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The Fattest Leech

Targaryen + non-Targaryen children always favor the non-Targ parent?

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"No matter how far back Ned searched in the brittle yellowed pages, always he found the gold yielding before the coal."

Help me see if this is true, would ya? Specifically with the first born children of the Targ/non-Targ mix. In the Baratheon/Lannister- anyone mix, we always get coal before gold. I think it is the same for the first born to a Targ/Non-Targ baby. I was lucky enough to ask George about this theory and he pretty much said yes in a very funny, stumped sorta way.

The book series has to rely on other genetic factors and methods of DNA testing that we do not use or rely upon in our own world (reality is such a silly place!). Therefore, GRRM has to somehow "show" certain characters are related other than just by looks or swab testing. This is where personality comes in to play. Of course, there is always going to be that one exception thrown in there in attempt to throw things off, but exceptions are not the basis for reality and usually have their own reason why. I am aware that there may be a little crossover with symbolism, something I kinda expect, and that is fine as long as you can provide some links to help validate your ideas.

Basically, everyone is a walking representative of their own personal sigil. It may be a whole dragon, a quartered dragon, a dragon with three different colored flames, etc.

  1. It seems as though the first born child to a mix of a Targaryen and non-Targaryen parents will conveniently always favor the non-Targaryen as far as physical looks, while the child may favor the Targ parent for personality and demeanor. Sometimes an exception child may have one Targ feature, but mostly they look non-typical-Targaryen.
    1. ADDING: After a little discussion it seems that having a non-Targargyen mother may have more of an effect on this theory. Thoughts???
  2. It is the subsequent children that most often take the Targ looks of skin color, hair color and eye color. This seems to occur mostly with just the second child, while the third child and others can vary.
  3. The typical Targaryen features are pale skin, silver, platinum, or gold hair and eyes in a variety of shades of purple, or light blue.
    • TWOIAF/ Targaryen Kings:  ...aquiline nose, fine features, silver-white hair, and purple eyes that bespoke his own Valyrian heritage. Source link.
    • TWOIAF/ Rise of Valyria: The great beauty of the Valyrians—with their hair of palest silver or gold and eyes in shades of purple not found amongst any other peoples of the world—is well-known, and often held up as proof that the Valyrians are not entirely of the same blood as other men. Source Link.
  4. The current, Westerosi Targagryens are descended from Aerion Targaryen (son of Daemion) and Valaena Velaryon. The Velaryons as they are described as having the typical Valyrian looks; pale skin, pale hair, purple eyes. So in this case it makes it should have been Visenya who go the near indistinguishable Velaryon looks, and her personality is something else as well. All of the current Targaryens come from Rhaenys' line, which means they carry the stronger Targ looks just by that rule (plus the incest- another genetic rule that George is ignoring for his fantasy world). 

Targ+Non-Targ mixes who look like the non-Targaryen parent: This list is a work in progress:

  • Jon Snow (assuming RLJ)= Possible first born to a Stark mother, conveniently looks very Stark, but acts very Rhaegar. Note: Jon is said to have eyes so grey they look almost black while Rhaegar had dark indigo, almost black, eyes. If Rhaegar and Lyanna were to have had additional children then I assume they would look more traditional Targaryen, or at least a good half mix.
  • Duncan "the small" Targaryen= First born son of Aegon 4 (egg) and Betha Blackwood, known for her dark hair and beauty.
  • Baelor Breakspear= first born, Martell mother and he looked very Dornish with dark hair and eyes and more olivy skin.
  • Aegor Rivers/Bittersteal= first/only born, took after his Bracken mother with dark hair and more medium complexion but still had the purple eyes.
  • Nettles= First/only born, Dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin from the mother. A bastard of questionable history, I know, but again I look to the better historians to clarify.
  • Rhaenys, daughter of Rhaegar= first born and looks like mother Elia Martell.
    • Aegon (Young Griff?), as the subsequent child, has/had the traditional Targ looks that he kept hidden.
    • ADWD Epilogue: The girl had been recognizably the Princess Rhaenys, but the boy … a faceless horror of bone and brain and gore, a few hanks of fair hair. None of us looked long. Tywin said that it was Prince Aegon, and we took him at his word.
    • What George has to say about Rhaenys and baby Aegon: http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/A_Number_of_Questions/

      Q: Do you have any idea what Rhaenys and Aegon looked like? (Hair color, eye color, etc.)

      GRRM: Rhaenys looked more like a Martell, Aegon more a Targaryen.

  • Prince Valarr= First born of Baelor (above) and mother Jena Dondarrion. He looked very much like his Dornish-Targ father, though he was smaller and thinner. He had brown hair, with a streak of silver-gold running through it. He had blue eyes like his Dondarrion mother.
  • Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffery Velaryon= All three had brown hair and brown eyes even through the mother Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laenor Velaryon each has the silver hair and purple eyes of Valyria. The boys were most likely the children of Harwin Strong... who has brown features.
  • Rhaenys, daughter of Aemon Targaryen (not a first born) and Jocelyn Baratheon= First/only child of a half-Valyrian/half-Baratheon mother and full-Targaryen father. Rhaenys was 3/4 Valyrian (Targ heritage) to begin with. Our only description of her is when she is older and her hair is described silver streaked with white. Could it be how dark blackish hair turns silver as one ages? Or is it silver as in Valyrian silver? Her personality is described as fierce and fearless.
    • UPDATING 11/28/18 and 12/7/18 with quotes from Fire & Blood:

      Fire & Blood: With Lord Corlys came his wife, Princess Rhaenys, five-and-fifty, her face lean and lined, her black hair streaked with white, yet fierce and fearless as she had been at two-and-twenty. “The Queen Who Never Was,” Mushroom calls her.

      Fire & Blood: Princess Rhaenys was born on the seventh day of the seventh moon of the year, which the septons judged to be highly auspicious. Large and fierce, she had the black hair of her Baratheon mother and the pale violet eyes of her Targaryen father.

Targaryen+Non-Targaryen any-born mixes who look like a Targaryen:

  • *Aegon 2= First born and looked like his full-Targaryen father, Viserys 1, but did not have his personality at all. His mother was Alicent Hightower, who herself was not first born and her mother is unknown. Aegon 2 is a good example of the example flip I mentioned above. Identity Issue being she was one of the two in the Dance of Dragons civil war, the other being his cousin Rhaenyra. Part of identity issue could be the use of his own gold dragon sigil.
    • ** So far, as of 4/15/16, Aegon 2 is the only first born Targaryen born to a non-Targ mother that looked like his paternal Targaryen side.
  • *Rhaenyra Targaryen= NOT first born, but the only one to survive to adulthood. Looked Valyrian, however, her mother, Aemma Arryn, was the first born daughter to a Targ mother and a typical blonde/blue Arryn father. Identity Issue being she was one of the two in the Dance of Dragons civil war, the other being her cousin Aegon 2.
  • waiting to update on 4/15/16

Speculated Targaryen mixes:

  • Current Joanna Lannister children. Both look like the mother, however, either could be first born if fathered by Aerys depending on your theory.
    • Cersei and Jaime= Conveniently Look very Lannister from the mother with golden hair and green eyes from Lannister parent, yet the personalities of the twins are like two opposite sides of the same coin which is very Targ-like. This would be "normal" for the first born of a Tagaryen/ non-Targ mixture.
    • Tyrion= possible Targ pale blonde hair and black eye and possible misshapeness, but also conveniently Lannister traits of green eye and pale blonde hair. His mother is clearly not a Targaryen so these mixed up features can help hide his true parental maker... and carrying on the suspicions. The dark hair could possibly come from his Marbrand great-grandmother of First Men origin???

Targaryens mixes who look Targaryen yet have "identity issues", and by identity issues I mean something like not accepting current Targ rule, going against family norms, etc:

  • Brynden Rivers/Bloodraven= Blackwood mother. Not a first born, but the only one of the three to have a description. Albino, white hair and skin and red eyes. Conveniently not either parent, but I am sure this is for other reasons. His personality was very much in line with his Targaryen father. He was a pro-Targ supporter through all of his questionable "mistings" and possible sorcery. Identitiy Issuehe was sent away from his family and royal duties before vanishing from the Night's Watch. Also, he was legitimized as a Targaryen by his father, King Aegon IV, but chose to still keep his bastard "Rivers" name. Hmmm....
  • *Rhaenyra Targaryen= listed above. Identity Issue being she was one of the two in the Dance of Dragons civil war, the other being her cousin Aegon 2.
  • *Aegon 2=  listed above. Identity Issue being she was one of the two in the Dance of Dragons civil war, the other being his cousin Rhaenyra. Part of identity issue could be the use of his own gold dragon sigil.
    • ** So far, as of 4/15/16, Aegon 2 is the only first born Targaryen born to a non-Targ mother that looked like his paternal Targaryen side.

Other Targaryen mixes with no description:

  • Aemma Arryn= Born to a full Targaryen mother and a blonde/blue Arryn father. Aemma's description is not stated. She did give birth to Rhaenyra (listed above).
  • Mya Rivers & Gwenys Rivers. Older sisters to Brynden Rivers/ Bloodraven. No descriptions given.

ADDING: Here is a fantastic post on page 3 that shows a more scientific take on this theory. Please read here.

Thanks for your time and reading through all of this :thumbsup: Oh, and I did search inside and outside of this site for answers but could not find any, so sorry if this has been talked to death :devil:

 

Edited by The Fattest Leech
Adding more info as it is presented. Thank you to those who helped!

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I'm not well versed in pre-D&E stories, but wasn't Rhaenyra Targ-looking from an Arryn mother? and Alicent Hightower's son as well? 

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alicent hightowers kids had white hair as far as we know

Rhaenyra's bastards all had brown hair, unless the maester who wrote it made it all up to make Rhaenyra look bad.

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7 minutes ago, Shuvuuia said:

I'm not well versed in pre-D&E stories, but wasn't Rhaenyra Targ-looking from an Arryn mother? and Alicent Hightower's son as well? 

Good points. Thank you because this is the type of stuff I was looking for.

I was just looking up Rhaenyra's Arryn mother and I can't find a description... so I looked up Jon Arryn. I thought I remembered Jon Arryn as having dark brown/blackish hair but this is what the wiki says (I know. I'm doing a Search search next). But if what the wiki says is true, then this could help mask the features.

"As a younger man he [Jon Arryn] resembled Harrold Hardyng, who has blue eyes, blonde hair, and an aquiline nose.[6]"

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1 hour ago, shockwave said:

alicent hightowers kids had white hair as far as we know

Rhaenyra's bastards all had brown hair, unless the maester who wrote it made it all up to make Rhaenyra look bad.

A-ha! Another convenience. Laenor Velaryon had brown *silver* hair and so did the possible Harwin Strong who was rumored to be the real father of Rhaenyra's three boys who all had the brown hair of their father.

Thank you.

Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon

Edited by The Fattest Leech
*I was corrected*

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25 minutes ago, Shuvuuia said:

I'm not well versed in pre-D&E stories, but wasn't Rhaenyra Targ-looking from an Arryn mother? and Alicent Hightower's son as well? 

 

21 minutes ago, shockwave said:

alicent hightowers kids had white hair as far as we know

Rhaenyra's bastards all had brown hair, unless the maester who wrote it made it all up to make Rhaenyra look bad.

If I keep to the specifics of the first born Targ-mix children, then Alicent Hightower's first born half-Targ child was Aegon 2, and he may be the exception because he is described in complete reverse to what I was theorizing with the look vs demeanor traits:

"Aegon resembled his father in appearance, though not in personality."

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40 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

A-ha! Another convenience. Laenor Velaryon had brown hair and so did the possible Harwin Strong who was rumored to be the real father of Rhaenyra's three boys who all had the brown hair of their father.

Thank you.

Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon

Laenor had silver hair.

 

Rhaenys (daughter of Rhaegar) may have had the Dornish look, but iirc GRRM said Aegon was silver haired Targ looking. 

Egg and his siblings were also from a non-Targ match and were Targaryen in appearance. Although I suppose without knowing whether his mother had silver hair and purple eyes (not all Daynes do I don't think) we can't really draw conclusions from that.

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6 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Laenor had silver hair.

 

Rhaenys (daughter of Rhaegar) may have had the Dornish look, but iirc GRRM said Aegon was silver haired Targ looking. 

Egg and his siblings were also from a non-Targ match and were Targaryen in appearance. Although I suppose without knowing whether his mother had silver hair and purple eyes (not all Daynes do I don't think) we can't really draw conclusions from that.

Indeed, Ashara Dayne had dark hair while Darkstar has silvery.  Not sure whether we have descriptions for Ned or Arthur Dayne?

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58 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

A-ha! Another convenience. Laenor Velaryon had brown hair and so did the possible Harwin Strong who was rumored to be the real father of Rhaenyra's three boys who all had the brown hair of their father.

Thank you.

Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon

Laenor had silver hair. (ETA2: Ninja'd by Helena)

Whatever the truth of these tales, it was soon announced that the princess was with child. Born in the waning days of 114 AC, the boy was a large, strapping lad, with brown hair, brown eyes, and a pug nose (Ser Laenor had the aquiline nose, silver-white hair, and purple eyes that bespoke his Valyrian blood).

2 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Brynden Rivers/Bloodraven= Albino, white hair and skin and red eyes. Conveniently not either parent, but I am sure that is for other reasons. His personality was very much in line with his Targaryen father. He was a pro-Targ supporter through all of his questionable "mistings".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Brynden Rivers the youngest?  I could've sworn he was the youngest of three.

1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

"As a younger man he [Jon Arryn] resembled Harrold Hardyng, who has blue eyes, blonde hair, and an aquiline nose.[6]"

This info comes from a spoiler chapter, where... (spoiler but not a major one)

Spoiler

Harrold Hardyng is described as having "Jon Arryn's look."  It's unclear whether this refers to them sharing coloring, facial structure/features, build, or a combination of some or all of these traits. 

Even if Jon Arryn did have blond hair and blue eyes, remember that Aemma was born some 100-200 years before Jon Arryn.  I doubt blond hair and blue eyes would be that consistent in any family (other than Valyrians).  We can't conclude what her coloring was either way. 

Some have proposed that Rhaenys "The Queen Who Never Was" had dark hair.  The only description given of her is in her fifties.

With Lord Corlys came his wife Princess Rhaenys, five-and-fifty, her face lean and lined, her silver hair streaked with white.

(ETA: It's not clear whether her silver hair came from her Valyrian heritage or from age.)  Rhaenyra's children with Laenor could have inherited their darker features from Aemma, Rhaenys, or both women.

[Side note: Of all published work, only Harrold Hardyng, Darkstar, and Laenor Velaryon have had "aquiline" noses.  The latter two have Valyrian/Targaryen ancestory, and The Rouge Prince describes Laenor features as "ha[ving] the aquiline nose, silver-white hair, and purple eyes that bespoke his Valyrian blood."  I wonder if Harrold Hardyng has any Valyrian/Targaryen heritage that we aren't aware of yet.]

Edited by Isobel Harper
RE: Rhaenys' hair

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1 minute ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Laenor had silver hair.

 

Rhaenys (daughter of Rhaegar) may have had the Dornish look, but iirc GRRM said Aegon was silver haired Targ looking. 

Egg and his siblings were also from a non-Targ match and were Targaryen in appearance. Although I suppose without knowing whether his mother had silver hair and purple eyes (not all Daynes do I don't think) we can't really draw conclusions from that.

You are absolutely correct. My fault. My hands must have been typing faster than my brain could keep up. :blushing:

 

The ones, like Egg, who come from Daynes make it hard to judge because they already have the different shades of blonde and blue and purple eyed looks to them.

Ugh. This might get confusing? I hope not.

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7 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Rhaenys, daughter of Aemon Targaryen and Jocelyn Baratheon, also had Targaryen features

Are we certain of that though?  (See my post above.)

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4 minutes ago, Isobel Harper said:

Laenor had silver hair. 

Whatever the truth of these tales, it was soon announced that the princess was with child. Born in the waning days of 114 AC, the boy was a large, strapping lad, with brown hair, brown eyes, and a pug nose (Ser Laenor had the aquiline nose, silver-white hair, and purple eyes that bespoke his Valyrian blood).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Brynden Rivers the youngest?  I could've sworn he was the youngest of three.

 

 

Yes, Bloodraven was the third and only boy. He is also the only one I can find any description on (one which we all know) and it turns out that this description is odd enough to not be able to pin anything from any parent.

Great catch on the aquiline nose. Never took that in to consideration.

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7 minutes ago, Isobel Harper said:

This info comes from a spoiler chapter, where... (spoiler but not a major one)

  Reveal hidden contents

Harrold Hardyng is described as having "Jon Arryn's look."  It's unclear whether this refers to them sharing coloring, facial structure/features, build, or a combination of some or all of these traits. 

Even if Jon Arryn did have blond hair and blue eyes, remember that Aemma was born some 100-200 years before Jon Arryn.  I doubt blond hair and blue eyes would be that consistent in any family (other than Valyrians).  We can't conclude what her coloring was either way. 

 

But don't the Starks have features that go waaay back, like other Valyrians do? This, it seems, is the literary way of genetic DNA testing. To have things so cut and dry as a way to protect the plot and world build.

What got me started on this was thinking of Jon (again) and how Ned was able to hide the baby so easily. It would not have been so easy if Jon was born looking Targaryen Jr. Since Jon is a major driver in the story, then it seems like the others are just backstory developed to help hide Jon because it has been shown historically to have happened this way, meaning, the first born child of a Targ-mix looks predominantly like the non-Targ parent.

I don't want to sound like I am debating. Just trying to piece it all together. I will update my OP list in a few minutes to add to the "known" list.

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9 minutes ago, Isobel Harper said:

Are we certain of that though?  (See my post above.)

I did consider that, and agree it's a reason to question it. But, the way I read it at least, the streaks of white are indicators of her age, and the silver is her natural colour. If I were describing a dark haired person going grey, I would likely say their hear was black streaked with grey, for example. Also, black hair would be more likely to turn grey with age, rather than silver or white, wouldn't it?

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4 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I did consider that, and agree it's a reason to question it. But, the way I read it at least, the streaks of white are indicators of her age, and the silver is her natural colour. If I were describing a dark haired person going grey, I would likely say their hear was black streaked with grey, for example. Also, black hair would be more likely to turn grey with age, rather than silver or white, wouldn't it?

This is, I think, where GRRM's wonderfully frustrating wordplays come in to mess with us. Just as not describing certain people/parents.  If you think of a good looking older man, you tend to say he's a "Silver Fox", and that silver mostly comes from having dark hair when younger.

But in this case I read it like you do, the silver is the natural color and the white is the age.

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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30 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Laenor had silver hair.

 

Rhaenys (daughter of Rhaegar) may have had the Dornish look, but iirc GRRM said Aegon was silver haired Targ looking. 

Egg and his siblings were also from a non-Targ match and were Targaryen in appearance. Although I suppose without knowing whether his mother had silver hair and purple eyes (not all Daynes do I don't think) we can't really draw conclusions from that.

Yes and she was the first born and had the Martell looks. Thank you. I will add her to the OP list.

Aegon did/does have the Targ looks and he was the subsequent birth.

(Sorry for the late response. I am trying to catch up all over the place.)

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2 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Yes and she was the first born and had the Martell looks. Thank you. I will add her to the OP list.

Aegon did/does have the Targ looks and he was the subsequent birth.

(Sorry for the late response. I am trying to catch up all over the place.)

I was a bit confused when I wrote that because I didn't realise you were talking about first borns only :) 

What would be really helpful is details of Baela and Rhaena's children...

Personally I don't think there are any rules GRRM adheres to with "genetics" and appearance, but I applaud your work in looking into it ;) I'm far too lazy to do such a thing without prompting...

Good point on Rhaenys and "silver fox" by the way. I guess she needs to go on the "inconclusive" pile with Egg and his brothers

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2 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I was a bit confused when I wrote that because I didn't realise you were talking about first borns only :) 

What would be really helpful is details of Baela and Rhaena's children...

Personally I don't think there are any rules GRRM adheres to with "genetics" and appearance, but I applaud your work in looking into it ;) I'm far too lazy to do such a thing without prompting...

Good point on Rhaenys and "silver fox" by the way. I guess she needs to go on the "inconclusive" pile with Egg and his brothers

I mostly agree because we see so many physical body inconsistencies throughout Targaryen and Baratheon history (and a few others). But it was one of those things that niggles at you like a loose tooth that I finally decided to ask about to see what others thought one way or another. I think GRRM maybe decided to start with recent history that way as a way to hide-in-plain-sight Jon's (quite possible) Targaryen parentage, but as his world building expanded then so did cases like this.

Trust me. I am lazy as hell when it comes to "homework" :D I am kinda surprised with myself that I went ahead and asked. But after doing so, I feel like this is more and more plausible.

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1 minute ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Yes, Bloodraven was the third and only boy. He is also the only one I can find any description on (one which we all know) and it turns out that this description is odd enough to not be able to pin anything from any parent.

Great catch on the aquiline nose. Never took that in to consideration.

I've proposed before (an idea more than a true theory) that Harry is descended from Maegor (Aerion's son) through his Hardyng father.  Maegor's grandmother was Alys Arryn (not Jon Arryn's sister - another Alys), so it's likely that she took him under her wing after Aerion's death, possibly even marrying him off to a Vale house.  Maegor has a daughter, who marries a Hardyng and gives birth to Harry's father  (So, Maegor -> daughter -> Harry's father -> Harry)  The ages would work; each parent would have the child around 16-17 years old, which is about the Westerosi average. 

LF slips the idea to the right people that Lysa Arryn committed adultery on her husband, maybe even implicating himself.  Harry's blond hair and blue eyes, in addition to him supposedly having Jon Arryn's look, leads people to believe that Sweetrobin is not Jon Arryn's son.  An investigation takes place.  The Vale discovers that Harry's coloring is from his Targaryen ancestory.  Once his Targaryen heritage becomes public knowledge, voila!  The Vale supports Harry's claim to the throne without LF actively doing so.  At least, that would be his plan.  Then comes Aegon...

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