead, but they should not have had good news about the fate of Rhaenys and Aegon) then it is still very, very unlikely that they would have proclaimed a king without first consulting with the Queen Dowager and her son Viserys on Dragonstone. Doing that would have weakened House Targaryen even further - not to mention that they may have known that Viserys III was the chosen and anointed heir of Aerys II, anyway, making it a completely moot point to consider the proclamation of another king.
  14. Lord Varys

    Secrets best left buried (Fire & Blood)

    From Pyat Pree and the other Qartheen warlocks he captured, of course. From them he also got his stores of shade of the evening. Yeah, if they hadn't had a strong bond then why on earth did Balerion bring Aerea back to Westeros? If the dragon had taken her to Valyria against her will - or flown with her to places she did not want to go - then why didn't she abandon him during one of the stops they must have made before reaching Valyria? Why didn't she abandon him there? And vice versa - if Balerion did not care about Aerea, if there was no strong bond between them, why didn't he abandon her? They must have separated whenever Aerea was looking for water and whatever meager food she subsisted on? Why didn't he fly away? It seems as if the bond between Aerea and Balerion was as strong as that between Drogon and Daenerys is after she had mounted him in ADwD. And it is quite clear there that Dany has difficulties directing Drogon, but they still have a strong and powerful connection. And just as Dany does not *really want* to return to Meereen after Drogon carried her away, it seems very, very likely that Aerea didn't want to go to KL or Oldtown or Fair Isle or any place in Westeros. Perhaps she wanted to look for Elissa Farman, but she had no idea where she was and the fact that Elissa abandoned her might also have caused her to not really searching for her. The fact that Aerea chose to mount Balerion and not one of the younger, weaker dragons implies that what she wanted most of all was to be not dependent on anybody else. It would be she and her dragon against the rest of the world. That she and Balerion later avoided human settlements, etc. also makes sense if we assume that she had no interest in being found by her mother or her uncle and aunt. Reports about Balerion would inevitably cause Dreamfyre and Vermithor and Silverwing to come after her.
  15. Canceling the progress and announcing anyone who wants to talk to him will find him on the Iron Throne was nonsense. That way Aegon III will never be able to do justice to the smallfolk, considering that most of them can hardly afford to travel to KL to talk to him. Sure, it is understandably why he didn't want to entertain all those traitorous lords, but it was still a stupid move. Dismissing Manderly was okay. The man wasn't his choice, and he actually already abandoned Aegon III to the other regents/Peake when he resigned as regent after the deaths of his father and older brother. Not sure why he should keep such a man as his Hand. The more interesting thing is what other house-cleaning Aegon III did after that. Did he also dismiss Munkun and all the other adviser and the officials appointed by Peake? If not, then this was but a futile gesture.
  16. Lord Varys

    Renly winning would have been a disaster.

    No, we have evidence of Renly saying stuff. He does not show any indication that he was actually doing stuff. That is what I said - or didn't you realize I wrote 'pretty much' above there. Loras was Renly's closest confidant, the Lord Commander of his Rainbow Guard, the guy he was spending all his time with, not Margaery. Sure. I'm merely not buying your idea that Renly most definitely wanted to have children - because all we have about that is talk. And words are wind. Stannis, too, is never going to have a son by Selyse because it has been years since he has been sleeping with Selyse. He can want sons all day long, he won't have them if he is not sleeping with his wife. And on what do you base this claim? Do you think Tywin cared whether Cersei's children were Robert's seed? The important thing is that the daughter is the queen, not that the king is the actual biological father of the children. If the king acknowledges them as his children, they will succeed him - and that's what both Tywin and Mace wanted. Bastards are born outside of wedlock. If nobody knows who to the true father is then the children are the seed of the husband by default. Which is why I wrote 'another bad precedent'. Again - another bad precedent. You do realize that repeating things makes them even more 'normal' than just a one-time occurrence, right? The latter can be construed or declared as an aberration or an exception. But if Renly had followed Robert the 'Robert way' then this would have set a very strong precedent that brute strength and ambition are the principles governing Baratheon succession, not birth order and primogeniture. In fact, we see how Maegor's successful usurpation is seen as a one-time exception. Nobody says that the Iron Throne should go to the guy who has the strength to claim it when the Old King is dying. Nobody during the Dance justifies their claim with the size of their army or their dragons. Such a thing cannot really be made to go away completely. It would be part of history how Robert and Renly took the throne. And Renly's personality does not imply he cared much about being a good king. He liked to shine. He wanted the glory that came with being king, and her certainly had the ruthlessness and the charisma to get there. But there is no indication he had the talent or the ability to be a good ruler. Oh, I know that quote - but 'dealing' with somebody does not necessarily entail killing them, does it? It may have been enough had Cersei been able to disgrace Stannis and Renly, causing them to lose Dragonstone and Storm's End. Without a power base of their own they wouldn't have been that much of a threat to her children.
  17. Lord Varys

    Renly winning would have been a disaster.

    If you guys don't have any textual evidence that Renly did consummate his marriage to Margaery Tyrell then don't pretend he did. If he truly cared to father an heir why is he then hanging out with Loras 'praying' pretty much each night in the camps rather than spending every night with Margaery - at least until she is pregnant? Renly telling Stannis that he is going to have a son soon is not going to make it so, just as Renly telling Catelyn that Dorne will join him doesn't make it so. Like Laenor may have done, Renly could have another man father a child on Margaery. That would be then his son, too. If Renly had won the throne it wouldn't have been a bloodless affair making him a very unpopular king from the start - but even if it were, if he had succeeded at sending Stannis to the Wall and make Joffrey and Tommen maesters or septons, and Myrcella and Shireen septas or silent sisters - then this would have still set another bad precedent that basically anyone (with the flimsiest of claims) could claim the throne. That would have encouraged any of Renly's children and grandchildren - assuming he would have had any trueborn children of his own body - to think of themselves as the rightful heirs to the throne, never mind the birth order or other factors. This wouldn't have helped unite the Realm at all. As for Renly's overall justification for his rebellion: We don't see any indication Cersei or the Lannisters wanted to kill him. He cites the mercilessness of the Lannisters when he tries to convince Ned to stage a coup, but that's all the evidence that we have that Renly's life was in danger. He and Cersei were certainly not friends, and he would have likely lost his place on the council and other privileges after Joffrey's ascension, but there is no indication that Cersei wanted to kill him - especially not if Renly had assembled an army of Stormlanders to assist his royal nephew in his fights against Stannis and the Starks/Tullys. In fact, we have no clue what Renly's ultimate goal was when he talked to Ned on the drawbridge. Did he truly only want to ensure that Ned Stark become Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm? Or did he want his men to control Cersei and her children so that he could remove the main obstacles on his way to the throne right then and there? We don't know. The fact that Renly never thought Stannis would claim the throne - and imagined he would support him against the Lannisters - indicates that Renly originally thought he would just have to remove Cersei and her children on his way to the throne. He could have done that rather easily if he had helped Ned to seize power in the Red Keep and subsequently put his men among the guards keeping the royal family prisoner. If Renly had not wanted the crown it is very odd that he actually proclaimed himself king essentially as soon as he had fled the capital.
  18. Lord Varys

    The three Kingsguard were loyal to Rhaegar, not Aerys.

    Telling him who he is and what his destiny is, for instance. Telling Eddard Stark, so that he tell the boy the truth and prepare him for his destiny instead of allowing him to waste his life believing he is a bastard of no significance. I mean, frankly, if Howland knew Jon's destiny since he was on the Isle of Faces, why didn't he, Howland Reed, take on Lyanna's son as a ward to raise him in the Neck and prepare him for his future mission? 'Jon' would have been even more out of sight in the Neck. The fact that Ned insisted to bring up his bastard at Winterfell indicates he had no clue that this boy was supposed to be special in any way. Also, Howland could have sent his children to Jon Snow rather than Brandon Stark - or having Bran and his children actually search for Jon Snow at the Wall or beyond it. Find other ways to send messages to Jon, etc. By the way: Howland didn't know anything about Bran. Jojen did. He had the green dreams and he told his father what he had to do, and then Howland gave his consent and let Jojen and Meera go. This was not done at Howland's instigation, indicating that the man doesn't know all that much. That is what I'd like to see evidence for. At that point all we have is you assuming Howland learned anything about that on the Isle of Faces and I say it doesn't look like he did. He would have reacted differently if he had had such knowledge. Yeah, but this is not *really* a literal song, is it? The song is the title of the series, and ice and fire are prevalent in many literal and metaphorical ways in this series of novels. This is not all about the Song of Ice and Fire that is likely going to be the fight against the Others - which is the big climax of the series. That wasn't *really* a Stark-Targaryen union since Jacaerys Velaryon wasn't a Targaryen as such. He was a Velaryon. He was still of Targaryen blood and all, but if we count him as a Targaryen then Lyanna-Robert were also a Stark-Targaryen union. But I really don't think that there is any metaphysical importance/magic to a Targaryen-Stark union. Why shouldn't there have been one such earlier? It would have been just a marriage. Sure, but what is that supposed to tell us? It is an ancient vow invoking various natural things. There is no mentioning of a song there.
  19. No, we do know that Robert and Ned overcame their differences - their friendship was basically over when Ned left KL to ride to Storm's End - when they mourned Lyanna together - that's only possible if Ned returned to KL after he had found her and spend some time there with Robert. One assumes he stayed for Robert's coronation and wedding (with Gyldayn revealing that Aegon III got crowned and married at the same day, chances are not that low that it was the same for Robert and Cersei) and went home some time thereafter. He may have even stuck around until Viserys III and young Daenerys had fled to Braavos - while there were still Targaryens on Dragonstone the war was not yet really over. As for the question at hand: I'd say that Ned told Robert the truth - that Lyanna died in childbirth or due to complications from childbirth. He could have claimed the child was stillborn, the entire thing a miscarriage, or that the child died shortly after birth. That is all not uncommon. The idea that Ned could have been tight-lipped about Lyanna, the Kingsguard with her, etc. with Robert of all people was never convincing. Robert was very interested in Lyanna - she had been the woman he was in love with, his future bride - and he was Ned's king now. If you put yourself in Robert's shoes for a moment it is essentially impossible that he would allow Ned to get away with giving him just an incomplete and brief summary of events. Even more so with the Kingsguard involved in the entire thing. Robert would have also demanded a thorough account on their whereabouts and fate, considering that it was of vital importance that none of them was still alive, eventually lending credence to the claim of Viserys III.
  20. Lord Varys

    Who builds better ships?

    It is the Summer Islanders and the Ibbenese. They are the two cultures who really explore the deep oceans. The others are children compared to these two. Perhaps Valyria also built great ships - but we don't know at that point. And the Yi Tish and the Lengi'i might also have great ships, of course.
  21. Lord Varys

    Secrets best left buried (Fire & Blood)

    I don't buy Barth's assessment on Aerea-Balerion completely. They assume Aerea would have wanted to go to KL or Oldtown or Fair Isle, but we have no evidence for that. Instead we have evidence to the contrary in the fact that Aerea and Alysanne's last interaction causes a quarrel between Aerea and Rhaena and also Aerea and Alysanne. There is no reason to believe she wanted to go back to court after that. Gyldayn subtly implies Aerea wanted to go 'far, far away' earlier in the text - and if that was true, if she had no real destination when she claimed Balerion aside from getting away from Dragonstone and Westeros, then it makes certainly sense that Balerion would carry her to a place he remembered from his youth. I doubt Aerea flew intentionally to Valyria, but once she realized that was the place Balerion wanted to go she may have jumped on the chance to explore this place. That was the greatest adventure of all, much greater than anything Elissa Farman could offer her. Also keep in mind that Aerea flew Balerion back to KL - to KL, not Dragonstone. Why on earth should Balerion have flown her back to KL of his own free will? Why didn't he return to his lair on Dragonstone? The place most familiar to Balerion in Westeros would have been Dragonstone where he spent most his time, not KL.
  22. Lord Varys

    Renly winning would have been a disaster.

    Are they? How would they do that if Renly and Loras only care about themselves? If this thing were controlled by the Tyrells, then Loras would have been in Highgarden and Mace and Olenna would have been with Renly and Margaery, never leaving them until the girl was pregnant by Renly. No, the odd thing is to assume that royals and noblemen actually do go to great lengths to father an heir when they are not so inclined. There are countless cases in medieval and later monarchies where kings stuck in loveless arranged marriages did make no attempt to even pretend they actually shared the bed with their 'wives' - never mind whether they were actually homosexual or just unwilling to spend time with their spouses. If your position as ruler is secure you can leave the succession to the morons that survive you. Nobody doubts that gay men cannot have sex with women - but we can all agree that they are not very inclined to do that. And kings usually only do what they want, not what they should. Rhaenyra and Laenor perhaps should have tried to actually have a proper marriage - but it seems that neither had any inclination to do that. And why should they? They would have never been happy had they tried. But the real problem of Renly's would have been that to take the throne he would have to kill Cersei's sons and Stannis, making him one of the least popular kings - and one who reinforced the belief that the throne goes to the strongest guy, not the one with the best claim. Combine that with the fact that it would have been very easy to brand any children as bastards due to Renly's romantic and sexual preferences and you get a recipe for disaster.
  23. Lord Varys

    Renly winning would have been a disaster.

    You mean the children of the guy impregnating Margaery for Renly. The way Renly treated Margaery in Cat's chapters strongly suggests that her marriage to Renly was as much a sham as Rhaenyra's marriage to Laenor Velaryon. Just think of Loras' reaction when Sansa mentions Margaery's name in her conversation with Loras about Renly. The woman had no real connection with Renly. Overall, Robert's example of a successful rebellion encouraged Renly to emulate his older brother. I'm not sure he would have tried to pull that if Robert had inherited the throne. That success also weakened the monarchy as a whole. During the Targaryen days there were two successful usurpations - Maegor's and Aegon II's - but no successful rebellion unless we want to count the rise of Jaehaerys I as one such. The idea that there is a difference between a Targaryen/Blackfyre pretender challenging a king and a Baratheon cousin doing that doesn't hold much water. Robert rose to the throne because he was a great-grandson of King Aegon V Targaryen. His family name is pretty much irrelevant.
  24. Lord Varys

    Aenar to Aerion: What was their gameplan?

    That would, at this point, be a faulty conclusion. We don't have a thorough account on the Century of Blood. All we have is the broad strokes revolving around the ambitions of the Volantenes. We have no idea what the other factions in the Valyrian influence sphere did, but we do know that the Century of Blood also saw the rise of Qarth, the downfall of the Sarnori, the expansion of the Dothraki, etc. Little details like the Titan of Braavos last being attacked during the Century of Blood implies that more fighting was going on that just what we learned about the century in ADwD and TWoIaF. And the Lords of Dragonstone may certainly have been involved in some of the fighting, with certain lords like Gaemon perhaps rising to great prominence in some military campaigns. The idea that any Targaryen went to Valyria in those days is not very likely, although it would certainly be possible that a Targaryen dragonrider disappeared and people are speculating that he or she may have flown to Valyria never to return.
  25. Lord Varys

    Aenar to Aerion: What was their gameplan?

    It is not unlikely that some of the Lords of Dragonstone were not married to sisters or other close but rather looked for a bride in one of the Free Cities. We also have a younger daughter of Gaemon the Glorious marrying a petty lord, so chances are that even in that early days some Targaryens may have intermarried with Westerosi nobility. I've long said that the Masseys may have blood ties to the Targaryens - and through Alarra Massey being the mother of Alyssa Velaryon this is confirmed (it is not difficult to imagine that some Targaryen/Velaryon married into the family before Alarra married Aethan Velaryon) - and there may be others like the Darklyns the early Targaryens would have wanted to establish closer ties with via marriage. They were merchant lords, after all, and Duskendale was the greatest harbor at the eastern shore of Westeros at the time. Also, depending on the size of the Targaryen family in Aenar's day - he brought children, siblings, and kin to Dragonstone - it is also possible that some male and/or female line Targaryens ended up marrying into a family from the Free Cities and moving there. Chances are not that great that they would have taken a dragon with them, but even that's a possibility. Dragons are not immortal, after all, so any such dragons might have been dead by the time of the Conquest. Until such a time we learn anything about their beliefs I'd go with the default assumption that most dragonlords were not especially religious or pious and content in their knowledge that they were superior to 'lesser men'. Valyria does not seem to have been a place for superstition - at least not among the powerful and educated.
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