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40 Thousand Skeletons

[TWOIAF Spoilers] Tyrion, Son of the Mad King

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So you are fully devoted to the idea that Targaryen blood is necessary to ride a dragon. And if someone rides a dragon, whether there were any clues or not, he/she must be a Targ descendant.

Is there any evidence, anywhere at all, that it is possible for people to ride a dragon without Valyrian blood?

Realistically speaking, unless Tyrion has Plumm blood (and it doesn't seem he does) the only other place where he might have gotten Valyrian blood is from Aerys. So if Tyrion succeeds in bonding with a dragon, most of us will take that as proof that A+J=T.

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If he rides a dragon I don't think his legitimate claims really matter. Robert claimed the IT and he didn't even have a dragon.

For most castles, a dragon would indeed be an excellent way of making the question of a legitimate claim not matter. But the castle we are speaking of is Casterly Rock. The Rock is too large and too solid to be vulnerable to dragonflame. It explicitly says in TWOIAF that when Visenya saw the Rock, she said it was fortunate that King Loren had ridden out to meet Aegon, because even dragons couldn't have touched him within his home. And the dragons ridden by Aegon and his sisters were much larger and more powerful than Dany's.

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Is there any evidence, anywhere at all, that it is possible for people to ride a dragon without Valyrian blood?

Realistically speaking, unless Tyrion has Plumm blood (and it doesn't seem he does) the only other place where he might have gotten Valyrian blood is from Aerys. So if Tyrion succeeds in bonding with a dragon, most of us will take that as proof that A+J=T.

1. Not all the Valyrians were dragonriders. Targaryens were a dragonlord family and only the dragonlord families rode dragons.

2. Not many people had a chance to try to ride a dragon. Until the Dance, the dragons were guarded by the Targaryens and no one outside the family were given permission to try and mount one.

3. The "fact" that only Targaryens can ride dragons come from Jaecaerys Velaryon, which means Rhaenyra knew that too. Yet she allowed some people like Steffon Darklyn, Gormon Massey to try to mount dragons. This is a serious inconssitency that it cannot be explained satisfactorily with "desperate times/desperate measures". You do not spend a Lord and the LC of you KG in desperate times while you have few supporters. Not only them but we also see other people like Jon Roxton thinking of riding a dragon.

So, what does this say?

I think it is clear that there either a loss of true dragonlore or a deliberate obscuration was made by the Citadel. We know that they poisoned the dragons during Aegon III's reign and later in Daeron I's reign, the Faith (another institution highly incluenced by the Hightowers) made him ban Barth's book.

4. One can ask, what is our evidence that only the Targaryens can ride dragons?

“Our uncle calls us Strongs, and claims that we are bastards, but when the lords see us on dragonback they will know that for a lie. Only Targaryens ride dragons.”

The logical fallacy in this quote should strike us. Lucerys claimed that only the Targaryens can ride dragons and if they ride one, they will prove to be not Strong bastards as they were blamed to be.

However, even if they were Strong bastards, they are still sons of Rhaenyra. So, riding dragons can hardly be proof of their truebirth.

I think this sentence is fabricated.

Other than that, we see that only Targs and supposedly Targ seeds were able to ride dragons whereas other people without Targ blood failed to do so during the Dance.

First of all, Nettles stands out as a person with no Targ blood yet she succeeded. I already talked about people with no Targ blood were allowed to try their chances although Rhaenyra suppsoedly knew that they would fail.

One can ask if anyone can ride dragon, why did we never see that happening.

Well, good luck finding a dragon. Do you think that reasonable amount of people had the chance to try to mount a dragon? Targs dragons were guarded and the wild dragons were dangerous even for Targaryens.

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Is there any evidence, anywhere at all, that it is possible for people to ride a dragon without Valyrian blood?

Realistically speaking, unless Tyrion has Plumm blood (and it doesn't seem he does) the only other place where he might have gotten Valyrian blood is from Aerys. So if Tyrion succeeds in bonding with a dragon, most of us will take that as proof that A+J=T.

There's a difference between Targaryen blood, and Valyrian blood.. ;)

All Targaryen blood is Valyrian blood, but not all Valyrian blood is Targaryen blood.

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For most castles, a dragon would indeed be an excellent way of making the question of a legitimate claim not matter. But the castle we are speaking of is Casterly Rock. The Rock is too large and too solid to be vulnerable to dragonflame. It explicitly says in TWOIAF that when Visenya saw the Rock, she said it was fortunate that King Loren had ridden out to meet Aegon, because even dragons couldn't have touched him within his home. And the dragons ridden by Aegon and his sisters were much larger and more powerful than Dany's.

Very true, I did find it really interesting that TWOIAF explicitly mentioned the Rock would be difficult to take even with Balerion.

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1. Not all the Valyrians were dragonriders. Targaryens were a dragonlord family and only the dragonlord families rode dragons.

2. Not many people had a chance to try to ride a dragon. Until the Dance, the dragons were guarded by the Targaryens and no one outside the family were given permission to try and mount one.

3. The "fact" that only Targaryens can ride dragons come from Jaecaerys Velaryon, which means Rhaenyra knew that too. Yet she allowed some people like Steffon Darklyn, Gormon Massey to try to mount dragons. This is a serious inconssitency that it cannot be explained satisfactorily with "desperate times/desperate measures". You do not spend a Lord and the LC of you KG in desperate times while you have few supporters. Not only them but we also see other people like Jon Roxton thinking of riding a dragon.

So, what does this say?

I think it is clear that there either a loss of true dragonlore or a deliberate obscuration was made by the Citadel. We know that they poisoned the dragons during Aegon III's reign and later in Daeron I's reign, the Faith (another institution highly incluenced by the Hightowers) made him ban Barth's book.

4. One can ask, what is our evidence that only the Targaryens can ride dragons?

“Our uncle calls us Strongs, and claims that we are bastards, but when the lords see us on dragonback they will know that for a lie. Only Targaryens ride dragons.”

The logical fallacy in this quote should strike us. Lucerys claimed that only the Targaryens can ride dragons and if they ride one, they will prove to be not Strong bastards as they were blamed to be.

However, even if they were Strong bastards, they are still sons of Rhaenyra. So, riding dragons can hardly be proof of their truebirth.

I think this sentence is fabricated.

Other than that, we see that only Targs and supposedly Targ seeds were able to ride dragons whereas other people without Targ blood failed to do so during the Dance.

First of all, Nettles stands out as a person with no Targ blood yet she succeeded. I already talked about people with no Targ blood were allowed to try their chances although Rhaenyra suppsoedly knew that they would fail.

One can ask if anyone can ride dragon, why did we never see that happening.

Well, good luck finding a dragon. Do you think that reasonable amount of people had the chance to try to mount a dragon? Targs dragons were guarded and the wild dragons were dangerous even for Targaryens.

Give me a single example from text of someone without dragon-blood riding a dragon and I will believe it is possible. I don't count Nettles who is listed as a dragon-seed officially.

EDIT: I don't discount the possibility entirely, but I think it is very very unlikely.

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There's a difference between Targaryen blood, and Valyrian blood.. ;)

All Targaryen blood is Valyrian blood, but not all Valyrian blood is Targaryen blood.

Yes, but we have no record of Lannisters interbreeding with Valyrians. If Tyrion has Valyrian blood, it would have to be from Aerys.

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Give me a single example from text of someone without dragon-blood riding a dragon and I will believe it is possible. I don't count Nettles who is listed as a dragon-seed officially.

EDIT: I don't discount the possibility entirely, but I think it is very very unlikely.

Where and why Nettles was listed as a dragonseed?

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World Book. Section on the Dance/reign of Aegon II.

Does Yandel explain why did he name Nettles a dragonseed? Is is because she rode a dragon?

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No explanation that I can currently recall. She's just mentioned amongst the dragonseeds.

So we cannot be sure whether those succesful dragonseeds including Nettles were called dragonseeds because they were able to ride dragons or the maesters knew their Targaryen descents precisely. After all, these are all unreliable maester interpretations.

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So we cannot be sure whether those succesful dragonseeds including Nettles were called dragonseeds because they were able to ride dragons or the maesters knew their Targaryen descents precisely. After all, these are all unreliable maester interpretations.

Could be.. sure.

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Oh, I think we will eventually get confirmation of the timeline--just only when GRRM is ready for the big reveal. He cannot make it too obvious until then--so the timeline needs to remain unclear up to that point.

As to explaining why Tywin treated Tyrion that way--it is odd to back-fill this information only after Tywin is dead. Yes, WoIaF came out when it did, so maybe that could not be helped, but it seems a little unnecessary, in a side book, to give hints (and only hints--not direct statement) that Tywin incorrectly thought Tyrion was Aerys's child, but it turns out Tyrion really was Tywin's son all along. If Tywin were still alive, that development could serve a purpose down the road in the series, but with Tywin dead, the clues are just too subtle to serve that purpose and what would be the point for a dead character? I am not saying this explanation is impossible--just that it makes the information must less important to the series than if AJT is true--that theory could have massive implications for the series.

Yes, but there is no proof Tywin thinks Tyrion is Aerys bastard. He will either know she is raped or have no suspicions at all.

-He loved Joanna very much and they seem to have had a very good relationship. The phrase 'he was ruled at home by his lady' does not fit a relationship where he suspects her of having an affair/been raped. He will dislike Aerys because off a rape of his wife (and then he will be kind off sure) or because he does not like his unrespectfullness. But the unrespectfulness is enough to dislike him already. He will not doubt Joanna, he will either know she is raped or not have doubts at all.

-if she is raped he can doubt. Because he also had sex with her at the time.

-But she does not have to be raped. All Tywins behaviour against Aerys and Tyrion can be explained without the necessity of a rape. And I believe that is the reason why so much attention is put in the history of Tywin, Aerys and Joanna. To explain why Tywin is who he is. It is enough already without a rape. Tyrion is one of the three main characters and he is who he is because Tywin is a cruel father. Explaining why Tywin is who he is can just be a decent background for Tyrion. Jon is a bastard, Dany an outcast and Tyrion a dwarf with a father who has been humiliated a bit to much.

It might all be true, but it is not necessary. The fact that we know so much more about the relationship between Aerys and Tywin can be seen as prove against A+J. With only the books it might have seemed weird why Tywin hated the Targaryens so much and an extra explanation might be in order. But now we know everything Aerys has done to him is enough to satisfy his anger, no rape and bastard necessary.

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Not many people had a chance to try to ride a dragon. Until the Dance, the dragons were guarded by the Targaryens and no one outside the family were given permission to try and mount one.

Not true, the 3 wild dragons were not guarded at all. Anybody could have tried to claim them at any time. Yes, sure, it was dangerous, but we know that Nettle did succeed with the Sheepstealer, so it had always been possible. We also know that there were many previous attempts to claim Cannibal.

For that matter, the "orphaned", once-ridden dragons must have been allowed to fly too, or they wouldn't have been able to lift after decades in captivity. It might have been possible to take a crack at them, during their outings.

The "fact" that only Targaryens can ride dragons come from Jaecaerys Velaryon, which means Rhaenyra knew that too. Yet she allowed some people like Steffon Darklyn, Gormon Massey to try to mount dragons.

Do you have proof that Massey and Darklyn didn't have any Targaryen blood? No? Then stop bringing this up as an alleged inconsistency or support for your claims.

Also, Jaecaerys was the one behind the whole dragonseed program, so you'd think that he'd have some influence over who was allowed to try among the people otherwise important for the war effort...

There is also an incontrovertible fact that Valyrian dragonlords preferred incest, and that they had a much better understanding of magic and dragons than Jon Roxton and Co. Citadel misinformation couldn't possibly be behind that ;).

First of all, Nettles stands out as a person with no Targ blood yet she succeeded.

"Do you have any proof of this fable"? To quote the late Renly. A lot of people on Dragonstone had and still have a bit of Targaryen blood way back in their pedigrees. And being commoners they wouldn't have family trees reaching centuries back.

Show me somebody from a region where no Targaryen or Targ-descended noble has been known to sow his wild oats, and you'd have a case.

If a northener managed to successfully claim a dragon, for instance.

During the Dance, if Roxton or any of the knights in the Hightower host had been able to claim one of the dragons, I would have been convinced of the rightness of your position. But it didn't happen, did it?

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I don't think Yandel counted Nettles as a dragonseed and Gyldayn does not. Ran and Linda only have 'Fire and Blood' as a source on that, not some other hidden text.



The blood of the Lyseni clearly should be full of various dragonrider blood still conserved among the nobility and the prostitutes, as it is very much hinted at that the Lyseni use their own bastards to breed more and more refined 'Valyrian beauty'. There could be rather much Lysene commoners who could become dragonriders.



Not to mention the fact that Lys was founded as a pleasure retreat by the dragonlords. There bastards should be the ancestors of pretty much anyone living on that islands (whose family was there from the start).



In Volantis things would be similar, but more or less limited to the people beyond the Black Wall. Sure, there would also be bastards there, but there blood would not be preserved or kept pure as it is on Lys (if you inherit Valyrian looks).



But whether people who have dragonlord blood but lack Targaryen blood can ever ride a Targaryen dragon is not clear. I doubt that, actually, since the whole point of the incest should be to prevent other dragonlord families from taking over/stealing your dragons.



Gormon Massey and Steffon Darklyn could have had Targaryen blood through a Targaryen match from before the Conquest, or a Velaryon match in much more recent days. That is not unlikely.



The claim that Rhaenyra/Jace did allow/encourage people to try to claim a dragon whose non-Targaryen heritage is confirmed can not be verified because we really lack information on this one. What we know is that Jace called forth people to try and die, and they did. The criteria whether they were truly dragonseeds was their success.



From what Ran has told us, it seems to be clear that there are no confirmed non-dragonlord-blood dragonriders out there - as far as he knows. And Ran's knowledge in that field should effectively only include all known dragonriders during the Targaryen reign of Westeros, as there is little reason to assume that George has written any detailed accounts on the Targaryen dragonriders on Dragonstone or the Valyrian dragonlords from before the Doom.



Oh, and yes, the three wild dragons were not guarded at all. They made their lairs on the eastern side of the Dragonmount, far away from the Citadel and the villages of the island.


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Raped or not, if Joanna even had the slightest suspicion that she could be pregnant with Aerys' child, why wouldn't she drink moon tea?

It would have been difficult for her to explain a Targaryen looking child, if she had been pregnant with Aerys' kid. And birthing a bastard could lead to her other children having their paternity questioned by the high lords of Westeros.

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Well, the best idea would be that she may have been not sure whether it was Aerys' child or Tywin's. She would not want to kill Tywin's unborn child, or would she? Especially not if they had tried to have more children after the twins.



But that question only works in a rape scenario. If it was not a rape, then the possibility that Joanna wanted to give birth to Aerys' child would be still valid.



I'm not sure with what sort of rape scenario we are going. I imagine Aerys either seducing or somehow coercing/forcing Joanna to share his bed. I think whatever happened had little/nothing to do with what post-Duskendale Aerys did to Rhaella.



I also don't think we can (or should) interpret Tywin's attempted resignation as a sign that Tywin felt (or knew) Aerys had hurt or brutally raped his wife. It may rather be some sort of admission for defeat. Tywin conceding that Aerys did get yet another successful shot at Joanna, and defeating him again at a field where Tywin may actually have not excelled all that much (with women in general and his wife in particular).



If we go with the unlikely 'Joanna never had an affair with Aerys' scenario and add the 'Aerys brutally had sex with Joanna against her will' possibility then Tywin, not Jaime, should have been the Kingslayer back in 272 AC, for the sake of being true to the character. Nobody really doubts that Tywin was deeply in love with his wife, and I cannot see him standing by while anyone hurts her.



But if he was aware that Joanna was attracted to Aerys and had had an affair with him in the past, he would not have done anything at all but try to resign. The idea that he would only resign because Aerys made a bad jape about Joanna's breasts makes little sense at all. He suffered much more verbal humiliations over the years and made no attempt whatsoever to resign.


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No explanation that I can currently recall. She's just mentioned amongst the dragonseeds.

Yandel doesn't differ in this from Gyldayn. She rode a dragon, ergo she must be a dragonseed.

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Not true, the 3 wild dragons were not guarded at all. Anybody could have tried to claim them at any time. Yes, sure, it was dangerous, but we know that Nettle did succeed with the Sheepstealer, so it had always been possible. We also know that there were many previous attempts to claim Cannibal.

For that matter, the "orphaned", once-ridden dragons must have been allowed to fly too, or they wouldn't have been able to lift after decades in captivity. It might have been possible to take a crack at them, during their outings.

Still, they were royal properties. It is certain death to claim them without the leave of the king.

Do you have proof that Massey and Darklyn didn't have any Targaryen blood? No? Then stop bringing this up as an alleged inconsistency or support for your claims.

Also, Jaecaerys was the one behind the whole dragonseed program, so you'd think that he'd have some influence over who was allowed to try among the people otherwise important for the war effort...

There is also an incontrovertible fact that Valyrian dragonlords preferred incest, and that they had a much better understanding of magic and dragons than Jon Roxton and Co. Citadel misinformation couldn't possibly be behind that ;).

Do you have they did? So stop using this as a proof of only Targaryens can succeed in riding a dragon. With nobles whose lines are tractable, it is easier to see whether they married Targaryens or not. From the Targaryen family tree, we see that they do not marry outsiders unless they had to. The common sense dictates that they didnot marry Masseys or Darklyns pre-conquest.

About possible Velaryon descent of Masseys and Darklyns, there is still no proof and it is not even known that all the Velaryon line carries Targ blood.

"Do you have any proof of this fable"? To quote the late Renly. A lot of people on Dragonstone had and still have a bit of Targaryen blood way back in their pedigrees. And being commoners they wouldn't have family trees reaching centuries back.

Show me somebody from a region where no Targaryen or Targ-descended noble has been known to sow his wild oats, and you'd have a case.

If a northener managed to successfully claim a dragon, for instance.

During the Dance, if Roxton or any of the knights in the Hightower host had been able to claim one of the dragons, I would have been convinced of the rightness of your position. But it didn't happen, did it?

Do you have any proof of Nettles having Targ blood other than some maester deducing it a century later that since she rode a dragon, she must be a dragonseed?

If a non-Targ riding a dragon is an unspeakeable blasphemy as you think, why did Jon Roxton and many other people thought of riding a dragon although it was certain suicide as far as they knew?

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