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Lost Melnibonean

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Harys Swyft and Pycelle aren't in a better position, yet they still were able to throw Qyburn out of the Small Council, name a new Lord Commander of the City Watch, and invite Ser Kevan to take the position of Lord Regent.

I think they just moved faster. Pycelle's a lot more capable than people credit him for. Also, I don't think Merryweather particularly fancied getting involved in coups and counter-coups, once Cersei fell he and his wife just wanted to get out of there.

 

12 hours ago, Protagoras said:

Doran had information about the death of Trystane few had access to

Trystane's dead?

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13 hours ago, Protagoras said:

I am personally betting hard as fuck on that Taena is Dorans "friend".

Doran had information about the death of Trystane few had access to (not even the small council knew that). Except Taena and maybe Qyburn aka the people Cersei sort of trusts. And Cersei would love to have someone to say that to, that she trusts so she can act powerful and competent.

Her methods as well as she is from Myr screams Dorne too if I wan´t to be a bit prejudiced.

Varys might have told Doran too (if he knew it), but I think (considering their heartly discussion) that Arianne would be privy to that knowledge as well if someone as important as Varys was the spy. In addition, Varys can´t know for certain that Doran will assist Aegon. Doran has after all played is cards (too) close to his chest.

She is at least 100% not on team Tyrell considering she knew about Cersei´s ideas about Margaerys "fate".

The problem here is that Cersei actually keeps those special orders to Ser Balon Swann a secret from even her friends at court. If there were a hint that she might have talked to the whole plan with Taena I'd be with you there. But I find it much more likely that Cersei talked to Swann about that in the throne room or the council chamber while they were alone and the little birds overheard the conversation, telling Varys, who, in turn, would have sent a letter containing the details to Prince Doran.

Also keep in mind that Doran seems to know the plan in its entirety (i.e. the spot where Trystane is supposed to be attacked and who is to be blamed for the ambush). I find it very hard to believe that Cersei would talk/brag about that. She wasn't all that keen to include Taena and Orton into her plans against Margaery until she decided to rush those. She is not as stupid as that. And she knows that if anything about Trystane's planned murder got out there would be war with Dorne and she cannot afford that right now.

Finally, there is the question why the hell Taena should work for Doran? What's the connection between those two people? There are no hints that Myr and Dorne and particularly close nor is there any good reason to believe that the wife of the Lord of Longtable should feel particularly close to the Prince of Dorne.

26 minutes ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

I think they just moved faster. Pycelle's a lot more capable than people credit him for. Also, I don't think Merryweather particularly fancied getting involved in coups and counter-coups, once Cersei fell he and his wife just wanted to get out of there.

Still, Pycelle and Swyft would have had no authority to act while Orton was still Hand of the King and Master of Laws. They sort of filled the void left by his and Waters' departure, but Merryweather was still there he certainly could have taken command of the City Watch, ordering them to try to free Cersei or do something else. And he certainly could have offered the Regency to Mace rather than Kevan. That he didn't do that strongly suggests the man had no illusions about Mace considering him his loyal vassal. He fled for a reason.

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26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Still, Pycelle and Swyft would have had no authority to act while Orton was still Hand of the King and Master of Laws. They sort of filled the void left by his and Waters' departure, but Merryweather was still there he certainly could have taken command of the City Watch, ordering them to try to free Cersei or do something else. And he certainly could have offered the Regency to Mace rather than Kevan. That he didn't do that strongly suggests the man had no illusions about Mace considering him his loyal vassal. He fled for a reason.

I don’t think Merryweather would have the stones to set himself up as effective ruler, take on the faith by demanding Cersei’s release, and take on half the small council by throwing his lot in with the Tyrells over Kevan. I think that, quite simply, when Cersei was taken, he decided the game was up and fled. Trying to take control of the situation would have put him in the line of fire.

While I think Taena is working on behalf of someone else (and it could very well be Varys, your arguments for that are compelling), I very much doubt Merryweather is in on it, and even if he is, that his fleeing is part of a grander plan.

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1 hour ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

I don’t think Merryweather would have the stones to set himself up as effective ruler, take on the faith by demanding Cersei’s release, and take on half the small council by throwing his lot in with the Tyrells over Kevan. I think that, quite simply, when Cersei was taken, he decided the game was up and fled. Trying to take control of the situation would have put him in the line of fire.

While I think Taena is working on behalf of someone else (and it could very well be Varys, your arguments for that are compelling), I very much doubt Merryweather is in on it, and even if he is, that his fleeing is part of a grander plan.

Well, but it is Merryweather who (most likely) suggested Bonifer Hasty to Cersei. Do you think Taena told him who to suggest? And she would have talked to Varys about that? That's not completely impossible but then - Taena is a beautiful woman but why the hell would an ambitious spy/agent marry a dispossessed exile like Orton Merryweather? They married while he was in Essos, after all.

It is more likely that Orton connected with the Golden Company there and now he and his wife are part of Varys/Illyrio's gang, not necessarily of their inner circle, but on a need-to-know basis. Taena certainly could be the smarter one of the pair but I very much doubt she has her own agenda aside from the one she and her husband share.

Well, if the Merryweathers were actually sucking up to Cersei and using her to gain more and more power one should actually assume they would have taken on the Faith after Cersei's arrest because they would have needed Cersei's release to remain in power. But that clearly isn't the case, so we are back to the question why the hell did they suck up to Cersei in the first place? Why didn't they urge her to scrap her ridiculous Margaery plot?

And if they were ambitious people why the hell didn't they even try to convince Mace that they were on his side all along by offering him the Regency rather than Kevan or by having the City Watch try to free Margaery? That way they certainly could have gotten back into Mace's good graces. Instead they fled the capital.

They are either utter fools (and there is no hint that they are utter fools) or they know pretty well what they are doing. Their return to Longtable could easily enough lead to them call their banners and march to Storm's End with a small host to join Prince Aegon there, being the first noble house in the Reach to do so.

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5 hours ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Trystane's dead?

He would have been if Cersei had gotten her plan through unintercepted.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The problem here is that Cersei actually keeps those special orders to Ser Balon Swann a secret from even her friends at court. If there were a hint that she might have talked to the whole plan with Taena I'd be with you there. But I find it much more likely that Cersei talked to Swann about that in the throne room or the council chamber while they were alone and the little birds overheard the conversation, telling Varys, who, in turn, would have sent a letter containing the details to Prince Doran.

Also keep in mind that Doran seems to know the plan in its entirety (i.e. the spot where Trystane is supposed to be attacked and who is to be blamed for the ambush). I find it very hard to believe that Cersei would talk/brag about that. She wasn't all that keen to include Taena and Orton into her plans against Margaery until she decided to rush those. She is not as stupid as that. And she knows that if anything about Trystane's planned murder got out there would be war with Dorne and she cannot afford that right now.

Finally, there is the question why the hell Taena should work for Doran? What's the connection between those two people? There are no hints that Myr and Dorne and particularly close nor is there any good reason to believe that the wife of the Lord of Longtable should feel particularly close to the Prince of Dorne.

Well, if GRRM would write such a scene then we as reader would know for sure that Taena is the "friend". Of course he is not doing that, :D

As for Varys is it certainly possible, but then we have the problem that is "why warn Doran". Again, it is unlikely that Varys knows exactly what Doran has been up to, due to the (too) great secrecy he has worked under (and as well the insultingly low support he gave Daenerys and Viserys).

Personally, I don´t find Cersei bragging about it all that strange. At the point Cersei didn´t tell the small council, maybe Cersei didn´t trust Taena enough but that seems to have changed significantly later in the book when they have spent moths together under the same litter and in the same bed. Yes, she decided to rush those plans for Margaery, but there was no real reason to tell Taena about them anyway. She looks to me desperate after a confidante, a person willing to admire her greatness and support her in any way she wants to. In fact, I find it more unlikely - considering that she now know that there are secret tunnels everywhere, that such a meeting between Cersei and Balon was held out in the open. It is also very poor storytelling to assume this is something that the birds just "picked up". Blabbing to Taena fits the narrative of Cersei creating her own doom better. 

As for why, yes that is a bit of speculation but apart from the Essos connection, there are few other sides she could have worked for (and I doubt she is spying for no real reason or as a merc without contract). And Doran do need to have that friend at court (which I cfin unlikely is Varys due to the possibility that they have different goals, so Varys can´t tell him everything). Maybe Doran assisted Orton when he was in Essos?

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@Protagoras

But why not provide us with a really good hint, like the one about the Swann plot that is in AFfC in the first place, as to who Doran's friend is? Especially if Cersei actually disclosed all the details to Taena there should have been such a scene in the book, or at least a line hinting at such a scene taking place between chapters.

We cannot just assume that stuff happened between chapters because we'd prefer that it happened there.

And if Cersei was trusting Taena all that much she could have included her in her plans against Margaery earlier on, yet she didn't do that. She knows she can trust her only up to a point and only thinks she is hers because she was involved in the plot against Margaery (that's why she wants her back in the Epilogue, one assumes).

The connection between Taena and Doran simply isn't there. Doran has ties to Norvos, Lys, and Tyrosh, but no confirmed ties to Myr. Orton has a very weird biography. His grandfather was exiled by Aerys II, so we can assume the man isn't exactly the biggest fan of the Targaryen dynasty alive. He also has no reason to love Robert and the Baratheons because they didn't restore the wealth to the house.

If Orton fell in with the Golden Company - as pretty much any Westerosi exile sooner or later seems to be doing - then the Varys-Orton-Taena connection is much more likely than a Doran-Taena connection.

Varys has a pretty good reason to warn Doran about Cersei's plan. He usually doesn't like children to die, but he could also use the connection they have as leverage to force/convince Doran to support Aegon. The fact that Varys/Illyrio consider the support of the Martells a given, using no resources to convince them to support the Targaryens eventually, strongly suggests that they have a reason to be sure what Doran will eventually do. All they need to know is that they are still Targaryen loyalists/planning revenge against the Lannisters. And that they do.

As of yet Doran has no idea that Varys is the man behind Aegon. It is actually possible that this is the reason why he doesn't yet believe that Aegon is the real deal.

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Taena is ten years younger than cersei. That means she was born in 276.

She married in Myr while Orton was in exile (after 283). Taena was 7 years old during roberts rebellion. Conventional age for marriage would be somewhat 16 years i seem to recall from a SSM.

Russel Merryweather was born in 293, that means Orton should have married her at least 9 months earlier. say 292 (Taena would be 16 in 292)

That could very well mean Russel was conceived at the very start of their Marriage.

Yet, interestingly enough, the have no other sons or daughters.

Quote

 

Surely you would prefer to have him close at hand, where you could see him every day? He is your only child, is he not?”

“For the present. My lord husband has asked the gods to bless us with another son, in case . . .”

“I know.”

 

We are told

Quote

Taena warmed the bed as well as Robert ever had, and never tried to force Cersei's legs apart. Of late she had shared the queen's bed more often than Lord Merryweather's. Orton did not seem to mind . . . or if he did, he knew better than to say so.

Orton Merryweather is gay:

Quote

Lady Taena savored every bite. Not so Orton Merryweather, whose round face remained blotched and pale from broth to cheese. He drank heavily and kept stealing glances at the singer.

 

Taena is arguebly the sexiest woman that we know off in the entire planetos. Therefore Orton must have choosen her for prestige to impress other men,, or to use her to influence other men...

Orton is associeted with Horns (his sigil) and a couple of times in the text

Quote

"You shock me, my lady," the queen said, teasing. "If danger excites you so, why wed Lord Orton? We all love him, it is true, but still . . ." Petyr had once remarked that the horn of plenty that adorned House Merryweather's arms suited Lord Orton admirably, since he had carrot-colored hair, a nose as bulbous as a beetroot, and pease porridge for wits.

 
Quote

 

His sister laughed. "Not you. Have no fear on that count. Perhaps Taena's husband. His grandfather was Hand under Aerys."
The horn-of-plenty Hand. Jaime remembered Owen Merryweather well enough; an amiable man, but ineffectual.

 

 

BTW, how did Orton recover his lands?

Robert was a generous guy it is true. And he won enemies over by being generous., but it doesn´t make sense he would keep them for years 9 years just in case his former enemies returned to ask them back. he would rather distribute them among friends or former enemies as soon as possible right? especially if  his rule was new and controversial...

yet it would seem Orton returned 9 years later, with a gorgeous wife, he went to his knees and Robert delivered.

 

Im sensing a possibility here. Orton choose Taena to seduce robert.. he pimped his wife to win his lands back.

 

Which takes us to the mysterious scarred black hair lover, taena told cersei about:

Quote

 

“A hundred times I told him no, and he said yes,” the other woman told her, “until finally I was saying yes as well. He was not the sort of man to be denied.”

“I know the sort,” the queen said with a wry smile.

“Has Your Grace ever known a man like that, I wonder?”

“Robert,” she lied, thinking of Jaime.

 

Wouln´t it be really smart writting if the man was in fact robert?

And later to the myrish swamp scene:

Quote

 

She wondered what it would feel like to suckle on those breasts, to lay the Myrish woman on her back and push her legs apart and use her as a man would use her, the way Robert would use her when the drink was in him, and she was unable to bring him off with hand or mouth.

Those had been the worst nights, lying helpless underneath him as he took his pleasure, stinking of wine and grunting like a boar. Usually he rolled off and went to sleep as soon as it was done, and was snoring before his seed could dry upon her thighs. She was always sore afterward, raw between the legs, her breasts painful from the mauling he would

(...)

Cersei had voiced her displeasure the next day. “You hurt me,” she complained. He had the grace to look ashamed. “It was not me, my lady,” he said in a sulky sullen tone, like a child caught stealing apple cakes from the kitchen. “It was the wine. I drink too much wine.”

(...)

Sooner or later there would always come a night when he would drink too much and want to claim his rights.

(...)

Does she dream of Myr? she wondered. Or is it her lover with the scar, the dangerous dark-haired man who would not be refused? She was quite certain Taena was not dreaming of Lord Orton.

(...)

“And this?” Cersei pinched the nipple now, pulling on it hard, twisting it between her fingers.

The Myrish woman gave a gasp of pain. “You’re hurting me.”

“It’s just the wine. I had a flagon with my supper, and another with the widow Stokeworth. I had to drink to keep her calm.” She twisted Taena’s other nipple too, pulling until the other woman gasped. “I am the queen. I mean to claim my rights.”

(...)

“Do what you will.” Taena’s hair was as black as Robert’s, even down between her legs, and when Cersei touched her there she found her hair all sopping wet, where Robert’s had been coarse and dry. “Please,” the Myrish woman said, “go on, my queen. Do as you will with me. I’m yours.”

But it was no good. She could not feel it, whatever Robert felt on the nights he took her. There was no pleasure in it, not for her. For Taena, yes. Her nipples were two black diamonds, her sex slick and steamy. Robert would have loved you, for an hour. The queen slid a finger into that Myrish swamp, then another, moving them in and out, but once he spent himself inside you, he would have been hard-pressed to recall your name.

(...)

She sounds as if she is being gored, the queen thought. For a moment she let herself imagine that her fingers were a bore’s tusks, ripping the Myrish woman apart from groin to throat. (like the boar that killed robert?)

(...)

Dawn was breaking. It would be morning soon, and all of this would be forgotten. and all of this would be forgotten.

It had never happened.

 

 Cersei mirroring Robert with Taena.

 9 months later after Lord Orton and Lady Taenar arrive to westeros newlywed, little Russel Merryweather is born.. . the one who likes playing with swords (bttw where does he get that from? certainly not from Lord Orton), and Taena refuses to bring to court (fear of Cersei murdering him like she did with all the other bastards?)

I don´t think Orton Merryweather is a player. His interventions in AFFC don´t strike me as consistent pattern of manipulations in favor of some other player of the game of thrones..He is just a amiable lickspittle,  like his grandfather,  whose contributions are just to praise Cerseis "intelligence".

But taena is. All her actions help destroy the lannister-tyrell alliance. She is clearly doing Varys´ bidding.

Why?

i wonder if VArys knows who the real father of russel is and blackmails taena..

 

 

 

 

 

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@LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse

The problem with that theory is, I think, that Cersei gives no impression to know or suspect that Taena ever had sex with Robert, nor is there any reason to believe that Orton and Taena were allowed to return to Westeros before their exile was over (exiles usually can't approach the king in person unless the man visits the country where they spend their exile). But when Orton's exile was over he would have gotten both his title and his lands back.

There is a scenario imaginable where Taena tried to seduce Robert to get Orton's wealth back - but where would that have happened that Cersei wouldn't have heard of it? That's simply not very likely.

By the way - the singer in the quote you gave is the Blue Bard, and the chapter concludes with his arrest. Did he watch the man because he had the hots for him or rather because he already know or rightly concluded what was about to happen?

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That's some nice analysis there @LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse, but I think @Lord Varys is right on the second count. I am sure we could imagine some scenario where Robert banged Orton's trophy wife without Cersei's knowledge, but I think the stolen glances at the singer, like the heavy drinking, had more to do with being very nervous about the frame-up job they were fixing on the Blue Bard. 

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

@Protagoras

But why not provide us with a really good hint, like the one about the Swann plot that is in AFfC in the first place, as to who Doran's friend is? Especially if Cersei actually disclosed all the details to Taena there should have been such a scene in the book, or at least a line hinting at such a scene taking place between chapters.

We cannot just assume that stuff happened between chapters because we'd prefer that it happened there.

And if Cersei was trusting Taena all that much she could have included her in her plans against Margaery earlier on, yet she didn't do that. She knows she can trust her only up to a point and only thinks she is hers because she was involved in the plot against Margaery (that's why she wants her back in the Epilogue, one assumes).

The connection between Taena and Doran simply isn't there. Doran has ties to Norvos, Lys, and Tyrosh, but no confirmed ties to Myr. Orton has a very weird biography. His grandfather was exiled by Aerys II, so we can assume the man isn't exactly the biggest fan of the Targaryen dynasty alive. He also has no reason to love Robert and the Baratheons because they didn't restore the wealth to the house.

If Orton fell in with the Golden Company - as pretty much any Westerosi exile sooner or later seems to be doing - then the Varys-Orton-Taena connection is much more likely than a Doran-Taena connection.

Varys has a pretty good reason to warn Doran about Cersei's plan. He usually doesn't like children to die, but he could also use the connection they have as leverage to force/convince Doran to support Aegon. The fact that Varys/Illyrio consider the support of the Martells a given, using no resources to convince them to support the Targaryens eventually, strongly suggests that they have a reason to be sure what Doran will eventually do. All they need to know is that they are still Targaryen loyalists/planning revenge against the Lannisters. And that they do.

As of yet Doran has no idea that Varys is the man behind Aegon. It is actually possible that this is the reason why he doesn't yet believe that Aegon is the real deal.

Because GRRM has a plan for the character later on and tries to give away anything at all if he can (Cersei do seem to want to summon Taena back after all and Kevan has approved so she might already be on her way)?

Well, then we shouldn´t really assume a Varys-Orton-Golden Company-Taena connection either should we? Considering we have about as much support for that one. We have very little to go on here and I think my suggestion is more logical due to Cerseis nature and to the unlikelyness that not only was Varys able to eavesdrop on the Trystane information, but also decided to send it to Doran.

Spoiler

And we know by the spoiler chapter released that Doran has not been given such a convincing, considering Doran doesn´t say anything about it to Arianne (and his whole arc was him learning to trust his daughter). Not only doesn´t Arianne know that Varys helped them but in addition doesn´t know that Varys wants her to support Aegon. She has been given full authority in this case of a war (to show that Doran trusts her, strangely if that would be undercut by the lack of this vital information, wouldn´t you say?). I mean, if Doran is so grateful to Varys, there is no reason giving Arriane command over this.

So while Arianne most likely will lead Dorne to the side of Aegon, it has most likely no connection because of that warning from Varys (if yhe sent one). Strange that, if Varys is so sure of their support, that he havn´t told Doran that "Oh, I need your help in a future war - I am backing a "targ", especially after Varys has just saved the life of Trystane. I really can´t see a better moment to give that intel then at such a time.

 

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Getting back to the possibility of Illyrio brokering a new alliance of the Three Daughters in support of Aegon, if Braavos allies with Stannis, and if Stannis is able to lead a host of Northmen to old to survive a long winter south, perhaps that will help Illyrio marshal support for the noble lad...

Quote

...the Young Dragon intended to wed a sister to the Sealord of Braavos to seal an alliance with him, with the aim of removing the pirates that were hindering trade with the newly conquered Dorne. Grand Maester Kaeth discusses this at length in Lives of Four Kings, arguing that here King Daeron erred, for talk of a marriage alliance with Braavos, which was at that time at war with Pentos and Lys, emboldened the other Free Cities
to lend crucial aid to the Dornish
rebels. 

TWOIAF, The Quarrelsome Daughters

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28 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Getting back to the possibility of Illyrio brokering a new alliance of the Three Daughters in support of Aegon, if Braavos allies with Stannis, and if Stannis is able to lead a host of Northmen to old to survive a long winter south, perhaps that will help Illyrio marshal support for the noble lad...

TWOIAF, The Quarrelsome Daughters

I definitely think that political alliance of Three Daughters will come back in this story, and Salladhor Saan will play a big leadership role in it if money is good.

I do think that Illyrio will be the mastermind behind this alliance. Illyrio is very involved in a slave trade. Whenever Dany's anti-slave movement reaches Volantis, I think this is where Illyrio will act. Once Volantis and its slaver regime falls, it will prompt other Free Cities except Braavos to join against Dany and her enormous khalasar. Three Daughters will be one of these political unions.

Another political alliance I can see after the fall of Volantis is the alliance of Norvos and Qohor. They did so once against Volantis, and if we know anything, history repeats itself. And both cities paid tributes to Dothrakis to leave them alone. Well, I am not sure Dany will leave them alone unless they stop the slave system.

And once Stannis is gone, Iron Bank will need a new horse to get back their money, and Aegon already has Illyrio backing him financially. A lot of people think that Braavos will be against Dany because she has dragons. I think that is immature, because dragonlords used dragons to enslave people. Dany is using the dragons to do the opposite. If Braavosi truly want the end of slavery on Essos, backing Dany and her campaign is a very natural thing to do.

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@Lost Melnibonean

Thinking about this Three Daughters thing - isn't it unnecessary for Illyrio to broker such an alliance? If Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh intend to stick to their slaver culture even after Dany's people have taken Volantis, they would have to fight for their survival against her forces, and the best way to do that would be to unite their forces and try to challenge her with a united army.

But the people in charge there most certainly would be smart enough to make such an alliance all by themselves. They don't need Illyrio Mopatis for that. And they can identify Daenerys Targaryen as an enemy of their way of life all by themselves, too. They don't need Illyrio to tell them that.

In fact, if Dany only had the intention to sail to Westeros to cast down the usurping impostor who calls himself Aegon Targaryen the Three Daughters most likely would gladly cheer her own in that desire. They couldn't care less who the hell sits on the Iron Throne of Westeros as long as that person leaves them be.

But if Dany intends to conquer their cities on the way to Westeros they would clearly become her enemies. The idea that Illyrio/Aegon can help the Three Daughters in any fashion makes no sense. Aegon has no ships, and Euron will see to it that things remain that way.

After Euron has destroyed the Redwyne fleet he is on the way to become a very strong naval power in the region of the Stepstones, and if Dany rejects his offer of an alliance (which she most likely will, assuming it ever reaches her) then they will be enemies. In alliance with the Three Daughters Euron Greyjoy actually could have the power to crush or at least cripple Dany's armada at sea. The only way to defeat of weaken Dany's troops would be at sea. The Dothraki and all her other allies will be way too strong on land.

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On 1/11/2017 at 0:45 AM, Protagoras said:

Strange that, if Varys is so sure of their support, that he havn´t told Doran that "Oh, I need your help in a future war - I am backing a "targ", especially after Varys has just saved the life of Trystane. I really can´t see a better moment to give that intel then at such a time.

There might be a lot of reasons, but first and foremost, Varys at that moment doesn't know about Golden Company landing. The plan was that Young Griff meets and marries Dany in Volantis (that's what Illyrio was paying for). Pretty sure Varys and Illyrio freaked out when they learned about the landing. And Varys knows that Doran is a wary man. Nobody will believe Varys word regarding Aegon. That's why they got JonCon on board.

Now, to get Dorne on board they need to take many steps. Doran getting angry regarding Trystane assassination plan is one of them. The "poisoned gift" to Cersei (aka Ser Robert) may be another. Arianne will finally convince Doran to join the war.

Regarding the Three Sisters, to further what @Lord Varys said. I believe that a war will erupt between Braavos and Lys (with support of Tyrosh and Myr) that would weaken them considerably. This would make things easier for Dany.  Euron is a wild card here too. After burning Oldtown there nothing that stops them going all the way through the Stepstones. Specially if the Three Sisters are already weakened. Illyrio is not needed here.

 

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47 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

@Lost Melnibonean

Thinking about this Three Daughters thing - isn't it unnecessary for Illyrio to broker such an alliance? If Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh intend to stick to their slaver culture even after Dany's people have taken Volantis, they would have to fight for their survival against her forces, and the best way to do that would be to unite their forces and try to challenge her with a united army.

But the people in charge there most certainly would be smart enough to make such an alliance all by themselves. They don't need Illyrio Mopatis for that. And they can identify Daenerys Targaryen as an enemy of their way of life all by themselves, too. They don't need Illyrio to tell them that.

In fact, if Dany only had the intention to sail to Westeros to cast down the usurping impostor who calls himself Aegon Targaryen the Three Daughters most likely would gladly cheer her own in that desire. They couldn't care less who the hell sits on the Iron Throne of Westeros as long as that person leaves them be.

But if Dany intends to conquer their cities on the way to Westeros they would clearly become her enemies. The idea that Illyrio/Aegon can help the Three Daughters in any fashion makes no sense. Aegon has no ships, and Euron will see to it that things remain that way.

After Euron has destroyed the Redwyne fleet he is on the way to become a very strong naval power in the region of the Stepstones, and if Dany rejects his offer of an alliance (which she most likely will, assuming it ever reaches her) then they will be enemies. In alliance with the Three Daughters Euron Greyjoy actually could have the power to crush or at least cripple Dany's armada at sea. The only way to defeat of weaken Dany's troops would be at sea. The Dothraki and all her other allies will be way too strong on land.

I don't see the Three Daughters backing Euron, but I admit that Euron is a very wild card. You seem to be very confident about Euron's next moves; I am not. I expect that he is the foil to Aegon. I suspect Euron is the primary reason Daenerys will have to come to Aegon’s desperate aid as the George had Tyrion foretell. But beyond that, I can only guess what the George has in mind for that monster. 

I do think the storyteller has given us sufficient reason to suspect that Illyrio is playing a role in the politics of the Three Daughters to benefit Aegon, but I would also agree that the Three Daughters might have lots of reasons to favor Aegon over Daenerys in any event. 

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13 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

There might be a lot of reasons, but first and foremost, Varys at that moment doesn't know about Golden Company landing. The plan was that Young Griff meets and marries Dany in Volantis (that's what Illyrio was paying for). Pretty sure Varys and Illyrio freaked out when they learned about the landing. And Varys knows that Doran is a wary man. Nobody will believe Varys word regarding Aegon. That's why they got JonCon on board.

Now, to get Dorne on board they need to take many steps. Doran getting angry regarding Trystane assassination plan is one of them. The "poisoned gift" to Cersei (aka Ser Robert) may be another. Arianne will finally convince Doran to join the war.

Regarding the Three Sisters, to further what @Lord Varys said. I believe that a war will erupt between Braavos and Lys (with support of Tyrosh and Myr) that would weaken them considerably. This would make things easier for Dany.  Euron is a wild card here too. After burning Oldtown there nothing that stops them going all the way through the Stepstones. Specially if the Three Sisters are already weakened. Illyrio is not needed here.

 

Given what we bow know from The Foresaken, do you still believe that Euron will raid or capture Oldtown? That's  what I expected too, but after reading the Foresaken I have doubts.

(Please be sure to use spoiler tags for any actual content from The Foresaken or any of the other spoiler chapters.)

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17 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

There might be a lot of reasons, but first and foremost, Varys at that moment doesn't know about Golden Company landing. The plan was that Young Griff meets and marries Dany in Volantis (that's what Illyrio was paying for). Pretty sure Varys and Illyrio freaked out when they learned about the landing. And Varys knows that Doran is a wary man. Nobody will believe Varys word regarding Aegon. That's why they got JonCon on board.

I don't think he did. He knows how the favorable the situation right now is. KL and Westeros is ripe for the taking. Aegon will take it, dragons or not. The challenge will be to hold it. They are not likely to have a good picture of Euron's abilities as of yet. And once the news about Dany's alleged death comes they will be glad that Aegon did not go to Slaver's Bay. At least until they get the really good news on Dany.

17 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Regarding the Three Sisters, to further what @Lord Varys said. I believe that a war will erupt between Braavos and Lys (with support of Tyrosh and Myr) that would weaken them considerably. This would make things easier for Dany.  Euron is a wild card here too. After burning Oldtown there nothing that stops them going all the way through the Stepstones. Specially if the Three Sisters are already weakened. Illyrio is not needed here.

I'm not sure that Euron is going to burn Oldtown. He could also humiliate the Hightowers in battle and force them to surrender the city as his ancestors did. He wants the Iron Throne and to get it he should not overly antagonize his future subjects. If he burned Oldtown the Reach would definitely unite against him. And not only the Reach.

And once Euron finds out about Aegon and Dorne declaring for him he might decide to attack them in retaliation, rather than continue the campaign against Oldtown. But we'll have to wait and see.

21 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I don't see the Three Daughters backing Euron, but I admit that Euron is a very wild card. You seem to be very confident about Euron's next moves; I am not. I expect that he is the foil to Aegon. I suspect Euron is the primary reason Daenerys will have to come to Aegon’s desperate aid as the George had Tyrion foretell. But beyond that, I can only guess what the George has in mind for that monster.

If Aegon and Euron ever clash Aegon will die. There is no other option. Varys and Illyrio are, in fact, not sorcerers. They can't protect him from Euron. With the amount of foreshadowing we have of Euron sitting the Iron Throne there is a pretty good chance he might take it over Aegon's dead body.

There is also a chance that he'll just take an empty city after Aegon has left the capital to march to some war. Euron and Cersei could essentially repeat Daemon and Rhaenyra's ploy by luring Aegon out of his city to meet an army from the West in battle while Euron's fleet takes an undefended KL.

I doubt that Dany is ever going to try to come to Aegon's aid.

And if George wants Dany to fight a real opponent upon her arrival in Westeros Euron would work so much better as an antagonist than Aegon. It is difficult to predict anything there because we don't know what characters might do after a certain point. It looks as if Euron could defeat the Redwynes, but will he win an overwhelming victory or is he going to lose some ships? How is the news about Dany's alleged death and her actual disappearance going to affect his plan? I think he will eventually ally with Cersei and whatever Lords of the West she might still control at that point. Without the dragons he needs another ally in Westeros and Robert's widow might the second best thing to a 'royal marriage' he can hope for.

But none of us can foresee how the political situation in or near Westeros will be when Dany finally begins her journey west. Aegon could already be dead. Euron could already be dead. Both of them could still be alive. If George wants to give us a Second Dance between Euron and Aegon then Euron's fleet (perhaps with the help of the Three Daughters) could deal Dany's armada a very hard blow, sinking hundreds of ships and killing tens of thousands, with the fleet thereafter being dispersed so that a united landing at KL or another prominent harbor is impossible. In the meantime Aegon could consolidate his power in Westeros gathering enough strength to become a major challenge for Dany.

21 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I do think the storyteller has given us sufficient reason to suspect that Illyrio is playing a role in the politics of the Three Daughters to benefit Aegon, but I would also agree that the Three Daughters might have lots of reasons to favor Aegon over Daenerys in any event. 

I'd say they don't have any reason to favor Aegon. They have a good reason to oppose Daenerys but hardly any reason to ally themselves with Aegon. He has nothing to offer them in return.

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7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

...

I think he will eventually ally with Cersei and whatever Lords of the West she might still control at that point. Without the dragons he needs another ally in Westeros and Robert's widow might the second best thing to a 'royal marriage' he can hope for.

...

I'd say they don't have any reason to favor Aegon. They have a good reason to oppose Daenerys but hardly any reason to ally themselves with Aegon. He has nothing to offer them in return.

Cersei is doomed to die, most likely by Jaime's hand, so any alliance with her will not be helpful in the long run. 

As to the Three Daughters backing Aegon, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Just ask Stannis and the Iron Bank of Braavos. 

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Just now, Lost Melnibonean said:

Cersei is doomed to die, most likely by Jaime's hand, so any alliance with her will not be helpful in the long run.

She can still die by his hand, at the very end of the series. There is no reason for us to assume this has to happen in the near future of the story. In fact, it could be a very sad murder with Cersei being already completely broken and destroyed, thrown into some cell by Dany, and Jaime just going in there for the sadistic pleasure of seeing the light in her eyes going out while her strangles her.

If Cersei ends up teaming up with Euron she could certainly become one of the main threats for the people of Westeros. Once Tommen and Myrcella are dead she has nothing to lose and everybody to kill, and Euron will gladly help her with that. She could be directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of ten thousands of people in the conflicts to come.

Just now, Lost Melnibonean said:

As to the Three Daughters backing Aegon, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Just ask Stannis and the Iron Bank of Braavos. 

Sure. But Stannis and the Iron Bank have a deal. What kind of deal could Aegon offer the Three Daughters? He is not likely going to be able to help them. Aegon and the Yunkai'i or the Volantenes could also have a common enemy at one point but that doesn't mean they will ever into a formal alliance.

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