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Arataniello

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Also interesting that there is historical confirmation that, if nothing else, Aegon made formal visits to Oldtown and the Arbor, and possibly Lannisport, so even if he didn't sneak around to investigate all the major cities, it is *confirmed that he "set foot in Westeros" before that.



Interesting that Visenya was the eldest but she died last, living even into Maegor's reign.



Point of clarification: Aerion's wife was named "Valaena" not "Velena" as previously reported?


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Am wondering how they made and then were able to fasten that heavy harness on a dragon of such girth? Will those details be revealed in AWoIaF?


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Also interesting that there is historical confirmation that, if nothing else, Aegon made formal visits to Oldtown and the Arbor, and possibly Lannisport, so even if he didn't sneak around to investigate all the major cities, it is *confirmed that he "set foot in Westeros" before that.

Interesting that Visenya was the eldest but she died last, living even into Maegor's reign.

Point of clarification: Aerion's wife was named "Valaena" not "Velena" as previously reported?

I found that interesting as well, but not that unlikely. If Maegor ascended to the throne in 42 AC, that would make Visenya in her early 70s. Now just how long she lived after that is a mystery. The wiki says she dabbled in sorcery so that could have something to do with it.

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I found that interesting as well, but not that unlikely. If Maegor ascended to the throne in 42 AC, that would make Visenya in her early 70s. Now just how long she lived after that is a mystery. The wiki says she dabbled in sorcery so that could have something to do with it.

I sort of wonder if she lived into Jaehaerys I's reign.....though I seriously think she didn't outlive Maegor, what with the Faith Militant uprising going on in the background, or whoever poisoned Maegor was sure to take her out too in favor of Jaehaerys.

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Spelling issues:



Already indicated that he would suggest to change the spelling of 'Durrendon' to 'Durrandon', and it seems that this was eventually done. A good call, if you ask me.



Targaryen names:



All reports we had on this up to this point came from readings (i.e. by listening to GRRM on conventions).



1. Aelix > Aelyx



2. Daemon > Daemion (Daemon may be named after him, but the name is spelled differently)



3. Velena Velaryon > Velaena Velaryon



On the wars against Volantis:



What we know about that comes solely from the quick overview/introduction of the history of Volantis Aegon gives Tyrion in ADwD. The Volantenes warred with the rest of the world for a whole century, and it never made much sense to assume that Argilac and Aegon were battle companions and shortly afterwards enemies. On the other hand, if a combined Storm King/Targaryen attack on the Volantene forces happened when Aegon Targaryen was 12-16 or so this would have been imaginable. Political alliances change over time...



Argilac's and Aegon's participation in the war against Volantis strongly suggests that the Volantenes were really on a good way to rebuild the Valyrian Freehold and were becoming a threat to Westeros itself (or at least to Westerosi interests in Essos). The tigers were broken by a lot of defeats, in the east as well as the west, and I guess a really severe blow was the loss of the whole fleet that was sent into the Smoking Sea to reclaim Valyria. This could have easily been interpreted (and popularized) by the elephants as a sign of the gods - that Volantis was overreaching and would suffer the same fate as Valyria if she were to continue on that course, or something like that.



On the cadet branches of House Targaryen:



If Aenar had any sisters he was not married to, they may have been married off. Considering that it's implied that the Targaryens from Aenar to Aerion had little interest in Westeros and mostly looked east, it's not unlikely that some spare Targaryen daughters were married into powerful Valyrian-blooded houses in Volantis, Lys, Myr, or Tyrosh.



We know also know that there must have been a Targaryen woman during the generation of Aelyx, Baelon, and Daemion, either a sister of these three, or from a cadet branch, that was married to Lord Velaryon and mother to Velaena Velaryon, the mother of Visenya, Aegon, and Rhaenys.



Once there was also talk that Aegon and his sisters received an offer from the Volantenes to rebuild the Freehold of Valyria with their help (and the help of their dragons), but that was before ADwD came out and (seemingly?) shed a different light on events.



Ran, is something of that still there? Did Aegon decline an Volantene offer for an alliance before he decide to take up arms against Volantis? Or was such an offer made to a previous generation of Targaryens (for instance, to Aerion, Daemion/Baelon/Aelyx, or Maegon/Aerys)?



Other stuff:



I once suggested that there may have been a sort Dance 0.0 on Dragonstone prior to the Conquest, considering the fact that it seems that younger sons of the line (first Aerys, and then later Daemion's son Aerion) continued the line. That's unusual, especially since one would expect that elder sons would try to consolidate the power rather than handing them down to younger nephews... And we also know that of the five dragons Aenar brought with him to Dragonstone only Balerion lived to see the conquest. Some may have been too old to live that long, but all four of them?



It's easily imaginable that some of them died in battle, either in a quarrel for succession/dominance within the family (Aelyx, Baelon, Daemion against each other and/or against their uncle Maegon along with their father Aerys; or against one of the cadet branches going to back to younger brothers of Aenar Targaryen), or during a war they fought with or against the Volantenes...



A really important thing is also the confirmation of a thing I was advocating for quite some time now:



It was not unusual for the Targaryens - and thus most likely also among the Valyrian noble houses - to share the rule if the family holdings were in the possession of an incestuous brother-sister couple. Aegon and Elaena shared the rule of Dragonstone, and I guess this was also the case with Gaemon and Daenys, if she outlived their father Aenar.



It has been heavily indicated by GRRM that Jaehaerys and Alysanne effectively co-ruled Westeros, and it's later confirmed in the account on the Conquest (according to the reports on the previous readings) that Westeros was effectively ruled by Visenya and Rhaenys, not Aegon I. He was a reclusive, solitary kind of person who only took charge when necessary.


The Targaryens clearly abandoned this sort of a shared rule between king and queen after the Dance, and applied it before only to Targaryen blooded queens and/or sister-wives. The vibe we get from TPatQ does not seem to indicate that Alicent co-ruled Westeros with Viserys.



Another interesting tidbit is that the attempts to subdue Dorne continued throughout the reign of Aegon I and his sons. That may be a hint that both Rhaenys and Aenys died in Dorne (although most likely not at the same time...).



On Visenya:



She clearly lived into the reign of Maegor, but we have no clue if she outlived him as well as Aenys. It's not impossible, though. The excerpt on the Faith Militant Uprising indicated that she came out of retirement (of Dragonstone?) to heal and restore her son. I guess she was not opposed to Maegor's harsh response to whatever the Faith Militant had done to him (and Aenys before that?), but I could easily see her as GRRM's version of the Livia from 'I, Claudius', who really grow to resent the son she always wanted to inherit the crown. If that's the case, then Maegor himself could have had arranged the death of his mother or Visenya could have been the one plotting the death/assassination on/through the Iron Throne. She could then have lived long enough to see Jaehaerys' ascension to the Iron Throne. It would really be remarkable to see an eighty-year-old woman riding Vhagar...



On the dragons:



Considering Vhagar's age upon her death (181, which means she hatched on Dragonstone in 51 BC) in 130 and the fact that Meraxes skull was bigger than Vhagar's upon her death some time during the reign of Aegon I, it's very likely that Meraxes hatched shortly after the Targaryens had moved to Dragonstone. I'd guess between 114 and 100 BC.



Additional thought on Valyrian polygamy:



Aegon seems to be a special case because he married both his sisters. Aenar Targaryen also had multiple wives. We know that Valyrian custom dictated that a man marries his elder sister, not his younger. This may be a hint that it was somewhat unusual to have more than one incestuous wife/husband. Valyrian polygamy may have been a way to include 'normal wives' into the whole incest marriage thing that was dictated by custom due to dragonbinding issues. The Valyrian nobles had to marry siblings, cousins, or uncles/aunts for political/magical/dragon-related reasons, but they still wanted to marry other people they felt actually attracted to. Thus they established polygamy, rather than choosing a paramour-based system (or the Ironborn 'salt wife thing').


I guess the incest-wife/husband had the highest rank as far as protocol was concerned, but he/she did most certainly not were the wives/husbands that were married for love...


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" that Westeros was effectively ruled by Visenya and Rhaenys, not Aegon I. He was a reclusive, solitary kind of person who only took charge when necessary."

Well, emphasis on "when necessary" - he delegated the day-to-day ruling of the realm to them, but he weighed in on the big matters and set major policies in broad strokes. What is important is that they weren't just hot consorts.

"Another interesting tidbit is that the attempts to subdue Dorne continued throughout the reign of Aegon I and his sons. That may be a hint that both Rhaenys and Aenys died in Dorne (although most likely not at the same time...).

On Visenya: She clearly lived into the reign of Maegor, but we have no clue if she outlived him as well as Aenys. "

I do believe that the World excerpt described Maegor as king at the time, meaning they both outlived Aenys.

EDIT: Yes, I checked, "the king rose with the morn" in the excerpt: Maegor is king during the excerpt, when Visenya uses her knowledge of poisons to cure her son. Orys died early in Aenys's reign. Visenya was the eldest of the conquest generation of Targaryens and also the last of them (even including Orys).

TPATQ actually states that "Rhaenys and Meraxes died in Dorne". Meraxes took a scorpion bolt to the eye.

***That's a very good point about Livia. I must confess I've only seen I, Claudius in drips and drabs -- it only airs every few years in America, it's not a cultural touchstone as it is in Britain....though it should be......so you raise a very interesting possibility: what if even Visenya later felt that Maegor went too far? Brutally crushing rebellions is one thing; killing wives who couldn't give him sons even when he was already in polygamous marriages...that may have made too many political enemies.

Well, Visenya would have been 77 years old when Maegor died....so it is physically possible she lived into the reign of Jaehaerys I, though whether she actually did in that particularly violent time is not stated yet.

That was one of the problems I had with TPATW:

Meraxies "died in Dorne" during the reign of Aegon I, but was born after moving to Dragonstone, and thus could not have been more than 150 years old -- Vhagar lived to be 181 and thus must have had a BIGGER skull than Meraxes when it died.

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GRRM is a huge fan of the 'I Claudius' TV series. If any of the Targaryen characters are (partially) based on Robert Graves' take on the history of the early emperors of Rome, the era of Aegon and his children is the most likely. It's the beginning of the dynasty in Westeros, it's full of uncertainties, and there would be a lot of possible heirs as well as mother(s) and father favoring one (grand) child over the other.



If Maegor was not killed in an accident, he most certainly was assassinated. And what would be more interesting if his mother was behind that, especially if that mother went to great lengths before the conceive him (when she was, apparently, well past forty - if Aenys was indeed born in 7 AC, then Maegor was born in 13 AC, when Visenya was already in her mid-forties), and ensured/helped him to succeed his dead brother. It may even be that she and/or Maegor conspired to assassinate Aenys, we don't know that yet.



It would be interesting if a mother sees her son developing into a sadistic madman, protects him for most of his life, but finally decides to do something about it...


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Didn't Barristan say that a dragon would keeping growing as long as it had food and space/freedom? Maybe Vhagar and Meraxes were raised differently. Rhaenys rode her dragon a lot more than her siblings so maybe that contributed in a better growth. Vhagar may have been dragon pitted for most of her life.

Also, Tyrion could have made a mistake?

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Interesting that the Targaryens confined themselves to being "Lord of Dragonstone" in title for the first century, considering they had nobody above them in the sovereignty chain.


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Who built Dragonstone if it already existed at the time that Aenar brought his House to settle it? Did they have to destroy another House to get it?


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Didn't Barristan say that a dragon would keeping growing as long as it had food and space/freedom? Maybe Vhagar and Meraxes were raised differently. Rhaenys rode her dragon a lot more than her siblings so maybe that contributed in a better growth. Vhagar may have been dragon pitted for most of her life.

They (inexplicably) also thrive when they are on Dragonstone.

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And the famous black hair is apparently Durrandon heirloom.

Woo, I was right! I always thought that must be the case, given that Orys was a Targaryen bastard (supposedly) and yet the hereditary features of his house are pretty much the exact opposite of the Targaryen look. It made sense that it came from House Durrandon, and fits with the Baratheons' absorption of everything else related to that their iconography.

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I wonder if Massey's long history with the Targaryens might make young Justin betray Stannis in tWoW and bring the mercs he hired into the service of Daenerys or Faegon.

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Who built Dragonstone if it already existed at the time that Aenar brought his House to settle it? Did they have to destroy another House to get it?

Dragonstone was the Westernmost outpost of the Valyrian Empire, and iir already belonged to the Targaryens

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I wonder if Massey's long history with the Targaryens might make young Justin betray Stannis in tWoW and bring the mercs he hired into the service of Daenerys or Faegon.

He'd be double-crossing the Iron Bank there too. Wouldn't be a wise decision.

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I suspect that the Dance was not the cause of the Velaryon's fall from power. Alyn Velaryon had to gain wealth when leading the conquest of Dorne, and Daenera being the mother of two kings should also contribute to restore the family's position. I think it was a much more slow, gradual thing, possibly catalized by he effect of choosing bad sides in the Blackfyre rebellions (Daemon Blackfyre was Daenera's grandson) and Robert's Rebellion ending with the destructon of the Targaryen (Velaryon) fleet at Dragonstone.

I think the great Eastern fleet Houses (Sunderland and Velaryon) saw such a steap decline in prestige because they supported the Blackfyres. I don't think that the Targaryen fleet that sunk at Dragonstone had much Velaryon ships in it to be honest, those ships were probably the Targaryens own Royal Fleet (comparable to the fleet that Stannis took with him to invade KL).

He'd be double-crossing the Iron Bank there too. Wouldn't be a wise decision.

Not wise indeed. But he would probably have lot's to gain. So, he might risk it?

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I'm not sure if the Targaryens really styled themselves 'Lords of Dragonstone'. That's the title the maester (Yandel, if I remember Ran correctly) is using in the book he writes in the common tongue, using titles that were common for Westerosi rulers. But it's not that unlikely that they did adopt Westerosi titles after they started speaking the common tongue and following the Faith of the Andals (at least, 'sort of'). Say, during the reign of Aegon and Elaena.



Before that, the Targaryens would have spoken High Valyrian and used Valyrian titles and styling in their own holdings on Dragonstone, Driftmark, and Claw Isle.



Does the text confirm that Dragonstone, Driftmark, and Claw Isle belonged to the Targaryens before they moved there? Wouldn't it be much more likely that some no-name family without dragons oversaw that backwater region before Aenar sold all his holdings and and moved there?



On the dragon skulls: Tyrion could have erred, but it would be covered in dragonlore whose head was biggest when it was recovered, and lore states that Balerion was biggest, Meraxes second, and Vhagar the smallest of the three. The Dragonpit would have slowed the growth of old Balerion and Vhagar (if it did such a thing), since they would have been housed in the Dragonpit while Viserys and Aemond were their riders. But Vhagar did was at least 50 years older than Meraxes when she died, perhaps even more. And she would only have started to spend time in the Dragonpit when it was finished during the reign of Maegor...



As far as we know the Velaryons did not support the Blackfyres in the first of second rebellion. But their fleet could have been a huge boon to one of Bittersteel's really successful/threatening rebellions. I'd not be surprised if Haegon Blackfyre (or one of his younger brothers/sisters) was married to a daughter/son of a Lord Velaryon to cement such an alliance.


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Meraxes was an exceptionally large dragon for its age, and might well have gone on to grow larger than Balerion was at a similar age. Vhagar, despite having more time, never quite reached the proportions of Meraxes... but since Balerion was the largest dragon in living memory, Vhagar is compared to Balerion, and not to Meraxes, in TPatQ.

(That's our story, and we're sticking to it.

If it's not a satisfactory story, then the alternative was that yes, that was Vhaghar's skull that was smaller than Meraxes's, but it was a skull of Vhaghar as a young dragon. ;)

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