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Maia

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  1. Because while Corlys had accepted Rhaenyra's sons, he still wanted his blood to inherit Driftmark, which is why both Jace and Luke were betrothed to Laena's daughters at a young age. But Joffrey was betrothed to a Manderly as part of the price for the northern alliance, so he couldn't marry Rhaena in Luke's place. So, Corlys insisted on his own natural sons inheriting instead - and he figured that Rhaenyra owed him that for his support and his wife's death in her service.
  2. Maia

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    So, I have been idly looking at procreation history of the English kings, after checking some stuff about Isabella of France and my initial impression is that Martin _really_ needs to dial down that "death in childbirth" - "from childbed fever" business. Because I have looked at her, her daughters and then skimmed the wives, daughters and daughters-in law of William, Henry I and Stephen - about and guess how many of these women have died from this so far? Zero. I am going to make a more rigorous survey if I have time, but my current theory is that combination of the decline of midwifery skills and folk medicine due to witch hunts and growing involvment of medical doctors (who were lethal quacks from modern PoV until well into late 19th century) in the process of childbirth actually _increased_ the mortality of the women from the process during Renaissance and later. His father was not a lord paramount. We know the names of all contemporary paramounts, except for her, which makes the omission notable. What does it have to do with anything? The Citadel represents a far more efficient model of disseminating skills than from a parent to child. What makes you think that the mechanisms by which drugs work are always wholly understood even now? Or need to be, to build up effective medical practices? All you need is the consequently applied experimental method to ascertain that certain things do work. Which the maesters use. It is also quite plausible, even likely, that say, ancient Egyptians, had better medicine for privileged classes than anything we had until the late 19th century in the West. This has already been proven re: dentistry in their case. You also seriously unerestimate how effective just regular washing hands and things with soap and desinfection with alcohol is, in the matter of prevention of disease or of complications after surgery. If the maesters also figured out that they need to boil water to make it safe to drink, they'd be almost at the level of early 20-ieth century. The Widow's Law also reaffirmed that the eldest daughter should inherit when there was no son and Alysanne always championed inheritance rights of her female descendants. She also tried to convince the maesters to admit women women to the Citadel and employed a female bodyguard. Princess Alyssa was allowed her tomboyish childhood too. Alysanne was definitely pushing at boundaries of what was possible for women in her society. Which is very odd and counter-intuitive. I am now leaisurely re-reading FaB and when she had Gaemon, the maesters felt that her life was at risk. You'd think that at that point both she and her husband would decided to be safe and have called for moon tea. His mother was supposed to be past child-bearing at that time, though. But I never understood how we are supposed to understand it - was his punishing his mother? Or was she still in love with Rogar despite anything and wanted to try being his wife? I mean, it is understandable that Jaehaerys didn't want her at his court until things became more settled and his authority and power established, but he could have sent her somewhere else. Maybe not. So far it seems entirely plausible from what I have been reading about the Conqueror and his descendants. A very good question. I am under impression that Visenya wasn't particularly interested in having children until she felt pressed by circumstances to produce Maegor. Also, it seems like she had a close and loving relationship with Rhaenys - there certainly wasn't any hint at jealousy or strife while her younger sister was alive.
  3. Why would any mental gymnastics be required? Late Republican and Imperial Rome was quite literate, considering, yet they didn't invent any. A cheap, no-thrills edition of a book by poet Martial cost a bit less than half of the price of a simple tunic. Admittedly, they were pretty short books, but still copyist workshops were sufficent to provide "editions" of popular works running into the thousands copies. Many readers of ASoIaF act like it is an inevitability that a civilization must invent firearms and printing presses at some point and proceed to capitalism, but our own history proves that to be untrue, as many sophisticated civilizations have come and gone without doing so. There is, objectively speaking, more reason to think that what happened in Europe was a fluke, rather than a prescriptive blueprint for society development. Personally, I quite liked the inclusion of the "Caution" and the additional characterizations and glimpses of the world it provided.
  4. If he does so without a significant number of Bolton troops at his back, he is a dead man, however. Both families have good reasons to want him gone - Freys because he is a danger to Walda and her future children, as Roose openly tells people, and Mandelies because of the horrible murder of Lady Hornwood, who was one of them by birth. Not to mention due to his general repulsive monstrousness. But Roose wants to keep all his reliable Dreadfort men close. Is Ramsey stupid enough to not realise his peril and ride out just with his "bastard's boys"? Is he enough of a liability to Roose by now for his father to allow it? And then, of course, there was a distinct possibility that FArya's escape was engineered by somebody who wasn't in cahoots with Stannis and that she might be headed somewhere else - so it made sense to question the captives before haring off. Some of the spearwives may have escaped too, and led the pursuit astray. Your main argument seems to be that both Stannis and Ramsey can't be alive at the conclusion of the Battle of Ice - but it is entirely possible for this to be the case. IIRC Stannis's scouts even reported on the approaching force and mentioned only Frey and Manderly men - no Boltons. Ergo no Ramsey at the Battle of the Lake. As I mentioned previously, "seven days" must include travel time to the lake and back (3 days one way) with some harrying by Umber's boys on the way there and allegedly back (but not really, because the survivors are all secretly on the same side - Stannis's). They must have brought Stannis's unique sword and some bald guy's head back to Winterfell as "proof" of his death. Yes, indeed. I wholly agree with you about Stannis's ruse to enter Winterfell. I completely disagree that he is idiotic and irresponsible enough to engineer a desertion of LC of NW and cause chaos among the brotherhood when the Weeper and the Others are knocking at the door. Nor is he foolish enough to think that the northern lords are going to embrace said deserter with open arms and be loyal to him - even less so if the marauding wildlings and/or the Others get in because his desertion threw the Watch's command structure in disarray.
  5. Maia

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    Except that maesters are very much like the better medical doctors in the second half of 19th century: i.e. they know to wash their hands and to desinfect their instruments and bandages. They have had ample opportunity to learn anatomy by opening cadavers. They use plant medicines, but those that we actually know to have medicinal effects, like willow bark. Germ theory of disease didn't become universally accepted until the end of the 19th, begining of 20th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiseptic Particularly worth attention: Ignaz Semmelweis and his findings re: puerperal fever and how they were rejected and mocked by his contemporaries, who didn't like to wash hands. Yes, there were medieval physicians who also tried to desinfect wounds, but unfortunately their views never really got traction - whereas in ASoIaF it is a mainstream Citadel teaching. The maesters also base their technics on observation and experiments, rather than philosophy. Etc. And also - if Targaryen blood does actually confer resistance to infectious diseases, both viral and bacterial - such as the bloody flux, and bonding to a dragon is supposed to enhance this effect, then it should also extend to childbed fever. It is illogical that it doesn't. Mind, there are other ways to die during childbirth, or indeed, pregnancy. Just plain uncontrollable bleeding, blood pressure spikes leading to convulsions, heart attack, embolism, etc. GRRM just needs to ease off "childbed fever", which wouldn't be nearly as common in the setting he created. For nobles, that is. And generally become more inventive where causes of death of his adult female characters are concerned: he grossly overuses "died in childbirth" and "died in fall from a horse" for them.
  6. You keep saying that Ramsay/Boltons could have "hunted" FArya, when she was pretty much immediately taken up by the besieging force and then handed over to Stannis. As was obvious to anybody would happen once she was outside the walls of WF. There was no question of her and Theon limping on foot to the Wall, so that Ramsey could pursue them with his dogs and a couple of guys, like Karstark cousins did to Alys. Nobody could have followed her without dealing with the besiegers and Stannis first. Which, BTW, "seven days of battle" likely include at least the 3-day march to Stannis's village and the same time, if not longer, to get back. Or maester Tybald could have just sent one of the Karstark ravens to WF with false news of Bolton forces victory. And here is another thing - Ramsey's own handwriting may be spiky, but he could have just dictated the Pink letter to a maester. Why not? I am not convinced that there was any plan behind the letter - brilliant or otherwise, he could have just been venting. But there was every reason to think that somebody else on the Wall would have opened it before passing it on to Jon - because that's how it is normally done. Nor was Jon really in position to keep it secret. And while I don't like Stannis, he understood the threat of the Others or of the Weeper and his troops punching through if NW's guard was lowered, for that matter. He wouldn't have deliberately thrown the NW into chaos by engineering the defection of the LC. And for what? Jon's usefulness would have been very much tarnished if he appeared as a deserting oathbreaker, at the head of some ragged wildling posse. What is more, from his PoV if Stannis can take WF, with "Arya Stark" in his power, he'd be able to manage without Jon. And if he can't, Jon appearing in a month or so with a couple hundreds wildling warriors - which is what he could have reasonably scraped from those who came through and submitted to Stannis after "Mance's" execution, would be rather pointless. It is all very well to say that the strong North is needed for successful defense against the Others - if the Wall falls to them in the meantime, that won't be nearly enough. Nor will the North have a chance to grow strong again with the Weeper and the Others cutting their way through it, Jon or no Jon.
  7. I really never felt that it was, though. As you say rescuing Ned/ avenging Ned /carving out his kingdom were much higher priorities for him. Robb also never understood how Sansa, if he got her back, could have been used to secure a valuable alliance - until penultimate Cat's chapter or so, IIRC, when it finally dawned on him. That would have depended on the trade, though. It made good sense - and would have hopefully appeased Rickard Karstark, to demand his surviving son Harrion and Ser Wylis Manderly back as well as his sisters in exchange for Jaime. Nobody could then claim that Robb got the worst of that bargain!
  8. Maia

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    Moon tea in ASoIaF (unlike herbs that were used for the purpose iRL), when properly prepared by maesters and used as prevention/morning after pill is safe, as evidenced by Arianne's and Asha's PoVs. It seems likely that it wouldn't be 100% reliable, though, as even modern contraception isn't. There is no reason why a married woman who already had enough kids and didn't want to further risk her health and life in pregnancy and childbirth shouldn't avail herself of it - apart from certain disapproval by the more rigid elements of the Faith and/or a husband forbidding it because he believed that prevention of inconvenient pregnancy could help her cover up adultery. As to Lysa, given that Jon Arryn didn't manage to produce any living children with his previous 2 wives and didn't have any bastards, it should be clear that the problem was with him, not her. But even if it had been with her - what relevance would it have for Alysanne who already gave birth to 10 kids, 7 of whom survived infancy by the time of Viserra's birth? As to your numbers about the ratio of maternal deaths in childbirth in 16th-18th century, quick googling shows that it is very incomplete because it correlates only "live births", who survived long enough to be baptized to women's deaths - and it was usually a few days between birth and baptism. As you can see here: https://www.plimoth.org/sites/default/files/media/pdf/edmaterials_demographics.pdf 2% of live newborns died in the first day of life in 17th century England, 5% within the first week. If their mothers died also, they wouldn't be included in the statistics you mentioned. Not to mention all the deaths of pregnancy complications before childbirth, of miscarriages, stillbirths, of lingering health consequences, etc. Pregnancy was very dangerous in pre-modern times and GRRM certainly has enough women dying in or due to consequences of childbirth to ram the point home! Both Alysanne and Jaehaerys, if he really loved her and wanted her to continue living, had good reasons to say "enough is enough" after Viserra. Yet Alysanne, specifically, was continiously pushing for extending the roles that women could occupy in their society and the rights that they could enjoy! And Jaehaerys may not have supported her in this as much as she or many of us would have wished, but he still did do so. Certainly, Alysanne was in position to and did separate herself from him over issues that she felt strong enough about. Nor do I have any reason to think that he wanted his beloved wife dead. Well, her father was rather supportibe too, while he lived. But yes, we already knew about lords forcing their family members to marry and throwing out those who resisted and how women were of course much more vulnerable to this than men. No, it is, IMHO, different in that Rogar didn't have children. He married a woman who was considered to be past childbearing and his compensation and reward for his previous help to her and her children was supposed to be closeness to the throne. After it all fell through and the miracle pregnancy happened Alyssa felt obligated to try to give him a heir and he, too, felt owed. That second pregnancy - that the maester suggested interrupting, BTW, was just Rogar being selfish and not caring that much for Alyssa's well-being, IMHO. But both the situation and the relationship of Jaehaerys and Alysanne after Viserra's birth were very different. Cat was only 33 at the time and Rickon was still in his infancy, so the succession situation was somewhat less secure. The 2 of them had had 5 kids, not 10. Not to mention that there was in Cat that nagging uncertainty re: Jon's continued presence and whether it might signify that Ned wasn't completely satisfied with _her_ sons. She likely wanted to finally produce a son with Ned's looks. Whether she would have been that eager if Arya had been a boy and whether Ned would have wanted her to take that risk we'll never know. On the contrary, it is, IMHO, one of the instances where GRRM failed to take the differences between his setting and iRL history into account. A loving husband who has enough heirs and wants to continue having sex with his wife isn't going to risk her life in endless pregnancies if contraception is available and non-procreative sex isn't supposed to damn you to hell forever. Another such instance is his fondness for childbed fever, which really shouldn't be nearly as prevalent in that setting, as the maesters know the value of desinfection. In fact, death due to childbirth among the nobles should be reduced compared to iRL history because the maesters actually have a decent grasp of medicine. Etc. The fact that Margaery could just request it from Pycelle - if she in fact did so, shows that they have access if they chose to and their husband/father/guardian allows this. As to Cersei, I personally think that she had constant access to Moon Tea, since she had sex with Jaime even when Robert was elsewhere for weeks/months, not to mention that she also had sex with him before her marriage. IMHO, her need to resort to that woman's help was due to Moon Tea failing as a contraceptive in the face of Robert's super-fertility. Not sure about that - in many cases these noble girls were just too foolish or too afraid to take precautions. A maester would report them to their family, after all. And so could servants sent to procure the moon tea from other sources - which, BTW, may not be as effective and reliable as that of approved Citadel manufacture. And there weren't that many of them, really. Given their family's history he was also very aware how lack of personal military prowess could lead to somebody being seen as "weak". But still - his best Hand was a septon, for Pete's sake! Surely he should have known that there are all kinds of strength. Not for the males - there are plenty of lords and heirs in canon who were still unmarried and not betrothed in their late twenties, leave alone younger sons. I mean, Boremund was available as an option for Daella because of it. And even women aren't always betrothed or married at that age. I.e. Princess Rhaenys wasn't betrothed to her cousin. For that matter, if they were so set on finding a good incest match for Vaegon, why did they send away Maegaelle so soon? The 2 of them could have at least connected on intellectual level. Well, we do know that the safest pregnancies are when woman is in her early twenties - as should maesters, and Alysanne could have cautioned Rodrik to take preventive measures before that if she had concerns. Would she have really slept with a singer and then killed herself when she discovered that she was pregnant, instead of asking her mother for help, if she wasn't "simple" in some way? And then, again, after Saera and Viserra how comes that she wasn't better watched? I wouldn't say that Alysanne expected her youngest daughter to remain single and take care of her - she just wasn't going to push her into any marriages - understandably after all the tragedies. Wasn't Gael like only 20 or so when she died? No. After dismissing Rogar, she handed off all her duties to her brother and moped in her chambers for a year. That's a rather poor performance as a regent. She ruled Dragonstone for a few years - with disastrous results. That's what made me understand Jaehaerys's choice against Rhaenys somewhat better after FaB - he was culturally prejudiced, sure, but he also had been exposed to any number of men in positions of authority - ranging from horrible to very good, but of the very few women ditto, most of them have done poorly in his experience and even Alysanne would repeatedly abandon affairs of state due to grief, family preoccupations, etc. OTOH, I understand his failure to marry Rhaenys to Viserys even less, as it was a very traditional match that would have alleviated all his concerns re: succession. IMHO, GRRM could have played it in any number of ways that would have made sense - like Aemon having a younger son, who inconveniently died before him, but after Rhaenys was already married, Rhaenys having been betrothed to Viserys, but breaking the betrothal to marry Corlys, etc. As it is, the whole thing seems rather implausible and contrived. Alysanne was his best example of a woman who had potential as a ruler - but a ruler needs to be able to do what he did, i.e. carry on in the face of tragedies. This must have only validated his cultural prejudices - even the best woman he knew didn't quite have what it takes. Yes, he eventually broke down too, but it took much more loss than that, and old age. Which makes zero sense, though. Particularly given recent family history and all the inheritance cases that Jaehaerys must have judged during his career. Yea, that was bad. I guess it was to limit the number of named dragons active in the story - though there are still dozens of hatchlings and unclaimed young dragons unaccounted for, but somebody could have ridden Balerion instead and Meleys could have been Raenys's hatchling. Also, I guess that GRRM thought that he needed it to set up Viserra's tragedy, but again, IMHO it was completely unneccessary. If he really wanted more drama with her, she could have pursued Baelon even while Alyssa was alive. That would have at least adequately explained the horrible marriage. Are we seriously supposed to believe that Baelon mourned his wife for the rest of his life and never touched a woman again? Anyway, I think that Baelon - Rhaenys marriage would have been somewhat problematic in the sense of muddling inheritance because he already had 2 older sons. Viserys was 13 at the time, so it was difficult to say what he might have grown into, but the problem of Corlys as the prince-consort was that Rhaenys already had less Targaryen blood than her cousins and Corlys would dilute it even more in their offspring. This consideration, along with general desirability of not pitting female claim against male one should have favored Viserys as Rhaenys's match. Except that those powers are, somehow, ineffective against childbed fever in female dragonriders! Argh! This gaffe of GRRM's reminds me of other fantasy authors having magical healing that can quickly fix any mortal wound in their books... and then still have people, mostly women die of chidbirth and disease, because they are using a generic central casting version of Middle Ages where such things are supposed to happen and dead mothers/wives are a cheap way to add pathos to the narrative. I also wonder if Silverwing would have refused to go through the gates, if she could, and if it occured to Alysanne to take her through that way. Because when Jon and Ghost went out through the gate, their bond wasn't affected, but after Jon climbed over the Wall, he lost connection to Ghost. Maybe magical protection interferes with crossing of magical creatures in non-approved ways. Could just be allusion to Jon, though. Certainly, Jaenaerys and Alysanne kept tight control over the eggs and after the Dance something was done to remaining eggs to prevent them from hatching, I expect. There may be Jon's dragon egg hidden in Lyanna's crypt - but it will be one of the "poisoned" ones. Sadly, it is pretty much impossible for her to still be alive.
  9. I, too, think that from all the discussed possibilities of secret Westerosi identities for her so far, it is most likely that Quaithe is Shiera. There is already the pre-existing magic connection for her - as well as a hint that her mother Serenei may have known how to prolongue her life with magic, and the reason for her to speak the Common Tongue of Westeros so perfectly, not to mention to have special interest in Dany without the desire to posess her dragons. Ashara Dayne, the second most likely option, IMHO, had no documented tie to magic or scholarship. There is also the fact that Shiera kinda vanished from the proceedings in WoIaF, her fate left vague, and it would be very disappointing if, despite her very intriguing background, she turned out to be yet another woman in historical ASoIaF canon who was unceremoniously shuffled off the stage under some half-baked pretext and/or was only good enough for "fridging" to give Bloodraven vengeful motivations. Or to provide Melisandre with a historically significant mother, which is really unnecessary, IMHO. OTOH - if Elissa or some of her crew made it to Asshai after circumnavigating the world west - to-east, isn't it likely that they would have left some records or at least oral reports of their feat? Quaithe could have known about Elissa's achievements and fate and even allude to them without being her. Finally - the masks that Asshai like to wear. They seem to be a feature of some magical traditions, as Morna the wildling witch also wears one without having any sickness or odd appearance, since she removes it on occasion without evoking any particular reactions from the on-lookers. Bloodraven's albinism may impede him less than iRL because of his Targaryen blood which seems to provide protection from sun-burn, if Egg is any guide. As for his too-good vision - dunno.
  10. Maia

    Was the Great Council of 101 rigged?

    The more I think about it, the likelier it is that the Great Council _was_ rigged to make the choice look so overwhelming and that it was in reality much closer than that, what with memories of Alysanne still fresh and with Corlys being such a splendid consort. Which was an unpleasant surprise to the Greens, who, due to this, didn't expect Rhaenyra to have nearly as much support as she did. But isn't it odd that among all the scurillious claims, nobody came forth claiming to be a descendant of Aenys, who was popular with ladies before his marriage, Aegon the Uncrowned or even his younger brother Viserys? Both died at the ages, where they could have already become fathers.
  11. I absolutely do, though, IMHO that's not enough to explain persistent Valyrian looks of Velaryons, who don't practice inbreeding and keep marrying various Westerosi nobles, instead of, say, Lyseni or Celtigars, who by now seem to have completely lost their Valyrian roots. Gaemon lived more than 150 years previously - that's a lot of dilution. I mean, how come that both Marilda of Hull's boys both had Valyrian looks, when she wasn't described as having them? Or was she herself a dragonseed, herself? Was it why both she and Corlys were OK with the boys trying to mount dragons, despite the miniscule amount of dragonlord blood they would have had from their father alone? Because I don't for a second believe that Laenor could have sired them - both he and Rhaenyra had too much interest in producing at least one mutual child with proper looks, if at all possible. Quite likely, I'd say, though he also might have been Daemon's. Daemon was clearly fertile and known for sleeping around whenever opportunity presented itself. I agree. IMHO that's why he was spared and treated so gently - and, of course we know that Aegon II frequented whores on a regular basis when he still could. And the boy's age matches.
  12. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get more on Baela and Rhaena and that their relationship with their brother Aegon wasn't as close as I hoped. Though, admittedly they had a great scene and affected things in significant ways by their match-making. GRRM better not shuffle them off into insignificance and/or kill them in chidlbirth at a young age! Though, the fact that Elaena's kids by Alyn Oakenfist remained bastards and that they never married suggests to me that Baela outlived him - at least, it should be Baela and not some second wife brought in to replace her and prevent Alyn - Elaena marriage! I was also very much surprised that Alyn - Baela match wasn't arranged by Corlys, but was something that they cooked up themselves and that, in fact, Alyn was rescuing his niece/cousin from the regents. I also somehow expected at least Baela to be a little bitter that Alyn inherited Velaryon lordship to which she and her sister had significant claims, but apparently not, and presumably she will be the de-facto lord of Driftmark anyway, with Oakenfist away on his voyages so much and troublesome Velaryon cousins largely out of the picture. Also, did her dragonfire burns heal without trace? This would be rather odd, given Aegon II's and Alyn's scars. Baela also has been through more than was apparent in previously published fragments - having her head literally on the block twice, being imprisoned and under a constant threat of death/mutilation during her captivity. Sadly, it looks like whatever education Rhaena enjoyed as Maid of the Vale's ward won't find much application, as it doesn't look like she'll be a member of Dragonsbane's government or a wife of paramount of the Reach. Though there is still a faint hope that she might become a de-facto council member with Garmund as her "beard", like was done with that Fossoway woman and later will be with Elaena Targaryen. Doesn't Rhaena need time to marry Garmund and have her 6 daughters by him? Morning "didn't live long", allegedly. As to Baela - see above. Honestly, at least _some_ women should live long, too.
  13. Maia

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    And they could have done so without damaging Alysanne's health and risking her life. So, why didn't they? I mean, in Westeros some noble couples need male heirs, so it is considered worth the risk, some husbands are pigs who don't care whether their wives die or are too suspicious to allow them moon tea, but too selfish to have sex with them in a manner less likely to get them pregnant. But Alysanne could make demands of her husband and even separate herself from him if they weren't met - so why did she agree to this after Vaegon was 8-9 and safely out of infancy? And what was Jaehaerys thinking, to unneccessarily put his beloved wife, who was the love of his life, at such risk? After the terrible death of their mother in childbirth, no less, which they both witnessed?! This just makes no sense to me. Not to mention that they were pretty lucky that Saera wasn't born a boy! Very much so. Even if those particular men were taken by that time, there surely were other young lords or heirs on offer. I guess that GRRM wanted some drama leading to her death - but wouldn't it have been more poignant, if she had been just taking leave of KL in her own way (like Bran) and it ended in tragedy? Or, even keeping the Manderly marriage - she could have been marrying Theomore's young, strapping (great)grandson and heir and still been unhappy to have to leave the capital and the royal court. Well, Rhaenys was a heir of a heir, one step removed from those 2 girls positions, but yes. And the possible issues with her inheriting, even if Aemon had reigned, should have been rather obvious as time passed and he didn't produce a son. Uniting Aemon's and Baelon's lines in such a case _should_ have been a no-brainer, particularly since Targaryens preferred first-cousin marriages if there was no likely sibling anyway. There were just 3 years between Rhaenys and Viserys - they should have already been betrothed as children. And if he had doubts about the succession, he should have pointed them out _then_, no? I mean, as I have said in my previous post, I now kinda sorta have some understanding for his position - the women in his life didn't show the kind of staying power in affairs of the state that a queen regnant would need - of course neiother did most men, but he was a product of misogynistic society - add to that limitations of pregnancies, the risk of dying in childbirth and the fact that Jaehaerys knew very well that any new monarch would be tested and that a woman would be tested much harder than a man. But marrying his 2 grandchildren would have alleviated most of these concerns without creating problematic and confusing precedents for the future. Because Jaehaerys picking Baelon as his heir could have easily also been used as a pretext for any number of inheritance shenangians. And it was all so unneccessary. And yea, I wish we had learned something, anything about Jocelyn as a person. And more about Aemon. Yea, Corlys is impressive, but it would have been a problem that he had so little Targaryen blood, when Rhaenys already had less than Baelon's children. Nor do I see how affable Viserys would have overshadowed Rhaenys - heck, they could have been named co-heirs like William and Mary, or it could have been like the case of empress Maria-Theresia of Austria and her husband Stephan von Lothringen, where she was the ruler and he was a consort and a convenient repository for the already worthless title of the Holy Roman Emperor. Frankly, her marriage made much more sense when it seemed likely that Corlys was a son of Rhaena or even Aerea - _or_ when we could still imagine that she had a brother who died suddenly after she was already married. If this had been a younger brother _he_ could have been Daella's first betrothed, explaining the odd marital arrangements between Jaehaerys's grandchildren. @Ran: Was there ever a time during the writing of TWoIaF when Corlys was the descendant of Rhaena?
  14. Maia

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    That's something that I wanted to bring up too - this aspect of their relationship doesn't make a lot of sense to me - it didn't after we learned that they had all those kids in WoIaF and does even less now, with the new details of their mother's awful death and Alysanne's expressed reluctance and documented dismay re: her later pregnancies. I understand the need to secure succession, but it should have been easy to see that having too many sons, say, could lead to trouble. When Viserra was born, Vaegon was 8-9 - i.e. out of infancy and therefore very likely to live to adulthood. Aemon was pretty close to marrying - or even already married? I don't remember, and Baelon and Alyssa not far behind. They also live in a world where reliable contraceptive in the form of the Moon Tea exists. After WoIaF, I thought that maybe Alysanne was exceptionally pious - if the High Sparrow is any example, the most rigid members of the Faith do condemn the Moon Tea use. But that doesn't seem to have been the case - and even if it was, the Faith doesn't demand that all marital sex should be procreative, like certain influential monotheistic religions. Alysanne had the clout to demand from her husband that he limit himself to practices less likely to get her pregnant - which are also satisfying and fun. So, I really don't understand this. Also, what was the rush to get Daella or Vaegon, for that matter, hitched? Were J&A worried that they might "turn" gay like their elder sister Rhaena, if they weren't married ASAP? I mean, neither was likely to cause trouble by marrying/carrying on with somebody inappropriate - and if Jaehaerys was still worried about male heirs and Alysanne was tired of child-bearing, didn't it make more sense to keep Vaegon in reserve, rather than sending him off to the Citadel at 15? I could have understood Jaehaerys's position re: Daella better if this had been post-Saera's antics, but as is this is very odd. And if Alysanne was worried about Daella's ability to birth a child, maybe she should have told Rodrik Arryn not to get her pregnant until she was 18 or 20? I mean, he didn't have need of more heirs and again, the Moon Tea and non-penetrative sex do exist in Westeros. Also, if Daella and Saera are on Jaehaerys, Viserra and Gael are on Alysanne. I really don't understand why Alysanne insisted on making such a terrible marriage for the former - particularly since the whole drunken episode in Baelon's chambers shows, IMHO, that Viserra wasn't nearly the smooth operator that her mother saw her as. And yes, she may have been an ambitious and mean girl, but she was at her brattiest age and also a daughter with 2 older brothers. I don't see why she couldn't have been married to some lord or heir of her own age. If Alysanne was concerned with her behavior at court, she could have been sent somewhere while proper match(es) were selected for her. And Gael! Shouln't Alysanne have made sure that she was chaperoned better, both given the tragic histories with her other daughters and the girl's own limitations? It isn't like Gael could have outwitted or intimidated septas and ladies-in waiting. Finally, I surprisingly have limited sympathy with Jaehaerys's dubiousness re: female heir after FaB. Neither his mother nor his elder sister covered themselves with glory as rulers and even Alysanne would withdraw from affairs of the realm due to gruief and family affairs. But why not marry Rhaenys to Viserys if he had such concerns?
  15. Well, both of these marriages provide precedents that are relevant for Jon's situation. As you say, Duncan's marriage wasn't or couldn't be unmade, but it cost him and his hypothetical children their succession rights. Those are legal consequences that demonstrate that Exceptionalism doesn't automatically cover unconventional marital choices that Targaryens might engage in. Both cases also feature broken betrothals to a Baratheon, but betrothals can broken in Westeros, as they could mostly be iRL. Concerning Alys Rivers, we have an alleged secret marriage, without any witnesses, that won't be recognized. In Jon's case, there are several hurdles - proof of marriage, question whether the doctrine applies, proof that there was a son and that Jon was that baby, etc. The problems being that written evidence can be easily faked in that world, that Howland Reed and Wylla the wetnurse don't make the most convincing witnesses and everybody else is dead and that FAegon is going to thoroughly poison "the hidden son of Rhaegar" pool. Given all of the above, Jon isn't ging to have the clear-cut claim that many were expecting. Oh, absolutely, it explains why Rhaegar thought that it would work and shows that he wasn't mad to do so. OTOH, Brandon's reaction maybe shows that it would have been harder to convince people than he hoped. Anyway, I now think that Tyrion's marriage to Tysha was likely legal and since it was reasonably well-known, if LF finds the septon and Tysha, he'd be able to prove that Sansa's marriage was never valid. Is Cannibal's coloring being the same as Shaggy's just a tongue-in-cheek easter egg or a sign of things to come?
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