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Jon Weirgaryen

R+L=J v.123

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I'm ok with the polygamy question being in the OP, with a small disclaimer. Something that:



Q: Wouldn't that also make Jon Rhaegar's bastard?


A: (explanation). Nevertheless, that matters little as two people can procreate without being married. The legitimacy of Jon matters only to his future development in the story, not to his origins.


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@Greymoon, thank you for giving your thoughts. I am sorry to say that more or less half of what you have been worrying with has already been stricken through and removed from the OP.

The polyandry/polygyny (ooooh, 37.5% of the word is made of the letter "y") is interesting and so is the concern with Jorah (we had the motive part earlier, but not the law & lore part).

In the end Jorah is just an example for what in-story people think, I might be happy without it.

My main concern is too much detail and length. I'd rather have less discussion in the faq, as I don't think it is the main concern of R+L if they married or no.

Maybe the best is to link to more essays on the OP then? the faq is presented as if there was a consensus -- that doesn't actually exist. So, there is a problem here, especially, if the faq is not to contain discussion. Whose opinion should prevail? It shouldn't be only the opinion of the more senior members or the loudest or most outspoken.

The only consensus we can all agree on is that R+L=J. Is it not the OP's role to elaborate on all aspects of the theory, without privileging one over the others? Some posters have trouble accepting R+L, not because for lack of proof, but because of the way the theory is presented -- and some elements of the theory do at times seem either over the top, or as of yet, uncertain.

If the OP is not to include any discussion, then the question of polygamy should simply be left out. Whether legitimate or not, is actually irrelevant to the core of the R+L theory. It becomes relevant only, in light of the three KG at the ToJ, and only if, we take the dialogue as proof that Jon is heir to the IT. A point of contention, where there is absolutely no consensus. There isn't even a consensus on the matter of the KG vows, and what exactly that dialogue means.

For the OP to be sans discussion and present a fair theory, points of contention should be mentioned, if not necessarily elaborated, as that would take too much space; the theory should be reduced to actual, straightforward textual clues and include links to essays, portraying this or that opinion. And there should be nuanced views represented; not just one 'general' view, that doesn't correspond to any sort of general consensus.

In addition to the essays already linked, we should, imo, contact Lady Gwyn and Yolkboy and see if their essays may be linked to the OP, for example. Alternatives to R+L=J could also, in the interest of not omitting any sort of information, be linked. PrettyPig's suggestion to have a Heretic discussion about R+L, is quite good, too.

The alternative is to write "we believe that Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother, and that Rhaegar Targaryen is Jon's father, but there are points of contentions as to how the story evolved, R and L feelings and motivations, Jon's status, and the importance of this information for Jon's future. If interested, read the essays below:"

...or should we organize a poll, and announce the results in the OP? That might be interesting, but even then the poll results would necessarily be flawed. How to determine what question is to be asked?

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See, there seems to be a crucial difference in approach which causes these clashes. The analysis that is done here in this thread is basically the good old literary analysis - sift the text, look for patterns, imagery, consistencies/inconsistencies, bits of information from various PoVs, what have you, and put them together like a big puzzle - you may be missing a few pieces, or there may be a few that you don't know yet how they fit, but you get the picture. You know if the picture is a flower or a ship or a couple at it, and the picture won't change because you have misplaced some bits or cannot quite figure out whether a particular piece fits this way or another. So, if you want to raise an option that the picture is not a ship, you cannot do so by taking an individual piece and show how it incidentally fits elsewhere, you need to take all of them and completely reshape the picture in a way that makes sense for all of it, not just some parts, and you mustn't end up with a pile of bits that previously fit but don't any more. Then you have a valid counter-theory - and that's something I haven't seen done since version 17 or so when I joined the forums, just bold claims and butt-hurt comments when someone's grand idea fails to fit with all the known bits. Like it or not, the picture is a ship, we just haven't been able to establish the number of masts and sails.

Now, what is the whole picture going to be like when it's completed? Will it be an outstanding piece of art? Will it match my other pictures? And how will it change the look of my living room if I put it on the wall? There is a lot of space for discussion here which can be based on the analysis but is for the greater part, speculation. Not that speculation about the role of the picture doesn't take place but, to continue with the previous ship example, it's always ship-related, somehow. No use discussing that the picture is actually a wheel of cheese. If that's an option you'd like to discuss, you'd really better take it to the Heresy threads. Here, cheese is just the hypothetical cargo.

Unfortunately we are all trying to piece together a puzzle the size of Central Park, with millions of very small and highly detailed pieces. You guys have done a great job of pulling together a bunch of pieces that seem to make up a ship - but when someone questions why certain pieces don't seem to fit together well, or notices that the ship material in these pieces isn't consistent with that of the other pieces in your picture, or wonders why these few pieces have trees and grass in the background that look similar to the trees and grass in the background waaaay over--------------here, we're told that we clearly don't know how to put together a puzzle, that the differing materials are a GRRM red herring, and the trees and grass are nothing more than an incomplete painting on an easel on the aft deck of the ship as detailed by Poster X in their analysis and if we had two brain cells to rub together we'd see that.

It's not that the 'dissenters' on parts of RLJ aren't seeing a picture of a ship. We are. We're also seeing anomalies of the picture of the ship, and wonder if perhaps in the bigger puzzle (and it's big) there are different ships and some of the pieces in this one actually belong with the other one. But, the folks who have thus far put together the puzzle are very proud and proprietary of their work and want to keep the picture exactly as is. If that's the case, that's fine.....if there is a place elsewhere on this forum to discuss the wonky pieces with abandon (without being redirected here) then I'm sure people would go there. You all would never have to see my porcine mug in here again.

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Two people don't have to be married to have sex at all. In my opinion, polygamy/marriage has ZERO bearing on whether Rhaegar and Lyanna conceived a child. It's related to the "so what?" part of the discussion, but not to the actual birds and bees.

The problem with this approach is that the OP uses the possibility of polygamy as one of the arguments in favor of R+L=J. For example, the Citadel article says that the presence of the KGs suggests that they were guarding a royal heir and then goes on to discuss polygamy-- a d presents this information as facts leading to the conclusion that R+L=J is more likely than any of the other possible parents. That is why one of the frequently asked questions is whether polygamy is legal -- because if it is not, it removes one of the pro-RLJ arguments that appears in the OP.

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I'm ok with the polygamy question being in the OP, with a small disclaimer. Something that:

Q: Wouldn't that also make Jon Rhaegar's bastard?

A: (explanation). Nevertheless, that matters little as two people can procreate without being married. The legitimacy of Jon matters only to his future development in the story, not to his origins.

Not sure this is entirely correct as we don't know what exactly went on back then. However, perhaps you are right and R+L=J as such should be kept separate from the whole legitimacy discussion.

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Unfortunately we are all trying to piece together a puzzle the size of Central Park, with millions of very small and highly detailed pieces. You guys have done a great job of pulling together a bunch of pieces that seem to make up a ship - but when someone questions why certain pieces don't seem to fit together well, or notices that the ship material in these pieces isn't consistent with that of the other pieces in your picture, or wonders why these few pieces have trees and grass in the background that look similar to the trees and grass in the background waaaay over--------------here, we're told that we clearly don't know how to put together a puzzle, that the differing materials are a GRRM red herring, and the trees and grass are nothing more than an incomplete painting on an easel on the aft deck of the ship as detailed by Poster X in their analysis and if we had two brain cells to rub together we'd see that.

It's not that the 'dissenters' on parts of RLJ aren't seeing a picture of a ship. We are. We're also seeing anomalies of the picture of the ship, and wonder if perhaps in the bigger puzzle (and it's big) there are different ships and some of the pieces in this one actually belong with the other one. But, the folks who have thus far put together the puzzle are very proud and proprietary of their work and want to keep the picture exactly as is. If that's the case, that's fine.....if there is a place elsewhere on this forum to discuss the wonky pieces with abandon (without being redirected here) then I'm sure people would go there. You all would never have to see my porcine mug in here again.

I thought that this is exactly what the Heresy threads are for.

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Here's a draft of the general polygamy argument. Have I left out anything substantial?



On Polygamy



To start with, polygamy was never commonly practiced. We have a mention of lord Aenar Targaryen moving to Dragonstone with his wives but when Aegon the Conqueror married both his sisters, it was considered an unusual move. (source:)



/any quote what the Faith thought of Aegon's double marriage after he conquered Westeros?/



Maegor the Cruel followed his father's example and due to his inability to secure himself a heir, he took multiple wives. His second marriage was fiercely opposed by the Faith as against the gods' laws but the fact that Maegor's first wife was the High Septon's niece may have been yet another factor in the relationship between the Faith and the Targs, already strained by the incest of Aenys' children).



There are no known polygamous Targs after Maegor, even though this SSM (quote) establishes that Maegor's precedent is still valid and that there was no clear dividing line in the author's mind after which polygamy was no longer possible. The author only states that later on without dragons, it would have been more difficult for the Targaryens to get their deviations frlom the social norms accepted (SSMs quotes)



Due to the lack of further polygamous marriages, it has been argued that polygamy was banned by Jaehaerys the Conciliator in order to appease the Faith. However, there is no textual basis to support this claim. On the contrary, on several occasions, polygamy is raised as a legitimate option, most notably in the series itself (Jorah quote). Furthermore, polygamy is discussed as an option for Daemon Blackfyre (quote + source?). In the case of Daemon and Rhaenyra, it is unclear whether his request for Rhaenyra's hand was meant as a polygamous marriage or whether he intended to set his first wife aside (three quotes of the different versions).



With Daemon and Rhaenyra, it has been argued that the scenario proves that a king's permission would have been necessary for a polygamous marriage and that Viserys' refusal to grant the permission on the basis of Daemon's first marriage proves that polygamy was no longer possible. These claims fail to take into account that every marriage in the royal family should ideally be condoned by the king and that its validity is not detracted by the lack of permission (Daemon and Rhaenyra's later secret mariage + Egg's kids). Similarly, the fact that Daemon and Rhaenyra had to marry in secrecy even when Daemon was no longer married indicates that Viserys wouldn't have allowed the marriage the first time even if Daemon had been single.



Furthermore, even if the ban on polygamy was ever codified, it needn't apply to the Targs themselves as the series clearly states that (quote about Targs above laws of gods and men). Their privileged status is clearly depicted in the issue of incest (quote abomination in the eyes of gods old and new, + quote from Dunk and Egg about unacceptablity of incest for anyone but Targs) which freely continued even after the disappearance of dragons (quote how septons turned a blind eye to it).



Tying in with the above-mentioned, there is a notable lack of negative comments about polygamy as compared to an abundance of those about incest. The mentions of Aegon's two sister-wives are never pointed out as incompatible with the present social norms. The institution of salt wives in the Ironborn culture is never criticised even though other Ironborn customs are. Craster's polygamy is never condemned by the members of the Nigthwatch (while his incest is, repeatedly), nor the eighteen wives of Ygon Oldfather, while the Wildlings and their customs are generally held in contempt by Nightwatch.


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I thought that this is exactly what the Heresy threads are for.

This. The idea that this is the only place to discuss this theory and variations there of is absolutely not true.

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I would have let it go, had I not remembered that quote about he Targs answering to neither gods or men. Even if polygamy was illegal, the Targs would still consider themselves above it. So, we have a completely unsupported statement (polygamy was codified as illegal) versus textually supported that the Targs did not consider themselves bound by the laws of gods or men. In practice, the extent of that status would have been limited by the power that could support it (hence the SSM about the lack of dragons decreasing the Targs' ability to do completely as they pleased), but it changes nothing about the premise that whatever the law was for the rest of Westeros, the Targs could, and did, get a pass. After all, "was and IS" precedent means that the precedent still applies.

Jaehaerys' code of laws was a compromise with the Faith Militant to end the uprising. It's not an unreasonable guess that it would have included something about polygamy, which the Faith opposes. It's not directly supported in the text, but the original line was "Some people propose that... "

The FAQ needs to answer people's questions, and this is one of those questions. We shouldn't be dodging those questions, we should be answering them -- which is exactly what we do when it's pointed out that even if this theory about Jaehaerys is true, there's no reason to believe it would have any impact.

Ygraine's "like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men" quote is an excellent answer to this question, and so I suggest it is given as an answer to that question rather than a reason to omit the question. I say keep in the Jaehaerys question, but add in Ygraine's quote as further evidence against it.

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Can I point back to GRRM saying that it could only have mattered to convention, the Faith, and opinions? He pointedly does not say anything about a law. Therefore assuming that there was a law about polygamy is incorrect.

For the umpteenth time:

the extent to which the Targaryen kings could defy convention, the Faith, and the opinions of the other lords decreased markedly after they no longer had dragons

Why would the Targaryen kings have to worry about defying the laws when they can change the laws at will?

Jaehaerys' code of laws was a compromise with the Faith Militant to end the uprising. It's not an unreasonable guess that it would have included something about polygamy, which the Faith opposes. It's not directly supported in the text, but the original line was "Some people propose that... "

I had suggested it may have been part of a compromise with the Faith, he couldn't give up incest without risking control of the dragons but he would have seen the problems polygamy can cause. After reading more of the worldbook I came up with another reason he might outlaw polygamy. Because he had to unify the different legal codes of several kingdoms, some of which may have allowed polygamy while others did not. So he would have had to take a stand on that issue, and I think it's more likely he chose to make it illegal. Knowing that if he or one of his successors really wanted a second wife it wouldn't be an issue.

I'm pretty certain it is illegal. Then there's the issue of "are Targaryens above the law or just the king."

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Why would the Targaryen kings have to worry about defying the laws when they can change the laws at will?

This is a rhetorical question, right? Because you just answered your own question.

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For the umpteenth time:

Why would the Targaryen kings have to worry about defying the laws when they can change the laws at will?

They wouldn't have to worry. Like sj4iy said, didn't you just answer your own question?

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Yes it was a rhetorical question. My point was that why should Martin mention concerns about defying the laws there?


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/grrr/

Alright, alright. I had intended to dedicate my holidays to writing something else (yeah, fanfiction, in fact) but I'll try and formulate something conscise on polygamy. You guys then let me know if I have missed something. I could also use someone helping me with quotes from the works outside the series.

Relevant quotes from the worldbook (with some observations of my own in bold underneath each relevant quote)

Hope this helps, Ygrain!

The Reign of the Dragons

The Targaryens were of pure Valyrian blood, dragonlords of ancient lineage. Twelve years before the Doom of Valyria (114 BC), Aenar Targaryen sold his holdings in the Frehold and the Lands of the Long Summer and moved with all his wives, wealth, slaves, dragons, siblings, kin, and children to Dragonstone, a bleak island citadel beneath a smoking mountain in the narrow sea.

The relevance of this quote seems simple... Aenar had wives, thus, had entered a polygamous marriage to an unknown number of women.

It had long been the custom amongst tyhe dragonlords of Valyria to wed brother to sister, to keep the bloodlines pure, but Aegon took both his sisters to bride. By tradition, he was expected to wed only his older sister, Visenya; the inclusion of Rhaenys as a second wife was unusual, though not without precedent. it was said by some that Aegon wed Visenya out of duty and Rhaenys out of desire.

Here the precedent for polygamous marriages is mentioned.

Thus it was that Kign Argilac reached out to the Targaryens on Dragonstone, offfering Lord Aegon his daughter in mariage, with all the lands east of the Gods Eye from the Trident to the Blackwater Rush as her dowry.

Aegon Targaryen spurned the Storm King's proposal. He had two wives, he pointed out; he did not need a third. [...]

Here is becomes interesting. While Argilic knows that Aegon is already married to two women, he is willing to offer his only daughter and heir as a third bride (surely, for selfish reasons, offering lands as Argella's dowry that would place a buffer between his kingdom, and Harren's, but still.. a polygamous marriage, offered by a Westerosi king).

In her youth Queen Sharra had been lauded as "the Flower of the Mountain", the fairest maid in the Seven Kingdoms. Perhaps hoping to sway Aegon with her beauty, she sent him a portrait of herself and offered herself to him in marriage, provided he named her son Ronnel as his heir. Though the portrait did finally reach him, it is not kown whether Aegon Targaryen ever replied to her proposal; he had two queens already, and Sharra Arryn was by then a faded flower, ten years his elder.

And Queen Sharra, for her own selfish reasons, tries the same thing Argilic tried. To enter a polygamous marriage with a man already married to two other women.

From the History of Archmaester Gylgayn

The tradition amongst the Targaryens had always been to marry kin to kin. Wedding brother to sister was thought to be ideal. Failing that, a girl might wed an uncle, a cousin, or a nephew; a boy a cousin, aunt, or niece. This practice went back to Old Valyria, where it was common amongst many of the ancient families, particularly those who bred and rode dragons. “The blood of the dragon must remain pure,” the wisdom went. Some of the sorcerer princes also took more than one wife when it pleased them, though this was less common than incestuous marriage. In Valryia before the Doom, wise men wrote, a thousand gods were honored, but none were feared, so few dared to speak against these customs.

This was not true in Westeros, where the power of the Faith went unquestioned. Incest was denounced as vile sin, whether between father and daughter, mother and son, or brother and sister, and the fruits of such unions were considered abominations in the sight of gods and men. With hindsight, it can be seen that conflict between the Faith and House Targaryen was inevitable.

Polygamy was less common than incestuous marriages. Yet when it is described how and why the Faith and House Targaryen clashed, only the incest is discussed, not the polygamy..

We see this during the reign of Aenys I as well...

Aenys I:

Perhaps envious, after two years as Hand - and the birth to his brother of yet another daughter, Vaella, who died as an infant - Maegor shocked the realm in 39 AC by announcing that he had taken a second wife - Alys of House Harroway - in secret. He had wed her in a Valyrian ceremony officiated by Queen Visenya for want fo a septon willing to wed them. The public outcry was such that Aenys was finally forced to exile his brother.

It isn't Maegor's polygamous marriage that leads to the Faith rebelling... It is the incestous marriage of Rhaena and Aegon that leads to this rebellion. Maegor might have been exiled because of his marriage to Alys, his marriage is considered valid... Would a marriage that's illegal be considered valid? Maegor isn't a King during this marriage...

And this exile, we know from the Sons of the Dragon reading, was supposed to be temporary... five years only, meaning that, had Aenys lived, Maegor and Alys woud have returned to Westeros in 44 AC. We should also not forget that the trouble Aenys faced with Maegor's second marriage would partly have been because of the fact that Maegor's first wife was the High Septon's own niece.

Edit: Whoops! Just now saw that you had already posted a draft while I was looking up quotes :)

Edit2:

I talk about the Daemon quote, and then forget to add it to the list *facepalm*

It has been said in the years after Daemon Blackfyre proved a traitor that his hatred of Daeron began to grow early. It was Aegon’s desire—not Daemon’s—that he be wed to Rohanne of Tyrosh. Instead, Daemon had developed a passion for Daeron’s sister, young Princess Daenerys. Only two years younger than Daemon, the princess supposedly loved the bastard prince in turn, if the singers can be believed, but neither Aegon IV nor Daeron II were willing to let such feelings rule in matters of state. Aegon saw more profit in a tie to Tyrosh, perhaps because its fleet would be of use if he made another attempt to conquer Dorne.

This seems plausible enough, but a different tale claims that Daemon was not so much opposed to wedding Rohanne as Tyrosh as he was convinced that he could follow in the footsteps of Aegon the Conqueror and Maegor the Cruel and have more than one bride. Aegon might even have promised to indulge him in this (some of Blackfyre’s partisans later claimed this was the case) but Daeron was of a different mind entirely. Not only did Daeron refuse to permit his brother more than one wife, but he also gave Daenerys’s hand to Maron Martell, as part of the bargain to finally unite the Seven Kingdoms with Dorne.

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Yes it was a rhetorical question. My point was that why should Martin mention concerns about defying the laws there?

Well, he didn't.

Defying convention is the same as defying laws. If I don't go to my family's house for Christmas dinner, that's defying convention. Some people will be pissed off, but it doesn't mean anything in the long run.

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Maybe the best is to link to more essays on the OP then? the faq is presented as if there was a consensus -- that doesn't actually exist. So, there is a problem here, especially, if the faq is not to contain discussion. Whose opinion should prevail? It shouldn't be only the opinion of the more senior members or the loudest or most outspoken.

Now that's hard. Of course, the faq must present the consensus as it exists. Debate should not be present other than naming opinions. In the case of Jaehaerys I and his laws, I was happy to strike it out as there's no textual basis for the claims that had been in there. I went and checked.

@Kingmonkey had a "Some posters think" construction that I did away with and replaced it with neutral matter-of-fact wording because there were facts behind the thinking.

If someone can come up with a Jaehaerys I quote addressing the subject in any way, then I am more than happy to put it in again.

Otherwise, I'd have to resort to the "Some poster think" construction - that does not make me happy.

If the OP is not to include any discussion, then the question of polygamy should simply be left out. Whether legitimate or not, is actually irrelevant to the core of the R+L theory. It becomes relevant only, in light of the three KG at the ToJ, and only if, we take the dialogue as proof that Jon is heir to the IT. A point of contention, where there is absolutely no consensus. There isn't even a consensus on the matter of the KG vows, and what exactly that dialogue means.

Oh! I thought there was a broader consensus on the things you mention. Since there was uncertainty, we had a poll around v.100+X somewhere, and I was pretty surprised by the result. Now where exactly was it...

In addition to the essays already linked, we should, imo, contact Lady Gwyn and Yolkboy and see if their essays may be linked to the OP, for example. Alternatives to R+L=J could also, in the interest of not omitting any sort of information, be linked.

Well, that might be an idea. I would not need to contact them, they will find out :)

Alternatives to R+L=J are already linked in the first three links on top of the faq.

The alternative is to write "we believe that Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother, and that Rhaegar Targaryen is Jon's father, but there are points of contentions as to how the story evolved, R and L feelings and motivations, Jon's status, and the importance of this information for Jon's future. If interested, read the essays below:"

We are already slowly going that way. But since this is the R+L=J theory, we start with the idea that R+L is the most probable parentage for Jon. No more needs for maybes on that, because the whole theory is the maybe.

...or should we organize a poll, and announce the results in the OP? That might be interesting, but even then the poll results would necessarily be flawed. How to determine what question is to be asked?

We have had polls time and again. All polls do is show how accepted something is among the pollsters.

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Here's a draft of the general polygamy argument. Have I left out anything substantial?

Adding the quotes of the world book and the rogue prince, and a bit else (in bolded)

On Polygamy

To start with, polygamy was never commonly practiced. We have a mention of lord Aenar Targaryen moving to Dragonstone with his wives but when Aegon the Conqueror married both his sisters, it was considered an unusual move. Still, there were precedents for polygamous marriages known.[The World of Ice and Fire]

When Archmaester Gyldayn later discusses the inevitable conflict between House Targaryen and the Faith, he only mentions troubles that would definitly arise because of the incestous marriages, yet he does not mention any problems that could have been caused by polygamous marriages.[The World of Ice and Fire/The Conquest]

The tradition amongst the Targaryens had always been to marry kin to kin. Wedding brother to sister was thought to be ideal. Failing that, a girl might wed an uncle, a cousin, or a nephew; a boy a cousin, aunt, or niece. This practice went back to Old Valyria, where it was common amongst many of the ancient families, particularly those who bred and rode dragons. “The blood of the dragon must remain pure,” the wisdom went. Some of the sorcerer princes also took more than one wife when it pleased them, though this was less common than incestuous marriage. In Valryia before the Doom, wise men wrote, a thousand gods were honored, but none were feared, so few dared to speak against these customs.

This was not true in Westeros, where the power of the Faith went unquestioned. Incest was denounced as vile sin, whether between father and daughter, mother and son, or brother and sister, and the fruits of such unions were considered abominations in the sight of gods and men. With hindsight, it can be seen that conflict between the Faith and House Targaryen was inevitable.

During the Wars of Conquest, both King Argilic and Queen Sharra offered a third wife to Aegon Targaryen. Despite these offers were made for their respective reasons, both Argilic and Sharra were aware of Aegon's two wives, and yet, Argilic was still willing to marry his only daughter and heir to Aegon, and Sharra was still willing to marry Aegon herself.[The World of Ice and Fire/The Conquest]

Maegor the Cruel followed his father's example and due to his inability to secure himself a heir, he took multiple wives. His second marriage was fiercely opposed by the Faith as against the gods' laws but the fact that Maegor's first wife was the High Septon's niece may have been yet another factor in the relationship between the Faith and the Targs, already strained by the incest of Aenys' children). In any case, Maegor's marriage was considered valid,]The World of Ice and Fire] and the "punishement" he received for taking a second wife in secret was supposed to be temporary only.[sons of the Dragon reading]

There are no known polygamous Targs after Maegor, even though this SSM (quote) establishes that Maegor's precedent is still valid and that there was no clear dividing line in the author's mind after which polygamy was no longer possible. The author only states that later on without dragons, it would have been more difficult for the Targaryens to get their deviations frlom the social norms accepted (SSMs quotes)

Due to the lack of further polygamous marriages, it has been argued that polygamy was banned by Jaehaerys the Conciliator in order to appease the Faith. However, there is no textual basis to support this claim. On the contrary, on several occasions, polygamy is raised as a legitimate option, most notably in the series itself (Jorah quote). Furthermore, polygamy is discussed as an option for Daemon Blackfyre.[The World of Ice and Fire/Daeron II]

It has been said in the years after Daemon Blackfyre proved a traitor that his hatred of Daeron began to grow early. It was Aegon’s desire—not Daemon’s—that he be wed to Rohanne of Tyrosh. Instead, Daemon had developed a passion for Daeron’s sister, young Princess Daenerys. Only two years younger than Daemon, the princess supposedly loved the bastard prince in turn, if the singers can be believed, but neither Aegon IV nor Daeron II were willing to let such feelings rule in matters of state. Aegon saw more profit in a tie to Tyrosh, perhaps because its fleet would be of use if he made another attempt to conquer Dorne.

This seems plausible enough, but a different tale claims that Daemon was not so much opposed to wedding Rohanne as Tyrosh as he was convinced that he could follow in the footsteps of Aegon the Conqueror and Maegor the Cruel and have more than one bride. Aegon might even have promised to indulge him in this (some of Blackfyre’s partisans later claimed this was the case) but Daeron was of a different mind entirely. Not only did Daeron refuse to permit his brother more than one wife, but he also gave Daenerys’s hand to Maron Martell, as part of the bargain to finally unite the Seven Kingdoms with Dorne.

In the case of Daemon and Rhaenyra, it is unclear whether his request for Rhaenyra's hand was meant as a polygamous marriage or whether he intended to set his first wife aside.

Viserys soon heard of it. And whatever version of the tale was trye, we do know that Daemon asked for Rhaenyra's hand, if only Viserys would set aside his marriage to Lady Rhea. iserys refused, and instead exiled Daemon from the Seven Kingdoms, never to return upon pain of death.[The World of Ice and Fire/Viserys I]

Eustace, the less salacious of the two, writes that Prince Daemon seduced his niece the princess and claimed her maidenhood. When the lovers were discovered abed together and brought before the king, Rhaenyra insisted she was in love with her uncle and pleaded with her father for leave to marry him. King Viserys would not hear of it, however, and reminded his daughter that Prince Daemon already had a wife. In his wroth, he confined his daughter to her chambers, told his brother to depart, and commanded both of them never to speak of what had happened.[The Rogue Prince/Account of Septon Eustace]

Just how long these lessons continued Mushroom does not say, but unlike Septon Eustace, he insists that Princess Rhaenyra remained a maiden, for she wished to preserve her innocence as a gift for her beloved. But when at last she approached her “white knight,” using all she had learned, Ser Criston was horrified and spurned her. The whole tale soon came out, in no small part thanks to Mushroom himself. King Viserys at first refused to believe a word of it until Prince Daemon himself confirmed that the tale was true. “Give the girl to me to wife,” he purportedly told his brother. “Who else would take her now?” Instead King Viserys sent him into exile, never to return to the Seven Kingdoms on pain of death.[The Rogue Prince/Account of Mushroom]

With Daemon and Rhaenyra, it has been argued that the scenario proves that a king's permission would have been necessary for a polygamous marriage and that Viserys' refusal to grant the permission on the basis of Daemon's first marriage proves that polygamy was no longer possible. These claims fail to take into account that every marriage in the royal family should ideally be condoned by the king and that its validity is not detracted by the lack of permission (Daemon and Rhaenyra's later secret mariage + Egg's kids). Similarly, the fact that Daemon and Rhaenyra had to marry in secrecy even when Daemon was no longer married indicates that Viserys wouldn't have allowed the marriage the first time even if Daemon had been single. In addition, Daemon had tried to get out of his marriage to Lady Rhea Royce ever since Viserys had ascended the Iron Throne (petitioning Viserys upon his ascension to have the marriage undone).

Furthermore, even if the ban on polygamy was ever codified, it needn't apply to the Targs themselves as the series clearly states that (quote about Targs above laws of gods and men). Their privileged status is clearly depicted in the issue of incest (quote abomination in the eyes of gods old and new, + quote from Dunk and Egg about unacceptablity of incest for anyone but Targs) which freely continued even after the disappearance of dragons (quote how septons turned a blind eye to it).

Tying in with the above-mentioned, there is a notable lack of negative comments about polygamy as compared to an abundance of those about incest. The mentions of Aegon's two sister-wives are never pointed out as incompatible with the present social norms. The institution of salt wives in the Ironborn culture is never criticised even though other Ironborn customs are. Craster's polygamy is never condemned by the members of the Nigthwatch (while his incest is, repeatedly), nor the eighteen wives of Ygon Oldfather, while the Wildlings and their customs are generally held in contempt by Nightwatch.

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Well, he didn't.

Defying convention is the same as defying laws. If I don't go to my family's house for Christmas dinner, that's defying convention. Some people will be pissed off, but it doesn't mean anything in the long run.

I think you meant isn't there, and I understand that distinction. What I'm trying to say is that if I am correct and polygamy is illegal, there's still no reason for him to add "defying the law" in that SSM.

Edit:

In the case of Daemon and Rhaenyra, it is unclear whether his request for Rhaenyra's hand was meant as a polygamous marriage or whether he intended to set his first wife aside.

Wait, how is this unclear when you posted this quote:

Viserys soon heard of it. And whatever version of the tale was true, we do know that Daemon asked for Rhaenyra’s hand, if only Viserys would set aside his marriage to Lady Rhea.

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Rhaenys, you're awesome!



That point about Argillac and Sharra is big, IMO. Do we know what religion was followed in the Stormlands and Riverlands at that time?


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I think you meant isn't there, and I understand that distinction. What I'm trying to say is that if I am correct and polygamy is illegal, there's still no reason for him to add "defying the law" in that SSM.

He didn't. He said "defying convention".

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